Josh Marshall

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Articles by Josh

I’m trying to get a handle on this question myself. But the big question from last night’s Parnas documents is just what the story is with Robert Hyde, landscaper, absolute biggest Donald Trump fan ever and longshot candidate for Congress who had already been disowned by much of the Connecticut GOP back in December. Was he really involved with surveilling and perhaps considering harming the US Ambassador to Ukraine or is he all talk or perhaps literally crazy? Here’s Josh Kovensky’s write up of what we know so far.

It seems like a stretch to think Hyde’s claims were totally made up. But a month or so after the text exchanges in question Hyde was taken into custody at Trump’s Doral resort in Florida and apparently involuntarily committed for roughly a week to a psychiatric facility after telling police he feared someone was trying to assassinate him.

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Let me share some very preliminary thoughts on the documents and text messages released by the House Intelligence committee from Lev Parnas.

I stress preliminary. I’ve gone through them once. In Josh Kovensky‘s and Matt Shuham’s write up they caught a number of references, the import of which wasn’t clear to me until I understood the full context.

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10:23 p.m.: Warren has dominated this debate so far. That seems unquestionable to me. But winning on points doesn’t always translate into the race itself. Biden has also had a good night simply because no one is really attacking him and he’s making the points he wants to make. He’s ahead. Maybe not in Iowa but nationwide. So in terms of the race itself I think this debate is going well for both of them.

10:08 p.m.: Do not miss my colleagues’ debate live blog which apparently I can’t join.

10:02 p.m.: The debate about the Warren-Sanders conversation was messy. Warren’s comments were similar to her press release: state quickly and unequivocally that Sanders did say it (and by implication is lying) and then quickly pivot to other general comments. Sanders’ answers were weird in large part because he sort of tried to change what was being discussed. That seemed shifty. On balance Warren got the better part of the exchange. But I think it could have gone a lot worse for Sanders. Warren closed the discussion with this which was very strong.

9:24 p.m.: There were some decent answers on the foreign policy discussion. But Blitzer framed it in a very confusing and misleading way. Combat troops? Does that mean the U.S. Navy in the Gulf? Qatar, Bahrain? By framing it around Iran’s demand for a U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East he had people answering whether they supported something like the British withdrawal in like 1971. That’s not what any of these candidates are talking about with the possible exception of Sanders. And I don’t think he really is either.

9:13 p.m.: Warren’s answer was the best on the foreign and defense policy questions so far tonight.

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One of the truisms of the last three years — most often spoken by Democrats — is that everyone has an interest in preventing future Russian interventions in U.S. elections because next time it could be Republicans who are the target rather than Democrats. Alas, this was false, is false and for the foreseeable future will continue to be false.

We should know this, and if you didn’t know it yesterday’s news that Russian intelligence operatives have been hacking into servers in Ukraine as part of President Trump’s impeachment defense should clarify the matter. Josh Kovensky has more details here. But the gist is that in early November, just as the impeachment effort began to build steam, GRU operatives began hacking into various subsidiaries of Burisma Holdings, apparently looking for emails or other documents that could embarrass the Bidens or otherwise assist President Trump’s impeachment defense.

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The weird thing when a Trump advisor totally is making sense: “The President is never going to have [Giuliani] in the Senate trial, starting with the problem that he’s a potential witness.”

I remain skeptical. But CBS is reporting that the White House believes there’s a good chance they won’t be able to stem Senate GOP defections on allowing witnesses in the President’s impeachment trial.

I kept hearing how Elizabeth Warren was refusing to go negative in kind with Bernie Sanders. But I think she just dropped a neutron bomb directly on Bernie’s head.

And to be clear, “going negative” isn’t a bad thing if you are discussing relevant facts.

There is a robust scientific consensus that all human populations outside of Africa descend from migrations of homo sapiens out of Africa that took place between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago. Before that, in Europe for instance, neanderthals were the dominant human or hominid population outside of Africa. But last year scientists performed a series of skeletal morphology and dating tests which appear to change the story dramatically.

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