Newswire : Black and other voters of color restored democracy in America in 2020 Presidential Election

Biden and Harris

By Sunita Sohrabji and Pilar Marrero
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from Ethnic Media Services
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – In a country that is polarized and hurt by Covid-19 and a divisive leadership, a massive turnout of voters resulted in a close election where Democrat Joe Biden was pushed across the finish line by large majorities of voters of color.
On Saturday, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were the projected winners of the 2020 elections, relegating Donald Trump to a one term, even as he refused to concede, and his lawyers tried legal maneuvers to argue electoral fraud.
The Democratic presidential ticket reached that goal mainly because communities of color rejected the Trump Administration by large margins, explained experts who discussed the numbers, the history, and the motivations of electoral choices by communities of color in the United States in a briefing with ethnic media.
Election eve surveys and exit polling confirmed that the majority of white voters voted for President Donald Trump, but that Asian Americans, Latinx, and Black voters turned out in record numbers to oust the incumbent, and to propel the first woman of color into the White House.
According to the American Election Eve Poll by Latino Decisions, 56% of whites voted for Trump. A CNN exit poll found a similar number, 57% of whites voting for the President.
But voters of color were a different story. According to the LD poll, 70% of Latinos, 89% of Blacks, 68% of Asians and 60% of American Indians voted for Biden.
“I want to thank people of color and communities of color for saving our democracy,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice at the Nov. 6 briefing organized by Ethnic Media Services. “Speaking as a white man, I come from a community that voted in the majority for Donald Trump. And if it were not for the African American, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islander Community, we would not be celebrating the victory that we’re celebrating today,” said Sharry.
It was a very close election, a cliffhanger that lasted from Tuesday November 3rd until Saturday morning, November 7th, when the official numbers made it clear that Biden-Harris had clinched the 270 electoral college votes needed.
That polarization and the states in which the Biden advantage played out made it clear that lopsided democratic votes by people of color had an outsize role in the results.
Stephen Nuño-Perez, a senior analyst at Latino Decisions, whose firm conducted an election eve poll of ethnic voters in key battleground states, said that “it’s extremely difficult to win an election when you have mobilized minorities and Latinos in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Albuquerque”. Latinx voters were critical in flipping Arizona blue, said Nuno Perez of Latino Decisions, pointing to counties such as Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma, which all have significant Latino populations.
Latinx voters also made their presence known in Florida, handing Biden victories in Miami-Dade, Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Broward County. In Miami, Cuban Americans threw their support behind Trump. Nuño warned about taking some outliers, like the Cuban vote in Miami-Dade and a couple of counties near the border in Texas where Trump did much better with Latinos, to project that into the larger narrative.
“Yes, Latinos are not a monolith, and yes, they are a monolith, they do respond to certain types of messaging and at the national level, seventy percent of Latinos voted for Biden. That’s a clear pattern”, he said.
Theodore Johnson, a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, said that a summer of protests for racial justice along with the disproportionate numbers from COVID-19 and record levels of unemployment in black communities, galvanized Black voter turnout in record numbers to remove Donald Trump from office.
“That explains why we’re seeing Atlanta change Georgia, Philadelphia change Pennsylvania, Milwaukee change Wisconsin, and Detroit change Michigan,” he said. “That’s the enthusiasm and power of the Black vote.”
Overall Black voters were pragmatic, Johnson noted, pointing to South Carolina where they opted for Joe Biden over Kamala Harris or Corey Booker. “They picked the candidate they thought had the best chance of winning over white voters.” Johnson attributed the small increase in Black males voting for Trump to those Black Republicans who had opted to vote for the first Black president in 2008 and 2012 and who were now returning to the Republican Party.
Asian Americans turned out in significant numbers for the 2020 election, said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice/ AAJC. Some 300,000 were first-time voters. Exit polls plus pre-election polls showed there was much more enthusiasm to vote, Yang noted. Between 65%-70% of AAPI voters supported Biden, with 30 percent voting for Trump, consistent with voting patterns in 2012 and 2016.
While one-third of Asian Americans live in the 10 battleground states, and it would be easy to attribute the margin of victory in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania to the AAPI vote. But Yang said it was the common values that brought Black, Latinx, Native and Asian Americans together that provided the margin of victory for Biden in those states.
Yang recalled June 16, 2015, when Trump rode down an escalator at Trump Towers to announce his bid for the White House. “That was a defining moment for me and changed my career path. When he talked about illegal aliens being rapists and gangsters and criminals, he was talking about me because I was at one point an undocumented immigrant.”
Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today, discussed the impact of the Native American vote, indicating that a large number of Native Americans ran for elected office and that next year’s Congress will have a caucus with three Republicans and three Democrats. “This will give a bipartisan spin on Native issues,” he said.
Native Americans were also elected to state Legislatures including Arizona and Kansas.
Sharry, of America´s voice, said that the massive vote by minorities was also a rejection of Trump´s flagstone issue: xenophobia and racism.
“An American public was forced by Donald Trump and his extremism to choose, and they chose to come down on the side of refugees and immigrants. This is a statement of what a multiracial majority in America said through this election. They said ‘we want to be a welcoming country. We don’t like Trump’s separation of families.’”
 

Newswire : Trump campaign rallies led to 700 deaths and 30,000 coronavirus cases, Stanford researchers say

By Berkeley Lovelace Jr., CNBC
 
President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies led to more than 30,000 coronavirus cases, according to a new paper posted by researchers at Stanford.
Researchers looked at 18 Trump rallies held between June 20 and Sept. 22 and analyzed Covid-19 data the weeks following each event. They compared the counties where the events were held to other counties that had a similar trajectory of confirmed Covid-19 cases prior to the rally date. Out of the 18 rallies analyzed, only three were indoors, according to the research.
The researchers found that the rallies ultimately resulted in more than 30,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. They also concluded that the rallies likely led to more than 700 deaths, though not necessarily among attendees.
The researchers said the findings support the warnings and recommendations of public health officials concerning the risk of Covid-19 transmission at large group gatherings, “particularly when the degree of compliance with guidelines concerning the use of masks and social distancing is low.”
“The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death,” said B. Douglas Bernheim, chairman of Stanford’s economics department and a lead author of the paper, wrote.
The paper, which has not undergone a peer review yet, was published on open access preprint platform SSRN.
In response to the paper, Trump campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella said, “Americans have the right to gather under the First Amendment to hear from the President of the United States.”
“We take strong precautions for our campaign events, requiring every attendee to have their temperature checked, providing masks they’re instructed to wear, and ensuring access to plenty of hand sanitizer. We also have signs at our events instructing attendees to wear their masks,” she added.
A spokesperson for Joe Biden’s campaign issued a statement after the paper posted, saying, Trump is “costing hundreds of lives and sparking thousands of cases with super spreader rallies that only serve his own ego.”
“The worst part is that this doesn’t even capture Trump’s many superspreader events on White House grounds or the last five weeks of events across the country. How many more lives have been upended in that time? How many more empty seats are there at kitchen tables across America because of Donald Trump’s ego?” spokesperson Andrew Bates said.
The researchers said they had to overcome “significant challenges,” acknowledging that the dynamics of Covid-19 are “complex,” and “even the most superficial examination of the data reveals that the process governing the spread of Covid-19 differs across counties.”
The new research comes as the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread across the United States. The U.S. continued to set new highs for infections this week, with Friday marking a record 99,321 daily new cases, bringing the seven-day average of daily new cases to a new high at 78,738, a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University showed.
Trump has often been criticized for holding in-person rallies, sometimes with tens of thousands of people, during a pandemic. He has sought to downplay the virus, often tying the increase in Covid-19 cases to more testing. But public health officials and infectious disease experts dispute that claim, saying the rate of tests that come back positive and hospitalizations are also on the rise.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Friday that the U.S. is reporting an “extremely high and quite unacceptable” daily number of cases ahead of the winter season when people will be spending more time indoors.
“We’re in a precarious position over the next several weeks to months,” Fauci told SiriusXM’s “Doctor Radio Reports,” calling on people to continue wearing face masks, social distance and spend time outdoors over indoors as much as possible.

