In his press conference today, President Trump returned to his claims that Ashli Babbitt was shot for “no reason.” He also demanded the name of the Capitol Hill police officer who shot her and the release of insurrectionists currently in jail or charged with crimes. The comments came in response to a question at a press conference announcing Trump’s lawsuits against social media platforms.
Video after the jump …
Have you seen your member of Congress or your Senator comment about President Trump’s new remarks about freeing the Jan 6th insurrectionists or lynching the Capitol Police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt. We have been trying to get comments from members of Congress. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, they’re not being very responsive. If you’ve seen remarks from your member of Congress or Senator in your local media, let us know. Or if you’ve seen responses we haven’t seen in national media we’re interested in that too.
While the conservative fever swamps’ fear mongering over critical race theory intensifies to new, unhinged heights, the nation’s largest teachers unions are vowing to stand behind educators if they are punished due to new state laws that try to limit or outright ban critical discussions on race, discrimination and the role it plays in American history.
One thing that was clear to me when I read about Trump’s comments on the January 6th defendants and the death of Ashli Babbitt is that he intends to make these claims and demands centerpieces of the 2022 midterm election. For Trump everything is the Big Lie, everything is the “rigged election”, which is to say everything is payback, retribution and grievance about being driven from power.
International news orgs reporting that the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated overnight in an attack on his private residence.
This is a developing story.
With the rising demands on the right to release or drop charges against the Jan. 6th insurrectionists and seek retribution against the unnamed cop who shot Ashli Babbitt, Josh Kovensky has some important context about the mounting movement to valorize and make a martyr of Babbitt. Relatedly, Rep. Paul Gosar, Congress’s most prominent white nationalist and antisemite, calls for the unnamed officer to be charged for what he earlier termed Babbitt’s execution. This of course comes just days after the leader of the GOP, ex-President Donald Trump, suggested the unnamed officer should be lynched.
A few more points on Ashli Babbitt.
Following the July 4th holiday weekend, President Biden has one item on his public agenda today: a speech addressing COVID-19 vaccination progress in the U.S.
Yesterday I noted ex-President Trump’s vainglorious recital of events at his two recent rallies in Ohio and Florida. But there were a string of comments he made at his Sarasota, Florida rally that I only learned about after the fact. They are highly important going forward and particularly in the context of the 2022 election. The comments aren’t terribly surprising coming from Trump. They’re perhaps implicit in things he’s said before. But they represent something new. In short, he now seems to be demanding the release of the various insurrectionists facing charges for storming the Capitol on January 6th. “How come so many people are still in jail over Jan. 6?” he asked the crowd.
He also went further and began to suggest or demand (the ambiguity is a central feature of all Trump incitement) the lynching of the Capitol Police officer who shot insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt.
There’s a high bar for nonsensical Trump statements that actually grab my attention. But he seems to be now moving into what I guess we might call his Evita phase. Who talks like this? Who has this kind of messiah complex and who has supporters who don’t laugh when they hear this kind of faux biblical melodrama?
The post below on the Delta variant has gotten a lot of attention. It’s always important to make a simple point: This isn’t “oh noooeesss, the vaccines don’t work anymore!” All the data suggests they remain extremely effective at preventing serious illness – over 90%. By the standards of almost any other vaccine they remain highly effective against any infection at all. Recent peer reviewed measures of the Pfizer vaccine against the Delta variant suggest efficacy in the high 80s percentage range. This new data out of Israel says it’s in the mid-60s. If you’re vaccinated, especially with one of the mRNA vaccines, there’s no reason for you to worry. The issue is more at the society-wide level, trying to make sense of the various data points suggesting a non-trivial level of reduced vaccine efficacy and how that maps onto how society at large will be operating in the coming months and years.
At the risk of stating the obvious, if you don’t want to die of COVID or end up in a hospital struggling to breath and fearing for your life, get vaccinated. You’ll be covered.
There are a lot of caveats to these numbers. They’re not from a peer reviewed study but rather the latest data from the Israeli health ministry. While the Pfizer mRNA vaccines remains highly effective at preventing hospitalization and serious illness (over 90%), the efficacy against infection with the Delta variant has dropped markedly.
