President-elect Trump orders all politically-appointed ambassadors to leave their posts before Inauguration Day. Typically Presidents grant extensions to these ambassadors to transition more easily to private life, but I'm also pretty sure these ambassadors are of some use to their successors; now they're not, and they may not get replaced for a few months, all so that Mr. Trump can continue the Republicans' obsession with Mr. Obama. Remember this the next time terrorists attack.
House revives "Holman rule," which could allow individual lawmakers to lower a particular federal employee's salary down to $1. Which will not be abused for political reasons at all! After all, didn't Mr. Trump's transition team just get caught trying to make up a blacklist of Energy Department scientists working on climate change? And woe betide you if you actually pursue a voter caging allegation under an Attorney General like Jeff Sessions, or a report of water poisoning near a fracking well under an EPA Administrator like Scott Pruitt, or a lead on some well-connected doctor defrauding Medicare under an HHS Secretary like Tom Price.
Telecom corporation files suit against the FCC's recently-finalized privacy rules -- hoping to be able to gut net neutrality rules in the process. Their angle is clever, I suppose -- that "edge providers" (like Facebook and Netflix) get regulated by the FTC while the FCC regulates internet service providers as a "common carrier," but it sounds like they're arguing that symmetry always equals fairness, which anyone who thinks about it knows isn't true. The good news? The big telecoms' efforts will take time, and if the newly Trumped-up FCC acts in haste -- which they will! -- they'll almost certainly run afoul of the courts, just as Tha Bush Mobb's FCC did. Oh, almost forgot: why are corporations so anti-privacy again? Not because they care about how easy it is for you to buy stuff -- because they care about how easy it could be for them to make money off you buying stuff!
Drew Altman at the New York Times describes "The Health Care Plan Trump Voters Really Want." I don't know why they would get all the say about everything, comprising only 46% of the electorate, but their concerns are, guess what, pretty much like everyone else's -- they hate high premiums and surprise bills, they find health insurance way too complex, and they often admire Medicaid from afar (though they also resent the people who get it). They also generally dislike the ideas Republicans come up with to "replace" the Affordable Care Act (it warmed my heart to hear them call HSAs and the like "not insurance"!), but here's the bad news: they all have faith in Donald Trump to fix it. They'd be much better off having faith in themselves and calling their representatives to tell them what they think, which I'd be happy to help them do.
Finally, the U.S. Postal Service has decided to stop permitting Staples stores to provide USPS services, The article plays up the role of unions in this battle, but the result actually shows what good Americans can accomplish if they stop waiting for politicians to fix stuff. It also suggests, yet again, that privatizing essential government services (and by "essential," in this case, I also mean "constitutionally-mandated") doesn't improve those services, as a May 2016 Inspector General Audit found. So good job, Americans -- and, ah, get ready for when Republicans try to destroy the USPS again.