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The Amazon In New York Survey

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. By a 67-21 percent margin, New Yorkers say that Amazon cancelling its planned second headquarters in Queens was bad for New York. By as nearly as large a margin, 61-30 percent, they support the deal in which Amazon would receive up to $3 billion in state and city incentives and create up to 25,000 jobs if Amazon reconsiders, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today.

An overwhelming 79 percent of voters say parents should be required to have their children vaccinated before attending school, regardless of the parents’ religious beliefs. Voters continue to support making the two-percent property tax cap permanent, legalizing recreational use of marijuana, and eliminating monetary bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. They are split on congestion pricing, and by a nearly two-to-one margin, they oppose allowing undocumented immigrants to get a New York driver’s license.

About 63 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents, upstaters and downstaters, men and women, young and old, black and white New Yorkers agree: Amazon pulling out of Queens was bad for New York. Even 56 percent of self-described liberals think it was bad for New York,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “While some may have celebrated Amazon’s announcement to pull the plug, the vast majority of New Yorkers of every stripe thought it was bad for the Empire State.

Who’s The Blame?

 There’s certainly blame enough to go around. More people think that Amazon, Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, the State Senate, and local Queens activists were villains in this saga than they were heroes. However, voters say the biggest villain was Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Only 12 percent call her hero, while 38 percent label her a villain,” Greenberg said. “Amazon itself was seen as the biggest villain among Democrats, but Republicans and independents had Ocasio-Cortez as far and away the largest villain, followed by the local Queens activists.”

“By a wide margin, New Yorkers would support the deal coming back together if Cuomo and others can convince Amazon to reconsider,” Greenberg said. “The Amazon deal was seen as very contentious, however, there was strong support for it last month, before it got cancelled. There is an overwhelming feeling that its cancellation was bad for the state. And there is strong support – among all demographic groups – for Amazon to reconsider and move forward. The jobs outweigh the cost of government incentives in the minds of most voters.”

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“Making permanent the property tax cap has strong support from every party and every region,” Greenberg said. “Eliminating monetary bail and legalizing recreational marijuana are both strongly supported by Democrats, opposed by Republicans and receive tepid independent support. Congestion pricing, which was strongly supported in January, is now break-even.

 Republicans and independents, upstaters and downstate suburbanites Overwhelmingly oppose allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. Democrats and New York City voters are closely divided on the issue,” Greenberg said. “White voters strongly oppose; black and Latino voters support it by small margins.”

Cuomo, Legislature, Schumer All See Favorability Bounce Up a Little from Last Month
Cuomo has a negative 46-48 percent favorability rating, up a little from negative 43-50 percent in February. The Assembly has a 44-35 percent favorability rating, up a little from 43-38 percent last month. The Senate is 46-38 percent, up a little from 43-41 percent. Senator Chuck Schumer is 51-41 percent, up from 47-46 percent.

 

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“Cuomo saw his favorability rating tick up to near break-even, up from the lowest favorability rating he ever had. His job performance rating, negative 38-61 percent, also moved up a little, although it remains significantly below water,” Greenberg said. “Both houses of the Legislature also saw small jumps in their favorability ratings and both are in positive territory by high single digits.

“Schumer’s favorability rating moved back into positive territory after being break-even last month. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s favorability rating is unchanged from last month, and nearly one-quarter of voters do not know enough about her – despite her presidential campaign – to have an opinion,” Greenberg said. “Ocasio-Cortez, with a negative 31-44 percent favorability rating, is as well known to statewide voters after three months in office as Gillibrand is after ten years as senator. While Democrats view Ocasio-Cortez favorably, independents view her unfavorably more than two-to-one and Republicans view her unfavorably, 68-6 percent. She is viewed slightly favorably in New York City but strongly unfavorably upstate and in the downstate suburbs.”

 

Dems in Control: Moving Too Far to the Left; Making it Harder for Businesses; Ignoring Upstate
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“While Democrats disagree, a strong majority of independents and an overwhelming majority of Republicans say that Democratic control of the Governor’s mansion and both houses of the Legislature are moving the state too far to the left,” Greenberg said. “Two-thirds of voters – including a majority of Democrats – say that Democratic control of the state makes it harder for businesses to be successful.

“While voters are evenly divided on whether downstate has too much power, by 51-28 percent voters say the interests of upstate are being ignored. Not surprisingly, nearly three-quarters of upstaters believe this, but New York City voters are closely divided,” Greenberg said. “That said, a clear majority, 54-32 percent, disagree with the view that state government worked better when Republicans controlled the State Senate.”

Method

This Siena College Poll was conducted March 10-14, 2019 by telephone calls conducted in English to 700 New York State registered voters. Respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest male in the household. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. Sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample of landline and cell phone telephone numbers (both from Survey Sampling International) from within New York State. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party by region, and gender to ensure representativeness. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices.

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Political Page Turners Tell All

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New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt has a Mueller-oriented project in the works.  Schmidt has blown the lid off some of the most consequential stories about the Russia investigation, and he now has a deal with Random House—brokered by Gail Ross of the Ross Yoon Agency. James Stewart is writing a book about the relationship between the White House, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department. Stewart, whose longtime agent is Amanda Urban at I.C.M., is working with Ann Godoff at Penguin on the as-yet-untitled work, which he said is tentatively slated for a fall 2019 release. It appears that the big political books of the Trump era have been minting big bucks. Jeremy Peters’s Insurgency: The Inside Story of the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party, sold at auction in the high six figures. Earlier this year, Michael Wolff saw nearly 2 million copies of Fire and Fury fly off shelves in a matter of three weeks.

Bill Clinton & James Patterson

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Former President William Jefferson Clinton and well-established mass-production author James Patterson have collaborated on a novel titled The President is Missing. The book is a political cyber-thriller of sorts, the second such book from a member of the Clinton family—that is, if you count Hillary Clinton’s What Happened as one. And just as with with Ms. Clinton’s book, The President is Missing gives shout outs to Russian hacking groups, mentioning Fancy Bear by name.

The President is Missing is, however, a work of fiction. At 513 pages in hardcover. The prose is largely marked by Patterson’s hand as well, but there are places where Clinton’s voice pushes through. The plots about a Democratic president from a southern state is on the verge of facing an impeachment (sound familiar?) in the midst of a national security crisis. A terrorist mastermind has managed to plant “wiper” malware in every computer in the United States. Racing against time, the president disguises himself, exits the White House through a secret tunnel, and meets in person with the hacker who helped distribute the malware while a crack mercenary hit squad led by a pregnant Bosnian sniper attempts to take the hacker and President Duncan out.

Senate Overturns Ajit Pai’s Net Neutrality Repeal

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The US Senate today voted to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules, with all members of the Democratic caucus and three Republicans voting in favor of net neutrality.

The Senate approved a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would simply undo the FCC’s December 2017 vote to deregulate the broadband industry. If the CRA is approved by the House and signed by President Trump, Internet service providers would have to continue following rules that prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has scheduled his repeal to take effect on June 11. If Congress doesn’t act, the net neutrality rules and the FCC’s classification of ISPs as common carriers would be eliminated on that date.

Workforce Shortage due To Opioid Addiction

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First there’s a shortage due to lack of technological skills now it’s opioid addiction.

A provision in a bipartisan Senate package, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, addressing the workforce shortage created by the addiction crisis was secured Tuesday.

The provision is based on legislation U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced earlier this month called the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act. The bipartisan package passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Tuesday.

The Opioid Crisis Response Act is a wide-ranging, bipartisan package aimed at stemming the tide of the nationwide opioid crisis. The bill includes a provision based on Brown and Capito’s CARE Act that targets federal workforce training grants to address the workforce shortages and skill gaps caused by the opioid epidemic.

Number Of People Employed In The Cannabis Industry Triples 20 630,000

 

 

Image result for employment of people in cannabis industryThe number of people employed by the cannabis industry is set to triple from 200,000 to 630,000 people by the year 2025, according to New Frontier Data.

These workers are entry-level hires are experienced growers overseeing hundreds of plants. They’re chefs concocting pot-infused candies and pastries.

Marijuana proponents believe pot businesses can employ workers that are being laid off as the nation’s manufacturing and retail employment shrinks. Unions like the Teamsters see the marijuana industry as a promising source of new recruits.

President Donald J. Trump signaled his approval of the industry in April, marijuana employment seems poised for even more growth. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era policies protecting state-legal marijuana companies in January, earlier this month Trump assured a Colorado lawmaker that the federal government will respect state law on pot – easing fears of a federal crackdown. Jobs in the marijuana business comprises about half of all the U.S. California leads the nation in marijuana employment, with fellow western states that have also legalized adult-use of the drug – Colorado, Washington and Oregon –

Between 2017 and 2021, the reefer industry is expected to create almost 1 job for every 1,000 people in the U.S. That figure includes occupations like budtenders that work directly with marijuana, ancillary occupations like lawyers that are hired by cannabis companies and induced jobs like coffee shop baristas in a city experiencing weed-fueled economic growth. The potential for job creation is highest in Massachusetts, where more than 3 jobs per 1,000 people will be added during that period as a result of the reefer industry.

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The Portraits Of Brack & Michelle Obama

Kehinde Wiley, Barack Obama, 2018. © 2018 Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Kehinde Wiley, Barack Obama, 2018. © 2018 Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Amy Sherald, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, 2018. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Amy Sherald, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, 2018. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C

© 2018 Pete Souza. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

 

The unveiling of the portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama has created an unprecedented surge of interest in both portraitists, especially Amy Sherald, whose work was relatively new to the market before her commission.

For Sherald, a 44-year-old Baltimore painter who produces roughly a dozen works a year, the demand is so strong it’s basically blown up the waitlist for her paintings, which had been growing ever since demand spiked for the artist’s limited number of works, following her first solo show at Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago in 2016.

© 2018 Pete Souza. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

© 2018 Pete Souza. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

“The ability to be the first African American painter to paint the first African American president of the United States,” said Wiley, “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The Obamas were the first African American family in the White House, now they are  the first African Americans in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection of presidential portraits. The National Portrait Gallery was established in 1962, and is housed in the Old Patent Office Building in Washington’s Chinatown.

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