* “Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.” That was President-elect Joe Biden, underscoring what’s at stake during this presidential transition like no other. National security chaos and compromises can’t be a trade-off in de-Trumping America.
* Empathy and unity reset: The Presidential Inaugural Committee will host a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on Jan. 19—the day before Biden’s swearing-in ceremony at the capitol. The Commission is also inviting cities and towns across the country to light buildings and ring church bells at the same time.
* The good news: a record number of women will serve in the incoming Congress. The context: This is because Republicans doubled their House ranks from 13. Additional context: Democratic women still (far) outnumber GOPster women in the House.
* 216-209: Margin by which California Rep. Nancy Pelosi was re-elected Speaker of the House. Pelosi is still the only female to be so elected.
* Shortly after the election, pundits were already wondering if any Republicans might be nominated for key Administration positions by a unity-prioritizing, across-the-aisle, moderate Democrat president. We’re talking the likes of John Kasich, former Ohio governor, and former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake. And if so, how would Dem progressives handle such outreach? Well, the pundits still wonder.
* Much has been made of what Miguel Cardona, if he is confirmed as the next education secretary, will face in theclean-up after charter school divaBetsy DeVos. From prioritizing civil rights protections and pandemic catch-up tutoring to no longer selling out to predatory, for-profit colleges. But even though so much about education is the purview of states, it could help if the White House education agenda included high-profile use of its bully pulpit by Cardona to make the case for educational changes that could help save our democracy from Trump sequels. Our schools need to prioritize meaningful, mandatory middle-and high-school classes in civics, history and media. Inshort, how our constitutional republic is supposed to work; how we got here as a nation; and how to avoid manipulation by contemporary partisan media in its various digital forms.
* Shortly after the Inauguration, President Biden is expected to push for another stimulus package. As in, climate change, health care, infrastructure and more. And soon after such a push, we can expect to see erstwhile Tea Partiers returning to their anti-deficit ideologies.