Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We are currently covering the debate, the Trump speech and the breaking news out of Oregon of the FBI release of the fairly detailed video of the death of militant LaVoy Finicum. I'm hoping back and forth myself between each of the three. And I confess it's made my blogging lighter and less coherent than I'd like it to be. But we've got members of our team working each story.

* First, watch the FBI video. It's 26 minutes long. But the key events take place over about a minute starting just before 8 minutes in.

* On the Trump front, I was only able to watch live the early part. It started with this weird portion where Trump rattled through a list of his rich pals who wrote big checks for the fundraiser. And it was big money. A million a piece from a few people, including a million from Trump. It was also genuinely surreal, sort of a mix of Jerry Lewis telethon and oligarch variety hour, a view from a different world of rich real estate magnates in the tri-state area who can help out with a check for $100,000 or $1,000,000 for a friend and a good cause. It was weird. All quality people.

* The basic decency and seriousness of John Kasich is a truly discordant note in this debate.

9:12 PM: As we're watching the early moments of the GOP debate, here's some video that captures what Donald Trump has done to Jeb Bush.

9:27 PM: "I know you like to argue about the rules but we're going to have a debate." Chris Wallace gets frustrated with Ted Cruz's nonsense.

9:29 PM: Cruz gets boo'd by the crowd. (Some disagreement among the editors here about whether crowd was booing Cruz or booing in support of Cruz. What'd you think?)

9:41 PM: Once again, listening to Kasich, it's not that I necessarily agree with him. But he's really the only one up there that is acquainted with a pretty broad range of policy issues and has pretty reasonable views. That's opposed to people who either have no acquaintance with any of these topics or who are simply taking dictation from the neocons who ran things under President Bush.

10:01 PM: Jeb Bush has become a reasonably funny insult comic against himself.

We're just getting word that federal law enforcement in Oregon is holding a press conference where they are going to release a video of the shoot out in which the ringleaders of the Oregon militia stand-off were apprehended. This is presumably to clarify how militant Robert "LaVoy" Finicum died. More shortly.

And here's the video.

* So Trump starts with basically saying, he was mistreated by Fox so they needed to be punished.

* Now he's explaining how they spent the day begging him to be nice to them, show up at the debate. Says he got an apology from Fox.

* The gist of Trump's comments are: Fox apologized but it was too late. I already have my veterans event.

* "I wanted to fight for myself, just like I'll fight for the country."

So a little overview of how we're going to approach this very weird debate night. By schedule the Donald Trump counter-event is supposed to start at 8 PM. And that will be preceded by an "exclusive" interview with CNN - probably a chit for their being the first network to announce they'd cover his speech live. The Fox debate gets underway at 9 PM. But of course, it's already 8:15 PM. And the 'exclusive' interview hasn't even started yet. So there's little doubt that Trump plans to let his extravaganza roll right into and maybe right through the gutted Fox debate. We will be covering both events, simultaneously, whenever they happen.

This would appear to be what we're in store for tonight ...

I hedged a bit on whether Trump could pull this off in my post last night on Trump's mastery of dominance/aggression politics. But I think this is going to be a long night for the folks at Fox News.

I wanted to make a couple related observations about this Donald Trump debate drama.

First, an admission.

When I heard last night that Trump was pulling out of the Fox News GOP primary debate I was quite certain he had every intention of finally attending tomorrow night's event. The point was simply to engineer 48 hours of cable news drama, begging by Fox News, all topped off by Trump finally deigning to attend the event after all the other players had been sufficiently humiliated. But unless the man is managing a far better bluff than I can imagine, that is clearly not the case. It also seems clear it was never the case. I see no evidence that Trump fumbled this gambit or boxed himself into a non-attendance he didn't intend. Being a no show was the plan.

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As luck or fate or random chance would have it, as the news about the Trump debate drama and the arrests of the Bundy-ites broke last night, I was out for a celebratory dinner with our New York City editorial staff to gear up for the many late nights of the primary season proper. So the DC team carried the ball and we here in New York tried to follow the sketchy developments as they emerged from Oregon on our iPhones. By the time I got home, we knew that one militant was dead and, a bit later, that it was Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, one of the most high profile of the militants and the one who'd openly said he'd prefer to die rather than be taken alive. Here's a look at who Finicum was.

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I'm not certain whether this is the last video of LaVoy Finicum. But it's a video published Tuesday by The Oregonian in which Finicum appears to discuss the meeting in John Day, Oregon that the militant ringleaders were en route to when they were apprehended and Finicum himself was killed. In the video, he explains that sympathizers in Grant County had invited his group to come and speak to them with the aim of joining their cause.

It is a testament to the sense of invulnerability into which the FBI lulled the group that Bundy, Finicum and others thought they could travel roughly one hundred miles on isolated rounds to what was a publicized meeting with impunity.

Video after the jump ...

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