Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

The SEC tells Richard Perle it may sue him over financial improprieties tied to the looting and subsequent meltdown of Conrad Black's Hollinger media empire

Give a look to Ed Kilgore's post today on the Schiavo case, a perceptive discussion of what this case is about, amidst all the fireworks the case has triggered.

Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX), March 18th 2005: "It is more than just Terri Schiavo. This is a critical issue for people in this position, and it is also a critical issue to fight that fight for life, whether it be euthanasia or abortion. I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, one thing God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America. That Americans would be so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death for two weeks. I mean, in America that's going to happen if we don't win this fight.

"And so it's bigger than any one of us, and we have to do everything that is in our power to save Terri Schiavo and anybody else that may be in this kind of position, and let me just finish with this:

"This is exactly the kind of issue that's going on in America, that attacks against the conservative moment, against me and against many others. The point is, the other side has figured out how to win and to defeat the conservative movement, and that is to go after people personally, charge them with frivolous charges, link up with all these do-gooder organizations funded by George Soros, and then get the national media on their side. That whole syndicate that they have going on right now is for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to destroy the conservative movement. It is to destroy conservative leaders, and not just in elected office, but leading. I mean, Ed Feulner, of the Heritage Foundation today was under attack in the National Journal. This is a huge nationwide concerted effort to destroy everything we believe in. And you need to look at this, and what's going on and participate in fighting back."

I must say, I hope the supporters of Social Security aren't resting on their collective laurels just because the president's jihad against the program got off to such an abysmal start.

Today, in newspapers and on websites across the country, headlines used words like 'broke', 'bankrupt' and 'bust' to describe what happens to Social Security when it starts running a deficit at some time in the middle of this century. Only weeks ago, President Bush was being forced to back off such misleading and deceptive language. And many Republicans were openly criticizing him for it. Now these are the words of choice in supposedly straight news reportage.

Supporters of Social Security really don't have the luxury of letting one lie or distortion go unchallenged or unanswered.

More great moments in media whoredom...

MSNBC's front page Soc Sec headline: "Social Security outlook: Broke in ’41"

MSNBC's article page Soc Sec headline: "New date for Social Security to go bust: 2041"

Note to MSNBC press liaison: queue the line about the low-level website staffer, etc.

Langevin out of Rhode Island senate race.

Good news for Chafee, certainly. But good enough?

There's an interesting article today in the Post which fronts the president's new threat that Democrats "will suffer political consequences if they continue to oppose his proposal without providing one of their own."

You'll notice that the article is datelined Albuquerque, where the president just held his most recent Bamboozlepalooza event.

What caught my attention is that while the Post piece made such prominent mention of the president's 'threat', it neglected to mention the name Heather Wilson, who has been obstinately refusing to take any position on Social Security for months.

Wilson, the representative from Albuequerque and the clear target of the president's visit, was afraid to be seen at the president's event today.

Through a spokesman, she begged off with a claim that she was "on a long-planned trip with her husband and two children." But in the context of her earlier flimflammery on this issue, that's simply not credible.

Bottom-line: While President Bush is seeding the media with bogus threats, his own Republicans are afraid to appear in public with him on his Social Security tours. Most press reports either don't mention that or, like CNN, they accept Wilson's bogus denials at face value.

Try picking apart the egregiously tendentious assumptions in this AP report on the Social Security Trustees Report.

Reader mail...


Everything you say about the Schiavo fiasco is true except your conclusion. The Democrats, for once, did exactly the right thing. By letting the Republicans do what they wanted, they have give the American public, at a very crucial time, the opportunity to see the Republicans in all their sleazy glory. The unspoken backdrop of political debate in the country will now be "Look what you get when the Republicans get to do what they want." No one will point to the Democrats to say they were in it too, but if they'd have kept the vote from taking place, some would have pointed to them as against life and none would have seen the courts' utter rejection of Republican over-reaching. Republican pronouncements from authority will e crippled by the obviously manipulative and mistaken pronouncements by Republican doctors in congress on Schiavo's condition. Even conservative Republicans are upset with Delay now. With outcomes so good, why Monday morning quarterback the Democratic leadership? What better result could you hope for?


I actually don't think I necessarily disagree with this. It's not an issue for Dems to whip votes on. <$NoAd$>And the Republicans are in the majority. They can do what they want. But any Democrat should feel entirely comfortable saying they respect the legal process and don't believe Congress should intervene in family matters of life and death (notwithstanding the anguished decisions involved) to score political points.

Simple and honest.

Surprise. Surprise.

For years, every Social Security Trustees report has put the insolvency numbers further out than they were the year before.

Until this year.

Late Update: Atrios, an economist, has and, I suspect, will continue to have the best details on the precise methods of cookery involved.