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: 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: 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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