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The Republican Party is holding its first presidential debate on August 6, to be televised on Fox News. Fox has decided against inviting all 17 declared presidential candidates to the main debate, and will limit inclusion to the 10 candidates with the highest average poll rating among five recent credible (if still undefined) national polls of Republican voters. The controversy over its decisions points to a better way: lessons from how the Oscars came to be nominated with the fair representation (or “proportional representation”) form of ranked choice voting.
With seven candidates to be relegated to a pre-debate forum in the afternoon — albeit an inclusive one for which Fox recently dropped its requirement of one percent standing in the polls — there is much controversy over criteria for inclusion. Some critics like Larry Sabato call for an expanded number of participants in at least this first debate, perhaps by randomly dividing the field into two debates to be held one after the other. Others suggest new standards to establish an even smaller field of the most credible candidates.
Cutting candidates certainly is not an easy call. Of the 17 Republicans, 14 are either a current or former governors or U.S. Senators, with two of the remaining three (Donald Trump and Ben Carson) sure to make Fox’s top 10. That leaves on the sidelines six prominent Republicans who have won statewide, along with the field’s only woman (businesswoman Carly Fiorina).
I’ll set aside the question of being as inclusive as possible and focus on a fairer way for Fox to pick its ten candidates. But first, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the living room. Even though the major parties go out of their way to be inclusive in debates during their nominating process, they have colluded to block any presidential candidates other than their own from general election debates.
With a board co-chaired by two prominent major party activists, the self-appointed Commission on Presidential Debates has established an indefensible debate inclusion rule for the general election that has kept all independents and minor parties out of the debates since Ross Perot’s first presidential run in 1992. It requires candidates to have an average of 15 percent in national polls despite the Catch-22 of such candidates being likely to be relegated to second-class media status in large part to the assumption they won’t be in the debates.
Applied to this year’s Republican field, the Commission’s 15-percent threshold would leave Fox’s stage with exactly one candidate: Donald Trump. The absurdity of that outcome underscores the case for broader debate inclusion, at least in the first Commission-sponsored debates. As a start, the call by Change the Rule for a process to guarantee a third voice in the debates, deserves strong support.
Anyone who thinks the Republican debate could be effective even when including just three of the current candidates as opposed to two of them should support Change the Rule’s call for changes for general election debates.
Let’s return to Fox’s Republican debate. As a start, consider a party’s goals for debates, such as:
• See how potential nominees articulate their policy proposals and hold up under pressure.
• Allow a full airing of the diversity of perspectives within the party.
• Attract as many potential voters to watch so that the party’s eventual nominee is stronger in the general election.
• Help identify the candidate best able to represent the party and win the general election.
Applying these criteria, it’s important not to have an overly majoritarian perspective in the early debates. While the ultimate nominee should reflect true majority support among party backers, these debates are a time to hear more voices within the party, not just echoes. Allowing the party’s diversity of views to have time on the stage means that those backing those views have more reason to watch — and ultimately care about and be invested in the eventual nominee.
So that means striking some ideas based on finding which 10 candidates comes closest to reflecting majority views within the party. For example, a poll could ask each respondent to select 10 candidates, and the top 10 would go to the debate. But this “winner-take-all” approach could block out important views within the party with passionate followers — for instance, a Rand Paul or Ben Carson.
For implications for rules for debate inclusion, let’s turn to people who know something about how to attract and hold an audience: the Academy of Motion Pictures, which organizes the Oscars every year to celebrate achievement in movies. Notably, eight decades ago the Academy adopted the practice for selecting all multiple nominees in all major categories with ranked choice voting (or, in wonk talk, “the single transferable vote”). Their goal was to have a system that maximized the number of Academy voters who felt they had a stake in the outcome on Oscar night – that is, the number who helped some person or movie get nominated.
Here’s how their ranked choice voting system works when selecting more than one winner:
• Academy voters rank potential nominees in a given category in order of preference. Every voter has one vote, but ranks backups to help ensure their vote counts. For voters’, it’s literally as easy as 1-2-3.
• The share of the vote necessary to earn a nomination is determined. That threshold is the lowest share of the vote that only the winning number of candidates can achieve. When the Oscars have five nominees for Best Actor, that means it takes about 17% of the vote to be sure of winning a nomination – that’s because once five actors have 17%, there’s only 15% left for the next highest vote-getter. With 10 candidates getting to the debates, that means that 9.1% would do it.
