As with anything vaccine-related, look to Israel.

Foreign nationals and asylum seekers lined up to secure the vaccine in Tel Aviv, Israel. Source:

There has been a considerable amount of news this week surrounding the future of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. On Monday, Pfizer that their vaccine had been shown to be effective for children between the ages of five and eleven. This finding places the Pfizer vaccine on the fast track to Emergency Use Authorization for those younger ages, with benefits for parent anxiety, child health, and keeping schools open. There was also the news that a government advisory panel was only recommending a vaccine booster for those over the…

Biden had to do something. The nation will know soon if the action he chose will work.

Joe Biden announcing the vaccine mandate last week. Source:

The Biden administration last week took the next inevitable step in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic by issuing its most sweeping order on vaccines yet. This new executive order mandates vaccines for any company that uses federal contracts or employs more than 100 workers. As an alternative, companies can also establish a regular testing regime, although testing would be so expensive and burdensome that the hope is most companies would pursue vaccines instead. …

It all comes down to the Senate.

President Joe Biden with a group of senators including Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Source:

With one word, Joe Manchin threw a wrench into the plans of congressional Democrats last week. He announced that he wanted a “pause” on Democratic negotiations over a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill to enact the president’s agenda. This announcement reflected Manchin’s general uneasiness about the bill’s high price tag. It also greatly frustrated liberals who have been vexed by Manchin’s hostile attitude towards the policies of his own party. As Jonathan Chait last week in New York, “the signal Manchin is sending is worrisome. …

Treat the new vaccines like we’ve treated drugs for pseudo-bulbar affect. Now.

Danny Glover in a PSA for pseudo-bulbar affect. Source:

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization from the FDA back in December. Last week, it finally received full FDA approval along with a new brand name, Comirnaty. The name seemed unwieldy. It was immediately criticized as a word jumble, one that nobody would actually remember. However, this new step in the vaccination availability process instantly reminded me of a wide variety of drug brand names I could actually remember thanks to advertising. From Vioxx to Humira, Otezla to Mirapex, all of these brand names have stuck in…

The party is not doomed until 2036.

Steve Kornacki in front of an Arizona election map in 2020. Source:

The Democratic Party has once again become that fractured, jumbled mess that commentators from Will Rogers (born 1879) to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (born 1989) have criticized. There is a strong chance that nine moderate Democrats will sink the party’s combined agenda of traditional and human infrastructure spending. Nancy Pelosi is now trying to corral the insurgents while also keeping all of her progressive members in line.

The specter hanging above all of these operations is the 2022 midterm election. There is a consensus that Democrats will most likely lose enough seats to lose the…

The end of South Vietnam did not destroy the Ford presidency. Political observers of Afghanistan today should take note.

Biden discussing Afghanistan’s fall. Source:

When the Biden administration decided to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, its greatest fear was that the Afghan state that Americans had propped up for two decades would collapse. The administration knew that the state it left behind would be tenuous. This weakness had been a major factor in the protracted nature of the conflict. Many pundits, political observers, and certainly members of the State Department thought the Afghan state would fall one day. Optimists among them believed there would be a…

Not everything should be part of the culture war.

Tucker Carlson and Viktor Orbán. Source:

Last week brought the politics of Hungary into American political discourse for the first time in years. Fox News host Tucker Carlson brought his highly rated show to the Eastern European nation for the week. He effusively praised the Hungarian state and its autocratic leader, Viktor Orbán. This decision set off the American liberal punditry. Many argued that Tucker’s visit was to showcase the eventual end goal of the Republican Party over Trumpism. In Hungary, dissent is limited and elections only appear free, while Orbán’s position is always secure. The nation…

Focus on the government.

The official CDC vaccination card. Source:

The rise of the Delta variant has led to a renewed takeover of the COVID-19 pandemic in today’s headlines. Stories about overcrowded hospitals and frustrated medical professionals dominate news shows. Along with discussions of the variant’s rise, there has also been a renewed debate on what exactly governments should do to combat the crisis.

After the closures and lockdowns that defined 2020, the right has abandoned any previous support some members had for government action to fight the pandemic. They have rejected restrictions and have fought even mask mandates tooth and nail. Many commentators on the…

Governments would never let it happen.

An issue of the New York Times discussing the 1929 stock market crash. Source:

The Biden administration’s legislative progress has stalled in recent months. Negotiations over a traditional infrastructure program stop and start. The $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill for other spending priorities is far from guaranteed. Intransigent Democratic senators have shown no signs of relenting on the filibuster. While Biden has already secured several grand accomplishments, it is now clear to many liberal activists that his presidency may not be as transformative as they had hoped back in January.

As a result, there has been more talk about a golden age when a Democratic presidency did enact the…

Our leaders should be praised for taking bold actions to benefit Americans.

Bagram Air Base, now under Afghan control. Source:

President Joe Biden has done something his three predecessors could not accomplish. On July 6, AP that American troops had left the influential Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. The withdrawal marked the symbolic end of the United States’s two-decade presence in the country. Only a nominal group of 1,000 troops will remain to and the airport in Kabul. The Taliban has taken advantage. It quickly started to gain territory and has made it clear that it hopes to retake the entire country…

Eric Medlin

I’m a writer interested in the intersections of history, ideas, and politics. I publish every week.

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