The Policy of Dishonesty–Between the War Situation Room and a shameful Photo Op
President Trump created his own Situation Room moment. He set up his table, gathered and positioned some available officials, ushered in the photographer and pretended to be watching the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
From fabricated or deceptive claims about trade and the economy to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, the United States’ President Trump has made ‘dishonesty’ the core focus of his policy-making scheme. Apparently, the only time he doesn’t lie is when he is asleep.
Apparently, the only time President Trump doesn’t lie is when he is asleep.
Two days ago, the White House
released what would have been a War Situation Room showing President Trump and
his team supposedly directing and monitoring the killing of the ISIS leader,
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. But this bizarre
gathering was actually a sham to replicate a historic 2011 moment when
President Barack Obama watched from the Situation Room as commandos went after
Osama bin Laden the leader of al-Qaeda.
Obama’s ‘Bin Laden Situation Room photo was impromptu, capturing a tensed moment as this President flanked by his national security team, received live updates from Operation Neptune Spear, which led to the killing of bin Laden. But last week, eight years later, President Trump created his own Situation Room moment. He set up his table, gathered and positioned some available officials, ushered in the photographer and pretended to be watching the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
President Trump’s photo in the real
sense reveals the dishonest face of this administration. It may
be recalled that early in September, President Trump displayed his
fabricated version of Hurricane Dorian forecast map to show the powerful storm
was on track to hit Alabama. Of course, he had to lie. He had falsely stated in
a tweet earlier that Alabama was among the several states expected to face
impacts from this storm.
In an administration pervaded with mediocrity and policy-making inaccuracies, the White House is experiencing an alarming decrease in trust and reputation. Just last month, the Washington Post reported that President Trump has made 13,435 false or misleading claims over 993 days by significantly uttering exaggerated figures, making unwarranted claims and irritating the social media with horribly outright falsehoods.
So it is not a coincidence that the photos reveal the difference between a real war situation room and a discreditable photo-shoot situation.
November 5 Houston’s Mayoral race is no joke: you must vote the incumbent or perish
Politics is all about interests grounded on a philosophy of “who gets what?” Voters make their choices based on their individual and communal policy-making expectations and necessities. Thus, the choice of keeping the incumbent must be based on not just his accomplishments but also the quality of his challengers.
In just is few days, voters in Houston would go to the polls to make their choices over a roster of candidates running for various city office positions. Among those contests, the mayoral race is considerably critical—coming when the disastrous team in the White House has flung democracy in the United States into a chaotic experience. They have created bogus laws and executive orders to destroy families, law enforcement, commerce, and strangulate the very fundamental rights America was built on.
Buzbee says he wants to end corruption, restore effective government and deliver results for all Houstonians, but it would take an ethical leader to restore ethical leadership.
But the Houston city government led by Mayor Sylvester Turner stood its grounds to protect the city against such challenges. He liberated the city from two major catastrophes; Hurricane Harvey and the Political Storm Donald Trump. Besides his leadership performance during this historic Harvey catastrophe, Mayor Turner also resisted Trump’s cold-blooded immigration policies; and rallied his law enforcement to focus on saving lives rather than a collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to tear up families. According to Mayor Turner,
“My job starts with the never-ending effort to provide a safe, secure and prosperous environment for every resident of Houston in their places of work, their places of worship, their school, their homes and elsewhere. The city does not try to do ICE’s job, nor does it try to impede ICE. And we will continue to be a city that builds relationships, not walls.”
There are other policy issues at stake in this election, but
let us remember that no strategy actions would persevere without a peaceful and
While this may sound satirical, there are essentially
two major candidates in this race–Mayor Turner and others. Turner’s argument
rests on his first-term stewardship, touting a successful handle of the budget,
a deadly Hurricane Harvey, pension system reforms and the economy. His closest
rival, Tony Buzbee, objected. Buzbee is a decorated Marine, a successful lawyer
and business owner running on governance ethics. He says he wants to end
corruption, restore effective government and deliver results for all Houstonians.
But it would take an ethical leader to restore ethical leadership. For example, to date, Mr. Buzbee has not properly come clean on how and why a young Dallas-based female court reporter descended on his home and vandalized his valuable collections. 29-year-old Lindy Lou Layman was accused of smashing and destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of paintings and sculptures in Buzbee’s mansion. Layman according to Harris County court documents, poured liquid onto paintings, tore paintings off the wall and threw sculptures across the room, resulting in about $300,000 damage.
In furtherance of his questionable moral worthiness, Mr.
Buzbee has shuttled in-between parties courting the most questionable moments
and supporting underhanded politicians. For instance, in 2002, he
unsuccessfully ran for the Texas state House as a Democrat. But in2012, he
supported squarely, Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry’s presidential
campaign. That was not all. In 2016, Buzbee hosted a fundraiser at his
River Oaks mansion for then Presidential candidate Donald Trump, and
subsequently gave $500,000 to Trump’s Inauguration Committee.
