Sunday, December 30, 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Prince of Peace, born an ‘at-risk baby,’ summons our better angels

Hello readers ,  a little late with this post , it's a true fact , the
message is very powerful .  Hope you had a great Christmas  and Have a fabulous New Year . 
Shadow / Witchy

Buildings and churches surround the Church of the Nativity, revered as the site of Jesus Christ's birth, on Dec, 16 in Bethlehem. | AFP Photo / Thomas Coe
By       Jesse Jackson                        12/24/2018
 On this Tuesday, hundreds of millions of people will celebrate Christmas across the country and around the world. For many, the holiday is a joyous time: Families gather, music in the air, light-draped trees and lampposts; presents are exchanged; blessings are shared.

But Christmas can also be a hard time for the lonely, the poor and the imprisoned. Each year at this time, I use this column to recall the real meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is literally the mass for Christ, marking the birth of Jesus. He was born under occupation. Joseph and Mary were ordered to go far from home to register with authorities. The innkeeper told Joseph there was no room at the inn. Jesus was born in a stable, lying in a manger, an “at-risk baby.” He was the son of a carpenter.

He was born at a time of great misery and turmoil. Prophets predicted that a new Messiah was coming — a King of Kings — one who would rout the occupiers and free the people. Many expected and hoped for a mighty warrior — like the superheroes of today’s movies — who would mobilize an army to attack Rome’s occupying legions. Fearing the prophecy, the Roman King Herod ordered the “massacre of the innocents,” the slaughter of all boys age two and under in Bethlehem and the nearby region.

Jesus confounded both Herod’s fears and the peoples’ hopes. He raised no army. He was a man of peace, not of war. He gathered disciples, not soldiers. He began his ministry by quoting Isaiah 62:1: “The Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.”

We will be judged, he taught us, by how we treat “the least of these,” by how we treat the stranger on the Jericho Road. He called us on to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to care for the sick, to offer aid to the refugee.

It’s an extraordinary story. Jesus was a liberator, but by his words, not by his sword. He converted rather than conquered. He accumulated no worldly wealth. He threw the moneylenders from the temple. During his ministry, he owned no home, no land and had no regular paycheck. His time with us was too brief, and he was crucified for his ministry.

And yet, he succeeded beyond all expectation to transform the world. The Prince of Peace, he taught us that peace is not the absence of violence; it is the presence of justice and righteousness.

These days, the mass for Christ has become a holiday, more secular than sacred. It is a time of sales and discounts, of shopping and Santa. In the midst of this, we should stop a moment and take stock of where we are. The record surely is mixed.

There is good news: Unemployment is down, poverty is down, incomes have slowly begun to rise. We continue to lock up more people than any nation in the world, but our generally dysfunctional Congress just passed a sensible reform that will reduce the number locked up for non-violent offenses or for inability to pay a fine.

Mostly, however, we are astray. The United States wastes lives and literally trillions in wars without end and without apparent purpose, yet when the president abruptly calls for withdrawing some of the troops, he gets criticized from all sides.

Inequality is at record extremes, yet Congress passed a tax cut that went overwhelmingly into the pockets of the already rich. Millions still struggle in this rich country with getting adequate food to eat, yet the administration is intent on cutting support for food stamps that allow the working poor to feed their families.

On our borders, the administration is tearing babies away from their mothers, and keeping so many locked up that we have no facilities to house them. Health care remains unaffordable for too many, yet a federal judge recently threatened the health care of millions by declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

Jesus was not a partisan, but his birth was immensely political, both in the expectations of the people and the fears of the occupiers. Instead of turning us on one another, he called us to our highest selves. We should not let the deeper meaning of Christmas be lost in the wrappings.

In Chicago, I will go — as I do every year — to visit prisoners. This year, however, many of the city’s ministers are joining together to raise the funds to liberate those who are locked up simply because they cannot make bail. I urge ministers across the country to take this initiative to their towns, visit the local jails, find out how many non-violent offenders are in jail simply because they cannot make bail and work to liberate as many of them as possible.

That surely will express the real meaning of the Christmas story.

Jesus demonstrated the overwhelming power of faith, hope and charity, the importance of love. He showed that people of conscience can make a difference, even against the most powerful oppressor. He demonstrated the strength of summoning our better angels, rather than rousing our fears or feeding our divisions.

This Christmas, this surely is a message to remember. Merry Christmas, everybody.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Donald Trump’s border wall demand is dressed up with more lies about immigrants

 The U.S./Mexico border fence in Sunland Park, New Mexico. President Donald Trump threatens to shut down the federal government if he doesn't get $5 billion for his border wall. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images
By      Jesse Jackson             12/17/2018
“Yes, if we don’t get what we want, one way or the other … I will shut down the government,” said President Trump to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, referring to his demand for $5 billion to build his border wall.

If Trump insists, a good portion of the government will be shut down on Friday over his wall.

Trump festooned his demand with his customary lies, claiming that much of the wall has already been built (it hasn’t), that immigrants are spreading disease (they aren’t), that border agents recently detained “10 terrorists in a short period of time” (they didn’t). In reality, illegal immigration has been declining, not rising.

This isn’t a crisis; it’s a political ploy designed to fan fear and division.

OPINION

The Bible teaches us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” We will be judged by how we treat the least of these. In Luke, chapter 10, Jesus tells the story of the stranger on the Jericho Road, who was robbed, stripped and beaten by a band of thieves. He is ignored by a priest and a religious official. He is saved by a Samaritan — a people who were widely despised at the time — who binds his wounds, takes him to an inn and pays his fare. “Go and do likewise,” Jesus instructs.

