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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

It is truly difficult for me to imagine that a Trump v Sanders debate is really going to happen. But it is an amazingly terrible idea for anyone who cares about preventing Trump from being the next President. Indeed, does anyone alive believe this helps elect a Democratic president? And if not, what is the rationale? Perhaps it's a wash. Sideshows in May probably don't have that much effect. But it certainly does not help.

It is only a spectacle by which both candidates, Trump and Sanders, can indulge their tacitly-agreed common interest in sidelining and diminishing Hillary Clinton, who of course will be the nominee. I don't want to speculate about Sanders' motives, other than that it is probably a good way to elevate himself into the appearance of an ersatz Democratic standard-bearer and to get media attention which has slackened as most of the attention has moved toward the general election. That would be perfectly understandable if we didn't know for a certainty that he is not going to be the nominee and that this would be bad for the person who is. Remember: President Trump.

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I wrote recently that I thought Elizabeth Warren would be a great Veep pick but it wouldn't happen because it would add to the burden of retaking the Senate. Massachusetts has a Republican governor. That would mean at least 6 months or so of an additional Republican senator in 2017 - assuming Clinton wins.

But I'm reconsidering that. In fact, I'm past reconsidering: Hillary should put Warren on the ticket.

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TPM Reader DR provides his own take on Debbie Wasserman Schultz's tenure running the DNC and efforts to oust here (embedded links are in the original email) ...

I wholeheartedly agree with your post about Debbie Wasserman Schulz (DWS). But there's an angle to this story that isn't being covered, which is that long before Bernie Sanders ever showed up, most "establishment" Democrats -- including a fair number of Clintonites -- wanted DWS gone. Not only was this was reported repeatedly over a span of several years (use the google, there's plenty more where that came from), hostility to her is something I observed firsthand.

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I've gotten a flood of responses to my post on the news that tech billionaire Peter Thiel was bankrolling Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker and now a raft of unrelated lawsuits against the same website. Most agreed with my take; some didn't. But the critiques seemed to be typified by this response in The American Interest which a number of people sent me. So I thought I'd depart from form and respond directly.

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People are pulling lots of different nuggets out of Howard Fineman's boffo interview with Trump capo Paul Manafort. And damn there's a lot. (My own take on this is that you need to look at this presentation through the prism of saying very improbable things aggressively and with seeming total confidence in the belief that that will make people believe them. It might.) For my money though, this part is the best. On Trump's seemingly disastrous numbers with Hispanic voters ...

“The national polls are distorted,” Manafort said. “To get a national sample they rely too much on Hispanics from New York and California, which is where large populations are, but also where most of the radical Hispanics are.”

“But if you look at Hispanics in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and even Florida, you see a different picture. We’re going to target Hispanic voters in those and other swing states.”

There seems to be some chatter about removing Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the DNC ahead of the general election. These kind of chatter campaigns are hard to interpret. They can be trial balloons, malicious rumors, chatter being churned up out of an internal fight. Who knows? Being head of the party committee, especially for a sitting member of Congress, is a pretty thankless task. Sanders supporters think she's satan. I think reports of her satanhood are likely pretty overstated.

But that doesn't matter.

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At Trump rally that started a few moments ago in California Trump kicked off the rally with a women who thanked God for sending Trump to earth to be our President. Watch.

A brief note on the State Department IG Report on the Clinton email issue. The ledes of a lot of stories present this as a rough hit for Clinton, bad news blah blah blah. Let's focus on the essential point: Despite the fact that there are some real questions about the impartiality of the IG, the report says the issues with the management of the Secretary of State's emails are of longstanding and go back with the last five Secretaries of State. The report also singles out Colin Powell, who had a similar set up. The criticism is there. It definitely wasn't a good arrangement. But to see this as a damaging report after the hyperbolic and frequently insane coverage of this issue is crazy. This was never more than some poor judgment overlayed by a big bureaucratic pissing match all slathered over by a thick layer of partisan game playing and media derp.

Like most Clinton scandals, if there there hadn't been months, maybe more than a year of weird conspiracy theories, expected perp walks and general nonsense, one might read this and say, wow, that's disappointing. But after all that, it's just a big nothingburger. Like it almost always is.

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