Trump's worst nightmare?

The new year brought a new game and new players to Washington: a fresh crop of Democrats who have made Congr...

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 5:11 AM
Updated: Jan 7, 2019 5:11 AM

The new year brought a new game and new players to Washington: a fresh crop of Democrats who have made Congress younger, more ethnically and religiously diverse ("a huge win for Muslim feminism," wrote Rafia Zakaria), more female, more gay, more dance-happy and -- they insist -- more inclined to get things done on behalf of women, working people, immigrants and the environment.

The Democrats, who now control the House and all of its investigative resources, may be the greatest challenge yet for President Donald Trump, who presides over a government that is partly shut down and an administration full of strife -- and already facing multiple investigations.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Arts and entertainment

Dancers and dancing

Donald Trump

Elizabeth Warren

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Music and dance

Nancy Pelosi

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Richard Nixon

Space and astronomy

US Democratic Party

US federal government

US political parties

US Republican Party

White House

"It's unclear whether Trump has grasped the full meaning of the new environment in Washington," Errol Louis pointed out. Impeachment or not, newly elected Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already "let President Trump know that that his days of dominating the national political agenda with bluff, bluster and bullsh** have come to an end."

And though Pelosi didn't sign on to it, newly sworn-in Rep. Rashida Tlaib captured the mood of many progressives when she proclaimed on Thursday "we're going to impeach the motherf****r."

Her F-bomb made some Republican heads explode and upset some Democrats, but when pressed to make nice and apologize, Tlaib declined. "Disgraceful," Trump complained. (Holly Figueroa O'Reilly countered on Twitter with a highlight reel of the President's expletives.)

Four billion miles away, a NASA robotic probe was taking New Years' day pictures of the most distant celestial body any man-made object has ever reached.

Happy New Year!

Pelosi's opportunity and challenge

David Gergen and James Piltch wrote that there's no denying Pelosi's central role "in an unfolding drama" that turns on one big question: "Whether the flood of new women into Congress this year can begin the renewal of the badly broken political system that is increasingly holding back the country."

One problem facing Pelosi, warned Russell Berman and Elaine Godfrey in the Atlantic: The shutdown "could sap much of the spotlight from the Democrats' policy agenda, muddling their opportunity to drive the national debate, at least on their own terms."

Even after that, Pelosi won't exactly be able to skate, wrote Scott Jennings. He recalled how the GOP's just-powerful-enough Freedom Caucus tormented her predecessors John Boehner and Paul Ryan, denying the ruling party the votes to pass a farm bill, raise the debt limit or fund the Homeland Security Department. Pelosi has it worse with her "three-way split" among a dwindling conservative wing, New Democrats...and progressives, who smell impeachment. And if that happens, it "could easily backfire and cost her party dearly in 2020," Jennings said.

Ocasio-Cortez's clap-back

New York's freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to drive her critics on the right crazy. How crazy? Someone tweeted out a dance video she made in college eight years ago, apparently hoping to humiliate her ("Here is America's favorite commie know-it-all..."). It went viral Wednesday, and tons of people found it ... delightful. "Well, @AOC is officially done. She'll never recover from the world seeing her... (watches video) ...dancing adorably and having fun with her friends...?" tweeted Patton Oswalt. Then Ocasio-Cortez clapped back with a cheerful video of her dancing outside her new congressional office. "I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous," she tweeted.

Virginia Heffernan, in the Los Angeles Times, welcomed the new dynamic that has women like Ocasio-Cortez using social media to run rings around terrified men. "By turning up the volume on the Republicans' terrified sexism, as a digital native does best, she's made quick work of her haters."

Republicans are making a mistake here, argued Julian Zelizer. "By vilifying Ocasio-Cortez, the GOP is helping to turn her into one of the political superstars of 2019. They are giving her more time in the spotlight and unifying Democrats around someone who does come from a left-of-center perspective," and is pushing, for example, a Green New Deal.

Here comes Elizabeth Warren

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts announced via video that she was forming an exploratory committee for the presidency. "A brilliant beginning," Jill Filipovic cheered. "Warren has done us all an immense favor" by setting up the race and "insisting it focuses on class and race, economic inequality and gender inequality."

In the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin warned that Warren is a "less formidable candidate than she was a year ago." She "at times hectors rather than inspires, sounding more like an activist/law professor than a compelling leader," and flubbed her DNA-test response to Trump's "Pocahantas" jabs, offending Democrats and others, Rubin wrote.

David Axelrod served in the White House when Warren, as a House counsel, "was pummeling Treasury officials over treatment of Wall Street executives who were culpable in the financial crisis." Some may find her "edgy and dogmatic vision of capitalism" off-putting, he wrote. But "the cause of the embattled middle class is a natural one" for her, a janitor's daughter lifted by her intelligence and tenacity "from modest beginnings to this moment. These are indispensable qualities any winning candidate for president of the United States must own."

