Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of

Articles by Josh

We’ve come down to the final day of 2019 and the last day of the second decade of the 21st century. At TPM this was a challenging year – a lot of change, negotiating our first collective bargaining agreement, some substantial management reorganization of how the operation runs and a lot of grinding work (batting out single after single) to secure the financial basis of the organization.

But it was also a good year, really a very good year. Because we managed to accomplish the key things we needed to accomplish, which is really all that matters. Indeed, key accomplishments were ones that not only worked for us this year but laid the groundwork for vitality for years to come.

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Lev Parnas is a crook and (one imagines) a liar. But there’s little doubt he did things, witnessed things and knows about things that are highly relevant both to the upcoming impeachment trial and the actions and criminal activity of Rudy Giuliani and President Trump. It is also highly, highly likely that his electronic devices contain evidence that can confirm a significant amount of that and put it beyond Parnas’ say-so, which is of limited value. So Parnas’s efforts to share these records with the House is one of many reasons why President Trump, Mitch McConnell and basically all Republicans want a Senate whitewash trial absolutely as soon as possible.

It’s the lucky 13th anniversary of the Golden Duke Awards. And the winners are in!

We return with an especially august panel of judges for 2019: Erin Ryan, Talia Lavin, Susie Bright, Jeet Heer, Jim Newell. And in a new innovation, 2,477 TPM members have cast their ballots for a new Members’ Choice award. Big surprise for 2019: Members voted overwhelmingly (59.7%) for President Trump and his shakedown of Ukraine for Best Scandal General Interest. But, surprisingly, the Golden Duke actually went to Duncan Hunter, the now disgraced, soon to be resigned and inevitably to be incarcerated crooked bro-rep from Greater San Diego. So that and many other surprises which you can read here in the results announcement.

The latest news about the attack on a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York is that the alleged assailant, Grafton Thomas has, according to his family and lawyer, no known history of ties to hate groups and a long history of schizophrenia. If we take those claims at face value that puts the incident in a somewhat different light and suggests the possibility that the attack was the product of delusion or psychosis more than ideology or bias. But even if we assume all this, it’s probably wrong not to see the connection to the mass shooting in Jersey City early this month and the string of anti-Jewish attacks over the last week.

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One of the interesting side effects of a major scandal is all you learn about the details about how the government actually works, or is supposed to work. This is the case even if you’re broadly knowledgeable about the functioning of the federal bureaucracy. So for instance, one of the career officials in the pipeline for the Ukraine aide was a guy named Mark Sandy.

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Notable that in the course of an otherwise valuable article the Times has promoted the Ukraine collusion conspiracy theories from discredited or false to “unfounded or overblown.”

While there is life there is hope. As for statistics, I will spare us any thoughts on the meaning of a Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, which Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) announced this afternoon. For decades Lewis has been one of history’s immortals who is yet still walking among us. Elected to Congress in 1986, Lewis has now served almost 34 years as a member of the Georgia congressional delegation. But at 46, when he came to Congress, he had already accomplished enough for several lifetimes. Indeed, one could say the same by the time he turned 26.

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I flew home yesterday after a week away. The first news I saw was this stabbing attack on a Hanukah party at a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York. Police have arrested 37 year old Thomas Grafton, an African American man from Greenwood Lake, about twenty miles northwest of Monsey. Monsey hosts a large enclave of ultra-orthodox, or Hasidic, people — so people who are very visibly Jewish. According to this 2012 Times article, Monsey has the highest concentration of ultra-orthodox anywhere in the world outside of Brooklyn and Israel. Other than being an apparent hate crime, it’s not clear whether the attack was tied to a particular ideology, as seems to have been the case in the multiple fatality attack earlier this month in Jersey City, or a more individual hatred of Jews. But if Grafton was in Greenwood Lake and wanted to attack Jews Monsey would be the logical and closest place to go.

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It’s not the only or main reason for doing it. But it is instructive how even a short and uncertain pause in the House transmitting its articles of impeachment to the Senate and thus even slightly delaying a Senate “trial” has unhinged the President perhaps even more than being impeached itself.

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Pretty intense debate. Klobuchar made a pretty good run at nudging herself into the top tier. But the big thing is that Biden had his best debate to date and basically none of the rough fights included him. Was he amazing? No. But he’s in the lead. So that’s a big win for him. The rest all had good moments. But in terms of the trajectory of the race those are the things that I think matter.