The cohost of "The View" also blasted the GOP's "sausagefest of MAGA up on Capitol Hill."
With ex-President Donald Trump set to relocate from Mar-a-Lago to New Jersey for summer, The Lincoln Project is teasing him on Palm Beach airwaves.
Modi’s government had a choice between saving lives and saving face. It has chosen the latter Workers cremate people who have died of Covid-19 at a crematorium outside Siliguri on Tuesday. Epidemiologists believe the country’s reported death toll is only a fraction of the true figure. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images A few years ago, as Narendra Modi came into power, I worked on an investigative report about India hiding its malaria deaths. In traveling from tribal Odisha to the Indian national health ministry in New Delhi, my colleague and I watched thousands of cases disappear: some malaria deaths, first noted in handwritten local health ledgers, never appeared in central government reports; other malaria deaths were magically transformed into deaths of heart attack or fever. The discrepancy was massive: India reported 561 malaria deaths that year. Experts predicted the actual number was as high as 200,000. Now, with Covid ravaging the country, desperate Indians have taken to Twitter to ask for oxygen cylinders or beg hospitals for an open bed. The crisis has been exacerbated by the government’s concealment of critical information. Between India’s long history of hiding and undercounting illness deaths and its much more recent history of restraining and suppressing the press, Modi’s administration has made it impossible to find accurate information about the virus’s hold in the country. Blocking that information will only hurt millions within the country. It will also stymie global efforts to stop the Covid-19 pandemic, and new variants of the virus, at India’s border. Epidemiologists in India and abroad currently estimate that the country’s official reported Covid-19 death toll – around 222,000 at time of publication – only accounts for a fraction of the real number. The director of the US-based Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation has estimated that India is only detecting three to four percent of actual cases. Other experts point to total excess deaths in cities such as Mumbai as proof that there could be 60% to 70% more deaths from Covid-19 than the government is admitting to. There are various reasons India could be cooking the books on Covid deaths. For one, the utter failure of the public health system makes it difficult to account for the millions of bodies passing through hospitals, clinics and those dying in their own home. Despite having become one of the largest economies in the world, India has always spent a dismal portion of its GDP on healthcare, with an investment somewhere around 3%, compared to Brazil (9%) or the US (17%). But systemic failure is only one part of the puzzle. The reigning party of the Indian government touted its success in curbing the virus very early in the pandemic, and has never let go of that narrative. As bodies burned in funeral pyres across Uttar Pradesh in April, Yogi Adityanath – the state’s chief minister and a key Modi lackey – claimed that everything was under control and repeatedly refused to announce new lockdown measures, even as he himself contracted Covid-19. This denialist rhetoric is occurring at almost every level. Like India’s see-no-evil approach to malaria or tuberculosis, its Covid obfuscation suppresses “bad news” in order to buoy the country’s international image and the government party’s domestic standing. Not all countries with struggling health systems do this. Some actually at times overcount deaths from other viruses in order to get more humanitarian aid. But undercounting disease is, in many ways, far more sinister. Modi’s government had a choice between saving face and saving lives, and has chosen mass death. India's Covid obfuscation suppresses 'bad news' to buoy its image and the government party’s domestic standing While undercounting disease is a longstanding problem in India, the assault on press freedom is far more recent. Since Modi came into power in 2015, the freedom of India’s expansive media culture has dramatically shrunk, according to sources including Reporters Without Borders. In the last few years, the government has sued or prosecuted several news organizations and journalists, citing defamation or other even more dubious rationales. Controversial laws such as the 2000 Information Technology Act allow for what seem like increasingly frequent, and grossly arbitrary and politically motivated, crackdowns on freedom of speech and press. Indian journalists tell me they are often asked to self-censor their reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as what they say on social media, for fear of inciting the ire of the government. Many were understandably incensed last week when the Indian central government reportedly made Twitter and Facebook remove posts critical of the government’s Covid measures. Meanwhile, India continues to be one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work, and more than 165 journalists have allegedly died of Covid-19 while covering the crisis itself. (Last month Kakoli Bhattacharya, an Indian journalist who worked as a news assistant for the Guardian, died of Covid.) In the absence of trustworthy Covid information from their own government, Indians are mostly reliant on social media and foreign reporting for the story of what’s actually happening. The result is a public health nightmare for India – and also, I fear, for the global community, which, just as many countries are breathing a sigh of relief, could face another Covid wave that includes new variants. We can learn from other epidemics what that might look like: India was one of the last countries to eradicate polio, and is one of 15 countries that still have a significant number of people with leprosy. India also has the third largest HIV/Aids epidemic in the world. India’s struggles with diseases that have been eradicated or largely ameliorated elsewhere leaves a backdoor for global public health threats and costs billions of dollars in disease burden. These health crises also harm international travel, trade, and other economic indicators, creating new challenges not only for India but for its allies, as well. India likes to tout itself as the world’s largest democracy – and use that moral authority to protect its standing in the global economy and the international diplomatic community. But with a dark curtain separating the reality of the country’s Covid-19 crisis from the rest of the world, India’s standing and authority are at risk. If the country continues to choose political expediency over transparency in the days to come, the people of India, scrambling to protect their families, are the first victims, but far from the last. Ankita Rao is a news editor at the Guardian US
REUTERSFormer President Donald Trump’s lawyers are asking a federal court to make Democrats pay. Literally.On Monday, the ex-president’s attorneys sent a new motion to the legal team representing Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and the NAACP in a lawsuit that alleges Trump conspired to incite the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and disrupt the Electoral College vote count, according to three people familiar with the document. Trump’s attorneys contend that the plaintiffs brought a “frivolous” suit against the twice-impeached former president, and argue that a federal judge should sanction the opposing side.In the motion, a copy of which was reviewed by The Daily Beast on Tuesday, Trump attorney Jesse Binnall argues that the lawsuit represents an attempt to “weaponize the federal court system in a political dispute” and use the courts to regulate “political speech.” As a result, Trump’s legal team says that Thompson, the 10 members of Congress who signed onto the suit, and their attorneys “should be ordered to pay President Trump’s fees and costs reasonably incurred in defending against this frivolous lawsuit and for such other sanctions as this Court finds just and reasonable.”Binnall, Trump’s attorney for Jan. 6 riot-related lawsuits, declined to comment on this story. A spokesperson for the plaintiffs’ attorneys also declined to comment.The motion mirrors former President Trump’s impeachment defense and argues that Trump’s rhetoric in the runup to the Jan. 6 riot amounted to constitutionally protected political speech. It further contends Democrats engaged in similar rhetorical flourishes, and that those pressing the case against Trump would be open to similar suits for their own rhetorical excesses, should the suit prevail.Trump Lawyers Up for the Capitol Police Officers’ MAGA Riot LawsuitAmong the others supposedly open to liability, Binnall claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged “an insurrection by left-wing demonstrators who raided the Hart Senate Office Building on Oct. 4, 2018, to obstruct the Senate’s confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh.”Capitol Police charged roughly 300 protesters with “crowding, obstructing or incommoding” during a protest against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearings as demonstrators organized by the Women’s March chanted “Hey, hey, ho, ho—Kavanaugh has got to go.”No injuries were reported.The new motion pays particular attention to Rep. Maxine Waters, a favorite target of the former president and a plaintiff in the Thompson suit. As The Daily Beast reported last week, Trump himself had recently told his advisers he wanted attacks on Waters to be heavily factored into the legal and messaging pushback against riot-related litigation.Binnall argues that Waters “actively encouraged rioters and violence” and cites comments made by the California congresswoman that protesters need to “get more confrontational” if convicted killer Derek Chauvin was not found guilty in the murder of Floyd and a 2018 speech in which she encouraged supporters to confront Trump administration staff and tell them “they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”Spokespeople for Pelosi and Waters did not respond to requests for comment. Rep. Thompson, the original plaintiff in the case, remains undeterred, according to a spokesperson.“For reasons that we will explain in our filing in court, Mr. Trump cannot rely on the First Amendment to shield his unlawful conduct or to avoid being held accountable for it,” a Thompson spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Tuesday.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.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has a 90 percent popularity rate in his country, perhaps the highest one in the region. But power has gone to his head, and his latest takeover of the Salvadoran justice system threatens to turn him into Latin America’s newest elected dictator.
"Nothing like reminiscing about attempted coups over a bouquet of flowers."
CARACAS (Reuters) -Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro received a samurai sword as a gift from actor Steven Seagal, who was visiting the South American country as a representative of Russia, state television images showed on Tuesday evening. Maduro, wearing a white facemask and a traditional Venezuelan black long sleeve shirt known as a liqui liqui, positioned the sword over his shoulder as Seagal nodded and pointed in affirmation, the images broadcast from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas showed. "The Venezuelan head of state maneuvers after drawing the sword," a state television narrator said, calling the weapon a "symbol of leadership."
Women’s Republican Club of New Orleans head Martha Huckabay has taken a pretty awful take on U.S. history. Martha Huckabay, the president of the Women’s Republican Club of New Orleans, came up with an interesting take on U.S. history this weekend. Huckabay shared a clip of a segment in which a Louisiana state representative was interviewing with CNN’s John Berman about comments made by a Republican counterpart, Rep. Ray Garofalo, that students in his state’s schools should learn “the good, the bad and the ugly” of slavery.
The Washington PostJosh Hawley is a United States senator, published author, and frequent guest on Fox News, the most-watched U.S. cable-news network. Despite this, he has complained for months now that he is one of the biggest victims of so-called “cancel culture” and has been “silenced” by the “woke” mob.And, of course, most of the time he has delivered these complaints on large public platforms with large audiences, something one reporter threw back in his face on Tuesday after he accused her of trying to “censor” and “cancel” him during a chat.The Missouri senator was invited onto The Washington Post’s live stream on Tuesday to discuss his latest book, The Tyranny of Big Tech. (The Republican lawmaker had already been mocked recently for urging his supporters to buy the anti-“Big Tech” book on Amazon via promotions on Twitter.)During their conversation, Washington Post reporter Cat Zakrzewski brought up his objection to President Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Donald Trump, asking whether the senator currently believes Biden is the “legitimately elected” president. (Insurrectionists, incited by Trump, stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop congressional certification of Biden’s win.)“I do,” Hawley acknowledged before claiming that “the heart of [his] objection” to Biden’s electoral win was that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court didn’t hear the merits of a Trump-backed lawsuit seeking to throw out mail-in votes.“Senator, I just want to step in here if you’re going to challenge this on saying they didn’t hear the merits of the case,” Zakrzewski responded. “Because there was an appeals court that ruled that the case lacked merit, so it’s difficult for a court to rule on the merits when they don’t exist.”As Zakrzewski tried to steer the conversation back to whether Hawley accepted Biden as the duly elected president, the senator whined that the reporter “can’t have it both ways” and she was “wrong” about how the court case was dismissed. And then—as is his shtick—he cried cancel culture.“Listen, it’s an important point,” the senator exclaimed. “Don’t try to censor, cancel, and silence me here!”Zakrzewski calmly retorted: “Senator, we’re hosting you here.”Seemingly oblivious to the reporter’s authoritative reply, Hawley continued to loudly complain, telling Zakrzewski that she had to “listen to the truth.”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 Texas Democratic leader who called Senator Tim Scott an “oreo” has resigned in response to mounting pressure from state officials on both sides of the aisle. “I am deeply and sincerely sorry for my inappropriate and hurtful use of racist term I used to describe Sen. Tim Scott on my personal Facebook page. It was insensitive, and I have embarrassed myself and my party by its use,” Lamar County Democratic Party Chairman Gary O’Connor told the Washington Examiner Tuesday. “As a result, I feel compelled to offer my resignation as chair of the Lamar County Democratic Party for consideration by the County Executive Committee,” O’Connor said. After Scott delivered the Republican rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress, O’Connor labeled the senator an “Oreo”, referring to a black individual who is perceived as displaying characteristics of a white person. “I had hoped that Scott might show some common sense, but it seems clear he is little more than an oreo with no real principles,” the Texas Democrat commented. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other political officials slammed O’Connor’s words on social media. “This is disgusting, hateful, and completely unacceptable. O’Connor must apologize to @SenatorTimScott & step down immediately,” Abbott wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “@texasdemocrats censure him.” This is disgusting, hateful, and completely unacceptable. O’Connor must apologize to @SenatorTimScott & step down immediately. @texasdemocrats censure him.https://t.co/wJLTqaHlLb — Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 1, 2021 O’Connor’s derogatory comments come after the racial slur, “Uncle Tim,” trended on Twitter after Scott’s speech last week. Twitter blocked the phrase from appearing in the platform’s trending section to prevent it from going viral, but existing tweets containing the language were not removed. In his response address, Scott said, “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country,” and he spoke in defense of Georgia’s election integrity law, which has been panned by liberals as disenfranchising black voters.” The South Carolina senator remarked that he had “experienced the pain of discrimination”. He added, “I’ve also experienced a different kind of intolerance.” “I get called Uncle Tom and the n-word by progressives and liberals,” Scott remarked.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid has received a mandate from Israel's president to form a new government, putting Benjamin Netanyahu in the most vulnerable position he has faced politically since becoming prime minister in 2009.The big picture: Netanyahu failed to form a government before his mandate expired overnight, but his rivals still have hurdles to clear before they can oust him. That means the political crisis that has gripped Israel over the last two years is far from over.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeDriving the news: President Reuven Rivlin held consultations with Israel's political parties today over the mandate decision, with both the centrist Lapid and right-wing kingmaker Naftali Bennett putting themselves forward.As expected, Rivlin opted to give the mandate to Lapid, who has managed to get 56 members of the Knesset to support him so far, including the six members of Gideon Sa'ar’s breakaway right-wing party.In a press conference this morning, Bennett said he was determined to prevent a fifth election and would thus work to form a unity government with Lapid and the center-left. He called on all right-wing parties to join the unity government. Lapid and Bennett are expected to resume power-sharing negotiations toward a government that would see Bennett serve first as prime minister for two years before Lapid rotates into the job.But, but, but: Netanyahu has been applying intense pressure on Bennett and his party members to deter them from joining a government with the center-left bloc.That campaign has started bearing fruit. One member of Bennett’s party announced he's against a power-sharing government with Lapid, but didn't state clearly whether he'd vote against it.A Lapid-Bennett government would only have the support of 58 members of the 120-seat Knesset, with the Arab parties likely to abstain. Therefore the cracks in Bennett’s party could sabotage the whole effort.What’s next: Lapid will have 28 days to try and form a new government. If he fails, there will be another 21-day period in which any member of the Knesset who can get signatures from 61 members will receive the mandate. Failing that, Israel will have its fifth consecutive election.Netanyahu would likely use that 21-day window to try and convince some of his right-wing allies to soften their position on forming a government supported by the Islamist Ra'am Party, which would allow him to remain prime minister.But first, he'll do everything in his power to prevent Lapid from forming a government.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
While officials in Washington sound the alarm about a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, officials and residents on the island say that fails to understand the true dynamics in the region.
Belief in importance of democracy high in 53 sampled countries but inequality and big tech companies seen as biggest threats More democratic countries’ response to the coronavirus pandemic was rated worse than that of less democratic countries. Photograph: Getty Images The US faces an uphill task presenting itself as the chief guardian of global democracy, according to a new poll that shows the US is seen around the world as more of a threat to democracy than even Russia and China. The poll finds support for democracy remains high even though citizens in democratic countries rate their governments’ handling of the Covid crisis less well than people in less democratic countries. Inequality is seen as the biggest threat to global democracy, but in the US the power of big tech companies is also seen as a challenge. The findings come in a poll commissioned by the Alliance of Democracies Foundation among 50,000 respondents in 53 countries. The results will make stark reading for the G7 foreign ministers as they hold a final day of talks in London in which they have collectively assumed the role as bulwarks of democratic values determined to confront autocracy. The survey was carried out by the Latana polling company between February and April, so a hangover effect of Donald Trump’s “America first” foreign policy may linger in the findings. Overall the results show perceptions of the US starting to improve from last year. Whereas in the spring of 2020 people in both more democratic and less democratic countries were equally satisfied with their government’s pandemic response (70%), a year later the approval ratings have dropped down to 65% in less democratic countries, but in more democratic countries the rating has fallen to 51%. In Europe the figure is 45%. Positive ratings reach 76% in Asia. In perhaps the most startling finding, nearly half (44%) of respondents in the 53 countries surveyed are concerned that the US threatens democracy in their country; fear of Chinese influence is by contrast 38%, and fear of Russian influence is lowest at 28%. The findings may in part reflect views on US comparative power, but they show neither the US, nor the G7, can simply assume the mantle of defenders of democracy. Since last year, the perception of US influence as a threat to democracy around the world has increased significantly, from a net opinion of +6 to a net opinion of +14. This increase is particularly high in Germany (+20) and China (+16). The countries still overwhelmingly negative about US influence are Russia and China, followed by European democracies. The study shows an attachment to democracy globally, with 81% of people around the world saying that it is important to have democracy in their country. Only a little more than half (53%) say their country is actually democratic today – even in democracies. The single biggest cited threat to democracy is economic inequality (64%). In almost every country surveyed save Saudi Arabia and Egypt limits to free speech are seen as less of a threat to democracy than inequality. China: just the right amount of democracy, according to 71% of respondents there. Photograph: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images But half the people surveyed (48%) say the power of big tech companies, as opposed to the simple existence of social media, is a threat to democracy in their country. Among democracies, the US is the most concerned about big tech (62%), but wariness is growing in many countries compared with last year, reflected in broad support for greater regulation of social media. Voters in Norway, Switzerland and Sweden are most confident their country is democratic, but so are the Chinese, where 71% agree that China has the right amount of democracy. In Russia only 33% think their country is democratic. Global support for Joe Biden’s plans to stage a Democracy Summit is high in every country save China and Russia. The findings will also make disturbing reading for the eastern European democracies such as Hungary where only 31% of voters think their country is democratic – on a par with findings in Nigeria, Iran, Poland and Venezuela. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, chair of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, former Nato chief and Danish prime minister, said: “This poll shows that democracy is still alive in people’s hearts and minds. We now need to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic by delivering more democracy and freedom to people who want to see their countries become more democratic. “The positive support for an Alliance of Democracies, whether the UK’s D10 initiative or President Biden’s Summit for Democracy, shows that people want more cooperation to push back against the autocrats. Leaders should take note of these perceptions and act upon them.”
The United States will advocate for waiving COVID-19 vaccine patent protections in discussions with the World Trade Organization, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced Wednesday. The Biden administration "believes strongly in intellectual property protections," Tai said in a statement, but the White House will back the waiver given the "extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic." The administration has faced pressure to support the measure, which is aimed at increasing vaccinations around the world — especially in countries experiencing a surge in infections, like India — without having to rely solely on exports. These extraordinary times and circumstances of call for extraordinary measures. The US supports the waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines to help end the pandemic and we’ll actively participate in @WTO negotiations to make that happen. pic.twitter.com/96ERlboZS8 — Ambassador Katherine Tai (@AmbassadorTai) May 5, 2021 Proponents were pleased with the news, but shortly after Tai's announcement, stocks of pharmaceutical companies that have produced vaccines, including Moderna and Pfizer, plummeted. I seems the Biden administration has decided to throw its weight behind a patent waiver on Covid vaccines. This is what it's doing to the vaccine makers' share prices. pic.twitter.com/zwh4Aekmvj — Kiran Stacey (@kiranstacey) May 5, 2021 It remains unclear if the protections will actually be waived since all 164 members of the WTO will need to agree on the matter, but backing from the U.S. should certainly move the needle. More stories from theweek.comAmerica's nervous breakdown is right on scheduleMitch McConnell, asked about the Liz Cheney purge, says '100 percent of my focus is on stopping' BidenThe GOP puts all its eggs in one dangerous basket
The case was over the three gun laws the city put on the books in 2019.
Former Republican pollster Frank Luntz tells Kara Swisher on her New York Times podcast "Sway" that Donald Trump's lies about the 2020 election "could cost the Republicans the majority in the House in 2022."Why it matters: The former president is still the most popular figure in the Republican Party, but his baseless claims about the election have alienated moderates and key GOP leaders — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Key exchange: Luntz: "More than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen."Swisher: "So it's working. This 'Big Lie' thing is working."Luntz: "It is working. ... What Donald Trump is saying is actually telling people it's not worth it to vote. Donald Trump single-handedly may cause people not to vote. And he may be the greatest tool in the Democrats' arsenal to keep control of the House and Senate in 2022."The big picture: "If Donald Trump runs for president as a Republican, he's the odds-on favorite to win the nomination," Luntz added. "He could never win a general election, but I can't imagine losing a Republican primary. ... I would bet on him to be the nominee and I would bet on him losing to whatever Democratic nominee there was."Listen up.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
One day after launching his new “communications platform,” Trump assailed his former vice president, along with Mitch McConnell and Liz Cheney.
"By the time I got in ... there were so many people that had already gone out the revolving door," Hill said of working in the Trump administration.
Zambia's main opposition leader said Tuesday the country's current rulers cannot save the nation from a punishing debt crisis, just months before the nation heads to the polls.
"The ReidOut" supercut lays bare the “lovefest” between the “Republican castrati” and “their beautiful leader."