The dozens of attendees were all mask-less at Caligula, an illegal sex club, violating New York state COVID-19 regulations.
President-elect Joe Biden's pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, "was known for his unimpeachable ethics," according to The American Prospect's prior report. That may be true, but how he's spent his time since the end of the Obama administration has left some critics bristling at his selection.In a July report, TAP put a spotlight on the strategic consultancy firm WestExec Advisers, of which Blinken and Michele Fourney, the favorite to lead the Pentagon in the Biden administration, were founding partners. The firm has ties to an array of industries, including: tech, financial services, aerospace, defense, and pharmaceuticals. But it's not exactly clear who the individual clients are since the firm, which is not registered to lobby, doesn't have to disclose them. The lack of transparency is a cause for concern among some observers, who are worried about people in the Biden, or any, administration getting too wrapped up in the interests of global corporations, TAP reported.Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group, told The New York Times that "those kinds of consulting shops," like WestExec, "take advantage of current laws, so there is no transparency in their clients and how they are trying to influence public policy for them. That's exactly the kind of people who should not be in an administration."There likely will be some clarity, however, since Blinken, as a political appointee, will have to disclose clients who paid $5,000 or more for his services in the past year. Read more about WestExec Advisers at The American Prospect. > Federal political appointees are required to disclose clients who paid $5k or more for their services in the past year. So Blinken's financial disclosure will be a rare glimpse into this sort of consultancy's clientele https://t.co/QqfICsYpx4> > -- Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 23, 2020More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' GM dumps Trump pollution fight, abruptly sides with Biden and California
A Russian warship caught the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain operating illegally in Russia's territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but chased it off, Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday. Moscow said that the Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, had verbally warned the U.S. ship and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area. The U.S ship had immediately returned to neutral waters after being warned off, the defence ministry said in a statement.
President Trump’s efforts to undermine the results of the November election in Georgia will “absolutely” hurt Republicans in two U.S. Senate runoff races there, an election official in the state said Monday. “We’ve crossed a tipping point where ... there may be some Republicans who don’t trust the outcomes of the system at all, and say, ‘Why bother to vote,’” Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, told Yahoo News.
A group of Pennsylvania Republicans filed a lawsuit over the weekend to block certification of the state's election results in an eleventh-hour attempt to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the key battleground state.The emergency petition, filed in state court, takes issue with a voting reform bill that passed Pennsylvania's Republican-held legislature in October last year. The lawsuit claims that the law's allowance of no excuse mail-in voting is "unconstitutional" and seeks to block Pennsylvania counties from certifying their vote results ahead of the deadline on Monday to do so and invalidate millions of mail-in ballots cast in the 2020 election.The group is led by Pennsylvania Representative Mike Kelly and GOP congressional candidate Sean Parnell, who has not conceded since his defeat this month by his Democratic rival, Representative Conor Lamb. Their suit names Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, the GOP-led legislature, and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar as defendants.Meanwhile, a federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit from the Trump campaign that sought to invalidate millions of votes in Pennsylvania and block the certification of the state’s election results. Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday night that he plans to appeal the decision.About 2.6 million voters in Pennsylvania cast mail ballots in the general election this month. Biden won three out of every four mail ballots cast in the state, according to an analysis of data from Pennsylvania's state department.Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes over President Trump and is expected to be awarded the Keystone State's coveted 20 electoral votes. States have until December 8 to resolve election disputes, and electors will meet on December 14 to formally vote for the next president.Over the past several weeks, Trump has made allegations that voter fraud occurred on a massive scale through mail-in ballots. The president has claimed he won the election and has refused to concede even though his lawyers have not produced evidence of fraud widespread enough to alter the election outcome.
Rush Limbaugh fully reversed course on Monday, trashing the Trump legal team’s unhinged press conference detailing baseless election-fraud conspiracies just days after praising attorney Sidney Powell—whom the Trump team has since disavowed—for dropping “bombs all over the place.”Over the weekend, after Powell claimed millions of votes were stolen from President Donald Trump by corrupted software, Powell gave an off-the-rails interview to Newsmax TV in which she expanded her bonkers conspiracy to include Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state being bribed.With Powell having already come under fire from Fox News host Tucker Carlson for failing to provide any evidence for her outrageous allegations, which included claims that late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez was involved in stealing votes, Team Trump finally distanced itself from Powell on Sunday evening, saying she “is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”Trump and his legal team weren’t the only people trying to retroactively memory-hole Powell just days after giving over-the-top praise for the QAnon-boosting lawyer’s baseless conspiracies and incessant promises to “Release the Kraken.”During his Thursday broadcast, immediately following the insane news conference—which also featured Giuliani’s hair-dye streaking down his face as he acted out My Cousin Vinny—Limbaugh couldn’t contain his glee over Powell’s debunked theories about Dominion voting software flipping votes to President-elect Joe Biden.“Sidney Powell just dropped bombs all over the place,” Limbaugh bellowed at the time. “For instance, Trump votes were so overwhelming, the number of people who had voted for Trump that the rigged system, this Dominion system with the Smartmatic software melted down. It couldn’t handle, it couldn’t cheat fast enough, it could not overcome the number of legitimate Trump votes.”Repeatedly praising Powell’s “impeccable reputation” on Thursday afternoon, Limbaugh claimed that Powell had “evidence of fraud” and “detailed evidence of communist money” being used to “rig the elections,” telling his listeners that the presser was a “full hour of constant, overwhelming evidence.”Fast forward to Monday: Limbaugh now sings a different tune.“I mean, it’s a tough thing to deny that she was ever a part of it because they introduced her as part of it. I mean, she was at that press conference last week,” he noted, adding that there is no credibly denying Powell's official involvement on Trump's legal team. (Ellis had said Powell was a member of the legal team’s “elite strike force” on Thursday.)“You call a gigantic press conference like that—one that lasts an hour—and you announce ‘massive bombshells,’ then you better have some bombshells,” he added. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got.”Noting that Powell “jumped the shark,” Limbaugh again expressed disappointment in the lack of evidence while throwing the president’s legal team under the bus.“I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference,” he concluded. “They promised blockbuster stuff, and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”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-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce Linda Thomas-Greenfield as his nominee for ambassador to the United Nations and Jake Sullivan as his national security adviser, several people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. Thomas-Greenfield spent 35 years in the Foreign Service, retiring in 2017. She served as assistant secretary of state for African affairs and was ambassador to Liberia during the Obama administration. She is now a senior counselor with the Albright Stonebridge advisory firm.Sullivan was one of Biden's national security advisers during his time as vice president and was also a deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state. Antony Blinken, Biden's reported pick to be his secretary of state nominee, also served as one of Biden's national security advisers while vice president.More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' I was wrong about Mitt Romney
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging residents to call the police on any neighbors who flout state COVID-19 restrictions, which include limiting in-home gatherings to a maximum of six people.“This is no different than what happens if there's a party down the street and it's keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it's too noisy. This is just like that. It's like a violation of a noise ordinance.”Last week the Democratic governor instituted a new round of restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of coronavirus in the state via executive order, including a two-week “freeze” limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two households just ahead of Thanksgiving. Residents are also prohibited from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, though faith-based gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors are allowed.Violators can face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 fines or both. The Marion County Sheriff’s office said in a statement on Friday that it believes “we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic.”“We believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.”Brown pushed back, calling criticisms of the new restrictions "irresponsible."“This is about saving lives and it's about protecting our fellow Oregonians,” she said. “We have too many sporadic cases in Oregon. We can't trace these cases to a particular source. We have to limit gatherings and social interactions.”On Sunday, new COVID-19 cases reached a record high in the state for the third straight day, with 1,517 new infections recorded, bringing the state total to 65,170.
Conservative operatives and a super PAC with ties to infamous GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone are calling for Trump supporters to punish Republicans by sitting out Georgia’s crucial Senate runoffs or writing in Trump’s name instead. And though their efforts remains on the party’s fringes, the trajectory of the movement has Republicans fearful that it could cost the GOP control of the Senate.The most aggressive call to boycott or cast protest ballots in the two runoff races has, so far, come from a dormant pro-Trump super PAC with ties to Stone, which unveiled a new initiative to retaliate against the Republican Party’s supposed turncoats by handing Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.The group, dubbed the Committee for American Sovereignty, unveiled a new website encouraging Georgia Republicans to write in Trump’s name in both of the upcoming Senate runoff elections, which could determine the party that controls the upper chamber during President-elect Joe Biden’s first two years in office. The PAC argued that doing so will show support for the president in addition to forcing Republicans to address the wild election-fraud conspiracy theories floated by Trump supporters and members of his own legal team.“If we can do this, we have a real chance at getting these RINO senators to act on the illegitimate and corrupt election presided over by a Democrat party that is invested in the Communist takeover of Our Great Nation,” the group wrote on its new website, writeintrumpforgeorgiasenate.com. “We will not stop fighting for you, the American Patriot, against the evils of Socialism and inferior Religions.”Justice Dept. Watchdog Looking Into Abrupt Change in Roger Stone Sentencing Recommendation, Says ReportThe effort is representative of a broader push among some of President Trump’s most devoted supporters to withhold support for the two Georgia Republican senators facing competitive runoff challenges, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, in the hope of leveraging the party’s fear of losing the U.S. Senate to get more establishment backing for their drive to change the result of the election. The goal, those operatives say, is to expose a supposed vast election fraud conspiracy abetted by high-level Republicans in Georgia’s state government, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.The Committee for American Sovereignty and a sister nonprofit group were set up in 2016 as vehicles for prominent pro-Trump operatives—most notably Stone and former Blackwater chief Erik Prince—to attempt to suppress the Black vote by amplifying claims that Bill Clinton had an illegitimate biracial son. It’s been mostly quiet since then. The PAC’s recent filings with the Federal Election Commission disclose nothing but outstanding federal and state tax liabilities, and its new effort in Georgia doesn’t appear to have received much pickup yet.A request for comment sent to the Committee for American Sovereignty email address on file with the FEC was not returned. Efforts to reach Pamela Jensen, a California political activist who leads the group, were not successful. Her husband, an attorney named Paul Jensen who describes Stone as a “long time client,” told The Daily Beast in an email his wife “has no comment, and nor do I.” Stone did not respond to inquiries about his present involvement with the group.Efforts by the super PAC and other pro-Trump activists to kneecap Georgia Republicans nonetheless gained major traction over the past week thanks largely to the public utterances of Powell, who claimed in a Saturday interview on Newsmax that her imagined voter fraud conspiracy involving Dominion voting machines and Venezuelan bribes extended all the way to Kemp and Raffensperger. Powell even suggested that Loeffler would have lost this month to Rep. Doug Collins, her top Republican challenger, had it not been for the supposed voter fraud that tainted Georgia elections.“Mr. Kemp and the secretary of state need to go with it because they're in on the Dominion scam with their last-minute purchase or reward of a contract to Dominion of $100 million,” Powell said.Fears of an intra-party disaster in Georgia fueled by Trump fans livid about Powell’s conspiracy theories have been tempered a bit by internal polling showing a relatively slim portion of Trump voters in the state are so disgruntled they might rebuke the GOP’s own Senate candidates. One Republican operative who’s seen that polling told The Daily Beast that the number was “in the single digits.”But the Jan. 5 runoff contests are expected to be extremely tight even barring any defections. And even Republicans who fully buy into the conspiracy theories around the Trump election defeat say they worry that it will depress GOP turnout, potentially enough to cost the party the two Senate seats and the majority.“The anger over the secretary of state’s incompetence and the governor’s failure to lead could mean that Republicans just stay home,” said Newt Gingrich, the former Georgia congressman and speaker of the House. “I think there’s a very big problem with getting Republicans to turn out.”Gingrich told The Daily Beast in an interview on Monday that he is fully convinced that Democrats will attempt to steal both Senate elections. Republicans “could actually win the popular vote but not win the counted vote,” Gingrich predicted. “They actually have a fairly easy campaign... The problem is when you get done doing all of that—traditional, classic campaigning—if the other side then has sufficient control of the election machinery, they just beat you.”But Gingrich said he hoped such dire predictions of inevitable election-stealing would drive Republicans to the polls, rather than reinforcing the very voter apathy that he said he was concerned about. “I have a very simple model,” he said. “You have to win by a bigger margin than they can steal.”Rush Limbaugh Does Full 180, Blasts Sidney Powell After Team Trump Disavowed HerThough Gingrich may see the stakes of the runoffs in clear terms, others Republicans don’t. On conservative media social site Parler, grieving Trump fans said they’ll express their displeasure with the GOP by skipping the runoffs or by writing in Trump’s name. Last week, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told his audience that “Never Trump” Republicans were desperate for their votes in the runoffs, suggesting that Trump supporters’ votes could be up for grabs.“It’s funny how these Never Trump people want us to save their bacon right now while they sat on their butts and ridiculed Trump and us for voting for him,” Limbaugh said.Limbaugh eventually urged his audience to vote for Loeffler and Perdue anyway. But pro-Trump Georgia lawyer Lin Wood, who sued Georgia in an attempt to stop the state’s vote certification, tweeted Saturday that he wouldn’t vote in the runoff unless Loeffler and Perdue took more actions against his claims of Election Day voter fraud.“Threaten to withhold your votes & money,” Wood tweeted. “Demand that they represent you.”Conservative operative Ali Alexander, who has organized “Stop the Steal” protests around the country, demanded that Perdue and Loeffler call on Kemp to order a special session of the Georgia legislature to investigate claims of voter fraud. If they didn’t, Alexander said, Trump supporters would boycott the runoff.“Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue can either do what we said, because we are their voters, we are their donors, we are their volunteers, or we literally won’t vote,” Alexander said, before mimicking his critics’ concerns about Senate control. “‘Oh, but Ali, then Democrats will take the Senate?’ I would rather an enemy in my face than a traitor behind.”Alexander, who has nearly 200,000 Twitter followers and is prone to grandiose pronouncements about his own influence within the party, threatened to launch primary campaigns across the country under the “Stop the Steal” brand against Republicans deemed insufficiently supportive of Trump’s post-election legal efforts. He claimed he could convince 100,000 Georgia voters to boycott the Jan. 5 runoff, and urged his fans not to donate to the Georgia Senate candidates or Republican groups, saying they had enough money already.“Nobody should be donating to the NRSC, the RNC, Kelly Loeffler, or David Perdue,” Alexander said.Alexander’s comments prompted pushback from Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), the one-time QAnon supporter now set to be sworn into Congress in January. Greene tweeted that the threats would “hand over the Senate to the Socialist Democrats!”“People taking donations to their personal PayPal should spend it on elections,” Greene tweeted, an apparent jab at Alexander for soliciting donations to his PayPal account from Trump voters.Other Republicans have rushed to make sure Trump voters angry at the GOP still show up to vote in the runoffs. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Monday for Trump supporters to buck calls from conservative activists to sit out the vote.“That is NONSENSE,” Trump Jr. tweeted. “IGNORE those people.”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.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and his family will quarantine for 14 days following an exposure to COVID-19. Newsom on Twitter said that three of his children were recently "exposed to an officer from the California Highway Patrol who had tested positive for COVID-19." The California Highway Patrol provides the governor and his family with security, according to the Los Angeles Times.Newsom said he and his wife had "no direct interaction with the officer" who tested positive for COVID-19, and his "entire family tested negative" for the coronavirus on Sunday. "However, consistent with local guidance, we will be quarantining for 14 days," Newsom said.The governor's office previously announced on Friday that one of Newsom's children would be quarantining after a classmate tested positive for COVID-19, the Los Angeles Times reports.News of Newsom's COVID-19 quarantine comes after the governor recently received criticism for attending a birthday party amid the pandemic. He apologized and called his decision to attend the party a "bad mistake," admitting, "The spirit of what I'm preaching all the time was contradicted. I need to preach and practice, not just preach." More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' GM dumps Trump pollution fight, abruptly sides with Biden and California
Facebook will promote vaccine and climate change information in a bid to please the Biden administration, sources told the Financial Times.
Japan paused its domestic "Go To Travel" promotion campaign in two cities following sharp rises in COVID-19 infections, a government minister said on Tuesday, a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's plan to help prop up regional economies. "We have agreed to temporarily exclude trips destined for the cities of Sapporo and Hokkaido from the travel campaign," Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Tuesday. "Although we have tried to balance both economic revitalization as well as virus containment, we have made this decision at the local governors' request," Nishimura told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Suga and Tourism Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba.
We rounded up a mix of gifts that help others, keep folks healthy, and add a little something-something to the home Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
A firearms-toting congresswoman-elect who owns a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, has already asked Capitol Police about carrying her weapon on Capitol grounds, her office has acknowledged. The practice is allowed for lawmakers, with some limitations, under decades-old congressional regulations. The public is barred from carrying weapons in the Capitol, its grounds and office buildings.
An officer revealed Monday Canadian police obtained the security code to Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou's Vancouver house -- not merely passcodes to her electronic devices, which defense lawyers allege violated her rights.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a private jet to Neom, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday for a secret meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli media and The Wall Street Journal report. Two Saudi government advisers tell the Journal that in their first known face-to-face meeting, Netanyahu and bin Salman discussed Iran and normalizing relations, but no substantial agreements were reached. Yossi Cohen, the director of Israeli spy agency Mossad, was also on the trip, Israel's Army Radio reports.Flight data showed a Gulfstream IV private jet Netanyahu likes to use traveling from Tel Aviv to Neom, a Saudi resort city being developed on the Red Sea.> MBS and Pompeo were at NEOM at the time. https://t.co/bc2H4hETk8> > — avi scharf (@avischarf) November 23, 2020"Pompeo traveled with an American press pool on his trip throughout the Mideast, but left them at the Neom airport when he went into his visit with the crown prince," The Associated Press reports. The Trump administration has recently helped broker deals to normalize relations between Israel and several Gulf Arab states, including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates. and Sudan. "Saudi Arabia is seen as the ultimate prize in the high-stakes diplomatic campaign," the Journal notes."The Saudi government, under the direction of King Salman, has so far balked at formal ties with Israel so long as its conflict with the Palestinians remained unresolved," the Journal reports. "But Saudi Arabia's king has been at odds with his son, Prince Mohammed, over embracing the Jewish state. The king is a longtime supporter of the Arab boycott of Israel and the Palestinians' demand for an independent state, while the prince wants to move past what he sees as an intractable conflict to join with Israel in business and align against Iran."Benny Gantz, Israel's alternate prime minister under a power-sharing agreement with Netanyahu, and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi were in the dark about the meeting, Haaretz reports. "Israel has long had clandestine ties to Gulf Arab states that have strengthened in recent years as they have confronted a shared threat in Iran," AP adds.More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' GM dumps Trump pollution fight, abruptly sides with Biden and California
Parishioners of St. Andrews Catholic Church in Fort Worth, Texas, know that the Rev. Jim Gigliotti does not water down Catholic teaching for the sake of his flock’s comfort. He doesn’t mince words when explaining it, either.
James Alan White, 55, and his husband, Rusty, left their Dallas, Texas home on the morning of October 22, 2020, and headed to their respective gyms. Alan spent about an hour at LA Fitness and drove to the RaceTrac gas station where security footage showed him filling his tank and driving out of the parking lot. He was supposed to be on a 7 a.m. conference call, but never made it home. A week later, the Porsche SUV he had been driving was found abandoned in the area of Simpson Stuart and Bonnie V
Two top Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee have asked the Justice Department to declassify notes from an FBI interview of Miles Taylor, who authored the anonymous New York Times op-ed about the resistance to President Trump within his own administration.Taylor was interviewed as a possible witness in the Crossfire Hurricane probe and is identified in briefing notes intended for former FBI director James Comey dated May 1, 2017. It is not clear who wrote the notes, which span eleven pages and are heavily redacted, and were released by the Justice Department on October 30 of this year. Taylor's role in the Flynn probe is also unclear.Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), head of the committee, and colleague Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Monday requesting the declassification."We request all records relating to the FBI’s interview of Miles Taylor, including all 302s and notes, to better understand his role in the Flynn investigation," Johnson and Grassley wrote.The 2017 briefing notes refer to a "witness interview of Miles Taylor" in connection with Flynn Intel Group, the lobbying firm of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the group's work in Turkey. Taylor was a staffer on the House Committee on Homeland Security at the time, and met with Flynn's firm on several occasions in October 2016. In 2017, Taylor moved to the Department of Homeland Security, where he wrote an anonymousop-ed for the Times touting himself as part of a "resistance" within the Trump administration.Following his win in the 2016 election, President Trump appointed Flynn as national security adviser. Flynn was fired following allegations that he lied to FBI agents investigating suspicions of cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents in 2017.However, after a protracted legal fight, the Justice Department dropped its case against Flynn.