[guest post by Dana]
Here are a few news items to chew over. Feel free to share any items that you think might interest readers. Please include links.
First news item
Current status of the Republican Party:
Our first session of New Member Orientation covered COVID in Congress.
Masks, masks, masks….
I proudly told my freshman class that masks are oppressive.
In GA, we work out, shop, go to restaurants, go to work, and school without masks.
My body, my choice.#FreeYourFace
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) November 13, 2020
Second news item
Trump claimed this:
700,000 ballots were not allowed to be viewed in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh which means, based on our great Constitution, we win the State of Pennsylvania!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2020
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State said Friday that she would decline to recount or re-canvass votes cast in the presidential election last week. Kathy Boockvar wrote in a statement that “no statewide candidate was defeated by one-half of one percent or less of the votes cast.”
Thirds news item
Gov. Newsom: Do as I say, not as I do. And whatever you do, ignore that CA is the second state to report 1 million cases of COVID-19:
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife attended a dinner party with a dozen attendees from several different households—despite his own administration recommending that people refrain from such gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. The Nov. 6 dinner for one of his political advisers was held outdoors at Napa Valley’s swanky French Laundry restaurant, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Communications director Nathan Click said that the party “followed public health guidelines and the restaurant’s health protocols—all in line with the state’s rules for restaurant operation.” But, after the Chronicle published its story, Newsom said he shouldn’t have gone. “I should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner,” he said.
Third news item
More do as I say, not as I do:
House Dem and GOP leaders are holding respective dinners for new members.
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) November 13, 2020
After getting hammered with criticism, the plans were modified:
Our office strictly follows the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician, including for this dinner. To be a further model for the nation, this event has been modified to allow Members-elect to pick up their meals to go in a socially-distanced manner. https://t.co/s2pSyUOCbm
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) November 13, 2020
Fourth news item
“Whether it was because of the respect for the institution, because of lessons learned from his father, bad memories of his own transition or just basic decency, President Bush would end up doing all he could to make the 11 weeks between my election and his departure go smoothly. I promised myself that when the time came I would treat my successor the same way.”
Ensuring a smooth transition was a family affair:
Fifth news item
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will be briefed by national security experts next week, Biden transition official Jen Psaki said on Friday, amid concerns that being out of the loop due to delays to the transition could be a national security risk.
A handful of Republican senators have urged the Trump administration to allow Biden to receive presidential daily intelligence briefings, which the president-elect traditionally receives before taking office.
Related: Former Chief of Staff to President Trump, John Kelly, weighs in:
“You lose a lot if the transition is delayed because the new people are not allowed to get their head in the game,” Kelly said Friday. “The president, with all due respect, does not have to concede. But it’s about the nation. It hurts our national security because the people who should be getting [up to speed], it’s not a process where you go from zero to 1,000 miles per hour.”
“Mr. Trump doesn’t have to concede if he doesn’t want to, I guess, until the full election process is complete. But there’s nothing wrong with starting the transition, starting to get people like the national security people, obviously the president and the vice president-elect, if they are in fact elected, to start getting them [up to speed] on the intelligence,” he said.
Sixth news item
President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging coronavirus as three U.S. West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel.
Seventh news item
“We’re going to win Wisconsin,” he began. “Arizona — it’ll be down to 8,000 votes, and if we can do an audit of the millions of votes, we’ll find 8,000 votes easy. If we can do an audit, we’ll be in good shape there.”
“Georgia, we’re going to win,” he continued, “because now, we’re down to about 10,000, 11,000 votes, and we have hand-counting” — a reference to the coming recount. “Hand-counting is the best. To do a spin of the machine doesn’t mean anything. You pick up 10 votes. But when you hand-count — I think we’re going to win Georgia.” He’ll also win North Carolina, Trump joked, “unless they happen to find a lot of votes. I said, ‘When are they going to put in the new votes in North Carolina? When are they going to find a batch from Charlotte?'”
Then there are two more — Michigan and Pennsylvania. “The two big states,” Trump said, before allowing, “They’re all sort of big.” In those two, Trump is pinning his strategy on protesting the exclusion of his campaign’s observers during critical periods of vote-counting. “They wouldn’t let our poll watchers and observers watch or observe,” Trump said. “That’s a big thing. They should throw those votes out that went through during those periods of time when [Trump observers] weren’t there. We went to court, and the judge ordered [the observers] back, but that was after two days, and millions of votes could have gone through. Millions. And we’re down 50,000.”
Eighth news item
When a bystander collapsed at the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday, a nurse was nearby and rushed to his aid. She happened to be the wife of the nation’s top military officer, Gen. Mark Milley…
“I just saw legs laying there,” said Milley, a practicing nurse.
Milley ran to see if she could help and found the man unresponsive.
“When I first got there, he was breathing in a very erratic way that he wasn’t really taking air into his lungs as he should have been,” she said. “And then he stopped breathing.”
The man had no pulse. Milley said she directed someone to call 911 and started chest compressions. “I did about two cycles of CPR, and then he just took a big, deep breath and kind of groaned a little bit and then started moving around.”
Milley detected his pulse and within a few minutes he began to respond to her questions.
“I put him in a side recovery position and just talked to him and told him what was going on and encouraged him to take deep breaths,” she said.
Ninth news item
Nearly 9 out of 10 Los Angeles Police Department officers did not feel supported by Chief Michel Moore and did not believe he or other commanders provided strong leadership during recent protests and unrest, according to a summer survey conducted by the officers’ union.
Many officers said Moore should resign, accusing him in comments they submitted with the survey of “cowering” to Black Lives Matter protesters, “pandering” to city politicians and “not having an organized plan” during the unrest, the union said.
Nearly 70% of respondents said the department was unprepared for the protests, which followed the May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and close to 40% said they were thinking of leaving the force.
However, officers panned the chief for kneeling with protesters — a sign, to them, that he was capitulating to a violent crowd. Many questioned why he did not highlight more of the positives about officers as protests spawned more and more questions about LAPD behavior, the union said.
“After all, what can a first impression tell us about someone we’ve just met for a minute in the lobby of a hotel? For that matter, what can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.”
Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow
Have a good weekend.