"You can be the change that you see, it doesn't have to be us."
"You can be the change that you see, it doesn't have to be us."
The allegations, provided without credible evidence of widespread fraud or misconduct, have been rebuffed in courts in other states.
Rudy Giuliani has reportedly discussed with President Trump the idea of receiving a potential "pre-emptive pardon" prior to the end of his term in office.Giuliani, Trump's lawyer who has sought to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election over baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, has "discussed with the president as recently as last week" a potential pardon, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The Times notes that Giuliani's "potential criminal exposure is unclear," though he has come under investigation over his Ukraine business dealings. He hasn't faced charges. According to the report, Trump hasn't yet indicated whether he might issue this pre-emptive pardon for his personal attorney, and it also reportedly isn't clear who raised the idea. But this report comes after last week, Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and CNN writes that he's "expected to issue a string of additional pardons before leaving the White House."Robert Costello, Giuliani's lawyer, told the Times that "he's not concerned about this investigation, because he didn't do anything wrong and that's been our position from Day 1," while a spokesperson said "Mayor Giuliani cannot comment on any discussions that he has with his client." Giuliani himself denied the report on Twitter, saying he "never had the discussion they falsely attribute to an anonymous source."More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. Obama tells Stephen Colbert he messed up by not giving Dolly Parton the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Lew Wallace, the former territorial governor of New Mexico (and author of Ben Hur), once said, “Every calculation based on experience elsewhere fails in New Mexico.”In so many ways Wallace was prescient about this beautiful, poor, and unique state in the American Southwest. One “calculation” about modern politics that would especially perplex him is the fact that a relatively poor but oil-rich Western state elects politicians that are so directly at odds with its economic best interest.After Texas and North Dakota, New Mexico is the third-largest oil-producing state in the U.S. The oil and gas industries combine to generate roughly 40 percent of its annual budget. Furthermore, New Mexico’s oil and gas resources are heavily concentrated on lands managed by the federal government. The central role of energy, especially energy extracted within the state’s borders and controlled by federal policy-makers, might lead one to believe that New Mexicans would vote for pro-energy Republicans in federal elections.Instead, New Mexico has become a safely blue state. It narrowly went for George W. Bush in 2004 but since then has gone for Democrats by wide margins. The situation is even more stark at the state level, where Democrats have had “trifectas” (total control of both houses and the governor’s mansion) for 60 of the past 90 years. The GOP hasn’t had such governing authority in the state for a single year since 1931 and, despite significant turnover, has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since Pete Domenici retired in 2009.In 2020 Biden won the state 54.3 percent to 43.5 percent despite the fact that President Trump’s pro-energy policies have been a boon to the New Mexico economy and that the Biden administration’s energy policies are a dagger aimed at the heart of New Mexico’s economy.That “dagger” comes in the form of the numerous -- sometimes clear, often conflicting -- statements that candidate Biden made during the campaign. It is unclear what Biden will do about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which enables oil and gas producers to access previously inaccessible oil and gas sources. He backed away from an outright nationwide ban late in the campaign. However, Biden has clearly stated that he would ban new gas and oil permits -- including fracking -- on federal lands.Targeting federal lands would devastate New Mexico’s oil and gas industry and its economy, because of the state’s large federal estate. According to the Institute for Energy Research, 34.7 percent of the land in New Mexico is federal. In fiscal year 2019, New Mexico received energy-related disbursement (from the federal Bureau of Land Management) of $1.17 billion, the highest payment made in any state (Wyoming was next, with $641 million, and then Colorado, with $108 million). This was the highest payment from the bureau in the state’s history and compares with $455 million in FY 2017. A vast majority of this increased revenue is a result of fracking.Furthermore, data from the Global Energy Institute indicate that if energy production on federal lands were banned, New Mexico would lose 24,300 jobs (10,000 direct, 14,300 indirect and induced), a significant hit for a state with a workforce of around 900,000. Making matters worse, a good number of the “direct” jobs lost are good-paying -- something that is not easy to find in New Mexico, a state that consistently ranks among the poorest in the nation and has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Closing New Mexico’s federal lands to energy production entirely would cost the state $496 million in annual royalty collections, representing 8 percent of the state’s total General Fund Revenues.Biden’s proposed fracking ban is even too much for New Mexico’s Democratic governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has said that she’ll ask for an exemption from any future drilling ban. Acknowledging the tax-revenue contributions to education funding, Grisham explained to the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association conference in Santa Fe last October that “without the energy effort in this state, no one gets to make education the top priority.”To be sure, Lujan Grisham is broadly supportive of Biden’s energy policies. (She’s even on the president-elect’s short list for administration positions.) Both of them have stated that they would like to “transition out of fossil fuels” despite New Mexico’s financial dependence on the industry.But Biden’s aggressive anti-fossil-fuels stance as it relates to federal land not only puts him at odds with Lujan Grisham, it puts him far to the left of President Obama on the issue. In a 2012 presidential debate, Obama stated, “We’ve opened up public lands. We’re actually drilling more on public lands than the previous administration. . . . And