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The Amazon In New York Survey


. 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.”

siena political support for new laws








“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.


siena political fav ratings







“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
siena political government chart







“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.”


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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Nowadays People Of Color Still Have To Be Careful Where They Seek Medical Treatment

Ralph Northam’s Medical School Yearbook are Revealed as College Launches Investigation Into School’s Racial Culture

More photos from the 1984 yearbook have emerged on social media showing multiple men dressed in blackface, including a photo of three men in blackface on the page opposite Northam’s profile

More shocking photos from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook have emerged showing multiple men dressed up in blackface – as the college says an investigation will be launched into all of its past yearbooks.

Northam is facing calls to resign as governor after a photo from his profile page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook surfaced on Friday that featured someone in blackface and someone in KKK robes.

While he initially apologized for appearing in the photograph, the Democrat reversed course on Saturday and said that after further consideration he had determined he wasn’t in the picture after all.

The photo in question featured a man in blackface and a second person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Northam has admitted that he once used shoe polish to put on blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume for a 1984 dance contest in Texaswhen he was in the Army.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures as his wife Pam listens during a news conference in the Governors Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. on Saturday when he denied being in the racist photo
More shocking photos from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook have emerged showing multiple men dressed up in blackface. Bottom right is the initial photo that emerged showing Northam’s yearbook profile page

‘While I did not appear in this photo, I am not surprised by its appearance in the EVMS yearbook,’ Northam said in a statement.

‘In the place and time where I grew up, many actions that we rightfully recognize as abhorrent today were commonplace.’

More photos from the 1984 yearbook have emerged on social media showing multiple men dressed in blackface.

There is a photo of three men in blackface on the page opposite Northam’s profile, as well as another picture of a man wearing a wig and black paint on his face.

Another photo featuring blackface in the yearbook was accompanied with the caption: ‘Baby Love, who ever thought Diana Ross would make it to Medical School’.

Bryn Kerrigan Mahan said she spent hours in the school’s library going through the yearbooks and noted there were blackface photos from various years, as well as ‘cover to cover Confederate flags’.

‘Pure speculation, but seems to me VMI was using blackface as a form of hazing in the ’70s. #NorthamResign,’ she tweeted.

More photos from the 1984 yearbook have emerged on social media showing multiple men dressed in blackface, including a photo of three men in blackface on the page opposite Northam’s profile
Another photo featuring blackface in the yearbook was accompanied with the caption: ‘Baby Love, who ever thought Diana Ross would make it to Medical School’
The photo that sparked calls for Northam to resign in question featured a man in blackface and a second person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe that was on Northam’s profile page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook
A photo on Northam’s yearbook page depicts a man in blackface and another in a KKK robe. Northam said he felt sick when he saw the image recently, despite admitting to covering his face in shoe polish to emulate Michael Jackson
Bryn Kerrigan Mahan said she spent hours in the school’s library going through the yearbooks and noted there were blackface photos from various years, as well as ‘cover to cover Confederate flags’

The president of the school, Dr. Richard V. Homan, announced on Saturday that he will direct an external investigation into past yearbooks.

The investigation will be carried out by a ‘panel of advocates for diversity and inclusion’.

It will include African Americans and other people of color.

The probe will determine the yearbook publishing process and the extent of administrative oversight.

It will also examine the campus culture at the Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Northam’s insistence that he is not in the initial racist photo did nothing to quell the clamor from his own party on Sunday for him to resign.

In his initial apology on Friday, Northam posted a video on Twitter, saying he could not ‘undo the harm my behavior caused then and today’.

On Saturday, the governor reversed course and said he wasn’t in the picture after all. Northam also said he had not seen the photo before Friday, since he had not bought the yearbook or been involved in its preparation 35 years ago.

Bryn Kerrigan Mahan noted one male student wearing a ‘Kill Arabs for Exxon’ shirt
The president of the school, Dr. Richard V. Homan, announced on Saturday that he will direct an external investigation into past yearbooks
Northam is seen left in a 1981 VMI yearbook photo that lists his nickname as ‘C**nman’, and right in a 1984 yearbook photo from Eastern Virginia Medical School
Northam is seen left in a 1981 VMI yearbook photo that lists his nickname as ‘C**nman’, and right in a 1984 yearbook photo from Eastern Virginia Medical School

‘It has taken time for me to make sure that it’s not me, but I am convinced, I am convinced that I am not in that picture,’ he told reporters at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, calling the picture offensive and horrific.

