20 Years of TPM

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20 Years of TPM

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For the last 4 years, TPM has been my slice of sanity during erratic, unpredictable and extraordinary times. This is the first election cycle of my lifetime where flags and signs for the losing candidate are still up in my neighborhood. The crazy is bound to continue into 2021 and beyond … grateful for a corner of the internet where facts, coherent arguments and great stories reign.
- Reader CR
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TPM writes the news, and creates the stories that have results. From a progressive perspective, this is a huge role.
- Reader TS
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TPM gave me relevant political perspectives that didn’t leader with their snark-face, that were grounded in history (and the reality-based community), and that were well-written as well as fluent.
- Reader CPD
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I fully believe that in the absence of TPM, the ACA might not have happened. It is an amazing thing to have even played a small role by being a reader.
- Reader JB
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[TPM] managed to bridge an information gap between the Left and Right coasts, especially what inside Washington was up to on a micro and macro level. Y’all got me through the terrible noise of conspiracies of 9/11. Probably aided Obama’s struggle to win the White House. And echoed our very real anguish of the last gut wrenching years.
- Reader CS
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I am old enough to have debated the merits of Johnson vs Goldwater on the schoolyard. I have had an RFK presidential campaign poster on my wall since the 1968 California primary. Following TPM gives me insights into the political world and information ahead of the mainstream conventional wisdom.
- Reader CG
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When I’m about to give in to the ‘sky is falling’ dread I read and gain comfort that things are maybe not as bad as they appear, and conversely I see posts that alert me to things that have not necessarily bubbled to the surface.
- Reader TK
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One of the things that makes TPM so special, if you are a reader, and you engage, it is not just dismissed. The readers are a part of the whole. It’s quite amazing actually
- Reader DS
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During the 2000 recount, both my husband & I would sit at our computers every morning before work and hoover up any information we could find. It was personal and reassuring to read blow-by-blow accounts of that debacle of an election, almost as if a trusted friend was on the ground keeping me up-to-date. I’ve read TPM every day since then, for 20 years.
- Reader ST
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When the Boston Marathon bombing occured, the news coverage was ultra-sensational. Reporters were breathlessly describing "terrorists" who turned out to be just passersby. It was impossible to really get a handle on the story and its meaning. I just kept following the story on TPM. Never once did you stray from hard, confirmed information. You made the craziness clear and understandable.
- Reader DM
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Many, many years ago I was an avid follower of Molly Ivins & her syndicated column. She mentioned a bright young blogger, Josh Marshall, who had a new blog, Talking Points Memo. I clicked on it, and have been doing that daily for close to 20 years now.
- Reader LRA
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I stumbled upon TPM when the Democratic Party was at an extremely low-ebb and what really struck me and kept me reading was how TPM kept the story of Trent Lott's praise of Strom Thurmond alive that led to his resignation from the Senate Majority Leader position.
- Reader JK
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My favorite TPM memory came when you live blogged the night of the 2008 Presidential election. At some point early in the evening, at around 5 or 6 pm pacific time, I refreshed your live blog on my iPhone and you had changed the banner to read “Fuck Yeah Blogging” and announced that Obama had been declared the winner of Ohio.
- Reader JB
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When I found TPM, you were reporting on Duke Cunningham's corruption and others were beginning to pay attention.
- Reader KS
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When I started visiting TPM I was a newlywed. Now I have three teenagers. That there is a community of people who believe in truth, believe in a center, helps me hold on to those things myself. Even though now, more than ever, I don't understand the country I live in, I still turn to the TPM community for sense and reason.
- Reader JW
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When the recount was happening in 2000, I sat in my office and scoured the internet for a sane voice to get real solid information and stumbled across a new blog. Since then, I've moved 4 times, lived in 3 different states, changed careers completely, been married, widowed, married again, have two kids and gotten 20 years older. One thing that hasn't changed is I've been back to that blog literally every day since and have the coffee mug to prove it.
- Reader AW
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Especially during the Trump era, your work has helped to make our day-to-day struggle bearable. The entire edifice is a tremendous achievement — I’m sure TPM will show up in history texts as an important pioneer; a vanguard of what’s to come in a turbulent and rapidly changing world.
- Reader JO
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I found TPM by accident, as I was new to using the Internet for news. I think it was a link or a mention from Eric Alterman? Who knows. Within a week, I was hooked - as it was the middle of the nefarious Brooks Brothers riot and the bad-faith legal arguments from the Republican machinery.
- Reader MP
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I discovered TPM in November 2000 as a college student struggling to make sense of the first election I'd voted in. I still read it daily now, as the teacher of college students struggling to make sense of the first election they have voted in.
- Reader IN
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I believe it can be said with some accuracy that TPM is, in a sense, the liberal blogosphere’s “paper of record.” I think I can even pinpoint when that took place: the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal of 2007. TPM got a hold of that story and just worked it until the mainstream press had to take notice.
- Reader TC
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Marshallisms

appreciate the congrats /kənˈgrats/ n: What you say when you’ve done something really awesome. An homage to Trump’s memorable response to the Pulse nightclub shooting: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”
Bamboozlepalooza /bamˈbōozəl/ n: The George W. Bush administration's attempt to privatize Social Security, early in its second term, while refusing to level with the public about the impact of what it was doing. Also, the insistence that the wildly unpopular idea was, in fact, broadly popular.
The Brittle Grip /ˈbridl/ n: The growing insecurity of the very wealthy, even as the yawning gap in economic and political power between the rich and poor continues to widen.
the Fainthearted Faction /ˈfakSH(ə)n/ n: A segment of Congress made up of those Democratic senators and representatives who appeared willing to go along with George W. Bush in privatizing Social Security.
Talking Points Memo’s Fainthearted FactionTPM circa 2006
Drawing of a man tugging at his collar nervously
the nonsense debt /det/ n: The problem faced by a GOP establishment that has for years fed its voters garbage now that said garbage has been weaponized, more effectively, by libertine billionaire Donald Trump and his cadre of con artists. (Related term: “the hate debt.”)
Up-Is-Downism /doun/ /ˈizəm/ n: When a political operative declares the opposite of what is true to, in fact, be true.
dignity wraiths /rāTH/ n: Men and women of once-vaunted reputations who have been reduced to mere husks of their former selves through their association with Trump.
A doodle by Josh Marshall depicting 'Dignity Wraiths,' one of his Marshallisms TPM circa 2018
the Dead Ted Bounce /bouns/ n: A brief period during the 2016 Republican primary during which Ted Cruz, despite his generally agreed upon unlikeability, appeared to have more popular support than Trump because of his campaign’s superior ground game.
the Rump /rəmp/ n: The weirdest, most fire-breathing portion of the GOP. Embodied at different times by different spokespeople and movements, including the Tea Party, the Freedom Caucus, and, later, Trumpism.
tire-swinging /ˈswiNGiNG/ v: When a reporter has gotten way too cozy with a politician, and their reporting becomes insipid because of it.
Trump's Razor /ˈrāzər/ n: According to Trump’s Razor, the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts is also, most likely, the truth.
TPM circa 2003
Published Since 2000