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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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