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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

As Amy Walter points out here, there are a number of new members in very competitive districts who pledged – in varying degrees – not to support Pelosi. There are good reasons to believe that provided a margin of victory, though obviously there’s no real way to know. Very, very few of them have signed this letter. The vast majority of the signers are from very safe districts. So the upshot here is that this likely forces freshmen Dems who will have very hard reelection races in two years to start their term with a tough vote which could get them tossed in two years.

The FBI officially considers the right-wing paramiliary Proud Boys an “extremist group with ties to white naitonalism” and has since at least August.

The anti-Pelosi faction has released its list of 16 incumbents or apparent midterm winners who say they will not vote for Pelosi in the floor vote for Speaker. That is at least a few fewer than expected. Marcia Fudge, who has half-suggested she’d challenge Pelosi, apparently pulled her name from the list. So on a few fronts it seems like the effort is flagging.

But it remains important to understand what’s happening here.

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I’ve said so many times that our readers are truly a gift and year after year (18 and counting!) have remained a key part of our editorial process here at TPM. Here is really a special case. You may have noticed that President Trump made this bizarre and almost certainly false comment that the President of Finland told him the Finns avoid forest fires by aggressive raking.

It so happens TPM Reader JI (pictured here at a mushroom exhibition) is an avid TPM Reader from Finland who is also a Phd plant biologist. He did us the service of giving a detailed explanation of how forest fires work in Finland and how raking is just not part of the equation.

My short non-biologist summary would be this: it’s fairly wet and cold in Finland so it’s pretty different. They don’t use rakes to avoid forest fires. Their big problem is bog fires. Many of the best parts of JI’s letter are cris de coeur, insisting on the non-role of rakes in any part of Finnish forage management.

On behalf of all TPM Readers, thank you to TPM Reader JI and we’re sorry about the Trump thing. Email below …

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As you know, I’m something of a Facebook skeptic. A Journal article from last night gives me more reason to think the company’s future is considerably darker than most people realize. According to Deepa Seetharaman, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is now telling top executives that the company is now “at war” and he needs to run the company accordingly. From the article …

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Former federal public corruption prosecutor speculates on why Trump’s going particularly nuts this week …

It is hard to say what’s causing Trump’s current Mueller meltdown. But if reports are true that he and his lawyers are working on answering written questions from the Special Counsel, that probably has him especially on edge. One question in particular poses a huge dilemma for Trump: Did you know in advance about Don Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting with the Russians? Obviously, he did. He likely authorized the meeting and got a read out right after it. Why else would he have dictated the bogus “adoption” cover story? Why else, in the days prior to the meeting, would he have promised explosive information about Hillary to come out shortly after it? And Mueller no doubt has additional evidence of Trump’s foreknowledge (from Gates, Manafort, Cohen, phone records, etc.).

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Last night I wrote up my take on whether Nancy Pelosi should be the next Speaker of the House under the incoming Democratic majority. Short answer: Yes. For the longer answer, click here. But the day so far as even more convinced me of a point that was partly implicit in what I wrote last night: that any question about Pelosi is quickly resolved when you look at the folks leading the charge to replace her.

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I wanted to share a few thoughts about the House Democrats’ leadership election. First, I’m ambivalent about Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker again. Turnovers in leadership are good. The dozens of new House Democrats converging on Capitol Hill this week visibly shows the power of generational succession. The Democrats’ current House leadership has been in place for more than 15 years, an extraordinary length of time by historical standards.

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