Newswire: Former President Barack Obama assails President Trump’s reversal of DACA

Obama speaks about the sequester in WashingtonDACA protest

Former President Barack Obama, and DACA protest

For the first time since leaving the White House in January, former President Barack Obama has issued a full statement in response to an action by President Trump. On Tuesday, Sept. 5, in response to Trump’s reversal of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA), Obama issued a lengthy Facebook message. Obama expressed deep disappointment in the overturn of his June 15, 2012 executive order, which was intended to protect young adults brought illegally to the U. S. as children. Trump, calling the executive order illegal, reversed it and asked Congress to act on it with legislation, throwing the lives of more than 800,000 people into limbo.
Trump claims to have “great love” for the youth who have become known as “dreamers”. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, making the announcement, said, “We are a people of compassion and we are a people of law. But there is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws.” Obama called it a “cruel” action.
Sessions ordered a six month delay to March 5, 2018 in the implementation of the decision to rescind DACA to allow Congress to act to submit legislation legalizing the program. No new applications for DACA will be accepted. Persons whose DACA status ends between now and March must apply by October 5, 2017 for an extension. DACA gives its holder permission to live, work and attend school in the U. S. without fear of deportation. Trump’s decision makes the future of these young people uncertain and could also adversely affect the economy. Obama posted the following response:
Immigration can be a controversial topic. We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.
But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about. This is about young people who grew up in America — kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license.
Over the years, politicians of both parties have worked together to write legislation that would have told these young people – our young people – that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here a certain number of years, and if you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, then you’ll get a chance to stay and earn your citizenship. And for years while I was President, I asked Congress to send me such a bill.
That bill never came. And because it made no sense to expel talented, driven, patriotic young people from the only country they know solely because of the actions of their parents, my administration acted to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people, so that they could continue to contribute to our communities and our country. We did so based on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike, because our immigration enforcement agencies have limited resources, and it makes sense to focus those resources on those who come illegally to this country to do us harm. Deportations of criminals went up. Some 800,000 young people stepped forward, met rigorous requirements, and went through background checks. And America grew stronger as a result.
But today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again. To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating — because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?
Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.
It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.
Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.
What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals — that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.

Alabama Power explains placement of power pole in the street

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Shown above l to r: Councilpersons Bennie Abram, LaTasha Johnson, Shelia Smith, Mayor Raymond Steele, Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Mrs. Janice Benison, Councilman LaJeffery Carpenter and Councilman Joe L. Powell. Mayor Steele and City Council gives recogntion to Sheriff Benison.

At the Eutaw City Council meeting held Tuesday, August 22, 2017, Mayor Raymond Steele asked Dan Bott of Alabama Power to explain how the power pole got placed in the middle of the street alongside the courthouse. Bott stated that Alabama Power could not obtain an easement to place the pole on county property while the new water tank was being installed. He noted that a re-routing to place it on other property would have been too costly. “We had to consider the other hundreds of customers who are also served by that same line. That coverage extends to customers in the Knoxville and Jena communities,” he said.
According to Bott, it would have cost approximately $200,000 to re-route the line; placing it in the street, near the construction, cost about $30,000. Mayor Steele stated that this cost is included in the grant. It was noted that the work on the water tank should be completed by the end of September and the power pole will be returned to its original position.
At the opening of the meeting, Mayor Steele requested the removal of the agenda item which proposed a liquor license for John’s of Eutaw. A motion for the same was presented and passed. No explanation was given for withdrawing the item.
Councilwoman LaTasha Johnson noted errors in the previous minutes and asked that statements erroneously attributed to her be removed.
Councilman Joe Powell asked that travel mileage for Deadra Thomas be adjusted to the correct rate.
Since there was no old business on the agenda, the council approved the bills presented.
In his report, Mayor Steele again stated that the water tank would be completed in September, but there is still some work to be done on the water lines. According to Steele, by September, the city should be ready to read meters electronically. “Software will be installed next week and the staff will be trained,” he said.Councilman Powell stated that he does not want the city to cut grass if the workers will not remove the papers that get cup up. He said that limbs are also cut and left on site. Mayor Steele responded saying that the city has limited staff and cannot perform pick-up duty.
Councilwoman Johnson noted that there are similar problems on Kirksey, regarding cutting grass, papers and other debris and just leaving that there. Johnson also presented the sewer concerns for the residents of Lock 7. The mayor responded saying that there are no funding sources available for sewer grants at this time, until the water project is completed.
In the closing business, the Mayor and City Council presented a special recognition to Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison for his financial support of bingo funds to the city. Sheriff Benison and his wife were present to receive the award.
In public comments, Luther Winn, CEO of Greenetrack, Inc., gave a summary presentation on the initial purpose of the Bingo Bill passed by the community in 1973. He said that bingo was approved by the people with the expectation that significant resources would go to the primary institutions in the county. These included the school system, the first responders (Volunteer Fire Departments, Ambulance Service, E911) and the hospital. Winn noted that when there was only one bingo facility in the county and locally owned, the Greene County Hospital received approximately $120,000 a year in bingo funds. Now with five bingo establishments, hardly any bingo funds go to the hospital, which is struggling to remain open and in dire need of operating and upgrading funds. Winn distributed documents which supported his statements.

