Friday, June 23, 2017

In Memoriam: Gabe Pressman

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"Gabe Pressman always gave you the story straight, and always asked the tough questions that New Yorkers wanted answered.

"As people increasingly turned to TV for news, it was Gabe who became the most important and trusted face on New York City airwaves. He was a true pioneer in the industry. Gabe was the first TV reporter to bring a film crew into the street to cover news where it was happening.

"Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Gabe was the North Star for several generations of New York reporters, fighting doggedly to hold public officials accountable and to protect the rights of the press.

"I am deeply saddened by Gabe's passing, but know all New Yorkers will continue to benefit from the contributions he made over a lifetime that spoke truth to power." 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

From The G-Man and The G-Man Interviews send condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Pressman. May they all find some measure of comfort in the days ahead, and may Mr. Pressman's legacy live on for generations. Thank you, Mr. Pressman. Rest in peace


Gabe Pressman's Interview with Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: NBC News

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Obama Rips The Senate GOP Health Care Bill


In terms sharper than anything else he’s offered in his post-presidency, Barack Obama lashed into Senate Republicans on Thursday for pushing a health care bill that he framed as fundamentally inhumane. 

“The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill,” the former president wrote in a Facebook post. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.” 

“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family ― this bill will do you harm,” he added. “And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post 

The GOP Colluded With Racism to Hack North Carolina Election

An NBC News OpEd

While public testimonies of former intelligence agency directors and an Attorney General have provided made-for-TV drama in recent weeks, they have not yet furnished clarity as to whether a sitting President’s campaign helped Russia hack our 2016 electoral process.

Despite deep partisan divides, a consensus remains that hard evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s clear skullduggery would be unacceptable to Republicans as well as Democrats. With all eyes glued on Team Trump’s unfolding game of Russian roulette, however, many Americans appear to accept our homegrown hacking. 

Over the past month, while we watched “As the Trump World Turns,” four separate U.S. Supreme Court decisions made clear that Republicans in North Carolina intentionally subverted democracy through what the Court affirmed as a “racial gerrymander” and a voter suppression law that it said “almost surgically targets African Americans.”

Anyone outraged by the potential collusion of Team Trump should examine these final decisions from our highest court. Without the race-based election hacking that the Court now definitely outlaws, a Trump campaign would have never been possible. What’s more, our seven-year struggle to win this fight offers a deeply divided nation a clear way forward. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

President Accuses Democrats of Obstruction on Health Care

Speaking at a White House event on U.S. leadership in emerging technology, President Trump says it would be nice to have Democratic support for the newly released Republican health care bill, but says they will not support the effort , and he accuses them of being obstructionists on the issue. 

Source: C-SPAN

The Case for Obstruction of Justice Against Trump

This video was published on YouTube on June 20, 2017. 

Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. It was at the heart of Richard Nixon’s impeachment. The parallel between Nixon and Trump is almost exact. Robert Reich explains that there's already more than enough evidence of probable cause to begin an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.

Trump Tweets About Possible James Comey Tapes

President Trump has posted new tweets about the possibility that conversations between him and James Comey were taped. CBS News political director Steve Chaggaris joins CBSN with more details.

Source: CBS News

Protesters Dragged Away from Sen. McConnell's Office

Protesters were dragged away from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office while chanting "no cuts to Medicaid" after the Senate GOP revealed the health care bill draft.

Source: ABC News

Four Republican Senators Say They Oppose the Senate GOP Health-Care Plan

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he and three other Republican Senators oppose the health-care bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on June 22. 

Pelosi Criticizes Draft of Senate GOP Health-Care Bill

Source: Washington Post

Nancy Pelosi "Very Confident" of Support in Her Caucus

Source: C-SPAN

Senate GOP Unveils Health Care Bill

Senate Republicans rolled out a new health care bill today while trying to attract the 50 votes needed to pass this bill. Also, President Trump tweeted he didn't tape conversations between himself and former FBI Director James Comey. Quartz White House correspondent Heather Timmons and Washington Post political reporter Aaron Blake join CBSN to discuss.

Source: CBS News

Congressional Black Caucus Declines Second Meeting With Trump

Source: Roland Martin

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Former NYC Correction Dept. Officials Say Racism, Mismanagement Is Rampant at Agency

By Sarah Wallace

Three former high-ranking officials with New York City’s Department of Correction filed federal employment complaints on Wednesday, alleging racial discrimination.

The three officials — Charles Daniels, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Errol Toulon, Jr., Deputy Commissioner of Operations, and Dr. Keith Taylor, Asst. Commissioner of Correction Intelligence — said in their complaints that racism is widespread and rampant in the DOC and that a glass ceiling exists for minorities in upper management.

A spokesman for the DOC said it does not comment on specific employment complaints.

Click here for the full article/video. 

Source: NBC News 4 New York

Sandra Bland Act Signed Into Law By Texas Governor

This article was originally published on June 19, 2017. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that seeks to prevent the circumstances that led to the death of Sandra Bland, KGBT reports.

Bland, 28, died in a Waller County jail after being detained during a traffic stop in July 2015. Her death sparked protests throughout the country, as it presented yet another example of African-Americans dying while in police custody.

Her death was ruled a suicide, but family members say she would not have taken her own life.

The law mandates county jail officials divert people with substance abuse and mental health issues toward treatment and makes it easier for those in custody to receive personal bond if they have a mental illness or disability. It also requires independent law enforcement agencies to investigate jail deaths.

Click here for the full article.  


