QB Colin Kaepernick files grievance for collusion against NFL owners

Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick has been without an NFL team since severing his contract with the 49ers in March. AP Photo

Story by ESPN

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance under the latest collective bargaining agreement against NFL owners for collusion, according to his attorney, Mark Geragos.

Kaepernick is not going through the NFL Players Association but has instead hired Geragos, who has represented several high-profile clients, including Michael Jackson, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield and musician Chris Brown.

The filing, which demands an arbitration hearing on the matter, says the NFL and its owners "have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States."

Kaepernick's attorney sent a copy of the complaint to the NFLPA, as well as the NFL and all 32 teams. He tweeted out a statement Sunday saying he filed the grievance "only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.''

"If the NFL (as well as all professional sports teams) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful protest -- which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago -- should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government," Geragos said in a statement. "Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation. Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance.

Colin Kaepernick with teammates take a knee (AP)

"Colin Kaepernick's goal has always been, and remains, to simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field," the statement continued.

The NFLPA responded with a statement later Sunday offering Kaepernick its support and reiterating its readiness to assist him, "as we do all players."

The NFLPA also revealed that it learned of the filing's existence earlier in the day via news reports.

"We first learned through media reports today that Mr. Kaepernick filed a grievance claiming collusion through our arbitration system and is represented by his own counsel," the union statement said. "We learned that the NFL was informed of his intention to file this grievance before today."

Kaepernick's grievance will be overseen by Stephen Burbank, the NFL's special master, who will likely hold a conference call with both sides this week, a source who has seen the grievance and is familiar with the procedure told ESPN's Jim Trotter.

The filing was first reported by Bleacher Report.

San Francisco safety Eric Reid, Kaepernick's former teammate, has been kneeling during the anthem before games, including Sunday's 26-24 loss at the Washington Redskins.

"I'll have to follow up with him,'' Reid said after the game. "It sure does seem like he's being blackballed. I think all the stats prove that he's an NFL-worthy quarterback. So that's his choice, and I support his decision. We'll just have to see what comes of it.''

Kaepernick drew national attention last season when he knelt during the national anthem before games to protest social injustice. His kneeling led to a movement that has spread through the league while also being vilified -- including multiple comments from President Donald Trump.

Kaepernick has not been with an NFL team since severing his contract with the 49ers in March. Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter at the time that Kaepernick would stand during the anthem in 2017.

Most recently, the Tennessee Titans were in the market for a backup quarterback, given Marcus Mariota's hamstring injury, and coach Mike Mularkey said "I'm not aware if there was" interest in Kaepernick.

Mularkey said familiarity was the biggest factor in the team's decision to sign Brandon Weeden.

In September, Ray Lewis said the Baltimore Ravens chose not to sign Kaepernick after his girlfriend posted a "racist" tweet featuring former All-Pro linebacker and owner Steve Bisciotti. Coach John Harbaugh did not directly address the assertion.

Earlier this month, Kaepernick spoke with CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora for an off-camera interview and reportedly said he'd go anywhere to work out for an NFL team and was fine if that workout was kept private. Kaepernick said he was looking for an opportunity to play and wanted to be judged as a football player.

Kaepernick said he has remained quiet about his desire to play to avoid causing a distraction. His agent has reportedly reached out to all 32 teams to note his availability.

The NFL has not reached out to Kaepernick to discuss social issues. Trump's comments last month drew a leaguewide response, as more players chose to kneel, link arms or otherwise react during the national anthem.

Randall Woodfin: A Son of Birmingham Becomes its Mayor

Randall Woodfin: A Son of Birmingham Becomes its Mayor

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“Local assemblies of citizens constitute the strength of free nations. Town-meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the people’s reach, they teach men how to use and how to enjoy it. A nation may establish a system of free government, but without the spirit of municipal institutions it cannot have the spirit of liberty.” — Alexis de Tocqueville, Author, “Democracy in America,” 1835

The first line of Randall Woodfin’s official autobiography on his mayoral campaign website is: “I am a proud son of Birmingham.” In our nation’s history, Birmingham, Alabama will forever be tied to some of the most troubling and tragic imagery of the civil rights movement—from the bombing of a church that killed four innocent little girls to African Americans braving fire hoses, police batons and attack dogs in their struggle to end racial discrimination and secure basic rights. While we have yet to wipe out discrimination and its attendant consequences, our nation—including Birmingham— has made some progress. The proud son of a city once tarnished as regressive and hostile to the plight of its African-American residents, will lead its 23 communities and 99 neighborhoods on a progressive platform as its next mayor.

For many, Randall’s win was unlikely for obvious and not so obvious reasons.

Randall suffered a family tragedy during his campaign to unseat William Bell, the seven-year, two-term incumbent. He lost his nephew in a shooting death. And sadly, it was not his first brush with the gun violence plaguing Birmingham. Five years earlier he lost an older brother in a shooting death. Before running for mayor, Randall amassed an impressive resume as a public servant, but his first foray into politics proved unsuccessful, running for a seat on the Birmingham Board of Education in 2009 and losing. As he tells it, in losing, he ended up winning. He won the attention of the community and local stakeholders, and won time to prepare and hone his message for another run in 2013 that would prove successful.

When this former city attorney and board of education president decided to run for mayor, he chose to do so on a progressive platform in a region of our nation not synonymous with progressive politics. Our Revolution, a progressive political organization that works to organize and elect progressive candidates, backed his run, helping to turn out the vote with volunteers, text messages and calls, including calls recorded by Bernie Sanders endorsing Randall’s candidacy. As a Morehouse College alumnus, Randall relied on his close relationship and extensive ties to the Atlanta HBCU. Morehouse alumni held events and fundraisers on his campaign’s behalf and canvassed Birmingham, knocking on doors and getting out Randall’s message.

