THE THANKSGIVING AWARDS

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds….

Thank you for your holiday support.

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Watch the town hall I conducted with Americans across the country earlier this week here:

This is your chance to hear some of my thoughts about the longer-term challenges facing the country as well as the Q&A I had with your fellow readers.

Presented in conjunction with the Political Voices Network.

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Since March, I have hoped the United States would rise to the occasion and display our highest and best capacity to limit the negative impact of the pandemic.

Instead, my life-long determination to be optimistic and positive has been sorely tested at nearly every twist.

Taking an ax cut at this same theme, Megan McArdle writes in the Washington Post with clarity and a justified lack of fear of being contradicted:

Yes, Trump was by far the worst bungler in this whole affair. But there is plenty of blame to go around: the public health folks who told us not to wear masks; the journalists who told us to worry about the flu or racism or anything except the pandemic spreading out of China; the politicians who didn’t pass enough stimulus; the skeptics who refused to revise their skepticism when new evidence emerged; the refuseniks who treated their own noncompliance as proof that distancing measures can’t work; anyone who treated a forecasting model as a proven fact; everyone who blessed some gatherings while condemning others; the Republicans who humored Trump; the teachers unions and governments that pushed unnecessary, damaging school closures; everyone, left or right, who turned this into a political battle with their fellow Americans, rather than a desperate fight our country needed to unite to win.

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Surely, things are not so dire in the land of smart and the home of the determined?

As I report and read on the private, charitable, federal, state, and local efforts at addressing the pandemic, I am constantly in search of the all-stars of ingenuity whose examples can be copied and replicated.

Riddle me this: Who will win these awards?

* Best overall performance by a governor in unifying the state and balancing lives and jobs.

* Best public service announcements that actually change behavior.

* Best utilization of living former elected officials, including retired presidents.

* Best example of teachers unions putting the interests of children above their own.

* Best tracking and tracing app.

* Best state testing regimen providing availability, access, and accuracy.

* Best study definitively explaining how the virus is transmitted.

* Best overall news coverage respecting the points of view of all Americans.

* Best moment where Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell set aside party, tactics, and strategy to work for the interests of all of the American people

* Best instance of Trump administration transparency over White House COVID-19 infections.

* Best example of when Donald Trump unambiguously subordinated his own interests to those of the people he serves.

I will be the master of ceremonies of an awards program announcing the winners this Thursday.

Stay tuned for the details.

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For those who worried that fealty to Donald Trump would cause state and local Republican officials to try to overturn the will of the American people, Friday was a reassuring day.

Michigan:

“We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election," Senate Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield said in a joint readout. “Michigan’s certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation. Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan's electoral votes. These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections.” (Politico)

Arizona: 

Maricopa County's election results are certified and final.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the elected body that oversees elections in Arizona's most populous county, voted unanimously on Friday to approve the results of this month's general election.

The majority-Republican supervisors did so after spending hours on Friday afternoon asking election officials who oversaw the voting process numerous questions related to election fairness, security, technology and oversight.

Before the vote, the supervisors, four Republicans and one Democrat, said they were satisfied with the answers.

Republican chairman Clint Hickman said there was no proof of fraud or misconduct in the election and he was confident that voters were provided with a fair election. He said that he "learned a lot about the character of people in this community" on the matter, and he would not "violate the law or deviate from my own moral compass," even though he said that's what some had pressured him to do.

"No matter how you voted, this election was administered with integrity, transparency, and most importantly in accordance with Arizona state laws," Hickman said. (AZCentral)

Let freedom ring.

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Two important, non-hysterical anti-anti-Trump conservative voices nudging Mr. Trump out the door:

Gary Abernathy unambiguously telling the president to pack.

The Wall Street Journal ed board runs through the Rudy fraud allegations and then basically instructs the incumbent to call the movers:

Republicans have given Mr. Trump ample leeway to prove his case for ballot fraud, and we’ve approached his claims with an open mind. But if there’s no evidence beyond general innuendo, the President’s charges of a stolen election will undermine public faith in the electoral system. That won’t serve the country, his party, or his supporters, who will sour on politics and in the process cede elections to the left. None of this will serve Mr. Trump, his legacy, or whatever hope he has to run again in 2024.

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ESSENTIAL READING

This New York Times paragraph (especially its last sentence):

Mr. Biden has spoken repeatedly in recent days about the urgent need for Congress to agree on a new stimulus spending package, saying that Senate Republicans should drop their opposition to a measure that House Democrats passed last month. He has made no public suggestion that Democrats should change their position and offer new compromise legislation.

This Carl Hulse outlooker on how Biden nominees might be treated by a Mitch McConnell-controlled Senate, with a more jaundiced (and accurate) view than some other takes have taken.

HALPERIN SAYS: On the one hand, it is impossible to imagine a newly elected president struggling to get a preponderance of nominees through the Senate and struggling to pass any major pieces of legislation (especially during an inherited crisis).  On the other hand, in these unprecedented times, it is currently impossible to forecast any other outcome, pending more data.

Don't compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative – Joe Biden, always