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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Rep. George Miller (D-CA) seems to have found a way to force a floor vote in the House of Representatives on whether or not to overturn the President Bush's Gulf Coast Wage Cut. They've got fifteen days to bring it to a vote. And if it comes to a vote, a clear majority of the House is for overturning what the president did. Rep. Miller explains more details here.

For shame.

Remember way back when (okay, only a year ago), Sinclair Broadcasting decided to run an anti-Kerry Swift Boat infomercial on its stations across the country. A popular outcry and a lot of truly spontaneous grassroots activism made them pull back, at least part of the way. But a big rock rolled into the road for them when their DC Bureau Chief, one Jonathan Lieberman took a stand, gave an interview to the Balitmore Sun, and called the effort "biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election ... For me, it's not about right or left -- it's about what's right or wrong in news coverage this close to an election."

The headline of our post, a year ago almost to the day, ran "Soon to join the jobless?" I make no claim for prescience when I tell you he was immediately fired.

Sinclair has continued to harass Lieberman ever since. And now comes word the sharks at Sinclair are suing Lieberman for giving the unauthorized interview. "Sinclair," this article reports, "is also asking the court to order an accounting of the wages Leiberman earned working for another news outlet after Sinclair fired him."

Now this is a while back, a time a lot of folks would like to forget. And most everybody's moved on. But clearly Lieberman is still stuck with the consequences of doing the right thing when it counted. By the letter of the law and the contract, Sinclair may have a case. But this guy's deserves everyone's support.

So many leaks are coming fast and furious now in the Plame/Fitzgerald case that it's hard to know sometimes where they're coming from or what the leakers were trying to achieve. Perhaps the best example of this was yesterday's Daily News story by Tom DeFrank, which provided the first clear evidence that President Bush has known who the culprits were from the beginning and possibly failed to disclose that to Patrick Fitzgerald in their interview last year.

Why would White House officials sell the president out like that? The question becomes more pointed when you note that DeFrank, as we discussed yesterday, has long been close to people in the Bush world.

So what's the story?

According to knowledgeable sources, those White House officials behind that story were trying to help the president, not hurt him. The story, in their view, was about his unhappiness with what Rove had done but his loyalty to those who work for him.

Now, the first thing you have to say on this is that there are some folks in the White House who are pretty stupid. Even a cursory knowledge of where the live wires lay in this story would tell you that those bits of information would lead to someone getting a very big shock.

Ordinarily, such an elementary mistake just wouldn't happen.

This part is just inference, not reporting. But I suspect that what we're seeing here is an example of various players in the White House trying to manage damage control without central direction, perhaps without the requisite experience in some cases and even more likely without all the key facts at hand.

The limbs keep moving even after the head is severed, but not with the same coordination.

Hillary Clinton's senate opponent next year, Republican DA Jeanine Pirro, told a Chemung County Republicans on Tuesday night: "That's a difference between Democrats and Republicans _ we don't want them next door molesting children and murdering women." Now on the defensive, Pirro's campaign manageer Brian Donahue says: "This quote is out of context."

"I don’t think the voters care about this," Ralph Reed on his role on the Jack Abramoff gambling gravy train. "The reason why we didn't know every detail was because we were a subcontractor. And, by definition, a subcontractor is told only what they need to do to do their job."

"What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made. Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.” -- Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff until January 2005, quote from Wednesday, October, 19th.

As Kevin says, it's all about The Nukes. And he's right on target in pointing to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, as one of the key players in the vast political cover-up that hovers over the criminal one now creaking at every hinge. Laura Rozen has more on coordination between Roberts and Cheney's office.

Roberts was the key player in arranging the authorship of last year's thoroughly mendacious Senate Intelligence Committee report on Iraqi WMD intelligence failures. He also played a key part at several points (possibly passively, but probably actively) in ensuring that no real investigation into the origins of the forgeries ever took place.

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