His ground game plan, coupled with a message, vision and platform for Birmingham that resonated with the residents of the city, led Randall to a commanding victory with 58 percent of the vote, making him, at the age of 36—coincidentally the same age I was when I was elected mayor of New Orleans—the youngest mayor elected in Birmingham since 1893.

Randall has proposed bold, progressive solutions for Birmingham, including debt-free community college for public high school students, boosting the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, and running a city hall that is inclusive of all people—and he’s not the only one. Randall is part of a growing wave of young leaders in the South, and elsewhere, like Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba Jr. in Jackson, Mississippi, who are determined to turn the tide on national trends and policies that hurt, not help, our communities and cities.

Americans are notorious for not going to the polls to vote when the stakes are less than presidential. But in reality, it is what happens at the local level that has the most everyday impact on your life. The president is not responsible for your local community, you and your locally elected officials are. If you are frustrated by the rhetoric and policies coming from the executive branch, you must remain engaged in local races. The men and women who campaign to run your city, your school board, and your criminal justice system are your voice and your frontline against policies that hurt your community and communities across our nation. The resistance to unfair immigration policy, stagnate minimum wages and a myriad other challenges will not trickle down from the top. The seeds of resistance will be planted at the local level and grow into a movement.

The National Urban League congratulates Randall on his recent win, and supports his vision for a Birmingham that is progressive, thriving, inclusive and allows all its residents to reach their highest potential.


'Shame on you!': San Juan mayor fires back after Trump warns about disaster relief

Story by Yahoo News
Written by Dylan Stapleford
CNN Link: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/12/politics/trump-puerto-rico-texas-florida/index.html

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz fired back at President Trump on Thursday after he warned that federal relief workers can’t remain in Puerto Rico indefinitely even as the hurricane-ravaged island struggles to recover.

“Your comments about Puerto Rico are unbecoming of a Commander in Chief they seem more to come from a ‘Hater in Chief,’” she tweeted. “It is not that you do not get it; you are incapable of fulfilling the moral imperative to help the people of PR. Shame on you!”

Trump issued his warning about pulling federal aid to the U.S. island territory earlier Thursday.

“We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump tweeted after quoting conservative television host Sharyl Attkisson and suggesting that Puerto Rico’s poor infrastructure was a “disaster” before Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma struck.

Trump made no such threats to Texas or Florida after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma battered those states. Both disasters triggered massive federal responses in the U.S. mainland.

The tweets came a day after officials in Puerto Rico said the death toll from Maria has risen to 45, with at least 113 people unaccounted for. The hurricane battered Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 20, leaving millions without power and virtually the entire island without cellphone communication.

According to a website set up by the Puerto Rican government for updates on the recovery efforts, more than 80 percent of the island remains without power, and nearly half its residents still have no cellphone or landline service. Parts of Puerto Rico continue to be running low on medicine and fuel.

Trump has come under sharp criticism for his combative response to the situation in Puerto Rico. The president attacked Cruz after she made a public plea for more federal resources.

“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help,” the president tweeted on Sept. 30. “They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

He stirred controversy by picking a fight with National Football League players shortly after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico last month. And while visiting the island last week, Trump applauded his administration’s relief efforts while simultaneously attempting to downplay the devastation, comparing the death toll from Hurricane Maria to “a real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina, which caused more than 1,800 fatalities when it slammed into Louisiana and Alabama in 2005.

Trump sits between Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and first lady Melania Trump as he receives a briefing on hurricane damage in Carolina, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 3.

During a meeting with local officials there, Trump also complained about the island’s drain on the federal budget.

“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack,” Trump said. “We’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, but it’s fine.”

A day later, Trump complained that the media’s coverage of the trip was “fake.”

In Washington, D.C., on Oct. 6, three days after touring the devastation, Trump said there were more than 15,000 federal workers on the island.

“Puerto Rico has a long road of recovery ahead,” Trump said. “We will not rest until that job is done.”
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/12/politics/trump-puerto-rico-texas-florida/index.html

Marshall (Thurgood Marshall) begins tomorrow October 13th at a theater near you

Trailer to Marshall, which starts Friday the 13th of October in a theater near you

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall incorporates rare archival film and extraordinary interviews to chart Thurgood Marshall's life (1908-1993) in the years leading up to and following the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling. This documentary explores his upbringing in Baltimore, his education at Howard University Law School ("the West Point of the civil rights movement"), his status as a rising star within the NAACP, his skill as an orator and storyteller, his relationship with his mentor Charles H. Houston, and his high-profile segregation cases involving voting, transportation, housing, labor and the military.

For 20 years, during wartime and the Depression, Marshall traveled hundreds of thousands of miles through the Jim Crow South, establishing precedent after precedent, leading up to one of the most important legal decisions in American history. Along the way, he escaped the gun of a Dallas sheriff, was pursued by the Ku Klux Klan on Long Island, hid in bushes from a violent mob in Detroit, and even escaped his own lynching. In this impossible environment, Thurgood won more supreme court cases than any attorney in American history and set the stage for the modern Civil Rights movement.

Coming in November "Roman J. Israel Esq."

Roman J Israel, Esq. Official Trailer #1 (2017) starring Denzel Washington

What Jesse Jackson finds so concerning about Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' anthem stance

Story by Dallas News
Written by Brandon George
Photo by Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News

Jesse Jackson said he's long been an admirer of Jerry Jones, but the civil rights activist isn't happy with the Cowboys owner for telling players they will be benched if they don't stand for the national anthem.

