Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

The President says he’s signing an executive order to end family separations. The actual aim seems to be to pick a fight with the courts and allow separations to continue while blaming judges. According to The New York Times, the President will sign an executive order allowing children to be detained indefinitely with their parents. The problem is that that violates a 1997 consent decree saying that you can’t detain/imprison children for more than 20 days (technically what’s currently happening isn’t detention). It straight up violates that order. So what will almost inevitably happen is that a court will step in, say you can’t do that and then Trump will announce that the judge is forcing him to keep separating families.

Every discussion of immigration from the President and most Republicans begins with a lie intended to frame the question. Government statistics show clearly that immigrants, whether legal or not, do not increase crime rates. Full stop. Immigrants do not create crime. Undisputed data shows that immigrants actually commit crimes at a slightly lower rate than native-born American citizens. The entire security and safety argument is simply false. If we were truly concerned about public safety and wanted to address the issue through immigration policy we’d do better by inviting in more immigrants and booting citizens who are already here. It’s all a straight-up lie, the purported balancing of security and humane treatment. There are many legitimate immigration related policy questions. But controlling crime or safety or security is simply not one of them. It’s the foundational lie of the entire immigration debate.

Donald Trump reportedly gave an angry fighting talk to House Republicans last night. We’re also led to believe they’re angry about the President’s family separation policy. But at least according to these photos released through the President’s Twitter feed, these folks were loving their dear leader. Bigly.

Click the image for full screen view.

A notice or reminder. President Trump is going to give one of his campaign-style rallies tonight in Duluth, Minnesota. Coming on the heels of what appears to be Trump’s aggressive and embattled mood over the family separation policy and anger that the furor is crowding out coverage of the Inspector General’s Report (yes, he’s actually mad about that), one can only imagine what that speech is going to be like.

Here are some key video excerpts of an interview this afternoon with Thomas Homan, acting Director of ICE. Homans is a career ICE officer, back to its predecessor organizations. Despite being a career employee he’s turned out to be an ardent Trumper. Blitzer does an excellent job, continually coming back to press the key points, repeatedly with government statistics on hand to refute claims by Homans which are either deceptive or outright lies.

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Over the last few days I’ve noted that senior FBI officials said a key reason James Comey publicly criticized Hillary Clinton in harsh terms when he declined to recommend charges against her was to assuage the feelings of FBI agents who had expressed sentiments like “[Y]ou guys are finally going to get that bitch.” Top FBI executives held conference calls with retired agents who had complained about “why we let her off the hook, and why she should have been prosecuted.” They did so to reassure them and calm them down. All of Comey’s advisors agreed that fear of leaks about the laptop emails from the New York field office was a key driver of Comey’s decision to send his October 28th letter. And Comey himself told Loretta Lynch that “that there is a cadre of senior people in New York who have a deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton.”

Over the last few days I’ve had a number of readers write in to say, “Okay, I get it: There were people in New York and elsewhere in the FBI who really had it in for Hillary. But why? Why were they so against her? What did she do?”

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Michael Cohen has hired a new criminal lawyer, a former high-ranking SDNY prosecutor named Guy Petrillo. Peter Strzok was reportedly escorted out of the FBI building Friday afternoon. For the moment, he appears still to be employed by the FBI. We now have James Comey fired. Andrew McCabe fired and apparently in line to be prosecuted. Peter Strzok appears to be on the cusp of being fired and the President’s lawyer has demanded that he be imprisoned. Big picture, folks, big picture.

Curious what on earth this means. From deep in a Politico article on family separation and Secretary Nielsen …

But Kelly’s status in the White House has changed in recent months, and he and the president are now seen as barely tolerating one another. According to four people close to Kelly, the former Marine general has largely yielded his role as the enforcer in the West Wing as his relationship with Trump has soured. While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.

What on earth does that mean? My best guess is that standard pattern of continuing to enable Trump and prepackaging a later explanation for why you didn’t really support any of it.

This requires an explicit mention.

The use of the word “infest” to talk about people is literally out of the Nazi/anti-Semites’ playbook for talking about the Jewish threat. It was also a standard for talking about Chinese in the western United States and it remains part of the vocabulary for talking about Romani (Gypsies) in parts of Europe. This is the most hard-boiled kind of racist demagogic language, the kind that in other parts of the world has often preceded and signaled the onset of exterminationist violence. The verb “to infest” is one generally used to describe insects or vermin (rats), creatures which are literally exterminated when they become present in a house or building or neighborhood.

Audio of children newly separated from their parents at the border. Listen here.