Newswire : City of Houston under water as Hurricane Harvey rivals Katrina

By Hazel Trice Edney

Family of Houston Defender Publisher Sonny Messiah-Jiles being rescued. PHOTO: Clyde Jiles;

Hurricane Harvey

People walking out of flooded areas of Houston

( – At publication deadline this week, more than 9,000 people – an overflow of evacuees – had packed into the Houston Convention Center fleeing the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey Residents on higher ground south of Houston had been urged to leave their homes immediately due to the breach of levees.
Even with a 49 inch record rainfall for the U. S., Texas forecasts predicted even more heavy rain for the remainder of this week as the Hurricane appeared to boomerang, hitting the city for a second time. More than 30,000 people were expected to seek shelter before it’s all over as residents of cities South of Houston heeded the warning to “Get out now” due to the broken levee.
“Since the shelter opened early Sunday morning, I’ve seen throngs of survivors coming in, people who have barely the clothes on their backs, soak and wet, their belongings in their hands,” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said in a live CNN interview Tuesday. “But they’re resilient, they have faith, they’re looking for a future. And they believe that they’re going to get help. That’s an important message for those who now have nothing. We now have an obligation to commit to them that they will have a future and that the resources will come.”
Lee said after conversations with rescue workers, volunteers and others in charge of the rescues, the key issue was to continue focusing on getting people to safety. She said she believed that there are “certain pockets in this community – including Beltway 8, Tidwell and Northside – where we need to continue to rescue people.”
Lee and Congressman Al Green agreed that thousands of additional people could still be awaiting rescue at that time on Tuesday morning. Congresswoman Lee estimated that the damages and rebuilding after the Hurricane will surpass $150 billion across Texas.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump flew into Corpus Christi and then to Austin on Tuesday. In Corpus Christi, they received a briefing from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The White House says the President did not fly closer to the worst disaster areas in Houston because he didn’t want to distract from rescue efforts.
Gov. Abbott thanked Trump for the advance preparations that had been going on for 10 days, saying “Texas has been tested. But our response to this challenge has been made much more effective because of the very effective way that the” Trump Administration has responded.
“This was of epic proportion. No one has ever seen anything like this,” Trump said in response to the governor’s remarks. “We won’t say congratulations. We don’t want to do that. We’ll congratulate each other when it’s all finished.”
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Administrator Brock Long referred to Hurricane Katrina, the disastrous Hurricane that killed nearly 2,000 people in New Orleans around the same week in August in 2005. In that situation, thousands died mainly due to old levees that failed to hold back New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain after the storm.
“This is not the Superdome,” said Long, referring to the New Orleans stadium where thousands gathered after Katrina and waiting for days before FEMA responded. Then President George W. Bush was strongly criticized for flying over New Orleans in a helicopter.
Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation, making it difficult for first responders to know where all the people needed help. Word went out for those needing to be rescued to hang large towells from their window.
Searches for family, loved ones and associates and co-workers continued throughout the week. Many depended on media to get the word out about missing loved ones.
The National Newspaper Publishers Association blasted an alert to their editors and publishers showing one of their leading publishers, former NNPA Foundation Chairwoman Sonny Messiah-Jiles of the Houston Defender, being rescued by boat along with her family.
Houston Forward Times Publisher Karen Carter Richards, responded to an email from the Trice Edney News Wire saying she was thankful for “God’s Amazing Grace!!!” She added, “My family and I are good. No water in our homes, we’re safe and dry. My office got a little water but nothing major to even talk about. Keep praying!”
Many are praying because thousands of others are not as fortunate. So far the death count is 14, but authorities expect that will rise as recovery efforts begin once the water has receded. The stories of heroism and struggles are harrowing as the elderly, sick and families with children desparately seek safety. One family of six perished when the van they were in sank as they tried to flee the waters. A police officer was also killed when his car sank in flood waters on his way to work.
The NNPA statement from Chairwoman Dorothy Leavell and President/CEO Benjamin Chavis issued an “urgent national call for support for all people who are being impacted by the devastating flood waters.”
Millions of appeals for prayers and assistance continue across the nation this week as the recovery will no doubt take years.
The NNPA statement said, “We are asking that all NNPA publishers across the nation keep all those affected by the flooding crisis in Texas in our concerned hearts and fervent prayers.” Direct support for victims of Hurricane Harvey can be made through the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Hospital Board vows to keep facility open

The Board of Directors of the Greene County Health System, which includes the Hospital, Nursing Home, Physicians Clinic and Home Health Care Services, based in Eutaw, said that it will work to keep the facilities open despite widespread ‘community rumors’ and media coverage which suggested that closure was imminent.
John Zippert, Chair of the Board said, “We face many challenges to continue to operate a small rural hospital with 20 beds and a 70 bed nursing home but we have been six months from closing, nearly every month for the past twenty years that I have served on this board.”
“We need the support of the residents of Greene County, Black and White, to use our facility and services. We need the support of all public officials. We need the support of churches and other community organizations.
“We need better support from the Sheriff and the five charity electronic bingo facilities in Greene County to cover deficits in our budget caused by serving low income people in Greene County. Last year, as a public facility, we turned no one needing health care away and provided over $1.4 million in services to Greene County people for which we were not paid. This is called “uncompensated care” in the jargon of health care,” he said.
In the midst of these issues, the Board received a letter of resignation from Elmore Patterson, who has served as CEO and Hospital/Nursing Home Administrator for the past four years. Patterson submitted his resignation, dated August 30, at the July board meeting. The Board declined to accept Patterson’s resignation and urged him to reconsider.
Patterson said at this, the August meeting, that he still wanted to resign but would stay until the hospital finds a replacement. “I do not want to leave you without a suitable replacement but I have tried for four years and I do not feel I have the support of the community for this healthcare facility. I want to move on to other opportunities but I will assist in any way I can.”

Zippert suggested a comprehensive search process, similar to the one used to recruit and employ Patterson, which would require 60 to 90 days from announcement to selection. A committee of the board or the whole board needs to be involved in the process.
Patterson pointed out that many of the financial problems of GCHS are based on insurance reimbursement rates. “Medicare pays us about 65% of the charges that we bill; Medicaid pays us only about 32% of the charges that we bill; these are our two biggest payers accounting for two thirds of our patients. Private insurance, which is less that 10% of our patients, pays 70-80% of charges. The remaining quarter of our patients, due to low income, are unable to pay for services but we treat them anyway.”
“When Alabama refused to extend Medicaid to the working poor, under the Affordable Care Act that put more pressure on us. The uncertainties of ‘repeal and replace of health care’ coming from Congress and the President have also placed more pressure on us and all healthcare providers, especially rural hospitals and nursing homes,” said Patterson.
Zippert said some of the charges on television and in the news media are ‘fake news’. For instance, “Some officials are charging mis-management and misuse of funds and calling for an audit. We have a private CPA audit each year, which is approved by the State of Alabama and the Federal government. We must have an audit and a certified cost report to be able to get any reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid. These audits do not show any mis-management of funds,” Zippert said. Patterson brought the last six annual audits to show the board. These audits are available for inspection by the public
At the end of the meeting, all GCHS Board members agreed to work together, with public officials, especially Sheriff Joe Benison, to find long and short-term solutions to keep the facilities open.

