EDITORS' BLOG
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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Jan. 6 Committee Hearing Underway

Follow along with our live coverage here — and don’t miss Matt Shuham’s big piece on the proper scope of committee’s inquiry.

Where Things Stand: Sinister Counter-Programming
Prime Membership Required

The first hearing of the House’s Jan. 6 select committee starts bright and early Tuesday morning, focused on testimony from key law enforcement witnesses who were defending the Capitol during the mob attack. And we’re expecting varying degrees of hay-making and counter-programming from the GOP.

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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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Give This A Look

I wanted to bring this story by Josh Kovensky to your attention.

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The House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack had its first hearing on Tuesday, a surprisingly emotional event that featured officers who defended the Capitol that day demanding that Congress investigate former president Trump’s role in inciting the attack.

| News

As the Jan. 6 committee holds its first hearing Tuesday, lawmakers’ primary focus will be the storming of the Capitol. Law enforcement witnesses will discuss how that day unfolded, and what they saw as they defended the building against the rioters who flooded in, seeking to confront members of Congress.

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The full story of the conspiracy
| Features

Trump's incitement of the Jan. 6 riot was just a small part of his scheme to subvert democracy.

Since President Joe Biden first ascended to office flanked by the barest effective Senate majority — an evenly split chamber and Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — one Senate rule has earned more ink than any other: the filibuster. In its current form, the filibuster demands 60 votes to proceed to debate on most legislation.

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| Prime

Sometimes, in politics, an evocative piece of imagery sticks and becomes something of a meme. “Democrats in disarray.” “Shattering the glass ceiling.” “Drain the swamp.” 

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