Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trump Faces Backlash

Alleged Hate Crime at SUNY Geneseo

Governor Andrew Cuomo today ordered the New York State Police, SUNY Police and the State Division of Human Rights to conduct a multi-agency investigation into the alleged hate crime that took place at SUNY Geneseo on Friday. The incident was first reported by a residence assistant who discovered graffiti, including a swastika and the word “Trump,” at the university’s Nassau Residence Hall. This marks the second investigation launched into ‎alleged hate crimes in New York in the past few hours.

“To those who think they can intimidate our fellow New Yorkers through racism or anti-Semitism I have one message: Don't count on it," Governor Cuomo said. "It is unacceptable that this is the second investigation that we have had to announce in the last several hours. Any and every reported incident will be investigated and pursued to the fullest extent of the law by the State Police and the Division of Human rights. To any New Yorker who is scared, I want you to know that we have your back, that we will keep you safe, and that protecting your rights is what America stands for."

In 2000, New York State enacted legislation to strengthen penalties for hate crimes. Under the law, a person commits a hate crime when one of a specified set of offenses is committed targeting a victim because of a perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, or when such an act is committed as a result of that type of perception or belief. Hate crimes can be perpetrated against an individual, a group of individuals or against public or private property. Also under state law it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, ethnicity and many other protected classifications. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Details on the incident are available in this News 10 WHEC report.

Cuomo Orders Investigation Into Alleged Hate Crime in Wellsville

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced a joint investigation between the New York State Police and the State Division of Human Rights into the alleged hate crime in Wellsville, New York. Earlier this week, it was reported that a softball field dugout was defaced with the words “Make America White Again,” accompanied by a spray-painted swastika. Governor Cuomo has directed a full investigation into the alleged hate crime.

"New York has zero tolerance for bigotry, fear and hatred, and those who seek to undermine the core values this state and nation were founded upon," Governor Cuomo said. "I have ordered a full investigation into this deplorable act, and those responsible for this conduct will be held to the fullest extent of the law. New York is one of the most inclusive and open communities in the world – this type of behavior is not who we are, and not who we will ever be."

In 2000, New York State enacted legislation to strengthen penalties for hate crimes. Under the law, a person commits a hate crime when one of a specified set of offenses is committed targeting a victim because of a perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, or when such an act is committed as a result of that type of perception or belief. Hate crimes can be perpetrated against an individual, a group of individuals or against public or private property. Also under state law it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, ethnicity and many other protected classifications. 
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Full news report and a report on the following: Black Doll Found Hung By A Noose in Elevator 

How the 2016 Election Exposed America's Racial and Cultural Divides

The 2016 election exposed an America of deep divides over race, ethnicity and culture — a nation carved into two large coalitions, roughly equal in size but radically different in demographics and desires.

Those contrasts were brought into sharp relief in the hours after Donald Trump was elected president.
Voters in the Rust Belt and rural regions of country who felt left out of Obama's vision of economic prosperity and progress celebrated, in part, because they felt they once again had a champion.

Meanwhile, across the country, thousands of minorities, millennials and women in urban enclaves went into a period of mourning and took to the streets in protests fueled by frustration, fear and disillusionment in a country they feel that, by electing Trump, is now entering a dark and divisive era.

Weekly Address: Honoring Our Veterans

West Wing Week: 11/11/16

Judge Declares Mistrial for Ray Tensing, White Ex-Cincinnati Officer Who Killed Driver

by Erik Ortiz 

An Ohio judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a white former police officer accused of murdering an unarmed black driver during a traffic stop last year.

The jury on Saturday was unable to reach a verdict for Ray Tensing, 26, charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose — an incident caught on police bodycam. 

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan accepted the jury's deadlock Saturday morning. The case is now back in the hands of prosecutors, who must decide whether they will retry the case or dismiss it. In the meantime, Tensing will remain free on $1 million bond. 

Click here for summary.

Source: NBC News 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Millions Sign Petition Urging Electoral College to Elect Hillary Clinton

By Michael Walsh

The election of Donald Trump as president is a bitter pill to swallow for millions of Americans — and some are backing a quixotic campaign to reverse that outcome.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 2.4 million people had signed a petition to the U.S. Electoral College, urging its members to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic,” wrote Elijah Berg, who launched the petition on

Berg, of North Carolina, argued that the Electoral College can award the White House to either candidate and should use its own “most undemocratic” institution to ensure a “democratic result.”

Berg continued: “24 states bind electors. If electors vote against their party, they usually pay a fine. And people get mad. But they can vote however they want and there is no legal means to stop them in most states.” 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Yahoo! News

Veterans Day Wreath-Laying Ceremony

President Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and delivers Veterans Day remarks at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Thousands Troop up Fifth Avenue for Annual Veterans Day Parade

Tens of thousands of marchers traipsed up Fifth Avenue Friday in a Veterans Day fete honoring those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as 9/11 first responders and other post-9/11 veterans. Andrew Siff reports. 

Click here for video. 

Source: NBC News 4 (New York)

Congressional Investigation: Army Needs to Do Better Job Caring for Injured Soldiers

Cuomo: 'The Exemplary Men and Women of the U.S. Armed Forces Are Heroes'

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo on Veterans Day

“As we join together to honor the service of our U.S. military veterans, we are reminded of their patriotism, courage and determination. These men and women answered the call to protect this nation and uphold the principles of liberty, freedom, and equality that we hold dear. 

“Nearly 900,000 veterans call New York home. While we will never be able to repay their sacrifice, this administration is committed to ensuring our U.S. military members and their families have full access to employment opportunities, high-quality education, healthcare and affordable housing. 

“The exemplary men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces are heroes. They have persevered through great hardship, and they have made our country safer and stronger as a result. Today, and every day, let us express our gratitude and recommit ourselves to honoring our veterans through not just words, but actions.” 

Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has made strengthening services for veterans, active service members and their families a top priority. From holding the state’s first Summit on Veterans and Military Families to launching a ‘Strike Force’ partnership with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to help alleviate the federal government’s backlog of benefit claims, the Governor has spearheaded a number of programs and reforms to support U.S. military service members across New York. 

Just in this past year, we have:

Launched a new New York State Veterans mobile app that connects veterans and their families to jobs, housing, healthcare and education;

Helped New York veterans and their families obtain more than $80 million in VA benefits;

Exempted more than 485,000 veterans from local property taxes;

Certified more businesses as Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses, bringing the total number of companies to more than 260 with $28 million in state contracts awarded; and

Recognized 44,000 veterans with a special 'veterans' designation on their driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

NYPD Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo Mourned A Hero Who Saved Fellow Cop's Life at Funeral


By Thomas Tracy, Edgar Sandoval and Stephen Rex Brown

The final act for a hero sergeant was to shout “Gun!” before taking a bullet intended for a fellow police officer.

An estimated 12,000 people mourned Paul Tuozzolo on Thursday, hailing him as a generous man who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Tuozzolo, 41, a father of two young boys, was shot in the Bronx last week as cops approached an ex-con cowering in a crashed Jeep Cherokee. The gunman shot and killed Tuozzolo, but not before Tuozzolo could warn Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo.

“Sgt. Paul saved my life, Ed,” Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, recalled Kwo telling him. “He saved my life. He saw something we didn’t see. He yelled at us, ‘Gun! Gun! Gun!’” 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The New York Daily News

Rudy Giuliani Calls College Kids 'A Bunch of Spoiled Crybabies'


Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani didn't have much sympathy for young people upset over the election of Republican Donald Trump.  

'The reality is they're a bunch of spoiled crybabies,' Giuliani, who may become Trump's attorney general, said this morning on 'Fox & Friends.' 

Giuliani was responding to reports coming from campuses that colleges are holding 'cry-ins,' bringing in therapy dogs and allowing students to play with Play-Doh or color with crayons. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Mail

Donald Trump's Lawyers to Begin Settlement Talks on Trump University

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Donald Trump's attorneys on Thursday agreed to enter settlement talks in a class-action fraud lawsuit involving the president-elect and his now-defunct Trump University, raising the possibility of a quick end to the 6 ½-year-old case just before it goes to trial.

Daniel Petrocelli, Trump's lead attorney on the case, also asked to delay the trial to early next year, saying Trump needed time to work on the transition to the presidency.

"The good news is that he was elected president. The bad news is that he has even more work to do now," Petrocelli told U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

The lawsuit alleging Trump University failed on its promise to teach success in real estate begins in San Diego on Nov. 28 before Curiel, an Indiana-born jurist who Trump accused of bias during the presidential campaign for his Mexican heritage.

Both sides accepted Curiel's offer to work with U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller, who is based in San Diego, on a possible settlement. 

Click here for the full article.


Mark Halperin Rips 'New York Times' For Continued Anti-Trump Coverage: "This Is The Onion"

Host of 'With All Due Respect' on Bloomberg TV Mark Halperin rips the New York Times for their continuously anti-Trump coverage, even after the election.

"I love The New York Times. I think it’s a great institution…” he said on MSNBC’s 'Morning Joe' on Thursday. "But look at the headline of this story," he said, holding up today's print version.

The front page headline of The New York Times today reads: "Democrats, Students And Foreign Allies Face The Reality Of A Trump Presidency". 

Click here for the full article.

Source: Real Clear Politics

Gov. Cuomo Looks Forward to Debating Trump Administration on Key Issues for New York


Sounding like someone considering a future run for President, Gov. Cuomo said he’s ready to continue the debate with President-elect Donald Trump on issues like immigration, tax cuts for the wealthy and gay rights.

Cuomo during a Thursday visit to Syracuse told reporters he’s prepared to work with the feds on key issues that impact the state like funding for transportation, housing and health care.

But he said he has “grave philosophical differences with the positions that Donald Trump laid out in the campaign.” 

Click here for the full article. 

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

Preparing to Take on Trump: NAN, Rev. Sharpton Announce Mobilization to Protect Civil Rights and Police Reform


In the wake of Donald Trump being elected president, Rev. Al Sharpton will address the beginning of a mobilization to protect civil rights and police reform at the National Action Network's House of Justice on November 12 and 9:30 a.m.  

The House of Justice is located at 106 West 145th Street at Malcolm X Blvd.

Rev. Sharpton will also announce national efforts around Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the days leading up to the presidential inauguration. Joining him will be Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, and other community members. 

The announcement will be broadcast on WLIB 1190 AM, and it will also be streamed live at

Source: Mercury 

SPLC: White Supremacists Think Their Man Won the White House


The following letter was submitted by Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). 

Yesterday, I watched Hillary Clinton give a gracious concession speech, one that was filled with hope and a touch of reassurance. It was, in some ways, a celebration of our democracy and its stability, which depends on the peaceful transition of power.

President Barack Obama, who campaigned fiercely against Donald Trump in the final weeks of the campaign, has been equally magnanimous, reminding us of the incredible dignity and grace with which he led our country over the past eight years.

I share the sentiments they expressed. We do need to give Trump a chance, for the good of our country. Maybe he will surprise us and build bridges, not walls.

But we can’t suddenly forget or forgive what he said during the campaign.

We can’t forget that Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and killers, or that he said a federal judge can’t decide a lawsuit fairly because he is a “Mexican” (he was born in Indiana).

We can’t forget that his signature campaign promise is to build a wall at the border with Mexico.

We can’t forget that he proposed banning Muslims from entering our country or that he suggested that the “Muslim community” was complicit in the terrorist attack in Orlando.

