Monday, November 16, 2020

-Jeffrey Goldberg boosting Barack Obama's book sales 300 percent

Donald Trump’s coup attempt may have stumbled into full-on farce territory, but the implications for getting the worsening pandemic under control are something closer to a horror show. Like a Marx Brothers film, if Harpo were in charge of a multi-state legal effort and a bunch of people died at the end.

  • National security adviser Robert O'Brien acknowledged that Joe Biden “obviously” appears to have won the election, and promised a professional transition from the National Security Council (if he hasn’t been physically flung out of the White House by the end of the day). Emily Murphy, the top General Services Administration official who’s been loyally sitting on the transition paperwork, is reportedly looking for a new job. Even President Tantrums accidentally admitted defeat on Twitter over the weekend, before smoothly tweeting “I WON THE ELECTION!” to cover his loser tracks. 
  • Trump has put Rudy Giuliani in charge of his ongoing humiliation of a legal fight, after being dropped by all of the lawyers with professional standards and no history of getting tricked by Borat. Conservative lawyer James Bopp, Jr., withdrew four pro-Trump lawsuits brought by voters in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, or to use the legal phrase (sorry) Bopped them like they’re hot (this newsletter is free). Trump and his allies are now 1-24 in court, but of course, we haven’t seen what Rudy has down his pants up his sleeve. 
  • The consequences of Trump’s insistence that he lose for as long as humanly possible are considerably less funny. Until the transition is formally underway, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other officials at the CDC, FDA, and NIH can’t legally talk to the Biden team about things like the plans for vaccine distribution, or the country’s testing capacity. Biden warned on Monday that “more people may die, if we don’t coordinate,” while calling on (Republicans in) Congress to pass a stimulus package immediately. 

Even as statewide GOP leaders acknowledge that coronavirus transmission has accelerated out of control, the Trump administration continues to actively oppose containment efforts. 

  • The U.S. surpassed 11 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, just six days after crossing the ten million mark. Around 70,000 coronavirus patients are currently hospitalized. Washington, Oregon, and California all issued travel advisories on Friday, and Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) issued a mask mandate in North Dakota for the first time. 
  • Govs. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) have introduced more aggressive restrictions for the next few weeks, shutting down indoor service at bars and restaurants and, in Michigan, all in-person classes for high schools and colleges. Unqualified White House coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas responded to Whitmer’s announcement with a direct appeal to the armed lunatics of Michigan: “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp.” 


Trump’s election denial and coronavirus denial are each harmful enough on their own; the combination could put thousands of lives in unnecessary danger even after he leaves the White House. It makes no difference whether Trump concedes, but Democrats should be using every tool at their disposal to prevent him from doing even more damage on his way out.

Community organizers flipped Georgia blue for the first time in 28 years, and we owe them more than our thanks. We owe them ALL OF THE RESOURCES. Because these folks are flinging themselves once more into the breach to mobilize voters to fill Georgia's 2 seats in the U.S. Senate on January 5. If you're able, chip in to our Every Last Vote: Peaches & Dreams fund to help them get the job done →

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate chose not to notify Democrats about a coronavirus outbreak in the GOP caucus, in an even-grosser revival of that mess in Pennsylvania back in May. Last week the Senate Republican chief of staff sent around a memo to GOP senators and staffers informing them that “a number” of their ranks had tested positive and that they should work from home, while leaving their Democratic counterparts in the dark. At least three senators have now tested positive. The outbreak occurred days after Republicans held an in-person dinner party to celebrate their election results, which they also didn’t disclose right away. So what we’ve got here is the Minnesota GOP recklessly ignoring coronavirus precautions, getting each other sick, and then knowingly leaving their Democrats colleagues open to exposure. Donald Trump, secretly contagious on the debate stage with his opponent, has become the moral touchstone for the entire Republican Party. 


The Trump administration is rushing to auction off drilling rights in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before Joe Biden takes office, presumably to take revenge on all the polar bears who didn’t vote. Officials have asked oil and gas companies to hurry up and pick out their desired drilling locations for an upcoming lease sale that the Interior Department plans to hold before the inauguration. The administration will also try to finalize plans to open most of Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve to drilling, auction off more than 383,000 acres of federal land for drilling in the lower 48, and cater to Trump’s weirdest hobbyhorse by weakening energy-efficiency requirements for showerheads. Drilling in the refuge still isn’t quite a done deal—some major banks have announced they won’t finance projects there, any leases issued by the Trump administration could be voided by ongoing environmental lawsuits, and even if not, Biden might be able to withdraw them.

If there is one thing that health experts agree on, it’s that the perfect diet doesn’t exist. 

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Moderna announced that its coronavirus vaccine appears to be 94.5 percent effective, raising hopes that the U.S. could have two highly effective vaccines available on a limited basis by the end of the year. Even better, the Moderna vaccine can be stored in a standard fridge

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) said he supports the legalization of marijuana, and plans to get to work on a bill with the state legislature in January. 

Joe Biden will name Jen O'Malley Dillon, the first woman to lead a successful Democratic presidential campaign, as his deputy chief of staff. 

Progressives have taken Biden's plan to help students as a jumping off point to push for canceling all student loan debt. 

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