Tim Anaya, Senior Director of Communications and PRI’s Sacramento Office
Winner: Liz Cheney – Moviegoers who watched 2018 film “Vice” – which the filmmakers intended to be a hatchet job, but I thought was actually superhero movie – learned not to mess with Dick Cheney or his family. However critical one may be of his policies and actions, he always finds a way to win a political brawl. House Republicans who were critical of his daughter Rep. Liz Cheney also learned that lesson the hard way this week when she successfully defended herself against a vote of confidence in her leadership position by a wide margin.
Loser: Meryl Streep – Meryl Streep is the most-nominated actress in the history of the Golden Globes, garnering 32 nominations over the course of her career – and winning 8 times. This year proved to not be so lucky for Meryl. Despite having two films eligible for nominations – Netflix’s “The Prom” and HBO Max’s “Let Them All Talk,” she turned up empty handed when the 2021 award nominations were announced earlier this week.
Evan Harris, Media Relations and Outreach Manager
Winner: Jeff Bezos – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced he is stepping down from the CEO role at the company he started and grew for the last 26 years. While Bezos may be the winner as he steps into an executive chairman role, incoming CEO Andy Jassy may be the loser as Amazon has drawn the ire of federal regulatory agencies and Congress.
Loser: Tom Brady Haters – Tom Brady is playing in his tenth Super Bowl this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs for Super Bowl LV. Moving away from his long tenure with the New England Patriots, many were split on whether the 43-year-old Brady was successful because of the Patriot system under Bill Bilichick or his own talent. Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers appearance in the Super Bowl should be an answer for those betting against Brady, especially since the Patriots failed to make the playoffs.
Rowena Itchon, Senior Vice President
Winners: Students in Private and Parochial Schools – Private and parochial schools have managed to stay open safely during the pandemic. These fortunate students have been able to maintain their studies and will likely outperform their public school counterparts.
Losers: Students in Closed Public Schools – Teachers unions across the country, including major cities in California, have been fighting off re-opening the classrooms for in-person learning. It’s not about the science (the CDC says the risks are minimal), or even the money (Fairfax County, VA is one of the wealthiest areas of the country). It’s all about unchecked union power.
Kerry Jackson, Fellow, Center for California Reform
Winners: The population of India – Coronavirus numbers in India were coming in at 100,000 a day in September. Then Monday – 11,000 new cases. After “rising, rising,” says Georgetown University health economist Jishnu Das, the virus has “suddenly … vanished.” Intensive-care unit “utilization has gone down” and “every indicator says the numbers are down”.
Loser: Gavin Newsom – The California governor is in rough water. Politico reported Thursday that “his polls are sinking. Democrats are mobilizing,” and the “recall just got real.” Two days earlier, the Los Angeles Times said his “job approval rating among California voters has plummeted,” while the decline in his popularity “provides a sobering sign for the 53-year-old Democrat that his once bright political future.”
McKenzie Richards – Development Associate
Winner: California Gig Workers – While Proposition 22, which allows California gig workers to continue working as independent contractors rather than employees, passed with a 58-42 margin, union interests attempted to subvert the will of the voters by going to California courts to overturn the measure. To the benefit of gig workers, California’s Supreme Court rejected the union’s lawsuit on Wednesday.
Loser: Senator Mitt Romney – On Thursday, Senator Mitt Romney proposed a new child tax plan which is actually costlier and more audacious than what Democrats have proposed. Under his Family Security Act, the federal government would instead distribute monthly checks of $250-350 per child, instead of the $2,000 tax credit that some parents receive. Essentially, Senator Romney, who criticized Obama’s welfare plans in 2012, is now suggesting a radically progressive policy of sending welfare checks straight from the federal government.