While campaigning for Joe Biden, Barack Obama hit Trump hard for tweets giving credence to conspiracy theories. Jason Johnson joins to discuss.
While campaigning for Joe Biden, Barack Obama hit Trump hard for tweets giving credence to conspiracy theories. Jason Johnson joins to discuss.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said that the chaos of the post-election period has been “orchestrated” by the Republican Party, but dismissed the notion that anything will stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
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
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was remanded in custody on Monday after pleading guilty to charges of organising and inciting an unauthorised assembly near the police headquarters during last year's anti-government protests. Wong, who was just 17 years old when he became the face of the 2014 student-led Umbrella Movement democracy protests, faces a maximum three-year jail term. On Twitter afterwards, Wong said attention should be directed to the 12 Hong Kong people detained virtually incommunicado in China after being arrested at sea in August as they were attempting to flee by boat to Taiwan to escape charges related to last year's protests in the city.
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
Clashes between Kurdish fighters and Turkey-backed opposition gunmen in northern Syria left at least 11 fighters dead in some of the most intense fighting in weeks between the two sides, an opposition war monitor and a Kurdish spokesman said Tuesday. Exchange of fire and shelling between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and Turkey-backed opposition gunmen who identify as the Syrian National Army have not been uncommon since Turkish troops invaded parts of northern Syria in October of last year. The Monday night clashes near the town of Ein Issa were triggered by an attack by Turkey-backed gunmen on SDF positions, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor.
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.
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.
John Fetterman, lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, discusses the ‘chaos’ caused by not pre-canvassing mail-in ballots prior to the election.
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.
A California attorney said Monday that a Kenosha County judge will allow him to appear in court on behalf of an Illinois 17-year-old accused of killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin. John Pierce, of Los Angeles, is not licensed to practice in Wisconsin and would need the court's permission to appear in court for Kyle Rittenhouse. Such requests are routinely granted, but Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jason Zapf has asked for a hearing on the matter “to address several issues.”
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
Over the weekend, social media was abuzz with the realization that disgraced political pundit Mark Halperin is now an on-air contributor for fledgling right-wing network Newsmax, which has been making a recent play for disgruntled Trump supporters angry with Fox News.As The Daily Beast reported last month, Halperin, who became persona non grata in mainstream media after his history of alleged, widespread sexual misconduct was exposed in 2017, has been at Newsmax since at least the summer—and he even hosts his own show on the Trump-boosting channel.It was an explosive Saturday interview—one that inevitably reshaped the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to overthrow President Donald Trump’s election loss—that led many to discover that Halperin had quietly returned to cable news.> Would swear that’s Mark Halpern on the right there https://t.co/gD5QUmWr4d> > — Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) November 22, 2020The former MSNBC and Bloomberg analyst has long been making regular appearances on several Newsmax programs, such as former White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s early-evening show. Beyond that, the one-time influential pundit now also hosts a weekend show called Mark Halperin’s Focus Group.When asked about Halperin’s role with the network in August, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy told The Washington Post that Halperin had “been posting or doing a focus group Zoom video on YouTube” and that they thought they “would test it on the weekends and see how the political talk did.” Ruddy added that there was “no long-term agreement to run the show.”And last month, with Halperin’s show still running on the weekends and the pundit being billed as a Newsmax political analyst on-air, the network still insisted to The Daily Beast that while they “continue to air Focus Group, a program that is developed and owned by Mr. Halperin,” Newsmax had “not made any final determination on the program.”On Sunday, Halperin, along with former Fox News host and current Newsmax anchor Rob Schmitt, spoke with now-former Trump legal team member Sidney Powell, who has been peddling the outlandishly baseless allegations that Dominion voting software—apparently at the behest of late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and liberal philanthropist George Soros—flipped millions of votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.During the interview, which quickly went viral, Halperin and Schmitt uncritically allowed Powell to expand her outrageous election-fraud accusations to include Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state, claiming they are part of the vast conspiracy while implying they were both bribed. She went on to vow that she would “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” lawsuit.Also on Sunday, just a few days after Powell headlined the Trump team’s insane press conference in which she laid out her bizarre voter fraud conspiracy, Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis released a statement disavowing Powell and distancing her from their legal efforts. “Sidney Powell 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,” the statement read.Newsmax TV Is Coming for Fox News by Hiring All the Crazies. Is It Actually Working?Before helping to credulously amplify Powell’s fringe theories, Halperin turned to Newsmax earlier this year when it appeared that all other avenues to a mainstream media return had been closed to him. A previous comeback last year, with the help of some of his high-profile cable news pals like the Morning Joe crew, was quickly dashed amid widespread outrage and criticism.Halperin is hardly alone at Newsmax as the network has become something of a safe haven for personalities whose scandals have made them unwelcome on other networks or outlets.The network’s star host Greg Kelly, a former Fox News correspondent and one-time New York City local news fixture, was previously accused of sexual assault (prosecutors decided not to file charges) and has an alleged history of creepy behavior with female colleagues.And one of the network’s top legal analysts, Alan Dershowitz, has largely seen his frequent Fox News appearances dry up in the wake of his connection to the Jeffrey Epstein sex-trafficking scandal, especially after Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest and a Netflix documentary that included explosive allegations about Dershowitz. (He has vehemently maintained his innocence.)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.
Turkey and Russia are at odds over Ankara's wish to set up an independent military observation post on Azeri territory, a Turkish source said, after the two agreed this month to monitor a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Turkey and Russia have already agreed to set up a joint centre in the region to monitor the Nov. 10 ceasefire, which ended weeks of fighting between Azerbaijan's troops and ethnic Armenian forces in the enclave. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but is populated by ethnic Armenians.
Libya’s rivals began a second round of talks Monday on a mechanism to choose a transitional government that would lead the conflict-stricken country to elections in December next year, the United Nations said. U.N. acting envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams headed the online meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum a week after the first round of the talks in Tunisia failed to name an executive authority. The 75-member forum reached an agreement to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Dec. 24, 2021.
Conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking and drug trafficking among charges unsealed, U.S. attorney says.
The Donald Trump phenomenon is purported to have divided friendships, families, and even marriages. I can attest to this fact in my own suburban Washington household, for this perhaps peculiar professional reason: It has occasioned my wife, the longtime sufferer of all my hot takes, to ask approximately one-thousand times whether I finally feel bad about all the mean things I said about Mitt Romney.The short answer is, yes!Romney, now the junior senator of Utah, has displayed rare courage and integrity throughout this hell-year. Alone among Republican senators (indeed, alone among any senator in history), he crossed party lines to vote to convict President Trump on the charge of abusing his power by pressuring a foreign government to interfere in our election. And — not alone, exactly, but hardly in plentiful company — he has forthrightly condemned the president for stonewalling the Biden transition and undermining our democracy.These actions have taken real guts. If I were wearing a cap, I would doff it; if I were to meet Romney in person, I would thank him. With this virtual pen in hand, I am applauding him.However: The long answer to the above question is … Heck no!Let me explain why I’m torn.First, it’s essential to remember how radically different our political landscape looked in the Before Times. The outright bigotry and racism of the 2016 Trump campaign had not yet been contemplated, let alone assimilated; for decades, those things were hinted at, dog-whistled, wink-winked — but they were not, in any overt sense, options on the menu given to Republican primary voters. Consequently, it needs to be said that it’s silly to retroactively credit figures in the party for not behaving that badly.So, what was it that bugged me so badly about mainstream, milquetoast Mitt?In 2007 and 2008, Romney, then the moderate one-term governor of Massachusetts (as well as the son of a famously moderate governor of Michigan) ran a primary campaign that was, I still maintain, preposterous. It was predicated on the notion that frontrunner John McCain (who, after a tumultuous summer in ’07, eventually won the GOP nomination) was too moderate. He compromised too often with Democrats (with Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; with Ted Kennedy on immigration; with Joe Lieberman on climate change).I understand the imperatives of strategy in winning a primary, when you must appeal to the base before pivoting to the center. But — as I said then and will say again now — I refuse to listen to such an appeal from mainstream milquetoast Mitt. He did not play the Mr. Conservative act lightly; he played it, as he plays everything, stiffly. The act failed. It deserved to fail.Then came 2012. Romney was now something of a frontrunner. He had lost the 2008 primary — but so had McCain, badly, in the general election against President Obama. It was now, in the sequential custom of Republican politics, “Mitt Romney’s turn.” So now he was the one who had to beat back attempts to protect his right flank. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee (am I forgetting anyone? It feels like I’m forgetting someone!) — they all took their shots at Romney; they all exposed weaknesses or wounded him; and they all, one after the other, failed as he had four years before.Without aid of Google, I remember calling Romney a “rancid imposter” (yikes!). With aid of Google, I see that I called his 2012 campaign “breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic” (I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet!). I haven’t forgotten about the catastrophic 47 percent video. And I sure haven’t forgotten about the way Romney comported himself in the first innings of the Benghazi fiasco (reminder: He really was breathtakingly cynical).But, with the benefit of both hindsight and five years of Donald Trump, here’s what I’ve come to appreciate about Mitt Romney, a man of obvious high character and basic decency, that wasn’t clear to me then, but should have been: He was trying to hold together a party that was morally coming apart at the seams. Indeed, Romney could see for himself that it was thirsting for a demagogue very like Trump (whose endorsement, it must be noted, Romney accepted). “It’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments,” he said in February 2012. “We’ve seen throughout the campaign that if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama that you’re going to jump up in the polls. You know, I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am.”It took guts to say that then. I didn’t acknowledge it at the time. I should have.When the notional threat of Trump became a reality in 2016, Romney, again, took a stand. In March of that fateful year, Romney warned against nominating a “con man, a fake.” Every word of the speech was born out by the reality of the Trump administration. Not just the bits about Trump’s warped character — but the red flags over Trump’s desire for a trade war and his embrace of prodigious debt.Of course, Romney being Romney, he sullied his righteous stand by agreeing to dine with Trump during the transition, under the guise of possibly being nominated for secretary of state. Predictably, Romney was humiliated. But that was the last time.Very much on his own shingle, Romney won a Senate seat in Utah. From there, he has become one of the bravest and most constructive voices in Republican politics. And while I may regret the excessive tone of some of my criticisms of Mitt Romney’s past, I can say that I look forward to applauding him more often in the future.“Sorry, Mitt”? Not quite.Instead: Go, Mitt, go!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
Israeli media reported Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia for a clandestine meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which would mark the first known encounter between senior Israeli and Saudi officials. The reported meeting was the latest move by the Trump Administration to promote normalized ties between Israel and the broader Arab world and reflected the shared concern of all three nations about Iran. The Israeli news site Walla, followed quickly by other Hebrew-language media, cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying that Netanyahu and Yossi Cohen, head of Israel's Mossad spy agency, flew Sunday night to the Saudi city of Neom, where they met with the crown prince.
Mexican church and civic leaders on Monday canceled an annual gathering that attracts massive crowds of Catholic pilgrims to protect people amid an intensifying coronavirus outbreak. The feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe celebrated on Dec. 12 typically features lavish pageantry at her namesake basilica in the north of Mexico City where throngs of pilgrims arrive on their knees in prayer. "The health conditions the country is experiencing due to COVID-19 do not permit us at this time to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe together at her sanctuary," the statement said.
David Dinkins, who broke barriers as New York City’s first African American mayor but was doomed to a single term by a soaring murder rate, stubborn unemployment and his mishandling of a riot in Brooklyn, has died. He was 93.