Josh Marshall

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Articles by Josh

Are you a Republican political operative with experience in dirty tricks and campaign-related criminal conduct? It may be time to dust off your resume.

You may have noticed the article in Sunday's Washington Post which explains that Republicans now believe that their only hope for avoiding electoral catastrophe in November is to put all their resources into hardball personal attacks against Democratic candidates around the country.

And who have they chosen to head up the effort?

According to the Post, that man is none other Terry Nelson.

And who is Terry Nelson?

Nelson has the unique distinction of being tied to two of the biggest cases of Republican campaign corruption in the Bush era. Nelson was implicated in the infamous New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal and he was an unindicted coconspirator in the political money-laundering case which ended Tom DeLay's career.

If you'd like to do some of your own research at home, here's the government's witness list for the trial of arch-phone-jammer James Tobin. Nelson figures prominently on the list. (To the best of my knowledge, Nelson has steadfastly refused to answer questions regarding his role in the caper.) And here's the indictment in the DeLay case where Nelson's role in that case is explained at some length.

In any case, you get the idea.

Everything is on the line for these guys. So be prepared for literally anything over the next sixty days.

Why all of ABC/Disney's bogus disclaimers don't mean jack.

From the review of Path to 9/11 in the Providence Journal-Bulletin ...

The two-part, five-hour ABC special airing Sunday and Monday at 8 p.m. on Channels 5 and 6 is compelling and confounding, gripping and disturbing. And it’s all completely true. The program, which gives TV docudramas a good name, is based on the 9/11 Commission Report, which was published in 2004.

All the details are documented. All the characters are real; so are the events, unfortunately.

Speaks for itself. And the Projo isn't even a conservative paper.

Special thanks to TPM Reader YP, who's keeping her eyes open.

Widowed husband of former Disney exec who died on 9/11 writes Bob Iger, asks him to pull the 9/11 pseudo-doc.

You still don't believe Social Security gets phased out next year if the GOP retains control of Congress? Then you definitely need to read this.

Before DK shows up, a couple quick thoughts on the new CNN poll. First, how's this for a silly question.

The headline of the CNN article reads: "Americans foresee "more gridlock" in government if Democrats take over the House and/or the Senate after elections this fall, a CNN poll shows."

How'd they come up with that ...

Respondents were asked "next year, it is possible that the country will have a Republican president and a Democratic Congress. Do you think that is more likely to result in more cooperation between the two parties or more likely to result in more gridlock and stalemate in the government?"

Seventy percent expect "gridlock and stalemate" while 27 percent believe there would be "cooperation between the two parties." Three percent had no opinion. Half the sample, or 502 people, was asked the gridlock question.

I don't think I disagree with this. But isn't this a textbook example of the question itself dictating the answer?

I mean, now Republicans control everything in Washington. Next year Democrats may control Congress and the Republicans the White House. Things will run just as smoothly? Or maybe we'll get gridlock?

Are ya with me on this? Just seems like a silly exercise.

But further down there's a very interesting number. And I think a pretty bad one for the GOP.

Fifty-seven percent of the respondents said they think it would be good for the country "if the Democrats in Congress were able to conduct official investigations into what the Bush administration has done in the past six years." Forty-one percent said such probes would be bad for the country. Half of the sample was asked this question, also.

I'm actually pleasantly surprised at just how high that number is. A solid majority want a Democratic Congress to dig its teeth into real investigations of the administration.

The conventional wisdom usually has it that most voters don't like bickering and investigations. They want to get things done, and all that. But this suggests that a clear majority of Americans realizes that what this country really needs to get done is get to the bottom of what's happened to this country over the last half dozen years. It's not a pretty picture.

As many of you have noticed, TPM Reader DK has been guest blogging on weekends here at TPM recently. I'm happy to say that this anonymous individual seems to have developed quite a following. But some readers, I think understandably, have asked, who is he or she? And why does this person's identity have to kept a secret?

Donna Karan? Don King?

Since transparency and truth in advertising are a lot of what good blogging is about, we've even had a few people say I shouldn't have an anonymous blogger guest host here at TPM.

Let me try to address this.

And let me start by telling you a bit about who DK isn't. DK is not someone in politics. Not someone who works for the government. And not someone who works in the media. A lot of the concern with someone who's anonymous, I think, is that their identity would show some unrevealed agenda in their writing. The truth behind DK's anonymity is a bit more mundane. DK is a lawyer at a law firm in the midwest. And, simply stated, DK's professional position as a firm lawyer isn't compatible with their free and frank exposition of views and analysis of the issues of the day here at TPM.

DK has been a regular reader of TPM for a long time. And I got to know DK as one of the many amateur (in the best sense of the word) researcher/tipsters who help me put TPM together by finding articles I should be looking at, searching the net for more information about the stories of the day, etc.

I understand the concerns about anonymity. And I respect them. All things being equal, I'd prefer DK write under his/her own name. But I understand their need to remain anonymous, at least for now. And I think, on balance, the voice and point of view DK brings to our virtual pages outweighs the downside of anonymity.

Sounds like this is about to get considerably worse for ABC. First report coming shortly over at