Josh Marshall

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

Reaching Out Prime Badge

For some time now a number of you have been asking if I can send my Editors’ Blog posts to members by email. So I’ve decided to give it a try. Each day I’ll pick what seems to me the most meaty and important post and that will go out to members by email. Never more than one a day and not every day. But that will be the general format. Along with that post, in a simple and unadorned format, I’ll include a few links to other posts and additional sources of information that are worth your time to check out. We don’t want to send you anything you don’t want to get. So, if it’s not for you, there’s a clear link at the bottom of each email that allows you to change your email preferences to not get any emails from the Editors’ Blog. Try not to do a general unsubscribe because, if you do, we can’t send you any updates about TPM events or important things going on at the site.

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Dispatch #2: Collision Prime Badge
The midterm supposedly showed that MAGA Trumpism was an electoral loser. But the new GOP House is prepping for MAGA on steroids.

Coming out of the 2022 midterms, conventional wisdom pointed to one lesson for the GOP: Voters didn’t like Big Lie MAGA Republicans. The Big Lie and MAGA have become all but indistinguishable. But to the extent they are distinguishable, if you came to the game on the back of a Trump endorsement, you probably didn’t fare well in 2022. The best example are all those Big Lie secretary of state candidates in swing states. Every last one of them lost. That and related defeats are what has given rivals in the GOP at least an opening to challenge Trump for leadership of the party. After years when he could make or break anyone in the GOP, in 2022 Trump looked like an electoral loser. Conventional wisdom is usually most noteworthy for what it misses. But the signal here was so strong as to be undeniable: Trump had a stranglehold on the GOP. But in a general election his embrace was toxic, except in solidly red states.

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Your Day in MAGA Domestic Terrorists Prime Badge

Today we have a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan against Neil Matthew Walter who the United States government charges with making threats against the lives of Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) and FBI Director Christopher Wray. On checking Walter’s Facebook page investigators found “numerous comments stating beliefs that half the Senators, the FBI, CIA, police, Tom Cruise, and Elon Musk are involved in a child slave rape ring, listing various locations where these rings are located, one of which identified the United States Capitol Building.”

In other words, yet another QAnon/MAGA domestic terrorist riled up by the endless parade of incitement usually centering on Democrats running pedophilia rings. Another player in the same bucket as the man who bashed in the head of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband days before the midterm election.

Walter’s interest in Cruise and Musk just adds a bit of variety to the mix.

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American Tableau Prime Badge
Two Americas and their tragic, bloody confrontation at a gay club in Colorado Springs

We build stories out of the messy, contradictory realities of our lives. Rich Fierro is the hero of the mass shooting at the Club Q, the gay club in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We need more heroes and fewer events that create them. Fierro is a retired Army major who appears to have had something approaching a flashback, a reflex response from the brutalizing violence he experienced in Iraq when Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire in the night club.

These are the indelible memories, psychic damage that haunt so many veterans. In interviews, Fierro has said they haunt him too and were one of the reasons he left the military. In this moment, though, they were lifesaving. Fierro rushed, tackled, disarmed and violently beat Aldrich, alongside another patron and a trans dancer in the club who helped subdue him. Numerous accounts include the evocative detail that the dancer helped subdue Aldrich by stomping him with her high heel.

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More Big Lie Terror Threats

Nice scoop here. Local reports, one of which I picked up last night, had it that the top official in Maricopa County, Arizona had had to go into hiding after the midterms because of threats tied to the midterms. That’s not the case, though he still has additional security provided by the Sheriff’s Dept. It turns out, as Kaila Philo reports, that this happened on election night, when Republican Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates had to be taken to an undisclosed location under armed guard because of Big Lie-themed threats.

Ironically, it is often Republican elected officials who are the top targets of MAGA-aligned terrorist groups and paramilitaries.

Dispatch #1: McCarthy’s Brittle Speakership Prime Badge

After retaining the Senate, Democrats’ biggest win in the midterm election was locking House Republicans into a slender and brittle majority. Though holding the House would have been a boon for Democrats, it also came with significant disadvantages. There’s a thermostatic dynamic in American politics. One party in power for too long spurs a desire to provide some check on the incumbent party. It also builds up partisan energy in the opposition. 2024 is the year when everything is at stake, when either party could take total control of the federal government. Joe Biden holding the presidency provided a check on the worst that could happen from a GOP congress in 2023 and 2024. After that, all bets are off.

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Amidst the Corruption Prime Badge

This morning the NRSC, the GOP Senate campaign committee, sent out an urgent email soliciting funds for Herschel Walker to contest the Georgia runoff election. No surprise there. Warnock and Democratic committees are doing the same. Let’s look at the details.

Here is what you see when you click through to donate.

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Weekend Miscellany

Oliver Sacks on the dehumanizing effects of iPhones and internet culture, published in The New Yorker in 2019, four years after his death.

Maricopa County Chairman Bill Gates, a Republican, moved to an undisclosed location with a sheriff’s protective detail in response to threats tied to the 2022 midterm. Maricopa County is governed by a five-member board of supervisors. As chairman, Gates is the chief executive authority in the county. Gates has been an outspoken defender of the integrity of the county’s voting system.

Newly elected Arizona Republican state representative announces she will not vote in the state house until the 2022 election is redone. Rep. Liz Harris’s decision would reduce the GOP’s effective majority to a margin of 30 to 29.

Annals of AI

This article on “Galactica,” a Meta (i.e., Facebook) AI engine that was supposed to organize and synthesize 48 million scientific papers, is a new addition to a growing list of such reports which make me think that both the transformative and dystopic versions of the AI future are further in the distance than we are often led to believe.

5 Dead at LGBTQ Nightclub in Colorado Springs

Five died and eighteen were wounded overnight in a mass shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. Initial reports suggest that the gunman was initially subdued by club attendees rather than police, perhaps reducing the death toll. We should treat all the initial reports as tentative. The shooter was apparently also injured and is in custody receiving medical treatment. (In the summer of 2021 the alleged shooter threatened violence against his mother with “a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition.” A SWAT team negotiations unit was able to get Anderson Lee Aldrich to come out of the home voluntarily and he was taken into custody.)

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