Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

As Lauren Fox explains here, Trump has managed to shatter the fragile and improbable unity Republicans achieved after he clinched the GOP nomination last month. As of today, he seems to have achieved something even more impressive. A who's who of Republican elected officials over the last 36 hours have openly said Trump's attacks are "racist" and "unforgivable" and yet they will continue to support him. Because they need him to be president.

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A few choice moments from that Trump surrogate conference call, as reported by Bloomberg News ....

On mounting criticism of Trump's racist tirades against Judge Curiel ...

"We will overcome. And I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is."

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There are two things Donald Trump is notorious for in the business world - one is simple bullying as a business tactic, another is cheating people out of money they're owed and then making the 'deal' stick by grinding the counter-parties down with the promise of endless litigation. As Times columnist Joe Nocera puts it, in the business world Trump "is notorious for refusing to pay full price to contractors and vendors after they’ve completed work for him. And he basically dares the people he has stiffed to sue him, knowing that his deep pockets and bevy of lawyers give him a big advantage over those who feel wronged by him." Both traits or patterns of behavior are surprisingly good guides to Trump's presidential campaign.

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Today we are excited to announce a new feature series on privatization, one of the most significant, far-reaching and little understood trends in American politics, society and economics of the last half century. As we did in our earlier series on the rise of inequality, we've commissioned four in-depth articles looking at the issue from numerous of vantage points: the history of privatization, including its political and ideological origins, a look at key privatized industries like the so-called "corrections industry", public-private partnerships and more. Here's my introduction to the series. We look forward to your feedback and hope you enjoy it.

The start of the week brings us a raft of latter-day Trump endorsers who now have the look of a base-runner caught between 1st and 2nd after a miracle line drive catch. They already committed; no easy way back.

Part of this is the reaction to Trump's escalating round of racist tirades against the federal judge presiding over the complex, far-ranging and increasingly damning fraud lawsuits brought against him. But there's another part of the equation garnering much less attention. Just after Trump clinched the nomination, his head to head poll numbers against Hillary Clinton surged. May horse race polls are erratic and often misleading. We shouldn't read too much into them. But people do read a lot into them. And there's little doubt that seeing Trump go from what seemed like a sure loser to a maybe winner helped a lot of Republican elected officials get over the hump and come out in favor of Trump as their nominee.

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Almost a month ago, I brought you the news that - rather bizarrely for a purported billionaire - Trump receives a tax credit in New York which is restricted to married couples making less than $500k a year. The news is based on the on-going reporting of Aaron Elstein of Crain's New York Business. Trump's folks insisted it was a mistake and said, well of course Trump's makes more than a half million dollars a year. But now Elstein reports that Trump got the deduction again this year? Brand new documents!

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I want to tell you about an article that you simply must read. It's about Trump University. But it's a part of the story I at least was not at all familiar with - how what we now know as the Trump University real estate seminar scam grew out of a licensing deal Trump struck with one of the most notorious late night informercial get-rich-quick scammers of the early aughts. The article was published at the end of April in Ars Technica. Even though Ars is widely read and extremely well respected, it's in the tech and science rather than the news and politics space. So that may account for what seems like relatively little discussion of this aspect of the story.

In any case, here's the gist.

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Since Clinton's speech on Thursday I've been trying to gauge Trump's response. But making sense of Trump is no easy thing. He's like no politician who has reached the pinnacle of the electoral stage in perhaps a century, maybe ever. His public appearances are like a fugue of impulse and aggression, overlapped with charisma and humor and a searching for the spirit of the crowd, a sometimes frantic, sometimes slow mix of neediness, divination and dominance.

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