Saturday, June 27, 2015

Department of Homeland Security on High Alert

As Independence Day approaches, officials prepare for potential attacks

Published Jun 26, 2015. 

Weekly Address: The Affordable Care Act is Here to Stay

In this week's address, the President called the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act a victory for hardworking Americans across the country, whose lives are more secure because of this law.

NYPD Ramps Up Security After 3 Overseas Terror Attacks

Law enforcement officials in New York City and the U.S. are on high alert following a trio of terror attacks that spread across three continents on Friday. Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst reports. (Published Friday, Jun 26, 2015)

Escaped Prisoner David Sweat in Gun Battle With Authorities

NBC's New York affiliate, WNBC, has reported that Sweat has engaged in a gun battle with authorities following the death of Richard Matt.

Published Friday, Jun 26, 2015.

Friday, June 26, 2015

President Obama Delivers Eulogy in Honor of Reverend Pinckney

West Wing Week: 06/26/15

White House Guest Denied Access, Details Incident in an Open Letter to President Obama

June 25th, 2015

Dear President Obama,
I write to you as a national leader, criminal justice reform advocate, and founder of JustLeadershipUSA, a bold new organization dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030 on the guiding principle that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution.

Recently, I had the honor of participating in a strategic planning initiative that addressed both the intersection of, and possible remedies to, the issues of gun violence, policing, and mass incarceration in the United States.  On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, George Washington University Law School served as host to a select group of civil rights and religious leaders, scholars, elected officials, law enforcement officials and foundation officers brought together by The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and The Joyce Foundation. 

Our day culminated with an invitation to join members of your domestic policy staff in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a discussion about their work on these issues. A day of thoughtful and inspired dialogue, however, quickly turned into one of needless humiliation and stigma for me. As each of my colleagues received green passes granting them immediate access, I received a pink ID bearing the label: "Needs Escort." Its inspiration was quickly and unsurprisingly confirmed: anyone with a criminal conviction requires an escort at all times on the White House grounds. The staggering symbolism of the ordeal was not lost on me, Mr. President. In a country where 65 million people have a criminal record on file, being selectively barred from entering the White House for a discussion about those very same people was as insulting as it was indicative of the broader problem.

Along with millions of others, I have watched with tremendous pride and optimism as your administration has stated that our carceral policies are patently counterproductive. Further, those policies disproportionately target communities of color, running roughshod over our declared principles of justice, fairness, and proportionality in the process. I submit to you that the treatment I received as an invited White House guest, and by extension all others with prior convictions, further erodes the life of those principles. In your letters of commutation you have concluded, “Remember that you have the capacity to make good choices. By doing so, you will affect not only your own life, but those close to you. You will also influence, through your example, the possibility that others in your circumstances get their own second chance in the future.” This counsel is as applicable to our nation’s corridors of power as it is to our most travailed citizens. The work of the mature democracy is to organize itself in such a way that best enables that process without undue hardship.

Along my journey to national advocacy, I’ve disabused myself of several of our national delusions, the most poignant being the myth of the voiceless masses who require the spokesmanship of a noble and courageous few. I never met any of the alleged voiceless during my incarceration, only the deliberately silenced. In the corridors of our nation’s highest office, I found my voice and my person restricted in an agonizingly similar way to that which I encountered in prison. Rather than being debilitated, I walked away further emboldened and hopeful that when guided by a commitment to justice, power might listen.
There is strong evidence to believe that is the case. In your March interview with David Simon you stated rightfully: “Part of the challenge is going to be making sure, number one, that we humanize what so often on the local news is just a bunch of shadowy characters and tell their stories.” There is no expression capable of fully capturing how uplifting these remarks are for millions of our country’s men and women. In the spirit of that conviction, I humbly request a meeting with myself and a select group of other formerly incarcerated leaders at your earliest convenience.


Glenn E. Martin
Founder and President

“The Charleston Massacre, the Confederate Battle Flag, and the Coming Second Civil War”

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

The Charleston Massacre means many things.  Most importantly it means that the Doctrine of White Supremacy that drove the Institution of Slavery, and drove what became the Confederate States of America to secession from the Union, is still alive and quite well, in the citizenry at large.  (The seemingly increasing succession of white cop/black victim murders of course has been raising the poisonous topic in the public consciousness in the past year or two; see my column “Ferguson Worked as Intended.”)  But now here it is, writ large, in the person of a violent, young, openly and proudly defiant, white supremacist.  Interestingly enough, Dylann Roof manifesto not only reflects the sentiments of the native US white supremacy movement, but of its international relatives as well.  (The Southern Poverty Law Center is a very important source of information of right-wing hate/potential terror organizations in the United States.)

I have written previously on the topic of “how the South won the Civil War” and the coming Second Civil War.  This particular horror has been perpetrated, not by a “lone gunman,” not by a “whack job,” as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina would have us think, but by a self-conscious representative of the hate groups to be found all over the United States.  (Interestingly enough, when the Department of Homeland Security, at the beginning of the Obama Administration, attempted to start an investigation of potential, domestic, right-wing terrorism, it was shut down fairly quickly by the Republicans in Congress.)  The principal element in the victory of the South in the Civil War has been the spreading throughout the land of the Doctrine of White Supremacy (invented in the 17th century to justify white-on-black slavery) from the South.
This outrage was immediately responded to, as is by now well-know, by the Right’s Propaganda Central as an “assault on Christians,” which would be funny if it itself were not so outrageous.  Much more importantly, it has brought the conflict over the Doctrine openly back onto the national agenda.  In the current debate, it is symbolized by the Confederate battle flag that flies on the grounds of the State Capitol of the Home of the Confederacy, South Carolina.   The most laudable, apparent removal of the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol, as well as other governmental removals of various types throughout the South, will not remove the Doctrine from the minds of oh-too-many U.S.

That flag it turns out, is indeed a most apt representation for the Doctrine that drove slavery and the Confederate States of America, and has now, as I said, spread across our land.  In my previous columns on the South, the Civil War, and what it really was about, I regularly quoted the well-known “Cornerstone Speech” by the CSA Vice-President Alexander Stephens, justifying slavery, on the basis of the Doctrine.  What has very recently come to wide public attention is the statement by the designer of the aforementioned CAS battle flag, which was created only in 1863.  That designer, one William T. Thompson, said

"As a people, we are fighting to maintain the heaven ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; .... we still think that a battle flag on a pure white field would be more appropriate and handsome [than its predecessor].  Such a flag would be a suitable emblem of our young confederacy, and sustained by the brave hearts and strong arms of the south, it would soon take rank among the proudest ensigns of the nations, and be hailed by the civilized world as THE WHITE MAN'S FLAG."

Thompson also noted that the flag’s white border, unusual as flags go, was not placed there by accident.  Many Southerners, in justifying its continued use and display, refer to it as some kind of “historical reference,” representing the “heritage of the South.”  Well, in the words of the flag’s designer himself, to the extent that that “heritage” is the institution of slavery, secession, and White Supremacy, it does. 

And the flag and what it stands for are central to the heritage of the modern Republican Party.  That heritage stems, not from its beginnings, of course, but from the Compromise of 1877 that ended Reconstruction and brought on the White Racist Southern “Reclamation” that eventually led to Jim Crow and 100 years of the denial of civil rights of any kind in the South.  As it happens, that process was led by the Southern Democrats until the mid-1960s, when the national party seriously took up the cause of Civil Rights.  And then the Doctrine found its modern home, through Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and what has followed it.  Which brings us once again to the topic of the “Second Civil War,” which we shall continue to return to over time.

The First Civil War, at its beginning was a clash between the two dominant branches of the U.S. ruling class, Northern and Southern, over A) the expansion of the institution of slavery into the Western territories and B) over the role of government.  The growing Northern manufacturing sector did not want slavery in the territories.  For one major reason, it is difficult to grow industry without some modicum of education for the workers, while it is difficult to maintain slavery if the slaves are educated. 

Also, they had already figured out that the doctrine of “free labor” which was well under development at the time, meant that they needed to take little or no responsibility for the living conditions of their wage-slaves, whereas if one owned real slaves one had to at least clothe, house, and feed them.  Also, the nascent manufacturing class loved “big government,” especially in the arena of massive public works, like the construction of the trans-continental railway and the establishment of public “land-grant” colleges, both favorites, as it happened, of Abraham Lincoln.  The slaveholders did not.  The Southern ruling class wanted to maintain and advance slavery, both to expand agriculture and to sell more slaves, and also wanted as little “government interference” in anything except such matters as catching and returning runaway slaves (sound familiar?) 

And so came the War, and then the originally unanticipated Abolition.  But once the war was over, the Northern ruling class realized that with the disappearance of formal slavery but with the return of the South to a system similar to it in many ways, through “Reclamation,” it did not need to be concerned at all about maintaining true freedom for the Freedmen.  They could just “get on with it,” with the two branches of the ruling class for the most part eventually becoming one.  In our time, the ruling class appears on the surface to be represented by the Republican Party alone, but in fact its overall interests are fully protected by the reigning political Duopoly.

As noted, in our time the Republican branch of the Duopoly does make special use of the Doctrine of White Supremacy.  As a rising, white, border state politician once said about the Republicans on the subject of race and racism:

“For 12 years, Republicans have tried to divide us - race against race - so we get mad at each other and not at them. They want us to look at each other across a racial divide so we don't turn and look to the White House and ask, why are all of our incomes going down, why are all of us losing jobs? Why are we losing our future?  Where I come from we know about race-baiting. They've used it to divide us for years. I know this tactic well and I'm not going to let them get away with it.”

Yes, Bill Clinton actually said that when he announced for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in 1991 (and, knowing nothing at  the time about the Democratic Leadership Council of which he had been the head, and what it really stood for, it was on the basis of that statement that I decided to support him in his campaign).  Of course, we never heard that sort of statement from Clinton again, but that’s another story.

The Doctrine of White Supremacy remains a major factor in U.S. politics, courtesy of the self-same Republican Party.  Its existence will once again be a major issue at the center of a Civil War in our nation.  But this time around, the ruling class is generally united.  And so while the Second Civil War will be over, on the one hand, the Doctrine and its uses, very much on the other it will also be about the authoritarian state which the ruling class is having to develop as so many workers see their incomes dropping and so many U.S. are slipping into poverty or near-poverty.  But more on the particulars of this subject anon.

Senior Editor, Politics, Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 30 books. In addition to his role with The Greanville Post, he is a Contributor for American Politics to The Planetary Movement, a columnist for BuzzFlash@Truthout, a “Trusted Author” for OpEdNews, and the Editorial Director of and a Contributing Author to The Political Junkies for Progressive Democracy.  Dr. Jonas’ latest book is The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022: A futuristic Novel

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler on Broadband Policy

Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler delivers remarks at the Brookings Institution on the ways technology is changing broadband network economics and policies aimed at maximizing the benefits of high-speed Internet access.

Source: C-Span

The White House: 'We Stand with These Nations as They Respond to Attacks on Their Soil...'

Statement by the Press Secretary on Attacks in France, Kuwait, and Tunisia

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in France, Kuwait, and Tunisia today.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these heinous attacks, their loved ones, and the people of all three countries.  As the President has discussed with his French, Kuwaiti, and Tunisian counterparts in recent weeks, we are resolute and united in our shared effort to fight the scourge of terrorism.

We stand with these nations as they respond to attacks on their soil today, and we have been in contact with appropriate counterparts in all three countries to offer any necessary support.  Terrorism has no place in any society, and the United States will continue to work closely with our international partners to combat terrorist actors and counter violent extremism around the globe.

Source: The White House Press Office

Biden: 'This Day is For Them, Their Children, and Their Families

Statement by the Vice President on the Supreme Court Decision in Obergefell v. Hodges

All marriages, at their root, are about love.

Today, the Supreme Court affirmed that simple proposition—supported by a majority of Americans and a majority of our states—by recognizing that men marrying men and women marrying women are guaranteed the same civil rights and equal protection under our Constitution afforded to Jill and me, and to anyone else.

We couldn’t be prouder. Over the years—in their homes, on our staff, on the frontlines of war, and in houses of worship—Jill and I have befriended countless gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans who share a love for their partners constrained only by social stigma and discriminatory laws. But today, their love is set free with the right to marry and the recognition of that marriage throughout the country.

This day is for them, their children, and their families. And it is for generations of advocates—gay, lesbian, transgender, straight—who for decades fought a lonely and dangerous battle. People of absolute courage who risked their lives, jobs, and reputations to come forward in pursuit of the basic right recognized today, but at a time when neither the country nor the courts would protect or defend them.

And this day is for history to remember as one where, as a nation, our laws finally recognize that all people should be treated with respect and dignity—and that all marriages, at their root, are defined by unconditional love.

