Josh Marshall

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TPM.
Who Supports Ending the Filibuster?

Two big non-policy/legislative questions and decisions will determine the politics of the coming years. One is whether there is an audit of the executive branch after Trump leaves office, if he loses the election on November 3rd. But just as important in its own way is whether the Senate filibuster is abolished. You can basically guarantee that no progressive legislation will ever get passed as long as the filibuster exists. The filibuster is undemocratic to start with. But the Republican party’s extreme use of it along with their locked in small state advantage mean that the GOP has what amounts to a permanent veto on all legislation and a guaranteed veto of any progressive legislation.

So I’m curious to find out what Democratic Senators – or Republican Senators for that matter – support abolishing the legislative filibuster on day one of the next Congress. This is only a practical question if the Democrats win back the Senate. But the question is the same in principle regardless.

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Rudy Exposed in New Russian Election Interference Operation Prime Badge

And there it is yet again. The President’s personal lawyer and apparent bag man Rudy Giuliani has been exposed as an active participant in yet another Russian intelligence operation aimed at supporting President Trump’s reelection campaign. The details of the story — and Giuliani’s work with Andrii Derkach — have been something of an open secret, especially if you’ve been reading Josh’s on-going reporting. But Derkach has now been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as an “active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services.”

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Michael Headfaked Me! Prime Badge

I failed. I was fooled. He pulled one over on me. I admit it and hang my head in shame. Last week I noted the demonstrable reality that Michael Cohen squeezed the Falwells for Jerry Falwell’s critical January 2016 endorsement of Donald Trump because he and Trump had photographs and documents that revealed that the ultimate power couple of rightwing evangelical Christianity were committed swingers and part of the so-called ‘cuckold lifestyle’. But Cohen continued to deny it, even with a soon to launch “tell all” memoir. I said he was likely still holding out because of continuing criminal liability for blackmail and extortion.

But I had it totally wrong.

Cohen was lying. But not to stay ahead of the law. He was lying in the interests of book promotion. He wasn’t going to wrongfoot his book roll out. I’m not sure whether this is more virtuous or proper. But it’s definitely more on brand. So I salute him.

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Follow the Money … Prime Badge

Bloomberg News this morning floats the doubly absurd idea that President Trump is weighing the possibility of putting $100 million of his own money into his campaign. On its face this seems absurd. Trump had to be dragged kicking and screaming to put half that amount into his campaign in 2016 when the campaign’s need for money was far, far greater. (We don’t even know if Trump has that scale of liquid assets available.) But the bigger question is, why does his campaign even need him to pump in his own money?

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Are We In A Lull? Prime Badge

This article in the Post talks to a number of epidemiologists who say we’re on the cusp of what may be the worst of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The article is based in significant measure on a new model from the IHME modelers at the University of Washington. They don’t have a perfect record. So I don’t think we should see this as consensus opinion or what “the science” says. But it’s worth taking note of as at least one quite dire outlook.

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The Weekend Calm Before the Storm

I hope you’re settling into a relaxing long weekend, or as relaxing as anything can be in these unsettled times. We are on the cusp of a vast civic storm unfolding over the next 60 to 90 days. So make the most of the respite.

While you’re here don’t miss our team’s “Is Your State Ready?” series. Josh Kovensky, Kate Riga, Matt Shuham and Tierney Sneed are looking at every state to look at their preparedness for this pandemic election. You can see the first three installments here.

You can also watch my conversation about Benito Mussolini, Italian Fascism and the rising global authoritarian movement with Professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat of New York Univeristy.

The Endorsement Extortion Stays Under Wraps Prime Badge
LYNCHBURG, VA - MAY 13:  U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Jerry Falwell (R), President of Liberty University, on stage during a commencement at Liberty University May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia. President Trump is the first sitting president to speak at LibertyÕs commencement since George H.W. Bush spoke in 1990.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

I wanted to update you on some new news on the Falwell/Trump 2016 endorsement scandal. Since we last checked in on this story another Liberty University student has come forward to say that Becki Falwell pursued him sexually. But it’s the Michael Cohen part of this story that remains the really newsworthy part.

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Trump Orders Stars and Stripes to Shutter Permanently

It’s hardly the President’s biggest outrage. And there has been reporting that President Trump has been pressing the Pentagon to cut the subsidy provided to Star and Stripes, the paper for military service members that traces its history back to the Civil War. But Kathy Kiely, writing in USA Today, reports that Trump has ordered the publication shuttered this month. “The memo orders the publisher of the news organization (which now publishes online as well as in print) to present a plan that “dissolves the Stars and Stripes” by Sept. 15 including ‘specific timeline for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide.'”

Let’s Talk About the Fretfest Prime Badge

In this week’s edition of The Josh Marshall Podcast we discuss the Democratic fretfest and barreling toward election day. Watch after the jump …

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Trump Losing on ‘Law and Order’ Prime Badge

It’s easy to get lost in the big muddy river of polling data and headlines. But before we get further into the day I wanted to discuss a new group of polls that came out yesterday. This was the first batch of quality polls entirely after the GOP convention. The upshot of really all of them is that “law and order” is not only not helping Trump cut into Biden’s lead. Trump appears to be losing that debate on its own terms. When pollsters ask voters which candidate they trust more to handle civil unrest, protests or crime, they’re picking Biden.

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