Editor’s Blog

A Note on TPM, Its Past and its Future

This counts as house news. So it’s nothing you have any reason to be concerned about as you would about the news. But if the future and livelihood of this site is important to you, it’s actually a big deal. We are now creeping up on a major milestone: 25,000 subscribers. We’re currently at 24,944. So we have a pretty good shot at getting there by the end of the month. (Our goal is to end the calendar year with no fewer than 30,000 subscribers.) So the first thing is, thanks. Really, thank you to all of our subscribers.

This isn’t just a nice thing on the side. It’s core to the site’s continued existence and vitality. We started Prime at the end of 2012 for a number of reasons. But a key one, really the key one, was that we believed the advertising-only digital publishing model was unsustainable, not just for us but for everyone. As a small player with no resources to fall back on, however, we knew we’d feel the storm early and hard. This, I’ve always thought, is one of the benefits of being a small player. Everyone has to grapple with the same industry trends. But being big allows you to go on longer thinking the trends won’t apply to you. Scale and easy access to capital can facilitate denial.  Read More

CPAC For The Ages

CATO analyst bravely takes pro-immigration message to CPAC. Hilarity ensues.

Boom! Dana Rohrabacher Makes His Appearance

Who was in that meeting that Rick Gates lied to Mueller about? Well, it appears to have been Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R). And the lie was about whether they talked about Ukraine. Check out our story.

Josh Marshall Podcast, Special Edition: Are You Ready? Dylan and the Cross

Thanks to everyone who checked out, subscribed to and rated my new podcast, The Josh Marshall Podcast. A sincere thank you. We’ll be publishing a new episode every Tuesday going forward. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play or through the direct RSS feed. Episode #2 drops Tuesday. But today we’re releasing a Special Edition episode where we dig into the new box set retrospective of Bob Dylan’s Christian period (which I discussed here in December) and a concert movie which debuts on Cinemax on February 26th. I recommend both highly. In this Special Edition episode I talk to three people who put together the box set and the movie: Jennifer Lebeau, Luc Sante and Greg Geller. I hope you like it. Listen here.

It Was The Lying Prime Badge

Rick Gates will plead guilty and cooperate with the Mueller probe. Tierney Sneed has the latest.

What We’re Watching: Feb. 23, 2018 Prime Badge
More Breaking News

Missouri governor indicted on state charges for felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking nude photo of his paramour.


A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia –notably not in DC–has returned a new indictment against former Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced in a court filing a short time ago.

The 32-count indictment is separate and apart from the pending case against the two men in federal court in Washington, D.C. Mueller told the DC court in the filing that the allegations in the indictment did not give rise to venue in DC and that the defendants had declined to waive venue, forcing Mueller to proceed in Virginia.

The new indictment alleges assorted financial misdeeds involving tax returns, bank fraud, and foreign banks and accounts.

Gun Rights, ‘Positive Good’ and the Evolution of Mutually Assured Massacre
on May 20, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Should we see how other countries have done when they decided to arm teachers and principals as a way to prevent school massacres? Does that make this sound stupid since no other country has ever considered something so completely inane? Yesterday when President Trump was talking to survivors of last week’s and other school massacres and proposed arming educators, I clipped the video and posted it on Twitter. Read More


This is an amazing story of (alleged) obsession and recidivism.

The NRA’s Brittle Grip Prime Badge
True Colors

Watching the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre hold forth at CPAC–carried live on the news nets–is a good reminder that while it carefully crafts an image as a membership association of gun owners, the NRA is really a house organ of the Republican Party. What I’m saying isn’t new. The reporting documenting the NRA’s shift under LaPierre has been out there for years. But listen to his rhetoric. This isn’t about guns or gun rights.The Second Amendment argument, as anathema as it is to many people, is window dressing. It’s about using “guns” as a political cudgel, using “guns” to catalyze the resentments and grievances of conservatives, using “guns” as a bulwark against political threats to the Republican Party. Plain and simple.

What We’re Watching: Feb. 22, 2018 Prime Badge
Do Me A Favor

No, it’s not about Prime. Tomorrow is the official launch of my new podcast, The Josh Marshall Podcast. But it’s live now on iTunes. So if you listen to podcasts, please give it a listen. And even more important – here’s the favor – subscribe. Please subscribe. And if you want to be truly awesome, rate us 5 stars. This isn’t just about my ego. Hitting the ground running with a lot of subscribers and good ratings helps us a lot and it will allow us to put lots of resources into this new effort. The new show has a different format; it’s free to all and it’s now weekly. Take a listen and let me know what you think. Reading listener emails is going to be a big part of it. Find it here on iTunes.

We’ll also have the show on Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify, in addition to the actual RSS feeds.

Why The Trump/Russia ‘Skeptics’ Are Wrong

Over the weekend, several prominent news media figures announced themselves as Trump/Russia skeptics. Politico’s Blake Hounshell seemed to kick off the discussion with this essay. This isn’t “fake news” type skepticism. It’s much more focused and I think reasonable. These folks fully grant the extensive and multi-pronged Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election. That involved fake news, email hacking, and multiple approaches to Trump associates to gauge interest in working together. The skepticism is whether we’ll ever find a proven and explicit agreement between President Trump and Vladimir Putin or some other similarly high-level Russian official to collaborate in subverting the 2016 election. If not documented proof of such an agreement then at least well-attested evidence of the same. Read More

Layoffs At Vox

Vox today announced a round of layoffs, joining a seemingly endless list of digital media companies that have laid off staff in recent months. First, this is not “Vox”, the political news / explainer site, which you may be most familiar with. It’s the parent company, Vox Media – which owned Curbed, Racked SB Nation, Polygon, The Verge, etc. The latter owns Vox and maybe ten other sites, many of which are big or dominant players in their respective spaces. Vox Media is laying off 50 employees.

I’ve written about this meta-topic a lot in recent months – what amounts to a crash in digital media. Vox is laying off 50 employees, what they say is roughly 5% of their staff, a comparatively small number in percentage terms relative to other recent blood letting. What I wanted to flag your attention to is what seems to be getting cut. Read More

What We’re Watching: Feb. 21, 2018 Prime Badge
Weekly Sum Up on Health Care Policy

Here’s your weekly – every TuesdaySum Up of all significant developments on Obamacare and health care policy over the past week. Read these 500 words and we’ll make sure you’re totally up to date and haven’t missed anything. Voting rights and Democracy on Monday; Health care policy and Obamacare on Tuesday; Russia on Friday.

Mueller Brings Another New Criminal Case

The circle is tightening around Paul Manafort.

What We’re Watching: Feb. 20, 2018 Prime Badge
Very Bad News. But For Who?

What now looks likely to be a plea deal agreed to by Rick Gates is a very big deal. What’s not clear yet is who it’s a big deal for. Read More

Facebook Still Lying About Its Role in the 2016 Election

I flagged this on Twitter before President Trump started flogging it. But I’m not at all surprised that he did. Because, somewhat to my surprise, it revealed that Facebook seems still to be committed to lying, albeit now more artfully, about its role in the 2016 election and more broadly as a channel of choice for propaganda and misinformation. Read More

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