Thursday, November 3, 2016

Roundtable on U.S. Election Integrity

Attorneys Jon Waclawski and Kristen Clarke discuss the integrity of the voting process, including claims about a “rigged” election, voting fraud, voter intimidation, and how past recounts and legal challenges to voting outcomes have played out. 

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Source: C-SPAN

The Recent Study on African-American Voter Turnout

Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie discusses a recent study on voter turnout among African Americans. 

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Source: C-SPAN

Trailblazers in Black History: Morgan Freeman

Hollywood & Race: 'To Sir, With Love'

'Saving Our Youth' Series: York City Police Chief Wes Kahley

This report was originally broadcast on October 20, 2016. 

Source: FOX 43 News

FBI Executes Search Warrants in Paterson Amid Federal Corruption Probe: Sources

Team Clinton Breathes a Sigh of Relief — But They're Not in the Clear Yet

'Bridgegate' Defense Lawyers Ask For A Mistrial

New Cancer Drugs May Damage the Heart

Doctors have found a disturbing downside to some powerful new drugs that harness the immune system to fight cancer: In rare cases, they may cause potentially fatal heart damage, especially when used together.

"The problem is, no one has this on their radar," so patients are not routinely checked for it, said Dr. Javid Moslehi, head of a Vanderbilt University clinic specializing in heart risks from cancer therapies. 

He led a team of experts who reported Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine about two patients who died of heart trouble two weeks after receiving their first doses of two Bristol-Myers Squibb drugs, Opdivo and Yervoy, for the deadly skin cancer melanoma.

Two similar drugs also are on the market, and the study leaders believe they might pose heart risks, too. 

Click here for the full article.

Prostate Surgery Rates Fall After Screening Advice, Study Finds

Fewer U.S. men got prostate biopsies and surgery after new recommendations steered most men away from routine prostate cancer screening, researchers reported Wednesday.

Their findings add to a growing body of research that's adding to the debate about prostate cancer screening and often leaving men and their doctors more confused than informed. At issue is whether screening the general population of men for their second leading cause of cancer death does more harm than good.

The latest report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association's JAMA Surgery, shows the new guidelines have indeed cut back on the number of procedures that men are undergoing. 

"Practice has followed the guidelines," said Dr. Jim Hu, a urologic oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine who helped lead the research team.

But Hu and his colleagues say they are worried that some men with dangerous cancers may be slipping through the cracks and argue that the highly controversial recommendations may have gone too far. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Is Insulin the New EpiPen? Families Facing Sticker Shock Over 400 Percent Price Hike

Is insulin is the new EpiPen?

In the last eight years, the average price per milliliter of insulin has skyrocketed by over 200 percent. But there's one major difference. If you can't get an EpiPen, there's a chance you might die. If your body doesn't have insulin, you certainly will die.

"It feels like they're holding my kid ransom," said Tiffany Cara, whose son has diabetes.

Only three major companies make insulin in the U.S. and each has steadily ratcheted up prices, sometimes in lockstep. Since 2004, the manufacturer list price for insulin, known as wholesale acquisition cost, is up by triple digits. Novo Nordisk's insulin Novolog is up 381 percent, Eli Lilly's Humalog is up 380 percent and Sanofi's Lantus is up 400 percent, according to data from Truven Health Analytics.

That's sending some diabetic families into sticker shock. 

Click here for the full article.

Nearly All-White Jury Seated in Trial of Ex-Cop Who Shot Unarmed Black Man

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A nearly all-white jury was seated Wednesday for the murder trial of a white former South Carolina officer whose fatal shooting of a black man stunned the nation after it was recorded on a cellphone by a bystander.

A jury of six white men, five white women and one black man will hear the case of Michael Slager, charged with murder in the April 2015 shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott as he fled a traffic stop in North Charleston. 

Click here for the full article.

As Civil Suit Dismissed, Peter Liang Expected to Not Appeal Conviction

A judge this week threw out the last of two lawsuits brought against the City of New York and a former police officer, who was convicted of manslaughter in February for fatally shooting an unarmed man in a Brooklyn housing project almost two years ago.

News of the civil suit's dismissal comes as a close supporter of Peter Liang told NBC News Wednesday that the former New York Police Department (NYPD) cop is not expected to appeal his conviction. A judge reduced Liang's charges in April to criminally negligent homicide with no jail time. 

Click here for the full article. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

President Obama: 'Sergeant Anthony Beminio and Officer Justin Martin Represented Our Best...'


The President's Statement on the Shooting
of the Des Moines, Iowa Police Officers

Yesterday, two police officers put on their uniforms to serve and protect the communities they loved.  And early this morning, they were taken from us in shameful acts of violence.

Sergeant Anthony Beminio and Officer Justin Martin represented our best, most decent instincts as human beings – to serve our neighbors, to put ourselves in harm’s way for someone else.  They knew the dangers of their job.  They knew the risks.  Yet they chose to dedicate themselves to those values anyway.  So today, Michelle and I join Americans across our country in expressing our condolences and stand in solidarity with their grieving families, fellow officers, and the communities they served so honorably.

All across the country, our police officers go to work each day not knowing whether they’ll come home at night.  Their families live each day with the same fears.  So as Americans, we owe them our respect and gratitude for their efforts to safeguard our families and our communities.  And so as we once again mourn American police officers lost in the line of duty, we must also renew the call to match that same sense of service, that same devotion within our own lives and our own communities. 

Thankfully, that’s the Iowa I know well.  That’s what I’ve experienced every time I’ve visited Urbandale and Des Moines – good, big-hearted people who look out for each other and are willing to come together across our differences.  That’s the spirit we all must summon now not only to heal, but to honor the service of Sergeant Beminio, Officer Martin, and all the men and women who wear the blue. 

Statement by the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden

Tonight, the sun set in Des Moines and Urbandale with two heroes no longer here. Des Moines Sergeant Anthony Beminio and Urbandale Officer Justin Martin started the day as they always did, pinning the shield on their uniforms as they kissed their loved ones goodbye to patrol the streets while the city slept. They knew the risks, but they walked out the door because that’s who they were. Like law enforcement officers across the country, they were defined by duty, courage, and honor. They loved their cities. They would do anything for the people who counted on them.  But as we’ve seen too often, a coward with a gun in his hand and malice in his heart assassinated these two heroes in cold blood. And as we’ve had to do too often, Jill and I join the nation in mourning with their broken-hearted families and their grieving brothers and sisters in blue.

And yet even in our sadness, we’re still grateful for the swift actions of Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert, Urbandale Police Chief Ross McCarty, and their entire force who rushed to the scene and later quickly apprehended a suspect. We’re inspired by the people of the Des Moines area who’ve rallied together in unity and prayer. And we’re reminded that even in the face of evil, we are a nation still defined by goodness, by heroes like Sergeant Beminio and Officer Martin, by men and women in uniform across the country, who tomorrow morning as the sun rises, will live the words of Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me.”

May God bless Sergeant Anthony Beminio, Officer Justin Martin, their families, and all who loved them and may God protect our law enforcement everywhere.
Source: The White House, Offices of the Press Secretary and Vice President

Judge Orders RNC to Hand Over More Information on Poll Watching

A federal judge is requiring the Republican National Committee (RNC) to hand over more information about planned poll monitoring activities.

U.S. District Judge Michael Vazquez ordered the RNC to produce the following by 5 p.m. EST Thursday:
An affidavit or affidavits by a person or persons with personal knowledge setting forth in detail Defendant's efforts regarding poll watching or poll observation in connection with the 2016 Presidential Election. Defendant's efforts shall apply to those efforts by any employee, agent, or servant of Defendant, including volunteers and independent contractors/vendors. The affiant(s) shall be an agent, servant, or employee of Defendant. The affidavit(s) shall set forth all material terms of any such efforts, including any geographic areas which are being targeted for poll watching or poll observation and the reason(s) those areas are being targeted. Any training materials or advice, whether written, electronic, or verbal, provided to poll watchers or poll observers shall also be provided. 

Click here and scroll down for the full article. 

Crisis in South Korea: The Choi Scandal Explained


Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the center of a scandal dominating South Korean politics, is now in custody and faces allegations of exerting undue influence over President Park Geun-hye in state policies and projects. The scandal is South Korea’s biggest political crisis in years, with citizens demanding Park’s removal from office. Here’s what we know so far. 

Q. Who is Choi Soon-sil?

A. She is a 60-year-old woman who has never held a government post. She has been a close friend of President Park for 40 years.

She has changed her name at least twice. Her current legal name is Choi Seo-won.

Choi is also the fifth daughter of President Park’s late mentor Choi Tae-min. Her ex-husband Jeong Yun-hoe was one of Park’s longest-serving aides. He assisted Park when she entered politics in 1998 and was her chief secretary in 2002 when Park founded her own political party. 

Click here for the full article. 

Click on the graph to increase its size.

Article and infographic source: The Korea Herald

NYS Senator Issues Public Plea for Alleged Killer to Surrender

Statement by State Senator James Sanders, Jr. 
on the Murder of Dayo Corley

"The death of Dayo Corley, a resident of Rochdale Village, is a tragic loss for the community and a reminder that senseless violence has no place here. I am most saddened that her two children and family will have now have to go on without her, particularly as we prepare to celebrate the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, a time for loved ones to be together. To the perpetrator of this heinous murder, I call upon you to turn yourself in to the police. Have no doubt, you will be caught and brought to justice."

Source: The Office of Senator James Sanders, Jr. 

Journalists Discuss Campaign 2016

Politico’s Mike Allen, and Cook Political Report editor Charlie Cook, and Fox anchor Chris Wallace examined the 2016 election, including recent poll results, key House and Senate races, and early voting. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

The Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Ellen Gilmer, Legal Reporter for EnergyWire, talked about protests to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on tribal lands in North Dakota. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe were leading the demonstrations over water quality concerns. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

The Cometization of the 2016 Elections: The Role of the Ruling Class


On July 5, 2016, The Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, shooting like a comet over Washington, D.C., announced that after an extensive investigation, no criminal charges relating to the improper use/protection/transmission of classified documents would be brought against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.   At the same time, in a speech he launched into an extensive negative analysis of what had been done with emails, sensitive or not, on State Department or private servers, by Mrs. Clinton and members of her staff.  That statement, very unusual for an FBI Director to make, had a transitory effect on Clinton’s poll numbers.  But at the same time, the Director, in a highly unusual action, little noticed at the time, told leading Republican on the House Intelligence Committee that it would keep them informed of any further developments.

As is well-known, just now there have been further developments.  On October 28, 2016, Mr. Comey announced publicly that there would be a further investigation of (possible) Clinton emails.  He made this announcement before any investigation had begun, much less concluded, and before his agents had obtained even so much as a warrant for seizing a lap-top that happened not to belong to Mrs. Clinton.  Rather it belonged to the estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, of one of Mrs. Clinton’s closest aides, Huma Abedin.  This action by Comey was considered to be highly unusual, to say the least, by a variety of sources/authorities, including, for example, The New York Times editorial page.  It was even unclear as to whether, after some kind of preliminary evaluation, the previous formal inquiry would be reopened.

The U.S. Justice Department strongly discouraged Comey from making such an speculative announcement (as in “their might be a further investigation after we’ve had a look at Mr. Weiner server which — who knows — might simply be filled with photos of Mr. Weiner’s private parts taken from a wide variety of angles”).  It appeared as if Mr. Comey himself might be violating the 1939 Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from taking actions close to elections which might influence their outcomes.  A Republican, Richard Painter, who worked as the Chief Ethics Officer in the Bush White House (and a Clinton supporter this time around), went so far as to file a formal ethics complaint against Comey, for apparent violation of the Hatch Act (which would be a criminal offense).

There have been a variety of political outcomes from the Comey action, ranging from no change in the Clinton/Trump poll numbers to significant changes in them, from no change in the generally predicted Clinton lock on the Electoral College vote to possibly enough of a Trump swing in the swing states to give the election to him.  Most observers are not attributing ulterior motives to Mr. Comey.  “He made a simple mistake.”  “He was trying to be open about what is going on, but he was premature in making such an announcement — poor judgement.”  “He was under pressure from Congressional Republicans.  Suppose that he had not announced the further investigation [of a bunch of emails that might not even be Clinton’s] in advance of its being undertaken, and then something had come of it after the election?  Boy, would they be mad [or worse].”

Well, folks, I don’t buy any of it.  I think that what Comey did, from the July “even though we have nothing criminal on you you’re a bad girl” speech to the present “we are announcing that an investigation will be starting [once we get a warrant], without any idea that anything further that might be incriminating might be found” is all part of a plan.  (And yes, this is a conspiracy hypothesis, but not quite the kind that Alex Jones would come up with.)  In 2013 Mr. Comey was given the customary ten-year term appointment as FBI Director by President Barack Obama.  (Wonder why in all of this brouhaha from the Democrats Obama gave him a vote of confidence?)  A career Federal prosecutor and occasional corporate lawyer who eventually became Deputy Attorney General under Bush, he is a Republican.  He has had a reputation for highly ethical behavior.  

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Greanville Post

Clinton's Battleground Map Lead Narrows