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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 69,976

Journal Archives

Trump's blog isn't lighting up the internet

NBC News

Four months after former President Donald Trump was banished from most mainstream social media platforms, he returned to the web last Tuesday with “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” essentially a blog for his musings.

A week since the unveiling, social media data suggests things are not going well.

The ex-president’s blog has drawn a considerably smaller audience than his once-powerful social media accounts, according to engagement data compiled with BuzzSumo, a social media analytics company. The data offers a hint that while Trump remains a political force, his online footprint is still dependent on returning to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Desk of Donald J. Trump is limited — users can’t comment or engage with the actual posts beyond sharing them to other platforms, an action few people do, according to the data.

Trump’s new blog has attracted a little over 212,000 engagements, defined as backlinks and social interactions — including likes, shares and comments — received across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit. Before the ban, a single Trump tweet was typically liked and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.

Rahm Emanuel to be appointed US ambassador to Japan

Source: Financial Times

Joe Biden has chosen Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman and Chicago mayor, to be US ambassador to Japan, according to eight people familiar with personnel discussions inside the White House.

The US president will name Emanuel, who was chief of staff to Barack Obama and has close ties to Biden, this month in a big package of ambassadorship nominations, several of the people said.

Foreign policy experts had expected Emanuel, 61, to be given a high-profile post. There was early speculation that he was being considered as the envoy to China but that job is expected to go to Nick Burns, a former top US diplomat.

Tokyo is one of Washington’s most important diplomatic postings, particularly as the US and Japan work together to tackle challenges from China. Highlighting the importance of their alliance, Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s prime minister was the first foreign leader to meet Biden at the White House.

Read more: https://www.ft.com/content/c4173360-03d9-4f22-8e0a-d4e1b311d004

NYC Mayor: Ray McGuire and Shaun Donovan screw up their endorsement interviews...

Is It Covid or the Flu? New Combo Tests Can Find Out.

Source: New York Times

In January, a man in his 60s with heart disease and diabetes went to a South Dakota hospital with a cough and fever, worried he had Covid. A nurse swabbed the inside of his nose, and the sample went into a small device resembling an inkjet-printer cartridge, which was then placed into a machine about the size of a printer.

This so-called quad test, now available at thousands of hospitals and clinics around the country, could detect not only the coronavirus, but two types of influenza and the respiratory syncytial virus, or R.S.V. A little more than a half-hour later, Dr. Blake Gustafson had the patient’s result: He had the flu.

“I remember giving myself a fist bump like, ‘Yes! It’s not Covid. It’s the flu,’” said Dr. Gustafson, chief of emergency medicine of the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. He relayed the news to the patient and his wife, happily adding that there was a treatment he could offer right away, Tamiflu. “The relief in their eyes above their masks was very satisfying,” Dr. Gustafson said.

The patient’s situation was somewhat unusual this past winter given that the United States, like many other countries, witnessed a shocking absence of a flu season. But as the country begins to reopen, doctors say that flu and other pathogens might make a comeback this autumn. What’s more, even as a growing number of people get vaccinated against Covid, there are still some 40,000 new infections every day in the United States, and a significant number of people who may be resistant to taking the vaccines.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/11/health/covid-tests-flu.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

NYC Mayor: Eric Adams Says He Has Something to Prove. Becoming Mayor Might Help.

New York Times

Nearly three decades ago, when Eric Adams decided he wanted to someday be mayor of New York City, he started a journal of observations about local governance, making periodic entries before bed.

He has now filled 26 notebooks.

The long arc of Mr. Adams’s career — from the son of a Queens house cleaner to a reform-driven New York City police officer, from state senator to Brooklyn borough president and now a leading mayoral candidate — is an ode to personal discipline. By his telling, his life has been carefully structured to land him on the precipice of the only job he has ever wanted, in the only city where he has ever really lived.

During an Easter Sunday visit to the Church of God of East Flatbush, Mr. Adams cited a biblical passage that describes a test of courage under duress.

“I believe in all my heart that this is an Esther 4:14 moment,” Mr. Adams, 60, told the parishioners. “God made me for such a time as this.”

NYC Mayor: NYC mayoral hopeful Maya Wiley launches coalition of male Black supporters

New York Daily News

Mayoral hopeful Maya Wiley is launching a coalition of male Black supporters.

Taking aim at part of rival candidate Eric Adams’ base, she held a news conference on the effort Sunday in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, is counting on strong support from Black voters in the outer boroughs.

“Wiley has the experience and understanding of what our city needs to emerge stronger and more equitable in the months and years ahead. Her vision for New York will improve the lives of every single New Yorker,” Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry of Queens stated in voicing his support for the coalition.

The “Black Men for Maya” group also includes former Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake, an early Wiley endorser, Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson of Queens and NBA great Butch Beard.

NYC Mayor: Scott Stinger's Accuser Addresses Allegations That Upended The NYC Mayor's Race

Vanity Fair

Jean Kim, the former campaign volunteer who recently accused New York City mayoral candidate Scott Stringer of sexual misconduct, is now addressing the allegations that have upended the top-tier Democrat’s path to City Hall—and brought scrutiny on herself amid the fallout. “He constantly reminded me of his power by saying things like, ‘You want me to make a phone call for you to change your life,’ ‘You want me to make you the first Asian district leader,’” Kim told the New York Times in recounting unwanted advances and the perceived power dynamic underlying such interactions two decades ago. “There was no doubt in my mind that he was powerful and he could make or break me.”

The Democratic candidate has not only denied making unwanted sexual advances—including forcible kissing and groping—but insists he and Kim were in an “on-and-off,” consensual relationship spanning four or five months, a conflicting narrative at the center of the whole debacle. While both Kim and Stringer agree on the origins of their relationship—they both recall overlapping at political events and then more closely as Kim supported Stringer’s 2001 bid for public advocate, an unsuccessful campaign on which she worked in an unpaid capacity—the two diverge on the nature of what came next. Kim characterizes their relationship as Stringer abusing his mentor status to make unwanted sexual advances and Stringer dismisses those allegations as “a fundamental distortion” of what happened,” he said in the statement to the Times.

Stringer also contested the power dynamic laid out by Kim, stating that “virtually every one of my friends volunteered on the campaign” and “there was no sense in which they were subordinates.” Yet Kim described the city comptroller as “an older man that I looked up to as a trusted mentor” and someone she felt was “taking me under his wing” as “somebody who doesn’t know anybody,” telling the paper she was at once “horrified” of Stringer and fearful of what alienating him could do to her career.

There have been questions about the former campaign worker’s credibility amid apparent discrepancies in her account, most notably those addressed by The Intercept last week relating to Community Free Democrats, the Upper West Side political club in which both Stringer and Kim were active. Kim has said she left the club after the experience with Stringer, a claim debunked by reported club records showing she was a dues-paying member at least through 2006, as well as her own 2013 résumé listing herself as a member. Still, the scandal has crippled Stringer’s campaign, as a number of notable progressive backers have withdrawn their support.

Sunday’s Times piece came on heels of details Kim offered to Gothamist in an interview last week, in which her fiancé, Tony Caifano, said she confided in him about the alleged sexual misconduct back in 2014. That detail makes him “so far the only person who has attested to Kim previously talking about the alleged incidents,” Gothamist notes, and seems to challenge one of the central issues that Stringer allies and outlets, including The Intercept, have raised with her account: lack of corroborating evidence. Caifano also confirmed the account to the Times, with Kim telling the paper that her fiancé was the first person with whom she had shared her experience. Susan Kim, her sister, also told the Times that she remembered Jean becoming “withdrawn and stressed” at some point in 2001, and recalled how she had previously been “very enthusiastic” about Stringer’s bid. Susan Kim also said Jean expressed a desire to distance herself from Stringer and their shared political club in 2002 but, acknowledging the discrepancies that have emerged, “occasionally went to certain events after that.” Still, Susan Kim told the Times, Jean “did not share any specific details until fairly recently,” noting that “we’re from an Asian family” and “it’s kind of like a taboo topic for us.”

NYC Mayor: NY TIMES endorses Kathryn Garcia

Kathryn Garcia for Mayor

The mix of optimism and anxiety that New Yorkers feel as the coronavirus is beaten back in the five boroughs highlights the extraordinary challenges facing the city and its next mayor in the coming months and years.

New York isn’t dead. But to make it flourish again, those who stuck with the city through the Covid-19 pandemic face significant headwinds to resuscitate businesses and revive economic life, bring teachers and students back to the classroom, restore stricken lives and shuttered communities and quell an alarming spike in violent crime.

Even as the immediate crisis needs to be vanquished, this great city also needs a mayor who will make progress on persistent problems like transportation, housing, education and poverty. The city requires someone who can take charge right away, with fervor and confidence.

All of the candidates in the June 22 Democratic primary are concerned with the welfare of their city and have thoughtful ideas about how to better it. It is Kathryn Garcia who best understands how to get New York back on its feet and has the temperament and the experience to do so. Ms. Garcia has our endorsement in perhaps the most consequential mayoral contest in a generation.


My personal choice.

NYC Mayor: Most of Stringer's Supporters Have Fled. Not the Teachers' Union.

New York Times

In the weeks since a former campaign volunteer accused Scott M. Stringer of sexual misconduct, many of the Democratic mayoral candidate’s most crucial supporters, including the Working Families Party and a phalanx of progressive politicians, have abandoned his campaign.

But powerful teachers’ unions are not only sticking with Mr. Stringer, the city comptroller — they are, starting Tuesday, offering a much-needed boost to his embattled campaign in the form of a multimillion-dollar advertising blitz.

The American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second-largest teachers’ union, and the United Federation of Teachers, its large and influential New York City chapter, are the primary backers of the $4 million television and digital advertising effort. The ads and mailers will be paid for by NY 4 Kids, a super PAC created to “keep the issues affecting our schools, kids and teachers front and center in this election,” according to a release from the group.

The A.F.T. has contributed $1 million so far, and the PAC has commitments for the remaining $3 million. The effort by the PAC, which is primarily funded by the unions, will more than triple the Stringer campaign’s own spending on ads, which has totaled about $1.3 million so far.

Personally, I think much of Stringer early support is going to shift to Maya Wiley.

NYC Mayor: Andrew Yang racks up supporters.....

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