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Follow Up on Breakthrough Infections and Outcomes

Let me update you on my post from this morning about states and jurisdictions which are reporting COVID data by vaccination status. That’s a mouthful. So, for clarity, breakdowns of how many cases, hospitalizations and deaths are in people who are fully vaccinated versus the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

One follower on Twitter was kind enough to flag this Kaiser Foundation study which looks at just who is compiling this information. A team from Kaiser surveyed all the state dashboards in addition to non-governmental information sources to see who’s following what. The study has a chart with data from a couple dozen states which provide a breakdown of cases among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

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Where Things Stand: Ex-GOP Rep On Trump’s Legal Team Won’t Try To Block Testimony From Some Former Officials
Prime Membership Required

Former Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), who served on Trump’s impeachment defense team and who represented the former president in his legal bid to overturn election results in Georgia, signaled on Monday that Trump’s legal team will not block congressional requests for testimony from at least a handful of former Trump administration officials.

But there’s a caveat.

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What On Earth Is Going On Here?

Over the course of July our long foretold ‘hot vax summer’ has either come to a screeching halt or at least hit a major speed bump. We’re in the midst of another wave of new cases if not, at least in most of the country, hospitalizations and deaths. The Delta variant has changed things. It’s significantly more infectious and to at least some extent it’s weakened the efficacy of the best vaccines. But just how much? And how much does that matter? There’s a fairly spirited debate about what we should even consider an infection (we’ll come back to this). On really every front we’re flooded with anecdotal information.

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Where Things Stand: DeSantis’ Balancing Act
Prime Membership Required

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) rise to Trumpy stardom is largely tied to his defiant stance against public health measures during most of the pandemic last year.

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What Is the Right?

This lovefest between Tucker Carlson and Viktor Orbán is fascinating on a number of levels.

One thing that a number of us have been saying for some time is that increasingly over the last decade-plus, the GOP has continued to present itself as a center-right party of government while increasingly operating as a rightist revanchist party on the European model. This intentionally conspicuous hobnobbing with Orbán is part of that story. Obviously, Carlson isn’t formally representing the GOP. But in practice he does. He’s far more influential in conservative politics than any elected official currently in office.

The Battle To Vaccinate

A few weeks ago in my off-air brainstorming I had thought about simply paying people $100 to get vaccinated. It’s almost certainly a good investment for government. I mean, we’ve paid many thousands of dollars to individuals to maintain the economy through the stresses of COVID and other outreach efforts cost significant amounts of money too. The idea had occurred to me when reading articles about how many people have not gotten vaccinated simply because it requires taking time off work or having the risk of a couple days downtime from side effects. So I was excited to see that people at the White House were thinking along the same lines.

It is a good reminder that the vaccine ‘hesitancy’ issue is really two different issues, and they’re not even both hesitancy.

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For Your Weekend Reading Pleasure

For your weekend reading pleasure ‘History’s Heroic Failures‘, stories of kings from the distant past who rescued their kingdoms in historic victories only to lose everything to new foes, leaving the earlier triumphs all but forgotten.

Where Things Stand: Mo Brooks Says He Wore Body Armor On Jan. 6. Because Of Antifa, Of Course
Prime Membership Required

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was one of the first Republicans to point the finger at the amorphous “antifa” as the true culprits behind the Jan. 6 insurrection.

His tone hasn’t changed much since.

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| Prime

How did Tucker Carlson end up in Budapest?

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| Muckraker

It’s a short jump from one Big Lie to another.

The man who Trump sought to appoint as his pocket attorney general is now working for a non-profit that is fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other public health authorities issued during the pandemic.

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| Cafe

Hi my name is Jackie, and I think I am a (classics) book snob.

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| Muckraker

Fox News host Tucker Carlson is billed as a speaker at a far-right conference in Hungary on Saturday, according to a flier for the event. The appearance will come days after the Fox host met with the country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

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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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