Posts

Democratic Party

New York Times Endorses Both Warren and Klobuchar for Democratic Nominee

Just days before the first votes are due to be cast in Iowa, the New York Times has announced that, in an unusual move, the editorial board has decided to endorse two candidates for the Democratic nominee. The two candidates, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, are the only two women candidates remaining in the race, and while their policy platforms differ in a number of ways, the editorial board has come to the conclusion that both candidates are equally qualified to beat Donald Trump in November and serve in the office of the presidency for the next four to eight years.

Embed from Getty Images

The editorial board arrived at their conclusion by holding interviews with each of the major candidates vying to become the Democratic nominee, and found that although the public perceives the contest as being split between progressives and moderates, in reality the different candidates’ views on fundamental issues are strikingly similar. All of the top candidates, for instance, want to expand access to health care far beyond what the government has provided in the past, and each candidate has a vision for the federal government that differs sharply from the way it is run today. Indeed, as the Republican party increasingly slides towards authoritarianism in deference to Trump, the Democratic party as a whole has moved to the left, as positions that were once considered radical like Medicare-for-All have become mainstream.

While the editorial board acknowledges that the issue at the forefront of most voters’ minds is the question of who is able to beat Mr. Trump, it also believes that no one really has the ability to foretell which candidate is most able to do so. Instead, the editorial board focused on which candidates would be most effective at repairing the Republic and embracing new ideas, and the most competent candidates in these two regards were considered to be Klobuchar and Warren. Though both Sanders and Warren represent the progressive wing of the party, the editorial board considers Sanders’ age and health to be a major concern, and considers his approach to his policies to be too ideologically rigid. While the editorial board recognizes Sanders’ contribution of progressive ideas to the party, it feels that Warren has a better understanding of the fundamental issues that plague the country and how best to approach them.

Embed from Getty Images

The second endorsement, Amy Klobuchar, was picked for her experience and effectiveness as a politician. According to the Center for Effective Lawmaking, Klobuchar is the most productive senator in the Democratic field when it comes to bills passed with bipartisan support, and while she is billed as a moderate by most voters, the editorial board feels that Amy Klobuchar might have the best chance of enacting a progressive policy agenda as president. Despite being labelled a moderate by the media, Klobuchar embraces a number of progressive policies, including transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. While the editorial board was concerned about reports of how Klobuchar treats her staff, it nonetheless considers Klobuchar to be the most competent and effective “moderate” candidate in the field.

Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski Endorses Bernie Sanders

While many know of Emily Ratajkowski for her tremendous Instagram following, the Polish-American supermodel also works as a political activist, using her platform to advocate for liberal causes. During the previous Democratic presidential nomination, she endorsed Bernie Sanders due to his progressive policies like environmental justice and Medicare-for-All, so it’s no surprise that she has chosen the Vermont senator again as the ideal candidate in the fight against Trump at the ballot box this November. Ratajkowski first declared her endorsement during a podcast hosted by popular liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, where the two also discussed issues relating to women’s rights and the need for a radical candidate who will energize voters and convince them to head to the polls. And in a video produced in coordination with the Sanders campaign, Ratajkowski summarized the reasons for her support of the democratic socialist candidate, praising him for his long history of supporting progressive causes and the authenticity of his character.

Embed from Getty Images

Given the high-profile nature of Ratajkowski’s celebrity status, her endorsement is likely to have a meaningful positive impact on the Sanders campaign, with the first votes being cast in Iowa less than a month away. Ratajkowski told Moore during her appearance on his podcast that she wanted to do as much as she possibly could to support Sanders, meaning it’s likely that the supermodel will make appearances at campaign rallies as the election season continues. As justification for supporting a candidate who is an older, white man over a woman candidate or a candidate of color, Ratajkowski commented that now is a time for action, not symbolism, and opined that a populist, anti-establishment candidate like Sanders has a better chance of defeating Trump in the general election than a moderate like Joe Biden, who is often regarded as a safer choice at a time when the primary issue on Democratic voters’ minds is the need to prevent the incumbent candidate’s re-election.

Embed from Getty Images

Ratajkowski joins a growing field of high-profile endorsements, including Michael Moore and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both of whom appeared at a campaign event to offer their support shortly following the senator’s heart attack late last year. Recently, Sanders announced an impressive fundraising haul of $34.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, and he currently leads the polls in some of the early-voting states, worrying members of the party establishment who fear that such a radical candidate would interfere with establishment goals or cost the Democratic party the presidency. That being said, Sanders enjoys particular popularity among significant demographics who are most likely to experience frustration with their experience of politics as usual, most notably young voters and non-white voters, two major coalitions that may be inclined to sit out during elections after being disillusioned by the political process. As such, turnout among these key demographics may be the determining factor in Sanders’ ability to clinch the nomination and, ultimately, the presidency.

Your Vote Matters

Former Democratic Candidate Julián Castro Endorses Elizabeth Warren

Just days after ending his presidential campaign, Mayor Julián Castro has endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren for president. Warren, a former frontrunner whose popularity has waned in recent weeks, met with the San Antonio mayor to produce a campaign video in which Castro pledges his support and the two discuss the problems facing America today and potential solutions. Castro, a close friend of Warren’s, will join the senator at campaign rallies and events over the coming weeks and months as she continues her fight for the Democratic nomination, with the first votes being cast in Iowa less than a month away. Castro, who focused his campaign on a message of social justice, contextualized his endorsement by alluding to the women in his life, including his mother and grandmother, who worked hard to provide him with the opportunity to achieve the success he enjoys today. Though the Democratic field has narrowed considerably to include very few candidates of color, Warren remains among the highest-polling candidates, meaning she has the potential to become America’s first female president.

Embed from Getty Images

Despite her early popularity, Warren has fallen to third place in the race for the Democratic nomination, trailing Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders by several percentage points. Currently, the Democratic party appears to be split between those favoring a progressive political approach and those favoring a moderate one, with Warren and Sanders representing the progressive wing of the party and Biden and Buttigieg representing the moderate wing. Part of Warren’s struggle likely has to do with the fact that the progressive vote is split between her and Sanders; while Sanders benefits from name-recognition from his 2016 run for president and from being known for popularizing radical ideas like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, Warren has gained support through her calls for “big, structural change,” her detailed policy proposals, and her economic expertise. While Biden continues to enjoy frontrunner status thanks in large part to his reputation as Obama’s vice president, Warren’s political acumen is arguably unparalleled, as she is an expert in US Bankruptcy law who established the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. 

Embed from Getty Images

As Castro struggled in the polls, failing to meet the requirements to participate in the next Democratic debate, it is unclear to what extent his endorsement will benefit Warren’s campaign. That being said, Castro’s minority status may draw nonwhite voters to support Warren, who has struggled with minorities particularly in the aftermath of her dubious claim of Native American ancestry. On Twitter, Warren thanked Castro for his endorsement, saying she was “honored” to have his support. Though Castro failed to gain widespread support, he has contributed ideologically to the primary process by calling attention to reparations, decriminalization of border crossings, and housing inequality, among other issues of particular interest to minority groups. Additionally, Castro is known for his criticisms of the primary nomination process, arguing that it favors white voters as the first votes are cast in states with predominantly white populations. With several months remaining before the Democratic National Convention during which the Democratic nominee for president will be formally announced, only time will tell whether Castro’s support will give Warren the boost she needs to win the nomination.

Living Room Decor

Marie Kondo Launches New Online Home Deco Store

With December only a few days away, the holiday season is clearly already here making now the perfect time to clear out your old clutter to make room for new goodies. Right? But what should you keep and what should you throw away?

Many Americans have this dilemma and have turned to professional advice on how to decide what stays and what goes. It may seem slightly odd to ask a stranger how you feel about your own belongings but there is a highly profitable market for advice on de-cluttering.

In 2015 Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo felt her first brush with fame. The release of her book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ soon became a favorite in many homes across the country, making it a hit on the best-selling lists. Full of advice on how to clear out your spare room, closet, basement or garage, Kondo inspired readers everywhere to clear out their trash.

This was followed up in 2019 with ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ airing on Netflix and again showed homeowners how they could streamline their homes using the ‘KonMari’ method.

This month Kondo announced her latest venture. But if you were imagining more details on whether an item brings you joy, or how to achieve the domestic bliss you have been craving you will be sadly disappointed.

Finally content that she has emptied the nation’s closets Kondo wants to fill them back up!

Embed from Getty Images

Although you have been able to buy storage boxes since 2018 you can now buy more items thanks to her new online store. However you do not have to worry that her items will make your home feel cluttered again, as Kondo’s design has opted for a minimalist look, with many items in neutral shades as well as a calming dove-gray.

But however arrogant it may seem to spend years encouraging Americans to get rid of their belongings followed by a blatant attempt to capitalize on filling the empty spaces, Kondo is merely jumping onto her celebrity status, and in America being a celebrity means making money.

Look at any celebrity in recent times and you will see that they have more than one string to their bow. There was a time when starring in movies and being interviewed or photographed was a full time position, yet there are few celebrities who stay in their ‘genre’ any more.

Actors are always appearing in advertisements for some sort of beauty or fragrance products while many others are creating their own companies.

Think of Gwyneth Paltrow. Not content with being a hugely successful actor in her own right, Paltrow went on to create Goop which is promoted as a ‘modern lifestyle brand’, promoting everything and anything they believe can make your life better.

The Kardashian/Jenner family is another example of curating multiple professions. Playing off the back of a sex-tape scandal, Kim Kardashian managed to create one of the most successful reality shows of all time, paving the way for not only herself but her entire family to create careers for themselves. Alongside Kim’s growing empire her siblings have also created businesses with half-sister Kylie Jenner recently selling 51% of her makeup empire for $600 million, making her one of the youngest self-made billionaires at only 22.

Embed from Getty Images

It is not only the female stars that are branching into other sectors either. Whilst lifestyle products predominantly target women, men are also being targeted with Kanye West, Will & Jaden Smith, and even Paul Newman finding considerable success via their own brands.

Paul Newman’s salad dressings were created as a Paul Newman ‘brand’ rather than an endorsement and was one of the first success stories. Since then we have had singer P.Diddy’s ‘Sean John’ clothing line as well as Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin, a product he not only owns but cleverly promotes via a ‘war’ with Hugh Jackman, resulting in great sales for both his gin and Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee.

One of the biggest success stories however is that of Jessica Simpson. Back in 2005 Simpson used her public image to attract customers to her new shoe business. Becoming one of the very first social media ‘influencers’ Simpson found herself in a position where she could utilize her image to a greater goal. Through promoting herself and her lifestyle through her social media pages, Simpson has created a business attracting an annual revenue of $1 billion.

With social media continuing to grow more social media stars emerged and many have ‘YouTuber’ listed as their occupation. Many of the younger generation have turned their backs on mainstream television, getting their entertainment from such channels, ensuring social media stars’ bank balances are growing each day thanks to a line of ‘merch’ that compliment their channel.

Kondo’s latest venture’s success will surely depend on how well she can convince people that there really is not any irony in telling people to clear their homes then fill it with her items, in fact she was recently quoted as saying ‘my tidying method isn’t about getting rid of things – it’s about heightening your sensitivity to what brings you joy’.

Bernie for President Sign

Bernie Sanders Wins Support From Nurses Union In Major Boost For His 2020 Presidential Campaign

Senator Bernie Sanders has received a major boost to his 2020 presidential campaign from the country’s biggest nurses’ union.

Following their endorsement of Mr. Sanders in 2016, National Nurses United have chosen to support him ahead of Elizabeth Warren, who has also laid out her own Medicare for All plan as part of her own campaign.

Members of National Nurses United have been keen advocates in Democratic politics since they started supporting Mr. Sanders and have attended his rallies and events in red t-shirts as well as canvassing neighbourhoods in swing congressional districts. This is mainly due to Mr. Sanders’ plan for a nationalized health insurance system.

There was never any real doubt that the nurses’ union were going to endorse any other candidate after being so loyal to Mr. Sanders in 2016, however he was also the only candidate to attend an in-person interview with them asking for endorsement; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, sent a three minute video, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts spoke with them via a video call while former Vice President Joseph R Biden Jr and Senator Kamala Harris of California both declined the union’s offer to interview completely.

Mr. Sanders’ biggest rival, Ms. Warren, has also announced plans for a single-payer health insurance but despite her plans the union has decided they actually prefer the original layout of Medicare for all and therefore have stayed true to Mr. Sanders.

Who are National Nurses United?

Embed from Getty Images

Created from a merger of three smaller unions in 2009, National Nurses United has around 155,000 members and is a major advocate of the liberal policies Mr. Sanders is proposing. They also played a large part in providing healthcare to the Occupy Wall Street protesters who were situated in Lower Manhattan in 2011, as well as campaigning for a financial transaction tax and single-payer health care.

And it’s not just the union that has endorsed Mr. Sanders. It also comes with the support of the union’s super PAC, a difficult situation seeing that Mr. Sanders disavowed support from super PACs, as have most of the Democrats seeking the party’s 2020 nomination.

During the 2016 campaign the union’s super PAC spent $5 million backing Mr. Sanders in his campaign against Hillary Clinton, which although it sounds like a great sum Jeb Bush had $87 million spent supporting him during the same campaign.

Bonnie Castillo, the union’s Executive Director said the super PAC ‘will be activated’ on Mr. Sanders’ behalf, however none of the union members nor the super PAC would attack or criticize any of his Democratic presidential nomination rivals.

“We’re not going negative. We are a very positive force. It’s a reflection of who we are as a profession. We are healers.”

Mr. Sanders has vowed to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling that opened the door to the super PAC era, rallying against the influence of money in politics. And thanks to Mr. Biden dropping his resistance to accepting support from these groups recently, Mr. Sanders has become even more vocal.

Embed from Getty Images

At a recent event in Marshalltown, Iowa, he was quoted as saying, “I don’t need a super PAC. I am not going to be controlled by a handful of wealthy people. I will be controlled by the working people of this country.”

He backed this up by saying ‘We don’t have a super PAC’ while attending a rally in Coralville, Iowa.

Yet Mr. Sanders has not denied any support from the nurses’ unions’ super PAC in 2016, although he has repeatedly pointed out that he does not have one of his own. In fact last Monday he was eager to thank National Nurses United for their support while ignoring its super PAC.

“What the nurses understand is that the current healthcare system is not only dysfunctional but extraordinarily cruel. Together we are finally going to do what should have been done decades ago and make sure that every man, woman and child in this country has quality health care as a human right.”

Currently there have not been many major labor unions endorsing and of the 2020 presidential candidates although Mr. Biden has received the endorsement of the International Association of Fire Fighters, while The National Union of Healthcare Workers have not only endorsed Ms. Warren but also Mr. Sanders – with Mr. Sanders also receiving the backing from The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

National Nurses United co-president Deborah Burger has confirmed that they will continue to fight for the winner of the party’s nomination against President Trump, even if that is not Mr. Sanders, stating, “We have made a commitment to endorse Bernie Sanders, but in the end we have made a commitment to our communities that we live in that we will do whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump.”