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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Read this piece. President Trump just stunned and angered Republicans by agreeing to Schumer and Pelosi’s proposal to tie a temporary debt ceiling increase to disaster relief in Texas and Louisiana.

In the rush to remove statues, rename facilities and generally close the era of memorialization of Confederate leaders and military figures, I’m surprised there’s been so little mention of US military bases. To be clear, it’s certainly not like I’m the first to ever raise the issue. It’s been discussed quite a lot over the years and especially in recent years. But I’ve seen relatively little mention of it in the post-Charlottesville period.

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I want to add a few thoughts about what’s unfolding with DACA. But before I do I want to be clear that it is largely or at least for now seemingly disconnected from the fate of the hundreds of thousands of young people President Trump has put on the chopping block. But that could change.

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Let me share a few thoughts about President Trump’s decision to end DACA. If reports are to be believed – and I suspect they generally are – the President was conflicted on this decision. He wanted to satisfy his promise to his core voters but he also did not want to get the blame for the impact of the decision. This is an important distinction between not wanting to inflict human suffering and not wanting to get blamed for it. In any case, as he put it in his tweet this morning, he’s leaving it up to Congress to prevent the carnage. 

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Over the time I’ve been telling you about the different aspects of our Prime membership program, many of you have written in to ask if you can contribute more to our efforts in addition to subscribing to Prime. Yes, there is a way and we’ve set up a program to allow you to do just that. I actually first announced this program in February. But it’s taken us since then to get all the different parts of it in place to do it right and do it at scale. After the jump I’ll explain the whole thing. Even if you don’t want to contribute – which is fine and which you should feel no obligation to do – you may still be interested to read because as part of this program we will be giving free TPM Prime memberships to all currently enrolled students – high school, college, community college, graduate school. All enrolled students.

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People with certain autism spectrum disorders have difficulty reading social cues which most people understand intuitively. Therapists have developed techniques which can help them learn through training what comes effortlessly to others. I can’t help thinking of this when I see President Trump touring Texas with his litany of jarring, tone-deaf or just plain weird comments. But the deficit in this case isn’t social cue cognition. It’s empathy.

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With the news that Robert Mueller has a copy of the original letter on James Comey’s firing written by Trump aide Stephen Miller and Trump himself, we need to return to the great mystery of that lost hour on the tarmac on Air Force One.

What am I talking about? Well, with a touch of dramatic flair I’m talking about this odd and increasingly odd over time mystery about what was happening the night President Trump came back from his Bedminster villa after a weekend of stewing about James Comey and then fired Comey 36 hours later.

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An unintended effect of Google’s heavy-handed attempt to silence Barry Lynn and his Open Markets program at New America has been to shine a really bright light both on Google’s monopoly power and the unrestrained and unlovely ways it use it. Happily, Lynn’s group has landed on its feet, seemingly with plenty of new funding or maybe even more than it had. I got a press release from them this evening. This seems to be their new site. I’ve already seen other stories of Google bullying come out of the woodwork. Here’s one.

It’s great that all this stuff is coming out. But what is more interesting to me than the instances of bullying are the more workaday and seemingly benign mechanisms of Google’s power. If you have extreme power, when things get dicey, you will tend to abuse that power. That’s not surprising. It’s human nature. What’s interesting and important is the nature of the power itself and what undergirds it. Don’t get me wrong. The abuses are very important. But extreme concentrations of power will almost always be abused. The temptations are too great. But what is the nature of the power itself?

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Fascinating bit of news on the Manafort front from NBC News. Manafort’s notes from the infamous Don Jr./Trump Tower meeting with that Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer contain a reference to “donations” which are “near a reference to the Republican National Committee,” as the NBC report puts it. The report also says that the meaning of the notes is “cryptic.”

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One of the many oddities – perhaps fascinating side stories – to Trump is how the rise of his son-in-law Jared Kushner was almost designed in the lab for the most epic kinds of corruption. It has become a commonplace over the last year that Donald Trump’s second act as TV star and brand licensor since the early part of this century was heavily financed by Russian money. It’s a commonplace because it’s true. And in itself there’s nothing illegal about that or even wrong. But despite Trump’s need for foreign investment capital, because he had been and remains blackballed by all the big US banks, there’s never been any clear evidence that Trump was in acute and specific need for a big amount of capital around the time he ran for President.

That is not the case with his son-in-law. 

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