House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy reacts to the FISA court's rebuke of the FBI in the Russia investigation and the latest on impeachment on 'Sunday Morning Futures.'
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy reacts to the FISA court's rebuke of the FBI in the Russia investigation and the latest on impeachment on 'Sunday Morning Futures.'
Two highly effective coronavirus vaccines are now on the horizon, but the next challenge for federal, state and local leaders will be distributing a vaccine equitably so that communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic can have access.
First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
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.
Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church on Sunday criticized a vote in the Senate to legalize the possession, cultivation and use of small amounts of marijuana. The bill adopted this past week must still go to the lower house of Congress for a vote. It would legalize the possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana by adults as long as they did not consume it in front of children.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
Loeffler is currently campaigning in a high-stakes race that could determine control of the Senate at the start of President-elect Joe Biden's term.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday criticized President Trump’s legal team over their chaotic press conference last week that failed to provide any evidence to back up their claims that the 2020 election was rigged.“You call a gigantic press conference like that — one that lasts an hour — and you announce massive bombshells, then you better have some bombshells,” Limbaugh said during his show on Monday. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got…I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference. They promised blockbuster stuff and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”He added, “If you’re gonna do a press conference like that with the promise of blockbusters, then there has to be something more than what that press conference delivered.”He also questioned the role of lawyer Sidney Powell, who was present at the press conference but has since cut ties with Trump’s legal team.Though Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said Powell is “not a member of the Trump legal team” or a personal lawyer to the president, Limbaugh argued it’s a “tough thing to deny she was ever part of it because they introduced her as part of it."“She was at that press conference last week,” he said.During the press conference on Thursday, Giuliani claimed to have evidence of a "national conspiracy" to steal the election for President-elect Joe Biden, though he said he could not yet release any evidence as the judges presiding over the campaign's lawsuit might object and because his witnesses might face retribution if their names became public. He said he had “at least ten” witnesses ready to describe instances of voter fraud, he couldn’t reveal them publicly because “they don’t want to be harassed.”
President-elect Joe Biden will announce the first of his Cabinet picks on Tuesday, incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said on Sunday. The incoming president, a Democrat, has promised to build an administration that reflects the diversity of the country. "We’ve made that decision,” Biden told a news conference.
A video went viral Sunday in Germany of a confrontation at a coronavirus protest, where a young woman compared herself to a famous Nazi resistance fighter and then was accused by a security guard of “trivializing” the Holocaust. Several people protesting coronavirus restrictions in Germany that seek to tamp down new infections have tried to depict themselves as victims of government persecution. The woman spoke on stage Saturday evening in the northern city of Hannover, telling fellow protesters “I feel like Sophie Scholl, since I've been active in the resistance, giving speeches, going to protests, distributing flyers.”
The far right thought it had found the ideal breakfast beverage company. Then it took a big sip of Black Rifle Coffee and checked the news.For years, Black Rifle Coffee Company has been at the vanguard of an emerging conservative coffee movement. Customers can start their day with a “Thin Blue Line” Keurig cup, or wind down with a nice mug of “Combat Cocoa.” This isn’t coffee for WIMPS and CIVILIANS, the company’s branding implies; it’s TACTICAL CAFFEINATION for OPERATORS.But not even that branding has been enough to save BRCC from attacks by its far-right former fans, who accuse the company of being inadequately militant because it declined to sponsor a teenager accused of murdering Black Lives Matter protesters.‘All Combat Takes Place at Night’: Kyle Rittenhouse’s Lawyer Urges Trump Fans to ‘Dust Off’ Gun RightsBRCC’s trouble began shortly after accused murderer Kyle Rittenhouse was bailed out of jail last week. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three people (two of them fatally) at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin earlier this year. Rittenhouse, 17, became a hero of the militant far right, especially of groups like the Proud Boys that openly lust for violence against the left.Shortly after supporters posted Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail, the host of a conservative podcast that partners with BRCC tweeted a picture of Rittenhouse in a BRCC shirt. The picture, plus its caption (“Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America”) led viewers to believe BRCC was partnering with Rittenhouse.That wasn’t the case, BRCC clarified this weekend. In a video, the company’s CEO Evan Hafer stated that BRCC had not and would not sponsor Rittenhouse.“We’re not in the business of profiting from tragedy,” the CEO of the gun-themed coffee company said. “We’re not in the business of profiting from this event. We have zero interest in collecting one dollar from any of this. It is ethically inappropriate for us to do so, or even give the perception [of profiting].”That would be an uncontroversial statement from virtually any other CEO. But not, apparently, from a leader in the world of conservative coffee. Hafer’s statement prompted a hypercaffeinated meltdown from portions of the right, which castigated BRCC as traitors.> Lmfao, reactionaries are turning on Black Riffle Coffee because BRC doesn’t want their product associated with Kyle Rittenhouse pic.twitter.com/cNOBz70Flf> > — Rational Disconnect (@RationalDis) November 23, 2020Far-right internet personalities like blogger Cassandra Fairbanks formally “disavowed” BRCC—in doing so, taking a break from accusing the left of being censorious. Others accused BRCC of just exploiting the right for profit.“Civilians are just cash cows to you, so you and your veteran buddies can get rich,” one prominent white supremacist account railed at Hafer. The Proud Boys, a far-right paramilitary group that has championed Rittenhouse, accused BRCC of trying to market to “genderless college students,” and photoshopped the BRCC logo to look like it supported Black Lives Matter (which, in Proud Boys parlance, is intended as an insult).On Parler, a social media platform popular among the far right, supposed ex-BRCC fans flooded the company’s page with insults. “Boycott these liberals and every brand associated with them,” commented a user, whose profile picture was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg photoshopped to look like a Nazi.“Turns out Black Rifle Coffee Is deep state...🤣😂🤣,” another former fan wrote on BRCC’s Parler page. “My husband is pissed...he said his election was stolen away by Democrats, and then his coffee!”“And just like that you have to change your name to LGBTQ snowflake coffee,” a third wrote. “Never will drink your coffee.”Parler users became so incensed they started searching the Federal Election Commission site for Hafer’s political contributions, which revealed that he’d donated $500 to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat. (Gabbard, who has served in the military like Hafer, saw some support from a fringe of far-right personalities during her 2020 presidential campaign.)The accusations were a stunning reversal in fortune for BRCC, which, for years, has positioned itself as the go-to coffee for conservative gun fans. “I want people who voted for Trump to know that there is another option for you,” Hafer said in a 2017 interview. “[Starbucks’ then-CEO] Howard Schultz doesn’t want your business. I do. I’ll be proud to take it.”When Starbucks announced a plan to hire 10,000 refugees in 2017, BRCC shared a meme that photoshopped Starbucks cups onto ISIS fighters. “Starbucks vows to hire 10,000 refugees,” the meme read, followed by a picture of U.S. troops with the caption “Black Rifle Coffee Company vows to hire 10,000 veterans.”BRCC might have been the most popular conservative-aligned coffee brand–but it wasn’t the only one. Other right-wing coffee companies, including those with similar military branding, launched around the same time, many of them in response to the perceived liberalism of brands like Starbucks.At least two conservative coffee shops opened this February alone. One, Covfefe Coffee and Gifts in Maine, sells brews named after Trump. The other, Conservative Grounds in Florida, includes a makeshift Oval Office with cardboard cutouts of Donald and Melania Trump. Conservative Grounds’ owner told the Washington Post the shop was “a place for conservatives to feel welcome,” and noted that the store had a sign leading out to the dumpsters with a label “liberal safe space, enter here.”Why Does Starbucks Melt Conservative Brains?A third right-wing coffee brand is now gunning for BRCC’s customers, promoting stickers that advocate throwing communists to their deaths from helicopters, and patches mocking the corpse of a man Rittenhouse killed. The brand earned an endorsement from the Proud Boys after it released a statement lauding Rittenhouse on Sunday.When a Twitter user accused the company of revealing “fascist views,” the brand account replied, “We were never in hiding sweet cheeks.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
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
Raymond Deskins was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly breathing heavily on protesters who were outside Trump National Golf Club.
The United States’ national security adviser has warned China not to use military force against Taiwan, a day after an unannounced visit to the democratic island by a two-star Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific. Robert O’Brien cautioned Beijing while touring the Philippines and Vietnam, where he spoke to his counterparts about tackling China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea, a region of vital shipping routes where it has made multiple disputed territorial claims. The Chinese Communist Party also claims Taiwan, a democracy of 24 million, even though it has never ruled there. It has threatened to annex the island, and in recent months has stepped up military intimidation through air incursions and invasion simulations. “We have very close ties with Taiwan. The president has made it very clear that any attempt to cause Taiwan to unify with China with anything other than persuasion or democratic election, is something that would be extraordinarily consequential for the People’s Republic of China,” said Mr O’Brien. “I can’t imagine anything that would cause a greater backlash against China around the entire world if they attempted to use military force to coerce Taiwan,” he told reporters. The US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taipei but it views Taiwan as a democratic ally in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. It is Taiwan’s biggest arms supplier. The Trump administration has beefed up support for Taiwan in recent months - approving several big weapons sales and dispatching senior officials, including Alex Azar, the US health secretary. This weekend Reuters reported that Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, the director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command, had made a secretive visit. He is believed to be one of the most high-ranking US officers known to have visited Taipei in recent years. The increased US backing for Taiwan has riled China amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over the South China Sea, the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and an ongoing trade dispute. On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry hit back with a warning of its own, demanding the US “immediately stop” all official exchanges and military contacts with Taiwan and signalling that China would make “legitimate and necessary responses” without giving further details. “China firmly opposes official exchanges and military contacts between the US and Taiwan in any form. This position has been consistent and clear. We urge the US side to fully recognise the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue,” said spokesman Zhao Lijian.
A panel of human rights experts working with the United Nations said Monday that former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was wrongly detained in Japan and has urged “compensation” for him from the Japanese government. The Japanese government denounced the report as a “totally unacceptable” viewpoint that will change nothing in the country's legal process. In its opinion published Monday, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Ghosn’s arrest in Japan in late 2018 and early 2019 was “arbitrary” and called on Japan’s government to “take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Ghosn without delay.”
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.
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was taken into custody on Monday after pleading guilty to charges of illegal assembly last year, which could land him in jail for up to three years if he's convicted at a later date. While Wong was taken away by courtroom staff, he shouted "Everyone hang in there!" The assembly in question took place near the city's police headquarters in June last year. Fellow long-time activists Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow were remanded in custody at the same trial after they, too, pleaded guilty to similar charges. Wong spoke out over his situation before entering the court Monday: "Perhaps the authorities wish me to stay in prison, but I'm persuaded neither prison bars, nor election bans, nor any other arbitrary power will stop us from activism." Wong's and other activists' repeated arrests have drawn criticism from Western governments who say China is not fulfilling its obligation to allow Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy after its handover in 1997. China denies the accusation and says Hong Kong is its internal affair. Wong was not a leading figure in last year's protests, but his activist career since the 2014 Umbrella Movement has drawn Beijing's anger. Hours after China's parliament passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong this past summer, Wong disbanded his pro-democracy group, Demosisto. Under the new law, any activity Beijing considers subversion, secession, terrorism or collusion may receive up to life in prison.
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.
Pope Francis met with a delegation of NBA players at the Vatican on Monday, lauding them as “champions" and saying he supported their work on social injustice. Five players — Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver — were joined by NBA players' union executive director Michele Roberts and two other union executives, Sherrie Deans and Matteo Zuretti.
All across Malaysia's Sabah region on Borneo island, stateless residents and undocumented migrants are fleeing public health officials conducting coronavirus screenings, fearful of being detained or deported. The race to tackle COVID-19 in Sabah, Malaysia's biggest palm oil producing state, is being complicated by an estimated one million undocumented migrants and stateless residents who account for a third of the population. Sabah accounts for nearly half of Malaysia's 54,775 recorded COVID-19 infections and over half its 335 deaths despite having barely a tenth of the Southeast Asian country's population.
How might the broad perception that Joe Biden, at 78, will choose to be a one-term president hobble his effectiveness? Should he perhaps deny it?