The use of quotes, links, and citations does not imply endorsement.
First: just watch President Obama deliver his farewell address in Chicago. Or read it. New York Times has both in one convenient spot.
“If politics becomes much more partisan but people don't actually care, like, what their member of Congress is doing or know anything about them, you create space for a lot of mischief and I think that's what we're going to see.” Matt Yglesias (Panoply, Vox, The Weeds)
“Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don't matter, or like you don't have a place in our American story—because you do…” Michelle Obama (Elle, CNN)
“The Constitution gives the president of the United States an extraordinarily wide grant of authority to use the power of the pardon. I'm not saying he should. I'm not saying he will. It also allows a president in a national security moment to say to somebody 'Go do X,' even if it's technically against the law, and 'Here's your pardon because I am ordering you as commander-in-chief to go do this.'” Newt Gingrich (NPR, WAMU, The Diane Rehm Show)
“As long as you're working with private insurance, you run into what I call the iron law of private sector health reform (catchy, right?): You can have any two of good insurance, low premiums and deductibles, or low taxes. But you can't have all three.” Ezra Klein (Vox)
“I'm not on Obamacare. My health insurance is though the ACA (Affordable Care Act), which is what they had to come up with after Obamacare crashed and burned as bad as it did. So I'm going to be fine.” A person on Facebook, explaining why they will still have insurance coverage even if Obamacare is repealed. (Facebook)
“Over two millenia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a New King.” Incoming chief of staff Reince Preibus, feeling all the feels about his new boss, the president-elect of the United States, the Notorious DJT. (Dan Rather, CNN, Facebook)
“”Fuckin finger sandwiches.” Chrissy Teigen on Twitter, responding to a question if the food at the Golden Globes was any good. (Twitter)
59: 59 percent of voters say that Donald Trump should shut down his personal Twitter account; 35 percent disagree. The sample size was 1,071 voters with a margin of error of three percent. (Quinnipiac; The Hill)
700: The non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists received 700 online donations on Sunday night following Meryl Streep's speech at the Golden Globes. On an average Sunday night, the same non-profit typically averages five donations. (The Hill)
26,171: The Council on Foreign Relations estimates that the U.S. dropped 26,171 bombs in seven countries during the final year of the Obama presidency. The Council believes the actual number is probably higher. (Council on Foreign Relations; FiveThirtyEight, Significant Digits)
106,000: Five Trump Cabinet nominees donated $106,000 to senators who are now in charge of their confirmations. (Wall Street Journal)
233,610: The USDA estimates middle-income parents will spend $233,610 to raise a child born this year from infancy through adulthood. Low-income parents will spend an estimated $174,690 and high-income folks will spend $372,210. The cost of raising a child in America has risen 3% from 2014 to 2015. (U.S. Department of Agriculture; Wall Street Journal)
Links: Full text of Michelle Obama's farewell remarks; Full text of Meryl Streep's remarks at the 2017 Golden Globe awards; All the Risks of Climate Change in a Single Graph; and Weekend Exercise Alone Has Significant Health Benefits
Winter Isn't All Bad. Case in Point: The Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival.
You can read more about the Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival here. Held in China for 33 years straight, the festival covers more than 750,000 square meters.
This week's title is brought to you by the Trump inauguration team, led by Tom Barrack, who promises that the Trump inauguration will feature a “soft sensuality” instead of a “circus-like atmosphere.” It would have been pretty awesome if the soft sensuality had been extended also to Charles Brotman, who was fired by e-mail from the job of inauguration parade announcer, despite already preparing for the job and having held the position (for which he was never paid) since 1957.