There might be nothing wrong with supporting candidates, but Mr. Buzbee’s double-dealing attitude with both the Republicans and Democrats possibly reveals con and disloyalty, and questions his moral decency in politics and leadership.
note that there might be nothing wrong with supporting candidates, but Mr.
Buzbee’s double-dealing attitude with both the Republicans and Democrats
possibly reveals con and disloyalty, and questions his moral decency in
politics and leadership.
Another issue with Mr. Buzbee’s candidacy is his
contribution of almost $10 million to his campaign. The message might be
simple – that Bagby Street might be up to be mortgaged to a
millionaire affiliated to Donald Trump. And you may not be surprised too if
Hilton Americas becomes a Trump Tower.
candidates in this race are rightly exercising their constitutional rights to
vote and to be voted for. Yet their chances remain infinitesimal based on the
latest poll by the University of Houston published on the eve of early voting.
The poll shows that Mayor Turner could win without a runoff, as he keeps a wide
lead over his opponents, with 43.5 percent support among likely voters.
Mr. Buzbee followed by 23.4 percent. Bill King and Councilman Dwight
Boykins trail with 7.8 and 6.8 percent respectively. The rest of the
candidates, including Sue Lovell, poled below 2%.
Replacing Mayor Turner must not just be based on his first-term superintendency, but also the caliber of his challengers. Because the incumbent is not working does not mean that we should replace him with a numbskull unfamiliar with the people of Houston, their resources, and the city’s political terrain.
Mayor Turner is the incumbent. Replacing him must not just
be based on his first-term superintendency, but also the caliber of his
challengers. Because the incumbent is not working does not mean that we
should replace him with a numbskull unfamiliar with the people of Houston, their
resources, and the city’s political terrain.
Mr. King actually admitted when in an interview with ABC13, that “I think that people probably don’t know the more human side of me because, uh, they see me as a sort of analytical person,” King says, proclaiming himself as somewhat of a nerd.” So if the people do not know him, why is he in the race?
is all about interests grounded on a philosophy of “who gets what?”
It means that voters make their choices based on their individual and
communal policy-making expectations and necessities. In just is few days
(November 5), voters in Houston would go to the polls to make these choices.
But as usual, the discussion question would be whether voters would go to the
polls with emotional conscience regarding their interests or whether they would
ignore those values to seek candidates peddling frivolous but deceptive
typical electioneering process where the incumbent is seeking reelection, a
contender must substantially establish four core causes;
A blueprint to transform campaign promises into action. To date, days before the election, these contenders have not offered any significant proposal besides the rendition of uncorroborated website campaign narratives.
Contenders must show solid proof of policy-making competence. Buzbee and King had pledged to clean up the city office from corruption. But a proposal to fight corruption with amoral characters would bastardize any transformation process. It takes moral people to shape moral society.
Contenders must show a connection with the people. Houston, the most diverse nation in the country deserves a leader that is familiar with the multi-cultural face of the city. Mr. Buzbee does not know Houston beyond River Oaks’ vicinity where he resides. Another major contender, Mr. King actually admitted when in an interview with ABC13, that “I think that people probably don’t know the more human side of me because, uh, they see me as a sort of analytical person,” King says, proclaiming himself as somewhat of a nerd.” So if the people do not know him, why is he in the race?
Last, this position is for a city’s top leadership, not a store manager. Any contender ready for this position must have been tested in managing a high-figure budget; must possess unmatched knowledge of the legislation process, as well as running voluminous city’s day-to-day activities.
Therefore, based on the aforementioned circumstances, Houston has a choice to make between an incumbent and some incompetent contenders yet to defend their campaign claims. In any election process involving an incumbent, the choice of keeping him must be based on not just his accomplishments but also the quality of his challengers.
Also, I must remind voters that Houston is a family.
November 5 Houston’s Mayoral race is, therefore, a fraternal call to vote the
incumbent or perish. Just like America and Trump, if Houston scorns the current
opportunity to keep its current leadership, this city might end up in self-destructive
Former Rep. John Conyers — the longest serving black congressman — passes away at 90
U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a civil rights icon who during five decades in Congress co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus and pushed to establish a national holiday to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died Sunday of natural causes at the age of 90.
His death comes after a long and illustrious career that spanned more than 50 years and 27 terms in office, but ended in 2018 with a sudden resignation amidst claims of sexual harassment and verbal abuse of employees and misuse of taxpayer funds to cover-up those claims.
Conyers’ tenure was a remarkable 53-year-run during which the lawmaker, the son of a well-known labor lawyer in Detroit, compiled a near-record legacy of civil rights activism, longevity and advocacy for the poor and underprivileged.
He died with the sixth-longest tenure in congressional history.
“For a long time he was black America’s congressman,” said Sam Riddle, a longtime family friend and consultant to the Conyers family, who confirmed the death Sunday. “On the streets of Detroit, he’ll be mourned.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in a statement said he “was deeply saddened” by Conyers’ death.
“One of my most special memories was spending time with him at Gordon Park on 12th Street and Clairmount on the 50th anniversary of the violence of 1967 as he recounted the story of his courageous efforts to calm the angry crowds,” Duggan said. “He has fought for a better Detroit for more than half a century.
“From co-founding the Congressional Black Caucus to leading the fight in Congress to enshrine Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday, John Conyers’ impact on our city and nation will never be forgotten,” Duggan said.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called Conyers a “lifelong Detroiter who was deeply committed to the city and to those he represented.”
“His impact on our state, whether by spearheading reforms in criminal justice and voting rights in Congress or through his lifetime of civil rights activism, will not be forgotten,” Whitmer said in a statement.
Conyers was born in Detroit and graduated from Northwestern High School. After a tour of duty with the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Conyers returned home to earn bachelor’s and law degrees from Wayne State University.
His law practice and work in the auto plants in Detroit led him to the office of former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, where he worked as a legislative assistant for three years. But by 1964, at the age of 35, Conyers went after a seat of his own in Congress, winning the first of 27 general elections and serving portions of Detroit and some surrounding Wayne County suburbs for the next five decades.
He may not have had many bills that carried his name — only 26 of the 712 bills he introduced became law, according to the Library of Congress — but he fought for issues of civil rights and social justice, including seeking reparations for the descendants of African-American slaves, modifying the mandatory sentences for those convicted of non-violent drug crimes, defending assaults on the Voting Rights Act, reforming laws that put juvenile offenders in prison for life and calling for investigations into police brutality of African-American men.
And he was the key sponsor of the bill, introduced each session for 20 years, that designated the third Monday of January as a federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Conyers introduced the bill four days after King was assassinated in 1968, but it wasn’t signed into law until 1989.
In the thick of the civil rights battles, Conyers walked alongside King and other leaders of the movement in Selma, Ala., to bring equal voting rights to blacks.
In 2015, during his 50th year in Congress, Conyers told the Washington Post that King was one of the most important historical figures in history.
“I felt the civil rights movement was a powerful chapter in American history, King to me is the outstanding international leader of the 20th century without every holding office,” he said. “He advanced us forward even though there was a terrible loss of life and violence and injustice. But Martin Luther King Jr. moved us in a way that changed history.”
He moved among those involved in the disturbance in Detroit in August 1967, urging calm. And he burnished his civil rights record even more by hiring icon Rosa Parks after she moved from Alabama to Detroit. The secretary and receptionist job in Conyers’ Detroit office was a job she held until her retirement in 1988.
Tributes pour in
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat who won election to Conyers’ seat after his resignation, on Twitter called Conyers “our Congressman forever.”
“He never once wavered in fighting for jobs, justice and peace,” Tlaib tweeted. “We always knew where he stood on issues of equality and civil rights in the fight for the people. Thank you Congressman Conyers for fighting for us for over 50 years.”
U.S. Rep. Brenda, D-Southfield, also took to Twitter to mourn Conyers’ passing:
“John Conyers spent a lifetime in public service dedicated to civil rights and justice for people of color in America. His legacy will continue to impact generations to come.”
Republican Congressman Fred Upton of St. Joseph also praised Conyers, calling him “a legend on the House Judiciary Committee” who witnessed and helped write history.
“His positive work on Civil Rights legislation began to move the country in the right direction and made our nation a better place today,” Upton tweeted.
U.S. Senate Gary Peters, D-Michigan, said that while serving in Congress with Conyers, he saw firsthand his dedication and passion.
“From being in Selma, Alabama, on Freedom Day during the Civil Rights Movement — to co-founding the Congressional Black Caucus, chairing the House Judiciary Committee and becoming Dean of the House of Representatives — Congressman Conyers dedicated his life to fighting for civil rights,” Peters said.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, noted that Conyers, “believed in justice and equality for all.”
“John Conyers spent his life championing those causes,” Dingell said in a statement. “The fights John Conyers fought will be remembered for generations.”
Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee noted that Conyers rose to become the longest serving African American in Congress and dean of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Throughout his life, John Conyers helped to advance many important causes, including expanding voting rights and equal rights for all Americans,” Kildee said.
Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, said Conyers was indispensable to the city on Sept 11, 2001, helping to prevent backlash against our Muslim community.
“RIP,” Moss tweeted. “He was of Detroit and for Detroit.”
Career ends amidst a sex scandal
In the end, Conyers would fall to the #MeToo movement. It was a scandal that was a swift and crushing fall from grace.
