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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 245)

A Hot Job Market Is Causing Labor Pains for State Governments

Peanut season is nearly upon South Carolina and, like governments across the country, the state has been scrambling to hire.

Its Department of Agriculture is lifting pay for crop inspectors to $13 to $16 an hour from the previous $9.50 to $11.50, and creating an “aide” version of the position that requires less education and experience. It is even tweaking the title to make it sound more appealing: what used to be “temporary inspector” is now a “peanut grading inspector.” All this in a bid to find the 125 people it needs to help ensure peanut safety during the September to November harvest.

It is an example of what’s happening nationwide. Public agencies that perform crucial functions are struggling to compete as unemployment hovers near its lowest level in a half-century. The public sector has been posting record job openings, and state governments have lost about 20,000 employees since mid-2018, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The tight labor market is forcing both states and localities to take a second look at imperfect applicants, raise wages and even run short-staffed as they try to keep police departments, schools and state capitols functioning smoothly.

Public sector employers compete with the private sector for manpower, but often face more rigid budget constraints. As a result, they often pay less or raise wages more slowly; in fact, only a little more than half of state and local agencies think that they pay competitively, based on one recent survey. They can struggle to compete when labor markets are tight and workers have plentiful options.

“State and local governments are having to do a lot more with a lot less,” said Dan White, director of fiscal policy research at Moody’s Analytics. He noted that the public sector has been cautious in hiring for years as mandatory spending on health care and pensions sucks up their budgets. The hot labor market is making matters worse. “There’s a lot more opportunity for advancement and higher pay in the private sector.”

In addition, states are rebuilding workforces that took a major hit during and after the Great Recession and now face a wave of retirements delayed by the downturn. The result is widespread employee shortages. There were two public-sector job openings for every new hire in June, a sign that state, local and federal agencies are struggling to quickly fill positions.

That is up from 1.7 a year earlier, and much higher than the private-sector ratio, which is 1.2.

In South Carolina, “last season was the worst season we’ve ever had,” said Dave Baer, human resources manager at South Carolina’s Department of Agriculture and the person in charge of hiring peanut inspectors.

The state turned to contractors in 2018 after failing to attract enough laborers, a trend across governments as they look for more flexible staffing. It resulted in fraud and inefficiencies, so Mr. Baer got raises approved this year, which helped him find enough new workers to satisfy the state’s needs.

“We knew it was going to be a struggle to compete,” he said.

For people like Cynthia Cuffie, 62, the more aggressive push to hire has created opportunities.

Ms. Cuffie has not worked formally in years. The Hartsville, S.C., resident lives in a house her mother left her and helps take care of her sister, who in turn pays for Ms. Cuffie’s basic living expenses. But peanut inspecting could allow her to better maintain her beloved truck, a 1997 Toyota T-100 given to her by a relative. When she saw the peanut-inspector job advertised on Facebook, she knew she ought to try for it.

“It’s going to do marvels for me,” said Ms. Cuffie, who landed the gig and began training on Aug. 20. She is planning to repay her sister for new tires she has just bought, and then pay tithes at her church. “It’s going to get me out of the hole.”

In Washington State, a shortage of information technology and health care workers has prompted it to compete with the private sector despite budgetary constraints, said Franklin Plaistowe, assistant director of the state’s human resources division. To attract workers, it touts its public service-oriented mission, as well as good benefits and unique perks: Some employees can now bring their infants to the office.

“We’ve had four babies come through and retire,” Mr. Plaistowe said of his own department. “We’re thinking, from a human perspective, of our employees, and how we can meet them where they are.”

Gerald Young, a researcher at the nonprofit Center for State and Local Government Excellence, said he has seen governments in Iowa share health care personnel across county lines, and school districts in Nebraska allow science and math teachers to return from retirement to fill workplace gaps.

There are unique risks in public employee shortages. Police departments, prisons and state hospitals provide essential services, so society can pay the price when those jobs go unfilled.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159456645_45dfde17-797f-4336-bec8-9017be7751e8-articleLarge A Hot Job Market Is Causing Labor Pains for State Governments Wages and Salaries States (US) south carolina Local government Labor and Jobs Government Employees

South Carolina has been training peanut field inspectors for the 2019 harvest.CreditDave Baer

About 32 percent of local governments report difficulty filling policing jobs, 29 percent are struggling to find engineers and 24 percent are searching for laborers and skilled tradesmen, the survey found. And states are finding it’s hardest to find office, information technology and accounting workers.

It is tough for states to be more nimble in a hot labor market. Nearly all have balanced-budget requirements, according to the Urban Institute, which means they cannot spend more money than they collect. Many have strict taxing and spending limits and use salary brackets that are slow to change. Pay for state and local public employees has grown more slowly than private-sector pay since the last recession, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Pay for many unionized public sector workers has improved in recent years against the strong economic backdrop, according to Steven Kreisberg, research director at the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees. But some states are using higher tax revenue from a strong economy to cut taxes instead of hiring new public workers or paying more.

America’s prisons show what can happen when the public work force shrinks as a share of the population. Federal and state penitentiaries have been understaffed for years, because of structural problems — prison work can have a bad reputation — and policy choices, including a hiring freeze at federal prisons from 2017 to early this year. The hot job market is exacerbating the problem.

In Wisconsin, overtime payments increased by $7.5 million between 2016 and the 2018 fiscal year as the state correction system struggled to fill jobs. Colorado and Texas are also plagued by shortages and high overtime.

“There were always concerns about the competitiveness of correctional jobs compared to law enforcement,” said Brian Jackson, a researcher at the RAND Corporation. “Then you add the hot labor market and there are a lot of other options, especially for people who have gone through training, and it becomes a human capital challenge.”

The question for state, local and even federal employers now is: What happens next?

The economy may be slowing, which could offer an unhappy reprieve. President Trump’s trade war has dragged on business investment and is beginning to put a dent in consumer confidence, and a global economic slowdown could eventually weigh on Americanoutput and employment growth.

For now, the job market has appeared unfazed. Unemployment stands at 3.7 percent and wages are climbing. While fissures may be forming — factory hiring has slowed and the share of Americans who are working or looking for work seems to have peaked — it’s too soon to tell if that will cause a broader slowdown.

That’s great news for people like Ms. Cuffie, the soon-to-be peanut inspector.

“I can’t wait to get the check,” Ms. Cuffie said. “So I can’t wait to do the work.”

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Hurricane Dorian: Delta capping flight prices, American offering reduced fares from Florida as hurricane nears

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Hurricane Dorian: Delta capping flight prices, American offering reduced fares from Florida as hurricane nears

Florida officials are working to get roads ready for additional traffic due to Hurricane Dorian. Fox – 35 Orlando

Major airlines are capping prices on fares out of Florida and adding additional capacity to flight routes as Hurricane Dorian approaches the U.S.

In anticipation of the increased demand spurred by residents trying to flee the area, Delta Air Lines added six additional flights (equaling 930 seats) to the normal flight schedule between Atlanta and Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.

Delta also capped fares on one-way flights to and from these locations between $299 and $599 in the main cabin and $499 and $799 in first class, based on flight distance, according to Delta spokesperson Adrian Gee.

In years past, airlines have been accused of raising prices as people in the path of storms attempted to book travel out of the area.

Gee noted that fares may be slightly higher for flights that include a connection from those same cities through Sept. 4.

American Airlines has also added reduced, last-minute fares for impacted cities.   According to spokesperson Ross Feinstein, this includes one-way, non-stop fares from 13 cities in Florida: Daytona Beach (DAB), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Gainesville (GNV), Jacksonville (JAX), Key West (EYW), Melbourne (MLB), Miami (MIA), Orlando (MCO), Sarasota / Bradenton (SRQ), Tallahassee (TLH), Tampa (TPA) and West Palm Beach (PBI).

As of Friday at 1 p.m. ET, a search on American’s website showed available fares from Miami to Atlanta for $129 on Monday. 

Forecasters say Dorian is expected to make landfall Monday into Tuesday along Florida’s east coast.Heavy rainfall, dangerous winds and life-threatening storm surge are expected.

In 2017, airlines were criticized on social media for “fare gouging” as people tried to evacuate before Hurricane Irma.

USA TODAY has reached out to Southwest, United, Frontier, Spirit and JetBlue for comment. Their websites do not list information on capped prices.

As of Friday at 3 p.m. ET, a search on Southwest’s website shows one-way fares from Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta ranging from $129 to $317. On United’s site, a one-way flight from Miami to Atlanta Monday ranges from $366 to $753. And one-way JetBlue flights from Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta Monday range from $129 to $639. 

Contributing: Ryan W. Miller

Hurricane Dorian travel guide: What to know if you’re flying or cruising Labor Day weekend

When will Hurricane Dorian hit Florida?: What we know about the dangerous storm

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Ex-Canadian PM apologizes after saying she hoped Hurricane Dorian would hit Mar-a-Lago

Westlake Legal Group Kim-Campbell Ex-Canadian PM apologizes after saying she hoped Hurricane Dorian would hit Mar-a-Lago Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc d7cc0d7b-16fe-5ca1-84a5-540bd4076837 article

Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell apologized Friday for hoping Hurricane Dorian would hit President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, saying she was being sarcastic and should “know better.”

