Josh Marshall

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TPM.
Insurrectionists as ‘Political Prisoners’

The main focus of our write-up was the fact that this event was disrupted by protesters. But I wanted to zoom in on what the event was about. It was a bit of counter-programming to today’s hearings, a House GOP press conference discussing the treatment of indicted insurrectionists as “political prisoners.”
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The Jan 6th Insurrection Was The Centerpiece of a Failed Coup by Donald Trump

My colleagues David, Matt and Josh have each addressed this question of the scope of the Jan 6th committee in different ways on the site this morning. I wanted to add my voice to theirs and add some thoughts of my own.

Especially Republicans, but not only Republicans, want to focus any investigation on the narrow questions of the security breach itself. How did the insurrectionists manage to enter the Capitol complex? This is wrong and insufficient on many counts, not least of which is that we basically already know the answer. Just as important it focuses the inquiry on the possible shortcomings of some of the primary victims – Capitol Police officers who failed to protect the premises.

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Candidate Under Investigation in PA Road Fatality is Vice Chair of CPAC

You see this story about the gubernatorial candidate from Pennsylvania who’s being investigated for his involvement in a fatal motorcycle accident. He apparently drove for miles after the accident with the motorcycle stuck to the front of his car. Charlie Gerow insists he wasn’t the “cause” of the accident. As I said, his role in the accident is currently being investigated by Pennsylvania State Police.

But TPM Reader BH points out that Gerow is not just a candidate for governor. He’s the Vice Chair of the American Conservative Union, the group that puts on CPAC.
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Trump: RINO, RINO, RINO

Ex-President Trump says any Republican who signs on to the bipartisan infrastructure deal is a RINO.

“Senate Republicans are being absolutely savaged by Democrats on the so-called “bipartisan” infrastructure bill. Mitch McConnell and his small group of RINOs wants nothing more than to get a deal done at any cost to prove that he can work with the Radical Left Democrats. It is so important to him that he is agreeing to almost anything. Don’t do the infrastructure deal, wait until after we get proper election results in 2022 or otherwise, and regain a strong negotiating stance. Republicans, don’t let the Radical Left play you for weak fools and losers!”

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Major Health Care Orgs Call for Vaccine Mandates for Health Care Workers

Group of major national health care societies and organizations call for mandatory COVID vaccination for all health care workers. Press release after the jump …
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Is Vaxed America Running Out of Patience?

I wanted to share some thoughts and snippets of news following up on the GOP vaccine switcheroo. But first I wanted to share this LA Times article that helped me think more broadly about the issue. Reporter Brittny Mejia went to a pop-up vaccine clinic in LA to talk to people who were finally getting vaccinated after waiting months into their eligibility. The people who turned out at this clinic were mainly Latino immigrants, so not the demographic that has garnered the most attention in the mainstream media discussion. The reasons ranged the gamut: they’d had COVID and assumed continued immunity; they didn’t want to or couldn’t take time from work; they had general apprehensions about a vaccine without a long testing history; they’d heard conspiracy theories women becoming infertile. In some cases, it was perhaps some vague mix of one or more of these and just continuing to put it off – apathy for lack of a better word.

What jumped out to me is that basically none of the couple dozen people who showed up the day Mejia was there had held out for any ideological or political reasons. And in most cases – as their being there to get their shot makes clear – they were ultimately convincible. Many people who have heard stories of alarming side effects can be convinced by actual data or reassurance from people in their community they trust. We can make policy decisions that make it easier on people who don’t feel free to miss a day or more of work.

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Getting Out the Checklist

TPM Reader JL walks us through the data points …

1. The ferocity of the upsurge, at least as measured by new cases has taken me aback to a large degree. Ashish Jha and Scott Gottlieb are my go to sources and I don’t think they expected to see this kind of upsurge in cases.

2. That said, I think you put your finger the other day on a key issue, i.e., that it’s really hard to know how we should be measuring cases among the vaccinated. The line between mild/asymptomatic and the antibodies did exactly what they were supposed to do but there’s enough Covid particles for a positive PCR test is not just blurry but almost impossible to define.

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Behavior Matters Too

Differential vaccine uptake is clearly playing a dominant in COVID severity across the country. But I also think behavior – including but not limited to masks – is playing a bigger role that some imagine. From TPM Reader RS
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The Great Vax Switcheroo Hits the States

According to Brett Kelman, health care reporter for The Tennessean, the state of Tennessee has completely reversed its decision to discontinue near all forms of adolescent vaccine advocacy. “We put a pause on many things, and then we have resumed all of those,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. This decision was a huge story little more than a week ago. Now it’s being completely reversed.

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Back To This

I thought I was done with poring over COVID case data. Things change.

I took a look at what is happening in the US on a state by state basis. It’s stunning to see. The best metric for prevalence of COVID is number of cases adjusted for population. Specifically, I’m looking at the number of new cases over a seven day period per 100,000 residents. Through this prism the crisis is overwhelmingly concentrated in three contiguous states along the Mississippi River: Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. Plus Florida.

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