Amerika

National Security Guidance

Joe Biden signals another severe reversal from Donald Trump

The White House released its interim national security strategic guidance, stressing a need to build alliances and strengthen democracy, an implicit rebuff of former President Trump’s “America first" strategy. “We will only succeed in advancing American interests and upholding our universal values by working in common cause with our closest allies and partners, and by renewing our own enduring sources of national strength,” President Biden wrote in the guidance.

voter fraud

Mike Pence breaks silence to criticize 2020 election

Pence, who was presiding over a joint session of Congress when its certification of the Electoral College results was interrupted by a mob of former President Trump's supporters, said there were “significant voting irregularities” and “numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law” in the 2020 presidential election.

Lindsey Boylan

Andrew Cuomo denies former aide's sexual harassment allegations

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is denying allegations from a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment, including an unwanted kiss, in a Medium post on Wednesday. Lindsey Boylan alleged that in 2018, the Democratic governor kissed her on the lips following a one-on-one briefing in his New York City office.

The GOP’s choice in 2024

Trump Ultra, Trump Lite or Trump Zero

At least eight 2024 hopefuls will speak at CPAC, the conservative movement’s premier conference this weekend in Florida, giving Republicans their clearest look yet at who’s competing in the traditional GOP presidential lanes. But there’s only one lane that really matters: the one currently occupied by former President Donald Trump.

Conservative War

Donald Trump: Republicans say finally goodbye to free speech for good

House conservatives are renewing their calls for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to step down from her leadership post after she split with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over whether former President Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). House Freedom Caucus members are going after Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, following an awkward moment during a press conference Wednesday with the House GOP leader.

Lindsey Boylan

Former aide charges Andrew Cuomo kissed, sexually harassed her

A former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the governor kissed her without her consent and asked her to play strip poker, alleging a pattern of sexual harassment she detailed in a new account Wednesday. Lindsey Boylan, who is running for Manhattan borough president and formerly worked for Cuomo and the state’s economic development agency, wrote in a Medium post that Cuomo kissed her on the lips against her will at his office in Manhattan.

Mitt Romney

Donald Trump will win 2024 GOP nomination if he runs

Sen. Mitt Romney predicted Tuesday that former President Donald Trump would easily win the Republican presidential nomination if he seeks the White House again in 2024. In a New York Times-DealBook virtual interview, the Utah Republican said he was “sure” the former president would play a role in the GOP in the coming years — assessing that Trump has “by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party.”

Deportation

Texas judge deals Biden another blow on 100-day deportation ban

A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday blocked President Joe Biden’s 100-day moratorium on most deportations, the latest blow to Biden on one of his signature campaign promises. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, in a late-night ruling, granted a preliminary injunction that blocks the moratorium the Biden administration announced on its first day. It’s a victory for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the 100-day pause, which was announced in a memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security three days into the Biden administration.

Ted Cruz

Wife 'pretty pissed' about leaked Cancun texts

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) on Tuesday said that his wife, Heidi Cruz, was “pretty pissed,” over group text messages leaked to The New York Times last week that showed she invited friends and neighbors to join their trip to Mexico as their home state was battered by an extreme winter storm.

Ted Cruz

'Don't let him back in': backlash as Cruz caught leaving Texas for Mexico

“Complete and utter hyprocites,” tweeted Senator Ted Cruz back in December, when Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, was caught directing residents to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus while at his holiday home in Cabo, Mexico. But Cruz is now eating a slice of humble pie – after being caught hopping on a flight to Mexico just days after telling Texans to stay home during a storm that has left millions of Texans without heating, hot water or power. Cruz was pictured on a flight to Cancun while millions in his state are without power, and adults and children have died while trying to keep warm.

Republicans

Trump unloads on Mitch McConnell, promises MAGA primary challengers

Former President Trump on Tuesday unloaded on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and vowed to back challengers to lawmakers who have crossed him. In a statement released through his Save America super PAC, Trump blamed McConnell for the GOP’s 2020 Senate losses and called for Republicans to elect new leaders to carry on his legacy.

Probe into the insurrection

After the impeachment: Nancy Pelosi want the capitol attack investigated like 9/11

For Democrats and a shamefully small number of Republicans, last week’s impeachment trial was not only about holding Donald Trump accountable for his actions—it was also about sending a message, to him and other would-be American autocrats, that the country cannot again go down the road to insurrection. “If the Senate acquits Donald Trump, then any president could incite and provoke insurrectionary violence against us again,” impeachment manager Jamie Raskin pleaded with his Capitol Hill colleagues. His appeal, however convincing, failed to move move Republican Senators, and the right and just thing was overpowered by the politics of the moment.

Republicans

Mitch McConnell unloads on Trump: 'Morally responsible' for provoking mob

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Saturday unleashed blistering criticism of former President Trump, blaming him for sparking the attack on the Capitol while also explaining why he didn't vote for a conviction. McConnell also suggested that Trump could face criminal prosecution for his actions.

Impeachment

57-43: Seven Republicans break with former President Donald Trump

The Senate voted on Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge that he incited the deadly insurrection of Jan. 6, marking the close of a trial that laid bare the horrors of the riots and highlighted Congress’ halting efforts to extricate itself from the Trump era. The verdict was long foreshadowed by Senate Republicans, who said they were unmoved by the House managers’ central argument that Trump’s months-long campaign to subvert the election results, as well as his incendiary remarks to a Jan. 6 crowd, sparked the violent riots.

Impeachment

Managers rest their case: Trump ‘can do this again’ if he is not convicted

The House Democrats prosecuting former President Donald J. Trump rested their case on Thursday, branding him a clear and present danger to United States democracy who could sow new violence like the deadly assault on the Capitol last month if he was not barred from holding office again. Calling on senators to render “impartial justice” and embrace the “common sense” of the country’s founders, the nine impeachment managers closed their case by laying out the grave damage the Jan. 6 riot had caused not just to lawmakers or police officers at the Capitol, but to the democratic system and America’s standing around the world.

QAnon congresswoman

Marjorie Taylor Greene 'openly cheated' on her husband Perry of 25 years

Controversial conspiracy congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene cheated on her husband with a polyamorous tantric sex guru. Then after ending her affair with him, the mom-of-three moved on to a gym manager behind her husband's back. But despite the tawdry flings, Taylor Greene stuck with her husband Perry as she made her unlikely rise that has turned her into the most talked-about Republican in Washington, D.C. Neither man denied the affairs when approached. In response to request for comment, Taylor Greene said it was another attempt to smear my name because I’m the biggest threat to the Democrats’ Socialist agenda'.

principled conservatism

Dozens of former Republican officials in talks to form anti-Trump party

Dozens of former Republican officials who view the party as unwilling to stand up to Donald Trump and his attempts to undermine US democracy are in talks to form a centre-right breakaway party, four people involved in the discussions have said. The early stage discussions include former elected Republicans, former officials in the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, George W Bush and Trump, ex-Republican ambassadors and Republican strategists, the people involved told Reuters.

Impeachment

Trump trial shown disturbing footage of lawmakers 'hunted' by Capitol mob

Democrats revealed disturbing new recordings of the mob attack on the US Capitol last month as they presented their case on Wednesday in the historic second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Impeachment managers for the party constructed a timeline which they said showed that the former president was “singularly responsible” for the deadly assault on the US Capitol that brought a violent mob within footsteps of the nation’s political leaders. The new footage showed just how close some lawmakers were to the violent mob who were gathered in the Capitol that day to formalize Joe Biden’s victory.

Donald Trump

Managers present dramatic new video of Capitol mob at impeachment trial

House impeachment managers showed a dramatic new video of the mob storming the Capitol in the opening minutes of former President Trump's impeachment trial, as Democrats look to make the case that Trump must be held accountable for his actions even if he is no longer in the White House. Democrats created the disturbing video documenting the Jan. 6 siege by interweaving Trump’s address to a group of supporters calling on them to march on the Capitol with violent footage of the attack.

Impeachment

Schumer, McConnell reach deal on Donald Trump impeachment trial

Senate leadership announced on Monday that they have reached a deal on the framework for former President Trump's impeachment trial, which will start on Tuesday. “For the information of the Senate, the Republican leader and I, in consultation with both the House managers and Former President Trump's lawyers, have agreed to a bipartisan resolution to govern the structure and timing of the impending trial,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate floor.

Liz Cheney

Possibility of criminal investigation of Trump for provoking violence

Liz Cheney, the third most senior Republican in the House of Representatives, has raised the possibility of Donald Trump being criminally investigated for provoking violence during the 6 January US Capitol insurrection, pointing to a tweet attacking his own vice-president, Mike Pence, that was posted after the assault had begun.

Impeachment

New poll: Most say Trump should be convicted, barred from federal office

A slim majority of Americans think the Senate should convict former President Trump in his upcoming impeachment trial and bar him from him from being able to hold federal office in the future, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll has found. The new poll, which was conducted between Friday and Saturday and has a nationally representative probability sample of 508 respondents, found that 56 percent of Americans backed the both actions. That support was starkly partisan, however. More than nine in 10 Democrats backed both conviction and a ban on holding public office in the future, while eight in 10 Republicans opposed both.

Shortnews

COVID-19

'Neanderthal thinking': Biden lays into states lifting restrictions

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that moves by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others to lift statewide Covid restrictions showed 'Neanderthal thinking': “I think it’s a big mistake. I hope everyone has realized right now these masks make a difference," Biden said of the decision to lift mask mandates and other Covid mitigation measures. "We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms.”

Read More
COVID-19

'Neanderthal thinking': Biden lays into states lifting restrictions

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that moves by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others to lift statewide Covid restrictions showed 'Neanderthal thinking': “I think it’s a big mistake. I hope everyone has realized right now these masks make a difference," Biden said of the decision to lift mask mandates and other Covid mitigation measures. "We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms.”

The president's remark came after both Texas and Mississippi issued executive orders Tuesday to eliminate mask mandates and let all businesses open at 100 percent capacity, flying in the face of health officials who have urged continued Covid restrictions. Biden has signed an executive order requiring mask-wearing on federal property but has little authority to overrule governors and other state and local officials.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, laid into Biden for his comments Wednesday.

"President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is 'neanderthal thinking.' Mississippians don’t need handlers," Reeves wrote in a tweet. "As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them."

In a statement to POLITICO, Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said Abbott was "clear in telling Texans that COVID hasn’t ended, and that all Texans should follow medical advice and safe practices to continue containing COVID."

"The fact is, Texas now has the tools and knowledge to combat COVID while also allowing Texans and small businesses to make their own decisions," Eze said. "It is clear from the recoveries, the vaccinations, the reduced hospitalizations, and the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed. We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans."

Ku Klux Klan

No charges for man who displayed Klan flag next to Black neighbor's home

A prosecutor has declined to file charges against a man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window in suburban Detroit, next to the home of a Black family. Such “horrible conduct” doesn’t violate Michigan law, Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy said on Tuesday, adding that an ethnic intimidation charge would require physical contact, property damage or threats of such activity.

Read More
Ku Klux Klan

No charges for man who displayed Klan flag next to Black neighbor's home

A prosecutor has declined to file charges against a man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window in suburban Detroit, next to the home of a Black family. Such “horrible conduct” doesn’t violate Michigan law, Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy said on Tuesday, adding that an ethnic intimidation charge would require physical contact, property damage or threats of such activity.

“I strongly encourage the Michigan legislature to look, revise and create laws to protect citizens from this kind of horrible conduct,” said Worthy, who is Black.

JeDonna Dinges, 57, of Grosse Pointe Park, said the flag was hanging next door in a window directly across from her dining room. The incident occurred two weeks ago.

The flag was removed after police carrying large cloths visited the home and made a switch, the city manager, Nick Sizeland, told the Detroit Free Press last week.

The man’s girlfriend claimed they could not afford a curtain, Sizeland said.

“There is absolutely no question that what happened to Ms Dinges was despicable, traumatizing and completely unacceptable,” Worthy said. “But, very unfortunately in my view, not a crime. The KKK flag, while intending to be visible to Ms Dinges, was hanging inside of her neighbor’s house.”

The Klan was a secretive society organized in the southern US after the civil war to assert white supremacy, often using violence. It flourished well into the 20th century.

Dozens of people turned out for a 21 February march and rally to support Dinges. Before the flag incident, she said she was concerned about her safety after finding a full gas can inside her outdoor recycling bin.

Archdiocese New Orleans

Catholics should avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans urged Catholics against taking a vaccine for COVID-19 manufactured by Johnson & Johnson because the vaccine is developed from stem cells obtained from two abortions. In a statement on the archdiocese's website, the organization argued that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was "morally compromised."

Read More
Archdiocese New Orleans

Catholics should avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans urged Catholics against taking a vaccine for COVID-19 manufactured by Johnson & Johnson because the vaccine is developed from stem cells obtained from two abortions. In a statement on the archdiocese's website, the organization argued that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was "morally compromised."

"The archdiocese must instruct Catholics that the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing," the statement read.

"We advise that if the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is available, Catholics should choose to receive either of those vaccines rather than to receive the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of its extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines," the archdiocese continued.

A request for comment from Johnson & Johnson was not immediately returned.

Catholic groups that oppose abortion have long criticized medical companies that use human cell lines from aborted fetuses, while companies including Johnson & Johnson have defended the process as leading to medical breakthroughs on the disease prevention front.

"As a research tool, human pluripotent stem cells promise to expand our understanding of normal physiologic processes such as cell growth and differentiation, and to enable new insights into disease, which may lead to new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat a wide variety of disorders," reads a statement on the company's website.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine became the third candidate authorized for emergency use in the U.S. earlier this month, joining two others on the market produced by drugmakers Moderna and Pfizer.

COVID-19

Justice Department appeals order blocking federal eviction ban

The Justice Department is appealing a ruling by a U.S. judge in Texas blocking the federal eviction moratorium, the agency announced late Saturday, arguing that the ban remains broadly in effect in the meantime. The court in the Eastern District of Texas blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on Thursday, ruling that the federal government had overstepped its authority in imposing the sweeping ban. The decision “does not extend beyond the particular plaintiffs in that case, and it does not prohibit the application of the CDC’s eviction moratorium to other parties,” acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton argued. “For other landlords who rent to covered persons, the CDC’s eviction moratorium remains in effect."

Read More
COVID-19

Justice Department appeals order blocking federal eviction ban

The Justice Department is appealing a ruling by a U.S. judge in Texas blocking the federal eviction moratorium, the agency announced late Saturday, arguing that the ban remains broadly in effect in the meantime. The court in the Eastern District of Texas blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on Thursday, ruling that the federal government had overstepped its authority in imposing the sweeping ban. The decision “does not extend beyond the particular plaintiffs in that case, and it does not prohibit the application of the CDC’s eviction moratorium to other parties,” acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton argued. “For other landlords who rent to covered persons, the CDC’s eviction moratorium remains in effect."

The CDC’s September order banning evictions amid the pandemic cited a 1944 public health law that gives the agency certain powers to prevent communicable diseases from crossing state lines. The Biden administration recently extended the moratorium through June.

“The federal government cannot say that it has ever before invoked its power over interstate commerce to impose a residential eviction moratorium,” U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker wrote in the decision.

“It did not do so during the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic,” Campbell said. “Nor did it invoke such a power during the exigencies of the Great Depression. The federal government has not claimed such a power at any point during our Nation’s history until last year.”

Barker, an appointee of President Donald Trump, also said the government’s justification for the ban under the commerce clause of the Constitution was open-ended: “The federal government thus claims authority to suspend residential evictions for any reason, including an agency’s views on ‘fairness,’” he wrote.

The Justice Department filed a notice of appeal Saturday.

Boynton noted that Congress had signed off on the ban in his statement on the appeal.

"The CDC’s eviction moratorium, which Congress extended last December, protects many renters who cannot make their monthly payments due to job loss or health care expenses,” he said. “By preventing people from becoming homeless or having to move into more-crowded housing, the moratorium helps to slow the spread of Covid-19.”

Intel report

Saudi prince approved Khashoggi murder

The Biden administration on Friday released a long-secret intelligence report concluding that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report reads.

Read More
Intel report

Saudi prince approved Khashoggi murder

The Biden administration on Friday released a long-secret intelligence report concluding that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report reads.

The report was finally released more than a year after it was first completed by the intelligence community under former President Donald Trump and briefed to the relevant congressional committees, officials said on Thursday.
“We’ve made it clear that this administration will not sweep anything under the rug, and that President Biden will follow the law,” a senior administration official said ahead of the report’s release. The official added that the release was “in honor of Jamal and this horrific crime.”

“Our aim going forward is to make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” the official said.