Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Andrew Yang of Pennsylvania 

Donald Trump’s evidence-free fraud claims have made fools of his legal team and won’t keep him in power, but much like putting Jared Kushner in charge of something, his refusal to accept the election results is a buffoonish short-term move with potentially serious long-term consequences. 

  • Election officials in every state have confirmed to the New York Times that there was no evidence of significant voter fraud or irregularities in the presidential election. On the other hand, Kayleigh McEnany held up a stack of paper on Fox News. Whom are we to believe? Trump’s lawyers have continued to humiliate themselves in courtrooms across the country, with forced acknowledgements that they have no evidence of fraud, that Republicans did have “a non-zero number” of observers in Philadelphia, and that a Michigan poll watcher’s big complaint was that election officials used the PA system to make announcements. 
  • In the absence of any legal victories, here’s what the Trump campaign is celebrating: Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that the state will conduct a manual audit of all ballots in the presidential race. That’s not technically a recount, but it’s functionally the same. Georgia state law requires an audit of a random sample of ballots, and it was up to Raffensperger to choose which race to audit. Because the presidential race is close (and possibly to avoid mean tweets from Trump) that’s the one he picked. And because the margins are small in percentage terms, the state will audit all of the ballots rather than select a large sample. That hand recount must be completed by November 20, and the chances of it overturning Biden’s apparent victory in Georgia are, statistically speaking, “not gon’ happen.”
  • None of the bluster and conspiracy theories we’ve seen from Trump’s enablers seem likely to get in the way of states certifying their results on time, or sending the appropriate electors to the Electoral College on December 14. (This is a good breakdown of the far-fetched way Trump could still try to overturn the election, and the many obstacles to him succeeding.) But Republicans have dragged us down a dangerous path. As Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D-PA) put it, "At some point we all have to collectively accept that yelling voter fraud, when there is no evidence whatsoever of it, is yelling fire in a crowded theater, and it is harming the democratic franchise of our country and the peaceful transition of power."

To be fair, they’re only yelling fire during the parts of the movie they don’t like.

  • After days of Trump and his allies insisting that the election wasn’t over just because every single major news outlet said so, Ivanka Trump gleefully celebrated the AP’s projection that Trump had finally won Alaska. The AP has also famously projected that Biden won the presidency, but we shouldn’t expect proficiency at seeing the big picture from someone who married Jared Kushner. 
  • While the media has largely done a solid job of informing Americans that Joe Biden will be the next president and Donald Trump is a big whiny loser, our favorite social media disinformation swamps have left something to be desired. YouTube has decided not to remove videos claiming Trump won the election, the kind of content that could easily fuel civil unrest. And as misinformation and calls for violence proliferate widely on Facebook, the company has carefully avoided stating that Biden won the election, and taken the lukewarm step of extending its political ad ban. That won’t stop Trump from spreading lies on the platform, but it sure will make it harder to reach Georgia voters ahead of the January Senate runoffs. 

With each passing day that the Trump administration obstructs the transition period and Republicans normalize rejecting the outcome of an American presidential election, our democratic institutions erode a little further. The coup won’t work this time, but unless we can all agree that the attempt itself is unacceptable, next time might be different.

Now that the election is over and everyone's had a chance to take a nap, we wanted to thank you for what your hard work made possible. Here's what the Vote Save America community accomplished:
  • We registered 270,000 voters through both VSA’s registration tool (70,000 new voters) and our partnership with Register2Vote (200,000). 350,000 voters used VSA to check their registration status. 
  • We recruited 300,000+ Adopt a State volunteers who helped make 11.6 million calls and 10.5 million texts into six battleground states, flipping four of them.  
  • 500,000 contributions were made to our funds, raising almost $44 million for individual candidates, voter protection efforts, and grassroots organizing groups.
  • We recruited 27,000 poll workers and 1,700 lawyers to volunteer for voter protection. 

This election would have looked very different without everyone who stepped up; everything you did mattered. Keep an eye out for our next opportunities in Georgia, and from the whole Crooked team, thank you.

While Donald Trump clears his schedule to focus on insisting he’s not owned, the national coronavirus situation has deteriorated rapidly. On Tuesday, hospitalizations in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 61,964, and new confirmed cases surpassed 139,000 for the first time. Medical facilities in North Dakota have reached their patient limit, hospitals in Des Moines are nearly full, and there are no ICU beds available in Tulsa. State and local leaders have implemented their own new measures—Iowa has been issued its first-ever mask mandate, and New York City has a new curfew, but federal leadership during the fall surge has been nonexistent. Even worse, it’s been obstructive: Trump’s delay of the transition has left Joe Biden locked out of key health agencies, and unable to quickly scale up the federal response.

Trump’s sudden installation of loyalists at the Defense Department and NSA seems to have less to do with any coup machinations than with scoring a last minute political victory. One goal might be to accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan; Trump has been frustrated with the slow pace, and his newly installed Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller has brought on a senior advisor who has previously called for Trump to get out of Afghanistan “as soon as possible.” Trump has also been trying to force the intelligence community to declassify information that he thinks would prove the Russia investigation to have been a hoax, and may have fired Mark Esper to facilitate that. There’s almost certainly some kind of shady abuse of power underway here, but it’s probably not a reason to run for the Canadian border.

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As the leaves change colors and the temperature drops, we recommend checking out their durable, ethically-sourced styles like best sellers OCA High in All-Camel or All-Black Suede, so your feet stay cozy. Or if you want to keep things classic, try their Premium Leather Collection. To make things easy, CARIUMA ships Worldwide, and offers free shipping and extended 60-day returns.

Joe Biden will name Ron Klain to be White House chief of staff. There could be no greater replacement for a coronavirus-ridden Mark Meadows.

Biden’s climate plan will involve holistically spreading climate action across departments like Transportation, Agriculture, and Treasury, rather than limiting it to environmental agencies. 

New York City will launch a pilot program in early 2021 that will have healthcare professionals responding to mental health crises, instead of the NYPD.

Major is about to become the White House's first shelter dog :)

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