‘What a schmuck I was’ / ‘Appalling’ / A Google union

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‘What a schmuck I was.’ In a phone call leaked to reporters, President Trump can be heard describing himself that way twice—regretting his support for Brian Kemp’s election as governor of Georgia …
 … and pressing Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in that state’s election.
An AP analysis dismantles Trump’s “made-up claims.”
Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin: Trump’s call “merits nothing less than a criminal investigation.”
The call constituted a crime “far worse than … Watergate,” according to a reporter who should know.

‘Appalling.’ Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger says the recording means no lawmaker “considering objecting to the election results” can “do so with a clean conscience.” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Historian Heather Cox Richardson*: “The only more thorough attack on our democracy would involve the military” …
 … and, in fact, all 10 living former U.S. defense secretaries have published a letter warning the president not to involve the military in his unfounded attempt to cling to power.
Anecdotal evidence suggests Trump is considering leaving the country the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Georgia on the line. Voters head to the polls Tuesday to wrap up an election that will determine who controls the Senate under President Joe Biden …
 … and that constitutes a kind of do-over for Gov. Kemp vs. the Democratic firebrand he defeated, Stacey Abrams.

‘We don’t want to lose our jobs … but the threat of this virus is greater than that fear.’ Some Chicago public school teachers were refusing to return to their classrooms today.
A veterinary professor offers tips for helping dogs and cats adjust when their humans return to work.
Rules delayed by the pandemic now require Chicago bosses to give employees two weeks’ notice on work schedules.
Environmental journalist Emily Atkin hails what she calls “the sexiest thing in the coronavirus stimulus bill Congress passed late last month.”

A Google union.? More than 200 employees of the company and its parent, Alphabet, are aiming to unionize have unionized.
Their declaration in The New York Times: “Alphabet … has a responsibility … to make the world a better place. As Alphabet workers, we can help build that world.”
Tech journalist Craig Silverman: “Facebook’s scale and lack of human customer support are completely unprecedented.”

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■ And thanks, Mike Braden and David Meyersonfor improving this edition.


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