Northam, who is one year into his four-year term, again rejected demands that he step down.

While talking with reporters, Northam admitted he once used shoe polish to put on blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume but said he regrets that he didn’t understand ‘the harmful legacy of an action like that’.

Asked if he could still do Jackson’s famous moonwalk, Northam looked at the floor as if thinking about demonstrating it. His wife put a stop to it, telling him: ‘Inappropriate circumstances.’

His shifting explanations did little or nothing to sway prominent Democrats calling on him to resign, including from Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Tim Kaine and Elizabeth Warren.

Northam was pushed repeatedly by reporters to explain why he issued an apology if he wasn’t in the photograph.

He conceded that people might have difficulty believing his shifting statements.

‘My first intention… was to reach out and apologize,’ he said, adding that he recognized that people would be offended by the photo.

Shut Down Creating Headaches For Scientists


The federal shutdown is creating headaches for scientists by hindering research planning and putting an abrupt halt to travel for some academics. However, the worst effects is expected to materialize in the coming weeks.

Lawmakers last year passed legislation funding the majority of federal agencies, including the Education Department and the National Institutes of Health. But they left town before resolving a dispute over a border wall demanded by President Trump and without funding several agencies that are big supporters of research at colleges across the country — among them the National Science Foundation, the Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For academics whose work is supported by the federal government, the shutdown means they can’t communicate with most employees at those affected agencies. Moreover, some federal data will be unavailable to researchers or the public. The shutdown also creates uncertainty over the next round of research funding awards, as proposals aren’t processed and peer-review committees aren’t meeting. As it persists, unanswered questions over funding will have a ripple effect on the status of professors, postdocs and graduate students. New funding uncertainty means many of the hard science programs whose work is funded by agencies like NSF may be less likely to offer positions to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

For academics who rely on federal funding, government shutdowns are becoming somewhat familiar. The shutdown that began in December is the third since the beginning of 2018. By Tuesday, it will enter its 18th day. The last multi week shutdown, in 2013, lasted 16 days. The longest ever federal shutdown lasted 21 days, spanning from 1995 to 1996.

The Shut down



More than 400,000 federal employees are working without pay, trash is overflowing in our National Parks, and the presidents of labor unions—one of which is suing President Trump—have said that requiring workers to punch in without pay is “nothing short of inhumane.”

There were still faint glimmers of civilization left in a divided, deadlocked Washington: the 19 Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries along the National Mall remained opened to the public for free due to unused “prior-year funds”; and the National Gallery of Art remained open as well. Even without a paycheck, government employees could check out the Apollo 11 command module at the National Air and Space Museum, the contemporary art in the permanent collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Chuck Berry’s sparkling Cadillac Eldorado at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, or Barack and Michelle Obama’s new portraits at the National Portrait Gallery.

The Library of Congress and the U.S. Botanic Garden—and the Capitol Visitor Center and Capitol Building, ironically—are operating as normal, since they were funded by the 2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill.

List of federal shutdowns


On May 1, 1980, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was shut down for one day after Congress failed to pass an appropriations bill for the agency

1981, 1984, and 1986

On November 23, 1981, 241,000 federal employees were furloughed for one day.The shutdown occurred because President Ronald Reagan vetoed a spending bill that contained a smaller set of spending cuts than he had proposed. The shutdown was estimated to cost taxpayers $80–90 million in back pay and other expenses Not all government departments shut down during the funding gap.

On October 4, 1984, 500,000 federal employees were furloughed for one afternoon.This shutdown occurred due to the inclusion of a water projects package and a civil rights measure that Reagan opposed. The bill was passed the following day after Congress removed these programs, and also included a compromise on funding of the Nicaraguan Contras.

On October 17, 1986, 500,000 federal employees were furloughed for one afternoon over a wide range of issues. The cost was estimated at $62 million in lost work.


