Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We know you're just now recovering from Christmas and getting ready for New Year's. But don't forget the event that comes only once a year, on December 31st. That's right, the announcement of this year's Golden Duke Award winners, our annual awards granted to the year's greatest slimbeballs, crooks, the comically corrupt or simply criminally ridiculous. To refresh your memory, here are this year's nominees, announced back on December 15th. This year's judges are Susie Bright, Rick Hertzberg, Dan Savage and TPM alums Hunter Walker and Megan Carpentier, who we believe are all uniquely suited to judge this sort of achievement. So stay tuned and get ready for the big announcement on December 31st!

Perhaps I'll regret doing this. The topic is so fraught that maybe it makes no sense for a uninvolved bystander to discuss it at all. But today we have yet another story about a Sikh man attacked in what appears to be a hate crime. This phenomenon started right after 9/11 (I'm sure it happened earlier but presumably not so frequently) and appears to spike when the country gets more agitated or afraid about terrorism.

Obviously, these are individual attacks which inflict some mixture of physical assault, pain and in some cases even death on a specific individual. Beyond that, as intended, they spread a penumbra of fear and menace far beyond the victims who are directly affected. But on a public level they have a unique resonance since they capture something we expect about attackers or perhaps an assumption that we see confirmed, which is the overlap between bigotry, propensity to violence and stupidity and ignorance.

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As you can see, I've gotten really, really interested in this increasingly far-flung story of Sheldon Adelson's effort to break into the US news industry - with the main show going on in Vegas with his acquisition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and a sort of off-stage, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern part of the story unfolding in Connecticut with Adelson's lickspittle and cut-out Michael Schroeder. I tried to pull together all the threads of the story here in a post I did over the holiday. But I have little doubt there is more to come.

So if you see more developments in this story, either in Nevada or Connecticut, please drop us a line. Similarly, I've already noted Adelson's already dominant position in the news business in Israel. Now, I'm also interested in Adelson press acquisitions in the US as well. So if you see press stories or even more if you know about things that are not yet public, please drop me a line.

Michael Schroeder is the owner of The Bristol Press and the New Britain Herald and also served as the cut-out to help Sheldon Adelson buy the much-larger Las Vegas Review-Journal. Now he's just announced he's buying yet another paper. Now it's the Block Island Times, over in Rhode Island.

I try very hard to avoid getting involved in news stories myself, especially ones I'm highly interested in. But here I'm making a very small exception. Steve Collins is the Connecticut reporter who quit his job at The Bristol Press over his comically corrupt boss Michael Schroeder's work trying to destroy journalism on behalf of Sheldon Adelson, both in Connecticut and Las Vegas and quite possibly in other places we haven't learned about yet. Here's the gist of the story. In any case, Collins quit his job right in the maw of the holidays, he's already won one award for his principled stand and now he's set up a gofundme page to raise some funds to get by while he's looking for his next gig.

I've been ranting and cajoling for long enough about our annual Prime sign-up drive, that I wanted to share some great news: We made it. As I've shared with you, we started on September 21st kicking off our annual sign-up drive with a goal of signing up 3,000 new members. But it was more a private goal and it seemed hard to figure we could get to that number, even with a great response. But starting about a month, when we were at about 2200, it started to seem at least possible. And then at some point on Christmas Eve - appropriately enough - we got there. It is no promotional hyperbole to say that I really did not think we'd be able to get that number.

We're currently at 3017 for the drive. And, yes, if you'd still like to sign up, by all means do so. But we set the goal and we got there so no more harping from me. Just to give you a bit more context, this put us at just below 9,500 Prime members - about 500 of whom are monthly subscribers and the remainder annual subscribers.

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Let this be our Christmas story. Why? Well, that requires some explaining and perhaps even a stronger rationale than I'm yet able to muster. Because it has no cheer, redemption or family bonding. It's about power, money, greed, recklessness and what can only be termed the sort of roughshod ridiculousness and surreal unintentional comedy that comes from being powerful enough or serving people with sufficient power that the ordinary sort of fear of getting caught and having to explain yourself simply doesn't apply.

You probably heard sometime over the last couple weeks that there was a mystery brewing about the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The paper had been sold and for an oddly high price given the brutal economics of contemporary newspapering. The mystery was that no on knew who bought it. Indeed, even the people who run the paper were kept in the dark. Eventually, to no one's great surprise, Sheldon Adelson was revealed, via a Connecticut cutout, as the buyer. Plutocrats have been buying papers since there were papers. And Adelson, in addition to being one of America's top plutocrats, also makes his home in Las Vegas. So on various fronts, no terribly big surprise. But since vanity and influence are the usual reasons oligarchs buy newspapers, remaining anonymous is a bit hard to understand.

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I want to wish everyone a very special day, a Merry Christmas, especially for our Christian friends, but also to those who celebrate out of tradition, culture, inertia or just for the specialness of the day, a day of congregation with family, friends, children.

And of course for those who don't celebrate at all, you folks have a good day too.

I wanted to discuss a couple questions I keep getting asked.

First, couldn't Trump's sky-high poll numbers just not pan out if he has no ground game in the early or even the primary states?

No, this is not the case.

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