“I have deleted my tweet about the hurricane & Mar a Lago and sincerely apologize to all it offended. It was intended as sarcasm-not a serious wish of harm,” Campbell tweeted. “Throwaway lines get a life of their own on Twitter. I shd [sic] know better. Mea culpa.”

A day earlier, Campbell tweeted: “I’m rooting for a direct hit on Mar a Lago!”

HURRICANE DORIAN ALREADY STIRRING POLITICAL STORM AS DEMS RIP TRUMP

Before apologizing, Campbell initially responded to criticism by telling her critics she was sorry they didn’t understand “snark.”

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“As there are in Puerto Rico- sorry you don’t get snark- but Trump’s indifference to suffering is intolerable!” Campbell previously said in response to a user who told her that “there are real people who live and work” at the resort.

“We’d also help if he tackled climate change which is making hurricanes more destructive! Instead, he will remove limits on methane! Get a grip!” she added.

Campbell wasn’t the only one to criticize the president as Dorian approached the United States. Democrats railed against Trump even before the storm makes landfall over the state — accusing him of playing racial politics and blasting his decision to redirect funding from the nation’s primary disaster relief agency toward border enforcement operations.

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Campbell served less than five months as Canada’s prime minister following the resignation of Brian Mulroney in 1993.

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Kim-Campbell Ex-Canadian PM apologizes after saying she hoped Hurricane Dorian would hit Mar-a-Lago Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc d7cc0d7b-16fe-5ca1-84a5-540bd4076837 article   Westlake Legal Group Kim-Campbell Ex-Canadian PM apologizes after saying she hoped Hurricane Dorian would hit Mar-a-Lago Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc d7cc0d7b-16fe-5ca1-84a5-540bd4076837 article

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AOC accused of Soviet-style propaganda with Green New Deal ‘art series’

Westlake Legal Group AOC061919 AOC accused of Soviet-style propaganda with Green New Deal 'art series' Sam Dorman fox-news/topic/green-new-deal fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/media fnc ff025624-e934-5479-83d7-d3fa88381f72 article

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., received another round of Twitter backlash on Friday after debuting a new effort to push her massive environmental and climate change proposal, the “Green New Deal.”

“Surprise! I am thrilled to announce the launch of our #GreenNewDeal art series with custom Bronx & Queens GND posters,” she tweeted. Her tweet included posters for two of New York City’s boroughs but the ambitious congresswoman plans to place “GND” art around the country.

She plans to release the art during a “Nature Day” event on Saturday, although it’s safe to assume many of her critics won’t attend.

AOC NARRATES VIDEO FROM FUTURE IN WHICH HER ‘GREEN NEW DEAL’ SAVES US FROM ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE

Her celebratory artwork was met with a peppering of mockery on social media as some compared her to a Soviet-style propagandist.

According to Ocasio-Cortez, however, the series was inspired by the original New Deal push by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

OCASIO-CORTEZ WARNS THAT MELTING GLACIERS COULD RELEASE ANCIENT DISEASES

Others on Twitter seemed more supportive of her initiative. One user called her and her artists “magnificent.”

This wasn’t the first time Ocasio-Cortez has used art to push her signature legislation. She previously narrated a video from a future in which her “Green New Deal” transformed the American economy and rescued the United States from the dire threat of climate change.

During that video, she predicted that Democrats would take both chambers of Congress and the White House by 2020 — ushering in a “decade of the Green New Deal” that prompted the “social and ecological transformation to save the planet.”

CHUCK DEVORE: ‘GREEN NEW DEAL’ PREVIEW? TEXAS TOWN’S LOFTY ENVIRONMENTALISM LEAVES RESIDENTS WITH A NIGHTMARE

“Lots of people gave up, they said we were doomed,” she said after blaming fossil fuel companies like Exxon for saddling the public with the cost of climate issues. “But some of us remembered that as a nation, we’d been in peril before — the Great Depression, WWII — we knew from our history how to pull together to overcome impossible odds,” she said.

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Republicans have called the Green New Deal unrealistic, using the congresswoman’s proposals to highlight what they insist is encroaching socialism within the Democratic Party. Conservative groups’ analyses have estimated that the initiative would incur astronomical costs that would burden the economy.

Ocasio-Cortez has balked at socialism comparisons, though not because she thinks the label is ridiculous. The New York congresswoman, who received strong support from the Democratic Socialists of America during her primary, tweeted on Thursday that Republicans were failing to successfully use the label as a scare tactic.

“Drumming fear around socialism is the GOP’s big play, & it’s failing, bc capitalism = GoFundMe as our national healthcare system,” she said, linking to an article celebrating the diminished fear surrounding socialism.

BERNIE SANDERS INDICATES CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN WILL REQUIRE NATIONALIZATION OF US ENERGY PRODUCTION

Prior to that tweet, Ocasio-Cortez reiterated the need for large-scale solutions to tackle climate change — warning that the cost of action was lower than the death and monetary damages that would result from inaction.

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“We need to start getting comfortable with how extreme the problem is,” she said, “because only until we accept … how bad climate change is and how bad it can be for our children’s lives, are we going to be comfortable pursuing really big solutions.”

She also warned that melting glaciers could unleash a variety of diseases that the modern world is unprepared to deal with.

Westlake Legal Group AOC061919 AOC accused of Soviet-style propaganda with Green New Deal 'art series' Sam Dorman fox-news/topic/green-new-deal fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/media fnc ff025624-e934-5479-83d7-d3fa88381f72 article   Westlake Legal Group AOC061919 AOC accused of Soviet-style propaganda with Green New Deal 'art series' Sam Dorman fox-news/topic/green-new-deal fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/media fnc ff025624-e934-5479-83d7-d3fa88381f72 article

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Hundreds Of Young People Strike In Front Of UN For Climate Action

NEW YORK ― Hundreds of young people took a break from their summer vacations to strike for climate action on Friday, joining well-known climate activist Greta Thunberg outside of the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan.

The rally precedes a youth-led global climate strike to take place on Sept. 20, days before the U.N. Climate Action Summit.

Protesters ― many of them teenagers ― held signs that said, “In Greta We Trust,” and, “If You Won’t Act Like Adults We Will.” They chanted phrases like, “Sea levels are rising, and so are we,” in between speeches by young climate activists.

Thunberg, a 16-year-old from Sweden, had arrived in the U.S. earlier in the week by way of a solar-powered boat. Many of the teens at the rally were members of Fridays for Future, a global movement founded by Thunberg, in which students strike on Fridays for climate action.

Westlake Legal Group 5d696ee325000034008a00a1 Hundreds Of Young People Strike In Front Of UN For Climate Action

ASSOCIATED PRESS Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, center left, participates in a youth climate strike outside the United Nations on Friday in New York.

Olivia Payne, a rising senior at The Beacon School in Manhattan, says she often participates in strikes at her school. She’s been pushing her parents to be more aware of ways they could be more environmentally conscious, too. 

There’s always underlying dread because we know impending doom is coming, but at the same time it’s inspired me to be aware of my own personal actions,” Payne said.

Overall, though, she found the Friday strike comforting, especially seeing how many adults showed up.

Pada Schaffner, a rising senior at Dwight School in Manhattan, has been involved with climate action since he was a young child, when his parents used to take him to rallies. Now he works to get his classmates involved.

It can be hard to convince a classmate that going to a strike is more important than turning in whatever they have due Friday, but overall I think this generation does realize how important this issue is, specifically to us,” he said.

Gretta Reed, an environmental science teacher at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, has dealt with worried middle-school students who see climate change as the issue of their generation.

“I think the kids are thinking about it, they have a lot of anxiety about it. It’s a part of their everyday life now,” Reed said. “Whether or not people are teaching it, the kids are needing it and learning it themselves.”

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Russia maps 5 new Arctic islands discovered by eagle-eyed student

Russia has mapped five new Arctic islands that were first spotted by a student using satellite imagery.

The islands, which are on the coast of the remote Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, are the result of melting glaciers.

Marina Migunova made the discoveries in 2016 while a student at the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping in St. Petersburg The Moscow Times reports that Migunova was on a research vessel from Russia’s Northern Fleet when she made the discoveries. She is now an engineer on the same hydrographic vessel, the report added.

RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS UNEARTH REMAINS OF SECRET NAZI ARCTIC BASE

In a statement, Russia’s Ministry of Defense explained that naval and civilian scientists recently took part in an expedition to the five newly discovered islands, where “[t]opographic surveys were conducted.”

Westlake Legal Group RussiaArcticIslands Russia maps 5 new Arctic islands discovered by eagle-eyed student James Rogers fox-news/us/environment/climate-change fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox-news/science/planet-earth/green fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox news fnc/science fnc article 6d33a0a3-26ee-5604-bd89-e8c92f24b5fa

The islands are on the coast of the remote Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation)

The islands range in size from 900 square meters (9,688 square feet) to 54,500 square meters (585,557 square feet), according to Russian defense officials.

A number of countries, including Russia, are focusing their attention on the Arctic as melting ice opens up new sea routes for trade and other opportunities.

RUSSIA LAUNCHES FLOATING NUCLEAR POWER STATION; ENVIRONMENTALISTS WARN OF ‘CHERNOBYL ON ICE’

In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward an ambitious program to reaffirm his country’s presence in the Arctic, including efforts to build ports and other infrastructure and expand its icebreaker fleet. Russia wants to stake its claim in the region that is believed to hold up to one-fourth of the Earth’s undiscovered oil and gas.

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Environmentalists remain concerned about melting sea ice in the region. In Iceland, for example, officials and environmentalists recently unveiled a memorial plaque for a glacier recognized as the country’s first to disappear as a result of climate change.

In 2016 scientists at the Russian Arctic National Park unearthed the remains of a secret Nazi base on the remote island of Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group RussiaArcticIslands Russia maps 5 new Arctic islands discovered by eagle-eyed student James Rogers fox-news/us/environment/climate-change fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox-news/science/planet-earth/green fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox news fnc/science fnc article 6d33a0a3-26ee-5604-bd89-e8c92f24b5fa   Westlake Legal Group RussiaArcticIslands Russia maps 5 new Arctic islands discovered by eagle-eyed student James Rogers fox-news/us/environment/climate-change fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox-news/science/planet-earth/green fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox news fnc/science fnc article 6d33a0a3-26ee-5604-bd89-e8c92f24b5fa

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Democrats Are Divided On What’s Dividing The Party

Primary elections have a way of highlighting a party’s fault lines. Over the past few months, Democratic candidates have been publicly debating everything from single-payer “Medicare for All” to the need for generational change.

Last December, in the afterglow of the 2018 midterms, 62% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters said the party was more united than divided. By this July, that number had sunk nearly 20 points. And Democrats are plenty divided about what exactly is dividing them, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Some of the most obvious divides are demographic. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the race’s early front-runner, posts his best numbers among Black voters, people over age 44 and people without college degrees; he has less traction among white and college-educated voters, and struggles especially with younger voters.

Other divides are ideological. The party, while increasingly liberal, still encompasses many self-described moderates. Democrats broadly agree on plenty of issues, but there are also concrete divides on everything from health care to immigration.

Alongside those cleavages, the early stages of the campaign have also been dogged by a sense that the party is facing some sort of crucial, if nebulous, philosophical schism: the importance of ”electability,” maybe, or the best way of addressing President Barack Obama’s legacy, or the right tone to take against President Donald Trump, or the endless debate over whether campaigns should focus more on mobilizing the base or coaxing back swing voters.

Many of these binaries effectively serve as ways to pit Biden ― an older candidate who’s based his appeal around his ties to Obama and his perceived ability to win ― against the rest of the field. But they also reflect larger questions about the ideological direction of the party, and the approach Democrats should take to winning in 2020 and beyond.

To get a better sense of the Democratic electorate, we asked Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters about six of these questions in a new HuffPost/YouGov survey, testing their preferences on topics including ideology, generational politics and strategy.

But posing these choices inherently risks making assumptions about how those voters view the race ― whether these are distinctions that particularly matter to them, or ones they’d even make if they weren’t being prompted by pollsters. So we also asked voters how well they thought each of these choices defined the campaign. 

Each of the contrasts we asked about was described by a slim majority of voters ― between 53% and 63% ― as defining the primary at least “somewhat well,” with the frames about tone and the Obama presidency garnering modestly less support than the others. Even fewer voters thought any one option fit the race “very well,” ranging from the 17% who thought that the framing of the race as a generational choice was very fitting to the 27% who saw the electability argument as being definitional.

Westlake Legal Group 5d67e4c02500003203890f3b Democrats Are Divided On What’s Dividing The Party

Ariel Edwards-Levy/HuffPost In a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, fewer than a third of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters described any of these choices as describing the primary election “very well.”

Those results suggest that, while voters do see real philosophical divides on how the Democratic Party should approach 2020, they don’t necessarily perceive the election as a referendum on any one key fracture ― or, at least, not any of the ones included in this survey.

The poll also asked Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters which of the options, if either, they favored for each question. They preferred a new generation by 26 points, a “take the high road” approach by 22 points, liberal ideology by 9 points and a strategy focused on mobilizing the base by 7 points. Opinions were within 4 points of evenly split on Obama’s legacy and the importance of electability. On each question, a fifth or more weren’t sure or said they didn’t really have a preference.  

(Two important caveats here: First, responses can vary considerably based on how exactly these choices are framed. Other polling, for example, has often found voters placing far more of a premium on electability. And second: Rather than picking their favorite candidate based on the philosophies they represent, voters may instead gravitate toward the standpoints or traits that reflect the candidates they already support.)

Westlake Legal Group 5d67ebd425000032038912d6 Democrats Are Divided On What’s Dividing The Party

Ariel Edwards-Levy/HuffPost In this poll, Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters favor a “new generation” over an older one — a finding that’s not necessarily reflected in their current choice of candidates in horserace polls.

Broadly, the results raise doubts about whether voters are treating any of the questions as clear road maps for deciding which candidates to back. Two attributes for which voters show the strongest preferences ― a new generation, and a “higher road” ― don’t quite line up with the horserace polling so far. 

Older candidates may not be winning voters on the basis of their age, but it doesn’t seem to have notably hurt them, either. Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the three oldest candidates in the race, are the three current front-runners. And voters seemingly have yet to punish any candidate for taking too aggressive a tone against Trump.

In other words, there’s probably no set of clear primary “lanes,” ideological or otherwise, for voters to follow as they narrow down their list of candidates. Instead, there’s a cavalcade of often competing priorities. That’s borne out by data on whom voters are actually considering, which often fails to follow any easily discernible patterns.  

“A reliable rule of thumb about nomination politics is that when voters are required to make an electoral choice among multiple candidates within the same party, their preferences will be relatively weak, unpredictable, based on limited information, and open to change up until the moment they cast their ballot,” political scientist David Hopkins wrote earlier this year.

“It can be easy to impose a clever and plausible-sounding analytical structure on the process in advance, or to explain in retrospect why one candidate won more support than another,” Hopkins wrote. “But in the midst of the action, there is plenty about nominations that resists straightforward interpretation or forecasting. And the larger the field of contenders, the more complicated things get.”

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Aug. 12-13 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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Will America Talk Itself Into a Recession? Trump’s Advisers Are Worried

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-recession-facebookJumbo Will America Talk Itself Into a Recession? Trump’s Advisers Are Worried United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Shopping and Retail Recession and Depression Powell, Jerome H International Trade and World Market Consumer Confidence (Economic Indicator) Consumer Behavior

President Trump’s economic advisers do not see a recession on the horizon, but they worry that gloomy news reports and a drumbeat of recession warnings could turn fear of one into reality.

In an interview on Thursday, the acting chairman of Mr. Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, Tomas Philipson, said that reporters who had fixated on possible signs of a recession in bond markets this month appeared “to want people to lose jobs” and “become not economically self-sufficient.”

“As an American,” Mr. Philipson said, “you should not want a recession, no matter your political views.”

Mr. Trump’s escalating trade war is the reason economists, traders and the American public are increasingly worried about the possibility of recession. As the president punishes China with higher tariffs — and Beijing retaliates — the fight is exacerbating a global growth slowdown while dragging on investment and business confidence in America.

Investment has slowed this year, and actually contracted in the spring, and manufacturing output has slumped. Global growth is cooling, and the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates, partly out of concern over tariff-driven uncertainty. The overall growth rate has fallen, compared with last year.

Through all that, Americans have kept shopping, continuing to power economic growth. Consumer spending increased at an annualized rate of 4.7 percent in the spring, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, its fastest quarterly increase in nearly five years.

But one measure of consumer sentiment slipped by the most since 2012, data Friday showed, seemingly on tariff concerns: One in three respondents spontaneously mentioned the trade war.

Administration officials want to keep confidence high and are increasingly shifting blame for any slowdown on the media, Democrats and the Fed, which Mr. Trump has accused of putting the United States at a disadvantage to other countries by keeping interest rates too high.

“The way the media reports the weather won’t impact whether the sun shines tomorrow,” Mr. Philipson said. “But the way the media reports on our economy weighs on consumer sentiment, which feeds into consumer purchases and investments.”

Mr. Trump himself has raised similar concerns but has dismissed any talk of recession as improbable given the “strong” economy.

On Friday, Mr. Trump continued his attack on the Fed as the main culprit in any slowdown, saying on Twitter, “The Euro is dropping against the Dollar ‘like crazy,’ giving them a big export and manufacturing advantage … and the Fed does NOTHING!”

He also rejected the idea that his tariffs are hurting American companies, saying any corporate pain is self-inflicted. “Badly run and weak companies are smartly blaming these small Tariffs instead of themselves for bad management … and who can really blame them for doing that? Excuses!”

Even as signs of nervousness surface, official White House forecasts, issued as recently as this summer, continue to call for growth to accelerate in the second half of this year. While bond traders, business economists and poll respondents are expressing rising concern over the health of the economy, economists independent of the White House say there is no reason to believe a recession is inevitable in the United States over the next year or so. Independent forecasts predict that economic growth in July, August and September will be about where it was in April, May and June: around 2 percent, slow and steady.

“There really is no reason why the expansion can’t keep going,” Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Fed, said at his last news conference.

Many economists say that if a recession does arrive, cratering consumers will not be the root cause — and that Mr. Trump’s trade policies and the uncertainty they are stoking are the more likely culprit.

But some forecasters agree that fear itself could become a problem. Consumers drive about 70 percent of economic activity in America, and if they become spooked and pull back on purchases, growth could slow more sharply. Stock market losses could unsettle Americans and cause them to clamp their wallets shut.

“If headlines about trade wars and currency wars dominate the media and the airwaves,” then “you could get in this spiral where people lose confidence and stop spending,” said Megan Greene, a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Still, she does not expect an outright recession until 2021 in part because the labor market remains strong, making an imminent consumer pullback avoidable.

By several measures, the American economy continues to thrive, particularly when compared with other rich countries. Unemployment is hovering around its lowest level since 1969, the job market is growing faster than many economists had thought possible, and wage growth is picking up as companies compete for workers. That is leaving average Americans with more money in their pocket and greater wherewithal to spend.

Despite recession chatter, consumers are likely to remain strong as long as their paychecks are growing, said Seth Carpenter, the chief United States economist at UBS.

“If somebody gets a raise and their spouse gets a new job, they’re still going to be spending,” he said.

Households could keep the economy chugging along even as trade uncertainty drives companies to behave cautiously, if recent precedent holds. When growth slowed down in 2016, thanks in large part to an oil price slump that caused a drop-off in business investment, America kept shopping — and the expansion continued.

For all of its importance to growth, consumers’ behavior is historically a poor indicator of where the economy is headed. Shopping habits change quickly and often pull back only after a broader slowdown has taken hold.

“When the American consumer is strong, the expansion will have at last some momentum,” said Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and previously an economic adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. But “it’s harder to see around any more distant corners.”

That is why economists monitor forward-looking economic indicators, some of which are showing cracks.

Interest rates on short-term government securities exceeded those on longer-dated bonds — a reliable recession indicator that suggests investors are pessimistic about the economic outlook. Trade tensions and slower global growth are weighing on business sentiment and investment, and measures tracking both factory and service industries have slowed down.

Tariffs are set to ramp up in the coming months, which could further restrain business activity. Mr. Bernstein expects the escalation that is already planned to help slow growth to 1 percent by the second half of next year. That weakening could be painful even if it stops short of a recession, which is usually defined as two or more quarters of outright economic contraction, leading to higher unemployment and slower wage growth for everyday Americans.

“Crossing zero obviously catches everyone’s attention,” Mr. Bernstein said. “But a deceleration can feel just as bad to a lot of people.”

There is a way to keep the current jitters from taking a turn for the worse, many economists say: Stop ramping up the trade war.

“The trade war is categorically the single biggest risk,” Mr. Carpenter said. He did not expect the tensions to cause a recession next year, but said they would slow the economy down, increasing the risk that any surprise shock would tip off a downturn.

If growth does start to sour, walking back the tariffs could provide some relief. But once pessimism becomes entrenched, even that may not offer a quick fix.

“Just taking them off absolutely is helpful in some regard,” Mr. Carpenter said. But businesses may be slow to believe that tensions have eased, so their investment may take time to recover. “Most of the damage will have been done.”

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Director of Jessi Combs’ final film says movie will be dedicated to her: ‘She will be missed by all’

Days after race car driver and TV personality Jessi Combs died tragically trying to break a speed record, the director and producer of her latest film project is speaking out on her death.

Thomas Smugala, who worked with the 39-year-old on the upcoming movie “Interviewing Monsters and Bigfoot,” spoke with Fox News about finding out about Combs’ shocking death and what it means for the upcoming film.

“This was her first feature film,” Smugala told us. “We are dedicating the film to Jessi. She was a good friend and a wonderful person. We are also in the process of putting her on the poster and cover art before the release of the film.”

JESSI COMBS, RACE CAR DRIVER AND TV HOST, DIES IN JET-CAR CRASH AT AGE 39

Westlake Legal Group smugala8 Director of Jessi Combs' final film says movie will be dedicated to her: 'She will be missed by all' Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/auto fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e75933e6-22a7-5058-b761-18af9874edc7 article

Combs’ first and final film is “Interviewing Monsters and Bigfoot.” (Thomas Smurgala )

“Everyone was telling me not to use a reality show celebrity on the film, but I knew she would handle it just fine,” Smugala shared. “I mean, all she had to do was a long dialog-filled scene while being chased by the law. Jessi and I agreed that shooting it while she was actually driving would be best. So, with the help of the Cape Girardeau, Missouri Police, we closed off the streets and did it. Jessi rose to the occasion just as I thought she would.”

Combs also devoted time to give “motivation talks” to young girls on the set, according to Smugala.

“Everyone loved her on set. The cops, the crew, the caterer — she took time to talk to everyone,” he recalled. “She was the kindest and [most] uplifting person in the world. She was fierce. She was giving. She was loyal. She will be missed by all.”

Combs died while attempting to break her own land-speed record on Tuesday in Oregon. The 39-year-old was attempting to hit 619 mph, according to Autoblog.

Westlake Legal Group Smugala1 Director of Jessi Combs' final film says movie will be dedicated to her: 'She will be missed by all' Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/auto fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e75933e6-22a7-5058-b761-18af9874edc7 article

Combs died while attempting to break her own land-speed record on Tuesday in Oregon. (Thomas Smurgala )

Aside from racing, Combs also served as the co-host for “The List” along with stints on “Overhaulin’,” “Extreme 4×4,” “All Girls Garage and she appeared as a part-time host on “Mythbusters.”

JESSI COMBS’ FATAL CRASH UNDER INVESTIGATION: ‘THERE WAS A FIRE INVOLVED’

In a statement obtained by Autoblog, her family said, “It is with extreme grief, and in celebration of her life that her family and close friends share that race car driver, and TV personality Jessi Combs, passed away in a fatal crash, where she was pursuing a land speed record in the North American Eagle on August, 27th 2019 on a dry lake bed in Oregon.”

“Jessi was known for her bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams,” the statement continues. “Her drive was infectious, and she served as a role model for young Girls, and Women around the world. People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion.  Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them. Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012. Combs was one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality, and she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.”

Combs’ partner, Terry Madden, honored her on social media.

“I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman @thejessicombs she was truly my unicorn and I enjoyed every single minute that I had with her. She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know,” he wrote.

JESSI COMBS’ FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES REACT TO HER DEATH: ‘SHE LOST HER LIFE DOING WHAT SHE LOVED’

Her accident is now being investigated by authorities.

On Wednesday, Lt. Brian Needham of the Harney County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that authorities are trying to recover laptops onboard the jet car (a race car propelled by jet engine). The computers said to be aboard Combs’ vehicle, the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger, may hold additional keys for investigators.

Westlake Legal Group smugala13 Director of Jessi Combs' final film says movie will be dedicated to her: 'She will be missed by all' Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/auto fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e75933e6-22a7-5058-b761-18af9874edc7 article

According to Oregon police, her accident is now being investigated by authorities.  (Thomas Smurgala )

“They’re waiting for the team to recover the [engine and systems] information stored on the inboard computers,” Needham told the New York Post.

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The law enforcement officer also said that “there was a fire involved” but did not elaborate.

“Interviewing Monster and Bigfoot” premieres on Sept. 13.

Fox News’ Michael Hollan, Janine Puhak and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Hurricane Dorian Strengthens To Category 3 Approaching Florida

Westlake Legal Group 5d6969423c00008b0548aa78 Hurricane Dorian Strengthens To Category 3 Approaching Florida

MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Dorian has strengthened to a major Category 3 storm. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the hurricane is “extremely dangerous” and poses a significant threat to Florida and the northwestern Bahamas.

Dorian was located 445 miles (715 kilometers) east of the northwest Bahamas at 2 p.m. EDT on Friday. It had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) and was moving northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).

A hurricane watch was in effect for northwestern Bahamas. Hurricane conditions are possible by Sunday.

The center said additional strengthening is expected as the storm approaches the Florida peninsula.

President Donald Trump has declared an emergency in the state of Florida as it braces for the brunt of the hurricane.

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