Candidates compete for nomination

first_imgAlthough the 2012 presidential election is still a year away, primary season is in full swing as GOP candidates battle for the Republican nomination and the chance to defeat incumbent President Barack Obama. American Studies Professor Robert Schmuhl said it is normal to see a number of candidates battle it out early in the election season, as they try to win their party’s nomination. “The party that doesn’t occupy the White House usually has several competing candidates at the beginning of the primary and caucus season,” Schmuhl said. “That’s nothing new.” Sixteen candidates have officially declared their intent to run for the Republican nomination. The most recent polls show former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, as the current GOP favorite. “Mitt Romney has the advantage of having run for the nomination in 2008 and ready access to campaign money,” Schmuhl said. “For some reason, though, about three-quarters of Republicans remain lukewarm toward him. He needs to do well in the early states, or he runs the risk of rejection.” Other candidates continue to rise and fall in the polls. Most recently, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared at the top of the GOP radar after he secured the coveted endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader, a prominent newspaper. Vincent Muñoz, associate professor of Political Science, attributed Gingrich’s recent success to his debate skills. “Gingrich seems to have momentum right now on account of his very good debate performances,” Muñoz said. “Whether he can keep that momentum, however, with increased media scrutiny given his personal baggage is an open question.” Rick Perry, governor of Texas, fell out of favor recently after poor debate showings. African American businessman Herman Cain is deciding whether or not to stay in the race amid sexual harassment allegations. Michelle Bachman, the Tea Party candidate, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Hunstman and others are having trouble gaining enough support to become the frontrunner in the race. “Republicans are passionate about defeating Barack Obama, but there isn’t the same passionate intensity in support of a particular GOP candidate to do it,” Schmuhl said. “Whether that develops after the primaries and caucuses is a key question. It could be a ‘hold-your-nose’ election — with both major parties having standard bearers about whom there’s little excitement.” Since the Civil War, incumbent presidents have been reelected 73 percent of the time. Those who have lost, however, have shared Obama’s lower than 50 percent approval rating 13 months prior to the election, a New York Times analysis on Gallup polls reported in January. “Incumbents usually have an advantage, but the economic realities could offset incumbency for Obama,” Schmuhl said. With jobs and economic growth as two main issues in the 2012 election, less than a third of voters think a second Obama term will help improve the state of the nation, an October Quinnipiac poll showed. Despite news outlets’ constant coverage of personal scandals, debate slip-ups and political indifference, both Schmuhl and Muñoz said it was too soon to make predictions. “I don’t think most voters have actually started to pay attention to the GOP candidates yet,” Muñoz said. “The Republicans have already had six different figures at the top of one poll over the course of this year.” The last three midterm elections were change elections, which makes this primary season even more significant, Schmuhl said. “It’s a volatile and unsettled time, and many Americans think our politics are broken and in need of repair,” Schmuhl said.last_img read more

Interview with Trinidad and Tobago Chief of Defence, Brigadier General Roland Maunday:

first_img The Caribbean Nations Security Conference, co-hosted by the United States Southern Command and Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain in February 2011, focused on countering illicit trafficking. Diálogo spoke with Trinidad and Tobago Chief of Defence and conference co-host, Brigadier General Roland Maunday, to discuss this topic and other threats affecting the region such as the spread of criminal gangs. DIÁLOGO: What are the main security concerns for Trinidad and Tobago at this time? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: Like most of the islands of the Caribbean, our problems relate to drugs, guns and ammunition, and the porous borders that we have throughout the region. We need to secure our borders as best as we can, so that we can stem the flow of illicit trafficking across borders of people and drugs. Arms and ammunition play a critical part in crime in Trinidad and Tobago, and as a result, if we are able to stop guns and ammunition from coming here, we may be able stem the level of crime that we have. Because gangs use these weapons, and if you don’t fuel gangs with fire power to fight against one another, we may be able to stabilize the crime situation. DIÁLOGO: What can the Armed Forces do to counter this problem? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: First of all, it’s not really an Armed Forces responsibility. It is a joint responsibility between the Armed Forces and law enforcement. What the Armed Forces bring to the fight is an ability to conduct surveillance on our borders, an ability to bring a particular level of expertise that will add to the law enforcement capabilities in the areas where we will probably assist in fighting the war against crime. We have been able to bring to bear the maritime forces, land forces, and air forces inter capabilities in a joint system. That allows us to fight against this together. DIÁLOGO: Many countries in the region are discussing whether the Armed Forces should be granted law enforcement authorities to tackle this problem. Would that solve the problem in your opinion? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: No, it won’t. The fight against crime requires a different strategy. And in each island state and each nation, each strategy is going to be different. Because our cultures are different, our behavior is different. So I think it’s important for us to understand what will be the best strategy for us to use. I’ve been sitting with the Commissioner of Police together with Customs officials, and we are attempting to put together a strategy that helps us look at the borders, the internal issues, and all the other issues that affect us as a country. Giving me additional powers as a police man will not solve the problem. What you need to do is to use our existing capabilities to the best of our knowledge. DIÁLOGO: Are you looking at an interagency approach within Trinidad and Tobago? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: That’s precisely what it is: a joint interagency approach to fighting crime. Each one of use brings into the mix a particular level of expertise that we can utilize to our benefit. We have been working together with Customs and with Immigration and have been able to find ways to do information sharing. Our intelligence has been very much enhanced, and those are the types of capabilities that you need to have if you’re going to fight crime. DIÁLOGO: What are the benefits of working with other regional partners and the United States to tackle illicit traffic? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, which in itself is tied to the Merida Initiative, has been very successful. What we are hoping is that, like the Merida Initiative, we will be able to come together as countries of the Caribbean and of the Hemisphere and find a way for us to create levels of interoperability across our forces. What I mean is that there should be some standardization on the way we do business. We all have different cultures and everything in our own countries is different, but across the Caribbean we all have the same problem. Therefore, there’s a mutual understanding on what it is we need to deal with and I’m hoping that the United States, Canada, the U.K. and countries like those are able to provide the resources that will reduce crime. Small states in the Caribbean do not have the kind of resource power that our brothers in Europe and North America have. DIÁLOGO: What resources specifically are you thinking of? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: I’m talking about Air, Maritime and Land forces. We are also speaking of the development of the human resource. The expertise that they can bring to us that we need — expertise that assists us to detect and suppress. DIÁLOGO: What is your forecast for the success of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative? Do you believe there are other measures which can be taken to deal with these issues? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: I was involved in some of the discussions regarding the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative when I was in Washington D.C. a year and a half ago, and it is very clinically put together. It is effectively written. We have an understanding of what is required of that Initiative. But more so, there’s an agenda that has been set for 2011. If they follow the particular agenda they have set, I feel each series of discussion will bring about decisions that will be beneficial to us all. Can we do anything else? Yes, we can keep talking. We can keep talking, but at the end of the day what we need to do is to put those talks into action. DIÁLOGO: What would Trinidad and Tobago bring to the table? What would be your contribution to these efforts, specifically? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: Trinidad and Tobago has remained and has always been one of the lead countries in security throughout the Caribbean. I think we should continue to bring our level of leadership. We should be able to bring to the table our learning and our own level of expertise, and as a strong country within the hemisphere, we should be able to bring everyone along with us. There is a need for us to fight crime as one body, rather than as separate entities throughout the Caribbean. DIÁLOGO: Is there anything else you would like to add? BRIDADIER GEN. ROLAND MAUNDAY: Yes. We are going to fight crime to the end! The Defense Force together with Police Service does not have an easy task. We are walking into new territory, new areas, so there’s a whole new learning process that we have to take on board. In addition to that, we must not stem the tide of the particular kind of growth I’m looking for. That’s the institutional growth. We must also recognize that there’s a need for us to maintain a relationship between our regional partners, our hemisphere partners, and any new partners who are willing to give us advice to use in the fight against crime. By Dialogo March 31, 2011last_img read more

