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June 7, 2021: Manchin Tanks Voting Rights; Israel Arrests Palestinian Journalists; Vaccination Rates Take a Dive

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Senator Joe Manchin announced on Sunday that he would vote against the For the People Act, the Democrats’ landmark voting rights legislation, because it was too partisan.

Meanwhile, Israeli police detain two Palestinian journalists who had been documenting the ongoing aggressive takeover of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

And lastly, vaccination rates in the U.S. are declining again, forcing a massive outreach program to meet President Biden’s goal of 70% vaccinated by July 4.


Joe Manchin has abandoned all pretense of working for the Democratic party. On Sunday, in an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette, the supposedly Democratic Senator said he would vote against his party’s landmark voting rights legislation, effectively dooming its chances of becoming a law.

Manchin’s reasoning was as absurd as you’d expect. He called the bill, known as the For the People Act, too partisan. His evidence for this was that it had failed to attract a single Republican vote of support. It’s obvious why this was: Republicans know that they won’t win elections if the For the People Act is passed, because voter suppression is the only play they have.

On some level, Manchin must know this. But in the same op-ed, he also vowed to never vote against the filibuster, which makes his stance perfectly clear: he wants to hold his own party hostage to his own misguided agenda.

Manchin indicated that he would support another voting rights bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement act, that doesn’t go as far as the For the People Act. But without an end to the filibuster, Manchin knows that bill doesn’t have much of a chance of passing either. It’s enough to make you wonder which party he’s really working for.

Israel Arrests Palestinian Journalists

Israeli police on Sunday detained two Palestinian journalists who have been documenting the forced colonization of their homes since they were children.

Mohammed and Muna El-Kurd are twin siblings who live in Sheikh Jarrah, the neighborhood at the center of last month’s initial conflict between Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents. Their family home is one of those targeted for eviction by Israeli court orders, and the El-Kurd twins have been documenting the case and their lives under Israeli occupation since they were kids, amassing a considerable following on social media.

On Sunday, Israeli officers arrested and handcuffed Muna at her home, while Mohammed turned himself in after receiving a summons. The police claimed Muna had participated in a riot in the community recently, which is as thin and nebulous of an accusation as it sounds.

They were released hours later. Muna El-Kurd said in a statement on the Sheikh Jarrah Instagram page quote: "It's clear that these are policies to silence people, policies to pressure and scare people.” endquote.

The El-Kurds aren’t the first journalists targeted in recent days. On Saturday, Israeli police violently arrested Al Jazeera correspondent Givara Budeiri as she covered a sit-in marking the 54th anniversary of Israel's 1967 occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. She was later released but with an absurd condition: that she not report on the situation in Sheikh Jarrah for at least 15 days. If that’s not direct suppression of the press, I don’t know what is.

Vaccination Rates Take a Dive

Finally, the Washington Post reports that Joe Biden’s vaccination blitz is not looking very blitz-like at the moment.

The United States is averaging fewer than 1 million shots per day, a decline of more than two-thirds from the peak of 3.4 million in April, the Post reports. Biden wanted to have 70 percent of all adults vaccinated by July 4th, but that’s looking less and less likely by the day.

In response, the Post reports that the government and local health clinics are deploying small armies of health workers and volunteers at vaccination sites, often out-numbering the people who come to get the shot.

Vaccination rates are falling across the South and Midwest, despite good numbers from the big cities on the East and West Coast. The Post reports that this steep decline began in mid-April, right when the government temporarily suspended the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while they probed rare blood-clotting reactions.

The group that still needs the vaccine is, predictably, the people who are most resistant to it or the worst educated about it. That puts the burden of public health on the government to reach these people, but based on the current numbers, Biden’s campaign is falling way short.


Did you miss him? Donald Trump held one of his first public speeches in months in North Carolina on Saturday. You’ll never guess what he talked about: conspiracies, voter fraud, and far-right talking points. That’s what we have to look forward to for a long time to come.

The White House says that 31 million Americans now have healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act. That’s nice and all, but there are almost 330 million people in this country, and all of them deserve healthcare.

The New York Times reports that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is predictably hindering the country’s other efforts to wage war in the region, like impeding CIA efforts to continue carrying out clandestine operations. It’s a good reminder that troop withdrawals are only the tip of our country’s monumental iceberg of war.

Global leaders agreed to the Biden administration’s proposed tax plan over the weekend, giving the green light to a mandatory 15 percent minimum tax rate on corporate profits, regardless of where those companies base their headquarters.

JUN 7, 2021 - AM QUCKIE

HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

WRITER - Jack Crosbie

PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw