EDITORS' BLOG
California Said No

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! This week, Josh and Kate discuss the failed effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the President’s meetings with a certain couple of senators who are threatening his whole agenda.

Watch below and email us your questions for next week’s episode.

You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

The Urgency Gap

It would seem that the Trumpian made-up threats to democracy–Deep State, mass election fraud, etc–are taken much more seriously by Republicans than the actual threats to democracy – insurrection, Big Lie, political violence – are by Democrats.

As Cristina flagged in the Morning Memo, a new CNN poll shows Republicans are much more likely (75%) to say that democracy is under attack than Democrats (46%).

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Where Things Stand: Pastor Trades Vax Exemptions For Church Dues
Prime Membership Required

Jackson Lahmeyer is a Tulsa-based 29-year-old pastor, small business owner and GOP candidate challenging Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) in 2022. And he’ll get you out of getting the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons if you pay the right price.

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What Civic-Moral Calculus Should We Apply to Mark Milley?

In seeing the day two commentary on Joint Chiefs Chair Mark Milley’s actions in the final weeks of the Trump administration I’m more inclined to praise than to criticize him.

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Does The Recall Result Tell Us Anything About the Rest of Country?

It’s hard to make too much of the California recall. It is after all one of the most Democratic states in the union. The moribund state Republican party coalesced around a standard bearer whose top policy position may have been credible reports he pulled a gun on his fiance during a fight. The only conceivable way Larry Elder could have become governor is with very low turnout and a majority of voters deciding narrowly to recall Newsom and allowing Elder to slip through with like 35% of the vote.

But it doesn’t mean nothing.

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Thank You For Joining Us

Last night, TPM hosted a lively and illuminating discussion, with an impressive lineup of panelists, on redistricting, 2022, voting rights and the dire need for boldness from Democrats the next several months.

If you weren’t able to attend, you can watch below, but I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to join us — we hope you got as much out of it as we did. And a special thank you to all of our members and those of you who contributed to the TPM Journalism Fund as part of your registration.

We’ll have another virtual event soon. Stay tuned.

Where Things Stand: TPM EVENT STARTS AT 6 P.M. ET
Prime Membership Required

Tonight, TPM is hosting a live virtual discussion on redistricting and the perhaps inevitable shift in House control post-midterms.

Sign up here!

We’ve got an impressive lineup of panelist who will dig into, among other things:

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Did Milley Think Trump Would Go Berserk?

We’ve got another Bob Woodward book that has exclusives that read as a bit too good to check. This has always been the thing with Woodward. Since his access has always been purported to be unlike anyone else’s he can have scoops that really no one else can confirm. And … well, that’s okay, apparently. This new book is – interestingly – coauthored by Bob Costa, also of The Washington Post.

The big revelations, at least in the early accounts, are tied to the action of Joint Chiefs Chair, Mark Milley. Milley was apparently afraid China and the US might stumble into a war around the 2020 election, with exercises around Taiwan and increasingly belligerent statements from then-President Trump. To defuse tensions, Milley allegedly twice called his Chinese counterpart to assure him the US was not planning and would not attack China. He did this once just ahead of the election and then again just after the January 6th.

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Are We Going to Have a Vax Mandate Uprising?

I went a few rounds with TPM Reader EG over the last couple days over whether President Biden’s vaccine and test mandate will be the precipitating event leading to the breakdown of civil order in the US which now seems perpetually just around the bend. That’s not at all what I see coming. I’m all for the mandate. If anything I think Biden should be more aggressive. But I was curious that EG did see it unfolding this way.

In his view, the reports of an upstate New York hospital having to shutter its maternity ward because a group of health care workers had quit their jobs rather than be vaccinated is the leading edge of a coming wave. He sees hospitals having to reduce capacity just as COVID is filling ICUs in the fall. Then there are police, one of the least vaccinated of professions. He sees waves of police quitting their jobs, putting more pressure on efforts to tamp down on COVID-era crime surges and creating a pool of out of work LEOs ready to provide the muscle for future insurrections.

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Where Things Stand: DeSantis Again Threatens Fines For Those Who Dare Defy His Deadly COVID Rules
Prime Membership Required

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is re-upping his main and, seemingly, only defense against those in his state who dare to buck his rules against COVID-19 mitigation measures: He’s threatening more of the little guys with fines again.

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| Muckraker

The initial reports on the contents of the new book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa came trickling in this afternoon.  

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| Prime

We wrote yesterday about the trend of 2020 election truthers — Big Liars, Trumplicans, pick your title — exposing sensitive information about the inner workings of election software, in the name of Truth and Transparency. 

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| News

In May, a federal judge dismissed a Trumpy lawsuit over the 2020 election results in Antrim County, Michigan, where a clerk’s error had briefly resulted in a miscount of the vote. “Expert” witnesses in the suit had seized on the discrepancy, which they claimed was the result of Dominion voting machine technology “purposefully designed” to tamper with vote totals.

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| News

When Democrats discuss the climate goals they hope to meet in the reconciliation package, they don’t mince their words: “transformational,” “once-in-a-generation,” “big enough to meet the moment.” 

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| News

As the U.S.’s two decade war in Afghanistan draws to a close, very few former officials involved in prosecuting it have publicly struggled with the consequences.

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| News

You may remember Tina Peters, the clerk in conservative Mesa County, Colorado, who’s now under investigation for allegedly helping facilitate the leak of sensitive election software information to a QAnon influencer. 

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| Muckraker

It was Sept. 12, 2019.

Congress was asking why the Trump administration appeared to be concealing a whistleblower complaint, as the White House lifted a mysterious block on $350 million in military aid to Ukraine.

And Attorney General Bill Barr, then-head of federal law enforcement in the Trump administration, was watching a Downton Abbey screening at the British Embassy.

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