Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We now have Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney (in many ways fairly similar candidates) saying they're all but certain to run for President. There's a particular oddness with each guy's decision to run. But there's another part of the equation garnering much less attention: both decisions must be hugely driven by the perception (both of the candidates) and members of the Republican establishment that the existing 2016 GOP field is very, very weak. The lack of viable existing candidates is creating a negative pressure sucking folks like Romney and Bush back into the mix. It's a great sucking sound in more ways than one.

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Yesterday I said that I'd heard an unexpectedly large number of people saying that 2014 was a big downer of a year that they were glad to leave behind. So I asked readers if they'd heard the same, if they agreed and if they did, why. I got a lot of answers. And they were fascinating. Many people had experiences - good or bad - that were immediately personal and thus not part of any broader national experience. But there were quite a lot of people who did have a decidedly negative experience of 2014 and when they answered why there were two very consistent themes.

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I'd like your opinions on this.

Around New Year's I noticed a lot of people sending off 2014 with various comments to the effect that 2014 was a disappointing or rough or terrible year and that they were excited to move on to 2015. I think there's some element of dissing the out-going year to get pumped for the new one. There's some element of tradition to that. But this seemed like a lot more than that. And I'm still seeing people say stuff like this. I know, not a scientific survey. But it seems like more than random noise.

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I had a lot of responses to my post on Friday about whether French Jewry has a future, many of them highly spirited. One point that isn't widely appreciated in the US is that France's Jewish population is not only - actually not primarily - the descendants of France's historic Jewish population, those who survived the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. A majority of Jews in France are post-World War II immigrants from North Africa (and their descendants), specifically France's former North African empire. So, it's some level of irony, that people on both sides of this crisis - French Jews and French Muslims of North African descent - are both in the country in a significant degree as part of the aftermath of the collapse of the French Empire in North Africa. In any case, among the many responses was this email from TPM Reader ES, a longtime reader and frequent correspondent of mine. For a bit of context, in the email ES identifies himself as a French Jew. I believe he is at least a longterm resident of the US and possibly a US citizen ...

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