Weekend Digest: The Rigging The 2016 Election Edition

by Larry Brannan ([email protected]) 48 views 

TV PREVIEW: THE GOVERNOR MOVES HIS AGENDA FORWARD
On this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics:

Gov. Asa Hutchinson. He makes a statement on the state’s Private Option this week and weighs in on his Restore Hope summit, which begins on Tuesday.

What’s next on the health care front? Two policy makers who could influence the debate join our political roundtable. State Sen. David Sanders, R-Little Rock, and Rep. Michelle Gray, R-Melbourne, are our guests. The Private Option, managed care and more are discussed.

Plus, we’ll offer some context on the health care debate and a ton of other political news of the week including party switching and ethics complaints. KATV’s Elicia Dover and TB&P’s Steve Brawner join host Roby Brock to discuss.

Tune in to Talk Business & Politics on KATV Ch. 7 Sunday at 9 a.m.

AMAZON: THE BRUISING WORKPLACE
The New York Times says this about Amazon: “The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.”

An experiment?

Even as the company tests delivery by drone and ways to restock toilet paper at the push of a bathroom button, it is conducting a little-known experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers, redrawing the boundaries of what is acceptable.

At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.” The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others.

They are told to forget the “poor habits” they learned at previous jobs, one employee recalled. When they “hit the wall” from the unrelenting pace, there is only one solution: “Climb the wall,” others reported.”

Click on this link to learn more about the corporate culture at Amazon.

TESLA’S HIGH END DISRUPTION GAMBLE
Forbes reports, “Tesla’s strategy does not follow the common disruptive mold because it doesn’t have to.”

Instead, Elon Musk pursues what we call a “high-end” disruption strategy, an approach that can be just as troublesome for incumbents. High-end disruption is about producing innovations that are “leap frog” in nature making them difficult for incumbents to rapidly imitate. Then, instead of using technology to improve performance over time, they use technology to lower costs per unit of performance over time.

Our 5 years of research on the phenomenon indicates that Tesla could become a textbook case. In stark contrast to the low-end variety, high-end disruptive innovations outperform existing products on key performance dimensions at introduction; they sell for a premium price rather than a discount; and they target incumbent’s most profitable customers, often going after the most discriminating and least price-sensitive buyers before spreading to mainstream markets.

But Forbes asks the big question: “Will Tesla’s strategy work?” Get the answer at this link.

5 DEVELOPING BUSINESS RIVALRIES
Fast Company suggests that you watch as five businesses develop rivalries during the coming months.

Who are they and who are they stepping into the ring with?

Find out here.

A HANDY GUIDE ON HOW TO DRESS
With the workplace shifting generations thanks to Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials, it’s become more confusing as to what’s acceptable, proper and adequate to wear to the office and business meetings these days.

Entrepreneur asks: “What’s the difference between business casual and smart casual?” Do you know?

Deciding what to wear when to which event – so you don’t end up looking clueless – can be overwhelming for the fashion-challenged. But, with a little help, it’s not so bad.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a quick and dirty cheat-sheet you could refer to before hobbling together your outfit for your next important soirée, interview or meeting? A dress code 101 decoder, for him and her? Lucky for you there is.

And all you have to do to get it, is follow this link.

THE REGRETS OF JIMMY CARTER
POLITICO has posted a must-read that chronicles how America’s most active ex-president talks about cancer — and what might have been.

Jimmy Carter, it turns out, won’t be going gentle into that good night. Not even at age 90 with a diagnosis of metastasized cancer, not even after 29 books, 100 elections monitored (the last in Guyana in May), thousands of Habitat for Humanity homes built (he plans 100 more in Nepal this year), a Nobel Peace Prize and an enduring obsession with fixing parts of the Middle East that he failed to resolve 37 years ago—an obsession over which he has brazenly alienated not only Israelis and Jews but Barack Obama, whom he has criticized for not getting personally involved himself, as Carter did at Camp David.

POLITICO attempts to answer the question: What continues to drive the man, working harder in his 90s than many people in the prime of their careers?

And what about Carter’s regrets?

Carter has nursed those regrets and grievances into the present. It’s hard not to believe that his post-presidential career has been driven in part by a deep desire to be vindicated, as he made clear on Thursday when he was asked if he wished he’d done anything differently in his life. “I wish I had sent one more helicopter to rescue the [American] hostages [in Iran]. We would have rescued them, and I would have been reelected.”

Go to this link for this frank story about a man who still has fight left in him “by making use of brand-new breakthroughs in medicine” even as the cancer has advanced to his brain.

COULD GOOGLE RIG THE 2016 ELECTION?
As crazy as that may seem, research psychologist Robert Epstein thinks it’s possible. How so?

Google has the ability to drive millions of votes to a candidate with no one the wiser.

America’s next president could be eased into office not just by TV ads or speeches, but by Google’s secret decisions, and no one — except for me and perhaps a few other obscure researchers — would know how this was accomplished.

Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections — indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs — than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more — up to 80 percent in some demographic groups — with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated.

What are the alarming scenarios that could make this happen? Discover for yourself here.

THE POLITICALLY SAVVY TRUMP
The Washington Post credits Donald Trump with a “surprisingly savvy analysis of American politics.”

One key advantage that Trump has is that he is unconstrained by the norms of running for office. He doesn’t need to spend time raising money because, however much he actually has, it’s in the billions – hundreds of millions of which are liquid and with millions more coming in regularly. He doesn’t need to actually win, because he’s already accomplished – and employed. He doesn’t need to worry about what he says because so much of his appeal to voters is centered on his not caring what the repercussions are.

All of which means that he’s unconstrained by campaigning. He doesn’t have to prove his chops to you; he’s a billionaire. On “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd asked him if he wanted Ukraine to join NATO. Trump told Todd, without mincing words, that he didn’t care. “If it goes in, great,” Trump said. “If it doesn’t go in, great.”

And let’s be honest: Almost no voters care about Ukraine’s NATO membership either.

Trump, the GOP frontrunner, has flouted other unconventional wisdom that is obviously working to his advantage. What else has he injected into his presidential race that is resonating with voters? Connect to this link for the full analysis.

PULASKI ACADEMY’S GONZO FOOTBALL COACH GETS MORE RADICAL
More national headlines about P.A.’s Kevin Kelley and his latest radical idea.

Kevin Kelley, the head football coach at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas, has gained renown in recent years for his gonzo football philosophy. He is the coach who almost never punts and almost always kicks onside after scores.

The strategy has made his teams consistently successful and provided him minor, cultish fame. He is 77-17 at Pulaski, with multiple state championship appearances. It’s weird. It also works.

Kelley’s philosophy hatched from his devotion to statistical analysis. The underlying math and probability made him believe that possession in football had been astonishingly undervalued, and that it was irrational to give the ball away when you had a chance to keep it. Only convention dictated normal punting and kickoff patterns. Imagine, he likes to say, if punting had never been part of football. What would fans think if a coach suddenly sent out a specialized player to kick away the ball after three plays?

So what has Kelley concocted now? It’s safe to say this will be his most unconventional move, and one that he believes has the potential to zoom his team down the field even quicker than they’ve played in the past.

And you’re not going to believe what he has come up with. Think Rugby. Lateral to this link to read more.

FOOD ON A STICK
As the BBC reports, Americans have a love affair for it.

U.S. politicians have been photographed eating pork chops on a stick at a state fair in Iowa, a key swing state for presidential hopefuls. The fair boasts more than 70 different varieties of food on a stick. What’s the obsession?

There’s sausage on a stick. Chicken on a stick. And corn on-the-cob on a stick. Cheese and fruit come on a stick. So do marshmallows.

You can buy hard-boiled eggs and honey on a stick. Deep-fried brownies, apple-pie and chocolate-covered cookies ‘n cream come on a stick. So does fried peanut butter and jelly and tater dog (potato).

Oh, and let’s don’t forget about the fried Twinkie.

Take a look here at the history of this calorie-laden compliment of fairs all across the country for the shtick on food on a stick.

THE IOWA STATE FAIR
Vintage photos of butter sculptures and carnival rides highlight a wonderful gallery of pictures taken by Life magazine photographer John Dominis in 1955.

LIFE photographer John Dominis attended the Iowa State Fair in its 101st year, 1955, and captured much of what today’s attendees would see too — save for some wardrobe updates. The excitement contained within his Technicolor images was encapsulated by the observation one young visitor made that year. “Except for Christmas,” he said, “it’s the most important thing that happens all year.”

Enjoy at this link.

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