Mid-term elections 2018: Do celebrities really influence voters?

Taylor Swift’s Senate candidate lost in the mid-terms but her impact on politics may still be felt.
BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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Oprah Winfrey surprises voters on campaign trail

Oprah Winfrey has been knocking on doors to get voters to make history by backing a black female Democrat to become Georgia’s governor.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Match these quotes to NFL QBs: What 2018 Tiers voters said

League experts offered their takes on this season’s projected starting quarterbacks. See if, based only on quotes, you can guess the 12 they describe.
www.espn.com – NFL

CFDA Reminds Voters to Consider Race, Gender and Inclusivity for This Year’s Fashion Awards

GET OUT THE VOTE: The Council of Fashion Designers of America has reminded voters for its Fashion Awards to give some thought to race, gender and inclusivity.
In an e-mail sent out Monday, CFDA president and chief executive officer Steven Kolb advised recipients, “We truly want the event to celebrate the full creative spectrum and richness of American fashion. Just think of how much fashion is changing, and the diversity of our industry. Designers with broad cultural backgrounds and political ideas are expressing their experiences and beliefs in their collections. Their work deserves greater acknowledgment, acceptance and visibility.”
Nearly 1,000 people are invited to participate and roughly 700 to 750 actively participate in the process for the CFDA Fashion Awards, which calls for nominations and then a vote for winners.
“Over the years, a lot of people have always said that they felt like the same people, over and over, are getting the same awards. Awards are really based on talent. Hopefully, people are nominating and voting based on who they think are doing the best things. But the power’s with the people — with the nominating committee, with the awards’ guild. If they feel there are people who are more deserving then

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Jimmy Kimmel Offers Trump Voters A Way Out Of This Mess

The late-night host had a blunt message for the president’s supporters.
Comedy
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Tony Voters Point to Tight Races and Sure Bets

We interviewed 67 voters about their ballots; it looks as if Kevin Kline will be picking up another award, and it seems like a close contest for best new musical.
NYT > Arts

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Swiss Voters Reject Corporate Tax Overhaul

Swiss voters rejected a corporate tax overhaul plan backed by the government, casting uncertainty over hopes to bring the country’s tax policies in line with international norms while maintaining global competitiveness.
WSJ.com: US Business

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No, Women Voters Don’t Want To Be ‘Seduced’

Pro tip for dudes: When women are choosing who to vote for, they don’t want to be seduced — they want to be acknowledged. 

After Donald Trump declared that all Hillary Clinton, the candidate who has won the greatest number of votes so far in the presidential primary, has going for her is the “woman card,” he was roundly (and rightly) criticized by many women. But in the face of mass sarcasm on Twitter, Piers Morgan decided to step in to defend the Donald’s street cred with the ladies.

In an op-ed for the Daily Mail, Morgan expounded on what women want, and why Donald Trump (who by all empirical evidence fares poorly among women) is the candidate who will deliver on that.

“I watch how the women behave at his gigantic rallies in all parts of America, and I don’t see much hatred in those ecstatic eyes; I see fevered adoration,” wrote Morgan, later commenting: “The irony of Hillary’s position is that there’s only one man in America who can possibly compete with Trump for populist appeal right now, and indeed his ability to seduce women, and that’s her husband Bill.”

Apparently, what women want is “swaggering self-confidence,” “charm,” “non-PC and non-politician style” — oh, and to be “seduced” by their future president.

One could write this off as an isolated incident of Morgan’s condescending language — he also says women “coo” over Trump and turn into “fawning putty” around him — but that would mean ignoring the larger, grosser trend of framing female voters’ interests in romantic terms.

Just weeks ago, white separatist (and Trump supporter) Paul Ray Ramsey advised Trump to “be nice” and then gave him tips on how to seduce women voters. In audio first published on the blog We Hunted The Mammoth, Ramsey tells Trump:

I know you’re a ladies man, your history, but just think about it like when you’re meeting girls or trying to seduce them, there’s a couple of phases. There is the attraction phase which you do well, you’re funny, you’re not a p*ssy, and girls like that. But if you stay in that assh*le mode too long, you don’t get into the comfort stage. And that’s where you are now. You need to get into the comfort stage of seduction — of seducing American women and just be nice.

More mainstream media outlets use coded language to frame women’s votes as well. Women voters aren’t just pandered to or appealed to — they are “wooed.”

(Occasionally the term “woo” is used to describe male voters, but far less frequently, and mostly when talking about the “sex appeal” of women candidates like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. This is equally gross.) 

And sadly, this is not a new trend — though perhaps in an election season dominated by misogyny and male anxiety it is exacerbated. In 2012, Romney tried to “woo women.” A 2014 ad by a conservative SuperPAC urged women voters to break up with their boyfriends, a.k.a. Barack Obama. And another 2014 ad, this time from the College Republican National Committee, shows young women choosing a candidate like a wedding dress on “Say Yes To The Dress.” 

In reality, what most women voters want is for their opinions, their lives and their needs to matter to candidates. This is why women want to hear college tuition and reproductive rights and immigration and abortion and family leave and social security and equal pay discussed on the campaign trail and on debate stages. 

Women aren’t looking to date their future president. So for the love of all things good, please stop talking about “seducing” us. 

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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WSJ Columnist Says She Has Proof Latino Voters Actually Like Donald Trump

Although a Gallup poll released this week shows that Donald Trump is far and away the most disliked Republican presidential candidate among Latino voters, one conservative columnist says she may have found signs to the contrary, courtesy of some anecdotal evidence.

In her column on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan cited a conversation with a Dominican friend to explain why she thinks Trump’s “staying power in the polls reflects a change in the electorate.” 


Something is going on, some tectonic plates are moving in interesting ways. My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesar’s story. “We were very surprised,” at the Trump support, he said. Why? “It’s a Latin-based market!”

There you have it, folks.  

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Why Anti-Establishment Parties Are So Appealing to Dispossessed European Voters

LONDON — Now is not the time to be a politician in one of Europe’s established political parties. Across the continent, interlopers are breaking into the halls of the power. In southern Europe, new parties are emerging to campaign against austerity; in the north, they are rallying against immigration and the European Union. In many ways, Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain are neatly mirrored by UKIP in Britain or the AfD in Germany. Denmark is the latest country to see the surge of discontent overcome established parties.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s center-left alliance was defeated — narrowly — by the center-right coalition in the recent election. But the bigger story was the rise of the Danish People’s Party, a right-wing populist party in the mold of UKIP. Its support rose dramatically to 21 percent, overtaking the mainstream center-right Liberal Party to become the second party of Danish politics. In the face of such a populist surge, the traditional parties that have long divided up Danish politics between them only barely gathered up half the votes cast.

At the other end of the continent, all European eyes are on Alexis Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis and the Syriza coalition that dramatically swept aside the old guard in Greek politics earlier this year. At first glance, Syriza and the DPP could not be more dissimilar, but their origins are remarkably alike. Both have successfully redefined politics as not an argument between left and right, but between elites and the people.

The rise of these insurgent parties has both an economic and a cultural component.

Their success emerges from the economic trends detailed most eloquently and extensively by Thomas Piketty in “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” Across Europe, urban voters from former industrial heartlands, concerned about immigration and marginalized by a globalizing economy, are turning out to vote for these new parties.

“These voters have been abandoned by the mainstream parties, which are becoming ‘cosmopolitan’ and ‘metrosexual.'”

The other group that many insurgent parties appeal to is rural voters put off by the liberal social values being adopted by mainstream parties. As London School of Economics Professor Simon Hix argues, these voters have been abandoned by the mainstream parties, which are becoming “cosmopolitan” and “metrosexual.” Parties of the left are now increasingly dependent on public sector workers and those in cultural industries, while those of the right struggle to extend their appeal beyond business and finance.

It is interesting to see how successfully Denmark’s populist surge married these two constituencies. By making immigration a mainstay of its political discourse over the last decade, the DPP managed to make itself a significant, but ultimately limited part of the Danish political landscape. But in this election, it put its faith in a more centrist leader, who sought to reinvent the people’s party as a voice of the “left behind.” It was able to hoover up votes from Jutland — Denmark’s large, rural peninsula — which suffers from lower growth than Denmark’s cosmopolitan, metropolitan areas.

By arguing that the government should stop spending money on refugees, migrants and foreign aid, and instead halt plans to cut Danish benefits, they campaigned under the slogan, “Du ved, hvad vi står for,” which loosely translates as: “You know what we stand for.”

“You know what we stand for.”

The surge of these kinds of insurgent parties has been made possible by the way that the mainstream parties have changed in recent decades. The late political scientist Peter Mair wrote an extended essay, “Ruling the Void,” about how conventional politics has become alienated from the societies being governed. According to Mair, the mainstream political parties have abandoned their familiar functions of expressing their supporters’ views or representing them. Political movements that were once part of civic life have now become appendages of the state — a governing class that seeks office rather than a chance to represent ideas or groups in society.

This is the void that insurgent parties are trying to fill: acting as channels for popular anger rather than governments-in-waiting. In fact, Reuters reported that the DPP’s leader, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, said:

What we have said before the election is also what we will follow after the election — that we will be where the political influence is greatest. If that is in government, then that is where we will be. If it is outside of the government, then that is where we will be. That is the driver for us, not ministerial titles.

He has spoken openly about wanting to avoid the fate of political movements such as the British Liberal Democrats or the Norwegian Progress Party that were squeezed by the compromises of government.

Europe’s mainstream parties are now, somewhat belatedly, promising to listen to their discontented voters. But it is, by definition, hard for politicians to appeal to an anti-political mood. The challenge facing these established political parties will be to find a way of engaging the disengaged without ignoring their concerns or imitating the insurgent political forces. That is exactly the balancing act that the Danish Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt tried to take on — a challenge that was ultimately her nemesis.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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John Oliver Blasts UK’s Labour Party For Targeting Women Voters With ‘Barbie Bus’

Pet the pretty princess pony!

With a U.K. election in May, political parties are battling over female voters. The Conservative Party has been accused of generally ignoring women voters, giving the Labour Party an opportunity to gain their support, which they should be able to do easily, as long as they don’t decide to campaign for women voters with a patronizing pink bus. They did? Oh …

On Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver took the Labour Party to task for the embarrassing political maneuver, and the equally embarrassing attempts to cover up the political fallout that ensued.

“It is a little insulting that you’re trying to appeal to women adult voters the same way that Mattel attempts to appeal to 8-year-olds,” said Oliver. “And at least Barbie’s pink bus had the good sense to unfold into a sweet hot tub and party den combo.”

Oliver offered the Labour Party a commercial of his own that he believes will fix the political damage done by what’s being called the “Barbie bus.”

Why, yes, it does involve a pretty princess pony!

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” airs Sunday at 11:00 p.m. ET on HBO.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Voters’ Views on Obamacare Split Along Party Lines

Health care is third most important issue to Americans in fall elections, according to polls
healthfinder.gov Daily News
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