DONALD TRUMP has become the surprise Republican frontrunner early on in the 2016 US presidential cycle. His popularity – and fame – is reflected in the wide media coverage he has been enjoying. His policies, such as they are, have had less attentionFor more from Economist Radio visit soundcloud.com/theeconomist
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KIM DAVIS, a devout Apostolic Christian employed as a rural county clerk in Kentucky, asked the Supreme Court on August 28th to give her a temporary bye from their landmark ruling expanding marriage laws to same-sex couples. Three days later, the justices curtly declined her request without explanation or dissent. But Ms Davis still refuses to issue marriage licences to gays. She is defying the Supreme Court, she explains, "under God's authority". She now sits in jail.
In her plea to the justices, Ms Davis insisted that she cannot, in good conscience, sign a marriage document for two men or two women. Nor can she let any of her six deputies handle these nuptials, since her name still appears on the documents. To avoid being accused of discriminatory treatment, Ms Davis has refused to issue any marriage licences at all. But four couples (two gay, two straight) who returned from her office empty-handed sued the clerk on July 2nd. A federal judge, David Bunning, instructed Ms Davis to issue marriage licences to the couples and an appeals court upheld that order. There is “little or no likelihood”, the Sixth Circuit explained on August 26th, that Ms Davis will win...Continue reading
The key to engaging an audience is to make a human connection. Tom explains exactly how he does this in a conversation with colleague Shelley Dolley in the latest in our Off the Cuff video series. You can find the video at YouTube (time: 2 minutes 57 seconds).
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: […]
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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 […]
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.
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
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 […]