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December 03 2016


Why Obama isn't getting credit for the economy - VICE News - VICE News

Obamanomics: VICE Money looks back at the Obama economy.Obamanomics: VICE Money looks back at the Obama economy.

Barack Obamas term in the Oval Office has been one of the steadiest periods of economic improvement in recent U.S. history.

Of course, a lot of that has to do with where he started. Elected amid the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, Obama took office with an incredibly bleak economic backdrop. The U.S. economy was losing 600,000 to 800,000 jobs every month. The jobless rate skyrocketed to 10 percent by October 2009. It would have been hardfor the economy to get any worse.

Jump cut to Friday, when the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics showed the U.S. unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent in November. Thats the lowest its been since August 2007. The economy generated 178,000 new jobs in November, the 74th straight month of positive job growth and the longest such streak on record.


With a record like that, youd expect Obamas approval rating which has been rising overall to be especially high when it comes to his handling of the economy. But it isnt. It actually lags his overall approval rating of 54 percent, according to the average of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics.

Why? Well,beneath the surface there are still problems with the economy. Though the Great Recession technically ended in June 2009, the recovery has been incredibly slow. That tends to be a feature of recessions brought on by financial crises, economists say. And as a result wage growth has been achingly until last year, when U.S. incomes finally surged.

Also, it should be said that since his efforts in the immediate aftermath of the crisis things like the auto bailout, and stimulus program which helped keep the economy from falling off a cliff Obamahasnt actuallybeen able todo very much to help the economy, given obstruction in the Republican-controlled congress.


In fact, much of the improvement in the economy is probably due to the Federal Reserves policy of keeping interest rates super low. So, maybe Americans who do see the improvement in the economy dont give the White House the credit. (Theyd essentially be right.)

More broadly, whilethe economy did get going again under President Obama, simply restarting the economic engine hasnt done muchat least until the last year or soto reverse a decades-long trend toward increasing inequality and erosion of the once-mighty American middle class. Between 2008, and 2014, the share of Americans identifying themselves as middle class shrunk by nine percentage points, to 44 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

Thats not just a problem for the economy. Given the role that the middle class has historically held as bastions of political moderationand stability, its increasingly clear that this is not just a problem for theU.S. economy, its a problem for U.S. society.

September 15 2016


As Clinton-Trump Race Tightens, Here's How Forecast Models Differ - New York Times

Broadly speaking, each model moved toward Mrs. Clinton after the Democratic convention at the end of July, then stayed on a plateau for several weeks before drifting back toward Mr. Trump.

But there are differences. The PredictWise numbers, for example, tend to be more certain about the outcome in both directions giving Mrs. Clinton zero chance of picking off a conventionally red state like Texas, Alaska or South Carolina; and giving Mr. Trump zero chance of shuffling the electoral map and capturing a small blue state like Rhode Island or Maine.

The extent to which the lines move together shows how correlated the states are to one another. In some models, like FiveThirtyEights, the states are very correlated; in others, like the Princeton Election Consortium, they are much less so. The Upshots model lies somewhere between.

In general, states move in lock step from one presidential election to the next. The overall picture may change, but the states typically hold their positions relative to one another and swing together uniformly. Election cycles where this does not happen tend to be aberrations 1976, for example or can signal an electoral realignment.

Compared with previous eras, weve been in a remarkable period of electoral stability. The eight least volatile elections since 1920 in terms of state shifts include the seven most recent.

In the 2012 election, only one state fell more than 10 points from its expectation, after controlling for home state effects: West Virginia, which voted 20 points more Republican than the nation in 2008, and then 30 points more in 2012.

While there are differences on the state level between the various models, the differences now as with two months ago are more about how the states will move together, and what that means for the distribution of possible outcomes.

How the Presidential Forecasts Compare The electoral vote distribution in the Upshot model is more narrow than FiveThirtyEights and slightly more favorable to Clinton than Daily Kos, leading to a somewhat higher win probability for the Democrats.

