10 Things in Politics: Another mass shooting in America

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Here’s what you need to know:

  • 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.
  • Trump is plotting out his own social network amid his continued Twitter ban.
  • The Justice Department was blindsided by an interview about the Capitol riot.

1. LESS THAN A WEEK: Large, public mass shootings are becoming commonplace again after they subsided during pandemic-related lockdowns. America’s heartbreaking whiplash continued on Monday as ten people were killed at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, less than a week after eight people, including six Asian women, were killed in three spas across the Atlanta area.

  • The US stands alone: A 2017 study of global firearm-related deaths found the US has a far higher rate of gun-related fatalities than most other wealthy nations.

Colorado continues to be disproportionately the site of mass shootings: Six other mass shootings have happened within 40 miles of the Boulder grocery store.

  • More details: A 2019 Denver Post analysis found the state had more mass shootings per capita than all but four states. 

What we know about the Boulder shooting so far:

  • An officer was among those killed in Boulder: Eric Talley was the first officer to respond to the scene after a gunman opened fire at a King Soopers store Monday afternoon. Some people were there to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Police say a suspect, who was “significantly” injured, is in custody. 

What will Biden do?: As VP, Joe Biden’s effort to push a bipartisan gun control policy failed in the Senate by six votes months after the 2012 Sandy Hook Shooting. People who know Biden say that failure is a reason he won’t let up on the issue.

  • A bipartisan proposal would require GOP support: Here are the 14 Republicans to watch to see if legislation expanding background checks or pushing states to pass red-flag laws will pass.

2. Inside Trump’s return to social media: Top aides are helping former President Donald Trump start his own social network. At the center of it is Brad Parscale, Trump’s former campaign manager, who was detained by Florida police last October after his wife said he was drunk and suicidal. More on how Trump is teasing his new effort.

  • Nuggets from Insider’s scoop: Parscale has been building a new political campaign program dubbed “Nucleus,” which Trump already uses to blast out his tweet-style email statements.

3. US health agency raises questions about AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial data: The drugmaker may have provided an incomplete view of its data, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in a statement last night. An independent committee overseeing the trial expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included “outdated information” in its data. Here’s what this means for AstraZeneca’s quest for US authorization.

4. Biden is talking about a $3 trillion infrastructure plan: Instead of a massive single bill, proposals like national paid family leave, free community college, and universal pre-K would be split into smaller, separate bills. Many details remain in flux.

  • Democrats could try to squeeze in a slew of priorities: They could even try to help pay for the plan by lowering drug prices. Here’s how that would work.
  • Lady Gaga is behind a push to add family leave to the next big legislative package: Her Haus Labs, along with Spotify and Eventbrite, are among 200 companies pushing the White House and Democrats to make sure the issue is a priority.

Part of the bill would be paid for with tax increases on the wealthiest Americans: But that doesn’t mean Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax is on the table. Rather, Biden is considering changes to the current tax code like boosting and capital-gains tax rates on top earners, per Bloomberg News.

5. The DOJ was blindsided by an interview about the Capitol riot: “Michael Sherwin, a Trump-appointed prosecutor overseeing the Capitol riot cases, blindsided top Justice Department officials last week in agreeing to sit for a high-profile television interview that some fear has jeopardized proceedings related to the violent insurrection.” More in our exclusive report.

6. Sidney Powell’s lawyers say her conspiracy theories about Dominion were too outlandish to be taken seriously: Powell furthered Trump’s “big lie” by spreading bizarre theories that Dominion, an election-technology company, secretly rigged the 2020 election. Now, her lawyers are trying to get Dominion’s $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit dismissed by arguing that “no reasonable person” would have believed Powell, even though she repeated some of those claims in lawsuits she filed. More on Powell’s latest turn.

  • Meanwhile, Trump still won’t forgive Pence: Trump said it was “too bad” former Vice President Mike Pence didn’t overturn the election results. Pence never had this power.

7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:00 a.m.: The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on how to reduce gun violence.
  • 12:00 p.m.: Fed Chair Jay Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testify before House lawmakers.
  • 3:15 p.m.: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mark the 11th anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law.
  • 4:10 p.m.: Biden tours the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio, and delivers remarks.

8.  GOP officials made a mysterious payment to private investigators: “The Republican National Committee paid more than $36,000 in February to a Michigan company that specializes in high-tech surveillance and private investigations … It’s unusual for a party committee to hire private investigators, and it’s even more unusual for a party committee to explicitly report that they’ve done so in campaign-finance reports, party operatives tell Insider.” More on what this payment could be for in our exclusive report.

9. Biden now has all his Cabinet secretaries: Marty Walsh’s confirmation as Labor Secretary means the president now has 15 Cabinet secretaries, a mark that came more quickly for Biden than Trump or Obama. While Biden will have a historically diverse Cabinet, he’s also the first president in decades not to appoint an Asian American secretary. 

10. Game over for now: The impact of the pandemic on the video-game industry is starting to emerge with a number of this year’s biggest games already delayed until 2022 due to development struggles. In short, get used to playing the games you already have.

One last thing.

Today’s trivia question: Today is the anniversary of the first time one of America’s favorite abbreviations was printed. What is it? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected]

  • Yesterday’s answer: Harry Truman, who also served as FDR’s final VP, briefly co-owned a haberdashery in Missouri after WWI. His time in gentlemen’s fashion did not go nearly as well as his political career. 

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