EDITORS' BLOG
Please Read This Important Post

Okay, let’s do this. If TPM is important to you I would greatly appreciate your taking a moment to read this post.

We have made great strides over the last five years totally transforming the site’s business model from one based almost exclusively on advertising to one based overwhelmingly on membership fees. But it’s not quite enough, at least not yet. That’s where The TPM Journalism Fund comes in. It plays a relatively small (in percentage terms) but still critical role in our budget, allowing us to keep our focus on original reporting and evolve with the changing news environment in ways I will describe here in the coming days.

Today we’re kicking off our second annual TPM Journalism Fund drive. (If you’ve heard enough and would like to contribute, just click here. If not, please read on.)

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On Vaccinating the World

From TPM Reader JL

I wanted to pass along some thoughts on vaccinating the world. I don’t claim any particular expertise or even objectivity on the subject, but I do have a perspective that seems a bit contrarian and perhaps worth sharing for that reason alone.

The gist is that I’m fairly optimistic that the world will get vaccinated in not much more than a year. Let me start with a huge caveat, which is that by the world getting vaccinated I mean that the world as a whole will get close to the point where the US will be in a few months or so—approaching 60% of the population fully vaccinated. If that happens the global situation will be vastly improved but it certainly doesn’t mean the pandemic will be over. How not over it will be will depend on variants, ability/willingness to test & trace, and a myriad of other factors.

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On Infrastructure, What’s the Plan?

One of my subsidiary frustrations in the infrastructure debate and legislative process is how difficult it is even to make sense of what’s going on. I’ve mentioned in a few posts that this is not only a research or reporting problem. It’s hard to have good messaging for what you’re trying to do, build public support or keep supporters engaged, if even those whose job it is to make sense of things, who understand a lot of the jargon and technicalities, struggle to make sense of it. I’ve read a fair amount and discussed it with various people at the highest levels of the process. And I can barely make sense of it.

With that introduction, a few thoughts.

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Will QAnoners Run Out of Patience?

The FBI has released an unclassified intelligence assessment that predicts that some QAnon adherents will soon decide they can no longer “trust the plan” after so many Q predictions have come up short and resort to acts of violence.

You can read the key part of the document here.

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Two Thoughts on the Fall of Netanyahu

As you’ve certainly seen, Israel got a new government yesterday and the Prime Minister is not Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time in a dozen years. He went out ugly. No storming the Knesset but a lot of heckling from Bibi’s dead-enders, a hot and wild speech from the man himself denouncing the new government as a danger to Israel, invoking the Holocaust, insisting no one can stand up to Biden like him. And then it was done.

I wanted to note two dimensions of the moment that stuck out to me.

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Readers Respond to Lab Leak #8

I don’t know who’s right or wrong. But I am as sure as I ever have been that this site’s greatest resource is its rich store of incredibly knowledgable readers. From TPM Reader PL

Now that the lab leak theory has been back in the news, the fact that one of the first identified clusters was at a Wuhan wholesale food market is being discussed again. This happens to be an area where I have some understanding, and I’ve been frustrated with the degree to which everyone is reading things into it without context. Lab leak enthusiasts suggest that because it popped up in the same city as a virus lab it is evidence for the leak, whereas other people just used it to focus on racist “Chinese people eating weird things” stories. But the more likely explanation strikes me as a lot less interesting.

When I was in grad school I spent two years doing field research on design and business strategy in Chinese businesses. As part of this I researched China’s wholesale market system, and, as fate would have it, did ethnographic research on consumer electronics wholesale markets in and around Wuhan as well as other sites across China.

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Just Pay for Everyone’s Vaccine

TPM Reader JL flags an interesting article in The Economist about the costs of a global vaccination program. The article is paywalled. But the key passage is tweeted here: “To get 70% of the planet’s population inoculated by April, the IMF calculates, would cost just $50 billion. The cumulative economic benefit by 2025, in terms of increased global output, would be $9 trillion, to say nothing of the many lives that would be saved.”

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Live Coverage

After Senate Republicans killed bipartisan efforts to create an independent Jan. 6 commission, congressional committees have continued their disparate efforts to answer the many questions still lingering from that day.

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| News

Nearly three months after the head of Michigan’s Republican Party unveiled an audacious plan that would allow GOP legislators to circumvent the state’s Democratic governor’s veto to pass restrictive voting laws, the contours of the scheme remain murky. 

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| Muckraker

Over the past two months of infrastructure talks, there’s been a constant refrain from Republican negotiators: why not just use all the unspent COVID aid money to pay for the bill?

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| Muckraker

A 22-year old Pennsylvania man raked in thousands of dollars by impersonating various members of the Trump family, Manhattan federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

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| News

In March last year, the anti-Semitic broadcaster Rick Wiles said the spread of COVID-19 in Israel’s synagogues was a sign from on-high.

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| Cafe

As a lifelong novel consumer who enjoys throwing myself into other worlds for hours on end, it probably won’t come as a surprise that I don’t read too many short stories.

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| News

Months before Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance announced that he would not seek reelection for a role in which he oversees a criminal investigation into Trump and his company, a public defender and former reality TV star who had already been angling to replace him was tweeting about the DA office’s investigation into Trump.

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| News

“First of All, James Ball III, you are full of poop,” wrote one Republican Party functionary to another in a bitter, paramilitary-tinged rift over the future of the GOP in Multnomah County, Oregon.

“That is a legal term used by bible believing Christians,” the email continued, “who want to say something much much stronger but err on the side of caution.”

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