How to Lose Friends and Piss Off Congress: a Monday Polotics Thread

Trump’s demoralized staff count down the final days

President Donald Trump has lost the support of many former loyalists in his administration after a riot at the U.S. Capitol that he helped provoke, and his White House is in “meltdown” as it lurches through his final days, current and former officials said.

While Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against Trump on Monday, many White House staff members are upset and embarrassed by the turn of events, and are eager to move on. They said they have faced criticism from peers and are worried about damage to their reputations and job prospects.

Some who weighed resigning in the last few days have decided to stay on to help ensure a smooth transfer of power and, within the agencies that report to the White House, to protect against rash moves by the president or his remaining inner circle.

“He has lost us. He’s lost his own administration. As I said, many of us feel betrayed,” said one senior administration official at an agency outside the White House. “In terms of taking any direction on policy or any last minute fly-by sort of changes, I think we’re all resisting.”

Throughout the government, officials are counting down the days until Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20.

“All I’ve heard is that it’s a complete meltdown. But the President is not backing down. They’re going to double down on this,” one former White House official said.


Despite having intimate knowledge of the pain and death caused by the coronavirus, a surprising number of US healthcare workers are refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine

In American nursing homes and hospitals, a surprising number of healthcare workers are refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

As many as 80% of staff are turning down a vaccine in some institutions, according to AP. This is due to unfounded fears about the side-effects of these life-saving shots, AP reported.

The two vaccines administered in the US have been FDA approved, meaning that the benefits outweigh any potential risks. Additionally, neither vaccine has raised any major safety concerns in large-scale clinical trials.

Nonetheless, skepticism exists among healthcare workers and the American public at large.

Business Insider

Pro-Trump dark money groups organized the rally that led to deadly Capitol Hill riot

The rally, officially known as the “March to Save America,” was largely organized by a 501(c)(4) group known as Women for America First.

Women for America First’s Facebook pages show they were calling on supporters to be part of what they described as a “caravan” to Washington for the event.


I almost chose Jezebel’s article “Saturday Night Social: Surprise! White Women Did It,” but I thought I would go for an actual news organization.

Parler CEO Says Service Dropped By “Every Vendor” And Could End His Business

Parler CEO John Matze said today that his social media company has been dropped by virtually all of its business alliances after Amazon, Apple and Google ended their agreements with the social media service.

“Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day,” Matze said today on Fox News.

Matze conceded that the bans could put the company out of business while raising free speech issues, calling it “an assault on everybody.”

“They all work together to make sure at the same time we would lose access to not only our apps, but they’re actually shutting all of our servers off tonight, off the internet,” Matze said. “They made an attempt to not only kill the app, but to actually destroy the entire company. And it’s not just these three companies. Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day.”


Commentary: Stop saying, ‘This is not who we are.’ America, this is exactly who we are.

During the last four years, I’ve often heard the statement, “This is not who we are,” in reference to the atrocities of child-parent separation, police brutality against Black Americans, the legitimization of White-supremacist ideology, and, more recently, voter disenfranchisement. In this last election, we saw voter roll purging, intimidation by extremist groups claiming to oversee the voting process while flaunting weapons of mass destruction, the installation of fake ballot drop boxes throughout California, and the removal of legitimate ballot drop boxes and high-speed mail sorting machines by a newly appointed postmaster general. The list goes on and on. Even after Election Day, we witnessed blatant attempts to cancel out legitimately cast votes from predominantly African American counties as voter disenfranchisement extended into the winter. Even now, we are witnessing blatant attempts to cancel out legitimately cast votes from predominantly African American counties as voter disenfranchisement extends into this post-election season.

This is exactly who we are.

San Diego Union Tribune

Hospitals thought they’d see Covid-19 vaccine shortages. Sometimes, they have to throw away doses

In some hospitals, health centers and pharmacies in the United States, there are vials of Covid-19 vaccines that aren’t making it into arms.Out of the more than 22 million doses of vaccine that have been distributed to hospitals and pharmacies so far in the United States, only about 6.7 million people have received their first dose, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.There’s no one reason for the slow rollout or doses going unused; experts say it was never going to be easy to begin a mass vaccination campaign during a pandemic. It takes time to vaccinate and monitor large numbers of people, and some facilities are staggering staff vaccinations to avoid having too many health care workers out at once.

The supply and demand don’t always line up. Some in the highest priority groups — health care workers and and long-term care facility residents — don’t want the vaccine, or at least, not yet. At the same time, the American Medical Association on Friday said it was “concerned” that some health care workers not employed by hospitals or health care systems face difficulties accessing the vaccine.


Months ahead of Capitol riot, DHS threat assessment group was gutted: Officials

In the months leading up to Wednesday’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Trump administration gutted a key federal agency responsible for funneling intelligence and threat assessments to law enforcement partners across the country, two federal officials with direct knowledge told ABC News.

As a result, officials said, the information vacuum left behind may have deprived law enforcement in Washington, D.C., of a key avenue for actionable warnings that could have helped officers prepare for the inbound threat posed by right-wing extremists who gathered on the National Mall on Wednesday.

“Prior to Jan. 6, there were mountains of pre-existing intelligence that should have been collected, analyzed and disseminated to the federal, state and local authorities,” one of the officials told ABC News.

ABC News

The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Race

There is a lie some Americans tell themselves when America is on its worst behavior: “This isn’t America!” or “This isn’t who we are!” or “We’re better than this!”

You heard versions of this lie again this past week after armed insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol on urging from President Trump, attempting to undo the results of last November’s election.

Even in the halls of Congress, after the broken glass was cleared and U.S. senators and representatives were allowed back into their chambers from undisclosed locations, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska came back to this refrain: “Our kids need to know that this isn’t what America is.”

We are a country built on fabrication, nostalgia and euphemism. And every time America shows the worst of itself, all the contradictions collapse into the lie I’ve heard nonstop for the last several years: “This isn’t who we are.”

In the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, we are still collectively struggling over whether to treat his term and the reaction to it as an aberration or as a continuation of an American way of life. So much of it feels unprecedented: the emergence of the Trump-led Twitter news cycle, the abandonment of political norms we thought were etched in stone, the seemingly never-ending protest movements sprouting up in reaction to it all.

It all feels new. But it is not.