Mecca (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - Mask-clad Muslim pilgrims on Wednesday began the annual hajj, dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings.But this year only up to 10,000 people already residing in the kingdom will participate in the ritual, a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world that attended last year.Pilgrims walked into M...
Republicans are openly bashing each other on cable TV and social media as the most extreme members of the GOP fight against there being any condemnation of their rhetoric.
It started when Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) launched a bigoted attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Boebert likened Omar to a suicide bomber and declared her a member of the "Jihad Squad."
During a Monday appearance on CNN, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said she "100 percent" condemned Boebert's bigotry.
That raised the ire of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who declared Mace "is the trash in the GOP Conference" and accused her of being friends with the "Jihad Squad."
Mace fits right in on @CNNhttps://www.mediaite.com/tv/disgusting-gop-rep-nancy-mace-calls-out-lauren-boebert-over-anti-muslim-attack-on-ilhan-omar/\u00a0\u2026— Marjorie Taylor Greene \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Marjorie Taylor Greene \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1638278110
Mace replied by noting Greene's attack had a typo.
*you\u2019re \n\nAnd, while I\u2019m correcting you, I\u2019m a pro-life fiscal conservative who was attacked by the Left all weekend (as I often am) as I defied China while in Taiwan.\n\nWhat I\u2019m not is a religious bigot (or racist). You might want to try that over there in your little \u201cleague.\u201dhttps://twitter.com/mtgreenee/status/1465669580496400386\u00a0\u2026— Nancy Mace (@Nancy Mace) 1638279632
So trashy not worth a spelling correction.https://twitter.com/mtgreenee/status/1465669580496400386\u00a0\u2026— Marjorie Taylor Greene \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Marjorie Taylor Greene \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1638279946
On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that former President Donald Trump's efforts to block the release of information to the House January 6 committee about his White House communications could reach the end of the road today — when it goes before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
"D.C. Circuit Judges Ketanji Brown Jackson, Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins are wading into a dispute over Trump’s lawsuit against the Jan. 6 select committee and the National Archives, the custodian of his White House records," reported Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein. "House investigators are attempting to obtain a voluminous batch of documents concerning Trump’s meetings, call records and decisions in the weeks preceding the riot — documents they say are essential both to understanding how Trump tried to subvert the 2020 election and to preventing new threats to the transfer of power."
Jackson is one of President Joe Biden's first major judicial circuit appointees, and has been speculated to be a shortlister for the Supreme Court should a vacancy arise under his presidency. The court has already expressed skepticism they even have standing to hear Trump's demand to block the records.
Legal experts have said there is little merit to Trump's blanket assertion of executive privilege over hundreds of documents requested by the committee, noting that the sitting president has the principal authority on what is privileged and former presidents have historically relied only on the approval of the sitting president in these matters.
Trump went weeks without an intel briefing as he feasted on election conspiracies as presidency ended: CIA officials
Donald Trump skipped an intelligence briefing on Jan. 6, and he didn't take part in a classified briefing for the last month of his presidency.
The Central Intelligence Agency issued a regular update of its book describing how presidents are updated on national security matters, and it showed that Trump's abandonment of classified briefings caused concern among intelligence officials -- who worried that he was losing touch with reality, reported The Daily Beast.
"There was no certainty that he was getting objective, unbiased information in any other way,” said one source familiar with the matter. “You couldn’t trust that anybody around him was able to get that information to him in that period of time."
Trump took a holiday break from classified intelligence briefings in December 2020, and he never resumed those fundamental duties as he feasted on unhinged advice from rogue Justice Department attorneys and outside advisers who openly called for overturning lawful election results.
Presidents typically read their daily intelligence report and receive occasional briefings from a CIA officer, but Trump famously preferred in-person briefings that featured lots of pictures and frequent mentions of his own name, but the agency revealed that Trump spent only two days a week receiving sensitive information in sessions that lasted about 45 minutes.
"That came to a halt in late 2020, however, according to the CIA’s 'Getting to Know the President' book, written by a revered former inspector general at the agency, John Helgerson," The Daily Beast reported.
"Trump took a vacation break over the holidays when he traveled to Mar-a-Lago and told his briefer 'he would see her later,' Helgerson wrote," according to the report. "The president then went two weeks without that pivotal one-on-one update, unlike his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, who was known to read the daily report even while vacationing in Hawaii."
After abandoning his daily briefings, the former president instead huddled with conspiracy-minded advisers, pushed out disinformation about election fraud, promoted baseless legal challenges and pressured election officials to intervene in his loss, and he skipped the only briefing on his schedule in 2021 to exhort his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol at the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“The briefings were to resume on 6 January but none were scheduled after the attack on the Capitol,” the CIA book says.
Although former vice president Mike Pence and other administration officials continued receiving classified briefings, intelligence veterans say it's alarming that a president would stop hearing the most up-to-date sensitive information for weeks at a time.
“Given how complicated the world is today, and given the kinds of decisions the president should be involved in in the national security arena, I’d be concerned that the president could find himself behind the curve,” said Larry Pfeiffer, a former CIA chief of staff who ran the White House’s Situation Room during the Obama administration. “Iran could have planned some foolish attack, or you could have intel members of the incoming administration acting against current U.S. foreign policy."