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders, faced allegations that there was sexism and harassment in his 2016 campaign. Sally Kohn found his apology on Anderson Cooper's show, in which he cited his campaign's "gold standard" for principles, defensive and totally inadequate. "The gold standard is taking responsibility for the culture you as a leader create and doing everything in your power, rhetorically and otherwise, to root out toxicity within it."

I'm a Brit, and America, your health care system is torturing me.

How do you stand it? asked Rob Crilly, who recently tried to get his bum knee fixed in America and found dealing with insurers and doctors' offices and New York's Obamacare exchange like entering a maze from Kafka. "What no one had briefed me on was the sheer bewildering complexity of it all," he wrote. "So, what is the solution? Medicare for all, which progressives are pushing, sounds like a possibility. Maybe it could work, like it does in Britain."

The Nixon letter he couldn't forget

Memory is a slippery thing. CNN's Michael Smerconish thought he recalled vividly seeing a 1987 letter from Richard Nixon to Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo right after Rizzo lost re-election. Nixon wrote: "Dear Frank: I have learned that when you win you hear from everybody; when you lose you hear from your friends. Count me in the latter category." Or did he? Smerconish tried to get the letter as a memento after Rizzo's widow died. What he learned took him down a rabbit hole of recollection — and Nixonian etiquette. It's a good yarn.

What the Navy kiss backlash is really about.

A TV station in Jacksonville, Florida, drew complaints after it aired video of a returning sailor kissing his husband at dockside — a re-enactment of Alfred Eisenstaedt's Times Square photo from V-J Day in 1945. The reaction troubled Danielle Campoamor, who lamented our "collective ability to overlook the facts." She noted that the Eisenstaedt photo might well have documented a sexual assault (the nurse in the photo, according to some reports, did not know the sailor who grabbed her). "If only people were outraged over a picture of a man forcibly kissing a woman and not a husband lovingly kissing his husband."

A snowman in space

Just 33 minutes after puny earthlings cheered the dawning of a new year (ET) this week, something actually incredible happened deep in outer space: NASA's New Horizon probe zoomed at 32,000 mph by Ultima Thule, a big frozen, snowman-shaped object left over from the primordial solar system, snapping pictures the whole time. It is "the most distant astronomical body ever investigated," marveled Don Lincoln, a senior physicist at FermiLab. Brian May — the guitarist for Queen and an astrophysicist -- even wrote a song about it.

Call it a triumph of robotics, which have let humans slip "the shackles of the inner solar system and, as the famed television show said, gone where no one has gone before," said Lincoln. "The impulse to explore seems to be hardwired in what it means to be human...With space, we're just getting started."

Gilbert Gottfried: Bob Einstein viciously insulted me...and I never laughed so hard.

He was Super Dave, the deadpan and hilarious fake stuntman who would show up in his jumpsuit on Letterman or Conan every so often, and he was Marty Funkhouser on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." And to comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Bob Einstein — who died Wednesday — was one of the funniest guys he'd ever hosted on his podcast. Einstein, whose TV-writing roots went back to the Smothers Brothers show, "was a complete cynic and a total wiseass...totally certain and completely confused at the same time. Even at his most forceful and energetic, he came across looking and sounding like a guy you woke up at three o'clock in the morning," wrote Gottfried. "I'm sad to say farewell."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93031

Reported Deaths: 3529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17107514
Cuyahoga12646477
Hamilton9110247
Lucas4852318
Montgomery402477
Summit3248217
Marion287544
Butler268359
Mahoning2393253
Pickaway235242
Stark1679132
Lorain162076
Warren160035
Columbiana157060
Trumbull1421103
Fairfield123825
Delaware119418
Licking111642
Clark107613
Lake103435
Wood91058
Clermont83510
Medina83133
Miami76837
Tuscarawas74613
Portage71160
Allen64642
Greene61911
Belmont58926
Ashtabula53845
Richland53610
Geauga52843
Mercer52213
Erie51627
Wayne49258
Ross3874
Huron3714
Ottawa35225
Athens3441
Madison32910
Sandusky32917
Holmes3206
Darke31627
Hancock3152
Lawrence2160
Union2141
Auglaize2135
Jefferson2043
Washington19722
Putnam19317
Coshocton1856
Scioto1851
Muskingum1781
Knox1652
Crawford1645
Preble1642
Morrow1582
Shelby1574
Seneca1533
Hardin15012
Clinton1466
Fulton1391
Ashland1303
Defiance1294
Highland1271
Williams1233
Logan1201
Wyandot1195
Brown1121
Guernsey1106
Hocking1089
Carroll1075
Henry1061
Champaign1051
Perry1052
Fayette940
Monroe9018
Van Wert681
Pike660
Jackson650
Paulding590
Gallia571
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs240
Morgan200
Harrison191
Noble160
Unassigned00
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