Monday, June 27, 2022

27: Abortion, Ukraine, Arlan Hamilton

Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith: We’ve Seen What Will Happen Next to America’s Women We both lived in an America where abortion was illegal. A nation in which infections and other complications destroyed lives. A nation in which unplanned pregnancies derailed careers and livelihoods. A nation in which some women took their own lives rather than continue pregnancies they could not bear. ........ increasing access to abortion medication, providing federal resources for individuals seeking abortion care in other states and using federal property and resources to protect people seeking abortion services locally. ......... In order to fix the damage Republicans have done to our system in their efforts to control women’s lives, we need broad democracy reform: changing the composition of the courts, reforming Senate rules like the filibuster, and even fixing the outdated Electoral College that allowed presidential candidates who lost the popular vote to take office and nominate five of the justices who agreed to end the right to an abortion......... Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And more Americans describe themselves as pro-choice today than at any other point in the last 25 years. ....... Ask every Senate candidate to commit to reforming the filibuster rules, so that the chamber can pass federal legislation protecting the right to reproductive freedom. If voters help us maintain our control of the House and expand our majority in the Senate by at least two votes this November, we can make Roe the law all across the country as soon as January...... The two of us lived in an America without Roe, and we are not going back. Not now. Not ever.

What Comes after Roe? how we can make our country more welcoming to children and more supportive of families, an essential task if we want to make abortion both illegal and unthinkable, if we want to end abortion in a sustainable way. .......... abolition of abortion through both law and culture, a world where abortion is both illegal and inconceivable. ........ Pro-lifers can hold a range of views on, for example, paid family leave or child tax credits. We should debate these policies on the merits and keep in mind that ending abortion will require a “both/and” approach in many areas, not an “either/or.” We need plans for shifting our laws and our culture, efforts to care for babies and mothers, work from state and federal governments — and all of these efforts should aim at ending the supply of abortion and the demand for it.

Leaving Wish Lists at the Door, Senators Found Consensus on Guns The bipartisan gun safety legislation that cleared Congress on Friday was the product of weeks of fraught negotiations that started with both sides acknowledging what had to stay off the table. ....... Instead of a wish list, he came with a blacklist. ........ sending Mr. Murphy to the floor to beg his colleagues to end a vicious, decades-long cycle of inaction on gun safety and finally do something. .......... Now, sitting with his fellow Democrat, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and two conservative Republicans, Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, to try to hammer out a compromise, he did not even bother mentioning the sweeping gun control measures he and his party had long demanded. .......... the first substantial step in nearly three decades to toughen gun laws. ........ The National Rifle Association was deeply involved in drafting the bill, although the gun rights group ultimately opposed it, as was Everytown, the nation’s leading gun safety group. Their improbable pairing mirrored the unlikely bipartisan coalition of senators that forged the compromise, beginning not with lofty hopes of a historic deal, but by checking their respective priorities at the door. ......... “There’s a couple of ways to do things around here: One is if you want a result; the other is if you just want to make a political statement,” Mr. Cornyn said this week. He added, “I think the Democrats wanted to get a result and we wanted to get a result, so this is what we came up with.” ......... Then Mr. Murphy texted Ms. Sinema after seeing her quoted saying she wanted to talk with Democrats and Republicans to see if there was anything Congress could do to protect frightened children nationwide. ........ “Are you serious?” he typed out on his phone. Ms. Sinema responded that she was. .......... Republicans made sure the N.R.A. was involved, knowing that while the group was unlikely to back any compromise, its vocal opposition could quickly kill any hope of a deal. ...... Mr. Murphy and Ms. Sinema were simultaneously meeting with a broader group of senators in both parties, cobbling together eight other centrists and veterans of past failed efforts at gun safety deals. None of the Republicans was facing re-election, giving the group more political latitude to act without fear of retribution from voters in November’s midterm elections. .......... Senators wrestled with an array of sticking points, sometimes over Thai food or wine Ms. Sinema brought from a Texas-born winemaker. ....... A week earlier, he and Mr. McConnell had commissioned a poll of 1,000 gun-owning households across the country and found that most supported the key elements of the emerging bill. A solid majority backed increasing federal funding for states to maintain or implement red flag laws, and more than 80 percent supported closing the boyfriend loophole and allowing law enforcement to have more time to examine juvenile and mental health records.

Decades Ago, Alito Laid Out Methodical Strategy to Eventually Overrule Roe A slow-burning hostility to constitutional abortion rights runs through the career of the author of the Supreme Court opinion overturning them......... how he slowly and patiently sought to chip away at abortion rights throughout his career before demolishing them in the majority opinion on Friday. ......... “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Alito wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.” ........... Even “abortion supporters have found it hard to defend Roe’s reasoning,” he wrote. “One prominent constitutional scholar wrote that he ‘would vote for a statute very much like the one the Court end[ed] up drafting’ if he were ‘a legislator,’ but his assessment of Roe was memorable and brutal: Roe was ‘not constitutional law’ at all and gave ‘almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.’” ........... In a memo on the cases, Mr. Alito displayed not only tactical acumen but personal passion, taking umbrage with a judge’s objection that forcing women to listen to details about fetal development before their abortions would cause “emotional distress, anxiety, guilt and in some cases increased physical pain.” ........ Good, he wrote: Such results “are part of the responsibility of moral choice.” ........ “I personally believe very strongly,” he wrote in an application, that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.” ........... But in 2016 and 2020, just as in 1985, a new frontal attack on abortion rights would have failed. With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg still on the bench, there were not five votes to overturn Roe. This year, there was no longer need for a restrained, slower-burning approach. ......... “Abortion presents a profound moral question,” Justice Alito wrote. “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each state from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

In Unusually Political Speech, Alito Says Liberals Pose Threat to Liberties The conservative justice’s pointed remarks, which he made in a speech to the Federalist Society, reflected thoughts he has expressed in his opinions. ........ Legal experts said there were few clear lines governing what justices may say off the bench.Credit... ....... that liberals posed a growing threat to religious liberty and free speech. ........ While Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has tried to signal that the Supreme Court is apolitical, Justice Alito’s comments sent a different message. ....... “Justice Alito’s speech Thursday was more befitting a Trump rally than a legal society” ........ Mr. Trump has repeatedly credited the Federalist Society with helping draw up his lists of potential nominees to the Supreme Court. All three of his appointees — Justices Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh — appeared on those lists. ......... Public appearances by justices before friendly audiences are commonplace, and several of the court’s more liberal justices have appeared before the American Constitution Society, a liberal group. But the comments they make on such occasions are generally anodyne. ......... Justice Alito’s comments were more pointed, and they were consistent with his sense that his views have not been given the respect they deserve. He felt bruised by some of the questions at his confirmation hearings in 2006 .......... He was not pleased when President Barack Obama criticized the court’s Citizens United campaign finance decision at the State of the Union address in 2010 with six justices present. Mr. Obama said the decision had “reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.” ......... Justice Alito responded by mouthing the words “not true.” He has not attended another State of the Union address. ......... “I am not diminishing the severity of the virus’s threat to public health,” he said. “All that I’m saying is this, and I think that it is an indisputable statement of fact: We have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020.” ......... The state treated houses of worship less favorably than it did casinos, he said. Casinos were limited to 50 percent of their fire-code capacities, while houses of worship were subject to a flat 50-person limit. .......... The Nevada decision was based in part on a 1905 Supreme Court decision concerning an outbreak of smallpox in Cambridge, Mass., the home of Harvard University. “Now I’m all in favor of preventing dangerous things from issuing out of Cambridge and infecting the rest of the country and the world,” said Justice Alito, who attended Princeton and Yale Law School. “It would be good if what originates in Cambridge stayed in Cambridge.” ............ “Tolerance for opposing views is now in short supply at many law schools and in the broader academic community,” he said. ......... “You can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” Justice Alito said. “Until very recently that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now it’s considered bigotry.”

Arlan Hamilton Went From Homeless to Running $20 Million in VC Funds. Here's How She Did It Arlan Hamilton was homeless and sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco Airport in 2015, when an investor wrote the first check that set her on the way to becoming a venture capitalist. ......... Hamilton, then 34, hadn’t attended college and had been working in the music industry. But she read about venture capital and decided that she needed to break into the elite and largely white and male corps of investors funding startup companies. ............ Now, six-and-a-half years later, Hamilton’s VC firm, Backstage Capital, has invested about $20 million in nearly 200 companies, and is in the process of raising a new $30 million investment fund. Backstage has focused on underrepresented founders, including women, people of color, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs. ......... Companies with only women founders received just 2% of venture capital funds invested last year, according to PitchBook. Investments in Black and Latinx female founders represented just 0.64% of VC investment since 2018 ........... “I want to share this journey,

not because I think I’m exceptional, but because, like many people, I have been exceptionally underestimated”

............ To help finance her firm’s operations and open up access to returns from venture capital investments, Hamilton last year raised about $5 million using a new crowdfunding model. ......... I didn’t know what a venture capitalist was in 2010. .......... I didn’t have much money and I didn’t have any connections in that world, but I knew it was for me. .......... 90%-plus of all venture funding and angel funding goes to white men in a country where they make up one-third of the population. That caught me off guard as a gay Black woman in the South with no connections. I thought, ‘That doesn’t seem like that’s going to end well, if that stays the same. ......... I taught myself how to raise money for a fund by diving into any book I could get my hands on and any interview I could get my hands on. I started making phone calls, sending emails in the dozens at a time and little by little started making breadcrumbs and finding my way. And then, you know, an overnight five years later I got a check for $25,000 that would kick off my investing career. ......... 6,500 people invested approximately $5 million over an eight-day period in Q1 of 2021 to now become partial owners of Backstage Management Co., which shares in any upside that we have as a fund across any investment we’ve ever made in the past and will ever make in the future, as long as they hold that stock. .......... when it comes to institutional investors and corporate investors who are throwing money at one company at a time, in some cases that fail, in my opinion it’s insulting that we have to scrape for so little. .......... we’ve only raised $6 million of our $30 million raise. And there are white men who use our thesis and get $200 million, $300 million to start a new fund because they worked at Facebook for two years. But they haven’t done the work that we’ve done for the past decade, I’ve done for the past decade and our team has done for the past six, seven years. ............ So Microsoft, with Satya Nadella at the helm, they invested in our accelerator four years ago. We didn’t have a relationship with them post-George Floyd. .......... with Bank of America, every single person I talked to was Black, who had the decision making ability. On PayPal, nobody was Black and they passed. JP Morgan, Black person was going to say, yes, white person said no. I just recognize patterns. ............. One is the lottery is really risky, but this country has no problem letting Black and brown people spend half their paycheck on the lottery in certain states, casinos, et cetera. ........... My activism is in being successful, wealthy, and also opening up access for others who look like me to do the same. .......... There are people who will chain themselves outside of government buildings, or so they don’t knock down this building, don’t do this pipeline. They’re risking life and limb. They’re risking reputation. They’re risking livelihood because they believe in something so strongly. That is what I’m doing by being so brazen in public, and being so non-humble in public. And also I’m being called a key maker, not a gatekeeper. So I’m throwing open the gates for others to follow me and in doing so I risk life and limb, reputation, livelihood every single day, because I want it to change something in the future, whether I see it or not. I want it to effect change. ........... I will be one of the richest Black women in America, probably in the echelons of Oprah and Beyonce and Rihanna and Serena and all them.

Backstage reflects after reaching 200th investment “Meaning that in 2014 and ’15, when I was telling anyone who would listen that I would invest in 100 companies by 2020, I never imagined we’d be at 200,” she told Green Room. “It was my moonshot idea. One hundred was my moonshot idea. It also signifies and reconfirms what I knew a decade ago, which is that women, people of color, LGBTQ+ founders and others who are underestimated are simply that, are underestimated. And we’re always here. We were always building and innovating and being simply overlooked. So, this means a lot for the ecosystem.” .........

the brilliant underestimated founders building companies.

........ “They believed in us and the market for digital nomads before a lot of other people did,” Carriman said. “And here we are today. The entire world is now working remote. And as a result, the work from anywhere digital nomad lifestyle has gone mainstream and is expanding.” ........ Moving forward, Backstage also plans to focus more on follow-on investments rather than first-time investments in startups. What hasn’t changed, however, is Hamilton’s gut instinct that she continues to use to this day ........ “Somewhere around 60 investments,” Hamilton said, “I stopped trying to predict the future and figured out that trusting my instinct and trusting the founders and where they would lead me was the best strategy.”

How Backstage Capital is creating the next generation of venture capitalists

Venture capital is still mostly pale, male and stale.

......... The idea is to invest in “the future of firsts” by investing in first-time founders, first-generation individuals and early stage startup ideas with an emphasis on underrepresented founders. ........ The pilot program taught 21 apprentices how to evaluate potential deals, identify trends, build a fund from scratch and more. Apprentices also made deal recommendations to the Backstage Capital investment team. ......... Deal warehousing entails investing in a handful of companies before forming a fund to show traction to potential investors. ......... “What’s ‘fun’ for emerging managers is it’s this catch 22 that if you don’t have money, you can’t invest in anyone,” Heyman said. “And if you can’t invest in anyone, you can’t show traction.” ........ Part of achieving those goals entails raising $50,000 through a regulatory crowdfunding campaign. Johnson said he was inspired by Backstage’s Reg CF campaign where the firm raised $4.7 million in one week.

Backstage Capital receives $1M investment from Comcast Backstage has been investing in underestimated founders since 2015. Since then, the firm has built one of the largest portfolios of underrepresented founders in venture capital by investing in nearly 200 startups to date. ......... Backstage Capital made its first investment in Career Karma back in 2018 with a $25K check from a $1.25 million fund. Its latest raise, which Backstage participated in, returned two-thirds of Backstage Capital’s fund. ........... As Backstage Capital founder Arlan Hamilton previously said, the exits from Backstage Capital’s portfolio companies “will be like popcorn, with an exit here, then a few weeks later, there, etc.”

“There are Black people in the future.” It’s time to invest in them. Julia Collins, founder and CEO at Planet FWD, says the lack of equitable access to capital for Black founders is “connected to the core of what’s broken in our country.” ......... the data that diversity is good for business and key to maximizing returns has been out for years. Still, in the first half of 2021, Black founders in the U.S. raised just 1.2% of all venture dollars raised by U.S. startups ........

the lack of funding that goes to Black founders is deeply connected to white supremacy, structural injustice and systematic marginalization.

......... The reason why [access to capital] is such a sticky problem is because it’s connected to the core of what’s broken in our country.” .......... “I would argue access to capital is the only issue that Black founders have to deal with,” Brackeen said. “The real problem is even with the right traction, they can’t get the capital they need. So you get into this truly mathematical conundrum where the better the startup does, the more cash it needs and the less cash that is available, the riskier the business becomes. There’s nothing more dangerous than scaling without the money you need. It can all come crashing down quite quickly.” ............ Part of what led Brackeen to start Lightship Capital was to be the investor he never had. ....... “Arlan, though she tries, can’t fund every single Black company ever,” Brackeen said. “She’s like carrying America on her back. So yeah, there’s got to be more and I wanted to be part of that solution.” .......... LPs are the ones that provide the capital necessary for funds to invest in startups. Typically, LPs are institutional investors, such as pension funds, family offices, college endowments and trusts. ...... That theory aligns with anecdotes of Black firm managers who receive early-stage meetings with investors, but fail to receive the necessary funding. ......... “LPs have created this wild Hunger Games scenario where they’re asking all of us to beat each other to the death. And they won’t adjust for stage.” ......... Andreessen Horowitz, with $12 billion in assets under management at the time, announced an initial $2.2 million to go into its Talent x Opportunity initiative. Array VC, which recently closed a $56.1 million fund, set aside $1 million for racially diverse founders in 2020. And, SoftBank, which operates the $100 billion Vision Fund, set aside $100 million to go toward Black, Latinx and Native American founders............ Increasing access to capital for Black founders is as easy as making the hire and sending the wire .... and as hard as changing the entire fabric of our society ........... And, as we’ve seen throughout the entire existence of America, racial equity across any facet, whether that’s housing, education, employment and so on, is hard to achieve. ....... “If we could just get our fair share based on population of venture capital, you would see the most prosperous country in the world” ....... Black people are “keenly aware of all the ways the system doesn’t work.” ........ she recognizes the system doesn’t work for her and has no allegiance to it

Venture capital is a black box. Backstage Capital’s Christie Pitts wants to make it more transparent.

how pale, male and stale the venture capital world is

......... Given that women hold the majority of spending power in the U.S. and that people of color will soon make up the majority in the U.S., Pitts assumed those folks would receive a large share of the venture capital funding that goes to startups. ......... I rarely have an opportunity to research the company ahead of a meeting.

