Live Feed: Opening of the 116th Congress

For those not near a TV who want to see Nancy Pelosi retake the gavel as the Speaker of the House, here’s the live feed:



Open Thread: Elizabeth Warren Is Not Here for the DC Press Corpse’s Weak Sauce

Got an email from my senior & favorite Senator this morning:

When Elizabeth first decided to run for the Senate in 2012, she ran against a Republican senator who had a 65% approval rating, $10 million in the bank, and a cool pick-up truck…in a state that had never in its history elected a woman senator or governor.

So we’re used to the tired, beard-stroking opinion pieces masquerading as smart political analysis.

We’re used to being compared to any woman who’s ever lost an election, and we’re used to the anonymous, angsty quotes from “concerned” insiders, and the she-can-never-win garbage churned out by the Republican propaganda machine and recycled by the media.

And you know what? We’re also used to proving them all wrong. Because here’s the truth: we outraised, outworked, and beat – by eight points – that Republican senator nobody said we could defeat…

If you get frustrated when commentators spend more time covering Elizabeth or any woman’s “likability” than her plans for huge, systemic change to make this country work for all of us, do something productive about it:

Chip in $5 right now to becoming a founding member of our Elizabeth Warren 🧐 Fund. (We’re calling it the “You Know it When You See It” Fund because, well, you know why.)…



Open Thread: Elizabeth Warren for President(ial Candidate)!

I’m selfish enough that I’d love to keep Warren as my own personal Senator, yet I’d be perfectly happy to see her in the Oval Office (and not just because we’d all be happy to see any Democrat in the Oval Office, considering the current squatter). But it’s not a small thing that every minute the Cosplay Socialists and their MAGAt playmates and the Media Horse-Race Touts spend attacking Warren — Pocahontas! Schoolmarm! Fumbling! SKREEEE! — is a minute they’re not targeting Kamala Harris / Kristen Gillibrand / Amy Klobuchar / Beto O’Rourke / AnyOtherDemocraticCandidate. I wasn’t 100% convinced about her potential candidacy until I attended one of her (many) town halls last fall; she’s damned impressive in person, and I suspect a lot of the Savvy Cultists are gonna be unpleasantly surprised at how many primary voters aren’t impressed by their ‘wisdom’ regarding her.

What I see as her greatest liability, right at this moment (apart from interference by foreign nationals, of course) is that Warren seems like she could lose the nomination and happily go back to her objectively pleasant life with no regrets. There’s a bias, among the media and it *seems* among the most committed primary/caucus voters, to assume that any candidate who won’t wake up suicidal the morning after their loss is a candidate who ‘just doesn’t care enough’. Which is, IMO, no doubt a good way to pick this year’s winners for The Voice or Dancing with the Stars, but a very bad way to pick one’s leaders…



New Year’s Role Model Open Thread: Dance Like You’re Sitting in the President’s Seat




Sunday Morning Open Thread: Never Mind ‘Be Best’, Just Be Better

Terrence McCoy, in the Washington Post:

Laura Calderwood, whose daughter, Mollie Tibbetts, 20, was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant and left to rot in a cornfield this past summer, closed the mailbox, walked up the steps to her house and turned on the stove. It was getting on toward 6, and she needed to get dinner going. The boys would be hungry.

There were two inside the house now. One was her son, Mollie’s younger brother, a high school senior named Scott. And the other was his friend, a courteous teenager named Ulises Felix. He was the child of Mexican immigrants. For years, his parents had lived and worked beside her daughter’s alleged killer at the same dairy farm on the other side of town, which they fled after the man’s arrest, leaving behind not only Brooklyn, but also Ulises, their 17-year-old son. He’d wanted to finish high school in the only town he’d ever known, and soon, remarkably, he had a new home — the home of Mollie Tibbetts — where Laura had promised to look after him in his parents’ absence…

The stories almost always begin the same way. A son or daughter is dead, and an undocumented immigrant is blamed. Aggrieved and adrift, the parents search for meaning in it all, some finding what they can in obsession and hatred. “In my life we’re going to find the trash who killed my kid,” said Scott Root of Council Bluffs, Iowa, whose daughter, Sarah Root, 21, was killed in 2016, allegedly by an undocumented drunk driver who was released after partially paying bail and then disappeared. Others find meaning in political transformation. “I became a Republican,” said Sabine Durden of Mineral Springs, Ark., whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant in a traffic collision. And still others in activism: “My story needed to get out,” said Laura Wilkerson of Pearland, Tex., whose son, Josh Wilkerson, 18, was beaten to death in 2010 by an undocumented immigrant.

Then there is Laura Calderwood. Fifty-five, with curly blond hair and a halting gait, she is a lifelong liberal who didn’t abandon her politics. She feels anger like the others, but not toward an entire group of people. She’s not afraid of the demographic change remaking the country. But she does fear the deepening polarization. So she never goes to political rallies — never speaks publicly — because she believes that would just inflame things. Instead, she tries to live every day, including this one, just as she did before it all happened.

By late afternoon, Laura had finished up her shift at the grocery store, where she works in the catering department, and gotten into her white SUV. She drove through nearby Grinnell, pulling up to the public library, as always, seeking a sense of calm in its quiet. She went in and sat near the magazines, one of which she had been reading the afternoon of July 19, when her phone rang…
Read more



But Seriously: Stop Giving Liars A Platform!


 
Margaret Sullivan, former NYTimes Public Editor, subtweets the suits who eliminated her position rather than use the L-word:

Lies are coming at the American public in torrents — raining down on them everywhere they turn.

A report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and obtained by The Washington Post, made that breathtakingly clear over the weekend. The intentional spreading of disinformation on every platform — from Facebook all the way to PayPal — should frighten everyone who cares about democracy.

One place that truth can prevail is in the reality-based news media, where editorial judgment comes into play.

That means it’s more important than ever not to give falsehoods a megaphone there.

Which brings us to Chris Cuomo’s 39-minute interview Thursday with Kellyanne Conway, President Trump’s top dissembler.

It should have been no surprise that Conway — who coined the immortal phrase “alternative facts” in early 2017 — blithely spun her way through the interview…

Perhaps most absurd among Conway’s declarations was her objection to Cuomo’s referring to Trump as a liar, although she wouldn’t repeat the term. “You’re saying he’s not telling the truth. That’s a slur. That’s a slur.”…

The news media continues — even now when it should know better — to be addicted to “both sides” journalism. In the name of fairness, objectivity and respect for the office of the presidency, it still seems to take Trump — along with his array of deceptive surrogates — at his word, while knowing full well that his word isn’t good.

When major news organizations publish tweets and news alerts that repeat falsehoods merely because the president uttered them, it’s the same kind of journalistic malpractice as offering a prime interview spot to Kellyanne Conway…

When news organizations hand a megaphone to lies — or liars — they do actual harm. What the president himself says must be reported, of course, but only within the context of what we know.

To state it without immediate, adjacent reference to factual reality is to enter the Kellyanne Zone.

In an era rife with disinformation — and American democracy teetering on a precipice — that’s the wrong place to be.

Current NYTimes TV critic, who should know:



Watch NANCY SMASH! And Chuck Schumer OWN Donald Trump

This will warm the cockles of your heart. Start at about 6 minutes to avoid Trump’s bloviating.

It looks like Pelosi and Schumer did some serious preparation for this meeting. They handled it brilliantly and walked Trump right into owning any government shutdown that may occur.

Also note Pence, who looks like he would like to sink into the ground.