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25 ноября, 08:37

Best fiction of 2016

I was disappointed by most of this year’s well-known releases, and did most of my rewarding fiction reading in past classics.  But these are the fiction or fiction-related works I found to be outstanding this year: Eimear McBride, The Lesser Bohemians.  A novel of an affair, with intoxicating Irish prose and a genuine energy on […] The post Best fiction of 2016 appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

23 ноября, 15:13

Becton, Dickinson (BDX) Announces 10.6% Dividend Increase

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) recently increased its dividend by 10.6% from the previous quarter.

23 ноября, 01:49

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Trump's Date With the Grey Lady

The president-elect met with reporters and editors at The New York Times.

19 ноября, 02:02

Why Some People Take Action On Climate Change -- And Others Don't

In the wake of last week’s election, the gulf between liberals and conservatives has never felt bigger. This divide is just as apparent when it comes to environmental issues as it is with any others. With a Trump presidency comes an Environmental Protection Agency led by “climate criminal” Myron Ebell, the possible cancelation of the Paris climate agreement and the potential scrapping of major carbon restrictions ― measures that many conservatives applaud as being good for business but liberals view as nothing less than a disaster. The diverging moral values of liberals and conservatives offer an important window into why the two groups differ in their willingness to take action to protect the environment, according to new Cornell University research.  But it’s not as simple as liberal versus conservative or Democrat versus Republican. The study, which was conducted on over 1,000 volunteers and published in the online journal PLOS One on Oct. 19, found that the moral values of compassion and fairness ― and, to a lesser extent, purity ― influenced an individual’s willingness to take personal action to mitigate the effects of climate change.  “As we learn what’s important to different kinds of people with respect to climate change, that information can help us communicate in ways where the problem can be heard,” Dr. Janis Dickinson, a professor of natural resources at Cornell and the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post. “And I think we may be missing arguments that are important to people if we ignore moral diversity.” Morality, Neither Liberal Nor Conservative  The researchers found, unsurprisingly, that those who believed in climate change, regardless of party affiliation, were much more willing to act. On the other hand, people who described themselves as conservative, as well as those who were older and male, were less inclined to act. The study’s investigation of moral values was based on a theory developed by prominent social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, which identifies five “axes” around which we formulate moral reasoning: compassion/harming, fairness/cheating, in-group loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion and purity/degradation. Previous research has found that liberals value compassion and fairness more highly ― values that are clearly at play in the climate change debate ― while conservatives tend to value purity, in-group loyalty and authority most.  It’s easy to see how compassion and fairness play into other social causes championed by liberals, such as marriage equality and racial justice. On the other hand, a drive toward purity and in-group loyalty seem to play a role in conservative stances opposing abortion and immigration.  Most moral arguments around climate change may inadvertently appeal more to liberals by focusing on its effects on animals, vulnerable populations and future generations. “Climate change will have its earliest and greatest impacts on nations and people with fewer resources, so it is clearly about both equity and suffering,” Dickinson said. “Inequity aversion and compassion or caring are really what drive us, in the immediate sense, to give up some of what we are attached to for the sake of others.” “We shouldn’t rule out anyone and we cannot afford to be polarized on this issue, which is going to have a huge impact on current and future generations.” The values of compassion and fairness are ultimately about relationships, added environmental psychologist Dr. Renee Lertzman, who reviewed the study for The Huffington Post. “It is relationship here that is at stake — relationships with diverse populations and communities, as well as with the nonhuman lives we share the planet with,” she said.  But it’s important to note that even strong moral values can easily conflict with other values a person might hold, limiting that person’s willingness to make personal choices that benefit the environment. Those conflicts need to be considered, Lertzman added.  “We may value compassion and fairness, but also value being a good provider, which can involves high carbon behaviors,” she said. “We need to find ways to address how values can be in conflict for many — and how we can help people move through those conflicts into action.”  So people profiting from fossil fuel industries, for example, might override their compassionate feelings in favor of preserving their financial stability.  Moving The Dial On Climate Change Appealing to moral values including purity ― for instance, by emphasizing the “impurity” of destroying natural resources ― may be one way to mobilize individuals of both political parties around environmental issues.  There’s some evidence suggesting this strategy may be effective. A 2013 study showed that framing climate change issues in terms of “pollution and contamination” improved environmental attitudes among conservatives, while other types of moral appeals did not have an effect.  “If communicators, and especially religious leaders, can make use of this understanding of moral diversity by including all three of these moral values in their discussions of climate change, this may prove helpful,” Dickinson said. “We shouldn’t rule out anyone and we cannot afford to be polarized on this issue, which is going to have a huge impact on current and future generations.” With Trump’s presidency looms the potential of enormous, if not catastrophic, setbacks to humans’ attempts to mitigate climate change. Now more than ever, action and progress on environmental issues must continue. For people wondering about how to support the environment in light of the election, donating to reputable environmental organizations is one place to start.  “I think many of us who are scientists, especially those of us who study the earth’s biota, are deeply concerned about the irreversible damage to the earth system that is inevitable if Donald Trump’s campaign promises come to fruition,” she said. “My personal strategy will be to make monthly payments to the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Sierra Club. Together, we need to work to keep policies and protections in place at the federal and state levels, and to uphold our international commitments on climate change.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

17 ноября, 17:12

Twitter Takes on Trolling, Bans Some "Alt-Right" Profiles

Per media reports, Twitter Inc. (TWTR) has taken down accounts of several so called "alt-right" to curb hateful conduct on its platform.

17 ноября, 00:19

Twitter Quietly Cracks Down On Racist Trolls

Twitter moved quietly Tuesday to suspend some accounts posting racist, white nationalist, anti-Semitic and other hateful content. The site will also introduce measures to mute, report and ultimately combat such conduct across its platform. The announcement comes just a week after Donald Trump’s presidential win. Trump’s campaign helped fuel a resurgence of racism, bigotry and sexism online and offline.  Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, blamed Twitter for not cracking down on abusive accounts. According to SPLC spokeswoman Heidi Beirich, the group asked Twitter to remove more than 100 accounts belonging to members of the alt-right, which SPLC identifies as a group or individuals who embrace “white ethno-nationalism as a fundamental value.” On Twitter, many self-described members of the alt-right used the social network to threaten Jewish people, women, people of color and other groups. Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, was among those who lost his account this week. The vocal Trump supporter has called for the removal of Jewish people, Latinos and people of color from the U.S. Accounts for Spencer’s think tank and its online magazine, Radix Journal, are also now suspended, as are accounts belonging to white nationalists Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn and John Rivers. Twitter’s rules prohibit “hateful conduct,” including promoting violence and threats against people “on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.” “We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories,” Twitter’s website states.  Last month, the SPLC took issue with Twitter’s handling of anti-Semitic tweets sent to Jewish journalists. The Anti-Defamation League had reported earlier that white supremacists and other hate groups were disproportionately responsible for the offensive tweets. “[T]he ADL report adds further confirmation that the company fails to ban abusive accounts,” the SPLC stated, sharing ADL study’s findings on its website. The SPLC went on to identify several individuals and organizations that promote racism on social media. White supremacists David Duke, Jared Taylor, and Matthew Heimbach topped their list but remain on Twitter as of Wednesday. Spencer also made the list. Spencer responded to the account suspensions in a YouTube video on Tuesday, stating, “I and a number of other people who just got banned were not even trolling.” He accused Twitter of conducting “a great purge” of its users “on the basis on their views.” Spencer also reaffirmed his support for Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who was permanently banned from Twitter in July. That decision followed Yiannopoulos’ vicious and racist attack on African-American comedian Leslie Jones. At the time, Twitter acknowledged it hadn’t “done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter,” but vowed to step up its game. “We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders,” the company stated at the time. In light of those statements, it’s not clear why Twitter waited until now to take action against these individual accounts. The company did not return The Huffington Post’s request for comment on Wednesday. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=581c9e9be4b0e80b02c93e24,58062579e4b0b994d4c15556,57edb7f9e4b0c2407cdd249a,572bb70fe4b096e9f090cfc3 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

17 ноября, 00:19

Twitter Quietly Cracks Down On Racist Trolls

Twitter moved quietly Tuesday to suspend some accounts posting racist, white nationalist, anti-Semitic and other hateful content. The site will also introduce measures to mute, report and ultimately combat such conduct across its platform. The announcement comes just a week after Donald Trump’s presidential win. Trump’s campaign helped fuel a resurgence of racism, bigotry and sexism online and offline.  Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, blamed Twitter for not cracking down on abusive accounts. According to SPLC spokeswoman Heidi Beirich, the group asked Twitter to remove more than 100 accounts belonging to members of the alt-right, which SPLC identifies as a group or individuals who embrace “white ethno-nationalism as a fundamental value.” On Twitter, many self-described members of the alt-right used the social network to threaten Jewish people, women, people of color and other groups. Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, was among those who lost his account this week. The vocal Trump supporter has called for the removal of Jewish people, Latinos and people of color from the U.S. Accounts for Spencer’s think tank and its online magazine, Radix Journal, are also now suspended, as are accounts belonging to white nationalists Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn and John Rivers. Twitter’s rules prohibit “hateful conduct,” including promoting violence and threats against people “on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.” “We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories,” Twitter’s website states.  Last month, the SPLC took issue with Twitter’s handling of anti-Semitic tweets sent to Jewish journalists. The Anti-Defamation League had reported earlier that white supremacists and other hate groups were disproportionately responsible for the offensive tweets. “[T]he ADL report adds further confirmation that the company fails to ban abusive accounts,” the SPLC stated, sharing ADL study’s findings on its website. The SPLC went on to identify several individuals and organizations that promote racism on social media. White supremacists David Duke, Jared Taylor, and Matthew Heimbach topped their list but remain on Twitter as of Wednesday. Spencer also made the list. Spencer responded to the account suspensions in a YouTube video on Tuesday, stating, “I and a number of other people who just got banned were not even trolling.” He accused Twitter of conducting “a great purge” of its users “on the basis on their views.” Spencer also reaffirmed his support for Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who was permanently banned from Twitter in July. That decision followed Yiannopoulos’ vicious and racist attack on African-American comedian Leslie Jones. At the time, Twitter acknowledged it hadn’t “done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter,” but vowed to step up its game. “We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders,” the company stated at the time. In light of those statements, it’s not clear why Twitter waited until now to take action against these individual accounts. The company did not return The Huffington Post’s request for comment on Wednesday. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=581c9e9be4b0e80b02c93e24,58062579e4b0b994d4c15556,57edb7f9e4b0c2407cdd249a,572bb70fe4b096e9f090cfc3 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

16 ноября, 19:14

Twitter suspends 'alt-right' accounts

Twitter suspended a number of accounts associated with the 'alt right' on Tuesday

14 ноября, 16:22

6 Dividend Growth Stocks to Trump Rising Yield

Stocks with a strong history of dividend hike year over year are enjoying a solid run.

04 ноября, 00:29

The Bizarre History Of Anti-Suffrage Cat Memes

The “crazy cat lady” stereotype has been around for a very long time. In fact, 100 years ago, it was used to promote the idea that women shouldn’t vote.  While looking into vintage suffrage propaganda for another piece, I accidentally mistook a few suffrage pamphlets and postcards as pro-suffrage because, well, they had cats on them, and cats are a woman’s best friend.... right? I quickly realized that the adorable cats wearing “Votes For Women” sashes around their cute furry bodies were in fact part of the anti-suffrage propaganda disseminated during the early 1900s.  According to Director of Gender Studies at Monmouth University Dr. Corey Wrenn, cat imagery was very commonly deployed by those opposed to women’s suffrage. Suffragists were portrayed as cats on anti-suffrage pamphlets, news paper ads and posters.  All minority groups are animalized to present them as other and lesser. Dr. Corey Wrenn, Director of Gender Studies at Monmouth University In a 2013 blog post, Wrenn explained that “the intent [of showing suffragists as cats] was to portray suffragettes as silly, infantile, incompetent, and ill-suited to political engagement.” This was in turn meant to minimize their demand for voting rights.  “All minority groups are animalized to present them as other and lesser,” Wrenn told HuffPost. “It was done to Japanese and German persons during World War II, it has been done to African Americans, it is done to disabled people, and it is also done to women. These groups have been so othered that they are sometimes framed as another species altogether.” So, why cats specifically? Wrenn said that at the turn of the 20th century, cats were seen as domestic and feminine creatures, while dogs were seen as masculine. “White women (who dominated the suffragette movement) are most easily animalized as cats,” she told HuffPost. “Cats are also creatures of the home, just as middle-class white women were expected to be. These associations hoped to remind the viewer that women were meant to be at home, quiet, apolitical and domestic.” Likening women to animals unfortunately didn’t end with suffrage. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has belittled women by calling them “fat pigs,” “Miss Piggy” and “dogs,” among other discriminatory language.  Amy E. Farrell, Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Dickinson College, told HuffPost in September that the way Trump talks about women is very similar to the way anti-suffrage activists did.  “Historically, comments about women being ugly, fat or like an animal ― dogs, pigs, etc. ― have been ways to keep women in line,” Farell said. “That goes all the way back to the suffragists, who were painted as animals, painted as fat. These are ways to scare women into not speaking up.” Less than a week before Americans head to the polls, with the option of voting for a woman for president, it’s worth remembering the women that fought for that right ― and the pussy-themed pushback they faced.  Scroll below to see some cat memes that have been around way longer than the internet. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58138c9ee4b064e1b4b21e18,5682bd7de4b06fa688813356,58102d01e4b08582f88cd12b -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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03 ноября, 17:14

Becton, Dickinson (BDX) Beats on Q4 Earnings & Revenues

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings of $2.12 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents.

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03 ноября, 14:29

Becton, Dickinson (BDX) Beats Q4 Earnings & Revenues

Becton, Dickinson???s adjusted earnings of $2.12 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents.

02 ноября, 17:19

Dental Stocks' Earnings Roster for Nov 3: BDX, VWR, ACET

Here, we take a sneak peek into three Dental stocks set to report their quarterly figures on Nov 3.

01 ноября, 17:15

Becton, Dickinson (BDX) Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) is set to report fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings results on Nov 3.

01 ноября, 16:54

Judge orders RNC to detail voter fraud pacts with Trump campaign

The agreements allow the RNC to organize pollwatchers, but prohibit any effort to intimidate voters as they enter a polling place or to challenge individual voters, except as part of a program approved in advance by the court.

31 октября, 14:44

Goon-Busters Prepare For Trump's Poll Trolls

Republicans have conjured for Americans a monster more frightening than any Hollywood has ever produced for Halloween. It pales “The Shining.” It is a two-headed beast Donald Trump calls voter fraud and rigged elections.  Like Hollywood creatures, though, this goblin is completely imaginary. It’s fake like the sasquatch and chupacabra. There’s no scientific evidence of its existence. The GOP antidote for its imaginary monster is horribly real, however. It is voter suppression and intimidation. That is a tangible two-headed beast of appalling proportions. Fearing they could not win fair and square, Republicans took steps to prevent young, old, black and Hispanic people – people likely to vote Democratic – from reaching the polls. This GOP Frankenstein threatens democracy itself.  Image by Ryan Merkley on Flickr. Two statistics are important to know when trying to detect which election monsters are real and which are not. Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt, an expert on civil rights, has tracked allegations of in-person voter fraud for years. In-person fraud is the kind Republicans are talking about, someone pretending to be someone else, or a dead person, to vote. Levitt, who is on leave from the law school to serve as deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, tracked down and validated 31 instances of that happening since 2000. It’s probably 32 cases now, since police in Iowa charged a 55-year-old Des Moines woman Thursday with felony voter fraud. The Republican admitted casting two early votes for Donald Trump.  That is 32 cases out of more than 1 billion ballots cast. That’s fraud, but it’s not a real problem.  Republicans across the country insisted on “solving” this non-problem by forcing all voters to obtain very specific types of identification. In Texas, for example, the GOP said an open-carry gun permit would be fine, but a student ID card from a state university would not. That would help keep those pesky young people, who tended to vote Democrat, away from the polls.   In many states, civil liberties groups like the ACLU sued to overturn the voter ID laws, forcing the GOP to search for voter fraud cases to justify their legislation. In Pennsylvania, the state had to stipulate in court that none existed, and the law was overturned. Not surprisingly, the GOP failed to dig up cases in Wisconsin or Indiana either. Thirty-one in 1 billion is kind of few and far between. The second statistic is this: if Pennsylvania’s voter ID law had taken effect, it could have prevented more than 1 million citizens from voting. That’s the number of registered voters in just one state who did not have the required ID. Again, that’s a state where Republicans could show not one single case of voter fraud. While the ACLU and other civil liberties groups continue to try to overturn unnecessary voter ID laws, the Democratic National Committee asked a federal judge last week to prevent Republicans from intimidating voters, particularly at minority polling places, as Donald Trump has encouraged his supporters to do. The Democrats requested an injunction, saying Trump’s threats violate a 1982 consent decree that Republicans entered into after they stationed pseudo-guards at minority polling places in New Jersey to intimidate voters. Some of the guards were off duty police officers, were armed and wore arm bands marked “Ballot Security Task Force.” Trump has repeatedly contended the election is “rigged” against him and asked his supporters to wear red shirts and stand as sentinels at the polls to prevent dead people from voting. Speaking in Altoona, Pa., in August, he said he wanted uniformed officers like the GOP had in 1982: “We have to call up law enforcement. And we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching.” He added, “We have a lot of law enforcement people working that day. . .We’re hiring a lot of people. We’re putting a lot of law enforcement — we’re going to watch Pennsylvania, go down to certain areas and watch and study, and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times.” The lawsuit quotes a Boston Globe story in which a Trump supporter told a reporter that he will be a sentinel and that he intended to intimidate voters: “Trump said to watch your precincts. I’m going to go, for sure,” said Steve Webb, a 61-year-old carpenter from Fairfield, Ohio. “I’ll look for. . .well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans, Syrians. People who can’t speak American,” he said. “I’m going to go right up behind them, I’ll do everything legally. I want to see if they are accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.” Despite Webb’s assertion that he’s not going to do anything illegal, deliberately attempting to make racially profiled voters “a little bit nervous” while they are attempting to exercise their most basic right as citizens violates federal law as well as the terms of the consent decree. In addition, the lawsuit notes that the Pennsylvania GOP has attempted to reverse a state election law requiring poll watchers to be registered voters in the county where they are monitoring balloting. That law makes it impossible for Trump’s rural white supporters to guard the polls in inner city Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to ensure that the undead from George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead,” filmed near Pittsburgh, don’t vote repeatedly there. There’s no reason to reverse this state law, the lawsuit says, except to license Trump supporters to intimidate and harass minority inner-city voters. Republicans tried to wriggle out from under the constraints of the consent decree in 2009. But Federal Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise thwarted them. He wrote then: “It does not appear that the RNC’s incentive to suppress minority votes has changed since 1982. It appears that the RNC has been largely unsuccessful in its efforts to attract minority voters. Until it is able to do so, it will have an incentive to engage in the type of voter suppression that it allegedly committed in the actions that led to the enactment and modification of the consent decree.”  Judge Debevoise dismissed GOP arguments that voter fraud is a problem. By contrast, he said that suppression of minority voters is a serious issue. That was seven years ago. But it was a point the DNC repeated in its arguments last week. It acknowledged that Trump keeps harping about a rigged election and dead people voting. And it provided lengthy proof that these are fears without basis in fact. They are boogeymen. “On the other side of the ledger,” the DNC wrote, are the “constitutional rights of all Americans to cast their ballots without fear of intimidation or harassment . . .This is therefore a case of a real, impending harm balanced against an imaginary one.” The DNC asked the court to extend the consent decree another eight years and to issue an injunction forbidding intimidation at the polls. Election Day is just a week away, however. Even if the court rules for the DNC, it’s not clear that every Trump supporter with a red shirt, a gun and ill-intent will hear about the decision before Nov. 8. So civil liberties groups are preparing for the worst. If a red-shirted goon shows up at your polling place, call the ACLU at 866-OUR-VOTE or the Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline at 800-253-3931. They have goon-buster teams nationwide. Don’t let anything frighten you from voting on Nov. 8. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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31 октября, 10:45

BRIEF-Castleton Technology names Dean Dickinson as CEO

* Announce appointment of Dean Dickinson as chief executive officer, effective from Oct. 31 2016 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 806 749 1136)

