Capstone National Partners
#1 … 2020 Was The Most Secure Election In History
– Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, (CISA) Part of the Department of Homeland Security
Update On Where Things Stand
What’s Biden saying about all of this? Well, he thinks Trump’s refusal to concede is “an embarrassment.” And his transition team is considering legal action against the General Services Administration (the federal agency that helps oversee the transfer of power) because it has yet to officially recognize him as the winner. It’s blocking him from getting $6.3 million in funds for his transition or from receiving any presidential briefings that the president-elect would usually get. But it’s not affecting his transition plans that much. Yesterday, Biden named his longtime aide Ron Klain as his chief of staff and he hopes to announce more members of his Cabinet before Thanksgiving.”
Biden’s Math Mandate
Trump’s Crazy And Confoundingly Successful Conspiracy Theory
… It goes way back. “Donald is a believer in the big-lie theory,” one of Trump’s lawyers told Marie Brenner for a story in Vanity Fair 30 years ago this fall. “If you say something again and again, people will believe you.”
… “This election result won’t be overturned. Recounts occasionally change margins in the hundreds, never in the tens of thousands.”- Karl Rove, in the WSJ, “… “false vote-fraud claims “appear to be motivated in part because the president doesn’t like to lose, and never admits loss. … “I’m more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials, who clearly know better, are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion. It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that’s a dangerous path.”- President Obama, told Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes”
Map Du Jour
#3 A Time To Remember The Long Game
Preparing For A Biden Presidency
- “The biggest change is going be the decentralization in authority,” … We’ve been living in this environment where the White House is the center of power and the agencies don’t have independent authority to do anything of significance without the White House being engaged and obviously that’s going to change.” … notting that the switch from appealing to an “audience of one” to more Cabinet and agency involvement will be a “huge one.”
- There are an array of issues on Biden’s plate, from urgent pandemic relief and economic stimulus to climate change and infrastructure.
- “In all likelihood, President-elect Biden is set to inherit a status quo Congress and will need to navigate a delicate policy tightrope with Speaker Pelosi and Leader McConnell. … Accomplishing his more sweeping proposals could face stiff headwinds with control of the Senate still up in the air.”
Georgia On My Mind
- Administration: Elections and voting rights are likely to remain as top priorities in the next Congress, as Democrats are likely to once again push a bill to expand voting rights, protect whistleblowers, and crack down on potential conflicts of interest in the executive branch.
- Agriculture: The Committee will hash out additional coronavirus pandemic aid for farmers and ranchers, and could take action on the long-awaited reauthorization of child nutrition programs and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
- Appropriations: Big changes are under discussion by Democrats in the three-way campaign to lead the Appropriations Committee, including a return to earmarks and an end to the decades-old ban on federal funds for abortions. … Before lawmakers can focus on proposals for the 117th Congress, they first must fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal 2021; Congress faces a Dec. 11 deadline to avoid a shutdown.
- Armed Services: Strong national security, powered by innovation and competition, and paid for by a “reasonable” budget will be the overarching theme for Rep. Adam Smith’s (D-Wash.) leadership.
- Budget: A recession, a federal debt nearly the size of the U.S. economy, and a Democratic caucus divided over fiscal policy will put the pressure on Budget Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) as he preps a fiscal 2022 budget resolution in the 117th Congress.
- Education and Labor: Democrats … will renew efforts to make college more affordable and raise wages for workers in 2021, but the timing of those priorities will be determined by Congress’s pandemic response.
- Energy and Commerce: … agenda similar to last session’s: advance environmental protection and clean energy, strengthen the Affordable Care Act, and safeguarding consumers’ data privacy.
- Financial Services: Addressing the continuing housing crisis and other economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic will stay the top priority next year. Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) can be expected to continue pushing legislation to extend rental and mortgage assistance to jobless tenants and homeowners facing eviction or foreclosure. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) will likely stay in place as the committee’s top Republican, though a House GOP leadership shuffle could propel him to a conference-elected post.
- Foreign Affairs: Democrats will likely look to reshape U.S. diplomacy and presidential war authority. Three members are vying to succeed Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who lost his primary, and the outcome is uncertain.
- Homeland Security: Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) wants his Committee to have full oversight of the Homeland Security Department’s myriad of agencies, assuming jurisdiction from other powerful committees. Immigration also ranks high on his priorities list.
- Judiciary: Reining in big tech, changing immigration policies, and addressing police conduct will top the House Judiciary Committee’s to-do list with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) likely to remain chairman.
- Natural Resources: Climate change and environmental justice legislation will top the agenda for the House Committee on Natural Resources. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) intends to keep the panel’s gavel for the next term and there are no challengers.
- Oversight and Reform: Scrutinizing the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, overseeing the U.S. Postal Service, and getting an accurate Census count will continue. This will be the first full term for committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who took over after Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) died in October 2019.
- Rules: House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) wants Congress to take back its Constitutional powers in the year ahead. His committee began holding hearings on reclaiming congressional authority in the 116th Congress, but Covid-19 put plans on hold.
- Science, Space, and Technology: Most likely Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) will continue to hold onto the gavel. Johnson has pushed for more federal research activities to prepare for extreme weather events.
- Small Business: Committee members will likely have their hands full for the foreseeable future dealing with the pandemic’s unprecedented effects on local economies and businesses. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) will continue to oversee those efforts.
- Transportation and Infrastructure: Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) will return to Congress with a clear goal: reauthorize surface transportation programs. DeFazio will likely use Democrats’ $500 billion highway, transit, and rail bill from this Congress as the starting point for talks next year.
- Veterans’ Affairs: Reducing suicides and addressing the pandemic will likely be a top priority for the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
- Ways and Means: Pandemic relief will top the agenda for likely Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.). Neal and other House Democrats will also turn their attention to how they can tweak or change the 2017 Republican tax law, such as removing its $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions. Other changes that have been discussed by Democrats include increasing the corporate income tax to 28%, from 21%, and increasing the tax on those making more than $400,000 a year. But such changes will be unlikely if the Republicans hold on to the Senate.”
What’s Got People On High Alert
Guidelines For Thanksgiving
The Trickiest Vaccine In U.S. History
- By the numbers: Pfizer expects to have 50 million doses available by year-end and 1.2 billion doses available during 2021. Each regimen requires two shots, so halve those figures to determine the number of people who can be treated.
- The U.S. government has already purchased 100 million doses, with an option to buy another 500 million. That could theoretically cover America’s 255 million adults, and most of those under 18 (although Pfizer just began testing on teens and no vaccine developer has yet enrolled kids).
- And this is just for the Pfizer vaccine. Three others are in Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S.