The long awaited Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act known as CARES was signed into law yesterday, March 27th.
I have been bombarded with many questions as the ACT is very complex regarding what it does and what it doesn’t do. Unfortunately, because so many do not dig into the details there is lots of misinformation that do more harm than good resulting in people becoming frustrated or going around believing something that simply is not true.
One other point about the Act. Regardless if you subscribe to conspiracy theories, don’t believe in voting or engaging into the political process, COVID-19 has no boundaries nor does it discriminate or distinguish and that is yet another reason why voting is important because our lives are impacted by the legislative process, and those who do not participate are left on the sidelines with no voice.
Here is the text of the FULL Act
In the meantime, I would encourage you to click on the link below which was provided by my Congressperson Karen Bass who is a reliable leader that consistently keeps her constituents engaged and informed.
Like many who travel to Cuba my initial visit in 2015 was based simply as intrigue. I wanted to see the country for myself. I knew very little of the people and the culture. Prior to that first visit I had to absorb myself with whatever knowledge I could find. About a week before my trip I popped into Eso Won bookstore in Leimert Park. They happened to have two recent books on Cuba so I grabbed both. Unfortunately, I was not able to read them until I returned.
Race in Cuba
Once I read “Race in Cuba” I was blown away. While Cuban’s define themselves as ONE, the vestiges of racism and color take on a new dimension even in Cuba. So, while my initial interest in going to Cuba was simply to check out the country, I quickly changed my focus and wanted to learn more about “The Negro League and Cuban baseball and further explore the dynamic of race. Later that year I dialogued with the author of the book, professor Esteban Morales Dominquez and he shared many essays he had written on race, politics, even covering President Barack Obama.
Since then we have become very close friends and he is one of my top authorities regarding issues relating to Cuba.
Even though Professor Esteban is retired his voice is sought from across the globe. He pens relevant essays on a regular basis and they are embraced because of the perspective readers are offered.
I am pleased to announce that Professor Esteban has agreed for some of his writings to appear on ThomasReports. Even this week there has been a storm of controversy regarding the comments Senator Bernie Saunders made in mentioning a positive attribute of the Castro regime. I have asked Professor Esteban to chime in. So, stay tuned.
Professor Esteban Morales Dominguez is retired from the University of Havana. He is a well sought-after author who holds two pHD’s in economics and history, one being from Russia. He and his wife Katia reside in Havana.
[above photo - WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: In this screengrab taken from a Senate Television webcast, House impeachment manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks during impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on January 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Senate Television via Getty Images)
Now that the impeachment trial for Donald John Trump is in its fourth day, many of his defenders especially his legal team led by Jay Sekulow keep asking a rhetorical question to the House (House of Representatives) Managers who are prosecuting the case. That question is, “Why are we here?” That question has turned into a soundbite used by Sekulow and the MAGA acolytes who swear their leader has not done anything wrong, surely nothing worthy of impeachment.
One of the House Managers is Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY8). During one of his presentations on Wed, Jan. 22nd as he wrapped up, he used the words of famed rapper Biggee Smalls as a response.
By mid-morning on Friday, December 13th, 2019, Donald J. Trump the nations 45th President of the United States set another record. Surely, he likes to boast of all of his achievements and this one puts him on top of the list. He became the first POTUS (President of the United States) in the history of the House of Representative’s Judiciary committee to vote for his impeachment – during his FIRST TERM. The formal process has moved to the full House and in several days his official impeachment is imminent. Of course, impeachment is a political process. The House has the sole purview to issue an indictment or charge. The next step known as the formal hearing or trial is the sole purview of the Senate and as of this writing, despite strong evidence of guilt, it is likely he will be acquitted as the charges are very likely to be dropped.
Did he bring this on himself?
Donald Trump prides himself on being his own spokesperson. He often brags of his media prowess and how he is a master of manipulating others in agreeing and supporting his ideology. A quick analysis of the issues which have stymied his presidency is beyond political opposition or as he likes to state; those who hate him. In fact, most of his problematic issues could be defined as self-inflicted or those he brought on himself. His constant tweeting, badgering people, making ridiculous comments and other things unimaginable to be sprouted from the president of the United States bring direct radar on him.
He thought he received a reprieve from the Mueller report as even though it was strategically misconstrued by him and his supporters the only thing that saved him was the Office of Legal Counsel ruling. In fact, the report clearly stated any remedy to deal with his behavior was the impeachment process. Yet, he and his supporters have insisted the report was a flop and a big waste of taxpayer funds.
Many have concluded Trump’s actions are the sole reason why impeachment is even discussed. He and his team of mouth-piece acolytes have insisted those who attempt to reign in his behavior or try to impeach him will suffer greatly. They try and compare his impeachment to Bill Clinton’s, who escaped being removed from office as those who pushed it were promptly voted out of office at the next election. It is a dare worthy of consideration but surely one Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has assessed. Her main benchmark is understanding the worse case scenario of being removed as the majority but weighing the alternative in doing nothing or accepting the intimation that is touted by Trump, which would be a terrible reaction in allowing his consistent disruptive behavior to go unchecked.
“The more I can create alternative realities are better for me because people will be looking elsewhere which allows me to do what I want.” Donald J. Trump
Perhaps the fuel or motivation for Donald Trump to operate is his insatiable appetite for conspiracy theories. The more outlandish, the better. The humiliation he suffered at the 2011 correspondent’s dinner when President Barack Obama put an end to his tirade over his birth certificate was not enough. It seems each month or each week he belts out another conspiracy theory. Sadly, precious time and millions of taxpayer resources are wasted tracking down to what only can be summed up as a “fool’s errand.”
“Donald Trump wants you to believe the Mueller report cleared him from any wrongdoing. Further, he has no respect for the people of the United States (unless you absolutely agree with him) as well as the constitution. We have a duty.” Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Trump is a proud person and despite solid evidence from officials whose job is to determine fact from fiction, he will not accept that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Instead he adopted the premise that the real culprit was Ukraine. Holding what he assumed was his literal “trump” card he waited and waited for the right time to use the power of his office to make clear his notion was more than a theory; it instead was a fact.
Fast forward, following the House of Representatives authorizing nearly 400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, Trump known for his savvy business behavior which some have defined as “gangster” crafted a plan to leverage the aid for a favor the Ukraine government must provide before its release.
Unfortunately for him, his actions were uncovered and as they say “he was caught in the act.” Once it became clear how his plan was mapped out, he was doomed. There was very little doubt, at least from those with a modicum of objectivity to conclude his actions were in violation of the Constitution. Sadly, his actions were avoidable.
One could conclude it is very difficult to rehabilitate a person’s behavior, especially if they are in their 70’s. What he defined as a “perfect call” is anything from being perfect. It’s the call and subsequent knowledge of the overall scheme in handling the aid earmarked for Ukraine which has granted Trump the dubious honor of achieving the first person in U.S. history of being impeached during his first term.
[Expo Park] Urban Issues Forum is an organization at the vanguard of presenting political information in the Los Angeles area. The leadership primarily focuses on issues affecting the African-American community. Led by Dr. Anthony A. Samad the group is part of the esteemed Mervyn Dymally institute currently headquartered at California State University Dominguez Hills.
This morning at the California African-American Museum the group was host to California Citizen Redistricting Commission. The focus was to discuss the upcoming 2020 census and to appeal to the community to apply to become one of fourteen members that make up the Commission. Ms. Margarita Fernandez delivered a very informative presentation about the Commission and why it is critical for people to think about applying to join the organization. She was joined by M. Andre Parvenu who is part of the first Commission which started in 2010 and since he is from the Leimert Park area stressed the need for those in the community to participate.
Being a part of the Commission requires a ten-year commitment and the work is crucial in creating a panel which is diverse and representative of the State and its many communities. The process is pretty straight-forward but applications must be submitted by August. 9th.
For more on the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission
A Special Report on the Robert Mueller Testimony delivered Jul. 24, 2019
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally completed his long-awaited testimony before the House of RepresentativesJudiciary Committee and the SenateIntelligence Committee. It was aired so the public had the opportunity to tune-in or in the case of those who read the 448 report to complement what they had discerned.
In the era of hyper-partisanship those who support the republican party and Donald Trump have claimed victory stressing the testimony did not deliver any negative news. On the other hand, those who support the democratic party have stressed Mueller’s testimony makes it clear the wrongdoing committed by Trump and those associated with his 2016 presidential campaign.
Mueller stated with clarity the investigation uncovered numerous examples of criminal behavior by Donald Trump and some of his associates. He further stated the core reason Trump was spared being charged was due to the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel guidance which prevent a sitting president from being indicted.
Donald Trump is known for his bombasity and his vociferous attacks on those he deems as opponents. It has been mentioned more than once by his team that when attacked he will hit back with vigor. Has the presidency descended to what might be compared as a school yard brawl or a place where adults act with restraint and discipline? Perhaps it is that behavior why his approval rating has never exceeded 50% or a majority?
His supporter’s view him as some wordsmith master claiming he is a genius at using media to his advantage. Despite his rhetoric being challenged as outright lying or misleading his philosophy has been repetition or a drum beat to try and convince anyone who listens that what he states must be accurate? He takes pride in mesmerizing crowds that attend his political event. Unfortunately, most understand it is more show than actually factual but as mentioned in the world of Trump many are enamored by his celebrity and enjoy the entertainment provided, as well as countless promises of how their lives will improve. The result is a basic smoke and mirror exercise; make people believe they are part of the team so they dismiss any questionable behavior or actions being employed.
I’m not your savior, I’m your president!
Some with a sense of “street culture” define Donald Trump’s behavior as “gangster.” He surrounds himself with associates who have been defined as questionable. The result is a veil shrouded by what experts have defined as criminal behavior.
Trump has understood bombasity gets your attention. He also has been cleaver in generating support by making sure he delivers the “goods.” Such action seems pretty simple as many admire him for accommodating their public desires. His questionable reputation or criminal behavior becomes a non-issue for those who support him or otherwise known as his acolytes. They quickly dismiss anything negative about him stressing they did not vote for a savior or squeaky-clean person. Instead, they support him based on him delivering on issues they view as important. The problem with that summary is supporters are trading Trump’s lack of integrity for their personal gain. Therein, lays a conflict as those with a “hustler’s personality” understand human nature can be compromised and many will do anything to get what they want…..even if it might be questionable.
No collusion – total exoneration
Mueller kind of laughed when asked about the notion of Trump’s claim that his report resulted in no collusion and 100% exoneration.
Surely Trump is not stupid and understands his statement is totally incorrect but he has embedded it into those who support him and figures now is not the time to come clean? As Mueller stated, “the report speaks for itself, If I could exonerate the president I would have.”
Lack of cooperation and lies
Mueller surprised some by stating not only did Donald Trump fully not cooperate with his investigation, he instructed staff or those who were called by the Special Counsel to do the same.
Donald Trump is known to have very little restraint in dealing with basic questions about him or his administration. When engaging with the media, except FOX or those he considers friendly, his posture is very combative. Following the Mueller testimony he could not sit still so the media was summoned to the lawn area so he could provide his perspective. Yamiche Alcindor who represents PBS and is a noted White House correspondent questioned him about Mueller’s assertion he was not honest during the investigation.
Here is a short-clip of the exchange.
You mean my White House aides lied? You are untruthful! Donald Trump
It’s your turn at-bat
Republicans or those who support Donald Trump are claiming Mueller’s testimony did nothing to negatively impact them.
Imagine this, you’re a baseball player who is better than average. You are known as an All-Star, yet when it is your turn to bat…. everyone comes out of the wood-work to tell you how to hit?
That is perhaps the feeling of democratic leader Nancy Pelosi? Every pundit, every critic, every person on the bench and stands feel it is perfectly acceptable to pontificate on the next move. They have bought into the notion of wanting blood or for the Mueller testimony to reveal the block-buster they have long wanted. In their mind, anything less would signal a defeat. Thus, they marginalize their own position by being overzealous or having unrealistic expectations. They forget or don’t accept there is a process that is not necessarily designed for the insatiable reporting we have come to expect from cable news programs.
The facts are clear. Robert Mueller clearly stated despite uncovering actions of criminal behavior by Donald Trump, the DOJ OLC ruling has served as his shield or protection. Instead as articulated in the report the primary resolution to address Trump’s behavior as long as he is president cannot be adjudicated by our criminal institutions but instead solely rest politically, and that is the responsibility of Congress.
“The Mueller testimony had been billed as some blockbuster. Mueller is Mueller. He is not a game-show host, a reality TV star or the type of communicator whose goal is to entertain. The core criticism I have heard is about his style or how he presented his responses. There has been very little criticism on the more important issue – the substance or the facts!” Joe Madison, Sirius XM The Urban View
It can’t be stressed enough that some who support Donald Trump proudly state, “so what…. he was not found guilty of anything!!!” While that is a true statement what gets lost is when you do something that is criminal, not getting caught or charged does not dismiss the act, or in Trump’s case the acts.