In contrast, Trump slanders the strangers. His administration has ripped babies from their parents, shackled pregnant women, locked up thousands indefinitely. He has constricted legal immigration, even as employers seek new workers as the baby boomers age and retire. And now he threatens to shut down a good part of our own government unless he can waste billions on the wall that Mexico won’t pay for.

 In the midterm elections, Trump, worried about mobilizing his base, descended into hysteria, threatening to revoke the citizenship of those born here — a direct violation of the Constitution — rousing fears about a supposed invading army of migrants, eventually dispatching 7,000 troops to the border, an insult to our military and to our border patrols.

He succeeded in raising the importance of the issue, but he lost the argument. Democrats swept to a majority in the House. Polls showed most Americans still believe that immigrants benefit this nation, as opposed to costing it. The percentage of Americans supporting lower levels of immigration has fallen from a high of nearly two-thirds in the mid-1990s to an all-time low of less than 30 percent in June.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who immigrated from India at 16 and is the first Indian-American woman elected to the House of Representatives and one of 12 naturalized citizens, notes that a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill exists — one that once got 68 votes in the U.S. Senate.

It paid for more border security, while providing a clear road map to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented, including the Dreamers, and fixed many of the problems of our system: outdated family visa caps, cruel immigration backlogs, and a failure to address pressing needs of employers.

Trump, however, doesn’t seek a solution; he seeks the preservation of an issue — one that he believes can help him divide and conquer.

What’s needed instead, as Rep. Jayapal wrote, is a moral imagination about immigration. This is not about “open borders,” as Trump slanders Democrats. It is about creating a humane, sensible, smart system to deal with legal immigration, cut down on illegal entry and address those desperately seeking asylum.

We would also be wise to seek to assist rather than destabilize our neighbors so that their economies thrive. People don’t want to leave their homes. Only desperation for their families leads them to venture into the unknown.

As we head into this holiday season, it is a good time for each of us to look into our hearts, to see our neighbors without blinders. They aren’t seeking to invade America. They aren’t longing to leave their families, their homes, their communities. They are struggling to survive. They are strangers on the Jericho Road.

We should meet them with an open heart, not a closed mind.
Jesse Jackson

Happy Sixteenth Birthday Our oldest Little Woman

A Daughter
A daughter is a wonderful blessing 
A treasure from above
She's laughter , warmth and special charm 

She's thoughfulness and love 
 A daughter  brings a special joy
That comes from deep inside 
And as she grows  to adulthood

She lifts  your heart with orided
No words can describe  the warm memories
The pride and gratitude too  
that comes from having a daughter 

To love  and  cherish    just like you
This age may last only for  a year 
But trust me it will be an advanture
With memories that will last a lifetime

We hope  your birthday cake  is as sweet as you
We hope that your birthday party  is as cool as you
We hope that all your friends   show you a good time
But when all the dust settles   you are all ours

Happy Birthday  Sweetheart
Daddy  , Mama  , Jonny  ,  Jenny  , Man 
In memory of  Poppa

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

White churches have a moral responsibility to stand up

 Police officers at the 16th Street Baptist Church, headquarters of the Birmingham Campaign in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963. The church was bombed by white supremacists in September of that year, killing four girls.
By           Jesse Jackson                   12/10/2018
In 2019, we will commemorate 400 years since the first 20 slaves were transported by ship from Africa by white slave traders and landed in Jamestown, Va.

Now four centuries later, race remains a central dividing line. Today, for example, the racial wealth gap exposes a stark difference. The median wealth of a white household (median means half are above and half below) is 12 times greater than that of a black household. The median wealth of a white household is $134,430, of blacks it is $11,030.

OPINION

This is virtually all about equity in a home, the leading source of middle income wealth. African-Americans still suffer from de facto segregation, after years of being red-lined from decent neighborhoods.

In the financial collapse, African-American households suffered the worse. Black unemployment rose twice as much as white unemployment in the Great Recession. Middle-class black families, lacking inherited wealth, were targeted for the most aggressive and leveraged home loans. When the bust came, they were the most at risk and suffered the greatest loss of homes.

The wealth gap is not erased by educational attainment, by full-time employment, by getting the right occupation. The typical black family with a head of household working full time has less wealth than a white family whose head of household is unemployed. Median wealth for a black family whose head has a college degree is about 1/8 that of a median white family similarly educated.

African-Americans are constantly told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. In the black church, for example, ministers repeatedly preach the need for discipline, self-reliance, faith and hard work. Yet even those who succeed still remain behind.

 The divide has deep historical roots. Two-hundred forty-six years of chattel slavery (1619-1865), only twelve years of Reconstruction (1865-1877), 19 years of Black Codes, KKK and white citizen council violence (1877-1896), 58 years of legal apartheid with nearly 5,000 African-Americans lynched and, even since the 1954 Brown decision, ongoing racial discrimination.

During the recent midterm elections, I was constantly asked whether African-Americans would vote in high enough numbers and margins for Democrats so that candidates white and black had a chance to be elected. Democrats seem almost satisfied if 20 to 30 percent of whites turn out to vote for black or progressive white candidates.

What responsibility do white people have to register and turnout for progressive black and white Democrats running for office?

The nation is facing many morally relevant social, economic and political crises — voter suppression, income and wealth inequality, criminal justice reform and climate change —that now pose an existential threat to the next generation. Why does the white church remain so silent in the face of these mounting crises and denial of justice and opportunity?

