Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Most of us have been listening for years to Ron Fournier preach the gospel of post-partisanship and bothsidesism. In fact, he was on Meet the Press Tuesday night doing just that. But it turns out he now works for a Republican PR firm and … well, it gets weirder from there. Matt Shuham has the story.

For months, really years, we’ve been hearing conflicting accounts about when the Mueller probe would end. Remember that President Trump’s lawyers at least were telling him it would be done by Thanksgiving of 2017. Not 2018, 2017! Then it was the end of the year. Then President Trump canned those lawyers. Since then there have been numerous reports claiming the investigation was about to wrap up. But for a long time most of those reports seemed to stem either from the President’s lawyers or people near the President. It was only very recently that we heard reports from reporters we believe are reliable — people like NBC’s Pete Williams — saying more or less the same thing: that the probe was entering its final stages or appeared to be in the process of winding down.

I don’t think reporters like that are going to take Rudy Giuliani’s word for it or the word of some Trump appointee flunky at the Justice Department.

Then finally we had acting AG Matt Whitaker say last week that he’s been “fully briefed” and that the investigation is “close to being completed.”

So what’s going on here?

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From TPM Reader AS

I was skeptical about AF. I don’t see many ads with Prime and I just pulled the trigger on AF just to support all of you. But having been an AF member for all of 15 minutes, the enormous speed increase with AF membership (presumably because there is no linking to other sites / services with each page load) makes TPM way more of a joy to visit. Feel free to quote me on this.

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Howard Schultz is no longer CEO of Starbucks. But as de facto founder (he took it over as a small coffee roaster and developed it into what we know as Starbucks) I imagine he is still a major shareholder. Really he and Starbucks are inseparable. But I don’t think he’s really considered how vulnerable the company is to a boycott or simply enduring brand damage tied to this effort.

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I cannot say I’ve hung on every word of ex-Starbucks CEO (and de facto founder) Howard Schultz’s 48+ hour pre-campaign. But I’ve seen most of the public statements. What’s most notable is that the main theme of his campaign so far is hostility to Democrats. And as he gets criticized by Trump critics that pattern appears to be intensifying.

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President Trump is the best marketing director for anti-Trump books. A short while ago, former staffer Cliff Sims was on CNN pushing his tell-all book when Trump tweet attacked him in real time. He even got a chance to respond in real time: “Nice. There it is.”

So some encouraging signs from our roll out of Prime AF (the new Ad Free version of Prime). In the first few days 2,090 readers have either joined or (in most cases) upgraded their existing Prime memberships to Prime AF. To all of you, thank you for being part of this. Subscriptions are the way an independent media organization can remain vital and alive and as little subject as possible to industry storms that have no inherent connection to its journalism or the dedication of its readers. We all see the scythes cutting through the staffs of other digital media organizations. This strategy has protected us from that fate. So if you have a moment, please join or upgrade your existing Prime account.

In late December I recommended one of my favorite recent books off my reading list – recent in this case meaning when I read them, not necessarily when they were published. That was Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Oster. (You can see my review and recommendation here.) I’ve been casting about since and in the last week I’ve finally found a book on a related topic that has captured my interest: The Writing Revolution: Cuneiform to the Internet by Amalia E. Gnanadesikan. But what really prompted me to write this post was this poster I saw on Jason Kottke’s site.

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Today we’re starting what they call a soft rollout of Prime AF (Prime Ad Free). If you’re an existing Prime member I really hope you’ll upgrade your account. If you’re not a Prime member, maybe this will finally pull you over the edge. Ad Free is TPM, with every article with absolutely no ads ever. Anywhere. I’ll just say it. It’s really important and also awesome. Please upgrade.

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