The administration has suggested it could charge ‘event management’ costs for protests and close 80% of the sidewalks
Donald Trump has frequently and falsely crowed about the idea of so-called paid protesters, including most recently the sexual assault survivors who confronted senators in the lead up to the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. Now his administration may be trying to turn that concept on its head, by requiring citizens to pay to be able to protest, among other affronts to the first amendment.
Under the proposal introduced by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in August, the administration is looking to close 80% of the sidewalks surrounding the White House, and has suggested that it could charge “event management” costs, for demonstrations.
Currently the National Park Service is able to recoup costs for special events, but not spontaneous protests like the ones that typically take place in Lafayette Park across from the White House. These charges could include the cost of erecting barriers, cleaning fees, repairs to grass, permit fees and the salaries of official personnel on hand to monitor such demonstrations, all tallied at the discretion of the police.
Naturally, civil liberties groups consider the proposals an affront to the rights guaranteed under the first amendment. As the ACLU notes, such fees “could make mass protests like Martin Luther King Jr’s historic 1963 March on Washington and its ‘I have a dream’ speech too expensive to happen”.
During the Vietnam War the federal government attempted to impose similar barriers to citizens freely assembling in protest and were sued by the ACLU. In their ruling the courts reasserted the fact that “the use of parks for public assembly and airing of opinions is historic in our democratic society, and one of its cardinal values”.
The White House sidewalk, Lafayette Park, and the Ellipse were unique sites for the exercise of those rights, they ruled, and therefore they could not “accord deference to an executive approach to the use of the White House sidewalk that is rooted in a bias against expressive conduct…”
The National Park Service has attempted to justify the proposal by pointing out that large protests, like the Women’s March, overtax their abilities, and place a heavy cost on the government. One might argue when it comes to preserving our right to protest no cost is too high.
The public has until 15 October to comment on the plans. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/12/trump-administration-plans-crackdown-on-protests-outside-white-house
Kanye West, with his bizarre White House meeting Thursday with Donald Trump, gave fresh proof that the line between celebrity and politician is truly no longer a thing.
West, sitting across from the Trump at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, went into a nearly 10-minute speech, wearing Yeezy boots and his famous “Make America Great Again” hat.
Here are some of the wildest comments West made during his soliloquy:
1. “This is our president, he has to be the freshest, the flyest, the flyest planes, the best factories and we have to make our core be in power.”
2. Trump “might not have expected to have a crazy motherfucker like Kanye West supporting him.”
3. West said he would potentially run for president “only after 2024.”
4. “I love this guy.” [Followed up with a hug.]
5. “The problem is illegal guns, illegal guns is the problem. Not legal guns. We have the right to bear arms.”
6. “Let’s stop worrying about the future, all we have is today. … Trump is on his hero’s journey right now.”
7. “There was something about when I put this hat on it made me feel like Superman. You made a Superman, that’s my favorite superhero, you made a Superman cape for me.”
8. “One of the moves I love that liberals try to do ― a liberal would try to control a black person with the concept of racism because they know we are a very proud, emotional people.”
9. Talking about the Constitution’s 13th Amendment, which forbids slavery: “Why would you keep something around that’s a trap door? If you’re building a floor, the Constitution is the base of our industry, of our country, of our company. Would you build a trap door that if you mess up and accidentally something happens, you fall and you end up next to the Unabomber? You got to remove all that trap door out of the relationship.”
10. “I think the way the universe works is perfect. We don’t have 13 floors, do we?”
11. “Time is a myth.”
12. “You are tasting a fine wine. It has complex notes to it.”
13. “My dad and my mom separated, so there was not a lot of male energy in my home, and also I’m married to a family where, you know, there’s not a lot of male energy. It’s beautiful though.”
14. “I love Hillary. I love everyone, but the campaign ‘I’m with her’ just didn’t make me feel — as a guy.”
Trump said at one point that West “can speak for me any time he wants. He’s a smart cookie. He gets it.”
When West was finished speaking, Trump told the reporters around them: “I tell you what ― that was pretty impressive. That was quite something.”
West responded: “It was from the soul. I just channeled it.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the meeting earlier this week, saying that “West is coming to the White House to have lunch with President Trump and he will also meet with Jared Kushner. Topics of discussions will include manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence, and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago.”
Last month, West appeared on “Saturday Night Live” wearing the red MAGA hat and promoting Trump. After the show ended, he treated the studio audience to a pro-Trump, anti-Democrat rant that was booed and later slammed by cast member Pete Davidson as“one of the worse things I’ve ever seen working here.”
West, husband of reality TV star Kim Kardashian, has been extremely vocal about his enthusiasm for the president, frequently posting about Trump on social media.
Fifty-one forty-eight, (51-48 ) the final vote of the United States Senate led by Republicans. The vote to elevate Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was straight Party line with the exception of West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin voting [Yea] with the Republicans and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski voting no. Pivotal to the process of Kavanaugh’s ascendancy was the hope that Maine’s wishy-washy, hand-wringing Republican Senator Susan Collins would be a potential no.
From the offset, those opposed to Kavanaugh hung their hats on two male senators. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Both men are staunch Conservatives who vote lockstep with their party on issue after issue, both have had a lukewarm to a frigid relationship with Donald Trump and both are not seeking re-election to the Senate.
The hopefuls were of the opinion that both men were free to stand out and stand for something, that something being with Democrats in opposition to the Kavanaugh nomination. Being unconstrained from not having to face the radical right-wing voters in their respective states, many were hopeful that at least one of the two men, Jeff Flake would be a savior in what they construed to be an existential fight for the soul of the supreme court and for America.
But more than Flake and Corker, women across the nation, uneasy about the prospect of Roe V Wade with a potential Justice Kavanaugh on the highest court, looked to Murkowski and Collins, two female US Senators whom they believed were amiable or open to reason.
Throughout the tumultuous process, Susan Collins played Susan Collins to a “T” taking both sides of the issue, saying that Dr. Ford deserves to be heard while at the time saying that Brett Kavanaugh gave her certain assurances that Roe V Wade is settled law. The wishy-washy Maine US Senator was in her element, pretending to care about women’s issues while reveling in the idea that the eyes of the nation were on her.
Senator Murkowski kept how she would vote to herself, many of her constituents flew down from Alaska to lobby their senator to vote against Brett Kavanaugh, as did many Maine voters to lobby Susan Collins. Jeff Flake, seeming conflicted as to how to vote, voted to move the Kavanaugh nomination out of committee, on condition that there was one final one-week of investigations by the FBI regarding the allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
But anyone with the slightest idea of the way investigations are conducted knew right away that that was a hoax. There can be wide parameters placed around how long an investigation [may] take, but to suggest that any meaningful followup investigation must begin and be concluded within a week is essentially perpetuating a fraud on the country.
Chris Coons, Delaware’s Democratic US Senator and friend of Jeff Flake believed every word of his friends charade when he asked for a week more so that the FBI could check out the claims of Doctor Christine Blasey Ford. Little did Coons know that Flake’s play was nothing more than a ploy to give cover to Republicans to cut off debate and force the vote to put Kavanaugh on the court.
Flake played right into Trump and Mitch McConnell’s hands. Trump would ultimately limit the scope and reach of the Investigations while a truncated report would give leverage to Republicans who would then argue that the FBI had cleared Kavanaugh because there was nothing to Dr. Ford’s claims. It was a terrific sleigh of hand which gave the Democrats temporary respite but a terrible heartburn in the end.
Jeff Flake may or may not have presidential ambitions but his part in that plot was masterful. He came off as a statesman who believed in process and protocol but a closer look reveals his move was a cynical ploy which ultimately gave Republicans the cover they needed to close out debate on the Kavanaugh nomination.
More women came out and accused Brett Kavanaugh of improper sexual behavior, more corroborating witnesses emerged begging the FBI to contact them. We have a story to tell they claimed. Unfortunately, the FBI had no interest in their truths, no interest in what they had to say. Kavanaugh, cried, lied, and threatened Democratic senators and the nation. His temperament was a classic example of a belligerent drunk, but none of that gave Republicans pause. Instead, they doubled down on their nominee. When the battles are being waged around a woman’s right to chose, as they surely will be, let it be remembered that Lisa Murkowski stood tall, the Republican men acted as Republican men do, Joe Manchin protected his ass over his country, Jeff Flake was true to his name and Susan Collins gave the middle finger to women.
In the end, the FBI concluded a sham investigation which did not include an interview of neither the accused or the accuser. We are told only nine people were interviewed and true to the principles of a state run by a strongman the results of the sham investigations were not made public. In fact, Senators had very limited time to browse through the single copy of the report which was placed in a secure room in the bowels of the Senate building.
Mitch McConnell had pulled off a perfect trifecta. (1) He had blocked most of President Obama’s Federal appointments for the federal judiciary. (2) In an unprecedented move, he had blocked the ascent of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. President Obama a twice-elected President had every right to appoint a replacement for the deceased partisan Antonin Scalia and (3) McConnell had stolen the seat in which sits Neil Gorsuch, a staunch right-wing functionary appointed by Donald Trump a president who has been named as an unindicted criminal co-conspirator.
Today Saturday, October 6th is the day the United States Senate ignored the allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh and voted to advance the nomination to make Brett Kavanaugh an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th justice in the history of the court. This day may be the day historians look back on and say this was the day we lost America. Or not.
The consequences of this vote today will be lasting on the American society. In the end, the FBI director, Christopher Wray will raise his hand and he will tell the Congress that a fair investigation was done by his agents, and it will be a lie. Donald Trump has corroded literally every public body in the country. One thing is certain, however, is the blatant dishonesty and lack of process with which the Republicans handled this nomination. Scared of potentially losing the House and possibly the Senate they perpetuated a monumental fraud on the nation all in the name of politics and the perpetuation of white supremacy. Country be damned. And that may very well be the end result of this fraud.
My dearly departed grandfather and great aunt always said: “what cost nothing gives good measure“. It is a parable which sounds complicated but has a very simple meaning. If you did not pay for something, or if you do not place any value on something you most likely will be careless and reckless with its handling and care.
The malignant cancer of violence and murder in our country and in particular the murder of our women may very well have their Genesis in that parable. My son uses my wife’s car to deliver piazza when he is home from college, no problem. As soon as he got his own car and his mom borrowed it, he went to great pains to lecture her about not getting a scratch on it. When we pay for something ourselves or place real value on the things we have access to, or own, we tend to be far more judicious with their care.
Most actions we take lead to consequences down the road. The cheapening of life through our everyday discourse, the music we listen to the movies we watch, violent video games and in Jamaica’s case the wanton degradation some women subject themselves to are only a few of the characteristics which form the perfect conditions for the whirlwind of murder the nation is experiencing today. At this point, I can hear in my head the fallacious arguments quote: “people get killed everywhere not just in Jamaica. I can just imagine the Google searches to find mass killings in other parts of the world, ready to copy and paste in the rebuttal to the legitimate angst we feel at the unnecessary and wanton shedding of blood. Defending killings is now a noble way to spend time for many.
For those concerned, not just about the run-away murders and the resultant consequences of the trauma on the nation’s children, I ask, no I beseech you, take a stand against this lunacy. For far too long this perverse and macabre way of life have dominated our popular culture while we go on living as if nothing is wrong, or that nothing can be done about it.
If the politicians seem unable or unwilling then the people must stand up for the country we were blessed with and demand that this madness stop. But before we do that, we need to make some changes in our own lives. We must eschew violence and the glorification of it. We must stop speaking it to our children. We must stop listening to the murder music and We must anchor our beliefs to something more lasting, more enduring than material things.
Women must stop cheating on their spouses and significant others, out of greed for material possessions or sexual lust. Men must stop believing that the women in their lives are a disposable commodity which can be replaced with another. Many of you claim to love your children yet you kill their mothers and leave the very same children, your children, traumatized for life. Others kill Both the women who bore their children and the children of their loins. You are sub-human, you are beneath the animals, you are monsters.
There is no escaping the stark realities of the(“materialistic bun culture,”) women who want more than the men in their lives can afford, who cheat to get material things they cannot afford. Women who insist that the men in their lives have to steal to-be with them. This is something I have written about for years. Oh for the times whilst I was an officer looking real spiffy in my uniform, and the women who openly flirted with me. ” Bway yu neetan cleeen an hansumeeh, but yu a police , my man haffiteef , police nu meknu money”. All this while decked out in Jewellery from ear to toes. Where do-you think the jewelry came from?
I am not laying this solely at the feet of women as I am almost certain some will argue. Far from it, all I am saying is that much of what men do begins with what women demand, what women teach, and what women allow. Why have sex with a man who has made no commitment to you? Why have a child with a man who has another woman or worse, several other women? Why have children with a man who cannot stay out of jail? Why complain when you gave up your power several children ago when you had the power to say “NO”? Many female birds will not mate with the male of their kind unless he first builds a suitable nest and decorates it inside and out, upon which she inspects it and decides whether it is good enough. If she doesn’t like what she sees, she Flies away and its all for naught.
On the other hand, when women make demands that men cannot meet they tend to push the envelope to get what their women want. Children in the relationships observe the power dynamics playing out live what they learn. The men who strive for material trappings through whatever means, largely tend to do so to attract women as one of their primary motivations. This places us in the same category as the male peacock which shows off its awesome plumage to attract the female.
We have a twisted value system which glorifies and lust for material extravagance rather than places the appropriate value on life. The insatiable and rapacious desire to have the best of everything have cheapened life and turned humans into monsters. A woman visiting the United States walked into my business-place with her elderly father, the father wanted to purchase a cell phone for her to use while she is visiting. He also needed a phone she could use when she returned to Jamaica. She was embarrassingly ungrateful, berating her father for not having wi-fi at home in front of other customers and myself. The gentleman explained he did not need wi-fi as he was gone all day, on his return home at nights [he explains], he watches a little television and that was that.
That did not appease her but she went on to demand that her elderly father purchase the newest i-phone. He balked at spending that much money which he seemingly did not have, or wanted to spend.[he had a flip phone] She insisted she wanted unlimited data, so I asked her if she had unlimited data back home , she responded in the negative. She cannot afford unlimited data in Jamaica but she berated and embarrassed her elderly father because she wanted the most expensive phone with unlimited data, which neither her nor her elderly dad could afford.
The Christian values we were raised on have long become a topic of scorn and derision, it is fairy tales, nonsense, we are now too intellectually forward-leaning to believe in a God we cannot see.[sic] How dare anyone place any restrictions on our lascivious and materialist pursuits? How dare anyone expect that we respect elders, our teachers, the laws, how dare anyone tell us Jamaicans what we can and cannot do? When we sow the wind we reap the whirlwind, it is that simple.
My *friend* [*used loosely] stopped by to see me yesterday, I had not seen him in quite a while.
He has had some health issues, in fact, that was largely what we talked about. He told me his Doctors are suggesting a pacemaker to augment the performance of his heart.
He lamented the fact that even if he was placed on a donor list he would likely die before he could receive a new heart.
He had been living a long time with a bad heart, it had been bad enough for his employers to allow him to retire long before he was of the age to do so.
Additionally, he has been having marital problems, and to compound his woes, his only child a boy who just turned sixteen years old does not listen to anything he says. These things he argues brings on an additional layer of stress.
Wanting to take his mind off his problems I asked so how do you think your president is doing?
It was small talk, just a feeble attempt to get his mind off what he is going through, at least for a minute or two.
My friend over the last several years had also given his life to Christ, [or so he says] and is now a devoted Seventh Day Adventist, * more to appease and change the attitude of his wife toward him, than any burning religious conviction he harbors*.
My comment was expected to at least elicit a snarl, a contemptuous laugh at the prospect that he a black man born in England to Jamaican parents and a long-time immigrant to the United States, would claim the present occupant of the White House as his president.
He quickly responded, ” (mi vote fi him because mi wah him fi check de gay dem“!) my mouth fell open, this was news to me.
People are free to vote for whomever they chose, but wow! I was dumbfounded by his response.
And so my mind began to race. Ok, I get the idea that as a Christian he is opposed to homosexuality, but what about the people themselves, you know hate the sin but love the sinner? I guess not, “mi neva like di way dem a gi di gay dem status“, he doubled down.
It seems that as far as contemporary Christian orthodoxy goes these days there are some sins which are far more egregious than others, but that is way above my pay grade to decide.
(1)Donald Trump bragged about grabbing women by the pussy.
(2) Donald Trump bragged about walking in on young women while they were in a state of undress.
(3) Donald Trump bragged about just kissing beautiful women, he talks about his inability to restrain himself but tells Billy Bush that whey you are a star they let you do get away with it.
(4) Donald Trump spent hundreds of thousands of dollars smearing the central park five and never apologized.
(5) Donald Trump refused to rent to people of color and lied about it.
(6) Donald Trump had unprotected sex with a porn star while his wife was at home with their four-month-old baby.
(7) Donald Trump lied in order to dodge the draft.
(8) Donald Trump said that there were decent people on both sides in response to the racist tiki-torch march in Chorletsville.
(9) Donald Trump has been accused of laundering Russian dirty money.
(10) Donald Trump and his campaign have been accused of conspiring with a hostile foreign power to rig the American elections.
(11) Donald Trump went to Puerto Rico and threw paper towels at the people after the ordeal of the hurricane.
(12) Donald Trump rips children from their parents, deport the parents and keep the babies locked in cages, defying court orders in the process.
(13) Donald Trump led a birther smear campaign against the nations first African-American President, only stating that Obam was an American citizen just before the elections of 2016.
(14) Donald Trump hates Blacks, Mexicans. other Hispanics, Muslims, and everyone not a white male.
This list just begins to scratch the surface of the degenerative character of Donald Trump, but my friend’s animus against “the gays” [sic] far outweighed all of them.
This is the mental rot which has taken over the mind of people through the vehicle of religious indoctrination.
Let me be clear, I will not purport to know what God wants except my reading and understanding of what the Bible says.
If that is our guidebook which it is, then its rather difficult to justify such animus on one hand, while showing such tolerance for a long litany of transgressions on the other.
Remarkably, the views expressed by my friend has been the dominant view which has come out of Trump’s base of support.
Many experts more qualified to speak on this subject, than I ever could be, have labeled this kind of thinking a”cult following.”
The arguments of Trump’s cultists hardly makes sense, willful ignorance maybe, I have no idea? Yet it seems strange to hear them say “yes I know he did these things but the economy is good.” (never mind that the economy has been on an upward trend since 2009 under President Obama and has seen higher growth numbers than anything which has happened under Trump so far}.
For others, it’s “yes but he is putting judges on the courts” “yes but we don’t like abortion” “yes but he is sending home those illegals.“
It’s an insane sense of blind ignorance and allegiance to a deviant narcissistic liar, shrouded in a cloak of religious apostasy.
It is a new order which redefines and changes traditional ideas of Christian principles, replacing them with a more elastic interpretation, which sanitizes whatever Trump does as long as he fights against the people they hate.
The cult following is probably less about Donald Trump and more about power. Who has the power to take on the things they want to fight against?
The browning of America has initiated a freak out among the white political right. They see the forecasts, people of color will become a majority of the American working class by 2032. This estimate, based on long-term labor force projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and trends in college completion by race and ethnicity, is 11 years sooner than the Census Bureau projection for the overall U.S. population, which becomes “majority-minority” in 2043. According to the Economic Policy Institute.
So it is no accident that even though Republican darling, Ronald Reagan, granted Amnesty to undocumented immigrants, the word “Amnesty” is now tantamount to treason in Republican circles. In fact, based on their recent love fest with Russia treason is no longer a problem for them.
Trump is not the problem as Obama rightly said, he is merely a symptom of a deeper problem. Trump understood that there was a disaffected portion of the population which feels itself under-represented in today’s politics.
The media’s characterization of them over the years has evolved substantially. During the Reagan years, they were called “Reagan Democrats“, since then they have been known as “white working class blue collar workers“, “The tea party,” and now they are “Trumper’s“.
The single thread which runs through these so-called disaffected people is victimhood. Experts say they are forgotten people who have found it hard to fit into the economic boom of the last several decades.
I call [BS], the vast majority of them are Racist underachievers who want to blame others for their own personal failings.
They are older and less educated(Trump famously said I love the poorly educated). These people have become his base, their disaffection, sense of victimhood and hatred, is the fuel to his ascendency to the presidency.
By appealing to their Racism and fear, Trump has used demagogic rhetoric to stir up the hatred which was already within them. The kind of racial hatred only a few still alive has seen in their lifetime.
These Trump supporters may not all be racist loafers, but they damn sure aren’t demonstrating the vaunted can-do American spirit we’ve heard so much about.
To suggest that one is from a long line of Miners and as such Government has a responsibility to ensure that coalmines stay open to facilitate this generation of miners is asinine.
If the world is evolving from burning dirty fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas, to nuclear, wind and solar why would any intelligent person refuse to adapt to the changing times?
That is the essence of victimhood. Their attitude is that the times should stay still for them and if it doesn’t, those who have evolved through skills training and academic education are either elitist if they are white, worthy of deportation if they are people of color.
That is the rancid disaffection which runs through the entire Republican South, the Midwest and other parts of the country.
In many instances, a look at the electoral map, [Republican in red], depicts where this mindset is centered.
In these parts of the country, there is more poverty despite the fact that they are heavily white and vote overwhelmingly Republican.
As a consequence these people are generally a drain on the Federal Government for goods and services, their states send less money to Washington than they receive.
Yet listening to them the people living in Democratic states are somehow dependent on the largess of the Government despite the facts, facts do not matter to them.
Their sense of being left behind is not based on facts but on their own refusal to adapt to the changing times.
And so they hitch their wagons to Donald Trump and here we are. A pathological lying narcissist is their savior but wait he is better than “the gays”.[sic]
People are asked to speak at events for any number of reasons. Usually, because they may have something important to say or that they may represent the organization in a good light, based on who they are and what they are likely to say.
From Presidents to recovering drug addicts, speakers of all kinds grace stages to deliver their message. Some are paid handsomely, others not so much and even others nothing at all.
Shoot, even I have been asked a time or two to speak to a couple of people, though I never knew if anyone bothered listening to anything I said.
And so I will never question the motivation of the People’s National Party ‘s decision to have Mr. Bakari Sellers as keynote speaker on opening night at their 80th annual party conference.
No one should doubt the bona fides of the 33-year-old Mister Sellers. He is an accomplished attorney, former state legislator, a CNN analyst and sits on the boards of several companies and organizations.
Naturally, a young up-and-comer like mister Sellers is an incredible draw for Organizations looking to deliver a message from someone young influential and even good looking who can potentially attract young people to their cause.
It behooves those who would summarily dismiss Mr. Sellers as a know-nothing foreigner, to rethink that strategy, particularly when one considers the resonance the words of foreigners generally have with our ordinary folks.
A well-delivered speech from someone like Bakari Sellers, a young educated, accomplished and personable foreigner is hard to countenance with a lazy dismissal.
Members of the JLP and followers of the party can ill-afford to make the mistake of simply dismissing, as an absurdity, someone like Mister Sellers can have on local politics.
I read today, Fabian Lewis’ brilliant article in the local Observer in which he did a point by point rebuttal on why Bakari Sellers would do better sticking to American politics.
In his article, Fabian Lewis did a masterful articulation of the reasons he feels that Mister Sellers was either misled or bamboozled by the PNP (my words).
1. Furniture scandal 2. Shell waiver scandal 3. Sandals Whitehouse scandal 4. Operations PRIDE scandal 5. Motor vehicle scandal 6. Finsac 7. Foreign exchange scandal 8. Trafigura scandal 9. Cuban light bulb scandal 10. National Housing Development Corporation scandal 11. Rollins land deal scandal 12. Sand mining 1 scandal 13. Sand mining 2 scandals 14. Montego Bay street people scandal 15. Zinc scandal 16. Telecoms scandal 17. Net-Serv scandal 18. Outameni scandal 19. Bad gas scandal 20. EWI Scandal.
There is really no need to yell at Bakari Sellers, except to say that if the young mister Sellers intends to have credibility going forward, he must pay keener attention to the causes to which he lends his voice. Not only will he be embarrassed by failing to do so, but his speeches will undoubtedly come back to haunt his career.
Mister Sellers whom I’m sure is right back here in the United States, having collected his speaking fees, did not do due diligence in ensuring that the history of the political party to which he was lending his voice was not antithetical to his own worldview.
As a Democrat who supported President Barack Obama, the only President in our lifetime who has had two terms in office without a scandal, I do understand how Sellers would have ” corruption” at the top his concerns in delivering a speech in a developing Jamaica.
The only problem is that Sellers delivered that speech in front of the wrong audience. Clearly, Mister Sellers had not done the preparation necessary. Had he scratched the surface, it is less likely he would have gone to a PNP rally to speak out against corruption against the still relatively new JLP Administration.
The PNP has been a cesspool of corruption since it’s inception. It is stunning that the Dinasours who have illicitly fattened themselves at the expense of the poor Jamaican people, still sit in waiting, to once again hold state power. That they would have the temerity to talk about corruption is absolutely Trumpian.
Let me be clear, however, Prime Minister Holness is doing a terrific job as Prime Minister, nevertheless, the incremental gains he’s managed will be swept away in a Tsunami of disaffection if he does not ensure that the Government he heads exercises full fidelity to the inaugural address he gave upon being sworn in as PM on the second occasion.
There can be no mistake about what the Jamaican people expect when it comes to the judicious execution of policies and the effective and transparent process which ought to exist as it pertains to state funds.
The Prime Minister as head of the Government and leader of his party has a responsibility and indeed a duty to act with utmost alacrity and dispatch to head off any negative press which would emerge as it pertains to corruption in his government.
As a consequence, where there is any sliver of evidence that there may be untoward behavior by any of his subordinates they must immediately be removed until an exhaustive investigation is done to ascertain the facts.
No member of Parliament or Minister has a right to be in any position of power. Public service is an honor, no one is entitled to it.
In the same way that mister Sellers did not fully acquaint himself with the facts before addressing the PNP’s 80 annual conferences, so too have many Jamaicans, [many within the JLP], hitched their wagons to the American Republican Party. They do so without the benefit of a full appreciation of the ways in which the two major Political parties have crossed ideological paths after the 1964 civil rights act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson.[https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/civil-rights-act/civil-rights-act-of-1964.html]
The signing of the civil rights act was followed by a mass exodus of white male Americans from the Democratic party, the party of Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to the Republican party. It was Nixon who devised and pursued what came to be called the Southern strategy. This was, in the admirably concise wording of Wikipedia, an appeal “to racism against African-Americans.” Nixon was hardly the first Republican to notice that Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights legislation had alienated whites both in the South and elsewhere — Johnson himself had forecast that Southern whites would desert the Democratic Party[http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/nixon-bigger-crime-southern-strategy-article-1.1891611]
The evolution and juxtaposition of the two major parties and how the Democrats, the party of the Dixiecrats and the Klan, came to be the party of black Americans as a result of the civil rights and voting rights acts is a good case study.
Sufficing to say that whatever affinity blacks both in the United States and across the Globe may have had with the GOP, it must now be reexamined against the backdrop of what that party has become.
A far right-wing party which peddles Racism, Xenophobia, Misogyny, Religous intolerance, and hatred.
The romantic ideas some shared about the party of Lincoln who freed the slaves must be tempered with the slave-owning Lincoln stating ” If I could save the union without freeing a single damn slave I would do it“.
The romantic idealism about Ronald Reagan’s having Seaga as his first head of state visitor to the White House and later signing an amnesty bill which gave legal status to undocumented immigrants must be carefully scrutinized against Reagan’s advancement of Nixon’s southern strategy.
Sometimes the romantic notions and idealism we have about a person or a country is just that, romantic idealism. Before we hitch our wagons to some horses we better make damns sure we know where they will drag us.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley have repeatedly signaled that they are more interested in seating President Trump’s nominee on the Supreme Court than in performing their sworn duty to provide advice and consent as part of a system of checks and balances. But, as the confirmation process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault and profound questions about whether this nominee has been properly vetted, McConnell and Grassley can no longer be allowed to reject the basic standards for Senate consideration of Supreme Court picks.
It is now abundantly clear that, in their rush to confirm an exceptionally controversial nominee, McConnell and Grassley disregarded their oaths of office and the mandates of the Constitution. They shamed themselves and the chamber they have occupied for most of their adult lives—McConnell since 1985, Grassley since 1981.
With just days to go before Thursday’s scheduled vote by the Judiciary Committee on the Kavanaugh nomination, McConnell and Grassley have been tripped up in their rush to position Trump’s man on the bench in time for the October term of the high court—and, of far more consequence in McConnell’s fiercely partisan calculus, before November elections that might upset dominance of the Senate by corporate-aligned Republicans.
California college professor Christine Blasey Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high-school students. She has told her story in a letter to California Senator Dianne Feinstein and a compelling interview with The Washington Post. She has provided details of a polygraph test and therapist notes that corroborate her account.
Key Republican senators, including Maine’s Susan Collins, who is considered an essential swing vote on court picks, and Arizona’s Jeff Flake, a member of the Judiciary Committee, say further action on the Kavanaugh nomination should be delayed until Ford is given a hearing. “If they push forward without any attempt with hearing what she’s had to say, I’m not comfortable voting yes,” Flake said Sunday. “We need to hear from her. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.” Even White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says, “This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored.”
“Let me make very clear: I’ve spoken with the president, I’ve spoken with [South Carolina Senator Lindsey] Graham and others,” says Conway. “This woman will be heard. She’s going to… I think the Senate Judiciary Committee will decide how and through which forum.”
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have asked that Thursday’s planned vote on the nomination be put off until “serious questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s record, truthfulness and character” can be “thoroughly evaluated and answered.” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) explains that this is about much more than a simple time-out. “I admire the courage Ms. Ford has shown in coming forward with her story. This requires a pause, at a minimum, in the unseemly, special-interest-funded rush to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Court,” says Whitehouse, a veteran prosecutor and former state attorney general. “Kavanaugh’s blanket denial cannot be reconciled with her specific recollections, and the FBI needs time to take proper witness statements. Lying to an FBI agent in a formal interview is a crime, and an impeachable offense.”
If the Republicans insist on advancing the nomination without a proper review by the FBI, the Judiciary Committee has to temper the excesses of partisanship that have so far been on display in the approach of McConnell and Grassley to this process.
Ford must be afforded an opportunity to testify to the full committee in a formal session that is organized with an eye toward providing her with a fair and responsible hearing. Kavanaugh should also be called to testify. Witnesses who can provide additional information and insight should be heard.
Fatima Goss Graves, the president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, outlines some basic standards for how the Judiciary Committee, and the Senate, can proceed: “Christine Blasey Ford never asked to come forward and share her story about the sexual violence she says she experienced at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh. She was dragged into the spotlight against her will. But now that Ford’s story is public, the Senate is obligated to take these allegations seriously and give them the careful consideration they deserve—while protecting the private citizen who many will now target for personal destruction because she has named her experience. The Senate has an opportunity to get it right this time and not repeat the wrongs that were done to Anita Hill in 1991. Anita Hill’s testimony and the witnessing of all who have come after her—especially over the past year—have made it indisputable: sexual harassment and sexual violence are behaviors that must never be excused or explained away. If the charges are true, Kavanaugh’s behavior makes clear that he is not fit for a seat on the Supreme Court, or any court.”
This must be seen as the point at which the Judiciary Committee begins the serious consideration of the Kavanaugh nomination that McConnell and Grassley thwarted with their hyper-politicized attempt to hasten the process. Revelations regarding Kavanaugh that have emerged since the initial Judiciary Committee sessions with the nominee must be reviewed. Christine Blasey Ford is prepared to testify, and senators have a duty to consider that testimony. Emerging evidence that Kavanaugh has repeatedly lied to the committee must also be considered—in order to provide context for his response to Ford’s account and, more broadly, to give senators perspective when considering a nomination that demands the oversight McConnell and Grassley have tried to avoid. (Story originated here) https://www.thenation.com/article/now-is-the-time-to-hold-real-hearings-on-the-kavanaugh-nomination/
In local politics, right here in our neighborhood many in the Democratic machinery, act as Republicans and vote with Republicans on some of the most controversial issues including the proposed construction of a multi-million dollar jail complex right here on Hamilton street in the city of Poughkeepsie. Local Democratic Council representatives say the bond was approved to build the jail without the requisite environmental studies and the effect the complex will have on the local environment.
Here in the city of Poughkeepsie, it is only a three- minute drive across the mid-Hudson bridge and you are in Ulster County, a county which is lauded as one of the most liberal counties in the entire Country. Yet the sordid stories of and the unending tales of racial profiling, and the illegal searching of people of color vehicles by the Ulster County’s Sheriff’s office, The State Police and the Town of Lloyd’s police are far too many to be ignored.
In this Article, our friends at the Nation talks about the Democratic Sherriff of Ulster county and how the race is shaping up in this one of the most liberal counties in the age of Trump.
Some say Ulster County’s longtime sheriff sees himself as “above the law”—but primary voters have a chance to show him otherwise.
By Joshua Holland
In the Hudson Valley, a distinctly Trump-like Democrat is facing an unexpected primary challenge in a key local race—one that’s mostly flown under the national radar.
At a candidates’ forum in Woodstock last week, Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum, who is seeking his fourth term in office, raised eyebrows when he told the crowd, “It’s out there that I’m a racist, and that the sheriff’s office is racist. Am I getting sued by four black officers? Yes. But let me tell you this: They’re suing me for not getting promoted. Two out of the four never even took a promotional exam. The third one took the exam and failed. The fourth person took the exam, and passed, but unfortunately, he was arrested for stealing from the sheriff’s office. So that makes me a racist and I don’t understand it.”
He added: “As far as the other lawsuits against me, we’ve won every one of them.” (A female corrections officer who sued the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office in federal court for on-the-job harassment was awarded a large settlement in 2014.)
Norman James, who retired from the sheriff’s office in April after 30 years working at the Ulster County jail, is one of the plaintiffs in the case Van Blarcum mentioned in Woodstock (there are five in total, and two are no longer with the department). He said he and the others are suing the sheriff’s office in federal court for systemic discrimination against the department’s small number of black corrections officers.
“The white officers get a lot better treatment than the black officers do,” said James. “If you’re a black officer and you commit some sort of infraction, you’re dealt with much more harshly by the administration than if you’re white. If you’re white, you may get a 30-day suspension, but it’s easily forgiven and forgotten and you’re still able to advance. You also get easier job assignments.”
“There’s an old-boy network,” he said, “and it’s all white.” Van Blarcum didn’t respond to an interview request.
ames told me about a white officer who threw a glass at a woman in a bar, causing a facial injury that required 150 stitches. He faced a 30-day suspension and then went on with his career. The black cop who was “arrested for stealing from the sheriff’s office” was a veteran with a clean record who ran out of gas one night and filled up his personal vehicle with the department’s gas. He offered to pay restitution. According to James, that incident occurred 15 years ago, and that officer has been repeatedly passed over for promotions ever since. “Twenty-two years on the job, and he’s still working on the housing units like a rookie,” he said.
“I have no interest in promotions,” said Tyrone Brodhead, a 19-year veteran of the department and another plaintiff in the suit. “My issue is that I’m constantly being accused of bringing in contraband and subjected to internal affairs investigations. I’m subjected to locker searches, vehicle searches, and personal searches. They’ve never substantiated any of these charges, but I’ve been labeled a drug dealer.”
“I’ve been on the countywide swat team, but I’ve been held back from operations whenever they involve narcotics,” Brodhead observed. “I’ve never been involved in drugs, I don’t use drugs, and there’s no reason for this other than the color of my skin. It’s a hostile work environment.”
The attorneys representing the officers didn’t respond to an interview request by press time.
In 2014, Van Blarcum ran unopposed for his third term in office. He was reelected easily, taking 90 percent of the vote. According to the Times Herald Record, Van Blarcum’s vote total in the county that year exceeded that of both the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates combined.
But in May, as several other local incumbents sailed to easy victories at the Ulster County Democratic nominating convention, Van Blarcum faced an uprising among local Democratic officials and activists. He reportedly left the venue before his bid for the nomination was rejected by a lopsided, 85 percent to 15 percent margin.
What shifted in the intervening years? Andrew Zink, president of the Ulster County Young Democrats, said, “The election of Donald Trump changed the equation.” (Local Democrats were furious when Van Blarcum and several of his deputies appeared in a photo-op with the president in the Oval Office.) “Trump’s election woke people up,” said Zink. “Trump made us look at these local issues and evaluate our local elected officials and ask ourselves, ‘is this what we want?’ And when the Democratic voters of Ulster County looked at that question in that race, they said, ‘no, we don’t want our own Donald Trump.’”
Since his last, easy reelection in 2014, Van Blarcum has made a series of headlines, some going national, that alienated restive Democrats. Local activists said Van Blarcum’s tendency to use his office to amplify hard-right messages became intolerable after the 2016 election.
In the days following a 2015 mass shooting that left 14 people dead in San Bernardino, California, Van Blarcum urged county residents with gun permits to carry firearms at all times. The appeal was posted on his office’s official Facebook page. The following year, he trashedlocal “sanctuary city” ordinances, and said that his deputies, who, according to Van Blarcum, have long cooperated with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, wouldn’t change the way they did business. Shortly before his last election, he’d angered gun safety advocates by urging his deputies to “use discretion” when considering charges against people who violated the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, a gun-control package that New York state passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
“The sheriff’s made it very clear that he’s above the law,” said Dan Torres, a New Paltz City Councilor and a fierce critic of Van Blarcum. “He’s done that by campaigning with county resources, thumbing his nose at communities that want to protect their immigrants, making wild statements about guns, and then getting the country sued multiple times because of his actions. He’s a wingnut with a real disregard for the US Constitution.”
Van Blarcum’s Democratic challenger, Juan Figueroa, said that it was the sheriff’s decision to weigh in—again, on the Ulster County Sheriff’s official Facebook page—on NFL players taking a knee to protest racially discriminatory policing that first drew his interest in the race. The post, which echoed tweets about the issue from Donald Trump, claimed that the players had “show[ed] an utter lack of patriotism and total disrespect for our veterans—living and dead—and everything that they put their lives on the line for!” It called for Ulster County residents to “boycott all football telecasts [and] refrain from attending or viewing any NFL games.… let the NFL play to empty stadiums.”
Figueroa, a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, said the post was part of a “pattern of that sort of behavior” that “just shows [that Van Blarcum] has been in office a little too long and doesn’t realize what his job is supposed to be. When you use your office for something like that, you’re abusing your office. The sheriff is elected by the people, and he’s supposed to represent all of the people.”
There is a strange dichotomy happening in the Democratic Party about the course the party should take in it’s response to Donald Trump’s presidency and the shocking intransigence of Republicans in the face of the assault on the nation’s Institutions and norms.
On the one hand, there is the tried and failed strategy which says: do not say or do anything which will garner any backlash, regardless of what Republicans do we should maintain the greatest degree of decorum and normalcy.
That strategy has not worked, yet the establishment wing of the party is hell-bent on continuing on that path from which the majority of it’s younger voters have long veered.
The strategy which I have personally labeled the Republican-lite strategy has been disastrous for the party on several fronts.
The party has absorbed monumental losses in Governor’s races over the life of this approach, even in deep blue states like New York, New Jersy, Connecticut, Massachutes and others. (It is important to consider that there are hardly ever any statewide officeholders in Red states)
Additionally, Senate and House seats, as well as offices all the way to dog-catcher have been swallowed up in Republican Tsunami-like avalanche of wins……..and gerrymandering.
Equally as consequential is the alacrity with which the Democratic party has chosen to jettison it’s most articulate leaders at the slightest opportunity. Just ask Former Senator Al Franken how that feels.
The Republican party has in the highest office the most despicable person probably ever to hold that office and yet the Democratic party seemingly is mindlessly focused on being nice.
Noted Presidential Historian and Author, Jon Meecham noted that the aberration which is the Trump Presidency is a backlash to the Obama presidency. Yet Meecham argues that twenty years from today Americans will live in Barack Obama’s America rather than in Donald Trump’s America.
Meecham believes that what is happening is the last gasp of the Strom Thurmond, Richard Nixon, Pat Buchanan vision of America.
I hope Meecham is right, yet I hardly believe that…..that can ever become a reality if the Democratic Party continue to fail so miserably even at the most basic of its responsibilities.
It is an open secret that millions of Bernie Sanders supporters did not turn up to vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton. As consequential as that has been and will continue to be for America it is important to understand the circumstances which allowed for a 74-year-old previously unknown Socialist Vermont US Senator to split the Democratic vote.
As I tried to articulate on previous occasions, rather than see the answers in the problem the Democratic party continues to double down on the very same Republican-lite approaches.
Party elites brushed aside the earthshattering win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s 14th District over Joseph Crowley the establishment longtime candidate, labeling it as a sign of not here the party is going but a sign of where the Bronx is going.
The several other wins in which the Democrat who prevailed in their respective primaries did not fit the traditional clean-cut white guy mold has done little to awaken the Democratic party to the reality that maybe…… just maybe, grassroots Democratic voters want clear lines of demarcation between the two political parties.
The rise of Stacy Abrams in Georgia, Ben Jealous in Maryland and Andrew Gillium in Florida and finally yesterday, the win by African-American City Council member Ayanna Pressley In Boston Massachutes, are also clear signs that Democratic voters are not content with the status quo.
Pressly’s defeat of ten term Democratic US representative Michael Capuano all but guaranteed herself a seat in the US House of Representatives, there is no Republican vying for that seat.
This is momentous on several levels not the least of which is that Ayanna Pressley will become the very first African-American woman to represent her state in the US Congress.
I hope for the sake of the United States and indeed the World that there will be a blue wave come November 6th. There are literally tens of millions of people feeling the same way, waiting for that day to exhale.
But what if when the votes are counted Republicans still control the House and Senate, still control the Governor’s mansions they did and even picked up a few?
And oh, please don’t forget that Donald Trump will still be President.
Does anyone believe that a Democratic Party led by Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi is going to save the Republic? Charles Schumer’s only interest is that Donald Trump is sticking it to the Palestinians and being the water boy of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Look, it comes as no surprise to me that Schumer the leader in the Senate, is merely a patsy, a shadow of former Democratic leaders like Harry Reid or even Tom Daschle.
Schumer is no more ideologically bound to the principles of Democratic orthodoxy that Joeseph Leiberman was. Leiberman the Democratic Senator from Conneciticut was the Vice Presidential running mate of Former Clinton Vice President Al Gore who was seeking his first term as president in 2,000.
No sooner had Gore lost the electionLeibermen began to hedge his bets and sided with the George Bush White House.
By the time Barack Obama emerged as the Presidential candidate for the Democratic party against the now deceased Senator John McCain of Arizona in 2008, Joe Leiberman had all but left the Democratic Party and had changed his party affiliation to Independent. A total betrayal to the Democratic voters of the state of Connecticut who had elected him more than once.
It came as no surprise that Leiberman who had been a lifelong Democrat prior, would not support the first African-American to have a real shot at the presidency, a mere eight years after he himself was on a Democratic ticket for vice president of the United States.
The fact of the matter is that for the likes of Leiberman and Schumer total fealty to the state of Israel in a presidential candidate and ultimately a President of the United States trumps everything else, including giving the leadership required to Democratic voters they positioned themselves to lead.
In an age when Republicans have turned into Right-wing fascists, Democrats continue to act Republican-lite, Progressives are crying out for leadership. There is presently no leader in the Democratic party with clout except Barack Obama. He will not be running for any elected office ever again.
If establishment Democrats continue to make the same mistakes of tippy-toeing around what’s happening, unable to harness the power of the resistance, Donald Trump and his far-right party led by the renegades in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate will continue to pack the courts and change the face of America into the white ethnostate they so desperately dream of.
Back when President Barack Obama had black hair (L) with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) during a meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators and members of Congress in the State Dining Room at the White House June 25, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Obama hosted the bipartisan group of Senate and House members to begin a dialogue on immigration with the hope of starting the debate later this year.Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)
I’m of the contention that we should generally be judged or even rated as humans by the best—and not worst—thing we’ve ever done. So I have no problems with the recently deceased Senator from Arizona, John McCain, a flawed, fallible white man from America, being assessed honestly.
But frankly, I’m having the biggest kiki over McCain giving President Petty Bonespurs a great big fat finger from the grave.
In life, McCain notoriously left his sick bed to help cast the death knell for the repeal of Obamacare; he also chose not to pander to his racist base when some questioned Obama’s allegiance to America. In this writer’s mind, that levels out his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, and voting against making Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday in his first term in Congress. In general, and despite his political party, McCain has, for the most part, acted with decency and integrity, attributes all but ghost from today’s Capitol Hill.
In that vein, CBS News reports that McCain requested that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies at his funeral. McCain died on Saturday at age 81.
Former President Obama, who defeated the six-term Senator in 2008 presidential race, issued a statement shortly after McCain’s death saying that he and his former rival shared “ a fidelity to something higher.” Obama continues:
We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.
Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”
George W. Bush, who defeated McCain for the GOP nomination in 2000, issued a statement also, hailing McCain as “a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”
Former president Jimmy Carter said: “John McCain was a man of honor, a true patriot in the best sense of the word. Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service and for his steadfast integrity as a member of the United States Senate. Rosalynn and I extend our sincere condolences to Senator McCain’s family and to the people of Arizona whom he represented so forthrightly for so many years.”
The New York Times reports that McCain’s body will lie in state in both the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix and Capitol Rotunda in DC, receive a full dress service at the Washington National Cathedral and will be buried at Annapolis.
Donald Trump, McCain’s sometimes bitter rival, was not invited to McCain’s funeral, according to reports. Under previously announced plans, Vice President Mike Pence will attend instead.
What’s really shocking is the cultlike loyalty which permeates the followers of Donald Trump. Just imagine this, the personal lawyer of the president of the United States pleaded guilty to committing eight (8) felonies and named (the very same president as an unindicted co-conspirator).
Truth isn’t truth, crimes are no longer crimes and now well …. even if I did it cannot be a crime because I am not subject to the laws.
The president’s campaign chairman was convicted on eight (8) felonies on the very same day that his lawyer pleaded guilty. We are now learning that he would have been convicted on all 18 counts as charged, but for one female Trump supporting juror who would not let the evidence get in the way of partisan orthodoxy.
On the very same day Duncan Hunter Republican Congressman from California, the second member of the Congress to endorse Trump was indicted on charges that he and his wife, Margaret, routinely — and illegally — used campaign funds to pay personal bills …
All of that happened in one day …… it does not include the fact that the first member of the Congress to endorse Donald Trump, Chris Collins of western New York was indicted on Insider Trading Charges.
But the foregone does not even begin to tell the full story so here goes.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigations and awaiting sentencing.
Rick Gates, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, and Manafort protégé, on one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to FBI agents.
George Papadopoulos, a low-level Trump foreign policy adviser, for making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russians during the campaign.
Alex van der Zwaan, who worked with Gates and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort while he practiced law at a large international firm, admitted to lying and failing to turn over emails to Mueller’s team in February, sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $30,000 fine did his time and is reported to be already out of the country.
Amidst all of this and without even one scintilla of accountability about the torrent of criminal indictments and guilty pleas Donald Trump did what he has done every single time he feels the walls closing in on him.
No, I am not talking about just appealing to the wretched white racists’ crowd which blindly support him, he tweeted an old right-wing trope about white South African farmers been killed and their lands taken from them.
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson@FoxNews
There are so many things to be said about the expropriation of land, not the least of which is that it was not a problem when the murderous Booer Voortrekkers stole the land, But the very rare instance of righting a wrong as is being considered a-la fair market price as a remedial action, is a vicious alt right trope.
This is where Donald Trump wants to direct his attention at the exact time that he was named in a federal felony plea deal as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Whether we like or believe Amorosa Manigualt-Newman is not really important. She spent well over a decade with and around Donald Trump, as a consequence, when she said he wants to start a race war her comments cannot simply be brushed aside.
South Africa has a lot of crime, yet whites in South Africa are less likely to become victims of crime largely on the basis of their wealthier status in the society.
If Donald Trump needed to dip his beak into world affairs the least he could have done is read a few pages of a book instead of watching Orwellian talking points of FOX misinformation otherwise knowns as state TV.
One of the enduring virtues of black people is that we generally are quick to forgive and forget, a virtue not found in other races to the extent it exists in us.
What he should have tweeted about this (shithole country)[sic] is the Magnanimity of the black people of South Africa(those who managed to survive), who did not kill and abuse the white minority who for decades upon decades made their lives a living hell.
Instead of trying to gin up racial animosity across the world Donald Trump should seriously worry about how to stay out of prison when Muller is finished with his investigation.
The reports started trickling in to online forums and local news, starting in 2017. From Reddit to The Kansas City Star, Washington to New York, the stories all followed roughly the same pattern: Bank of America sent a customer a notice demanding details about their citizenship—and if they refused to answer, their accounts were promptly frozen.
Outside the United States, this is a normal practice. Dozens of countries have agreed to the Common Reporting Standard aimed at combating tax evasion, and began collecting citizenship information as part of that effort in 2017.
But stateside, these reports have raised fears that banks could, at least theoretically, help the authorities identify and target immigrants. In the UK the banking industry has already been charged with collecting information on foreigners as part of a bigger plan to create a “hostile environment” for undocumented immigrants. Immigrants and advocates worry the United States could be next.
Bank of America explained that it was required to ask the question to comply with Treasury regulations. It’s true that American financial institutions must monitor their accounts for signs of money laundering, and comply with the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s economic sanctions on several countries, including Iran, Cuba, and Syria. Under a separate law, foreign banks must collect citizenship information from Americans, ostensibly in order to track down potential tax-dodgers.
But domestically, they are not required to collect customer citizenship information. In fact, Social Security numbers aren’t even required to open an account. Shortly after Donald Trump’s election, in December 2016, a senior counsel for the American Bankers Association said that “banks don’t track whether or not someone is legally in the U.S.”
Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the financial inclusion nonprofit California Reinvestment Coalition, suggests that Bank of America’s policy “raises questions about the role banks will play in Trump’s America.” Writing in The Hill, Gonzalez speculates that “some banks are more than willing to carry out Trump’s agenda of creating a system where immigrants have fewer economic rights than others.”
The American Bankers Association declined to comment on specific institutions’ policies, but said that “strict regulatory requirements” aimed at deterring illicit activities justify requests for personal information. “Banks of all sizes are required to collect a range of information about their customers to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 and ‘Know Your Customer’ standards,” says spokesperson Blair Bernstein. “Since 9/11, these strict regulatory requirements have steadily expanded.”
Bank of America spokesperson Christopher Feeney says the company does not ask for any actual proof of citizenship—just a customer’s word—and that it does not share that information with any government entities. It insists that this policy is not enforced selectively with regard to what the government considers “higher-risk customers.” Eventually, every single one of the bank’s customers will be asked for their citizenship information, Feeney says.
“This type of outreach is nothing new—we’ve asked the citizenship question for many years, nearly a decade,” says Feeney. “Citizenship status is not considered when it comes to establishing bank accounts and citizenship status is not shared with any other party.” Immigration authorities or other government entities would require a court order to obtain it.
Still, even if the policy isn’t new, selective, or unique to Bank of America, its clumsy application at a critical moment contributes to an atmosphere of dread for noncitizens in Trump’s America. What’s more, it compounds the long-standing problem of financial exclusion. While the result of banks’ collecting citizenship information is less immediately frightening than the prospect of deportation, citizenship data give banks more information with which to assess a customer’s creditworthiness.
In the United States immigrants make up a significant share of potential borrowers and account-holders. There are more than 13 million permanent residents with green cards, 2 million workers in the country on visas, and an estimated 11 million residents who are undocumented. Denying banking services to this large population—and missing out on all those fees and deposits—is not a great way of maximizing profits.
But immigrants are not a protected class under fair-lending laws, and face legal discrimination from financial institutions as a matter of course. While financial institutions cannot discriminate based on “national origin,” they are free to discriminate based on immigration status. Asking for a customer’s citizenship helps them do that.
Legal status isn’t an unreasonable factor for any lender to take under consideration when looking to limit their risk. If someone is likely to leave the country on short notice, it can affect their ability to pay back a loan, which, in turn, can justify requiring larger down payments on mortgages, higher interest rates on personal loans, or denials of those lines of credit entirely. Policies requiring clients to reveal their citizenship thus formalize practices that previously might have been casually or selectively applied.
Currently, noncitizens are able to access traditional loans only at the discretion of individual lenders, some of which advertise special advisers and products for immigrant customers, and some of which deny certain services to certain classes of immigrants.
A pending class-action lawsuit filed with the US District Court of Northern California against Wells Fargo claims that the bank refused to accept applications for student loans and credit cards from DACA recipients, which plaintiffs claim is a form of illegal discrimination under California consumer-protection law, as well as a federal civil-rights law originally drafted to protect emancipated slave “aliens.”
Wells Fargo doesn’t deny discriminating against Dreamers, but contends that it is allowed to, because immigration status isn’t a protected class. In its defense, Wells Fargo specifically cited President Trump’s comments that he would end DACA as proof that those customers were especially risky—after all, with deportation looming, how would the bank possibly recoup their debts?
Still, by the numbers, immigrants prove to be good bank customers. Since receiving Social Security numbers, tens of thousands of DACA recipients have taken out student loans and credit cards, and bought cars and homes—even though their mortgages can come with higher interest rates, as they’re harder to sell on the secondary-debt market. There’s little data available specific to noncitizen immigrant loans—but when immigrants are able to become citizens, homeownership rates jump.
What’s more, federal immigration policies end up changing the way banks evaluate risk. The more the federal government cracks down on immigration, the more immigrants can be justifiably treated as risky customers under existing consumer-protection laws, and denied the same financial rights as their citizen neighbors.
Asking for citizenship status provokes another, more immediate effect: fear.
Writer’s block a few friends asked me?
Nah, I replied!
There is just so much going on that a sense of numbness has come over me. Not numbness which is equivalent to a surrender, just a kind of, “where do we begin in all of this“?
Is that what was intended by the daily barrage of really bad stuff which just seems to come at us incessantly, is it part of a long game or is it just the result of a deranged, imbecilic, lunatic?
Is it hard to tell right?
Political leaders come and go, some are well-intentioned, others not so much. Nevertheless, there has always been a kind of consensus that each and every person who steps forward to offer him or herself for service has some sort of appeal and may produce some degree of good to some people depending on who you ask?
Who is served by rolling back environmental standards which govern mass pollution of the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food we eat?
Is anyone that dense to is Obama derangement syndrome that real that anyone in their right mind would be blind to this?
After we destroy the planet and stack up zeroes on the balance sheets, what then?
Is this what the space force is all about?
Why lie to low information people that there is something called clean-cole?
I mean, who is stupid enough to believe there is actually something called clean cole anyway? Who is daft to the extent that they believe coal is coming back?
Donal Trump will be in Charleston, West Virginia, for a political rally on Tuesday to tout his administration’s proposal to give states the right to set their own emissions standards for coal-fueled power plants.
This is essentially a rollback of President Obama’s efforts to combat climate change.
Additionally, the EPA the agency tasked with protecting the environment, on Tuesday formally unveiled the details of its new plan to devolve regulation of coal-fired power plants back to the states, one that is expected to give a boost to the coal industry and increase carbon emissions nationwide.
Promising to bring coal jobs back and repealing environmental regulations at the national level is only harmful to these communities, because it gives them a sense of false hope and it would set them back,” said Sanya Carley, a professor of energy policy at Indiana University and lead author of a new study that examines how Appalachians are coping with coal’s decline.
As a child raised in what we like to characterize as a Christian home we were led to believe that there was a holiness to the land of Israel. Christians today are still reverential to Israel as a special place sanctioned by God.
Pastors like John Hagee preach about a coming Armageddon in which the forces of good and evil will meet and Israel will defeat the forces of evil arrayed against her.
Hagee himself would be advised to stay away from that battle based on his own philosophy.
As a Christian myself I had a hard time reconciling the narrative of the western Christian Church, including the white evangelicals who demonstrate an undying fealty to Israel.
So I started digging with a view to finding out for myself what was it about Israel which makes it so near and dear to America. You know outside of the fact that the state of Israel never existed before 1948.
It also struck me that the people who populated the Palestinian’s land were actually white Europeans fleeing Hitler’s rage.
Never mind that as far as Judaism is concerned, the practitioners of that faith does not believe that Jesus, the dark-skinned Nazarene was the son of God. In fact, so angry were the Jews with Yeshua that they offered him up to Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor for execution, once they realized he wasn’t going to lead them into a war to topple the Roman occupiers.
But let us not get caught up in the weeds about Jews in the Bible at the time of Jesus Christ, because contrary to what you hear now, Hebrew-Jews and Gentiles lived side by side in Palestine for thousands of years before Jesus Christ arrived, much less just 70-years ago when the Americans and Brits confiscated huge swaths of land from the Palestinians and gave it to white people who adopted the ideology (Zionism) which is essentially a movement which purports to ensure the safety of those practicing the Jewish faith. Zionism, Jewish nationalistmovement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine.
Zionism is privileging one group of people (Israelis) over another the(Palestinians. By that very measure the very essence of a Zionist state of Israel is by it’s own definition, an apartheid state.
The creation of the state of Israel and the strategic placement of the so-called Jewish state, cannot be fully understood unless its geographic-placement, armament, and maintenance are viewed against the strategic vital interests of the western world.
On the table for discussion is the question of a different set of rules for Israel than that which obtains for others, particularly African nations.
The strategy of labeling anyone who criticizes Israel’s crimes, “anti-Semitic” also has its roots in the preferred nation status bestowed upon her by America. It is a strategy designed to take full advantage of the empathy derived from the Holocaust by silencing anyone who dares to speak out against Israel’s crimes against humanity.
A strategy which insulates and inoculates the apartheid state regardless of its myriad transgressions of international law.
If you believe the concept of a pie-in-the-sky white God who has favorites, then it is easy to ignore the mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians by Isreali defense force soldiers.
It is easy to ignore children picked off like flies while soldiers of one of the best trained, best-equipped military in the world hoops it up like they are shooting at inanimate objects, not human beings.
As long as you are comfortable with the blanket statements that every Palestinian murdered are terrorists then you are good because their lives were already devalued by the Apartheid state and its supporters.
But if you are not a starry-eyed Christian brainwashed by those who enslaved our ancestors, you will readily appreciate that a God who is touted to be “just”, could under no circumstances have (chosen people).
You could under no circumstances believe that-that God signs off on the wanton and reckless murder of innocent men, women, and children with the rationalization that they posed an existential threat to the state of Israel.
But the leaders of the Apartheid state is no longer trying to convince the entire world it is wrong and they are right.
They are engaged in systematic harassment and detention of some people who enter the apartheid state and may have previously expressed dissenting opinions on whether we should all agree it is not okay to have snipers killing unarmed protesting men women and children.
Peter Beinart, a leading Jewish-American journalist, was detained for questioning at the Ben-Gurion International Airport while entering Israel. According to Haaretz.com Beinart who is himself of Jewish heritage and a well-known journalist.
Beinart has written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for years. He has publicly expressed support for boycotting products manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. His questioning this weekend, he reported, didn’t focus on that issue, but included a broad list of questions about his political affiliations and his ties to groups in Israel that oppose the settlements and the policies of the current right-wing government in Jerusalem.
The country’s right-wing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a half-hearted apology to Beinart but the damage was already done. Clearly, Shin Bet the Israeli security service felt sufficiently empowered to harass people who have different views than they do.
In a statement released to the press, Netanyahu said that he “heard of Mr. Beinart’s questioning at Ben Gurion airport and immediately spoke with Israel’s security forces to inquire how this happened. He was told it was an administrative mistake. Israel is an open society which welcomes all–critics and supporters alike.
Keep in mind that this very same Netanyahu has branded African Jews and other immigrants to the state of Israel “interlopers“.
Netanyahu and others in his right-wing government insist if they allow Africans to stay they will change the character of the Jewish state.
Never mind that by 2019 Israel is expected to receive $3.3 billion in American aid much of that, money comes from the taxes of African Americans people.
According to Haaretz, Beinart’s interrogation is the latest in a series of incidents at Israel’s border entry and exit points that involved political questioning of Jewish Americans.. Jewish American philanthropist who donated millions to Israeli hospitals and schools was interrogated because security at Ben Gurion found a booklet about Palestine in his suitcase. Last week, two left-wing Jewish American activists were detained for three hours at the border crossing between Israel and Egypt. One of the activists, Simone Zimmerman- who is one of the founding members of the Jewish anti-occupation IfNotNow- claimed she was interrogated about her political opinions.
How long will the world ignore Israel’s crime and special treatment made possible by America’s support and armament, while other Nations are incessantly maligned and forced to bear brutal sanctions?
Why International laws are not applicable to Israel is a question the world will have to confront sooner or later.
The political parties which emerged out of the Colonial era in Africa the Caribbean, South and Latin America all but squandered the opportunity to establish their respective nations on the solid footings of democratically transparent governance.
Instead, those who fought in the actual liberation wars across those geographic areas and even those in the Caribbean who led the postcolonial struggles chose to develop patronage systems to benefit themselves and those who support them.
Political leaders and by extension their political parties developed a sense of ownership for their respective countries even 50 years and more after those liberation struggles ended.
The prevailing sense is that those who did not live through and participate in those struggles have no right to political power.
Nowhere is this sense of entitlement more evident in my estimation and the resultant damage it has caused more transparently measurable, than in Zimbabwe which two Mondays ago held national elections.
President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has basically ruled Zimbabwe since white minority rule ended in 1980.
until he was ousted from power by the military last November.
Emmerson Mnangagwa a 75-year-old former lieutenant of Mugabe and a veteran of the military-installed himself as interim president and a new election was called. Unfortunately, the removal of Mugabe did nothing to dismantle the intricate vestiges of ZANU-PF which have been instituted under Mugabe’s rule.
Mugabe a former school teacher turned revolutionary in Ian Smith’s minority-ruled Rhodesia rose to lead Zimbabwe after white minority rule was dismantled and elections were held in 1980. Mugabe, like many revolutionary leaders who fought white oppression and colonization, did not escape unscathed. After making anti-government comments, he was convicted of sedition and imprisoned between 1964 and 1974. On release, he fled to Mozambique, established his leadership of ZANU and oversaw ZANU’s role in the Rhodesian Bush War, fighting Ian Smith’s predominantly white government.[wiki]
He reluctantly took part in the peace negotiations brokered by the United Kingdom that resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement. The agreement dismantled white minority rule and resulted in the 1980 general election, at which Mugabe led ZANU-PF to victory. Mugabe’s administration expanded health care and education and—despite his Marxist rhetoric and professed desire for a socialist society—adhered largely to mainstream, conservative economic policies.
Some of Mugabe’s policies, most notably his land reform policies which appropriated lands held by whites and gave them to blacks angered traditional powers like the United States. The resultant economic sanctions were soon to follow, helping to make life difficult for Zimbabweans.
Fidel Castro led Cuba in its own liberation struggle against Fulgencio Batista a corrupt dictator who allowed the Island Nation to become a hedonistic den for gangsters largely supported by the United States. After toppling Batista in January 1st, 1959 Castro, in turn, led Cuba down the road of communist dictatorship.
Fifty-eight years later despite the death of Fidel Castro Cuba remains immersed in a vicelike grip of dictatorship, still supervised by someone named Castro.
Zimbabweans had a chance to vote for a new direction, [or so we thought ] for the very first time since 1980. The opposition MDC Alliance led by forty-year-old Nelson Chamisa offered that chance to Zimbabweans.
It is inconceivable to imagine that despite the reported peaceful nature of the vote on election day that the people went into the voting booths and again voted for ZANU-PF for another five years to the tune of a two-thirds majority in the legislature.
It is incomprehensible the level of greed and hunger for power which drives these people to the extent that they are incapable of putting country of their most base instincts.
Our own Jamaica is no different.
All to often in both political parties we see black leadership treating state power as their own personal fiefdoms to be passed down to their children.
The nation of Zimbabwe was done a terrible disservice last week by ZANY-PF and all of the agencies of state including the Military , Police and (ZEC) the Zimbabwe electoral commission. The energy and enthusiasm of the people certainly was not on the side of ZANU-PF. The people voted for change but what they received were bullets and a cleverly disguised Coup d’état
Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s president and leader of the ruling Zanu-PF party, has won the country’s historic and hotly contested presidential election.
Officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced early on Friday that Mnangagwa had received 2.46m votes, or 50.8% of the 4.8m votes cast. Nelson Chamisa, the candidate of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC), won 2.14m votes or 44.3%, the ZEC said. Mnangagwa needed to win by more than 50% to avoid a runoff vote.
Mnangagwa, 75, was a close aide of Robert Mugabe, the 94-year-old autocrat who ruled for 37 years and was ousted by the army nine months ago, and was implicated in atrocities committed under his rule. Chamisa, 40, is a former lawyer and pastor.
Priscilla Chigumba, the chair of the ZEC, urged the country to “move on” with the hopeful spirit of election day and beyond the “blemishes” of Wednesday’s “chaos”, when the army opened fire on protesters in Harare, killing six people. “May God bless this nation and its people,” she said.
Mnangagwa tweeted that he was “humbled” by the result. “This is a new beginning. Let us join hands, in peace, unity & love, & together build a new Zimbabwe for all!” he said.
On Friday morning Chamisa called the results “fake” and said the electoral commission should release “proper and verified” numbers. “The level of opaqueness, truth deficiency, moral decay & values deficit is baffling,” he said on Twitter.
The MDC had rejected the results even before they had been announced in full. Minutes before the final result, the MDC’s chairman, Morgan Komichi, made an impromptu televised statement at the commission, saying the election was “fraudulent” and that the party would challenge the results in court. He was then removed from the stage by police.
A few Mnangagwa supporters celebrated near the entrance to the conference centre where the results were declared but there was little in the way of public celebrations in Harare other than some car horns.
Charity Manyeruke, who teaches political science at the University of Zimbabwe, said she was delighted. “There is continuity, stability,” she said at the conference centre. “Zimbabwe is poised for nation-building.”
The Zimbabwean capital was calm on Friday morning, the pavements filled with people going to work. Many also gathered around newspaper stands. The army, a visible presence this week, had withdrawn by 7am. A police presence remained, with two vehicles equipped with water cannon outside the MDC headquarters and an armoured vehicle full of riot police.
Most MDC supporters appeared resigned to the result and unwilling to take to the streets to protest. “We are just accepting whatever is there for the sake of peace, for the sake of business and calm. Life goes on. I wouldn’t support a protest. Check what happened this week when people tried it,” said Shepherd Warikandwe, a 38-year-old chef.
Hazel Moyo, a 25-year-old supermarket cashier who had voted for the first time, said that protesting would make no difference. “We will just have to put up with it. We need change but will have to wait some more,” she said.
The count took more than three days, leading to growing tensions and calls from the international community for a swift resolution.
Although the campaign has been free of the systematic violence that marred previous polls, the MDC repeatedly claimed it was hindered by a flawed electoral roll, ballot paper malpractice, voter intimidation, bias in the electoral commission and handouts to voters from the ruling party. Several of its complaints have been upheld by monitors’ reports.
Eighteen opposition officials were detained by police during a raid on the MDC’s headquarters in Harare on Thursday afternoon.
Prof Stephen Chan, an expert in African politics at the University of London, said the election could be judged “plausible to credible” but could not be called “free and fair”.
Chan, who is in Zimbabwe, said he believed the problems with the count were down to incompetence rather than conspiracy but that the alleged irregularities before the poll could have been significant, especially in avoiding a runoff.
“The narrowness of the result suggests that Mnangagwa is the last of the Zanu-PF giants and that at the next election the opposition will have everything to play for,” he said.
Mnangagwa’s share of the vote was lower than some expected. Zanu-PF had swept to a two-thirds majority in simultaneous parliamentary elections and was broadly considered the favourite by analysts. But the opposition campaign gathered significant momentum in the last days of campaigning.
The announcement of the result was delayed while figures for Mashonaland West, a major province and Zanu-PF stronghold, were finalised, and was disrupted by an MDC spokesman who said the party rejected the results because they had not been verified by polling agents.
All polling station data would be made available to the media and party officials, the ZEC said.
Zimbabwe now faces new uncertainty and a potential period of instability. The country si hoping to reintegrate into the international community after years of isolation. Foreign powers will have to decide whether the elections give Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF the legitimacy needed to seek to rejoin institutions such as the Commonwealth.
Without a massive and rapid infusion of foreign aid, the country is also facing total economic breakdown.
Polls had earlier given Mnangagwa, a dour former spy chief known as “the Crocodile” for his reputation for ruthless cunning, a slim lead over Chamisa, a brilliant if sometimes wayward orator.
Support for Zanu-PF has historically been strongest in rural areas, where more than two-thirds of voters live. The party dominated its traditional heartland provinces of Mashonaland Central and East, while the MDC won the major cities of Harare and Bulawayo convincingly.