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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

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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Republican Senator Jim Risch of Idaho has been receiving so many anti-Trump visitors at his Boise office (as well as calls) that he's closed the office to visitors and asked anyone who would like to visit the office to make an appointment in advance.

There seems to be a similar situation in Coeur d-Alene.

This statement, which was released by Press Secretary Sean Spicer just before 6:30 this evening, is a masterful evocation of a first glancing blow with reality (emphasis for purposes of humor) ...

“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”

It's a lesson even bad people need to learn. Never trust Donald Trump.

President Trump met briefly today with King Abdullah of Jordan.

In all of Trump's bullying of US corporations, threats of erecting 35% tariffs on goods either from various countries or on specific US corporations, one thing that strikes me is this: In many ways, this is just industrial policy, only done in the stupidest possible way. And yet, the concept of industrial policy has basically been verboten in US political discourse for 25 years. It was briefly a big thing at the beginning of the Clinton administration. But it didn't survive first contact with Washington, DC. And it was written off entirely after Republicans took over Congress in 1995.

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