Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Lindsey Graham, who is now showing his worst and true side, said this about the Kavanaugh decision: “Ms. Ford has a problem and destroying Judge Kavanaugh’s life won’t fix her problem.”

Kavanaugh’s testimony and questioning were almost entirely heat and little light. This was the pivotal moment in my mind for what it revealed.

This meanwhile was Kavanaugh clearly and transparently lying to the committee.

Quick thoughts on Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement. To me he seemed more unhinged than forceful. It had been telegraphed that he wanted to show more emotion than he had in earlier testimony. He certainly managed that. He testimony seemed openly partisan, showing his roots as more of a political operative than a jurist. His testimony was almost the definition of someone who lacks a judicial temperament. For all this though I also know I was not the intended audience. For that audience of Republican senators and Republican voters I do think he went some way to at least stabilizing the catastrophic damage he suffered this morning.

I think he quickly lost ground in his only questioning from Democrats. Yelling works better in a statement of defense than it does in a question and answer with a senator. Feinstein asked a straightforward question. He did not answer it.

Another point. There were various moments, bread crumbs spread through the statement that suggested Kavanaugh does not think he’ll ever make it to the Supreme Court. And I think this assumption shaped his testimony. He looked like someone cuing up another career.

I have, so far, had an odd exposure to today’s testimony. I had to be out of the office and offline for most of the late morning, notwithstanding the gravity and newsworthiness of the day. I saw the first fifteen or twenty minutes of Blasey Ford’s testimony. Then I returned for the last round of questioning of Blasey Ford from Rachel Mitchell, the sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona.

Everything I’ve heard about what came between confirms me in my reaction to those two portions of the hearing.

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Here’s a minor note on a day of major news. President Trump has no meeting with Rod Rosenstein listed on his schedule today. No big secret here. He said yesterday in his press conference that he might ask Rosenstein to postpone their meeting because of the big events on Capitol Hill. He also said he’d prefer to keep Rosenstein on and suggested he believed his denials of the details of The New York Times story that triggered this latest drama.

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We started our annual Prime membership drive a month ago with a really ambitious goal: 2,000 new subscribers, the kind of goal you’re afraid to set because you’re not going to make it. I think we’re going to make it. We’re now just 278 sign-ups short of that goal. This isn’t an arbitrary number. It’s key to TPM’s future. Ready to join us? Click here.

Spokesperson for the ‘Judicial Crisis Network’, Carrie Severino, the Federalist Society-linked campaign group that runs ads for right-wing judicial candidates, buckles on air in the face of the latest charges. It’s really must watch video.

We now have a flurry of different accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. They range from highly detailed accusations to one which is fragmentary even in the recollection of the alleged victim. But there’s something else that has grabbed my attention repeatedly in the last forty-eight hours. It is inherently difficult to reconstruct things that happened decades ago. But in the course of reacting to these different accusations, Kavanaugh has repeatedly lied in the present. If these allegations are true – and I believe they are – then Kavanaugh is lying in denying them. But it’s not even those lies which really jump out to me. Kavanaugh has told a series of other lies that are really clear cut and demonstrable.

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As I mentioned last night, there are some real questions worth asking about the political views of Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor chosen by Judiciary Committee Republicans to do their questioning of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. But judged entirely on its own, this is a truly bizarre decision, quite apart from all the obvious optics about hiring an outside person to avoid having the Committee Republican men question an alleged victim of sexual assault.

Mitchell is a prosecutor who specializes in child sexual abuse cases. Those cases require all sorts of specific knowledge and experience. That experience is at best ill-suited to this assignment. Blasey Ford is a fifty-something college professor. And in any case, this isn’t a trial.

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Florida is one of four states that permanently disenfranchises citizens with felony convictions. That means 1.4 million Floridians can’t vote, a number which disproportionately affects the state’s African-American population (by design). But a measure on the ballot on election day could change that. TPM’s Allegra Kirkland went to Florida to report this fourth installment of our 2018 series on Voting Rights and Democracy. It’s a must read about a critical issue. Read it here.


It's Lonely In The Minority

Now that they’re in the minority, this is the press corps covering House Republicans…