Joe Biden’s Potential Presidential Campaign ‘Ramping Up,’ Says Adviser

August 2, 2015 by  
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Vice President Joe Biden “is 90 percent in” when it comes to making a decision about running for the White House, according to one political adviser. 

Biden’s advisers told ABC News that “his political team has been ramping up in recent days, entering what they call a more active phase,” Cecilia Vega reported Sunday on “This Week.” 

“In camp Biden, there are discussions about fundraising and launching a political action committee, and while the vice president himself hasn’t authorized any of these moves, one adviser tells ABC News he believes Biden is 90 percent in,” Vega said.

After the vice president’s son Beau Biden died of brain cancer in May, several of his friends encouraged Biden to run for president in 2016, according to The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman.

If Biden decides to run for the third time, he will go against Democratic candidates that include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.).

In a recent Quinnipiac poll, 13 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Biden, while 55 percent would vote for Clinton. However, Clinton’s favorability ratings have been sliding in recent weeks. According to the Quinnipiac poll, 57 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of the former first lady. The same poll showed Biden with his highest favorability rating — 49 percent — in seven years. 

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Salon Editorial Staffers Unionize, With Site’s Management Taking ‘High Road’

August 1, 2015 by  
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Staffers at Salon.com have successfully joined the Writers Guild of America, East, with management at the news site voluntarily recognizing their employees’ union.

Lowell Peterson, the union’s executive director, said in a statement Saturday that the two sides have agreed to start working toward a contract.

“For twenty years Salon has been a bastion of progressive thought and action, and we are very pleased that Salon management has reaffirmed its commitment to take the high road, to recognize and respect its employees’ right to organize,” Peterson said.

News of the agreement was first reported Saturday by International Business Times.

The Huffington Post and other outlets reported Friday that the unionization process was not going as smoothly as many staffers had hoped. Management at Salon had objected to the bargaining unit proposed by the union, but that issue was apparently settled by Saturday.

According to Peterson’s statement, all the editorial employees who originally wanted to be in the union will be included. 

Salon’s editorial staff announced unanimously in early July that they intended to join WGAE, the same union that Gawker Media employees joined this year. The Gawker campaign was the first of its kind in web-only media, which, until this year, had been a union-free industry.

The unionization of Salon comes right on the heels of another successful union campaign at The Guardian. That site’s U.S. employees joined the News Media Guild earlier this week.

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First, They Came For Cosmo…

August 1, 2015 by  
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An anti-porn group announced Wednesday that it had persuaded two major retailers to place Cosmopolitan magazine behind cover-blocking “blinders,” the same kind used on adult magazines like Playboy.

Rite Aid and Delhaize America have agreed to the wrapped covers, Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, told Women’s World Daily. Rite Aid confirmed the decision to HuffPost. Delhaize, which owns Food Lion and Hannaford, has not returned a request for comment.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation changed its name from Morality in Media this year. The new name lends itself to empathy: Who wouldn’t want to fight sexual exploitation? Nobody, until perhaps finding out that to the center, “exploitation” really means “any sexual behavior it doesn’t like.” 

What are the group’s qualms about Cosmo?

“Cosmo is actually just another porn magazine glamorizing and legitimizing a dangerous lifestyle — pushing readers to try violent, group or anal sex,” Hawkins told WWD.

The center’s website also criticizes Cosmo for promoting casual sex and BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism) and for providing detailed descriptions of sex acts.

A National Center on Sexual Exploitation spokeswoman told HuffPost that the group has “not called for removal or a boycott of Cosmopolitan,” just that it be covered from public view and not sold to minors. Still, the group, which notes that it opposes all forms of pornography, calls the magazine “pornographic.”

It’s true that Cosmo has a serious diversity problem in its pages, offers ridiculous sex tips, pressures readers to live up to conventional beauty standards, and has historically had an unhealthy focus on “pleasing your man.” But it’s also one of the few magazines that unabashedly celebrates female sexuality. Cosmo doesn’t pretend there is anything wrong with women wanting or liking sex, and it gives its readers extensive information about birth control.

Putting Cosmo behind blinders sends the message that sex and female sexuality are shameful. But then that is the implicit message behind many statements from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Its website’s “Frequently Asked Questions” section is filled with scare-tactic misinformation like the scientifically unsupported claim that watching porn featuring adults leads users to seek out child porn. The FAQ section also essentially states that adult film actors can never truly consent to the work.

The group takes the position that all pornography is a form of exploitation:


Rarely do those being exploited truly give informed consent. This is where the person consenting has a full understanding of what they are agreeing to, the consequences, and the potential risks. Abuse of power or taking advantage of someone’s vulnerability, whether or not they said “yes,” is exploitation. One may consent and still be sexually exploited, as in the case of a porn model.

Aside from the fact that it’s insulting to say that adult human beings can’t tell whether they are being exploited, conflating victims of abuse and sex trafficking with all sex workers obscures the data and harms people in both groups. Hiding the cover of Cosmo also does nothing to help the real victims.

Should little kids be reading how-tos on oral sex? No, but we also don’t know many 8-year-olds who are going to the store and buying Cosmo on their own.

If parents fear the magazine will warp young minds, they can choose not to bring it into their homes. But it would do a lot more good if they talked to their children about healthy sexual behavior and supported comprehensive sexual education in schools.

Contact the author of this article.

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Jeffrey Dwoskin: Looking To Tweet Great Stuff? Play Hashtag Games

July 31, 2015 by  
Filed under Humor

Sure, you can post about that amazing bowl of oatmeal you just ate. Who doesn’t want to tap into your hands-on knowledge that ‘raisins, not the brown sugar, really make the oatmeal *a meal*!’ But after you’ve posted about your oatmeal, now what?

Read more: Hashtag Games, Twitter, Comedy, Trends, Satire, Twitter Hashtag Games, Humor, Media Humor, Comedy News

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There’s A Movie Donald Trump Doesn’t Want You To See. It’s About Him.

July 31, 2015 by  
Filed under Videos

Want to see a video about Donald Trump that tells you more than he’d like you to know?

Here’s the preview.

You’ll notice that the trailer for “Trump: What’s the Deal?” mentions that the film was made “some years ago.” A quarter of a century later, here it is. What happened?

Our story starts in 1988, in the decade of greed, when Donald Trump was a business and media hero.

Leonard Stern, a New York pet food mogul, decided to finance a series of documentaries about celebrity businessmen. He did a smart thing — he chose Donald Trump, riding his bestselling book “The Art of the Deal” and beloved by the media, for the first show.

I was called in to write the piece after the filmmakers shot the footage. It was easy work, because they had remarkable stuff: Donald working with the mob in Atlantic City, intimidating tenants, hiring illegal immigrant labor, verbally assaulting his family and underlings, trying to move a Florida airport because jets flew directly over his home… the list goes on and on.

Perhaps most interesting from a political point of view, the filmmakers revealed Trump to be the opposite of a small-government conservative. He got his start with his father’s money and political connections, and he made money the same way his father did: on the backs of taxpayers.

But most upsetting to Trump was the film’s revelation that he hadn’t made as much money as he said he had. The producers were among the first to show that his financial empire was built on braggadocio… as recent reports show it to be to this day.

The revelations about Donald never seemed to end. There was so much for the filmmakers to learn about Trump — his exaggerations, distortions, near-criminal behavior and, most of all, his deepening financial disaster — that the documentary was three years in the making.

“Trump: What’s the Deal?” was never shown on television. Donald Trump went after Leonard Stern — in a big way. Lawyer’s letters. Threats of lawsuits. Personal attacks.

Stern decided he didn’t need the trouble and canceled the series. The producers finished the film. But no broadcaster would touch it. Trump had done his work.

Now Trump is the hottest story in American politics, and the producers think it’s time for a film that reveals who he really is. As they say: “Old Trump? New Trump? Same Trump.”

Get the popcorn. Pour a cold drink. And watch a movie so hot that Donald Trump did everything he could to keep you from seeing it.

To watch the full documentary, click here.

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Now Watch This Amazing TV Reporter Whip, Watch Him Nae Nae

July 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Videos

This reporter is giving us life!

During an on-air break, Fox 5 San Diego reporter Walter Morris delivered way more than news — he served up some fly dance moves to Silentó’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).” 

 

After seeing Morris do his thing on the monitors in between segments, the news anchors let the cameras roll. 

“He’s so happy to be here that he dances like that,” the anchors said. “He loves his job.”

Yass, Walter Morris, get it!

Also on HuffPost:

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British Columnist Katie Hopkins Wants ‘Euthanasia Vans’ Because There Are ‘Too Many Old People’

July 29, 2015 by  
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A British TV personality and columnist said she supports “euthanasia vans” because there are “too many old people.” 

Katie Hopkins, who is currently a columnist for The Sun, made the comments during an interview with Radio Times magazine.  

“We just have far too many old people,” she said. “It’s ridiculous to be living in a country where we can put dogs to sleep but not people.”

Her solution? Euthanasia vans that go to homes like ice cream trucks. “It would all be perfectly charming. They might even have a nice little tune they’d play. I mean this genuinely. I’m super-keen on euthanasia vans. We need to accept that just because medical advances mean we can live longer, it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

Hopkins defended her controversial stances in a video published Tuesday by the Guardian. 

“I have to be fearless in my defense of my opinion, and that’s what I try to do,” she said. “I think, actually, I give a voice to … the regular, good, everyday British citizen who’s trying their best to do the right thing for their family. For me, that’s who I represent. That’s who I’m really keen to stand up for.”

Hopkins is gearing up for the debut of her panel show on TLC, “If Katie Hopkins Ruled The World,” set to premiere next month. 

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HuffPost What’s Working Honor Roll: A New Program Helps Parents And Kids Learn Tech Skills Alongside Each Other

July 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Videos

As journalists, we dutifully report on what’s going wrong, from scandals and corruption to natural disasters and social problems. But far too often the media fails to show the whole picture, neglecting to tell the stories of what is working. From scientific breakthroughs to successful crime-reduction initiatives, the What’s Working Honor Roll highlights some of the best reporting and analysis, from a range of media outlets, on all the ways people are working toward solutions to some of our greatest challenges.  

Slate: How A New Program Helps Parents And Children Bond Through Shared Screen Time

A new educational program called Tech Goes Home is helping parents and their preschool-aged children learn tech skills alongside each other. The aim of the program is to create more productive shared screen time between parents and youngsters; while children develop cognitive skills through educational apps, parents improve their computer literacy. Local teachers and administrators, trained by TGH, facilitate the tech classes.

“The goal is to help the parent get comfortable with the technology, so they can get involved and engage with their child’s use of the computer, to see it as a learning tool, instead of a pacifier or a babysitter,” librarian Jamie Dunne-Duarte told Slate.

Currently, 175 young children are enrolled in the program, ranging in age from preschool to first grade. Many come from poor families in black and Hispanic communities that may not have access to high-speed broadband service in their homes.

Although the program isn’t free, it’s cheap for participants: a $50 registration fee allows parents to purchase an iPad for classroom use. TGH also aides parents in finding low-cost broadband Internet service providers.  

Theodora Higginson, the co-director of TGH, envisions at least 100 more families enrolling in the early-childhood courses for the 2015–2016 school year.

“We’ll sit down and play with it together,” Eileen Pena said about going to the program with her daughter. “I ask her questions. And she’ll say, ‘OK, Mommy, this is what you do. You do this, you do this and you do this.’ I’m actually learning from her.”

MORE: 

NY Times: Brooklyn Law School Offers To Repay 15 Percent Of Tuition For Graduates Struggling To Find Jobs

Positive News: Goodwill Campaign Frees Thousands Of Americans From $15 Million Of Debt

Washington Post: A Maryland College Tests A New Approach To Remedial Math

If you know a story you think should be on our Honor Roll, please send an email to our editorial fellow via aaron.barksdale@huffingtonpost.com with the subject line: “WHAT’S WORKING.” 

Also on HuffPost :

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Joni Edelman: 17 Drinks For The Modern (Exhausted, Overworked) Mother

July 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Humor

Mom-osa: This is like a mimosa, only leave out the OJ. Because your greedy, selfish children drank it all. That’s fine. Juice is for babies.

Read more: Motherhood, Satire, Comedy, Cocktails, Parents-Moms, Mom Cocktails, Cocktails for Moms, Gin, Mojito, Cocktail Recipes, Parents News

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More Than Half of Americans Have Social Media Regrets

July 27, 2015 by  
Filed under Videos

Oops, I Did It Again

Just last month the fashion world learned of yet another social media casualty as J.Crew’s Alejandro Rhett, the vice president of men’s merchandising, posed for Instagram photos after staff layoffs. Hashtagged #hungergames and #maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavor, the insensitive photos were quickly deleted, but screenshots can still be seen on the Web.

Just a week earlier, a fourth-grade teacher at Texas’ Bennett Elementary school posted an article to her Facebook page in response to the now-famous, “pool party” incident in nearby McKinney, Texas. “This makes me ANGRY!” reads the post from Fitzgibbons, referring to police officer Eric Casebolt’s resignation after being caught video throwing a black, bikini-clad teenage girl to the ground. “This officer should not have to resign. I’m going to just go ahead and say it…the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension,’” she continued. “I guess that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education.”

These types of social media missteps have Americans increasingly concerned about what they post online. According to a new YouGov Omnibus survey, Americans who admit to making mistakes on social media are less worried today about sounding foolish than they were two years ago, but much more worried about damaging their reputation at work. Twenty-one percent surveyed are concerned they might adversely affect their careers with a questionable social media post.

The same survey found 14 percent are afraid they may hurt relationships with family or partners by sharing misguided images or messages. As it turns out, 24 percent of women were much more likely to worry about possible damage to their close relationships than men, at 18 percent. Racially, while men appear are more worried about the effect of such blunders on their career, than women, at 20 percent versus 8 percent, respectively.

2015-07-25-1437868691-5150429-chartbiggestregret.png

Taken as a whole, 57 percent of Americans who use social media have posted or texted something that they regret afterwards. One in six regret a post at least once a week, and these numbers vary depending on age, with 20 percent of Millennials (18 to 34) being the worst regular offenders.

When these mistakes occur, is an interesting aspect of the study. Social media blunders are happening at home, late at night when tired, or after drinking alcohol. And these habits vary widely depending on the age group, with statistical results below.

2015-07-26-1437869139-9253457-momentregrets.png

In the end, the moral of the social media story is: stay conscientious, my friends. You never know what may come of an impromptu share.

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