Bill Clinton: ‘The world’s on fire,’ but teamwork can help

Associated Press

Bill Clinton: ‘The world’s on fire,’ but teamwork can help

Glenn Gamboa – September 19, 2022

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton is calling on governments, businesses, philanthropies and other prominent institutions to draw together and help a world that is “on fire” as he reconvenes the Clinton Global Initiative, the meeting of international leaders, for the first time since 2016.

“Somebody needs to show up and make something good happen,” he said during the conference’s opening public session Monday. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Interest in the two-day meeting has been so intense that the Clinton Foundation had to turn away more than 1,000 potential attendees. It is convening a spectrum of luminaries, including Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and actor and water access activist Matt Damon.

Clinton, president of the United States from 1993 to 2001, said he has been amazed by the massive response.

“The world’s on fire in a lot of different ways,” he told The Associated Press in an interview. “But there are a lot of things that businesses, non-governmental groups and governments working together can do to help with a lot of these problems.”

The Clinton Global Initiative, or CGI, has helped more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries since it was established in 2005. It previously required attendees to create a Commitment to Action, a measurable project that addresses a global issue, though for this first year, everyone will be expected to announce or develop a partnership. Those commitments often unite new partners and encourage cooperation between the public and private sectors.

“I think there is a longing for people to get together and meet with an end in mind,” Clinton said in an interview. “Not just talk about it, but knowing that when they walk away, they will have committed to doing something.”

Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton calls that “a bias toward action,” which she says is part of what makes CGI special and a catalyst for global change. She said the COVID-19 pandemic has energized interest in public health and addressing health disparities because people outside of the field could see the impact.

“Health is interconnected to anything and everything that anyone may care about,” Chelsea Clinton said. “There are a lot of people who now are mobilized to do something with what they have come to newly understand and which they now feel responsible for helping to solve.”

Dr. David Fajgenbaum received a standing ovation as he announced plans for his new nonprofit Every Cure, which seeks to find new uses for generic drugs to treat rare diseases. The idea came from his own research to find a treatment for his own Castleman’s Disease, a rare ailment where the immune system attacks vital organs.

He said his new nonprofit would work on using generic drugs to treat 106 rare disease initially, a process that would cost 500 times less than developing a new drug. “There would be no greater impact in terms of saving lives,” he said. “As long as I’m alive, we’re going to continue to chase them.”

In other commitments, Andrew Kuper, founder and CEO of impact investing firm LeapFrog Investments, announced the firm planned to support 25 million enterprises offering 100 million jobs in developing countries by 2030. Israeli global venture firm OurCrowd announced a partnership with the WHO Foundation to launch a $200 million Global Health Equity Fund that focuses on breakthrough technology solutions in health care.

Peter Sands, executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said CGI has always introduced his group to new potential partners, something even more valuable after two challenging pandemic years that made access to new donors difficult. “There’s only so much you can do with PowerPoints and Zooms,” Sands said.

He is currently in the midst of a fundraising campaign of his own. President Joe Biden will host The Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York on Wednesday, delayed two days so that Biden can attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.

However, he now plans to attend CGI and said the gathering has been missed during its hiatus, even though the Clinton Foundation itself has remained active. The initiative convened annually until 2016 during former Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, when questions were raised about the appearance of potential conflicts of interests if donors then had business before her administration.

Bill Clinton said the initiative is counting on the special energy of its participants to tackle a growing number of issues.

“We’ve got the largest number of migrants since World War II,” he said. “And the most publicity they get in America is when one governor or two turns it into some political issue and tries to make problems for other people. Sensible countries work together and try to figure out the best way to deal with it.”

Clinton also hopes CGI can spotlight various solutions that need more support. He points to a study from Generation180, a nonprofit that promotes the use of clean energy. Its research shows some rural schools have installed solar panels to reduce their carbon emissions and their electric bills. The schools then used the savings to give raises to teachers.

“The energy is here. The jobs are here. The benefits are here. The kids win,” Clinton said. “That shouldn’t be a political issue.”

He says philanthropy can help bust through political and cultural gridlock by showing what can be done. For example, he said that when President Barack Obama proposed hiring 100,000 new STEM teachers and Congress turned him down, philanthropy stepped in to make it happen.

“We got the Carnegie Corporation and the American Federation of Teachers and more than 20 other partners together and they said, ‘We will raise the money,'” Clinton said. “Nobody ever thought of that as being a purpose of philanthropy. But it got the job done, and it demonstrated why Republicans and Democrats should cooperate on such things.”

Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

Trevor Noah Dismantles Racist Response to ‘The Little Mermaid’ Trailer: ‘Really, People? We’re Doing This Again?’

The Wrap

Trevor Noah Dismantles Racist Response to ‘The Little Mermaid’ Trailer: ‘Really, People? We’re Doing This Again?’

Adam Chitwood – September 16, 2022

Trevor Noah took aim at the racist backlash to Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” trailer on Thursday’s “The Daily Show,” wondering why we’re all doing this again.

Shortly after racist backlash to people of color playing elves and dwarves in Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series, Disney debuted the first trailer for “The Little Mermaid” that revealed Black actress playing Ariel. Racists on the internet, predictably, were extremely Mad Online.

“Once again a bunch of internet racists are upset that a fictional character is being played by a Black person, and honestly I don’t know what the big deal is,” Noah said before joking, “You guys realize that Nemo was Black too, right? Yeah, that whole movie was about a fish that can’t find his dad. Calm down, I can say that because my dad left and he’s white, so who’s racist now?”

Also Read:
Disney’s Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ Teaser Trailer Reveals Halle Bailey’s Ariel (Video)

The jokes continued, “First of all, of course the Little Mermaid is Black. Everyone whose name starts with Lil’ is Black. Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ Nas X, Lil’ Kim. Honestly if you heard there was a woman named Lil’ Mermaid you’d just assume she was on a track with Cardi B.”

But then Noah launched into another joke with a stinging twinge of truth to it.

“Stop being ridiculous. It’s imaginary,” he began. “I hope this scandal doesn’t overshadow the rest of the movie. ‘The Little Mermaid’ is a beautiful story about a young woman changing her core identity to please a man, let’s not forget about that, people.”

Noah concluded the segment by underlining the ridiculousness of the whole backlash and also pointing out that Disney introduced a Black mermaid in the animated “Little Mermaid” series that aired from 1992 to 1994 and nobody batted an eye.

“If we had more time we could talk about how Disney already created a Black mermaid 30 years ago and nobody cared, or how there’s still plenty of white princesses for little girls whose dream it is to be in a monarchy. And let’s not forget, you can still watch the original ‘Little Mermaid.’ It’s not like if you try to turn it on Mickey’s gonna jump out of the screen and go, ‘You’re racist, haha!’”

Watch Noah’s segment in the video above. Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” opens in theaters on May 26, 2023.

Barbara Ehrenreich, Explorer of Prosperity’s Dark Side, Dies at 81

By Natalie Schachar – September 2, 2022

Her book “Nickel and Dimed,” an undercover account of the indignities of being a low-wage worker in the United States, is considered a classic in social justice literature.
The author Barbara Ehrenreich in 2020. She tackled a variety of themes: the myth of the American dream, the labor market, health care, poverty and women’s rights.
The author Barbara Ehrenreich in 2020. She tackled a variety of themes: the myth of the American dream, the labor market, health care, poverty and women’s rights.Credit…Jared Soares

It was a casual meeting.

Over salmon and field greens, Barbara Ehrenreich was discussing future articles with her editor at Harper’s Magazine. Then, as she recalled, the conversation drifted.

How could anyone survive on minimum wage? She mused. A tenacious journalist should find out.

Her editor, Lewis Lapham, offered a half smile and a single word reply: “You.”

The result was the book “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” (2001), an undercover account of the indignities, miseries and toil of being a low-wage worker in the United States. It became a best seller and a classic in social justice literature.

Ms. Ehrenreich, the journalist, activist and author, died at 81 on Thursday at a hospice facility in Alexandria, Va., where she also had a home. Her daughter, Rosa Brooks, said the cause was a stroke.

Working as a waitress near Key West, Fla., in her reporting for “Nickel and Dimed,” Ms. Ehrenreich quickly found that it took two jobs to make ends meet. After repeating her journalistic experiment in other places as a hotel housekeeper, cleaning lady, nursing home aide and Wal-Mart associate, she still found it nearly impossible to subsist on an average of $7 an hour.

Every job takes skill and intelligence, she concluded, and should be paid accordingly.

One of more than 20 books written by Ms. Ehrenreich, “Nickel and Dimed” bolstered the movement for higher wages just as the consequences of the dot-com bubble snaked through the economy in 2001.

“Many people praised me for my bravery for having done this — to which I could only say: Millions of people do this kind of work every day for their entire lives — haven’t you noticed them?” she said in 2018 in an acceptance speech after receiving the Erasmus Prize, given to a person or institution that has made an exceptional contribution to the humanities, the social sciences or the arts.

Ms. Ehrenreich noticed those millions throughout a writing career in which she tackled a variety of themes: the myth of the American dream, the labor market, health care, poverty and women’s rights. Her motivation came from a desire to shed light on ordinary people as well as the “overlooked and the forgotten,” her editor, Sara Bershtel, said in an email.

“Nickel and Dimed,” one of more than 20 books Ms. Ehrenreich wrote, x
“Nickel and Dimed,” one of more than 20 books Ms. Ehrenreich wrote, xCredit…

Barbara Alexander was born on Aug. 26, 1941, in Butte, Mont., into a working-class family. Her mother, Isabelle Oxley, was a homemaker; her father, Benjamin Howes Alexander, was a copper miner who later earned a Ph.D. in metallurgy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and became director of research at Gillette.

Having grown up steeped in family lore about the mines, Ms. Ehrenreich recalled thinking it was normal for a man over 40 to do dangerous work and be missing at least a finger.

“So to me, sitting at a desk all day was not only a privilege but a duty: something I owed to all those people in my life, living and dead, who’d had so much more to say than anyone ever got to hear,” she wrote in the introduction to “Nickel and Dimed.”

Both of her parents were heavy drinkers. In a 2014 memoir, she described her mother’s wrath as the “central force field” of her childhood home. She believed that her mother’s death, from a heart attack, had been induced by an intentional overdose of pills.

Ms. Ehrenreich graduated from Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1963. She received a Ph.D. in cell biology in 1968 from Rockefeller University in New York, where she met her first husband, John Ehrenreich.

After her studies, she became a budget analyst for New York City and then a staff member at the New York-based (and now defunct) nonprofit Health Policy Advisory Center in 1969. In 1971 she began working as an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Program at the State University of New York, Old Westbury. But the social and political upheaval of the 1960s awakened her anger and fueled her desire to write.

Her first book, “Long March, Short Spring: The Student Uprising at Home and Abroad” (1969), co-written with Mr. Ehrenreich, grew out of her anti-Vietnam War activism. Their second book, “The American Health Empire: Power, Profits and Politics,” was published the next year.

Ms. Ehrenreich quit her teaching job in 1974 to become a full-time writer, selling a number of articles to Ms. magazine in the 1970s.

Numerous critically acclaimed books followed, including “The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight from Commitment” (1983), “Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class” (1989), “The Worst Years of Our Lives: Irreverent Notes from a Decade of Greed” (1990) and “Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War” (1997).

It was her firsthand reporting in “Nickel and Dimed,” however, that resonated with working Americans and became a turning point in her career.

Ms. Ehrenreich in 2006. Her firsthand reporting in “Nickel and Dimed” became a turning point in her career.
Ms. Ehrenreich in 2006. Her firsthand reporting in “Nickel and Dimed” became a turning point in her career.Credit…David Scull for The New York Times

Following the book’s success, Ms. Ehrenreich applied her immersive journalism technique to works about the dysfunctional side of the American social order. Those included “Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream” (2005) and “Smile or Die” (2009), about the dangers of “positive thinking” amid inadequate health care.

In her memoir, “Living With a Wild God” (2014), she focused on her troubling, unconventional experiences as a teenager.

She also wrote articles and essays for The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Nation and The New Republic and held academic posts, teaching women’s studies at Brandeis and essay writing at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

Her marriage to Mr. Ehrenreich in 1966 ended in divorce in 1982. In addition to their daughter, Ms. Brooks, a law professor, she is survived by their son, Ben Ehrenreich, a journalist; two siblings, Benjamin Alexander Jr. and Diane Alexander; and three grandchildren. Her second marriage, to Gary Stevenson in 1983, ended in divorce in 1993.

In recent years Ms. Ehrenreich came to believe that many people living at or near the poverty level didn’t need someone else to give voice to their struggles.

Instead, she thought that individuals could tell their own stories if they had greater support. She created the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, which focused on helping the work of underrepresented people get published and providing economic assistance to factory workers, house cleaners, professional journalists and others who had fallen on hard times.

Her most recent book, “Had I Known: Collected Essays” (2020), compiles four decades of her articles on sexism, health, the economy, science, religion and other topics. Almost all of them shared repeated warnings about growing poverty and worsening inequality.

Ms. Ehrenreich’s anger at inequity remained unabated late in her life. In a 2020 interview with The New Yorker, she said a lack of paid sick-leave and the declining well-being of the working class still gave her “grim and rageful thoughts.”

“We turn out to be so vulnerable in the United States,” she said. “Not only because we have no safety net, or very little of one, but because we have no emergency preparedness, no social infrastructure.”

In 2018, she published “Natural Causes,” which addressed the topic of growing old and bluntly excoriated the wellness movement.

“Every death can now be understood as suicide,” she wrote. “We persist in subjecting anyone who dies at a seemingly untimely age to a kind of bio-moral autopsy: Did she smoke? Drink excessively? Eat too much fat and not enough fiber? Can she, in other words, be blamed for her own death?”

Ms. Ehrenreich continued writing into her 80s and at her death had begun work on a book about the evolution of narcissism, her daughter said.

Ms. Ehrenreich said she believed that her job as a journalist was to shed light on the unnecessary pain in the world.

“The idea is not that we will win in our own lifetimes and that’s the measure of us,” she told The New Yorker, “but that we will die trying.”

Alex Traub contributed reporting.

Barbara Ehrenreich, activist and groundbreaking ‘Nickel and Dimed’ author, dies at 81

Los Angeles Times

Barbara Ehrenreich, activist and groundbreaking ‘Nickel and Dimed’ author, dies at 81

Nardine Saad, Dorany Pineda – September 2, 2022

Author Barbara Ehrenreich poses at her home in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 25, 2005.
Author Barbara Ehrenreich at her home in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2005. (Andrew Shurtleff / Associated Press)

Barbara Ehrenreich, the author, journalist and political activist whose groundbreaking work of immersive journalism, “Nickel and Dimed,” presaged and arguably helped spark the resurgence of the American labor movement, has died. She was 81.

Ehrenreich died Thursday in Alexandria, Va., after recently suffering a stroke, the Associated Press reported Friday.

“Sad news. Barbara Ehrenreich, my one and only mother, died on September 1, a few days after her 81st birthday,” her son, author and journalist Ben Ehrenreich, tweeted Friday.

“She was, she made clear, ready to go. She was never much for thoughts and prayers, but you can honor her memory by loving one another, and by fighting like hell,” he wrote.

Following news of her death, writers, journalists and activists took to social media to pay their respects.

“Heartland” author Sarah Smarsh called Ehrenreich’s contributions to U.S. discourse around class and injustice “immeasurable. … May she rest in peace, & may we include class in every conversation about justice.”

Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of Labor, called her “inimitable. … Our abiding thanks to her for her contributions to the labor, progressive and women’s movements, her brilliant literary journalism, and her tenacious appeals to common sense. She will be sorely missed.”

“Barbara Ehrenreich changed my life in many ways,” tweeted New York state Rep. Emily Gallagher. “Not only was I forever inspired by ‘Nickel and Dimed,’ I recently took a deeper dive into her earlier feminist pamphlets and felt kinship by her relentless pursuit of socialist feminism. Thank you Barbara [heart emoji] we continue your work.”

The Montana-born writer, also known for “Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream” and “Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer,” rallied for higher minimum wage, pushed against white privilege and challenged conventional thinking about race, religion, class, American exceptionalism, gender politics, the mechanics of joy and the gap between rich and poor.

A proponent of liberal causes such as economic equality and abortion rights, Ehrenreich wrote 20 books and was also the founding editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. She frequently contributed to the Los Angeles Times and other publications such as Mother Jones and the Nation.

Her 1989 book, “Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class,” was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Her 2001 bestseller, “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America,” traced her own journey as a waitress and hotel housekeeper, among other low-income jobs, and became one of her best-known works.

In that book, she wrote “to be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone.” She learned — and wrote — that living on $7 an hour was not a way to live at all.

In a 2001 review for The Times, Stephen Metcalf called the book “thoroughly enjoyable, written with an affable, up-your-nose brio throughout. Ehrenreich is a superb and relaxed stylist, and she has a tremendous sense of rueful humor. … Social critics often sting but just as often lack real antiseptic power. Not so Ehrenreich, an old-time southpaw, a leftie without a trace of the apologetic squeak that’s recently crept into the voice of the left — and crept in while conservatives have stertorously monopolized phrases like ‘civilized society.'”

In 2009, Ehrenreich asked in The Times if feminism had “been replaced by the pink-ribbon breast cancer cult,” hoping to ignite a new women’s health movement. In 2014, she asked “how do we reconcile the mystical experience with daily life” for a memoir that she never set out to write, thinking the form was too self-involved.

Nonetheless, she crafted “Living With a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth About Everything,” a personal history and spiritual inquiry that pulled from journals she wrote between the ages of 14 and 24.

In a 2014 review of the book, David L. Ulin, a former Times books editor and critic, emphasized that the memoir was “not a book of faith. Educated as a scientist, trained as a reporter, Ehrenreich does not believe in what she cannot see. As such, she turns to philosophy, chemistry and physics; she traces the influence of her home life, which was dysfunctional (both parents were alcoholics) but encouraged asking questions and thinking for oneself.”

Barbara Alexander was born in Butte, Mont., in 1941, to a mother who was a homemaker and a father who was a copper miner before earning a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University and becoming the director of research at Gillette.

According to the Associated Press, she was raised in a union household where family rules included “never cross a picket line and never vote Republican.”

She also said she was born and raised into atheism “by people who had derived their own atheism from a proud tradition of working-class rejection of authority in all its forms, whether vested in bosses or priests, gods or demons.” She was a student activist, was educated as a scientist — she studied physics at Reed College and earned a PhD in cellular biology from Rockefeller University in 1968 — but trained as a teacher and reporter.

After getting her doctorate, she joined a group of activists trying to improve healthcare for poor New Yorkers, which cemented her love of reporting and writing. “Health seemed related to biology,” she told the Washington Post in 2005.

Her 1983 book, “The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight From Commitment,” helped her get assignments at the New York Times and launched her journalism career. She wrote a regular column for Time from 1990 to 1997. Her most notable books from that period include “Fear of Falling” and “Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War.”

Barbara Ehrenreich in New York in 2007.
Barbara Ehrenreich in New York in 2007. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In 2019, after the release of “Natural Causes,” she explored “Silicon Valley syndrome,” or “towering hubris,” the pursuit of not just extending the quality of life but living forever.

The prolific author told The Times that once she realized she was old enough to die, she decided she would put up with no more “suffering, annoyance and boredom” in pursuit of a longer life. Instead, she opted to choose the foods she liked, the exercise that sufficed and the doctor visits that addressed the pains she actually felt. At the time, she had just released “Natural Causes.”

Ehrenreich was motivated by a desire to shed light on ordinary people as well as the “overlooked and the forgotten,” her editor, Sara Bershtel, told the New York Times.

She is survived by her son and her daughter, Rosa Brooks.

Barbara Ehrenreich, muckraking writer and activist, dies

CNBC – U.S. News

Barbara Ehrenreich, muckraking writer and activist, dies

Associated Press – September 2, 2022

  • Barbara Ehrenreich, the muckraking author, activist and journalist who in such notable works as “Nickel and Dimed” and “Bait and Switch” challenged conventional thinking about class, religion and the very idea of an American dream, has died at age 81.
  • Ehrenreich died Thursday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, according to her son, the author and journalist Ben Ehrenreich. She had recently suffered a stroke.
Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Dancing in the Streets, poses in New York on Wednesday, January 10, 2007.

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Dancing in the Streets, poses in New York on Wednesday, January 10, 2007.Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Barbara Ehrenreich, the muckraking author, activist and journalist who in such notable works as “Nickel and Dimed” and “Bait and Switch” challenged conventional thinking about class, religion and the very idea of an American dream, has died at age 81.

Ehrenreich died Thursday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, according to her son, the author and journalist Ben Ehrenreich. She had recently suffered a stroke.

“She was, she made clear, ready to go,” Ben Ehrenreich tweeted Friday. “She was never much for thoughts and prayers, but you can honor her memory by loving one another, and by fighting like hell.”

Barbara Ehrenreich was a Montana native, raised in a union household where family rules included “never cross a picket line and never vote Republican.” A prolific author who regularly turned out books and newspaper and magazine articles, she was a longtime proponent of liberal causes from economic equality to abortion rights. For “Nickel and Dimed,” one of her best known books, she worked in minimum wage jobs so she could learn firsthand the struggles of the working poor, whom she called “the major philanthropists of our society.”

“They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high,” she wrote. “To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone.”

We’re in the middle of sweet corn season: Here are some easy ways to cook, store it

Detroit Free Press

We’re in the middle of sweet corn season: Here are some easy ways to cook, store it

Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press – August 29, 2022

Sweet corn.
Sweet corn.

When it comes to produce that is fresh, sweet, and tasty, it doesn’t get any better than sweet corn. And we are smack dab in the middle of sweet corn season.

Loads of yellow, white, and bi-color corn are landing at many metro Detroit local farm markets, independent stores and farmers’ markets.

Fred Block of Block’s Stand and Greenhouse in Romulus said the crop is big and it’s coming in good.

“It’s (corn season) in full swing with good varieties, good size ears, and good flavor,” Block said.

At Block’s, corn is sold by how many you can fit in a bag. The bags are two for $5 and easily hold a dozen ears of corn.

Ben Phillips, a Michigan State University Extension vegetable specialist, also said this year’s corn season in Michigan is excellent.

While there was a little dry stress early, Phillips said rains were well timed, pollination happened and pests were low.

“There’s a lot of high-quality ears out there,” Phillips said. “Conditions have been good for tip fill.”

For good tip fill, Phillips said, when you’re holding that ear of corn, the tip has to feel “stubby, not pointy.”

“That means all the kernels to the end have filled out,” he said.

Cooking corn

Ever have cooler corn? It’s an easy way to cook corn for a crowd. Yes, that same cooler that keeps beer, pop and foods cold can keep things hot, too.

Cooking corn in a cooler is quick and easy.
Cooking corn in a cooler is quick and easy.

Here’s how:

  • Clean your cooler, making sure you wash and rinse it out well.
  • Make sure you have a lid.
  • Shuck the corn and place it in the cooler. You can line them up in a single or double row — depending on the size of your cooler.
  • Boil some water — enough to completely cover the ears by an inch or more.
  • Cover with the lid. Let sit at least 30-45 minutes or until the corn is cooked. If you like you can throw in a stick of butter too.
Silk-free microwave corn

A few minutes in the microwave and how you remove the husk leads to silk-free corn.

Here’s how:

  • Leave the corn in the husk but remove as much of the silk as you can. I use scissors to trim it away.
  • Place the corn on a microwave-safe plate or dish. Microwave on high for about 3 minutes, depending on the size of the ear.
  • The corn will be hot so use oven mitts or a towel to remove it from the microwave.
  • Place corn on a work surface and cut about ½-inch off the larger end.
  • Holding the silk end, squeeze or twist the husk so the ear of corn slips out. The silk stays in the husk.
Storing corn
  • Store freshly picked corn in a bag in the refrigerator and use it within a few days. Do not remove the husk.
  • Corn also freezes beautifully. Cut the kernels from the cob and place them in a freezer-quality bag and in the freezer. There’s no need to blanch the corn. You can also freeze cooked corn.
  • You can also freeze the whole cobs of corn. Remove the husk and silk and blanch in boiling water 3-4 minutes. Place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Pat corn dry and place in a freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible.
  • To easily cut corn from the cob, break the ear in half. Stand the ear on the cut side and slice kernels from top to bottom. Having two smaller pieces standing upright is easier than trying to cut the kernels from a whole ear.

7 Signs You’re Secretly Dehydrated (That Have Nothing to Do With Thirst)

Real Simple

7 Signs You’re Secretly Dehydrated (That Have Nothing to Do With Thirst)

Karen Asp, MA, CPT, VLCE – August 27, 2022

glass of water on a green background
glass of water on a green background

Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images

Staying hydrated is critical for feeling good and operating at your best. Given that the body is made up of an average of 60 percent water (though this amount varies from person to person), it requires H20 to function on numerous levels. You need more than two hands to count the number of awesome things water does within your body, but some of its main jobs include removing waste and toxins, regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and improving cellular, tissue, and organ health, says Tamika Henry, MD, MBA, board-certified family physician and founder of Unlimited Health Institute in Pasadena, Calif. Other tasks include aiding in saliva production, proper digestion, and the delivery of oxygen throughout your body.

RELATED: Should You Drink a Glass of Water First Thing in the Morning? Here Are 6 Healthy Perks, According to MDs

Throughout the day, we naturally use and lose water—we sweat, we pee, we exhale—and can’t actually produce more of it by ourselves. Therefore, we rely on external sources to replenish properly. When you lose more water than you take in, you’re considered dehydrated. But you probably don’t track whether you’re dehydrated by keeping tabs on your water intake and output—you more likely wait until you feel thirsty. But here’s the kicker: “If you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated,” Dr. Henry says.

While thirst is the most common signal of dehydration—and you should absolutely listen to it—there are several other, less-obvious ways to tell if you’re water-deprived, including some mental and emotional markers that may surprise you.

Mental and Physical Signs of Dehydration
You have bad breath.

Bad breath has many causes, including dehydration. Why? Because saliva has antibacterial properties, and the creation of saliva requires water. When you’re dehydrated, salivary production goes down because your body has to do some hydration triage and divert fluids to its higher-priority locations. “The ability to fight odor-causing germs in your mouth may not be efficient [when you’re dehydrated], causing bad breath,” explains Shyamala Vishnumohan, PhD, director of food and nutrition and certified prenatal dietitian at One to One Consulting in Perth, Australia.

You feel hungry.

First things first: It’s very possible that you’re actually hungry, in which case, please eat! But there are times when you feel peckish or notice cravings (often for salty foods) because you’re really thirsty, Dr. Henry says. It’s important to pay close attention to your body and learn the difference—not because you shouldn’t be eating, but because your body is trying to tell you that it needs water. Next time you feel hungry, but aren’t sure why—maybe you just ate or don’t usually feel hungry around that time—ask yourself, “am I dehydrated?” Drink a glass of water and wait about 15 minutes. “More times than not, people are thirsty and not experiencing an actual need to eat,” she says. And heads up, you might be thirsty and hungry, so grab yourself a glass of water and a satisfying snack.

RELATED: 7 Healthy Foods That’ll Help You Stay Hydrated

Your head is pounding.

There’s no certain explanation for why headaches occur with dehydration, but experts have a few hunches. “A working theory involves pain receptors in the brain that are attached to the meninges (membrane layers that protect your brain and spinal cord),” Dr. Henry says. Being dehydrated can cause fluid to shift out of the brain, putting pressure on the meninges and stimulating pain receptors as a result. Translation: that headache is a possible clue that you’ve gone too long without water.

RELATED: 5 Natural Headache Remedies, Backed by Science

Your focus is off.

If you’re having trouble focusing, it might be wise to slug some water. “Dehydration can lead to a lack of ability to focus, causing short-term challenges in performing tasks related to motor and visual skills,” Dr. Henry says. Even mild dehydration can cause cognitive issues, which is why she recommends setting alarms throughout the day to remind you to drink.

You’re constipated.

Constipation is the worst. It’s defined as having less than three bowel movements per week, and it’s common among Americans—roughly 16 out of 100 adults have symptoms of constipation, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. One of the culprits of constipation may be dehydration. Water aids digestion, Dr. Henry says, and in the end, is one of the most helpful keys to keeping things moving and regular.

You’re grumpy.

While lack of sleep is largely responsible for a negative mood—and we all know feeling “hangry” is definitely a thing—dehydration can also play a role in spoiling your state of mind. Feeling cranky, impatient, or annoyed? “Dehydration can cause neurological effects that lead to irritability,” Dr. Henry says. So next time you snap at your partner or the kids, it may have less to do with their behavior and more to do with your need for water.

RELATED: Not Drinking Enough Water Is One of the Worst Things You Can Do When Stressed—Here’s Why

Your skin feels less elastic.

While dry skin is not necessarily a direct sign of your hydration levels, skin elasticity is. Have you ever pinched your hand to see if it snaps quickly back into place? If it doesn’t, it turns out this is a pretty effective way to tell if you’re dehydrated, Vishnumohan says. To test, use two fingers to pinch your skin on the top of your hand, lower arm, or abdomen. If you’re hydrated, it should tent up and release, snapping back into place immediately. When you’re dehydrated, on the other hand, your skin loses some of that elasticity it needs to snap back immediately.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The short answer: It depends.

The long answer? Research has found that, “there is no single daily water requirement for a given person.” It’s not easy to say exactly how much you need because it truly depends on a range of factors, including body size and composition, physical activity levels, climate, and diet. If you’re spending time in hot weather or performing strenuous exercise, for example, you’ll need to replace fluids lost from sweating by drinking even more (and don’t forget to replace lost electrolytes, too).

Some experts suggest drinking roughly half your body weight in ounces (i.e. if you weigh 160 pounds, you should consume about 80 ounces of water). And you’ve probably heard the guideline to drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. But there’s no scientific evidence to conclude that these recommendations are the standard, be-all and end-all rule for every individual, Vishnumohan says.

Instead of agonizing over ounces or glasses, aim to drink water regularly throughout the day and listen carefully to your body’s natural cues. Remember that many foods (fresh fruits and veggies!) and beverages besides water (tea, milk, smoothies!) also contribute to your hydration status. Vishnumohan’s hydration habits, for instance, include enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning and a cup of tea at night, eating five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day, and drinking at least one glass of water with every meal.

RELATED: Hydration Is Essential, but Can You Drink Too Much Water?

Ted Cruz says there’s a ‘real risk’ that Biden’s student-loan forgiveness will help Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections

Insider

Ted Cruz says there’s a ‘real risk’ that Biden’s student-loan forgiveness will help Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections

Yelena Dzhanova – August 27, 2022

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at the Senate on Wednesday.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at the Senate.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
  • Sen. Ted Cruz said Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan will “drive up turnout” for Democrats in November.
  • “Maybe you weren’t gonna vote in November, and suddenly you just got 20 grand,” Cruz said of the plan.
  • “If you can get off the bong for a minute … it could drive up turnout,” he said.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday railed against President Joe Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan, predicting it’ll give Democrats an edge in the upcoming midterm elections.

“If you are that slacker barista who wasted seven years in college studying completely useless things, now has loans and can’t get a job, Joe Biden just gave you 20 grand,” Cruz said during an appearance on his “Verdict with Ted Cruz” podcast. “Like, holy cow! 20 grand. You know, maybe you weren’t gonna vote in November, and suddenly you just got 20 grand.”

“And you know, if you can get off the bong for a minute and head down to the voting station,” he continued. “Or just send in your mail-in ballot that the Democrats have helpfully sent you, it could drive up turnout, particularly among young people.”

Cruz said “there is a real risk” that the Democrats will net more support in November.

The Biden administration earlier this week announced a plan to cancel $10,000 in student-loan debt for borrowers whose annual income does not exceed $125,000.

“For too many people, student loan debt has hindered their ability to achieve their dreams—including buying a home, starting a business, or providing for their family,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “Getting an education should set us free; not strap us down! That’s why, since Day One, the Biden-Harris administration has worked to fix broken federal student aid programs and deliver unprecedented relief to borrowers.”

Prominent Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders have slammed Cruz’s remarks.

“This is what a leading Republican thinks of young ‘slacker’ Americans who took out loans to go to college,” Sanders tweeted in response to a clip of his remarks.

A former official working in the Obama administration also criticized Cruz.

“Since Ted Cruz knows baristas have been spitting in his coffee for years, it’s technically not punching down,” said Brandon Friedman, former deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the United States Department of Housing and Urban

Petition calling for Clarence Thomas removal from Supreme Court gets 1M signatures

THe Hill

Petition calling for Clarence Thomas removal from Supreme Court gets 1M signatures

Olafimihan Oshin – July 6, 2022

An online petition that calls for the removal of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has attracted more than 1 million signatures.

The petition, titled “Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas,” was created on the public advocacy organization website MoveOn in May.

The petition description cited Thomas’s vote to overturn Roe v. Wade as reasoning for his removal.

“Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—who sided with the majority on overturning Roe—made it clear what’s next: to overturn high court rulings that establish gay rights and contraception rights,” the petition read.

The description also mentioned Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, and her role in encouraging members of the Trump administration to continue to challenge the 2020 election results.

The Supreme Court earlier this year rejected a request by former President Trump to prevent the release of documents related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Thomas was the only justice to dissent on the matter.

“He has shown he cannot be an impartial justice and is more concerned with covering up his wife’s coup attempts than the health of the Supreme Court.”

“He must resign — or Congress must immediately investigate and impeach,” the petition concluded.

The petition garnered more than 1.1 million signatures and urges Congress to either investigate or impeach Thomas for his actions.

The MoveOn petition follows a similar one created by George Washington University students last week in an effort to remove Thomas from his teaching position with the Washington, D.C., university.

The student-led petition came after the high court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 ruling that determined a woman’s right to abortion was constitutional.

In a school-wide letter, GWU officials said they don’t have plans to remove Thomas as an adjunct instructor in their law school, stating that he did not violate the school’s policy on academic freedom.

“Just as we affirm our commitment to academic freedom, we affirm the right of all members of our community to voice their opinions and contribute to the critical discussion that is foundational to our academic mission,” school officials wrote in their letter.

U.S. Supreme Court takes aim at separation of church and state

Reuters

U.S. Supreme Court takes aim at separation of church and state

Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung – June 28, 2022

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court has chipped away at the wall separating church and state in a series of new rulings, eroding American legal traditions intended to prevent government officials from promoting any particular faith.

In three decisions in the past eight weeks, the court has ruled against government officials whose policies and actions were taken to avoid violating the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment prohibition on governmental endorsement of religion – known as the “establishment clause.”

The court on Monday backed a Washington state public high school football coach who was suspended by a local school district for refusing to stop leading Christian prayers with players on the field after games.

On June 21, it endorsed taxpayer money paying for students to attend religious schools under a Maine tuition assistance program in rural areas lacking nearby public high schools.

On May 2, it ruled in favor of a Christian group that sought to fly a flag emblazoned with a cross at Boston city hall under a program aimed at promoting diversity and tolerance among the city’s different communities.

The court’s conservative justices, who hold a 6-3 majority, in particular have taken a broad view of religious rights. They also delivered a decision on Friday that was hailed by religious conservatives – overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide – though that case did not involve the establishment clause.

Cornell Law School professor Michael Dorf said the court’s majority appears skeptical of government decision-making premised on secularism.

“They regard secularism, which for centuries has been the liberal world’s understanding of what it means to be neutral, as itself a form of discrimination against religion,” Dorf said of the conservative justices.

In Monday’s ruling, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that the court’s aim was to prevent public officials from being hostile to religion as they navigate the establishment clause. Gorsuch said that “in no world may a government entity’s concerns about phantom violations justify actual violations of an individuals First Amendment rights.”

‘WALL OF SEPARATION’

It was President Thomas Jefferson who famously said in an 1802 letter that the establishment clause should represent a “wall of separation” between church and state. The provision prevents the government from establishing a state religion and prohibits it from favoring one faith over another.

In the three recent rulings, the court decided that government actions intended to maintain a separation of church and state had instead infringed separate rights to free speech or the free exercise of religion also protected by the First Amendment.

But, as liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the Maine case, such an approach “leads us to a place where separation of church and state becomes a constitutional violation.”

Opinions vary over to how much flexibility government officials have in allowing religious expression, whether by public employees, on public land or by people during an official proceeding. Those who favor a strict separation of church and state are concerned that landmark Supreme Court precedents, including a 1962 ruling that prohibited prayer in public schools, could be imperiled.

“It’s a whole new door that (the court) has opened to what teachers, coaches and government employees can do when it comes to proselytizing to children,” said Nick Little, legal director for the Center for Inquiry, a group promoting secularism and science.

Lori Windham, a lawyer with the religious liberty legal group Becket, said the court’s decisions will allow for greater religious expression by individuals without undermining the establishment clause.

“Separation of church and state continues in a way that protects church and state. It stops the government from interfering with churches but it also protects diverse religious expression,” Windham added.

Most of the religious-rights rulings in recent years involved Christian plaintiffs. But the court also has backed followers of other religions including a Muslim woman in 2015 who was denied a retail sales job because she wore a head scarf for religious reasons and a Buddhist death row inmate in 2019 who wanted a spiritual adviser present at his execution in Texas.

The court also sided with both Christian and Jewish congregations in challenges based on religious rights to governmental restrictions such as limits on public gatherings imposed as public safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nicole Stelle Garnett, a Notre Dame Law School professor who joined a brief filed with the justices backing the football coach, said the court was merely making clear that governments must treat religious people the same as everyone else.

Following Monday’s ruling, many issues relating to religious conduct in schools may be litigated anew under the court’s rationale that the conduct must be “coercive” in order to raise establishment clause concerns.

“Every classroom,” Garnett said, “is a courtroom.”

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham and Scott Malone)