Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We've gotten a veritable avalanche of emails in response to my post on the secret history of Canola Oil. Some are particularly vehement. Which brings me to one in particular from TPM Reader CB. He actually says in his email "Please don't use my name anywhere" so I am simply referring as 'Canola Oil Badass' (i.e. 'CB') who accuses me of "playing up the 'secret conspiracy' angle [to] you denigrate a very healthy and affordable food oil by smearing it as the product of some sort of nefarious, secret scheme."

From CB ...

Josh's Canola post had a slightly off smell to it for me: I'll try to explain why.

1. Why revel in your ignorance? That Canola is from a plant developed from plants in the large family of rape vegetables is not a secret, and most cooks know what it is.

2. Which leads me to, "You don't cook, do you?" Canola is better for pan or wok frying because its smoke point is up to 100 degrees higher than olive oil.

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This afternoon I picked up this weird story about a little town in Saskatchewan that is considering changing it's town slogan from "The Land of Rape and Honey." As I noted in the post, "rape" in this case is "rapeseed", which is an oil seed which produces a huge amount of the world's vegetable oils in its original and some man-made breeds of the plant. When I saw the headline I put it in one of our TPM chats. There were a couple WTFs and guffaws and then David Kurtz chimes in with something like "Ahhh, rapeseed? The oil seed?" And I'm thinking, Where the hell does he come up with this stuff? Who the hell's ever heard of rapeseed? What's rapeseed? Is there like cockwheat that I've never heard of either?

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There are many Democrats who believe that, in political terms, the joke will be on Republicans if the Supreme Court adopts the preposterous claim of the plaintiffs who say that Obamacare subsidies in states without state exchanges violate the law. This is because millions of middle- and lower middle-class people who had a benefit suddenly will have it taken away. I feel like I've been to this rodeo enough times to know Republicans have a really high capacity to stick with unpopular policies if doing otherwise would cut against key ideological priorities. In functional terms, the complaints of a few hundred thousand of what Sen. Johnson and his interviewer called "sad sacks" who lose their insurance cuts a lot less than the base's ideological commitment to opposing Obamacare by any means necessary. But the calculus may be different in some key states - states that did not set up exchanges but are generally blue or purple in presidential elections.

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