In Mississippi, Republican concern rises over a U.S. Senate runoff that should have been a romp

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has faltered over remarks seen as racially insensitive. Mike Espy, a black Democrat and former congressman, appears poised to take advantage.
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Companies struggling to fill jobs ‘should try paying more,’ Fed’s Kashkari says

Companies should try digging in their pockets if they're looking to find workers for unfilled jobs, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Tuesday.
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Voting Isn’t Over! Tell Us if Black Panther or Avengers Should Win Movie of 2018 at the PCAs

Avengers: Infinity War, Black PantherReady, set, go vote!
We know you thought PCAs voting was over on Oct. 19 but we’ve reopened it for the People’s Power Vote. That’s right, you can still decide which film will…

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5 villages you should visit in rural England

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Ahhhhh, England. With its big and bustling cities, its red double-decker buses, its glorious West End, and the incredible Royal Family and palaces, it can often be easy to forget that England offers some of the best countrysides in the world. Although it may just be a small island, England offers quaint little villages surrounded by fields, rural hamlets inside rolling valleys and so much more. So what are you waiting for? Check out these 5 villages you should visit in rural England and book your plane tickets now!

Castle Combe, Cotswolds

When it comes to rural areas in England, the Cotswolds take the (tea and) biscuits. In the Wiltshire, Cotswolds lies Castle Combe, a beautiful and historic little village that looks as if it has been stuck in time. Because of its rustic charm and its riverside location, you might recognize Castle Combe from numerous films, such as Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, and the 2007 movie, Stardust. With its cobbled stone cottages, rugged streets, small doorways, glorious shrubbery and medieval churches and ruins, it really is a thing of beauty.

Polperro

If you want to see traditional and rural England, a trip to Cornwall is a must. With their laid-back lifestyles and their reluctance to enter the technological world (in some villages you can only pay with cash!), the Cornish towns and villages epitomize the English countryside and seaside. One of the most beautiful villages in this area is Polperro, a traditional and authentic seaside village on the East coast of the country. The winding streets of Polperro are paved with cobblestones, and nearly all of them lead you down to the idyllic harbor and its small fishing boats. With direct links to the English Channel, the village was once used as a smuggling village, for vagabonds and their contraband to travel over to Guernsey. There’s no shortage of trinkets and hand-crafted gifts in this village, and their fresh seafood is second to none!

Hawkshead

Hawkshead is located in the incredible Lake District and full to the brim with history, amazing views, gorgeous countryside and of course – a heck load of lakes! The village itself is a traditional 15th-century village, with quaint whitewashed thatched cottages, medieval ruins and buildings, and beautiful windy streets. The village itself is steeped in English history and features William Wordsworth old grammar school, and a special Beatrix Potter Gallery which explores her work and her love for the Lake District. The village is also perfect for those whole love country walks – and with Lake Windermere and Lake Coniston surrounding the village, there isn’t a lack of space.

Staithes

According to one travel writer, Staithes in North Yorkshire is England’s greatest hidden gem – and it’s not hard to see why. As the home of the avid explorer, Captain Cook, Staithes is steeped in history. Although it is small, its idyllic fishing point is an attraction point for people all across the country, who flock to see the tall and thin fishing houses, the river running through the village, the fishing cove and the beautiful hills surrounding it. And of course, like any fishing village, the pubs and seafood are top of the range.

Abbotsbury

Located just 10 miles away from the seaside of Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast, Abbotsbury is a quintessentially British country village. Steeped in history, Abbotsbury is a Victorian gem in the heart of rural Dorset that is full to the brim with rolling fields, glorious parks, woodland valleys, and impressive gardens filled with rare and beautiful flowers. The village is also famous for its paintings, artwork and wood carvings, so you won’t be able to leave without taking a bit of Abbotsbury with you!

Looking to take a trip to Blighty? England is well known for its idyllic countryside, so if you’re vacationing there then you need to check out these rural villages. Picturesque doesn’t even cut it!

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Which plane seats you should choose

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Let’s be honest; nobody really loves flying. For most people, it’s a necessity to meet the cross-country business client, it’s a handy way to travel to your next vacation spot, or it’s just an excuse to get out of another 9-hour drive. For us, flying is quicker. And because there is such a high demand, airlines and airports rush to turn their flights around as quickly as possible. This means cabin crew and cleaners may have as little as 30 minutes to get their plane spick and span before the next customers climb on board. Unless they’re a speedy cleaner (lucky you) this may be pretty difficult, leaving our plane seats pretty dirty. But which ones are the dirtiest and why?

First class perks

It’s no secret that the service in the first class area of the plane is…well, First Class! With extra space, delicious food, exceptional service and more… First Class is definitely the place to be if you can afford it. However, it turns out that First Class has another perk – the cleanest seats on the plane. Because airlines pride themselves on their First Class areas and hope for more and more customers to upgrade to and maintain their First Class status, they spend more time cleaning these areas than they do the economy areas. During their quick turnaround, premium seats always receive a quick once-over with a vacuum, and they also make sure they wipe each window and tray table with a sanitary wipe after each flight. The rich guys get all the perks, ey?

Economy seats

Unfortunately, those who can’t afford First Class seats have to sit in economy – with the dirtier seats. Many airlines have confirmed that they spend a significantly shorter time tending to the seats in this part of the plane. Because of the sometimes short turn-around, cabin crew and cleaners will only undertake basic cleaning routines. For shorter turnarounds, the cleaning team members will remove the obvious trash that adorns the floors and seats, will give the toilets a quick once-over, will wipe large crumbs off the economy seats, and restock all of their dwindling supplies. However, they do not have time to probe each individual seat, which is why you may often find a coffee ring stain on your tray table or a candy wrapper in your seatback pockets. If the plane and cleaning crew have longer to get the plane ready for their next passengers, they may vacuum the floor, and empty these pockets, but that is it.

So what don’t they clean?

Nobody really likes using the plane toilets, but sometimes this just can’t be avoided! However, when you go to use the bathroom, you’d like to think of it being freshly cleaned, and the waste tank is emptied. Nope, this doesn’t happen. Because of the size of waste tanks, planes can often fly numerous short-haul flights before the waste tank needs emptying – which could be the reason there’s always that slightly unsavory smell permeating from the toilet. Alongside this, the tray tables and armrests are left uncleaned. A recent study of plane bacteria has found that the dirtiest place on an airplane is the tray table in front of you, with the remains of numerous food products and bacteria from other people before you. Yummy!

The deep clean

Once a plane settles down for the night, large-scale cleaning crews come to clean the plane properly, from top to bottom. During this night-clean, they wipe down all of the entertainment systems and screens, the tray tables, the armrests and even empty out the seat pockets AND vacuum the floors and chairs. These crews also replace all of the pillows and blankets on board, and thoroughly clean and disinfect the toilet and the galleys.

So if you want the cleanest plane and the cleanest seat, the first flight of the day will be your best bet…Especially if you get the joy of flying First Class.

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5 Underrated Mecha Anime You Should Check Out

Thanks to groundbreaking shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion (EVA) and Gundam, the mecha genre successfully crossed over to the West. These series opened doors, making way for many new robot-focused anime — perhaps, too many. With such an oversaturated pool to draw from, it’s no wonder anime fans overlooked a few great titles. So we found several hidden gems for you to enjoy. Here are five underrated mecha anime you should check out.

Argento Soma


underrated mecha anime Argento Soma

In the future, a mysterious race of aliens invades Earth. To better understand these creatures, Dr. Noguchi and his assistants, Maki Agata and Takuto Kaneshiro, try to revive a giant metal-being named Frank. But during the process, Frank unexpectedly comes to life and escapes to the wilderness — but not without killing the doctor and Agata, leaving Takuto as the sole survivor.

Soon after the incident, the military organization ‘Funeral’ takes the biomechanical creature into their custody. Meanwhile, Takuto wakes up in a hospital.  With his face disfigured and his girlfriend, Agata, dead, Takuto appears to have lost it all. That is until a mysterious man offers Takuto a new identity as a Funeral officer, and his plan for revenge is set in motion.

While EVA opened a lot of doors for Japanese animation, it also cast a large shadow on mecha series, especially those involving a distressed young male protagonist in a mecha suit. Fortunately, Argento Soma sets itself apart by not heavily drawing from EVA. Instead, the underrated series focuses on telling an extraordinary tale about human interactions and relationships — with a few creative twists to keep things interesting.

Bokurano


underrated mecha anime Bokurano

One of the most popular underrated mecha anime is, undoubtedly, Bokurano. Countless anime fans believe the series deserves the top spot on many mecha anime watchlists. But for some reason it never does.

Bokurano follows a group of children who discover a cave full of computers and electronic equipment. A mysterious man named Kokopelli then makes them an unusual offer — to take part in a game where they’ll defend the Earth from evil aliens. The children accept the challenge without hesitation. But soon come to regret their decision when the game gets a little too real for them.

Like many other shows on this list, Bokurano suffers the fate of being too similar to EVA. But despite the many parallels, Bokurano goes a bit deeper when it comes to playing with the emotions of its young protagonists. It’s a fantastic psychological horror that keeps you entertained until the final second. You should definitely check out this hidden gem right now.

Galaxy Express 999


underrated mecha anime Galaxy Express 999

In the future, humanity swaps their organic bodies for mechanical ones in order to live forever. But immortality is an expense not everyone can afford. Enter Tetsuro Hoshino, a poor little boy who hopes to purchase a ticket for the Galaxy Express 999, a train that travels throughout the universe. A the end of the line, those aboard the train each get a mechanical body for free. But his hopes are dashed when machine-man hybrid Count Mecha kills Tetsuro’s mother.

A mysterious tall woman steps in and saves the young boy from certain death. Surprisingly, she offers Tetsuro a Galaxy Express ticket under the condition that they travel together. So begins Tetsuro’s journey through the stars to obtain a mechanical body.

Galaxy Express 999 has many sequels, but they sadly weren’t easily accessible to fans outside of Japan. The mecha series lost popularity over the decades and eventually fell into obscurity. Now, with shows like Darling in the Franxx dominating the airwaves, it’s even more difficult for hidden gems like this one to stand out.

Zegapain


underrated mecha anime Zegapain

Kyo Sogoru is trying his hardest to keep his swimming club alive, but there’s one problem — he’s the only member. To drive membership up, Kyo asks his friend Ryoko to shoot a recruitment video starring the beautiful Shizuno Misaki. Misaki agrees to do the role, but only if Kyo pilots a mecha unit.

Unknowingly, Kyo gets dragged into two different worlds: one where’s he’s a normal student and another where humans and aliens are at war with each other. What’s even weirder is Kyo gets the feeling he’s done this before. The more the young man fights, the more he uncovers about his life. But will the truth set Kyo free or destroy him?

Despite its unusual title, Zegapain contains the usual mecha tropes about reality, psychology, and, of course, aliens. But it also adds various plot twists to keep you intrigued throughout. So, if you’re interested in a bit of mystery, giant robots, and a young man trying to figure things out; then give this underappreciated series a try.

Fafner in the Azure


underrated mecha anime Fafner in the Azure

In the middle of the Japanese archipelago lies the island of Tatsumiyajima. Every day is the same on Tatsumiyajima, with the island’s children believing that their life will forever remain peaceful and undisturbed. Or so they’ve been taught. The reality is actually much different. Humanity is on the brink of extinction, and Tatsumiyajima serves as the last line of defence against a race of aliens called Festum. When a Festum discovers the island, the children band together to fight these hostile aliens with giant mecha units called Fafner.

Like the other shows on this list, Fafner in the Azure is a fantastic series that sadly gets overlooked in favor of mainstream mecha anime. The original anime borrowed too many elements from classic shows such as EVA and Gundam, which made it impossible for Fafner in the Azure to distinguish itself as a proper mecha series. Even so, the anime has some awesome-looking robots and amazing visuals thanks to the great work of studio Xebec (Break Blade and Heroic Age).

5 Mecha Anime That Will Make You Fall in Love With the Genre

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Greece with kids: top family friendly islands you should visit

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When it comes to booking your next family holiday, there is so much to think about – where it is, how long it will take to get there, what there is to do for the kids, what there is to do for the adults (when you need a stiff drink after looking after the kids for the whole day), how much it will cost, and what the place can offer you. It’s not easy. But luckily, Greece is made up of over 200 inhabited islands that make the perfect family destinations. Here are the five best Greek islands to visit if you have a family.

Rhodes

Rhodes is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, and well away from the bright lights, bars, and clubs of many of the ‘party islands.’ This island offers 30-miles worth of white sandy beaches which are perfect for building sandcastles, glorious water which is perfect for splashing and learning how to swim, and some of the best all inclusive hotels in Greece. There are kids’ clubs, cafes, water sports and more to keep the kids entertained. And if you fancy taking in a few of the sights, Rhodes’ Old Town is full of cobbled streets, trinket shops, medieval architecture, and relics.

Naxos

The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and an incredibly popular vacation destination for families with children. With some of the best and longest beaches in Greece, you could spend hours playing and relaxing on the white sand and swimming in the ocean. Because the beaches are the island’s main attraction, there are so many activities – from horseback riding along the beach to water sports, and pedalo boats, you won’t get bored. If you want to tire the kids out, take them for a hike through the beautiful farms and villages throughout Naxos.

Alonissos

The island of Alonissos is located in a remote area of the Sporades and well away from the tourist traps of Greece. Alonissos is perfect for families with slightly older kids who don’t mind spending most of their day checking out what the island has to offer – but don’t worry, the beaches are still incredible. With the huge Alonissos National Marine Park to explore, you can take the kids out for a boat trip or Kayak to catch a glimpse of the rare seabirds and the Mediterranean Monk Seal, as well as dolphins.

Corfu

If you want a mix of fun and the sun – then Corfu is the perfect option. Located in the Ionian Islands, Corfu is an eclectic mix of pebbled coves, luscious sandy beaches, UNESCO-listed Old Town, incredible rock formations and luscious green inland. As well as checking out all of the sights the island has to offer, you can also take the kids to the famous Aqualand Water Park, or take a trip to the open-air cinema.

Milos

Milos is one of the most unusual Greek Islands. Created by underwater volcanic rock formations, the coast of Milos is rife with smooth cliff edges, sea caves and little coves that are perfect for snorkeling and exploring. The longest beach in Milos consists of three different beaches merging together and merges yellow, pink and red pebbles. With warm underwater springs, the sea will always be the perfect temperature for your family holiday.

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Should Halloween Costumes Cross Racial Lines?

PHOENIX (AP) — When Colorado attorney Jeff Schwartz asked his 7-year-old son what he wanted to dress as this Halloween, the answer was clear: his favorite movie superhero, “Black Panther.”

Schwartz said his white son’s choice of a black character didn’t give him pause.

“I didn’t give it a second thought,” said Schwartz. “I think that if my son wants to idolize a character — be it a black character or a white character — race doesn’t need to come into it at all.”

NBC talk show host Megyn Kelly’s comments about blackface on Halloween have reinvigorated a debate over costumes that cross racial lines and what’s appropriate at a time when diverse movie and TV characters like Black Panther have become hugely popular.

The issue has reverberated across social media, from magazine articles about white children wearing Black Panther costumes to protests against costumes that perpetuate Native American stereotypes. Social media debates have focused on whether political correctness is spoiling the spirit of the holiday.

The fallout was swift for Kelly, who wondered on her show why dressing up in blackface for Halloween is racist: NBC said Friday it was canceling “Megyn Kelly Today.” She found little support from her NBC colleagues, including Al Roker who called on her to apologize to people of color nationwide. He later was asked on Twitter if a woman’s white son was OK to dress as Black Panther.

“Sure he can. Just don’t try to wear dark makeup on,” Roker wrote.

Others chimed in on the thread, including Schwartz, whose son only wants to don the Marvel character’s vibranium suit.

“We should encourage our kids to have black heroes whether they’re white or black kids. That’s healthy,” Schwartz said.

Some articles warn white parents away from such a choice, arguing that while Black Panther’s fabled homeland “Wakanda” isn’t a real place, the character’s race is essential to his identity.

Elise Barrow, a black mother of three in New York City, said she and her husband tried to persuade their 5-year-old son to be Black Panther, but he opted to be a dinosaur instead. Barrow said she was torn by the debate.

“Kids want to be what they want to be. I’m not going to prevent them,” Barrow said. “If my son wants to be Captain America, I’m not going to say no.”

A similar issue cropped up in recent years with the animated features “Moana,” set in ancient Polynesia, and Pixar’s “Coco,” which centers on a Mexican boy named Miguel and his family. A few months before “Moana’s” November 2016 release, Disney pulled a costume based on the character of Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson. The ensemble included a brown bodysuit with Polynesian tattoos and a faux-grass skirt. Some argued that it was off-putting to have a child wear the skin of another race.

Jim Quirk, a white father of three in St. Paul, Minnesota, said adults should stop projecting concerns about race and gender onto what is essentially “a kids’ holiday.”

“They want to be princesses, doctors, Black Panther or whatever,” Quirk said. “They do it because they want to be like them. It’s adults who put meaning onto these things.”

But he acknowledges there are some things that are over the line, such as blackface.

“You shouldn’t be disrespectful,” Quirk said.

Calling out cultural appropriation is what drives Amanda Blackhorse, a longtime activist against the use of Native images for mascots and logos. On Wednesday, Blackhorse and others demonstrated outside the Phoenix headquarters of Yandy.com, a lingerie company that has been selling “sexy” Native costumes including one marketed as “Chief Wansum Tail.”

Her group delivered an online petition with thousands of signatures calling on Yandy to stop using Native American culture for costumes.

“The people have always looked at or seen Native people through stereotypes — through headdresses, buckskin and fringe,” Blackhorse said. “This company is perpetuating that. They think that’s who we are. They don’t see us as different tribes.”

The group wants Yandy to discontinue the line, issue an apology and donate any proceeds from the costumes to agencies that help Native American women. A spokeswoman for Yandy did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Yandy’s far from the only retailer offering such costumes. Amazon.com and other mainstream sites offer Halloween-wear based on Asian stereotypes such as a geisha or “dragon lady.” There are also Mexican-inspired outfits that include a poncho, sombrero and mustache and a “sexy senorita” dress.

Kelly’s blackface comments, meanwhile, left many outraged.

“Back when I was a kid that was OK as long as you were dressing up as like a character,” Kelly said in discussion with an all-white panel.

Blackface dates back to the 1830s when white performers would put on dark makeup, wigs and exaggerated costumes, mocking slaves, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. They often depicted black people as lazy, ignorant or cowardly. Decades later, movie stars like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland wore blackface on screen.

 


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What you should absolutely never do when visiting Germany

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Have a German vacation planned sometime soon? It’s a beautiful country in Europe, and there are plenty of amazing sights to see. However, before you jet off across the world ready to test your foreign language skills, there are some things you ought to be aware of first. Germany has a strict set of rules that you must abide by if you want to avoid upsetting the locals, or much worse. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t wear shoes inside

Unless given explicit instructions, you should always ask whether someone wants you to take your shoes off when in there home. Most people in Germany don’t wear their shoes inside, so to go ahead and do it could be considered extremely rude. If you feel weird asking, remove them anyway when you go inside to be on the safe side. The last thing you want to is upset someone that’s invited you into their home.

Don’t waste recyclables

Did you know that you’ll be charged extra for buying drinks in bottles or cans when you’re in Germany? It’s part of the country’s initiative to encourage people to recycle and not waste the materials. You’re expected to return the bottles and cans to a shop, although they’re not fussy about which shop you chose. All establishments are required to accept your recyclable waste, whether or not they were the place you bought them from initially.

 

Don’t be late

One thing you can rarely accuse Germans of not being is punctual. They’re almost always on time, and they expect the same of anyone they’re meeting with. To show up late would be considered rude and a waste of someone else’s time. So, if you make any appointments during your German vacation, make sure that you show up to them on time.

Don’t address people incorrectly

Learning another country’s language is confusing, especially when they have an entirely different set of grammatical rules that you’re not used to. When it comes to greeting people in Germany, there are two different ways to do it. You can either say Sie or du, depending on how well you know the person. Sie is the more formal choice, so it’s what you’re expected to use in something like a business setting. Du, on the other hand, is reserved for more informal conversations. If you’re not sure which to use, you can always ask.

Don’t disturb the peace

If you’re a bit of a party animal at night, then you might struggle during your trip to Germany. The country has a set of laws which prevent you from making too much noise at certain times of the day. You can’t do things like play loud music or vacuum between 10 pm and 7 am, or the entirety of Sunday. That might sound pretty restrictive, but it stops residents from being disturbed at inappropriate times. If you don’t follow these rules, people can complain, and you’ll find yourself face to face with one of the public order officers. You didn’t go to Germany to get in trouble with the law, so try to keep it down at night.

very country is different, and you should never visit somewhere new without first checking what rules are in place. They might not always make sense to you, but it’s important to respect them when you’re abroad. After all, you don’t want to get arrested.