Newswire : Obama’s Charlottesville message one of the most liked tweets in history

By: Emily Tillet, CBS News

Obama speaks to children

 President of Obama speaking to children

President Obama’s tweet quoting former South African President Nelson Mandela following the violent clashes and domestic terror attack after white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, has made Twitter history with over 3 million likes, making it the most-liked tweet since the social media site launched, according to new Twitter analytics data
The tweet, at more than 2.6 million likes as of Tuesday, had even surpassed talk show host Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie tweet at the Academy Awards in 2014. The tweet quickly surpassed the 3 million mark as of late Tuesday night, following President Trump’s press conference in which he equated counter protesters to the white supremacists actions in Virginia.
According to Nick Pacilio of Twitter Communications, Government & News, the message is also considered one of the top five most re-tweeted tweet ever.
Mr. Obama, who faced a variety of national tragedies during his time in office, took to Twitter on Sunday to share a quote from Mandela along with a photo of children of various ethnicities.

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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” read the tweet, quoting a line of text from Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.”
Mr. Obama has largely stayed away from making overtly political statements on his social media page since leaving office, but has continued to weigh in on domestic and international events from the terror attacks in Manchester, England, to well-wishes for Republican Sen. John McCain after he announced that he had brain cancer.
While President Trump tweeted his own sentiments following Saturday’s attack and violent protests, saying “we all must be united and condemn all that hate stands for” and later condemned hate “on many sides”, many were left wondering when Mr. Trump would come out and explicitly denounce white supremacists and other hate groups that were involved in the violence.
Two days after the events, amid growing pressure from the public and political world, Mr. Trump denounced racism as “evil” in a televised statement from White House. However, the next day in a press conference on “infrastructure”, Trump again made statements in support of the alt-right, white supremacists and hate groups.
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Newswire : Lumumba becomes youngest Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi

By Othor Cain (The Mississippi Link/NNPA Member)


