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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Brown speaks with reporters at the California State Capitol. Photo: Stephen Lam / Getty Images

"The Last Days of Jerry Brown ... After more than 40 years in public life, 15 as governor of California, he is as combative and contradictory as ever — and still trying to save the world from itself," by Andy Kroll in California Sunday Magazine.

Why he matters: "Written off in his youth as a New Age dilettante, Brown now finds himself the wise man of American politics. ... On the defining issue of our time, climate change, he has assumed the mantle of alt-president, traveling to Europe and Asia, insisting the United States will not abandon its commitments."

  • "He leads an unabashedly liberal state, whose high taxes, government activism, embrace of immigration, and thriving economy serve as a rebuke to the current occupant of the White House"
  • "Yet he refuses to align himself with the anti-Trump 'resistance' ... He never has fit neatly into any camp, but never before has he commanded so much influence."

And just posted by The New Yorker ... "Inside California’s War on Trump: As the state resists the White House on issues from immigration to climate change, Governor Jerry Brown is determined to avoid a pitched battle," by Connie Bruck.

  • "Brown balanced the budget, first through spending cuts and then with a temporary tax increase. Today, California is in the black and has even banked an emergency fund of eight billion dollars."
  • "If, as now seems possible, Democrats dominate the 2018 and 2020 elections, and they end up governing as unilaterally as the Republicans have, Brown fears that 'a cycle will be created, in which one side pushes as far as it can until it’s thrown out, then the next one does it, and then it will happen again.'"
  • "He compared it to a car 'fishtailing.'"

Go deeper

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects the chamber to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by week’s end, and alternatives to corporate tax hikes and a “billionaires tax” will be used to finance President Biden’s promised expansion to the social safety net.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments come as House and Senate leaders try to wrap up a deal. What will get cut — and how the remainder will be paid — are linchpins to a final agreement.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
51 mins ago - Axios on HBO

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried mystified by value of NFTs

Crypto exchange FTX, valued last week at $25 billion, recently launched an NFT marketplace by selling an image of the word "Test" for $270,000.

  • FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" that he doesn't quite understand the appeal, but adds that he doesn't personally appreciate many visual arts.

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