Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): How @OrdinaryFaces Can make a DIfference (Courtesy Global Citizen)

This is courtesy of Global Citizen on how all @ordinaryfaces can make a difference in our World:

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9 Ways Global Citizen Is Taking Action in 2017

From helping refugees to leveling the law for girls and women everywhere, Global Citizen has a packed agenda in 2017.

It has been an interesting few days as all ordinary faces throughout the World have been witness to profound change in Washington.    As a new era begins, we hope all enjoy these reflections to retain a sense of hope and optimism:

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Notations On Our World: Brief Notations On #PEOTUS @realDonaldTrump News Conference

We wanted to report on key highlights of President-Elect Trump’s News conference as his nominees have been before US Senate (including discussions on his business divestment, Russia and his views on the Media).    The Washington Post worked on fact-checking that is available by clicking here:

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): On Organizations Making A Difference

The second week of 2017 has begun in earnest. We want to share some highlights of what we picked up of organizations who have made a difference in the lives of others which we hope all enjoy checking out:

Made with Padlet

Made with Padlet

Notations On Our World (Monday Edition): On the Golden Globes & The Speech by Meryl Streep

Yas, Queen!The Golden Globes for 2016 is now history.   One of the key highlights was Meryl Streep as she spoke for Five minutes which was featured on the Golden Globe Twitter Feed  talking about Donald Trump without mentioning him by name:

Here is the full speech as reported by USA Today.  As we went to press here, our team checked Mr Trump’s twitter Feed to see if there were any updates (and there has been surprisingly no updates)that all ordinary faces should make note of:

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Please sit down. Please sit down. Thank you. I love you all, but you’ll have to forgive me, I’ve lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend, and I have lost my mind sometime earlier this year so I have to read.

Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said, you and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press. But who are we? And, you know, what is Hollywood any way? It’s just a bunch of people from other places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey. Viola (Davis) was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy and Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates?

And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in London &  Ireland I do believe and she’s here nominated for playing a small town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian, and Dev Patel was born in Kenya *, raised in London and is here for playing an Indian raised in Tasmania. So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if we kick ‘em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.

They gave me three seconds to say this so… an actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like and there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that – breathtaking compassionate work, but there was one performance this year that stunned me.

It sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good. There was nothing good about it, but it was effective, and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life ‘cause it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.

Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose. Okay, go up with that thing. Okay, this brings me to the press. We need the principle press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution so I only ask the famously well-healed Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists ‘cause we’re going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.

One more thing: Once when I was standing around on the set one day whining about something, you know, we were going to work through supper or the long hours or whatever Tommy Lee Jones said to me, ‘Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?’ Yeah it is and we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight. As my friend the dear departed Princess Leia said to me once, ‘Take your broken heart, make it into art.’ Thank you Foreign Press.

View of the Week (II): On the #USElection2016 & The Roadmap Ahead

 The post-mortems of the US Election has been continuing.       Bill and Hillary Clinton will be attending Mr. Trump’s inauguration as Mr. Trump finalizes the formation of his Government with an eye towards the mid terms in 2018.

One of the most insightful analysis is the one just published by Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia.  His team was one of the teams that got it wrong about the elections–However, his analysis of the Obama Presidency is quite poignant as the Republicans are gearing up to tear apart the Obama Legacy–including Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and a whole host of other initiatives.     The only bulwark that seems to be at the forefront of the battle with the prevailing wind is California as the Legislature retained Eric Holder to serve as outside counsel with the impending battles at hand–and as California is about to get a new Attorney General:

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In this issue...
>2017: AT THE DAWN OF THE AGE OF TRUMP
http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball
2017: AT THE DAWN OF THE AGE OF TRUMP
By Larry J. Sabato
Director, UVA Center for Politics
It’s already clear that the very strange political year of 2016 is bleeding over into the New Year. How could it be otherwise? President-elect Donald Trump, loved and hated by about equal numbers of Americans, continues to ignore or break with convention in a wide variety of areas. Just as the normal rules didn’t apply to him in the campaign, they may not apply to him in office either.

Let’s review what we’ve got as we head toward Inauguration Day:

