Thank you for getting us off to a solid start in our second annual drive for The TPM Journalism Fund. As I explained yesterday, contributions to the Fund provide a relatively small (on a budget percentage basis) but critical part of the budget that allows TPM to remain vital and focused on original reporting about the most important stuff. It’s really important for our future. I explain more about it here and you can click here to contribute.
This afternoon I wanted to tell you about an entirely different thing the Fund accomplishes, how it protects access for all TPM Readers even if they don’t have the financial wherewithal to subscribe.
Here’s a must read story from Josh Kovensky about how Tom Cotton is insisting that China be denied the 2022 Winter Olympics because he says the PRC will use the Olympics to harvest the DNA of the world’s greatest athletes and then use this genetic treasure trove to create a genetically modified race of Chinese super soldiers to dominate the world. I’m not exaggerating or kidding. That’s what he’s saying. Read it here.
This morning ABC News reported that Democrats are no longer seeking translator notes for President Trump’s notorious meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland in 2018. “The Biden administration is looking forward, not back,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), a phrase which is likely more grating to Democrats than any save “bipartisan compromise”. I will say that I am at best ‘meh’ on the Biden administration’s management of the Trump accountability issue. Not surprisingly, this report is being greeted with pretty intense consternation. But there’s a part of this I don’t think people are figuring on.
Put simply, Biden doesn’t need to seek the transcripts or try to talk to the translator. He already has the transcripts. The moment President Biden took the oath of office he, as President, took possession of all the records of the United States government. That definitely includes the notes of that meeting.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an anti-critical race theory bill into law on Tuesday, and Texas become the latest red state to adopt legislation that bans certain topics on race and racism from being discussed in the classroom.
I want to start by thanking everyone who took a moment over the last 22 hours to contribute The TPM Journalism Fund. 310 of you have contributed since we kicked off our drive yesterday. Truly, thank you. And all of us here at TPM thank you. I explained below what the Fund is and why it’s so important. If you haven’t yet, please consider clicking here to become a contributor. More on that later today.
This morning I want to kick off by sharing the Inside Briefing we held yesterday with Adam Jentleson. Adam’s a former Harry Reid staffer and relevant to this present discussion perhaps the most important filibuster reform activist. He’s got a book on it called Kill Switch you can find here. As is usually the case with these Briefings, in addition to wanting to make it informative for readers, I was mainly interested to answer two questions for myself. First, where are we on reforming or ditching the filibuster? and Second, what on earth is happening up on Capitol Hill about passing a big infrastructure bill which is supposed to be the centerpiece of the President’s agenda?
If you’re a member the video of our discussion is after the jump.
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We have made great strides over the last five years totally transforming the site’s business model from one based almost exclusively on advertising to one based overwhelmingly on membership fees. But it’s not quite enough, at least not yet. That’s where The TPM Journalism Fund comes in. It plays a relatively small (in percentage terms) but still critical role in our budget, allowing us to keep our focus on original reporting and evolve with the changing news environment in ways I will describe here in the coming days.
Today we’re kicking off our second annual TPM Journalism Fund drive. (If you’ve heard enough and would like to contribute, just click here. If not, please read on.)
It’s a pretty transparent move.
From TPM Reader JL …
I wanted to pass along some thoughts on vaccinating the world. I don’t claim any particular expertise or even objectivity on the subject, but I do have a perspective that seems a bit contrarian and perhaps worth sharing for that reason alone.
The gist is that I’m fairly optimistic that the world will get vaccinated in not much more than a year. Let me start with a huge caveat, which is that by the world getting vaccinated I mean that the world as a whole will get close to the point where the US will be in a few months or so—approaching 60% of the population fully vaccinated. If that happens the global situation will be vastly improved but it certainly doesn’t mean the pandemic will be over. How not over it will be will depend on variants, ability/willingness to test & trace, and a myriad of other factors.
One of my subsidiary frustrations in the infrastructure debate and legislative process is how difficult it is even to make sense of what’s going on. I’ve mentioned in a few posts that this is not only a research or reporting problem. It’s hard to have good messaging for what you’re trying to do, build public support or keep supporters engaged, if even those whose job it is to make sense of things, who understand a lot of the jargon and technicalities, struggle to make sense of it. I’ve read a fair amount and discussed it with various people at the highest levels of the process. And I can barely make sense of it.
With that introduction, a few thoughts.
Nearly three months after the head of Michigan’s Republican Party unveiled an audacious plan that would allow GOP legislators to circumvent the state’s Democratic governor’s veto to pass restrictive voting laws, the contours of the scheme remain murky.
Over the past two months of infrastructure talks, there’s been a constant refrain from Republican negotiators: why not just use all the unspent COVID aid money to pay for the bill?
A 22-year old Pennsylvania man raked in thousands of dollars by impersonating various members of the Trump family, Manhattan federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.
As a lifelong novel consumer who enjoys throwing myself into other worlds for hours on end, it probably won’t come as a surprise that I don’t read too many short stories.
Months before Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance announced that he would not seek reelection for a role in which he oversees a criminal investigation into Trump and his company, a public defender and former reality TV star who had already been angling to replace him was tweeting about the DA office’s investigation into Trump.
“First of All, James Ball III, you are full of poop,” wrote one Republican Party functionary to another in a bitter, paramilitary-tinged rift over the future of the GOP in Multnomah County, Oregon.
“That is a legal term used by bible believing Christians,” the email continued, “who want to say something much much stronger but err on the side of caution.”