Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

White House advance team subject of criminal probe, but press secretary won't disclose details. Will Denver DA save us from power-worshiping Washington?

Okay, he's not a DA. He's a US Attorney. But I was already set on the headline before that dawned on me.

However that may be, according to the Rocky Mountain News, the Secret Service says that they're still completing their investigation into what the Secret Service describes as a "criminal case" of a member of the White House advance team who reportedly impersonated a Secret Service agent at a Bamboozlepalooza event in March. Once they complete their probe, they will turn their findings over to William Leone, acting US Attorney for the Denver district who will have to decide whether criminal charges will be filed.

The White House, you'll remember, says no one did anything wrong in the incident and insists -- apparently forcing the Secret Service to remain silent too -- on keeping secret the name of the person at the center of the probe.

Can we hope for some spine from Leone? Otherwise, aren't we left relying on the liegemen from The Note?

Score one for Duke!

Yesterday, I picked up a clip from the LA Times which identified Douglas Powanda, a former executive vice president at Peregrine Systems and current corporate fraud indictee, as the guy Duke bought the new house from. The Times also pointed out that Peregrine Systems was Duke's third largest corporate contributor.

Only that last point isn't true. Duke's third largest contributor is actually Peregrine Semiconductor, an unrelated company and one that to the best of our knowledge has bucked the trend and not made any personal cash payments to Duke.

It would seem that those of who want to have Duke to kick around will have to settle for the House-sale-cum-pay-off and the free boat accomodations.

Oh well.

So back to the phase-out rally at the Capitol on Sunday.

A new phase-out group is holding what they're calling a "Storm for Reform" rally in support of phasing-out Social Security and replacing it with private accounts.

And to symbolize their rage against Social Security as we know it, these Storm Troopers will be hauling a bunch of paper shredders to Taft Memorial Park on Capitol Hill so that rally participants can shred their Social Security statements. (Sort of the wingnut equivalent of burning your bra, I guess.)

(And, no, I'm actually not making this stuff up.)

So who will show up to support Social Security in the face of this onslaught of anti-Social Security weasels?

More to come ...

Storm troopers for phase-out to rally for dismantling Social Security at the Capitol this Sunday, to shred Social Security statements in bizarre phase-out ritual.

More soon ...

Leni, where are you when they need you?

Names, places and dates to follow ...

One of my main goals when I started TPMCafe was to provide a bigger forum for the sort of information gathering and investigative journalism we did here at TPM in recent months on Social Security, the DeLay Rule, et al.

Now that we've got the site up-and-running, a staffer hired and a battery of volunteer researcher-writers in the process of being picked, we're going to dig into it.

First up, catching up on Social Security.

As you can see here, our Conscience Caucus list hasn't been updated since way back on March 3rd. A lot has happened in the last six months. Most of them good, certainly. But just recently the phase-out crew has begun making some initials forays out of their cave with the new plan to blow the entire Social Security surplus and the Trust Fund on those prized private accounts.

So we're going to dive back into that. We'll be moving the list over to a new library section of TPMCafe, updating it, adding new materials, and more.

If you'd like to be involved in helping us pull new information together, let us know.

Next up after that, Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Karl Rove and more.

For all you landlubbers out there, TPM Reader SC sends us word that Duke's boat, the Duke Stir (type identified here) is actually not something you'd likely see in some old Jackie O home movie. SC sends us this link to an ad for a similar model going for $130,000 -- picture included.

Let's note this officially as a story that the gatekeepers say isn't a story.

You know about the three Denver residents who were physically ejected from the Bamboozlepalooza event in their town back in March. They got the heave-ho from a guy in a black suit and an earpiece impersonating a Secret Service officer. Later they learned it was because they'd arrived in a car with a 'No Blood for Oil' sticker on it.

Various inquiries have now made it clear that the man in question was not a Secret Service agent, but a political working for the White House, acting on orders that have been in force for such events across the country.

But the White House refuses to identify the person in question or drop the policy. The White House says all the questions tied to the incident have been "asked and answered" and the folks in the White House press corps are apparently satisfied with that answer. So the story ends there apparently.

Hungry or overfed?

The North County Times on Aqua-Duke ...

What's more, Cunningham since April 2004 has been living on Wade's yacht in Washington. The congressman said that in lieu of rent, he paid more than $8,000 in dock fees and $5,000 for upkeep on Wade's boat.

We can set aside the dock fees, because Cunningham rented space for his own boat at the Potomac River marina for years before he moved into Wade's boat. According to Cunningham's accounting, that $5,000 over the last 14 months amounts to $357 a month.

Unless we are missing something, this looks like a sweetheart deal, with Cunningham paying far less than market rent, to say nothing of the true maintenance and depreciation costs of a fancy boat.

$357. At least it's fair market <$NoAd$> value.

You can live nextdoor to Duke!

The house at 7150 Via Del Charro is on sale for a mere $5 million.

(As always in real estate there's fine print. The listing actually reads: "Seller will entertain offers between $4,650,000 and $5,400,876.")

To compare and contrast, here's the satellite view of Duke's place and here's the view of the place you can buy.