Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Let the Bush slime commence! Campaign Extra on the Bush campaign's hideous new ad.

Special Late-Breaking Bush Slime Update: After having watched this ad, as opposed to the still shots, I have to say that I didn't find it all that effective. I can't point to any one thing; it's just not that scary, not even that effective by the special standards used to evaluate lying right-wing slime and scare-mongering, a whole artform worthy of careful critical study.

In some ways actually, the piece typifies the administration. The entire ad is built around an entirely intentional and fairly transparent attempt to deceive viewers.

The centerpiece of the ad is the claim that "even after the first terrorist attack on America," John Kerry tried to gut spending on intelligence.

Everything about the statement and the context is meant to communicate the impression that they mean after 9/11. But they don't. They mean after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. And even the alleged cuts they're talking about are basically a lie too, for reasons you can see here.

That really does capture the whole Bush administration right there: trying to scare people by tricking them into believing something they know isn't true.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not naive enough to believe that that kind of lie can't be effective. I just don't think it's used all that effectively in this ad. The forest motif isn't all that chilling -- though it may appeal to certain aspects of the Bush hunter-gatherer mindset. And even the wolves aren't as frightening as they might be. I'll bet even my dog Simon -- who's now bulked up to about 7 pounds -- could hold his own with these guys. At least for a while.

Another good candidate for Karl Rove Dirty Tricks Watch.

And here I think we may have a serious contender. Someone in Columbus Ohio seems to be calling voters, impersonating an employee from the local election board, and telling folks that the location of their precincts has been changed. The recipients of the calls seem to be disproportionately elderly.

This one's right out of the Karl Rove playbook. I'm making this the top contender so far, though I'm sure there'll be many more. Of course, maybe I'm not given enough credit to Rove's Sproul operation. Have to give it some thought.

I've always suspected that the stories about an al Qaida effort to disrupt the American election were, in a word, bogus. I even suspect that much of the heavily publicized efforts to put beefed up security and police patrols around polling stations has at least in part a political motive.

Now, you'll remember from the 9/11 commission hearings earlier this year that the National Security Advisor is, or should be, the quarterback when the country faces a heightened or imminent threat of terrorist attack. She's the one who pulls together all the various threat reports and makes sure all legs and arms of the national security apparatus are working in unison.

If this whole 'al Qaida disrupting the democratic process' is on the level then we're entering the red zone right about now. We're ten days out from the election.

So why is the National Security Advisor, Condi Rice, out hitting the campaign trail?

Think about that for a second. Is there any possible good answer? Either all the effort to hype an election day al Qaida threat is just another effort to use the White House's control over the intelligence community as a campaign asset or Rice is shirking her duties at a moment of acute national peril.

Some member of the travelling press should ask her which it is.

I want to show you a campaign ad that is about to go into heavy rotation in swing states around the country. It's called 'He Just Doesn't Get It'. I would appreciate it a great deal if you could take just a few moments to watch it and let me know what you think.

It's a rough, jarring ad. But that's <$NoAd$>appropriate because it portrays a rough reality.

The ad is built on a stark contrast. In late March, at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, President Bush did a pre-scripted comedy routine about looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

It had pictures of him looking under the furniture in the Oval Office, poking around the grounds, and so forth, with him saying over and over, 'Those WMDs have got to be around here somewhere', or something to that effect. He chuckled as did the assembled DC bigwigs of press and politics.

(Here's David Corn discussing this rancid spectacle at the time.)

About a month later, Brooke Campbell's brother, Sgt. Ryan Campbell was killed in Baghdad during the on-going search for weapons of mass destruction.

The ad starts with the president's yuck-yuck routine and finishes with Campbell talking about her brother. It's captures a lot. And I think it could be very effective.

Click here to watch it.

Let me know what you think.

The Alan Keyes - Barack Obama debate is on CSpan2 right now as of about 8:47 PM on the East Coast. How can you miss that?

As recently as January of this year, says Sen. Carl Levin, Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith misled Congress about the US intelligence community's assessement of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida. Levin has now issued a report on Feith and will ask the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to take "appropriate action" against him.

You think Kerry's a heretic? How 'bout George W.? NewDonkey has the story.

(ed. note: Ed, can I just refer to you by name now rather than 'NewDonkey'?)

Did they get this right?

A local paper in Michigan, The Herald-Palladium, reports that yesterday in a speech at Lake Michigan College, former CIA Director George Tenet said that the war in Iraq was "wrong."

Hello, hello, Kerry campaign ...

AP: "The Index of Leading Economic Indicators, a widely watched barometer of future economic activity, edged lower in September for the fourth month in a row, indicating a slowing in economic growth, a private research group reported Thursday ... Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein called the September decline a 'clear signal that the economy is losing momentum heading into 2005.'