Yelp CEO: Hybrid is the 'worst'

Anatomy of a Product Placement As consumers skip ads and streaming content balloons, brands aim to be everywhere all at once. ....... When Larry David casually opens the door in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” those shelves need to be full of food and drink, and each one of those items is likely to have a brand: Perrier sparkling water, Pacific chicken broth, Clover cottage cheese. Maybe there will even be a box of Cheerios on top of it, as in a recent episode of “Euphoria.” The fridge itself will have a brand, too, of course. All of this must usually be negotiated through carefully considered placements that give these products their 15 seconds (or less) of fame. ............. The first documented example was in 1896, when the Lumière brothers, often credited as the earliest filmmakers, agreed to feature soap in their film “Washing Day in Switzerland.” .........

the rise of streaming has led to an explosion in product placement.

......... Product placement is now a $23 billion industry, up by an estimated 14 percent since 2020. .......... (Hollywood Branded even has a warehouse full of discontinued BlackBerry cellphones, handpicked PassionRoses, minimalist eero Wi-Fi routers, and all manner of things they can ship to sets on a moment’s notice.) ....... “Say you have a Montblanc pen, you automatically think, That character has a pen worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.” ....... “If you have a female whiskey drinker, you know she’ll be a badass character,” said Erin Schmidt, chief product placement officer at BEN, another agency that helps to coordinate product placement. “You don’t need to write more script in there because the brand gives you that contextual element.” ........... A car company might lend an expensive car to a set in exchange for an appearance in the show, or S’well water might mail a case of bottles to propmasters for consideration. (With cars, Schmidt said, there’s often another kind of trade-off: A company might agree to give a certain number that can be destroyed in an action scene, in exchange for being featured in another scene.) There are paid placements, too, but particularly with large streaming companies like Netflix and HBO, it’s more frequently a matter of finagling loan-and-trade agreements to reduce production budgets. ......... “If James Bond were shown drinking only milk, or getting in a Ford Fiesta and not an Aston Martin, viewers would feel that crossed some kind of line” ....... “In every scene, there was an in-place money agreement. There was a kitchen appliance that was in a third of the movie for over $1 million — literally written into the story.” .......... Surveys showed that layering visual and verbal references worked best for Zillow. “Now Zillow as a verb has become a part of the cultural norm,” Schmidt said. .......... when a character on “And Just Like That” had a heart attack while riding a Peloton — causing the real-life brand’s stock to plunge. ......... Certain items can take on almost talismanic importance, like the BlackBerry that Kevin Spacey’s character used in the Netflix series “House of Cards.” ........ verbal mentions, inserted in the script, worked well for Zillow. “We found really fun ways to integrate it verbally, like, ‘I Zillowed his house and it’s only worth x,” Schmidt said. “Saying ‘I’m going to Zillow that house’ became a part of the cultural norm.” .............. At an industry conference in May, Amazon announced that it would be experimenting with a beta version of “virtual product placement,” which the company is testing in shows like “Reacher,” “Jack Ryan,” and the “Bosch” franchise. “It creates the ability to film your series without thinking about all that is required with traditional placements during production” ........... “I think the bigger context is that product placement acclimatizes viewers to the inevitability of capitalist exchange,” Deery, the professor, said. “It normalizes the idea that there is a commercial motive behind almost everything we experience in our increasingly mediatized and branded experience.” .......... this is “its own kind of realism” in a world where brands do reign supreme ........ “Everything is a brand,” Jones said. “You product place roses, almonds. You can do roofing, shingles.” And, of course, the refrigerator. “Refrigerators are full of real products, and you want that to be realistic,” she added. “Unless it’s full of Tupperware. But Tupperware is a brand, too.”

Sunday, June 26, 2022

26: Peggy Noonan

To Seek Only A Military Solution Is Dangerous

Saturday, June 25, 2022

25: Maharashtra

Yoga vs Gym: How to be super-fit and build muscles One aspect is that most of the vital organs of the body are in the chest and abdomen region. These organs are not rigid, they are not fixed with bolts and clamps. They are loose, hanging in nets. Only if you sit with your spine erect, your organs will be in the maximum possible comfort. Now, the modern idea of comfort is to lean backwards and slouch. If you sit in such a posture, your organs will never be comfortable. They will not function the way they need to. ............ Becoming healthy and peaceful will anyway happen but these are the side effects of Yoga, not the focus of Yoga. You don’t have to do Yoga to lose weight or to stay healthy. You just have to eat sensibly, play tennis or take a swim. The focus of Yoga is to set another dimension alive within you that is beyond the physical. Only when that is alive, slowly the existence opens up to you in a million different ways. Things that you never thought existed become a living reality for you, simply because a dimension beyond the physical has become alive.

