Girl power?

Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013
Girl power? story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Our Congress avoided economic calamity on Wednesday by passing a last-minute, Senate-led bill to restore government funding.

The trouble is that it's only good for 90 days--through January 15th--and then we get round 2.

The same problems, the same acrimony, and the same people.

Tonight in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says he has a solution, and it's been right under our noses all the while.

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That's right. It's time to turns the reins of our government over to women. The men in suits have failed us.

In recent days, weeks and months, the only people in Washington who seem to understand what's going on are women.

Just two weeks ago, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine took the podium on the Senate floor and told her colleagues to "stop fighting and start legislating."

The suits didn't hear her. But two of her colleagues did. And suddenly there was a group of three: Collins, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Democratic Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

"As just one person," Murkowski said, "you don't get anywhere. We cannot work individually and expect to accomplish the work that is needed. We've got to be working together."

Three women—two Republicans and a Democrat, standing firm in the face of obstructionists who were perfectly willing to let the world slide into economic chaos by allowing this nation go into default; perfectly willing to ignore their own  constitutional obligation to pay the nation's  bills. On time.

After a few days, the group of three became the group of six, then eight, now ten, and growing.

Compare the words of Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington with those of Congressman John C. Fleming of Louisiana, one of the 144 house members to vote "no" on yesterday's bill to end the government shutdown.

Here what Murray said:

"My hope is that in the weeks and months ahead, we can heal many of the partisan divides that keep us from addressing the big challenges we face, including returning our focus to creating jobs and improving our economy."

And from Fleming? "See," he said with a grin. "We're going to start this all over again."

It makes me cringe.

Are there problems in our government? Yes. All over the place. Are there problems with the Affordable Care Act?

Are you kidding?  For starters, they had 3 1/2 years to develop a multi-billion dollar computer system to help people make choices and sign up for healthcare.

And they did a terrible job of it.

Did anyone of them think of getting advice from the people at, say,  Facebook? But Obamacare is the law, so let's fix it!

But to shut down our country instead? The shutdown that ended last night cost our government an estimated $24 billion.

Imagine that. How many band-aids, runny noses, and broken arms would that have paid for?

But these sneering, idealistically-driven men in suits don't care.

But the women in Washington do.

Freshman Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren:

"In our democracy, government is just how we describe all of the things that 'we the people' have already decided to do together. We are not a country of anarchists. We are not a country of pessimists and ideologues whose motto is 'I've got mine, the rest of you are on your own.'”

Take a look around. The head of the International Monetary Fund is Christine Lagard, of France.

"I hope," she said yesterday, "that in a few weeks time we will look back and say 'what a waste of time that was.'"

I doubt the angry men in suits heard her.

The most successful country in Europe is run by a woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

She's admired and respected all over the continent.

Hourly pay in Germany has gone up 30 percent since 1985. In the United States, it's up only six percent.

Iceland collapsed in the wake of Lehman Brothers. Now it's a country whose banks, funds, and government are run largely by women and is doing quite nicely.

In this country there's a quiet but dramatically exciting movement afoot.

And it's a movement led by women who are weary of our political system being run by frightened men who seem to have no concept anymore of  what's right for their country.

As Elizabeth Warren put it: "We are not that nation. We have never been that nation. And we never will be that nation."

More power to her. More power to them. It's time.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.

Business News

Last Update on August 20, 2014 17:13 GMT

APPLE-STOCK

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple's stock touched a new high Wednesday, reflecting investors' renewed faith in CEO Tim Cook's ability to outwit the competition and expand the technological hit factory built by the late Steve Jobs.

The milestone represents a dramatic turnaround in sentiment since Apple's shares reached its previous split-adjusted peak of $100.72 in September 2012. The shares peaked at $100.77 Wednesday morning, giving it a market value of roughly $600 billion -- more than any other publicly held company.

Apple's stock fell to a split-adjusted $55.01 in April 2013 to wipe out about $300 billion in shareholder wealth amid worries that the Cupertino, California, company had run out of ideas without Jobs as its mastermind.

Those concerns have faded amid high hopes for an iPhone with a bigger screen.