Ortec Finance advocates factor-based approach to asset-liability management

first_imgThe strategy can also be adapted to take into account a scheme’s currency and interest rate hedging strategies and its strategic asset allocation.“The key element of the strategy that’s different to traditional factor investing is working across asset classes,” Steehouwer said.“The factors we use must have been shown to work across different asset classes – not just equities but government bonds, credit, and foreign exchange, and not just at the security level but at country index level.”By implementing factors at an index level or using an overlay strategy, investors could avoid potential liquidity issues that could be experienced when trading individual securities, he added.The model was created based on research by Jules van Binsbergen, professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and Ralph Koijen, professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.“Factor-based investing often forms part of an investment strategy, but is generally brought in at an operational level and viewed as part of the tactical implementation,” Steehouwer said. “From research and real-life case studies undertaken in recent years, we’ve seen clear evidence for the analysis and optimisation of factor exposures impacting the strategic risk and return profile of an institutional investor.”Access this month’s IPE Special Report on Factor Investing here. Ortec Finance is rolling out an asset-liability matching tool based around factor investing principles.The Anglo-Dutch technology and consultancy firm presented the model to clients last week, demonstrating how it believes a strategic implementation of investment factors could be used to meet a pension scheme’s objectives.The strategy uses analysis of a scheme’s existing exposure to the carry, value, momentum and low volatility factors across its equity, government bond, credit, and foreign exchange exposures, Hens Steehouwer, head of research at Ortec Finance, told IPE.It then attempts to optimise the portfolio’s “strategic factor exposures” to best meet the client’s objectives based on risk profile, investment time horizon and liabilities.last_img read more

Heat’s Erik Spoelstra misses Dwyane Wade, marvels at LeBron’s ‘ridiculous’ start

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Seeing Dwyane Wade sit courtside was a comfort, Erik Spoelstra said, but it could be better.Wade was wearing a red and black track suit, sitting on the baseline near the Miami Heat bench. Retirement in Los Angeles seems to suit him, if not his former team.“If you print this, I’d rather have him in uniform,” Spoelstra deadpanned to the press prior to tip-off. “That’d be good, right? He’s gonna sit right by our bench. So I’m gonna let him take one of our huddles.”As things stand, the Heat have a pretty good team anyway, getting out to a 6-2 start entering Friday night’s game against the Lakers. With new star Jimmy Butler anchoring the franchise, Spoelstra still has a shooting guard to lean on. One of the things he most admires about James is his commitment to his physical well-being, which is why he’s not surprised that the 34-year-old star is still near the top of his game in his 17th season. Spoelstra called James’ willingness to work “uncommon,” which explains how James has managed to stay so youthful even long after his Heat days.Spoelstra was interested, too, in the pairing James is enjoying with Anthony Davis, who he said makes a very natural fit. James has a way of blending into what a roster needs, but Spoelstra believes Davis’ game actually fits James’ natural skills well.“I think that’s part of his genius, is he’s able to morph into whatever he needs to be to bring out the best out of the other players,” he said. “And I think his connection with (Chris Bosh) was pretty natural, and this just fits like a glove with LeBron and A.D., the way they work together. Their skill sets complement each other.”BRIEFLYVeteran point guard Rajon Rondo missed his eighth consecutive game to start the season with a calf strain. The Lakers were planning to ramp up Rondo’s activity in practice this week, but they listed him as doubtful following Thursday’s practice. The team did not shoot around on Friday morning before the game. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Related Articles Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions center_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWade visited with the team on Friday afternoon, squeezing in facetime with Miami and his old team after they flew in the night before from Phoenix. He’s moved residences to Southern California, and his son Zaire Wade is a senior standout on the court for Sierra Canyon High alongside Bronny James.While Spoelstra knew Wade would come in support of the Heat, with whom he enjoyed 15 NBA seasons, the Miami coach also knew Wade would likely cheer on his close friend James, at least a little bit.“Ah look, I get it,” he said. “But LeBron always looked better in red and black.”The LeBron in purple and gold isn’t so bad, either, Spoelstra admitted. Going into the game, James was averaging the highest assist total (11.1) of his career and leading the league. Spoelstra coached James to two of his four league MVP awards, but he was more scorer than dish-giver for his best Heat teams.“Every year he’s doing something that’s just ridiculous, that you can’t explain,” Spoelstra said. “That’s why he’s the best player in the game.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Help wanted: Triumph Accessory Services looking for mechanic

first_imgHelp wanted: Triumph Accessory Services is looking for a Mechanic to perform accessory repair and overhaul, including cleaning, disassemble, inspection and repair of aircraft components. Must be able to use tooling, as required by Maintenance manuals, drawings, service bulletins and any other work instructions, to ensure airworthiness of a completed component. The Position requires a team player with a positive attitude understanding we will have frequent customer interaction.last_img