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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

For all the talk about Kavanaugh’s judicial extremism, what stands out to me most about him is that he was essentially raised in a test tube for the purposes of serving on the Supreme Court. Of course, these two facts are not exclusive of each other. They are more the means (test tube incubated Justice) and the end (made to spec conservative maximalist Justice). But he is uniquely this way. He was born and bred in Republican DC. He was given the right education. He has been guided from his twenties through a cursus honorum of titles, clerkships, offices, Republican political appointments, judgeships and more.

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A number of you have written in over the last couple weeks since we debuted the new front page asking if we’re still planning to offer a Prime step-up which gets you a completely ad free version of TPM. The answer is YES! We definitely are. Our tentative schedule is that we’ll offer this starting toward the end of October.

If you’re interested, follow me after the jump for some more details and to let us know if you’re considering signing up.

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A short time ago The Washington Post published a transcript of an August 14th, 2018 call between President Trump and Bob Woodward. The call is from Trump. After months of refusing an interview with Woodward for his book, suddenly he wants to do one – even though the book is already at the printer.

I wouldn’t say that I felt sorry for Trump reading the transcript. But it’s a deeply awkward read. Trump’s angle is that he would have been happy to talk to Woodward for the book. But Woodward never asked. No one ever told him. Over the course of the interview it becomes clear that Woodward has asked basically every senior member of the President’s communications team: Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway, Raj Shah, et al. He even asked Lindsey Graham – Trump’s new best bud – to talk to the President on his behalf.

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I wanted to flag your attention to the new ABC/WaPo poll out this morning. No one poll is that significant. But this is part of a trend I noted yesterday. The poll shows Democrats now holding a 14 point edge in the so-called congressional generic ballot. That’s on the high side for recent polls, but not dramatically so. The 538 ‘average’ of all polls for the generic ballot is now just under 11 points. It started diverging in the Democrats’ direction in the first week of August.

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One key goal of our new front page design was that we wanted to get “Livewire” back to what it began as years ago: short, fast nuggets of news as they develop. That’s where we’ll be doing most of our breaking updates out of the Kavanaugh hearings today. You can see that over on the right rail of the front page. Or you can go to the Livewire page here.

We’ll be bringing you close coverage of the Kavanaugh hearings today. TPM’s Tierney Sneed is on Capitol Hill in the hearing room. Our team will be covering the unfolding events in and outside the hearings.

A few times over the last month I’ve had the sense that I may actually struggle to acclimate to a post-Trump politics. That doesn’t mean I don’t want it or look forward to it. As basically every sensible person has argued, the rise of Trump has been a catastrophe for the United States and every day he remains in office inflicts greater damage. But recently I’ve been thinking back to the Obama years and – crazy as they often seemed – how comparatively placid they were, even though they were not really placid at all. But the sheer intensity, drama, bad-acting nature of Trump’s presidency is in an entirely different category.

As I wrote before Trump even became President, living with a Trump presidency, at least if your work is politics, is comparable to living in the home of an abuser or someone with a severe personality disorder. People who live in those settings develop tools, coping mechanisms to handle that level of emotional turbulence, aggression, craziness. They can require a degree of unlearning once they find a more healthy environment. The tools you develop living in close proximity to an abuser are usually mal-adaptive when the abuser is no longer present. 

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Argh. I should have reminded you yesterday! We set an extremely ambitious goal for the first week of our annual Prime membership drive: 1000 new members. We defined the end of the first week more or less arbitrarily as Sunday, yesterday. And we got to 990! I was a little crushed when I checked the numbers this morning. But the truth is this is still an amazing number and gets us a big chunk of the way to our goal for the entire drive. So thank you. In that spirit I’ve decided to extend the notional week for on additional day, today. So if you feel like Labor Day is the day to finally sign up for Prime, there’s no better day than today. Just click right here.

For the Prime buffs and/or journalism buffs among you, there are now 28,835 paying Prime members.

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