All Talk Marge

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All Talk Marge

Like David, I’m still not clear that we have a satisfying explanation of just why the last week on Capitol Hill happened. For the moment I’m just glad it happened. Ukraine will now get a major infusion of military aid which should at least stabilize the Ukrainian war effort. But even if we don’t really know why Mike Johnson did what he did, there are some other takeaways worth noting.


That’s A Wrap

That’s A Wrap

Opening statements are complete in the Trump trial, and our Josh Kovensky has done a tremendous job covering it in real time.

If you’re going to use your lunch break to catch up on what you missed, start here.


A Few More Notes on Israel and Iran

Let me return to add a few more thoughts on what happened between Israel and Iran. Iran launched a massive fusillade of drones and missiles, but virtually none of them got through. A few days later Israel retaliated with a much smaller volley, which was apparently just a handful of drones that were launched from aircraft just outside of Iranian airspace. They were targeted at Isfahan, which is where Iran’s nuclear facilities are located, but were aimed apparently at a drone factory there. Iran not only hasn’t responded but has mostly pretended that it didn’t even happen, at least for domestic audiences. So Israel responded but at least for now they seem to have been able to do so and have the Iranians call things even.

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Is A Republic Possible?

I hope you get a chance to read Josh Kovensky’s trial report from yesterday. He gets at a really good point which is that Trump’s attack on the very concept of the jury system is of a piece with the central conceit of Trumpism — that civic space, the idea that work on behalf of the republic which is not strictly a partisan exercise, is an impossibility. That is narrowly advantageous for Trump since he’s on trial and wants to discredit the process that could put him behind bars. But it’s not a momentary opportunism. It’s a premise, an attack on small-r republican government, which is at the center of his movement.


Is It the Simplest Explanation?

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I’ve been having an ongoing exchange with a TPM Reader and friend about the simple question: Why is Mike Johnson doing this? Like YOLO Johnson, sure. But why? He’s been kind of dragging along for six months and yeah, it’s kind of embarrassing, but it’s always been embarrassing. Why the “Let’s Be Legends” vibe now?

My friend asked if I thought it might be some sudden shift in the intelligence about the situation in Ukraine. Maybe, I said. But that didn’t seem right to me. Far more likely it was that the parliamentary dynamics simply hit a breaking point, perhaps spurred on by the sudden pressure to move Israel aid. If you’ve got one foot on the dock and another on the ship and the ship starts to pull off you have to make a choice. Stay or go. Equivocate and you fall in the water.

But this article from Politico suggests that new intelligence actually did play a key role.


Israeli Retaliation Underway

12:57 a.m.: It’s hard to know the precise significance of Israel’s retaliatory strike or how Iran might respond. So far Iran seems to be downplaying the attack internally, basically saying it was no big deal and showing video of Isfahan as if nothing was going on. And the attack does seem to have been fairly limited. But what jumps out is that the Israeli drones or at least most of them were able to hit deep within Iran without much problem. I assume that was the message of the strike: that Israel can strike deep within Iran basically at will, unlike Iran’s experience having virtually every one of its missiles and drones shot down. The Israeli target was a drone facility Isfahan. But that’s also where Iran’s nuclear facilities are, which were not targeted. As best I can tell, that’s the message: our missiles and drones get through.

10:55 p.m.: Unclear what’s happening yet. But there is clearly a major Israeli retaliation underway over the skies in Iran. Flights are being diverted. Airspace closed. Here’s the list I’m watching on Twitter if you’re still on Twitter. CNN says the attack is on non-nuclear targets. Presumably they are getting that directly from the Israelis or what the Israelis told the Americans. Apparently the Israelis gave the U.S. a significant heads up that this was coming.


Listen To This: Trump V. Manhattan

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! This week, Kate and Josh discuss the beginning of the New York hush money trial, arguments at the Supreme Court that could affect a different Trump trial and Mike Johnson’s newest woes.

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


House Installs New Speaker: YOLO Johnson

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House Installs New Speaker: YOLO Johnson

I don’t pretend to even understand the moving parts of how this is supposed to work. But almost out of the blue Speaker Mike Johnson has decided to go all-in on an aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. As this started to come into view over the last two or three days, I’ve had a number of TPM Readers write in to say, why is this happening? What’s the catch? Or, why is he walking the plank like this? What is he sacrificing his Speakership for? And I don’t have a really good answer.


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read today’s live blog



Ep. 320: Trump v. Manhattan

Kate and Josh discuss the beginning of the New York hush money trial, arguments at the Supreme Court that could affect a different Trump trial and Mike Johnson’s newest woes.


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