“Both men claim to channel the rage of an electorate that feels sneered at and dismissed by liberal institutions. But while Trump, with his lazy, Barnumesque persona, projects a fundamental lack of seriousness, DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy. Articulate and fast on his feet, he has been described as Trump with a brain.” Dexter Filkins in The New Yorker: Can Ron DeSantis Displace Donald Trump as the G.O.P.’s Combatant-in-Chief?

+ DeSantis is the face. Peter Thiel is the cash. “New reporting shows Thiel has set his sights on transforming American culture — and funding its culture wars — through what his associates refer to as ‘anti-woke’ business ventures. These include a right-wing film festival, a conservative dating app founded by a former Trump administration ally and a firm, Strive Asset Management, that will ‘pressure CEOs to steer clear of environmental, social and political’ causes, said Vivek Ramaswamy, the firm’s co-founder. One example is oil companies ‘committing to reduce production to meet environmental goals.’ More such investments are coming, the people said — though Thiel himself isn’t sure of the endgame.” WaPo: Peter Thiel helped build big tech. Now he wants to tear it all down.

+ “Within days, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision that could severely limit the federal government’s authority to reduce carbon dioxide from power plants — pollution that is dangerously heating the planet. But it is only a start.” Republican Drive to Tilt Courts Against Climate Action Reaches a Crucial Moment.