Author Archives: DCG

Spike Lee Not Using Chrisette Michele Music Due to Trump Performance

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Chrisette takes the high road while Spike continues to display his butt hurt.

From Yahoo: If Chrisette Michelle was hoping for a slot on the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s upcoming Netflix TV series adaptation of his 1986 pic She’s Gotta Have It, she can forget it. The Grammy-winning R&B singer drew massive criticism today after belatedly revealing that she had accepted an invitation to perform at inauguration festivities for incoming President Donald Trump, including from Spike Lee himself. Lee took to his Instagram, stating that he had considered using Michelle’s song “Black Girl Magic” in the Netflix series but, in light of her decision to perform, has changed his mind.

To be fair, how much of a done-deal the use of Michelle’s song actually was is unclear. It admittedly sounds more like Spike Lee likes the song and was considering it but hadn’t actually licensed it yet. Even so, it was a big symbol not only of the criticism heaped at Michelle, but at the cultural fight over who is, and who isn’t willing to be associated publicly with incoming President Donald Trump.

Shocking no one, the vast majority of popular artists fall into the latter camp. That’s especially true for African American artists, thanks in no small part to the president-elect’s campaign, which relied heavily on well documented support from white nationalists and, let’s be honest, well-documented implied reciprocal support from Trump and his team for the same (this statement is, in my opinion, more propaganda/butt hurt from Yahoo).

Michelle is as it turns out fully aware of that unfortunate context, but insists it’s important to reach out nonetheless. “We Can’t Be Present If We’re Silent,” she said in a message posted to her own Instagram today, explaining that while she is devastated over the election results, she hopes for “peaceful & progressive conversation,” and that she is “willing to be a bridge.”

DCG

France should take more refugees in to help with migrant crisis, says Presidential hopeful

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French Presidential candidate Benoit Hamon

Apparently Hamon believes this is a successful strategy to winning.

From Express UK: Left-winger Benoît Hamon urged EU leaders – including Socialist president François Hollande – to treat Europe-bound refugees fleeing war and persecution in a “humane and just” way. 

Speaking at a rally in Bordeaux on Wednesday, he said: “Government officials have given France-bound refugees the cold shoulder when in fact, they should be doing a lot more to protect them.”  Most immigrants undertake “incredibly perilous journeys” to reach European soil, he warned, before adding that France could take in “more refugees”.

He said: “We must renegotiate the Dublin rules that dictate that asylum seekers must stay in the first European country they step foot in.  They are unnecessary and counterproductive. We must also issue more humanitarian visas so that vulnerable refugees can travel to Europe in safe and decent conditions.”

At the beginning of the EU migrant crisis in 2015, Mr. Hollande pledged to offer sanctuary to 24,000 migrants, but has failed to live up to this promise: since then, no more than 10,000 refugees have been granted asylum in France.

He said: “I’m not saying that we have to find beds for one million refugees overnight. We’re talking about tens of thousands of people. France is the world’s fifth most powerful country, it can afford to take in a handful of desperate refugees.”

Mr. Hamon also shone a harsh spotlight on France’s “poor and inhumane” migrant integration policy, which he says is “not up to scratch”. He said: “Refugees should be able to work within three months of arriving in France. We need to help them take a shot at a new life, but first, we must help them integrate into society. The only solution to the migrant crisis is solidarity.

DCG

Chicago elementary school students surrounded by violence, constantly approached by gangs

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Chicago residents are asking for help from Murder Mayor Emanuel. Don’t hold your breath/Photo from Fox News

This is democrat-controlled Chiraq.

From MyFoxChicago: One Chicago school finds itself in the crossfire. It is Shields Elementary School in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood, and kids are constantly approached by gangs and surrounded by violence.

“When a child says to you, I don’t want to go to school because the gang bangers will be shooting. I might die or you might die. That’s sad for a child to tell a grandmother or especially a mom,” said Grandmother Amy Romero.

It’s a story being echoed across this Brighton Park neighborhood. Parents of students at Shields Middle School say it’s what inspired them to not only ask Chicago police for more help, they’re now turning to Mayor Emanuel.

Carmen Castillo is one of the parents leading the charge. It started for her with her 7-year-old daughter Sophia.

She told me, Mom I’m afraid to go outside. She doesn’t want to go outside, she doesn’t want to be in the backyard, she doesn’t want to be in front. But, during the snow, she says I want to build a snowman,” Castillo said. Despite the urge to go outside when the snow falls, Sophia has yet to do so. “I haven’t made one,” she said.

That’s why parents, community leaders and aldermen took to City Hall. The group is asking for the city to use 17-million dollars from the home tax refund surplus for violence preventative programs. The mayor, so far, is proposing dedicating five-million dollars to the cause.

Yesterday I received a letter from a 6th grader, who told me that the gangs were like his family and they loved him and he loved them. We as a city must show that we love our children and our communities more than the gangs do,” said Alderman Raymond Lopez.

Organizers would like to see the money go to efforts like funding Chicago’s youth job program all year. They also want to see the rest disbursed to causes like youth mentoring, trauma counseling and street level intervention. “I think right now the main crisis that we need to deal with are our children and trying to keep these young kids from getting shot on our streets,” said Alderman Jason Ervin.

The mayor’s office says the rest of 17-million will also go to providing all Chicago police officers body cameras and rehabbing vacant homes that will create two hundred jobs.

Parents hope more will be dedicated to protecting their children. The aldermen will be presenting their proposal to City Council.

DCG

Pence says transition team returning 20 percent of budget

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Works for me.

From NY Post: Vice President-elect Mike Pence heralded inauguration eve as “a momentous day before a historic day” in a surprise appearance at a press briefing Thursday.

“Wrapping up this transition on schedule and under budget,” Pence bragged, claiming the transition team would return 20 percent of the taxpayer-funded budget to the federal government.

Pence claimed the transition had made great strides — and would be ready on “day one” to govern. He also noted that all cabinet officials have been named by President-elect Donald Trump to their positions. “We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. It’s going to be a very humbling and moving day,” he said.

Despite Pence’s brief opening remarks, the press conference — the transition team’s first on-camera briefing, save Trump’s own last week at Trump Tower — served mainly as a prep session for incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Spicer previewed Friday’s inaugural address, saying it will be “less of an agenda and more of a philosophical document” laying out Trump’s guiding view. He also announced 50 Obama appointees have been asked to stay on and serve in the Trump administration.

Spicer blasted Senate Democrats, particularly Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), for holding up cabinet appointees on Capitol Hill.

Spicer also defended Trump’s Wednesday night visit to his own Washington hotel, where he stopped by briefly for dinner. “He’s going to his own hotel? I think that’s pretty smart,” said Spicer, who was asked about Trump’s business interests colliding with his coming governmental duties. “It’s a stunning hotel. I encourage you to go there if you haven’t been,” he said.

DCG

Seattle’s ‘X Party’ candidate would give voters total access

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Ryan Asbert

I would not be surprised if Ryan became the next face of Seattle politics.

From MyNorthwest.com: There’s a new political party in Seattle. It’s not Socialist. It’s not Democratic, or Republican. In fact, it’s you. It’s the X Party.

The X Party is essentially Seattle voters at large. The idea is that an application will be available to all Seattle voters who will log in and make their voice heard on any legislation. The elected official will vote as the people demand.

That elected official, in this case, will be Ryan Asbert. He announced his intention to run for Seattle’s 8th District on Reddit recently. “I am going to build a web application that anybody in Seattle can log into and use to vote on any upcoming legislation,” Asbert told KIRO Radio’s Jason and Burns Show. “I’ll basically be digitizing my seat, putting it up on the web and letting the citizens partake in the process.”

“Beyond that, we got a number of additional features we plan to drop on top of that,” he added. “The ability to propose legislation, discuss legislation, even post video analysis.”