Twenty five years ago the Oklahoma City bombing took the lives of 168 people. The building collapse in Surfside, Florida appears set to mark a death toll with only about 20 fewer lives lost. And it was pretty clear from day one that the tragedy was heading in this direction.
In the United States, or at least in parts of it, we are moving into a post-COVID era. Or more accurately, we are moving into a post-Crisis COVID era. There’s still COVID. People are still getting sick. People are still dying. But in regions of high vaccination illness and severe disease are becoming rare enough and manageable enough that society can begin to function more or less as normal. Understanding the dynamics of this new era, the precise levels of vaccine efficacy, the specifics of asymptomatic disease and so forth have become a minor obsession of mine. And TPM Reader JL, an academic in the field, has been a helpful.
Here are some basic questions. How effective are the mRNA vaccines and how effective are they against the Delta variant of Covid? To the extent the vaccines are marginally less effective against Delta, do they continue to provide very high levels of protection against symptomatic and severe disease?
From TPM Reader TD from 8:48 AM …
I am currently under a shelter in place order, because, 8 armed men were stopped on a nearby highway.
2 are currently in custody, some are in the nearby woods and others are still in vehicles.
They claim not to be sovereign citizens, but that the laws of the United states don’t apply to them.
Yesterday we were talking about GETTR, a purported Trumpite social network which looked from the visuals more like a hook-up site or worse. It was the project of (apparently) recently canned Trump spokesman and gatekeeper Jason Miller, though Trump himself said he wouldn’t be joining it. There were other oddities beyond the name – like the fact that it seemed to be populated by posts scraped from Twitter.
But overnight things got much more weird.
Never Trump Republicans come in for a lot of grief and often rightly so. But at least they’re not JD Vance. He’s the Yale graduate looking to start a political career whose 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy presented him as a voice for the forgotten culturally conservative culture of rural America who actually came from that world as opposed to Queens. An authentic intellectual from ‘real America’ who eschewed the hyperpartisanship of the times. Alas, it turned out that Trump was a political meal ticket after all. And now he’s deleting his old tweets asking God’s forgiveness for Trump to start running as the new MAGA senator from Ohio.
TPM Reader TL follows up on my discussion yesterday of Teddy Roosevelt and where he fits in the ranking of US Presidents, specifically whether the seemingly consistent decision to place him 4th is rating him too high. TL makes what I think is probably the best case that can be made, and it’s a pretty good one. It focuses on the fact that Roosevelt is in many ways the first modern President. He’s the first American President who approached the job in a way that would be fundamentally recognizable to us today.
A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is now live! This week, Josh and Kate discuss the infrastructure negotiation dance, as well as the dynamics around the Jan. 6 select committee.
Watch below and email us your theme song submissions and questions for next week’s episode.
You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.
As we move into the July 4th weekend, I wanted to make a bid for an appreciation of the liberationist impulse at the heart of the American Revolution and its radical character.
As I explained a few weeks ago, there is a strong argument for the deficiency of the first American Republic, which in this view is the constitutional order created in 1787 and reconstructed through war and constitutional revision in the late 1860s. But the constitution created in 1787 is not synonymous with the American Revolution. Indeed, in critical respects it was in tension with it. Some of the constitution’s greatest opponents viewed it as a betrayal of revolutionary tumult.
The Declaration of Independence is the work of the Continental Congress, a revolutionary and illegal body which managed the process of the disintegration of Britain’s American empire. The document was drafted by a committee made up of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston, with Jefferson, because of knack with words, writing a first draft.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is threading a weird needle.
Kevin McCarthy overnight threatened to take committee assignments away from any member of his caucus who agreed to serve on the new Jan 6 select investigative committee. That’s the equivalent of the death penalty for a member of a political party. Liz Cheney has just agreed to join the committee at the invitation of Speaker Pelosi.
Pelosi just announced these members in a just released announcement.
A Republican lawmaker from Washington State wears a Star of David to an anti-masking, anti-vaccine event to protest the oppression of COVID dissidents.
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If you’d like to hear more, join me after the jump.
Tomorrow appears to be the day that The Trump Organization and Trump’s Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg will be charged by the Manhattan District Attorney for various tax crimes.