In Birmingham in 1963, with dogs biting children, high-pressure fire hoses knocking down peaceful protesters, bombers blowing up churches and Dr. King in jail, many white church leaders chose to attack Dr. King’s non-violent methodology rather than to fight for a non-discriminatory Public Accommodations Act.

One would have thought when the four little girls were bombed in the 16th Street Baptist Church, white churches would have at least held prayer services or services of reconciliation.  Instead, most attacked Dr. King as an outside agitator, as if he had set the bombs.

Recently in Alabama, I witnessed a stark contrast. One extreme was the excitement in anticipation of the Georgia/Alabama SEC championship football game. When a young African-American athlete, Jalen Hurts, replaced an injured Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, every Alabamian of every political persuasion, right, left and center, was pulling for him.

With Hurts’ remarkable display of skill, Alabama won the game. He not only won the game, he arguably beat George Wallace and the legislators who earlier locked blacks out of the University of Alabama. He beat Bull Connor who unleashed the dogs on demonstrators and the KKK on Freedom Riders. He beat the KKK bombers who watched as the church was decimated and four little girls were murdered.

The other extreme was witnessed in Hoover, Ala., where E.J. Bradford was shot in the back by a policeman. That police officer is still on the payroll. The patterns and prejudices of the old South are hard to overcome.

Here once more, the white church has the opportunity and the responsibility to stand up, to serve as a Christian witness. White voices of moral authority and inclusive leadership are needed now as much or more than ever.

That is why the silence seems so deafening.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Don’t let police keep secrets in their shooting of a black man at Alabama mall

 Elijah King holds a sign at a protest at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, Alabama, where police shot Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr. Witnesses said Bradford was trying to help people escape during a mall shooting. | AP Photo/Kim Chandler
By  Jesse Jackson            12/04/2018
 This week, I attended the funeral service for a 21-year-old young man, Emantic “EJ” Bradford, Jr.

He was shot three times in the back by police in a Birmingham, Alabama, shopping mall on Thanksgiving night. The police were responding to a fight and shots that injured two people. Witnesses have said EJ was trying to help people escape from danger. The police claimed he was brandishing a gun (for which he had a permit) and shot him without warning.

“That boy didn’t shoot at nobody,” said an onlooker as the police crowded over Bradford bleeding to death in the mall. “They just killed that black boy for no reason.”

OPINION

Bradford, the youngest son of a military family — his father was a Marine — was working full-time, helping to support his family. The family has asked for the release of any information on the shooting, including video from body cameras. The police department has refused, saying that the shooting is under investigation.

Once more, there is justifiable fear that the police are closing ranks, using secrecy and false statements to subvert justice and protect their own.

EJ Bradford’s death is an unspeakable horror, yet one that we witness far too often. He is one of more than 850 people who have been shot and killed by the police in the United States this year, and the most recent victim of racial violence at the hands of the police.

 The NRA keeps saying that a “good man with a gun” can help prevent mass shootings. Clearly, not if that good man is an African-American.

Even with a permit to carry and an intent to help the innocent get away, young African-American men become, without warning, the targets and the victims of police.

We have been here before, too many times. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed walking home in Florida. Michael Brown was shot, and his body left to rot in the middle of a Ferguson, Missouri street. In Chicago, there were “16 shots and a 400-day cover-up” of the murder of Laquan McDonald.

The list of victims of what, sadly, is a violence fueled by racism and protected by political indifference is much too long. Who will force accountability and reform?

In one of his first and last efforts in office, former Attorney General Jeff Beauregard Sessions gutted the Justice Department initiative, ramped up under the Obama administration, to use court- ordered consent decrees to force reform of police practices. Who will police the police? The current Justice Department has chosen to perversely shirk its responsibility.

EJ Bradford deserves justice. His family deserves a full and thorough and public investigation. They deserve to see what information is known about the killing of their child. The officer involved should be investigated and prosecuted under the law.

I share the pain and anger about the violent death of EJ. If the Justice Department will not act, and the police investigation is secreted away, the people must act to ensure that justice is done. I say to those who would protest, please do so in a non-violent and disciplined way.

His mother, overcome with grief, said: “My son was a loving, very loving young man. He would give any of you the shirt off his back. And that’s true. He loved people, period. He was not a killer.”

We should honor his spirit, even as we demand justice.

We ask of the police only that you do your job. Serve and protect. And release the tapes.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

How Pepsi won the USSR .. And then almost lost everything ...Contributed by my grandson Jason

 


My grandson Jason works for the Pepsi Company and thought I would be interested in some history of the company. I was very interested and enjoyed the video he showed me . Here it is for your edification and entertainment.
 Shadow
 
For half a century the USSR was America's greatest rival ... and yet one American company was able to capture the heart and wallets of the Soviet Union: Pepsi.

Starting with an ambitious exhibition after Khrushchev's rise to power, Pepsi was able to negotiate a strategic trading deal with the USSR: Pepsi would sell their product in exchange for Stolichnaya vodka, which they could sell back home in America.

With trade becoming more lucrative, Pepsi's barter became increasingly ambitious: at one point they traded over a dozen submarines and were in the process of exchanging a fleet of oil tankers, but then the Soviet Union collapsed.

In a frantic scramble to secure their assets, which were now scattered across a dozen countries, Pepsi lost their footing. Coca Cola, on the other hand, stood poised to overtake their rival. The fall of the USSR was a great opportunity for them, and over the course of a single decade Coca Cola entered Russia and became the number 1 cola in the country.

Trump Chuckles ....or are they Chump Truckles ??

Related image
 
Related image
 
 
Thank you, Mr. Fascist Dictator...

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Senate race gives Mississippi a choice between hope or hate

 Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith urges the audience to cheer for President Donald Trump after he introduced her at a rally on Oct. 2, 2018 in Southaven, Miss. | AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis         By  Jesse Jackson           1/26/2018
Now Mississippi must decide — between the future or the past, between coming together or dividing even more. The special election for the U.S. Senate seat on Tuesday is reportedly a very close race. Much will depend on who turns out to vote.

Does hope drive turnout? Or will hate and fear? Tuesday will tell.

OPINION
The contrast is clear. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, appointed to replace Thad Cochran when he resigned for health reasons, now must face the electorate. She votes down the line for President Trump, who will join her for rallies Monday.

She has told us exactly who she is. On Nov. 2, after a supporter praised her, she said, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” Her Facebook page shows a photo of her wearing a cap of a Confederate soldier and holding a musket, with a caption: “Mississippi history at its best.” She was also caught on video saying, “There’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who maybe we don’t want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea.” She now says she was joking.

No, those comments aren’t a joke, not in Mississippi with its history of lynching and of violent voter suppression; they are blatant racial appeals. They were so hateful that Walmart, Major League Baseball, Union Pacific, Pfizer, Amgen, AT&T and others have asked for the return of donations they made to her campaign.

Her opponent is Mike Espy, the first black Mississippian to be elected to Congress since Reconstruction and the first black secretary of agriculture, appointed by Bill Clinton. He is a centrist by temperament and politics. He is a supporter of the Second Amendment, wants to increase paid family leave and the minimum wage and supports the expansion of Medicaid funding. His campaign is a call for Mississippi to more forward, not backward.

 Mississippi has been notorious for its racial divisions. “Everybody knows about Mississippi goddam,” Nina Simone used to sing. This is where lynching was used to intimidate African-Americans in opposition to the emancipation of the slaves. This is where civil rights activists were murdered for the crime of simply trying to register people to vote.

The state has paid a terrible price for this. It is the poorest state in the union. The effort to keep African-Americans down has pushed white working people into the ditch with them. The state finds it hard to attract investment. Its lack of basic public investment — in education, in health care, in the environment — makes it unattractive to modern day companies.

Now Mississippi has a chance. When Tunica went from a sugar ditch of poverty and despair to casinos, hotels, restaurants and jobs, the new Mississippi emerged and was made proud.

Mississippi is not just the Black Delta now. It is also the white sandy beaches to the south. The new Mississippi is more economically attractive to businesses.

The new Mississippi is home to Toyota and Nissan representing a new South agenda. Mississippi State playing on Thanksgiving Day is the new Mississippi where fans cheered the uniform color and not skin color. This is the new and rising South.

There is a choice. There is a candidate who can help bring it into the New South. The right to vote, while still impeded, now exists. The contrast is clear. The question is whether people have the courage to move forward.

Espy, the pundits say, has only an outside chance of winning. That’s true if the past sustains its hold over the present. Yet this is a time of change. Increasingly, working people of all races understand that the current course doesn’t work for them. The grip of Republicans, appealing to racial division, has not served the state well; a few have prospered, but many have not. Old habits and old hatreds are hard to break. Yet Mississippi has a chance and a choice. African-Americans must have the courage to vote in large numbers. People of conscience must vote their values; working people vote in their own interests.

Electing Hyde-Smith will condemn Mississippi to the past. Electing Espy will be a clear statement that Mississippi is moving forward. The people now must decide.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Contrast between Obama and Trump has become clear


In this Nov. 10, 2016 photo, President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
By   Jesse Jackson      November 20 , 2018

Donald Trump began his presidency with an inaugural address that denounced the “carnage” that had preceded him. He vowed to Make America Great Again, and set about systematically trying to deep-six virtually everything that his predecessor Barack Obama had accomplished.

Now, after two years, the contrast is stark and clear.

OPINION
Barack and Michelle Obama came from middle-class families and worked their way up to the White House.

Donald Trump was born into a fortune that he eventually inherited.

Barack Obama put together a coalition across lines of race and won the majority of votes in two presidential elections.

Trump stoked racial and nativist fears to consolidate a base of white voters.

Obama inherited an economy in free fall that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. He saved it, and began what is now the longest recovery in history.

Trump inherited that recovery and pretends it was his own.

Under Obama, 26 million people got health care coverage who did not have it before, despite implacable Republican opposition.

Under Trump, about 4 million and counting have been deprived of health insurance.

Under Obama, taxes went up on the wealthy, in part to pay for extending health care to low-income people.

Trump slashed taxes on the rich and corporations, and blew up the deficit.

No drama Obama led a remarkably clean administration, with no high official embarrassed by indictment or scandal over eight years.

In less than two years, Trump’s administration is already established as one of the most corrupt in history.

When Obama traveled the world, throngs gathered to hear him. Respect for America rose.

When Trump travels, he goes late, leaves early and is greeted with protests. Respect for America has plummeted.

Obama listened to scientists warning about global warming and brought the world together — including China — in a Paris Accord to take the first steps at meeting the challenge.

Trump calls catastrophic climate change a hoax, has tried to purge any mention of it across his government and has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, making this country one of only two to spurn it.

Obama brought leading nations of the world together to force Iran to agree to dismantle its nuclear production facilities and to submit to intrusive inspection.

Trump pulled the U.S. out of the accord unilaterally, and now is trying to enforce sanctions on Iran that our own allies deplore.

Faced with Republican obstruction, Obama used his executive powers to protect the Dreamers — migrants brought as young children to the U.S. who know no other country.

Faced with bipartisan agreement on comprehensive immigration reform, Trump walked away and used his executive powers to rip babies from parents and put them in cages.

