New Hampshire’s leftward move for House could be undermined by its shift to right in the legislature

Our project to calculate the 2020 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide ventures to New England, where we have new numbers for both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. You can find our complete data set here, which we’re updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available.

New Hampshire has usually been competitive in presidential contests, but it shifted sharply to the left this year at the top of the ticket. Joe Biden took the Granite State 53-45, which was a big improvement over Hillary Clinton’s narrow 48-47 victory in 2016, and he won both of its congressional districts. (The state went in the other direction further down the ballot, which we’ll explore in the future when we release parallel data for legislative districts.)

The 1st Congressional District in the eastern part of the state has been one of the swingiest seats in the nation for years, but like the state as a whole, it was friendly turf for Team Blue this time. The district bounced from a tiny 50-49 edge for Barack Obama in 2012 to a just-as-slender 48-47 Trump win four years ago, but Biden carried it by a relatively comfortable 52-46 margin.

The 1st has also been especially volatile in House races, though Democrats have also done better here in recent years. Democrat Carol Shea-Porter flipped it in a 2006 shocker, but she lost her bid for a third term to Republican Frank Guinta during the 2010 red wave. Shea-Porter won it back from Guinta in 2012 as Obama was carrying the district, but Guinta returned in 2014 to unseat her. Shea-Porter, however, came back again in 2016 to beat Guinta during their fourth matchup, despite Trump’s slim advantage.

That was the last time, though, that either Shea-Porter or Guinta appeared on the ballot. Shea-Porter decided not to run again in 2018, and fellow Democrat Chris Pappas decisively won the contest to succeed her. Pappas, who is the state’s first gay member of Congress, won reelection against Republican Matt Mowers 51-46 this year in a race that attracted no serious outside spending.

The 2nd District in western and northern New Hampshire, meanwhile, has traditionally leaned more toward Democrats than the 1st. Biden carried the district 54-45, which was also a decisive shift to the left from Clinton’s 49-46 victory.

Republican incumbent Charlie Bass lost this seat in the 2006 blue wave against Democrat Paul Hodes, but he narrowly won it back in 2010 against Democrat Annie Kuster after Hodes left to unsuccessfully run for the Senate. Kuster, though, defeated Bass in their 2012 rematch, and she decisively held on during the 2014 GOP wave. Kuster prevailed 50-46 in 2016 against an underfunded Republican as Clinton was carrying her seat by a similar margin, but she had no trouble in 2018 or 2020 in successive matchups with Republican Steve Negron.

While Granite State Democrats performed well in federal elections this year, though, the upcoming round of redistricting could cost them a seat. Not only was Republican Gov. Chris Sununu decisively reelected, the GOP also retook control of the state House and Senate two years after losing both chambers.

Republicans likewise controlled the redistricting process after the 2010 elections (due then to their legislative supermajorities), but ironically, their success that year constrained their ambitions. Both Guinta and Bass had just flipped seats, and since there was no way for Republican mapmakers to shore up one congressman without hurting the other, they made only slight adjustments to the district lines. Incumbent protection is no longer a concern for Republicans this time, though, so we could see more aggressive changes to a congressional map that has largely remained unaltered since 1881.

We’ll turn next to Massachusetts, where Republicans last won a House race in 1994. Biden took the Bay State 66-32, which was also a shift to the left from Clinton’s 61-33 win. Biden, like Clinton, also carried all nine congressional districts. (You can find a link to our map here.)

The only seat where Biden didn’t hit 60% of the vote was the 9th District on Cape Cod and the South Shore, but he still came close. Biden won 58-40 here, an improvement over Clinton’s 53-42 performance, while Democratic Rep. Bill Keating won his sixth term 62-36. Biden’s best showing in the state by far was in Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s 7th District, a diverse Boston-area constituency that he took 85-13.

The next round of redistricting is likely to produce another favorable map for Democrats. While Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s term will last through the start of 2023, Democrats maintained supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature, allowing them to override the governor’s vetoes.

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Janet Yellen, with an extensive résumé, poised to become first woman to serve as treasury secretary

Joe Biden is expected to tap economist Janet Yellen to be his treasury secretary, poising her to be the first woman to ever hold the Cabinet-level position should she be confirmed.

Yellen, who is known as a consensus builder, is also a time-tested veteran of multiple administrations and a familiar figure among other central bankers around the world. 

In her most recent public role, Yellen served as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014-2018, overseeing a record-long expansion of the economy that pushed unemployment to its lowest rate in half a century, according to the New York Times. Also the first woman to hold the position of Fed chair, Yellen had hoped to serve another term, but Donald Trump predictably looked at her track record of success and replaced her with someone he hoped would be more of a patsy in bending to his wishes.

A former academic who taught at University of California, Berkeley, Yellen knows her way around Washington. Before serving in the Obama and Trump administrations, she also served as a economic adviser in Bill Clinton’s White House.

The Times writes that Yellen has met with some criticism from progressives who perhaps hoped someone with the aggressive instincts of an Elizabeth Warren would helm the Treasury. But the Times also credits Yellen with paying “consistent, careful attention to inequality and labor market outcomes,” even when it hasn’t been popular among lawmakers.

In fact, Massachusetts Sen. Warren praised exactly that track record in endorsing the pick, calling Yellen “smart, tough, and principled.”   

“As one of the most successful Fed Chairs ever, she has stood up to Wall Street banks, including holding Wells Fargo accountable for cheating working families,” Warren tweeted Monday. “I’d look forward to working with Secretary Yellen to strengthen our economy, tackle inequality, and protect consumers.”

Yellen herself has said she was attracted to becoming an economist as a vehicle to improving other people’s lives. “I care about people,” she said in a 2013 interview with New York University economics professor Simon Bowmaker. “I discovered that economics was of enormous relevance to our lives and had the potential to make the world a better place.”

Yellen is also viewed as a pick with bipartisan appeal after receiving backing from lawmakers of both parties during her confirmation as Fed Chair. 

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Michigan science professor on administrative leave following bizarre COVID-19 remarks

A science professor in Michigan is on administrative leave. Why is this newsworthy? Well, the student newspaper, The Torch, did a pretty deep dive and covered comments made on a Twitter account under his full name about the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as a number of slurs that allegedly appeared on the same account. According to screenshots, Professor Thomas Brennan allegedly tweeted that COVID-19 was a “stunt” to form “a leftist new world order.” According to MLive, during a virtual meeting for Ferris State University’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Education department in August, Brennan reportedly commented that “COVID-19 death rates in the United States were exaggerated, and the pandemic and rioting were leftist stunts.” 

According to The Torch, the Twitter account also allegedly tweeted bizarre and horrifying remarks like “Covid19 is another jewish revolution” as well as homophobic and racial slurs. An anonymous student in a class of Brennan’s spoke to The Torch and reportedly told the outlet that the professor talks about conspiracy theories related to cellphones during class time. Brennan has shared a statement to his website, and it’s a doozy.

In a statement on his website, dated Nov. 23, Brennan characterized the student newspaper’s article as a “hit piece” and said he is not a racist, science-denier, or anti-Semite. In the statement, he clarified that while he does not believe the pandemic is a hoax, he does believe the “severity is being exaggerated by revolutionary leftists in the media and government who ‘never let a good crisis go to waste.’” Lovely. He went on to describe vivid anxiety about mandatory vaccines and not being able to buy groceries at the market without evidence of receiving one. 

In terms of racial slurs, Brennan wrote that he is “not racist against black people,” added that he loves and respects them, and argued, “the ’n-word’ is a mind-control spell designed to make us hate each other.” He went on to say that he used the word in order to “neutralize” its power. Yikes!

In speaking to local outlet wzzm 13, Brennan explained that he didn’t use the N-word “lightly,” and suggested that we’re “heading towards such a crescendo of madness where we’re about to all be enslaved because of this COVID crisis.” He added to the outlet that he said “some hyperbolic things to draw attention to what it is I wanted to say.”

In a message to the university from FSU President David Eisler, Eisler stresses: “We strongly reject these statements, condemn them and will not tolerate them. We have worked diligently to become a more diverse university, and these statements demonstrate vividly how one person can set back the work of many.” Brennan has been on administrative leave since Nov. 19, though it’s unclear whether the leave is specific to the alleged Twitter remarks, the COVID-19 remarks during the August meeting, both, or neither. 

More than 250,000 Americans have died due to the virus, unemployment numbers are skyrocketing, families are facing evictions and food insecurity, and the Trump administration continues to flounder. What can we do? Wear masks, wash our hands, and practice social distancing as much as possible. Also—support your local newspapers, including ones run by students. 

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New York Democrats win supermajorities, but Cuomo remains a powerful obstacle to progressive reform

Democrats in New York’s Senate appeared to lock down their 42nd seat on Tuesday, giving them a two-thirds supermajority for at least the next two years that could have a major impact on how the state is governed, including how district lines are drawn for the next decade.

Democrats went into the election needing to net two seats in the Senate to achieve supermajority status, which they’ve long enjoyed in the Assembly. Election night returns, which did not include absentee ballots, prematurely showed Republicans ahead in many races, but as mail votes were counted, Democrats surged into leads across the state.

With AP calls and candidate concessions (including two by Republicans on Tuesday, one in the 40th District and the other in the 46th), Democrats have secured 40 seats and have wide leads in two others, the 39th and 60th. Party leaders, who celebrated the anticipated milestone on Monday, could yet see their final tally grow to 43 if the 50th District, where Republicans hold a three-point lead, breaks their way.

These legislative supermajorities would, at least in theory, allow Democratic lawmakers to override—or at least threaten to override—vetoes by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has long stood in the way of progressive reform despite having been elected as a Democrat himself. Cuomo, predictably, acted blasé about the development, noting that he still holds tremendous sway over the all-important state budget.

Legislators could, however, still use their newfound power to circumvent Cuomo’s wishes in other areas, most notably redistricting. With a two-thirds vote, Democrats could bypass a 2014 amendment to the state constitution that, under the pretense of establishing an independent commission—a judge literally ordered that the word “independent” be stricken from the amendment’s description because it was nothing of the sort—was actually designed to ensure Republicans would have a say in redistricting no matter how small their minority might shrink.

If they remain united, therefore, Democrats in Albany could pass new congressional and legislative maps entirely on their own. That would allow them to produce anything from extreme partisan gerrymanders to districts designed to protect incumbents to genuinely fair maps.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins recently suggested that she intends to keep both partisan and civic aims in mind, saying at a Monday press conference, “We will do the right thing. I believe that we will be able to draw up lines that are, you know, contiguous and rational, and still be able to achieve a Democratic majority.” Given New York’s strong blue lean, however, almost any maps short of the sort of Republican gerrymander currently in place should consistently yield majorities for Democrats.

The big question, of course, is whether Democrats will in fact be able to stick together. One obvious problem is Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder, a conservative Democrat who for many years caucused with Republicans and was only welcomed back into the Democratic fold last year. But beyond Felder or any other troublesome members, there remains … the budget.

As Democratic Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, who has served in the chamber for half a century, put it in a highly informative article by the Albany Times Union‘s Edward McKinley, “Even when we’re not doing the budget, when people are thinking of giving the governor a hard time, they always have to remember what the governor can do in the budget.” Given Cuomo’s notorious penchant for vengefulness, Democrats who cross him on redistricting—or any other matter—could pay a dear price when it comes time for what McKinley dubbed the “sweepstakes underpinning the state’s roughly $170 billion annual spending.”

If the entire party stands against the governor, Democrats might find safety in numbers. But Cuomo’s ability to strike back at his enemies, real and perceived, can never be underestimated, and that’s something lawmakers won’t ever forget.

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Mnuchin, McConnell pour kerosene on smoldering U.S. economy, torching millions of lives

It’s been 192 days since the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act, and 56 days since the House passed their compromise $2.2 trillion bill, both of which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take up. McConnell sent his Republican Senate on Thanksgiving vacation last Thursday, after having spent the post-election week confirming unqualified Trump judges.

The one Trump administration official who at one point seemed to give a damn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, has reverted to Republican form. He’s sabotaging the economy right alongside his boss, cutting off emergency lending programs administered by Treasury and the Federal Reserve and trying to claw back uncommitted funds. To be an even bigger dick, Mnuchin is going to put the $455 billion he’s clawing back into the General Fund, requiring future Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to get congressional authorization to use it.

This will hamstring both Yellen and the Fed in the future. That’s in part because it’s running out of tools to juice the economy. It can’t do anything with interest rates since they’re already at zero. It can’t give to the people to boost consumer spending. Top economists are pleading with Congress to do just that. More than 125 economists organized by the Economic Security Project have written an open letter to Congress calling for more direct payments to families. Now.

“We urge policymakers to use all the tools at their disposal to revitalize the economy, including direct cash payments,” the economists wrote, “which are one of the quickest, most equitable and most effective ways to get families and the economy back on track.” The one round of checks that Congress released under the CARES Act, they write, boosted spending the most among the lowest-income Americans. It was an “essential tool” that kept millions out of poverty for the first months of the crisis. A second round, “especially if targeted to the bottom half of households,” would help support the most vulnerable low-income families, and particularly households of color. Two more rounds of direct payments, they write, could keep 14 million people out of poverty. In addition to the stimulus checks, they’re calling for reupping the enhanced federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that will expire at the end of December, and provide state and local aid as well as funding for nutrition and child care programs.

It’s not just economists. In what should be required reading for every goddamned Republican senator, former ICU nurse Janet Campbell-Vincent details just how desperate healthcare workers are right now, how critically they need help. Here’s what she’d tell McConnell on his Thanksgiving vacation: “I wish medical workers could take vacation days, too. I ran out of those months ago, when I contracted Covid-19 treating patients in the ICU. I’m exhausted. I’m angry. I’m sick of watching patients die. I’m tired of comforting families feeling guilty over the birthday party that cost their loved one’s life.”

She just quit her job providing direct patient care because, she writes, “Without sufficient personal protective equipment and staffed hospital beds, a national plan for testing and sufficient relief for those hardest hit by the virus, including hospitals, I didn’t have the strength to continue.” She speculates that her colleagues are reaching that breaking point as well, and warns of a “mass exodus” from nursing. “Our leaders have left it up to medical workers to save American lives, but they’ve denied us the resources to do so,” she writes. “I can’t fathom why they’re on vacation when there is so much work to do.”

“Trump, McConnell and other Republicans must get back to work and meet with the Democrats to pass a coronavirus relief package as soon as possible,” she says. “They also need to step up their counteroffers to Democrats on what a Covid-19 stimulus package will look like.” This is on McConnell, and clearly you don’t have to be a political junkie at Daily Kos to see that. The problem is thus far McConnell is perfectly fine with having the blood of hundreds of thousands of people on his hands, and having the weight of millions of people going hungry and losing their livelihoods and their homes on his head. He’s fine with the total destruction of the economy as long as he can troll the Democrats.

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Florida Republican wins by 32 votes after last minute $550k funds dubious spoiler candidate

Long before Donald Trump rode on top of the conspiracy theory-laden, QAnon fabricated deep state, Hatter tea party wave into office, the conservative movement stoking the unsubstantiated conspiracy theories of voter fraud perpetrated on a massive scale. Trump’s spent the past year very transparently focused on trying to figure out a way to harness the myth of Democratic voter fraud while promoting the usual anti-Democracy voter suppression techniques and laws that the GOP has been using for decades.

But, as CNN reports, so far there is only one election that shows any of the markings of bad faith machinations. Florida’s District 37 race between Democratic incumbent Jose Javier Rodriguez and Republican Ileana Garcia was decided by 32 votes, with Garcia being announced as the winner. I lied. There was a third candidate: unaffiliated mystery man Alex Rodriguez, who pulled in 6,377 votes. But, as numerous news outlets have reported, Rodriguez—Alex, not Jose Javier—seems to have done virtually nothing to run, but seems to have gotten all kinds of financial support from a mystery political action committee that had dark money infusions of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last couple of weeks leading up to Election Day. Oh, also, Alex Rodriguez—not Jose Javier Rodriguez—had all kinds of flyers sent out where he espoused a ton of Democratic platforms. Pretty confusing, eh? Well, definitely more than 32 votes confusing.

Jose Javier Rodriguez has made sure to point this out to media outlets, saying this mystery Alex Rodriguez, a 55-year-old mechanic who suddenly threw his name into the ring and then never campaigned, clearly syphoned away votes. Javier Rodriguez has conceded his Miami-Dade County seat, but called for an investigation into these shenanigans “In order to achieve that, I believe this election requires a full investigation so that those who may have violated the law are held to account and so that such tactics are not used in future elections.”

Whether this shadowy third candidate cost Javier Rodriguez his seat is hard to know (see not hard to know), but considering that the man who continues to refuse appearing in public—this is a supposed candidate for state senate—ran on a platform of climate change and fixing health care, it feels pretty clear who they were appealing to. CNN reports that a “mysterious company called Proclivity, Inc. contributed $550,000 to a pair of newly formed political action committees in the state.” Those action committees, set up one month before Election Day, received this money the day after coming into existence.

The two Florida PACs that received the Proclivity contributions were both registered on the same date and time — October 2 at 11:34 am, according to Florida Division of Elections documents.
One day later, one of the PACs — Our Florida PC — got $370,000 from Proclivity; the other — The Truth PC — got $180,000.

These PACs also sent money to similar spoiler-style candidates throughout Florida. Strange, eh? The two PACs were chaired by young women that no one has heard of before, and appear to be connected to a young Republican political strategist named Alex Alvarado. That’s peculiar. According to CNN, Alvarado’s business was paid $267,000 for political work. 

Side note: CNN has not been able to contact or get an interview out of any of the people involved in this sketchy situation. The Washington Post also had a hard time finding the mysterious Alex Rodriguez.* 

Same last name right next to one another, similar platform…

When Miami WPLG Local 10 reporter Glenna Milberg attempted to find Alex Rodriguez at the address he wrote down “when he qualified to run,” she found that he didn’t live there and had never lived there, and no one seemed to know who he was. She then went to his place of business, where a man answered as Alex’s “business partner,” saying that Rodriguez would not be back until the following day. Turns out that guy was Alex Rodriguez. Peculiar. Milberg then tracked down a third-party candidate like Rodriguez and he too was super dubious. You can watch that report below. CNN says that Rodriguez was charged with two counts of “felony grand theft,” to which he plead guilty to in 2012.

Alex Rodriguez telling a reporter he isn’t Alex Rodriguez.

The Miami Herald reports that prosecutors have opened an investigation into Alex Rodriguez, and have also had a bit of a time locating him as they have some questions. Alex Rodriguez is not the only “ghost candidate” to appear in close races on the ballots in Florida. 

In State Senate District 9, Democrat Patricia Sigman lost to a Republican by just 2 percent of the vote. No one ever saw the supposedly liberal, third candidate.

“She had no website. She never participated in any of the debates or forums, never showed up anywhere. She wasn’t even registered to vote until she filed,” Sigman said.

WPLG’s Milberg then found a similar candidate, Celso D. Alfonso, who also ran. The similarities between these magical candidates are “striking” says the Washington Post:

Both men were registered as Republicans in 2018, and both qualified for this year’s election on the same day, with hand-delivered checks time-stamped within minutes of one another, according to the Herald. Their listed email addresses are nearly identical, too.

