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Celerity

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Gender: Female
Hometown: London
Home country: USA/UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 06:25 PM
Number of posts: 7,657

Journal Archives

The Strokes - Bad Decisions (Official Video)





The Strokes ‘The New Abnormal’ Available 4.10.20 Pre-Order Now: https://smarturl.it/TheNewAbnormal?iqID=yt

Friederike Otto: How is Climate Change affecting our Weather?





Watch Social Europe Editor-in-Chief Henning Meyer in conversation with Friederike Otto. They discuss man-made climate change and its impact on weather events as well as potential policy reactions to deal with the threat.

Friederike Otto is the Acting Director of the Environmental Change Institute and an Associate Professor in the Global Climate Science Programme at the University of Oxford. She leads several projects understanding the impacts of man-made climate change on natural and social systems.

You might also find our regular articles, blogs and other written publications of interest. Just visit our website https://www.socialeurope.eu/ to read our latest output. If you want to stay up-to-date with all things Social Europe just sign up to our regular newsletter. You can do so on our website.

Biden Has Been Losing Black Voters. Will Bloomberg's Bad Debate Change That?

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/biden-has-been-losing-black-voters-could-bloombergs-bad-debate-help-stop-bidens-slide/?ex_cid=2020-tracker

After poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, Joe Biden’s campaign is pinning its hopes on South Carolina — in particular, the black vote there. The rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the polls has corresponded with a Biden decline, but South Carolina will be the first state to vote where most of the electorate is black, and black voters have disproportionately supported the former vice president for most of the campaign (before people actually started to vote).

So two questions: How well is Biden holding up among black voters in the wake of the first two contests? And how much could the debate on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, which seemed to go poorly for Bloomberg, shift the race in the last few days before Nevada and South Carolina vote?

Two answers: Not particularly well. And maybe quite a bit.

In an average of national polls, Biden’s support among black voters has dropped about 12 percentage points from before the Iowa caucuses to the post-New Hampshire period.1 Conversely, during the same period, Bloomberg and Sanders (the two other candidates averaging double-digit support among black voters in recent national polls) each gained 10 points among black voters. And recent polls show Biden dropping fast among all voters while Sanders and Bloomberg are gaining ground. So if the Nevada debate really hurt Bloomberg, Biden stands a decent chance of winning back a lot of voters. Not only are he and Bloomberg both running in the same “moderate” lane, but it appears that a lot of voters left Biden for Bloomberg after Iowa and New Hampshire.



Biden’s 12-point drop among black voters is particularly bad considering how much his nomination hopes rest on support from that voting bloc. Black voters account for about one-fifth of the national Democratic primary electorate but make up a disproportionately large share of Biden’s potential electoral coalition — about a third, most likely.2 Indeed, Biden has dropped 10 points in our national polling average since the Iowa caucuses — from being the national polling leader to finding himself behind Sanders and in a battle with Bloomberg for second — and roughly a quarter of that slide is likely due to his drop among black voters specifically. Proportionally, Biden has actually lost more white support than black support, but he still lost around one-fourth of his support among black voters nationally since Iowa voted.

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It's Not Just Trumpers Spreading Pro-Trump Propaganda On Facebook. This is extremely worrying.

https://thebanter.substack.com/p/its-not-just-trumpers-spreading-pro



WASHINGTON, DC -- Last week, we learned about one of the most terrifying political operations in recent memory. Journalist McKay Coppins published an article for The Atlantic about Donald Trump’s “Death Star” in Rosslyn, Virginia -- an office space in which Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, along with a staff of hundreds, is engaged in "the most extensive disinformation campaign in U.S. history."

The mission of Trump’s Death Star is to micro-target registered voters on social media with countless political advertisements and other posts designed to spread pro-Trump propaganda, in most cases straight-up lies. All in all, the operation effectively weaponizes the Russian Internet Research Agency’s attack on the 2016 election, but originating the same brand of awfulness domestically and under the full control of the Trump machine.

We also learned that the Republican National Committee, which has merged with the Trump campaign, possesses around 3,000 data points on every American voter. That’s you. That’s me. That’s every living American who’s registered. These data points include your biases, your flaws, your preferences -- everything that might be pulled from your social media presence, and which Mark Zuckerberg allowed to be harvested without our permission. And speaking of Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder decided after meeting with Trump that it’d be fine and dandy to continue allowing on the platform political ads that contain lies.

The idea is to manipulate voters into willingly circulating the pro-Trump, anti-Democratic lies without flinching, turning Facebook users into distributors of free media -- of lies and propaganda. There’s so much more to the story -- way more -- so I urge you to read it carefully from top to bottom. It might be the most important political news story of the year. Since I first wrote about the Death Star last week, I’ve heard from quite a few readers on the left who condemned the dumbness of Trump supporters for spreading Trump agitprop -- for falling for the obvious deception.

But it’s not just Red Hats who are falling for Trump’s propaganda..................................................

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Kevin Sheekey just admitted there is a real possibility Sanders basically wraps up a win on ST

(Bloomberg campaign manager)

Just laid it out on live on MSNBC. He said CA alone could grow Sanders's lead to such an extent it makes it almost impossible to catch him based off other ST results and the remaining states after ST.

I am not liking this at all.

We are headed down a path toward possibly losing the House if this continues. Forget the Senate.

Assuming Bloomberg drops back just a wee a bit, and if the falloffs are split amongst all the other candidates and not clustered to just one, that could put Bernie as the only candidate to hit 15%, and thus, if that happened, he would get all 415 delegates. Just my state of birth alone could give Bernie 21% of the 1990 he needs to wrap up the nomination on the first ballot.



really a cheap shot by Warren accusing Biden and Amy of trying to curry favour with Moscow Mitch

She is looking more desperate as the debate goes on.

Good on her with going after Bloomberg, but between fher completely false statement about Buttigieg's healthcare, and other attacks, she is undoing a lot of good will.

Warren flat out made a false accusation about Pete's healthcare plan

She claimed he ONLY deals with premiums in terms of lowering costs for people and nothing else.

That is simply and blatantly untrue and not a good look at all, as it is instantly and easily refuted.


Buttigieg Is Rare Candidate To Target Hospitals In Cost-Cutting Plan, As Sanders, Warren Shy Away From Powerful Lobby

https://khn.org/morning-breakout/buttigieg-is-rare-candidate-to-target-hospitals-in-cost-cutting-plan-as-sanders-warren-shy-away-from-powerful-lobby/



How Pete Buttigieg would expand health coverage

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/19/pete-buttigieg-2020-health-care-plan-1502581

Buttigieg’s proposal would preserve the nation’s existing private insurance industry while creating a government-run health insurance alternative. His plan, like the one offered by former Vice President Joe Biden, also would boost subsidies to help people purchase their own coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and limit the amount people pay for premiums. Separately, it would cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors on Medicare.

Meanwhile, the plan would roll back Trump administration efforts that health advocates say have weakened the safety net. Buttigieg is proposing to reverse President Donald Trump’s expansion of association health plans and short-term plans, which his administration argues provide a lower-cost alternative to Obamacare plans but have been criticized for providing insufficient coverage. Buttigieg is also vowing to end the first-ever Medicaid work requirements, a controversial policy that critics say is primarily intended to cut off coverage to low-income people.

Buttigieg’s plan includes multiple provisions that take aim at politically powerful health care providers, calling for new scrutiny of nonprofit hospitals’ tax exemptions and expanding regulators’ authority to crack down on health care mergers. He’d also limit what health care providers could charge insurers, pegging their out-of-network prices to just twice the typically lower rates that Medicare pays.

The campaign argues that limiting providers’ market and pricing power is essential to lowering the costs of patients’ health plans. “Our plan isn't just about coverage,” said a health care expert who advised the campaign. “It's about affordability.”

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveils plan to reduce inequities in healthcare accessButtigieg would combat racial and gender bias in part by redirecting funding to under-resourced communities.

https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/mayor-pete-buttigieg-unveils-plan-reduce-inequities-healthcare-access

Most of the healthcare-centric debate taking place among Democratic presidential candidates has centered around achieving some form of universal coverage, whether it be in the form of a public option or Medicare For All. But Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled a plan this week to address a different issue: inequities in access to care.

In a statement posted to his website, Buttigieg effectively made health equity a campaign priority, saying he would combat racial and gender bias in healthcare in part by redirecting funding to under-resourced communities and providing training for health professionals to combat bias.

At the center of his plan is the National Health Equity Strategy Task Force, which he would establish within his first 100 days in office. The task force would delineate the steps necessary to ensure equity and provide healthcare to underrepresented groups.

"This systemic discrimination takes the form of a doctor who takes a Black person's pain symptoms less seriously, or a health clinic staffed by providers lacking training on how to appropriately care for a transgender person," the website's statement reads. "It manifests in a hospital system that breaks ground only in a predominantly white neighborhood, and in a public health department that fails to translate important information into Chinese and Arabic despite a need in the community. Discrimination shows up in health facilities that are not accessible to people with disabilities. It takes place in states like Georgia and Texas, where governments play politics with people's lives by refusing to expand Medicaid."

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How Pete Buttigieg would lower drug prices

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/07/pete-buttigieg-drug-prices-policy-036409

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Monday released a plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs while also boosting U.S. investment in new drug development and manufacturing. The wide-sweeping proposal, similar to plans from rival candidates and a bill from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calls on the government to negotiate the costs of drugs in Medicare, as well as the government-run “public option” Buttigieg has proposed to compete with private insurers. Those prices would also be available to private health insurance plans and Medicaid. Buttigieg would also cap out-of-pocket spending for seniors and people enrolled in the public option.

Buttigieg aims to boost government investment in drug research and manufacturing, particularly for critical areas like pandemic prevention and antibiotics. His plan would also require more transparency on pricing from the drug industry and companies that administer pharmacy benefits. “It’s time for a new era of leadership in Washington ready and eager to make drugs affordable and take on pharmaceutical companies,” his plan reads. “Pete has the courage to break with the status quo by focusing on real solutions that will lower costs and make needed — even life-saving — prescription drugs available to all Americans.”

What would the plan do?

The government would be empowered to negotiate prices, starting with the most expensive medicines and those that are much cheaper overseas. Medicines for diabetes, asthma, arthritis, HIV and cancer would be prioritized.

The Department of Health and Human Services would use four criteria to negotiate: the benefit offered by the drug, the cost of bringing the medicine to the market, the costs of treating the disease the drug addresses, and international prices charged for similar drugs. Pharmaceutical companies that refuse to negotiate or don’t reach an agreement with the government will pay a 65 percent tax on the company’s gross sales of the drug. The tax will increase by 10 percent each quarter the company is out of compliance, until it reaches 95 percent.

The federal government could revoke a company’s patent rights and let others make a drug at an affordable price if the manufacturer refuses to lower the price or in cases of a natural disaster or public health emergency. Monthly out-of-pocket drugs costs would be capped at $200 for seniors and at $250 for public option enrollees. Low-income patients in government plans would pay nothing for generics and biosimilars, copycats of complex biologic drugs.

snip

Uber, employment and the gig economy



Whatever the company might wish to call it, Uber’s relationship with its workers is one of employment.

https://www.socialeurope.eu/uber-employment-and-the-gig-economy

The emergence of digital technologies as intermediaries between producers and consumers of goods and services has led to a significant change in the labour market. Globalisation of the economy has drastically increased competition and caused the number of atypical labour forms to grow. The expansion of these new forms of employment entails the creation of new kinds of contract, and in many cases the circumvention of employment law, as workers are turned into ‘entrepreneurs’.

Take the legal relationship between Uber and the company’s drivers, as an example of the connection between the term ‘worker’ and the gig economy. The platform makes it possible to request transport services via a smartphone with the Uber app installed. The app detects the location of the user and finds the nearest available driver, who has entered into a contract with the company.

Uber bills the user on behalf of the provider of the transport service, then pays part of the sum to the (non-professional) driver—reserving the right to change the general terms and conditions at its sole discretion, without requiring the driver’s consent. For his part, the provider of the service (the driver) has the right, independently and at his own discretion, to accept or reject the request, thus serving his own economic goals. The app has the option to rate drivers. The company thus exerts indirect influence over them and can deactivate the app for the driver at any moment if there are several low scores.

Legal relationship

These features can lead to the prima facie conclusion that the legal relationship between Uber and its drivers is in essence civil, as in civil-law relationships the party performing the contract is independent of the party requesting the work. The latter is not interested in the organisation of labour, nor in its creation.

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The Absurdly Beautiful Mountain Country You've Probably Never Heard Of

https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/visit-kyrgyzstan-tourism-travel-what-to-do



The most surreal vacation I ever took was to Kyrgyzstan. If you’ve never heard of Kyrgyzstan, don’t feel bad -- I hadn't either until a friend, who had read about it on Reddit, texted me a few Googled photos of the place. I remember thinking, “That’s what Kyrgyzstan looks like?” before promptly booking one of the most satisfying trips of my life.

If you’re in Kyrgyzstan, you’re probably on top of a mountain. A range called Tian Shan (“Heaven Lake” in Mandarin Chinese) covers about 80% of the country, and most of it is at least 1,000 meters above sea level. Its geological features vary from peak to peak, but the landscape is tied together by its exquisite, swoon-inducing beauty -- an extraterrestrial vastness that really clears the brain.

The serene, lake-spotted mountain hikes are why people come here, and they're still seared in my memories. It’s so damn pastoral and pristine that my mind has now permanently coupled these two adjectives with this one country. It’s sometimes referred to as “the Switzerland of Central Asia,” but I personally think the comparison sterilizes the nomadic spirit of Kyrgyzstan. If you’re an adventurous traveler who’s desperate for total immersion in crushingly beautiful landscapes, who delights in exploring destinations that aren’t all over your Instagram feed, who’s down to push outside your comfort zone and encounter a welcoming culture that’s nothing like back home, you need to book this trip ASAP.



Kyrgyzstan is a place that rewards a challenge

Kyrgyzstan is sandwiched between Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and China: countries and cultures I was super unfamiliar with. When I got to Manas International Airport, I was instantly pushed beyond my comfort zone by a lack of English-language signage. Outside, cab drivers offered rides in Russian and I groaned at my lack of linguistic preparation. Fortunately, my friend had arrived the day before and scheduled a cab for my arrival.

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New NBC/WSJ poll, in a 1 on 1 primary race, Sanders 57%, Bloomberg 37%

This is not a result I expected

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6779408/200085-NBCWSJ-February-Poll.pdf



here is the headline number



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