The 1990 shutdown occurred over Columbus Day weekend, from Saturday, October 6 through Monday, October 8. The shutdown stemmed from the fact that a deficit reduction package negotiated by President George H. W. Bush contained tax increases, despite his campaign promise of “read my lips: no new taxes”,leading to a revolt led by then House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich that defeated the initial appropriations package


The two shutdowns of 1995 and 1995–96 were the result of conflicts between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment, and public health in the 1996 federal budget. The government shut down after Clinton vetoed the spending bill the Republican Party-controlled Congress sent him. Government workers were furloughed and non-essential services suspended during November 14–19, 1995 (for 5 days), and from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996 (for 22 days), in total 27 days.


Letter from President Barack Obama to US Government employees affected by the shutdown in 2013

The 2013 shutdown lasted 16 days, beginning on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. During the shutdown, approximately 800,000 federal employees were furloughed for 16 days, while another 1.3 million were required to report to work without known payment dates

January 2018

The first shutdown of 2018 began at midnight EST on Saturday, January 20. On January 19, a bill failed to pass the Senate 50–49 with the majority of Democrats voting “no”.Five Republicans voted “no” and five Democrats voted “yes” in the Republican majority senate (60 votes were required for passage). Senate Democrats insisted that the issue of immigration, specifically the funding of DACA, be addressed in the budget.

February 2018

A related funding gap occurred during the first 9 hours of Friday, February 9, 2018 EST. The funding gap was widely referred to in media reports as a second shutdown, although no workers were furloughed and government services were not disrupted because the funding gap occurred overnight and was resolved close to the beginning of the workday.

December 2018–January 2019

The third shutdown of 2018 began at midnight EST on Saturday, December 22 with a House-passed continuing resolution to fund the United States Government awaiting a full floor vote in the Senate. The point of contention was the inclusion of $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall that was a core Trump campaign promise.Under pressure from vocal members of his political base such as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh for failing to secure the funding, Trump claimed ownership of the shutdown while in a televised meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.This shutdown is ongoing as of January 2019.

Roughly 380,000 federal workers were placed on unpaid leave, while some 420,000 “essential” personnel were required to work without pay, including tens of thousands of workers in federal law enforcement and national security positions, such as FBI, Border Patrol, Secret Service and Transportation Security Administration agents. Hundreds of TSA agents at major airports called in sick during the second week of the shutdown, reportedly in protest or to pick up income elsewhere. The Washington Post reported on 4 January 2019 that the Trump administration had not anticipated the shutdown would be prolonged and were now grasping the consequences of an extended shutdown, including sharp reductions in SNAP payments and delays of $140 billion in tax refunds

Political Page Turners Tell All


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.

Microsoft Says, Russia-Linked Hackers Target US Think Tanks & Political Organizations


Microsoft’s president Brad Smith wrote in a blog It’s clear that democracies around the world are under attack. Foreign entities are launching cyber strikes to disrupt elections and sow discord.

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Senate To vote For Net Neutrality By June 12, 2018

Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 09: Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) (L) is flanked by Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) while speaking about a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to preserve net neutrality rules.


There may be enough Democratic  votes in Senate—but the House is a another story.

Today Senate Democrats filed a long-promised petition to prevent the repeal of net neutrality rules in a move that will force a vote of the full Senate by a deadline of June 12.

The Senate will have to vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval, which would nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 vote to repeal the nation’s net neutrality rules. The CRA was filed in February, and Democrats today filed the discharge petition that will force the full Senate to vote on it.

This is the same mechanism that Congressional Republicans used to eliminate broadband privacy rules last year.

If successful, the Democrats’ resolution would prevent the deregulation of the broadband industry and maintain rules that prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.

“The CRA resolution would fully restore the rules that ensure Americans aren’t subject to higher prices, slower Internet traffic, and even blocked websites because the big Internet service providers want to pump up their profits,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said at a press conference today. “By passing this resolution, we can send a clear message that this Congress won’t fall to the special interest agenda of President Trump and his broadband baron allies but will rather do right by the people who sent us here.”

The Internet Association said it is weighing its legal options for “a lawsuit against today’s Order” but would also accept a strong net neutrality law imposed by Congress.

Plenty of organizations might appeal, said consumer advocate Gigi Sohn, who was a top counselor to then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler when the commission imposed its rules.

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