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Megyn Kelly Is Cancelled. But She Never Should Have Had the Job in the First Place

In her 14 months as an NBC morning-show host—a role that has come to an abrupt end—Megyn Kelly found a number of ways to alienate viewers. She kicked off Megyn Kelly Today, last September, with an ill-considered joke about Will and Grace turning one of its fans gay and a question about plastic surgery that instigated a year-long feud with Jane Fonda. In January, she was forced to publicly apologize after appearing to endorse fat-shaming: “When I was in law school, I was gaining weight,” Kelly told fitness advocate Maria Kang. “I said to my stepfather, ‘If you see me going into that kitchen one more time, you say, “Where you going, fat ass?”’ And it works!” That same month, a fired staffer described a “toxic and demeaning” environment on the show. But Kelly dug a hole she couldn’t climb out of on Tuesday, questioning whether blackface Halloween costumes were actually racist.

“What is racist?” the host wondered aloud. “You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK just as long as you were dressing as a character.” The social media backlash was swift, with celebrities like W. Kamau Bell, Padma Lakshmi and Adam Rippon joining the fray. On Wednesday’s episode of Today, Al Roker pulled no punches in a statement about Kelly’s comments: “While she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country,” he said. “This is a history going back to the 1830s minstrel shows, to demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right.” Soon after, Kelly apologized to viewers, but the damage was done. “Megyn Kelly Today is not returning,” an NBC News spokesperson announced in a statement on Friday. “Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other Today co-anchors.”

Who could have predicted such a debacle? Oh, just about anyone who was familiar with Kelly’s pre-NBC history. In 2010, as a Fox News host, her well-publicized obsession with the marginal New Black Panther Party was an early hint at her views on race. Months after launching her popular show The Kelly File, in 2013, she caused an uproar by insisting that Santa Claus and Jesus were both white. A few years later, she denounced a so-called “thug mentality” within black communities. The list of race-baiting moments goes on.

So, to many, the salient question today isn’t “How could this have happened?” so much as “How did Megyn Kelly get a $ 69 million deal with a broadcast network in the first place?” The answer says a lot about viewers’ short collective memory: Kelly got her first taste of bipartisan approval during the most recent presidential election cycle, when she grilled Donald Trump over his comments demeaning women. He hit back (remember “blood coming out of her wherever”?), and the more she stood her ground, the more liberals warmed up to her. Kelly underscored her potential appeal to mainstream audiences by speaking out about sexual harassment she endured at the hands of Fox News chief Roger Ailes. By 2016, she was a Vanity Fair cover star. The NBC deal followed early the next year, with the short-lived Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly debuting in June 2017.

Megyn Kelly Today was plan b for the network’s new investment. Although its ratings never compared with those of its predecessor—an hour of Today hosted by Kelly’s reportedly lower-paid colleagues of color, Roker and Tamron Hall—the birth of the #MeToo movement last October gave Kelly a purpose that she clearly wasn’t finding in segments on parenting, cooking and celebrity gossip. She found her niche in championing women, famous and not, who came forward to accuse powerful men of sexual misconduct, and grounding her anger on their behalf in her own experiences at Fox News. For a TV personality who’d effectively erased past controversies by standing up to sexist men, these emotional interviews were the equivalent of playing her hits.

Kelly stepped back into the role of maverick feminist—never mind that her record had always been spotty on women’s issues that did not speak directly to Megyn Kelly. (She has cast aspersions on the equal pay movement, defended demonstrably false anti-abortion propaganda and told campus sexual assault activists to “toughen up, buttercup.”) The same girl-power veneer that kept her supporters in the mainstream media from reckoning with the Fox News version of Kelly in 2016 once again obscured the less savory aspects of her personality. Until it didn’t.

It wouldn’t have taken an investigative reporter to uncover all the reasons why she was the wrong choice for NBC, a broadcaster that presumably had no intention of spending a fortune on a host who would end up offending and alienating a substantial portion of its diverse audience. But the cost of the network’s myopia isn’t just monetary. In failing to weigh the risks of hiring someone like Megyn Kelly, NBC has also lost something priceless: viewers’ trust.


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Vaccine myths: 7 facts about vaccines everyone should know

A recent CDC report found the number of kids who are unvaccinated is going up.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Trump says Pittsburgh synagogue should have had armed guards

President Donald Trump said the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue would have been different had an armed guard been in place.


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Bill Self Should Be Suspended If Kansas Is Serious About Following the Rules

The picture of Kansas painted in court is the one that has been painted privately in the sport for years, and the players aren’t the ones who should miss time as a result.

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Djokovic, Nadal Should Reconsider Exhibition in Saudi Arabia After Jamal Khashoggi’s Killing

After the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal should reconsider their Saudi government-sponsored match in Jeddah. 

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Here’s how you should behave at those upcoming company holiday parties

Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year. And there are a lot of folks right now planning their company party. So let me be the first of many to offer advice on holiday party behavior: First, don’t do or say anything that would make your 10-year-old snitch to mommy or daddy. (Pretend your kid is…
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Should You Pay Off Mortgage Before You Retire?

(NerdWallet via AP)

Most people would be better off not having mortgages in retirement. Relatively few will get any tax benefit from this debt, and the payments can get more difficult to manage on fixed incomes.

But retiring a mortgage before you retire isn’t always possible. Financial planners recommend creating a Plan B to ensure you don’t wind up house rich and cash poor.

WHY A MORTGAGE-FREE RETIREMENT IS USUALLY BEST

Mortgage interest is technically tax deductible, but taxpayers must itemize to get the break — and fewer will, now that Congress has nearly doubled the standard deduction. Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation estimates 13.8 million households will benefit from the mortgage interest deduction this year, compared to more than 32 million last year.

Even before tax reform, people approaching retirement often got less benefit from their mortgages over time as payments switched from being mostly interest to being mostly principal.

To cover mortgage payments, retirees frequently have to withdraw more from their retirement funds than they would if the mortgage were paid off. Those withdrawals typically trigger more taxes, while reducing the pool of money that retirees have to live on.

That’s why many financial planners recommend their clients pay down mortgages while still working so that they’re debt-free when they retire.

Increasingly, though, people retire owing money on their homes. Thirty-five percent of households headed by people ages 65 to 74 have a mortgage, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. So do 23 percent of those 75 and older. In 1989, the proportions were 21 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

But rushing to pay off those mortgages may not be a good idea, either.

DON’T MAKE YOURSELF POORER

Some people have enough money in savings, investments or retirement funds to pay off their loans. But many would have to take a sizeable chunk of those assets, which could leave them short of cash for emergencies or future living expenses.

“While there are certainly psychological benefits related to being mortgage-free, financially, it is only of the last places I would direct a client to pay off early,” says certified financial planner Michael Ciccone of Summit, New Jersey.

Such big withdrawals also can shove people into much higher tax brackets and trigger whopping tax bills. When a client is wealthy enough to pay off a mortgage and wants to do so, CFP Chris Chen of Waltham, Massachusetts, still recommends spreading the payments over time to keep the taxes down.

Often, though, people in the best position to pay off mortgages may decide not to do so because they can get a better return on their money elsewhere, planners say. Also, they’re often the ones affluent enough to have big mortgages that still qualify for tax deductions.

“Mortgages many times have cheap interest rates that are deductible and thus may not be worth paying off if your portfolio after taxes can outpace it,” says CFP Scott A. Bishop of Houston.

WHEN A PAYOFF ISN’T POSSIBLE, MINIMIZE THE MORTGAGE

For many in retirement, paying off the house simply isn’t possible.

“The best case ‘wishful thinking’ scenario is that they’ll have a cash windfall via an inheritance or the like that can be used to pay off the debt,” says CFP Rebecca L. Kennedy of Denver.

In pricey Los Angeles, CFP David Rae suggests mortgage-burdened clients refinance before they retire to lower their payments. (Refinancing is generally easier before retirement than after.)

“Refinancing can spread your remaining mortgage balance out over 30 years, greatly reducing the portion of your budget it eats up,” says Rae, whose office is in West Hollywood.

Those who have substantial equity built up in their homes could consider a reverse mortgage, planners say. These loans can be used to pay off the existing mortgage, but no payments are required and the reverse mortgage doesn’t have to be paid off until the owner sells, moves out or dies.

Another solution: downsize to eliminate or at least reduce mortgage debt. CFP Kristin C. Sullivan, also of Denver, encourages her clients to consider this option.

“Don’t fool yourself that your grown kids will be back visiting all the time,” Sullivan says. “Certainly don’t keep enough space and comfort for them to move back in with you!”

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet.

Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Black Moms Matter: Should Paddles In School Make A Come Back?

Remember how back in the day teachers and principals were allowed to physically discipline students when they misbehaved? Do you think spanking in schools should come back? Kym and Sherri aren’t sure that’s the best idea. Kids today are so bold and some of them are just plain crazy! If the student manages to take the paddle away from the teacher then teachers will be the ones being spanked in school. Now that’d be hilarious!

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Should You Wear Jeans with a Jacket?

Have you ever asked yourselves, should I wear a jacket with jeans? Is it too formal? Is it just right?

In this guide, we talk about nothing but jeans, blazers and suit jackets; when you can wear them, when you should avoid them, and anything else you want to know about those combinations.

Obviously, it’s a very similar question to can I wear a jacket without a tie and we discuss it in a separate video, so stay tuned.

When Should You Wear A Jacket With Denim?

Many men today wear it yet it goes against traditional style rules because jeans used to be strictly blue-collar workwear.

Today, men’s style is a lot more casual than it used to be 50 or 60 years ago and jeans are probably the number one worn pants by men. As everything gets more casual, of course, a lot of men try to wear jeans with anything else they have in their wardrobe, particularly suit separates because that’s what they sometimes have to wear to work.

In an attempt to dress up their jeans or to dress down their suit, they simply combine the two but it rarely works and it hardly ever looks advantageous unless you follow a few clear-cut rules.

The issue of suit jackets with jeans is that it is a clash of formalities. Typically, it’s a combination seen worn by middle managers who want to seem approachable yet be a cut above their subordinates. It’s definitely a fine line to walk but dressing purposefully and thoughtfully is the key here.

How To Pull Of The Jacket & Jeans Look

Pair your jacket with your dressiest jeans

Pair your jacket with your dressiest jeans

1. Pair Your Blazer Or Sport Coat With Your Dressiest Jeans.

That means no holes and no used look. Also, it’s really important that you have enough contrast between your sport coat and your jeans. If you have a dark washed denim with a dark navy blazer, it’s not enough contrast and it looks odd because it’s similar yet it’s not a suit and it’s just weird.

