Vince Alongi / Flickr Hope...
Vince Alongi / Flickr

Yes that title may be a bit of an overstatement as the rethugs and mcturtle face still control the Senate, BUT me thinks big D, Democrats and little d, democracy are going to be a giant thorn in the side of the orangutan’s “administration”. Sorry, I really should not insult primates, they are much more intelligent than the squatter in the White House.

Anyway, here we are at day 2 of 2019. Tomorrow starts a new chapter, let’s go over how our new Congress will be giving the fat fart heartburn, nightmares and visions of jail time, shall we?

The top Democrats set to make Trump’s life miserable in 2019

The midterm elections brought an end to a period of one-party rule in Washington. In January, Donald Trump will face a newly empowered House Democratic majority eager to take him on.

The incoming Democratic committee chairs have vowed rigorous oversight of Trump and his administration. Armed with committee gavels, they will now have the power and resources to pursue investigations, issue subpoenas and compel testimony.

Elijah Cummings

Incoming chair of the House committee on oversight and government reform

As the ranking Democrat on the committee, Cummings has sat through his share of Republican-led investigations into the Obama administration. Now the outspoken 67-year-old will wield one of the most powerful gavels in Washington.

Adam Schiff

Incoming chair of the House permanent select committee on intelligence

Schiff is one of Trump’s most combative political opponents.

Jerrold Nadler

Incoming chair of the House judiciary committee

The New York Democrat, universally known as “Jerry”, will chair the House judiciary committee, which has jurisdiction over key policy areas but will be watched closely for its role in any impeachment proceedings.

Maxine Waters

Incoming chair of the House financial services committee

Waters, or “Auntie Maxine” as she is affectionately known by her supporters in the anti-Trump “resistance” movement, is a frequent target of the president.

Richard Neal

Incoming chair of the House ways and means committee

As chairman of the powerful tax-writing committee, the long-serving Massachusetts Democrat is preparing to lead the fight for the release of Trump’s tax returns.

‘The time for accountability has arrived’ as Democrats put White House under microscope

Democrats taking control of the House Thursday have been waiting two years for this: getting their hands on Donald Trump’s tax returns, investigating whether his businesses are improperly benefiting from his presidency and taking a deep look at the policy that separated migrant children from their parents.

One indication of just how much of the Trump administration Democrats want to put under the microscope came recently when Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, the incoming chairman of the House’s chief government watchdog panel, fired off more than 50 letters to the White House, federal agencies, Trump’s attorneys and the Trump Organization, demanding documents.

Other incoming Democratic chairs pledged greater scrutiny as well. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey, the incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, vowed “robust oversight of the Trump administration’s ongoing actions to sabotage our healthcare system, exacerbate climate change and weaken consumer protections.”

The above article is a little bother siderism but still worth the read just for the plans to be the needle in doofus’s balloon. 

How Nancy Pelosi signaled the end of Donald Trump’s easy ride

Nancy Pelosi was perched on the end of a sofa in the Oval Office when the balance of power in Donald Trump’s Washington decisively shifted in her favour.

After two years surrounded by loyalists and sycophants, Trump had got his first taste of what life will be like with Pelosi in control of one half of Congress. And as the cameras rolled, he quickly lost his cool, declaring he would be “proud to shut down the government”, trapped on live TV by his temper and the pincer movement of Pelosi and the top Democratic senator Chuck Schumer.

The moment where she owned Trump in the Oval Office put a stop to all of that as she proved she could put him under pressure – and with the 2020 election in mind, hope to deliver him in a weakened state for whoever emerges as the Democratic presidential nominee.

So, on Thursday the 78-year-old will become the face of Democratic opposition to Trump in Congress.

Almost 12 years to the day since she made history as the first female speaker, Pelosi will be back, calling the plays against Trump and passing bills on Democratic priorities from gun control to reform of voter suppression laws.

What is in store for Trump? “She is as tough as he thinks he is,” Cook said. “He could not have a more tenacious adversary, the combination of Pelosi and Schumer is hard to beat. They have seen it all and are both shrewd as hell.”

I know, I know Schumer. Yet I really do not want to hear the negative about him. He is my Senator, he is at times a schlep, but Nancy will keep him focused.

A former top Justice Department attorney who retired under Trump is now House Democrats’ lead lawyer Nancy Pelosi isn’t messing around.

Democrats are just days away from having real oversight of Trump’s administration for the first time — and the presumed incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent Trump a message about what to expect from the new Congress on Friday.

Pelosi tapped Douglas Letter — a former top attorney in the Department of Justice (DOJ) who served under Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump before retiring in March — as the House’s new lead lawyer.

“[I]f the President makes the dangerous and foolish decision to keep Mueller’s work from the American people, outrage should be directed not at legal doctrines involving executive privilege, but at a President who will have made a most regrettable decision,” Letter concluded.

The new House majority — now with Letter’s assistance — will also seek to provide crucial protection for Mueller’s investigation. Democrats now “have the ability to compel production of evidence and to hold public hearings on any unresolved issue that might have fallen under Mueller’s purview, or even beyond” if Trump fires the special counsel or tries to bury its findings.

House Democrats to push for more diversity in top corporate ranks

California Democrat Maxine Waters, the first woman and first African-American to chair the House Financial Services Committee, is planning to use her new power to push for more women and minorities in the top ranks of corporate America.

Waters has proposed creating a subcommittee focused on diversity and inclusion. Senior members of her committee are preparing to introduce bills to force companies to disclose the gender and racial makeup of their boards. That’s just one example of how Democrats taking charge of the House are expected to bring new pressure on companies from Wall Street to Silicon Valley to diversify their leadership.

Waters has said promoting diversity in financial services is one of the top priorities on her consumer-focused agenda. She has also warned that financial regulatory agencies are also “seriously challenged” when it comes to the issue.

“Having a subcommittee that’s dedicated to making sure that financial services is representative of the United States is really important,” said Rawan Elhalaby of the Greenlining Institute, a California-based advocacy group focused on racial and economic justice. “Thus far we’ve seen the industry is really missing the mark on serving communities of color, and we think that’s partly because of the misrepresentation at the top.”

Although I hear the self-appointed king of candy land has said bawawawa not happening because I am an overgrown toddler and I WANT MY WAY even if it is never going to happen and it is just not feasible or in any way, in reality, possible, but the turtle and the graham cracker support me, so there:

Democrats unveil bill to end shutdown – without money for Trump’s wall

Democrats on Monday unveiled legislation designed to re-open the federal government, without providing money for Donald Trump’s border wall.

According to an anonymous aide quoted by the Associated Press, the House is preparing to vote on the package on Thursday, when the new Congress will convene with Democrats in the majority in the lower chamber for the first time since 2010. It will include one bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through 8 February, with $1.3bn for border security. Trump has demanded $5bn.

The package will include six other bills to fund the departments of agriculture, interior, housing and urban development and others closed by the partial shutdown. Some bills have already passed the Senate. Those will provide money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to 30 September.

The president remains at the White House, meeting allies, criticised for not reaching out to Democrats who have happily pointed to an 11 December Oval Office meeting in which Trump said he would be proud to force a shutdown.

A proposed deal for $2.5bn, advanced via the vice-president, Mike Pence, and the Alabama Republican senator Richard Shelby, went nowhere. Conway claimed on Sunday that “the president has already compromised” by dropping his request from $25bn, and called on Democrats to return to the table.

“It is with them,” she said.

Democrats were unmoved.

“It’s clear the White House doesn’t know what they want when it comes to border security,” Justin Goodman, Schumer’s spokesman, told reporters. “The president tweets, blaming everyone but himself for a shutdown he called for more than 25 times.”

I really do not think tRump is ready or even has faced the reality of January 3rd and beyond. Well, I don’t know if he even thinks but that is a whole other article I am not going to do.

The nation’s largest union representing federal employees filed a lawsuit Monday afternoon against the government, seeking damages for the roughly 400,000 federal employees forced to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

The two plaintiffs — Justin Tarovisky and Grayson Sharp — work for high-security prisons the Justice Department runs. The American Federation of Government Employees argues that both plaintiffs have dangerous jobs and have been forced to work overtime without pay.

J. David Cox, AFGE’s national president, said forcing federal employees to work without pay “is nothing short of inhumane.”

Again, I know controversy about their jobs, but I want to get paid when I work and they should too. Good on them. Plus it ticks off the idiot even more….

Onward to other news:

Take action: Parkland students on five ways to fight gun violence in 2019

Last year, students from Parkland, Florida inspired a wave of activism after the mass shooting at their high school. Student journalists from Parkland share ideas for keeping that momentum going in 2019.

As we enter 2019, the Guardian is sharing our platform with the Parkland students once again. This piece on how you can fight gun violence in 2019 was written by three student journalists from the Eagle Eye.

1. Don’t become desensitized to gun violence on the media

2. If you see something, say something

3. Form your own opinions by staying informed about local and national issues

4. Vote and pressure your representatives

5. Become involved

The Parkland survivors will never give up, nor should we!

Holy science guys:

NASA provides first image from record-setting flyby of Ultima Thule

The new year on Earth began with a record-setting space mission 4 billion miles away — a first look at an object on the edge of our solar system.

Mission scientists from NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have confirmed that the New Horizons spacecraft conducted a flyby of Ultima Thule, a Kuiper Belt object that’s a billion miles beyond Pluto.

Although the flyby occurred at 12:33 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the spacecraft is so far from Earth that the “phone-home” signal didn’t reach us until about 10:30 a.m. ET.

Mission scientists were relieved about the success because there was only one chance to get it right as New Horizons screamed past Ultima at 31,500 miles per hour. This incredible feat was possible because thousands of operations on the spacecraft worked in sync.

Amazing! Even with the toddler in chief shutting down the government, life moves forward, as we all will do. We will move forward beyond this dim time, we will fight, and we will win.

That is it for today. I know there will be an abundant of good news to come in the days ahead….watch out rethugs…here we come…

Peace out! (as my sons would say)

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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