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Biden to unveil first Cabinet picks on Tuesday, envisions scaled-down inauguration

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Biden to unveil first Cabinet picks on Tuesday, envisions scaled-down inauguration

By Doina Chiacu



FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks to reporters following an online meeting with members of the National Governors Association (NGA) executive committee in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will announce the first of his Cabinet appointments on Tuesday and is planning for a scaled-down inauguration due to the coronavirus pandemic, aides said on Sunday, as he lays the foundation for his new administration despite President Donald Trump's refusal to concede.


Since Biden, a Democrat, was declared the winner of the Nov. 3 election two weeks ago, the Republican president has launched a barrage of lawsuits and mounted a pressure campaign to prevent state officials from certifying their vote totals, suffering another emphatic legal setback on Saturday in Pennsylvania.


Ron Klain, Biden's choice as White House chief of staff, again urged that the Trump administration - specifically a federal agency called the General Services Administration (GSA) - formally recognize Biden's victory to unlock resources for the transition process.


"I hope that the administrator of the GSA will do her job," Klain added, referring to GSA chief Emily Murphy.


Biden is due to take office on Jan. 20.


"A record number of Americans rejected the Trump presidency, and since then Donald Trump's been rejecting democracy," Klain told ABC's "This Week" program.


President Trump faced a new setback in his desperate bid to overturn the U.S. election as a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by his campaign that sought to throw out millions of votes in Pennsylvania. This report produced by Jonah Green.


Biden, working in his home state of Delaware, has announced a series of selections for White House posts. Klain said that "you're going to see the first Cabinet picks this Tuesday," but declined to reveal the choices or the posts to be filled.


Biden said on Thursday he had chosen a treasury secretary. Candidates on Biden's short list include former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, current Fed Governor Lael Brainard, Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed governor, and Raphael Bostic, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.


Biden allies also indicated he could announce his selection for secretary of state as soon as this week, with former national security adviser Susan Rice and veteran diplomat Antony Blinken seen as among the candidates.


Klain said there will be "scaled-down versions of the existing traditions" for Biden's inauguration. Inauguration ceremonies and related events typically draw huge crowds to Washington. COVID-19 cases and deaths are surging in many parts of the country amid a pandemic that has killed about 256,000 Americans.


"We know people want to celebrate. There is something here to celebrate," Klain said. "We just want to try to find a way to do it as safely as possible."


Critics of Trump, including Democrats and some Republicans, have accused him of trying to undermine faith in the American electoral system and delegitimize Biden's victory by promoting false claims of widespread voter fraud.


"Fight hard Republicans," Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning as he pressed his unsubstantiated narrative of voter fraud before playing golf in Virginia for a second day in a row.


Attempts to thwart certification of vote tallies have failed thus far in courts in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Arizona. U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, in dismissing the Pennsylvania lawsuit on Saturday, compared the Trump team's arguments claiming voter fraud to a "Frankenstein's Monster" that was "haphazardly stitched together" using meritless legal arguments and speculative accusations.


Trump's campaign said on Sunday that it was appealing Brann's decision to the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Pennsylvania is expected to certify its election results on Monday.


Trump's campaign has also filed a petition for another recount in Georgia. A previous laborious hand recount reaffirmed Biden's victory by a margin of more than 12,000 votes in the southern state, a longtime Republican bastion in presidential elections.



Some of Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress are now breaking ranks though many, including the most senior ones, have not.


Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has served as a Trump adviser, called the president's legal team a "national embarrassment."


"They allege fraud outside the courtroom, but when they go inside the courtroom they don't plead fraud and they don't argue fraud," Christie told ABC's "This Week," adding that "if you're unwilling to come forward and present the evidence, it must mean the evidence doesn't exist."


"We're beginning to look like a banana republic," Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan told CNN's "State of the Union" program, criticizing the refusal of many in his own party to acknowledge Trump's defeat. "Frankly I'm embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up."


Republican Senator Kevin Cramer told NBC's "Meet the Press" program that the start of the presidential transition process is overdue, though he declined to recognize Biden's victory.


"I hope they would start to accept the reality," Klain said of Republican leaders.


Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc will transfer control of the @POTUS account to the Joe Biden administration on Jan. 20, the social media companies said on Saturday. This report produced by Jonah Green.


Critics have said Trump's refusal to facilitate an orderly transition carries serious implications for national security and the fight against COVID-19.


Klain said Biden is being denied intelligence briefings to which he is entitled, FBI background checks on potential Cabinet nominees, and access to agency officials to help develop plans including avoiding delays in COVID-19 vaccine rollout.


Jen Psaki, a senior advisor to Biden's transition team, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that legal action to compel the GSA to recognize Biden "isn't our preference."


Biden received 6 million more votes nationwide than Trump and, more importantly, prevailed 306-232 in the state-by-state Electoral College system that determines the election's victor.


(Reporting by Doina Chiacu, David Morgan, Trevor Hunnicutt, Linda So, Lisa Shumaker, Andy Sullivan, Andrea Shalal and Makini Brice; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Daniel Wallis)




-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-11-23
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Murphy is toast, she is obstructing an orderly transition. She'll be gone on January 21.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the delay in formulating a coherent response to the coronavirus pandemic is costing Americans their lives, and she is a part of that delay. Perhaps "Lock her up" should be applied to her.

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The Republican Party should come out and publicly disown Trump.  Whilst they sit on the fence some people will continue to believe all the bull he spouts.  It is sad that in the USA (who are not alone in this!) some people vote for a party irrespectively of who leads it, even if they are an absolute disgrace and unfit to do so.  That is clearly the case here

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Well, a scaled down inauguration, sensible in in the current circumstances, will also provide an excuse for it not being as "bigliest" as the previous one! As no doubt we will be told by tweets as noon approaches on the 20th of January. The tweeter still in the Oval Office, a chair jammed under the door handle and a weeks supply of cold McDonalds festering on the desk. Then at 12.02 the door comes off it's hinges, and he is carried out, his evictors pausing outside in front of the bailiffs acting for Deutsche Bank (who want their money back).


Could be a TV Drama in there  - anyone want a scriptwriter?

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2 hours ago, dunroaming said:

The Republican Party should come out and publicly disown Trump.  Whilst they sit on the fence some people will continue to believe all the bull he spouts.  It is sad that in the USA (who are not alone in this!) some people vote for a party irrespectively of who leads it, even if they are an absolute disgrace and unfit to do so.  That is clearly the case here


yeah all true.. but at least he can remember what he had for breakfast this morning 😂



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1 hour ago, GeorgeCross said:


yeah all true.. but at least he can remember what he had for breakfast this morning 😂



*deleted post edited out*

Biden is slightly healthier, study says, but both presidential candidates may be ‘super-agers’

The presidential candidates and their supporters will likely keep belittling the other guy as a doddering old fool, but a group of geriatric experts say in a new paper that both President Trump and challenger Joe Biden appear to have the physical and cognitive tools to make it through four years in the White House.

In fact, the two candidates’ relative good health and other advantages — parental longevity, access to top-notch healthcare and abstinence from smoking and drinking — suggest both men are likely to become long-living “super-agers,” who thrive well into their 80s, or beyond, according to a draft report written by three medical doctors and four researchers with expertise in public health, survival analysis and statistics.

Three of the authors of the paper — Stuart Jay Olshansky, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Dr. Bradley Willcox, director of research in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Hawaii’s medical school; and UCLA Professor Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, an authority on the demographics of aging — wrote previously about how presidents tend to outlive average Americans.

Trump and Biden may be 'super-agers,' study says - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)


Who are we to believe? A couple of sore losers or actual gerontologists? Hmmmm.....

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