Monday, December 18, 2017

Net Neutrality Advocates on Next Steps After FCC Vote: 'This Fight is Far from Over'

Source: Democracy Now!

Kali Akuno: Tax Bill is One of Greatest Transfers of Wealth from Working Class to Rich in History

Source: Democracy Now!

459 Housing Opportunities for New Yorkers with Developmental Disabilities

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the creation of 459 new certified housing opportunities for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities living at home across New York State. The Governor committed $58.9 million in the FY 2017 State Budget for these housing opportunities, which will be primarily geared to meet the needs of those living at home with aging caregivers, or whose caregivers can no longer support their loved ones.

"This investment is critical to ensuring our most vulnerable New Yorkers have access to safe, decent homes and the services they need to lead a quality life," Governor Cuomo said. "By providing funding to these local organizations, men and women living with developmental disabilities will receive top-notch care in a supportive environment, while helping establish stronger communities across the state."

In this first phase of a multi-year strategy, developed by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, the state is partnering with 53 provider agencies who will develop 83 new homes for 459 individuals across the state. The initiative primarily targets individuals living at home with their families.

Click here for additional information. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Jesse Ventura on FCC Decision and the Death of Real News

Source: RT America

'Morning Joe' on GOP Final Tax Bill: Millennials, You Just Had $1.5T Stolen From You

Robert Woodson and Shelby Steele on Affirmative Action and Public Education

Woodson Center’s Robert Woodson and Hoover Institution’s Shelby Steele discuss the state of race in America and its implications for minority education.

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN 

The Week Ahead in Washington


Sarah Westwood and Anna Edgerton talked about the week ahead. 

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

Bombs in Our Backyard: The Bomb That Went Off Twice

The explosive compound RDX helped make America a superpower. Now, it’s poisoning the nation’s water and soil.

by Abrahm Lustgarten

It was a secret wartime project, with a code name and an urgent mission: develop a more powerful bomb, one that could be mass produced in time to fend off the German forces ravaging Europe. It was 1940.

British chemists toiled with a tripod-shaped bond of nitrogen and oxygen molecules linked by carbon and hydrogen they referred to as “research department explosive” — a substance one and a half times as powerful as TNT, but so delicate it had to be mixed with beeswax to be stable and pliable enough to fit into warheads. Even then, it wasn’t good enough. Only 70 tons could be made in a week. Defeating the Nazis would require more.

In 1941, American chemists accomplished what their British counterparts could not. John Sheehan and Werner Bachman, University of Michigan researchers, worked with a team of government scientists to invent a new chemical process that made it possible to manufacture what Sheehan described as “super-explosives.” Best, enormous quantities could be churned out quickly — 500 tons a day, an assembly line for destructive might.

The Americans called the new formula RDX, and it transformed weapons overnight. RDX enabled the bazooka — the world’s first hand-held anti-tank rocket launcher — to pierce armor. RDX was packed into 10,000-pound underwater bombs dropped by British airplanes to blow up German river dams and disrupt the country’s hydropower in the critical Dambuster campaign. It was even surreptitiously soaked into firewood that would later explode in the furnaces of German locomotives.

By many estimates, RDX was critical to victory in World War II. It also spawned the greatest period of military manufacturing — and perhaps the largest arsenal — in the history of the planet. For most of the last 74 years, a single industrial plant in rural Tennessee served as America’s RDX factory and it produced as much as 40 million pounds of white crystalline powder each month that fueled the vast carpet bombing of the Korean peninsula, and then later, America’s involvement in Vietnam.
RDX is “a mighty instrument,” Sheehan wrote, “that may well have transformed the nature of modern warfare.”

But RDX, a powerful triumph of military ingenuity, has had an unwanted second life — as an unusually persistent pollutant poisoning the American homeland.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

Hollywood & Race: 'Let the Fire Burn' (2013)

A history of the conflict of the City of Philadelphia and the Black Liberation organization, MOVE, that led to the disastrously violent final confrontation in 1985.

Sources: Movieclips, Film Festivals and Indie Films,

Trailblazers in Black History: Maame Biney

17-Year-Old is First Black Woman to Make Olympic Speedskating Team 

By The Associated Press

KEARNS, Utah — Maame Biney became the first black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speedskating team with a pair of victories in the 500 meters.

The 17-year-old native of Ghana cruised to victory in the first 500 final at the short track trials on Saturday, beating Olympians Lana Gehring, Jessica Kooreman, and Katherine Reutter-Adamek.

"I can't believe it, aww geez," she said after squealing with joy. "It's a really good feeling, but it has to set in first because it takes me a while. I'm like, 'Holy cow.'"

Click here for the full article. 

Sources: NBC News and Team USA

From The G-Man applauds and congratulates the superstar athlete on her achievement.

Meet America's First All-LGBTQ City Council

Councilmember Christy Holstege

by John Paul Brammer

Palm Springs, California, is now being represented by the nation’s first entirely LGBTQ city council.

Yes, all five members of the city council identify within the LGBTQ community, and they represent every letter in the acronym. With last month's election, the pentad arrives in a conflicting political landscape, where LGBTQ politicians have picked up historic wins while the Trump administration and a number of states are rolling back some of the gains the community has made over the past decade.

