Friday, December 14, 2018

In Memoriam: Nancy Wilson

Jazz Singer Who Turned Songs Into Stories

By Jim Farber

Nancy Wilson, whose skilled and flexible approach to singing provided a key bridge between the sophisticated jazz-pop vocalists of the 1950s and the powerhouse pop-soul singers of the 1960s and ’70s, died Thursday at her home in Pioneertown, Calif. She was 81.

Ms. Wilson’s death, which came after a long illness, was confirmed by her manager, Devra Hall Levy.

In her long and celebrated career, Ms. Wilson performed American standards, jazz ballads, Broadway show tunes, R&B torch songs and middle-of-the-road pop pieces, all delivered with a heightened sense of a song’s narrative.

“I have a gift for telling stories, making them seem larger than life,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 1993. “I love the vignette, the plays within the song.”

Some of Ms. Wilson’s best-known recordings told tales of heartbreak, with attitude. A forerunner of the modern female empowerment singer, with the brassy inflections and biting inflections to fuel it, Ms. Wilson could infuse even the saddest song with a sense of strength.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Times 

Note: From The G-Man will be going dark today in honor of the five Marines that were killed, FDNY firefighter Faizal Coto and Ms. Wilson. 

In the midst of all the bickering, chaos, scandals and uncertainty in this country, Americans would be well-served to pause and reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of the aforementioned.....and how they truly made America great.   


Thursday, December 13, 2018

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro on Firefighter Faizal Coto

CBS News: Firefighter Faizal Coto was laid to rest after being killed in an apparent road rage incident. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro spoke after his funeral.

5 Marines Killed in Midair Collision Identified

From left: Staff Sgt. Maximo Alexander Flores, 27, Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, and Maj. James M. Brophy, 3. (Click on the photo to increase its size.) 

By Luis Martinez 

The Marine Corps has identified the five Marines killed aboard a KC-130 refueling tanker when it collided with a F/A-18 fighter jet off the coast of Japan last week. They were identified as Lt. Col. Kevin R. Herrmann, 38, of New Bern, N.C., Maj. James M. Brophy, 36, of Staatsburg, N.Y., Staff Sgt. Maximo A. Flores, 27, of Surprise, Ariz., Cpl. Daniel E. Baker, 21, of Tremont, Ill., and Cpl. William C. Ross, 21, of Hendersonville, Tenn.  

They were declared deceased earlier this week after an exhaustive search and rescue effort, covering 35,000 square miles, failed to find them or their missing aircraft. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: abcNEWS
 Governor Cuomo Direct Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of Major
James M. Brophy and Other Marines Killed in Air Collision

Governor Andrew Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of Major James M. Brophy of Dutchess County and five other Marines who were killed in a collision between a KC-130 refueling plane and a F/A-18 fighter last Thursday off Japan's southern coast. Flags are currently at half-staff in honor of President George H. W. Bush, in conjunction with a federal proclamation, and will be lowered again on Monday, December 31 in honor of the Marines.

"The entire family of New York is saddened by the loss of Maj. James Brophy of Staatsburg and the five other Marines who were killed in an air collision off Japan's southern coast," Governor Cuomo said. "These Marines answered the call to serve and stepped up to defend our country and our way of life, and we owe them an eternal debt of gratitude for their service and their sacrifice. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to their families and loved ones."

Note:  Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, 28, of Miramar, Florida, the pilot of the F/A-18, was also killed in the collision.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

From The G-Man has posted the following video in honor of those killed and their service to the country. May they forever rest in peace.

Washington Lawmaker Skirts State Law to Fund Far-Right Groups

A Southern Poverty Law Center investigation has revealed that Washington state Rep. Matt Shea has donated surplus campaign funds to far-right extremist groups in Colorado and Arizona. 

Shea is a vocal supporter of the anti-public lands extremist movement and is closely affiliated with members of the militia movement. He has also formed a chapter of ACT for America, an anti-Muslim hate group. State election officials are investigating possible violations of state law.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: SPLC

Clergy and Faith Leaders Pen Letter to Ben Carson, HUD Regarding NYCHA

December 13, 2018

The Honorable Dr. Ben Carson
U.S. Department of Housing and urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20410

Dear Secretary Carson and HUD Administrators,

We are clergy members and leaders of communities of faith, with thousands of parishioners who live in NYCHA developments across the city. For the health and safety of all NYCHA residents, we believe that the City of New York must retain control of NYCHA – and that federal receivership would be harmful for the agency and for NYCHA’s more than 400,000 residents.

Since Mayor de Blasio took office, and especially over the past year, conditions at NYCHA have slowly but definitely improved. Thanks to an unprecedented $2.1-billion capital and $1.6-billion operational investment, the City is replacing roofs, fixing heat, and upgrading security. Further, the recent announcement that more than 62,000 units would come under professional, private management demonstrates the administration’s continued commitment to innovative approaches that substantively improve the lives of thousands of people.

Receivership could destroy this fragile progress. We know what happens when the federal government takes over local public housing authorities. In Gary, Indiana; Cairo, Illinois; Wellston Missouri; and Chicago, Illinois, federal receivership all ended the same way: large public housing developments were shuttered and hundreds, sometimes thousands, of residents were displaced. Even with Section 8 assistance, families are priced out of their hometowns.

In the rare instances when residents have gotten to stay in place, receivership has left them living under worsened conditions. For example, 30 years of receivership left the public housing of East St. Louis, Illinois with $180 million of capital needs – and no money to fund them.

One in 14 New Yorkers make their homes in NYCHA. They are our parishioners, our families, our teachers, our nurses, our police officers. They’re our community. And in human terms, receivership means we are turning our backs on these families.

It’s no secret that NYCHA is a troubled agency, plagued by decades of disinvestment and mismanagement across all levels. It will take many more years of cooperation and commitment across all levels of government to reverse the situation. Receivership is not only a threat to these improvements – it’s a threat to the existence of NYCHA itself.

Thank you,

Jennifer Jones Austin
CEO and Executive Director
FPWA (Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies)

Raja Abdulhaq
Executive Director
Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York

Rev. Dr. Amy Butler
Senior Minister
Riverside Church

Frederick A. Davie, M.Div.
Executive Vice-President
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

Rabbi David Niederman
The United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn
Full list of signatories

67th Precinct Clergy Council ("The God Squad")
Albanian Islamic Cultural Center
Assafa Islamic Center Inc.
Association of African American Imams & The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood Inc
Baitul Jamaat House of Community Inc.
Bangladesh Khelafat Majlis USA
Bethel Christian Church
Bethesda Healing Center
Brazilian Missionary Church
Breaking Free Ministries
Bronx Christian Fellowship Church
Cantor Alan Brava
Center for the Study and Practice of Urban Religion (C-SPUR)
New York Theological Seminary"
Charity Neighborhood Cathedral
Christian Calvary Ministries, Inc.
Church of the Ascension, NYC
Church of the First Born Ministries, Inc./Sacred Heart Church
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
Connect NYC
Dawud Mosque
Deliverance and Healing International Ministries, Inc.
East End Temple
Ecclesia Ministries of New York
Episcopal Diocese of New York
Epworth United Methodist Church
FPWA (Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies)
Full of Faith Christian Center
Fulton Street Church of God of Prophecy
Global Bible Ministries
Gospel House Ministries
Grace Worship Center Church of God of Prophecy
Grand Concourse SDA
Greater Faith Deliverance Church
Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
Hollis Avenue Congregational Church
Hope Church Astoria
House of the Lord Pentecostal Church
Interfaith Assembly On Homelessness and Housing Inc
Interfaith Center of New York
Islamic Circle of North America
Jamaica Muslim Center
John Wesley United Methodist Church
Judah International Christian Church
Kolot Chayeinu
Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York
Masjid Aqsa Salam
Micah Faith Table
Midtown South Community Council
Min. Kirsten John Foy
Mount Hermon Baptist Church
Muslim American Society of New York
National Action Network-Bronx Chapter
New Creation Ministries Inc.
New Hope Family Worship Center
New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church
New York Muslims United for Civic Engagement (NYMUCE)
New York State Chaplain Task Force
NYS Council of Churches
Parsons Temple
Pastor Bancroft Daughma
Project Hospitality
Promise Land Covenant Church
Prophetic Whirlwind
Rabbi Diana Gerson
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik
Rev. Dr. Rosalie Richards
Rev. Timothy L Morehouse
Rivers of Living Water
Sacred Fellowship Ministries, NYC
Sacred Heart
Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus
Saint Thomas Church
Salem Missionary Baptist Church
Salem United Methodist Church
SDA Church Organization
South East Queens Muslim Collective
St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Harlem
Staten Island Council of Churches
The Pentecostal House of Prayer
The Riverside Church
Triumph the Church of the New Age
Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC)
Union Theological Seminary
United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn
United Ulama Council Of USA Inc.
Upper Room Tabernacle of Deliverance Pentecostal Church
USA Mali Charitable Association of NYC
Woodycrest United Methodist Church
Zion Youth and Family Community Center of Elmont

Source: Mercury

Accused Russian Agent Butina Pleads Guilty in U.S. to Conspiracy

Click here for details. 

Source: Reuters

A 'Conference of Polluters': How Fossil Fuel Companies Are Shaping Policy at the U.N. Climate Summit

What's in the House's $867 Billion Farm Bill?

This report was published on YouTube on December 12.

Tight Deadline to Keep Government from Shutting Down

Pelosi Agrees to Term Limit Deal to Secure House Speaker Job

Prosecutors Reach Plea Deal with National Enquirer Publisher

Guatemalan Toddler Who Died After ICE Detention Subject of $60 Million Legal Claim

Mali's Schools Under Threat from Islamist Groups

Economic Migrants in Libya Opt to Return Home

Israel Discovers Secret Hezbollah Tunnels from Lebanon

This report was published on YouTube on December 12.

Embattled British PM Theresa May in Brussels for EU Summit

Fire Destroys Thousands of Voting Machines in DR Congo

US Slams Russia Over Its Joint Military Exercise with Venezuela

Putin Leads 25th Anniversary Celebrations of Russian Constitution

Obrador Moves to Scrap Mexico's Controversial Education Reforms

Freeland Comments on Huawei CFO Arrest, Trump's Attempt to Intervene

This report was published on YouTube on December 12. 

Global News: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland comments on the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou and President Trump's remarks on intervening in the situation. She also says a second Canadian is in trouble in China.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

After Khashoggi Murder, Senate Debates US Role in Yemen

Click here for details. 

Source: Associated Press

FCC Considers Ending Merger Ban Among Broadcast Networks

Click here for details. 

Source: Reuters

44 Ex-Senators Warn U.S. is 'Entering a Dangerous Period'

By Quint Forgey

A bipartisan group of nearly four dozen former senators warned current and future members of the Senate on Monday that the United States is “entering a dangerous period,” and urged them to defend America’s democracy by serving national interests rather than political ideologies.

“We are on the eve of the conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and the House’s commencement of investigations of the president and his administration,” the 44 ex-lawmakers wrote in an op-ed published by The Washington Post. “The likely convergence of these two events will occur at a time when simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations continue to threaten our security, economy and geopolitical stability.”

Click here for summary. 

Source: Politico

Senator Hatch Says Senate is in Crisis in Farewell Speech

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch says he believes the Senate is in crisis. The retiring senator says there has been a steady disintegration in political discourse and that we can't continue the current course. He also warns that the current culture wars will push the nation toward a national divorce and that the recent pipe bomb plot, the riots in Charlottesville, and the Congressional Baseball shooting are reminders that hateful rhetoric can turn to violence. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Marine Corps Commandant and Navy Secretary Testify on Readiness

Navy and Marine Corps senior officials testified on the readiness of the two military branches at a Senate Armed Services joint subcommittee hearing. Witnesses included Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller and Adm. William Moran, the vice chief of naval operations. They discussed such issues as Navy ship and submarine maintenance, military personnel training and aviation investments. In addition, Government Accountability Office Defense Capabilities Director John Pendleton provided recommendations for addressing current and future readiness challenges facing the Navy and Marine Corps. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

The Bushes and 'Honor'


With the passing of George H.W. Bush, there has been a lot of talk about him and "honor." "Except for the 'Willy Horton' ad," and perhaps one or two other things here and there, folks say, he was an "honorable man." And certainly, folks say, he came from, and bequeathed to us, an honorable family. Well, in this column we'll take a look at those propositions, and readers can make up their own minds. (And let's note that lots of other observers, mainly from the Left but not entirely, have done the same things and, of course, have found the same facts.)  

One of the early ruling class funders of the German Nazi Party was a steel magnate named Fritz Thyssen, a major player in the German steel industry. (The name still is. One of the largest German steel companies now is thyssenkrupp AG, formed by a merger of the two largest pre- and during- the War German steel companies. Neither family is involved in the company.) Thyssen early-on saw a future for the Nazi Party in dealing with the German Left which, in post-World War I Germany was powerful. In search of additional funds for it, he went abroad. 

An early foreign recruit to the Nazi cause (in 1923) was a U.S. named George Herbert Walker. Sound familiar? Well, he was a GHW Bush grandfather. On the other side of GHW's lineage, his father, Prescott Bush, was a major banker for the Nazis. (The Walkers and the Bushes obviously had a lot in common, politically.) Prescott Bush was introduced into the German/Nazi banking world by guess who? Fritz Thyssen. Even after the Nazis a) re-militarized the Rhineland (1936, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles), b) engineered the Anschluss (taking over Austria in March 1938), under the Munich Agreement (Sept. 1938) seized the Czech part of Czechoslovakia, in November 1938 unleashed what the unified German government calls the "Night of the Government Pogrom" (the Nazi name for which was "Kristallnacht," the Night of the Broken Glass). Prescott Bush banked with them.

Then in March of the following year, the Nazis took the rest of Czechoslovakia. They invaded Poland in Sept, 1939 (and immediately commenced what would become the Holocaust), defeated France in 1940, engaged in the Battle of Britain later that year, invaded the Soviet Union in June, 1941, and then declared war on the United States on Dec. 8, 1941, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the day before. Prescott Bush was still at it: making money banking for the Nazis. Only when, in February, 1942 did George Bush's father receive a phone call from President Roosevelt informing him that if he did not cease and desist immediately, he would be prosecuted under the Trading with the Enemy Act, did he indeed cease and desist. In 1952, making sure that his war record (for the Nazis) remained well-hidden, Prescott Bush was elected Senator from Connecticut. Along the way, this "honorable man" fathered a son who he would name after a maternal grandfather, his co-Nazi funder, George Herbert Walker.

It should be noted that despite the fact of who his father was, GHW did serve with honor in World War II (click here) . As a naval aviator in the Pacific theatre he flew 58 missions and survived being shot down at sea. 

Click here for the full article. 


Rep. Steny Hoyer: Democrats Believe in Border Security, Not Trump’s Wall

This report was published on YouTube on December 11.

Countdown to Government Shutdown After Trump, Democrats Spar Over Border Wall Funding

War in Yemen: How Women and Girls Are Paying the Price

Ex-Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Will a UN Accord on Migrants and Refugees Work?

British PM May to Face No-Confidence Vote

Update: 4:14 PM (EST)

Calls for Reuters Journalists' Release on Anniversary of Arrests

Why Thousands of Palestinian Refugees Are Moving Out of Lebanon

Julian Assange: Charges in the US, Trial by the Media?

Former Ford Executives Convicted in Torture Case in Argentina

NYPD Drops Charges Against Mother After Outrage Over Arrest Video

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Senate Republican Leadership News Conference

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will now vote on the Criminal Justice Reform Bill and that some amendments will be offered. He also announces plans to move forward with the Farm Bill this afternoon. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

President Trump Meeting with Democratic Leaders (Full Video)

Click photo to increase its size. 

President Trump said he would be proud to “shut down the government for border security” in an Oval Office exchange with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The leaders went back and forth over border security, building the wall, and the Congressional support and votes needed to pass funding legislation on this issue.

Click here for video. 
 Bonus Report 

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Litigation

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining more attention as days pass. Aside from the advantages that cryptocurrencies have like anonymity and easy international transactions, people are enticed by the fact that it can become a good investment. Apart from trading bitcoins for cash, you can also use bitcoins to buy gift cards, book flights, and hotels, buy furniture, or even buy real estate properties. Bitcoin purchases are not taxed at the moment since there is no way for third parties to identify, track, or intercept transactions that use bitcoins. Transaction fees are considerably lower as well compared to credit card transactions or services like Paypal.

Although there are many advantages in using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, just like any other investments, you should always be careful with your transactions. Since cryptocurrency is not regulated, many unscrupulous people have taken advantage of this and incidents of fraudulent cryptocurrencies, and other types of scam related to cryptocurrency have happened. One example of this is Prodeum, a cryptocurrency start-up that scammed its investors in just one weekend.

Because of these scams, law firms have now been involved in helping the victims. Cryptocurrency litigation has now become something that some lawyers specialize in. There are a lot of factors to consider when a cryptocurrency dispute arises. Aside from fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO), lawyers could get involved if the cryptocurrency was used to launder money or hide assets; they could also get involved when there is an issue with the company, commercial, or intellectual property laws being violated in relation to cryptocurrency.

Click here to learn what you can do as a cryptocurrency user to avoid being scammed. 

Source: Hogan Injury

Sanders Chosen as Chairman of NYS Senate Committee on Banks

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) today announced that he has been selected by Senate Democratic Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins and the Democratic Conference to be the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks. 

“I will use my position to ensure that banks are held accountable while protecting homeowners,” Sanders said. “New York is the financial capital of the world and we need to support smart legislation that prevents misfortune caused by greed and speculation. I look forward to working with my colleagues in government to better the lives of all New Yorkers.  

Senator Sanders was a member of the Senate Committee on Banks for two years, before becoming the ranking Democrat on the Committee in 2017.

In his capacity as the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Committee on Banks, Sanders began addressing the disparities in lending particularly in low- and middle-income communities by supporting the modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act, a federal law that aims to accomplish this goal. This will continue to be one of his priorities.

"The Senate Committee on Banks is crucial in ensuring the financial stability and strength of our state's economy and in my role as Chairman," Sanders said. "I will be fully committed to be a strong voice for the people."

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders Jr.

Trailblazers in Black History: Archie Alexander

This video was published on YouTube on July 12, 2018. 

Source: Everyday Black History

Teddy Riley Receives the Key To Harlem, Rocks Apollo Theater

This article was originally published on December 10. 

By Rachaell Davis 

A packed crowd from the balcony to the floor was on hand in Harlem as the Apollo Theater celebrated super-producer, singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer extraordinaire, Teddy Riley on Sunday.

The official “New Jack Swing Day” kickoff began with a presentation from Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes, who presented Teddy Riley, Keith Sweat, Damien Hall and Kool Moe Dee with the keys to the city of Harlem before an intimate gathering of family, fellow artists and fans just outside of the historic venue on Sunday morning.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Essence 

'Our Leaders Are Behaving Like Children': Teen Climate Activist Confronts World Leaders

Rex Tillerson Opens Up on Trump and His Firing: 'We Did Not Have a Common Value System'

This report was published on YouTube on December 7.

Why Cohen's Hush Money Places the President at Legal Risk

This report was published on YouTube on December 10.

The Washington Post Investigates Price Fixing of Generic Drugs

The Debrief: Trump Meets with Pelosi and Schumer, Accused Russian Agent Reaches Plea Deal

Huawei Exec. Arrested: 'Whether the US is Striking a Good Point Remains to Be Seen'

Riding Wave of Social Unrest, French High School Students Vow ‘Black Tuesday’ Protests

What Do India Regional Elections Mean for PM Modi?

China's Reliance on Coal: Pivot to Green Energy Difficult

Yemen Government and Houthis Remain Deadlocked Over Hodeidah

World's Indifference to Sexual Violence Must End: Nobel Laureates

Brexit: EU Says Current Divorce Deal with UK 'Only Deal Possible'

Global News: The European Union is willing to give Britain further clarifications on its Brexit deal but will not renegotiate the treaty or its protocol on the Irish border, EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker said on December 11.

Google GEO Testifies to Congress on User Data Privacy

Global News: Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee on data collection and privacy policies, the controversial China search engine plans, and alleged political bias.

Gov. Cuomo to U.S. State Department: Maintain Buffalo Refugee Resettlement Sites

Governor Andrew Cuomo today issued a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo calling on the U.S. State Department to maintain Buffalo refugee resettlement sites amid concerns that the Administration will close sites after it reduced the cap on refugees to record lows.

Click here to review the letter.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Community Advisory Committee to Guide Amazon Headquarters Project

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the formation of a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to share information and solicit ongoing community input about Amazon's planned headquarters project in Long Island City, Queens. Members of the CAC will work through three subcommittees to develop plans for the headquarters and onsite public amenities, investments in neighborhood infrastructure to benefit the surrounding communities, and training and hiring programs to ensure that homegrown talent fills the 25,000 to 40,000 new jobs at the headquarters.

The CAC is comprised of community and citywide stakeholders recommended by local elected officials. Past CACs have significantly shaped development projects led by Empire State Development (ESD) helping ensure that community priorities and needs are considered throughout the process.

"Amazon's new headquarters in Long Island City is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our economy and community input will be a critical part of the development process," Governor Cuomo said. "We look forward to working with local elected officials, community organizations and residents to ensure their voices are heard as we work to create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs, generate billions in revenue that will be reinvested in the region, strengthen our infrastructure, and expand opportunity for New Yorkers."

Mayor de Blasio said, "Amazon's new headquarters will bring more than 25,000 jobs benefitting all New Yorkers from NYCHA residents to CUNY students. The Community Advisory Committee will bring together stakeholders of all backgrounds to help shape this important plan. Robust community engagement is critical to ensuring that the investments and resources generated from this project serve the needs of everyone in Long Island City and beyond."

Click here for the full announcement.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Dozens of Vets Seek Employment at Queens Job & Resource Fair

Many veterans in attendance took time to explore the job opportunities and resources offered by the vendors at the fair. (Click on the photos to increase their size.)

New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) held a Veterans Job & Resource Fair at the Daniel M. O'Connell American Legion Post 272 in Rockaway Beach.  The December 7 event coincided with Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and provided an opportunity to both assist veterans and celebrate their service to our country.

"I’m always amazed at how everyone says they love the troops until you come home, then suddenly you are forgotten," Sanders said. “We need to turn this around. Yes, absolutely we support the troops, but we also have an obligation to look out for our veterans”

Dozens of veterans, representing nearly every branch of the military, packed the legion, which is housed inside the Knights of Columbus seeking jobs and other assistance. There were over 40 different organizations on hand to help with their needs.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were available to provide support with healthcare and other VA benefits. The NYS Comptroller’s Office of Unclaimed Funds helped vets search for cash on the spot. Animal Care Centers of New York spoke to attendees about their free Pets for Vets Program, and there was much more.

A wide array of job opportunities were also available in fields ranging from healthcare and construction to transportation and retail. Vets Inc., a veteran-owned and operated company, catered the complimentary lunch for the event, which was sponsored by RMD Holdings LLC.

“We at RMD Holdings LLC are honored to do our small part in support of our United States military veterans, and we appreciate Senator Sanders’ leadership in organizing this job fair for local veterans,” Charles Hopkins, President and CEO of RMD Holdings LLC. said.  “We greatly admire these men and women veterans who have made the deepest of sacrifices to this country and are humbled by their courage, conviction and patriotism.”

In commemoration of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Senator Sanders called for a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in that surprise attack on the American military, while Jim Trainor, Adjutant of American Legion Post 272, spoke briefly about the history of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders Jr.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Maria Butina Agrees to Cooperate With U.S.

Butina has inked an agreement with prosecutors and becomes the first Russian since the 2016 election to confess to a crime connected to efforts to influence American politics.

By Betsy Woodruff

Maria Butina, a Russian national who cultivated relationships with powerful American conservative activists, agreed Monday to plead guilty to conspiring to violate laws prohibiting covert foreign agents. As part of her agreement, which was reviewed by The Daily Beast, she has promised to cooperate with American law enforcement.

As a result of the deal, Butina will become the first Russian national since the 2016 election to plead guilty to a crime connected to efforts to influence American politics. After running a gun rights organization in Russia, she moved to the United States, where she spent years building relationships with conservatives in hopes of influencing a future Republican presidential administration. During the campaign season, she questioned then-candidate Donald Trump about sanctions; built relationships in the upper echelons of the American gun rights community; arranged for NRA leaders to travel to Moscow; and bragged that she was a channel between Team Trump and the Kremlin, as The Daily Beast first revealed.

She also struck up a romance with Paul Erickson, a longtime Republican gadfly close to NRA leaders. He sang Disney songs with her on camera, called her his “Siberian princess” in emails reviewed by The Daily Beast, and—since her July arrest—has visited her regularly in jail.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

NY Blogger Unmasked and Sued for Libel Wants Court Case Public

An I-Team Report

A Rockland County blogger seeking to uncover crimes in the Jewish community has revealed herself. 

This report was originally broadcast on December 4. 

By Sarah Wallace

Julie Globus is now owning the name: LostMessiah.

For two and a half years, the Rockland County resident -- a wife, mother and attorney -- wrote an anonymous blog under that name. The blog’s stated purpose: "To uncover crimes, misdeeds and abuses within segments of the Jewish community in the hopes of effectuating change."

In an exclusive interview, Globus told the I-Team she had two separate focuses: "One was on the ultra-Orthodox community, and the money -- where it was coming and going? And I was focusing on sexual abuse. I think there is a need to hold myself and others within that religious community accountable."

Globus said she wanted to remain anonymous to protect her family."The subject matter that I was touching on was really dangerous stuff, like police corruption. Russian diamond smuggling."

Click here for the full article and video report. 

Source: NBC News 4 New York

Click here for additional information on Julie Globus and to find out how you can help.

McNamee Win a Pyrrhic Victory for the Fossil Fuelers?

'Future Hope' Column

By Ted Glick

In the end, the fossil fuel extremist Bernard McNamee squeaked through by the narrowest of margins—50 to 49 on a totally party-line vote, on both sides. 49 Democrats voted against him; 50 Republicans voted for him.

Susan Collins, supposedly someone who is concerned about the “serious consequences” of the climate crisis, could have prevented McNamee’s confirmation by the Senate to be a commissioner of the gas-industry-rubber-stamping agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. But she didn’t. Very shameful. Just for this and the Kavanaugh votes, Collins really should be shown the Senate exit door come 2020.

McNamee has to be pretty bad, a beyond-the-pale fossil fueler, for even coal-loving Joe Manchin to change his committee vote of a week before and join his 48 fellow Democrats to do the right thing. Manchin said that the reason he did so was because he hadn’t seen the infamous McNamee video before the committee vote. Some people think it was because he’s very interested in being named Democratic leader of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee. Conspiracy theorists wonder if he coordinated with Susan Collins in advance to be sure she wasn’t going to vote her beliefs and cause his “change of heart” to be responsible for McNamee’s defeat.

So how significant is the ascension of McNamee to FERC leadership?

It could become very significant if Trump names him the new FERC chair. Mafioso Don can do that legally, without triggering a Mueller investigation or any other legal action. But given the 49 Senate votes, it sure seems unlikely that even Trump would be stupid enough to do this. Talk about revolting!

Click here for the full article. 


Legislation Signed to Protect NY Non-Profits from Federal Tax Hike

Governor Andrew Cuomo today signed legislation (S.08831/A.11051) to protect non-profits from a tax hike resulting from the federal tax bill. This legislation decouples the New York State tax code from a change made to the federal Unrelated Business Income Tax by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which considered the amount paid or incurred by any non-profit employer for commuter benefits, such as transit or parking, as taxable income.

"The federal tax bill egregiously raises costs on non-profits operating in New York State," Governor Cuomo said. "By decoupling from this area of the federal tax code, we are taking action to protect these critical organizations from the federal assault and sending a strong message that New York stands with the non-profit community."

Without legislation, New York would automatically follow the new federal statute, which would impose an additional 9% tax on not-for-profits and divert millions of dollars from the nonprofit sector each year. Today's legislation will ensure that non-profit employers can continue to subtract expenses for commuter benefits when calculating the state Unrelated Business Income Tax.