natural gas isn’t just appearing magically; we’re encouraging it and working with the industry.”President Obama was of course considered an environmentalist by political opponents and supporters alike. His support for natural-gas right isn’t difficult to reconcile with his environmental track record. That’s because (when used in a new power plants), natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less CO2 than a typical new coal plant.Obama understood the vast benefits of natural gas, including the fact that it was appropriate to drill for it on federal lands. During his tenure, natural-gas production rose some 35 percent, from approximately 21 million cubic feet to more than 28.4 million cubic feet.If he truly cares about the environment, Biden would be wise to follow his predecessor’s playbook. According to the EPA, U.S. net greenhouse-gas emissions went down by 10 percent from 2005 to 2018, and much of the contribution to that decline in recent years was “due to an increasing shift to use of less carbon dioxide-intensive natural gas for generating electricity and a rapid increase in the use of renewable energy in the electric power sector.” But if natural-gas prices rise -- and a ban on federal leasing is likely to contribute to higher prices -- these positive developments could go into reverse. The Energy Information Administration recently projected that higher natural-gas prices would cause coal’s share of power generation to increase from 18 percent to 22 percent in 2021.Obama also signed into law legislation that ended the U.S. government’s restrictions on crude-oil exports back in 2015.During the campaign, Biden faced tremendous pressure from the left wing of his political base to come out for policies such the Green New Deal and bans on fracking and other fossil-fuel-based energy production. Biden has never been associated with such hard-Left stances against economic policy and growth in the past. Remember, even Obama is to the right of where Biden campaigned.Let's hope that President Biden has a more realistic approach to energy than did candidate Biden. New Mexico’s economic future is certainly at stake, but so is the recovery of our nation’s virus-hobbled economy.Rather than instituting a blanket ban on production of oil and gas on federal lands, a better approach would be to recognize the benefits and work to make sure that any production is handled responsibly and safely. The growing American energy sector and American energy independence have delivered wins for the environment, for consumers, and for the U.S. and state economies such as New Mexico’s. Let’s keep it that way.
Army Sgt. Bryan Starr, 35, surrendered to officials in Russell County after being charged in the death of Austin Birdseye, Sheriff Heath Taylor told a news conference Monday. Starr told investigators the boy began acting up in the car as they traveled on Alabama 165 near their home Sunday night, so he pulled his Dodge Charger into a church parking lot and made the boy get out in the rain, Taylor said. The road was dark and the boy was hard to see, and the driver of the Toyota was not at fault, Taylor said.
The president-elect will probably have to wear a medical boot for several weeks, his doctor says.
The United States imposed sanctions on Monday on Chinese firm China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC), accusing it of supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's efforts to undermine democracy. The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement the Chinese company supported the leftist government of Maduro in its "efforts to restrict internet service and conduct digital surveillance and cyber operations against political opponents." "The United States will not hesitate to target anyone helping to suppress the democratic will of the Venezuelan people and others around the world," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman on Tuesday denied knowledge of an air strike reported to have killed an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander on the Iraq-Syria border over the weekend. Iraqi security and militia officials told Reuters on Monday that the commander, whose identity they did not confirm, was killed alongside three men travelling in the same vehicle as him. Two officials told Reuters the vehicle was struck shortly after crossing into Syria with a load of weapons from Iraq. Israel has launched strikes against an array of Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria the past week, though there was no claim of responsibility for the drone strike said to have killed the IRGC commander, named in some reports as Muslim Shahdan. Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said he was unaware of those reports during a weekly foreign ministry briefing in Tehran, adding that “it seems to be fake news," in remarks carried by the semi-official ISNA news agency. He directed further queries to the General Staff of the Armed Forces. The apparent denial comes amid heightened tensions regionally and calls for retaliation domestically after the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated outside Tehran on Friday in an attack that Iran has blamed on Israel. Mr Khatibzadeh warned Iran would unleash “maximum pain” on Fakhrizadeh’s assassins, adding that the regime would not heed international calls for restraint. The killing has raised the prospect of military confrontation in the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency and could make it harder for president-elect Joe Biden to fulfil his campaign promise to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal that President Trump abandoned in 2015. On Tuesday, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei declared that parliament had no right to amend the nuclear agreement reached with world powers in 2015, after hardliners passed a bill demanding that Iran disregard all restraints on its nuclear programme. Parliamentarians have been calling for an end to international inspections of the country’s nuclear sites in the wake of Friday’s attack. The draft bill passed on Tuesday also called for Iran to pursue uranium enrichment of 20 percent, beyond the limit of 3.67 percent set by the deal. Mr Rabiei however said adherence to the nuclear agreement was the responsibility of the National Security Council, who would decide whether to curtail inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to state-run ISNA. Iran's intelligence ministry meanwhile released photos of four suspects it claims were involved in Fakhrizadeh’s killing, according to an Iranian news website, in another change to the official narrative of the assassination.
