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Prep football: Oak Park 14, Clarkston 7 - The Detroit News

Berkley Information from Google News - 48 min 43 sec ago


Prep football: Oak Park 14, Clarkston 7
The Detroit News
Clarkston quartertback J.T. King (3) prepares to be sacked by Oak Park defensive end Dominick Williams (55) in the first quarter of their game Friday, Sept. 30, in Oak Park, Mich. Oak Park won 14-7. Loading… Post to Facebook. Prep football: Oak Park ...

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Categories: Berkley Area News

Trump Supporters Really Don't Care About His Cameo In A Playboy Video

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 11:46pm


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NOVI, Mich. ― Donald Trump was speaking to supporters here in a Detroit suburb Friday when news about his cameo in a 1999 porn film began to circulate online.


Afterwards, some of those supporters reacted to the news the same way Trump enthusiasts have reacted to pretty much every controversy surrounding the real estate mogul this year.


They shrugged.


Trump appears in the film, “Playboy Video Centerfold 2000,” for only a few seconds. He is fully clothed, as are the models who are in the scene with him. 


BuzzFeed published a story about the video on Friday, the same day that Trump had tried to disgrace Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who has criticized Trump for fat-shaming her, by saying she was the star of a lurid sex tape.


That accusation appears to be unfounded ― the latest in a long string of misleading or outright false claims that Trump has made. 


But reports of Trump’s dishonesty don’t seem to faze his supporters and, based on interviews with a few of them Friday evening, Trump’s appearance in a soft-core porn film isn’t going to faze them either.


“It wouldn’t bother me,” Erin Atkins, a loan mortgage counselor from Holly, Michigan, told The Huffington Post.


Like most people at the rally, Atkins hadn’t seen or even heard of the video, which had started making the rounds on social media only minutes before Trump was done speaking. But she said supported Trump because he’s “straightforward” and not overly managed. She said she knew Trump had once been “young and dumb,” but most other people had, too.


Susan Stevens, a former Ted Cruz supporter from Livonia, Michigan, also hadn’t heard about the video ― and said it might “kind of bother me a little.” But, Stevens said, “there are so many things about Hillary that bother me a lot more.”


Celeste Cole, a longtime Republican activist from West Bloomfield, Michigan, said Trump’s appearing in a porn film was probably just a by-product of his surroundings back then. “He was moving in a crowd in New York City ― that was his lifestyle.”


Cole went on to criticize Trump’s opponents ― and the media ― for using stories like these as a ploy to distract attention from real issues facing the country, like immigration. “We have to have our priorities. We are letting our enemies in without vetting them. It’s out of control.”


Cole added that, while she was living in California many years ago, she’d actually met Playboy founder Hugh Hefner at a party for a radio station. “It wasn’t such a big deal,” she said.


Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly
.com/entry/donald-trump-violence_us_56e1f16fe4b0b25c91815913">incites
political violence
and is a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-911_565b1950e4b08e945feb7326"> style="font-weight: 400;">serial liar, href="http://www.huffingtonpost
.com/entry/9-outrageous-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-latinos_55e483a1e4b0c818f618904b"> style="font-weight: 400;">rampant xenophobe
,
.com/entry/donald-trump-racist-examples_us_56d47177e4b03260bf777e83"> ">racist, .com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023"> style="font-weight: 400;">misogynist and href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-stephen-colbert-birther_56022a33e4b00310edf92f7a"> >birther who has
repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from
entering the U.S.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Oak Park defense clamps down on Clarkston - The Detroit News

Berkley Information from Google News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 10:40pm


The Detroit News

Oak Park defense clamps down on Clarkston
The Detroit News
Corey Graham and Najee Trinity combined for 195 yards and two scores in a 14-7 OAA crossover win on Friday. Loading… Post to Facebook. Oak Park defense clamps down on Clarkston Corey Graham and Najee Trinity combined for 195 yards and two ...

Categories: Berkley Area News

Birmingham Groves spoils Farmington Hills Harrison's Senior Night - Detroit Free Press

Berkley Information from Google News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 10:16pm


Detroit Free Press

Birmingham Groves spoils Farmington Hills Harrison's Senior Night
Detroit Free Press
Because of a scheduling quirk, Farmington Hills Harrison was playing its last home game Friday night against visiting Birmingham Groves, undefeated and atop the Oakland Activities Association White Division. Thus, Week 6 was the last time for Harrison ...

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Categories: Berkley Area News

Bees Added To Endangered Species List For The First Time

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 8:46pm


Seven species of bees native to Hawaii were declared endangered on Friday in what The Associated Press said was the first time any bee in the U.S. has received the protection. 


Hawaii’s various species of yellow-faced bees will be protected by the Endangered Species Act effective Oct. 31. But one of the most effective safeguards ― controls on bee habitats ― won’t be part of the new declaration. 


The Xerces Society, which advocates for protecting pollinators, pushed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to intervene on behalf of bees in 2009.


Friday’s decision “is excellent news for these bees, but there is much work that needs to be done to ensure that Hawaii’s bees thrive,” Matthew Shepherd, spokesman for the Xerces Society, wrote on the group’s website. “Unfortunately, the USFWS has not designated any ‘critical habitat,’ areas of land of particular importance for the endangered bees.” 


Restrictions would be placed on areas labeled as critical habits, but the Fish and Wildlife Service said it needs more time to identify potential locations. “Accordingly, we find designation of critical habitat to be ‘not determinable’ at this time,” the Fish and Wildlife Service said in posting the new endangered species rule


Yellow-faced bees live in a variety of ecosystems on the islands, from lush forests to alpine deserts 10,000 feet above sea level, according to a fact sheet published on a University of Hawaii website. They play an important role in pollinating plants native to the Hawaiian islands. 


An additional 42 species of plants and animals on the brink of extinction in Hawaii also received the endangered listing on Friday. The band-rumped storm-petrel, orange-black Hawaiian damselfly, an anchialine pool shrimp and 39 types of plants are endangered because of factors like habitat erosion, invasive species, human interaction and climate change, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.


“I’m relieved these 49 unique Hawaiian plants and animals are finally getting the protection they desperately need to survive,” said Loyal Mehrhoff, recovery director at the center. “The Endangered Species Act has already saved hundreds of Hawaiian species from extinction, so this is great news for these irreplaceable plants and animals.”


Bees are imperiled elsewhere. The Fish and Wildlife Service this month recommended adding a species from the Midwest to the endangered list, beginning a process that can take up to a year. The ruby patched bumble bee, which once inhabited 26 states and parts of Canada, has lost 90 percent of its range in the last two decades. 


Fish and Wildlife Service officials did not respond to HuffPost’s inquiries.  

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Jerry Brown Vetoes Bill Meant To Guarantee Paid Parental Leave For More Workers

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 8:29pm


California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a bill Friday that would have guaranteed job-protected time off for many new parents in the state.


The bill, introduced by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), required companies with 20 or more employees to provide six weeks of maternity or paternity leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Under existing law, only companies with 50 or more employees are required to provide job-protected leave.


In a veto message, Brown said he rejected the bill out of concern for the potential impact on small businesses. 


“It goes without saying that allowing new parents to bond with a child is very important and the state has a number of paid and unpaid benefit programs to provide for that leave,” he wrote. “I am concerned, however, about the impact of this leave particularly on small businesses and the potential liability that could result.”


The governor continued, “As I understand, an amendment was offered that would allow an employee and employer to pursue mediation prior to a lawsuit being brought. I believe this is a viable option that should be explored by the author.”


According to Jackson’s office, the bill would have extended protected leave to 2.7 million additional Californians, or 16 percent of the state’s workforce.


California already guarantees workers up to 70 percent of their pay for six weeks to bond with a new child or care for a relative. (The percentage depends on the worker’s income level ― lower-wage workers are guaranteed a higher percentage.) Under the proposed bill, new parents employed by small businesses would have been able to access those funds without fear of losing their job. 


“I’m deeply disappointed in today’s veto,” Jackson said in a statement on Friday. “This bill would have corrected an inequity in current law that leaves millions of new parents without the ability to take advantage of the Paid Family Leave Program they already pay into without the fear they could lose their jobs if they do.” 


“I believe everyone deserves the basic right to take time off to care for a newborn,” Jackson continued. “With more women in the workforce than ever before, supporting working families through more family-friendly workplace policies has become elevated as a national priority. As many states move forward with strong policies for parental leave, California cannot afford to be left behind.”


