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Racist moments from WWE catalog fade on transition to streaming platform

WWE Network fans have seen and heard racist tropes in the ring for years.

In a 1990 showdown between Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown, a black wrestler, Mr. Piper, who is white, showed up to the match with half of his face painted black.

In 2005, WWE General Manager Vince McMahon used a racial slur on several occasions in a prepared skit.

Until recently, these segments were available to watch on the WWE Network, allowing subscribers to revisit old WrestleMania episodes and seasons dating back to the 1980s. But this month, after WWE episodes have started switching to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s newest streaming service, longtime wrestling viewers noticed they couldn’t find either of the two segments.

“The whole game is over,” said Christopher Jeter, 30, who has watched pro wrestling since he was 10 and now writes about it for Daily DDT, a news and opinion site on WWE. “I wouldn’t say it’s a big loss.”

NBCUniversal said Peacock “reviews WWE content to make sure it aligns with Peacock’s standards and practices,” as it does with other shows and movies on the platform.

“Peacock and WWE are reviewing all past content to ensure it meets our 2021 standards,” WWE said.

NBCUniversal said in January that Peacock had acquired exclusive broadcast rights to WWE Network content through a multi-year agreement.

In March, the company announced that Peacock would feature WWE fan-favorite content at launch, including all WrestleManias that went before WrestleMania 37.

The company said Peacock will continue to add WWE Network content to its library, making the entire archive available to fans.

The removal of the segments comes as other streaming services and entertainment companies have sought to give audiences context for older movies and TV shows that feature offensive content.

Disney’s streaming service includes a 12-second warning that cannot be ignored before movies like “Dumbo” and “Peter Pan” that tells viewers they will see “negative portrayals” and “abuse. inflicted on people or cultures “.

“These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,” the warning warns. “Rather than removing this content, we want to recognize its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to together create a more inclusive future.”

This month, Turner Classic Movies showed 18 classic movies, including “The Jazz Singer” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which were preceded by commentary from film experts who prepared viewers for scenes they could find. shocking or disturbing.

HBO Max initially removed “Gone with the Wind” from its streaming service, then added it again with a four-minute intro by TCM host Jacqueline Stewart, who explains the enduring cultural significance of the film at the time. even that he “denies the horrors of slavery.” as well as its legacies of racial inequalities. “

Last June, an NBC spokesperson said that four episodes of “30 Rock” that featured a blackface were pulled from circulation at the behest of Tina Fey, the show’s creator, and Robert Carlock, a executive producer and showrunner.

Mr Jeter, the WWE fan who writes about wrestling, said racist and sexist portrayals of women, blacks and other people of color have long been a part of professional wrestling.

“It has become such a part of the oversight of the product that it has become expected,” he said. “But that’s not what I watch wrestling for.”

Most fans, he said, watch wrestling because they appreciate the combination of athleticism and dramatic storytelling. Racist tropes were often a distraction from this, Mr Jeter said.

“I’m sure there are fans out there who say, ‘Why are you censoring? “, He said. “But it really doesn’t matter that they are getting rid of these stories and segments that haven’t aged really well and weren’t really good at the time.”

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Video: Watch Live: Biden Gives Transition Update

TimesVideoWatch Live: Biden Gives Transition Update President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to announce his National Security Council appointments, per Associated Press.

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Video: Biden calls White House transition lockdowns irresponsible

new video loaded: Biden calls White House transition lockdowns irresponsible



Biden calls White House transition lockdowns irresponsible

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Monday his transition team faced “obstruction” from political leaders in the Department of Defense, after attending a briefing with national security experts.

For some agencies, our teams have benefited from exemplary cooperation from the career staff of these agencies. On the part of others, notably the Ministry of Defense, we have encountered obstacles from the political leaders of that ministry. And the truth is, many organizations critical to our security have suffered tremendous damage. And for now, as our nation is in a period of transition, we need to make sure nothing gets lost in the transfer between jurisdictions. My team needs a clear picture of our strong position in the world and of our operations to deter our enemies. We need full visibility into ongoing budget planning in the Defense Ministry and other agencies to avoid any window of confusion or catch-up that our opponents might try to exploit. But as I have said from the beginning, we have encountered obstacles in the political direction of the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget. At present, we are simply not getting all the information we need for prosecution – from the outgoing administration in key areas of national security. In my opinion, this is nothing short of irresponsibility.

Recent episodes of United States and politics


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Xavier Becerra’s transition to the Biden administration


As soon as Joseph R. Biden Jr. picked Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, people started talking about how this election could herald a major shift in Democratic politics in California.

Not only would Ms Harris bring a distinctly California sensibility to executive power if elected, but her departure from the Senate would also open a powerful seat.

[Read more about how Ms. Harris made California history.]

On top of that, Mr Biden would look to California, the country’s most populous state and its largest Blue Fortress, for a pool full of cabinet candidates.

So far, all of these wheels are turning, mostly as expected.

But none of the conversations I’ve had with political observers, none of the online gossip I’ve read, and none of the sources my colleagues have spoken to predicted any of Mr. Biden’s choices: the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

[Read the full story about Mr. Becerra’s life and background.]

Four years ago, Mr. Becerra was a former California congressman when Jerry Brown, the then governor, selected him to replace Ms. Harris as senior state attorney, following her election to the Senate. .

In that role, Becerra has been chosen as the leader of the legal resistance against President Trump, filing dozens of lawsuits challenging the Trump administration on a range of issues, including climate change and immigration.

And as we have reported, Mr. Becerra was one of the main candidates to replace Ms. Harris, once again, in the Senate. But, observers said, Mr Becerra was a less likely choice for the Senate seat, as he would be a potential choice to head Biden’s Justice Department.

So, Mr Biden’s appointment of Mr Becerra for a post helping to lead the country’s response to a pandemic came as a surprise, especially to medical experts who had urged the president-elect to choose someone with expertise. in public health.

[If you missed it, read about California’s fights with the Trump administration.]

Still, supporters – including Gov. Gavin Newsom, who called the move a “game changer” on Monday – have said Mr Becerra is an excellent choice.

The governor said Mr Becerra, if confirmed, would be in a strong position to advocate for health care for Californians.

“We have had our eye on some big reforms,” he said. “We were looking for an excellent partner. And we found one.

Mr Brown stressed that Mr Becerra would be dedicated to his task – “not just to the Affordable Care Act, but to health and fairness in general,” the former governor said.

“And he knows his way in Washington,” he added.

Others have cited Mr. Becerra’s environmental justice office, the country’s first, as proof he will put racial fairness first.

[If you missed it, read about the broad power of the state attorney general’s office.]

Nonetheless, like his predecessor, Ms Harris, he has been criticized that he failed to hold law enforcement officers accountable for the murders of people and that the police reforms he touted after the protests of George Floyd were well insufficient. In an episode that became a flashpoint in the police debate, Mr Becerra refused to prosecute the officers who killed Stephon Clark, an unarmed young black man who was gunned down in the backyard of his grandmother in Sacramento.

And this week, The Sacramento Bee opinion editor Gil Duran wrote an article criticizing the attorney general for threatening legal action against journalists for publishing information about officers who had been accused or convicted of charges. crimes and for being largely absent from the state legislature’s debates on major police reforms.

“I’ve never been there to do a press conference and beat my chest,” Becerra told Duran, defending his record. He said he had been a more quiet supporter of reform.

[Read the full opinion piece from The Sacramento Bee.]

Read more:

  • Senate Republicans may be skeptical of Mr Becerra, but they stopped before saying it wouldn’t be confirmed. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Mr. Becerra’s exit gives the governor the rare opportunity to choose three top leaders. [Politico]

  • It wasn’t just George Gascón: The summer protests fueled a “tsunami of change” as cities across the country elected progressive prosecutors. [The New York Times]

  • If you missed it, here’s why Latin American advocates say representation is more than simply having leaders who resemble the electorate. [The New York Times]

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)

  • Some two million Californians falter about to lose their home. Most are protected by a moratorium on evictions – but temporarily. Here is a collaboration that takes an in-depth look at the issues. [CalMatters]

  • Bay Area lawmaker hopes expand existing state protections against deportation. [The Mercury News]

  • The leaders of the State Assembly are lobby for school districts to reopen in the spring. The proposed legislation would require public school students to return in stages and only after their counties have been moved from the state’s most restrictive reopening level. [EdSource]

  • The alert you may have received on your cell phone about state stay-at-home orders was his biggest such scare ever. [The Sacramento Bee]

Here are the latest restrictions in the state. [The New York Times]

  • The battle lines are already drawn on the fracturing. The governor asked the Legislature to pass a bill banning the practice by 2024. [The Bakersfield Californian]

  • If you have ever wondered if the waters off the San Onofre nuclear power plant are safe, now you have a way to find out. (So ​​far, scientists say, it’s mildly radioactive, but far less than a dental x-ray.) [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

In a normal year, I can’t wait to go through year-end lists of the best restaurants I haven’t tried, the best movies I haven’t watched, the albums I haven’t listened to, books that I haven’t read. It’s fun, despite the shade of FOMO I tend to have; I know I’ll never catch up, but there’s always more to discover.

This year, however, as the lists have started to flow, feelings are complicated.

Restaurant listings are necessarily reminders of places we’ve lost, album listings are reminders of concerts we haven’t been able to experience. I found myself in a more than likely healthy relationship with my colleague Manohla Dargis, whose list of the 10 best films of 2020 is titled “I Looked Up To My Bled Eyes”.

At the same time, this year’s lists help us remember that people have adapted and found ways to create.

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Trump administration plants loyalists in Biden transition meetings

WASHINGTON – President Trump loyalists have blocked transition meetings at some government agencies and participate in discussions in other agencies between career officials and President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s transition teams, sometimes conversations frightening, several federal officials have said.

At the Environmental Protection Agency, political appointees have joined virtually every discussion between career staff members and Mr Biden’s team, monitoring conversations about climate change, scientific research and d ‘other subjects. At the State Department, such visits occur on what Trump’s appointees define as a base as needed. On Tuesday, Mr Biden’s transition team was first cleared to join the National Security Agency, but at the United States Agency for Global Media, mother of Voice of America, the executive named by Trump refuses to cooperate with Biden’s transition team, two agency officials have confirmed.

Experts on the presidential transition said that the presence of politicians at agency handover meetings was not uncommon and could even be seen as useful. President George W. Bush, for example, worked closely in late 2008 with Barack Obama’s new team to help calm volatility in financial markets. But against the backdrop of Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede electoral defeat, the actions of those appointed by Trump appeared to be a pernicious effort to slow the transition, some experts have said.

“The norm is that politicians are not involved in the inner workings of this,” said Michael E. Herz, professor of administrative law at Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University.

He called on the Trump administration’s apparent determination to micromanage the transition process by overseeing the meetings as part of its larger plan to “milk their authority for as long as possible and disrupt the new administration as much as possible.”

Under the Presidential Transition Act, career employees play the primary role in managing agency transitions, largely because they bring institutional knowledge about government functions and have been seen as non-managers. policies of the agencies they serve. There is no clear rule or guideline, however, that specifies how the process is to unfold.

During the transfer of the administration from Mr. Obama to Mr. Trump, for example, politicians were explicitly withdrawn from transition meetings, said Thomas A. Burke, who was then EPA science adviser in the Obama administration.

“To me it’s the equivalent of having the opposing coach sitting in the room while you develop your team’s strategy,” he said.

Myron Ebell, a senior researcher at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who led the Trump administration’s transition to the EPA, agreed that those named by Mr. Obama were not present, but said he would have liked to meet with them . Either way, he said, the meetings were held in an open-plan office space.

“I assumed that everything we said and who we spoke to was open to politicians,” Mr. Ebell said. “And they never said ‘we cleaned the room and there are no microphones in it.'”

Biden’s transition team did not respond to a request for comment on the process. Several people close to the president-elect’s team have said that after taking more than two weeks to begin the formal transition process, the transfer of the Trump administration has gone fairly smoothly and that Mr. Biden is loath to disrupt this process by commenting on the tensions.

So far, around 40 review teams from federal agencies have conducted more than 1,000 interviews and meetings, Biden transition officials said.

Federal employees who discussed the transition and asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about the process offered mixed reviews of the presence of political leaders.

Several have said they believe Trump officials are implicitly intimidating employees into speaking openly about issues awaiting the new administration. Others described the meetings as simply awkward.

At the Education Department, an official said those Trump’s appointees did not squash briefings, but said the written briefing materials given to Mr. Biden’s teams “covered up anything controversial” and described the briefings as “politically influenced”.

At the State Department, those appointed by Mr. Trump insisted that they attend some, but not all, meetings of Mr. Biden’s transition team with career employees, according to an official familiar with the process. it was not immediately clear whether this was seen as largely intrusive or stifling discussions at the State Department, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, the official said, including those appointed by the outgoing administration in at least some diplomatic discussions was not uncommon and, so far, State Department staff have cooperated in responding to requests from the ‘Biden team.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told department officials he was ready to meet with Mr. Biden’s transition team, CNN reported last week, and described the new administration on Monday as “smart enough.” It was a change from late November, when he said in an interview with Fox News that Mr. Biden’s foreign policy advisers “lived in a somewhat imaginary world” when they served under the administration. Obama.

This week, the Biden team was cleared into the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency after several days of what two people close to the transition described as an effort by newly appointed Trump administration officials to the Pentagon to slow down the transition by blocking access to the department. defense intelligence agencies.

Susan Gough, a spokesperson for the Department of Defense, said the agency sometimes added staff to the list of people that Mr Biden’s team requests meetings with “so that we have the right experts in the field. material present, ”but added,“ It is not necessary that all meetings must be attended by a political representative. “

No classified material has yet been released to Mr Biden’s team, and it is not clear if or when that will be made available. Meetings at other intelligence agencies, including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, are expected to take place later.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Michael Pack, a Trump-appointed person who oversees the Voice of America and other federally-funded news agencies, refused to make the records and staff available to Mr. Biden’s team.

At the EPA, James Hewitt, a spokesperson for the agency, confirmed that political leaders were attending the meetings and said it was with the blessing of Mr Biden’s transition team.

“Deputy Assistant Administrator Benevento asked Biden’s environmental transition team if political staff could participate in transition calls so they could provide any information they might have about the agency and they obligated,” he said, speaking of Doug Benevento, in a statement. “We were not informed that they had any concerns about the quality of the information provided during these calls.”

Lisa Brown, who was co-director of the EPA review team during the Obama administration, said that after weeks of the Trump administration’s efforts to slow the transition, the Biden team has very probably accepted the conditions just to start work.

“They want to come in and see what they can learn rather than wasting time fighting, that’s my opinion,” she said.

But Ms Brown described the arrangement as out of the ordinary and disturbing.

“What you need to worry about is the crippling effect on career employees,” she said. “You’re going to worry that people aren’t completely open, especially when you have a president who still hasn’t conceded.

