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Where Things Stand: Trump-Appointed Judge Allows Rep Boebert To Block Twitter Critic Prime Badge

The Colorado gun congresswoman is now allowed to block critics on Twitter.

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Where Things Stand: SCOTUS Quietly Punts On Trans Rights Case Prime Badge
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WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES - 2019/10/08: Participant holding a sign outsithe the Supreme Court. 133 protesters were arrested blocking the street across the Supreme Court in an act of non violent civil disobedience, as hundreds of LGBTQ+ advocates convened in Washington, DC for a national day of action as a community response to the landmark Supreme Court hearings that could legalize workplace discrimination, primarily against LGBTQ+ people, on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender presentation. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

As anti-trans rights laws pop up in GOP-led state legislatures across the country, fueling one of Republicans’ top culture wars in the Biden era, the majority conservative Supreme Court decided to not take up a key transgender rights case today, a surprising victory for LGBTQ rights.

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Where Things Stand: A Lot Of Aggression For A Bunker Boy Prime Badge
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The former president hid in his bunker when country-wide protests flared up in Washington, D.C. over the police killing of George Floyd last summer.

He was mocked with a variety of entertaining “bunker boy” related nicknames (not hard to get creative with that alliteration) and ultimately decided to show his strength by violently clearing out Lafayette Square and taking a picture in front of a historic church flinging around a Bible.

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Where Things Stand: Some ‘Accountability’ Prime Badge
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We’ve had a front row seat to Rudy Giuliani’s descent into Trumpy madness over the last several years, falling from his pedestal as America’s Mayor to the dripping, desperate “legal” face of Trump’s big lie.

Once the mayor of New York City, now temporarily banned from practicing law in New York state, Giuliani has had a rough one, brought on entirely by himself.

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Where Things Stand: Most Americans Think ‘Audits’ of 2020 Are Partisan Endeavors Prime Badge
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ARLINGTON, VA - MARCH 03: A woman marks down her vote on a ballot for the Democratic presidential primary election at a polling place in Armstrong Elementary School on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Somoa on what is known as Super Tuesday. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The majority of Americans can see right through the intentions of the ongoing and impending “audits” of the 2020 election springing up around the U.S.

But a decent chunk — 37 percent — also think that voter fraud is a major problem in the United States.

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Where Things Stand: Trump Will Endorse Literally Anyone Who Challenges GOPer Who Co-Wrote Jan 6 Commission Bill Prime Badge
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UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15: Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., attends a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup in Rayburn Building, September 15, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The former president has vowed to make reelection a living hell for any Republican who voted to impeach him.

But his recent handwritten note to a local county conservative group promising to do just that to take down Rep. John Katko (R-NY) was the encapsulation of Trumpism — just the right blend of outsized ego and transparent desperation.

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Where Things Stand: Dem Calls For GOPers Ouster After Latest Jan 6 Conspiracy Theory Prime Badge
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Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) yesterday called for the removal of three of his colleagues — Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) — from Congress over their promotion of the far-right’s latest wild conspiracy theory surrounding the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Moulton told CNN Sunday the trio were “traitors” who are attempting to “whitewash history” by hyping the theory, which makes the case that the FBI was actually the entity responsible for the Jan. 6 attack.

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Where Things Stand: All The Grievances Prime Badge
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The Senate minority leader is showing a bit more of his cards than usual.

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Where Things Stand: House Probe Of Trump DOJ’s Eyebrow-Raising Data Seizures Begins Prime Badge
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House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) just officially requested documents from Attorney General Merrick Garland on the previous administration’s DOJ and its seizure of records of members of Congress and journalists.

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Where Things Stand: Abbott Is Latest GOPer To Boost Critical Race Theory Hysteria Prime Badge
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on July 8, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an anti-critical race theory bill into law on Tuesday, and Texas become the latest red state to adopt legislation that bans certain topics on race and racism from being discussed in the classroom.

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What’s Going on on Capitol Hill? Prime Badge

I want to start by thanking everyone who took a moment over the last 22 hours to contribute The TPM Journalism Fund. 310 of you have contributed since we kicked off our drive yesterday. Truly, thank you. And all of us here at TPM thank you. I explained below what the Fund is and why it’s so important. If you haven’t yet, please consider clicking here to become a contributor. More on that later today.

This morning I want to kick off by sharing the Inside Briefing we held yesterday with Adam Jentleson. Adam’s a former Harry Reid staffer and relevant to this present discussion perhaps the most important filibuster reform activist. He’s got a book on it called Kill Switch you can find here. As is usually the case with these Briefings, in addition to wanting to make it informative for readers, I was mainly interested to answer two questions for myself. First, where are we on reforming or ditching the filibuster? and Second, what on earth is happening up on Capitol Hill about passing a big infrastructure bill which is supposed to be the centerpiece of the President’s agenda?

If you’re a member the video of our discussion is after the jump.

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Where Things Stand: McConnell Might Still Be Open To Having A Spine Prime Badge
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Against Trump, that is.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) heads to a vote in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The spotlight on Sen. Manchin grew even brighter after declaring that he will vote against the Democrats voting rights bill, the For the People Act, in his op-ed that was published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail over the weekend. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Where Things Stand: Stark Contrasts At DOJ Prime Badge
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By now you’ve read the New York Times bombshell report: the Trump administration Justice Department seized records from Apple for metadata from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), in 2017 and 2018.

