Among the Vaccine Hesitant
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There are a host of articles today about the US reaching a vaccination tipping point at which the key challenge is no longer the supply of vaccine but the supply of people willing to take it. Like “herd immunity” it isn’t a binary, clear-cut moment. It’s incremental. We’re approaching it now and the challenge will accelerate over the next two to four weeks. In many ways this challenge is a product of our success. In January I don’t think anyone thought we’d have widespread availability and half of all adults vaccinated in April. But we did it.

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Making Sense of the Post-Trump Era #1
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I’m working my way through your emails on making sense of the post-Trump Era. Please keep them coming. (See the linked post for more details.) They are fascinating but like the topic itself they are hard to bring into focus. There are common themes but they are elusive. I will be publishing a number of them. But I wanted to start with this note from TPM Reader CC, who lives in Australia. It’s a very different perspective given that’s from someone in a foreign country on the other side of the world. But I found it very interesting as a window into what America now looks like from abroad …

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Where Things Stand: Bush Describes Modern-Day GOP As ‘Nativist’
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“It’s not exactly my vision,” former President George W. Bush said of his Party during a live interview with NBC’s “Today” show this morning.

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Brian Sicknick and the Modalities of Brainstem Strokes
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A very interesting backgrounder from TPM Reader AH on the specifics of the kind of stroke that killed Brian Sicknick …

Hi, Josh! This is a topic I really do know something about – I am consulted to see several patients for stroke every day. The news about Brian Sicknick having died from a brainstem stroke is a bit of a surprise to me, because they are uncommon in general, and for a young, healthy guy to have one raises my eyebrows. To die from one is less surprising – these are the most, or maybe tied for the most lethal strokes you could possibly have.

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What To Make of the Death of Brian Sicknick?
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What are we to make of yesterday’s news that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of ‘natural causes’? Sicknick’s death and to a much lesser degree the suicides of two other Capitol Police Officers within days of the insurrection are inextricably bound up in the story of that day and the gravity of those events. The Medical Examiner’s comments to the Post were themselves contradictory, at least in layman’s terms. Francisco J. Diaz found no discrete injury such as a head wound that would have been a proximate cause of Sicknick’s strokes. He also found no sign of acute respiratory constriction, which would be the standard sign of an allergic reaction to chemical spray which also could have caused a subsequent stroke. Yet Diaz also said of the events of January 6th and Sicknick’s confrontation with insurrectionists that “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”

What does that mean?

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What Sense Are You Making of the Post-Trump Era?

You see the question. Tell me what you’re thinking, what sense you’re making of the post-Trump Era. How does it feel? Withdrawal? Relief? Confusion? Perhaps as important as anything what do you expect? Over the next year and the next four?

I’ve written in a few posts about what I’ve called the Politics of Opaqueness, how much the direction of events is now seemingly driven by decisions, developments, fortuitous and otherwise, that are outside of our view. Even more than this though, I think most people – myself included – thought we had a pretty clear view into what a post-Trump presidency would be like. Trump leaving doesn’t mean the end of Trumpism, he’ll continue to dominate the scene from the outside. In the event, I don’t think much of that has turned out to be true.

What are you seeing? Drop me your notes at the main email address.

Where Things Stand: A Return To The Other Very American Problem
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The pandemic has brought to a head the complexities of one very uniquely American problem: the emphasis we as a country put on individual freedoms, which, this past year, has repeatedly run headlong into the need to care for our fellow man during a global health crisis.

It’s also revealed in new ways a more depressing American problem: mass shootings.

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Milestones and What’s Next

Today is the first day that everyone in the United States 16 and over is eligible to be vaccinated. 25.4% of the US population is now fully vaccinated. But look a bit deeper and you see that as of this morning 50.4% of Americans 18 and over have now received at least one shot. 32.5% are fully vaccinated. Given the interval of 3 or 4 weeks between injections, we can figure that by mid-May around 50% of all adults will have been vaccinated.

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Watch The New Episode Of The Josh Marshall Podcast: Politics of Opaqueness

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast just landed. You can listen to it here.

This week, Josh and Kate discuss policing reform, analyze the dynamics around the infrastructure package and introduce a new segment.

Watch below:

Follow us on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Where Things Stand: Anti-Trans Bills Are The GOP’s New Culture War. But Most Americans Aren’t On Board
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Without any real policy agenda, Republicans in Congress have largely seized on various fronts in the culture war to distract from Biden’s successes. And GOPers at the state level are doing the same, with a new heightened focus on an element of their socially conservative base’s traditional values: Going after the LGBT community.

Lately, that’s meant a fresh wave of anti-trans rights bills.

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| News

The audit that Arizona’s GOP Senate has ordered of the 2020 election in the state’s largest county will be partially bankrolled by private donations — including from a fundraising effort spearheaded by some of the loudest promoters of President Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

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| News

When Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court in October 2020, the anti-abortion community celebrated the beginning of a new era. The Court would now be heavily skewed to the right, and its newest member had been open about her own beliefs. 

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