Erica L. Green, Lara jakes, Julian E. Barnes, Eric Schmitt, Michael D. Shear and Katie benner contribution to reports.

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The transition is going in earnest as the Biden team travels across the capital

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s transition teams began traveling to Washington on Tuesday, released for the first time to interact with their government counterparts after President Trump’s administration ended its blockade two weeks against an order. transfer of power.

Mr Trump on Tuesday authorized intelligence agencies to begin briefing Mr Biden on classified information released in the president’s Daily Brief. Officials said the briefing would be scheduled soon, but did not provide details. Mr Biden said he planned to be briefed “regularly”.

Transition officials said the teams have reached out to each federal agency to start organizing meetings. About 20 of these meetings took place on Tuesday, including at the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Education. Officials said the Trump administration’s reception was responsive and helpful.

Mr. Trump gave in on Monday in his refusal to allow a formal transition to begin, while still refusing to concede defeat and swearing on Twitter Tuesday morning that “our big lawsuit” will be filed soon and declaring “ELECTION RIGGED!” Within hours, Mr. Biden’s team moved on to quickly take advantage of the 57 days left until the inauguration.

Mr Biden had warned that blocking the transition threatened national security by depriving his team of critical briefings and endangering the distribution of coronavirus vaccines if his advisers could not work alongside current health officials. In an interview with “NBC Nightly News” on Tuesday, Biden said he was pleased with the administration’s late decision to allow the transition to continue.

“I think we’re not going to be as far behind the curve as we thought we could be in the past,” Mr. Biden said. “And there is a lot of immediate discussion, and I have to say that the awareness has been genuine. There has been no reluctance so far. And I don’t expect that to be the case.

On Wall Street, the stock market surged upon learning that a robust transition was about to begin, with the Dow Jones industrial average surpassing 30,000 for the first time. Investors appeared supported by Mr Biden’s choice of Janet Yellen, former Federal Reserve chairwoman, to serve as Treasury secretary.

Mr. Trump, in a White House appearance that lasted only about a minute, sought to take credit for the market rise.

“The stock market just broke 30,000. Never been broken that figure,” Trump told reporters without answering questions. “That’s a hell of a number, 30,000. No one thought they would ever see it,” he said, adding, “I just want to congratulate all the members of the administration who have worked so hard.

The transition officially began Monday night, when Emily W. Murphy, the Administrator of the General Service Administration, sent a letter to Mr. Biden saying that as the apparent winner of the election he was entitled to premises, resources and capacities to coordinate with administrative officials.

This process is governed by law and several memoranda of understanding signed months ago by both sides, including a pledge from the White House chief of staff to ensure that Mr. Biden, if he wins the election, receive up-to-date information. on the threats the country faces.

In a memorandum sent to White House employees late Monday night, Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, reminded them to conduct all work-related communications with White House email accounts. And he said the archives should be preserved.

He also cautioned, in bold type, against unauthorized contact of White House staff – known as members of the president’s executive office – with members of Biden’s transition team.

“Unless specifically authorized,” he wrote, “EOP staff are not permitted to speak directly with a member of Biden’s transition team or with the federal transition coordinator.”

The disclaimer underscored the sensitivity that typically accompanies discussions between jurisdictions during a transition and the need for confidentiality.

With the pandemic raging, Biden’s transition officials are particularly keen to begin coordination with officials from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and members of Project Operation Warp Speed, which is playing a role in vaccine distribution. Transition officials have said they want to start receiving official government data on the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus.

Ms Murphy’s letter on Monday sparked almost immediate acknowledgment from the Department of Health and Human Services, the center of the administration’s pandemic response. Health Secretary Alex M. Azar II said Tuesday that Rear Adm Erica G. Schwartz, the deputy surgeon general, contacted Biden’s team on Monday.

“We will ensure coordinated briefings with them to make sure they get all the information they feel they need,” Azar said.

In addition to the official transitional agency review teams, Biden has dozens of public health experts and former health officials reviewing the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic.

Briefings on the transition will likely center on the Department of Health’s evolving plans to distribute a coronavirus vaccine, a large and complicated effort the department is coordinating with the Pentagon and C.DC. The first doses could be administered as early as mid-December if the Food and Drug Administration clears the Pfizer candidate for emergency use.

Transition officials were also keen to meet with Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s senior infectious disease specialist. Mr Biden told reporters on Tuesday that his team spoke to Dr Fauci, but did not. “He’s been very, very helpful,” Biden said.

A senior Center for Disease Control and Prevention official said on Tuesday afternoon that Biden’s team had yet to communicate with key agency staff, but that a team of career scientists had prepared a large body of public health information material, including the agency’s role in vaccine distribution.

At the Food and Drug Administration, where regulators are evaluating Pfizer’s vaccine, staff members have been asked to route all contacts through James Sigg, the agency’s chief operating officer. Two top advisers to Dr Stephen M. Hahn, the commissioner of the FDA, have spent months compiling what is known as the Covid-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Recovery Plan, a review of the work of the agency this year which they plan to complete in January.

Members of Biden’s transition team began contacting Pentagon officials on Monday evening. Thomas M. Muir, director of the Defense Department’s Transition Task Force, said the Biden-Harris team “contacted me personally” and that Pentagon officials and Biden’s team contacted each other. met on Tuesday morning.

“We look forward to continuing the process with the Biden-Harris transition team,” Muir said on a call with reporters. Mr Biden’s transition team will get dedicated office space in the Pentagon.

Mike Pompeo’s secretary told Fox News on Tuesday that the State Department “will do whatever is required by law.”

At the Treasury Department, senior officials told staff in some offices that they were starting to compile transition briefing books and that they planned to meet with Biden’s transition team soon, one person said. close to the file. A spokeswoman for the Treasury said the department’s transition team has started meeting with Mr Biden’s team.

Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Chase Jennings said the agency held its first meeting with Mr Biden’s team on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the education department said meetings with Biden’s transition team began on Tuesday.

The start of the formal transition also paves the way for government-run background checks of cabinet candidates for Mr Biden and other senior officials who require high-level security clearances. These checks, which are carried out by the FBI and other agencies, had also been suspended until Ms Murphy’s decision. Bureau officials said they would investigate potential candidates as the bureau receives written requests from Mr Biden’s team.

Other smaller changes will also take place. Transition members will begin using government email accounts – ending in, for “the presidential transition team” – and Mr. Biden’s official transition website,, has already been moved to a government server and renamed to

Reporting was provided by Helene Cooper, Alan Rappeport, Katie Benner, Thomas Kaplan, Carol Rosenberg, Lara Jakes, Eric Schmitt, Erica Green, Noah Weiland, Jennifer Steinhauer, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Julian Barnes.

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The transition officially begins (finally)

Trump’s administration is naming Biden as the apparent winner of the election, and more and more of Biden’s cabinet choices are emerging – representing both a break with Trump and more of a similar age in Washington. It’s Tuesday and here is your political advice sheet. register here to get On Politics delivered to your inbox every day of the week.

Trump supporters protesting the Michigan election results in Lansing yesterday.

Biden began to roll out his choices to become the primary officials in the country’s foreign policy, national security, and economic policy.

If the list is full of historical firsts, it lacks big surprises.

Most of the names held prominent positions during Barack Obama’s presidency. Taken together, they indicate that Biden seeks to reposition the United States’ position on the world stage by rebuilding pre-Trump alliances and restoring old diplomatic approaches.

And they suggest that progressives’ hopes that the Biden administration would align itself with the Obama administration’s left on foreign policy issues are unlikely to materialize.

Biden is expected to officially announce his first cabinet-level pick during a speech today in Wilmington, Del., But his team have already publicly confirmed a number of them.

His transition office said yesterday that Biden plans to appoint Alejandro mayorkas as Secretary for Homeland Security, and April Haines as director of national intelligence. Mayorkas would become the first Hispanic public servant and the first immigrant to head the Department of Homeland Security, and Haines would become the most senior woman in the national security bureaucracy.

Both come with years of experience in the Obama administration. Mayorkas served as Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security from 2013 to 2016, and Haines served as Deputy National Security Advisor for Obama’s last two years as president. Before that, she had been Deputy Director of the CIA

Biden plans to select Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be its ambassador to the United Nations, and he will re-establish the post at the cabinet level, giving him a seat on its National Security Council. Thomas-Greenfield held various positions in the State Department during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, as well as Ambassador to Liberia from 2008 to 2012. She left the State Department in 2017 after taking office. Trump.

Biden’s choice for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, served as his national security adviser when Biden was vice president, and then became Obama’s deputy national security adviser during his second term. Blinken is seen as a coalition builder and interventionist, and he is expected to lead an attempt to consolidate U.S. allegiances in its global power struggle with China.

To fill a new, forward-looking position, Biden chose John Kerry, an establishment figure who served as Secretary of State during Obama’s second term. He will become Biden’s special climate envoy, who will become a cabinet-level post in the new administration, but will not be subject to Senate confirmation.

Biden considers choosing Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury, making her the first woman to fill this role. She was previously chairman of the Federal Reserve during Obama’s presidency.

A trained labor economist, Yellen has so far been one of Biden’s more liberal choices. She is expected to carry a penchant for government intervention on behalf of workers, as she helps shape the new administration’s response to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The transition begins

Would you like to receive The Morning by e-mail? Here is the inscription.

Many Americans have spent weeks, if not months, asking one version of this question: What if President Trump refuses to step down?

The main answer to the question has always been the same: it is not up to him.

As long as other parts of government – like Congress, the courts, and the military – insisted it respect the election results, it should. He could do it quickly and cleanly, as all of his predecessors did. Or he could make it messy, discrediting American democracy along the way. But he would eventually have to leave the White House.

Last night he took a big step forward.

Emily Murphy, a Trump-appointed person who heads the agency in charge of presidential transitions, has officially named Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the election. Murphy’s decision provides Biden with federal funds for his transition and allows Biden aides to begin working with officials in the Trump administration.

On Twitter, Trump reported that He accepted the decision, but he did not concede. He also said he would continue his legal efforts to overturn the election result, but they showed no signs of success. (Election officials in Michigan and several counties in Pennsylvania certified their election results yesterday.) In all respects, the Trump presidency is now comes to an end.

All of this is a reminder of the influence our system of government gives to people other than the president.

Sometimes a president can seem all-powerful, and Trump’s presidency had a particularly consuming quality, both to his supporters and to his detractors. Even members of Congress, especially Republicans, have liked to claim over the past four years that they are powerless to change Trump’s behavior.

But that’s not the way the US government really works. As Georgetown University political scientist Matt Glassman told me, “Presidents compete with many actors – Congress, courts, interest groups, policy makers in departments and agencies. and career civil servants – for their influence on public policy. The president must rely on his informal ability to convince other political actors that it is in their interest to accompany him, or at least not to stand in his way.

When a president fails to do so, he often ends up being powerless to act. And that’s what happened to Trump. Hundreds of local election officials refused to fold to him. Over the past few days, several Republicans in Congress have told him publicly that he needs to face reality. (Many other Republicans in Congress supported him only lightly, giving credence to his lies but not doing anything concrete to support his efforts to change the outcome.) Business groups – traditional Republican allies – also told him to start the transition.

In the end, Trump did what they told him to do.

For more: Matt Flegenheimer and Maggie Haberman of The Times write about what Trump loved to be president. One thing he seemed to really enjoy: forgiving the turkeys.

  • A mass shooting at a party in Brooklyn this weekend killed a woman and injured six, amid a surge in shootings in New York City.

  • David Dinkins, the son of a barber who became New York’s first black mayor, has died aged 93 (for more, listen to this interview with Dinkins on The Times’s The Last Word.)

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein, 87, will step down as Democrat at the top of the Senate Judiciary Committee next year. She angered some progressives when she praised the way Republicans had handled Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

  • General Motors has dropped its support for a Trump administration lawsuit challenging California’s stricter fuel economy rules. The company also said it will work with Biden to reduce global warming emissions from cars and trucks.

  • Five NBA players met with Pope Francis in the Vatican to discuss social justice efforts. They gave him team jerseys and a Black Lives Matter t-shirt.

  • Ken Jennings, a former “Jeopardy!” champion, will be the game show’s first short-term guest host following the death of Alex Trebek.

Modern AI: After analyzing nearly a trillion words of human language, an artificial intelligence system called GPT-3 can write its own poetry and more. He even wrote a few “Modern Love” columns.

From the review: The withdrawal of US troops from the Middle East recognizes what the military has long struggled with: We failed, writes Timothy Kudo, a former Navy captain. And Bret Stephens and Jamelle Bouie have columns.

Lives lived: Lady Elizabeth Anson, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, was a party planner for rock stars and the royal family. Among the many events she oversaw: Margaret Thatcher’s 80th birthday and Sting’s second wedding. She died at 79.

Subscribers make our reporting possible, so we can help you figure it out right now. If you are not a subscriber, consider becoming one today.

During a recent stroll through a business district near my home, I was delighted to see several restaurants building heated tents – tents that seemed to offer the promise of an occasional restaurant meal this winter. When I got home, I told my wife about it. She replied, “How is it different from interior to eat?”

A lot of people seem to be asking this question this week. James Hamblin, a doctor who writes for The Atlantic, posted this tweet:

Patrick LaForge, editor of The Times, responded by calling them “Covid cabins.”

To figure this out, I asked Apoorva Mandavilli, a science journalist for The Times, for advice. His response: “The exterior is safe, as moving air would instantly dilute any exhaled virus. But as soon as you start adding “walls” to the outdoor space, you cut off the airflow and increase the chances of the virus building up in that space. “

Apoorva added: “A tent with heaters and with open sides can be safe enough, and maybe even a space with only one ‘wall’. But those fully zipped tents? Shudder. They are like incubators for viruses if someone infected walks into space with you. “

Try making this buttery stuffing full of garlic, leeks and celery. You can find more Thanksgiving recipes here.

The Times Book Review published its list of the top 10 books of the year. It includes novels by Ayad Akhtar, Brit Bennett, James McBride, Lydia Millet and Maggie O’Farrell, as well as non-fiction by Robert Kolker, Margaret MacMillan, Barack Obama, James Shapiro, and Anna Wiener.

A campy holiday musical with original songs by Dolly Parton, who plays a homeless angel with lessons for the town of Scrooge, performed by Christine Baranski. Yes, such a movie does exist: “Dolly Parton’s Christmas in the Square.”

Read an in-depth conversation with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The late night hosts had a lot to say about Trump’s legal team.

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Trump administration approves start of formal transition to Biden

WASHINGTON – President Trump’s administration on Monday authorized President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to begin a formal transition process after Michigan certified Mr. Biden as its winner, a strong sign that the president’s latest attempt to canceling the election results was drawing to a close.

Mr Trump did not concede and vowed to persist in efforts to change the vote, which have so far proved unsuccessful. But the president said on Twitter Monday evening that he had accepted the decision of Emily W. Murphy’s decision, the administrator of the General Service Administration, to allow a transition.

