Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Future of Democratic Party lies in moving to the moral center


By Jesse Jackson                August 13, 2018
A new generation of Democrats, such as New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is challenging the party's establishment, writes Jesse Jackson, and the party's goal should be to embrace the "moral center." | AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The media is now reporting on the debate among Democrats and activists about what the party should stand for, and how it will win elections.

Establishment Democrats are said fear that the populist reform energy represented by Bernie Sanders and rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who upset Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, in a New York City primary) will turn off the moderate, upscale, white suburban Republicans who they believe are appalled by Trump and the key to taking back the Congress.

A Wall-Street-funded group known as the Third Way — which might better be known as the Wrong Way since it has been wrong about every major issue facing the country over the last years, championing disastrous corporate trade deals, deregulation of Wall Street and the Iraq War among other calamities — even convened a small gathering, “cohosted” by a billionaire real estate developer to map out how to counter what the media describes as the left.

The very terms of this debate are misleading. Ideas that have broad public support, such as tuition-free college, are labeled “left.” Ideas that offend philosophical conservatives, such as subsidies to big oil companies, are tagged as on the right, championed by Republicans.

We’d be wiser to focus on common sense and basic principles. When Dr. Martin Luther King spoke forcefully against what he called the “triple evils” of “racism, economic exploitation and militarism,” he was criticized for weakening the cause of civil rights, for getting out of his lane by talking about economic inequality and against the Vietnam War.

He responded, “I’m against segregation at lunch counters, and I’m not going to segregate my moral concerns.” Cowardice, he taught us, asks the question “Is it safe?” Expediency asks, “Is it politic?” Vanity asks, “Is it popular?” Conscience asks, “Is it right?”

We are a nation faced with great perils. Inequality has reached new extremes and, even with the economy near full employment, working people still struggle simply to stay afloat. Big money corrupts our politics and distorts our government. We are mired in wars without end — 17 years in Afghanistan and counting — and without victory or sense. We have a president who believes he profits politically by spreading racial division, appealing to our fears rather than our hopes.

This is the time for citizens and for true leaders to move not left or right, to the expedient or the cautious, but to the moral center. Affordable health care for all isn’t left or right, it is the moral center. Jobs that pay a living wage, affordable housing, public education, college without debt, clean water and air, action to address catastrophic climate change that literally may endanger the world — these are not ideas of the right or left. They are the moral center.

Holding to the moral center has its own power. Opposition to slavery started as a minority position, but its moral force was undeniable. Integration seemed impossible in the segregated South, but its moral force could not be denied. In this time of troubles, I believe that Americans in large numbers are looking for leaders who will embrace the moral center, not the expedient, the safe or the fashionable. They are looking for champions who will represent them, not those with deep pockets.

That may be the final irony. The most successful political strategy may well be not to trim to prevailing opinion or compromise with entrenched interest but to stand up forcefully for what is right.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Aretha Franklin's death reportedly 'imminent': She's 'been ill for a long time'

GIBSON JOHNS, AOL.COM          Aug 13th 2018 
Aretha Franklin's death is reportedly "imminent," sources say following reports that the legendary singer is "gravely ill."

People reported on Monday that Franklin, 76, "has been ill for a long time," but "she did not want people to know and she didn't make it public."

The report echoes the claims made to TMZ by a source close to the singer, who said that Franklin "could go at any time," noting that she was down to 85 pounds.

Roger Friedman of Showbizz 411 was the first to report on Monday that the soul singer was nearing the end, noting that her "family is asking for prayers and privacy" as she suffers from cancer in a Detroit hospital. Friedman noted that Franklin was reportedly first diagnosed with cancer back in 2010. She gave her final public performance in August of 2017 at Philadelphia's Mann Center months before performing at an event for Elton John's AIDS Foundation in November, at which Franklin garnered concern with her noticeably gaunt appearance.

"Aretha is surrounded by family and people close to her," Friedman reported. "She will be so missed as a mother, sister, friend, cousin. But her legacy is larger than life. It’s not just that Rolling Stone called her the number 1 singer of all time, or that she is the Queen of Soul. Long live the Queen."

Per People, Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy -- and "good friend" of Franklin -- claimed to have spoken directly to the singer and noted that she was "resting and surrounded by close friends and family."
Evrod Cassimy
@EvrodCassimy
 BREAKING NEWS: I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill. I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.
Evrod Cassimy
@EvrodCassimy
 Just got a chance to speak to Aretha Franklin. She is resting and surrounded by close friends and family. More details ahead on Local 4 News at 12pm. #ArethaFranklin #aretha

Confirmation that Franklin is "gravely ill" came months after the singer cancelled a slew of shows in the spring following doctor's orders that she rest for "at least the next two months." Rumors that Franklin had been diagnosed with cancer had persisted for years, but she had never publicly confirmed that she was suffering.


Aretha Franklin had previously announced that her next album, "A Brand New Album," is scheduled to be released in November.

Lady  of Soul  you have our prayers  , we pray for the family to have strength to be with their love one in her crossing over  and hope it is peaceful /

Shadow   &   Witchy

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Fall of an American Icon

 


Great example of, "Some people are not what they appear to be", and, "Living a lie".

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Donald Trump Jr. is already under the bus --- and Trump senior just keeps driving

Sumner        Daily Kos Staff
Over the weekend Donald Trump fired off a tweet that admits he’s been lying to the public for months and shaves his “no collusion” argument down to a fingernail. But while Trump is unlikely to face the consequences of this admission, except as one of many contributions to proof that he has obstructed the investigation, this brief statement aims a big legal bus squarely at Donald Trump Jr.
Donald J. Trump
           ✔

@realDonaldTrumpMark 
 Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!
The story of the meeting between Trump’s senior campaign staff and Russian operatives, a meeting both organized and attended by Trump Jr., was first made public by the New York Times on June 8, 2017. On that date, the Times asked Trump Jr. for his comments on the meeting, and he replied with a statement that during the meeting Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” The Washington Post reported on July 31, 2017, that Donald Trump actually dictated this statement while flying back from Germany on Air Force One.

Trump Jr. dutifully repeated the statement his father had provided—though they both knew it wasn’t true at the time. And if that was the end of it, Trump Jr. would be in the same position as Trump: knowingly and publicly disseminating a false story intended to halt or divert the investigation into connections between the campaign and the Russian government.

But for Trump Jr., that was not the end. He has repeated the statement in multiple forums. In particular, there was this statement:

Donald Trump Jr.: The meeting was instead primarily focused on Russian adoptions, which is exactly what I said over a year later in my statement of July 8, 2017.

That’s just one part of testimony that Trump Jr. made before the US Senate on September 7, 2017. And lying in that setting is a good deal more serious.

In his Sunday tweet, what Donald Trump is calling “fake news” is multiple stories that he was sulking around whatever golf course he happened to be inhabiting at the moment, worrying that special counsel Robert Mueller has targeted his son, Donald Trump Jr. But in attempting to call that story “fake news,” Trump admitted that the story he had been peddling for months—the assertion that the meeting arranged by Trump Jr. between Russian operatives at senior members of Trump’s campaign staff was about “adoption” rather than seeking Russian help in attacking Hillary Clinton—was an out-and-out lie.

In his Senate testimony, Donald Trump Jr. gave detailed responses on how the meeting was established, who he talked to in setting it up, and the structure of that meeting. From the beginning, it’s been clear that the purpose of the meeting was to attempt to get help from the Russian government against Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr.’s primary defense in this testimony is the phrase “not that I recall” which was frequently deployed.  

But Trump Jr. is definite on some things:

Question: Did you inform your father about the meeting or the underlying offer prior to the meeting?

Trump jr: I did not.

Trump Jr. also denied there being a pre-meeting meeting with others in the campaign before the get together. However, on June 27, 2018, CNN reported that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was willing to testify that Trump did know about the meeting. Not only that, but there was another section of Trump Jr.’s testimony.

Question: Prior to the meeting on June 9, 2016, who did you tell about the meeting or Mr. Goldstone’s underlying offer to pass along information from Russia?

Trump Jr.: I believe only Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, I made them aware of it.

Question: Was there anyone else?

Trump Jr.: No, not to my recollection.

But the testimony that Cohen is supposedly prepared to give would include an “organizing meeting” that was attended by a larger Trump team. In multiple appearances, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani provided a handy list of those present: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen and one other person. Giuliani reappeared on television later the same day to deny the meeting had ever occurred, despite having provided this rather detailed list.

The list of names shows that there are at least two reasons why Trump should suddenly be grumbling about Trump Jr.’s upcoming time in handcuffs. Not only is Michael Cohen willing to testify that he lied to the Senate and mislead investigators, Rick Gates was also at that meeting. Gates agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation months ago, and so has likely already provided information on this meeting—including any information that may have been relayed about Donald Trump’s knowledge of the upcoming event.

Trump is worrying about what will happen with Donald Trump Jr., because he has a very, very good reason to be worried. Trump Jr. has recorded testimony that is likely to be at odds with that provided by multiple witnesses. And that’s just on the events before and during the meeting. It doesn’t even touch on the “nothing came of it” lies about actions following the meeting.

It seems increasingly likely that the first test of whether Donald Trump can pardon someone whose testimony might be directly relevant to his own potential impeachment, could come in the case of his own son.
**************************************
Witchy sez :
Very heartwarming to see that the smart son in law Kushner is being carefully protected from this mess so far. Of course, he’s so very useful, while Jr. probably was born knowing he was supposed to be a tool for his father. And what a tool he has turned out to be!

Don Jr. will soon find out that his own father can’t help but sell him out to save his own butt.  He’s got to be crapping his pants knowing that his father will do it.  Then President Spanky will pardon him and act like he was a super hero for doing it.  How hard is this story to tell?

Attack on LeBron shows Trump wants to use fear, divisiveness to win elections

By Jesse Jackson                     August 7, 2018
The run-up to the 2018 congressional elections has begun. With 40 Republican representatives deciding not to run again, the party’s majority in the House is at risk. President Donald Trump has announced he plans to stump for Republicans across the country, seeking to make the election a referendum on him. Characteristically, a centerpiece of his approach is to use race as a weapon to divide and distract us.

Once more, he’s gone after NFL players — largely African Americans — for their dignified, nonviolent protests against black lives lost to police violence. The president has portrayed them as unpatriotic and ungrateful. He’ll escalate those insults this fall.

Once more, he’s slurred immigrants as violent, using the MS-13 gang to rouse fears. He says he will close down the government this fall if he doesn’t get full funding for his wall, raising the heat on an issue used to divide us.

Days after LeBron James opened his I Promise school in Akron, Ohio, where his foundation is providing everything from school lunches to guaranteed tuitions for those who go to college, Trump questioned James’ intelligence and that of his CNN interviewer, Don Lemon (also an African American): “LeBron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.” Trump’s also libeled Rep. Maxine Waters as a “very low IQ individual.”

This isn’t accidental or coincidental; it is intentional and instrumental. Trump has a long, ugly history of preying on racial fears for his own political benefit. He rose to national attention by trafficking the lie about Obama’s birth, arguing that he was an illegitimate president, born in Kenya. He launched his presidential campaign with a blast at Mexican immigrants as murderers and “rapists.” He reveled in assailing the gold star Muslim parents of a U.S. Army officer who died serving his country in the Iraq War.

During the Republican presidential primary campaign, Trump for a time declined to disavow the support of David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, saying that he hadn’t done “research” on the group. (He later disavowed Duke and the Klan as a result of public outcry.)

As president, Trump scorned immigrants from what he called “s—hole countries” — Haiti, El Salvador and countries in Africa — while saying the U.S. needed more immigrants from countries like Norway.

Trump claims he is the “least racist person that you have ever met.” His record suggests otherwise. The Justice Department sued the Trump organization — including Trump’s father, Fred, the company chair and founder, and Trump himself, who was then serving as president — for systematic discrimination in refusing to rent to African-Americans. After a protracted legal battle, the Trumps agreed to a consent decree that required them to take concrete steps to end discrimination, including providing the New York Urban League with weekly listings of vacancies, allowing them to supply qualified applicants.

Later Trump gained notoriety for taking out full-page ads championing the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five young American Americans accused of raping and murdering a jogger in Manhattan’s Central Park. They were convicted in a wave of hysteria only to be released after years in prison when DNA evidence proved they were innocent of the crime. There is no indication that Trump ever apologized.

But the question really isn’t whether Trump is a racist or not. What is undeniable is that he purposefully plays on racial fears for his own political purposes, seeking to rouse “his base” and divide and distract working people.

Trump clearly enjoys scorning convention and violating norms. During the campaign, he boasted that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still keep the support of his voters.

But we ought not adjust or accommodate to a president using his White House pulpit to spread fear, fan hatred and divide us.

LeBron James understands how destructive this behavior can be, noting about Trump:
“He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country. He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement …. ”

Later, James reflected:
“When I was growing up, there (were) like three jobs that you looked for inspiration. … It was the president of the United States, it was whoever was best in sports and it was the greatest musician at the time. You never thought you could be them, but you can grab inspiration from them. …

“And this time, right now, with the president of the United States, it’s at a bad time. While we cannot change what comes out of that man’s mouth, we can continue to alert the people that watch us, that listen to us, (that) this is not the way.”

Trump will make this election a test of what kind of country we are and what kind of country we want to live in. He believes that by spreading division and fears he will gain politically. We have to demonstrate that we are a better people than that. The provocations, the outrages, the slanders will continue. The only question is how we will respond to them.