In this chaotic climate, advocates and allies on the left are looking to transgender history makers like Virginia’s Danica Roem and Minneapolis’ Andrea Jenkins as the heralds of a more promising future. The members of the Palm Springs City Council agree.

They also say they’re just ready to get to work.

“I really believe Trumpism is a backlash from the social progress we’ve made over the last 20 years,” Christy Holstege, an openly bisexual woman and member of the Palm Springs City Council, told NBC News. “But we’re going to continue to make progress.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Sgt. La David Johnson Died in a Hail of Bullets in Niger, Investigation Finds

House Republicans Prepare to Wrap Up Contentious Russia Investigation

WASHINGTON — As House Republicans make the case for special counsel Robert Mueller to end his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, they appear ready to bring their own intelligence probe to an end.

Senior Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee tell NBC News that they hope and expect to draw their year-long investigation to an end in the coming weeks, saying they have largely completed all interviews relevant to the narrow scope of inquiry Democrats had agreed to last spring.

The committee has conducted interviews with key witnesses almost daily this month, sometimes seeing multiple witnesses on a single day, as they eyed the finish line. Though Democrats say they have requested as many as 30 additional interviews with new witnesses, none have been scheduled beyond the end of this month. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC New

Dem Member of Trump's Voter Fraud Panel Speaks Out

John McCain Returns to Arizona, Will Miss GOP Tax Vote

Sen. John McCain flew home to Arizona on Sunday and will miss a vote on the Republican tax bill that is expected early this week.

In a statement, the 81-year-old lawmaker said he would undergo rehabilitation and physical therapy there after being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center, near Washington. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

City Scoop: Cluster Shelters Units For Homeless, Mental Health Awareness, Heat Season in Effect

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

NYPL President: 'Libraries Are for Everyone'

The following statement was submitted by Tony Marx, President of the New York Public Library. 

For more than 100 years, The New York Public Library has served as a safe haven for all who seek knowledge, information, and personal growth. In today's often turbulent times, it’s vital to reaffirm our commitment to helping all who seek our services.

No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you believe, our doors are open to you, because libraries truly are for everyone.

The strongest way to demonstrate this unwavering commitment is not through words, but through actions. This year, our community outreach services were more vibrant than ever, including our literacy education services for all ages, ESOL classes for non-native English speakers, and citizenship programming for new Americans.

Without the generosity of our supporters, none of these achievements would be possible. On behalf of all of us at the Library, we thank New Yorkers for the role they've played in furthering this important work and ensuring that the Library remains an open, welcoming, freely accessible fount of opportunity for generations to come.

Three Women’s March Leaders Back Jumaane Williams in Bid for City Council Speaker Seat

By Erin Durkin

Three leaders of the Women’s March on Washington are backing Jumaane Williams in his bid for City Council Speaker.

Co-Chairwomen Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez wrote an open letter calling the Speaker-contender “someone who will march with us in the streets and fight for us in City Hall.”

Click here for summary. 

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

New Bill Would Require All Police Precincts to Have Social Worker on Staff

By Erin Durkin

All city police precincts would have to be staffed by a social worker under a new bill that will be introduced in the City Council this week.

Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn) is sponsoring the legislation, which would require a licensed clinical social worker on duty 24 hours a day.

Click here for summary. 

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

Senegalese Startup Brings Financial Solution to Poor Women

Chile: Billionaire Pinera Wins Runoff Presidential Election

Wonderkid Kurz Becomes Chancellor of Austria

CIA Confirms it Helped Russia Foil a Terror Attack in St.Petersburg

Goodbye to Tax Havens? New EU Blacklist Under the Microscope

France 24 English: In the News

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Secret Pentagon UFO Program Revealed

Robert Mueller Obtains Trump Transition Emails

Doug Jones: I May Vote with GOP on Some Issues (Full Interview)

North Korea’s Second-in-Command is Missing

This report was broadcast on December 16.

Russians Tried to Recruit Black Students to Bash Hillary Clinton

Williams and Kalvin weren't alone: In 2016 Russian agents approached Nigerian students in Moscow hoping they’d help convince American blacks Hillary Clinton was a “racist b*tch.”

By Philip Obaji Jr.

CALABAR, Nigeria—You may recall those wannabe YouTube stars Williams and Kalvin Johnson, two black bloggers who went after Hillary Clinton with a vengeance last year, claiming to offer “a word of truth” to black audiences in the United States. They called her, among other things, an “old racist bitch,” and a “witch,” and “sick in the head.”

As for Donald Trump, the Johnsons proclaimed they would vote for him “because any businessman cannot be a racist because when you are a racist, then your business is going down.”

Where did these words of “truth” really come from?

As The Daily Beast revealed in October, they were part of the extensive Russian-backed campaign to discredit Clinton and if possible get Trump elected.

Finally, in August this year, the Williams and Kalvin content was pulled from Facebook and their Twitter account was suspended after it was identified as Russian government backed propaganda. Their YouTube channel was taken down by Google after The Daily Beast published its investigation.

But where did the Johnsons themselves come from? They claimed on Facebook that they were living in Atlanta, and they signed on to one Facebook group, “#BlackLivesMatter against #PoliceBrutality.” But nobody has been able to find them in Atlanta.

They said they were originally from Owerri, Nigeria— and they do have southeastern Nigerian Igbo accents—but we have been unable to find them there, either. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

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