Josh Marshall

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Josh Marshall is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TPM.

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 11: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives for the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Guess What? Rubio’s Fake Story Continues to Collapse Prime Badge

No doubt it will come as a great surprise to you. But Marco Rubio’s story of a Rubio canvasser (who turned out to be a notorious white supremacist) who was viciously beaten over his political beliefs continues to fall apart. Cell phone videos of the incident have now emerged (seemingly from the assailants’ defense attorneys) which undermine the political attack storyline and actually show one of the assailants (just before the attack) telling Christopher Monzon to go about his business and keep canvassing.

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Big Things in 2023

Dark times call for great journalism. That’s why we’ve decided to beef up and expand our original reporting team going into 2023. Building on the great work of our rising star reporters Josh Kovensky and Kate Riga we’ve just added Hunter Walker and Emine Yücel to our team. This comes on top of the recent hire of Kaila Philo who joined us in August.

We believe in a battalion approach to journalism. See where the important, kinetic stories are and run toward them. Our goal is to break a lot of stories in 2023, make a lot of light and heat around our work. In the tradition of our organization we will also be the narrators of the key stories, not only publishing new facts and revelations but helping you piece together the whole story as it is emerging and evolving through the whole political news ecosystem.

Thanks to our subscribers and our TPM Journalism Fund contributors for making this possible. There’s a lot to do going into next year. So keep your eyes open for more.

Debt Ceiling Shenanigans Prime Badge

One question that comes up a lot when we talk about the debt ceiling is whether there might be some extraordinary executive branch action to get around the problem. These range from outlandish theories about minting trillion dollar platinum coins to much more reasonable things like simply declaring that under the 14th amendment the whole debt ceiling law is unconstitutional. On the merits, I think this latter argument is valid, indeed almost unquestionably valid. But I think this is largely besides the point. The point of the “full faith and credit” is that United States debt obligations are beyond any question. That is why the US is able to borrow money freely and at very low rates of interest. Indeed, the whole global monetary system is significantly underpinned by that commitment.

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There’s Going to Be A Global Financial Crisis in 2023 Prime Badge

In several recent posts I’ve told you that most of the near-term (pre-2024) dangers of a GOP House majority are manageable. I don’t mean “no big deal.” It’s disaster after disaster. But I mean manageable in the sense of things the country can get through. With one exception: a debt-limit hostage-taking stand-off in 2023 in which House Republicans force the first U.S. debt default in U.S. history. Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s election it will be within Democrats’ power to prevent this crisis in advance by settling the debt limit issue during the lame duck session of Congress. Whatever the political complexities, it is straightforward as a technical matter. Pass a bill in the House raising the debt limit high enough to take the issue off the table for years to come. Then take one of the remaining “reconciliation vehicles” on the Senate side and pass the law with 50 votes. Done and done.

But here’s the thing. We had a great TPM virtual event last night with two of the most knowledgable people about the U.S. senate, Adam Jentleson and Steve Clemons. Both agreed that there’s virtually no chance Democrats are going to do this.

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The Day After Prime Badge

I heard from a reader last night who thanked us for the latest episode of the podcast because of how it focused on possible scenarios after a GOP win on Tuesday. Then I heard from TPM Reader FT who essentially said, Okay, there’s all the polls and the election in Israel. And basically it looks like the right is winning and will win everywhere. What then? What comes next?

I’ve always been unashamedly into polls. As longtimers know, we ran PollTracker for years and only really stopped it because the other aggregators had such a total focus on polls that we simply couldn’t keep up with the state of the art when it was only a side assignment. People who read TPM are political people. And we’re interested. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But I take FT’s point.

I have been giving this quite a lot of thought and there aren’t easy answers. There aren’t a lot of pleasant answers. Let me kick off the conversation with a bit of big picture and then some specific points about how I see the next couple years.

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Election Countdown #3 Prime Badge

Until today, there was a dearth of quality polling over the last 10 days on the congressional generic ballot as well as in key Senate races. That changed today. Multiple, high quality polls confirm a significant shift in the national race in favor of Republicans. Sometimes there is systematic polling error across multiple pollsters. Indeed, it’s happened a couple times in recent years, albeit in the opposite direction. But if these polls are broadly accurate they tell a clear story.

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DeSantis’s Florida Pitstop Prime Badge

One of the many questions arising out of Ron DeSantis’s migrant airways stunt two months ago was how his administration justified flying migrants out of Texas when the law explicitly mandated that funds could only be used to fly migrants out of Florida. Newly released documents answer the question.

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The Israeli Electoral College Prime Badge

As I noted earlier, Benjamin Netanyahu is headed back to being Prime Minister. There’s still some question about how many seats he’ll have. But he’ll be PM either way. Title notwithstanding, Israel does not have an electoral college. But I use that headline because this article in the Haaretz notes something with a comparable effect. The pro- and anti-Netanyahu camps both got roughly the same number of votes, both just over 49%. But Netanyahu’s bloc will likely get as many as 65 out of 120 seats — a comfortable majority by recent standards.

So how did this happen?

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Blue Flu Prime Badge

I’ve never thought of myself as a down the line supporter of criminal justice reform. But many reformers (and others, including myself) have claimed that police departments have backed off enforcement in response to criticism of police or policy changes as a kind of silent strike or work stoppage. And new data from San Francisco adds real weight to these claims. As study conducted by economists from New York University’s Public Safety Lab in partnership with The San Francisco Chronicle found that after reform DA Chesa Boudin was recalled and replaced by mayoral appointee Brooke Jenkins, traffic stops rose by 30% and “public order” stops rose by 20%. The shift was more or less immediate.

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Election Countdown #2

We’ve been noting that recent polling has been dominated by partisan GOP polls, both statewide polls and the national congressional generic poll. However, CNN has just released a new poll which also shows a strong shift in the Republican direction. It shows a four point Republican advantage on the generic ballot (GOP 51%- Dem 47%) versus a a three point advantage for Democrats one month ago (Dem 50% – GOP 47%). A new NPR/Marist poll, also released today, shows almost the identical result and a comparable shift from just a month ago — from D+3 to R+3 from early October to early November. Until this morning we really didn’t have premium polls confirming this shift. Now we do. Those are relatively small numerical differences but they translate into big numbers in control at least of the House.

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