Jackson said Tuesday he was working to get in touch with Jones to tell him he's disappointed in Jones' comments over the past few days. "I'm very concerned about this issue," Jackson told The Dallas Morning News. "President [Donald] Trump is putting pressure on the [NFL] owners. Owners are putting pressure on the players. Fans are confused and players must either submit or rebel, so it's pressure on everybody. Trump was able to hijack the issue. The issue isn't about the flag. The issue is about racial disparities."

Jackson said his relationship with Jones stretches back several years. He said he even attended Bob Hayes' funeral with Jones in 2002 after the former Cowboys receiver died at 59 of kidney failure after battling prostate cancer. "What I admire about him is the many players he has helped far beyond their playing days and he doesn't make it a public issue," Jackson said. "I know him to be a principled, caring and decent person, including caring for his player beyond the playing field. One example that comes to mind is -- he didn't have to, but I happen to know that he did take special care and worked with Bob Hayes' family upon his early death.

"I have high regard for Mr. Jones, but he must not step beyond his boundaries. This is not a patriotism test. When Donald Trump avoids the draft, that was a patriotism test he failed. He just ran. I don't think it is right for the owners to threaten the players. We're all fighting to be free people and make choices."
No Cowboys players have knelt during the national anthem. Defensive linemen Damontre Moore and David Irving did raise their fists at the conclusion of the anthem Sunday before the Green Bay game at AT&T Stadium.

NFL owners are meeting next week in New York to discuss the league's anthem policy and try to find a resolution. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter Tuesday to all 32 owners and clearly stated he wants all players to stand for the anthem.

"Yes, the Dallas Cowboys are the private property of Jerry Jones and he has the right to make his own rules about his players kneeling during the national anthem," Jackson said. "But most of the African-American players come from places where they have experienced firsthand racial injustice."

Jackson said he believes players should continue to take a knee in their push for racial justice. Jackson said he would also like to speak to the NFL owners during their regularly scheduled fall meetings next week.

"Mr. Jones is saying, 'If you honor the First Amendment, you'll be off my team,'" Jackson said. "That's a constitutional right. He should not feel comfortable wielding that kind of power.

"Now the players are being tested by Jerry. He's challenging their manhood and their dignity. This has to stop.

"I think to not protest is to turn your back on the others. Some have to choose conscience over money."


U.S. House of Representatives Passes Cummings and Meadows Bill to Modernize "Federal Thrift Savings Plans"

United States Congress

For Immediate Release:
October 11, 2017

Cummings: Jennifer Werner/Aryele Bradford - 202-226-5181
Meadows: Ben Williamson – (202) 225-6401

House Passes Cummings and Meadows Bill to
Modernize Federal Thrift Savings Plans

Washington, DC (Oct. 11, 2017)—Today, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass legislation introduced by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Mark Meadows, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, to add more flexibility for federal employees and retirees to withdraw funds from their accounts under the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

“Today’s vote shows that there is widespread support for modernizing the federal Thrift Savings Plan,” said Cummings. “Providing more flexibility will allow federal employees and retirees to more easily access their retirement savings to address emergencies or life events and encourage them to retain their assets in the TSP, which has one of the lowest administrative fees in the industry. I thank Chairmen Gowdy and Meadows for their support.”

“I want to thank my colleague Mr. Cummings for his support and work on this effort,” said Meadows. “This is a common-sense reform that will go a long way in facilitating needed updates to the Thrift Savings Plan program, providing more flexibility for retirees and allowing TSP recipients to keep taking advantage of benefits, similar to those available for private sector employees, after their time in federal service has ended.”

This bill is supported by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the agency that administers the TSP, as well as The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, The American Federation of Government Employees, and National Treasury Employees Union.

Current law limits participants to one withdrawal while in federal service after reaching the age of 59 1/2 (age-based withdrawal). Participants who leave federal service can make only one withdrawal of a portion of the balance in their account (post-separation withdrawal).

Cummings’ and Meadows’ bill, H.R. 3031, the TSP Modernization Act of 2017, would eliminate these restrictions and allow participants to make multiple age-based and post-separation withdrawals, revise the timing and amounts of periodic payments, and elect to combine partial withdrawals or an annuity with periodic payments. The bill also would eliminate automatic annuities as a default option in the absence of an election by participants.

A survey issued in 2014 by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board of participants who withdrew funds showed that more than 50% reported that they would like to access additional funds from their accounts to address life events.

A study issued by Vanguard in 2013 entitled Retirement Distribution Decisions Among DC Participants found that “50% more participants and assets remain” in retirement plans when partial distributions are allowed.

Radio Legend Alvin John Waples died yesterday at age 70

Alvin John Waples at WMMJ Majic 102.3's Stone Soul Picnic

Story by EURWeb
Written by Marilyn Smith

*On Saturday, October 7, the 8th Annual Radio & Music Industry Legends and Icons picnic was held at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, CA. Over 200 people attended the event, which included record industry executives, singers, disc jockeys and anyone else associated with the music industry.

There was one legend noticeably missing; former KGFJ, KJLH and KACE disc jockey, Alvin John Waples. Failing health prevented Alvin from attending; however, he was there in spirit and we lifted him up in prayer. Sadly, Alvin succumbed to illness on Tuesday, October 10th. He suffered from kidney failure brought on by diabetes.

Alvin, who was born on November 27, 1946 in St. Louis, MO, was the oldest child of Alvin Sr. and Helen Waples. He had three younger siblings; a sister Pat and brothers Merrill and Martin. Alvin attended Drake University. After college, he landed a job at KDIA radio in Oakland, before coming to Los Angeles and KGFJ in 1972, where he became an audience favorite. He subsequently worked at KJLH and KACE radio stations. He left Los Angeles and became a disc jockey on MAJIC 102.3 in Washington DC until 2010.

