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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 74,272

Journal Archives

Biden adds Obama administration veterans in top staff roles

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden is adding four Obama-Biden administration veterans to his top ranks as he continues to build out his White House team.

Cathy Russell, who was Jill Biden’s chief of staff during the Obama administration, will serve as director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, evaluating applicants for administration roles. Louisa Terrell, who served as a legislative adviser to the president in the Obama administration and worked as deputy chief of staff for Biden in the Senate, will be director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Terrell has already been engaged in Capitol Hill outreach as part of Biden’s transition team.

Carlos Elizondo, who was social secretary for Jill Biden during the Obama administration, will reprise his role and serve as social secretary for the incoming first lady. And Mala Adaga will serve as her policy director. Her role hints at what Biden may focus on as first lady — Adaga previously worked as a director for higher education and military families at the Biden Foundation, and also advised Jill Biden on policy during the Obama administration.

The announcements come just a few days after Biden unveiled his first major round of top White House staff, including the appointment of his current campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, to serve as deputy chief of staff, and campaign co-chair Rep. Cedric Richmond as director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Late last week, he announced that longtime aide Ron Klain will serve as his chief of staff.

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/biden-adds-obama-administration-veterans-in-top-staff-roles/BRVLNCQHF5EMBLTDVONULQYJPA/

BREAKING: Georgia certifies the Presidential vote count (Bloomberg)


Daughter of an old high school friend who now runs a Missouri mega-church has contracted COVID...

Haven't talked politics with him in years, but I'd like to think he's been rational about this up till now.

Coming...eventually: Economy Class sleeper seats.

Essentially the equivalent of a couchette on an overnight train.

Another White House COVID eruption


Andrew Giuliani's job, as I understand it, is to arrange for Trump to meet with sport celebrities...

European coronavirus restrictions appear to be paying off, says WHO, as U.S. cases soar

Source: NBC News

LONDON — Coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Europe appear to be paying off, with a dip in new weekly cases, the World Health Organization said, offering a glimmer of hope ahead of Christmas, while cases soar in the United States.

Restrictions, from school and store closures to limited social interactions, have led to a slight decrease in new Covid-19 weekly cases from 2 million to 1.8 million over the last two weeks, the WHO said.

"It's a small signal, but it's a signal nevertheless," WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge said in a statement Thursday.

He said future lockdowns were "avoidable" if more people wore masks and used contact-tracing technology.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/european-coronavirus-restrictions-appear-be-paying-says-who-u-s-n1248339

Republican Senate signals it will confirm Biden Cabinet

Source: Politico

Senate Republicans are signaling they will confirm most of President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks in January — a rare bright spot for a White House that may clash with a GOP majority for years to come.

Many Republicans won’t even publicly concede that Biden will be the next president while President Donald Trump fights to overturn the election results. But a critical mass of GOP senators said in interviews that Biden has the right to his Cabinet, indicating he may be able to staff his administration largely to his liking.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said that he believes a “president ought to be able to pick his or her Cabinet barring someone who is out of the mainstream of either party,” and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) gives “great latitude” to presidents to make appointments. Those two plus Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) give Biden a working majority on Cabinet picks, even if Democrats fall short in a pair of Georgia runoffs and the GOP holds a 52-48 majority.

“He’s our president-elect. All presidents have a right to their Cabinet,” Murkowski said. “Our job, our role is to make sure that he selects folks that are … within the mainstream. And are good, qualified credible candidates. And if he does that, sure, I am going to work with him.”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/20/biden-cabinet-senate-republicans-438459

You can always count on NYC tabloids

Romney on Trump election tactics: 'Difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action'

Source: The Hill

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) directly criticized President Trump on Thursday night for efforts by the president and his allies to reverse the results of the presidential election.

Romney, in a statement that marks the strongest pushback by a Senate Republican, said the president had "failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy" in a myriad of challenges the president's legal team launched in several battleground states where he trailed President-elect Joe Biden.

"The president has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election. It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president," Romney said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Romney's statement comes after Trump invited some of Michigan's top Republicans to the White House in a sign he may be seeking a way around the election results where Biden is projected to get 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/526827-romney-on-trump-election-tactics-difficult-to-imagine-a-worse-more

Sasse condemns Giuliani's 'wild press conferences': They 'erode public trust'

Source: The Hill

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) offered blistering criticism of a press conference held on Thursday by Rudy Giuliani and other lawyers representing the Trump campaign, warning that they "erode public trust."

"Wild press conferences erode public trust. So no, obviously Rudy and his buddies should not pressure electors to ignore their certification obligations under the statute We are a nation of laws, not tweets," Sasse said in a statement.

His remarks were in response to a press conference where Giuliani and other lawyers overseeing the president's legal challenges levied various claims of fraud and made clear that their goal was to overturn the results in several states President-elect Joe Biden is leading or has been projected as the winner.

The efforts are aimed at swaying the vote certification process and pressuring state lawmakers to send pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/526819-sasse-condemns-giulianis-wild-press-conferences-they-erode-public-trust#.X7dFau0DY3U.twitter
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