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The place does Bernie Sanders v the moderates go away Donald Trump’s possibilities of a brand new time period?

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Bernie Sanders Declares Ideological Victory As He Drops Out Of 2020 Race

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Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential race on Wednesday, conceding the Democratic nomination to Joe Biden. “While we are winning the ideological battle…I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful,” Sanders said in remarks to supporters Wednesday. “I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win.”

Describing the decision to end his 2020 bid as “painful,” Sanders touted the broad influence his two campaigns for president have had in shifting the Democratic party leftward and vowed to fight alongside Biden to “move our progressive ideas forward.” He said his movement has “won the ideological struggle” across blue, red, and purple states on issues ranging from health care to higher education to the minimum wage. Ideas that were once “radical and fringe,” he said, have gone mainstream.

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Biden agreed Wednesday, saying that in a statement that “Sanders and his supporters have changed the dialogue in America,” as “issues which had been given little attention—or little hope of ever passing—are now at the center of the political debate.” Sanders, he said “hasn’t just run a political campaign; he’s created a movement.”

Sanders’ departure comes less than two months since he was leading the Democratic primary, claiming victory in the first three contests of the race, thanks in part to the enthusiastic progressive movement that surrounded his campaign. But Biden’s decisive win in South Carolina, in early March, and string of victories three days later on Super Tuesday, catapulted the moderate former vice president back to frontrunner status. With 2020 rivals like __Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Andrew Yang endorsing Biden, and his winning streak continuing, the Vermont Senator’s prospects quickly dimmed.

Sanders had indicated he planned to remain in the race, even as it moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic, and recently suggested he would compete in an April debate. “If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there,” Sanders spokesman Mike Casca said last month. Sanders’ continued presence in the race raised concerns among some Democrats, who had blamed the Vermont senator for stoking divisions in the party in 2016 after a hard-fought primary with Hillary Clinton. “This campaign’s over. He needs to acknowledge that and be gracious about it,” Matt Bennett, co-founder of the center-left think tank Third Way, said in March. Sanders had indicated in recent days that he may be willing to bow out, with reports of advisers suggesting that he leave the race and Biden informing his rival that he is beginning to vet potential running mates.

With Sanders’ exit, Biden will now be tasked with uniting the progressive and moderate factions of the party behind him heading into November’s election against Donald Trump. Biden addressed Sanders’ supporters Wednesday in his statement: “I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country. I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You’re needed.”

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Trump has long accused the Democratic establishment of rigging the primary, presumably in an attempt to peel off some of Sanders’ supporters in November or hope they sit out the general election. Trump wasted no time Wednesday in making his pitch: “Bernie Sanders is OUT!” he tweeted. “Thank you to Elizabeth Warren. If not for her, Bernie would have won almost every state on Super Tuesday! This ended just like the Democrats & the DNC wanted, same as the Crooked Hillary fiasco. The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!”

Sanders on Wednesday attempted to help bridge the party divides, describing Biden as a “decent man” and vowing to work with him to oust the president. “Together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump,” he said, “the most dangerous president in modern American history.”

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Max Conze to depart ProSiebenSat.1 as media company reorganizes

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Max Conze is to step down as CEO of German-based media company ProSiebenSat.1, effective immediately, with chief financial officer Rainer Beaujean expanding his role to become chairman of the executive board.

Conze (pictured) joined from British technology giant Dyson in 2018 to replace long-time ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling. During Conze’s tenure, the German company experienced a 3% increase in revenues and a 65% boost in profit in 2019.

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As CEO of Dyson, the company strengthened its investments in various technologies and expanded its market position in Asia. Prior to Dyson, Conze held various management and marketing positions at Procter & Gamble over a 17-year period.

Conze’s departure also signals a change in strategic focus for the German organization, which announced Thursday (March 26) that it “is returning the primary focus of its operating business to the entertainment sector in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).” The company, in a statement, added that moving forward the main focus will be “on local and live formats, also in close cooperation with Red Arrow Studios and Studio71.”

In addition, the group will look to further extend its digital reach via its streaming platform, Joyn.

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“Existing investments that benefit from advertising on the entertainment platforms will continue to be developed to generate value and sold in due course under an active portfolio policy,” the company said.

“This company has far greater potential than is currently credited to it from outside,” said Beaujean in a statement. “Under the leadership of the new executive board team, we will now return to focusing more strongly on our core segment of entertainment and on sustainably profitable business. While the corona [virus] pandemic poses a huge challenge for us in the weeks and months ahead, I firmly believe that we will emerge from this crisis all the stronger and return to generating shareholder value.”

In addition, the executive board has appointed Wolfgang Link, who leads the company’s entertainment segment, and Christine Scheffler, in charge of human resources, as new members.

Earlier this month, ProSiebenSat.1 revealed that it had shelved its plans to sell global production and distribution outfit Red Arrow Studios — six months after launching a strategic review of the company – due to the ongoing global COVID-19 outbreak.

With files from Barry Walsh

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Colby Cosh on COVID-19: How long before plastic-bag haters feel safe to resume their crusade?

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The University of Guelph economist Ross McKitrick wrote a column for the Financial Post on Tuesday about the sudden abandonment or suspension, in the face of pandemic disease, of by-laws and regulations banning single-use plastic grocery bags. (I have to mention Guelph because I called it “Guelph University” in an article a little while ago, and they’re touchy about that, so I owe them one. Go Gryphons?) Consider this a footnote.

The professor observed that plastic packaging, while often overused and always a blight when carelessly discarded, is not especially serious when considered as an environmental problem. We’ve got much bigger fish to fry everywhere you look. Cities and states that had begun a jihad against single-use plastics in the B.C. (Before Coronavirus) era have temporarily thought better of these hasty, showy measures.

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And they are hasty and showy. It is not a coincidence that they have been adopted in dense urban environments by politicians who don’t have any instinctive sense of how enormous Canada is. (These are the same people who want coyotes to be treated with sensitivity and respect when they start devouring housepets in suburbs, as if coyotes were running out of room.) We are not in any serious danger of running out of space for landfills. It seems that it is only the choice to “recycle” plastic bags and other single-use detritus that has made our plastic an environmental problem in Asia.

Discarded plastic bags are definitely hateful to the eye, in spite of that scene in American Beauty. I can assure you that they do much more aesthetic injury in the countryside than they do in the city. But that is what the objection to them is, fundamentally. It is aesthetic. At the very least, it is hard to argue that North American users are creating an environmental problem elsewhere by indulging in them here. (Even the unsightly workaday presence of discarded bags in the streets is, I think, much diminished from what it was 10 or 15 years ago.)

Unfortunately, it has turned out that the bags are pretty goshdarned useful in an epidemic of viral disease that has made grocery stores an important fulcrum of life-saving infection control. McKitrick discussed this question in a friendly, scholarly way, and you all know that this is the approach I prefer to take nine times out of 10.

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This is the 10th time. McKitrick did not ask “What if the pandemic had arrived five years after a round of successful bans on plastic bags had altered the plastics supply chain and driven the bags altogether out of ordinary, accessible production?” The places that tried to ban bags were only able to retreat because other less forward-thinking places hadn’t gotten around to it. Even groceries that had been “taxing” the bags have stopped doing it because the incentives flipped upside-down, and replaceable bags were now deemed dangerous to life and health.


In this file photo taken on March 20, 2020, a man covers his hands with plastic bags as a preventive measure against the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in Caracas.

FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images

In view of this, are we likely to press on with the bans when SARS-CoV-2 is a sour memory? I have some sympathy, here, with even the boulevard environmentalists who think plastic straws are the devil, who have three children and two residences, and who take eight transatlantic flights a year. We will all want things to go back to some desirable state of normalcy when the time of troubles is over. But we will all want incremental political improvements that suit our ideology, in order to fulfill our wartime hopes of an ameliorated world. And we will all interpret prior events so as to agree with our political first principles. (I am not merely promising that other losers and partisan maniacs will act on these desires. I am also saying you will be able to catch me at it. Maybe I’m doing it right now.)

What this suggests is that the bag-ban fanatics will be back at it as soon as they think it is possible to proceed with decency and without some shame. They do have a good chance, now, to quietly forget the policy they were espousing passionately a few weeks ago. Maybe they’ll take it. Or maybe they’ll try to go ahead as before, and be told, more stridently and by more people than before, to eff off.

National Post

Twitter.com/ColbyCosh

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