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Note to readers/holiday week subscriber thread
I'm taking a short break before ramping back up next week.
Thank you for your patience and comforting messages of support as I’ve taken a few weeks away from the daily grind to mourn the passing of my father. As is often the case with the loss of a parent, his death will be something I continue to grapple with for a long time. While he had been sick with cancer and complications resulting from his treatments for nearly a decade, he fought through so much for so long that I and other members of my family were caught off guard when his condition dramatically worsened over the course of just a few days last month. He died surrounded by family, but his decline happened so fast that it still felt like we weren’t able to give him a proper goodbye. As I tried to convey in my Twitter thread paying tribute to him, he was a wonderful man with a lot to live for, so the grief is heavy, especially on holidays like yesterday that used to be big family events with him at the center of them. He was a great dad and granddad, but he was also one of my best friends. And his loss is especially hard on my mom. This August will be their 50th wedding anniversary and I know their house is a lot lonelier these days. Thankfully, I’m living nearby her and my brothers, so at least we can navigate this together. But there’s a lot to process.
That said, I’m proud of the work we’ve published in this newsletter since I’ve taken a step back. Lisa Needham contributed insightful analysis of Tim Fitton’s corrosive role in Trump’s orbit. She also unpacked new reporting about Sam Alito’s corruption, and tackled the Supreme Court’s somewhat surprising ruling blocking a dangerous Republican attack on democracy. Noah Berlatsky explained how Joe Rogan and other right-wing figures have turned “debate me” into a signifier of bad faith and also dove in to the right’s shameless Hunter Biden obsession. Liz Dye debunked one of Trump’s favorite defenses in the classified documents case, and Thor Benson and myself teamed up on an expert Q&A about the threat that Elon Musk’s management of Twitter represents to the 2024 election. If you missed any of those pieces, I highly recommend checking them out. My contributors are fantastic.
But as I prepare to resume a normal work schedule next Monday, I’m taking a short break from publishing for the rest of this week. My top priority as the publisher of Public Notice is making sure that subscribers get their money’s worth, and I think we deliver quality explanatory and accountability journalism week in and week out. This Friday will mark the first time I haven’t published at least three newsletters in a week all year. But given the circumstances, I hope you’ll understand me taking a short break on the heels of the July 4 holiday.
Now that I’ve said all that, I want to hear from you. What stories are you following that you’d like to see me cover here in Public Notice? Would you like me to do more subscriber Q&As, use Substack Chat to interact more informally with readers, or tweak my content mix in some other way? Maybe you even have ideas about freelancers you’d like me to work with or potential podcast guests. Please sound off with any Public Notice feedback you might have in the comments, and I’ll monitor and respond to them over the weekend.
I’ll be back with more Monday, and thanks as always for your support. I’m very grateful to be able to cover politics independently for a living. It wouldn’t be possible without my phenomenal readers, and I don’t take you for granted.