Planning ahead

first_imgNational Cupcake Week13-19 month sees the second National Cupcake Week, organised by BB in partnership with Food Network UK and sponsored by Chevler and Renshaw.The Week will provide bakers with an unrivalled opportunity to generate extra sales. In preparation, British Baker launched its UK-wide search for the country’s Best Cupcake and received a fantastic response, with over 60 entries. Judging took place on 3 August, when the top seven winners one for each day of the week were selected, and the Overall Champion was chosen (pages 14-17).Attract new customers and reward your loyal clientele with some special cupcakes. Decorate your windows with a colourful cupcake display and do everything in your power to bag those extra sales.last_img read more

Tom Conti on Losing His Tony & Starring in London’s Twelve Angry Men

first_img Which, presumably, you did? Yes, our producer Bill Kenwright said I should go and see the play—I got a real rush out of it and thought it would be very good fun to be in. As I was coming out of the door of the theater, the phone rang and it was Bill saying, “Well?”, and I said, “Let’s have a go”—and opened three weeks later [laughs]. Despite achieving renown in the U.S., you’ve kept London as home. There were two points in my life where I did consider uprooting the family to the States—the first was around the time of the play in New York, but I didn’t know America well enough and I was concerned about my daughter, Nina, who was five at the time and so at the point of starting serious school. It’s Tony Award season at the moment on Broadway. Do you recall much of your own Tony experience? I remember it very well; it was a hugely exciting night! The curious thing was that until I got to New York, I had never heard of the Tonys and then someone said, “You’ve been nominated for a Tony,” and I said, “That’s very nice, what is it?” and I was told and realized that this was really something—and didn’t expect for a moment to win. It’s been 35 years since Tom Conti won a Tony Award for his career-defining performance in Whose Life Is It Anyway?, followed five years later by his Oscar-nominated star turn in Reuben, Reuben. Since then, the 72-year-old actor has romanced Pauline Collins on screen in Shirley Valentine and done time in Gotham City in The Dark Knight Rises, in addition to returning regularly to the London stage. This season, he can be found succeeding Martin Shaw as Juror No. 8 in the extended run of Twelve Angry Men at the Garrick Theatre, alongside Jeff Fahey and Robert Vaughn. caught up with the ever-charming Scotsman to talk takeovers, Tonys, and sustaining a career. What’s interesting about your role as a bed-ridden quadriplegic in Whose Life Is It Anyway? is that the part went on to be played by women—Mary Tyler Moore and later, Kim Cattrall. That idea came from a conversation [London co-star] Jane Asher and I had had in London where she said, “Why don’t we swap sometimes and I can go in the bed and you can be the doctor?” And I thought, “That’s a truly wonderful idea!” Our director gave us that look of “How bloody stupid can actors be!?” What appeals to you about Reginald Rose’s writing? To me, what’s strange and wonderful about this is that it’s actually a feel-good play: it’s a play about heroism, in a way, and one man’s dogged resistance to apathy and hatred. Audiences always respond to the notion of one guy against the world: That’s the stuff of classic drama. Do you keep the trophy on display? Funny you should mention that. My housekeeper likes to move things around, so I’m not sure what ledge it’s on at the moment; I must check. Welcome back to the West End! You’re replacing Martin Shaw in the leading role—has it been a steep learning curve? It has been, and I’m not sure I would do it again, though I took over once before [from the late Peter O’Toole in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell] so I know how these things work. The only reason to do it is if you really want to. You could still do it in a few years. We’ll see, though as I get older, I do think L.A. would be a nice place to be. I’ve always liked working in America. There always seem to be all sorts of possibilities there, especially now that your country produces some really stunningly good TV. But the gender change happened nonetheless. It did because they couldn’t get anyone to take over from me and then the idea of [the role] being a woman re-emerged. Mary [Tyler Moore] came to see it and immediately said yes she’d like to do it. She was wonderful in the part and tremendously courageous. It was terribly exciting for me to see her do it because I’d been in love with Mary Tyler Moore for years—as we all were. You got a real taste of the movie blockbuster world with The Dark Knight Rises. That felt ginormous, no doubt about it. One doesn’t often work on movies of that size. I remember going to work in the morning thinking that this must have been what it was like in the old days of Hollywood where you had to go to an ocean to have an ocean. So much now happens via CGI, but Chris [Nolan, director] prefers to work on a huge scale that really is quite astounding. And the other? 10 years ago, my wife and I had pretty well decided to buy a house in L.A. and get green cards and just when all that was happening, suddenly my daughter was married and pregnant, so everything just stopped. We thought, we can’t go away and leave her with a new baby coming. So in both cases, my daughter was the determining factor! That’s unusual—any idea why that might be? It’s partly because the British do so much capital-A acting when they take on Shakespeare. It’s such a relief when you see people like Kevin Kline or Meryl Streep doing Shakespeare. They’re sensational because they can just talk whereas the British too often act Shakespeare, and I run screaming from the exit. Amid so varied a career, you haven’t done that much of the bread-and-butter of many a British actor’s life: Shakespeare. That’s true. I was in Julie Taymor’s film of The Tempest but the truth is that every time I think I would like to do a Shakespeare, I realize that for myself I get far more pleasure from reading Shakespeare than from watching it. View Commentslast_img read more

Annie Baker’s The Antipodes Extends Before Starting Performances

first_img View Comments Related Shows The Antipodes Annie Baker (Photo: Bruce Glikas)center_img Annie Baker’s The Antipodes is extending by a week. The world premiere from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of The Flick will now play off-Broadway’s Pershing Square Signature Center through May 21. The production, directed by Lila Neugebauer, begins performances on April 4 and officially opens on April 23. It was originally scheduled to run through May 14.The Antipodes stars two-time Emmy nominee Josh Charles (The Good Wife) as well as Phillip James Brannon, Josh Hamilton, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Danny McCarthy, Emily Cass McDonnell, Brian Miskell, Will Patton and Nicole Rodenburg.The piece is described as “a play about people telling stories about telling stories.” It is the second production in Baker’s Signature residency. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 11, 2017last_img read more

West Nile virus

first_imgBy Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaYoung, healthy and physically fit, Brad Harris never imagined his late-summer cold was actually a side effect of a mosquito bite. Two years later, Harris continues to take vitamins to boost his immune system, which has been altered by the West Nile virus.Older people more susceptibleAt 27, Harris’ age played a role in his recovery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of the virus.Mosquitoes are vectors of WNV, and birds are carriers. The mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes then transmit the virus to humans through their bites.”Dead birds, particularly crows, are still indicators of WNV,” said Elmer Gray, an entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.In the past, local health departments encouraged people to bring in bird samples to help track the virus. However, people’s interest waned as WNV cases declined, so they brought fewer birds for testing. Now, you can just call the health department to report a potentially infected bird.WNV detected in GeorgiaMosquitoes carrying the virus have been found recently in areas of Atlanta and Savannah where monitoring programs are in place, Gray said.Back in Griffin, Harris’ co-workers warned him about the large number of mosquitoes in the company parking lot. They didn’t know to warn him about West Nile virus.”Apparently, (the mosquitoes) breed in the retention pond,” Harris said. “We’re constantly killing mosquitoes right and left at work. We also have mosquitoes in our yard, so I don’t know where I was when I was bitten.”Symptoms varyAt first, Harris began to feel sluggish and run a nighttime fever. His symptoms soon worsened. “My family and I went out to dinner, and my wife literally had to wake me up,” he said. “I fell asleep in the restaurant.”The next day, Harris’ doctor drew blood and began treating him for a possible spider or tick bite. A week later, blood tests revealed WNV in his bloodstream.It took a year for Harris to feel back to normal, but he will never truly be the same. His blood now contains WNV antibodies that prevent him from being a blood donor.Most never knowHarris’ experience is a rare one. About one in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. Four out of five people, or 80 percent, will show no symptoms at all.According to the CDC, human cases of WNV are rare in Georgia, with just 31 cases reported over the past three years. Of those, three were fatalities.Although your chances of contracting the virus are very low, you can reduce them further by reducing the number of mosquitoes that can bite you. And now’s the time to do it.High time for ‘skeeters’Gray says the peak period for increased mosquito populations is Aug. 15 through Sept. 15.”Georgia’s dry conditions have helped keep the mosquito populations low across the state,” he said. “But recent scattered rains have provided them with the habitats they need to thrive and multiply.”Gray recommends scouting your property for possible mosquito breeding grounds.”People need to be vigilant at removing standing water,” he said. “Check your gutters, boats and any containers that could hold water. Mosquitoes love used tires.”You can reduce your chances of being bitten, too, by wearing light-colored clothing and applying insect repellant when you’re outdoors.”The standard repellants containing DEET work well,” Gray said. “Lemon oils and eucalyptus products are new, effective choices but haven’t been studied intensively and aren’t approved for children under 3.”Harris’ and his wife Nicole have become parents since his experience with West Nile virus. “My wife puts a ton of repellant on our son,” Harris said. “She wants me to, but I usually don’t.”last_img read more

