SEA Games gold medal in sight for Tim Cone, Gilas

first_imgMOST READ Leonardo DiCaprio, Taika Waititi, other stars react to Oscar nominations Of the 12, only Kiefer Ravena, Christian Standhardinger, Troy Rosario and Greg Slaughter have won at least a SEA Games gold medal.June Mar Fajardo, LA Tenorio, Vic Manuel, Matthew Wright, Stanley Pringle, Marcio Lassiter, Japeth Aguilar and Ross will have their shot at a first gold Tuesday night in front of a hometown crowd at Mall of Asia Arena.Gilas winning the gold has been a foregone conclusion even before the tournament started. The Philippines has held the men’s basketball title since 1981 and the country’s reign won’t end anytime soon.Cone, though, stressed that it’s not going to be as smooth-sailing as everyone thinks with a worthy challenger in Thailand, which scraped past Vietnam, 101-95, in the other semifinal matchup.“Easier said than done, though. It’s gonna be a struggle for us, tomorrow (Tuesday). I feel it,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT NBA denies Rockets’ protest after Harden dunk waved off Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NFA assures ample rice supply in ashfall, eruption-affected areas Microsoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) ‘People evacuated on their own’center_img Thailand reports case of coronavirus from China But now they are just a win away from achieving the feat in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.“I asked them yesterday (Sunday), how many of you guys have won a gold medal in your career? I’ve been in the league 31 years, and I’ve been coaching in the PBA for 31, I’ve never won a gold medal,” Cone, who sat beside guard Chris Ross during the post-game press conference, said Monday night on the eve of Gilas Pilipinas’ gold medal match against Thailand.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4“[I’ve] won a few championships, but not a gold medal, so this is special.”“I know Chris hasn’t won a gold medal, and most, I think 8 or 9 of our guys haven’t won a gold medal. So now that it’s this close, I think our guys are gonna be ready.” No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Men’s basketball team head coach Tim Cone during a game in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netR.nMANILA, Philippines — Philippine team head coach Tim Cone always has something elaborate to say during interviews. For pep talks, however, Cone would rather keep it short and simple.For all of Cone’s accolades, being a gold medalist is not of them and so is the same for eight of his players who all have already built impressive resumes in the PBA.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Your Event Doesn’t Exist Without Speakers and Volunteers

first_imgA tweet from my friend David Bisset captured my attention this morning:My policy on official speakers needing to buy tickets for the WordCamp / event they’re speaking at: It should never happen. Period.— David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) January 26, 2015 Well, of course. That’s how I plan all the not-for-profit events I’m involved with. Whether it’s a WordCamp, Refresh Detroit meetup, Detroit User Experience event, Metro Detroit WordPress meeting, or HighEdWeb Michigan conference, anyone who speaks at the event is admitted for free. I’ve written about that in the past. Same thing for volunteers. Anyone who offers to help out at an event, as an event planner, room host, photographer, or social media manager, attends the event for free. Speakers and volunteers are generously donating their time and skills to make your event a success. Your event doesn’t exist without speakers and volunteers.Tim’s Blog PostThat’s when I discovered the blog post that prompted David’s tweet: Respect your conference speakers and volunteers by Tim Nash, published earlier today. Very sad, but why I won’t be talking at WordCamp Birmingham UK in a few weeks – https://t.co/JJPRIQL2r7— Tim Nash (@tnash) January 26, 2015In his post, Nash explains how he submitted a talk for a local WordCamp, only to later discover he had to pay to speak at the event. He decided not to speak at the event. Read the post. It’s a well-written post about event organizing, speakers, and volunteers. I completely agree with his thoughts on speakers and volunteers attending not-for-profit events for free. It’s a gesture of respect.And I personally liked Nash’s comment about changing our mindset about donating to an event. Whether you’re an event organizer, speaker, or volunteer, you’re donating many hours and days of your time to the event. The least you can do is give them a ticket.He also shares tips on what you can do as a potential attendee, sponsor, volunteer, or speaker to change the thinking of event planners on charging speakers and volunteers.Another Event Planner’s PerspectiveAfter replying to several of David’s tweets, my friend Angela Bergmann and I chatted about event planning, speakers, and volunteers. @redcrew Exactly! And for WCNC, we assume a +1. My husband is always with me, especially since I drive everywhere usually.— Angie Bergmann 🖤🦄 (@radkitten) January 26, 2015Bergmann graciously accepted my invitation to share her thoughts for this post:Speakers are what drives your conference. I would never expect to be monetarily compensated for speaking at a non-profit conference like WordCamp, but I do expect at a minimum for my ticket to be comped. I’d also appreciate if my +1 is comped, as I do not like to travel alone.I learned something new. For past events, I had not considered providing a free ticket for a +1. Something I’m adding to my event planning task list.She added, “While a speaker gets to attend a conference, they are not free to attend any session they wish. And I frequently find myself spending the majority of a conference fielding questions and preparing for my topic anyway.” “It isn’t as though I am getting the same value from the conference as a regular attendee. This doesn’t even account for the time spent preparing for the event and the cost of travel, ” Bergmann told me.She said, “As an organizer for WordCamp North Canton, we assume the speaker and a +1 will be attending.” We:Comp their tickets for the speaker and their +1Provide a nice speaker dinner (with the +1)Give a speaker giftBergmann ended our conversation, Just like we are donating our time for this event, they are as well. Without our speakers there is no conference to attend.I’d like to hear your thoughts. Am I missing something? As a speaker, volunteer, or event organizer, do you expect to attend the event for free? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedHow-to Tips for Organizing WordCampsEarlier this year, Andrea Middleton of WordCamp Central kicked off the first of several online chats for WordCamp organizers. The online chats are intended to provide help, support, and tips for WordCamp organizers as they plan their events. I was able to attend the first chat on organizing WordCamps and…In “Conference”Can You Livestream the Event?As many of you know, I’m an event planner and leader for several local meetup groups. I organize events for Refresh Detroit, West Metro Detroit WordPress, and Metro Detroit WordPress meetup groups. Since the mid 2000’s, I estimate I’ve organized 350+ monthly meetup events, workshops, in-person conferences, and group viewing…In “Technology”What is a WordCamp?Last Sunday at our Metro Detroit WordPress meetup, we saw a lot of new members attend the WordPress REST API presentation, which was great. I think the attraction of a developer-focused talk brought in a lot of new people. Before the presentation started, one of our long-time members asked who…In “Conference”last_img read more

UW-Marshfield/Wood County men’s basketball wins opener of home tournament

first_imgBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD – The University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County men’s basketball team will play for the title at its annual UW-Marshfield Classic after beating UW-Washington County 85-73 on Friday night.The Marauders (3-6) will play Gogebic Community College (Mich.) in the championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday. Gogebic beat UW-Fond du Lac 86-76 in the other semifinal.Fond du Lac and Washington County will play in the third-place game at noon.Josh Hennes scored 17 points, and Bryce DeSmet and Joe Estrict each added 15 points for the Marauders.Three others also scored in double figures for UW-Marshfield. Hunter Busse had 13 points, and Ryan Paul and Max Opelt each had 10 for the Marauders.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Marauders 85, Wildcats 73UW-Washington Co. 15 14 16 28 – 73UW-Marshfield/Wood County 12 20 23 30 – 85UW-WASHINGTON CO. (73): Javon Williams 4-6 2-2 10, Haydon Stenhardt 1-7 0-0 3, Dominque Richie 2-6 2-2 6, Brandon Lastovich 0-0 0-0 0, Aaron Rathke 6-17 1-6 15, De’Andre Johnson 10-19 2-2 25, Zach Cull 0-1 0-0 0, Shaun Fischer 4-13 5-7 14, Tylan Hall 0-2 0-0 0. FG: 27-71. FT: 12-19. 3-pointers: 7-27 (Johnson 3-7, Rathke 2-6, Fischer 1-4, Steinhardt 1-7, Williams 0-1, Richie 0-2). Rebounds: 44 (Cull 9). Assists: 20 (Williams 6). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: none. Record: 9-7.UW-MARSHFIELD/WOOD COUNTY (85): Hunter Busse 4-8 2-2 13, Ryan Paul 4-14 1-2 10, Max Opelt 4-7 0-0 10, Joe Estrict 7-13 0-0 15, Sean Zillmer 1-1 2-2 5, Bryce DeSmet 4-10 5-6 15, Kwame Adam 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Hennes 7-14 3-8 17, Devin Klein 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 31-67. FT: 13-20. 3-pointers: 10-19 (Busse 3-6, Opelt 2-3, DeSmet 2-5, Zillmer 1-1, Estrict 1-2, Paul 1-2). Rebounds: 37 (Estrict 9). Assists: 25 (Busse 7). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: none. Record: 3-6.last_img read more

Meet the Writing Fellows Alum Who’s Turning Cynics into Optimists

first_imgSince its launch in the fall of 2014, AFF’s Writing Fellows Program has helped more than 150 young professionals develop their writing skills and learn how to get published. Below, Chelsea Follett, managing editor of the Cato Institute’s HumanProgress.org and fellow in our summer 2017 class, discusses her work and explains how the program has helped her career. To learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can boost your own career in writing, see here.What piece are you most proud of writing, and why?I’m very excited about a policy analysis piece that documents how, and by how much, markets have transformed women’s lives for the better. The paper counters the narrative that markets harm women, which is unfortunately the dominant narrative in many circles. Over the last 200 years, economic progress has helped to bring about both dramatically better standards of living and the extension of individual dignity to women in the developed world. Today the same story of market-driven empowerment is repeating itself in developing countries. Labor market participation offers women economic independence and heightened societal bargaining power, while market-led innovation has improved the lives of women even more so than for men.Applications for the Summer 2019 term of the Writing Fellows Program are now open! Apply here before April 26!What topic do you wish more people were writing about?I’d like to see more data-backed pieces that focus on long-terms trends such as the unprecedented decline in world poverty, rather than writing that foregrounds the fleeting political micro-dramas of the moment. Every day for the last twenty-five years, the number of people in extreme poverty has fallen by 137,000, yet that fact rarely receives media coverage and most people are unaware of it. As captivating as it may be when a politician orders a bagel in an unusual way, there are more important stories that need telling. I greatly appreciate that the AFF Writing Fellowship program focuses on cultivating substantive policy writing.In what way has AFF been helpful in advancing your career?The AFF Writing Fellowship gave me the opportunity to connect with some incredible writers, and provided me with writing advice that I now keep in mind every time I put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard). An op-ed of mine that we workshopped as a group during the fellowship was eventually published in Forbes. Not long after that I was humbled to be named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in the category of Law & Policy, which has been a huge honor and helped to raise the profile of my work. The op-ed may have had some influence on the judges’ decision — so I owe a lot to the excellent guidance I received from Jason and from my fellow Writing Fellows.What drew you to a project like Human Progress?In graduate school, I read Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature for class, and Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist for pleasure. Those two books had a big impact on my worldview. So I was thrilled to be accepted to Cato’s internship program and placed with HumanProgress.org, which has both Dr. Pinker and Mr. Ridley on its advisory board. I was very fortunate that HumanProgress.org was looking for a new managing editor at the time and that I was given the opportunity to take on that role at the internship’s conclusion. For the past four years I have gotten to live out a dream job: getting paid to read and write about policy topics I’m passionate about, edit other scholars’ work, interact with data, and spread rational optimism.last_img read more

Here is your horoscope for the day: January 10, 2015

first_imgARIESGift yourself the knack of responding totally to whatever comes, as it comes in life! Avoid cruel people, as they tend to take up cudgels with you on non-issues. Loved ones are supportive. Your personal affairs may take time to resolve, be persistent. Lucky number 5. Colour yellow.TAURUS Friends, family and children gather around you to share some memorable moments today. Specialization in your field of activity adds to you professional expertise and gain. You can easily trust your feelings and intuition about people and situations. Lucky number 3. Colour cherry red. GEMINIThere is increase of wealth and income, which allows you to make gainful investments. Beware of theft or deception at work as an unknown person may invade your space. Be expansive and share your richness, wisdom, experience, feelings and expertise with others. Lucky number 9. Colour pink. CANCERYou may rebel against domination at work by people in power. You impress people with your talent and charisma. Relationships are sensitive and difficult for a time as both partners seek independence, space and appreciation. You are bold, courageous and frank. Lucky number 2. Colour red. LEOYour instinct and intuition lead you in a positive direction in personal and professional matters today. You are quiet, hardworking and practical when you need to deal with earthy details. Do not allow work to become a drudgery, but keep your enthusiasm alive. Lucky number 7. Colour green. VIRGODelay at work should be taken in your stride today. The temporary absence of a loved one could cause some anxiety. Expect your partner and family to be supportive during a trying time. Transactions are conducted honestly. A positive attitude brings fulfillment. Lucky number 3. Colour blue. advertisementLIBRA You combine well with your partner and realize an ambitious goal. Your actions are based on accurate calculation and good planning. Goodwill and friendship enhance your social standing. You participate in and enjoy sport, theater and the Arts today. Lucky number 14. Colour soft pink. SCORPIO Sorting out the important from the trivial adds to good management of professional and personal matters today. There is clarity about goals and participation of key people. You go beyond illusions and find your truths within. Don’t entertain gossip. Lucky number 20. Colour royal blue. SAGITTARIUS ‘The Moon’ brings Karmic situations and patterns to the fore today. Crazy people can create scenes to upset you, remain a witness rather than become a participator. Listen to your intuition. Guard against over indulgence in food, drink or work. Lucky number 18. Colour sea blue. CAPRICORN ‘The Universe’ opens another horizon with new opportunities today. Despite multifarious activity in varied aspects your security structure remains intact. You assess relationships and realize who and what is important in your life. Health needs attention. Lucky number 21. Colour blue. AQUARIUS Things are changing as you step into new opportunities and dimensions. You play the role of consultant, sharing your knowledge and experience with others. You are caring in established personal relationships and can expect loyalty and support therein. Lucky number 4. Colour purple.PISCES Forces and people at work who are powerful, selfish and destructive may surround you today. Side step them and avoid confrontations or you can be manipulated. Ignore and avoid cruel gossip or you may be involved in controversies. Celebrate with friends. Lucky number 10. Colour red.last_img read more

11 days ago​Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s team

first_img​Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s teamby Ian Ferris11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveVlatko Andonovski is set to become the new head coach of the United States women’s football team.The 43-year-old is currently in charge of National Women’s Soccer League side Reign FC in Seattle.Previous head coach Jill Ellis took charge of her final game on 6 October, having won two World Cups with the US. TagsMLS NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img

BPO Earnings Could Reach US$750 Million by 2020

first_img “Employment figures have more than doubled when compared to 2007. The BPO sector is now employing over 26, 000 persons island-wide. Within the sector, we have approximately 60 firms operating, including several industry heavyweights such as Xerox, Teleperformance, Sutherland Global Services, Alorica, HGS and Startek,” he noted further. Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the local business process outsourcing sector (BPO), which is valued at more than US$400 million, continues to grow exponentially, and could reach US$750 million by 2020. Story Highlights The Minister said he is also heartened by a recent study conducted with companies involved in outsourcing, which revealed that the sector is expected to see growth across all functions surveyed particularly IT, finance, and HR. Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the local business process outsourcing sector (BPO), which is valued at more than US$400 million, continues to grow exponentially, and could reach US$750 million by 2020.“Over the years, we have seen tremendous growth in the local sector, boasting a compound annual growth rate of 20 per cent per annum,” he said.“Employment figures have more than doubled when compared to 2007. The BPO sector is now employing over 26, 000 persons island-wide. Within the sector, we have approximately 60 firms operating, including several industry heavyweights such as Xerox, Teleperformance, Sutherland Global Services, Alorica, HGS and Startek,” he noted further.Minister Wheatley was delivering the keynote address on the final day of the Outsource2Jamaica Symposium and Expo at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James on April 13.He noted however, that there are still too many persons who are in the dark about the opportunities that the sector presents, pointing out that BPO is more than call centre operations.“BPO is much more than that and its value, both locally and internationally, exceeds what most persons know or expect from the sector,” he said.He pointed out that locally, the sector provides a wide range of services spanning medical, legal, financial, information communication technology (ICT), human resources, among others.Dr. Wheatley said he is very pleased that Jamaica has become an integral part of “a global movement” in outsourcing, an area, which he said, has been steadily becoming the preferred choice for many firms.“At a global level, the sector is projected to reach US$262.2 billion by 2022 driven by cost benefits achieved by outsourcing back-office administration, the development of new generation technologies such as process automation, big data analytics, Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) and embedded analytics-based BPO,” he pointed out.“Growing competitiveness of global markets and the ensuing pressure on businesses to run efficiently and ensure cost effectiveness is providing opportunities for accelerated growth in BPO services,” he said.The Minister said he is also heartened by a recent study conducted with companies involved in outsourcing, which revealed that the sector is expected to see growth across all functions surveyed particularly IT, finance, and HR.Jamaica, he contended, is in a good position to benefit from expansion in these services.The Outsource2Jamaica Symposium and Expo was put on by the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) and its members and partners, including JAMPRO.It ran from April 12-13 and was designed to provide a platform to raise the profile of Jamaica as a BPO destination.JIS REGIONAL OFFICElast_img read more

Ohio State mens tennis team seeks 1st NCAA championship

The Ohio State men’s tennis team will begin NCAA Tournament action at home Friday. The Buckeyes are going into the tournament as the No. 4 seed, and they will look to bring home their first-ever national title. Sixty-four teams from around the nation were selected May 3 to be part of the 2011 NCAA Championship Tournament. The Buckeyes were one of 31 teams that automatically qualified for the tournament by winning their conference championship. OSU earned that bid May 1, when it clinched its sixth consecutive Big Ten Tournament title in Madison, Wis. OSU will begin the NCAA Tournament with home-field advantage. The team will host Notre Dame, East Tennessee State and Ball State for the first two rounds of the six-round tournament Friday and Saturday. “It’s always much easier to win at home than on the road,” said coach Ty Tucker of the advantage. OSU (30-2) opens the NCAA Tournament against Ball State (15-14). The last time the Buckeyes played the Cardinals was during the 1994–95 season. Overall, OSU is 9-3 against Ball State. “After two weeks off, you have to establish in the first round that you’re ready to play,” Tucker said of the Friday match. If the team advances past the first two rounds, the Buckeyes will travel to Stanford, Calif., to compete. “We need to focus on the first two rounds,” senior co-captain Balazs Novak said. The biggest competitors the Buckeyes could face throughout the tournament are Virginia and USC, Tucker said. OSU lost to Virginia once already this season, 4-1, in February. “There are a lot of good teams,” senior co-captain Matt Allare said. “Virginia hasn’t been beaten at all, and USC are the back-to-back champions.” The last time the Buckeyes made it to the NCAA Tournament finals was in 2009, when they fell to USC, the reigning national champion. “We’re No. 4 in the nation, but you look at other teams and they’re so good,” senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa said. “We just need to give it everything we’ve got.” Despite the tough competition, OSU’s ultimate goal is to bring home the national title. “That’s one of the three or four goals every year,” Tucker said. “I think that has to be the goal.” Novak said winning the championship title would be a great achievement for the team and that it would mean everything. The first match in Columbus will be between Notre Dame and East Tennessee State at 10 a.m. Friday at the Stickney Tennis Center. read more

On Chiranjeevis birthday Pawan Kalyan releases Amitabh Bachchans onset pictures from Sye

first_imgPawan Kalyan with Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan on the sets of Sye Raa Narasimha ReddyTwitterPower star Pawan Kalyan has released pictures of his meeting with Amitabh Bachchan on the sets of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and wished his brother, megastar Chiranjeevi, on his 64th birthday.The soured relationship between Pawan Kalyan and Chiranjeevi has been a hot topic of debate for almost a decade. The mega brothers have often tried to put the rumours to rest but various situations kept fueling the speculations.The gossip mongers recently got busy with reports about their differences, when Chiru declined to campaign for his brother’s Jana Sena Party in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.Pawan Kalyan has once again made an attempt to show the world that everything is fine between him and his brother Chiranjeevi. On the eve of his brother’s birthday, the power star released a press note in which he explained Chiru has an inspiring personality like Abdul Kalam. In the letter shared on Twitter, the actor wished a happy birthday to his brother. Pawan Kalyan wishes to ChiranjeeviTwitterInterestingly, Pawan Kalyan is working as the narrator in Chiranjeevi’s Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and the makers recently released his dubbing video, which grabbed many eyeballs and thrilled the fans of the mega family. This morning, the Jana Sena leader tweeted a photo featuring the history of Narasimha Reddy and captioned it with “Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy – an Unsung Hero.”Pawan Kalyan tweeted a couple of photos featuring him with Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan on the sets of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. The power star also wrote, “Most cherished moment of my Life;meeting my Idol, Respected ‘Shri Amitabh Bachchan ji’, on the sets of ‘Saira.’ His life teaches us ,how one should rise against all odds that life keeps throwing and be victorious.” Pawan Kalyan with Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan on the sets of Sye Raa Narasimha ReddyTwitterAll the fans of mega family and film fraternity are pouring wishes for megastar Chiranjeevi on his birthday. Pawan Kalyan’s tweets about Chiru have come as a big surprise for them. A fan named Yaswanth replied to his post, “India’s biggest superstar Amitabh sir, power star, megastar.. Damn, show me the better trio than this , I’ll wait “last_img read more

Inside the progressive movement roiling Democratic Party

first_imgDemocratic Party logoIn another year, Donna Shalala might have had an easy ride to Washington.Running to become a first-time congresswoman in a Miami seat at age 77, Shalala has long been a member of the Democratic Party elite, with a deep resume that includes supervising US health policy for former president Bill Clinton. Her slogan, printed on the back of her staff’s t-shirts, could have come from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign playbook: “Ready on Day One.”But this season, Shalala’s record has put her at odds with the surging progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Once derided as the most liberal member of the Clinton administration, Shalala now faces attacks from challengers who contend she is not nearly progressive enough.Taking nothing for granted, Shalala delivered hot dogs to voters at a campaign barbeque on a recent steamy Saturday. “I’m running like I’m 20 points behind,” she said.Less than three months before the midterm elections, a rising progressive movement is roiling the Democratic Party – fueled by fury at Republican president Donald Trump’s administration, a growing populism among voters impatient for seismic change, and resentment of party leaders who have presided over a losing streak in national elections.Republicans disparage Democratic progressives as wild-eyed radicals led by a 28-year-old political neophyte, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose take-down of senior Democratic leader and 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in a June 26 New York contest rocked Washington.“We have a Democratic party that’s lurching far to the left,” said Representative Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Michael Byerly, a spokesman for the Congressional Leadership Fund, another Republican group, predicted Democrats’ “ultra-progressive views” will be a hard sell with middle-class voters.Yet Ocasio-Cortez is only the most visible symbol of a grassroots insurgency that has sprung up across the country, including in spots far from deep-blue Democratic strongholds. Most embracing the progressive label share a disdain for corporate money in politics and favor more government-run healthcare, subsidies for college tuition and wage hikes for laborers.Progressives have a mixed record in early nominating contests, more often than not losing to more mainstream Democrats.But they have moved the party sharply to the left, particularly on expanding the government role in healthcare, a Reuters review of Democratic positions in the most competitive congressional races found.Across 41 battleground House of Representatives districts, two-thirds of Democratic nominees want to expand the government’s role in healthcare, the review shows. About a dozen support “Medicare for All,” for many a reference to a single-payer system that would largely replace private insurance. In Congress, most House Democrats support a Medicare for All bill, with six members of the Blue Dog caucus of fiscally conservative Democrats signing on as co-sponsors.Much of the progressive movement has its roots in the nationwide volunteer network built by Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run. Several groups that sprang from the failed Sanders campaign are now pushing for progressive candidates in the midterms – including Brand New Congress, formed two years ago on the dream of running hundreds of progressive political newcomers to oust establishment incumbents, Democrats and Republicans alike.In some ways, the splintering in the Democratic Party is simply a new round in the 2016 fight between Clinton and Sanders supporters. Progressive insurgents believe Clinton’s defeat, on top of losing control of Congress and most state governments, proved them right. They aspire to overthrow conventional wisdom that Democrats must stay safely in the middle to compete.“Democrats have been fixated for 20 years on this elusive, independent, mythical middle of the road voter that did not exist,” said Crystal Rhoades, head of the Democratic Party in Nebraska’s Douglas County, where a progressive candidate, Kara Eastman, is trying to wrest a competitive congressional district from a Republican.“We’re going to try bold ideas.”THE MOVEMENT’S BEGINNINGSThe push for a progressive takeover of Congress began long before Trump won office.One audacious plan began to take hold in early 2016, as a crew of organizers for Sanders’ presidential campaign traveled the country, staging revival-style rallies.The crew included Zack Exley, a veteran political and tech consultant who cut his teeth as an organizer in union fights in Detroit; Saikat Chakrabarti, a technology consultant who started as a volunteer in an online group called Coders for Sanders; Alexandra Rojas, a just-turned 21-year-old college student who was working three jobs; and Corbin Trent, who was selling gourmet burgers in Morristown, Tennessee.“I asked the wife if I could sell the food truck and go to work for Bernie,” Trent said. A month and a half later, he was hired on.When it became clear Sanders would lose, supporters shifted to a new mission. “What if we could do exactly the same thing, not only for president, but Congress, all at once?” asked Chakrabarti.Brand New Congress was launched in April 2016 with a goal of recruiting 400 candidates, all political outsiders with a record of community activism who would run on a single populist platform. Scornful of the Democratic Party hierarchy and the influence of big-money donors, the founders vowed to stay independent of any party – even if it meant finding progressives willing to run as Republicans.“We have to think big or go home,” said Isra Allison, a Sanders volunteer from Charlotte, North Carolina.They toured the country and put out a call for nominations of candidates; more than 10,000 poured in.One name that surfaced: Ocasio-Cortez, a bartender from the Bronx nominated by her brother. Allison called her the day after Christmas, and a couple months later Exley and Chakrabarti met the fledgling candidate over a Thai dinner in lower Manhattan.“I wasn’t sure what to make of her,” Chakrabarti said. “She was too articulate, I think is exactly what I told Zack.” But the advocates quickly realized they were sharing a meal with a potential game-changer.They looked for others. At weekend “boot camps,” candidates were coached in the basics of electioneering, and thrashed out a platform including Medicare for All, a $15 per hour minimum wage and free college tuition. Another bold idea, to abolish US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, surfaced at a Brand New Congress event in 2017.Soon the group was swamped by the challenge of vetting so many candidates – and convincing promising aspirants they could win.There were other problems. After Trump’s polarizing election, the notion that progressives could transcend partisan politics faded, and Brand New Congress began to struggle with fundraising. The group was told it couldn’t use ActBlue, the popular Democratic fundraising platform, if it backed candidates running as Republicans, Trent said.“It was like pushing a rock up a hill,” Trent said.Many of the original BNC people, including Exley, Trent, Chakrabarti and Rojas, abandoned the nonpartisan idea to join Justice Democrats, formed in early 2017 with a mission to rebuild the party to align with a progressive agenda. Others stayed behind at the BNC. “I didn’t want to work with any organization that had a political affiliation,” said Allison.The two organizations tried sharing a political action committee, but separated entirely last October. Trent and Chakrabarti now work for Ocasio-Cortez’ campaign.Overall, Justice Democrats endorsed 68 House candidates, including some originally recruited by the BNC: 21 won primaries or made it to the general election, 37 lost, two dropped out and eight are in races yet to be decided.Still, the BNC founders cite the Ocasio-Cortez breakthrough as a sign of what is possible.“I think now when we approach people for 2020, they’re going to think we’re a little less nuts,” Trent said.MULTIPLE MOVEMENTSBrand New Congress and Justice Democrats are just two players in a movement where different groups with different agendas jostle for donations and influence in the midterms. Some, like Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, were in place years before the Sanders campaign.California billionaire Tom Steyer, the Democrats’ largest donor, has spent millions of his own money on NextGen America, a group that aims to mobilize young voters. The hedge-fund manager turned activist vows to build the largest progressive operation in America.“The overwhelming number of people whatever their particular affiliation – whether Republican or Democrat or independent – feel as if the political establishment is not hearing them,” he said. The result, he says, is low turnout – particularly by young people who lean toward Democrats.With his fiery calls to impeach Trump, Steyer is among the progressives butting heads with leaders of the Democratic Party’s establishment, who fear turning off moderate voters.This year, progressives have complained about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which recruits candidates, fundraises and helps plan campaigns for Democrats vying for House seats. In some competitive districts, the DCCC has intervened to back more centrist candidates, ones they consider more electable.The DCCC focuses on finding candidates with records that fit their districts, a spokeswoman said. “The DCCC has long valued the unprecedented influence that the grassroots have in these races,” said communications director Meredith Kelly.Leon Panetta, who served 16 years in Congress and then as a top official in the Clinton and Obama administrations, said Democrats are “going through turmoil” trying to settle on a vision.“Very frankly, it’s a party of a lot of very different voices right now,” Panetta said.Others downplay the notion of a civil war. Elaine Kamarck, among the founders of the New Democrat movement that helped move the party away from liberal policies in the 1990s, now analyzes the midterms as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She found most primaries in competitive districts were captured by centrist candidates.Kamarck, who also served as a super delegate for Clinton in 2016, says Democrats need to appeal to moderate voters if they hope to retake Congress. She calls the idea that unabashed progressivism can win in Republican-tilting districts the political equivalent of “repealing the laws of physics.”“I find myself doing a lot of eye-rolling,” she said. “There’s always the argument in the Democratic Party, if only we had really liberal candidates, we would do better. It has never been true before.”Could this year be different? “We’ll see.”THE RACE IN NEBRASKAOne race that may help answer the question is in Omaha, where Eastman will try to unseat a Republican incumbent, Don Bacon, in a district with 13,000 more Republicans than Democrats.Unlike the rest of deeply Republican Nebraska, though, Democrats have been able to win in this district, which stretches from the gentrifying neighborhoods of Omaha, now attracting a surge of millennials, to conservative-leaning suburban neighborhoods near Offutt Air Force Base, where Bacon once served as commanding officer. Obama narrowly won the district in 2008; Trump took it by two points in 2016.Eastman, a nonprofit executive, was considered by the party establishment as far too liberal for Nebraska. She supported a single-payer healthcare system that would replace private insurance, and a list of other progressive causes: tough gun rules, support for abortion rights, a $15 minimum wage.Democratic state and national party leaders mostly lined up behind Brad Ashford, a moderate one-time Republican who already represented the district for one term. Thanks in part to backing from the DCCC and other national groups, Ashford had far more money.The Eastman campaign said it knocked on 60,000 doors. On 15 May, she won by 3 percentage points. After the primary, the DCCC added her to its “Red to Blue” list, along with other progressives who beat establishment candidates.Seeking to pummel Eastman, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a group working in swing districts to protect the GOP majority, has opened a field office in Omaha and already purchased $1.6 million worth of ads, while the Republican National Committee calls her an “out of touch, single-payer touting radical.” One CLF ad chides Eastman for her teenage membership in a band with an obscene name – Pieces of Fuck.Eastman’s positions “might work in some districts in California, but it’s not representative of Nebraska 2,” said Courtney Alexander, CLF communications director.Eastman says Omaha voters are not scared by “pragmatic and common-sense” ideas to remake the healthcare system. She believes the key to winning districts like hers is inspiring more Democrats to turn out – not running as a “Republican-light” moderate.“When they lose, we say, ‘See? Democrats can’t win here,’ ” she said. “We have to get people inspired to vote, and just running against Donald Trump is not enough.”THE FIGHT IN MIAMIThe same debate is playing out this summer in South Florida, where the progressive insurgency has touched off a raucous fight between Democratic hopefuls in Florida’s Congressional District 27, which includes trendy Miami Beach, affluent Coral Gables and Little Havana’s Hispanic immigrants.Represented for three decades by a retiring Cuban-American Republican, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the district favored Hillary Clinton by nearly 20 percentage points in 2016. It’s considered perhaps the easiest takeover target for Democrats in the country, though nine Republicans are running, including former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro and television journalist Maria Elvira Salazar.Four Democrats have challenged Shalala in the August 28 primary. One, David Richardson, has attacked Shalala as a “corporate” Democrat who “sold out progressive values,” running ads slamming her for serving on the board of UnitedHealth Group and for once telling a comedian she opposed universal healthcare. Shalala says it was a joke.A state representative, Richardson has won the endorsement of progressive groups including Our Revolution 305 in Miami and the Congressional Progressive Caucus – caucus co-chair Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan campaigned with him Friday – and boasts of raising more than $900,000 in small-dollar donations. Progressive support has helped him match Shalala in fundraising – although both are wealthy and each pumped $500,000 into their campaigns.Matt Haggman, a former Miami Herald reporter who also is running, broadcast a TV commercial calling for the abolishment of ICE, the federal agency under fire for separating immigrant children from their parents on the US-Mexico border. “This is a moment when our politics are fundamentally broken, and this must be a moment of renewal,” he said.That idea has begun to catch on with Democratic voters across the country, who are now evenly split on whether to abolish the border control agency formed after the September 11, 2001, attacks, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found. The same poll shows how the idea of expanding Medicare has won wide support among Democratic voters – and even many Republicans.The Democrats’ best-known contender is Shalala, the former University of Miami president who once ran the Clinton Foundation. Some voters say they view her establishment ties with suspicion.“I am definitely looking for more of a new guard,” said Scott Silverman, a 37-year-old actuary who met Haggman during a canvassing session in Palmetto Bay, a neighborhood of spacious ranch homes with lush yards and the occasional peacock in the road.Silverman blames the party’s leaders for Trump. “The fact that they couldn’t beat him says something about the establishment of the Democratic Party.”The first Democrat to enter the race was Michael Hepburn, another of the original candidates recruited by Brand New Congress. Hepburn left his job as a college adviser to campaign full time. He hoped to raise money together with his fellow candidates, but that idea didn’t work out, and his latest campaign report showed him down to his last $434. Most days, he takes public transportation to working-class neighborhoods to knock on doors. During a recent debate, he donned boxing gloves.“Everybody sounds bold. Everybody sounds progressive now,” Hepburn said.Even Shalala is claiming the label, calling herself a “pragmatic progressive.” She said she supports a version of “Medicare for All,” allowing people of all ages the option to buy into an improved model of the government program currently available to older Americans, or keep private insurance. The idea would have seemed a liberal pipe dream in the 1990s, when she helped lead Clinton’s doomed effort to pass healthcare reform.“I’m just pragmatic, because I have run a health care system and because I have seen politics at the national level,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that I am not a progressive or don’t want to see the system evolve. … But we have to get there.”last_img read more