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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Back during the height of the siege of Kobane there was a lot of coverage of the residents' valiant defense of the town against what then seemed like an unstoppable ISIS tide. There were also a thousand web slide shows of the female militia members with AK-47s defending the town. But there's a whole other part of the story you likely have not heard of: in this Kurdish enclave within Syria, a radical egalitarian political experiment in a region many of us associate with sectarianism, authoritarianism and repression. It may have meant the difference between victory and defeat in Kobane's now apparently successful defense against ISIS. A fascinating story from The Slice.

It is a confirmed and ineradicable part of Internet culture that everyone thinks every site redesign sucks on day one. People are used to what they're used to and don't like change. So I am pleasantly surprised at how many positive responses we've gotten this morning (not a single negative one yet; late update, okay, one negative one).

But let me take a moment to explain what we were trying to accomplish with these changes. Because unlike most redesigns our aim was not primarily aesthetic - the aesthetic quality, which I'm extremely happy with, was a byproduct of the process which was primarily aimed at better organizing the site and allowing all the different material we publish its own ability to get itself seen and heard.

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We now have Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney (in many ways fairly similar candidates) saying they're all but certain to run for President. There's a particular oddness with each guy's decision to run. But there's another part of the equation garnering much less attention: both decisions must be hugely driven by the perception (both of the candidates) and members of the Republican establishment that the existing 2016 GOP field is very, very weak. The lack of viable existing candidates is creating a negative pressure sucking folks like Romney and Bush back into the mix. It's a great sucking sound in more ways than one.

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Yesterday I said that I'd heard an unexpectedly large number of people saying that 2014 was a big downer of a year that they were glad to leave behind. So I asked readers if they'd heard the same, if they agreed and if they did, why. I got a lot of answers. And they were fascinating. Many people had experiences - good or bad - that were immediately personal and thus not part of any broader national experience. But there were quite a lot of people who did have a decidedly negative experience of 2014 and when they answered why there were two very consistent themes.

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