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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 72,619

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Goodbye, Blazers; Hello, 'Coatigans.' Women Adjust Attire to Work at Home.

New York Times

In the Before Times, said Rebecca Rittenberg, a 28-year-old who works in advertising sales for Google in New York, one of her favorite parts about going to the office was “showing up in a funky, cool professional outfit.”

A smart pair of pants, colorful or patterned blouses, blazers, skirts, dresses, heeled boots and designer sneakers were all part of her wardrobe, which she used to express her personality and keep up with her stylish ad world colleagues.

Now, after eight months of working from home, and with Google saying workers won’t have to return in person until next summer at the earliest, a big swath of that apparel has been donated and replaced. Ms. Rittenberg’s new definition of “work clothes” includes cashmere cardigans and joggers, headbands, and other cozy garments that fall somewhere in the “healthy in-between” of pajamas and blazers.

“I looked at my stuff I used to wear to the office all the time and thought, ‘When am I ever going to touch this again?’” she said. “Our mind-sets have shifted a bit with this pandemic and the fact that we’ve all been working from home for so long. Once we are back in the office, which I do think will happen, it just seems like a pretty extreme jump to go back to wearing a blazer and pencil skirt and heels again.”

When I turned 60, I stopped wearing ties to work; now I don't even bother ironing...

Biden and Harris will introduce their economic team, with women in top spots.

Source: New York Times

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to introduce key members of their economic team on Tuesday, as they prepare to assume the White House at a moment when the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is slowing and millions remain out of work.

The nominees are expected to speak in detail about their biographies, continuing an effort by Mr. Biden’s selections to lean on personal stories to make a case for confirmation in a Senate where several Republicans have already promised a rough road for Mr. Biden’s picks.

Mr. Biden is poised to enter the White House at a time of national crisis amid the worsening virus outbreak. The Department of Labor and Department of Commerce have reported an increase in applications for state jobless benefits and a decrease in personal income. Coronavirus cases have soared in recent weeks, a development that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell called “concerning” in testimony before lawmakers on Tuesday, saying it “could prove challenging in the next few months.”

Mr. Biden has warned of a “very dark winter” ahead and called on Congress to pass relief to help workers, businesses, and state and local governments. Mr. Biden’s advisers are preparing for what could be another economic downturn in early 2021. But another economic stimulus package has languished in Congress, where Democrats and Republicans have been unable to reach a deal, though leaders of both parties have called for compromise in recent days.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/12/01/us/joe-biden-trump/biden-and-harris-will-introduce-their-economic-team-with-women-in-top-spots

Scoop: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to Name Tina Flournoy as Chief of Staff

Source: Yashar Ali

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is set to name Tina Flournoy, who currently serves as chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton, as her chief of staff, according to two sources involved in transition planning.

Flournoy also served as chief counsel in Clinton’s White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

Donna Brazile, Tina Flournoy, Minyon Moore, Yolanda Caraway, and Leah Daughtry, a group of powerful Black women in Democratic politics who refer to themselves as “the Colored Girls”

Flournoy is a member of a group of friends and former colleagues who refer to themselves as “the Colored Girls,” Black women who have worked at the highest levels of Democratic politics. The group includes Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry and Minyon Moore. In 2018, Brazile, Caraway, Daughtry, and Moore published a book entitled “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics,” which detailed some of their shared experiences in politics.

Read more: https://yashar.substack.com/p/scoop-vice-president-elect-kamala?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top

No game days. No bars. The pandemic is forcing some men to realize they need deeper friendships.

Washington Post

It took a global pandemic and a badly timed breakup for Manny Argueta to realize just how far he had grown apart from his guy friends.

In the spring, after the 35-year-old had left the home he shared with his former girlfriend and moved into a studio in Falls Church, Va., on his own, he would go an entire week without saying a word. There were no more game days with the guys, no more Friday nights in D.C. bars, and Argueta was starved for social interaction. He returned to his PlayStation 4, jumping on the microphone with a stranger while playing “Overwatch” just to hear someone’s voice. He discovered the messaging app Discord and started chatting with his old gamer friends and watching them play “Mortal Kombat 11” — even when he didn’t have the game set up himself.

He started recognizing how dependent his friendships had become on those Sunday football games and nights at 14th Street lounges, on venting about Republicans or why the Caps fell short in the playoffs. They hardly ever talked about relationships or family, or just generally how they were doing. He had never met many of their family members.

On a rare night he spent catching up with an old friend in October, a mixture of vulnerability and intoxication led him to pour out his frustrations. “I bet you still have no idea why her and I broke up,” he said to his friend. “I bet you have no idea.” The friend paused, apologized and let him talk for a while about what had happened.

For more than a decade, psychologists have written about the “friendship crisis” facing many men. One 2006 analysis published in the American Sociological Review found that while Americans in general have fewer friends outside the family than they used to, young, White, educated men have lost more friends than other groups.

