DeSantis Sucks Up to the Anti-Vax Crowd
Plus, Here’s Why the Fusion Breakthrough—Decades in the Making—Matters.
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AMANDA CARPENTER: DeSantis Sucks Up to the Anti-Vax Crowd.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s record handling the COVID-19 pandemic is nuanced. After initially locking down the state’s businesses and schools and installing highway checkpoints to monitor travel, he was among the first governors to lift restrictions on businesses—and even went so far as to forbid local governments from fining people for violating masking or social-distancing rules. He worked hard to make vaccines readily available but didn’t support vaccine mandates or vaccine passports. Taking this whole picture into account, DeSantis could tell a compelling story about balancing individual liberty and public health, about tough decisions and real leadership.
The success of Operation Warp Speed has been orphaned by both sides — the left won’t credit Trump for any policy success, and too many on the right won’t get vaxxed. Plus, crypto had a magical pull in an era of declining trust in institutions, and the unifying theory that explains all the crazy disruption in 2022. Derek Thompson joins guest host Tim Miller.
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TONIGHT, for the final Thursday Night Bulwark of 2022, we’re planning a holiday extravaganza. There will be trivia, predictions, rank punditry and lots of laughs. Join Bulwark+ so you can get in all the holiday cheer!
On Tuesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced that the National Ignition Facility (NIF), part of the Department of Energy–funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, had achieved a milestone in fusion energy research. According to Granholm, on December 5, NIF had focused an array of 192 lasers into a cylinder holding a pea-sized pellet of deuterium-tritium fusion fuel and produced a thermonuclear reaction generating more energy than that used to drive it. The announcement was quick to set off headlines welcoming the advent of a vast new carbon-free energy resource for humankind, which were quickly followed by rebuttals from killjoys pointing out the vast distance between NIF’s accomplishment and a practical commercial fusion reactor.
“With great patriotism, determination, and resilience…” USCP officers are awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Thank you, USCP.
Senators have hobbies! And they should! Turns out Sen. Sinema’s is buying and selling clothes. My boss, who previously occupied the seat she now holds, his was NASCAR. I didn’t expect that going in, given that he was a very serious lawyerly type of guy, but he even did a NASCAR update on a local radio station in Phoenix on Monday mornings.
This Place Rules… An upcoming HBO documentary about unrest and how we got to January 6.
Your feel good movie of 2023… Did you love The Peanut Butter Falcon as much as I did? If so, you’re going to love Champions.
But here’s a good story from Saint Louis… Doctors at my alma mater’s hospital were able to help a wounded Ukrainian hero of Mariupol. #GoBillikens #SlavaUkraini
Ovechkin gets goal #800. And he’s gonna keep going. Simply amazing to behold.
RIP RFK… As we get closer to the 2023 demolition of D.C.’s historic stadium, some urban explorers give us a look at its present state. I didn’t grow up here, but I did see the last sporting event there with D.C. United and went to a number of Nats games in the early days. Saving up to buy a seat or some memorabilia. All I have from Cleveland’s Old Municipal is some dirt, an original blueprint, and a brick.
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