January 15, 2021
☕ Hello, Friday. Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,172 words ... 4½ minutes.
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1 big thing: The post-Trump GOP, gutted
Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally. The losses are stark and substantial:
- They lost their congressional power.
- Their two leaders, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, are hamstrung by corporate blacklisting of their election-denying members.
- The GOP brand is radioactive for a huge chunk of America.
- The corporate bans on giving to the 147 House and Senate Republicans who voted against election certification are growing and virtually certain to hold.
- The RNC is a shell of its former self and run by a Trump loyalist.
- Democrats crushed them in fundraising when they were out of power. Imagine their edge with it.
- Sheldon Adelson, the party's biggest donor, died Monday.
- The NRA is weaker than it has ever been, after massive leadership scandals.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, once controlled by rock-ribbed Republicans, also gave to Democrats in 2020.
- Rank-and-file Republicans are now scattered on encrypted channels like Signal and fearful of Big Tech platforms.
The big picture: Conservatives hold power in the courts and state legislatures, two foundational pieces to rebuilding their party. But they likely will face a raging internal war over policies and political leaders as they grapple with a post-Trump world — whenever that might be.
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Please hold us accountable for living up to our obligations to you.
3. Scoop: Anita Dunn to join White House as senior adviser
Anita Dunn, veteran communications and campaign strategist, will join Joe Biden's White House on a temporary basis, helping him to advance his opening agenda from inside the West Wing, Axios' Hans Nichols reports.
- Dunn, a former communications director to President Obama, took on an expanded role in Biden's campaign when it faltered last winter, helping guide it through a party nomination and general election victory.
Dunn will work closely with Kate Bedingfield, who'll be White House communications director, and press secretary Jen Psaki.
- Dunn played a key role in overseeing strategy and personnel during the campaign and was involved in debate preparation along with her husband, Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel.
- Dunn had planned to return to her public affairs and political consulting firm, SKDKnickerbocker, and still intends to do so later this year.
Most of Biden's top campaign aides and longtime advisers will come into the White House:
- Chief of staff Ron Klain first worked for Senator Biden in the late 1980s.
- Bruce Reed, who'll be deputy chief of staff, was a chief of staff to Vice President Biden.
- Longtime confidants Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon will be in the West Wing.
Biden announced his American Rescue Plan "to tackle the pandemic and get direct financial assistance and relief to Americans."
- Biden said that next month, before a joint session of Congress, he'll lay out a Build Back Better Recovery Plan, with "historic investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy."
Go deeper: "We cannot afford inaction."
- Felix Salmon: "Biden's COVID package also progressive wish list."
4. The cloud-based car is arriving
5. Public floods National Guard with food offers
You're not the only one who wondered: Where's the chow and cots?
Shocking images of members of the National Guard sleeping in the Capitol have prompted public offers of pizza and other comfort food, but the military is saying "no thanks," Axios' Kadia Goba reports.
- We the Pizza, which delivered a few hundred pies to the soldiers from nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue SE, added an option to its online order page for customers to donate to the National Guard at $12 per pie, D.C. Eater reports.
- "While we appreciate the many offers and people who care about our soldiers and airmen, we are not logistically able to accept donations," a National Guard spokesperson told Axios.
The spokesperson said the Visitors Center has been designated as a rest area for the National Guard members when they are on duty but between shifts.
- Troops have sleeping quarters — mostly in rotation at downtown hotels.
6. Battling Black mistrust of vaccine
Civil rights leaders and Black sports icons are publicly taking COVID-19 vaccines to bolster confidence as social media misinformation exploits Black distrust of vaccines, Axios race and justice reporter Russell Contreras writes.
- Why it matters: African Americans have been infected with COVID-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans, according to the National Urban League.
- Health officials are racing to reassure skeptical populations that the vaccines aren't clandestine experiments, but needed measures to tame the pandemic.
7. Global temps soar
The six warmest years on record have been the six years beginning 2015, AP writes from NASA, NOAA and other monitoring groups.
- The 10 warmest have all been since 2005.
8. 🐦 Twitter CEO defends Trump ban
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey acknowledges that it could set a dangerous precedent:
9. 📚 Coming attractions: "Q: Inside the Conspiracy"
Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer, who has followed QAnon since its earliest days and has been targeted by believers, will be out later this year with "Q: Inside the Conspiracy."
- The book is billed by HarperCollins as "an exposé on QAnon's growth and its effects on the real world in ways that are at once violent, disturbing, and sometimes comically bizarre."
- Sommer was repped by Javelin founders Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn.
10. 🎂 Wikipedia is 20 today
What began as a free alternative to encyclopedias has become a testament to the power of the open Web — and turns 20 today, Scott Rosenberg and Ina Fried write in Axios Login.
By the numbers:
- Wikipedia has 55 million articles, across 300 languages.
- More than 280,000 volunteers help update the site.
- Wikipedia is edited 350 times per minute, and read more than 8,000 times a second.
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