The state lawmaker vowed to keep working on the issue.


Studies show that paid parental leave has important health benefits for both parents and children, and that parents who take time off to bond with a new child are more likely to embrace a greater role in raising the child later on. However, just 12 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave.


The tide does appear to be shifting: Nine states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books similar to the one proposed in California. Earlier this year, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to require companies to give employees at least six weeks of paid parental leave. And some private employers, particularly tech companies, have begun offering expansive leave programs.  


Public support for paid parental leave is strong. A poll commissioned by the Work Family Strategy Council earlier this year found 61 percent of respondents are in favor of a national paid family leave policy. And in a HuffPost/YouGov poll, 67 percent of respondents supported paid maternity leave, while 55 percent backed paid paternity leave.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Donald Trump Appeared In A Playboy Softcore Porn Video

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 7:55pm


Early Friday morning, Donald Trump tried to disgrace former Miss Universe Alicia Machado by accusing her of having a sex tape.


Turns out, he sort of has one of his own.


BuzzFeed News recently uncovered a relic from Trump’s past: a softcore video documentary made in 1999 called “Playboy Video Centerfold 2000.”


As might be expected from the title, the video features lots of shots of naked women dancing and posing, as well as touching themselves (and each other).


There are also scenes of aspiring centerfold models rubbing honey on themselves and taking baths (presumedly to wash off that honey).


Don’t worry: Trump doesn’t do any of those things.


He appears in a brief cameo in which he opens a champagne bottle with the help of some playmates and then pours it on the Playboy bunny logo.


“Beauty is beauty, and let’s see what happens with New York,” Trump says.


No, his actions don’t result in him being stopped and frisked by New York police.


Here’s a SFW video trailer of this opus.





Usually, presidential candidates shy away from anything that smacks of the adult industry.


For instance, earlier this year, Ted Cruz pulled an ad after discovering it featured an actress, Amy Lindsay, who had previously appeared in softcore films such as “Carnal Wishes,” “Insatiable Desires” and “Private Sex Club.”


Trump, who has also appeared on the cover of Playboy, has no such qualms. The film is still mentioned on his IMDB page.



Oh my god, Trump's porn credit was on his IMDb page the whole damn time. https://t.co/OZd9VAFEBJ pic.twitter.com/qlJheVM3Gu

— Nate Goldman (@NateGoldman) September 30, 2016


The Trump campaign did not respond to a Huffington Post request for comment.


Although Trump told Playboy in 2004, “I’ve always said, ‘If you need Viagra, you’re probably with the wrong girl,’” he seems willing to ignore his horn dog past if it gets him votes from Republicans who are much more conservative.


In August, Trump signed a pledge promising to crack down on pornography if elected.


It’s unclear whether that includes videos and magazines featuring him.



Clinton spox has a few thoughts on Trump's cameo in a softcore Playboy movie https://t.co/KIaz5jlL8W pic.twitter.com/AYFtJZgXF2

— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) September 30, 2016


Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly .com/entry/donald-trump-violence_us_56e1f16fe4b0b25c91815913">incites political violence and is a serial liar, .com/entry/9-outrageous-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-latinos_55e483a1e4b0c818f618904b">rampant xenophobe, .com/entry/donald-trump-racist-examples_us_56d47177e4b03260bf777e83">racist, .com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023">misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Gary Johnson's Running Mate Thinks Hillary Clinton Is Probably More Qualified

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 7:50pm


Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s vice presidential running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, said Friday he thinks Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is likely the most-qualified candidate in the 2016 race.


“I’m not sure anybody’s more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States,” Weld said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. “I mean, that’s not the end of the inquiry, though. We were two-term governors, and I think Gary is very solid.”


That’s likely not the type of unwavering support Johnson wants from his running mate. But Weld did say he believes Johnson would be a better president than Clinton, citing the Libertarian’s fiscal policies. 


“Gary and I both balanced our budgets and moved our states in more conservative fiscal directions,” Weld said. “I think the next president has to do that or we’re going to hollow out the economy, and we won’t have the strength economically to do all the wonderful things that [Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)] and Secretary Clinton have promised are all going to be for free.”


Weld continued, “I love the guy. I think he’s very solid and deep.” 


Weld said he doesn’t believe the Libertarian ticket will be a spoiler in the race, siphoning votes from Clinton. But he said he’s concerned about the prospect of electing Trump.


“I think he’s just in the wrong place trying to be president of the United States,” Weld said. “Our ambition at a very minimum is to have Mr. Trump in third place among the three major tickets.”


Joe Hunter, the Johnson campaign’s communications director, downplayed Weld’s remarks.


“Governor Weld was simply referring to her resume as a Senator and Secretary of State. It’s nothing he hasn’t said before, and he didn’t say he is voting for her,” Hunter told HuffPost in an email.


Weld’s comment is the latest verbal hiccup for the Johnson campaign. On Wednesday, Johnson couldn’t name the foreign leader he admires most. And earlier this month, he was widely mocked for asking “What is Aleppo?” when asked about the northern Syria city. 


HuffPost Pollster, which tracks publicly available opinion polls, shows Johnson trailing Clinton and Trump nationally: 





-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Friday Talking Points -- Trump Backs Up <i>Titanic</i>, Hits Iceberg Again

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 7:47pm

Our subtitle today is not original, so we've got to start by giving credit where credit is due. David French, a writer for the ultraconservative National Review (and a man once so horrified by Donald Trump's candidacy that he considered running himself), had the funniest metaphor for Trump's performance in Monday's first presidential debate:


After the first 20 minutes, it may have been the most lopsided debate I've ever seen -- and not because Clinton was particularly effective. But you don't need to be good when your opponent is bad. Why didn't he have a better answer ready for the birther nonsense? Has he still not done any homework on foreign policy? I felt like I was watching the political Titanic hit the iceberg, back up, and hit it again. Just for fun.


The extraordinary thing about this is not that a conservative is ridiculing a debate performance of the Republican candidate for president, since he's not the only one who did so this week (more on this in the talking points), and also since the list of Republicans who support Hillary Clinton is growing by the day. No, the extraordinary thing is that the author wrote this before Trump started actually fighting back against former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. French was just talking about the debate itself, but for the entire rest of the week, Trump backed his personal Titanic up again and again, and tried to just ram through the iceberg, over and over. He was even up early this morning, providing yet another day's legs for this story.


The most extraordinary thing about all of this is that Trump is so incensed at Machado, and so wrapped up in his hissy fit, that he absolutely ignored Rosie O'Donnell, who this week tweeted that Trump was nothing more than an "orange anus." Even vicious insults from Rosie didn't get a rise from Trump (which is, indeed, extraordinary -- because it likely has never happened before), because he was so focused on badmouthing Machado.


Before we get to all the debate reactions, though, there was plenty of other bad news for Trump this week. His namesake foundation is generating all sorts of bad press for Trump, and this week's harvest included the fact that Trump seems to be using his foundation to shield his own income from income taxes (which is illegal, if true), and also the bombshell that Trump failed to properly register his foundation in New York. So the Trump Foundation is looking more and more like an unlicensed slush fund Trump uses any way he sees fit. Maybe that's why he didn't bring up the Clinton Foundation in Monday night's debate?


The other bad news for Trump might hurt him in one particular battleground state that he truly needs to win if he's got any chance at all to win the election. It turns out Trump's business traveled down to Cuba a while back, because they thought U.S. relations might be thawing (this was long before Obama became president and made this dream reality, we should point out). Trump wanted to get a foot in the door, in case the chance for making money from Havana luxury hotels became possible. But in doing so, his business spent $68,000 in Cuba itself -- which is a violation of U.S. law.


Now, in most of America, this news won't generate much interest. After all, Obama started the very process Trump was preparing for -- opening up Cuba and ending the Cold War for good. So what does it matter now? Well, for most Americans, it doesn't matter. Not so for the Cuban-Americans living in Florida. Cuban-Americans are unlike most other Latinos in the United States, because they've always been staunch Republicans. Up until recently, Republicans' strong anti-Communist and anti-Castro positions have won them the support of most Cuban-Americans in Florida (and elsewhere). Spending money in the Castro regime could blunt this support more than it already has been blunted by time. Younger Cuban-Americans just want to travel to Cuba to see relatives they've never met -- they're not as concerned about the Castro brothers. But if this new revelation weakens Trump support among the older Cuban-American demographic, that could actually tip the state over to Clinton in November. So while this is a minor story for the rest of us, we'll be closely watching the Florida polling to see if Trump getting caught spending money in Cuba has an effect or not, that's for sure.


In so-common-it's-barely-news this week, another staunch Republican newspaper endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. The Arizona Republic is especially notable since it has never endorsed a single Democrat since the paper began in 1890. Donald Trump still has yet to win one single major newspaper endorsement anywhere in the country, and USA Today -- which has never endorsed any candidate -- came out with an "un-endorsement" (disendorsement?) of Trump, stating he would be too reckless and dangerous a man to elect president. In the midst of all this, Trump has still not held a press conference or appeared on any non-Fox network in over two months.


Other bad news for Team Trump: the Trump children fondly remember being introduced to capitalism when their parents provided money for a lemonade stand -- which had to be paid back (they had to turn a profit, in other words). Unfortunately for them, they set up their stand on the lawn of a Trump house in a very wealthy neighborhood's cul-de-sac, meaning there was pretty much zero foot traffic for them to pitch their wares to. Being Trumps, the kids solved their problem -- by browbeating the help into digging deep in their pockets to buy lemonade from them. No, seriously, you just can't make this stuff up. Their charming story might even have been an offering at Trump University, in fact: "How to grift those with less money than you, 101."


Since there's so much material from the campaign trail this week, we have decided we're not even going to make an attempt to run down any of the other political news -- which included Obama's first veto override and Congress actually avoiding a government shutdown (by doing the work on the Zika funding and Flint's water crisis they should have done almost a year ago, but still...). It's been that sort of week -- the campaign has just overwhelmed all the other political news. So let's move along to the awards, and then we'll have some of those conservative reactions to Trump's debate performance, as promised.


 



There's really no question who won this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. Hillary Clinton turned in the debate performance Democrats had been waiting for this Monday, and the rest of the week was filled with stories of Donald Trump shooting himself in the foot. That's an impressive week for a presidential candidate.


Her debate performance was seen as a clear win by the public and by the pundits, giving her a whole week of good news. The polls (the real ones, not the meaningless "vote early, vote often" internet polls) are now starting to come in, and so far they show movement towards Clinton almost across the board. Clinton's up in Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. The one we're personally waiting to see is Florida, after the aforementioned Cuba story broke. That might just change a few voters' minds about Trump in and around Miami, to put it mildly.


But back to Hillary's debate performance. Hillary, as she pointed out herself on Monday, prepared for the debate. Donald (as she amusingly called him throughout the debate) did not. It wasn't just that she knew what to say and how to say it, either. She also was ready to spring the traps she laid for Trump. While Trump has been playing the media like a fiddle for over a year now, Clinton showed she knows a thing or two about a media rollout herself. Consider the details about the prep work done by Team Clinton on the Alicia Machado story alone:


Operatives in Brooklyn had been working with Machado since the summer. They had a video featuring her story ready to go. Cosmopolitan had a photo spread of her draped in an American flag -- to go with a profile -- in the can. Machado had also conducted an interview with The Guardian that was "apparently embargoed for post-debate release," according to Vox. And the Clinton super PAC Priorities USA turned a digital ad to highlight the insults by early afternoon.


The Clinton press shop then set up a conference call for Machado to respond to what Trump said on "Fox and Friends." Speaking with reporters, Machado recounted how Trump "always treated me like a lesser thing, like garbage" and that his new words are like "a bad dream." She said in a mix of Spanish and halting English that she watched the debate with her mother and daughter and cried as Clinton recounted her story.


That is what preparation looks like, folks. Not only do you wave a red flag in front of the bull, you have a full media rollout of the red flag's history ready to go, which you know full well is just going to further enrage the bull. And it worked like a charm. Trump stepped right into the trap, Clinton snapped it shut, and Trump's been wailing and whining ever since. As the Guinness ads used to say: "Brilliant!"


Hillary Clinton used just this one Trump-baiting episode to strengthen her support among women in general, suburban women in particular, and Latinos and Latinas across the board. And that was just one of the traps Trump stepped right into Monday night. By week's end, Team Clinton was expressing outright glee over Trump's overreactions. Brian Fallon just tweeted the snarkiest comment I've seen all week: "Oh look, Trump is dominating the news cycle again. Whatever will we do." Heh. Cracking jokes like that simply wasn't possible this time last week, it bears mentioning.


So for turning around her polling slide, for clearly winning the debate, for getting under Trump's skin in a way no previous debate opponent has, for provoking gaffe after gaffe without once stumbling herself, for getting Trump to all but admit that the big secret in his tax returns is that he pays no taxes, for her overall preparation and for her stamina, Hillary Clinton is easily this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week winner. In fact (to end on a groaner of a pun), it is beyond debate.


[It is our longstanding policy not to provide contact information for political campaigns, so you'll have to find Hillary Clinton's campaign site on your own to congratulate her, sorry.]


 



There's a clear candidate for Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week, but after consideration, we've decided that his strong poll numbers disqualify him for the award. After all, if the voters he's trying to woo aren't disappointed in him, who are we to say otherwise?


Joe Morrissey used to be a Virginia state lawmaker. Then he got caught in an inappropriate relationship (to say the least) with his 17-year-old receptionist (Morrissey was 55 at the time). Morrissey went to jail for this relationship, after texting nude photos of her to a friend, bragging that he had had sex with her (while she was underage). Morrissey had previously raised eyebrows with other antics, "including an eight-year disbarment that prevented him from practicing law until 2011; two fistfights that resulted in jail time; brandishing an unloaded AK-47 to the alarm of legislative colleagues during a gun debate in the House of Delegates." Fun guy, right?


Well, now he's running to be mayor of Richmond (an office Tim Kaine used to hold, incidentally). And he's actually using his wife and children (he married the intern after doing his jail time, and has two children with her) on the campaign trail as the reason he's running. No, really. That takes a lot of chutzpah, but the astonishing thing is that he's leading the polls in a seven-way race. Or six, now -- one candidate just dropped out in fear that the wide field would split the vote and allow Morrissey to win.


All of that is pretty disappointing, but like Marion Barry before him, Morrissey is walking the path to redemption with the voters supporting him. Nobody would really care about his candidacy if he weren't leading the pack, to put this another way. And who are we to argue with the voters of Richmond? So his voter support has saved him from this week's MDDOTW award.


This leaves a thin field to choose from, so we're going to go ahead and hand the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award to Chelsea Clinton, who got her facts wrong about marijuana, while out on the campaign trail for her mother. We also have to thank Tom Angell, marijuana-rights crusader extraordinaire, for bringing this to everyone's attention.


Chelsea was campaigning in Ohio, and was asked about what her mom thought about the D.E.A. refusing to reclassify marijuana to a lower level (rather than Schedule I, where it currently sits). Hillary Clinton has been notably reluctant to embrace marijuana legalization in any way, although she has incrementally moved her position since she first began her run. She now "supports more research," which is a pretty Caspar Milquetoast-ish position to take in 2016, when over half the United States have already legalized medicinal marijuana and when recreational legalization will be on the ballot in multiple states this November. But Clinton has indeed stated that she now supports rescheduling marijuana -- again, a fairly weak position on the issue, considering how far the window has shifted in the general public.


But then Chelsea just started makin' stuff up, continuing a century-long streak of anti-marijuana propaganda, by stating:


But we also have anecdotal evidence now from Colorado where some of the people who were taking marijuana for [medical] purposes, the coroner believes, after they died, there was drug interactions with other things they were taking.


When challenged by ThinkProgress, a Chelsea Clinton spokesperson had to walk this statement back:


While discussing her and her mother's support for rescheduling marijuana to allow for further study of both its medical benefits and possible interactions with other medications, Chelsea misspoke about marijuana's interaction with other drugs contributing to specific deaths.


While we do appreciate the fact that she did walk her inaccurate statement back, the fact that she made it in the first place still makes Chelsea Clinton our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week.


Maybe this is a "teachable moment" for her mother? Let's see, Team Clinton is extremely worried that she is not generating much enthusiasm from Millennials. The young folks haven't flocked from backing Bernie Sanders over to her side, and many of them may vote for a third-party candidate or even stay home. Hmm... that's a problem. Now what could Hillary Clinton possibly do to fix that problem? How could she entice young Gary Johnson and Jill Stein voters over to her side? If only there were one simple issue -- an issue that the public has already completely shifted on -- that Hillary could champion in order to fix her problem with young voters. If only such an issue could be found... if only....


Sooner or later, Democratic politicians are going to realize that they are flat-out not being leaders on the issue of marijuana reform, and further realize the political benefits they could easily be reaping by getting out in front of the issue. Sooner or later, but not yet -- from Team Clinton, at any rate.


[Chelsea Clinton is a public political figure, but not an actual officeholder, and it is our longstanding policy not to provide contact information for private individuals, so you'll have to let the Hillary Clinton team know what you think of Chelsea's actions on your own, sorry.]


 



Volume 410 (9/30/16)


While most of this week's talking points are nothing more than conservative reactions to Trump's debate performance, we do have to apologize in advance for our first talking point, because we fully admit it is not only sexist, but appearance-ist (or whatever P.C. term should be used, there), and downright juvenile. Hey, it's been that sort of election, folks.


Normally, we wouldn't stoop to insults a fifth-grader might hurl on a playground here, because even if we are dedicated to the proposition that Democrats can effectively use taunting as talking points -- as effectively as Republicans, even! -- we usually try to keep at least one foot out of the gutter while doing so.


However, Donald Trump has proven this week beyond a shadow of a doubt that one of his sorest sore spots is his well-documented history of misogynistic statements. For some bizarre reason, Trump seems to want to deny that he has said any of the vast collection of put-downs against women he's used in the past. After all, who in their right mind would have thought that during the first 2016 presidential debate, there would be name-drops of Howard Stern, a former Miss Universe, and Rosie O'Donnell (who "deserved" all the things Trump said about her)? Seriously, who could have predicted any of that?


So our first talking point is specifically designed as a taunt to make Trump seethe. It's not even really necessary -- he's already boiling over about the whole Miss Universe thing. We had another talking point ready to go (Bill Kristol: "I'm not positive Hillary actually won the debate. But I'm sure Trump lost it. He choked."), but in the end we decided that getting under Trump's skin even more was a worthy enough goal for us to use language we would normally consider unworthy for these august pages. So with that caveat under our belts, let's get right to it, shall we?


 



   Beaten like a cheap rug


Ideally, we'd select Chris Matthews to utter this line. Somehow he seems like the most likely candidate to uncork this particular insult to Trump, don't ask us why.


"Trump got beaten up pretty badly by a girl on Monday night, and then all week long he got beaten like a big brass drum by a beauty queen. No wonder he's so upset."


 



   It's 3:00 A.M....


Many people are pointing this one out. It's a no-brainer, really, after this morning's tweetstorm from Trump.


"If I were giving the Republican National Committee advice, I would tell them to immediately find out who exactly gave Donald Trump his phone back? They had successfully hidden it from him for weeks, but this morning he started spewing conspiracy theories in the middle of the night, once again. It's so embarrassing even John Podesta was offering Trump advice, for when he gets up in the middle of the night: 'safety tip: don't reach for your phone.' Hillary Clinton's response should be an obvious one, since she's already got the footage ready to go -- all it would need would be about five seconds of updating. Yes, I think it's high time for Clinton to re-run her '3:00 A.M. ad' from 2008, don't you? Because Trump is -- obviously -- not the guy you'd want anywhere near a phone in the wee hours."


 



   20 minutes of material


The next few talking points are all from conservatives reviewing Trump's debate performance. We have to say, it's been a rather extraordinary presidential campaign, because over and over again we don't even have to create Democratic talking points, since the conservatives are offering up better ones on their own -- against their own candidate. All any of these need is a Democrat leading in with: "Did you hear what X just said about Trump?" In this case, X would be Mitt Romney's chief strategist from his 2012 campaign:


Trump brought 20 minutes of material to a 90 minute show.


 



   Vanity and laziness


Our next conservative debate review comes from John Podhoretz of the New York Post.


He began with his strongest argument -- that the political class represented by her has failed us and it's time to look to a successful dealmaker for leadership -- and kept to it pretty well for the first 20 minutes. Then due to the vanity and laziness that led him to think he could wing the most important 95 minutes of his life, he lost the thread of his argument, he lost control of his temper and he lost the perspective necessary to correct these mistakes as he went. By the end... Trump was reduced to a sputtering mess blathering about Rosie O'Donnell and about how he hasn't yet said the mean things about Hillary that he is thinking.


 



   Big mistake


Here is Charles Krauthammer on Trump's debate performance. Ah, vanity, thy name is Trump!


His great weakness is his vanity. He is temperamentally incapable of allowing any attack on his person to go unavenged. He is particularly sensitive on the subject of his wealth. So central to his self-image is his business acumen that in the debate he couldn't resist the temptation to tout his cleverness on taxes. Big mistake. The next day, Clinton offered the obvious retort: "If not paying taxes makes him smart, what does that make all the rest of us?"


 



   Fireworks train hits nuclear plant


To absolve him of being insensitive, we are duty-bound to point out that Michael Gerson wrote this Homer Simpson-esque metaphor before the New Jersey train derailment happened. It's a metaphor almost as good as the image of the Titanic backing up to take another shot at the berg, though.


Past debate criticism has looked for hints and signs to determine losers -- a candidate, say, looked impatiently at his watch or sighed in an off-putting way. Rhetorically, Trump drove a high-speed train filled with fireworks into a nuclear power plant. He was self-absorbed, prickly, defensive, interrupting, baited by every charge yet unprepared to refute them. During his share of a 90-minute debate, he was horribly out of his depth, incapable of stringing together a coherent three-sentence case. The postmodern quality of Trump's appeal culminated in an unbalanced rant claiming, "I also have a much better temperament than she has" -- an assertion greeted by audience laughter.


 



   That's the ticket!


And finally, we close with a fairly obvious observation that more people need to be saying out loud.


"It's now rumored that Chris Christie will be taking charge of the effort to prepare Donald Trump for his next debate. The next debate, I might point out, will have a 'town hall' format. So, really, what could go wrong with Chris Christie sharing his wisdom about how to cope with town halls with Trump? Christie is known for his patience with audience questions and also known for never shouting at citizens during such events or belittling them at all. Oh, wait, my mistake -- all of that is exactly what Christie is known for! Maybe Christie can play Trump some clips of Christie screaming at a teacher or telling someone to sit down and shut up -- that'll definitely help Trump keep his cool at the next debate! So I heartily encourage Donald to listen to Christie very closely and to follow Christie's example as much as possible, because who doesn't want to see Trump act like Christie during a town hall debate? I mean -- what could possibly go wrong with that?"


 


Chris Weigant blogs at:



Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


Full archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.com


All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank


 

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

What It Takes For A Poor Black Kid From Chicago To Earn A College Degree

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 7:28pm


His father killed his mother when Robert Henderson was just an infant. His grandmother, who didn’t have more than a fifth-grade education, raised him and his six siblings. The family lived in one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. 


Krishaun Branch grew up in the same neighborhood, in public housing with his mother and brother. Both of Branch’s parents have gang histories, and by the time Branch reached high school, he had also been involved in gang activities.


Henderson and Branch weren’t the type of kids who typically get into and graduate from college. And yet, despite many bumps in the road and thousands of dollars of student debt, both earned college degrees in four years. Their stories ― glimmers of hope for a struggling community ― are the subject of a recent PBS documentary called “All The Difference.”



The documentary follows the two young men through their senior year of high school and four years of college, including several moments when ― had they not had the right mix of luck, family support and resilience ― they might have easily fallen off track. For disadvantaged students like Henderson and Branch, the film shows, the combination of many little things that can make all the difference. 


“All The Difference” was also inspired by writer Wes Moore’s book, The Other Wes Moore. It tells the story of someone with the same name as the author, from the same neighborhood and background, who went down a vastly different path. The other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence for murder, while the author is a military veteran, former White House fellow and social entrepreneur.


Wes Moore and his mother, Joy Thomas Moore, served as executive producers on “All The Difference.” Together with filmmaker Tod Lending, they said they want the film to highlight the many structural barriers to success for low-income students of color. HuffPost recently spoke with them about making the documentary. 


How did Robert and Krishaun become the subjects of this documentary?


Tod Lending: They both represent their community in that they both come from very tough backgrounds. Both of them had entered high school two to three grades behind in reading, writing and math. We felt like these two young men, they have stories that we think a lot of young African-American men can relate to, coming from situations of poverty. We made it a real point to not select two guys who were considered exceptional students, who were, of course, going to make it through college.


We also wanted to tell a story that was not a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps story. The success that they ended up finding was a result of not only their own self-determination ― which, of course, that plays an important role ― but most importantly it was about the support systems and support structures around them.


Joy Thomas Moore: One of our goals in making this film is that we wanted to flip the script on who is considered college-worthy: Who do you expect to go to college? Who do you expect not to go to college? So many young men, early on, are told by those around them, their teachers, others in society, that they’re never going to make anything of themselves. 


What do you want the takeaway of this film to be for audiences?


JTM: People need to believe that kids who they might not assume can make it can, in fact, make it ― if we as a society put those opportunities in place.


TL: We want audiences to walk away with a sense of a counter-narrative of what we see when we think of young African-American men coming from backgrounds of poverty. Especially this year and in Chicago, we have just been inundated with negative media. It instills in the public a stereotype of young African-American men being violent and uneducated, unmotivated, uncaring. We desperately need these types of stories, like “All The Difference,” that present a different story of what’s going on in these communities. 


Wes Moore: We need people like Robert and Krishaun to win. Our communities are better, our society is better, our neighborhoods are better if students like them win. One of the things I really like about the film is the idea that oftentimes, a narrative about why people don’t make it through is ‘Oh well, they should have focused more or worked harder,’ or all these other false narratives that exist about all the challenges so many people are having. Is that a portion? Absolutely. But people have to understand why people don’t make it through ― it’s because structural barriers do exist. 


How are the boys doing now?


TL: They’re doing well. Krishaun is working at [his former high school] Urban Prep Academies in admissions and doing recruiting as well. He’s excellent at it ― the young men can really relate and identify with him.


Robert did really well at [the education-focused nonprofit] City Year ― he did a year of community service. Once he completed that, he went to Colorado to do more math tutoring with students coming from situations of poverty. He’s in transition right now. He’s been accepted into the Peace Corps, so he’s thinking about that. And then he’s also applied for the police academy in a suburb outside of Denver.


That’s the other beautiful thing about this film, and there’s no way we could have predicted this ― that the young men, upon graduating each with over $40,000 in debt, they decided to go into jobs that were public service oriented.


This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Armed Pro-Gun Advocates Burned An Effigy Of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 7:28pm


PORTLAND ― Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) is not about to let armed, pro-gun enthusiasts intimidate her when she advocates for gun control, even if they hang and burn an effigy of her on the steps of the state capitol. Which they did.


Last week, dozens of people advocating open carry laws strung up and set afire a mannequin that represented Brown, which they taunted as it smoldered on the ground. The guy hanging the effigy was wearing a mask. Someone on a microphone mentioned white supremacy. Another attendee talked about all the money she had to spend to put her son in a Christian school “so his gender can be preserved.” It was all kinds of crazy. Here’s a video from the scene:



.@itsmikebivins here's the video -- had to wait to get it sent to me because Facebook wouldn't let me save to the phone pic.twitter.com/HqHB75cd2V

— Delana (@illbeyourwater) September 24, 2016


”Oh, look at Kate burn,” one man says.


“Take that, Kate Brown!” shouts another woman. “Down with Brown.”


The governor wasn’t in Salem at the time. But on Friday, she had a message for those trying to scare her away from taking action on gun control.


“If these extreme groups continue to burn mannequins of me, an effigy, every time I stand up for the safety of Oregonians, then they’re going to run out of mannequins,” Brown said during a gubernatorial debate in Portland. She got a round of applause.


The governor has been pressing legislators to pass bills limiting gun sales when background checks take longer than expected, and banning a gun sale for 30 days if someone warns authorities that the buyer may be going through a mental health crisis. She signed an executive order earlier this year to give police more tools for tracking gun transactions, and to create a work group to review firearms-related domestic violence offenses.


Brown is running against Republican gubernatorial challenger Bud Pierce in November. She’s currently leading Pierce 43 to 35 percent, according to a September poll by DHM Research, an independent survey firm in Portland.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Weekend Roundup: When Negotiating With Terrorists Works

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 7:22pm


Former U.S. President George W. Bush once said, “No nation can negotiate with terrorists, for there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.” Numerous leaders have made similar statements.


And yet, democratic governments have negotiated with internationally designated terrorist groups, including with the Irish Republican Army, the Basque separatist group ETA and ― making history this week ― the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. On Monday, the Colombian government and the FARC signed a peace deal promising to end a 52-year war. The Colombian people will vote on the agreement Sunday and are expected to approve it.


Both the FARC and the government committed human rights violations and inflicted terror for decades. Many are celebrating the deal as the long-overdue end of a conflict that has left about 220,000 people dead and more than 6 million displaced from their homes. Others are criticizing the deal as too soft on the rebels who, if they confess their crimes, will avoid serving their sentences in jail and will instead have to carry out acts of reparation to their victims.


So when does it make sense to negotiate with terrorists? Several factors facilitated negotiating with the FARC. First, the group was in a weakened, war-weary state after a brutal U.S.-backed Colombian military offensive that started in 2000. Also, the FARC doesn’t have an apocalyptic goal like, say, the so-called Islamic State. Although its ideology took a backseat to the drug trade over the years, the FARC was born under a banner of rural land distribution reform for the poor. In response, as a part of the pending deal, the government pledged to better support rural communities and to improve land accessibility.


In other words, negotiating with terrorists entails the psychologically and politically challenging concession that, in some cases, they are not simply criminals but also warriors with a cause that can be partially accommodated. Former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wanted the IRA regarded as common criminals. But the government needed to treat the group with more dignity than that before a peace deal could be negotiated.


One fear is that validating terrorists’ political goals also validates their violent means. However, this fear may be unmerited as long as the terrorists make enough concessions (maybe because they’re so weakened) that it’s clear they’re not being validated. Instead, the violent means to their end is being proven wrong, which, of course, is their crucial concession.


Sergio Munoz Bata asserts that U.S. military aid to Colombia ― through an initiative called Plan Colombia ― helped the country gain the upper hand against its FARC rebels, making negotiations possible. However, Bata notes, Plan Colombia was accompanied by egregious human rights violations and a failure to curb the drug trade and thus must be evaluated in its totality.


Reporting a WorldPost feature from remote southern Colombia, Sibylla Brodzinsky details the hopes and fears of a FARC squad commander as he prepares to leave behind guns and the drug trade to join society as a law-abiding citizen. Sara Elkamel, in collaboration with HuffPost international editions, brings us the voices of Colombians from various parts of the world who fled the civil war; they share a mix of hope and skepticism ahead of Sunday’s referendum vote.


World Bank President Jim Yong Kim explains how peace in Colombia could lead to inclusive economic growth. World Reporter Nick Robins-Early explores the logistical challenges of implementing the ambitious deal.


A man well acquainted with the challenges of negotiating peace, former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres died at the age of 93 this week. WorldPost Editor-in-Chief Nathan Gardels contends that Peres never stopped searching for new solutions to old problems ― the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict chief among them.


From New Jersey, reporter Willa Frej finds that refugee resettlement agencies ― struggling to meet the U.S. quota ― have left some refugees living in poor conditions. U.S. President Barack Obama had promised to resettle 85,000 refugees by the end of the federal government’s 2016 fiscal year, which ends Friday. The U.S. came close to meeting its goal, with 83,661 refugees resettled, including more than 10,000 Syrians.


Still, Turkish leaders, among many others, are adamant that the U.S. and Europe are not doing nearly enough to help the 4.8 million refugees of the Syrian war, Ilgin Yorulmaz reports. From Amman, Dominic Graham of Mercy Corps laments that Aleppo residents are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, especially baby formula, but his organization can’t deliver any of it because ongoing airstrikes and ground clashes continue to make roads impassable.


Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off in the first debate this week. Howard Fineman, who’s been traveling to presidential debates since 1988, dubs Trump’s showing the “worst debate performance in modern times.”


“It was so bad that in a normal year, it would disqualify him from getting anywhere near the White House,” Fineman estimates. “But this is 2016, a year so weird, unsettled and unsettling, that even the spectacle of an unprepared and almost incoherent Trump, reeling from blow after blow from Clinton, may not be enough to slow him down.”


Berggruen Institute fellow Sam Fleischacker tells us that “for a large number of Americans, Trump represents a heroic rebel against what they see as a massive conspiracy — among scientists, historians, journalists and policy experts — that governs what is taken as ‘fact’ in America.”


