Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

A TPM Reader points out this final line in the Free Press's piece on the president's visit to Michigan: "Detroit Economic Club officials said Monday the traditional question and answer period after the speech has been dropped for Bush's visit."

Noam Scheiber catches David Brooks in the act, trying to find the back door to phase-out now that the front door approach may be blocked.

A TPM reader -- SS -- makes a great point. Can we keep this Bamboozlepalooza Tour going?

In Michigan, where the president is today, almost half the Republicans in the congressional delegation are in the Caucus or bucking for entry. Can the president plan a trip to, maybe, Alabama, another hotbed of Caucusism. Or maybe Missouri? Heck, why not Texas? I'd be happy to work up an itinerary.

Late Update: Come to think of it: Ohio.

According to a new media advisory "Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Co-Chairs of the Senate Centrist Coalition, will convene a meeting of the coalition" this afternoon on the Hill. They'll get a briefing from "Maya MacGuineas of New America Foundation [a sensible privatization advocate], Peter Orszag of Brookings Institution [a sensible Social Security advocate] and David John of the Heritage Foundation [an insensible privatization advocate]... on fiscal matters, including budget deficits and Social Security."

Just in case anyone's wondering, reinstatement in the Faction can happen in the flash of an eye.

Frank? Frank Luntz? Calling Frank Luntz? It seems President Bush needs a refresher course in how not to use pejorative terms to describe his own policy.

Hope is the most fleeting of commodities on the bloody and inter-mingled border between Israel and the future Palestinian state. But today, there is at least more than a little of it.

Someday it'll probably be like the AMEX commercial: Conscience Caucus member since January '05.

In any case, before we get to that point, some of the early-adopters are certainly trying to make clear that they've been in the Caucus longer than all these Johnny-Come-Latelies. Today, in The Day of New London, Connecticut, early Caucus member Rep. Rob Simmons (R) reaffirms his Caucus membership and Loud and Proud status.

Rob Simmons, in the Caucus before it was cool.

And right as Rob Simmons is digging in his heels and making sure everyone knows he was a Caucus man from way back, there's Sen. Arlen Specter, first member of the senate Caucus, goin' all wobbly.

Here's Specter from an interview published today by the Washington Times ...

Q. Do you agree with the president's plan for changing Social Security?

A. I'm waiting for a specifiation and the details. I have an open mind on it. I'm not going to give the president a blank check, nor am I going to line up with the people who say they're unalterably opposed. I'm against cutting Social Security benefits. I'm against borrowing extensively. But I want to see what the presient has in mind.

Q. Do you support private accounts?

A. I'm prepared to listen.

Q. You sound skeptical.

A. Well, I'm prepared to listen to see how they would be done. How will they be financed? How much money will it take out of the system? We pretty much a pay-as-you-go program, paying out as the contributions are made. How will it work? People are talking about gigantic borrowing. I'm not for that.

Prepared to listen? That chairmanship must be feelin' pretty good, I guess. Or is it Pat Toomey clawing back from the political netherworld?

Because that's sure not what Arlen told his constituents just four weeks ago.

As we reported on January 6th of this year, in his constituent mail sent out on the Social Security issue, Specter told Pennsylvanians ...

On the issue of privatization, I had some time ago considered an idea to place a relatively small portion of benefits in an investment account, providing that the “security” aspect of Social Security was retained and the investment was under professional management. However, with the severe fluctuations of the stock market, I have since rejected that idea.

Considered, rejected, prepared to listen. I just can't keep up.