27 октября, 23:05

Christie's lieutenant governor goes rogue

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno staked her independence from Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday morning, in a highly public break with the governor who had plucked her from relative obscurity to serve as his running mate.Christie and Guadagno racked up impressive margins sharing the ticket in 2009, and again in 2013, but have seldom appeared in public together in recent years, as Christie's poll numbers cratered and tensions between the two simmered behind the scenes. In a radio interview on Thursday morning, Guadagno went public with their breach, contradicting the administration’s position on a major ballot measure by suggesting voters can blow up a hard-won $16 billion infrastructure plan by opposing the amendment.Less than 15 minutes after Guadagno’s remarks on New Jersey 101.5 FM, the governor’s office emailed reporters saying that “it must be a misunderstanding” — the first public rebuke of a woman who has, at least nominally, served as the governor's top lieutenant for nearly seven years. But, as Guadagno quickly made clear, there was no misunderstanding. At a press conference in Trenton on Thursday afternoon, she said she “was concerned and did my own research and took my own position.”It was the first clear sign that Guadagno, widely considered a top contender for the Republican nomination for governor, will distance herself from Christie — a deeply unpopular executive who has kept her at arm’s length since they took office in 2010.While she has not officially declared her candidacy, Guagadno appears to be laying the groundwork for a primary campaign against Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and any other Republicans who decide to join the race.In April, Guadagno helped launch a nonprofit think tank that could help further her campaign, and the group soon hired Bill Stepien, Christie’s former campaign manager, to lead its efforts.Recent testimony in the George Washinton Bridge lane closure trial made it clear Guagadno and Christie have had a "tense" relationship for some time, though she had never publicly contradicted the governor in such bold terms.“She is very clearly saying, ‘I’m my own person. I’m not Chris Christie’s clone. I’m not Chris Christie’s lapdog,” Matthew Hale, a political science professor at Seton Hall University, said on Thursday. “I think the story is, she’s not doing exactly what the governor says.”Ciattarelli had the same thought.“It’s all pretty curious," he said in a phone interview. "Is this Kim’s way of trying to separate herself form the governor?" Guadagno had already made clear she opposes the 23-cent gas tax increase Christie signed into law earlier this month, but on Thursday went a step further, saying voters should reject a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the tax revenue is spent on infrastructure projects. “What’s done can be undone,” Guadagno said in an interview with conservative radio and TV personality Bill Spadea, a former congressional candidate who had become a chief opponent of the gas tax increase.She said that the ballot question was directly related to whether the state could borrow money for infrastructure projects. Its defeat would, in essence, prevent the state from borrowing the $12 billion it needs to support projects under the Transportation Trust Fund.“A vote for question number two is a vote for the gas tax. If you like the gas tax then you’re going to like number two,” Guadagno said in reference to the ballot question. “Flip it around — if you oppose the gas tax then you have to vote against number two because it requires them all to go back to the drawing board because they can’t borrow the money they need to make it work.”New Jersey voters favored the amendment in a Fairleigh-Dickinson poll released on Monday, but 45 percent of Republicans opposed its passage, compared to just 40 percent who support it. Fifty-six percent of Republicans said the gas tax should remain the same.Christie spokesman Brian Murray responded to Guadagno's comments in a statement that said the governor supports ballot question two because “it protects taxpayers from future wasteful spending by Democrat legislators.”“The Governor finds it hard to believe that the Lieutenant Governor supports giving an unguarded pot of money to the Democrat-controlled legislature, rather than on needed infrastructure projects. It must be a misunderstanding,” he said in an email.Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, who helped negotiate the compromise, questioned whether the lieutenant governor had read the ballot question, saying she “seems to have a complete and total misunderstanding of the ballot question, which is very troublesome.”“The lieutenant governor doubles as the Secretary of State, who is in charge of our elections. Has our elections chief even read the ballot question?” he said in an emailed statement.Guadagno appears to have hit upon a vulnerability in the compromise. The ballot measure, with its simple wording, guarantees only that the gas tax revenue be dedicated for infrastructure purposes. But the law authorizing the eight-year infrastructure plan says its $12 billion in borrowing power is “contingent upon voter approval” of the constitutional amendment.“If you read the ballot question and compare it to the gas tax legislation, it's really apples and oranges,” Guadagno said at an unrelated event at the New Jersey State Museum.“I was concerned and did my own research and took my own position about if people should support ballot question number two,” she said. “I think people should not support ballot question number two until they do the same thing. I talked to the governor’s staff, I talked to other experts on my own.”If voters defeat the measure, the state would — technically — not be able to run its infrastructure program the way the law intends. Voters would still be required to pay the gas tax increase, but the revenue would not necessarily be used to leverage more funding through bond sales.The issue is complicated by a 2008 constitutional amendment that requires most borrowing be approved by voters. That requirement does not apply to debt that is repaid using state revenue sources that are “constitutionally dedicated for specific uses,” according to Tom Hester Jr. a spokesman for Prieto.Hester said Guadagno is not correct in suggesting the legislation “would have to start again from scratch.”“That’s wrong,” he said in an email. “The gas tax is set and the ballot question does not impact the gas tax, and opposing the ballot question means supporting the option of using gas tax revenue for any budget need, which is inappropriate use of that revenue.”Ciattarelli, a Somerset County Republican and the only declared candidate in the GOP primary, said he found Guadagno's position odd. He voted against the gas tax increase, but said that's all the more reason to vote for the ballot measure."People overwhelmingly support dedicated taxes being in a lockbox," he said. "That’s what guarantees that those taxes are used for their intended purpose. Even if there is no increase in the gas tax, they should be in a lockbox and used only for road projects. It drives taxpayers absolutely crazy when taxes are not used for their intended purpose. That’s the whole point of this ballot question.” The move by Guadagno comes after testimony during the George Washington Bridge lane closure trial in Newark revealed she has had a frosty relationship with the governor for years now. Defendants Bridget Anne Kelly, who was a deputy chief of staff to Christie, testified last week that the governor did not want Guadagno to attend important meetings. Kelly described how Guadagno, a former sheriff who is the first to hold the position of lieutenant governor, was only allowed to attend certain public events.“It was a little tense,” Kelly said in U.S. District Court last Friday. "There were times where she was kind of put in a box.""It was a stressful relationship,” she said.--additional reporting by Katherine Landergan

