Donald Trump will cease to be President of the United States at 10:00 MST tomorrow. Please celebrate responsibly. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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► Today is the last full day for Donald Trump to play President of the United States. The Big Orange guy is setting a new record on his way out of the White House, as CNN reports:
Trump ends his term with the lowest average job approval rating — 41% — of any president in the last seven-plus decades, according to Gallup. That’s four points worse than the next, uh, worst — Harry Truman, who averaged a 45% job approval score throughout his time in office. Barack Obama averaged 47.9% job approval in his eight years, while George W. Bush averaged 49.4.
There are other “firsts” for Trump in the Gallup data. Trump is the first president to never break 50% job approval in any single poll conducted by the organization over his term. (The final Gallup poll pegged Trump’s job approval at a dismal 34%.) Trump is also the most polarizing president as measured by Gallup; the average gap between his job approval ratings among Republicans and Democrats was a whopping 81 points — 11 points higher than Obama’s partisan gap, which is now the second-highest ever. (Trump’s average job approval rating among Democrats for his term was 7%.)
President Trump is planning to pardon a whole bunch of people today before he leaves office; thus far, that list does not include pre-emptive pardons for family members.
► As The New York Times reports, several of President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees are getting started on their confirmation hearings today:
The Senate has a jam-packed schedule of hearings on Tuesday to begin considering President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s nominees for his Cabinet, but the process has been badly delayed, likely making Mr. Biden the first president in decades to take office without his national security team in place on Day 1.
The delay by congressional Republicans in recognizing Mr. Biden’s election victory, coupled with two Georgia runoff elections that left the Senate majority up in the air until Jan. 5, held up confirmation hearings for Mr. Biden’s team. That has made it impossible for the Senate to move quickly to fill top national security posts, including the secretary of defense, a job normally filled immediately after the president takes office to illustrate continuity of American power.
Hearings for five nominees — Lloyd J. Austin III to be secretary of defense; Antony J. Blinken to be secretary of state; Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary; Alejandro N. Mayorkas to be secretary of homeland security; and Avril D. Haines to be director of national intelligence — are scheduled for Tuesday. But it will be difficult for them to get floor votes by Wednesday, after Mr. Biden is sworn in at the Capitol.
► Pro-Trump protestors hinted at doing something over the weekend, but not much happened. Nevertheless, some high-profile Denver buildings will be operating much differently ahead of Wednesday’s Presidential inauguration.
► Colorado’s COVID-19 numbers are still moving in the right direction, but as Meg Wingerter writes for The Denver Post, it’s not yet clear if we have reason to feel more optimistic about the pandemic locally.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
As Promised, More Words…
► The Denver Post reports on another Colorado resident arrested for partaking in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol:
A 24-year-old Colorado man faces federal charges after investigators allege he assaulted and threatened police officers defending the U.S. Capitol and also climbed through a broken window to enter the building during the Jan. 6 riot that disrupted the certification of the 2020 election.
Robert Gieswein, of Woodland Park, carried a bat during the riot and dressed himself in pseudo-military garb, including a patch for an alleged paramilitary training program he ran in Colorado that federal law enforcement used to identify him, according to a warrant for his arrest.
Gieswein on Monday turned himself in to the Teller County Sheriff’s Office, according to the agency. The sheriff’s office said it will transfer him to federal authorities.
Westword is keeping track of all of the Colorado “loonbags” who have thus far been arrested for participating in the Jan. 6 attack.
Meanwhile, Boebert is now attacking 9News anchor/reporter Kyle Clark, calling him “really disgusting” and “a conspiracy theorist.” Clark responded to a particular Boebert quote wondering about what his basement looks like:
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) January 19, 2021
► Since we’re on the topic of Boebert, her Communications Director resigned after less than two weeks on the job.
► President-elect Joe Biden selected a transgender woman to serve as Assistant Secretary of Health in his administration. Rachel Levine is in line to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
► As Justin Wingerter reports for The Denver Post, Colorado will receive $181 million for COVID-19 testing enhancements.
Biden will propose far-reaching legislation on Wednesday to give millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States a chance to become citizens in as little as eight years, part of an ambitious and politically perilous overhaul intended to wipe away President Trump’s four-year assault on immigration.
Under the proposal that Mr. Biden will send to Congress on his first day in office, current recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as “Dreamers,” and others in temporary programs that were set up to shield some undocumented immigrants from deportation, would be allowed to apply for permanent legal residency immediately, according to transition officials who were briefed on Mr. Biden’s plan.
Senate Democrats, meanwhile, announced their first big legislative push: a package of ethics, voting, and campaign finance reforms called the “For the People Act.”
► The Washington Post reports on continued financial fallout for Republican elected officials who challenged the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential Election:
The 147 Republican lawmakers who opposed certification of the presidential election this month have lost the support of many of their largest corporate backers — but not all of them.
The Washington Post contacted the 30 companies that gave the most money to election-objecting lawmakers’ campaigns through political action committees. Two-thirds, or 20 of the firms, said they have pledged to suspend some or all payments from their PACs.
This would include all
three of Colorado’s Republican Members of Congress [EDIT: But not Rep. Ken Buck]
► The Trump administration released a new history report from the “1776 Commission” that has historians seething. Would it surprise you to learn that much of the “report” was flat-out plagiarized? Of course it wouldn’t.
So one clever scholar ran the 1776 Report through the popular plagiarism-detection software Turnitin. And, well, thread: https://t.co/g6E4dWIbNy
— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) January 19, 2021
► As POLITICO reports, a growing number of Republicans are voicing their support for the impeachment of President Trump. The Denver Post, meanwhile, profiles Coloradans who are set to play a significant role in the second Trump impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.
► Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using his final hours in office to denounce…multiculturalism?
► Here’s a nice story about Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) helping a member of the National Guard to become an official U.S. citizen.
► Two Democrats — State Sen. Kerry Donovan and State Rep. Dylan Roberts — are looking at challenging Rep. Lauren Boebert in 2022.
► Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) announced a bunch of new hires for his new office.
► Some right-wing groups in Colorado are planning a ballot measure to undo some of what Colorado voters just approved in Nov. 2020 with the passage of Amendment B.
► Jefferson County Public Schools is bringing middle- and high school students back into the classroom in a hybrid learning format.
► Plenty of Weld County Republicans are still convinced that President Trump was a gem of a public servant.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Ainsley Earhardt, one of the talking muppets on “Fox and Friends,” says that she knows President Trump works very hard because of all of the cable TV he watches.
► Donald Trump once promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington D.C. As he prepares to depart the White House, he’ll be more responsible for creating a “deep state” as opposed to getting rid of one.
► The New York Times profiles a prominent QAnon enthusiast whose background might surprise you.
► As Ian Silverii writes for The Denver Post, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert should either resign from Congress or face expulsion.
Boebert is even getting tossed under the bus by the notorious right-wing tabloid The New York Post.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an exclusive interview with Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora), who takes us through a minute-by-minute account of the attack on the Capitol:
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