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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Drudge reports this as an excerpt from Arthur Sulzberger discussing the Judy Miller debacle from an appearance this evening on Charlie Rose ...

THIS PALES BY COMPARISON TO THE JASON BLAIR, IT'S NOT EVEN ON THE SAME SCALE. JASON BLAIR AND THE ISSUES THAT FLOW FROM THAT, THOSE WERE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES INVOLVING NOT JUST A REPORTER, BUT A WHOLE SERIES IN "THE NEW YORK TIMES." THAT WAS HARD. AND MY FAMILY STOOD BY ME LIKE A BULLWARK. AND THEY DID THIS TIME, TOO.


He really doesn't get it, does he?

Sure, Jayson Blair's transgressions were open-and-shut journalistic capital offenses. No question it was terrible and that his career was over. But, honestly, what were the real world consequences of his misdeeds? Pretty minimal.

And the Miller fiasco? Well, yes, more complicated. But the real world consequences? Immeasurably greater. And the paper's dragged out, compromised way of dealing with the whole mess? He really doesn't seem to grasp what happened.

Quote of the Day ...

Rep. David Dreier (R-CA): "We are not cutting Medicaid for those truly in need."

Apparently they're only cutting benefits for upper and middle-income Medicaid beneficiaries.

Today's an example of one of the reasons I'm eager to have a blog-reporter not just literally up on capitol hill but more generally following all the ins and outs of what's going on up there.

What we're seeing today are the cascading effects of the breakdown of Republican party discipline, beginning with the collapse of the president's popularity (especially the rather sudden recognition of that fact within Washington) and echoing out from there.

Moderate Republicans have toed the Bush line because they've believed he could protect them, as indeed he has. They don't believe that now. So a lot of them don't want to go into the election next year with ANWR drilling hanging over them.

They balk on the left and then in response the 'wingers on the other right refuse the compromises they've agreed to. Suddenly the whole thing starts to pull apart since there's no centripetal force, no organizing power to hold things together -- sort of like Hobbesian state creation run in reverse.

The recognition has sunk in: The president is unpopular and weak. And it's every Republican for him or herself.

And did I mention, pass the popcorn?

From a knowledgeable observer on the hill ...

Two important developments today point to the Bush administration’s collapse of support on Capitol Hill. The first involves the House dropping ANWR from their spending reconciliation bill because 22 moderate Republicans refused to support the measure on the floor if included (no telling yet whether it will pass even w/ ANWR dropped bc of food stamp and child support collection cuts). The next involves the postponement of the tax reconciliation mark up in the Senate Finance Committee, where Olympia Snowe (generally prone to caving after getting the call from Andy Card) refused to buckle and support extension of the capital gains and dividend tax cuts – a signature WH priority. Tax cuts used to be a cakewalk for the WH, now they cant even get them out of committee.


More to follow.

It just occurred to me that even if Democrats manage to totally blow this coming election cycle and don't make substantial pick-ups in November, we're still virtually guaranteed twelve months of watching Republicans furiously working to find ways to stab each other in the back.

So, really, even the fall-back is pretty decent.

Just a thought.

You've probably already seen this article in today's New York Times on Justice Department interest in an offer Jack Abramoff apparently made to President Omar Bongo of Gabon to set up a meeting with President Bush for the sum of $9 million.

This makes me curious again to know more about the foreign lobbying and foreign business dimensions of Abramoff's work.

For instance, documentary evidence made available to us shows that in the summer of 2004 (after the scandal phase of Abramoff's career was well underway), he was working with Marina Nevskaya and her company Naftasib to secure oil exploration and drilling concessions from The National Oil Company of Liberia.

Abramoff spokesman Andrew Blum had no comment when asked today about the Abramoff-Nevskaya-Liberia dealings.

Nevskaya and Naftasib, you may remember, are the ones that underwrote the DeLay/Abramoff 'fact-finding' trip to Moscow in 1997.

Anyone know more about this Liberian oil exploration angle to the Abramoff story? I'm all ears.

We've had a number of emails in from folks asking how they can contribute money to support the new site we're launching (described here yesterday). First, let me assure that we will go to great lengths to help facilitate your desire to contribute funds for our new project. But not quite yet.

As I mentioned yesterday, Sunday is the fifth anniversary of Talking Points Memo. (Here was the first post.) So next week is 5th Anniversary week here at TPM and we're going to be holding a fundraiser to support the expanded coverage we're planning of scandal-ridden Capitol Hill and the 2006 election cycle.

More on all of this shortly.

Just out from Roll Call (sub. req.) ...

With Jon Corzine (D) trading in his title of Senator for governor-elect of New Jersey, the formal jockeying to replace him accelerated Wednesday, as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus formally endorsed Rep. Bob Menendez (D) for the post.

Corzine will have the power to appoint his Senate successor once he is inaugurated as New Jersey’s chief executive on Jan. 17, but has been mum on his plans for succession during the duration of the gubernatorial campaign and in the hours since his election victory on Tuesday.

But New Jersey Representatives eager for Corzine’s appointment broke their silence Wednesday, with a vengeance.

“I’d like to say my own record of 31 years of service in New Jersey, my understanding of average New Jerseyans and my leadership in the House would make me a valuable addition to the U.S. Senate,” Menendez said in an interview.


Will be interesting to watch.

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