All Articles Tagged "election"
At the beginning of a brand new year, we have much to celebrate and anticipate, from New Year’s resolutions to gearing up for another year of great change in your professional and personal life. This January, we have one additional reason to celebrate: on Monday, January 21st, President Barack Obama will be sworn into his second term as the President of the United States in the nation’s capital.
Although you might not need any other reason to celebrate this historical event, MN Biz will sum up a few political, personal, and even entertaining reasons to continue the celebration of President Obama’s second inauguration into the next four years!
Yes! Yes! Yesssss! President Barack Obama for four more years.
While we can definitely take some time to revel in this fantastic news, the world keeps on spinning and the economy needs to be top-of-mind. Already, there have been some positive reactions to Obama’s win, but The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s nothing to write home about.
“[T]hese moves so far have been muted, partly due to the focus now turning to a divided Congress and the need to avert a ‘fiscal cliff’ of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes which could kick-in in January,” MarketBeat writes. “The broader global economy also remains in the doldrums, not least because the euro-zone crisis continues to rumble on with Greece facing a key parliamentary vote Wednesday evening that could help determine whether the cash-strapped country gets its next installment of bailout money.”
Speaking this morning on the Today show, Jim Cramer also cited the “fiscal cliff” as a reason why the economic reaction won’t be stronger. “There’s not a lot of certainty right now,” host Savannah Guthrie said. (Full clip below.)
With tax increases and budget cuts looming come January 1, there needs to be compromise between the parties for work to get done. It’s that inability to work together that has indicators showing that stocks will open lower this morning. CNN is saying right now that the markets are going to give back the gains from yesterday, saying the perception of the same old-same old in government is causing concern. Besides the issues overseas and the fiscal cliff, the ongoing “under-performance” (to use Cramer’s word) caused by the threat of regulation and taxes has Wall Street worried.
“Investors seem to be looking past the hard-fought Obama win and focusing on the virtual status quo that remains in Congress, where Republicans retain control, and the Senate, in which the Democrats still have a slim majority, altered little by picking up two seats,” reports USA Today.
But, we can be happy that the economy is on the road to recovery.
“The jobs picture has already been improving gradually. Employers added a solid 171,000 jobs in October. Hiring was also stronger in August and September than first thought,” TIME writes. “…That said, most economists predict the improvement will remain steady but slow.”
Update at 9:35 am: Just minutes into the day’s trading, the Dow is already down 179 points.
You know how Beyonce does with her open letters so you should have already seen this one coming. After uploading a few pics of her filling out her absentee ballot for Texas (we know they need that Democratic vote), Bey posted a handwritten letter to Barry praising him for his inspiration as a leader and instilling hope in Blue Ivy and little Juelz.
Here’s what she put on her blog:
You know Bey has been going hard for Barack Obama this election and just yesterday her hubby was the breakout entertainer at a democratic rally in Columbus. Shout out to Jay for his “99 Problems but Mitt ain’t one” rendition. Bey also joined instagram to tweet out one picture of her in a “Texans for Obama” T-shirt. Her handle is “BaddieBey.”
What do you think of Bey’s letter?
At this stage in the game, the only thing that should be undecided about the election is whether people on the east coast will be able to make it to the polls next Tuesday. As for the rest of the world who can’t decide which box they’ll be checking when it comes to determining the next President of the United States, I just have one question: What can you possibly be undecided about at this point?
I’ve been asking this question since before the Debates began this month, but I figured maybe some people approach their presidential candidate choice like sports and for them the Debates were like a championship or Super Bowl or World Series. Each man’s slate was wiped clean at that time and whatever he and his VP said and did during those four games/debates would be the basis for their choice. That’s not exactly how I would approach my decision, but hey, there are different strokes for different folks. Still, for as many people who made their voting decision based on the debates, we still saw a hefty number of individuals the very next day after the final debate and even up until today who claim they have no idea who’s the best man for the job. Really people?
Now one theory I have is these people just need attention and pretending they don’t know right from left is the only way they can get on TV. The way narcissism has run amok in our society, I wouldn’t be surprised if 99% of these so-called undecided Americans didn’t fall into that category of trying to make the candidates sweat in their boots and prove their worthiness down to the last minute because there’s no way after all of the campaigning and media coverage, you couldn’t at least be leaning far to side or the other. But as the Wall Street Journal points out, there are a good number of people who make their decisions at the last minute and for good reason.
Though a Gallup poll found overall just 4 percent of all likely voters were undecided at the beginning of the month, 22 percent of protestant pastors were undecided at that time, according to Lifeway Research. Scott McConnell, Director of the organization said:
“Most Americans wind up having to compromise something they want when choosing candidates, and that includes the presidential race. But pastors tend to be pretty definite in their beliefs and in the advice they give people from the Bible. They are not used to gray areas.”
I can certainly understand the religious element for ordained individuals but are there really that many gray areas when it comes to the average, everyday American? As political analyst and MSNBC host Alex Wagner hilariously pointed out on a recent episode of W. Kamau Bell’s “Totally Biased,” the choice for women is essentially, do you want to have control over your va-jay-jay and what goes in and comes out of it or not? For men who don’t have those same concerns I’d think the choice would boil down to, do you want to know what to expect for the next four years or do you want to just wing it and give Romney time to figure out his game plan somewhere down the line. Or for any undecided voters who are a part of that 47% of Americans that the Republican candidate said he doesn’t care about, I’d just like to know what the heck you’re thinking period.
Obviously I’m showing my political bias, but from the other side you could ask some iteration of those same questions. Do you want women to be able to get abortions when God intended them to have their baby and they weren’t legitimately raped? (Please read sarcasm.) Do you want to approach American life, i.e. economic growth and health care, the same way we have for the past four years? Do you give a eff about that 47%, or heck, do you want to take care of the 99%? Some of these questions are quite concrete as are the answers to them. If you’ve established a list of priorities and actually paid attention to this presidential race those questions should have been answered long before now.
Rectifying one’s religious beliefs with the stance of governmental leaders is no easy task, nor is it one that should be taken lightly – particularly if you are of a faith that believes when the earth and all things in it pass away, you still have God to answer to. But for other people who are just sort of out here winging it before Election Day, please let me into the mind of an undecided voter. Do you need attention or are you really that indecisive?
How many of you watched the presidential debates? Many of you it seems. According to the Nielsen ratings, black TV viewers are tuning in to watch politics rather than their usual programming.
“The second Presidential debate that aired on Tuesday, Oct.16th, was the real ratings winner among TV shows for the third week of October. 4.8 million of the more than 10 million Black viewers watched on ABC, CBS and NBC. (Another 5.3 million tuned in on cable). ABC’s “Scandal” returned to the lineup and came in at No.3,” reports TargetMarketNews. “NBC edged out CBS as the most watched TV network, carrying 13 million Black viewers for eight of its shows. CBS dropped to second place with 12.8 million for ten shows. ABC had 8.5 million for six programs.” The ratings stats for the final debate were not available yet at press time.
African Americans are the largest group of TV viewers, comprising “approximately 13 percent of the 109.6 million TV households. African-Americans generally watch more television than other segments of the population,” reports Nielsen. African-American adults are avid TV watchers, averaging 210 hours per month, more than whites, Latinos and Asians by quite a bit. And black children aren’t just exposed to television that they’re watching, but TV that plays as background noise for hours on end.
Now if everyone who watched TV voted, that would be interesting. Only about 58 percent of the eligible voters in America actually vote, according to voting and registration data US Census 2008. And according to USA Today, this November about 90 million Americans who can vote won’t.
During a conference call in June, reports a blog called In These Times, Mitt Romney told business owners that he thought it was perfectly fine for them to tell employees who they should vote for.
“I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections,” he said on the summertime conference call, stressing that there’s nothing illegal about doing so. He waits until the end to throw in the old “whether you support me or Obama” business, but, New York magazine says, there have only been reports of mailings in favor of Romney, including one from the billionaire Republican supporting Koch brothers.
ICYMI, ASG Software Solutions CEO Arthur Allen made news last week for sending an email to his employees saying that people would lose their jobs if they didn’t vote for Romney.
“But I can tell you, if the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none. I am already heavily involved in considering options that make our independence go away, and with that all of our lives would change forever,” the email reads. “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”
MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes exclusively received the email and posted it on the network’s website. They tried contacting Allen but got no response.
And over on Gawker, they got an email that Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel sent to his employees. “Obviously, our present government believes that taking my money is the right economic stimulus for this country. The fact is, if I deducted 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here,” Siegel wrote. “If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company.” He even signs the thing “your boss.” Oh but he says that, of course, he can’t tell you who to vote for.
To echo the words of New York mag, this is wholly and completely unethical. Between the ongoing voter suppression efforts and these sorts of underhanded shenanigans, every vote is going to count. Tonight’s debate will focus on foreign policy, a debate that even those in the Romney camp say he can’t win, Politico writes.
“Spoiler alert: We got bin Laden,” President Obama said last week. Yes we did Mr. President.
“Aides head into it more confident about winning the race than they did before the first presidential debate, but believing Obama is slightly better positioned in the states that will dictate the outcome,” Politico continues. “The hope inside the campaign is that Romney will emerge in no worse position.”
Given his horrible track record on foreign policy subjects and his tendency to come up with winning one-liners like his “binders full of women,” that could be a tall order.
Much of the discussion during this presidential campaign season has been squarely focused on the economy and the divergent paths that President Obama and Mitt Romney have proposed for getting it back on track.
The general consensus (here in the Madame Noire office and elsewhere) is that the President missed opportunities to be more aggressive with Romney, not highlighting Romney’s “47 percent” comment that has now become infamous, and letting him get away with claims about Medicare and other policies that weren’t quite true or weren’t explained with any specificity.
But generally speaking, the debate was all about the middle class; both saying that their policies wouldn’t burden them with extra taxes, promising to lower the unemployment rate and generally restore security through overall economic growth. We’ve got links to recaps here, here, here and here.
President Obama will continue to talk about the economy during stops in Colorado and the University of Wisconsin before heading back to Washington.
What did you think of the debate last night? Was there anything that you heard that will impact your vote?
Total aside, Twitter was lit up last night over the #debate, becoming the most tweeted event in political history. Some of the things that got Twitter attention: people’s defense of Big Bird after Romney said he would make funding cuts to PBS and moderator Jim Lehrer’s “let’s not” response to Romney’s attempts to move the debate on to another topic (Lehrer has been given an “F” for his performance last night).
Today is the day Michelle Obama makes her Steve Harvey debut!
You know we can’t get enough of the Obama love story and today Michelle Obama talks more about that with funnyman Steve Harvey on his new daytime talk show. The FLOTUS talked about being drawn to President Obama because of his work in the community on issues like voter registration and the like, but she says when Barack told her he was thinking about entering the world of politics she was hesitant. Michelle said she saw the realm as a nasty game and initially didn’t want Barack to get wrapped up in it, but then she thought:
“This is the kind of man — person — we want in office and if I don’t support him, then I’m being really selfish. I’m just looking out for me.”
Michelle also relived that fateful first kiss between the pair that we love to hear about — and how Barack loves her chocolate kisses, which he confirmed in a Happy anniversary tweet this morning.
Check out the clips below. Don’t forget to tune in today!
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It’s a taboo subject for the workplace. But with the big presidential election debate tonight it is hard for politics not to make it into office discussions.
“Subtle swipes in the break room about ‘socialist Democrats’ and ‘racist Republicans’ can quickly escalate to hostile feelings that can affect productivity and camaraderie in the office,” reports Forbes.
It’s up to the boss to help keep a lid on volatile political discussions, says Leigh Steere, co-founder of Managing People Better. “If discussions become heated in your office — and if you are a manager — call a staff meeting and say to everyone, ‘If you want to debrief the presidential debates, I need to ask you to do that outside office hours and at a non-work location’,” Steere explains to us.
If a co-worker is offending you by constant talk of their candidate or by posting political paraphernalia in their workspace, deal with it one-on-one. “It’s best to speak with that person privately, expressing your concern with ‘I’ statements,” advises Steere. “For example, ‘I can see you really care about the Congressional race, and I think it’s cool that you are spending your free time helping with the campaign. But I am really uncomfortable with all the signs and discussion here at work. I would appreciate if you would take it down.’ If the ardent campaigner persists, you may need to talk with HR.”
What if your employer is pushing a certain candidate? “There needs to be some employee communication explaining any endorsements and why the company is making those endorsements,” says Steere.
Forbes, however, writes in “15 Tips For Talking Politics At Work,” that “healthy political discussion might actually be good for you and your co-workers. Through policy debates you might learn of your colleague’s upbringing and empathize in a way you hadn’t before, which might explain why they execute a project in a certain manner.”
Still, there is a certain etiquette when talking politics with your co-workers.
Here are some tips from Forbes:
- Check your levels. Since political conversations can evoke strong emotions, it’s best to keep a pulse on your own volume when speaking.
- Expect respect. You can have opposing viewpoints without resorting to derogatory comments.
- Know your facts. When political conversations are at their best it’s a discussion of philosophical differences, not arguments over truths.
- Too hot to handle. Don’t dive into a topic just to rile people up. Be constructive with your conversation and work to have a better understanding of where others are coming from.
- Don’t expect to reach consensus. Most people’s opinions are shaped over their lifetime. It’s a high bar to believe you can change the opinion of someone from pro-life to pro-choice, for example, within your lunch hour. When you recognize that you and your co-worker have both made your points and each of you have nothing to add to the conversation, it’s fine to acknowledge that you simply agree to disagree.
- Find common ground. When you find these points of agreements, they mark a good jumping-off point to move the conversation forward in a considerate manner.
- Remember you’re speaking to someone you work with. In the heat of a debate it’s easy to forget that you’ll have to sit next to this person tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…
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He’s at it again. Maybe Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) should leave politics and take a radio job as a shock jock.
Back in August the Senate candidate made the wild claim that the victims of “legitimate rape” can force their bodies to avoid pregnancy. Now, Akin is saying it’s okay for employers to pay women less than men. Forget the Equal Pay Act of 1963. According to Akin, it’s just a matter of capitalism.
“I believe in free enterprise. I don’t think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don’t pay,” Akin said at a town hall meeting last week.
“I think it’s about freedom,” Akin added, responding to an inquiry about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. “If somebody wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that’s fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.”
Women — Republican and Democrat — have been affected by the pay gap. In fact, reports The Huffington Post, “Closing the female pay gap has proved difficult in recent decades. In the second quarter of 2012, the median female worker’s earnings amounted to just 80 percent of the median male worker’s earnings, according to the Labor Department, not much more than the 75 percent they earned in 1989, according to a separate study. And it’s not just women in low paying jobs who are victims of pay discrepancy.” According to HuffPost, “Female chief executives earn roughly 72 percent of what their male counterparts make.”
All of the verbal damage that Rep. Akin is doing to his own campaign is taking a toll. Politico reports that Akin’s opponent, Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill, has a nine-point lead.