Facing a rising chorus of voices demanding he step down because of the sexual harassment claims, Conyers, D-Detroit, refused to do so for several months in 2017.
Conyers resigned in early December 2017 after an article on BuzzFeed.com detailed a secret settlement of more than $27,000 with a former staffer who accused him of making sexual advances toward her and paying her out of funds from his taxpayer-supported office.
Within days, several other women had come forward with accusations against Conyers, who, despite his express denials that he harassed anyone, saw House leaders and members of his own party abandon him, with three of the four Democrats in the Michigan delegation calling for him to resign.
In addition to Marion Brown, the staffer who received the settlement, six other women claimed they either experienced or saw him touching and rubbing women in his office, making sexual advances toward them or making inappropriate remarks. One of them filed a lawsuit against him early this year and then withdrew it, saying she didn’t want to hurt Conyers’ reputation.
Another woman, Washington lawyer Melanie Sloan, also told the Free Press that Conyers had verbally mistreated her, forced her to babysit his children and, on one occasion, showed up at a meeting with her at his office in his underwear —though she didn’t consider it sexual harassment.
From accusation to resignation, Conyers’ colleagues went from being warily supportive, urging caution while an investigation by the House Ethics Committee was completed to issuing outright calls for his resignation, even from at least one fellow member of the Congressional Black Caucus,which he helped to create in 1971.
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, who is the third-ranking Democrat in the House and had been a colleague of Conyers’ on the Congressional Black Caucus since 1993, called for him to resign shortly after similar calls by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Conyers’ lawyer, Arnold Reed, of Southfield, had reiterated on several occasions that the congressman was not ready to resign and wanted to see the ethics investigation completed.
But with allegations swirling not only over the harassment claims but his use of taxpayer funds to pay at least one settlement, he abruptly stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, a position he had held for more than two decades.
Then — with media reports that some members of the caucus were privately urging him to resign — he suddenly quit Washington, missing several votes, including one mandating sexual harassment training for members, as he headed back to Detroit and his family.
Conyers record in Congess
During his time in office, which he won with huge margins ever two years like clockwork, Conyers was considered one of the most liberal members of Congress, with a 100% rating from the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign.
The conservative Freedom Works gave him a 15% rating, while the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity give him ratings of 8% and 6% respectively.
Conyers, however, had already come under scrutiny twice from the House Ethics Committee in Congress for possible transgressions in his office.
In 2017, the committee confirmed it was continuing to look at whether he had wrongly paid his former chief of staff more than $50,000 for time she didn’t work. Conyers said he was only paying her for accrued leave time and severance as part of a separation agreement reached after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property unrelated to her job.
In 2003, the Free Press reported on complaints from six unnamed Conyers aides who said they were forced to work on various campaigns, including a failed legislative campaign for Conyers’ wife, Monica, on government time. A follow-up Ethics Committee report, however, focused on allegations that the congressman used staff to babysit his sons, help his wife with her law studies and chauffeur him to private events.
Conyers’ office denied the accusations and eventually reached a deal to ensure staff knew where their responsibilities began and ended.
In 2014, Conyers nearly didn’t get the chance to run for reelection because of irregularities in the petitions he filed to run for office. Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett said he had used ineligible people to gather signatures, but a federal court disagreed and the Legislature passed a law that people who collected signatures didn’t need to be registered voters.
Read Barack Obama’s Eulogy for Elijah Cummings
“His commitment to justice and the rights of others would never, ever waver.”
Former President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy today honoring Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who died last week after a decades-long career in the House of Representatives. Cummings was known in Congress as a staunch defender of voting rights and for his perch as chair of the House Oversight Committee, which put him at the center of the impeachment inquiry now facing President Donald Trump. The widespread bipartisan adulation Cummings’s colleagues had for him was made clear yesterday, when he lay in stateat the Capitol—the first African American lawmaker to be afforded that honor in the nation’s history.
Below, the full text of Obama’s remarks as delivered.
To the bishop, and the first lady, and the New Psalmist family, to the Cummings family, Maya, Mr. President, Madam Secretary, Madam Speaker, governor, friends, colleagues, staff.
The seed on good soil, the parable of the sower tells us, stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. The seed on good soil.
Elijah Cummings came from good soil. And in this sturdy frame, goodness took root. His parents were sharecroppers from the South. They picked tobacco and strawberries, and then sought something better in this city, South Baltimore. Robert worked shifts at a plant, and Ruth cleaned other people’s homes. They became parents of seven, preachers to a small flock. I remember I had the pleasure of meeting Elijah’s mother, Ruth, and she told me she prayed for me every day, and I knew it was true, and I felt better for it. Sometimes people say they are praying for you, and you don’t know. They might be praying about you, but you don’t know if they are praying for you. But I knew Miss Ruth was telling the truth.
So they were the proverbial salt of the earth, and they passed on that strength and that grit, but also that kindness and that faith to their son. As a boy, Elijah’s dad made him shine his shoes and tie his tie, and they’d go to the airport—not to board the airplanes, but to watch others do it. I remember Elijah telling me this story. Robert would say, “I have not flied. I may not fly, but you will fly one day. We can’t afford it right now, but you will fly.”
His grandmother—as Elijah related—and as grandmothers do, was a little more impatient with her advice. Your daddy, she said, “he’s been waiting and waiting for a better day. Don’t you wait.” And Elijah did not wait. Against all odds, Elijah earned his degrees. He learned about the rights that all people in this country are supposed to possess, with a little help, apparently, from Perry Mason. Elijah became a lawyer to make sure that others had rights, and his people had their God-given rights, and from the statehouse to the House of Representatives, his commitment to justice and the rights of others would never, ever waver.
Elijah’s example: a son of parents who rose from nothing to carve out just a little something, a public servant who toiled to guarantee the least of us have the same opportunities that he had earned. A leader who once said he would die for his people, even as he lived every minute for them—his life validates the things we tell ourselves about what’s possible in this country. Not guaranteed, but possible. The possibility that our destinies are not preordained. But rather, through our works, and our dedication, and our willingness to open our hearts to God’s message of love for all people, we can live a purposeful life. That we can reap a bountiful harvest. That we are neither sentenced to wither among the rocks nor assured a bounty, but we have a capacity, the chance, as individuals and as a nation, to root ourselves in good soil.
Elijah understood that. That’s why he fought for justice. That’s why he embraced his beloved community of Baltimore. That’s why he went on to fight for the rights and opportunities of forgotten people all across America, not just in his district. He was never complacent, for he knew that without clarity of purpose and a steadfast faith, and the dogged determination demanded by our liberty, the promise of this nation can wither. Complacency, he knew, was not only corrosive for our collective lives, but for our individual lives.
It has been remarked that Elijah was a kind man. I tell my daughters—and I have to say, listening to Elijah’s daughters speak, that got me choked up. I am sure those of you who have sons feel the same way, but there is something about daughters and their fathers. And I was thinking, I would want my daughters to know how much I love them, but I would also want them to know that being a strong man includes being kind. That there is nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There is nothing weak about looking out for others. There is nothing weak about being honorable. You are not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect. I was sitting here and I was just noticing The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and, you know, this is a title that we confer on all kinds of people who get elected to public office. We’re supposed to introduce them as honorable.
But Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office. There’s a difference. There is a difference if you are honorable and treated others honorably outside the limelight. On the side of a road; in a quiet moment, counseling somebody you work with; letting your daughters know you love them. As president, I knew I could always count on Elijah being honorable and doing the right thing. And people have talked about his voice. There is something about his voice. It just made you feel better. There’s some people, they have that deep baritone, a prophetic voice. And when it was good times and we achieved victories together, that voice and that laugh was a gift. But you needed it more during the tough times, when the path ahead looked crooked, when obstacles abounded. When I entertained doubts, or I saw those who were in the fight start to waver, that’s when Elijah’s voice mattered most.
More than once during my presidency, when the economy still looked like it might plunge into depression, when the health-care bill was pronounced dead in Congress, I would watch Elijah rally his colleagues. “The cost of doing nothing isn’t nothing,” he would say, and folks would remember why they entered into public service. “Our children are the living messengers we send to a future we will never see,” he would say, and he would remind all of us that our time is too short not to fight for what’s good and what is true and what is best in America.
Two hundred years to 300 years from now, he would say, people will look back at this moment and they will ask the question “What did you do?” And hearing him, we would be reminded that it falls upon each of us to give voice to the voiceless, and comfort to the sick, and opportunity to those not born to it, and to preserve and nurture our democracy.
Elijah Cummings was a man of noble and good heart. His parents and his faith planted the seeds of hope, and love, and compassion, and righteousness in that good soil of his. He has harvested all the crops that he could, for the Lord has now called Elijah home, to give his humble, faithful servant rest. And it now falls on us to continue his work, so that other young boys and girls from Baltimore, across Maryland, across the United States, and around the world might too have a chance to grow and to flourish. That’s how we will honor him. That’s how we will remember him. That’s what he would hope for. May God bless the memory of the very honorable Elijah Cummings. And may God bless this city, and this state, and this nation that he loved. God bless you.
Mayor Turner bashes Challenger Buzbee over ties to anti-gay activist
Houston’s FOX 26 has reported that Mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee attempted the politically all-but-impossible, and that is lobbying for support from the LGBTQ community while also courting Houston’s most outspoken anti-gay activist Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Conservative Republicans of Harris County.
“Dr. Hotze became convinced that he was committed to causes that we believed in, that men shouldn’t be in women’s restrooms, that he was committed to life, that he was committed to marriage between one man and one woman,” said Jared Woodfill, Hotze spokesman and President of CRHC.
FOX 26 has learned the Conservative Republicans’ endorsement of Buzbee first hit the rocks after Hotze viewed the video of the candidate pledging to revive the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.
“We are going to do it. It’s going to have to be done smartly,” said Buzbee in phone video captured as Buzbee spoke to Houston’s LGBTQ Political Caucus.
The breakup hit critical mass on Monday when Buzbee was asked if he supported Hotze’s views.
“No and I don’t really know Mr. Hotze. I’ve met him at church once,” said Buzbee at Houston Public Media/KHOU debate.
It was a dubious statement Buzbee has been forced to walk back, later conceding he met the conservative power broker Hotze on multiple occasions.
Mayor Sylvester Turner has been quick to respond, first to FOX 26’s Jonathan Martin.
“Buzbee is catching heat because he won’t denounce the racist and homophobic views of Steve Hotze,” said Turner.
And Turner’s denunciation continued Wednesday at City Council.
“It just puts a huge chasm into the credibility and the integrity of Mr. Buzbee,” said Turner.
Meantime, Buzbee says his honesty and character remain in-tact.
“As far as this partisan politics and these lightning rods here and there and trying tie me to this person or that person,” I am my own man,” said Buzbee
After his wife joined him under the umbrella he was carrying, the president darted off to talk to a group of reporters about his wife’s ABC News interview and his 60 Minutes interview, leaving his wife out in the rain. “She did a great job on television the other night,” Trump told reporters in footage.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office said. He was 68.
A sharecropper’s son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs.
As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings led multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings, including probes in 2019 relating to the president’s family members serving in the White House.
Trump responded by criticizing the Democrat’s district as a “rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” The comments came weeks after Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his calls for Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now,” and go back to their “broken and crime-infested countries.”
Cummings replied that government officials must stop making “hateful, incendiary comments” that only serve to divide and distract the nation from its real problems, including mass shootings and white supremacy.
“Those in the highest levels of the government must stop invoking fear, using racist language and encouraging reprehensible behavior,” Cummings said in a speech at the National Press Club.
Cummings’ long career spanned decades in Maryland politics. He rose through the ranks of the Maryland House of Delegates before winning his congressional seat in a special election in 1996 to replace former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who left the seat to lead the NAACP.
Cummings was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential bid in 2008. And by 2016, Cummings was the senior Democrat on the House Benghazi Committee, which he said was “nothing more than a taxpayer-funded effort to bring harm to Hillary Clinton’s campaign” for president.
Throughout his career, Cummings used his fiery voice to highlight the struggles and needs of inner-city residents. He was a firm believer in some much-debated approaches to help the poor and addicted, such as needle exchange programs as a way to reduce the spread of AIDS.
His constituents began mourning shortly after his death at 2:45 a.m. on Thursday. The Baltimore archdiocese tweeted that Cummings “generously shared his God-given gifts and talents w/the people of his beloved city, state and nation for so many years. We give thanks for his dedicated service and pray for the repose of his soul.”
Cummings was born on Jan. 18, 1951. In grade school, a counselor told Cummings he was too slow to learn and spoke poorly, and he would never fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer.
“I was devastated,” Cummings told The Associated Press in 1996, shortly before he won his seat in Congress. “My whole life changed. I became very determined.”
It steeled Cummings to prove that counselor wrong. He became not only a lawyer, but one of the most powerful orators in the statehouse, where he entered office in 1983. He rose to become the first black House speaker pro tem. He would begin his comments slowly, developing his theme and raising the emotional heat until it became like a sermon from the pulpit.
Cummings was quick to note the differences between Congress and the Maryland General Assembly, which has long been controlled by Democrats.
“After coming from the state where, basically, you had a lot of people working together, it’s clear that the lines are drawn here,” Cummings said about a month after entering office in Washington in 1996.
Cummings chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 2003 to 2004, employing a hard-charging, explore-every-option style to put the group in the national spotlight.
He cruised to big victories in the overwhelmingly Democratic district, which had given Maryland its first black congressman in 1970 when Parren Mitchell was elected.
Believe it or not: Trump sends third-grade reading-level letter to Erdoğan
Donald Trump has said or done something certifiably insane nearly every day of his presidency. And not like, “This guy’s a little kooky”-level insane, but full-on “Mr. President, put down the stapler and unhand the president of Finland”-level insane. But last week, apparently seeking to prove to the world that we ain’t seen nothing yet re: the depths of his mental instability, he wrote and reportedly proudly distributed the following letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for all the world to see:
Each line of the letter contains an obvious Trumpism—talk of “deals,” reference to “toughguys”—but packaged together, in all its batshit glory, in an official letter to another world leader, it seemed unbelievable even for a guy who most people agree should’ve been placed under conservatorship some time ago. The immediate reaction from the media was “HOW IS THIS THING REAL,” and yet, according to the White House, it totally is! That means that the president of the United States sat down and either penned—or more likely dictated—a letter in which he told the president of Turkey, “Don’t be a tough guy,” “Don’t be a fool,” history “will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen,” and then, in what might be the absolute craziest way to end a piece of correspondence that references “slaughtering thousands of people,” signed off with: “I will call you later.”
It‘s the kind of thing that even Donald Trump Jr. will have to admit is a sign someone needs to place an emergency phone call to Dr. Bornstein, and that we assume has caused Ivanka to tell aides that “Daddy is resting and isn’t to be disturbed.”
Incredibly, the Erdoğan letter wasn’t the only example of Trump’s mental decline on Wednesday afternoon, which also saw the president lash out at Democrats like a machete-wielding madman on the subway and claim that he personally defeated ISIS:
“He was insulting, particularly to [Nancy Pelosi]. She kept her cool completely. But he called her a third-rate politician…. It was sort of a diatribe—a nasty diatribe not focused on the facts,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters after the meeting, which focused on Syria and during which impeachment was not discussed.The meeting was tense from the start. Inside the Cabinet Room, Schumer began making his case against Trump’s decision to withdraw nearly all troops from northern Syria, reading to the president comments from former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this week, according to three officials familiar with the comments who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private exchange…Trump then interjected and called Mattis the “world’s most overrated general” and remarked that he wasn’t “tough enough” and that Trump himself “captured” the Islamic State, according to the three officials. He boasted that his timeline for capturing the Islamic State was much faster than what Mattis predicted, saying “I captured them in one month.” Trump told Democrats that “I hate ISIS more than you” and repeatedly said “see you at the polls” before the leaders walked out, according to two people familiar with the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private meeting.
Intimidating Progress: Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg got it totally wrong
This blatant attempt at intimidation of advocates for reform, a federal judge and the Democratic members of the Harris County Commissioners Court won’t work.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is wrong for attacking cash bail reform in Harris County. Her attacks are made doubly worse by trying to enlist the help of police chiefs and officers to boost her attacks.
“Harris County is not Hong Kong right now or Alabama in the 1950s. Intimidation can’t stop the march towards progress for Black, Brown and poor people, in Harris County, who have to navigate our criminal justice system”
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is wrong for
attacking cash bail reform in Harris County. Her attacks are made doubly worse
by trying to enlist the help of police chiefs and officers to boost her
This blatant attempt at intimidation of advocates for
reform, a federal judge and the Democratic members of the Harris County Commissioners
Court won’t work.
It’s long past time to reform and fix the criminal justice system so that it stops destroying the Black and Brown community.
Decriminalizing poverty is not a threat to public safety. DA
Ogg’s arguments against the bail reform plan are nonsensical. She is
essentially arguing that people, out on bail, will commit crimes therefore poor
people should be denied bail while rich people, who can afford it, should be
granted bail. That is the illegal and unconstitutional status quo that those of
us for bail reform are trying to fix right now.
The only other way to reasonably understand DA Ogg’s claims
is that though she says she supports bail reform, she is in reality opposed to
bail for all defendants. That too is illegal and unconstitutional.
It’s long past time to reform and fix the criminal justice
system so that it stops destroying the Black and Brown community. If Vince Ryan
had stood up to the Republicans on Commissioners Court when he had the chance
instead of wasting millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money defending the
criminalization of poverty, we would not have to now be treated to this sad
spectacle being led by a Democratic DA.
The attacks on cash bail reform by Kim Ogg and Vince Ryan are not progressive change. What we are witnessing is advocacy for the same old double standard where the police are called in to intimidate and oppress the poor.
The old mantra of law and order was both bad policy and
immoral. It was used to criminalize and over police Black and Brown
communities. Its advocacy extends back to Bull Connor, J. Edgar Hoover and the
war on crime that extended from Richard Nixon to Reagan until the opioid
epidemic was declared a national medical emergency.
The attacks on cash bail reform by Kim Ogg and Vince Ryan
are not progressive change. What we are witnessing is advocacy for the same old
double standard where the police are called in to intimidate and oppress the
Harris County is not Hong Kong right now or Alabama in the 1950s. Intimidation can’t stop the march towards progress for Black, Brown and poor people, in Harris County, who have to navigate our criminal justice system.
The moral arch of the universe bends towards justice and
reforming the cash bail system in Harris County is a manifestation of justice.
Thank you and God Bless Houston. For constructive dialogue, you may contact me directly >>>
Hon. Robinson is the former Chairman, City of Houston Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee; Former Vice Chairman, Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council (H-GAC TPC) and Associate Professor of Public Administration, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University.