 Clumumbamayor_jjohnson_web120Chokwe Lumumba and his wife at swearing in ceremony

Chokwe Antar Lumumba became the youngest mayor in the history of Jackson, Miss., when he was sworn-in last month in front of a standing room-only crowd at Jackson’s Convention Center Complex.
Lumumba, 34, defeated the business-friendly incumbent Mayor Tony Yarber after losing to him in a special election in 2014. The seat was left vacant when Lumumba’s father, Chokwe Lumumba, died after serving less than a year in office.
Lumumba called his victory a celebration of the city’s unity. “It’s about our collective efforts to move Jackson forward,” Lumumba said to a cheering crowd. A blessing deferred isn’t a blessing denied.
Even though he had hoped to fulfill the unexpired term of his father in 2014, Lumumba said he was grateful for losing to Yarber, during his first campaign.
“I’m actually grateful that we lost the election in 2014, not because the sincerity was not there, not because we didn’t believe we would have done a good job, but, we’ve been able to appreciate far more what’s going on with the city of Jackson, and I’ve been able to appreciate more within myself,” Lumumba shared during an interview with “Democracy Now!”
Lumumba continued: “People have to remember, in 2014, not only did I bury my father in a two-month time span and then enter into an election, my wife was pregnant with our first child. And so there was a world of change. You had a first-time candidate, who had not run for junior class president, much less mayor of a city. And so, we’ve been able to, you know, gather more information and position ourselves better.”
Lumumba said that everything happens in a perfect timing. “We’re happy where we find ourselves at this time, to move forward the agenda that my father embarked on, an agenda of a people’s platform, one that was not only, you know, symbolic of his work in his short term as mayor, but symbolic of a lifetime of work, that he subscribed to and also ultimately dedicated his family toward,” said Lumumba.
During Lumumba’s swearing-in service, on the same stage where his father stood on and was sworn-in, just four years ago, he became overwhelmed with emotions. “A son only holds his father’s hand for a short while, but he holds his heart forever,” he said as he fought back tears. “I can’t help, but to be emotional today.”
The young mayor also paid homage to his mother. “My mom’s spirit was infectious, she was the first person to tell me that I was brilliant,” said Lumumba. “If you had the privilege of knowing her or meeting her, she is someone that you would never forget.”
In Chicago, earlier this summer, speaking at the People’s Summit, Lumumba shared his thoughts about “the people’s platform.”
“From the moment we announced, we worked hard and aggressively on an agenda that included social justice, economic democracy and making certain that the people had a voice,” he said. “That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.”
Lumumba said that he plans to implement “people’s assemblies,” that speak directly to his campaign promise to the community that he serves.
“‘When I become mayor, you become mayor,’” he said, echoing a campaign. “These assemblies will give residents an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process.”
Lumumba said in Chicago that all eyes were on Jackson. “So what happens in Jackson, Mississippi, impacts each and every one of us. And so we have to make the decision that we’re going to start controlling the way electoral politics proceed. We’ve made the decision that we’re going to be the most radical city on the planet, that we’re going to make certain that we change the whole scope of electoral politics,” said Lumumba. “No longer will we allow an individual to step before us and tell us all of the great things that they’re going to accomplish on our behalf, only to find that nothing in their past demonstrates a sincerity, a willingness or an ability to do so.”
Tackling the city’s budget is top priority for Lumumba, who is also known as a social justice activist and attorney.
“Shortly after we take office, we have to pass a budget. And so, it’s important that we have the right people in place,” said Lumumba. “We have a transition team that’s in place right now, looking at the issues which Jackson is facing, making certain that we don’t make plans just off conjecture, but a fact-based analysis of where we find our city, and bringing together not only people who have the acumen and ability and skill to do the job, but people who have a passion, a passion which goes beyond just the way we see electoral politics, but a passion to change people’s lives.”
What does the name Lumumba mean?
Many have; many do; and many will, mispronounce and misspell Lumumba’s name, including this writer. When asked the origin and meaning of his name, he shared a quick historical perspective with So, my father changed his name when he was in law school, and accepted a name that he believed to be more culturally identifiable. Chokwe is the name of a tribe in the Angola region, a tribe that was resistant to the slave trade. The name Chokwe means “hunter.” Antar is the name of a historic poet and warrior who died while saving a woman from drowning; Antar means “poet” and “warrior.” Lumumba, given that name from our namesake, Patrice Lumumba, the former prime minister of the Congo, Lumumba means “gifted.”
The Mississippi Link is a member publication of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Festival offers soulful music of hardship and triumph

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The annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival features Ole Timey Blues artists on Saturday and Ole Timey Gospel artists on Sunday. There is no contradiction in the appreciation of both. As the elders tell it: The wailing blues tell the stories of our struggles, hardships, heartaches, lost loves and lost lives. The prayerful gospel music lifts the stories of our faith, determination, perseverance and How We Made it Over. Many of the founding festival musicians are no longer with us, including Willie King, Bo McGee, Jesse Daniels, George Conner, members of the Echo Gospel Singers, members of the Tishabee Male Chorus, members of the New Gospel Travelers. Shown above are festival founders Clarence Davis, Lemon Harper, Burlie and Liz Daniels, who, along with many others, will be with us at this year’s festival, Saturday August 26 and Sunday August 27 on the Old Courthouse Square in Eutaw, AL.