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Leaving the family business to grow my inner entrepreneur


If you’ve ever bought frozen dumplings from a supermarket or an Asian grocery store, chances are they are Mr Chen’s, a Chinese food brand named after my entrepreneurial dad, who started a wholesale business in the 1980s to bring his favourite foods to Australia.

As a teenager, I spent time working in the warehouse with my siblings, learning the ins and outs of the business. In my early 20s, after some experience in the IT industry, I quit my job to work in the family business. Within a couple of years, however, I decided to venture out on my own and ended up in a successful venture with my friend Tim Molloy, who has been my co-founder on several businesses throughout the years. So how did I go from the family business to striking out on my own?

Dynamic matters

Working in the family business taught me that dynamic matters. I am the youngest of four children. While we were all adults, you can probably guess where I was in the pecking order.

To take risks, make key decisions and assume responsibility, I knew I had to do it outside of the established hierarchy. Firstly, it meant that I would impact – positively or negatively – something of my own instead of risking the family legacy. Secondly, outside of the family dynamic, I could take more control. With Tim, I found joint responsibility and shared leadership as equal partners.

Today, there’s no love lost having left. I’m still involved in the family business, but my sisters run Chen Foods and do it well while I’m happy forging my own path with Good Things.

Find your working style

Another factor that attracted me to follow my own path was that the structure of a day at Chen Foods is quite formal, with set hours and duties, due to the nature of the sector. Working in the family business taught me a lot about hard work and setting up strong systems and processes.

Comparatively though, the way Tim and I work in Good Things developed organically. While we manage our leads and clients in a timely manner, we don’t necessarily count hours, and we’re flexible with doing what we need to do to build our business.

Prepare for reality

No business survives close to four decades without a few challenges and lean times. I saw the hard knocks as well as the successes of Chen Foods, which meant I had my eyes open to the reality of business when I headed out on my own. I knew any problem in the business would be my problem by default and I would need to work through them to find a solution.

As a result, Tim and I have learnt to seize opportunities when we see them because we’ve had to ride out major changes in our market. For example, more than a decade ago we had a thriving business selling neckties, then a combination of the global financial crisis and a fashion movement away from ties almost killed it. We pivoted, which became the seed for the branded merchandise agency we have today, Good Things.

Growing up in a family business enabled me to see what it was like to build something, which compelled me to create something of my own. If you have the good fortune to work in the family business – whether or not you end up there – learn everything you can from the experience so you can hone your skills and find your place. If nothing else, it’s a free training opportunity not many others get, so don’t waste it.

Jeremy Chen, Co-founder and Managing Director, Good Things





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Centre MPs criticise Marin for remarks about paper mill closure


ESTABLISHED MEMBERS of the Centre Party have criticised Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) for the remarks she made in the wake of news about the shut-down of one of the largest paper mills and only newsprint producer in Finland.

UPM on Wednesday announced it is intent on shuttering its mill in Kaipola, Central Finland, by late 2020.

The mill consists of three paper machines, including one dedicated to newsprint, and employs around 450 employees. The Finnish forest industry giant also said it will begin consultative negotiations about the possibility of shedding 110 jobs at its pulp mills in Kymi, Kaukaa and Pietarsaari.

Marin on Saturday responded to the announcement by questioning the rationale behind shutting down a profitable mill especially in the prevalent challenging economic landscape.

“It naturally raises questions about what’s enough from the viewpoint of people,” she stated on YLE TV1’s Ykkösaamu. “It also raises the question of why now. With people struggling to find employment as is and with us already being deep in a difficult economic situation, is it necessary to shut down a profitable factory right now?”

“Is it too easy to may lay-offs in Finland? Is it too easy to shut down factories in Finland? When we look at comparable countries, like Germany, making lay-offs and shutting down factories there is more difficult than in Finland,” she added.

Minister of Culture and Science Annika Saarikko (Centre) on Sunday reminded that the flurry of accusations that followed the closure announcement is not helping.

“[The accusations] aren’t helping. They won’t create a single new job or provide even a moment’s solace. You can view that the decisions of major corporations are unfair and unreasonable, but even that won’t change the fact that competitiveness is a crucial factor in international comparisons,” she stated.

“We need co-operation. We need solutions. The situation is serious. Finnish entrepreneurs and enterprises are faced with the toughest circumstances in decades. It is the duty of policy makers to create new hope for the people of Central Finland,” added Saarikko.

“It is the duty of the government to bring together and build, not to make accusations and burn bridges.”

The Finnish government, she underlined, must adopt measures to support industries and exports in its looming budget session to foster a sense of security and hope for the future in regions affected by changes in the industrial structure.

Markus Lohi (Centre) warned that consolidating employee protection against unilateral termination could lead to an increase in fixed-term and other non-permanent employment contracts.

“Companies would no longer have the courage to hire people on a permanent basis as often as before. Southern Europe is a bad example of this,” he argued. “In addition, the threshold for making investments would rise further.”

Marin underscored to the public broadcasting company that the government remains committed to its employment goals.

“The employment goal remains unchanged: we’ll try to make decisions on 30,000 new employed people. We should get to 60,000 new jobs during the electoral term. We’re, however, in a difficult economic situation and now is the time for stimulus-based policies. That’s why the structural decisions that’ll be made must be examined based on the economic situation,” she told.

Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday wrote that the closure could also disrupt the functioning of the paper recycling system in Finland. The mill, it pointed out, is presently the largest refiner of recycled paper in the country, utilising up to a half of the 200,000 tonnes of paper collected from consumers annually.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi



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MTV Video Music Awards: Lady Gaga dominates show dedicated to Chadwick Boseman | Ents & Arts News


Lady Gaga has taken home five MTV Video Music Awards from this year’s socially-distanced ceremony, wearing an array of face masks to accept her trophies.

The singer said wearing a face covering was “a sign of respect” and acknowledged the crushing impact of both the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest across America, telling fans “a renaissance is coming”.

The virtual ceremony was filmed without a live audience and featured pre-recorded outdoor performances in front of small audiences across New York City’s five boroughs due to the health crisis.

Image:
Chadwick Boseman attended the MTV Movie & TV Awards in 2018

The night celebrating pop culture and music was dedicated to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday aged 43 after privately battling colon cancer for four years.

Gaga had led the night with nine nominations, winning Moon Person trophies for artist of the year, song of the year, best cinematography and best collaboration for Rain On Me, as well as the first ever Tricon award, in recognition of her achievements in music, fashion and acting.

“I want to share this award with everybody at home tonight. Everybody that is their own form of a Tricon,” she said.

“This has not been an easy year for a lot of people, but what I see in the world is a massive triumph of courage.

“Just because we’re separated right now and culture may feel less alive in some ways, I know a renaissance is coming and the wrath of pop culture will inspire you and the rage of art will empower you as it responds to hardship with its generosity and love.”



Host of the MTV Video Music Awards spoke about the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin



‘Enough is enough: Keke Palmer’s rallying call

The evening had kicked off with host Keke Palmer telling viewers at home: “Before we get into the music tonight, we need to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered.

“We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero. Not just on screen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.”

There was also a video tribute to Boseman, which included his appearance at the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards.

Palmer’s opening monologue also contained references to the tumultuous year, touching on the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the Black Lives Matter movement sparked by the death of George Floyd in May.

“We can never tolerate police brutality,” the actress and singer said from a set near the Empire State Building.

“It’s our time to be the change we want to see. We need to come together, and music has that power.”

Gaga and Grande's world premiere performance of Rain On Me
Image:
Gaga and Grande’s world premiere performance of Rain On Me

The ceremony also boasted a world TV premiere, with Gaga and Ariana Grande performing their winning duet together on the night, both wearing face masks throughout.

Grande also took another joint win for best music video from home, for her duet with Justin Bieber, Stuck With U.

Taylor Swift won best direction for The Man music video, a song about industry sexism, which clearly hit a note with the industry figures who voted for it.

Miley Cyrus performs during the 2020 MTV VMAs in this screen grab image made available on August 30, 2020.
Image:
Miley Cyrus performed during the show

Canadian artist The Weeknd – who was made up to appear bruised and bloodied – took the video of the year award for Blinding Lights. He also took the award for best R&B video for the same song.

H.E.R won the video for good award for I Can’t Breathe, while K-pop superstars BTS won best pop for On.

Some of this year’s biggest pop culture moments also got a look in, with Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s viral WAP music video and Netflix’s wild documentary series Tiger King both referenced in the ceremony.

The Weeknd was made up to appear bruised and blooded
Image:
The Weeknd was made up to appear bruised and blooded

Miley Cyrus also debuted her new single Midnight Sky, referencing her famous Wrecking Ball video by swinging on a sparkling disco ball.

The Black Eyed Peas closed the proceedings, with one of the group saying “Wakanda forever”, the phrase that encapsulated the black pride generated by Black Panther, as well as “Black Lives Matter”.

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The VMAs marked the first major US awards show to take place during the coronavirus pandemic, and will lead the way for next month’s Emmy’s.



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Anthony Griffin scouted a young Cameron Smith — but he’s no NRL coach


On that score, he has failed at both Brisbane and Penrith. It is inconceivable that St George Illawarra are even entertaining the idea of making him their head coach from next year. But this is the Dragons so, of course, they are.

The problem with rugby league is things happen so fast that it’s easy to develop amnesia. The churn of the news cycle means seasons, scandals and sackings blur into one.

Phil Gould and Anthony Griffin fell out spectacularly before the coach’s departure from Penrith.

People have forgotten why Penrith sacked Griffin in August 2018. The narrative spun by Griffin at the time was that he had a fall-out with then-general manager Phil Gould. Make no mistake: the pair had fallen out spectacularly by then, having not spoken for five months.

But the truth is that Gould had done his best for almost a year to suppress the unhappiness of the playing group, who quickly lost respect for the coach.

Those murmurs had started at the 2017 World Cup, which is always a hotbed of gossip among players away from their clubs and in the company of good mates.

By the time the first week of the 2018 NRL season rolled around, the noise about Griffin losing the dressing room was deafening.

Gould strongly denied it when I put it to him at the time. Perhaps he wanted to justify his decision to sign Griffin from Brisbane in the first place. Perhaps he was protecting his coach.

But, as the season progressed, it didn’t take too many phone calls to too many people to figure out how unhappy that team had become under Griffin’s “headmaster” style that was applied to some and not to others.

It may have worked with young players to a point, but most NRL players are adults. They didn’t appreciate being spoken to like children.

As for the game plan, it could have been written on the back of a coaster: five hit-ups, kick to the corners, screw them down in defence.

Players like Viliame Kikau were sprayed if they dared pass the ball. Witness the difference in the bullocking back-rower in the last two seasons under Ivan Cleary.

Griffin's 'headmaster' style put a string of Panthers players offside.

Griffin’s ‘headmaster’ style put a string of Panthers players offside.Credit:Christopher Pearce

Griffin’s supporters — who also happen to be Gould’s detractors — argue Penrith were coming fifth when he was sacked. In reality, they were coming fifth despite him.

Former Penrith five-eighth Jamie Soward said at the time of Griffin’s departure: “At some stages throughout this year, they’ve played with some of the most boring game plans in the first half that I’ve seen from any side and only started playing their normal style or the style they’re comfortable with once they’re behind.”

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It was a similar story at the Broncos, where things started well in 2011 in Darren Lockyer’s final year but then deteriorated into mediocrity soon after.

“Playing under him for four years were probably the toughest four years of my footy career and I was surprised he lasted this long,” former Broncos prop Ben Hannant said. “It came to the point after two or three years of doing that with the game plan that he had, man management, the way he did things, it was amateurish.”

Hopefully, Dragons directors and chief executive Ryan Webb will make some calls before they consider appointing Griffin. Their next move is one of the most significant in the club’s recent history.

Some board members are said to favour David Furner, although he has also been sacked from his last two head coaching positions at Canberra and Leeds.

Others prefer interim coach Dean Young to work under Griffin. If that’s the model they’re considering, wouldn’t it be better to keep assistant coach Shane Flanagan? At least he’s won something.

It’s little surprise three of Griffin’s former players — Trent Merrin, Corey Norman and Ben Hunt — have said publicly that their old coach would be great for the club.

All three are fighting for the contracts, even their careers. Sorry, but they are not the future of the Red V. Neither is Anthony Griffin.

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Walesa Warns Poles Against Populism On 40th Solidarity Anniversary


Poland’s anti-communist icon Lech Walesa on Monday warned against populism as his deeply divided country marked 40 years since a landmark deal gave rise to the freedom-fighting Solidarity trade union.

Concerns over the health of Poland’s democracy have mounted since 2015 when the right-wing populist Law and Justice (PiS) won office and began introducing controversial reforms, criticised both at home and abroad.

“People today are electing populists and demagogues because they promise change… they (populists) have correctly diagnosed (today’s problems) but their cure is wrong,” Walesa told hundreds gathered at the historic Gdansk shipyard on the Baltic coast.

It was here on August 31, 1980 that a deal was sealed between the communist regime and striking shipyard workers led by Walesa — an electrician at the time — which enabled the creation of Solidarity, the Soviet bloc’s first free union.

“We need to take over the initiative from these populists and demagogues and replace it with wiser solutions and better structures,” said Walesa, 76.

He then placed flowers on the shipyard gate and symbolically opened it as he did four decades ago after inking the Gdansk Accords.





Hundreds gathered at the historic Gdansk shipyard to mark the anniversary
 AFP / MATEUSZ SLODKOWSKI

The communist regime backtracked on the deal in 1981, imposing martial law to crush Solidarity, which had snowballed into a movement of 10 million members, or over one Pole in four.

Solidarity stayed alive underground and returned to the spotlight in 1989, negotiating a deal for free elections with the regime.

This victory accelerated the largely peaceful demise of the entire Soviet bloc over the next two years.

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his leadership of Solidarity, Walesa went on to become Poland’s first democratically-elected president after 1989.



Walesa placed flowers on the shipyard gate and symbolically opened it as he did four decades ago after inking the Gdansk Accords


Walesa placed flowers on the shipyard gate and symbolically opened it as he did four decades ago after inking the Gdansk Accords
 AFP / MATEUSZ SLODKOWSKI

Poland successfully adopted democracy and a market economy before joining NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

But now reforms by the ruling PiS are tarnishing its democratic credentials with critics, including the European Union, accusing it of eroding the independence of courts and the rule of law.

PiS insists the changes are necessary to tackle corruption in a judiciary still haunted by the legacy of communism.

The party, led by Walesa’s arch-rival Jaroslaw Kaczynski, also insists that post-1989 Poland was established on the basis of a flawed compromise between the communists and the liberal wing of Solidarity.

The reforms launched by PiS and its rhetoric targeting Poland’s LGBT community have divided Poles as never before.

PiS-allied President Andrzej Duda will attend separate anniversary ceremonies in Gdansk organised by Solidarity later Monday.

The present-day incarnation of the union counts some 500,000 members and is close to the PiS government, which has earned it criticism.

Marking the anniversary, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed the Gdansk shipyard workers who founded Solidarity as “European heroes of freedom”, noting they “began a movement, which ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Iron Curtain”.



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Port Adelaide forward to sign new deal


Five years after they were teammates at the Gold Coast, Trent McKenzie and Charlie Dixon are now the bookends of ladder leader Port Adelaide’s side and both set to sign new multi-year deals as they head towards finals.

Dixon is expected to decline interest from rival clubs to remain at Alberton while McKenzie is set to be rewarded for his breakout season with longer-term security, having signed three consecutive one-year deals since joining the Power in 2018.

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The 28-year-old is arguably the best story of Port Adelaide’s season after managing just one game in each of the past two years and admitting he considered having a crack as an NFL punter last summer.

But this year when the departure of Dougal Howard opened up a spot in Port Adelaide’s backline, McKenzie grabbed it and has been nothing short of a revelation playing 12 of a possible 14 games.

His kicking efficiency is 81.6 per cent – above average of all key defenders in the competition – he leads the club in intercept marks and is considered above average by Champion Data for disposals, metres gained and marks across the league.

It’s a far cry from the defender who walked slow laps around Noosa Oval with his head down and arm in a sling as he recovered from shoulder surgery at the end of 2018.

“I think everyone at our footy club is thrilled for Trent because he’s had to do it hard for a couple of years to get into the team,” coach Ken Hinkley said.

“It was all around reward for what he’d done and his performance and now he looks a really solid part of our back seven. I just hope he can continue to do that for another six or eight weeks.

“Trent’s always shown from his young days before he was injured he was a strong, fierce competitor, he’s got some weapons – his kick is one and his speed another – and his strength now, he’s a matured man and he just wins physical battles.

“There was always enough talent in Trent McKenzie’s football, it was just getting an opportunity to show it.”

McKenzie’s agent James Pitcher confirmed he had been in talks with Port Adelaide’s list manager Jason Cripps and was confident the defender would remain at Alberton next year.

While Pitcher said there was no expectation of a multi-year deal, News Corp understands McKenzie has shown enough to secure one and it will be completed in coming weeks.

McKenzie was one of Gold Coast’s inaugural signings as a 17-year-old and played 106 games in seven years before his body began to let him down and he was delisted at the end of 2017.

His former coach Guy McKenna had seen enough to know he was a quality player but more importantly so had his assistant at the time – Ken Hinkley.

“He was never a defender in his early days, we played him on the wing and it was only through necessity we had to send him back at Gold Coast,” McKenna said this week.

“We played North Melbourne on a wet night at Metricon and Trent sat behind the ball by himself and he was like a goal-keeper, and I reckon Kenny was around to witness that as well.

“He’s a good mark for his size, plays tall, and gets the free ball behind the play, and off one step he can really hurt a modern-day zone.”

McKenna said McKenzie was one of his favourites at Gold Coast and he’s thrilled to see him kicking on at Port Adelaide.

“I’d seen his older brother at Williamstown and he was as hard as a cat’s head and all of a sudden Trent emerged on our radar as a 17-year-old,” McKenna said.

“He was playing in the VFL as a teenager against men and fearless and hard, and I don’t think he gets enough kudos for that.

“He’s physically hard because he puts his body on the line but he’s mentally hard because he keeps at it and because of his laconic nature I don’t think people give him enough credit for that.

“Port gave him a lifeline but there would have been an adjustment of going to a new state and finding his feet, and now he’s over his injuries he has a role clearly defined thanks to Kenny and he’s up and running. We all need a bit of confidence and belief from a coach and he’s got that.”

Liam Pickering from McKenzie’s management group said Hinkley was crucial to McKenzie’s revival.

“He’s got the best out of him and Charlie (Dixon) because he has a great relationship with his players,” Pickering said.

“He is a story of perseverance and faith from his coach because Kenny has been his biggest fan and he’s getting some rewards now.

“Trent just couldn’t get on the park towards the end at Gold Coast, he was stuck on 99 games for ages and at one stage I said ‘are you going to play your 100th?’

“He’s always been highly rated by other clubs and Port to their credit they gave him a chance because he hadn’t played for two years.

“I’m not sure how close he came (to getting cut by Port) but they picked him towards the back end of last year, he played some good SANFL footy, came in and played well in the AFL, got him an extension for this year and he hasn’t put a foot wrong.

“I’m not surprised by what he’s done, I’ve always rated him, he just needed a run at it.”

Fellow Power defender Hamish Hartlett said McKenzie had become “incredibly reliable” for the team.

“He’s strong in the contest, marks the footy when he gets a good look at it and has a beautiful left-foot kick which helps us,” Hartlett said.

“He played some really good footy in the SANFL last year and didn’t get an opportunity until late in the season but he’s capitalised on that.

“I’m not really surprised by what he’s done this year, he didn’t have a great run in terms of injuries but once he got consistent training and games under his belt, we could see he’s a really strong player for us so I’m happy his opportunity has come and he’s playing great footy.”

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Portland Shooting Suspect ‘100% Antifa’; Cited, Released on Weapons Charge in July Riot


The Oregonian reported Sunday night that the man under investigation in Saturday’s fatal shooting of a right-wing protester after a pro-Trump caravan in Portland is a supporter of Black Lives Matter and Antifa who was arrested on weapons charges and released earlier this year.

The victim of the attack has been reported to be Aaron Danielson, known also as “Jay.”

The Oregonian said:

A 48-year-old man who was accused of carrying a loaded gun at an earlier downtown Portland protest is under investigation in the fatal shooting Saturday night of a right-wing demonstrator after a pro-Trump rally.

Michael Forest Reinoehl calls himself an anti-fascist and has posted videos and photos of demonstrations he attended since late June, accompanied by the hashtags #blacklivesmatter, #anewnation and #breonnataylor.

Reinoehl’s posts indicate he attended many protests in Portland that began three months ago after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis under the knee of a police officer.

On July 5 at one of the demonstrations, Reinoehl was cited at 2:10 a.m. in the 700 block of Southwest Main Street on allegations of possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police.

He was given a date to appear in court later that month, but the allegations were dropped on July 30 with a “no complaint,” according to court records. The documents don’t indicate why prosecutors decided not to pursue the accusations. Reinoehl spent no time behind bars.

A press release from the Portland Police Bureau described a July 5 arrest, which happened after a riot began July 4:

At 10:48 p.m. [July 4], demonstrators continued launching fireworks and projectiles at the Federal Courthouse. Because of this, several windows were broken and fireworks and projectiles entered the Federal Courthouse building.

To protect the life and safety of personnel both inside and outside of the Federal Court House, just after 11 p.m., a riot was declared. Officers began dispersing the crowd moving demonstrators from the closed area of Southwest Broadway to Southwest 1st Avenue, Southwest Columbia to Southwest Yamhill Street.

As officers dispersed the crowd, demonstrators threw bricks, mortars, M-80s, and other flammables towards them. To defend themselves from serious injury, officers used crowd control munitions and tear gas at this time. Lasers were directed at Officer’s eyes, which is unlawful. Despite having moved from the closed area, demonstrators began to trickle back to Southwest 3rd Avenue, starting a large bonfire in the middle of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street 1 a.m.

During the dispersal, numerous business windows were shattered by members of the crowd. Officers made several arrests, including one at Southwest Main Street and Broadway where a male fought with officers. Officers were able to get him in custody and recovered an illegally possessed loaded firearm and a knife.

On July 5, police released a photograph of that arrest (below). Andy Ngô of the Post Millennial reported Sunday that the photograph was of Reinoehl.

Portland Police July 5 arrest (Portland Police Bureau)

Portland Police tweeted at the time:

In addition, the Oregonian reported Sunday, Reinoehl posted on Instagram that he was “100% ANTIFA all the way,” adding the hashtag “#blacklivesmatter.”

According to the Oregonian, Reinoehl also faced other charges from a separate arrest, including unlawful possession of a gun.

Many of the rioters who have been arrested in Portland over the past several months have been released shortly thereafter.

Democrats have called the riots “peaceful protests” and criticized federal law enforcement for their involvement, over several weeks, in defending the federal courthouse in Portland from arson and vandalism.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.





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