After Trump Divorce, Is Anthony Scaramucci Now an Out-of-the-Closet Nikki Haley Supporter

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Page Six reports that former Trump administration UN Ambassador Nikki Haley may have recruited Anthony Scaramucci to “the resistance.” That would be the Republican arm of”the resistance’, not the Democratic wing.

Trump’s controversial, short-lived comms chief Scaramucci officially divorced himself from his former buddy Donald Trump this weekend. The Mooch compared the US president to a nuclear reactor on the verge of melting down and suggested strongly that the GOP should run a candidate against him in 2020.

“To those asking, ‘what took so long?’ You’re right. I tried to see best in [Trump] based on private interactions and select policy alignment. But his increasingly divisive rhetoric — and damage it’s doing to [the] fabric of our society — outweighs any short-term economic gain.”

The reliable — even if it is owned by Rupert Murdoch — New York Post writes on Page Six that Scaramucci dined recently with Nikki Haley at the famed Harlem eatery Rao’s. The former governor of South Carolina, Haley has been deft in disassociating herself from Trump, while keeping her volume at low level. After Trump launched his despicable tirade against Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings two weeks ago, Haley tweeted: “This is so unnecessary.”

Haley seemingly has presidential ambitions of her own, although all bets are on 2024; Stay tuned.

Artists Activism Escalates in Full Throttle Stance Against Whitney Vice Chair Warren Kanders

Forensic Architecture and Praxis Films,  Triple Chaser  (still), 2019. Courtesy of the Artists.

Forensic Architecture and Praxis Films, Triple Chaser (still), 2019. Courtesy of the Artists.

Eight artists have now withdrawn from the Whitney Biennial over companies linked to Whitney Museum vice chairman Warren Kanders. New evidence this week links Sierra Bullets — a weapons manufacturer partially owned by Kanders -- to violence on the Israeli-Palestinian border in Gaza, reports Hyperallergic.

Safariland, a Jacksonville, Florida–based defense manufacturing company that produces triple chasers, is run by Warren Kanders. Hyperallergic has been active in detailing instances of Safariland products being used in politically fractious situations all over the globe, including the current border conflict running along America’s southern border with Mexico. Safariland specializes in “professional and protective equipment focused on the law enforcement, public safety, military, and recreational markets.”

In 2018, Forbes covered Kanders in a story Meet The Safariland Multimillionaire Getting Rich Off Tear Gas and More in the Defense Industry. Kanders’ involvement in producing tear gas, the chemical weapon of crowd control, is the most important focus on controversy between Kanders and activists worldwide. Kanders describes his company’s offerings as benign, rejecting activism against him personally and Swaziland’s tear gas production. “Whether it’s under Obama—he was fond of using these products very frequently—or under Bush or Clinton or whomever, we are there to make nonlethal products and to provide those products to friends of our government through very prescribed channels,” Kanders told Forbes.

The newest withdrawals from the biennial include the University of London-based research group Forensic Architecture , and their Whitney Biennial submission “Triple-Chaser” (2019). Now Forensic Architecture believes that they MAY — or its highly-likely — have found an unexploded open-tip bullet in the sand in Gaza.

In this link, Forensic Architecture details their investigation into the facts behind “Triple Chaser”, which includes events on the Tijuana-San Diego border.

The Forensic Architecture researcher, a lawyer and professor of political science who remains unnamed for security reasons, has worked in the occupied Palestinian territories for 15 years. She collected both eye witness testimony and ammunition rounds in Gaza in her collaboration with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and Praxis Films, creators of “Triple-Chaser” (2019).

Not since the Sixties have artists been this engaged in political action.

Protests against governor Ricardo Rosselló in San Juan, Puerto Rico (courtesy Frances Negrón-Muntaner  via Hyperallergic .

Protests against governor Ricardo Rosselló in San Juan, Puerto Rico (courtesy Frances Negrón-Muntaner via Hyperallergic.

Artists are also leading the protests in Puerto Rico, demanding the resignation of the bigoted, corrupt governor Ricardo Rosselló. Even Fox News is reporting that the governor is AWOL, and his residence is under siege -- meaning the activists and artists are camped out there, demanding his resignation.

Like members of The Squad, the four Democratic Congresswoman who are in the crosshairs of Trump’s twitter rants, I look at these artists' voices as a critical barometer on the health of democracies around the world.

We don't all have to agree on every single action or issue in this growing protests moment. The challenge in America is to accept and encourage dissent, and be willing to join forces on the US Constitutional freedom to engage in civic protest and criticism.

At a time when Trump is trying to stamp out challenges to his authority -- painting us all as unpatriotic Communists and socialists if we reject him and his policies -- our protesting artists are critical to the dissent, and we must stand behind them.



Is Tennis Champ Naomi Osaka A 'Baby-Faced Assasin'? Allure August 2019 Skims the Surface

Abdul Sillah is hardly a household name in the sports world. At a time when Donald Trump is telling people of color to go back where they came from, it’s noteworthy that Sillah arrived in the United States from Sierra Leone.

AOC discovered Sillah reading Allure Magazine’s August 2019 cover story featuring rising tennis star Naomi Osaka. Lensed for Allure by Wai Lin Tse, Naomi Osaka didn’t know that she would be eliminated at July 2019 Wimbledon in her first round, losing to Yulia Putlintseva.

Unlike Serena Williams, whose powerful muscles dominate the pages of fashion shoots, Osaka’s do not. Sillah has trained both women, giving him a comparative lens into the superb two athletes.

Allure opens their cover story Naomi Osaka Wants to Win More Than Anyone Else with Brennan Kilbane’s observation:

“Naomi Osaka serves a tennis ball at a speed of 125 miles per hour. I do not need to tell you that this is nuts fast: 125 miles per hour is almost twice the maximum speed of an adult cheetah as it bounds across the savanna toward the jugular of a gazelle; 125 miles per hour is as fast as a Bugatti Veyron coming at you at 125 miles per hour from across a tennis court.”

Fitness coach Sillah chats with Kilbane on the bench, calling his client Osaka the “Baby-Faced Assassin.” Serena was “the Closer”, as “fury coursed through her veins from the moment she set foot on the court until the moment she set foot on the podium”.

Sillah, “whose voice is softer than a chinchilla wrapped in Egyptian cotton” summarizes Osaka’s style differently. “Nothing about her gives warning of the existence of several reserves of rage bubbling just under the surface of her skin, and by the time she sends a 125-mile-per-hour tennis ball directly at you, it is too late, and rest in peace.”

No longer ranked No. 1 in women’s tennis — but holding at No. 2 inspire of Wimbledon — Osaka is facing many mental and emotional challenges at age 21. In fact, her immense physical prowess is not delivering, causing John McEnroe to wonder aloud at Wimbledon if Osaka’s large numbers of business and endorsement contracts, coupled with her celeb status, have become a distraction. (Note that tennis great Billie Jean King wondered if Serena also has too many irons in the fire.)

Add to this tennis celebrity brew, 15-year-old Coco Gauff, whose wildcard entry at Wimbledon warmed hearts far and ride. The 15-year-old American from Atlanta rose 172 places to world No.141 in post Wimbledon rankings, from No.313 before the tournament.

Learn more about Naomi Osaka’s personal history at Allure. But note also that the least of Osaka’s current real-world concerns is ‘Allure’ question 1: What’s your best beauty tip? Naomi proceeds to deliver a series of canned beauty answers promoting her role as a brand ambassador for Shiseido, which owns Anessa and Bare Minerals.

That’s a mighty tricky tightrope Naomi Osaka is navigating in a world demanding authenticity in its stars.

In a real-world where our teen suicide rate is skyrocketing and superficial pressures dominate in our Instagram-life world, Naomi doesn’t touch any topic including her emotional moments beating Serena last September and subsequent followup communications with Williams. Nor does she reflect in any way around pressures on the court or being downgraded after losing matches she should have won in 2019.

For the real-deal story about Serena and Naomi, turn to the infinitely meatier (I blame this on the writer, not Osaka) Serena Williams interview in American Vogue’s August 2019 cover story.