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Where Things Stand: Sinema Is Fundraising For Dems In Europe Right Now Because What Could Be More Pressing Prime Badge
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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is spending her Senate recess in Europe, fundraising for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, her office confirmed to the New York Times this week.

It’s curious that Sinema has taken it upon herself to be a shining visage for the Democratic Party overseas when her mere existence as a senator is holding up the entire party agenda. But that, we are coming to learn, is par for the course for the Arizona senator.

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Where Things Stand: Airlines Buck Abbott’s Confusing Anti-Mandate Mandate Prime Badge
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Two Texas-based airlines plan to follow federal regulations about vaccination mandates, defying the state’s Republican governor’s recent mandate barring such mandates in the Lone Star State.

How many times can we say mandate?

Gov. Greg Abbott’s whole positioning on COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Texas would be amusing if it weren’t so dark. Abbott passed an executive order on Monday, banning “any entity” from adopting vaccine requirements in the state, even if private businesses want to implement them and/or follow federal requirements on vaccinations for employees. His order is hyper-focused on the badness of government mandates, while being a mandate in and of itself.

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Where Things Stand: Are Workers Getting Fed Up With COVID-Era Aggression? Prime Badge
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TPM has been covering the way in which the pandemic and the public health measures necessary to tamp it down have resulted in periodic eruptions of anger, often egged on by opportunistic, MAGA-aligned politicians. It’s become a theme for us: the specter of violence in politics that’s simmered for the last few years, predating the pandemic but inflamed by it.

But of course, the current level of public outrage is not limited to the political sphere of life. Anecdotal reporting — and, increasingly, data — suggest there might be an economic corollary to this trend as well.

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Where Things Stand: Facebook Whistleblower In Talks With Jan 6 Committee About Insurrection Prime Badge
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Frances Haugen

The Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen — who I wrote about earlier this week — is expected to meet with the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the insurrection, and might have already shared testimony with the committee.

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Where Things Stand: Grassley Congratulates Korean-American Nominee On ‘Work Ethic’ Of ‘Your People’ Prime Badge
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If confirmed, Lucy Koh, one of President Biden’s judicial nominees, would become the first Korean American to serve as a U.S. appeals court judge.

During the start of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, ranking Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) — an 88-year-old who just announced he’s running for another six-year term — made a remark that could only be interpreted as wildly inappropriate, at best, and pretty racist, at worst.

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Where Things Stand: DOJ Will Probe Violent Threats Against Teachers, School Board Members Prime Badge
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The Justice Department announced this week that it will soon start investigating violent threats against school teachers and school board members around the country — a concerning trend that escalated in recent months as students returned to the classroom amid a lingering pandemic and GOP-instigated culture wars violently boiled over during school board meetings across the U.S.

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Where Things Stand: An Insider Account Of Facebook In The Days Before The Insurrection Prime Badge
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Facebook, Instagram and other applications owned by the social media giant are all down today. The company is describing the outage as “networking issues,” while tech sleuths and new reports suggest the problem might be bigger than that.

I won’t speculate on technology as I know nothing about technology. But the outage comes just one day after a previously anonymous former Facebook executive and whistleblower went on “60 Minutes” to make new allegations concerning the company’s apathy about the dangerous spread of far-right disinformation on the platform.

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Where Things Stand: Durham Issues More Subpoenas Prime Badge
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John Durham is still digging in deep to find proof of some sort of anti-Trump origin of the Russia probe. So far, his findings haven’t produced the kind of damning evidence Republicans and Trump allies were hoping for. But a new report suggests he may be trying to expand the case he’s been trying to build for two years.

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Where Things Stand: GOP Leaders Whipping Votes That Will … Help Progressives? Prime Badge
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It’s a bit of a bizarre calculation, but House GOP leadership is reportedly launching a relatively aggressive offensive against the bipartisan infrastructure bill ahead of the potential House vote tomorrow.

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Where Things Stand: Petty To The Point Of Pain Prime Badge
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The former president did a lot of things to maintain control of his presidency — like the whole dismantling democracy thing or the time he encouraged a mob of his most loyal to violently try to do a coup.

But, according to one account, he also underwent a surgery without anesthesia just to maintain his hold on the office.

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Where Things Stand: Trump’s Thirst For Revenge Might Be Stronger Than Loyalty Prime Badge
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While unwavering fealty may be the most important key to former President Trump’s heart, a good prodigal’s son (or, daughter) story may be just as enticing. Especially when it’s coupled with the sweetness of retribution.

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Where Things Stand: But What If There Was No Debt Ceiling? Prime Badge
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UNITED STATES - AUGUST 9: Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are seen in the U.S. Capitol on Monday, August 9, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Mitch McConnell’s dangerous game with the debt ceiling seems to be playing out more or less as intended.

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Where Things Stand: Loudmouthed Former Guv Gets Surprising Endorsement For Comeback Bid Prime Badge

Susan Collins refused to endorse Trump in 2016, and she voted to remove him during his 2020 impeachment trial.

But in 2022, she will be supporting the self-declared proto-Trump Paul LePage. (“I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular,” the former two-term governor of Maine once opined.)

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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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