Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Ralph Reed: "What I don’t appreciate — and what I’m confident the voters will reject — is the attempt by some of the media and others to engage in guilt by association. To associate me with the misdeeds of others is unfair, it’s wrong and it will be rejected at the ballot box."

What about guilt by cash payment?

Read Kevin Drum (here and here) on what we found out yesterday about the NSA wiretap story. Matt Yglesias has some additional thoughts along similar lines.

The key point is that we know that this wasn't some novel technology but garden-variety wiretapping. And with that being the case, it's just not clear why the administration didn't get Congress to revise the FISA law to make these searches legal.

To me the whole thing remains a mystery. One school of thought would suggest that there must have been something shady going on, otherwise they would have just gotten the law changed and avoided any legal questions. As Kevin says, it's not like it would have been that hard to get such an expansion through Congress in 2002 or 2003 or even today for that matter.

There's another possible explanation, though -- one that squares with my sense of this group in the White House. And that is that they have an ideological affinity -- perhaps even a compulsion -- for presidential assertions of extra-constitutional authority. Just on principle.

That is their mindset. It informs countless actions over the last five years. Still, it's not enough. Kevin's right. Something doesn't fit. There must be something else.

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Oops. Looks like we've got a latter-day DeLay Rule bamboozler on our hands.

Mike at the Florida News blog has been trying to get an answer from Rep. Tom Feeney's office on how the congressman voted on the DeLay Rule back in November 2004. That, you'll remember, was the attempt to change the GOP conference rules to allow Rep. Tom DeLay to remain as Majority Leader while under indictment.

He finally got his answer. Feeney's press secretary's told him there actually never was a vote on the DeLay Rule.

No vote -- notwithsanding the fact that there was a voice vote, various representative announced that they'd voted either for or against it, and that there was a month or so of rambunctious debate about the vote.

All that said, Feeney says there was no vote.

Now, when I looked back at our DeLay Rule coverage from back in November 2004, I saw that Feeney is not only a latter-day bamboozler. He was an at-the-time bamboozler too. According to this November 18th 2004 post, Feeney has been fibbing to his constituents about his position on the DeLay Rule for more than a year.

You'd think he'd be more proud of being a loyal DeLay soldier.

Department of Ouch, extra ouch edition: Ralph Reed pays 'supporters' to show up at political event at church.

As is now being widely reported, the policy centerpiece of the president's state of the union address next week will be so-called HSAs, Health Savings Accounts. You can find out more about what a ridiculous idea they are here in a post from Ezra Klein, who will be leading up our soon-to-debut Medicare Drug Bill Fiasco blog.

But, policy particulars aside, isn't the president moving into a bit of a policy headwind on this one?

What's the slogan? "Bush Health Savings Accounts! Because the Bush Medicare Drug Bill is Working Out So Well!"

Think about it.

Just a quick update: we're planning on getting our Medicare Prescription Drug fiasco blog up and running tomorrow over at TPMCafe. Stay tuned.