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Woody Allen, Mia Farrow and what popular culture wants to believe

But at the heart of the matter were these two stories. Until very recently, audiences preferred one that allowed Allen to continue making films, films in which comparatively helpless young women willingly entered into relationships with older, more powerful men.

This summer and last fall, when my marriage imploded very quietly, I spent the little free time I had jogging in the park near my Brooklyn apartment, trying, I guess, to understand my own story, 3.3 miles at a time. While I was running I listened to “You’re Wrong About,” an irreverent and sharp podcast that often talks about maligned women from the 80s, 90s and 00s – Anna Nicole Smith, Tonya Harding, Janet Jackson, Monica Lewinsky, a half – dozen more.

These stories have a wide variety of hairs in terms of individual guilt, but in any case, popular culture has found a way to blame the woman, often to excuse a more blameworthy man. Take, for example, Janet Jackson’s Nipplegate, a scandal that never touched Justin Timberlake. Or Monica Lewinsky, described as a slut, as if it somehow reverses the outrageous imbalance of power in Bill Clinton’s relationship with her. It is reminiscent of another lesson I learned from the media of the ’80s and’ 90s: the only good victim is a perfect victim. Otherwise, it was probably his fault.

This particular narrative reappears in the recent documentary “Framing Britney Spears”. This film shows the turn-of-the-century media panting to tell the story of a star acting inappropriately, a party girl going wild when she should have been at home. “Britney: Out of Control,” read a cover of Us Weekly. Who is in control? Ideally, the tabloid framing poses the Spears spiral to its own bare feet. It avoids attacking the people who hold real power, magazine editors and record label executives who shaped, monitored and profited from its image.

I asked Sarah Marshall, journalist and host of “You’re wrong”, why popular culture likes to portray women as accomplices and deserving of contempt. “It justifies subjugating them,” she said. “If women are randomly slaughtered for possessing what we consider to be an alarming degree of power, even if they don’t, then maybe they will be more afraid of the way they are. ‘exercise.

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Biden’s policies are popular. What does this mean for Republicans?

The American public has given President Biden favorable reviews since taking office last month, and the policies he is rushing to put in place appear widely popular, polls show.

And notably, as he signs a wave of executive action and pushes a major $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, Mr Biden faces muted opposition from Republicans until ‘now – a reflection of the party’s weakened position as it juggles two increasingly divided factions.

“I think the Republicans found Biden to be a lot more progressive than they thought he was, but I think we’re too busy trying to kill ourselves to really focus on it,” said Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group of centrist Republicans that includes more than 60 members of the House and Senate.

This week, the House GOP caucus met to discuss the fate of two lawmakers representing opposite ends of the party’s identity: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Republican No.3 from the room. Ms Greene is one of the chamber’s most ardent loyalists to former President Donald J. Trump, while Ms Cheney lobbies to dissociate the party from her brand of populism.

The result of Wednesday’s meeting was something of a deadlock, with Republican leaders allowing Ms Greene to retain her powers on the committee despite a history of offensive and conspiratorial statements, and Ms Cheney comfortably retaining her leading position against a mutiny by Trump’s allies. Thursday was to bring another moment of truth for Republicans in the House, with the entire body voting on whether to remove Ms. Greene from her committee positions.

This intra-party divide gives Mr. Biden “the upper hand” as he pushes his legislative agenda forward, said Doug Schwartz, director of polls at the University of Quinnipiac, who released a nationwide poll on Wednesday. “He advocates policies that have strong public support so that Republicans are more in a defensive posture because they oppose popular policies,” Schwartz said.

Public dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in the United States remains high: about seven in ten say they are unhappy with the way things are going, according to the Quinnipiac poll. But optimism is on the rise and many are pinning their hopes on the new president. When asked about the next four years under Mr. Biden’s leadership, 61% of Americans described themselves as optimistic.

In a Monmouth University poll released last week, 42% of Americans said the country was heading in the right direction – far less than half, but still more than in any Monmouth poll dating back to 2013 .

The Quinnipiac Inquiry found that more than two-thirds of Americans support Mr Biden’s coronavirus relief program, with a large majority also supporting certain key elements – including a permanent increase in a minimum wage of $ 15 and a series of $ 1,400 stimulus checks to individuals. On the issue of stimulus payments, even 64% of Republicans backed them.

On a series of other Biden policies, the poll found broad support: joining the Paris climate accord, paving the way for citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and ending Mr. Trump’s ban. to travel from certain predominantly Muslim countries.

It should be mentioned that pollsters across the country underestimated support for Mr. Trump in November for the second time in a row; Until the survey’s researchers complete a full post-mortem analysis of the 2020 poll, it will be impossible to rule out the possibility that some polls are still missing some of its supporters.

Yet “generally smart Republicans try to choose their battles,” said Robert Cahaly, a Republican pollster in Georgia who has worked with candidates both in the populist wing of the party and in its establishment.

Mr. Biden, for his part, will seek to capitalize on the Republicans’ compromised position. “Ultimately America wanted a more empathetic president, but people don’t want a president who seems weak,” Mr. Cahaly said.

But he and other Republican strategists have warned that if Mr Biden moves too hastily on legislation seen as left-wing, he could face a backlash from some of the disgruntled Republicans who backed him in November. Ms Chamberlain said if Mr Biden’s environmental policies were seen to hurt the economy, he could find himself in a hole. “I think you let them pass laws left and right and then you expose them for what they are,” Ms. Chamberlain said of her suggested strategy for Republicans.

Americans are not holding their breath for a new dawn of bipartisanship. Only 21% of Monmouth poll respondents said they were very confident Mr Biden would be able to persuade Washington lawmakers to work more together. Another 39 percent were somewhat confident.

Although Mr Biden receives favorable job evaluations overall, 16% of Americans in the Monmouth and Quinnipiac polls said they had not made a decision. Many of those people are one-time GOP voters who have lost faith in the party led by Mr. Trump and are waiting to see how Mr. Biden governs, longtime Republican pollster Whit Ayres said.

“Basically the approval numbers on Biden are Trump’s disapproval,” Ayres said. “But the disapproval numbers on Biden are lower than the approval numbers on Trump – suggesting some people are waiting to see what he’s doing.”

And those who stay behind are proven to give him the benefit of the doubt. In an Associated Press / NORC poll released Thursday, in which respondents were pressured to give an answer, his approval rose to 61%. Thirty-eight percent disagreed.

The opinions of the Republican Party, on the other hand, are much darker.

In the Quinnipiac poll, 64% of Americans said the GOP was going in the wrong direction, including an overwhelming 70% independent and 30% Republican supporters, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

The party’s base is now heavily focused on Trump supporters. “The Trump base is so important as a part of the party because a lot of my types of Republicans have left the party,” said Ms. Chamberlain, the leader of the centrist group. “But they want to come back to the party.”

These staunch pro-Trump Republicans express deep frustration with their representation in Washington. Most GOP voters continue to believe the November vote was rigged, echoing Mr. Trump’s false claims, and many are angered that lawmakers in Washington were not able to keep him in power.

Partly as a result, only 50% of Republicans said they were satisfied with GOP lawmakers in Washington, according to the Quinnipiac poll. That’s down from 83% among Republican voters nationwide in a Quinnipiac survey a year ago.

“Two people can both look at the same house and not like it, but for different reasons,” Mr. Cahaly said. “There is just one element of Republicans who want their old party back and hate the new populism. Then there are Republicans who like the idea of ​​it being a workers’ party and want old Republicans to become Democrats. This fight will take place in the primaries, in the town halls. This party is in a small civil war. “

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Purple was a popular color at the inauguration, and masks were a must have accessory.

Forget about red and blue (states). The theme for Biden’s inauguration was “America United,” and the color of the day appeared to be purple – the shade that bridges the gap by bringing the two colors together (not to mention one of the original suffragists’ colors, whose are in progress with the first woman vice-president).

“Purple is the color of loyalty, steadfastness in purpose, unwavering steadfastness to a cause,” the National Woman’s Party wrote in a newsletter in 1913.

Although Dr. Jill Biden coordinated her Markarian blue coat with her husband’s blue Ralph Lauren tie, Vice President Kamala Harris served up a bipartisan message in a shiny single-breasted coat and dress by Christopher John Rodgers, as did former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a Ralph Lauren grape pantsuit. And Michelle Obama, the former first lady, wore wine pants with a coordinating turtleneck and a long coat by Sergio Hudson, a young black designer.

Masks were also part of the material culture of this inauguration. Dr Biden wore a sky blue mask that appeared to be custom-made to match his coat, and other members of his family chose a similar monochromatic theme. Ms Harris opted for a shiny black number that complimented her purple outfit, one of her signature mask looks.

Many men have gone for paper medical masks, but a few have gone for solid shades or face coverings with badges on them. Former President George W. Bush wore a mask made by Rhoback, a company created by former Capitol Hill staff.

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A popular political site has made a sharp turn to the right. What guided him?

Other times his stories have been inaccurate. Another Real Clear investigative article from April falsely identified the author of an anonymous New York Times Op-Ed article written by a member of the Trump administration who claimed to be one of many responsible high level working to thwart the president’s “worst inclinations”.

The polling industry as a whole was hit after the election, as most prominent organizations missed the mark with polls showing a more dominant performance by Mr Biden in key states. But as Election Day loomed, some of the nation’s top political analysts wondered why Real Clear’s averages often seemed skewed by polls that “were a little nicer to Trump” and failed to buy into. best practices like in-person – face-to-face phone interviews, as Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report said in August.

