In Banning Journos, Elon Musk Continues To Show Exactly Who He Is

INSIDE: Mark Meadows ... Rudy Giuliani ... Donald Trump
In this photo illustration, a phone screen displays the Twitter account of Elon Musk with a photo of him shown in the background, on April 14, 2022, in Washington, DC. - Tesla chief Elon Musk has launched a hostile t... In this photo illustration, a phone screen displays the Twitter account of Elon Musk with a photo of him shown in the background, on April 14, 2022, in Washington, DC. - Tesla chief Elon Musk has launched a hostile takeover bid for Twitter, insisting it was a "best and final offer" and that he was the only person capable of unlocking the full potential of the platform. - (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Waste And Destruction

Like with Trump, we know everything we need to know about Elon Musk. New scandals or outbursts of impulsivity or additional episodes of narcissistic self-absorption are merely duplicative. All that’s left to do is to chronicle the waste and destruction they leave in their paths.

Last night’s Twitter ban of multiple journalists is just further confirmation of numerous sound judgments already made:

  • Musk is not a free speech champion.
  • Musk is erratic, inconsistent, unreliable, and attention-craving.
  • Musk’s actions and decisions are not guided by underlying principles or values.
  • Musk savors inflicting pain and abuse.
  • Musk enjoys your scolding and opprobrium because it feels like attention.

Broken, petulant, emotionally stunted rich white men are nothing new. What might be new is that decades of regressive tax policy, feckless anti-trust enforcement, and market worship by policymakers have created an untethered and unaccountable new billionaire class.

Latest Installment In The Meadows Texts Series

This went up last evening: “Kari Lake’s Cameo In The Meadows Texts Shows How 2020 Election Denial Became An Enduring Movement”


TPM’s Hunter Walker talks about the Meadows Texts with Katie Phang:

Everyone Is Covering The Meadows Texts

David Corn: “Newly Revealed Texts Show Mark Meadows Is a Liar”

First Read: “Jan. 6 continues to stain GOP, text messages show”

Charlie Pierce: “Mark Meadows’ Texts Are a Rich Tapestry of Conniving and Political Derangement”

Wonkette: “So, before we get into the substance of Mark Meadows’s texts, let’s acknowledge the threshold scandal that he was the one running point to coordinate both the coup rally and the campaign. Which is FUCKING CRAZY!”

Rudy G Takes It On The Chin In DC Bar Case

A D.C. bar disciplinary panel has reached a preliminary finding that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani violated ethics rules in one of his 2020 Big Lie cases in Pennsylvania. Bar investigators are recommending disbarment.

The tentative decision was reached in public proceedings held Thursday, and Rudy was not happy:

Tea-Leaf Reading On Jack Smith

Bloomberg’s Zoe Tillman teases out some new information about special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation: a new D.C. federal grand jury handling Jan. 6 matters was impaneled on Sept. 15 for a six-month term after an earlier grand jury expired. With a six-month term, the new grand jury will be available to hear evidence until March 2023.

Great Headline

Via Law & Crime: Arizona Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs Tells Judge Court ‘Should Not Indulge’ Losing Candidate Kari Lake’s ‘Absurd’ Lawsuit ‘a Minute Longer’

Paul Pelosi Smears Exposed

Chris Hayes on the new evidence that has emerged in the criminal case against Paul Pelosi’s assailant and how it further undermines the horrible smears casually pushed by Tucker Carlson and others in the days after the attack:

Stiff Sentences In Whitmer Kidnapping Case

The longest prison sentences handed down so far in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D): Pete Musico, 12 years; Joe Morrison, 10 years; and Paul Bellar, seven years.

Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Bill

In a late-night vote, the Senate approved a stopgap spending bill to fund the government through Dec. 23, setting the stage for consideration of the still-to-be-unveiled $1.7 trillion omnibus package.

Three Years Later, Louisiana State Police Charged In Death Of Black Driver

Four Louisiana state troopers and a sheriff’s deputy were charged in the death of Ronald Greene, a Black man who died in 2019 while in police custody after a traffic stop. The case was initially whitewashed, but disturbing body cam footage emerged that ignited public outrage and eventually led to a criminal investigation of the officers allegedly involved.

Interesting Read

Longtime NYT labor reporter Steven Greenhouse, now retired, writes at length on the labor dispute at the Gray Lady.

Just In Time For Christmas!

I’m sad to report that some of you seemed to have been taken in by Trump’s announcement that he would make a big announcement. Maybe he’ll run for speaker! Maybe he has a new legal strategy! Maybe … but no.

Like the cheap salesman he is, Trump announced a new line of $99 NFT trading cards portraying him in various heroic poses, like this one:

Philip Bump asks a good question: Who convinced Donald Trump that Trump NFTs were a good idea? “[T]he art in the NFT line largely consists of clumsily Photoshopping Trump’s head onto manly, svelte figures,” Bump dryly notes.

Jimmy Fallon: “You know your campaign isn’t going well when your re-election strategy is, ‘Maybe people will like me as a Pokemon.’ Trump was like, ‘These cards are like classified documents — you’ve got to catch them all.’”

Even some Trump supporters weren’t fooled.

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: