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Opinion: Joe Biden and Elon Musk, at reverse ends of management equation

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“If at eighty,” novelist Henry Miller wrote, “…you might have your well being, in the event you nonetheless take pleasure in stroll, meal (with all of the trimmings), in the event you can sleep with out first taking a capsule, if birds and flowers, mountains and sea nonetheless encourage you, you’re a most lucky particular person and it is best to get down in your knees morning and night time and thank the great Lord for his savin’ and keepin’ energy.”

Related ideas about being – or quickly changing into – an octogenarian should certainly come to Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who’s 82, former President Donald Trump, who’s 76, Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, who’s 80, and President Joe Biden, who turns 80 right now. All 4 have been within the information final week, with their political futures at concern.

Pelosi selected to step down as chief of her occasion after it narrowly misplaced management of the Home. Trump introduced he’s working for president once more. McConnell fended off a problem to his GOP Senate management. And Biden, whose occasion scored an unexpectedly good efficiency within the midterms, has mentioned he’ll resolve within the subsequent few months whether or not to make good on his intention of working once more in 2024.

“The verve and drive of older leaders is admirable at an age when many individuals are lengthy retired – and an instance to society that the aged are simply as succesful and worthy as youthful generations,” wrote Stephen Collinson for CNN Politics. “But the prominence of the seventy-and-eighty somethings on the prime of the political tree does additionally increase questions on whether or not it’s wholesome that youthful politicians are usually not at this second in American historical past taking extra duty or have extra energy.”

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In company America, “genius” is commonly seen as an alternative choice to the expertise of age. Elon Musk, a 51-year-old who’s the richest particular person on the planet, has been known as a genius for his entrepreneurial ability at Tesla and SpaceX and even for his ambition to go to Mars. But “Musk’s actions since taking up Twitter on Oct. 27 have been so damaging to the platform’s functioning and fame that the query is raised of whether or not, reasonably than being a genius, Musk is in reality an fool,” wrote Michael Hiltzik within the Los Angeles Occasions. “Maybe that’s excessive. But it surely’s correct to look at how and why somebody so unquestionably profitable in his enterprise profession to date has gone off the rails now.”

Whereas others are leaving Twitter (learn Roxanne Jones’ current take), David Perry would like to remain. “Twitter modified my life in methods each elegant and ridiculous, profound, stunning, skilled and sadly usually horrible,” he noticed. “And now, due seemingly to the chaotic, usually merciless, whims of a billionaire, the entire edifice appears about to break down.” On Saturday, Musk cited a web-based ballot as he reinstated Trump’s Twitter account, lifting the everlasting ban the platform imposed after the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old who went from lionized billionaire to reviled government of a bankrupt firm inside a couple of days, is a vaunted “genius” now beneath a harsh gentle. Writing within the New York Occasions, Paul Krugman cited the story of Bankman-Fried’s firm, FTX, to query the way forward for crypto finance: “The federal government supervises banks, regulates the dangers they will take and ensures many deposits, whereas crypto operates largely with out oversight. So buyers should depend on the honesty and competence of entrepreneurs; once they supply exceptionally good offers, buyers should imagine not simply of their competence however of their genius.”

“How has that been understanding?”

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Timing is… nearly all the pieces

Phrase that the Democrats saved management of the Senate needed to be an ego enhance for Biden, who met with China’s chief, Xi Jinping, in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday. As Frida Ghitis famous, “The timing couldn’t have been any higher…”

“With democracy all of the sudden trying prefer it’s on firmer floor and key autocracies dealing with critical issues, it was a perfect second for Biden to talk frankly to Xi about areas of disagreement between the 2 superpowers whereas attempting to construct safeguards to forestall the rivalry from careening into battle as the connection has deteriorated to its most tense state in many years.”

However life might get particularly uncomfortable for Biden early subsequent 12 months. “With Republicans in command of the Home,” Julian Zelizer wrote, “the Biden administration will probably encounter a mix of investigations, conservative-agenda setting and obstruction. … Regardless of all of the media hypothesis about whether or not the election will push Republicans away from Trumpism, the secure guess is that … they’ll dive deeper into the ocean of pink.”

Nonetheless, the Republicans may overreach and provides Democrats a gap. Zelizer recalled the maxim popularized by the Spider-Man franchise: “With nice energy comes nice duty.”

Former Rep. Charlie Dent, a Republican, noticed, “Assuming Kevin McCarthy manages to win the vote for the speakership on the Home flooring in January, his governing problem may show way more irritating and tough than what John Boehner confronted a decade in the past.”

“Home Republican votes will probably be wanted to boost the debt ceiling, fund the federal government and enter into different agreements with the Senate and President Joe Biden,” Dent famous. The “election consequence has made McCarthy’s activity not solely tougher however perilous. McCarthy has no respiratory room, as excessive parts throughout the Home GOP convention really feel emboldened with their leverage.”