As teams gear up for the NFL season, President Trump is reviving his destructive and diversionary attacks aimed at turning fans against players. The league office stepped in it by unilaterally declaring that players who do not want to stand during the national anthem should stay in the locker room. The NFL players association had little choice but to force negotiations over that insult. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is a decent guy. But he stuck his foot in it, too, recently announcing that the Cowboys had to stand for the anthem and couldn’t stay in the locker room – or else. The league wisely told him to zip it while the policy was under negotiation. So it goes. So much of this is a false narrative. Fake news. Trump dishonestly insists that the players are disrespecting the flag. In fact, the players kneeling during the anthem were expressing a silent protest not against the flag, but against police brutality and the reality of structural racial inequality. Kneeling before the flag in silent, nonviolent protest is not disrespectful to the Stars and Stripes. Just the opposite. It is a sign of deference and respect, a call to honor what the flag is truly supposed to represent. Burning the flag is constitutionally protected but is a desecration. Burning a cross is a desecration. It is violent. Kneeling before the cross, or during the anthem, on the other hand, isn’t a desecration; it is a call for help. Colin Kaepernick was and is concerned about blacks being beaten and killed by police. He kneeled during the anthem to highlight how the values of the flag were being ignored on the streets. He wasn’t disrespecting the flag; he was protesting those who trample its values. He was being a patriot.   Now Trump wants to light the dynamite again. His politics prey and thrive on division. He hopes to divide us one against the other while his administration rolls back protections of consumers, workers and the environment, allows corporate lobbyists to rig the rules, and lards more and more tax cuts and subsidies on entrenched interests and the wealthy. So, he purposefully peddles the false narrative that the players are disrespecting the flag. Jones, who is a Trump supporter, isn’t a bad man. Beyond the playing field, beyond contracts, he has been a decent guy. He paid for the funeral of Cowboy great Bob Hayes. But Jones has allowed himself to be turned into Trump’s pawn in this diversion. The reality is that we would not have the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas were it not for those protesting for their rights. The victory of the Civil Rights Movement opened the way to a New South. The nonviolent protests and resistance pulled down the old barriers and walls in the South, clearing the way for the Cowboys and the Spurs and the Rockets of the New South, where blacks and whites could play on the same team and wear the same colors, where fans root for the colors of their team, not the color of the players’ skin. Successful protests – at the cost of far too many lives – finally ended slavery and apartheid in this society. We should be honoring the protesters, not distorting their message. Kaepernick was right to protest what is going on in our streets. He has paid a heavy penalty for expressing his views in a nonviolent and dignified fashion. One of the best quarterbacks in the league, he has effectively been banned, a blatant conspiracy that ought to constitute a clear violation of anti-trust laws. Kaepernick stands among giants. Curt Flood in baseball and Muhammad Ali during the prime years of his boxing life were also banned, but in the process, they changed sports and the country for the better. There have always been politicians who profit by appealing to our fears. There have always been politicians who seek to divide us for political gain. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go to fulfill the flag’s values of liberty and justice for all. The players expressing their views in nonviolent and dignified fashion aren’t disgracing the flag, they are expressing its values. Let us turn against those who would divide us and join together to make America better.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Trump Admits Russian Trump Tower Meeting Was About Getting Dirt on Hillary

Donald Trump, 31 July 2018
 
Does this mean he lied about it before??? Presidents don't lie....do they???

U.S. President Donald Trump is renewing his attacks on two of his favorite targets: the special counsel Russia probe and the news media.
Trump, who is on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, began Sunday with a series of searing tweets.
He defended calling the media “The Enemy of the People,” and said journalists “purposely cause great division & distrust” and can “cause War!”


         
 
TRUMP TWEET:       
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!

 
TRUMP TWEET:
Why aren’t Mueller and the 17 Angry Democrats looking at the meetings concerning the Fake Dossier and all of the lying that went on in the FBI and DOJ? This is the most one sided Witch Hunt in the history of our country. Fortunately, the facts are all coming out, and fast!
 
Trump then particularly went after recent reporting about Robert Mueller’s probe into possible links between his campaign and Russian officials, particularly stories on how he may be concerned about his eldest son’s legal exposure.
And Trump once again defended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which his son met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer saying it was “totally legal” and that he didn’t know about it.
Trump Jr. published emails setting up the meeting a year later, ahead of a New York Times report revealing them. The Trump administration has denied wrong doing, describing the meeting as a "waste of time" and saying it was about Russian adoption policy related to American sanctions - a claim Trump just contradicted.
He actually, inadvertently flipped on his own son. He has also claimed, up to this point, that he had no idea  what the meeting was about, except what he was told....Russian adoption policy etc. So he also exposed his own lie.
'The vomit thickens'. Hmmmm … That's not what Witchy says …   Nope, I remember, "As the Stomach Turns".