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|The Lincoln Project's 'Never Trump' ads expertly troll a president who never fails to take the bait
The Lincoln Project, which was created by a group of anti-Trump Republican political operatives last December, believes there is a logic to being a metaphorical fly buzzing around the president’s head.
POSTED JULY 10, 2020 6:04 PM
|Ghislaine Maxwell seeks bail, citing coronavirus, and denies Jeffrey Epstein charges
Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, on Friday forcefully denied charges she lured underage girls for him to sexually abuse and said she deserves bail, citing the risk she might contract the coronavirus in jail. Maxwell, 58, filed her request in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, eight days after being arrested in New Hampshire, where authorities said she had been hiding at a sprawling property she bought while shielding her identity. A spokesman for Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan declined to comment.
POSTED JULY 10, 2020 1:06 PM
|Walt Disney World reopens in Florida amid Covid-19 surge
Visitors are required to wear masks, socially distance and have temperature checks on arrival.
POSTED JULY 12, 2020 6:14 AM
|The Absolute Emptiness of ‘MAGA’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’
The two most powerful political slogans of our era are “Make America Great Again”, and “Black Lives Matter.” Both of them, once uttered, seemed to invite immediate, obvious, simple-minded rejoinders. “America is already great,” say Trump’s opponents. “All Lives Matter,” say those who are made uncomfortable by the hint of exclusion in BLM. But for the initiated, the rejoinders almost prove the necessity of repeating the slogan.In other words, the genius of both phrases is that they are self-authenticating.When pundits and think-tankers shout back “America is already great,” they confirm that they were servants for the winners of the last 30 years of American politics. Trump’s signature mantra is aimed directly at the places that have lost their manufacturing jobs to Mexico or China, the places that suddenly have a major drug problem or an abundance of unemployed middle-aged men, the places where life expectancy is going down and confidence in the next generation doing better than the last is at an all-time low.The people shouting “All Lives Matter” energize anti-racist activists, to whom they seem obtuse. For most of its adherents, “Black Lives Matter” isn’t meant as a slur or slight on non-blacks. It is a cry for attention to problems that uniquely afflict black lives in America. It is a demand for addressing those problems specifically. It is a call for dignity. The black experience in America is unique to blacks. That matters, or at least it should. The very discomfort with acknowledging that of course black lives matter is evidence that the assertion has to be repeated over and over again until people get it.There’s just one problem with all of this: MAGA and BLM turn out to be entirely empty slogans on close inspection. Or at least, any substance they might have represented has been emptied out by the pre-existing and elite interests that commandeered them.What is the MAGA agenda? There isn’t much of one. There’s been no real plan for the opioid crisis or the revival of declining regions, no credible promise of great new infrastructure projects. Beyond a few easily reversed executive orders Trump has done nothing to make our immigration system sensible or serve the interests of lower-wage Americans. There’s been a lot of empty gesturing meant to look like substantive action — a phony trade war with China that ended in Trump begging for a few extra soybean purchases from swing states, a few hundred miles of border fencing funded out of the Pentagon’s coffers, rather than Mexico’s. Insofar as Trump has an agenda of any substance, it is a pre-existing one that he didn’t invent or modify: A massive tax cut for corporations paired with the partial elimination of a tax break for affluent blue-staters and the confirmation of lots of judges approved by the conservative legal establishment.What is the Black Lives Matter agenda? The official BLM organization, the one that’s been in receipt of millions of dollars from the titans of global capitalism, has a statement of belief. The statement begins with racism and policing issues, which do rank in almost every survey as vitally important if not the most important issues among black voters. But what comes next? Do a search for words like “education” or “housing.” Nothing. Do a search for the most important institution in black life, the church. Nothing. A significant majority of blacks list “health-care” as one of the major issues that determines their vote. It’s not even referenced.Instead, what do you find? The vapid cultural politics of academia talking to itself in the mirror. “Gender identity” and “gender expression” come ahead of the first mention of economics. “Cisgender privilege” is denounced. The only life-shaping institution mentioned is the “nuclear family,” which BLM vows to “disrupt.” (As if the nuclear family hadn’t already been disrupted in black lives! 65 percent of black children live in a single-parent home.) This is a manifesto for grad students and radical journalists.The disconnect between these slogans, which are used to sell politics to the masses, and the substance they hide, which is used to serve or just titillate various elite interests, is demoralizing. It is also dangerous. For whatever you fear most — an American Putin or an American Hugo Chavez — is no doubt waiting in the wings for the moment when the hopes raised by our empty political movements are dashed again.
POSTED JULY 10, 2020 11:41 AM
|This aviator just became the US Navy's first Black female fighter pilot
"Very proud of LTJG [Madeline] Swegle," a senior Navy official wrote. "Go forth and kick butt."
POSTED JULY 10, 2020 11:54 AM
|Five Guys employees were fired for refusing to serve police officers in Alabama, as tension mounts between service workers and law enforcement
Five Guys confirmed the termination of the workers who turned their backs to the officers and that store is temporarily closed for customer service training.
POSTED JULY 11, 2020 10:41 AM
|Russia's journalists under increasing pressure from the secret services in wake of Putin's shaky referendum victory
Russia's intelligence services have 'stepped up' their war on free media, carrying out a series of operations designed to intimidate journalists in the wake of Vladimir Putin's controversial referendum victory last week. In an unprecedented case for post-Soviet Russia, prominent defence reporter Ivan Safronov was seized outside his home on Tuesday morning by secret service agents and arrested on suspicion of treason. Citing the secret nature of the case, the investigators have not published any evidence to back up their claims but the reporter faces 20 years in prison. Last week’s overwhelming approval of constitutional amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to stay in office at least until 2036 was hailed by the Kremlin as a “triumph.” But results at the polling stations that were monitored by independent observers indicated something resembling a split vote. That was an apparent cue for Russia’s FSB secret service to take action.
POSTED JULY 11, 2020 1:15 PM
|New York's hungry rats torment alfresco diners after lockdown famine
* Surge in rat activity as city starts to open outdoor restaurants * ‘Last night, a customer had a baby rat running on his shoe’New York City is starting to tentatively emerge from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic but a revival in outdoor restaurant dining is facing a new hazard – a plague of rats.Diners are facing a surge in rat activity following a lockdown period where the rodents were cut off from key food sources as businesses including restaurants and grocery stores shut down, forcing rats to battle for snacks and even eat each other.Since 22 June, New York City restaurants have been allowed to serve people again in outdoor settings, prompting sidewalks and car parking spaces to be dotted with tables and chairs. But the resumption of alfresco dining has led to people having unexpected rodent companions for their meals.Giacomo Romano, who owns Ciccio, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan’s Soho, said rats from a nearby park have been harassing diners since the outdoor meals were permitted. “Last night, a customer had a baby rat running on his shoe, and I let you just imagine his reaction,” Romano told NBC.Romano and other business owners have called on the city to do more to reduce rat populations, as the city hauls itself out of a pandemic crisis that has claimed more than 20,000 lives. New infections and deaths have dropped sharply since April but New York City has postponed plans to allow indoor dining due to concerns over surging Covid-19 cases in other states, such as Florida, Texas and Arizona.New York City has waged a long and often fruitless war against rats, with the rodents adapting adroitly to the city’s haphazard waste collection and disposal practices. Rats are a common sight in streets and in the subway, where the rodents have proven themselves adept at spiriting away slices of pizza.The resumption of dining activity is likely to stir a wave of activity among rats following a period of relative famine, meaning interactions with people are set to continue.“Rats are designed to smell molecules of anything that’s food-related,” Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist, told NBC. “They follow those food molecules like heat-seeking missiles – and eventually you know they end up where those molecules are originating.”
POSTED JULY 10, 2020 11:55 AM
|Man arrested after 'heinous' double stabbing on subway
A "heinous and unprovoked" double stabbing onboard a subway in Queens was caught on camera.
POSTED JULY 12, 2020 8:26 AM
|Author Christopher Buckley: 'Everything Trump touches dies'
The son of conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr., Christopher Buckley’s new novel “Make Russia Great Again” is a rollicking satire of Donald Trump’s White House.
POSTED JULY 10, 2020 4:41 PM