Nats double down on commitment to coal, Joyce rants against wind and solar | RenewEconomy

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If there were any questions over the National Party’s commitment to the coal sector after the loss of Matt Canavan from the resources portfolio, they were quickly answered by new deputy leader David Littleproud who reasserted his party’s commitment to a new coal generator in Queensland on his first day in the job.

In an interview with ABC’s RN Breakfast program on Wednesday, Littleproud trotted out the three consistent assertions of the coal lobby; that you can reduce emissions using more coal, that more coal generation is necessary to lower electricity prices and that baseload power is a necessary feature of the future energy system.

Each of these three assertions have been repeatedly debunked, but it confirms that it’s business as usual in a Morrison cabinet that will continue to face internal divisions over a need to act on climate change and the fossil fuel advocates within its ranks.

It is understood that Queensland Nationals MP Keith Pitt is the front runner to take over Canavan’s former positions as the minister for resources and Northern Australia when new ministerial appointments are announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday.

Pitt himself has been an outspoken advocate for a new coal-fired power station in Queensland, so while Canavan – who liked to describe himself as “Mr Coal” – has exited the federal cabinet, the pressure to push forward with the Collinsville project is likely to continue.

Pitt has also been a strong supporter of a nuclear industry in Australia, and will have the backing of failed Nationals leadership candidate Barnaby Joyce, who again argued for nuclear power to be considered as part of Australia’s efforts to reduce emissions as part of a bizarre Facebook rant against renewable energy.

“We have to recognise that the public acceptance of wind towers on the hill in front of their veranda is gone, and the public dissonance on that issue is as strong as any other environmental subject,” Joyce said.

“If zero emissions are the goal then surely nuclear energy should be supported, but it is not. If wind towers are a moral good and environmentally inoffensive, why can’t we have them just off the beach at Bondi so we can feel good about ourselves while going for a surf? It would cause a riot.”

“Do you want a 3,000ha solar farm next door to you? Lots of glass and aluminium neatly in rows pointing at the sun. I am not sure others will want to buy that view off you when you go to sell your house.”

The coal industry might have lost its most enthusiastic advocate from the federal cabinet, but the Nationals were quick to show that it won’t lead to any changes on the party’s energy and climate change policies.

In his interview, Littleproud, who is also tipped to take on the now vacant agriculture portfolio, told the ABC that investments in new coal generators would help lower emissions and lower electricity prices.

“You need to make sure that you create an environment in the marketplace with a mix of renewables and coal-fired power stations, and if you can improve the emissions of coal fired power stations, you should make that investment if it means that we hit our targets and we reduce energy prices,” Littleproud claimed.

It has been well established for some time that the cheapest source of new electricity generation capacity are renewable sources like wind and solar.

A recent update to the CSIRO’s GenCost assessment of the costs of different generation technologies re-confirmed that new wind and solar are, by far, the cheapest sources of electricity generation. Even when additional storage is accounted for, prices of firmed renewables are competitive with fossil fuel generators when the costs of carbon emissions are considered.

Renewables are already helping to drive down electricity prices.

This week, the ACT, which has recently achieved its 100 per cent renewable electricity target, is also set to see an almost 7 per cent fall in its electricity prices this year, as the territory’s investments in wind and solar projects have helped deliver lower electricity prices for Canberra households, ensuring they continue to pay some of Australia’s lowest electricity prices.

But this also didn’t stop Littleproud asserting that it is possible to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while still embracing coal.

“You can invest in clean coal technology in and reduce emissions,” Littleproud said.

“I’m not disputing the science, what I’m saying is I’m not gifted academically to have that science background myself.” – @D_LittleproudMP when asked about his recent statement that he didn’t know if climate change was man made. #abc730 @leighsales #auspol pic.twitter.com/sFh44eNP2a

— abc730 (@abc730) February 4, 2020

Again, there are fundamental limits to how much emissions from coal-fired power stations can be improved. Even with a complete transition to the Coalition’s favoured high-efficiency low-emissions (HELE) coal power station technologies, the most generous estimates put the amount of emissions reductions at 20 per cent.

In his review of the National Electricity Market, chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel compared the emissions intensity of different generation technologies, showing that the HELE coal-fired power stations promoted by the Nationals will still produce 0.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for each megawatt-hour of electricity produced, and is only slightly below the NEM’s current average emissions intensity.

When the science, and the international commitments made under the Paris Agreement, are calling for governments to achieve zero net emissions by 2050, a 20 per cent cut in coal power station emissions is going to be grossly insufficient.

It’s a position that leaves the Nationals at odds with science, but also the business community which is undergoing an accelerating exit from the coal industry. This includes BlackRock, which manages USD$7 trillion (A$10.15 trillion) in investments, which announced in January that it was divesting its portfolios from thermal coal companies.

Littleproud argued for the need for “baseload” power, suggesting that coal-fired power stations are necessary, as Australia currently lacks sufficient levels of battery storage.

“We’ve still got to have baseload, the thing is that we don’t have battery storage to the capacity that we need to be able to keep the lights on,” Littleproud said.

