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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I'm curious about this third graf in the WaPo report on Russian hacking into the DNC networks ...

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some GOP political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.

It seems like this went well beyond the DNC. But only DNC officials were willing to discuss it?

A new thread in the story of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen. According to multiple patrons of Pulse, the gay club that was the scene of the massacre, Mateen was in fact a regular at the club and also maintained a profile on at least one gay dating app. The reporting, by the LA Times and the Orlando Sentinel is not clear on whether Mateen had sex with other men or whether he was somehow casing the establishment in preparation for his attack. But at least two parts of the story suggests there was more going on than just preparing for the attack.

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One of the things people marvel at with Donald Trump is how successful he's been over the last year with these gyres and tirades which are full not only of what are often demonstrably false claims but increasingly hyperbolic warnings about the future. In his statement yesterday Trump said "If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse."

As I've written, I think this was much more effective in Republican primaries than with a general election electorate. But the pattern is clearly still there. In pure Trump whether it ends up being effective or not. Some claims get dropped. Others come up repeatedly even though they're shown to be demonstrably false. Many see this as part of Trump's spellbinding but horrifying magic. But I hear something different, something others in business may recognize. For Trump, mass casualty terror is like a sell point in a high pressure sales pitch. Glengarry Glen Ross meets Joseph Goebbels.

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We have televisions running on the cable networks throughout the day here in our office. So I get an immersive read on the conversations of the day, which today of course are about the horrific mass shooting in Orlando. As is so often the case, it is striking how much of the chatter is tied up with trying to put these mass murders into some convenient and simple bucket. Mental illness? Radical Islam? Homophobia? The product of readily available guns? It can be a cop-out to simply say all of the above. But listening to these conversations I'm left hoping that our counter-terrorism and law enforcement professionals have a more sophisticated grasp of these incidents than our political class.

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There appears to be a general consensus - met with glee by Trumpites and frustration by Democrats - that the atrocity in Orlando will be a boon to the campaign of Donald Trump. It will 'change the narrative' and play to Trump's call for a ban on Muslim immigration and general claim to be the only one tough enough to protect Americans.

Put me down as skeptical about that assumption.

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