The 8th District seat is currently occupied by Tim Burgess who will not be running for re-election. It is a citywide seat, representing all Seattleites. It’s why Asbert wanted to run the X Party for the seat, instead of limiting it to one region in the city.

There is a sub reddit page for the party and a website for The X Party.

The X Party

In current democracy, a resident could ideally contact their elected official and make their voice heard. But with the X Party, Asbert wants to take things to the next level, adding extra transparency. “The idea is that everything needs to be as transparent as possible,” Asbert said. “So everything we have access to, you have access to.”

Asbert notes that there are similar apps out there, such as Capitol Bells. But those are merely recommendations. His software system and candidacy will only work on the premise that he votes as the majority of Seattleites instruct.

Part of the digital democracy system Asbert has in mind is a board that monitors the software system. That executive board of the party will be elected, as well, by users.

And in the end, what most Seattle voters say yea or nay to, that’s the way Asbert will go. “It’s not my job to impose my beliefs on my constituency,” he said.

But there are some issues that will have to be worked out, Asbert notes. “There are some blind spots,” he said. “For instance, there has been some concern about some vote brigading. What if all of a sudden a bunch of people sign up and pass a bill to build a Death Star?”

The solution for Asbert as an elected official will, therefore, be to educate the public. Such as Youtube videos explaining the full extent of issues and legislation, and interaction via the app.

The next round of council elections will be next November.

DCG

California “snafu” releases personal information of nearly 4,000 gun safety instructors

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From Fox News: The private information of thousands of California firearms instructors was accidentally released by the state late last year in response to a journalist’s Freedom of Information request.

The data request was made in August, when a reporter for Southern California Public Radio (KPCC), an NPR affiliate, sought all information on Firearms Safety Certifications available from the California Department of Justice.

The information was released in October, and a clerical error gave the reporter wide access to the personal information of 3,424 firearms instructors — whose dates of birth, driver’s license numbers and California identification numbers were handed over, according to NRA-ILA, the legislative arm of the National Rifle Association.

The error was caught two months later, and the California DOJ sent out a letter to all of the Golden State’s instructors letting them know their personal information had been compromised.

“The Department discovered the data breach on October 17, 2016, and notified the requestor of the error and asked that the information be destroyed and that no further dissemination of it occur,” said the letter, sent by the Office of the Attorney General Kamala Harris. Harris is now a U.S. senator.

The letter also recommended the firearm instructors place a fraud alert on their credit. Since driver’s license numbers are appealing to identity thieves, a fraud alert could prevent criminals from misusing someone’s personal data.

NRA officials blasted the California DOJ for its data breach and questioned why it took the department so long to alert the thousands who were affected. “This privacy breach is just another example of the California Department of Justice’s disregard for the rights of gun owners,” Jennifer Baker, director of public affairs for the NRA, said to FoxNews.com.  “There’s no reason why the private information of firearms instructors should have been released – the DOJ redacts information all the time.”

Baker also questioned the length of time it took the state to inform victims of the breach.  “It’s time the California government start awarding gun owners the same respect as it does non-gun owners.”

Some security experts said that while it wasn’t a significant data breach, there is still cause for concern. “The main concern, if any, would be identity theft, simply because it is so prevalent,” police consultant and retired Los Angeles Police Lt. Raymond Foster said to FoxNews.com. “I don’t think anyone would threaten these instructors, but one concern is that many of them are retired police officers and that could put them at an additional risk. Most of them when they are off-duty like to lie low and blend in. But I’d imagine that NPR would never publish this info and would likely just rip it up.”

The reporter, who the NRA-ILA identifies as Aaron Mendelson, acknowledged in his FOIA request that part of his request would be redacted. “…Please inform me of the redaction and the legal justification for it,” said the request, which was obtained by FoxNews.com.

Since receiving the data, it appears that none of the information has been published in any recent stories. In its letter to firearm instructors, the California DOJ said that it had asked the reporter to destroy the information he received and if he did not do so he would face legal action.

Neither Mendelson nor officials for Southern California Public Radio immediately returned calls for comment.

Gun instructors in California took the news of their information being released in stride. Dennis Santiago, an independent gun safety instructor in the Los Angeles area, who received the DOJ letter, told FoxNews.com he at first thought it was a hacking incident. “I was speaking with other instructors at a gun shop about it and they didn’t seem too concerned,” Santiago said. “They took it as being the cost of being in America.”

DCG

Staffers leaving the White House in tears and are horrified by Trump

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I’m all out of empathy for these libtards.

One. More. Day.

From Yahoo: They line up near the Oval Office, down the hallway toward the Cabinet Room, trailed by their spouses and young kids in their finest clothes. When it’s their turn, the White House staffers enter for a few private moments with President Barack Obama, a photo and a farewell hug from the boss.

There’s a mass exodus underway this week at the White House. As Obama holds his last news conference Wednesday, his staff is busy packing up their offices and turning in their BlackBerrys. For some who joined Obama’s team right out of college, it’s the end of the only professional experience they’ve ever known.

The finals days of any president’s administration are always bittersweet and heavy on nostalgia, as officials face the transition back to being “civilians” who will no longer have their hands on the nation’s levers of power. Yet there’s added sadness this time for Obama staffers who are mostly horrified by the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

“You’re always aware that it’s a special privilege to work there and not something to take for granted,” said Nate Lowentheil, who worked on Obama’s National Economic Council for the last three years. “It’s particularly hard knowing the next wave of people coming are going to be working to reverse the things you were working to advance until your very last hour.”

There were tears on the faces of some White House aides on Tuesday as press secretary Josh Earnest appeared in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room for his final press briefing — his 354th as press secretary, Earnest said. Even former staffers were invited to return to the White House witness Earnest’s last round of jousting with reporters.

“I’m going to miss it,” Earnest said. “It will take some getting used to seeing somebody else standing up here doing it.”

“Or not,” he added, in a nod to the prospect that Trump’s team may make changes to the daily briefing.

In between closing out final projects and typing up reports on the work they’ve done, White House staffers are packing away their knickknacks, coffeemakers and photos. The boxes stack up in offices already vacated by staffers who have departed over the past few weeks. By Thursday night, all must be gone to make way for Trump’s team.

Before they leave the building for the final time, they’ll go through a checklist that completes their formal separation from the White House: cell phones handed in, computers locked and papers properly filed to be archived. The last step, aides said, is the hardest: handing in the badge that provides access to the complex day or night.

Then they depart the building and make what for many is a jarring transition from 18-hour workdays and little personal time to unemployment. Lowentheil said that since his last day less than two weeks ago, he’d read three novels, slept 10-12 hours a night and, for the first time in years, didn’t set a morning alarm.

Emails announcing a staffer’s last day stream in at a faster and faster pace as Jan. 20 approaches. They share with colleagues a personal email address and cell phone number, a thank you and maybe a brief reflection on their time at the center of it all.

“It’s been an honor to be a part of it. And yeah, I’m interested in what happens here. And I’ll continue to follow it,” Earnest said. “But I will be relieved to not have the burden to follow it as closely as this job has required over the last two-and-a-half years.”

A few White House staffers have found new jobs already, but most are taking some time off to ponder next steps. Some are going home to visit family they haven’t spent much time with in years. One said he was spending two months driving across the country, unsure of what he’d do next. Others are taking long vacations to places like New Zealand and Iceland, unencumbered by the need to constantly check in with the office.

“This is the only world I’ve known,” said Clay Dumas, who took time off from college to work for Obama’s 2008 campaign, then interned at the White House before being hired four years ago. He said he was searching for a job that would allow him to continue advancing values and policies he worked on in the White House. “Whatever I do next will be a huge continuation of that.”

DCG