Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: A flood of data on omicron paints a more complete picture

Craig Spencer/Twitter:

Today it seemed like everyone had COVID. Like, so many.

And yes, like before, there were some really short of breath and needing oxygen.

But for most, COVID seemed to topple a delicate balance of an underlying illness.

It”;s making people really sick in a different way.

Diabetics in whom Covid precipitated diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious and life-threatening condition.

Older folks sick with Covid just too weak to get out of bed. Can”;t walk. So can”;t leave the hospital.

Thankfully not one needed a ventilator.

Relatively few needed oxygen…;

But still so many needed hospitalization.

Right now NYC has over 5,000 Covid hospitalizations.

More than last winter”;s peak.

Higher than any point since May 2020.

3 times higher than only two weeks ago.

The overall COVID news is very encouraging (see John Burn-Murdoch below), but there is a lot of nuance, uncertainty, and regional difference involved, as well as age-related and vaccine-related issues. Issues in schools are also occurring.

It”;s not over.

(and an important note: incidental patients still matter. Their Covid-positive status is a major complicating factor for a) their non-Covid treatment and b) hospital resource management

–; John Burn-Murdoch (@jburnmurdoch) January 4, 2022

Amanda Carpenter/Bulwark:

The Good Coup

Peter Navarro had a perfectly legal strategy to overturn the 2020 election. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling insurrectionists.

Navarro says that he provided research reports to back objections to the Electoral College that were approved of by Trump and disseminated by his office to members of Congress. Bannon acted as the “;strategist”; and “;whip”; and “;over 100”; members of Congress were “;lined up to execute that plan.”;

These details provide new insight into how closely Trump and his associates coordinated with the Hill to throw the election to Trump, which Navarro believes could have worked.

When I highlight child cases, a common rejoinder is, “But what about hospitalizations?” The implication is that if child hospitalizations skyrocketed, it would be time to get serious That has come to pass Now I hear, “But that’s not *so many* kids.” How many kids is enough?

–; Jen Jennings (@eduwonkette_jen) January 4, 2022

Greg Sargent/WaPo with some interesting Jan. 6 committee strategy:

The smoking gun that Liz Cheney is looking for on Trump comes into view

The committee wants to determine whether Trump indicated a desire to see the mob continue disrupting the electoral count. We don”;t know if it will prove this.

Then there”;s the question of whether disrupting the electoral count constitutes obstructing an official proceeding, and whether Trump, in inciting the mob to descend on the Capitol during that count, participated in that obstruction. We don”;t know exactly what we”;ll learn there, either.

But beyond that, we can now surmise where this will likely go: Precisely because the statute is murky on these points, the committee will likely recommend changes to it that make it clearer that disrupting the electoral count is a federal crime, and further penalize it.

As we get closer to Jan 6th, a lot of Republicans are going to preemptively gaslight about what happened that day. Minimize. Deflect. Act like you”;re the crazy one for making such a big deal about it. “;The media is obsessed!”; “;It was just a protest!”; Don”;t let them.

–; Sarah Longwell (@SarahLongwell25) January 3, 2022

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

The GOP”;s grip on states is becoming a horror show. Some Democrats see a way out.

The study ran dozens of potential scenarios over the next decade, adjusting various factors, such as the national mood and support for Democrats among college-educated and non-college-educated voters. It concludes: “;We anticipate a defensive map over the next decade.”;

However, the report reaches a somewhat more optimistic conclusion about the implications of all this for state legislative contests. It challenges the conventional wisdom that Democrats are permanently locked out of power in many states because of gerrymanders and previous GOP gains.

I know I”;ve been skeptical about the higher COVID death rate among GOP voters being enough to impact many elections this year but I wasn”;t thinking about the candidates themselves.

–; Charles #GetCovered-ba 🩺 (@charles_gaba) January 4, 2022

Norm Ornstein/Daily News:

Fix the filibuster to rescue the Republic

A group of Senate Democrats, including thoughtful institutionalists who have been reluctant to push for change but see the gravity of the moment, want to break this impasse and return the Senate to its former self and at least give it a fighting chance to slow our slide away from government by the people.

In essence, they say if you want to filibuster, you have to come to the floor and talk, and the burden is placed on the minority to muster 41 votes to keep it going, rather than the other way around. This way, senators and the public can hear the debate and decide who has the better of the argument –; for example, why it is better if many Americans don”;t vote. The plan guarantees the right of the minority to propose amendments, and would be limited to use once a year so the current rules would apply in the vast majority of situations.

Is there a risk that this process could be turned against Democrats when the majority shoe is on the other foot? Sure, but the time it would take and the spotlight it would shine on the debate would discourage its promiscuous use. In most situations, this would be a powerful impetus to both sides to compromise.

I think that a lot of people don”;t understand what it means to lose democracy.

–; Dr. Joanne Freeman (@jbf1755) January 3, 2022

Jonathan Bernstein/Bloomberg:

Tell the Jan. 6 Story to Boost Democracy, Not Democrats

Recounting the details of the effort to overturn the 2020 election isn”;t likely to influence midterm-election voters, but might embolden Trump-skeptical Republicans.

Marking the day with appropriate ceremonies should be just the beginning. The main public attempt to explain just what happened –; the attempt by a president who lost an election to nevertheless remain in office –; will be in what is promised to be “;weeks”; of hearings by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Americans need a full accounting, but even more than that we need a compelling story, threading in the organized attempts of the White House and its allies, the thuggish organized groups that participated, and the ordinary citizens who wound up caught up in the president”;s lies…;

Both Democrats and democrats –; that is, the party and all those who wish to defend the republic –; should be realistic about what these hearings can accomplish. The Democratic Party should be under no illusion that hearings, no matter how devastating to Trump and other Republicans, will help them in this year”;s midterm elections. For better or worse, voters are almost certainly going to judge the incumbent Democrats on the pandemic, on economic growth and jobs and on inflation. As frustrating as it may be for the party in power, it almost never matters what the out-party does or how discredited it seems (to the incumbents anyway) it should be.

Wow. @AriMelber to Peter Navarro: “;We have an entire system designed to thwart –; and I want to say this respectfully, but it”;s the truth –;people like you.”;

–; Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) January 5, 2022


Since Jan. 6, the pro-Trump Internet has descended into infighting over money and followers

Far-right influencers and QAnon devotees are battling over online audiences in the power vacuum created by Trump”;s departure from office

The infighting reflects the diminishing financial rewards for the merchants of right-wing disinformation, whose battles center not on policy or doctrine but on the treasures of online fame: viewer donations and subscriptions; paid appearances at rallies and conferences; and crowds of followers to buy their books and merchandise.

But it also reflects a broader confusion in the year since QAnon”;s faceless nonsense-peddler, Q, went mysteriously silent.

Without Q”;s cryptic messages, influencers who once hung on Q”;s every “;drop”; have started fighting to “;grab the throne to become the new point person for the movement,”; said Sara Aniano, a Monmouth University graduate student of communication studying far-right rhetoric and conspiracy theories on social media.

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