New York Times

Electoral votes for Hillary Clinton


The Daily Kos model foresees a more narrow range of plausible outcomes. The FiveThirtyEight model is centered in about the same place as our model is, but is shorter and flatter than ours, leading to a slightly lower chance of victory for Mrs. Clinton.

Continue reading the main storyAs I did at the beginning of this article, election analysts often fall back on the metaphor of sports odds: for example, saying something is analogous to a team leading by 14 points at the start of the second half or comparing a candidates odds with making a field goal from a certain distance. Its a convenient way to get people to think probabilistically, which is not an easy thing to do. Trying to grasp what 75 percent really means out of context is hard.

OPEN Interactive Feature

Interactive Feature: 2016 Election Forecast: Who Will Be President? But the football metaphor shouldnt be extended too far.

The difference between probability in sports and probability in an election is one of measurement. In a football game, all of the parameters are known. You can know that the home team is up by 7 points with 5 minutes 41 seconds to go, with a third-and-goal on the 1-yard line. Ignoring factors like team strength and weather, this tells you everything you need to know to make a simple forecast about who is going to win.

Elections arent like that. We cant get a perfect representation of peoples voting intentions, so we have to rely on polling. And polling is a messy business. There is often a lot of noise, and little signal. This was doubly so for the period before and during the conventions. When we said in a previous article that The Upshot model is stubborn to move by design, we mean that its somewhat inured to noise.

The situation with a political campaign is more like a football game in which you know how much time is left, but dont know the score you have to infer it based on how the home teams fans are cheering.

Now that the conventions are over and that were past Labor Day, the polls speak louder they contain more information so its easier to get the models attention.

Continue reading the main story

June 22 2016


Mark Cuban: Donald Trump getting "stupider" - CBS News

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban is escalating his criticisms of Donald Trump, the Republican party's presumptive presidential nominee, and ribbing his fellow businessman over getting "stupider" as his White House campaign charges on.

"You know what? It's rare when you see somebody get stupider before your eyes, but he's really working at it," Cuban told the entertainment show "Extra" in an interview published Tuesday. "And so you've got to give him credit. It's not an easy thing to do, but he's accomplished it."

Cuban, who has previously bashed Trump on a host of issues, elaborated: "Let's look at it this way," he told "Extra" host Renee Bargh. "Name one good deal he's done."

"I can't," Bargh replied.

Cuban shot back: "Neither can he."

"When he talks about his great renegotiations, they're renegotiations," said Cuban, co-star of investment-based reality television show "Shark Tank" and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. "So tell me if you think this is a good deal: I lose four casinos, they go out of business, but I'm really good at renegotiating the debt of my companies that have already gone out of business. You'd get kicked out of 'Shark Tank' so fast it'd make your head spin."

Cuban isn't far off base when it comes to characterizing Trump's success at renegotiating debt -- even according to the presumptive GOP nominee himself.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning" that aired Wednesday, Trump dubbed himself the "king of debt."

"I call myself the king of debt," he told host Norah O'Donnell. "I'm great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me."

He explained further that he's "made a fortune by using debt" in his business transactions.

"If things don't work out, I renegotiate the debt," Trump said. "I mean, that's a smart thing, not a stupid thing."

Cuban, in his own interview, continued his tirade against Trump with knocks on the real estate mogul's ability to learn about policy issues.

"At some point, you've got to start learning and understanding the issues, you know?" Cuban said. "Donald has been in this a year and you don't look at him and say, 'Wow, he's gotten so much smarter about this topic or that topic.' In fact, you know, you look at him and say, 'What the hell are you talking about?'

"That's not good for America," Cuban added, noting that he doesn't usually become involved in politics. "But now, it's so crazy that if somebody in the middle doesn't speak up, some topics don't get covered."


April 06 2016


Edward Snowden scorns David Cameron, other leaders on Panama Papers leak

Here are the basics of what the Panama Papers leak is all about. Video by Jasper Colt, USA TODAY

AFP 550649120 I POL POL GOV GBR ENBritain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a question and answer session on the forthcoming European Union referendum with staff of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Birmingham, England, on April 5, 2016.(Photo: Christopher Furlong, AFP/Getty Images)

Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistle-blower, has been quite vocal on social media about the Panama Papers leak and theinternational fallout from the millions of documents released.

He's commented on global leaders involved withthe documents, mockingBritish Prime Minister David Cameron andIcelandPrime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who stepped aside amid the fallout.

With scandals in Russia, China, UK, Iceland, Ukraine, and more, perhaps a new rule: if you're in charge of a country, keep your money in it.

Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 5, 2016

"If you're in charge of a country, keep your money in it,"Snowden tweeted Tuesday,

Cameronwas dragged into the scandal about offshoretax havens this weekover his late father's connections to an investment fund thatavoided paying tax in theUnited Kingdomby having its directors hold board meetings in Switzerland and the Bahamas rather than in London.

Ian Cameron, a stock brokerwho died in 2010, was named inthe documents stolen from the Panamalaw firmMossack Fonseca.The company set up for Ian Cameron was calledBlairmore.

Downing Streetinitiallycalled the discovery a "private matter."

On Monday, Snowden tweeted a snarkyresponse after DavidCameron's spokeswoman calledfamily investments private.

Oh, now he's interested in privacy. https://t.co/jfCSYgensb

Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 4, 2016

Downing Street laterconfirmed the prime minister does not hold any shares in the company. Cameron released another statement, saying,"In terms of my own financial affairs, I own no shares. I have a salary as prime minister and I have some savings, which I get interest from and I have a house, which we used to live in, which we now let out while we are living in Downing Street and that's all I have."

Cameron added: "I have no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And, so that, I think, is a very clear description." His office added that Cameron, his wife and children do not benefit from any offshore funds.

Former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward

Former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden(Photo: Uncredited, AP)

On Tuesday, Snowden tweeted that the "resignation of Iceland's PMmay explain why the U.K. PM is so insistent public has no right to know a PM's 'private'finances."

Resignation of Iceland's PM may explain why the UK PM is so insistent public has no right to know a PM's "private" finances. #PanamaPapers

Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 5, 2016

According to German newspaperSuddeutsche Zeitung, whichfirst shared newsof the Panama Papers, theleak consisted of 11.5 million documents, including 4.8 million emails.

That compares to about1.7 million documents leaked by Snowden, aformerNSA contractor, in 2013 aboutthe agency's surveillance efforts. The NSA release amounted to just15% of the number of documents with the Panama Papers investigation.

Snowden noted on Twitter that the Panama Papers represent "the biggest leak in the history of data journalism."

Biggest leak in the history of data journalism just went live, and it's about corruption. https://t.co/dYNjD6eIeZpic.twitter.com/638aIu8oSU

Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 3, 2016Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1MSFnBr

January 24 2016


HVAC Purchase Advice Made Easy To Understand - HVAC Contractors In NJ

HVAC can help you acquire your property working once more. In many parts of the country, the summers can be hot and the winters can be cold. You need a high-quality heating and cooling system in your home if you want to live comfortably. Choosing the right one can be tricky, however. Read this article for advice on choosing an HVAC system.

Be sure to learn about all of the requirements your state has legislated regarding licencing and insurance if you must hire someone to help you out with your HVAC system. If they meet these requirements before you hire them, you need to be able to ask anyone you plan to hire.

If you do have a good experience with a HVAC product or contractor, let others know. Go online and post a review so that people can easily find out who and what brands to trust. At the same time, you can check reviews online to learn more yourself about what's available.

An HVAC system is a really expensive investment. This is why you should do some browsing before purchasing your system. Try to find a good sale so you can get your system at a discount. Before making a decision, check out a couple of sites. A great site to begin is www.energystar.gov. ;

Condenser units for the outdoors should be shut off when it starts to get cold outside. This should be done when the temperature drops below 60ยบF to avoid damage. This simple tip will help keep the system running efficiently for many years to come.

If you want to cool your home in the summer without using your air conditioning on full, consider installing fans in your home. An attic fan can blow hot air out while sucking in cool air into your basement, and ceiling fans help distribute the air in your rooms evenly.

Whenever possible, try to shade the compressor unit outside. The air that's in a place that is shaded is usually five to six degrees cooler than the surrounding air. Your air conditioning unit will be up to ten percent more efficient if it is properly shaded during the summer months.

When you mow your lawn, take care that you don't get grass clippings all over your outdoor unit. Try shooting the clippings away from it. This also applies to blowing leaves or moving debris. Just be careful with that exterior HVAC unit.

Looking for an efficient way to cool your home? Consider installing a whole-house evaporative cooler. They use water to cool air instead of traditional chemical coolants, using a ton less energy to cool your home than those other units. That said, they do work best in dry climates and not at all in humid ones.

Always take the time to check out the reputation of any HVAC contractor before you consider hiring them. If there are any complaints, then search online for review sites where you can see what actual customers had to say about their experience, a good start would be the BBB to see. This can help you make the right choice.

Check out how long the HVAV contractor you are considering has been in business. If you should spend your money with them, a company that has been in business for a long time will have a solid track record, and you can use this to figure out. It is always risky to hire a contractor with little experience.

Consider installing a programmable one if you currently have a manual thermostat. If anyone is home, you can set your system for different temperatures depending on time of day and. Also, you can set upper and lower temperature settings to allow for a comfortable range of temperatures so that heating and cooling don't kick in when not needed.

If you hear clicking in the HVAC unit, check for debris. Sometimes there is debris that gets in the fan's way. Get rid of this obstruction and that should take care of the problem. Before spending on a contractor, check it out.

If you live in a hot climate, consider painting the outside of your home in a light color to reflect heat. Use a dark color to instead heat up your home in the winter if your summers are cool. This simple change can end up saving you a lot on your utility bills.

If you feel like you are spending too much money on your cooling and heating, there is a simple way to reduce this cost. Raise or lower the temperature depending on the season. A single degree in temperature change can equate to almost a nine percent savings in heating and cooling costs.

Replace your air filters every month. This is a very simple job and it keeps the system running at maximum efficiency. It only costs a couple of bucks to replace the filter.

Be sure to select an experienced and competent HVAC company. The best companies out there have technicians that keep a schedule and their appointments too. The technicians should also be able to diagnose problems in your HVAC in no time. When they know the issue, they ought to have it fixed quickly and efficiently.

Pick an HVAC business that understands the works and unit quickly to solve the problem. Good firms ensure they are always on schedule. Techs must be knowledgeable about diagnosing and repairing your system quickly. When they know what the problem is, they should know how to fix it quickly so that it works properly.

Having windows and doors in place is essential to make sure your HVAC system runs well. Be sure their seal is tight so no exterior air gets in or interior air gets out. A professional can easily have this tested for you, and oftentimes, this service is free.

Check the licensing of any HVAC company that you plan to hire. By making sure they are fully licensed, start. They should be in compliance with your state's business laws. Good HVAC companies should be fully insured. This is to protect their company, their employees, and their customers should anything happen when they are performing a service at the home of a customer.

If you want to remain comfortable in your house, no matter what the weather outside may be like, HVAC systems are a must. However, before you have one installed, you need to do some research. Use the information that hvac contractors nj you have read here to help make the right decision for your needs.

December 03 2015


San Bernardino suspects' huge cache of bullets and bombs enough for 'another ... - Los Angeles Times

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik -- the heavily armed couple who authorities say unleashed volleys of gunfire on a holiday party in San Bernardino -- had amassed an armory of weapons and explosives in their Redlands home, including a dozen pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition, officials said Thursday.

The arsenal suggested a level of planning that added to investigators concern that Wednesday's shootings, which left 14 dead and 21 injured, were far more than a spontaneous response to a workplace dispute.

Certainly they were equipped and they could have continued to do another attack we intercepted them,San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference Thursday.

Farook and Malik fired at least 65 bullets when they stormedthe office party in a conference room at the Inland Regional Center, where Farook had earlier been involved in some kind of dispute.

Hours later, Farook and Malik exchanged hundreds of rounds with police in a firefight on San Bernardinos streets, launching bullets into homes and terrifying residents who had already been rocked by the mass shooting earlier in the day.

Follow live coverage of the San Bernardino shooting >>

When they searched Farook and Maliks home, police recovered a dozen pipe bombs, 2,000 9-millimeter handgun rounds, 2,500 .223-caliber assault rifle rounds and hundreds of tools that could have been used to make additional explosive devices, Burguan said.

Farook and Malik usedtwo assault rifles and two semi-automatic handguns in the attack on the party, all of which were purchased legally, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

As authorities continued to probe the backgrounds of the husband and wife responsible for Americas deadliest mass shooting since 2012, investigators and legislators from California to Washington, D.C., tried to understand what motivated the shooters.

Speaking at the White House on Thursday morning,President Obama said the FBI was now leading the probe into the attack at the Inland Regional Center. Investigators have yet to rule out terrorism as a motive, but police have also said that Farook was involved in a dispute at the party for employees of the San Bernardino County Health Department shortly before gunfire broke out.

"We do know that the two individuals who were killed were equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry at their homes," Obama said. "But we dont know why they did it. We dont know at this point the extent of their plans. We do not know their motivations.

During a news conference Thursday, Burguan said the suspects had 1,400 assault rifle rounds and 200 handgun rounds in their car as they fled from police. The couple fired 76 rounds at officers during the shootout, and officers shot 380 rounds in return. Burguan said he believed the suspects shot first.

Despite uncertainty about the motive for the attack, Burguan said the cache of weapons and ammunition found at the couples home obviously suggests it was preplanned.

Farook was born in Illinois, andhad worked at the health department as an inspector for five years. He recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a woman he met online. Farookstayed in the country for nine days in the summer of 2014, according to the U.S. Embassy there.

The embassy had no records indicating that Malikwas a Saudi citizen. Shewas born in Pakistan, according to a federal law enforcement source who requested anonymity. She was in the U.S.legally on a visa, according to Burguan.

Police said that they believe Farook and Malik were the only people directly involved in the shooting, but said the investigation is continuing.

Federal investigators were attempting to interview three men who "were in phone contact" with Farook and his wife in the days leading up to the shooting rampage, a government officialsaid.

"They were associates and in contact with the shooters, said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation was still ongoing.

It was not clear if the three men were involved in the shooting in any way.

On Thursday morning, FBI agents and SWAT officers also raided a condominium in Corona, where they led away one man in handcuffs, neighbors said.

FBI agents with bullhorns showed up at 5 a.m., said Lorraine Otto, who lives next door to the home on Forum Way. "They kept saying, This is the FBI. Open the door. If you dont open the door, well break it open.'

A federal law enforcement source told The Times that while investigators have yet to establish a clear motive in the shooting, they are leaning toward a possible combination of terrorism and workplace conflict.

Were very involved in terms of trying to see if the motive was something inspired by a terrorist organization or directed by a terrorist organization, or whether he was self-radicalized, the source, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said.

Investigators also believe the couple had a familiarity with weapons and military-style tactics.

We want to know how they acquired that, the source said.

Farook and Malik were not known to federal investigators prior to the attack, the source said.

Shortly before the shooting, the couple left their young daughter with the child's grandmother in Redlands, saying they had a doctor's appointment, according to Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.

They headed to the regional center soon after.

The grandmother grew panickedwhen news of the shooting brokeand began frantically calling Farook and Malik, but they did not answer, Ayloush said.

As expected, the shooting is already a new chapter in the ever-divisive national gun debate. The president said Thursday that it was still "too easy" for people who want to kill large numbers of people to get access to high-powered weapons in the U.S.

"Were going to have to, I think, search ourselves as a society to make sure that we can take basic steps that would make it harder, not impossible, but harder for individuals to get access to weapons," he said.

Farook and Malik used a pair of .223-caliber assault rifles and two semi-automatic handguns in the shooting, Burguan said.

A federal law enforcement source told the Los Angeles Times that Farook purchased two pistols -- a 9 millimeter and a Smith & Wesson -- at Annie's Get Your Gun, a firearms retailer in nearby Coronathat advertises itself as a "family-friendly gun store."

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said two other semi-automatic rifles that were used in the attack -- a .223mm AR variant and an MP5 German-made submachine gun -- were purchased legally by a separate individual ata second store.

The source, who did not know the name of the second store, said agents have visited both gun retailersto obtain paper. They believe the rifleswere purchasedby Farooks former roommate and then given tohim.

A woman reached by phone who identified herself as Anne, thestoreowner, denied that the weaponsinvolved in the shooting were sold at her store.

"That's not true," she said, before hanging up.

The couple was dressed in "assault-style" clothing when police closed in on their Redlands home Wednesday afternoon, roughly four hours after the shooting. The couple fled, sparking a vehicle pursuit that ended back in San Bernardino. Both were killed in a shootout that involved roughly 20 police officers.

One officer was shot and suffered injuries that weren't considered life-threatening, according to Burguan.

Burguan said San Bernardino County coroners officials will begin to release the names of those killed in Wednesdays attack fairly soon.

Relatives of the victims were still trying to process how an event meant to celebrate a holiday turned into a bloodletting.

Julie Swann-Paez, an inspector with the healthdepartment, was supposed to receive an employee of the year award at the party, according to relatives. But she was shot twice when Farook and Malik stormed the conference room, suffering a shattered pelvis and other serious injuries.

"Love you guys," she said in a group text message to her family. "Was shot."

Her son, 26-year-old Nick Paez, didn't see the message until at least an hour after the shooting, and raced to the hospital unsure of his mother's condition.

"I thought she was dead," he saidas he sat in his parents' home with his younger brother and sister on Thursday. Photos of the family filled the small room.

Swann-Paez's loved onesweren't allowed to visit her until 10 p.m. Nick Paez said he told his mother thather coworker,Farook, may have been the shooter.

"That doesn't make sense," Swann-Paez replied, according to her son. "They were congratulating him for having a baby."

For others, the torturous wait for information ended in sorrow. Ryan Reyes said he dropped off his boyfriend, Daniel Kaufman, at 7 a.m. at the regional center, where he managed the coffee shop.

They traded cheerful texts throughout the morning. But at 10:37 a.m., Reyes received an ominous message from his sister.

"Hey Ry does Daniel work at the Regional Center in Sb?" the message read. "Check the news."

Reyes, 32, called his boyfriend repeatedly but kept getting sent to voicemail.

"Call me ASAP!" he texted. There was no reply.

The next 22 hours were agonizing, as Reyes and his family received conflicting reports about Kaufman's fate.

Reyes' cell phone rang again Thursday morning. It wasanother call from a relative, this time confirming the news he had been dreading.

Kaufman was dead.

Staff writers Richard Winton, Rong-Gong Lin II, Veronica Rocha and Louis Sahagun contributed to this report.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for breaking news


How the massacre in San Bernardino set off a surreal day for hundreds

Suspects dropped off baby before San Bernardino shooting rampage

San Bernardino shooting suspect endured turbulent home life, according to court documents

November 29 2015


New Hampshire Union Leader Endorses Chris Christie - ABC News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christies struggling presidential bid got a welcome boost this weekend in an endorsement from the New Hampshire Union Leader.