Uddhav Thackeray’s episode is a reminder of what NTR faced in 1995 Uddhav Thackeray’s story is similar to what megastar NT Rama Rao faced in 1995. NTR went down badly and even died as a disillusioned leader in January 1996, allegedly for want of good medical care. .......... On August 26, 1995, nine months into his third term as chief minister of Andhra, his son-in-law and trusted lieutenant Chandrababu Naidu rebelled against him. Naidu defended his coup, saying he had been forced to act against his father-in-law because of NTR’s second wife Lakshmi Parvathi’s growing influence in party affairs and the state government. Lakshmi Parvathi was NTR’s biographer, and he had married her in 1993, much against his family’s wishes. ......... On that August day, Hyderabad saw the 72-year-old actor running amok on the city’s streets with a metaphoric dagger in his back to demonstrate that he had been betrayed and backstabbed. Suddenly, NTR was a nobody; his fall as dramatic as his spectacular rise. Virtually all members of his family and most of the Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) 200 legislators deserted the chief minister.

Maharashtra political crisis: What to expect today in the Uddhav Thackeray-Eknath Shinde war Maharashtra’s political crisis is deepening by the hour with the Eknath Shinde camp swelling and Uddhav Thackeray floundering as his Shiv Sena MLAs desert him. ......... Shinde wrote to Zirwal asserting his appointment as the leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party. ......... Shinde, hinting at the BJP's support for him, also said: "One national party which is a superpower has told me that whatever decision you have taken is historic and ensured us [rebel MLAs] that whatever help is needed, will be given."

Maharashtra political row: What could Sena rebel Eknath Shinde’s next move be? Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said that he has the support of 40 out of the 55 Sena MLAs. Uncertainty looms over the MVA govt in Maharashtra led by Uddhav Thackerary. But, what is expected to happen next? ......... rebel leader Eknath Shinde. He has claimed that he has been backed by 40 out of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs. All of them are lodged in the Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati, Assam.

Maharashtra crisis: As Sainiks fight, will Sena survive? Whether or not the MVA government will survive is not the question. The question is whether Uddhav Thackeray can save his Shiv Sena. ........ On Wednesday, rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, with a group of party MLAs, moved from Gujarat to Assam, from one BJP-ruled state to another, as the Maharashtra government continued to battle for survival. ........ From being the Sena chief whip, who ensured MLAs voted in the Legislative Assembly as the leadership wished, to being a man who changed the game in Maharashtra’s politics, Shinde has claimed the support of 40 of the 55 Sena MLAs and six Independents. ......... Shinde has said he and the other rebel MLAs will carry Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray's 'Hindutva' ideology forward. This is possible only when they go with the BJP and quit a coalition that also has the Congress, and its breakaway faction, the NCP, that the Sena founder fought tooth and nail. ....... The rebels have said they don’t have any issue with the Sena leadership but objected to the style of functioning of the NCP and the Congress.

Eknath Shinde, the man who changed the game in Maharashtra’s politics Eknath Shinde, an auto driver in Thane, lost two of his children in a tragic accident. His son and daughter drowned in Satara in front of his eyes. Shinde became reclusive and decided to stay away from politics. He was a Shiv Sena corporator back then. ........ After Raj Thackeray and Narayan Rane's revolt, it was Shinde who brought crowds to Sena rallies. During the 2019 political crisis, it was Shinde who wrestled back a few MLAs. ........ He was named Leader of the Opposition in 2014 after the Shiv Sena and the BJP fell out with each other....... He recently accompanied Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray on his trip to Ayodhya.

Uddhav Thackeray is to blame for Eknath Shinde rebellion Uddhav Thackeray felt that no one could challenge him as he was the party boss as well as the Chief Minister of the state and hence he was free to take decisions ignoring the wishes of lakhs of Shiv Sainiks who had toiled hard day and night to keep the saffron Sena flag flying. ....... Eknath Shinde is firm in his conviction that the Shiv Sena must ally with the BJP, return to Hindutva ideology and break all ties with the NCP-Congress. The fact that the vast majority of Shiv Sena MLAs, 40 out of a total 55, are currently with Shinde in Guwahati proves the wide resentment against Uddhav Thackeray, who ditched Hindutva ideology and broke the alliance with the BJP for the sake of power. Despite being CM, Thackeray could not inspire confidence nor keep his MLAs together. This proves he is an incapable leader and a poor administrator.

Pathaan: Shah Rukh Khan spills beans about action thriller’s sequel and trailer Shah Rukh Khan completed 30 years in the film industry today, June 25. On the occasion, the actor interacted with his fans and talked about his upcoming film, Pathaan. .......... Shah Rukh Khan completed 30 years in the Hindi film industry today, June 25. To mark the occasion and thank his fans for their love and support, the actor did an Instagram live session. He also talked about his upcoming film, Pathaan and spilt beans about its trailer and sequel. ......... Salman Khan will make a cameo appearance in the film.

'Have the will to fight back': Uddhav Thackeray amid rebellion by Eknath Shinde, Sena MLAs Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he has the will to fight back amid the political crisis in the state...... They will not survive without using Thackeray and Shiv Sena's name," Uddhav Thackeray said in an address to Sena Vibhag Pramukhs on Friday.

Nobody is leaving party, Eknath Shinde chosen leader by majority: Sena rebel Deepak Kesarkar Shiv Sena MLA Deepak Vasant Kesarkar on Saturday said that rebel MLAs will not quit Shiv Sena and they possess a two-thirds majority to follow the path they wanted. The rebel MLA also claimed that there is no need to merge with any other party. ......... MLA Kesarkar said, "We are still a part of Shiv Sena. But sometimes MLAs have expectations. We had told the party president that we had taken a decision to stay with the alliance we fought polls with. We still believe Uddhav Thackeray will listen to us.

Uddhav Thackeray won't resign, will unleash Sena on streets: Sanjay Raut amid Maha drama Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut issued an open warning to the Eknath Shinde-led rebel camp of unleashing Shiv Sainiks on the streets, adding that Uddhav Thackeray would not resign amid the ongoing political crisis in the state. ........ Raut told India Today, “This is the anger of the Shiv Sainiks. Fire once lit will not be doused. Shiv Sena will fight till the end,” as reports of vandalism emerged from different parts of Maharashtra and the office of a rebel Sena MLA was vandalised. ....... Raut also challenged Eknath Shinde and his camp to come back and face the party in Mumbai.

