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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Okay, it comes into focus. Josh Kovensky was prescient. This whistleblower thing is about Ukraine.

9:53 PM: I’m working my way through the video of Rudy Giuliani tonight on CNN. It’s a wild interview. He sounds like someone in deep panic. He is all but admitting that President Trump blackmailed the President of Ukraine, threatening to withhold military aid unless Ukraine went after Joe Biden.

Here are some representative video excerpts from the interview …

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With 98% of the vote counted, Benny Gantz and Blue and White have slightly expanded their lead over Likud. The count is now B&W 33, Likud 31, Joint List 13. More telling is a move that really seems to be Netanyahu giving up the game. I’ll note that people I follow who are closer and better informed about Israeli politics don’t seem to see it that way. But I’ll share my take nonetheless.

Netanyahu today has been saying he wants to form a broad national unity government and he’s invited Gantz to come talk about it with him. Gantz has replied, rather obviously, that he thinks that’s a great idea. But he’d be Prime Minister, not Netanyahu.

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I mentioned in the note below that a number of big things happened around the time this complaint was filed. We don’t know they’re connected. But as we’re piecing this together I wanted to line these events up in chronological order for future reference. I stress again: We don’t know they’re connected.

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Let me detail here a few observations and questions raised by this whistleblower story.

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We now have the President’s first response to last night Post revelation.

At the risk of stating the obvious, this is perhaps more revealing than the President intended. The President has repeatedly sought to communicate with foreign leaders out of earshot of other US officials. In certain cases he’s removed them from private meetings where he is speaking with a foreign leader. He confiscated the notes of a translator who translated during one of his meetings with Vladimir Putin.

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The new details about the secret Intelligence Community whistleblower makes it the big story today and perhaps for many days going forward. I shared my initial thoughts last night. The gist as reported last night in the Post is that the complain is about the President himself, turns on a “promise” he made to an unnamed foreign leader sometime in late July or early August. Critically, the IC Inspector General judged it serious and of urgent concern. Again, more details in my summary. We’ll have more on this over the course of the day.

For days we’ve been hearing about the standoff between Chairman Adam Schiff and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence over a whistleblower complaint. Josh Kovensky walked us through some of the details this afternoon. Now The Washington Post has escalated the story dramatically by reporting that the complaint is about President Trump himself and centers on a “promise” he made to foreign leader. The complaint was filed on August 12th. So this is all quite recent.

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There are some signs that the Democratic presidential primaries are evolving into a two person race – Biden and Warren. There’s a good argument for Sanders supporters that this is premature and it’s actually a three person race – Biden, Warren and Sanders. But before we litigate that question, let’s look beyond those three.

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My big problem with the various plans for free college and university educations is that it starts from the wrong place. Public colleges and universities are run by states, not by the federal government, with a minute number of exceptions. The real problem is that states aren’t committing enough resources to their state colleges and universities. We have had a two generation long process of disinvestment where the deficit is made up by making students pay for a rising portion of their education in loans. Subsidizing these institutions from the federal level just equates to none of the funding or price discipline that is needed at the state level. States need to raise and spend way, way more on higher education for residents in their states.

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