Impeachment speaks to criminal intent and unlike legal statues, thus as mentioned it is Congress or more importantly the House of Representatives that decide and define what is criminal or worthy of being charged.
Based on what Robert Mueller has communicated outlining specific criminal behavior by Donald Trump the solution can only be addressed politically. That is initiate the impeachment process or wait for the 2020 presidential election with hopes he is defeated at the polls.
The 2020 campaign
For many on the democratic side or who oppose Trump, defeating him in 2020 is the most viable remedy. Unfortunately, the democrats resumed control of the House less than one year ago. Otherwise with all of Trump’s behavior as outlined in the Mueller report there would have been oversight hearings and the public might be better informed.
For many the election can’t come quick enough. But as mentioned, it is a process and as of today there are still over twenty candidates vying to be the nominee going up against Trump. That could be yet another reason for all of the angst the democrats are dealing with because from their perspective Trump has been getting away “with murder.” In time that will all change as by this time next year both issues will be crystal clear resulting in a crossing intersection: deal with the impeachment process of have a known candidate who is positioned to defeat Trump next November.
In the meantime, Muller has publicly testified or spoken – finally! Many in the media and those who didn’t fully understand the importance of Mueller finally coming forward are disappointed a big bombshell didn’t go off or the testimony did not result in a Perry Mason moment, or whatever big shocking revelation they were anticipating. At the same time, those who support Donald Trump have echoed relief that “nothing was produced” or the Democrats wasted everybody’s time while costing the public nearly 42 million dollars, Or, in the zeal to protect their leader, claim everybody can now see what they see and accept Donald Trump is the best president we have ever had? By doing so, they dismiss the core reason of why Wednesday, July 24th will go down in history as a monumental day as the person who was charged with investigating Russian interference from our 2016 presidential election finally gave voice to his findings.
Despite what is regularly reported the House of Representative have been busy creating legislation, holding hearings and seeking solutions to benefit the lives of all Americans.
Today, was a hearing on HR 40. It was not a day where all black people where given checks. What is was as the nation celebrates Juneteenth was a hearing to determine if a commission is warranted to study the issue of Reparations.
Above caption: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Discusses Mueller Report On Senate Floor
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell (R-KY) walks to the Senate floor to speak about the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 U.S. election where he stated "case closed", on Capitol Hill on May 7, 2019 in Washington, DC (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
“Democrats are unwilling to accept the investigation’s conclusion that there was no evidence of an illegal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Instead, they are continuing to go through “the five stages of grief,” including denial with regard to Mueller’s findings and anger toward Barr for how he’s handled the release of Mueller’s report.” Sen. Mitch McConnell-R-KY
Ever since the Special Counsel’s Report (redacted) was released it continues to come under intense pressure based on several of the conclusions and Attorney General William Barr’s representation. Barr’s summary was challenged by those who felt some of the language communicated was deceptive. It became under more scrutiny once it was discovered staff of the Special Counsel voiced public protest which was further supported by subsequent letters to Barr from the report’s author; Robert Mueller.
Donald Trump and his administration have been insistent in their lack of cooperation aimed at clarifying questions which have arose now that some of the report is in the public domain.
Russia interference not aided by anyone from the Trump campaign
Indeed, Robert Mueller was the Special Counsel who authored the report and concluded there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. However, to the question of the Trump campaign being involved in those efforts, it was determined there was none. To grasp why there continues to be questions over the report, one only has to carefully read the mandate of the Special Counsel and the scope of its charge. While Russian interference was the core reason of the investigation it also included ancillary issues that might rise to individual criminality. Thus, several key members of the campaign were indicted and convicted, and some are currently serving time in prison, awaiting to serve or have served time for their behavior.
In addition to those who have been charged a critical finding has been the behavior of the President of the United States; Donald J. Trump. Volume II of the report lays out specific instances of obstruction orchestrated by Trump. Fortunately for him, the Office of Legal Counsel has a policy that a currently-serving president cannot be charged with an offense. That does not mean such conduct was exonerated, it simply means under current guidelines charges cannot be made.
Robert Mueller is a seasoned professional with a distinguished track record. Once AG Barr got his hands on the report and communicated his interpretation, those such as Donald Trump applauded Mueller’s professionalism. Perhaps he was premature in his applause?
