Pfizer’s Art of the Deal

Why it kept the Trump administration at arm’s length.

Leading The Bulwark…

Pfizer’s Art of the Deal

Brent Orrell: Why it kept the Trump administration at arm’s length.


🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Benjamin Wittes on the High Water Mark of Delusion

On today’s Bulwark Podcast, Benjamin Wittes joins Charlie Sykes to discuss his recent piece about the difficulty of overturning an election, why we should be wary of turning justices into celebrities (and why they shouldn’t become pundits), and why we’re at the high water mark of MAGA delusion.

Editor’s note: If you downloaded the podcast on your favorite service and found that the file ended abruptly, our podcast service did not fully process the file. That issue should be rectified.

Decapitating the DOD and other cheery thoughts

Former under secretary of defense and ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman joins the regulars to discuss the Republican assault on democracy; the purge at DOD; and the messages voters sent in 2020.

FOR BULWARK+ MEMBERS 🔐

SECRET PODCAST: What Could Possibly Go Wrong Today?

It’s Friday the 13th. In 2020.

Sarah is feeling good. JVL is rethinking his ridiculous Electoral College position. And there is talk about zipper garages.

Remember, if you’re not yet a member of Bulwark+, you’re missing out on all the benefits of membership: The Secret Podcast, The Next Level Podcast, JVL and Charlie’s newsletters and more!


From The Bulwark Aggregator…


In Today’s Bulwark…

Save the Uighurs. Boycott China.

Shay Khatiri: American businesses profit immensely from, and contribute to, the Chinese Communist Party’s oppression of its Uighur minority.

Caucasus Peace Deal Is a Success for Putin, Failure for Trump

Jaxon Washburn: The grim lessons of the Armenia-Azerbaijan clash.

Biden vs. Block Booking

James Emanuel Shapiro: With the Paramount Decrees being rolled back in 2022, it’s worth considering how a Biden DOJ might respond to anti-competitive practices at movie theaters.

‘Karens’ and ‘Dream Hoarders’ Swung the Election to Biden

Parker Abt: Urban voters turned out for Biden—but it was the shift in the suburban vote that made the difference.


🚨 OVERTIME 🚨

It’s Friday… We made it! Pennsylvania won’t be doing a recount, it seems, and Arizona has been officially called, so reality is beginning to set in for some… But not all.

But as Ben Shapiro often reminds us: Facts don’t care about your feelings!

Federal prosecutors are asking General Barr… to rescind his recent order, as there has been no evidence of “substantial voting irregularities.”

And with GOP Senators insisting the administration start sharing intel with the incoming administration, I’d say we’re at the early stage of what might constitute Institutional GOP acceptance. Sadly, we’re not through the woods yet, and you can bet that the President has a few more vindictive tricks up his sleeve.

Remember when Kevin McCarthy said we should give the QAnon curious crazies about to join his caucus a chance? That’s going over well.

Cuba’s Covidiots. A well reported story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about how one small town is dealing with COVID-19… Which is to say, poorly. Cuba is a small town off I-44 (farty far, as it’s pronounced in that part of the world) in Crawford County.

What’s next for the GOP? Stuart Stevens has thoughts:

Meanwhile, Stevens predicts that Democrats will win Texas in 2024, after which “it’s over, lights out” for Republicans. After that, he says, Republicans will try to abolish the Electoral College in 2030. But while Republicans work on kicking their Trump habit, Stevens says the country is in for a period of “center-left governance.”

Stu is probably right.

The trends we’ve seen in other states, like Virginia, we’re probably going to continue to see in places like Texas and Arizona.

Charles Koch is sorry. The libertarian billionaire reflects on his role in politics in The Wall Street Journal, and on the successes and failures of his initiatives:

After President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and the tea party (which pushed to slash federal spending) emerged, Mr. Koch threw his weight behind the new movement and its candidates. “We did not create the tea party. We shared their concern about unsustainable government spending, and we supported some tea-party groups on that issue,” Mr. Koch wrote in an email. “But it seems to me the tea party was largely unsuccessful long-term, given that we’re coming off a Republican administration with the largest government spending in history.”

Yes, the Tea Party was a failure and basically was converted into the Church of MAGA. But there’s that semi-famous meme about reaping and sowing:

Congrats to Col. Vindman… Who is joining our friends over at Lawfare:

“No one is listening to us.” A must read by Ed Yong at The Atlantic:

For many health-care workers, the toll of the pandemic goes beyond physical exhaustion. COVID-19 has eaten away at the emotional core of their work. “To be a nurse, you really have to care about people,” Neville said. But when an ICU is packed with COVID-19 patients, most of whom are likely to die, “to protect yourself, you just shut down. You get to the point when you realize that you’ve become a machine. There’s only so many bags you can zip.”

Ask…

And you shall receive:

Obviously my tweet had nothing to do with it, but I can’t wait to buy it and if you like BBQ, you should try it.

That’s it for me today. I hope you have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back on Monday. Thoughts, ideas, criticisms? Send them my way at: swift@thebulwark.com. I’ll do my best to respond promptly.

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