Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

There's something disturbing about Tulsi Gabbard.

Gabbard has something of a dissident stance within the Democratic party. She resigned from the DNC during the primaries over claims of bias against Bernie Sanders. She very conspicuously met with President-Elect Trump a couple weeks ago. She's very critical of President Obama's foreign policy which she calls a "neo-con" foreign policy. These all seem like reasonable critiques, though not all ones I'd agree with.

But she just answered a question on CNN that struck me as very troubling and made me see some of her earlier comments in a different light. It was about the number generals Donald Trump is putting in senior cabinet positions.

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Millions of people's lives and livelihoods are on the line. So it's not funny. But if there weren't such dire real world consequences, Paul Ryan's current flimflam would be straight up hilarious. Repealing Obamacare has immediate real world consequences. It will trigger providers to leave the system. It will deprive between 20 and 30 million people of the health care coverage they now have. (Here are the details of who loses their coverage, down to the state level.)

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We are in the final three weeks of our 2016 Prime membership drive. We have 1815 signups to go. Today I wanted to let you know about a new feature we're introducing today. Many of you know friends or relatives who read TPM and who might like Prime as a gift for the holiday season. That's now possible. To be clear, these are separate from "credit subscriptions" which users can buy for readers who lack the financial means to join. These are straight-up holiday season gifts you can give to a spouse or parent or child or anyone you wish. If you'd like to buy some friend or loved one a gift, click right here.

If you'd like to apply to get a credit subscription—in essence a free subscription for people of limited financial means (full time students, seniors on fixed incomes, any kind of financial hardship), you can go to the page that has a sign-up form for just this purpose. You can also purchase one or more credit subscriptions for others. You can do each right here.

Of course what we'd like more than anything else is for you to join us as a Prime member. If you've been thinking about or just putting it off, please take a moment and sign up right now. It's easy and cheap and it's a huge part of building a better, stronger TPM. Just click right here.

Yesterday we learned that Donald Trump is having members of his presidential transition sign non-disclosure agreements. During the campaign he said that presidential appointees and nominees should, too, because he doesn't like the idea of members of a government being critical after they leave the government. The key is that the transition, unlike the campaign, is a government entity. It has a government budget, access to government services, government offices, government emails etc. I am not sure of its technical standing or whether there is much relevant case law. But it is definitely not a private entity like a campaign.

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We now have three of the four top national and domestic security agencies of the government under the management of recently retired generals. (One might reasonably change the number to five if considered the DOJ which houses the FBI.) We could have a fourth if President-elect Trump chooses David Petraeus as Secretary of State. They are Mattis at the Pentagon; Kelly at DHS; Flynn as the President's National Security Advisor. There is nothing inherently wrong with having retired generals serve in high level administration positions. We've had a number of accomplished retired general presidents—Washington, Jackson, Grant, Eisenhower. Barely more than a decade ago, Colin Powell served as Secretary of State. Brent Scowcroft served as National Security Advisor. Petraeus served as CIA Director under President Obama. But the issue is one of concentration and recency.

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I was just corresponding with someone about how Trump has jumped out several laps ahead of everyone who is trying to keep Trump and his grasping kids from making billions off the Presidency. Here's what I said.

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Our team of Lauren Fox and Tierney Sneed have been doing a superb job keeping us up to date on Republican plans to repeal Obamacare and phase out Medicare, often getting the key stories as much as a couple days in advance of the competition. (Sweet!) Today I want to show you some hard, granular numbers on the human toll of what Republicans plan to prepare for President Trump's signature right out of the gate next month. Depending on how they go about it, we are talking about tens of millions of Americans who are about to lose their health insurance coverage. Some people might think that's a big deal. For the moment the main policy debate within the GOP is how to accomplish this and evade as much blame as possible.

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I've been watching closely as Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead has grown and grown since election day. It now stands at over 2.6 million votes, a 2 percentage point lead in the popular vote. Of course, the electoral college determines who becomes President. But contrary to what some say, the popular vote is still important. It shows that Trump will be a minority President. It also helps focus Democrats on what did an did not go wrong.

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It looks like Paul Ryan and whoever else in the Trump camp and in the Senate who's in league with him has rolled Sen. Lamar Alexander on signing on to the GOP House's "repeal and delay" concept. As we've discussed "repeal and delay" seems certain to require chaos verging on collapse in the insurance markets or a gargantuan pay-off to insurance companies to tread water until Republicans come up with an idea of what to use to replace Obamacare.

This morning Donald Trump lashed out at Boeing claiming its budget for the successor to the current Air Force One is wildly overpriced.

What prompted this?

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