Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Last Call For The Vax Of Life, Con't

Team WIN THE MORNING can barely contain themselves over Democratic governors and senators starting to complain about President Biden's vaccine mandates.
Three months ago, as California Gov. GAVIN NEWSOM was turning around his fate in the state's recall election, many Democrats came to the conclusion that they'd struck political gold. Mandates to get the Covid-19 vaccine weren't just extremely valuable public health policy but they were electorally powerful too.

Now, moderate and frontline members of the party are singing a different tune.

In recent comments, several high-profile Democrats have stated their opposition to vaccine mandates, specifically applied to private businesses. The most recent Democratic lawmaker to voice her concern was Michigan Gov. GRETCHEN WHITMER. Once considered to be Biden’s vice president, Whitmer said she opposes mandates, citing the impact on the state’s workforce — as Michigan grapples with upticks in cases and residents are split on whether or not to get the vaccine.

"We’re an employer too, the state of Michigan is," Whitmer said on Monday, according to the Daily News in Greenville. "I know if that mandate happens, we’re going to lose state employees. That’s why I haven’t proposed a mandate at the state level. Some states have. We have not, we’re waiting to see what happens in court."

Whitmer isn’t the only Democrat now sounding these notes. Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) has said he does not support requiring businesses with over 100 employees to ensure that their workforces are vaccinated from Covid-19. Sen. JON TESTER (D-Mont.) has thrown a bit of shade on it too. Gov. PHIL MURPHY (D-.N.J.), shortly before an unexpectedly close re-election win, shied away from embracing a strict vaccine mandate for teachers and other public workers. Gov. KATHY HOCHUL (D-N.Y.), who is running for election after taking over for disgraced former Gov. ANDREW CUOMO (D-N.Y.), has stated her opposition to a “broad-based mandate for all private-sector workers in New York.”

The souring of some Democrats on the mandate comes as the courts strike legal blow after legal blow against a series of vaccine mandates President JOE BIDEN unveiled in September, and it’s prompting concerns in the party that they’re ending up with the worst of all worlds: a blunt policy that won’t go into effect but that will saddle them politically.

“On one hand, it’s just another thing added to the pile of shit that he’s already been dealing with,” a Democratic strategist told us. “On the other hand, it’s just one more front that he and his team are going to have to fight.”

The White House, so far at least, seems unbowed by it all. Aides are convinced that the mandates are necessary to finally tamp down the pandemic, which they believe is Biden’s political end-all, be-all. And they point to an uptick in vaccination rates after businesses and other institutions implemented their own mandates as evidence that they work.

“We know it works. That’s why the administration and the president will continue pressing forward,” White House press secretary JEN PSAKI said of vaccine mandates at today’s briefing.

Biden himself was initially skeptical of requirements that people be vaccinated against the coronavirus, out of a belief that most Americans would jump at the chance to get their shots if they were free and easily accessible. He wanted to steer clear of the politicization that has hampered much of the Covid-19 response, viewing mandates as a concept that could easily spark blowback.

“The concern all along was that mandates can be polarizing, that they have the potential to further entrench people in their resistance,” said CELINE GOUNDER, who advised the Biden transition on the Covid-19 response. “They really tried with incentives over the summer, hoping they didn’t have to go the route of mandates.”
The Delta variant’s emergence — combined with growing GOP opposition to the vaccination campaign — upended that calculation. Faced with a resurgence of cases, plateauing vaccination rate and few alternatives, administration officials by September concluded any political damage done by imposing mandates would be far outweighed by the price that Biden would pay if he failed to rein in the pandemic.

“It’s also important to keep in mind the importance this issue had on the presidential election. Swing voters in particular strongly disagreed with Donald Trump’s failure to act and ignorance towards the severity of the virus,” said ADRIENNE ELROD, a Democratic strategist and former Biden campaign aide. “Voters wanted leadership and a plan, and President Biden delivered.”

The thing is, COVID Omicron is now here as we plunge into another pandemic winter, and the urgency for vaccinations is higher than ever. Vaccination rates have plateaued in many red states, and in nearly 20 states, all of them Trump states, the fully vaccinated rate is still under 55% as of this week.

So yeah, vaccine mandates are going to be necessary. We're still nowhere near herd immunity and in 10 states, the unvaccinated still outnumber the vaccinated after months of being available.

