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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Let me take a moment to speak up for the word “shithole” which is seeing its reputation damaged by association with Donald Trump. We went to this dive bar. It was a total shithole. That town? Total shithole, never want to go there again. It’s a dump. Closer to President Trump’s ugly usage, Trump wouldn’t be the only American to call a poor or underdeveloped country a shithole. That’s not okay. But my point here is that there’s nothing inherently wrong with the word – nothing more than any other not for polite conversation swear word. And even this ugly usage doesn’t capture the essence of Trump’s meaning.¬† The context and import of President Trump’s remarks are not simply that the countries are “shitholes.” It’s much more than that. It’s that we don’t want people from those countries because the awfulness of the countries attaches to the people themselves. Speaking of whole classes of people, specifically people of color, as basically garbage – is not only disgusting but entirely of a piece with the campaign President Trump ran in 2016 and the policies he is implementing as President today.

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Here’s one thing that occurs to me. When I first heard about the “shithole” meeting at the White House I thought it was a bipartisan meeting. Technically it was. But my understanding now is that there was only one Democrat there: Dick Durbin (D-IL). He went there with Lindsey Graham. But there were a handful of other Republican senators already there. Would we have ever heard about this if a Democrat hadn’t been in the room?

Please take a moment to watch this video. It’s remarkable and important. The words themselves are not terribly surprising. They’re really undeniable. But reporters on network or cable network TV simply do not talk this way. They don’t cut this close to the reality of situation.

It’s CNN’s Jim Acosta. The video is after the jump. Watch. It’s important and remarkable.

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According to the President, federal law enforcement officers criticizing him on government phone and text devices amounts to ‘treason’.

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This morning the President got confused by a Fox news segment and lashed out at his own FISA reauthorization bill on Twitter.

Here’s a White House statement from last night, opposing an amendment that would restrict intelligence surveillance under FISA.

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As you can see there’s quite a lot going on in Missouri politics this morning. Here’s our first report on the story from overnight. We’re following this one closely. More to come.

Missouri politics was rocked late Wednesday night when Gov. Eric Greitens (R) admitted to an extramarital affair amidst allegations that he blackmailed a woman with a naked photo he took during one of their sexual encounters. The news broke just hours after the Governor delivered his second annual State of the State address. Greitens admitted to the affair in response to a report by KMOV News 4 in St. Louis. He also released a joint statement with his wife Sheena in which the two say they have moved on from the affair. The affair reportedly occurred in 2015, more than a year before he was elected Governor in November 2016.

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This is a must-read story on a critical topic we plan on following for the duration. The big line separating rule-of-law democracies from broken democracies and post-democratic strong man government is law enforcement becoming a weapon in the hands of the government rather than a more or less disinterested government function the government oversees. President Trump has repeatedly demanded the former kind of system. Now we have evidence he’s starting to get it. Here’s our story.

Have you heard about things that aren’t public yet? Do you have a story? We want to know. Contact us.

Interesting exchange here. President Trump just went on Twitter and demanded Republicans “take control” of the Hill Russia investigations. For the moment, Chuck Grassley isn’t playing ball. If past is prologue, I wouldn’t assume Grassley’s resistance lasts long.

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