Trump still has power to make policy. Watch what he does
- Given the horrible silence among other top Republicans (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, notably) when it comes to affirming Biden's electoral victory, it could be a while.
- What stimulus proposal Biden can entertain will look very different coming out of a Senate where Democrats control the chamber compared to one where McConnell decides what gets a vote.
- Republicans need to win those Senate seats as much as Democrats do if they want to block Biden's plans, which makes it all the more telling that Trump and his campaign continue to try to get the presidential results overturned rather than focusing on getting out the vote for the Senate races.
- The state handed Biden 11 electoral votes and, more importantly, cleared the way for Mark Kelly, the new Democratic senator, to be sworn in Wednesday.
Trump said the stock market would crash if Biden won. The Dow just had its best month since 1987.
- New York (CNN Business) - President Donald Trump repeatedly warned Americans that if they failed to reelect him, the stock market would implode.
- Between August and October alone, Trump sent six tweets saying markets would "crash" if Joe Biden were elected, using a word presidents typically avoid.
- If anything, markets melted up as nightmare election scenarios were avoided and investors celebrated coronavirus vaccine breakthroughs from Pfizer and Moderna.
- The strong November performance on Wall Street partially reflects relief that the election removed a huge cloud of uncertainty, even if the votes took time to count.
- Divided government in 2021 means Biden won't be able to raise corporate and personal taxes, a huge relief to investors.
- As of the first quarter of 2020, the wealthiest 10% of American households owned 87% of all stocks and mutual funds, according to the Federal Reserve.
Georgia reports more than 940,000 absentee ballot requests for Senate runoff
- For comparison, 1,322,529 absentee ballots were cast in November's general election, according to a release from the Georgia Secretary of State's office.
- Georgia voters are required to request absentee ballots again for the runoff, even if they voted absentee in November, except those over the age of 65, members of the military or physically disabled people who requested absentee ballots for the entire election cycle.
- Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue as President Donald Trump continues to cast doubt on the results of the presidential election.
- Trump is slated to travel to the Peach State on Saturday to campaign for Loeffler and Perdue.
- On Monday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger -- both Republicans -- rebuffed Trump's calls to overturn the state's election results more than a week after they certified Joe Biden as the winner.
Biden's delay in picking a defense secretary opens top contenders to uncomfortable scrutiny
- Three candidates are in final contention to lead the Pentagon, people familiar with the matter told CNN, as Michele Flournoy, Jeh Johnson and Lloyd Austin are all still being considered.
- Flournoy, a veteran Pentagon official, was once widely considered a lock for the position and is still very much in the mix, people familiar with the matter told CNN, but her exclusion from a flurry of barrier-breaking selections in Biden's first wave of Cabinet picks underscored an increasing uncertainty surrounding her candidacy.
- A Democratic Senate aide told CNN last week that senior members of the panel also believe Flournoy would be a good choice but said there has been little direct contact with the Biden transition and lawmakers remain mostly in the dark as to who the President-elect will ultimately nominate.
6 key battleground states finalize election results for Joe Biden - Business Insider
- But in 2020, the actions and decisions of local officials and canvassing boards were thrust into the national spotlight because of the efforts from Trump and his allies to challenge the election results in court and spread unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, as well as election irregularities in the states that the president lost.
- Georgia certified its election results on November 20 after completing a statewide risk-limiting audit, the first of its kind in the South, in which election workers recounted by hand over 5 million ballots that confirmed Biden's narrow victory over Trump.
- Trump and his allies lost over two dozen lawsuits they filed to halt vote counting, get certain ballots disqualified, and delay certification of election results in the battleground states that Trump lost, according to Insider's Jacob Shamsian and Sonam Sheth.
- Then the Trump campaign and the president's allies pivoted to attempting to compel state and local officials to delay certifying the results of the election.
Biden's OMB pick condemned by Bernie Sanders-aligned progressives - Business Insider
- Sanders-aligned progressives have for years been critical of Tanden's centrist politics, including her opposition to single-payer healthcare, support for cuts to Social Security, and friendliness with Israel's conservative leadership.
- Some Sanders-aligned progressives see Biden's decision to tap Tanden for such an influential White House job a slap in the face.
- Notably, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a longtime progressive critic of Biden's, endorsed Tanden's selection in a Monday tweet.
- Notably, Tanden rejected the Obama White House's attempts to reach a deficit-reduction deal with Republicans in 2013, arguing that the government should be focused on growing the economy.
- The former senior CAP employee said that progressive activists likely also believe there's a chance Tanden won't be confirmed and don't want to spent their political capital opposing a doomed nomination.
What sort of immigration policies will Trump try to cram in? Families are anxious and looking to Biden
- With the stroke of his presidential pen, Biden can do many things to empower and protect immigrants, including several measures he has supported during the campaign trail like reversing all of Trump's anti-immigrant executive orders; halting all deportations (Biden has said that he is in favor of doing this temporarily, but it needs to be a lasting measure); closing for-profit immigrant detention facilities; immediately releasing all immigrants from detention centers -- where unsanitary conditions and overcrowding have created the perfect storm for Covid-19 outbreaks -- so that they can reunite with families, friends or be part of non-profit community programs that help to keep families safe while they follow the legal process for their case.
- Just as Trump and his Republican enablers have been unapologetic in moving their anti-immigrant agenda, Biden should immediately pursue every executive and legislative path possible to advance justice for immigrants.
Opinion: What the death of Iran's top nuclear scientist could mean for Biden
- According to Amos Yadlin, the executive director of Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, it's likely the three sides were planning what moves to make before a Biden administration takes office and reengages with Iran.
- Saturday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani blamed Israel for the killing, but promised a response only at "the right time." Still, the circumstances of the attack -- Fakhrizadeh's car was ambushed in daylight just east of the capital -- had to be horrifying and deeply embarrassing to Iran.
- Iran's Revolutionary Guard officers, along with many Iranians who revered the leader, believed Tehran's response -- a single missile strike on two US military facilities with enough warning to avoid any casualties -- was weak.
- The President-elect is eager to re-enter the Iran nuclear agreement, and a violent Iranian reprisal might scupper the chance at renewed negotiations before Biden even enters office.
Ajit Pai leaving FCC, net neutrality fight expected to restart - Business Insider
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he plans to step down on January 20, 2021, the day Joe Biden will be inaugurated.
- Pai was a controversial figure, and under his leadership the FCC ended net neutrality rules that had governed the internet and been encoded in 2015.
- So far, not many big names in tech and privacy have reacted to the announcement.
- Most reactions so far indicate that people expect a renewed fight around net neutrality.
- As of 2018, a majority of registered voters were in favor of net neutrality, based on data from Statista.
- The other main reaction found on Twitter were proponents of repealing net neutrality, mocking fears that repealing the rule would have disastrous effects.
- Biden has not announced any plans to replace Pai, but Protocol put together a list of possible nominees back in September.
Biden unveils his economic team
- President-elect Joe Biden named former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury secretary nominee on Monday (Tuesday AEDT), and named three women to other top economic posts, setting the stage for a more diverse White House.
- President-elect Joe Biden announced Neera Tanden as his pick to head the White House Office of Management and Budget on Monday (Tuesday AEDT), drawing angry reactions from progressives and conservatives alike.
- Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, says he is leaving the telecommunications regulator on Inauguration Day. President-elect Joe Biden will choose a new Democratic head for the agency.
- The surveys, together with reports earlier this month showing a cooling in activity in factories in New York and the mid-Atlantic region, suggest national manufacturing moderated in November after accelerating in October.