Toast, on the floor, buttered side down #CruzFiorina loses big in Indiana

The Ted Cruz campaign

As much as I regret to say it, the addition of Carly Fiorina to the Ted Cruz campaign didn’t help turn things around in the Hoosier State.

There’s a fairly long discussion on Patterico’s Pontifications as to how and why Senator Cruz, Patterico’s favored candidate from the very beginning, failed. To me, it’s simple: Senator Cruz had a platform and a message which was not automatically accepted by Republican primary voters, and he was not very good at selling that message. It is not Donald Trump’s fault that Mr Cruz was not able to sell his message, and it wasn’t Marco Rubio’s or John Kasich’s or Jeb Bush’s fault; the failure was entirely Mr Cruz’s. Patterico, in the comments:

The only one to blame for Senator Cruz losing the nomination is Senator Cruz. He put himself before the voters, was given a fair chance to make his appeals, and he failed to persuade enough of them to vote for him. (me)

I blame the voters. This thing where we blame the candidates sounds nice and all, but the utter and transparent fraudulence of Donald Trump reveals very clearly where the main failing lies, and it is with an electorate that chose a con man over constitutionalism. Did Cruz make mistakes? Sure, everybody does. But he ran a good campaign. He spoke articulately and effectively in favor of the free market and limited government. Anyone who chose Trump over him simply is uninformed or doesn’t care about the stated principles of the party.

It is the voters’ fault, and ours for not recognizing the danger of a system that allows snuggle-toothed chuckleheads so much power over our personal lives, through their ill-considered votes for charlatans who favor a slightly different flavor of big government.

CruzFiorina1I have this image in my mind about the sales manager who says to the CEO, “Look, we had an excellent product, and our sales staff presented it well in almost every case. It’s the fault of the customers for not buying our products!” Such a sales manager would quickly become a former sales manager.

To say that Senator Cruz “spoke articulately and effectively in favor of the free market and limited government” is simply wrong: he may have spoken articulately, but it’s clear that he didn’t speak effectively, or he’d be the winning candidate. More, whatever Donald Trump did, was effective. We can deride it all we want, but, in the end, the only thing that matters is results.

There are no excuses: Ted Cruz was the first candidate in the race, he had a fair shot, and he failed, period. At this point, the only way Donald Trump does not win the nomination is if he just plain drops dead.

The glass cliff?

I have noted the crappy journalism of Gannett, specifically USAToday, previously, and here’s another example:

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer gets $55M to leave

Matt Krantz, USA TODAY 3:24 p.m. EDT May 1, 2016

Yahoo (YHOO) just disclosed the size of its executive pay packages and Marissa Mayer stands to make millions coming or going.

Marissa Mayer, Chief Executive Officer at Yahoo

The CEO of the embattled online news site, currently trying to sell itself, is entitled to severance benefits valued at $54.9 million in case she is terminated without cause, according to a regulatory filing after the market closed Friday. The potential payout would also be triggered by a “change of control,” which includes the sale of the company, according to the filing.

Mayer’s potential payout includes cash severance of $3 million, $26,324 to continue her health benefits, $15,000 for outplacement, and — if that’s enough — nearly $52 million worth of accelerated restricted stock and options.

But wait. That’s just what Mayer gets if she leaves. Mayer was already paid $36 million in 2015 as her regular annual compensation. That total pay package was down nearly 15% from the prior year, but is still well above the median of roughly $12 million paid by executives in the Standard & Poor’s 500. Mayer was paid $42.1 million in 2014, making her the most highly paid female CEO in the S&P 500.

Meanwhile, Yahoo shareholders continue to suffer. The value of Yahoo’s stock lost roughly a third of its value last year. Shares closed Friday at $36.60. And there’s a reason the stock is headed in the wrong direction. Yahoo went from making $7.5 billion in 2014 to losing $4.4 billion in 2015.

