This New York election is a test of whether bigotry is enough to win

October 16 at 5:54 PM

When Democratic congressional candidate Antonio Delgado arrived in the hometown of his opponent on Saturday night, more than 250 people were waiting to hear him at the Elks Hall.

Peter Volkmann, police chief of nearby Chatham, did the introduction, ticking off Delgado’s gold-plated résumé: Colgate University athlete, Rhodes scholar, Harvard Law School graduate. “We’re going to demonstrate to everybody — change happens,” Volkmann said. “How much more of a great candidate can we give to the community?”

When Delgado took the microphone, the 41-year-old lawyer added wryly: “I’ve had a couple of careers, and I’m sure you’ve heard of one of them.”

Indeed, so has pretty much everyone here in the 19th Congressional District, a vast and picturesque swath of Upstate New York.

That is because Republican groups have saturated the airwaves and the Internet with ads that highlight Delgado’s brief time, more than a decade ago, as an unsuccessful rap artist who called himself A.D. the Voice.

Delgado’s lyrics included the n-word and the f-word, along with sexual references and criticism of white supremacy — all of which is pretty standard fare in rap music.

But some of the lyrics featured in the ads were yanked out of context. In one, for instance, there is an image of the World Trade Center burning as Delgado says: “God bless Iraq.”

A more complete version of that song goes like this: “We must fight with love and goodness in our hearts and peace in our minds if democracy, equality and freedom are truly to prevail. God bless America, God bless Iraq, God bless us all.”

The racial overtones of these spots are hardly subtle. And they are having the intended effect: GOP strategists say privately the ads are the main thing keeping their candidate, first-term incumbent Rep. John Faso, competitive in the race.

More than 80 percent of the district’s voters are white, making it one of the least diverse in the country. I counted five African Americans in the Kinderhook crowd Saturday night; three of them were the candidate, his wife and his brother.

The ads — which are being produced by the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) — are also fueling a backlash. A Woodstock radio station has pulled one from the air, deeming it “highly offensive” and “factually distorted.”

“It’s really firing up the Democrats, because it’s repulsive,” said Louise Roback, who heads a local Democratic organization in Stockport. But as she knocks on doors canvassing for Delgado, she is discovering “the independents and Republicans have this vague sense of ‘oh, he’s the rapper.’ It’s implanted.”

While Faso’s campaign did not make the ads, the Republican congressman defends them as being well within bounds: “The ads are provocative, but many of his lyrics are provocative. It’s fair to ask: Do they represent his views today?”

There’s a better question: Why did the Republicans feel it was necessary to stoop to this?

Although Barack Obama won the 19th District twice, Donald Trump carried it by six points in 2016 and remains popular here today.

But like much of the rest of the country, this district is experiencing a surge of liberal activism, and it is considered one of the most likely to flip if there is a large blue wave in November.

The other big factor is Delgado himself. He moved to the district just last year from New Jersey and quickly emerged as a political phenom. He beat out six other candidates to win the Democratic nomination and has outraised Faso nearly 2-to-1.

For all the attention the ads are getting, voters here have plenty of other things beside race on their minds. On Saturday night, Delgado took more than an hour of questions on topics that ranged from affordable health care to the safety of their water, the opioid epidemic and climate change.

His answers were substantive and thoughtful, while cautiously avoiding some of the more liberal positions of the Democratic left. He rejected one man’s appeal to support Medicare-for-all, saying he prefers a system in which people could buy into the system if they chose to. And he said he does not support further investigation that could lead to the impeachment of newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, arguing that it is more important to focus on the fights ahead.

“It’s important to be able to talk about these issues honestly and be genuine and be authentic,” Delgado said.

That, ironically enough, was exactly what Delgado once tried to do as a rap musician. His words were a form of artistic expression back then. Now, they have been twisted into a test of just how cynical our politics have become.

They were a gay, interracial couple in an age of relentless bigotry. The two Harolds didn’t flinch.

An assortment of wedding photos of Harold Mays and Harold Herman. Though they recently died — within a year of each other — their untold story lives on in their extensive collection of African American and LGBT paraphernalia, being sold piecemeal out of their D.C. home. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
October 16 at 5:51 PM

Estate agent Verna Clayborne takes a seat in the dining room of an expansive 16th Street Heights home and sighs.

The two Harolds have tired her out.

It’s Clayborne’s job to get rid of the stuff of the deceased. The couple who lived in the house for more than half a century — Harold Herman, a white man who died in 2016 at 87, and Harold Mays, a black man who died almost exactly a year later at 81 — had a lot of it.

These aren’t your typical finds in the home of retirees. Clayborne is sitting amid a pile of antiques and memorabilia — paintings, LPs, books, coins, stamps, personal correspondence — worth, she estimates, $500,000. These objects, curated lovingly by two collectors in love for over five decades, offer glimpses of what it was like to be black and gay in America when it was dangerous to be either.

“They knew how to live and lived well,” she said of the Harolds.

The Harolds met in New England before moving in together in post-integration, pre-riot Washington in 1965. One was a black Army veteran from St. Louis, the other a white college professor from Pennsylvania. Though family and acquaintances say they were a private couple, they could not help being pioneers.

They later ran Two Harolds Antiques in Alexandria for more than a decade and owned a collection of thousands of signed first editions so extensive that they kept an in-house card catalogue. The books are varied — works by gay raconteur Quentin Crisp amid Janet Evanovich thrillers.

Much of what’s left in the Harolds’ home doesn’t explicitly bear their mark. There’s large black-and-white prints of the last century’s black royalty: Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, Lou Rawls, Cicely Tyson. Another photo includes two faces lesser known outside the Beltway in the 1960s and 1970s, but inescapable within it: Marion Barry and his first wife, Blantie Evans, on a beach.

But every collection reveals the collector, and in other ephemera the Harolds left behind, they come into sharper focus. One snapshot shows Mays shaking Belafonte’s hand at a Politics and Prose. Another shows their modest wedding, held in 2013 at what looks like a courthouse following the legalization of same-sex marriage — after they had already been a couple for almost 50 years.

A selection of photographs from the Harolds’ home featuring famous people such as Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, President Nixon, Cicely Tyson, Josephine Baker and Marion Barry. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Mays was also a diligent correspondent, pounding out letters to authors he admired on a manual typewriter left behind on the home’s second floor. He would read a book by, say, acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni, then strike up a correspondence with her. There are notes from Fanny Ellison, the widow of “Invisible Man” author Ralph Ellison, and famed black poets Rita Dove and Gwendolyn Brooks.

More substantial letters the Harolds received speak directly to the struggles of black artists in America.

In a 1990 letter, novelist Raymond Andrews — whose work offered a vision of “a world in which blacks and whites sometimes hate and mistreat one another but ultimately arrive at an understanding,” according to a 1983 review in The Washington Post — effused about his career.

In another letter dated two years later, Andrews’s brother Benny wrote to say Andrews was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 57.

“I’m writing to say that my brother, Raymond, committed suicide,” the letter read. “It is always good to hear that people liked Ray’s works.”

Another exchange was with Audrey Lee, a little-known black author who wrote two novels, “The Clarion People” and “The Workers,” in the 1960s. The books have since gone out of print: Mays apparently wrote Lee to ask what she was up to two decades after their publication.

In a 1995 letter, Lee responded, opening up about her medical problems and troubles with “race discrimination, evictions, hunger and an alarmingly dishonest judiciary.”

“I have spent years brooding about my experiences,” she wrote. “I am awakening to the waste of years that I spent in a crawl space contemplating my wounds.”

Half a set of correspondence, of course, tells only half a story, and Clayborne said she’s yet to uncover diaries or other writing from either Harold. But their lives are detailed in the work of E. Patrick Johnson, chair of the African American studies department at Northwestern University, who interviewed Mays for his 2011 book “Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South.”

Johnson, who wrote a play that included the Harolds’ story and is producing a documentary about them, said they were “renegade figures” when they moved into their home in 1965 and lived openly as a couple.

“Even in D.C. in the ’60s, they were dealing with discrimination on two fronts,” he said. “They were truly remarkable.”

In a 2005 interview for “Sweet Tea,” Mays told Johnson he met Herman, a professor at the University of Maryland, in Providence, R.I., in 1965. The couple initially settled in Herman’s D.C. apartment but moved to 16th Street Heights because other residents didn’t want a black man in the building.

Their new home across from Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Rock Creek Park was in a “mostly white” neighborhood, Mays said, that would become “totally black” after the riots. Mays recalled police officers following him when he got off a bus near his home, asking for identification. When he produced ID, they still didn’t believe he lived in the neighborhood and followed him home to watch him let himself in.

Harold Mays and Harold Herman’s home in 16th Street Heights. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Meanwhile, Mays said, he was criticized by black men for choosing a white partner.

“I remember someone telling me, ‘Oh I didn’t know you dealt in snow,’ ” he told Johnson.

Still, he said: “I don’t feel as torn up inside as I was when I was young.”

“Sometimes I stop and think about all the turmoil of … being black and gay in America,” he said. “And it has not been as traumatic as it sounds. And I’m not sugarcoating this either. It happened and you move on. I also have to tell you that now I feel much more confident in who I am.”

Agnes Jackson, Mays’s 79-year-old sister, said the Harolds’ relationship was accepted by both of their families. She recalled the couple showing her around Washington during a visit when she was treated like “royalty.”

“They lived there so long,” she said. “I guess they were accepted into the neighborhood.”

Ernest Hopkins, director of legislative affairs for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and a neighbor of the Harolds, said gay men like them are rarer in the District these days. HIV devastated their generation. Now, gentrification and old age are taking a toll on those who remain.

“There were any number of older black gay men in town available to get to know,” he said. “They would tell you stories, give you a sense of their lives in the ’40s and ’50s and ’60s. Those men are largely no longer with us. … They were an example of a couple that really was available.”

Jim Hill, right, examines a framed image to appraise as Verna Clayborne, center, and Reginald Cromer walk through the Harolds’ collection. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Now that the Harolds are gone, crate-diggers and estate-sale enthusiasts are left to sort out who they were. Jim Hill, an 84-year-old former Howard University professor Clayborne brought in to help appraise the couple’s extensive art collection, rested after combing through yet another box.

The estate game is getting harder, Hill said. Millennials — “millenniums,” he calls them — don’t have much interest in dusty old stuff.

“They’re interested in the here and now,” he said.

But while Hill didn’t know the Harolds, he can speak to the impulse that apparently ruled their lives and their home.

“While we’re collecting, we’re hoping someone on the other end will be interested,” he said. “I’m sure they were hoping it would provide a story.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

How Howard Thurman can help Christians heal their political divides

(RNS) — In his timeless book “Jesus and the Disinherited,” black minister and theologian Howard Thurman wrote, “There is one overmastering problem that the socially and politically disinherited always face: Under what terms is survival possible?”

This was not an abstract question for Thurman.

During the Great Depression, he observed already impoverished black people further crushed by the nation’s worst economic crisis. He saw the political gamesmanship that made the New Deal into a “raw deal” for black citizens.

Devastation in Florida from Michael

Debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael block a road Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael block a road Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Images trickle out of Michael’s vast devastation


AP Media Writer

Friday, October 12

NEW YORK (AP) — The urgency of hurricane coverage with its colorful satellite maps and reporters standing in the wind is a television staple, but devastation in Hurricane Michael’s wake was so severe that it made images of some of the hardest-hit areas in Florida trickle out Thursday as slowly as if from a distant, third-world nation.

Broadcast news organizations faced a challenge in getting reporters to Mexico Beach, 40 miles east of the more populated Panama City, where wind and storm surge left behind a moonscape of damage. Roads were impassable and some reporters had been pulled out of the town in advance of the storm because of safety fears.

“We knew that was a bad place and our mission was to try to get there today,” said Michael Bass, CNN’s executive vice president of programming. A source’s cell phone footage of water rushing through the town, picking up houses and cars along the way, and an official’s anguished cell phone call on Wednesday gave hints about the damage.

Thursday’s coverage illustrated that there are still limits to technology and reportorial ingenuity in the face of a massive disaster. For several hours, television viewers following the story had the ominous sense that something was missing. Cable networks filled time with other stories, but even the sight of Kanye West meeting in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump seemed like a distraction.

By arranging a helicopter ride, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin broke through. The network aired aerial shots of the town and, shortly before noon, Baldwin landed to deliver reports. “When I tell you that all of Mexico Beach has been leveled, this is the truth,” Baldwin said, standing before a mound of debris.

With cell phone towers blown down, CNN had to use a satellite transmitter to get pictures out. It made for some blotchy pictures and malfunctions, and at one point she said she had to stand in one place to make sure the signal wasn’t lost.

CNN was also trying to get a reporter to Mexico Beach by boat. Another CNN reporter, Brian Todd, made it in by ground by Thursday afternoon.

“These are very brave people that we send out to do these things,” Bass said. “There’s a lot of danger to this area.”

Baldwin’s helicopter arrival made CNN’s rivals look flat-footed for a few hours. In one report MSNBC’s Kerry Sanders, standing in Panama City, pointed above him to a helicopter flying to more damaged areas.

“Mexico Beach is going to be the place that a lot of people talk about,” Sanders said.

ABC News’ Ginger Zee, who was in Mexico Beach during the storm on Wednesday, transmitted pictures and video of water rushing under the condominium building where she was staying. She stepped on a balcony a few hours later to show the aftermath. “It’s really wild to see,” she said.

The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams was stationed 10 miles from Mexico Beach before the storm but reported that with what she was seeing on the satellite images, she didn’t think the house she was in would withstand the wind, said Nora Zimmet, the network’s programming chief. Abrams was told to get out of town. With a police escort, she tried beginning at 3 a.m. to get to Mexico Beach, but had to turn back. She finally made it later in the day.

“I applaud all of our media brethren for going out in the field and covering this,” Zimmet said. “No story is worth risking your life. We take calculated risks.”

Fox News Channel’s Mike Tobin similarly struck out before dawn for Mexico Beach from the Pensacola area and made it by 9 a.m. The lack of cell service meant he had to leave town to transmit reports, he said.

“It was a little hairy,” he said in an interview. “The biggest obstacle was all the power lines.”

NBC News’ Mariana Atencio filed a report on Instagram when she made it to Mexico Beach, describing what she had seen on the road in as like a war zone.

“There are chunks of the road which are completely gone,” she said. “Boats, cars, pancaked on top of houses.”

Drones proved to be the secret weapon of networks that could get them in place. They provided striking aerial footage of damage, in some cases sweeping inside damaged buildings. On his newscast, Fox’s Shepard Smith used a drone’s sweep over a canal in Mexico Beach and compared it to an earlier satellite image of the same area to show how many homes used to be there but no longer were. He described the pictures as “mind-altering.”

Fox’s Tobin said he’s seen more powerful and larger hurricanes, but none that combined the two traits like Michael. “I haven’t seen one with such miles and miles and miles of destruction as this one,” he said.

“You don’t want to lose track that so many lives have just been shattered,” he said.

Attorney General DeWine Offers Charitable Giving Tips After Hurricane Michael

October 12, 2018

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today offered giving tips to Ohioans who want to help those affected by Hurricane Michael.

“Ohioans have always reached out to their neighbors in need with compassion and generosity. We’re confident that once again they’ll reach into their pockets to help those who were harmed by Hurricane Michael, and we encourage them to make sure that charitable solicitations are legitimate before they donate,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Unfortunately, scammers are quick to exploit those with good intentions and too often enrich themselves with contributions that were meant to assist victims.”

After a natural disaster or tragedy, some sham fundraisers try to take advantage of donors’ generosity. They make claims that seem legitimate and use names that sound reputable or similar to those of well-known, established organizations, but ultimately they keep most or all of the money they collect for themselves, without using it for the charitable causes they claim to support.

Signs of a potential charity scam include:

  • High-pressure tactics.
  • No details about how contributions will be used.
  • No written information about the charity, its mission, or how it operates.
  • Requests for payment to an individual, rather than an organization.
  • Someone who offers to pick up donations immediately.
  • Requests for donations via cash or gift card.
  • Callers who ask for donations but don’t identify themselves and won’t provide written information about the cause.
  • Some people who raise money after a natural disaster or tragedy have good intentions but lack the experience to properly handle donors’ contributions.
  • To help ensure donations are used as intended, donors should check requests before contributing. For example:
  • Don’t rely on a group’s name alone. Many sham charities have real-sounding names.
  • Don’t assume a charity recommendation you find online has been vetted, even if it’s posted by someone you know. Check it out yourself.
  • Research charities using the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and other resources.
  • Check an organization’s IRS Form 990, which is typically available on GuideStar, to find program descriptions, expenses, and other details.
  • Determine how you can best help. For example, a charity may prefer monetary donations rather than donated goods. Similarly, if you want to set up a fundraiser for a specific group, contact the organization in advance to determine how you can properly collect donations.
  • Be aware that some calls come from for-profit companies that are paid to collect donations. If you ask, these professional solicitors must tell you how much of your donation will go to the charity. They also are required to identify themselves.
  • When evaluating crowdfunding or online fundraising campaigns set up to help those impacted by the storm, keep additional considerations in mind. For example:
  • Determine which campaigns are supported by those close to the tragedy and which haven’t been vetted. In some cases, the person who sets up an online fundraiser may not have permission to do so or may not use the funds as promised.
  • Find out how your money will be used. For example, will it be used for a specific person or family, or will it be used for the greater community? Keep in mind that that giving money to an individual is different from donating to a charity. Your donation may not be tax deductible. Also determine whether you will be charged any fees for making the donation and what percentage of your donation will go to the cause itself.
  • Determine what the website will do (if anything) with your personal information. Be wary of websites that do not provide a privacy policy. Also, make sure the site is secure before entering your payment information or other sensitive details. Look for the “https” in the web address; the “s” indicates that it’s secure.

Those who suspect a charity scam or questionable charitable activity should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515. The Ohio Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section investigates suspected violations of the state’s charitable laws and pursues enforcement actions to protect Ohio donors.

The Conversation

Why doesn’t the U.S. bury its power lines?

October 12, 2018


Theodore J. Kury

Director of Energy Studies, University of Florida

Disclosure statement

Theodore Kury is the Director of Energy Studies at the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, which is sponsored in part by the Florida electric and gas utilities and the Florida Public Service Commission, none of which has editorial control of any of the content the Center produces.


University of Florida provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.

It is nearing the end of a highly destructive hurricane season in the United States. The devastation of Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina caused more than 1.4 million customers to lose power and Hurricane Michael has cut service to an estimated 900,000 customers in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Soon, winter storms will bring wind and snow to much of the country

Anxious people everywhere worry about the impact these storms might have on their safety, comfort and convenience. Will they disrupt my commute to work? My children’s ride to school? My electricity service?

When it comes to electricity, people turn their attention to the power lines overhead and wonder if their electricity service might be more secure if those lines were buried underground. But having studied this question for utilities and regulators, I can say the answer is not that straightforward. Burying power lines, also called undergrounding, is expensive, requires the involvement of many stakeholders and might not solve the problem at all.

Where should ratepayer money go?

Electric utilities do not provide service for free, as everyone who opens their utility bill every month can attest. All of the costs of providing service are ultimately paid by the utility’s customers, so it is critical that every dollar spent on that service provides good value for those customers. Utility regulators in every state have the responsibility to ensure that utilities provide safe and reliable service at just and reasonable rates.

But what are customers willing to pay for ensuring reliability and mitigating risk? That’s complicated. Consider consumer choices in automobile insurance. Some consumers choose maximum insurance coverage through a zero deductible. Others blanch at the higher premiums zero deductibles bring and choose a higher deductible at lower premium cost.

To provide insurance for electricity service, regulators and utilities must aggregate the preferences of individual customers into a single standard for the grid. It’s a difficult task that requires a collaborative effort.

The state of Florida’s reaction in the wake of the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons provides a model for this type of cooperative effort. Utilities, regulators and government officials meet every year to address the efficacy of Florida’s storm hardening efforts and discuss how these efforts should evolve, including the selective undergrounding of power lines. This collaborative effort has resulted in the refinement of utility “vegetation management practices” – selective pruning of trees and bushes to avoid contact with power lines and transformers – in the state as well as a simulation model to assess the economic costs and benefits of undergrounding power lines.

Nationally, roughly 25 percent of new distribution and transmission lines are built underground, according to a 2012 industry study. Some European countries, including the Netherlands and Germany, have made significant commitments to undergrounding.

Burying power lines costs roughly US $1 million per mile, but the geography or population density of the service area can halve this cost or triple it. In the wake of a statewide ice storm in December 2002, the North Carolina Utilities Commission and the electric utilities explored the feasibility of burying the state’s distribution lines underground and concluded that the project would take 25 years to complete and increase electricity rates by 125 percent. The project was never begun, as the price increase was not seen as reasonable for consumers.

A 2010 engineering study for the Public Service Commission on undergrounding a portion of the electricity system in the District of Columbia found that costs increased rapidly as utilities try to underground more of their service territory. The study concluded that a strategic $1.1 billion (in 2006 dollars) investment would improve the reliability for 65 percent of the customers in the utility’s service territory, but an additional $4.7 billion would be required to improve service for the remaining 35 percent of customers in outlying areas. So, over 80 percent of the costs for the project would be required to benefit a little more than one third of the customers. The Mayor’s Power Line Undergrounding Task Force ultimately recommended a $1 billion hardening project that would increase customer bills by 3.23 percent on average after seven years.

Shifting risk

In addition to the capital cost, undergrounding may make routine maintenance of the system more difficult, and thus more expensive, because of reduced accessibility to power lines. This may also make it more difficult to repair the system when outages do occur, prolonging the duration of each outage. Utility regulators and distribution utilities must weigh this cost against the costs of repairing and maintaining the electricity system in its overhead state.

Electricity service is valuable. A 2009 study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimated an economic cost of $10.60 for an eight-hour interruption in electricity service to the average residential customer. For an average small commercial or industrial customer the cost grew to $5,195, and to almost $70,000 for an average medium to large commercial or industrial customer. The economic benefits of storm hardening, therefore, are significant.

Beyond the economic value of undergrounding, one could consider other benefits, such as aesthetic ones, which may be more difficult to quantify. The safety of the electricity grid is also a concern. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection recently concluded that high winds and above-ground power lines were the cause of the Cascade Fire of October 2017. But all costs and benefits must be considered to ensure value for the customer’s investment.

In terms of reliability, it is not correct to say that burying power lines protects them from storm damage. It simply shifts the risk of damage from one type of storm effect to another.

For example, it is true that undergrounding can mitigate damage from wind events such as flying debris, falling trees and limbs, and collected ice and snow. But alternatives, such as proper vegetation management practices, replacing wood poles with steel, concrete or composite ones, or reinforcing utility poles with guy wires, may be nearly as effective in mitigating storm damage and may cost less.

Also, undergrounding power lines may make them more susceptible to damage from corrosive storm surge and flooding from rainfall or melting ice and snow. Areas with greater vulnerability to storm surge and flooding will confront systems that are less reliable (and at greater cost) as a result of undergrounding.

So, the relocation of some power lines underground may provide a cost-effective strategy to mitigate the risk of damage to elements of a utility’s infrastructure. But these cases should be evaluated individually by the local distribution utility and its regulator. Otherwise consumers will end up spending more for their electricity service, and getting less.

This is an update to an article originally published September 12, 2017.

Nevada Senate race could test Kavanaugh impact


Associated Press

Friday, October 12

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Many Republicans are breathing easier this week, confident that the fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination fired up their voters.

Dean Heller isn’t one of them. Facing a female challenger in a state gradually becoming more Democratic, the senator and longtime fixture in Nevada politics has long been one of the few GOP incumbents at risk of losing their seat this year.

Now, in the final weeks of the campaign, he’s got a full-scale gender politics fight on his hands, infused with a stoked debate over abortion rights that will test whether the Supreme Court showdown will help or hurt the GOP’s effort to maintain control of the Senate.

He’s facing freshman congresswoman Jacky Rosen, who blasted Kavanaugh and railed on Heller’s characterization of sexual misconduct allegations against him as “smears” and a hiccup in the confirmation process.

Heller, who voted last week to confirm Kavanaugh, “never had any intention of being an independent voice on this Supreme Court nominee,” Rosen said after the vote. “Voters will hold Senator Heller accountable for becoming just another rubber stamp.”

She’s betting her message will resonate with a broad swath of suburban women who are angry with Trump, especially in the aftermath of Kavanaugh’s confirmation following allegations of sexual assault.

For most Republicans this year, supporting Trump and Kavanaugh make for good politics. GOP candidates in North Dakota and Missouri have made inroads by arguing the Democratic incumbents, who opposed the pick, are out of step with voters in these Republican-leaning states who overwhelmingly support Trump and his Supreme Court pick.

But Nevada is different. Heller is the only Republican up for re-election this year in a state carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. And though the state is often up for grabs by both parties, the urbanization of the Las Vegas area and the swelling number of Latino and Asian voters are shifting Nevada to the left.

Keenly mindful of Heller’s bind, Rosen frequently showcases his conflicting positions. On Kavanaugh, she blasted his support for an FBI investigation while simultaneously pledging to confirm him. On health care, an issue that Democrats think will hold special resonance with voters this year, she slams him for opposing legislation that would have repealed the 2010 health care law only to author a measure a few months later scrapping the overhaul.

“He is guilty of one of the biggest broken promises,” Rosen said in an interview.

Rosen’s arguments, Heller’s campaign says, are aimed at distracting voters from her light record in the House, where she’s served in the minority for less than two years.

“Jacky Rosen is doing everything she possibly can to distract Nevadans from the fact that she has done zero in Congress,” Heller spokesman Keith Schipper said, echoing Heller in his campaign’s ads.

There’s a dose of irony in the attacks on Heller as being too close to Trump. Heller was a target of the president’s consternation after initially opposing efforts to repeal the health care law. Seated alongside Heller at the White House in the summer of 2017, Trump not-so-subtly threatened the senator in a room full of his GOP peers.

“Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?” Trump remarked, insinuating the possibility that he would back a primary challenger.

Since then, the two have made peace, in part through Heller’s work writing provisions of the 2017 tax cuts. Trump has campaigned for Heller in Nevada twice and plans another stop before the Nov. 6 election.

“Your incredible senator, Dean Heller, is going to be with us all the time,” the president said at a rally last month.

Heller, who has been on the raucous Nevada political scene for 24 years, is viewed as an affable personality. But he’s been less visible in the state this year than Rosen, in part because the Senate has been in session more than the House. A campaign aide said Heller’s schedule was still taking shape, but that he planned to participate in a debate with Rosen on Oct. 19.

Beyond running as a Republican in a gradually Democratic trending state, he faces other challenges, including his residency near Reno, in the northern part of the state. Most voters live in the Las Vegas area, where he can’t lose too badly if he wants to win.

Rosen has hurdles of her own. She lacks Heller’s name recognition and has had to fight with little active assistance from Harry Reid, the former Senate Democratic leader and longtime Nevada power broker. Though Reid helped recruit Rosen to run, and has authored email fundraising solicitations for her, he has been absent from the public political fight as he battles pancreatic cancer.

Still, Rosen has had help from rising Democratic women. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a potential 2020 presidential contender, lauded Rosen in June at the Nevada Democratic convention and headlined a fundraiser for her that evening.

Another potential Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, recently spoke to a Nevada Democratic women’s group to promote Rosen and condemn Kavanaugh

As Election Day nears, Rosen is working feverishly to solidify a coalition of African Americans, women and immigrants, including Latinos who hold sway in Las Vegas’ powerful Culinary Union.

She began a recent weekend morning at breakfast with the wives of a dozen pastors who lead some of the most active African American churches in Las Vegas. Over a plate of fried catfish, grits and hash browns, Rosen listened to concerns from the black community, including what can be done for faith-based charities for women.

“We help the homeless women on very limited resources,” said Carmen West, who works with her husband at a church in suburban north Las Vegas. “It would be good to know that we have someone in a position of power and authority to help us help those people.”

Rosen responded with a message of solidarity.

“We are strong together when we form those friendships and those bonds,” she said, slapping the table. “Amen to that, sisters. Women, women, women.”

She later dashed through blocks of Spanish mission-style homes to speak at University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Asian student conference before driving past the strip’s gleaming entertainment monuments to events in the historically black Westside. There, she heard from mothers who expressed concern about police shootings and the safety of young African Americans.

“Every day, it’s just a constant worry about his safety,” said Tracy West, who is unrelated to Carmen, referring to her son attending graduate school in Ohio as a dozen women listened, nibbled on crostini and sipped wine.

Sitting straight and focused on West, Rosen responded: “Some changes only come about through, I think, friendship and trust.”

Debris from homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael block a road Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

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Kanye West, Kim K and the Link between Racial Discrimination among African American Women

Superstar rap artist, producer and fashion guru Kanye West is known across the globe. As an artist he has crushed billboard charts, dating back to older albums like College Dropoutand the Graduation. He has produced hits for many powerhouse artists like Mariah Carey and Little Wayne. If you ever have an extra $1,000 or more to spend, you have a shot to land one of the most coveted shoes on the market, The Yeezys designed by Kanye and made by Adidas.

West is also married to reality television and actress, Kim Kardashian. West who is No stranger to controversies and criticisms, his wife has her on set of critics, steaming from her marriage to West, body implants and demeanor that some say, closely resemble that of African American. Growing up rich and multi racial, many argue she could not possibly understand the struggle of African American woman, therefore should not mimic.

A recent study was done at the University of Berkeley; in which researchers examined the relationship between racial discrimination, and disease among African American women. The study consisting of 208 women, who are middle aged, was done in San Francisco.

Amani Allen, an associate professor of community health sciences, spoke on the correlation between discrimination and diseases, and offers up some suggestions to combat it.

“We need to think about the determinants of health in different ways. They are not just access to care, genetics or even socioeconomic position. We need to look at the socioeconomic position. We need to look at the social conditions of people’s day-to-day lives, and how we might improve those conditions so that every person, regardless of their race, their gender or anything else, has equitable opportunity to live optimally. Unequal treatment is bad for health.

Allen goes to say “We know that African American women suffer disproportionately from chronic disease, and we know a lot about what contributes to these diseases.”

Researchers have deemed Milwaukee, the number one most segregated city in the United States in terms of living areas, and also worse place to raise an African American child. According to Dhs.Wisconsin.Gov, African American women as well as men have higher chances of accumulating life threaten conditions like heart disease and stroke.

With discrimination in housing, heath care, job placements the list goes on, the link between stresses in inequality is evident. Known for their strength, the “old” Kanye said it best it his hit single it all falls down “and she be dealing with some issues that you would not believe.” The alarming fact is, with out proper health care, or time to visit a hospital for anything other than their child’s health if she has one, they may be unaware of any health crisis. Let us comfort our loved ones, and urge them to visit hospitals regularly.

Sears’s ‘radical’ past: How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow

October 16 at 6:39 AM

In an undated file photo, Ruth Parrington, librarian in the art department of the Chicago Public Library, studies early Sears Roebuck catalogues in the library’s collection in Chicago. (AP Photo/File)

A Columbia Gramophone Grand, pictured in a Sears Roebuck catalogue from 1902, is shown in this photo from Chicago, Aug. 26, 1948.  (AP Photo/Edward Kitch)

Monday’s announcement that Sears would file for bankruptcy and close 142 stores came as little surprise to anyone who has followed the retail giant’s collapse in recent years. Still, the news inspired a wave of nostalgia for a company that sold an ideal of middle-class life to generations of Americans.

A lesser-known aspect of Sears’ 125-year history, however, is how the company revolutionized rural black southerners’ shopping patterns in the late 19th century, subverting racial hierarchies by allowing them to make purchases by mail or over the phone and avoid the blatant racism that they faced at small country stores.

“What most people don’t know is just how radical the catalogue was in the era of Jim Crow,” Louis Hyman, an associate professor of history at Cornell University, wrote in a Twitter thread that was shared over 7,000 times Monday in the wake of the news of Sears’ demise. By allowing African Americans in southern states to avoid price-gouging and condescending treatment at their local stores, he wrote, the catalogue “undermined white supremacy in the rural South.”

As historians of the Jim Crow era have documented, purchasing everyday household goods was often an exercise in humiliation for African Americans living in the South. Before the advent of the mail-order catalogue, rural black southerners typically only had the option of shopping at white-owned general stores — often run by the owner of the same farm where they worked as sharecroppers. Those store owners frequently determined what African Americans could buy by limiting how much credit they would extend.

While country stores were one of the few places where whites and blacks routinely mingled, store owners fiercely defended the white supremacist order by making black customers wait until every white customer had been served and forcing them to buy lower-quality goods. “A black man who needed clothing received a shirt ‘good enough for a darky to wear’ while a black family low on provisions could have only the lowest grade of flour,” historian Grace Elizabeth Hale wrote in an essay published in Jumpin’ Jim CrowSouthern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights.”

In 1894, Sears, Roebuck and Company began sending out 322-page illustrated catalogues. The year before, Congress had passed the Rural Free Delivery Act, making it possible for the Chicago-based retailer to easily reach communities across the rural South. Notably, the company made an effort to accommodate customers who were barely literate, enacting a policy that the company would fill any order it received regardless of the format.

“So, country folks who were once too daunted to send requests to other purveyors could write in on a scrap of paper, asking humbly for a pair of overalls, size large,” Bitter Southerner explained this summer. “And even if it was written in broken English or nearly illegible, the overalls would be shipped.”

But even more importantly, the catalogue format allowed for anonymity, ensuring that black and white customers would be treated the same way.

“This gives African-Americans in the southeast some degree of autonomy, some degree of secrecy,” unofficial Sears historian Jerry Hancock told the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast in December 2016. “Now they can buy the same thing that anybody else can buy. And all they have to do is order it from this catalogue. They don’t have to deal with racist merchants in town and those types of things.”

Even though white store owners wanted black customers’ business, many were uncomfortable with the idea of blacks having money. Mamie Fields, a black woman who was born in segregated South Carolina in 1888, wrote in her memoir: “Some of them did think colored people oughtn’t to have a certain nice thing, even if they had enough money to buy it. Our people used to send off for certain items. That way, too, the crackers . . . wouldn’t know what you had in your house.”

The company has even been credited with contributing to the development of a unique genre of black southern music —  the Delta blues. “There was no Delta blues before there were cheap, readily available steel-string guitars,” musician and writer Chris Kjorness wrote in Reason, a libertarian magazine, in 2012. “And those guitars, which transformed American culture, were brought to the boondocks by Sears, Roebuck & Co.” By 1908, anyone could buy a steel-string guitar from the catalogue for $1.89, roughly the equivalent of roughly $50 today. It was the cheapest harmony-generating instrument available on the mass market, Kjorness noted.

There isn’t enough data available to determine exactly how much black customers contributed to Sears’ bottom line during the Jim Crow years. And historians have noted that purchasing from the catalogues was only an option for African Americans who had access to a phone and enough cash on hand to place an order.

Still, southern merchants clearly felt threatened by the competition from mail-order department stores: As catalogues for Sears and Montgomery Ward made their way into more and more homes, local storekeepers began circulating rumors that the companies were run by black men.“The logic, of course, was that these fellows could not afford to show their faces as retailers,” Gordon Lee Weil wrote in his 1977 history of the company, “Sears, Roebuck, U.S.A.: The Great American Catalog Store and How it Grew.”

By the turn of the century, some merchants were even encouraging people to bring in their catalogues for Saturday night bonfires, and offering bounties of up to $50 for people who collected the most “Wish Books,” historians Stuart and Elizabeth Ewen wrote in “Channels of Desire: Mass Images and the Shaping of American Consciousness.” In response, Sears published photos of its founders to prove that they were white, while Ward offered a $100 reward in exchange the name of the person who had started a rumor that he had mixed black and white ancestry.

Meanwhile, in the ensuing decades, Julius Rosenwald, who had become a part-owner of the company after Alvah Roebuck sold his share of the business in 1895, became a well-known philanthropist to the black community. He donated $4.3 million — the equivalent of more than $75 million today — to open nearly 5,000 “Rosenwald schools” in the rural South between 1912 and 1932, when he died.

“These schools were in very, very rural areas, where many African American kids did not go to school. If they went to school, they went to a very ramshackle building,” writer Stephanie Deutsch, who published a book on the history of the schools, told The Washington Post in 2015. “These schools were new and modern, with big tall windows, and lots of light streaming in. They felt special, because they were new and they were theirs.”

Though most Rosenwald schools shut down after Brown v. Board of Education mandated an end to segregation, one of every three black children in the South attended a Rosenwald school during the 1930s, The Post’s Karen Heller reported in 2015. Among the schools’ notable alumni were poet Maya Angelou and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)

Rosenwald, the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany, became a friend of Booker T. Washington and served on the board of the Tuskegee Institute. He also helped fund black YMCAs and YWCAs. And he provided financial support to black artists and writers, including opera singer Marian Anderson, poet Langston Hughes, photographer Gordon Parks, and writer James Baldwin.

Sears only went so far in subverting racial norms. Up until the middle of the twentieth century, the company followed Jim Crow laws in its Atlanta department store, Bitter Southerner noted, meaning that black employees could only work in warehouse, janitorial and food service positions. Still, the company allowed both blacks and whites to shop there, which wasn’t the case for other stores in the area at the time.

And for a significant portion of American history, the Sears catalogue offered black shoppers something that they couldn’t find anywhere else: Dignity.

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Washington Post picks a side in Maryland race — the side that’s offering billions to Amazon

Ben Jealous, the Democratic candidate to be Maryland’s governor, is hoping to pull off a big upset in the November midterm elections against Republican incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan. If he wins, Jealous will be the state’s first African-American governor, and just the third elected African-American governor in the country. (Other 2018 gubernatorial candidates with the same potential to break that racial barrier include Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia, who would be the first-ever black female governor if she wins.)

WaPo: Chevy Chase Populism in Maryland

Those who believe in the myth of the “liberal media” might assume that the Washington Post would support a progressive who backs policies such as Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage and legalization of marijuana. In fact, the paper — the most influential news outlet in much of Maryland — seems to have an axe to grind with Jealous, and has instead chosen to support Hogan for the governor’s race. As Pete Tucker at CounterPunch (8/31/18, 9/18/18, 10/8/18) has explained, the Post has opposed Jealous at every turn.

Most of the paper’s criticisms relate to what it depicts as Jealous’ spendthrift economic policies. Last year, the Post editorial board called Jealous’ education policy a “gigantic giveaway,” a promise of “free lunches” that would “blow a Chesapeake Bay-sized hole in the state budget.” In July, it defined the race between Hogan and Jealous as a “stark contrast” between “centrist or liberal,” questioning whether the latter’s “soak the rich” agenda was “implementable, wise or remotely bipartisan.” Jealous’ policies in support of raising teacher wages and advancing universal pre-K were called “pricey,” because they would raise taxes on the one percent in Montgomery County, the state’s largest and richest county.

WaPo: The stark contrast of the Maryland governor’s race: Centrist or liberal?

Condescension toward left-wing economic policy is nothing new for corporate media, but when the Post describes Jealous as a “coup leader” who is both “craven” and “reckless,” they seem to be out to personally demonize the candidate. The Post’s news pages decried Jealous skipping events on Maryland’s deep-red Eastern Shore, and tsked him for dropping an F-bomb when a reporter repeatedly called him a socialist, a label he has continually rejected. The paper’s reporting seemed aimed at keeping the spotlight on Jealous’ missteps.

By contrast, the paper continues to downplay Hogan’s entanglements and liabilities as governor, including the eyebrow-raising financial success of his real-estate company — turned over to his brother’s management in a half-hearted effort to avoid conflict-of-interest issues — as well as his anti-immigrant stances and pro-pollution policies (although the Post did publish a letter from Hogan’s environmental director, who unsurprisingly hailed the governor’s record).

While these priorities sound much like the current occupant of the White House, the Post editorial board labeled Hogan a “moderate” because he distanced himself from the National Rifle Association, who declined to endorse him, and a “radical centrist” for his supposedly “anti-Trump” policies. They continue to frame Hogan in glowing terms, portraying him as “down to earth” and folksy.

As Tucker highlights in CounterPunch, Hogan never receives blame (or even mention) by the Post for any of Maryland’s problems, such as the lack of air conditioning in public schools during heatwaves. And the newspaper continually declines to ask questions of Hogan that it does of other public officials, such as whether he supports President Trump’s federal worker pay freezes — a major issue in the D.C. metro region — or his opinion on Colin Kaepernick’s NFL protests against police brutality. Tucker also criticizes the Post for disingenuous headlines like “Jealous Tries to Leverage Trump’s Attack on His Free College Proposal” — a framing that suggests the story is Jealous’ political machinations, rather than Trump’s opposition to a popular policy. (The headline was later changed.)

WaPo: Ben Jealous skips traditional stop on Maryland’s political circuit, leaving some Democrats ‘nervous and concerned’

The Post’s support for Hogan and demonization of Jealous could be a big reason why some Democratic politicians in Maryland have been reluctant to get behind Jealous. However, since the Democratic politicians named are mostly no longer in office, the Post does Hogan a favor by highlighting their opinions — just as it does when it praises rather than scrutinizes him for his supposed political distance from other members of his party.

Tucker also highlights the Post’s  burial of reports on Jealous’ overwhelming support in polls from African-American voters, stories that were relegated to the back of the Metro section. On the other hand, the Post pushed a story on one poll that found Hogan trailing Jealous among black voters by a relatively narrow 14 percentage points — offering Jealous’s lack of endorsements from African-American Democrats, such as former Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, as an explanation.

While polls are often unruly and have frequently been wrong, they’ve been used by the Post to hammer Jealous. By consistently describing the governor as “popular” (even though his policies are not), the paper inculcates apathy among Democrats, suggesting that a loss by Jealous is a foregone conclusion. While Hogan indeed does have high approval ratings, the Post’s reporting has the feel of a prophecy that hopes to be self-fulfilling.

Looming over the Posts coverage of the governor’s race is Hogan’s ingratiating support for Amazon, the e-commerce giant owned by the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, who also happens to own the Washington Post. Amazon, and the paper’s relationship to it, hardly ever come up in articles about the governor’s race: In the past year, just three articles about Ben Jealous’ run for governor mentioned Amazon. This level of attention underplays just how much Amazon, and its owner, have at stake in Maryland.

Amazon has a vested interest in seeing Maryland remain “business-friendly,” something the Post considers Hogan to be. The former White Flint Mall in Montgomery County, just north of the wealthy D.C. commuter suburb of Bethesda, is a leading candidate in the company’s high-profile search for a second headquarters. Amazon is expected to settle on a location by the end of the year.

Jeff Bezos meeting with Larry Hogan

The relationship between Amazon and states with the potential to host its “HQ2” is different from typical lobbying arrangements. While businesses usually lobby state governments for subsidies, tax breaks and the like, it is state governments that are heavily lobbying Amazon to select their states. Gov. Hogan pledged $8.5 billion in state incentives for the Montgomery location, so far the highest offer of any state (after the inclusion of $2 billion in contingent transportation improvements).

On the company’s potential relocation plan, Hogan remarked, “HQ2 is the single greatest economic development opportunity in a generation, and we’re committing all of the resources we have to bring it home to Maryland.” Hogan met with Bezos in person at the Economic Club of Washington in September.

But even if it doesn’t land in Maryland, the state already figures large in Amazon’s plans; the company operates or leases a number of sprawling fulfillment and sorting warehouses in the state, including one in Cecil County, one in Rockville in Montgomery County, one outside BWI Airport in Anne Arundel County, and three facilities by the Baltimore Marine Terminal. The company just finished building its newest fulfillment center in Sparrow’s Point in eastern Baltimore County, a location chosen after the state and county doled out $2.2 million in incentives.

All told, Amazon has received $46 million in subsidies from the state and local governments in Maryland since 2000, more than 42 other states. Considering that the company has spent only $10 million in lobbying in Maryland and given $6 million in campaign contributions to state politicians over the past 18 years, this is a healthy return on Amazon’s political investments.

Even if HQ2 doesn’t come to Maryland, there is a decent chance that it will be located nearby, with other possible sites located in Washington proper or close to the sprawling data center campuses near Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia. The metro area’s interconnectivity and its intimate relationship with the federal government mean that Amazon would no doubt become a bigger regional player, regardless of which state it actually ends up calling home.

As Amazon receives increasing antitrust scrutiny from President Trump, legislators, regulators and the public at large, and continues to diversify into a wide variety of industries like groceries, media, health care and drone delivery, its interests require an ever-expanding lobbying presence. The e-commerce giant’s lobbying expenditures have exploded by more than 400 percent over the past five years, and in 2017 it was the eighth-largest corporate lobbyist, and the second-largest in the technology sector, after Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Amazon also receives large contracts from the federal government, including providing cloud computing services for the CIA, while Bezos’ spaceflight company Blue Origin maintains large contracts with NASA.

Textile Museum

What’s more, Bezos just purchased the largest house in D.C., a former textile museum, while his ownership of the Washington Post anchors his relationship to the city his paper serves, as well as to Maryland and Virginia. A friendly governor in Maryland, a key part of the D.C. metro region, is crucial for Amazon’s continued presence there.

While Hogan seems to fill that role, Jealous is not as certain. If he were to be elected, Jealous has stated that he would honor a potential deal made by Hogan for Amazon’s new headquarters if they decided on a location in Maryland within the coming months. However, Jealous has criticized the incentives offered by Hogan as “fundamentally bad negotiation,” and has questioned the rationale for giving a “generous tax package to one of the world’s wealthiest corporations.” One article on “tepid” support for Jealous from establishment Democrats cited the fact that he “appears insufficiently supportive” of efforts to woo Amazon.

Perhaps the biggest red flag for the Post is Jealous’ alignment with Bernie Sanders, a longtime adversary of Bezos. Just recently, Sanders pressured the billionaire into raising wages at Amazon with his proposal of the Stop BEZOS Act, which would tax companies on the amount their employees receive in public benefits.

The Post has a penchant for attacking Democrats who don’t toe the corporate line. They have gone out of their way to try to discredit Sanders on numerous occasions, running 16 negative stories on Sanders in one 16-hour period during the 2016 primaries. The paper described Mark Elrich, a progressive who is running for Montgomery County executive, as a “leftist” whose “anti-business and anti-development” attitudes should be “cause for concern” to voters — though it said that Elrich’s assurance that “he would embrace a decision by Amazon to locate its second corporate headquarters in the county” was “welcome.” Like Jealous, Elrich has since assured Bezos that he will not attempt to block the Amazon HQ should it land in Montgomery County.

As it does with Sanders and Elrich, the Post’s coverage of Jealous combines skepticism towards his electoral chances and dismissal of his supposedly radical policies. Disparaging the political and practical viability of such people-friendly policies as universal health care and a livable minimum wage is in the obvious interests of the billionaire class — and, by extension, billionaire-owned news outlets like the Post.

Such interests are rarely directly expressed. A media outlet’s awareness of the preferences of its owner seldom takes the form of a memo from the boss telling editors to assign stories critical of the owner’s enemies or supportive of their friends. Shrewd employees understand what kind of work makes the person who signs their paychecks happy, and direct their efforts accordingly. And savvy employers know how to hire workers who will do what is expected without being told — which is why pioneering press critic George Seldes wrote:

The most stupid boast in the history of present-day journalism is that of the writer who says, “I have never been given orders; I am free to do as I like.”

The Post does offer dissenting opinions every now and then. This week, it published a pro-Jealous op-ed, as well as a letter to the editor that decried the paper’s “loaded words” in a past report on Jealous’ relation to the Maryland Democratic Party. The paper has also published pieces skeptical of Amazon’s relocation to the D.C. metro area (on the grounds that it will increase traffic and housing costs, rather than opposition to the multi-billion dollar incentive plan), as well as reporting on activism against the potential to land HQ2. But this hardly balances the negative approach it has taken towards Jealous, or the praise it has showered on Hogan.

Bezos’ effect on the Washington Post’s coverage of politicians who will influence Amazon’s business plans, either positively or negatively, is hard to demonstrate with a smoking gun. What is clear is that newspapers’ editorial decisions have real impact on public opinion, elections, people’s livelihoods, corporate power, race relations, environmental sustainability and many other facets of life. The more papers are owned by billionaires like Bezos, the more potentially pervasive the billionaires’ influence.

National Academy of Medicine Elects 85 New Members

Oct. 15, 2018


National Academy of Medicine Elects 85 New Members

WASHINGTON — The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) today announced the election of 75 regular members and 10 international members during its annual meeting.  Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

“This distinguished and diverse class of new members is a truly remarkable set of scholars and leaders whose impressive work has advanced science, improved health, and made the world a better place for everyone,” said National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau.  “Their expertise in science, medicine, health, and policy in the U.S. and around the globe will help our organization address today’s most pressing health challenges and inform the future of health and health care.  It is my privilege to welcome these esteemed individuals to the National Academy of Medicine.”

New members are elected by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.  A diversity of talent among NAM’s membership is assured by its Articles of Organization, which stipulate that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from fields outside the health professions — for example, from such fields as law, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities.  The newly elected members bring NAM’s total membership to 2,178 and the number of international members to 159.

Established originally as the Institute of Medicine in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors.  NAM works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.  The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding.  With their election, NAM members make a commitment to volunteer their service in National Academies activities.

Newly elected regular members of the National Academy of Medicine are:

Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D., director, microbiome program, and chief, metaorganism immunology section, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.  For defining fundamental mechanisms that regulate tissue immunity and uncovered key roles for the commensal microbiota and dietary factors in the maintenance of tissue immunity and protection to pathogens.

James M. Berger, Ph.D., professor of biophysics and biophysical chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.  For groundbreaking discoveries about cell growth and genomic stability that impact human disease and therapeutic drug development.

Richard E. Besser, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, N.J.  For leadership and achievement in public health preparedness and response, and for service as a gifted proponent of public understanding of complex health issues.

Richard S. Blumberg, M.D., Jerry S. Trier Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endoscopy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.  For multiple seminal, paradigm-changing contributions to our understanding of mucosal immunology and immune development having identified mechanistic alterations central to several diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.

Azad Bonni, M.D., Ph.D., Edison Professor of Neuroscience, and head, department of neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.  For discovering fundamental signaling networks governing brain development that have shed light on the development of cognitive disorders.

Andrea Califano, Dr., Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, departments of systems biology, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, and biomedical informatics, Institute of Cancer Genetics; chair, department of systems biology; director, JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center; and associate director, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, New York City.  For his pioneering work in systems biology and its implementation for the discovery of master regulator proteins and the networks they control in cancer cells.

Michael A. Caligiuri, M.D., president, Deana and Steve Campbell Physician-in-Chief Distinguished Chair, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, Calif.  For the discovery of the stages of human natural killer (NK) cell development, the role of IL-15 in NK survival, and in the pathogenesis of NK leukemia and cutaneous T cell lymphoma.

Clifton Watson Callaway, M.D., Ph.D., Ronald D. Stewart Endowed Chair in Research and professor of emergency medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh.  For achievements in basic and clinical research to reduce brain injury after resuscitation from cardiac arrest and improve patient outcomes.

Yang Chai, D.M.D., Ph.D., D.D.S., professor, George and Mary Lou Boone Chair in Craniofacial Biology, and associate dean of research, Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.  For pioneering studies on the molecular regulation of cell types during craniofacial development, leading to novel bioengineered treatment strategies and new hope to patients suffering from debilitating and emotionally devastating malformations of the head and face.

Giselle Corbie-Smith, M.D., M.Sc., Kenan Distinguished Professor, departments of social medicine and medicine, UNC Center for Health Equity Research, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  For her scholarly work on the practical and ethical issues of engaging communities in research to achieve health and equity. 

Peter Daszak, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, EcoHealth Alliance, New York City.  For identifying the origin and drivers of emerging diseases and developing the map of disease hotspots using sophisticated ecological, socio-economic, and environmental methods.

Michael S. Diamond, M.D., Ph.D., Herbert S. Gasser Professor, departments of medicine, molecular microbiology, and pathology and immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.  For research on the molecular basis and immune-mediated control of global infectious disease threats, including Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses, and defining critical viral determinants of the immune response that have facilitated the development of countermeasures to prevent their spread.

Susan M. Domchek, M.D., Basser Professor in Oncology, Abramson Cancer Center, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.  For contributions in the evaluation and management of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer including the introduction of two BRCA1/2 specific drug therapies.

Francesca Dominici, Ph.D., Clarence James Gamble Professor of Biostatistics, Population, and Data Science, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and co-director, Harvard Data Science Initiative, Boston.  For developing and applying innovative statistical methods to understanding and reducing the impact of air pollution on population health. 

Benjamin Levine Ebert, M.D., Ph.D., chair of medical oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and George P. Canellos MD and Jean Y. Canellos Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston.  For contributions to understanding the genetics and biology of myeloid malignancies, to the characterization of clonal hematopoiesis, and to elucidating the mechanism of action of thalidomide and its analogs.

Jennifer Hartt Elisseeff, Ph.D., Morton Goldberg Professor, department of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.  For significant achievements in regenerative medicine therapies and contributions to regenerative immunology.

Robert L. Ferrer, M.D., M.P.H., Dr. John M. Smith Jr. Professor and vice chair for research, department of family and community medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.  For his innovative application of a groundbreaking capability framework that provides a practical and positive method for addressing the social and environmental determinants of health in participatory interventions that integrate primary care and community health.

Robert M. Friedlander, M.D., M.A., chair, department of neurological surgery, and Walter E. Dandy Professor, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh.  For demonstrating the role of caspases in cell-death pathways in neurologic diseases, and for groundbreaking discoveries that have led to the development of novel therapies to improve outcomes for patients suffering from stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, Huntington’s disease, and ALS.

Ying-Hui Fu, Ph.D., professor, department of neurology, University of California, San Francisco.  For pioneering the identification of genes that have significant contribution to human circadian behaviors and genetic causes of altered sleep onset and duration, including familial advanced sleep phase and familial natural short sleep.

William A. Gahl, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator, Medical Genetics Branch, and clinical director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.  For contributions that include creating the Undiagnosed Diseases Program within intramural NIH to meld individualized patient care with next-generation sequencing and to provide insights into new mechanisms of disease; spearheading expansion to the national Undiagnosed Diseases Network and the Undiagnosed Disease Network International; and championing the sharing of genetic databases and best practices.

Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., director, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.  For research demonstrating how distant brain regions cooperate and coordinate their activity in order to guide behavior, and how this coordination is disrupted in experimental systems relevant to psychiatric disorders.

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Md.  For influencing a wide range of public health issues, including key contributions on biomedical innovation policy, tobacco policy, and consumer protection and education.

David Allen Hafler, M.D., M.Sc., William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology, and chair, department of neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.  For seminal discoveries defining the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), including identification of autoreactive T cells and mechanisms that underlie their dysregulation, and the discovery of susceptibility genes that lead to MS.

Evelynn Maxine Hammonds, Ph.D., Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science, professor of African and African-American studies, and chair, department of history of science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.  For being one of the nation’s most influential historians investigating the relationship of race, science, and medicine, and her work in clarifying the use of the concept of race as it relates to important health disparities.

David Newcomb Herndon, M.D., FACS, Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Chair in Burn Surgery, professor, department of pediatrics, and director, Institute for Translational Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch; and director of research, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Galveston, Texas.  For numerous contributions as a leading surgeon-scientist that have improved our understanding of the metabolic effects of burn injury and changed how burned patients are treated.

Steven M. Holland, M.D., NIH Distinguished Investigator, director, Division of Intramural Research, and chief, immunopathogenesis section, Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.  For distinguished achievements in primary immunodeficiencies and infectious diseases, including the recognition, treatment, genomic identification, and cure of previously unexplained diseases as well as the identification and characterization of novel pathogens in those diseases.

Amy Houtrow, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and pediatrics, department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh.  For research evaluating disability trends in childhood and the interactions among families, the health system, and social factors, which has uncovered disparities with enormous policy implications for the pediatric population.

Jeffrey Alan Hubbell, Ph.D., Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering, Institute for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, Chicago.  For pioneering the development of cell responsive (bioactive) materials and inventing biomaterials that are now widely utilized in regenerative medicine.

John P.A. Ioannidis, M.D., D.Sc., C.F. Rehnborg Professor in Disease Prevention, professor of medicine, health research and policy, biomedical data science, and statistics, and co-director, Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.  For his dedication to rigorous, reproducible, and transparent health science, for his seminal work on meta-research, for his calls for quality in evidence, and for the positive impact it has had on the reliability and utility of scientific information throughout the sciences.

Robert E. Kingston, Ph.D., chief, department of molecular biology, Massachusetts General Hospital; and professor of genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston.  For contributions to understanding the role of nucleosomes in transcriptional regulations.

Ophir David Klein, M.D., Ph.D., Hillblom Distinguished Professor in Craniofacial Anomalies, Epstein Professor of Human Genetics, and professor of orofacial sciences and pediatrics, Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.  For his international reputation in developmental and stem cell biology, focusing on craniofacial, tooth, and bone development and regeneration, destined to lead to the biologically inspired restoration of teeth and other organs.

Alexander H. Krist, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, professor, department of family medicine and population health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.  For pioneering the discovery of active patient engagement informatics solutions, including the invention of MyPreventiveCare, expertise at translating evidence into practice and policy, and serving as a trusted adviser on several national committees and task forces.

John Kuriyan, Ph.D., professor, departments of molecular and cell biology and chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.  For pioneering contributions to understanding the regulation of eukaryotic cell signaling by proteins such as Src-family kinases, and for determining the structural and molecular origin of the specificity of the first precision medicine, the cancer drug Gleevec.

Ellen Leibenluft, M.D., senior investigator, Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.  For highlighting the need to carefully evaluate children who may have bipolar disorder; identifying chronic irritability, a new clinical problem which differs from pediatric bipolar disorder; and pioneering the use of cognitive neuroscience to address fundamental clinical questions on nosology and treatment of pediatric mental disorders.

Linda M. Liau, M.D., Ph.D, M.B.A., W. Eugene Stern Professor and chair, department of neurosurgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.  For achievements in understanding the immunology of malignant brain tumors and designing clinical trials of dendritic cell-based vaccines for glioblastoma.

Keith Douglas Lillemoe, M.D., chief of surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital; and W. Gerald Austen Professor, Harvard Medical School, Boston.  For his work as a surgical leader and educator who has enhanced patient care, surgical quality, and safety.

Xihong Lin, Ph.D., chair and Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Biostatistics, professor of statistics, and coordinating director, Program in Quantitative Genomics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston.  For contributions to statistics, genetics, epidemiology, and environmental health through influential and ingenious research in statistical methods and applications in whole-genome sequencing association studies, gene-environment, integrative analysis, and complex observational studies.

Catherine Reinis Lucey, M.D., professor of medicine, School of Medicine, executive vice dean and vice dean for education, and the Faustino and Martha Molina Bernadett Presidential Chair in Medical Education, University of California, San Francisco.  For her leadership in reforming medical education to combine the biological and social sciences, humanism, and professionalism to meet the needs of patients in the 21st century.

Ellen J. MacKenzie, Ph.D., M.Sc., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore.  For defining the field of trauma services and outcomes research and being recognized as one of the foremost experts in the area.

Martin A. Makary, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., professor of surgery and health policy and management, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore.  For creating the surgery checklist, leading pioneer studies on frailty, minimally invasive surgery, and procedure-specific opioid guidelines, creating metrics of high-value care, and leading national efforts on health care costs that addressed pricing failures, surprise billing, drug price transparency, and vulnerable populations.

Bradley A. Malin, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.I., professor and vice chair, biomedical informatics, and professor of biostatistics and computer science, Vanderbilt  University, Nashville, Tenn.  For contributions in natural language de-identification, guiding both national and international policies around research protection and enabling broad sharing and reuse of health and social data at an unprecedented scale.

George Mashour, M.D., Ph.D., associate dean for clinical and translational research, Bert N. La Du Professor of Anesthesiology, and director, Center for Consciousness Science and Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  For research informing current clinical practice in monitoring general anesthesia and leading to the identification of a common neural correlate of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness across diverse drug classes.

Ann Carolyn McKee, M.D., professor of neurology and pathology, Boston University School of Medicine; and director of neuropathology, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston.  For her groundbreaking work on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Alzheimer’s disease, aging, and vascular neuropathology that has revolutionized medicine’s understanding of the clinicopathological and molecular features of CTE in athletes and veterans exposed to neurotrauma or blast injury and changed the public dialogue on sports-related risk.

Barbara J. Meyer, Ph.D., investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and professor of genetics, genomics, and development, department of molecular and cell biology, University of California, Berkeley.  For groundbreaking work on chromosome dynamics that impact gene expression, development, and heredity using the nematode as a model organism.

Matthew Langer Meyerson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.  For discovery of EGFR mutations in lung cancer and their ability to predict responsiveness to EGFR inhibitors, thereby helping to establish the current paradigm of precision cancer therapy.

Terrie E. Moffitt, Ph.D., Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor, department of psychology and neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, N.C.  For path-breaking contributions to our understanding of human development, including her seminal theory of the development of antisocial behavior, which has had wide-ranging influence on clinical diagnosis of childhood conduct disorders, the early-years intervention movement, and two Supreme Court decisions.

Sean J. Morrison, Ph.D., professor and Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research, Children’s Research Institute, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.  For his accomplishments in distinguishing self-renewing blood-forming stem cells from multipotent progenitors in bone marrow, discovering in the central and peripheral nervous systems a series of key self-renewal mechanisms that regulate stem cell self-renewal and stem cell aging, identifying the unique metabolic requirements for blood stem cells, identifying the hematopoietic stem cell niche, and also serving as President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

Charles Alexander Nelson III, Ph.D., Richard David Scott Professor of Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research, Boston Children’s Hospital; and professor of pediatrics, neuroscience, and education, Harvard Medical School and Graduate School of Education, Boston.  For pioneering research on brain development in majority world settings and revealing the powerfully detrimental effects of adversity exposure on brain development in early life.

Kunle Odunsi, M.D., Ph.D., FRCOG, FACOG, deputy director, M. Steven Piver Professor of Gynecologic Oncology, chair, department of gynecologic oncology, and executive director, Center for Immunotherapy, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, N.Y.  For identifying key mechanisms of immune suppression within the ovarian tumor microenvironment, pioneering studies to re-engineer mature T cells and hematopoietic stem cells for adoptive T cell therapy, and implementing multi-institutional immunotherapy trials using novel strategies that he developed, to impact outcome and quality of life of ovarian cancer patients.

Lucila Ohno-Machado, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, associate dean for informatics and technology, and chair, department of biomedical informatics, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego.  For creating an algorithm that allows sharing access to clinical data while respecting the privacy of individuals and institutions.

Jordan Scott Orange, M.D., Ph.D., chair of pediatrics, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University; and pediatrician-in-chief, New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York City.  For his research achievements in defining a new class of immune diseases, natural killer cell deficiencies, as well as other genetic immunodeficiencies.

Lori J. Pierce, M.D., professor, department of radiation oncology, University of Michigan School of Medicine, and vice provost for academic and faculty affairs, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  For research in developing radiation treatments for breast cancer that leverage advances in medical physics and laboratory science and for national efforts to draw women and people of color into medicine.

Daniel E. Polsky, Ph.D., executive director, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, Robert D. Eilers Professor of Health Care Management, and professor of medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.  For his contributions to advancing methods of economic evaluation of health care services and his research examining the functioning of physician labor markets.

Josiah “Jody” Rich, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and epidemiology, Brown University; and director, Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, R.I.  For dedication in his medical and public health research career to improving the health and well-being of people in detention and incarceration, to substance users, and to health and well-being post release in communities in need.

Gene Ezia Robinson, Ph.D., Maybelle Leland Swanlund Endowed Chair, professor of entomology, and director, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana.  For pioneering contributions to understanding the roles of genes in social behavior.

Hector P. Rodriguez, Ph.D., Henry J. Kaiser Endowed Chair and professor of organized health systems, School of Public Health, Health Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley.  For integrating organization science theories and methods to assess the impact of health care teams and primary care re-organization on patient engagement, patient experience of care, and outcomes particularly for vulnerable populations.

Charles N. Rotimi, Ph.D., chief and senior investigator, Metabolic, Cardiovascular, and Inflammatory Disease Genomics Branch, and director, Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.  For groundbreaking research in African and African ancestry populations, providing new insights into the genetic and environmental contributors to a variety of important clinical conditions, as well as health disparities locally and globally.

Ralph Lewis Sacco, M.D., M.S., FAAN, FAHA, Olemberg Family Professor, chairman of neurology, and senior associate dean for clinical and translational science, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami.  For his instrumental involvement in policies promoting ideal cardiovascular health, brain health, stroke prevention, and non-communicable disease targets.

Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S., president, New York Academy of Medicine, New York City.  For her innovative contributions addressing health needs of the underserved and vulnerable, including improved palliative care for veterans, creative programs to combat childhood obesity, and breakthrough initiatives to reduce racial disparities in breast cancer.

Nanette Frances Santoro, M.D., professor and E. Stewart Taylor Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver.  For research discoveries in health predictors of midlife women, participation in cutting-edge clinical trial design and execution.

Stuart L. Schreiber, Ph.D., Morris Loeb Professor, department of chemistry and chemical biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.  For advancing chemical biology and medicine through the discovery of small-molecule probes for signal transduction and gene regulation pathways.

Arlene Sharpe, Ph.D., M.D., co-chair and George Fabyan Professor of Comparative Pathology, department of microbiology and immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.  For leadership in functional analysis of co-stimulatory and inhibitory pathways regulating T cell activation.

Marie Celeste Simon, Ph.D., scientific director and investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, associate director-shared resources, Abramson Cancer Center, and Arthur H. Rubenstein MBBCh Professor, department of cell and developmental biology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.  For pioneering research that revealed how oxygen gradients are essential for embryonic development, influencing stem cell behavior, angiogenesis, placentation, and hematopoiesis.

Albert L. Siu, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor, department of geriatrics and palliative medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City.  For seminal contributions to evidence-based practice in health-services research and in pioneering programs that intersect geriatrics and palliative care.

Claire Sterk, Ph.D., Charles Howard Candler Professor in Public Health and president, Emory University, Atlanta.  For significant public health achievements, specifically in the area of health disparities, and for leadership contributions to higher education both nationally and globally. 

Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, president, Frontier Nursing University; and president, American College of Nurse-Midwives, Hyden, Ky.  For achievements that have opened the door to more than 5,000 nurses to achieve graduate education and positively impact the accessibility of quality health care for rural families across the United States.

Sylvia Trent-Adams, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, rear admiral and deputy surgeon general, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.  For leading the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services efforts; working with counterparts at the WHO, the U.S. Army, and other governments to build systems of care and strengthen human resources for underserved populations; and contributing to scientific and policy advances to improve health of persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Kara Odom Walker, M.D., M.P.H, M.S.H.S., cabinet secretary, Delaware Department of Health and Human Services, New Castle.  For her career spanning roles as a family physician and community health leader in academic medicine, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and state government who has championed health equity and consumer and community engagement.

Peter Walter, Ph.D., investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and distinguished professor, department of biochemistry and biophysics, University of California, San Francisco.  For elucidation of the unfolded protein response of the endoplasmic reticulum.

Xiaobin Wang, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.D., Zanvyl Krieger Professor and director, Center on Early Life Origins of Disease, department of population, family, and reproductive health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and professor of pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Children’s Center, Baltimore.  For contributions leading to the better understanding of fetal-perinatal genetic and environmental precursors of pediatric and chronic diseases, including preterm birth, obesity, asthma, and hypertension.

Ronald John Weigel, M.D., Ph.D., departmental executive officer and chair, department of surgery, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City.  For identifying key drivers of hormone response in breast cancer and pioneering the technique of expression analysis from archival breast cancer specimens, heralding the era of molecular diagnostics.

Rachel M. Werner, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.  For advancing our understanding of how health care provider performance measurement and incentives often bring unintended and undesired equity consequences that compete with efficiency goals.

Janey L. Wiggs, M.D., Ph.D., Paul Austin Chandler Professor of Ophthalmology, vice chair for clinical research in ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School; associate chief, ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear; and associate member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston.  For research and achievements in the field of ocular genetics, including the discovery of multiple genetic and environmental risk factors for glaucoma, and for developing and implementing genetic testing for inherited eye disease.

Teresa Woodruff, Ph.D., Thomas J. Watkins Professor, and vice chair for research and chief, Division of Reproductive Science, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Northwestern University, Chicago.  For innovation in reproductive health, having cloned key regulators of ovarian and gonadotroph function; pioneering in vitro maturation of human oocytes; discovering roles for zinc in fertilization; and inventing microfluidic systems modeling human ovarian function, all relevant to her work on preservation of fertility in cancer patients, the field she named “oncofertility.”

King-Wai Yau, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.  For pioneering research of the function of the retina that has led to our molecular and cellular understanding of circadian rhythms and several forms of hereditary blindness

Newly elected international members are:

Hanan Mohamed S. Al-Kuwari, Ph.D., minister of public health, State of Qatar; and managing director, Hamad Medical Corp., Doha, Qatar.  For leadership of Qatar’s largest care delivery system (Hamad Medical Corporation) at 33 years of age, and serving as Qatar’s Minister of Public Health.

Bruce Aylward, M.D., senior adviser to the director-general, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.  For his global public health leadership and innovation, and spearheading the global polio eradication initiative for 15 years and WHO humanitarian and epidemiological responses to outbreaks such as Ebola in West Africa.

Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Ph.D., (retired), honorary president, department of virology and International Network, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.  For her discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS for which she was the co-recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Linamara Rizzo Battistella, M.D., Ph.D., São Paulo State Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and faculty of medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.  For developing the largest rehabilitation network in Brazil, offering clinical services to 100,000 adults and children with disabilities per month.

Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, M.B., B.S., Ph.D. FCPS, FRCP, FRCPCH, FAAP, Robert Harding Chair in Global Child Health and Policy, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; and founding director, Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.  For his synthesis of knowledge on effective child health interventions, implementation research in marginalized populations, and strategic advocacy for improving child health and development. 

Elias Campo, M.D., Ph.D., research director and professor of anatomic pathology, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, University of Barcelona; and director, Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain.  For his groundbreaking discoveries regarding the molecular pathogenesis of many B-cell neoplasms including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and plasmablastic lymphoma.

Joy Elizabeth Lawn, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., F.R.C.P. (Paeds), Ph.D., FMedSci, professor and chair of maternal reproductive and child health epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.  For her international leadership role in newborn health and stillbirths, both for epidemiological burden estimates and for the programmatic and clinical evidence base to address the burdens, notably in Africa.

Gabriel Matthew Leung, M.D., Zimmern Professor of Population Health and dean of medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.  For leadership in global health and medical education, and for contributions to infectious disease epidemiology and control.

Beverley Anne Orser, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.C., professor of physiology and chair, department of anesthesia, University of Toronto; and staff anesthesiologist, department of anesthesia, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Toronto, Canada.  For her discovery of the unique pharmacological properties of extrasynaptic GABA-A receptors and their mechanistic role in anesthetic- and inflammation-induced impairment of memory, and for her leadership in academic anesthesiology.

Carol Propper, Ph.D., professor, Imperial College Business School, London, United Kingdom.  For fundamental contributions to the understanding of health reform, health care markets, health systems, international comparisons, environmental impacts on health, inequality and health, and mental health, and for real-world impacts via policy formation.

The National Academy of Medicine, established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond.  It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as an adviser to the nation and the international community.  Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine, and related policy and inspire positive action across sectors.  The NAM collaborates closely with its peer academies and other divisions within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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Trump painting: Dogs playing poker or Kennedy with a combover?

Updated October 16, 2018 16:57:21

Many people may not realise that the White House is a museum, as well as the home of the American president and a place of government business.

Its rooms and hallways contain a heralded collection of furniture, china, statues, and most of all, paintings, both works of art, and depictions of history.

Every president and first lady is commemorated with a portrait, commissioned toward the end of their time in the White House, and hung a few years after they leave.

But Donald Trump, it seems, is not waiting to make sure his face hangs in the White House.

This weekend, the nation learnt through an interview on 60 Minutes that he is already on the wall of his private office.

Mr Trump appears in a fanciful grouping, enjoying cocktails with former presidents from the Republican party. (A teetotaller, his glass contains his favoured Diet Coke.)

The painting, called The Republican Club, is by artist Andy Thomas. He told NBC News that he was shocked to see it hanging in the White House.

Reagan, Nixon, Eisenhower, Lincoln … Trump?

I was pretty gobsmacked, too, given what I know about the building’s carefully curated decor.

The group includes Ronald Reagan, and both presidents Bush. Gerald R. Ford looks over Mr Trump’s shoulder, while Richard M. Nixon sits nearby.

Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and last but not least, Abraham Lincoln, all smile admiringly as Mr Trump beams.

It’s an image that you’d think was a joke, the presidential equivalent of those paintings on black velvet of dogs playing poker. Here in the States, we sometimes call that “art sold by the side of the road”, since vendors set up in tents next to petrol stations or highway exits.

In fact, the grouping is part of a series, according to Mr Thomas, who has painted Republican as well as Democratic presidents playing poker and pool.

And, it’s a copy, since Mr Thomas owns the original.

As Mr Thomas explained to NBC, the print was a gift to Mr Trump from Darrell Issa, a California Republican congressman. Mr Thomas said Mr Trump called to thank him after he received it.

Trump didn’t look this good in the ’90s

And no wonder he’d be pleased.

For one thing, his portrayal is artfully flattering. I met Mr Trump in his youthful prime in the 1990s, and he didn’t look this good back then.

Nor were his television producers able to bring off such glowing good health during his years on The Apprentice, no matter how many filters or camera angles they tried.

On Twitter, the joke was that he’d been painted to look like “a Kennedy with a combover”, and clearly, he has a vision in his head of looking something like this. Think of all the times he’s said that news organizations take terrible photographs of him.

And, Mr Trump isn’t the only dignitary who prefers to see himself painted at his best. There’s a legendary story about Winston Churchill’s displeasure with a portrait by Graham Sutherland, meant to be a tribute from the British Houses of Parliament on his 80th birthday.

The Netflix series The Crown shows Churchill’s rage at the too-accurate painting, although it fudges the circumstances under which it was banished from view.

It was actually Churchill’s wife, Clementine, who ordered it destroyed after his death because her husband disliked it. (A study for it still is in the possession of the National Portrait Gallery.)

White House reflects president who lives there

Since the president gets to choose both the artist and the scene for his official portrait, it’s likely sometime in the 2020s that Mr Trump’s likeness will be at least as flattering as what Mr Thomas has already painted.

Moreover, it’s likely to stand out from the other official portraits, and the other artwork in the White House offices and hallways, just as Mr Trump’s protocol-smashing tenure has been a vivid contrast to the behaviour of other presidents.

I can’t help but think, however, about the famed artists whose work has been displayed in the White House.

They include Gilbert Stuart, famed for his full-length depiction of George Washington and Dolley Payne Madison, the wife of James Madison.

One of my favourites is John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Theodore Roosevelt, which makes the famous Rough Rider look as if he is about to bolt off the canvas.

Among the 45 pictures chosen by the Obamas for the White House were paintings by Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keefe, as well as African-American artists such as Jacob Lawrence and William H. Johnson.

In every way, a White House reflects the president who lives there. And its current occupant apparently enjoys seeing himself on a wall, having a Diet Coke with his predecessors.

At least we won’t be surprised once his official portrait is unveiled.

Micheline Maynard is a journalist and author.

Topics: donald-trump, politics-and-government, government-and-politics, world-politics, united-states

First posted October 16, 2018 16:37:01

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