Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

A question to consider. Duke Cunningham is in the federal prison system. Last I heard he was in a federal processing center in Oklahoma. Mitch Wade has pled to various felonies and is awaiting sentencing. There are three other Cunningham conspirators listed in Duke's plea -- Brent Wilkes, Tommy Kontogiannis and Kontogiannia's nephew.

Now, normally, when indictments take a long time to come down, I figure it's just that the prosecutors don't feel they're in a hurry and are taking their time to put together the most rock-solid case they can.

But maybe not.

What's the state of the Wilkes investigation? And what about Kontogiannis? He's a major NY real estate developer tied to one of the biggest congressional bribery scandals ever. Have you seen any follow-up reporting on that investigation? Anything in the Times or the Daily News? Is there even really an investigation?

I really don't quite understand who Kontogiannis is in all this or just what his role was, though his background looks fairly spooky. But Wilkes is the real player at the heart of this scandal, not Wade.

There are real reasons to be suspicious that the CIA is applying pressure to limit the scope of this investigation or knock it down altogether.

Tax cheats who get big government contracts and the members of Congress who love them. That and other news of the day in today's Daily Muck.

Well, there you have it. We've officially entered the "seasoned Republican veteran" phase of the president's downward spiral. At CNN, Dana Bash is reporting that, "a move is afoot among some friends and confidantes of President Bush to persuade him to bring in at least one seasoned Republican veteran to help his struggling staff."

Happens to all of them really. Happened to Clinton very early, and was probably good to get out of the way. It was why Sen. Howard Baker was brought in as Chief of Staff after Iran-Contra. And there are many other examples.

More than anything though this is what happens when the resident establishment in DC rises up to geld a weakened president.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy of course.

April is the cruelest month? Maybe for the White House. Two top White House officials go on trial next month.

I'm not sure fiction can outdo the fact that Jack Abramoff and his partner Adam Kidan had on payroll a couple mobsters who iced their estranged business partner in a streetlight ambush. But Law & Order CI is doing their 'torn from the headlines' take on the Abramoff scandal this weekend.

Here's the promo ...

SLAYING OF SECRET SERVICE AGENT HAS DETECTIVES SNIFFING AROUND LOBBYIST, CONGRESSMAN AND INDIAN CASINOS --The brutal beating murder of a female Secret Service agent in her home has Detectives Logan (Christopher Noth) and Barek (Annabella Sciorra) sniffing around the many clients of her husband Jay (guest star David Alan Bashche), a well-connected lobbyist who is working both for and against an unpopular tribal Indian gaming casino on Long Island. But the detectives want to know why the victim's husband hid their laptop and shredded files soon after discovering her body -- and his curious dealings with a slippery congressman widen the police investigation to include more hidden crimes. Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance also star. TV-14 V

For Law & Order obsessives like those of us in the TPM household it sounds like a treat.

Feingold: "I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide."

Okay, you think we're kidding with stuff like the 'evil twin' defense. But, believe me, it's not just Claude Allen.

Yesterday we brought you the news that The Hill, the capitol hill newspaper, had unearthed an old article from the 1984 Republican convention which had some very harsh quotes from Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH). She's the one who narrowly beat Paul Hackett a few months back and then, soon after, called Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) a coward on the House floor.

So, anyway, the old article had Schmidt raging against now-Senator Liddy Dole. But the big thing was that she said young GOP activists " look like young Hitlers to me. … They’re so grim and deadly serious about the cause."

Okay, so that's 1984 -- twenty-two years ago. So young GOP activists are now in their early forties to early fifties, i.e., they run today's GOP. So that's not great.

Anyway, here's where we get to the evil twin defense de Schmidt.

When confronted with the Hitler remark, Schmidt's Chief of Staff Barry Bennett, "that Schmidt made the comment, explaining that her twin sister, Jennifer Black, who was also mentioned in the paragraph, made the remark."