Maharashtra, Bihar, Assam, Goa: How BJP cut bigger allies to size The political crisis in Maharashtra is far from over. With many Sena MLAs reposing faith in rebel Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena is looking at an uncertain future. ....... The political crisis in Maharashtra is pushing the dominant party of the state, Shiv Sena, to the brink of division with many Sena MLAs reposing faith in rebel Eknath Shinde defying the might of their chief, Uddhav Thackeray. On Wednesday, hours after announcing that he was prepared to resign, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray moved to his family home, Matoshree, leaving the ‘Varsha’ bungalow, which served as the CM’s official residence. ............ Eknath Shinde has claimed that 48 MLAs are with him out of which 42 belong to the Shiv Sena. If his claims are true, no one can do anything to stop the division of the party, which may be far bigger than the earlier ones. This is the largest internal uprising within the party, which has earlier seen blows by people, such as Chhagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane, and Raj Thackeray. .......... The BJP claims that it is unrelated to the ongoing political unrest in Maharashtra. But we all know that the two BJP ruling states, Gujarat and Assam, were chosen to host the rebel Sena MLAs. ........ After the 2019 Maharashtra elections, the Shiv Sena broke with the BJP, and together with the NCP and the Congress, they formed the MVA government in the state. The Shiv Sena at that time cheated their pre-poll partner BJP, who were allies in Maharashtra since 1989. Now questions are being asked whether BJP is taking revenge for 2019 by assisting the splitting of the Shiv Sena. ........ There are instances that show that BJP tries to subdue their alliance partner. They manipulated the partnership to the saffron party's benefit. One of the biggest examples in recent times is that of CM Nitish Kumar's party, JD(U), which has been overtaken by the BJP in Bihar. ......... Now, after two-and-half years, the Shiv Sena is facing the biggest challenge to save their party from the biggest division due to the rebellion of Eknath Shinde, which claims the support of more than 40 Sena MLAs, which many political commentators rightly are pointing out is not possible without the assistance of BJP. ...... In the 2020 Assembly election in Bihar, both JD(U) and BJP fought the election together along with some smaller parties. JD(U) fought in 115 seats and BJP contested 110 seats. The BJP was able to win 74 seats, but the JD(U) won only 43 seats. Their alliance was able to form a government in the state under Nitish Kumar as the CM. Since November 2020, both parties have shared an anxious and edgy relationship. Nitish's views on population control, rewriting history books, the issue of prohibition, and caste censuses have made the BJP uncomfortable. In the protest over the Agnipath issue in Bihar, the state BJP leaders targeted CM Nitish Kumar. ......... The present position of JD(U) is the weakest since 2005. ......... Many doubt if the BJP will let Nitish Kumar serve out his current entire tenure or not. ....... The AGP's strength in the assembly decreased to 14 seats in 2016 from 67 seats in the assembly in 1985 and 59 seats in the 1996 elections. In the 2021 assembly elections, the BJP fought in 93 seats, winning 60 seats, and AFP contested in 29 seats and was able to win only 9 seats. It now seems that AGP is dependent on the BJP for its political survival. ............ Similar to the former Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra, the MGP, the oldest regional party in Goa, has had a tumultuous history with the BJP. The BJP under Pramod Sawant poached two of the MGP's three MLAs in 2019, while abruptly removing Dhavalikar from his position as deputy chief minister.

Maharashtra political row: What could Sena rebel Eknath Shinde’s next move be? He has claimed that he has been backed by 40 out of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs. All of them are lodged in the Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati, Assam. ......... Eknath Shinde is likely to be elected as leader of the Shiv Sena rebels. They have claimed that they are the original Shiv Sena as they have more than two-thirds of MLAs in their camp. ........ Shinde might also approach Deputy Assembly Speaker Narhari Jhirwal with a request to recognise his group as the original Shiv Sena in the Assembly.

How successful has 'Operation Lotus' been in Modi era 'Operation Lotus' refers to the BJP's alleged strategy for gaining power in states where it lacked enough seats to form a government on its own. ......... While in power, the Congress lost Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka to the BJP, which was able to wrest a number of its MLAs and form governments there. ........ Kamal Nath’s government was plunged into crisis when 22 Congress legislators, including six ministers, tendered their resignations. The development came after veteran Congress politician Jyotiraditya Scindia announced his resignation. A day after quitting Scindia joined BJP. .......... He further said, “three times, my government was able to demonstrate its majority in the house. It was intolerable to the BJP. Consequently, it intended to overthrow my government with the help of a maharaj (Jyotiraditya Scindia) and 22 opportunistic MLAs”. ............ With 17 seats, the Congress was the single-largest party after the elections, while the BJP got 13. The 'magic figure' that had to be achieved was 21. Despite falling short of this goal on its own, the BJP was able to gain power thanks to the Goa Forward Party, which switched sides after campaigning alongside the Congress throughout the elections. ......... In the year 2016, the BJP was successful in forming government in Arunachal Pradesh, even when in 60 members assembly, it had only '11' MLAs. A BJP government was installed after 33, out of 43 Peoples' Party of Arunachal (PPA) MLAs led by Chief Minister Pema Khandu, joined the saffron party. With majority of 44 MLAs BJP formed its own government in the state.

As Sena rebels float new group, Uddhav moves EC against misuse of Balasaheb’s name Shinde, who claims to have the support of over 40 MLAs, met BJP's Devendra Fadnavis in Gujarat's Vadodara last night to discuss possible government formation in Maharashtra. Home Minister Amit Shah was also in Vadodara last night ......... Amid all this, Sanjay Raut said that the party will "unleash Sena on streets" and will fight till the end. Raut also challenged Eknath Shinde and his camp to come back and face the party in Mumbai. Uddhav Thackeray's son and minister Aaditya Thackeray said this was a battle between truth and lies and the Sena would win.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Roe V. Wade