Things Are Grim and Life Sucks. Here Are Some Small Things to Distract and Delight You.

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Roughly six weeks after Joe Biden won the election, the mood here remains exhausted and annoyed. Donald Trump is reportedly telling advisers that he’ll refuse to leave the White House on Inauguration Day. The pandemic continues to explode. And I’m smack in the middle of a 10-day self-isolation period without anything else to watch across six streaming platforms. 

But! Hoping against hope each day, I do try to couch my grumpy outlook with the small caveat that incremental change is underway. Here are several nuggets of optimism I discovered today:

• Ian McKellen is officially vaccinated and feeling flippin’ “euphoric”: “I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone,” he says.
• This photo of New Yorkers dining in the snow
• The FDA is on the verge of likely recommending the Moderna vaccine.
• Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s incoming deputy chief of staff, gives a refreshingly honest, unapologetic interview on motherhood and politics.

But perhaps the best reason to hold out this Thursday comes from our very own Russ Choma, who shoots down the prospect of Trump’s reported flirtation with a 2024 run—a move that one campaign finance attorney warned would be “profoundly stupid”:

Should Trump make his presidential intentions official—as opposed to merely hinting at them—that would be “profoundly stupid,” in the words of one campaign finance attorney who spoke to Mother Jones. That’s because declaring a presidential bid will trigger a slew of election laws prescribing how Trump can raise and spend money. It would also force Trump to continue filing annual financial disclosures containing information about his business deals, loans, and personal wealth that Trump may not be eager to reveal.

That’s enough reason to be sort of, kind of cheery today, right? Onward!

This post was brought to you by the Mother Jones Daily newsletter, which hits inboxes every weekday and is written by Inae Oh, Ben Dreyfuss, and Abigail Weinberg. It regularly features guest contributions by our much smarter colleagues. Sign up for it here.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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