Scott doubles down on Baltimore's COVID-19 restrictions
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/GettyWhen four liberal lawmakers came to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to roll out legislation to add seats to the high court, they may have had the base of the Democratic Party strongly behind them, but their party leaders across the street in the Capitol—and many of their colleagues—might as well have been residing in a different political universe.Just before Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), the lead Senate sponsor of the bill to pack the court, took the microphone outside the Supreme Court, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters at her weekly press conference that it was going nowhere fast.“I have no intention to bring it to the floor,” she said.Later that afternoon, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the chair of the House Democratic Caucus and a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the party’s leadership team hadn’t discussed the legislation—at all.“I haven't heard too much about it one way or the other,” Jeffries, who has not taken a position on adding seats, told The Daily Beast. “No one within the Democratic caucus has said anything to me about it yet... We just had a leadership meeting, and this didn’t come up.”Top Democrats surely know, however, that among many of their voters, this issue is hardly an afterthought. In four years, Donald Trump shifted the high court to the right with three successful confirmations. And with every addition, Democratic support grew for adding seats to the bench.Now that Democrats have control over the White House, House and Senate, liberals say it’s time to act. The leaders of the push—Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Sen. Markey, Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)—acknowledged this was just the first step in a potentially long but existentially important campaign. But the imprimatur of Nadler made Thursday’s first step more forceful.“I wish we did not have to stand here today,” said Jones, a freshman progressive, at the press conference. “I wish we didn't have a far-right Supreme Court majority that is hostile to democracy itself. But here we are. And the fact is, if we want to save our democracy, we must act before it is too late by restoring balance to the Supreme Court.”Among a broad swath of Democrats, though, this push is seen as politically toxic—especially for the swing-district lawmakers who will determine whether the party retains its House majority in 2022.Up until now, those frontline Democrats could keep their distance from the court debates, which were historically the purview of the Senate. But the introduction of this bill on court-packing now puts them on the spot on this touchy issue—and Republicans are all too happy to exploit that development.Conservative politicians and media buzzed with Thursday’s press conference. Fox News aired it live. And House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made special note of the press conference during his weekly press conference, saying the idea “should scare every American.”“They didn’t have to make it this big push,” a senior House Republican aide told The Daily Beast. “The outrage is justifiable, especially after the last four years, after they said we were trampling on norms—now they’re trying to add seats to the Supreme Court. It’s something we’re going to make every one of their members own.”President Joe Biden, who has avoided taking a clear position on court expansion, moved to create a commission to “study” the issue further. Republicans intend to use this to put pressure on him, too.“Nothing symbolizes liberal overreach more than packing the court,” said a senior Senate GOP aide. “The American people recoil at the idea. It was too radical during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency, and if Joe Biden wants to maintain any claim of being a moderate he ought to shoot this down immediately.”In the early days of Biden’s presidency, Democrats have confronted a challenge of taking control of Washington’s levers of power: reconciling the pent-up demands of their party base with what is politically possible. Biden and congressional leaders have satisfied progressives so far with a sweeping COVID relief plan and its dramatic expansion of the social safety net, and the infrastructure plan’s early designs on climate policy are promising to them as well.Proponents of court expansion know that, in order to pass the bill, they would need to eliminate the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for making laws. There is increased Democratic support for that, but what’s pushing them there isn’t necessarily a desire to expand the court; it’s a fresh urgency to expand voting rights.The issue’s place on the liberal back burner is notable, given how much space it has taken up in Democrats’ recent debates. During the 2020 presidential primary, Democratic hopefuls faced pressure to back the idea—or at least not reject it outright. That bar was cleared by several top candidates, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and now-Vice President Kamala Harris. A New York Times poll from October, when Trump and Senate Republicans rushed to confirm Amy Coney Barrett before the 2020 election, found that 57 percent of Democrats nationwide backed court expansion.But Jones, who was elected the 2020 freshman class’ representative to House leadership, said that “it’s safe to presume we begin this process with the vast majority of Democratic members of the House being supportive of reforms to the Supreme Court.”“Now,” Jones said, “we've got to get them to a place where they would agree to co-sponsor this legislation and vote for it, and that needs to take place before we even have discussions about whether there will be a floor vote on Supreme Court expansion.”Other Democrats do favor some court reforms, like term limits for justices, and most believe that Republicans dealt the most lethal blow to court norms by eliminating the 60-vote threshold to confirm high court nominees. Still, most are far from ready to support adding seats to the bench. A senior House Democrat, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), backed the legislation in a Thursday tweet, but there was hardly a rush to get on the bandwagon.One of the party’s most outspoken moderates, Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), plainly said he was going to ignore the legislation.“There's just a lot of things we're working on right now that actually have a chance of getting done now that Biden is president, and I don't think that's one of them,” Lamb told The Daily Beast. “So I really mean it when I say I'm just not going to devote thought to it.”Jones dismissed the idea that Democrats would face real political ramifications for the push, arguing it would be key to ensuring their popular policies withstand a legal assault from conservatives.“People are not going to be losing elections over an effort to make sure that everyone has the right to vote in this country,” said Jones, “to make sure that we can continue to have the Affordable Care Act, which is deeply popular with the American people, and which the Supreme Court has been dismantling and a series of decisions over the past decade.”But the bill’s proponents acknowledge they have some selling to do, too, and they believe that politics will do some of that work for them. Asked about Pelosi’s opposition to bringing the bill to the floor, Nadler emphasized that the speaker didn’t rule out the idea altogether.“Speaker Pelosi is a very good judge of events, and of history,” said Nadler. “And I believe that as events unfold and the court comes down with decisions obstructive of a woman’s right to choose, as they come down with decisions obstructive to the climate, as they come down with decisions obstructive to civil liberties, I believe that Speaker Pelosi and others will come along.”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.
- Associated Press
One by one, the Republican leaders of Congress have made the trip to Mar-a-Lago to see Donald Trump. Kevin McCarthy visited after the deadly Jan 6 Capitol insurrection, counting on the former president's help to win back control of the House in 2022. The chair of the Senate Republican campaign committee, Rick Scott, stopped by to enlist Trump in efforts to regain the Senate.
The report identifies the officer as Eric Stillman, 34, listing the officer as a victim in an aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer.
- Business Insider
Top US general in Europe says there's a low-to-medium risk Russia invades Ukraine in the next few weeks
Russia has amassed roughly 80,000 troops along Ukraine's borders, raising alarm bells across Europe and in Washington.
- The Independent
The lawsuit filed against police says the vicitm now experiences fear, trauma and anxiety whenever she leaves her home
- The Telegraph
The ousted Myanmar ambassador to the UK has urged the British Government to help him as he faces being evicted from his residence by the country’s military regime. Kyaw Zwar Minn, who was last week forced out of the Myanmar embassy at the orders of the junta, was told to leave by Thursday the London house where he has lived with his family since his appointment in 2013 or face prosecution. The military regime – which seized power on Feb 1, paving the way for a bloody suppression of all civilian opposition – appears determined to extract revenge on the ambassador for daring to criticise the coup. Now he has urged Boris Johnson’s government to intervene and offer protection to him and his family. Speaking outside his residence in Hampstead he said: “I say to the British Government help me, help me, help me. I am hoping they will do so over the next few days.”
Lifting weights is the most efficient way to get a lean physique, says CrossFit competitor turned 'Wonder Woman' actress Brooke Ence
It's a myth that weight lifting makes women bulky - strength training is great for toning and strength, she said.
- The Independent
Trump supporters called Ivanka a ‘disappointment’ for getting the jab
- Associated Press
It was one of the more tantalizing, yet unresolved, questions of the investigation into possible connections between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign: Why was a business associate of campaign chairman Paul Manafort given internal polling data — and what did he do with it? A Treasury Department statement Thursday offered a potentially significant clue, asserting that Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian and Ukrainian political consultant, had shared sensitive campaign and polling information with Russian intelligence services. Kilimnik has long been alleged by U.S. officials as having ties to Russian intelligence.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyAs Republicans castigate corporations for opposing their nationwide efforts to change voting rules, the Democratic Party’s top critics of private sector power are laughing at the notion that corporate America and the GOP have actually splintered.Republicans Can Talk Tough About ‘Woke’ Corporations—and That’s About ItLiterally.Asked on Wednesday about the idea of a rift between the GOP and big business, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) let out a chuckle.“I think the Republicans have finally been called out,” Warren told The Daily Beast. “They think that they can pass laws to keep people from voting and otherwise undermine our democracy, and so long as they cut taxes for corporate America, everything will be sunshine and roses. They’re wrong.”The former Wall Street watchdog and progressive 2020 presidential candidate didn’t exactly give corporations moral credit for speaking out against the GOP’s voting stands. They’d simply reached their limit.“All of this is about democracy,” said Warren. “Corporations are willing to get in and throw their money around to help candidates that they're aligned with, but what we're seeing now is they're not willing to take that all the way to the point of breaking our basic democracy.”That apparent breaking point was Georgia Republicans’ bill, passed in March, to restrict several avenues of voting access after high-profile Democratic victories in the state fueled conspiracies about election integrity. Big local companies like Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola spoke up strongly against that bill, and Major League Baseball pulled its scheduled All-Star Game from the state under pressure from their players and the public. CEOs of major companies like Pepsi and Paypal huddled recently to discuss coordinated pushback to bills similar to Georgia’s nationwide. And on Wednesday, the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post had an open letter signed by hundreds of corporations—including Starbucks, General Motors, and Google—condemning “any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.”Those moves, among others, have prompted the GOP to turn on corporate America’s titans as “woke” warriors taking marching orders from Democrats, which has sparked the op-eds and headlines speculating about the schism between C-suites and the Republican Party.Not only do progressives like Warren reject the idea that this rift is real—they also reject the idea that a broader political realignment is taking place, one in which Republicans assume the role as big business’ main adversary, while Democrats gradually align with corporate interests.The de facto dean of the party’s left wing, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), put forward a simple litmus test for Republicans when asked that question. “We’ll see how they feel about asking large corporations and the wealthy to start paying their fair share,” Sanders told The Daily Beast. “Let’s see how they feel about raising the minimum wage.”The subtext for Sanders’ answer: Republicans largely don’t support those things. To pay for their proposed $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan, President Joe Biden and Democrats want to raise taxes on corporations to 28 percent, up from the 21 percent rate that the GOP codified in their 2017 tax bill. Republicans have uniformly balked at that idea.The GOP also vocally opposed an effort from Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 when Democrats pushed to add it to their COVID relief package in February. Only one Republican, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), came close to endorsing the idea, backing a minimum wage hike only for the biggest corporations. Generally, he has been one of the few Republicans willing to back up criticism for corporations’ politics with some measures to restrain their power.Republicans Can Talk Tough About ‘Woke’ Corporations—and That’s About ItHawley believes the rest of his party is catching up with him, particularly on issues of antitrust, and he argued the Democratic Party is becoming the preferred party of corporate America. “The corporatist party right now, increasingly today, is the Democratic Party,” Hawley argued to The Daily Beast. “We’re in a significant realignment right now.”Many Republicans’ recent displays of antipathy toward corporate America have been largely fueled by the sense they are targeting them in one way or another, not only through the opposition to state-level voting bills, but through endorsement of “cancel culture” or censorship of conservatives.Beyond that, the declarations from numerous large companies—such as Amazon, AT&T, Mastercard, and Blue Cross Blue Shield—that they would not contribute to the campaigns of Republican lawmakers who objected to the certification of the 2020 election after Jan. 6 further rankled the party.When Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently issued a surprise endorsement of the drive to form a labor union at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama, he alluded to the mega-corporation’s devastating impact on small businesses. But most of Rubio’s firepower was reserved for Amazon’s supposed “war against working-class values” by banning conservative books from their marketplace, and their “citizen of the world” status, which he argued made the company complicit with China’s communist government.His 2016 presidential rival, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has also gone after “woke” corporations but tried to shoe-horn those criticisms into a conservative-flavored argument that power, in general, is bad. In a Tuesday tweet, Cruz declared: “Big Government is bad. Big Corporations are bad. Big Tech is bad. Big Hollywood is bad. Any massive accumulation of power is bad.”Hawley, who is leading a push to strip a century-old antitrust exemption for MLB in response to the Georgia decision, disputed the idea that Republicans’ lack of support for making corporations pay higher taxes means they are not serious about holding corporations accountable. “I don’t buy that you have to support Democrats’ policy agenda in order to have a serious critique of corporate America,” he said.Progressives are deeply skeptical of this, of course. “You can't just rhetorically say, ‘We're the party of working families,’” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a leading House progressive who co-chaired Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign. “What are the policies? What is one concrete policy that Republicans in the last 30 years have passed that is directly in the interests of working families, that has increased worker power compared to corporate power?”As to Hawley’s point that Democrats are more corporate, Khanna dismissed it outright. “I think we're moving the other direction,” he said.To Warren, though, it all comes back to the issue that has expanded the daylight between Republicans and corporations: voting.“Corporate America may still be willing to line up with the tax-cut Republicans, but not over something that is fundamental to democracy,” said Warren. “So, in a sense, when you asked me about just the simple realignment in politics, that’s not what it says to me. To me, it says, here’s something bigger than politics, and that corporate America recognizes it has a responsibility in America, and that responsibility is to support our democracy.”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.
Carrie Bradshaw dated many types of guys in the six seasons of "Sex and the City," but Aidan Shaw and "the new Yankee" were a cut above the rest.
- The Independent
‘They could not break one of the 10 commandments and just be faithful to their marrieds,’ host says
- The Telegraph
Hong Kong school-children were on Thursday invited to handle rocket launchers and sing the Chinese national anthem during a day of activities designed to boost loyalty to Beijing. In classrooms across the city, students as young as six were given lessons on the draconian security law imposed last year as part of the first ‘National Security Education Day’. Pupils were told to write messages in praise of China on billboards as they took part in flag-raising ceremonies as well as pro-Beijing puzzles and games. At an open day at Hong Kong’s Police College, students were shown how to handle mock rocket-launchers as officers rappelled down from helicopters and took down 'terrorists' in mock-drills. Police also demonstrated a new goose-stepping march that mimics the style used by Chinese troops on the mainland. On the sidelines, guests wearing “I love police” t-shirts posed for selfies with a bear mascot dressed in a tactical uniform.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
He was arrested Wednesday.
- The Independent
‘A bottle of water knocked you out? Hahahaha’
- Yahoo News Video
Body camera footage of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy last month shows the officer yelling “Drop it!” at the teen right before he opens fire.
John Corbett says he's joining the 'Sex and the City' reboot. Here's everyone who will and won't be in the new show.
In January, former "Sex and the City" stars shared a teaser for the show's reboot. Since then, multiple former leads have confirmed they've signed on to the new series.
- The Daily Beast
Joe RaedleRight-wing provocateur James O’Keefe, best-known for his undercover “sting” operations and deceptively edited videos, was permanently suspended from Twitter on Thursday for what the social-media site said were violations of the its policy on manipulation and spam.O’Keefe’s ban comes just a few months after his group Project Veritas was thrown off Twitter for “repeated violations of Twitter’s private information policy.” At the time, O’Keefe’s account was also temporarily locked for violating the company’s policy.There is nothing temporary about his Thursday suspension from Twitter, however. “The account you referenced (@JamesOKeefeIII) was permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules on platform manipulation and spam,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Daily Beast.The social-media platform specifically outlined how Twitter policy dictates that users “can’t mislead others on Twitter by operating fake accounts” and that “can’t artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts.”Earlier this week, O’Keefe released his group’s most recent “sting” video, which centers around a purported CNN technical director telling an undercover Project Veritas operative he met on Tinder that the network’s focus was to “get Trump out of office” and peddle anti-Trump “propaganda.”O’Keefe appeared on Sean Hannity’s primetime Fox News show the past two nights to hype his latest CNN videos, claiming they prove that the network has amplified its coverage of scandal-plagued Congressman Matt Gaetz because he’s a “problem for the Democratic Party,” and that CNN overhyped COVID-19 deaths for ratings.In response to his permanent suspension, O’Keefe claimed in a statement that he is “suing Twitter for defamation” over its claim that he operated fake accounts.“This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay,” he said. “Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me. The complaint will be filed Monday.”The Project Veritas founder also told Hannity this week that he plans to sue CNN for defamation because an anchor had previously said his group was “taken down” for misinformation. 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.
- The Week
Buckingham Palace on Thursday released details about Saturday's funeral for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9 at the age of 99. Born Prince Philip of Greece, son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, he was married to Queen Elizabeth for 73 years. Only 30 people will be able to attend his ceremonial royal funeral due to COVID-19 precautions, and the guest list is limited to just family, including the queen; their four children; grandchildren and spouses; and extended family members. The funeral procession will start at 9:40 ET, with his coffin transported from Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel. Members of the armed forces will line up along the route, firing guns in salute. Several family members will walk behind Prince Philip's coffin, including his children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward — and grandchildren. The 50-minute service will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, and a four-person choir will sing pieces selected by Prince Philip. The funeral will be broadcast in the United States on NBC. More stories from theweek.com5 colossally funny cartoons about Biden's infrastructure planBiden's Justice Department hasn't killed Trump's land-seizure cases at U.S.-Mexico borderMatt Gaetz's girlfriend was reportedly paid $6,500 by Joel Greenberg, alleged sex ring leader
- The Independent
‘Mitch McConnell is not a force for good in our country,’ Nancy Pelosi reportedly told author