Brexit Has Implications For Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump In Upcoming Presidential Election

June 24, 2016 by  
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The decision by Britain’s electorate to leave the European Union will have monumental consequences for the future world order. Ian Bremmer, the respected geopolitical analyst and head of the Eurasia Group consultancy, tweeted thus, “Brexit is the most significant political risk the world has experienced since the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Stock markets are withering, the British currency is plummeting and Prime Minster David Cameron has announced his resignation, as the economic and political aftershocks are only beginning to be comprehended. However, it is the geopolitical tremors that will have the most far-reaching impact globally. That includes the United States, which is in the midst of an increasingly vitriolic and divisive presidential campaign.

What has stunned observers about the outcome of the Brexit campaign is that the referendum’s result ran counter to what the analysts, supposed expert prognosticators and well-compensated pundits had so confidently predicted. The established experts had even convinced supporters of Brexit that they would likely lose the referendum, in the hours before actual voting occurred. That is why bourses across the globe soared, and the British pound reached record highs, until reality radically reversed those trends. The odds-makers clearly were convinced that British voters would choose to remain in the European Union. The actual, unpredicted outcome was an unmitigated defeat for the UK’s political establishment across the political spectrum, and that aspect has the greatest resonance with the battle between Clinton and Trump to succeed Barack Obama as America’s 45th President.

Just as with the Brexit referendum, America’s own class of political consultants and expert commentators for months assessed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to be a megalomaniacal joke, with no chance of prevailing in the Republican Party’s presidential Primary. When Trump emerged victorious in the GOP presidential selection process before Hillary Clinton had secured the Democratic Party’s nomination, the same experts, rather than being reflective and self-critical, have largely double-downed on failure, and remain steadfast in their prediction that Trump has no realistic possibility of winning November’s presidential election.

Setting aside the occasional diatribes of Trump that tend to obfuscate a cogent analysis of his campaign’s actual strength, it is clear that the political dynamics that led to the stunning vote in the United Kingdom to exit the European Union are also at play in the United States, to the benefit of the real estate mogul. The British electorate revealed itself as being alienated from their nation’s political establishment, with public policy on immigration a crucial driving force in shaping attitudes prior to the Brexit vote. In the U.S. primary campaign, similar forms of disenchantment underpinned Trump’s ability to vanquish his GOP competitors.

In November 2016 American voters will choose between one candidate being the quintessential representative of the discredited and abhorred political establishment, and the other candidate powerfully branded as the ultimate anti-establishment figure. The legion of America’s political experts who, despite evidence that the domestic electorate seeks change in 2016, remain fixed in their view that Trump cannot win, may prove, as with their British counterparts, to have been unduly confident in the validity of their political estimates on the mood of the voters.

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Embattled GOP Senator Throws Trump Under The Bus In New Ad

June 23, 2016 by  
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Just over two weeks ago, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) made news when he became the first of his Republican legislative colleagues to rescind a previously extended endorsement of presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Now, as Politico’s Kevin Robillard reports, he’s set to become another famous first in the Trump era: 

Mark Kirk is the first GOP incumbent to air an ad attacking Trump: https://t.co/tMqgZZUEdI The real Q: Will he be the last?

— Kevin Robillard (@PoliticoKevin) June 23, 2016

The Chicago Tribune confirms that this 30-second spot will be part of a large ad buy — to the tune of “about $230,000 in broadcast time for the weeklong buy and another $35,520 in cable TV time in Chicago.”

The ad, titled “Even More,” aims to present Kirk as an independent-minded, bipartisan legislator. Among other things, it points to his pro-choice bona fides and his support for a Senate hearing on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

But most notably, it takes great care to mention his opposition to Trump. Over a parade of floating headlines, the ad’s narrator intones, “And Mark Kirk bucked his party to say that Donald Trump is not fit to be commander-in-chief.”

There’s another politician who is conspicuously not named in the ad — Kirk’s opponent in his re-election bid, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). In 2010, Kirk squeaked out a win over then-Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias to reach the Senate. Duckworth is a bona fide political superstar — albeit one who is currently dogged by a civil lawsuit alleging various ethics violations.

There aren’t likely to be many Republican incumbents — especially vulnerable incumbents – who openly disparage their party’s nominee in this fashion. However, the particulars of Kirk’s race — deep blue state, popular Democratic opponent, incumbent who won by a thin margin in a wave election — probably make slagging Trump in public an essential part of the calculus.

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Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.

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We Helped The Internet Prepare For Its #JobInterviewAtTrumpCampaignHQ

June 22, 2016 by  
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With all the drama going on in the Trump campaign – specifically Corey Lewandowski being fired – we thought it might be a good idea to help the scores of people who will undoubtedly be clawing for a job on Trump’s team. 

