Weekend Digest: The Political Animals Edition

by Larry Brannan ([email protected]) 91 views 

TV PREVIEW: POLITICAL ANIMALS
Political Animals Club President and Talk Business & Politics contributor Rex Nelson joins the show this week to talk about his cover story in the latest magazine edition of TB&P. Nelson sat down for an extensive conversation with Mike Preston, new executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Nelson also offers his views on the latest political developments concerning Arkansas including Donald Trump, Iran, Cuba and Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton.

Also, meet two successful young entrepreneurs making a difference in Arkansas. Apptegy CEO Jeston George of Little Rock and Campus Concierge CEO Anna Morrison of Fayetteville. These two rising company executives have transformed ideas into implementation and are taking their companies to new levels. What are their thoughts on the fast-moving startup scene in Arkansas?

Also, KATV’s Janelle Lilley will recap major business and political headlines and we’ll dive into the latest jobs report for a focus on the Arkansas economy. Tune in to Talk Business & Politics with Roby Brock on KATV Ch. 7 Sunday at 9 a.m.

THE CITIES LEADING A U.S. MANUFACTURING REVIVAL
Forbes reports, “Manufacturing may no longer drive the U.S. economy, but industrial growth remains a powerful force in many regions of the country.”

   Industrial employment has surged over the past five years, with the sector adding some 855,000 new jobs, a 7.5% expansion.

What are the factors driving this trend and where are the best places in the U.S. for manufacturing jobs?

For “America’s new manufacturing boomtowns” go to this link.

SHOULD EXPERIENCED LEADERS BE IN CHARGE OF THE RESOURCES THAT EARN THE MOST?
Sounds logical, right? After all, who else would best know how to use them? But a new study on Hollywood producers in the Strategic Management Journal reminds us that it’s not that simple,” says Harvard Business Review.

   Academics have been writing about the Resource-Based View (RBV) — a theory of how companies can gain competitive advantage from their unique and valuable resources — since the 1980s, though the idea has been around for longer.

The researchers behind this new study point out that recent work on RBV has focused on managers as the ones generating the revenue from the company’s resources. What they wanted to explore is how managers do that.

So how do they do that and what is fungibility that “plays an important role in whether top managers deploy resources successfully?”

For the full story, follow this link.

HOW TO DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY
Fast Company reports, “A 2007 survey conducted at Trinity College in Dublin found that one-third of British people under age 30 can’t even remember their own phone numbers. Although this forgetfulness happens to the best of us, if you’re one to blame your ‘bad memory,’ you should know that your refusal to train your memory is the reason it’s gone awry.”

   In his book, How to Develop A Super Power Memory, memory training specialist Harry Lorayne says “there is no such thing as a bad memory” and that “there are only trained and untrained memories.”

Although there are a number of science-backed strategies when it comes to making connections and enhancing your memory, when you really think about the underpinnings of a strong memory, it has everything to do with creativity.

“Memory isn’t about stuffing your head with facts; it’s about honing your creativity.” Here’s how.

INTERVIEW RED FLAGS FOR NOT TAKING THE JOB
You really want this job and now you are ready to interview. But wait a minute. Interviews don’t have to be one-sided right? What if during the interview process you begin to realize this may not be the job for you after all?

   During a slow economy, it’s hard to turn down even the least appealing job offer. But there are a few danger signs which, if they come up during an interview, are a definite sign that you should not take the job.

After all, if the company can’t hold it together for an hour or two, things probably aren’t going to get better once you sign on the dotted line.

Pay Scale posts, “If these 3 things happen during your job interview, don’t take the job.” Find out what they are here.

THE ART OF THE POLITICAL FLIP-FLOP
Although as The Washington Post reports, “Flip-flopping politics can be deadly for candidates,” it also says, “Sometimes, politicians can get away with it. If it’s done right.”

   There’s an art to the political flip-flop, and Bill Clinton has mastered it. Depending on the issue, how it plays out will differ, but the key is always to make it genuine.

Other candidates should take note. Express a genuine change of heart, preferably over something millions of other Americans have changed their minds on, and own up to it. It could end up being the difference between getting labeled with the “f” word and people saying you just “evolved.”

For the complete story and a look at the results of what happened after some other candidates changed their tune, go to this link.

THE ART OF THE GRANDSTAND
The story is about The Donald and about Huffington Post, both of whom POLITICO says are “grandstanding” and both are intertwined.

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s grandstanding is everyday news, but it’s apparently working. POLITICO reports, “He has surged to the front of the pack, leading his rivals by 3 points in the most recent Fox News and USA Today/Suffolk polls, respectively.”

   He has raised issues that have resonated with conservative voters and forced other GOP candidates to come forward on where they stand. It is very likely that he will appear near center-stage at the inaugural Republican debate, on Aug. 6, and lead the pile-on against Jeb Bush. 

But what about the Huffington Post? What stand has the Post’s politics team taken regarding Trump, that even though it feels different, POLITICO points out, well… it’s some big ole grandstanding too.

Click here for the details.

HILLARY’S EMAIL HEADACHE
There will be no shortage of scandals – real or perceived – in Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House in 2016. This week, renewed scrutiny of the use of a private email account while she served as Secretary of State rose to the top of the list.

  Whatever benefit Hillary Rodham Clinton got out of using her personal email to conduct government business while she was secretary of State, that advantage is surely receding as the headache it has created for her presidential campaign grows and grows.

Public attention is focused yet again on Clinton’s email problem, after government investigators revealed late this week that her use of a personal server to conduct business during her time at the State Department led to classified information getting breached.

And a Department of Justice investigation could be looming, according to the Los Angeles TimesRead more here.

PROGRESSIVE PRISON REFORM IN TEXAS
Although he has executed more people than any governor in U.S. history, The Daily Beast reports probable GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry “has brought with him an unlikely Lone Star State success story: prison reform.”

   In Texas, funneling money to special courts (like drug courts or prostitution courts), rehabilitation, and probation in an effort to make sure current offenders don’t reoffend, instead of continuing to make room for more prisoners, has resulted in billions saved and dramatically lower crime rates. In just the last three years, Texas has shut down three prisons.

The conservative movement to reform prisons is not new. Republican governors in Georgia, Louisiana, Indiana, and Ohio have all made efforts in recent years to address growing incarceration rates. But it has largely remained on the periphery of the mainstream — the stuff of columns and local reports that do nothing to sway the general public.

That very well might be changing now that it appears it could be a series of talking points for a mainstream Republican presidential prospect.

The Daily Beast takes a look at “the story behind the bipartisan push that GOP contenders may be extolling come 2016.”

OHIO GOV. JOHN KASICH & PUBLIC EDUCATION
The Washington Post reports, “With two-term Ohio Gov. John Kasich joining the crowd of candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, it’s a good time to look at the public education mess that has developed in his state under his leadership.”

   Kasich has pushed key tenets of corporate school reform:

  • Expanding charter schools — even though the state’s charter sector is the most troubled in the country
  • Increasing the number of school vouchers that use public money to pay for tuition at private schools, the vast majority of them religious — even though state officials say that fewer than one-third of those available were used by families this past school year
  • Performance pay for teachers — even though such schemes have been shown over many years not to be useful in education

   Meanwhile, the Ohio Education Department in Kasich’s administration is in turmoil.

Not to mention that funding for public schools has plummeted and “local governments have been forced to pass levies to raise millions of dollars in operating money for traditional public schools because of state budget cuts.”

And, according to The Post, there’s even more educational bad news under Kasich’s watch. Full details here.

WHAT IS MINECRAFT DOING TO KIDS?
2Machines asks that question to parents, and says the answer, “Is kind of surprising.”

  The point of Minecraft seems simple: build practically anything you can imagine. Some kids recreate famous pieces of architecture, others express their creativity through grand designs.

Since 2009, Minecraft has sold over 20 million copies. And if that seems like a typical blockbuster, don’t be fooled — it isn’t. Graphics are boxy and blurry, and sounds are primitive at best.

So why do kids obsess over it and is it healthy or unhealthy? Find out at this link.

THE MOUTHS OF THE SEC FOOTBALL COACHES
After a poor ending for the top-ranked football teams in the SEC, ESPN reports, “Then the offseason came. And as so often happens, memories faded and people forgot.”

   But then for the first time since January, coaches opened their mouths in front of a national audience, and what flew out was a list of excuses, complaints and opinions so numerous and so tone-deaf that it defied explanation.

When South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier called an impromptu news conference to quash any retirement talk and fight back against his perceived “enemies” yesterday, a weird week for the SEC took an even more perplexing turn. It felt as if everything was going off the rails.

What did Alabama’s Nick Saban say along with other head coaches like Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel?

For all the gripes, whines and excuses punt to this link.

THE EYES HAVE IT
The color of your eyes that is when it comes to alcohol dependence.

Could a potential sign of alcohol dependence be lurking in your reflection?

What color eyes did researchers find alcohol dependence was more prevalent among?

Peep to this link from Huffington Post Science to find out.