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Celerity

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Gender: Female
Hometown: London
Home country: UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 06:25 PM
Number of posts: 23,865

Journal Archives

Jay Inslee on Why He's Dropping Out of the 2020 White House Race

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/08/jay-inslee-on-why-hes-dropping-out-of-the-2020-race.html

The Democratic field no longer has a climate candidate. Washington governor Jay Inslee, who made global warming the centerpiece of his long-shot campaign for the presidency, announced Wednesday evening that he was dropping out of the race, facing the prospect that CNN might stage a forum on climate change for Democratic candidates for which Inslee himself would fail to qualify.

The governor didn’t need to run on climate change alone — he’s a well-liked governor in a thriving state, with an enviable liberal record on job creation, economic growth, minimum-wage increases, and family-leave policy that seemed, in theory at least, to offer a powerful case study in how Democrats could move forward on climate change while accomplishing everything else they might want. But while his six-part climate policy may become the road map for a future Democratic administration, it isn’t going to be his, and, at the moment when Democratic voters tell pollsters they are unprecedentedly concerned about the environment (naming climate change as a top-tier issue in many state polls), they aren’t going to be nominating the one candidate who really prioritized it. Earlier Wednesday, we talked to him about what happened.

First, I just wanted to congratulate you on the incredibly principled and important campaign you’ve run. It’s so important that I’m personally pretty distressed and disheartened that it’s ending. How are you feeling?

Well, I’m not going to end up in the White House, which was the goal. But there have been several things that have been accomplished. Number one, we made a governing document on clean energy and the environment for the United States. Now that document is going to be open sourced, and I’m going to call on the other candidates to be more committed to the issue. I think you saw on the campaign trail that other candidates had to respond to our clarity and vision, and I think it was an accomplishment to get the other candidates to raise their ambitions. Going forward, I’ll be just as vocal about that.

I think we have set the stage for a genuine debate about climate change, in one form or another. We have the two forums coming up, and I’m hoping that there will be a proper debate, too — that will be voted on soon, and it was not going to take place otherwise. And I think it was significant achievement to get this on the country’s radar screen — that was an accomplishment, too.


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sorry to see him go, I so liked him, but he never caught fire

Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie Portray the Women of Fox News in 'Bombshell' Trailer

Film dramatizes the sexual harassment allegations made towards Roger Ailes

https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-news/bombshell-trailer-874678/

Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie star as the women of Fox News in the trailer for Bombshell, Jay Roach’s new drama about the network and the scandal surrounding its founder, Roger Ailes. The film hits theaters in December.

The trailer is a simple one, demonstrating the gendered hierarchy at Fox and the searing tension (and alliances) between its women employees through a tense elevator sequence. Theron, dressed up in convincing prosthetics, plays Megyn Kelly, and Kidman portrays Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox & Friends co-host who first filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes. Robbie co-stars as Kayla Pospisil, a fictional Fox News associate producer invented for the movie.

“Bombshell is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time: Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it,” the film’s synopsis states.

Bombshell also stars John Lithgow as Ailes; Allison Janney as lawyer and Ailes legal counsel Susan Estrich; Malcolm McDowell as Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch; Mark Duplass as Kelly’s husband, Douglas Brunt; and Alice Eve as Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt. Additionally, Kate McKinnon has been cast as a fictional producer, and Rob Delaney will play an undisclosed role.

Black teen 'humiliated' after school colored his hair with marker, parents say

Texas lawsuit says school personnel drew on the student’s scalp after it was deemed his haircut violated the dress code

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/20/texas-teenager-hair-colored-marker-school



Parents of a black teenager in Texas are suing their Houston-area school district after three white middle school personnel used a marker to blot out a design on their son’s scalp.

The federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Sunday against the Pearland independent school district (ISD) and the three staff members of Berry Miller junior high who used the marker to color the student’s scalp.

The three claimed that his “common African American ‘fade’ haircut violated the Pearland ISD dress code policy”, the lawsuit reads.

The school’s assistant principal threatened to suspend the boy if he did not have his scalp design colored. The design stood out even more when that was done, so school personnel proceeded to color his entire scalp with black marker.

“They laughed as they took many minutes to color 13-year-old J.T.’s scalp which took many days of scrubbing to come off. J.T. was immensely humiliated and shamed,” the lawsuit states.

“There are hardly any African Americans in America with jet black skin,” the court document reads.


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TRULY WTF!

'It's basic, basic, basic': Liz Plank mocks Trump's reality show behavior as recession looms.

President Donald Trump is distracting from the potential of his reality TV show behavior an MSNBC guest explained on Tuesday.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/its-basic-basic-basic-liz-plank-hilariously-mocks-trumps-reality-show-behavior-as-recession-looms/

“The Beat” host Ari Melber reported, “the Trump Administration first pushing back on the criticism they have no plan for a recession. Emergency tax cuts is now something they’re offering or maybe rolling back Trump’s tariffs. And these reports, if nothing else, they concede there could be a downturn. This is important. Trump’s allies in the press have found some bizarre ways to spin the jitters claiming it’s rich coastal elites who want to lose money in a recession.”

For analysis, Melber turned to Vox Media’s Liz Plank, the author of the forthcoming book For the Love of Men: A Vision for Mindful Masculinty. Plank argued Trump was not unlike a “basic” female member of a reality TV show.

“And while this is happening, he’s talking about buying Greenland and Anthony Scaramucci. He’s clearly using his best sort of weapon which is distraction and he’s acting like a reality show star that’s about to maybe not get her second season renewed and so she’s picking fights with her friends, she’s picking fights with her enemies. And it’s basic, basic, basic,” she explained.

“But at the same time, I’m also not interested in this sort of like ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ morality edition of the Republican Party or some members realizing suddenly they want to be a good person and that they have a moral conscience two years after the president called Neo-Nazis fine people, two years after Heather Heyer was killed,” she continued. “Almost a year actually that will children have been separated [from] their parents.”

What’s going on here? You can say ‘Great, I’m calling the fireman and the firewoman,’ but you gave him the matches and so what are you going to do now? How are you going to fix it?” Plank asked. “It’s not about you. It’s about all the people harmed in this administration.”


Watch: (Video at the link above)

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Why George Takei Is Backing Pete Buttigieg for President

By dismissing Corbyn's overtures, the Lib Dems are showing their true colours

It’s telling that Jo Swinson was happier propping up David Cameron for five years than the Labour leader for five weeks

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/16/dismissing-corbyn-lib-dem-true-colours-jo-swinson-labour

If your signature policy – indeed, only visible political position – is to stop Brexit, and you claim that you will do absolutely everything within your power to prevent no deal, then it’s something of an error to suddenly introduce an exception. And yet this is the fatal mistake the Liberal Democrats have made.

When Jeremy Corbyn wrote a letter putting himself forward as a transitional prime minister purely to block no deal, extend article 50 and call an election, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson could have welcomed the move as constructive, as the SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru have done, with several Tory backbenchers prepared to talk, too. Instead, Swinson revealed that while the Lib Dems had been willing to prop David Cameron up for five years, implementing massive cuts and trebling tuition fees, she’s not prepared to countenance supporting Corbyn for five weeks solely to stop a disorderly exit from the EU. Her plan to do a backroom deal to put Harriet Harman or Ken Clarke in No 10 smacks not only of establishment stitch-up – it is also a constitutional nonsense, given it falls to the leader of the opposition, who has twice won a democratic mandate from his party membership and whose party won 40% of the vote just two years ago, to construct an alternative government. But constitutional nonsense, otherwise known as the Fixed-term Parliaments Act – which is itself another Lib Dem gift to the nation – is why we’re in this mess in the first place.

Labour’s plan has achieved a number of things. Corbyn’s supporters have long been compared to a cult, but the cult-like qualities of his opponents are rarely discussed. We can now see who is primarily motivated by stopping Brexit, and who is mostly driven by stopping Corbyn. In the coming weeks, pressure can be put on MPs as to whether their vendetta against the Labour leader is worth throwing Britain off a no-deal cliff for.

It has also put Labour on the front foot over Brexit, underlined by various positive newspaper front-page splashes. Brexit is an instrument of torture for Labour: its leading figures fret about maintaining and extending the coalition of remain and leave voters that deprived the Tories of their majority two years ago, and they differ on strategy going forward. Morale has been poor at the top, partly because of a weak response to Boris Johnson’s ascent to power. There has been some fatalism, too: a sense that Labour can only cut through during party conference or an election campaign. That’s been turned around: a route map for winning back disillusioned remainers from the Lib Dems has appeared – which is important, given Tory strategist Dominic Cummings is counting on a divided anti-Tory vote to secure a Johnson majority. During an election campaign, Labour will be offering a referendum with remain on the ballot paper, alongside transformative popular domestic policies such as taxing the rich to end austerity, scrapping tuition fees, and public ownership. The Lib Dems will be stuck as a single-issue party, any potential radicalism stymied by the fact that nearly all their target seats can only be won by winning over Tory voters.

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If Jo Swinson is serious about stopping a no-deal Brexit, she must support Corbyn

The Labour leader’s solution may not be perfect, but for the Lib Dems it could be the most viable

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/15/jo-swinson-brexit-jeremy-corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has always been more of a politician than either his most fervent supporters or detractors have wanted to admit. Last night he again demonstrated why. In a move unprecedented in modern times, the leader of the opposition has offered to form a government with the express proviso of not implementing any of his party’s policies.

Corbyn’s offer, in a letter to other party leaders and moderate Tories, involves setting up a “strictly time-limited temporary government” with the sole intention of extending article 50 and holding a general election. In that election, Corbyn will commit to a new referendum with the option of remaining in the EU.

There might be debate about why he’s done this, but ultimately his motives don’t matter. Corbyn is the leader of the opposition and, in accordance with our unwritten constitution, the first alternative prime minister. He is also offering a concrete proposal to do exactly the thing remainers say they want – to stop no deal and then offer voters the chance to stop Brexit altogether.

Of course, if Corbyn was attempting to trap the Lib Dems, they have walked right into it. Jo Swinson, the party’s leader, has dismissed outright the prospect of Corbyn leading such a government, and has not even signalled a willingness to enter discussions with him. Instead, she has declared she could support a Ken Clarke or Harriet Harman government. All well and good, but neither of these MPs is leader of the opposition (or any political party), and Swinson does not have the parliamentary numbers or time to pick and choose who she is prepared to work with.

The new Lib Dem leader risks making a grave mistake. Even in purely party political terms, a Corbyn-led caretaker government does not necessarily strengthen Labour in the long term. But more importantly, Swinson has always emphasised, rightly, that her party’s priority is to stop no deal. This could prove the only way to do so. If the Lib Dems really believe that a few months of a limited Corbyn government is worse than medicine shortages, it is their duty to say why.

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'Ecological grief': Greenland residents traumatised by climate emergency

Islanders are struggling to reconcile impact of global heating with traditional way of life, survey finds

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/12/greenland-residents-traumatised-by-climate-emergency

The climate crisis is causing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety to people in Greenland who are struggling to reconcile the traumatic impact of global heating with their traditional way of life.

The first ever national survey examining the human impact of the climate emergency, revealed in the Guardian on Monday, shows that more than 90% of islanders interviewed fully accept that the climate crisis is happening, with a further 76% claiming to have personally experienced global heating in their daily lives, from coping with dangerous sea ice journeys to having sled dogs euthanised for economic reasons tied to shorter winters.

The Greenlandic Perspectives Survey was carried out by the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Social Data Science, the Kraks Fond Institute for Urban Economic Research and the University of Greenland. The study samples almost 2% of the population, spanning an area almost three times the size of France. An equivalent study in the UK would involve a sample of almost 1 million citizens.

Scattered across 17 small towns and approximately 60 villages, all situated on a narrow coastal strip, Greenland’s residents have often been overlooked by data science. The island faces some of the most acute social issues in the world with high levels of alcoholism and historically disproportionate rates of suicide. According to its lead author, Kelton Minor, the survey finally gives Greenland’s most remote and inaccessible communities a voice on the climate crisis.

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Mental health at the heart of the climate crisis

Greenland’s melting has been adopted by the world as its own problem. But for the islanders grieving their dissolving world, the crisis is personal, and dangerous

https://www.theguardian.com/society/ng-interactive/2019/aug/12/life-on-thin-ice-mental-health-at-the-heart-of-the-climate-crisis

A thin blanket of fog curls over the block before it disappears back out to sea. Exhale. Inhale. The freezing breaths of a dormant leviathan – slumbering somewhere out in the depths.

It’s 1am and judging by the flickering glow of televisions in the windows of the bleak two-storey rows facing us, it’s clear that few of the local residents are asleep. Shielded only by flimsy blinds it’s impossible to escape the midnight sun in the northern Greenlandic town of Ilulissat. The light here, some 180 miles north of the Arctic Circle, seeks out every man-made chink and weakness; the cracks and folds of window frames, even the keyholes of doors.

Only an hour ago a gang of local children, called in by impatient mothers, finally stopped bouncing on a communal trampoline. At each jump, in the heart of the world’s most remarkably situated public housing complex, they would have glimpsed one of the most incredible views imaginable. Only a large industrial chimney distorts an otherwise unhindered view of Greenland’s Ilulissat ice fjord, the frozen womb that calves 35bn tonnes of icebergs every year and sends them floating silently past, the size of city blocks, towards the northern Atlantic and a meltwater demise.