Newswire : As Trump cries ‘fraud’, Black faith leaders and activists take non-violent stance against election theft

Biden on TV

By Hazel Trice Edney

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – With a nail biter presidential race too close to call by midnight Nov. 3, America awaits on edge for final states to complete their vote counts. Some are early votes so numerous that they take time to count. Others are mail-in ballots allowed largely due to voters using absentee options or state-sanctioned options to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
Yet, President Donald Trump, claiming he won the election and alleging fraud with no evidence, has announced he will ask the U. S. Supreme Court to stop all vote counts. Trump made his announcement around 2:15 am Wednesday following a statement by Vice President Joe Biden.
“We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said from the White House. “This is a major fraud on our nation…We will be going to the U. S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”
Biden had earlier stated in Wilmington, Delaware, “I’m here to tell you tonight, we believe we’re on track to winning this election…We knew because of the unprecedented mail-in vote and the early vote that it was going to take a while. We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished and it ain’t over until every vote is counted.”
At Trice Edney Newswire deadline, Biden led the race with 224 to Trump’s 213 electoral votes with literally millions more votes to count in five states – Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency.
The threat of election theft by Trump is – in part – the reason that a group of Black faith leaders and activists have called for “nonviolent resistance and economic non-cooperation, including a general strike, if trump tries to steal” the election.
In a statement headlined, “We The People Will Defend the Vote and Uphold Democracy:  A Call to Nonviolent Resistance from Black Faith Leaders and Allies,” approximately 100 faith leaders and their activist allies essentially said that they will organize and demonstrate to maintain a free and fair election.
“In a pandemic, the large number of Americans demonstrating with conscience and voting with conviction is a sacred testament to an even larger sacrificial commitment to nonviolence,” says Rev. Cornell William Brooks, former NAACP president and currently professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. “We will honor this commitment by nonviolently opposing and overcoming any effort to undermine our elections.  So many Americans have sacrificed so much for any of us to do anything less.”
With races so close and with Trump casting doubt on the integrity of the election even days before Nov. 3, it has long been feared by political observers that he could try to cheat to win.
“We must not let Trump steal the election. If he attempts to stop votes from being counted or refuses to accept a legitimate victory for Biden, we will not sit by. We will use the power of massive nonviolent resistance that won our people the sacred right to vote to defend the sacred result of our votes today,” said Rev. Erica Williams, founder of Set It Off Ministries. “We as clergy must stand in this moment to be Prophets of God and not chaplains of the empire. We come boldly in the spirit of Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Josephine Baker who fought tirelessly for voting rights.”
Alarm intensified among the electorate when Trump told the far right leaning Proud Boys, a group that associates with White supremacists, to “stand back and stand by”. This was during the Sept. 29 presidential debate in response to a request for him to denounce White supremacist groups.
But then concerns intensified after several voter intimidation and rogue incidents were reported leading into Election Day and even as voters headed to the polls. Police and FBI are involved in the investigation of some of the situations. They include:
• A group of Trump supporters surrounded a Joe Biden campaign bus on Austin, Texas’ Interstate 35, appearing to try to run it off the road. Police intervened and escorted the bus to safety. In response, Trump tweeted, “I LOVE TEXAS!” along with a video on the incident and said later, “These patriots did nothing wrong”.
• A federal lawsuit has been filed in North Carolina, claiming voter intimidation, after police there deployed pepper spray during a pre-election day get-out-the vote rally and arrested several people amidst the chaos.
• Voters across the country reportedly received an estimated 10 million spam calls or texts telling them to “stay safe and stay home.”
Meanwhile, major department stores in cities across the nation were busy boarding up buildings, strengthening security and taking other protective measures this week in anticipation of possible unrest resulting from election outcomes.
According to the statement from the clergy and activists, “The Call to Nonviolent Resistance’s appeal for economic noncooperation — including the rare escalation of a general strike — comes on the heels of resolutions by the Rochester, New York AFL-CIO, King County, Washington labor council, and other labor coalitions who have called for a general strike if Trump attempts to steal the election, adding growing moral weight and national credibility to those preparations.”
Rev. Stephen A. Green, chair, Faith for Black Lives, concludes in the statement: “This unprecedented moment requires our commitment to radical love in action through nonviolence to defend the vote. Our faith motivates us to lead the nation with moral resistance in order to uphold democracy and resist any attempt from President Trump to undermine our election, said “We are building a movement to build beloved community through mass action.”
The call asks people to join faith and civic leaders in signing a pledge “to join nonviolent resistance and economic noncooperation if necessary to defend the vote and uphold democracy in response to an attempted coup by Trump.”
 

Newswire : Harris and Pence spar over economy and race in VP debate

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Vice President Mike Pence effectively evaded question after question and claimed that there’s no systemic racism in America during the first and only 2020 debate between him and Sen. Kamala Harris.
Separated by plexiglass and distanced by more than 12 feet, the two contestants battled over topics ranging from the coronavirus, health care, and climate change.
“Let’s talk about respecting the American people. You respect the American people when you tell them the truth,” Harris told Pence, who responded that he and President Donald Trump had always put the health of Americans first.
Stricken ill by the virus, Trump admitted to Journalist Bob Woodward that he hid the pandemic’s seriousness from the American people.
“The President said it was a hoax,” Harris remarked.
With regularity, Pence went over time and moderator Susan Page of USA Today, repeatedly admonished him, often to no avail.
While the Oct. 7 contest didn’t present as the disaster that was the first presidential debate late last month, it still lacked much substance because both candidates failed to answer some direct questions.
When the topic turned to race and the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Harris reminded the audience of Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists.
At the same time, Pence attacked protestors as “rioters and looters.”
“Then he said, when pressed, ‘stand back, stand by,’ and this is a part of a pattern of Donald Trump’s,” Harris declared about the president’s awkward statement during his debate with Democrat Joe Biden.
“He called Mexicans rapists and criminals. He instituted as his first act a Muslim ban,” Harris said.
Pence responded by noting that Trump’s grandchildren are Jewish.
He said Breonna Taylor’s family has his sympathy and predicted the loved ones of George Floyd would receive justice.
“Our heart breaks for the loss of any innocent American life,” Pence said. “And the family of Breonna Taylor has our sympathies. But I trust our justice system.”
Despite a troubling September jobs report and Trump shutting off COVID-19 relief talks that could help ailing businesses, municipalities, and citizens, Pence claimed the Trump administration had added millions of jobs, and the economy is on the upswing.
“When President Trump and I took office, America had gone through the slowest economic recovery since the great depression. We’re going through a pandemic that lost 22 million jobs at the height, we’ve already added back 11.6 million jobs,” Pence claimed.
Attempting to become the first African American and woman vice president, Harris told viewers that she and Biden expect to win the election.
Asked about Trump’s repeated refusal to agree to a peaceful transfer of power, Harris indicated that she and Biden are prepared for such a scenario.
“Joe and I are particularly proud of the coalition that we have built around our campaign. We probably have one of the broadest coalitions of folks that you’ve ever seen in a presidential race,” Harris stated.
“It is within our power, and if we use our society, and we use our voice, we will win.” She then added, “And we will not let anyone subvert our democracy.”

Newswire: Kamala Harris speaks with Jacob Blake, paralyzed in police shooting

By: Nick Visser, Huffington Post

Kamala Harris, Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee

Sen. Kamala Harris spoke privately with Jacob Blake the Black man shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin and his family on Monday, her campaign said.
The Democratic vice presidential nominee was in Wisconsin for her first campaign visit since joining former Vice President Joe Biden in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump this November. Harris said she wanted to speak with Blake’s family “to express concern for their well-being and, of course, for their brother and their son’s well-being and to let them know that they have support.”
“They’re an incredible family and what they’ve endured and they just do it with such dignity and grace,” Harris told reporters after the meeting. “And you know they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.”
Several members of Blake’s immediate family, including his parents and two sisters, met with Harris. Blake joined by phone for about an hour. Blake’s attorney, Ben Crump, said the discussion was “inspirational.”
“In a moving moment, Jacob Jr. told Sen. Harris that he was proud of her, and the senator told Jacob that she was also proud of him and how he is working through his pain. Jacob Jr. assured her that he would not give up on life for the sake of his children,” Crump said in a statement. “She encouraged them to continue to use their voices even through their pain to help America make progress to end systematic racism.”
Harris’ visit follows Biden’s own trip to Wisconsin last week, during which he also met with Blake’s family and spoke with Blake via phone.
Trump went to Wisconsin last week as well, but the president did not meet with or mention Blake during the trip. Earlier he said that the parties could not agree on a way to meet.
A cellphone video of Blake’s Aug. 23 shooting by Officer Rusten Sheskey spread around the internet, sparking more calls for an end to police brutality in America and spawning additional protests in Wisconsin and across the nation three months after the death of George Floyd.
All of the officers involved in the encounter with Blake have been suspended. State and federal authorities are investigating the matter, but no charges have been filed.
Blake’s attorney shared a video on Saturday in which the 29-year-old gave his first comments on his injuries. Speaking from a hospital bed, Blake, who is paralyzed from the waist down, said his experience was “nothing but pain.”
“Your life and not only just your life, your legs something that you need to move around and move forward in life could be taken from you like this,” he said in the video. “You do not want to have to deal with this shit, man. … It hurts to breathe. It hurts to sleep. It hurts to move from side to side. It hurts to eat.”

Newswire : Trump Administration ramps up efforts to dismantle post office

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Truck hauling away mailboxes in Oregon and U. S. Mail truck delivering mail

President Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire to dismantle the United States Postal Service or revamp the agency in a way that has angered Democrats and others who said it’s a tactic to prevent mail-in voting for the upcoming election.
The CARES Act passed in April authorized the postal service to borrow up to $10 billion from the Treasury Department for operating expenses if it’s determines that, due to the COVID-19 emergency, the post office would not fund operating expenses without borrowing money.
“They have withheld that money. They have broken the law,” Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass told BlackPressUSA during a livestream interview last month. Other Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), also told BlackPressUSA that the president is trying to dismantle the postal service.

Trump has steadfastly opposed funding the postal service. Despite recently voting with his wife by mail in a Florida primary election, the president said he’s against mail-in voting.
“Trump is not stupid. He knows if there is a decent-sized turnout in this election, he loses,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote on Twitter. “He and his friends believe they can suppress the vote by destroying the post office. We aren’t going to allow that to happen.”
Several postal workers have reported the removal of sorting machines at postal facilities and the removal of sidewalk mailboxes. Postal officials reported that in the last week, the agency had removed letter collection boxes in at least four states: New York, Oregon, Montana, and Indiana.
Postal workers in at least three states – West Virginia, Florida, and Missouri – have received notification that retail operating hours also face reduction.
Removing mailboxes had become a practice along marathon and parade routes since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, however, the latest removals are believed intentional and strategically coordinated to impact the election.
In response to the removal of mailboxes and a slowdown in the delivery of mail, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) sent a letter to the Postmaster General on Aug. 7. New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D), Louisiana Secretary of State R. Kyle Ardoin (R), Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) joined in signing the letter.
“State and local election officials are busy planning for the November general election, and many expect an increase in the use of absentee and mail ballots, along with other election-related mailings,” the state officials wrote.
“We view the [United States Postal Service] as a vital partner in administering a safe, successful election and would like to learn more about any planned changes around USPS service due to COVID-19, preparations for increased election-related mail, USPS staffing levels and processing times, and other pertinent issues.”
The postal service has sent letters to warn 46 states that it could not guarantee all mail-in ballots cast for the November election would arrive in time to be counted. Some states, like Maryland and Virginia, received a “heightened warning” that the postal service could not meet state-mandated deadlines.
In response, a large group of protesters staged a “noise demonstration” on Saturday, Aug. 15, outside of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s home in Washington, D.C. The demonstration was organized by the direct-action group “Shut Down D.C.”
The organization said they believe DeJoy is “dismantling” the U.S. Postal Service in favor of President Donald Trump’s re-election. They said his actions contribute to voter suppression.
“DeJoy has fired or reassigned much of the existing USPS leadership and ordered the removal of mail sorting machines that are fundamental to the functioning of the postal service. Meanwhile, mail delivery is slowing down under other decisions made by DeJoy, such as eliminating overtime for postal workers,” the organization wrote in a statement.
This week, the U.S. Inspector General opened an investigation into DeJoy’s policy changes at the post office.
According to some lawmakers, those changes are reportedly taking a toll on military veterans who are experiencing much longer wait times to receive mail-order prescription drugs.
Slowdowns at the post office have reportedly also resulted in seniors receiving their medications late and other important mail like social security checks.
It has also angered those who work for the agency. Postal workers throughout the country have reported low morale, and many have cited the actions of Dejoy, who was appointed by Trump. On Friday, Aug. 14, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), a union that boasts nearly 300,000 active and retired postal workers, endorsed Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden.
The U.S. Postmaster General announced Tuesday that he is suspending some recent operational changes until after the presidential election. “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” U.S. Postal Service head Louis DeJoy said of the changes, which included removing mail processing equipment and collection boxes.
Additionally, he promised, USPS retail hours will not change, processing facilities will not be closed and overtime for postal workers will be approved as needed.
“The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall,” DeJoy said. “Even with the challenges of keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy as they operate amid a pandemic, we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards.”
The promise expands on one DeJoy made earlier this week to stop removing mailboxes for the next 90 days.