Alfonso denied having ads, though he did and they were sent out by the same mysterious PAC that sent out Rodriguez’s fliers. When presented by this fact, Alfonso said he paid for the fliers himself. When the reporter mentioned to him that that’s not what the filings say, Alfonso just said “No. It’s not now. I’m sorry, now it’s over,” seemingly attempting to plead both ignorance and the idea that since the election is over that was all there was to say. 

And as for Proclivity, Inc.? It seems it was registered in Delaware in 2019 by a man no one can get in touch with named Richard Alexander. The only paper trail seems to lead to a mailbox in an Atlanta strip mall. 

The good news is that President-elect Joe Biden has finally been able to move ahead with the important work of transitioning into the White House. There is a lot of work to be done and the current lame duck president has been a corrupt lame duck president for four years already. The current public health and economic crisis are symptoms of his leadership. The bad news is that the Trump administration has always been simply the most caustic and coarse versions of what the Republican Party stands for, and as crass and egregious as Trump may seem, he’s just saying what Republican officials and operatives really believe.

Watch the local report.

*Not the baseball player.

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Delicious. Investors celebrate Biden’s rise, Trump’s demise as Dow surges past 30,000

In anticipation of Donald Trump’s now-certain ouster, the Dow Jones surged past 30,000 during trading on Tuesday for the first time ever. The headlines are already precious. 

“Wall St. trades in record territory as Biden transition begins,” declared The New York Times.

“Dow surges above 30,000 for first time as investors cheer transition to Biden administration,” wrote Business Insider.

“Dow soars past 30,000 mark,” The Washington Post announced, adding in a subhead, “Investors cheer as the White House transition gets under way, and Janet Yellen is tapped for treasury secretary — steps seen as progress in stabilizing the economy.”

Simply put, investors are absolutely elated over Joe Biden’s rise and Trump’s demise. And for Trump, the historic stock market news and its context were clearly a killer. Within minutes of the headlines hitting on Tuesday, Trump called a spontaneous press conference in the White House briefing room so he could rush out and take credit for the surge.

In a matter of 64 seconds (yes, 64 seconds!), Trump let Americans know that the Dow’s rise and steady vaccine advancements are all his doing. 

“I just want to congratulate everybody. The stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000, which is the highest in history. We’ve never broken 30,000,” Trump told reporters, adding, “Never been broken, that number, that’s a sacred number, nobody thought they would ever see it.” (Ah, a Trump favorite—the likes of which no one has ever seen.)

Trump claimed it was the 9th time in 2020 and the 48th time overall that his administration had broken records—it’s unclear exactly which measures for those “records” were floating around in his slippery mind.

Trump also expressed being “thrilled” over progress on the coronavirus vaccines. “Nothing like that has ever happened medically,” he added, suggesting that perhaps he’s never heard of vaccines. 

But Trump, ever magnanimous, said he simply wanted to come out and congratulate the people of the country. Then, 64 seconds later, he ran for the briefing room exits without taking a single question. 

He will be missed.

Pres. Trump took to the briefing room for one minute to praise the stock market and left without taking questions: “I just want to congratulate everybody. The stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000, which is the highest in history.” pic.twitter.com/z1KPwStbVe

— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) November 24, 2020

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Trump’s ICE is inflicting maximum pain on children and their parents to the bitter end

More than two dozen children, a number of them currently detained at migrant family jails in Pennsylvania and Texas, are facing imminent deportation along with their parents, NBC News reports. All are families who were prevented from asking for protections under the Trump administration’s asylum ban and subsequently refused to be separated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

But while that cruel asylum ban was thrown out in the court, these families, some detained for over 400 days now, continue to face deportation. ICE doesn’t have to separate or continue jailing these families. ICE doesn’t have to deport these families either. ICE is choosing to make these 28 children and their families suffer. 

“It would be fundamentally unfair to deport these children based upon rules and policies that have since been declared unlawful,” more than 60 organizations said in a letter to the Trump administration. “For many of these children, deportation is a death sentence.” NBC News reports that one child, an 11-year-old named Juan David, wrote in a letter that he fears being killed if his family is deported.

