Dem Notes

* Patriotic duty.” How President Joe Biden characterized the need to get vaccinated. “It’s the only responsible thing to do. Omicron is serious and potentially deadly business for unvaccinated people.”

* President Biden announced that the government would provide 500 million free rapid COVID tests starting in January.

* One way of addressing the inflationary surge is to take the federal anti-trust route, which the Biden Administration is now pursuing. It involves prodding the Department of Agriculture to monitor meatpackers, the Federal Trade Commission to investigate large oil companies and the Federal Marine Commission to search for price gouging by large shipping companies at the heart of the supply chain. One expected partisan caveat from the usual suspects: No more socialism!

* So far, 23 House Dems have said they won’t seek re-election in next year’s mid-terms.

* “Let’s call it a five-alarm fire.” That was G.K. Butterfield, a black congressman from North Carolina, lamenting the current round of congressional redistricting. The former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus is retiring next year.

* “What we want is to see ideally the president use the bully pulpit to talk about abortion in a strong and effective way. It matters for the stigma that surrounds abortion, and it matters to show that it’s a priority for him and his administration.”–Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center, less-than-subtly reminding the administration that women who rallied to Biden’s presidential campaign to help protect Roe v. Wade, are still there—and still waiting for signs of more presidential conviction.

* “If he were to join us, he’d be joining a lot of folks who have similar views on a whole range of issues.”–That was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, referring to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin—and sounding like a Republican Party recruiter. McConnell, of course, knows what “moderate” means in a state Trump won by nearly 40 points.

* It was a reminder that the White House is not all sturm und drang and blatant, political calculus. First Lady Jill Biden taped a children’s tour of the WH with characters from PBS KIDS.

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