Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

As we noted earlier, Argentine President Macri says he didn't speak to Trump about the building permits for his new office tower in Buenos Aires. But now we learn from this new report from The Guardian that he did talk to Ivanka during the call. But he didn't talk with Ivanka about the development project either. “He spoke with Ivanka only briefly to say hello because he met her when she
was just a kid,” Macri's spokesman told The Guardian. “They did not speak about it. The president doesn’t speak about city building permits.”

In an interview with Japan's Asahi Shimbun, Macri addressed it himself: "In the call, I also talked with his daughter. I have known her since her infant days."

Here's a deep dive on the background of Trump's Buenos Aires development. And here's more on the two families' history going back four decades.

As we noted earlier, there are likely half a dozen different stories out now showing the various ways that President-Elect Trump is combining the public's business and his own private business ventures. As I noted a few days ago on Twitter, we're about to learn with a little more context what the phrase "conflict of interest" actually means.

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Don't miss this story. The Koch Brothers political network had a lot more to do with securing Donald Trump's election than most people realize. And they're now directing pretty much the entire policy agenda of the new administration.

A short while ago we flagged that one of Argentina's top journalists reported that Donald Trump asked Argentine President Macri to help work out some permitting issues holding up a building Trump is trying to build in Buenos Aires. This came during Macri's call to Trump congratulating him on his election as President of the United States. Now President Macri is denying that they discussed the problems with Trump's building project.

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Over the weekend, the white supremacists (the self-labeled 'alt-right') who run the 'National Policy Institute' met in Washington to celebrate Trump's victory and stake their claim to a role in Washington and the new government. Steve Bannon, the incoming White House counselor said earlier that he had made Breitbart "the platform for the alt-right." He owns these folks. After a prettied up day when most journalists were there, leader Richard Spencer gave an explicitly Nazi speech. Here are some pictures from inside the event - after the jump.

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Hillary Clinton's national popular vote lead now stands at 1.677 million votes or a 1.3 percentage point margin.

Let's review the stories of the last two days. Trump's DC hotel is soliciting foreign diplomatic delegations to switch their business to the incoming President's new hotel. On Tuesday Trump took a break from transition work to meet with his Indian business partners about expanding the Trump Organization's business in India now that he's president. Trump included his adult children in the meeting - the ones who will run his 'blind trust'. The news didn't reach the American press until it was reporting in an Indian paper. Now we learn that Trump's Philippines business partner Jose E. B. Antonio has been named the Philippines new trade envoy to the United States.

If you know this site you know that social insurance is a big thing for me. Our public debate is so stunted on this front that you may not even know what I'm talking about. You may know them as 'entitlements', a term which is technically accurate but is usually used by those wanting to prune government spending. In any case, I'm talking particularly about Social Security and Medicare. I've been writing a lot about the latter in recent days for a very specific reason: Medicare is a hugely important and hugely successful social insurance program for tens of millions of Americans and Republicans aim to repeal it in about six to eight months using a mix of bamboozlement, word play and lies. When I say tens of millions I am speaking of current beneficiaries. But assuming the program is not abolished the overwhelming majority of us will be beneficiaries in the future. Less appreciated is the way Medicare protects money that goes to buying homes and raising children from being spent on the health care of indigent, bankrupted parents. These intergenerstional benefits are under-appreciated but profound. If Medicare is abolished in 2017 it will be a calamity.

But the politics of Medicare are also highly relevant to this political moment.

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We are going to learn so many things in the next four years, or however long the Trump presidency lasts. The question is how painful the education will be. One thing we are now in the process of learning, at a new level, is the 18th century nature of the American presidency.

It is not unique but it is a profound outlier in modern democratic states.

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