he United States presidential election was, as expected, too close to call last night. The good news for Donald Trump was that Joe Biden did not enjoy a blowout.
Meanwhile, at least one thing went well: a feared wave of polling-place violence did not take place. But there is a brewing scandal with the United States Postal Service and three hundred thousand ballots that are unaccounted for.
And lastly, Trump’s lender of last resort, Deutsche Bank, wants to sever ties with him. Which means that however things play out, he’s on the hook for $340 million.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
It will be days or weeks before the full results of this election are tallied. But here’s what we know at the time of this recording [OPTIONAL: SAY THE TIME, Eastern Time].
Most news outlets are projecting Donald Trump to win in Florida. Exit polls showed Biden winning fewer Latino votes in the state than Clinton did in 2016. In North Carolina, results were delayed because some polls were kept open late, after delays in opening. But Trump held a slight edge over Joe Biden with most precincts reporting; the same was true in Ohio.
Biden was ahead in Arizona. He held Trump to a virtual tie in Texas, with the lead going to Trump. Pennsylvania will be counting for a while.
Lower down on the ballot: Control of the US Senate was uncertain. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky kept his seat. Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper was projected to unseat Republican Senator Cory Gardner.
Democrats were projected to hold the US House of Representatives. Islamophobic social media personality Laura Loomer lost her bid for the House in South Florida to the Democratic incumbent, Lois Frankel. Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar kept her seat, as did Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez of New York.
Sarah McBride will become the first transgender state senator in US history after winning a state senate seat in Delaware. And the Democratic Socialists of America, New York chapter, boasted that it will be sending five winning candidates to the state legislature.
One hundred and one point one million early votes were cast in person and by mail before the polls even opened yesterday, according to the New York Times. Turnout was projected to be higher than it has been in more than a century.
Joe Biden visited his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, yesterday, as well as a swimming pool where he worked as a teenager. Donald Trump spent the day behind a wall of fencing erected around the White House, calling in to talk radio.
USPS: 300,000 BALLOTS MISSING
The feared wave of clashes at voting sites, happily, failed to materialize yesterday.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law reported no major, systemic problems or attempts to obstruct voting for voters, apart from problems it deemed isolated and sporadic, according to the New York Times. Likewise, the Homeland Security Department reported no significant cyber attacks.
Long lines were reported in, among other places: New York City, Las Vegas, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Saint Petersburg, Florida, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Although some worst-case Election Day scenarios were avoided, there were a number of suspicious, disruptive, and ugly happenings around the country.
A federal judge ordered US Postal Service inspectors to sweep mail processing facilities in key states and look for misplaced votes. The Postal Service, however, rejected the order and said it would stick to its own inspection schedule. The agency revealed this week that three hundred thousand ballots nationwide could have gone undelivered.
More flag-waving Trump vehicle caravans were reported near polling places in several cities including Anoka, Minnesota. An armed man in a Trump hat was arrested outside a polling site in Charlotte, North Carolina, and charged with trespassing.
An estimated ten million dodgy robo-calls went out on and leading up to the day of the election, telling people to QUOTE stay safe and stay home ENDQUOTE. Experts assume it was part of a voter suppression effort; the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into it, as
is New York’s state Attorney General. Another set of robo-calls targeted voters in Flint, Michigan with false advice to avoid long lines by waiting to vote until today. Which, obviously, isn’t possible.
A Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was vandalized. Trump and MAGA were spray-painted on tombstones ahead of Trump’s visit there -- his final rally of the campaign and, with luck, for some time.
DEUTSCHE BANK DUMPS TRUMP
Win or lose, Deutsche Bank is looking for ways to end its relationship with Donald Trump after the elections. That’s according to three senior executives who spoke about the matter to the Reuters news agency. Apparently bank leadership is getting tired of bad publicity resulting from their relationship with Trump. Maybe they should’ve thought of that before loaning him some $2 billion.
Public filings show the bank still has $340 million in loans outstanding to the Trump Organization. The loans are against Trump’s golf course in Miami, and hotels in Washington, DC and Chicago. The Trump Organization has only paid interest on them so far, and the entire principal is outstanding. They come due in 2023 and 2024.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has previously called for an investigation into Deutsche Bank over money laundering, as well as its deals with Trump and his family. Warren told Reuters she will keep pushing for such a probe in the next administration.
Bank executives said that if Democrats take power in the election, they expect more scrutiny of their deals with Trump. They also expect that it will be easier for them to end their relationship with Trump if he loses. But if he wins, they expect to extend the due dates until Trump is out of office. Either way, because Trump has personally guaranteed all the loans, Deutsche Bank could seize his assets if he is unable to repay. Sad.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
In nationwide surveys, most voters ranked the coronavirus the most important issue facing the country. Well, everybody should know that White House coronavirus adviser Deborah Birx directly contradicted Trump in a memo this week. She wrote QUOTE we are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic ... leading to increasing mortality ENDQUOTE. I guess she, like Anthony Fauci, also expects to get fired.
Police in Austria searched eighteen properties and arrested fourteen people yesterday in the wake of a terror attack in Vienna that killed four and injured twenty-two. The attacker, a twenty year old man who was previously imprisoned for trying to join the Islamic State, opened fire on crowded bars in the nightlife district. The government has announced three days of mourning.
Hundreds of thousands of Indonesians are protesting in the streets after President Joko Widodo rammed through a new economic law in the dead of night. The law does away with many environmental and labor protections, including mandatory days off for workers. The industry giveaway was done in such a rush that many references in the twelve hundred-page law point to clauses and paragraphs that don’t exist. Talk about looting and lawlessness!
Ongoing protests in Poland have forced the rightwing government to delay the implementation of a court order banning nearly all abortions in the country. The Guardian reports that the scale of the protests appears to have taken the government by surprise, and even many members of the ruling Law and Justice party oppose the new restrictions. It just goes to show, it ain’t over til the people say it’s over.
SAM: That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.
NOV 4, 2020 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn