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4:35 PM ET, January 20, 2021

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 Top Items: 
NBC News:
Some QAnon followers lose hope after Inauguration  —  Some QAnon conspiracy theorists, in public and private internet forums and chat rooms, were despondent Wednesday as their prophecy of an Inauguration Day coup to keep Donald Trump in power failed again as President Joe Biden was sworn into office.
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Kevin Roose / New York Times:
QAnon believers struggle with inauguration.  —  Followers of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory, have spent weeks anticipating that Wednesday would be the “Great Awakening” — a day, long foretold in QAnon prophecy, when top Democrats would be arrested for running a global sex trafficking ring …
Jesselyn Cook / HuffPost:   'It's Over': Devastated QAnon Believers Grapple With President Joe Biden's Inauguration
The White House:
Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding Executive Grants of Clemency  —  President Donald J. Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 individuals.  —  Todd Boulanger - President Trump granted a full pardon to Todd Boulanger.
RELATED:
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
With hours left in office, Trump pardons Bannon.  —  President Trump has granted clemency to Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who was charged with defrauding people who supported building a border wall that Mr. Trump supported, White House officials said.
Grant Stern / Byline Times:
Still Faces ‘We Build the Wall’ State Investigation
Discussion: Law & Crime and Crooks and Liars
Tiana Lowe / Washington Examiner:   Trump's final insult to his supporters: Pardoning Bannon
Sheera Frenkel / New York Times:
‘A Total Failure’: The Proud Boys Now Mock Trump  —  Members of the far-right group, who were among Donald Trump's staunchest fans, are calling him “weak,” in a sign of fraying support.  —  After the presidential election last year, the Proud Boys, a far-right group, declared its undying loyalty to President Trump.
RELATED:
Anna Merlan / VICE:
Trump Fails to Ascend as God Emperor, Leaving Diehard Fans Adrift  —  Some grieve and some insist all is going according to plan.  Others are enthused about forming a new political party.  It's a moment as dangerous as it is hilarious.  —  TORONTO, CA  —  As new President Joseph R. Biden took …
Andrew Restuccia / Wall Street Journal:
Trump Has Discussed Starting a New Party  —  President Trump has talked in recent days with associates about forming a new political party, according to people familiar with the matter, an effort to exert continued influence after he leaves the White House.  —  Mr. Trump discussed the matter …
Ben Makuch / VICE:
Far-Right Extremists Tell One Another to Stay Home, Fight Another Day
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president, pleads for unity in inaugural address to a divided nation  —  Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, pledging to unite the country and confront an array of convulsing challenges dividing a fractured nation.
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Washington Post:
Joe Biden's inauguration speech transcript, annotated
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Biden: ‘We Must End This Uncivil War.’ Here's What It Would Look Like.
HuffPost:
Feds Arrest Proud Boy Member Joe Biggs Over Capitol Riot  —  The right-wing media figure denied to FBI agents that he was involved in any planning for the attack on the Capitol, but admitted entering the building.  —  Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested Joe Bigs …
Discussion: The Hill and Eschaton
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Pilar Melendez / The Daily Beast:
‘This Is Awesome!’: Another Proud Boys Leader Arrested for Storming U.S. Capitol
Discussion: USA Today and The Intellectualist
Transition / President-Elect Joe Biden:
FACT SHEET: President-elect Biden's Day One Executive Actions Deliver Relief for Families Across America Amid Converging Crises  —  Actions Address the COVID-19 Pandemic, Provide Economic Relief, Tackle Climate Change, and Advance Racial Equity  —  Today, hours after taking the oath of office …
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Politico:
Biden plans executive action blitz for Day One
Axios:
Off the rails: Inside Trump's campaign to coerce Pence into overturning the election  —  Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term.
