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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: July 16, 2021
Posted: July 16, 2021 at 1:30 pm
Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) is a disease in which the local death of osteocytes and bone marrow components is caused by venous congestion or impaired arterial blood supply or the femoral head rupture.1,2 ONFH usually occurs between 30 and 50 years old.1 It is reported that the risk factors of ONFH included corticosteroid use, trauma, alcohol consumption, coagulation abnormalities, hyperlipidemia, and smoking.1 Numerous epidemiological and multicenter studies have shown that most ONFH patients have a history of alcohol abuse. It has been reported that alcohol can destroy bone homeostasis by directly inhibiting the proliferation and differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs).3 In particularly, alcohol significantly inhibited the proliferation and DNA synthesis of osteoprogenitor cells.4 Therefore, alcohol is a factor that cannot be ignored to cause osteonecrosis of the femoral head.5 At present, there are two main types of osteonecrosis: traumatic and non-traumatic.2 Alcohol-induced ONFH belongs to non-traumatic osteonecrosis.6 Epidemiological studies have reported that 2045% of ONFH patients are associated with alcohol consumption.1 Excessive drinking may lead to dyslipidemia, abnormal differentiation of BMSCs differentiation, and abnormal bone metabolism. In addition, alcohol has a significant dose effect on bone homeostasis.7 However, each individual have different susceptibility, which may be related to genetic predispositions.8 Some studied showed that MMP-8 and MMP-3 gene polymorphisms were related to the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH.9
RAB40C, also known as RARL/RASL8C, is located in 16p13.3. It is a member of the RAS oncogene family and encodes the protein RAB40C. The RAB family of small GTPases was regards as the cellular regulators of vesicular transport,10 and RAB proteins were the key regulators of eukaryotic biofilm transport in all eukaryotes.11 Studies have found that RAB40C was directly regulated by let-7a and played an important regulatory role in the biological role of gastric tumorigenesis.12 Aberrant methylation in RAB40C may be related to the pathogenesis of prostate cancer.13 Our previous work has proved that RAB40C is a novel lipid droplet-related RAB protein,11 which is one of the RAB proteins regulating lipid droplets (LDs) homeostasis.14 Lipid metabolism disorder is considered as the main factor of the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced ONFH.15 Thus, the occurrence of alcohol-induced ONFH may be relevant to RAB40C gene.
In order to verify this hypothesis, this study aimed to search for the association between RAB40C single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and alcohol-induced ONFH susceptibility, so as to provide guidance for the potential treatment and prevention of the disease.
The ethical approval of this study is in line with the ethical principles of the Helsinki declaration on human medical research. Our study has been approved by the ethics committee of Hong Hui hospital in Xi an, China, and all participants have signed informed consent before participating in the study.
All subjects were the Chinese Han population and included 201 patients and 201 controls. Participants underwent routine physical examinations including internal medicine, surgery, and specialized facial examinations. The diagnostic criteria for alcohol-induced ONFH are based on the clinical manifestations of hip, lumbar, and knee pain and mobility limitations. We further diagnosed the disease by MRI analysis and X-ray examination, such as deformities of the femoral head, hip stenosis, protuberances, or collapsed cartilage fractures.16 The patients were diagnosed with ONFH after using plain radiographs in stage II, III, and IV of the Ficat Classification systems. Stage I is characterized by no radiological abnormalities. Only some joints are stiff and painful, usually with limited joint movement. The symptoms were relieved after rest, and no positive results were found on X-ray films. Occasionally, uniform or spotty osteoporotic areas could be seen. The second stage is characterized by bone reconstruction on X-ray film, with sparse bone and diffuse bone, but no change in the shape of femoral head or joint space. A plain or CT scan of the femoral head shows osteosclerosis, focal osteoporosis, or cystic changes. Stage III is characterized by continuous fracture of subchondral trabeculae with obvious cystic changes and sclerotic margin around it. The femoral head is flattened due to subchondral fracture, mainly in the load-bearing area. Stage IV is characterized by progressive enlargement of subchondral osteonecrosis, further compression and destruction of the femoral head and acetabulum, with narrowing of joint space and typical changes of osteoarthritis.16 The enrolled patients had a history of drinking pure alcohol > 400 mL (320g/week, any alcoholic beverage) per week for six months or more. The inclusion criteria of the control group were as follows: (1) healthy, excluding asymptomatic ONFH (stage I) subjects; (2) age and BMI-matched Han Population in the control group; (3) no recent infection; (4) no other medical history; (5) no history of alcohol abuse.
In 1000 genome project (http://www.internationalgenome.org/), we selected RAB40C candidate SNP sites with allele frequency (MAF) over 5%. Three SNPs (rs4984677, rs62030917 and rs2269556) in RAB40C were finally identified in the case - control study. We isolated the genomic DNA from the whole blood sample using the Goldmag-mini Purification Kit (GoldMag Co. Ltd, Xian, China), and DNA concentration was measured using the NanoDrop 2000 (Thermo Scientific, Waltham, MA). Multiplexed SNP Mass EXTEND assay was designed by Agena MassARRAY Assay Design 4.0 software, and SNP genotyping was performed by Agena MassARRAY RS1000 (Agena, San Diego, CA, USA) according to the standard scheme.17 We also used Agena Typer 4.0 software to analyze and manage our data.18
We used Microsoft Excel (Microsoft, Redmond, WA) and SPSS Statistics (version 17.0, SPSS, Chicago, IL) to analyze the collected data. All the pvalues in the study were two - tailed, and p < 0.05 was statistically significant. The chi-square test was used to evaluate the deviation of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE). Pearson Chi - square test or Fishers accurate test were also used to compare the allele frequency and genotype frequency of alcohol-induced ONFH patients with that of the control group. The association between polymorphisms in the RAB40C gene and the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH was calculated on the basis of logistic regression analysis. Four models (co-dominant, dominant, recessive, and log-additive) were established using PLINK version 1.07 software to assess the association between each sites and the alcohol-induced ONFH risk. The pairwise linkage disequilibrium (LD), haplotype construction, and genetic association of polymorphism loci were assessed using the Haploview software package (version 4.2).
This study contained 201 alcohol-induced ONFH patients with an average age of 42.68 12.875 years old and 201 healthy controls with an average age of 42.87 13.270 years old. The independent sample t test showed that no significant difference was between the case group and the control group. In the case group, there were 54 cases in stage I and II, 147 cases in stage III and IV. Moreover, 44 cases with unilateral lesions and 157 cases with bilateral lesions. The information of BMI, alcohol and tobacco use in both cases and controls were shown in the Table 1. Supplementary Table S1 listed the plasma lipoprotein and lipid levels between patients and controls, and the results of the table indicated that there was a significant difference in PLT levels between the two groups.
Table 1 Comparison of Clinical Data in Case and Control Groups
Supplementary Table S2 showed the primers were used for this study. We have successfully genotyped three SNPs of RAB40C gene, and the genotype frequency distribution of all SNPs in the control groups did not deviate from the HWE (p > 0.05). Table 2 showed the basic information of chromosome position, role, MAF (Minor allele frequency) of cases and controls and HWE p-value of the three SNPs located in RAB40C gene. In these three SNPs, the minor allele G of rs62030917 was significantly associated with an increased alcohol-induced ONFH risk (OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.072.02, p = 0.017).
Table 2 Basic Information of the Three SNPs in This Study
Then, we used four genetic models (co-dominant, dominant, recessive, and log-additive models) to analyze the relationship between three SNPs and alcohol-induced ONFH risk (Table 3). The result indicated that carriers with G/A-G/G genotype in rs62030917 were more likely to have alcohol-induced ONFH risk compared with AA homozygous carriers (adjusted OR = 1.52, 95% CI=1.022.26, p = 0.039) in the dominant model. In the log-additive model, rs62030917 also increased the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH (adjusted OR = 1.42, 95% CI=1.051.93, p = 0.025).
Table 3 Association Analysis Between SNPs and Alcohol-Induced ONFH Risk
In addition, we also analyzed the association between these loci and the risk of alcoholic osteonecrosis by age stratification and hip lesions stratification (Table 4). Our results suggested that rs62030917 increased the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH among people 42 years old shown in the allele model (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.042.54, p = 0.033), the co-dominant model (OR = 2.99, 95% CI = 1.088.30, p = 0.035), the recessive model (OR = 2.77, 95% CI = 1.037.47, p = 0.044) and the log-additive model (OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.002.33, p = 0.048). In patients with unilateral lesions vs controls, rs62030917 conveyed a increasing risk of alcohol-induced ONFH in the allele model (OR = 2.01, 95% CI = 1.233.29, p = 0.005), the co-dominant model (OR = 2.20, 95% CI = 1.084.45, p = 0.036; OR = 3.20, 95% CI = 1.089.48, p = 0.029), the dominant model (OR = 2.37, 95% CI = 1.224.61, p = 0.011) and the log-additive model (OR = 1.90, 95% CI = 1.183.08, p = 0.009). Likewise, rs2269556 also increased the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH (patients with unilateral lesions vs controls) in the allele model (OR = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.072.71, p = 0.023), the co-dominant model (OR = 2.83, 95% CI = 1.137.10, p = 0.027) and the log-additive model (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.062.67, p = 0.028).
Table 4 Correlation Analysis of Rs62030917, Rs2269556 and Alcohol-Induced ONFH After Stratificated by Age and Hip Lesions in Different Genetic Models
Linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks composed of rs62030917 and rs2269556 were found in unilateral lesions (Figure 1) and older than 42 years old groups (Figure 2), respectively. However, there are no statistically significant correlation between the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH and haplotype. Comparative analysis of plasma lipoprotein and lipid levels (TC, TG, HDL-C, LDL-C and PLT) in carrier with different genotypes of rs4984677, rs62030917 and rs2269556 was shown in Table 5. The results showed that carriers of AA, GA and GG genotypes in rs2269556 had LDL-C levels of 2.55 0.71 mmol/L, 2.78 0.83 mmol/L and 2.95 1.08 mmol/L, respectively, which were significantly different (p = 0.047). Among them, carriers of GG genotype had the highest LDL-C levels.
Table 5 Comparative Analysis of Plasma Lipoprotein and Lipid Levels in Carrier with Different Genotypes of Rs4984677, Rs62030917 and Rs2269556
Figure 1 In patients with unilateral lesions, LD plots containing three SNPs from RAB40C.
Figure 2 In patients older than 42 years old, LD plots containing three SNPs from RAB40C.
The pathogenesis of non-traumatic osteonecrosis is vascular injury, osteocyte death, or defective bone repair.19,20 Long term excessive drinking can lead to dyslipidemia and then induce ONFH.21,22 In recent years, people began to pay attention to the relationship between hereditary susceptibility and alcohol-induced ONFH.2325 Our study on the relationship RAB40C gene polymorphisms and alcohol-induced ONFH is the novel study.
The coding region of RAB40C contains 281 amino acids, which is longer than most small GTPases because it contains a unique SOCS box domain between the conserved GTPase domain and the pre-acylated C-terminal. Special SOCS box domain interacted with the elongated protein B/C and Cul5 modules, and binded with the ring finger proteins to form active ubiquitin ligases, which mediated a series of cellular processes.2628 Our previous work has proved that RAB40C is a novel LDs-related RAB protein.11 This is because there is a unique SOCS box domain of RAB40C, which is necessary for LDs cluster.14 As the proadipocytes differentiate into adipocytes, the expression of RAB40C increased. During the formation and maturation of LDs in adipocytes, RAB40C gradually accumulated to the surface of LDs. RAB40C knockout moderately reduced the size of LDs, suggesting that RAB40C is involved in the biological genetic process of LDs.29
Alcohol induces cell differentiation into adipocytes.30 With the increase of alcohol exposure time and concentration, the number of adipocytes was increased.31 In the alcohol treatment group, intracellular lipid deposition also occurred, which eventually leaded to the death of osteocytes.31,33 These effective findings suggested that alcohol can directly induce adipogenesis, reduce bone marrow mesenchymal osteogenesis, and produce intracellular lipid deposition leading to osteocyte death, which may be related to the occurrence of alcohol-induced ONFH.31 In view of the research, rs62030917 of RAB40C significantly increased the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH. In subjects with unilateral lesions, rs62030917 and rs2269556 increased the alcohol-induced ONFH risk. Rs62030917 increased the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH in people 42 years old.
To sum up, the expression of RAB40C gene increases the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH, which indicates that the gene polymorphisms of RAB40C may increase its risk of disease. There are limitations in the scope and quantity of sample selection in this study. In this study, patients and people from Northwest China were selected, which may be biased. In addition, the sample size of this study is small, and further verification of our results needs larger samples to support. Finally, some polymorphic loci with alcohol-induced ONFH have been screened out at the DNA level, and the relationship between polymorphisms and gene expression level has not yet been evaluated. Therefore, the relationship between polymorphisms and gene expression level needs to be evaluated at the RNA level and protein level. The study only provides a direction for alcohol-induced ONFH research.
Our study indicated that RAB40C gene polymorphism rs62030917 significantly increased the risk of alcohol-induced ONFH and it may be a risk locus. Our study provides a direction for the research on the mechanism of alcoholic osteonecrosis, but it still needs intensive study.
No funds were received in support of this work.
Chang Liu and Xuan Liu are co-first authors for this study. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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2. Abu-Shakra M, Buskila D, Shoenfeld Y. Osteonecrosis in patients with SLE. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2003;25(1):1324. doi:10.1385/CRIAI:25:1:13
3. Yu H, Liu P, Zhu D, et al. Chrysophanic acid shifts the differentiation tendency of BMSCs to prevent alcohol-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Cell Proliferation. 2020;53(8):e12871.
4. Klein RF, Fausti KA, Carlos AS, Ng EL, Tang BL. Ethanol inhibits human osteoblastic cell proliferation. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1996;20(3):572578. doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.1996.tb01095.x
5. Guo YJ, Luo SH, Tang MJ, et al. Muscone exerts protective roles on alcohol-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Biomed Pharmacother. 2018;97:825832. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2017.11.025
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9. Chen J, Liu W, Cao Y, et al. MMP-3 and MMP-8 single-nucleotide polymorphisms are related to alcohol-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head in Chinese males. Oncotarget. 2017;8(15):2517725188. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.15587
10. Ng EL, Tang BL, Rab GT. Pases and their roles in brain neurons and glia. Brain Res Rev. 2008;58(1):236246.
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12. Yang Q, Jie Z, Cao H, et al. Low-level expression of let-7a in gastric cancer and its involvement in tumorigenesis by targeting RAB40C. Carcinogenesis. 2011;32(5):713722. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgr035
13. Geybels MS, Alumkal JJ, Luedeke M, et al. Epigenomic profiling of prostate cancer identifies differentially methylated genes in TMPRSS2:ERG fusion-positive versus fusion-negative tumors. Clin Epigenetics. 2015;7:128. doi:10.1186/s13148-015-0161-6
14. Luo X, Li C, Tan R, et al. A RasGAP, DAB2IP, regulates lipid droplet homeostasis by serving as GAP toward RAB40C. Oncotarget. 2017;8(49):8541585427. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.19960
15. Song Y, Du Z, Ren M, et al. Association of gene variants of transcription factors PPARgamma, RUNX2, Osterix genes and COL2A1, IGFBP3 genes with the development of osteonecrosis of the femoral head in Chinese population. Bone. 2017;101:104112. doi:10.1016/j.bone.2017.05.002
16. Zhao D, Zhang F, Wang B, et al. Guidelines for clinical diagnosis and treatment of osteonecrosis of the femoral head in adults (2019 version). J Orthopaedic Translation. 2020;21:100110. doi:10.1016/j.jot.2019.12.004
17. Trembizki E, Smith H, Lahra MM, et al. High-throughput informative single nucleotide polymorphism-based typing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae using the Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX platform. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014;69(6):15261532. doi:10.1093/jac/dkt544
18. Gabriel S, Ziaugra L, Tabbaa D. SNP genotyping using the Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX platform. Curr Protocols Human Genetics. 2009;2:12. doi:10.1002/0471142905.hg0212s60
19. Assouline-Dayan Y, Chang C, Greenspan A, Shoenfeld Y, Gershwin ME. Pathogenesis and natural history of osteonecrosis. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2002;32(2):94124. doi:10.1053/sarh.2002.33724b
20. Su BZ, Yu Y, Yang H, et al. Nitric oxide of genetic variants is associated with alcohol-induced osteonecrosis risk of the femoral head in a Han population. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2016;9(10):1067010675.
21. Matsuo K, Hirohata T, Sugioka Y, Ikeda M, Fukuda A. Influence of alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, and occupational status on idiopathic osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1988;2(234):115123.
22. Hirota Y, Hirohata T, Fukuda K, et al. Association of alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, and occupational status with the risk of idiopathic osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Am J Epidemiol. 1993;137(5):530538. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a116706
23. Wang Y, Yang X, Shi J, et al. Combination analysis of NOS3, ABCB1 and IL23R polymorphisms with alcohol-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head risk in Chinese males. Oncotarget. 2017;8(20):3377033778. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.16809
24. Wang J, Shi X, Yang H, et al. Association between alcohol-induced osteonecrosis of femoral head and risk variants of MMPS in Han population based on a case-control study. Oncotarget. 2017;8(38):6449064498. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.16380
25. Chen JY, Guo YC, Jin TB, et al. Association of MMPs/TIMPs polymorphism with alcohol-induced osteonecrosis of femoral head in the Chinese Han population. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2016;9(8):82318238.
26. Chew EH, Hagen T. Substrate-mediated regulation of cullin neddylation. J Biol Chem. 2007;282(23):1703217040. doi:10.1074/jbc.M701153200
27. Kamura T, Sato S, Haque D, et al. The Elongin BC complex interacts with the conserved SOCS-box motif present in members of the SOCS, ras, WD-40 repeat, and ankyrin repeat families. Genes Dev. 1998;12(24):38723881. doi:10.1101/gad.12.24.3872
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29. Tan R, Wang W, Wang S, et al. Small GTPase Rab40c associates with lipid droplets and modulates the biogenesis of lipid droplets. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e63213. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063213
30. Yu L, Xu Y, Qu H, Yu Y, Li W, Zhao Y. Decrease of MiR-31 induced by TNF-alpha inhibitor activates SATB2/RUNX2 pathway and promotes osteogenic differentiation in ethanol-induced osteonecrosis. J cel physiol. 2019;234(4):43144326. doi:10.1002/jcp.27210
31. Wang Y, Li Y, Mao K, Li J, Cui Q, Wang GJ. Alcohol-induced adipogenesis in bone and marrow: a possible mechanism for osteonecrosis. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2003;410(410):213224. doi:10.1097/01.blo.0000063602.67412.83
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Posted: at 1:29 pm
Dan Harmon Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Dan Harmon would love to be able to talk about his work on its own terms. However, the ever-candid Harmon cannot easily separate the show Community from his experience working on it. Fan-favorite scenes bring up memories of network notes or fights with directors. Acclaim for the seasons (one, two, three, five, and six, of course) which now are available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon remind him of the harmful work environment he created. And today, the tremendous success of Rick and Morty undeniably comes with the baggage of the small but toxic portion of its fan base.
On Vultures Good One podcast, Harmon came on to discuss the Deans legendary Payday Rap from Community season five, but the conversation went on to cover being a boss, the fans of his works, and nihilism versus humanism. You can read an excerpt from the transcript or listen to the full episode below. Tune in to Good One every Thursday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.
During the first three seasons of Community, it felt like the press didnt just ignore rumors and little asides that the show was really hard to work on, but they used it as proof of your greatness. Like, Hes so dedicated to making this funny, he doesnt care how long hes making them work. It was prime peak TV, auteur showrunner stuff.Yes, the myth of the auteur.
You have been candid about your significant shortcomings running Community and trying to work on it. How has your thinking and feeling about being a boss evolved?Older age and technology and exhaustion and being called out all intersected with I want to get home by five. And that should be a human right. A lot of cement mixers listening to this would be like, Oh, youre home by five after thinking for a living, la-di-da. I wont argue with that, but I will say, in therapy, what I have learned about people who study the brain of people who do creative work, its not like bricklaying, but if you sit for four hours and do nothing but not know what to do, its what we do to prisoners to punish them for being bad at prison. They take them out of where theres certainty about things, and they put them into uncertainty in the form of solitary confinement. And were waking up to that being mental torture. To my cement-mixer brothers out there and my EMT workers and anybody listening to this, Im not saying that what we do is difficult or even important. But what I will say is, yeah, if you do it for eight hours straight, you tend to get the same result. That four additional hours of people wanting to slit your throat in your sleep doesnt help.
And the less sleep makes you hit the drawing board in the morning in a state of confusion. I would literally put myself in a daze back then. I was popping Adderall like Pez and sleeping on my office couch. My definition of when to stop was when the job was done, which is the definition of suicide if your job is creative. And youre the one in charge of when its done. How do you know when a joke is finished? How do you know when a story is finished? I would just sit, and then if you were obedient enough, you would sit with me. And then your reward for that, which Im unfortunately infamous for, is like, Maybe I love you. Maybe youre here because you love me. And its like, No, you pay me to be here. I cant leave or Ill get fired. That is why I transgressed those boundaries because I was in this fugue state. I would sleep for 20 minutes and then think about the show for three hours.
What Rick and Morty taught me after leaving Community was I would sit in the edit bay with Justin Roiland, and weeks before broadcast, wed still be changing things in the edit bay in an episode that took a year and a half to make. Season three or four of Rick and Morty, I started to realize, My God, were changing this episode the same amount that we would change it had we spent longer writing it. A bomb went off in my head where I was like, How long did I make the animators wait for this script? And every time the line producer appeared in my doorway and said, We really need to record voices tomorrow, and like I was Orson Welles or something, I would say to them theyre the ones that needed to adopt my religion: Youre in the Matrix, man. Dont you understand it does you no good to record a bunch of voices recording things Im only going to rewrite? Why dont you just wait until its finished, and then you could record something that would be ready for the people?
It took me so long to realize thats not true! You are not an architect. You are not making blueprints. The difference between a writer in TV and an architect is that the architect is going to kill people if they dont put the electrical outlets in the right place on their little map of how to build the building, and the concrete is going to harden, and then the changes cant be made. A writer is creating a memo to hand off to his collaborators his hundreds of collaborators who are being paid huge amounts of money and being asked to go away from their families to help you by saying, in animation, for instance, Well, this is what stick figures would look like if theyre doing this thing that you wrote for 30 pages. And you look at the stick figures and then you go, Oh wow, those stick figures are wasting time for three minutes. I think maybe we should Youre writing with others. Youre not a novelist. Youre not publishing a script thats then being adapted by your underlings. Youre dancing with 300 people. And I think that would even apply to live-action.
You get asked about bad fans a lot, but I was curious if you feel misunderstood. And, as you continue to create the show, if you feel like you take that into account to make sure you are communicating what you are trying to communicate.There is no getting around the fact that the thought process has to start to change after observing the public digesting material now. The really cynical way of looking at that is to say, Well, I made a character thats really fun because he says, Go fuck yourself. And then I saw a meme that a Nazi used that says, Go fuck yourself. So my character is going to stop saying Go fuck yourself and start saying Everybody hug each other. Thats the map those Nazi kids draw. Where the accountability comes in is I want to disabuse people of this limited thinking. I dont like that people receive instruction from television. I want them to get comfort from television, and I want to disabuse them of any part of them that thinks that television permits them to go through their day thinking certain thoughts hence the lateral stuff in the meta stuff. Dont let this carnival ride make you carnival-ride dependent. Get out there, make your own carnival ride, et cetera.
Nowadays, in a writers room conversation, when were breaking a story, it is unavoidable knowing that some kid out there is like, See, I knew it! Now more than ever, when were breaking a story, I have to run everything through a simulator in my head, and I go, I dont want this to be perceived as some kind of anti-trans message. Like, Oh, this is a story about octopus creatures that identify as unicorns and blah, blah, blah. And Ill be like, Okay, can we be careful that were not doing a libertarian soapbox thing where our point is people are crazy when they believe things? Ive never wanted a TV show to be that.
So, I do now check myself more than ever when were breaking stories. Im like, Can this not feel like a soapbox of any kind? Even using like South Park, I would call that extreme compared to what I would like to accomplish. South Park will tell you, People go a little crazy sometimes when they think stuff, and it gets them all worked up, but really, if youre just hanging out, making cartoons, you dont really have to worry. Thats great, but I dont even want that much soapbox. I dont want to forget that if youre watching, you might be in the most terrible mood of your life, living in a pit or a trench in a foreign country, like watching a crooked TV or some Max Headroom dystopia that I have no way of relating to, and I want you to just laugh at the human condition. I want you to be soothed and welcomed in, and I want your obsession to be rewarded. I do not want to send weird signals on top of that. As the world gets increasingly polarized and fucking vigilant about messaging, yes, I have increased my consciousness of like, Is it possible this will be perceived as messaging of any kind? And I dont add water to make it not messaging, Ill add confusion. Like, Well, anyone that thinks that will surely be thrown off when this happens.
I have tried in the past to service anxiety about that, and then I just hit a breaking point I think probably around my QAnon canceling at the hands of the fucking comedy video I did. I was just like, You know what? Humans suck in groups. Theyre terrible people, and the internet is awful at receiving comedy. But individual humans are fantastic at watching it, and theyre great at writing me messages and saying, This helped me so much and I watch this with my dad. Those people number in the millions. You just have to, at a certain point, be like, I cannot worry about the worst parts of this carnival. I have to die honest. Yes, everything I say nowadays is going to register on the Richter scale of people that are going to say Classic blue pill cuck fucking sellout pussification dot hashtag or red pill blue pill fucking nonsense.
Im 48 15 year olds used to not be allowed to drink with us, and now were in this era where theyre right next to adults, and some of us are falling for it. Were having arguments with teenagers. Im not saying theyre bad people, but theyre teenagers, man. You used to be able to just say, Get out of here. You cant be here. This is for grownups. Theres boobs in here. But now theyre just everywhere, and they can have an avatar of a guy in a beard. And theyre like [in a dumb voice], I think critical race theory blah blah blah blah. Dude, youre 15. I was Republican too. All I learned was America is great. Get out of here, you kid. You cant grow chin hair.
By the way, teenagers are great. Keep watching the show and also buy merchandise. There are T-shirts for teenagers and skateboard wheels, I think? I want to buy a third house.
We last spoke at the Community reunion at Vulture Festival and, of course, I brought up the idea of a Community movie. And everyone was like, Sure, Id do it, but I want to frame it a little differently. Assuming Donald [Glover] says yes, what are the conceptual or formal issues that would make it difficult to do? Why do you think it could be bad? Youd have to ask yourself, What tails wagging what dog? Because if youre doing a reunion movie, youre doing it obviously to service fans of the show, so now you look at the X-Files movie and you say, Did they do that right, or did they do that wrong? And my conclusion was I dont think they did it right or wrong. I would have hated to have to write that movie, because in an X-Files movie, youd have to answer questions.
Heres the biggest philosophical question: Are you supposed to service a mythical new viewer? The obvious, dogmatic, practical, off-the-street answer is like, No, you dont. Its fan service. Why would there be a Community movie? Who do you think is going to walk in off the street and buy popcorn and sit and watch a Community movie like that? They deserve to be punished. Why are they doing that?
Saying that that person doesnt exist is a lot different from asking yourself structurally if youre supposed to design the movie for them, because theres a new viewer inside of all of us. If every Marvel movie started with inside references to all 90 other Marvel movies, even if you had seen all of them even if on one level youd be like, This is the greatest Marvel movie ever because all of the movies are in here I think that a part of your brain would be going, Yeah, but its kind of not a good movie for this reason. Its just speaking in gibberish. What does this mean? I exist in that camp like you? Formalistically, you owe a movie that I think the fans can not only enjoy, but they can stand back and go, You know, the crazy thing about this Community movie is that if you didnt know there was a show, this is an insanely good movie. Theres a reason to watch it and then definitely watch the series because now youre like, Holy crap. I dont know if thats arrogance, pretentiousness, responsibility, self-deprecation, torture. I cant get myself out of that camp. Yes, there will be inside baseball. Yes, there will be fan service, but it has to be couched in
It has to be a movie.Yes. And then the other thing is and maybe this folds into that but per the Russo brothers, per Justin Lin, who directed the paintball episode and the Halloween episode, people will stop these guys on the street and demand a Community movie, in spite of their work on Fast and the Furious and at Marvel. What they always say to those guys is So, if you did do a movie, it has to be paintball, right? That kind of weighs on you, because I know that that sounds like a great idea, but do you really want to see a Community reunion movie that also has to do this committed irony to an entire genre of, like, were shooting paintballs and paintballs are like bullets? Dont you remember that we did two sequels to paintball episodes, and beyond the initial hard-hitting, classic Emmy-worthy not Emmy-getting irony of doing a paintball episode of a sitcom, dont you actually want there to be a level of groundedness to part of this too?
Do you want to see these people play dress-up in their old outfits and come in and go, Look at me. Meeep meep, moop moop. Look what I used to do? Yes, to some degree; no, to some degree. And contrary to that, do you want to see these people not doing that and coming in in pantsuits and going, Im an adult now. Meep meep, moop moop. Remember when we did this? Is there a way to provide a little bit of all of it for everybody and come out on the other side, with everybody going, Wow, that is like everything I didnt even know I wanted from a Community reunion? If history is any teacher, what I will try to do is solve all those problems, and Ill end up making a big plate of self-indulgent spaghetti that only five people love.
What are the next steps? Is it just like, once a day you meditate on it?I have never done anything for free.
Like you need a deadline that is with a check.Yeah. I started writing to keep my parents from hitting me, and I now only write to feel valid. But the upside of that is yes, I am, at least once a week, thinking about it, because the gears are turning. There is, like a thing is happening. Logistically, the locks are coming away. And the only problems are becoming the creative ones, which is great, because I love those problems. I love having these conversations, and theyre being had. Thats a scoop you get, because I had a little Ketel One with my LaCroix.
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Posted: at 1:29 pm
Like fresh entrails sewn into an old skeleton, the Fear Street trilogy is a new creature. Released on Netflix on consecutive Fridays, the three movies that make up the event straddle the line between weekly television and cinematic franchise. This Grand Guignol was an ambitious experiment for the streamer, and it mostly succeeds: Fear Street, an engaging and scrappy mini-franchise, plays like Scream meets Stranger Things built on a supernatural premise sturdy enough to sustain interest and suspense over nearly six hours.
Based on books by R.L. Stine, the Fear Street movies take place in side-by-side suburbs. Shadyside is drab and dejected, full of cynical kids who work hard and play harder. Nearby, a golden glow falls over the sublime Sunnyvale, Shadysides richer, snootier neighbor. General ill will divides the towns. But theres a darker pattern at play. Every few decades, Shadyside is the site of a mass murder, and each time, the killer is an apparently stable resident who just seems to snap.
Part One: 1994 opens on one such slaughter. In a lurid mall after-hours, we meet our first victim in Heather (Maya Hawke), who makes an impression although she doesnt survive long. The story pivots to follow the trilogys hero, Deena (Kiana Madeira, with a bite), a cynical high schooler going through a painful breakup with Sam (Olivia Scott Welch). Bitter, but with lingering tender feelings, Deena soon discovers that a drove of zombies is after her ex. And when efforts to involve the Sunnyside police including the snidely named Sheriff Goode (Ashley Zukerman) prove futile, Deena vows to protect Sam herself. Her nerdy little brother, Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.), and some friends, Kate (Julia Rehwald) and Simon (Fred Hechinger), tag along to run interference.
The Fear Street universes rules of zombie conduct are not especially consistent. Sometimes a mere trace of blood is enough to allow the menaces to sniff out their prey and pounce. In other scenes, they take ages to track down their teenage targets long enough, say, for a pair of exes to make up and make out. More methodical are the forces behind the zombies reanimation. Deena discovers that the undead killers are Shadysides deceased mass murderers. And then theres the 17th-century witch, Sarah Fier, who possesses their corpses and orders them to strike from beyond the grave. Why Sarah is holding a centuries-long grudge against Shadyside is one of the mysteries powering Deenas journey.
Leigh Janiak, who directed the trilogy and co-wrote the three screenplays, has deftly adapted Stines stories for the screen. Using an abundance of playful genre tropes, Janiak gives the movies a stylized energy. Motifs accompany overt references to classic horror movies, as when Simon cites a survival strategy he learned from Poltergeist. His borrowed idea turns out to be a bust, inspiring Deena to proclaim that their emergency is not like the movies.
The line nods to the audience, but, in a way, Deenas right. Fear Street feels different. The trilogy eschews the doom-and-gloom sobriety of recent horror successes like Bird Box and A Quiet Place, or the nihilism of The Purge franchise. Shadyside and Sunnyvale represent opposite poles, but Fear Street isnt an allegory about suburban privilege dressed up in blood and guts. More so, its a motley of gore and nostalgia as told through an endearing cast of teenage rebels.
These strengths are best displayed in Part Two: 1978, the strongest of the trilogy. While Part One drips with 90s artifacts, including grunge outfits and Pixies mixtapes, Part Two takes a luscious trip back in time to a summer at Camp Nightwing. Campers donning short shorts crowd into cabin bunks while counselors just a few years older smoke pot and hook up to a soundtrack of The Runaways Cherry Bomb.
This part of the story centers on two sisters spending a summer at Nightwing: Ziggy (Sadie Sink), a sneering misfit camper, and the elder Cindy (Emily Rudd), a priggish, type-A counselor. Think Wet Hot American Summer infused with the macabre. The place gets especially gruesome once the sun sets and a killer again, a Shadysider accursed turns color war into a red rampage. Carnage and a series of close calls follow, but the change in scenery ensures that Part Two never feels like a clone of Part One. The actors help: The combined talents of Sink, Rudd and Ryan Simpkins, as Cindys co-counselor Alice, raise the tension by a few notches.
The final installment, Part Three: 1666 backpedals to an even earlier time, bringing us to the village of Sarah Fier. In a stage drama surprise, many of the actors from Part One and Two return in new, 17th-century roles, sporting colonial rags and period speech that nobody quite pulls off. Here, there is less to propel the action, and lacking in pop artifacts, lingo or fashion trends, Janiak struggles to recreate the fizzy and fun tone she achieved in the earlier movies. No matter. There are wicked mysteries to be solved, and by Part Three, you feel safe following these survivors wherever they go.
Fear Street Part One: 1994Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 47 minutes. Watch on Netflix.
Fear Street Part Two: 1978Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 49 minutes. Watch on Netflix.
Fear Street Part Three: 1666Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 52 minutes. Watch on Netflix.
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Posted: at 1:29 pm
When news of yet another proposed reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise was announced in 2018, I jokingly wondered how the powers at be were going to make the entry woke. How could anyone take a series that has reveled in nihilism while effectively arguing for the inherent entertainment in seeing anonymous teen characters get hacked to bits, and translate it to work in a modern context for an audience that demands a more sensitive and compassionate approach? By exploring Halloween Final Girl Laurie Strodes decades-long trauma, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride did so for that franchise and in the process made piles of money. But Friday the 13th has always been dumber and meaner, and at any rate, the brazen misanthropy that characterized a lot of 70s and 80s horror just wouldnt fly today, not at least without the veneer of social consciousness. Whether out of the goodness of ones heart or pure market-driven cynicism, the contemporary trash monger needs to give audiences an excuse for indulging in cinematic junk food.
Leigh Janiaks Fear Street Part Two: 1978 has it all figured out. An equally enjoyable followup to the Netflix franchises Part One: 1994, the sequel is a spiritual continuation of the Friday the 13th franchise, its just that the names have been changed. Instead of Camp Crystal Lake, Fear Streets is Camp Nightwing, and instead of an axe-wielding murderer named Jason Voorhees, Nightwings resident terrorist is Tommy, an eventually masked, possessed counselor (in Part One, he was referred to as the Camp Nightwing Killer). Fear Street Part Two: 1978, which Janiak adapted from R.L. Stines YA book franchise alongside co-writer Phil Graziadei, is more exacting than your average Friday movie. Whereas that franchise just sort of left Jasons zombie status unexplained and inscrutable, Part Two: 1978 details the legend through which Tommy was possessed: A witchs curse that affects many residents of the Fear Street setting of the depressed Shadyside, in a rather pronounced metaphor for class in America. In some ways, Part Two: 1978 manages to be more brutal than Friday ever did, as well: Generally the Friday the 13th movies were set at camp in the days before any of the campers arrived, so it was just counselors getting hacked up. Not so hereTommy goes after and in fact kills children.
And yet Fear Street Part Two: 1978 manages to be more sensitive than anything in the Friday the 13th series. Through its direct engagement with the Final Girl archetype (as coined by Carol J. Clover), Part Two: 1978 finds its soul. Part Two: 1978s ostensible Final Girl, counselor Cindy (Emily Rudd), inhabits most of the goody-goody attributes of classic Final Girls, as detailed by Clover in her 1992 book Men, Women and Chain Saws:
The Final Girl is boyish, in a word. Just as the killer is not fully masculine, she is not fully femininenot, in any case, feminine in the ways of her friends. Her smartness, gravity, competence in mechanical and other practical matters, and sexual reluctance set her apart from the other girls and ally her, ironically, with the very boys she fears or rejects, not to speak of the killer himself. Lest we miss the point, it is spelled out in her name: Stevie, Marti, Terry, Laurie, Stretch, Will, Joey, Max.
Cindy is the type of character so straight-laced that her cursing takes her peers aback. Shes a celibate teetotaler, but her virtue isnt presented as some sort of magical endowment. Just as Sidney in Scream refused sex for reasons tied directly to her past (in Sidneys case, her dead mothers promiscuous reputation), Cindy has a specific motivation for projecting such a squeaky clean identity. As she tells a former friend, Alice (Ryan Simpkins) with whom she emotionally reconnects late in the movie:
I knew then I wasnt different from the other Shadysiders. I was cursed. I told myself that if I was perfect, if I did everything right, I could beat it. I snitched on you, I got new friends, I started dressing like this. I dated sweet Tommy. I avoided you, but I couldnt avoid [her sister] Ziggy. Because she was there always reminding me of the truth. That this town, this place, was cursed. And so were we. She was right all this time.
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Clover argued that through the Final Girls boyishness, horrors male-skewing audience ultimately identifies with the Final Girl. Fear Street Part Twos avoidance in making such concessions is one of a few ways that it twists the archetype. Cindys resolution is dependent not just on her friendship with Alice, but also by repairing her relationship with her sister Ziggy (Sadie Sink). Instead of transforming into a male stand-in, Cindys femininity is, in fact, reaffirmed by female friendship and sisterhood.
Fear Street Part Two is intent on reshaping what we think we know about horror. The camp action opens with Ziggy tearing through the woods, only to reveal that whos following her is not an axe-wielding murderer (he comes later), but a group of bullies, cleverly integrating the quotidian horrors of growing up with the extraordinary types you see in horror flicks. This kind of convention play, without explicitly telegraphing its every move a la Scream, is what the Fear Street series does so well. It has enough faith in its audience to pick up on its genre manipulation, but also works straightforwardly for those who arent coming from a particularly studied perspective. This isnt rocket science or Bergman. There arent new innovations to enthrall, and a different genre might expose these characters as thin, but they work perfectly in the Fear Street context, which considers perfecting to be the greatest act of homage.
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Say goodbye to a liberal hero | Letters to the Editor | tullahomanews.com – Tullahoma News and Guardian
Posted: at 1:25 pm
It looks like another liberal hero, Michael Avenatti, will be wearing a new suit with large black and white pinstripes for several years to come.
Another loud mouth distorter and criminal that the state-run media (MSNBC, CNN...) praised, gone by the wayside. And why did they love him so much? One reason, he hated Donald Trump. Hey, they even had him at the top of the Democrat Presidential Primary for a period of time! You got to give the left credit though, they never give up. Just like the Russia hoax, Ukraine, the ridiculous tries for impeachment, and so many more falsehoods that were thrown at President Trump and yet not one has stuck because they are just not true.
Funny, they even blame President Trump for the January 6 protest at the Capitol. The man clearly told the crowd during his speech to go to the Capitol and protest peacefully in front of the building. But the Democrats had it all planned to make it look like a riot. I agree that the protesters should have never entered the building, however videos showed that initially the Capitol Police opened the doors inviting protesters in. It is a lie that the protesters had anything to do with killing a policeman, he died of natural causes later. However, we are yet to know who killed a military veteran when she entered through a window. Even at that, how can anyone compare January 6 with riots in Portland, Seattle, and many of the major cities resulting from the tragic death of George Floyd? They have destroyed numerous businesses, many owned by minorities.
Finally, I hope all you liberal Dems are enjoying paying a lot more for gas, groceries, building materials and runaway inflation on about everything. Oh and how do you like the let em go Joe illegal migrants pouring into the country and driving down wages? Are we having fun yet???
Posted: at 1:25 pm
Aftershocks from The Bulwark's recent publication of a 12,000-word hit job on a right-wing think tank "What the Hell Happened to the Claremont Institute?" continue to rock the conservative intellectual world. The latest tremor has been felt at Powerline, where Reagan biographer Steven Hayward provocatively asks, "What the Hell Happened to Bill Kristol?" Kristol, you see, is a founder and leading force behind The Bulwark (where I participate in a weekly podcast). If he was willing to publish an extended polemic against a leading institution of the intellectual right, can Kristol even be considered a conservative anymore?
To which I would reply: What if Bill Kristol has been a liberal all along?
How could it be that the man who served as Dan Quayle's chief of staff, who founded and edited for two decades one of the leading conservative magazines in the country, who was a leading advocate for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and who was the public face for neoconservative ideology from the mid-1990s on how could this man have always been a liberal? Answering the questionrequires a brief detour into history.
Bill Kristol's father, Irving Kristol, became one of the original neocons during the 1970s. Until that point, he and his ideological compatriots had considered and called themselves Cold War liberals. But by the time of George McGovern's presidential campaign in 1972, they'd become convinced that the Democrats were heading left on foreign policy, crime, and cultural questions. That led them to begin allying with Republicans. By the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, the partisan shift was complete.
This new alliance with conservatives persisted even after the Democrats had tracked back to the center during the mid-1990s. Why? Inertia, mostly. The neocons had grown used to working with and reaching compromises with conservatives in order to advance the things that mattered most to them. And for Irving's son Bill, what mattered most was developing a "neo-Reaganite foreign policy" for the post-Cold War world. This would be a foreign policy in which the U.S. used its unmatched military might and geopolitical preeminence to challenge tyrants and spread liberal democracy around the globe.
During the administration of George W. Bush, that sounded conservative. But since Donald Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party? Not so much. With the GOP expressing open hostility to democracy promotion abroad (and even at home), Kristol has now undertaken his father's rightward migration in reverse.
But does that signal a fundamental change? Or merely a pragmatic response to altered circumstances? I'd say the latter. Bill Kristol has always been a hawkish, idealistic liberal. What's changed is which party is best suited to serve as that disposition's natural home.
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Posted: at 1:25 pm
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The Liberal government is showing hypocrisy in its approach to supporting some pipelines while rejecting others, writes Herb Pinder.
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After more than a decade of pipeline political ping-pong, TC Energy and the Government of Alberta have given up Keystone XL is dead. The anti-pipeline, anti-energy and anti-market protagonists are celebrating a great victory while also saving the planet.
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Maybe. While there are many consequences of this rejection, none will enhance Mother Earth.
This pipeline was conceived primarily to move heavy oil from Canadas oilsands to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast configured to process such feedstock. Now denied the least costly and safest sourcing, the first consequence is more U.S. oil imports from countries with lower environmental standards and higher GHG emissions, hardly supportive of the articulated objectives of the activists, the Democratic Party and the White House.
A second long-term consequence is that Canada now fully understands that the U.S. is an unreliable trade partner, many times dishonouring both the spirit and the word of longstanding energy agreements and integrated pipeline system. From the early stages of this full contact ping-pong, the Canadian industry and many political leaders have increasingly come to understand the need for Canadian access to the growing oil-and-gas-hungry nations ofPacificAsia. The construction progress of the TransMountain pipeline is tangible recognition of this need by the owner and developer, the Government of Canada.
Another consequence is economic loss for the U.S., now the worlds largest producer of both oil and natural gas and the largest refiner. In a few decades it has evolved from an importer of both commodities to an exporter. Yet the significant geopolitical advantage of being an energy superpower is diminished by its green policy shift and the violation of energy trade agreements with its major supplier. Further, inconsistencies abound including cancelling Keystone XL while giving the green light to the completion of Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. The U.S. loses stature and Russia gains influence.
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There is further policy confusion as President Joe Biden stands on the sidelines as his friend, theMichigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, attempts to abrogate a recent agreement approving the replacement of Line 5 serving Michigan and Canadian refineries, even after approval by her legislative colleagues.
In Canada, however, there should be no misunderstanding in the West about the real agenda of the federal Liberals. After withdrawing the approval of Northern Gateway, obstructing Energy East, lamely acquiescing to the XL rejection and passing anti-pipeline legislation, the Trudeau government is vehemently supporting Line 5. Tankers off the Atlantic coast and up the St. Lawrence River are fine; but are restricted off the Pacific coast. By way of Bill C-48, Northern Gateway approval was withdrawn. Energy East was obstructed by changing the regulatory rules midstream, and likewise then legitimized by Bill C-69.
Hypocrisy, incompetence and inconsistency you say? Hypocrisy without any doubt. Incompetence yes, as Energy East would strategically assure energy security for all Canadians including especially those from Ontario and Quebec. Inconsistency no, only on the surface.
The deeper political imperative requires Line 5 to protect the Liberals electoral base. More than half of all gasoline in Ontario and Quebec is dependent on Line 5 as well as jet fuel for Torontos Pearson Airport. The Liberals also want to reduce much of the Conservative funding, that since the Stephen Harper days, has originated in Calgary.
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The template was succinctly laid out by Keith Davey, close adviser to the first Trudeau: Screw the west, well take the rest. All about politics and the lust for power consistent as it repugnant.
Herb Pinder is a non-practising lawyer in Saskatoon and a graduate of Harvard Business School. His background includes governance with a particular focus on energy through multiple energy boards and his oil and gas private equity firm.
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Posted: at 1:25 pm
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Montreal on July 15, 2021.
ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP/Getty Images
Under the Liberal governments new child-care program, nine of the 10 communities in which eligible parents would save the most money are in or near Greater Toronto or Greater Vancouver, the two urban hubs where federal elections are won and lost which may be why Conservative Leader Erin OToole is so very quiet on the subject.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives, a progressive think tank, released a study Thursday that shows parents in Mississauga could save $9,635 in child-care fees next year if the Ontario government joined the program. The savings in Richmond, B.C., would be $7,800. British Columbia and Nova Scotia have already signed agreements.
There are potentially enormous financial benefits for parents with children in cities with high child-care costs cities that just happen to contain swing ridings with an election imminent. Politically, its genius.
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The Liberals are gambling that attitudes toward child care have changed. In 2005, Paul Martins Liberal government, having pledged $5-billion over five years, negotiated accords with all ten provinces for child-care spaces.
But Conservative leader Stephen Harper opposed the program, promising cash payments to parents instead. The Conservatives won the 2006 election; their cheques replaced the Liberals subsidies.
Under the new and more ambitious Liberal plan, child-care costs would gradually fall to $10 a day, with most spaces in the non-profit sector, and with well-trained and well-paid caregivers. Why is the public ready for such a plan now, when it seemed unwilling 15 years ago?
For one thing, provinces have been experimenting with child-care support programs. (Quebecs program has been in place since 1996.) As well, the pandemic highlighted that child care and schools are incredibly important to allow people to work, said David Macdonald, senior economist with the Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of the report. Women are particularly vulnerable. At the beginning of the recession, they accounted for 63 per cent of all lost jobs.
As well, Mr. Macdonald believes, there is a lot less reticence and concern about federal deficits. Ottawa went more than $350-billion into the red last fiscal year to fight the pandemic. Compared to that, whats $30-billion over five years to lower child-care fees?
That expense is just one reason why Conservatives might be expected to oppose the plan as they did in 2005. They could again be expected to argue parents should have the flexibility to make the arrangements they prefer.
Publicly funded child care extends the reach of the state: Child-care workers delivering government-funded care are more likely to be in the non-profit sector, to be unionized, to command higher wages, and to vote Liberal or NDP.
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In June, Mr. OToole said his party was committed to a flexible, federally funded child-care program, calling it critical infrastructure.
But he has kept a very low profile on the issue, perhaps because he knows the Liberal program will be popular in ridings his party needs to win.
Child care is an area of provincial responsibility. Premiers should be wary of buying into a program that a future federal government could retreat from, warns Janice MacKinnon, a professor of fiscal policy at University of Saskatchewan. In the 1990s, Prof. MacKinnon held various cabinet posts, including finance minister, in the governments of former NDP Premier Roy Romanow.
She pointed out that low-cost child care leads to wait lists, and the better-off always find a way to get to the front of those lists. You really are creating two tiers of parents, she said. One tier is middle-class parents who will be able to access $10-a-day daycare because they live in the big cities where its available. And then you have another class of people who are shift workers, or they live in smaller communities, and theyre scrambling to find daycare and theyre paying more. This program offers less for them.
Nonetheless, I think its important for there to be a child care-program, Prof. MacKinnon added. All parties, including the Conservatives, will have to come up with something. She prefers child-care credits for parents, grants for licensed providers, and incentives for employer-provided care.
The Liberals child-care program is expensive and intrusive and inflexible. But they believe the public wants it, and they are probably right which is why Mr. OToole is keeping mum.
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McCrimmon not expected to run again, Carney could succeed her as next Liberal candidate in Kanata-Carleton, say Liberal sources – The Hill Times
Posted: at 1:25 pm
Two-term Ottawa Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon is not expected to run again in Kanata-Carleton and political insiders say Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, could run in the Ottawa area riding.
Karen McCrimmon has dedicated her life and career to serving Canadians, and she has always worked tirelessly to build a better future for her community, saidBraeden Caley, senior director of communications for the Liberal Party of Canada, in an emailed response to The Hill Times, who also declined to confirm or deny if Ms. McCrimmon is running in the next election. Mr. Caley also did not confirm or deny the speculation that Mr. Carney will likely run in Kanata-Carleton in Ms. McCrimmons place.
Were looking forward to re-electing our Liberal team in Parliament whenever the next election eventually arrives, and adding even more talented and dedicated community leaders as new Liberal MPs in currently unheld ridings, said Mr. Caley.
Mark Carney, former governor of Bank of Canada and Bank of England, is expected to run for the Liberals in the next election. The Hill Times file photograph
Ms. McCrimmon, 62, who is the nominated candidate for the Liberal Party for the next election, did not respond to interview requests sent to her personal email address and phone number. In response to calls and emails made to her office, a staffer said she was unavailable until the week of July 26.
If Ms. McCrimmon decides not to run, she will be the second Ottawa-area nominated MP to do so.Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre, Ont.) announced late last month that she wont seek re-election for family reasons.
Ms. McCrimmon, a former lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Air Forces, was first elected to the House in the 2015 election with a margin of 12.2 per cent of the votes. The margin, however, went down to 6.6 per cent in the last federal election.
As of last week, 21 MPs from all parties had announced they would not seek re-election, including eight Liberals, seven Conservatives, two Bloc Qubcois, three New Democrats, and one Independent. If Ms. McCrimmon decides not to run again, she will be the 22nd MP.
Meanwhile, Liberal sources told The Hill Times that Mr. Carneys potential Liberal candidacy for the next election is something in active consideration. The Liberals sources declined to be identified because they are not authorized to talk about party strategy.
In April, Mr. Carney delivered the keynote speech at the Liberal Partys virtual national policy convention and said he would do whatever I can to support the Liberal Party in our efforts to build a better future for Canadians. Even before the speech, there was massive speculation circulating that Mr. Carney would run for the Liberals, but didnt have a riding to run in. Liberal insiders took his speech and the platform the party gave him as the strongest hint that he will run and say that if he was not interested in running, he could have easily said so in numerous media interviews hes done since his book Value(s): Building a Better World for All came out months ago.
In almost every interview, the former central banker has been asked if hes going to run, but hasnt given a clear answer.
Liberal sources said that if Ms. McCrimmon does decide to run, two other ridings might be considered, Ottawa South or Ottawa Centre.
Ottawa South is currently represented by six-term Liberal MP David McGuinty, chair of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. Mr. McGuinty, the brother of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, has represented the riding since 2004. He won the 2019 election with 52.4 per cent of the vote. In early May, Mr. McGuinty provided a statement to The Hill Times that hes running in the next election.
I am delighted to confirm that I am the nominated Team Trudeau Liberal candidate for Ottawa South and that I am running in the next federal election, whenever that might be, Mr. McGuinty toldThe Hill Timesin an emailed statement in May.It is my greatest honour and the highlight of my public-sector career to serve my constituents of Ottawa South. Following in my familys footsteps, I am working hard every day to represent my constituents and I hope to earn their trust once again in the next campaign.
Former attorney general of Ontario Yasir Naqvi is seeking Liberal nomination in Ottawa Centre. Photograph courtesy of Twitter
The riding of Ottawa Centre opened up for the Liberal nomination last month after Ms. McKenna announced abruptly that she wont run again. Yasir Naqvi, former Ontario minister of justice and attorney general, has thrown his hat in the ring, and is the only declared candidate so far.
Mr. Carney, 56, is now the vice chair of Brookfield Asset Management, and the UN special envoy on climate change and finance. He was not available for an interview last week.
Barring a fourth wave of COVID-19, the next election is expected to happen between August and October. Politicos from all parties expect the writ to be dropped in August with the election to happen in September.
What party wouldnt want him to run? Hes an amazing candidate, said Tim Barber, a principal at Bluesky Strategy Group and co-founder of Canada 2020 think tank, who has known the Carney family for years.Hes been an outstanding public servant.
Mr. Barber said he expects Mr. Carney to run in the next election but did not know which riding he would run in.
If Mr. Carney does decide to run, hes seen as one of the potential leading leadership candidates to succeed Mr. Trudeau whenever he decides to leave.
Some political insiders interviewed for this article said that, considering the next election campaign is expected to start in a few weeks, Mr. Carney should have been nominated by now.
Nows the time to get in if youre interested, said the source. I dont think its any secret that Justin Trudeau probably wont run again, after this. So my view is there would be a leadership within two years, assuming he wins government back, which right now, looking at the numbers, seems quite likely.
The source said its critical for the Liberals potentially heading into their third mandate to show that theyve got the momentum and the mojo to attract talented candidates. But the source added that it appears The Centre is not showing seriousness in recruiting star candidates. The source cited the example of Don Iveson who was seen as a potential star candidate for the Liberals in Edmonton Centre but decided not to run last week. They added that sometimes it appears the Centre is repeating the same lack of seriousness in Mr. Carneys case.
I dont understand this but it [Mr. Carneys candidacy] doesnt seem to be moving at a pace that it should be moving, the source said.
But another source said the reason why Mr. Carney has not been officially announced as the candidate is that its not a given that the writ would be dropped on a specific date as things could change with a potential fourth wave of COVID or for some other reason. So, as soon as Mr. Carney becomes a candidate, he will have to step down from his UN responsibilities and at Brookfield management.
If we had a fourth wave, there would be no election, said the source. So you would have had someone like him stepping away from all of the other work that hes doing, because the minute he becomes a declared candidate, hes got to step away from the United Nations Climate stuff hes doing, hes got to step away from his day job. So, I dont think its necessary that he be way, way out ahead.
Pollster Nik Nanos of Nanos Research told The Hill Times that the Liberals are currently the front-runners and said it will be nice to have star power in their slate of candidates, but also said its not required. Mr. Nanos said that one reason Liberals may be reluctant to announce Mr. Carneys candidacy at this time and to give too much profile pre-election is that it could undermine Mr. Trudeaus political capital as the former central banker is seen as the potential future leader of the Liberal Party.
There are complications for the Liberal Party to elevating Mark Carney to a significant stature in the short term, said Mr. Nanos. And what will happen is that, visually, if they gave him that sort of platform, regardless of the intent, visually, it would look like he is being positioned to be the next leader of the party.
Mr. Nanos said that potentially, Mr. Carney could win if he ran in any of the three ridingsKanata-Carleton, Ottawa South, and Ottawa Centrebut said it depends how easy the Liberal leadership wants to make it for him to win. Based on that criteria, he said, Ottawa South would be the easiest to win and Kanata-Carleton the hardest. In Ottawa South, he said, Mr. Carneys win would depend largely on the support of Mr. McGuinty.
So if this was about helping Mark Carney enter Parliament, Ottawa South would be probably at the top of the list, said Mr. Nanos. But with that, it would require the blessing of the McGuintys who are still a very powerful force within that riding.
The Hill Times
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Posted: at 1:25 pm
And then there is the thorny issue on the declaration form regarding property development. Ms Simone has declared that for the past seven years she has not been engaged in any business involving property development.
However, corporate records show that as recently as 2018 she was a director and shareholder in her husbands company RL888, which is a major shareholder in property development company, the Manta Group, where her husband is the CEO.
Ms Simone claimed that although she ticked no on the nomination form, she had declared her former interest in her husbands company on a separate form and the party knows all about it.
The email address given on her nomination form is a Manta Group email and Ms Simone posted on her Facebook page in February 2016: We are very busy with Renes (sic) project at MIDDLETON GRANGE.
President of the CaringbahLiberal Party branch Marie Simone with her husband, property developer Rene Licata. Credit:Facebook
This was a reference to her husbands ambitious development for the town centre at Middleton Grange, in the Liverpool area. Despite the best efforts of his planner Matt Daniel, who like Mr Licata is a member of Ms Simones branch of the party, Mr Licatas development plans have been thwarted by the local council.
Middleton Grange residents opposed Mantas proposed development for 900 units to be built in the immediate area.Credit:Simon Bennett
However, the Liberals on Liverpool Council, where Mr Daniel was formerly the deputy general manager, remained supportive. In July 2019 they voted as a bloc to overturn the councils rejection of the Manta Groups plans. They were not successful.
In 2017 Mr Licata and Mr Daniel established the Commercial and Economic Planning Association which claims to represent the interests of smaller developers. According to CEPAs website, in September 2019 they charged $350 per head for members and guests to dine with the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.
Mr Daniel, also a former bankrupt, has featured in back-to-back corruption inquiries. In April it was revealed that Mr Daniels planning company was lobbying Canada Bay councillors for favourable rezonings on behalf of then Liberal MP John Sidoti.
He also featured in ICACs investigations into questionable planning decisions made by Canterbury Council. Documents tendered at the inquiry show Mr Daniel was on the payroll of controversial property developer Charbel Charlie Demian who was lobbying the council and its planners for major expansions to his development sites.
The ICAC inquiry also showed that Mr Daniel was using the services of the now-disgraced former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire to help lobby planning officials and other ministers on behalf of Mr Daniels clients.
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