What campaign design reveals about the race to 2020

With the exception of Barack Obama, candidates have rarely invested in original design. A group that tracks the way politicians market themselves shows that is changing.

American politicians love soaring eagles. The same goes for eternal flames, fluttering flags, and spangles of stars. They also love a good speech bubble–especially if it looks kind of like an iMessage. They adore Futura.

Those are some of the findings of the Center for American Politics and Design, a fledgling group of designers interested in campaign marketing and design. The group collects thousands of logos, color schemes, and marketing campaigns, adding them to a growing archive of imagery that anyone can download and use as they see fit. Founder Susan Merriam plans to build tools for fledgling candidates that may not have a budget for design–and connect young candidates to designers who want to help.[Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]Campaign design tends to serve as an engine for hot takes in the political media, driven as much by the 24-hour-a-day news cycle of network TV as the huge sums of money most politicians spend on marketing. Criticisms tend to fall along pretty predictable political lines; a candidate’s taste becomes a stand-in for their party alignment. (Surprise! When candidates don’t run on policies, they end up being judged on aesthetics.) A scroll through the CAPD archives. [Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]

But it also offers a vantage on how American politics has evolved. Some of the CAPD’s new research, analyzing roughly 900 campaigns from 2018 and 2019, reveals both political parties’ search for identity and ideological direction. Look at the hundreds of campaigns run over the past year, and you’ll see candidates using design to market themselves as anti-establishment outsiders or friendly, normal, would-be neighbors. You’ll also see evidence of the influx of corporate money, as well as candidates signaling their traditionalist values or “likability,” a quality so often described as lacking in women candidates.

“At least at the presidential level, there’s a lot more focus on [design] in terms of differentiating yourself,” Merriam says, as opposed to the generic branding of the 1990s. “Maybe that’s a symbol of the polarization that we’re in as well.”In 2018, women candidates were four times as likely to emphasize their first names than male candidates. [Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]

That doesn’t mean that every politician is investing in designers, necessarily. After Barack Obama’s successful and well-designed campaigns, many subsequent candidates have simply tried to copy Obama’s iconography, using the same fonts and cribbing other aspects of the former president’s campaigns. Even Mike Huckabee, a politician who once said that Obama’s “new domestic terrorism plan probably requires Americans to memorize Koran verses,” debuted an Obama-esque logo for his ill-fated 2016 campaign. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s successful campaign design has already become a touchstone like Obama’s did–and may end up being widely mimicked, too.

Other trends are harder to pin on one source: Merriam says that Bernie Sanders’s 2016 logo fueled an influx of campaigns focused around first names, which could also be related to many candidates wanting to seem similarly friendly or relatable. Gender also seems to be a factor here: In 2018, Democrat women were more than four times as likely to emphasize their first names than men.
[Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]

Unsurprisingly, many Republican campaigns are trying to broadcast traditionalism: They’re three times as likely as Democrats to use red over any color, and Republican men are almost seven times more likely to emphasize their last names than Democratic women candidates–one notable exception being the failed campaign of Jeb! Bush (which might explain why so few of his peers have followed his lead).

The CAPD also analyzes design in terms of FEC candidate fundraising data, as well as by each district’s gross domestic product. In high-GDP areas, candidates tend to favor design that Merriam compares to tech company branding; in lower-GDP areas, politicians choose logos that are more akin to local businesses.

Either way, campaigns look more and more like businesses–hinting at the ever-narrowing difference between corporations and politics in American life.The lowest (left) and highest (right) fundraisers, according to FEC data. [Images: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]The CAPD plans to continue publishing reports on the way politicians present themselves to the public–and do more research with campaign operatives about how they think about the design process. Eventually, Merriam hopes they’ll evolve into a resource for small candidates looking for help. She points to the importance of state legislature races, and envisions publishing a tool kit for campaign design that could help candidates who don’t have the backing of the Democratic or Republican party establishment–a “tool for everybody,” regardless of how much funding they have.[Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]Merriam is watching the fledgling 2020 campaigns for president closely. She describes Kamala Harris’s campaign design as strong–last week the former California attorney general unveiled a logo based on Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign, connecting Harris to Chisholm’s history as the first black woman to run for president. As to the mint greens, pinks, and yellows of other 2020 hopefuls, including Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand? They’re another example of Democratic candidates hoping to present themselves as counter to conventional party wisdom.

“If you look at presidential logos from 20 years ago, they all look very similar; many of the candidates tended to be more middle-of-the-road,” she says. Even more centrist candidates are trying to present themselves as counter to party establishment. “I think there’s a lot of sentiment right now to sort of confront the status quo” both on the left and right, she adds. Hopefully that sentiment will go further than appearances.

'Friendly grandpa' or creepy uncle? Generations split over Biden behavior

2020 Elections

'I come from a different generation,' said one female septuagenarian donor, 'when people were really friendly and were not afraid to show it.'

Longtime Democratic donor Susie Tompkins Buell, 76, has met Joe Biden several times over the years and says he's a hand-holder and a hugger; physically, but innocently, affectionate.

“He’s just like a friendly grandpa, what can I say,” Buell said.

Lucy Flores, 39, a former Nevada assemblywoman and 2014 candidate for lieutenant governor, described her interaction with Biden — his kissing her on the head — as uncomfortable and unacceptable.

"He needs to have an awareness and — after all of those years where he was acting inappropriately — someone around him should have said to him, ‘Joe Biden, stop doing that,” Flores said.

Now that Biden’s past physical interactions are under the microscope, there are signs that the behavior is being viewed through vastly different lenses, in many cases based on generational differences: What’s creepy to one person is welcome, or at least not bothersome, to another. The discussion of inappropriate touching, however, comes just as Biden is preparing to announce whether he’ll enter the 2020 field against a historically diverse roster of Democrats. It’s the latest sign of a new playing field to which the 76-year-old Biden must adapt, even as factions within the party have expressed a hunger for fresh faces.

“I come from a different generation, people were really friendly and were not afraid to show it," Buell, who supports Kamala Harris in the Democratic primary, said. "He’s a hand-holder, he’s appreciative of people who’ve done good things. And if he appreciates you, he likes to show it. He’ll hold your hand, he’ll hug you. I hate to see that being chased off.”

Massachusetts Democratic Party vice chairwoman Deb Kozikowski described a deep disconnect between generations, to the point where she said she feels the need to have a broader discussion about today’s rules of conduct. In her view, some of the complaints today are of behavior she's long considered acceptable.

“All I know is if you can’t touch someone without their permission anymore, then put my picture on the wall at the post office,” Kozikowski, who is neutral in the Democratic primary, said. “How do we know how to behave with each other? Do we walk into a room and say ‘hey, are you a hugger? I’m a hugger.’ … I just need to understand what the parameters are and how do we deal with it.”

Nelini Stamp, a 31-year-old director of strategy and partnerships for the Working Families Party, said she was disappointed that those who reacted to Flores’ statement by saying they always felt comfortable around Biden didn’t get the “nuance” that younger progressives do.

“I do think that there is a generational divide. This is about the future of not just the Democratic Party but our community at large that wants to see a world in which we have no tolerance for inappropriate behavior and sexual assault,” Stamp said. “The point is that Lucy did feel uncomfortable. This is not about negating your experience [with Biden] but about elevating hers.”

The difference in perception presents a strategic challenge to Biden as he weighs a presidential bid and whether he can push back against a “creepy Joe” labeling along with a montage of photos of Biden plastered across social media. A conversation about how to characterize Biden’s past interactions with women raged across social media and cable news after Flores and a second woman from Connecticut said he touched them in a way that was unwanted and made them feel uncomfortable.

“Anyone who knows Biden knows that he is a very warm and tactile personality. There are a million examples of it,” says David Axelrod, longtime adviser to Barack Obama. “It’s not lasciviousness. It’s just his style. The problem he has is that these gestures, which he and most of the recipients viewed as benign, are now being judged in a different time and through a different lens.”

Biden’s camp has aggressively pushed back at suggestions that the former vice president had a deeper history of being too touchy with women, referencing a “cottage industry of lies” and specifically pointing to public rebuttals of online memes surrounding Stephanie Carter, the wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and the daughter of Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

“The Vice President has issued a statement affirming that in all the many years in public life that he has shaken a hand, given or received a hug, or laid his hand on a shoulder to express concern, support, or reassurance, he never intended to cause discomfort. He has said that he believes that women who have experience any such discomfort, regardless of intention, should speak and be heard, and that he will be among those who listen,” said Biden spokesman Bill Russo.

“But the important conversation about these issues are not advanced, nor are any criticisms of Vice President Biden validated, by the continued misrepresentation of the Carter and Coons moments, or a failure to be vigilant about a cottage industry of lies.”

Still, Alyssa Miller-Hurley, a Democratic operative from South Carolina, said the stories about Biden's interactions — and how they're being perceived by people of different generations — calls attention to his age. That's not necessarily a good thing for him, since Democrats generally want in a potential president a fresh face talking about the future.

“It just brings the two sides to what is inevitably going to be a clash between those who want something comfortable and something they know and something they’ve seen win, versus folks who want something new and [someone] that looks more like them and has had experiences that are closer to what their experiences in the White House,” she said. Miller-Hurley added, “People love him. I love him. But a lot of folks don’t want him to run for the same reasons they don’t want to vote for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They don’t want octogenarians representing them."

A conversation about how to characterize Joe Biden’s past interactions with women raged across social media and cable news on Monday.

Las economías provinciales sufren por las tasas

La decisión del Banco Central de volver a subir el indicador de referencia provocó alerta en gobiernos y sectores productivos

La industria no arranca

No hacía falta que el Gobierno lo pusiera por escrito, pero lo hizo. En un proyecto de ley que envió al Congreso para modificar la Carta Orgánica del Banco Central, estableció que la entidad no estará sujeta a órdenes, indicaciones o instrucciones del Ejecutivo y su prioridad será la de garantizar la estabilidad de precios. Así, su principal función será la de combatir la inflación, algo que parece estar complicándose en el último tiempo por la inestabilidad del dólar y los aumentos de precios regulados instaurados desde Casa Rosada.

Con pocas herramientas para, la autoridad monetaria utilizó en forma prioritaria con ese objetivo la suba de la tasa de referencia de las Leliq, que volvieron a la cifra de cuando el presidente del BCRA, Guido Sandleris, inició el último plan, un poco por debajo del 70%. Con poco resultado para contener el alza del tipo de cambio, los sectores productivos adviritieron acerca del efecto de estrangulamiento para la actividad -ya en situación crítica- y la ineficacia de los subsidios anunciados hace poco menos de un mes a tasas diferenciales: En los últimos días, también se sumaron funcionarios de gobiernos provinciales, preocupados por el impacto que tendrá en las economías regionales.

El presidente de la Unión Industrial de Entre Ríos (UIER), Leandro Garciandía, calificó de “inviables” el nivel de tasas del Banco Central “no sólo para financiar capital de trabajo sino también a las inversiones” y señaló que “afecta aún más al mercado interno, que se sigue achicando”. El crédito “es inviable porque cualquiera que quiera solicitar dinero está poniendo en serio riesgo su negocio, con una tasa prácticamente impagable”, sostuvo.

“Necesitamos condiciones para desarrollar las posibilidades regionales”


Garciandía señaló que “resulta más complejo” para quienes destinan su producción “dentro del país que al exterior” ya que “no están viendo un horizonte de crecimiento”.

La medida del BCRA “afecta cualquier tipo de operatoria, sea para financiar capital de trabajo, expansión de producción o inserción de una planta o negocio nuevo”, añadió, y resaltó que se “postergan inversiones y decisiones a nivel industrial, y hay un mercado y toda la población que termina postergando”.

“Todo el mundo posterga inversiones en su nivel, tienen miedo a quedarse sin liquidez, a perder el trabajo, a perder su empresa, y lo hace asumir posiciones muy conservadoras”, señaló.

El dirigente industrial aseguró que en Argentina hay “un escenario de incertidumbre” que genera que “todo el mundo” tenga “miedo a quedarse sin liquidez, a perder el trabajo o perder su empresa. Todos tienden a cubrirse, lo que termina impactando en una recesión, y se asumen posiciones muy conservadoras respecto a lo que se tenía proyectado”.

“Se postergan inversiones porque temen quedarse sin liquidez”


En La Pampa también se planteó la preocupación. El ministro de Producción, Ricardo Moralejo, afirmó que “se necesita un cambio en el rumbo económico para lograr crecimiento y sustentabilidad, y no programas que las ayudan a paliar la coyuntura pero no son una solución en el tiempo”.

En esta provincia se realizará el mes próximo la Expo Pymes con el apoyo del Consejo Federal de Inversiones (CFI) en la que las autoridades locales buscan “visibilizar la demanda nacional e internacional y saber en qué nivel está la producción, conocer las exigencias y los sistema de inscripciones y certificaciones, para ingresar al mercado internacional”.

El ministro sostuvo que pese a la situación económica por la que atraviesa el país “el mercado interno en La Pampa creció en forma interesante, ya que en 2015 por la aduana pampeana de General Pico se exportaron 9 millones de dólares, mientras que en 2018 se superaron los 61 millones de dólares, lo que significa que vamos en un franco crecimiento, apostando siempre a la sostenibilidad de las empresas y la diversificación del mercado tanto interno como externo”.

En Chaco, desde la Federación Económica advirtieron acerca de “la presión tributaria que pone en peligro la continuidad de las pequeñas y medianas empresas por la enorme cantidad de obligaciones fiscales”.

“Necesitamos condiciones para desarrollar las posibilidades regionales”


El secretario general de esa entidad empresaria, Gustavo Martínez Quiles, dijo que “la situación se complica aún más cuando debemos afrontar el alto costos de las tarifas de servicios públicos y la tasa interés que se cobra en el sistema bancario”.

“Es muy adverso este contexto para que los comercios, pequeñas industrias o empresas constructoras continúen con sus actividades porque también hay una muy importante baja de la demanda”, añadió.

Martínez Quiles afirmó que “este panorama debe ser soportado por pymes de diversas actividades que tratan de mantener en pie, a veces a pérdida”. En ese sentido sostuvo que “hay casos de comerciantes que han debido destinar algún ahorro previsto con otro destino o vender algún bien para no cerrar su empresa y enfrentarse a un fracaso que, tal vez, no podría superar”.

También señaló que “hay desequilibrios muy marcados en el sistema económico que no tiene ningún sentido como la comisión del 1 por ciento que el sistema bancario cobra a los depósitos”.

“Es insostenible que los bancos impongan ese costo a emprendimientos en los que sus propietarios están poniendo todo para no llegar a la nunca deseable alternativa de cerrar las puertas de un negocio por esos motivos”, añadió.

Representantes de Cámaras que contienen al sector pyme de Jujuy aseguraron que atraviesan una “delicada situación” y solicitaron “condiciones particulares para cruzar la actual coyuntura económica”. Las cargas tributarias, los fuertes incrementos en el área de servicios y la caída de la demanda fueron algunas de las cuestiones planteadas en común por los distintos sectores.

“Es insostenible que los bancos cobren comisiones a los depósitos”


“Atravesamos una situación en lo coyuntural muy crítica, muy delicada, que está afectando a prácticamente todas las actividades productivas e inclusive de servicios, por lo que hemos escuchando desde las distintas cámaras”, sostuvo Nilo Carrión, presidente de la Unión Industrial de Jujuy.

Agregó que pretenden que se promueva “como primer medida conseguir condiciones particulares para cruzar esta coyuntura hasta que de nuevo la situación económica macro sea acorde para poder pensar en crecer”.

En ese marco, destacó que los legisladores nacionales por la provincia son quienes deben “llevar la voz para resolver temas que tienen que ver con el ámbito en el que ellos se desarrollan, a nivel nacional”.

Para el dirigente, el proceso de recesión con caída de la demanda, vuelve muy complicado seguir trabajando”.

“Estamos buscando trabajar sobre cuestiones de coyuntura, pero además dejar bases para futuros desarrollos a mediano plazo, aprovechando las ventajas que tenemos en torno a algunos recursos en la zona para los cuales debemos tener condiciones que nos permitan desarrollarlos”, concluyó. En ese encuentro, participaron los diputados nacionales Alejandra Martínez, Gabriela Burgos y Osmar Monaldi; representantes de la Cámara de comercio de Palpalá, de San Pedro, de La Quiaca y de San Salvador de Jujuy; Cámara Minera; Unión de Empresarios de Jujuy y la Cámara Hotelera y afines; y la actividad estuvo encabezado por el titular de la cartera productiva, Juan Carlos Abud Robles.

Según una encuesta de González & Asociados Alternativa Federal desplazaría al tercer lugar a Macri y podría definir en un mano a mano con CFK

Según un sondeo realizado por González & Asociados a nivel nacional, si CFK fuera candidata presidencial y Lavagna y Massa dirimen en internas la candidatura del peronismo no kirchnerista, Macri quedaría rezagado a una tercera posición.

Según una encuesta de Federico González & Asociados, Alternativa Federal desplazaría a Cambiemos a un tercer lugar y dirimiría la elección presidencial en un mano a mano con el kirchnerismo, siempre y cuando Cristina Fernández de Kirchner fuera candidata por ese espacio.

Los dirigentes de Alternativa Federal que manifestaron sus intenciones de participar en la elección nacional sumarían un 28,8% contra el 25,4% que obtendría Mauricio Macri, según el sondeo. La interna del peronismo no kirchnerista quedaría en manos de Sergio Massa, quien vencería a Roberto Lavagna por 12,2% a 10,1%. Más relegados, completan el cuadro Juan Manuel Urtubey con un 5,3% y Miguel Ángel Pichetto con un 1,2%.

En ese escenario, la ex presidenta Cristina Fernández de Kirchner tiene una intención de voto del 29,1% y se le sumaría el 3,3% de Daniel Scioli. Por lo tanto, Unidad Ciudadana se impondría en las elecciones primarias sobre el resto de las fuerzas y definiría la conducción del próximo gobierno con el candidato triunfante de la interna de Alternativa Federal.

La encuesta de González & Asociados se realizó entre el 28 y el 30 de marzo a nivel nacional, con una muestra de mil consultas telefónicas.

El panorama electoral modifica según los distintos escenarios posibles. Sin una candidatura de Roberto Lavagna, los precandidatos de Alternativa Federal serían Massa, Urtubey y Pichetto y no alcanzarían a vencer a Cambiemos y de los casi 29 puntos que registraban en el escenario anterior descendería a los 23,6%.

Diametralmente opuesta sería la situación sin CFK como precandidata presidencial por el kirchnerismo y Alternativa Federal con sus cuatro candidatos. El peronismo alternativo, en ese caso, registró una intención de voto del 34,5% y Cambiemos el 24,1% en segundo lugar. Entre Axel Kicillof, Felipe Solá y Daniel Scioli obtendrían un 20,4%. Sin CFK y sin Lavagna, Alternativa Federal tomaría la delantera.

Lo que la consultora demuestra es que para el peronismo no kirchnerista, el escenario más conveniente es aquel en el que Cristina Fernández de Kirchner no es candidata y sí lo es Roberto Lavagna, quien haría más competitivo al espacio liderado por Sergio Massa.

Para González & Asociados, la ex presidenta “es la mejor candidata de la oposición para las PASO” y “si CFK no se presentara sería Sergio Massa quien ingresaría al ballotage”.

Por último, la consultora observó que “Macri aún conserva un importante caudal de votos que oscila alrededor del 25% para los diferentes escenarios”, aunque “aparece doblemente jaqueado tanto por CFK como candidata como por Alternativa Federal como espacio”.

¿Quién se queda con los votos radicales si la UCR rompe con Macri?

Un sector del radicalismo impulsa la salida de su partido de Cambiemos. Si no lo logra de manera formal, apostaría a un quiebre de hecho. Sin embargo, una encuesta insinúa que el voto boina blanca acompañaría mayoritariamente al Presidente.

