Nicole Lafond

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Nicole Lafond is TPM’s associate editor, based in New York. She has also worked as the special projects editor and as a senior newswriter for TPM. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously covered education in central Illinois.

Where Things Stand: Ohio Newspaper Refuses To Cover DeSantis-Vance Rally Over Absurd Press Restrictions
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Let me just start out by saying this pair deserves each other — truly a dynamic coupling.

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Where Things Stand: RonJohn Is Flailing Around
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A recent Marquette University Law School found that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) may not be as safely re-electable as he was ahead of his last reelection in 2016.

The poll was released last week, showing RonJohn is trailing a bit behind his Democratic rival — Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has a 7-percentage point lead over Johnson with 51 percent of the vote compared to his 44 percent.

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Where Things Stand: McConnell Admits Dems May Hold Senate Because He’s Bad At His Job
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It’s political canon that the president’s party does poorly in the Midterms — especially if it’s said president’s first term. But the Senate minority leader is tossing bits of that conventional wisdom out the window as we get closer to the general election. And it’s not even the first time Mitch McConnell has preemptively winked in the direction of things not going super well for Republicans this fall — at least when it comes to control of the Senate.

During an event in Kentucky on Thursday McConnell suggested that it was far more likely that Republicans are able to flip the House than take back the Senate. That’s because the Senate is “different.”

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Where Things Stand: Pence’s Strategic Toe-Dipping
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Former Vice President Mike Pence is walking a sort of unprecedented fine line — saying a bunch of stuff that’s just subtly enough at odds with Trump that he makes headlines, but not so harsh in breaking with Trump that he Cheneys himself.

At least two of his remarks today provided an excellent example of this.

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Where Things Stand: Scott Escalates ‘87,000 New Armed IRS Agents’ Conspiracy Theory
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Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) pulled a publicity stunt this afternoon by releasing an open letter addressed to the “American Job Seeker” warning anyone who might be considering applying for a gig at the Internal Revenue Service that they need not apply.

That’s because, in his telling, any new funding being funneled into the agency after the passage of Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act will be reversed if Republicans take back Congress after the Midterms. Vowing to gut the agency once Republicans are back in power, Scott referred to any new job openings at the IRS — after the Democratic bill allocated $80 billion in additional funding for the agency, in part to help with staffing shortages — as a “short-term gig.”

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Where Things Stand: Man Charged For FBI Death Threats After Gab Meltdown Over Trump Raid
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The FBI and DHS put out a bulletin last week announcing that the agencies were fielding a significant uptick in violent threats being made against federal law enforcement, courts and government employees and buildings in general. Some of those targeted by the “unprecedented” surge in threats were the agents and officials listed in court records as being involved in the raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence a week ago.

Names of at least two agents who signed off on warrant-related paperwork have been circulating online for several days, adding to the specificity of the uptick in threats against the bureau as a whole. That, of course, could’ve been prevented if someone — presumably Donald Trump — hadn’t leaked unredacted versions of the warrant before it was officially unsealed, with names redacted, on Friday.

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WaPo: FBI Searched Trump Resort For Classified Nuclear Docs

The Washington Post has a breaking new development this evening that’s worth your attention:

Classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence on Monday, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Read the full piece here.

Where Things Stand: More FBI Activity Surrounding Perry
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There’s a lot going on in the world of Trump investigations this week, but I wanted to catch you up on some details surrounding additional FBI activity in Pennsylvania. At the center of it, it seems, is Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA).

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