We can’t forget the despicable way he talks about women or that he bragged about sexually assaulting them.

We can’t forget that he mocked people with disabilities.

We can’t forget that he exploited ugly, racist stereotypes when he described African-American communities as “war zones” and “hell.”

We can’t forget that he failed to immediately disavow the endorsement of David Duke, a neo-Nazi and probably the most well known white supremacist in America.

We can’t forget that he named as his campaign manager a man who runs a website catering to the alt-right, a rebranded white nationalist movement.

We can’t forget that he re-circulated racist and anti-Semitic tweets.

We can’t forget that he went on Alex Jones’ radio show and told the far-right radio host that his “reputation is amazing.” Jones is, in fact, a fabulist, a con artist known for propagating wild conspiracy theories, such as his claim that the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was the work of the government.

The point is, in Trump we suddenly face a president-elect who has been wallowing in the cesspool of hate and extremism. 

White supremacists who backed his candidacy are jumping for joy. They think they now have their man in the White House. 

Andrew Anglin, proprietor of the Daily Stormer, a truly sickening website popular among neo-Nazis, declared, “Our Glorious Leader has ascended to God Emperor. Make no mistake about it: we did this.”

David Duke was equally exultant, tweeting that “our people played a HUGE role in electing Trump!” 

Kevin MacDonald, an outspoken anti-Semite and former professor, wrote, “This is an amazing victory. Fundamentally, it is a victory of White people over the oligarchic, hostile elites.”

We can’t afford to take these statements as the ravings of extremists on the fringes of society. They are now at the gates.

But it’s not just sieg-heiling Nazis and cross-burning Klansmen who should trouble Americans concerned about what a Trump victory portends. It’s also the more polite, suit-wearing extremists who move in mainstream political circles and already have their nose under the Trump tent.

They’re people like Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who birthed the viciously discriminatory, unconstitutional anti-immigrant laws enacted by Arizona, Alabama and other states several years ago; and Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state who is now a senior fellow at the rabidly anti-LGBT Family Research Council. Both are reportedly serving as key members of Trump’s transition team.

As is customary, Trump has pledged to be a president “for all Americans.”

If he truly means it, he must first boot the extremists out of his tent and tell them in no uncertain terms that they will have no voice or place in his administration. If he does that, perhaps he can begin to stanch the bleeding from the wounds he ripped open in our country.

But, given the early signs, we’re not counting on it.

No, we’re going on what Trump has been saying all along. The time is now for progressives everywhere to unite and fight with everything we have.

Senator James Sanders Jr.: Remembering All Those Who Have Served Our Country

On Veteran's Day, we remember the brave men and women of our armed forces who have defended our country and sacrificed so much to protect our freedom. As a proud Marine Corps veteran, I would like to thank my fellow service members for responding to the call of duty. Please know that I support you and stand in solidarity with you, not just on Veteran's Day, but every day. May God Bless Our Veterans and God Bless America. 

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders, Jr. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

KKK Announces North Carolina ‘Victory’ Parade

RALEIGH, N.C. — While one report of Ku Klux Klan activity in North Carolina after Donald Trump’s election as president was debunked, the real KKK has announced a rally in the state.

Trump, a Republican, was officially endorsed by the KKK during his campaign against Hillary Clinton, a Democrat. Trump won North Carolina on his way to winning the presidency, defeating Clinton in the state by nearly 5 percentage points.

Details on the rally celebrating Trump’s victory are scarce. It’s being held by The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which is based in Pelham — a small, unincorporated community about 45 minutes north of Burlington, near the Virginia border. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Raleigh News and Observer (via

Cuomo Delivers Briefing on Bethlehem Steel Plant Fire

This morning, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered a briefing and toured the site of the Bethlehem Steel Plant Fire. The blaze has been contained at this time and there are no reported injuries associated with the fire. The state is actively working with local officials, firefighters and first responders to aid affected communities and support emergency response efforts. 

The Governor directed the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management to provide immediate assistance yesterday, and has directed them to remain on scene. Additionally, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control are leading air quality monitoring efforts with other agencies. The air quality monitors provide real-time data to local emergency management officials to support any actions needed to protect public health. The state will continue to actively monitor the air quality. The Department of Transportation has provided equipment to assist with traffic control.   

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

President Obama Meeting with Donald Trump

President Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump for the first time at the White House. The two men discussed a range of issues, including the transition and foreign policy challenges facing the country. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

White House Disability and Inclusive Technology Summit

This summit brought together disability advocates, technology industry representatives, and Federal officials to examine approaches to ensure that the Internet of Things is accessible and that inclusive design is central to tech development.

Bob Cusack on Republican Control of Congress

Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of The Hill, discusses possible legislative outcomes as Republicans retain control of Congress with President-elect Donald Trump in the White House. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Racism—Aided by Democrats’ Numerous Betrayals—Wins Again: The Duopoly at Work


As I have previously noted in this space, racism, set into the Doctrine of White Supremacy, has been part of the basic fabric of life in that land which eventually became the United States of America since some of the first European settlers imported the first slaves from Africa to work their farms at the beginning of the 17th century. What I used to call the First Civil War, as is well known erupted in part over the issue of slavery in the middle of the 19th century.  The central element of the Southern ideology, which fueled that war and got many non-slave holding poor whites to fight and die to uphold the property rights of the slave-owners, is that same Doctrine of White Supremacy.

I have previously discussed how the South actually won the First Civil War because all of its principal aims were achieved, except for the maintenance, in name and property relationships, of the institution of slavery.  In essence, the institution was maintained in the South for 100 years or so through the political structure known as “Jim Crow.”  Interestingly enough, the first objective of the Ku Klux Klan and similar terror organizations established in the South during Reconstruction was to deny the recently freed slaves the vote.  (Sound familiar?)  More recently I have come to the conclusion that actually the Civil War never ended in this country.  It has simply continued through means other than the use of force.

Now, as it is well-known, since the end of the First Civil War there has always been a U.S. political party running in part on racism.  Everyone reading this column knows that until the mid-1960s and the passage of the Voting and Civil Rights Acts it was the Southern wing of the Democratic Party, and that since Nixon developed the “Southern Strategy” it has been the Republicans.  It happens that when the time came, racism and the Doctrine of White Supremacy easily found homes in the Republican Party.  One of its founding components in the 1850s was the “American Party” of the time, otherwise known as the “Know-Nothings.”  It was based on xenophobia, in that instance against Irish immigration.  In the DNA of the Republican Party was subsequently the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1885, the Immigration Act of 1924 which virtually excluded Southern and Eastern Europeans, and Jews in general, and the campaign to lock up Japanese-American citizens in the Western U.S. and Hawaii during World War II (implemented by Franklin Roosevelt but started by California Republicans led by the pre-Supreme Court Earl Warren).

“I have previously discussed how the South actually won the First Civil War because all of its principal aims were achieved, except for the maintenance, in name and property relationships, of the institution of slavery…”

Racism has been part of modern Republican Party doctrine since Barry Goldwater ran in part on his opposition to the Civil Rights Act.  That history is well-known.  But for the most part, they have used “dog-whistles,” employing racism in terms for which they could invoke plausible deniability: “oh that’s not what we meant.”  What many in the Repub. Party didn’t like about Trump was not that he is a racist, but that — being very open about it — he ripped the hood off the Party’s overall inherent racism.  (In the column just cited, I do have to immodestly say that last March I stated that I thought that Trump could win, precisely because he openly runs on racism.  Furthermore, in a  column just before that one, I discussed the “Republican Genius” of being able to enact policies that are unpopular with many voters — like encouraging the export of capital — and then blaming the very predictable outcomes on the Democrats.  Trump did that to a fare-thee-well during the campaign.)

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Greanville Post