Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Remember, Tom DeLay is still out telling everyone that the only thing that brought him down was a meritless indictment from a partisan Democrat. Today, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied his request to have that supposedly meritless indictment tossed out.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is made up of nine judges. Each one elected. Each one a Republican.

Any plea deal from Jack Abramoff probably would have sunk Tom DeLay -- sunk any chance, that is, that he could reclaim his position as House Majority Leader. But it was the specifics of the Abramoff deal that sealed DeLay's fate.

The documents released last week make clear that prosecutors are readying a case against DeLay's former staffer Tony Rudy. And available evidence suggests they're trying to flip him to get to DeLay himself.

This piece from the Post is actually from yesterday's paper. But in got lost in the shuffle after DeLay announced he was bowing out of the struggle to reclaim the Majority Leader's post. It does a good job laying out what the case against Rudy is and what it may mean for those above him.

TPM photo-archivists of the world unite!

From Time ...

Although DeLay's forfeiture of his leadership post makes things easier for the White House, the Abramoff saga will continue to be a problem. Bracing for the worst, Administration officials obtained from the Secret Service a list of all the times Abramoff entered the White House complex, and they scrambled to determine the reason for each visit. Bush aides are also trying to identify all the photos that may exist of the two men together. Abramoff attended Hanukkah and holiday events at the White House, according to an aide who has seen the list. Press secretary Scott McClellan said Abramoff might have attended large gatherings with Bush but added, "The President does not know him, nor does the President recall ever meeting him." Republican officials say they are so worried about the Abramoff problem that they are now inclined to stoke a fight with Democrats over the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court in an effort to turn the page from the lobbying investigation. Outside groups plan to spend heavily, and the White House will engage in some tit for tat with Democrats as the hearings heat up.

Happy huntings. We'll be giving away prized TPM- and TPMmuckraker-wear for prime Jack and George memorabilia.

Also, can we get a copy of that Secret Service list too?

Good stuff! Holding Republicans to account violates their rights.

You have to love this. Three and a half years ago members of the New Hampshire state Republican party, the Republican National Committee and others entered into a criminal conspiracy to disrupt Democratic get-out-the-vote activities on election day.

That's not just me using that language. Two of conspirators pled guilty. Another, a then-employee of the Republican National Committee, was just convicted on two counts stemming from the scheme. For almost two years now, the state Democratic party has been pursuing a suit against the state party seeking redress and, mainly, to find out what really happened since at the beginning the Justice Department wasn't seriously pursuing the case.

Now, in recently filed court papers, the Republican State Committee’s attorney, Ovide Lamontagne, is claiming that the Dems' suit is "in attempt to use the court system to interfere with the (GOP’s) constitutionally protected election activities." There's a certain amount of sense to this, I suppose, since the Republican party, in its current incarnation, does seem to rely heavily on law-breaking as an electoral tool. Still, I've never heard it alleged that such criminality is constitutionally protected.

WorldNetDaily, July 11th, 2002 ...

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, head of Toward Tradition, and Gary Bauer, former GOP presidential candidate, will co-chair the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, or AAJC. A statement released yesterday calls the effort "a unique synthesis of Jewish authenticity and Christian grass-roots muscle."


The new cooperative, headquartered in Washington, D.C., will have an immediate constituency via Bauer's approximately 100,000-strong e-mail list. According to the statement, the advisory board of the organization will include Dr. James Dobson, Charles Colson, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the Rev. Pat Robertson, Pastor Rick Scarborough, as well as Rabbi Barry Freundel, Rabbi David Novak, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Michael Medved, John Uhlmann and Jack Abramoff.

Noted without comment.

James Dobson: "If the nation’s politicians don’t fix this national disaster, then the oceans of gambling money with which Jack Abramoff tried to buy influence on Capitol Hill will only be the beginning of the corruption we’ll see. Some religious leaders want new ethics rules for Congress, but that’s only a band-aid fix. Politicians need to root out this infection. Gambling – all types of gambling – is driven by greed and subsists on greed. That makes it morally bankrupt from its very foundation. Gambling creates addicts, breeds crime and destroys families. We need courageous office holders who will begin the process of shutting down lotteries, casinos and other gambling outlets."

Noted without comment.

CNN's David Ensor has a follow-up here on that weird story about the NSA possibly snooping on CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

Says Ensor: "A senior U.S. intelligence official told CNN on Thursday that the National Security Agency did not target CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour or any other CNN journalist for surveillance."

What we may have here though is an issue of terminology.

Remember that what Andrea Mitchell said or asked in her interview of James Risen was this: "Do you have any information about reporters being swept up in this net? (italics added)"

To be 'swept up' in a net isn't the same as being 'targetted' -- just ask dolphins. And toward the end of Ensor's piece on the CNN website, there's some hint that this distinction might be what we're talking about ...

The senior official said that from time to time NSA surveillance overseas "inadvertently" acquires recordings or copies of communications involving Americans -- or what the government calls "U.S. persons," which includes most U.S. residents and employees of American companies. By law, however, such materials are required to be erased or destroyed immediately, the official said.

Intelligence officials rarely comment on who they may or may not have collected information about, but because of all the speculation on Internet blogs, the senior official agreed to look into the matter for CNN. Another official privately said he was "puzzled" by NBC's decision to publish the raw transcript of the interview.

There's a lot of hinting and vagary here. But I think this gives some clue to where this goes.