Josh Marshall

 Have a tip? Send it Here!
Josh Marshall is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TPM.

Decoding Trump Bullshit: Foreign Defense Budget Edition Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

Everyone is publishing their bills of particulars about all the horrible things Donald Trump will do if he becomes president again. That’s become even easier with Time magazine’s publication today of a lengthy interview with Trump in which he expands on the list and provides quotes that make them more specific. (Get ready for your pregnancy ankle bracelet and fetal monitor if you get pregnant in a red state.) But there’s one item on these litanies that’s not really correct. And we should understand what it actually means more clearly.

Read More 
A Few Thoughts on the Situation in Israel-Palestine and on the Campuses Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

I wanted to share a few thoughts on the ongoing crisis and mess in Israel-Palestine and also on America’s elite college campuses.

First, a thought on the campus situation and this question of whether these protests are tainted by anti-Semitism. I know most about the situation at Columbia, which certainly isn’t to say I’m an expert on it. To me it seems clear that non-students operating on the periphery of the campus have been responsible for the most egregious comments or incidents that almost no one would deny are anti-Semitic. There’s been some of that from students on campus, usually in heated instances when visibly Jewish students are in the proximity of protesters.

Read More 
Peering into the Corrupt Court’s Pretensions and Corruption Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

There were so many things that happened yesterday in the Supreme Court’s hearing on presidential immunity that it’s hard to know where to start. But one part that captured it for me was Sam Alito’s line of argument that presidential immunity might be necessary to make it possible for presidents to leave office voluntarily, or that not having some broad grant of immunity would make refusal to leave office more likely. Here’s one of the quotes: “If an incumbent who loses a very close, hotly contested election knows that a real possibility after leaving office is not that the president is gonna be able to go off to a peaceful retirement, but that the president may be criminally prosecuted by a bitter political opponent, will that not lead us into a cycle that destabilizes the functioning of our country as a democracy? And we can look around the world and find countries where we have seen this process, where the loser gets thrown in jail.”

Read More 
The Court is Corrupt. Say It With Me.

I was watching cable news this afternoon at the gym. And I saw one of those examples of what has now become a Trump/Roberts Court-era set piece, where principled and very smart lawyers and/or legal academics have to say, I guess I was a chump.

Sure the Roberts Court is partisan, I thought. But there’s a threshold level belief in the rule of law. I’m not trying to make hay out of others’ mistakes. My guiding heuristic has been that the Roberts Court, especially in its post-2017 iteration is thoroughly corrupt and will generally do whatever is in the interests of the GOP so long as it doesn’t put too big a dent in the Court’s own perceived legitimacy and elite social standing. Based on this standard I assumed the Court would settle for delaying Trump’s trial until the Fall. It seems now that they’re likely to kick it back to the trial Court for further fact-finding and thus the case itself well into 2025.

Fair enough.

Read More 
Our Long National RCP Nightmare Is Over Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

For most of this election season so far, FiveThirtyEight hasn’t surfaced its own presidential race average. Compiling these averages in a sophisticated and honest way is actually kind of complicated. (They explain their methodology here.) We used to play in this space with PollTracker. So I know from experience. For me it’s not that I put so much weight on the specific number. It’s just a simpler way of visualizing the trend over time.

Well, now they’ve finally rolled theirs out. So I don’t have to be so reliant on RealClearPolitics, which has both a clumsy methodology and goes to comical length to add or not add polls to juice their favored candidate. All that said, the absolute averages as of today as remarkably similar. Trump up .4% on FiveThirtyEight and .3% on RCP. This reminds us of some of the ironies and … how can I say it, melancholy and ennui of complexity. The FiveThirtyEight model is HUGELY complex and sophisticated. It factors in all sorts of different variables. It incorporates findings from individual states into the national averages and vice versa. And yet for all this statistical leg work the averages as of this moment are essentially identical.

Read More 
Chef’s Kiss

There’s going to be a lot to talk about tomorrow with these new fake electors indictments out of Arizona. In fact, there’s so much happening in the news at the moment it’s a bit hard to keep your head straight. But I wanted to note just one exquisite point. One of the indictees is Christina Bobb, OANN talking head turned Trump lawyer, who just last month was appointed as the new head of the RNC’s “election integrity” chief. So yes, the GOP’s head of election integrity has now been charged with election subversion and election fraud. So we’re off to a strong start.

A Poll Obsessive Gives You a Calm and Sober Read Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

I routinely tell people not to look at every single poll but to focus on trends over time. That is, if you want to look at them at all. We’ll go into Election Day with the polls tight and the outcome still uncertain. I can say this because I actually watch them very, very closely … like unhealthily closely. It’s characterological. I don’t advise it for anyone else. But if you must, it’s okay, and I can relate.

This morning there’s a new batch of swing-state polls from Bloomberg/Morning Consult showing Trump ahead in all but one of those states and growing his lead versus the last of these polls a month ago. That’s not great at all. But as usual I would not invest too much weight in a single poll. These numbers are not in sync with other recent swing-state polls, though actually we have pretty few quality swing-state polls recently. But the overall trend over the last six or seven weeks still seems like what we’ve discussed in the last several posts on this topic. After several months of being behind by a small but real amount (2-4 percentage points), Biden has moved into roughly a tie.

Read More 
Nope. Fetterman Isn’t Going Full Manchin. Not Even Close. Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

Sometimes a story catches fire and just a really straightforward look at the fine print shows there’s really nothing to it. One of the recent examples has to do with Sen. John Fetterman and the increasingly vocal complaints that he’s gone rogue from his progressive roots and is likely to one day become or is possibly already on his way to becoming the next Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema. There’s actually a whole conversation on social media about how we’ll soon see him coming out against getting rid of or abolishing the filibuster.

Read More 
All Talk Marge Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

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.

Read More 
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.

Read More 
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: