A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Overton Window Dragged To Hell
On Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) defended his independent expenditures spending half a million dollars to support far-right Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R), who cozies up to white nationalists and spews white nationalist talking points, in the 2020 election against her Democratic opponent.
- Ducey made it clear he still stands by the cash boost, telling reporters that he’s “proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
- Oh, “and she’s still better than her opponent, Felicia French,” the Republican governor said.
Russia v. Ukraine, Day 2
Our Ukraine expert Josh Kovensky has been up night and day tracking developments on the ground:
- Listen to Josh and TPM executive editor David Kurtz chatting about things an American audience might miss about the historical echoes of the Russian invasion:
Florida House Passes ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill
The infamous Florida bill that would ban “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” passed the state’s Republican-controlled House on Thursday.
- It’s expected to become law. The GOP-controlled Senate is poised to pass the bill, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has publicly backed the legislation.
- The bill’s sponsor insists it’s about “parental rights,” a thing conservatives cherish deeply unless the parents in question have a trans kid.
- Speaking of which, the five Texas district attorneys in the state’s largest counties announced yesterday that they have no interest in following Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) directive to prosecute parents who allow their kids to get gender-affirming care.
House Oversight Committee Ramps Up Probe Into Trump’s Doc Mishandling
House Oversight Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sent a letter to National Archivist David Ferriero on Thursday evening asking for more information on the 15 boxes of White House documents Trump took to his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida, including descriptions of the classified material that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) confirmed finding in the boxes.
Maloney also wants:
- Descriptions of all the documents that Trump had torn up or otherwise damaged before they were transferred to NARA
- All communications and records between Trump-era White House officials on their boss’s habit of destroying documents, including reportedly flushing them down the toilet
Biden Has Chosen SCOTUS Pick
- Biden is reportedly expected to announce the nominee today, exactly two years after he first pledged during a presidential primary debate to appoint a Black woman to the bench.
- If the announcement doesn’t happen today, then it’ll be no later than Monday, White House aides told the outlets.
GOP Candidate Won’t Disclose His Finances Because It’s None Of The Government’s Beeswax
Tom Norton, a Trump-endorsed Republican primary challenger to Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI), refuses to file his personal financial disclosures as mandated by federal law.
- “That’s none of the federal government’s business,” he told Insider.
- “Fiscal responsibility” is one of Norton’s top campaign issues, according to his website.
CDC To Relax Mask Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is slated to issue new guidelines loosening its mask recommendations that would allow most Americans to go without wearing a facial covering indoors, according to multiple outlets.
GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe To Announce Early Retirement Soon
The 87-year-old Oklahoma Republican, whose term ends in 2026, is expected to announce on Monday his plans to leave at the end of the current Congress in January, according to Politico and the New York Times.
- That’ll likely spark a special election over his seat in the fall. We’re talking about Oklahoma here, so the actual race will be the GOP primary (barring any Roy Moore/Doug Jones-esque twists).
- Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, already said last year that he wasn’t running for reelection at the end of his current term. However, Politico notes that the senator’s missed more votes than usual lately, plus the fact that he mentioned in December that his wife was sick.
Palin Wants To Speak To The Manager About A New Trial
According to the judge in former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times, Palin’s seeking a new defamation trial after losing the first one last week. She also wants to get the judge disqualified, the judge said.
This Is A Good Take
“The Psychos Are Trying to Drag Us Into World War III” – Jack Mirkinson at Discourse Blog
This Is A Mistake
Former President George W. Bush decided to put out a statement yesterday condemning Putin’s “unprovoked and unjustified invasion” of Ukraine, and while it goes without saying that plenty of other Western leaders don’t have much standing to criticize the imperialism driving Russia’s attack, my man should really sit this one out.
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