Friday, April 7, 2017

President Trump's Weekly Address

You Must Remember This: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Syria

FCC Chairman Plans Fast-Track Repeal Of Net Neutrality, Sources Say

Ajit Pai

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is moving quickly to replace the Obama administration’s landmark net neutrality rules and wants internet service providers to voluntarily agree to maintain an open internet, three sources briefed on the meeting said Thursday.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, met on Tuesday with major telecommunications trade groups to discuss his preliminary plan to reverse the rules, the sources said.

The FCC declined to comment but Pai previously said he is committed to ensuring an open internet but feels net neutrality was a mistake.

The rules approved by the FCC under Democratic President Barack Obama in early 2015 prohibited broadband providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet, essentially a “fast lane”, to certain internet services over others. As part of that change, the FCC reclassified internet service providers much like utilities.

Pai wants to overturn that reclassification, but wants internet providers to voluntarily agree to not obstruct or slow consumer access to web content, two officials said late Tuesday. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post

Celebrities Call For Compassion After Trump’s Missile Strike On Syria

By Cole Delbyck

Celebrities took to social media to voice their opinions following President Donald Trump’s decision to launch a direct attack on the Syrian government Thursday night.

According to Trump, the missile strikes were ordered in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack on civilians that left at least 100 people dead earlier this week.

“It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump said Thursday from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Everyone from Rosie O’Donnell to Kerry Washington to Patton Oswalt to Lena Dunham weighed in on the military action. Many of them noted the apparent hypocrisy in bombing a country in one stroke and refusing to come to the aid of its refugees in another.

“If you support bombing Syria because they attacked with chemical weapons, but [you] supported banning Syrian refugees, [you’re] a f**kin hypocrite,” actor D.L. Hughley tweeted, referencing Trump’s attempts to enact a travel ban targeting Muslim-majority nations, including Syria. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post

President Trump Leads an Expanded Bilateral Meeting with President Xi Jinping of China

President Trump Participates in the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride

China Takes Economic Revenge Over U.S. Anti-Missile System

Source: CBS News

Muhammad Ali on the Vietnam War: No Viet Cong Called Me Nigger

'Flashback Friday': FDR and Churchill - A Long Way To Go" in WWII (1943)

Saving Our Youth: The Truth About Gangs

This video was published on YouTube on September 22, 2014. 

Source: Thomas Program Development LLC

Trailblazers in Black History: James Benton Parsons

James Benton Parsons was an American attorney who in 1961 became the first African-American to serve as a United States federal judge in US District Court, being appointed to United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He served as chief judge from 1975 to 1981, assuming senior status in August 1981, and serving until his death in office.

Additional information is available here

Source: Wikipedia

Will AG Jeff Sessions And The Department Of Justice Reopen The Emmett Till Case?

This segment was broadcast on April 6, 2017.  

Source:  Roland Martin/NewsOneNow

Neil Gorsuch Confirmed to Supreme Court After Senate Uses ‘Nuclear Option’

The Senate confirmed judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court Friday in a mostly party-line 54-45 vote that reflected weeks of bruising political fighting which deepened congressional divides and changed the nature of high court appointments in the future.

Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first major court nominee, will fill the seat that has been vacant since Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February of 2016. He will be officially sworn in on Monday morning. 

Click here for the full article.

Tom Brokaw on Missile Strike Against Syria: 'The Real Question is What Happens Next'

Defense Sec Mattis Briefs President Trump on Military Options in Syria

Defense Secretary James Mattis briefed President Donald Trump on Thursday at Mar-a-Lago on military options against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's regime in the wake of a deadly attack which activists said killed at least 100 people — including 25 children — and injured 400 others earlier this week.

The White House and Pentagon have had detailed back-and-forth conversations over the past two days about options, including a National Security Council meeting Wednesday. Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have had repeated contact about the best way forward in Syria, a U.S. official told NBC News. 

Click here for the full article.

Stockholm ‘Terrorist’ Truck Attack Causes Deaths in Crowd: Police

At least two people were killed and many others injured Friday when a truck was driven into a Stockholm department store in what Sweden's prime minister said was likely an act of terrorism.

The vehicle plowed into a crowd on the busy pedestrianized street of Drottninggatan before ramming into the side of the Ahlens store, the country's security agency said.

Eyewitnesses described panic as smoke from the crash filled the building.

"Everything indicates that this is a terrorist act," Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said.

It would mark the latest in a series of low-tech, vehicle-based terror attacks across Europe over recent years.

Click here for the full article.

EU Leaders Back US Strikes in Syria, Urging More Diplomacy

Source: euronews (in English)

Russia Calls U.S. Strike on Syria ‘Act of Aggression’, Suspends Deconfliction Deal

MOSCOW — Russia reacted strongly to America's missile strike on Syria early Friday, calling it an "act of aggression" and suspending an agreement that prevents direct conflict between U.S. and Russia forces in the region.

The launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles was an "egregious and obvious violation of international law that cannot be justified," its foreign ministry said in a statement.

It called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting "to discuss" the response.

President Vladimir Putin also believes the response will further harm relations between Washington and Moscow, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told local news agencies. 

Click here for the full article.

Homs Governor Says US Strike Was to 'Serve the Goals of Terrorism'

Source: euronews (in English)

Trump Says Strike Was in the 'Vital National Security Interest of US'

Source: euronews (in English)

US Missiles Strike Syria Regime Airbase

Source: euronews (in English)

Genoa G8: Police Admits Brutality, Compensation Agreed

Source: euronews (in English)

ETA Militant Group 'A Disarmed Organization'

Source: euronews (in English)

The Far-Left Wild Card in the French Presidential Election

Source: euronews (in English)

WISDOM Holds 'Madison Action Day', Petitions Delivered to Governor Scott Walker

 Members of EXPO deliver petitions to Walker. 

The following was submitted by David Liners, State Director of WISDOM.

Madison Action Day was one of the largest and best events we have ever had.  We are still working through the evaluations and the reports from the scores of legislative visits that were made.  It is already clear that the day made an impact.  While we don’t know the final outcome of any of the issues we presented, we do know that our concerns were heard and, apparently, taken seriously by some.  More striking is that participants obviously found great value in interacting with other WISDOM members, and feeling the power of belonging to such a large and diverse network of people of faith and good will.

Since Madison Action Day, more than 20 WISDOM members have offered testimony before the Joint Finance Committee in Platteville and West Allis regarding issues that are addressed in the budget.  There are still four more opportunities to make your voice heard by those who are working on the state budget for the next two years.  The remaining budget hearings are:

Friday, April 7 – Berlin High School (Berlin is sort of near Ripon)
Tuesday, April 18 – Spooner High School (Spooner is between Eau Claire and Superior)
Wednesday, April 19 – Ellsworth High School (Ellsworth is in far west central Wisconsin)
Friday, April 21 – Marinette High School (northwest of Green Bay)

The hearings all start at 10 am.  If you want to coordinate with other WISDOM people who might be going to the same hearing, call the WISDOM office at 414-831-2070 and we’ll help you connect.

On Madison Action Day, many people were also inspired to be more involved in some of our Issue Workgroups. Here are the times for upcoming conference calls:

Parole and Compassionate Release – Saturday, April 8 at 8:30 am
Transit – Monday, April 10 at 7 pm
Solitary Confinement – Tuesday, April 11 at 4 pm
Prison Prevention (TAD and 17 year-olds) – Tuesday, April 11 at 5 pm
Post-Release Issues (Revocations, etc.) – Thursday, April 27 at 7:30 pm

New members are welcome to join the groups.  Just dial in to 712-432-1601, and use the access code 423950#. The calls all take just an hour.  It is a good way to stay up-to-date on the issues, help fashion the next actions, and stay in touch with the others who share your values, concerns and hopes.

‘The Bronx Is Here and We’re Here to Stay’—DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake Talks Plans


Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake—a 34-year-old veteran of ex-President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and White House—might have seemed a longshot when he launched his bid late last year for one of the Democratic National Committee’s six vice chair slots, but a month after his victory he proclaimed that the “Bronx is here and we’re here to stay,” signaling his own return to the national stage.

Blake and Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng both won their bids in the vote among party insiders held in Atlanta in February—and, combined with new Chairman Tom Perez and Treasurer Bill Derrough, make four New Yorkers in the national party organization’s leadership. Rumors abound that Blake is eyeing Bronx Congressman José Serrano’s seat, despite just two years experience in Albany—and the DNC post has brought him back to the national scene from the Bronx for the second time, a decade after he after he spearheaded on the Obama campaign in Iowa.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Observer (via The Empire Report) 

NYPD Supports Making ‘Revenge Porn’ a Crime Under City Council Bill

By Erin Durkin

The NYPD supports making it a crime to spread “revenge porn” — naked pictures or sexual images that are posted online to get back at an an ex.

“The Police Department supports the creation of criminal sanctions to hold perpetrators accountable,” NYPD legislative affairs director Oleg Chernyavsky testified at a City Council hearing on a bill that would make revenge porn a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

It’s already illegal in New York state to secretly record sexual encounters — but it’s not a crime if explicit snaps are voluntarily shared with someone who later makes them public without the subject’s consent.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The New York Daily News (via The Empire Report) 

Lester Shulklapper, Noted Lobbyist, and Civil Rights Lawyer Robert Isseks Have Died

Two attorneys who left their marks in very different ways on New York state government and public policy, lobbyist Lester Shulklapper and civil rights lawyer Robert Isseks, have died.

Shulklapper died Sunday at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was 82.

Isseks died Monday in Middletown. He was 65.

Shulklapper rose to prominence among Albany lobbyists at a time when their industry expanded exponentially, with spending on lobbying state government and the Legislature increasing to $243.1 million in 2015 from $5.7 million in 1978, according to the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics. His clients at the leading lobbying firms of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker and at Shulklapper & Vacek included, at varying times in the 1970s through the 2000s, the New York Bankers Association, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the Healthcare Association of New York State, Consolidated Edison, Morgan Stanley and PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: New York Law Journal (via The Empire Report)

Proposal for Extra $1 Million to Fight Heroin Addiction in Erie County

Source: WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

2017's Academic Rankings of New York's Top Public Colleges

Business First released their 2017 rankings of the top public colleges in the nation. This year the top spot went to the University of Michigan, followed by the state universities of North Carolina and California. Read the full report here.

In the slideshow above, find out where New York's four-year public colleges rank in the national top 250.

499 colleges were analyzed based on 22 factors, including but not limited to admission rate, average annual cost of tuition, gender balance of student body and faculty, and earnings after six years. See the full explanation of the methodology here.

Source: (via The Empire Report) 

Albany Is All "Dysfunction And Chaos," Just How Gov. Cuomo Likes It

Throughout Wednesday, details about a supposed budget deal between Governor Cuomo, Senate Republicans, and Assembly Democrats started to emerge that seemed not only odd, but incredibly unrealistic. The massive 421-a tax break for developers, which expired last January, would now be tied to city rent regulations, meaning that if the $800 million a year in developer subsidies were ever removed, the city of New York would be thrown into free market chaos as regulated tenants saw their rents skyrocket. Charter schools would now see a massive increase in funding at a time when public schools were scrambling for funds. Raise The Age was being watered down to a point beyond recognition. And funding for indigent legal services was now something that Cuomo wanted to revisit, after he vetoed it last year.

In fact, Cuomo kept bringing up more and more issues with the budget in the supposed final hours of negotiations. By the end of Wednesday, lawmakers threw up their hands, and many left town wondering what the hell just happened.

Announcing the BJHI Speakers Bureau

The following statement was submitted by the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative. 

BJHI is proud to present its Speakers Bureau with selected topics by BJHI Board members. Our speakers represent a broad spectrum of Brooklyn Jewish history and reflect variety of subjects. Our speakers are highly qualified and represent a broad spectrum of Brooklyn Jewish life.

Subjects include humor, sports, history, popular culture, art and literature, as well as synagogue architecture. Each speaker would be happy to speak to potential venues and work out particular details and subjects.

Click here to view the subjects our speakers are available to discuss.

To get involved or be considered for the Speakers Bureau, please email

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Relatives of the Men Who Endured the Syphilis Study Speak Out

It has been 45 years since the nation learned that more than 600 African-American men from rural Alabama were experimented on without their consent, and left untreated in a notorious federally funded syphilis study.

The participants in the "U.S. Public Health Study of Untreated Syphilis in Negro Males in Macon County, Ala.," have all since died. Ernest Hendon, who passed away in January 2004, was the last survivor. But this week, in the town where these husbands, fathers, brothers, and great-great grandfathers were recruited, they lived again through a great crowd of witnesses who gathered to tell stories.

The lives and fate of these men are now well-known through countless books and movies. And every first-year medical student learns about the syphilis study conducted from 1932 to 1972, in which a group of black men, some with syphilis, were given a placebo treatment and monitored while their health declined. 

But few, if any of the descendants have found their way into the history books.  

Click here for the full article.

Oval Office Chat: Shinzo Abe

President Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss regional matters of concern, particularly North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile yesterday. The President emphasized that the United States stands with its allies Japan and South Korea in the face of the serious threat that North Korea continues to pose. 

The President also made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities. 

President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agreed to stay in close communication to enhance cooperation on North Korea and other regional issues of mutual interest. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Governor Cuomo Holds Budget Briefing

President Trump and King Abdullah II Hold a Joint Press Conference

Date of event: April 5, 2017

Young People In Chicago Want Chance The Rapper To Run For Mayor

Westchester County Residents, Executives at War Over Indian Point Nuclear Plant Closing

The closing of the controversial Indian Point nuclear plant has created a deepening rift between Peekskill residents and executives.

Set to shutdown in 2021, opponents of the plant say it's an environmental and health disaster waiting to happen. Supporters say it's providing jobs and badly needed money for local businesses and schools. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News