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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We’ve just released the third installment in our 2018 special editorial series on Voting Rights and Democracy. In installment three, Rachel Cohen looks at the critical issues of gerrymandering, redistricting reform and other reforms like automatic voter registration to see whether the various progressive groups who are now dedicated to fighting on these issues will be successful in making them top tier issues not just in the abstract but for voters when they enter the ballot box.

When this New York Times oped was released yesterday afternoon I was in the process of having a wisdom tooth removed. So I didn’t hear anything about it until the early evening. So when I got to reading it we were already into people’s 2nd or 3rd impressions of what to make of it. I’ve been reading it over and I want to share a few thoughts about its potential authorship.

First, a few points of context. I say ‘faux-resistance leader’ because I see this exercise primarily as one of anticipatory self-exculpation. As things look darker and darker for the President we are beginning to see the first glimmers of the argument that those who should be tainted forever by their association with President Trump may actually be “unsung heroes” who were resisting from within.

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I wanted to follow up on my post below about Kavanaugh being a made to order Justice, courtesy of the Federalist Society and the rest of the conservative judicial incubation infrastructure. One highly knowledgeable reader of ours, who comes out of the DC legal world, notes more specific points: specifically, the way Kavanaugh’s grooming and incubation was conducted for the specific purpose of a) being absolutely certain that he was a strict right-wing ideologue, with no hidden dimensions of possible heterodoxy unexamined and b)that he was clean as a whistle, not only with no scandals but no paper trail that would cause undue problems. No more emerging heterodoxy like Kennedy and Souter. No more flame-outs like Bork.

From TPM Reader XX (true initials witheld) …

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For all the talk about Kavanaugh’s judicial extremism, what stands out to me most about him is that he was essentially raised in a test tube for the purposes of serving on the Supreme Court. Of course, these two facts are not exclusive of each other. They are more the means (test tube incubated Justice) and the end (made to spec conservative maximalist Justice). But he is uniquely this way. He was born and bred in Republican DC. He was given the right education. He has been guided from his twenties through a cursus honorum of titles, clerkships, offices, Republican political appointments, judgeships and more.

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A number of you have written in over the last couple weeks since we debuted the new front page asking if we’re still planning to offer a Prime step-up which gets you a completely ad free version of TPM. The answer is YES! We definitely are. Our tentative schedule is that we’ll offer this starting toward the end of October.

If you’re interested, follow me after the jump for some more details and to let us know if you’re considering signing up.

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A short time ago The Washington Post published a transcript of an August 14th, 2018 call between President Trump and Bob Woodward. The call is from Trump. After months of refusing an interview with Woodward for his book, suddenly he wants to do one – even though the book is already at the printer.

I wouldn’t say that I felt sorry for Trump reading the transcript. But it’s a deeply awkward read. Trump’s angle is that he would have been happy to talk to Woodward for the book. But Woodward never asked. No one ever told him. Over the course of the interview it becomes clear that Woodward has asked basically every senior member of the President’s communications team: Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway, Raj Shah, et al. He even asked Lindsey Graham – Trump’s new best bud – to talk to the President on his behalf.

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I wanted to flag your attention to the new ABC/WaPo poll out this morning. No one poll is that significant. But this is part of a trend I noted yesterday. The poll shows Democrats now holding a 14 point edge in the so-called congressional generic ballot. That’s on the high side for recent polls, but not dramatically so. The 538 ‘average’ of all polls for the generic ballot is now just under 11 points. It started diverging in the Democrats’ direction in the first week of August.

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One key goal of our new front page design was that we wanted to get “Livewire” back to what it began as years ago: short, fast nuggets of news as they develop. That’s where we’ll be doing most of our breaking updates out of the Kavanaugh hearings today. You can see that over on the right rail of the front page. Or you can go to the Livewire page here.

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