Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I wanted to flag your attention to this deeply reported look at Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, the guy at the center, in some ways the chief instigator of the entire Netanyahu speech debacle. We published it last week. But if you haven't read it, you should. It gives a textured, critical background to everything that has happened over the last several weeks. And it's the kind of longer form, deeply reported piece we plan to be doing more of, both in our regular offerings and in Prime, this year. A must read, check it out.

Many taxes feature an exclusion or rebate for people at the bottom of the income scale. Payroll taxes are one of the very few that feature an exclusion for the wealthy, even the extremely wealthy. The more money you make the bigger your tax benefit. (This was the topic of one of the first articles I wrote when I was starting my journalism career.) In fact, if you make $30,000 a year you pay an effective 15% tax in payroll taxes, with no deductions at all - 7.5% that you pay directly out of your paycheck and 7.5% which your employer pays on your before, something which economists judge as effectively you paying it. But if you make millions of dollars a year your payroll tax rate can go down under 1%. Limiting or ditching that benefit could eliminate any longterm Social Security budget problems basically forever. Now Democrats are again pushing ditching this high income exclusion as their response to new Republicans plans for big cuts to the program.

A friend of mine pointed me to this column by Bill Kristol. I don't get much chance to read the Standard. I would have missed this otherwise. It is an amazing, short piece of writing for its emotional heat, its historical grandiosity and what can only be called its denigrating, fulminating rage toward Barack Obama, the President of the United States. Kristol contrasts Obama, as a lifelong loafer, to Netanyahu, a lifelong warrior. (Netanyahu did serve in one of Israel's most elite commando units. But unlike Rabin, Sharon, Barak, Mofaz et al., he is a career politician, not a career soldier.) "As a young man, he was fighting terror while Barack Obama was fighting boredom. As an adult, while Obama was community-organizing his way to the presidency, Netanyahu was a participant in the civilizational struggle in which both Israel and the United States, as leaders of the West, are engaged."

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From The Forward ...

Several weeks ago, a group of pro-Israel, pro-peace Danish Jews and non-Jews and Iranian dissidents had to be driven away in buses from their rally because the police couldn’t guarantee their security, due to increasing threats from young Muslims who were clustering in ever-louder and more violent groups nearby and even driving past in their cars shouting anti-Semitic slogans and waving Hamas flags. An eyewitness filmed several young men shouting “Fucking Jews” at the rally participants.

Congressman who told his communications director that she had semen on her skirt and that she "could show her nipples whenever she wanted to" provides formal response to sexual harassment claims.

Rep. Farenthold seems off to a smashing start with his counter-claim to the suggestion that he gave his communications director a standing invitation to show him her nipples. "There was an occasion in which Plaintiff reported to work in a shirt and bra that were made of such flimsy fabric that Plaintiff's nipples were visible, and that such attire was inappropriate for the Communications Director for a Member of Congress."