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: We’re Hosting A Midterms Event This Week And You Should Come
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It’s virtual, and anyone can join.

If you’ve been following my colleague Josh Marshall’s ed-blog posts the last several months, you’ve likely read a few of his pieces centered on the theory that Democrats should be putting the disastrous Dobbs decision at the forefront of their messaging campaign to voters this midterms cycle. His case has been simple: Democrats need to make the calculus clear to demoralized liberal voters. Yes, they had 50 seats in the Senate for the last two years, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the filibuster to pass Roe-like protections (or to pass any number of other Democratic priorities). Like it or not, there were two Democratic holdouts on the filibuster.

So Democrats, Josh argued, needed to go to voters with a clear promise: Give us two more senators, and help us hold the House, and we promise — we’ll restore the right to an abortion that the conservative Supreme Court took away.

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Where Things Stand: Team Trump Receives The Jan 6 Subpoena
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After reports surfaced last week suggesting that the Jan. 6 Committee was struggling to find a lawyer on Trump’s team who was authorized to accept service of a subpoena, team Trump has reportedly been served.

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Second Woman Alleges Walker Paid For Her Abortion: ‘He Pressured Me’
Where Things Stand: There Are 1,700 Races This Year To Oversee Local Elections, And Conspiracy Theorists Are Running To Win Them
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Election conspiracy theorists and adherents of Trump’s Big Lie are running in races across the country this midterms cycle for high profile, state-level positions that will give them the authority to carry the torch of 2020-esque MAGA election challenges into the future.

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Where Things Stand: Trump’s 2022 Election Challenges Will Begin In Philly
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Donald Trump has been holding meetings with allies, lawyers and MAGA Republicans in recent months to prepare for how exactly to contest the results of the 2022 election, Rolling Stone reported this weekend. In case it was ever a question — he plans to.

The team has reportedly been discussing legal and rhetorical avenues Trump and his allies might take to challenge the results in certain races that don’t go their way. The team is also discussing how aggressive to be in races where the winner is not known on the night of the election.

That brings us to Pennsylvania.

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Where Things Stand: What You Need To Know From The Loeffler Text Dump
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You’ve likely seen some headlines today about the trove of ex-Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s texts that were obtained by reporters for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and, later, Politico. AJC’s article, published last night, detailed the messages’ highlights, and said they came from an anonymous source. The 59-pages worth of messages are from Loeffler’s final weeks in office before she was defeated by Sen. Ralph Warnock (D-GA) in the January 2021 runoff election.

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Where Things Stand: The Racist Skin Darkening Has Returned
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Back during the 2020 Senate election in Georgia, the campaigns of the two soon-to-be-defeated GOP senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, were both accused of digitally altering images of their Democratic opponents in negative campaign ads in racist and antisemitic ways.

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Where Things Stand: No Greater Reward For The Bigot
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If Donald Trump runs again and wins in 2024, he’s reportedly already decided that the QAnon congresswoman who kicks teen activists and thinks that wildfires are started by secret space lasers will be part of his administration.

While it’s unclear whether he sees Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) as a good fit for a Cabinet position, department appointment or some type of White House role, Trump has reportedly told at least two people close to him that Greene would be “great” and he wants her “very close in a second term,” according to a new report from Rolling Stone. One of the sources told Rolling Stone that Trump specifically floated giving Greene a role in the Justice Department.

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Where Things Stand: Flynn Recruits Poll Workers At Proud Boys Event Inside Bunker Community
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The Associated Press has a new piece out today as part of an investigative series it’s producing with PBS’ “Frontline” focused on former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his ongoing descent into extremism and Christian nationalism. The investigative series will roll out alongside a documentary tomorrow night called “Michael Flynn’s Holy War.”

The new AP piece is a fascinating look at The Hollow, a bunker-like, Christian nationalist, far-right community site in Sarasota County, Florida that has become a MAGAworld meeting center and incubator for some of Flynn’s efforts to weave Trump grievances into politics at a hyper-local level. The Hollow has all the markings of a militia-community — even though the founder maintains it’s anything but that — that hosts events sponsored by Proud Boys family members, offers “Biblical citizenship” classes and is home to a gun range that offers classes to children as young as six. Flynn reportedly has visited the site multiple times this past year and financially supports the organization.

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Where Things Stand: Let’s Break It Down
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Just before the Jan. 6 committee unanimously voted to subpoena Donald Trump for testimony, we also learned that the Supreme Court had refused to hear the Trump team’s appeal in the Mar-a-Lago records case. The court unanimously sided with the Justice Department, which asked the High Court to not interfere in a lower court’s decision to keep certain documents out of the special master’s review.

Not a great day for Trump.

My colleagues Josh Kovensky and David Kurtz hosted a live Twitter discussion just after the hearing ended this afternoon, breaking down both big bits of news. We recorded it, in case you were busy. Listen here:

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