EDITORS' BLOG
Watch The New Episode Of The Josh Marshall Podcast: Grading Garland’s DOJ

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is now live! This week, Josh and Kate analyze the Department of Justice under Attorney General Merrick Garland and its pursuit of accountability (or lack thereof) for the Trump era.

Watch below and email us your theme song submissions and questions for next week’s episode.

You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

Where Things Stand: House Probe Of Trump DOJ’s Eyebrow-Raising Data Seizures Begins
Prime Membership Required

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) just officially requested documents from Attorney General Merrick Garland on the previous administration’s DOJ and its seizure of records of members of Congress and journalists.

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Thanks from Two TPM Readers

I hesitated a bit about publishing this note from TPM Readers MW and CW since it’s a bit rosy-eyed about TPM and me. I can assure you that it is unsolicited. And I share it because it captures why we have community-supported memberships and part of what your contributions to The TPM Journalism Fund accomplishes. As I’ve been mentioning, our drive continues. If today is the day you want to contribute just click here.

With Josh discussing the TPM Journalism Fund lately we would like to present a note of thanks to the TPM community. If it meets with your approval then please pass this on to your subscribers. Thank you!

My wife and I wanted to express our thanks to TPM and the community for reasons I will mention below. I promise I will try to keep it short.

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Manchin’s Voting Compromise

Joe Manchin has put out his own version of a voting right/democracy protection bill. Tierney Sneed has the details here. Broadly speaking it seems like a watered down version of a Voting Rights Act upgrade and a stripped down version of H.1/S.1, the For the People Act. Like everything else with Manchin, it’s hard to know whether it means anything anyway since his baseline is needing 10 Republicans in support and there’s virtually no chance that happens.

But there is one detail which immediately caught my eye.

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Crunch Time on Infrastructure

I wanted to update you on what seems to be the state of play on negotiations for an infrastructure bill.

There appears to be some momentum for a purported deal created by the latest bipartisan “gang”, either called the G20 or the ‘problem solvers caucus’. (The first step of bipartisaning is to come up with a cheesy or cloying name.) This is the deal which is rather incongruously labeled as a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal with $579 of “new spending.” That sounds like a $579 infrastructure deal to me. But let’s set that aside for the moment.

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Maintaining Access in the Brave New Subscription/Paywall World

Thank you for getting us off to a solid start in our second annual drive for The TPM Journalism Fund. As I explained yesterday, contributions to the Fund provide a relatively small (on a budget percentage basis) but critical part of the budget that allows TPM to remain vital and focused on original reporting about the most important stuff. It’s really important for our future. I explain more about it here and you can click here to contribute.

This afternoon I wanted to tell you about an entirely different thing the Fund accomplishes, how it protects access for all TPM Readers even if they don’t have the financial wherewithal to subscribe.

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This is Who Tom Cotton Is

Here’s a must read story from Josh Kovensky about how Tom Cotton is insisting that China be denied the 2022 Winter Olympics because he says the PRC will use the Olympics to harvest the DNA of the world’s greatest athletes and then use this genetic treasure trove to create a genetically modified race of Chinese super soldiers to dominate the world. I’m not exaggerating or kidding. That’s what he’s saying. Read it here.

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On Those Helsinki Translator Notes

This morning ABC News reported that Democrats are no longer seeking translator notes for President Trump’s notorious meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland in 2018. “The Biden administration is looking forward, not back,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), a phrase which is likely more grating to Democrats than any save “bipartisan compromise”. I will say that I am at best ‘meh’ on the Biden administration’s management of the Trump accountability issue. Not surprisingly, this report is being greeted with pretty intense consternation. But there’s a part of this I don’t think people are figuring on.

Put simply, Biden doesn’t need to seek the transcripts or try to talk to the translator. He already has the transcripts. The moment President Biden took the oath of office he, as President, took possession of all the records of the United States government. That definitely includes the notes of that meeting.

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Where Things Stand: Abbott Is Latest GOPer To Boost Critical Race Theory Hysteria
Prime Membership Required

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an anti-critical race theory bill into law on Tuesday, and Texas become the latest red state to adopt legislation that bans certain topics on race and racism from being discussed in the classroom.

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Getting 50 votes in favor of S.1 will not get Democrats any closer than they were in January to a filibuster-proof plan that would get S.1 out of the Senate and onto President Biden’s desk. But on Thursday, Democrats were just happy about the prospect that the bill might not be officially dead due to lack of support in their own party.

| News

In the minds of the right, the international communist threat is back. And this time, it’s not just personal — it’s genetic.

At least, that’s according to a letter that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) sent to President Biden this week.

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| News

Nearly three months after the head of Michigan’s Republican Party unveiled an audacious plan that would allow GOP legislators to circumvent the state’s Democratic governor’s veto to pass restrictive voting laws, the contours of the scheme remain murky. 

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| Muckraker

Over the past two months of infrastructure talks, there’s been a constant refrain from Republican negotiators: why not just use all the unspent COVID aid money to pay for the bill?

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| Muckraker

A 22-year old Pennsylvania man raked in thousands of dollars by impersonating various members of the Trump family, Manhattan federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

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| News

In March last year, the anti-Semitic broadcaster Rick Wiles said the spread of COVID-19 in Israel’s synagogues was a sign from on-high.

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| Cafe

As a lifelong novel consumer who enjoys throwing myself into other worlds for hours on end, it probably won’t come as a surprise that I don’t read too many short stories.

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| News

Months before Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance announced that he would not seek reelection for a role in which he oversees a criminal investigation into Trump and his company, a public defender and former reality TV star who had already been angling to replace him was tweeting about the DA office’s investigation into Trump.

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| News

“First of All, James Ball III, you are full of poop,” wrote one Republican Party functionary to another in a bitter, paramilitary-tinged rift over the future of the GOP in Multnomah County, Oregon.

“That is a legal term used by bible believing Christians,” the email continued, “who want to say something much much stronger but err on the side of caution.”

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