But yeah, Dems are starting to waver on mandates now. Biden's unpopularity is starting to hurt them politically. Whitmer is facing a tough reelection campaign in 2022, and Kathy Hochul has a primary coming up in only a few months, but Manchin isn't helping and Phil Murphy just won last month.

This mixed messaging on mandates in deeply blue states like NY and NJ are going to hurt people, and it annoys the hell out of me.

Insurrection Investigation, Con't

Former VP Mike Pence's Chief of Staff, Marc Short, is cooperating with the January 6th Committee. Short's subpoena and cooperation represents a potentially serious problem for Trump, and it could signal that Pence himself maybe...and that's a huge, huge maybe...could be willing to at least not stop his team from giving evidence and testimony to the committee.
Marc Short, the former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, is cooperating with the January 6 committee, a significant development that will give investigators insight from one of the highest-ranking Trump officials, according to three sources with knowledge of the committee's activities. 
CNN is also reporting for the first time that the committee subpoenaed Short a few weeks ago. 
Short remains one of Pence's closest advisers and is a firsthand witness to many critical events the committee is examining, including what happened to Pence at the Capitol on January 6 and how former President Donald Trump pressured the former vice president not to certify the presidential election that day. 
Short's assistance signals a greater openness among Pence's inner circle. One source told CNN the committee is getting "significant cooperation with Team Pence," even if the committee has not openly discussed that. Another source told CNN that Short's help is an example of the "momentum" the investigation is enjoying behind the scenes. 
Last month, CNN reported that a number of figures close to Pence, including Short, may be willing, either voluntarily or under the guise of a "friendly subpoena," to cooperate with the committee. 
Reached by phone Monday and asked about his cooperation, Short told CNN "no comment." The select committee declined to comment when reached by CNN.
If Short is willing to cooperate against Trump, that could be the big break that the investigation needs to move ahead with conspiracy charges. Short would absolutely be aware of any memos and instructions given to Pence from Trump about the January 6th coup, because as Chief of Staff, it was literally his job to know it. 

The question is whether or not Pence is going to play ball here. Pence himself won't testify, his career would be over instantly, but he'll be under heavy pressure to disavow everything Short may have to say.

On the other hand, the pressure has already gotten to former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who is now not cooperating, the story coming hours after the Short news.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will no longer be cooperating with a committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, despite previous efforts to work with them.

Meadows and his attorney George Terwilliger plan to officially notify the committee Tuesday morning, after the senior Trump administration official could not come to terms with lawmakers on an arrangement to work with them.

"We have made efforts over many weeks to reach an accommodation with the committee," Meadows's attorney George Terwilliger told Fox News.

Terwilliger said Meadows was looking to appear voluntarily before the committee and answer questions that Meadows believed were not protected by executive privilege.

Meadows is set to appear on Hannity Tuesday evening.
Seems things are going all over the place now. Short cooperating, Meadows not, and Jeffrey Clark facing contempt charges along with Steve Bannon.  Meadows will almost certainly face a criminal referral vote at this point, but as with the Bannon case, Merrick Garland will need time to put together a team to get this right.

We'll see who is right.

The Minster Of Trumpaganda

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes says he will retire from the House at the end of the year to join Trump's social media company as his new propaganda master.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California announced Monday he'll leave the House in the coming weeks to become CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group. 
"I'm writing to let you know I've decided to pursue this opportunity, and therefore I will be leaving the House of Representatives at the end of 2021," Nunes said in a letter to his constituents. 
Moments after his statement, the Trump Media & Technology Group released its own saying Nunes would be its chief executive officer. 
Nunes, who faced the threat of a more-Democratic district through redistricting ahead of next year's midterms, is a close ally of former President Donald Trump. He previously served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when Republicans were in the majority, during which he led efforts among Trump's allies to discredit the FBI's Russia investigation and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
I mean, I can't blame the guy. He's being redistricted out of the House along with several other Republicans in the state. But let's remember, Trump gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his loyalty, so of course he was going to work for the guy after his House career was all but eliminated.

This way he can simply create propaganda for Trump's 2024 run rather than having to deal with Congress and bypass the middleman.

Trump couldn't have asked for a better in-house Minister of Propaganda for his 2024 run.  Of course, that Trump media enterprise Nunes is joining is already under federal investigation.

And let's remember that convicted Ukraine fixer Lev Parnas is ready to cooperate too...against Nunes.

Just saying.

Stay tuned.


Related Posts with Thumbnails