Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

No wigglin' from Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)! He's a down-the-line Gulf Coast Wage Cut man.

From his press press, says Pitts: "Simply put, absent the suspension of Davis-Bacon, the Gulf Coast's entry-level workers would not have been able to work on projects that they were funding with their own tax dollars. Everyone deserves the opportunity to help put back together their homes, lives, and livelihoods."

TPM Reader RB tells us that Rep. Todd Akin's office (R-MO) is telling constituents that the Gulf Coast Wage Cut is standard operating procedure after a natural disaster. As far as we can tell, that's a crock since the Davis-Bacon Act has only been suspended in response to a natural disaster once since it was enacted in 1931. That was by the president's father in 1992 in response to Hurricane Andrew -- and that mainly because he needed to appeal to right-wingers in the lead-up to the election. (For those of you who are too young. Believe me, it was a different day.)

In any case, that's not standard operating procedure. At best it's a congenital predisposition. Who else has heard from Rep. Akin? Has his staff given you the same line?

ABC's The Note, still dumb as a door post ...

The press and the Democrats are still demonizing Karl Rove's involvement in anything and everything, expressing shock and horror that a deputy White House chief of staff with wide-ranging applicable experience is helping to oversee the Katrina response.

Then there's Kurtz at the Post ...

Delmar, N.Y.: Has their been an official announcement from the White House that Karl Rove is in charge of the Gulf reconstruction efforts? If not why have their been some reports such as from Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo website that this is the case? If it is true where is the outrage? Rove's qualification as a political operative who is currently under scurtiny in the Plame matter would seem to make him as qualified to oversee reconstruction as Michael Brown was to be head of FEMA.

Howard Kurtz: Whatever you think of Rove, that strikes me as unfair. He's a political guy, sure, but he's the deputy chief of staff and was involved in the substance of almost all major domestic issues in the first term. The symbolism of naming Rove might be a problem, since he is a divisive symbol, but in terms of policy he's no Michael Brown.

One other note, George Stephanopoulos <$NoAd$>seems to be the only member of our list from last week to raise the Rove question.

He got a standard party-line response from George Will. But, hey, he tried.

Back in April, when asked about her position on Social Security privatization, West Virginia Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R) told Knight-Ridder news service, "I'm glad I'm undecided. I don't want to react to something that's never going to come down the pike."

She seems ready to make a similar profile in courage on the president's Gulf Coast Wage Cut.

This morning one of our readers gave us the heads up that Capito's office was telling callers that she doesn't have a position on the Wage Cut but is "open to listening." One reader was told that it was okay to temporarily roll back wages since this would spur business to invest in rebuilding. I'm not sure whether that makes much sense since what we're talking about is rebuilding by federal contractors -- though I suppose you could argue that there'd be a ripple effect out into private sector efforts.

In any case, TPM just put in a call to Capito's office in Washington, DC. And sure enough, she's a finger in the wind. A Capito representative told us that Rep. Capito has "not taken a position [on the Wage Cut] but is in the process of formulating one."

Is your Rep. gettin' wiggly on the Wage Cut too? Let us know.

Weaselhood in the water?

We're getting in emails from readers who have contacted their members of Congress to find out whether they are supporting or opposing President Bush's Gulf Coast Wage Cut. And let's just say a lot of them seem to be getting some pretty wiggly answers.

One of the favorite answers from swing-district Republicans has them saying they're 'concerned' about it and want to make sure it's temporary.

That's some Grade A government-issue bamboozlement.

Sort of like, they want to make sure there isn't a permanent state of emergency in Mississip and Louisiana from now until the end of time.

Of course the suspension is temporary. It has to be temporary. It can last for a long time. And I'm sure the president wants it to. But he has no power to permanently overturn the law in the area. So the whole, 'we're going to try to make sure it's only temporary' line is just mumbojumbo.

As we announced last Friday, tell us where your member of Congress stands on President Bush's Gulf Coast Wage Cut, we're makin' a list.

Send us what you're hearing. Anybody have an update on Sherry Boehlert? How about Shelley Moore Capito? Heather Wilson?

Virgil Goode was an early member of the Social Security Conscience Caucus. But after he got outed as a prime recipient of cash from Duke Cunningham's sugar daddy, Mitchell Wade, it's all been downhill from there. He was actually one of the thirty-two members of the House who wrote President Bush begging for the Wage Cut back on September 7th.

TPM is looking for a new web intern who’ll be responsible for various aspects of on-going site design, site maintenance, assistance administering the TPM community site, TPMCafe, and work on our various projects like the TPM Document Collection, the Katrina Timeline, and our new tracking of which members of Congress are supporting President Bush’s Gulf Coast Wage Cut.

From past experience, the ideal candidate is likely a college student or recent college grad. But we’re interested in hearing from anyone who has ten to fifteen hours a week to work on the site, is an enthusiastic reader of TPM and/or TPMCafe and has at least a basic knowledge web site design and maintenance skills. Reliability and dependability are key.

This is an unpaid internship. But you’ll get lots of hands on experience working on one of the oldest and most-read political blogs in the country. If you’re interested and/or have questions, send us an email at the comments address on the upper left hand sidebar and include the subject line ‘TPM Web Intern’.

It's been light posting here over the weekend. But this week we're going to be digging in to the president's Gulf Coast Wage Cut and trying to find out where everyone stands on the issue.

We'll be bringing you more details on how we'll be running the project hopefully this evening and no later than tomorrow morning.

But if you've already been able to find out where your member of Congress stands on the Gulf Coast Wage Cut, send us a note at the regular comments email address on the left. Maybe you called their office and asked, or saw some mention in the paper or a press release on their website. Whatever, let us know what you've heard. We want to know who's for the Wage Cut and who was against it. We've already heard reports of some pretty squirrelly answers from some of the usual characters. So more on that later.