Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Get your booster going


1 in 10 Americans say the COVID-19 vaccine conflicts with their religious beliefs

Only 10% of Americans believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine conflicts with their religious beliefs, and 59% of Americans say too many people are using religious beliefs as an excuse not to get vaccinated, a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) shows.

A majority of Americans, 60%, also say there is no valid religious reason to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine -; but the number changes when it comes to white evangelicals. While a majority of every other major religious group says their faith doesn’t include a valid reason to refuse the vaccine, just 41% of white evangelicals believe the same.

NEW: FDA authorizes booster shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for teens ages 16 and 17 for emergency use; CDC needs to sign off before the booster shots can be administered.

–; MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 9, 2021

NBC News:

White House braces for legal, political showdown over vaccine mandates

Mounting Democratic and Republican criticism could further erode public support and make Biden’s task more difficult.

The White House says it is prepared for the fight. A legal team has been assembled to wage the battle in the courts. Biden is prepared to veto any legislation that Congress might manage to pass to erode his mandates as bipartisan opposition grows. And he will keep talking to the public about his goals.

But the fight is only going to get harder, possibly compounded by the unknowns created by the omicron variant of the coronavirus and the growing complaints within Biden’s own party.

“It”;s good politics,” a Democratic House member said of vaccination mandates. But the lawmaker lamented that “some in the White House want to quietly walk away.”

BIG: The nation”;s largest teachers union is cancelling its 2022 convention in Dallas \ over new Texas restrictions on voting, abortion and what teachers can teach about racial history. Exclusive via @The74

–; Jim Roberts (@nycjim) December 7, 2021

Jill Lawrence/USA today:

The real disarray: Republicans imploding over Trump loyalty tests and outrageous behavior

While Democrats haggle over policy, Republicans in thrall to Trump are acting out a meaner, more dangerous version of World Wrestling Entertainment.

The double standard is absolutely maddening. “;Imploding Republicans”; isn”;t nearly as catchy as “;Democrats in disarray,”; but by rights it should be dominating the news every day. Because that”;s pretty much how often GOP implosions happen.

which it says “blindsided” Meadows, and the bulk of the motion is devoted to not very persuasive arguments to quash that subpoena, which would pick up the metadata on his cell phone from 1/6 and before. That looks like where the action is.

–; Harry Litman (@harrylitman) December 9, 2021

This is where intimidation comes in. For some examples:

Tim Alberta/Atlantic:


On the House floor, moments before the vote, Meijer approached a member who appeared on the verge of a breakdown. He asked his new colleague if he was okay. The member responded that he was not; that no matter his belief in the legitimacy of the election, he could no longer vote to certify the results, because he feared for his family”;s safety. “;Remember, this wasn”;t a hypothetical. You were casting that vote after seeing with your own two eyes what some of these people are capable of,”; Meijer says. “;If they”;re willing to come after you inside the U.S. Capitol, what will they do when you”;re at home with your kids?”;

Barton Gellman/Atlantic:


Trump has reconquered his party by setting its base on fire. Tens of millions of Americans perceive their world through black clouds of his smoke. His deepest source of strength is the bitter grievance of Republican voters that they lost the White House, and are losing their country, to alien forces with no legitimate claim to power. This is not some transient or loosely committed population. Trump has built the first American mass political movement in the past century that is ready to fight by any means necessary, including bloodshed, for its cause.


COVID-19: Medical board deletes anti-misinformation policy amid GOP pressure

Tennessee”;s medical licensing board voted Tuesday to delete a policy opposing coronavirus misinformation from its website due to fears a powerful conservative lawmaker would otherwise dissolve the board and replace its members.

The policy, unanimously adopted by the Board of Medical Examiners in September, establishes that doctors who spread demonstrably untrue information about COVID-19 vaccines could have their licenses suspended or potentially revoked. Members voted 7 to 3 to delete –; but not rescind –; the policy.

The deletion was spurred by Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, a co-chair of the Joint Government Operations Committee, who insisted board members don’t have the authority to create a new disciplinary offense without the approval of lawmakers on his committee.

How do you dismantle an academic powerhouse? Follow the University of Florida”;s example | Editorial

–; Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) December 9, 2021

Tampa Bay Times:

UF researchers felt pressure to destroy COVID-19 data, faculty report says

Faculty Senate panel alleges more violations of academic freedom. Says staff was told not to contradict state on pandemic issues.

Fear of upsetting state officials is pervasive among faculty at the University of Florida, to the point that race-related references have been edited out of course materials and researchers felt pressure to destroy COVID-19 data, according to a report released Monday by a Faculty Senate committee.

The six-person panel was convened three weeks ago to investigate academic freedom issues after the university decided to bar three political science professors from testifying in a lawsuit against the state. But its findings go well beyond that episode and were so disturbing –; especially regarding COVID-19 research –; that the group decided to speed up its work, said Danaya Wright, a constitutional law professor and former Faculty Senate chairperson who served on the committee.

Editors and journalists must talk about how to include accountability reporting in political stories. It”;s past time for media organizations to move on from “;both sides”; reporting.

–; Nieman Reports (@NiemanReports) December 9, 2021

BREAKING: The appeals court has DENIED Trump”;s effort to stop the Jan. 6 committee from getting his White House records.

–; Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 9, 2021

Pelosi, “..the Courts have once again rejected the former President”;s campaign to obstruct Congress”;s investigation into the January 6th insurrection. No one can be allowed to stand in the way of the truth …not the previous President, who incited the insurrection.”

–; Billy House (@HouseInSession) December 9, 2021

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