Un sector del radicalismo agita la posibilidad de acompañar a Roberto Lavagna en su todavía virtual candidatura presidencial. Ese sector, que tiene como máximos emergentes a Ricardo Alfonsín y Federico Storani, amenaza con una ruptura formal de la UCR con Cambiemos que se podría dar en la Convención del partido, que se produciría en algún momento después de las elecciones en Córdoba, este 12/05.

Jorge Sappia, dirigente de esa provincia y presidente de la Convención, expresó su escepticismo sobre la realización de la cumbre radical en vistas de lo que cree será un voto mayoritario por la salida del partido de la coalición de gobierno. Sappia también abona las negociaciones con Lavagna.

Sappia es el presidente de la Convención pero su convocatoria no depende de él, sino de la conducción del partido, hoy en manos del gobernador mendocino, Alfredo Cornejo. Cornejo mantuvo la semana pasada una conversación telefónica con Mauricio Macri. Allí le confirmó lo que ya anticipaban en la Casa Rosada: que el ánimo rupturista es una cuestión de una fracción minoritaria dentro de la UCR.

Así, la Convención finalmente se llevaría acabo en algún punto entre la 2da mitad de mayo y la 1ra de junio. Se definiría por la continuidad de la alianza que se conformó en 2015 y que derrotó al kirchnerismo.

De todas formas, no se descarta que se produzca una fractura de hecho de los radicales desencantados o los que nunca estuvieron de acuerdo con el matrimonio entre la UCR, la Coalición Cívica de Elisa Carrio y, principalmente, el PRO, más allá de que Alfonsín pide "ser orgánicos" ante cualquier decisión.

¿Qué impacto podría tener ese eventual quiebre en el caudal electoral de Mauricio Macri?

En la Capital Federal, el PRO logró consolidarse como la opción de las clases medias urbanas, en detrimento del radicalismo, que comenzó un declive desde la crisis de 2001 que eyectó a Fernando de la Rúa de la Casa Rosada (antes había sido jefe de Gobierno porteño). Así, el macrismo se transformó en una opción para los históricos votantes de la UCR porteña.

¿Una ruptura de la UCR con Cambiemos mermaría considerablemente el caudal del votos del Presidente de cara a las elecciones?

Una encuesta publicada el fin de semana por la consultora Real Time Data (RTD) muestra que, en general, el votante radical todavía conserva una imagen positiva del Presidente, más allá de las quejas y reproches de los dirigentes partidarios. Si bien no se trata de un sondeo de intención de voto, es una insinuación de dónde está parado actualmente -y es sólo una foto- el votante radical.

Según esa muestra, el 53% de quienes se asumen radicales "aprueba" a Macri, contra un 35% que lo desaprueba y un 12% que se presenta indeciso.

La aprobación crece fuertemente, como es de esperarse, entre los macristas (75%) y el rechazo, también como podría anticiparse, es de casi el 100% en el kirchnerismo.

Según explica RTD en su página web, sus datos " provienen de una encuesta probabilística de cobertura nacional que incluye 48 centros urbanos de todo el país". Además, la firma se presenta como "la única consultora política de la Argentina que actualiza sus datos de opinión pública de forma diaria, de lunes a viernes, durante todo el año".

Zuckerberg ahora dice que evalúa pagar a editores por noticias de calidad

El CEO de Facebook aseguró que podría implementarlo a través de una nueva pestaña en la red social.
Mark Zuckerberg.

El director ejecutivo de Facebook Inc., Mark Zuckerberg, dice que la compañía está considerando comenzar a pagar a los editores de noticias para que distribuyan su contenido en esa red social.

La iniciativa marca un cambio respecto a las prioridades que Zuckerberg estableció el año pasado, centradas en contenidos de amigos y familiares en la sección de noticias, distanciándose de otros tipos de publicaciones.

Zuckerberg aseguró que podría implementar un nuevo sistema a través de una nueva pestaña dedicada a las noticias de calidad tanto en la plataforma web como en la app.

"Facebook podría tener una relación directa con los editores para asegurarse de que su contenido esté disponible, si es realmente contenido de alta calidad", dijo en una conversación de video con Mathias Döpfner, CEO de Axel Springer, el editor más grande en Europa.Mark Zuckerberg y Mathias Döpfner, CEO de Axel Springer.

El ejecutivo ahora dice que las fuentes de noticias de calidad podrían ayudar a los usuarios de Facebook a tomar decisiones más informadas. "Es importante para mí que ayudemos a las personas a obtener noticias confiables y a encontrar soluciones que ayuden a los periodistas de todo el mundo a realizar su importante labor", dijo.

Sin embargo, el líder de las redes sociales podría tener otras razones para adoptar la nueva prioridad. Según destaca la agencia Bloomberg, la compañía se enfrenta a nuevas reglas de derechos de autor de la Unión Europea que requerirán que compensen a los editores y creadores por los artículos de noticias, canciones y videos que aparecen en su sitio web.

A lo largo de la última década, el algoritmo de alimentación de noticias de Facebook enfatizó el contenido que estimula la emoción y el intercambio, una fuerza que dio forma a la industria de las noticias y elevó la cantidad de información errónea y los clics de internet, hecho que dificultó las cosas para los editores de noticias locales que no pudieron alcanzar el nivel suficiente para hacer dinero.

Ahora, Facebook trabaja para deshacer parte de ese daño a través de cambios en los productos, así como pequeños pagos a encargados de verificar datos de terceros y grupos de noticias locales. La idea de que Facebook pagaría a los editores para que presenten sus noticias en la red social ha sido durante mucho tiempo el sueño de los ejecutivos de los medios de comunicación.

El director ejecutivo de News Corp., Robert Thomson, solicitó a Facebook que pague a los editores de la misma manera en que una empresa de televisión por cable paga por transmitir canales de cable como ESPN o CNN. Jonah Peretti, cofundador de BuzzFeed, también dijo que Facebook debería compartir más ingresos generados por su servicio de noticias con los medios informativos.

Nueva York cobrará por circular en coche en Manhattan

El sistema entrará en vigor en 2021 y espera generar 1.000 millones de dólares anuales en ingresos para financiar la modernización de la red de metro y de cercanías
Vehículos atascados en a calle 42 en Manhattan

Circular en coche desde Central Park hasta el sur de Manhattan va a ser muy caro: pronto costará más de 10 de dólares al día para los vehículos de particulares, cifra que subirá hasta los 25 dólares en el caso de las camionetas. Nueva York se convertirá, así, en el plazo de dos años, en la gran primera ciudad de los Estados Unidos en aplicar un sistema de peaje para los que conduzcan por su zona más congestionada en la Gran Manzana. La medida tiene un objetivo medioambiental, pero, sobretodo, su ambición será financiera: recaudar lo suficiente para poder modernizar su anticuada red de metro y de cercanías.
El objetivo del plan, promovido por el gobernador Andrew Cuomo y que acaba de ser bendecido por el Legislativo neoyorquino, es destinar el dinero que se recaude con el peaje electrónico a la modernización modernizar el transporte público, para así hacerlo más eficiente y permitiendo mover a más gente. Eso, a su vez, redundará en una mejora en el combate contra la polución derivada de la congestión. Según los primeros cálculos, el sistema permitirá recaudar hasta 1.000 millones de dólares cada año.

Si todo va según lo planeado, el nuevo esquema de peajes entrará en vigor en enero de 2021 y cubrirá una zona que compre desde la calle 60 hasta el distrito financiero. Allí, la velocidad media es de 4,7 millas (7,5 kilómetros) por hora. La mayoría de los días, como ha profundizado Cuomo, es bastante más rápido bajarse del coche e ir andando. En los últimos cinco años, además, se han sumado 80.000 vehículos que ofrecen servicios alternativos al taxi, principalmente operados por Uber y su rival Lyft.

Los detalles del sistema son escasos. Un panel de expertos debe establecer durante el próximo año como se va a modular y aplicar. El precio será variable, en función de la densidad de tráfico que haya en el momento de entrar en la zona de congestión. La aprobación del concepto, sin embargo, está creando gran expectación. “La experiencia de Nueva York será un importante precedente”, señalan desde la National Association of City Transportation Officials.

John Rennie, profesor de política pública en la Universidad de Baltimore, explica que el peaje funciona como los billetes de avión. “Elevando el precio”, señala, “se fuerza al usuario a pensar cuál es el coste de hacer el viaje y en evaluar las alternativas de transporte que tienen”. “Está demostrado que el precio afecta al comportamiento humano. Se cambian los horarios, las rutas o se concentran los viajes”. En este caso, además, hasta ahora era gratis.

Otras ciudades

Los taxis en Nueva York y otros servicios de transporte alternativo como Uber o las limusinas ya cobran al cliente una tarifa extra de 2,75 dólares para circular por el distrito de negocios. Ahora se amplía a vehículos privados y comerciales. El peaje se cobrará de manera automática, expandiendo la tecnología E-ZPass que ya existe en los túneles y puentes que conectan la isla de Manhattan con Nueva Jersey y los barrios de Brooklyn, Queens y el Bronx.

Boston, Seattle, Los Ángeles y San Francisco también contemplan establecer un sistema similar para reducir los atascos y dotarse de recursos adicionales para mejorar las infraestructuras. Michael Bloomberg ya lo intentó en Nueva York hace diez años como alcalde. Pero fracasó por el rechazo de los vecinos o dueños de negocios que viven fuera de Manhattan o que se haya desplazando desde los suburbios. Bill de Blasio tanteó como alternativa con impuesto a las grandes fortunas.

“Si queremos que la ciudad siga creciendo”, defendía días atrás Cuomo, “es indispensable ser capaz de moverse”. El dinero que se recaude irá a una “caja cerrada” destinada exclusivamente a modernizar la infraestructura de transporte. Un 80% de los fondos se concentrarán en la red de transporte público de la ciudad. El resto se repartirá a partes iguales entre el servicio de trenes de cercanías que sirve a las comunidades Long Island y en los suburbios al norte.

Pero la gran incógnita es si la recaudación será suficiente para atender las necesidades de un metro que está al borde del colapso. El panel de expertos debe calcular lo que se espera ingresar. El equilibrio no es fácil, como señala el economista Charles Komanoff, ya que se quiere evitar al mismo tiempo de imponer una “doble imposición” a los que ya pagan por cruzar los puentes y túneles. Las exclusiones pueden acabar mermando la capacidad de recaudación.


