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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Things are getting ugly fast in Florida. Rick Scott, clearly thinking he’s going to fall behind in the vote count and lose his campaign for Senate, is both filing lawsuits to stop the vote counting in South Florida and using his police powers as governor to do so. As in Georgia, having the candidate oversee the election has real shortcomings.

Scott actually said this

“Late Tuesday night our win was projected about 57,000 votes. By Wednesday morning that lead dropped to 38,000 votes. By Wednesday evening, it was around 30,000 votes. This morning, it was around 21,000. Now, it is 15,000,.”

And then this.

“Every Floridan should be concerned that their could be rampant fraud happening in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.”

It looks like I’m going to lose … ergo there must be ‘rampant fraud’ … ergo I’m ordering the state police to investigate the election administrators.

Sinema moves into the lead in Arizona senate race.

Needless to say this is an on-going tabulation of votes. So it could shift back. But pretty clear this is still very much a contest.

We now know that Democrats picked up between 35 and 40 House seats. They flipped at least 7 governorships. They had painful losses in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri – and votes are still coming in in Florida and Arizona. But what about state legislative races – not as sexy or visible but hugely important? It turns out they did pretty well. We dig into the deals in a special episode of the podcast: listen to it here.

We need to zero in on this critical point. “Acting” cabinet secretaries are commonplace. They’re standard when someone resigns or leaves office without a confirmed replacement. Presidents have not infrequently used so-called recess appointments to install cabinet secretaries who could not get Senate confirmation or couldn’t even receive a vote — though the courts have now greatly restricted that power. Indeed, the Vacancies Act does give the President the power under certain circumstances to sidestep the ordinary order of succession in a department to make other people the “acting” secretary. But what happened yesterday is different from all those cases. This is perhaps the first time when a President has installed a cabinet secretary without senate confirmation for the specific purpose of committing a corrupt act.

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Just to catch you up, after President Trump’s tantrum performance yesterday and the exchange with Jim Acosta, Sarah Sanders last night accused Acosta of inappropriately touching a young female intern, as a way of upping the ante in another of the White House’s victim gambits. This was followed by revoking Acosta’s access to the White House. Half in jest I put together a close up of the video to illustrate how preposterous the whole thing was. Sanders later shared a doctored clip of the incident which was apparently produced by Infowars, the white supremacist conspiracy site, to further the smear. At a minimum, the doctored video was shared by Infowars a couple hours before it was distributed by the White House.

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TPM Reader AF puts together the pieces …

You must be aware of this CNN article but there’s even a more direct connection between Clovis and Whitaker getting this job than what you stated in your last post:

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When asked if the new acting AG is now in charge of the Mueller probe a DOJ spokeswoman said: “The Acting Attorney General is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice.” So the answer is yes.

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