Out of Patience with the CDC? Grow the F Up

I will get to some points about the CDC’s updated masking policy in a moment. But first a few points about the CDC’s decision-making generally. I thought the earlier decision to end the masking guidance for the vaccinated was a mistake. I think the CDC was trying to balance the evolving science with immense public pressure to offer what amounts to a reward for vaccination, to declare the pandemic over or show the benefits of vaccination.

But after yesterday’s updated policy or reversal I kept seeing comments on Twitter, headlines in OpEds and comments from people on TV saying, “That’s it!” “That’s the final nail in the coffin of the CDC’s credibility!” Or ‘the experts’ or Fauci or whoever else. “First it was no masks! Now masks are back! Which is it??!?!!?”

Really people need to get the f*#$ over themselves.

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Where Things Stand: McCarthy Hides From Jan. 6 Testimony
Prime Membership Required

The House minority leader says he didn’t even watch the hearing he was trying to distract you from.

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Insurrectionists as ‘Political Prisoners’

The main focus of our write-up was the fact that this event was disrupted by protesters. But I wanted to zoom in on what the event was about. It was a bit of counter-programming to today’s hearings, a House GOP press conference discussing the treatment of indicted insurrectionists as “political prisoners.”

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The Jan 6th Insurrection Was The Centerpiece of a Failed Coup by Donald Trump

My colleagues David, Matt and Josh have each addressed this question of the scope of the Jan 6th committee in different ways on the site this morning. I wanted to add my voice to theirs and add some thoughts of my own.

Especially Republicans, but not only Republicans, want to focus any investigation on the narrow questions of the security breach itself. How did the insurrectionists manage to enter the Capitol complex? This is wrong and insufficient on many counts, not least of which is that we basically already know the answer. Just as important it focuses the inquiry on the possible shortcomings of some of the primary victims – Capitol Police officers who failed to protect the premises.

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Jan. 6 Committee Hearing Underway

Follow along with our live coverage here — and don’t miss Matt Shuham’s big piece on the proper scope of committee’s inquiry.

Where Things Stand: Sinister Counter-Programming
Prime Membership Required

The first hearing of the House’s Jan. 6 select committee starts bright and early Tuesday 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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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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| News

As the Jan. 6 committee holds its first hearing Tuesday, lawmakers’ primary focus will be the storming of the Capitol. Law enforcement witnesses will discuss how that day unfolded, and what they saw as they defended the building against the rioters who flooded in, seeking to confront members of Congress.

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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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