“They asked me why I am afraid to return to my country. I’m afraid that the gangsters will hurt me, that they will kill me and my mom,” Juan David said according to the report. “That’s why I ask God to soften the hearts of the asylum officers and that I can go live with my aunt and uncle in New York. I want to have a normal life, make friends, go to a normal school, be with my family, living a normal life. Here, I always have a headache and anxiety.”

The boy has been detained with his mom at a migrant family jail for over a year now. The Trump administration horrifically gave detained parents a “choice” amid the pandemic this year that was really no choice at all: either either agree to have their kids released without them, or remain jailed together indefinitely. No families agreed to be separated because no family wants to be separated.

“In July, a federal judge ruled the children should be released from the centers, potentially triggering separations, but later that order was deemed ‘unenforceable,’” the report continued. ICE has felt unaccountable to no one and abused detained people. Alexa, a child who was jailed with her mom for nearly a year, said in a video from Human Rights First that detention staff commonly ignored requests for medical attention. “They treated us less than. They did horrible things to us in that detention center.”

“Why did they say children have rights in this country when in this detention center, children don’t have rights?” -Alexa, detained by ICE for 11 months w/ #28Children now at risk for deportation She wants #SafetyForThe28. RT to share her story & help stop the deportations. pic.twitter.com/BaRjbaQVwW

— Human Rights First (@humanrights1st) November 19, 2020

These families also have support from U.S. senators including Bob Casey and Cory Booker, who wrote in a letter that “[t]hese families fled unspeakable violence in their home countries. For many of these children, deportation is tantamount to a death sentence.” They’re calling on the Trump administration to halt these deportations as advocates continue fighting for them in court. “DHS is deporting people based on orders of removal that were ILLEGALLY issued,” immigration attorney Amy Maldonado tweeted.

Among those waiting for a last-minute miracle is 14-year-old Katherin. “I don’t have the warmth of family anymore, I feel alone and sad because of everything that has happened in this place,” she said in the letter released by Casey and Booker. “I see so many people who arrive and leave and my mom and I remain here detained.

“Our lives are also in danger because of so many people who are infected with COVID-19,” she continued. “It hurts me to see that many kids like me are locked up even more because of COVID-19. They spend more time locked up in their rooms. Please, I implore you, I beg you, help us leave this place as soon as possible. I don’t want to spend another Christmas locked up here.”

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Trump doubles down on grievance tweeting following soul-crushing loss to Biden

When Donald Trump warned in 2016 that if he was elected, Americans would get sick of all the winning, he was apparently just mispronouncing the word whining. 

At the end of his ignominious tenure, Trump is going out exactly as he came in on Day One: whining. Then it was about his pique over the unfavorable comparisons between Barack Obama’s historic inaugural attendance and Trump’s paltry inaugural crowd. Now it’s all about undermining faith in the results of the presidential contest he definitively lost to President-elect Joe Biden. 

Since Election Day, Trump has ducked nearly all public appearances, preferring instead to stew on the links. Trump even skipped in-person attendance last weekend at a meeting of the world’s 20 largest economies, opting instead to effectively phone it in with a virtual video address as the world grapples with a surging global pandemic. Absolutely pathetic.

But reducing his schedule to almost nothing but golf and some cable TV coverage (which must mostly be killing him) has really reduced Trump to emoting through the projectile stream of consciousness sludge populating his Twitter feed. 

Since Election Day, The New York Times found Trump has amassed some 550 tweets, roughly three-quarters of which have been dedicated to his bogus claims of election fraud. “In total, the president attacked the legitimacy of the election more than 400 times since Election Day,” writes the Times. This handy graphic shows how Trump’s imaginary election fraud claims have dominated both his mind and his Twitter feed.

In the meantime, the country passes a new grim coronavirus milestone nearly every single day. With more than 250,000 Americans already dead on his watch, Trump has set the nation on course to lose as many Americans to COVID-19 by next spring as perished in World War II—about 405,000.

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