So in general, a medium dark wash or something slightly lighter is best. It’s essential that your jeans don’t puddle and are hemmed to the exact right length.

In terms of cut, a straight leg or maybe something that slightly tapered works best. Definitely avoid really baggy cuts as well as a bootcut. Also, don’t cuff or pin roll your jeans because that’s simply too casual.

Several jeans and jacket combinations worn by Sven Raphael Schneider

Several jeans and jacket combinations worn by Sven Raphael Schneider

2. Go With Jackets that Have Different Colors & Patterns.

Branch out and go with jackets that have different colors as well as patterns and materials because that’s more contrasting or interesting, but also more casual and it works better with jeans. Good features include notched lapels because peak lapels would be too formal. You can also have patch pockets because they’re more formal than jetted pockets or flat pockets.

In terms of patterns, you can go with little houndstooth pattern, maybe a small micro check or a classic Prince of Wales check.When it comes to material compositions, 100% wool is okay but to make it more casual, add cotton and linen blends. Sometimes, wool linen or wool cotton blends or sometimes also a little bit of silk or cashmere for a softer hand and touch.

In terms of jacket colors, you can go with lighter shades of blue, maybe a royal blue, or even a lighter blue. Overchecks could be in red or an orange because that’s a little more casual. In the winter, brown tones are great especially as a Glen check with dark brown and off-white or maybe a herringbone jacket in a medium brown.With all those lighter colors, one pair of dark washed denim really works best because it provides a contrast and it’s a classic jeans color. The personal favorite of mine is the color green, it goes really well with dark washed denim. Also, definitely avoid white or off-white jackets because the denim will color off on it and the contrast is too strong.

Mercer and Sons Button Down collar with S-curve

Mercer and Sons Button Down collar with S-curve

3. Wear Casual Shirts To Bridge The Gap Formalities.

Long-sleeve dress shirts are good but ideally, you should avoid the most formal variations in solid white because they’re just too businesslike. Instead, maybe you go with an off-white or a green shirt, maybe something with a rougher texture, and maybe skip ironing to create a more casual look.

A light blue checked shirt is a great choice

A light blue checked shirt is a great choice

Alternatively, you can also go with button-down collars because they are more casual and check shirts, as well as little houndstooth shirts because they’re also more casual than solids. If you want something like a solid, I suggest an oxford fabric with a two-tone, maybe light blue and white because it’s durable and more casual. No matter what shirt you choose, always tuck it in because an untucked shirt with a sport coat or a suit jacket simply looks odd.

A classic derby shoe is your best bet

A classic derby shoe is your best bet

4. Wear The Right Shoes.

Wear the combination of jeans and sport coat with the right kind of shoes. Black Oxfords are way too formal and not appropriate here. At the same time, boat shoes are too informal and should likewise be avoided.

Ideally, go with brown tones or burgundy and oxblood. If you want to be a little more experimental, you can think about olive green, gray or maybe navy. In terms of styles, a classic derby shoe is good.

This color will definitely make you stand out

This color will definitely make you stand out

Alternatively, you could opt for loafers, either tassel loafers or penny loafers, both work. Other good options are monk straps with some broguing and a wingtip or those more fashion-forward double monks in burgundy. If you want to go with oxfords, go with brogues, either half brogues or full brogues, because that’s casual enough to wear with jeans and it ties the ensemble together with your sport coat. Other good options include chukka boots or Chelsea boots.

In terms of leather texture, suede is really great to combine with jeans and a sport coat. Why? Simply because it’s a little more casual. It’s less serious and as such, it ties together those two elements of different formalities

Jacket With Jeans Style Don’ts

Never attempt to wear your Db business jackets with jeans

Never attempt to wear your Db business jackets with jeans

1. Never Combine Business Jackets With Denim Jeans.

Avoid black business suit jackets or pinstripe jackets with dark blue jeans; it just looks weird and odd. As discussed before, while some suit jackets can be worn with jeans especially if they’re more casual, any kind of business suit should not be combined with jeans, that includes solid navy jackets or maybe solid gray jackets but also any kind of stripe, pinstripe, rope stripe or chalk stripe. They won’t look good with jeans.

2. Skip DB business jackets.

Double-breasted is typically more formal. It has peak lapels and as such, it is even more formal than a single-breasted blazer with patch pockets. Hence, avoid those. However, in recent years, double-breasted jackets have become a lot more popular especially at Pitti Uomo. And if you have something that has a nice linen blend maybe with the Prince of Wales pattern and lighter colors, you can definitely combine them with jeans.

Does this look appeal to you?

Does this look attractive to you?

3. Never wear a t-shirt with jeans underneath a jacket.

It’s a clash of formalities. Either you wear just a t-shirt and some jeans and you skip the jacket altogether or you opt for the jacket but you go with a casual dress shirt or a blend of polo shirt and dress shirt that I mentioned before.

Black oxfords are a big no no

Black oxfords are a big no no

4. Never wear any kind of black shoes.

It simply looks out of place. Black is fine for formal business suits and office wear but not when you wear it with jeans. Instead go with browns, tan tones, burgundy tones, greens or anything else but not black.

