What role would Kamala Harris play in a Biden administration?

When Joe Biden was narrowing down his list of potential vice presidential picks, one requirement was clear: His running mate on the Democratic ticket would need to be equipped to be an equal partner in the White House.

That line of thinking—that Biden, who at age 77 is a possible one-term President, needed a veep who would be a Democratic leader in her own right—led the nominee to choose Sen. Kamala Harris.

“In making a judgment about Sen. Harris’s talent, Biden must have made a judgment that they could work well together,” says Joel Goldstein, the author of The White House Vice Presidency: The Path to Significance, Mondale to Biden.

But what role would Harris play in a Biden administration? The Biden campaign declined to comment, but a few factors, as Election Day approaches, provide a sense of what to expect.

Biden’s own veep experience

Biden’s approach to his … Read the rest

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As states face budget shortfalls, cannabis and sports betting could flourish

On Election Day, voters in five states will decide ballot initiatives that would legalize cannabis use either recreationally (Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota) or medicinally (South Dakota and Mississippi). Meanwhile, those in Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota will vote on initiatives that would legalize sports betting, to varying degrees, in their own states.

The ballot measures speak partly to changing public attitudes toward both marijuana use and gambling, activities that remain criminalized in large swaths of the country. Yet, both have been gradually accepted in jurisdictions across the U.S. Despite the continued federal prohibition of cannabis, recreational adult use of marijuana is now legal in 11 states plus the District of Columbia, while the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse a federal ban on sports betting in 2018 has seen the practice now allowed in 22 states plus D.C.

If those numbers were already expected to swell in the … Read the rest

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GM poaches Delta CFO Paul Jacobson

General Motors has hired Delta Air Lines’ chief financial officer to become its next CFO, convincing Paul Jacobson to trade the struggling aviation industry for the slightly less struggling auto business.

Jacobson, 48, will become GM’s CFO on December 1, according to a press release Friday afternoon. He will replace Dhivya Suryadevara, a star executive who unexpectedly left GM in August to become CFO at payments company Stripe.

A longtime Delta executive who became CFO in 2012, Jacobson was already planning to leave the company early this year. He announced his retirement in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most air travel and flattened the airline industry, but rescinded that retirement in April, at the request of CEO Ed Bastian.

Jacobson “has worked tirelessly throughout this year to save costs and protect our future, and I appreciate his leadership through some of the darkest days of Delta’s … Read the rest

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If Trump wants to boost American manufacturing, he should keep the borders open

On the campaign trail and in front of White House cameras, President Trump talks frequently about bringing back factory jobs, steel jobs, and coal jobs. It’s a seductive idea. But if America truly wants to rebuild its manufacturing sector, its government should be actively working to outfit its workforce for the factories of the future, not the past. 

How can the country’s leaders accomplish that? The first step is to be straight with Americans about what the economic future really holds in store. Meanwhile, U.S. political leaders should be working with educators and industry to close the gaps in Americans’ STEM skills. At the same time, policymakers should be reversing course on the country’s current harmful immigration policies, keeping America’s borders open to talented immigrants with the right training to help industry make the leap.

Here in Ontario, we lost 250,000 factory jobs during the recession of 2008, from a … Read the rest

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The stock market’s ‘presidential predictor’ just started signaling that Joe Biden will win the election

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For market watchers, this week’s stock rout—in which the S&P 500 has fallen 5.6% in three days— comes with additional significance: it could determine whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will win the election.

The so-called Presidential Predictor, as dubbed by Sam Stovall—a well-known S&P analyst and the chief investment strategist for CFRA—has correctly determined the presidential election winner with only one exception, an 88% success rate.

It works like this: If the S&P 500 rises from August through October, the incumbent party (in this case, Republican—Trump) is reelected to the White House. If the S&P 500 falls over the three-month stretch, the Oval Office flips to the opposing party (in this case, Democrat—Joe Biden).

This year, for much of that period, stocks have soared to … Read the rest

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The COVID vaccine timeline: Where the candidates are now—and what’s still to come

The mad dash to create and manufacture a COVID vaccine isn’t quite over. But the beginning of the end may be somewhere in sight.

By late September, four large-scale, late-stage clinical trials were underway for a COVID-19 shot in the United States. These include a candidate from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech (BNT162); Johnson & Johnson drug arm Janssen’s own experimental therapy (JNJ-78436725); one from biotech Moderna (mRNA-1273); and British drugmaker AstraZeneca’s AZD1222.

“Four COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in Phase III clinical testing in the United States just over eight months after SARS-CoV-2 was identified,” said NIAID director Anthony S. Fauci once the Johnson & Johnson trial began enrollment. “This is an unprecedented feat for the scientific community made possible by decades of progress in vaccine technology and a coordinated, strategic approach across government, industry, and academia.”

But the road to developing a vaccine isn’t easy and comes with the … Read the rest

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The governors of Rhode Island and Maryland are from different parties—but agree on these two things

With tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders out of work as a result of the pandemic, Gov. Gina Raimondo knew that traditional job training programs alone would not be enough to solve the state’s unemployment crisis.

Focusing instead on the “matching problem”––the connection between worker and open position that she believes to be one of the biggest barriers to job creation––Raimondo in July launched ‘Back to Work RI,’ a new initiative in partnership with Google. In addition to providing job training, the cross-sector partnership helps to match people out of work with open positions that make sense. Google also provides career coaching in the form of Skipper, its artificial intelligence-driven bot, which helps individuals prepare for the job openings they’ve been matched with.

“It’s a public-private partnership…where we’re providing job training, but we’re doing it in concert with companies who are willing to hire the folks––they are committed to … Read the rest

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Our Nobel Peace Prize win is an honor and a tragedy

Being selected to receive the Nobel Peace Prize is an honor and a humbling recognition of the critical work the World Food Program (WFP) is doing. But it is also impossible to celebrate. 

My colleagues and I are well aware that we are receiving this award only because hundreds of millions of people are at the brink of starvation, and we are striving to keep them alive. This will not change until we commit to finding political solutions to conflicts so people can rebuild their lives and livelihoods. 

While our world has been focused on the health aspects of COVID-19, hunger is the silent killer ravaging communities in the farthest corners of the globe. We don’t see these victims on the nightly news. We don’t keep a real-time tally of the lives lost. But this doesn’t make these mothers and fathers and children any less important, and it doesn’t minimize … Read the rest

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Can Christmas-themed Miracle bars help save America’s devastated bar industry?

Christmas will come early to New York this year. On Nov. 5, a pair of Miracle bars—the pop-up watering holes that scream “holidays” with twerking-Santa decor, elf-shaped mugs, and high-alcohol ‘Christmapolitans’—will open for business at two locations in the East Village and West Village. Nationally, Miracle bars and their Sippin’ Santa cousins will start selling their festive cocktails on Nov. 23.

The franchise started in the East Village in 2014 with Miracle on 9th Street and has since grown into an international behemoth. Last year, there were 107 Miracle outposts, and while the company is still finalizing the 2020 lineup, it expects around 100 participating locations across the country. 

Menus will feature new cocktails such as the Fruitcake Flip—brandy, Jamaican overproof rum, amaretto, and fruitcake—and the On Dasher, made from bourbon, mezcal, sweet vermouth, and spiced hibiscus. The signature “Christmapolitan,” a holiday-themed riff on the Cosmopolitan with cinnamon and spiced cranberry sauce, will be back as well. 

The … Read the rest

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Is it time for a new agency to oversee Big Tech? Many say yes

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The Justice Department’s decision to sue Google this week elicited mixed reactions, but there’s one point on which everyone agreed: The antitrust case will take years to play out. There are various reasons for this—from the complexity of the case to Google’s vast legal resources to the sluggishness of the judicial process—but the upshot is that the search giant will be able to conduct business as usual for the foreseeable future.

Not everyone is satisfied with this situation. As the New York Times reports, a growing number of influential figures, from law professors to former regulators, are calling for a different approach. Concluding that antitrust law is simply too slow, they believe it’s time for a new body to oversee tech behemoths like Apple, FacebookRead the rest

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