Monday, March 27, 2017

U.S. to Send 275 More Soldiers to Iraq

Two U.S. military officials tell NBC News that approximately 275 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division have been ordered to deploy to northern Iraq as the military ratchets up efforts to wrest ISIS fighters from Mosul.

The deployment of troops from airborne division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, was approved last week. The move is aimed at supporting the U.S. troops already in the region helping the Iraqi Security Forces. 

Click here for the full article. 

18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Career Fair to Feature Over 8,000 Job Opportunities

More than 140 businesses will offer over 8,000 job opportunities at the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Career Fair. The event will be held on Wednesday, March 29 in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Every year the Dr. King Career Fair brings together qualified job seekers and ready-to-hire businesses looking to deepen their ties with the Capital Region,” said Governor Cuomo. “I strongly encourage anyone looking for a new opportunity to come to the Convention Center and see what is available.”

Businesses will be offering on-site job interviews with company representatives. In addition, a resource room will be available for job seekers to research employment opportunities and complete online applications.  The event is free of charge for job seekers and businesses alike.

Businesses expected to make on-site hires include: Albany Medical Center, Lowes, Rivers Casino, Maximus Mazzone Hospitality, Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) and Speedway.

Ensuring Job Seekers Are Prepared

In addition to organizing the Career Fair, the State Labor Department is offering on-site workshops for attendees, including:

“Find Success with Jobs Express” – a course in best practices when searching for work online

“Rewarding Careers in Public Service” – offering information on opportunities within New York State Civil Service

Registration Encouraged

Those who wish to attend are asked to register online at Space is limited and turnout is expected to be large, so individuals are strongly encouraged to register as soon as possible.

“Large career fairs like this are a tremendous opportunity for job seekers and businesses alike.” said State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “The New York State Department of Labor is pleased to be able to facilitate these kinds of events, helping make the connections that lead to new hires. I encourage anyone looking for work to stop by and take advantage of this free event.”

Job seekers are reminded to dress professionally and bring several copies of their resumes.

A free CDTA shuttle is being made available for Career Fair attendees.  The Lincoln Park Pool House is the pick-up point and the shuttle will leave every fifteen minutes from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

For more information on upcoming job fairs and recruitments, please visit

For more information on Department of Labor services for job seekers, please visit

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

In Memoriam: Staff Sgt. Alexandria Mae Morrow (USAF)

Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff tomorrow, March 28, in honor of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexandria Mae Morrow, a native of Dansville, Livingston County, who died in Southwest Asia on Wednesday, March 22.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Morrow and join in honoring her service to our nation," Governor Cuomo said. "I am directing flags to be flown at half-staff tomorrow at all state buildings to pay tribute to her courage and sacrifice in defending the freedoms this state and this nation were founded upon."

Staff Sgt. Morrow, 25, died in a non-combat related incident supporting combat operations in Southwest Asia.

Click here for news report, 

Note: From The G-Man proudly salutes Staff Sgt. Morrow and her service to the country with the following video tribute. May her family, friends and fellow servicemembers find some measure of comfort in days to come, and may she forever rest in peace. 

Devin Nunes Met Source On White House Grounds Day Before Claiming Trump Team Was Surveilled


WASHINGTON ― House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) met an unnamed source on White House grounds last week, one day before he alleged that President Donald Trump and his team were subjected to surveillance during the final months of the Obama administration.

Nunes met the source on White House grounds in order to view sensitive information in a “secure location,” Jack Langer, Nunes’ communications director, said Monday in a statement. Langer did not respond to a question about why Nunes and his source did not use a sensitive compartmented information facility ― known as a SCIF ― on Capitol Hill instead.

Only individuals with specific approval can enter White House grounds.

The revelation about Nunes adds to speculation that he coordinated with Trump’s team before making allegations about the previous administration’s information-gathering.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post 

U.S. Attorney’s Office Under Investigation After 700 Lawyers Were Spied On in Prison

A U.S. Attorney’s Office is found to have stashed hundreds of calls between inmates and lawyers. A veteran prosecutor says his old colleagues have gone rogue.

By Justine Glawe

A court-appointed investigator has found that the United States Attorney’s Office for Kansas is in possession of hundreds of phone and video recordings of communications between attorneys and their clients, inmates at a privately run prison facility in Leavenworth.

At least 700 attorneys are believed to have been recorded without their knowledge, the investigator’s report submitted to a federal court said. Last week Special Master David Cohen asked to expand his probe to determine whether prosecutors regularly listened to and compiled attorney-client conversations. Already, 227 phone call recordings and at least 30 videos of attorney-client meetings have been discovered in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment for this story.

Prosecutors obtained recordings of the conversations with the help of the private-prison company that runs Leavenworth, CoreCivic, and the company that provides communications services there, Securus Technologies. Both companies have been sued several times in the past for violating the constitutional rights of inmates by recording calls between them and their attorneys. (CoreCivic did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Securus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

The systematic recordings were discovered by a defense attorney who was recorded speaking with her client about the government’s case against a drug ring inside the prison.

Jackie Rokusek told The Daily Beast she was called to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Kansas City last August, where she said she was told by prosecutors that they had video evidence of her providing her client with confidential information about a drug ring case. Rokusek was given a computer and she watched the video, then she says she accidentally clicked on another file. A window opened, and a video showing another attorney meeting with their client at Leavenworth played. Stunned, Rokusek immediately went to the Federal Public Defender’s office in Kansas City and told them what she’d found.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

The Anniversary of the First Pro-Immigrant March in NYC

What You Should Know
By State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District 

You should know that on April 1st , we will be celebrating the 11th Anniversary of the First Pro-Immigrant March in New York City.
It is important to know that eleven years ago, to be exact, on April 1, 2006, I organized, together with Radio Visión Cristiana Internacional, Radio Cántico Nuevo and the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, the first massive pro-immigrant march across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
In response to a national call-to-action for every major city in the nation to organize and protest the mistreatment of immigrants, and to address the necessity of solving the immigration problem in the nation, we, the Hispanic Ministers and other community groups organized the Great Walk in Solidarity with Immigrants where thousands of people joined us marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to 26 Federal Plaza, where our rally was held.
Referring to our march, Ms. Leslie Casmir, in her article titled “Marching to Stay Here: Thousands Rally vs Immigrant Crackdown” in the New York Daily News on April 2, 2006 wrote the following: “Waving the flags of their homelands, tens of thousands of legal and undocumented immigrants streamed over the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday to protest a proposed crackdown on border crossing. The march was a smaller version of a massive pro-immigrant rally in Los Angeles last month but was still much bigger than anticipated - with word being spread mainly through Spanish churches and media.” []
Various major news and media outlets in New York covered the Great Walk in Solidarity with Immigrants, expressing their admiration for the march.  

Ms. Lorena Mongelli wrote the following in the New York Post on April 2, 2006: “A roiling sea of immigrants - many of them in the country illegally - and their supporters poured across the Brooklyn Bridge and into Manhattan yesterday to protest what they call "oppressive" reform measures currently under consideration in Congress. Marchers, waving flags from Mexico, Colombia, Honduras and El Salvador, chanted and carried signs recalling America's roots during the demonstration, organized by state Sen. Ruben Diaz, a Bronx Democrat and native of Puerto Rico.” []
Mr. Nicholas Confessore wrote an article in the New York Times on April 2, 2006 titled “Thousands Rally in New York in Support of Immigrants' Rights” stating: “Thousands of people marched from Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan yesterday in support of immigrants' rights, the largest such rally so far in the New York area and the latest in a string of marches tied to immigration legislation under consideration in Congress.” []
Even Mr. Andrés Duque, in his blog Blabbeando, wrote the following on March 31, 2006, the day before the March: “Hey, even I have acknowledged that the Reverend Diaz has done a great deal for immigrant communities.” []
As you can see, my dear reader, we, the Hispanic Clergy have been fighting for immigrants for many years. We will continue fighting, knowing that after eleven years since our historic Great Walk in Solidarity with Immigrants, the situation of 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States remains unresolved.

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

You may see some photos from this event by visiting the following links:

Marine Who Lost Legs in Afghanistan Graduates Police Academy

Matias Ferreira may have lost his legs but he never lost his spirit. “I'm just your ordinary guy who was given a second chance,” he tells NBC News.

The report was originally broadcast on March 24, 2017. 

The Week Ahead for Congress and the White House

The Washington Examiner's Gabby Morrongiello and The Hill's Mike Lillis discusses what faces the White House and the Republican Congress after Friday’s vote on the GOP health care bill.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Cuomo: Republicans Must Get Smart or They'll Lose Again

Today, the New York Daily News published the following op-ed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on the importance of Republicans to govern in partnership with Democrats in Washington as the agenda shifts from healthcare to tax reform and the federal budget.  

Learn the lesson of last week for the good of the nation.

There is much for Washington Republicans to learn from their health care debacle. There is a drastic difference between being an opposition party and success as a governing party. History is replete with examples of political parties failing to understand how to make this transition.

For eight years, the Republicans’ bread and butter was either the political bashing of President (Barack) Obama or obstructionism. “Just saying no” is a lot easier than “getting to yes.”

My father coined the phrase “We campaign in poetry, but we govern in prose.” The 2017 Republican version is “We campaigned in rhetoric, but we need wisdom to govern.”

Zealots can’t govern. You will need Democrats and moderates to succeed and you will need policies that actually work for the country. Policies that produce extreme winners and losers will, and should, fail.

And you need to change course now. The Republican agenda already foreshadows failure as the current frame of tax reform and federal budget debate promise the same mistakes.

It’s clear to me that the ultraconservatives are targeting “big states” that have inclusive social policies and progressive ideals.

Ultraconservatives hope to advance a proposal to end the deduction of state and local taxes. That would be a direct attack on New York, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Massachusetts, among others. 

Click here for the full commentary. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo  

A Polarized America: A Special Report by Ted Koppel

This video was published on YouTube on March 26, 2017. 

Hollywood & Race: A Bronx Tale (1993)

Trailblazers in Black History: Jesse Glover, Bruce Lee's First Student

Jesse Raymond Glover was Bruce Lee's first student and first assistant instructor in the United States. 

Glover met Lee in 1959, as they both attended Edison Technical College and practiced judo with Lee. Glover was a champion judoka. The character Jerome Sprout in the 1993 film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was based on Glover.

Glover started a Gung Fu class of his own and Leroy Garcia and James DeMile came along and assisted him, which was the first ever independent Jun Fan arts related class. Jesse Glover was the first authorized martial arts instructor to be trained by Bruce Lee. He developed his own method which he called Non-Classical Gung Fu.

In 2012, the martial arts icon died of cancer at the age of 76.

Source: Wikipedia

Black Women Missing, by Alexandria Ellison

This video was published on YouTube on April 26, 2016. 

Two years ago, a study emerged found that there are currently 64,000 missing black women. In 2010, Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was arrested for the suspected serial-killings of over a hundred black women over a span of twenty years. Within the first two years of Franklin’s killing spree, authorities suspected a serial killer was on the lose, but failed to inform the public because the victims were low-income women. Moved by stories such as Sandra Bland's to the fourteen year old girl swung around by a police officer in McKinney, Texas, Ellison creates a spoken work piece which comments of the insidious and expansive nature of misogynoir— a term coined a Moya Bailey.

Alexandria Ellison is a student at Emerson College and spoken word poet who is working to end the caricaturing of women of color. 

Source: TEDx Talks

Rogue East Cleveland Cops Framed Dozens of Drug Suspects

In January 2013 police raided the home of a Cleveland drug dealer, saying in a search warrant that an informant had recently bought crack cocaine there.

But the drug dealer had surveillance cameras that proved the officers were lying. He gave the tapes to his lawyer, who showed the FBI. The feds then worked to uncover a massive scandal of a rogue street-crimes unit that robbed and framed drug suspects who felt they had no choice but plead guilty to fraudulent charges.

Four years later, authorities are still unwinding the damage.

Three cops who worked for the city of East Cleveland are in prison. Cases against 22 alleged drug dealers have been dismissed. Authorities are searching for another 21 people who are eligible to have their convictions tossed. On top of those injustices there is a slim chance that any of them will be fully reimbursed, because the disgraced officers and their former employer don't have the money.

"I always took it on the chin when I got arrested for something I know I did. But when a cop lies to get you in prison, that's a different story," said Kenneth Blackshaw, who was arrested in a 2013 traffic stop and spent two years behind bars before his drug conviction was overturned. 

Click here for the full article. 

Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner to Oversee Government Overhaul

Health Care Defeat Rattles Markets in Sign of Loss of Confidence in Trump

The withdrawal of the Republican health care bill was blamed for sharp drops Monday morning in a number of leading U.S. economic indicators, including the dollar's drop to nearly a two-month low.

The inability to overhaul the U.S. health care system, a major campaign promise of President Donald Trump and his allies, marked a significant setback for the president in a Congress controlled by his own party.

Coming so early in Trump's term, the blow has heightened worries about the chances to enact measures to boost the economy, such as tax reforms — a major priority of the president's — and big spending packages.

Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, acknowledged that there were questions about the Trump administration's grip on the levers of power, saying Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press": "We haven't been able to change Washington in the first 65 days." 

Click here for the full article.