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The Democratic Party Is Getting Crushed in Fundraising: 'They Need to Get Their Shit Together'

Politics VICE News

Chairman Tom Perez has not fixed the DNC's fundraising woes.
'WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee is getting smoked by its GOP counterpart in fundraising — and some major Democrats are panicked it could hurt their chances at defeating President Trump next year. The DNC brought in just $22.9 million over the last three months including $9.5 million in June, according to a campaign finance report filed Saturday night with the Federal Election Commission. That’s less than half the Republican National Committee’s haul over the same time period: $51 million. The DNC had just $9.3 million in the bank at the end of June, less than a quarter the $44 million RNC had — and that doesn’t even factor in the DNC’s $5.7 million in debt. The RNC and President Trump’s campaign had a combined $100 million in the bank. The huge cash disparity puts Democrats behind the eight-ball in the time-and money-consuming process of building out strong voter contact programs in the states that will determine whether Trump gets reelected. “They need to get their shit together. Now,” said Adam Parkhomenko, a Hillary Clinton campaign alumna who served as the DNC’s national field director for the final few months of the 2016 campaign. READ: House Republicans are pressuring Amazon to carry books on gay conversion therapy “When Hillary became the nominee in 2016 she was handed nothing, the DNC was nothing and there was nothing to build on,” he said. “You’d think we would have spent the last few years making sure this would never happen again, and it has.” Trump’s campaign and the RNC are already using their massive cash advantage to sow the ground for next year’s election, spending more than $60 million this year alone on digital operations including $10 million on ads and building out a ground game infrastructure that takes months if not years to develop. Democrats can’t keep up. Haven't \'received a dime\' While their top presidential candidates are raising big money, the tedious years-long work of building out party voter files, identifying voters’ top concerns, and turning them out to vote is the purview of the national party, the DNC. The party’s current lack of cash could hamstring their eventual nominee and hurt down-ticket candidates, especially in states that aren’t presidential battlegrounds and are especially cash-strapped. “This is a real problem that our party and the major donors are not facing.” “This is a real problem that our party and the major donors are not facing,” said Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb, who said her party hasn’t “received a dime yet” of money the DNC promised to them earlier in the year and hasn’t been able to hire field staff she’d planned on. The party’s fundraising woes began long before DNC Chairman Tom Perez took over in early 2017. The DNC has been outraised by the RNC in every two-year campaign cycle since 2010, following a disastrous move by President Obama to spin off his own campaign into a separate operation, starving the party of resources for years. READ: House GOP chair thinks Trump went way too far with \'send her back\' chant “Under President Obama we completely ignored our state and DNC infrastructure and now we’re paying a major price,” said Kleeb. Other hurdles face the DNC. The GOP always has a natural advantage with big donors as the party of big business and billionaires. Small-dollar donors are rarely eager to give to a committee instead of a candidate — and the DNC’s perceived bias towards Clinton in the 2016 primaries badly damaged the DNC’s image. Democrats don’t have the White House, so they don’t have a fundraiser-in-chief, and a crowded presidential field is sucking up most donor attention and resources. Democrats credit Perez for cleaning up some of the mess he inherited. The party has grown from 30 to 200 employees as fundraising has improved, and the DNC recently hired 1,000 rising college seniors to be full-time organizers after graduation. The committee parted ways with longtime finance chairman Henry Muñoz in early May and replaced him with Chris Korge, a major Democratic Party donor. Under Korge, the DNC raised $3.2 million more in June than May. But with the Democratic National Convention just a year away, Perez is running out of time to right the ship. “The one thing that has been changed is they replaced their finance chair with a guy who’s a very good money-raiser,” said former DNC Chairman Ed Rendell. Korge argued the DNC is hitting its internal fundraising marks and promised it would raise more than it did during the 2016 cycle. While he admitted the GOP would vastly outraise them, he pointed out that the DNC and Clinton outspent the RNC and Trump by a wide margin in 2016 and Trump still won. READ: Bernie and Biden are pumped to beat each other up over Medicare for All “We’re running a very tight organization, we’re managing our money in a way that maximizes our effectiveness and helps us build our team as fast as we possibly can,’” Korge said. “They [Republicans] will not have one bell or whistle that we don’t have as good or better than them. I am 100% convinced of it.” Many major liberal donors don’t buy it, however, and continue to refuse to give to the DNC, instead backing candidates or outside groups. “People arent giving to the DNC because they don’t know why the fuck they should,” said Democratic strategist Tracy Sefl. “What is it that you’re paying for? People think messaging is what the DNC does. It’s not that at all, it’s the nuts and bolts boring stuff [that matters].” Korge’s response to scared Democrats? “Don’t panic. Write a check.” Cover: Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaks during the Democratic National Committee (DNC) IWillVote Gala fundraising event in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Thursday, June 6, 2019. (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)'

