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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 89,890

Journal Archives

Brexit deadlock as No 10 insists EU must scrap backstop before talks

Source: The Guardian

Boris Johnson’s government has played down the idea of fresh Brexit talks with the EU unless Brussels first agrees to reopen the entire withdrawal agreement and scrap the Irish backstop, both of which have been repeatedly ruled out.

In a stance that appears to place the UK more firmly on course for a no-deal departure on 31 October, Downing Street said there were no new Brexit talks scheduled, and that Johnson was “clear what the basis for those discussions needs to be”.

His spokesman said: “I don’t have a date to point you towards. The PM has been very clear that he is ready to begin having those discussions, but obviously the key point is the withdrawal agreement is not going to pass parliament, so that is going to mean reopening the withdrawal agreement.”

He added: “He will be energetic and front-footed in seeking a deal, but if a deal is not possible, we will be leaving.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/26/brexit-deadlock-as-no-10-insists-eu-must-scrap-backstop-before-talks

A plane isn't technically crashing until it hits the ground...

Woodstock 50: troubled festival relocates to Maryland

The Guardian

Organizers of the beleaguered Woodstock 50 anniversary festival are to move the event to suburban Maryland in a last-ditch effort to salvage the half-centennial celebrations of the era-defining hippy love-in.

The festival will now take place at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, a 32,000-capacity venue about 250 miles south of the original Woodstock site in Bethel, New York. It is scheduled to run from 16-18 August.

The anniversary event has been spiralling out of control after the original ticket release was delayed, headliners including the Black Keys pulled out, and its financial backers, Dentsu Aegis, walked away, claiming the right to cancel the event entirely.

Black, Latino Dems torch DCCC for lack of diversity


The House Democrats’ campaign arm is locked in a long-simmering battle with prominent black and Hispanic lawmakers who believe the party committee and its chair have short-changed minorities.

Senior Hispanic and black members of Congress have privately clashed with Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) over her personnel decisions, what they say are tone-deaf comments on race and whether she's lived up to the promises she made during the campaign to win the chairmanship of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“There is not one person of color — black or brown, that I’m aware of — at any position of authority or decision making in the DCCC,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. “It is shocking, it is shocking, and something needs to be done about it.”

Bustos sought a meeting with Fudge, and Fudge said no.

Consultants Push Back On RNC Pressure Over WINRED

Campaigns & Elections

Some Republican consultants across the country are watching with dismay, and in some cases quiet outrage as the RNC ratchets up the public pressure against the main rival to its chosen fundraising platform, WinRed.

C&E spoke to a number of Republican digital and fundraising consultants over the past week, all of whom expressed concern about raising objections in the current environment, worried they’ll just invite pressure onto themselves, their firms and even their clients.

Those who spoke to C&E did so on the condition they not be identified lest the aforementioned pressure jeopardize their business.

“This is a travesty, I don’t know anyone happy about it,” one GOP fundraising consultant said. “If we truly believe, which very few of us do, that the real challenge for us is that we’re not all on the same fundraising platform, which is dubious at best, then the best way for us to do that would be to establish a technology that’s superior and encourage adoption.”

Instead, the party leadership have opted to use a stick to beat back the competition to WinRed, a conduit PAC built on Revv’s platform in partnership with Data Trust.

Cory Booker to hold Detroit event following debates

Michigan Advance

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced on Thursday that he will hold a “Detroit Rise” event on Aug. 1 following the two nights of Democratic presidential debates at the Fox Theatre.

Doors are set to open for his campaign stop at 5 p.m. at Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E Congress St. in Detroit. A campaign press release said that the senator “believes that when we join together and work together, we will rise together.”

Photo of Mexican National Guard halting crying migrant mother and child goes viral

Source: The Hill

A photo of an armed Mexican soldier halting a crying migrant mother and her child went viral on social media this week as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tightens enforcement.

The Reuters image taken on Monday depicts a Mexican National Guard soldier carrying a firearm pointed to the ground in a dry riverbed between the Mexican city of Juárez and El Paso, Texas.

Guatemalan migrant Lety Pérez crouches in front of the soldier, crying and holding on to her young son, Anthony.

A video of the encounter was published Wednesday by Mexico's El Universal newspaper.

Read more: https://thehill.com/latino/454880-photo-of-mexican-national-guard-halting-crying-migrant-mother-and-child-goes-viral

Pelosi downplays divisions with Ocasio-Cortez after meeting

Source: The Hill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday downplayed any divisions between the party brass and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) following a meeting with the progressive freshman, who has ruffled feathers within the caucus for her aggressive brand of liberal activism.

Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez huddled in the Speaker's office in the Capitol Friday morning for approximately 30 minutes amid lingering tensions between liberals and moderates over the party's approach to immigration, Israel and other hot-button issues — a feud that's found Democratic leaders scrambling for unity.

Pelosi emerged from that meeting largely dismissing the idea that there are tensions between the two.

"I don't think we have that many differences," she said. "We had a nice meeting. We had a nice meeting."

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/454879-pelosi-downplays-divisions-with-ocasio-cortez-after-meeting

Protesters occupy part of Hong Kong International Airport to rally overseas support against extradit

Source: South China Morning Post

Aviation workers were among more than 2,500 protesters who staged a sit-in at Hong Kong International Airport in a bid to win international support for the movement against the now-suspended extradition bill.

Dressed in black, the demonstrators gathered in the arrival hall of the global transport hub on Friday afternoon to tell foreign travellers about their anti-government campaign.

Ahead of the peaceful protest, airport bosses arranged extra security and encouraged passengers to allow plenty of time for their journeys, but there was no disruption to flights as of 4pm, with the rally ongoing.

“We want to share this news with tourists, to let the world know about Hong Kong,” said one of the protest’s co-organisers, a flight attendant who declined to give her name.

Read more: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/transport/article/3020270/protesters-occupy-part-hong-kong-international-airport

De Blasio makes national pitch for Vision Zero

Mayor and presidential hopeful Bill de Blasio thinks the nation could benefit from his “Vision Zero” program to eliminate traffic deaths on New York City streets — an effort he renewed Thursday, following a recent surge in cyclist fatalities.

“There’s no reason Vision Zero could not be made national policy, to slow people down, to make sure there’s a lot more enforcement, to have things like speed cameras around schools,” said the mayor during a press conference in Bay Ridge. “I mean, these are all things that will protect lives, particularly protect the lives of kids and seniors. And I think that’s something that people could agree on all over this country.”

In the second month of his mayoralty, de Blasio launched his safe streets campaign during a somber press conference at an Upper West Side elementary school. He surrounded himself with family members of traffic victims, including the parents of 12-year-old Sammy Cohen Eckstein, whose mother would go on to become a prominent safe streets advocate.

De Blasio borrowed his Vision Zero program from Sweden, and it was rooted in the argument that the city could all but eliminate traffic deaths through stronger enforcement, better street design and education. De Blasio aimed to achieve his goal of zero deaths by 2024. His administration has made some progress toward that end, but it remains out of reach.

Just spitballing here, but being able to implement the policy at home would be a good precursor to proposing it nationally.

Inside Liberty University's 'culture of fear'

Washington Post

In my first week as editor in chief of the Champion, Liberty University’s student-run weekly, our faculty adviser, Deborah Huff, ordered me to apologize. I’d noticed that our evangelical school’s police department didn’t publish its daily crime log online, as many other private university forces did, so I searched elsewhere for crime information I might use in an article. I called the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators to find out what the law required Liberty to disclose. But the public affairs worker there told the Liberty University Police Department, which complained to Huff. She called to upbraid me: Apparently, I had endangered our newspaper’s relationship with the LUPD. Huff and Chief Richard Hinkley convened a meeting inside a police department conference room, and Huff sat next to me while I proffered the forced apology to Hinkley — for asking questions. Huff, too, was contrite, assuring the police chief that it wouldn’t happen again, because she’d keep a better eye on me.

This wasn’t exactly a rude awakening. I’d spent the previous three years watching the university administration, led by President Jerry Falwell Jr. (who took a very micromanaging interest), meddle in our coverage, revise controversial op-eds and protect its image by stripping damning facts from our stories. Still, I stuck around. I thought that if I wrote with discretion and kept my head down, I could one day win enough trust from the university to protect the integrity of our journalism. I even dreamed we could eventually persuade the administration to let the Champion go independent from its supervision. I was naive.

Instead, when my team took over that fall of 2017, we encountered an “oversight” system — read: a censorship regime — that required us to send every story to Falwell’s assistant for review. Any administrator or professor who appeared in an article had editing authority over any part of the article; they added and deleted whatever they wanted. Falwell called our newsroom on multiple occasions to direct our coverage personally, as he had a year earlier when, weeks before the 2016 election, he read a draft of my column defending mainstream news outlets and ordered me to say whom I planned to vote for. I refused on ethical grounds, so Falwell told me to insert “The author refused to reveal which candidate he is supporting for president” at the bottom of the column. I complied. (Huff and the police department declined to comment on the contents of this essay. Falwell and the university did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

Eventually I quit, and the School of Communication decided not to replace me, turning the paper into a faculty-run, student-written organ and seizing complete control of its content. Student journalists must now sign a nondisclosure agreement that forbids them from talking publicly about “editorial or managerial direction, oversight decisions or information designated as privileged or confidential.” The form also states that the students understand they are “privileged” to receive “thoughts, opinions, and other statements” from university administrators.

Will E. Young is an editorial assistant at Sojourners magazine. Follow @weyoung8

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