There were no visible wounds to the body and a cause of death hadn't yet been determined for the 26-year-old, police said.
The news that former Vice President Joe Biden would become the next president of the United States was met in Russia with grim resignation, bordering on despair. Experts on Russian state television have described Biden’s presidency as “Obama’s third term” and predicted a slew of new sanctions dreaded by the Kremlin. This anticipation revived the wave of racist attacks against former President Barack Obama, which were commonplace during his administration.Overt racism in Russian state media is far from uncommon but nonetheless continues to be shocking. Tigran Keosayan—the husband of Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-funded RT and Sputnik—took racist mockery to new lows on his program Mezhdunarodnaya Pilorama (“International Sawmill”). Keosayan described Barack Obama as “the dark page of American history,” while introducing a highly offensive sketch by an actress in blackface impersonating the former president, which was first reported by the Moscow Times.The purported portrayal of Obama was tasteless and crude, with the actress in a bandana gesticulating as a rapper and describing the former president as a “chocolate bunny.” The show, which aired on NTV—a network funded by state-owned gas company Gazprom, mocked “Black Lives Matter” and claimed that none of Obama’s relatives know how to write. The sketch concluded with a recommendation that rather than read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, viewers should opt for “reading the label on the bathroom air freshener.”Facing worldwide condemnation for the latest racist episode, Margarita Simonyan—heralded as one of the most influential women in news media—attempted to backpedal, using her husband’s Armenian ethnicity as some kind of an excuse for his indefensible racism. She described the offensive sketch as a “parody of Obama” and disingenuously claimed, “As someone who is part of an ethnic minority in Russia, Tigran regularly makes fun, on the air, of his large 'ethnic' nose and his belonging to a 'Black' community (look it up if you don't know which ethnicities are referred to as 'Black' in Russia).”Despite Simonyan’s clumsy excuses, her husband is not the only one who considers himself somehow entitled to mock Black Americans. In June, RT’s editor-in-chief shared a despicably racist article from the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which made references to “muscular criminal Negroes,” described “twerking” as the “national Negro dance,” recommended the use of amphetamines, and encouraged violence and death.Russian state media outlets have long expressed their desire for civil unrest in the United States. The author of the article, Dmitry Steshin, urged, “Beat the whites until they turn Black.” Simonyan shared the article, describing it as a piece of “good advice from an international journalist to the negroes of Minnesota and the United States.”Simonyan’s husband followed up the obscene sketch on his program with a ludicrous assertion: “There is no racism in Russia.” It was no more believable than the notorious Soviet claim, “There is no sex in the USSR.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
President launches attacks on his own party despite two decisive Senate races in Georgia next month
Twitter has suspended a Thai account linked to an influence campaign in favor of the country's monarchy, amid months of taboo-breaking protests calling for Thailand's prime minister to resign and reform of its palace. That's after a Reuters analysis found the account was connected to thousands of others spreading posts in favor of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. And, while not directly linked to the account, internal army training documents reviewed by Reuters showed evidence of a coordinated information campaign designed to target "opponents" and spread pro-monarchy messages on Twitter, an important platform for criticism of the government even before the protests. After Reuters sought comment from Twitter on Wednesday, the account, @jitarsa_school, was suspended. It had gained 48,000 followers since its creation in September. The account's profile had said it trained people for a Royal Volunteers programme run by the Royal Office. The "Volunteer Spirit 904" program began in 2016 during the current king's reign to build loyalty to the monarchy. The palace did not respond to a request for comment. A Twitter representative said Sunday (November 29), "The account in question was suspended for violating our rules on spam and platform manipulation." The spokesperson said it was not a result of the Reuters request. The Reuters analysis found that more than 80% of accounts that followed @jitarsa_school had themselves been created since the start of September and a sample of those showed that all they did was promote royalist hashtags. In early October, Twitter announced it had taken down 926 accounts linked to the Thai army for violating its policies by amplifying pro-government content and targeting political opposition figures. The army at the time denied that the accounts belonged to army officials.
