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sabra's Journal
sabra's Journal
December 31, 2020

At least 140 House Republicans to vote against counting electoral votes, two GOP lawmakers say

Source: CNN

(CNN)Two Republican members of the House of Representatives tell CNN that they expect at least 140 of their GOP colleagues in the House to vote against counting the electoral votes on January 6 when Congress is expected to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

President Donald Trump's Republican allies have virtually zero chance of changing the result, only to delay by a few hours the inevitable affirmation of Biden as the Electoral College winner and the next president.

There have been no credible allegations of any issues with voting that would have impacted the election, as affirmed by dozens of judges, governors, election officials, the Electoral College, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Supreme Court. But Trump is determined to claim he didn't lose -- which he did, significantly -- and many GOP politicians either share his delusion or fear provoking his wrath -- even if that means voting to undermine democracy.

Both a House member and senator are required to mount an objection when Congress counts the votes. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said Wednesday he will object, which will force lawmakers in both the House and Senate to vote on whether to accept the results of Biden's victory. Other senators -- including incoming ones -- could still join that effort, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately urged Republicans not to do.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/31/politics/electoral-college-house-republicans/index.html

December 31, 2020

Trump Budget Chief Hampers Biden Transition With Ban on Meetings

Source: Bloomberg

President Donald Trump’s budget office is blocking Joe Biden’s transition team from meeting with key staff to help prepare the president-elect’s first annual spending plan, a move that could delay major proposals.

The director of the Office of Management and Budget, Russ Vought, has argued internally that the agency needs to focus on finishing new regulations the Trump administration plans to publish before the president leaves office, according to people familiar with the matter.

But experts on the federal budget say Vought’s refusal to give Biden’s team access to career OMB officials is unprecedented and could hurt Biden’s efforts to roll out big-picture, forward-looking ideas on everything from health care to climate change to taxes at the start of his four-year term.

The career OMB staff could provide Biden’s team information such as cost estimates and details on existing programs.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-31/trump-budget-chief-hampers-biden-transition-with-ban-on-meetings?cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_content=business&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic

December 30, 2020

Kemp dismisses Trump's call to resign as 'a distraction'

Source: The Hill

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) waved off President Trump's call for his resignation on Wednesday, dismissing that demand and other complaints surrounding the presidential election in Georgia as distractions from more pressing issues.

Speaking to reporters at the state capitol, Kemp said that his top priorities remained responding to the coronavirus pandemic and reelecting GOP Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are facing competitive runoff elections on Tuesday.

“All these other things — there is a constitutional and legal process that is playing out, and I am very comfortable letting that process play out. But that horse has left the barn in Georgia and it’s headed to D.C. right now,” he said of the presidential election.

“The next vote is going to be there, not here,” he continued. “So people need to be focused on the vote that is happening here, and that is right now in early voting and it will be on Tuesday.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/532131-kemp-dismisses-trumps-call-to-resign-as-a-distraction

December 28, 2020

Biden accuses Trump appointees of obstructing transition on national security issues

Source: WP

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday accused President Trump and his political appointees of obstructing the transition of power to his incoming administration, particularly on national security issues, an escalation in tone after reports of isolated difficulties in the transition process last week.

In remarks from Wilmington, Del., Biden specifically called out the Office of Management and Budget and the Defense Department as agencies where his transition team had encountered “roadblocks” from political leadership. Biden’s remarks came shortly after he attended a briefing with nearly two dozen of his national security advisers.

“Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” Biden said of the resistance his teams were facing. He warned that such delays could allow enemies of the United States to take advantage of vulnerabilities, citing a massive cybersecurity breach that compromised several U.S. agencies earlier this month.

“My team needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies,” Biden said. “We need full visibility into the budget planning underway at the Defense Department and other agencies in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch-up that our adversaries may try to exploit.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-trump-obstruction/2020/12/28/d4dd6e7e-4925-11eb-839a-cf4ba7b7c48c_story.html

December 28, 2020

Golf great Greg Norman hospitalized with 'hideous' COVID-19 symptoms

Source: The Hill

Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman is warning people to take the coronavirus seriously after he was recently hospitalized with “hideous” COVID-19 symptoms.


One day after going home following his visit to the emergency room, Norman on Sunday afternoon shared he was once again in the hospital due to his symptoms.

“Now back in hospital after getting a positive result on my PCR CoVid test,” he wrote. “Getting an infusion of Bamlanivimab antibody. The path to full recovery

“I am fit and strong and have a high tolerance for pain but this virus kicked the crap out of me like nothing I have ever experienced before. Muscle and joint pain on another level. Headaches that feel like a chisel going through your head scrapping little bits off each time, fever, muscles that just did not want to work,” he wrote.

Read more: https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/longevity/531817-golf-great-greg-norman-hospitalized-with-hideous-covid

December 26, 2020

FAA designates skies over Nashville as 'National Defense Airspace' in wake of bombing

Source: Fox 17/WZTV

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has classified airspace over Nashville as "National Defense Airspace" following the Christmas morning bombing in downtown Nashville.

The alert to pilots states "pilots who do not adhere to the following procedures may be intercepted, detained, and interviewed by law enforcement/security personnel."

In addition to penalties for pilots who break the protocol, there could be much more dire consequences. The alert states "The United States government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat."

The alert comes as Nashville Mayor John Cooper issued a State of Civil Emergency for the affected bomb blast area and a curfew through December 27. The FAA alert is in effect through Wednesday.

Read more: https://fox17.com/news/local/faa-designates-skies-over-nashville-as-national-defense-airspace-in-wake-of-bombing-tennessee-news-explosion-attack

December 23, 2020

A deputy to Eric Trump helped his family build a campaign shell company to protect the president

Source: Business Insider

EXCLUSIVE: A deputy to Eric Trump helped his family build a campaign shell company to protect the president from grift. But the secretive operation morphed into a mystery — even for top Trump campaign staffers.

The Trump campaign shell company that helped hide $617 million in 2020 presidential campaign spending was almost exclusively a Trump family production, run in part by a top deputy to Eric Trump, Insider has learned.

That Eric Trump deputy, attorney Alex Cannon, worked closely to run American Made Media Consultants with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump, and former campaign manager Brad Parscale. Together, they built a campaign shell company so powerful and opaque that key Trump campaign aides feared what they might uncover if they learned too much about its operations, according to interviews with more than a dozen Trump advisors and Republicans close to the campaign.

Vast swaths of AMMC's spending still remain a mystery to the public and Trump's own campaign team, although Insider was able to uncover some of American Made Media Consultants' expenditures based on interviews and public documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The power and secrecy of the shell company has spurred calls for federal investigations, including requests filed by three Democratic lawmakers after Insider broke the news last week of Kushner and Lara Trump's involvement.

Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/eric-trump-deputy-kushner-campaign-spending-shell-company-2020-12

December 23, 2020

Pa. senators head to White House for pre-holiday lunch with President Trump

Source: Penn Live

In the midst of making decisions about who to grant pardons to and pressuring Congress to provide more relief in a negotiated coronavirus relief package, President Donald Trump will take time out on Wednesday to have lunch with some Pennsylvania senators.

Four senators confirmed that Sen. Doug Mastriano invited fellow members of the Senate Republican Caucus to have lunch at the White House with the president.

Attempts to contact Mastriano on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning for comment were unsuccessful. The point of contact at the White House identified on the invitation, William Crozer, special assistant to the President and deputy director of White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, referred questions to the White House press staff who didn’t immediately respond.

Aside from an opportunity to take in the “America the Beautiful”-themed holiday decorations at the White House, the senators said they had been given no clue as to the purpose of the gathering.

Read more: https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/pa-senators-head-to-white-house-for-pre-holiday-lunch-with-president-trump.html

December 23, 2020

'Our blood is cheaper than water': Iraqis' anger over Trump pardons

Source: The Guardian

Joe Biden to be lobbied to reverse Trump decision to pardon security guards jailed over massacre

Iraqis have reacted with outrage to Donald Trump’s move to pardon four security guards from the security firm Blackwater who had been jailed for a 2007 massacre that sparked an outcry over the use of mercenaries in war.

The four men were part of a security convoy that fired on civilians at a central Baghdad roundabout, killing 14 people including a nine-year old child and wounding many more.

The four guards – Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Nicholas Slatten – opened fire indiscriminately with machine guns, grenade launchers and a sniper on a crowd of unarmed people at a roundabout, known as Nisour Square.

The killings were one of the lowest points of the US-led invasion of Iraq, and the convictions had been seen by many Iraqis as a rare occasion where US citizens had been held to account for atrocities committed during the aftermath. Baghdad residents who spoke to the Guardian described the outgoing US president’s announcement as a “cruel slap” and an insult.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/23/our-blood-is-cheaper-than-water-iraqis-anger-over-trump-pardons

December 23, 2020

Giuliani told to preserve all records as lawyers for Dominion warn legal action is 'imminent'

Source: CNN

(CNN)A defamation law firm representing Dominion Voting Systems has sent letters to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani instructing them to preserve all records related to the company at the center of Trump's conspiracy theories and warning Giuliani that legal action is "imminent."

Through two well-known defamation attorneys, Dominion Voting Systems sent letters to Cipollone and Giuliani Tuesday, demanding Giuliani stop making "defamatory claims against Dominion" and ensure there is "no confusion about your obligation to preserve and retain all documents relating to Dominion and your smear campaign against the company." The attorneys told Cipollone their preservation request is vast and includes conversations White House officials had with attorneys like Giuliani or Sidney Powell regarding Dominion.


"With this letter you are on notice of your ongoing obligations to preserve documents related to Dominion's claims for defamation based on allegations that the company acted improperly during the November 2020 presidential election and somehow rigged the election in favor of President-Elect Joe Biden," the letter to Giuliani reads.

Trump's personal attorney must adhere to the preservation request as well as his "principals, agents, employees, partners, associates, paralegals, and subcontractors under your supervision." That also includes contact they had with Trump campaign staffers, Powell, Jenna Ellis and Lin Wood.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/23/politics/dominion-voting-trump-campaign-lawsuit-imminent/index.html

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