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Nissan North America 2015

Tom PetersJue, 27/08/2015 - 17:05

Today's event is Nissan North America's 2015 Annual National Dealer Advisory Board Seminar, in Atlanta. This is an opportunity for Tom to speak to the kind of group he loves—a group of quintessential SMEs—auto dealerships. Collectively, they have great potential for growth and change. We know they'll be inspired by Tom! Slide presentations are here: […]

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Ohio’s controversial abortion bill

the economistMié, 26/08/2015 - 11:39

JOHN KASICH is trying his very best not to alienate any potential backers of a moderate Republican candidate for the presidency. So far the governor of Ohio has done well: he was the most centrist debater in the first televised debate of ten GOP presidential hopefuls. He is currently polling well in New Hampshire, for what that's worth at this early stage in the contest. On August 25th Trent Lott, the still influential former senator from Mississippi, joined Robert Bentley, the governor of Alabama, John Sununu, another well-known former senator, and a basketball legend, Charles Barkley, in endorsing Mr Kasich for the Republican Party’s nomination.

Yet even though many of Mr Kasich’s policies go down well with moderate Republicans—from the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio to his openness to immigration reform and his backing of Common Core, a set of educational standards—his hard line on abortion is likely to upset some of them. That’s why the usually blunt-spoken governor has not said a word so far on a proposed bill in Ohio that would ban abortions based on a foetal diagnosis of Down syndrome, a genetic disorder causing intellectual...Continue reading

Doubling down

the economistMar, 25/08/2015 - 11:10

CRASHING commodities scare not only stock markets. They also strike fear into environmentalists keen to see America move towards renewable sources of energy. Barack Obama sought to bolster confidence in green power at the National Clean Energy Summit on August 24th—a day on which oil prices also fell to below $45 a barrel, their lowest for six years. Fossil fuels are both cheap and plentiful. The Dow Jones Total Coal Market index has dropped by more than three quarters in the past five years. That makes it harder for the president to wean America, which accounts for 15% of global carbon-dioxide emissions, off them.

Mr Obama announced a plan at the summit which includes loan guarantees worth $1 billion for new research projects into renewables. Financing to pay for the installation of clean energy technologies in homes—such as sticking solar panels on rooves—is also under consideration. This latter measure will “expand opportunities for consumers,” claims Brian Deese, a senior advisor to Mr Obama. The rules would allow homeowners who adopt green technologies to start saving from them immediately; the costs of installation...Continue reading

Is it bad to have a bunch of old judges?

the economistVie, 21/08/2015 - 00:29

ON THE third season of “House of Cards”, the Netflix show about Washington Machiavellianism gone haywire, a fictional Supreme Court justice mulls retirement when he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Aside from some overblown criticism of the conservative justices, nobody is speculating that anybody on the real-life Supreme Court is suffering from a degenerative brain disease.

But the show’s plotline calls attention to the fact that, barring death or an impeachable offence, the justices themselves decide when to hang up their robes. And today’s Supremes are no spring chickens. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal lion who has resisted calls to retire during Barack Obama’s presidency, is 82. Antonin Scalia, on the right, and Anthony Kennedy, in the centre, are both 79. Stephen Breyer is 77. Four justices—Clarence Thomas (67), Samuel Alito (66), Sonia Sotomayor (61) and the chief, John Roberts (60)—are sexagenarians. The new kid on the bench, Elena...Continue reading

Chicago feels the Bern

the economistMar, 18/08/2015 - 20:10

BERNIE SANDERS is on a roll. His political rallies attract bigger crowds than those of any other contender for the presidency. More than 15,000 showed up to hear him speak in Seattle, 27,000 in Los Angeles and 28,000 in Portland. His audience at the Iowa state fair was bigger than The Donald’s. One recent poll put him in the lead in New Hampshire, the site of the first primary contest.

When Mr Sanders turned up, around half an hour late, at a historic theatre in posh Lincoln Park on Chicago’s North Side, he was warmly welcomed by a largely white, mostly young audience of more than 800 who had forked out between $50 and $1,000 to hear him speak. He was introduced by four stalwarts of progressive politics in Chicago: Chuy Garcia, the Cook County commissioner, who had challenged Rahm Emanuel in the mayoral election earlier this year; Susan Sadlowski Garza, an alderwoman and vocal member of the Chicago Teachers Union; Carlos Rosa, who was elected alderman at the tender age of 26, and Robert Peters, an African-American from the...Continue reading

Blame Mexico!

the economistMar, 18/08/2015 - 18:08

"I'M A huge fan of the Mexican people," Donald Trump said in an interview this weekend with NBC's Chuck Todd. "But they have to pay for the wall."

Mr Trump, a real-estate mogul and the current front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, is such a fan of Mexicans that, in addition to promising to bully them into paying for a pharaonic American infrastructure project, accusing them of mooching off American taxpayers, and blaming them for low wages, unemployment and violent crime, he also proposes to amend the constitution to do away with birthright citizenship, so that children born inside America's borders will no longer be automatic citizens. He would make it harder for Mexicans to come to America lawfully and relentlessly deport those in the country without papers. In short, a huge fan.

In a new, six-page position paper on immigration reform, Mr Trump contends that "the Mexican...Continue reading

What the Black Lives Matter campaign gets wrong

the economistLun, 17/08/2015 - 20:01

HECKLING politicians is rarely an effective form of advocacy. In the midterm elections advocates for illegal immigrants heckled Barack Obama—and mostly were shouted down. But at a series of recent political events, protesters standing up to shout that “black lives matter” have been causing ripples in the Democratic presidential-primary race.

“We are in a state of emergency,” declared one protester at Martin O’Malley, a presidential aspirant and former governor of Maryland, at the annual Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix in July. When he responded that “All lives matter,” he was summarily booed. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont senator and Congress’s lone self-described socialist, initially refused to “out-scream people” and simply pointed to his record on civil rights (he marched with Martin Luther King junior in the 1960s). But this only inflamed protests further. At another event Sanders supporters tried to shout down the heckling with the phrase “We stand together”—a strategy that a writer at Time magazine...Continue reading

Jeb Bush affects joyfulness in Iowa

the economistSáb, 15/08/2015 - 06:46

IOWA is an easy state to mock. It is full of cornfields and its most famous annual festival, the Iowa State Fair, is an 11-day tribute to agriculture and over-eating best known for deep-fried food on sticks (including battered, deep-fried chunks of butter). The longest queue is the one to file past a life-size butter sculpture of a cow: to avoid melting, the yellow beast is kept chilled behind a large window, making the experience oddly reminiscent of viewing the embalmed Chairman Mao. Your columnist loves it all. More importantly Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, gives every sign of enjoying it, too.

That matters. Mr Bush is running to be the Republicans’ presidential nominee and Iowa is home to the first contest of the presidential season. In truth nobody expects Mr Bush to win Iowa, a state whose Republican voters tend to favour social conservatives. It matters more that a happy Mr Bush finally turned up at the state fair on Friday morning, spending almost three hours eating fried things, sipping beer and patiently engaging with Iowans under a beating sun.

When the former governor was still deciding whether to run he said he...Continue reading

Opportunity to See Tom Live

Tom PetersVie, 14/08/2015 - 16:08

If you live in the Northwest United States, you are within driving distance (albeit a long drive) of an upcoming Tom appearance: The Art Of Leadership Conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on 11 September 2015. If you've never seen Tom live, we'd recommend you consider making the trip. We can almost guarantee you'd come away […]

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Trumpismo and its limits

the economistJue, 13/08/2015 - 18:03

DONALD TRUMP'S raucous performance in the first debate between the leading GOP presidential aspirants has not hurt his national poll numbers. Nor has his abhorrent comment about Megyn Kelly, a hard-charging Fox News presenter. Not yet, at least. Mr Trump is holding steady nationally, with the support of nearly a quarter of likely Republican voters, and he has maintained his lead in Iowa—even if some voters there are now expressing some reservations.

Mr Trump's Teflon-coated staying power is maddening to his rivals. In a post-debate public...Continue reading

Obamacare's haters won't stop hating

the economistMié, 12/08/2015 - 22:30

AT THE end of June, when the Supreme Court saved the Affordable Care Act from a technical challenge in King v Burwell, it seemed the legal battles over Obamacare were finally over. But the “never-ending saga” of anti-Obamacare litigation, as Justice Elena Kagan put it, presses on. On August 7th two federal appellate courts turned back separate challenges to Barack Obama’s signature health-care law. The rulings are more bad news for litigants who have approached the courts to try to undermine the law, but either or both cases could eventually be heard by the Supreme Court.

The first challenge goes after the law’s individual mandate, the provision that requires most Americans to buy a health-insurance policy (subsidised by the feds, for lower-income people, in states that expanded Medicaid)...Continue reading

Tailoring Speeches

Tom PetersMar, 11/08/2015 - 12:00

Longtime member of Tom Peters' staff Shelley Dolley posed questions to Tom that she frequently gets asked by other business speakers. Many crave insights into Tom's tricks of the trade. As part of our Off the Cuff series of videos, Tom tells us what the keys to successful speaking are. In this video, he shares […]

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A stalemate with the governor

the economistMar, 11/08/2015 - 01:29

“WHAT he wants is so radical,” says John Cullerton. Sitting amid the Germanic splendour of the Berghoff, a local haunt that has been serving beer and sausages for over a century, the president of the Illinois Senate explains why his state still does not have a budget for the current financial year: Bruce Rauner, the Republican governor of Illinois, is making his approval of the budget contingent on the passage of his business-friendly reform agenda. The problem is that his proposals are too radical for the Democrat-controlled Senate and lower House, Mr Cullerton says. Both sides are refusing to budge.

As a result, Illinois is now in its second month without a budget. There is little indication that Mr Rauner, Mr Cullerton and Michael Madigan, the speaker of the House, will come to an agreement soon. In May Mr Rauner, a first-year governor and political neophyte, vetoed the budget lawmakers sent him because he wanted the legislature to back his reforms (the budget also exceeded revenues by over $3 billion). He has been particularly keen on curbing payouts for workplace injuries and restricting public-sector employees’...Continue reading

When is a new voter law unconstitutional?

the economistDom, 09/08/2015 - 19:02

ON AUGUST 6th 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a sweeping law that would do much to protect the right to vote for all Americans, including those who have historically suffered from discrimination at the polls. When it was first passed, Southern states were systematically suppressing the black vote, in some cases violently. Over the coming decades, the law was tweaked to ban all voting practices that effectively deterred certain groups of voters. But many presumed that time and racial progress would ultimately make the law unnecessary.

Alas, 50 years on, the law continues to be cited in a number of cases involving mischief at the polls. On August 5th the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down part of a controversial voter-identification law Texas passed in 2011, one of the strictest in the country, which the state argues protects the “integrity of...Continue reading

Who were the debate's winners and losers?

the economistVie, 07/08/2015 - 23:38

LAST night’s Republican debate was wildly entertaining, at least as far as American political debates go. The presence of Donald Trump, a billionaire reality-TV star and GOP front-runner, brought energy and excitement to what is ordinarily a soporific rehearsal of canned platitudes punctuated by one or two moments of diverting conflict. Americans tuned in. Thursday's event was the most-watched primary debate in history.

Those who hoped to catch the bumptious Mr Trump brazenly riffing got what they wanted. Mr Trump was the biggest personality on stage, and he got more airtime than the others. However, rather than overshadowing his mainstage competitors, Mr Trump may have boosted their fortunes by giving them a much larger audience than they otherwise would have enjoyed.

Marco Rubio, a spry Florida senator, distinguished himself with poise, an appealing positive vision, and a thoughtful grasp of policy detail. He declined to take on Mr Trump’s vague bluster directly, but took advantage of the opportunity to appear crisp, competent and...Continue reading

The candidates offer quite a show

the economistVie, 07/08/2015 - 07:38

WHEN it became clear that the first televised debate of the 2016 presidential season would feature ten Republicans on a sports arena stage in Cleveland, Ohio, with Donald Trump at the centre, pessimists braced for a circus. Optimists predicted that the high stakes would force a serious exchange between candidates who—for all their foibles—are mostly smart, accomplished men with distinctive conservative ideas about how to run the country. Few guessed that the evening would manage to be both at the same time.

At some point soon after the Fox News debate kicked off at 9pm, some kind soul supplied the press room at the debate site in Cleveland with bowls of popcorn. This was appropriate. The very first question was a cliffhanger: would all ten candidates pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, and not run as an independent? As soon as the question was posed, everyone understood what was afoot. For Fox News is not just any news channel, and it is no mere observer of Republican Party politics. It is a player, owned and run by people, notably Rupert Murdoch, whose hard-nosed commercial instincts combine with an equally hard-headed...Continue reading

Carly Fiorina on the rise

the economistVie, 07/08/2015 - 03:28

MOMENTS after dominating a televised debate for second-tier Republican presidential candidates tonight, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of the technology firm Hewlett-Packard (HP), entered a packed spin-room at the debate site in Cleveland. Ms Fiorina swiftly attracted the largest scrum of any of the seven contenders in this “Happy Hour Debate” held at 5pm Eastern time. That made sense. While the six men on stage with her had often waffled and blustered, she had put in a polished, if tightly scripted, performance that included the debate’s sharpest jabs at the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton.

The political Twitterverse had already declared her the winner and was now predicting a poll bump that would carry her into the pack of the top-ten contenders allowed to participate in the main, prime-time debates. Internet news sites announced that a new favourite for the vice-presidential slot on the Republican ticket had emerged. A reporter from Fox TV had fresh statistics on social media traffic during the debate. “Carly, good news for you,” he shouted. “The Google searches on you matched those on Donald Trump.”

And that,...Continue reading

How to bring down the Donald

the economistVie, 07/08/2015 - 02:14

TEN is a fraction of the number of candidates in the Republican presidential field, but about five too many for anything resembling a real "debate". Tonight's crowded spectacle on Fox News at least holds out the promise of entertainment, if not incisive intellectual exchange. All eyes will be on Donald Trump, a billionaire real-estate investor whose loud-mouthed antics have pushed him to the top of the national polls. All the men sharing the stage with Mr Trump, except Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, have a great deal more political experience than the Donald. None, however, can beat Mr Trump's reality-TV resume. That makes him a formidable opponent in what is, in effect, the first installment of a reality-TV competition.

Jeb Bush, formerly the governor of Florida, is running second in national polls. Mr Bush is campaigning from the centre-right, and counting on name-recognition and fund-raising heft to bring him through the primaries. Should he manage to capture the nomination, he will be nicely positioned for the general election. Mr Bush's best approach this evening is simply to project a "presidential" air of competent self-possession while emphasising the...Continue reading

The eighth circuit court embarrasses itself

the economistMié, 05/08/2015 - 18:57

LAST month, Judge Bobby Shepherd of the eighth circuit court in Missouri wrote an opinion reading more like a novice high-school debate speech than a ruling by a federal appellate judge. The topic was abortion—specifically, North Dakota’s highly restrictive law banning the procedure at the first sign of a fetal heartbeat. Since a heartbeat can be heard as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, and the Supreme Court has said that women have a right to an abortion up to the point of viability (ie, when the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, around 24 weeks), Judge Shepherd held, along with two colleagues, that the law is unconstitutional. But the 14-page ruling closed with a five-page lament: North Dakota’s law may be inconsistent with Roe v Wade and Casey v Planned Parenthood, but the Supreme Court should “re-evaluate its...Continue reading

Brett Steenbarger Expounds on Tom’s Stance Against Vision

Tom PetersMar, 04/08/2015 - 19:24

Brett Steenbarger, a contributor at Forbes, has taken a couple of Tom's tweets and expanded on them with great insight. Tom tweeted, "Thinking ahead is great, but it becomes more than it is when when you sprinkle Holy Water and enshrine it as Vision." In response to reaction to this pronouncement, Tom went on to […]

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