Es lo que espera César Jiménez, que tiene un negocio dedicado a la reparación de viviendas que sirve a vecinos en Manhattan. Es escéptico, además, porque recuerda que buena parte de los vehículos que circulan por la isla son comerciales, no de particulares. El senador Andrew Lanza, que representa a los vecinos de Staten Island, denunciaba en el debate previo que el peaje es “un nuevo impuesto que se va a cobrar a gente corriente que no puede vivir en el centro”.

Los conductores que viven en la zona de congestión, de hecho, no tendrán que pagar por circular o al desplazarse fuera, salvo al regresar cuando crucen la barrera electrónica. Se contemplan además descuentos en función de los ingresos. Como señala Alex Matthiessen, uno de los defensores de esta iniciativa, el riesgo es que las excepciones hagan el sistema inefectivo. Para compensar, deberá subirse por otro lado.

Los fundadores de Lyft, el gran rival de Uber, apoyan que se establezca el peaje. Creen que es un modelo que funciona, es eficiente, genera recursos para las infraestructuras, reduce la contaminación y, especialmente, agiliza los movimientos al reducir la densidad del tráfico. Eso permite ahorrar tiempo en los desplazamientos y, añaden, mejoran el rendimiento económico de toda la ciudad. Pero defienden que el sistema sea integrado con otras formas de transporte.

La epidemia de las faltas de ortografía escala hasta la universidad y los lingüistas señalan a las redes sociales

Los lingüistas achacan los fallos a las redes sociales y la falta de lectura y escritura

Oposiciones a maestro de educación primaria en Ciudad Real, en junio de 2016. En vídeo, se disparan las faltas de ortografía.

Inés Fernández-Ordóñez, miembro de la Real Academia Española (RAE) y catedrática de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, detecta errores de ortografía en su aula. “Es terrible, pero incluso es muy común entre mis alumnos de Filología que pongan faltas. Y, lo peor de todo, no saben redactar. Creo que tiene que ver con que no se lee, faltan prácticas de redacción, dictados…”. Relatos como el de Fernández-Ordóñez, que baja la nota a sus alumnos, explican que la ortografía sea uno de los motivos de que el 9,6% de las plazas de profesor de secundaria hayan quedado desiertas en las oposiciones del pasado julio. Nunca había habido un volumen educativo en España como el actual —el 41% de los jóvenes de 25 a 34 años tiene estudios superiores, frente a un 43% en la OCDE—, pero el nivel ortográfico de los graduados es muy mejorable. Y si los que enseñan cometen fallos, los escolares los repetirán.

El ministro del PP José Ignacio Wert introdujo de forma expresa los dictados en el desarrollo curricular de la Ley Orgánica para la Mejora Educativa (Lomce) en 2013, al igual que hizo Francia con este ejercicio y el cálculo mental. Hay especialistas que sostienen que es leyendo como se ataja el problema de las faltas porque se visualizan los signos, pero los defensores del dictado arguyen que entrena la atención sostenida, la concentración y sirve para descubrir los errores.

El dilema de la escabechina de suspensos

Un argumento extendido entre los profesores de secundaria es que no se suspende más a los niños —y no solo por la ortografía— porque la Inspección Educativa actúa y no lo permite. Javier Herrera, de la Asociación de Profesores de Instituto de Andalucía, asegura que la inspección toma decisiones en contra de los criterios académicos. El año pasado, la Asociación de Inspectores de Educación pidió en el Congreso que se aprobase el bachillerato con un suspenso.

La académica Inés Fernández-Ordóñez se plantea cómo reaccionar ante las faltas y unas redacciones a veces “bastante flojas”. “Si fuésemos estrictos mucha gente no aprobaría. Los niveles de exigencia han bajado mucho. Rafael Lapesa suspendía al 60% de la clase y no pasaba nada, pero ahora eres mal profesor”.

“Creo que muchos profesores de secundaria, y a veces de universidad, pasan por alto en los exámenes las faltas cuando entienden que el contenido es correcto”, se sorprende el académico Ignacio Bosque, catedrático de Lengua en la Complutense. “Yo no lo hago. Es un error hacerlo. No estoy tampoco de acuerdo con dejar pasar las faltas graves de redacción. Algunos profesores piensan que las faltas las corrigen los procesadores de texto, y entienden que la sintaxis es poco importante. Opino lo contrario. Mi maestro, Fernando Lázaro Carreter, decía que si la expresión es pobre, el contenido también lo es, se quiera o no”.

La académica Carme Riera penaliza “muchas faltas” de sus alumnos de Literatura en la Autónoma de Barcelona. “La gente no practica las normas ortográficas, y muchas veces hacen ese trabajo los correctores del teléfono y los correos electrónicos y no se fijan”, sostiene Riera. También lamenta la influencia “nefasta” y continua del inglés.

El docente de Historia Javier Herrera, de la Asociación de Profesores de Instituto de Andalucía, reconoce que las faltas ortográficas son un problema persistente que sale a relucir en casi todos los claustros, pues su solución debe ser una tarea común de todo el profesorado. En primaria con la Lomce se ha aumentado un 20% las clases de Lengua. La clave está en ese periodo educativo. “Nosotros diferenciamos perfectamente de qué centro proceden los niños por su madurez en este campo. Si tuvieron un maestro o maestra que se empeñó en que escribieran bien”, sostiene Herrera.

El prestigio de la lengua

“No todo se consigue con más clases de Lengua, sino con un prestigio social de la buena expresión y la buena escritura. Y el problema viene de que la gente joven, sobre todo, y en redes sociales, escribe voluntariamente mal porque si no le mira mal el entorno”, afirma el escritor Julio Llamazares.

En las últimas oposiciones a profesor de secundaria, FP o escuelas de idiomas, a las que se presentaron 200.000 personas, los tribunales se encontraron con aspirantes que escribían acortando palabras (tb, pq) o que empleaban términos coloquiales (“rollo de”, “en plan”…). Las academias de preparación madrileñas alertaron a sus alumnos de que perderán 0,10 puntos por cada abreviatura o por poner la barra inclinada en los adverbios que terminan en ente (por ejemplo, completa/), de la misma manera que tomaban apuntes en clase. “Si no manejas los instrumentos de la expresión, terminas empobreciendo tu pensamiento o al menos su transmisión. Escribir y hablar bien sirve para expresar mejor tus ideas, no es un capricho”, alerta Llamazares.

El Ministerio de Educación pretende reformar el sistema de oposiciones tras la última convocatoria, que dejó 1.984 plazas sin cubrir. Pero son las comunidades las que publican los criterios de evaluación y luego los tribunales tienen potestad de incluir otros propios como el penalizar las faltas. “Me parece correcto que se exija eso a los aspirantes a profesores. Hay que tener una exigencia con los profesores de secundaria grande, que quizá no se ha tenido durante unos años”, subraya Fernández-Ordóñez.

Chasten Buttigieg Is Winning the 2020 Spouse Primary

The first same-sex husband of a major-party presidential candidate is a historic figure, but he’s also a surprisingly traditional one.


Maybe the most noteworthy thing about Chasten Buttigieg’s sudden internet fame is that he has a public profile at all. At this stage in a presidential race, most candidates’ spouses are ornamental figures, taken gingerly out of the storage box for major announcements and gauzy videos, then stashed away until the call for the “60 Minutes” sit-down.

By contrast, the husband of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a constant presence, at least on Twitter, where he posts a steady stream of commentary in fluent millennialese. Follow his account — as, at this writing, more than 108,000 people do — and you’ll learn that he is a father of dogs, a Harry Potter fan, a theater geek, an enamored husband with a knack for choosing the right GIF. You’ll also see why, in some circles, he has taken on the status of folk hero. “Pete Buttigieg’s husband Chasten is the Twitter celebrity we deserve,” read a recent headline in Mashable.

Few would have expected that the early stars of the 2020 race would be the gay millennial mayor of a mid-size Midwestern city and his 29-year-old husband. Through his very presence, Chasten Buttigieg is breaking ground. But at the same time, what’s most unexpected about Chasten is how conventional he is. At a time when campaigns are treading cautiously, and spouses are navigating a new set of gender minefields, Buttigieg seems relaxed, unscripted, free to be himself. And that freedom has turned this historic figure, the first same-sex husband of a major-party presidential candidate, into something surprising: the most traditional political spouse in the field.

Being married to a presidential candidate is the most thankless role in politics. It’s a choice that’s generally foisted upon you, a directive to be second fiddle, an expectation that you’ll conform to centuries-old gender stereotypes. The first lady, to this day, is tasked with choosing china patterns, points out Kelly Dittmar, a political science professor at Rutgers University.

For years, there has been acute interest in political spouses who deviate from gender norms. When Elizabeth Warren pointedly noted, in a 2015 Facebook post, that she had proposed to her husband, Bruce Mann, Vanity Fair picked it up. This season, the candidates and their spouses seem especially attuned to presentation. Amy Klobuchar's husband, John Bessler, carried his wife’s binder to the lectern at her campaign rollout event, then quickly slipped away. At Bernie Sanders’ official campaign launch, his wife, Jane, nearly apologized for their relationship: “I feel honored to be his wife, and I know that might not be politically correct to identify myself a ‘wife.’”

Historically, a candidate’s wife—she was always a wife—was expected to do something gender-bound: reflect her husband’s masculinity, underscore that he could handle the work of a masculine job. Hillary Clinton’s 1992 cookie-baking saga—she spoke dismissively of baking cookies, angered American housewives, and was forced to pay penance by presenting a chocolate chip cookie recipe—was proof of how rigid the rules were. For decades, they haven’t changed.

This year, though, feels different. In the cycle after Hillary’s own presidential nomination, in a year filled with multiple women candidates, expectations for a spouse have become more fraught. For a wife, there’s now so much pressure to avoid the traditional role that a slip into gender stereotypes can look like a betrayal. See the uproar over Beto O’Rourke’s campaign announcement video, in which his wife, Amy, stares admiringly at him for three long minutes, mute for the entire time.

For the husband of a female candidate, meanwhile, the urge not to overshadow a spouse leads to greater invisibility. At today’s campaign events, male spouses seem directed to stand behind their wives, not beside them, notes Don Haider-Markel, a political science professor at the University of Kansas whose recent research focuses on LGBTQ politicians.

Heterosexual candidates and their spouses face a host of social expectations. One mark of responsible adulthood is getting married and having kids, so voters might raise questions about a straight candidate who doesn’t fit the norm — say, child-free Rep. Tulsi Gabbard or unmarried Sen. Cory Booker. But for a young gay couple, there are fewer assumptions to meet, Haider-Markel says, which means a guy like Chasten Buttigieg is “not bound by any particular rules about how to behave.”

That leaves him ample room to be himself — and to indulge his innate talent for social media. His Twitter feed is AOC-savvy without the combative edge; light on policy and partisanship, heavy on the personal. He chronicles his life at home while his husband is out on the road. (“Peter: Crushing townhalls in SC,” reads one recent tweet. “Chasten: staring out the window waiting for UberEats.”) He understands, implicitly, what pushes readers’ buttons: pop culture references and dog pics (he runs a separate Twitter feed for the couple’s two rescue dogs). He sparked a frenzy when he announced that he and his husband are both Hufflepuffs. (Of course, they are.) And he artfully pokes fun at his husband’s outsized accomplishments, as he did in a tweet about their first date that managed to both celebrate and mock Mayor Pete’s implausible résumé.

Tweets like these fill a traditional function of a candidate’s spouse: to humanize a candidate who, by the very nature of the process, has to present himself as self-aggrandized and larger than life.

And in a nation that’s still coming to terms with the swiftness of social change and the rapid adoption of same-sex marriage, that humanizing has a broader purpose. Though Chasten’s tweets are largely free of gender politics, they’re also unapologetically affectionate, projecting unswerving support and full-on adoration. In January, when Pete Buttigieg announced his exploratory committee, Chasten tweeted: “I am so proud of my husband … Let’s go show the world why I fell in love with you.” It wouldn’t be surprising if he posted his favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe tomorrow.

The Buttigiegs are practically newlyweds: After meeting on the dating app Hinge, the couple got married in South Bend last June. (Adorable tales of their courtship have been well-chronicled.) Perhaps as a result, Chasten’s feed reflects the kind of fresh, easygoing affection that some candidates work hard to re-create: It’s still hard to unsee that awkward Al-and-Tipper Gore kiss at the 2000 Democratic convention. (Though, had Sen. Sherrod Brown decide to run for president, he and his wife, Connie Schultz, might have given the Buttigiegs a run for their money.)

Voters are moved by compelling life stories and narratives about overcoming; that’s why so many wealthy candidates dig deep into their ancestry to find a blue-collar worker or a coal miner. For gay candidates, a sense of hardship is baked into the contours of life. Both Pete and Chasten have talked publicly about the difficulties of coming out to family and community. “Actually being out and representing themselves as such,” Haider-Markel says, “gives an authenticity that many candidates often struggle to provide.”

Campaigns spend ample amounts of money on image consultants; they hire staffs to develop multifaceted social media strategies and strategize endlessly about publicity stunts. At this early point in the 2020 race, Chasten seems to be lapping other campaigns on all of those fronts, while lounging in slippers in his living room. It all feels a little unfair — like bringing Mozart in to join the high school orchestra.

And his appeal has spread beyond the political arena — he’s been featured in a gushing mini-profile in Marie Claire and lionized in the Twitter feeds of humor columnists. His popularity stems partly from the relief of reading a politically related feed that doesn’t feel like politics, and partly from the mildly subversive glee of imagining that feed someday transferred to official White House accounts. And partly, it’s the function of the narrative itself, which reads like the happy ending of a rom-com. “I love this future first family so much. I am all in,” one Twitter fan recently wrote.

That’s the ultimate purpose of the presidential spouse: to sell the entire package, letting us imagine the family in the White House as a symbol of success, a national ideal. As a potential first husband, Chasten would be historic but also a comforting throwback, someone who took his husband’s last name and unwaveringly supports his ambitions without wondering how they have affected his own. In politics, it’s not hard to find tales of awkward relationships, distant spouses, sidelined destinies, marital betrayal. Everybody really wants a love story. Maybe one that leaves us all a little chastened.

What Beto’s Weird Teenage Poetry Tells Us About His Politics

Before he ran for president, a young Beto O’Rourke dabbled in criticism, fiction and more. And he wasn’t half bad.


Politics are ablaze today with both savage indignation and misty sentimentality. With “the future of the republic” and “justice itself” on the line in every Twitter battle, it seems unlikely that anyone would propose that a dose of irony could help lighten the mood. But … a dose of irony could lighten the mood.

Great news for us apathetic types born around Woodstock and Watergate: No need to dig up Thomas Pynchon or an Alanis Morissette CD. Look no further than Beto O’Rourke’s recently revealed teen involvement in the Cult of the Dead Cow, America’s original cell of computer hacktivists. The rad cDc, founded in 1984 in a slaughterhouse in Lubbock, Texas, was an ironic project par excellence—by turns infantile, enraged and bleeding-heart.

O’Rourke’s membership, which was exposed by Reuters and gamely confirmed by the candidate himself, surely reflects his libertarian-skater proclivities, which he flaunts to this day. But, while O’Rourke did use the Cult’s resources to cop some free long distance, it turns out at the cDc he was less pirate than poet. As the group’s old posts reveal, he mostly saw the cDc’s online board as a zine, where, under the pen name Psychedelic Warlord, he could pop off on alternative music or write indie experiments. O’Rourke doesn’t have a campaign memoir yet, but the presidential candidate now better known for winding Medium posts also has some online juvenilia that’s worth a look.

What do Beto’s musings reveal about him as a politician? “Self-invention” was a watchword of the 1980s and ’90s, with all it implied about the fictions of identity, and Beto was no stranger to persona-shuffling—then as now. In his adolescent oeuvre, he tried his hand as a critic, punk and journalist. As time went on, he experimented as a musician, outlaw, idealist, family man, skater, fundraiser, politician and, maybe, leader of the free world.

But is Beto the writer any good? Sure, he was in high school, and his stuff is mostly record reviews and snark. But never mind the bollocks. O’Rourke genuinely understands genre and tone; he’s economical and makes good words work hard; he’s playful and takes chances; he can deftly conjure odd worlds, especially interior ones; he’s recessive—or maybe afraid to commit—as a narrator; he steers clear of the projection and judgment that muck up the work of many young essayists.

Reader, he had me at the opening paren. Yes, O’Rourke used ASCII, a retro affectation that brings the top-shelf nostalgia in O’Rourke’s poem “The Song of the Cow,” which features this mini-moo-sterpiece:

[ x x ]
\ /
(` ')

That use of clashing symbols for nostrils, suggesting that one is more flared that the other! And, of course, the x-ed out eyes that conjure the slaughterhouse! O’Rourke’s teen stylings suggest the hand of a bona fide artist. Or at least a little nerd fleetingly willing to rethink Texas iconography. Then, off he goes into a pastoral poem that tackles the topic of butts or bollocks. “Wax my ass,” reads the verse, which turns liturgical in rhythm. “Scrub my balls. / The Cow has risen. / Provide Milk.” Cow has died. Cow is risen. As we approach Easter, we might consider the paschal cow to be O’Rourke’s radical critique of the paschal lamb. Cow will come again. Alleluia. Devastating commentary on the resurrection.

While it has fewer balls, another stanza caught my attention for its evocations of Nathanael West’s 1931 The Dream Life of Balso Snell, in which the hero searches for meaning strolling around inside the entrails of a Trojan Horse. O’Rourke writes:

Oh, Milky wonder, sing for us once more,
Live your life, everlusting joy.
Thrust your hooves up my analytic passage,
Enjoy my fruits

Thrust your hooves up my analytic passage—come on, that’s not bad. It works well as an ultranerdy answer to Bruce Springsteen’s manly, earnest innuendo from the then-loathed 1970s: “Strap your hands ’cross my engines.” “Everlusting” is a nice neologism in a countryside poem that doesn’t shy from evoking eternity and bestiality at once. It’s hard to remember how important irony—not just snideness and polyester coveralls, but what Richard Rorty called “liberal irony”—was to Gen-X slackers. O’Rourke was never going to let himself be seen lolling around like a farm boy writing hymns to country life and milkmaids. But, like all young poets from William Wordsworth to Bob Dylan, he also wanted to try his hand at a traditional lyric. Irony, and the elastic space of the brand-new internet, let O’Rourke come to romance at a punk angle.

Then there’s a more vicious short story by O’Rourke as Psychedelic Warlord, “Visions from the Last Crusade.” O’Rourke’s metal title fails, but the story begins, elegantly, in the “catacombs” of the narrator’s head, wherein a hallucination unfolds. In short order, the narrator realizes: “My one and only goal in life became the termination of everything that was free and loving.” Hoo boy. This is where things become a little bit manifesto-like, but what the hell. O’Rourke’s narrator goes on a killing spree, and—OK, yeah—he starts mowing down children. He keeps this up, lays to waste 38 people, evades the police—and is pleased with himself.

“Visions from the Last Crusade” is more reverie than story. It comes across as an Edgar Allen Poe tribute, with maybe an Anthony Burgess tribute rising. As a dramatic monologue, it also borrows some logic that recalls—don’t @ me—the seductive and fiendish voices in Robert Browning. O’Rourke’s killer-narrator’s delusions are not banal: When he spots his first soon-to-be victims looking carefree, he decides, “this happiness and sense of freedom were much too overwhelming for them.” Their happiness, he goes on, “was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams.” Maybe not a campaign slogan—“your happiness is mine by right”?—but not bad, if you like online satirical murder fantasies of 1988.

What other genres did O’Rourke test out at the cDc? In 1990, he contributed to the collective a recounting of a gruesome dentist appointment that’s surprisingly dull in spite of plenty of gums and gore. (He must have liked this conceit, though, as he reprised it in January, filming his dental hygienist, Diana, as she spoke about her experiences at the U.S.-Mexico border—and cleaned O’Rourke’s teeth.) A 1989 piece called “Ultra-Trendies” is endearing for its very ’90s calibration of who is authentically punk and who isn’t; those who know all the lines in Sid and Nancy—and listen to nothing but the Sex Pistols—are, says Beto, phonies. (I sense our hero protests too much here—he’s off to Columbia in a year.) In another cDc piece, a Q&A from 1988, O’Rourke and his pal Arlo Klahr, with whom O’Rourke would start a punk band called Foss, interrogate a self-described Nazi and KKK member. Mostly, they just let him ramble, denying the Holocaust, praising the leadership of Hitler and defending neo-Nazis as loving Christians. O’Rourke and Klahr are nonconfrontational in the extreme. At the bottom of the page, they give an El Paso address for anyone who wants to mail away for the tape of the interview. A Google search suggests that the house at that address once belonged to Pat Francis O’Rourke, Beto’s father.

A Feature on Money,” from 1987, is my favorite O’Rourke from the Cult of the Dead Cow years. Yes, another negligible title. Still, the piece, a short essay, is much more sincere than the others. O’Rourke, for all he gives goth an occasional go, is just not a very dark person. And while his essay is supposed to be “radical”—arguing for a world without money—it’s really just a comfort. Turns out Beto, like anyone but a demented oligarch or the American president, is skeptical of the claim that greed is a virtue. He proposes, with all the ingenuousness of a teenager, that we “slowly take the United States off the world market, and then slowly phase out our own money markets.”

O’Rourke now insists he’s a “capitalist,” but his cDc writing suggests he can still throw down with the best of the Occupy-trained lefty foes of Wall Street. And in his essay, the sweet, slow process of obliterating the American economy has some damn good effects: “This would slowly bring the upper and middle classes of people in America together.” Who doesn’t want to all be together, without the stress of … money? I’m in.

At the bottom of “A Feature on Money,” I found the Cult’s usual libertarian contempt for copyright (“All rights worth shit—and duefully [sic] so”), but also a number to call. The idealistic Beto—the man who by force of sheer charisma can rally Americans to donate millions of dollars in 24 hours—really did want to start a movement back then! “Remember, we are the next generation, and will soon rule the world,” he wrote. I dialed up the 915 number. I figured if O’Rourke the aged hacktivist still knows how to monkey with telephony, maybe he routed that old number to his campaign headquarters. No dice. It was a law firm in El Paso, Texas. I was too not-punk to prank them. But then I reverse-searched the number online and found that, at least at some point, it belonged to none other than Pat Francis O’Rourke.

Early Beto hits the spot if you’re feeling nostalgic for the days of debates among punks or the interface of early web boards, but if you want to find one real radical cell in O’Rourke, you’re out of luck. It seems O’Rourke—minor indie showoff turned normcore candidate for president—once thought his fellow Americans might consider money the root of all evil. And he hoped we could actively converse about it, if we just called his dad.

Inside the Race to Build the Burger of the Future

President Trump says Democrats and environmental whackos are waging a war on beef. But corporations, not politicians or activists, are leading the post-meat revolution.


Politicians often rally their supporters with partisan red meat, but these days Republicans are using actual red meat. They’re accusing Democrats of a plot to ban beef, trying to rebrand the Green New Deal for climate action as a nanny-state assault on the American diet. At Thursday’s rally in Michigan, President Donald Trump portrayed a green dystopia with “no more cows.” In a recent Washington speech, former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka warned conservatives that leftists are coming for their hamburgers: “This is what Stalin dreamt about, but never achieved!” Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) actually ate a burger during a press conference on Capitol Hill, an activity he claimed would be illegal under a Green New Deal.

In reality, nobody’s banning beef. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the driving force behind the Green New Deal, really did suggest that “maybe we shouldn’t be eating a hamburger for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” and her office did release (and then retract) a fact sheet implying a desire to “get rid of farting cows.” A lot of environmental activists really do target red meat, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) , a vegan who hopes to replace Trump, really did recently observe that “this planet simply can’t sustain billions of people consuming industrially produced animal agriculture.” But the actual Green New Deal resolution calls only for dramatic reductions of greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture. It says nothing about seizing steaks, and no Democrats are pushing to confiscate cows regardless of their tailpipe emissions.

This Washington stir over the burger police is classic political theater, the latest tribal skirmish in America’s partisan culture wars. But livestock really do have a serious impact on the climate—and the extreme rhetoric about cow farts and rounding up ranchers is obscuring a consequential debate over the future of animal agriculture in general and beef in particular. Red meat has a greater impact on the climate than any other food; if the world’s cattle formed their own nation, it would have the third-highest emissions on Earth, behind only China and the United States. So at a time when concerns are already growing about meat’s effects on human health and the treatment of animals on factory farms, the U.S. meat industry is taking the global warming debate seriously. It’s talking up its own climate progress, while trying to ensure that any Green New Deal-style government efforts to cut agricultural emissions use financial carrots rather than regulatory sticks or even meat taxes.

Meat is as central to American culture as cars or sports; the average American eats three burgers a week, and even more chicken than beef. But this is a delicate time for the industry. The influential EAT-Lancet Commission study recently warned that Western diets include far too much meat, and more than half of Americans say they’re trying to cut back. New York City’s schools just adopted Meatless Mondays, while fast-growing companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are selling plant-based burgers and other products that taste, look and even feel remarkably similar to conventional meat; starting Monday, Burger King is going to start selling beef-free Impossible Whoppers. The meat lobby is also increasingly nervous about “fake meat,” its term of art for cell-based meat startups that are not even selling to the public yet, but are already producing meat in laboratories that’s molecularly identical to the stuff in supermarkets without raising or killing animals.

Meat producers don’t want their products to be viewed like fossil fuels—useful but dirty. And beef producers don’t want to follow the path of coal, which is hemorrhaging market share because it’s the dirtiest fossil fuel. Colin Woodall, head of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says his industry can help save the planet as well as help feed the planet.

“We know the spotlight is on us right now,” Woodall says. “The way we see it, the Green New Deal has given us a great opportunity to tell our story.”

So far, any serious political discussion over the future of meat has been drowned out by the cow-farting furor, as Republicans like Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and even Trump critic Meghan McCain have mocked vegan fascists who would, in the words of Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, force Americans to “say goodbye to dairy, to beef, to family farms, to ranches.” It’s a wildly exaggerated attack—and nobody actually believes we should eat burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner—but it packs a punch in a meat-loving country. Data for Progress co-founder Sean McElwee, whose liberal group has helped shape the Green New Deal, says he’d love to rein in the immense economic and cultural power of America’s “meatriarchy.” But his polling has found there’s literally nothing less popular than banning meat.

“It’s up there with giving VA benefits to ISIS,” McElwee says. “That’s the tension the left has to struggle with; Democrats eat meat, too. But even minor improvements could create massive gains for public health and the environment.”

The U.S. produces about 50 billion pounds of meat a year, and globally, pastures occupy about one-fourth of the ice-free land on Earth. So changes in how meat is produced and consumed really could have outsized impacts. In fact, some changes are happening. And some of the industry’s advocates and critics agree that the best way to spread them just might be…a Green New Deal.


The world loves meat, but that love puts pressure on the world. The United Nations has estimated that livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of the greenhouse-gas emissions that are trapping heat in the atmosphere. Project Drawdown, a group of scientists pursuing climate solutions, puts the figure at 18 to 20 percent, and some studies have suggested even that’s way too low. In any case, meat is a significant contributor to the climate crisis, and as millions of families in India and China join the meat-eating middle class, its contributions could soar. A recent World Resources Institute report titled “Creating a Sustainable Food Future” found that demand for animal-based foods is on track to rise more than two thirds by 2050; it also warned that the resulting expansion of agricultural production could produce enough emissions to exceed the Paris climate agreement’s targets for catastrophic warming even if the world completely stops using fossil fuels.

“We just can’t feed an expanding world population on meat, not if we keep growing it the way we’re growing it,” says Jessica Almy, policy director for the Good Food Institute, which promotes plant-based and cell-based meat alternatives.

Beef production is the worst climate offender in the agricultural sector. That WRI report on food sustainability calculated that beef creates about seven times as many greenhouse gas emissions per unit of protein as chicken or pork, and 20 times as many as peas or lentils. One reason is that grass-eating ruminants like cows release huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times as potent as carbon dioxide. They do this primarily by burping, not farting, despite National Review’s cover cartoon of Ocasio-Cortez surrounded by the rear ends of cows, but methane helps warm the earth no matter which end it comes from.

Still, some agricultural experts believe cattle methane has been overstated as a climate disaster. Marty Matlock, an ecological engineering professor who runs the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center, says the methane produced by U.S. cows is not much greater than the methane produced by the wild buffalo that once roamed the U.S. plains. He says that unlike carbon from fossil fuels, which gets released into the atmosphere after lying underground for millions of years, methane from ruminants is part of a natural cycle that expands only when herds expand. And in the U.S., herds are shrinking. America now produces the same amount of beef it did in 1970 with one-third fewer cattle, and 81 percent more milk than it did in 1945 with two-thirds fewer dairy cows.

“Methane from livestock isn’t what’s new. Burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation is what’s new,” Matlock says. “Climate change is an existential threat to human well-being, but let’s keep the focus where it belongs.”

The more significant problem with meat production is that it uses enormous amounts of land, both for grazing and growing grain for cattle feed. Pastures and farms that are used to fatten cattle often replace forests, wetlands and grasslands that store enormous amounts of carbon. Even America’s relatively efficient beef production takes up more than 40 percent of U.S. agricultural land to produce just 3 percent of U.S. calories. The World Resources Institute report warned that unless consumers eat less meat and producers get more efficient, by 2050 the world will have to deforest a land mass nearly twice the size of India (and releasing much of its sequestered carbon) to satisfy the additional demand.

“Growing red meat just takes up too much land to generate too few calories and too little protein,” says Tim Searchinger, the lead author of the report.

Again, though, the U.S. meat industry does more with less than its less efficient foreign counterparts. It produces 18 percent of the world’s beef with only 8 percent of the world’s cattle, thanks to cutting-edge genetics, advanced veterinary care, and data-driven industrial processes optimized to fatten cattle quickly and cost-effectively. Kevin Kester, a fifth-generation rancher in Parkfield, California, says it takes him six weeks less than it took his grandfather to raise a half-ton steer, and he expects his grandchildren to achieve similar productivity gains. Kester also reduces his emissions by running his wells on solar power, and by using drones to check his water lines for leaks rather than driving his truck around his 22,000-acre ranch.

President Donald Trump speaks behind a table covered with fast food as he welcomes the North Dakota State Bison football team to the White House on March 4, 2019.

Overall, U.S. animal agriculture only produces about 4 percent of direct U.S. emissions, much less than its competition abroad. That’s partly because the U.S. emits so much carbon from gasoline and fossil-fueled electricity, but it’s partly a triumph of efficiency; the average dairy cow in California produces four times as much milk as a cow in Mexico and 23 times as much as a cow in India. Kester argues that if Green New Deal advocates succeed in reducing U.S. cattle production, it will just move to countries that require more land to produce less meat, endangering carbon sinks like the Amazon and dramatically expanding global emissions.

“There’s so much ignorance about what we do,” Kester says. “Most Americans used to have a farmer or rancher in the family, but now hardly anyone knows where their steak comes from. And we’re way behind the curve on educating the public.”

The industry’s climate message is that it can be part of the solution—not only by increasing yields through more intensive production, but by storing more carbon in its pastures and cutting emissions from its operations. For example, one of Project Drawdown’s top 10 proposals for fixing the climate was “silvopasture,” planting more carbon-storing trees on grazing lands. Bill Gates recently touted the potential of “regenerative agriculture,” which uses cover crops and no-till farming to keep more carbon in the soil, to grow animal feed with fewer emissions. And some ranchers use climate-friendly “rotational grazing” to mimic the patterns of migratory buffalo herds; cattle are clustered in one area to devour the grass and fertilize the soil with their manure, then moved to another area so the grass can regrow. General Mills is encouraging its suppliers to embrace these practices; Jerry Lynch, the company’s chief sustainability officer, says one Georgia rancher who provides beef for its EPIC Meat Snacks is sequestering so much carbon his overall emissions are approaching zero.

“We’ve got to be concerned about the challenges the planet is facing,” Lynch says. “We’ve been in business for 150 years, and we hope to be for 150 more.”

Conglomerates like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and General Mills have been setting emissions reduction targets for their suppliers, which will ratchet up pressure on farmers and ranchers to green their operations. But at a time when they’re already getting squeezed by a handful of giant agribusinesses that process their animals, as well as the economic fallout from President Donald Trump’s trade wars, they’re hoping for government incentives to reduce their emissions. Frank Mitloehner, a professor of animal agriculture at the University of California-Davis, believes farmers and ranchers deserve to be paid for their ecological services—and recently said so to an Ocasio-Cortez staffer. For example, California is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help them manage their manure in cleaner ways, which makes more sense to Mitloehner than demonizing them for the messes they make while putting food on people’s tables. Many of them are conservative Republicans who deny climate science, but they’re also pragmatic businesspeople—Mitloehner says they could store tremendous amounts of carbon on their lands if the price and the politics were right.

“Politically, farmers tend toward the Trump camp, and when they hear all this finger-pointing about farting cows, they just shut down,” Mitloehner says. “It troubles me, because I know how urgent this climate discussion is.”

Last year’s farm bill did include some modest new conservation incentives for ranchers who pursue more climate-friendly grazing practices. But they haven’t been widely adopted yet, and the impressive yield improvements that have bolstered the U.S. meat industry’s sustainability arguments seem to be tapering off.

One reason it’s become increasingly difficult to do more with less is climate change. Kester, the California rancher, has seen his yields reduced by droughts in eight of the last 10 years, and a nasty weed called Medusahead rye has invaded his parched pastures, reducing their carrying capacity by about 20 percent.
If meat producers can set aside their skepticism about the Green New Deal, and Green New Deal supporters can set aside their skepticism about meat, there’s potential for a compromise that would provide more lucrative opportunities for meat producers to go green. Jacy Reece is the research director at an anti-meat thinktank called the Sentience Institute, and the author of a new book called The End of Animal Farming, but he says that for now he’s excited about reforms that could make animal farming more sustainable. “If we’ve only got 12 years to act to avoid a global catastrophe, we’ve got to get started now,” he says. “The industry won’t look like I might want it to look, but it can be a lot more sustainable.”


Eating animals actually helped humans become human. Meat added so much nutrition to the diets of our pre-human ancestors that they no longer had to spend all their time foraging; they started to develop larger brains and smaller stomachs. “It transformed our species in a positive way, physiologically and socially,” says Matlock, the University of Arkansas professor who argues against excessive focus on cattle methane. Matlock is one of the American meat industry’s favorite scientists, because his studies have documented its improvements in sustainability. In our conversation, he emphasized that meat has helped feed humanity for 2.5 million years, helping to free billions of people from “the tyranny of hunger.”

Yet Matlock also told me: Americans eat too much meat. “No doubt about it,” he said. For the sake of their health and the sake of the planet, he said, meat-eaters and particularly beef-eaters in rich countries shouldn’t just eat more sustainable meat; they should eat less meat. “Meat should become more expensive,” he said. “We shouldn’t ration it and turn it into the next cocaine, but we do need options.”

Impossible Foods is now selling plant-based options at more than 5,000 restaurants around the U.S.; its new partnership with Burger King will only start with 59 outlets in the St. Louis area, but it could catapult the company into the mainstream. The Impossible message to the public, conveyed in this new video of expletive-filled double-takes from actual diners informed that the Whoppers they just ate were made of plants, is that you can help save the planet and prevent the use and abuse of animals without sacrificing the joy of meat.

Beyond Meat’s strategy relies more on the meat aisle of supermarkets like Whole Foods and Kroger’s; it’s now in 38,000 locations in 20 countries, touting itself as “a better way to feed the planet.” A University of Michigan study found that the company’s burgers—made with peas, potato starch, beets and other vegetarian ingredients that mimic the chewiness, juiciness and tastiness of ground beef—produce 90 percent fewer greenhouse gases per pound than conventional meat. CEO Ethan Brown says that if the average American replaced one animal-based burger with a Beyond Burger every week, the emissions impact would be equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road.

Brown is a vegan, and he believes our big brains that developed with the help of meat are now telling us there must be a way to enjoy meat without increasing our risk of heart disease, treating sentient animals like disposable raw materials, and imperiling the planet. “There’s a perfect storm around meat right now,” he says. But Brown says he’s not trying to break up humanity’s 2.5 million-year-old relationship with meat. He’s trying to replicate the architecture of meat—mostly amino acids, lipids and water—with plants rather than animals that eat plants, reducing the health risks and ethical dilemmas as well as the climate impacts. He’s marketing to meat eaters, not meat haters, and has found that the vast majority of consumers buying his products put animal-based foods in their shopping carts as well. His investors include the poultry giant Tyson Foods, and he hired the original architect of the dairy industry’s “Got Milk?” campaign to craft his “Go Beyond” pitch.

Beyond Meat has tripled its sales three years in a row, and has now sold more than 50 million burgers. McDonald’s has sold more than 300 billion burgers. But Brown believes the meat industry is ripe for disruption, just as the dairy industry has been losing market share to almond milk and other plant-based alternatives. “We’ve only been at this for 10 years. The human race has been eating meat throughout time,” Brown says. “It’s still sacrilege to say we can do it without animals; it’s fighting words. But we don’t always have to do things the same way.”

The most daunting long-term threat to the industrial meat system may be “clean meat” grown from stem cells in a sterile lab, avoiding the climate impacts, moral quandaries, and real-world inefficiencies of raising animals for slaughter. The startup Memphis Meats can convert cells biopsied from a cow into a finished meatball in just a few weeks, feeding them solutions of amino acids, sugars and other nutrients the cow would have needed to grow. It doesn’t have to waste resources growing hooves, teeth or other inedible animal parts. It doesn’t have to worry about cattle getting sick or slaughterhouses getting contaminated. And it doesn’t require giant expanses of land that could otherwise grow more calories or store more carbon. The company hopes to have products virtually identical to conventional meat in stores by 2021, although its T-bones won’t have bones; in the future, customized meat could even be healthier than the real thing, with more Omega-3s or less saturated fat.

“The world is going to need to produce a lot more food with a lot less land and a lot less waste,” says Eric Schulze, the vice president of product and regulation for Memphis Meats, which has attracted investment from Cargill as well as Tyson. “We’re not trying to supplant an existing industry overnight. But if we do our job correctly, there will be a gigantic sustainability benefit.”

The conventional meat lobby is happy to talk about ways its products can be more sustainable, but it is quite vigorously opposed to the idea of people eating less of its products. And it does see phrases like “plant-based meat” and “clean meat” as fighting words. It helped pressure Missouri to pass a law prohibiting the labeling of any product as meat unless it’s “derived from harvested production livestock or poultry,” and 21 other states are now considering similar labeling restrictions on meat and dairy substitutes. The agriculture lobby is a powerful political force, and ranchers, like community bankers or auto dealers, tend to have outsized influence because they’re relevant in just about every part of the country; 31 states have more than a million head of cattle. But with climate activists pushing for new rules to clean up meat production and public health activists pushing to revise dietary recommendations to reduce meat intake, the industry is playing a lot more defense.

“It used to be just activist groups saying you need to eat less meat to save the planet. We’re alarmed that it’s creeping into the mainstream,” says Hannah Thompson-Weeman, a vice president with the Animal Agriculture Alliance.

Republicans would love the Green New Deal debate to be a referendum on meat, pitting red-blooded carnivores against organic-kale hippies. President Trump, an avid consumer of fast-food burgers and overcooked steak, is already vowing to run for reelection against the Green New Deal and its alleged plan to “permanently eliminate” cattle. And Democrats do seem defensive about the issue, because meat is more popular than any politician; despite all the health warnings and PETA protests, it’s still often true that beef, as the slogan goes, is what’s for dinner. Jane Kleeb, the Nebraska Democratic Party chair, recently tweeted that the left’s growing obsession with meat’s climate impacts helps illustrate why Democrats keep losing the rural vote: “Can we focus our attention on fossil fuels rather than farmers and ranchers?”

Trump’s Democratic challengers have not proposed to ban meat or tax meat or try to dissuade Americans from eating meat, but Senators Booker and Elizabeth Warren have denounced the cartel-like consolidation of the meat-processing giants. That may be a populist play for the rural vote in the Iowa caucus, although Booker is a longtime meat-industry critic and Warren has pushed for tougher antitrust enforcement throughout the economy. But whatever the motives, McElwee of Data for Progress thinks attacking the corporate structure of the “meatriarchy” is a much better long-term strategy for liberals who hope to limit meat consumption than attacking the individual choices of meat eaters.

“It sucks that humans don’t care about cows, but people think they’re being personally attacked if you criticize meat,” he says. “You gotta criticize the system.”

Ultimately, McElwee would love to launch “a mass propaganda campaign on a scale that’s never been done before” to persuade people to eat less meat. But it’s not happening now, and it’s not the kind of message he would advise any Democrat in a swing district to embrace. Meat is too potent a symbol in the culture wars, the political equivalent of an assault weapon that 95 percent of the population happens to enjoy, and Republicans would love to campaign as the defenders of the right to grill. There’s not going to be a Green New Deal or any ambitious climate action as long as Trump is president, anyway.

But the status quo with meat is not sustainable in a climate-constrained world, even if meat advocates don’t often admit it and Green New Deal advocates don’t often admit they want to change it. There’s an obvious path to compromise; one former agribusiness CEO told me he often reminds farmers and ranchers who resent being pestered by the sustainability police that they are vastly outnumbered, and that if they don’t figure out ways to do better their critics will end up dictating ways for them to do better. Some industry leaders are coming around to the view that their best hope of averting burdensome regulations and taxes on meat in the future would be to ramp up their sustainability now. And the Green New Deal, which is still just a vague set of green policy ambitions, could be an opportunity for Washington to help finance the ramp-up as the details get hashed out. Whatever else you can say about farmers and ranchers, they own a lot of land that can store a lot of carbon. “There’s such an enormous opportunity to reduce emissions in meat production, if you didn’t hear all this counterproductive talk about how everything about it is terrible,” says Mitloehner, the Cal-Davis agricultural scientist. “Let’s not alienate the people we need the most on our quest for a climate solution.”

Un humorista admirador de Bolsonaro, ganó la elecciones en Ucrania e irá al balotaje contra Poroschenko

Zelenski, admirador de Bolsonaro

El mandatario de Ucrania, Petro Poroshenko, y el comediante Vladímir Zelenski se enfrentarán en el balotaje presidencial en tres semanas, luego de unos comicios que transcurrieron en medio de un clima de decepción por la continuidad del conflicto separatista y de una corrupción generalizada.

El canal de televisión 1+1 difundió una encuesta de boca de urna que confirmó a Zelenski como favorito con el 30,1% de los votos y segundo a Poroshenko, con el 18,5%, según reprodujo la agencia de noticias EFE.

La tercera candidata que quedó afuera del balotaje del próximo 21 de abril con un apoyo del 14% es la ex primera ministra Yulia Timoshenko, una mujer que fue sentenciada a siete años de cárcel en 2011 por cargos de corrupción y fue liberada en 2014, tras el levantamiento popular y el giro político que dio gran parte de la dirigencia política del país.

El hombre que según el boca de urna ganó la primera minoría es Zelensky, un comediante que se hizo famoso en la televisión por hacer de presidente y que recientemente se declaró admirador del ultraderechista presidente brasileño, Jair Bolsonaro, y del mandatario y ex banquero francés Emmanuel Macron.

Además, Zelensky elegió evitar los grandes discursos belicistas y nacionalistas de algunos de sus rivales, entre ellos Poroshenko, y reconoció que la península de Crimea "regresará (a Ucrania) solo cuando cambie el poder en Rusia".

Rusia anexó a la península de Crimea en marzo de 2014, pese a los reclamos del Estado ucraniano y el rechazo de la mayoría de la comunidad internacional. Un mes después, un nuevo levantamiento separatista prorruso estalló en las provincias orientales de Donetsk y Lugansk.

Ese conflicto separatista continúa y, pese a la tregua declarada por las milicias prorrusas, se estima que alrededor de un 12% del padrón nacional no pudo votar porque se encuentra en zonas controladas por estos grupos armados.

Abril llega con aumentos de gas, combustibles, prepagas y subte

Ayer, YPF subió sus precios 4,5% en promedio

En una sucesión de aumentos sin fin, en abril es el turno del gas, de los combustibles y del subterráneo porteño. Los tarifazos sumarán más presión a la inflación de un mes que ya arrastrará la inercia y el traslado a precios de la suba del dólar: las consultoras prevén un IPC del 4%.

Por el lado del gas, las facturas de este mes tendrán un aumento del 10%. En mayo, subirán otro 9,1%. Las empresas del sector ya cobrarán el incremento completo del 29% pero Energía subsidiará con $4.500 millones extra un escalonamiento en tres cuotas y un diferimiento del aumento de los meses de invierno que se pagará a partir de diciembre. Un esquema diseñado pensando en la campaña electoral.

El nuevo tarifazo sobre este servicio se aplicará sobre tarifas que se dispararon 1.752% entre diciembre de 2015 y marzo de 2019, según cálculos de la Undav. Así, Cambiemos terminará su mandato un aumento del gas del 2.289%.

Este fin de semana comenzaron a regir los incrementos en las dos principales expendedoras de combustibles del país impulsados por la devaluación del 10% de marzo y por la suba en el impuesto a este producto.

El viernes Raizen, licenciataria de la marca Shell en Argentina, subió sus precios 9,5% en promedio en todo el país. Desde la medianoche de ayer, la siguió la estatal YPF con un alza del 4,55% en las naftas y del 4,89% en el gasoil. El otro gran actor del mercado, Axion, aún no resolvió la magnitud que tendrá el aumento de sus combustibles, que sería anunciado en los próximos días.

En la Ciudad de Buenos Aires también regirá un incremento del 15% en la tarifa de subterráneo, que pasará a costar $19. El tarifazo para abril fue discutido en audiencias públicas pero aún no está confirmado el día exacto de su implementación. En mayo, el boleto de las seis líneas subirá otro 10,5% hasta los $21.

El pasaje en premetro, en tanto, aumentará desde los actuales $6 a $7 en abril. El próximo mes costará $7,50.

Candidato opositor se declara victoria en Estambul

Tiene 48,79% del consenso, falta escrutar 0,25% de las mesas

El candidato opositor Ekrem Imamoglu

 El candidato de la oposición turca en Estambul, Ekrem Imamoglu, volvió a declararse vencedor frente a la prensa cuando, según los datos oficiales, aún falta por escrutar el 0,25% de las mesas.
Por el momento Imamoglu cuenta con el 48,79% del consenso, casi 25.000 votos más que el expremier Binali Yildirim, candidato del AKP del presidente Recep Tayyip Erdogan, que tiene el 48,51%.
Por la noche ambos candidatos habían reivindicado la victoria. Si el éxito del candidato del CHP se confirma, las fuerzas de Erdogan perderían la ciudad sobre el Bósforo tras un cuarto de siglo, como ya ocurrió con Ankara.
El AKP anunció que quiere presentar un recurso contra los resultados.
El resultado es crucial porque Estambul representa el corazón económico del país y si Erdogan pierde su control se daría un giro en la política turca.
Entretanto, el Consejo de Europa dijo no estar "plenamente convencido de que actualmente en Turquía exista el ambiente electoral libre y justo que es necesario para elecciones genuinamente democráticas en línea con los valores y principios europeos".
Lo dijo Andrew Dawson, que dirige la misión de observación electoral del Consejo de Europa para las elecciones administrativas en Turquía.

En los últimos 3 años, aumentó 66,4% la cantidad de los trabajadores que pagan impuesto a las Ganancias

En 2017 la carga tributaria tocó un récord historico

La cantidad de trabajadores que pagan el impuesto a las Ganancias en la Argentina aumentó un 66,4% entre enero de 2016 y diciembre de 2018, los primeros tres años de gestión de Mauricio Macri.

Según informó la jefatura de Gabinete al Congreso de la Nación, 1.979.491 personas estuvieron afectadas por el tributo en diciembre del año pasado, cuando en el mismo mes de 2015 pagaban el impuesto 1.189.342 trabajadores.

"En mi gobierno ningún trabajador va a pagar Impuesto a las Ganancias", había sido una de las principales promesas de campaña de Macri a lo largo de 2015, pero el impacto del impuesto no solo no se redujo sino que se amplificó.

Los datos oficiales aportados por la jefatura de Gabinete al Congreso indican que en 2015 el impuesto afectaba a 1.189.342, saltó a 1.643.686 en 2016 y tocó un récord histórico de 2.028.369 en 2017, alcanzando un 70,5 por ciento.

Si se observa la comparación interanual en 2018 hubo una caída del 2,4% en la población que paga el impuesto respecto de 2017 debido a los despidos en el sector privado y a que los salarios perdieron 12,2 puntos porcentuales de poder adquisitivo.

Según el ministerio de Trabajo, la economía de la Argentina perdió unos 262.400 empleos registrados entre enero de 2018 y el mismo mes de 2019.

En enero hubo 12.112.500 trabajadores registrados, 2,1% menos que en el mismo mes del año anterior, de acuerdo con los datos oficiales del Sistema Integrado Previsional Argentino (SIPA).

El mercado de trabajo registrado también se retrajo en la comparación con diciembre de 2018: hubo un descenso mensual del 0,1%, lo que equivalió a la pérdida de 13.000 puestos de trabajo que estaban "en blanco" en todo el país.

El 66,7% de los empleos que se perdieron en los últimos doce meses fueron puestos de trabajo del sector privado, lo que equivale a una merma de 175.000 trabajadores.