In his tweetMr. Trump said he had told his officials to begin “initial protocols” involving the transfer to Mr. Biden “in the best interests of our country,” although his announcement follows weeks of attempted subvert a free and fair election with false allegations of fraud.

Ms. Murphy’s designation of Mr. Biden as the apparent winner provides the incoming administration with federal funds and resources and paves the way for advisers to the president-elect to coordinate with Trump administration officials.

Ms Murphy’s move came after several other senior Republican lawmakers, as well as personalities in business and global affairs, denounced the delay in starting the peaceful transfer of power, a heist that Mr Biden and its main collaborators have said they are threatening national security and the ability of the incoming administration to effectively plan for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

And it follows a key decision by the Pennsylvania court, where the state Supreme Court ruled on Monday against the Trump campaign and the president’s Republican allies, declaring that around 8,000 ballots with signature or signature irregularities date should be counted.

In Michigan, the state prospecting board, made up of two Republicans and two Democrats, voted 3-0 to approve the results, with one Republican abstaining. He formally handed Mr. Biden a key battleground that Mr. Trump wrested from Democrats four years ago and pushed back on the president’s legal and political efforts to reverse the results.

On Monday night, as Mr Biden moved forward with plans to fill his cabinet, large sectors of the nation had sent a direct message to a defeated president: his campaign to stay in the White House and subvert the election, unrealistic from the start. beginning, approaching the end.

Ms Murphy said she made her decision on Monday due to “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results”, most likely referring to the certification of votes by Michigan election officials and a series almost unbroken court rulings that have dismissed Mr. Trump’s challenges in several states.

In a statement, Yohannes Abraham, executive director of Mr. Biden’s transition, said Ms. Murphy’s decision was “a necessary step to begin addressing the challenges facing our nation.”

He added that Mr. Biden’s aides would soon begin meeting with Trump administration officials “to discuss the response to the pandemic, get a full account of our national security interests, and gain a full understanding of the efforts of the Trump administration to hollow out government agencies.

Mr. Trump had resisted any move towards a transition. But in the conversations of the past few days, which escalated Monday morning, key contributors – including Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff; Pat A. Cipollone, lawyer for the White House; and Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer – told the president the transition had to begin. He didn’t need to say the word “concede,” they told him, according to several people briefed on the discussions.

Mr Trump continued to seek advice from associates, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, who told him there were still legal avenues to pursue, the people said.

Some of the advisers have drafted a statement for the president to issue. Ultimately, Mr Trump did not post one, but aides said the tone was similar to his evening tweets, in which he appeared to take credit for Ms Murphy’s decision to allow the transition to begin.

“Our case continues STRONG, we will continue the good fight, and I believe we will win!” he wrote. “Nonetheless, in the best interest of our country, I recommend that Emily and her team do what needs to be done regarding the initial protocols and have told my team to do the same.”

In a letter to Mr Biden, which was first reported by CNN, Ms Murphy refuted Mr Trump’s claim that he ordered her to make the decision, saying: ‘I have come to my mind. decision independently, based on the law and the facts available. . She said she had “never been subjected to direct or indirect pressure from a representative of the executive – including those who work in the White House or the GSA”

“I don’t think an agency tasked with improving federal procurement and property management should place itself above the constitutionally-based electoral process,” she wrote, defending her delay, saying she did not want to preempt the constitutional counting process. vote and choose a chair.

His letter seemed designed not to upset Mr. Trump and his supporters. In it, she did not describe Mr Biden as the president-elect, although she said the transition could begin.

An associate with knowledge of Ms Murphy’s thinking said she still plans to sign the transition, but needs a defensible rationale for doing so in the absence of a concession from Mr Trump; recent pro-Biden developments in Michigan and Pennsylvania, as well as Georgia, which certified Mr. Biden’s victory last Friday, have provided a clear rationale for moving forward.

The move was part of a cascade of events over the past few days that appeared to mark the end of Mr. Trump’s attempts to resist the will of voters.

The great counties of Pennsylvania formalized Mr. Biden’s victory in the state. And in a major break with the president, General Motors has announced that it will no longer support the administration’s efforts to overturn California’s fuel economy rules.

On Capitol Hill, most of Mr. Trump’s Republican allies were by his side for the past two weeks as he tried to undo Mr. Biden’s victory. But on Monday, some of the top Republicans in the Senate urged Ms Murphy to allow the transition.

Retiring Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has made his second appeal in recent days for a swift transition.

“Since it seems obvious that Joe Biden will be the president-elect, I hope that President Trump will be proud of his tremendous accomplishments, put the country at the forefront and have a swift and orderly transition to help the new administration succeed,” said Mr. Alexander, a close friend of Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and majority leader. “When you’re in public life, people remember the last thing you do.”

Earlier today, Senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, both Republicans, issued statements breaking with Mr. Trump and calling on Mr. Biden to begin receiving briefings on the coronavirus and national security.

“At some point, the 2020 elections must end,” Ms. Capito said.

