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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

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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Occasionally you’ll find a news story which lays out a series of stunning facts but doesn’t quite add them up. The Washington Post published just such a story this afternoon about two brothers named Jeffrey Clark, Jr. and Edward Clark, both of whom were active in “alt-right” circles and followers of Richard Spencer. Jeffrey was arraigned today on weapons charges in DC. Edward is dead. Their story points to the possibility that Roberts Bowers synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh may not have ended with him.

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I want to thank everyone for the great, touching, funny recollections about TPM’s first 18 years. TPM started 18 years ago with this post about the Florida recount. I was just on an editorial call and one of my colleagues pointed out that the post begins as though it is part of a continuing conversation, one in an on-going series of installments. “As if things couldn’t get any weirder, did you notice the name of the lawyer who made the Republicans’ unsuccessful arguments before that federal judge today?” Here we are in another Florida recount, almost as vexed. The lawyer was Ted Olson, who now just signed on to sue the White House on behalf of CNN and Jim Acosta. Things repeat but transform utterly. And to the question? No, that wasn’t the case at all. This was the beginning and there was no storyline or running conversation that preceded it.

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A red wave of crazy news out of the White House today which may have John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen and others booted off the island. But just as interesting is this news in the just updated version of the story from The Wall Street Journal. Trump has decided to can, according to the Journal, John Bolton’s NSC deputy Mira Ricardel because of conflicts with the First Lady …

From the Journal

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Gallup is out with its weekly Trump approval number today and he’s down at 38% approval, 56% disapproval. That’s one of his lowest numbers all year. Polls go up and down of course. But there’s a point I want to make that goes beyond what appears to be Trump’s permanent ping-ponging between 36% and 42% public approval. Put simply, I doubt it will be an accident or momentary that President Trump’s support goes down post-election. Partisanship is a heavy constraining force on public support in this era.

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In two days, TPM will celebrate 18 years of continuous publication.

I thought I would observe the centenary of the end of World War I and Veterans’ Day with a book recommendation: The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End. This is a powerful, deeply important book. Today we are observing the century since the armistice that ended the First World War. But this anniversary obscures a reality this book explores with great depth and hideous illumination. In the West, mainly for England, France, and Belgium, the war took a catastrophic toll. But it was conducted largely within accepted distinctions between combatants and civilians. Just as importantly it ended with a rapid and full transition from war to peace, hostilities to demobilization. The history is dramatically different the further we look to the east.

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