[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.
The long-awaited Special Counsel report produced by Robert Mueller was delivered to Attorney General William Barr this past Friday. Donald Trump, his administration and band of supporters are claiming victory that the report did not find him conspiring with the Russia government during the 2016 presidential election.
But, did the Mueller report really clear him? As predicted, Trump and his pundits which have flamed throughout media have misstated the conclusions reached by claiming he has been totally exonerated.
“Mueller did not find Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia, also did not exonerate him on obstruction”
While team Trump spins the news that they have been absolutely vindicated by the report, a closer evaluation shows a much different summary. Prior to Robert Mueller being pulled in to investigate allegations against Trump, for the most part his life was private, especially those related to his financial dealings.
No report would have been necessary…….
Once he summarily fired James Comey, he inadvertently triggered the investigation as we know it. During that period of countless tweets, threats and other commentary never seen before by a United States president became an unfortunate side show.
Unfortunately for Trump, yes Mueller did not find a conspiracy with the Russian government. But what Mueller did find and was crafty enough to move from his specific mandate, was uncover a long history of Trump behavior which have led to criminal investigations. The Mueller report has completed and those actions will not be handled by the Special Counsel’s office. Instead other jurisdictions have taken the baton which have more freedom in their pursuit of justice and the end result is Trump is now more vulnerable than if the report had not been initiated in the first place.
The bigger picture
So, while Trump’s opponents voiced dismay of the Mueller report not providing the results they were seeking, their thirst for a Trump take-down blindsided many from seeing the bigger picture. Once they awaken from their nightmare of Trump escaping any of the Mueller indictments, they will see he actually did them a huge favor by sending the investigations to other jurisdictions.
Once Trump and his team finish their victory lap and admonishing those who they have defined as their enemies, a gauntlet of criminal investigations await them:
The hush money investigation
Trump’s inauguration funding
Pro-Trump super PAC
Trump Organization insurance policies
Trump Organization real estate deals
The Trump Foundation
Trump’s golf club employing undocumented immigrants
ABOVE CAPTION. President Trump Announces The Nominee For Federal Reserve Chair Of The Board Of Governors
Jerome Powell, governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump's nominee as chairman of the Federal Reserve, speaks as Trump, left, listens during a nomination announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. If approved by the Senate, the 64-year-old former Carlyle Group LP managing director and ex-Treasury undersecretary would succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
“It is my pleasure to announce that @StephenMoore, a very respected Economist, will be nominated to serve on the Fed Board. I have known Steve for a long time – and have no doubt he will be an outstanding choice! @realDonaldTrump “
If your ambition is to serve as part of the Donald Trump administration, it helps to be part of the FOX network, speak negatively about the Obama administration or communicate in the media your disdain for someone in the current administration who happens to be in “hot water” with Donald Trump or his acolyte’s. This morning it was Steven Moore’s turn to see if he can parlay his loyalty to Trump and go through the nomination process.
The Federal Reserve is an independent body with the task of establishing monetary policy. Currently there are two openings on the board. Current Board Chair Jerome Powell has been in the crosshairs of Donald Trump for some time. It doesn’t matter that Powell, a life-long Republican was recently nominated by Trump to his current post less than two years ago. During that period the stock market hit some low marks. Rather than blame himself for the policies he adopted which most economist indicated was the reason for the decline, Trump found a new foe in Powell and suffered the wrath and the blame. Similar to so many officials Trump has appointed, many are independent and do not report or work for the White House. Their role is to work on behalf of the citizens of the United States of America.
Unfortunately as soon as whatever work they are doing intimates something Trump or the White House dislikes, they are admonished and chastised for not being a “team player.”
I only hire the best!
During the 2016 presidential campaign and leading up to naming key administration staff, Trump would boast, “he’d “surround myself only with the best and most serious people” — adding: “We want top-of-the-line professionals.”
That may result in a good sound-bite but the results to date have been a big flop. More than a few people who had the aspiration to be part of team Trump has resigned, summarily shown the front door or indicted due to criminal behavior, while their dreams went up in flames.
Being a panderer has its benefits
In some circles, Moore has been viewed as the ultimate panderer known for making nervous smiles during his stint as a cable-news analyst. He has demonstrated the willingness to support anything and everything spouted by Donald Trump. His behavior has been very similar to those who are publicly interviewing for administration post’s knowing full-well of Trump’s appetite in spending as much time as possible consuming media.
Up until this morning Moore was an analyst for CNN.
“Moore joined CNN as a contributor in early 2017. Given this news, he is no longer with the network, a CNN spokeswoman confirms.” CNN Chief Correspondent @brianstelter
He was known for his commitment to never admit anything negative about Donald Trump or his administration. Despite tremendous documentation and evidence to the contrary, Moore’s would presents arguments that might result in an “F” grade in the most basic debate class. His position was to always deny the obvious.
As mentioned, similar to other appointees Moore’s performance caught the attention of Trump. But perhaps the thing that sealed his nomination was his March 13, 2019 editorial to the Wall Street Journal which blasted current chair Powell and blamed him for the concern about Wall Street. This surely supported Trump’s attitude who in turn suggested to Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow that Moore is just the type of person to fill one of the Fed vacancies.
Interestingly, many view the Federal Reserve as a prestigious organization where top economist who hold pHD’s wind up. Moore’s resume does not compare to those who currently sit on the board. Absent of a pHD, for the past three years his core employment was being a pundit for the Trump administration.
While Trump’s tweets are considered official communication, Moore indicated he has not received a firm offer. Assuming it comes later today or within the next several days the next step is to go through the nomination process. The big question is whether Trump is appointing Moore because he truly is competent and can improve the body or is he being positioned to promote his views as articulated in his March 13th op-ed.
On March 4th, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced the United States has suspended Title III of the 1996 Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) against Cuba.
The move is another twist of the administration’s zeal to thwart any progress made by the Obama administration regarding rebuilding relations between the two countries.
Ironically, Title III had been waived by presidents since 1996 and had been renewed consistently until the announcement by Pompeo. The act essentially allows Cubans who fled the country and landed in the United States following the 1959 revolution to sue in an attempt to reclaim land and property which was claimed by the government. Whether they will be successful in court is undefined at this time.
While the move appears pretty straight-forward, many international experts have a different perspective. Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean and known for its independence and endurance. In addition to being an ally to communist regimes, they have been a big supporter of Venezuela and their support of the Maduro government.
The 1959 Revolution resulted in those not supporting the new regime to flee leaving property and other assets which the government used to rebuild the country. No doubt the issue is controversial and bitter feelings still exist from those who were exiled. However, some view the Trump Administration’s action as basic retaliation for the country supporting someone in another country who they do not support. As mentioned Pompeo indicated the move will be revisited in 30 days.
Like many things with this administration, it is unclear how many lawsuits may be brought or their probability of success.
This morning, longtime Trump ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on corruption charges.
Sometimes you just have to stop and ask a critical question? Why is it so many people who consider themselves a close ally or an associate of Donald Trump find themselves under indictment, if not already convicted of criminal behavior?
No doubt Trump supporters will vehemently dismiss such a question as a massive witch hunt, pure jealously by those who dislike him or simply those hellbent on trolling for any negative news that he might be connected.
Unfortunately, like a heartbeat the throbbing question remains and deserves some type of legitimate response. It becomes a bit silly when Donald Trump and his supporters belt-out their choral refrain “There’s No Collusion, There’s No Russia interference!!!” Yet, all of the lads listed below have suffered the wrath of being entangled in the legal system investigating Donald Trump.
What is it about people who maintain a confident or even arrogant position about their leadership who continue to dangle on the fine line of being a sincere servant or using their office as a criminal conduit?
Stay tuned………….in case you missed the Michael Cohen congressional hearing yesterday here is a clip of him admonishing those who blindly follow Trump and the peril they may encounter.
“Reporters anti-Trump bias has spiraled out of control.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders
Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report reflecting data compiled for January 2019. Great news for the 304,000 who are now employed. The report was also a positive shot in the arm for the Trump administration.
During the two-years the administration has been operating, they have accused the media of only focusing on negative news about the antics that Donald Trump belts out on almost a daily basis. Unfortunately, that is not true as over that period there is plenty of positive news the administration should be proud of.
The jobs report is just one marker. Eyebrows get raised when Trump and those who support him focus their retort primarily on African-American employment data as if they are some primitive group or the only group mentioned in the report. It is silly and many wonder why they don’t simply communicate an argument that includes everybody?
News such as the jobs report would lead media on a more frequent basis, if not for the self-inflicted wounds the administration consistently makes. Their blunders dampen the positive news they create resulting in them communicating a false narrative that “everybody is out to get them.’
The effects of the Government shutdown
The January report is positive news. However, in a more thorough analysis you will see the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.0 percent. Again, that is not alarming as it merely is a data point. It must also be noted the number of unemployed persons rose to 6.5 million. Among those, 175,000 are in the “temporary layout” category.
Despite the shutdown, the January report is good news and some political leaders can’t fathom why Donald Trump doesn’t spend more energy on building on positive reports instead of being obsessed with watching cable television or trying to figure out ways to continue to hold the taxpayers hostage on a wall he proudly stated and his supporters echoed that “Mexico would pay for?”