The Lame-Duck Massacre

Leading The Bulwark…

The Lame-Duck Massacre

Shay Khatiri: The patterns and portents of Trump’s post-election Pentagon firings.


🎧 On the Pods…🎧

David Priess on Trump’s Damaging Transition

On today’s Bulwark podcast, David Priess joins Charlie Sykes to discuss how President Trump is damaging the process that facilitates a peaceful transition of power.

FOR BULWARK+ MEMBERS 🔐

The Next Level: Debbie Downer

Sarah and Tim are cheerful and optimistic. JVL is . . . not.


From The Bulwark Aggregator


In Today’s Bulwark…

Trump’s Election Mess, in the Eyes of the World

Dalibor Rohac: There are no good-faith explanations for the decision of Republicans to play along the president’s delusion.

Republicans Continue to Cower Under Phony Strongman

Christian Schneider: At least the Soviets had the gulag to fear.

There Is No Return to Normalcy

Mona Charen: In defeat, Donald Trump has perfected the grievance-fueled conspiracy machine in the Republican Party.

How to Make Biden’s COVID Task Force Better

David Shaywitz: Biden is following the science. But he needs input from industry, too.


🚨 OVERTIME 🚨

Let’s talk about Opportunity Zones. Republicans generally believe, or at least they used to when I worked for them, that taxes should be simple, broad based, and exemptions kept to a minimum.

Ideally, that’s how you keep a tax system efficient, vibrant, and dynamic. They’re… not perfect on the exemptions and deductions side. But they used to care about minimizing them, and that was a good thing.

But Republicans lurve them some Opportunity Zones, and that’s probably because it’s one of those dirty little tax secrets most people don’t know about.

A recent report from the GAO is worth reading. A highlight from the summary:

Congress created Opportunity Zones to spur investment in distressed communities. About 10% of Americans live in the nearly 9,000 zones.

In these areas, certain business investments can bring significant tax benefits to the investor. Unlike other, similar tax incentives, there is no limit on the amounts investors can claim for tax breaks.

But how will opportunity zone investments actually affect these communities? Congress should consider having the Treasury Department collect whatever data is needed to find out.

This is a flaw the next Congress should absolutely investigate and rectify.

Throwback to an earlier time… Sadly, this clip is not of Ted Cruz from 2020, but Ted Cruz of 2016.

Still, enjoy it.

Uh, yeah, you should be fired for this. Moonlighting on a campaign is not an appropriate or acceptable practice for journalists or opinion writers. You have to disclose that stuff or you’re going to get fired.

Florida man hires conspiracy blogger for COVID-19 data team. I am not going to spoil any of this for you. But it’s bonkers.

The case against conspiracy theories. Check out this documentary from Kirby Ferguson. (Not that you needed a case against conspiracy theories, but it’s superbly edited and the pop culture references are top notch.)

It’s not worth it. I know some readers I chat with disagree, and that’s fine, but I am firm in my “don’t destroy family relationships over politics” rule. You can be the better person. Sometimes you can’t do anything about it. These days our friends and family who are hardcore #MAGA types are really in dark times. I read this CNN op-ed, and my first thought was that I probably wouldn’t have run it. But even so, it’s worth reading because it highlights the extremes to which people will go to use politics as a bludgeon to destroy family relationships and friendships. It’s not always unavoidable.

I’m an inherently political guy, and everyone who has known me since I was 16 knows this. I don’t know how many people who have unfriended or unfollowed me because of politics in the last few months, paying attention to that is madness. But I know that I have unfriended precisely two acquaintances on Facebook in the last six months because of politics. Not because I disagreed, but because they insisted on being repeatedly demeaning and reveled in belittling others.

I have pretty thick skin because getting criticism is part of the job, but it’s probably not your job. Just mute them or delete their comments. Think twice before you hit the “unfriend” button because cutting that digital cord is a signal they’ll likely never forget.

Maybe that’s what you want to do. I’ve burnt down a lot of bridges in the conservative movement and I’m at peace with that.

It’s usually better to use the “unfollow” button on Facebook or “mute” function on Twitter. But I’m not the boss of you. Do what you want, but this is just my humble advice.

That’s it for me for today, please drop me a line if you have comments, questions, thoughts, or concerns: swift@thebulwark.com.

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