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

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian organizations — which dropped early Friday afternoon — made it clear that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to a far greater extent than we previously knew, and in ways that had not yet been reported.

There were, however, a number of aspects of this story — specifically relating to the doings of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm — that TPM had previously looked into.

Here are five things we already knew:

– The Internet Research Agency ran the @Ten_GOP twitter account that purportedly represented the Tennessee state Republican Party. The bogus account attracted over 100,000 followers. Read more »

– The Internet Research Agency recruited activists from a variety of causes, including Black Lives Matter and right-wing groups, to organize events throughout the U.S. Read more »

– The Internet Research Agency trashed left-wing movements in the U.S., including Black Lives Matter, while promoting Trump on Twitter using an account supposedly aligned with the Tea Party, @tpartynews. Read more »

– The Internet Research Agency promoted Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein on social media. Read more » 

– The Internet Research Agency appeared to have the goal of meddling with the functioning of American democracy by inflaming partisanship and sowing division. Read more »


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Good morning, and happy Friday. Congress has concluded DACA negotiations without reaching a deal after the White House intervened to undermine them. The House and Senate are out until Feb. 26, and it looks set to be a slow day in D.C. Of course, it’s risky to say things like that these days.

Here’s what our team has its eyes on today.

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Following the devastating shooting yesterday in Parkland, Florida, we wanted to re-run Reed Richardson’s thoughtful deep dive into the history of the AR-15 (Prime access), the weapon that was allegedly used to kill 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and wound 14 more. Richardson details the gun’s origins in the early days of the Vietnam War, and traces its history as it becomes a favorite among American gun enthusiasts — and perpetrators of mass shootings.

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Last night’s government shutdown lasted five hours. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made his point about spending — “I didn’t come up here to be liked,” he said — and held up the Senate vote until after midnight. As the East Coast was waking up, the House voted to lift spending caps. Seventy-three Democrats supported the bill against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) urging. Now the government is back open, and a solution for Dreamers will have to wait until next week. Here’s what our team is watching today.

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Good morning. Today’s the day we could see another government shutdown.

It looks nearly certain that the budget deal will sail through the Senate, which votes at 11:30 a.m. It will be a much heavier lift in the House. The House Freedom Caucus is against the agreement — the hardline conservative group opposes any and all domestic spending hikes, though they support the large increase in military funding. That means, Alice Ollstein reports, that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will need Democrats’ votes to get the legislation across the finish line. Democrats want Ryan to promise to hold a vote on DACA — as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has done in the Senate — but Ryan has so far refused to do so. The question today is how many Democrats will cave and vote for the bill anyway. The Democrats’ riled-up progressive base is watching closely, waiting to see if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) eight-hour speech yesterday will be followed by real action, or whether it was simply a stunt. The government will shut down at midnight if they can’t reach a deal.

Here’s what else we’re watching today.

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