Wiretap: Trump’s posse, Obamacare’s boost and the problem with North Carolina

Grab ’em by the posse

For those thinking that Paul Ryan and the Republican Congress are going to have their way with Donald Trump, they might want to think again. Politico reports on the “Trump posse” that is poised to act when or if any in the GOP get out of line. No wonder Trump critics on the Hill (see: Gardner, Cory) have been so quiet.

Isn’t it ironic

Obamacare enrollments jump — 400,000 more have signed up in 2016 than at this point last year — even as Republicans plan to repeal the law. Florida and Texas, states that Trump carried, lead the way. Via the New York Times.

Cattle call

When Trump holds a casting call at Trump Tower for, say, his next cabinet pick, it really is a casting call. He’s not just looking for brains or talent. Trump is also looking for “the look.” Via the Washington Post.

In the balance

Trump could go one of two ways, according to the National Journal. He could wreck the planet. Or maybe he won’t. It’s just that complicated.

Talk less, smile more

From the National Review. Irony check: Will Trump end up being the non-ideological president that Obama always wanted to be?

Rise up

Via Bloomberg: Berlin will survive the horror of the attack on the Christmas market and Angela Merkel will survive the attacks against her from those who say, “These are Merkel’s dead.”

Achilles Tar Heel

In North Carolina, they call one more special session of the legislature, this time to repeal the infamous bathroom bill. And then they don’t. What is the matter with North Carolina?

Stop obsessing

View from Bulgaria: The Cold War isn’t back, and America should stop acting like it is. Via the New York Times.

License to kill

The strange paradox of the death penalty: Executions dwindle to just a few, but voters, even in the most liberal states, seem to want to keep the punishment on the books. Via the New Yorker.

Rise and fall

The long, lonely fall of Rashaan Salaam, the University of Colorado’s Heisman Trophy-winning running back. Via the New York Times.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons