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"Andor" almost dropped the first F-word in "Star Wars" franchise history, actress says

A character says "Fight the Empire" in the "Andor" season-one finale — but originally, she said a stronger word than "fight." Diego Luna as Cassian Andor.Disney+ "Andor" almost dropped the F bomb in its first-season finale. A character originally said "Fuck the Empire" before it was changed, according to actress Denise Gough. "Andor" is the best-reviewed "Star Wars" live-action series yet, and feels more gritty than previous shows. Disney+'s "Andor" isn't like any other "Star Wars" show — so much so, that the F-word almost made it in to an episode, according to an actress in the series.Actress Denise Gough, who plays the villain Dedra Meero in the series, told Empire Magazine that the phrase "fuck the Empire" was left on the cutting room floor of the first-season finale, which aired last week. "Fiona's voice was over all of us," Gough told Empire, referring to actress Fiona Shaw's monologue in the episode. "Except, at the end, she didn't say, 'Fight the Empire!' She said, 'Fuck the Empire!' Which we were all really excited about. But we weren't allowed to keep it, obviously.""Andor" could be described as a "gritty" "Star Wars" series. No Jedi, no Force, and no Baby Yoda — just rebels. So if any franchise installment were to throw in a curse word, it makes sense that it would have been this one.It's received glowing reviews from critics, with the first season receiving a 96% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, the best of any of Disney+'s live-action "Star Wars" series.Fans also enjoy it, as it has an 85% audience score — better than "Obi-Wan Kenobi" (63%) and "Book of Boba Fett" (55%).Early on in the season, though, it was trailing those other shows in popularity, despite its acclaim. With the first season now concluded, it's possible that further data could show that it gained momentum as the series went on.But the three-episode premiere lagged behind other "Star Wars" debuts in viewership, according to Nielsen data.For instance, the first three episodes, which debuted on a Wednesday, were watched for 624 million minutes in their first five days of release, according to Nielsen. The first two episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," which were released on a Friday, were watched for 1.026 billion minutes in three days.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 4th, 2022

Elton John, Jim Carrey, and Adam McKay are among the latest celebrities announcing they quit Twitter after Elon Musk takeover

More stars and public figures have pledged to leave the platform, citing concerns over the direction it has taken under Elon Musk's leadership. Elon Musk and Elton John.Craig Barritt / Stringer / Getty Images and Alexi Rosenfeld / Contributor / Getty Images Multiple celebrities say they have quit Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover. Elton John is one of the latest high-profile stars to leave. He cited concerns over misinformation. Many other public figures have expressed concern over the billionaire's plans for the platform. The exodus of celebrities from Twitter has continued in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover.Elton John, Jim Carrey, and Adam McKay all recently announced they would quit the platform.The trend began at the end of October, shortly after Musk took charge. Screenwriter, producer, and showrunner Shonda Rhimes was among the first celebrities to leave, tweeting: "Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye."  Online chatter about celebrity departures began as far back as April, when some stars vowed to leave the platform after Musk's deal closed, citing concern over what the billionaire would do at the helm of the company. Since Musk finalized the $44 billion deal, there has been a rise in hate speech on the platform. One research group said that the use of the N-word on Twitter increased by nearly 500% in the 12 hours after the takeover.Musk, a self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist," has already announced he is creating a new "content moderation council" for Twitter that would bring together diverse views.The following celebrities and public figures have made good on their threats to leave.Shonda RhimesThe "Grey's Anatomy" and "Bridgerton" creator said on Oct. 29 she was exiting the platform. Rhimes tweeted that she wasn't planning to hang around "for whatever Elon has planned." —shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022 Sara BareillesAlso on Oct. 29, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter said she quit the platform. Bareilles tweeted: "Welp. It's been fun Twitter. I'm out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one's just not for me."—Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) October 30, 2022 Ken OlinOlin, an executive producer on the Emmy-award-winning show "This Is Us," also said he was leaving the social media app. He posted a tweet saying: "I'm out of here. No judgment."—Ken Olin (@kenolin1) October 28, 2022 Toni BraxtonR&B star Toni Braxton said she was "shocked and appalled" at some of the content she had seen since Musk's takeover. She said was choosing to stay off Twitter as it was "no longer a safe space for myself, my sons, and other POC."—Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022Téa LeoniThe actress best known for her role in "'Madam Secretary" has also seemingly deleted her Twitter account. She tweeted that the platform had "revealed too much hate, too much in the wrong direction.""Love, kindness, and possibilities for all of you," she added.Brian KoppelmanKoppelman, the "Billions" showrunner, also closed his account. He told his Twitter followers to follow him on Instagram and TikTok instead.He said: "Y'all's, for real, come find me over on instagram and the tok. Gonna really try to take a breather from here for a minute or a month come deal close time." Alex WinterThe "Bill & Ted" star also appears to have left the platform. His Twitter profile is blank and he has seemingly erased his tweet history. His bio simply says: "Not here. IG: @alxwinter."Capt. Chesley "Sully" SullenbergerOn Nov. 9, the hero pilot-turned-author said he'd be "taking a step back" from Twitter and listed the other platforms where followers could find him on. One user pointed out the difficulty to verify if he was the real deal or an impersonator."It took like 5 clicks to see that you were the real Capt Sully, so that seems like a reasonable decision," the tweet read.—Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) November 9, 2022 Whoopi Goldberg"It's so messy," the actor said Twitter on the Nov. 7 episode of "The View." Goldberg announced she was leaving Twitter for the time being on the talk show she co-hosts.—The View (@TheView) November 7, 2022 Gigi HadidThe fashion model took to Instagram to condemn Twitter, especially under Musk's leadership, announced she'd be deactivating her account."I deactivated my Twitter account today. For a long time, but especially with its new leadership, it's becoming more and more of a cesspool of hate and bigotry, and it's not a place I want to be a part of," Hadid wrote in an Instagram story post.Amber HeardAlthough the "Aquaman" actor didn't give a reason or make an announcement on her departure from Twitter, users noticed her account had been deactivated on Nov. 1.It's unclear why Heard decided to leave Twitter. She dated "Chief Twit" Musk for about a year before the relationship ended in 2018.—ThatUmbrellaGuy (@ThatUmbrella) November 1, 2022 Erik LarsenAccording to NBC News, comic book creator – best known for "The Amazing Spider-Man" – Larson tweeted in April that he didn't plan to stick around if Musk bought Twitter.His handle appeared to be deactivated as of Oct. 31, and Larsen later confirmed his exit in an email to NBC News.Laura BenantiTony Award-winning actor Benanti had some choice words for Musk in her final tweet before deleting her account. In a now unavailable tweet, Benanti says, "fuck you forever," to Twitter's new owner and tells followers they can find her on Instagram.Mick FoleyIn a post to his official Facebook account, the former pro-wrestler announced a break from Twitter "since the new ownership — and the misinformation and hate it seems to be encouraging — has my stomach in a knot."Foley continued the post by letting fans know he'd still be active on Instagram and Facebook and encouraged them to be kind. Jenny SlateThe actress and comic known for voicing "Marcel The Shell With Shoes On" and for films like "Obvious Child" announced she deactivated her Twitter account in an Instagram post shared on Nov. 12."Bye! Fyi, if someone says they are me...they are not," Slate wrote in the caption. "Unless it's me. But I'm not there anymore so it's not me just to be really clear." PlaybillOn Friday, the theater community news outlet announced it would be leaving Twitter in a statement."We feel we can no longer continue to utilize a platform where the line between actual news and insidious rhetoric has become blurred beyond recognition," Playbill said in the statement.According to CNN, the following Playbill-affiliated Twitter accounts are now inactive: @Playbill, @PlaybillTravel, @PLAYBILLder, @PlaybillArts, @PlaybillStore.Jack WhiteThe musician has quit Twitter and criticized some of Musk's decisions for the platform. On November 20, White shared a letter to Musk on Instagram slamming his decision to reinstate Donald Trump's Twitter account."So you gave Trump his Twitter platform back. Absolutely disgusting, Elon," the musician said. "That is officially an asshole move.""You intend to give platforms to known liars and wash your hands like pontius pilate and claim no responsibility?" White wrote in the post. Trent ReznorThe Nine Inch Nails frontman has also removed his Twitter account.In an interview, Reznor told The Hollywood Reporter: "I'm about to depart. We don't need the arrogance of the billionaire class to feel like they can just come in and solve everything."Even without him involved, I just find that it has become such a toxic environment. For my mental health, I need to tune out. I don't feel good being there anymore."David SimonThe author, journalist, screenwriter, and producer said he planned to leave.In one tweet Simon said: "To stay is unethical. Fuck Elon Musk; the technobrat can choke on his new toy." —David Simon (@AoDespair) November 9, 2022Liz PhairThe singer-songwriter has deactivated her account.Phair said in her last tweet: "And the band played on… for not much longer. I'm feeling the deck quaking, so I will add my thanks to each and every one of you for the laughs, the learning, the love, the connection and the inspiration. A wonderful experience overall. Timing tbd"David DastmalchianThe film and stage actor, best known for his role as Thomas Schiff in "The Dark Knight," also appears to have deactivated his Twitter account.  Elton JohnThe singer announced on December 9 that he was leaving the social-media platform, citing misinformation and policy concerns."All my life I've tried to use music to bring people together," he said. "Yet it saddens me to see how misinformation is now being used to divide our world."He added, "I've decided to no longer use Twitter, given their recent change in policy which will allow misinformation to flourish unchecked."—Elton John (@eltonofficial) December 9, 2022Musk responded to the singer's tweet saying he was a fan of his music and hoped the singer would return.Jim CarreyCarrey announced he was quitting Twitter on November 29. The actor posted his farewell message to the platform along with a video of his first animation project. "I'm leaving Twitter, but 1st here's a cartoon I made with my friend Jimmy Hayward," he said. Twitter was Carrey's only official social-media account.Adam McKay"The Big Short" screenwriter and director has deactivated his Twitter account.His old Twitter handle, @ghostpanther, no longer exists. One Twitter user posted a picture of a Mastodon account attributed to McKay where he complained about Musk's recent suspension of multiple journalists. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 20th, 2022

A food fight is raging over what we can and can"t call "meat"

Startups that make plant-based foods are battling the meat lobby for the right to describe their products as bacon, burgers or steak. La Vie, Meatless Farm and Huera are among those facing legal challenges. Marianne Ayala/InsiderStartups that make plant-based foods are battling the meat lobby for the right to describe their products as bacon, burgers or steak.Three wiener dogs dressed up as hot dogs stood outside the UK Parliament.That could be the start of a bad joke, but to the man who took the dachshunds there, it was utterly serious.Morten Toft Bech, the founder of a startup that makes plant-based meat alternatives, brought the animals in protest.It was 2020, and the European Parliament was voting on a ban against the use of meat-related words — like sausage, bacon, burger, chicken, and steak — in the names of plant-based food.If the ban had passed, "plant-based sausages" would have needed a different name, perhaps "plant-based tubes." Vegetable burgers might have to be renamed "discs," and plant-based bacon "veggie strips."It was a serious threat to companies like Toft Bech's UK company Meatless Farm, which makes mince, burgers, and "chicken" out of pea, soya, and rice proteins.Meatless Farm's sausage dog campaign outside the UK parliament.Matt Alexander/PAToft Bech put miniature placards next to the dogs saying "What will you call us?" and "I'm not a tube dog," pointing out that dachshunds, known in the UK as sausage dogs, get to use the meat-evoking word "sausage" in their name — so why couldn't plant-based meat substitutes do the same?The ban was rejected, but two years later the debate is far from over."If you look up bacon in the dictionary, it says bacon is cured meat from the back or sides of a pig," said Sarah Morrell, a policy officer at Ulster Farmers' Union, which is seeking to ban plant-based-food companies in Northern Ireland from using "meaty" terms for their products.Unions like hers are on one side of a heated international battle pitting meat-alternative startups — companies often only a few years old, whose backers include wealthy NBA stars and actors — and the millennia-old farming and agriculture industry.Startups are increasingly finding themselves in court as meat lobbies — made up of farming unions, agriculture bodies, and other organizations representing meat producers — try to stop them from using meaty words to describe their products.And they are ready for the fight. "We are not going to get anywhere by sitting and smiling," said Toft Bech.It's not clear which side is winning: Texas lawmakers are considering a ban, while Louisiana struck down a law limiting the use of certain "meat" terms in March. South Africa outlawed the use of meaty names, and its government even planned to seize some artificial meat from store shelves, until a last-minute court order paused the law from being implemented.Meat lobbies argue that plant-based products have stolen the concept of meat without matching its taste and nutrition standards, tarnishing the integrity and cultural importance of meat.On the other hand, companies argue their plant-based products are intuitively called the veggie version of whatever meat they are imitating, and it's only in using terms like sausage that they can signal to consumers which product they're positioning themselves against, and how to cook and eat it.The cost of these legal battles could be the "kiss of death" for startups with limited resources, according to Ivan Farneti, an investor at the venture-capital firm Five Seasons Venture, which has backed the plant-based food company This.An 'insanely large' legal billInvestment in alternative proteins — a catch-all term for nonanimal proteins — has blown up, as concern builds about the environmental and animal welfare impacts of the meat industry.In 2021, European startups lured over $1.1 billion from venture capitalists backing plant-based, fermented, and cultivated protein, as well as edible insects, according to data from PitchBook, which tracks the venture-capital industry. The figure is up from $697 million the previous year.  But legal battles over naming are sucking time and money out of startups that could be focusing on scaling.Meatless Farm's Toft Bech told Insider his company had spent about 5% of its £89 million in venture-capital funding on lawyers looking after its trademarks, as part of a legal bill he describes as "insanely large for the size of company we are". It's defending challenges to its trademark over its use of the word "farm" in its name.What could that money have done "if it dropped down to our bottom line?" he asked.Heura cofounders Bernat Ananos (left) and Marc Coloma.HeuraEvery minute spent on legal cases is less time spent on changing the food system, according to Bernat Añaños, who cofounded Heura, a Spanish startup that makes plant-based meat substitutes and is backed by the NBA star Ricky Rubio. It has raised 36 million euros from Rubio and other backers including the venture firm Unovis Asset Management.Heura took to Instagram to share satirical redesigns of its products if it could no longer use meaty words: Meatballs became pingpong balls, and burgers were renamed "rabbit food you can throw on the barbeque."'It's an intimidation strategy'"Bacon and lardons without mr piggy" is how the French startup La Vie describes its foods. They may look like meat but are made of rehydrated soya protein.La Vie is backed by the actor Natalie Portman and is known for its playful advertising.In July it was among a group of companies — including Nestlé — that succeeded in pausing a French ban on plant-based foods using meat-related names. The ban was the first of its kind to pass in Europe, and was introduced by the former French politician Jean-Baptiste Moreau, a cattle farmer."We were nervous, obviously," said Nicolas Schweitzer, the CEO and cofounder of La Vie. Losing the case would mean rethinking the company's branding, advertising, and packaging — letting products already packaged go to waste — and losing the meat-based names that customers have gotten to know over the years. La Vie was planning to move its manufacturing to Belgium if the ban went ahead.He expects to be back in court at some point next year to challenge the ban again and hopes to have it thrown out.Schweitzer told Insider the meat lobby was "just trying to slow us down.""It's an intimidation strategy," he continued, "and it's not going to work."La Vie has decided to wear its legal battles as a badge of honor. It has hired an in-house lawyer and publishes details of its court cases on its website as part of its marketing.In June, it won a case against France's pork lobby, the French Interprofessional Pork Council, which complained that its advertising was misleading.In a provocative ad in response, La Vie teasingly said, "Thanks for the compliment," adding: "We think your pork lardons are indistinguishable from our veggie lardons. Would you mind changing your recipe?"La Vie's newspaper advert after winning a legal caseLa VieIt was a typical move from 35-year-old Schweitzer, who sees himself as a crusader against meat consumption, with humor as a key weapon."I don't see myself as a militant but as an activist, which is slightly different," he said, explaining that he tried to call for change to the food system "in a quirky and positive way."Adding the "plant-based" qualifier to a name should be enough to make it clear that a product isn't meat, Schweitzer argued. When consumers look at his product, they intuitively call it plant-based bacon, he added."The fact that it's only economic interest," he said, that might prevent his company from referring to its products in the most explicit way, "is just not right."Common senseThe meat industry sees things differently.It tends to argue that plant-based meat alternatives shouldn't be allowed to use meaty terms at all because, put simply, they aren't meat. They don't match it in terms of taste, texture, or nutrition, people in the meat and agriculture industries told Insider.It's confusing and misleading to customers, they said, especially as meat alternatives are increasingly stocked next to animal meat in grocery stores.Bruno Menne, a senior policy advisor at Europe's meat body COPA COGECA, said plant-based foods were "hijacking" the positive marketing that meat had built up over decades. Meat bodies want startups to come up with new terms for plant-based food that imitates meat. "It is a matter of common sense and consistency," José Manuel Alvarez, a representative of Carne y Salud, a group representing Spanish meat organizations.Nutrition is a concern too. Some plant-based products have been criticized for being highly processed.Through that lens, Menne accused his plant-based competitors of hiding behind meaty names that obscure how they're made. "By using that, you manage to avoid actually telling the consumer what is really in your product," he said.A meat-free burger might be high in protein, but "you don't have the same amino acids, the same vitamins, zinc, and phosphorus and so on," he added. Both meat organizations and plant-based companies told Insider they encouraged a healthy, balanced diet.Trading downThe battle over meaty names comes at a precarious time for meat-alternative companies.Despite the boom in investment, meat alternatives are seeing disappointing sales growth and are feeling the pressure of market volatility and inflation, which the PitchBook analyst Alex Frederick said was leading consumers "to trade down" to cheaper proteins like animal meat.Volume sales of meat alternatives in the US are down 12.1% from last year, according to IRI data as of November 6. Europe-wide data isn't readily available.Bans on meat-based names could slow sales further, weakening the case for more investment — investment that is essential to keep developing plant-based products that might rival meat in terms of taste, texture and nutritional value.Farneti of Five Seasons Ventures told Insider that naming restrictions would be a blow to the already difficult job of running these startups. "Founders of startups are swimming in deep water, right?" he said. "Changing these rules makes them swim in mud."'We don't want to destroy our everyday culture'Heura's products include soy-based chicken and chorizo substitutes as well as meatballs made with pea protein. It has been sued for using the word "carne" — Spanish for meat — in advertisements.Añaños, the Heura cofounder, accepts that the legal battles come with the territory. "If we were liked by everyone, we would not be transformative," he said, adding: "These cases will happen because we are shaking up a whole industry, a big part of the economy."Heura FoodsBut he thinks the idea that startups like his are threatening all the things people enjoy about meat is a misunderstanding. "We don't want to destroy our everyday culture," he said. "I love barbecues with my friends. I love my grandma's Christmas dinners. I love everything that is connected to meat, but I hate the consequences of it."He says the state has a role to play in helping meat producers transition toward a "plant-based age," such as by helping farmers swap meat rearing for growing legumes and beans.Despite the animosity, he feels meat producers and plant-based companies will ultimately have to work together: "The climate crisis and the animal crisis is also a challenge of humanity, and either we go together or we will fail — there is no other answer.""It is a shame," Toft Bech said. "I would prefer that we could just get some support, maybe a bit of a regulatory environment that's more supportive of the new rather than just the old status quo."The founder and CEO of vegetarian food company Meatless Farm, Morten Toft Bech.Meatless FarmHe can imagine a future in which animal-based meat dominates the luxury market and plant-based alternatives replace cheaper, everyday meats. He wants Meatless Farm's products to replace middle-market cuts that are mass-produced in industrial farms — not quality, hand-reared meat.Despite the cost and time, startups told Insider the court battles were worth it. "We are fully committed to our vision, so we don't mind the backlash," Schweitzer said. Most companies like his have been launched recently and, unlike the animal-meat industry, don't have millions of lifelong customers or a long cultural history to protect. All they have to defend is their products — and their names. "We have nothing to lose," Schweitzer said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 17th, 2022

At least 17 Republicans are checking out their presidential prospects, diminishing Trump"s shot at getting a free pass for the 2024 nomination

At least 17 Republicans have shown they're interested in the 2024 presidential nomination, even though Trump has already declared he's running. Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak during an event at Mar-a-Lago on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Donald Trump is the only Republican who has made a '24 run official. But many others have been floating the possibility of entering the GOP contest. From Pence to Haley, here's how Republicans are laying the groundwork for presidential runs. It's beginning to look a lot like 2016. Former President Donald Trump is the only Republican so far who has announced a 2024 presidential run, but numerous others are signaling that they're toying with the same idea. They're doing all the things they're supposed to do to test their chances: Visiting early primary states, writing books, showing up on the Sunday shows, campaigning with other Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterms, and weighing in publicly on President Joe Biden's policies — and even Trump's latest controversies. The next step will be hiring teams in Iowa and New Hampshire, Doug Heye, a longtime GOP aide and strategist, told Insider."You have got a stable of people who are essentially putting themselves all in the starting gates and all have their own timetable about when and if they decide to run," he said. December would be a "frustrating month" for political watchers because "no one is going to move that much," said Kristin Davison, vice president and general consultant at Axiom Strategies. But hopefuls would be floating what she called "trial balloons" — in which they publicly raise the prospect of a run to see how donors and the press will react. Whoever seizes the nomination will likely face Biden, though he has yet to formally declare his candidacy. But, Heye said, "it's a real possibility" that the GOP lineup will be large like it was in 2016.The stakes for losing the nomination aren't all bad, even if Republicans might come out of it with an unforgettable Trump nickname. After all, one of the people running for president could end up getting chosen as running mate or get a seat on the new president's Cabinet.And there are other perks to formally seeking the White House, such as raising one's profile and having a better shot at the presidency during a future cycle. Candidates could also wind up selling a lot more books or leave politics to get a prime TV or radio show. "It's a long, difficult process," Heye said, "and you're more likely to lose than not."Trump's legal, political, and personal liabilities have been piling up in the last month, leading many in the GOP to say the party needs not just a fresh face but to be led by a candidate who can actually win. Insider identified 17 people who could seek the Republican nomination in 2024, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Tim Scott of South Carolina who are up for re-election this cycle and will therefore be in campaign mode anyway. Each will have to effectively answer the "why I'm running for president" question and find their lane in the party — which will inevitably include defining, or redefining, their relationship with Trump. "I don't think you can discount any of them at this point," Heye said. "It's too early to determine who outside of Trump is a frontrunner." Scroll through to see the lawmakers listed here in alphabetical order. Outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney of WyomingRep. Liz Cheney, a Republican of Wyoming, campaigned with Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat of Michigan, at an Evening for Patriotism and Bipartisanship event on November 1, 2022 in East Lansing, Michigan.Bill Pugliano/Getty ImagesCheney, 56, is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and one of Trump's toughest Republican critics.She voted to impeach Trump after the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, and served as vice chair of the House select committee investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.Cheney's actions have come at a cost under the heavy weight of Trump's ire. House Republicans punished her by stripping her of her leadership post, and she lost her US House seat to Trump-backed GOP challenger Harriet Hageman during the state's August primary.But she hasn't been deterred. Cheney said on NBC's "Today" that she would do "whatever it takes" to keep Trump out of the White House in 2024, including "thinking about" running for president herself. "I wouldn't be surprised to see her run for president," Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told Insider in August. Cheney voted with Trump on policy when he was in office, and remains a conservative, telling the Reagan Foundation and Institute in June that she believes "deeply in the policies of limited government, of low taxes, of a strong national defense." But Cheney said she sees a breaking point with the Republican Party, telling the Texas Tribune Festival in September that she would leave the GOP if Trump became the 2024 nominee.This could mean she'd run for president as an Independent. Already, she has shown she's willing to campaign against Republicans who falsely deny that Biden won the 2020 presidential election.This year, Cheney converted her House campaign finance committee into an anti-election denier leadership PAC called The Great Task. The PAC spent $500,000 on a TV ad in Arizona that urged voters to reject Republicans Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, who were running for governor and secretary of state, respectively. During the 2022 midterms, Cheney endorsed incumbent Democratic Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia. Both won their races. "We had to make sure that we prevented election deniers from taking power," she told The Washington Post's Global Women's Summit in November. Many outsiders see long odds for Cheney, though a poll conducted in Utah found she could be a top contender there. Outgoing Rep. Adam Kinzinger of IllinoisRep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., speaks as the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol holds a hearing in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteLike Cheney, Kinzinger, 44, has spent much of the last year focused on the January 6 committee and drawing Trump's ire. He's the only other Republican on the House committee investigating the riot, and will be retiring from his seat at the end of this Congress, after six terms. Kinzinger told HuffPost in April that he "would love" to run against Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination, but more for the fun of it than to actually win."Even if he crushed me, like in a primary, to be able to stand up and call out the garbage is just a necessary thing, regardless of who it is," he said. "I think it'd be fun."In a move that could be signaling he's planning on doing just that, Kinzinger in early 2021 launched his anti-election denier leadership PAC, called Country First. Kinzinger sponsored several bills that became law, including measures to prevent opioid addiction and a bill to help veterans with medic training transition to EMT work as civilians. Kinzinger served in the Air Force and remains a pilot in the Air National Guard. Sen. Ted Cruz of TexasSen. Ted Cruz, a Republican of Texas, speaks at a rally for Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker on November 10, 2022 in Canton, Georgia.Megan Varner/Getty ImagesCruz, 51, was the last Republican standing against Trump during the 2016 presidential nomination and had even announced that he'd pick former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate. But Cruz — whom Trump nicknamed "Lyin' Ted" — lost following a nasty primary in which Trump levied highly personal attacks against the senator, including disparaging his wife's looks and falsely suggesting that Cruz's father had something to do with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Once Trump was in office, however, Cruz was one of the president's  biggest defenders. He voted to overturn the 2020 election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania and helped to secure Trump's acquittal in his second impeachment trial. In recent months, Cruz has been spending time in New Hampshire and campaigned with retired football star Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate runoff. While in the Senate, Cruz led the successful effort to zero out the unpopular fine on the uninsured created by the Affordable Care Act.More recently, Cruz used Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearing to score points for a potential 2024 run, questioning her about school curriculum on race. Before coming to Congress, Cruz was solicitor general in Texas, a role that involves arguing cases before the Supreme Court. When Insider asked whether Trump's latest missteps had provided an opening for him to jump into the 2024 presidential race, Cruz chuckled a bit before laying out what sounded like a near-term agenda. "I think the Senate is the battleground … and I'm going to do everything I can to lead the fight right here," Cruz told Insider before launching into a tirade about his mounting frustration with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision making. He made no specific mention of 2024, but also didn't work in the word "no" anywhere.Cruz told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas that he'll seek reelection in Texas in 2024 when his term is up, though state law allows him to run for both offices at the same time.Former Gov. Chris Christie of New JerseyFormer New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Las Vegas.John Locher/AP PhotoChristie, 60, is famously said to have missed his moment for the White House because he didn't run for president when he was getting a lot of attention as New Jersey's governor in 2012, and instead fizzled out in 2016 when faced with Trump and numerous other contenders. But that hasn't stopped him from weighing another go at it. As recently as October, during an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher," Christie confirmed that he was considering a 2024 run.  In the last 18 months, Christie has been prominently involved in midterm campaigning and on the same speech circuit as other GOP hopefuls, including the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. He also put out a book in 2021, titled "Republican Rescue: Saving the Party From Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden." Christie served two terms as a Republican governor in a blue state where Democrats controlled the legislature. In that role, he expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and passed bail reform.But he got flak over a handshake with then-President Barack Obama during Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and was hurt politically after members of his administration created traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge.Christie became a lobbyist in 2020, when he had several healthcare clients but cut ties a year later, according to the lobbying disclosure database, in what could be a sign that he's lining up for a run.   Today, Christie blames Trump for the GOP's losses the last three election cycles and spent months saying Republicans "have to be the party of tomorrow, not the party of yesterday" if they ever want to win another election. His tone on Trump is a stunning turnaround for a man who was one of Trump's closest outside advisors when he was in the White House and was even on the shortlist to be Trump's chief of staff. Christie turned on Trump after January 6, saying the president violated his oath of office. More recently, he told The New York Times that Trump's candidacy was "untenable" and that the former president had had "poor judgement" after he dined at Mar-a-Lago with white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. He also told the Washington Examiner that Republicans "fail the leadership test" when they don't call out Trump. Gov. Ron DeSantis of FloridaRepublican gubernatorial candidate for Florida Ron DeSantis speaks during an election night watch party at the Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, on November 8, 2022.Giorgio VIERA / AFP via Getty ImagesDeSantis, 44, has an enviable mantle for the presidency in the Florida governor's office — and he's making the most of it. He famously and unapologetically reopened Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic, before federal health officials said he should. He banned certain teachings on race in workplaces and schools, and flew unsuspecting migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. DeSantis also signed a contentious parental involvement and sex ed bill into law that critics call "Don't Say Gay." Instead of backing down over the outcry, he punished Disney for threatening to repeal it.Then there were the historic tax cuts in Florida with promises of more as well as viral videos bashing what he calls the "corporate media." All of these actions have portrayed the governor as a fighter. That's not the only part of his public persona on display. Often in tow is his beautiful, young family. His former newscaster wife, Florida's first lady Casey DeSantis, has been instrumental in his rise. To the New York Post, pictures of the DeSantis family on Election Night was "DeFuture." Others see a conservative JFK. But the politician DeSantis most often gets compared to is Trump. Numerous news profiles have described DeSantis as "Trump without the baggage," or as a more disciplined Trump. Yet after leaning on Trump during his first gubernatorial victory in 2018, DeSantis showed he could win big on his own, scoring a historic, 20-point victory in Florida in November without Trump's endorsement.As for presidential clues, DeSantis is also out with his first memoir in February: "The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival." During the midterms, he extended goodwill to other Republicans by campaigning with them. Back at home, he raked in a record amount of cash for a gubernatorial race. If the GOP primary were decided today, numerous polls show, DeSantis is the only person that gets close to Trump. DeSantis, a former conservative House member, has not pledged to serve out all four years of his second term. All of that has angered Trump. He has called DeSantis "Ron DeSanctimonious" and threatened to release damaging information about the governor. DeSantis has refused to punch back at Trump publicly, instead blaming the media and saying, "When you're leading, when you're getting things done, you take incoming fire."South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemSouth Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, on July 11, 2021.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesNoem, 51, has been on a Trump-related roller coaster ride as of late. In January 2021, the embattled former president tried to get her to primary fellow South Dakota Sen. John Thune, a lawmaker Trump took to calling a RINO (which stands for "Republican in name only") after Thune balked at his baseless claims of election fraud. Noem bowed out of joining Trump's revenge campaign, opting to focus on her own re-election plans. Once 2022 rolled around, she leaned hard into the GOP culture wars, promising voters that she'd bar transgender athletes from participating in women's sports, stamp out any "critical race theory" instruction in local schools, and decimate any "radical political ideologies" that annoyed her evangelical Christian base.Come July, Noem told CNN she'd be "shocked" if Trump tapped her to be his 2024 running mate. But she didn't rule out sliding into the VP slot — or mounting a challenge of her own. Since winning a second term in November, Noem has started taking on bigger foes, including the People's Republic of China. —Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) November 30, 2022 Her state government-wide ban against the use of social media app TikTok scored her fawning interviews on conservative outlets including Fox News and Newsmax, beaming her into the homes of potential admirers who don't happen to reside in the Mount Rushmore State. Noem seems far less enthusiastic about Trump these days, telling reporters that the twice-impeached, scandal-plagued former president isn't Republicans' "best chance" at retaking the White House in 2024. She issued this prediction just days after Trump announced he was running again.  Former UN Ambassador Nikki HaleyFormer UN Ambassador Nikki Haley during a news conference in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.Matt Rourke/AP PhotoHaley, 50, has made it clear she's interested in the presidency. At the Republican Jewish Coalition in November, she told the crowd she was thinking about a presidential run "in a serious way" and would announce a decision "soon.""I've won tough primaries and tough general elections," she said. "I've been the underdog every single time. When people underestimate me, it's always fun. But I've never lost an election. And I'm not going to start now." The remarks were a turnaround from Haley's comments last year, when she said she wouldn't run for president if Trump were to seek the White House in 2024. Haley said at a Turning Point USA event that she'd take the winter holidays to make a decision. Early in her career, Haley joined her family's clothing business before leading the National Association of Women Business Owners.She served in the South Carolina House for three terms then was the state's governor for six years. In that time Haley delivered the GOP response to Obama's 2016 State of the Union Address.She pushed for the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol after a gunman killed nine Black people at Emanuel Church in Charleston. Also as governor, Haley would not support a bill requiring transgender people to use the restroom that corresponded with the gender on their birth certificate. But in 2021 she wrote a commentary in the National Review saying transgender inclusion in sports was an "attack on women's rights."Haley was UN Ambassador under Trump for two years, and successfully pushed for the US to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and defended Trump's decision to do so.In 2019 she published a memoir, "With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace." Her experiences give her the coveted pairing of having both executive and foreign policy chops, which are often viewed as crucial to the presidency. Aside from Trump and Pence, few other contenders would have such a profile. As a woman of Indian descent, she could also help bring in suburban women voters who graduated from college and expand the GOP coalition among people of color. Her nonprofit group, called Stand for America, Inc., is seen as a campaign in waiting and raised about $8.6 million in 2021, according to Politico. And she founded the Stand for America PAC after her time in the Trump administration. Haley campaigned and fundraised in high-profile races during the 2022 midterms, including in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Haley told the National Republican Committee the day after the January 6 riot that Trump was "badly wrong" in his speech to supporters and that his "actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history." Sen. Josh Hawley of MissouriSenator Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks during the confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on March 22, 2022.JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)Hawley, 42, has reached for the spotlight whenever possible while Congress is in session.From famously saluting the January 6 protestors on the day of the violent siege at the Capitol to holding Brown Jackson's feet to the fire as she raced to join the Supreme Court, the first-term lawmaker works to portray himself as the perennial outsider who's only here to shake things up. He's played up the part by voting to overturn the 2020 election results on behalf of MAGA vote-magnet Trump, butting heads with McConnell on the way the upper chamber is run, and blaming short-sighted leaders for running the party into the ground. "When your 'agenda' is cave to Big Pharma on insulin, cave to Schumer on gun control & Green New Deal ('infrastructure'), and tease changes to Social Security and Medicare, you lose," Hawley, bemoaned on Twitter following a demoralizing midterms performance by flawed GOP candidates, which he blamed on "Washington Republicanism." The potential 2024 contender followed up with some suggestions, floating an alternative vision he said would help "unrig the system."   "What are Republicans actually going to do for working people? How about, to start: tougher tariffs on China, reshore American jobs, open up American energy full throttle, 100k new cops on the street," Hawley, who was also Missouri's former attorney general, tossed out on his social media feed. Asked by Insider about his intentions of formally jumping into the 2024 presidential race, Hawley laughed out loud for a few seconds. "I hope to run for reelection to the Senate in 2024. If the people of Missouri will have me," he said. Nowhere in there did Hawley say "no." Outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan of MarylandGov. Larry Hogan of Maryland.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesEven before the bruising 2022 midterms, Hogan, 66, was warning that Republicans couldn't continue down the path they are on. "I am not about to give up on the Republican party or America," he wrote on Twitter in early December. "None of us can. It's too important."The two-term governor who beat a 2015 cancer scare has been fired up about plotting his next act. Hogan, a centrist Republican, is already making the rounds in early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. A nonprofit group aligned with him reported raising $2 million in 2021, some of which was spent on "supporter acquisition" and "audience building." And Hogan recently scored some face time with GOP mega donors at this year's Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting — mentioning to political reporters covering the event that he and other potential 2024 hopefuls were there because "maybe there's a little blood in the water." Trump was notably absent at the event, but did video-conference in. As governor, Hogan signed a gun control bill into law and has said that while he opposed abortion, he wouldn't move to gut the state's guarantee on reproductive rights. During the COVID-19 pandemic he instituted a statewide mask mandate, then lifted restrictions in May 2021. While he has yet to formally declare a 2024 run, Hogan has begun billing himself as a "commonsense conservative" who GOP voters sick of losing may want to consider."I think there are 10 people who want to be the next Donald Trump, and I think there may be a different lane," Hogan said while stumping in Manchester, New Hampshire, adding, "I'm going to do everything I can to get the country back on track." He cast a write-in vote for Reagan in the 2020 election and called for Trump to be impeached or resign after January 6. Outgoing Gov. Asa Hutchinson of ArkansasArkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson attends the National Governors Association summer meeting, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Portland, Maine.Robert F. Bukaty/AP PhotoHutchinson, 72, hasn't been shy about criticizing Biden or Trump. After Trump's 2024 announcement, he said the former president's "self-indulging message promoting anger has not changed," and also disavowed the Fuentes and Ye meeting at Mar-a-Lago.Hutchinson has taken at least five trips to Iowa through America Strong & Free, the nonprofit of which he's the honorary chairman and spokesperson."I am seriously looking at a run in 2024 because America and the Republican Party are not in the best place," he said in a statement provided to Insider. "I know how to get us back on track both in terms of leadership and facing the challenging issues of border security, increased violent crime and energy inflation." He'll make a decision in January, he told KARK.As governor for the last eight years, he has pushed to make the state a leader in computer science, and signed several tax cuts into law, including lowering the state income tax rate from 7% to 4.9%. Hutchinson also signed bills into law blocking businesses from requiring customers and workers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, and blocked state and local officials from obligating masks — a move he later said he regretted. He asked state lawmakers to create a carve-out for schools, but the Arkansas House rejected the proposal. While he signed an abortion ban into law in 2019 that took effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, he said on CNN that he personally believes in exceptions for rape and incest."Many out there appreciate a 'consistent conservative,' even one they don't agree with all the time," Hutchinson told Insider. "I am not interested in the 'outrage of the day,' and I am committed to using my consistent conservative principles to guide me and our nation on important policy decisions." Hutchinson began his government career as a US attorney for the Western District of Arkansas under President Ronald Reagan, then went on to serve in the US House for three terms. President George W. Bush tapped him to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration, after which he served as undersecretary in the Department of Homeland Security. He has criticized Biden on illegal immigration, inflation, student loan forgiveness, and said on CNN that the president's September speech about democracy "singled out a segment of Americans and said basically they're our enemy."Hutchinson also has the distinction of being especially press friendly at a time when numerous Republicans have copied Trump's style of lashing out against journalists. "The media plays an important role in our democracy," Hutchinson told Insider. "I've never shied away from tough questions, and I have always been willing to defend my positions and conservative principles with the hard questions coming from the press."Former Vice President Mike PenceFormer Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition on Friday, November 18, 2022, in Las Vegas.John Locher/AP PhotoPence, 63, has begun to distance himself from his former boss, while also promoting his new book, "So Help Me God." He told ABC's "World News Tonight" that Trump "decided to be part of the problem" by not immediately calling off the insurrectionists during the January 6 riot, after he declined to help invalidate Biden's lawful win. Pence also pushed back against Trump on WVOC in South Carolina after he called for terminating the Constitution, and came out forcefully after Trump had dinner with Fuentes."President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti-Semite, and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table," he said on November 28. An adviser to the former vice president told Insider that, should Pence decide to run, the team has discussed several policy areas to differentiate himself, including Trump's bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, the First Step Act, and that he'll continue to be "very outspoken on the issue of life."In contrast, Trump didn't mention his three Supreme Court picks when he announced his 2024 presidential run, even though they helped overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that previously guaranteed a national right to abortion. Pence wouldn't have to worry about name ID during a presidential run. Still, his new book and a campaign would allow him to reintroduce himself to voters by talking about his work in the US House and then as governor of Indiana. He already has made numerous trips to early primary states New Hampshire and South Carolina. Further, he'll be able to amplify policies that carried his fingerprints during the Trump administration, including his oversight of the US's pandemic response.Pence was a sought-after midterm surrogate, traveling to dozens of states. In May, he went to Georgia to help incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp beat Trump-backed primary challenger David Perdue.Pence's vision for the future of the party is laid out in his Freedom Agenda and Advancing American Freedom, the nonprofit aligned with him that serves as a type of campaign in waiting. The policies include reducing mail-in voting and implementing universal school choice, which allows public education funds to pay for K-12 students to select alternatives to public schools. While Pence didn't testify before the January 6 select committee, his senior aides including former chief of staff Marc Short and legal advisor J. Michael Luttig walked investigators through some of the scenarios that led up to the attack. In November, Pence said on Fox's "Hannity" that he would make a 2024 decision after discussing it with his family during the holidays. Former Secretary of State Mike PompeoFormer Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Friday, November 18, 2022, in Las Vegas.John Locher/AP PhotoPompeo, 58, told Chicago donors in September that he already had teams in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.His outside campaign in waiting is called Champion American Values Fund, and Pompeo has been doing press appearances to talk about his forthcoming book, "Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love." Pompeo represented Kansas in the US Congress and was also former CIA director under Trump. After the end of the administration, he lost weight, which sparked speculation that he was interested in a White House run. Similar to Haley, Pompeo would enter the contest with a foreign policy background. He has openly criticized Biden, including after the president's September speech on protecting democracy. "He essentially said if you're pro-life or you're opposed to a certain set of policies, you're a threat," Pompeo told the New England Council's "Politics and Eggs" breakfast.  Biden, he said at the event, could be summed up as having "woke ideas, weak resolve, and waffling leadership."Trump should not have taken classified documents to Mar-a-Lago, he said, but added that the "raid on Mar-a-Lago was indecent and improper." Pompeo told conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt in November that Trump's announcement wouldn't affect whether he decides to run for president, adding that he'd make a determination in the spring. "We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward," Pompeo said, "not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood." Sen. Marco Rubio of FloridaWilfredo Lee/AP PhotoRubio, 51, has come out hot after cruising to a third term in November, castigating GOP leaders for totally blowing the midterms. "We have a historically unpopular Dem President, record inflation, a violent crime wave & total chaos at the border & not only did we fail to win a majority, we lost a seat. And the Senate GOP response is going to be to make no changes?" Rubio fumed in a December 7 Twitter post. His anger hadn't abated when Insider caught up with him at the US Capitol. "I don't know how you come back from what we have just encountered and conclude that the status quo and business as usual is how we want to proceed," Rubio said of the need for drastic changes within the GOP. While conceding that he doesn't have "all those answers," Rubio suggested that Senate Republicans take a hard look at "the mechanics of elections, policy, the legislative agenda, and all of that." "I think that's something we should all be involved in talking about," Rubio said of the sorely needed soul searching. Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, was speaker of the Florida House before heading to Washington. He has sponsored numerous bills that have become law, including doubling the child tax credit and co-authoring the Paycheck Protection Program that helped keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.On top of that, he's got a powerful perch as the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee. Political operatives have credited him with helping the GOP grow its influence with Hispanic voters, NBC News reported. Asked by Insider whether he had it in him to take another run at the former president after getting clobbered by the insult-flinging Trump in 2016, Rubio said he just really needs to take a breath. "We'll have time over the holidays and into the new year to sort of focus on everything going on in my life and here in the Senate," Rubio told Insider, adding that he hasn't "really focused in on" returning to the presidential proving grounds at the moment. Perhaps voters will learn more about future plans in his forthcoming book, "Decades of Decadence." Sen. Tim Scott of South CarolinaSen. Tim Scott, a Republican of South Carolkina, speaks at a fundraiser in Anderson, South Carolina on August 22, 2022.Meg Kinnard/AP Photo, FileScott, 57, hinted at a presidential bid during his midterms victory speech, even though he previously said he wouldn't run against Trump. "My grandfather voted for the first man of color to be elected as president of the United States," he said on November 8, referring to the vote his grandfather cast for Obama. "I wish he had lived long enough to see perhaps another man of color elected president of the United States. But this time, let it be a Republican and not just a Democrat. So just know: All things are possible in America."Scott, who previously served in the US House, is the only Black Republican in the Senate. He said his six-year term in the Senate beginning in January will be his last, but he hasn't ruled out a presidential run and is making all the right moves to position himself for the undertaking. Despite his own election, he has taken several trips to Iowa and spent time campaigning on behalf of other Republicans. He also released a memoir, "America, a Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity" and is one of the top fundraisers in the Senate — which includes support from small and online donors — even though he defended a safe seat this cycle.Major donors have contributed to Opportunity Matters Fun, a pro-Scott super PAC.Scott was among those leading the push for the successful passage of the bipartisan First Step Act and his measure to create Opportunity Zones that bring private investments into economically distressed communities was part of the 2017 tax reform law. He garnered national interest after delivering the GOP response to Biden's address to Congress in April. Afterward, McConnell said the senator represented "the future of the Republican Party." Scott has been open about the racism he has faced over the course of his life. "I get called Uncle Tom and the n-word by progressives, by liberals," he said in response to Biden's address. He has shared that police have pulled him over numerous times, despite him not violating any traffic laws. He sat down with Trump at the White House to discuss systemic racism and publicly called on Trump to call back certain statements he made on race. Haley, who was South Carolina governor at the time, appointed Scott to the Senate in 2013 after the seat opened up. Miami Mayor Francis SuarezTaylor Hill / Contributor Getty ImagesSuarez, 45, confirmed in October that he's considering a presidential run."It's something that I would consider given the right circumstances and given the right mood of the country," Suarez said at a Punchbowl News event. Miami has been getting a lot of attention given the surge of people moving to Florida — and tech companies and crypto startups in particular headed to Miami under Suarez's encouragement. He even told Twitter CEO Elon Musk that he should consider relocating the company's headquarters from San Francisco.Suarez's office sent over a list of accomplishments for the mayor, saying the city was No. 1 in job and wage growth, and had 1.4% unemployment. The Financial Times called Miami "the most important city in America." The mayor made historic increases to the city's police department, increased funding on climate-resistant infrastructure, and passed a rental tax credit for seniors. Suarez didn't vote for Trump during the 2020 election and in the 2018 gubernatorial race in Florida he voted for Democrat Andrew Gillum over DeSantis. But Suarez said Trump also has been kind to him. The two spoke at a wedding recently, he said, and Trump told him he was the "hottest politician in America after him.""I don't know if he meant physically hot or if he meant I was getting a lot of buzz," Suarez said. "But he was very nice." Suarez is of Cuban descent and leads the National Conference of Mayors. When asked about how he might stand out in a presidential race, Suarez said he might be able to speak to "a variety of minority communities that are going to be important if Republicans want to grow their base for a generation." Gov. Chris Sununu of New HampshireGov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire.Jon Cherry/Getty Images for ConcordiaSununu, 48, was just reelected to a fourth term in New Hampshire, where governors are reelected every two years and there are no term limits. "I haven't ruled anything in or out," he told Politico's "Playbook Deep Dive" podcast when asked about running for president in 2024. "I haven't ruled out a fifth term. I haven't ruled out running for higher office."Sununu is a centrist Republican who has the distinction of being in favor of abortion rights, at a time when many states are banning abortion. He came close to running for the US Senate in 2022, but told the Washington Examiner that other senators told him their main job was to be a "roadblock" in office — and he wasn't interested in that.Sununu also called Trump "fucking crazy" at the Gridiron dinner, a journalism event. "Let's stop supporting crazy, unelectable candidates in our primaries and start getting behind winners that can close the deal in November," Sununu said in November at Republican Jewish Coalition meeting.He told the Washington Examiner after the midterms that there should be new GOP leadership — not just in the White House but inside the Republican National Committee."Did they achieve on the level of results that we all thought we were going to get?" he asked. "No. So, why would we stick with the same team assuming we're going to get a better result?"Sununu is part of a political dynasty. His father was governor of New Hampshire who then went on to work in the George H.W. Bush administration as chief of staff. His brother was in the US House and US Senate. Gov. Glenn Youngkin of VirginiaGov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia.AP Photo/Steve Helber, FileYoungkin, 56, tried his hand at playing kingmaker in over a dozen 2022 gubernatorial contests and mostly came up short. The newly-minted Republican who rocketed to stardom in late 2021 by keeping Virginia purplish with his electrifying win over Democratic fixture Terry McAuliffe tried to work that same Trump-light magic into contests all around the country. The result: only four of the 15 Republican gubernatorial candidates Youngkin got involved with won their races. It's unclear whether Youngkin had any effect on the reelection bids of blowout winners like Kemp or Noem.By the same token, it's debatable whether he could have dragged Lake, Michigan's Tudor Dixon, or any of the other 2020 election deniers across the finish line given their full-on embrace of Trumpism. While he remains reluctant to badmouth the embattled former president, Youngkin clinched his 2021 win by keeping Trump at bay while still reaching out to the MAGA base. Trump, on the other hand, has tried to take full credit for Youngkin's win and lashed out at the newcomer for not being more appreciative. Trump's already working on trying to clip a Youngkin presidential bid from ever taking wing, panning him and DeSantis as ingrates who have no chance of beating him. Trump also reverted to his old tricks after the politically damaging 2022 midterms flop, hitting Youngkin with a bizarre, racist rant on Truth Social. Given that Virginia only allows governors to serve non-consecutive terms, it makes sense for Youngkin to seek opportunities elsewhere.The Washington Post reported that Youngkin spent part of his summer huddling with Republican mega donors in New York. And while he remains mum on any official plans for 2024, Politico said Youngkin's putting in place the types of fundraising groups a presidential candidate would want to have at the ready.Youngkin is a former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group. As governor, his first official action was to sign an executive order prohibiting Virginia schools from teaching "critical race theory." More recently, he's been pushing to reimburse individuals and businesses who paid fines for violating state COVID-19 restrictions under his Democratic predecessor.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 10th, 2022

Quinn: We Are Trapped In "A Truman Show" Directed By Psychopaths

Quinn: We Are Trapped In 'A Truman Show' Directed By Psychopaths Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World. Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.” – Aldous Huxley – Letter to George Orwell about 1984 in 1949 “There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution” ― Aldous Huxley When I step back from the day-to-day minutia and trivialities flooding my senses from all directions and media devices, it almost appears as if I’m living in a highly scripted reality TV program where the characters and plots are designed to create passions and reactions to support whatever narrative is being weaved by those directing the show. Huxley really did foresee the future as clearly and concisely as anyone could, decades before his dystopian vision came to fruition. Orwell’s boot on the face vision is only now being initiated because a few too many critical thinkers have awoken from their pharmaceutically induced stupor and begun to question the plotline of this spectacle masquerading as our reality. The mass formation psychosis infecting the weak-minded masses; relentless mass propaganda designed to mislead, misinform, and brainwash a dumbed down and government indoctrinated populace; and complete control of the story line through media manipulation, regulation, and censorship of the truth; has run its course. As Charles Mackay stated 180 years ago, the masses go mad as a herd, but only regain their senses slowly, and one by one. My recognition that the world seems to be scripted and directed by Machiavellian managers, working behind a dark shroud, representing an invisible governing authority, molding our minds, suggesting our ideas, dictating our tastes, and creating fear, triggered a recollection of the 1998 Jim Carrey movie – The Truman Show. The movie, directed by Peter Weir (Gallipoli, Witness, Dead Poet’s Society), had the surreal feel of Forest Gump, while beckoning the horrendous introduction of reality TV (Big Brother, Survivor), which poisons our shallow unserious society to this day. The plot of the movie focuses on individuality versus conformity, consumerism, voyeurism, reality versus manipulation, false narratives, the truth about the American Dream, and the dangers of surveillance in a technologically advanced society. Truman Burbank is the unsuspecting star of The Truman Show, a reality television program filmed 24/7 through thousands of hidden cameras and broadcast to a worldwide audience. Christof, the show’s creator seeks to capture Truman’s authentic emotions and give audiences a relatable everyman. Truman has been the unsuspecting star of the show since he was born 30 years prior. Truman’s hometown of Seahaven Island is a complete set built within an enormous dome, populated by crew members and actors who highlight the product placements that generate revenue for the show. The elaborate set allows Christof to control almost every aspect of Truman’s life, including the weather. The picture-perfect home, with picket fence and plastic people, is an attempt to convince Truman he is living the American Dream rather than in an inescapable dystopian techno-prison. To prevent Truman from discovering his false reality, Christof manufactures scenarios that dissuade Truman’s desire for exploration, such as the “death” of his father in a sea storm to instill aquaphobia, and by constantly broadcasting and printing messages of the dangers of traveling and the virtues of staying home. One cannot but acknowledge the plotline to keep Truman under control, obedient, and locked down in his controlled environment, with no escape hatch visible, as exactly the plotline used by our overlords during the Covid scam. Using fear to regulate your subjects is a familiar theme used by those controlling the narrative and pulling the strings behind the scenes of our glorious democracy of dystopia. The first task was to instill fear into the masses through fake videos, fake medical experts spewing fake “facts”, denying the reality masks, social distancing, and locking down the world did not stop a microscopic virus, while suppressing treatments which were clearly safe and effective (ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine) and forcing Fauci’s remdesivir and ventilators on patients – insuring their deaths. Truman’s life was built upon lies, deception, and fake narratives, controlled by a tyrannical director putting on a show to please his bosses and maximize profits. We are experiencing the same reality today. Since March 2020 we have been trapped in a dystopian reality show based on lies, deception, and fake narratives about a weaponized virus created in a lab funded by Anthony Fauci and utilized to further the totalitarian Great Reset agenda of Schwab, Gates and their ilk, while maximizing the profits of Pfizer, TV networks and filling the pockets of politicians, shills, and apparatchiks willing to sellout the people of our country for thirty pieces of silver. As the Truman Show approached its 30th anniversary, Truman began discovering unusual elements, such as a spotlight falling out of the sky in front of his house and a radio channel that precisely described his movements. He began to awaken to the fact he was nothing but a peculiarity trapped in a cage and constantly deterred from escaping at every turn, for the good of the show. He lived in a scripted world of conformity, where questioning the plot was not allowed, and the masses just played their parts. This is exactly how a dictatorship without tears uses technology, pharmaceuticals, and psychological manipulation to convince the masses to love their servitude. This is the reality show we have been living in during this 21st Century dictatorship dystopia of dunces. But this psychological phenomenon is not new to mankind, as Plato described an ancient Truman Show analog in the 6th Century with his Allegory of the Cave. The nature of human beings has not changed across the trials and tribulations of history. In the allegory, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality but are not an accurate representation of the real world. An enlightened man is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand the shadows on the wall are not reality. The ignorant inmates do not desire to leave their prison/cave, for it is the only life they know, and they fear reality. The fire and the puppets, used to create shadows, are controlled by artists. Plato indicates the fire is also the political doctrine taught by a nation state. The artists use light and shadows to indoctrinate the masses with the dominant doctrines of the times. Few humans ever escape the cave. Most humans will remain at the bottom of the cave, with a small few elevated as major artists, to project the shadows keeping the masses disoriented, confused and fearful. “Whereas the truth is that the State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed, and the State in which they are most eager, the worst.” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave “Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance, but hostile to anyone who points it out.” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave The State is run by an eager group of psychopaths who are hell bent on destroying our civil society and common culture on behalf of globalists attempting to implement their Great Reset agenda, and enforcing it through technological surveillance, mind control through propaganda messaging, and strict management of the daily plot via mainstream media and social media censorship of the truth. As Plato contemplated fifteen centuries ago, most men will remain in their cave, believing shadows presented by their overlords is reality, never questioning their servitude or seeking the truth. Never has this fact been truer than during this covid pandemic reality show directed by our Christof – mass murderer Anthony Fauci. The willful ignorance of the masses was assumed by the covid controllers who cast shadows of fear and death on the cave walls of the locked down extras in this well-orchestrated reality show. Using a purposefully misleading PCR test to vastly overestimate “cases”, paying hospitals to classify all deaths as covid, and having the propaganda professionals at CNN, MSNBC and Fox showing Covid Death Counters on their screens 24/7 to terrify the masses into compliance was the Covid Show. Once the fear level was ramped to eleven on the control dial, the producers of this show introduced the miraculous Big Pharma vaccine antidote to save the day. Their script was so believable they were able to convince over 5 billion members of their captive audience to inject themselves with an untested, unproven genetic therapy, that didn’t prevent you from catching, transmitting, getting sick, being hospitalized, or dying from the Fauci funded Wuhan lab produced virus. But, as a dramatic twist to the tale, it seems the “vaccine” causes myocarditis, blood clots, infertility, miscarriages, heart attacks, cancer, and sudden death. Despite the obvious dangers and failures of these “vaccines”, those bullied into getting jabbed became so comfortable in their ignorance, they were easily persuaded to hate the unjabbed and wish for their deaths. Orwell’s “Two Minutes of Hate” was extended for over a year and continues to this day. Rather than think critically and question why annual flu cases averaged 35 million per year prior to 2020 but dropped to near ZERO during the covid “emergency”, the cave dwellers lashed out in anger at anyone questioning the plot, because to admit they were duped would destroy their self-esteem and decrease their virtue signal credits. The annual flu didn’t disappear. Covid was the annual flu, with a multi-billion-dollar marketing campaign. This wasn’t a pandemic, but an IQ test, and most people failed miserably. But the critical thinking unvaxxed are still considered the enemy of the state, especially since they have been proven right. Whether we are trapped in an artificial world produced in a dome, cave, or our current technologically advanced surveillance propaganda state, the goal of those controlling our false reality is to take away our freedoms, crush dissent, keep us ignorant of the truth, and treat us as plebs to be taxed and molded. Christof, whose name is supposed to invoke him being a god-like figure ruling over Truman’s world, declares Truman could discover the truth and leave at any time, while using every diabolical trick to keep that from ever happening, because his show generated revenues exceeding the GDP of a small country. Truman and ourselves are essentially prisoners in a vast production, and our overlords believe it is their duty to convince us to love our servitude and prefer our cells, because it is financially beneficial to the overlords and their crew. Our world is not fake, but it is tightly controlled by those running the show. Seemingly random events, plots, and subplots are manipulated to generate specific emotions and reactions by the public in order to achieve the objectives of those benefitting from the various storylines. They are molding our minds and forming our tastes through psychological and technological manipulation of our daily existence. Christof explained why most rarely discover the truth or question the world they live in – “We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented. It’s as simple as that.” We have allowed men we have never seen to dictate how we live our lives, the choices we make, and which politicians and “experts” to believe, without ever putting in the effort to understand why we are being prodded to do so. We are locked in a self-imposed prison of desires, emotions, and needs through mass media messaging and a constant barrage of advertisements. Conformity and obedience are the desired traits sought by the ruling class, while individuality and skepticism are frowned upon and punished through social ostracism. We are conditioned from birth to believe what they tell us to believe. Government school indoctrination and mass media misinformation does the trick. Distracted by our techno-gadgets and ignorant of truth is how the globalist oligarchs methodically implement their Great Reset agenda. They are so convinced of the ignorance of the masses they openly proclaim their depopulation and techno-prison schemes with no fear of push back or retribution. The ending of the Truman Show is a lesson in resistance, persistence, and the strength of the individual, even in the face of a technologically advanced Big Brother state. It offers a message of hope, no matter how powerful our overlords appear to be. Refusing to obey or conform by one individual can inspire others to do likewise. Once Truman ‘awoke’ to his plight as a lab rat in a scripted show, he began to plot his escape. Using a makeshift tunnel in his basement, out of view of Christof’s cameras, he disappeared and forced the suspension of the broadcast for the first time in thirty years. Christof discovers Truman sailing away from Seahaven in a small boat, as he has overcome the fake conditioning of fear instilled in him by the man who supposedly loves him but traumatized him about the sea by faking his father’s death while at sea. Christof chooses to almost drown Truman by creating a violent storm to deter him from discovering the truth. Ultimately the storm ceases and his boat strikes the wall of the dome. This is exactly how our controllers treat the ignorant masses. They feed us stories designed to make us fearful and compliant to the exhortations of their paid experts. Paid to lie. Paid to misinform. Paid to persuade people a dangerous concoction is “safe and effective”. The evilness of using Sesame Street characters to convince four-year-old children they need this Big Pharma gene altering toxic brew, even though essentially ZERO children on earth died from covid, is a testament to the greed and malevolent impulses of those in power. Vast amounts of ever-increasing advertising revenue are what kept The Truman Show on the air for thirty years. The covid advertising campaign will never be topped, as Hollywood stars, top athletes, famous writers, rock legends, supposedly impartial journalists, and all the major networks said SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!! Everyone was for sale, and all they had to do was lie and say the jabs were “safe and effective”. Product placement was the money-making formula for the Truman Show, while hard selling a Big Pharma phony cure over the airwaves 24/7 using the tax dollars of the victims was the final solution of the Great Reset Cabal. The grand finale is a clash of the philosophies of reality versus false reality, as Truman discovers a staircase leading to an exit door. Christof speaks to Truman, claiming there was no more truth in the real world than in his artificial world, and he would be safe, with nothing to fear, in a world controlled by men invisible to him assuring him they have his best interests at heart. Truman chooses individuality, truth, risk, living a real meaningful life, and seeking honest relationships over a safe existence in a bubble where all decisions were made by others. Truman bows to the audience and exits, leaving Chistof to mourn the loss of his star and the revenue he generated. The ignorant masses watching the show cheer his escape and then ask, “what’s on next?” Plato captured the uncertainty and bewilderment Truman must have felt as he walked into the light. “Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave This world of manufactured dystopian pleasure harkens more towards Huxley’s Brave New World, where pharmaceuticals and conditioning would keep the public seeking pleasure, pre-occupied with trivialities, distracted by materialism, unable to think critically, and reduced to passivity and egoism through the control of messaging by their controllers. Our efficient totalitarian state has gained complete control by convincing the masses to love their servitude and beg for more rules, restrictions, and reduction of liberties in the name of safety and security. Smart phones, smart cities, and smart streets are nothing more than code for spying on you and controlling you. Truman finally understood his liberty was his to choose and not Christof’s to give. There is a small minority of Americans who are realizing the same thing after two years of totalitarian measures designed to take away our freedoms and liberty. The question is whether enough will exit this tyrannical government produced show to make a difference. The future of mankind literally depends on the answer to this question. “Liberties aren’t given, they are taken.” ― Aldous Huxley “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Just as those controlling the Truman Show were not doing it for Truman’s benefit, but for their enrichment, those controlling the puppet strings of our society today had no interest in our health over the last two years, our financial well-being, our psychological well-being, or the peaceful rational functioning of our civilization. They have no interest in securing our border, reducing crime, holding fair elections, promoting peaceful solutions to global conflict, or allowing the truth to reach the masses. Their agenda has been and continues to be, the destruction of our civilized society, obliteration of our core standards and norms, depopulation of the planet, confiscation of our wealth, and ultimately our enslavement through technological shackles and chains. As Huxley noted decades ago, technology has just provided our civilization with a more efficient means of going backwards. Technology is being used by our controllers to monitor our movements, communications, and to surveil, distract, and amuse us to death. It is no longer a force for good, but a means to control us. They plan to use technology to disarm their citizens through increasingly authoritarian regulations, sold as keeping us safe from mass shooters. Their climate agenda isn’t about the climate, but about complete control of the masses. When government and their social media attack dogs monitor the citizens for “hate speech and misinformation”, and dole out retribution at their whim, our system is profoundly broken and extremely warped. They are supposed to answer to us. But these megalomaniacs have much bigger agenda. We’ve lost all sense of reality, reason, and truth in a profoundly abnormal world, created by those we allowed to ascend to power through the control and influence of shadowy globalist billionaires operating as an invisible government, with Deep State apparatchiks doing the dirty work. Schwab, Gates, Soros, the World Economic Forum, and whoever hides in the shadows behind these psychopaths, intend to control the entire world and steal all the wealth because they believe they are smarter, more ruthless, and know what’s best for the lowly peasants polluting their satanic playground planet. They know facts can be ignored when they’ve conditioned the masses to be willfully ignorant. They know they can lie without implications, but even more powerful, they can stay silent about the truth through censorship, suppression, and cancellation of truth tellers. The adaptation of the masses to this abnormal society, created by evil power-seeking men, is a form of mental illness – or as documented by Mattias Desmet in his book The Psychology of Totalitarianism – Mass Formation Psychosis.  “The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited I know I will never adapt or adjust to this abnormal society. We certainly can’t change a system, so thoroughly rigged and controlled (e.g., 2022 Arizona election and the 2020 presidential election), through traditional means. Those in control can easily buy-off our politicians, scientists, doctors, academics, TV personalities, and journalists to spin whatever web they choose, enabling their despicable anti-human agenda of deviancy. The only viable solution is the individual solution of walking away from this phony world like Truman. Armed revolution is a non-starter, as the oligarchs have far more firepower, and the dissenters are unorganized and scattered. A form of ‘Irish Democracy’ where a silent dogged resistance, marked by the withdrawal from society, belligerence to authority and non-compliance with government dictates by millions of ordinary people would accomplish far more than rioting and armed revolution. Millions have already practiced a form of Irish Democracy by not masking, not social distancing, not getting jabbed, and taking control of their own health decisions. They have almost sealed the escape hatch in this dystopian paradise of pleasure and pain. They know their techniques of control through fear work like a charm. Their final task to achieve total control is central bank digital currencies (CBDC), where everything we buy and sell is tracked digitally, so taxes can be levied, your life tracked, and if you choose to dissent from government directives, your ability to utilize CBDCs will be turned off. Micro-chipping us is next on the agenda. We need to reduce our tax and digital footprint now. It might seem hopeless in going to battle against these vile, vindictive vermin, but the solution is to not play. Many have already walked away from the modern world, taking to the country – farming, homesteading, bartering, and only giving to Caesar the bare minimum. They’ve chosen a hard, but a far more fulfilling life. The more people who disassociate from their fake world, the weaker they get. As their hold on our lives weakens, they will lash out. This is why it is important to be armed. Direct armed confrontation with the establishment’s forces is foolish, but guerrilla tactics on land you know would start to eat away at the morale of the paid police thugs sent to enforce their dictates. The beast isn’t as strong as it portrays. It’s broke and its empire of debt is crumbling. If millions walk out the exit door, the beast will begin to starve and eventually die. Maybe a new, less complex, smaller, more community-oriented society could be born from the ashes. Tribe up with like-minded individuals with different skills, if possible. There is hope if enough patriots decide to regain their senses and walk away from this abnormal society, leaving our totalitarian Christofs to wallow in their failure to control the truly awoken. “Do not let the hero in your soul parish, in lonely frustration, for the life you deserved but never have been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged *  *  *It is my sincere desire to provide readers of The Burning Platform with the best unbiased information available, and a forum where it can be discussed openly, as our Founders intended. But it is not easy nor inexpensive to do so, especially when those who wish to prevent us from making the truth known, attack us without mercy on all fronts on a daily basis. So each time you visit the site, I would ask that you consider the value that you receive and have received from The Burning Platform and the community of which you are a vital part. I can't do it all alone, and I need your help and support to keep it alive. Please consider contributing an amount commensurate to the value that you receive from this site and community, or even by becoming a sustaining supporter through periodic contributions. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/02/2022 - 16:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2022

Jack White, Trent Reznor, and David Simon are among the latest celebrities announcing they quit Twitter after Elon Musk takeover

Some celebrities vowed to leave the social-media platform after Elon Musk's deal closed, citing concern over what he would do with the company. Elon Musk and Jack WhiteMauricio Santana / Contributor / Getty Images and Craig Barritt / Stringer / Getty Images Multiple celebrities say they have quit Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover. Musk's $44 billion deal to buy the social-media platform closed at the end of October. Some public figures have expressed concern over what the billionaire would do with the platform. Celebrities are starting to quit Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover.Screenwriter, producer, and showrunner Shonda Rhimes helped kick off the trend at the end of October, tweeting: "Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye." Rhimes quickly became just one of several who turned their back on the platform in the past two weeks.  The exodus follows online chatter in April, when some stars vowed to leave the platform after Musk's deal closed, citing concern over what the billionaire would do at the helm of the company. Since Musk finalized the $44 billion deal, there has been a rise in hate speech on the platform. One research group said that the use of the N-word on Twitter increased by nearly 500% in the 12 hours after the takeover.Musk, a self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist," has already announced he is creating a new "content moderation council" for Twitter that would bring together diverse views.Now, some celebrities are making good on their threats to quit Twitter.Shonda RhimesThe "Grey's Anatomy" and "Bridgerton" creator said on Oct. 29 she was exiting the platform. Rhimes tweeted that she wasn't planning to hang around "for whatever Elon has planned." —shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022 Sara BareillesAlso on Oct. 29, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter said she quit the platform. Bareilles tweeted: "Welp. It's been fun Twitter. I'm out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one's just not for me."—Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) October 30, 2022 Ken OlinOlin, an executive producer on the Emmy-award-winning show "This Is Us," also said he was leaving the social media app. He posted a tweet saying: "I'm out of here. No judgment."—Ken Olin (@kenolin1) October 28, 2022 Toni BraxtonR&B star Toni Braxton said she was "shocked and appalled" at some of the content she had seen since Musk's takeover. She said was choosing to stay off Twitter as it was "no longer a safe space for myself, my sons, and other POC."—Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022Téa LeoniThe actress best known for her role in "'Madam Secretary" has also seemingly deleted her Twitter account. She tweeted that the platform had "revealed too much hate, too much in the wrong direction.""Love, kindness, and possibilities for all of you," she added.Brian KoppelmanKoppelman, the "Billions" showrunner, also closed his account. He told his Twitter followers to follow him on Instagram and TikTok instead.He said: "Y'all's, for real, come find me over on instagram and the tok. Gonna really try to take a breather from here for a minute or a month come deal close time." Alex WinterThe "Bill & Ted" star also appears to have left the platform. His Twitter profile is blank and he has seemingly erased his tweet history. His bio simply says: "Not here. IG: @alxwinter."Capt. Chesley "Sully" SullenbergerOn Nov. 9, the hero pilot-turned-author said he'd be "taking a step back" from Twitter and listed the other platforms where followers could find him on. One user pointed out the difficulty to verify if he was the real deal or an impersonator."It took like 5 clicks to see that you were the real Capt Sully, so that seems like a reasonable decision," the tweet read.—Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) November 9, 2022 Whoopi Goldberg"It's so messy," the actor said Twitter on the Nov. 7 episode of "The View." Goldberg announced she was leaving Twitter for the time being on the talk show she co-hosts.—The View (@TheView) November 7, 2022 Gigi HadidThe fashion model took to Instagram to condemn Twitter, especially under Musk's leadership, announced she'd be deactivating her account."I deactivated my Twitter account today. For a long time, but especially with its new leadership, it's becoming more and more of a cesspool of hate and bigotry, and it's not a place I want to be a part of," Hadid wrote in an Instagram story post.Amber HeardAlthough the "Aquaman" actor didn't give a reason or make an announcement on her departure from Twitter, users noticed her account had been deactivated on Nov. 1.It's unclear why Heard decided to leave Twitter. She dated "Chief Twit" Musk for about a year before the relationship ended in 2018.—ThatUmbrellaGuy (@ThatUmbrella) November 1, 2022 Erik LarsenAccording to NBC News, comic book creator – best known for "The Amazing Spider-Man" – Larson tweeted in April that he didn't plan to stick around if Musk bought Twitter.His handle appeared to be deactivated as of Oct. 31, and Larsen later confirmed his exit in an email to NBC News.Laura BenantiTony Award-winning actor Benanti had some choice words for Musk in her final tweet before deleting her account. In a now unavailable tweet, Benanti says, "fuck you forever," to Twitter's new owner and tells followers they can find her on Instagram.Mick FoleyIn a post to his official Facebook account, the former pro-wrestler announced a break from Twitter "since the new ownership — and the misinformation and hate it seems to be encouraging — has my stomach in a knot."Foley continued the post by letting fans know he'd still be active on Instagram and Facebook and encouraged them to be kind. Jenny SlateThe actress and comic known for voicing "Marcel The Shell With Shoes On" and for films like "Obvious Child" announced she deactivated her Twitter account in an Instagram post shared on Nov. 12."Bye! Fyi, if someone says they are me...they are not," Slate wrote in the caption. "Unless it's me. But I'm not there anymore so it's not me just to be really clear." PlaybillOn Friday, the theater community news outlet announced it would be leaving Twitter in a statement."We feel we can no longer continue to utilize a platform where the line between actual news and insidious rhetoric has become blurred beyond recognition," Playbill said in the statement.According to CNN, the following Playbill-affiliated Twitter accounts are now inactive: @Playbill, @PlaybillTravel, @PLAYBILLder, @PlaybillArts, @PlaybillStore.Jack WhiteThe musician has quit Twitter and criticized some of Musk's decisions for the platform. On November 20, White shared a letter to Musk on Instagram slamming his decision to reinstate Donald Trump's Twitter account."So you gave Trump his Twitter platform back. Absolutely disgusting, Elon," the musician said. "That is officially an asshole move.""You intend to give platforms to known liars and wash your hands like pontius pilate and claim no responsibility?" White wrote in the post. Trent ReznorThe Nine Inch Nails frontman has also removed his Twitter account.In an interview, Reznor told The Hollywood Reporter: "I'm about to depart. We don't need the arrogance of the billionaire class to feel like they can just come in and solve everything."Even without him involved, I just find that it has become such a toxic environment. For my mental health, I need to tune out. I don't feel good being there anymore."David SimonThe author, journalist, screenwriter, and producer said he planned to leave.In one tweet Simon said: "To stay is unethical. Fuck Elon Musk; the technobrat can choke on his new toy." —David Simon (@AoDespair) November 9, 2022Liz PhairThe singer-songwriter has deactivated her account.Phair said in her last tweet: "And the band played on… for not much longer. I'm feeling the deck quaking, so I will add my thanks to each and every one of you for the laughs, the learning, the love, the connection and the inspiration. A wonderful experience overall. Timing tbd"David DastmalchianThe film and stage actor, best known for his role as Thomas Schiff in "The Dark Knight," also appears to have deactivated his Twitter account.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 22nd, 2022

Levi"s got its start making clothes for cowboys — now it"s a Gen Z status symbol. Here"s how the 169-year-old retailer became the world"s most iconic denim company.

The 169-year-old retailer has weathered world wars and the Great Depression — not to mention the cyclical nature of fashion. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Levi's didn't invent denim, but it did invent blue jeans as we know them today.  The 169-year-old retailer has weathered world wars, the Great Depression, and the cyclical nature of fashion.  Its jeans were once worn by cowboys in the American West — now, they're revered by celebs and Gen Z shoppers. Here's a closer look at the rise of Levi's. Levi Strauss was born in Bavaria in 1829.An 1850s photograph of Levi Strauss.AP PhotoStrauss immigrated to the US in 1847. He landed in New York City and joined his half-brothers' dry-goods business.Six years later, Strauss headed west, moving to San Francisco to open a West Coast branch of the business, selling items like clothing and blankets to general stores, according to Levi's. Jeans as we know them today were born decades later when Strauss teamed up with a tailor to create riveted pants.The Levi Strauss factory in San Francisco in 1882.Ullstein bild via Getty ImagesIn the early 1870s, a customer of Strauss', a tailor named Jacob Davis, came up with the idea to use copper rivets to strengthen pants.He purchased fabric from Strauss and made button-fly pants, which were such a hit among customers, he decided to patent them. He asked Strauss to join him on the patent, which was granted in 1873.The pants were akin to modern-day Levi 501s — back then, the model was called "XX" — and featured a single back pocket, a watch pocket, and suspender buttons.Modern-day jeans were born, though at the time, they were called "waist overalls" or simply "overalls." It wasn't until the 1960s that Strauss' creation was nicknamed "jeans," according to Levi's. The name comes from the French word "Gênes," meaning Genoa, an Italian port city where sailors often dressed in denim, Vice reports.In 1886, Levi's started including a leather patch on its clothing containing a logo with two horses, a logo that's still used today.Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesOver time, the original design of the jeans changed slightly: a second back pocket was added in 1901, and belt loops were added in 1922. In 1937, in response to customer requests, the pants' trademark back-pocket rivets were covered up to make sitting down more comfortable and to keep them from scratching saddles and upholstery, according to Levi's. But some Levi's products made during the 1880s bore a troubling reminder of a dark period in US history.A woman makes jeans at a Levi's factory.Getty imageIn the 1880s, the US government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, a law aimed at banning Chinese workers from immigrating to the US. The law came during a period of anti-Chinese sentiment following the Gold Rush and the construction of the railroads. Though the law was later repealed — and eventually condemned — Levi's briefly adopted its own anti-Chinese labor policy: a tagline included in its products and its ads that read "made by white labor," The Wall Street Journal reports.A company spokesperson recently told the Journal that today, Levi's is "wholly committed to using our platform and our voice to advocate for real equality and to fight against racism in all its forms." Throughout the early 1900s, Levi's maintained a reputation as the clothing of choice for laborers and cowboys, an image it leaned into following the Great Depression.John Wayne wearing Levi's jeans in 1939.Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty ImagesPost-Depression, Levi's made a big play for cowboys' wallets, taking out ads in agricultural papers that served the Western states, publications like "Washington Farmer" and "The Arizona Producer." But when World War II began, Levi's shifted gears, sending jeans overseas at the request of the US Navy. At the same time, women working in US factories and shipyards started wearing Levi's, since they protected them from hazards like welding sparks, according to Levi's. By 1950, Levi's had produced 95 million pairs of jeans, which at that time cost only $3.50, according to Time.  The 1960s and '70s ushered in a renaissance in American fashion, which further spurred demand for Levi's in the US and abroad.A Levi's store in Los Angeles in 1975.Bob Cross/Getty ImagesAs more casual clothing styles took hold in the middle of the century, blue jeans became more mainstream. Civil rights leaders wore blue jeans, hippies wore blue jeans, and rock bands wore blue jeans. In fact, bands like Jefferson Airplane were making radio commercials for Levi's in the late 1960s. In the US, denim became synonymous with equality and freedom, art historian Caroline A. Jones told Smithsonian Magazine in 2020."Youth activists ... used denim as an equalizer between the sexes and an identifier between social classes," she said.But shifts were happening overseas, too. In East Germany during the Cold War, items like jeans were seen as "symbols of freedom, of independence, of being cool," German historian Gerd Horten previously told Insider. Since sales of Levi's were banned in East Germany in the 1960s, a black market for the pants sprung up, with jeans going for as much as $500 a pop. But by the late 1970s, East Germany's economy was crumbling and the government relented, requesting that Levi's ship nearly 800,000 pairs of jeans ahead of the holidays. Young Germans lined up to buy the denim, which cost 149 East German marks, equal to about $74 US at the time.In the early 1990s, Levi's helped usher in the concept of casual Fridays, part of a play to help boost its khaki brand, Dockers.Alexandra Wyman/WireImageThough casual Fridays date back to a Hewlett-Packard initiative from the 1950s, we have Levi's and its khaki brand, Dockers, to thank for them becoming mainstream, according to a 2014 Insider article.The early 1990s was a tough time for the apparel industry, and it was also likely a tough time for HR departments across the country: Though casual Fridays had become the norm, there was no clear code for what that meant — many workers saw it as an opportunity to dress sloppily or inappropriately. Levi's saw an opportunity, and in 1992, released a pamphlet titled "A Guide to Casual Businesswear." It gave examples of how to dress for the workplace – mainly Dockers khakis and Levi's jeans – and offered tips and advice for what counted as "business casual." "We did not create casual business wear," Daniel Chew, Levi's former consumer marketing director for North America, told Bloomberg Businessweek in 1996. "What we did was identify a trend and see a business opportunity." The pamphlet attracted the attention of major US companies — Charles Schwab distributed it to employees — and by 1995, Levi's posted then-record sales of $6.7 billion, a 10% increase from the year prior, according to Bloomberg.Levi's outfitted the US Olympic team during the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.Gymnast Mary Lou Retton during the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games.Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty ImagesThe company aired an ad campaign for its 501 jeans at the games, which led to a surge in sales, according to Levi's. One year later, Levi's, which had gone public in 1971, went private again in a leveraged buyout led by Levi Strauss' descendants. The buyout, valued at $1.7 billion, was the largest of its kind at the time.  But by the late 1990s, demand for Levi's started to wane.CP Kevin Frayer/APIn 1997, Levi's announced that it would close 11 manufacturing plants and lay off about 6,400 employees, about 34% of its workforce. "In the 1960s, '70s and '80s, we were chasing demand and couldn't produce fast enough," company spokesman Gavin Power told the Los Angeles Times at the time. "It's not like that anymore."Though Levi's was the largest brand-name apparel-maker at the time, it was facing several challenges: spending on apparel had dropped 3% in the '90s compared with the '80s; manufacturing advancements meant more clothes could be produced by fewer people; and competition was heating up, thanks to brands like Ralph Lauren and cheaper private labels at department stores. "A lot of people can buy jeans for less than Levi's is offering them at and get the same quality," retail consultant Kurt Barnard told the Times in 1997. Sales continued to decline for the next decade, but by 2007, Levi's was once again profitable.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesFive years later, Levi's purchased the naming rights to the new San Francisco 49ers stadium.Levi's agreed to pay the NFL team $220 million over 11 years in what was, at the time, the third-biggest naming-rights deal in the nation. In 2019, Levi's filed to go public once again, at a $6.6 billion valuation.Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh, right, is joined by CFO Harmit Singh, second from right, as he rings the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on March 21, 2019.AP Photo/Richard DrewIn honor of the occasion, the famously strict New York Stock Exchange relaxed its "no blue jeans allowed" policy so that everyone on the trading floor could wear jeans and denim jackets — even floor traders and stock exchange employees were fitted for Levi's apparel in advance.CNBC's Bob Pisani said at the time that the trading floor at the NYSE looked like "Woodstock '69." The onset of the pandemic in 2020 hurt Levi's sales. Industry experts began predicting the end of jeans as people remained at home, ensconced in loungewear.Brendan McDermid/ReutersThe pandemic hit retailers hard, and Levi's was no exception. The brand temporarily shut down its stores, faced supply chain challenges, and saw a decline in sales as consumers opted for elastic waistbands over "hard pants." By May 2020, net revenue had plummeted 62% year-over-year as costs surged due to the pandemic. In July of that year, Levi's laid off 700 workers, equivalent to 15% of its workforce. By 2021, losses began to shrink, but sales were still down. CEO Chip Bergh acknowledged that "changes look like they're here to stay," including the lingering "casualization" of fashion.Richard Drew/APStill, there were a few bright spots for Levi's. Fluctuations in body weight during the pandemic helped fuel sales in 2021, Bergh said at the time. Plus, the company dipped a toe in activewear and loungewear with its acquisition of yoga apparel brand Beyond Yoga. And while Levi's has long been a sustainability-minded company, it's ramped up its efforts in recent years, urging consumers to "buy better, wear longer" and aiming to become a net-zero emissions firm by 2050. Meanwhile, Levi's has become the go-to choice for models, musicians, and the fashion crowd.Model Bella Hadid wearing a vintage Levi's sweatshirt.Gotham/GC ImagesWhile pricey denim was all the rage in the early aughts, trends shifted in the 2010s in favor of reasonably priced Levi's. "To me, the backlash — or 'denim fatigue' — is because all of the jeans [on the market] look exactly alike," Sean Barron, cofounder of denim brand Re/Done, told Fashionista in 2015. "They're all skinny with stretchy blue fabric. For a while it was like, 'what else can I buy?' These brands are making people look homogeneous."Meanwhile, Levi's has kept selling its classic styles, including the relaxed-fit 505 and the more rigid, straight-leg 501, a classic style that hasn't changed much since the 1800s — it's "the ultimate original jean," as trend forecaster Samuel Trotman told fashion site High Snobiety. And it's not just full-length jeans that have become a must-have item: as music festivals became a popular destination, sales of 501 cutoffs skyrocketed. "We again dominated Coachella as the go-to uniform for festival season with Levi's 501 cutoff shorts, which were up more than 50% this quarter, taking center stage," CEO Charles Bergh said during the company's second-quarter earnings call in 2019.But it's vintage Levi's that have achieved almost Holy Grail status among the fashion-forward and eco-conscious shoppers of younger generations.Shannon Stapleton/ReutersRather than shelling out for brand-new jeans, Gen Z and millennial shoppers are scouring thrift stores and internet marketplaces for vintage Levi's. Finding the perfect pair has been elevated to an artform, with everyone from GQ to InStyle creating guides to help shoppers identify whether something's actually vintage and navigate Levi's notoriously tricky sizing. Levi's itself caught on to the trend, launching its own secondhand shop in 2020 and hiring a slate of celebrities and tastemakers, including Hailey Bieber and Jaden Smith, to promote it. Super-vintage Levi's — as in, from the 1800s — are viewed almost reverently by collectors. Case in point: one of the oldest known pairs of Levi's recently sold for $76,000 at auction. The pants, found in an old mine several years ago, have a single back pocket, suspender buttons at the waist, and show a few signs of their age, including some small holes and candle-wax marks. Still, they are considered to be in "good/wearable" condition.Still, like many retailers, Levi's is growing wary of the months ahead as inflation and fears of a recession scare off shoppers.Richard Drew/APLevi's recently cut its full-year profit forecast after falling short on third-quarter revenue as cautious consumers cut back on spending. The company has also experienced some executive changes in recent months: its president departed the company early this year after advocating against pandemic school closings and mask mandates. Levi's recently named a new president: Michelle Gass, the top executive at Kohl's, will join Levi's and eventually succeed the brand's longtime CEO, Chip Bergh. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 22nd, 2022

Captain Sully and Whoopi Goldberg are among the latest celebrities announcing they quit Twitter after Elon Musk takeover

Some celebrities vowed to leave the social-media platform after Elon Musk's deal closed, citing concern over what he would do with the company. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images Michael Gonzalez/Stringer/Getty Images Multiple celebrities say they have quit Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover. Musk's $44 billion deal to buy the social-media platform closed at the end of October. Some public figures have expressed concern over what the billionaire would do with the platform. Celebrities are starting to quit Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover.Screenwriter, producer, and showrunner Shonda Rhimes helped kick off the trend at the end of October, tweeting: "Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye." Rhimes quickly became just one of several who turned their back on the platform in the past two weeks.  The exodus follows online chatter in April, when some stars vowed to leave the platform after Musk's deal closed, citing concern over what the billionaire would do at the helm of the company. Since Musk finalized the $44 billion deal, there has been a rise in hate speech on the platform. One research group said that the use of the N-word on Twitter increased by nearly 500% in the 12 hours after the takeover.Musk, a self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist," has already announced he is creating a new "content moderation council" for Twitter that would bring together diverse views.Now, some celebrities are making good on their threats to quit Twitter.Shonda RhimesThe "Grey's Anatomy" and "Bridgerton" creator said on Oct. 29 she was exiting the platform. Rhimes tweeted that she wasn't planning to hang around "for whatever Elon has planned." —shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022 Sara BareillesAlso on Oct. 29, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter said she quit the platform. Bareilles tweeted: "Welp. It's been fun Twitter. I'm out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one's just not for me."—Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) October 30, 2022 Ken OlinOlin, an executive producer on the Emmy-award-winning show "This Is Us," also said he was leaving the social media app. He posted a tweet saying: "I'm out of here. No judgment."—Ken Olin (@kenolin1) October 28, 2022 Toni BraxtonR&B star Toni Braxton said she was "shocked and appalled" at some of the content she had seen since Musk's takeover. She said was choosing to stay off Twitter as it was "no longer a safe space for myself, my sons, and other POC."—Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022Téa LeoniThe actress best known for her role in "'Madam Secretary" has also seemingly deleted her Twitter account. She tweeted that the platform had "revealed too much hate, too much in the wrong direction.""Love, kindness, and possibilities for all of you," she added.Brian KoppelmanKoppelman, the "Billions" showrunner, also closed his account. He told his Twitter followers to follow him on Instagram and TikTok instead.He said: "Y'all's, for real, come find me over on instagram and the tok. Gonna really try to take a breather from here for a minute or a month come deal close time." Alex WinterThe "Bill & Ted" star also appears to have left the platform. His Twitter profile is blank and he has seemingly erased his tweet history. His bio simply says: "Not here. IG: @alxwinter."Capt. Chelsey "Sully" SullenbergerOn Nov. 9, the hero pilot-turned-author said he'd be "taking a step back" from Twitter and listed the other platforms where followers could find him on. One user pointed out the difficulty to verify if he was the real deal or an impersonator."It took like 5 clicks to see that you were the real Capt Sully, so that seems like a reasonable decision," the tweet read.—Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) November 9, 2022 Whoopi Goldberg"It's so messy," the actor said Twitter on the Nov. 7 episode of The View. Goldberg announced she was leaving Twitter for the time being on the talk show she co-hosts.—The View (@TheView) November 7, 2022 Gigi HadidThe fashion model took to Instagram to condemn Twitter, especially under Musk's leadership, announced she'd be deactivating her account."I deactivated my Twitter account today. For a long time, but especially with its new leadership, it's becoming more and more of a cesspool of hate and bigotry, and it's not a place I want to be a part of," Hadid wrote in an Instagram story post.Amber HeardAlthough the "Aquaman" actor didn't give a reason or make an announcement on her departure from Twitter, users noticed her account had been deactivated on Nov. 1.It's unclear why Heard decided to leave Twitter. She dated "Chief Twit" Musk for about a year before the relationship ended in 2018.—ThatUmbrellaGuy (@ThatUmbrella) November 1, 2022 Erik LarsenAccording to NBC News, comic book creator – best known for "The Amazing Spider-Man" – Larson tweeted in April that he didn't plan to stick around if Musk bought Twitter.His handle appeared to be deactivated as of Oct. 31, and Larsen later confirmed his exit in an email to NBC News.Laura BenantiTony Award-winning actor Benanti had some choice words for Musk in her final tweet before deleting her account. In a now unavailable tweet, Benanti says, "fuck you forever," to Twitter's new owner and tells followers they can find her on Instagram.Mick FoleyIn a post to his official Facebook account, the former pro-wrestler announced a break from Twitter "since the new ownership — and the misinformation and hate it seems to be encouraging — has my stomach in a knot."Foley continued the post by letting fans know he'd still be active on Instagram and Facebook and encouraged them to be kind. Jenny SlateThe actress and comic known for voicing "Marcel The Shell With Shoes On" and for films like "Obvious Child" announced she deactivated her Twitter account in an Instagram post shared on Nov. 12."Bye! Fyi, if someone says they are me...they are not," Slate wrote in the caption. "Unless it's me. But I'm not there anymore so it's not me just to be really clear." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 13th, 2022

"Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned:" Shonda Rhimes and Sara Bareilles are among the celebrities announcing that they have quit Twitter after Elon Musk takeover

Some celebrities vowed to leave the social-media platform after Elon Musk's deal closed, citing concern over what he would do with the company. Elon Musk and Shonda RhimesDimitrios Kambouris / Staff / Getty Images and Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images Multiple celebrities say they have quit Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover. Musk's $44 billion deal to buy the social-media platform closed on Thursday. Some public figures have expressed concern over what the billionaire would do with the platform. Celebrities are starting to quit Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover.Screenwriter, producer, and showrunner Shonda Rhimes tweeted on Saturday: "Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye." Rhimes was one of several that turned their back on the platform in the past few days. It follows online chatter in April, when some stars vowed to leave the platform after Musk's deal closed, citing concern over what the billionaire would do at the helm of the company. Since Musk finalized the $44 billion deal, there has been a rise in hate speech on the platform. One research group said that the use of the N-word on Twitter increased by nearly 500% in the 12 hours after the takeover.Musk, a self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist," has already announced he is creating a new "content moderation council" for Twitter that would bring together diverse views.Now, some celebrities are making good on their threats to quit Twitter.Shonda RhimesThe "Grey's Anatomy" and "Bridgerton" creator said on Saturday she was exiting the platform. Rhimes tweeted that she wasn't planning to hang around "for whatever Elon has planned." —shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022 Sara BareillesThe Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter also said she quit the platform over the weekend. Bareilles tweeted on Sunday: "Welp. It's been fun Twitter. I'm out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one's just not for me."—Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) October 30, 2022 Ken OlinOlin, an executive producer on the Emmy-award-winning show "This Is Us," also said he was leaving the social media app. He posted a tweet on Friday, saying: "I'm out of here. No judgment."—Ken Olin (@kenolin1) October 28, 2022 Toni BraxtonOn Friday, R&B star Toni Braxton said she was "shocked and appalled" at some of the content she had seen since Musk's takeover. She said was choosing to stay off Twitter as it was "no longer a safe space for myself, my sons, and other POC."—Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022Téa LeoniThe actress best known for her role in "'Madam Secretary" has also seemingly deleted her Twitter account. On Saturday she tweeted that the platform had "revealed too much hate, too much in the wrong direction.""Love, kindness, and possibilities for all of you," she added.Brian KoppelmanKoppelman, the "Billions" showrunner, also closed his account. He told his Twitter followers to follow him on Instagram and TikTok instead.He said: "Y'all's, for real, come find me over on instagram and the tok. Gonna really try to take a breather from here for a minute or a month come deal close time." Alex WinterThe "Bill & Ted" star also appears to have left the platform. His Twitter profile is blank and he has seemingly erased his tweet history. His bio simply says: "Not here. IG: @alxwinter"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 4th, 2022

What Kanye West, Liz Cheney, Oprah Winfrey, The Rock, and Andrew Yang have in common: They"re third-party alternatives to the Biden-Trump 2024 presidential binary.

As Biden struggles with mediocre approval ratings and voters sour on Trump, celebrities are mulling potential independent or third-party presidential bids. Win McNamee/Getty , Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty , Saul Martinez/Getty , Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty , Photosynthesis/Getty , Tyler Le/Insider Neither Joe Biden or Donald Trump are particularly popular. Their mediocre poll numbers are making room for other potential presidential hopefuls, including celebrities. Notable politicians such as Liz Cheney and Andrew Yang are also in the third-party mix. First came Ronald Reagan. Then Donald Trump. Could Americans see another entertainer trade red carpets for the marbled hallways of the White House?It's plausible. Six out of 10 voters would consider a moderate independent candidate for president in 2024 if President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Trump, a Republican, end up staging a re-run of Election 2020, according to a recent Harvard CAPS-Harris poll.Recently, the case for nontraditional, third-party candidates received a boost with the launch of the Andrew Yang-fronted Forward Party, established by dozens of former Democratic and Republican officials. And several celebrities have openly flirted with making an independent presidential run.Here are 14 notable celebrities and would-be politicians to watch ahead of the 2024 presidential race:Elon MuskPatrick Pleul/APWhen Elon Musk began angling to buy Twitter, Musk superfans encouraged him to do more — run for president in 2024."Shoulda bought shares in Twitter a month ago," one Twitter user tweeted. "Either way I support #ElonMusk taking it over. Elon for President 2024."—Mike, a person (@mike_dangola) April 14, 2022 The billionaire has been making the headlines recently for his alleged affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin's wife, termination of his Twitter acquisition plans, and twins he had with one of his top executives.   But because of Article II of the US Constitution, Musk can't run for president because he was born in South Africa, not on American soil.Only a natural-born citizen can be president, which disqualifies Musk from the presidential race — although he could run for other public offices such as US senator or governor. (Think of Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as California's governor from 2003 to 2011.).Musk has also been vocal in his support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, for a potential 2024 presidential run.Oprah WinfreyGetty Images/Getty Images for Global CitizenOne of the most influential women in the world, Oprah Winfrey's presidential ambitions have long been a subject of celebrity-watching chatter.Winfrey's 2018 acceptance speech at the Golden Globes — she was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement — set off speculation about her possibility to run for president. The speech, which opened with a personal anecdote of her growing up as a Black girl in Milwaukee, pivoted to politics and social issues, such as the #MeToo movement. "I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," she said. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me Too' again."Stedman Graham, Winfrey's longtime partner, told the Los Angeles Times, that Winfrey running for president is "it's up to the people," and "she would absolutely do it." But three weeks before her speech, the media magnate herself told Laura Brown, then the editor-in-chief of InStyle, that she has no interest in occupying the presidency. Winfrey said she had met with someone who offered to help with a political campaign, but she declined. "I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not," Winfrey told Brown. "And so it's not something that interests me. I don't have the DNA for it. ... That's not for me." But it may be too early to completely rule out her name appearing on the ballot. In an interview with David Rubenstein, Winfrey said at first she felt as if she didn't have the experience to run for president, but is thinking otherwise after Donald Trump's election. "I thought, oh gee, I don't have the experience, I don't know enough, and now I'm thinking, 'Oh, oh?'" she said. And even if she doesn't run, her endorsement — if one is forthcoming — could certainly help the recipient.Kanye WestGotham/GC ImagesWest, the rapper and entrepreneur who last year officially changed his name to Ye, has expressed interest in running for president again, in 2024.With just weeks left before the 2022 midterm election, Ye told ABC News he "absolutely" has future political aspirations. "That time wasn't in God's time," he said of his first stab at the presidency. But with company after company cutting ties with him after his anti-Semitic comments and behavior, his political future seems murky at best. The rapper was recently was locked out of his Twitter account for ranting about Jewish people in a tweet that was removed by the social media platform for violating its guidelines.West tweeted that he was "going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE," adding, "I can't be anti-Semitic because black people are actually Jew also."At the time, he had already been under fire for antisemitism following his comments during a Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson accusing Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, of brokering the Abraham Accords to "make money." Adidas, which had manufactured and sold sneakers under West's Yeezy brand, cut ties with the rapper in October after a delay for which it was roundly criticized.The company is expected to lose $246 million in profit this year.West, meanwhile, has already fallen off Forbes billionaire list. Clothing company Gap also severed ties with West, stating that it had shut down YeezyGap.com, and would take "immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product" from stores. Balenciaga, Vogue, JPMorgan Chase, talent agency CAA, film and TV studio MRC, are among a potentially growing list of companies to sever ties with West.  —Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) October 9, 2022 In 2020, after an unsuccessful run for office, West tweeted, "KANYE 2024" with a picture of his side profile in front of a graphic of the 50 states.—ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020West was effectively a non-factor in the 2020 presidential race. He appeared as a presidential candidate on the ballot in just 12 states and received just under 60,000 votes. His strongest support came from Tennessee, where he received more than 10,000 votes. Trump, on the other hand, secured over 1.84 million votes in the state. West again hinted at a second attempt in his new song, "Keep It Burnin."In the first verse, he raps: "When you run for '24, I bet your spouse gon' be with you / Who put this together? Me, that's who."But now that he is effectively "canceled," West might just have to be content with presiding over the "Yecosystem" or "Yeezyverse," the rapper's vision for a "self-sustained enterprise." Andrew YangDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe 47-year-old former presidential candidate is no stranger to the political arena, although his efforts have yet to translate into electoral victory.Yang ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020 as a Democrat, and then, lost in a crowded field for mayor of New York in 2021.As part of his political platform, Yang promoted a universal basic income and Medicare for all. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, his bid was also a significant moment for Asian Americans.Yang, who is at the helm of the newly formed national political third party, the Forward Party, hinted at his second attempt at running for the presidency, should a Trump-Biden rematch take shape. In an interview with Fox News Digital, Yang said, "One thing I will say is that if that matchup is unappealing to you, then go to ForwardParty.com and let's make sure that Americans have more choices in your community but also in 2024."Bob Shrum, former political strategist and director of the Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California, believes Yang's bid could backfire and give more votes to Trump. "Andrew Yang, if he wants to start a new party or run as an independent, it could help the Republicans or it could help Trump in 2024," he told Insider.Dwayne "The Rock" JohnsonSamir Hussein/Wire Images/Getty ImagesProfessional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson's presidential bid overtures have not been nearly as subtle as Winfrey's.Nicknamed "The Rock," the 50-year-old actor has been asked about his presidential ambitions on multiple occasions. His answers hinted at a 2024 bid, until now. In a preview clip from "CBS Sunday Morning," Johnson told Tracy Smith that running for president is "off the table.""I love our country and everyone in it," Johnson said. "I also love being a daddy. And that's the most important thing to me is being a daddy number one." But he left the door open to a future presidential run. He told CNN's Jake Tapper, "the No. 1 job, and my No. 1 title, that I love right now is daddy." But when asked if that meant he was ruling out a future presidential run, Johnson responded, "I have seriously considered it. You have to." Johnson's flirtations with politics began several years ago when, in 2016, he floated the idea of him occupying the Oval Office via Twitter."Cool piece on why I should run for President. Maybe one day. Surely the White House has a spot for my pick up truck," Johnson tweeted, linking to a now-deleted Independent Journal story that laid out why he should be president.Then, in 2017, he said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that he'd "seriously considering running." The same year, Johnson told USA Today that, that as the former World Wrestling Entertainment "people's champ," he would probably run in 2020 "to serve the people."He then told Variety that "the realistic consideration would be 2024."And more recently, in 2021, Johnson kept his political options open."I think that poll of almost half of Americans being in favor of me running for president is so humbling. It sits me down and I don't know any other way to describe it," he told CNN.It may be too early to rule out Johnson completely, as Trump's former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Politico earlier this year that "The Rock" is one of the few people who could realistically challenge Trump in 2024, if Trump decides to run.Liz CheneyWin McNamee/Getty ImagesPerhaps the most prominent anti-Trumper in the GOP, Cheney is now actively considering a 2024 presidential bid. Cheney's potential pursuit of the nation's highest office follows her defeat by Trump-backed opponent Harriet Hageman in Wyoming's Republican congressional primary.In an interview with Savannah Guthrie of NBC News,  the soon-departing Wyoming congresswoman said, "I'm not going to make any announcements here this morning, but it is something that I'm thinking about and I'll make a decision in the coming months."She added: "I will be doing whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office."Speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival in September, Cheney didn't directly answer a question about whether she'd run for president but reiterated she would do "whatever it takes to make sure Donald Trump isn't anywhere close to the Oval Office," and that she would no longer be a Republican if Trump gets the party's nomination in 2024. "I'm going to make sure Donald Trump, make sure he's not the nominee," Cheney said. "And if he is the nominee, I won't be a Republican."Just hours after her loss, Insider reported that Cheney converted her congressional campaign committee to a political action committee — a move that will give her increased freedom to raise and spend money to advance her political agenda. She's calling it "The Great Task." Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is at war with many of her Republican Party colleagues as she serves as vice chair of the US House's January 6 select committee, which is investigating Trump. In her concession speech, Cheney remarked that she could have easily won the primary if she went along Trump's false claims about the 2020 election. "Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote. I could easily have done the same again. The path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the 2020 election," she said. Cheney was defeated by a 37.4 percentage point margin. If Cheney does run for president as a Republican, she'd likely face stiff opposition from any of several others: Trump, DeSantis, and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as several other notable Republicans. Moreover, her ability to generate interest among hard-core Republican presidential primary voters would be inherently limited — as her defeat in her own congressional primary made evident. Therefore, there's always the possibility — although Cheney has not publicly indicated this — that she'd quit the Republican Party altogether and seek political fortunes with another party or as an independent, where she could potentially appeal to a wider swath of the electorate. Adam KinzingerChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesKinzinger, the other Republican on the January 6 committee who is distancing himself from Trump and the GOP establishment, said he would love to run against Trump in 2024."I would love it. I really would," he said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Even if he crushed me, like in a primary, to be able to stand up and call out the garbage is just a necessary thing, regardless of who it is. ... I think it'd be fun."During an interview with the Washington Post, Kinzinger said he felt "dirty" after voting for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. He did it to "have credit" with the GOP base, he added."It's not something I can square away in my soul fully," he said.Green Party and Libertarian PartyHarry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesAccording to Ballotpedia, there are five Green Party and 13 Libertarian Party candidates who have already filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2024. Likely none of them have a shot. In 2020, Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen received just over 1% of the national vote, and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins clocked in 0.31%. But "they can determine the outcome by draining votes away," Shrum said.If Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader had not run in 2000, for example, there's almost no question that Democrat Al Gore would have become president instead of Republican George W. Bush, Shrum said. "It would have, without doubt, have carried Florida by the margin of thousands of votes," he said.In addition, some argue that Jorgensen and the Libertarian Party siphoned crucial votes from Trump and ultimately elected Biden. But neither party has ever earned a single electoral vote, except in 1972, when Libertarian candidate John Hospers received the first and only electoral vote in the party's history — even if it wasn't entirely earned.Libertarians have also shown the ability to get on all 50 state ballots, a feat the Green Party hasn't achieved yet.Nevertheless, Green Party National co-chair Ahmed Eltouny is confident that a third-party candidate will emerge victorious in 2024.   "Trump got a lot of these people who felt disenfranchised to go out and vote, and it wasn't important how qualified Joe Biden was, because these were all votes against Trump," he told Insider. "But I do think that in 2024, it will definitely revert back to finding someone who's anti-establishment." Tom HanksPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images"Run, Forrest, run!" The beloved American actor who portrayed the main character in the comedy-drama film "Forrest Gump" would have instant name identification if he sought the highest office in the land. In 2013, a Reader's Digest poll named Hanks the most trusted person in America.Hanks, 66, has always been outspoken about his political views. He has donated to Democrats, endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 and subsequently for reelection in 2012, and publicly supported Joe Biden against Trump in 2020. Hanks even narrated Biden's presidential inauguration festivities.Filmmaker Michael Moore reportedly twice asked Hanks to run for president in the past, but was turned down both times. But some people are hoping for a Dwayne Johnson/Tom Hanks ticket after the duo in 2017 joked about a White House bid on Saturday Night Live. And since Johnson said he'll run if "the people want it," there could be at least some truth beneath their comedy bit.Angelina JolieGuillermo Legaria/Getty ImagesActress, film director, and social activist Angelina Jolie is yet another celebrity who might set her sights on winning the presidency in 2024. Earlier this year, Jolie attended an event at the White House where Biden signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act legislation — she is a vocal proponent. The 47-year-old Academy Award winner is a noted philanthropist and has served as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees special envoy.In 2018, the actress and humanitarian hinted that she might run for president.  "I don't know if I'm fit for politics, but then I've also joked that I don't know if I have a skeleton left in my closet — I'm pretty open and out there, and I can take a lot on the chin," she said. "So that's good. But I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change."Brock PierceJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesCryptocurrency — a mere buzzword just a couple years ago — is undoubtedly mainstream.In 2024, voters may find Bitcoin entrepreneur Brock Pierce's name on the ballot. Again.Pierce ran for president in 2020 as an independent but attracted little attention. He received 49,700 votes nationwide, with not quite half coming from voters in New York, according to records compiled by the Federal Election Commission."We get divided into making a fear-based decision to vote for red or blue, and I want to show people there's another way," he in 2020 told Insider."I can summarize why I'm running for office in one word: love. Love for this country, love for the American people at a time where that's what we need," he in 2020 told Darren Paltrowitz, host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast. Pierce is now running for election to the US Senate to represent Vermont. But that doesn't mean he no longer has ambitions for the presidency. He told Paltrowitz in the same interview that he will run for office again."I'm running all the way through to 2024," he said.Howard SternKevin MazurThe self-described "king of all media" said if Trump becomes the Republican nominee in 2024, he'll "beat his ass."On his SiriusXM show, Stern acknowledged his plans to run for president, adding that once elected, he'll work to eliminate the Electoral College. "I'm actually gonna probably have to run for president now," Stern said. "I went into a long-winded speech over the weekend to Robin [last name, his co-host] about how I am going to do the very simple thing that'll set the country straight: One vote, one person, no more of this Electoral College."If he files to run for president in 2024, it wouldn't be Stern's first time running for public office.Stern previously ran for governor of New York in 1994 as a Libertarian but dropped out of the race after refusing to disclose his personal finances — something that the multi-millionaire would have to do as a presidential candidate.Dave SmithBobby Bank/WireImageSmith, a comedian and staunch Libertarian, is setting his sights on a 2024 presidential bid. If elected, he'd be the first professional comedian to occupy the Oval Office.The 40-year-old host of "Part of the Problem" podcast is a prominent member of the Mises Caucus, which won control of the Libertarian Party in May at the party's national convention in Reno, when board member Angela McArdle won the Libertarian National Committee chair election with over 69% of the vote. Smith regularly appears as a political commentator on Fox News and The Joe Rogan Experience. "I really don't want to, but a lot of people here want me to and I understand why they do," he told libertarian magazine Reason. "I like what I'm doing. But I think I could do something and create something really cool. A cool moment for this cause."This article was originally published on August 6, 2022, and updated to include new developments.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 26th, 2022

Pilger: Silencing The Lambs - How Propaganda Works

Pilger: Silencing The Lambs - How Propaganda Works Authored by John Pilger via ConsortiumNews.com, In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler’s leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Fuhrer. She told me that the “patriotic messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above” but on what she called the “submissive void” of the German public. Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? I asked.  “Yes, especially them,” she said.  I think of this as I look around at the propaganda now consuming Western societies.  Of course, we are very different from Germany in the 1930s. We live in information societies. We are globalists. We have never been more aware, more in touch, better connected.  Leni Riefenstahl, center, filming with two assistants, 1936. (Bundesarchiv, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons) Or do we in the West live in a Media Society where brainwashing is insidious and relentless, and perception is filtered according to the needs and lies of state and corporate power?  The United States dominates the Western world’s media. All but one of the top 10 media companies are based in North America. The internet and social media – Google, Twitter, Facebook – are mostly American owned and controlled. In my lifetime, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, mostly democracies. It has interfered in democratic elections in 30 countries. It has dropped bombs on the people of 30 countries, most of them poor and defenceless. It has attempted to murder the leaders of 50 countries.  It has fought to suppress liberation movements in 20 countries.  The extent and scale of this carnage is largely unreported, unrecognised, and those responsible continue to dominate Anglo-American political life. Harold Pinter Broke the Silence In the years before he died in 2008, the playwright Harold Pinter made two extraordinary speeches, which broke a silence. “U.S. foreign policy,” he said, is “best defined as follows: kiss my arse or I’ll kick your head in. It is as simple and as crude as that. What is interesting about it is that it’s so incredibly successful. It possesses the structures of disinformation, use of rhetoric, distortion of language, which are very persuasive, but are actually a pack of lies. It is very successful propaganda. They have the money, they have the technology, they have all the means to get away with it, and they do.” In accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pinter said this:  “The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.” Pinter was a friend of mine and possibly the last great political sage – that is, before dissenting politics were gentrified. I asked him if the “hypnosis” he referred to was the “submissive void” described by Leni Riefenstahl.  “It’s the same,” he replied. “It means the brainwashing is so thorough we are programmed to swallow a pack of lies. If we don’t recognise propaganda, we may accept it as normal and believe it. That’s the submissive void.” Leni Riefenstahl and a camera crew stand in front of Hitler’s car during 1934 rally in Nuremberg. (Bundesarchiv, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons) In our systems of corporate democracy, war is an economic necessity, the perfect marriage of public subsidy and private profit: socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor. The day after 9/11 the stock prices of the war industry soared. More bloodshed was coming, which is great for business. Today, the most profitable wars have their own brand. They are called “forever wars” — Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and now Ukraine. All are based on a pack of lies. Iraq is the most infamous, with its weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist. NATO’s destruction of Libya in 2011 was justified by a massacre in Benghazi that didn’t happen. Afghanistan was a convenient revenge war for 9/11, which had nothing to do with the people of Afghanistan.  Today, the news from Afghanistan is how evil the Taliban are —not that U.S. President Joe Biden’s theft of $7 billion of the country’s bank reserves is causing widespread suffering. Recently, National Public Radio in Washington devoted two hours to Afghanistan — and 30 seconds to its starving people. At its summit in Madrid in June, NATO, which is controlled by the United States, adopted a strategy document that militarises the European continent, and escalates the prospect of war with Russia and China. It proposes “multi domain warfighting against nuclear-armed peer-competitor.” In other words, nuclear war. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, and Spain’s Prime Minster Pedro Sánchez on June 28 in Madrid. (NATO) It says: “NATO’s enlargement has been an historic success.”  I read that in disbelief.  The news from the war in Ukraine is mostly not news, but a one-sided litany of jingoism, distortion, omission.  I have reported a number of wars and have never known such blanket propaganda.  In February, Russia invaded Ukraine as a response to almost eight years of killing and criminal destruction in the Russian-speaking region of Donbass on their border.  In 2014, the United States had sponsored a coup in Kiev that got rid of Ukraine’s democratically elected, Russian-friendly president and installed a successor whom the Americans made clear was their man.  Dec. 7, 2015: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Flickr) In recent years, American “defender” missiles have been installed in eastern Europe, Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, almost certainly aimed at Russia, accompanied by false assurances all the way back to James Baker’s “promise” to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in February 1990 that NATO would never expand beyond Germany.  NATO on Hitler’s Borderline Ukraine is the frontline. NATO has effectively reached the very borderland through which Hitler’s army stormed in 1941, leaving more than 23 million dead in the Soviet Union.  Last December, Russia proposed a far-reaching security plan for Europe. This was dismissed, derided or suppressed in the Western media. Who read its step-by-step proposals? On Feb. 24, President Volodymyr Zelensky threatened to develop nuclear weapons unless America armed and protected Ukraine.   On the same day, Russia invaded — an unprovoked act of congenital infamy, according to the Western media. The history, the lies, the peace proposals, the solemn agreements on Donbass at Minsk counted for nothing. On April 25, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin flew into Kiev and confirmed that America’s aim was to destroy the Russian Federation — the word he used was “weaken.” America had got the war it wanted, waged by an American bankrolled and armed proxy and expendable pawn. Almost none of this was explained to Western audiences. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is wanton and inexcusable. It is a crime to invade a sovereign country. There are no “buts” — except one. When did the present war in Ukraine begin and who started it? According to the United Nations, between 2014 and this year, some 14,000 people have been killed in the Kiev regime’s civil war on the Donbass. Many of the attacks were carried out by neo-Nazis.  Watch an ITV news report from May 2014, by the veteran reporter James Mates, who is shelled, along with civilians in the city of Mariupol, by Ukraine’s Azov (neo-Nazi) battalion. In the same month, dozens of Russian-speaking people were burned alive or suffocated in a trade union building in Odessa besieged by fascist thugs, the followers of the Nazi collaborator and anti-Semitic fanatic Stepan Bandera.  The New York Times called the thugs “nationalists.” “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment,” said Andreiy Biletsky, founder of the Azov Battaltion, “is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” Since February, a campaign of self-appointed “news monitors” (mostly funded by the Americans and British with links to governments) have sought to maintain the absurdity that Ukraine’s neo-Nazis don’t exist.  Airbrushing, once associated with Stalin’s purges, has become a tool of mainstream journalism. In less than a decade, a “good” China has been airbrushed and a “bad” China has replaced it: from the world’s workshop to a budding new Satan.   Much of this propaganda originates in the U.S., and is transmitted through proxies and “think-tanks,” such as the notorious Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the voice of the arms industry, and by journalists such as Peter Hartcher of The Sydney Morning Herald, who has labeled those spreading Chinese influence as “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows” and suggested these “pests” be “eradicated.”  Andriy Beletsky, commanding officer of the special Ukrainian neo-Nazi police regiment Azov, with volunteers in 2014. (My News24, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons) News about China in the West is almost entirely about the threat from Beijing. Airbrushed are the 400 American military bases that surround most of China, an armed necklace that reaches from Australia to the Pacific and south east Asia, Japan and Korea. The Japanese island of Okinawa and the Korean island of Jeju are like loaded guns aimed point blank at the industrial heart of China. A Pentagon official described this as a “noose.” Palestine has been misreported for as long as I can remember. To the BBC, there is the “conflict” of “two narratives.” The longest, most brutal, lawless military occupation in modern times is unmentionable.  The stricken people of Yemen barely exist. They are media unpeople.  While the Saudis rain down their American cluster bombs with British advisers working alongside the Saudi targeting officers, more than half a million children face starvation. This brainwashing by omission is not new. The slaughter of the First World War was suppressed by reporters who were given knighthoods for their compliance.  In 1917, the editor of The Manchester Guardian, C.P. Scott, confided to Prime Minister Lloyd George: “If people really knew [the truth], the war would be stopped tomorrow, but they don’t know and can’t know.” The refusal to see people and events as those in other countries see them is a media virus in the West, as debilitating as Covid.  It is as if we see the world through a one-way mirror, in which “we” are moral and benign and “they” are not. It is a profoundly imperial view. The history that is a living presence in China and Russia is rarely explained and rarely understood. Vladimir Putin is Adolf Hitler. Xi Jinping is Fu Man Chu. Epic achievements, such as the eradication of abject poverty in China, are barely known. How perverse and squalid this is. When will we allow ourselves to understand? Training journalists factory style is not the answer. Neither is the wondrous digital tool, which is a means, not an end, like the one-finger typewriter and the linotype machine. In recent years, some of the best journalists have been eased out of the mainstream. “Defenestrated” is the word used. The spaces once open to mavericks, to journalists who went against the grain, truth-tellers, have closed.   Julian Assange in 2014. (David G Silvers, Wikimedia Commons) The case of Julian Assange is the most shocking.  When Julian and WikiLeaks could win readers and prizes for The Guardian, The New York Times and other self-important “papers of record,” he was celebrated.  When the dark state objected and demanded the destruction of hard drives and the assassination of Julian’s character, he was made a public enemy. Vice President Joe Biden compared him to a “hi-tech terrorist.” Hillary Clinton asked, “Can’t we just drone this guy?”  The ensuing campaign of abuse and vilification against Julian Assange — the U.N. rapporteur on torture called it “mobbing” — brought the liberal press to its lowest ebb. We know who they are. I think of them as collaborators: as Vichy journalists.  When will real journalists stand up? An inspirational samizdat  already exists on the internet: Consortium News, founded by the great reporter Robert Parry, Max Blumenthal’s  The Grayzone, Mint Press News, Media Lens, DeclassifiedUK, Alborada, Electronic Intifada, WSWS, ZNet, ICH, CounterPunch, Independent Australia, the work of Chris Hedges, Patrick Lawrence, Jonathan Cook, Diana Johnstone, Caitlin Johnstone and others who will forgive me for not mentioning them here.  And when will writers stand up, as they did against the rise of fascism in the 1930s? When will film-makers stand up, as they did against the Cold War in the 1940s? When will satirists stand up, as they did a generation ago?  Having soaked for 82 years in a deep bath of righteousness that is the official version of the last world war, isn’t it time those who are meant to keep the record straight declared their independence and decoded the propaganda? The urgency is greater than ever. *  *  * John Pilger has twice won Britain’s highest award for journalism and has been International Reporter of the Year, News Reporter of the Year and Descriptive Writer of the Year. He has made 61 documentary films and has won an Emmy, a BAFTA and the Royal Television Society prize. His ‘Cambodia Year Zero’ is named as one of the ten most important films of the 20th century. He can be contacted at www.johnpilger.com The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of ZeroHedge or Consortium News. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/11/2022 - 23:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 12th, 2022

The Twitter Whistleblower Needs You to Trust Him

An exclusive interview with Twitter whistleblower Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, the famous hacker fighting a messy battle with the platform Peiter Zatko, the Twitter whistle-blower, is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. The day before his complaint against the social media company was published, Zatko was sitting in his lawyer’s office in Washington, scrolling through his camera roll to find a photo of his legs locked around someone’s neck. The move is called a side-triangle. It’s totally safe, he says, because the opponent will black out before a lack of blood flow to the brain can cause any lasting damage. One of the things Zatko likes about the martial art, he explains, is that it’s less about brute strength than finding creative ways to maneuver your opponent into a weaker position. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] That talent translates to cybersecurity. In Nov. 2020, Zatko, the hacker known as “Mudge,” was hired as Twitter’s security lead, with a global remit to fix gaping vulnerabilities in one of the world’s most important communications platforms. But 14 months later, he was fired. Six months after that, he filed a sweeping whistle-blower complaint that paints a damning portrait of a company in crisis. In an 84-page complaint to federal regulatory agencies and the Department of Justice, which was first reported by the Washington Post and CNN and which TIME obtained from a congressional source, he describes Twitter as crippled by rudderless and dishonest leadership, beset by “egregious” privacy and security flaws, tainted by foreign influence, a danger to national security, and susceptible even to total collapse. Zatko says he felt an ethical duty to come forward. “Being a public whistle-blower is the last resort, something that I would only ever do after I had exhausted all other means,” he told TIME in a lengthy interview on Aug. 22. “It is not an easy path, but I view it as continuing to help improve the place where I was employed.” Twitter quickly hit back. Zatko was fired for “ineffective leadership and poor performance,” CEO Parag Agrawal wrote in an email to employees, calling the disclosures a “false narrative that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies” and presented out of context. “Mudge was accountable for many aspects of this work that he is now inaccurately portraying more than six months after his termination,” Agrawal said. The story of how a top Twitter official turned whistle-blower is not a straightforward saga. In more than a dozen interviews with Zatko’s friends, family, and current and former colleagues, the portrait that emerges is more complicated. Eight current and former Twitter employees, who spoke with TIME on condition of anonymity in order to discuss issues they were not authorized to speak publicly about, said that many aspects of Zatko’s disclosures rang true to their experience, particularly his allegations of security deficiencies and shortcomings in company leadership. Some of the same sources, many of whom professed to like and admire Zatko, suggested that various allegations were misleading, overblown, or lacking context—in part because Zatko was straying into areas of the company into which he had only basic insight. Read More: ‘Egregious Deficiencies,’ Bots, and Foreign Agents: The Biggest Allegations From the Twitter Whistle-Blower Zatko’s allegations have emerged at a pivotal moment for Twitter, which is locked in a legal battle over an agreement to sell the company to Elon Musk. That makes the accuracy and credibility of Zatko’s claims a multibillion-dollar issue, and the object of considerable debate by his former colleagues. “Is Mudge generally correct? Yes,” says one current Twitter employee who worked with Zatko. “Where he is correct is that Twitter has absolutely been negligent in creating the appropriate security infrastructure for a company that has the level of impact it has … Is Mudge wrong about lots of things? Also yes. I think there’s a lot of sour grapes.” Zatko had come from a long line of jobs where he had free rein to tear up organizational structures and prioritize security above all else. But at Twitter, current and former colleagues say, he found himself in a different environment: navigating tense internal politics at a corporation bent on boosting revenue, without support from his superiors. Some employees caught up in the tumult perceived Zatko to be a figure hired by then CEO Jack Dorsey for publicity reasons, stepping on the toes of qualified colleagues with more institutional knowledge. Technically brilliant and morally rigid, Zatko was an iconoclast stepping into a corporate bureaucracy. “It’s like asking a doctor who’s been trained to do brain surgery to suddenly become a podiatrist,” says a former Twitter colleague. The polarized reactions to Zatko’s disclosures illustrate just how atypical a tech whistle-blower he is. Last year, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, disclosed tens of thousands of pages of internal company documents that revealed a company prioritizing profits over user safety. But readers didn’t have to take Haugen’s word for it; they could read the words of Facebook’s own safety teams. Zatko is different. As a former senior executive, he had a bird’s-eye view into Twitter’s decisionmaking, ultimately responsible for hundreds of staff in some of Twitter’s most high-priority work streams. But he didn’t release the same breadth of documentation as Haugen; while Zatko supplied some exhibits to support his claims, including internal emails, his partially redacted disclosures rely largely on his own credibility as one of the most celebrated figures in cybersecurity. He is implicitly asking the public to trust that his version of events is the correct one, and that Twitter is lying. Zatko may lose money by coming forward. Half of his compensation at Twitter was in cash, but the rest came in stock, says John Tye of the law firm Whistleblower Aid, which is representing Zatko. The value of those shares dropped by about 9% when news of Zatko’s allegations broke. Tye insists Zatko’s motivations are rooted in a desire to see the company succeed in the long term, not his own financial self-interest. The fate of Twitter’s stock price may be just the first of a cascading series of consequences from Zatko’s disclosures. His contention that Twitter has a bigger bot problem than executives admit may prevent them from forcing completion of the Musk deal. Tye says that his client prefers Twitter to remain a public company, for the public good. “We have concerns if the SEC were to lose jurisdiction if the company goes private, because there’s one less law-enforcement lever,” Tye says. “That’s a problem for accountability.” Zatko told TIME he has never met Musk and did not provide any information to him in advance of his disclosures becoming public knowledge. Zatko’s allegations could ripple out even further, in Washington and beyond. On Sept. 13, he is set to testify in Congress about the allegations, which could spur investigations by the SEC and FTC. That could in turn further erode public faith in social media companies generally, as they face escalating questions about their influence on politics and society, as well as global efforts to rein them in. All of which means the question of what kind of whistle-blower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko is has consequences well beyond Twitter’s future. In his Twitter profile picture, Zatko has flowing, shoulder-length brown hair, with a ring of light hovering above his head like a halo. But it’s been more than two decades since he traded this long-haired look—“hacker Jesus,” his wife Sarah Zatko jokes—for a clean-cut mien befitting a man who’s done tours at the highest levels of government. As Zatko sat down for his interview with TIME on the eve of the allegations becoming public, he sported a crisp goatee flecked with gray, wired spectacles, and a lapel pin depicting the logo of his lawyers, Whistleblower Aid. The profile picture is no accident. Zatko cites his famous work in the 1990s as both the defining era of his life and the grounding for his present morality. “I always ask myself: What would the Mudge of the late ‘90s think about what I’m doing now?” he says of his decision to blow the whistle on Twitter. “I want to make sure I haven’t lost that drive, that my ethics are still just as strong, that I’m fighting for people just as hard.” Dina Litovsky for TIMESarah Zatko at home on Aug. 23, 2022 Zatko is both attuned to and skilled at nurturing the mythology surrounding him. When he was a toddler, his father hung over his crib a mobile made of circuit boards. “He wanted me not to be afraid of technology,” he said in a 2011 interview with a trade magazine. He says he began hacking at the age of 5, picking locks and reverse-engineering computer games with his dad on a late-1970s Apple II computer to get around copyright protections. As a teenager, he spent his time surfing ARPANET, the predecessor to the modern internet, along with the bulletin boards where communities of online hackers were taking shape. Growing up in Alabama and Pennsylvania in the 1980s, his childhood heroes were the social activist Abbie Hoffman and the musician Frank Zappa. Zatko studied the guitar and the violin, and chose music over computer science, attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating, he split his time between playing at clubs with his progressive metal band Raymaker, part-time tech-support work, and working with a high-profile hacker “think tank” called the L0pht (pronounced Loft) to expose corporate security flaws. He would soon become its most prominent member and went on to join a hacking cooperative known as the Cult of the Dead Cow. At the L0pht, Zatko pioneered a strategy of publicly embarrassing companies that refused to patch vulnerabilities that he and his fellow hackers had flagged to them. His biggest nemesis in the 1990s was Microsoft. When Zatko and his colleagues showed it was possible to insert malicious code to run secretly on any machine, Microsoft ignored it. So the L0pht released a user-friendly tool that allowed anybody to break into Windows users’ personal accounts, reasoning that it was the only way to force the company to finally fix its vulnerabilities. It worked. Today, Zatko says, Microsoft has one of the most advanced security programs in the world. Still, “responsible disclosure,” as the tactic of public embarrassment became known, is a bit of a misnomer. Criminals could use the hacking program he released to crack passwords in less than 24 hours, enabling them to steal credit-card or medical data from innocent users using unpatched machines. Zatko says that he thought “long and hard” before deciding that releasing the tool was the only way to make Microsoft change its ways and protect its users, even if some people got hurt in the short term. “Dishonesty is definitely something that frustrates him,” says his wife Sarah, a former mathematician at the National Security Agency. “It doesn’t mean he’s always trying to make a big public fuss, because if you can get things fixed … through proper channels it’s always easier on everybody. But if that’s not possible, there’s always this fallback.” Zatko and other members of the L0pht agreed to testify about internet security on Capitol Hill in May 1998. In the congressional hearing room, they were identified on their placards only by their hacker names. Zatko sat in the center of the group of seven hackers and did most of the talking. Even then, he flashed a flair for the dramatic, getting lawmakers’ attention by infamously claiming he could take down the internet in 30 minutes. “How can we be expected to protect the system and the network,” Zatko asked the assembled Senators, “when all of the seven individuals seated before you can tear down the foundation that the network was built upon?” Douglas Graham—Congressional Quarterly/Getty ImagesComputer hackers from the L0pht testify before a Senate Governmental Affairs hearing on government computer security on May 19, 1998 Still in his 20s, he began to work as an unofficial adviser on internet-security issues to Richard Clarke, who would become the cybersecurity czar for three different U.S. Presidents. A photo from 2000 shows Zatko at the first White House meeting on cybersecurity, talking to then President Bill Clinton. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, cybersecurity suddenly became an urgent part of counterterrorism strategy. Bad actors and “spam gangs” run out of Russia and Eastern Europe were releasing viruses and other malware, wreaking havoc on systems unprepared to counter them. Zatko began advising U.S. intelligence agencies and the military for free. Zatko was shaken by what he uncovered when he started digging. “I started to figure out numerous ways of knocking the financial sector down,” he says. “It just started to dawn on me that I, as an individual actor, could wreak serious havoc. And this is shortly after 9/11.” He had a bad reaction to drugs that his psychiatrist prescribed to deal with his rising anxiety, which only made things worse. It took a long time for him to emotionally recover. “Every security professional has the moment where they have started to learn enough about the field that all of a sudden they have this existential crisis,” says Zatko’s wife Sarah. “Then you either become [nihilistic] and everything’s hopeless, or else you have to figure out a way to get past it and try to fix your corner of things.” Out of his rut and adopting that new mindset, Zatko was tapped in 2010 to lead cybersecurity efforts at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). “I didn’t go there because I thought it was cool. I didn’t go there because I wanted to be a part of the government,” he told the audience at the DEF CON hacker conference in 2013. “I actually went there because I thought they and other parts of government had kind of lost their way, and I had an opportunity to go in and fix it.” One of his first moves was bringing in hackers and forcing career officials at the military office to spend three days in a conference room with them, says Renee Rush, a U.S. Air Force veteran who worked with him at the agency. “Mudge could go anywhere and get a big paycheck,” Rush says, “but you’ll never find him in a job that doesn’t have a distinctive mission.” AlamyPresident Clinton meets with technology leaders, including Peiter “ Zatko’s sense of principle has a way of engendering loyalty among his many mentees, both inside and outside his field. Ryan Hall, a champion mixed martial artist, became close friends with Zatko after Zatko joined Hall’s gym in Arlington, Va., in 2010 to practice jiu-jitsu. He recalls seeing Zatko at a coffee shop a block from the gym, sporting jeans and a T-shirt, surrounded by men in well-cut suits. “Peiter has very little time for moral waffling,” Hall says. After 3½ years, Zatko left DARPA for stints doing security research at Google and the payment processor Stripe. He cast both as companies that took security advice seriously. “The executives actually back security and let us do things differently (otherwise I wouldn’t be there!),” he tweeted approvingly in 2018 while at Stripe. Over the years, internet security has grown more complicated as its impact expands beyond scams, cyberattacks, and corporate or government security hacks. Zatko publicly expressed his frustration that veteran security experts’ advice was being ignored in the lead-up to the 2016 election. The Democratic National Committee reached out to him for help to improve its network and information security, but even his most basic suggestions were considered too “annoying,” he said. “DNC creates Cybersecurity board made up of well-meaning people with no cybersecurity expertise,” he tweeted in August 2016. “Your move Russia…” Four years later, after the Trump era showed just how essential the security of social media platforms was for safeguarding democracy, Zatko was sitting in his home office in New Jersey. The room is in an extension with no central heating or cooling system. In the winter, it is warmed by “way too many” computer cores—over 100, he estimates. It’s a messy space, with dog-eared textbooks strewn across the floor and framed letters of praise from national security luminaries on the walls. Zatko’s phone rang. On the other end was Dorsey. The man who had co-founded Twitter addressed him as Mudge, and told Zatko the hacker’s work during the 1990s was one of the reasons he pursued a tech career. “That just blew my mind,” Zatko recalls. “I’m talking to the guy who created, let’s face it, a platform that is critical worldwide. It influences governments, social change, it is the perception many people have of the world. And he was telling me that he was interested in me.” Zatko eventually decided to accept the unorthodox job Dorsey was offering, overseeing Twitter’s entire security operations, both data and physical. Zatko saw the protection of a platform as influential as Twitter as perhaps his most effective way to “make a dent in the universe”—a personal motto originating from his time at the L0pht. The move was hailed by experts as a sign of Twitter’s serious commitment to fixing long-standing security issues. As one security analyst put it, “A rare moment of cybersecurity sunshine where it seems the right person is put in the lead on addressing a major issue.” Twitter needed him. The company was reeling from one of the most embarrassing incidents in its 16-year history. In July 2020, a trio that included two teenagers used extremely basic phishing methods to gain access to the accounts of Twitter employees. They were then able to send tweets from the accounts of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and a slew of other blue-checked accounts, setting up a scam that netted them over $100,000 in Bitcoin. The incident was hardly the company’s first major security lapse. The year before, the U.S. government had accused two Twitter employees of being moles for the Saudi Arabian government. This month, one of them was found guilty in federal court. Back in 2011, the FTC had filed a complaint against Twitter for failing to protect consumer information. That complaint was supposed to result in Twitter implementing a robust security program resistant to cyberattacks. Yet the success of the July 2020 hackers showed how vulnerable the platform remained. “While Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Meta consistently put out new features to help people protect their accounts and information, Twitter’s focus seemed to be a bit stale,” says Runa Sandvik, a privacy and security researcher. “It’s unclear what Twitter was doing in that space, if anything at all.” Zatko’s whistle-blower complaint says he expected to spend the remainder of his career working at Twitter. But it quickly became apparent that the company was “a decade behind” its competitors, he wrote in a staff memo included in the disclosures. Teams fighting bots were understaffed and overworked, he alleges, and internal security measures Twitter promised to develop in the wake of the 2011 FTC mandate had yet to be rolled out. Zatko’s complaint claims that a serious security breach was occurring at Twitter on average every week. Read More: What the Twitter Whistle-blower Disclosure Means for Elon Musk. On Jan. 6, 2021, Zatko was watching the Capitol insurrection unfold online and asked a Twitter engineering executive to curtail employees’ access to internal systems. He learned that too many employees had irrevocable access. One rogue engineer with the right system privileges could have sabotaged the platform, sowing misinformation and discord, Zatko alleges in his disclosure. Zatko tried to patch these holes. He shuttered several existing security and privacy programs in favor of a new department, optimistically named Confidence. He drew up a three-year plan to improve defense efforts and measure spam bots, which he alleges were running rampant and unchecked across the platform. According to his disclosure, he was met with continual pushback at senior levels of the company, and when it came to security issues, he says, “deliberate ignorance” was the norm. Some product managers were “encouraged” to override security and privacy issues in order to release new products more quickly, his complaint alleges. Current and former Twitter employees who spoke with TIME corroborated the general sweep of Zatko’s allegations that Twitter often prioritized profit over security. “Unless you can make a compelling trade-off argument for why improved security or privacy will benefit the business more than their cost,” says one former Twitter employee, “it’s very hard to enforce change.” Zatko’s complaint adds that his efforts to inform Twitter’s board about various security issues were met with alarm or anger, and that at least twice he was asked by executives to withhold information from the board. Twitter declined multiple requests from TIME to address specific parts of Zatko’s allegations. In his email dated Aug. 23, Agrawal said Zatko’s disclosures as a whole had many inaccuracies in them. Meanwhile, Dorsey, the man who Zatko thought would be his main ally, was increasingly absent and unfocused, Zatko’s disclosure says. A representative for Dorsey’s company, Block, did not respond to a request for comment for this story. The situation began to come to a head in November 2021, when Dorsey resigned. His replacement was Agrawal, who had formerly been the most senior executive in charge of security issues before Zatko arrived. Tensions between the two quickly escalated. Zatko says in his disclosures that he became concerned that Agrawal was going to use the first board meeting of his tenure to diminish the severity of security issues. He wrote to Agrawal on Dec. 15, arguing that there were “numerous, and some significant, misrepresentations” in materials for an upcoming presentation, according to emails contained in the complaint. Agrawal brushed him off, Zatko’s complaint alleges, and the next day, the documents were presented at a high-level Risk Committee board meeting. In a Jan. 4, 2022, email to Agrawal, Zatko called the documents “at worst fraudulent,” and wrote, “I was hired to achieve certain goals and to fix problems here at Twitter. In order to do that, we need to recognize the actual state of affairs at the company.” A few days later, Agrawal wrote back to Zatko, saying that the company had launched an internal investigation into Zatko’s allegations of “fraud.” Zatko was asked for a detailed report to back up his claims, which he began to pull together. Less than two weeks later, before he was able to file the report, he was fired. Zatko retained Whistleblower Aid on March 17, a month before Musk offered to buy Twitter. He concluded he had no choice but to blow the whistle. “Change sometimes requires, you know, kicking the hornet’s nest a little bit,” he says. “Ethically and morally, I had to pursue this.” In interviews, current and former Twitter officials had differing perspectives on Zatko’s allegations. Several said that Zatko was right about many things, including data-management issues, chaotic leadership, and platform vulnerabilities. But some felt he mischaracterized or exaggerated certain details in the disclosure, particularly when it came to issues that he himself did not work on. “He didn’t know what was happening with the bots stuff,” says a current employee who worked with Zatko. “That did not fall under his security purview.” Zatko’s attorneys dispute this, arguing that he did in fact have insight into and authority over the bots issue as the ultimate supervisor of Twitter Services, which oversees global content moderation at scale. The disagreement can be chalked up to Twitter’s messy organizational structure, in which different arms of the company have competing claims to ownership of the bots issue. Hannah McKay—AFP/Getty ImagesJack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter, testifies remotely during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “ Other parts of Zatko’s disclosures simply pit his word against Twitter’s. One of his most explosive claims is that Twitter “knowingly” hired “agents” of the Indian government. Because of access privileges afforded to many Twitter employees, Zatko says in his disclosure, these alleged agents could access sensitive user data. The hires came at a time when the Indian government was bristling at Twitter’s refusal to identify details about people using the platform to criticize the nation’s ruling party. Zatko had direct responsibility for the physical security of employees at Twitter, and would likely have been directly briefed on alleged espionage efforts. The disclosures state that Zatko has given more details about this incident to the Department of Justice and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Twitter declined multiple requests from TIME to address Zatko’s claims about Indian agents on the record. One person with direct knowledge of Twitter’s internal affairs in India told TIME they had no knowledge of the supposed agent, but said they would not be surprised if the Indian government had at least tried to covertly appoint an agent to Twitter’s payroll, similar to the Saudi case. Some of Zatko’s other claims strike experts as overstated. His disclosure argues that Twitter’s failure to own the rights to training data of machine-learning models constitutes “fraud,” for example. That shortcoming is an industry-wide practice, according to two former Twitter employees and others familiar with industry standards. As the pushback mounts, Zatko tells TIME he stands by his allegations and for legal reasons is unable to talk about his time at Twitter beyond what’s in the disclosures. “I was aware of the most common tactics that would happen, that there would be attempts to character assassinate me or make things personal—anything that would distract from the data and the problem at hand,” Zatko says. While Zatko describes his decision to go public in idealistic terms, the timing of the disclosures is notable. The trial to decide whether Musk must go through with his initial agreement to buy Twitter is set to start in Delaware on Oct. 17. Zatko inserts himself into this battle from the opening pages of his disclosure, claiming that Twitter is “lying about bots to Elon Musk.” Zatko may be drawn directly into the court case: Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, tells TIME his team has subpoenaed Zatko, although Zatko’s lawyers say he has received no such subpoena. Two legal experts say they’re skeptical Zatko’s claims will have a major impact on the lawsuit. He provides scant new information about spam bots, and what he does claim about them has little to do with the merger agreement. Ann Lipton, a law professor at Tulane University, says that Zatko’s claims that Twitter lied in its SEC filings will be hard to prove. “When a disgruntled employee disagrees with management decisions,” Lipton says, “that’s frequently not taken as a sufficient basis for treating an SEC filing as false.” “The question ultimately boils down to the credibility of the assertions made by the whistle-blower, and that is usually determined by the existence of hard evidence,” says Howard Fischer, a former SEC attorney. “Twitter’s real regulatory risk lies in whether or not the documentary evidence, and not the potentially self-serving statements of a former employee, shows knowing or reckless misleading of regulators or investors in public filings and statements.” Greg Kahn for TIMEZatko attending meetings in Washington on Aug. 23, 2022 The disclosures could have other long-lasting financial and political ramifications. The company’s stock price dropped by around 9% in the wake of the disclosures’ publication. The same day, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and Democratic Representative Frank Pallone announced they were investigating Zatko’s claims, with Pallone calling for “the need to pass comprehensive privacy legislation.” Zatko’s allegations have demoralized Twitter employees, some current staffers say, and may exacerbate a brain drain at a company that has lost many of its leaders and significantly slowed its spending while in Musk-induced limbo. Twitter still has a significant impact on elections and political discourse around the world, and those who are still working on its security and privacy teams will “have to work three or four times harder,” says a former Twitter employee. Knowing that his actions would cause corporate chaos and catalyze government investigations, Zatko says he made his decision with one goal in mind: to make Twitter, and thus the world, safer. Although right now the public can only take him at his word, that may not hold true for long. When he testifies before Congress in September, Zatko—who refused to discuss the meat of his complaint in his interview with TIME—will have the legal cover to expand on the allegations, potentially revealing new and damaging details about what happened within Twitter. Zatko is not the youthful star hacker he used to be. Two days before his interview with TIME, he broke a toe while sparring with a jiu-jitsu opponent, an accident he chalks up in part to partial paralysis of his back, which he says his doctor told him has been brought on by the stress of the past few months. Injury, however, may be necessary if you’re going to engage in the fight. “If you’re just reacting to what an adversary is doing, they’re the ones that are moving you around and manipulating you,” he says. “That’s all too common in this industry.” —With reporting by Leslie Dickstein, Nik Popli, Simmone Shah, and Julia Zorthian.....»»

Category: topSource: timeAug 25th, 2022

What Liz Cheney, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, The Rock, and Andrew Yang have in common: They"re third-party alternatives to the Biden-Trump 2024 presidential binary.

As Joe Biden's approval ratings plummet and voters sour on Trump, celebrities are mulling potential independent or third-party presidential bids. Win McNamee/Getty , Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty , Saul Martinez/Getty , Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty , Photosynthesis/Getty , Tyler Le/Insider Joe Biden and Donald Trump are watching their approval ratings tank. Their low numbers are making room for other potential presidential hopefuls, including celebrities. Notable politicians such as Liz Cheney and Andrew Yang are also in the third-party mix. First came Ronald Reagan. Then Donald Trump. Could Americans see another entertainer trade red carpets for the marbled hallways of the White House?It's plausible. Six out of 10 voters would consider a moderate independent candidate for president in 2024 if President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Trump, a Republican, end up staging a re-run of Election 2020, according to a recent Harvard CAPS-Harris poll.Recently, the case for nontraditional, third-party candidates received a boost with the launch of the Andrew Yang-fronted Forward Party, established by dozens of former Democratic and Republican officials. And several celebrities have openly flirted with making an independent presidential run.Here are 14 notable celebrities and would-be politicians to watch ahead of the 2024 presidential race:Elon MuskPatrick Pleul/APWhen Elon Musk began angling to buy Twitter, Musk superfans encouraged him to do more — run for president in 2024."Shoulda bought shares in Twitter a month ago," one Twitter user tweeted. "Either way I support #ElonMusk taking it over. Elon for President 2024."—Mike, a person (@mike_dangola) April 14, 2022 The billionaire has been making the headlines recently for his alleged affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin's wife, termination of his Twitter acquisition plans, and twins he had with one of his top executives.   But because of Article II of the US Constitution, Musk can't run for president because he was born in South Africa, not on American soil.Only a natural-born citizen can be president, which disqualifies Musk from the presidential race — although he could run for other public offices such as US senator or governor. (Think of Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as California's governor from 2003 to 2011.).Musk has also been vocal in his support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, for a potential 2024 presidential run.Oprah WinfreyGetty Images/Getty Images for Global CitizenOne of the most influential women in the world, Oprah Winfrey's presidential ambitions have long been a subject of celebrity-watching chatter.Winfrey's 2018 acceptance speech at the Golden Globes — she was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement — set off speculation about her possibility to run for president. The speech, which opened with a personal anecdote of her growing up as a Black girl in Milwaukee, pivoted to politics and social issues, such as the #MeToo movement. "I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," she said. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me Too' again."Stedman Graham, Winfrey's longtime partner, told the Los Angeles Times, that Winfrey running for president is "it's up to the people," and "she would absolutely do it." But three weeks before her speech, the media magnate herself told Laura Brown, then the editor-in-chief of InStyle, that she has no interest in occupying the presidency. Winfrey said she had met with someone who offered to help with a political campaign, but she declined. "I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not," Winfrey told Brown. "And so it's not something that interests me. I don't have the DNA for it. ... That's not for me." But it may be too early to completely rule out her name appearing on the ballot. In an interview with David Rubenstein, Winfrey said at first she felt as if she didn't have the experience to run for president, but is thinking otherwise after Donald Trump's election. "I thought, oh gee, I don't have the experience, I don't know enough, and now I'm thinking, 'Oh, oh?'" she said. And even if she doesn't run, her endorsement — if one is forthcoming — could certainly help the recipient.Andrew YangDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe 47-year-old former presidential candidate is no stranger to the political arena, although his efforts have yet to translate into electoral victory.Yang ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020 as a Democrat, and then, lost in a crowded field for mayor of New York in 2021.As part of his political platform, Yang promoted a universal basic income and Medicare for all. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, his bid was also a significant moment for Asian Americans.Yang, who is at the helm of the newly formed national political third party, the Forward Party, hinted at his second attempt at running for the presidency, should a Trump-Biden rematch take shape. In an interview with Fox News Digital, Yang said, "One thing I will say is that if that matchup is unappealing to you, then go to ForwardParty.com and let's make sure that Americans have more choices in your community but also in 2024."Bob Shrum, former political strategist and director of the Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California, believes Yang's bid could backfire and give more votes to Trump. "Andrew Yang, if he wants to start a new party or run as an independent, it could help the Republicans or it could help Trump in 2024," he told Insider.Dwayne "The Rock" JohnsonSamir Hussein/Wire Images/Getty ImagesProfessional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson's presidential bid overtures have not been nearly as subtle as Winfrey's.Nicknamed "The Rock," the 50-year-old actor has been asked about his presidential ambitions on multiple occasions.His answers hint at a 2024 bid. Johnson's flirtations with politics began several years ago when, in 2016, he floated the idea of him occupying the Oval Office via Twitter."Cool piece on why I should run for President. Maybe one day. Surely the White House has a spot for my pick up truck," Johnson tweeted, linking to a now-deleted Independent Journal story that laid out why he should be president.Then, in 2017, he said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that he'd "seriously considering running." The same year, Johnson told USA Today that, that as the former World Wrestling Entertainment "people's champ," he would probably run in 2020 "to serve the people."He then told Variety that "the realistic consideration would be 2024."More recently, in 2021, Johnson kept his political options open."I think that poll of almost half of Americans being in favor of me running for president is so humbling. It sits me down and I don't know any other way to describe it," he told CNN.Trump's former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Politico earlier this year that "The Rock" is one of the few people who could realistically challenge Trump in 2024, if Trump decides to run.Kanye WestGotham/GC ImagesThe American rapper and entrepreneur who last year officially changed his name to Ye, has expressed interest in running for president again, in 2024.In 2020, after an unsuccessful run for office, West tweeted, "KANYE 2024" with a picture of his side profile in front of a graphic of the 50 states.—ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020West was effectively a non-factor in the 2020 presidential race. He appeared as a presidential candidate on the ballot in just 12 states and received just under 60,000 votes. His strongest support came from Tennessee, where he received more than 10,000 votes. Trump, on the other hand, secured over 1.84 million votes in the state. West again hinted at a second attempt in his new song, "Keep It Burnin." In the first verse, he raps: "When you run for '24, I bet your spouse gon' be with you / Who put this together? Me, that's who."Liz CheneyWin McNamee/Getty ImagesPerhaps the most prominent anti-Trumper in the GOP, Cheney is now actively considering a 2024 presidential bid. Cheney's potential pursuit of the nation's highest office follows her defeat by Trump-backed opponent Harriet Hageman in Wyoming's Republican congressional primary.In an interview with Savannah Guthrie of NBC News,  the soon-departing Wyoming congresswoman said, "I'm not going to make any announcements here this morning, but it is something that I'm thinking about and I'll make a decision in the coming months."She added: "I will be doing whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office."Just hours after her loss, Insider reported that Cheney converted her congressional campaign committee to a political action committee — a move that will give her increased freedom to raise and spend money to advance her political agenda. She's calling it "The Great Task." Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is at war with many of her Republican Party colleagues as she serves as vice chair of the US House's January 6 select committee, which is investigating Trump. In her concession speech, Cheney remarked that she could have easily won the primary if she went along Trump's false claims about the 2020 election. "Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote. I could easily have done the same again. The path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the 2020 election," she said. Cheney was defeated by a 37.4 percentage point margin. If Cheney does run for president as a Republican, she'd likely face stiff opposition from any of several others: Trump, DeSantis, and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as several other notable Republicans. Moreover, her ability to generate interest among hard-core Republican presidential primary voters would be inherently limited — as her defeat in her own congressional primary made evident. Therefore, there's always the possibility — although Cheney has not publicly indicated this — that she'd quit the Republican Party altogether and seek political fortunes with another party or as an independent, where she could potentially appeal to a wider swath of the electorate. Adam KinzingerChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesKinzinger, the other Republican on the January 6 committee who is distancing himself from Trump and the GOP establishment, said he would love to run against Trump in 2024."I would love it. I really would," he said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Even if he crushed me, like in a primary, to be able to stand up and call out the garbage is just a necessary thing, regardless of who it is. ... I think it'd be fun."During an interview with the Washington Post, Kinzinger said he felt "dirty" after voting for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. He did it to "have credit" with the GOP base, he added."It's not something I can square away in my soul fully," he said.Green Party and Libertarian PartyHarry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesAccording to Ballotpedia, there are five Green Party and 13 Libertarian Party candidates who have already filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2024. Likely none of them have a shot. In 2020, Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen received just over 1% of the national vote, and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins clocked in 0.31%. But "they can determine the outcome by draining votes away," Shrum said.If Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader had not run in 2000, for example, there's almost no question that Democrat Al Gore would have become president instead of Republican George W. Bush, Shrum said. "It would have, without doubt, have carried Florida by the margin of thousands of votes," he said.In addition, some argue that Jorgensen and the Libertarian Party siphoned crucial votes from Trump and ultimately elected Biden. But neither party has ever earned a single electoral vote, except in 1972, when Libertarian candidate John Hospers received the first and only electoral vote in the party's history — even if it wasn't entirely earned.Libertarians have also shown the ability to get on all 50 state ballots, a feat the Green Party hasn't achieved yet.Nevertheless, Green Party National co-chair Ahmed Eltouny is confident that a third-party candidate will emerge victorious in 2024.   "Trump got a lot of these people who felt disenfranchised to go out and vote, and it wasn't important how qualified Joe Biden was, because these were all votes against Trump," he told Insider. "But I do think that in 2024, it will definitely revert back to finding someone who's anti-establishment." Tom HanksPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images"Run, Forrest, run!" The beloved American actor who portrayed the main character in the comedy-drama film "Forrest Gump" would have instant name identification if he sought the highest office in the land. In 2013, a Reader's Digest poll named Hanks the most trusted person in America.Hanks, 66, has always been outspoken about his political views. He has donated to Democrats, endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 and subsequently for reelection in 2012, and publicly supported Joe Biden against Trump in 2020. Hanks even narrated Biden's presidential inauguration festivities.Filmmaker Michael Moore reportedly twice asked Hanks to run for president in the past, but was turned down both times. But some people are hoping for a Dwayne Johnson/Tom Hanks ticket after the duo in 2017 joked about a White House bid on Saturday Night Live. And since Johnson said he'll run if "the people want it," there could be at least some truth beneath their comedy bit.Angelina JolieGuillermo Legaria/Getty ImagesActress, film director, and social activist Angelina Jolie is yet another celebrity who might set her sights on winning the presidency in 2024. Earlier this year, Jolie attended an event at the White House where Biden signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act legislation — she is a vocal proponent. The 47-year-old Academy Award winner is a noted philanthropist and has served as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees special envoy.In 2018, the actress and humanitarian hinted that she might run for president.  "I don't know if I'm fit for politics, but then I've also joked that I don't know if I have a skeleton left in my closet — I'm pretty open and out there, and I can take a lot on the chin," she said. "So that's good. But I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change."Brock PierceJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesCryptocurrency — a mere buzzword just a couple years ago — is undoubtedly mainstream.In 2024, voters may find Bitcoin entrepreneur Brock Pierce's name on the ballot. Again.Pierce ran for president in 2020 as an independent but attracted little attention. He received 49,700 votes nationwide, with not quite half coming from voters in New York, according to records compiled by the Federal Election Commission."We get divided into making a fear-based decision to vote for red or blue, and I want to show people there's another way," he in 2020 told Insider."I can summarize why I'm running for office in one word: love. Love for this country, love for the American people at a time where that's what we need," he in 2020 told Darren Paltrowitz, host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast. Pierce is now running for election to the US Senate to represent Vermont. But that doesn't mean he no longer has ambitions for the presidency. He told Paltrowitz in the same interview that he will run for office again."I'm running all the way through to 2024," he said.Howard SternKevin MazurThe self-described "king of all media" said if Trump becomes the Republican nominee in 2024, he'll "beat his ass."On his SiriusXM show, Stern acknowledged his plans to run for president, adding that once elected, he'll work to eliminate the Electoral College. "I'm actually gonna probably have to run for president now," Stern said. "I went into a long-winded speech over the weekend to Robin [last name, his co-host] about how I am going to do the very simple thing that'll set the country straight: One vote, one person, no more of this Electoral College."If he files to run for president in 2024, it wouldn't be Stern's first time running for public office.Stern previously ran for governor of New York in 1994 as a Libertarian but dropped out of the race after refusing to disclose his personal finances — something that the multi-millionaire would have to do as a presidential candidate.Dave SmithBobby Bank/WireImageSmith, a comedian and staunch Libertarian, is setting his sights on a 2024 presidential bid. If elected, he'd be the first professional comedian to occupy the Oval Office.The 40-year-old host of "Part of the Problem" podcast is a prominent member of the Mises Caucus, which won control of the Libertarian Party in May at the party's national convention in Reno, when board member Angela McArdle won the Libertarian National Committee chair election with over 69% of the vote. Smith regularly appears as a political commentator on Fox News and The Joe Rogan Experience. "I really don't want to, but a lot of people here want me to and I understand why they do," he told libertarian magazine Reason. "I like what I'm doing. But I think I could do something and create something really cool. A cool moment for this cause."This article was originally published on August 6, 2022, and updated to include new developments.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 17th, 2022

Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez have weathered a tabloid scandal, a possible iPhone hack, and even a trip to space. Here"s where their relationship began and everything that"s happened since.

It's been an eventful three years for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, TV host and helicopter pilot Lauren Sanchez. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were publicly outed as a couple in January 2019. Since then, they have both finalized their divorces and embarked on a multicontinental romance. Most recently, they bought a new house in Maui, Hawaii, and took a whirlwind trip to London. It's been a turbulent few years for Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.In January 2019, the bombshell news broke that the Amazon CEO and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Hours later, the world learned that Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a TV host and helicopter pilot who, along with her husband, had been friends with the Bezoses.Despite a tumultuous few years that involved leaked texts, blackmail, a billion-dollar divorce, and maybe even interference from the Saudi Arabian government, Bezos and Sanchez are still going strong.Here's how their relationship became public and how they've spent the last three years as a couple.It all started on January 9, 2019. Shortly after 9 a.m., Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Scott, issued a joint statement on Twitter that they were divorcing.Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott.Dia Dipasupil / Staff"As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends," the statement read. "If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again."MacKenzie Scott, formerly MacKenzie Bezos, was one of Amazon's earliest employees. The couple has four children together. Hours later, a second bombshell dropped: Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez.Paul Archuleta/Getty ImagesSanchez started her career as a news reporter and anchor — she was a longtime anchor of "Good Day LA" on Fox 11 and worked as a correspondent on "Extra." More recently, she's worked as a helicopter pilot and founded her own aerial filming company in 2016, called Black Ops Aviation. Sanchez has also had TV and film roles, including as the host of the reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" and playing an anchor in movies like "Fight Club" and "The Day After Tomorrow," according to her IMDB page. Bezos and Sanchez met through her then-husband, Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of Hollywood talent agency WME.Jeff Bezos with Lauren Sanchez and her husband, Patrick Whitesell.Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon StudiosSanchez and Whitesell had been married since 2005, but at the time the news broke, the couple had been separated since that fall, Page Six reported. According to Brad Stone's book "Amazon Unbound," Sanchez and Bezos reconnected at an Amazon Studios party for the film "Manchester by the Sea" in 2016, though it's unclear when their romance began. In March 2018, Sanchez was invited to Amazon's annual MARS conference in Palm Springs. One month later, they had dinner with Sanchez's brother, Michael, in Los Angeles.That July, Bezos hired Sanchez's company to film footage for his rocket company, Blue Origin.The National Enquirer said it had conducted a four-month investigation into Bezos and Sanchez's relationship and had obtained texts and photos the couple had sent to each other.Jeff Bezos.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe Enquirer said it had tracked the couple "across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and 'quality time' in hidden love nests." Page Six, which published the news a few hours before the Enquirer, reported that Bezos and his then-wife knew that the Enquirer report was coming out and had timed their divorce announcement to get ahead of the news.The gossip site also reported at the time that Bezos and Sanchez started dating after Jeff and MacKenzie had separated the previous fall, and that MacKenzie knew of the relationship. The Enquirer said it had gotten its hands on "raunchy messages" and "erotic selfies," including a text that reportedly read: "I love you, alive girl."Jeff BezosREUTERS/Gary CameronThe tabloid said it also had racy photos of Bezos, including one that was too explicit to print.But according to Stone's book, the tabloid never actually had a "below-the-belt selfie" of Bezos — it was a photo of someone else Michael Sanchez took from a male-escort website and showed to the tabloid over FaceTime.Almost immediately, questions arose about the Enquirer's motives for investigating Bezos and Sanchez and the tabloid's connection to Donald Trump.David Pecker, former CEO of AMI.Marion Curtis via AP, FileA feud has simmered for years between Trump and Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a frequent Trump target. The Enquirer's publisher, then known as AMI, was run by David Pecker, a longtime Trump ally. (In August 2020, AMI combined with Accelerate 360 to form A360 Media, with Pecker as executive advisor.) By the end of January 2019, The Daily Beast reported that Bezos had started funding an investigation into who had leaked his private messages to the Enquirer. Bezos' personal head of security, Gavin de Becker, headed up the investigation. De Becker said at the time that he thought the leaks were "politically motivated," which AMI denied. The investigation initially pointed to Michael Sanchez, Lauren's brother and an outspoken Trump supporter, as the person who leaked the photos and texts, which Sanchez denied. Then, that February, Bezos dropped a bombshell of his own: an explosive blog post titled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker," in which he accused Pecker and AMI of trying to blackmail him.Bezos speaks at the Economic Club of Washington DC on September 13, 2018.Reuters/Joshua RobertsBezos wrote that the publisher had been threatening him with the publication of explicit photos he'd taken of himself unless he stopped investigating who was leaking his photos and texts to the tabloid.AMI also demanded that Bezos no longer claim the publisher's investigation into his personal life was influenced by political motivations, Bezos wrote. As a result, Bezos published the emails he'd received from AMI."Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten," Bezos wrote.Bezos also hinted in the post that there may have been a link between the investigation into his relationship with Sanchez and the Saudi Arabian government — specifically, that he might have been a target of the Saudis because he owns the Washington Post, which provided "unrelenting coverage," Bezos said, of the murder of its journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents. The "Saudi angle" of Bezos' own investigation into the leaks seemed to have "hit a particularly sensitive nerve" with Pecker, Bezos wrote. For its part, the Saudi Arabian government denied any role in the situation and called the whole saga a "soap opera." Things quieted down for Bezos and Sanchez publicly for a few months, until April 2019, when he and Scott finalized the terms of their divorce.Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott.Danny Moloshok/ReutersBezos and Scott both released statements on Twitter saying they had "finished the process of dissolving" their marriage and would be co-parenting their four kids.Scott said she was granting Bezos all her interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, as well as 75% of the Amazon stock they owned, and voting control over the shares she retained.Her remaining stake in Amazon has positioned her among the richest people in the world, with a net worth of $36.2 billion. One day later, Sanchez and Whitesell filed for divorce.Patrick Whitesell and Lauren Sanchez.AP PhotoTMZ reported at the time that the couple filed for joint custody of their two children. The couple reportedly finalized their divorce in October 2019. The Bezos divorce was finalized that July. A few days later, Bezos and Sanchez made their first public appearance as a couple at Wimbledon.Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos at Wimbledon.AP Photo/Tim IrelandThe couple were seated behind the royals at the men's Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the All England Club. A few months prior to Wimbledon, the couple had attended another exclusive event: the annual Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. There, they mingled with Warren Buffett, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg, according to Stone's book.The pair was spotted again in August on what appeared to be a fabulous European vacation.The Rising Sun, a yacht that belongs to media titan David Geffen.Victor Fraile/ReutersThey were seen strolling through Saint-Tropez and cruising off the coast of Spain, in the Balearic Islands, aboard media mogul David Geffen's superyacht, the Rising Sun.Other guests reportedly included Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and the founder of Thrive Capital, Josh Kushner, along with his supermodel wife, Karlie Kloss. Bezos and Sanchez were then seen on fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg's sailing yacht off the coast of Italy.Diane von Furstenberg and Jeff Bezos pose at the Statue of Liberty Museum opening on May 15, 2019.Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesThe couple appears to be close friends with von Furstenberg and her husband, IAC Chairman Barry Diller.In December 2019, Bezos reportedly threw Sanchez an elaborate 50th birthday celebration.Katy Perry and Orlando BloomPhillip Faraone/Getty ImagesThe celebration included both a private dinner and a star-studded party attended by von Furstenberg and Diller, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, and Timothée Chalamet, Page Six reported.Around the holidays, the couple jetted off to French-speaking Caribbean island St. Barths.Reuters/Andrew CouldridgeThere, they relaxed on yachts and meandered around the island with Sanchez's son with her previous partner, former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez.In January 2020, Sanchez accompanied Bezos on a trip to India.Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez in India in January 2020.Prodip Guha/Getty ImagesSanchez attended Bezos' visit to Mahatma Gandhi's tomb and walked the red carpet with Bezos at an Amazon Prime Video event in Mumbai. A few weeks later, Sanchez traveled with Bezos to another international event — this time, a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France. Meanwhile, Bezos had become embroiled in a legal spat with Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez's brother.John Sciulli/Getty Images for Politicon; Getty ImagesSanchez filed a defamation lawsuit against Bezos in February 2020, claiming Bezos and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, falsely accused him of providing Bezos' nude photos to the National Enquirer. Sanchez claimed in the suit that Bezos told journalists he had handed over the images to the tabloid, but he says he never had the photos in his possession. Bezos said in a court filing of his own that the suit amounted to "extortion" and directly threatened free speech. Bezos sought to dismiss Sanchez's lawsuit under a California law that's intended to protect against frivolous lawsuits. A judge has since tossed Sanchez's defamation suit, citing a lack of evidence. The judge later ordered Sanchez to pay $218,000 in legal fees for Bezos.In the lawsuit, Sanchez used the word "fiancé" to describe Bezos' relationship to Lauren Sanchez, implying that the couple is engaged.Pawan Sharma/AFP via Getty ImagesHere's the full sentence from the lawsuit (emphasis ours):"While Mr. de Becker's initial asserted theory was that Mr. Sanchez had sold out his sister for $200,000, Mr. de Becker soon realized this theory would not hold up because, among other reasons, it was inconceivable that Mr. Sanchez would ruin his relationship with his sister and her current fiancé, the richest man in the world, for financial gain."Bezos isn't described as Sanchez's fiancé anywhere else in the suit, and Bezos and Sanchez have never confirmed that they're engaged. In December, Page Six published photos of the couple on vacation, noting that Sanchez was wearing a large diamond ring. She has since been spotted several times with the ring on her left hand, where engagement rings are typically worn. At the time lawyers for Michael Sanchez said in a statement, "Michael's complaint speaks for itself." Representatives for Bezos and Sanchez did not respond to requests for comment.News broke in early 2020 that Bezos had purchased the Warner estate, a massive Beverly Hills compound, for $165 million. The purchase was the most expensive home sale in California history at the time.An aerial view of the Warner estate.Los Angeles County/PictometryPrior to the sale, The New York Post reported that Bezos and Sanchez had been house-hunting in Los Angeles for weeks, touring mansions throughout the area.The Warner estate was built by Hollywood mogul and Warner Bros. cofounder Jack Warner in 1937. It spans eight acres and is situated in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills. It's an incredibly private property that's surrounded by tall hedges, blocked off by a large gate, and completely hidden from view from the street.The compound is home to multiple dwellings, including two guesthouses and a 13,600-square-foot mansion. The estate also features a pool, tennis court, and manicured gardens, as well as a nine-hole golf course and a "motor court" with its own garage and gas pumps, according to Architectural Digest. In July 2020, Bezos appeared to make another purchase, this time right next door: a $10 million home that shares a hedge line with the Warner estate. According to property records viewed by both Variety and Daily Mail, Bezos is the new owner of the 1930s-era home on a side street in Beverly Hills' Benedict Canyon neighborhood. In February 2021, Bezos made a major career move: He announced that he would step down as CEO of Amazon in the third quarter of that year.Mike Blake/Reuters; Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty ImagesThe move became official on July 5, 2021, with Andy Jassy — then the CEO of Amazon Web Services — taking his place at the helm of Amazon.Almost immediately after his departure from Amazon became official, Bezos headed for outer space.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesIn July of last year, Bezos lifted off aboard a Blue Origin rocket in the company's first human spaceflight. Bezos was accompanied by his brother, Mark, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, and Dutch teen Oliver Daemen on the quick voyage to the edge of space.Sanchez was in attendance, embracing Bezos after he safely touched down on Earth.A few months later, Bezos expanded his real estate empire once again when he and Sanchez purchased a home on Maui, Hawaii.Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez.Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesThe home, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum in October 2021, is located in an isolated area on the island's south shore and is near lava fields, Pacific Business News reported."Jeff and Lauren love Maui, have a home on the island, visit frequently, and want to be a part of supporting the local community," an unnamed person close to the couple told PBN at the time.Bezos had made several donations to local organizations in the weeks leading up the report of his new home purchase on the island, including to organizations that support women and children that have experienced abuse or homelessness and a substance abuse treatment center.Bezos and Sanchez have continued traveling the world, most recently to London.Ricky Vigil/Getty ImagesBezos took a private tour of Buckingham Palace, where "he showed a particular interest in the Throne Room and Ballroom," The Sun reported. He and Sanchez were later spotted having dinner at the The Twenty Two hotel in Mayfair with actor Tom Cruise. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 14th, 2022

What Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, and The Rock have in common: They"re top third-party alternatives to the Biden-Trump 2024 presidential binary.

As Joe Biden's approval ratings plummet and voters sour on Trump, celebrities are mulling potential independent or third-party presidential bids. Win McNamee/Getty , Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty , Saul Martinez/Getty , Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty , Photosynthesis/Getty , Tyler Le/Insider Joe Biden and Donald Trump are watching their approval ratings tank. Their low numbers are making room for other potential presidential hopefuls, including celebrities. Some Elon Musk stans want him to run. But Musk isn't a US citizen, which disqualifies him. First came Ronald Reagan. Then Donald Trump. Could Americans see another entertainer trade red carpets for the marbled hallways of the White House?It's plausible. Six out of 10 voters would consider a moderate independent candidate for president in 2024 if President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Trump, a Republican, end up staging a re-run of Election 2020, according to a recent Harvard CAPS-Harris poll.Recently, the case for nontraditional, third-party candidates received a boost with the launch of the Andrew Yang-fronted Forward Party, established by dozens of former Democratic and Republican officials. And several celebrities have openly flirted with making an independent presidential run.Here are 14 notable celebrities and would-be politicians to watch ahead of the 2024 presidential race:Elon MuskPatrick Pleul/APWhen Elon Musk began angling to buy Twitter, Musk superfans encouraged him to do more — run for president in 2024."Shoulda bought shares in Twitter a month ago," one Twitter user tweeted. "Either way I support #ElonMusk taking it over. Elon for President 2024."—Mike, a person (@mike_dangola) April 14, 2022 The billionaire has been making the headlines recently for his alleged affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin's wife, termination of his Twitter acquisition plans, and twins he had with one of his top executives.   But because of Article II of the US Constitution, Musk can't run for president because he was born in South Africa, not on American soil.Only a natural-born citizen can be president, which disqualifies Musk from the presidential race — although he could run for other public offices such as US senator or governor. (Think of Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as California's governor from 2003 to 2011.).Musk has also been vocal in his support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, for a potential 2024 presidential run.Oprah WinfreyGetty Images/Getty Images for Global CitizenOne of the most influential women in the world, Oprah Winfrey's presidential ambitions have long been a subject of celebrity-watching chatter.Winfrey's 2018 acceptance speech at the Golden Globes — she was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement — set off speculation about her possibility to run for president. The speech, which opened with a personal anecdote of her growing up as a Black girl in Milwaukee, pivoted to politics and social issues, such as the #MeToo movement. "I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," she said. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me Too' again."Stedman Graham, Winfrey's longtime partner, told the Los Angeles Times, that Winfrey running for president is "it's up to the people," and "she would absolutely do it." But three weeks before her speech, the media magnate herself told Laura Brown, then the editor-in-chief of InStyle, that she has no interest in occupying the presidency. Winfrey said she had met with someone who offered to help with a political campaign, but she declined. "I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not," Winfrey told Brown. "And so it's not something that interests me. I don't have the DNA for it. ... That's not for me." But it may be too early to completely rule out her name appearing on the ballot. In an interview with David Rubenstein, Winfrey said at first she felt as if she didn't have the experience to run for president, but is thinking otherwise after Donald Trump's election. "I thought, oh gee, I don't have the experience, I don't know enough, and now I'm thinking, 'Oh, oh?'" she said. And even if she doesn't run, her endorsement — if one is forthcoming — could certainly help the recipient.Andrew YangDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe 47-year-old former presidential candidate is no stranger to the political arena, although his efforts have yet to translate into electoral victory.Yang ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020 as a Democrat, and then, lost in a crowded field for mayor of New York in 2021.As part of his political platform, Yang promoted a universal basic income and Medicare for all. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, his bid was also a significant moment for Asian Americans.Yang, who is at the helm of the newly formed national political third party, the Forward Party, hinted at his second attempt at running for the presidency, should a Trump-Biden rematch take shape. In an interview with Fox News Digital, Yang said, "One thing I will say is that if that matchup is unappealing to you, then go to ForwardParty.com and let's make sure that Americans have more choices in your community but also in 2024."Bob Shrum, former political strategist and director of the Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California, believes Yang's bid could backfire and give more votes to Trump. "Andrew Yang, if he wants to start a new party or run as an independent, it could help the Republicans or it could help Trump in 2024," he told Insider.Dwayne "The Rock" JohnsonSamir Hussein/Wire Images/Getty ImagesProfessional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson's presidential bid overtures have not been nearly as subtle as Winfrey's.Nicknamed "The Rock," the 50-year-old actor has been asked about his presidential ambitions on multiple occasions.His answers hint at a 2024 bid. Johnson's flirtations with politics began several years ago when, in 2016, he floated the idea of him occupying the Oval Office via Twitter."Cool piece on why I should run for President. Maybe one day. Surely the White House has a spot for my pick up truck," Johnson tweeted, linking to a now-deleted Independent Journal story that laid out why he should be president.Then, in 2017, he said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that he'd "seriously considering running." The same year, Johnson told USA Today that, that as the former World Wrestling Entertainment "people's champ," he would probably run in 2020 "to serve the people."He then told Variety that "the realistic consideration would be 2024."More recently, in 2021, Johnson kept his political options open."I think that poll of almost half of Americans being in favor of me running for president is so humbling. It sits me down and I don't know any other way to describe it," he told CNN.Trump's former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Politico earlier this year that "The Rock" is one of the few people who could realistically challenge Trump in 2024, if Trump decides to run.Kanye WestGotham/GC ImagesThe American rapper and entrepreneur who last year officially changed his name to Ye, has expressed interest in running for president again, in 2024.In 2020, after an unsuccessful run for office, West tweeted, "KANYE 2024" with a picture of his side profile in front of a graphic of the 50 states.—ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020West was effectively a non-factor in the 2020 presidential race. He appeared as a presidential candidate on the ballot in just 12 states and received just under 60,000 votes. His strongest support came from Tennessee, where he received more than 10,000 votes. Trump, on the other hand, secured over 1.84 million votes in the state. West again hinted at a second attempt in his new song, "Keep It Burnin." In the first verse, he raps: "When you run for '24, I bet your spouse gon' be with you / Who put this together? Me, that's who."Liz CheneyWin McNamee/Getty ImagesThe Wyoming congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney is at war with many of her Republican Party colleagues as she serves as vice chair of the US House's January 6 select committee, which is investigating Trump. Perhaps the most prominent anti-Trumper in the GOP, Cheney hasn't ruled out a 2024 presidential bid. In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, she said, "At this point, I haven't made a decision on 2024. I'll make a decision on 2024 down the road."In an interview with ABC News, Cheney told Jonathan Karl that the Republican Party can't survive if Trump is the Republican nominee in 2024.If Cheney does run for president as a Republican, she'd likely face stiff opposition from any of several others: Trump, DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as several other notable Republicans.There's always the possibility — although Cheney has not publicly suggested this — that she'd quit the Republican Party altogether and seek political fortunes with another party or as an independent.But before making any decision about 2024, Cheney has her own congressional re-election campaign to run, and matters aren't looking good for her. With the election just a couple of weeks away, Cheney is trailing badly behind Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.Adam KinzingerChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesKinzinger, the other Republican on the January 6 committee who is distancing himself from Trump and the GOP establishment, said he would love to run against Trump in 2024."I would love it. I really would," he said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Even if he crushed me, like in a primary, to be able to stand up and call out the garbage is just a necessary thing, regardless of who it is. ... I think it'd be fun."During an interview with the Washington Post, Kinzinger said he felt "dirty" after voting for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. He did it to "have credit" with the GOP base, he added."It's not something I can square away in my soul fully," he said.Green Party and Libertarian PartyHarry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesAccording to Ballotpedia, there are five Green Party and 13 Libertarian Party candidates who have already filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2024. Likely none of them have a shot. In 2020, Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen received just over 1% of the national vote, and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins clocked in 0.31%. But "they can determine the outcome by draining votes away," Shrum said.If Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader had not run in 2000, for example, there's almost no question that Democrat Al Gore would have become president instead of Republican George W. Bush, Shrum said. "It would have, without doubt, have carried Florida by the margin of thousands of votes," he said.In addition, some argue that Jorgensen and the Libertarian Party siphoned crucial votes from Trump and ultimately elected Biden. But neither party has ever earned a single electoral vote, except in 1972, when Libertarian candidate John Hospers received the first and only electoral vote in the party's history — even if it wasn't entirely earned.Libertarians have also shown the ability to get on all 50 state ballots, a feat the Green Party hasn't achieved yet.Nevertheless, Green Party National co-chair Ahmed Eltouny is confident that a third-party candidate will emerge victorious in 2024.   "Trump got a lot of these people who felt disenfranchised to go out and vote, and it wasn't important how qualified Joe Biden was, because these were all votes against Trump," he told Insider. "But I do think that in 2024, it will definitely revert back to finding someone who's anti-establishment." Tom HanksPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images"Run, Forrest, run!" The beloved American actor who portrayed the main character in the comedy-drama film "Forrest Gump" would have instant name identification if he sought the highest office in the land. In 2013, a Reader's Digest poll named Hanks the most trusted person in America.Hanks, 66, has always been outspoken about his political views. He has donated to Democrats, endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 and subsequently for reelection in 2012, and publicly supported Joe Biden against Trump in 2020. Hanks even narrated Biden's presidential inauguration festivities.Filmmaker Michael Moore reportedly twice asked Hanks to run for president in the past, but was turned down both times. But some people are hoping for a Dwayne Johnson/Tom Hanks ticket after the duo in 2017 joked about a White House bid on Saturday Night Live. And since Johnson said he'll run if "the people want it," there could be at least some truth beneath their comedy bit.Angelina JolieGuillermo Legaria/Getty ImagesActress, film director, and social activist Angelina Jolie is yet another celebrity who might set her sights on winning the presidency in 2024. Earlier this year, Jolie attended an event at the White House where Biden signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act legislation — she is a vocal proponent. The 47-year-old Academy Award winner is a noted philanthropist and has served as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees special envoy.In 2018, the actress and humanitarian hinted that she might run for president.  "I don't know if I'm fit for politics, but then I've also joked that I don't know if I have a skeleton left in my closet — I'm pretty open and out there, and I can take a lot on the chin," she said. "So that's good. But I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change."Brock PierceJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesCryptocurrency — a mere buzzword just a couple years ago — is undoubtedly mainstream.In 2024, voters may find Bitcoin entrepreneur Brock Pierce's name on the ballot. Again.Pierce ran for president in 2020 as an independent but attracted little attention. He received 49,700 votes nationwide, with not quite half coming from voters in New York, according to records compiled by the Federal Election Commission."We get divided into making a fear-based decision to vote for red or blue, and I want to show people there's another way," he in 2020 told Insider."I can summarize why I'm running for office in one word: love. Love for this country, love for the American people at a time where that's what we need," he in 2020 told Darren Paltrowitz, host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast. Pierce is now running for election to the US Senate to represent Vermont. But that doesn't mean he no longer has ambitions for the presidency. He told Paltrowitz in the same interview that he will run for office again."I'm running all the way through to 2024," he said.Howard SternKevin MazurThe self-described "king of all media" said if Trump becomes the Republican nominee in 2024, he'll "beat his ass."On his SiriusXM show, Stern acknowledged his plans to run for president, adding that once elected, he'll work to eliminate the Electoral College. "I'm actually gonna probably have to run for president now," Stern said. "I went into a long-winded speech over the weekend to Robin [last name, his co-host] about how I am going to do the very simple thing that'll set the country straight: One vote, one person, no more of this Electoral College."If he files to run for president in 2024, it wouldn't be Stern's first time running for public office.Stern previously ran for governor of New York in 1994 as a Libertarian but dropped out of the race after refusing to disclose his personal finances — something that the multi-millionaire would have to do as a presidential candidate.Dave SmithBobby Bank/WireImageSmith, a comedian and staunch Libertarian, is setting his sights on a 2024 presidential bid. If elected, he'd be the first professional comedian to occupy the Oval Office.The 40-year-old host of "Part of the Problem" podcast is a prominent member of the Mises Caucus, which won control of the Libertarian Party in May at the party's national convention in Reno, when board member Angela McArdle won the Libertarian National Committee chair election with over 69% of the vote. Smith regularly appears as a political commentator on Fox News and The Joe Rogan Experience. "I really don't want to, but a lot of people here want me to and I understand why they do," he told libertarian magazine Reason. "I like what I'm doing. But I think I could do something and create something really cool. A cool moment for this cause."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 6th, 2022

What do Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, and "The Rock" have in common? They"re top third-party alternatives to the Biden-Trump 2024 presidential binary.

As Joe Biden's approval ratings plummet and voters sour on Trump, celebrities are mulling potential independent or third-party presidential bids. Win McNamee/Getty , Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty , Saul Martinez/Getty , Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty , Photosynthesis/Getty , Tyler Le/Insider Joe Biden and Donald Trump are watching their approval ratings tank. Their low numbers are making room for other potential presidential hopefuls, including celebrities. Some Elon Musk stans want him to run. But Musk isn't a US citizen, which disqualifies him. First came Ronald Reagan. Then Donald Trump. Could Americans see another entertainer trade red carpets for the marbled hallways of the White House?It's plausible. Six out of 10 voters would consider a moderate independent candidate for president in 2024 if President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Trump, a Republican, end up staging a re-run of Election 2020, according to a recent Harvard CAPS-Harris poll.Recently, the case for nontraditional, third-party candidates received a boost with the launch of the Andrew Yang-fronted Forward Party, established by dozens of former Democratic and Republican officials. And several celebrities have openly flirted with making an independent presidential run.Here are 14 notable celebrities and would-be politicians to watch ahead of the 2024 presidential race:Elon MuskPatrick Pleul/APWhen Elon Musk began angling to buy Twitter, Musk superfans encouraged him to do more — run for president in 2024."Shoulda bought shares in Twitter a month ago," one Twitter user tweeted. "Either way I support #ElonMusk taking it over. Elon for President 2024."—Mike, a person (@mike_dangola) April 14, 2022 The billionaire has been making the headlines recently for his alleged affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin's wife, termination of his Twitter acquisition plans, and twins he had with one of his top executives.   But because of Article II of the US Constitution, Musk can't run for president because he was born in South Africa, not on American soil.Only a natural-born citizen can be president, which disqualifies Musk from the presidential race — although he could run for other public offices such as US senator or governor. (Think of Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as California's governor from 2003 to 2011.).Musk has also been vocal in his support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, for a potential 2024 presidential run.Oprah WinfreyGetty Images/Getty Images for Global CitizenOne of the most influential women in the world, Oprah Winfrey's presidential ambitions have long been a subject of celebrity-watching chatter.Winfrey's 2018 acceptance speech at the Golden Globes — she was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement — set off speculation about her possibility to run for president. The speech, which opened with a personal anecdote of her growing up as a Black girl in Milwaukee, pivoted to politics and social issues, such as the #MeToo movement. "I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," she said. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me Too' again."Stedman Graham, Winfrey's longtime partner, told the Los Angeles Times, that Winfrey running for president is "it's up to the people," and "she would absolutely do it." But three weeks before her speech, the media magnate herself told Laura Brown, then the editor-in-chief of InStyle, that she has no interest in occupying the presidency. Winfrey said she had met with someone who offered to help with a political campaign, but she declined. "I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not," Winfrey told Brown. "And so it's not something that interests me. I don't have the DNA for it. ... That's not for me." But it may be too early to completely rule out her name appearing on the ballot. In an interview with David Rubenstein, Winfrey said at first she felt as if she didn't have the experience to run for president, but is thinking otherwise after Donald Trump's election. "I thought, oh gee, I don't have the experience, I don't know enough, and now I'm thinking, 'Oh, oh?'" she said. And even if she doesn't run, her endorsement — if one is forthcoming — could certainly help the recipient.Andrew YangDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe 47-year-old former presidential candidate is no stranger to the political arena, although his efforts have yet to translate into electoral victory.Yang ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020 as a Democrat, and then, lost in a crowded field for mayor of New York in 2021.As part of his political platform, Yang promoted a universal basic income and Medicare for all. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, his bid was also a significant moment for Asian Americans.Yang, who is at the helm of the newly formed national political third party, the Forward Party, hinted at his second attempt at running for the presidency, should a Trump-Biden rematch take shape. In an interview with Fox News Digital, Yang said, "One thing I will say is that if that matchup is unappealing to you, then go to ForwardParty.com and let's make sure that Americans have more choices in your community but also in 2024."Bob Shrum, former political strategist and director of the Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California, believes Yang's bid could backfire and give more votes to Trump. "Andrew Yang, if he wants to start a new party or run as an independent, it could help the Republicans or it could help Trump in 2024," he told Insider.Dwayne "The Rock" JohnsonSamir Hussein/Wire Images/Getty ImagesProfessional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson's presidential bid overtures have not been nearly as subtle as Winfrey's.Nicknamed "The Rock," the 50-year-old actor has been asked about his presidential ambitions on multiple occasions.His answers hint at a 2024 bid. Johnson's flirtations with politics began several years ago when, in 2016, he floated the idea of him occupying the Oval Office via Twitter."Cool piece on why I should run for President. Maybe one day. Surely the White House has a spot for my pick up truck," Johnson tweeted, linking to a now-deleted Independent Journal story that laid out why he should be president.Then, in 2017, he said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that he'd "seriously considering running." The same year, Johnson told USA Today that, that as the former World Wrestling Entertainment "people's champ," he would probably run in 2020 "to serve the people."He then told Variety that "the realistic consideration would be 2024."More recently, in 2021, Johnson kept his political options open."I think that poll of almost half of Americans being in favor of me running for president is so humbling. It sits me down and I don't know any other way to describe it," he told CNN.Trump's former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Politico earlier this year that "The Rock" is one of the few people who could realistically challenge Trump in 2024, if Trump decides to run.Kanye WestGotham/GC ImagesThe American rapper and entrepreneur who last year officially changed his name to Ye, has expressed interest in running for president again, in 2024.In 2020, after an unsuccessful run for office, West tweeted, "KANYE 2024" with a picture of his side profile in front of a graphic of the 50 states.—ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020West was effectively a non-factor in the 2020 presidential race. He appeared as a presidential candidate on the ballot in just 12 states and received just under 60,000 votes. His strongest support came from Tennessee, where he received more than 10,000 votes. Trump, on the other hand, secured over 1.84 million votes in the state. West again hinted at a second attempt in his new song, "Keep It Burnin." In the first verse, he raps: "When you run for '24, I bet your spouse gon' be with you / Who put this together? Me, that's who."Liz CheneyWin McNamee/Getty ImagesThe Wyoming congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney is at war with many of her Republican Party colleagues as she serves as vice chair of the US House's January 6 select committee, which is investigating Trump. Perhaps the most prominent anti-Trumper in the GOP, Cheney hasn't ruled out a 2024 presidential bid. In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, she said, "At this point, I haven't made a decision on 2024. I'll make a decision on 2024 down the road."In an interview with ABC News, Cheney told Jonathan Karl that the Republican Party can't survive if Trump is the Republican nominee in 2024.If Cheney does run for president as a Republican, she'd likely face stiff opposition from any of several others: Trump, DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as several other notable Republicans.There's always the possibility — although Cheney has not publicly suggested this — that she'd quit the Republican Party altogether and seek political fortunes with another party or as an independent.But before making any decision about 2024, Cheney has her own congressional re-election campaign to run, and matters aren't looking good for her. With the election just a couple of weeks away, Cheney is trailing badly behind Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.Adam KinzingerChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesKinzinger, the other Republican on the January 6 committee who is distancing himself from Trump and the GOP establishment, said he would love to run against Trump in 2024."I would love it. I really would," he said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Even if he crushed me, like in a primary, to be able to stand up and call out the garbage is just a necessary thing, regardless of who it is. ... I think it'd be fun."During an interview with the Washington Post, Kinzinger said he felt "dirty" after voting for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. He did it to "have credit" with the GOP base, he added."It's not something I can square away in my soul fully," he said.Green Party and Libertarian PartyHarry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesAccording to Ballotpedia, there are five Green Party and 13 Libertarian Party candidates who have already filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2024. Likely none of them have a shot. In 2020, Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen received just over 1% of the national vote, and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins clocked in 0.31%. But "they can determine the outcome by draining votes away," Shrum said.If Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader had not run in 2000, for example, there's almost no question that Democrat Al Gore would have become president instead of Republican George W. Bush, Shrum said. "It would have, without doubt, have carried Florida by the margin of thousands of votes," he said.In addition, some argue that Jorgensen and the Libertarian Party siphoned crucial votes from Trump and ultimately elected Biden. But neither party has ever earned a single electoral vote, except in 1972, when Libertarian candidate John Hospers received the first and only electoral vote in the party's history — even if it wasn't entirely earned.Libertarians have also shown the ability to get on all 50 state ballots, a feat the Green Party hasn't achieved yet.Nevertheless, Green Party National co-chair Ahmed Eltouny is confident that a third-party candidate will emerge victorious in 2024.   "Trump got a lot of these people who felt disenfranchised to go out and vote, and it wasn't important how qualified Joe Biden was, because these were all votes against Trump," he told Insider. "But I do think that in 2024, it will definitely revert back to finding someone who's anti-establishment." Tom HanksPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images"Run, Forrest, run!" The beloved American actor who portrayed the main character in the comedy-drama film "Forrest Gump" would have instant name identification if he sought the highest office in the land. In 2013, a Reader's Digest poll named Hanks the most trusted person in America.Hanks, 66, has always been outspoken about his political views. He has donated to Democrats, endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 and subsequently for reelection in 2012, and publicly supported Joe Biden against Trump in 2020. Hanks even narrated Biden's presidential inauguration festivities.Filmmaker Michael Moore reportedly twice asked Hanks to run for president in the past, but was turned down both times. But some people are hoping for a Dwayne Johnson/Tom Hanks ticket after the duo in 2017 joked about a White House bid on Saturday Night Live. And since Johnson said he'll run if "the people want it," there could be at least some truth beneath their comedy bit.Angelina JolieGuillermo Legaria/Getty ImagesActress, film director, and social activist Angelina Jolie is yet another celebrity who might set her sights on winning the presidency in 2024. Earlier this year, Jolie attended an event at the White House where Biden signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act legislation — she is a vocal proponent. The 47-year-old Academy Award winner is a noted philanthropist and has served as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees special envoy.In 2018, the actress and humanitarian hinted that she might run for president.  "I don't know if I'm fit for politics, but then I've also joked that I don't know if I have a skeleton left in my closet — I'm pretty open and out there, and I can take a lot on the chin," she said. "So that's good. But I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change."Brock PierceJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesCryptocurrency — a mere buzzword just a couple years ago — is undoubtedly mainstream.In 2024, voters may find Bitcoin entrepreneur Brock Pierce's name on the ballot. Again.Pierce ran for president in 2020 as an independent but attracted little attention. He received 49,700 votes nationwide, with not quite half coming from voters in New York, according to records compiled by the Federal Election Commission."We get divided into making a fear-based decision to vote for red or blue, and I want to show people there's another way," he in 2020 told Insider."I can summarize why I'm running for office in one word: love. Love for this country, love for the American people at a time where that's what we need," he in 2020 told Darren Paltrowitz, host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast. Pierce is now running for election to the US Senate to represent Vermont. But that doesn't mean he no longer has ambitions for the presidency. He told Paltrowitz in the same interview that he will run for office again."I'm running all the way through to 2024," he said.Howard SternKevin MazurThe self-described "king of all media" said if Trump becomes the Republican nominee in 2024, he'll "beat his ass."On his SiriusXM show, Stern acknowledged his plans to run for president, adding that once elected, he'll work to eliminate the Electoral College. "I'm actually gonna probably have to run for president now," Stern said. "I went into a long-winded speech over the weekend to Robin [last name, his co-host] about how I am going to do the very simple thing that'll set the country straight: One vote, one person, no more of this Electoral College."If he files to run for president in 2024, it wouldn't be Stern's first time running for public office.Stern previously ran for governor of New York in 1994 as a Libertarian but dropped out of the race after refusing to disclose his personal finances — something that the multi-millionaire would have to do as a presidential candidate.Dave SmithBobby Bank/WireImageSmith, a comedian and staunch Libertarian, is setting his sights on a 2024 presidential bid. If elected, he'd be the first professional comedian to occupy the Oval Office.The 40-year-old host of "Part of the Problem" podcast is a prominent member of the Mises Caucus, which won control of the Libertarian Party in May at the party's national convention in Reno, when board member Angela McArdle won the Libertarian National Committee chair election with over 69% of the vote. Smith regularly appears as a political commentator on Fox News and The Joe Rogan Experience. "I really don't want to, but a lot of people here want me to and I understand why they do," he told libertarian magazine Reason. "I like what I'm doing. But I think I could do something and create something really cool. A cool moment for this cause."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 6th, 2022

What Psychedelics And Bitcoin Have In Common

What Psychedelics And Bitcoin Have In Common Authored by Maxx Mannheimer via BitcoinMagazine.com, I’ll begin by stating that I do not suggest that anyone take psychedelics. Each individual knows what is best for them and it is not my intent to challenge your free will in any way. If what I have written connects with your life experience, great. If it does not, feel free to ignore every word. But if you wish to debate about what I am presenting, I would only request that you carefully read this article in its entirety. I do not recommend participating in any activity which is illegal where you live and I do not recommend taking psychedelic substances without professional guidance. Psychedelic experiences can be profoundly liberating and inspiring, but they can also be existentially earth-shattering if used without proper preparation. As always, do your own research and use your best judgment. I’m not the first to draw a link between psychedelics and Bitcoin. Articles about billionaire investor Christian Angermayer have highlighted at least one anecdote of psilocybe mushrooms assisting with the understanding of Bitcoin. However, I believe this won’t be the last time we see these two topics mentioned together. If my intuition is correct, we will be seeing many more articles along these lines as Bitcoin and psychedelics both enter the mainstream consciousness. A financial revolution without a spiritual one will fail to create a better world for the majority of life on this planet. A spiritual revolution without a financial one will fail to enact lasting change due to the corruption that is built into our current monetary system. Both are needed to fix the world. It is important that we acknowledge this dynamic period in human history holistically and ecologically rather than making blanket statements about quick-fix solutions to the issues that humanity is facing. The Bitcoin community often discusses the potential for a second renaissance. I hear much of the same talk in the psychedelics space. However, the two worlds often don’t consider the potential synergies between the two. My hope for this article is to support the ice-breaking process which has already begun. The 1960s were a time of ranging counterculture with no concrete direction. It represented a powerful lashing out against a system that doesn’t serve humanity. But after creating a cultural movement — and some excellent music — the flame was extinguished by draconian government intervention. Not only did all use of psychedelics get pushed to the black market, but all scientific research was completely halted for about 50 years. Many psychedelics were being used recklessly at that time, but psychedelics were made illegal for political reasons, not health reasons. The loss to human progress is impossible to calculate. In my assessment, the heavy handed prohibition is unraveling before our eyes. Various city and state governments have opted to decriminalize or legalize the use of psychedelics for therapy. Well known authors, comedians and other public figures are openly discussing psychedelics. Netflix is airing documentaries about psychedelics and many podcasters are covering the topic in a way which would have been shocking ten years ago. Publicly-traded companies are even working on psychedelic pharmaceutical development. More conservative-minded Bitcoiners may pause before seeing this in a positive light, but the data regarding psychedelics potential for therapeutic use can’t be ignored. Therapy using MDMA — the chemical abbreviation for the drug known more commonly as ecstasy or “Molly” — seems to be the most effective way to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a lasting manner. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is moving through U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials to have the substance rescheduled. Their phase three trials have demonstrated 67% of PTSD patients no longer met the criteria for PTSD two months after their sessions. Even after the fiat fiasco collapses we’ll still need to support these people who were traumatized by it. Note: MAPS accepts donations in bitcoin. The psychedelics community may have some hesitancy about the Bitcoin community as well. From my interaction with plant medicine enthusiasts, I have gathered that they’re a sensitive bunch. I genuinely mean that as a compliment, but sensitivity doesn’t always lend itself well to the self-identified “toxic” Bitcoin community. As a generalization, they are wary of anything that could be used to exclude people and deepen inequality. These concerns are valid, but are often projected onto the bitcoin life raft rather than the fiat sinking ship. As a result, there isn’t a sturdy connection between these two communities, but I am predicting that there could be for a number of reasons. The first bridge is the one that leads towards personal and collective liberation. Psychedelics have the potential to liberate us from old systems of thought and all of their downstream effects. Bitcoin has the potential to liberate us from Modern Monetary Theory and all its downstream effects. Both are interested in reducing violence against humanity. Both are interested in reducing government control over what we decide to put in our bodies. Both carry an inherently egalitarian questioning of authority. The second bridge is the novelty of thought required to understand Bitcoin. As I mentioned in “The Bitcoin Customer Service Department,” Bitcoin is a complex paradigm-shifting topic. Despite the simplicity of the Bitcoin white paper, understanding all its implications requires a dramatically novel understanding of the world. In Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind,” the following metaphor is used by Mendel Kaelen to explain the effects of psychedelics on the human psyche. “Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill, a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into the preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time, it becomes more and more difficult to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction. Think of psychedelics as temporarily flattening the snow. The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.” This metaphor is an excellent way to visualize what has been observed in psychedelic patient trials. Neural pathways become more flexible. New connections are created that allow for novel thought, understanding and behavior. Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they fully understood your viewpoint and agreed with everything you said just to see them revert back to their default assumptions a day or two later? That’s the snow metaphor in conversation form. The more concrete our neural connections become, the less likely we will be to understand new emergent technologies. The third bridge relates to the counterculture which gravitates around both Bitcoin and psychedelics. Radical rejection of conventional norms seems to be inherent in the Bitcoin ethos. Bitcoiners generally don’t accept mainstream media, political corruption or dishonesty. Psychedelics enthusiasts generally don’t accept moralistic arguments, violence or inauthenticity. Both groups seek fair treatment of humanity. Both groups avoid processed foods. Both groups are opposed to mindless materialistic consumption. Psychedelics enthusiasts are proponents of meditation and if Bitcoin holders haven’t been meditating through the 2020-22 market, I wouldn’t know what else to call it. Psychedelics pose a threat to authoritarian systems of control because they show users a deeper potential for spirituality and connection with their environment. They enable a novel view of circumstances which allows people to notice that what they are used to may not be the truth. What happened in the 1960s, exactly? A ton of young people realized that the game they were playing was making them and the rest of society miserable. They dropped out in the hopes of finding a new way to live. Most of the hippies in the 1960s were deeply distrustful of the government and of the fruitless wars politicians were creating. They knew the game was rigged and the best course of action was to opt out. What are Bitcoiners talking about today? Essentially the same thing. I know that both of these amorphous groups may balk at the fact that I have categorized them into groups at all. They are not really groups, but rather millions of individuals who share common interests and many of whom will never meet. That’s the beauty of it. Bitcoiners and psychedelic enthusiasts seem to be under a constant centrifugal force. As soon as I begin to categorize or wrangle them into any semblance of a group identity, they sprawl out even further. They span the full scope of human backgrounds and experience. The propaganda war against psychedelics has largely lumped them together, in the mind of the public, with dangerous addictive substances. I would recommend a more nuanced approach to understanding drugs and their uses. Every drug is a tool and each has its proper use. To simply ask for any random tool when what you really need is specifically a Phillips-head screwdriver, you’re unlikely to meet your needs. A closer inspection of each substance will clearly demonstrate that lumping all “drugs” together, simply due to legal status, is absurd. The federal government has clearly lost its grip on “The War On Drugs.” In direct opposition to federal drug scheduling laws, Oregon has decriminalized all drugs and made psilocybe mushroom therapy legal. As Ryan McMaken points out in his recent article, 43% of Americans are currently living in states which have legalized recreational cannabis. Again, in direct opposition to federal drug scheduling laws. If there was a “War On Drugs” it is fair to say that the drugs have won. Right or wrong, this trend is likely to continue. The continuous lack of understanding regarding drug use in America has had a devastating impact on the psyche and freedom of the country. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world and approximately half of our prisoners are locked up for non-violent offenses. Drugs and alcohol play a critical role in many of the violent offenses as well. Those incarcerations damage families for generations which ultimately increases future crime rates and use of addictive drugs. Rinse and repeat. The harder we press down on drugs, the more harmful the drugs on the street become. Opium, heroin, oxycontin, fentanyl. Overdoses have never been worse. The criminal justice system is totally broken and people are suffering. Is it possible that people are turning to these drugs because they are disenfranchised by a system which has done nothing but abuse them since the moment they were born? Don’t worry though! Big pharma has a solution for us. They’ll use their cantillon-bucks to lobby for their interests and pay doctors to prescribe psychotropic pharmaceuticals to numb the populace. It’s helpful to keep folks docile as we push them back into the massive machine which is crushing their souls. Western medicine really shines when it comes to saving people who are in dire need of intervention, but largely falls flat when it comes to improving quality of life in a sustainable way. In addition to treating PTSD, psychedelics have shown remarkable potential in assisting with anxiety, depression, addiction, birth trauma and fear of death. I personally have witnessed resolutions of serious physical ailments which were thought to be permanent medical conditions following ayahuasca ceremonies. Is this a result of the plant medicine or is it a result of the plant medicine’s ability to unlock human potential in self-healing? In either case, the effects could only be described as miraculous. Due to the lengthy prohibition, empirical research in this field is just beginning and the potential benefits are much broader than most realize. As John Sanro argues in “The Mindbody Prescription,” many of the ailments which we think of as physical in nature originate in the emotional body. If used responsibly, psychedelics can create lasting emotional relief which does not require repeated use. Most psychedelics are also non-addictive. Many have said that one profound experience is enough to create a permanent positive impact in one’s life. To my knowledge there are no pharmaceuticals which can make that claim. The understanding of self-interest in human action is a critical component for understanding society. The understanding of what constitutes the self is a critical component for understanding spirituality. At the core of every spiritual practice is the same lesson. The litigious dogma which separates religions simply distracts from that. This has been said at least since Baruch Spinoza, Sri Aurobindo and Alan Watts. Some have argued that the core spiritual message has been lost since the original teachings of Buddha, Christ and Muhammad were passed on to their followers. As eloquently discussed by Eckhart Tolle in “A New Earth,” humanity has simply missed the mark and that is the origin of suffering. The boundary between our self-interest and the interest of every other form of life is merely a condition of our perspective on the separation. You may discover that acting exclusively in self-interest without any consideration of others gradually becomes self-destructive. Most actions taken for the exclusive benefit of others, at great personal cost, typically prove themselves fruitless as well. There is a good reason for this. In his 2001 book, “No Boundary,” Ken Wilber presents a thorough case that all separation is simply an illusion. It is my belief that we all get the chance to see through this illusion upon departing this physical realm, but if we can look through the door, before permanently crossing the threshold, the broadened perspective can be beneficial to our experience until the departure. However, all of these words have very little consequence if they are not accompanied by first-hand experience. The metaphor I like to employ for this understanding is that of the mountain. Throughout human history the great prophets and mystics have arduously made their way up the mountain using various methods. Many have done their best to describe the sights, sounds and viewpoints from the paths that they chose. Those who reached the top have seldom had words to describe what was there and many never make the attempt to explain. That place is not describable to those who have not experienced it. This is true of every aspect of life. How can sight be described to a blind person? How can sound be described to a deaf person? Words ultimately only point to truth, they do not contain truth. Without a shared context of reality, words are empty. What psychedelics may be able to assist with, if the seeker is prepared, is to find a temporary view of various parts of the mountain. The glimpses into those heightened states of consciousness are simply that: glimpses. They do not contain the same value as thousands of hours of meditation, years of yoga practice or pilgrimages to holy sites, but the glimpses they provide can be profoundly liberating. To hop in a helicopter and visit the top of the mountain for fifteen minutes has the potential to alter your life permanently. The permanency is what many people fear when they hear about psychedelics, but what if the changes that remain with us are largely beneficial to our well-being rather than harmful? What if the expansion of human consciousness is exactly what is needed to slingshot us into the next phase of human evolution? The lowering of time preference alone seems to have a spiritual component, but is it enough to shift human nature away from the darkest parts of our past? The answer will come in the form of individual choice and expression. I want to believe that the separation of money and state will benefit humanity as a whole, but I won’t be entirely convinced until I see how it happens. What I would ask from the reader is a gentle approach to both psychedelics and to Bitcoin. You may benefit from listening for the true intent of those you are communicating with, not the intent you may have assumed they have. This speaks true not just for Bitcoin and psychedelics, but for all topics of discussion. The lack of understanding of a topic is not the same as malevolence. Assume the former even if you suspect the latter and your ability to support others in learning will improve significantly. Have a nice trip. Tyler Durden Wed, 07/27/2022 - 20:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 28th, 2022

What A Time To Be Alive

What A Time To Be Alive Submitted by Jack Raines via Young Money, A few things going on in the world today: War in Ukraine Global pandemic Political uncertainty Crashing financial markets $7 gas Layoffs Inflation And we are only two years into this century's "Roaring 20s." There is so much chaos in the world today that it's easy to say "life sucks, the world sucks, and everything sucks." Today, I am asking you to consider a different, more optimistic take: Life is good. In fact, it isn't just good. Life is the best that it has ever been. Turn Back the Clock Death If we were living in Alexandria in year 0, Kyoto during the samurai era, Stockholm in 1655, or Paris during Napoleon's reign, each of us would have had a coin flip's chance of surviving adolescence. Maybe we wouldn't have survived our own births. Maybe we would have fallen victim to famine, sickness, war, infection, labor, or an abundance of other adverse conditions.  From 500 BC to 1900 AD, death reigned supreme. The world's average youth mortality rate, defined as death before age 15, was 46.7%. Additionally, one-quarter of all infants didn't reach their first birthdays. For 2400 years, your odds of reaching your 15th birthday were reduced to the spin of a roulette wheel. But over the last century, everything changed. By 1950, the global youth mortality rate had nearly been cut in half to 27%. In 2017, we hit 4.6%. Somalia, which currently boasts the world's highest youth mortality rate at 14.8%, sits at just 1/3 of the global average from ~100 years earlier. In 2022, the death of a child is a tragic occurrence. In 1822, it was a normal part of daily life. We can't comprehend a world where early deaths were so common, yet that was the real world for millennia. Static mortality rates for centuries, then a 90% decline in just a few generations. Insane progress. Poverty In 1820, with a global population of 1.08B, 964.93M people lived in extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 per day in 2015, adjusted for inflation). In 2015, with a global population of 7.35B, 733.48M people lived in extreme poverty. While the world's population increased by 6.3B, the number of people living in extreme poverty decreased by 230M. We often focus on wealth inequality in the US. And it's true, the wealth gap is growing. But what gets missed in this wealth gap comparison is just how much better off poor people are now than at any point in the past. You can be "poor" in the United States today and have a cellphone, an internet connection, food, and shelter. Those living in government housing today have a higher standard of living than the upper class did in year 1900. JD Rockefeller, the richest man in modern history, didn't even have air conditioning. As recently as 1981 (!!!) 42% of the world lived in extreme poverty. Today, that number is just 9%. In the last generation, global extreme poverty has dropped by 84%. A variable highly correlated to poverty? Literacy. Literacy Even centuries after the advent of the printing press, books were still reserved for the elites. Written knowledge passed down from generation to generation could only be accessed by a select few, with the rest of the populace relying on word-of-mouth communication. Letters couldn't be written. Notes couldn't be taken. Information couldn't be recorded, unless you were born into the right house. In year 1800, just 12% of the world's population was literate. In year 1900, just 21% of the world's population was literate. In year 2016, an astounding 86% of the world's population was literate. Spreadsheet built on Rows Perspective If you were born in Paris, France in 1820, you had a 56% chance of making it to your 15th birthday. Assuming you survived, there was a 38% chance that you knew how to read and write. And even if you were alive and literate, (a combination with just a 21% chance of happening), you had a 50/50 shot of being in extreme poverty. But let's say that you beat the odds. You were a living, literate Parisian with a modest income. Welcome to the good life. You would have spent your entire adulthood in a chaotic, politically unstable post-Napoleon France. Your grandchildren would have fought in WW1, and their children would have fought in WW2. The reward for overcoming all of life's obstacles was two generations of war that tore your country apart. But at least gas wasn't $7 per gallon. It's hard to internalize just how good we have it because our own life experiences are our homeostasis, our base point for comparison. We read about the hardships of history, but we don't experience them. We don't feel them. How could we? Decades of war, sickness, and hardship have been reduced to paragraphs and documentaries. But those wars, sicknesses, and hardships were all-too-real for those who lived through them. The Plague of Justinian wiped out 40% of Constantinople's population in four months. The Russian Plague killed 33% of Moscow's population in a single season, and 75% of the remaining populace fled. The Covid-19 pandemic has been bad, no doubt. But can you imagine a world with 4M New York City deaths in just four months? Where millions of others flee, fearing for their lives? Because that happened. And it happened more than once. These accounts feel like faraway stories from an era in the distant past. Lost somewhere between fact and fantasy. But they were just as real to the past generations as our conflicts are to us today. A Million Little Miracles History is nothing if not a series of mankind conquering nature's limitations. The printing press allowed our knowledge to conquer death. Penicillin allowed our bodies to conquer infection. Fertilizers allowed our farms to conquer famine. Steam engines allowed our ships to conquer windless seas. Airplanes allowed us to conquer gravity and distant travel. Phones allowed us to conquer long-distance communication. Computers allowed us to conquer the spatial limitations of data storage. Over time, these little miracles, these little breakthroughs, they compounded. Each generation built from the shoulders of their predecessors, beginning life on third base thanks to a triple hit by the generation before. And innovation has accelerated as a result. Every single thing that we take for granted today would be nothing short of a miracle to anyone who lived just 100 years ago. Supermarkets with fresh selections of every food imaginable are magic. Planes that will transport you anywhere in the world in under a day are magic. Clean water is magic. Antibiotics are magic. Cell phones are magic. Plumbing systems are magic. Anesthesia is magic. The fact that you can read this blog from New York, to New Delhi, to New Zealand is magic. But to us, none of this is magic. To us, the real magic is that our ancestors survived with so much less. Inflation sucks. Covid sucks. War sucks. High gas prices suck. But we live in a world where you can Facetime your best friend from another country, and they can fly to visit you the next day. You can instantly communicate with anyone who has an internet connection. The poorest people in first-world countries still have food, water, shelter, and access to healthcare, while 200 years ago a large gash on your leg was a death sentence. We struggle with purpose, our ancestors struggled with survival. Asking "What do I want to do with my life?" is a privilege, considering the primary concern for everyone before us was "How do I stay alive?"  So while we tweet, text, and opine about the disastrous state of the world today, it is important to remember that the depths of our modern hells would be the pinnacles of our ancestors' lives. Our problems are a privilege. - Jack If you liked this piece, make sure to subscribe by adding your email below! Tyler Durden Mon, 06/27/2022 - 05:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 27th, 2022

Navarro: An Illegitimate Court Gets Ready To Convene

Navarro: An Illegitimate Court Gets Ready To Convene Op-Ed authored by Peter Navarro via RealClear Politics, As the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack prepares to stage a show trial of Donald Trump on Capitol Hill this week, I have filed a lawsuit challenging the Select Committee’s gross violations of the Constitution’s separation of powers. Yes, congressional committees do have the power to investigate. Yet, they can only do so in pursuit of a “legislative function,” e.g., to enact new rules, regulations, or policies. What settled law explicitly rules out is the pursuit of a “judicial function” in which a congressional committee seeks to act as judge, jury, and executioner. That clearly violates the separation of powers – punishment is reserved exclusively for the judicial branch. In this case, Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat-controlled House passed H. Res. 503 on May 21, 2021 to establish the committee; and the legislative activity of all seven of the committee’s Democrats reveal their clear intent to unconstitutionally punish Trump and his most senior advisors by subjecting us to the shame, humiliation, ostracization, banishment, denial of public office, and possible imprisonment that comes with being falsely accused of being insurrectionists seeking to overturn a fair election.  A sordid legislative history of these committee members spanning more than five years includes: a thoroughly discredited Russia hoax, two attempted impeachments, a Trump censure, and three House resolutions to remove Trump from office. The committee’s chair, Bennie Thompson, himself created a task force in 2017 as part of the perpetuation of the Russia hoax and has described President Trump as “racist and unfit to serve.”  Thompson also refused to show up for Trump’s 2017 inauguration. Thompson’s chief lieutenant, Adam Schiff, was the lead investigator for the first Trump impeachment trial and the tip of the Democrat’s spear for the Russia hoax. After his hoax imploded, Schiff hired investigators to expand a probe into Trump "beyond Russia." Jamie Raskin, the lead House Impeachment Manager for the second impeachment trial, has referred to Trump as “a barbarian,” and likewise repeatedly pushed the Russia hoax. Raskin also led the charge in pushing a trifecta of House resolutions to remove Trump from office.  Zoe Lofgren has called Trump “an ignorant bigot” who “shames our country” while seeking “to disqualify him from holding future office.” Elaine Luria boycotted Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address and attempted to convict Trump in the court of public opinion of “high crimes and misdemeanors set by the Constitution.” Pete Aguilar and Stephanie Murphy likewise voted “yes” on both impeachments and co-sponsored H.Res. 24 which initiated the second impeachment. In acting as judge and jury in the second impeachment trial, Aguilar falsely alleged that “President Trump attempted to use the power of his office to coerce a foreign government to interfere in an American election.”  Over the course of more than five years, these seven Democrats have sought to remove Donald Trump from office and prevent him from ever running for office again; and they have done so by repeatedly abusing their investigatory and legislative powers in serial violations of the separation of powers.  The only two Republicans on the Committee, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, voted “yes” on the second Trump impeachment trial while Kinzinger repeatedly sided with the Democrats on the Russia hoax. For his anti-Trump activities, Kinzinger was forced out of running for reelection and clearly has a score to settle with Trump. Cheney is a long-term foe because of Trump’s well-placed criticism that Cheney’s father Vice President Dick Cheney played a major role in prosecuting the “endless wars” in Afghanistan and Iraq. These wars needlessly killed or wounded hundreds of thousands of people and drained trillions of dollars from our Republic. That Cheney, along with Thompson, seek to abuse the committee’s investigatory powers in violation of the separation of powers is evident in their public confession that the purpose of their investigation is to ensure “those responsible are held accountable.”  Pelosi herself was caught on tape privately saying that “I do not want to see [Trump] impeached, I want to see him in prison.”  Clearly, Pelosi’s committee is seeking to build a criminal case against President Trump while four of the president’s most senior advisers – including myself – have already been held in contempt and face possible prison terms and fines for refusing to be accomplices to the committee’s star chamber. The June hearings that begin this week will effectively be the committee’s opening argument in support of a trumped up, Stalin-like criminal case against Donald Trump; and it is high time that our judicial branch puts a stop to the committee’s gross violations of the separation of powers.  Here, we should take Pelosi at her word when she described the formation of this committee as “unprecedented.”  It is indeed unprecedented for a rabidly partisan and score-settling congressional committee to abuse such powerful investigatory powers. By her own words, Pelosi has invited the judicial branch of our government to clearly establish the precedent that congressional committees do not have the legal authority to act as judges, juries, and executioners behind the mask and shield of putatively legitimate legislative functions.  Peter Navarro is the former assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy in the Trump White House and author of “In Trump Time: A Journal of America’s Plague Year.” Tyler Durden Thu, 06/09/2022 - 15:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 9th, 2022