Christmas Trees

first_imgAs temperatures drop and Christmas carols begin playing on the radio, the time to search for the right tree is here. People have been buying and decorating trees to celebrate Christmas for more than 500 years. Almost 30 million live Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. every year. UGA Extension experts share these tips for choosing the right tree.Planning ahead: Moorhead said to “check the height of your ceiling before leaving the house,” and buy a tree a foot shorter than this to be sure it will fit comfortably inside. Think about the taper and fullness you need, based on the room you are putting it in. Picking the tree: The freshest trees will be available at choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms. Buying trees from farms also supports local farmers.Shake the tree before you buy it. Lots of needles falling off is a bad sign that can indicate a dead tree.Check for insects and dead needles around the middle of the tree as these could also indicate a dead tree.Be careful not to pick a droopy looking tree, this probably means it’s gone too long without water.Pick a tree with a straight trunk that is between six and eight inches long. This will make it easier to cut the base and put it in a stand. Caring for the tree:When you get home with your tree, cut an inch off of the base and immediately put it in water.The tree should go in a stand that holds at least one gallon of water. Plain water, without sugar or fertilizer, is best for the tree.Make sure to check the water supply for the tree, especially when you’ve just gotten it because “the first couple of days the tree will go through a lot of water,” Moorhead said. Options for recycling your tree:Use the main stem for firewood.Create a fish attractor by weighting the tree and sinking it to the bottom of a pond.Grind the tree for mulch.Take it to a box store that will chip the wood and donate it.Donate your tree to “Bring One for the Chipper,” a Keep Georgia Beautiful program that recycles Christmas trees by making them into mulch for use in community projects.last_img read more

Peruvian Air Space Agency Successfully Launches Rocket

first_imgBy Dialogo June 20, 2013 A Paulet 1-B sounding rocket was successfully launched by the Peruvian National Commission for Air Space Research and Development (CONIDA) at Punta Lobos, located 60 km to the south of Lima on June 12. The device, developed for scientific purposes, reached an altitude of about 15 km over the sea adjacent to the base. So by 2020 Peru will launch satellites into orbit made in Peru The Peruvian Air Space agency has also planned a space-satellite launch, with technology fully developed in Peru beginning in 2020. By that year, the launch of a rocket with an altitude of over 300 kilometers is also scheduled. center_img CONIDA’s director, Major General Mario Pimentel announced that the second sounding rocket was to be launched next year, using a new, second-generation fuel in solid state that will allow national rockets to reach 80 km in altitude. The third rocket will be launched in 2016, with the third-generation fuel also in solid state, allowing the rocket to reach about 100 km in altitude. The scientific event was witnessed by the president of the National Congress’ Commission for Science, Innovation and Technology, Congressman Jesús Hurtado; the Deputy Minister for Defense Resources, Jakke Valakivi; Peruvian Air Force Operations Commander, Lieutenant General Carlos Bohórquez; representatives of the scientific local community; officials from local universities (potential users of this technology); representatives of the three Peruvian branches of the Military and of the U.S. Air Force, among others. last_img read more


