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NFL owners issued a new policy earlier this week, requiring players and team personnel to stand during the National Anthem. This ruling is in response to controversy last season in which some players chose to kneel instead of stand to protest cases of systemic oppression.
According to ESPN, the new policy mandates players ad personnel to stand during the anthem “if they are on the field during the performance,” but allows them “the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer.”
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Those teams also will have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.
President Trump responded with support for the NFL’s decision to ban kneeling, saying on Fox & Friends that “I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
Trump also said he doesn’t feel responsible for the new NFL policy, noting that he thought it was the American people who pressed the league to make the new rule.
This isn’t the first time Trump has criticized NFL players kneeling during the anthem. In September 2017, Trump asked at a rally in Alabama, “wouldn’t you love to see one of the NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a b—– off the field right now’?”
According to a statement released by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the league acknowledged that kneeling players have been effective in alerting the public to social issues, noting that “the efforts by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed.”
Goodell also stated that “we want people to be respectful of the national anthem…we want people to stand— that’s all personnel— and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. But we were also very sensitive to give players choices.”
The vote was unanimous among owners.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long rebuked the new rule, claiming that it was based in fear:
New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson has reportedly balked at the new policy; according to a report from Newsday, Johnson told the publication that “his players are free to take a knee or perform some other protest without fear of repercussion from the team.”
“If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players,” Johnson said. “I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”
Milwaukee police and city officials appear to be conducting public relations damage control as police prepare to release body cam video reportedly showing officers tasing NBA player Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks as he was being ticketed for parking illegally.
“It was a disturbing video when I saw it, and I know that the police chief feels the same way. And I don’t know exactly what actions his department is going to take, but it is disconcerting to see some of the actions in that video,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Tuesday.
“I have the same concerns I think that are being raised in the police department. I have the same concerns that I have heard the chief mention about the actions of some of the [officers] involved in that, and I’m gonna let the release of [the body cam video] speak for itself, but yes I definitely have concerns after watching that video,” Barrett added.
Mark Thomsen, Sterling Brown’s attorney, claims that police deployed a taser on the 22-year-old 6-foot-6 pro basketball player without justification. Brown plans to file a civil rights lawsuit in response to the incident.
The incident took place at around 2 a.m. on January 26, when police ticketed Brown for allegedly parking illegally across two handicapped parking spaces at a local Walgreens. Police on the scene described Brown as combative in an incident report and indicated that they had used an “electronic control device” on him. The officers arrested Brown on charges of resisting or obstructing an officer, but the charges were dropped after police officials viewed the body cam video of the incident.
An anonymous source who claims to have seen the video but was not authorized to comment on it reportedly described it in comments to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, saying, “This could be bad. The player doesn’t appear to be provocative at all.”
“There’s going to be a video that is going to come out soon, in the next couple of weeks, involving the department. I’m going to be honest with you. We’re going to need your support during the challenges,” Assistant Police Chief Michael Brunson Sr. said during a Sunday speech at a local church, referencing the Sterling Brown incident, according to Fox 6 Now.
The Milwaukee Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation into the conduct of the officers and their supervisors. Officials have not yet indicated whether any of the officers or officials will be disciplined for their actions in the incident.
Thomsen says that the police body cam video is expected to be released on Wednesday.
With recent sponsorship of Bellator fighters Rory MacDonald and Chael Sonnen, the Dash network has made an impressive mark on the world of MMA.
Rory MacDonald is one of the world’s highest ranking MMA fighters, holding a 20-4 record following his victory over Douglas Lima for the Bellator welterweight title. He holds wins over UFC fighters including Demian Maia, Nate Diaz, BJ Penn, and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
MacDonald submitted a proposal to the Dash treasury for funding of a $250,000 sponsorship, which passed with ease: 899 Yes to 233 No.
MacDonald represented his sponsor in full Dash apparel during his championship victory earlier this year. Vocal about his interest in cryptocurrency and its virtues, MacDonald has been active in the industry since 2014 after being introduced by his coach, Firas Zahabi. MacDonald said in a report for Dash Force News:
In 2014 I was introduced to Bitcoin from my coach Firas Zahabi the week I was fighting Tyron Woodley. Since then we have stayed interested in the cryptocurrency space, and it so happened that Dash’s Jeff Smith and Firas had connected over doing a project together with Dash. Since then Firas connected me and Jeff. Everything came together very organically as we worked on a proposal for my next fight sponsored by Dash. The community really rallied behind the idea and I believe this is just the start of the Dash takeover into the MMA community for cryptocurrencies.
According to Dash Force News, Zahabi has utilized cryptocurrency to overcome certain regulatory issues and launched a giveaway last year of $10,000 worth of Dash “to whomever could most accurately guess the exact outcome and time” of the momentous fight held between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.
MacDonald sees these sponsorships as just the beginning of long-term partnerships with the cryptocurrency community. He told CCN that “the exciting thing about the Dash budget system is that it’s a voting process, so we can make all kinds of different, unique ideas to pitch to the network…It could be the next wave of sponsorships pouring into the MMA community.”
Bellator has publicly noted its interest in cryptocurrency and Dash to fuel sponsorships, with Bellator CEO Scott Coker saying:
Cryptocurrency has definitely gotten people’s attention as of late and we’re thrilled to see Dash enter the MMA space with their sponsorship of Bellator welterweight Rory MacDonald. Exploring new categories and opportunities for integration has always been key to the growth and development of sports partnerships. We’re always open to new and exciting ideas, and cryptocurrency is something that we’d be interested in exploring to see if it was potentially the right fit for Bellator.
Fellow mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen also put forward a proposal to the Dash Masternode network worth 325 Dash ($162,023 USD). He proposed continuing to expand the Dash brand throughout the MMA community with his event connections and social media following.
The Dash sponsorship of Sonnen also easily passed, with 681 Yes to 156 No.
Sonnen has been an MMA fighter since the age of 19 and has fought in five different fighting leagues including the UFC. He’s faced off against the likes of Jon Jones, Rampage Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, Anderson Silva, and Micahel Bisping. Sonnen is also contributor on ESPN and has appeared on The Jim Rome Show as well as Joe Rogan’s popular podcast. Sonnen bears a massive social media following, where he has more than 800,000 Twitter followers, over 381,000 Facebook followers and millions of views on Youtube.
Cryptocurrencies like Dash disrupt the conventional athletic sponsorship structure by allowing individuals to work directly with the source of their funding (Dash). Dash’s large treasury and Masternode voting platform make unique crypto marketing opportunities and sponsorships possible. Dash’s blockchain technology is set up to produce new coins every month, where 10% of those goes towards the treasury. Currently, the budget is around 6177 Dash, or about $2.7 million USD. This allows for the Dash investment ecosystem to build its brand in creative ways across a multitude of industries.
Editor’s note: Dash Digital Cash is the exclusive sponsor of Reality Check and the Truth in Media project.
(DCNF) An investigation conducted by The Washington Post discovered an additional 27 women who claim they were sexually harassed by former CBS host Charlie Rose and reports management knew about his behavior for decades.
“Incidents of sexual misconduct by Charlie Rose were far more numerous than previously known,” the article reads. “According to a new investigation by The Washington Post, which also found three occasions over a period of 30 years in which CBS managers were warned of his conduct toward women at the network.”
The 27 women are composed of 14 CBS News employees and 13 others who worked with Rose at other networks, according to WaPo. Concerns were raised about Rose in as early as 1986. He was initially accused of sexual harassment by eight different women back in November 2017 and was fired from CBS shortly after. His PBS program was also cancelled.
CBS News executives were reportedly panicking over the expose for weeks and attempted to persuade employees to sign non-disclosure agreements to limit the damage to the network.
“Your story is unfair and inaccurate,” Rose wrote in an email to WaPo. The investigation was based on interviews conducted over a period of five months with more than 100 CBS employees and “two dozen others who worked with Rose at other television programs.”
“The new allegations against Rose date to 1976,” the story reads. “When, according to a former research assistant, he exposed his penis and touched her breasts in the NBC News Washington bureau where they worked.”
“This other personality would come through, and the groping would happen,” a former NBC research assistant, Joana Matthias, told WaPo.
CBS News issued a statement in response to the WaPo expose:
Since we terminated Charlie Rose, we’ve worked to strengthen existing systems to ensure a safe environment where everyone can do their best work,” the statement said. “Some of the actions we have taken have been reported publicly, some have not. We offer employees discretion and fairness, and we take swift action when we learn of unacceptable behavior.
That said, we cannot corroborate or confirm many of the situations described. We continue to look for ways to improve our workplace and this period of reflection and action has been important to all of us. We are not done with this process.
Rose also allegedly once brought along a 20-year-old intern from his PBS show to California for a “60 Minutes II” assignment in 2003, WaPo reported.
“You’re not just working for a show, you’re working for Charlie, period,” former intern Corrina Collins told WaPo. Collins claims Rose tried to ply her with wine and began to “paw” at her. She said she eventually threw up in the plane’s bathroom from the alcohol.
She said Rose continued to persist during the car ride from the airport to the hotel and “squeezed her breast.” “It felt predatory,” she added. “I had already said no, but he was going to persist.”
Ken Goldberg, an attorney representing three of the accusers, sent Rose and CBS a letter detailing the accusations. Goldberg claimed Rose subjected his victims to “repeated physical and verbal sexual harassment.”
“Management, numerous broadcasters and studio staff witnessed Mr. Rose’s unlawful conduct, and complaints were made,” Goldberg wrote. He said they “failed and refused to take any remedial action and that conduct continued unabated.”
Goldberg said his clients plan to take Rose to court in a matter of days, according to WaPo.
This article was republished with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
In an interview that aired Wednesday on Kennedy on Fox Business Network, Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro said that he does not fit into America’s two-party political system and that he identifies as a libertarian.
“I did an ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Twitter and someone asked me if I was a Democrat or Republican, and I said that I’m a Libertarian,” Navarro said.
“Primarily because I found that there were two paths that I was looking at, and I didn’t really fit into either one of those paths, and so I needed an alternative, because my political viewpoint takes a cue from different parties and different schools of thought. And not all of one applies to me. And I think that there’s a lot of people that that’s true for,” he added.
Specifically, he said that his views on social issues are “not necessarily that of the Republican Party” and that his views on financial issues “aren’t the same as the Democratic Party.”
“I had to find a middle ground, as it were. I feel pretty comfortable where I’m at,” he said.
Navarro praised California’s open primary system for allowing him to weigh in on primary elections despite being a libertarian-leaning independent.
Speaking on the 2016 presidential election, Navarro said, “If you look at the frontrunners, I feel like I’m not voting for somebody, I’m voting against somebody, and that’s a really uncomfortable place to be as a voter.”
He said that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton “are both polarizing for so many different reasons.”
Cautioning that the primary elections are still ongoing and that their outcomes are not set in stone, Navarro explained that a Trump vs. Clinton general election contest presents a difficult decision for him.
“I just heard Hillary earlier today speaking in vocabulary that was just as scary on the left as Trump speaks on the right, and I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do,” he said.
The Democrat-led New York State Assembly voted 113-25 on Tuesday to lift the state’s ban on professional mixed martial arts promotions.
Syracuse.com notes that the GOP-controlled New York State Senate had already passed its companion version of the bill in February.
Democratic N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign the bill into law, said on Tuesday according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, “I do support mixed martial arts because it’s also an economic generator.”
The Assembly vote represents the clearing of a final hurdle that had been blocking the legalization of live events in the state by popular sports promotions like Ultimate Fighting Championship for almost twenty years. The New York Senate had voted to legalize mixed martial arts for seven straight years, but the state’s lower house did not vote to legalize it until Tuesday. The ban had originally been signed into law by former Republican N.Y. Gov. George Pataki.
ESPN pointed out that another factor in the bill’s passage was the 2015 ouster of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, an opponent of the legalization of MMA, after he was indicted on corruption charges. He was replaced by Speaker Carl E. Heastie, who had in the past sponsored an MMA legalization bill.
“When these events take place, these are big events. The time has come,” said Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue). He added that the bill will not just deliver “professional mixed martial arts to New York, but just as importantly what it will do is it’ll allow for rules and regulations that will offer protections for the amateur fighters as well.”
Bill opponent Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), who is openly gay, sparked controversy by saying while arguing against the bill: “You have two nearly naked, hot men, rolling around on top of one another trying to dominate each other. And in case you didn’t know, that’s gay porn with a different ending.”
Opponents in the legislature cited concerns about fighters’ health, and some raised allegations that the industry has deep ties to gambling organizations and encourages the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Mixed martial arts events will begin taking place in New York 120 days after the bill is signed by Gov. Cuomo. Once New York formally legalizes MMA, the sport will finally be legal in all 50 U.S. states.
Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes implied in an interview, which aired Wednesday on Kennedy on Fox Business Network, that six Bataclan security guards that reportedly skipped work on the day of the Paris terror attacks might have known about the plot in advance.
When Kennedy asked Hughes if anything seemed “strange or off” about the night, Hughes said that he takes venue security very seriously and found it unusual that a security guard did not try to stop and identify him before allowing him to walk backstage.
“When I first got to the venue and walked in, I walked past the dude who was supposed to be the security guard for the backstage. He didn’t even look at me. … I didn’t like him at all, and so I immediately went to the promoter and said, ‘Who’s that guy? I want to put another dude on,’ and he goes, ‘well some of the other guards aren’t here yet,’ and eventually I found out that six or so wouldn’t show up at all,” Hughes said.
He added, “You know, out of respect for the police still investigating it I won’t make a definite statement, but I’ll say it seems rather obvious that they had a reason not to show up.”
The November 13 tragedy at the Bataclan, part of a series of coordinated terror attacks that rocked Paris that day, left 90 dead and hundreds injured at the venue.
A representative from the Bataclan reacted to what Hughes said in his interview on Kennedy, calling it “insane,” and told Variety, “Jesse Hughes spread some very grave and defamatory accusations against the Bataclan teams. A judicial investigation is undergoing. We wish to let justice proceed serenely. All the testimonies gathered to this day demonstrate the professionalism and courage of the security agents who were on the ground on November 13. Hundreds of people were saved thanks to [these agents’] intervention.”
By Blake Neff – MSNBC confirmed Sunday morning that it has cut ties with Melissa Harris-Perry after her very public attack on the network over having her airtime repeatedly preempted by election coverage.
Rumors of Harris-Perry’s imminent departure have been flying ever since Friday’s publication of an email where Harris-Parry accused the cable network of trying to silence her and sideline her program. (RELATED: Here Are Melissa Harris-Perry’s Most Idiotic Moments)
The shift was confirmed Sunday morning when Harris-Perry made a farewell post on Twitter:
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) February 28, 2016
Meanwhile, the network itself confirmed with The New York Times that Harris-Perry was getting the boot. While severance terms are still being negotiated, there is no longer any hope of a reconciliation between the two parties.
NBC News is in the middle of an aggressive reconstruction of MSNBC in an effort to boost weak ratings, and in her email, Harris-Perry complained that multiple preemptions of her show had left her feeling “worthless.” She announced that she would be going on strike against her own program unless it was treated with more respect.
“I have stayed in the same hotels where MSNBC has been broadcasting in Iowa, in New Hampshire, and in South Carolina, yet I have been shut out from coverage,” she said. “I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars.”
Harris-Perry has routinely been mocked for some of the positions she has pushed while on air, such as comparing the deportation of illegal immigrants to the Fugitive Slave Act and complaining about Star Wars villain Darth Vader being portrayed as white despite being voiced by a black man. She has also landed in hot water for other controversies, such as ridiculing Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson and being hit with a five-figure tax lien by the IRS.
Given that past, it is perhaps unsurprising that the final break between Harris-Perry and NBC came about after executives tried to stop her from discussing the politics of Beyoncé’s new single “Formation.” While Harris-Perry won out and discussed the single on her Feb. 7 show, she hasn’t been allowed on the air since.
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Beyonce’s politically-charged performance on Sunday, which heavily referenced the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panthers at Super Bowl 50, assisted in showcasing the growing activist movements among the black community.
Her “Formation” performance, voicing racial inequality and police brutality towards the black community while also embracing black femininity, put black America center stage in front of 114.4 million viewers at the Super Bowl. During the performance, dancers made an “X” formation in reference to Malcom X while raising their fists in a black pride salute.
After the performance, some of the dancers— dressed in Black Panther-style berets and in black leather— were pictured raising their fists again, yet this time holding a piece of paper that read “Justice 4 Mario Woods.”
— BLM Bay area (@BLMBAYAREA) February 8, 2016
This move followed about 200 protesters who had demonstrated in San Francisco on Jan. 30 for Woods. Protesters were out demanding justice and for San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr to be fired.
Mario Woods was a black man shot dead by by five San Francisco police officers during a confrontation in San Francisco last December.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Woods was shot about fifteen times by five officers. Cell phone footage shows him walking away from the police refusing to drop a knife. Activists have argued that he was mentally ill and that the force used by the officers was unnecessary.
Woods supporters have said the cell phone footage showed that Woods was not an imminent danger and was executed by police in a “firing-squad” style. The SFC reported that “Woods’ mother, Gwendolyn Woods, said he was working on getting his life on track after his stint in prison. He had just gotten his uniform for his new UPS job, she said.”
Last Friday, prominent artist and activist Alicia Keys spoke out in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters ahead of the Super Bowl while performing at San Francisco’s free Super Bowl City concert.
“I want you to know that I salute everyone who has the courage and conviction to stand for what’s right. I want to thank you for your commitment to making sure justice is done for Mario Woods. As the mother of two black sons it breaks my heart to see what we’ve been seeing, the trouble’s we’ve been seeing on camera, and all the people that we’ll never see.”
This isn’t the first time Alicia Keys or Beyonce have spoken out in solidarity with the black community and Black Lives Matter. Last year, Beyonce and her husband Jay Z reportedly wired “tens of thousands” of dollars to bail protesters out in Baltimore and Ferguson. Jay Z, along with Roc Nation, also recently donated $1.5 million from Tidal Black Lives Matter and other social justice organizations. This donation was made on February 5th in honor of Trayvon Martin’s birthday, who would have turned 21 had he not been shot by George Zimmerman.
Beyonce went on to end her performance with announcing her world tour and a new fund to help the children of Flint, Michigan, during the city’s current water crisis.
Hollywood, CA – The Central Intelligence Agency cited national security concerns as the reason for a meeting with Hollywood filmmaker Michael Bay earlier this year.
The upcoming 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, to be released in January by Paramount Pictures, is cited as the subject of the meeting.
The film is a dramatization of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, centering around the six security team members who defended the compound and attached CIA annex.
The attack has since been the subject of numerous congressional investigations resulting from the death of four Americans including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
“I show both sides of the story,” said Bay at a French film festival. “I met with the CIA on this movie and I show the whole situation.”
CIA spokespeople acknowledged a meeting with Bay, and they claimed the purpose of the meeting was not to influence the production of the film.
Agency interaction with Hollywood is not a new phenomena. In 1996, the CIA opened an Entertainment Liaison Office for the specific purpose of advising high-profile projects within the entertainment industry. One such film, Zero Dark Thirty, a film about the hunt for and subsequent killing of Osama Bin Laden, was heavily influenced by the CIA and its press office.
The consultation with Michael Bay on 13 Hours is said to be less in the interest of doing service to the agency’s image, and more an effort to verify the movie would not compromise their officers abroad or national security in a larger sense.
“When Michael Bay reached out to CIA regarding his 13 Hours film, we agreed to meet him for the purpose of protecting against the potential release of classified information,” CIA spokesperson Kali Caldwell told The Daily Beast. “As with other Hollywood projects and in line with agency regulations, CIA does not endorse this film or any other film.”
While the film is an adaptation of the Mitchell Zuckoff book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, intelligence officials were concerned about the portrayal of certain aspect of the book for film. The dissemination of protocol and procedures that the organization uses to protect its assets appeared to be the main concern.
The intelligence community at large regularly reviews books and articles written by past and current employees to verify such details are not divulged, however the same control is not directly available when it comes to Hollywood movies.
Knowledge of specific concerns with the film are unknown and any potentially “classified” information has been in the public sphere for over a year now following the release of the Zuckoff book.
The CIA has publicly disputed a specific sequence of events related to a “stand down” order described to have been handed down by the CIA base chief in the book as “simply inaccurate.” The book was co-written by security contracts present at the compound during the attack.
By Derek Hunter In his “New Rules” segment on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” host Bill Maher went on an epic rant against the faux outrage whipped up across the country against politically incorrect Halloween costumes.
“The fake outrage people get 364 days a year to hypersensitive about everything, there has to be one day where ‘going too far’ isn’t just OK, it’s celebrated,” Maher said. “Halloween is supposed to be politically incorrect. That’s why we say ‘trick or treat’ instead of ‘placate and coddle.’”
Maher then listed costumes left-wing website like the Huffington Post deemed “frighteningly ignorant,” like “sexy nurse” and mariachis.
University of Louisville in Kentucky president James Ramsey recently had to apologize for being photographed with his staff wearing sombreros. Maher quipped, “Do you think most Mexicans wear sombreros and sequined suits? No, just the ones who play that horrible music while you’re trying to eat.”
“Another one they hate, geisha, oh, who is that going to offend, the geisha who lives in the apartment upstairs?” Maher asked. “There’s 12 geishas in the whole world, and they’re all in Kyoto. they’re never going to find out you dressed like them at the office party in Irvine.”
Maher then blasted “lazy liberalism” that sees faux outrage and politically correct cries as accomplishing something. Saying, “…banning a hobo costume doesn’t make the homeless feel better. It makes you feel better. This is the lazy liberalism in which scolding has become a substitute for actually doing something. And here’s the thing, reasonable people see self-righteous liberal busybodies trying to leech the fun out of everything and they say, ‘Fuck, I’m going to vote Republican, because I just can’t stand being on the same team as these humorless jackoffs.’”
He finished by lambasting liberals who cry foul at people dressing as Caitlyn Jenner. Showing a picture of a Jenner costume on a hairy, overweight man, Maher said, “the costume they have been wringing their hands over since August, is the Caitlyn Jenner. What message does it send? None. It doesn’t send any message, except, if this guy is transitioning, he’s got a long way to go.”
This article was republished with permission from The Daily Caller.
Rapper, entrepreneur, actor, and record producer Sean “Diddy” Combs expressed feelings of disenfranchisement and called America’s system of voting “a scam” during a question-and-answer session at the Revolt Music Conference in Miami, Fla. earlier this month.
According to The Grio, Combs was asked how young people can express their voices in upcoming elections and he replied:
[pull_quote_center]See the things that’s tricky about politics is there’s so much bullsh*t with it. We started Vote or Die and… and from the community we’re in, we’re not with hearing too much of the bullsh*t. So that’s why we get disenfranchised, [we’re] disconnected because nothing that they’re saying actually relates to us… So Vote or Die, and getting out the vote, those things [were] laid out there so people could understand about the process. We started Vote or Die, and the whole process was all full of sh*t. The whole sh*t is a scam.[/pull_quote_center]
“At the end of the day, I’m not telling you not to vote. But I’m saying be a realist and know that they’re motherf*cking kicking some bullsh*t up there,” said Combs.
In 2004, Combs founded Citizen Change, a celebrity-backed get-out-the-vote campaign targeting youth and minority voters with the slogan “Vote or Die.” His recent comments indicate a change in attitude following his time working with Citizen Change.
The Associated Press notes that Combs said in a speech at Milwaukee Area Technical College in October of 2004, “I want y’all to bum rush those polls if you’re registered, and let them know we have the power. So that the next election that comes around, instead of them speaking to the NRA, AARP, soccer moms, NASCAR dads, they’ll be speaking to you, the forgotten ones, the one they turned their backs on.“
by Jason Ditz
After months of all the Republican presidential candidates trying to out hawk one another, front-runner Donald Trump made a surprise appeal to reason Friday, saying he didn’t support “starting World War III over Syria” and that if Russia wants to fight ISIS in that country, the US should let them do it.
With everybody trying to one-up everyone else on wars, Trump still insisted he is “the most militaristic person you’ll ever meet,” but also touted his opposition to the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, saying the US “got nothing” out of the conflict.
Trump’s attempt to retain his hawkish position with any suggestion of not starting a war against someone is liable to be difficult, with other candidates like Lindsey Graham openly talking about ground invasions to kill as many people in other countries as theoretically possible.
Still, the fact that anyone in the Republican field is willing to entertain something short of random, heedless escalation is certainly novel, given the state of the last few months, and that it is a front-runner like Trump suggests that polls showing growing war-weariness among American voters is finally starting to attract some political attention.
September 15, 2015– On Monday, .com billionaire Mark Cuban interviewed with CNBC where he delivered his thoughts on the White House race. Shortly after the interview, headlines popped up across the country declaring that Cuban was thinking of running for President.
USA TODAY ran the headline “Mark Cuban is Thinking of Running for President“. However, in the CNBC interview, Cuban couldn’t have been more clear- he’s not running. Yet, most potential candidates say the exact same thing before they become official candidates.
Cuban did say he gets asked to run every day and said that it’s a fun idea to toss around. As if making a practice round, Cuban went on to trade blows with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
In an email exchange, Cuban went as far as to detail how he would structure his potential campaign.
“If I ran as a Dem, I know I could beat Hillary Clinton,” Cuban told CNBC. “And if it was me vs. Trump, I would crush him. No doubt about it.”
Cuban went on to criticize the Republican Party for forcing their candidates to conform to their social issues.
Although he was relatively harsh to Trump in the CNBC interview, Cuban has praised Trump again and again.
In June, Cuban praised Trump, calling the real estate developer “probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long, long time” via his CyberDust app.
“I don’t care what his actual positions are,” wrote Cuban, according to Business Insider (a website he partially owns). “I don’t care if he says the wrong thing. He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”
Last night, Trump hosted a rally in the arena where the Dallas Mavericks play, which Cuban owns, where one of the largest presidential crowds so far, for either party, assembled to hear him speak.
At his Dallas speech, Trump had nothing but praise for Cuban and encouraged him to join the race. “Another great guy is Mark Cuban,” Trump said to a roar of applause. “And I think, you know, he’s been talking about maybe doing this himself. And I think he’d do a great job. We don’t have the exact same feelings about where we’re going, but that’s okay.”
At Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West announced that he intends to run for president of the United States in 2020.
Though the start of the 2020 election cycle remains in the distant future, The Washington Post notes that 24-year-old Maryland Republican activist Eugene Craig, whose Facebook page lists him as a former member of Youth for Ron Paul 2012, has already started a serious super PAC called “Ready for Kanye” dedicated to promoting the rapper, songwriter, and producer’s candidacy. Craig, a fan of West’s music, said that he would support West if he runs as a Republican and if there is no Republican incumbent in 2020.
Following West’s announcement, Rolling Stone asked Donald Trump, whose presidential candidacy has been compared to West’s, to comment on it. Said Trump, “I was actually watching. I saw him do it, and I said, ‘That’s very interesting. I wonder who gave him that idea?‘”
He added, “[Kanye’s] actually a different kind of person than people think. He’s a nice guy. I hope to run against him someday.”
Trump’s affinity for West appears to stem from a personal relationship between the two. “Well, he’s said very nice things about me in the past, and he knows my daughter a little bit — Ivanka. And, he’s said very good things about me — very very, extremely positive things,” said Trump.
The market research firm Echelon Insights has already conducted a 500-person poll via Google Consumer Surveys to test West’s theoretical candidacy against Donald Trump and found that Trump led West “38-21 with 41 percent undecided.”
During the interview with Rolling Stone, Trump joked that he had already lost his first supporter to West. “Miley Cyrus said, ‘Oh, I was going to vote for Trump but now I’m voting for [Kanye].’ So it sounds like she was all made up for me, and he took her away.”
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This September the Free and Equal Elections Foundation’s United We Stand festival returns to Los Angeles to present a wide range of socially-conscious musicians, speakers, authors, and other cultural leaders to discuss and celebrate the political process.
Originally launched in May 2014, the second annual United We Stand Festival will take place at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles on September 19 from 5-10 pm PST. The 2014 event was seen as a success, bringing together musicians Immortal Technique, Cappadonna & U-God of Wu-Tang Clan, comedian Lee Camp, activists Sean Stone, Jill Stein, Foster Gamble (Thrive), Nick Bernabe (March Against Monsanto), Richard Gage (Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth), journalists Abby Martin, Ben Swann, Amber Lyon, Maytha Alhassen, Luke Rudkowski, Mnar Muhawesh and many more.
The 2015 event will kickoff a series of open presidential debates for 2016 presented by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation. The festival will be broadcast worldwide by freeandequal.org
Free and Equal hopes that the event’s momentum will help inspire people to run for office targeting the Congressional races in 2016. Free & Equal Elections will also launch an open source “Election Assistant” Database. This “Election Assistant” Database will be accessible to all and provide information on every candidate.
The organization aims to bring together a range of speakers on topics including fighting against the Patriot Act, NDAA, NSA, endless warfare, the war on drugs, pollution, election fraud, drones, GMOs, police brutality, and the attack on net neutrality.
“By creating an event that combines the most socially-conscious elements of activism, music, and journalism we are allowing concerned citizens to be a part of a much needed conversation about the failures of our political process and, most importantly, possible solutions,” Free and Equal founder Christina Tobin tells TruthInMedia. Tobin says she hopes the event can contribute to the broad awakening taking place around the United States.
The UWSF 2015 will feature Civil Rights leader Amelia Boynton Robinson as the keynote speaker, as well as Professor Griff from Public Enemy, conscious reggae artist Spragga Benz, journalists Amber Lyon, Luke Rudkowski (We Are Change), and Mnar Muhawesh (MintPress News), radio show host Tony Stiles, Alexander McCobin, Co-Founder and President of Students for Liberty, author Daniel Pinchbeck, former Judge and Vice Presidential candidate Jim Gray, and a host of other musicians, artists, activists and thinkers from around the country. (Full Disclosure: I will be speaking at the event as well)
Tickets for the festival became available online Tuesday, but organizers are expecting tickets to the event to sell out quickly.
In an upcoming British GQ interview, actor Vince Vaughn opened up about his support for gun rights and opposition to gun control.
“I support people having a gun in public, full stop, not just in your home,” Vaughn said. “We don’t have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government.”
“All these gun shootings that have gone down in America since 1950, only one or maybe two have happened in non-gun-free zones,” he continued. “Take mass shootings. They’ve only happened in places that don’t allow guns.”(RELATED: Matthew McConaughey Is A Big Fan Of The Redskins Name)
When pressed on whether guns should be allowed in schools, Vaughn said they should. “You think the politicians that run my country and your country don’t have guns in the schools their kids go to? They do. And we should be allowed the same rights.”
“Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat. Taking away guns, taking away drugs, the booze, it won’t rid the world of criminality,” he concluded.
Recently leaked documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) reveal that the United States hacked North Korea’s computer system in 2010, in order to monitor the activity of the country’s hackers. This knowledge is being used to justify the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) claim that North Korea is behind the massive hack on Sony Pictures, which occurred in November 2014.
Following the revelation of the Sony hack, the FBI released a statement, saying North Korea was responsible:
“The FBI has concluded the Government of North Korea is responsible for the theft and destruction of data on the network of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Attribution to North Korea is based on intelligence from the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community, DHS, foreign partners and the private sector.”
Some Cybersecurity experts in the United States were skeptical of North Korea’s ability to carry out such a massive hack, and instead labeled it an inside job.
Kurt Stammberger, the senior vice president of the Cybersecurity firm Norse, told CBS News that his firm believes the Sony hack was so devastating, it could have only been accomplished by someone on the inside. “Sony was not just hacked, this is a company that was essentially nuked from the inside,” Stammberger said.
Although many questioned how the agency had obtained such concrete evidence of North Korea’s involvement, the FBI stuck by its claim, giving the explanation that the “Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed.”
According to the New York Times, the US hacked into North Korea’s system to “place malware that could track the internal workings of many of the computers and networks used by the North’s hackers,” and the “evidence gathered by the ‘early warning radar’ of software” was used to justify the claim that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had ordered the attack.
Seeking retaliation for the Sony hack, Obama announced a round of sanctions against North Korea on January 2, which will target three companies and ten North Korean officials.
The Independent noted that when President Obama addressed the cyber attack in December, and placed the blame on North Korea, it was the “first time the US had ever explicitly accused a foreign government of launching a cyber-attack on American interests.”
Dallas Cowboys fan and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was seen in sports news highlight reels hugging and celebrating in a luxury box with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last Sunday as the Texas team defeated the Detroit Lions in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Jones has been treating Christie as his personal good luck charm, flying the governor down to experience a Cowboys playoff game on Jones’ dime, and has even suggested that, if his team keeps winning, he might endorse Christie for president in 2016.
However, Chris Christie, who snubbed his own state’s football teams in order to continue rooting for his childhood favorite, is facing new corruption allegations over his lucrative friendship with Jerry Jones. The rumored 2016 presidential candidate’s reputation recently took a hit when he was accused of closing lanes on the George Washington bridge to create traffic problems in an alleged attempt to punish a political rival. Now, according to International Business Times, Governor Christie is facing additional allegations that, two years ago, he personally pushed for a firm owned by Jerry Jones to receive a lucrative Port Authority contract.
Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the lawmaker who first investigated the George Washington bridge scandal, is considering launching an additional investigation into Christie’s relationship with Jones. Wisniewski told ABC News, “The governor of the state of New Jersey should be above being influenced by that type of gratuity: air fare for his entire family and self and tickets to a game… It certainly looks really bad…. I’m not going to argue the fact that the rules he is obliged to follow may in fact create a personal exception, but what I will argue is he should not have availed himself of that because it looks bad. It set a bad precedent.”
Chris Christie’s office claims that, though his state’s ethics rules bar officials from accepting gifts from persons or organizations receiving contracts from the state, an executive order exempts gifts from personal friends of the governor from that ban. Christie argues that Jones is a personal friend and, as such, it is legal for the two to exchange gifts. Wisniewski said of the exemption, “They are friends because he happens to be the governor and therein lies the problem.”
In April of 2013, Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a deal between Jones’ firm Legends Hospitality LLC and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, granting the company a lucrative contract to run an observation deck at the top of One World Trade. The Washington Post notes that the deal is expected to earn the Port Authority $875 million over 15 years. Legends Hospitality LLC is co-owned by the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, and Checketts Partners Investment Fund. Chris Christie also gave $18 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies to the National Football League prior to receiving the free airfare and playoff tickets.
In an effort to estimate the value of Jones’ gift to Christie, USC Marshall Sports Business Institute executive director David M. Carter told NJ.com, “For games such as Sunday’s, and extending further into the playoffs, the value of any suite ticket could easily be deemed priceless by many fans for whom that game day experience would likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”