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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Feds charge a Massachusetts state judge and court officer with obstruction for helping a undocumented man leave by the backdoor of a courthouse to evade ICE officers who were trolling the courthouse looking for people to arrest.

There are a number of key points I don’t agree with here. But it’s a very important corrective, reality check about caucus/legislative politics politics – the incentives that legislative leaders operate under, which they set for themselves. From TPM Reader JB

One of the things modern online culture creates is an illusion of participation. If one can express a view on a political or policy development and be read or listened to by a large number of people, it can seem as if one is participating in directing events. Not actually directing them, mind you, but influencing those who are, even in a roundabout or inchoate way.

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This may seem like a frivolous comment. But I think it gets at a serious point and in educative terms fights fire with fire.

From TPM Reader DH

The argument for investigating before jumping into impeachment is spot on. The question of will or won’t the Dems impeach will be the cliffhanger of the hearings show. People will tune in to see if this is the week Pelosi finally lets it fly. Why should they give up the suspense? The country will eat it up.

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As President Trump has — unsurprisingly — dramatically ramped up his refusal to comply with any congressional scrutiny and oversight, the impeachment debate has moved in a new direction. Or at least one part of the existing argument has become much more salient. That is this: the claim that by moving into a formal impeachment process, perhaps as little as beginning a formal impeachment inquiry, the House will strengthen its ability to compel cooperation from the executive branch on all the documents and testimony it is now trying to get. In other words, whatever you think about the politics or wisdom of impeachment, Democrats need to start the process because that’s the only way they’ll have the standing to do effective investigation.

The problem is I see no evidence this is true.

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I’ve said a number of times that I think impeachment under the present circumstances is a mistake. There are two reasons. The lesser of them is the near impossibility of removing President Trump from office. The greater one is that moving quickly toward impeachment rather that holding it as a cudgel in the process of on-going investigation gets in the way of aggressive investigations. If people want to apply pressure, that’s where to apply it. Yesterday it was revealed that Chairman Cummings had agreed to delay the Oversight Committee’s subpoena deadline until after a court hearing on May 14th, when a court holds a hearing into President Trump’s suit against Cummings and the Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA.

This is a mistake.

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Read this very closely.

It’s from an anonymous TPM Reader who I cannot identify but has a specific, professional experience with the questions at hand. The Census/citizenship question is highly consequential in itself. But it is also a critical signal about whether the Court will make any pretense of following a coherent jurisprudence or simply toss the pretense and make openly results-oriented decisions to entrench Republican power. To me this issue is more focused on what will almost certainly be a raft of upcoming cases testing whether the President can defy the the Congress’s constitutional oversight mandate. Will we have an executive power friendly third branch of government arbiter or will the five justice conservative majority remake itself into an off-site annex of the White House Counsel’s office?

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I just got this very heart-warming note from TPM Reader RM about some earlier book recommendations. I replied by recommending two other books I just finished. So I thought I’d share the recommendations with you as well.

I just want to thank you for your frequent book recommendations. You have been especially helpful to me in finding good reading for my 93-year old mother who is an avid reader and history buff. She is reading the Empires of the Word right now and is really into it. This is probably the 3rd or 4th book rec from you that I’ve given her and they are a hit.

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