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The House GOP's downward spiral is getting a little embarrassing

Plus a big win for trans kids in Arkansas, the ProPublica journalists scooping Supreme Court and a special morning routine in this week’s 3 Minute Read from Jen Psaki.
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The House GOP fries up another nothingburger

Republicans had quite a busy week. And yet, despite all that effort, they still failed to produce something — anything — the GOP can use to help keep control of the House next year.

To start, John Durham’s testimony Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee basically lead nowhere. The Trump-appointed special prosecutor produced no new evidence to prove the Russia probe was politically motivated. Not even a shred. 

Republicans have also wasted significant energy censoring Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. (Schiff essentially turned the tables on that endeavor by embracing the charade as a “badge of honor.”) Probably the most memorable moment from this giant distraction was Rep. Nancy Pelosi comparing the entire caucus to a bunch of puppets controlled by Trump.

Not to be outdone, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert got into a public brawl over who could force a baseless impeachment vote against President Joe Biden first. 

So if this week has revealed anything, it’s that the GOP’s downward spiral is fueled almost entirely by grievance and revenge. 

As Brendan Buck, a former adviser to House speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner told me: “The most useful thing President Biden has going for himself right now is a House absolutely incapable of not overreaching. Oversight can be effective for Republicans, but not when it’s focused on conspiracy theories and vendettas.”

A story you should be following: The Arkansas judge who did right by trans kids

Earlier this week, a federal judge overturned and permanently blocked a law in Arkansas that banned gender-affirming care for transgender kids. Judge James Moody Jr. ruled that the law violated both the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment, as well as the First Amendment rights of medical providers.   

At least 19 other state legislatures have enacted laws restricting gender-affirming care. But Moody’s decision marks the first time a federal court has ruled on the legality of these bans. 

I will be watching closely to see if other judges similarly affirm the legal, medical and constitutional rights of trans Americans.

Some people you should know: Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott and Alex Mierjeski  

The nonpublic lives of Supreme Court justices have traditionally been a black box of secrecy. But thanks to the investigative journalists at ProPublica, we’ve learned quite a lot about a number of justices who have made some questionable ethical decisions.  

Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott and Alex Mierjeski were the first to break the story about Justice Clarence Thomas' curious relationship with billionaire Harlan Crow, revealing how Crow treated Thomas to luxury vacationsbought property from him and even paid the private school tuition of a relative.

This week, the trio broke another massive story — about Justice Samuel Alito. He, too, took a luxury fishing vacation with a billionaire who “repeatedly asked the Supreme Court to rule in his favor in high-stakes business disputes.” 

Kaplan, Elliott and Mierjeski continue to uncover incredible scoops, and I’ll be keeping an eye on the stories they publish in the next few months. You should, too. 

Cecile Richards' weekend routine

What show are you bingeing on right now?   

“A Spy Among Friends.” I love Guy Pearce and Damian Lewis and they are great together — a spy bromance.

What’s the last book you read? 

Clint Smith’s “How the Word is Passed.”

What time do you wake up on the weekends?

I wake up with the sun, as does my dachshund!

How do you take your coffee?