Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekly Address: It’s Time for the Senate To Do Its Job

West Wing Week 4/29/16

President Obama Speaks at the International Jazz Day Concert

Workshop International Jazz Day Workshop

Analyzing the Indiana Primaries

Indianapolis Star Political Columnist Matthew Tully talks from Indianapolis about the prospects of the various presidential candidates in the May 3, 216, primary elections. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Laura Bush Discusses 'We Are Afghan Women'

The former First Lady talked about the book, We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope, about the lives of Afghan women since the U.S. invasion. Mrs. Bush wrote the introduction to the book, which was released by the George W. Bush Institute. Mrs. Bush was joined by Mina Sherzoy, one of the women profiled in the book. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Book Discussion on 'White Backlash'

From the 4th annual San Antonio Book Festival, Marisa Abrajano talks about how immigration is affecting American politics. 

The segment was originally recorded on April 2, 2016. 

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

Cenk Uygur on the Progressive Movement in 2016

The host of “The Young Turks” discusses his support Senator Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential bid, as well as the future of his campaign following a loss in four out of five states on April 26. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Friday, April 29, 2016

Veep Meet and Greet: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy

Vice President Biden met with Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi today. The Vice President thanked Prime Minister Renzi for Italy's contributions to promoting stability in Iraq and Libya. The leaders discussed the need to improve intelligence sharing with and within Europe in the wake of recent terrorist attacks, as well as the attack recently thwarted by Italian security forces. The leaders also agreed on the critical importance of maintaining sanctions on Russia until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.

Source: The White House, Office of the Vice President

U.S. Reports First Zika Virus Death in Puerto Rico

A man infected with Zika virus in Puerto Rico has died from complications of the infection, health officials said Friday. 

The man, in his 70s, died from internal bleeding caused by a rare immune reaction to the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

It's the first death in the United States from Zika virus.

"This demonstrates that, as with Guillain Barre Syndrome cases, that there can be severe manifestations that result from Zika virus infection," the CDC's Tyler Sharp told NBC News.

Note: This is a breaking news story, so check the NBC News website fotr updates. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

NY Senator: 'Everyone Does It, de Blasio is Not the Only One!'

What You Should Know
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District

You should know that the Mayor of the City of New York is under fire and he is facing 5 different investigations.  

It is important for you to know that I never supported Mayor de Blasio when he was a Mayoral Candidate, and instead. I supported Eric Salgado and Bill Thompson. For the record, I don’t like Bill de Blasio’s policies, we have nothing in common, and I have not met with him nor spoken with him in person since he was elected Mayor. But as I see him being subject to what looks like selective prosecution, I must speak out.

It is important for you to know that Risa S. Sugarman, who was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as the Chief Enforcement Officer for the Board of Elections, sent a report to the Manhattan District Attorney regarding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “willful and flagrant” campaign law violations.

Ms. Sugarman’s report prompted a criminal investigation into Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising.

According to Ms. Sugarman’s report, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his team raised money to send to certain County Committees in 2014 to help Democrats running for the State Senate. In a response to Ms. Sugarman’s report, a criminal investigation against Mayor de Blasio is underway.

You should also know that City and State’s Winners and Losers column for the week ending 4/29/2016 included NY Times columnist Jim Dwyer in the Winners’ column for successfully “putting pressure on state Board of Elections Chief Enforcement Officer Risa Sugarman to explain her selective investigation process.

This hat-tip tip Jim Dwyer includes his April 28, 2016 column “Faulting de Blasio for Walking a Beaten Path in Elections.”

Mr. Dwyer wrote: In 2008, when Michael R. Bloomberg was mayor, he gave $1.2 million to the tiny Independence Party, which used the money to help the campaigns of two Republican senators in Queens, Frank Padavan and Serphin R. Maltese … Mr. Bloomberg also gave $500,000 to the Republicans’ Senate campaign committee, which supported Mr. Padavan and Mr. Maltese in their races.”

As you can see, Mayor de Blasio’s actions are not the first time a Mayor has used his political power and resources to influence New York State Senate races. This is routinely done by Democrats and Republicans alike, and we all know it.

I have to ask myself, how is it that Mayor de Blasio is being investigated and has received subpoenas from the Manhattan District Attorney and the US Attorney General, and how is it that he is being lambasted on the front pages and editorial columns of New York’s daily newspapers, when the things he did are no different than what Michael Bloomberg did when he was New York City’s Mayor?

Why was there no outcry for investigations and allegations made when Michael Bloomberg also violated New York’s Campaign Finance laws by donating large amounts of money to the Republican and Independent Parties in order to hold sway over certain State Senate elections?

If everyone does it, how come only Mayor Bill de Blasio is being held accountable?

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

Rival White Supremacist Groups Unite To Fight ‘Race War’

By James King, Vocativ

In April, a coalition of white supremacists gathered to light up a cross—and plan the future of hate in America. 

The Georgia Peach Oyster Bar sits along a rural highway about 45 miles west of Atlanta. From the outside, it could pass for a single-story house if not for the neon beer signs. Inside, it looks like any other dusty saloon in the dregs of Dixie: a bar, pool tables under Bud Light lamps hanging from the ceiling, a TV mounted in the corner of the room. It’s what’s behind a single doorway leading to a backroom that makes the Georgia Peach unique.

Dozens of white nationalists from various groups across the country gathered here on a Saturday night in April and spirits were high, giving the room the feel of a white supremacist theme park. In one corner, a tattoo station where shirtless men were getting inked up. In another, a guy sold T-shirts featuring swastikas and hooded Ku Klux Klansmen with the words “The Original Boys in the Hood.” Centered along a back wall was a stage with a podium, the backdrop comprised of a banner with the contact information for the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the predominant neo-Nazi group in the United States, as well as swastikas and other white nationalist imagery.

A porch off the back of the building looks out over a multi-acre horse pasture, an idyllic country scene were it not for the 15-foot wooden cross and swastika that three neo-Nazis were wrapping in burlap and dousing in gasoline in preparation for the night’s festivities. Inside the bar, attendees milled about smoking cigarettes and sipping drinks in celebration of what they are calling an historic event.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post 

Investigation of U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital

General Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, briefs reporters and responds to their questions on the investigation into the October 3, 2015 bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in which 42 people died. 

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

'Flashback Friday': Hip-Hop Stars React to the Rodney King Verdict (1992)

Trailblazers in Black History: Gale Sayers, NFL Legend

Published on YouTube on Dec. 15, 2015.  

Additional information on Mr. Sayers and his career is available here.

Video courtesy of Official Chicago Bears.

Today in History: April 29th

This Vegan Rapper is the O.G. of Eco Hip-Hop (That's Original Gardener)

Ietef Vita has a dream.

The Denver-based environmental activist and recording artist best known as "DJ Cavem Moetivation" longs for a time when he'll be able to stroll the streets of any black neighborhood in America without passing by a sea of liquor stores and fast food joints.

A greener time. When farmer's markets stocked with fresh fruits and veggies would inhabit every corner; yoga studios and juice bars would abound. Instead of concrete and litter in every direction, freshly-planted trees and community gardens would be commonplace; black people would self-medicate with nectarines instead of narcotics and try cannabis in lieu of chemotherapy. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Supreme Court Approves Rule Change to Expand FBI Hacking Power

The Supreme Court on Thursday approved a rule change that would let U.S. judges issue search warrants for access to computers located in any jurisdiction despite opposition from civil liberties groups who say it will greatly expand the FBI's hacking authority.

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts transmitted the rules to Congress, which will have until Dec. 1 to reject or modify the changes to the federal rules of criminal procedure. If Congress does not act, the rules would take effect automatically. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Protests at Donald Trump Rally Turn Violent; John Boehner Bashes Ted Cruz

A large crowd outside a Donald Trump rally in California turned violent, resulting in nearly 20 arrests and several injuries. Meanwhile former Speaker of the House John Boehner called Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.” NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander reports the day’s campaign news. 

Click here for video.

Source: NBC News

What is Bernie Sanders' Plan B?

The contest may be over, but the mission is not for Bernie Sanders and his supporters.

Winning the Democratic presidential nomination is all but impossible given the current delegate count, so it's on to Plan B: Sanders will spend the next 79 days before the Democratic National Convention accruing as much leverage as possible before he sits down at the bargaining table.

"The power of the political revolution to shape what comes out of the Democratic convention will be in proportion to the vitality and engagement of the people who have poured themselves into the Sanders campaign thus far. So it is critical not to let up or step back," said Ben Wikler, the Washington director of, which has endorsed Bernie Sanders. "Every door that a Sanders volunteer knocks on, every call that a supporter makes, every dollar raised online, every video shared, is a message to the Democratic Party that this is where the energy is." 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

ISIS-Linked Hackers Target 3,000 New Yorkers in Cyberattack: Officials

ISIS-linked hackers have targeted about 3,000 ordinary New Yorkers in a cyberattack, posting their personal information online and announcing, "We want them #Dead," the I-Team has learned. Jonathan Dienst reports. 

Click here for video.

Source: NBC News