President Rafael Correa of Ecuador calls for the global community to work together to put an end to tax havens as they expand and drive inequality. In a photo piece, reporter Roque Planas shows us what the search for Mexico’s missing 43 students looks like, two years later.


Reporter Kate Abbey-Lambertz describes a “smog vacuum” that aims to clean China’s air and turn the pollution it collects into jewelry. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden share with us a short film that puts a face to the prejudice felt by Chinese in Africa and Africans in China.


From New Delhi, Jeong In-seo reports on the “terminator train” that India has launched to combat dengue and chikungunya. To curb mosquito breeding, trucks spray insecticide on bodies of water along railway tracks.


Finally, our Singularity series this week looks at an embryo study that expands our understanding of how life begins.  




                                                 WHO WE ARE

EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor.


 




CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul.


 




EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).


 




VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa.


 




CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy),Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.


 




The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.


 




Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.


 




ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council— as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama,Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo,Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto ZedilloAhmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian.


 


From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti,Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.





MISSION STATEMENT




The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.




We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.



 




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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Tracking The Race For The Millennial Vote

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 7:17pm

By: Noah Nelson, Youth Radio Staff Writer


Welcome back to another week in the election that never ends. Have you started to wonder what life was like before every waking moment was consumed by the presidential race?

Oh, good. We're not alone then. I remember liking movies, and talking about music with people, but that's about all I got. Don't worry, this will all be over soon. Before that happens, let's look at how the candidates are doing with the youth vote and what shenanigans they played to get their attention.



What The Polls Tell Us

The first presidential debate was this week, and while Republican candidate Donald Trump likes to point out that he won a bunch of online polls--more about that later--the scientific polls (i.e. the real polls) told a different story.

Most significant for our purposes were two polls by Public Policy Polling. The first was a flash-poll that covered the debate itself:
Perhaps most important for Clinton is that among young voters, who she has underperformed with, 63% think she won the debate to only 24% for Trump. 47% of voters in that age group said the debate tonight made them more likely to vote for her, to only 10% who say it made them less likely to vote for her. For Trump with that group on the other hand, only 23% said the debate made them more likely to vote for him to 39% who said it made them less likely to.
This was backed up by other polls, like one from the Harvard Institute of Politics that was quoted by Vox, and given a little more ammunition by another PPP poll later in the week which dug into the battleground states. For those not up on the lingo: those are the states that the campaigns are really fighting over for in this election. In each of those states the PPP poll had Hillary Clinton with at least a 19 point lead over Trump.

So we know that the conventional wisdom is that Clinton has a "millennial problem", but with numbers like these you have to wonder why we aren't talking about Trump having a problem with the youth vote. While politics is mostly a game of expectations, this just doesn't look good for him in these critical states.

There's one bit of good news for The Donald. The Washington Post, his arch-nemesis (okay, one of his arch-nemeses), says that millennials trust him more than Clinton to regulate Wall Street.




Donald Trump visits Melbourne/Orlando International Airport (MLB). This is a panorama of the hangar and the over 10,000 people (Trump stated that it exceeded 12,000) in attendance. Image: Michael Seeley (September 27, 2016)

Where The Campaigns Appeared

So what did the Big Two do to court the youth vote in person?

Let's look at where the candidates and their chief surrogates showed up this week:

Trump/Pence (Republican)

Sep. 27th Donald Trump: Town Hall at Miami Dade College's Koubek Memorial Center, Miami, FL

Sep. 28th Governor Mike Pence: Leetonia High School, Leetonia, OH

Clinton/Kaine (Democratic)

SEP 28th Secretary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders: New College Compact Event, Durham, NH

SEP 28th Michelle Obama: LaSalle University, Philadelphia, PA

SEP 28th Chelsea Clinton: College Affordability Forum, Mendenhall Student Center, Greenville, NC



Policy Statements & Outreach

This week NPR looked at Donald Trump's education plans, which no less than the American Enterprise Institute--a right-wing think tank--dismissed as "performance art." Later in the week, Trump outlined his idea to make college more affordable. In a nutshell: put pressure on schools with big endowments.

For her part, Hillary Clinton hit the campaign trail with millennials' favorite candidate: Bernie Sanders. The pair promoted tuition-free college in a New Hampshire campaign stop on Wednesday.



How The Internet Is Impacting The Campaigns


Online, no one knows if you're a dog, a millennial, or a septuagenarian dog pretending to be a millennial hactivist pretending to be a troll pretending to be an anime character. So this next section isn't so much about the youth vote as it is the environment that the youth vote is marinating in.

Let's start with the fun: the Trump campaign bought a Snapchat geofilter for Monday night's presidential debate, which let you show that you were there when he took on "Crooked Hillary." Hey: if you got a drum, beat it. As the polls show, the debate didn't do him that many favors, even if the online activists of Reddit and 4Chan did all they could to tip the online polls in favor of Trump.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the debate, some Hillary fans took a liking to the little shimmy she did on stage, making gifs and even a whole music video centered on it.

Elsewhere in Trollville, all may not be well, if The Daily Beast is to be believed. On the night of the debate some of the posters on the web's wooliest forums were riding a wave of disappointment. There's probably a lesson here about perception, reality, and manufacturing mental filters. But hey: this is just a wrap-up about what's going on, not a media philosophy class.

Diving a little deeper into substance: we picked our way through the center of the alt-right media machine -- Breitbart -- this week to see how much coverage there is there of the youth vote. What stood out to us: that most of the talk about the youth vote is limited to posts about what the Clinton campaign and its surrogates are doing in order to turn out the under-30 set.

That, as much as any other piece of hard data or anecdotal observation says about all there is to know about this week in the battle to capture young voters attention.


Youth Radio/Youth Media International (YMI) is youth-driven converged media production company that delivers the best youth news, culture and undiscovered talent to a cross section of audiences. To read more youth news from around the globe and explore high quality audio and video features, visit Youthradio.org

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Graphic Video Shows Fatal Police Shooting Of Unarmed Black Man In El Cajon, California

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 7:13pm

The police department in El Cajon, California, released two videos Friday showing the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, an unarmed black man, three days earlier.


El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis presented the footage at a press conference. The videos came from a drive-thru security camera and a bystander’s mobile phone.



Here are both videos released by El Cajon police showing fatal shooting of Alfred Olango pic.twitter.com/732U1MpkhA

— Matt Ferner (@matthewferner) October 1, 2016


In the surveillance video, Olango, 38, is approached by a single officer, identified by police as Richard Gonsalves, in a parking lot behind a Mexican restaurant in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon on Tuesday. A second officer in a squad car, identified as Josh McDaniel, drives up and walks over to the pair. Moments later, Olango’s body drops to the ground as Gonsalves fires four shots. The shots are audible in the mobile phone video. A person ― Olango’s sister, according to the Los Angeles Times ― can be heard wailing at the end of the video.


Police say they were responding to calls about a mentally unstable person walking in traffic. Officers confronted Olango, who they said refused multiple instructions to remove his hand from his pocket. No instructions are audible in either video, although the surveillance footage appeared to have no audio.


In a Wednesday press release, the police had explained the events like this: After one officer pointed his service pistol at Olango and a second officer prepared to fire a stun gun, Olango pointed an object at the officers with “what appeared to be a shooting stance.” Then, the one officer fired his stun gun while the other simultaneously fired his pistol several times, killing Olango.


The object in Olango’s hand turned out to be a vape smoking device. Davis displayed a similar device during Friday’s press conference.


The release of the videos comes as hundreds of protesters have gathered each night since the shooting, with some people turning violent on Thursday. They’ve denounced the killing and called for the footage. Initially, police had released just a single frame. 



Olango’s family had called for the full video footage and urged demonstrators to be peaceful during an emotional press conference on Thursday.


“I am always for peace,” said Pamela Benge, the victim’s mother. “I don’t want war. If you have seen war, you will never ever, ever want to step near.”


She said that her son was not mentally ill and that he was a “good, loving man.”


Dan Gilleon, an attorney assisting the family, also pushed back against claims that Olango was mentally ill. The lawyer said that Olango was going through a “mental breakdown” when police encountered him because a friend had recently died. 



Olango arrived in the U.S. with his family as refugees in the early 1990s. On Thursday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency had twice tried to deport him for drug and firearm convictions. But his native country of Uganda refused to take him back.


El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells said Wednesday that he was shaken by the shooting. “If it were my son, I’d be devastated,” Wells said.


He also pledged that the investigation into the killing would be transparent.