19 октября, 12:30

Christie's approval rating hits an all-time low

JERSEY CITY — Gov. Chris Christie's approval rating has dropped to its lowest point yet and is approaching a record level for any New Jersey governor in recent memory, according to a new poll.The Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Wednesday morning found that the Republican governor's approval rating stands at just 21 percent, down from 26 percent in July.The new poll comes just days after Christie signed into law a 23-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax and as the Bridgegate trial has dominated the news with negative headlines about his administration’s conduct. It also comes as Christie appears to be lowering his profile as a surrogate for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who the governor serves as a top adviser.“Apparently we’ve not yet found the floor for the governor’s approval among voters in the state. The recent gas tax increase that the governor supported no doubt caused some in his party to turn against him, even though he sought to reduce taxes in other areas in order to offset the increase at the pump,” Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind, said in a statement.Dissatisfaction with Christie cuts across political lines, gender, age and sex. Even 52 percent of Republicans surveyed disapprove of the governor's job performance, while just 40 percent approve. The Bridgegate trial — which 70 percent of New Jersey voters say they’re following somewhat or very closely — is hurting Christie. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed say there is sufficient proof that Christie knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures and did nothing to stop them.“With both sides arguing that the governor was aware of the political retaliation plan, voters are having a hard time coming up with reasons to believe his claims of innocence,” Jenkins said.Still, despite his unpopularity and talk of impeachment among Democrats in the state Legislature, 57 percent do not believe Christie should leave office. Just two governors in recent memory have had worse approval ratings than Christie, but not by much.In 1977, after he signed a law to create the state income tax, Democrat Brendan Byrne reached a nadir of 17 percent in a Rutgers-Eagleton poll. He went on to win reelection later that year. In 1990, facing a revolt over new taxes, former Gov. Jim Florio bottomed out at 18 percent. Florio narrowly lost his reelection bid in 1993.Christie, who’s in the latter half of his second term, is term-limited from seeking reelection in 2017.The PublicMind poll of 848 registered New Jersey voters was conducted from Oct. 12–16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.