Skip neckwear and accessorize with a pocket square

Skip neckwear and accessorize with a pocket square

5. Skip any form of neckwear.

Jeans with a jacket are not ideal if you want to wear a tie, a bow tie or maybe an ascot simply because it would be too formal and a clash. So if you opt for the combination of jacket and jeans, forego your tie and your neckwear. Instead, go with a pocket square or maybe a boutonniere because that creates a visual interest and it just creates a more polished look.

 

A casual dress shirt

A casual dress shirt

6. Do not wear a formal dress shirt with a jacket and jeans.

That means, double cuffs with cufflinks because that’s too formal for regular cotton denim. Likewise, a solid white shirt is not appropriate. A light blue might work.

Maybe go with a different texture, a different weave that is more open so it breathes better and you’re more comfortable during the summer. Striped shirts can work especially if you have bolder stripes, wider or larger scale stripes, or maybe stripes in a different color. At the same time, the whole ensemble has to work together.

7. Don’t wear jeans and a sport coat if you don’t know the dress code.

Why? Well, if you’re not sure about a dress code it always pays to dress one notch up. In that case, it would mean wearing your blazer with a pair of chinos rather than your jeans. Alternatively, if you think that’s over-the-top, you can skip the jacket and just go with a casual dress shirt and a pair of slacks, either chinos or jeans, depending on what you think is right for the occasion.

Diagonal tweed in gray

Diagonal tweed in gray

By the way, during the colder months of the year, a tweed jacket works really well with jeans simply because it’s more casual by definition. It has a coarser weave, it has warmer earth tones, and so it’s a great jacket that is usually single breasted and has notch lapels which makes it again less formal and therefore, perfectly suited for jeans.

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a subdued madras casual jacket, great on vacation

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a subdued madras casual Harrington jacket, great on vacation

That being said, there are tons of other jackets which are less formal and therefore equally as well suited to jeans as a tweed jacket. Some of them include a Panama jacket which is more of a summer jacket and a Harrington jacket.

CONCLUSION

You can definitely wear a jacket with jeans; just make sure it’s casual enough and not your typical business suit. When it comes to footwear, brown shoes are your friend and make sure it’s not too casual but also not too formal.


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Kavanaugh: Judges should be impartial

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Should You Buy a Low-Cost Health Insurance Policy? Here’s What to Consider

Starting today, Americans can buy lower-cost health insurance policies that can stay in effect for as long as three years — up from the previous three-month limit.

But while the savings in premiums will be attractive to some, critics warn the old adage applies: “You get what you pay for.”

“As the bills from hospitals and other providers start to pile up, many of these folks… would come to realize they’re not really insured at all,” the Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families says. “For the individuals enrolled in these plans, the devastating financial consequences could be real and long term.”

Limitations of Short-Term Health Insurance Policies

The plans are cheaper — as much as one-third cheaper in some cases, according to the Department of Health and Human Services — than those that comply with the Affordable Care Act, which has required coverages. The average monthly premium for one person in late 2016 was about $ 124 compared with $ 393 for an unsubsidized plan that complied with the Affordable Care Act, according to the department.

But many lower-cost plans don’t cover services such as mental-health or substance-abuse treatment or prescription drug coverage, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

And none covers maternity care, the same study found. A regular birth costs about $ 32,000 and a cesarean section about $ 51,000, according to a 2013 Truven Health Analytics study of women with health insurance.

Also generally excluded are people with pre-existing medical conditions, who are required to be covered under policies that comply with the Affordable Care Act. An estimated 133 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Why Are Short-Term Health Insurance Policies Being Expanded?

Premiums for Affordable Care Act coverage went up about 21% in 2017, putting them out of financial reach for some people — especially those whose earnings are not low enough to qualify for a subsidy under the act, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Department of Health and Human Services this summer announced that it would allow the lower-cost plans to be purchased for up to a year of coverage and renewed for two years.

The policies originally were limited to less than three months and intended as a stopgap for people who didn’t have health insurance through their employers.

Which Consumers Might Benefit From Short-Term Policies?

They work best for those who are generally healthy, because insurers can drop anyone who becomes sick, according to the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms.

The reason the short-term policies are less expensive — the cost varies from state to state — is that they don’t have to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

That means they can exclude benefits such as emergency services, hospitalization, rehabilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive care, chronic disease management, contraceptives, breastfeeding supplies, counseling and pediatric services.

There’s no easy way to determine what services are covered because plans vary widely, as do deductibles, copayments, and caps.

Other possible pitfalls:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services warns consumers that they won’t automatically be eligible to buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act if their short-term policy ends before the open enrollment period begins and they decide not to renew or are dropped by their insurer.
  • Short-term policies don’t meet the requirements to maintain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, making consumers who buy them potentially liable in 2018 for a penalty of $ 695 per adult and $ 347.50 per child — or 2.5% of household income, whichever is greater. The penalty goes away starting in 2019.
  • Short-term policies generally have limits on the amount paid for services and caps on lifetime payouts. Patients may have to pick up the sometimes-substantial difference between what the insurer pays and what the provider charges.
  • Policyholders can be charged more based on age, sex and health.

The bottom line: These policies may be beneficial to some. But it’s critical to read all disclosures before signing up to avoid finding out later that you don’t have coverage for something you need. What’s cheap up front could end up costing you dearly later.

In short: caveat emptor.

Susan Jacobson is an editor at The Penny Hoarder.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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