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THE ESTABLISHMENT STRIKES BACK: LIZ CHENEY grabbed the mantle of the GOP’s anti-Trump faction this morning on Fox — assuming a role that KEVIN MCCARTHY can’t or won’t take on and that MITCH MCCONNELL merely flicked at.
Appearing on a network whose viewership has plummeted under Trump’s attacks, Cheney proclaimed that the former president “does not have a role as the leader of our party going forward.”
Her defiance comes less than 24 hours after the Wyoming Republican Party voted overwhelmingly to censure her for voting to impeach Trump — and just days after 61 GOP members tried unsuccessfully to remove her from her role as Conference Party chair.
Aiming to prove that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Cheney threw in with Republicans like MITT ROMNEY, BEN SASSE, and ADAM KINZINGER, who are determined to move the Republican Party past Trump — especially now that he’s been weakened without his Twitter bully pulpit.
In her first comments since the vote to remove her from leadership, Cheney …
… said her mind hasn’t changed that Trump deserves to be impeached. “What we already know does constitute the greatest violation of his oath of office by any president in the history of the country and this is not something that we can simply look past or pretend didn’t happen or try to move on.”
… tweaked McCarthy (not by name) for allowing Democrats to force a floor vote to strip MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE of her committee posts, rather than dealing with it himself. “This is exactly the kind of issue we should address inside of our conference.”
… disavowed Trump even further. “Somebody who has provoked an attack on the United States Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral votes, which resulted in five people dying, who refused to stand up immediately when he was asked to stop the violence — that is a person who does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward.” She added: “We should not be embracing the former president.”
The question is, can Cheney alone deprogram Republicans stuck on Trump? Probably not anytime soon. Cheney, like all House members, is up for reelection next year. She’ll have to fight a war at home against Trump’s troll army — loyalists like Rep. MATT GAETZ who are willing to go to her territory of Wyoming to paint her as Swamp First.
MORE SUPER BOWL SUNDAY SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:
Treasury Secretary JANET YELLEN admits fears of inflation on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “[Inflation is] a risk that we have to consider [with the Covid package]. I have spent many years studying inflation and worrying about inflation. And I can tell you, we have the tools to deal with that risk if it materializes. But we face a huge economic challenge here and tremendous suffering in the country. We have got to address that. That’s the biggest risk.”
RAND PAUL previews Trump’s impeachment defense to FOX’s “Fox News Sunday”: “You will see the Trump defense play video of Maxine Waters telling crowds to mob Trump administration and restaurants and attack them. They’ll probably show clips of Cory Booker saying, get up in their face of these Congress people. You’ll probably see comments from Rep. [Ilhan] Omar wishing and celebrating the violence that happened to me when I had six ribs broken and part of my lung removed. …Has nobody in this country heard of figurative speech? You could argue that his position was wrong and that it was misguided. I accept all of that. But if you’re going to criminalize his speech, you have to do it with the same standard.”
— On the impeachment timeline: “Hopefully, as short as possible.”
In two days, LARRY SUMMERS has become the top talking point for critics of the $1.9 trillion Covid bill:
— Sen. BILL CASSIDY (R-La.) on Covid relief on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “[T]he administration is showing very clearly they don’t care if they have to work with us. They’re willing to push things through even if someone like Larry Summers, a former Democratic Treasury secretary, says it’s boneheaded policy — I’m paraphrasing. And even if we come in good faith with at least 10 and more that would have joined us, and they say they don’t care. So, you got that — it takes two to tango. Right now, I’m not sure we have the two to tango.”
— Sen. PAT TOOMEY (R-Pa.) on “Meet the Press”: “Larry Summers is a liberal Democrat who’s a Keynesian, in favor of big government spending, and he has said, this is way too much. “
SUNDAY FRONTS …
— “Pandemic’s Toll on Housing: Falling Behind, Doubling Up,” by Conor Dougherty: “As the pandemic enters its second year, millions of renters are struggling with a loss of income and with the insecurity of not knowing how long they will have a home. Their savings depleted, they are running up credit card debt to make the rent, or accruing months of overdue payments. Families are moving in together, offsetting the cost of housing by finding others to share it.”
— “Migrant Families Force Biden to Confront New Border Crisis,” by Miriam Jordan and Max Rivlin-Nadler in Los Angeles: “More than 1,000 people who had been detained after crossing have been released into the country in recent days in a swift reversal from the Trump administration’s near shutdown of the border. Many more people are gathering on the Mexican side, aggravating conditions there and testing America’s ability and willingness to admit migrants during a pandemic.”
— “Pushing QAnon and Stolen Election Lies, Flynn Re-emerges,” by Matthew Rosenberg
— “Trump’s lie that the election was stolen has cost $519 million (and counting) as taxpayers fund enhanced security, legal fees, property repairs and more,” by Toluse Olorunnipa and Michelle Ye Hee Lee: “The expenditures include legal fees prompted by dozens of fruitless lawsuits, enhanced security in response to death threats against poll workers, and costly repairs needed after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. That attack triggered the expensive massing of thousands of National Guard troops on the streets of Washington amid fears of additional extremist violence.”
— “Biden inherited a USPS crisis. Here’s how Democrats want to fix it,” by Jacob Bogage and Kevin Schaul: “On one side is Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who, with the backing of the U.S. Postal Service’s governing board, is expected as soon as next week to outline a new vision for the agency, one that includes more service cuts, higher and region-specific pricing, and lower delivery expectations.
“But congressional Democrats are pressing President Biden to install new board members, creating a majority bloc that could oust DeJoy, a Trump loyalist whose aggressive cost-cutting over the summer has been singled out for much of the performance decline. The fight over the agency’s future is expected to be fraught and protracted, leaving Americans with unreliable mail delivery for the foreseeable future.”
— “Trump left behind a damaged government. Here’s what Biden faces as he rebuilds it,” by Dan Diamond, Lisa Rein and Juliet Eilperin
— “‘The Democratic version of John McCain,’” by Burgess Everett: “Like McCain, [Sen. Joe Manchin] the moonshine-swigging former quarterback isn’t afraid to let his colleagues know where he stands on a given day, either in the hallways of the Capitol or on cable news airwaves. Manchin often publicly discusses how he’s struggling with issues or tough votes. In a nod to his state, he lives on a boat while in D.C. named ‘Almost Heaven.’”
— “‘A big promise’: Biden’s climate spending pledge faces early test,” by Zack Colman: “President Joe Biden has promised 40 percent of the benefits from the $2 trillion he’s aiming to spend on climate change will go to disadvantaged communities that have suffered the most from pollution. But figuring out how to spend that potential mountain of cash may vex the places vying for it and the lawmakers tasked with doling it out.”
— “Joe Biden’s ready to sell America on Covid vaccines. There’s just one problem,” by Adam Cancryn: “The limited vaccine supply has curbed the Biden administration’s early ambitions for a national effort to build enthusiasm for shots that can help smother the pandemic. Much of an envisioned $1 billion public awareness campaign remains on hold, with health officials figuring it makes little sense to make their pitch when so few Americans can get vaccinated.”
— TINA NGUYEN: “I Spent 11 Hours Inside the MAGA Bubble: One America News is making a play for the pro-Trump audience, but it’s missing its star player. Here’s what I saw during a day-long binge.”
BIDEN’S SUNDAY — The president and VP KAMALA HARRIS have nothing on their public schedules.
COVID RELIEF LATEST — “‘An easy choice’: Inside Biden’s decision to go it alone with Democrats on coronavirus relief,” WaPo: “Top White House advisers are eyeing the first week of March to get the administration’s $1.9 trillion covid relief package passed, ahead of a March 15 deadline when enhanced unemployment insurance benefits are set to expire.”
— PRESSURE FROM THE LEFT … @BernieSanders: “Unbelievable. There are some Dems who want to lower the income eligibility for direct payments from $75,000 to $50,000 for individuals, and $150,000 to $100,000 for couples. In other words, working class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden. Brilliant!”
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said on CNN’s “Inside Politics” that Sanders is “right” and that she was “very concerned” about lowering the threshold, though she noted that the language is still being finalized.
Yellen told CBS’ “Face the Nation”: “[I]t has to go to people and households that do need the money, and those are lower income households. And we need to make sure that the cut-offs are appropriate so that households that are doing really well and maybe have seen their stock portfolios rise and make a lot of income and haven’t lost their jobs, those households shouldn’t be getting it.”
TRACKER: The U.S. reported 2,983 Covid-19 deaths and 114,000 new coronavirus cases Saturday. For the first time, the number of daily vaccine doses administered broke the 2 million mark.
— “With Covid-19 Vaccine Waiting Lists in the Millions, Some Skip the Line,” WSJ: “While millions of Americans await their turn during the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, some people are securing the coveted injections before they are eligible by tapping connections or circumventing their states’ rules. Government officials have criticized the line-cutters, prosecutors in at least two states have launched reviews and some hospitals have had their vaccine allotments curtailed by health authorities as punishment for questionable vaccination practices.”
— “Covid-19’s Hit to State and Local Revenues Is Smaller Than Many Feared,” WSJ: “A flood of federal aid for businesses and households helped prop up incomes and consumer spending. Unemployment fell and economic activity picked up much faster than expected. Unlike in previous recessions, equity and housing markets have done well.
“All of those factors bolstered state and local revenues last year. But pandemic-related costs have soared in many localities, resulting in budget holes that may force states to cut back on other services, lay off workers or raise taxes, absent more federal aid. Policy analysts estimate state and local revenue losses due to the pandemic will total about $300 billion through fiscal year 2022, though that doesn’t include rising expenses.”
— “Trump Lawyer Asks to Pause Impeachment Trial if It Runs Into Sabbath,” NYT: “Democrats and Republicans eager to tidily conclude former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial within a week may have a fresh obstacle in front of them: the biblical commandment to keep the Jewish Sabbath.
“One of the lead defense lawyers for Mr. Trump has informed Senate leaders that he is an observant Jew who strictly adheres to the commandment against working on the Sabbath, and thus would be unable to participate in any proceeding that stretched past sundown on Friday or met on Saturday.”
— “Facebook oversight board member decamps for Biden DOJ,” by Cristiano Lima: “A law professor serving on Facebook’s independent oversight board is resigning her post to join the Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday. Pamela Karlan, a Stanford Law professor who was chosen as one of the group’s 20 original members, has been tapped to serve as principal deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division for the Biden administration, the board said.”
— “Bill would allow tech companies to create local governments,” Las Vegas Review-Journal: “f you’ve got enough money, acres upon acres of undeveloped land and an ‘innovative technology,’ you soon could form a new local government in Nevada.”
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS … “Lawsuits Take the Lead in Fight Against Disinformation,” NYT: “In just a few weeks, lawsuits and legal threats from a pair of obscure election technology companies have achieved what years of advertising boycotts, public pressure campaigns and liberal outrage could not: curbing the flow of misinformation in right-wing media. …
“Litigation represents a new front in the war against misinformation, a scourge that has reshaped American politics, deprived citizens of common facts and paved the way for the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. … But the use of defamation suits has also raised uneasy questions about how to police a news media that counts on First Amendment protections — even as some conservative outlets advanced Mr. Trump’s lies and eroded public faith in the democratic process.”
— “Book reveals worst about ‘talented TV a–holes’ Mike Wallace, Chris Cuomo, more,” N.Y. Post: “‘I’d rather work with a talented asshole than a nice person without talent,’ [Ira] Rosen writes in ‘Ticking Clock’ (St. Martin’s), out Feb. 16, his memoir about his career at ‘60 Minutes’ and its competitors, ABC’s ‘20/20’ and ‘Primetime Live.’ Luckily for him, the TV news business is stacked with talented assholes. …
“Wallace gave Rosen his big break, taught him the ropes of investigative journalism and provided a master class in interviewing and showmanship — all while spewing a constant barrage of invective and belittlement. … The ‘two-faced’ Diane Sawyer was infamous for her behind-the-back insults. … Chris Cuomo, now a CNN anchor, brought little journalism experience — but a heaping helping of entitlement — to ABC … Katie Couric infuriated Rosen during her short and unhappy ‘60 Minutes’ stint.”
AMERICA AND THE WORLD
BIG HACKING READ — “How the United States Lost to Hackers,” NYT: “Three decades ago, the United States spawned, then cornered, the market for hackers, their tradecraft, and their tools. But over the past decade, its lead has been slipping, and those same hacks have come boomeranging back on us. Yet no one in government has seriously paused to recalibrate the strategy. …
“America remains the world’s most advanced cyber superpower, but the hard truth, the one intelligence officials do not want to discuss, is that it is also its most targeted and vulnerable. … At this very moment, we are getting hacked from so many sides that it has become virtually impossible to keep track, let alone inform the average American reader who is trying to grasp a largely invisible threat that lives in code, written in language that most of us will never fully understand.”
IN MEMORIAM — “Former Indiana First Lady Susan Bayh dies at 61 after long battle with brain cancer,” IndyStar: “‘What defined my wife was love, courage and accomplishment,’ Evan Bayh said. ‘She’s simply the most loving person I’ve ever known. Not only toward her family and friends, but just toward ordinary people.’
“Bayh was a California native and a former Miss Southern California. She graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and later the University of Southern California’s law school. She met Evan Bayh in Washington, D.C. while interning for a California congressman. Evan Bayh, who was in law school at the time, was interning at a law firm in Washington.”
AN AWKWARD AND HILARIOUS MOMENT OF THE EARLY TRUMP PRESIDENCY — The Guardian: “[Theresa] May had travelled to Washington in 2017 with the intention of persuading the new US president to make a supportive statement about Nato. Little did she expect that she would be calling her husband, Philip, to warn him that images of the US president of holding her hand as they walked through the White House would soon be flashing around the world.”
PILLOW (CRAZY) TALK — Mediaite: “MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell Goes on Steve Bannon’s Podcast, Calls Covid-19 Vaccine ‘The Mark of the Beast’”
— For all the Tom Brady haters (or fans) out there, a Super Bowl Sunday NYT deep dive into his defiance of the aging process. The subhead: “The mother of the opposing Super Bowl LV quarterback was a year old when Brady was born. What’s he still doing here?”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: POLITICO’s Laura Barrón-López … Patrick Ferrise … Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) … Monica Medina … Gay Talese (89!) … Dave Levinthal … former Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) … Invariant’s Mary Beth Stanton … Beth Frerking … Bloomberg’s Jeff Kearns and Colleen Murphy … Robert Howard … former Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) … former Reps. Allen West (R-Fla.), Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) … John Criscuolo of Squire Patton Boggs … Cameron Langford … Emily Hampsten … Jeff Marschner … Barbara Stewart … Tom Blankenship
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You know, I just wanted to mention that geoFence helps stop foreign state actors (FSA’s) from accessing your information and that’s a fact!