The city had urged businesses to close early on Friday due to the planned release of the video footage.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

IIRAIRA at 20: Still Punitive and Unequal

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 6:59pm

Co-authored by Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz and Sarah Horton (bios below)

Today marks the 20th anniversary of an immigration bill that has irrevocably damaged the prospects of millions of undocumented immigrants to ever change their legal status. Passed on September 30, 1996, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) put bars in place that make it impossible for many undocumented people to become legal, even when they have lived in the United States for many years and have close family members who are US citizens.

IIRAIRA's bars often divide families across borders and lead to extended separations--discouraging many undocumented immigrants from attempting to adjust their legal status even when they are eligible. This is not only destructive to the principle of family unity upon which our immigration system is supposed to rest, but it also undermines our values of equality. This is because IIRAIRA's bars disproportionately penalize undocumented Latinos.

IIRAIRA created a division within the undocumented population based on their mode of entry to the United States. Nearly half of the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. entered lawfully with a visa, then overstayed its expiration date or otherwise violated its terms. The other half entered without permission, usually by surreptitiously crossing a land border. The IIRAIRA established a legal distinction between these two groups of undocumented immigrants. It determined that visa overstayers had been lawfully admitted to the U.S., while border crossers had not.

This has two important consequences for border crossers. First, in order to legalize their status, border crossers must leave the country and apply to be admitted--as though they were never here. In contrast, because visa overstayers have been lawfully admitted, they do not have to leave and apply for admission--they can often adjust their status from within the United States.

Second, applicants for lawful admission must prove that they do not meet any "grounds of inadmissibility." Yet one ground of inadmissibility is a history of unlawful presence in the United States. Anyone who has lived in the U.S. unlawfully between 180 days and one year is barred from re-entry for three years. Anyone who has lived in the U.S. unlawfully for more than one year is barred from re-entry for 10 years.

In the U.S., immigration law has historically allowed immigration judges to consider factors such as length of residence, family ties, work history, or good moral character when rendering immigration decisions. Yet under IIRAIRA, these bars are automatic and non-discretionary. Moreover, because they are triggered when a person leaves and applies to come back, they almost exclusively apply to border crossers and not to visa overstayers. And working-class Latinos are much more likely to be border crossers than are other undocumented people.

In treating visa overstayers and unlawful entrants differently, IIRAIRA reinforces distinctions among the world's migrant population in terms of race and class. This inequity also persists in the temporary visa system. Most of the world's wealthiest nations--including most European countries, such as England, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland, Greece, and Spain, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea--are part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of these nations do not need a visa to enter the US. Instead, they can enter lawfully and stay up to 90 days without a visa; this makes them very unlikely to ever be unlawful border crossers.

For the rest of the world, however, obtaining a temporary visa to visit the US is often based on a person's assets in the home country. Ample assets are considered evidence that visitors will return home promptly after a visit, making middle-class and wealthy people more likely to be granted these visas than poor and working-class people.

The confluence of several factors--a long history of migration, geographic proximity, restrictive immigration policies, and the likelihood that prospective Latino immigrants will be working-poor--makes undocumented Latinos more likely to be unlawful entrants than undocumented people from elsewhere in the world. IIRAIRA makes undocumented Latinos more likely to face extended bars to their legal re-entry than undocumented people from elsewhere in the world. In short, IIRAIRA deepens the injustices of how we award temporary visas, reinforcing invidious distinctions among undocumented immigrants in terms of race and class.

Many Americans remain unaware that visas are awarded differently to rich and poor nations and are unaware of the penalties that IIRAIRA imposes on border crossers. This, in turn, fosters the perception that Latinos who are unable to change their legal status are somehow "undeserving" due to their supposed disproportionate breaking of the rules.

Is it fair to continue to follow a law that reinforces these inequities? We side with the Immigrant Justice Network, Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, more than 80 immigrant advocacy organizations, and many members of Congress in arguing that we must repeal this draconian law that divides families and imposes formidable hurdles to Latinos' legalization.

This April, Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Judy Chu (D-CA) proposed a Congressional resolution that would repeal the extended bars on legal re-entry and restore discretion to immigration judges to waive grounds of inadmissibility and deportability. This should be a cornerstone of the movement to reform our immigration system and provide undocumented immigrants with a pathway to legalization--a proposal that continues to enjoy great public support. To restore fairness and humanity to our immigration system, join the Fix '96 campaign today.

Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Loyola University and author of Becoming Legal: Immigration Law and Mixed Status Families.

Sarah Horton is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado-Denver and author of They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields: Illness, Injury, and "Illegality" among U.S. Farmworkers.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Elizabeth Warren Berates Trump For 'Humiliating Women At 3 AM'

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 6:49pm


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to task Friday for his middle-of-the-night smear campaign against former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.


The pageant winner became the focus of the presidential campaign this week after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton referenced her story during Monday night’s debate. Machado has said Trump bullied her for gaining weight after winning the 1996 Miss Universe title, calling her names like “Miss Piggy” and describing her as an “eating machine.” Trump has stood by his criticism of Machado, telling “Fox & Friends” she “gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.” 


Early Friday, Trump erupted again, sending several tweets attacking Machado’s character and accusing her of appearing in a sex tape:



Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an "angel" without checking her past, which is terrible!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016



Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016


He later defended his scorning of Machado in the middle of the night:



For those few people knocking me for tweeting at three o'clock in the morning, at least you know I will be there, awake, to answer the call!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016


Warren, a fierce Trump critic, offered her own tweetstorm in response to Trump on Friday afternoon: 



Is this what keeps you up at night, @realDonaldTrump? Thinking of new & interesting ways to call women fat or ugly or sluts?

— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) September 30, 2016



You never tweet at 3am with ways to help students getting crushed by debt or seniors struggling on Social Security, @realDonaldTrump.

— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) September 30, 2016



You never tweet at 3am with ways to create new jobs for workers or hold Wall Street accountable, @realDonaldTrump.

— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) September 30, 2016



Nope, @realDonaldTrump: the only things that keep your mind racing at night are your next racist, sexist tweets & disgusting lies.

— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) September 30, 2016



A thin-skinned bully who thinks humiliating women at 3am qualifies him to be President does not understand America & is not fit to lead.

— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) September 30, 2016


Clinton also pounced on Trump’s tweets, calling them “unhinged, even for Trump.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pointed out a major problem with Trump’s defense of the claims:



It's pretty telling that Donald Trump thinks the problem with his sexist tweets is the time that they were sent. https://t.co/jF09wLSwao

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 30, 2016


Also on HuffPost: Republicans Who Endorse Trump Struggle With Sex Tape Tweet


Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly .com/entry/donald-trump-violence_us_56e1f16fe4b0b25c91815913">incites political violence and is a serial liar, .com/entry/9-outrageous-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-latinos_55e483a1e4b0c818f618904b">rampant xenophobe, .com/entry/donald-trump-racist-examples_us_56d47177e4b03260bf777e83">racist, .com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023">misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Republican Official: Don't Raise The Minimum Wage, Because Workers Will Just Spend It On Heroin

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 6:38pm


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The Maine Heritage Policy Center launched a campaign this week against a November referendum to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 per hour to $12 per hour by 2020.


It’s off to a rocky start.


The Center, which is connected to billionaires Charles and David Koch, announced its opposition during a press conference in the capital Augusta, where business owner Rick Snow, who is running for office in Maine, suggested that raising the wage would only provide more drug money to poorly paid workers.


“Where would that money be spent? We’ve heard about the opiate issues in the state of Maine. Are we going to add more income to individuals so they can spend it on illegal activities? I’m very concerned about that,” said Snow, Republican candidate for District 47 in the Maine House of Representatives and former director of Maine’s Bureau of Labor Standards, according to The Maine Beacon.


Blowback has been intense. Proponents of the referendum, along with people hurt by the heroin epidemic, were outraged by Snow’s comments.


“Workers in Maine and across the country will use these raises to make ends meet, pay the rent and put food on the table for their families,” Ryan Johnson, executive director of The Fairness Project, told The Huffington Post. “Comments like these prove how out of touch these opposition groups are with the rest of America.”


Single mothers raising their children in poverty and senior citizens who can’t afford to retire are desperate for better pay, Amy Halsted, campaign manager for Mainers for Fair Wages, said in response to Snow’s comments. By blaming this on drug users, he is punishing honest, hard-working Mainers, Halsted said.


