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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Longtime TPM Reader BF respond to my post on Geert Wilders and I reply back ...

"By all means, if you were a professional Mohammad cartoonist before this started, stay strong, keep drawing and do not be intimidated by these violent extremists."

What if you're a novelist like Salman Rushdie? Or a filmmaker like Theo Van Gogh? Or a schoolgirl like Malala Yousafzai? Or bloggers like Washiqur Rahman or Avijit Roy?

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I'm not sure I've ever seen a better illustration of the Guffmanite nonesense we discussed yesterday than this. Geert Wilders, the flamboyantly coifed far-right Dutch parliamentarian who is Geller's partner in crime, has announced that we need more Prophet Mohammad cartoons to combat the failed attack in Garland. This really is the inexorable collision of two rival clowncarts throwing up cultural and physical shrapnel to innocents around them, two sides that can't exist without each other and by any reasonable standard shouldn't exist at all. Perhaps we should take another approach: everybody go back to whatever they were doing before the Mohammad cartoon fad started, fund robust counter-terrorism operations to protect us from extremist lunatics and just call it a day.

By all means, if you were a professional Mohammad cartoonist before this started, stay strong, keep drawing and do not be intimidated by these violent extremists.

Otherwise, perhaps just get a life and move on.

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I don't agree with all of this piece. But I agree with a lot of it and it made me think, which makes it a very good piece in my mind. An interesting side note is that I think the author started reading TPM and emailing me when he was maybe in middle school, which I'm both very proud of and also slightly unsettled by. But the piece is what matters here and it's about the contrast between how we talk about race here in the US (tip-toeing and talking around it) and how they do in South Africa. Give it a look. I think you'll be glad you did.

As we noted the night before last, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had till midnight yesterday (Israel time) to form a coalition or (an extremely improbable event) give up the chance to be the country’s next Prime Minister. And now he’s done that just an hour or so before the deadline, adding the far-right Jewish Home party of Naftali Bennett (a one-time protege turned quasi-nemesis) to his new government. It was always a given that Bennett’s party would join. But things changed on Monday when Avigdor Lieberman (another protege turned quasi-nemesis) abruptly announced that he would not join the next government and would instead take his now greatly diminished Yisrael Beiteinu party into the opposition.

That dramatically changed the situation.

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There's an element of the failed attack in Garland, Texas that most are probably unwilling to broach. Both sides of this drama amount to the War on Terror B team, or perhaps the C or even D team, hapless clowns and cartoonish caricatures on both sides of the equation who need each other to sustain their own drama and nonsense. Somewhat to my surprise Pam Geller herself is now starting to catch flak for being the clown show that she is, even partly from the right, and endangering police for no reason. She is responding with predictable histrionics and nonsense. Her would-be attackers are something like her mirror image.

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Catherine Thompson is our lead reporter on the military (non) takeover of Texas story. And today at 1 PM she's holding a Live Chat at The Hive (sub req) to answer your questions about just what on earth is going on down in Texas, what the states Republican politicians are thinking and whether shuttered Walmarts are really part of President Obama's plan to take over Texas. Get your questions in now and join Catherine tomorrow in a half hour. I'll see you there.

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