Just think of the perks!

  • The best wall coverage of any insurance plan
  • Working with people just like you only like you
  • Working anonymously in spiffy white uniforms and hats
  • That rewarding sense that you’re part of Earth’s last generation something big

Here are the best of the best offerings from this week’s hashtag game, #JobInterviewAtTrumpCampaignHQ.

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For Belly Laughs, Hispanics Turn To ‘El Chavo’

June 21, 2016 by  
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Sitcom is the most popular Spanish-language comedy in the U.S. and worldwide.

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This article is part of an ongoing Media Life series entitled “Catching the next big wave: Hispanic media.” You can read previous stories by clicking here.

In the courtyard of a housing project, an orphan squats next to the barrel where he sleeps at night. Wearing a green-checkered cap with flaps covering his ears, the boy daydreams about toys he’ll never have. With a sigh, he pulls out an old-fashioned cup-and-ball — made of stick, tin can and string — and begins to play.

Sad story? Actually, no.

The scene is from “El chavo del ocho” (“The Kid from 8″), the most popular sitcom in U.S. Hispanic and Latin American television history and the top-ranked comedy in the Hispanic market today.

If you want to understand fundamentals of Spanish-language TV-and just how different they are from English-language TV-look no further than “El chavo del ocho.”

“El chavo” is one quirky TV show.

No one knows El chavo’s name — it’s never once uttered.

The title character, the young boy, is played by a middle-aged man, Roberto Gómez Bolaños, known to fans simply as Chesperito, a derivative of Shakespearito (“Little Shakespeare”).

Whenever the little boy gets scared, he becomes immobile, his left arm drooping, his right arm splayed outward. To be revived, he must be splashed in the face with cold water.

But here’s what’s most interesting. There have been no new episodes of the sitcom since 1980. It debuted in 1971, and production stopped nine years later.

Yet it’s a true phenomenon, dubbed into more than 50 languages. Repeats of the show pull an estimated global audience of 91 million viewers daily.

In the U.S., “El chavo” is everywhere. If you include episodes from an animated follow-up series, an astounding 31 shows air weekly among the combined Univisión, UniMás and Galavisión networks. Another 18 half hours of the variety show “Chesperito,” which regularly feature “El chavo” skits until 1992, appear each week on Galavisión’s screen.

But surprisingly the show is no ratings monster. Neither it — nor any comedy — regularly appears in the Spanish-language Nielsen top 20.

Comedy plays a much smaller role in the U.S. Spanish-language TV market.

When they want laughs, U.S. Latinos are more likely to turn to English TV, with shows such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family” regularly appearing among the top Hispanic English-language viewing rankers.

The scarcity of sitcoms on U.S. Hispanic TV is due in part to the industry’s cost structure. Dramas, particularly telenovelas, are a surer bet for amassing blockbuster ratings and generating advertising revenue.

But another factor is cultural. Spanish-language dramas–with their suspense, violence and sex — can cut through language and cultural differences to capture the attention of U.S. Hispanics.

Not so comedy. Humor often relies on cultural cues and wordplay. What’s funny to Mexican-Americans might not resonate in the exactly the same way with Latinos of Caribbean or South American descent.

“El chavo del ocho” succeeds because it’s physical comedy, really slapstick. Slapstick, when done right, is universal. Gómez Bolaños, who not only stars in but created and directed the show, has said he was inspired by the work of comedians like Laurel and Hardy.

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“El chavo del ocho” has also endured because of its innocence. Much like Charlie Chaplin’s “The Tramp,” the character of “El chavo” is beloved from Argentina to the Philippines.

“El chavo” brings the whole family together. Grandma can remember watching it back home in Ecuador (or Mexico, Peru, Argentina, etc.) Parents can wax about seeing it on Univisión when they were young. Kids in the family can appreciate the show’s goofy, “Simpsons”-like humor.

But ultimately, the success of “El chavo” rests in its ability to make audiences laugh about life’s hardships and miseries. Gómez Bolaños has said he wanted to “reach everyone, but especially the humble people, those who needed to be reached more than anyone else.”

Gómez Bolaños died in 2014. For his funeral his body was placed in a glass box for all to see and driven through the streets of Mexico City. The only other person accorded such a procession was Pope John Paul II in 1979.

At the comic’s memorial service at Azteca Olympic Stadium, which seats nearly 100,000, mourners threw flowers. Many were dressed as the little boy in the green-checkered cap.

