Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We now have the first explanation from the Trump side about what happened in Dr. Bornstein’s records. The explanation is different. But it raises some big questions, some big legal questions on it’s own. According to CNN: A source very familiar with what happened “said that the doctor overreacted, made a very big deal about the question and then couldn’t get his photo copy machine to work.”

Full video after the jump.

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I mentioned below that there appear to be HIPAA violations on both sides in the Bornstein case and that Keith Schiller and Trump Organization Alan Garten might be in legal trouble for what amounts to robbery. But there’s another part of the equation that I wasn’t aware of and could deepen their legal jeopardy.

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A few initial thoughts on President Trump’s former doctor and what he describes as a “raid” on his office carried out by Trump’s longtime bodyguard, then a government employee at the White House, the top lawyer at the Trump organization and an unidentified “team” of Schiller’s.

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Here is a very interesting development which may seem gossipy but goes to the heart of our story. The National Enquirer, which has emerged as a de facto arm of the Trump political operation, has a front page story this week attacking Michael Cohen’s “secrets and lies.” Given the relationship between Trump and the Enquirer, that’s a pretty clear indication that Trump is turning on his most loyal and obsequious servant.

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The massacre last week in Toronto has spurred a public conversation about so-called “incels,” a subculture of self-described “involuntarily celibate” men. To say that misogyny is fairly endemic in this community is something of an understatement. In the case of Alek Minassian, it appears to have led to mass murder.

Over the weekend, as I read various pieces of commentary, I got pulled more deeply than I wanted to go into the intricacies of the subculture. A central concept is “sexual market value” — yes, I know — which is a metric by which incels express anger at women who they believe are as sexually unappealing as they are and yet nonetheless refuse to have sex with them. One proposed policy is to have the government assign each person a sexual market value (so no one can deny their actual value). People can only have sex with people of their own value. And for women, the more partners they have, the further their market value number falls. (A sort of big data of slut-shaming.) So basically, the more sexually active a woman becomes the greater obligation she incurs to have sex with the least sexually appealing men. The only way to up her “score” is through exercise. Basically in the incel social taxonomy a sexually active woman gets caught in this Black Mirror-type dystopia of alternating bouts of servicing sexually enraged losers and logging nonstop hours at the gym but never getting ahead of the curve. (It really is blue-sky policy formation in the form of nearly murderous sexualized rage.)

Needless to say, these are some pretty enraged and f’d up dudes, probably all the more so as they marinate in the rage of kindred spirits on forums like 4chan and Reddit. But the whole story took a bit of a different turn when I noticed that a tenured economist at George Mason University was basically endorsing at least the premises of this argument. I was reminded of this this afternoon when I saw this entirely separate article about how the Koch Brothers were apparently allowed to give hiring and evaluation input in the George Mason econ department in exchange for their donations to the University.

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You may have seen some of these paintings already. I’d seen maybe half of them floating around social media over recent months. They’re the work of a painter from Utah named Jon McNaughton. (You can find all his work for sale here.) He specializes in a sort of kitschy painting focusing on patriotic and Christian themes. They have a very didactic bent. People from wildly different eras of history side by side in highly didactic group portraits. So you’ll have Jesus being shunned at the podium in the House of Representatives or this painting of Moses with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Antonin Scalia, Phyllis Schlafly and others.

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TPM Reader JG on today’s “extra” edition of The Josh Marshall Podcast with Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) …

Just finished listening to this episode. I appreciate you bringing on not just journalists or SMEs, but also elected officials who have a voice that can help galvanize our efforts.

By far the best part came at the end: “Let’s say I have $200-300 to contribute over the course of the election cycle. How do I contribute most effectively?”

Holy shit, that’s the question right there. I’m politically aware and I vote. But I also have a bit of extra cash that I don’t contribute because where the hell am I supposed to send it?

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With all we’ve learned over the last six or seven months, Michael Flynn almost seems like old news. But I wanted to take a moment to place today’s revelation about a December 2015 meeting with then-Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak into a timeline context for the early months of the Trump presidential campaign.

This meeting came shortly before Flynn’s long-known visit to that Moscow banquet celebrating the 10th anniversary of Russia Today (RT). We don’t know specifically what this meeting was about. But it seems highly likely that it was tied to and in some way preparatory to Flynn’s attending the RT banquet with Vladimir Putin and others. That, of course, begs the question: what was the Moscow visit itself about? There’s no need to assume anything malign or conspiratorial about these early meetings. Foreign governments try to cultivate all sorts of U.S. government officials. Clearly, it was a relationship building effort. Flynn’s status as a three-star general, who had once run the Defense Intelligence Agency, would make him an attractive target. So would his building relationship with Donald Trump. 

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