Josh Marshall

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

NY-3 Results

9:56 p.m.: The best indication I’ve seen so far that Suozzi’s winning this is I’m already seeing the first arguments about how a Suozzi win is probably bad news for the Democrats.

9:40 p.m.: So basically where we are now is that Queens is mostly in and Suozzi has significantly exceeded the benchmarks he needs there. But most of the district is in Nassau County. This is a contiguous district. So it wouldn’t make a lot of sense that one part of it would be dramatically different relative to the baseline than another. But it could be. So we need to see some totals out of parts of Nassau County to really be certain where this is going. But you’d absolutely want to be Suozzi right now rather than Pilip.

9:27 p.m.: Okay, still a ways to go but Suozzi seems to be exceeding the benchmarks he needed in Queens. There’s a lot we haven’t seen. There are very different parts of this district and we’ve got the same day vs early issue. So it’s early but these are some promising early numbers for Suozzi.

9:21 p.m.: You can see topline results on lots of news sites. But I just saw this link to a site by a data guy which is showing the results down at the precinct level, if that’s your thing.

9:20 p.m.: Please note that the early results are showing Democratic parts of Queens and early vote. So don’t put much stock in those early numbers.

9:10 p.m.: The polls just closed in the New York City-area special election to replace expelled congressman and freak George Santos. The district includes part of Queens and adjoining parts of the Nassau County, which makes up the western part of Long Island. As usual, I’m watching the unfolding commentary on my election night analysts Twitter list, which you can find here. (If you’re no longer or not on Twitter, you’re right. Twitter sucks. Don’t know what to tell ya. This is what I use it for these days.) As usual, there’s not much great polling and a ton of “vibes.”

One major wildcard today was that there was a big snowstorm that seemed to put a major dent in turnout for the first part of the day. Put an asterisk on that because people can just decide to show up later. And by most standards it wasn’t a very big storm. Where I live in Manhattan there’s barely any snow left on the ground at all. But early today there was a ton of slush. The relevant point is that Democrats seemed to be banking a lot of early vote. So there’s a chance that Republicans got burned by a knock on turnout from bad weather. The truth is we have no idea. We’ll know more soon enough.

Senate GOPs Call Origami Mike Johnson’s Bluff Prime Badge
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Yesterday, as he was trying to threaten and bark Senate Republicans out of sending the House a foreign-aid-only supplemental spending bill, Speaker Mike Johnson said that he would not allow a vote on the bill because the House had not yet “received any single border policy change from the Senate…”

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Our Second Installment on the Chesebro Document Trove

Today we’re publishing the second installment in our series on the Ken Chesebro document trove. Today’s piece provides a detailed look at just where ideas like fake electors and the purportedly central role of then-Vice President Mike Pence came from. And far more than almost anyone seems to have realized they started with Ken Chesebro. Even ideas and strategies associated with the so-called “Eastman Memo” appear to have begun with him. In today’s piece Josh Kovensky provides never-before-reported details on how Chesebro found his way into the Trump orbit in the first days after Biden’s victory and how he became the key idea man behind what we might call Stop The Steal Thought.

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Pre-Loading ‘I Told You So’

This note from TPM Reader JS more or less summarizes my thoughts.

The Boat in the Atlantic. Great metaphor. I don’t know Jon Alter, but I get the feeling that many of the “he’s too old” crowd are just pre-loading “I told you so” ammunition if he loses. There’s no downside to saying what everyone else is saying. I think so many people can’t contemplate a Trump restoration that they have to have some explanation why it happened. Biden was too old. The kids hate Israel. Whatever. Those explanations make sense to these people in a way that “more voters liked Trump” does not. I think they are then living in that world where things will happen as they forecast and it’s more comfortable than just getting your shit together and holding the course on the boat we have.

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TPM AT WORK: Never-Before-Published Details on the Trump Coup Prime Badge
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Today we’re launching the first installment of a three-part series reporting never-before-published details on the failed Trump coup attempt which unfolded in the final days of 2020 and climaxed on January 6th, when a mob of feral Trumpers stormed the United States Capitol building. These stories are based on a trove of documents from co-conspirator Ken Chesebro. You can read our introduction to the series here, which outlines the overall findings, gives details about the document trove we worked with, and more. In the first installment, we report the plan to have January 6th essentially never end, or rather continue up to inauguration day, January 20th. The plan wasn’t so much to directly achieve the goal of installing Trump as President as to create so much spectacle and chaos with no end in sight that the Supreme Court would feel compelled to step in and, Trump’s lawyers hoped, install Donald Trump as President, much as it did 20 years earlier in the disputed election which ended with Bush v Gore.

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Interesting Headlines

Chris Christie, after a campaign that was, at least as I understood it, focused on blocking the danger of a second Trump presidency, says he probably would just not vote for President at all. He’ll leave that part of the ballot blank. “I can’t see myself voting for [Biden] because I don’t agree with his policies.” Marco Rubio meanwhile says he has “zero concerns” about Trump’s claim that he’ll encourage Russia to invade NATO allies if they don’t up their defense budgets.

Jon Alter is Right On Joe Biden

My friend Jon Alter has a piece up about how Biden and his campaign can defuse and limit the damage from concerns about his age and mental acuity. Every point he makes is so on the mark I want you to go read it. The gist is the Biden’s age and occasional brain freezes are obviously a political liability. Jon has known and been interviewing Biden for 35+ years and he says he’s always been that way.

Sure Biden’s slower than he was even a decade ago. But the verbal missteps are same old same old for him. How you address that is leaning into it, getting Biden out in front of the public a lot. Yes, he will swap one name out for another or mangle words sometimes. It is what it is. Even though right wing media will seize on every goof viewers will also see a President who is basically fine, addressing complex issues in able and sophisticated ways. They’re already seizing on every awkward moment. If you keep Biden under wraps that’s all anyone will see.

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Interesting Note on Cognition and Anger

I wanted to share a note I received from TPM Reader JR and my reply. Helps me refine my understanding of what we see in both Biden and Trump and how they are both perceived.

From TPM Reader JR

I’m a practicing psychiatrist who has evaluated many people over the years for dementia.

Based on my experience, Josh M is on to something when he wrote about how Trump’s anger makes him seem less cognitively impaired than Biden.

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More Angry Biden, Please Prime Badge
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Is it frustration? Something deeper, or more shallow? I woke up this morning to see that the front page of the Times has five stories above the virtual fold. All five were about Joe Biden’s memory, press conference, special counsel report. Full news day, I guess. Yesterday I noticed the Times’ Astead Herndon on this on Twitter. He is not some slightly younger version of David Broder. He’s a pretty new entrant to the upper echelon of elite DC news media. I think he graduated from college as Trump’s first campaign was getting underway. But the acculturation appears complete. After Hur’s report dropped he wrote that despite questions about Biden’s age being “the most impt non-Trump issue in this elec[tion]” the DC press corps has “a sorta gentleman’s agreement for the last year to pretend like it’s not. Maybe that ends now.”

Am I taking crazy pills here? Do I have dementia? I think it’s fair to say that at least a third of the political chatter about President Biden for the last year, and quite possibly half of it, is about the President’s age. But maybe the omertà is about to end? I’m still trying to process the idea that a top Washington reporter really thinks there’s been some kind of fix-is-in ban on discussing the President’s age.

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About Right

I don’t know the precise timing and angle. But I fully agree this is worth going on offense. I hadn’t focused enough on the claim the President didn’t remember when his son died. Personal, gratuitous, callous, denigrating, almost certainly not true. From a longtime TPM Reader …

First off, Merrick Galrland is a disastrously bad AG.  He has appointed special counsels he never should have.  And he had no business allowing a report to be released that violated DOJ guidelines.  Most of all, his two years of fruitless propitiatory delay moving on the elite insurrectionists has America and the world on the doorstep of disaster.

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