What I Learned Traveling With My Family For Two Weeks Put Adulting Into Perspective

Travel and Experiences Elite Daily

Even for the most passionate travelers, it can be difficult to put your adulting responsibilities on hold and embark on a major vacation. It's been years since my family has been on a big trip, because between my mom, my sister, and I, our work…
'Even for the most passionate travelers, it can be difficult to put your adulting responsibilities on hold and embark on a major vacation. It's been years since my family has been on a big trip, because between my mom, my sister, and I, our work schedules are hard to line up. That's why it was really special when we were able to go to Europe this summer, and what I learned traveling with my family for two weeks is a lesson I believe many people can benefit from. Living long-distance, I try to talk to my family in our group chat on a weekly basis, but it's still not the same as being in the same room as them. Aside from the occasional weekends trips here and there, and heading home for the holidays, it's rare that we're all together. When I was little, we went on exciting family vacays all the time that I really looked forward to. As my sister and I grew up, though, those trips became a little less interesting and a little more routine. It was always to the same places, and they never lasted longer than a week. I didn't notice how much I missed the exciting adventures from my childhood until my mom booked us a river cruise in Europe that would last two whole weeks. That was going to be our first major trip in years, and I quickly realized how important taking time off actually is. Sure, there was the initial anxiety of having to be away from work and my friends for two weeks. But after everything at home was taken care of and I was all packed up, that stress started to fade away. I was ready to soak up every single moment. I finally got to enjoy meals with my family, and laugh at inside jokes we haven't brought up in years. I've actually never laughed harder than when my sister teased me about my failed attempt at painting a van Gogh masterpiece in Amsterdam, and exploring the Efteling theme park was a top highlight of the trip. Sharing these new places with my family was so important for our relationship. When I go home for the holidays, we fall into the same routine. We eat at my favorite restaurants, watch the same movie classics, and go shopping at Target. Of course, I cherish this quality time with them, but it's not the same as experiencing something completely new and extraordinary together. Those unique experiences allowed us to make new memories and inside jokes. Not only was it important to try new things together, but it was so important to unplug from our \'real world\' responsibilities. If you haven't taken a proper family vacay in years, you might not realize how much you're missing out on. Weekend getaways are fun, but based off of this two-week Euro trip, I learned a good chunk of time together to just be a family is beyond necessary. It's difficult at first to ignore the fact that your work emails are piling up, but believe me work can wait. You'll have to factor in a little post-vacay email organization, but that's nothing when you compare it to checking off bucket list dreams of eating delicious souffls in Paris and having your mom, who used to ride horses, coach you as you go horseback riding in the Alsace region of France. I'm basically telling you that if taking a big family trip has been on your mind, make it happen. I don't think I need to remind you how important it is to spend time with the people you love most, so pack your bags and put up that out of office vacation responder already.'

Progress Toward Ending HIV/AIDS Epidemic Is Receding

Health care Voice of America

Key populations, including sex workers, drug users, men having sex with men, transgenders and prisoners, account for more than half of all new HIV infections
'A report issued on the eve of an international AIDS conference in Mexico finds progress in combating the global HIV/AIDS epidemic is receding.  The joint U.N. program on HIV/AIDS, known as UNAIDS, warns the pace of progress in reducing new HIV infections is slowing because nations lack the political will needed to end this scourge.  UNAIDS latest global update finds 1.7 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2018 and 770,000 died of AIDS-related illnesses.  The report finds more than 23 million people are receiving anti-retroviral treatment, but another 15 million are still not receiving this life-saving treatment. UNAIDS Chief: Testing is Critical in Combating HIV/AIDS UNAIDS Acting Executive Director Gunilla Carlsson says the report for the first time shows key populations and their sexual partners account for more than half of all new HIV infections.  She notes up to 54 percent of new infections is being spread by sex workers, drug users, men having sex with men, transgenders and prisoners. She tells VOA these key populations suffer from stigma and discrimination.  Consequently, she says they are not being reached at the scale needed to stop transmission of HIV. “The risk of those people being left behind and not being treated in a proper manner with access not only to rights, but also to treatment and care–if we cannot talk about that, we will not solve this.  We see in special regions then where this is extra-noticeable,” Carlsson said. Carlsson says new infections have risen by 29 percent since 2010 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  During the same period, HIV infections have risen by 10 percent in the Middle-East and North Africa. She says the global HIV/AIDS map shows a mixed picture.  She says some progress has been made in Western Europe and North America, though the number of new infections and deaths there remains unacceptably high. As in the past, the report finds the majority of people living with HIV and new infections is in Eastern and Southern Africa.  However, it notes interventions in heavily-affected South Africa have succeeded in reducing HIV infections by 40 percent. Carlsson warns efforts to bring an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic will fail without adequate funding.  She says available resources to respond to AIDS has fallen by nearly $1 billion.  Furthermore, she notes the UNAIDS program is more than $7 billion short of the estimated $26.2 billion needed by 2020.'

Running the numbers on an insane scheme to save Antarctic ice

Weather Ars Technica

It would take a lot. Like a real lot.
'Enlarge / Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier sheds some icebergs. Could we.. sort of.. put them back? (credit: NASA Earth Observatory ) Imagine, if you will, the engineers of the king’s court after Humpty Dumpty’s disastrous fall. As panicked men apparently competed with horses for access to the site of the accident, perhaps the engineers were scoping out scenarios, looking for a better method of reassembling the poor fellow. But presumably none of those plans worked out, given the dark ending to that fairy tale. A recent study published in Science Advances might be relatable for those fairy tale engineers. Published by Johannes Feldmann, Anders Levermann, and Matthias Mengel at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the study tackles a remarkable question: could we save vulnerable Antarctic glaciers with artificial snow? Keeping our cool Antarctica’s ice is divided into two separate ice sheets by a mountain range, with the smaller but much more vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet representing one of the biggest wildcards for future sea level rise. In 2014, a study showed that two of the largest glaciers within that ice sheet—known as the Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier—had likely crossed a tipping point, guaranteeing a large amount of future ice loss that would continue even if global warming were halted today. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments'

Jon Jon Briones Returns to 'Miss Saigon' to Watch the L.A. Opening Night!

Celebrities Just Jared

Jon Jon Briones poses for a photo with actor Red Concepcion while attending the opening night performance of Miss Saigon at the Pantages Theatre on Thursday (July 18) in Hollywood. The 53-year-old actor previously played the role of the engineer in
'Jon Jon Briones poses for a photo with actor Red Concepcion while attending the opening night performance of Miss Saigon at the Pantages Theatre on Thursday (July 18) in Hollywood. The 53-year-old actor previously played the role of the engineer in the recent Broadway revival and Red is playing the role on the national tour. Jon Jon also appeared as Modesto Cunanan in Ryan Murphy ‘s American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace and he’ll soon appear in the new series Ratched . Also stepping out on the red carpet were Emily Bautista and Anthony Festa , who play Kim and Chris on the tour. Miss Saigon is currently playing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre through August 11. The tour will be traveling around the country through June 2020.'