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Hometown: London
Home country: UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 06:25 PM
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Journal Archives

Do Democrats Who Supported Susan Collins in 2020 Regret Their Vote? Nope.


Mary Ann Lynch, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, is a model Democrat. She began her political career as a staffer for Democratic Governor Joe Brennan and has supported the party with donations and volunteer work for more than 40 years. In the past two elections, she voted a straight Democratic slate—Joe Biden, U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree, Governor Janet Mills—with one exception. Last fall, with control of the Senate on the line and the Brett Kavanaugh hearings a traumatic recent memory, Lynch cast a ballot for Republican Senator Susan Collins. She has no regrets. “I’m a ticket splitter,” Lynch told me. “I don’t often split, but I do split. I vote for the person who I feel would be the best for Maine and for the country. Instead of saying we need more Democrats or more Republicans, I would say we would need more people like Susan Collins who reach across the aisle to get things done.”

Lynch does not share the ominous feeling, increasingly common among Democrats, that time is running out. A paper-thin majority in Congress is likely to disappear next year, leaving just months to pass paid family leave and protect voters from conservative attempts at disenfranchisement. As the likes of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema pettifog and delay, many Democrats wish for just one more Senate seat. And as Texas and other states pass restrictive abortion laws unchecked by the Supreme Court, frustrated Democrats turn to voters in Maine, who returned Collins to the Senate last fall despite her vote for Kavanaugh and the Republican tax bill, and ask: Why?

Exit polling indicates that 13 percent of Collins’s support in 2020 came from registered Democrats. Women overall broke for Collins over her challenger, Sara Gideon, 49 to 46 percent. How did these constituencies make a decision seemingly so against their own interests? How do they feel about it now? Ask them, and their answers often evoke nostalgia for things lost—paper mills, union jobs, and a bipartisan, collegial Congress. They also share a lack of urgency about the slow-moving constitutional crisis instigated by Donald Trump, a sign, along with the election of Glenn Youngkin in Virginia this fall, that Democrats will have to do more to win than point to Trump’s misdeeds, especially now that he’s off the ballot.


Collins’s votes in the Senate since her reelection have been just fine with Green, too. This summer, she helped defeat the For the People Act, arguing that its sweeping voting rights provisions—making Election Day a federal holiday, restoring eligibility to felons who’ve served their sentences, keeping names on voting rolls, automatically registering eligible voters—went far beyond preserving the right to vote. Green wasn’t convinced either that such sweeping action was necessary in response to laws such as Georgia’s, which forbids giving water to people waiting to vote. (With many polling places closed in Black areas, lines are often long.) Should people be allowed, Green mused, to give voters even such small gifts as a bottle of water? “What is that law saying? I don’t know,” he said. “Leave it to Susan. I trust her.”


Step by Step Guide to a Perfect Beef Wellington - Chef Jean-Pierre

Hello There Friends, Come and watch my Step by Step Guide on how to make the Perfect Beef Wellington. It maybe time consuming, but it won't be difficult for you to make anymore, although there is a lot of prep you can all do this! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



The Bloody, Brutal Business of Being a Teenage Girl

warning: spoilers

Showtime’s Yellowjackets is an addictive and perceptive coming-of-age story cloaked in psychological horror.


Yellowjackets, the Showtime series about a high-school girls’ soccer team stranded in the wilderness after a plane crash, can be extremely stressful to watch. The drama, which ended its first season tonight and has been renewed for a second, is relentlessly violent, and the writers seem to delight in attacking or killing off the most lovable characters. The aggressively knotty narrative braids together two timelines: One, set in 1996, follows the squad after the accident and involves drug-induced visions, a close encounter with a bear, and—eventually, per a flash-forward—a cannibalistic cult led by a masked character wearing antlers on her head. The other, set in the present day, tracks the survivors as middle-aged adults who get targeted by a blackmailer. At times, Yellowjackets’ many preposterous story beats have risked derailing the show.

Yet the series has kept a vise grip on my mind since it began airing in November, and not only because I’ve been itching to see whether my theory about the identity of the antlered cult leader would turn out to be correct. Like other shows that filter the high-school experience through a dark, often bloody lens (Euphoria and Pretty Little Liars come to mind), Yellowjackets frames the coming-of-age journey as a psychological horror. But unlike those dramas, it gleefully takes the idea to the extreme, mixing supernatural elements and pitch-black humor into an already pulpy premise. In this stew of hormones, gore, and mordant farce, the series captures the way that growing out of girlhood is an inherently brutal and absurd process.

Despite comparisons to Lord of the Flies and Lost, Yellowjackets quickly moves past the survival framework. Soon after the crash, the team finds a freshwater lake, a cabin that provides suitable shelter, and ample game to hunt. Given the present-day timeline, the question isn’t whether the survivors will be rescued; it’s how exactly their fragile interpersonal relationships will change during their 19 months in the woods. The mere fact that they’re stranded shuffles the team’s pecking order. Misty (played by Samantha Hanratty), the friendless equipment manager, finds herself newly essential because she has basic medical skills. In contrast, the team captain, Jackie (Ella Purnell), was popular in the halls of their high school but now struggles to find her place in the group. The instability of the Yellowjackets’ hierarchy is scarier than anything they might encounter in the woods, making clear how the team’s camaraderie could morph into something as feral as a cannibalistic cult.

Consider Jackie's fate in the Season 1 finale, for example. She has a fight with her best friend, Shauna (Sophie Nélisse), during which none of the Yellowjackets dares to intervene, and ends up sleeping outside the cabin. Jackie then dreams about making up with Shauna, and the rest of the team reassuring her she’s loved—until the show reveals that she died overnight after a blizzard unexpectedly set in. In other words, the girl who got iced out of the squad she once led wound up freezing to death. The development is dramatic and unsubtle, but that’s what makes Yellowjackets such a refreshing and compelling watch. To teenage girls, negotiating friendships can feel like a matter of life or death, and the show treats their concerns with obvious sympathy. It does the same for its characters’ personal insecurities: After months in the wilderness, Jackie worries about the prospect of dying without losing her virginity first. Van (Liv Hewson), who survives being mauled by a wolf, admits that she’s afraid to be seen with so many scars on her face.


A nationwide standard of voting rights now seems like a pipe dream.


The decision by Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to block their fellow Democrats from passing new federal voting-rights legislation clears the path for years of tightening ballot restrictions in Republican-controlled states. It also marks a resounding triumph for Chief Justice John Roberts in his four-decade quest to roll back the federal government’s role in protecting voter rights. Roberts as much as anyone set in motion the events that have led to this week’s climactic Senate confrontation over voting legislation. In a series of rulings over the past 15 years, the Supreme Court, often in decisions written by Roberts himself, has consistently weakened federal oversight of voter protections and struck down federal regulations meant to reduce the influence of money in politics. Almost all of those decisions have unfolded on a strict party-line basis, with the Republican-appointed justices outvoting those appointed by Democrats.

Those decisions have had an enormous practical impact on the rules for American elections. But many voting-rights advocates say that the rulings have been equally important in sending a signal to Republican-controlled states that the Supreme Court majority is unlikely to stand in their way if they impose new restrictions on voting or extreme partisan gerrymanders in congressional and state legislative districts. Democrats are still pressing the two senators to reconsider their decision before this week’s votes. Barring an unlikely last-minute reversal of their position, Manchin and Sinema have effectively blocked federal voting-rights legislation by insisting that it remain subject to a filibuster that provides Senate Republicans a veto. And that could trigger a renewed red-state offensive.

“We’re going to see a new wave of [state] legislation that is just as dangerous as what we’ve seen [so far] and that is going to create additional barriers to the ballot,” Deborah Archer, an NYU School of Law professor and the president of the American Civil Liberties Union, told me. Roberts, who served as a young clerk to conservative Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist and as a Justice Department assistant in the Reagan administration, has long expressed hostility to federal oversight of voting and election rules. As the journalist Ari Berman recounted in his 2015 book, Give Us the Ballot, Roberts “led the charge” against the bipartisan 1982 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, which ultimately reversed a Supreme Court decision (supported by Rehnquist) weakening one key section of the law. Roberts wrote “upwards of 25 memos” opposing the legislation’s provision requiring that the Justice Department prove only discriminatory “effect” rather than purposeful “intent” in order to block state or local voting restrictions. (The Court had ruled the opposite, severely limiting the law’s applicability.)

In one memo reported by Berman, Roberts revealed his broader philosophy about voting rights: The test for federal objection to local voting laws should be extremely difficult to meet, he wrote, “since they provide the basis for the most intrusive interference imaginable by federal courts into state and local processes.” That approach has guided Roberts on the Supreme Court. As the Harvard Law School professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos, an expert in voting law, wrote in a 2019 law-review article, “The Roberts Court has … never nullified a law making it harder to vote.” To the contrary, in a series of landmark decisions, it has nullified efforts to ensure voter access, combat gerrymanders, and to limit political contributions and spending.


Tulsa Megachurch Pastor Rubs Spit Into Face of Parishioner During Sermon


An Oklahoma megachurch pastor imparted a sermon of biblical proportions on Sunday, using his own saliva as a visual aid to deliver a message about how receiving a “vision from God might get nasty.” Michael Todd, a 34-year-old who leads Tulsa’s Transformation Church, stood onstage with another man—identified as his younger brother by TMZ.

After spitting into the palm of his hand, Todd said, “This is where most people would not face Jesus anymore. What most people would do is turn away.” Coughing and spitting more, Todd turned to the man next to him, telling the crowd that God would ask each of them if they would continue standing “when getting the vision, or receiving it, might get nasty.”

Todd then rubbed his hands together and methodically smeared his spit into the man’s eyes. “And do you hear and see the responses of the people?” the pastor continued, over the disgusted cries of the congregation. “What I’m telling you: how you just reacted is how the people in your life will react when God is doing what it takes for the Miracle.”


Not birds of a feather.......

Lego sued over leather jacket worn by toy Antoni in Queer Eye set

Artist James Concannon claims in lawsuit that toy company made a ‘blatant copy’ of a jacket he made for Queer Eye cast member Antoni Porowski


An artist has accused Lego of recreating a leather jacket he made for Queer Eye cast-member Antoni Porowski without the artist’s permission, claiming that a toy jacket included in a Lego set based on the Netflix show is a “blatant copy” of his design. James Concannon, whose clothes have been regularly worn by Porowski on the popular program, filed a lawsuit against the Danish toy giant in a Connecticut district court last month. The designer, who is seeking damages, alleges that one of the outfits included in the set for Porowski’s figurine copies “the unique placement, coordination, and arrangement of the individual artistic elements” on the jacket.

In the lawsuit, Concannon alleges that Netflix had consistently asked him for his consent to show his clothes in Queer Eye episodes since 2017, which he gave. Porowski and Concannon later became friends, with Porowski sending Concannon the jacket to create a custom design for him in 2018. The following year, Porowski wore the jacket in an episode in the show’s fourth season. Concannon alleges that Netflix never sought his permission to feature the jacket on the show, but believed it was an oversight.

The lawsuit states that Concannon contacted Lego after seeing the toy jacket in the set, which went on sale last year. He claims that a customer service representative offered him the set, which is based on the show’s loft and retails at US$99.99, for his six-year-old son as a form of compensation. However, another company representative later told him that the company did not give away its products for free.

Concannon alleges that when his attorney contacted the company, Lego’s lawyers admitted that it had intentionally copied his design but rejected his attempt to send a cease-and-desist, arguing that Concannon’s decision to give the jacket to Porowski meant that Netflix had an “implied license” to do what it wanted with the design, including allowing Lego to recreate it. Guardian Australia has contacted Lego for comment.


Djokovic circus unleashes toxic chain reaction of mistrust and resentment

The world No 1 fought his deportation case with trademark resilience which has unleashed forces larger than him


Novak Djokovic fought the Australian government in the same way he fought his rivals on the tennis court: with defiance and stone-willed refusal, with every tool at his disposal and every last fibre of his being, with an unshakeable and messianic belief in his own supremacy. He contested his deportation as if it were a crucial break point, as if it were his last stand against total oblivion. This time, however, something startling happened. He lost.

Djokovic is unused to losing. When he does, he tends to explain it away as the product of his own failings. He courteously congratulates his opponents, but ultimately leaves you with the impression that he decides who wins and loses. His collection of trophies and records – 20 grand slam titles, the most weeks at world No 1 in the history of men’s tennis – suggests he is probably right. But implicit in that too is an assertion of control and individual impregnability: this is my business, and I will deal with it myself.

The problems arise when you begin to conflate the hard white lines of the tennis court with the messy compromises of the world at large. Djokovic would hardly be the first professional athlete to labour under the delusion that his superior sporting ability confers some kind of elite virtue, a firewall against judgment and scrutiny. Nor would he be the first to confuse his athletic gifts with expertise in other fields: lifestyle, health and medicine, even politics. “I can show you how to change not just your body but your whole experience of living,” he promises in his 2013 book Serve to Win: part-autobiography, part-nutrition guide and a presage of the Instagram influencer culture that bundles up diet, mental health, body-narcissism and alternative medicine into a shiny, sellable package.

No athlete is obliged to stay in their lane. But anybody who leverages their fame, power and privilege in this way has a responsibility to do so with care, to reckon with the consequences of their choices, to recognise when they have become counter-productive. And perhaps the most disquieting aspect of the last fortnight, as the Djokovic circus rolled out of Melbourne Airport and on to our smartphones and television screens, is the way Djokovic’s choices have unleashed forces and currents far larger than him, or indeed tennis: a toxic chain reaction of mistrust and resentment that could lead us into some extremely dark places.


Glorious Din - Leading Stolen Horses (Full Album - 1985) Superb Post Punk Goth Rock Band

Label: Insight – R 41585
Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1985
Genre: Rock
Style: New Wave, Goth Rock, Post-Punk

How A Boy From The Sri Lankan Jungle Formed The Greatest Punk Band You’ve Never Heard


The Gun Club - Fire of Love (Full Album - 1981)

Label: Ruby Records – JRR 102
Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 31 Aug 1981
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychobilly, Blues Punk

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