Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I've always suspected that the stories about an al Qaida effort to disrupt the American election were, in a word, bogus. I even suspect that much of the heavily publicized efforts to put beefed up security and police patrols around polling stations has at least in part a political motive.

Now, you'll remember from the 9/11 commission hearings earlier this year that the National Security Advisor is, or should be, the quarterback when the country faces a heightened or imminent threat of terrorist attack. She's the one who pulls together all the various threat reports and makes sure all legs and arms of the national security apparatus are working in unison.

If this whole 'al Qaida disrupting the democratic process' is on the level then we're entering the red zone right about now. We're ten days out from the election.

So why is the National Security Advisor, Condi Rice, out hitting the campaign trail?

Think about that for a second. Is there any possible good answer? Either all the effort to hype an election day al Qaida threat is just another effort to use the White House's control over the intelligence community as a campaign asset or Rice is shirking her duties at a moment of acute national peril.

Some member of the travelling press should ask her which it is.

I want to show you a campaign ad that is about to go into heavy rotation in swing states around the country. It's called 'He Just Doesn't Get It'. I would appreciate it a great deal if you could take just a few moments to watch it and let me know what you think.

It's a rough, jarring ad. But that's <$NoAd$>appropriate because it portrays a rough reality.

The ad is built on a stark contrast. In late March, at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, President Bush did a pre-scripted comedy routine about looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

It had pictures of him looking under the furniture in the Oval Office, poking around the grounds, and so forth, with him saying over and over, 'Those WMDs have got to be around here somewhere', or something to that effect. He chuckled as did the assembled DC bigwigs of press and politics.

(Here's David Corn discussing this rancid spectacle at the time.)

About a month later, Brooke Campbell's brother, Sgt. Ryan Campbell was killed in Baghdad during the on-going search for weapons of mass destruction.

The ad starts with the president's yuck-yuck routine and finishes with Campbell talking about her brother. It's captures a lot. And I think it could be very effective.

Click here to watch it.

Let me know what you think.

The Alan Keyes - Barack Obama debate is on CSpan2 right now as of about 8:47 PM on the East Coast. How can you miss that?

As recently as January of this year, says Sen. Carl Levin, Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith misled Congress about the US intelligence community's assessement of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida. Levin has now issued a report on Feith and will ask the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to take "appropriate action" against him.

You think Kerry's a heretic? How 'bout George W.? NewDonkey has the story.

(ed. note: Ed, can I just refer to you by name now rather than 'NewDonkey'?)

Did they get this right?

A local paper in Michigan, The Herald-Palladium, reports that yesterday in a speech at Lake Michigan College, former CIA Director George Tenet said that the war in Iraq was "wrong."

Hello, hello, Kerry campaign ...

AP: "The Index of Leading Economic Indicators, a widely watched barometer of future economic activity, edged lower in September for the fourth month in a row, indicating a slowing in economic growth, a private research group reported Thursday ... Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein called the September decline a 'clear signal that the economy is losing momentum heading into 2005.'

Echoes of David.

Another disgusting attempt to impute anti-Semitism to Democrats because of their criticism of certain neoconservative administration appointees.

This time it's Ann Coulter. No surprise.

I hear Condi Rice<$NoAd$> is taking questions on her campaign swing through the midwest. Admittedly, any self-identified TPM reader probably runs a decent chance of getting arrested if he or she tries to attend one of Condi's events.

But assuming one avoids preventative detention, how about asking her this question ...

Several days ago Abu Musab Zarqawi pledged his allegiance to Osama bin Laden. He's the deadliest terrorist in Iraq today. But according to NBC news, the US had "several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation" before the war and we didn't take him out then because that would have taken away one of our reasons for invading Iraq. Do you regret that decision?

If you read the reporting by NBC and others, it's pretty clear that the call was made by Condi herself. Ask her. I'd love to hear her answer.

She can run but she can't hide.