Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Et tu, DMN?

The Dallas Morning News on phase-out: "President Bush hasn't proposed a complete and specific Social Security overhaul plan, yet there are signs his efforts are already on life support ... And the longer the debate takes, the closer Mr. Bush is to becoming a lame duck."

Novak surveys the field on phase-out, calls Lieberman "most prestigious potential compromiser."

Putting the capital 'B' in Bamboozlepalooza, Cheney says he's joining the tour. The LA Times has a nice run-down of the new '60 stops in 60 days' tour.

Not your Daddy's Bamboozlepalooza?

The Bergen Record gives the thumbs down to Bamboozlepalooza the day before it chugs into town: "President Bush is supposed to bring his Social Security road show to New Jersey tomorrow. But critical reviews indicate this production tour has been a flop. And hopefully it will soon reach the end of its run - without any Social Security privatization bill reaching Congress. In old Broadway lingo, the president's privatization proposal 'bombed in New Haven.'"

In other Jersey news, protestors gear up for Bamboozlepalooza in the Garden State.

Sen. Craig Thomas (R) of Wyoming bailing out?

From the <$NoAd$>Jackson Hole News & Guide ...

Wyoming’s senior U.S. senator says the federal government must do something to change Social Security, but he is hesitant to embrace a plan for personal savings accounts put forth by the Bush administration.

Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., said the federal government may not be "financially able" to take on the expense of the private savings plan, which he pegged at $2 trillion. Thomas said it does not make good financial sense to reduce the amount of money flowing into the Social Security trust fund at a time when payouts to baby boomers are projected to increase.

"I’m willing to talk about it, but I’m not persuaded at this point," Thomas said Thursday during a meeting with News&Guide reporters.

I'm not sure we would have predicted Thomas for the Caucus. But he's number 6.

(ed.note: Thanks to TPM Reader JA for keeping us up-to-date on what's going down in the Equality State.)

The main battle begins. From Thursday's Post: "President Bush plans to intensify his campaign to win public and congressional support for restructuring Social Security, warning that it would be a bad idea to delay action as the Senate Republican leader has suggested and politically unwise for lawmakers to oppose private accounts, White House officials said yesterday."

Plus, two key grafs <$NoAd$>for the Fainthearted Faction chump-watch ...

The "scope and scale goes way beyond anything we have done," said Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, who heads to Arkansas today. The president is also privately discussing compromises to win Democratic backing and is likely to signal his support for new protections for low-income workers under Social Security, GOP sources said.

Snow told reporters that Bush also has not ruled out embracing a plan backed by many Democrats to create government-subsidized personal savings accounts outside the existing system. White House officials are privately telling Republicans that Bush is opposed to the idea but does not want to say so because it would appear he is not willing to compromise.

The weak point is still the Senate Fainthearted Faction.

Sen. Santorum (R) of Pennsylvania tells the right to give his crew room for maneuver while senate Republicans try to lure across a few members of the Fainthearted Faction.

Says the Santorum Memo: "While we have been very careful not to alienate Democrats from coming forward with ideas, we also need to be frank with conservatives that we are in a negotiating phase. In order to broker a deal with Democrats, we must be willing to keep these ideas on the table that may be unpopular with the base. If we take these ideas off the table before we start negotiating, there will be no negotiations."

We hear the House Fainthearted Faction may soon lose a member.

It's time to put the list together: Who were the Republicans who supported President Bush's plan to raid Social Security to set up private accounts?