Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Long time readers will know this. But I wanted to make sure everyone knows to join us Tuesday for election day and night coverage right into the depths of the evening. We will be hosting live results for every congressional and gubernatorial races across the country as well as major propositions and referenda across the country. I will be providing play by play in the Editors’ Blog. The whole team will be wrangling all the news in real time. Be sure to join us.

Have questions about the midterms. Tomorrow after at 4 PM eastern we’re holding an Inside Briefing with Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report. No one has a better grasp of the electoral terrain of American politics than Amy. We’ll talk about the late breaking developments in the final days of the campaign and take your questions.

Yesterday I discussed this bizarre incident where a “Jews for Jesus” faux rabbi did some kind of invocation or prayer at an event Vice President Mike Pence held for Rep. Mike Bishop and candidate Lena Epstein. Making it particularly offensive is that the ‘rabbi’ Loren Jacobs was asked to say a prayer on behalf of the eleven Jews murdered at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. I tried to explain some of it in this post last night. Suffice it to say that most Jews have a viscerally negative reaction to this group, which they correctly see as a stalking horse for evangelical groups trying to convert Jews to Christianity. Which brings us to the question: who the hell invited this guy?

I’ve been digging into this minor mystery. And boy, it’s a really weird story. And by that I mean not just the ‘rabbi’ but the whole campaign of Lena Epstein which appears to be an unfolding train wreck that I didn’t know about but really needed to.

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In the latest episode of the podcast we talk about the biggest campaigns you’re probably barely paying attention to: thousands of state legislative seats across the country. There are over 7,000 legislative seats in 99 chambers (Nebraska is America’s only unicameral legislature). Most of them get little press coverage, certainly very little national press coverage. They can just seem kind of boring. But these contests determine whether your state expands Medicaid, recognizes basic union rights, cares about voting rights or has gerrymandered congressional districts that lock in Republican control even in a 50-50 state. Fascinating important and extremely important.

By which I mean the attempt to bring down Bob Mueller by a group of right wing clowns gets better if by better you mean more hilarious as it crashes and burns. The scandal about a non-scandal seems to be pulling down one of the most maniacally pro-Trump Twitter personalities, Jacob Wohl. Here’s the story.

Politicians of both parties have reportedly rejected invitations to join the President as he tries to impose himself on the mourning period in Pittsburgh. The city’s Mayor has also tried to make clear that the President’s presence will be disruptive and unwelcome.

A simple point as we start the morning. The President can’t end birthright citizenship by executive order. This is a completely ridiculous idea, a sort of clown-show trial-run at rule by decree. No one with any credibility, let alone legal experts think an executive order can end birthright citizenship. There has been a push on the right to change this practice by passing a law through Congress, specifically revising Immigration and Nationality Act. This too is dubious at best, though it has been proposed and with a sufficiently partisan Supreme Court anything can be done. The change to legislate a change is best scene as a stunt not real lawmaking.

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In Michigan today, Vice President Pence held a rally for congressional candidates Mike Bishop and Lena Epstein. In tow, he brought a rabbi to offer a benediction and prayer of mourning for the eleven Jews killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. Only it wasn’t a rabbi, or at least not one who would be recognized as such by American Jews. Rabbi Loren Jacobs is a “Messianic Jew”, better known as ‘Jews for Jesus’. If this isn’t something you’re familiar with these are Jews by ancestry who maintain the trappings of Judaism and some of the ritual law while accepting Jesus as the Messiah and the entirety of Christian theology. They make up an incalculably small number of American Jews and are largely supported, subsidizedand advanced by evangelical groups hoping to convert Jews to Christianity.

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