On a more personal note, I remember Alvin fondly. As a teenager, I stayed glued to the radio; KGFJ was one of my stations of choice and Alvin John Waples was my guy. I listened faithfully to “Helen Waples baby boy” as he used to refer to himself. I would call and speak with him on the phone and eventually we met in person and developed a brother/sister type friendship. Although just a kid, Alvin let me hang out with him. A 13 year old had no business at Rudy’s Italian Restaurant on a Wednesday evening, but there I was, every Wednesday, hanging with Alvin and whatever celebrity he had joining him that week. Alvin made sure I got home safely.

It was thanks to Alvin that I had the opportunity to meet the Jacksons. He was the announcer for their summer TV show in 1976/1977 and got me tickets to watch them rehearse and tape their show. I also was a spectator at the Jacksons celebrity charity basketball games, of which Alvin was a Jackson team member. I spent time with his family, his then wife, Phyllis and his daughter Rachael and son, actor Wesley Jonathan, a baby back then. His family welcomed me into the fold.

Alvin will truly be missed by all who loved and admired him. Rest in paradise, Legend and Icon.


Lionel Richie nabs right for Curtis Mayfield BioPic

Legendary Singer/Songwriter/Film Producer Lionel Richie and the late legendary Singer/Songwriter/Film Scorer/Publisher/Record Company Owner Curtis Mayfield

Story by EurWeb
Written by Lee Bailey

Music star and newly minted “American Idol” judge Lionel Richie has been granted the rights to produce a feature based on the life of legendary songwriter and musician Curtis Mayfield.

Richie is developing the project via his RichLion Productions., which acquired the rights from the Curtis Mayfield Estate, according to Deadline.

“It’s an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friend to the screen,” said the former Commodores frontman. “I’m so grateful to be working closely with Altheida Mayfield, Cheaa Mayfield and the Curtis Mayfield Estate and couldn’t be happier to be moving forward on this amazing project about a one-of-a-kind music genius.”

“It’s time to celebrate and re-evaluate Curtis’ legacy,” added Altheida Mayfield, the singer’s widow. “For years, too many others have tried to claim what he alone did. He was a genius, always stood on his own.”

Born in Chicago in 1942, Mayfield began penning songs at age 11 before joining Jerry Butler in the Impressions at age 14. Mayfield went on to write more than 1,900 songs including the Impressions’ hits “People Get Ready” and “Keep on Pushin’” reflecting his awareness of political and social concerns among black people.

In 1990, Curtis Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down after stage lighting equipment fell on him during an outdoor concert in New York. Although he was unable to play instruments after the accident, Curtis continued to sing, compose music and record. After an acclaimed four-decade career, Mayfield died in 1999 at 57.

Rev. Al Sharpton calls for ESPN to reinstate Jemele Hill

Photo of Jemele Hill from her Twitter page

* Hill's Twitter Comment#1
Jemele Hill ✔@jemelehill
If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers. Don't place the burden squarely on the players. https://twitter.com/SoundCheckMama/status/917219812102811649 …
10:50 PM - Oct 8, 2017

* Hill's Twitter Comment#2
Jemele Hill ✔@jemelehill
Or, how about not patronizing the advertisers who support the Cowboys? You can watch and do that, right? https://twitter.com/palmerneill/status/917216615476887552 …
10:36 PM - Oct 8, 2017

* Hill's Twitter Comment#3
Jemele Hill ✔@jemelehill
Just so we're clear: I'm not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami w/ anthem directives.
12:10 PM - Oct 9, 2017

* Hill's Twitter Comment#4
Jemele Hill ✔@jemelehill
If fans really are that upset about what JJ & Stephen Ross have done, don't call the players sellouts, but you're watching every Sunday.
12:11 PM - Oct 9, 2017

Rev. Sharpton To Target ESPN & Their Advertisers After The Network Suspended Jemele Hill (NewsOne Now on TV One with Roland Martin)
Story by USA Today
Written by A.J. Perez

Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network has called for ESPN to reinstate Jemele Hill on Tuesday, a day after ESPN suspended Hill two weeks for violating the company’s social media policy.

Sharpton has called for a meeting with Disney's Board of Directors to push for Hill's reinstatement "along with other demands pertaining to Corporate diversity," according to a statement given to USA TODAY Sports and other media outlets.

“We consider it outrageous that Jemele Hill was suspended by ESPN," Sharpton and the National Action Network said in a statement on Monday night. "She has the right to tell people that they ought to let advertisers know how they feel, since they are the consumers. While she didn’t call for a direct boycott, it’s not off the table for us in the civil rights community.”

Hill, who last month rankled ESPN Executives and others over a tweet where she called President Trump “a White Supremacist," was suspended Monday for writing on Twitter that people should put pressure in the Dallas Cowboys "by not patronizing" the team's advertisers.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has stepped up his criticism in recent days of players' national anthem protests meant to draw attention to racial inequality and has pledged to bench players who refuse to stand during The Star-Spangled Banner.

Rashad Robinson, executive director of the racial justice organization Color Of Change, called ESPN's suspension of Hill "a flagrant suppression of black voices in sports" in a statement on Tuesday.

"ESPN is happy to stand with enablers of racism and sexism, but dare speak out against these issues and you're in trouble," Robinson said. "They seek to champion black athletes, activists, and hosts until billionaires like Jerry Jones threaten their revenue streams. . . . By choosing to ban its reporters' opinions, ESPN is making an explicitly political decision to side with the Trump administration on the wrong side of history."

ESPN Suspends Jemele Hill After Response To Jerry Jones (NewsOne Now on TV One with Roland Martin)

Story by TMZ
September 13th, 2017

Al Sharpton says he's got Jemele Hill's back -- and if ESPN fires her over her anti-Trump tweets, he'll lead a boycott against the network.

