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Vox Sentences: The 2016 election is actually still going on in North Carolina

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Donald Trump makes some very establishment, not to say swampy, Cabinet picks; North Carolina's gubernatorial election still isn't over (but will be soon).


Tom Price Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
  • Donald Trump's Cabinet is beginning to take shape. America's next nominee for secretary of health and human services (the department that's overseen implementation of Obamacare) is Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), a strident Obamacare critic and an architect of one of the GOP's many plans to repeal and replace it. [Huffington Post / Jonathan Cohn]
  • Price's nomination signals Trump really is serious about getting rid of Obamacare. Price is also a big fan of block-granting and slashing Medicaid, something Trump more quietly championed on the campaign trail. [Vox / Sarah Kliff]
  • The president-elect's nominee to lead the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, is a noted fan of work requirements and other cutbacks for Medicaid — and an ally of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. [Stat News / Casey Ross]
  • Verma and Price are both conventional, qualified Republican picks. So is Elaine Chao, Trump's choice for secretary of transportation — who is not only a past deputy transportation secretary (under George H.W. Bush) and former Cabinet secretary (under George W. Bush) but also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. [Vox / Matt Yglesias]
  • All told, Trump's Cabinet picks track very closely with what you'd expect of any conservative Republican president-elect — which is heartening to conservatives, but maybe less so to anyone who voted for Trump on the condition that he "drain the swamp." [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Just wait until the would-be swamp drainers read about the sweetheart passes being offered for inauguration weekend for big-ticket donors. [Center for Public Integrity / Carrie Levine]
  • At least Trump appears poised to nominate a total Washington outsider, Steve Mnuchin, for Treasury secretary. Just kidding: Mnuchin's a second-generation Goldman Sachs veteran who literally named his hedge fund for "the dunes near his beach house in the Hamptons." [NYT / Binyamin Appelbaum and Maggie Haberman]

A Cinderella tragedy

Chapecoense fans Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images
  • A charter plane crashed in Colombia outside Medellin on Monday night, killing 76 people, according to Colombian police. [The Guardian / Tom Phillips, Bonnie Malkin, and Mike Hytner]
  • The reason you're hearing about it now is because the plane contained the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, on their way to play a Colombian team in the finals of the Copa Sudamerica (South America's second-biggest tournament). [Sports Illustrated / Jonathan Wilson]
  • Chapecoense had been something of a national Cinderella story. They were a minor team from a tiny town that had only broken into the top division of Brazilian play in the past few years, and their Copa run was widely celebrated. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • In post-Olympics Brazil — a country with a lot of problems where soccer can be both a balm for and a reflection of gaping inequalities — the feel-good story was potent, and so is its tragic end. (The Brazilian president has ordered three days of mourning.) [CBC / Susan Ormiston]
  • There's been an outpouring of support from global soccer for Chapecoense and their fans. The team they were going to play in Colombia has asked that Chapecoense be awarded the Copa in absentia. [SB Nation / Kevin McCauley]
  • But soccer's global conscience has some blind spots. This week has also seen revelations of sexual abuse in English soccer — something to which, Zito Madu argues, the international community is also obligated to respond. [SB Nation / Zito Madu]

The 2016 election is never going to end (in North Carolina) (but also in our souls)

North Carolina gubernatorial candidates Chris Seward/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images
  • In theory, the North Carolina State Board of Elections was supposed to meet Tuesday to certify the result in its gubernatorial election. Only problem: It doesn't have a result yet. [AP / Gary D. Robertson]
  • Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper has a lead of several thousand votes over incumbent Republican Pat McCrory, and has since election night. But McCrory challenged the vote counts in dozens of individual counties across the state, sometimes over as few as a dozen ballots, and has pushed for a statewide recount. [NYT / Alan Blinder and Michael Wines]
  • (You might remember Pat McCrory as the man who gave North Carolina its "bathroom bill," HB2 — which, ironically, appears to have played a large role in his pending defeat, since McCrory's one of very few Republicans to lose this year in states Donald Trump won.) [Citizen-Times / Mark Barrett]
  • McCrory's challenges are certainly an inventive, not to say petty, legal strategy, and crown a couple of inventive, not to say poisonous, years in North Carolina state politics. [The Atlantic / David A. Graham]
  • Democrats have accused McCrory of attempting to thwart the will of the voters — which doesn't seem totally invalid. One example: A conservative nonprofit has sued the state to separate ballots cast by people who registered to vote on Election Day, and count them only if other ballots are too close. The state tried to hire outside attorneys to defend itself in the suit — and McCrory blocked their appointments. [Charlotte Observer / Colin Campbell]
  • But some Democratic theories — like that the state legislature will use a little-known law to step in and elect McCrory themselves — have been rejected by Republicans. [Charlotte Observer / Colin Campbell]
  • Republicans are rapidly running out of options. More than 50 of the GOP's county vote-count challenges got thrown out Tuesday. The remaining counting and certification could be done in a matter of days. [Winston-Salem Journal / Richard Craver]


  • Low interest rates have cut into the livelihood of German nuns, who responded like anyone would: by having Sister Lioba get really into stock trading. [WSJ / Georgi Kantchev]
  • That feeling when your think tank has set itself up perfectly to be the Clinton administration's staff-in-waiting and then Clinton loses. [National Journal / Jason Plautz and Ben Geman]
  • Wherever Estonian troops are sent, they always bring a sauna, even in war zones. [WSJ / Drew Hinshaw]
  • Rory Gilmore is a great character and an absolutely terrible journalist. [The Atlantic / Megan Garber]
  • A Kenyan newspaper has apologized for publishing an ad offering readers a chance to "join corruption cartels and win government tenders without sweat." The ad was apparently sincere and not an attempt at satire. [BBC / Peter Mwai]


  • "An amusement park in southwestern Japan has closed its ice-skating rink after public outrage over the rink's key feature: 5,000 dead fish frozen into the ice itself.” [Washington Post / Amy Wang]
  • "Each of these excerpts is from an actual piece that was supposed to be published after Clinton claimed victory." [Newsweek / Zach Schonfeld]
  • "The fear that using the term 'alt-right' will play into the hands of racists seems symptomatic of writers’ natural tendency to overestimate the extent to which words shape thought." [Washington Post / Julian Sanchez]
  • "You need to input a time to end — when do you think that story you’re writing is going to be ready? As your time draws near, the desk will send a reminder: Hey, your story is due in an hour. We see you haven’t yet finished the third paragraph." [Shailesh Prakesh to Columbia Journalism Review / Justin Pope]
  • "Over the course of his presidency, Mr. Obama has become increasingly unwilling to commit troops to wars in places like Libya, Syria and Iraq.
  • Eliot A. Cohen, an official in the George W. Bush administration who is now professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, said that Mr. Obama’s trips to Walter Reed may have been the reason, and that future presidents should avoid the visits." [NYT / Gardiner Harris]

Watch this: How China is changing Hollywood

From Transformers to The Martian, Hollywood films are looking to China's massive audiences. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell, Joss Fong, and Dion Lee]

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