The Tucker Carlson origin story

Tucker Carlson's journey from prep school provocateur to Fox News flamethrower, according to his friends and former classmates. Tucker Carlson during a CNN National Town Meeting on coverage of the White House sex scandal, on January 28, 1998.Richard Ellis/Getty Images Tucker Carlson is remembered as a provocateur and gleeful contrarian by those who knew him in his early days. His bohemian artist mother abandoned her young family and cut Tucker and his brother out of her will. At a Rhode Island prep school and at Trinity College, classmates remember him as a skilled debater who could both amuse and infuriate his audiences. On Oct. 29, 1984, New York police killed an elderly Black woman named Eleanor Bumpurs in her own home. Bumpers, who lived in a public housing complex in the Bronx, had fallen four months behind on her rent. When officials from the city housing authority tried to evict her, she refused, and they called the police. Five officers responded by storming into her apartment. Bumpurs, who had a history of mental illness, grabbed a butcher knife as two officers pushed her against a wall with their plastic shields and a metal pole. A third officer fired two shots from his 12-gauge shotgun, striking Bumpurs in her hand and chest.Eleanor Bumpurs' death dominated the city's news for two months and led the NYPD to revise its guidelines for responding to emotionally disturbed individuals.At St. George's prep school, some 175 miles away in Rhode Island, the incident deeply haunted Richard Wayner. He was one of the school's few Black students and had grown up in a residential tower not far from where Bumpurs had lived. He earned straight As and was so admired that in 1984 his peers elected him senior prefect, the prep equivalent of student body president, making him the first Black class leader in the school's 125-year history. Harvard soon beckoned.Wayner was frustrated with how the St. George's community seemed to ignore the conversations about racial justice that were happening outside the cloistered confines of Aquidneck Island. It bothered Wayne that almost no one at St. George's seemed to know anything about Bumpurs' killing. "You had your crew, you put your head down, and you tried to get through three or four years of prep school with your psyche intact," Wayner said of those days.As senior prefect, one of the duties was to deliver an address each week at the mandatory Sunday chapel service. One Sunday, perched from the chapel podium, Wayner described the shooting as a sea of white faces stared back at him. He concluded with the words: "Does anyone think that woman deserved to die?"Near the front of the chapel, a single hand went up for a few brief seconds. It was Tucker Carlson.Eleanor Bumpurs was shot and killed by the New York Police Department on October 29, 1984APThen a sophomore, Tucker had a reputation as a gleeful contrarian – an indefatigable debater and verbal jouster who, according to some, could also be a bit of a jerk. "Tucker was just sort of fearless," said Ian Toll, a St. George's alumnus who would go on to be a military historian. "Whether it was a legitimate shooting may have been a point of debate but the fact was that Tucker was an underclassmen and the culture was to defer to the seniors." Wayner himself never saw Tucker's hand go up, and the two kept in touch over the years. (Note on style: Tucker Carlson and the members of his family are referred to here by their first names to avoid confusion.)  Four decades later, glimmers of that prep school provocateur appear on Tucker's Prime Time show on Fox, which garners an average of between 3 to 4 million viewers a night. His furrowed visage and spoiling-for-a-fight demeanor are all too familiar to those who have known him for decades. In the words of Roger Stone, a Republican political operative, frequent guest, and longtime friend of Tucker's: "Tucker Carlson is the single most influential conservative journalist in America… It is his courage and his willingness to talk about issues that no one else is willing to cover that has led to this development."Tucker's name has even been floated as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024. "I mean, I guess if, like, I was the last person on earth, I could do it. But, I mean, it seems pretty unlikely that I would be that guy." he said on the "Ruthless" podcast in June, dismissing this possibility.Tucker's four decades in Washington, and his transition from conservative magazine writer to right-wing television pundit, have been well documented. But less well known are his early years and how they shaped him: his bohemian artist mother, who abandoned her young family and cut Tucker and his brother out of her will; the Rhode Island prep school where he met his future spouse; and his formation into a contrarian debater who could both amuse and infuriate his audience with his attention-getting tactics.Tucker declined to participate in an interview with Insider, saying in a statement. "Your level of interest in the boring details of my life is creepy as hell, and also pathetic," he wrote. "You owe it to yourself and the country to do something useful with your talents. Please reassess."California roots Tucker Carlson's West Coast roots burrow as deep as a giant redwood. He was born in San Francisco in May 1969 as the excesses of the Sixties peaked and the conservative backlash to the counterculture and the Civil Rights movement started to take shape. Tucker's mother, Lisa McNear Lombardi, born in San Francisco in 1945, came from one of the state's storied frontier families. Lisa's mother, Mary Nickel James, was a cattle baron heiress. Her great-great-grandfather had owned 3 million acres of ranchland, making him among the largest landowners west of the Mississippi. Her father Oliver Lombardi was an insurance broker and descendant of Italian-speaking Swiss immigrants. Lisa enrolled at UC Berkeley, where she majored in architecture. She met Richard Carlson, a San Francisco TV journalist from a considerably less prosperous background, while still in college. Lisa and Richard eloped in Reno, Nevada in 1967. The couple didn't notify Lisa's mother, who was traveling in Europe with her new husband at the time. "Family members have been unable to locate them to reveal the nuptials," a gossip item published in the San Francisco Examiner dished.Tucker arrived two years later. A second son, Buckley, was born two years after that. As Richard's career began to flourish, the family moved first to Los Angeles and then, in 1975, to La Jolla, a moneyed, beach-front enclave about 12 miles north of San Diego. When Lisa and Richard divorced a year later, in 1976, Richard got full custody of their sons, then 6 and 4. According to three of Tucker's childhood classmates, Lisa disappeared from her sons' lives. They don't recall Tucker talking about her, or seeing her at school events. Marc Sterne, Tucker's boarding school roommate who went on to be executive producer of the Tony Kornheiser Show, says the two didn't talk much about Tucker's relationship with his mother and he got the impression that Tucker and Richard were exceptionally close. When Sterne's own parents split up that year, he said Tucker was supportive and understanding. Lisa spent the next two decades as an artist – moving first to Los Angeles, where she befriended the painter David Hockney, and later split her time between France and South Carolina with her husband, British painter Michael Vaughan. In 1979, Richard Carlson married Patricia Swanson, heiress to the Swanson frozen foods empire that perfected the frozen Salisbury steak for hassle-free dinners. She soon legally adopted Tucker and Buckley.  When Lisa died in 2011, her estate was initially divided equally between Tucker, his brother Buckley, and Vaughan. But in 2013, Vaughan's daughter from another marriage found a one-page handwritten document in Lisa's art studio in France that left her assets to her surviving husband with an addendum that stated, "I leave my sons Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson and Buckley Swanson Peck Carlson one dollar each." A protracted battle over Lombardi's estate involving Vaughan and the Carlson brothers wound up in probate court. The Carlsons asserted the will was forged but a forensic witness determined that Lisa had written the note. The case eventually went to the California Appellate Court, which allowed the Carlson brothers to keep their shares in 2019."Lisa was basically sort of a hippie and a free spirit," said one attorney who  represented the Vaughan family and recalled having conversations about the case. "She was very liberal and she did not agree with Tucker's politics. But she stuck the will in the book, everyone forgot about it, and then she passed away."In a 2017 interview with The New Yorker, Tucker described the dissolution of his family as a "totally bizarre situation — which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all." Several pieces of art produced by Tucker's mother, Lisa Lombardi, and her then-partner Mo Mcdermott in the home of a California collector.Ted Soqui for InsiderLisa When Lisa left her husband and two young sons, she was escaping suburban family life in favor of the more bohemian existence as an artist. One of Tucker and Buckley's former teachers said their mother's absence "left some sour grapes." "I felt they sided with the father," Rusty Rushton, a former St. George's English teacher said. After the divorce, Lisa returned to Los Angeles and tried to break into the city's thriving contemporary art scene. She befriended Mo McDermott, an LA-based British sculptor, model, and longtime assistant to David Hockney, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A few years before he met Lisa, the scene was captured in Jack Hazan's 1974 groundbreaking documentary "A Bigger Splash," which followed Hockney and his coterie of gay male friends idly lounging around the pool in his Hollywood Hills home."When love goes wrong, there's more than two people who suffer," said McDermott, playing a slightly exaggerated version of himself, in a voiceover in the documentary.Lisa and McDermott became a couple and Lisa won admission into Hockney's entourage. Hockney lived a far more reclusive lifestyle than his pop art compatriot Andy Warhol but some four dozen or so artists, photographers, and writers regularly passed through his properties."She was more like a hippie, arty kind of person. I couldn't ever imagine her being a mother," said Joan Quinn, the then-West Coast editor of Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, who knew Lisa during those years and still owns several of her works. "She was very nervous all the time… She was ill-content."The pair were often seen at Hockney's Hollywood Hills home and at Friday night gallery openings on La Cienega Boulevard. They collaborated on playful, large-scale wood sculptures of animals, vegetables, and trees. A handful of their pieces could be seen around Hockney's hillside ranch."Hockney had me over to meet them. He wanted a gallery to handle their work," said Molly Barnes, who owns a gallery in West Hollywood and gave the pair shows in 1983 and 1984. "They were brilliant and David loved Mo. He thought they were the best artists around.""She was quiet and intellectual and somewhat withdrawn," Barnes said. "She had come from a lot of money and that reflected on her personality. She wasn't a snob in any way but she had the manners of a private school girl and someone who was fighting the establishment."A sculpture by Tucker's mother, Lisa Lombardi, and her then-partner Mo Mcdermott in the home of a California collector.Ted Soqui for InsiderNone of them recall Lisa discussing her two sons. McDermott died in 1988. After his death, Hockney discovered that McDermott had been stealing drawings from him and selling them. Hockney said the betrayal helped bring on a heart attack. "I believe I had a broken heart," Hockney told The Guardian in 1995. (Hockney did not answer multiple inquiries about Lisa or McDermott.)In 1987, Lisa met Vaughan, one of Hockney's peers in the British art scene known as the "Bradford Mafia." They married in February 1989 and for years afterward they lived in homes in the Pyrenees of southwest France and South Carolina's Sea Islands.Lisa continued to make art, primarily oversized, wooden sculptures of everyday household items like peeled lemons and dice, but she exhibited her work infrequently. She died of cancer in 2011, at which point Carlson was a decade into his media career and a regular contributor on Fox News. Richard In contrast to Lisa's privileged upbringing, Richard's childhood was full of loss. Richard's mother was a 15-year-old high school girl who had starved herself during her pregnancy, and he was born with a condition called rickets. Six weeks later, his mother left him at an orphanage in Boston called The Home for Little Wanderers. Richard's father, who was 18, tried to convince her to kidnap the infant and marry him, but she refused. He shot and killed himself two blocks from her home.A Massachusetts couple fostered Richard for two years until he was adopted by a wool broker and his wife, which he described in a 2009 reflection for the Washington Post. His adoptive parents died when he was still a teenager and Richard was sent to the Naval Academy Preparatory School. He later enlisted in the Marines and enrolled in an ROTC program at the University of Mississippi to pay for college.In 1962, Richard developed an itch for journalism while working as a cop in Ocean City, Maryland at the age of 21, and the future NBC political correspondent Catherine Mackin, helped him get a copy boy job at the Los Angeles Times. Richard moved to San Francisco three years later and his career blossomed. He started producing television news features with his friend, Lance Brisson, the son of actress Rosalind Russell. They filmed migrant farm workers in the Imperial Valley living in cardboard abodes in 110 degree weather, traipsed the Sierra Nevada mountains to visit a hermit, and covered the Zodiac Killer and Bay Area riots (during one demonstration in 1966, they sent television feeds from their car where they trapped for four hours  and a crowd roughed up Brisson, which required four stitches under his left eye). Another time, they rented a helicopter in search of a Soviet trawler but they had to jump into the Pacific Ocean when the chopper ran low on fuel near the shore and crashed.In 1969, Richard and Brisson co-wrote an article for Look Magazine that claimed San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto had mafia ties. Alioto sued the magazine's owner for libel and won a $350,000 judgment when a judge determined the article's allegations were made with "actual malice" and "reckless disregard for whether they were true or not." (Richard was not a defendant in the case and has stood by his story. Brisson declined an interview.)Richard moved back to Los Angeles to join KABC's investigative team two years later. One series of stories that delved into a three-wheeled sports car called the Dale and the fraudulent marketing practices of its founder, Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael, won a Peabody award in 1975. The series also outed Carmichael as a transgender woman. (Richard's role in Carmichael's downfall was explored in the HBO documentary "The Lady and the Dale.") Soon after arriving as an anchor for KFMB-TV, San Diego's CBS affiliate, Richard ran a story revealing that tennis pro Renee Richards, who had just won a tournament at the La Jolla Tennis Club, was a transgender woman."I said, 'You can't do this. I am a private person,'" Richards, who years later would advise Caitlyn Jenner about her transition, urged the television journalist to drop his story, according to a 2015 interview. "His reply? 'Dr. Richards, you were a private person until you won that tournament yesterday.'" By the time he left the anchor chair in 1977 to take a public relations job with San Diego Savings and Loan, Richard had soured on journalism. "I have seen a lot of arrogance and hypocrisy in the press and I don't like it," he told San Diego Magazine in 1977. "Television news is insipid, sophomoric, and superficial… There are so many things I think are important and interesting but the media can be counted on to do handstands on that kind of scandal and sexual sensation."Years later, Richard said that he never tried to encourage his eldest son in politics or journalism, but that Tucker had a clear interest in both from an early age. "I never thought he was going to be a reporter or a writer. I never encouraged him to do that," Richard told CSPAN of his eldest son in 2006. "I actually attempted not to encourage him politically, either. I decided those are the things that should be left up to them."A LaJolla, California post card.Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty ImagesA La Jolla childhoodAfter the divorce, Richard and his boys stayed in La Jolla in a house overlooking the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Friends of Tucker's would later say that the trauma of their mother's absence brought the three of them closer together.  "They both really admired their dad. He was a great source of wisdom. He's one of the great raconteurs you'll ever meet. They loved that glow that came from him," said Sterne, Tucker's boarding school roommate. "They both looked up to him, it was clear from my eyes."In an essay included in his book "The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism," Tucker described Richard as a kind parent who imbued family outings with a deeper message.One of Tucker's earliest memories, he writes, was from just after the divorce, when Tucker was seven and Buckley was five: the brothers gripping the edge of a luggage rack on the roof of his family's 1976 Ford Country Squire station wagon, while their father gunned the engine down a dirt road."I've sometimes wondered what car surfing was meant to teach us," Tucker wrote. "Was he trying to instill in us a proper sense of fatalism, the acknowledgement that there is only so much in life you can control? Or was it a lesson about the importance of risk?... Unless you're willing to ride the roof of a speeding station wagon, in other words, you're probably not going to leave your mark on the world."More often, the boys were left unsupervised and found their own trouble. Tucker once took a supermarket shopping cart and raced it down a hill in front of their house with Buckley in its basket. The cart tipped over, leaving Buckley with a bloody nose. He also recalled building makeshift hand grenades with hydrochloric acid and aluminum foil – using a recipe from their father's copy of "The Anarchist Cookbook"  and tossing them onto a nearby golf course."No one I know had a father like mine," Tucker wrote. "My father was funnier and more outrageous, more creative  and less willing to conform, than anyone I knew or have known since. My brother and I had the best time growing up."Richard sent Tucker to La Jolla Country Day, an upscale, largely white private school with a reputation as one of the best in Southern California, for elementary and middle school. In his book, "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution," Tucker described his first grade teacher Marianna Raymond as "a living parody of earth-mother liberalism" who "wore long Indian-print skirts," and sobbed at her desk over the world's unfairness. "As a conservative, I had contempt for the whiny mawkishness of liberals. Stop blubbering and teach us to read. That was my position," he wrote. "Mrs. Raymond never did teach us; my father had to hire a tutor to get me through phonics.""I beg to differ," Raymond countered in an interview, saying that she was also Tucker's tutor during the summer after first grade and was even hired again. "I'm a great teacher. I'm sure he liked me." For her part, she remembered Tucker as a fair-haired tot who was "very sweet" and "very polite." (When The Washington Post reached out her her, she said Carlson's characterization had been "shocking.")  Friends from La Jolla remember that Tucker loved swimming the mile-and-a-half distance between La Jolla Shores Park and La Jolla Cove, jumping off cliffs that jut out into the Pacific Ocean, riffing on the drums, and playing Atari and BB gun games at the mall with his friends. "He was a happy kid. We were young, so we used to go to the beach. We did normal kid stuff," said Richard Borkum, a friend who is now a San Diego-based attorney. When they weren't at the beach or the mall, Borkum and another friend, Javier Susteata, would hang out at the Carlson home listening to The Who, AC/DC, and other classic rock bands. Borkum said the adults at the Carlson household largely left them alone. "I'm Jewish and Javier was Mexican and I'm not sure they were too happy we were going to their house," Borkum said.Another friend, Warren Barrett, remembers jamming with Tucker and going snow camping at Big Bear and snorkeling off Catalina Island with him in middle school."Tucker and I literally ate lunch together every day for two years," Barrett said. "He was completely the opposite of now. He was a cool southern California surfer kid. He was the nicest guy, played drums, and had a bunch of friends. And then something must have happened in his life that turned him into this evil diabolical shithead he is today."LaJolla is a upscale beach community outside of San Diego. Carlson and his family moved their in 1975.Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesSan Diego's next mayorRichard, meanwhile, was exploring a second career in public service. By 1980, he had risen to vice president of a bank headed by Gordon Luce, a California Republican power broker and former Reagan cabinet official. The following year, Richard's public profile got a boost when he tangled with another veteran television journalist, CBS's Mike Wallace. The 60 Minutes star had interviewed Richard for a story about low-income Californians who faced foreclosures from the bank after borrowing money to buy air conditioners without realizing they put their homes up for collateral. Richard had his own film crew tape the interview, and caught Wallace saying that people who had been defrauded were "probably too busy eating their watermelon and tacos." The remark made national headlines and Wallace was forced to apologize.Pete Wilson, the U.S. Senator and former San Diego mayor, encouraged Richard to run for office. In 1984, Richard entered the race to challenge San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock's re-election. "He was a very well-regarded guy," Hedgecock told Insider. "He had an almost Walter Cronkite-like appearance, but because he was in local news he was all about not offending anybody. He didn't have particularly strong views. He was nice looking, articulate, and made good appearances, but what he had to say was not particularly memorable other than he wanted me out of office."Sometimes Tucker tagged along for campaign events. "He would always show up in a sport coat, slacks and a bowtie and I thought that's really nice clothing for someone who is a kid," Hedgecock remembers. He was a very polite young man who didn't say much."Five days before voters went to the polls, Hedgecock went on trial for 15 counts of conspiracy and perjury, an issue that Richard highlighted in his television campaign ads. Richard still lost to Hedgecock 58 to 42 percent despite pouring nearly $800,000 into the race and outspending Hedgecock two to one. (Hedgecock was found guilty of violating campaign finance laws and resigned from office in 1985 but his convictions were overturned on appeal five years later.)People are seen near a beach in La Jolla, California, on April 15, 2020.Gregory Bull/AP PhotoPrep school In the fall of 1983, a teenaged Tucker traded one idyllic beachfront community for another.At 14, Tucker moved across the country to Middletown, Rhode Island, to attend St. George's School. (Buckley would follow him two years later.) The 125-year-old boarding school sits atop a hill overlooking the majestic Atlantic Ocean, and is on the other side of Aquidneck Island where Richard Carlson went to naval school. The private school was known as a repository for children of wealthy East Coast families who were not as academically inclined as those who attended Exeter or Andover. Its campus had dorms named after titans of industry, verdant athletic fields, and a white-sand beach.Senators Claiborne Pell and Prescott Bush graduated, as did Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and poet Ogden Nash. Tucker's class included "Modern Family" actor Julie Bowen; Dede Gardner, the two-time Oscar-winning producer of "12 Years a Slave" and "Moonlight"; and former DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson. Billy Bush – "Extra" host, and cousin to George W. Bush – was three years behind him.Tuition at St. George's cost $13,000 per year in the 1980s (it's now up to $67,000 for boarding school students) and student schedules were tightly regimented with breakfast, classes, athletics, dinner, and study hall encompassing each day. Students were required to take religion classes, and attend chapel twice a week. Faculty and staff would canvass the dorms on Thursdays and Sundays to ensure no one skipped the Episcopal service. Tucker impressed his new chums as an hyper-articulate merrymaker who frequently challenged upperclassmen who enforced dorm rules and the school's liberal faculty members."He was kind of a California surfer kid. He was funny, very intelligent, and genuinely well-liked," said Bryce Traister, who was one year ahead of Tucker and is now a professor at the University of British Columbia. "There were people who didn't like Tucker because they thought he was a bullshitter but he was very charming. He was a rascal and a fast-talker, as full of shit as he is today."Back then Tucker was an iconoclast more in the mold of Ferris Bueller than preppy neocon Alex P. Keaton, even if his wardrobe resembled the "Family Ties" star. Students were required to wear jackets, ties, and khakis, although most came to class disheveled. Tucker wore well-tailored coats and chinos, pairing his outfit with a ribbon-banded watch and colorful bowtie which would later become his signature. "He was always a very sharp dresser. He had a great rack of ties. He always knew how to tie a bowtie but he didn't exclusively wear a bowtie," said Sterne, Tucker's freshman year roommate. "He always had great clothes. It was a lot of Brooks Brothers." Their crew crew held court in each others' dorm rooms at Auchincloss, the freshman hall, kicking around a Hacky Sack and playing soccer, talking about Adolph Huxley, George Orwell, and Hemingway, and dancing to Tom Petty, the Grateful Dead, and U2 on the campus lawn. Televisions weren't allowed so students listened to their Sony Walkman swapping cassette recordings of live concerts. Tucker introduced several bands to his friends."He loved classic rock and he was and still is a big fan of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead," said Sterne, who saw a Dead show with Tucker at RFK Stadium in 1986.Sometimes the clique got slices at Aquidneck Pizza and played arcade games in town, hung out in history instructor William Schenck's office, and smoked pot and Marlborough Red cigarettes on a porch in the main building's common room that faced the ocean, according to multiple sources. When the school administrators banned smoking indoors the following year so they congregated behind the dumpster behind the dining hall. Vodka (often the brand Popov) mixed with Kool-Aid was the drink of choice and students stockpiled bottles under their beds.Tucker was an enthusiastic drinker, half a dozen classmates recall. In his book, "The Long Slide," Tucker credits Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" for enticing him to try drugs in 10th grade, The experience gave him "double vision and a headache." By the time he got to college, Tucker writes, "I switched to beer."By the late 1990s Tucker stopped smoking. He eventually cut alcohol too in 2002 after drinking so much while covering George W. Bush in New Hampshire during the 2000 primary that he accidentally got on the wrong plane, according to a friend.Most of Tucker's fellow students remember him best as a skilled speaker."He was always eager to take the less palatable side of the argument and argue that side," said Mahlon Stewart, who attended prep school and college with Tucker and is now a geriatric specialist at Columbia University. "Back then it was comedic. I thought it was an act.""His confidence was just amazing. He could just put out some positions and be willing to argue anything no matter how outlandish," Keller Kimbrough, a former classmate who's now a professor at the University of Colorado. "We were talking about politics and religion one time Tucker pulled this card out of his wallet and said, 'Well actually I'm an ordained minister, I'm an authority on the subject.' This was a stunt. He could literally play the religion card." "When he got the job at Fox I just thought 'Wow that's perfect for him, that's exactly what he can do.'"Their dorm room discourses were never serious. Tucker would pick a side in a debate between whether the color red or blue were better, and the crowd would erupt whenever he made a good point, friends said.  "Even at age 15 he was verbally dexterous and a great debater," Ian Toll said. "His conservative politics was fully formed even back then. He believed in strong defense and minimal government."His teachers saw a pupil who was primed for law school."Language and speaking came naturally to him. He took pleasure in it," said Rusty Rushton, Tucker's former English teacher. Tucker's politics, though, "seemed fluid to me," Rushton said. "I don't think of him as a deeply ensconced ideologue."He ditched soccer after sophomore year to act in a school theater production of Ayn Rand's courtroom thriller "Night of January 16th" (Julie Bowen starred as the prosecuting attorney. Tucker played a juror). But Tucker found his voice in competitive debate when he eventually joined the school's debate club. The team traveled to other private school campuses to compete against schools like Andover, Exeter, and Roxbury Latin in tournaments."He won some debate and basically did a victory lap afterward and got in the face of all the faculty there," one alum from a rival school who debated against Tucker said. "After defeating the student team, he started challenging the faculty, and said, 'Do any of you want to take me on? Are any of you capable of debating me?'"SusieIn the fall of Tucker's sophomore year, a new headmaster arrived at St. George's, Rev. George Andrews II. Andrews' daughter, Susie – who Tucker would eventually marry – was in Tucker's class. According to school tradition, a rotating group of underclassmen was charged with serving their classmates dinner and, one night in late September, Tucker and Susie had the shift at the same time. "They were sitting at a table at the far end of Queen Hall just leaning in, talking to each other," Sterne recalled. "You could see the sparks flying, which was cool."Susie floated between the school's friend groups easily. When she was seen mingling with Tucker, some questioned what she saw in him."People were saying, 'Come on Susie, why are you dating Tucker?' He's such a loser slacker and she was so sweet," Traister said. The pair started dating at the age of 15 and quickly became inseparable. Tucker gained notoriety on campus for repeatedly sneaking into Susie's room on the second floor of Memorial Schoolhouse, the school's stately administrative office that housed the headmaster's quarters. He had less time for his dumpster buddies now that the couple hung out on the campus lawn, attended chapel and an interdenominational campus ministry organization called FOCUS. His senior yearbook included a photo of Tucker squinting in concern to a classmate, with the caption "What do you mean you told Susie?While Susie was universally liked within the St. George's community, her father was polarizing.Andrews led the school during a turbulent period – it was later revealed – when its choirmaster Franklin Coleman was accused of abusing or having inappropriate conduct with at least 10 male students, according to an independent investigation by the law firm Foley Hoag in 2016. (Two attorneys representing several victims said 40 alumni contacted them with credible accounts of molestation and rape accusations at the hands of St. George's employees between 1974 and 2004 after a 2015 school-issued report detailed 26 accounts of abuse in the 1970s and 1980s. (Coleman was never criminally charged and he has not responded to Insider's attempts to reach him.) Over his eight-year tenure as school music director, from 1980 to 1988, Coleman invited groups of boys to his apartment for private parties. Sometimes he shared alcohol and pot with some of them, gave them back and neck rubs, showed pornographic videos, traveled with them on choral trips and stayed in their hotel rooms, and appeared nude around some of them, the report found. Several of Tucker's classmates and former faculty said they had no reason to believe he would have been aware of the accusations. "There were rumors circulating wildly that Coleman was bad news. The idea was he would cultivate relationships with young men," Ian Toll, a St. George's alum, said. "Anyone who was there at that time would have likely been aware of those rumors."Andrews told Foley Hoag investigators he was not aware of any complaints about Coleman until May 1988 (by then, Tucker had finished his freshman year in college) when school psychiatrist Peter Kosseff wrote a report detailing a firsthand account of misconduct. But Andrews acknowledged to investigators the school could have been aware of "prior questionable conduct" before then, the report said. Andrews fired Coleman in May 1988 after the school confronted Coleman with allegations of misconduct and he did not deny them. According to the investigation, Andrews told students Coleman resigned due to "emotional stress" and that he had the "highest regard and respect for him." On the advice of a school attorney, Andrews did not report the music teacher to child protective services. He also knew that his faculty dean wrote Coleman a letter of recommendation for a job at another school, according to investigators. Andrews left the school a few weeks after Coleman departed. By September 1989, he was named headmaster at St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Florida which he led for 18 years. (Andrews declined to speak about Tucker or his tenure at either school.) St. George's, meanwhile, reached an undisclosed settlement with up to 30 abuse survivors in 2016. Coleman found work as a choir director at Tampa Preparatory School in Tampa Bay, Florida before he retired in 2008. Tucker Carlson attended St. George’s School, a boarding school starting at age 14.Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesTrinity In the fall of 1987, Tucker enrolled at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where Rev. Andrews had also attended.Nearly two-thirds of Trinity's student body back then originated from private schools and many came from wealthy backgrounds. Tuition in 1987 cost $11,700 plus an additional $3,720 for room and board—around $27,839 in today's dollars."When the Gulf War broke out" in 1990, one Trinity alum who knew Tucker recalled, "there was a big plywood sign in front of the student center that read, 'Blood for Oil,' and someone else threw a bucket of paint on it."The posh campus was situated in the middle of Hartford, Connecticut, the state's capital and one of its poorest cities. Discussions about race and inequality were sometimes at the forefront of campus politics, but many students avoided engaging in them entirely."There were issues about whether black students should only date other black students, that kind of thing," said Kathleen Werthman, a classmate of Tucker's who now works at a Florida nonprofit for people with disabilities. "My sophomore year, for new students, they had a speaker talking about racism, and one of the students said, 'I never met a black student, how are you supposed to talk to them?' And the idea that only white people can be racist was challenged too."Susie was at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. His brother remained in Rhode Island and other prep school friends had fanned out across the East Coast. Tucker moved into a four-bedroom dormitory overlooking the main quad. One suitemate, Neil Patel, was an economics major from Massachusetts who played intramural softball. (They would co-found the Daily Caller together two decades years later.) Other roommates played on the varsity soccer team and they formed a tight-knit group."I remember being struck by him. He was the same way he is now," said Rev. Billy Cerveny, a college friend of Tucker's who's now a pastor at Redbird Nashville. "He was a force of nature. He had a sense of presence and gravitas. You might get into an argument with him, but you end up loving the guy."Tucker often went out of his way to amuse his friends. Once during the spring semester, several activists set up a podium and microphone beneath his dorm window to protest the CIA's on-campus recruitment visits. The demonstration was open-mic so Tucker went up to the stage and told the crowd of about 15 people, "I think you're all a bunch of greasy chicken fuckers.""I think people laughed. He did," Cerveny said. "There was always a small collection of people any time there was an issue who tried to stir the pot in that way. Some people were dismissive and other people loved it, thinking 'Oh we're getting a fight here.'"As a sophomore, Tucker and his friends moved into a dingy three-story house on Crescent Street on the edge of the campus. He ditched his tailored jackets, khakis, and bowties for oversized Levi jeans, t-shirts, and untucked oxford shirts. Tucker commandeered a low-ceilinged room above the front porch with so many windows he had to hang up tapestries to keep out the sun. The tiny alcove had barely enough space for an eight-foot futon and several bookshelves Tucker built himself stacked with books he collected. Friends remember Tucker receiving an 8-by-10 manilla envelope that his father sent through the mail once or twice a month containing dozens of articles from newspapers and magazines.One of Tucker's friends, Cerveny, remembered stopping by Richard's home in Washington, D.C. and finding evidence of his hobbies, including the world's second largest collection of walking sticks."His house was filled with rare canes he collected from all over the world," Cerveny said. "The hallways had really amazing rows of canes hung on hooks that were specially made to mount these things on the house. One used to be a functional shotgun, another one was made out of a giraffe. His dad would pull out newspaper clippings of WWII Navy aircraft carriers. It changed the way I thought about a lot of things. I had never seen anything like that. Who collects canes?"During sophomore year, Tucker's friends decided to rush Delta Phi, a well-to-do fraternity also known as St. Elmo's. The Greek scene had a large presence on campus — about 20 percent of men joined them even though Trinity was a liberal arts school — and St. Elmo's had a reputation as freewheeling scamps. Once a year, a St. Elmo's brother would ride his motorcycle naked through the campus cafeteria. (Faculty voted in 1992 to abolish Greek life saying they were sexist and racist, and school administrators instead forced fraternities to become co-ed.)But Tucker refused to come aboard. Some classmates thought it was because he didn't want to be hazed."Tucker was not a joiner like that," Mahlon Stewart said. "He wouldn't have set himself up for whatever humiliation would have been involved. He would not have put up with that." But Cerveny, who pledged the fraternity, said it was a matter of faith."I remember explicitly him saying 'Look, I want to focus on what my faith is about and I thought this would be a big distraction,'" Cerveny said. "But he was very much in the mix with us. When we moved to a fraternity house [on Broad Street], we asked him to live with us."Tucker occasionally dropped in on his friends' fraternity events and occasionally brought Susie when she visited or Buckley when he drifted into town. Other times they hung out at Baker's Cafe on New Britain Avenue. Mostly Tucker stayed in his room."He was basically a hermit. It wasn't like he was going to a ton of parties" one Trinity St. Elmo's brother said. "He was not a part of the organizational effort of throwing big parties, or encouraging me to join the fraternity." Susie, who didn't drink or smoke, was a moderating influence. "Tucker and Susie had their moral compass pointing north even back then," Sterne said. "Tucker's faith was not something he was focused on in his early years but when he met Susie and he became close to her family, that started to blossom and grow in him. Now it's a huge part of his life."By the time his crew moved to another house on Broad Street, they each acquired vintage motorcycles and tinkered with them in their garage. Tucker owned a 1968 flathead Harley Davidson that barely ran and relied on a red Jeep 4X4 to transport friends around town (the Volkswagen van he had freshman year blew up). He smoked Camel unfiltered cigarettes, sipped bourbon, and occasionally brewed beer in the basement, including a batch he named "Coal Porter," according to GQ.When he wasn't reading outside of his courses or tinkering with his carburetor, Tucker took classes in the humanities and ultimately majored in history. Tucker dabbled in other fields including Russian history, Jewish history, Women's Studies, and Religious Studies, sitting in the back of lecture halls with his friends. Ron Kiener, who taught an introductory level course in Judaism, recalled Tucker performing "poorly" but earning a credit. "He did not get a stellar grade from me," Kiener said. "Based on what he says now he surely didn't get very much out of my courses."But Leslie Desmangles, who led courses in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Myth, Rite, and Sacrament, said Tucker was engaged and likely did just enough to pass his courses even if he wasn't very studious or vocal in class discussions."He was interested in understanding the nature of religious belief and studying different cultures and religions but I'm not sure if he had an interest in diversity," Desmangles said. "He was genuinely interested in ritual since a lot of the Episcopal church is highly ritualistic."Tucker's fascination with religion extended to his extracurricular activities too. He and several friends joined Christian Fellowship, a Bible study group that met weekly and helped the school chaplain lead Sunday services. Some members even volunteered with ConnPIRG, a student advocacy group on hunger and environmental issues, and traveled to Washington D.C. to protest the Gulf War. But Tucker steered clear of campus activism. He spent his free time reading and seeing Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, and Sting perform when they came through Connecticut. Sometimes he skipped school to follow his favorite band, the Grateful Dead, on tour.He took an interest in Central American politics too. At the end of freshman year, Tucker and Patel traveled to Nicaragua. "We did not have a place to stay or any set plans," Tucker told the Trinity Tripod, his college paper, in March 1990. "It was very spontaneous. We are both extremely political and we felt that getting to know the country and some of its citizens would give us a better perspective on the situation." In February 1990, Tucker returned with three friends to Managua for 10 days to observe Nicaragua's elections. The National Opposition Union's Violetta Chamoro, which was backed by the U.S. government, defeated the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front Daniel Ortega who had been in power since 1979. A month later Tucker and his classmate Jennifer Barr, who was separately in Nicaragua to observe elections and distribute medical supplies to the Sandinistas, shared their perspectives about their visits to a small crowd at the Faculty Club for the school's Latin America Week. Tucker thought press coverage of the election was too left-leaning and criticized the media for skewing a conservative victory, according to Barr."I don't think it was necessarily true," Barr said. "He was dismissive [about my views]. I did get a sense that he believed in what he was saying, and it was very different from my experience and my understanding of the race."Tucker's stance on U.S. politics at the time was less didactic. As the 1992 presidential election loomed his senior year, Tucker touted the independent candidacy of Ross Perot, a Texas business magnate, to his friends although it did not appear that Tucker was an ardent supporter."Tucker would go on and on about how Ross Perot was the answer to this or that, as a joke, and every one would participate" one St. Elmo's brother said. "He liked the way Ross Perot was basically throwing a wrench into the system. He wasn't a serious Ross Perot proponent. He was cheering on somebody who was screwing up the system."In Tucker's college yearbook, below his tousle-haired, bowtie wearing thumbnail photo, was a list of his extra-curricular activities: "History; Christian Fellowship 1 2 3 4, Jesse Helms Foundation, Dan White Society." Neither of the latter two – named, respectively, after the ultra-conservative North Carolina Senator, and a San Francisco supervisor who assassinated Harvey Milk in 1978 – ever existed. Tucker admired Helms for being a "bull in the china shop" of Congress, one classmate said. Some friends believed Tucker slipped in the off-color references as a lark."It's like a joke you and a friend would put in a series of anagrams that only you and two friends would remember and no one else would," the St. Elmo's friend said. "It's so niche that only someone like Tucker is thinking things like that or would even know the name of the person who killed Harvey Milk. He paid attention to things like that."Others claimed Tucker was the victim of a prank."It would not at all surprise me if one of the other guys in the [fraternity] house filled it in for him, and not just an inside joke, but pegging him with something that he got grief for," another close friend said. Protesters rally against Fox News outside the Fox News headquarters at the News Corporation building, March 13, 2019 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesAn outsider among insidersBy the spring of 1991, Tucker's academic performance had caught up with him. He had accumulated a 1.9 grade point average and may have finished with a 2.1 GPA, according to one faculty member who viewed a copy of his transcript. Tucker would eventually graduate from Trinity a year late. Falling behind was not uncommon. About 80 percent of Trinity students completed their degrees in four years, according to Trinity College records. (A Trinity spokeswoman would not comment on Tucker's transcript due to FERPA laws, which protect student privacy.Tucker's post-collegiate plans fell through too. Tucker applied to the CIA that spring. The spy agency passed."He mentioned that he had applied and they rejected him because of his drug use," another college friend said, while declining to be named. "He was too honest on his application. I also probably should say I don't know whether he was telling the truth or not." Once the school year was over, Tucker and Neil Patel hit the road on a cross-country motorcycle ride. After that: Washington DC.  Tucker's family left Southern California for Georgetown after President Reagan named his father head of Voice of America. In June 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed Richard ambassador to the Seychelles and the Carlson family upgraded to a nicer house in Georgetown with a pool in the basement. That summer, with Tucker's father and stepmother often out of town, the Carlson household was the center of Tucker's social lives, the place they retired to after a night drinking at Georgetown college dive bars like Charing Cross and Third Edition, and pubs like Martin's Tavern and The Tombs, immortalized in St. Elmo's Fire. In August, Tucker and Susie got married in St. George's chapel and held a reception at the Clambake Club of Newport, overlooking the Narragansett Bay. Back in Washington, Tucker's prep school, college, and his father's Washington-based networks began to mesh. Tucker took a $14,000-a-year job as an assistant editor and fact checker of Policy Review, a quarterly journal published at the time by the Heritage Foundation, the nation's leading conservative think tank. For the next three decades, Tucker thrived in the Beltway: He joined The Weekly Standard and wrote for several magazines before appearing on cable news networks as a right-of-center analyst and host at CNN, PBS, and MSNBC. His father embarked on a third career as a television executive where he ran the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and his brother became a political operative and a pollster. By the time Tucker reached the core of the conservative media sphere, a slot on Fox News's primetime opinion lineup, he shed friends from his youth who couldn't grapple with the hard-right turn he veered once he became the face of the network.One friend was not surprised with Tucker's act. In the spring of 2016, during the heat of Donald Trump's presidential campaign against Hilary Clinton and a few months before "Tucker Carlson Tonight" premiered on Fox, Tucker had lunch with his old prep school classmate Richard Wayner who made the speech about Eleanor Bumpurs all those years ago. Wayner believed Tucker's gesture from his pew was never serious. "As a 9th or 10th grader in a chapel full of people in a conversation, he was trying to get attention," Wayner said.The two stayed in touch over the years and Tucker at one point suggested he write a handful of pieces for the Daily Caller, the conservative news and opinion site that Tucker co-founded and ran in the 2010s. As they settled into their table at a Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, the two chatted about Wayner's experience on the board of St. George's (which Susie was about to join) and their respective careers. Tucker was floating around at Fox, and Wayner, now an investor and former Goldman Sachs investment banker, said the conversation drifted toward salaries."He was asking, 'How much do you make on Wall Street' and was like, 'Wow, Wall Street guys make a lot.'" Wayner said. When they left the restaurant and headed back toward the Fox News headquarters, several people recognized Tucker on the street even though he had jettisoned his trademark bowtie years ago. Wayner saw Tucker making the pragmatic decision to follow a business model that has made his conservative media counterparts a lot of money."I don't think he has a mission. I don't think he has a plan," Wayner said. "Where he is right now is about as great as whatever he thought he could be.""Tucker knows better. He does. He can get some attention, money, or both." he added. "To me, that's a shame. Because he knows better." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

"Morbius" underwhelmed at the box office, but Sony"s Spider-Man universe is still its most bankable franchise

Sony announced on Monday that the musician Bad Bunny would star in the Marvel movie "El Muerto," adding to its Spider-Man universe. Jared Leto as Michael Morbius in "Morbius."Courtesy of Sony Pictures Sony announced on Monday a new Marvel movie, "El Muerto," starring Bad Bunny. It comes as the studio's "Morbius" release disappointed at the box office. But with rights to hundreds of Spider-Man characters, Sony's Marvel franchise is still its biggest. On the heels of its release of "Morbius," Sony is betting on more Spider-Man characters at the box office.The studio announced on Monday during the annual exhibition conference CinemaCon that the musician Bad Bunny would star in "El Muerto," a new addition to its Marvel universe."Morbius," in which Jared Leto played a vampire antihero, underwhelmed at the box office, but Sony's Marvel universe is still its most bankable franchise. It owns the film rights to hundreds of Spider-Man characters, from allies to villains to love interests.The studio also has "Kraven the Hunter," "Madame Webb," and a third "Venom" movie in the works, along with sequels to its animated movie "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.""Morbius" has grossed $156 million at the worldwide box office since opening early this month, with $69 million of that coming from the US. While "Morbius" had a smaller budget than most comic-book movies today, at $75 million, it's still an underwhelming figure compared to "Venom," which grossed over $800 million globally in 2018, and its sequel "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," which crossed $500 million last year.It shows the potential limits of Sony's Marvel movies at the box office, at least the ones not involving Spider-Man himself. Not all of them will be a "Venom.""Morbius" was plagued by terrible reviews ahead of its release and received a 16% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. And audiences gave it a C+ grade at CinemaScore, a company that surveys audiences on a movie's opening night.Without strong word of mouth, the movie dropped a dramatic 74% in its second weekend at the US box office.Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore media analyst, said that Sony at least tried to "to swing for the fences and branch out beyond the more well-known characters" in its Spider-Man library, something it will look to do again with "El Muerto.""It will be exciting to see how a film like 'El Muerto' and other future projects will be received by audiences, and which characters could have the potential to breakout and become the next 'Venom,'" he said.Sony is banking on two things with "El Muerto": the studio touted it at CinemaCon as the first Marvel movie with a Latino lead, and Bad Bunny is a global superstar.Spider-Man isn't Sony's only franchise. It also announced on Monday a new "Ghostbusters" movie, for instance. And its recent "Jumanji" movies have been hits.But Spider-Man is its most consistent and lucrative, with the franchise — including those coproduced with Marvel Studios — earning more than $3 billion combined in the US alone. The studio has a sizable library of characters it can dive into at any given time."The Marvel component of Sony's long-term release strategy is vital to the overall success of the studio," Dergarabedian said. "Given the overwhelmingly positive box office and critical response to the "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Verse" series, it's essential that Sony makes a commitment to bringing films under this massively popular brand to the big screen now and in the years to come."The Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman did show off on Monday the studio's non-franchise movies — including the Viola Davis-starring "The Woman King" and the action movie "Bullet Train" — and said that he doesn't believe that only sequels and superheroes are the future of cinema.But for the time being, those franchise films are making the most money, by a long shot.Sony also touted that it earned more than $3 billion at the global box office since last year's CinemaCon in August, as a sign that theaters are back. That was mostly thanks to "Let There Be Carnage" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home," both of which are superhero sequels.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 27th, 2022