Newsletter: Vox Sentences: The News, But Shorter

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President Biden has announced a sweeping vaccine mandate; it’s been 20 years since the September 11 attack. 

Tonight’s Sentences was written by Gabby Birenbaum.


The end of Biden’s patience

President Joe Biden

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

  • In a speech to the nation yesterday, President Joe Biden announced a plethora of new vaccine mandates, including a requirement for businesses that employ more than 100 people to necessitate vaccines or weekly testing through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. [The Hill / Nathaniel Weixel]
  • Biden also mandated vaccination — testing is not an adequate substitute — for the tens of millions of people who work for or contract with the federal government and at health care facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding. [AP / Zeke Miller]
  • Employers that do not comply with the new standard would be fined $14,000 per violation. The new policy also mandates workplaces offer paid time off for workers to get vaccines and recover from side effects. [Insider / Dominick Reuter]
  • Immediately, right-wing media and politicians jumped on the mandate, calling it unconstitutional. OSHA, however, has long-established authority to mandate and enforce health standards in workplaces. [The Verge / Russell Brandom]
  • There’s a long history in the US of vaccine mandates, from required smallpox inoculation in the colonial era to childhood vaccine requirements to attend school in the 1970s. In the early 1900s, the Supreme Court specifically ruled that mandatory vaccinations are constitutional. [NYT / Maggie Astor]
  • The Republican National Committee and multiple Republican governors have already promised to sue the administration over the new mandate. In response, Biden told them, “Have at it.” [Guardian / Joan E. Greve]
  • Biden’s mandate has drawn praise from the business community, including the Business Roundtable, a traditional adversary of Democrats. It provides cover for companies to mandate vaccines without drawing the ire of their workers or state governments. [CNN / David Goldman]
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20 years since 9/11

  • Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in US history. In the years since, the US has been involved in 20 years of military conflict, drastically expanded its security state, and seen its place in global politics affected by the realization that American power has its limits. [Washington Post / Ishaan Tharoor]
  • Twenty years ago, President George W. Bush launched the “Global War on Terror.” It cost trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and brought about a sense of regret from its architects, who acknowledge it went beyond the scope of the 9/11 attack and damaged America’s global standing in the Muslim world. [Politico / Bryan Bender and Daniel Lippman]
  • The post-9/11 order was marked by an interventionist approach to foreign policy, backed by a sense of American exceptionalism that drove the idea that it was the duty of the United States to bring democracy abroad. But the failures of the last 20 years have made a serious dent in the domestic appetite for American intervention and belief in US hegemony. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • America successfully prevented another al-Qaeda attack and killed Osama bin Laden. But there have been so many failures, from the defiance of international law through a torture program that seemingly produced no significant results, to a lack of justice for families through trials, a new federal department whose suspicious mentality has resulted in horrific treatment of immigrants, a loss of international goodwill, violent Islamophobia and xenophobia domestically, and a loss of personal freedoms to an overreaching security state. [Atlantic / Garrett M. Graff]
  • The US’s costly intervention in the Middle East did not prevent new terrorist organizations from arising. Misinformation about Muslims soared, leading to some of today’s harmful polarization. And the strength of war as a diplomatic tool has been proven far less effective than politicians would have had you believe in 2001. [Foreign Policy]


France will offer free contraceptives — including IUDs — to women under 25 to help alleviate the costs of reproductive health. [NYT / Isabella Kwai and Léontine Gallois]

  • The Taliban permitted the first international flight out of Kabul Airport since the US withdrawal, allowing over 100 foreign nationals to take off from Kabul and land in Qatar. [CNN / Mostafa Salem, Laura Smith-Spark, and Sam Kiley]
  • Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released a statement saying she was not responsible for the escape of five zebras in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The zebras have been on the run for 10 days. [Daily Beast / Corbin Bolies]
  • Kacey Musgraves released “star-crossed” — her fifth album, and her first since her divorce. [Vulture / Craig Jenkins]


Crossword of the Day

What’s a term for the people that an Arizona county is named after?

Solve today’s new Vox crossword puzzle, and stay tuned for more puzzles coming out Monday through Saturday.


“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”

[President Joe Biden, on mandating vaccines in workplaces of over 100 people to compel the unvaccinated to get their shots]


The Federal Reserve's regulatory issues

Matt is joined by Mike Konczal, director of macroeconomic analysis and progressive thought at the Roosevelt Institute and author of Freedom From the Market. They explore Jerome Powell’s tenure as Fed Chair, the relationship between interest rates and unemployment numbers, and ways to use monetary policy to create an equitable society. [Spotify]

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