The Rev. tells TMZ Sports he's furious with the White House and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for saying Hill's tweets are a "fireable offense."

FYI, Hill strongly tweeted against Trump on Sept. 11 ... calling him a "white supremacist" and "the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime."

Sharpton says Hill has every right to express her political views without fear that the government will call for her job.

"Let's not forget, ESPN is regulated by the FCC. The FCC commissioners are appointed by the White House so it's a whole different level of intimidation on media outlets when you have the press secretary [calling for a reporter's job]."

Sharpton says he has a message for Hill -- "Stand strong. If they take you out, many of us in the civil rights community will stand up for you and take ESPN off our service."


The Trump administration to terminate President Obama's climate plan

Story by AP
Written by Adam Beam and Michael Biesecker,

HAZARD, Kentucky -- Scott Pruitt, the Head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said Monday that he will sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

"The war on coal is over," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declared in the coal mining state of Kentucky. He said no federal agency "should ever use its authority" to "declare war on any sector of our economy."

For Pruitt, getting rid of the Clean Power Plan will mark the culmination of a long fight he began as the elected attorney general of Oklahoma. Pruitt was among about two-dozen attorney generals who sued to stop President Barack Obama's 2014 push to limit carbon emissions, stymieing the limits from ever taking effect.

Closely aligned with the oil and gas industry in his home state, Pruitt rejects the consensus of scientists that man-man emissions from burning fossil fuels are the primary driver of global climate change.

President Donald Trump, who appointed Pruitt and shares his skepticism of established climate science, promised to kill the Clean Power Plan during the 2016 campaign as part of his broader pledge to revive the nation's struggling coal mines.

In his order Tuesday, Pruitt is expected to declare that the Obama-era rule exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.

It was not immediately clear if Pruitt would seek to issue a new rule without congressional approval, which Republicans had criticized the Obama administration for doing. Pruitt's rule wouldn't become final for months, and is then highly likely to face legal challenges filed by left-leaning states and environmental groups.

Pruitt appeared at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at Whayne Supply, a Hazard, Kentucky, company that sells coal mining supplies. The store's owners have been forced to lay off about 60 percent of its workers in recent years.

While cheering the demise of the Clean Power Plan as a way to stop the bleeding, McConnell conceded most of those lost jobs are never coming back.

"A lot of damage has been done," said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. "This doesn't immediately bring everything back, but we think it stops further decline of coal fired plants in the United States and that means there will still be some market here."

Obama's plan was designed to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The rule dictated specific emission targets for states based on power-plant emissions and gave officials broad latitude to decide how to achieve reductions.

The Supreme Court put the plan on hold last year following legal challenges by industry and coal-friendly states. Even so, the plan helped drive a recent wave of retirements of coal-fired plants, which are also being squeezed by low cost natural gas and renewable power. In the absence of stricter federal regulations curbing greenhouse gas emissions, many states have issued their own mandates promoting energy conservation.

The withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan is the latest in a series of moves by Trump and Pruitt to dismantle Obama's legacy on fighting climate change, including the delay or roll back of rules limiting levels of toxic pollution in smokestack emissions and wastewater discharges from coal-burning power plants.

On Thursday, Trump nominated former coal-industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to serve as Pruitt's top deputy at EPA — one of several recent political appointees at the agency with direct ties to the fossil fuel interests.

The president announced earlier this year that he will pull the United States out of the landmark Paris climate agreement. Nearly 200 countries have committed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

"This president has tremendous courage," Pruitt said Monday. "He put America first and said to the rest of the world we are going to say no and exit the Paris Accord. That was the right thing to do."

Despite the rhetoric about saving coal, government statistics show that coal mines currently employ only about 52,000 workers nationally — a modest 1-percent uptick since Trump became president. Those numbers are dwarfed by the jobs created by building such clean power infrastructure as wind turbines and solar arrays.

Environmental groups and public health advocates quickly derided Pruitt's decision as short sighted.

"Trump is not just ignoring the deadly cost of pollution, he's ignoring the clean energy deployment that is rapidly creating jobs across the country," said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club.

Link: https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/epa-chief-says-administration-roll-150239621.html


Little Richard's Revealing Interviews

Little Richard's emotional interview

History continues with Little Richard

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The late Tom Petty and the late Gary Shandling speak of friendship, pressure, aging...

Tom Petty interview with the late Tom Snyder in 1981

Tom Petty Q interview Pt. 1

Tom Petty Q interview Pt. 2

30th Anniversary Concert



Hurricane Nate Still Strengthening Just Hours Away From Gulf Coast LandfalI; Hurricane, Storm Surge Warnings In Effect

Hurricane Nate races towards US (weather.com)

Projected Path
The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. Note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding) with any tropical cyclone may spread beyond its forecast path.


House panel approves $10B for border wall

Story by The Hill
Written by Rafael Bernal

The House Homeland Security Committee approved today a border security bill that includes $10 billion for a border wall.

The Border Security for America Act, proposed by committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), was passed along party lines, 18-12.

The bill now heads to the House floor amid debate over whether border security provisions should be attached to potential legislation to protect recipients of the rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Under McCaul's bill, Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection, the agencies in charge of border and port-of-entry security, would each receive 5,000 extra agents.

The legislation would also authorize the federal government to reimburse states up to $35 million for use of National Guard assets to reinforce border security and includes $5 billion for ports of entry.

Democrats criticized the bill as a political stunt to appease President Trump, who proposed the border wall as a central point of his campaign.

"There was a time in the not too far distant past when this committee cared for facts, data and results," said Ranking Member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

McCaul praised Trump's focus on border security and urged the committee to seize the opportunity to legislate on the issue.

"We finally have a partner in the White House who has prioritized this issue and it's time for Congress to do its job," he said.

While the bill is expected to pass the House, it's unlikely to clear the Senate, where it needs a 60-vote majority.

Wall (Getty Images)

But Democrats are wary that the bill's provisions could be the first shot at a Republican proposal for border security measures on a bill to protect so-called Dreamers — undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children — in the wake of Trump's rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

"There's no doubt that this is a setup for that conversation," said Rep. Nannette Barragán (D-Calif.), a committee member.

To show their disdain for the idea of building a border wall, the legislation's central tenet, Democratic committee members proposed tongue-in-cheek amendments.

Thompson proposed changing the bill's name to "Taking Americans' Land to Build Trump's Wall Act of 2017," and Rep. Filemón Vela (D-Texas) proposed a definition of "border wall" that would include the terms "big and beautiful," "real," "inclusive of a door," and "paid for by the Mexican Government."

Vela also made a proposal to withhold wall construction funds until Mexico agreed to reimburse them, alluding to Trump's campaign pledge to get Mexico to pay for a border wall.

"I appreciate the gentleman's creativity in this amendment and sense of humor, but I will oppose this amendment," said McCaul.

But debate centered on the impact of the border wall on border communities and the environment on the border.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) made two proposals to protect the environment; Democrats said they were good in spirit, but opposed them because they require no oversight of the Secretary of Homeland Security.

None of the Democratic proposals were accepted.

Former President Barack Obama Leadership Summit in Chicago This Month

Story by USANewToday
Written by Neil T

Former President Barack Obama announced in a video that he is inviting civic leaders from around the globe to Chicago nthis month, where they will exchange ideas and plan ways to solve some of the world’s common problems.

The inaugural Obama Foundation Leadership Summit “will be a place to gather and learn from one another, and then go back to your communities to lead others in the hard work of change,” Obama said in a video and email released to supporters.

President Obama said he expects the summit will bring together hundreds of leaders from around the world—many of them young people. The summit will be the beginning of several activities the Foundation is planning, Obama said:

"In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be kicking off more initiatives and opportunities for people like you to get involved with the Obama Foundation’s mission. That mission is simple: We want to inspire and empower people to change the world."

The former President wrote in the email that one of the new projects is an Obama Foundation fellowship “to support and elevate outstanding civic innovators‚ individuals from around the world who are working with their fellow citizens to tackle big challenges.” Another project will be “training days,” which he said will “teach young people how to put civics into action where they live.”

Other projects are in the works, including the merging of Obama’s signature My Brother’s Keeper Alliance program fully into the Obama Foundation.

With the summit, President Obama said he and his wife Michelle Obama want to “hear directly from the future leaders we want to cultivate,” according to The Hill:

"And what makes me so hopeful, so optimistic, is that so many of you have shown up, dived in and embraced the kind of active citizenship that makes our democracy work."

A "few" Accomplishments of President Barack Obama

Former President Barack Obama(AP)

Story by Anderson News

The day President Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. When Obama left office eight years later on January 20th, 2017, the Dow near tripled closing at 19,822.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. President Obama pushed through a controversial, $80 billion dollar bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back -- with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

President Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

He drew down the number of troops from 180,000 in Iraq and Afghanistan to just 15,000, and increased funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He launched a program called Opening Doors which, since 2010, has led to a 47 percent decline in the number of homeless veterans.

He set a record 73 straight months of private-sector job growth.

Due to Obama’s regulatory policies, greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 12%, production of renewable energy more than doubled, and our dependence on foreign oil was cut in half.

He signed The Lilly Ledbetter Act, making it easier for women to sue employers for unequal pay.

His Omnibus Public Lands Management Act designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, creating thousands of miles of trails and protecting over 1,000 miles of rivers.

He reduced the federal deficit from 9.8 percent of GDP in 2009 to 3.2 percent in 2016.

For all the 'so-called' inadequacies of the Affordable Care Act, we seem to have forgotten that before the ACA, you could be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition and kids could not stay on their parents’ policies up to age 26.

Regarding New Orleans - three years after previous President Bush failed miserably - President Obama approved a $14.5 billion system to rebuild the levees in New Orleans.

All this, even as our own Mitch McConnell famously asserted that his singular mission would be to block anything President Obama tried to do.

While Obama was unable to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay (a campaign promise) that prison’s population decreased from 242 to around 50.

He expanded funding for embryonic stem cell research, supporting groundbreaking advancement in areas like spinal injury treatment and cancer.

Credit card companies can no longer charge hidden fees or raise interest rates without advance notice.

Most years, Obama threw a 4th of July party for military families. He held babies, played games with children, served barbecue, and led the singing of “Happy Birthday” to his daughter Malia, who was born on July 4.

President Obama comforted families and communities following more than a dozen mass shootings. After Sandy Hook, he said, “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.”

Yet, he never took away anyone’s guns.

He sang Amazing Grace, spontaneously, at the altar.

He was the first president since Eisenhower to serve two terms without personal or political scandal.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Read more: https://tericarter.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/8-years-of-suffering-under-obama/


Tom Petty (R.I.P) and the Heartbreakers - The Last DJ

Song: There goes the Last DJ by Tom Petty (R.I.P) and the Heartbreakers.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_DJ

Link to Petty's interviews: https://kirktanter.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-late-tom-pettys-insights.html

Pat Roberson blames Las Vegas massacre on ‘disrespect’ for Trump

Story by NBC News
Written by Steve Benen

In the wake of American mass shootings, of which there are many, some on the right are quick to look for politically convenient scapegoats. We should blame Hollywood. And video games. And the mental-health system. And so on.

