A new report shows that even in the poorest parts of America, wealthy white people are still more likely to get the vaccine, as the privileged few often travel to other neighborhoods to claim an outsize share of the available doses.
Meanwhile, Politico reports that the Democrats have chosen their plan of attack for the 2022 midterms. Is it anything substantive about helping the American people? Listen on to find out!
And lastly, Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO of Amazon, in order to take on a new role as “executive chairman,” and focus on philanthropy and personal projects, like his dreams of privatizing spaceflight and the newspaper he runs.:
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The vaccine rollout across America has been a mess for pretty much everyone. But a new report by the New York Times shows that where the shots are going out, the familiar forces of institutional racism and privilege are once again asserting themselves.
Listen to this short passage:
As soon as this city began offering Covid vaccines to residents 65 and older, George Jones, whose nonprofit agency runs a medical clinic, noticed something striking.
“Suddenly our clinic was full of white people,” said Mr. Jones. “We’d never had that before. We serve people who are disproportionately African-American.”
What Jones was seeing, the Times found, was a growing trend in American cities, where health officials say wealthier, whiter neighborhoods have been flooding vaccination sites in lower-income neighborhoods with far more people of color.
The worst part is that these same lower-income neighborhoods have been the ones hit hardest by the virus. The Times notes the obvious as well: the many hurdles for getting vaccinated are far easier to clear for whiter and wealthier people. A poor person of color may not have safe transportation or simply the time off work to go wait in line for a vaccine appointment.
In Philly, for instance, only 12 percent of the people who have been vaccinated so far are black. The city’s population is 44 percent black, so that figure is wildly low. The same pattern is playing
out in New York, DC, and other major cities. It’s up to the local governments there to figure out how to fix this as soon as possible -- because right now, the people who need the vaccine most simply aren’t getting it.
Democrats Promo 2022 Message
Ah, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Just when you thought we might get a break from tearing our hair out at their various snafus, they drag us back in with a new one.
This time, it’s the party’s official line of attack for early 2022 midterms messaging. The DCCC, which controls much of the party’s messaging and overall campaigning, released its first ad on Tuesday, which explicitly focuses on the GOP’s links to QAnon and the far right.
Look: all this is true, and it’s a good attack line. The GOPs future does look a lot more like Marjorie Taylor Green than it does Mitt Romney, and it’s good to remind people of that. But this strategy is also one we’ve seen before, in 2016 and 2020, where some of the best material the DCCC could muster was portraying their candidates as the so called “adults in the room” compared to Trump’s immaturity and volatility.
As we well know, this had pretty mixed results. Leftist commentators have long been pushing for the Democrats to re-center a progressive, ambitious economic and social message at the core of their campaigns, seeing how well it often does at driving turnout and convincing voters that the party stands for something.
Leaning into attacks that the GOP is the party of crazy fascists gives people something to vote against -- but the DCCC also needs to make sure they give people something to vote for.
Bezos Out As Amazon CEO
Jeff Bezos, formerly the richest man in the world before the equally evil and far more embarrassing Elon Musk took that title from him, is stepping down as CEO of Amazon.
Where will he go? Well, he’s now Executive Chairman of the company. Big changes afoot, clearly!
In his place as CEO will be Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon’s cloud computing division.
Bezos said that he’s making the change so he can focus on philanthropy and personal projects, which include his quest to make money off of space with Blue Origin, and also to make money off of journalism with the Washington Post. That last one may be a bit more of a philanthropic project, but I digress.
What does this mean for Amazon in general? Not a whole lot, its own executives say. Bezos has largely been absent from the company’s daily operations for a few years, although he has stepped back up when his pesky employees do things like try to unionize.
As executive chairman, it’s probably still a safe bet that you can summon him for a highly public warehouse tour if you whisper the words “RWDSU Local” into the mirror three times while on your timed bathroom break. Best of luck to Bezos with all his space greed, and even better luck to his employees about to vote on a union in Bessemer, Alabama.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Lin Wood, the comically bad lawyer who briefly took a leading role in Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election, is now under investigation for, would you believe it -- voter fraud. Per Atlanta’s WSB-TV, Wood is under investigation by the Georgia Secretary of State, which thinks he might have voted illegally in Georgia while living in South Carolina. Whoops!
Meanwhile, Amazon’s aggressive union busting in Bessemer, Alabama, is running into an unexpected snag: usually, the company blasts unions with accusations of their dues taking money out of workers’ pockets, but in Alabama, a right-to-work state, employees who don’t want to be part of the union aren’t forced to pay dues. In other words, Alabama is so hostile to unions, it might swing all the way back around and actually help the union win a crucial election this month.
In somewhat encouraging news, Elizabeth Warren is being added to the Senate Finance Committee, giving her an even bigger role in shaping Congress’s oversight of taxes, spending, healthcare policy and more. Let’s see what she does with it!
And finally, a new report by the Atlantic shows that a whopping 40 percent of the Capitol insurrection were either business owners or worked white-collar jobs, throwing some water on the notion that Trump’s modern extremism is something to be blamed on the working poor. The report also found that the vast majority of those arrested in the riot had no connection to organized militia groups, suggesting that the mob mentality has spread far beyond the openly hostile fringes of the far-right.
FEB 3, 2021 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn