Saturday, December 16, 2017

Trump Touts Tax Reform Ahead of Vote

Source: CBS News

Billionaire Sabih al-Masri Arrested in Saudi Arabia

Anita Hill to Head New Commission to Handle Sexual Misconduct in Hollywood

Could Trump Be Impeached for Sexual Harassment?

Several women again went public this week with allegations that Donald Trump had harassed them before he became president.

Could Trump, who called the claims "false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met," be removed from office because of the allegations?

A number of high-profile figures in politics, the media and show business have lost their jobs recently as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct. Most of those working in the news and entertainment business have employment contracts with clauses that allow for their termination for cause or for bad conduct. Plus, discrimination law punishes those employers who do not act quickly to separate an alleged harasser from other employees. This incentivizes prompt remedial action by employers, such as suspension or termination of alleged harassers.

But the president is different.  

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Major Education Victory in Philadelphia as Parents, Teachers & Activists Reclaim Control of Schools

This report was broadcast on December 13. 

Source: Democracy Now!

Civil Rights Attorney Lisa Bloom Speaks Out Amid Accusations

Judicial Nominee Struggles to Answer Basic Legal Questions

Republicans Unveiled Their Final Tax Plan

This report was broadcast on December 15. 

Source: CBS News

Sessions Addresses Violent Crime, Trump's Views on FBI

This report was broadcast on December 15. 

Source: CBS News

Sec. Tillerson Addresses North Korea Threat After UN Security Council Meeting

This report was broadcast on December 15. 

Source: CBS News

‘Mexico Will Not Finance US Wall,’ Foreign Minister Says

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Hondurans Accuse US of Election Meddling

South Africa's ANC to Choose Successor to Zuma

India's Rahul Gandhi to Become Congress President

Puerto Ricans Frustrated Over Lack of Aid

North Korea Says Missile Programme is Self-Defence

Emmerson Mnangagwa Addresses Party Congress

Far Right Gains Momentum in Chile's Presidential Elections

Protesters Call for Netanyahu to Resign Amid Corruption Allegations

A Border Wall’s Uncompensated Victims

Scores of Texas landowners in the shadow of the border wall say the government should pay them for their damaged property values.

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Kiah Collier and Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — One day several years ago, a crew of federal contractors turned up behind Melissa Solis’ family home, a modest house with white siding surrounded by fruit trees and farmland a few hundred yards from the Rio Grande. The workers cleared brush. They dug a deep trench. A pile driver sank steel deep into the ground.

The work was disruptive, the noise a constant distraction for Solis and her parents. Snakes and cockroaches streamed inside to flee the construction. The foundation shifted, knocking doors askew. When it was over, the Department of Homeland Security had erected an 18-foot-high metal fence behind the house — a border barrier to stop people from illegally crossing the river from Mexico into the United States.

The construction workers moved on. But Solis could not.

“It felt unreal,” said Solis, 43. “This is your life, your property. It’s not like you can pick up and go and relocate and move just like that.”

Long before President Donald Trump promised to build a wall, Homeland Security used its powers of eminent domain to seize hundreds of acres of land in south Texas to construct a border fence. Under the law, if the government takes or damages your property, it’s supposed to pay to make you whole again. In Texas, the agency has paid $18 million to landholders over the last decade.

In Solis’ case, the border fence passed within feet of her family’s property line. But since it did not actually cross it, Homeland Security decided it had no obligation to compensate her family for the dramatically changed circumstances of their property: the sudden presence of a looming fence 40 feet from their back window.

Click here for the full article.

Source: ProPublica

Lobbying Registration Database

by Jeremy B. Merrill

It can seem like lobbyists run Washington from behind the scenes. But their work isn't completely opaque. They’re required to register with the House and the Senate when they lobby for a new client. Former members of Congress, former congressional staffers and former high-level regulators who now work as lobbyists—the so-called “revolving door” — are required to disclose their "covered" former positions. You can use this database to find out who's lobbying on whose behalf — and about what issues. 

Click here to review the database. 

Source: ProPublica

Chicago Police Win Big When Appealing Discipline

Analysis shows hundreds of misconduct findings overturned.
by Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica

A secretive appeals system has been knocking down the punishments of Chicago police officers no matter how serious their misconduct, undercutting the results of lengthy investigations and layers of review long after the public believes the cases were concluded.

In the first examination of its kind, the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois found that 85 percent of disciplinary cases handled through the Chicago Police Department’s grievance process since 2010 led to officers receiving shorter suspensions or, in many cases, having their punishments overturned entirely.

A suspension for punching a handcuffed arrestee, all caught on camera? Negotiable.

Discipline for making racially insensitive comments during a traffic stop? Tossed out and expunged from the record.

Punishments for making false statements, an offense for which the department says it has zero tolerance? Those, too, were wiped away as if they never happened.

The result: the weakening of a police accountability system that rarely finds fault with officers’ actions in the first place.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

Is This Marine Veteran the Next Doug Jones?

It’s the next big congressional race, one that Republicans were supposed to have in hand. But Conor Lamb has Democrats feeling bullish.

By Gideon Resnick

For Democrats, Alabama was a shocker. Virginia was a tsunami. But Pennsylvania may end up being the bellwether.

The party, resurgent as President Trump’s first year in office draws to a scandal-ridden, unpopular close, will face its next major test on a potential path to winning back a majority in the House of Representatives in a March special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th district.

The seat, held by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) since 2003, was left vacant following his resignation in October after a stunning report revealed that he had told a mistress to abort a possible pregnancy. Comprising a mix of coal-mine country, rural regions in the southwest corner of the state, and the very wealthy suburbs outside of Pittsburgh, it’s the kind of district that has been trending Republican for at least a decade. And it’s one where President Trump won by almost 20 points in the 2016 election, helping him win the state and ultimately the presidency.

But Democrats, who didn’t even put up a candidate to challenge Murphy in 2016, believe that they have a shot at winning this district back due to the strength of their candidate, a weaker Republican opponent, and a national climate that spells a wave for the party in next year’s elections.

Their hopes rest on 33-year-old veteran Conor Lamb, a former assistant U.S. attorney selected by local Democrats to be their standard-bearer last month. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast 

Friday, December 15, 2017

President Trump Delivers Remarks at the FBI National Academy Graduation Ceremony

Source: The White House

President Trump Participates in an Event Regarding Deregulation

This video was published on YouTube on December 14. 

Source: The White House

The Growing Case for Impeaching Donald Trump, From Lawlessness and Corruption to Abuse of Power

Source: Democracy Now!

Medics, Observers & a Journalist Face 50 Years in Prison in First Trial of J20 Inauguration Protests

Source: Democracy Now!

Ex-Diplomat Slams Rex Tillerson in Resignation Letter

Elizabeth Shackleford, an American diplomat who resigned in frustration last week, says she believes the Trump administration is putting American citizens abroad at risk by sidelining the State Department.

DL Hughley on the Lack of Accountability for Donald Trump

Source: MoorInfo

The Montford Point Marines

This video was published on May 31, 2017. 

The Montford Point Marines were the first African American Marines to enter the Corps. Joining the ranks just after World War II, the Montford Point Marines persisted through segregated and discriminatory times.

Source: Marines

'Flashback Friday': African American Units of WWII

This video was published on YouTube on February 20, 2015. 


Trailblazers in Black History: Ed Gordon


Hard hitting, inspiring, intelligent, honest, and direct: these are some of the words used to describe the style and approach of Emmy award-winning broadcaster Ed Gordon. Known for his stellar interaction with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and sports.

Gordon is host and executive producer of Ed Gordon, an hour-long quarterly news magazine on Bounce TV. The first program included; an emotional interview with The Mothers of the Movement, a group of women whose children had been killed by senseless violence, a look at the movie, The Birth of a Nation and the controversy surrounding it’s star and director Nate Parker and a one-on-one with singer, Maxwell. The program garnered nearly a million viewers on its premiere night.  

Gordon also can be heard on The Steve Harvey Morning Show where he gives his perspective on current national headlines. He also delivers, Right Now with Ed Gordon providing daily commentaries for radio stations across the country. He is also the host of the nationally syndicated radio program Weekend WITH ED GORDON. The 2-hour program is a mix of talk, information, entertainment, and music. It’s been called “a fun, smart radio show for grown folks.”

