EDITORS' BLOG
Where Things Stand: Let’s Check In On Steve
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Steve Bannon was, of course, among the 100-plus people Trump pardoned during his last months and days and minutes in office. But there’s been speculation since the pardon was issued about how much weight it would actually hold — Bannon had only been charged, but not convicted, of allegedly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a border wall crowd-funding campaign for personal use.

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A Few Thoughts on Conservatism Across Racial Lines
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Here’s a really fascinating interview New York Magazine’s Eric Levitz did with David Shor, a left-wing Democrat public opinion data guy whose analyses of public opinion and voting often confound Democratic orthodoxies, often supporting arguments advanced by more right-leaning factions within the Democratic party. It’s worth your time to read.

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Where Things Stand: Fox News–GOP Megamerger Continues At CPAC
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Long gone are the excuses of yesteryear that a Fox News personality’s seemingly partisan appearance was merely a journalist performing his or her journalistic duties.

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Your COVID Moments #7
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From TPM Reader PI

I’m retired, and before Covid, I visited and cared for my mother every day in a nearby memory care facility. She’s in late-stage Alzheimer’s. I took her to nearby parks, manicurists, restaurants and of course doctor visits and hospital stays when she had seizures. I helped her shower and trimmed her hair, joined her in group activities, sat with her in her facility’s garden, or in her room, watching television. I also spent many a time helping her through the fears, delusions or violence that dementia can trigger, then working with her doctor, psychiatrist and neurologist to find the right meds balance to keep her seizure-free and calm.

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Your COVID Moments #6
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From TPM Reader BA

Last year I worked at a law firm, the type started by three guys in the later 80s who decided to never change how they did business. In February I was starting to get concerned about COVID and asked one of the partners what plans the firm had to adjust. The answer was more or less “nothing”. My wife’s company, like many others, instituted a company-wide work from home policy in early March, while the direction at my office was just “Everything’s fine, try to avoid in-person contact while in the office.” Keep in mind that this was an office which previous denied people the ability to work from home unless there was some family emergency.

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Notes on Your COVID Moments

In these COVID moments posts I’ve been doing, as you can see, I’ve been publishing some that aren’t so much moments as people’s descriptions of how their lives changes beginning in February and much. There’s a subset of those which touch on how their lives changed for the better, or if not better than some relief from what had come before. In some cases, it’s ‘I had a sucky job. I got laid off and now I have a much better job.’ In other cases they’re much more heart-rending and poignant. A few of those are on the way.

Please keep your notes coming.

All Cylinders
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The Biden White House has brokered a deal between Johnson & Johnson and Merck that will have the latter company produce additional supplies of the recently approved J&J vaccines. The Post reports that the President will use the Defense Production Act to give Merck priority in purchasing equipment to ramp up for production.

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Your Covid Moments #5
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TPM Reader AA went back through his records and sent me a tick-tock of the lead up to lockdown in early March. He’s planning the trip of a lifetime to Japan for he and his wife’s 25th wedding anniversary. That’s in late March. Son is home from college. A stream of anecdotes, most of which are captured in this sentence of his: “We couldn’t decide if we were being smart or paranoid.”

And then he comes to this …

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Your COVID Moments #4 … “Our profession was gone in a night.”
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From TPM Reader AM

My wife and I are both (or were) freelance musicians in Chicago. At this time last year, I was playing in the pit of a musical at a theatre in downtown Chicago. I had been following the news about the coronavirus with increasing dread throughout February—partly because there were early covid cases in Chicago in January, partly because I was playing in front of 500 people 8 performances a week, but most of all because it was easy to see that the federal response was currently and was going to continue to be maliciously incompetent. Our first panic grocery shop was the third week of February, by which point I had insisted that my octogenarian parents cancel all possible outside activities (including the choir they sang in) and skip the performance of the show that they were planning on attending on March 15.

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Your COVID Moments #3 … “Thus began the most difficult year of my professional life.”
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From TPM Reader SW

I suppose, in retrospect, my “COVID moment” came a little late. I’m a union lawyer by trade, and at the moment I represent performing artists who work for non-profit arts organizations across the country. I was dealing with any number of quotidian crises in early 2020 and, as an long-suffering hypochondriac, I had more or less outsourced worrying about COVID to family and friends until it forced itself into my consciousness. So my reckoning came, along with a lot of the country, on March 11, though I think I probably had a few hours’ head start.

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voting rights
| News

President Biden has chosen for top positions at the Justice Department three advocates who have spent their lifetimes in the civil rights arena and the last four years in particular combatting the Trump-era’s most egregious assaults on democracy.

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DOJ
| Prime

The Justice Department signaled Friday it wanted to put a spotlight on its work responding to and disrupting domestic terrorism, marking a turn from the Trump era when any acknowledgement of a rise in far-right extremism could be met with a scolding from the then-president.

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QANON lives on
| Prime

January 20 was a tough day for the QAnon community. 

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