Snow, however, is now ready to move on from the minimum wage campaign. “I think this referendum is not something we should be focusing a lot of money and attention toward when we should be focusing on more significant concerns, like the heavy overdoses and the heroin epidemic in our state,” he told HuffPost Friday. He added that he pays his own employees above the minimum wage, and many are working their first jobs and drive nice cars.


Officials at the Maine Heritage Policy Center claim that raising the minimum wage would lead to prices hikes and higher unemployment, though research in the state indicates otherwise.


The referendum to raise the minimum wage will be on the ballot in the November general election, as will similar initiatives in several other U.S. states, including Arizona and Colorado.


If the referendum passes, as a recent poll out of the University of New Hampshire predicts, the minimum wage will increase to $9 an hour in 2017 and by an additional dollar each year until 2020, when it will cap at $12 an hour.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trickle-Down Birtherism: Crowd Wants Birther Answers About Iranian-American Candidate

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 6:18pm


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WASHINGTON ― During a pro-gun rally in Olympia, Washington, Marty McClendon, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, began to explain why the National Rifle Association gave his Democratic opponent Cyrus Habib an “F” rating. He was briefly interrupted with questions from the crowd.


“Is he legal?” one woman was heard shouting about Habib.


“What about his birth certificate?” a man asked.


McClendon responded, “Right. I don’t know.” He then went back to litigating Habib’s position on gun rights.


Habib was born in Baltimore to Iranian immigrant parents. His father came to the United States in 1970 to study at the University of Washington and his mother followed after the revolution in 1979. He graduated from Columbia University, the University of Oxford and Yale Law School and was elected to both the Washington state House of Representatives and Senate.


But never mind all that. The sound of Habib’s name leads some people to question whether he is a real American.


“The cancer of birtherism has metastasized even to Washington state,” Habib told The Huffington Post.


For five years, billionaire eccentric Donald Trump, now the Republican Party’s standard bearer, pushed the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore could not legally hold office. Just weeks ago Trump renounced his doubts about Obama’s place of birth with little explanation. This has not removed those doubts from the minds of his supporters.


The questioning of Habib’s birthplace indicates that the paranoid mindset behind birtherism ― that anyone not of European descent is suspect ― is trickling down to other political races.


“It’s disconcerting to see that birtherism, which has probably been defined as an Obama-centric form of political hate-mongering, has applications that are not just confined to the president,” Habib said.


The birther question was also raised about Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during the Republican presidential primary campaign. They are both Americans of Cuban descent.


Legally, it doesn’t matter if Habib or anyone else is born a United States citizen for them to hold any office other than president. Just ask former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who was born a Canadian citizen, or former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, born an Austrian citizen.


Further, Habib said, it was “definitely shocking” to see McClendon not challenge an obvious falsehood someone in the crowd brought up about him.


“In our interpersonal dynamic he’s always been perfectly friendly,” Habib said.


In a statement released by his campaign, McClendon said that he has no doubt that Habib was born in the United States.


“I am running my campaign in the same manner I will run the office of Lt. Governor when I am elected,” McClendon said in the statement. “I believe civility needs to be returned to the process of governing, which is why The Golden Rule is the foundation of my platform. I do not know why those attendees asked the questions they did, and my answer of ‘I don’t know’ was accurate. I do not know anything about my opponent’s birth certificate, but I have zero doubt that he is a citizen and fully eligible to run for the office.”


Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly
.com/entry/donald-trump-violence_us_56e1f16fe4b0b25c91815913">incites
political violence
and is a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-911_565b1950e4b08e945feb7326"> style="font-weight: 400;">serial liar, href="http://www.huffingtonpost
.com/entry/9-outrageous-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-latinos_55e483a1e4b0c818f618904b"> style="font-weight: 400;">rampant xenophobe
,
.com/entry/donald-trump-racist-examples_us_56d47177e4b03260bf777e83"> ">racist, .com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023"> style="font-weight: 400;">misogynist and href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-stephen-colbert-birther_56022a33e4b00310edf92f7a"> >birther who has
repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from
entering the U.S.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Hillary Clinton Wants To Get 5 Million Young People To Volunteer

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 6:02pm


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Hillary Clinton says she wants young people to have greater pathways to do good in the world. 


On Friday, the Democratic presidential nominee announced plans to create a new “National Service Reserve” to provide volunteer opportunities to Americans aged 18 to 30, according to Yahoo News.


In a post on her campaign website, Clinton said the Reserve would “expand ways for young Americans to serve their communities and their country.”


Clinton set a goal of enlisting 5 million Americans in the new Reserve, as part of her larger national service platform.


Her announcement also included plans to expand existing volunteer programs AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, more than tripling the size of AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 members per year.


“This is one of the best things about Americans—we’re doers,” Clinton wrote in a tweet on Friday. “When we see something that needs fixing, we roll up our sleeves and get to work.”



The way the Reserve would work, according to the campaign website, is anyone could sign up to join, and then national and local leaders would call upon members to participate in volunteer projects, from rebuilding homes after a disaster to cleaning a local park or helping homeless residents.


Reservists would potentially earn college credit for their service, or even a small stipend based on need, according to the campaign page. 


The Clinton campaign also pointed out millennials’ reported commitment to volunteering: Demand for AmeriCorps positions is five times greater than the number of slots actually available, according to a 2013 Center for American Progress report that the campaign cited.


“However you serve, it feels great to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” Clinton tweeted. “To work toward making something good happen in the world.”

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Shonda Rimes And Norman Lear Tackle Challenging Issues With Famous Faces In 'America Divided'

Huffington Post News - Fri, 09/30/2016 - 5:58pm

Two larger than life figures from the world of television, Norman Lear and Shonda Rimes, have joined forces to produce a thought-provoking 5-part docuseries airing today on the network EPIX called "America Divided." The show takes viewers across the country to tackle some of our most pressing problems. The correspondents leading each journey are names familiar to most Americans, such as the rapper/actor Common, and actors like Amy Poehler, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Williams, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis and America Ferrera.



"This series cuts to the heart of the inequality crisis, exploring life-and-death struggles around the economic, social and political divide," said the show creators. "Our aim is to expose the damage extreme inequality inflicts on all Americans, reveal its systemic causes, and celebrate real-world heroes fighting for solutions."



Drug policy reformers will be particularly interested in the story covered by Common on the criminal justice system, police violence and the Black Lives Matter movement in Chicago. The narrative is shaped around the aftermath of the shooting death captured on video of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old African American teenager, at the hands of a Chicago police officer.



The show digs deep into longstanding problems of police abuse and mistrust in Chicago and the way this exacerbates violence in the black communities that bear the brunt of police aggression. Common interviews scholar and author ofThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander, and uncovers how much the odds for justice are stacked against the poor and people of color in Chicago - from racial profiling to the bail system to scarce services to help formerly incarcerated people when they reenter society.



Other stories in the series that examine issues relevant to drug policy include Peter Sarsgaard investigating the drug overdose and opioid abuse problem in Dayton, Ohio. Sarsgaard meets with people struggling with addiction and their family members, offering a glimpse into the human tragedy and despair underneath the surface of national statistics. This story touches on how the "changing face of heroin," that increasingly features predominantly white rust belt and rural communities, has shifted the national dialogue from "war" to "compassion," underscoring the racial bias that has plagued American drug policy.



Jesse Williams' coverage of the school-to-prison pipeline and the systemic criminalization of black children in St. Petersberg, FL will be of interest to criminal justice and education reform advocates. Williams digs into the history of the city to expose how deeply intertwined its legacy of segregation is with contemporary inequities and the excessively harsh punishment of black youth.



Part of what makes "America Divided" compelling is the personal connection that each correspondent brings to the story, which is referenced throughout to great effect. Common comes from the same community on the South Side of Chicago as many of the people he interviews. Peter Sarsgaard has a personal and family history of struggles with addiction. Jesse Williams was formerly a teacher in an under-resourced public school.



It's exciting to see big names from entertainment taking on pressing social issues in a bold new way. Hopefully, "America Divided" will inspire viewers to have a better understanding of sharply different lived realities experienced in this country, and provoke them to be part of the movements for change.



Sharda Sekaran is the Managing Director of Communications at the Drug Policy Alliance (www.drugpolicy.org)



This piece first appeared on the Drug Policy Alliance Blog: http://www.drugpolicy.org/blog/shonda-rimes-and-norman-lear-tackle-challenging-issues-famous-faces-america-divided

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