Josh Marshall

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Josh Marshall is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TPM.

Sinema Hails Filibuster At Davos Prime Badge

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) told Davos attendees yesterday that she and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) had been vindicated in their decision to protect the filibuster last year, even going so far as to share an onstage high five about it.

Sinema also argued that while the January 6 attack was a source of “concern and fear for every patriotic American,” Democrats had overreacted to it and politicized it.

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George Santos Santos Raised Money for a Dog’s Surgery and then Pocketed the Money Prime Badge

There’s now no shortage of George Santos stories — his various criminal exploits, scams, secret identities, non-existent jobs. But I read a story this evening that made me wonder if I’m living in a simulation and whether any of this can be true. The latest expose reveals that Santos once used his sham pet charity — Friends of Pets United — to set up a GoFundMe for a dog who had a tumor and needed expensive surgery. The dog’s owner, a disabled vet, didn’t have the money for the surgery for his service dog, Sapphire. A veterinarian pointed Osthoff toward Santos’s charity figuring they might be able to help with the costs. So Santos sets up a GoFundMe for Sapphire’s surgery. It raises $3,000 for the charity. Then Santos disappears with the money and the dog dies.

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The Not-Great Gatsby Prime Badge

Don’t miss this new piece by Josh Kovensky and Hunter Walker on the sidecar political group run by Santos’ sister, Tiffany Devolder. A lot of it is the standard mix of shady spending, unpaid bills, inveterate weasels and various appearances by people George Santos new from the Ponzi scheme job. But most interesting to me is that way the group was used to create the myth of Santos as a major Long Island GOP power player and kingmaker.

Solomon Pena, New Mexico House candidate Breaking: Failed GOP Candidate Arrested For Gunfire At Dem Homes

We reported earlier this month about a number of shootings at the homes and offices of Democratic lawmakers in the Albuquerque region over the course of December and early January. Now Albuquerque Police Department has arrested Solomon Pena, a unsuccessful state house candidate in 2022, for the shootings.

From the Albuquerque Journal

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Get a Spine; Trump’s a Crook, Biden’s Not Prime Badge

Over the last couple days I’ve read a dozen or more articles and newsletter briefs which describe the purported political disaster that is the Biden classified documents issue, then explain how it bears no comparison to the ongoing Mar-a-Lago scandal and then note that the difference and lack of comparison actually don’t matter because that’s how it is. Punchbowl runs through a list of Democratic lawmakers who are barely willing to make the distinction in public, let alone defend the President from the adverse comparisons. The headline of this Dan Balz column perhaps sums it up most nicely: Biden, Trump cases aren’t alike. The political system doesn’t care.

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Following the Brazilian Insurrection Prime Badge

In the past I’ve mentioned a few Twitter lists I’ve compiled to follow different on-going stories – COVID, election night analysis, the Russo-Ukraine War, et al. For the last week I’ve been following one I put together to follow the events surrounding the January 8th insurrection in Brazil.

Let me add a few caveats on this one.

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DeSantis’s Path of Destruction Prime Badge

It is on our radar. But since we haven’t been able to discuss it with readers yet I thought I’d share with you this email from TPM Reader EL

If it’s not on your radar already I wanted to point you to the recent aggressive moves against higher ed by DeSantis in Florida. 

Following a detailed request to all state colleges and universities to prepare a report on any use of state funds for diversity, equity, and inclusion measures including academic offerings (example information) and his language about ‘woke’ and ‘trendy’ ideologies in his inaugural address, on Jan 6 he announced what amounted to a take over of the Board of Trustees at New College of Florida, including the provocateur Christopher Rufo (who has fanned the ‘CRT” flames among other things @realchrisrufo).

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House GOP Determined to Strike US Prime Badge

We’ve been waiting to hear what secret agreements now-Speaker Kevin McCarthy had to make with the Freedom Caucus to become speaker. Yesterday we learned one key condition. McCarthy agreed to pursue something called “prioritization” as part of their plan to push debt default later this year. On its face, prioritization is a scheme by which the U.S. government will simply stop doing various functions — food and safety, Medicaid, roads, school lunches, air traffic control, border security — to prioritize only debt interest payments and likely Social Security and the military. In other words, there’s no need to default on the debt, the argument goes. You basically just default on the U.S. government.

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Santos Embraced by GOP Far Right Prime Badge

We’ve mentioned a few times that during Kevin McCarthy’s marathon week of votes to become speaker, George Santos was conspicuously cozying up to far-right players like Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert. Those are the kind of people you want to have on your side if you’re girding for a battle with the “fake news” media and the “GOP establishment.” It seems to be paying off. Yesterday Matt Gaetz interviewed Santos on Steve Bannon’s show and the spin was pretty clear. “One thing I know about this town, they come for the fighters,” Gaetz said opening the interview, “And they’re coming for George Santos like nothing I’ve seen in quite some time.”

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Remembering the Universal Law of Republican Special Counsels Prime Badge

David reminds us today of the universal D.C. establishment rule that to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest all special counsels, all FBI directors and all other related legal people must always be Republicans. We know the oppression ex-President Trump suffered under Republicans like James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, Chris Wray and Bob Mueller, half of whom Trump himself appointed to office. But then there’s the related rule that special counsels must always be Republicans. Republican AGs appoint Republican special counsels; and Democratic AGs appoint Republican special counsels. You’ll remember that way way back in the day the first special counsel appointed to investigate Bill Clinton was a respected and generally non-partisan Republican lawyer, Robert Fiske. He found nothing and was wrapping up his investigation. So he was replaced by the extremely partisan movement conservative lawyer Ken Starr.

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