CDC advisers to vote Tuesday on who will be first in line for a vaccine

Source: Washington Post

No national testing strategy for the coronavirus ever came out of the federal government. Nor was there a nationally led strategy for procuring protective equipment — states were told to buy supplies on their own.

But on Tuesday, a little-known federal advisory committee is expected to provide some of the pandemic’s most consequential directions to states, 10 months after the first case of covid-19 was reported in the United States. The directions are to prioritize health-care workers and residents of long-term care facilities to get the first shots of coronavirus vaccine in the initial rollout, once federal regulators authorize one, because the vaccine initially will be in extremely short supply.

Those priority groups, totaling about 24 million people, have been broadly supported by the advisory group in recent meetings. Tuesday’s formal vote would affirm the recommendations to Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that health-care personnel and nursing home residents be first in line, in what is known as phase 1a. That, in turn, helps states scrambling to meet a Friday deadline for vaccine distribution planning.

The advisory group will also make recommendations at later meetings for priority groups in the next phases, which include essential workers and older adults. An ongoing debate about the ranking of priority groups is likely to intensify as the Food and Drug Administration gets closer to clearing a vaccine later this month.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/12/01/vaccine-priority-groups-covid/

DCCC chair candidate vows end to consultant ban


One congressman aiming to lead the House Democrats' campaign committee wants to do away with a ban against political consultants who worked for candidates that challenged the party's appointed picks.

Why it matters: As Democrats assess unexpected losses last month and the shortcomings of their digital operations, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney says House members must regroup and field their best players before crucial 2022 midterms.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ban "separated ourselves from some of the most creative and diverse people working in politics, particularly in the area of digital and social media," Maloney said in an interview with Axios.

The big picture: The election for DCCC chair will be held at the end of this week. The winner must keep an emboldened left-wing flank happy while fighting off historical trends under which Democrats lose House seats in the midterms.

Schumer: Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up"


Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

During a recent donor call, the minority leader lamented being unable to successfully recruit Stacey Abrams to run for a Senate seat in Georgia, one of the sources said. He also said he regretted successfully recruiting Cunningham.
Schumer has made the zipper comment on numerous calls, the source added.

Trump's making a list, checking it twice


THERE HAS BEEN DISCUSSION in the White House of excluding the following Hill Republicans from the W.H. Christmas party this year: Sens. SUSAN COLLINS (Maine), MITT ROMNEY (Utah), LISA MURKOWSKI (Alaska) and BEN SASSE (Neb.) and Reps. ADAM KINZINGER (Ill.) and LIZ CHENEY (Wyo.). We’re told this has been reversed -- that they may get an invite -- but this has dominated West Wing chatter in the last few days

Why Democrats Keep Losing Rural Counties Like Mine


After Trump’s election, I was one of those people who stepped off the sidelines. On election night, I turned off the television as the race was being called, climbed into the bed of my sleeping 5-year-old son, Frankie, and lay there in the dark with him, wondering what this would mean for his future. As a longtime political independent, I decided to join a political party for the first time in my life, and by 2019, I became chair of the Dunn County Democratic Party. It turned out many others here felt the way I did about Trump.

What I saw in the county as the 2020 election approached might surprise those who assume there’s no such thing as progressive organizing in rural areas. Starting in 2018, participation in the Dunn County Democrats surged. Membership grew by 30 percent. Our ranks of volunteers tripled. Local fundraising expanded. We opened a headquarters early in the election cycle, and laid out clear goals and a timeline, focused on local organizing and engaging new people to encourage them to vote Democratic, both on the presidential ticket and in state Legislature races.

Before Covid-19 hit, we held house meetings across the county, gathering residents in living rooms or around dining room tables to share stories about why the election was personal to them. When the pandemic came, we rented billboards, and our volunteers assembled along bridges holding up signs that read “V-O-T-E D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T.” We built a deep canvassing program to engage infrequent voters with phone conversations that focused on their personal experiences and values. My excitement grew as I witnessed more and more people who had never been involved in political organizing stepping forward.

Yet, good organizing was not enough to win Dunn County. In November, Trump voters turned out in force, even stronger than they had in 2016. Despite all the work we did as Democrats, there were more Trump yard signs than four years ago; more flags in support of the president flew from more flagpoles and pickup trucks. It wasn’t just Dunn County. Roughly two-thirds of rural voters across the country cast their ballots for Trump. Any election results map you look at offers a bleak visualization of the political divide between rural and urban voters: a sea of red dotted with islands of blue.

Why did Trump do so well with rural voters? From my experience, it’s not because local Democrats failed to organize in rural areas. Instead, after conversations with dozens of voters, neighbors, friends and family members in Dunn County, I’ve come to believe it is because the national Democratic Party has not offered rural voters a clear vision that speaks to their lived experiences. The pain and struggle in my community is real, yet rural people do not feel it is taken seriously by the Democratic Party.

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