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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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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