The pressure on Mr. Trump extended beyond the political sphere. More than 100 business leaders on Monday sent a letter to the administration asking it to ease a transition, and a group of Republican national security experts pleaded with Republican members of Congress to demand Mr. Trump concede.

One of the chairman’s strongest supporters, Stephen A. Schwarzman, managing director of private equity firm Blackstone, did not sign the CEO letter but said in a statement that “the result is very certain today and the country should move forward. “

But the most dramatic proof that Mr. Trump’s efforts to contest the election were fading on Monday came in Michigan, where days of speculation over the state’s certification of the vote ended in a 3-0 vote. solicitation advice. It came after hours of commentary from local clerks, elected officials and the public, most of whom said the council’s only legal role was to certify election results, not audit them.

As the meeting progressed, it became clear that a Republican member of the canvassing board, Aaron Van Langevelde, was leaning towards certification. He repeatedly asked if the council had the legal authority to do anything else.

“There is nothing in the law that gives me the power to request an audit,” he said. “I think the law is on my side here. We have no authority to request an audit, delay or block certification. “

The other Republican on the council, Norm Shinkle, abstained in the vote.

Jocelyn Benson, the Democratic Secretary of State for Michigan, said in a statement that “democracy has prevailed” against “an unprecedented attack on its integrity.” She said the state would now initiate procedures, including a risk-limiting audit, to further assert the integrity of the election.

Another crucial pivot state, Pennsylvania, was also heading toward consolidation of the results on Monday, with several counties certifying the vote count, despite scattered efforts by local Republicans to stop the process. Mr. Biden won Pennsylvania by about 80,000 votes.

In Allegheny County, the second largest county in the state and seat of Pittsburgh, the county council voted 2 to 1 to certify the results. And in Philadelphia, the largest county, city commissioners certified the results Monday night after the state Supreme Court rejected a Republican demand to disqualify the 8,000 missing ballots.

Pennsylvania law says counties must certify their votes by the third Monday after the election, but there is no real penalty for missing the deadline.

Statewide results will not be formally certified until all counties report, after which the process will pass to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, then Governor Tom Wolf for final signing and the allocation of voters. Both officials are Democrats.

Despite the county certifications on Monday, the Trump campaign filed an emergency appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, seeking to halt statewide certification.

Yet the Trump campaign legal challenges, led by Mr Giuliani, were so unsuccessful and widely ridiculed that the president admitted to councilors that the former New York mayor’s appearances had become a debacle.

Michael D. Shear reported from Washington, Maggie Haberman and Nick Corasaniti from New York, and Jim Rutenberg from Montauk, NY Kathleen Gray contributed reporting from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Travel News

GSA chief denies congressional request to be notified of the transition.

The senior General Service Administration official rejected a request to notify Congress by Monday of his decision not to recognize the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., escalating a growing political row over the money and government access set aside for the presidential election. transition.

The Democratic chairmen of the House Oversight and Reform and Appropriations committees last week demanded that the agency administrator, Emily Murphy, provide a briefing to lawmakers no later than Monday on why she had abandoned the practice earlier and had so far refused to approve the start. of the process for Mr. Biden. Seeking to pressure Ms Murphy to change course, Democrats also threatened to call her to testify in a public hearing.

But as the deadline passed on Monday, the GSA suggested Ms Murphy would not meet with key lawmakers on the issue, instead offering a 30-minute briefing by her deputy, Allison Brigati, on November 30.

Keen with the response, House Democrats wrote Ms Murphy another letter, demanding a briefing on Tuesday.

“We cannot wait another week for basic information on your refusal to make the verification decision,” wrote the Presidents, New York Reps Carolyn B. Maloney and Nita M. Lowey, and the Presidents. from groups that oversee and fund GSA, Representatives Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia and Mike Quigley of Illinois.

“Every extra day that is wasted is a day when the safety, health and well-being of the American people are threatened as the new Biden-Harris administration is prevented from fully preparing for the coronavirus pandemic, the terrible crisis economic of our country and to our country. security ”, indicates the letter

They gave Ms. Murphy until 5 p.m. to respond.

Top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees have also sought to increase pressure on Ms Murphy to begin the formal transition. In a letter, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate committee, said that while classified briefings for Mr Biden and his team did not begin immediately, their ability to “respond appropriately to any threat at the start of his term ”could be hampered. .

These threats could include pandemic and terrorism, said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who heads the House Intelligence Committee.

“Our democracy and the orderly transition of power from one president to another must not be undermined by a candidate’s inexplicable refusal to accept the clear results of an election, or by the inaction of government officials like you, ”Mr Schiff wrote in his own letter.

Mr. Biden has tried to stay on the sidelines of the growing struggle between Congressional Democrats and President Trump’s administration. Monday’s back-and-forth came as he continued to form a cabinet, announcing a handful of nominees.

Ms Murphy has given no public explanation for her delay, but it has coincided with Mr Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results. Without the administrator’s approval, Mr. Biden’s team cannot move into government offices in Washington, formally meet with federal agencies, or conduct business involving sensitive government secrets.