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Is Ben Carson overtaking Donald Trump?

the economistMar, 27/10/2015 - 20:39

WHEN THE Republican Party’s presidential candidates assemble for their third debate on October 28th in Boulder, Colorado, Donald Trump will again be standing, braced for a fight, centre-stage. But the poll ratings that determine the candidates’ lecturn order no longer look quite as rosy as they did for the billionaire reality-television star.

On October 27th, the day before the debate, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, overtook Mr Trump in a national poll, albeit by a squeak. In a survey by CBS/New York Times of Republican primary voters, Mr Carson was on 26% of the vote and Mr Trump on 22%. The two are way ahead of their closest rivals. Marco Rubio, a Florida senator, was on 8%; Jeb Bush, a former two-term governor of Florida, was on 7% (as was Carly Fiorina, a former chief executive of Hewlett Packard). The others—Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and John Kasich—each won 4%.

The poll reinforces the extent to which most Republicans want a candidate with no political experience. A recent study by Pew of Republicans who will probably vote in the primaries found that 65% want a candidate who offers “new ideas and a different approach”; the figure was...Continue reading

It's a jungle in Louisiana

the economistVie, 23/10/2015 - 15:56

ON OCTOBER 24th voters in Louisiana will send two men to a run-off that will determine the state’s next governor. That vote will take place in November, but it is the first election—known as an open or “jungle” primary—that really counts. This year, anyway.

In a jungle primary, candidates compete in a scrum, regardless of party, and the top two move on. The effect of such a system can be unpredictable, varying with the size of the field and the politics of each candidate. Sometimes, it can boost those at the fringes. In 1991, much to Louisiana’s embarrassment, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke and a flamboyantly corrupt governor, Edwin Edwards, managed to capture so many of the votes at the margins that the two of them met in a run-off, spawning a raft of rueful bumper stickers. (Among them: “Vote For the Lizard, Not the Wizard.”) The unfortunate centrist squeezed out that year was the incumbent governor, Buddy Roemer, who had become increasingly unpopular—but whom most Louisianians still probably wished they could have picked when it came to it.

This year, the fringes are not so extreme, but there is a similar dynamic at play, to the...Continue reading

Grilling Hillary Clinton

the economistVie, 23/10/2015 - 08:20

SHORTLY before 10pm on September 11th, 2012, around 150 Islamic militants swarmed into the lightly defended American consulate in Benghazi. After blasting a way inside, with grenades and vehicle-mounted machine-guns, they poured diesel onto the compound and set fire to it, unleashing a cloud of noxious smoke into the safe-room where Chris Stevens, the American ambassador to Libya, and Sean Smith, a junior colleague, were hiding. Both died of asphyxiation. Later that night the militants launched a second attack, on a nearby CIA compound, where they killed two Americans agents with mortar rounds.

The ten-hour grilling Hillary Clinton was subjected to in Congress on October 22nd was, said her Republican interrogators, necessary to uncover the truth of how and why those four Americans died. But this was nonsense. The Benghazi select committee, launched by the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, has spent 17 months and, by a conservative reckoning, $4.5m shining little more light on those questions than seven previous enquiries. And indeed, the truth of the matter does not seem terribly elusive.

By the night of the attack, the US-backed effort to...Continue reading

“Innovation Is Strategy”:Imperative #1 for the Crazy World of 2015/2015*

Tom PetersVie, 23/10/2015 - 07:15

I'm labeling what follows a "précis" of my current concerns. It originated with a client request for projected "takeaways" associated with a forthcoming speech. I responded, as requested, with a single page. Then, more or less for the hell of it, I expanded the outline/précis to a 2,000* word short essay (PDF also). Herewith FYI: […]

The post “Innovation Is Strategy”:
Imperative #1 for the Crazy World of 2015/2015*
appeared first on Tom Peters.

Nebraska’s ban of the death penalty is on hold

the economistJue, 22/10/2015 - 03:34

EARLIER this week the “Daily Show” sent one of its correspondents to Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska, to tape one of the comedy show's daily acerbic segments on current affairs. The topic? The death penalty, and Nebraskans' rather messy attempts to repeal it.

In May, the Midwestern state’s unicameral parliament overrode the veto of Pete Ricketts, the new Republican governor of Nebraska, of a bill to ban the death penalty. Governor Ricketts is a vocal opponent of the abolition of capital punishment, but he was obliged to sign the bill into law. Nebraska thus became the 19th state, and the first conservative state in more than four decades, to ban the death penalty.

The repeal stunned pro-death penalty Nebraskans. They immediately launched a well-organised and well-funded counter offensive. All across the state they stood with big clipboards in parking lots, supermarkets, country fairs and knocked on doors to collect enough signatures to bring about a state-wide vote on reinstating capital punishment. Their effort was bankrolled by “Nebraskans for the Death Penalty”, a lobby group partly financed by Governor Ricketts and his wealthy father, to the tune of a...Continue reading

Nissan North America

Tom PetersMié, 21/10/2015 - 02:21

The folks at Nissan invited Tom back after his appearance in August. This time, they presented the same speech to three audiences. Tom, make the same speech three times in a row? Not a chance. So, they taped the first one and showed the tape to the other two groups. Thus, we have two presentations, […]

The post Nissan North America appeared first on Tom Peters.

Google Books wins a court battle

the economistMar, 20/10/2015 - 16:52

IN “THE LIBRARY OF BABEL”, a story by Jorge Borges, a man loses himself in a gargantuan repository of every possible book in the universe. Google Books is not quite that vast, but it is big. Since 2004, Google has teamed with libraries to scan over 20m titles—including many that are out of print—and put them on the web for anyone to access. Users cannot read entire books, unless they are in the public domain. But unlike the sad hero in Borges’s dystopian tale, who never locates the catalogue to the collection, Google Books browsers can search for specific phrases and, without paying, read snippets of countless tomes.

A decade ago, a group of authors sued Google, claiming the service cut into their copyrights. After years of legal machinations, a federal district court ruled in favour of the internet giant in 2013. The plaintiffs—including Jim Bouton, author of “Ball Four”, and Betty Miles, who wrote “The Trouble with Thirteen"—appealed to the Second Circuit Court in New York and on October 16th, they Continue reading

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