EDITORS' BLOG
Native American Governments and COVID
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From TPM Reader JO’N …

On Josh’s note of two COVID Americas today, I think he’s right. But one thing to notice about the map, and to account for when making sense of the geography of this, is the huge strides that Native American governments have made in getting their people vaccinated. In Montana, the Blackfeet Tribe was away ahead of the rest of the state, with a particularly aggressive outreach and compliance plan.

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Where Things Stand: Politics Is Still A Main Indicator Of Vaccine Hesitancy
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It’s not for a lack of access in the U.S.

Republicans are still the main the main demographic unwilling to get the COVID-19 shot.

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McCarthy Cues Up New Performance of Fealty to Trump
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When it was announced last week that Rep. John Katko (R-NY) had negotiated a deal for a Jan 6th Commission I was not so much skeptical as wondering what it was I was missing. Striking a deal usually means you speak for the people who are agreeing to the deal. I saw no evidence this was the case with Katko. It just seemed to me that one Representative had come up with a deal with one other member of Congress, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS). The fact that Katko was one of only ten members of the House to vote for the President’s impeachment over Jan 6th would, it would seem to me, instantly discredit any deal he struck with most Republicans.

Admittedly, the two are the chair and ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee. So it’s relevant jurisdiction. But committee leaders don’t create commissions. That’s something done by congressional leaders and full caucuses. When Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) responded with a skeptical wait-and-see approach, it seemed to me that this was less “agreement” than “proposal”, and maybe not a very promising one at that, inasmuch as it was presented to me as largely adopting the Democrats’ demands.

This morning Politico Playbook sheds new light on the situation which manages to make it both more interesting and more clownish all at once.

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A Restart Coalition
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The Jerusalem Post is an English-language Israeli paper which is probably best described as center-right-ish, though it’s hard to use these terms in a way that maps clearly to the way we use these terms in the US. It’s current editor-in-chief is Yaakov Katz who in a addition to being a journalist was at one point a national security advisor to Naftali Bennett, a key player in the current dance over the next Israeli government.

As I mentioned yesterday, the current crisis – really several overlapping crises – has been a boon for Prime Minister Netanyahu. At least in the short-term it short-circuited all efforts to form a government to replace him. A key part of why is the aforementioned Bennett. Bennett is an erstwhile Netanyahu protege or junior ally. He’s part of the Israeli right and comes out of Religious Zionism, basically Revisionist Zionism koshered with Orthodoxy. Before the last week’s cascade of violence he was negotiating joining a government created by opposition leader Yair Lapid. It likely would have involved the two sharing the Prime Ministership and Bennett taking the position first. (Not bad for a guy whose party garnered only 7 seats out of 120.)

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Two COVID Americas
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COVID vaccination, for all the slowdown, remains fast moving across the United States. It seems likely we’ll see a brief surge in shots as parents bring their 12-15 year olds in for their shots. But we’re already seeing the emergence of what in the later months of 2021 is like to be two separate Americas as defined by COVID.

This is a map from the CDC vaccine data portal.

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The Longterm Toll of COVID
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I had missed this article about a very sobering study about the post-acute-illness impact of COVID. Most of us are now familiar with ‘long COVID’, people who continue to have various health problems long after they are past the period acute COVID infection. Some people simply don’t fully recover. Other have various knock-on symptoms or what appear to be recurrences of COVID, even if these are not actually new infections and illness. This study catalogs the likely impact of this phenomenon at scale. They say it will be a protracted health crisis for years to come, both in the US and around the world. The study also found that even people with mild cases of COVID have an elevated risk of death in the six months after they recover. This risk increases with the severity of the original illness.

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100% Owned By Trump and the Big Lie
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There’s a lot of stunning and yet not at all surprising information in a new big poll out from Democracy Corps. In short, in battleground states Republicans are pretty much totally united and energized behind Trump, the Big Lie-centric posture of congressional Republicans and well-positioned for 2022. That doesn’t mean Democrats won’t also be united and pumped up. But any questions you may have had about Republicans being divided, demoralized or any essence having second thoughts about the events of the last six months … well, they’re not.

Here’s the overview from Democracy Corps and here’s the whole report. The fine points are a bit more nuanced than I put it above. But not much …

We conducted a large, mostly cell phone survey with an oversample of Republicans in the 2022 battleground for the U.S. Senate, governorships, and House, and it is painfully clear Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, and Kevin McCarthy know their party. The Trump loyalists who strongly approve of him are two thirds of those who identify as, “Republican.” And they are joined by the Trump aligned to form a breathtaking, three quarters of the party in the electoral battleground states and districts that will decide who leads the country.

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Where Things Stand: New Study Finds Just 12 People Are Behind Most Online Vax Disinfo
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Fox News’ Tucker Carlson may be one of the most prominent voices spreading vaccine speculation on the airwaves, but social media’s prowess is arguably just as far reaching.

A new study first picked up by NPR has found that there are just 12 people behind much of the spread of disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on social media, specifically on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Bibi’s Big Win
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All of Israel-Palestine is on fire today. There is a recurrence of the mix of Hamas rockets from Gaza and overwhelming military response from Israel which we’ve seen episodically over the last 15 years. It’s as horrible as it was each earlier time. You can choose who you think is more to blame. But it is not new. Violence is now erupting in the West Bank. But most novel is outbreak of what the Israeli police chief is calling an ‘internal intifada’, widespread inter-communal violence within Israel proper, particularly in cities with relatively mixed populations, especially Lod.

In these towns there have been Jewish mobs attacking Arab civilians and Arab mobs attacking Jewish civilians. This isn’t unprecedented in Israel proper. But it is certainly at a different and more widespread level than anything seen in many decades. Each dimension of the crisis is distinct but deeply related. They all grow from the century-old conflict over who controls the land between the Jordan River and the sea. But the immediate trigger was violence by far-right Jewish groups against Arab civilians in East Jerusalem and related efforts to evict a group of Arab families from homes allegedly owned by Jews in East Jerusalem. That in itself was, as I’ve argued, tied to the on-going political crisis within Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s increasingly desperate reliance on the far-right Kahanist movement and its electoral leader, MK Itamar Ben Gvir, to remain in power.

What I want to focus on is a clear political reality. This may look catastrophic but it is actually an unalloyed win for Prime Minister Netanyahu. Open and shut. Not even close.

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Watch The New Episode Of The Josh Marshall Podcast: Reverberations Of January 6

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is now live. This week, Josh and Kate discuss Liz Cheney’s ouster and the various congressional investigations into the event that ultimately led to her getting the boot.

Watch below and email us your questions for next week’s episode.

You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

It’s not just the Supreme Court’s recent jerk towards the right that makes its grant Monday of a major abortion case such a big deal. It’s how the justices went about deciding that they were going to wade into the issue.

| Muckraker

Rudy Giuliani was once dubbed a human hand grenade by John Bolton. Now he is flinging himself at Trumpworld in a bid to defend himself against an increasingly serious federal criminal investigation.

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| Prime

The House Judiciary Committee claimed a win last week in the somewhat-forgotten but still-raging fights over lingering congressional investigations into former President Trump.

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| Weekly Primers

This year has featured a historic surge in proposals to restrict ballot access, and several states have made those proposals law. But elsewhere, GOP lawmakers are running out of time to overhaul their election systems.

| News

As Virginia approached the peak of its COVID surge last January, Robyn Sweet was sick with the disease and caring for a patient who was dying from it.

Then she heard the news: her father had been arrested for invading the Capitol on Jan. 6.

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Ep. 172: Reverberations Of January 6
Ep. 172: Reverberations Of January 6
Josh and Kate discuss Liz Cheney's ouster and the various congressional investigations into the event that ultimately led to her firing....
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