Obama generally leveled with the American people.

Trump lies routinely and repeatedly.

Obama strengthened enforcement of civil rights.

Trump has rolled enforcement back across the government.

Obama cracked down on for-profit colleges fraudulently luring students into crippling debt.

Trump not only ran his own fraudulent education operation, but his Education Department is also gutting protections for students.

The contrast is even clearer when we look to the future. Trump promises more tax cuts, more military spending, more deficits and deeper cuts in programs for the vulnerable. He plans to nominate a coal lobbyist to head the Environmental Protection Agency and is trying to install a partisan zealot atop the Justice Department.

Obama says America must move forward, and he praises progressive Democrats for advocating Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free college and more.

With Obama and then Trump, Americans have elected two diametrically opposed leaders leading into two very different directions. Over the next two years, Americans will have to choose once more.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Happy 17th Birthday 'Son & Brother


Happy Birthday to you our son and brother 
You're brought us so much joy
With every little thing you do
I'm glad you're our son and brother

We still  remember when  you came to us 
On that beautiful and joyous day
The tears your mama shed of happiness
Will be remembered always 

We thanked the Lord from up above 
For giving  you to us 
Then we made a pledge  to care for you 
To the uttermost degree

Through the years you've blessed us 
Much more than we could you 
We love you so , our dear sweet son 
Our pledge we do renew 

Happy Birthday 
Daddy , Mama ,  Sha  , Jenny  , Man  
In memory of         'Poppa'

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Democrats need a plan that goes beyond responding to Trump’s outrage of the day

 Now that they have regained control of the U.S. House, Democrats can serve as a check on President Trump's worst outrages, writes Jesse Jackson. But they need a grand reform manifesto of their own. | Zach Gibson/Getty Images
By       Jesse Jackson                11/12/2018, 
 With majority control in the House of Representatives, Democrats have an enormous opportunity — and face a distinct peril.

The opportunity is to lay out in hearings and in legislation a long-overdue change agenda for America. The peril is they’ll get caught responding to President Trump’s outrage a day, focus on pursuing his corruption, his taxes, his payoffs, his fulminations and unending lies. The latter fixates the media. The former serves the American people.

OPINION :
No doubt, Democrats have to defend the democracy, ensure that Trump is not able to obstruct the investigation of Russian interference. Democrats, however, have to walk and chew gum at the same time, and that requires laying down a clear agenda for change.

The needs for reform are apparent. Democrats gained popular favor running on extending and defending health care and on democracy reform, including reviving the Voting Rights Act, curbing big money in politics, automatic voter registration, ending gerrymandering and a rollback of the voter suppression techniques that have spread across the country.

The reform manifesto is far broader than that. Democrats should stand for raising worker wages — a $15 minimum wage, mandatory overtime for those earning $70,000 or less, labor law reform to protect workers right to organize.

A major investment in a Green New Deal, generating good jobs while moving rapidly to meet the threat posed by catastrophic climate change and modernizing our decrepit infrastructure, needs to be detailed and pushed. Student loan debt continues to hit new records, even though enrollment in colleges has dropped. A good public education from pre-K through college or advanced training should be available to every child in America.

By The New Yorker — The high rate of female incarceration in Oklahoma spurred a group of New York City lawyers to launch a practice in...
Democrats need a plan for reviving the impoverished ghettos and barrios of urban America and the devastated small towns and red-lined regions of rural America.

Simple steps for building equal justice for all are also needed. Trump campaigned by rousing fears of a fake “invasion” of immigrants, yet most Americans continue to believe immigrants are more beneficial to America than costly.

Comprehensive immigration reform should be on the table, with the first easy steps to protect the DACA children —  the children of undocumented workers raised here who know no other country — and to end the grotesque policy of putting babies in cages separated from their parents.

Criminal justice reform — there was once a bipartisan accord on ending imprisonment of non-violent offenders and on reforming discriminatory police practices — is long overdue. The repeated mass shootings should, at the very least, allow the revival of the ban on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons that were designed for military use.

Americans elected Trump to shake things up, after he promised that he would be the champion of working people. Then he larded tax cuts on the rich, creating deficits that Republicans use to justify cuts in Social Security and Medicare. He turned his administration over to Wall Street executives and corporate lobbyists. They did not deregulate, then re-rigged the rules to favor their entrenched interests.

With fires and floods wracking America, Trump cast doubt on the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is caused by humans.

With mass shootings horrifying the nation, Trump sided with the gun lobby to block reforms.

With wages still stagnant, Trump opposed lifting the minimum wage and his Supreme Court nominee provided the deciding vote to gut unions for teachers, nurses, police officers and other public employees.

Americans did not elect Democrats to harass Donald Trump personally. They elected them to hold his administration accountable to law and to push for reforms that will address the challenges they face in their lives.


Yes, Democratic reforms will likely be blocked by a Republican Senate or vetoed by the president. But they can show Americans that there is an alternative, if only Trump and the Republican Senate would get out of the way.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

America, vote against Trump’s hate and return to the moral center

 President Donald Trump arrives to speak during an election rally in Murphysboro, Illinois on October 27, 2018. | Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images
By  Jesse Jackson            11/05/2018

Now Americans get to decide. Our democracy is corrupted by big money, scarred by efforts to suppress the vote or to gerrymander districts, and stained by scurrilous campaigning, led in this instance by the president himself.

Yet, in the end, democracy empowers us to decide who will lead us, who we will reward with our support and who we will spurn.

In Tuesday’s election, no matter who wins or loses, some things have become crystal clear.

OPINION

We do not live, the Bible teaches, by bread alone. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, Jesus taught, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. The fundamental judgment weighs not how much money you have amassed, but what values you have professed and practiced.

In this campaign, unemployment is low and wages have begun to tick up. President Trump may be riding a recovery begun under Barack Obama, but he takes the credit.

Yet even Trump understands that low unemployment figures are not enough.  The question still is one of values.

 Trump and his Republican followers argue that Democrats are lurching to the left, denouncing some as socialists, others as radicals. Yet these candidates — such as Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams, running for governor in Florida and Georgia, respectively — represent mainstream opinion.

The right to affordable health care. The right to a quality public education. Equal opportunity under the law. A secure retirement after a life of work. A living wage. Sensible control over who can buy guns, and what armaments are for sale.

This is the moral center. Our politics have gotten conservative over the years, and entrenched interests like the drug companies, the National Rifle Association and Wall Street have so rigged the rules that what is the moral center — and reflects mainstream opinion — is scorned as radical or impossible in Washington.

Trump was smart enough to know that unemployment figures are not the measure of the economy. People want not just a job, but a job that offers secure employment, good wages and benefits, enough to raise a family on. They want health care for their families, college for their children, a secure retirement for themselves. They need wages that are rising at least as fast as the cost of necessities.

Trump realizes this economy is still not providing that for working people.

So he chose to campaign on his values. He purposefully sought to drive us apart; he sought to generate fears of the stranger, fuel racial and ethnic hatreds. Even the pipe bombs sent out by a disturbed supporter and the horror of the murders of Americans praying in their synagogue did not deflect him.

He’s been clear about what he’s doing. He is rousing his base and getting Republicans out to vote. We’ll see about that. But whatever the vote totals, these are not the values of most Americans. We expect more from our leaders.

One of the biggest tells of this campaign was the big lie that Trump and Republicans tried to sell. After promising for years to kill Obamacare, failing by only one vote in the Senate, and launching a lawsuit to abolish it, Republicans discovered that Americans want affordable health care.

Republican-led states face ballot initiatives to force expansion of Medicaid. Republican candidates started scrubbing their web pages of any mention of repealing the ACA.

Trump capped this off, characteristically, with a blatant lie, tweeting that Republicans would protect pre-existing conditions and Democrats won’t. The Justice Department told a federal court in June it would not defend ACA provisions that protect patients with pre-existing conditions.

Black is white; up is down.

Whatever the result of the election, I suggest that America, in the face of the Trump campaign and Republican control, is returning to the moral center. Working families have now lived through two recoveries that haven’t reached them. They are increasingly clear that, in this richest nation in the world, basic human rights should be protected.

We can be fooled by the flood of attack ads.  We can be distracted by the president’s rhetoric and stunts. We can fall for a con more than once. In the end, however, we will seek to make America better —not simply wealthier for the few, but richer in values for all.

Trump may be able to rouse hate. But there are more healers than haters in this nation, and the time for healing has come.

Amen to that statement  , Jesse.
Thank you , the PICs

Monday, November 5, 2018

Obama tells rally in Chicago: ‘The character of our nation is on the ballot’

By Lynn Sweet @lynnsweet | email             11/05/2018
Ten years to the day of being elected president, former President Barack Obama came home Sunday to turn out voters for the Illinois Democratic ticket, mixing the message of hope that propelled him to the White House with an urgent call to repel President Donald Trump’s divisiveness, though Obama did not use his name.

Sunday marked the last of a series of rallies Obama was headlining for Democrats, with the former president pumping up Indiana Democrats in Gary before hitting the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave.

A very hoarse Obama said, “Hope is still out there. We just have to stand up and speak for it. And in two days, Illinois, in two days, you get to vote in what might be the most important election of my lifetime, maybe more important than 2008.”

“…America is at a crossroads right now. There is a contest of ideas that is going on, about who we are and what kind of country we are going to be.

“Health care for millions is on the ballot.

“A fair shake for working families is on the ballot.

“And most importantly, the character of our nation is on the ballot.”

“When you vote, when you participate in the political process, you can be a check on bad behavior,” Obama said.

While former presidents often stay in the political background for a few years after leaving office, the Trump-led attacks on Obama’s legacy drew him back onto the campaign trail. Republicans, said Obama, are “blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying.” And the Trump administration, which promised to “clean the swamp,” instead, Obama said, “racked up enough indictments to field a football team.”
Thousands attend a Get Out The Vote rally Sunday. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
At the end of the rally the entire ticket joined hands on stage:  Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker, his running mate, Juliana Stratton; Attorney general hopeful Kwame Raoul; Comptroller Susana Mendoza; Treasurer Mike Frerichs and House hopefuls Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood. The picture of unity was a sharp contrast to the fractured  GOP ticket let by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Grammy- and Academy Award-winning rapper and actor Common energized the crowd earlier in the event.

“Hey everybody, I’m from the South Side of Chicago,” Common said.

Long lines of people stood outside the pavilion Sunday despite the rain.
Lynn Sweet
   
 ✔
@lynnsweet
 Long lines waiting for #gotv rally w ⁦@POTUS44⁩ ⁦@common⁩ in #Chicago organized by  #jbforgov
Gubernatorial candidate Pritzker took the stage before Obama spoke to say “hatred and misogyny should have no place in America.” He told the crowd, “This election is about what Illinois can be.”

Raoul told the crowd, “I’m a proud son of Haitian immigrants who did not come from [a] s-hole,” referencing reports of President Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks about immigration from several countries earlier this year. “I am a birthright baby,” Raoul said.

Comptroller and likely Chicago mayoral contender Susana Mendoza called herself at the rally “your truth-telling fiscal watchdog who is not afraid to stand up to Bruce Rauner.”

Getting big cheers early in the rally: U.S. House hopeful Lauren Underwood, the nurse running against GOP Rep. Randy Hultgren.  Underwood and Sean Casten, challenging Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., have turned these races in GOP territory into toss-ups.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin told the crowd at UIC the election Tuesday is about “saying no to hate and fear we hear from this president every day.”

Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth delivered a stemwinder at the rally: On Tuesday, be there to “say no to [President Trump], say no to [Gov. Bruce Rauner,]” and say no to a “petulant schoolyard bully of a president.”  Both Durbin and Duckworth have been on the Illinois road for Democrats. Neither are up for re-election this year.

Illinois Democratic Party chair Michael Madigan was not attending the rally, sources say. But Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel did show up backstage, according to a source who said he and Obama “chatted about midterm expectations, what they are hearing about races around the county and about the Obama Presidential Center.”
Lynn Sweet

                            ✔
@lynnsweet
 Scoop: Am told that @RahmEmanuel and Illinois State Party Chairman Michael Madigan not coming to big GOTV rally headlined by #Obama  @POTUS44 Madigan radioactive for Democrats. Rahm too much an acquired taste, Otherwise, ticket led by #jbforgov unified.

Rauner hits the trail
Rauner is looking to boost GOP turnout with stops Sunday in Decatur; Gibson City; Morris, and St. Charles. While the Illinois Democratic ticket is united, the GOP contenders are not stumping together in the final days of the campaign.

Early voting ends Monday.

Ten years ago, Chicagoans filled Grant Park to celebrate then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., becoming the first African-American president. Today, Democrats are pushing to reclaim some of the power they lost with the surprise win of President Donald Trump in 2016.

The election season is winding up with Trump and Obama holding dueling events to turn out their respective base votes.

Obama has been on the stump for embattled Democrats. Before coming home to Chicago, Obama is leading an Indiana turnout rally for Sen. Joe Donnelly, one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats. While Indiana is heavily Republican, northwest Indiana is a Democratic stronghold.

Obama, who used an absentee ballot to vote from his home in Kenwood, needs to jazz up turnout from Democratic stronghold Chicago for the statewide ticket.

Democrats concerned about Raoul
While Pritzker is ending his battle with Rauner well ahead in all polls, there is some concern over Raoul, who is locked in a struggle with GOP opponent Erika Harold.

Casten and Underwood, running in Republican suburban House districts, need massive Democratic turnout to beat their rivals. Casten is aiming to defeat Rep. Peter Roskam in the 6th District and Underwood wants to deny Rep. Randy Hultgren another term in the 14th district.

On Monday, the president will hold rallies in Cleveland, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Cape Girardeau, Mo.

On Sunday, Trump hits Macon, Ga., for a 3:55 p.m. rally, speaking at about the same time Obama will be on the stage at UIC. Trump has an evening rally in Chattanooga, Tenn., and stumps in Ft. Wayne on Monday.

Thanx   Lynn Sweet

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Funniest Joke I ever Heard...Jimmy Stewart

 
 
 
James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908, in Indiana, Pennsylvania, the son of Elizabeth Ruth and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. Jimmy was expected to run his dad's store but he had his own ideas. Stewart was of Scottish ancestry and was raised as a Presbyterian. He was descended from veterans of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the American Civil War.
Stewart enlisted and was inducted in the Army on March 22, 1941. He became the first major American movie star to wear a military uniform in World War II. Stewart flew with the pathfinder squadron of the 389th Bombardment Group. He received many honors including the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in combat and awarded the French Croix de Guerre. He also was awarded the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Regan.
 
Stewart served in a number of staff positions in the 2nd and 20th Bomb Wings between July 1944 and the end of the war in Europe, and was promoted to full colonel on March 29, 1945. Less than two months later, on May 10, he succeeded to command briefly the 2nd Bomb Wing, a position he held until June 15, 1945. Stewart was one of the few Americans to ever rise from private to colonel in only four years during the Second World War. On July 23, 1959, Stewart was promoted to Brigadier General. He participated in the Vietnam war as an officer but did not allow that to become public knowledge.
He was married to his wife Gloria for nearly 45 years until her death in 1994. They had four children, two sons and twin daughters. Jimmy died in July of 1997 of heart problems.

He was a brilliant and world wide celebrated  American actor. He was nominated for several Academy Awards and received the Academy Lifetime Achievement (1985)
Academy Award for Best Actor (1941)
Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award (1965)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (1974)
There is a Jimmy Stewart museum in his home town of Indiana Pennsylvania and a statue of Jimmy on the courthouse lawn.
 He had an unforgettable acting style and way of speaking and great natural charm. Jimmy Stewart was a man who will always be remembered with much respect and affection.



Trump Visits Site of the Deadliest Attack on Jews - Says Nothing and Takes No Responsibility

 
By Jay Michaelson
a man and a woman sitting on a bench: (SAUL LOEB)
  
No human being is perfect. We all make mistakes, and look back on our actions, occasionally, with remorse.
From this ineluctable fact of human life, arguably, springs one of the sources of religion itself: the knowledge that we cause harm, deliberately or inadvertently, and we feel sorry, and we don’t know what to do. Elaborate theologies of sin and forgiveness, reward and punishment, issue from this brute reality of the human condition.
 
a woman is walking down the street: (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
 
But not Donald Trump.
What I, and I think many Jews, wanted to hear from President Trump, as he visited the site of the worst massacre of Jews in American history, was, if not an outright apology, at least some taking of responsibility, some expression of remorse.

