Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of

Articles by Josh

TPM Reader TG on guns and expatriation …

I’ve read TPM since shortly after sitting ashen-faced in my college computer lab watching the 2000 presidential results come in. TPM and your personal commentary have been passively therapeutic for nearly 20 years as I’ve gone from college student to (ostensibly) an adult, getting married and having two kids along the way. As I’ve never really written in before, this will serve as a more active form of therapy for me. My apologies for the indulgence.

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Let me tell you about a new project we’re involved with. It’s called Crime Story. It’s the brainchild of a friend of mine named Kary Antholis. It’s about crime both in its story telling dimensions (in fiction, crime reporting, documentaries etc.) and also as a policy and social justice issue (mass incarceration, implicit bias in the criminal justice system, reform DAs, etc.) in American society.

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Yesterday we learned more details about the White House’s continued indifference to or actual interference with the DHS’s efforts to combat violent white supremacist extremism and terrorism. This is hardly surprising. There’s basically no clear line separating the kind of folks Trump invited to his social media ‘bias’ festival at the White House and various white supremacist propagandists who radicalize guys like the shooter in El Paso. But it’s misleading to see this as particular to Trump or this administration. This goes back at least 25 years and is in its own way comparable to NRA-backed legislative mandates preventing federal public health officials from funding research on gun violence.

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It wasn’t a central part of his note, really more an aside. But TPM Reader MP made one error in yesterday’s note when he wrote that “the Tree of Life massacre was the worst attack on Jewish people in American, nay, Western Hemisphere history.” A surprisingly large number of TPM Readers wrote in to say that this was clearly wrong. The largest, by really any definition, was the AMIA Jewish Community Center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 in which 85 people died and some three hundred were injured. Of course, massacres of this scale can’t really be compared in some apples to apples sense. Each is radically individual, separate, total in itself. But this is an important correction of the record.

I want to thank everyone who has taken us up on our offer of a two week free trial of Prime Ad Free (AF). If you’re a current Prime member and would like to give it a try, just click here. It’s free. No obligation. You can turn the trial on and off with a single mouse click. And if you decide you’d like to upgrade that’s great news for TPM. Here’s my note from yesterday with a bit more detail about why we’re making this offer.

TPM Reader MP has a fascinating observation here about how the gun culture has changed us, and not in a way you might expect …

I lost a cousin in the Tree of Life massacre, so I’ve thought a lot about violence and guns in my own America. The Tree of Life massacre was the worst attack on Jewish people in American, nay, Western Hemisphere history. The weekend’s attack in El Paso was, according to a NYTimes op-ed, the worst attack on Latinos in modern history. I certainly don’t believe that its coincidence that these two “worst attacks in American history” took place during the Trump administration.

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From TPM Reader JB

Just a note here of thanks to TPM and especially to Matt Shuham for the excellent ERS/NIFA relocation story today.

I know this is not TPM’s usual beat, and goings-on at USDA are not on most political observers’ radar screens either. But the agriculture press has been somewhat decimated in recent years, and can be somewhat complacent about developments in the agencies that don’t directly impact the bottom lines of farmers or agri-business.

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On Monday I heard from a friend who told me that many Trump critics were missing the boat on the Dayton mass shooting. The shooter, rather than being a white supremacist or Trump supporter, actually seemed to be on the left. It discredits the media if they only focus on evidence of rightist extremism and violence, he told me, even if that’s the majority of the cases. This person was definitely operating in good faith when he told me this. I think his information was incomplete. And you’ve probably seen some mention of this because it’s now been picked up by right wing media and even the President. It’s worth taking a moment to dissect just why this is wrong because it is being used to blur the picture of the crisis affecting the country.

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This gets a bit deep in the weeds. But it’s worth going there. Because it’s important. The President has been going into court in his personal capacity – i.e., with his own private lawyers – trying to knock down various House efforts to subpoena documents relative to his personal and business finances. His lawyers, particularly a guy named William Consovoy, have made a raft out of outlandish legal claims which, if taken at face value, mean the Congress has very little oversight or investigative powers at all.

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