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Trump invites Pelosi and Schumer to private White House dinner

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The dinner is the second bipartisan meal the president has hosted this week as he moves forward with his fall agenda.

President Trump is hosting a dinner with Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday night.  Amid the constant rifts between the Democrat and Republican Party, the latest move by the president sends out a message of extending an olive leaf to work with his adversaries.

According to White House aides, the president will discuss immigration issues and health care.  Despite objections from Republicans—the two Democratic leaders were invited to dinner after the president reached an agreement with Schumer and Pelosi—on a three-month agreement to raise the debt ceiling, keep the government running and speed hurricane relief to states. Trump and the congressional leaders are expected to discuss the fall deadlines facing Congress.

Trump has invited key Democrats to the White House on three occasions within a two-week span to discuss major legislative priorities that have divided congressional Republicans. Schumer and Pelosi reportedly persuaded Trump at their last White House meeting to agree to their terms on spending levels and the debt limit.

White House aides report the meeting will likely focus on passage of the Dream Act, a bill to provide permanent legal protections to the roughly 800,000 enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The Obama-era executive action was implemented to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. On last month, Trump announced that the program would end in March and pressed Congress to enact a permanent fix to the issue of “dreamers.”

Trump has said he’s simply doing “what the people of the United States want to see. They want to see some dialogue.”

Congressional aides said Schumer and Pelosi are expected to discuss DACA, specifically in the context of protections for young immigrants and stabilizing the health care markets.  In public displays of contention via Twitter and media outlets—Trump is no stranger to publicly chastising the Republican-led Congress’ and has given Congress six months to come up with a solution before he ends a program that protects young immigrants from deportation living in the country illegally, many of them brought here as children.

The dinner with Pelosi and Schumer is the latest example of Trump’s bipartisan push. On Tuesday night, Trump had dinner with Republican and Democratic senators to discuss his planned tax overhaul and was meeting on Wednesday with a group of moderate members of Congress from both parties.

In an unexpected move last week, Trump overruled Republican leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the debt ceiling agreement.  In a seemingly generous act, Trump scheduled a flight for Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota to her home state on Air Force One.  At Pelosi’s request, Trump would later offer reassurances to young immigrants via Twitter clarifying that “Dreamers” covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would “have nothing to worry about” over the next six months.

In an interview with The Associated Press, House Speaker Paul Ryan, (R-WI), said that while he wanted a longer-term deal on the debt ceiling, the president was in search of a “bipartisan moment” with lawmakers and his approach was reasonable.

“It’s only fitting that the president listens to the other party. He didn’t violate a principle. He did what he thought was right for the country at the moment,” Ryan said.

By LeNora Millen     09-13-17

 

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Roy Moore: America Was ‘Great’ During ‘Slavery’

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Roy Moore, the embattled Alabama Senate candidate under fire for alleged sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, believes America was a better place at a time when slavery was still legal.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachma

At a campaign event earlier this year, an audience member asked Moore for his opinion on when the last time America was “great.”

Moore responded: “I think it was great at the time when families were united—even though we had slavery—they cared for one another…Our families were strong; our country had a direction.”

The audience member asking the question was among the few African-Americans in attendance at the rally, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Though many will draw their own conclusions about Moore’s statement, the implication could be construed by some people that perhaps Moore is willing to overlook the enslavement of people as long as families are “united.”

From a historical context, most who frown upon the “enslavement” of people could easily point to the hypocrisy of Moore using “slavery” as a premise for uniting families.

Family separation through sale was a constant threat.  Enslaved people lived with the perpetual possibility of separation through the sale of one or more family members.  Slaveowners’ wealth was largely in the people they owned, therefore, they frequently “sold or purchased” people as finances warranted.

Moore’s remarks featured in an article from the Times in September, resurfaced Thursday in a viral tweet from Eric Columbus, a former Obama administration official.

“Can’t make this up—Roy Moore said in September that the last time America was great was when we had slavery,” Columbus tweeted…

Moore’s comments at the rally aligns with President Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” a rallying cry to incite his base.

Despite widespread condemnation amid the damning allegations the Senate candidate faces—Trump has endorsed Moore via Twitter refusing to acknowledge the Mounting allegations of Moore.  Trump also reportedly said “Go get ‘em, Roy!” during a recent phone call with the candidate.

The president’s refusal to call out Moore for the allegations point to the sexual harassment allegations lodged against then-candidate Trump by at least 16 women who accused Trump of sexually harassing them during his campaign.  Adding more fuel to the allegations, the “Access Hollywood” tape hanging over Trump’s head like a dark cloud still haunts President Trump who has since refuted tape as a conspiracy theory.

Trump’s denial of his role in the tape, prompted the former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush to call him out.  “He said it. Grab ’em by the p___y. Of course, he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator,” Bush wrote in his New York Times op-ed.

A recent Big League-Gravis poll gave Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones (who isn’t accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls), a slight edge over the Republican. The poll of 1,276 likely voters showed Jones leading Moore 48 percent to 44 percent. The election is on December 12.

On December 4, Trump tweeted, “Putting Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet Jones into office in Alabama would hurt our great Republican Agenda of low on taxes, tough on crime, strong on military and borders…& so much more. Look at your 401-k’s since Election. Highest Stock Market EVER! Jobs are roaring back!” Indeed, Trump apparently believes a man who was reportedly banned from an Alabama mall for harassing teenage girls would be “tough on crime” and is urging voters to support him.

Beyond his views on slavery and allegations of sexual misconduct, Moore also has referred to Native Americans as “reds and yellows,” has questioned former President Barack Obama’s place of birth (following Trump’s example) and once suggested Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress. In spite of all this, Moore still seems to have at shot of becoming a United States senator.

Moore’s comments are not only insensitive, they also speak to how detached he seemingly is from the ravages of slavery, America’s original sin.

Moore has shown time and time again, in his remarks insensitivity to certain groups.  He’s referred t to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows.”   The controversial candidate compared the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage to the decision that effectively denied black people citizenship.  Moore has also questioned whether former President Barack Obama was born in the US. And he previously argued that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress.

 

LeNora Millen        12-08-17

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Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

 

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeaed as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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