John Light

John is TPM‘s Prime editor. His writing has also appeared at The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Salon, Slate, UN Dispatch, Vox, Worth, and Al Jazeera, and has been broadcast on Public Radio International. Before joining TPM, John was a producer for Bill Moyers and WNYC, and worked as a news writer for Grist. He grew up in New Jersey, studied history and film at Oberlin College, and got his master‘s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Articles by John

Good morning and happy Friday. Both the House and Senate will meet only briefly today for pro-forma sessions. Here’s what’s on TPM editors’ radar today. 

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who was listed as the most endangered incumbent in the House, is retiring. You likely know him for a series of zealous investigations he launched — often on the basis of flimsy evidence — when he was the GOP’s point-man on oversight during the Obama administration. Those included probes into the so-called IRS scandal, the so-called Fast and Furious scandal, and, of course, Benghazi.

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Good morning. Here’s our daily calendar letting you know what TPM is up to. Congress is in session today and legislators will be holding a number of meetings with the press on the Hill. Here’s what else our editors have their eyes on.

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Good morning. As Josh has mentioned, one of our goals for this year is to give more guidance into how TPM works, what we’re working on on a given day, what events we’re focused on and why. In that vein, we’ll be publishing calendars on busy days — and eventually every day — showing which events our reporters and editors have their eyes on, where we have reporters deployed, what stories we’re working on and what we’re expecting over the course of the day. Here’s the first.

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Charles Harder, the lawyer who in the last 24 hours has sent legal notice to Steve Bannon, Michael Wolff and Wolff’s publisher, has had a role behind the headlines quite a bit in recent years. Most notably, he was Peter Thiel’s lawyer when the billionaire took down Gawker media. Later, as Roger Ailes’ lawyer, he threatened reporter Gabriel Sherman, whose stories about Ailes lead to his ousting. He also, for a short time, defended Harvey Weinstein. And lately, Harder’s been getting close to the Trumps.

Some more background from TPM’s archive here:

Peter Thiel’s Lawyer Goes After Gawker For Investigation Into Trump’s ‘Weave’ (6/15/2016)

Ailes Hires Lawyer Behind Gawker Lawsuit, Threatens To Sue NY Mag (6/6/2016)

Suit: Daily Mail Article Hurt Melania Trump’s Chance To Profit As FLOTUS (2/7/2017)

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If God wills it, Michele Bachmann will be making her return to the headlines in 2018: She is mulling a run for Al Franken’s former Senate seat, for which there will be a special election this year.

Longtime TPM readers may remember Bachmann from her time as a Republican representative from Minnesota, when she distinguishing herself as an opponent of what she called Barack Obama’s “economic Marxism” and his support for “the agenda of Islamic Jihad.” She also cautioned that her fellow Minnesota representative, Democrat Keith Ellison, was supported by “flying Imams.”

More recently, she held the national spotlight while running for president in 2012. During 2016’s presidential election, she played a key role lining up skeptical evangelicals behind Donald Trump, warning, ominously, that “without a shadow of a doubt this is the last election. This is it.” (The imminent end times are something of a theme for Bachmann.)

In 2013, Sahil Kapur pulled together some videos that provide a good look at Bachmann’s greatest hits. Here are some other clips from TPM’s archive that offer insight into the politics and career of this once and perhaps future member of Congress:

Bachmann Warns Of Link Between Census, Japanese Internment (6/25/2009)

Bachmann: I’ll Run For President — If God Calls Me To Do It (8/17/2009)

Bachmann Warns Of “Re-Education Camps” For Young People (4/6/2009)

Michele Bachmann’s Foster Care Contradiction (7/6/2011)

Michele Bachmann: Earthquake, Irene Were A Wake Up Call From God For Politicians (8/29/2011)

Bachmann: ‘End Times’ Are Coming Because Obama Is Supporting Al-Qaeda (10/7/2013)

Bachmann: Obama Supports ‘The Agenda Of Islamic Jihad’ At ‘Every Turn’ (10/24/2014)

Michele Bachmann: Thanks Obama For Bringing On The Apocalypse (4/21/2015)

Bachmann Warns: Rapture Coming Soon, So Convert As Many Jews As Possible (11/9/2015)

Bachmann Urges Evangelicals To Rally Around Trump: ‘We Don’t Get A Do-Over’ (9/9/2016)

Michele Bachmann On Trump’s Victory: ‘The Lord Did This’ (11/9/2016)

See also: Bachmann distinguished herself in 2011 during an early Republican primary debate by saying Anderson Cooper’s first name more than a dozen times in a row:

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