There’s more at the original. But look at the headline again: “Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer gets $55M to leave.” If you just looked at the headline, and didn’t read the story, you would (probably) think that Mrs Mayer had been fired, and that she had been given a $55 million “golden parachute.” If you do read the story, you see that that is Mrs Mayer’s contractually defined severance package if she is fired. If you read the whole story, it is very obvious that the author has a harshly negative opinion of Yahoo in general, stating that the company is virtually worthless outside of a couple of external acquisitions that it doesn’t even control. I will not dispute that assessment, but the entire article reeks of the author’s biases.

I spotted that article when a friend put it on Facebook, but Facebook’s programming added a few sort-of related articles, and I found this one interesting:

Why women are often put in charge of failing companies

BY Marianne Cooper | September 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM EDT

Earlier this month, Ellen Pao announced that she was dropping the appeal of her legal case for gender discrimination and retaliation against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.

Observers have noted that Pao’s story brings to life some of the obstacles women can face in the workplace, especially when in leadership roles. For example, many have characterized Pao’s resignation from Reddit as an instance of the “glass cliff.”

Discovered by psychology professors Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam, the glass cliff is a phenomenon in which women are more likely to be put into leadership roles under risky and precarious circumstances. By taking the helm during difficult times, their odds of failure are often higher.

Over the last 10 years, research in a variety of contexts has repeatedly documented the glass cliff.

A study of the 2005 general election in the UK found that in the Conservative party, men were selected to contest seats that were easier to win, while women were selected to contest seats that were unwinnable. Furthermore, an analysis of CEO transitions among Fortune 500 companies over a 15-year period found that white women, and women and men of color were more likely than white men to get promoted to CEO when firms were performing weakly. Another study found that when asked, law students were more likely to assign a problematic legal case to a female attorney than a male attorney.

What this research highlights is that not only do women get fewer leadership opportunities than men, but they also often get different kinds of opportunities. But why?

First, some evidence suggests that the selection of a woman can signal a change in direction, especially when a company has a history of all male leaders. For under-performing companies, selecting a woman can show that a company is implementing the kind of change that is sorely needed.

Second, research indicates that we believe men possess qualities that are more fit with running successful companies, while women possess qualities that can make them more suitable in difficult situations. When asked to describe managers in successful companies, people tended to list more stereotypical masculine qualities (decisive, forceful).

But when asked how desirable different characteristics were for managers of unsuccessful companies, the number of stereotypical female qualities (intuitive, understanding) outweighed the number of masculine ones.

These kinds of findings have led some to conclude that when we think crisis — we think female.

In times of crisis, more stereotypical feminine qualities, like being collaborative or good with people, are often seen as particularly important. Thus, it may be that women are thought to be more suitable in certain types of crisis situations, since they are believed to possess these kinds of social qualities more so than men.

In fact, research shows that feminine traits are considered to be especially important when a leader is expected to manage people, work behind the scenes to manage a crisis and “act as a scapegoat.”

The glass cliff-phenomenon results in negative consequences all around. For individual women leaders, being put in command when the odds of success are low can set them up to fail. Despite inheriting the problems, women in glass-cliff positions are seen to be fully responsible for the bad state of affairs. After becoming synonymous with a failure, career advancement can be undermined.

There’s more at the original.

I do wonder if there might be some sample-size problems with the study, but I can sort-of see where the results make sense. When looking for a new CEO, companies don’t (usually) say, “OK, we want a woman, ’cause this place is going into the toilet.” Companies will often cast a fairly wide net in such searches, but it is also possible that the men being considered have more secure positions already, and are waiting for/ hoping for a better opportunity to arise. The women considered, already a minority in the corner offices of major corporations, might see the CEO slot as one which they simply cannot pass up.

In the end, CEOs will be judged by their companies’ performances, and that’s the way it should be. Perhaps women have been taking the reins in situations which were more challenging, and, if so, I say, good for them! A good CEO is not the kind of person who shies away from challenges.

