Saturday, March 5, 2016

Weekly Address: The American Spirit of Innovation

West Wing Week: 03/04/16

Why We Should Teach About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement

This month marks the 45th anniversary of a dramatic moment in U.S. history. On March 8, 1971—while Muhammad Ali was fighting Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden, and as millions sat glued to their TVs watching the bout unfold—a group of peace activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and stole every document they could find.

Keith Forsyth, one of the people who broke in, explained on Democracy Now!:

I was spending as much time as I could with organizing against the war, but I had become very frustrated with legal protest. The war was escalating and not de-escalating. And I think what really pushed me over the edge was, shortly after the invasion of Cambodia, there were four students killed at Kent State and two more killed at Jackson State. And that really pushed me over the edge, that it was time to do more than just protest.

Delivered to the press, these documents revealed an FBI conspiracy—known as COINTELPRO—to disrupt and destroy a wide range of protest groups, including the Black freedom movement. The break-in, and the government treachery it revealed, is a chapter of our not-so-distant past that all high school students—and all the rest of us—should learn, yet one that history textbooks continue to ignore. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Common Dreams

Friday, March 4, 2016

White House Daily Briefing

Spokesman Josh Earnest briefed reporters and responded to questions on a variety of topics, including the February 2016 jobs numbers, the president’s upcoming trip to Cuba, North Korea, the Zika virus, and the presidential election. Responding to a question on whether the president watched the Republican debate the previous evening, Mr. Earnest stressed that President Obama strongly believed that Donald Trump would not be the next president. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

State Department Daily Briefing

John Kirby briefed reporters and responded to questions on a variety of international topics. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Farrakhan on Hillary Clinton: 'That's a Wicked Woman'

Note: This video is being published in an ongoing effort to present all points of view on any given issue and in support of the First Amendment.

In addition, the commentaries presented on "From The G-Man" do not necessarily reflect the views of its managing editor, its advertisers or other individuals that have been or continue to be showcased.

Tea Party Patriots Co-Founder Jenny Beth Martin Remarks at CPAC

Martin criticizes Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying, "Donald Trump is about love of himself" and that "he has no business thinking he's Tea Party." She speaks about his record on a variety of issues, including abortion, freedom of the press, eminent domain, and immigration, and urges voters to support Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the November election. 

User-Created Clip
by Caitlin Hillyard
March 4, 2016 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Statement on the Employment Situation in February


WASHINGTON, DC – Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, issued the following statement today on the employment situation in February.

Summary: The economy added 242,000 jobs in February, extending the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record.

The robust pace of job creation continued in February as the unemployment rate held at its lowest level since February 2008 and labor force participation rose. Over the past two years, our economy added more private-sector jobs than in any two years since 1999. While these trends speak to the strength of the labor market recovery, and while wages have grown faster than inflation over the last year, more work remains to drive faster wage growth, including investing in infrastructure, implementing high-standards free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and raising the minimum wage. As discussed in the 2016 Economic Report of the President, these policies are key parts of the President’s agenda for inclusive growth and would help ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared with all Americans. 

The complete statement can be viewed here

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

 President Obama Statement on February Jobs Report

President Obama speaks to reporters about the February jobs report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows the unemployment rate at 4.9 percent.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span 

'Flashback Friday': President Ronald Reagan Address on Iran-Contra, 3/4/87

Trailblazers in Black History: Tamara Dobson, "Cleopatra Jones"

Today in History: March 4th

Trooper in Sandra Bland Traffic Stop Formally Fired

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas trooper indicted over his arrest of a black woman who was later found dead in jail has been formally fired, three months after his bosses first announced they would do so, state officials said Wednesday.

Former Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia can still appeal the decision to fire him, which came after a grand jury indicted him on a perjury charge in December. He's accused of lying about his July 2015 arrest of Sandra Bland and their confrontational traffic stop that was caught on dashcam video. 

Click here for the full article.

Analyst Nicolle Wallace: GOP Debate Didn't 'Reshuffle the Order'

'The Stakes Are High': Young, Muslim American, and Politically Engaged

CHICAGO, Ill. — Futuro Media Group's Maria Hinojosa met and spoke with a young Palestinian-American millennial, a community organizer who is leading a voter registration effort at one of Chicago's oldest mosques to try to encourage her community to help change the discourse, disrupt Islamophobic rhetoric, and be engaged in the political process.

Los Angeles Police Test Knife Found on Property Owned by O.J. Simpson

Reuters, 04/03 17:40 CET

(Reuters) – Police in Los Angeles are testing a knife recovered on a property once owned by O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in the murder of his former wife and her friend, the Los Angeles Police Department said on Friday.

The department is investigating the Buck knife with a retractable blade, which was apparently turned over to a police officer a number of years ago by a construction worker at the property, the Los Angeles Times newspaper reported, citing an unnamed law enforcement source.

The knife was found on the grounds of the house where Simpson lived at the time of the murders. The house, in the posh Brentwood neighbourhood of Los Angeles, has since been razed.

Los Angeles Police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said the agency’s Robbery Homicide Division was investigating. She declined to provide further details. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: Euronews

North Korea ‘Nuclear Standby’ Orders Spark Global Concerns

He is no stranger to bellicose rhetoric.

But Kim Jong-un’s latest orders for North Korea to be ready to use its nuclear weapons at any time, putting the military in ‘pre-emptive attack’ mode, have sent shockwaves around the world.

Kim’s comments, made amid exercises involving new multiple rocket launchers according to state TV, sparked particular concern over the border in South Korea.

Attending a military ceremony there on Friday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye was resolute.

“If we don’t stop North Korea, its nuclear capabilities will continue to be heightened, which will bring an irreversible disaster to the future of our people and demolish the basis of peace and order in Northeast Asia,” she declared. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: Euronews

Victims of Domestic Violence Struggle for Justice

Produced by Valerie Zabriskie

Source: Euronews

The Challenges of Preventing Migrant Deaths in the Aegean Sea

Each day since the start of the year around 2,000 migrants have arrived on the Greek coast. At this rate the numbers for those who made the perilous sea journey since January 2015 could top the one million mark by the middle of this month.

Many have waited for days on the shores of Turkey – in places just eight kilometres from the Greek island of Lesbos. More and more women and children – some of them very young – are crossing by sea. They board inflatable dingies, sometimes small with not enough seats for everyone which increases the risk of the craft capsizing.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, nearly 130,000 arrived by sea to Greece and Italy this year. Four hundred and eighteen people have perished or disappeared.

A higher number have landed in Greece than Italy. The Mediterranean crossing from Libya is more dangerous than using the Aegean.

It is a small consolation but the 418 deaths since the start of the year are slightly less than in the same period in 2015. But in the first nine weeks of this year 77 children died when crossing the Aegean. That works out at more than one death each day. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: Euronews

Talks in Paris Fail to Make Progress on Implementing a Peace Deal in Eastern Ukraine

Source: Euronews

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Don’t Assume Bernie Sanders Supporters Will Back Hillary Clinton If She’s The Nominee

By Samantha-Jo Roth

Some of the Vermont senator's fans would rather not vote -- or even vote for Donald Trump -- than vote for Hillary. 

 ST. PAUL, Minnesota -- A horde of Bernie Sanders supporters at a local pub were watching closely as the Super Tuesday election results rolled in, a few booing as Hillary Clinton’s smiling face, accompanied by a green check mark, repeatedly flashed across the screens. 

When they learned their candidate had beaten Hillary Clinton in Minnesota, taking the largest share of the state’s available delegates, they chanted and cheered the Vermont senator’s name -- and many vowed never to support his opponent, even if she goes on to win the Democratic nomination.

“I will never support Hillary Clinton,” said Adam Burch, 28, of Minneapolis. “I identify as a socialist. She stands for everything that I’m against. It’s Bernie or nothing.”

Burch isn’t alone. He's part of a group on social media called Grassroots Action for Bernie that has promised to support only Sanders in the election, using the hashtag “BernieorBust” to spread its message. 

Similarly, 50,000 people have signed an online pledge to write in Sanders’ name or vote for the Green Party candidate in the general election if the former Secretary of State wins the nomination.

If that happens, some in this crowd are willing to go a step further in the general election and cast their ballot for Republican front-runner Donald Trump. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post

Mitt Romney Remarks on Republican Presidential Race (Full Video)

In a speech at the University of Utah, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says that Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or John Kasich should be the party’s nominee instead of Donald Trump if the party wishes to win the election in November. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

CPAC 2016 Discussion on National Security Challenges

The American Conservative Union hosts its annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. The 4-day conference features current presidential candidates and other conservative leaders. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

House Speaker Weekly Briefing

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) briefed reporters and responded to questions on his party’s legislative agenda. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

House Minority Leader Weekly Briefing

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) briefed reporters and responded to questions on her party’s legislative agenda. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

The Senator Holding Flint Aid Hostage

Photo illustration by The Daily Beast 

By Tim Mak

As Flint, Michigan deals with the effects of utter government failure, Sen. Mike Lee is secretly preventing them from receiving assistance from the federal government—all on a technicality.

The intellectual leader of the tea party movement in the Senate is secretly holding up a bill to help the residents of Flint, Michigan who have been poisoned by their own water supply.

As Republican presidential hopefuls gather in Detroit for a critical post-Super Tuesday debate, Sen. Mike Lee is stalling plans to alleviate the nearby town’s drinking water crisis—a disaster that has a disproportionate and devastating impact on the poor and the young.

Lee is using a Senate tactic used to gum up the works known as a “hold,” which is generally kept secret so the lawmaker can remain anonymous. But two senior Senate sources confirmed to The Daily Beast that Lee is behind the maneuver to stall an utterly uncontroversial provision. 

Click here for the full article.
Source: The Daily Beast  

2016 L.A. Gang Violence Prevention & Intervention Conference

 Click on image to increase its size.

The 2016 conference will focus on criminalization of youth – its impacts on youth development and positive options, exploring system-wide efforts at positive youth development as a public safety strategy, efforts to re-frame how we see young people, collaborations and system-level efforts to address decriminalization of young people, and case studies of providing positive youth supports.

Click here for more information.

Source: Violence Prevention Coalition 

Trailblazers in Black History: Cisero Murphy

Click on photo to increase its size.

Cisero Murphy (1937–1996) was an American professional pool player. Murphy was the first African-American professional pocket billiards player to ever win world and U.S. national titles. He is also one of two players to win the world title on a first attempt, the other being Ray Martin who won the title in 1971. 

James "Cisero" Murphy grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, one of eight children. His father left the family home when Murphy was a child, forcing his mother to go on welfare. At 15, he was a high school dropout. One summer, however, young James began playing pool at the Police Athletic League (PAL), and except for short-term jobs, he continued playing pool for the duration of his life.

He became city champion in 1953 and state champion in 1958. From 1959 to 1964, he was eastern state champion in the PAL. Later in life, Murphy participated in city programs in an effort to help young adults and children, such as Billiards in the Streets, which was sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation. He also would visit veterans hospitals, senior citizen homes, and mental hospitals giving trick shot exhibitions and teaching people how to play pool.

More information is available here

Source: Wikipedia

Today in History: March 3rd

Republican Ex-IRS Commissioner: Trump Should Release Taxes

Mark Everson

A former head of the IRS is calling on Donald Trump to release his tax returns, saying that there is no legitimate reason to withhold them.

"When Americans file their tax returns each year, they declare under penalty of perjury that to best of their knowledge they are true, correct and complete," says Mark Everson, who served as IRS Commissioner during the Bush Administration.

"Trump is no exception," Everson tells NBC News, adding, "Trump either stands by his returns - which he previously promised to release - or he doesn't."

The call from a top ranking Republican tax expert comes as Mitt Romney is criticizing Trump on his taxes, business record and qualifications to be president. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Romney: Trump's Promises Are as Worthless as Trump University Degree

Former GOP nominee Mitt Romney refused to endorse a candidate, but said any of the options are better than Donald Trump.

Alabama Police Officer Charged With Murder in Shooting of Unarmed Man

An Alabama police officer was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black man in Montgomery last week, authorities said.

Montgomery police officer Aaron "A.C." Smith, 23, was charged with murder in the death of Gregory Gunn, 59, who was fatally shot early Thursday, Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey said. 

"[The State Bureau of Investigations] and I agreed at the beginning of this investigation that this case would be treated as any other case," Bailey said in a statement. "We agreed that if there were probable cause that a crime had been committed then an arrest would be made." 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Tech Coalition Will Honor 10 Black Innovators at SXSW

What do a vocal diversity in tech advocate, an eleven-year-old entrepreneur, an HBCU professor and a tech novice all have in common?

They are just four of the ten men and women of color that will be recognized for their innovative ways and examples within the tech industry as part of the MVMT50 Experience at a South by Southwest (SXSW) 

Welcome Reception in Austin, Texas on March 11.

MVMT50 is a coalition committed to improving employment diversity, cultural representation and leadership development in the innovation, technology and digital sectors. And as their tagline says quite simply, they are "a think space for Black innovators."

Donell Creech, MVMT50 founder, said what made these ten stand out is the way in which they recognized a problem within the African American community and created a solution. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News