Josh Marshall

 Have a tip? Send it Here!
Josh Marshall is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TPM.

He Won’t Do Either. But Alito Needs to Resign, Not Just Recuse Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

I wanted to share a few thoughts about the Sam Alito problem. I don’t want to preach to the choir on this, but there are two points which should be highlighted. The first is that even on its own terms, Alito’s rationale for not recusing himself doesn’t hold up. His argument is essentially this: My wife is her own person with her own views and ways of expressing herself. I asked her to stop but she refused to do so and I couldn’t compel her to do anything. He notes that they co-own the properties in question, so even in the narrow sense of control over a piece of property, he couldn’t dictate anything. It was his wife, not him. He did what he could, but couldn’t do more. End of story.

This is not how federal ethics guidelines work. They make very clear that the appearance of a conflict of interest or impropriety, for these purposes, counts as much as actual ones. They also make clear that the actions of a spouse count toward creating such appearances even though, certainly in the early 21st century, a judge can’t dictate a spouse’s actions. The ethics guidelines specifically deal with the spouse issue. And they say “it’s my spouse, not me” isn’t a defense.

Read More 
Ireland (and Spain and Norway) Were Right to Recognize Palestine Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

Yesterday Ireland, Spain and Norway formally recognized a Palestinian state. The U.S. and most other European governments continue to support a “two-state” solution but refuse to recognize a Palestinian state because they say such recognition and such a settlement must emerge from negotiations between the two parties. Meanwhile, numerous other countries throughout the world have already made a declaration similar to Ireland, Spain and Norway’s. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says such recognition amounts to “a reward for terrorism.” Some offer a middle ground. British Foreign Secretary Cameron says the UK won’t recognize a Palestinian state as long as Hamas controls Gaza, etc. etc.

In practice such declarations have no real practical impact. The Palestinians most definitely do not have a state: that is their central grievance. Recognitions don’t change that. But is this actually a bad thing from the perspective of the United States? Or supporters of Israel? Or, really, anyone else?

It is not. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing. Much more important than that, it is a necessary thing.

Read More 
Justice

Before we get a verdict, it’s important to recognize that this is justice, regardless of whatever the verdict is. It is a billowing outrage that the three other cases against Donald Trump have been stymied to date by judicial corruption (certainly that’s the case in the two federal prosecutions; the Georgia case is more complicated). But those are different cases. This trial is in a different jurisdiction and about totally different facts and crimes. Both sides were allowed to make their case before a judge who did a good job of controlling the process. Now it’s in the hands of a jury.

I am certainly hoping for a conviction, mostly because the evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable. I’ve always thought this was essentially a jury nullification case. Trump’s only hope for an acquittal is for the jury to essentially say: we’ve heard what you say the law is and we’ve heard the evidence but we just don’t think this is a crime. More realistically, I think Trump’s real hope is a hung jury. Regardless, this is our system. Donald Trump deserves to have his fate in the hands of a jury. And now he does.

Live Blog

Follow along with our Trump trial live blog right here.

Site Issues

I wanted to give you a brief update on the server outage we had off and on for much of Tuesday afternoon.

First, we apologize that this happened and especially on such a news-packed day. As members you pay for us to bring you the news and for the site to be online. We take that responsibility very seriously. Unfortunately, we do not yet know the precise cause of Tuesday’s outage. It appears to have originated on our server host’s side. So that left us for much of the day in the uncomfortable position of largely having to wait on their team to figure out and fix the problem. (If you had a problem accessing the site, believe me — it was extremely frustrating on our end too.) We ended the day making some triage changes to keep the site online until the underlying cause is determined.

My words here may seem lawyerly or overcautious. It’s not that. We just don’t want to say more than we know or speculate and have to correct the record later.

Once we know the precise cause we’ll report back to you.

The Babe Ruth of Liars

Let’s grant the Trump lawyers their point and say Michael Cohen is the “MVP of Liars.” He’s certainly an accomplished liar. But even though I’m probably preaching to the choir, let’s look at this. This is Donald Trump’s argument, the guy who is plagued by all the turncoats, morons, liars and criminals who he’s hired to work for him. Again, Donald Trump is insisting someone is a liar and can’t be trusted. If Michael Cohen is the MVP, what is Donald Trump? The Babe Ruth of Liars?

Read More 
Would Republicans Toss the Filibuster for Trump? Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

This morning, Punchbowl has an item about Republican senators pledging not to tamper with the filibuster if they win control of Congress and Trump wins the presidency in November. (Yes, unfortunately we have to discuss these things.) Democrats don’t believe them. But Republicans insist they’ll say no to Donald Trump if he demands it. And they can point to 2017 and 2018 when he made those same demands and they refused.

Let me start by noting that Democrats absolutely shouldn’t believe them. Trump is Trump, after all, and Republican senators are Republican senators. But with that said, it is worth reminding ourselves that quite apart from believing Republican pledges or thinking Republicans are invested in values other than power, Republicans actually have interests in the filibuster that Democrats do not.

Read More 
A Proposal for Saving Some Publications that are Worth Saving

Today I got an email from a publication you know the name of telling me that they’re very excited to announce that they’re starting a membership program. They’ve already been taking contributions for a number of years despite being owned by two megacorporations and having a history as an aggressively funded VC start up. This isn’t a publication I tend to read often, but it’s one many people do. And they employ lots of first-rate journalists.

(They addressed me as a former contributor, which I’m pretty much certain isn’t accurate. Which suggests some of the slapdashedness of the pivot to membership and doesn’t bode well for the corporate overlords’ patience with this new direction.)

But it suggested to me a small policy idea that could be a part of the solution to some current woes of the journalism industry. It’s no silver bullet. And there other policy ideas people are backing. But here’s mine.

Read More 
A Very Important Poll Detail Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

I want to commend to your attention this article from Nate Cohn at the Times. It looks at the weak point for the NYT-Siena poll, and, indeed, many other polls this election cycle. In short, Donald Trump’s current lead is heavily focused on people who didn’t vote in 2020 and tend not to vote in general. They tend not to follow politics closely or pay much attention to traditional news sources. This isn’t new to our discussion. It’s sort of the internal anatomy of the gap between polls of registered voters and likely voters.

This is a fairly big deal. It has always struck me as inherently unlikely that what many suspect will be a relatively low turnout election (relative to recent cycles) will be determined by voters who tend not to vote and didn’t vote in 2020 — voters who, in this election, are supporting Trump in greater numbers. It’s not impossible. But it’s hard to figure. And this is what Trump’s current lead in most polls is based on. To be clear, this isn’t some hidden defect in the NYT-Siena poll or Cohn’s earlier logic. He’s discussed this issue throughout. And this article today focuses on it.

Read More 
First Arrest in UCLA Overnight Encampment Attack

We have our first arrest tied to the vigilante attacks on the UCLA Gaza encampment on April 30th. In some ways it illustrates how slow and incremental the process has been. The arrestee is an 18-year-old high schooler named Edan On. He appears to be either Israeli or Israeli-American. I base this in part on his name but more on the fact that his identity was originally uncovered in part by his mother’s boasting about his role in the attack in Hebrew on Facebook. (Many American Jews know some Hebrew, or even a lot of Hebrew. But they don’t tend to use it as a casual posting language on social media unless they’re from Israel or have a family background in Israel.)

Read More 
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: