No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Ted Cruz mocked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at CPAC after the congresswoman raised millions for his Texan constituents
  • Sen. Ted Cruz mocked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her response to the Capitol insurrection.
  • Cruz said: "Especially now, the left, they are shrill. They are angry."
  • Speaking at CPAC, Cruz also took aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders for wearing mittens.
He said: "We're gathered at a time where the hard left, where the socialists control the levers of government, where they control the White House, where they control every executive branch, where they control both houses of Congress. Bernie is wearing mittens, and AOC is telling us she was murdered."

Cruz seemed to be referring to comments Ocasio-Cortez made in the wake of the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Speaking on Instagram Live, the congresswoman said: "I thought I was going to die."

... Ocasio-Cortez raised millions for Texans suffering after the storms. She flew to Houston to volunteer at the Houston Food Bank with Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia.

Speaking in Orlando on Friday, Cruz urged Americans to "have fun."

"Just lighten up," he said. "Especially now, the left, they are shrill, they are angry. How many leftists does it take to screw in a light bulb? That's not funny. God bless, who would want to be around these people?"
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Posters-in-chief: The GOP's social media activity proves they have no political direction
  • Republicans have ramped up their social media activity in the wake of Biden's presidential victory.
  • The problem is that they don't really have a philosophy to organize their posts around.
  • The result is strenuous self-promotion; the wrong lesson to learn from Democrats who've successfully utilized social media.
Politicians have always utilized the most effective methods of communication. Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously rode the country's radio waves to soothe fears and inspire the nation during World War II, and John F. Kennedy rose to power in part because of his performance on prime-time TV.

Today, the reach of political communication is even wider, as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and more, have unlocked a level of access we've never seen before.

This was most clear when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rose to fame in 2018. As a newcomer — and in tandem with highly effective door-to-door efforts — her online campaign was crucial in the defeat of a 14-year Democratic incumbent who spent 16 times more money than her.

Years later, she's kept that momentum rolling into over 13 million followers across all social media. She schools followers while playing video games on Twitch, addresses serious issues on Instagram, and of course, dispatches some brutal dunks on Twitter. She posts, and she posts effectively. Prominent Democrats have smartly followed in her footsteps.

In the wake of the left's online adoption, Republicans too have joined the chorus of politicians aiming to post. The only problem is that they don't really have anything to post about.

... To be clear, Democrats have also been known to troll online too. However, there's usually a message or call to action behind it. This is not the case for Republicans.

... A lawmaker's posting should be a tactic to advance policy; it should be utilized to try and improve the lives of the people they serve.

... It's so easy to post — perhaps too easy — but for people occupying some of the most powerful positions in our democracy, there should be some thought put behind it. New platforms are constantly on the rise, creating new ways of communication and, as we discussed earlier, an effective social media strategy can literally win you a seat in congress.

Despite this, instead of posting to enact change, like AOC and O'Rourke did with their Texas fundraiser, Republicans are far more interested in promoting themselves and trying to go viral.

None of this is surprising, given the right's bad-faith shenanigans that we've become painfully accustomed to, but one can't help but wonder what kind of impact these people could have on the lives of their constituents if they put as much effort in helping people as they do in "owning" liberals online. It's a tragic outcome made possible by the right's apathy towards the people who voted them into office. To Republicans, celebrity is more valuable than servitude.
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The Bidens, in a rare gesture, immediately greeted the White House residence staff upon entering the building on Inauguration Day, staffer says
  • The Bidens immediately greeted the White House staff upon entering the building on Inauguration Day.
  • "Usually we meet them in the first days or first weeks, but never in the first minutes," a staffer said.
  • Biden has publicly expressed some reservations about being waited on by residence staff.
Whenever the presidency changes hands, the White House residence staff undertakes a herculean task on Inauguration Day — transforming the private quarters of the historic building for its newest occupants within the span of a few hours.

For "lifers," the staff members who have served multiple US Presidents, the traditions and protocols inside the White House have been an enduring facet of their lives for decades.

However, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden upended a traditional interaction with the residence staff on their first day in the White House, according to The New Yorker.

After entering the North Portico of the building, the residence staff was assembled on the grand State Floor to welcome the Bidens.

"The Bidens came in and the first thing they did was make a loop of the State Floor and greet the staff," a residence staffer said.

The gesture elicited tears from the staffer, who is unnamed due to their current employment at the White House.

... The residence staffer remarked at the difference between how Biden approached the COVID-19 pandemic and that of Trump, where staffers were all assembled in one room before the former president's departure.

"It's like night and day," the staffer said.

During a town hall in Milwaukee earlier this month, Biden described feeling uncomfortable with being waited on by the White House staff, including a worker who "hands me my suit coat."

"I was raised in a way that you didn't look for anybody to wait on you," he said. "It's where I find myself extremely self-conscious. There are wonderful people who work at the White House."
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GOP Rep. Cassidy says Trump won't be the party's 2024 presidential nominee
  • GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy said he doesn't believe that Trump will be the party's nominee for president in 2024.
  • The party needs a candidate "who lifts all boats, and that's clearly not happened over the last four years," Cassidy said.
  • Trump and other GOP members have said the former president will remain relevant to the party.
"He'll be 78 years old. I don't think he'll be our nominee," Cassidy said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday. "Over the last four years, we've lost the House, the Senate, and the presidency. Political campaigns are about winning. Our agenda does not move forward unless we win."

"We need a candidate that can not only win himself or herself but we also have to have someone who lifts all boats, and that's clearly not happened over the last four years," Cassidy added.

Cassidy was among the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial.
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White House staffer describes 'a complete lack of empathy' during Trump administration for keeping residence workers safe from COVID-19
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for the White House residence staff.
  • A staffer said that employees were given conflicting information on how to safely return to work last year.
  • The White House's approach to COVID-19 shifted dramatically after Biden succeeded Trump.
While former President Donald Trump and many of his aides were battling their own bouts with COVID-19 last year, the White House residence staff never stopped toiling in the background, according to The New Yorker.

For years, residence staff lamented the infrequency of events held at the White House under Trump, which included only two state dinners, compared to the six that were hosted by former President Barack Obama in his first term.

Among "lifers," the staff members who have served multiple US Presidents, a sense of "malaise" had spread throughout the White House, according to the report.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wore on last year, the desolation of the building only intensified. A staff member that was renamed Jason to protect his identity discussed the evolving situation under Trump.

"People stayed home," he said. "Everything from food service to national security — if it could be done at home, it was done at home."

But former White House chief usher Timothy Harleth said the residence staff adhered to the necessary COVID-19 health guidelines more than other Trump White House employees.

"We were the ones wearing P.P.E. [personal protective equipment], pushing to get our folks tested," he said, but noted that "most of our folks can't easily telework."

According to Harleth, roughly seven or eight residence staffers contracted COVID-19.

Once the staffers recovered, they were asked to work in the place of other employees due to a presumption of immunity against the highly infectious disease.

Jason said that the "lifers" were not given consistent messaging on when they were expected at the White House or if they needed to remain at their homes.

"There was lots and lots of confusion, no direction from the top, a complete lack of empathy, sympathy," he expressed. "The Christmas parties with maskless hordes were catered, but [the staff] would have to be there for this and that. There was not a steady message on how to keep you safe."

When President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived at the White House on January 20, the tone in the building had shifted.
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Trump falsely claims in CPAC speech that he could beat Democrats 'for a third time' in 2024
  • Former President Trump continued to repeat false claim that the election was stolen.
  • "I may even decide to beat them for a third time," said of the Democrats in a possible 2024 run.
  • Trump lost both the Electoral College and popular vote in 2020.
During Trump's headlining appearance at the the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida, Trump immediately lit into President Joe Biden, calling his tenure "the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history."

While alluding to a possible 2024 presidential campaign, the former president still refused to acknowledge his election loss, which he spent months trying to overturn through various election pressure campaigns against GOP officials across the country.

"As you know they just lost the White House," Trump said of the Democrats. "I may even decide to beat them for a third time."

Trump said that under Biden, the US has "gone from America first to America last," a nod to the enduring conservative appeal of the former president's go-it-alone worldview.

Biden has reversed a slew of Trump administration policies since last month, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, canceling the Keystone XL pipeline project, and halting the withdrawal from the World Health Organization.
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Here are the false or misleading claims Donald Trump made in his CPAC speech

  • Trump spoke at CPAC on Sunday in his first major speech since leaving the White House last month.
  • The former president hinted at a 2024 run and railed against President Joe Biden.
  • We fact-checked his false statements, including his claim that he won the 2020 presidential election.
During his remarks, Trump hinted at a 2024 run, said he would not be forming a new party, and targeted Republicans who had supported his impeachment. He criticized the Democrats, cancel culture, and big tech — and especially President Joe Biden.

He also made a number of statements that were false or misleading.

"As you know they just lost the White House," Trump said about Democrats. "Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time."

Trump repeatedly said he won the 2020 presidential election, repeating many of the unsubstantiated claims he has made since election day. President Joe Biden won the election and was sworn in as president on January 20.

"What has taken place over the last year under our administration would have taken any other president at least five years," Trump said of the vaccine creation. "We also put up billions and billions of dollars, 10 billion, to produce the vaccines before we knew they were going to work. It was called a calculated bet or a calculated risk. We took a risk because if we didn't do that, you still wouldn't have the vaccines."

The first two coronavirus vaccines that were authorized for use last year were made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Pfizer did not accept any government money to develop or test the vaccine from Trump's Operation Warp Speed, the Associated Press reported.

In July, the US did agree to buy 100 million doses worth $1.95 billion from Pfizer, but only if the vaccine development succeeded and was approved for use by the FDA.

"Joe Biden is only implementing the plan that we put in place," Trump said about Biden's vaccine distribution.

The Trump administration fell far short of its goal to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of 2020, with less than 2.8 million people receiving their first shot as of December 30. About 12.4 million doses total had been shipped out.

Experts told Insider an absence of clear federal guidance delayed vaccine roll-out and caused a patchwork response that varied by state. Biden made a number of changes to the vaccination effort upon taking office, including enlisting FEMA to open 100 federally supported mass vaccination sites across the country, some of which have already opened.

"Yet Biden said just a few days ago that when he got here, meaning the White House, there was no vaccine," Trump said. "Now I don't think he said that, frankly, in a malicious way. I really don't. I actually believe he said that because he didn't really know what the hell was happening."

Trump was referring to an interview Biden gave with CNN's Anderson Cooper, during which Biden said: "When you and I talked last, we talked about — it's one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn't have when we came into office, but a vaccinator — how do you get the vaccine into someone's arm?"

However, a couple of minutes prior to the remark in the same interview, Biden said: "We have — we came into office, there was only 50 million doses that were available."

"In addition, he's already increased refugee admissions by nearly 10 times," Trump said of the president.

According to the Associated Press, Biden wants to admit four times as many refugees as Trump, not 10. Trump's annual limit of 15,000 refugees was a record-low. Biden wants to increase that number to 62,500.

"Frankly we have the cleanest air, the cleanest water, and everything else that we've ever had," Trump said, suggesting it was unnecessary to join the Paris Climate agreement.

Trump has said multiple times in the past that the US had the cleanest air and water ever under his administration. The air in the US got dirtier and more dangerous to breathe under his administration.

Trump said of wind power: "It's such an expensive form of energy. It's so bad for the environment. It kills the birds. It destroys the landscapes."

Trump was presumably referring to power outages experienced in Texas this month as a result of severe winter storms. Conservative pundits made misleading claims about renewable energy sources, saying that Texans lost power because wind turbines froze.

However, the majority of energy sources that went offline during the storms were power plants that run on fossil fuels, including natural gas. The agency that manages the state's energy grid expected wind farms to produce only 7% of its energy this winter.

Trump has also said before that wind turbines are killing "all the birds." However, wind turbines are not a significant source of death for birds. Wind turbines kill about 234,000 birds every year, while cats kill 2.4 billion.
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or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trump, whom many observers consider an anomaly, left the White House by saying, “We will be back in some form.” His legacy is “Trumpism” – a wave of white nationalism.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.