Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

As I mentioned in my earlier post, when we look at the ridiculously inconsistent way law enforcement handles white right-wing freaks as opposed to other people who break the law or threaten violence or whatever, the import should not be that federal law enforcement should just rush in and kill everyone. Using force should be a last resort. And, within reason, if you can just wait people out and then charge them with whatever crimes they committed, great. As we say in the main policing debate, killing people really needs to be the last resort. But we just confirmed from Oregon State police the Ammon Bundy and his crew, who appear to be running low on supplies (Fritos, beef jerky, pizza, etc.) are actually free to come and go as they please. So if they need more food they can just leave the stand off, drive off to the nearest grocery store on a food run and come back and keep up the historic seige.

I wanted to flag your attention to this article in Vox explaining just why it is that federal authorities do and are taking such a kid gloves approach to the on-going antics of the Bundy clan and associates at that wildlife refuge in Oregon. First, it's a very detailed interesting read. Second, if you're over 35, it will remind you that you're getting old. The piece is clearly written for people for whom Ruby Ridge, Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing and the "militia" heyday of the '90s is something you learn from history books rather than something you remember watching on CNN.

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I just walked past the TVs in the office and the chryon on CNN was something to the effect of "Rubio Super PAC prepares big attack on Chris Christie." I'm not sure any handful of words better captures how badly this primary cycle is going for the GOP.

Building a wall along the US-Mexico border to prevent evil Mexicans and other Spanish-speakers from illegally entering the United States and banning all Muslims from entering the US under any circumstances have been the two grand dreams of the Trump movement. But how to combine these two elements of Trumpism into a single, unified and coherent message? The Trump campaign finally seems to have pulled this off in its new ad in which he appears to pledge to stop Moroccan Muslims from illegally entering the coastal Spanish enclave of Melilla - one of the two last remnants of the Spanish imperial presence in North Africa.

It got sort of lost in the holiday rush. But I wanted to thank everyone. Because we made our goal of signing up 3,000 new subscribers in our 2015 Prime sign up drive. Nope. This isn't another ask. So I'm not even including a link. I just wanted thank all of you, on behalf of our whole team. The final number was 3099 new members. It was important. I frankly didn't this it was realistic. But we made it. So thank you.

I wanted to add one other coverage point on this Oregon white militants situation. On the one hand, a major reason why we've always been so interested in these stories is just how outrageous they are and the fact that the federal government is increasingly wary or simply unwilling to enforce the law.

As I said earlier, this really amounts to white privilege performance art. We always want to avoid violence and bloodshed whenever possible. But we are also a republic. We have a rule of law. People aren't allowed to take over government buildings, threaten federal officials with violence or keep demanding free handouts from the government (which is the underlying issue here) on the threat of violence. This is a mix of violent outlawery and domestic insurrection. And I think, if we think about it, we all know that it doesn't get a very tough response because the country just takes it for granted that white people in the interior West just act weird and do stuff like this.

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I confess: I'm kind of surprised. This situation in Oregon with these militia goofs occupying a federal building and threatening violence against federal law enforcement is usually the kind of story that we have mainly to ourselves here at TPM - maybe a bit of national coverage, a lot of local coverage and us. And we definitely do plan on being all over it. It's exactly the kind of white privilege performance art we love as a news story, right in our bailiwick of the bleed-over between domestic extremism and conventional politics.

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