John Light

John is TPM‘s Prime editor. His writing has also appeared at The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Salon, Slate, UN Dispatch, Vox, Worth, and Al Jazeera, and has been broadcast on Public Radio International. Before joining TPM, John was a producer for Bill Moyers and WNYC, and worked as a news writer for Grist. He grew up in New Jersey, studied history and film at Oberlin College, and got his master‘s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Articles by John

The President’s golf club is hosting a strip club event. Register today to pick your own “caddy girl” — after the deadline, you’ll have to participate in an auction to decide which cabaret dancer drives your golf cart. The event was ostensibly a fundraiser for a local nonprofit — until, following reporting by the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold and TPM’s Matt Shuham, the non-profit bailed.

That’s all a lot of fun. In the background, there’s another story: With Trump in the White House, the Trump properties aren’t doing great.

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This year, the Democratic primary is heavy on ideas. Unlike the Republican primary in 2016 from which Donald Trump emerged, or even past Democratic primaries, there is one leading candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has propelled herself into frontrunner territory with a relentless focus on far-reaching policy proposals.

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On Friday, a New York Times article made the rounds which profiled the Concerned Community Citizens (“or C-Cubed”) of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, an Islamophobic group obsessing over the local population of Somali refugees and fretting about white replacement. “I think of America, the great assimilator, as a rubber band, but with this — we’re at the breaking point,” Kim Crockett, vice president of a think tank called the Center of the American Experiment, told the Times. “These aren’t people coming from Norway, let’s put it that way. These people are very visible.”

This morning, the Saint Cloud Times, the local newspaper, hit back at the Islamophobia in its community.

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Hello members,

Next week, we’re looking ahead to the Democratic debates — the first time in which many of the candidates will formally engage with one another. Here’s who made the cut, and here’s what we know about format.

And here is what happened in Prime this week:

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Hello TPM members,

Another week passed with Democrats inching bit by bit closer to impeachment. At TPM, we aired the debate around whether or not the party should take that leap. Here’s a few links to that, and all else that happened in Prime.

Looking ahead to next week, the blizzard continues. Democrats have invited John Dean to testify on the Hill, and we could see two contempt votes: One in the House Oversight Committee to recommend holding Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt, and another on the House floor to hold Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn in contempt.

  • Readers wrote in with their thoughts on the impeachment debate. ML says the spectacle and process of impeachment is the point. CG says action is the ideology. JB says the whole discussion is pointless given that the Senate will not convict. BT says Josh is “crazy over this impeachment thing.” Another reader is “flabbergasted” by BTRS is pro-impeachment, but without a timeline.
  • In defending a top official accused of lying in the census case, did the DOJ give away the game?
  • Did a former Raytheon lobbyist working at the State Department have a hand in convincing the administration to use emergency powers to circumvent Congress and cut an arms deal with Saudi Arabia?
  • A new lawsuit challenges Mississippi’s segregation-era system of elected statewide officials.
  • In figuring out whether or not to charge Trump, the special counsel was in uncharted legal waters, Josh Kovensky writes.
  • A Wednesday hearing on the Census citizenship question was a mixed bag.
  • Mueller witness George Nader was arrested this week. Cristina Cabrera recounts how he worked his way into Trump’s orbit.
  • On impeachment, Josh Marshall writes: “Actual wrongdoing and crimes are important to uncover and are actually politically damaging. Impeachment moves the focus to the mechanics of impeachment and the question of whether or not a President should be removed from office — a question on which the public is much more divided.”
  • We’ve seen a few instances recently of lawmakers making violent comments about LGBT people.
  • SEC head Jay Clayton laments the challenges facing stock brokers today.

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Hello Prime members and welcome to the weekend.

This week we finally heard from Mueller. The importance of what he chose to say is open to interpretation — and differs depending on who you ask. One thing is clear, however: Democrats want to hear more.

Here’s what happened in Prime this week.

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