ESPN has an interesting, if somewhat general, piece about whether the NFL could use more female scouts to avoid groupthink in the draft, and to help teams avoid players who might end up making a team atmosphere toxic, rather than helping a squad cohere:
Women, on the other hand, are much less likely to have blinders when it comes to big moves. They also do a better job placing choices in context. In football terms, female scouts might have seen that Vince Young, for all his awesome talent, was not a good fit with the team, coaching staff or scheme in Tennessee.
Another place where the NFL could really use a woman’s touch is with the impossible task of predicting how a newly minted 21-year-old millionaire will behave once he hits the league. Most teams use personal interviews to gauge a potential player’s intangibles — work ethic, leadership, motivation, teamwork — but the results would likely be more reliable if women were leading this process. Shrira says studies show that women are intuitively better at discerning and exploring a candidate’s character. Adds Spencer, “This is the unique dimension women would add to the draft: getting to the absolute heart and soul of a player.”
A lot of the piece is based in general business psychology, rather than in the track records of the very few women (like Linda Bogdan, pictured here) who have gotten a say in NFL. But that research and the evidence of other successful businesses do make a compelling case that any organization might want to consider diversity not simply for its public image, but for its bottom line. Different perspectives can bring not just different ways of making decisions, but different costs and potential problems to light. Myra Kraft famously convinced the Patriots to release Christian Peter after the team drafted the man even though he had a horrible record of violence against women. A scouting corps that included more women might be more likely to weigh past records of such allegations more seriously, not just because abusing women is bad, but because players who get in trouble outside of the stadium lose playing time and mental focus.
There’s no question that it won’t be easy to get more women in the scouting and executive ranks. It’s not like there are no women who are substantially interested in football, but it is a specialization beyond general business acumen. And if, as the article points out, women tend to get powerful positions in NFL teams only if they’re related to the owner, even if they perform well, that’ll likely be a hurdle to convincing other teams that they got their on their own abilities, no matter how sterling those abilities are. Allegations of nepotism tend to stick, even if they’re utterly unfounded. I’m not sure what the way in will turn out to be. But, rooting interests aside, I’d applaud whatever team decided to seek new insight and get some women in the mix. Neither men nor women are collectively perfect decision-makers. But new eyes and new perspectives are rarely a bad idea, and it would be interesting to see how female scouts challenge the existing consensus about what’s valuable in the NFL, and in other sports.
Koch Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) — who is deeply indebted to Koch Industries for more than $100,000 in donations — is outspoken against clean energy investment. Recently, he celebrated when the Senate failed to extend the wind energy tax credit in a 49-49 vote. However, he is celebrating the threat to 37,000 jobs in the relatively young industry, when the production tax credit is set to expire at the end of the year.
Even as the oil industry enjoys $4 billion in subsidies a year, Pompeo lamented the cost of the production tax credit, claiming the wind industry would be fine on its own:
?The program has been around an awfully long time and it?s time to let that industry stand on its own two feet. And I?m confident that they?ll do it,? he said. ?There?s great, creative engineers and innovators in the alternative energy field, and I?m confident they?ll be successful.?
It now costs the government more than $1 billion a year to hand out 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of wind power ? and enough is enough, says Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.).
“We?ve been subsidizing some of these industries with tax credits for multiple decades, and every time they get to the end of the line, they get within a year, they say, ?If you just give me? ? fill in the blank ? ?one more year, four more years, that?s all I want. Just a little more time,?? said Pompeo, who is leading a charge against the PTC and other energy subsidies.
?What history would demonstrate is they would continue to come back to the federal trough and ask for more time yet again at the end,? he added.
History has shown that the three times the production tax credit expired, wind investments dropped. Meanwhile, Big Oil has benefited from 100 years of consistent tax breaks, even though the industry had a record-high year of $137 billion profits. And Pompeo, who benefits from these profits, has made clean energy his punching bag.
Dana Milbank has, for once, gotten it right with regard to Mitt Romney. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee will not be able to Etch-a-Sketch his way out of support for SB 1070. The law, passed two years ago and now being reviewed by the Supreme Court, presumes to pre-empt the federal government on enforcement of immigration law.
While Romney tacks back toward what passes for the center these days as the general election campaign gets under way, he's going to have a hard time separating himself from this law he has called a "model" and from its tea party author, Russell Pearce. Milbank says:
Pearce, the former Republican president of the Arizona Senate, is the author and self-described ?driving force? behind S.B. 1070, that state?s law ? endorsed by Romney ? cracking down on illegal immigrants. Pearce told The Post?s Felicia Sonmez this month that Romney?s ?immigration policy is identical to mine,? and he told reporters this week that Romney ?absolutely? gave him the impression that he saw the Arizona law as a national model.This just adds to Romney's problem with a key voter demographic: Latinos. As recently noted by kos, only 14 percent of Latinos supported Romney for president as of the second week of April, with 70 percent for President Obama. Romney's having backed Pearce's law and the racial profiling that, of necessity, is required by its implementation, will not be forgotten.
Pearce's testimony at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Tuesday, which was boycotted by Senate Republicans, provided additional evidence of his extremism. Not just his, however. He wasn't off base when he pointed out that the Arizona law represents ?by far the majority opinion of my party.?
That is why the Etch-a-Sketch technique will be a major fail on this issue.
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The pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action and the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund have spent $1 million in a television and online ad buy in two states?Colorado and Nevada?to air this ad focusing on Mitt Romeny's ties to big oil.
"Big oil's fingerprints are all over him," the ad says, pointing to reports that conservative groups - including Americans for Prosperity, backed by the wealthy brothers Charles and David Koch - plan to spend $200 million in support of electing Romney.These are two key states for President Obama in 2012. He took Colorado handily in 2008, by eight points, and Nevada by 12 points. But the states can't be taken for granted this year, even the big edge Obama holds with Latino voters in the West. Nevada, particularly, has been economically devastated in the great recession.
It reminds voters in these less-than-prosperous states of Romney's big money and the massive $200 million commitment big oil has made to make him president. While they're paying higher and higher prices at the pump, the companies driving those prices higher are trying to buy the White House.
RIP: 1904 - 2012Count me among those who do not mourn the passing of the childish fantasy of Confidence Fairies and Invisible Bond Vigilanties.British Economy Slips Back Into RecessionBy JULIA WERDIGIER, The New York TimesPublished: April 25, 2012[...]
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Apparently unable to find a legitimate or honest defense for his administration's behavior regarding medical marijuana, President Obama instead resorted to a lie to Rolling Stone about what the law actually says. He claimed he could not change the[...]
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The Gold Report: Matt, in the February 2012 edition of Stansberry’s Investment Advisory, Porter Stansberry predicted gold would hit $9,600 an ounce (oz) someday. How should investors protect themselves from this coming crisis?
Matt Badiali: In general, I agree with Porter’s thesis. Bullion?gold, silver coins or bars?should be part of everyone’s portfolio. It is one of the best anchors against inflation. Gold and gold stocks also are important holdings because as the value of paper money falls, the value of gold rises.
TGR: Stock prices have not gone up as much as the … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: Equities Will Catch Up to Higher Gold Price: Matt Badiali
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The Democratic lawmakers who earlier this week asked for a meeting with Wal-Mart officials who can answer questions about the company's Mexican bribery scandal are now interested in the retailer's connection to lobbying efforts to amend the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.S. law that makes it illegal to bribe foreign officials. The Justice Department is reportedly investigating Wal-Mart for possible FCPA violations.
In letters to the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Chairman of the Board of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) said they are seeking information about Wal-Mart officials' role in organizations pushing for changes to the FCPA.
"We are concerned about the role that Wal-Mart officials may have played in the Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform," the lawmakers said in their letter to Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue, referring to the arm of the organization that has worked on FCPA issues. "It would appear to be a conflict of interest for Wal-Mart officials to advise on ways to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at a time when the leadership of the company was apparently aware of corporate conduct that may have violated the law."
A similar letter was sent to Retail Industry Leaders Association Chairman Gregg Steinhafel.
The letters come in response to a Washington Post article spotlighting the presence of Wal-Mart officials in groups that have been pushing for changes to the FCPA. No one is saying Wal-Mart was involved in the efforts because of its now-revealed problems in Mexico, but, as the lawmaker's letters show, the issue is raising eyebrows.
The Post reported that Wal-Mart was one of more than 20 companies represented on the Institute for Legal Reform board, along with General Electric, ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical. The ILR has advocated for, among other things, limiting a company's liabilities for the actions of a subsidiary, and a clearer definition of who qualifies as a "foreign official." From 2003 to 2010, Thomas Hyde, then Wal-Mart's corporate secretary and top ethics officer, was on the ILR's 40-member board. Hyde was one of the Wal-Mart executives who first received reports of bribes in Mexico in 2005. (The Huffington Post points out that Walmart general counsel Jeff Gearhart was also listed as an ILR board member in recent filings.)
Meanwhile, Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S., serves on the board of directors of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, another of the groups involved in pushing to amend the FCPA, according to the Post.
The debate over the FCPA has in part been fueled by increased federal enforcement over the last few years.
Inside Obama's pop culture push. [...]
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