Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Last fall I was walking along a Long Island Sound beach with my eight-year old son looking at driftwood. He asked me if we could collect some driftwood to build something with. This was the latest in a series of weeklong summer hobbies. A bit earlier it had been stone working, which had led to several stone chisels still sitting in the garage. But as we were talking something began to take hold of me. We talked about building a model boat. And then, as we talked this over father and son, something turned in my head and I asked myself: if we could build a toy boat maybe we could build a real boat? Nothing grand, mind you. Just something - anything - that could keep a father and son afloat on the water.

The concept is not that complicated. The simplest boat can be not much more than a rectangular box, open on the top, with just a little bit of curve to it to help it move on the water. How hard could it be?

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I take a backseat to no one in thinking Donald Trump is an ignoramus and a buffoon. But the Times, having repeatedly stumbled in its coverage of the Iran deal and politicized foreign policy, should do better than to take Hugh Hewitt's word for it in judging foreign policy reality. I mean, really? Trump stumbled when he apparently thought Hewitt was referring to the Kurds when he asked him about the Iranian Quds Force and its commander Qasem Soleimani. In isolation, the two words can be easy to mishear. But in context, this tells us what we know, which is that Trump knows virtually nothing about anything happening in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Fiorina gets the Times seal of approval because she's been tutored in the kind of Movement Conservative bromides Hewitt is tasked to enforce.

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Yesterday we looked at how a doofus and blowhard, awash in derp, can nonetheless have a tactical genius that allows him to defeat all enemies again and again. I focused on an analogy I'm familiar with: increased mobility as a key to victory for Northern Civil War generals. But something funny happened in response to this post. Over almost 15 years of doing this, all of my best ideas and insights and certainly most of our best news tips have come from email exchanges with readers. But in all that time I'm not sure a post has struck the same chord - and a quite specific and technical one at that - with so many readers at once. A number of readers wrote in and said they agreed with the Sherman analogy but that a much tighter conceptual framework comes from a highly influential American military theorist who died almost 20 years ago, Colonel John Richard Boyd.

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As some of you know, I've long been fascinated by the innovation of more mobile forms of warfare during the American Civil War. Out in the West, Grant and Sherman began streamlining and eventually even abandoning conventional supply lines to allow themselves figuratively and in some cases almost literally to run circles around their enemies. The Civil War fielded huge armies which needed constant replenishment of vast amounts of stuff - food, clothes, weapons, ammunition and more - which in turn required well organized supply lines, all of which limited mobility. More mobility is better than less of course. But in warfare, increased mobility reaches a point where it ceases to be an incremental or quantitative advantage and becomes a qualitative and transformational difference.

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Here's the trend lines of Google searches for Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Barack Obama over the last 90 days. It's a decent measure of the effect on the GOP race and the effect on the GOP brand outside the angry white person community of Trump's entry into the race. Graph after the jump.

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Let's review: without waiting to be called on, Univision's Jorge Ramos started asking Donald Trump questions at his news conference. Trump got mad and told Ramos to "go back to Univision" before having his bouncer toss Ramos from the auditorium. One of Trump's supporters outside the auditorium - even wearing a signature Trump costume and button - got the message loud and clear and told Ramos to "Get out of my country. Get out!"

Here's the picture. But you can see him much more clearly in the video which you can find embedded in this story.

Now first off, if you watch the video, can anyone identify the supporter in this video? The video is very clear. Maybe he's just some totally random Trump supporter who happened to be outside the press conference. But my hunch is there's a bit more to it than that and I bet someone reading this can identify him. If you can, please drop us a line. Click the email link right under the TPM logo at the upper left to send us a note. I really, really would like to know who this person is and whether he has any connection to the Trump campaign other than simply supporting the candidate.

Now for more on the day's events in the Trump "Get Out of Our Country, Brown Man" Campaign, we go to TPM Reader MM ...

Certainly Trump/Ramos and its inevitable metastases have been the political story of the day. But I have a rhetorical question.

How does disrespecting and bouncing Jorge Ramos,the most influential Hispanic man in America, and then inviting him back for a give-and-take, do anything but strengthen Trump’s position?

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As Jorge Ramos was just outside the auditorium doors after being booted from that Trump press conference, a Trump supporter told Ramos to "get out of my country." Watch the video.

Ramos is an American citizen.