Thank You from All of Us

Please see my short note below on the first federal Juneteenth celebrated today. Before that, thank you for getting us off to a great start in our annual TPM Journalism Fund drive. If you’ve planned on contributing but haven’t found the opportune moment, please just click here and make today the day. It’s super important for TPM and your money will be well spent.

Thoughts on the First (Federal) Juneteenth

Yesterday President Biden signed the bill making Juneteenth a national holiday. Today it is being celebrated officially for the first time. Yes, today, June 18th. There are many, many things that can and should be said about this. But here’s one that I’ll focus on today.

Juneteenth will be the second federal holiday focused on the historical role and experience of African-Americans in the American Republic – the other being the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. It is also the second federal holiday tied in some way to the American Civil War. But in this case it is only barely so. Memorial Day began as a commemoration of the dead of the Civil War, in both the North and the South. (The precise origins are disputed.) But Memorial Day is connected to the Civil War only as a point of origin for a tradition. The holiday explicitly honors the sacrifices of all who died in the service of the armed forces of the United States in every war and conflict. To the extent Memorial Day is tied to the Civil War it is focused on military sacrifice, which is in key respects apolitical. It honors military sacrifice in the service of the American Republic irrespective of the nature of the specific conflicts which made the sacrifice necessary.

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Watch The New Episode Of The Josh Marshall Podcast: Grading Garland’s DOJ

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is now live! This week, Josh and Kate analyze the Department of Justice under Attorney General Merrick Garland and its pursuit of accountability (or lack thereof) for the Trump era.

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

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

Where Things Stand: House Probe Of Trump DOJ’s Eyebrow-Raising Data Seizures Begins
Prime Membership Required

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) just officially requested documents from Attorney General Merrick Garland on the previous administration’s DOJ and its seizure of records of members of Congress and journalists.

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Thanks from Two TPM Readers

I hesitated a bit about publishing this note from TPM Readers MW and CW since it’s a bit rosy-eyed about TPM and me. I can assure you that it is unsolicited. And I share it because it captures why we have community-supported memberships and part of what your contributions to The TPM Journalism Fund accomplishes. As I’ve been mentioning, our drive continues. If today is the day you want to contribute just click here.

With Josh discussing the TPM Journalism Fund lately we would like to present a note of thanks to the TPM community. If it meets with your approval then please pass this on to your subscribers. Thank you!

My wife and I wanted to express our thanks to TPM and the community for reasons I will mention below. I promise I will try to keep it short.

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Manchin’s Voting Compromise

Joe Manchin has put out his own version of a voting right/democracy protection bill. Tierney Sneed has the details here. Broadly speaking it seems like a watered down version of a Voting Rights Act upgrade and a stripped down version of H.1/S.1, the For the People Act. Like everything else with Manchin, it’s hard to know whether it means anything anyway since his baseline is needing 10 Republicans in support and there’s virtually no chance that happens.

But there is one detail which immediately caught my eye.

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Crunch Time on Infrastructure

I wanted to update you on what seems to be the state of play on negotiations for an infrastructure bill.

There appears to be some momentum for a purported deal created by the latest bipartisan “gang”, either called the G20 or the ‘problem solvers caucus’. (The first step of bipartisaning is to come up with a cheesy or cloying name.) This is the deal which is rather incongruously labeled as a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal with $579 of “new spending.” That sounds like a $579 infrastructure deal to me. But let’s set that aside for the moment.

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Maintaining Access in the Brave New Subscription/Paywall World

Thank you for getting us off to a solid start in our second annual drive for The TPM Journalism Fund. As I explained yesterday, contributions to the Fund provide a relatively small (on a budget percentage basis) but critical part of the budget that allows TPM to remain vital and focused on original reporting about the most important stuff. It’s really important for our future. I explain more about it here and you can click here to contribute.

This afternoon I wanted to tell you about an entirely different thing the Fund accomplishes, how it protects access for all TPM Readers even if they don’t have the financial wherewithal to subscribe.

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This is Who Tom Cotton Is

Here’s a must read story from Josh Kovensky about how Tom Cotton is insisting that China be denied the 2022 Winter Olympics because he says the PRC will use the Olympics to harvest the DNA of the world’s greatest athletes and then use this genetic treasure trove to create a genetically modified race of Chinese super soldiers to dominate the world. I’m not exaggerating or kidding. That’s what he’s saying. Read it here.

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The Death Blow To The GOP’s Anti-Obamacare Crusade: House Republican leadership is indicating that they’ve given up their war against Obamacare after the Supreme Court killed Texas’ challenge to it yesterday.

  • House GOP leadership released a statement predictably complaining about  Obamacare but notably didn’t say anything about another attempt to kill the law.


Obama cheered SCOTUS’ decision. “This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” he tweeted.


Happy Juneteenth! Biden signed legislation officially making Juneteenth, the anniversary of Major General Gordon Granger’s announcement in Galveston, Texas of the end of slavery on June 19, 1865, a U.S. national holiday.


By the way: Those Very Concerned Parents whom Fox keeps trotting out to clutch their pearls over critical race theory? It turns out nearly a dozen of them are actually GOP operatives, MediaMatters found.


Jan. 6 Lives On: In case you missed it, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) gave this extremely normal take on the 2nd Amendment ...



| News

In the minds of the right, the international communist threat is back. And this time, it’s not just personal — it’s genetic.

At least, that’s according to a letter that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) sent to President Biden this week.

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| News

Nearly three months after the head of Michigan’s Republican Party unveiled an audacious plan that would allow GOP legislators to circumvent the state’s Democratic governor’s veto to pass restrictive voting laws, the contours of the scheme remain murky. 

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| Muckraker

Over the past two months of infrastructure talks, there’s been a constant refrain from Republican negotiators: why not just use all the unspent COVID aid money to pay for the bill?

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| Muckraker

A 22-year old Pennsylvania man raked in thousands of dollars by impersonating various members of the Trump family, Manhattan federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

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| News

In March last year, the anti-Semitic broadcaster Rick Wiles said the spread of COVID-19 in Israel’s synagogues was a sign from on-high.

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| Cafe

As a lifelong novel consumer who enjoys throwing myself into other worlds for hours on end, it probably won’t come as a surprise that I don’t read too many short stories.

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| News

Months before Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance announced that he would not seek reelection for a role in which he oversees a criminal investigation into Trump and his company, a public defender and former reality TV star who had already been angling to replace him was tweeting about the DA office’s investigation into Trump.

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| News

“First of All, James Ball III, you are full of poop,” wrote one Republican Party functionary to another in a bitter, paramilitary-tinged rift over the future of the GOP in Multnomah County, Oregon.

“That is a legal term used by bible believing Christians,” the email continued, “who want to say something much much stronger but err on the side of caution.”

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