Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Tom DeLay lost the House leadership. But as a consolation prize they gave him NASA. Republicans leaders put DeLay on the Appropriations subcommittee in charge of the NASA budget. (The Johnson Space Center is in the bugman's district.)

Houston, we have a problem.

There was a seat free on Appropriations because Duke Cunningham had to give up his seat.

No, you can't make this stuff up.

Oh, I forgot, his new committee controls the DOJ purse stings too.

Is there any death of a political luminary that Republicans won't try to milk for political gain? Should they be allowed to attend funerals of non-Movement conservatives anymore?

It's actually pretty amazing. President Bush took pretty much his entire Social Security phase-out plan from last year and put it into next year's budget without telling anyone.

Newsweek's Allan Sloan took a closer look and found it all there.

Now it just so happens we still have the Conscience Caucus list online -- remember, that's the list of the Republicans who wouldn't publicly commit to phase-out last year.

Are they coming out against Phase Out Round Two?

Let's find out. Give them a call. Ask them where they stand and let us know what you hear.

It's not just cutting Social Security death benefits. President Bush has actually written Social Security phase-out into this years budget. Go look.

Now TPM Reader JB responds to the Times piece: "Why didn't anyone mention last week's NBC-Wall Street Journal poll showing Dems leading Republicans 51-37 in Congressional preference? I believe it was the Dems best showing in more than 20 years on that question. So my questions are: (1) If that demonstrates a missed opportunity, what would a victory have looked like? (2) Why can't Nagourney be bothered to include this one piece of releavnt hard data along with all the silly navel-gazing? and (3) Why is Howard Dean talking about anything else? His response should be, 'The American people disagree with what you're saying. By an overwhelming margin they prefer our agenda to theirs.'"

Sounds like the two senators from Maine -- Snowe (R) and Collins (R) -- aren't taking any position on the new Bush Social Security cuts. Neither is Rep. Bradley (R) of New Hampshire. Sen. Grassley's (R) office is telling constituents the same thing.

Heard from your representative or senator yet?

TPM Reader PM on the Times article: "Looks like the Times is reporting on the Dems the way Miller, et al. reported on Iraq: repeat the administrations theme and talking points. In this case: Dems are weak. I assume the quotes reported were selected to present that point of view. It follows a pattern. Dems speak out forcefully and fairly against some administration action, and the press report is couched in "Dems are weak" tones."

Charlie Cook on the state of play: "A year ago, with Republican victories in the 2004 elections still fresh and with President Bush's job-approval ratings still above 50 percent, Democrats' chances of capturing the House looked fairly slim. Today, however, with Bush's approval ratings hovering around 42 percent, the possibility of a Democratic takeover -- although less than 50-50 -- is very real."

Here is a perfectly nauseating article in the Times about how Democrats are apparently not taking full advantage of GOP woes, are generally sad, haven't come up with a plan, aren't crazy about their leaders, are afraid the Republicans are going to do this or that to hurt them, and apparently a bunch of other stuff too.

If what the article reports is true, the Democrats haven't even won back the majority in either house of Congress yet.

The article itself reads like a pretty lazy piece of journalism.

But the people quoted, the mindset, the navel-gazing and sad-sac carping. Truly, just shut up.

My point isn't that dirty laundry shouldn't be aired. But the mindset of chatter and enervating insiderism is not the solution to the problem: it is the problem.

There is hardly a shortage of things wrong with the current direction of the country. Explain what they are, propose alternatives, advocate for them and hit the campaign trail. Everything else is a distraction and a waste.

Be an opposition party, oppose what deserves opposing, leave the verdict to the voters. And mainly just grow up.