For those who take the time to read the report they will see that Mueller made clear of Trump’s behavior as well as his inability to bring any charges. Instead, what some are dismissing is the report clearly signals any remedy to hold Trump accountable for his behavior must come from a political process. That process is called impeachment and administered by Congress. The House of Representatives brings the impeachment charge and the Senate holds the trial to determine an outcome. Further, the process is pretty straightforward as you need a majority of the House of Representative to pass impeachment charges, and you need two-thirds of the Senate to convict. Therein lays the political theater as while impeachment charges very well could pass at the House as the Democrats hold the majority, it is unlikely the Senate will convict based on the Republicans maintaining control. That of course is as of today, as the political process is fluid and public sentiment could force a different outcome.
Response from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) via tweet
In the meantime, you wonder why Donald Trump and is Acolyte’s are eager to shut down any further discussion of the Mueller report? Why does anyone want to hear from Don McGahn who is mentioned in the report and was attorney for the office of the president? Why does anyone want to hear from Robert Mueller, when his report speaks for itself? Who in their right mind has the gall to question anything in the report?
One with the most basic understanding of our political system would ask some elementary questions which led us to where we are today (here is a sampling):
When the Russia issue was first reported, why didn’t Donald Trump and those in his campaign simply acknowledge they had Russia contact? Why did they vehemently deny such facts existed?
Why did Donald Trump claim to agree with cooperating in releasing his tax returns, only to reverse course and adamantly refuse such request?Based on Donald Trump’s businesses and questionable behavior regarding the way they operate, the tax returns are just one primary document which highlights your assets and holdings. In a presidential campaign, release is important because it documents any relationships which may cloud the objectivity that the office of the president must maintain.
Although not against the law……why was Donald Trump adamant in employing close family members as part of his administration?
Why does Donald Trump use his properties to host various public events or to engage international leaders?
Why has there been so much turnover in his administration when he publicly communicated “he could and would hire ONLY the best?”
As a communication strategy to close the investigation some have mentioned the democrats or those who might not support Donald Trump only want to reletigate the 2016 campaign. Others claim Trump is doing a great job, why threaten him with further harassment? They appear to dismiss the core issue in confusing performance with behavior. Many, particularly pundits and acolytes of Donald Trump have accepted that as long as Donald Trump signs into law those things they wish or appoint those they support; his behavior, regardless if it is criminal or not becoming of the office of the presidency, is irrelevant.
So, while it might be pleasing to some to close the discussion of the Mueller case, it is clear new questions have occurred and until they are fully resolved the public will continue to want answers.
[Baldwin Village, CA] Baldwin Village is a small community in South Los Angeles (south of the Santa Monica Freeway). It is known by many Angelenos as the “Jungle,” which was the name given as it was made up of intricate apartment complexes featuring tropical landscapes. Like many parts of Los Angeles the area has changed, some good some not so good. It is currently a working-class community that is surrounded in all directions by some of the area’s most iconic neighborhoods such as: Baldwin Hills, Leimert-Park, Baldwin Vista, View Park and West Adams.
Feb. 2007 to May 2019
A little over twelve years ago, then Senator Barack Obama made a pit-stop to the community pleading for support and cash to support and fuel what turned into a historic campaign.
Today thousands of Angelenos got a chance to pull out their Obama gear and once again show their support for the 44th president of the United States. The occasion was Rodeo Road (Ro-D-Oh), which has the same spelling as Rodeo Drive which is in Beverly Hills, was transformed and is now President Barack Obama Boulevard. The street stretches from just east of Arlington Avenue and goes west where it ends in Culver City. The significance of the street is because it is now part of Los Angeles’ president’s row.
Many Angelenos, even natives do not know about this factoid. Quite simply, president’s row starts from Washington (George Washington) Blvd. which is immediately north of the Santa Monica freeway so now the next four intersections going south are part of the row. Washington Blvd., Adams Blvd. (John Adams), Jefferson Blvd. (Thomas Jefferson) and now Obama Blvd. You can find this iconic part of the city by going south on any of the following thoroughfares; Arlington, Crenshaw and La Brea.
13 min. event highlight clip
23,000+ in attendance
The naming ceremony was one of those occasions where you just knew something special was going to happen. The city of Los Angeles estimated the enthusiastic crowd to be around 23,000. The bottom-line strategy of city officials was to recognize the community’s pride in Barack Obama with hope that it stimulates the community and triggers much-needed rebuilding.
To read more of why this celebration is important read HERE.