For extra:

David Axelrod: Nancy Pelosi will probably be remembered as a political star

Nevada decides the Senate

The Senate race in Nevada was a nailbiter that ended with the re-election of Catherine Cortez Masto, guaranteeing Democrats continued management of the Senate. She “campaigned vigorously all through the Silver State, working a textbook marketing campaign, even incomes endorsements from high-profile Republicans all through the state who praised her bipartisan management, work ethic and integrity,” wrote Sheila Leslie, a Democrat and former state legislator in Nevada. “This was in distinction to (Republican Adam) Laxalt, who many considered as a carpet-bagging Virginian, capitalizing on his grandfather’s sterling fame within the state.”

One Senate seat stays to be determined: Georgia will select between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican soccer legend Herschel Walker in a December 6 runoff. The state’s outgoing lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, a Republican, urged Walker to make three calls – to Trump, urging him to remain out of the competition, to Gov. Brian Kemp, looking for his assist after the governor’s decisive reelection victory and to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who handily beat challenger Charlie Crist in his reelection.

“If the GOP can’t greatest a Democratic Occasion led by a president with an approval score within the low 40s, one thing should change as a result of the established order isn’t chopping it,” Duncan wrote.

As for GOP management within the Senate, Rick Scott failed in his try and oust McConnell from the occasion’s prime put up. Patrick T. Brown, a fellow at a conservative suppose tank, applauded McConnell’s victory and known as Scott “the proper instance of a Republican politician who has seemingly realized all of the fallacious classes from the Trump earthquake of 2016.”

But he argued that a few of McConnell’s critics have some extent: “McConnell, who was reelected to his seventh time period as senator in 2020, will probably be needing at hand the reins off sooner or later – and the youthful voices are proper to search for a pacesetter who can inform America not simply what the Republican Occasion is towards, however what it’s for.”

For extra:

Mark Zandi: A divided authorities will probably be disastrous for the US financial system

David Axelrod: Why Democrats’ Senate win in Nevada could also be a blessing in disguise for the GOP

Jennifer Rodgers: Particular counsel on Trump gained’t calm the political waters

Kara Alaimo: The way to construct a brand new era of Biden-McCain friendships

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Uninterested in shedding?

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On the day Trump introduced his 2024 presidential run, certainly one of his administration officers had a easy query for Republicans: “Are you uninterested in shedding but?”

“Let’s transfer on from Trump – or relaxation assured we’ll be having this identical dialog within the days following the 2024 presidential election,” wrote Gavin J. Smith. As a candidate, Trump promised Republicans, “We’re going to win a lot. You’re going to get sick and bored with profitable.”

However after Trump’s victory in 2016, Republicans have fared poorly in nationwide elections. “We should ask ourselves: Will we proceed to be the occasion of divisiveness and conspiracy theories, dominated by the likes of Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and failed-Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake? Or will the Republican Occasion lastly half methods with them?”

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Election deniers’ downfall

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4 days earlier than election day, Kari Lake, the Phoenix information anchor turned MAGA gubernatorial candidate, mentioned at a rally, “We don’t have any McCain Republicans in right here, will we. Alright, get the hell out. Boy, Arizona has delivered some losers, haven’t they?” As Jon Gabriel wrote, trashing backers of the late Sen. John McCain was an enormous mistake.

“McCain Republicans overlap with those that crossed occasion strains to assist President Joe Biden, turning the state blue in 2020. They are typically centrist, business-friendly, middle- to upper-middle-class of us who stay within the nicer neighborhoods of Phoenix and its close-in suburbs. They need decrease taxes, environment friendly authorities and completely no drama.”

“They don’t make up the vast majority of the occasion – not by an extended shot – however they exceed that single proportion level Lake wanted to greatest (Democrat Katie) Hobbs.”

“They heard Lake’s name to ‘get the hell out,’ and did as they have been informed.”

Lake’s defeat is comprehensible, as was Doug Mastriano’s loss in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, Christopher Beem noticed. “A majority of voters have had sufficient of the performative chaos and spurning of norms which have roiled our politics and our polity since Trump got here down the escalator greater than seven years in the past. By no means removed from thoughts is the opposite unforgettable picture that bookended his presidency: the scene of mayhem on the US Capitol, overrun by his supporters and their grievance-fueled violence that he stoked.”

“This midterm election, voters rejected all of that.”

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Hundreds of thousands in airline refunds

Jill Filipovic’s flight to Lisbon within the spring of 2020 was certainly one of 1000’s cancelled within the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. “That’s comprehensible – I didn’t anticipate to board a flight throughout a worldwide pandemic,” she wrote. “However provided that the flight didn’t fly, I did anticipate my a reimbursement. For greater than a 12 months and a half, I didn’t get it, regardless of messages and calls to each TAP (Air Portugal) and Expedia. Ultimately, in December 2021, I acquired a partial refund, although nonetheless far beneath the total price of the ticket.”

So Filipovic was happy to listen to the US Division of Transportation was taking motion. “Six airways have been compelled to concern $600 million in refunds. The DOT can also be fining the airways $7.25 million for flights that have been canceled throughout Covid and never refunded.”

“It’s about time this business noticed some penalties. The airline business posted document earnings this previous summer season, whereas additionally canceling and delaying an enormous variety of flights. When an business is failing at doing its one job correctly and but continues to be getting cash hand over fist, there’s an enormous drawback – and it’s one being borne by customers.”

RSV surge

Circumstances of respiratory syncytial virus, often known as RSV, are surging within the US, wrote epidemiologist Syra Madad. “For most individuals, RSV causes gentle, cold-like signs, usually lasting for every week or two. However for infants, younger kids, the aged and people with a weakened immune system, it may be harmful, resulting in dehydration, bronchiolitis and pneumonia.”

Madad’s personal 2-year-old daughter lately got here down with the illness.

“It began with Laila changing into clingy and irritable – a telltale signal for me that she’s about to return down with one thing. Shortly after, she had a runny nostril and congestion. A day or two later, Laila spiked a fever of 103 levels that continued for practically two-and-a-half days, accompanied by a decreased urge for food, and a complete lot of congestion and coughing (to not point out sleepless nights for each her and me). By day 5, she was on the mend and feeling higher – or so I believed. Then got here on the viral rash.”

Madad’s piece consists of info on when to hunt pressing care for youngsters who develop RSV.

For extra on well being:

Matthew Bossons: In zero-Covid China, a special dying toll emerges

eight billion folks, one trillion timber

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It took lots of of 1000’s of years, up till 1804, for the world’s inhabitants to hit one billion. Final week, the UN mentioned, Earth crossed the eight billion threshold. It was a reminder of the challenges concerned in managing the sources wanted to assist human life whereas additionally contending with the implications of burning huge quantities of fossil fuels.

Two years in the past, Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff and Jad Daley, head of the nonprofit American Forests, helped launch a worldwide effort to plant one trillion timber by 2030 as a technique to take in carbon emissions. “Once we joined with nations, corporations and NGOs two years in the past to launch the worldwide partnership, we knew it could not be a panacea for local weather change. Leaders throughout the forest-climate motion, together with ourselves, have all the time made clear that a very powerful step we should take to struggle local weather change is to scale back greenhouse fuel emissions.”

The hassle has been criticized by those that warn “towards pretending that planting timber is a everlasting local weather answer, involved that reliance on timber will slacken different local weather efforts. Others have nervous that planting the fallacious timber will result in forests which can be much less resilient and fewer biologically various.”

However, Daley and Benioff argued, “it could be a profound mistake to disregard or diminish the indispensable function that defending and rising timber can play in addressing local weather change. In the USA, for instance, our forests captured roughly 13% of gross US greenhouse fuel emissions in 2020. Along with defending our current forests, there are hundreds of thousands of acres throughout America the place we are able to plant and develop extra timber, equivalent to reforesting burned areas and planting timber in city areas.”

Vacation pleasure

As poet Tess Taylor reminded us days earlier than Thanksgiving, “The vacations are coming. The world goes to attempt to promote us the type of pleasure we are able to purchase in shops. What I’m hoping for additionally – for every of us – is that we discover some togetherness, some actual group. I’m hoping that we make it to that potluck, the place we snigger and snigger and snigger.” Learn her tackle how three new books assist chart the journey to pleasure.

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Ticketmaster, Taylor and mother

Taylor Swift 0920 FILE

Amy Bass, who has been an avid concertgoer for many years, recalled being simply 15 when her mom drove her and a good friend to a Ramones live performance “with the intention of studying guide within the car parking zone.” However her mother ended up coming to their rescue once they obtained stopped on the door for being underage and with out ID.

“Whereas I bear in mind each element of that epic present, maybe particularly the second when Joey Ramone handed me a guitar choose, extra essential to me now could be the heroic instance of parenting set by my mother.”

Bass has tried to mannequin her mom’s habits by going to concert events along with her personal daughter, who’s now 15.

“When (Taylor) Swift introduced the Eras Tour on November 1, a pit of apprehension grew in my abdomen. Her first tour since 2018, her oeuvre now consists of a lot materials that she has by no means performed stay, with so many followers who’ve by no means actually had an opportunity to see her. My one expertise with Ticketmaster’s ‘verified fan’ course of, designed, allegedly, to maintain out scalpers, had gone badly; I obtained the e-mail telling me I used to be chosen, however I by no means obtained the textual content with the code.”

Bass was solely capable of safe tickets by way of a good friend who had higher luck getting a pre-sale code. “When Ticketmaster introduced the cancellation of the scheduled public sale for the Eras Tour on Thursday, claiming ‘inadequate stock’ after a ‘staggering variety of bot assaults’ in the course of the presale, my coronary heart broke for the 1000’s upon 1000’s of followers now formally left empty-handed, and the dad and mom and grandparents and buddies who tried so arduous to get them there.”

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