Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

WaPo painfully coded and/or tortured lede watch ...

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's resignation announcement Monday evoked a mixed international reaction of personal sympathy, political disappointment and intense concern over whether his replacement will be another moderate or a hard-line ideologue.

Does that reaction sound 'mixed'?

President Bush's reelection evoked a mixed Democratic reaction of bitter disappointment, insensible depression and sheer terror.

Another mixed reaction.

Got any others?

So is Bush moving to the right or the center in term two?

Wrong metric. He's moving to exert greater control.

Look at the pattern.

Neither Ms. Rice nor Mr. Gonzales are the neo-cons' or the conservatives' choice for their respective offices-to-be. In each case they're acceptable; but no more.

What distinguishes each is their connection to the president, their loyalty and their fealty. Neither has any base in the city or standing anywhere else absent their connection to him. And in appointing them he has placed the State Department and the Justice Department under his direct and unmediated control as surely as the various members of the White House staff already are.

Which is certainly a good thing since if there is one thing this president sorely needs it is more yes-men.

Chump watch ... (from The Times of London)

JACQUES CHIRAC dealt a blow to Tony Blair’s attempt to heal the wounds between the US and Europe last night by saying that the Prime Minister had won nothing for supporting the war against Iraq. As Mr Blair used a keynote speech to present Britain as a “bridge across the Atlantic”, President Chirac doubted whether anyone could play the “honest broker”. Speaking before he visits London on Thursday, he said that it was not in the nature of this Administration to return favours.

Mr Blair suffered another setback when Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State and the administration figure most trusted by Europe, resigned. There were doubts over whether his successor, possibly Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Adviser, would be as accommodating.

M Chirac, speaking to British journalists, including The Times, soon after General Powell’s announcement, revealed that he had urged Mr Blair to demand the relaunch of the Middle East peace process in return for backing the war.

“Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see anything in return. I’m not sure it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically.”

I'm not sure poodle is the word anymore. <$NoAd$>And what's with giving poodles a bad name?

Is it really a paradox?

The lede from a piece in tomorrow's Post ...

Condoleezza Rice, who will be named as Colin L. Powell's replacement as early as today, has forged an extraordinarily close relationship with President Bush. But, paradoxically, many experts consider her one of the weakest national security advisers in recent history in terms of managing interagency conflicts.

I'm gonna assume there was a smirk on someone's face.

Dateline: Oct. 29th, 2004, from Hollinger International Inc. <$NoAd$>...

Hollinger International Inc. (NYSE:HLR) (“the Company”) today announced that the Special Committee of its Board of Directors (“the Special Committee”) has filed a Second Amended Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (“the Court”) on behalf of the Company in its lawsuit against certain directors and former directors and officers, as well as the Company’s controlling shareholder and its affiliated companies. The total amount of damages sought in this Second Amended Complaint is approximately $542 million, which includes pre-judgment interest of $117 million.


The Second Amended Complaint adds Hollinger International Director Richard N. Perle as a Defendant. The suit claims breaches of fiduciary duty by Perle related to his service as a member of the Company’s Executive Committee.

We know the MO ...

From the summary section of today's Nelson Report ...

When is everyone’s expectation still a surprise? When Colin Powell resigns months before HE thought was going. Who will succeed Powell? Senate sources say National Security Advisor Condi Rice. House sources say UN Ambassador John Danforth. As Powell learned last week, it’s President Bush who makes the decision. Best bet? Rice. If she takes over State, expect her deputy, Steve Hadley, to run the NSC. (Interesting “dark horse” for NSC? OMB’S Josh Bolton, with management skills which have eluded the NSC operation for some time.) Why not Wolfowitz for NSC? The President doesn’t know him all that well, and doesn’t like him all that much. Is Powell’s sudden departure part of a larger pattern? You bet. Pair this with the bloodbath ongoing at CIA. Porter Goss and his ex-Hill staff are carrying out a brutal purge of the career professionals seen as an impediment to carrying out political orders. If Rice is offered State, expect her to remove the entire top layer of Powell/Armitage career professionals. But didn’t Rice tell friends she didn’t want State? So what...see this as part of the complete national security overhaul which Powell told Bush was needed. Powell just didn’t think it would start with him. Implications for Iran? North Korea? Watch to see if John Bolton (not Josh) moves up to Deputy Secretary, or perhaps to Deputy NSC. As long as VP Cheney stays (note his heart flutter this weekend) so does Scooter Libby, otherwise a possible NSC chief. Bet bet? Hard line continues. No ray of hope today? Depends...some folks think Powell’s strong right arm, Deputy Secretary Rich Armitage, might be asked to take on the new National Intelligence Coordinator’s role. Other folks think this is delusional...stay tuned.

Watch Bolton <$NoAd$> indeed ...

A reporter just called me to get some follow-up comments/quotes on my earlier post on Bill Safire's retirement and his recent 'mendacity'. So I thought I'd take a moment to elaborate here as well.

As I told this reporter, I've been reading Safire's column for upwards of twenty years. And I thought highly of him, even if I frequently disagreed with him and not-infrequently thought he too easily made arguments I didn't think he quite believed.

Yet the last year or eighteen months or so has seemed very different to me. And, specifically, here's why. Over the course of the last year Safire has written about several topics -- most centering on some aspect of Iraq and/or the bad intelligence meta-story -- which I knew in minute detail.

It won't surprise you to hear that he and I disagreed on most of these matters. That goes without saying. But again and again I saw him making specific factual claims or allegations that he only could have made if he were acting with negligent sloppiness (i.e., not knowing even the basic factual information on the topic at hand) or knowingly misleading his readers.

At TNR online, a run-down of the various theories of Kerry's defeat by TPM alum Alexander Barnes Dryer.