In just 10 weeks, New Hampshire will make a choice that will profoundly affect our country and the world. We better get it right, the newspapers publisher Joseph McQuaid wrote in the endorsement. Our choice is Gov. Chris Christie.

One of the Granite States leading newspapers, the Union Leaders endorsement is a significant development for the Christies campaign, which has so far failed to gain traction in the crowded Republican primary.

Gov. Christie is right for these dangerous times, the editorial continued. He has prosecuted terrorists and dealt admirably with major disasters. But the one reason he may be best-suited to lead during these times is because he tells it like it is and isn't shy about it.

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Christie has capitalized on his national security portfolio, which includes his past experience as a federal prosecutor in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

As the papers endorsement serves to build up Christies credentials as a proven leader, it also shoots down several of the other GOP contenders without naming names -- specifically calling out senators and those without any political experience.

We don't need another fast-talking, well-meaning freshman U.S. senator trying to run the government. We are still seeing the disastrous effects of the last such choice, McQuaid wrote.

Other candidates have gained public and media attention by speaking bluntly, but it's important when you are telling it like it is to actually know what you are talking about, he added. Gov. Christie knows what he is saying because he has experienced it.

In addition to his credentials seemingly gaining the attention of the newspapers editorial board, the New Jersey governor is also likely seeing the dividends of his campaigns heavy strategic investment in the first-in-the-nation primary, with Christie himself having already spent 48 days campaigning in New Hampshire.

Since launching his campaign this summer, Christie has been polling in the single digits both nationally and in statewide polls.

September 29 2015


Breast Cancer Gene Test Helps Predict Who Can Skip Chemo

Michael Jarrett/Genomic Health For patients who fell into Oncotype DX's low-risk category, 99 percent didn't develop metastatic breast cancer five years after surgery, even if they didn't have chemotherapy.

Michael Jarrett/Genomic Health

For the past 10 years, doctors have used a genetic test to decide which patients may be able to skip chemotherapy after surgery for breast cancer.

Now a study confirms that this test, called Oncotype DX, works well for a small group of patients. But a longer, follow-up study is needed to draw conclusions for a fuller range of patients with riskier tumors.

Oncotype DX analyzes 21 genes in the tumor to estimate a woman's risk of the cancer coming back after surgery.

For patients who fell into the test's low-risk category, 99 percent didn't develop metastatic breast cancer five years after surgery, even though they didn't have chemotherapy. The overall survival rate among this group was 98 percent, doctors reported Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine

"This is really great news for the patients we're treating" says Dr. Sharon Giordano, an oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who wasn't involved in the study.

Oncotype DX is recommended by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and is considered the standard of care for a particular type of breast cancer, Giordano says.

Each year, about 230,000 Americans are diagnosed with breast cancer. About 100,000 qualify for the Oncotype DX, and 16,000 fall into the low-risk category. The test costs about $4,000 and is covered by most insurers.

"It's important that the test was validated, but also how low the risk of recurrence actually was for this subset of patients," she says. "Chemotherapy is more likely to harm these patients than to help them."

In the study, doctors around the country, gave the Oncotype DX test to more than 10,000 women diagnosed with a common form of breast cancer that responds to anti-hormone treatments. About 16 percent of the women scored low on the test and thus, received only anti-hormone therapy, no chemotherapy.

Five years later, this group of women were more likely to develop another type of cancer or die of something other than cancer than they were to have their first tumors return somewhere else in their bodies.

"This is very reassuring that the guidelines we've been following are right," says Dr. Daniel Hayes, who co-directs the Breast Oncology Program at the University of Michigan and contributed to the current study. "It's one more step forward to personalizing how we treat patients."

But, for a large percentage of patients, the Oncotype DX test is still ambiguous, Hayes says. Nearly 70 percent of the patients in the study scored in the mid-range of the test and were considered a moderate risk for a relapse.

Hayes and his colleagues are now testing to see which of these patients benefit from chemotherapy. The results of that trial are due out in a few years.

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