Opinion

Think the delta variant is scary? Anti-vaccination Trumpers are truly terrifying

Late Thursday night, the Washington Post published leaked documents from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which showed the data used to draft the new federal recommendations that vaccinated people in COVID-19 hot spots wear masks in indoor public spaces. The scientific information is sobering, to say the least, showing that the "delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox" and "vaccinated individuals infected with delta may be able to transmit the virus as easily as those who are unvaccinated."

To be clear, the vaccines are still highly effective and breakthrough infections are relatively rare, so this is not, as some of the more hysterical or anti-vaccination voices on social media are suggesting, evidence that the vaccines don't work. Moreover, even if a vaccinated person does get a breakthrough infection, it is likely to be relatively mild. The new masking recommendations from the CDC are not so much to protect the vaccinated, as they are to protect the unvaccinated. As one federal health official explained to the Washington Post, "Although it's rare, we believe that at an individual level, vaccinated people may spread the virus, which is why we updated our recommendation."

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Birth of a nation: Jim Crow Republicans seek to repeat America's dark history

"Birth of a Nation" is one of the most important films in cinematic history. D.W. Griffith's masterwork is considered by many film scholars and critics to be the first "modern" film: Its cinematography, narrative techniques, and technical innovations set the standard for what would come afterward.

There's a lesson here: A work of art can be extremely important, even groundbreaking, while also embodying — and seeking to legitimize — thoroughly reprehensible social and political values.

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Josh Hawley just proposed a deranged law that is little more than a testament to racist hatred

Sen, Josh Hawley, of the former slave state of Missouri, doesn't want America's white children to be exposed to the simple reality that slavery was not only legal at the founding of our country but was, in several places, written into our Constitution.

And that the rest of America subsidized the slave-owners' states and continues to subsidize them to this day.

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DC Insider: Covid isn't the only thing resurging

Despair is worse after a brief period of hope. I don't know about you, but I was elated earlier this spring when it seemed as if Trump and COVID were gone, and Biden seemed surprisingly able to get the nation rapidly back on track.

Now much is sliding backwards. It's not Biden's fault; it's Trump's ongoing legacy.

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Democrats are celebrating the bipartisan infrastructure deal — but it looks like McConnell's latest trap

On Wednesday night, the Beltway press was abuzz with excitement at the announcement of a $1 trillion infrastructure deal made by Senate Democrats, Joe Biden's White House, and a handful of Senate Republicans. No, not because it's a well overdue investment in American infrastructure that has been crumbling from decades of neglect. The political press cannot be bothered with mundane concerns as "what Americans actually need" and "the continuing economic health of the nation." The main reason for all the elation was that the bill is bipartisan. (Cue gates of heaven opening, a chorus of angels singing.) When Democrats are in charge, bipartisanship is not only the singular obsession of the Beltway media but seen as exclusively the duty of Democrats to uphold.

"Biden ignores the 'shiny objects' and nears a bipartisan win," gushed Politico's headline. In the article, the bill is described as "the type of bipartisan win he's dreamed about since launching his campaign for the presidency." Other Democratic leaders are portrayed as optimistic that the bill can "fulfill Biden's campaign promise that he could work with GOP leaders even as they vowed to kill his agenda."

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Republicans don't quite understand they are digging their own grave

Rachael Bade is a political analyst for Politico. Last week, after Nancy Pelosi spiked the appointments of Jim Jordan and Jim Banks to the panel investigating the January 6 insurrection, Bade said the Speaker of the House had given "a gift" to the Republicans. "Pelosi's move to reject GOP picks for the 1/6 panel is going to be a gift to [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy in the long run," Bade wrote. "He wanted this panel to look partisan and political. Now it's definitely going to look partisan and political."

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

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Extraordinary influence of white supremacist ideology revealed in Jan. 6 investigation

As the Capitol attack inquiry began with emotional testimony by police officers who came face-to-face with Trump's racist and proto-fascist mob, one cannot help but draw the conclusion that what happened on January 6, 2021, a day that will also live in infamy, is that the chickens came home to roost.

The racist system that has prevailed for nearly 250 years got a taste of its own medicine on that day as a large crowd of white Americans attacked the very foundation of the country. Calling white police officers "traitors" and using racial slurs against black officers speaks volumes about the mentality of Trump's mob, which today has completely taken over the Republican party.

