COLD WAR. Mitch McConnell is done with Trump forever: “McConnell has not spoken with Trump since Dec. 14 — the day McConnell acknowledged President Biden won the November election — and he does not plan to ever speak with him again, people close to him say. Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal details. Even the back channel the two men once had — between McConnell’s former top aide Josh Holmes and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — is now cold.”
ANDREW CUOMO. NY Governor under investigation for COVID nursing home deaths: “The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn have launched an investigation that is examining, at least in part, the actions of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s coronavirus task force in its handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the pandemic, the Times Union has learned.”
DOLLY PARTON. Living legend politely declines statue.
LUKE COMBS. Country star apologizes for previous use of Confederate flag imagery. “There is no excuse for those images. I think, as a younger man, that was an image that I associated to mean something else.”
‘WITHERING TO A SHELL’ Ghislaine Maxwell says she has been abused by a guard and is losing her hair in jail.
HUGE DECLINE. COVID shaving years off American life expectancies: “Life expectancy in the United States dropped a staggering one year during the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic caused its first wave of deaths, health officials are reporting. Minorities suffered the biggest impact, with Black Americans losing nearly three years and Hispanics, nearly two years, according to preliminary estimates Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
IMMIGRATION. White House unveils 8-year path to citizenship: “The legislation faces an uphill climb in a narrowly divided Congress, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has just a five-vote margin and Senate Democrats do not have the 60 Democratic votes needed to pass the measure with just their party’s support.”
GERMANY. Footballers join campaign to support gay players: “Hundreds of footballers in Germany have signed up to a campaign by football culture magazine ’11Freunde’ (’11 Friends ) to offer their support for LGBTQ colleagues and take a stand against homophobia. The magazine’s latest issue, which comes out this week, has several different covers featuring different footballers holding signs reading: ‘Ihr könnt auf uns zählen!’ (‘You can count on us!’)”
FOUR-STAR. Promotions of female generals were held off to avoid Trump rejection: “For the defense secretary at the time, Mark T. Esper, and Gen. Mark A. Milley, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the tricky part was that both of the accomplished officers were women. In 2020 America under President Donald J. Trump, the two Pentagon leaders feared that any candidates other than white men for jobs mostly held by white men might run into turmoil once their nominations reached the White House.”
WEIRD SHARE OF THE DAY. Kacey Musgrave’s gall bladder.
RECIPE OF THE DAY. Grilled cheese.
CELEB THIRSTY THURSDAY. Jesus Luz.