Constructed for coal miners in the late 1970s, the social housing units known locally as “the white blocks” are, in fact, a broad pallette of colours from blue to green and red. Seal blood and outboard engine oil stains the concrete stairwells. Graffiti – some of it scrawled in anger – is political: protesting against Greenland’sstatus as both an autonomous country and a part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

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GOP tax cuts are a national security threat

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/457558-gop-tax-cuts-are-a-national-security-threat



Republicans have labeled the rising national debt a dire threat to national security. Indeed, an ever-increasing federal debt constrains future defense budgets and severely limits the government’s ability to respond to future conflicts or economic crises. Moreover, China is the single largest foreign holder of U.S. debt.

Ironically, however, virtually every one of the GOP voices now citing the national debt as a major national security threat voted for the 2017 tax cut, which is forecast to balloon the debt. Nearly two years following the passage of the tax law, its dramatic effects are coming into focus. Normally, in a reasonably strong economy, the government collects more tax dollars year-over-year. In short, economic growth and a larger pool of taxpayers from the previous year generate higher tax receipts.

As a direct result of the GOP tax cut, however, 2018 was the first year that tax revenues actually declined in a relatively strong economy. When accounting for inflation, this unprecedented drop in revenues is even starker. But it gets worse. The actual decline in tax receipts was partially hidden by a surge in government revenues – amounting to the largest tax increase in decades – due to the Trump administration’s ongoing trade wars. To put all of this into perspective, the last time that the unemployment rate was as low as it is today, federal revenues increased by a whopping 22 percent over the previous year.

It should come as little surprise, then, that nonpartisan sources have forecast trillions of dollars in debt over the next decade due to the 2017 GOP tax cut. Despite the Republican mantra that “spending is the problem,” these forecasts account for modest spending scenarios. All told, the 2017 GOP tax law is a fiscal disaster with clear implications for national security. Moreover, the tax cuts did not “pay for themselves,” as the Trump administration repeatedly promised. Spending, meanwhile, spiraled out of control, despite Republican control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.

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The Brexit Question - Jonathan Pie

Putin began by embracing the west. Now, he wants revenge

There’s little hope of an improvement in relations so long as the Russian president’s 20-year reign continues

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/12/vladimir-putin-west-russian-president-20-years

When Boris Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin prime minister on 9 August 1999, few Russians knew much about him. In early television appearances he came across as mousy, shy and awkward, a man unaccustomed to the limelight from which his previous career in the KGB had shielded him.

But within weeks he revealed a character trait that would become the defining feature of his rule – ruthlessness. His first memorable phrase was his threat to wipe out terrorists “even if they’re in the shithouse”, and within weeks he had launched a terrifying war against separatists in Chechnya that would leave tens of thousands of civilians dead.

Twenty years on, as Russia and the west teeter towards confrontation, it is hard to remember that Putin started out as an avowedly pro-western leader. George W Bush and Tony Blair rushed to glad-hand him, and Putin himself stood in the Bundestag proclaiming at length and in fluent German that Russia’s destiny was in Europe. But western leaders were appalled by his brutality in Chechnya, and by the first signs of his antidemocratic tendencies, which included his muzzling of critical television stations.

Putin’s fatal flaw, it seemed to me, was his utter inability to see that there was a contradiction between being a ruthless autocrat at home, and the values of the western civilisation to which he (at least at that time) paid lip service. Some argue that he was never seriously pro-western, that the overtures masked ulterior motives and KGB-inspired schemes to dominate the world. But I think that is mistaken. When I worked as a consultant to the Kremlin in the earlier part of Putin’s rule, I had many meetings with senior officials and have no doubt that they regarded themselves as “western” and even as democrats.

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further down in the article it references a statement by President Obama, but gives no link, so here it is


Obama describes Putin as 'like a bored kid'

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-obama-idUSBRE9780XS20130809

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday denied he has poor relations with Vladimir Putin after canceling their Moscow talks, but said the Russian president can sometimes appear “like a bored kid in the back of the classroom.”

U.S.-Russian relations plunged to one of their lowest points since the Cold War this week after Russia granted temporary asylum to fugitive former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden. Obama retaliated by abruptly canceling a Moscow summit with Putin planned for early next month.

At a White House news conference on Friday, Obama insisted that he does not have bad personal relations with Putin. The two men had a testy meeting in June in Northern Ireland and from the photos of them at the time, it looked as if they would both rather have been somewhere else.

“I know the press likes to focus on body language, and he’s got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom. But the truth is that when we’re in conversations together, oftentimes it’s very productive,” Obama said.

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