Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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If you have access to Salon, set aside a few minutes to read this new piece by Sid Blumenthal, which sets out the broad horizon of where the Rove/Plame story is at press, while knocking down much of the standing disinformation. See also the quotes from Kovach about what the Times is up to in this with Judy Miller. This goes to the earlier conversation about just how Miller is involved in this whole matter.

This also makes me think of the issue that, to the White House especially, is probably near the top of the issues on the ballot in 2006, though it probably never will be explicitly: congressional oversight. Having any actual scrutiny on what the administration has done on this stuff would be devastating. Picking through the disinformation in the Roberts Senate Intel report would just be the start.

I was thinking this morning that if I had the right software and better business sense I'd set up one of those cool Internet futures markets, only in this case, the site would sell futures contracts on which day the Rove machine would go after which person involved in this scandal. Clearly, they've been on Wilson for a couple days already. Cooper was the emerging target yesterday. And of course the big enchilada is Fitzgerald himself. When's his day. I Day +1? Who else am I missing?

It didn't escape the notice of the reporters at the Times or the Post today. Never one for subtlety, Rove lawyer Robert "GB" Luskin has started laying the ground work for accusing Matt Cooper of lying about his client. Said Luskin: "Cooper's truthful testimony today will not call into question the accuracy or completeness of anything Rove has previously said to the prosecutor or the grand jury."

No, not subtle.

I think it's only late in the evening, when the email traffic slows and the other distractions fade, that I can really see and marvel at the collosus that is, as Brock calls it, the Republican noise machine, with its ferocity that is only surpassed by its nihilism.

Now we can see in full view what we've seen again and again in recent years, the favored tactic: terror by grand moral inversion, the lie so total and audacious that it almost knocks opponents off their feet.

John Kerry decorated war hero? No, coward and showboat.

We noted yesterday the great article by Josh Green in the Atlantic last year in which Josh chronicled the tactic as Rove practiced it in races he ran down in Alabama in the 1990s. In one state supreme court race his candidate went up against an opponent who'd developed an impeccable reputation on child welfare issues (he was a former family court judge). Once you understand the pattern, the strategy suggests itself. Rove orchestrated a whispering campaign to spread the word that the man was a pedophile. Like I said, audacious.

And so here now. Wilson, a whistleblower administration officials were trying to punish? A whistleblower calling out White House manipulated intelligence during the lead-up to war?

Not at all. Rove was the whistleblower trying to knock down a campaign of disinformation from Joe Wilson. The audacity of it is enough to knock some people off their feet. Like I said, terror by grand moral inversion.

And here we have them on their shows and newsprint boxes, having Plame simultaneously a glorified secretary and also a political operator scheming to upend the president's drive to war by sending her husband on a mission to Niger. What range!

The two words capture it: ferocity and nihilism, feeding off each other.

Perhaps someone can help me with this.

When was the last time Karl Rove appeared at a public event and when was the last time he spoke to a reporter? (And I don't mean the calls he's making to them now in the spin war. I mean, on the record public questions.)

I don't mean questions about the Fitzgerald investigation. Questions about anything. Any public event.

Late Update: Okay, TPM Reader JG has just sent us this link to an article about a July 8th Rove appearance at the Ameritrade Holding Corp. facility in Bellevue, Nebraska. Fittingly, he was flacking phase-out. He spoke before an assembly of 500 employees.

Duke won't cede ground to Rove in Capital corruption smackdown!

Dockmaster Kelvin Lee among four staffers from the yacht club subpoenaed to testify before the Duke grand jury.

In other news, the Duke Stir left its moorings at the Capital Yacht Club today, departing for parts unknown.

"Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, narco-trafficking, people killing each other, fundamentalists killing each other in the name of God. These and more. Many more. As our analysts know, as our collectors of intelligence know - these are our enemies. To combat them we need more intelligence, not less. We need more human intelligence. That means we need more protection for the methods we use to gather intelligence and more protection for our sources, particularly our human sources, people that are risking their lives for their country. Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors."

George H. W. Bush
Dedication Ceremony for the George Bush Center for Intelligence
April 26th, 1999

Emerging bamboozlement meme? A TPM Reader tells me that on the Hannity show the new line is that Cooper set Rove up, lulling him with talk about welfare reform, before slipping in the last minute question about Joe Wilson.

You really have to wonder how these robots process this stuff in their own heads.

Okay, we're getting pretty amazing reports about veritable bamboozlement typhoons sweeping across several of the evening chat shows. We hear that Hardball was probably the worst, with a series of ridiculous claims by Ken Mehlman and later Ed Rogers. If you watched, please let us know what you saw and heard. We've set up this special discussion thread to chronicle the bamboozlement on this evening's show.

We also hear Rogers made a bamboozlement pit stop at the Newshour. Share what you saw there on this thread.