• Right now, of course, few candidates have at least 9.1% support in the polls. The tallying process essentially simulates what happens in presidential caucuses. First, imagine if every voter were standing behind their favorite candidate. If your favorite has more than 9.1% support, then that candidate has earned in the debate, and some of you can go to your second choice. (More precisely, an equal portion of each ballot goes to the first choice for a total of 9.1%, and the remaining value of each ballot is added to the totals of the second choice.) Once all the votes have been counted for next choices, we’re now left with some winners and mostly candidates still short of the threshold. At that point, the last-place candidate is eliminated, and all that candidate’s votes are counted for the next choice on each ballot at full value. This process of distributing votes continues until 10 have been selected.
• For the Oscars, ranked choice voting means that some 83% of Oscar voters typically help elect a “candidate” in their category — best actor, best director and so on. (For Best Picture, they modified this counting process a few years ago when allowing an undefined number of movies to be nominated – still using a ranked ballot and still generally trying to make sure that as many Academy voters have a hand in nominating a process, but changing the specific counting rule.) For picking 10 candidates to debate, you’d have more than nine in ten Republicans feeling directly represented on stage, with most of the rest happy with one or more of the candidates.
For Fox, this process would mean not relying on the mathematically-questionable task of averaging five polls that will leave some candidates out due to a tiny difference that will be far less than the polls’ margin of error. Instead, they would do a single poll in which they ask respondent to rank the candidates in order of preference – asking people to rank 10 should be fine, and something most Republican voters would be ready to do at this point. We already see plenty of use of “second choice polling,” as I wrote about last week with Molly Rocket. This poll would be a time to push poll respondents to think more about the candidates in a survey that was focused only on the task of identifying candidates for the debate.
This same ranked choice process could be used as debates proceed. If they decide to narrow who’s on stage after Iowa and New Hampshire, for example, they could have Republicans living in states holding the next contests to use ranked choice voting to five debates, for example, and later on reduce the field to three or even two.
Going forward, Republicans would also be wise to use a ranked choice voting ballot in each primary and caucus to determine that contest’s real winner. Guides to parliamentary procedure like Robert’s Rules of Order recommend ranked choice voting when people can’t vote repeatedly in person, and hundreds of significant organizations do so –including nearly every political party in Canada and the United Kingdom, such as the Labor Party’s leadership contest right now. That is, when you establish your number of winners as one, it takes getting a majority of the vote in the final “instant runoff” round of counting to win. If maintaining his frontrunner status in polls, for example, Donald Trump would need to show he wins one-on-one against his toughest opponent.
That’s what the Oscars have been doing for Best Picture ever since they allowed up to 10 nominations. Instructively, they still allow a “plurality vote” when there are only five nominees in categories because it can make for good television- e.g., the “upsets” that keep people watching are almost always by a person or movie that is benefiting from a split in the majority. For Best Picture, however, the Academy decided it was more important to get the outcome right. That same calculus should govern how we vote for president, starting with large field nomination contests.
There’s probably not time for Fox to change its rules for August 6, but let’s hope organizers of upcoming debates find a better way to determine who’s on stage. Ranked choice voting would be a good place to start.
— 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.
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You were born at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, on February 25th, 1990. Congratulations! It’s an Essex girl!’ announced the midwife, scooping up the false eyelashes and bottle of fake tan that had popped out with the afterbirth. Your mum and dad had only been together for a matter of months, but they were delighted to have you. Your mum was Miss Chingford 1988, and you inherited her blue-grey eyes and wavy golden hair. Your dad Tommy Dodger’ Sullivan was a used-car dealer, and you got his sense of honesty and fair play. They called you Shampayne, after their favourite drink, spelt the English way. Right from the start, Mum made sure you made the best of yourself. Sometimes, it was hard you weren’t allowed to play in the sandpit because you might break a nail, and it was almost impossible climbing trees in high-heeled wedges but you knew she had your best interests at heart. You’re going to make something of yourself, Shampayne,’ she’d tell you at bedtime, as she read to you from the Argos catalogue. You’ve got beauty and lack of brains the full package.’So begins your glittery, glam and G-stringtastic life as Shampagne Sullivan. What happens next in her story? You decide. The twists and turns of her rise to fame all depend on the choices you make. Should you sleep with Crispin, dump Dean, have Reece’s baby or date Kyle? Is a sex tape a good idea, or should you just take your clothes off? OMG, so many decisions to make!
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It seems that everywhere an author turns, someone is waving their hands and yelling "Over here We’ve got the best publishing deal for you over here "So how do you choose what’s best for your career, your book, and your wallet?Should you start your own publishing company? What’s involved with that? Is it wise financially to stick with the traditional publishing route? Are electronic books a better way to go than books on paper? What about those companies that market themselves as self-publishers? Are they a good deal?And what if you simply want to make books to give to your family and friends? What’s the best way to do that?Author and publishing professional Sonja Hakala maintains that there is no one-size-fits-all-authors way to publish a book. Different circumstances, different budgets, and different publishing goals call for unique strategies.Based on her workshops and extensive one-on-one work with authors, Sonja has put together a book that shines a bright light on the career and financial advantages and disadvantages of all the major publishing options for contemporary writers, including: Independent publishing. Private publishing. Self-publishing companies. Traditional publishing. Electronic publishing.There is no other book that gives you all of this information in one place. There is no other book that guides you to the best publishing choice for your work, your wallet, and you.Join Sonja Hakala as she guides you through the publishing jungle to success. She hasn’t lost an author yet
Bill Murray won’t be appearing in the upcoming “Ghostbusters III,” which is likely to feature a female-centric plot. Instead, he has offered up his top picks for the job.
In a recent interview with The Toronto Star, Murray suggested Melissa McCarthy, his co-star in the upcoming film “St. Vincent,” would be a good fit for a role in the next “Ghostbusters” flick. He also mentioned a few more of our favorite comediennes.
“Melissa would be a spectacular Ghostbuster. And Kristen Wiig is so funny — God, she’s funny!” he told the Star during the Toronto Film Festival this weekend. “I like this girl Linda Cardellini (“Mad Men”) a lot. And Emma Stone is funny. There are some funny girls out there.”
Murray may actually be on to something with his funny female picks. Paul Feig, the director of “Bridesmaids,” which starred both Wiig and McCarthy, is currently in negotiations to helm the next chapter of the “Ghostbusters” saga, according to reports.
Speaking to HuffPost Live host Ricky Camilleri on Sept. 5, Reitman said he’s fairly certain Feig will get the job.
“I know that the studio is negotiating with Paul, and I think it’s probably going to work out,” said Camilleri. “There were always going to be women involved in the next iteration of ‘Ghostbusters.’ Paul seems to be the perfect director to sort of bring that about.”
In addition to Murray’s lineup, here are our nominees for female “Ghostbuster” leads (in no particular order):
- Tina Fey
- Amy Poehler
- Emily Blunt
- Jenny Slate
- Rebel Wilson
- Maya Rudolph
Who would you pick? Share your thoughts in the comments, or tweet us @HuffPostEnt.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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When I deal with married couples facing difficulties in their relationship, I know that the key to help them effectively resolve their current problem lies in finding the core of love they felt for each other when they began their relationship. If they can revisit the reasons they originally chose each other, they will automatically be more motivated to triumph over their current distress. Their answer to this specific question tells me what commitment energy is still available for us to work with.
“If you weren’t married right now, how likely would it be that you would choose each other again?”
It would be a welcome surprise if the answers were always a resounding “yes.” More often though, the question is met with a perfunctory reassurance that might not reflect what each really feels underneath. It is more probable that I’m going to see two once-beloved partners struggle to answer what each would want to hear, but may no longer be fully true.
Perhaps they haven’t asked each other how they have changed who they are inside or what they have wanted differently for a very long time. Maybe they haven’t even thought of the individual dreams each may have left behind in service of the parallel team they have become. Dealing with the challenges and unexpected pitfalls they’ve had to face, what if they’ve forgotten how to love each other above all else? If their common goals didn’t materialize because tragedies emerged, illnesses took their toll, or outside temptations threatened their mutual trust in each other, how has that affected their relationship?
Significant challenges might have given opportunities for renewing their prior closeness, but perhaps the stresses were too difficult or too many for them to hold on to what they once knew. Most probably, after each succeeding crisis, they were just glad to return to life as it was, back in the day-to-day groove they came to know as comfort.
You Are Not Alone
If you are one of these committed couples who have drifted far away from your initial vows to love and treasure each other forever and above all else, please understand that your current state is not unusual.
Most people marry with the best of intentions to live out their lives together. They believe that their love is strong enough to weather any and all challenges that life will bring, strong enough in their union that they will triumph over all odds.
A committed couple, who transforms too often from personal intimacy to parallel commitment, may inadvertently and unconsciously exchange their original love bond for a more platonic friendship. In leaning on each other to get through the tough times, they can easily forget to recreate what brought them together in the first place.
As that parallel orientation becomes habitual, the original sweetness that made them pledge their hearts together can easily fall away without their knowing. Habits and rituals have replaced innovation and discovery. Compromise has suppressed individuality. The lure of secure predictability has become a way of life.
On the surface, this established couple may seem to have found a time-worn compatibility to be proud of, but underneath there may be a different story. They may have forgotten so much of what they once deeply knew about each other, or what may have changed dramatically inside that is no longer shared. Whatever newness, discovery, adventure, and exploration they had for themselves, each other, and the world when love was new has given way to doing whatever they can to make the relationship work.
If you ask them whether they still love each other, they will say, “of course.” If you ask them how their relationship is doing, they will say, “as good as you can expect, considering the challenges we’ve faced.” If you asked them, instead, “Given the chance to do your relationship over, what would you change?” and they were honest, you might hear stories about long-lost dreams that did not materialize, or decisions that they wish they could have made differently.
If you then ask them how they might make their relationship become more alive, passionate, and exciting, you might hear “I don’t know,” “That would be nice, but it’s okay the way it is,” or “I’m not sure.” It would be clear that they are not necessarily unhappy, but it is a far cry from what they felt at the altar place when they committed themselves to a lifetime together.
The couple is deeply entrenched in practicality and security, but their romantic connection has diminished. Even as their answers state the status quo, there are hopefully two people somewhere deep inside who once loved each other more passionately and are wishing desperately that the other will notice their fading light.
How can couples who have substituted comfort and predictability restore the significant connection they once knew and promised to each other? What tools can they use to prevent losing each other in the first place or find each other again if they are too far apart?
Prevention: Yearly Check-ins and Renewed Commitments
Every year of every love relationship, it would be ideal if intimate partners would take stock of what they wanted to happen during that year and whether or not they are on track. They could re-assess what changes have happened to each of them internally and inter-personally and whether they need to change some of their expectations. They would openly and honestly face any disappointments either partner might be feeling and how they could be addressed. They would make certain that their intimate connection stayed intact regardless of the outside challenges they might be facing. They would remember who they were when they pledged their forever love and would be willing to do whatever they needed to feel that way again.
Then, they would ask each other the crucial question: “What would I need to do or become today that would make you want to marry me again?”
As if in a new beginning, each partner would immediately make the other’s request of utmost importance and instantly begin making plans together to implement them. Willing to make each other front and center again, the couple would together strive to foresee potential disconnects and head them off before they gathered steam. They could help each other view the past year and evaluate what they had done, what resources were depleted in the process, and what they needed to do to repair any damage.
Repair: If You Need to Love more Deeply Again
If you love each other still but have forgotten how to show it to each other, begin with writing down the answers to each of these questions. Do that separately first before sharing them with your partner. Take your time and answer each one as completely and honestly as you can.
Before you share your answers, look deeply into each other’s eyes for five full minutes before you speak. During that time, ask yourself silently that, of this were the last time you would ever see each other, what would you feel? Hopefully, it would be great sadness.
If so, this exercise will prepare you to share and receive your authentic answers from each other with consideration and kindness, and begin your commitment to love each other more deeply again.
1) What did you most love about me when we married?
2) Why did you think I chose you?
3) What were your dreams then for us?
4) What have you felt have been some of our most precious moments over the years?
5) What experiences have pushed us apart?
6) What do you still love most about me?
7) How would you like me or our relationship to be different?
8) What do you need from me now to feel more treasured?
9) If you could have any kind of future with me now, what would it be like?
10) Would you like us to have more time alone together, and, if so, doing what?
11) Can you tell me your innermost thoughts and feelings? If not, what would that take?
12) If our relationship were to end, how would you be?
13) What are your disappointments in our relationship?
14) What good things have happened to us that you didn’t expect?
15) What would make you feel more alive and excited about your life?
This exercise is an opportunity for re-doing your wedding vows based on a long-term relationship of shared history and a much deeper knowledge of who you both have become. Whatever aspects emerge will be the foundations for change because you now have the best of a new beginning along with the lessons from the past. Hold on to all that is still sacred, leave behind what no longer is helpful, and commit to a new, re-ignited future.
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Tune in for an all-new episode of Tyler Perry’s Love Thy NeighborWednesday at 9/8c.
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Linda is at odds with herself about Philip’s kiss. Will walks in while the gang is openly discussing Linda’s indiscretion. However, Will is quick to forgive Linda, which makes Hattie suspicious. Meanwhile, Floyd scolds Philip for not stepping up his game to get Linda.
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