Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Staten Island Congressman Vito Fossella (R) tries to bamboozle constituents spinning <$NoAd$> them with the same old 'privatization' word games.

From today's Staten Island Advance ...

Rep. Vito Fossella told senior citizens at the New Dorp Beach Friendship Club yesterday that he is against privatizing Social Security.

"Let me be clear," Fossella (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) told over 130 seniors at the center. "I do not support the privatization of Social Security, I never have and I never will."

However, Fossella said he wouldn't rule out "exploring" with House lawmakers the concept of allowing young workers to set aside part of their payroll taxes into personal market accounts instead of contributing the money to the Social Security system.

Here's some more info about New Yorkers trying to get Fossella to phase out his support for phase-out.

Chris Matthews stumbles, then tries to get right with the president's Social Security Speech Code.

From last night's Hardball: "All these programs, one which will privatize this, personalize, to some extent, Social Security."

Who got to Sherry Boehlert? Did they make him an offer he couldn't refuse?

We knew the day would come, but we can see here that the days of trials have begun for the Conscience Caucus.

Just shy of two weeks ago Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R) of New York told his constituents: "I’ve never been a gambler … I don’t want to gamble with Social Security trust fund moneys. And so I am very, very skeptical of the so-called plans to privatize. And I think a disservice is being done to a great many Americans by sort of sounding the alarm that everything’s going to hell in a hand basket and we’re going to be broke by 2018. That simply is not so."

But look at today's Poughkeepsie Journal and see what a change a few days back in DC has wrought: "Boehlert said he needs to hear more details before deciding whether to support the [President's Social Security] plan. But he praised Bush for trying to tackle the politically difficult issue."

So, now, not only is Boehlert open to supporting the president's phase-out plan, he's also praising him for trying to fool the public into thinking the program is going broke.

Perhaps some of his constituents can throw Sherry a lifeline. But for the moment we're going to have to shift him to the new Conscience Caucus "CUP" ("Caving under the pressure") status.

Kudos to the Times editorial page for Tuesday's editorial poke at the president's new Social Security speech code.

President's new Social Security speech code defied at the Times!

Robin Toner goes with "private Social Security accounts" and "private accounts," but not a 'personal account' to be seen anywhere.

She even gets freaky with "privatize" ...

Rep. Ron Kind (D) of Wisconsin filling out the paperwork to leave the Fainthearted Faction?

Yet another local Democratic party resolution against phasing out Social Security -- this time from the Groton (CT) Democratic Town Committee.

The Conscience Caucus opens up a Kentucky chapter with the arrival of freshman Rep. Geoff Davis (R).

An article in Saturday's Cincinnati Enquirer reports: "Davis has said he will not support Bush's plan to allow workers to invest a percentage of their payroll taxes into self-directed personal investment accounts."

Says spokesperson Jessica Towhey: "Geoff Davis is against private accounts. He is also for no decrease in benefits and no increase in payroll taxes."

Towhey includes the obligatory note that Davis is waiting to see the president's actual plan before making a final judgment. But from the looks of it, we see no choice but to slot Davis as Loud and Proud.