Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: More information on omicron, but not enough to draw solid conclusions

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: More information on omicron, but not enough to draw solid conclusions


Omicron seems to carry higher Covid reinfection risk, says South Africa

Scientists warn of higher rate of repeat infections but say vaccines appear to protect against serious illness

As the EU’s public health agency warned that Omicron could cause more than half of all new Covid infections in Europe within the next few months, evidence was emerging, however, that vaccines still appear to offer protection against serious illness.

According to new evidence collected in South Africa by its National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) the latest epidemiological evidence suggests that Omicron can evade immunity from infection with earlier variants and is causing reinfections at three times previous rates.

Get your vax on.

Pres. Biden lays out his plan to fight COVID-19 this winter: — Expand booster access — Expand vaccine access for kids — Free at-home rapid tests — Extend public transit mask requirement — Testing for international travelers

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 2, 2021

Jennifer Rubin/WaPo:

The Supreme Court faces an existential crisis of legitimacy

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said it better than any of the court’s external critics. “Will this institution survive the stench this creates in the public perception, that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” she asked during oral arguments on Mississippi’s abortion law on Wednesday. “If people believe this is all politics, how will we survive? How will this court survive?”

She was referring to the apparent willingness of the court to overthrow precedent simply because its membership changed. (The usual reasons for overriding precedent — such as new facts or an evolving social consensus — do not apply in this case.) As the solicitor general and the counsel for the Center of Reproductive Rights argued, this is the first time in history that the court will rip up decades of precedent to take away a fundamental personal right.

I trust Sotomayor’s query was rhetorical; the court will remain in its august building. But should it repudiate abortion rights, any pretense that it is above politics will vanish, in no small part a result of the blatant partisan agenda and intellectually pathetic arguments displayed on Wednesday.


Before Gorsuch, Collins could’ve said she wouldn’t vote for any nominee that didn’t have bipartisan support She could’ve organized a moderate bloc to balance the Court and depolarize the country She didn’t. She failed to lead. No performative fig leaf can cover up her legacy.

— Bill Scher (@billscher) December 2, 2021

Dahlia Lithwick/Slate:

SCOTUS Will Gaslight Us Until the End

Oral arguments today made clear that this court will overturn Roe—and that they’ll insist on their own reasonableness the whole time.

But somehow, even still, only some of the six conservatives seem brave enough to admit to the real project. That became clear as oral arguments progressed this morning in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Evaluating the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that prohibits virtually all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a pre-viability ban on its own terms that quite deliberately violates Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, some of the justices continued to pretend that what was being proposed—the overturning or hollowing out of a precedent on which generations of pregnant people had relied—was a teensy little tweak, a long-overdue tug of the constitutional sheets in the right direction.

It’s shameful a horrific MI school massacre that killed 4 didn’t bring America to a halt. There’s too much rage, too many new gun owners, and a 2nd Amendment cult around a measure meant to control slavery We can stop impulse-gun-buy murders. My new column

— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) December 2, 2021

Dana Milbank/WaPo:

‘Roe’ is dead. The Roberts Court’s ‘stench’ will live forever.

Public opinion hasn’t changed. The science hasn’t fundamentally changed. No new legal theory has been promulgated. The only difference is the court now has a majority hellbent on settling scores in the culture wars. “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked her colleagues. “I don’t see how it is possible.”

Brilliantly visualized by @jburnmurdoch

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) December 2, 2021


Texas Restricts Medication Abortion, Escalating War On Reproductive Rights

Months after the state enacted a six-week abortion ban, another bill went into effect largely cutting off Texans’ remaining access to abortion care.
Parts of the law are redundant, given the six-week ban, and are likely in place in case that law gets shut down by the Supreme Court. Other sections, however, are poised to have a major impact on Texans seeking abortion care early in pregnancy. Just over half of abortions in Texas were medication abortions prior to the six-week ban. Even with the six-week ban in place, medication abortion likely accounts for a large number of abortions in the state.

NEW: Nearly 1 in 4 vaccinated adults have received a #COVID19 booster shot, more than double the share from October. If the remaining vaccinated adults follow through on their intentions, 53% of all adults would get a booster shot.

— KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) (@KFF) December 2, 2021


If you want employees to stay, tell them you are thankful for their work

A new Gallup poll found that 52% of people who left their job during the pandemic said their employer could have done something to make them stay.

How many journalists who left their job in the last year needed the flexibility to manage children’s schooling, care for parents and deal with COVID-19 concerns but had a boss who was clueless about these pressures?

I put out a call to journalist friends of mine to get their experiences. One photojournalist in a middle market said after more than 40 years on the job, he has not ever been told directly that the TV station wants him to stick around. He said, “Once a year or so the chief photographer indirectly suggests in a spur of the moment opportunity that he’s glad I’m still around.” He added, “It means I’m taken for granted and still have some use to them until they decide I’m no longer cost-effective to keep around.”

Rep. Liz Cheney: “This committee’s investigation into the violent assault on our Capitol on Jan. 6 is not a game. When this committee convenes hearings, witnesses will be called to testify under oath. Any communications Mr. Trump has with this committee will be under oath.”

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 2, 2021

Jennifer Rubin/WaPo:

Trump’s stonewalling on the Jan. 6 investigation is crumbling

In more than 3½ hours of argument, there was little indication that the court seriously entertained the idea that the former president can veto the current president’s decisions on executive privilege. “This all boils down to who decides,” Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said. “Who decides when it’s in the best interest of the United States to disclose presidential records? Is it the current occupant of the White House or the former?”

The state of Missouri commissioned a study to see if mask mandates worked. When the results came in, showing they saved lives, the state blocked publication in order to maintain its attempt to force cities like St. Louis to end their mask mandates:

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) December 2, 2021

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

The bombshell about Trump testing positive also implicates the Trump family

In other words, everyone around Trump was apparently told he was potentially contagious, and he even appeared potentially symptomatic, even as Trump roared into the debate as if the opposite were true. If this is right, then what happened at the debate is even worse than you thought.

It’s not a serial molester. You can’t just ignore it.

— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) December 2, 2021

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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