Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

No transcripts from the White House for Cheney's Bamboozlepalooza events? Holden points us to some local newspaper coverage that may help explain why.

For months now I've been saving string for a piece on the Washington Post's endlessly fatuous series of editorials on Social Security and fiscal policy -- the board seems caught between subservience to the silk-thin assumptions of right-leaning Washington conventional wisdom and an almost parodic level of ignorance about the effect these changes have on most Americans (see this for but one richly evocative example.)

But today's piece is worth at least an interim mention. It is another knock at the Democrats for not buying into the president's claim that Social Security is in a state of 'crisis'.

Given what's become clear over the last three months, the Post is compelled to concede that the president's 'plan' does nothing to deal with Social Security's solvency issues, that his tax cuts create a shortfall "three times greater than the Social Security shortfall projected by the trustees" and that Medicare is a far more pressing problem.

Still, the Post continues ...

it's hard to take seriously the Democrats who say that Mr. Bush should switch focus from Social Security to the much bigger problem of Medicare: If they aren't willing to play a constructive role on the supposedly "minor" challenge of Social Security, why should anyone believe that they would behave constructively if the administration wanted to fix Medicare?

As the Post's endless tergiversations for Washington's new luxe Republican establishment again show us, you can work so hard bending over backwards for some folks that you find yourself bending over forward. As they have.

The final blow ...

Support for President Bush's plan to create personal Social Security retirement accounts which might include stocks or mutual funds has dropped over the last month among Americans under age 30, according to a poll released Thursday.

Young adults have been the strongest supporters of the proposal for months. Support among those 18-29 dipped from seven in 10 to just under half, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. A quarter of young adults now say they're not sure how they feel about such personal accounts.

More here on the Pew Poll.

Public/Private Partnership. NBC's First Read notes that Sens. Frist, Santorum and Martinez are showing up for Progress for America's Bamboozlepalooza event next week in Tampa ...

By the way, look who's going to Tampa on Wednesday for a Social Security town hall: Senators Frist, Santorum, and Martinez. The event is being sponsored by pro-private accounts Progress for America.

More on this to follow ...

TPM is expanding. And as part of that, we're going to be bringing on at least one new intern. It's a great opportunity to gain experience for a career in political journalism or Internet publishing. If you're interested in applying or would like to find out more, drop us a line.

Send us a note through the 'comments' address at the top of the sidebar and use the subject heading "TPM Internship".

If you applied last year and would like to be considered again, please let us know that too. We had some great applicants who we weren't able to take on and we'd like to know if you remain interested.

Money, money, money, money, money, money, money ...

Traditional Values Coalition founder Lou Sheldon quoted in the Times: "What this issue has done is it has galvanized people the way nothing could have done in an off-election year. That is what I see as the blessing that dear Terri's life is offering to the conservative Christian movement in America."

St. Petersburg Times: "Shame on McCain for being a part of this effort to divide the generations. Usually noted for candid speech, he even resorted to misinformation when he said in 2042 'we stop paying people Social Security.' McCain knows that isn't true."

Mendacity is contagious. And he's caught the bug.

Townhall.com gets out of under Heritage's non-profit IRS restrictions to be more political, says the Washington Times.

No, we're not kidding.

Actually, it's an interesting development, clearly in response to mobilizations taking place on progressive blogs.

It doesn't seem like a perfect comparison. But as this article shows, Sen. Frist seemed to have a more 'pragmatic' definition of what constitutes life before the subject become ripe for presidential grandstanding.

An important development from Vermont, reported here in the Rutland Herald: "The Vermont State Teachers' Retirement System on Tuesday became the first public pension board in the country to take formal action against President Bush's Social Security reforms. The trustees of the largest of Vermont's three public pension boards voted 4-2 to make it harder for investment firms that support those reforms to manage the $1.2 billion in assets in the teachers fund. The two dissenting votes were cast by trustees appointed by Gov. James Douglas."

See more here.