Cuomo: 'Today, Progress Marches On'


Governor Directs Port Authority to Light Spire of One World Trade Center in Rainbow Colors This Sunday

“New York has been a leader in the fight for marriage equality, and today’s Supreme Court decision affirms what we have fought so hard for – that marriage is a fundamental right that should be afforded to everyone, regardless of whom they love. When we passed the Marriage Equality Act in 2011, New York sent a message to the nation that it was time to end one of society’s greatest inequities, and I am thrilled to see the Court join us on the right side of history. Dividing people into first and second-class citizens is not only wrong, it runs contrary to who we are as a nation. From Stonewall to Edie Windsor, New Yorkers have always been on the front lines of the fight to ensure equality and fairness for all. Today, we are proud New Yorkers and proud Americans. Today, progress marches on.”

In recognition of this decision and New York City Pride Week, the Governor has directed that the lights on One World Trade Center’s 408-foot spire will light up in rainbow on Sunday night, June 28.

Sharpton on Gay Marriage Ruling: 'We Still Have a Long Way to Go..'

Rev. Sharpton Statement on Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Gay Marriage Nationwide

NEW YORK – Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of National Action Network (NAN), released the following statement hailing this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide by ruling that the U.S. Constitution bars states from denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples:

“Today we can celebrate that the principles of justice and equality under the law won.  This a huge milestone for our nationwide journey for equality for all, and loving couples across this country can finally have their love and unions recognized.

“We still have a long way to go, and as the tragedy in South Carolina last week devastatingly showed, the march toward progress and civil rights nationwide continues. As a nation, we must carry the momentum from the highest court in the land and fight against discrimination in all its forms and make sure that all Americans – no matter whom they love, their class or color – can exist freely and equally.”

"Flashback Friday': The Attempted Assassination on President Ronald Reagan

Warning! Many may find the footage extremely disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

Today in History: June 26th

Rose McGowan Dropped by Agent for Calling Out Sexist Casting Note

The "Charmed" actress tweeted a message from a casting director asking her to "show off cleavage."

'Love Is Love,' Obama Says After High Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

California Passes Bill to End Vaccination Exemptions

California lawmakers voted on Thursday to substantially limit vaccine exemptions for school children, an initiative prompted by last winter's measles outbreak at Disneyland that sickened 147 people.

The bill, which would make California the third state to eliminate religious and other personal vaccine exemptions, passed the state Assembly in a form that would give some parents years to comply, compared with a stronger version of the bill that was earlier approved by the state Senate.

The measure sparked angry opposition from parents who fear side effects from vaccinations as well as from some religious conservatives. 

Full article available here:

Source: NBC News

French President Hollande: Never Give In to Fear

Speaking from a European summit, President Francois Hollande sounded defiant as investigations began into attack at gas factory in southeast France.

Supreme Court: Gay Couples Have Right to Marry

Vatican Signs First Treaty with ‘State of Palestine,’ Israel Angered

Reuters, 26/06 14:52 CET

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican signed its first treaty with the “State of Palestine” on Friday, calling for “courageous decisions” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and backing a two-state solution.

The treaty, which made official the Vatican’s de facto recognition of Palestine since 2012, angered Israel, which called it “a hasty step (that) damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement”.

Israel also said it could have implications on its future diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

The accord, which concerns the Catholic Church’s activities in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, also confirmed the Vatican’s increasingly proactive role in foreign policy under Pope Francis. Last year, it brokered the historic resumption of ties between the United States and Cuba.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, said at the signing that he hoped it could be a “stimulus to bringing a definitive end to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to cause suffering for both parties”.

(Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

Source: Euronews

Suicide Attack Kills Many in Kuwait City Mosque

By Catherine Hardy | With REUTERS, BBC

A suicide bomb attack at a Shi’ite mosque in Kuwait City has left several people dead.

The group calling itself Islamic State says it was behind the attack.

Source: Euronews

At Least 27 Dead in Attack on Hotel in Sousse

By Catherine Hardy | With AFP

At least 27 people, including some foreigners, have been killed during an attack on a tourist hotel in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse.

Local media and security services say at least one gunman was also shot dead in an exchange of fire.

Sousse is a popular tourist destination.

Tunisia has been on high alert since March when Islamist militants killed 22 people, mainly foreign tourists, in an attack on the famous Bardo museum in the capital Tunis. 

This is a developing story, so visit for updates.

Source: Euronews

Man Decapitated, Several Wounded in Chemical Plant Attack in France


At least one person has been found decapitated, two people have been injured and 40 have been evacuated after what has been described as an attack at a “strategic” factory site near Lyon in south-eastern France

One man has been arrested and identified as police continue to search for other attackers.

A loud explosion was heard at Air Products at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier. Details are still coming in.

Follow live updates here:

Source: Euronews

Ireland’s Transgender Revolution: Winning the Right to Recognition

Produced by Valerie Zabriskie

Source: Euronews

Migration: Divisions Emerge Over EU Deal

By Catherine Hardy | With BBC, AP, REUTERS, FRONTEX

Source: Euronews

Pro-Kurdish Party Says Kobani ‘Massacre’ Reflects Turkish Support for ISIL

Source: Euronews

South Africa Police Slammed Over Marikana Miners’ Deaths

Source: Euronews

Rwanda’s Spy Chief Bailed After Being Arrested in London

Source: Euronews

Ecuador: Protestors Warned of a “Class War”

By Catherine Hardy | With WSJ, REUTERS, AP

Source: Euronews

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The President Speaks on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Affordable Care Act

President Obama delivered remarks in the Rose Garden after the Supreme Court upheld a critical part of the Affordable Care Act, ensuring millions of Americans could keep their quality, affordable health care coverage.

Putin Places Call to the President


President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation called President Obama today.  They discussed the necessity of countering ISIL and developments in the Middle East, as well as the situation in Ukraine.  President Obama reiterated the need for Russia to fulfill its commitments under the Minsk agreements, including the removal of all Russian troops and equipment from Ukrainian territory.  The leaders discussed the increasingly dangerous situation in Syria, and underscored the importance of continued P5+1 unity in ongoing negotiations to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Monaco Meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed

 Lisa Monaco

Today, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Lisa Monaco, met with United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to discuss his efforts to secure a negotiated political settlement for Yemen.  Ms. Monaco underscored the importance the United States places on Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed's mission, noting his work in convening consultations in Geneva and broader efforts to resume Yemen’s political transition process, consistent with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference, and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.  Ms. Monaco emphasized the continued U.S. support for Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed and the work of the UN.  The United States strongly believes that all of Yemen's communities have important roles to play in the country's peaceful governance.  

They also discussed the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen.  Ms. Monaco expressed U.S. determination to support the unimpeded delivery of badly needed food, medicine, and other supplies to the people of Yemen who are suffering.  She emphasized the strong U.S. support to ensure access for the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need and to accelerate the delivery of commercial imports, including food, medicines and other essential goods, to Yemen.  Ms. Monaco and Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed agreed on the need for the international community to continue working together to seek ways to de-escalate the ongoing violence, implement humanitarian pauses, expand political dialogue, and serve the needs of the Yemeni people.   Finally, they discussed the importance of bringing a halt to the conflict in Yemen in order to prevent al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula from exploiting the crisis.

Final Agreement on Major Priorities for End of 2015-16 Legislative Session

 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced details of a final agreement on a number of major priorities for the end of the 2015-16 legislative session.

Governor Cuomo said: “Today, we have reached an agreement on robust, comprehensive reforms that put the people of New York first. We are strengthening rent laws and extending them for four years in the New York City area to protect more than two million tenants. We are also extending the property tax cap and creating a $1.3 billion property tax rebate program to provide significant relief to homeowners across the state. And we are providing $250 million to support the education of roughly 400,000 students in the state’s non-public schools. These are the kinds of reforms that keep New York moving forward, creating a better life and livelihood for people in virtually every corner of the state, and I am proud to have fought to make them a reality.”

Rev. Sharpton and Gov. Haley Agree to Meet

The Leaders Will Discuss a Range of Issues

New York, NY - Today, Rev. Al Sharpton, President and founder of National Action Network (NAN), participated in the funeral services of Ethel Lance and Sharonda Singleton, two of the nine victims of the tragic South Carolina shooting last week. Rev. Sharpton also spoke to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and both agreed to meet to discuss a range of issues in the future. Rev. Sharpton released the following statement:

“Today, I had a chance to celebrate the lives of Ethel Lance and Sharonda Singleton and praise the way their families have handled such a tragic situation with dignity and grace.  I also had an opportunity to speak with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and we both agreed to meet in the future to discuss a range of issues, including healthcare, criminal justice reform and voting rights. It’s time for us all to come together and have a serious conversation about racism and inequality which remain central challenges facing our great country.”