Turkey's seismic exploration vessel Oruc Reis returned to port on Monday from disputed Mediterranean waters, less than two weeks before a European Union summit where the bloc will evaluate possible sanctions against Ankara. NATO members Turkey and Greece have conflicting claims to continental shelves and rights to potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions flared in August when Ankara sent Oruc Reis to map out energy drilling prospects in waters also claimed by Greece.
Despite a government ban and arrests of hundreds of activists, Pakistani opposition supporters rallied in a central city on Monday, calling on Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign over alleged bad governance and incompetence. The rally in the city of Multan was held a day after police, on orders from the government, carried out the arrests and banned the gathering, defending the move as necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. Authorities in Multan also switched off the area's mobile phone network.
The recent Armenia-Azerbaijan war, a result of failed diplomacy, has thrown up a new victor and paved the way for Turkey to extend its influence.
The lawsuit is being pushed by allies of President Donald Trump in an effort to fight voters and declare him the winner of Michigan's electoral votes.
James Dixon put his bare hands in the food at the home where his victim was the host’s boyfriend. A Chicago man has been charged with murder after a fight over some Thanksgiving leftovers. James Dixon, 28, allegedly stabbed 52-year-old Vincell Jackson as the man was being escorted out of a house following a holiday gathering.
Monday's Late Show was all Stephen Colbert's interview last week with former President Barack Obama, and Obama took his share of needling.Many Americans missed Obama during President Trump's tenure, Colbert included, he said. "Did you miss you? Did you ever look at something going on in the news and go, 'You know what this situation needs? A little Barack Obama.'" Obama laughed and said he'd only want another turn as president if he could call the shots from his basement. "I found the work fascinating," he said. "But I do not miss having to wear a tie every day." Colbert also poked at Obama's cadence, telling him that if you listen to his audiobook recording at double speed, "you can't tell that it's actually going faster," because it's "normal human talking speed." In another interview, Obama swatted back, telling Colbert, "If that was an imitation of me, that was terrible."Colbert threw in some questions he believed Obama had never been asked, including: "How does Dolly Parton not have a Presidential Medal of Freedom?" "That's a mistake -- I'm shocked," Obama replied. "That was a screw-up. I'm surprised. I think I assumed that she had already got one, and that was incorrect. She deserves one. I'll call Biden."They also discussed more serious topics, like how Obama and his family stayed relatively grounded in Washington and amid their "outsized fame," and the downsides of president-elect Joe Biden facing a Senate led by "sand in the gears" Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "Look, I experienced divided government and I will tell you that gridlock and dysfunction is a recipe for not only not solving big problems but also growing cynicism among the electorate that further polarizes folks," he said. "I think that Joe's presidency will help lower the temperature" and he'll "have some success in building back social trust," but "we're going to have a larger challenge in figuring out what to do about this splintered media landscape" and its assault on shared facts.Obama also ruminated on the temptations and weight of drone warfare. "The problem with the drone program was not that it caused an inordinate amount of civilian casualties -- although even one civilian casualty is tragic," he said. "The problem is it starts giving you the illusion that it is not war." More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tries to explain how Democrats are both 'Marxists' and 'corporatists'
First responders and frontline workers being challenged by the deadly coronavirus pandemic are highlighted in White House Christmas decorations that also give a special nod to Melania Trump's redesigned Rose Garden. It’s the final Christmas in the White House for the Trump family, although the president continues to insist — despite evidence to the contrary — that he won the Nov. 3 election. President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.
The pro-democracy activist is “traumatised” after being arrested under a controversial security law.
President Donald Trump sued Wisconsin officials Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to reclaim a state he lost by about 20,700 votes.