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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 44,999

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Leonardo DiCaprio refutes Brazilian president's claim that he funded Amazon wildfires

LOS ANGELES - Leonardo DiCaprio has refuted bizarre and false claims from Brazil's right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro that the actor financed the wildfires in the Amazon, playing into a ploy by the World Wildlife Fund to generate donations.

DiCaprio posted a statement on Instagram Saturday that "while worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted."

"This Leonardo DiCaprio is a cool guy, right?" Bolsonaro said, according to Reuters, during a brief remarks in front of the presidential residence on Friday. "Giving money to torch the Amazon."

Reuters reported that Bolsonaro appeared to be commenting on disputed social media posts that WWF had paid for photographs taken by volunteer firefighters and used them to solicit donations, including $500,000 from DiCaprio. The claim is the latest in an effort by Bolsonaro to divert blame for the disastrous fires from his government, which scaled back enforcement against illegal logging, mining, and ranching.


The Day That Decided the 2020 Election

It was, they say, Nov. 20, 2019, that ensured the outcome — a day and a night that crystallized the choice for the majority of Americans ready to toss Donald Trump from office.

The impeachment hearings had been bumping along, the main story clear: a parade of impeccable public servants trying to uphold the values of their country against a gangster White House. A candidate who had gloated over chants of “lock her up” for an opponent who had used unsecured emails had, once elected, conducted foreign policy by extortion, on open cellphone lines penetrated by the Russians.

That crucial debate came while the race was still in flux. But a trio of elections the same month had given Democrats a road map. They could win in deeply red Kentucky and Louisiana, and complete the political transition in Virginia, if they backed popular plans to elevate average Americans. That, and Trump’s policies of trying to deny health care to the poor, of running up a trillion-dollar deficit to enrich a handful at the very top, of turning a blind eye to mass shootings of schoolchildren, would take down Republicans.

Sanity prevailed. Most Democrats came to see that it would do nothing for their cause to gain another million progressives on the coasts if they still lost 80,000 people in the old industrial heartland. The key, as extolled by the eventual winner, was to rebuild the Obama coalition.


Provenance Hotels Faces Backlash Over Founder's Role in Trump-Ukraine Deal

Portland, Oregon-based Provenance Hotels is mired in a public relations mess due to the role its founder and current EU U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland had in trying to broker a deal with Ukraine in exchange for a potentially damaging investigation against former Vice President Joe Biden. Since President Donald Trump canceled Sondland’s appearance before a Congressional impeachment committee on October 8, calls for a boycott of the boutique chain have gained steam.

Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, whose district includes a large swath of Portland, called for the boycott of Provenance’s properties on Twitter the next day.

“No one who cares about America should do any business or stay at any of Gordon Sondland’s hotels until he fulfills his duty as a citizen to testify & turn over all relevant documents to the House,” he tweeted.
Blumenauer’s statement may already be having an effect. Since the tweet appeared, artisanal ice cream maker Salt and Straw, also based in Portland, announced that it would cease selling its products in Provenance Hotels but did not cite a specific reason for the decision.


25-year-old politician shuts down heckler with viral phrase 'OK Boomer'

The latest viral generational clap back phrase has moved from the court of public opinion to parliament.

A young member of New Zealand parliament quickly dismissed a member of the opposition with a viral internet phrase that calls out people from the baby boomer generation with two simple words.

The generational divide in the room became clear when Chlöe Swarbrick, 25, said "OK Boomer," during her speech on climate change for the Zero Carbon Bill."

In the year 2050 I will be 56 years old. Yet right now the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old," Swarbrick said as someone off camera was heard heckling her.


Residents' health suffers in states that refused to expand Medicaid.

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. — Darlene Velasco can’t afford to treat her Type 2 diabetes. She doesn’t make enough money at her job selling college sports memorabilia to pay for medication or private health insurance and, at $13.50 an hour, earns too much to qualify for Medicaid.

That’s been the case for years and without treatment, Velasco, 45, was declared legally blindin May. The disease built up cataracts in her eyes and when her vision began to blur and disappear, she found herself driving to her job that carries no health benefits steered only by the memory of the backcountry roads that surround her home.

In the state that has the highest percentage of its residents with past-due medical debt in the country, it appears that many people choose to go without, according to a study done by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation.

More than half in Mississippi said the cost of health care led them to not fill a prescription, avoid the doctor or skip a medical test, according to the study.

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