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Where Things Stand: McConnell’s Not Biting Prime Badge
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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks through the Senate subway on his way to the fourth day of the Senates second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on February 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump’s defense team begins their presentation of the defense that Trump should not be held responsible for the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol on First Amendment grounds and the fact that he is no longer in office. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mitch McConnell

We covered a report over the weekend about ex-President Trump’s ambition to boot longtime Republican leader Mitch McConnell out of office. McConnell has refused to comment on the news, a stance first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, and he shrugged again today.

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Where Things Stand: Gun Couple Might Lose Their Law Licenses Prime Badge
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Mark and Patricia McCloskey leave the Carnahan Couthouse on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, after pleading not guilty to two felony charges each of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering for an incident in June when they pointed guns at protesters in front of their Portland Place home. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)

Their gun-waving earned them a coveted speaking gig at the Republican National Convention last year, victimhood status in Trumpworld and the inflated confidence needed to run for Senate in Missouri.

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Where Things Stand: There Have Been 500,000 Child COVID Cases In Last 2 Weeks Prime Badge
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The American Academy of Pediatrics has new data on the number of COVID-19 infections among children in recent weeks. The statistics are stunning. While 5.3 million children total have contracted COVID since the pandemic hit the U.S. last year, August and September were particularly infectious months for children, according to the new report.

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Where Things Stand: Pastor Trades Vax Exemptions For Church Dues Prime Badge
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Jackson Lahmeyer is a Tulsa-based 29-year-old pastor, small business owner and GOP candidate challenging Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) in 2022. And he’ll get you out of getting the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons if you pay the right price.

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Where Things Stand: TPM EVENT STARTS AT 6 P.M. ET Prime Badge
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Tonight, TPM is hosting a live virtual discussion on redistricting and the perhaps inevitable shift in House control post-midterms.

Sign up here!

We’ve got an impressive lineup of panelist who will dig into, among other things:

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Where Things Stand: DeSantis Again Threatens Fines For Those Who Dare Defy His Deadly COVID Rules Prime Badge
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MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 29: Governor Ron DeSantis gives a briefing regarding Hurricane Dorian to the media at National Hurricane Center on August 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is re-upping his main and, seemingly, only defense against those in his state who dare to buck his rules against COVID-19 mitigation measures: He’s threatening more of the little guys with fines again.

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Where Things Stand: Proud Boys Leader Is Hung Out To Dry Prime Badge
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Ooof, you can’t make this stuff up.

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Where Things Stand: Jan. 6 Lawyer Who Went AWOL After Possible COVID Infection Reemerges Prime Badge
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06:  Protesters gather storm the Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The whereabouts of conservative lawyer John Pierce, who is representing 17 Capitol insurrectionist defendants, have been fuzzy for some time.

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Where Things Stand: Backlash To Extreme Texas Abortion Law Is At A Slow Burn Prime Badge
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on March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The backlash to the new anti-abortion law in Texas is only slowly coalescing, and it remains unclear whether it will manage to put any kind of serious economic or political pressure on the state.

Case in point: the city council in Portland, Oregon is set to vote Wednesday on a measure meant to punish Texas for the ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

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The Rage of the Mods

There are various points here from TPM Reader PT that I disagree. I don’t think there was ever a “Clinton / Gore / Lieberman wing of the party”. I also think it’s hard to argue that moderate or conservative-leaning Dems are obsolete when they have it entirely within their power to sink the President’s entire agenda. But there are enough accurate points that I wanted to share PT‘s take.

I’ve been paying a modicum of attention to the ongoing freakout of conservative Democrats in Congress, as I’m sure you have been as well. I have a couple of thoughts about them that I’d like to share with you.

First thought: to understand what’s going on, it’s helpful to think of this faction as a kind of ethnic group within the Democratic Party, and one that has until recently been at the top of the status hierarchy of their society (that society being, again, the Party). They were always the ones you needed to get things done; they could tank — or rescue — any legislation, they were the ones who could cut deals with the less conservative Republicans, they were the ones whose interests were always catered to. If you wanted to get ahead in national politics in the Democratic Party, you had to make sure everyone knew you were in the Clinton / Gore / Lieberman wing of the party, and not with that collection of leftists who didn’t know how to win an election.

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Where Things Stand: Last We Checked, Ted Wasn’t Cool With States Regulating Reproductive Health Prime Badge
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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) heads into a Judiciary Committee hearing where Republicans will vote on whether or not to move the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court out of committee and on to the Senate for a full vote on October 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away in September. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) put out a rather nebbishy statement today addressing the disastrous abortion ban that went into effect in his state this week, perhaps in part to cut through the curious silence on the part of GOP leadership on an issue it has campaigned on for decades.

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Where Things Stand: Pro-Choice When They Like Your Choice Prime Badge
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AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 08: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas on June 8, 2021. Abbott signed Senate bills 2 and 3 into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state's power grid. The bill signing comes months after a disastrous February winter storm that created widespread power outages and left dozens of Texans dead. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

Since the pandemic reached our shores last year, the right has been extremely vocal about its deeply held opposition to any type of government regulation that impacts personal health choices.

