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Tuesday's Mini-Report, 11.17.20

Today's edition of quick hits.


Today's edition of quick hits:

* Team Trump in court, Part I: "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Trump campaign's claim that Philadelphia violated state election law in the way it handled observers at a city ballot counting center."

* Team Trump in court, Part II: "President Donald Trump's campaign on Tuesday sought to add some star power to its flailing legal effort to contest the election results, deploying former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to this small central Pennsylvania city [Williamsport] to argue that the state's election tallies should be thrown out because they're tainted by fraud."

* On a related note: "Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has helped oversee a string of failed court challenges to President Trump's defeat in the election, asked the president's campaign to pay him $20,000 a day for his legal work, multiple people briefed on the matter said. The request stirred opposition from some of Mr. Trump's aides and advisers, who appear to have ruled out paying that much, and it is unclear how much Mr. Giuliani will ultimately be compensated."

* A humanitarian crisis looms: "Iota made landfall in Nicaragua late Monday as a powerful and 'extremely dangerous' Category 4 hurricane, bringing with it catastrophic winds and life-threatening storm surge, forecasters said."

* Making it official: "The Pentagon is reducing troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 by Jan. 15, acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said Tuesday, a move that the Trump administration has signaled for months."

* It's about damn time: "Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued the state's first mask mandate as coronavirus spiked in the last two weeks after months of disparaging face covering restrictions as 'feel good' measures. Reynolds, a Republican, announced Monday evening that all people above the age of 2 were required to wear face coverings indoors as the state's health care system was being 'pushed to the brink.'"

* He'll do plenty of damage before exiting: "The Trump administration is asking oil and gas firms to pick spots where they want to drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as it races to open the pristine wilderness to development and lock in drilling rights before President-elect Joe Biden takes office."

* And speaking of pre-inaugural damage: "President Trump asked senior advisers in an Oval Office meeting on Thursday whether he had options to take action against Iran's main nuclear site in the coming weeks. The meeting occurred a day after international inspectors reported a significant increase in the country's stockpile of nuclear material, four current and former U.S. officials said on Monday."

* In related Iran news: "The Trump administration is preparing to designate Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi insurgents a terrorist organization before leaving office in January, fueling fears the move will disrupt international aid efforts and upend United Nations-brokered peace efforts between the Shiite movement and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, according to several diplomatic sources."

* This story out of Minnesota really is extraordinary: "Hours after Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, the DFL called on him to resign from his leadership post, saying he mishandled an outbreak among the GOP ranks."

* It's a shame what happened to RCP: "Real Clear Politics has been catering to campaign obsessives since 2000. It pitches itself as a 'trusted, go-to source' for unbiased polling. The Trump era changed its tone, and funding sources."

* Given the circumstances, Stanford's statement was awfully mild: "Stanford University appeared to distance itself from Dr. Scott Atlas, a prominent member of the Trump administration's coronavirus task force, following his remarks that residents of Michigan should 'rise up' against the state's new coronavirus restrictions."

See you tomorrow.