Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I doubt I need to tell you that it's an incredibly dangerous development that a jet fighter of a NATO member country, Turkey, appears to have shot down a Russian fighter jet operating over a sliver of Turkish territory on the Syria-Turkey border. Allegedly. (Happily for all involved, the pilots appear to have ejected safely from the plane.) It is well worth asking what exactly the Turks were thinking and how far this decision went up the chain of command in Turkey. That said, what's not getting a huge amount of attention is that Turkish and Russian jet fighters got into a dog fight or an aerial confrontation of some sort and the Russian fighter got shot down. Maybe that's random chance. But I doubt it.

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You've probably seen this firestorm which has erupted about Donald Trump's claim that he watched thousands of Muslim residents in North Jersey celebrating as the Twin Towers fell fourteen years ago. We just published a fascinating piece on it. Needless to say, nothing remotely like that actually happened. And since it didn't happen, Donald Trump definitely didn't see it. Neither did Ben Carson, who also claimed that he saw the video today. (It's frankly amazing that the whole GOP primary race is now dominated by a demonstrably absurd claim.) But what's really interesting is that it's yet another case where Trump has reached into a subterranean stew of urban legend, rumors and conspiracy theories that have been bubbling along for years and forced them into the mainstream dialog. There were rumors in the days and weeks after 9/11 that something like that has happened. Here are the origins of some of those rumors, the genealogy, if you will, of Donald Trump's latest nonsense.

Quite apart from whether we do or don't have a good strategy for combatting ISIS, we are definitely in one of those bewildering interludes where cable news is chock full of completely nonsensical 'expert' claims which actually make no sense at all. A few moments ago, in an interview on MSNBC, an expert said that (close to verbatim, but paraphrased) 'Clearly our strategy isn't working. Because if it was, ISIS would not have been able to release a propaganda video every day for the last eight days."

I know that the cable nets need to keep the conversation going 24/7 no matter what. But it's genuinely disturbing if this kind of nonsense talk ends up playing a role in the formulation of policy.

Next time Donald Trump says something outrageous, offensive, ridiculous or demonstrably unconstitutional and you find yourself saying he's now going to decline in the polls, let me help. No. That's not going to happen.

Some people seem to be having a hard time detecting this pattern.

Marco Rubio gets a speck too candid, calling the Paris massacre a "positive development" in terms of moving the campaign toward his focus on national security.

Back on September 21st we kicked off our 2015 sign up drive for Prime, TPM's membership program. Between us, we had a hopelessly optimistic goal. We wanted to sign up 3000 new subscribers by the end of the calendar year. That seemed like such a tall order that I refrained from making the goal public - not good to announce a goal you're not going to meet. But so far, we've done reasonably well. We've got almost six weeks left in 2015 and we're currently at 2022 new subscribers. You get your biggest rush of sign ups at the beginning of a drive. So it's still a pretty tall proposition. But it's definitely possible.

So first I want to thank all of you who've signed up. We're in a transitional period in the digital publishing industry. Lots of publishers are trying to build a 'direct financial relationship' with their readers, as the phrase has it - in other words, trying to get them to pay money to the site. So I thought I'd take a moment to explain not so much why we're doing this but why it's a trend for the industry in general.

This is a challenge for all publishers because they're trying to get people to do something they're not used to doing and haven't needed to do in the past. I know because with every other site beside this one, I'm the reader just like you are. So here's the backstory on what's going on.

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