As Right Wing Watch noted yesterday, however, TV preacher Pat Robertson told his “700 Club” audience yesterday that he has his own explanation for the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

“Violence in the streets, ladies and gentlemen. Why is it happening?” he asked. “The fact that we have disrespect for authority; there is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation they say terrible things about him. It’s in the news, it’s in other places. There is disrespect now for our national anthem, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the institutions of our government, disrespect for the court system. All the way up and down the line, disrespect.”

“Until there is biblical authority,” Robertson continued, “there has to be some controlling authority in our society and there is none. And when there is no vision of God, the people run amok … and we have taken from the American people the vision of God, the whole idea of reward and punishment, an ultimate judge of all our actions, we’ve taken that away. When there is no vision of God, the people run amok.”

There’s obviously no point in trying to make sense of such an argument, and it’s certainly tempting not to care what an outrageous televangelist has to say about major national tragedies. (Immediately after 9/11, you’ll recall, Robertson endorsed the idea that Americans were to blame for the attacks.)

But Donald Trump’s associations with Robertson complicate matters a bit.

The president, after all, has campaigned with Robertson – more than once. Trump has rewarded Robertson with exclusive interviews, both before and after the election.

And when Trump assembled a legal team to defend his interests in the Russia scandal, he turned to Jay Sekulow, who leads the right-wing legal group created by … Pat Roberson.

In other words, the American mainstream may dismiss Robertson as a ridiculous crank, and scoff when he suggests “disrespect” is to blame for mass murders, but then we’re reminded that the sitting president of the United States takes this guy seriously.

Given the circumstances, I’m afraid that says more about Trump than Robertson.


‘It was a horror show’: Mass shooting leaves at least 58 dead, 515 wounded on Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas shooting at Mandalay Bay, video by The House of Peasants and CBS 2 News

Las Vegas Metro Police have set up a family reunion center at Metro Plaza, 400 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Families needing information on the welfare of loved ones should call 866-535-5654.

FBI: 800-CALL FBI (800-225-5534)

Facebook has set up a Crisis Alert page where people can mark themselves as safe.

Give blood
United Blood Services:
• 6930 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, 89117
• 601 Whitney Ranch, #20, Henderson, 89014
University Medical Center: 1800 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, 89102


Story by Las Vegas Review
Written by Blake Apgar
Link includes video reports: https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/the-strip/it-was-a-horror-show-mass-shooting-leaves-at-least-58-dead-515-wounded-on-las-vegas-strip/

A gunman opened fire on an outdoor country music concert from a Mandalay Bay hotel room late Sunday, killing at least 58 people, injuring more than 500 and sending the Las Vegas Strip into chaos.

The massacre is the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.

As officers entered the 32nd-floor room of the suspect, 64-year-old Mesquite resident Stephen Paddock, he shot and killed himself, police said early Monday.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo said officers found 10 rifles in the man’s room, where he checked in Thursday.

In a televised address to the nation Monday morning, President Donald Trump described the attack as “an act of pure evil.” He credited police for saving lives by locating the shooter quickly.

The White House announced that Trump would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Police initially named Marilou Danley as a person of interest associated with Paddock, but at about 5 a.m. released a statement saying they had interviewed her and do not believe she was involved in the shooting.

A law enforcement source said she has been out of the country for the past two weeks. Investigators were trying to arrange to get her to come to Las Vegas so they can talk to her further.

Investigators searched the home she shared with Paddock in Mesquite, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, after evacuating the neighbors. Police continued to look for a Hyundai Tucson with the Nevada license plate 114 B40.

An off-duty Las Vegas police officer attending the concert was among the victims killed, Lombardo said during a briefing.

Families seeking information on the welfare of loved ones should call 866-535-5654 or come to Metro headquarters on Martin Luther King Boulevard and Alta Drive. Reunification efforts will move to the Las Vegas Convention Center at around 1 p.m.

”It was like a war zone”

The attack came during the last performances on the final night of the three-day Route 91 country music festival, which has been held for the past four years on a 15-acre lot on Las Vegas Boulevard across from Mandalay Bay.

Gunfire from an automatic weapon rang out while Jason Aldean was onstage. Concertgoer Ivetta Saldana, who was there with a friend, said the shots sounded like fireworks.
She said she hid in a sewer.

“It was a horror show,” she said at the Town Square shopping center south of the Strip. “People were standing around, then they hit the floor.”

One responding officer was critically injured, and another had minor injuries, police said.

MGM Resorts International, which owns Mandalay Bay, released a statement early Monday from Jim Murren, the company’s chairman and CEO.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of last night’s shooting, their families and those still fighting for their lives,” Murren said. “We are working with law enforcement and will continue to do all we can to help all of those involved.”

More than 100 people were treated at University Medical Center alone.

“It was the most patients UMC has ever seen at one time,” said hospital spokeswoman Danita Cohen.

UMC trauma surgeon Jay Coates was one of eight trauma surgeons called in to treat the surge of patients Sunday night.

Coates said people came in with wounds to the head, chest, adomen, arms and legs. He said he saw one patient die from gunshot wound to the head.
“It was like a war zone,” he said. “Every bed in trauma bay was occupied. … People were lined up in hallways for procedues.”

False reports of other shooters

At one point police were investigating reports of active shooters at other Strip properties. Those reports turned out to be false.
Mandalay Bay, the MGM Grand and the Tropicana remained on lockdown until a little after 8 a.m., when security personnel lifted all restrictions on access to the resorts and allowed guests to return to their rooms. The 32nd floor at Mandalay Bay remained off limits.

Roads throughout the area, including I-15 and Las Vegas Boulevard, were shut down. The Metropolitan Police Department is asking people to avoid the south Strip.
Scores of victims were transported to hospitals across the valley. One off-duty police officer from Bakersfield was among the wounded.
The Los Angeles Fire Department announced on Twitter that two of its employees were struck by gunfire while attending the Route 91 festival. Their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the mass shooting, but Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the Las Vegas FBI office, told reporters that the shooter had no known connection to any international terrorist group.

