Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Some books seem wildly obscure but are a great delight to read. History books, I mean in this case. It’s always history books with me. So I’m going to recommend two right now. I thought of them because I decided I wanted to read them both again myself.

The books are The Ancient Mariners: Seafarers and Sea Fighters of the Mediterranean in Ancient Times and Libraries in the Ancient World. They are both by Lionel Casson, a classical historian who focused primarily on maritime history but also ranged further afield and mixed traditional literary sources with a deep reliance on the archeological record (particularly maritime archeology) which has transformed classical studies in the last half century. Casson died at 94 in 2009 and published the libraries book in 2001.

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Following up on her piece about Gov. Scott Walker not holding special elections he fears the GOP may lose, Allegra Kirkland has a reporter’s notebook (sub req) on whether this kind of partisan slow-rolling is becoming a trend.

As long as we’re on the topic, a former Wisconsin legislator who served with Walker wrote in last night in response to Allegra’s piece and made a simple point. The politics obsessed tend to think of legislative seats in terms of passing laws, in terms of numbers and who controls chambers. That’s hugely important. But it’s not the only thing representatives do. This kind of thing hurts all citizens because citizens rely on legislators for constituent service, representing them before the government, helping them navigate it. It cheats everyone. It’s a terrible trend.

Wow. No one saw this coming! According to J.P. Morgan, corporations are using their windfall from the President’s big tax cut (both direct savings and repatriated cash) to do stock buybacks.

This gives me an opportunity to share some insight on this from one of our longtime readers. This is usually framed as a pay-off for corporations, which it undoubtedly is. But these buybacks may drive money even pretty narrowly among a corporations shareholders.

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I think most of us have been pretty worried about our country’s situation since November 2016. But look at this chyron.

Aren’t news reports like this from generally sedate news sources profoundly worrisome? The President’s allies are talking about him like he’s teetering on the edge of some kind of emotional breakdown. At this point I think we’re all half boiled frogs.

This is very preliminary. But I wanted to flag some connections to your attention about Hope Hicks, the Mueller probe and Don Jr.’s notorious meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016.

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We’ve been rightly focused on Jared Kushner’s loss of his security clearance. I strongly suspect we are in store for many shocks about Kushner being a major security vulnerability for the United States and using his position to gain access to hundreds of millions of dollars. But note that reports state that 30 other White House officials also similarly lost access.

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I mentioned last week that a cluster of new revelations had given us a fresh and deeper view of Paul Manafort’s dire financial straits and desperate personal situation in the months and weeks leading up to his entry into the Trump campaign in March 2016. Today we have another report from Bloomberg which paints a similar picture and adds some additional details, specifically just how recently before he went to work for Trump that Manafort was working for the shell of the Russia-aligned party in Ukraine.

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The Oath Keepers, a rightwing militia group, say they’re going to post armed members outside schools to protect them from mass shooters. But in an online planning webinar last night they spoke of Parkland student activists like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg as “the enemy.” Here’s our exclusive report.