I want to recommend to you this new article in The Atlantic about the Jan 6th insurrection and the preparation for the next one in 2024. It doesn’t contain any big exclusives. If you’ve been following ours and others coverage of the insurrection, the effort to pass new election subverting laws at the state level and the campaign of harassment of local election officials you’ll be broadly familiar with most of it. But I don’t think I’ve seen anyone pull the different moving parts together so effectively, either retrospectively or prospectively.
I have a bit of a quibble with Bart on just how much Trump was methodologically pursuing a clear plan to overturn the election once Biden was declared the victor a few days after election day. But this is mainly a matter of emphasis rather than disputes over detail.
There are reports this morning about early signs that Omicron COVID produces milder disease than feared or perhaps milder disease than Delta and other variants. There does appear to be growing evidence of this, or more evidence that Omicron doesn’t produce more severe disease (which is a great thing). But I wanted to flag some caveats and context that I’ve picked up over the weekend.
TPM Reader PT makes a point about leaving no stone unturned in the fight against COVID …
In reading various articles on the naval component of WW2, one of the things I noticed is that, at the war’s end, the United States wound up canceling or scrapping numerous aircraft carriers that were at some point in the process from ordering to commissioning. Likewise the battleships USS Illinois and USS Kentucky, which had started construction but were abandoned when the war ended.
I have to imagine that vaccination rates among TPM Readers are close to 100%, given a variety of factors – education levels, politics, age, etc. But I’m sure there are many who haven’t gotten a booster shot. You should get that shot. You should get it as soon as you’re able to get it. I’ve been pretty pro-booster for months, even back to when the evidence for the persistence of increased immunity was less clear. Until quite recently boosters were seen by many as a bit precious unless you were part of some high risk group or even a bit selfish. Not so. Not now at least.
In recent months there’s been a lively debate and a number of contending studies over whether ‘natural’ or vaccinated immunity provides superior protection against COVID. This is important information to know for a number of reasons. But in the public conversation it’s largely become a cudgel in arguments about vaccine mandates – people insisting vaccine mandates shouldn’t apply to them because of the immunity they got from being sick with COVID is just as good. There are many problems with that argument – the most important of which is that every expert I’ve heard from seems to agree that getting vaccinated gives you added protection regardless of whether you’ve had COVID. Meanwhile, in public health terms, it’s nearly impossible to litigate at scale who has had COVID and who hasn’t. But setting that debate aside, the advent of Omicron may be pushing this issue to center stage in a new way.
We have a mere 210,000 new jobs created in November, according to statistics released this morning by the Bureau of Labor statistics. It’s another “disappointing” number, well below Wall Street estimates. But as we noted a couple weeks ago and Philip Bump reminds us this morning, we should expect that the number is actually much higher, probably dramatically higher. So far this year every month but one has been revised higher after the fact, often by magnitudes far greater than in the history of counting this number. September was initially 194,000. Now it’s revised to 379,000. August was initially 235,000. Now it’s revised to 483,000. A number of other months have been upward revised by 100,000 or more.
For the last few days the world has been waiting for scientists to make sense of Omicron. Today we appear to have some new information and it’s not encouraging. I’m no scientist. So I’m going to do as little characterizing as I can. I am recommending this Twitter thread and this one, both from trustworthy people, one a journalist following COVID and another a computational biologist at the KU Leuven in Belgium.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) sounded the already scream-worthy alarm this week.
It was a stark warning about something TPM has been covering with our hair-on-fire for some time: that the Jan. 6 attempt to steal an election was the culmination of months of President Trump’s stoking of the Big Lie, and not an isolated incident. What’s more, the attempted heist never ended.
Griswold outlined the various threats to our current democracy — like a slew of new state level restrictive voting laws and ongoing threats of violence against election workers — and observed that the election-stealing crusade is continuing as we speak. Just, perhaps, in slow motion.
A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! This week, Josh and Kate discuss the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in a potentially historic abortion case as well as the new omicron variant.
You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.
A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that prices rose in October and are hovering at a notably high point has triggered a full-on Democratic panic attack over the fate of the reconciliation bill.