Just a quick note for our Josh Marshall Podcast listeners: due to scheduling conflicts (and by that I mean the Supreme Court hearing what might become the most important election law case in decades), we’ll be recording our weekly episode on Thursday, rather than Wednesday, of this week. Keep an eye on your feed and we’ll be back to regular programming next week.
I had been told by some that the appointment of Special Prosecutor Jack Smith was a problem since there would be a lengthy period of his coming up to speed on the case, hiring staff, perhaps even revisiting earlier parts of the investigation. Seems that was not the case. In fairness, I think Attorney General Garland was clear on this point. Smith was brought in to oversee the case, make the tough calls on decisions to prosecute. In other words, take over Garland’s role. Nothing Garland said gave any indication that anything in the investigation would pause, re-cover old ground or slow down to bring on new staff. It now seems clear Smith hit the ground running.
I included yesterday’s post “Hang It Around Their Necks” as the main post in yesterday’s edition of The Dispatch newsletter. And I got a note back from TPM Reader NM. I’m not sure whether this is a case of my disagreeing with NM or not writing the post itself with sufficient clarity. I wanted to share NM‘s note and my response because I think it gets at something key about the current moment.
In 2020 we brought you the Duke of Dukes Golden Duke ceremony, a March Madness style winner-takes-all quest to answer the year’s most burning question: Who is the most brazen political buffoon of all time (errr… the last 20 years or so that TPM has been celebrating this kind of debauchery)???
We asked. You answered. Rudy Giuliani, in all of his rotten glory, was knighted the one Duke to rule them all.
To let old Rudes really marinate in his swamp of celebration, we took a year off from TPM’s annual fête-ing of the year’s scummiest trash holes and greatest grifters. But we’re back.
The midterm elections gifted us something we didn’t even know we were craving: a new cast of craven characters to revive our broken spirits, and a new standard by which to judge and luxuriate in their absurdity.
So without further ado, welcome to ✨Golden Dukes 2022✨ Clinking our glasses to craziness is what TPM does best.
We know that before the pandemic there were political fringes on the right and left which opposed vaccination. But the idea that politics would have anything to do with whether you got your flu shot would have seemed strange. Now, however, we’re seeing another concrete downstream effect of anti-vaccine activism on the right.
We’re now in the midst of a pretty bad flu season. That appears mostly due to the fact that the population has been relatively insulated from contagious respiratory diseases for going on three years. Our immune systems are out of practice. But it’s not only that. Vaccination rates are also down. New data show that vaccination rates among US children are down 4.8% compared to before the pandemic. But the details tell a more specific story. Vaccination rates among Black and Hispanic children are still slightly behind where they were pre-pandemic. Among white children however, the rates are down more than 7%.
What distinguishes the five counties known to have been subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith is that former President Trump and his campaign filed lawsuits to invalidate the 2020 election results in all of them.
Long COVID Has Likely Taken Millions of Americans Out of the Workforce
Amanda Finley got interested in archeology when her third grade teacher spent the school year on it. “I just loved it,” she said. Finley decided then that she wanted to become an archeologist, and she did.