Josh Marshall

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

Trump, Tears in His Eyes, Says ‘Sir’ to Judge Prime Badge
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Admittedly it was without those delicious atmospherics. But the substance was pretty close. Donald Trump now owes the state of New York $454 million. To appeal the verdict and to pause the state’s efforts to collect the judgment during that appeal, Trump has to post a $454 million bond. Today Trump’s lawyers went into court and asked the judge to accept a $100 million bond in lieu of the $454 million. They said that $100 million was as much as Trump could come up with. If the judge rejected the plea, “properties would likely need to be sold to raise capital under exigent circumstances.” In other words, Trump would have to sell off property at fire-sale prices and suffer harm that could not be undone if he gets the judgment thrown out on appeal.

Associate Justice Anil Singh denied Trump’s request.

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‘IVF Sad’ Movement Takes Off Among Capitol Hill GOPs
A tale of womps unfolding in the nation's capital.

Here’s a good HuffPost piece from TPM alum Igor Bobic. They went to what we might call “IVF Sad” Republicans and asked them about passing a federal law to protect IVF from extremists like those on the Alabama Supreme Court. “IVF Sad” Republicans are Republicans who are discomfited by having to ban IVF or at least don’t want to get caught supporting banning IVF but also have to admit that they agree with the judge who banned it.

Marco Rubio, a senator who is an emerging leader in the movement says: “Unfortunately, you have to create multiple embryos [with IVF], and some of those are not used, then you’re now in a quandary.”

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Some Election Day/Mail Vote Surprises

This doesn’t significantly change the picture from what I noted before. But something I at least hadn’t figured on is showing up in the numbers. There’s a significant difference between the breakdown of the primary day and the early/mail vote. The gist is that the primary day vote is significantly better for “uncommitted” and the early/mail vote better for Biden. The net effect of this is that Biden seems to be adding to his margins now since the primary day vote was in most cases getting counted first. So for instance, Dearborn (which is the heart of the state’s Arab-American community) had been like 75% for uncommitted. But now it’s at roughly 55% to 41% as the early votes get counted.

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All Over But the Benchmarking

The actual vote totals and percentages are coming into focus. So there’s a lot of pivoting to what they mean. As of this moment President Biden has about 80% of the vote and uncommitted has 14%. That’s been pretty consistent for a while. But there are major differences by county and towns and cities here. So the results might be bouncier than normal as more votes come in. I noted one numbers guy I follow closely who pointed to 17% as a threshold based on historical comparisons for “uncommitted.” As the results have come in there’s been a lot of shifting among “uncommitted” supporters from percentages to raw vote totals. The raw numbers are high. But overall turnout is really high too. So you can kind of play this either way you want. Raw votes go up with turnout. That’s elementary. Percentages are the key metric. Or you can say that raw votes matter since raw votes will be the margin in the general. The truth is that you simply can’t make linear comparisons like that.

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Michigan Results

8:37 p.m.: We’re still seeing just the first results out of Michigan. Too early to draw any real conclusions. But some benchmarks are helpful. In 2012, 2016 and 2020, “uncommitted” got around 20,000 votes. In 2012 that was 11% of the votes. That’s a helpful benchmark since that was the last time an incumbent Democratic President was on the ballot.

One of the numbers crunchers I follow points to 17% for uncommitted as a threshold below which you could say the Gaza/uncommitted push has failed vs over that and it has some success. The best hints I’m seeing have it right about there and maybe a point or two higher. So modest success but some success. But again, that’s tentative so far. It’s difficult to model this since there aren’t obvious baselines from earlier elections.

We’ll know more soon.

Some Thoughts About Tonight’s Michigan Primary Prime Badge
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Here are a few thoughts on the Michigan primary tonight, in which both parties’ returns will be closely watched but especially the Democrats’. It will be the first clear electoral test of the degree of dissatisfaction with President Biden over the Israel/Hamas war, especially in the Arab-American and Muslim-American communities.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are a couple movements trying to participate in the backlash against the President. There’s an “Abandon Biden” group which wants to do what it says, which is get as many people as possible to refuse to vote for President Biden in the November election. The consequences of that decision be damned.

The main focus tonight will be on those pushing for an “uncommitted” vote. The key thing to know is that this group very specifically does not have the same professed goal. “Uncommitted” in this case is best understood as providing a safe harbor of sorts for Democrats who want to signal outrage or opposition without refusing Biden support in the November election.

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Ro Khanna is the Negotiator on a Gaza Ceasefire?

One TPM Reader sent me this new article on Rep. Ro Khanna jumping into the complex and perilous situation for Democrats in Michigan. The primary there is this week. But this is really about the general election. The article is fuzzy on a number of points but the gist is that Khanna seems to have taken on the role of mediator between disaffected groups in Michigan and the Biden White House. And after a series of meetings in the state Khanna says that absent a dramatic change of policy — by which he means a permanent ceasefire — Biden cannot win Michigan. That’s the gist of the article.

A few things come to mind to me about this article and this message.

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More Aftershocks Out of Russia’s Long Hunter Biden Disinfo Campaign Prime Badge
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Last week we discussed new, truly smoking-gun evidence confirming what has always been pretty obvious to anyone with their eyes open: the entirety of the “Hunter Biden scandal,” to the degree that it has anything to do with President Biden or Ukraine, is the product of a disinformation campaign run by Russian intelligence. What’s more, to whatever extent the younger Biden might be guilty of tax crimes or other wrongdoing tied to his multi-year drug binge, the fact that those issues came to light is highly, highly likely to be the work of Russian intelligence or those working on their behalf.

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Bigs Following TPM, as usual

For everyone who enjoyed our recent series on The Chesebro Document Trove and our exclusive on Ken Chesebro’s sock puppet Twitter account (BadgerPundit) I wanted to flag this follow up on Badger Pundit from CNN, which kinda sorta credits TPM breaking the story, even if the reference and link are buried pretty far down in the piece. (But seriously, who’s complaining!?!?) In any case, thank you to our members for supporting our original reporting and independent journalism. And if you’re not a member yet please consider joining our team.


The Nikki Haley campaign tells Fox News that the campaign has taken in $1 million in contributions online since her defeat last night in South Carolina. But the Koch Network, which put its ample funding apparatus behind Haley’s campaign last fall, announced that it’s suspending that support and shifting its focus to congressional races. They haven’t soured on Haley. They say they just don’t think more money can make Haley’s nomination any more likely. By that standard, of course, this has been clear for months. What’s not entirely clear is how much immediate effect that will have. Koch had already significantly scaled back its spending on Haley after she fell short in New Hampshire.

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