Josh Marshall

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TPM.
Rising BIF Envy

From TPM Reader MT

I want to follow up from JB’s last line (Democrats in Congress have driven themselves into a cul-de-sac on the reconciliation bill) and just note how amazingly frustrated I am at the Democrats in Congress and those who said go for all or nothing.  I have kept my thoughts to myself with the assumption that the Democrats know what they are doing.  How stupid is that?

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Which Side Are You On?

Unfortunately I think TPM Reader JB is right about this …

One other difference between Sen. Manchin and Sen. Tester you might have mentioned in your podcast this week is that Manchin is self-consciously wealthy.

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The Jan 6 Investigation Puts the Legal Profession on Trial Too

I’ve noted several times over recent weeks that former President Trump lacks most of the unique protections he had as President. That means the Jan 6th committee should be able to press a real investigation whereas the House committees in the previous Congress and the two impeachment processes could not. Much of this is because ex-Presidents have no executive privilege. But it’s just as much that they don’t control the Justice Department and that possession is 9/10ths of the law. The current President, in some cases directly and in others indirectly, has custody of the records of the government of the United States. But it’s a small wrinkle to this story that I want to expand on today, both because it’s interesting to know in its own right but because it’s a window into how this latest investigation really puts not only the judiciary but the elite legal profession itself on trial.

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Youngkin Ducks Jan 6 Salute Controversy

Here’s Virginia GOP Gov candidate Glenn Youngkin when asked this afternoon about the flag from the Jan 6th insurrection which supporters pledged allegiance to at Youngkin campaign rally last night.

Youngkin: “So to be clear I don’t think … if that … I wasn’t involved so I don’t know. but if that is the case then we shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag. and oh by the way I’ve been so clear there is no place for violence … none, none in America today.”

Here’s the video …

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No More Delay

There are reports this morning that Democrats are planning to punt some of the President’s BBB agenda into a 2022 reconciliation package. On its face that sounds awful. Big stuff gets harder to do, not easier, the closer you get to an election – especially one you think won’t go well. But this is actually a good thing. Or at least a necessary thing. It’s critical to get this legislative long march wrapped up, voted on and signed absolutely as soon as possible. I noted yesterday that I just don’t see a recognition of that urgency from the players on the Hill and the White House. Each day that goes by passage of any of the agenda gets less likely and the electoral consequences of this drawn out season of political impotence grows.

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Podcast Delay

The next episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast with me and Kate Riga will delayed one day. Look for it in your downloads tomorrow afternoon.

Is Garland Up To the Job?

I get the sense that the Jan 6th committee is moving rapidly toward holding non-compliant Trumpers in contempt and asking the Justice Department to prosecute refusers like Steve Bannon for criminal contempt. That appears to be TPM Alum Greg Sargent’s sense too. Of course, talk is cheap. And there’s a chorus of understandably frustrated Democrats saying “we’ll believe it when they see it.” But my assumption is that the committee members know their statements over the last week have raised the stakes for themselves dramatically. If they don’t, they are prepping a huge backlash from a lot of people who are tired of seeing Trumpers make the law an object of contempt.

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Shatner in Space
In his comments to Jeff Bezos right after a brief excursion to the edge of space, Shatner turns the culture of Star Trek on its head.

As you may have seen, Jeff Bezos invited William Shatner to take a trip on one of his Blue Origin suborbital space flights this morning. It went all according to plan. Shatner spoke about the experience on live television with Bezos by his side.

As a lifelong Star Trek fan I won’t scuff this up with any cynicism or critical voice. It’s 100% awesome. Shatner is 90 and by appearances in fairly robust health for his age. It is still striking, though, and inspiring that someone his age, when the body can become so fragile, can do what he did this morning. For all the refinements and comforts, traveling about 60 miles straight up in 3 or 4 minutes still unleashes vast physical stresses on the body. And yet he popped out of the capsule seemingly none the worse for wear, not even a bit wobbly from the zigzag from 3G to zero gravity and back.

The big quote making the rounds this morning is this: “I hope I never recover from this” – one of Shatner’s first lines after emerging from the capsule. But it’s something very different that caught my attention.

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The Trash Talk of the Righteous

Last week in a risible fit of pearl-clutching Senate Republicans expressed that they were aghast that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took a swipe at them just as they were extending the hand of bipartisan fellowship to bring the nation together. Washington’s worthies seemed to agree. It was that worst of offenses. It was uncalled for. Welcome to the DC black hole, where titanic gravity bends people’s minds, even the good people.

As Matt Cooper points out here, the real outrage – echoed by all the press worthies – is that Schumer told the truth: Senate Republicans again took the nation’s “full faith and credit” hostage in a reckless and dishonest effort to sow chaos at the expense of the safety of the Republic. For once they were outmaneuvered and had to beat a retreat. They blinked. Indeed, their caucus is so addicted to anti-constitutional hi-jinx and legislative junkie behavior that it required a herculean effort to execute the cave – Republicans struggling to break their own filibuster to head off reform of the filibuster. Good times, as they say. Schumer said McConnell blinked, that Republicans should be ashamed of themselves and that it’s a good thing Democrats held tough to force them to cave. This is all accurate.

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The Winter of Our Discontent

This is truly the season of Democrats’ discontent. Ezra Klein has this piece about David Shor, which is an interesting and illuminating read on its own terms but is also a window into these anxious, verging on frenzied intra-Democratic debates. You’ll find neologisms like “popularism” which is a sort of hipster, data-science rebranding of what a generation of Democrats have ridiculed as poll-tested, consultant-driven campaigning. Which doesn’t mean it’s wrong!

The idea is that Democrats, clustered in major cities and lead by a cadre of hyper-educated activists and campaign professionals, have political views that are much to the left of the average voter and much more to the left than they realize. Given the range of structural factors weighted against them – electoral college, gerrymandering, Big Lies, etc. – their only hope is to mercilessly review their policy wishlists, choose the ones that poll really well and shut up about the rest.

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