Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Surprise Result: Rep. John Larson (D-CT) beats Crowley and Schakowsky for Dem Caucus Vice Chair.

Out doing a 2006 election interview for TPM. More posts this afternoon and a TPMmuckraker.com update.

Okay, a small twinge of regret. TPM emailers tell me that the best moment of the speech came when the president said that last year Congress 'failed' to act on his plan to phase out Social Security. Dems cheered; Republicans sat with stony silence. I would like to have seen that.

Maybe Crooks & Liars get that clip online for us.

The president to call for new technology to end addiction to oil? Yeah, I bet. Do we actually have to listen to pundits opine about this into the wee hours as long as the president doesn't commit to doing anything beside saying it would be nice?

(Yes, a rhetorical question ...)

I have a confession: I'm not sure when the last time was when I watched the State of the Union address. I think I may have watched it in 2003. But I'm not even certain of that. Perhaps a glance through the archives would show that I watched a bit of it last year, I don't know.

The truth is, I find it unwatchable.

Now, I read the transcript later. I'll often go back and watch key sections so I can get the flavor of a particular passage in the speech or of a debate it has spawned.

But the thing itself (watching the actual production in real time) and then the imbecile chatter afterwards -- I just can't deal. I just find it unbearable.

Are there others out there like me? I know that a great portion of the country never watches the thing and can't be bothered with politics in any case. But are there others out there who are genuine political junkies -- downright incurables -- and yet can't bear to watch this thing?

They're some of those basic questions young children learn to ask in civics class. Who represents me in Congress? And when do they go on trial?

Yes, it's just a sign of the times. But these are the questions one wants to know the answer to. So today we're rolling out a new feature, the TPM Grand Ole Docket.

The number of individuals reportedly under investigation in the Abramoff and other public corruption scandals is getting pretty large. But this isn't a list of just anyone who's been tagged in a news report. We're being a good deal more strict.

We're including 1) people who have pled guilty to federal corruption or corruption related charges, 2) those who have been indicted for such charges and 3) those who have been identified as unindicted cocospirators in public legal filings. By our count there 21 such people. Certainly more to follow. But 21 so far.

These are, in other words, all the folks in the Capitol Hill corruption mess who prosecutors have publicly identified as participants in criminal activity.

As usual, we'll be updating the Docket as the story unfolds. And we'll be relying on you to send us updates, corrections or additions as you find them.

It seems worth noting that last year's State of the Union address was the kick-off, the beginning of the downhill slide that the president continued on for the rest of the year. He set his legislative sights on privatizing Social Security and then proceeded to lose that battle after a multi-month barnstorming tour around the country.

From there it was into the Fitzgerald investigation, into Katrina and then Abramoff. The key development came early when members of the opposition united against him and then members of his own party refused to stand with him.

The president has been trying to overcome that pattern, reverse the slide for months. But his poll numbers seem stock near rock bottom, at 39% according to today's NBC/WSJ poll.

He has to hit some big hit to reverse the pattern of slide and stumble. But the proposals he appears poised to announce aren't ones with much public support. And the members of his party in Congress, though eager to see him reverse his decline, are mainly looking to protect themselves in the face of the Abramoff investigations.

Chris Matthews holds a no-smooches-barred interview with Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX). The vultures continue to swirl around Rep. Doolittle (R-CA). Those stories and other news of the day in today's Daily Muck.