Prominent Muslim organizations condemned the attack and the Islamic State’s “evil” attempt to exploit it. The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Muslims nationwide to donate blood for the victims in Las Vegas.

‘It was relentless’

Matt and Robyn Webb from Orange County said they sheltered underneath their seats as burst after burst of gunfire rained down from the direction of Mandalay Bay.

“It just kept coming,” Robyn Webb said. “It was relentless.”

They eventually evacuated toward Reno Avenue, where they said they saw as many as 20 people lying in the street bleeding.
“That’s when we knew for sure it was real,” Matt Webb said.

They ended up at Hooters Hotel Casino, but then fled from there with the panicked crowd as more shots rang out.
“We thought we were safe,” Robyn said.

They ended up sitting together on a curb next to an empty lot on Tropicana Avenue just east of Koval Lane, trying to get news on their phones and collect themselves as wailing ambulances streamed to and from the scene.

They said they had no way to get back to their room and their two puppies, now on lockdown at the Delano.
Evacuees to Thomas & Mack

Throughout the early morning hours, several busloads of people were brought to the Thomas & Mack Center, many of them festival goers in cowboy boots.
They were offered water and restrooms as they waited to catch rides somewhere else or find out if they would be allowed back to their hotels.

First, though, each evacuee was patted down by police before being allowed inside the arena, which finally emptied out around 10 a.m.

A reporter on the scene at Mandalay Bay said people could be seen running from a casino entrance into the ground floor of the parking garage at the hotel.

FBI SWAT as well as SWAT units from Henderson, North Las Vegas and Las Vegas were called to the scene, according to police scanner traffic.

Scores of ambulances, a helicopter and police vehicles responded and victims were sent to University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital Medical Center. Health care workers from around the valley were called into hospitals and to the scene. The wounded were moved in wheelbarrows and luggage carts.

More than 25 flights were diverted from McCarran International Airport starting at midnight as controllers reconfigured flight paths to keep airplanes from getting shot, according to airport spokeswoman Christine Crews.

The FBI in Las Vegas asked for those with images and videos from the scene to call 1-800-255-5324.

‘We couldn’t just sit at home’

Jessica Perez, 21, was in bed at home when she learned about the shooting. Less than an hour later, she had five multipacks of water in the trunk of her car and headed toward the Strip with her brother and cousin.

“We couldn’t just sit at home doing nothing,” the Las Vegas resident said. “Everyone was begging us please don’t go, but we couldn’t sit there.”
Perez said news reports led them to the staging area at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard South and Sunset Road, where a large mix of reporters and civilians were camped out waiting for updates from Metro.

“We knew everyone would be coming here,” she said. “My heart hurts and I can’t believe this is happening in my home.”
Read more: https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/the-strip/it-was-a-horror-show-mass-shooting-leaves-at-least-58-dead-515-wounded-on-las-vegas-strip/


'Let's Make a Deal' host Monty Hall dead at 96

Story by CNN
Written by Steve Almasy and Tony Marco

Monty Hall, best known as the cheerful and friendly host of the game show 'Let's Make a Deal,' died Saturday morning in Los Angeles, his daughter Sharon Hall said.

He was 96 years old and had been ill after suffering a heart attack shortly after his wife of almost 70 years died in June.

"He was the greatest father on the planet ... he was the dad who called every single night to see how your day was and never tired of hearing the details. He lived for his family," Sharon Hall said.

Monty Hall co-created and hosted the first version of the popular game show, on which contestants dressed in costumes -- some zany -- and often won prizes behind one of three doors. The show premiered in 1963 and Hall hosted day-time and prime-time iterations of the show until 1986 (and for a brief time in 1991). Hall reportedly appeared in more than 4,500 episodes.

A version of the show starring Wayne Brady is still on the air.

Hall once told the Archive of American Television that when "Let's Make a Deal" started people showed up in suits and dresses. On the second episode a woman brought a sign with the message: "Roses are red, violets are blue, I came here to deal with you."

"The next week, everybody had a sign," Hall said in the 2002 interview. "Then somebody else had a funny hat, then came costumes. ..."

Hall insisted the show never picked anyone for their costume.

Hall said he wanted to be remembered as someone who cared for his family and others.

His family said he help to raise close to $1 billion for charity during his life.

"His philanthropy work was more important to him than his TV work. He saw TV as a means to help him raise money for charities. He was always paying it forward," son-in-law Todd Kessler told CNN.

Sharon Hall said her father was always working for charities because of an experience that happened to him as a young man that changed his life.

"He took a job scrubbing steps to try to pay for his college and a man took pity on him and told him he would pay for his college if he did three things: retain an A average, keep the man's name anonymous, and promise to pay it forward," she said.

Monty Hall retained a friendship with the man whose name he never revealed.

"He was always going to telethons to raise money. He was even honored with the Royal Order of Canada. The highest honor for a Canadian," his daughter said.

Monty Hall was a dual citizen of the United States. and Canada. "He became a US citizen so he could vote for Bill Clinton (in 1992)," Sharon Hall said.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Mayor Brian Bowman sent his condolences by Twitter.

"Winnipeg's ambassador in Hollywood, @umanitoba alumni & host of 'Let's Make a Deal' has left our stage. RIP Monty."

Hall was born in Winnipeg on August 25, 1921, as Maurice Halperin, according to the Internet Movie Database.

He is survived by three children who are all involved in entertainment. Sharon Hall is a producer; Joanna Gleason is an actress; Richard Hall is a writer and director.