Friday, November 20, 2020

-Geraldo Rivera, suggesting we console DJT by naming a vaccine after him

Hey! What A Day will be on hiatus next week. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, adopt Georgia, and we'll see you on Monday, November 30. 

Their frivolous-lawsuit-based strategy to steal the election has run aground. Their even cruder “bribe Republican officials”-based strategy to steal the election has run into the brick wall of Republican opposition. We now await the thrilling climax of the failed Trump-Giuliani heist: like Thelma & Louise, but with globs of hair dye and spray tan trailing the convertible as it plummets earthward.

  • President Trump’s pseudo-legal effort to overthrow the election and end American democracy has reached such heights of absurdity that even the Trumpy-as-hell propaganda website Powerline noticed: Trump’s lawyers submitted an affidavit to a federal court alleging voting irregularities in Michigan, based on data from townships in Minnesota, which, if we remember American geography correctly, is a different state (though in fairness to Trump’s lawyers, they both start with “Mi”). 
  • Indeed, “lying about fraud” to “steal the election” is now the official position of the national GOP. On Thursday, the RNC twitter account quoted barking-mad Trump lawyer Sidney Powell claiming, “President Trump won by a landslide” (fact check: He lost, bigly). The GOP-endorsed Powell would later appear on Fox to assert, "the entire election, frankly, in all the swing states should be overturned and the legislatures should make sure that the electors are selected for Trump." Meanwhile, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said “Rudy [Giuliani] and his buddies should not pressure electors to ignore their certification obligations.” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said, “it’s difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President,” and Georgia has certified Biden’s victory. By early next week, enough swing states will have certified their results to guarantee Biden more than 270 electoral votes.  
  • As the coup fizzles, the backup plan—namely, intentional sabotage of the United States government—comes into focus. Trump reportedly told an ally that he continues to delay the transition and lie about the election to “get back at Democrats” for the Russia investigation, which, uh, showed he cooperated with known Russian efforts to help him win in 2016. This is consistent with the fusilade of lies White House Press Secretary Kayliegh McEnany told Friday about the Obama-Trump transition to justify the administration’s refusal to initiate the Trump-Biden transition. It would also seem to prove that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy (who’s unilaterally blocking the transition) is a willful participant in a conspiracy to subvert the peaceful transfer of power, but House Democrats have so far limited themselves to requesting a briefing from her

If these folks seem a bit sweaty and desperate, perhaps that’s because in 61 days they’ll cease to be “the president and his men” and transform into “criminals on the lam.”

  • Giuliani reportedly remains in the crosshairs of federal investigators in Manhattan, who have “asked new questions about Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine and possible connections to Russian intelligence,” as they seek to ascertain whether Giuliani “is wittingly or unwittingly part of a Russian influence operation.” (Asked for comment on this report, Giuliani texted CNN, "No good reason your story without knowing I'm sure is one u Wouk [sic] never cover if it was about THE BIDENS or similar protected species,” like any innocent man would do.)
  • Meanwhile, civil and criminal investigations of the Trump organization in New York State now encompass millions of dollars in tax writeoffs for “consulting fees” paid to Ivanka Trump. Investigators likely noticed that the $747,622 in consulting fees she reported on her federal disclosure form exactly matched the fees the Trump Organization claimed as deductions. Proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the scumbag, Ivanka dropped the nice girl routine and channeled daddy, “This is harassment pure and simple. This ‘inquiry’ by NYC democrats is 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage.”

As the pretense of “pursuing legal options” gives way to “outright ratfuckery,” the time has come for Democrats to enter a new phase of their own. They should use their official powers to try to force the transition to begin, and make clear that Republicans are engaged in an unpatriotic effort to harm the country before the White House enters Democratic hands. The going could get rough thanks to all this sabotage and the public should be under no illusions about who’s to blame.  

Heads up, today’s episode of What A Day (the pod) is a banger. Akilah and Gideon interview Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) about the future of the left under the Biden administration, and about turning out the vote in Michigan. Plus, writer and comedian Demi Adejuyigbe joins for a special edition of heaaadliiiines. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your pods 

Speaking of sabotage, the Department of Health and Human Services has gotten into the game with a proposed regulation that would require itself to review almost every other regulation it’s ever issued. The questionably titled “SUNSET” (Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely) would mean that any regulation that HHS doesn’t review within a certain period of time would automatically expire. Instead of effectively administering the Medicaid and CHIP programs and working towards expanding healthcare access, the department would be trapped in an endless cycle of “assessing” and “reviewing” thousands of existing regulations. After failing to destroy Medicaid altogether, the Trump administration is now doing its best to pour sand in the gears on its way out.

Failed GOP Michigan Senate candidate John James has attached himself to Trump’s farewell grift. After refusing to concede to Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), James has launched a legal defense fund for the ostensible purpose of challenging his 85,000 vote defeat. But donations are split between the James campaign and the RNC, which is free to use the money however it wants, like, say, shoveling it over to the Trump campaign. That partnership also allows the fund to accept six-figure donations from individuals like Betsy DeVos and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Undermining faith in the integrity of elections and making a quick buck on the side™: Not just for Trumps anymore!

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Chef José Andrés went to Honduras with World Central Kitchen to deliver food and water to hurricane victims, and wound up rescuing a four-day-old baby. 

The Cherokee Nation has managed to quell coronavirus transmission within the community even as cases surge all around it, providing a model of what the rest of the country could accomplish by...following the science. 

A new “climate guardian” satellite will allow scientists to track rising sea levels with unprecedented accuracy. 

Zoom will lift its 40-minute time limit on Thanksgiving, so that families can spend the day together without unwittingly murdering each other.

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