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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I had to look at this a few times before assuring myself it wasn't an April Fool's joke. But it's been reported in numerous outlets and I just picked up the photos off our AP wire account and anyway it's now April 2nd. So I have to assume it's true. After an exchange of artillery fire on Monday, the South Korean Defense Ministry released photos of an alleged North Korean drone that had crashed on Beangnyeong Island, near the border between North and South. But here's the thing: I was a boy who grew up in the pre-Internet era. And based on that knowledge I can corrected identify this as a model airplane. At a minimum North Korea's focus on nuclear weapons has come at the severe determinant has pretty seriously prioritized nuclear weapons research over drone development.

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In today's installment, CNN did a cool graphic of a boat equipped with sonar to map the ocean's of the entire globe to find the plane. They calculate it will take 2,995 years. (Presumably also 3000 year of blanket coverage.) Watch.

About 15 years ago I wrote a controversial article in The New Republic arguing, on very hard evidence, that it simply wasn't true that Americans were more supportive of the death penalty than nations in Europe. Mainly the issue was that European political systems were less responsive to populist support. It's probably a mix of structural (parliamentary) and cultural differences (less populist). But the decline of violent crime, not surprisingly, has rapidly reduced Americans' support for the death penalty. Look at this chart.

Let me just say it: No, no, no, no!

We're hearing this morning - intentionally hearing, since these reports are clearly trial balloons of some sort - that the US is again considering releasing convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. To review, if you don't know the backstory: Pollard was a civilian working for US Navy intelligence who was arrested and convicted for passing copious classified information to Israel. The fact that Pollard was a Jew spying for Israel made the case extremely charged, for good reasons and bad. Not surprisingly, the Israeli government has been lobbying for decades to get him released. No big surprise there. We try to get our spies released too. But if the White House is seriously considering using Pollard as a bargaining chip at this stage of the negotiations they've totally lost their minds.

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