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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Today is a really bad day for the country. But it also reminds me – it should remind you – that authoritarianism is most often born of incompetence and mismanagement. It seems like a paradox or a disconnect. But it’s not. They generally go together, as they do here.

Early in his administration Democrats were willing to vote to okay tens of billions of dollars for Trump’s vanity project wall. The price of that was little more than confirming in law what was already the case in practice, DACA protections. Trump rejected that, negotiated his way down to about one billion dollars for the kinds of border barriers the US was building before Trump ever proposed his wall. Now he’s trying to seize about a 10th of those funds – the original $50 billion offer – to build his signature wall.

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State Senator Lynn Hutchings (R) of Wyoming explaining her decision to vote against abolishing the death penalty: “The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and me. I’m grateful to him for our future hope because of this. Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.”

Wyoming is currently debating a bill that would abolish the state’s death penalty. The state’s last execution was in 1992.

(Credit to Radley Balko.)

I’m very curious about this David Ignatius column. It’s written with great drama and portent. But on its face, it contains not too much more than another version of Chairman Adam Schiff’s announcement that he’s planning a vastly expanded Russia probe that will reach much further into the President’s business and personal finances. The thing is that Ignatius is one of the most wired people in Washington when it comes to the nexus of international spycraft and US politics. His columns are frequently based on more than he can or chooses to explicitly reveal.

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Remember that bogus report from the Texas state government last month about 95,000 non-citizens on the voting rolls? That was three weeks ago and now the state official responsible, Secretary of State David Whitley, is having to apologize for it to the state’s Republican-dominated Senate.

I’m not sure about the legalities of this. But it seems kind of remarkable. Federal Labor Relations Authority Chairwoman Colleen Duffy Kiko has announced that she’s decertifying the authority’s own union. In other words, she’s firing the agency’s union.

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A Minnesota Sheriff has been forced to intervene so no one gets hurt or killed in yet another Trumper-driven conspiracy theory, sort of a rural Pizzagate. Social media sites picked up news that a dog named “Donald Trump” had been shot and killed and decided it was a political statement against the President, with suspicions focused on a neighbor who the folks on social media decided was a Democrat. There have apparently been multiple threats of violence on various social media sites against imagined perpetrators, even though a law enforcement investigation concluded that the dog was shot by someone “legally protecting their livestock” on private property. Here’s the story.

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I’ve been trying to make sense of the various new developments in the Russia probe. And as is often the case I find a timeline the best way to make sense of what is happening. In this instance I’ve focused on the events that happen from mid-July 2016, events that happened after the Trump Tower meeting in June. You can see how elements of the Manafort and Stone investigations appear to interlock at various points. I’ll be adding to this timeline through the day.

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