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Alayna Treene / Axios:
Trump departs on final Air Force One flight
Asawin Suebsaeng / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Parting Words to U.S.: ‘Have a Nice Life. See You Soon’
Politico:
‘Really quite shocking’: Inside the ugly transition at the Pentagon  —  The Pentagon blocked members of President Joe Biden's incoming administration from gaining access to critical information about current operations, including the troop drawdown in Afghanistan, upcoming special operations missions …
Discussion: UPI, Defense One and Raw Story
Raphael Satter / Reuters:
In hidden message on White House website, Biden calls for coders  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The recently updated website for President Joe Biden's White House carried an invitation for tech specialists savvy enough to find it.  —  Hidden in the HTML code on www.whitehouse.gov was an invitation …
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Meridith McGraw / Politico:
Trump revokes rule preventing White House staff from lobbying
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Trump's swampiest pardons, ranked  —  President Trump came into office pledging to drain the swamp.  He exits having extracted a bunch of allies who were neck-deep in the muck from it.  —  As I've regularly noted with Trump's pardons, it's not unheard-of for a president to pardon an ally.
RELATED:
Andrew Weissmann / Just Security:   Gaps in Trump's Pardons: How the Biden Administration Can Still Pursue Justice
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Trump extended Secret Service protection for 14 members of his family as he left office  —  In the days before he left office, then-President Donald Trump instructed that his extended family get the best security available in the world for the next six months, at no cost — the protection of the U.S. Secret Service.
Discussion: The Hill and Political Wire
fmprc.gov.cn:
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Announces Sanctions on Pompeo and Others  —  Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people …
Bloomberg Law:
Biden Moves to Oust Top Labor Board Attorney Robb  —  Listen  —  The new Biden administration has asked for the resignation of the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel, Trump-appointee Peter Robb, according to four people familiar with the decision.
Discussion: GovExec.com
Andrew Stiles / Washington Free Beacon:
HISTORIC: Joe Biden to Be Sworn In on Jeffrey Epstein's Birthday  —  Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, bringing to a close one of the most successful administrations in American history.  —  In what may or may not be a coincidence …
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Dan Diamond / Washington Post:
Biden to ask Surgeon General Adams to resign  —  Ouster is regarded as a break with the Trump administration's covid-19 response, which the president-elect has called a failure  —  The Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free.
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
Writing a speech for Biden can be hell.  And that was before the inaugural.  —  Joe Biden paces as he dictates long portions of his speeches to aides, spinning out thoughts that quickly pile into six, seven or eight paragraphs of copy, only to later be scrapped.
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
Witless Ape Rides Helicopter  —  Goodbye to Donald J. Trump, the man who wanted to be Conrad Hilton but turned out to be Paris Hilton.  —  W  —  ell, that sucked.  —  Memo to MAGA and all its myriad fellow-travelers: Maybe Death of a Salesman as presented by Leni Riefenstahl …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Li Zhou / Vox:
Kamala Harris is poised to be a historic — and influential — vice president
Discussion: Fox News, USA Today and BBC
Alex Tabarrok / Marginal REVOLUTION:
We Will Get to Herd Immunity in 2021...One Way or Another
James Arkin / Politico:
Peters poised to lead Senate Democrats' campaign arm
Discussion: Axios
The Daily Beast:
Trump Pardons Fox News Host's Ex-Husband With Minutes Left in Office
Discussion: Mediaite
Catherine Thorbecke / ABC News:
Powerful images symbolize an inauguration unlike any other
Discussion: RedState, IJR and CBS Baltimore
Gerry Shih / Washington Post:
China turbocharges bid to discredit Western vaccines, spread virus conspiracy theories
Discussion: HotAir
Evie Fordham / Fox News:
Liz Cheney gets 2022 primary challenger after Trump impeachment vote
 Earlier Items: 
Adam Serwer / The Atlantic:
An Incompetent Authoritarian Is Still a Catastrophe
Discussion: Raw Story and Daily Kos
Politico:
‘Like a Ghost’ in the White House: The Last Days of the Trump Presidency