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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

The shocking assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov today in Ankara, amidst a rising tide of global violence and instability, has pitched people's thoughts to events in Sarajevo, 102 years ago, when the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the crown of Austria-Hungary, provided the trigger for World War I. Let me say, briefly, that I don't think this is that kind of event. But one key to understanding why today's assassination is not like that other assassination 102 years ago is realizing that our collective understanding of what happened during the so-called "July Crisis" of 1914 is basically wrong.

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This latest is an almost comical instance of the flagrant corruption that will fill the next four years, or however long the Trump family holds on to the White House. Trump Organization staffers shook down the Kuwaiti Embassy to get it to move its business from the Four Seasons' to the new Trump Hotel.

We're learning a simple, structural reality of our government. The President runs the government. The Congress oversees the President. With carte blanche from Congress, the President can do virtually anything.

We are still collecting information on the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey. The first confirmation, just in in the last few moments, is that Ambassador Andrei Karlov has died of his wounds.

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I was just watching a brief segment on CNN about, among other things, the future of the Democratic party. The Daily Beast's Patricia Murphy was one of the two panelists. And it was, frankly, embarrassing.

Murphy said in so many words that Democrats aren't able to move forward because they have no theory of why they lost and in many cases think they actually won (because of the popular vote). "So when you have that kind of an attitude going forward there's very little soul searching, very little effort to look inside and say what do we need to say and do differently in order to get more people to win? They're writing off a large portion of the electorate as a group of people they don't even want."

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From TPM Reader VI ...

Regarding your post today about Russia - it should not at all be underestimated despite weak economy and diminished status. I wrote to you in August of 2008 during Russia's incursion into Georgia, saying that they also have ideas for Crimea and the Baltic states. You actually published my comment during those days.

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From TPM Reader AB ...

I wanted to share a really disorienting experience I had yesterday morning in Minneapolis. I live in one of the most liberal neighborhoods in the city. We had a sizable snowfall on Friday night, so my wife and I were shoveling out our front walk on Saturday morning.

As we were digging, a guy in a van drove by and came to a stop. He rolled down his window and said, "I was going to make a funny, but no..." and then shouted "Heil Hennepin! Heil Hennepin! Heil Hennepin!" while making a Nazi salute.

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I've been meaning to write this post for several days. It's a topic I've touched upon at various points over the last six months. But President Obama's press conference on Friday is a good opportunity to revisit the issue and write it.

You don't need to a Russia hawk to care about the hacking and electoral subversion story. And vice versa: just because you think the electoral subversion is a big deal doesn't mean you're a hawk. After I wrote this post in late July, the post quickly got a lot of favorable attention from the US Russia hawks. That's fine. I know a lot of these people. And on this issue we have a common concern. But if you've been reading me over the years, you know I have a very different view of our interests and the actual threats we face from Russia.

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The Bush administration hawks always contained at least two distinct groups. One was neoconservatives, under which label all of them were often grouped. The other was what we might call American hard power unilateralists. In the brief pre-9/11 China focus period, both groups approached the world in a fairly similar light. In the post-9/11 everything is terrorism world they grouped together even more so. In many respects the world views are similar: hard power, hegemony, a world of threats. But it's a very helpful prism for understanding how and why the people who made up that world have lined up in the age of Trump. It explains why many or most foreign policy types in the Bush world have generally been averse or hostile to Trump. But men like John Bolton and Dick Cheney (and it seems Don Rumsfeld too) have been pretty big fans from the beginning.

Norman Eisen (Obama's White House Ethics lawyer), Richard Painter (Bush 43's White House Ethics lawyer) and Larry Tribe have just released a deep dive on Donald Trump, the "emoluments" clause and running the presidency as a business loss leader. I hope this will spur forward a discussion that goes beyond 'conflicts of interest' to using the presidency as a tool to create growth producing synergies between "the United States" and "the Trump Organization." It is the ultimate 'synergy.'

As I've said, these aren't "conflicts". This is the plan!

Some text from the overview of the report ...

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