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Trump's support begins melting like a snowball in hell

Donald Trump's influence is melting like a snowball left on the kitchen table.

In a special election to replace a Texas congressman who died, voters rejected Donald Trump's chosen candidate, the widow Susan Wright.

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The country is failing to face the rage of Donald Trump's supporters -- and the result is mass death

The covid pandemic is surging among people who are not vaccinated thanks to the wildfire spread of the highly contagious delta variant.¹ Some of the unvaccinated are reachable, as Editorial Board member Magdi Semrau argued in her latest piece of brilliance. Many are not. These are supporters of the disgraced former president.

They are not vaccinated by choice. Vaccinations are free, widely available, highly recommended and they work. Yes, some vaccinated people are getting sick, but they are vanishingly small in number. Refusing to get vaccinated is like refusing to wear a seat belt with the most obvious difference being that the latter is not contagious.

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Democrats have a massive opportunity with Capitol riot committee: Shove it down the GOP's throat

Democrats have the opportunity of a lifetime when they open hearings of the House select committee on the Capitol insurrection Tuesday morning, but they can miss that opportunity by making three mistakes: If they fail to prominently show videos of the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, if they fail to announce that hearings of the committee will resume immediately following the August recess and continue until the committee has completed its work, and if they turn Rep. Liz Cheney into a rock star.

Let's put the Cheney matter away first. Sure, she was one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Trump the second time around for his role in provoking the assault on the Capitol, and her statements about Trump's culpability are helpful. But every time she starts running her mouth about the Constitution, I take a moment to consider her abject opposition to constitutional rights like abortion and marriage equality. This is a woman who picks and chooses the battles she wants to fight, and her late-blooming anti-Trumpism may have less to do with preserving our democracy and the Constitution than it does with her ambition. Democrats aren't fooling anyone with Cheney and the recent appointment of Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. They aren't the loyal opposition. Among Republicans, their opposition to Trump is as convenient as it is rare, but that doesn't deserve excessive thank-yous from Democrats.

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Biden takes the fight to Trump

Over the weekend, Donald Trump held a huge indoor rally in Arizona, called "Rally to Protect Our Elections," which in all likelihood will end up being a super-spreader event since so many of his followers are anti-vaccine and anti-mask. They showed up in great numbers, dressed in their flamboyant MAGA gear, excited and thrilled to be in the presence of their leader.

Trump made passing reference to the vaccines in his endless speech, taking credit for them and telling people he thinks they should get them but then going out of his way to say he respects those who choose not to do it. Of course, the crowd really only cheered the latter.

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Here's how the GOP's race to the bottom became a 'worst person' contest

J.D. Vance is getting desperate. The author of a book now famous for being adapted into the worst Netflix movie of all time is running for Senate in Ohio, hoping to use the same down-home country boy cosplay that effectively fooled both country club Republicans and the Hollywood liberals who bought "Hillbilly Elegy" to gain the trust of actual Ohio Republican voters. So far, however, the Yale law school-educated venture capitalist with a campaign bankrolled by one of the most sinister Silicon Valley financiers, Peter Thiel, has not received the open-armed welcome he clearly expected. The fight between Vance and the other Republican candidates, Josh Mandel and Jane Timken, has turned into a battle of who can be the Trumpiest. Vance's air of being a try-hard — compared to the more authentic racist pandering that emanates from Mandel — has left him falling way behind in the polls. Even moves like apologizing abjectly for past Trump criticism just end up being a reminder that, even though Vance is every inch the hardline authoritarian, he is bad at hiding what political science professor Scott Lemieux described as "his disdain for members of the Appalachian working class who have not shared his good fortune." And so, to gain ground, Vance has turned to a tactic that has become the primary form of discourse in the GOP, post-Donald Trump: trolling.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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St. Louis brings back masks amid COVID surge -- and Republicans who failed to contain pandemic are furious

A new mask mandate was enacted in St. Louis on Monday and received unintended validation: Its most vocal critics are the state Republican leaders who have presided over the state's abject failure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and County Executive Sam Page have issued orders requiring the wear masks in indoor public spaces and on public transportation by those 5 and over. "As of yesterday, the CDC is considering doing the same," Jones said.

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