With the emergence of new energy management technologies, a growing market for energy storage that is outpacing growth in coal generation in Australia, demand response platforms and the falling prices of renewables, the concept of baseload is quickly becoming outdated.

With system planners recognising the crucial role that a ‘flexible’ energy system will have into the future, pushing new inflexible baseload power stations, like a new coal generator, into the energy system will only be counterproductive.

Chair of the Energy Security Board, which has been tasked with redesigning Australia’s energy market in response to the widescale transformation underway in the energy sector, labelled Australia’s existing “baseload” generators as “dinosaurs”, singling out coal-fired generators Bayswater and Liddell saying that their inflexibility made them poorly suited to a future energy system.

There has been a surge of installations of large-scale battery storage systems, and new investments continue to be made in deploying storage projects, while coal-fired generators are readying to exit the market.

The renewed push from the Nationals for a new coal generator appears to have been bolstered by the findings of a $10 million feasibility study into a potential new coal-fired power station in Collinsville. The feasibility study was funded as part of the government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments initiative and has yet to be released publicly.

“Collinsville, there’s a there’s now a report that’s come back to say that that business case should advance and then obviously, that will be backed by the economics of it,” Littleproud told ABC’s RN Breakfast.

The saga of the Collinsville power station has been a source of tension within the Coalition party room. Outgoing resources minister Matt Canavan had been desperate to get the project off the ground, and confronted prime minister Scott Morrison when he thought progress on the proposal was progressing too slowly.

Those tensions continue to play out in the party room, with a fiery confrontation occurring during the first coalition party room meeting of the year, and after a summer dominated by bushfires and calls for stronger climate action.

Several Nationals members shouted down calls from moderate Liberal MPs, who called for the Morrison government to demonstrate that it was taking climate change seriously.

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Shooting at Florida Naval Base: 3 other Saudi students film it all | P.M. News

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Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani the Saudi shooter at Florida naval base

Shocking revelations have emerged in the aftermath of the shooting at a Florida Naval base by a Saudi military student Mohammed al-Shamrani. One of the surprises was that three other Saudi students filmed the entire attack.

A total of six Saudis have been detained over the shooting, in which four persons were killed, including al-Shamrani. Eight others were wounded in the shooting which took place in a classroom building at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. Among the wounded were two sheriff’s deputies who responded to the attack.

According to the New York Times, the Saudi gunman was armed with a Glock 9mm handgun that had been purchased locally. The gun had an extended magazine and the shooter had four to six other magazines in his possession before he was himself gunned down by Florida policemen.

Al-Shamrani reportedly condemned America as a “nation of evil” in an online manifesto prior to opening fire Friday at a US naval base, killing three people before being shot dead by police.

The Florida Naval Air Station

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist media, said he had posted a short manifesto on Twitter that read: “I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil.”

“I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you because your freedoms, I hate you because every day you supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity,” he wrote.

ABC News reported that investigators were working to determine if it was in fact written by the shooter.

The Twitter account that posted the manifesto — which also condemned US support for Israel and included a quote from Al-Qaeda’s deceased leader, the Saudi Osama bin Laden — has been suspended.

DeSantis told a news conference that “the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims. And I think they are going to owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals.”

Commanding officer Captain Timothy Kinsella said the shooter was an aviation trainee, one of “a couple hundred” foreign students at the base.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman telephoned US President Donald Trump to denounce the shooting, affirming that “the perpetrator of this heinous crime does not represent the Saudi people,” according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Saudi Arabia has long been a major US ally in the Middle East, thanks primarily to security considerations and oil.

Trump said King Salman “called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack that took place in Pensacola, Florida.”

There was a deja vu about the Florida attack. Shamrani shares the nationality of 15 of the 19 men involved in the 9/11 attacks, some of whom attended civilian flight school in Florida.

Police were first called about the shooting shortly before 7:00 am (1200 GMT), Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said.

“Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie,” Morgan said. “You don’t expect this to happen.”

Only members of the security forces can bring weapons on base, Kinsella said, and it was not clear how the shooter got the gun onto the premises.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said he is “considering several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families,” but did not provide details.

Just two days earlier, a US sailor fatally shot two people and wounded a third at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii before taking his own life.

“This has been a devastating week for our Navy family,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday said. “When tragedy hits, as it did today, and Wednesday in Pearl Harbor, it is felt by all.”

The Pensacola naval air station hosts 16,000 military personnel and more than 7,000 civilians, and is home to a flight demonstration squadron.

It is an early training centre for naval pilots, and is known as the “cradle of naval aviation.”

The base is the centre for the US Navy foreign military training programs, established in 1985 specifically for Saudi students before being expanded to other nationalities.

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Retail ERP Turned Inventory Replenishment Laid Back

Without maintaining stock, it’s difficult to run your shop in an organized manner. It works on ABC analysis approach by classifying stock into three categories that represent the inventory worths and cost significance. Stock control refers to stock management concerned with reducing the total expense of inventory while taking full advantage of the ability to offer consumers with products without delay. Stock management ERP tracks the amounts of goods in a warehouse and can even track of goods in inventory, across numerous storage facility places. Replenishment of stock stays no more a big deal.

Without maintaining inventory, it’s impossible to run your shop in an arranged manner. How ERP Systems for retail work? Retail.
Every time the client checks out its information are. Consumer can even make an online payment, and
every type of payment. This information is utilized for purchase behavior analyses and.
It works on ABC analysis method by classifying stock into three classifications that represent the inventory worths and cost significance. Inventory control refers to stock management concerned with minimizing the total expense of inventory while taking full advantage of the ability to supply clients with items quickly. Inventory management ERP tracks the amounts of items in a storage facility and can even track of items in inventory, throughout numerous warehouse locations.

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Why Diahann Carroll was my first girl crush

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(CNN)Diahann Carroll is gone today– passed away at 84 from breast cancer, her publicist said. But for me she will forever be that beautiful, chocolate-brown princess I first saw performing scenes–with her glistening voice–from “Porgy and Bess,” with Sammy Davis Jr. on the premiere episode of “The Diahann Carroll Show,” back in 1976.

To my young eyes—and to the eyes of so many of my peers–Diahann Carroll was everything that a woman should be: smart, elegant, funny, and a career woman. Carroll had already shattered racial stereotypes on television with her starring role in the 1968 series “Julia,” on NBC. She played a widowed mother and nurse — a life I connected with because my father had also died.
As Julia, Carroll was the first black woman to star in a sitcom and not play a domestic worker. Huge, at the time. In fact, it’s hard to overstate what an important figure she was. In my working-class black neighborhood, men, women, children–we were all captivated by her. I loved watching my mother — the only woman I ever thought was more beautiful than Carroll — imitate the actress’s hairdos and outfits.
    In Diahann Carroll, we recognized our own beauty.
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    Why Diahann Carroll was my first girl crush (opinion) - CNN
    My love affair with Carrol continued throughout her career, the “Dynasty” years on ABC in the 80s, when she played the sexy vixen Dominique Deveraux, then later when she was cast as Jane Burke on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
    A busy life, to be sure, and Carroll writes later in her memoir about the all-too-common struggles career moms confront as they try to balance work, love and family, and her regrets about the time away from her daughter, Suzanne Kay Bamford, from the first of her four marriages. The two reconnected later in her life, and Carroll often spoke about finding joy in her relationship with her daughter and grandchildren. I’m happy she finally found her balance.
    In her book, written when she was just over 70, she recounted with humor and humility the challenges of aging for an icon—even one who remained drop-dead gorgeous.
      “All my life people have been trying to make me define myself racially, politically, and artistically,” she said. “Now they are just trying to place my face.”
      Rest easy, Diahann Carroll, you were a phenomenal, beautiful woman. We won’t forget.

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      The Problem With ‘Bachelor’ Stars Dating Real Celebrities | Betches

      I’ve been a loyal member of Bachelor Nation for longer than is psychologically recommended (according to my therapist). In fact, I’m so invested in them that I spend almost seven months out of every year chained to my TV for two hours on Monday nights, just to watch these people find love while simultaneously bringing dishonor to their family name. I then meticulously record this aesthetically-pleasing car crash in a weekly recap so that we can all remember that one time Chris Harrison had to explain to Colton which hole to put it in for posterity purposes. One could even argue that watching The Bachelor has been my longest relationship to date. 

      And, like any other toxic relationship in my life, I’ve put up with my fair share of bullsh*t. Getting rid of Jorge The Bartender on Bachelor in Paradise in favor of Wells, who is about as much a mixologist as I am a person with good credit? Fine. Letting Chris Harrison negotiate a new contract that allows him to speak seven words or less per episode, despite the fact that he is the glue that holds that insane asylum together? Also fine. Giving Nick Viall not one, not two, not three, but FOUR separate seasons to con the American public into thinking he could ever be a catch? Fine, fine, fine. But what I won’t stand for—what I absolutely refuse to allow—is Bachelor Nation infiltrating the lives of real celebs. 

      For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, recently there has been a number of former Bachelor contestants vying for the hearts of actual celebrities, like Tyler C and Gigi Hadid, Demi Lovato and Mike Johnson, and as of last week, potentially Nick Viall and Rachel Bilson. And these are just the most recent couplings! 

      When I first found out about Tyler C hooking up with Gigi Hadid, I was disappointed and a little upset. My friends, on the other hand, were ecstatic. “Good for Tyler!” They’d say. “He deserves only good things!” Look, I’m not going to pretend that watching 30 hours of TV footage of the man makes me an apt judge of his character, but I was inclined to agree. Good things? Sure. But going from dating a girl who names her zits and regularly butchers the English language to dating one of the highest-paid models in the world, who also happens to be an international superstar? Are you f*cking kidding me, Tyler?

      Are

      Bottom line? I felt lied to. I had just spent weeks this summer watching Tyler profess his love for Hannah B, a girl who is the definition of “hot mess” in Urban Dictionary, only to find out that what he was really searching for in a partner was 108 pounds of hairspray and coconut water. Part of those feelings of betrayal came from the fact that these guys are supposed to be somewhat attainable. These are supposed to be guys who would theoretically be into us, the viewer (assuming we are under a size 4, have at least 10K followers on Instagram, and look professionally airbrushed at all times). AND GIGI F*CKING HADID IS NOT LIKE US, THE VIEWER, IS SHE TYLER C?!

      Furthermore, I’ve always considered the stars of Bachelor Nation to be their own sad, demented sorority/fraternity, that real stars—people with certifiable talents and ambition that goes beyond which Instagram sponsorship will pay for their Revolve credit card—would look down upon. Bachelor contestants are willing to debase themselves on national television, wear chicken suits and cry about being seagulls instead of pigeons. Why would a person who has won Emmys for acting or hit the Billboard Hot 100 want to date a person whose bio can be summed up as “social media participant” or “former high school athlete”?

      Take Mike Johnson and Demi Lovato, for instance. Do I love them both? Yes. Do I want both of them to be happy? Also, yes. But Demi is a rockstar, a huge advocate for mental health, and has a world-wide fanbase, while Mike… has a really great smile? Calls women “queens”? Seriously, what does this guy do for a living and is he really good enough for MY queen Demi? Their budding relationship feels mismatched and off-kilter. That’s not to say some relationships can’t be mismatched, but this feels like something more than that.

      And for the most part, it’s the men of BachelorNation who are sliding into the DMs of A-list stars. You don’t see Bibiana hitting up Michael B. Jordan’s IG comments section with flirty emojis or Kristina Schulman going on dinner dates with Chace Crawford. Which brings me to the real reason I’m so offended by these recent couplings: why is this phenomenon so one-sided?

      We’ve talked at length about how The Bachelor men dating A-listers won’t be great for the franchise. It already felt like a real suspension of reality that these conventionally attractive, mildly successful men weren’t able to find love in real life and that’s why they came on the show. Over the years, it’s felt like less of the contestants are actually there to find love with the lead and more of them are there to find fame and careers on Instagram. And now the female leads must contend with the likes of Demi Lovato and Gigi Hadid potentially sliding into the guys’ DMs post-production, apparently. 

      Hannah

      Aside from Lauren Bushnell’s recent engagement to country music singer Chris Lane, the majority of the ladies in Bachelor Nation are single or are dating in the Bachelor pool of potential suitors, but the men aren’t playing that game anymore. While Nick Viall serenades Summer Roberts on his podcast, Caelynn felt so desperate for a happy ending that she settled for a man who lives in his van.

      More and more I watch this show and think, “man, she’s settling” and I’ve realized that’s not the kind of reality TV I want to watch anymore. This used to be a show about real people looking for love. Over time, that’s shifted into cosmetically enhanced, famous-adjacent people looking for love, and I was fine with that too. But I can’t stand for this new turn of events. I don’t watch The Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise to find out how a good looking dude from Florida somehow managed to bag a supermodel. I watch this show to root for the women, for them to find themselves and maybe find love too.

      Hannah B set a new precedent  for Bachelorettes: that we can be funny and messy and say the wrong things and STILL be desirable—still be wife material. But watching her men declare that’s what they want in a wife and then go out and date international superstars in the next breath is enraging and upsetting. If this is what the next generation of Bachelor looks like, then count me out. 

      Images: ABC; Giphy (2)

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      Beto O’Rourke is back in the mix. Will voters give him another look?

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      (CNN)Beto O’Rourke is fighting with Pete Buttigieg. He’s angering Democrats in Washington. He’s cussing, and being warned about his language. He’s being called “dummy Beto” by President Donald Trump.

      After five months of struggling to find his place in the crowded Democratic field, a campaign reboot following the early August shooting that left 22 dead in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, has moved O’Rourke into a position where he appears more comfortable than he was in the first five months of the race: An outsider attempting to lead a movement.
      His message, in campaign stops, emails to supporters and social media posts, has shifted in a way that shows his campaign has found an animating cause. His language has changed, with O’Rourke — an at-times profane campaigner in Texas who early in the race promised he’d stop dropping f-bombs — now back to cursing regularly, a decision being heard by supporters as plainly communicating the urgency of the issue and by critics as an attention-grabbing gimmick.
        So has his travel schedule: O’Rourke is setting aside the traditional path through the early voting states in favor of a new emphasis on those that vote on Super Tuesday. He’s campaigning with down-ballot candidates, visiting downtrodden Democratic Party organizations and stopping in cities and towns facing tumult.
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        It’s tough to tell whether Democratic voters are giving O’Rourke a fresh look in light of his new approach: A recent CNN poll found him with 5% support, which his backers hoped was a sign O’Rourke was beginning to climb out of the low single digits. But an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll this week showed him with just 1% support. Given the margin of error, it’s possible O’Rourke hasn’t moved much at all.

        Battling with Buttigieg

        O’Rourke has drawn headlines since Democrats’ third primary debate in Houston last week — the one his aides said he prepared for the least, with zero sessions behind a podium and the one day that had been devoted to readying him for the showdown scrapped in favor of a last-minute trip to Midland, Texas, after a shooting there.
        Days before the debate, the Democratic National Committee passed on a warning to campaigns that ABC would be broadcasting the debate with no delay — which meant no chance to bleep out curse words. The warning didn’t name O’Rourke directly, but there was little doubt why it had been issued.
        On stage, O’Rourke delivered one of the night’s most memorable moments when he advocated for mandatory buy-backs of assault-style rifles, telling a cheering audience: “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We are not going to allow it to be used against fellow Americans anymore.”
        Republican Party
        The comment led to criticism from Republicans and Democrats — and it gave O’Rourke an opportunity to brawl with the foe his supporters have been angry at since he mocked O’Rourke’s habit of “standing on things” in New Hampshire in early April: Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
        The blowback began the morning after the debate, when Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a Joe Biden supporter, said O’Rourke had given Republicans an opening to characterize Democrats as gun-grabbers, endangering a push for other reforms.
        Coons’ prediction proved accurate on Wednesday, when Trump did just what he’d warned of, tweeting: “Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal. Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward!”
        The fallout with more potential to affect the 2020 Democratic race, though, came when Buttigieg was asked on CNN on Sunday whether Coons was right that O’Rourke’s push for mandatory buy-backs was playing into the GOP’s hands.
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        As Buttigieg built establishment support and fundraising might, O’Rourke’s camp has seethed. His aides and backers note Buttigieg’s private flights and point out that O’Rourke often drives himself around the campaign trail (and recently took the Bolt Bus from New York to Boston). They see — and want voters to see — a clash that’s geographical, with Buttigieg representing the industrial Midwest where Democratic support has slipped and O’Rourke from the Sun Belt, a more diverse region where the party is gaining strength.
        Even as O’Rourke supporters relish the fight with Buttigieg, the bigger picture of the race shows the steep hill O’Rourke must climb. Buttigieg a week ago released his first television advertisement in Iowa — a luxury O’Rourke likely cannot afford, since Buttigieg raised $25 million in 2019’s second quarter to O’Rourke’s $3.6 million.
        O’Rourke’s campaign sees evidence this new approach is working. Aides said the three days following the debate were O’Rourke’s best fundraising days since April, the month after he launched his presidential bid.

        A moment of doubt

        While O’Rourke has become a more critical player in the Democratic race in the seven weeks since the El Paso, Texas, shooting, there was a point in the immediate aftermath when he wasn’t sure he would remain a candidate at all.
        The day after a gunman who police say had posted online a racist screed warning of a “Hispanic invasion” killed 22 people in an El Paso Walmart, O’Rourke had a moment he worried might have ended his chances of winning the Democratic presidential nomination.
        He was on his way to his van after a vigil outside Las Americas, an immigration advocacy center in El Paso — already emotional and unable to find his wife, who had been there, too — when he found himself boxed in between two cars and a handful of reporters behind the building. One asked him whether there was anything Trump could do to make things better.
        “Members of the press, what the f—?” O’Rourke said, chastising reporters for failing to draw what he saw as obvious connections between the violence and Trump’s racist rhetoric and policies that target immigrants.
        Everyone there knew they had seen a significant moment. Two O’Rourke aides nervously approached this reporter, asking about what had happened. Soon afterward, on Twitter, O’Rourke’s comment went viral.
        O’Rourke, meanwhile, was on his way to another vigil. He looked at his wife and said, “Look, I f—ed up,” he told The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere in a podcast interview this month.
        In the moment, O’Rourke said, it felt “like maybe this is over.”
        Mayor
        “Nobody spoke in the van. I didn’t speak. I was pissed. I was pissed at myself, I was pissed at the world, I was pissed at that question. I was pissed that we were even having this conversation — like, how in the world could we be asking ourselves these questions as civilized, intelligent human beings, who report the news, make the news, you know, report on the policy, make the policy? Why are we even asking, is Donald Trump racist? Did he have something to do with this? Could he make this better?” O’Rourke said.
        “I think I was mostly mad at myself: Why have I not been able to figure this out? And why have I not been able to make these connections more clear? Why have we not been able to change this?”
        O’Rourke said he didn’t consciously work through what he might do other than run for president. Instead, he said, his thought after the shooting was, “What am I doing, at all?”
        Did he consider dropping out? What had happened in his hometown, he said, “just down in my bones or my essence, made me question myself. And so to some degree, yes.”
        There were also decisions to be made — such as whether O’Rourke would join the rest of the Democratic field and visit the Iowa State Fair, one of the rituals of the presidential campaign trail.
        “I was like, f— no, uh-uh,” he said. “I can’t pretend. I would be pretending.”
        “And to some degree, you’re performing when you’re running for office, right?” O’Rourke said. “You’re never fully, wholly, truly yourself, warts and all. You are on a stage and you’re projecting and you’re acting in a way that you want people to read and form their picture of you. No one can help that. … We’re all actors on that stage, and no one more so than perhaps someone running for president. But I couldn’t go do that.”
        His decision to skip Iowa forced O’Rourke and his aides to have bigger-picture conversations about where he would go and what kind of campaign he would run moving forward.
        At the same time, Trump’s administration had targeted undocumented workers in Mississippi in an immigration raid.
        Republican Party
        “The two seemed very connected to me in a very obvious way — this manner of terrorizing people and trying to terrify the country about immigrants and Hispanics and people who are really the most vulnerable and the most defenseless in America,” O’Rourke said. “And I said, I want to be there. I want to go there. And I want to go anywhere where people are being kept down or made to be afraid.”
        His return to the campaign trailnearly two weeks later started with a speech in El Paso in which O’Rourke for the first time called for mandatory buy-backs of assault-style rifles, and said he would take a new route — with fewer performative stops in the early states and more visits to vulnerable or forgotten places across the country.
        Since then, he has spent less time in the first four states to vote in the presidential primary process — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — and more in the Super Tuesday states.
        Texas
        Among those Super Tuesday state stops: O’Rourke has campaigned with down-ballot candidates in Virginia. He visited Skid Row in Los Angeles. He delivered a speech that drew a large online audience in front of Democrats in Arkansas. And he visited the Oklahoma City bombing memorial in Oklahoma.
        The changes suggest O’Rourke’s strategy is merely to survive the first month ofprimary season and then begin racking up delegates in March, with Super Tuesday including his home state of Texas. In May, he tapped Jeff Berman, a delegate strategy veteran of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, as a senior adviser.
          The new approach to his schedule, the gun control advocacy and the more direct — and sometimes foul — language are all part of his reaction to the shooting that he told The Atlantic “just, at a really deep, fundamental level, made me wonder what I’m doing or what I’ve ever been doing or what we are doing.”
          “And all of the, you know, performance, the ritual, and the — you know, I don’t know, all the editing, that goes into speaking when you’re running for office,” he said, “just really evaporated or didn’t seem as important, or I didn’t even really know that I cared at that point.”

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          Mike Johnson Speaks Out About Demi Lovato & Not Being The Bachelor | Betches

          While a lot of us (Sweetest Betch You’ll Ever Meet and It’s Britney, Betch) are saying a prayer of thanks that Mike Fleiss has finally granted us reprieve from six hours of reality television every week, others (me, Brett Vergara) are still reeling from the revelation that Peter will be the next Bachelor. Now, don’t get me wrong, on any other season, Peter would have been a great choice. I’m glad they didn’t pull some bullsh*t and revive some random dude from the dead (or, in Bachelor terms, five years ago). And, to be clear, Peter is a fine choice for Bachelor. He made it to the top three on Hannah’s season, and he seems like a perfectly nice guy. But notice the lack of enthusiasm here? That’s because I, like many people, were hoping against all hope that this would be the year that ABC would finally do something different. That they’d choose a Bachelor who wasn’t the human incarnation of mayonnaise on Wonder Bread. And this time, it actually seemed likely! I was fighting a losing battle last year, hoping they’d choose Wills for Bachelor. But this year, we had Mike Johnson. We had Mike’s smile. We had Mike calling women queens. It seemed that our dreams of having a diverse Bachelor may finally become reality. And then they didn’t. Now, Mike Johnson is finally speaking out about getting passed over for the Bachelor gig, on Bachelor Happy Hour with Rachel & AliRachel Lindsay and Ali Fedotowsky’s podcast.

          Rachel first asks Mike if he was, in fact, in talks to be the next Bachelor, or if we all just wildly projected. He answered, “I was 100% in talks to be the next Bachelor.” So that settles that—ABC was considering switching it up, and ultimately decided not to. I think I speak for all of us when I say: Y tho???

          He added, “people probably didn’t think I was considered to be the Bachelor because I was trying to be so respectful of the crew at Bachelor world and I didn’t want to speak about it.” He then explained that Peter didn’t do interviews after The Bachelorette, so he didn’t have to answer questions about being the next Bachelor all the time. Mike then goes on to say that he definitely wanted the gig. “I 100% wanted to be the Bachelor,” he said. “Reasons being: One, I do want to find a wife. Two, it was bigger than me and I wanted to represent for all people of color. And then, also, talking about people of color, they need to have an Asian Bachelor, they need to have an Indian Bachelor. They need to have other people outside of just black and white. And so I want to speak on that as well.” Ugh, I stan a woke king. Remind me why they didn’t choose this guy again?! This is a crime against humanity.

          So Mike affirms that he definitely did audition to be the Bachelor, and he wanted it, but he ultimately wasn’t chosen. And he kind of found out in the crappiest way possible: on TV, like the rest of us. “I found out in the trailers, before you do on the Bachelor in Paradise reunion,” he said. Damn, they couldn’t have given him a phone call? He admitted, “When I first found out, I’m not gonna lie, I was sad. I was annoyed when I very first found out. But then by the end of the night, I wasn’t annoyed no more because I was appreciative and thankful that they told me no right then and there because now I could focus on myself and I’m just blessed because I know I’m gonna find my wife and find my claim.” Well, that’s a lot more graceful than I would be. Personally I would have probably followed through on my many threats to burn down ABC. One of these days, I’m going to do it for real!!

          Obviously, Mike had some opinions on why they chose Peter instead—but they are annoyingly vague. He said, “ultimately, it just came down to, they chose the right person for what they want.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?? Is “what they want” to placate middle America types who can’t handle seeing a non-white person on their television? Please, I need more information.

          But we all know now that you can’t always get what you want (if what you want is diversity in Bachelor Nation). And now it doesn’t really matter, because Mike is seeing Demi Lovato. And of course Rachel asked about it (doing the Lord’s work). He admitted he and Demi have met in person “more than one time”. What does that mean!! Stop being coy! The people demand it.

          He gushed over Demi, saying, “I think she’s amazing. She’s incredibly humble.” He added, “When Demi and I are together, it’s laughter and we talk about real sh*t. Like, she’s a down-to-earth woman and I respect it so much. And she’s just a really humble, really cool, really fun, down-to-earth person.”

          Cool, cool, cool. I don’t know why I’m crying in the club at my desk right now. Next, Rachel asked what we’ve all been thinking ever since Mike posted that thirsty comment on Demi’s Insta: “What is the status of your relationship with Demi Lovato?” Here’s what Mike said:

          “My status of the relationship with Demi and I are that we are two people exploring each other.”

          Oooookayyyy, seriously? “Two people exploring each other” sounds like what you’d say about the person who taught you how to give a blow job as a teenager at summer camp. But, okay fine, it makes sense that Mike wouldn’t say he and Demi dating or anything, considering it’s been, like, two weeks since they have been in contact (that we know of).

          SO this interview basically reaffirmed to me that Mike would have been a great Bachelor, but that we do not deserve him. And Peter will be cool I guess. It could have been worse—they could have chosen Blake. Listen to the full interview with Mike Johnson here.

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          The Bachelorette Is The Worst Show On Television, So Why Do I Never Miss An Episode?

          I’m about to make a bold statement, so hold onto your hats!

          I love watching The Bachelorette.

          I already know what you’re thinking. Yes, I know it’s generally degrading. I know it makes otherwise good folks look like imbeciles. I know I’m being emotionally manipulated by myriad producers and editors whose sole job is to secure ratings. I know, I get it. But, ain’t ya ever heard of a guilty pleasure afore?

          Growing up, I watched only a handful of episodes from a couple seasons. I was first introduced to the show at 13, when I began to see Trista Rehn‘s face on the cover of every tabloid magazine at the grocery checkout. I remember being fascinated with the show’s concept. A bunch of dudes fight over one girl and then she has to pick her favorite ultimately making him the “winner.” But “winner” of what? Her heart? A game? Both? That sounds like fun!

          Thankfully, as a young adult, I didn’t waste my time being sucked into Bachelor Nation (the title given to super fans, ya know like Dead HeadsLittle Monsters, or Beliebers). No, as a young person I spent my time on more important things. (Like watching every episode of  and)

          It was until my mid-twenties that I officially joined the “Nation.” Now, the show has me dutifully plopped in front of a television set every Monday night.

          And I’ve done a lot of thinking and asked myself some pointed questions: Why do I love this show so much? Why do I look forward to Monday nights with such fervor? Why do I ignore the unrealistic message it’s sending to folks about relationships and love? Am I morally obligated to denounce the show in the name of feminism while saving my own dignity?

          While these are important and reflective questions to ponder, I already know the overarching answer is a blunt no. No, I won’t stop watching this show for the foreseeable future. But now, it’s time for my reasons…

          Why do I love this show so much?

          The simple answer (and arguably the most important): it’s entertaining. The folks who produce this show have gotten things down to a perfect science. They know exactly how to craft an episode or season’s trailer to leave you excited and salivating. Now, I’m not saying it’s great television. It’s trash. But like a crappy romance or dime-store novel, you just can’t help but turn the page. Or in this case, endure the commercials.

          Why do I look forward to Monday nights with such fervor?

          You know how folks love to get together for the Super Bowl? No matter who you are, how little you care about sports, or how much you hate Tom Brady, everyone LOVES to watch the Super Bowl. It’s a gathering. An excuse to get together with friends and family. A reason to pull out the old Crock-Pot and make Mom’s chili. A great opportunity to clink your beers and cheer on a team. Doesn’t matter which one, just pick a side.

          You see where I’m going with this… Monday’s are an excuse to get together with my girlfriends and sisters. Drink rosé and predict what might happen after the commercial break. Will the cocktail party be canceled tonight? Is Luke P finally going the f*$% home? Then there are all the mid-week, post-show convos. Are you all caught up yet? What did you think of Jed? Yeah, I’m free for lunch on Thursday!

          The Bachelorette is a really great excuse to hang out.

          Why do I ignore the unrealistic message it’s sending to folks about relationships and love?

          Let me rephrase this question: is it wrong for me to support a show that so inaccurately and unrealistically depicts relationships and love? I guess this question goes hand in hand with “Am I morally obligated to denounce the show in the name of feminism while saving my own dignity?” My answer to both is: no.

          But let me tell you a secret: THIS SHOW DOES NOT ACCURATELY DEPICT HOW HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS FUNCTION!

          There. I said it.

          No, it’s not normal to date 30 people at the same time. No, it’s not normal to “need” to hear that someone “loves” you after 4 dates. And no, it’s not normal to truly and firmly believe that a man you’ve known for less than six weeks should propose to you. My biggest pet peeve with the show — other than repeatedly hearing Chris Harrison say “The most dramatic (insert noun) ever is about to begin!” — is how contestants seem to forget that other people exist on Planet Earth.

          “No!” they say, “I want THAT ONE!” And we all know that has to do with the chase and competitive nature of the show. It’s not so much that they’re in love with the Bachelor or Bachelorette, they really just want to win. And then, maybe they can go on to do something really great with their lives, like use Instagram to promote products they don’t even use themselves. FabFitFun codes for everyone!

          Here’s the thing, the people that decide to go on the show, know exactly what they’re signing up for. They know they’re going to get to meet cool people, grow their Instafollowing, travel all over, and hey, maybe they’ll get engaged to someone. If it’s truly real love, they’ll stick it out. If not, they’ll announce it in an Instagram post and then move on with their lives, FabFitFun commission check in tow.

          Oh and as far as my own personal dignity goes, I’m pretty proud of its current state and not watching a vapid reality show isn’t going to make me “better than anyone else.”

          Now, let’s all cross our fingers and hope Hannah B. picks Tyler C.

          Related

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          Twitter Went In On Sean Spicer’s ‘DWTS’ Debut Performance

          Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

          These Tweets About Sean Spicer On ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Don’t Hold Back

          Well, everyone, the moment we’ve been waiting for has arrived. No, I’m not talking about the next Democratic presidential debate, I’m talking about former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s reality television debut. The year 2019 has brought a lot of great things into our lives, but nothing may be a greater gift than this moment. Safe to say, these tweets about Sean Spicer on agree. Say hello to your new favorite Monday night show.

          News broke in August that former White House aide Sean Spicer would be part of Season 28 of the popular competition show Since a lot of people have been anxiously waiting to see Spicer strut his stuff and put his best foot forward. On Monday, Sept. 16, the time had finally arrived. It was revealed during the premiere that Lindsay Arnold would be his professional dance partner, and the two prepared for their first number, which was a salsa routine set to the Spice Girls anthem “Spice Up Your Life.”

          The show’s judges gave the onetime White House press secretary a score of 12 out of 30 as he shimmied, pounded on a pair of bongo drums, and enthusiastically twirled around the stage. This is the kind of thing you really have to see to believe, and Twitter was ready at their keyboards as soon as Spicer appeared on stage in a neon ruffled shirt.

          For his part, Spicer seemed to enjoy support from people like former Gov. Mike Huckabee.

          Clearly, Twitter was enjoying the show, but there’s been a lot of controversy regarding Spicer’s being a part of the new season. On Aug. 21, host Tom Bergeron addressed Spicer appearing on the show via Twitter, claiming he had “offered suggestions” on who to cast for upcoming season during a lunch with the program’s executive producer. A part of Bergeron’s statement read,

          A few months ago, during a lunch with DWTS’ new Executive Producer, I offered suggestions on for Season 28. Chief among them was my hope that , in its return following an unprecedented year-long hiatus, would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY political affiliations. I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement. Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, “go in a different direction.”

          Bergeron isn’t the only crew member that’s seemingly upset with the decision. On Aug. 21, CNN Business reported that a number of staffers were extremely upset with the decision to cast Spicer, stating that it felt like “a slap in the face.” Another staffer told CNN Business that Spicer had been “horrible” to them in the past. “It’s disgusting to think he is getting on the show andgetting paid by our company,” a staffer told CNN Business. Elite Daily reached out to Spicer’s team for comment on the ABC staffers’ claims, but did not hear back in time for publication.

          Despite the criticism, there’s a strong possibility that Spicer’s appearance on will boost ratings. Welcome to 2019 everyone, and try to enjoy the show.

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          Cokie Roberts, famed journalist and political commentator, dies at 75

          Roberts spent decades at ABC News, wrote books and never became cynical, colleagues say: When I think of politics, I think of Cokie Roberts

          ABC

          Cokie Roberts, the daughter of politicians who grew up to cover the family business in Washington for ABC News and NPR over several decades, died on Tuesday in Washington of complications from breast cancer. She was 75.

          ABC broke into network programming to announce her death and pay tribute.

          Roberts was the daughter of Hale Boggs, a former House majority leader from Louisiana, and Lindy Boggs, who succeeded her husband in Congress. Roberts worked in radio and at CBS News and PBS before joining ABC News in 1988.

          She was a congressional reporter and analyst who co-anchored the Sunday political show This Week with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002.

          Roberts, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, kept working nearly to the end. She appeared on This Week in August, drawing enough concern about her evident weight loss that she released a statement saying I am doing fine and was looking forward to covering next years election.

          She co-wrote a political column for many years with her husband of 53 years, Steven, who survives her. They had two children.

          Roberts wrote books, focusing on the role of women in history. She wrote two with her husband, one about interfaith families and From This Day Forward, an account of their marriage.

          Current ABC News political reporter Jonathan Karl recalled being in awe of Roberts when he first started working at the network.

          When I think of politics, I think of Cokie Roberts, he said.

          Her colleagues said she never became cynical or lost her love for politics. She did force NPR to clarify her role as a commentator when she wrote a column in 2016 calling on the rational wing of the Republican party to reject Donald Trump as their presidential candidate.

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