• Politics
    The Daily Beast

    By Picking Joe Biden, Democrats Are Kissing Their Future Goodbye

    A generation of Democrats is haunted by the party’s infamous 1968 convention in Chicago. After one of the most tumultuous presidential primaries in US history—in which the incumbent Lyndon Johnson withdrew from the race, in which Bobby Kennedy built a multiracial working-class coalition before he was shot and killed, and in which the young college students and activists of the New Left rallied behind Eugene McCarthy, all against the backdrop of urban riots, Vietnam, and a breakaway segregationist faction—the Democratic establishment chose to nominate Johnson’s vice president, Hubert Humphrey, to maintain its control over the party. Student demonstrators revolted outside the convention hall and were brutally suppressed by Mayor Richard Daley’s police force. That fall, the Democrats blew a winnable election to the race-baiting populism of Richard Nixon, the first of many election losses to come before the baby boomers finally consolidated control of the party under Bill Clinton.Now history is repeating itself, as Marx warned, as farce, with Bernie Sanders decisively winning the argument over the party’s future while meeting unshakeable resistance from a Democratic establishment composed largely of politicians who were shaped by 1968.The fact that Joe Biden is beating Sanders by two-to-one margins across the country conceals the equally consistent fact of a stark generational divide within the Democratic primary electorate, with Sanders winning voters under 45 by blowout margins (unfortunately for him, there are far more voters over 45 and Biden is winning them by even bigger margins). A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that strong enthusiasm for Biden among his supporters is the lowest of any Democratic nominee in 20 years, and dramatically trails enthusiasm for Donald Trump among his supporters—a sign, perhaps, of the dangers of nominating a candidate who has completely failed to connect with the younger voters who helped propel Barack Obama to the presidency. At a moment where young people are experiencing radical upheaval, the Democrats are once again promising more of the same.To be sure, there are many crucial differences between 1968 and today. Since the South Carolina primary, Democrats across the country have made clear their preference for the establishment-approved moderate, Biden, over the champion of today’s New Left, Sanders. Biden’s coalition includes most African-American voters and many working-class white voters who chose Sanders over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Unlike Humphrey, Biden can claim to have been chosen by voters, not by party insiders in smoke-filled rooms.But at least to younger voters, it is Sanders, not Biden, who is speaking to a moment of crisis. If the crisis in 1968 was the Vietnam War and the breakdown of the white supremacist social order, today it is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the resulting financial collapse (the second one millennials have experienced in our young careers), and decades of dehumanizing oligarchic misgovernance, of which Trump is only the most egregious example. Sanders is promising a generation that has never known stability or optimism that a better world is possible; Biden, who in 2018 told millennials he had “no empathy” for our predicament, is insisting both that the pre-Trump status quo can be resumed and that doing so would be desirable.Sanders’ supporters—and here I refer not to his most vocal and combative boosters on Twitter, a cohort in which I might include myself, but to the millions of young people of all backgrounds who have responded to his message—deserve to have our voices heard and our concerns met with substantive promises and empathetic rhetoric. Putting aside what we deserve, the Democrats cannot reasonably hope to beat Trump in November without millennials turning out in force. The Biden campaign is reportedly aware of this, but thus far has been totally inadequate in attempting to address it.The moment when these divisions within the party might have been addressed was at this summer’s planned Democratic National Convention two hours north of Chicago (likely faster in quarantine traffic) in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, the coronavirus makes the prospect of gathering tens of thousands of people around an urban convention center a nonstarter, as Biden himself acknowledged this week, proposing instead an unprecedented virtual convention compatible with social distancing.While the public health rationale for this is hard to dispute, it also represents a lost opportunity for Sanders supporters to make our voices heard and to force Biden and the rest of the Democratic establishment to acknowledge and court us. Instead of traveling to Milwaukee to demand radical changes to the social contract in person, we will be relegated to taking potshots on social media while Biden and his chosen speakers deliver empty rhetoric to empty rooms.The coronavirus, which has validated everything Sanders has been saying for years about the unconscionable state of US health care, labor, and infrastructure, should be radicalizing us; instead, social distancing is pacifying us. One suspects that Biden, who unlike Sanders showed little ability to draw large crowds to his rare pre-pandemic public events, might be quietly grateful to be holding a stage-managed, un-disruptable convention before a captive and helpless virtual audience.It doesn’t have to be this way. If Democrats are serious about exciting their entire base in November to defeat Trump, there are still steps they can take to win over the Sanders coalition. Sanders should (and, one expects, will) be given a prominent speaking role at the virtual convention; his allies like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib should be as well. Biden should make explicit in his own remarks that he understands and empathizes with younger voters’ legitimate anger. But endorsements and speeches won’t be enough. Biden must also embrace the substantive aspects of Sanders’ platform—including Medicare For All, which exit polls across the country show clear support for, as well as the Green New Deal and tuition-free college—that have galvanized millennials. Everything about the virtual convention could be designed to showcase this agenda.While it might seem like a radical break from the platform Biden has run on, we are living through a radical break in our lived experience of the economy. Millions of Americans have just lost their jobs, and with them their employer-sponsored private health insurance, through no fault of their own. Now would be an ideal time for Biden and the Democratic Party to announce that expansions of the social safety net that once seemed radical have become urgently necessary.But while it would be fatalistic not to demand these things, it may be unrealistic to expect the Democrats to deliver. Everything about Biden’s public record suggests that he takes young voters for granted, doesn’t respect us or take our concerns seriously, and is preparing for a convention that will leave us deflated and alienated from electoral politics for years to come. If that doesn’t change, we won’t be able to express our frustration by massing outside a convention hall like Biden’s generation did in 1968. More likely, many of us will express it the only way we’re able to express anything at the moment: by staying home.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Entertainment
    Hello Giggles

    Andrew Lloyd Webber will live-stream his most famous musicals every Friday for your Broadway date night

    Every Friday, Broadway genius Andrew Lloyd Webber will live stream one of his classic musicals for free via YouTube. Here's how to watch.

  • Health

    Canada's top doctor says she'll wear a mask when physical distancing isn't possible

    After downplaying the effectiveness of non-medical face masks, both the chief public health officer and federal health minister now say they would wear them in cases where physical distancing isn't possible in public.Theresa Tam, the country's top doctor, said Tuesday that while the scientific research "is not quite there" yet on the effectiveness of non-medical masks in stopping the spread of COVID-19, she wouldn't hesitate to use a mask when grocery shopping or riding transit."That's one option," she said of wearing a mask. "It is an added layer of prevention and protecting the spreading to others."Tam has suggested a t-shirt or bed sheet could be fashioned into a homemade mask. But medical-grade masks should be strictly reserved for health care professionals, given the ongoing shortages, Tam said.Health Minister Patty Hajdu said she hasn't had to wear a mask to this point because she's been able to maintain that two metre distance between herself and others — but she would wear one if it meant protecting others in confined spaces.She said she would probably feel the need to "fiddle with that mask, given the newness" — which is one of the public health risks associated with wearing a mask.There are concerns that wearing a mask might encourage people to touch their faces more than they normally would, which also could lead to infection.Watch: Dr. Tam, Hajdu say they will wear masks when in publicPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he will follow the advice of medical professionals on the mask question. He said homemade masks are a sensible solution as they essentially act like a shirt sleeve — a place to catch a cough or sneeze without spreading it around."My understanding of what Dr. Tam explained yesterday is that if people want to wear a mask, that's OK. It protects others more than it protects you, because it prevents you from breathing or speaking moistly on them."(The prime minister cringed visibly after the words "speaking moistly" left his mouth. "Oh, what a terrible image," he said.)Watch: Trudeau says masks will prevent people from 'speaking moistly' While Canada's two top health authorities said they'd wear masks while in public, they cautioned that masks should be worn in conjunction with pursuing other hygiene practices, such as frequent hand-washing.The commitment to wearing non-medical masks in public comes after the Public Health Agency of Canada changed its recommendations on the medical devices Monday.While Tam and other public health officials have discouraged healthy people from wearing masks, the public health officer said Monday that homemade masks might actually help to slow the spread of COVID-19 as they can catch wayward droplets from pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people."It's not necessarily there to protect myself. I think there has to be that reality check. I still have to do the hand-washing and still do the physical distancing as much as possible," Tam said. "I think that is reasonable and feasible advice."

  • Business

    U.S. Sees First Food-Worker Deaths; ‘You Are Vital,’ Pence Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Just hours after a labor union reported what may be the first poultry-worker deaths associated with the coronavirus in the U.S., Vice President Mike Pence urged American food workers to continue to “show up and do your job.”“You are vital,” he said during a press conference late Tuesday. “You are giving a great service to the people of the United States of America and we need you to continue, as a part of what we call critical infrastructure, to show up and do your job.” In return, Pence said, the government will “work tirelessly” to ensure their workplaces are safe.Pence’s remarks came just hours after the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union that represents thousands of poultry-processing workers across the southern U.S. reported that two members at a Tyson Foods Inc. facility in Camilla, Georgia, had died from the virus. It was unclear whether they were infected while at work.JBS USA on Wednesday confirmed the death of an employee that worked at its Greeley, Colorado, plant, citing complications associated with Covid-19. The company is a unit of JBS SA, the world’s biggest meat company.Tyson said the company has been taking employee temperatures before they enter facilities, stepped up deep cleaning at its plants, implemented social distancing measures and given workers access to protective face coverings. The company didn’t comment on the deaths Tuesday or again Wednesday.“We continue working diligently to protect our team members at Camilla and elsewhere,” the Springdale, Arkansas-based company said by email Tuesday. “Since the U.S. government considers Tyson Foods a critical infrastructure company, we take our responsibility to continue feeding the nation very seriously.”Maple Leaf Suspends Poultry Plant Operations Amid Virus CasesThe JBS employee had worked for the company for more than 30 years, and a spokesman said the firm is offering support to the family and team members.The coronavirus, which has claimed more than 81,000 lives globally, is spreading into America’s food-making heartlands. Shortly after Pence spoke, food giant Cargill Inc. said it was idling a beef plant in Pennsylvania after employees tested positive for Covid-19, joining the ranks of food companies across the U.S. shutting or reducing operations as the outbreak sickens more of their ranks and begins to affect production.The slowdowns have fanned fears of potential food shortages just as supply chain disruptions are already keeping some basic goods such as beef, rice and pasta off grocery shelves. The U.S. Chicken Council said its members are doing everything they can to keep their employees safe and product on the shelves.On Monday, Tyson said it had halted pork processing at a plant in Iowa after more than two dozen workers tested positive. JBS suspended operations until April 16 at a beef plant in Pennsylvania after several managers showed symptoms. Other producers have faced everything from worker walkouts to hundreds of employees quarantined to people calling out of the job.Coronavirus cases aren’t limited to meat plants. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., one of the world’s largest agricultural commodity traders, said Monday that four employees at its corn processing complex in Clinton, Iowa, tested positive for the virus. The company says it has less than 20 cases globally.Walmart Inc. was also faced with employee deaths. (Updates with death of JBS worker in fourth paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected location of Tyson’s headquarters.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business
    Associated Press

    Sex. Drugs. Virus. Venezuela elites still party in pandemic

    They whiled away the week on a sex- and drug-fueled romp: dancing on white-sand beaches and frolicking on a Caribbean island with prostitutes from Europe, some snapping selfies with famous reggaeton artists. For some of Venezuela’s high-flying “Bolichicos" — the privileged offspring of the socialist revolution — the party hasn’t stopped amid a widening pandemic in a country already gripped by crisis. To date, the virus has claimed only seven confirmed fatalities in Venezuela.

  • Politics
    The Wrap

    Megyn Kelly Attacks Don Lemon: ‘CNN Still Pretends He Is an Objective News Anchor’

    Megyn Kelly hasn’t been back on television since her 2018 ouster from her NBC talk show, but she still has plenty to say about the industry and those who still do the job she once held. On Monday, the former Fox News anchor accused CNN’s Don Lemon of being biased.“CNN still pretends he is an objective news anchor (yeah, sure) while the msm recoils in horror at the bias of Fox/OANN, etc. Who do they think they’re kidding?” she tweeted, linking to an article about Lemon’s on-air frustration over President Donald Trump’s use of White House coronavirus pressers to lecture journalists.  (In Kelly’s tweet “msm” refers to “mainstream media.”)Also Read: CNN's Don Lemon Cries Over Chris Cuomo's Coronavirus DiagnosisKelly has briefly resurfaced a few times over the past few months, usually to address issues of workplace sexual harassment. She trended briefly on Twitter Tuesday morning for the comments about Lemon, who anchors in primetime, just as she did when she was at Fox News. When she was at Fox News, “The Kelly File” aired at 9 p.m. ET, while Lemon’s “CNN Tonight” aired a 10 p.m. ET.Lemon is no stranger to headlines about his news delivery, especially when he has a personal connection to stories. Last week, he cried over colleague Chris Cuomo’s coronavirus diagnosis.A representative for Lemon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Kelly’s tweet, which you can see below.CNN still pretends he is an objective news anchor (yeah, sure) while the msm recoils in horror at the bias of Fox/OANN, etc. Who do they think they’re kidding? https://t.co/JwkhpTUvgs— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) April 7, 2020Read original story Megyn Kelly Attacks Don Lemon: ‘CNN Still Pretends He Is an Objective News Anchor’ At TheWrap