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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I've been saying for months that the language of 'conflicts of interest' for President Trump is entirely inadequate and frankly silly. The concept of a conflict of interest is one that speaks to a situation in which an overlap or conflict between an individual's personal and professional or public interests makes it impossible for that individual to act in an ethical manner or to appear to be doing so. It has no meaning when the actor - in this case, the President - is openly using his office for personal profit. In other words, it has no meaning when the President refuses to recognize any difference between his public responsibilities and his personal and familial business interests, the state and himself. He recognizes no conflict. Indeed, there isn't one. President Trump is openly using his office to become the billionaire he always wanted to be. And now his Press Secretary has said as much.

Just a few moments ago, Sean Spicer said that Nordstrom's decision to drop Trump's daughter's eponymous clothing line constitutes a political attack on the President and he is within his rights to retaliate.

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I don't know the particulars of the new Intel plant in Arizona that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich just announced with President Trump from the Oval Office. But I have followed the DC tech advocacy conversation for many years. And Intel does roughly 75% of its manufacturing in the United States and this has always been, not surprisingly, a key part of its corporate advocacy and marketing in the US. It thus seems highly likely that if Intel saw demand for more product it would choose to manufacture them in the United States.

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This afternoon, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told CNN's Jake Tapper that President Trump's false statements are less important than the "many things he says that are true." But this prompted an immediate debate within TPM. Was Conway saying that the true things Trump says are simply much more important than the false things? Or was she saying that the overall ratio was good? Like net more true statements than false statements or something like a batting average? Here's Conway. What do you think?

After a tumultuous and chaotic two weeks of the Trump presidency, we are now seeing a new raft of counter-intuitive articles ranging from 'Does Trump Even Want to Succeed as President?' to 'How Trump Has Everyone Just Where He Wants Them and Is Kicking Ass.' We should all bear in mind that while generally unpopular, Trump has extremely high levels of approval among Republican voters and continues to maintain near lockstep allegiance from congressional Republicans. But on Trump, in trying to figure out what and how he's doing, we should keep it simple. Because at this point we know Trump quite well.

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There are an endless series of divisions in American society which observers have identified as the key to understanding the rise of Trump. White v Black and Hispanic, college educated v non-college educated. Each of these divisions describe the current political polarization. But of course they all overlap. The one that seems most pertinent and illustrative to me for the moment is the division between major cities v small towns and rural areas. And we can see it playing out in contradictory and volatile ways as corporate America (especially consumer facing corporations) tries to find its footing in the Trump Era.

This isn't the first time we've seen this division. Indeed, it's been the growing division in American politics for years. On the Democrats' side this is often referred to as the 'coalition of the ascendent'. That means not necessarily people who are doing well but those who are doing well under the changing world of the early 21st century and those who expect to be doing better in the future. This is how you get what in many ways seems like an ungainly coalition which includes affluent usually urban professionals along with the young and historically marginalized minority populations.

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Buried down in the AP story is the rather startling news that National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and his aides have been asking the national security agencies for ideas for how to improve relations with Russia and for evidence of "Polish incursions in Belarus."

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At 10:05 PM Eastern this evening, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer emailed out the following statement in response to tonight's court order.

At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate. The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people.

As the law states, "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

At 10:16 PM, he issued an "Updated Statement" which removed the word "outrageous" from the first sentence.

I'm excited to announce a new program here at TPM, one I've been working on for the last couple months. It's called the Future Is Now program and it will allow us to share our journalism with a new generation of readers and turbocharge our independent journalism in the newly dawning era in which it will be more important and needed than ever.

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