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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Macy’s Says Black Friday Will Actually Start on Thanksgiving Day at 6PM

Macy’s Says Black Friday Will Actually Start on Thanksgiving Day at 6PM


Macy’s Says Black Friday Will Actually Start on Thanksgiving Day at 6PM

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:47 AM PDT

Black Friday is starting early this holiday shopping season.

Macy’s fired the first shots of the Thanksgiving shopping wars Tuesday, announcing that its doors will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, a Thursday. That’s two hours earlier than last year, NBC reports, when Macy’s opened at 8 P.M. Thursday. Back in 2012, it opened at midnight on Black Friday.

Macy’s said in a statement that Black, well, Thursday was appealing to both consumers and employees who volunteer to work the Thanksgiving Day shift. “We also heard last year from many associates who appreciated the opportunity to work on Thanksgiving so they could have time off on Black Friday,” Macy’s said, according to the Star Tribune. “Additionally, associates who work an opening shift on Thanksgiving will be compensated with incentive pay.”

You can take that Thanksgiving dinner to go, right?

I Taught Fitness and Failed a Fat Test

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:46 AM PDT

xojane

This story originally appeared on xoJane.com.

After years of teaching yoga and exercise, I signed up to take a fitness test. I wanted to test my chops and be a guinea pig for my boss to learn the test protocol. I pedaled on the spin bike: stellar cardio. I easily touched my toes: excellent flexibility. I bench pressed for max reps: my strength was off the chart. Then in a private office, I took my clothes off for body fat testing.

The spiky caliper pinched my belly, hip, triceps, and thigh. I played off the discomfort with jokes about “plenty of cushion for the pushin’.” The results determined that I was 13% over the recommended body fat. Not what I wanted to hear.

It felt like a slap in the face, another reminder of being last picked for the dodge ball team and the “why bother if you’re fat” attitude.

Growing up a chubby kid, I learned this attitude. By junior high, I quit sports and dance, opting for watching reruns on the couch after school. When I found yoga in my 20s, it was the first time exercise actually felt good. I eventually started to teach and ended up losing 30 pounds.

But after all those times I chose salad and dragged my least-stinky sports bra out of the hamper, this test said I was overweight. With these results I had three choices:

1) Pursue the test’s standard. Restrict my eating, amp up my workouts, or find more extreme means of weight loss.

2) Throw in the towel and accept that I would never get “in shape.”

3) Realize that the test might be bogus.

At the time of the assessment, I was studying nutrition in a graduate program, shopping at the farmers’ market, and relishing the Bay Area foodie scene. My diet didn’t need an overhaul. I’ve never been willing to count calories or jump on trendy dietary bandwagons. Between yoga, cardio and strength training, I exercised with consistency, variability and enthusiasm. As I walked out of the gym, I realized that I rocked all the actual measures of fitness.

I didn’t fail a fitness test. I failed at being thin. Luckily, my grad school curriculum also included a course on the “Health at Every Size” philosophy that questions measures like the Body Mass Index and our relentless pursuit of skinny. HAES advocates for intuitive eating and pleasurable movement — exactly how I lost weight. But according to the test, where my body had settled wasn’t low enough.

HAES made me question the test and the self-loathing landmine of the fitness industry. Every day during gym orientations I heard about fitness goals and the promised land of thin. Women pinched their “trouble zones” and insulted their “flabby arms,” “muffin tops” and “thunder thighs.” Would the caliper testing lacquer on more self-hatred? The test ignores an important reality: self-loathing thwarts our every move.

Now teaching for over 11 years, I focus on movement instead of body shape or weight loss. I finished my graduate degree, have a pile of certifications, and can hurl a 50 pound kettlebell overhead. I’m proud that I never went overboard. I never careened into disordered eating, overuse injuries, or adrenal fatigue. This is actually rare in my field.

The caliper would have less of me to pinch these days but it would probably still consider me fat. With round thighs, belly, and arms, I stand in front of classes and model what I believe: we can be fit without fitting the norm. Learning powerful actions like warrior poses and squats free us from all the pinching and self-loathing.

Sadie Chanlett-Avery is a yoga teacher living in California.

Cities Have Found a New Way to Take Your Money

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:42 AM PDT

All yellow traffic lights are not created equal, it seems. Especially in Chicago.

With little notice at the time, this spring the city shortened the duration of its yellow lights by a fraction of a second. The change was slight: the yellow lights lasted 2.9 seconds before turning red instead of the previous city-required minimum of three seconds. But the effect for the cash-starved city was real: nearly $8 million from an additional 77,000 tickets, according to the city’s inspector general.

All of those $100 tickets were issued after cameras installed at intersections caught the drivers as they passed through. These systems, known as red light cameras, are an increasingly controversial tactic for policing roadways. Established in the name of public safety, critics contend the cameras have become little more than a way for municipalities to funnel money into their coffers.

“If the machine is set to catch more people and generate more revenue, then it does not really seem to be about safety but about revenue,” says Joseph Schofer, a professor of transportation at Northwestern University.

Chicago isn’t the first municipality to benefit from shaving time off of yellow traffic lights. In 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation secretly reduced its policy on the length of yellow lights, likely bringing millions of dollars in additional revenue to the state.

There is no federal rule for how long a yellow light should be illuminated, but the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends three to six seconds. Nationwide, a minimum of three seconds is generally considered standard. John Bowman, a spokesperson for the National Motorists Association, which opposes the cameras, says the organization routinely gets calls from people saying they received a red light camera ticket, believing the yellow light was too short.

“I don’t think you’re ever going to get a public official on the record saying, ‘We shortened them to make more money,’” Bowman says. “But I think that clearly goes on.”

Red light cameras gained popularity in the 1990s after New York became the first U.S. city to install a network. The initial motivation was safety, says Hani Mahmassani, the director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center. The hope was that cameras would deter drivers from running red lights if they knew it would lead to a ticket. But in the 200os, as the popularity of the cameras grew, cities and the companies that manufactured, installed and helped operate the cameras adopted a revenue-sharing model. The more violations caught by the cameras, the more money the city and the businesses stood to make.

“That’s when it became a greed thing,” Mahmassani says.

By the end of the decade, red light camera networks were in hundreds of municipalities. Today, 499 towns and cities have adopted them, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

While the potential for profit is clear, the public safety value of red light cameras is fuzzy. Studies on whether red light cameras actually enhance safety are mixed. Several studies conducted by IIHS, which supports the cameras, show that crashes have not only decreased in intersections that utilize the cameras but that vehicle-related deaths have declined in those cities as well. But other research has shown that the cameras actually increase rear-end collisions because they force drivers to stop more quickly over fear that they’ll run the light and get ticketed, causing tailing motorists to smack into them.

And many of the systems have had other problems. In New Jersey, 17,000 motorists never received tickets for running a red light, while in Chicago, a former city official and the former CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems have been indicted as part of an alleged bribery scheme. There have also been reports of unexplained spikes in tickets given out by the system.

All of which has led to a growing backlash against the cameras. Red light cameras are currently banned in seven states, and others are considering outlawing them. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie says it’s unlikely he’ll extend the state’s red light cameras beyond their expiration date at the end of the year. In Ohio, state lawmakers are looking at banning them by requiring speeding or red light tickets to be handed out in person by officers. And in Chicago, the city said it will no longer ticket motorists who breeze through the shorter yellow. But it’s keeping the money from the ones it already issued.

Nurses ‘Infuriated’ By Suggestion of Dallas Ebola Protocol Breach

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:29 AM PDT

When Thomas Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the nurses and doctors who took over his care became the frontline in the battle with the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), proper infection control procedures should have protected those health care workers from getting infected, and should have stopped the virus from spreading any further than Duncan and anyone he may have had direct contact with before falling ill.

But they didn’t. Nina Pham, one of the nurses assigned to care for Duncan before he died, tested positive for Ebola on Oct 13. Initially, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden attributed the infection to a “breach in protocol.”

“That infuriated me,” says Karen Higgins, co-president of National Nurses United (NNU) and a nurse at Boston Medical Center. “What it should have been attributed to was a breakdown in the system. It never should have been stated. Instead, we should figure out what the problem was and fix it, not say that it was her fault that she didn’t follow protocol and that’s why it happened.”

MORE: 5 Ways U.S. Hospitals Need to Get Ready For Ebola

CDC has since acknowledged that they and the Texas health department are still investigating how the infection occurred, but according to the nurses’ group, there are serious gaps in the country’s preparedness for treating Ebola patients. For one, there is no standard protocol for what a hospital needs to have in place and how a hospital should handle an Ebola case. The CDC has published guidelines on its website, but it’s up to each hospital to decide how to implement those recommendations. And according to a recent survey of more than 2,200 nurses in 46 states, those policies vary widely and are haphazard. Eighty five percent of the nurses questioned felt their hospitals had not provided education about Ebola in a format in which they could ask questions and learn more about best practices for protecting themselves, the patient and their communities. Most were directed to a video or website or handed a piece of paper informing them of Ebola’s symptoms and urging them to ask patients with fevers about their recent travel history. Some were provided a Hazmat suit in the breakroom and told to try it on if they had time. Most said their hospitals did not have Hazmat suits for the nurses. Forty percent of them said their hospitals did not have enough protective equipment, including face shields or the fluid-barrier gowns that are required when treating infectious patients. “Are we prepared for infectious diseases? Yes we are. Are we prepared for Ebola? No we are not,” says Higgins.

The fact that two hospitals in the U.S.—Emory University Hospital and Nebraska Medical Center—successfully treated Ebola patients without any spread of the virus supports Frieden’s conviction that it’s possible to contain Ebola and protect health care workers.

MORE: Ebola Health Care Workers Face Hard Choices

But in order to do that, the NNU says a strong mandate is needed from the CDC and public health departments that specifies exactly what type of equipment health care providers should be wearing, how they should put the equipment on and take it off, and how they should dispose of them once they have been contaminated. That’s especially important if the CDC expects every hospital to be able to properly care for Ebola patients, something that Frieden says is possible. “We are challenging the CDC and saying we are past the time of guidelines and recommendations,” says Higgins. “What we need are standards, high standards of care. Say that this is now what is expected of your equipment, the right gloves, the right outfits, masks and covers.”

Specifically, the nurses want Hazmat suits for anyone who will be treating an Ebola patient. Health departments and the CDC have been reluctant to mandate these, since putting them on or taking them off improperly may put health care workers at greater risk of contamination. But with training, the nurses say, the suits could prevent further spread of the virus, like what happened in Dallas. “The equipment is one thing, but training has to be the second part,” says Higgins. “And not just a web site or a video, but people working with people one on one to make sure everyone understands what they are doing, how to get in and out of the equipment, and how to do it right.”

At Boston Medical Center, hospital staff have recognized that current procedures aren’t enough, and in the past week have increased hands-on training and drills to make sure health care workers are prepared to properly handle an Ebola patient, should one walk through the door. Those procedures include making sure that anyone gowning to go into an infectious patient’s room has a buddy to observe or gown with them, and point out any missed steps or improperly worn protective gear.

MORE: Ebola Lessons We Need To Learn From Dallas

Waste from a potential Ebola patient is also getting the same stepped-up vigilance. Previously, the waste wasn’t given any additional care beyond the usual treatment for hazardous materials—a separate bin and a separate removal process that generally ended in incineration. But now, the hospital is requiring any Ebola material to be double or triple bagged and put in a separate box to be removed by a properly trained hazardous waste management team who will dispose of it in the right way to prevent further contamination.

For now, the nurses aren’t confident that they are able to properly protect themselves and their community from Ebola, but they’re convinced that with the proper equipment and training, they can be. “This is our test and we need to do it right,” says Higgins. “We feel extremely upset that any [healthcare worker] got infected. Hopefully she will be fine, but we don’t want to have to face another person or family that ends up getting infected because we are not as good as we should be in treating patients.”

The Rosetta Spacecraft Took an Epic Selfie With a Comet

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:28 AM PDT

Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft took a selfie published Tuesday that is, quite literally, out of this world.

Rosetta’s mission is to land on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The spacecraft is very close to its target, enough that the comet appears in the background of this image only 16km away.

Rosetta, dubbed Europe’s “comet chaser,” went into space in 2004. It had many things on its to-do list, including eventually landing on 67P. But for now, Mission Selfie accomplished.

A Million Peeping Toms: When Hacking Is Also a Hate Crime

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:14 AM PDT

In her first public statements about the theft and distribution of her private nude photographs, Jennifer Lawrence called the act “a sex crime.” There are differences of opinion about using those words to characterize what happened. What is not debatable however is that, of the reportedly more than 100 celebrities targeted in this episode involving Lawrence, the overwhelming majority have been women. So, why aren’t we seriously discussing this in terms of gender-based hate? That’s also a serious charge.

The nonconsensual distribution of intimate photos is similar to offline voyeurism in many ways. We call these voyeurs Peeping Toms, a classic linguistic minimization of a sex crime that, like revenge porn, is gendered. Peeping Thomasinas aren’t really a thing. (The crime is treated differently state by state. In some states, but not all, voyeurs must register as sex offenders. Revenge porn is a non-registry offense.)

“There is no principled way to argue that this is any less serious than voyeurism,” explains Mary Anne Franks, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law and Vice-President of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. “There is no denying the blunt truth of [Lawrence’s] words: she alone has the right to control access to her naked body, and anyone who violates that right has committed a profound and inexcusable wrong. That means that laws against hacking are insufficient to address this violation.” Danielle Citron, author of Hate Crimes in Cyber Space, has also argued that these crimes clearly infringe on women’s civil rights.

However, what happens when there are millions of Peeping Toms? Given the scope and number of people who participated, and the time and effort the hackers took to gather the photographs and carefully plan their release, it’s clear that technology isn’t just mirroring offline crimes but amplifying them in ways that qualitatively change their impact and should prompt serious debate about gender-based hatred and bias crimes.

Federal hate crime legislation does not actually require that perpetrators of crimes express explicit hatred for the people they target. Instead, the salient information is that hate crimes are those in which a person is targeted because of, in this case, his or her gender. In addition, a “prominent characteristic of a violent crime motivated by bias is that it devastates not just the actual victim and the family and friends of the victim, but frequently savages the community sharing the traits that caused the victim to be selected.” While men are also the victims of revenge porn, as with the threat that a serial rapist of women poses to a community, how can anyone doubt that girls and women experienced the theft and sharing of these photos, which overwhelming involved women, in ways that men did not?

This wasn’t a privately executed sex crime, but a public one infused with gender bias. As the systematic theft, accumulation and mass sharing of these photos shows, we live in a culture in which violations of women’s privacy are normalized, where harms to women are routinely trivialized, where our sexual objectification is the norm and where society resists legitimate and reasonable consideration of the role gender and status play in what happened. (There have been at least four waves of photo released, the last of which included the first man.)

It’s not just that photographs like Lawrence’s violated women’s rights to privacy and constituted theft, or that they might be considered pornographic or offensive. It’s that the perpetrators sought to attack the women, humiliate them, assault their dignity, and interfere with their lives and well being because they are women. Revenge porn is overwhelmingly perpetrated against women by men, and is rooted in displaying male dominance. There is nothing new in this type of female dehumanization. What’s new is its digitized and scalable industrialization. The attack on female celebrities sends a clear message that even the most admired and powerful women can be treated this way.

We have a national predisposition to downplay gender as consequential. This November marks the fifth anniversary of the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, in which sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability were finally added to federal hate crimes law.

The purpose of the 2009 act was largely to ensure that people have the chance to pursue justice if they feel that their state courts have failed. Only some states have hate crime statutes and, of those, a sub-segment include gender as a category for consideration. The battle to include gender at the federal level was long and hard fought. Either way, social recognition of gender-based hate, as post Elliot Rodger’s public discussions showed, remains controversial.

Bias and hate crime laws exists so that members of groups that were historically discriminated against know that the societies they live in support their equal right to live their lives, raise their children, travel in public, and pursue their work, free of fear and discrimination. They are a challenge to social norms that would perpetuate violence and subjugation, an old-fashioned word no one likes to use in the United States, on the basis of immutable characteristics. Like being female.

If there is one silver lining in this, it’s that the women who were targeted are not being stigmatized or punished and that the trajectory of traditional shame seems to be reversing in a way that accrues to the perpetrator, and not the victims, of these assaults.

Nurse Infected With Ebola Says She’s ‘Doing Well’

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:05 AM PDT

(DALLAS) — The Texas nurse infected with Ebola says in a statement that she’s “doing well,” and her hospital remains optimistic about her recovery.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas released a statement on Nina Pham’s behalf Tuesday as she is treated for Ebola that she contracted while caring for a Liberian man who died from the disease.

In the statement, Pham says she wants “to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers.”

Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay Berdan says the doctors and nurses involved with Pham’s treatment “remain hopeful” about her recovery.

Bill Murray: Winning an Oscar Can Hurt Your Career

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Bill Murray has no intention of catching Oscar fever.

In a recent interview with Variety, Murray said that he will not be campaigning for his new film St Vincent, even if producer Harvey Weinstein wishes he would. “I’m not that way,” Murray said. “If you want an award so much, it’s like a virus. It’s an illness.”

Although Murray has yet to receive an Oscar, he said he “had been infected” with the virus surrounding his 2004 Best Actor nomination for Lost in Translation (Sean Penn’s performance in Mystic River won instead).

But his loss may have turned out for the best.

“People have this post-Oscar blowback,” he said. “They start thinking, ‘I can’t do a movie unless it’s Oscar-worthy.’ It just seems people have difficulty making the right choices after that.”

[Variety]

How Pulp Fiction Went from Cannes Surprise to Movie of the Year

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:00 AM PDT

For the four stories in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, which had its theatrical release 20 years ago on Oct. 14, 1994, here are four TIME articles tracing the movie’s progress from Cannes surprise to best movie of the year.

When it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, the movie seemed to come out of nowhere, which I’ve reflected on in the past. As I wrote at the time, it was a shock to the festival’s system:

For a while, everything was so quiet. The first week or so of the 12-day Cannes Film Festival proceeded as sedately as a Riviera quilting bee. … Then BLAM!, the Wild Bunch hit town. … Pulp Fiction brought some big-time, macho-and- mayhem, Uzi-in-your-gut star quality to Cannes. … It was as if Tarantino were telling Cannes, “O.K., nap time is over. Now, pay attention, and I’ll show you how it’s done. Here’s why they’re called moving pictures.”

Miramax Films’ Harvey Weinstein — who picked up the movie when TriStar, the original distributor, balked at John Travolta character’s being a heroin dealer and user — hosted a press luncheon on May 23, 1994, at le plus posh Eden Roc restaurant. At outdoor tables in the blissful Riviera sunlight, Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson joined the 31-year-old writer-director to charm the critics. They knew, as we did, that they had a winner, at Cannes and beyond. And though the smart money for the Palme d’Or was on Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Red, the Cannes Jury chaired by Clint Eastwood did the right thing and gave Pulp Fiction the festival’s top prize.

By the time the movie made it to theaters that fall, the signs were clear that the world had a phenomenon on its hands:

Onscreen, John Travolta had just raised an Adrenalin-filled hypodermic needle above the comatose body of Uma Thurman and, with desperate force, plunged it straight into her heart. In the audience at New York City’s Lincoln Center, where Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction was being shown, a young man watched this scene and passed out. “Is there a doctor in the house?” someone actually asked. The film was stopped for nine anxious minutes before the announcement came: “The victim is just fine.”

The intensity of the Pulp Fiction experience for that one viewer indicates how Tarantino’s movie polarized audiences; tepid reactions were simply not allowed. Filmgoers who thought they’d seen everything hadn’t seen anything with quite this scope, nerve and kick. In a totally ’90s way, it went medieval on the ass of the Zeitgeist. So everyone had to see it. Made for a frugal $8 million, the film grossed $108 million in North America and another $106 million abroad, back when that was real money. “I wanted it to look like an epic,” QT said of this, his second feature. “It’s an epic in everything – in invention, in ambition, in length, in scope, in everything except the price tag.”

Read TIME’s Oct. 1994 review of Pulp Fiction, free of charge, here in the archives: A Blast to the Heart

Pulp Fiction — a great title, by the way — perched proudly and deservedly atop the 10-best Cinema list that Richard Schickel and I compiled for TIME’s 1994 year-end issue.

No. 1: Pulp Fiction. Now here’s a movie. … Quentin Tarantino’s adrenaline rush of a melodrama is a brash dare to timid Hollywood filmmakers. Let’s see, he says, if you can be this smart about going this far.

But more than a few movie professionals were pretty f—in’ far from O.K. with it. At the New York Film Critics Circle, where some members took an anything-but-Pulp-Fiction stance, Robert Redford’s Quiz Show was named Best Film, though Tarantino got the Director and Screenplay prizes.

At the Oscars, Pulp Fiction’s rivals for Best Picture included Quiz Show, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Shawshank Redemption (which had opened the same day as QT’s film). None of those won. The top prize went to Forrest Gump, whose broader, more genial appeal also made it the No. 1 box-office hit of 1994. Robert Zemeckis’s box of chocolates beat out Tarantino’s 200-proof Valentine sampler of cool old movies in a post-modern box.

About a decade later, Schickel and I would wrangle over many titles in our joint selection of the all-TIME 100 Movies, published in May 2005 — but Pulp Fiction was one of our easiest picks.

The (approximately) 46th, and most recent, film noir on this list, Tarantino’s multipart murder comedy is (unquestionably) the most influential American movie of the ’90s. … Yeah yeah, but Pulp Fiction is still fresh—in fact, astonishingly impudent—and fully up to matching its cocksure ambition with its care for framing a scene and its love for the actors within them. The joy of filmmaking is evident and infectious. The film still has the impact of an adrenalin shot to the heart. Seen today, 20 years after its premiere, the film impresses even more for its density, daring and precision — for fiddling with chronology (so that Travolta’s character, killed in the third story, is alive in the fourth), for out-of-nowhere scenes that later prove their resonance (Christopher Walken’s monologue about the watch), for dreaming up fake commercial brands (Red Apple cigarettes, McCleary blended Scotch whiskey, Sam’s Toaster Pastries).

A trivia bonus track on the 2003 DVD release, which chats away in subtitles for almost the entirety of the movie’s 2 hours and 34 minutes — as if Tarantino were sitting with you offering a frame-by-frame analysis — explains how certain “mistakes” (the bullet holes behind Jackson and Travolta in the first story) might have been intentional. At the moment of Travolta’s needle resuscitation of Thurman, we get a “Reality Check” from the Trivia track: “Don’t try this at home, because it wouldn’t work.” (The needle would break, and so would the patient’s sternum.)

Tarantino has made other terrific movies before and after Pulp Fiction. Our favorite is the double feature Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, which is sprawling where Pulp Fiction was svelte. We also love large swatches of Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. And we drool in anticipation at The Hateful Eight, whose screenplay promises a Western showdown of comic or cosmic proportions.

But no film of the now middle-aged auteur can match the Shock of the New that Pulp Fiction administered in 1994. We envy those who see it now for the first time — a movie that remains young, smart, vivacious and extraordinarily, indeed coronarily, entertaining.

Obama to Wait Until After Election to Nominate Next Attorney General

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 09:59 AM PDT

President Barack Obama will wait until after the midterm elections to nominate his next Attorney General, a White House official confirmed Tuesday.

Obama has been weighing whether to nominate a replacement for departing Attorney General Eric Holder before November’s election, after the White House announced last month that Obama’s longtime confidant decided to step down. But nominating a candidate before the midterm elections would have complicated the reelection campaigns of vulnerable Senate Democrats who are trying to separate themselves from the unpopular president, with lawmakers being called to state their support for or opposition to Obama’s selection before voters determine the balance of control in the Senate.

Obama is expected to unveil his selection shortly after the election. Among those up for consideration for the post, according to Democrats, are White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

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