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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

After I posted a link to Aurin Squire's piece on the forgotten women of Black History Month and the death of Martin Luther King Jr's mother, Alberta, in 1973, I got into a twitter exchange with my friend Eric Umansky about what counts as an 'assassination'. The dictionary doesn't provide us too much guidance. Webster's defines it as "to kill (someone, such as a famous or important person) usually for political reasons." Webster's also refers to the importance of "suddenness and secrecy". That gives us some direction but still leaves the borders of the definition vague. The question interests me because by using the word we clearly signify that some killings have more public consequence than others. Or to be more specific, I think we mean that some killings go beyond the desire to end one particular person's life but rather to make some larger public statement, a public act. Put baldly, the 'assassination' label amounts to the promotion of the significance of some deaths over others, if not at a human level then a public one.

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I'm sure this will spark a productive conversation.

From the Daily News ...

President Obama was shocked and irritated by Mitt Romney's concession call in the 2012 presidential election - and claimed Romney insinuated that Obama won only by getting out the black vote, according to a new book by presidential campaign strategist David Axelrod.

Obama was "unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over," Axelrod writes.

The president hung up and said Romney admitted he was surprised at his own loss, Axelrod wrote.

"'You really did a great job of getting the vote out in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee,' in other words, black people,'" Obama said, paraphrasing Romney. "That's what he thinks this was all about."

The state of Utah is revising its rape statute. But some lawmakers, like Rep. Brian Greene, think it may be going too far - specifically by suggesting that it's always rape when you have sex with a person who is unconscious.

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It is a bit comical to see some level of split among high-level Republican officeholders over something like whether people should all get vaccinated for serious communicable diseases. It's nice to see various Republicans, even fringier ones like Ben Carson, saying yes, please people, get vaccinated! Mitch McConnell says he's a "big fan" of vaccinations because ... well, he had polio. (Perhaps polio is a vaccine against derp). Bobby Jindal is full on pro-vaccination. But quite apart from vaccines themselves, this flareup is again illustrating what should be obvious. Rand Paul has no future as a presidential candidate.

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This has been mainly off our radar - TPM's and the US media. It's been a big focus in Argentina and Israel. But it just became a much, much bigger deal.

The simplest version starts with a prosecutor who was investigating issues surrounding 1994 bombing of a building that housed a major Jewish organization and killed 85 people. The outstanding question was whether the Argentine government had protected Iranian officials who were implicated in the bombing because of various oil concessions or other favors. The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was found dead on January 18th in apparent suicide. But it quickly became clear that it was not a suicide: he'd been murdered. Separately, a reporter who broke the story fled for his life to Israel. Now a draft warrant for the arrest of the Argentine President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and other high level officials has been found in the garbage in Nisman's apartment. So very, very big deal. Here's more.

Here's a good brief history of how the vaccine-autism myth started and why people still get duped by it.

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