OGS to Award New Construction Contracts

RoAnn Destito, New York State Office of General Services Commissioner, today announced that new construction bids have been awarded in the below counties. The awards are described in the listing below. The contracts are expected to be awarded to the apparent low bidders following review and approval by the State Comptroller's Office. 



Awarded To        Maximum Security Products Corp. of Waterford, NY
Description         Upgrade Observation Cells, 1st Floor, Building No. 35
Location             Wende Correctional Facility, Alden, NY
Low Bid              $500,139


Awarded To        South Buffalo Electric Inc. of Buffalo, NY
Description         Upgrade Observation Cells, 1st Floor, Building No. 35
Location             Wende Correctional Facility, Alden, NY
Low Bid              $32,500


Awarded To        Numarco, Inc. of Elma, NY
Description         Upgrade Observation Cells, 1st Floor, Building No. 35
Location             Wende Correctional Facility, Alden, NY
Low Bid              $48,600



Awarded To        GGG Construction Corp of Hicksville, NY
Description         Provide Concrete Slabs Nassau & Suffolk Counties
Location             Region 10 Various Locations, NY
Low Bid              $963,900

The Office of General Services requires the participation of minority and women-owned businesses in its procurement and construction programs and requires that minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) and minority and women employees be given the opportunity to participate. 

Additional information about OGS Construction and Consulting opportunities is available on the OGS website at under the Empire State Builder Newsletter link. The Empire State Builder Newsletter is the Design and Construction Group's public information service.  It provides information on construction and consultant contract bidding opportunities, including:  construction plans and specifications currently available for purchase; consultant procurement documents available for downloading; a listing of plan purchasers for contracts to be bid or procured; a listing of interested subcontractors, suppliers, and sub-consultants, and bid and procurement results.  

Governor Bobby Jindal Presidential Campaign Announcement

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) announced his intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He spoke at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana. Earlier he had made an announcement on Twitter. Governor Jindal talked about his parents' decision to move to America and how he had transformed the state of Louisiana during his time as governor.

House Debate on Resolution to Remove State Flags with Confederate Symbols

Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) pushes forward a resolution, introduced Tuesday, which would require state flags with Confederate symbols to be removed from the House side of the U.S. Capitol and office buildings. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Administration Committee Chair Candice Miller (R-MI) also speak. The House then votes to refer to her committee.

Speaker Boehner/Minority Leader Pelosi: Weekly Briefings


Source: C-Span

Take Sides Coalition: 'Congress Sides With Polluters'

Organization Says Anti-Climate Legislation Votes Show Who Sides with Industry 

Albany – Just days after the release of an environmental encyclical by Pope Francis, the U.S House of Representatives passed anti-climate legislation introduced by Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky) that is aimed at blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) implementation of the Clean Power Plan.

The following joint statement is attributable to the Take Sides Coalition:

“While we thank those representatives who have stood with science and voted against this egregious legislation, there was far too much support for big polluters. It is inconceivable that so many climate deniers continue to hold influential positions within the federal government. The Washington bureaucrats who vote with the corporate polluters who take advantage of low income communities of color are far removed from the most vulnerable in our population who are most affected by the impacts of climate change. 

The human, environmental, social and economic tolls of climate inaction are too great to ignore. Pope Francis has called climate change ‘a global problem with serious implications,’ calling it ‘one of the principal challenges facing humanity.’

Representatives John Katko, Peter King, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin have taken the wrong approach by standing with polluters instead of constituents. It’s time for voters to take sides and hold their elected leaders accountable.”

Gil Noble "Like It Is" Interview with Bob Marley

Today in History: June 25th

Corrections Officer Charged in NY Prison Escape

Gene Palmer allegedly brought tools hidden in hamburger meat to Richard Matt and David Sweat.

Nike Co-Founder, OHSU Raise $1B for Cancer Research

Phil Knight and Dr. Brian Druker joined forces to raise money for Oregon Health & Science University's Knight Cancer Institute.

North Carolina Church Fire Ruled as Arson

Briar Creek Baptist Church suffered $250,00 worth of damage on Wednesday morning.