However, a note on the referenced study, Think Crisis–Think Female: The Glass Cliff and Contextual Variation in the Think Manager–Think Male Stereotype.

Research into the TMTM (Think Manager-Think Male) phenomenon has tended to focus on describing the content of people’s beliefs about men, women, and leaders. However, there is some evidence that such stereotypes may be slowly changing over time (e.g., Duehr & Bono, 2006; Eagly & Sczesny, 2009). With the increase in the popularity of transformational leadership (e.g., Bass, 1985), there has been a recognition of the effectiveness of traditionally feminine traits, giving rise to a so-called “leadership advantage” for women (Eagly & Carli, 2003; but see also Vecchio, 2002, 2003). There is also evidence that with women’s increased participation in the workforce, the view of women is changing— especially amongst women themselves (Duehr & Bono, 2006). In line with these ideas, while the TMTM phenomenon is seen to be remarkably durable (Deal & Stevenson, 1998; Heilman, Block, & Martell, 1995; Powell, Butterfield, & Parent, 2002; Schein, 2001; Sczesny, Bosak, Neff, & Schyns, 2004), there is some evidence that the effect is attenuating over time, again, especially for women (Brenner, Tomkiewicz, & Schein, 1989; Eagly & Sczesny, 2009; Schein, Mueller, & Jacobson, 1989).

Other than to note that attitudes may be changing over time, from a 2009 study, I am seeing citations that are all ten years or more older. Women now make up the majority of college students, and the National Center for Education Statistics noted that “Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10.” In 2009-10, women of all races/ethnic groups earned 62.6% of all master’s degrees conferred, up from 60.0% ten years previously . . . and master’s degrees are the ones which can lead to the executive suite. This will eventually mean more women in the executive suite, because more women are doing the necessary preparation work to get there. There is almost certainly some skewing effect caused by the dominance of women in education, given that most school systems now place a premium on earning a master’s, but women are clearly pursuing higher education at greater rates than men.

And I have no problem with that at all: I absolutely support the right of people to pursue their goals, without any regard to race or sex. Whether Mrs Mayer succeeds or fails at Yahoo is not my concern, and the fact that she is a woman makes no difference in that. To me, Mrs Mayer is a CEO who happens to be a woman, not a woman CEO.

Democrisy: Hillary Clinton and using the bathroom with commoners

To keep up with Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential nomination campaign, Hillary Clinton tweeted:

The “-H” is supposed to indicate that Mrs Clinton wrote the tweet herself, rather than it having been the work of one of her minions. The linked article in the tweet refers specifically to HB2, the famous North Carolina “bathroom bill.”

Clinton: Bathroom bills are discriminatory

Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Clinton wrote a tweet similar to Sanders’ on the same day.

“LGBT people should be protected from discrimination under the law — period,” Clinton tweeted. It was signed “-H” to indicate that she wrote the tweet herself.

Clinton’s official campaign website includes a section on protecting transgender rights and ending discrimination against the transgender community, presenting the candidate as a firm LGBT ally.

“Hillary believes no one should be held back from fully participating in our society because of their gender identity,” it reads in part.

According to the campaign, Clinton made it possible for transgender Americans to have their preferred gender reflected on their passports; as president, she intends to direct government to collect better data on crime victims and improve reporting of hate crimes to protect transgender people from violence.

Yet, Mrs Clinton missed returning to a Democratic presidential debate on time, because she wouldn’t share a public restroom with another woman!

Hillary Clinton Missed Debate Because She Wouldn’t Share A Bathroom

Patrick Howley | 20 Dec 2015

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton was late getting back to the debate stage Saturday night because she didn’t want to share a restroom with a Martin O’Malley staffer.

As Breitbart News immediately reported during the debate, the ABC telecast came back from a commercial break with an empty Clinton podium. Clinton went back out onstage, said “Sorry,” and did not explain her absence. The mystery grew: Where was Hillary?

Clinton reportedly went to the ladies’ room during the commercial break, according to The Boston Globe. Clinton even had a campaign employee on bathroom duty to make sure Clinton could quickly get inside the restroom and return to the stage. But when that staffer let in O’Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith, Clinton waited outside.

Why would Clinton not share a restroom with Smith?

The Boston Globe story noted:

The women’s room included multiple stalls, so it’s not entirely clear why Clinton and Smith couldn’t both use the facilities. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill declined to comment for the story, but said there wasn’t a security reason preventing the former secretary of state from sharing a bathroom.

There’s more at the links, but the hypocrisy is enormous: Hillary Clinton won’t share a public restroom with another woman, and even had one of her minions posted outside the restroom to keep out the riff-raff, but believes that other women — at least, other women who are just commoners, rather than the 1%ers like her — ought to have to share public restrooms with men, and if they don’t like that, then they are just horrible people who don’t like or approve of the ‘transgendered.’
Cross-posted on RedState.

#CruzFiorina : It looks like Carly is helping!

I found this in my e-mail this morning:

Dana —

A few days ago we let you know about our brand new Cruz – Fiorina campaign gear, and we wanted to give you a chance to buy the most popular item so far: our incredible new bumper sticker!


Orders for this new sticker are flying off the shelves, and there’s little time left to order if you want to get your gear with our first shipment! Make a donation of at least $5 to get your sticker today!

Thank you!

Cruz Store

P.S.: The sticker is available in blue, too! Along with the rest of the brand new Cruz-Fiorina gear!

The move to place Carly Fiorina on Ted Cruz’s ticket might, might! draw some of the votes which would have gone to John Kasich in Indiana and California, but that remains to be seen. I still worry that the move will turn out to be too little, too late.

Oh, well, at least we don’t have to worry that, if he does win the nomination, Donald Trump will pick Mrs Fiorina as his running mate!

Rule 5 Blogging: Women Training for Combat

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Jennifer Anniston in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

Sgt. Jarrod Simmons speaks to his squad of Marines before they head out on a training march with 55-pound packs on Feb. 22, 2013, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Click to enlarge.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Women Training for Combat’ »

From Around the Blogroll

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

Trump: Protesters were ‘thugs and criminals’

By Elliot Smilowitz, The Hill | April 30, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday lashed out at the protesters who disrupted his speech in California a day earlier.

Demonstrators swarmed the California GOP convention on Friday, blocking an entrance and nearby roads.

“The “protesters” in California were thugs and criminals,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “Many are professionals. They should be dealt with strongly by law enforcement!”

News cameras tracked Trump as his entourage took a back way into the building Friday, after nearby roads were blocked.

The businessman had to go around a fence and step over a concrete embankment to get through the back entrance into the Hyatt Regency hotel, where the convention took place.

There’s a bit more at the original. I do not support the candidacy of Donald Trump, but I very much oppose the efforts of the protesters to prevent Mr Trump, or anyone else, from speaking. If there’s one thing which has become obvious in the past several years, it is that the left are violently opposed to freedom of speech.

I am old enough to remember 1968, and the results of the actions of the leftist protesters: the election of the more conservative candidate in November. The only thing that these idiotic protesters are doing is making the election of Mr Trump a greater, rather than lesser, probability. I can tell you one thing: everybody else at work is planning to vote for Mr Trump!

And now, on to the blogroll!

That’s it for this week!

Karma is such a bitch!

From The Wall Street Journal:

Soaring Tobacco Stocks Prompt Calpers to Reconsider Investment Strategy

California Public Employees’ Retirement System may have missed out on up to $3 billion by not investing in tobacco shares

By Saabira Chaudhuri | Updated April 29, 2016 4:32 a.m. ET

Calpers picked the wrong decade to stop investing in tobacco shares.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest pension fund by assets in the U.S., said last week it may reconsider a decision it made 16 years ago to divest tobacco holdings. The move was triggered by an outside consultancy’s conclusion that Calpers’ missed out on up to about $3 billion in net investment gains between then and the end of 2014 by not investing in tobacco shares.

The decision comes as tobacco stocks are on a tear. The MSCI World Tobacco index returned more than 309% in total returns over the decade from 2005 to 2015, compared with 172% total returns for the broader MSCI World consumer staples index, according to FactSet. The MSCI World index of large and medium sized developed markets stocks returned 72% in the period.

Shorter-term gains have been great, too. Philip Morris International Inc., the world’s biggest publicly listed tobacco company by market cap, is up 18% over the last 12 months. No. 2 British American Tobacco PLC is up 13.4%.

“Despite all the recent volatility in equity markets, the tobacco sector continues to be seen as a reliable and high-quality area,” said Stephen Lamacraft, fund manager at Woodford Investment Management, which owns shares in BAT, Reynolds American Inc. and Imperial Brands PLC.

There’s more at the link. Also from my favorite newspaper, the only one for which I pay:

Atlantic City, America’s Worst-Rated Town, Stares at Default

‘We’re down to a couple of million dollars on any given day,’ mayor says

By Timothy W. Martin and Heather Gillers | Updated April 28, 2016 10:42 p.m. ET

Atlantic City has so little money left that it could miss a $1.8 million bond payment due Sunday, a step that would make it the first New Jersey municipality to default on debt since the Great Depression.

The Jersey Shore gambling destination has endured years of strain as a third of its casinos shut down. But now its cash levels are low enough that bankruptcy is a possibility for the 39,000-population city, according to Mayor Don Guardian.

“We’re down to a couple million dollars on any given day,” the mayor said in an interview.

Once prized as a vacation destination because of its giant casinos and boardwalk, Atlantic City is in this position because of a declining economy and mounting debt. Its predicament is more severe than most distressed U.S. municipalities because it has the worst credit rating of any American city. . . . .

Since then, however, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blocked the delivery of a more than $30 million rescue package, a judge ruled Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa could stop paying about $30 million in annual city taxes and the city lost a $160 million property-tax dispute with the Borgata that the city can’t afford to pay.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said in January it appears “inevitable” that Atlantic City would default on debt payments within six months barring major improvements. It rates Atlantic City triple-C-minus. S&P also downgraded the city’s municipal utilities authority to junk last week, with further downgrades likely.

Atlantic City’s credit rating has sunk so low that city officials and bankers say investors would likely reject any offers to buy new debt or refinance.

There’s more at the Journal original.

The link between these two stories is that both have made bad bets, that being an intentional pun in the case of Atlantic City. Atlantic City became the primary east coast gambling location many, many years ago, when New Jersey changed the law just for Atlantic City, when, at the time, Nevada was the premier, and practically only, legal gambling area in the country. Atlantic City, including the odious Donald Trump, placed big bets on gambling, and it paid off.1

Or, at least it paid off until other cities and states in the east saw the money flowing into the town. Now gambling is all over the place, with casinos galore in Pennsylvania and Delaware, two of Jersey’s neighbors. In the early 2000s, there used to be special buses which took gamblers from the Poconos to Atlantic City for a gambling day, and the casinos provided all sorts of incentives. Now people in northeastern Pennsylvania who want to play at the casinos have several local choices; there’s no need for that bus service any more. But a big, though hardly ever mentioned, part of Atlantic City’s problems stem from the other part of the casinos decisions.

My family and I used to live in Hampton Roads, and the one thing that the beach resort city of Virginia Beach did was take care of their primary asset, beautiful oceanfront beaches. The tourist beach areas were groomed every day, the trash was cleaned up, and everything was geared to keeping those beaches beautiful. Even when you got down to the tony Sandbridge area, away from the main resort area, the beaches were very well kept.

When we moved north, the contrast between the way the beaches were kept in Virginia Beach, and the hard-packed, seemingly uncared-for beach in Atlantic City was stark. The famous Boardwalk was a mess, and the beach area itself not very nice at all. If you ventured further south, outside of Atlantic City, to Margate or Wildwood, you’d find beaches in great shape, because those towns didn’t have the casino money.

Atlantic City made a huge bet on the casinos, but casinos can be built anywhere. What can’t be built anywhere is an oceanfront beach, and Atlantic City let their natural advantage get dilapidated. I haven’t been to Atlantic City in years, because the beaches are simply not worth it. If we’re going to go to the beach — about a three hour drive for us — we’ll pick someplace nicer.

Calpers and Atlantic City both made bad bets.

  1. Three of Donald Trump’s four corporate bankruptcies involved the casinos: The Trump Taj Mahal, 1991; Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts, 2004; and Trump Entertainment Resorts, 2009.

#CruzFiorina : A good move, but too little, too late?

CruzFiorina1Well, now I have a new campaign logo image for blog posts! From The Wall Street Journal:

Ted Cruz Names Carly Fiorina as Running Mate

Texas senator makes announcement as he gears up for crucial Indiana primary

By Reid J. Epstein | Updated April 27, 2016 5:41 p.m. ET

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) with by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at a rally in Indianapolis, Wednesday. Photo: Michael Conroy/Associated Press. Click to enlarge

Republican Ted Cruz, desperate to change the course of his flagging presidential campaign, on Wednesday named former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina as his running mate.

Trailing far behind ascendant GOP front-runner Donald Trump, the Texas senator is betting Mrs. Fiorina will help him prevail in Indiana—a must-win state after a series of crushing losses to Mr. Trump in the Northeast—and help his chances of peeling away delegates from Mr. Trump in California, where Mrs. Fiorina unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010. That state’s June 7 primary will determine whether the New Yorker can clinch the party’s nomination before the Republican National Convention.

“I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice-presidential nominee, Carly Fiorina,” Mr. Cruz told supporters in Indianapolis.

For Mr. Cruz, announcing Mrs. Fiorina as his running mate is a move engineered to change the focus of the Republican primary campaign to his new ticket and away from Mr. Trump’s runaway victories in the five Northeastern state primaries Tuesday. But the danger is voters will see it—combined with his struggling alliance with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who agreed to refrain from campaigning in Indiana—as last-gasp political maneuvering instead of principled leadership.

Mr. Cruz devoted the bulk of his speech naming Mrs. Fiorina as his running mate to bashing Mr. Trump, who after winning five Northeastern states Tuesday holds a commanding delegate advantage heading into Indiana’s May 3 primary next week. Indiana is now viewed as a last stand for Mr. Cruz—if he cannot win a decisive victory over Mr. Trump next week, it becomes implausible to argue that he can stop Mr. Trump from amassing the 1,237 delegates required to clinch the party’s nomination on the first ballot at its July convention.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, R-Texas appeared alongside Carly Fiorina in Orlando in March. Photo: Mike Carlson/Associated Press . Click to enlarge

Is it my imagination, or do they both have the same nose? :) At any rate, there’s more on the Journal original. I didn’t see the event, but from what I’ve heard, Mrs Fiorina’s speech wowed ’em at the announcement.

Trouble is, this is coming as too little/too late. This was a savvy move, but it would have been savvier a month ago. Whether Mrs Fiorina will be able to help Senator Cruz in the few primaries left is unknowable, but if she is going to be able to help him as his running mate, that would have been better done before yesterday’s disastrous primaries, and really almost anytime after Mrs Fiorina noted that she voted for Senator Cruz in the March 1 primary in Virginia. She might not have helped Senator Cruz had she been selected earlier, but she has far less opportunity to help him at this late stage of the game.

I voted today for Ted Cruz!

Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio were on the ballot along with the remain active candidates. Living in the 17th congressional district, there was a long list of delegate candidates, and I could have voted for three, but voted for only two, Ron Boltz and, as a write-in, Joel Underwood, the two pledged to support Senator Cruz.

If you are eligible to vote, and choose not to vote, your whining about the outcome will not get one bit of sympathy from me.