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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones more than half a century ago, the milk shaking craze has finally crossed the Atlantic. Rep. Matt Gaetz got milkshaked. It started a few weeks ago when Tommy Robinson got milkshaked in Warrington by a man named Danyaal Mahmud. Robinson is a UK version of what we call the alt-right in the US – all the same mix of anti-immigrants, white nationalist politics combined with various kinds of “free speech” preening. (His real name is actually Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon.) It quickly expanded to other rightist figures like Nigel Farage and soon enough left wing activists were bringing either milkshakes to rallies to troll far right figures or even symbolic, effigy milkshakes like this woman below.

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TPM Reader GB isn’t satisfied with the Mueller explanations …

I enjoyed hearing the perspective from the TPM reader who had worked with Mueller and many members of his team, and don’t doubt that he would have much greater insight into the people involved than I do.

But looking from the outside, I wonder if it’s possible that Mueller wasn’t snookered at all (at least in the sense of being surprised) by how Barr handled things, and that maybe people who (for other, often quite valid reasons) want or hope to see evidence supporting impeachment may be projecting onto Mueller their own preferences and biases.

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30 members shy of 30,000 total.

I’ve wondered about this a bunch myself. Barr’s bad faith was telegraphed far in advance. Why’d Mueller and his lawyers allow themselves to get snookered? Initials of TPM Reader withheld …

I have known and worked with Mueller and many of the folks over the course of the last quarter century.

[REDACTED: Discussion of TPM Reader’s professional working relationships at DOJ with various top lawyers involved in the larger Russia probe and Special Counsel investigation.]

They’re all great and careful lawyers. I don’t disagree with the bottom line that given DoJ policy and the Special Counsel regs, they could lay out evidence of Trump’s crime but not accuse him or formally recommend impeachment.

That said, I’m surprised they didn’t anticipate the kind of bad faith snookering we’re now seeing from Barr. They had every reason to know, based on his history and the public record of how he became AG, that he wouldn’t serve as an honest gatekeeper for their report. And they had a perfectly plausible opportunity to preempt his manipulation.

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We just recorded a new episode of the podcast with Mike Isikoff and Dan Klaidman of Yahoo News and the Skullduggery podcast. (Should drop late this afternoon or early evening.) We mainly talked about the Russia probe, looking back to the second half of 2016, what was known then, how reporting on the dossier looks in retrospect. But we also talked about the recent faux-controversy with Rashida Tlaib because it was based on comments she made on their podcast. And we got some interesting backstory on how it unfolded and how and why it exploded as a story.

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The best way to understand Bill Barr’s activities is that it is his current job to seed an ever-expanding catalog of pro-Trump conspiracies with the imprimatur of the Department of Justice. I don’t know how many civil servants Barr will purge, how selectively he’ll use declassified intelligence to damage political enemies or how much he’ll try to imprison the President’s political opponents. He clearly wants to do all these things and I’m certain he is actively working to do one and two. But to the extent he finds himself limited on those fronts, he accomplishes a lot just by this on-going lying on which there is little way for people to call him out.

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Trump’s claim about Robert Mueller interviewing for and trying to get the FBI job again is preposterous on its face. But it actually comes up in the Mueller Report itself, from Steve Bannon’s interview …

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President Trump says so many ridiculous things. But this one stood out to me this morning. He appears now to believe that to impeach him, the House would need not only to find a “crime”. They’d also have to find a “misdemeanor”. Remember “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Video after the jump.

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In the drama yesterday, as Netanyahu struggled in vain to cobble together a government, there was a legitimately hilarious moment I want to share with you. As noted yesterday, in the final hours, Netanyahu was offering crazy deals to all sorts of people – most notably Labor MKs – if only he could get one more seat (for a total of 61 out of 120) for his government AND who would support legislation to make him immune from prosecution. The appeals to Labor MKs were the crucial sign that he was willing to bargain away virtually anything to get that last seat and immunity.

So while all this is happening, Hadash MK Ayman Odeh goes up to the speaker’s rostrum in the Knesset to epically troll Netanyahu.

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90 subscribers away from 30,000, a really big benchmark for us and the future of TPM.

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