Trump Meets with Cybersecurity and Energy Sector Representatives

President Trump met with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, General Keith Alexander, Thomas P. Bossert, and energy sector leaders today to address energy sector resilience and cybersecurity.  President Trump thanked the participants in the meeting for their efforts and underscored the importance of a continuing public and private partnership to effectively combat threats against the energy sector, particularly the power grid.

In the meeting, the leaders discussed unique challenges the sector faces and strategic initiatives, both underway and proposed, to address the evolution of malicious cyber activity.
The President stated his continued commitment to enhancing electric grid security and resilience, noting that his Executive Order “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure” is an important step towards that goal. 
The President made clear that his Administration is committed to working closely with infrastructure providers, improving the existing public and private partnership framework, and fostering collaborative relationships for effective risk management. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary  

What is the Cybersecurity Disclosure Act of 2017?


This video was published on YouTube on June 15, 2017.

In March 2017, the Cybersecurity Disclosure Act of 2017 was introduced to the U.S. Senate. The bill mandates that in all annual reports to the SEC, companies must disclose the level of cyber security expertise of the board; or, if none exists, what "other cybersecurity steps taken by the reporting company were taken into account."
To learn more about the bill itself and the specific impact it could have on cyber risk management, watch this interview featuring Steven Grossman, VP of Strategy at Bay Dynamics, and Bob Zukis, Senior Fellow with The Conference Board Governance Center.

Clemency Granted to Ground Zero Worker from Queens

Pardon Grant Removes Grounds for Deportation 

Governor Andrew Cuomo today issued a pardon to Carlos Cardona of Queens who was convicted of a non-violent crime in 1990.
As a result of changes to federal immigration enforcement policy, Mr. Cardona has been detained since February, after appearing for a routine U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement appointment. He has been held in Hudson Correctional Facility in Kearny, NJ and recently applied for clemency in New York. With this pardon, Mr. Cardona and his attorney would be able to reopen the Final Order of Removal showing that the grounds for deportation are no longer valid.
"In the more than 30-years since Carlos Cardona has lived in this country, he has built a family and given back to his community, including in the aftermath of 9/11 when he assisted with Ground Zero recovery efforts at the expense of his own health," Governor Cuomo said. "It is my hope this action will not only reunite Mr. Cardona with his wife and daughter, but also send a message about the values of fairness and equality that New York was founded upon."
In 1986, Cardona immigrated to the U.S., fleeing local violence in Santiago de Cali, Colombia, where his brother served as a police officer and his family faced threats from local gangs for their involvement in law enforcement and local business. At 21-years-old, Carlos Cardona was convicted of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in Queens County on August 30, 1990. Cardona, now 48, has lived crime-free for the past 27 years.
A civic-minded New Yorker, Cardona worked as a cleanup and hazmat recovery worker rehabilitating Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.  He spent four months removing hazardous material from the wreckage, in order to make a safer space for other recovery workers and neighbors of the disaster site.  He went on to marry an American citizen who is also a former Ground Zero recovery worker. Cardona’s 19-year old daughter is currently in college working toward earning a degree to teach elementary students.
As a result of Cardona’s work on Ground Zero, he suffers from acute respiratory issues, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Without receiving this clemency, Cardona’s health issues would not be adequately addressed in his home country of Colombia.
Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation, said,  "I commend Governor Cuomo for this act of compassion for a New Yorker who sacrificed his health, in service to others at Ground Zero after the 9/11. Mr. Cardona has given back so much and conclusively turned his life around. With this pardon, Mr. Cardona will be able to make his case to stay in this country with his family, and continue to receive care for his serious medical conditions."
JoAnne Page, President and CEO of the Fortune Society, said, "I want to applaud Governor Cuomo for pardoning Mr. Cardona. I am a child of immigrants, born in a country built by immigrants who have made America great over and over again. In my 28 years as CEO of the Fortune Society, I have seen thousands of people with criminal justice become pillars of strength in their communities and families. Mr. Cardona has lived a law-abiding life for almost 30 years. He was a recovery worker after 9/11 and risked his own life to save those of New Yorkers whom he did not even know. His deportation would be a tragic loss to his family and to New York State. In issuing a pardon to Mr. Cardona, Governor Cuomo demonstrates both compassion and courageous leadership."
Joanne Macri, Chair of the Immigration Committee of the New York State Bar Association, said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for choosing to grant a pardon in this case. His act supports Mr. Cardona’s efforts to remain in New York, alongside his wife and children, in the community which has served as his home for more than 30 years, and with access to life-saving healthcare not available in Colombia. This pardon grants mercy to a deserving New Yorker with no other means of relief from the life-altering consequences of a criminal conviction that has followed him for 27 years."
Under the New York Constitution and State law, the Governor has the authority to grant commutations and pardons. The Governor has pardoned 115 individuals since taking office in 2011. The Governor's Executive Clemency Review Team continues to actively review pending applications for clemency.
These actions continue the Governor’s efforts to break down barriers for people with criminal convictions, which includes his creation of a Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration to alleviate barriers for those who have criminal convictions. In 2016, the Governor accepted recommendations from the Council for executive actions, which include requiring the Board of Parole to account for an inmate’s current risk to public safety when making a release decision, and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to businesses seeking to hire formerly incarcerated New Yorkers.
Individuals interested in applying for clemency should visit Governor Cuomo’s clemency website at The website is a central resource for those seeking to learn more about clemency, eligibility requirements, and the application process, including submitting application materials electronically. Family members and friends of individuals serving prison sentences are encouraged to visit the website and apply for clemency on behalf of their family member or friend.
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo