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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Who could have imagined this? As we noted a week ago, the Trump camp's massive fundraising blitz ending up hitting legislators in numerous foreign countries as well as spamming a seemingly limitless number of victims around the world. According to ReturnPath, 79% of Trump fundraising emails were caught in spam filters, an extremely high rate by industry standards, seemingly because Trump was using purchased or rented lists rather than ones the campaign had grown organically through campaign-related supporter sign ups.

In any case, this led to problems.

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I want to share some thoughts on one of the minor subplots in the Dallas police ambush. Mark Hughes was one of the protesters at the demonstration where the ambush took place. He came with a camo t-shirt and a rifle slung over his shoulder. To be clear, Hughes had every legal right to do this under Texas law. He was not breaking any law. Dallas police briefly identified him as a suspect in the case, at different points calling him a "suspect" or "person of interest," noting that it was a rifle which had been used against police officers that night. The alert went out on Twitter, with a picture of Hughes with his gun. Happily, everyone proceeded from that point in the best way possible. A friend alerted Hughes that he'd been identified. Hughes removed his camo shirt and flagged down a police officer to turn over his gun. He was taken into custody, questioned and released around 1am. As Hughes and others noted, it was a misunderstanding that might easily have cost him his life.

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According to New York City Police Chief Bill Bratton, Donald Trump tried to hustle a photo op today with the NYPD, the afternoon after the ambush murders in Dallas. This morning as the news was unfolding, Trump's "head of security" Keith Schiller asked that Trump be granted permission to speak at a 3 p.m. roll call at the NYPD Midtown North Precinct.

Bratton rejected the idea, telling reporters the NYPD wasn't there to provide candidate photo ops.

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Since I mentioned the 1968 analogy in my initial post this morning I want to return to the subject briefly. In response to that post and that analogy we've had responses from a number of baby-boomer TPM Readers with living memories of that year. A couple have written saying it feels the same and anticipating various dystopian futures. But the great majority have said some version of 'No way, it was so much worse. You can't imagine.' (TPM Reader MR's version is one example I've published.) Indeed, on many fronts we don't have to imagine. Indeed, listen to this from TPM Reader and poli sci professor TL. "I was 21 in 1967. I had a colleague once who was in the 82nd when it got sent to Detroit that year. He said they were suppressing fire from the buildings with .50 machine guns and 75mm RCLs; nothing else worked."

Machine guns used to quell riots in a major American city. It almost beggars belief.

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TPM Reader MR walks us through the whole 1968 thing (addressed to me personally) ...

Since I learn a lot from your site, and since you’re a youngster, I thought I’d help you out a bit with the whole “this is just like 1968” thing. Short answer: This is pretty tame compared to 1968. I’ll try to avoid the “back in my day, sonny” routine, but here are some things to consider. You know all of them, but it’s important to consider them in toto:

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From longtime TPM Reader BW in Baton Rouge ...

Reflecting on your piece “Taking Stock,” where you said “…the pace of transgression can grow quick enough to build on itself and overmatch the force of communal and inter-communal bonds and social integument…”

Yesterday evening, I attended the “Prayer Vigil for Peace and Unity in the Community in response to the shooting death of Alton Sterling” held at an African-American church in the same part of town where the shooting took place.

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As someone whose professional life is news, I'm not accustomed to coming to shocking or horrific events well after they're underway or even over. Because of a very unusual set of circumstances last night which I'll describe at another time, I was awake while this was all transpiring but didn't see or hear anything about it until I woke up about 8 o'clock this morning. As I'm sure it has with you, it took me a moment — really more than a few moments — to make sense or get my head around what I was reading. It's not simply the loss of life, not just the numbers, but the premeditated nature apparently with multiple assailants (ed.note: the number of shooters now seems less clear). More than both of these, this feels like a bomb being set off at one of the key stress points, architectural holds, that fastens our whole society together.

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Part of making sense of the current Trump campaign is understanding that Trump is continually trying to take the hyper-aggressive bullyboy tactics he learned from his father in the New York City real estate world and apply them to national politics. That style might fairly be described as sell, sell, sell and attack, attack, attack. In particular, as a New York City real estate pro described here, it's largely about getting inside other people's heads with over-the-top aggression that knocks them on their heels and leaves them unprepared to fight back. Some of this is simply what I've called "dominance politics", an idea I've developed in various posts over the years, and which I described back in March as being based on "the inherent appeal of power and the ability to dominate others." Trump is the master of a certain kind of 'dominance politics' and that's made him the master — in a very deep sense of the word — of a certain part of the electorate. But the general election electorate is a different animal. And in his interactions with that wider swath of the public and even with fellow Republicans we're seeing another pattern I noted about a month ago: "the inherent turbulence faced by a bullshit-based candidate making first contact with an at least loosely reality-based world."

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David has already flagged Lauren Fox's amazing debrief piece coming out of Trump's meeting with members of Congress this morning (incredibly proud of her work). It's our feature piece. But there's one part of that story I want to focus in on. Everything that happened in that meeting underscores Trump's extreme ignorance and, just as importantly, extreme indifference to being ignorant. But the exchange about Hispanic support has a unique significance in the context of that meeting.

Trump was asked - not surprisingly and not unreasonably - what about your unpopularity with Hispanics voters and what about down-ballot races? Trump's response: No, Hispanics love me!

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According to the Washington Post's Robert Costa, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has taken his name out of consideration to serve as Trump's veep. He was what we would call in the technical lingo the only normal pol currently being considered. Last night he introduced Trump at a speech in North Carolina, said what an awesome guy he was and then proceeded to watch him toast Saddam Hussein and accuse the Attorney General of the United States of accepting a bribe.

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