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer said, "The change made to the federal unrelated business income tax seriously hurts non-profits in New York and put many of them at risk. By signing this legislation, Governor Cuomo is standing up for these groups. I commend the Governor for taking this important action."

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Judge Calls for Examination of Quality Controls in New York Supported Housing System

The day ProPublica and Frontline reported how people with mental illness are slipping through the cracks, federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis questioned state officials, suggested more help and requested a report on oversight. 

by Joaquin Sapien

This story was co-published with Frontline.

At a court hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis questioned New York state officials and disability advocates about people with mental illness dying or coming to harm after moving from adult group homes into “supported housing” apartments, problems raised in a ProPublica and Frontline investigation published that day with The New York Times.

He ordered an independent report to assess the effectiveness of the state’s incident reporting system, got the state to commit to examining its service-coordination program and suggested the state develop a program to help residents learn and practice basic life skills in supported housing.

Four years ago, in a landmark settlement secured by advocates, Garaufis issued a court order offering more than 4,000 adult home residents in New York City a chance to move. The idea was that many did not need to live in such facilities — which can house hundreds of residents and have a history of abuse and neglect — and could instead thrive in their own apartments with the right support. The order instructed evaluators to presume that all residents would be fit to do so.

But ProPublica and Frontline found that clinicians evaluating adult home residents for the transition felt censored when they raised concerns about a person’s ability to live alone, and that workers felt pressured to “sell the move,” even to people who they thought were ill-equipped.

Click here for the full article.

Source: ProPublica

Yanis Varoufakis and Bernie Sanders Launch New Global Movement Against Far Right

The report was published on YouTube on December 7.

The Remarkable Tale of the Corporate Lobbyist Sworn in as a Temporary U.S. Senator

Late last month, two former policymakers and lobbyists teamed up for an op-ed in the Washington Post. It was, as the genre goes, fairly mundane: a description of a problem or a threat, and a prescription that just happens to benefit a particular corporate sector that the lobbyists just might have an interest in benefiting.

In a piece titled “Why America needs low-yield nuclear warheads now,” Michael Morell and Jon Kyl argued that Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization programs demanded a response. “Russia is intent on exploiting what it perceives as a U.S. nuclear capability gap,” they write. “We must change that calculation” by adding submarine and sea-launched missiles with nuclear warheads. This would increase deterrence and prevent nuclear war, they claim; otherwise Russia will strike first.

The only difference here is that while Morell is a lobbyist — technically speaking a “senior counsel” at advisory firm Beacon Global Strategies — Kyl no longer is. As of this writing, Jon Kyl is a sitting U.S. senator.

Kyl, who served in the House and the Senate for decades but retired in 2012, was chosen to replace the late John McCain on an interim basis, as a placeholder before a special election for the seat in 2020. But Kyl, who was sworn in September 5, never committed to filling out the vacancy for the next two years; from the beginning, he only committed to serve through the lame-duck session, and he is widely expected to leave after that. That means that the final senator for the next Congress has yet to be determined.

Few have paid much attention to Kyl, who is wrapping up one of the strangest and — to his critics — one of the most corrupt tenures in the modern history of the Senate. Kyl was a registered lobbyist at a powerhouse D.C. law firm, who lived and worked in Washington for five and a half years before taking a four-month gig as a senator. His only floor speeches have involved matters at least glancingly tied to his lobbying. His entire term of office seems like a calculated attempt to refresh his contacts and gain clout from the inside, only to spin back out to influence the institution. He’s supposed to represent Arizona, but increasingly it appears that he only represents K Street.

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Source: The Intercept_ 

Top House Dems Raise Prospect of Impeachment, Jail for Trump

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Source: Associated Press

U.S. Job Openings Data Points to Growing Worker Shortage

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Source: Reuters

Senator Cory Booker Remarks to New Hampshire Democrats

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) addressed New Hampshire Democrats at the party’s 2018 post-election celebration at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Before his address, the state’s top Democrats - including all four members of its Capitol Hill delegation - spoke about the party’s victories in the midterm election. Senator Booker talked about how he initially became involved with politics in his home state of New Jersey and told stories about his first community organizing efforts. Following his remarks, he greeted attendees at the event and took pictures with many of them. 

This report was broadcast on December 8. 

Click here for video.