Editors’ Blog

Spend the Money Prime Badge

Some of you likely have had similar experiences or know people who have. I continue to hear from people who got COVID, got fairly sick, the took the main antiviral, Paxlovid, and basically within a day or so went from bad flu to mild cold at worst. I just heard another story like this from a reader. To be clear, these weren’t people who were hospitalized. But the people who I’m talking about were, either because of age or health conditions, people who had heightened vulnerability to COVID. They were getting sick and then they got almost totally better very quickly. Probably most or all of them would have been fine. And in many cases they were just saved a miserable week or two. But as we know a bad case of COVID can degenerate quickly.

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Some of November Will Come Into Focus Tonight Prime Badge

For Democrats to survive the 2022 midterm with their majorities intact they must walk a very, very narrow tightrope. They also need a number of things that are mostly out of their control to fall into place. One of those things is the hope that you will see some replay of what happened in 2010 and 2012. The first was an extremely good year for Republicans. The second was just so-so — Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama after all. But it should have been a decent year for Senate Republicans since Democrats were defending their class of 2006, when they’d won Senate seats basically everywhere. In both years Republicans failed to win the Senate even though by rights they really should have. They just kept nominating crankish and extreme candidates in races that should have been winnable. That’s why there’s a Senator Chris Coons (“I’m not a witch”). That’s why Claire McCaskill (“Legitimate rape”) had one more term in the Senate. There are a bunch of other examples.

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Fund More Treatments

At some point around the new year I switched from obsessively checking my curated COVID experts Twitter list to obsessively checking my two newly curated Ukraine crisis Twitter lists (Ukraine Crisis and Ukraine military experts). Such is life.

This morning I was browsing through the COVID list and I found my way to this post by Eric Topol. Topol is a physician generalist who heads up a biomedical institute at the Scripps Research Center in California. He’s not an epidemiologist or virologist. But COVID has been his focus since the beginning of the pandemic. The post is entitled The Covid Capitulation. And it is part of that genre of COVID writing in which a COVID expert bemoans the fact that the whole country has decided the epidemic is over when in fact it’s clearly not.

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Where Things Stand: Most Americans Don’t Want SCOTUS To Do What SCOTUS Is About To Do
This is your TPM evening briefing.

New polling conducted by NBC News has found that American opposition to overturning Roe v. Wade is at a record high. The poll was conducted after the draft Supreme Court majority opinion overturning Roe was leaked earlier this month.

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Save Us, Obi-Wan Rand Paul Prime Badge

Here’s a fascinating and humorous (for reasons I’ll explain presently) quick segment from Russian TV. One of the panelists is a Russian military affairs commentator who goes completely rogue and starts setting forth the dire strategic picture Russia faces — poor morale, an almost unlimited supply of soldiers in Ukraine, arms pouring in from Europe and the United States, geopolitical isolation.

The other panelists take potshots at his reasoning but to little real effect.

But the best part is about halfway through he says, no, not even Rand Paul can save us. Really! He doesn’t refer to Paul by name but he notes that the Lend-Lease type program is finally getting underway, marrying unlimited troops with unlimited weaponry “and even the resistance of a single senator will be overcome quickly.” That single senator is Rand Paul, who he is so far blocking passage of the bill.

Video after the jump …

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Musings

We all get stuck in our ways. And over time we all learn the peculiarities of how our brains function. Relatively early in my writing career I realized that I write in a way that is different from how most people do it. I don’t actually write. Not precisely. What I do is speak in my head and basically transcribe the sounds. This sometimes leaves funny artifacts in my writing. Like many who write fast and online I have no shortage of missing words or typos, “theirs” that should be “theres” and vice versa. But that’s not what I mean. Sometimes I will actually include words which sound vaguely similar to the intended word but are not homonyms and are totally different words. They just create a similar set of sounds if you run them together in a spoken sentence. Read English sentences they can read like gibberish. but if you speak them quickly aloud the meaning will often be clear.

People will sometimes point out that I’m clearly using transcription software that is screwing up. But in fact I’ve never used transcription software in my life. My brain is just wired in this particular way. There actually is transcribing. But I’m the one doing it.

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Could Be Interesting

According to Susquehanna Polling & Research, a GOP polling firm, the Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania is now a dead heat between Trump endorsed TV Doctor Mehmet Oz (28%) and outsider candidate Kathy Barnette (27%), with the late-breaking deciders favoring Barnette.

Fetterman Suffers Stroke

John Fetterman, the Lt. Gov. of Pennsylvania and the leading Senate candidate for the Democratic nomination for Senate, suffered a stroke on Friday. According to the statement he put out today, it was a minor stroke and he suffered no cognitive impairment. He says he is continuing the race. “I had a stroke that was caused by a clot from my heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long. I’m feeling much better, and the doctors tell me I didn’t suffer any cognitive damage. I’m well on my way to a full recovery.”

Another

It’s hard to say that one mass shooting is worse than the next — other than in the brutal metric of body counts. They’re all different flavors of the same horror. But the news out of this afternoon’s shooting in Buffalo is particularly sobering, shocking, enraging. One of the ten dead was a retired cop working as a security guard at the grocery store. He engaged the shooter and shot him. But it didn’t stop him because the shooter was wearing body armor. That little detail is the one that just stopped me in my tracks.

Police appear certain that the shooting, allegedly by an 18 year old from out of town, was racially motivated, though they haven’t yet discussed the evidence that makes it so clear. Eleven of the thirteen who were shot are Black. Two are white.

Behind the Curtain

You can never understand national politics without understanding the elite mores of Washington, DC. People toss around the word “elite.” But here I mean it in a more specific sense of the mix of journalists, staffers, elected officials, lobbyists, activists and more who have power in and essentially run the political town of Washington, DC. (The actual place where most of the population lives is a different thing.) As I’ve written in various contexts over the years that strata of the city remains heavily wired for the GOP, even though there are lots of people from that world who certainly aren’t conservatives and by definition many are Democrats. I wanted to flag something to you that kind of captures it.

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