Where Things Stand: Ronny Jackson Has It All Figured Out
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Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), the physician and rear admiral who successfully rode the coattails of MAGA world to land a seat in the House, is spinning up a new Big Lie for the 2022 midterms – and it’s a doozy.

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COVID Miscellany 3
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A reader pointed me to this article that appeared in this morning’s Washington Post. It makes the case against vaccine boosters for the whole population, as opposed to targeting to particularly vulnerable populations. Two of the authors were until very recently heads of the FDA’s vaccine research unit and the third is a member of one of the outside panels that gives the expert recommendations I referenced in the post below. Given those backgrounds, this is a good case of the expert opinion which has generally been more cautious in approving boosters for the whole population. It’s also an example that there’s a lot of expert opinion that remains against universal boosting, even as the weight of opinion has swung in the opposite direction.

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COVID Miscellany #2
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Today we’re seeing a host of experts, public health officials and more saying that we need to speed up giving everyone booster shots, with or without Omicron. Now apparently we’re behind on boosters. We lost time. But let’s slow down a second here: The Biden White House has been full speed ahead on boosters since the late summer. Indeed, they’ve gotten a lot of grief for jumping the gun and being ‘ahead of the science’. The push for boosters from the White House got slowed down at the CDC and FDA.

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COVID Miscellany #1

A small point. But, as we batten down the hatches on the COVID front, it’s worth remembering that as it does in politics, looking at America’s COVID epidemiology through the prism of states is as frequently misleading as not. Here in Manhattan (New York County), where I’m writing this morning, 87.2% of the population has had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Over the age of 18 that percentage jumps to 94.3%. But in Allegany County, far to the west, that one dose number drops to 45.3%. Might as well be different country, let alone a different state.

That’s Allegany County. But in almost bordering Erie County (the home of Buffalo) the one dose number is 70.1%.

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A Nugget of Good News Amidst the Oblivion

You’ve now heard about the omicron variant, named after a Greek letter like any other and yet one which certainly sounds more badass and otherworldly than all but one or two others in the Greek alphabet. In just days Omicron has put the whole world on alert, shaking equities markets and spurring a range of travel restrictions. If you’re interested in getting good and very up-to-date information on this emerging story, I have a Twitter list I host with a range of trustworthy experts and science journalists. You can see it here.

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Barbados Abandons Monarchy and Its Colonial Past

On November 30th, Barbados will become a republic. Queen Elizabeth II will cease to the Queen of Barbados and the country’s head of state. She will be succeeded by the current Governor-General, Sandra Mason, who will herself transition into the country’s first elected President. Prime Minister Mia Mottley will remain Prime Minister in the transition to republican government. Barbados gained its independence in 1966. Prince Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth at the transition ceremonies which will kick off on the evening of the 29th.

Where Things Stand: Fauci Is Getting Increasingly Annoyed With A Few Specific Conspiracy Theorists
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His recent remarks of disdain, aimed at Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, left no room for interpretation.

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Not Nimble Enough?
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I’m not sure whether I agree with this. But TPM Reader JB knows the ins and outs of government and follows things closely …

While I’m thinking of it….I’ve observed the Biden administration doesn’t maneuver quickly in response to changed circumstances, often waiting until an issue became controversial in the national press.  It’s had this problem since the beginning of the year.

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Where Things Stand: Governor’s Mansion Is Apparently The GOPs Only Safe Perch For Trump Criticism
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Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan threw himself into the small chorus of GOP governors willing to distance themselves from former President Trump this week.

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Thiel, Silicon Valley and the Rise of Tech Neo-Reaction

Here are a few links to a topic I continue to think more and more about. On the surface it’s Peter Thiel, about whom more in a moment. But beyond Thiel, there’s a broader reality. In the first years of the century we learned to see Tech as a rising business and political powerhouse that was broadly liberal, at least by the standards of Big Business. ‘Liberal’ was probably never quite right – but at least broadly cosmopolitan in its social values and culture. It was young, comparatively diverse, based outside San Francisco. It was in many ways the product of the major cities and universities that are the seedbeds and home of Blue State political culture. That was never wholly true. And it’s become less true, especially as its financial titan corporations have been forced to interact more intensively with Washington DC. But it was at least partly true.

But many of the dominant figures in the world of Big Tech aren’t just conservative. A number are what might be termed neo-reactionary. Thiel of course is the first that comes to mind in this category. But he’s not the only one.

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| Prime

Russia has spent the past seven years threatening to stage another invasion of Ukraine.

This time, though, the fears may be real.

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| News

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that prices rose in October and are hovering at a notably high point has triggered a full-on Democratic panic attack over the fate of the reconciliation bill. 

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