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Happy Election Day. I’m writing this from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where hours ago I watched thousands of supporters line up to watch President Donald Trump. The mercury was below freezing, but every Trump joke landed, every snarl at Joe Biden was applauded. Whatever happens, that loyal base won’t disappear overnight. Today’s brew takes you back to global precedent-setting votes America can learn from, the rising stars to watch in today’s election, why the future of magic mushrooms is on the ballot … and great recipes to keep you sane.
Tonight we’ll start seeing the results, but the critical states of Pennsylvania and Michigan will likely take days to count the crush of mail votes. Florida could be almost entirely counted by 9:15 p.m. ET, and Ohio will also count quickly, though absentee ballots that arrive by mail are counted until Nov. 13. If Biden takes either one of those states, it’s — almost — game over, while solid Trump wins there could presage a second term for him … or at least a court fight. Trump has indicated he will try to halt counts of mail-in ballots that arrive late. Should votes that come in after today be counted? Vote on Twitter.
Lessons From the Firsts
Will this election pave the way for the U.S. to do better in areas of democracy where it lags?
Which is the world’s oldest democracy? Is it America, with continuous, elected governments longer than any other nation? Or is it the country that first gave all its citizens the right to vote? It was New Zealand in 1893 that held the first election where everyone — Māori or white, woman or man — could vote. It’s a valuable reminder at a time the U.S. continues to grapple with voter suppression.
The Berlin Wall had just fallen in 1989 when Mathieu Kérékou, the socialist leader of the small West African nation of Benin, decided to transition the country to a multiparty democracy. After losing an election, he calmly gave up power. The first peaceful democratic transfer of power in postcolonial West Africa set an example that the continent would follow in the 1990s. Will America be put to that test in 2020? Read more on OZY.
Gunmen opened fire at multiple locations across Vienna Monday night in terror strikes that left at least five people — including one gunman — dead while another shooter remained on the run. Austria deployed its army to sensitive spots across the country. The attacks came hours after ISIS terrorists killed at least 22 people at Kabul University in Afghanistan. (Sources: France24, Reuters, FT, WaPo)
2. No Ivory Tower
No matter the name. Ivory Coast’s opposition has declared plans to set up a transitional government after a controversial election where initial results suggest President Alassane Ouattara is headed toward victory. It’s 2020, and expecting a smooth election was likely always a folly. (Source: ABC)
3. Sliced in the Sauna
Vladimir Marugov, nicknamed Russia’s “sausage king,” was killed by a crossbow while in a sauna outside Moscow, in what investigators believe was an attempted robbery gone wrong. (Source: BBC)
The former Bronx middle school principal surprised his wife when he decided to contest for the House. Then he shocked longtime Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary. Now he’s poised for a win that would allow him to team up with progressive icon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — to whom he’s often compared — in moving Congress to the left. Watch him unveil his policy plans … and favorite book … on The Carlos Watson Show.
2. Nancy Mace
The attention in South Carolina is on Democratic upstart Jaime Harrison, who — with a record campaign war chest — is scaring Republican Senate veteran Lindsey Graham. But a tight House race on the coast is simmering too. Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham is locked in a neck-and-neck race with Mace, 42, the first female cadet to graduate from the Citadel and a sharp-tongued rising star for the GOP — if she wins.Read more on OZY.
3. George Gascón
It’s a battle tolead America’s largest local prosecutor’s office. Incumbent Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey faces a surprisingly stiff challenge from Gascón, 66, the former DA of San Francisco who’s shown a much greater willingness to prosecute cops — and whose reformist approach has gained steam since the death of George Floyd.
Take a Moment
Exactly 100 years ago, America witnessed its worst incident of election violence. Listen to this powerful story about voter suppression and a Black massacre in the little town of Ocoee, Florida. In a special mini-series of OZY's hit history podcast, Flashback, guest host Eugene S. Robinson speaks to the descendants of some of the survivors. It’s a tragedy that still haunts today.Listen now.
Feel like you’re constantly on the hunt for the next best show? We’ve got you covered. Our friends at CuriosityStream have compiled thousands of the best documentaries and nonfiction series to spark curious minds, like yours. Now, OZY readers can get it all for only $1.25 per month with an annual plan using code OZY.
Also on the Ballot
Yes, the presidential vote is what’s on everyone’s mind. But there are other initiatives on the ballot this year that could spark trends across America.
Ready to at least end 2020 on a high? Oregon could become America’s first state to legalize magic mushrooms, through a ballot measure the state will vote on today. Globally, psychedelic mushrooms are legal in Jamaica and Austria and widely accepted in Mexico and Brazil.
2. Uber Entrepreneurs
The courts have said gig economy workers deserve the protections — such as hourly wage and access to health care — that formal employees get. Now Uber, Lyft and DoorDash want that rolled back in California through Proposition 22 which is on the ballot. Should the vote pass, it could spark a nationwide domino effect.
I know it’s hard, but absolutely don’t doomscroll today. Once you’ve voted and made sure everyone you know has voted, switch off for a bit and head to the kitchen. Preparing these dishes will take patience — and will keep you occupied.
You’re going to want your lamb as tender as possible so it’s going to require at least one hour to simmer. And because we’re going for a bold and smooth taste, the dates, apricots and orange peel need simmering too, bringing flavor into the meat. Sip on red wine while preparing. It’s worth it.
2. Kouign Amann
This is buttery caramel heaven and can be a doozy to pull off because the dough is so sticky. That’s why it’s best to wait about an hour between rolling out the pastry layers or even overnight. With 200 grams of sugar, get ready for a rush unlike any other.