Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I do this all the time. I want to buy this, sign up for that, subscribe to the other. But my success rate is maybe 20%. I have a long backlog of these things. It’s the human version of entropy or a high frictional coefficient or something like that. In any case, point being, I’m the same way. I get it. This weekend I talked to a bunch of TPM fans and a number told me they were planning to subscribe to TPM Prime but hadn’t found the time yet. I get it. But if you’re planning on doing it, take a moment right now. Like actually, literally stop right now. This will only work if you do that. Right now. Take out your wallet. Grab your credit card and click this link. There’s no time like the present. Really. You’ll help us make progress toward our sign up goal. It will take a couple minutes and you’ll be happy you did.

Remember President Trump’s big, triumphant arms deal in Saudi Arabia? It turns out it didn’t really happen. It was Trump’s own fake news, a feat of supply chain vertical integration and more importantly for the MAGA agenda repatriating jobs from Russia. In all seriousness, at the end of the day it didn’t happen. There are no contracts or sales. At all.

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Since President Trump was inaugurated in January we’ve heard an on-going discussion about how to interpret and understand Trump in the context of other authoritarian leaders around the world and from the past. That is an important conversation because that is, in most respects, the proper context in which to understand Trump.

But there’s another prism which has become increasingly clear over the last four months – that is the model of monarchy and the incapacitated king. I noted recently that the U.S. president is, largely by design, in key respects something like an elected monarch, albeit one bounded by two theoretically co-equal branches of government. The President isn’t president because he enjoys the support of his party or congressional majorities. He is president because being president means that he has a panoply of rights, prerogatives and powers as a person.

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Thanks to everyone who’s signed up so far in our annual membership drive. I hugely appreciate it. Today is totally the day to sign up if you haven’t already. Also, a few people have asked about whether they can buy gift subscriptions for friends or loved ones. You read our minds! You absolutely can. Click right here to buy a gift subscription and here to sign up yourself.

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I was away for a long weekend at a college reunion. I wasn’t totally offline. I actually poked around the web here and there. But I wasn’t monitoring the news, responding to it, in the way I normally. I was, I confess, surprised at how rapidly things were able to degenerate in just three days. The terror attack in London is not Donald Trump’s fault of course. But his response to it is hard to fathom even for him.

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Sometimes the importance, import and context of a story is only revealed by subsequent events. The Michael Cohen ‘peace plan’ story from early February is one of those cases. As Allegra Kirkland explains here, back in early February, Cohen and mafia-linked Trump Organization associate Felix Sater met at the Loews Regency hotel in Manhattan with Andrii Artemenko, a Trumpish, pro-Russian Ukrainian parliamentarian to discuss a ‘peace plan’ for Ukraine. The story emerged in mid February and received a decent amount of attention. But key facts look quite different after what we learned during the consequential month of May.

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In this new piece, Allegra Kirkland gives us an overview and some choice details of the wild world of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s ‘personal lawyer’ and longtime Trump Organization operative – the side business with Ukrainian emigre taxi barons, the casino boats, the ethanol business in Ukraine. Cohen turns out to be a major player in the New York City taxi business. One of his erstwhile business partners is Simon Garber, a Ukrainian emigre with a long record of run-ins with the law and dominant figure in the NYC taxi world, as well as Chicago and New Orleans, and (formerly) Moscow. Here’s the time Cohen, allegedly waited until Garber was away on a business trip to ride out to Garber’s New Jersey country horse farm estate and “manipulate” Garber’s wife into signing a new contract in Cohen’s taxi contract dispute with Garber.