Joe Biden expects to win the presidency after claiming victory in two Midwestern states. Pennsylvania is the big question mark, and people were in the streets last night there and around the country calling for every vote to be counted.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to win in the courts, no matter what the voters say. But legal experts say it won’t be a simple matter for him to take his case straight to the Supreme Court.
And lastly, voters across the country rejected the drug war at every opportunity. Fifteen-plus states will now permit recreational marijuana use.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Here’s what we know, as of late last night, about the state of presidential race. Joe Biden was declared the winner in Michigan and Wisconsin, two states that could prove key to his victory. Yesterday Biden urged supporters to keep faith in the process and said QUOTE we’re on track to win this election. I’m optimistic about this outcome ENDQUOTE.
And he has reason to be. As more votes were counted through the day, Donald Trump's path to victory in the Electoral College narrowed, while Biden gained leads in at least two states that could give him enough electoral votes to win.
Trump falsely claimed victory even as Biden pulled ahead, and with millions of votes left to be counted. Twitter placed warnings on a number of Trump tweets spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the vote count. State elections officials around the country defended the integrity of their processes against Trump’s lies.
Results in the following states were outstanding as of last night, according to the New York Times: Alaska, which will likely go to Trump; Arizona, which the Associated Press has called for Biden; Georgia, where Trump has a slight lead; Nevada, where Biden has the edge; North Carolina, where Trump leads; and Pennsylvania, which remains far from a final count.
Biden has two hundred and fifty three confirmed electoral votes and would need seventeen more to win. President Trump has two hundred and fourteen confirmed electoral votes and would need fifty-six more to win.
Five Senate races were uncalled in four states: Alaska, Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina. A sixth race, in Maine, was called yesterday afternoon for the Republican incumbent, Senator Susan Collins, the Times reports.
Remember, like we’ve been saying, this process is going to take a while.
TRUMP SEEKS COURT INTERVENTION
Forget the will of the people – Trump wants a handful of judges decide this election in his favor. The Washington Post reports that the Trump campaign plans to file lawsuits to halt vote-counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania; seek to initiate a recount in Wisconsin; and intervene in litigation pending before the Supreme Court over Pennsylvania’s extended deadline for mail ballots. The campaign also said it would challenge guidance related to voter identification rules for some voters in Pennsylvania, one of a half dozen legal efforts announced by Republicans in the state.
Trump said yesterday he wants the Supreme Court to decide which votes count. Legal experts told the Post that Trump cannot simply seek the Supreme Court’s intervention in the election and stop the counting of ballots. The court’s power is constrained, and justices can entertain only specific constitutional questions that have risen from lower courts.
In Pennsylvania, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf called the effort to stop ballot-counting in the state an attempt to subvert the democratic process. In Wisconsin, Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said the counting had gone exceptionally smoothly and that to suggest otherwise was an insult to election workers. In Michigan, Democrats said the lawsuit the Trump campaign filed seeking to halt vote-counting was preposterous.
Democrats said they were unfazed by Trump’s legal posturing. Bob Bauer, a top attorney for the Biden campaign, told reporters yesterday QUOTE We’re winning the election, we’ve won the election, and we’re going to defend that election ENDQUOTE. Inshallah!
VOTERS REJECT DRUG WAR
The drug war lost big this week. The Guardian reports that in every state where the question was on the ballot, Americans voted to abolish criminal penalties for drug possession.
On Tuesday, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota, voted to decriminalize recreational marijuana. In Mississippi and South Dakota, medical marijuana will legalized. In Washington DC, psychedelic plants will be decriminalized. And in Oregon, all illegal drugs – including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines – will be decriminalized. A separate groundbreaking ballot measure there legalized psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, for therapeutic use.
Oregon’s decriminalization initiative places an emphasis on treating addiction as a health issue, rather than one of law and order. Instead of jail time, those found in possession of drugs will have the option to either pay a $100 fine, or sign up for addiction services. The initiative also aims to reduce racial disparities in drug arrests and sentencing.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the success of state marijuana measures should spur further development of the industry and possibly bring changes at a federal level whoever wins the White House. Recreational use of marijuana will now be legal in fifteen states plus the District of Columbia. And cannabis sales have surged during the coronavirus pandemic. In California, sales data for August showed a twenty six percent jump over the past year, while sales in Nevada were up thirty four percent. Folks, that’s not bad, but I’m confident that with time and dedication we can get those numbers even higher.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
The United States and the United Nations have issued statements calling for deescalation in Ethiopia, which is approaching civil war, the AP reports. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed yesterday ordered the military to confront the country’s well-armed Tigray regional government, accusing it of a deadly attack on a military base. International experts warned that any conflict in could be protracted and catastrophic for the region.
Jair Bolsonaro’s eldest son Flávio has been charged with graft and money laundering as part of an investigation into the theft of public funds, the New York Times reports. The case remains under seal as the investigation continues, but the charges stem from a series of suspicious financial transactions at his former legislative office in the Rio de Janeiro State Assembly. Long story short, it looks like Flávio was taking kickbacks from his own staff.
For the first time, astronomers have traced the source of mysterious cosmic energy pulses known as fast radio bursts. Four studies published in the journal Nature explain how scientists tracked a burst in April from inside our own Milky Way galaxy to a strange kind of star known as a magnetar, thirty two thousand light years from earth. So: it wasn’t aliens.
For the first time yesterday, the US logged more than one hundred thousand new coronavirus cases in a single day. And at least seventeen states reported record-high numbers of current Covid-19 inpatients, according to data tracked by the Washington Post. This is going to be a long and difficult winter. Stay strong and healthy out there.
That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report for the latest results and election information.
NOV 5, 2020 - AM QUCKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn