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President-elect Joe Biden is shown speaking on a monitor about COVID-19 in the briefing room of the White House.
President-elect Joe Biden is shown speaking on a monitor about COVID-19 in the briefing room of the White House. Joshua Roberts / Getty images

Good morning, Portland! It's a brisk 43 degrees in Portland, rain is in the forecast, and it's time for the headlines.

• While world leaders continue to congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden on his victory, only two Republican senators have acknowledged Biden's win. In fact, many Republican leaders—including Sen. Mitch McConnell—are engaging in Donald Trump's fantasy of possible election fraud. And privately, even advisers who know it's over are waffling over how to get Trump to face the facts.

• You can count Attorney General William Barr in the "enabling Trump" category. Last night, Barr wrote a memo allowing his own federal prosecutors to go after "substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities"—adding fuel to Trump's misinformation fire. And here's another sign that things are bad at the Department of Justice:

• Meanwhile, fervent followers of the mass delusion QAnon are starting to get nervous about the election results—and the fact that "Q" hasn't communicated with them in over a week now. As the Washington Post reporters, Q loyalists are now wondering, "Have we all been conned?”.

• Against this backdrop of post-election fallout, the US Supreme Court is hearing a case challenging the validity of Obamacare this morning. Depending on how the conservative-majority court rules, this case could lead to the Affordable Care Act being overturned.

• And here's some news from the Vatican: A new report shows that the previous two popes, John Paul II and Benedict XV, knew about allegations of sexual abuse against a powerful American bishop—and chose to overlook them. The report at least indicates that current Pope Francis wasn't quite as willing to overlook the allegations.

• Finally, here's some good news: The Biden-Harris transition team has put out its plans for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's rational and relies on respected doctors! Whew!

• If you haven't been listening to or reading OPB's series on how Oregon's poor mental health system affects people of color, you should start! Here's the last segment of the series:

• Last week, the director of elections for Oregon wrote a memo in which he blamed the secretary of state's office for "lack of vision and leadership" that has led to the state's election system becoming woefully outdated and vulnerable. Now, that director says he's been fired.

• Oregon Democratic House Speaker Tina Kotek has served in that role for nearly a decade. Now, she's facing a challenge from fellow State Rep. Janelle Bynum, who represents parts of Clackamas County. The challenge reportedly comes down to disagreements over how Kotek handled allegations of sexual misconduct against Rep. Diego Hernandez—some Oregon Democratic leaders believe Kotek acted too quickly in publicly denouncing Hernandez.

• REMINDER: Tomorrow, all three counties in the Portland metro area will enter into a two-week "pause" on social gatherings to help slow the rapid spread of COVID-19. Read more about the new requirements here.

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• Even Stacey Abrams allowed herself 17 minutes of celebrating. What kindness can you show yourself for 17 minutes today?