Public Pressure and Lawsuits Kept USPS From Handing Trump the Election (Dana)
The author writes, “There was … widespread concern that thousands of mailed ballots — in an election where a record-shattering 65.5 million people voted absentee due to the coronavirus pandemic — might not arrive in time. History might hinge on some mundane postal delays. But in the end, those delays did not result in thousands of ballots getting lost in the mail or arriving too late to count. Postal workers doing final sweeps of their systems have found just a few ballots — in most cases, they number in the double digits — that were lost or left behind. What made the difference, experts say, was enormous public pressure, multiple lawsuits, scrutiny from the courts, urgent efforts to urge voters to mail their ballots as early as possible, and extraordinary measures taken by the agency itself and its legions of dedicated postal workers.”
How the NYPD Obtains People’s Personal Data With No Oversight (Dan)
From the New York Post: “The NYPD has used tens of thousands of questionable subpoenas over the last decade to intimidate private companies into handing over the personal information of cops and civilians alike — all with no oversight from the city or the courts, the Post has found. While the vast majority of subpoenas in New York State — and across the country — require the signature of a judge or the blessing of a grand jury, the New York City Council empowered the department nearly a century ago to issue such commands to force unwilling cops to produce internal records or appear at disciplinary hearings. But the NYPD has quietly used them outside the department to intimidate phone companies, banks, Internet service providers and social media giants into handing over the personal information of those it’s investigating, including private citizens and journalists — even when cases are not criminal in nature.”
Trump’s Media Favorites Battle for the Trump Trophy (Reader Jim)
The author writes, “MAGA nation may be turning its back on Fox News — but it doesn’t know where to go. Parler, the ‘free speech’-friendly version of Twitter, saw a massive explosion of growth right after the election — only to be hit with a viral claim that the social media platform was owned by George Soros. QAnon supporters revolted against Newsmax, a conservative cable channel owned by Trump confidant Chris Ruddy, after the network used a photo of a man wearing a hoodie to describe a white nationalist. Nationalist blogs began running hit pieces on Fox News, claiming its viewership was down, and Trump, reportedly mulling his own media enterprise when he leaves the White House, claimed that its ratings had ‘collapsed,’ because ‘they forgot the Golden Goose.’”
Legal Discrimination Stymies Economic Outcomes for Women (Dana)
From Yale News: “Despite decades of progress in addressing gender discrimination, women across the globe face persistent legal barriers to participating in the economy on an equal basis with men, according to a study co-authored by Yale economist Pinelopi Goldberg. The study, based on the World Bank Group’s newly compiled ‘Women, Business and the Law’ (WBL) database, provides the first global picture of how discriminatory laws continue to restrict women’s economic opportunities. It documents large and persistent legal gender inequalities, particularly with regards to equal pay and parenting.”
Defying Governor’s Orders, County Leader Says She’ll Celebrate Thanksgiving ‘With as Many Family and Friends as I Can Find’ (Sue)
From the Oregonian: “In defiance of governor’s orders, one of Clackamas County’s top elected officials plans to host a large dinner in her Molalla area home on Thanksgiving despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Tootie Smith, who will start her term as chairwoman of the Clackamas Board of County Commissioners in January, posted the following to Facebook Saturday: ‘My family will celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with as many family and friends as I can find. Gov Brown is WRONG to order otherwise.’ Smith, a Republican, is rebuffing a list of public health restrictions announced by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown Friday, including limiting social gatherings to no more than six people from a maximum of two separate households.”
Japanese Town Deploys ‘Monster Wolf’ Robots to Deter Wild Bears (Peg)
The author writes, “A Japanese town has deployed robot wolves to scare off bears that have become an increasingly dangerous nuisance in the countryside. The town of Takikawa, on the northern island of Hokkaido, purchased and installed a pair of the robots after bears were found roaming neighborhoods in September. City officials said there have been no bear encounters since. … The robot called Monster Wolf consists of a shaggy body on four legs, a blond mane and fierce, glowing-red eyes. When its motion detectors are activated, it moves its head, flashes lights and emits 60 different sounds ranging from wolfish howling to machinery noises.”
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