GOOD MORNING DC: Countdown To January 6

Good Morning DC! Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer takes you to the heart of the stories that matter. 

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Good Morning, DC!

Nancy Pelosi is narrowly re-elected Speaker of the House. The outcome of the vote is far from ideal for Pelosi, who realizes that the progressives now hold more power over the House than ever. In this instance, the Squad got her a narrow lead, but in any other, they may choose not to if it clashes with the progressive agenda. Democrats now do not have only the Republicans to worry about. The Squad, too, can obstruct the Biden agenda in the next four years. 

The Biden presidency hangs in the balance. Georgia Senate runoffs are heating up, with Trump going all in to re-elect David Perdu and Kelly Loeffler. Kamala Harris campaigned yesterday for Democratic candidates Ossoff and Warnock in Savannah, Georgia, and Biden is going today to Atlanta to campaign on their behalf. 

Trump's phone conversation with GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is now available for everyone to review at the WaPo website. Raffensperger recorded the president, adding more to the radical transparency of a political reality show. 

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted: I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the "ballots under table" scam, ballot destruction, out of state "voters", dead voters, and more. He has no clue!

GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded: "Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out".

The truth indeed came out and nonetheless through Washington Post. 

“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said. “There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated,” the President stated his intention.

In summary, Trump is convinced, despite the official count, that he won Georgia. Secretary of State told him that he disagrees with the numbers and info Trump has. The conversation went nowhere. Either Trump knows more than Brad Raffensperger believes, or Trump is coercing him into submission. Surrounded by his legal team, the President told Raffensperger something to the effect, you know that declaring wrong election results is a criminal act, I am telling you that now. The President is likely using intimidation tactics to get a recount, but if he actually had some hard evidence, he would not need to do any of that. 

Republican Party is going to split. The establishment and Never Trumpers vs. Trump. The battlefield lines that were drawn in the 2016 election only got harder and deeper. Will the Republican party return to Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnel's party, or will it become the Trump dynasty? Mitch McConnel believes that he holds all the cards. 

On January 6th, 12 Senators will object to the electoral vote. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas made a statement that he will "not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes on January 6."  

Paul Ryan, who privately has been saying during the impeachment that the Republicans need Trump base, made his stance on the objection clear: "It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans. The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to American Democracy.”

Historically, what the group led by Senator Ted Cruz will do is not a new phenomenon. In 2005, the Democrats objected to Ohio's votes for George Bush. Before that, there was only one other instance of objection. In 1969, the objection was made based on the "faithless elector" problem. It's up to legal scholars to interpret the 1877 Electoral Count Act that was adopted to give Members of Congress a method for objection to electoral votes, but if the Democrats who are now calling for public shaming and boycott of 12 senators deemed the Electoral Count Act unconstitutional, why did they resort to it in 2005 and why didn't they change it if a possibility of objection poses a threat to democracy? 

The election issue is that the election winner never has the time or wants to reform the outdated electoral system. Why? It would show the world that American democracy is far from perfect and that many problems the American leadership is pointing to around the world exist in our own yard. 

Finally, the news of the day is that the judge ruled that the UK will not extradite Julian Assange to the USA.

"The judge’s reasoning was hardly a ringing endorsement of either Wikileaks or the function of journalism. But the extradition outcome is the right one and I hope the US will now drop the pursuit of Assange (and @Snowden) and let them get on with their lives", Alan Rusbridger, Editor in Chief of the Guardian, said on Twitter. 

The Judge finds the US prison system too inhumane to rule extradition. Something to ponder on, given that the prison reform is long overdue. 

A new variant of coronavirus is out of control in Britain. PM Boris Johnson will address the nation in a televised address at 8 PM London time ( 3 PM EST). A No10 spokesman said that the spread of the new variant of COVID-19 has led to rapidly escalating case numbers across the UK.
“The Prime Minister is clear that further steps must now be taken to arrest this rise and to protect the NHS and save lives.”
Parliament will be recalled today to sit on Wednesday.

                                                                                                            ***

#GoodMorningDC takes you to the heart of the stories that matter. Get the most important stories of the day through the eyes of the editor-in-chief, Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer. Delivered to your inbox every morning. 

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