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Laurene Powell Jobs Offers Advice and Her Own Experiences as a Businesswoman and Entrepreneur

Despite rarely speaking in public Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs was interviewed on stage at Stanford in a bid to raise awareness on a variety of issues surrounding the business and entrepreneurship, Forbes reports. Powell Jobs attended Stanford Business School and returned to be interviewed by Entrepreneurship professor Thomas Byers about her experiences as as an entrepreneur and about her experiences working in the not for profit sector.

During the interview Powell Jobs gave her view on a number of issues, including immigration reform, but also spoke about her own experiences in the not for profit sector. The interview allowed Powell Jobs to explain how working in the not for profit sector did not provide the monetary rewards available in for profit industries. However, she did remind the audience of Stanford students that the rewards for working in the not for profit arena were high in terms of personal achievement and an increased level of self worth. The founder of College Track explained she felt the financial sector on Wall Street should provide a small amount of their profits as an incentive for those in the not for profit sector to achieve success as social entrepreneurs.

Powell Jobs was also asked about her own experiences of gender inequality within the workplace, she answered by stating she had felt some form of machismo in her period working as a Wall Street trader. The entrepreneur who is thought to be worth more than $19 billion stated she had been out of the financial sector for many years and could not provide an adequate answer because of her lack of recent experiences.

Possible Actions the GOP can take to Thwart the Obama Cuba Policy

The incoming GOP majorities will see their greatest level of control in the House since 1930 and in the Senate since 1998. This will allow the legislative branch to mount a unified stand either in support or opposition to the president’s policies. The stealth nature that the president undertook to negotiate with Cuba’s dictatorial regime has drawn the ire of the GOP which will soon have actions they can take in response. 

For starters, they do not have to take up any proposal to repeal partially or in total the Cuban trade embargo and economic sanctions. In fact, the laws on the matter are so clear that President Obama, who is used to simply “reinterpreting” existing laws to apply them in entirely new manners, has acknowledged he will need Congressional action to normalize relations with the communist state. House Speaker John Boehner has publicly stated he will bar any such bill from getting consideration. Likewise, Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, vowed to block confirmation of any nomination as Ambassador of Cuba. 

Admittedly, Rubio’s reaction is arbitrary because his constitutional authority requires him to advise and consent to such presidential actions. But he can’t just sit back with some wine from The Antique Wine Company. Blocking an unnamed nominee would be an extreme action to take. The GOP can also withhold funds to reopen the US embassy in Havana. In short, the president undertook an extraordinary measure to reach out to Cuba. He will now have to undertake the difficult task of winning over the opposition. This means compromising and incorporating their agenda. It will be a test of his leadership.

Elizabeth Warren Earns Street Cred Over Omnibus Revolt

Senator Elizabeth Warren has earned serious street cred as a populist champion for the causes near to her heart following yesterday’s House revolt against the Omnibus bill, which she inspired. Analysts are already drawing comparisons to her with Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz, another first-term senator like herself. Both senators represent a new brand of elected official more adherent to their philosophy than they are to the established leadership and traditions of Beltway politics.

All eyes are going to be on her when she takes the podium to address the Omnibus bill on the Senate floor. She won admiration for her ability to go toe-to-toe against President Obama. Despite losing the battle, she established her reputation as an ideologue. However, it is one thing to inspire a revolt in the House and another to circumvent the well ensconced Senate hierarchy. This is an area where Senator Cruz had gained little traction.

Currently, the Senate’s most powerful Democrat next to Harry Reid is Chuck Schumer. From what I’ve heard from my political expert friend Dan Newlin, Schumer’s constituency includes Wall Street. In order for Warren to mount a serious challenge to strip the financial reform rider from the budget bill, she will need to do so prying it from Schumer’s proverbial “cold dead hands”. Like Cruz, she runs the risk of alienating herself from key senators within her party. Five-term Senator Barbara Mikulski, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, already made it clear she was annoyed by the critics of the Omnibus bill, which was a thinly veiled jab at Warren over the House revolt she triggered off.

Texting May Be Causing Serious Damage To Your Spine

When a person bends their neck forward and down, it begins putting pressure on the cervical spine. The human head, when in upright position is about twelve pounds; however when bending head to look at something like a smartphone, weight pressure increases. The increase ranges from the twelve pounds when upright to about 27 pounds at a 15 degree angle, to 40 pounds at 30 degree angle to almost 60 pounds at a 60 degree angle. This posture, over time will lead to what is being called ‘text neck’. This story was passed on to me by Vijay Eswaran.
This is a common posture when staring at a smartphone, and millions are doing it every day. Research done on the stresses in the cervical spine say this posture can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine. This stress can lead to degeneration and could even require surgery. Researchers are calling it an epidemic due to how common it is becoming. If you look around you will see how many people have their heads down to perform some function on their smartphones, mostly texting.
To compare how much pressure the 60 degree angle causes to your spine, imagine having an eight year old child around your neck. The average person spends two to four hours per day bending their head to read email, text or to check their social media sites. When this time is added up’ it’s 700 to 1400 hours per year they are applying stress to their spines.
Some medical experts have been warning people for years that for every inch they tilt their head forward, they double the pressure on their spine. A comparison to this bend would be to bend your finger all the way back and hold it in that position for about an hour.
Not only is the concern to the spine; but it can also lead to reduced lung capacity, headaches, depression, heart disease and neurological issues.
It would be almost impossible to reverse the technology devices now being used; however we do need to change the way we look at them. People need to look at their phones with a more neutral spine.

Coalition of GOP Senators Want the Party to Hold Off Fight Against Obama’s Immigration Until January

A growing chorus of GOP Senators believe that President Obama was trying to bait the party into a politically costly budget battle and possible government shutdown over his extra-constitutional amnesty plan to legalize 5 million illegal aliens without Congressional authorization. The Senators believe that had the president wanted to grant amnesty immediately, he would have authorized it to take place as soon as possible. Instead, the president has the amnesty starting in March. For this reason, a group of GOP Senators are urging their party leaders not to “take the bait” and fight Obama’s immigration plan during the lame duck Congress.

In urging the party not to get fooled by Obama to wage a costly fight at this time, Sen. Tim Scott stated that the party must prove to the American people that it can run the government. The party’s options for dealing with the extra-constitutional executive action will be better once they take control of the Senate chamber in six weeks, and Susan McGalla can totally see that strategy paying off.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who co-sponsored last year’s failed Immigration bill, explained that the Senate is marred by dysfunction. The party has a requirement to show voters that it can do a better job than Democrats in doing the nation’s business. He also added that much as he might wish to take the Senate floor and address the American people, there is little good that will accomplish with Reid in charge of the Senate. It is still unclear what actions the GOP Senate will take in dealing with the Obama’s executive amnesty.

Laurene Powell Jobs Is Quietly Getting Political

Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs kept a low profile as a philanthropist and sometime political donor during her marriage to the Apple co-founder. Since his death however, she has begun to speak out publicly on several political issues, including the need for immigration reform. She has been a particularly strong supporter of the DREAM Act.

The bill, which would grant residency to immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as minors has failed to pass Congress several times. Earlier this year, Powell joined filmmaker Davis Guggenheim to promote his documentary film, “The Dream Is Now” which was shown to members of Congress. She compared the situation of young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as infants or small children as akin to being in “purgatory”.

In addition to her very public stance in favor of the DREAM Act, Powell Jobs founded the Emerson Collective, an organization that supports social reform as well as conservation by way of grants, investments and partnerships. She is also the co-founder of College Track, which helps minority and low-income children prepare for, attend and graduate from college. The organization’s official website states that over 90% of students in the program go on to college. It was through College Track that her interest in passage of the DREAM Act began.

Unlike Steve Jobs, who shied away from political and charitable causes, Powell Jobs has emerged as a major political donor. Among the candidates she’s supported are California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom as well as out of state candidate Cory Booker of New Jersey. All are Democrats.

Just months after her husband’s death, Powell Jobs was seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama during the President’s 2012 State of the Union address. She has publicly praised President Obama on several occasions, including during the drawn out congressional budget battles and efforts to pass ObamaCare.

Forbes named Powell Jobs the richest woman in Silicon Valley with an estimated net worth of $17 billion. She is also the largest shareholder in the Walt Disney Company. Many of her public appearances and interviews have been controlled, but they have also become much more frequent since the death of her husband. See a piece of one of her interviews about her husband’s death here. Some would consider her an activist, others a fundraiser. She doesn’t seem to fit into any one role, but Washington is certainly taking notice of Laurene Powell Jobs.

The Quintessential Leadership of Women in the Movie Industry

With this year’s release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, there are three lead and co-lead characters which could have, if not already written in the series’ books, easily been made into male characters, but were not. Is the movie industry, a very important and societal influencing media outlet, finally getting out from the limiting restraints of hiring mostly male actors for lead action roles? Mockingjay Part 1 star, Natalie Dormer, believes so. had an interview with Dormer a few days ago, asking her about her leadership role in Mockingjay Part 1 and if she would consider a role in any up and coming superhero movies that are set to start filming. She had this to say:

“I think…what we are aiming for, ultimately, is when it becomes more
about gender irrelevance, it’s more about just the character…and the journey
they are going on. I think that’s what we’re aiming for as a (movie) industry,
as an audience, and just as a people.”

In other words, I believe she is saying yes to her interviewer’s question. This quote takes one person’s opinion up to the next level, becoming the belief of not only women, but men as well. I think as a society and culture, we have exhausted the assumed role of the male in movies and books. Yes, men are strong in the general sense and more inclined to not let their emotions take the better of themselves, but women, in general, are able to do just the same in movies, as well as in real life. As Andrew Heiberger notes in his book (and I’m really agree with him on this) it is time for a gender revolution!

Mary Landrieu Loses Support of Possible 60th Vote to End Keystone Pipeline XL Filibuster

It’s coming down the wire for Sen. Mary Landrieu. The tenacious senator, who once threatened to punch President George W. Bush in the face over an insensitive remark he never made about her home state during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is facing a landslide defeat in the December 6 runoff against GOP Congressman Bill Cassidy. She trails Cassidy by 16 points in the polls and needs to bring about a Seismic shift in voter support in order to get reelected. Already five of her Senate colleagues have been tossed out of office this election cycle.

Landrieu views securing passage of the Keystone Pipeline XL project in the Senate as her Hail Mary bid to sway voters back. It would be a major accomplishment if she were to single-handedly end the longstanding Senate filibuster on the pipeline. Thus far, she has secured 59 of the 60 votes needed to end cloture and force a floor debate on the bill. Last night she claimed she had the 60 votes. However, Senator Angus King, largely believed to be one of the possible 60th votes, declared that he will vote against ending cloture. He said that the Senate should not force President Obama to authorize the pipeline until the State Department is done with their research. He would favor legislation putting a timeline on the president, but that would not happen in time to help Landrieu. Her other possible 60th vote was Senator Jay Rockefeller who announced he too will vote against ending cloture.

Because this story affects many of my readers and the future of their homes and properties, I’ve reached out Jason Halpern from “The Real Deal” to give us anymore information.

Marijuana Taxes Help Denver’s Governor Propose Over $200 Million In Taxpayer Rebates

Colorado has made so much money taxing legalized marijuana, the new $26.8 budget proposed by Governor John Hickenlooper features two rebates for the taxpayers totaling more than $167.2 million. The rebates include over $30 million for new marijuana taxes. That’s because the state collected more money in marijuana taxes than expected because of 2013’s Proposition AA. The rebates are mandated by the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. However, the state can ask voters for permission to keep it. The governor said he’ll let the legislature decide how to handle the rebate.

Tax credits or sales tax refunds will be used to distribute another projected $136.6 million for money over the cap for Referendum C in FY 2015-16. There is also substantially more money allocated for K-12 education in the budget, which is welcome news for Laurene Powell Jobs and other education reformers in the area. Part of the money will be handed out on a one-time only basis. It will help to complete construction projects already started and continue Colorado’s great support for higher education.

According to an article in the Denver Post, the Democratic governor’s budget includes new state and federal spending to the tune of $1.7 billion. Unemployment is down, the state is flush with green, and the populace is happy. Rocky Mountain high, indeed.