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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

A key moment today at the ‘Values Voters Summit’. Steve Bannon was listing off all the great things the President has done since his favored candidate went down to defeat in Alabama. Among them, Bannon admitted what the White House has repeatedly denied, which is that Trump decided to cut off CSR payments to make the health insurance exchanges blow up, thus making prices skyrocket.

President Trump straight up lied in his speech today on ‘decertifying’ the Iran nuclear deal. He said: “The Iranian regime has committed multiple violations of the agreement.” This is not true. The US, the Europeans, outside observers, the inspectors all agree that Iran is meeting the conditions of the deal. If Iran were violating the deal, all of this drama wouldn’t have been necessary. Trump could have just canceled the deal without any need to justify the decision. He would have had broad support for doing so. That’s the bind he’s been in. The Iranians are keeping their end of the bargain. So Trump really hasn’t had a good rationale – legal or geopolitical – for getting out.

But there’s a different part of the speech I want to focus on. In addition to all the things the President says his new policy will accomplish he made this pledge. “We will deny the regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.”

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The big news out this morning is the overnight decision to end so-called CSR payments to insurers. We’ll have articles out today with technical details. But these are payments which are part of the framework which keeps insurance rates affordable in the Obamacare markets. Doing this directly, intentionally makes rates spike. They may not say it out loud. But many Republicans, especially in the Senate, had no appetite for this action, mainly because they know the consequences will fall largely on them.

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What Republicans are calling “tax reform” is shaping up as the worst kind of legislative mess. To the degree we know specifics, the plan would amount to a massive windfall for the wealthiest Americans. This is hardly surprising. What is surprising are the ways the chaos and disorganization within the GOP (and perhaps also a sense of invulnerability) have led to the creation of a law which would actually hurt a lot of people who really don’t need to be hurt and are politically powerful to boot.

Let me explain what I mean.

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From TPM Reader CM

Creative Writing MFA candidate here, with some further thoughts on the word ‘tactical’ as it seemst o be used/intended in current gun culture. These are mostly implicit in the point made by your earlier reader but:

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From TPM Reader BF

I know that a lot of the rhetoric from the pro-gun crowd revolves around “protection from tyranny,” but my sense is that the “tactical situation” they are mostly thinking about is more lurid than that. You sometime hear them talking about the “zombie apocalypse” or more generally some sort of “social breakdown,” where their stockpiles might form the basis of a protective arsenal. Are they really worried about zombies? Of course not. That’s just a wink-wink, nod-nod.

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