Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

'Religious liberty' bill goes down the tubes in Nevada. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal courtesy of TPM Reader JP ...

Nevada legislation criticized as giving businesses and corporations a license to discriminate against gay customers appears to have fizzled in light of nationwide outrage over similar “religious freedom” bills in Arkansas and Indiana.

Silver State officials opposing the bill in Carson City gained a high-profile backer late Thursday.

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It's fascinating how, in addition to genuflection to the person of Benjamin Netanyahu, breaking off any nuclear agreement with Iran is quickly becoming a litmus test for GOP presidential candidates. If you look around, virtually everyone who doesn't oppose any agreement or has strong ideological commitments that preclude support, is surprised at how tight the restrictions the US negotiated ended up being. (Examples one and two; Dennis Ross struggles to find quibbles.) There are real questions about how much latitude the next president would have to tear up an agreement within the bounds of international law. But Jeb Bush has already signed on: he'll try to ditch it. And now Scott Walker says he will, too.

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With all the polls out about the 2016 presidential race, all of which show Hillary Clinton with a solid lead over every GOP contender, it's important to remember that it is always hard for a party to win a third term in the White House. Always. But there's another factor we've seen this week which is important to note and follow. Is the Indiana 'religious liberty' debacle a portent for 2016 that will make it more like the 2010 and 2012 cycles.

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It's amazing watching a one-noter like Tom Cotton try to turn every issue back to Iran and our need to blow up Iran and rebuild it as an annex of the American Enterprise Institute. Cotton told Wolf Blitzer that whatever is happening to gays and lesbians in Arkansas, at least they don't "hang you for the crime of being gay" like they do in Iran.

People defending 'religious freedom' laws repeatedly say that the aim isn't discrimination, but protecting what is in fact one of our most cherished American values - religious freedom. One of the key elements of the Indiana story is that even though many other jurisdictions have these laws, the Indiana one is significantly different, adding key provisions that help individuals and businesses to defy the government's efforts to protect the rights of others. But there is some truth to the other point. And earlier religious liberty laws did have more of this focus.

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