EARNS-TARGET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Target has slashed its annual profit outlook as the retailer continues to reel from a massive data breach, a disappointing expansion in Canada and sluggish sales in the U.S.

The nation's third-largest retailer also said Wednesday that its second-quarter earnings dropped 61.7 percent.

The Minneapolis-based company says it earned $234 million, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Aug. 2, compared with earnings of $611 million, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 1.7 percent to $17.4 billion, slightly above the $17.38 billion estimate from FactSet.

Excluding expenses related to the breach, the company earned 78 cents per share, which was in line with Target's reduced estimate issued earlier in the month.

Analysts had expected 79 cents per share, according to FactSet.

EARNS-LOWE'S

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Lowe's second-quarter net income increased 10 percent, bolstered by improving weather.

The home improvement company's performance beat analysts' expectations, but the Mooresville, North Carolina, company lowered its full-year revenue outlook slightly, citing its year-to-date sales and prior assumptions for the second half.

Lowe's Cos. earned $1.04 billion, or $1.04 per share, for the three months ended Aug. 1. A year earlier it earned $941 million, or 88 cents per share.

Analysts expected $1.02 per share.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $16.6 billion from $15.71 billion, topping Wall Street's $16.57 billion forecast.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's health, climbed 4.4 percent.

Lowe's now anticipates full-year revenue rising about 4.5 percent. Its prior outlook was for an approximately 5 percent increase.

BARNES & NOBLE-SAMSUNG

B&N and Samsung introduce co-branded tablet

NEW YORK (AP) -- Barnes & Noble and Samsung on Wednesday unveiled a new co-branded tablet called the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook that will replace B&N's own Nook tablets.

The 7-inch tablet will sell for $179 after a $20 instant rebate, the same entry price of the non-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.

The move had been expected, since Barnes & Noble said in June it would team up with Samsung to develop Nook tablets that would be available in August.

For the first time, the Nook will have a front- and rear-facing camera. It comes with more than $200 in content from the Nook Store, including books, TV shows and magazines. However, apps are limited to Nook apps rather than the full suite of Android apps available on Google Play.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY-SETTLEMENT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Warren Buffett's company has agreed to an $896,000 penalty for failing to tell regulators about a December 2013 investment in wallboard maker USG Corp.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. should have notified the Justice Department before it converted $325 million of senior USG notes it held into 21.4 million shares of the company.

Because Berkshire was already a significant USG shareholder, antitrust laws required it to notify regulators because of the size of the deal.

Regulators say Berkshire made a similar mistake six months earlier when it acquired securities in Symetra Financial Corp.

Berkshire officials did not immediately respond to questions about the settlement Wednesday.

Besides investments, Berkshire owns more than 80 subsidiaries in a variety of industries, including insurance, utilities, railroads, retail and manufacturing.

CUTLERY MAKER-BANKRUPTCY

BUCKLAND, Mass. (AP) -- The nation's oldest cutlery manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy after 177 years of making knives and other kitchen tools.

The Recorder of Greenfield reports that Lamson & Goodnow Manufacturing Co. of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month, which protects the company from creditors as it reorganizes.

The business has also put its 18-acre factory complex up for sale.

According to federal bankruptcy court in Springfield, the company filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of two multimillion dollar loans it could not repay. The company owes $1 million on a U.S. Small Business Administration loan and more than $2 million to the small business corporation in New York.

Founded in 1837, the company has been owned by James Ross Anderson since 1998.

HOUSE GOP-BUSINESS GROUP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is stepping in to help an establishment-preferred Republican in a bruising three-way Arizona primary in one of the most competitive House districts in the country.

The powerful business group is putting hundreds of thousands of dollars behind a television ad for state House Speaker Andy Tobin, who has struggled to raise money. His two rivals -- businessman and rancher Gary Kiehne and state lawmaker Adam Kwasman -- are already on the air with TV ads.

The primary is Tuesday but early voting began July 31.

The Chamber ad, which begins airing on Thursday, focuses on Tobin, calling him a "rock solid conservative," and the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.

The commercial makes no mention of the two other Republican candidates.

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