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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Chris Bowers has an advance read of the tea leaves in the primary election being held today to select the successor to Duke "felon" Cunningham in California's 50th congressional district. If Francine Busby, the Democrat in the race, can get over 50%, she's in. If not, she'll go up against the Republican who gets the most votes.

There's little doubt she'll get near 50%. Whether she gets over 50% is the question of the night.

Howard 'You say Istanbul, I say Baghdad, let's call the whole thing off' Kaloogian is in the race. But now he seems like a longshot. Also in the race is former Rep. Brian Bilbray, lobbyist and former Abramoff buddy. His idea for cracking down on lobbying is preventing the state of California from calling him a lobbyist. He has a decent shot at getting the chance to run against Busby in the run-off.

There's also a self-financing gazillionaire named Eric Roach in the race. He's the other contender to take on Busby in the run-off. But he doesn't seem to be as good a material for humor as Bilbray and Kaloogian, so you're on your own with him.

Chris has more details.

President Bush speaks to hand-picked hall of Republicans about the wonders of his prescription drug bill.

Says the AP: "The audience of several hundred people consisted largely of Bush supporters who had received tickets through the Republican party, the chamber of commerce or a Lutheran senior's home that Bush visited earlier in the day.'

Question: Why do your tax dollars go to fund these Republican party campaign events?

Interns!

We're taking applications for our summer internships for two more weeks . We've already got a great crop of applicants. But if you're interested in interning at TPM Media and writing and researching for blogs like Talking Points Memo, TPMCafe and TPMmuckraker, drop usfor our summer internships a line.

TPM is taking applications for summer internships working out of our office in New York City. You'll gain real world experience for a career in journalism, blogging, research and writing or for a job in the political world.

Most of all, you'll be right in the midst of the action as we dig into and report on all the news coming out of this year's elections, the expanding DC corruption scandals and much more.

If you're interested, send us an email on the comments link with the subject heading "Summer Internship." Include a brief letter explaining your interest, your resume, when you'll be available to begin, and contact information.

Employees at the Department of Labor get the 'opportunities in Iraq' email ...

As you may know, in previous years some DOL staff volunteered and were deployed to Iraq to help rebuild the country's government and infrastructure. The Department is again looking for volunteers to assist with the Iraq reconstruction efforts, which are so vital to building stability and democracy in that country.

Specifically, the Department of Labor has been asked to provide detailees for two positions at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The first position requires labor law experience and a background in pension and labor law reform and government employment restructuring. This position is a one-year assignment in the embassy in Baghdad.

The other position requires public affairs experience and this person would work as part of a team assisting journalists covering the Iraq reconstruction. This position is typically a three-month assignment in the embassy in Baghdad.

Individuals volunteering for service at the U.S. Embassy would continue to be employees of the Department of Labor during their service and would retain all current pay and benefits. Additional compensation may also be authorized. Assignments would probably begin this Spring or early Summer, but dates certain have not yet been set.

If you are interested in this opportunity or would like more information, please contact ******* by email no later than COB Friday, April 14. During the week of April 17, those who have contacted Leon will be invited to a State Department briefing during which there will be an opportunity to meet with DOL employees who have been to Iraq. There may be additional volunteer opportunities in the future, so please indicate whether you are interested in an immediate assignment or a later date. Please contact Leon ******* if you would like to attend.

Additional general information about working and living in Iraq can be found on the Department of State website.

Thank you for your cooperation.


See the earlier emails to the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development and Commerce here.

Now that Romano Prodi's election in Italy appears to have been confirmed, many readers have written in to ask whether I think the impending change of government in Italy is likely to shake free any of the secrets about the Niger forgeries.

A colleague and I spent the better part of two years working on the forgeries story. In fact, we still are. As recently as a couple months ago we were meeting with US government officials about the US government's intentionally moribund investigation into the forgeries' origins.

In any case, much of my reporting on the case amounted to an education of just how little I knew about the inner-workings of Italian politics. We learned a lot. And much of it I've reported in these pages.

One might imagine that since the Italian center-right is implicated in the forgeries scandal, that the center-left would be eager to get all the facts out. But that wasn't our experience at all. We found fairly consistently that there was a surprising amount of collusion across the ideological spectrum when it came to keeping the wraps on this affair. For that reason, I would not be expecting any sudden revelations just because voters now appear to have turned Berlusconi out.

That is not necessarily the end of the story though. The international situation is quite different than it was in 2004 -- when we did the majority of our reporting. President Bush was riding high. And his reelection campaign was underway. Also, in recent months, I've picked up some hints that elements in the Italian government wanted to get this whole mess behind them, and that the election was what had everyone frozen in place. Once the election was out of the way, whoever won, but especially if Prodi did, things might change.

These two points, I know, rather contradict each other. But they are the sum of what I know. Will things change? Maybe. There are some hints of it. But I remain skeptical.

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