Court Stroud is a writer and a longtime media executive who has worked for companies such as Univisión, Telemundo and several digital startups. He most recently served as Azteca América’s EVP of network sales and digital. Stroud holds degrees from UT-Austin and the Harvard Business School. Follow him on Twitter: @CourtStroudNYC

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Justice Thomas’ Wife Calls Supreme Court Retirement Report ‘Bogus’

June 20, 2016 by  
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WASHINGTON — A report suggesting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would soon step down has been soundly rejected by Thomas’ wife. 

Ginni Thomas summarily dismissed Sunday’s lightly sourced report in the Washington Examiner, originally headlined, ”End of conservative Supreme Court: Clarence Thomas may be next to leave.” She also had choice words for the writer, columnist Paul Bedard, who cited unnamed “court watchers” for the suggestion that the justice is “mulling retirement after the presidential election.”

“For all those who are contacting me about the possibility of my husband retiring, I say — unsubscribe from those false news sources and carry on with your busy lives,” Ginni Thomas wrote on Facebook hours after the article appeared. ”IT. IS. BOGUS! Paul Bedard needs to find a phone in his life and unnamed sources are worth as much as their transparency is.”

In a comment under her post, Ginni Thomas added: ”Distracting Click-Bait by desperate people who want clicks…..disgusting of Paul Bedard and more now.”

The Examiner article said the justice “has been considering retirement for a while and never planned to stay until he died,” citing a mysterious “they” as the source.

Following Ginni Thomas’ retort, the Examiner amended the article online – changing the headline and adding Ginni Thomas’ rejoinder, but without noting the article had been updated. The new headline: “Wife of Clarence Thomas dismisses justice’s retirement talk as ‘bogus.’”

Bedard on Monday stood by his sources, but did not say when his article had been changed to reflect Ginni Thomas’ comments. 

“I respect my sources as well as Ginni and Justice Thomas,” Bedard said in a statement to The Huffington Post, which he also provided to The Daily Mail. ”Just the thought of him leaving has put the court’s direction on the political front burner and conservatives are telling me today that they hope Ginni is right.”

Lest anyone think Justice Thomas is slowing down, he’s by far one of the court’s most prolific justices in written output. So far in the current term, he’s authored the most opinions of all the justices.

And though he doesn’t speak much from the bench, Thomas on Monday announced the lead opinion in a case that appeared to grant broad powers to police officers who seek to detain citizens without reasonable suspicion.

With major decisions likely before June’s end on immigration, abortion — and especially affirmative action — we can expect much from Thomas in the coming days.

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Fareed Zakaria: Republicans Cannot Remain Silent On Trump

June 19, 2016 by  
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CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday pilloried Republicans who have continued to dodge the question of whether they can back their party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, arguing that it’s past time to speak out against him.

Zakaria questioned GOP lawmakers for assuming Trump would “tone down his rhetoric and pivot to the center,” even though that has proven unlikely. He cited Trump’s response to last week’s mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, in which the presumptive nominee posted a self-congratulatory tweet and doubled down on his proposal to ban Muslim immigrants.

“We now know who Donald Trump is. But what is the Republican Party? Most Republican leaders still hold out hope that despite the fact that Trump is, in George Will’s accurate description, the most anti-conservative presidential aspirant in their party’s history, he will suddenly get religion and embrace their agenda,” he said.

“They believe that a 70-year-old megalomaniac, whose entire life has been devoted to ceaselessly promoting himself, and using any means to tear down others, would suddenly develop deep empathy for the party, though so far, he has used it solely as a vehicle for his own personal advancement,” Zakaria continued.

The CNN host argued that the onus to mobilize against Trump is also on former cabinet members and advisers. Many foreign policy experts have argued that electing Trump would be dangerous and reckless for America’s reputation abroad, but only a handful have declared that they will not support him. Meanwhile, many of the party’s most influential voices have been silent on Trump.

“Not one former secretary of state, defense or treasury has signed on or publicly announced that he or she will not vote for the man,” Zakaria said. “Where are George Shultz, James Baker, Condoleezza Rice and Hank Paulson? Can their reputations survive their silence?”

Zakaria saved his sharpest critiques for Republicans who have resigned themselves to supporting Trump, even while condemning his rhetoric and policy proposals. He singled out Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has backed Trump, despite the real estate mogul criticizing McCain’s military service and questioning his bravery as a prisoner of war.

“All John McCain needs to do to preserve his honor is to say two words: Never Trump,” Zakaria said.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Michael Ian Black’s New Picture Book Explains ‘Beasty’ Donald Trump To Your Kids

June 19, 2016 by  
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How do you explain the tricky topic of Donald Trump to your kids?

Just read them Michael Ian Black’s new book — which aims to break down the bizarre phenomenon that is the presumptive GOP nominee by using language and pictures that even he may understand.

The comedian and actor showed off an advance copy of “A Child’s First Book of Trump,” which is published next month, to Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” on Friday.

“This is a field guide to, if you were to see a wild Trump out in the woods, what you should do, how you should behave,” said Black.

Check it out in the clip above.

 

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Charlie Sheen Takes Down ‘Charlatan’ Donald Trump And His Fake Wedding Gift

June 18, 2016 by  
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All that glitters is not gold, especially when it comes to Donald Trump.

Charlie Sheen says the presumptive GOP nominee once gave him an impromptu wedding gift of what he said were platinum and diamond cufflinks.

But there was one problem. They weren’t actually the real deal. And when the Hollywood actor had them valued, he claims they turned out to be fake.

Sheen recounted the incident on “The Graham Norton Show,” which aired in the U.K. on Friday night. 

“I’m really not a fan,” Sheen said of Trump, who spoke to him at a dinner around five years ago. “He says ‘these are platinum diamond Harry Winston’ and he pulls off his cufflinks and he gives them to me.”

Six months later, a jeweler was appraising jewelry at his home and Sheen — who later described Trump as a “charlatan” — asked her to take a look at the ‘links.

“She took the loop, spent about four seconds, and kind of recoiled from it — much like people do from Trump — and says ‘in their finest moment, this is cheap pewter and bad zirconias,’” Sheen, who revealed in November that he’d been diagnosed as HIV Positive, added.

“And they’re stamped ‘Trump.’ And I just thought, ‘what does this really say about the man, that he said, ‘here’s a great wedding gift,’ and it’s just a bag of dogshit?” Trump has so far not commented on the claims.

Watch the full clip above.

 

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Craig Sager Brings His A-Game To FaceTime Fellow Cancer Patient

June 17, 2016 by  
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Sideline reporter Craig Sager already had his hands full Thursday while working his first NBA Finals game, but he wasn’t too busy for a fellow cancer patient.

Sager, whose battle against leukemia has earned him his share of admirers, FaceTimed Pitt Panthers running back James Conner before the game. Sager had learned from another reporter that Conner was among those inspired by Sager, Uproxx reported.

Sager, wearing one of his flashy sports jackets, discussed his treatment and clinical trials on the call, noting he had lost 57 pounds. He then asked the athlete if he’d had problems keeping on weight.

Here’s the exchange:

Someone said they know someone w/ cancer and Sager is his inspiration. Sager talked to him via FaceTime right away pic.twitter.com/Wv8esp0TFG

— Lauren Brill (@LaurenBrill5) June 17, 2016

Conner, the 2014 ACC player of the year, recently was told that he was cancer-free after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015, ESPN noted.

Sager, who turns 65 this month, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that the disease had returned after a remission, the Washington Post wrote.

In a touching moment after the Cavaliers won to force a Game 7 against the Warriors, LeBron James acknowledged Sager’s NBA Finals first:

LeBron tells Sager how happy he is that Craig finally gets a Finals game, gets videobombed by Richard Jefferson pic.twitter.com/QkiBd3ISVk

— The Cauldron (ICYMI) (@CauldronICYMI) June 17, 2016

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Steven Spielberg Just Dropped A Major ‘Indiana Jones’ Spoiler

June 16, 2016 by  
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It looks like Indiana Jones will not be suffering Han Solo’s fate.

Plot details for the fifth “Indiana Jones” movie have been tightly sealed in anticipation of its July 2019 premiere, but, in an interview with “The Hollywood Reporter,” director Steven Spielberg let one major detail slip.

“The one thing I will tell you is I’m not killing off Harrison [Ford] at the end of it,” said Spielberg.

There’s been much speculation over the franchise’s fifth installment, which has brought in nearly $2 billion at the box office since Disney acquired the rights to “Indiana Jones” in 2013. The star himself, Harrison Ford, told BBC in March that he was only interested in returning to the franchise if Spielberg signed on, too.

“I’ve always thought there was an opportunity to do another,” said Ford. “But I didn’t want to do it without Steven. And I didn’t want to do it without a really good script. And happily we’re working on both. Steven is developing a script now that I think we’re going to be very happy with.”

The 73-year-old Ford also starred in the “Star Wars” series that began in 1977 as Han Solo, who was killed in the hugely successful installment “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” released in December.

Perhaps surprisingly, the actor was glad his character finally perished. As he explained to Entertainment Weekly: “I’ve been arguing for Han Solo to die for about 30 years, not because I was tired of him or because he’s boring, but his sacrifice for the other characters would lend gravitas and emotional weight.”

We have to wonder whether the actor also hoped to kill off Indy. Not this time, Ford.

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