first_imgStresslines July 1, 2004 Regular News Finding personal peace in a conflict-driven profession Cindy L. Zatzman Four years ago I almost fled the legal profession. I was burned out. I told some of my friends that I simply didn’t want to have conflict as a driving force in my life any longer. I felt that continuing to engage in a litigation-based practice was personally exhausting and emotionally draining, and that it did not serve to benefit my community in any significant way. Rather, I felt myself an instrument of destruction as a legal practitioner.In 2000, I began learning about therapeutic jurisprudence and all its progeny: healing practice. Although I still toyed with the idea of abandoning legal practice, the prospect that I could practice law as a healing art intrigued me and kept me in it. I’ve come to find my place within the healing practices, and embrace collaborative family practice as a special way in which I can serve my community.What I find at this juncture in my career is that some members of the profession scoff at the idea that family law should be treated as a healing practice. I recently attended a continuing legal education program on family law and was surprised at the response of other attorneys to my choice of practice area. The conversation was moving along smoothly until someone asked me what I do. When I responded that I am attempting to limit my practice to collaborative family practice, she reacted by saying, “Oh, you’re one of those. ” It was impossible to miss the disdain in her voice. On the plus side, I also know that not all of my litigation-minded colleagues look at things this way.Perhaps some of the resistance to such newer models as collaborative family law is based in litigation training. As I recently stated in correspondence to my opposing counsel in a litigated family law matter:“I know that it is difficult for litigators to shift out of litigation mode into healing perspective. I really do understand; having a litigator as opposing counsel actually impacts my ability to communicate with complete effectiveness when matters of concern to my client occur. It makes it difficult for me to suggest [alternative interventions which] could only serve to benefit the parties in their efforts toward peaceful and healing resolution of their relationship problems. It makes it difficult for me to suggest that my client is seeking reconciliation, if possible, but that my client is aware that there may be no alternative but for these parties to terminate their personal intimate relationship while still moving forward in a healthy co-parenting relationship to benefit their minor [children].”In training to become litigators, we are trained to distrust opposing counsel, to hide strategy, and to manipulate evidence to benefit our client. As an attorney/healer, I regard my job a bit differently, but have to adhere to certain litigation tactics that do not, in my personal and professional opinion, serve either of our clients most efficiently or effectively.My client came to me because I favor collaboration over litigation; I prefer to see a healthy, restructured family at the end of my representation rather than the typical result of a litigated resolution of family law matters: a hostile, resentful, and angry family, often with remaining communications problems.I have become a zealous advocate for the prospect of healing families through collaborative process, and in particular through the use of interdisciplinary teams. I’ve been rebuked, sometimes rudely, by others in the profession; this is because I attempt to encourage lawyers to work side-by-side with other professionals, particularly mental health professionals, in guiding families to reach their own resolution in dissolution of marriage proceedings and other family law matters. I even go so far (and I am aware that this proposition is controversial) as to advocate that this process can be used for resolution of virtually all family law matters – including domestic violence cases.Many legal professionals regard dissolution and other family matters as purely legal problems, which we would be uniquely qualified to solve. But I’ve come to believe, through research and observation, that family law matters are not simply legal problems; rather, I regard them as social problems. The law is only part of the application that will ultimately resolve family matters in a healthy way. I am convinced that an appropriate interdisciplinary team, comprised of legal and mental health practitioners working with financial experts, is most likely to help create a healthy, restructured family at the end of the process.What, you may be asking, does all of this have to do with finding personal peace? I entered the legal profession to help people; I saw that my work was often detrimental to my clients; I learned about practices that would allow me to be a healer; I’ve chosen to apply healing theory to my practice; I’ve come full circle.I don’t intend to imply that we should abandon litigation. My perspective is simply this: Not all practitioners who wish to assist clients with conflict resolution are suited to litigation as the resolution “method of choice.” While litigation may always have a place in dispute resolution, I would hope that it will become the tool of last resort, and that our profession will encourage the growth and further development of other dispute resolution techniques as a group of first-choice options. Cindy L. Zatzman is 2004-2005 chair of the Quality of Life & Career Committee. She is the founder and president of Practical Ethics, Inc. in Cooper City. This column is published under the sponsorship of the Quality of Life and Career Committee. The committee’s Web site is at The Quality of Life and Career Committee, in cooperation with the Florida State University College of Law, also has an interactive listserv titled “The Healthy Lawyer.”last_img read more

Who Turned My Blue State Red?

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Alec MacGillis ProPublicaThis story was co-published with The New York Times’ Sunday Review.It is one of the central political puzzles of our time: Parts of the country that depend on the safety-net programs supported by Democrats are increasingly voting for Republicans who favor shredding that net.In his successful bid for the Senate in 2010, the libertarian Rand Paul railed against “intergenerational welfare” and said that “the culture of dependency on government destroys people’s spirits,” yet racked up winning margins in eastern Kentucky, a former Democratic stronghold that is heavily dependent on public benefits. Last year, Paul R. LePage, the fiercely anti-welfare Republican governor of Maine, was re-elected despite a highly erratic first term — with strong support in struggling towns where many rely on public assistance. And earlier this month, Kentucky elected as governor a conservative Republican who had vowed to largely undo the Medicaid expansion that had given the state the country’s largest decrease in the uninsured under Obamacare, with roughly one in 10 residents gaining coverage.It’s enough to give Democrats the willies as they contemplate a map where the red keeps seeping outward, confining them to ever narrower redoubts of blue. The temptation for coastal liberals is to shake their heads over those godforsaken white-working-class provincials who are voting against their own interests.But this reaction misses the complexity of the political dynamic that’s taken hold in these parts of the country. It misdiagnoses the Democratic Party’s growing conundrum with working-class white voters. And it also keeps us from fully grasping what’s going on in communities where conditions have deteriorated to the point where researchers have detected alarming trends in their mortality rates.In eastern Kentucky and other former Democratic bastions that have swung Republican in the past several decades, the people who most rely on the safety-net programs secured by Democrats are, by and large, not voting against their own interests by electing Republicans. Rather, they are not voting, period. They have, as voting data, surveys and my own reporting suggest, become profoundly disconnected from the political process.The people in these communities who are voting Republican in larger proportions are those who are a notch or two up the economic ladder — the sheriff’s deputy, the teacher, the highway worker, the motel clerk, the gas station owner and the coal miner. And their growing allegiance to the Republicans is, in part, a reaction against what they perceive, among those below them on the economic ladder, as a growing dependency on the safety net, the most visible manifestation of downward mobility in their declining towns.These are voters like Pamela Dougherty, a 43-year-old nurse I encountered at a restaurant across from a Walmart in Marshalltown, Iowa, where she’d come to hear Rick Santorum, the conservative former Pennsylvania senator with a working-class pitch, just before the 2012 Iowa caucuses. In a lengthy conversation, Dougherty talked candidly about how she had benefited from government support. After having her first child as a teenager, marrying young and divorcing, Dougherty had faced bleak prospects. But she had gotten safety-net support — most crucially, taxpayer-funded tuition breaks to attend community college, where she’d earned her nursing degree.She landed a steady job at a nearby dialysis center and remarried. But this didn’t make her a lasting supporter of safety-net programs like those that helped her. Instead, Dougherty had become a staunch opponent of them. She was reacting, she said, against the sense of entitlement she saw on display at the dialysis center. The federal government has for years covered kidney dialysis treatment in outpatient centers through Medicare, regardless of patients’ age, partly on the logic that treatment allows people with kidney disease to remain productive. But, Dougherty said, only a small fraction of the 54 people getting dialysis at her center had regular jobs.“People waltz in when they want to,” she said, explaining that, in her opinion, there was too little asked of patients. There was nothing that said “‘You’re getting a great benefit here, why not put in a little bit yourself.’” At least when she got her tuition help, she said, she had to keep up her grades. “When you’re getting assistance, there should be hoops to jump through so that you’re paying a price for your behavior,” she said. “What’s wrong with that?”Yes, citizens like Dougherty are at one level voting against their own economic self-interest, to the extent that the Republican approach on taxes is slanted more to the wealthy than that of the Democrats. This was the thesis of Thomas Frank’s 2004 best seller, “What’s the Matter With Kansas,” which argued that these voters had been distracted by social issues like guns and abortion. But on another level, these voters are consciously opting against a Democratic economic agenda that they see as bad for them and good for other people — specifically, those undeserving benefit-recipients in their midst.I’ve heard variations on this theme all over the country: people railing against the guy across the street who is collecting disability payments but is well enough to go fishing, the families using their food assistance to indulge in steaks. In Pineville, W.Va., in the state’s deeply depressed southern end, I watched in 2013 as a discussion with Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, quickly turned from gun control to the area’s reliance on government benefits, its high rate of opiate addiction, and whether people on assistance should be tested for drugs. Playing to the room, Senator Manchin declared, “If you’re on a public check, you should be subjected to a random check.”It’s much the same across the border in eastern Kentucky, which, like southern West Virginia, has been devastated by the collapse of the area’s coal industry. Eastern Kentucky now shows up on maps as the most benefit-dependent region in the country. The welfare reforms of the 1990s have made cash assistance hard to come by, but food-stamp use in the state rose to more than 18 percent of households in 2012 from under 10 percent in 2001.With reliance on government benefits so prevalent, it creates constant moments of friction, on very intimate terms, said Jim Cauley, a Democratic political consultant from Pike County, a former Democratic bastion in eastern Kentucky that has flipped Republican in the past decade. “There are a lot of people on the draw,” he said. Where opposition to the social safety net has long been fed by the specter of undeserving inner-city African-Americans — think of Ronald Reagan’s notorious “welfare queen” — in places like Pike County it’s fueled, more and more, by people’s resentment over rising dependency they see among their own neighbors, even their own families. “It’s Cousin Bobby — ‘he’s on Oxy and he’s on the draw and we’re paying for him,’ ” Cauley said. “If you need help, no one begrudges you taking the program — they’re good-hearted people. It’s when you’re able-bodied and making choices not to be able-bodied.” The political upshot is plain, Cauley added. “It’s not the people on the draw that’s voting against” the Democrats, he said. “It’s everyone else.”This month, Pike County went 55 percent for the Republican candidate for governor, Matt Bevin. That’s the opposite of how the county voted a dozen years ago. In that election, Kentucky still sent a Republican to the governor’s mansion — but Pike County went for the Democratic candidate. And 30 percent fewer people voted in the county this month than did in 2003 — 11,223 voters in a county of 63,000, far below the county’s tally of food-stamp recipients, which was more than 17,000 in 2012.In Maine, LePage was elected governor in 2010 by running on an anti-welfare platform in a state that has also grown more reliant on public programs — in 2013, the state ranked third in the nation for food-stamp use, just ahead of Kentucky. LePage, who grew up poor in a large family, has gone at safety-net programs with a vengeance. He slashed welfare rolls by more than half after imposing a five-year limit, reinstituted a work requirement for food-stamp recipients and refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare to cover 60,000 people. He is now seeking to bar anyone with more than $5,000 in certain assets from receiving food stamps. “I’m not going to help anybody just for the sake of helping,” the governor said in September. “I am not that compassionate.”His crusade has resonated with many in the state, who re-elected him last year.That pattern is right in line with surveys, which show a decades-long decline in support for redistributive policies and an increase in conservatism in the electorate even as inequality worsens. There has been a particularly sharp drop in support for redistribution among older Americans, who perhaps see it as a threat to their own Social Security and Medicare. Meanwhile, researchers such as Kathryn Edin, of Johns Hopkins University, have pinpointed a tendency by Americans in the second lowest quintile of the income ladder — the working or lower-middle class — to dissociate themselves from those at the bottom, where many once resided. “There’s this virulent social distancing — suddenly, you’re a worker and anyone who is not a worker is a bad person,” said Edin. “They’re playing to the middle fifth and saying, ‘I’m not those people.’ ”Meanwhile, many people who in fact most use and need social benefits are simply not voting at all. Voter participation is low among the poorest Americans, and in many parts of the country that have moved red, the rates have fallen off the charts. West Virginia ranked 50th for turnout in 2012; also in the bottom 10 were other states that have shifted sharply red in recent years, including Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee.In the spring of 2012, I visited a free weekend medical and dental clinic run by the organization Remote Area Medical in the foothills of southern Tennessee. I wanted to ask the hundreds of uninsured people flocking to the clinic what they thought of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, whose fate was about to be decided by the Supreme Court. I was expecting a “What’s the Matter With Kansas” reaction — anger at the president who had signed the law geared to help them. Instead, I found sympathy for Obama. But had they voted for him? Of course not — almost no one I spoke with voted, in local, state or national elections. Not only that, but they had barely heard of the health care law.This political disconnect among lower-income Americans has huge ramifications — polls find nonvoters are far more likely to favor spending on the poor and on government services than are voters, and the gap grows even larger among poor nonvoters. In the early 1990s, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky freely cited the desirability of having a more select electorate when he opposed an effort to expand voter registration. And this fall, Scott Jennings, a longtime McConnell adviser, reportedly said low turnout by poor Kentuckians explained why the state’s Obamacare gains wouldn’t help Democrats. “I remember being in the room when Jennings was asked whether or not Republicans were afraid of the electoral consequences of displacing 400,000–500,000 people who have insurance,” State Auditor Adam Edelen, a Democrat who lost his re-election bid this year, told Joe Sonka, a Louisville journalist. “And he simply said, ‘People on Medicaid don’t vote.’ ”Republicans would argue that the shift in their direction among voters slightly higher up the ladder is the natural progression of things — people recognize that government programs are prolonging the economic doldrums and that Republicans have a better economic program.So where does this leave Democrats and anyone seeking to expand and build lasting support for safety-net programs such as Obamacare?For starters, it means redoubling efforts to mobilize the people who benefit from the programs. This is no easy task with the rural poor, who are much more geographically scattered than their urban counterparts. Not helping matters in this regard is the decline of local institutions like labor unions — while the United Mine Workers of America once drove turnout in coal country, today there is not a single unionized mine still operating in Kentucky.But it also means reckoning with the other half of the dynamic — finding ways to reduce the resentment that those slightly higher on the income ladder feel toward dependency in their midst. One way to do this is to make sure the programs are as tightly administered as possible. Instances of fraud and abuse are far rarer than welfare opponents would have one believe, but it only takes a few glaring instances to create a lasting impression. Edin, the Hopkins researcher, suggests going further and making it easier for those collecting disability to do part-time work over the table, not just to make them seem less shiftless in the eyes of their neighbors, but to reduce the recipients’ own sense of social isolation.The best way to reduce resentment, though, would be to bring about true economic growth in the areas where the use of government benefits is on the rise, the sort of improvement that is now belatedly being discussed for coal country, including on the presidential campaign trail. If fewer people need the safety net to get by, the stigma will fade, and low-income citizens will be more likely to re-engage in their communities — not least by turning out to vote. Related stories: For more coverage of politics, read ProPublica’s previous reporting on Hillary Clinton’s mixed record on Wall Street, how the gas tax impasse explains Washington and how Congress explains its absences.center_img ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

Inner City: John Waples

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Olivier Giroud ‘nearly signed for Tottenham’ amid nightmare Chelsea spell

first_img Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 15 Sep 2020 7:59 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3kShares Olivier Giroud has had an up-and-down time at Chelsea (Picture: Getty Images)Current Chelsea, and former Arsenal, striker was so keen on leaving Stamford Bridge earlier this year that he came close to joining long-time rivals Tottenham, the Frenchman has revealed.The 33-year-old has had a mixed time of it since joining the Blues from the Gunners in 2018, regularly being in-and-out of the team and the first half of last season saw the forward right out of contention.With Tammy Abraham starting regularly, Giroud was hardly getting a look-in and he was desperate to leave in January as he looked for first team football.The World Cup winner was not short of options and even considered a switch to Spurs, despite the heated rivalry between Chelsea and Arsenal and the white half of north London.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘During the last three days of the transfer window, I was in the coach’s office to find a solution. I was hoping Chelsea would find a replacement for me,’ he told So Foot, via Goal.‘For my part, it was not the solutions that were lacking: I almost signed for Lazio, Inter. I was even so determined to leave that I even almost signed for Tottenham!’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityGiroud could have been plying his trade elsewhere in the UK earlier in his career as well, revealing interest in him back in 2010 when he started catching the eye at Tours, but he chose a move to Montpellier instead.‘I had proposals from Middlesbrough and Celtic [in 2010],’ he said. ‘But my agents advised me to leave an imprint in France first.’Giroud finds himself out of the team under Blues boss Frank Lampard again this season since the arrival of Timo Werner, who looks set to be first choice up front.The imposing forward has been linked with an exit again, with Serie A champion Juventus touted, but he has dismissed that speculation. Olivier Giroud ‘nearly signed for Tottenham’ amid nightmare Chelsea spell Giroud has scored some vital games in his Chelsea career (Picture: Getty Images)‘Italians, they get carried away quickly,’ Giroud told Telefoot when asked about the speculation. ‘I was surprised to receive messages from friends this morning telling me about this rumour. ‘That’s far from being the case. I am a Chelsea player and I feel good here.‘I didn’t have the great end of the season that I did to leave like this, and not believe in my chances. I will fight for my place.‘But it’s always good to get the attention of these kinds of clubs, it’s flattering. But I remain focused on Chelsea. ‘We will see what will happen in the coming weeks. But there is nothing signed or done. I prefer to deny it.’MORE: Chelsea legend Branislav Ivanovic fires warning to doubters after signing for West BromMORE: Arsenal chief Mikel Arteta plots two transfers after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signs new dealFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Comment Advertisementlast_img read more