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Readers Respond on Lab Leaks #4 Prime Badge

From TPM Reader AJ

While in general I agree with your take on the Lab Leak hypothesis, I would point out that the evidence is not as balanced as you suggest.

There are strong empirical suggestions that this is a natural event – specifically to do with genetic structure and the distribution of initial cases.

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Readers Respond on Lab Leaks #3 Prime Badge

From TPM Reader MT

I have been following your conversations on the lab leak theory for Covid, and how the perception has changed in the near absence of the facts changing. I am a biomedical scientist (soon to be retired!) and my reaction to the lab leak possibility when I first heard about it early during the pandemic was to dismiss it out of hand. But I quickly changed my mind when I realized what the Wuhan labs had been doing with bat viruses and that the Chinese government was, at best, not being forthcoming with information.

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Readers Respond on Lab Leaks #2 Prime Badge

From TPM Reader DA

I think your analysis is penetrating and dead-on in your argument about the self-criticism by “liberals” concerning the Wuhan Lab leak issue. I believe we have seen this same error crop up in another context concerning Covid.

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Readers Respond on Lab Leaks #1 Prime Badge

From TPM Reader HC

I’ve been reading your posts on the lab leak, and while I agree with your assessment that the “media failure” has been overblown, I think you overstate a few things yourself and perhaps aren’t comparing the lab leak and natural spillover theories on an equal basis. Couple points:

1. You say several times that there is “no evidence” for the leak theory. That’s true, at least in public. But the Chinese government has sealed all the records of the lab in question! So there’s kind of a situation where we know that any evidence that would be there isn’t available to us. It also raises suspicion, rightly or wrongly.

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Lab Leaks, Contrarians and the Semiotics of Lying Your Ass Off Prime Badge

Probably unwisely, I have waded back into the ‘media got it wrong about a lab leak’ debate with my friends Matt Yglesias and and Jon Chait. They’re not the worst on this. But as is often the case in life you’re most ticked by people you think should know better but apparently don’t. As I’ve noted, it’s a complicated question because the informed consensus has shifted a bit. Just not that much. The best informed discussion of the state of play is here.

To the extent there’s a problem with the media coverage on this topic from last year it’s that some commentators went from saying this was a claim with zero evidence, that actual experts didn’t agree with it, that it was very unlikely to calling it a ‘conspiracy theory’ which had been ‘debunked’. These aren’t the same things. But they aren’t terribly far apart either. That is especially so when the people making the claims have a history of being chronic liars.

Still, they’re not precisely the same.

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Go Slow on the ‘Lab Leak’ Theory Prime Badge

There’s a great trend piece to be written on how most of the big wig journalism organizations got bamboozled into thinking it’s more or less certain that COVID originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. Here’s yet another example from The Washington Post, emphasizing how it’s essentially a media story about how journalists too quickly dismissed the wild claims of Donald Trump and Tom Cotton which included no evidence and transparently political motivation.

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Where Things Stand: Biden Greeted By Significantly Friendlier Faces Overseas Prime Badge

We didn’t need a poll to tell us that the globe at large is likely relieved that Donald Trump is no longer the U.S. president.

But a new Pew Research survey reveals that the U.S.’s image overseas has improved substantially and at record speed since President Biden took office.

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Don’t Miss This Prime Badge

I wanted to make sure you saw this piece yesterday on the Park Police Inspector General’s report about the clearing of Lafayette Square on that critical day last year in Washington DC. The big takeaway from most accounts – and what folks on the right have gone to town about – is that the decision to clear the park doesn’t seem to have been immediately tied to President Trump’s bible press op a short time later. It’s one of those stories where a closer look shows more chaos than intentionality.

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More On the Rolling Insurrection Prime Badge

In my series of posts about the specter of political violence seeping into conventional politics, one examples was in San Luis Obispo, California. San Luis Obispo isn’t Santa Monica or Marin. But it’s very much not one of the northern or rural counties in the east of the state that are very Republican and might as well be in Idaho or rural Nevada. It’s sort of middle of the spectrum – used to be fairly Republican but in recent decades has been more Democratic in national politics.

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Where Things Stand: Famously Clinton-Averse Former Legislator Supports Jan 6 Commission Prime Badge
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VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 4:  Congressional Candidate Barbara Comstock speaks to her supporters after her win at her victory party in Ashburn, Virginia on November 4, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

As the face of all things anti-Clinton, Barbara Comstock has been a TPM fan-fav villain for years. But she’s made an unlikely reemergence in recent weeks on a very different side of history.

We’ll get into that in a minute, but first, let’s hit the archives.

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Is Manchin Ignoring the Polls? Prime Badge

A brief addition on Manchin. A number of you have written in to cite a segment on Rachel Maddow’s show, apparently last night, which showed a bunch of polls that suggest the laws in question – infrastructure, voting rights, etc. – are actually very popular in West Virginia. So either Manchin is just confused or is doing something other than following the lead of his constituents’ more conservative views. I didn’t see the segment. The results as relayed to me do not surprise me. But these polls don’t necessarily mean what you think. You can’t really take them at face value.

Liberals or various people on the left will often point to polls which seem to show that Republican voters actually support liberal policies. We’re not winning elections but we’re winning on the issues. The answer is usually to push liberal policies more aggressively.

There are a lot of cases where Democrats should push liberal policies more aggressively. The COVID relief and infrastructure bills are good examples. But again, you can’t make a straight line between these polls and that end point.

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