October 18, 2012

The Oakmont Bakery in Oakmont, Penn., is holding its own presidential race of sorts, selling cookies that use icing paper and food coloring to capture the likenesses of President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney. The bakery, which is "established on firm Christian beliefs," began selling the cookies in September, and as of Oct. 17, Romney versions had outsold the Obama biscuits, 350 to 331.  The Week Staff

12:13 p.m. ET

Marco Rubio really wants to hold onto his Senate seat, he swears — but it seems like Florida voters may not be so sure.

After his failed presidential bid, the Florida Republican swore up and down he'd be a "private citizen" come January 2017, right up until he reversed course and announced he'd run for re-election to the Senate. Rubio's flip-flop was largely interpreted in part as an effort to help Republicans hold onto their Senate majority, with Rubio being a strong candidate against Democratic opponent Rep. Patrick Murphy. But a new Public Policy Polling survey shows Rubio locked in a dead heat with Murphy:

Public Policy Polling surveyed 742 likely Florida voters for this poll from Oct. 25-26, and the results have a 3.6-point margin of error. But while the poll shows the two men in a dead heat, its results also hint at how either candidate can get a leg up in the race: PPP noted that undecided voters are "looking at gun violence prevention as a major factor in their upcoming vote," with 72 percent of these undecided respondents supporting background checks for all gun sales. Rubio has said he was moved to jump back into the Senate race in part by the deadly June attack on an Orlando nightclub, where a lone gunman killed 49 people — though last December he voted against a measure that would have expanded background checks.

Rubio has also been attempting to distance himself from Donald Trump, his party's nominee, who trails Hillary Clinton in the same PPP poll by 4 points in the Sunshine State. But Rubio has affirmed that he'll be voting for Trump, so whether Rubio's delicate dance around the Republican nominee will help or hurt him remains to be seen. The RealClearPolitics average of polls of the Rubio-Murphy race shows the incumbent hanging on to a 3.6-point lead — but it also shows Murphy has been steadily gaining support in recent weeks. The two held their second and final debate Wednesday at Broward College near Fort Lauderdale, which you can read more about at the Miami Herald. Kimberly Alters

11:51 a.m. ET

The star-like rise of the tech industry has come with one big downside, The Wall Street Journal reports: Money is pouring in, but jobs are disappearing.

The five largest U.S.-based tech companies by stock-­market value — Apple, Alphabet, Micro­soft, Face­book, and Oracle — are worth a com­bined $1.8 trillion. That's 80 percent more than the five most valuable tech companies in 2000: Cisco, Intel, IBM, Oracle, and Micro­soft. But today's tech giants employ 22 percent fewer workers than their predecessors. The big five had a combined 434,500 employees last year, compared with 556,520 at the top five firms in 2000.

Some of it has to do with companies outsourcing production to foreign countries with cheaper labor, as well as the increased use of machines to replace routine, low-skill work. "As much as $2 trillion worth of human economic activity could be automated away using existing technologies," The Journal reports. The Week Staff

11:44 a.m. ET
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Last year, 64 former Congress mem­bers sat on corporate boards — 31 Democrats and 33 Republicans — earning an average $357,182 each, roughly twice what they earned as lawmakers. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor made a whopping $2 million last year serving on the board of investment bank Moelis & Co., Bloomberg reports.

Since 1992, 44 percent of former senators and 11 percent of former representatives have become corporate directors. Some watchdog groups cry foul, saying "a lawmaker might hold his or her fire on an issue to increase the odds of getting a director job" after his tenure in Washington. But others point out it's unfair to demonize former politicians for seeking another career later in life. The Week Staff

11:09 a.m. ET

While the Washington Redskins have long been the focal point of the sports branding racism debates, the Cleveland Indians' presence in this year's World Series has thrown their cartoon mascot, "Chief Wahoo," back into the spotlight.

What is remarkable about the Indians' branding is that it has grown worse over time, as demonstrated by a historical progression of Cleveland logos shared by Fast Company. In the team's earliest years, its logo was a simple C for Cleveland, but in 1928 the team adopted a pictorial logo. It all went downhill from there, and though the C logo was brought back in 2014, Chief Wahoo still appears in arguably his most racist form on the team's uniforms and merchandise.

The Braves, currently of Atlanta, followed a similar pattern of moving from single letter logos and more realistic depictions of their Native mascot to an increasingly cartoonish and literally red version.

For more on Chief Wahoo in particular and Native imagery in sports more broadly, check out this analysis from The Week's Emily L. Hauser. Bonnie Kristian

10:51 a.m. ET

Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Evan Bayh has weathered a flurry of attacks from critics who have been eager to hammer him on everything from living out of state (Bayh has two homes in Washington, one in Florida, and a condo in Indianapolis) to making millions since leaving the Senate in 2011 ($6 million in 2015 and 2016). Still, between Oct. 3 and 24, Bayh has managed to stay an average of 3.7 points up on his Republican opponent, Indiana Rep. Todd Young.

But the latest ad attacking Bayh comes from the ESAFund, "an independent organization that proudly supports candidates who favor enhancing free enterprise and balancing the budget," and it finds Bayh so appalling it nearly suggests dressing up as him for Halloween.

"What do Bayh, dead people, and convicts have in common?" the ad asks. The spooky answer to that riddle can be found below. Jeva Lange

10:37 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

At the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton introduced the idea of a "Trump effect," in which Donald Trump's presence on the national stage has influenced the behavior of school children for the worse. "Bullying is up," she said, referencing anecdotal evidence from teachers and parents. "A lot of people are feeling uneasy, a lot of kids are expressing their concerns."

Now Clinton has proposed a $500 million anti-bullying initiative to fund a 10-year program in American schools. She described the plan Thursday as a "major new effort to help states and communities and schools and families end bullying wherever it takes place," again making the point that "teachers have reported that this election has made it worse."

The trouble is there's no hard evidence the "Trump effect" exists. Supporters of Clinton's initiative are citing a Southern Poverty Law Center survey of teachers that found Trump is generating "an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color," but the survey wasn't scientific: It was a poll of teachers already on SPLC's email list and its website visitors, hardly a representative sample of America's educators.

However, about 3,000 therapists have signed a "manifesto" claiming Trump has engendered anxiety among their patients, and one national poll found 43 percent of voters said Trump has caused them emotional distress. As for bullying rates specifically, scientifically sound data for 2016 won't be available from the National Center for Education Statistics until 2018. Bonnie Kristian

10:05 a.m. ET
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The World Series is tied 1-1 after the first two games in Cleveland, and on Friday the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians will kick off their three-game stay at Wrigley Field in the first championship game in the park in 71 years.

The Indians are putting the steady Josh Tomlin on the mound in the hopes of depriving the Cubs of opportunities to get on base, with relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen also fresh for Game 3. While the Indians face long odds, they'll get a break as Cubs sluggger Kyle Schwarber will be limited to pinch-hitting, as he has yet to be medically cleared to take his place in the outfield. Cy Young candidate Kyle Hendricks will be on the mound for the Cubs.

If you're the superstitious type, the Cubs might have a little magic on their side, too: "For the Cubs, it's been 108 years [since they won the World Series]," WTHR writes. "It's a powerful number for the Cubs. Consider this. There are 108 stitches in a baseball. The foul poles at Wrigley Field are 108 meters from home plate. The last two Cubs to the Hall of Fame were Ron Santo and Andre Dawson, numbers 10 and eight."

The first pitch is at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, with live-streaming available via Fox Sports Go. Jeva Lange

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