A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.
How Much Does It Really Matter?
Get ready for a week of sturm and drang over the the centrist pursuit of a bipartisan infrastructure deal in the Senate. But, remember, so long as Senate Democrats remain committed to folding the elements of a bipartisan plan into the giant reconciliation bill no matter what happens, the Holy Grail of a bipartisan agreement isn’t the main show in town.
- The Senate comes back to DC with the path forward on a bipartisan infrastructure deal less clear than before.
- It’s almost comical how quickly Senate Republicans retreated from beefed up IRS enforcement. Cuts a little too close to home?
Democracy Reform On The Back Burner
Must Democrats choose between democracy reform and the landmark piece of liberal legislation packaged as infrastructure? Is it okay for infrastructure to go first?
But ideally you do both! And if that is your intent, you can at least see the argument for making sure nothing derails the economic agenda. Just thinking ahead to all the wailing indignation it would elicit, it’s easy to imagine democracy reform wrecking the jobs-and-families legislation; by contrast it’s at least theoretically conceivable to imagine Dems passing democracy protection once Biden’s signature plans to rebuild the country are already law. I think democracy protection is the more important priority, but in a world where both are going to happen, I’m agnostic as to which should go first, and can at least see the argument for stacking things this way.
MAGA’s Sonny and Cher Kicked To The Curb
Quite a weekend for Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had three California venues bail at the last minute on hosting their “America First” Rallies.
- Trending for all the wrong reasons:
- Check out the scene:
this new look is wild. Vibe of one of those aging UK only pop stars you’ve never heard of who gets busted on a sex charge in Thailand. https://t.co/7ecfTijzQW
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 18, 2021
What About The Big Fish?
I am still waiting for a sign the FBI is investigating anyone not in the building — funders, organizers, conspirators, aiders and abetters. https://t.co/54EwjJxjHj
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) July 18, 2021
TPM on TV!
Ron Klain gets the sneering Mark Leibovich treatment.
The Pandemic Of The Unvaccinated
The devastation in the heartland continues.
- The Washington Post and The Atlantic each with stories on Springfield, Missouri’s struggles.
- The New York Times and the AP each with stories on Arkansas’ suffering, with the wire service offering this sharp jab at Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is now barnstorming the state to encourage vaccinations:
Hutchinson has few tools left at his disposal after signing into law measures curbing his own authority to respond to the pandemic. They include bans on public schools and other government agencies mandating masks or requiring vaccinations.
- This Charles Gaba chart was making the rounds this weekend:
— Charles #GetVaxxed! 💉 (@charles_gaba) July 17, 2021
- In case there was any doubt, the former president’s discrediting of the vaccine – which he himself took and claims credit for developing – continues apace:
Joe Biden kept talking about how good of a job he’s doing on the distribution of the Vaccine that was developed by Operation Warp Speed or, quite simply, the Trump Administration. He’s not doing well at all. He’s way behind schedule, and people are refusing to take the Vaccine because they don’t trust his Administration, they don’t trust the Election results, and they certainly don’t trust the Fake News, which is refusing to tell the Truth.
The rest of the world continues to struggle with COVID’s devastation even without the MAGA overlay:
- “The Pandemic Has a New Epicenter: Indonesia”–NYT
- “The long-feared possibility that the Covid-19 pandemic could disrupt the Tokyo Olympics is rapidly emerging as a reality…”–WSJ
NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof considering running for governor of Oregon.
“Private Israeli spyware used to hack cellphones of journalists, activists worldwide”–Washington Post
‘A Special Sadness’
Twelve disabled residents of a group home in Germany drowned in last week’s floodwaters.
What Level of Hell Is This?
Realpolitik collides with reality TV:
Early on in the Trump administration, Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former co-star on “The Apprentice” and new adviser to the president, began pressing Mr. Trump and his aides to engage with Haiti and support Mr. Moïse.
Are there things that are happening that you want to see in tomorrow’s Morning Memo? Send us the things.