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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine November 6, 2020

The Week makes sense of the news by curating the best of the U.S. and international media into a succinct, lively digest.

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United States
The Week Publications, Inc.
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48 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s letter

The line from the polling place spilled out the door of the town hall, curled down the driveway onto the sidewalk out front, and extended nearly out of sight before making another turn into an athletic field. There it continued to grow. People sat in portable chairs or stood scrolling their phones or chatting with spouses or friends, patiently waiting, quietly radiating intent. No matter how long it took, they were going to vote, and vote early, and their votes were going to be counted. Two volunteers walked down the line with a few dozen boxes of pizza, handing out slices. “Someone donated them,” one of the volunteers explained, squirting sanitizer into eager, outstretched hands. Inside, as people fed their paper ballots into the vote-counting machine, a veteran poll worker…

5 min.
trump, biden battle over swing states

What happened Donald Trump and Joe Biden made their closing pitches to the nation this week, hitting key battleground states as tens of millions of Americans voted early in numbers that promised the highest turnout since 1908. Biden—who holds a commanding lead in national polls and varying advantages in every swing state—hit Republican-leaning states Iowa and Georgia, while Trump played defense, trying to shore up his base with a blitz of rallies in states he won in 2016. The president campaigned in a tone of aggrievement, saying Americans would never choose “a female socialist” like vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and complaining about the media focus on “Covid, Covid, Covid.” He again warned via Twitter of “Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots” while calling for vote counting to…

3 min.
barrett takes her supreme court seat

What happened A fiercely divided Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court this week, capping a monthlong sprint by Republicans to replace the late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg and secure a 6-3 conservative majority on the nation’s top court. The vote was 52-48, with all but one Republican—Sen. Susan Collins of Maine—supporting Barrett. Democratic opposition was unanimous, making Barrett the first justice since 1869 to be confirmed without the support of a single member of the minority party. Barrett, 48, was sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas at a rally-like event at the White House, where she pledged to be independent “from Congress and the president.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Barrett’s confirmation as the culmination of his efforts to reshape the judiciary; since 2017, the Senate…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

Steve Montelongo was on his way home with his granddaughter when she spotted a car sinking into a canal in Modesto, Calif. As the girl alerted Montelongo, the 80-year-old quickly sprang into action and pulled the driver out of the car to safety. This is not the first time Montelongo has saved a life. Nearly 20 years ago, he rescued two of his elderly neighbors from their burning house. “I don’t consider myself a hero,” Montelongo said. “I was just a fella that got put in the right place at the right time.” A Canadian couple organized a unique wedding that took place at the U.S.-Canadian border so that families from both countries could attend despite Covid border restrictions. Lindsay Clowes and Alex Leckie, both 29, said their vows last month…

3 min.
the pandemic: should we just allow the virus to spread?

It took eight months and more than 230,000 deaths, said Leana Wen in The Washington Post, but the White House finally has a plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The bad news is that the plan is to “accept our fate and surrender to the virus.” Even with new daily infections topping 70,000; 29 states reporting record-high caseloads; and more than 43,000 patients now hospitalized, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows last week formally waved the white flag. “We are not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows told CNN, explaining that the administration will focus on the search for “vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigations.” Meadows didn’t use the term “herd immunity,” but he didn’t have to. The idea that we should let the virus “rip through our communities” until…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Privilege, after Kim Kardashian West informed her 190 million Instagram followers that to celebrate her 40th birthday she “surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.” Owning it, with news that Kazakhstan is formally adopting “Very nice!” as its tourism slogan. “Very nice!” is the catchphrase of Borat Sagdiyev, Sacha Baron Cohen’s fictional Kazakh journalist, who portrays the country as backward and filled with anti-Semites. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who won the World Series after the strangest baseball season in history—shortened to 60 regular-season games by the pandemic, with players being tested daily for the coronavirus. Bad week for: Social distancing, after Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was pulled from the field in the…