Tubberville defeats Sessions for Republican U. S. Senate nomination, will face Doug Jones in November

Tommy Tubberville, former Auburn football coach won the Republican second primary on Tuesday to defeat Jeff Sessions, former Senator and Trump’s first Attorney General.
Tubberville won in Greene County by 206 (62.42%) to 124 (37.58) for Jeff Sessions, as well as winning statewide by 333,890 (60.74%) to 215,831 (39.26%).
Jeff Sessions conceded defeat early in the evening and said he would wholehearted back Tubberville, who’s also supported by President Donald Trump.
Tubberville will face incumbent Democratic Senator Doug Jones in the November 3, 2020 General election.
Jones, who is regarded as the most vulnerable Democratic Senator, said he welcomed Tubberville to the race. Jones in a press release, said, “This race will take many twists and turns. Outside groups are going to pour money into this race.
“Mitch McConnell and his allies are going to do everything they can to beat me. Starting today, they are spending almost $4 million on television attacking me.
“The polling shows not only that we are in a dead heat, but also that Alabama is ready to come together and choose unity over division, and if you look at the national polls, our country feels the same way.”
In the Republican race for Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 2, Beth Kellum won in Greene County and statewide over opponent Will Smith. In Greene County, Kellum had 201 (71.28%) votes to 81 (28.72%) for Smith.
In the race for State School District 5, Democratic nomination runoff, Tanya Chestnut – 21,230 (61.35%) defeated Fred Bell – 13,372 (35.65%). This district includes many counties in the Alabama Black Belt and parts of Montgomery. This is the seat held for many years by Ella Bell, who passed away in 2019.

Newswire : Snoop Dogg says he will vote for the first time ever

Rapper says he was brainwashed into believing that his criminal record prevented him from voting in elections
By Ny Magee -June 8, 2020

Snoop Dogg


Snoop Dogg has confessed that his criminal record prevented him from voting in the past. But the Hip-Hop star intends to hit the polls for the first time ever come November.
During an appearance on Real 92.3’s Big Boy’s Neighborhood on Thursday, Snoop, who was convicted of a felony in 1990 and 2007, explained that for many years, he was “brainwashed” into thinking that “you couldn’t vote because you had a criminal record,” he said, PEOPLE reports.
“I didn’t know that. My record’s been expunged so now I can vote” the 48-year-old “Gin & Juice” rapper added.
“I ain’t never voted a day in my life, but this year I think I’m going to get out and vote because I can’t stand to see this punk in office one more year,” he said of President Donald Trump and the 2020 race for the White House.
Snoop said if he’s going to encourage his fans and social media followers to vote in the November election, then he better lead by example.
“We got to make a difference, I can’t talk about it and not be about it,” he explained. “I can’t tell you to do it and then not go do it. If I tell you to do something, I done it already.”
Elsewhere in the conversation with Big Boy, the West Coast rapper addressed the protests erupting across the nation over the police killing of George Floyd. He encouraged demonstrators to stay safe amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
While he continues to practice social distancing and staying home, Snoop said he will use his social media platforms to support the Black Lives Matter movement amid the civil unrest over race relations in this country.

Newswire: Obama jabs U.S. response to coronavirus in commencement address

By Evan Semones, Politico

Former President Barack Obama


Former President Barack Obama on Saturday criticized the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic during a commencement address to college graduates, saying some leaders “aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”
“This pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said during a two-hour virtual commencement for graduates of historically black colleges and universities that streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
The former president, who did not mention President Donald Trump by name, has generally shied away from weighing in on politics or criticizing his successor since leaving office, but has more recently spoken out against the current administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Last week during a call with some 3,000 former staffers and administration officials, Obama called the administration’s response to the pandemic “an absolute chaotic disaster.”
Trump has since pushed an unfounded “Obamagate” conspiracy theory on Twitter alleging Obama administration officials entrapped former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in a bid to undermine Trump’s presidency.
Obama also addressed the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a young black man killed while jogging in Georgia, while acknowledging the hardships that graduates and members of the African American community also now face during the pandemic.
“Let’s be honest, a disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country,” Obama said. “We see it in the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning.”
Obama told the HBCU graduates to find allies to help create change they feel is needed to fix the health and societal problems in the country.
“If the world’s going to get better, it’s going to be up to you,” he said. “And if you’re inactive, that will also speak volumes.”
Obama followed up his remarks with a nationally televised second commencement address on Saturday evening. The 44th president stayed clear of the politics of the pandemic response in a largely upbeat speech, but called out “so-called grown-ups” for “doing what feels good, what’s convenient, what’s easy.”
“All those adults that you used to think were in charge and knew what they were doing? Turns out they don’t have all the answers,” Obama told graduates during the one-hour special sponsored by the Lebron James Family Foundation. “A lot of them aren’t even asking the right questions.”
Former President Bill Clinton, who spoke during a separate one-hour CNN special on Saturday evening that also honored the class of 2020, encouraged graduates to build unity in “a world of growing inequalities and divisive tribalism.”
“With a tough but open mind and a caring heart you can help keep us together,” Clinton said. “Help find ways to serve others, not run away from them. Help to unite, not to divide. Help to build, not tear down. Help to support, not demean.”
A reporter asked Trump about Obama’s comments. “Look, he was an incompetent president. That’s all I can say. Grossly incompetent.”
Trump has a history of blaming Obama for his administration’s problems.

Newswire : U. S. launches new deal for Africa as ‘Growth and Opportunity Act’ soon to expire’

former Pres. D.arap Moi and Pres. U. Kenyatta


Feb. 3, 2020 (GIN) – The African Growth and Opportunity Act (known as “AGOA”) which aimed to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and improve economic relations between the U.S. and the region is out of step with the new trade deals of the Trump administration.
Inotherwords, time’s up. A new economic plan is on the drawing board and African leaders suspect it’s a Trumpian take it or leave it deal.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to be the first to sign on to the bilateral “free-trade agreement” at a Rose Garden meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington this week. It will be America’s first such deal with a sub-Saharan nation and replace the 20 year old AGOA that expires in 2025.
AGOA, which provides 39 sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the U.S. for about 6,500 products ranging from textiles to manufactured items, has come under increasing criticism in Washington, which wants fast-growing African economies to open up to US goods and services.
But the model agreement has few fans among African leaders who have a preference for multilateralism as they move towards an African Continental Free Trade Agreement which comes into force in July.
“The Trump administration wants to do bilateral deals, not multilateral deals,” said Aubrey Hruby, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s principal secretary for foreign affairs, hinted at the risks for Kenya’s fragile, sometimes flailing, economy. “They could easily swamp our markets into oblivion, he said. “Any deal cannot b at the expense of our local capabilities, which are nascent at best.”
Meanwhile, in late-breaking news from Kenya, flags are flying at half mast for Daniel arap Moi who served as Kenya’s president from 1978 to 2002. He died peacefully this week at Nairobi Hospital, according to his son Senator Gideon Moi. He was 95 years old.
Moi was an autocratic leader who ruled for more than 20 years.
“Our nation and our continent were immensely blessed by the dedication and service of the late Mzee Moi; who spent almost his entire adult life serving Kenya and Africa,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement. He came to power in 1978, upon the death of President Jomo Kenyatta, having been vice-president until then.
Diplomats said an attempted coup four years later transformed him from a cautious, insecure leader into a tough autocrat.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared a period of national mourning to last until the funeral day, with the national flag being flown at half mast.