Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Could this get a lot bigger?

In Tuesday's paper, The Washigton Post reports that the Pentagon has ordered "a halt in new work for MZM Inc. ... under a contract that has brought the company $163 million in revenue during the past 2 1/2 years."

The article goes on to note Pentagon claims that the halt is unrelated to emerging evidence of the firm's serial flimflammery. But a defense procurement expert quoted by the Post seemed unconvinced.

A very unpopular president.

New CNN/USAToday poll has disapproval at 53%, approval at 45%.

According to CNN, President Bush's worst numbers came on the issue of Social Security. He clocked in at 31% approval and 64% disapproval.

(I'd actually be curious to hear from pollsters out there what the lowest ratings for a president has ever been on any significant issue. I mean, how much lower than thirty percent does it go? With the possible exception of Nixon at the very end of Watergate, how often has a president been under, say, 25% on any issue of significance?)

With numbers like that, is there really any reason imaginable why any Democrat should feel even the slightest need to move even an inch toward accomodation with President Bush's agenda of phasing out Social Security? How unpopular would a president need to be before his unpopularity made it safe to follow the dictates of your own principles?

Want a really good example of why progressive politics in this country is so pitiful and anemic?

Here's a post I just did on it over at TPMCafe.

Check it out.

Great moments in improbable causation!

Sen. Santorum says priestly pedophilia is rooted in culture of academic liberalism ...

It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning "private" moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.

I think this piece from 2002 made <$NoAd$> the rounds back a couple years ago. But I picked it up from these folks this morning.

One party state watch: Congressional Republicans warn Major League Baseball against allowing George Soros to take an ownership stake in the Washington Nationals.

Roll Call reports that the following from Government Reform Chair Tom Davis (R-VA): "I think Major League Baseball understands the stakes. I don't think they want to get involved in a political fight ... I don't think it's the Nats that get hurt. I think it's Major League Baseball that gets hurt. They enjoy all sorts of exemptions" from anti-trust laws.

Do these jokers need to be reminded of the constitution's prohibition of bills of attainder.

Wait, I don't get it. The Denver Three really get a write-up in The New York Times?

As we told you back on Friday, a group of anti-Social Security twenty-somethings who call themselves 'Fix Our Future' got together today on Capitol Hill for a rally-cum-ceremony to proclaim their support for abolishing <$NoAd$>Social Security.

Calling the event the 'Storm for Reform', these fresh-faced Storm Troopers converged on Taft Memorial Park with mobile paper-shredders in tow to shred their own Social Security statements for all the world to see.

Who could ever think these gonzos could want to do the program harm when they get together to shred their Social Security statements?

Anyway, the event announcement said that "Social Security Reform supporters will gather from all across the country in one afternoon on Capitol Hill to show their support for Social Security Reform and Personal Retirement Accounts - the issue taking our generation by storm!" And with that introduction, I'd expected at least some floodlights and choreographed marching. But apparently it was a bit more subdued.

In any case, through the magic of Internet communications, we were able to have a special TPM correspondent on hand to record the event. And in addition to the photo you see there to the right, there's also a special photo album here for your viewing pleasure.

Coming later, direct from Capitol Hill, a report from the scene of today's rally of privatization Storm Troopers symbolically shredding the country's safety net. With pictures!

Ye olde Gift Rules of the House of Representatives.

Including golden oldies like House Rule 26: "[T]he restrictions of the gift rule do not apply to "[a]nything for which the [official] pays the market value" (clause 5(a)(3)(A) of House Rule 26). Accordingly, there can be an improper gift to a Member, officer or employee where, for example, he or she is sold property at less than market value, or receives more than market value in selling property."

This really does make for gruesomely fun reading. College Republicans meet in their national convention. All stand firm on the war, but few seem interested in fighting it. Many believe they can accomplish more fighting politically to support the war on the home front.

Vivian Lee says "Frankly, I want to be a politician. I'd like to survive to see that." Put her in the category of people who are ineligible for service because they want to survive into adulthood.

Chris Cusmano, a 21-year old from Rocky Point, NY says that "If there was a need presented, I would go." But he hasn't considered volunteering. Maybe someone should send him the clips about how the Army hasn't been able to meet its recruiting targets in months.

25-year old Matthew Vail, wtih Students for Bush, says "I'm in college right now, but who knows? The bug may get after college."

The fighting and dying for your country bug.

(Late Update: Note this is from last year's convention. I didn't realize that when I first read the piece. So at least the recruiting issue doesn't apply with the same force.)