KPRC’s “Internship” story series: between Investigative Story and Political Hit Job
In the media clan, political hit job can be crookedly camouflaged as an investigative news, especially when the story segment is suffused by sentiments, lacks integrity, and denotes a blatant show of unfairness.
Investigative Journalism often entails an in-depth story examination with the purpose to either uncover fraud or test various policy actions for public attention. In the newsroom confraternity, one major challenge in managing report process standards is having trained researcher-reporters who understand the fundamental techniques about the subject. However, this process becomes a hit job where it is bastardized into a destructive political vendetta to appease specific political interests.
“Perhaps if Mr. Marvin Agumagu’s name was “Marvin White,” KPRC 2’s headlines would have read differently and most positively, too.”
Using media to systematically cajole undecided voters or a gullible populace to favor specific interests or candidates is not new in America’s politics. Last year, the National Enquirer parent company, American Media Inc., paid $150,000 in hush money to suppress alleged mistress of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump prior to the 2016 election. Specifically, David J. Pecker, chairman and CEO, admitted paying off a former Playboy model to crush her account of an alleged sexual affair that could have jeopardized Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Using media to systematically cajole undecided voters or a gullible populace to favor specific interests or candidates is not new in America’s politics.
Therefore, it might not be a coincidence that Tony Buzbee, one of Mayor Turner’s major contenders in the upcoming City general election immediately hit the campaign ground with a video collage of KPRC 2 News pieces. It is also not a coincidence that same week, Buzbee injected into his promotional networks, a whopping $2.5 million, pumping up his campaign treasury to almost $10M from his pocket. Yes, his pocket.
In the media clan, a political hit job can be crookedly camouflaged as investigative news, especially when the story segment is suffused by sentiments, lacks integrity, and denotes a blatant show of unfairness. For the record, this story centers on the validity and ethical implications of a 31-year-Marvin Agumagu, who was offered a position in an airport’s Executive Internship Program. KPRC 2 News rightly needed information. But retrieving this information from the Mayor’s office was never an issue. Indeed, it was a matter of public information request as the law permits.
It is barbaric for KPRC 2 News reporters to stalk Houston’s mayor and chase him around all corners of his official business venues with cameras for information they conveniently had access to.
Therefore, it is barbaric for KPRC 2 News reporters to
stalk Houston’s mayor and chase him around all corners of his official business
venues with cameras for information they conveniently had access to. When KPRC
2 News was finally done, it declared in another watery story, “Mayor Turner
finally answers questions on camera about intern paid $95K annually.” For God’s
sake, what is the difference between written responses made available to the
media and the same responses expressed on camera? Of course, the whole idea was
to create sensational videos for specific Mayor Turner’s political opponents
for the upcoming elections.
We can take this to the banks, but if Mr. Agumagu is guilty of any sin, it must be unconnected with his ethnicity, his color, and his rapport with the City of Houston–fourth largest city in the United States presided by a Black Mayor who has refused to yield to the mainstream media tyranny.
This story which persevered for almost three weeks
without an iota of new information did not establish how $95,000 annual salary
is inappropriate for a senior staff analyst who attained three advanced
degrees, including a bachelor’s degree, Master’s Degree and a law degree. Yet
KPRC 2’s story totally scorned a reasonable investigation of Mr. Agumagu’s
workforce competence, rather, it focused on his salary and hiring process to
generate a drumfire of negative political attacks to bully the Mayor. The story
hammered consistently on discrepancies over specific emails, mayor’s
statements, and the program’s design process.
Perhaps if Mr. Marvin Agumagu’s name was “Marvin White,” KPRC 2’s headlines would have read differently and most positively, too.
Besides his unmatched academic feats, Mr. Agumagu is not
an entry-level rookie and would not have been hired to make coffees and teas as
KPRC 2’s story sarcastically implied. My goodness, this dude has worked around
local governments, facilitated projects, and maintains vast knowledge on
international business, politics, and diplomacy–a skill-set consequential to
the core mission of the Houston Airport systems in expediting an upper echelon
of international connectivity for Houston’s growing diverse population.
We can take this to the banks, but if Mr. Agumagu is guilty of any sin, it must be unconnected with his ethnicity, his color, and his rapport with the City of Houston–fourth largest city in the United States presided by a Black Mayor who has refused to yield to the mainstream media tyranny. Perhaps if Mr. Marvin Agumagu’s name was “Marvin White,” KPRC 2’s headlines would have read differently and most positively, too.
Again, I must reiterate that the public must ignore any attempt by the media to decide their prospects. The last time a set of American voters gambled with their chances to elect a leader, they ended up with Donald Trump–an unscrupulous bigot that is currently making a mockery of essential values of America’s democracy. At this time, voters must be very careful with unscrupulous contenders hiding behind the media to steal their votes. With the city elections less than a month away, voters must be careful about those investigative stories on the TV screen. They might just be another “political hit job.”