EDITORS' BLOG
Where Things Stand: Tomorrow’s Sinister Counter-Programming
Prime Membership Required

The first hearing of the House’s Jan. 6 select committee starts bright and early tomorrow morning, focused on testimony from key law enforcement witnesses who were defending the Capitol during the mob attack. And we’re expecting varying degrees of hay-making and counter-programming from the GOP.

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Candidate Under Investigation in PA Road Fatality is Vice Chair of CPAC

You see this story about the gubernatorial candidate from Pennsylvania who’s being investigated for his involvement in a fatal motorcycle accident. He apparently drove for miles after the accident with the motorcycle stuck to the front of his car. Charlie Gerow insists he wasn’t the “cause” of the accident. As I said, his role in the accident is currently being investigated by Pennsylvania State Police.

But TPM Reader BH points out that Gerow is not just a candidate for governor. He’s the Vice Chair of the American Conservative Union, the group that puts on CPAC.

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Trump: RINO, RINO, RINO

Ex-President Trump says any Republican who signs on to the bipartisan infrastructure deal is a RINO.

“Senate Republicans are being absolutely savaged by Democrats on the so-called “bipartisan” infrastructure bill. Mitch McConnell and his small group of RINOs wants nothing more than to get a deal done at any cost to prove that he can work with the Radical Left Democrats. It is so important to him that he is agreeing to almost anything. Don’t do the infrastructure deal, wait until after we get proper election results in 2022 or otherwise, and regain a strong negotiating stance. Republicans, don’t let the Radical Left play you for weak fools and losers!”

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Major Health Care Orgs Call for Vaccine Mandates for Health Care Workers

Group of major national health care societies and organizations call for mandatory COVID vaccination for all health care workers. Press release after the jump …

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Is Vaxed America Running Out of Patience?

I wanted to share some thoughts and snippets of news following up on the GOP vaccine switcheroo. But first I wanted to share this LA Times article that helped me think more broadly about the issue. Reporter Brittny Mejia went to a pop-up vaccine clinic in LA to talk to people who were finally getting vaccinated after waiting months into their eligibility. The people who turned out at this clinic were mainly Latino immigrants, so not the demographic that has garnered the most attention in the mainstream media discussion. The reasons ranged the gamut: they’d had COVID and assumed continued immunity; they didn’t want to or couldn’t take time from work; they had general apprehensions about a vaccine without a long testing history; they’d heard conspiracy theories women becoming infertile. In some cases, it was perhaps some vague mix of one or more of these and just continuing to put it off – apathy for lack of a better word.

What jumped out to me is that basically none of the couple dozen people who showed up the day Mejia was there had held out for any ideological or political reasons. And in most cases – as their being there to get their shot makes clear – they were ultimately convincible. Many people who have heard stories of alarming side effects can be convinced by actual data or reassurance from people in their community they trust. We can make policy decisions that make it easier on people who don’t feel free to miss a day or more of work.

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Getting Out the Checklist

TPM Reader JL walks us through the data points …

1. The ferocity of the upsurge, at least as measured by new cases has taken me aback to a large degree. Ashish Jha and Scott Gottlieb are my go to sources and I don’t think they expected to see this kind of upsurge in cases.

2. That said, I think you put your finger the other day on a key issue, i.e., that it’s really hard to know how we should be measuring cases among the vaccinated. The line between mild/asymptomatic and the antibodies did exactly what they were supposed to do but there’s enough Covid particles for a positive PCR test is not just blurry but almost impossible to define.

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Behavior Matters Too

Differential vaccine uptake is clearly playing a dominant in COVID severity across the country. But I also think behavior – including but not limited to masks – is playing a bigger role that some imagine. From TPM Reader RS

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Give This A Look

I wanted to bring this story by Josh Kovensky to your attention.

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Where Things Stand: Half Of House GOPers Are Fueling Vax Skepticism
Prime Membership Required

Some are staying silent. Others think it’s none of your business. A handful are shamelessly promoting anti-vax rhetoric.

Half of House Republicans will not share their vaccination status, or openly refuse to get the shot.

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The Great Vax Switcheroo Hits the States

According to Brett Kelman, health care reporter for The Tennessean, the state of Tennessee has completely reversed its decision to discontinue near all forms of adolescent vaccine advocacy. “We put a pause on many things, and then we have resumed all of those,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. This decision was a huge story little more than a week ago. Now it’s being completely reversed.

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| News

A far-right sheriff in rural Michigan has sent a private investigator and a deputy sheriff on a tedious journey from township to township, grilling clerks about their election processes in an apparent attempt to dig up non-existent evidence of election crimes.

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| Muckraker

“Who killed Ashli Babbitt?”

It’s a question that, in recent weeks, has become a mainstream rallying cry among the MAGA crew after growing in volume for months on the far-right fringes. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has asked it repeatedly, as has former President Donald Trump himself.

But the thing is, they think they already know.

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Since President Joe Biden first ascended to office flanked by the barest effective Senate majority — an evenly split chamber and Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — one Senate rule has earned more ink than any other: the filibuster. In its current form, the filibuster demands 60 votes to proceed to debate on most legislation.

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| Prime

Sometimes, in politics, an evocative piece of imagery sticks and becomes something of a meme. “Democrats in disarray.” “Shattering the glass ceiling.” “Drain the swamp.” 

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