Click here for additional information. 

Source: EdGordonMedia

Omarosa's Exit Raises Questions About White House Diversity

The announcement that the controversial aide was leaving her White House post has brought with it new questions about diversity — or lack of it — in the Trump White House.

Majority of Americans Prefer Dems in Congress: Poll

Trump Pledges to ‘Rebuild’ FBI, Calls Russia Investigation a ‘Democrat Hoax’

Speaking to reporters before departing the White House, President Trump insisted there was “absolutely no collusion” between his campaign and Russia. Trump also previewed his FBI speech and commented on his Thursday phone call with Vladimir Putin.

Former NFL Star Claims He's Living with CTE

Trump Pushes to Finish Tax Reform Before Christmas

Governor Cuomo on GOP Tax Plan

This video was published on YouTube on December 13. 

Source: NYGovCuomo

A Webinar on 'The School Girls Deserve'

Click on the flier to increase its size. 

Click here to review "The School Girls Deserve Report".  

Click here to RSVP. 

Girls for Gender Equity is committed to the physical, psychological, social and economic development of girls and women. Through education, organizing and physical fitness, Girls for Gender Equity encourages communities to remove barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives.

Source:  Girls for Gender Equity

NY State Police Join 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' Crackdown

The New York State Police and local law enforcement will participate in the national enforcement initiative to crack down on impaired driving this holiday season. State Police will participate in the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign beginning today. Friday, December 15 through Saturday, December 30.

State Police will also be conducting an enforcement period over New Year's Eve, from Sunday, December 31, 2017 through Monday, January 1, 2018. Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints, along with more troopers on roadways during both campaigns.

"The holiday season is among the busiest travel times of the year and with families traveling near and far to visit loved ones, our law enforcement agencies will be redoubling their efforts to crack down on dangerous and impaired drivers," Governor Cuomo said. "I ask all motorists to stay safe, be responsible and obey the rules of the road in order to avoid unnecessary tragedies."

In addition to the DWI checkpoints and patrols, Troopers will be watching for distracted drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up, and drivers violating the "Move Over Law," which requires motorists to exercise extreme caution when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped in or on the side of the road. State Police will also conduct underage drinker enforcement details statewide.

Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "Our members work vigilantly year-round to keep our roadways safe and prevent the needless tragedies that result from impaired and reckless driving. However, our goal during the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign is to step up our efforts during the holiday celebration season to reduce impaired driving crashes and remind motorists to make responsible driving decisions. To ensure that your holiday is a safe one for you and your loved ones, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you've been drinking and make safety a priority when traveling this holiday season."

During the campaign, Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles as part of the operation. The CITE vehicles allow Troopers to more easily identify motorists who are using handheld devices while driving. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe distracted driving violations. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic, but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

During last year's crackdown, State Police issued 33,153 tickets. Of those tickets more than 11,319 were for speeding, 1,107 were for distracted driving and 421 for the "Move Over Law." There were also 571 people arrested for DWI and 15 people killed in a motor vehicle accident. These traffic enforcement campaigns are funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.

Terri Egan, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Acting GTSC Chair, said "The holidays are a wonderful time of year, and we want New Yorkers to celebrate them responsibly and safely. Don't end the year with a tragedy or an arrest. Make a plan for how you will get home before you head out for an evening to celebrate with family and friends."

The Have a Plan app can help. The free app from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation allows you to designate a driver, call a cab or ride share, and to review the consequences of impaired driving. You can even use the app to report a drunk or drugged driver. The app is available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.

During last year's crackdown, State Police issued 33,153 tickets. Of those tickets more than 11,319 were for speeding, 1,107 were for distracted driving and 421 for the "Move Over Law." There were also 571 people arrested for DWI and 15 people killed in a motor vehicle accident.

To keep our roads safer this holiday season, the New York State Police and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offer these tips: plan a safe way home before the celebrating begins; before drinking, designate a sober driver; if you're impaired, use a taxi or ride sharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation; use your community's sober ride program; if you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact local law enforcement; and if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo