Josh Marshall

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TPM.
What’s Up with Tesla?

As I’ve argued, I don’t think we should care that much about whether Elon Musk purchases Twitter. Having a mercurial scofflaw purchase the company should simply remind us that it’s a private company, not the 21st-century public square or anything like it. Social media companies have a deep interest in convincing us of these things and then luring the public into a faux corporatized speech jurisprudence in which they of course are always in charge. So while it seems increasingly unlikely that Musk’s purchase of Twitter will go through, let it burn is probably the best policy response. But as Musk has been all over the news and increasingly associating himself with the far-right, I’ve been increasingly interested in his main company, Tesla.

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Corruption

So many aspects of our corruption are so clear and so profound in their implications that most of the political class and elite publications aren’t even able to grapple with them. This article in the Times only glances at the surface of it. What was once an enduring alliance between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has transformed into something more like an alliance between the Kingdom and the GOP, with a fairly open effort to undermine the Presidency of Joe Biden on behalf of the latter. And it’s not just the GOP. There’s a particular role for Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law who is toasted in the Kingdom as something like the de facto leader’s best friend.

Fashing Very Strongly Prime Badge

The racist mass shooting in Buffalo seems to have brought us to something of a turning point in the American right’s embrace of “Great Replacement” theory as an operating framework of politics. Rather than running away from Great Replacement thinking, they’ve essentially said, “But it’s true. We can’t help that this one guy took things too far.” Indeed as you can see from our headline piece, Matt Schlapp of CPAC is now suggesting ways to limit political violence within the framework of Great Replacement politics. If you’re worried about immigrants “replacing us” the best strategy is to make more of “us,” by which he means ban abortion and thus increase the birth rate of “us.” Sort of a kinder gentler Great Replacement theory, though possibly not that kind or gentle if you have an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.

Schlapp didn’t explicitly refer to white babies and brown babies. But I’m not sure he really had to.

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Big Pictures and Small in Ukraine Prime Badge
RUSSIANS INVADE UKRAINE -- MARCH 22, 2022:  01 Maxar satellite imagery of the overview of fires burning in residential area, Livoberezhnyi District, Mariupol, Ukraine. 22march2022_wv3.   Please use: Satellite image (c) 2022 Maxar Technologies.

I went back and forth over whether to share this email from TPM Reader ME. But I decided to do so because I think he focuses our attention on aspects of the Ukraine war which aren’t at the top of the headlines but are central to how this conflict turns out and how the conflict plays out beyond Ukraine’s borders. I confess that while I certainly knew how Ukraine is the “breadbasket of Russia” or the “breadbasket of Europe” I didn’t appreciate how central Ukrainian grain production remains in our globalized 21st century world when so many regions of the world have been opened to mechanized agriculture and the trade systems that move grain production worldwide.

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Three for Me, One for You Prime Badge

It was only a matter of time. A candidate for Governor in Colorado has a proposal: create an in-state electoral college that will systematically over-weight rural votes and thus make it almost impossible for a Republican not to win the governorship as well as other statewide offices. Basically, counties take the place of states and Colorado has a ton of rural counties where very few people live. From what I can tell, he’s not the most likely nominee. But he won the top spot on the primary ballot at the state convention. So he’s not some random gadfly either. In any case, Gov. Jared Polis is popular and seems like a shoe-in for reelection. But this seems like the leading edge of the broader trend.

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Up Your Nose Prime Badge

Some clarification from TPM Reader RM on nasal vaccines and their utility.

I just thought I would add to your statement that nasal vaccines “likely offer a different level or kind of immunity”.  This is totally correct, but I would comment on some of the biology that underlies that statement. 

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Early Voting is for Cucks, Say Trumpers

You can see some of the headlines from last night’s primaries here on the front page of TPM. I wanted to share a couple other general observations.

To me the most striking thing about last night was how much same-day voting, as opposed to early or mail-in voting, has become a central feature of partisan identity for Trumpy Republicans. If you’re for Trump, you vote in person on Election Day. The other stuff is all suspect. The fairly unique dynamics of the 2020 election and its Big Lie aftermath have ossified into doctrines.

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Spend the Money Prime Badge

Some of you likely have had similar experiences or know people who have. I continue to hear from people who got COVID, got fairly sick, then took the main antiviral, Paxlovid, and basically within a day or so went from bad flu to mild cold at worst. I just heard another story like this from a reader. To be clear, these weren’t people who were hospitalized. But the people who I’m talking about were, either because of age or health conditions, people who had heightened vulnerability to COVID. They were getting sick and then they got almost totally better very quickly. Probably most or all of them would have been fine. And in many cases they were just saved a miserable week or two. But as we know, a bad case of COVID can degenerate quickly.

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Some of November Will Come Into Focus Tonight Prime Badge

For Democrats to survive the 2022 midterm with their majorities intact they must walk a very, very narrow tightrope. They also need a number of things that are mostly out of their control to fall into place. One of those things is the hope that you will see some replay of what happened in 2010 and 2012. The first was an extremely good year for Republicans. The second was just so-so — Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama after all. But it should have been a decent year for Senate Republicans since Democrats were defending their class of 2006, when they’d won Senate seats basically everywhere. In both years Republicans failed to win the Senate even though by rights they really should have. They just kept nominating crankish and extreme candidates in races that should have been winnable. That’s why there’s a Senator Chris Coons (“I’m not a witch”). That’s why Claire McCaskill (“Legitimate rape”) had one more term in the Senate. There are a bunch of other examples.

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Fund More Treatments

At some point around the new year I switched from obsessively checking my curated COVID experts Twitter list to obsessively checking my two newly curated Ukraine crisis Twitter lists (Ukraine Crisis and Ukraine military experts). Such is life.

This morning I was browsing through the COVID list and I found my way to this post by Eric Topol. Topol is a physician generalist who heads up a biomedical institute at the Scripps Research Center in California. He’s not an epidemiologist or virologist. But COVID has been his focus since the beginning of the pandemic. The post is entitled The Covid Capitulation. And it is part of that genre of COVID writing in which a COVID expert bemoans the fact that the whole country has decided the epidemic is over when in fact it’s clearly not.

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