What we got, publicly least, was bupkes: nothing.
Remorse for what? For not condemning white supremacy except when pushed to do so. For occasionally supporting it outright, through retweets and race-baiting. For exaggerating the dangers of immigration to win votes.  For stirring up hatred and rage at a series of otherwise pointless rallies and in thousands of incendiary tweets. For tolerating among his supporters both overt and covert anti-Semites, and occasionally dog-whistling to them with ads targeting George Soros or Michael Bloomberg.
For spinning baseless conspiracy theories, attacking the media, and attacking Hollywood – all of which are fodder for the worst of anti-Semitic imagination. For allowing anti-Semitic attacks to rise 60% between 2016 and 2017 and failing to take a single action to counteract them.

If not all that, could he at least express remorse over his baseless claims about the “migrant caravan”: that there are Middle Easterners among the refugees, or gang members among the refugees (who are, in large part, fleeing gangs), or that there is an invasion paid for by shadowy figures? Alleged synagogue attacker Robert Bowers says the caravan conspiracy was his immediate impetus to murder. Does Trump really not regret promoting it? Not a little?
Honestly, the content feels almost secondary. It would have been nice to hear Trump say “I regret some of my language about refugees,” but the specifics would have been less important than the admission that, like every other human being on the planet, Donald Trump occasionally regrets things he said and didn’t say.
But no. Visiting Pittsburgh in the wake of the massacre, Trump spoke only privately. In recent days, he has condemned anti-Semitism as if he had not suborned it all these years, and condemned other people for the attack, rather than admitting it was his movement (albeit not his follower, in this case). In other words, he has said some of the right things, but refused to take any personal moral responsibility. This is insufficient.
  
Donald Trump occasionally regrets things he said and didn’t say.
 Donald Trump occasionally regrets things he said and didn’t say. 
 
It’s not like saying sorry should be so anathema to a U.S. president. Harry Truman said, “the buck stops here.” Not “it’s the media’s fault and I didn’t do anything.”
Indeed, human beings’ inability to live up to our ideals is fundamental to all streams of Christianity and my own Jewish tradition, among others. Whether in confession, or prayerful conversation, or the drama of Yom Kippur, apologizing is part of being human.
Does Trump not bear any responsibility for Pittsburgh? Not even one percent? Half of one percent? Did he not contribute anything, in all his bombast, hyperbole, and scapegoating, to the climate of rage and mistrust that now blankets the country like smog?
Does he not regret, even a little, saying that there were “good people on both sides” of the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville? What good people march with Nazis?
Or, if you prefer policies to posturing, does Trump now regret cutting the Department of Homeland Security’s “Countering Violent Extremism” program, which might have reached the likes of Cesar Sayoc and Robert Bowers, or at least prevented some of the hateful messages they absorbed?   Or not filling the office of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism until 19 months into his presidency?
This is what grieving Jews need to hear. Not more evasions and disclaimers and gaslighting, but finally, at long last, some taking of responsibility. We need to hear that we’re not insane, that anti-Semitism has gotten worse on Donald Trump’s watch, that he bears some responsibility for it happening. We are yearning to hear this.

People offered condolences at the Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 Jewish worshippers were shot to death.
 People offered condolences at the Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 Jewish worshippers were shot to death. 

And if not from Trump, who seems congenitally incapable of such reflection, then perhaps from his supporters. Where are you, Mike Pence? You are a religious man, with both Catholicism and Evangelical Protestantism in your faith practice. When you search your heart, do you really find no cause for repentance? Did you do nothing that might have encouraged Robert Bowers to commit an act of mass murder?
Do you, Mr. Pence, even apologize for having a “messianic rabbi” – i.e. a Christian whose mission it is to convert Jews – say a prayer over our dead in the name of “Savior Yeshua?” This was a hideous disrespect to the deceased.
Not only have Trump and his supporters failed to take any responsibility, they have shifted the blame on others and perpetuated the very cycles of hatred that made these acts of domestic terrorism inevitable. Trump once again called the media “the enemy of the people.” He suggested that the synagogue itself was at fault for having inadequate security (even though the gunman, armed with an AR-15, managed to shoot four fully armed police officers).
His advisor Kellyanne Conway even attributed the massacre to “anti-religious” motives, even though Bowers was quite clear that he killed 11 Jews because of the “migrant caravan” and the pro-refugee activities of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, or HIAS. How much clearer can a terrorist be?
We all know that Trump does not excel at self-reflection. When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked him what he would say to his antisemitic supporters – who, at the time of the question, were deluging Jewish journalists like me in viciously antisemitic tweet storms – he replied that he had nothing to say to them. He has said he has no regrets for saying John McCain was not a war hero or for praising a politician who body-slammed a reporter. (In fairness, Trump did say that he regretted not firing FBI Director James Comey sooner.)
Maybe to Trump, admitting you made a mistake looks like weakness. But it’s not weakness, Mr. President. It’s humanity.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN: - PROTESTS
The "little demonstration" Trump says he didn't notice.
Protesters demonstrate on a main road in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Protests were held as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were visiting a memorial at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, to honor the victims of a mass shooting at the synagogue on Saturday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
 
A woman protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump waits near the Tree of Life Congregation on Oct. 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
Image result for Here’s the ‘small protest’ Trump says he didn’t see in Pittsburgh youtube
 
Image result for Here’s the ‘small protest’ Trump says he didn’t see in Pittsburgh youtube
 
Related image