  • Trump won the election with narrow but convincing margins in six states won by Barack Obama twice (Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, along with bigger victories in Iowa and Ohio). This kind of swing-state sweep cannot be called a fluke or an aberration, especially given Hillary Clinton’s towering financial and organizational advantages.
  • At the same time, Trump lost the popular vote by close to 2.9 million, the largest number ever by a candidate who captured the all-important Electoral College. Losing nationally by 2.1 percentage points will hinder Trump in various ways during his term; at the least, it provides a stinging rebuke for Trump’s opponents whenever he takes unpopular actions. (While the popular vote is not how the United States picks presidents, the Trump camp’s argument that they could easily have generated the needed votes in non-swing states if they had wanted is a weak one. The Clinton campaign could have produced millions more votes, too, had there been some payoff for doing so.)
  • While almost nothing Trump says or does reduces the fervency of his millions of core backers, the president-elect’s controversial tweets and braggadocio have won him few new supporters. He has not reached out to reunify a badly divided country in any sustained way. As a result, he has the lowest ratings of any modern president-elect during the transition period. Essentially, he is about at the 46% level he garnered on Election Day, while other recent presidents-elect have soared in the run-up to their swearing-in. For instance, Gallup found in mid-December that just 48% of Americans approve of how Trump is handling his presidential transition, compared to 75% for Barack Obama, 65% for George W. Bush, and 67% for Bill Clinton.
  • Meanwhile, the outgoing president has sustained and even expanded his approval, which now stands at around 55% in the polling averages. In RealClearPoliticsaverage, Obama is at about the same place as he was in December 2012 just after winning reelection, and in HuffPost Pollster’s aggregate his approval has not reached such heights since his initial honeymoon period in early 2009. The remarkable thing is that Obama was unable to transfer enough of this popularity to Clinton, his chosen successor, despite the dramatic improvement in the devastated economy he inherited in January 2009. Consider the 1988 election as a comparison: According to Gallup, Ronald Reagan had a 51% approval rating in late October 1988, but the incumbent was a key factor — maybe the key factor — in Vice President George H.W. Bush’s 53%-46% victory over Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

So it would appear that Obama is up and Trump is down, the outgoing president triumphant and the incoming president facing a difficult future. And this picture is thoroughly misleading.

Barack Obama’s legacy, at least a great deal of it, was in effect wiped out with the election of a GOP president and Congress. Over the next weeks, months, and years, Obama’s executive orders on a wide variety of subjects will be revoked, his signature Obamacare program may be dismantled substantially, and many other domestic regulations and international initiatives from the Obama Administration will be reversed or neutralized.

Obama and his team are hoping for less change than Trump has advertised, but they may be fooling themselves. For eight years the GOP leadership has been carefully planning for the day when total control of the federal government would enable them to undo the Obama agenda, and they are well on their way to achieving a great deal of this quickly.

It is true that Democrats theoretically have enough votes in the Senate — 48 when including the two independents who caucus with them — to block measures that require 60 votes. However, there are more filibuster-proof items than ever due to rule changes made by the Democrats in 2013 when they still controlled the upper chamber, meaning that Cabinet-level appointees and most federal judicial nominees (but not for the Supreme Court) only need 51 votes to be confirmed. In addition, 10 Democratic senators are up for reelection in 2018 in states carried by Trump, and some of the most endangered ones cannot be counted on to vote with their caucus in all circumstances. Maybe a few Republicans will defect in the other direction from time to time, as early declarations about the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election indicate.

The Democratic Party, which fully expected to control the White House and the Senate going forward, is still in shock from the stunning November outcome — and in its worst governing position nationally and in the states in modern times. You have to reach back to the 1920s to find a comparable period of Democratic impotence.

As we have pointed out many times, President Obama’s tenure has been a disaster for his party at other levels. Over his two terms, Democrats have set the post-World War II record for losses by the White House party. Taking governorships, state legislators, and members of the U.S. House and Senate together, Democrats have suffered a net loss of over 1,000 posts from Obama’s initial victory in 2008 to the loss of Hillary Clinton under his watch. The Democratic bench is almost empty in many critical states, another reason why political analysts have a hard time coming up with an expansive list of potential presidential nominees for 2020. Given the potential for GOP gains in the Senate come 2018, Democratic hopes for fresh blood may depend heavily on their performance in big-state gubernatorial elections at the midterm.

All 435 House seats will also be contested in 22 months, but despite the Republicans’ substantial 241-194 majority in the new Congress, Crystal Ball Managing Editor Kyle Kondik found that only 23 House Republicans occupy seats won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race (it is possible that this number will change slightly but not substantially). Compare that to the 2010 midterm, when Democrats were defending 48 seats won by John McCain in 2008 — major Democratic overexposure that significantly contributed to the GOP’s massive 63-seat net gain. Democrats also hold 12 districts won by Trump in 2016, including a few he won by double digits. Republicans may mount credible challenges in many of these seats. Simply put, the Republicans do not appear to be all that overextended in the House at the starting gate of the 2018 campaign, although much will depend on the national mood heading into the midterm.

It has been said a million times that “elections have consequences,” and this truism applies even to very close elections for the White House when the popular-vote winner is vanquished. George W. Bush had an eventful two-term presidency despite losing the popular vote to Al Gore in 2000. And everything we’ve seen so far suggests that Donald Trump will engineer a term full of drama and significance, whether the next four (or eight) years’ substance is your dream or your nightmare.

If you doubt it, think back over the Obama-to-Trump transition. While Obama and Trump have been mostly gracious to one another (with prominent exceptions), the two presidents have been akin to dueling suns in the sky. For the most part, this is unprecedented, and the “one president at a time” convention has been shattered. Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt sharply disagreed during their 1932-1933 transition, but the differences were not played out in the headlines. In other party turnovers in the past hundred years-plus, disputes were muted in the interregnum, with the incoming president deferring to the outgoing chief on policy while the president-elect concentrated on picking a Cabinet and making quiet preparations to govern. This description applies in large part to the transitions between Eisenhower-JFK (1960), LBJ-Nixon (1968), Ford-Carter (1976), Carter-Reagan (1980), Bush 41-Clinton (1992), Clinton-Bush 43 (2000), and Bush 43-Obama (2008).

Not so in 2016-2017, as Trump tweeted and telephoned his way through delicate matters of all varieties. In response, Obama was often passive, perhaps believing (as mentioned earlier) that by minimizing conflict he could keep communication lines open and preserve some measure of influence on the future of his programs.

In just a couple of weeks, the old sun will be completely eclipsed by the new one. Democrats will be essentially on their own, in a greatly diminished role. Their future will depend on President Trump’s performance, and no one really knows what will happen. It’s easy to spin scenarios whereby Trump becomes popular and successful, and equally easy to see how and why he might crash and burn. The point is that Democrats have no representative in the cockpit of the plane; on most days in most ways, they are now merely passengers on a long flight whose direction and destination are determined solely by the Republicans at the controls.

Whatever else the Trump quadrennium may turn out to be, it is unlikely to be boring. (Now there’s an understatement!) Millions of Americans are living in ecstatic anticipation, while millions of others are experiencing a dreadful foreboding. There’s only one thing we know for sure with the coming of this unique presidency and its peripatetic Oval Office occupant: There will be almost no quiet days.

View of the Week: Israel, Palestine, Donald Trump & The Future

Donald Trump will officially take the oath on January 20, 2017 as the 45h President of the United States. He has been busy with cabinet selections and working to make his mark. One area that he will have quite an impact will be in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Obama Administration Veto.

As the World awaits, our team decided to feature this published by a Palestinian Academic for this first edition of “View of the Week” with an interesting take on the stance taken by Mr. Trump & a broad rejection of the entire US policy  which is quite an interesting read–the original is available in the Palestine Chronicles--as the reality of the One State Solution is now evident:

 

A Blessing in Disguise?  The Trump Presidency May be Better for Palestine

By Ramzy Baroud
Israel is dizzy. January 20th has been like another Christmas Day and Donald Trump is jolly old Santa Claus bearing gifts. The writing is already on the wall as President-elect Trump has appointed an extremist, David Friedman, as the next US Ambassador to Israel who intends to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and who supports the expansion of illegal colonies that have already sliced up the envisaged Palestinian state into South Africa-like Bantustans.
Thus, it must be odd, if not altogether provocative, to suggest that a Trump presidency could be the coup de grace that Palestinians and, in fact, the entire Middle East needs to liberate themselves from the weight of an overbearing, arrogant and futile American foreign policy that has extended for decades.
Unmistakably, a Donald Trump presidency is clearly terrible for Palestinians in the short term. The man does not even attempt to show a degree of impartiality or an iota of balance as he approaches the Middle East’s most protracted and delicate conflict.
According to the seemingly infinite stream of his tweets, Trump is counting the days to when he can show Israeli leaders how pro-Israel his administration will be. Shortly after the United States abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 that condemned Israel’s illegal settlements on December 23, the President-elect tweeted, “As to the U.N., things will be different after January 20th.”
Trump took to Twitter once more, shortly before John Kerry delivered a major policy speech on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, where the Secretary of State chastised Israel for jeopardizing the two-state solution and called the current government of Benjamin Netanyahu the most rightwing in Israel’s history.
In his retort, Trump called on Israel to ‘stay strong’ until his inauguration on January 20th. Israeli leaders are eying the date, too, with the likes of Naftali Bennett, head of the extremist Jewish Home Party, expecting a ‘reset’ of Israeli-US relations once Trump is president.
Furthermore, “we have a chance to reset the structure across the Middle East,” Bennett, who is also Israel’s Minister of Education told journalists last November. “We have to seize that opportunity and act on it,” he said.
One of the impending opportunities presented by the Trump presidency is that “the era of the Palestinian state is over.”
Of course, Kerry is right; the current Israeli government is the most rightwing and most extreme, a trend that will not change any time soon, since it is an accurate reflection of the political and societal mood in the country.
“Kerry quoted me three times, anonymously, in his speech in order to demonstrate that we oppose a Palestinian state,” he said, “so let me state it explicitly: Yes. If it depends on me, we will not establish another terror state in the heart of our country.”
As for Kerry’s reiteration that Jerusalem should be a capital for both Israel and Palestine, Bennett responded: “Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years. That is in the Bible, open it and read.”
The stranglehold of religious zealotry on Israeli politics is irreversible, at least not in the foreseeable future. While, in the past, secular Jewish politicians used religious notions to appeal to religious Jews in exchange for their votes and to populate illegal settlements, it is the religious groups that now set the tone of mainstream Israeli politics.
So how could this benefit Palestinians in any way? Simply put: clarity.
Since mid-level US officials agreed to meet with a Palestine Liberation Organization delegation in Tunisia in the late 1980’s, the US has chosen a most bewildering path of peace-making.
Soon after the US hesitantly ‘engaged’ the PLO – once the latter had to jump through a thousand political hoops to receive the US nod of approval – the US was left alone to define what ‘peace’ between Israel and its Palestinian and Arab neighbors entailed.
The White House set the parameters of the ‘peace process’, corralled Arabs on many occasions to have them rubber-stamp whatever peace ‘vision’ the US found suitable, and divided the Arabs into ‘moderates’ and ‘radicals’ camps, solely based on how a certain country would perceive US dictates of ‘peace’ in the region.
Without any mandate, the US designated itself as an ‘honest peace broker’, yet has done everything wrong to jeopardize the accomplishment of the very parameters that it set to achieve the supposed peace. While it went as far as describing Israel’s illegal settlement construction as ‘obstacle to peace’, Washington funded the settlements and the occupation army entrusted with protecting those illegal entities; it called for ‘confidence building measures’ while, at the same time, bankrolling the Israeli military and justifying Israel’s wars in Gaza and its excessive violence in the Occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
In other words, for decades, the US has done precisely the exact opposite of what it publicly preached.
The US political schizophrenia is on full display at the moment. While Obama dared to commit the unspeakable in December – as in abstaining from a vote on a resolution that demanded that Israel halt its illegal settlements in the West Bank – only a few weeks earlier, he handed Israel “the largest military aid deal in history.”
The US blind support of Israel throughout the years has increased the latter’s expectations to the point that it now anticipates US support to continue, even when Israel is ruled by extremists who are further destabilizing an already fragile and unstable region.
According to Israeli logic, such expectations are quite rational. The US has served as an enabler to Israel’s political and military belligerence, while pacifying the Palestinians and the Arabs with empty promises, with threats at times, with handouts and with mere words.
The so-called ‘moderate Palestinians’, the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, were duly pacified, indeed, for they won the trappings of ‘power’, coupled with US political validation, while allowing Israel to conquer whatever remained of Palestine.
But that era is, indeed, over. While the US will continue to enable Israel’s intransigence, a Trump Presidency is likely to witness a complete departure from the Washingtonian doublespeak.
Bad will no longer be good, wrong is not right, and warmongering is not peacemaking. In fact, Trump is set to expose American foreign policy for what it truly is, and has been for decades. His presidency is likely to give all parties a stark choice regarding where they stand on peace, justice and human rights.
The Palestinians, too, will have to make a choice, face the decades-long reality with a united front, or side with those who intend to ‘reset’ the future of the Middle East based on a dark interpretation of biblical prophecies.
– Dr. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His books include “Searching Jenin”, “The Second Palestinian Intifada” and his latest “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story”. His website is www.ramzybaroud.net.

Thought For the Week: 8 Timeless Leadership Lessons from Andy Grove

Welcome to 2017!!!

We wanted to begin the new year with this courtesy of the team at CEO Magazine as we the lessons learnt to be vital for all “ordinary faces”-Onward to 2017 with all it has to offer!!!

Former Intel CEO Andy Grove was, in many ways, larger than life. The Time 1997 Man of the Year and 1…

Source: 8 Timeless Leadership Lessons from Andy Grove

On the Eve of 2017….

From the Entire Team here at The Daily Outsider, we wish you and your loved ones:

Onward to 2017 with all its’ possibilities!!!

 

Notations On Our World: A Final “Snapshot” of #2016 & a glimpse of #2017

As We Wind down 2016,  this is probably one of the best retrospectives we ‘ve seen courtesy of the Financial Times of London we hope all enjoy as we await the arrival of 2017:

FINANCIAL TIMES
2016 year in review
With Brexit and Trump marking revolutionary moments in the history books, 2016 was certainly a thundering repudiation of the status quo with echoes of the 1930s.

For companies and markets a rare combination of rising prices, falling costs and management discipline has helped the mining sector stage a remarkable comeback in 2016. However, for technology 2016 is more likely to be remembered for what went wrong than for great innovation . Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 exploded, GoPro recalled its Karma drone after some started falling out of the sky and rampaging Pokemon Go players caused havoc.

A memorable year to say the least, so here is the FT’s review of 2016.

 

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