Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

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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As noted below, Fox News former anchor and host Gretchen Carlson, who departed the network just a few weeks ago, has filed a sex harassment lawsuit against Fox supremo Roger Ailes. For those who don't follow the intricacies of the Fox News world, Carlson wasn't just any talking head. She was a big star on the network. The facts alleged are about as direct and egregious as one can imagine. Carlson claims Ailes pushed her to start a sexual relationship with him; Carlson refused and, she claims, that led to the end of her career at Fox News.

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TPM Reader RM chimes in on Brexit, online polls and how American pollsters are dealing with the Trump phenomenon ...

I think the flaw in the analysis is that the UK polls also missed the Conservative Party’s win in 2015. If you recall, Labour led coalitions led in virtually all polling up through election day in May 2015, but to those who followed the election, they saw the late movement to the Tories. The UK pollsters missed both times with the same voters: white English voters who live outside of England’s major cities. I do stress England, not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. “Leave" won by over 1 million votes in England (close to the actual % margin of victory). That margin was built outside of England’s major cities. UK pollsters think that their voters are more progressive than they actually are. US pollsters tend to be more conservative leaning in that sense.

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Former Fox host Gretchen Carlson files sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News supremo Roger Ailes.

After the UK voted to leave the European Union a week ago, there was a lot of talk about how the polls blew the result, predicting a "Remain" win when in fact "Leave" managed a close but clear victory. The rejoinder to this criticism - I think a valid one - was that the balance of polls showed "Remain" in the lead but only barely. A better interpretation of the data was that the race was too close to call.

Beyond the statistical margin of error, there were aspects of the contest that made it difficult for pollsters to accurately model. If we combined statistical with what we might call methodological margin of error, the margin of the "Remain" lead was well within this combined margin of error.

But now TPM Reader DF sends me an email with a link to a study which puts the whole picture in a very different light - and even suggests, by implication, that Donald Trump might be doing better than we think.

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