Honoring The Vote

As a senior producer for CNBC, I get a chance to interview some pretty interesting news makers so I can produce must-see segments for Squawk Box. My delegate segment on Wednesday exploded on social media. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity played clips of the segment on their shows and it was one of the top stories on Drudge and on cnbc.com. Politics is very personal for everyone and for those who vote, they truly believe their vote counts.

When Curly Haugland, an unbound delegate from North Dakota and long-standing member of the rules committee for the RNC told anchor Becky Quick it was the delegates who decided the nomination, not the primaries and caucuses, it created quite a stir to put it politely.

Today for CNBC.com I wrote a piece  about an amendment Haugland is going to propose before the GOP Convention Rules Committee which could wipe the “magic number” 1237 off the blackboard and have all the candidates who have at least one delegate have the ability to get back on the first ballot by being nominated by the seated convention delegates. This too has sparked a lot of conversation.  Haugland says this amendment is the best way to honor every vote and keep the voting power out of the hands of big money. As a journalist I can’t tell you my views on this. I am here to report the news.  Enjoy and I look forward to any comments.

Could This Delegate Plan Blowup The GOP?



DIY Addict Faces Biggest Challenge Yet- Relaxation

It’s a common comment from my husband every weekend in the Spring. “Just relax, do nothing”. I look at him, smile and go onto my next DIY project telling him I am relaxing as I’m digging a trench to lay down pavers. After 19 years together, he has learned that no matter how crazy he thinks I am in the Spring, he just lets me tackle my next outdoor project so I can check it off my beloved To-Do List.

Maybe it’s my way to get out all that extra energy pent up in me after a long, cold winter, but the urgency of getting outside pushes me into overdrive to complete projects. This is how I use my “me” time. Now, don’t get me wrong, I get massages, manicures, have my wine by the fire pit area (which I created of course), but being in the dirt is a rush for this chica.

I’m a major Type A personality- always on the go and I love lists. The satisfaction I get when I can check off something is indescribable for this list geek. If you are one of my Facebook friends reading this you’ll see my weekend warrior projects around my property posted all the time 🙂

I’m always “doing” something. I love the rush completing something gives me. I am not a wife who tells her husband, I want something make it for me. I do it myself. If I break a nail or two along the way life goes on. When I met DIY Networks Matt Blashaw I was pumped. The guru of backyard transformations in my book 🙂
Matt Blashaw

I genuinely love to be active. Either putting in new paths up the hill in my backyard to writing two books at the same time (yes, two books for two different publishers). I find being busy relaxing. But part of this weekend I did something out of my comfort zone, something that is never on my To-Do List- nothing during the day. I made my husband proud but to be honest it was weird. For years I have associated project completion with relaxation. Could I break this correlation?

What helped me slow down was a nasty cold (thank you allergies). I sat on my back deck, listened to the birds and read a book. I looked at the projects I wanted to do and didn’t do them. They were calling my name but I didn’t respond. Instead I traded in my shovels for a cup of espresso and relished in the zen rocking on my glider gave me.

Trust me there is a list of Spring project’s that I’m dying to do (a potted flower tower that I’m creating, painting a bird bath, a small fountain to construct as well paint an old patio set to match the new one we got).

I think my Type A personality got kicked into high gear after having three kids. As a busy mom whose children play travel hockey, baseball and a competitive equestrian, I am always going. My busband and I “divide and conquer” the sports schedules. The week is a blur of activities with home cooked meals (I’m not a big fast food person) and a dash of breaking news in the night hours to book guests for my show “Squawk Box”.

I’m a firm believer in having it all. You just have to work a little harder in order to achieve it. Everyone defines success a little different. For me, it’s about balancing work and family. Yes it’s hard, but who said life wasn’t? It is very hard, do I succeed all the time? Hello no, but I try. Life is about inspiration. Life is a journey where you never stop learning about yourself and where you pay back in some way. For me, I try to pay back by sharing my experiences with others.

I am inspired by people in how they approach situations, the strategies they employ in order to achieve their goals and I realized after being a mom, I use those same billionaire strategies albeit on a much small scale in my every day life.

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when I do speaking engagements as well as from students from my Alma Mater, S.U.N.Y. Plattsburgh (where I’m on the Alumni Board) is about leadership strategies, time management and what have I learned from the likes of Shipping Magnate Roberto Giorgi to real estate titan Richard LeFrak. I always talk about creating your life list on what you want to achieve, seizing the moment, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, never give up, etc. But this weekend I used a trait that many of my contacts use and in my fast pace life haven’t always utilized as much as I should and that’s- just be.

So this weekend I have added a new number one To-Do on my list: Relax. I can check it off as completed and you know what? It wasn’t that bad. It was definitely hard work for this go-getter. But I think with a little more practice, I’ll get more comfortable with letting the dust settle.

Although confession time- I just had to do a little planting. My planter tower. Hey, I was feeling better 🙂

My triple planter tower

Baby steps people, baby steps 🙂

Double Dip? Don’t Rule it–Out One on One with Jack Bogle

Listening to CNBC’s Squawk Box on my way into work today I can honestly say I was not surprised by the lack luster jobs number today. You have to have your head in the sand not to realize the weekly jobless claims would “unexpectedly jump” by 12,000. I tell you where do some of these economists live? Under a rock? Get out of your swanky, posh digs and go food shopping. Get in touch with the real people.

Listening to CNBC’s Squawk Box on my way into work today I can honestly say I was not surprised by the lack luster jobs number. You have to have your head in the sand not to realize the weekly jobless claims would “unexpectedly jump” by 12,000. I tell you where do some of these economists live? Under a rock? Get out of your swanky, posh digs and go food shopping. Get in touch with the real people! The real unemployment rate is above 18%. Sigh……

One person I always go to for a reality check is Mutual Fund legend Jack Bogle. My interview on CNBC.com with him today is red hot 🙂 Jack tells it like it is. And he agrees with me, economic data is not the end all and be all in assessing the health of the economy.

Double Dip is a Reality

Economic Resuscitation

The US GDP was revised sharply down today from 2.4 per cent to 1.6 per cent and to be honest I was not surprised. The US economy right now for many Americans is on life support and many fear the policies in Washington are going to pull the plug on the economy rather than jolt it back to a strong heart beat.

Even though I have been off for two weeks spending time with my three kids (“camp mommy” as I affectionately called it), I have continued to talk to my contacts and have had a chance to talk with some close friends who are still out of work and on the flip side trying to hire.  Its bad out there and I know you know that. You have to be living in a cave with no human contact to not know someone who is out of work. I have several friends who are professionals that have been out of work for almost a year and their odds of finding a job are still bleak.

This is a great story that illustrates the employment situation in our country. I was at my best friend’s house last week and was talking to her husband who is the HR manager for a Long Island non for profit. He told me on the Monday of that week he put an ad in the paper and online for a comptroller opening and by the next day he had 200 resumes. The candidates he is closely considering for interviews all had controller experience and they were out of work for at least two years. He said the majorityof the candidates that sent in resumes were all out of work for almost two years, some longer.

Youth unemployment is the lowest since 1948 because adults are taking those jobs because they need to feed their families. But what we are greatly lacking here in this prescription to re-energize the economy is the government incentivizing businesses to hire.

Wayne Huizenga has told me as well as countless other CEOs, business and government should work together. The private sector is not the enemy. It is the lifeblood of this economy.  I know there is a hatred towards big business but that hatred should be cast aside becaues it is impacting the small businessperson. How many more people have to lose their jobs before people wake up and realize *both* big and small business are the employers in this great country of ours?

I read an article this morning that Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the ever increasing  US Debt is the single biggest threat to national security. This was no big revelation to me.  One of my great contacts, Jim Rickards of Omnis was on Squawk Box about a year ago warning about this. Why is it making headlines now??

The all important jobs number is out on Friday,September 3rd,  and this number will be an important one for lawmakers with the mid-term elections just around the corner. We all know government policy is reactionary rather than looking forward. Let’s hope the political mudslinging can be set aside and some actionable, real life stimulus can be achieved.  If you don’t like how a doctor is treating your illness what do you do? You fire them and find a better one.

Come November, we Americans will have the economic health of our beloved nation in our hands. What you decide will either help put America back on the mend or send her into the hospital. The vote and economic prognosis  is yours.