Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I see this morning that our friends at Mother Jones have entered their bid to write the definitive Ted Cruz asshole florilegium (TCAF). Here it is. It does lean heavily on recent congressional haters of Ted Cruz. But in fairness it also does go back into the pre-Senate, law school and collegiate days. Here at TPM we've opted for an iterative approach, in part because this is our traditional mode of coverage but also because of skepticism about whether, like topics such as 'democracy' or 'modernism', the literature may simply be too vast to be captured in any single monographic treatment.

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I was an early adopter to the belief that Ted Cruz is an odious weasel. But I did not make him out for a bald-faced liar, mainly because I would think that habitual lying would cause too much cognitive dissonance with his self-righteousness. But the new claim that he didn't know his family had health insurance, I'm sorry, that does not add up. Our Tierney Sneed walks us through the original lie, the holes in the logic of the original lie, the campaign admission that the story was false and now the holes in that admission.

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The 'GOP Civil War!' line is perhaps the most well-worn cliche of progressive journalism, just as the parallel 'Democratic Civil War!' is on the other side of the equation. Yet here, for a moment at least, we seem to have a real one, whether or not it speaks to some deeper cleavage that will transcend the individual personalities in question.

Right now in the GOP primary you have two frontrunners - with the edge going to Donald Trump - who both seem to terrify established party leaders, for a mix of reasons ranging from ideology to electability to behavior and tone. But the crux of it is not who supports who so much as which of these two is worst or which - going a bit further - is not just worst but positively unacceptable as a presidential nominee. A GOP pal of mine says we should call it "The War between the Hates."

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It is worth noting that even though Sarah Palin passed over Ted Cruz in endorsing Donald Trump, this has not stopped Cruz from trying to hitch a ride on Palin Grievance Wagon, albeit as a tag along. Cruz slammed the "dirty ... unprincipled ... [and] wrong" decision of many media outlets to report Palin's son Track's arrest for domestic assault.

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I see Donald Trump is now saying he'll move the US Embassy to Jerusalem (a standard and never fulfilled commitment from all Republican candidates and many Democratic ones.) Honestly, from Trump I'd expect nothing less than rebuilding the Temple. Trump Temple. It could be public private partnership. Luxury money changing tables, holy of holies, possibly holy of holy of holies just to punch it up a bit.

The last rebuilder of the Temple was Herod, a grandchild of Idumean forced converts to Judaism, but a Trump like figure in his own way, a big builder, larger than life, a fair amount of family drama. He tore down the old Temple and rebuilt it in a really classy way for the ages.

Alas, it was torn down a few decades later.

A few days ago I saw a former employee muse on social media that the only plausible explanation for this election cycle was that I had found a golden lamp and summoned a genie with it. It's an interesting theory I'm not in a position to comment on. But looking at today's historic Palin endorsement of Donald Trump, I think, forces us to rethink the last half dozen years and understand Sarah Palin not as a disgraced has-been but as a Republican innovator who arrived before her time.

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The night before Sarah Palin's historic endorsement of celebrity businessman Donald Trump, her son Track Palin, 26, was arrested for domestic assault after allegedly punching and kicking his girlfriend and then threatening to shoot himself in the head with his AR-15 assault rifle. At one point, according court document, Track was “holding onto a gun, yelling ‘do you think I’m a p---y?’ and ‘do you think I won’t do it?’”

You may have noticed that over the weekend I flagged this odd, possibly disturbing news that one of the top Oregon militants, spokesman LaVoy Finicum, is mad that Arizona child protective services has removed four foster children (all adolescent boys) from his custody back at his ranch in Arizona. The removal is apparently tied to the stand-off because the timing coincides. But there's no direct evidence of that and no comments from the state authorities. Two things jumped out at me: first, you're not supposed to live off your foster kids, certainly not as your sole source of income, as Finicum himself suggests they are. Second, something I didn't mention in my initial post: is Finicum using these boys - seemingly between four and as many as eight or more at a time - for free labor on the ranch? There is no evidence that this is happening and Finicum has a large family of his own which presumably does a lot of work on his ranch.

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