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Where Things Stand: Native Tribes Have Been Bucking Anti-Mask Rules For A While Prime Badge
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We’ve watched and covered public school districts in red states around the U.S. defying Republican governors’ orders against universal masking in schools for the past several weeks. But as sovereign nations, many Native American tribes around the country have been taking school-related COVID mitigation measures into their own hands for some time.

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Where Things Stand: Mississippi Guv Blames Everything And Everyone But Himself For Deadly COVID Spike Prime Badge
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Back in April of this year, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) blamed the lackluster vaccination situation in the Magnolia State on “a very large African American population” and “a lot of rural people.”

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Where Things Stand: Giuliani Makes The Case That He’s ‘A Functioning’ Person Prime Badge
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UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Rudolph Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee, on lawsuits regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election on Thursday, November 19, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s not me, it’s you.

America’s former mayor gave a rather blunt interview to NBC New York this week, addressing head on the fact that everyone thinks he’s basically lost his mind.

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Where Things Stand: Bernie May Make A Few Pointed Pitstops On His Reconciliation Bill-Hyping Tour Prime Badge
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DEARBORN, MI - MARCH 07: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a campaign rally at Salina Intermediate School on March 7, 2020 in Dearborn, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

While Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) centrist colleagues in the House try to flex their muscles ahead of the party’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation package reaching their chamber, Sanders is planning to spend the next few weeks selling the bold legislation to Americans — specifically, Republican voters in the Midwest.

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Where Things Stand: Abbott’s New Vax Mandate Ban Is Clearly Aimed At Big Schools Prime Badge
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We spent a good chunk of last week covering various school districts in Florida, Texas and elsewhere that are standing up to their governors’ bans on mask policies in schools. The defiance has been interesting to watch play out — most are maintaining their mask policies, despite ongoing threats from the state level.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott just issued an executive order that looks like another escalation of that battle.

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Where Things Stand: Another One Of Nunes’ Nutty Lawsuits Was Just Dismissed Prime Badge
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on March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Throwback to simpler times, when I was given the greenlight to spend many a TPM workday covering which Twitter farm animal Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was suing next.

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Where Things Stand: The Little Guys Are Holding The Front Line Prime Badge
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The school districts fighting back against Republican governors’ efforts to prolong the life of the pandemic in their states have shown pretty remarkable strength this week.

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Where Things Stand: Washington State Finally Does It — All School Workers Must Be Vaccinated Prime Badge
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Being vaccinated is now a condition of employment in all Washington state schools. And that includes public, charter and private.

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Where Things Stand: Election Officials Are Searching For A Plan To Avoid The Next MAGA ‘Audit’ Disaster Prime Badge
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 23: Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (L) speaks with city clerk Melissa Kennedy (C) and election specialist Robert Stokka (R) during a public accuracy testing of Election Day voting machines at the Municipal Services Center on October 23, 2018 in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Each jurisdiction that operates electronic voting equipment must hold a public accuracy test within 14 days of the election (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The National Association of Secretaries of State is trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

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Where Things Stand: Contender For Worst COVID Governor Gets COVID Prime Badge
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AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 08: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas on June 8, 2021. Abbott signed Senate bills 2 and 3 into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state's power grid. The bill signing comes months after a disastrous February winter storm that created widespread power outages and left dozens of Texans dead. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who has distinguished himself with his incredibly lax approach to handling the COVID-19 outbreak in his state, has tested positive for COVID-19.

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Where Things Stand: The GOP’s Dramatic Reversal Prime Badge
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The Republican Party wants you to forget that just a few months ago the GOP agreed that the move to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, which Biden is now being criticized for, was sound foreign policy.

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Where Things Stand: Cruz Hops On The ‘Poor Insurrectionists!’ Train Prime Badge
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We expected folks like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to offer jailed insurrectionists the victim card. They staged a photo-op protest at the jail where some of them are being held last month to paint the rioters as mistreated political prisoners.

Now Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is joining the whitewashing movement.

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Where Things Stand: Greenberg Hands Over Sex-Arranging Texts That Include Pics Of Gaetz Prime Badge
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Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL, speaks during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on “Online Platforms and Market Power” in the Rayburn House office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 29, 2020.  POOL

ABC News got its hands on some private messages that it says Matt Gaetz’s buddy Joel Greenberg allegedly sent. The messages, ABC reports, were turned over to federal investigators, and reportedly show Greenberg arranging a meet up between himself, Gaetz, and women who were allegedly paid for sex.

Things are looking increasingly bad — and gross — for the congressman.

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Where Things Stand: Biden Sends Ventilators To FL. DeSantis Wants Nothing To Do With It Prime Badge
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The Biden administration reportedly sent 200 ventilators and 100 nasal oxygen kits to the state of Florida this week as the state sees an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases. As we’ve reported, the number of people hospitalized with the virus increased by 1,173 just in the last two days — putting the total number of confirmed hospitalizations in the Sunshine state at 14,787.

But Gov. Ron DeSantis claims he didn’t ask the feds for the life-saving equipment.

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Where Things Stand: Mark Meadows, You’re Up Prime Badge
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Former White House chief-of-staff Mark Meadows was one of Trump’s top henchmen pushing the DOJ to buy into his conspiracy theory of a stolen election — that is, when Trump wasn’t doing the dirty work himself.

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