Yet poll averages and the selection of policy news and opinion pieces on the internet have been presented as they have long been: an authoritative selection of the best possible race data and analysis from across the country.

The founders of Real Clear Politics, two news junkies who proclaimed themselves to be friends at Princeton and launched the website in 2000, said via email that they “fully support” the average decision and their editors to publish these articles. “Our advertisers, sponsors, supporters and readers represent a range of views across the political spectrum,” wrote John McIntyre, CEO, and Tom Bevan, President. “And they know that we practice fiercely independent journalism which necessarily covers all relevant aspects of our national political and political debates.”

Interviews with current and former Real Clear staff, along with a review of its coverage and tax returns, indicate a shift to the right within the organization at the end of 2017, as the majority of its reporters who were responsible for reporting on Capitol Hill, the White House and national politics were suddenly fired. While staff have always known that the website’s founders were conservative and had strong opinions about liberal media biases, several said they never felt pressure from above to tip their stories. .

“One day we were all called out and said it was over,” said Alexis Simendinger, White House correspondent for Real Clear Politics. “It was a very surprising thing.”

They never got much explanation as to why, former employees said. But they were surprised to learn who replaced them in some cases: writers who had worked in the conservative movement or for the Republican Party. One of the employees was the former president of the Republican Party of Manhattan and was married to a senior official in the Trump administration.

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The electoral college is closed. The popular vote is not.

But the 17th Amendment established the direct election of senators in 1913, and the population difference between the larger and smaller states has increased dramatically since the constitution was drafted. The current Democratic minority in the Senate was elected with more votes than the Republican majority, and by 2040, based on population projections, about 70% of Americans will be represented by 30 percent of senators.

Almost a century ago, Carroll H. Wooddy published an academic article that examined the likelihood of “unrepresentative votes” in the Senate, in which he spoke of votes in which the winning side senators represented fewer Americans than senators on the losing side. He concluded that these votes rarely occur, in large part because “there has not been a continuing alliance of sparsely populated states against more densely populated areas.”

Today, of course, population density is closely related to partisanship, and the composition of the Senate is not representative of the population not only in party, but in race, sex, age and other characteristics.

Supporters of the Electoral College argue that it protects less populous states, ensuring that their interests are not overtaken by those of, for example, New York and California. At the same time, opponents note that the system means that candidates only pay attention to a small number of states and devalues ​​the votes of people from either party who live in a State dominated by the other. Illinois Republicans do not affect presidential elections, nor do Democrats in Tennessee.

It remains to be seen whether the 2020 election will give new impetus to efforts to eliminate or circumvent the Electoral College, which have always been distant even though a majority of Americans – 61% in a Gallup poll released in September; 58 percent in a Pew Research Center poll in March – believe it should be scrapped.

John Koza, the chairman of National Popular Vote Inc., said his group – which has pushed state legislatures for years to sign a pact in which states would pledge to allocate their voters to the winner of the national popular vote – was planning to lobby extensively next year in states like Arizona, Minnesota, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The pact has already been signed by states, mostly blue, totaling 196 electoral votes, but it will only take effect if that number reaches 270.

Dr Koza, a computer scientist who taught at Stanford University, argues that the Electoral College should be abolished not because it systematically benefits one party over the other, but because it increases the chances that election results are called into question even when the general American preference is clear – precisely what is happening now.

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Biden surpasses Obama’s popular vote total in 2008 (with asterisks).

As the outcome of the presidential race remains undecided, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has marked a clear milestone: he garnered more votes than his former vice presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, to set a new popular vote record. .

Powered by the huge turnout, Mr. Biden received more than 70,300,000 votes nationwide, surpassing the 69,498,516 garnered by Mr. Obama in another year with enormous enthusiasm from voters who held the record until ‘to this year.

Democrats are likely to cite vote totals as proof that they continue to represent the majority of the country in presidential elections. They have won the popular vote in every presidential election since 2000, with the exception of 2004.

But there are a few caveats: the country’s population has grown since 2008 from 304 million to over 330 million people in 2020.

This means that Mr. Obama received the votes of a larger percentage of Americans – around 23 percent, compared to 21 percent for Mr. Biden. Mr. Obama also attracted a higher percentage of registered voters nationwide, 48 percent versus 45 percent for Mr. Biden.

While Mr. Obama was won by a clear majority of the popular vote, Mr. Biden, who served two terms as vice president, is on track for a narrower margin in national results, reflecting an electorate more divided, said Rogers Smith. , professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania

“This was an extraordinary election that appears to have garnered one of the highest voter turnouts in a century,” he said. “This means that the two candidates will receive a larger total of votes than in the past.”