Tuesday, January 24, 2017

White House Press Briefing

President Trump Meeting with Auto Industry Executives

President Trump met with auto executives at the White House during the first week of his administration. The president told the group, which included General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, that he would work to increase manufacturing and decrease regulations in the U.S. 

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Source: C-SPAN

House Republican Agenda

House Republican leaders briefed reporters on their priorities for the first 100 days of the Trump administration, which iclude repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and tax reform. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he supports President Trump’s proposal for a border tax as part of a larger tax plan. 

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Source: C-SPAN

Linda McMahon Testifies at SBA Administrator Confirmation Hearing

The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee held a hearing for former World Wrestling Entertainment President and CEO Linda McMahon, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Small Business Administration. Ms. McMahon told the committee that if confirmed, her first priority would be to look at the state of the programs in place to assist small business owners, like disaster relief funding.

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Source: C-SPAN

Senate Democrats Unveil Infrastructure Program

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic colleagues about their $1 trillion infrastructure bill for road, port, drinking water, and other such projects, which they say they would negotiate with President Trump on how to pay for it. Senator Schumer called on the president to follow through on his campaign promise to spend money on infrastructure. 

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Source: C-SPAN

A Song for the Soul: 'Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around ' (Sweet Honey in the Rock)

Source: Justiciarodante

Malcolm X: The Plan for Black Economic Freedom

Trailblazers in Black History: Hal Jackson

Harold Baron "Hal" Jackson was an American disc jockey and radio personality who broke a number of color barrieers in American radio broadcasting. He was the first African-American inductee to the Radio Hall of Fame.

Jackson was born in Charleston, South Carolina and grew up in Washington, D.C. where he was educated at Howard University. 

Jackson moved to New York City in 1954 and became the first radio personality to broadcast three daily shows on three different New York stations. Four million listeners tuned in nightly to hear Jackson’s mix of music and conversations with jazz and show business celebrities.

In 1971, Jackson and Percy Sutton, a former Manhattan borough president, co-founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC), which acquired WLIB — becoming the first African-American owned-and-operated station in New York. 

The following year, ICBC acquired WLIB-FM, changing its call letters to WBLS ("the total BLack experience in Sound").

Additional information is available here

Source: Wikipedia

NYS Selected for Program to Strengthen Community-Based Integrated Behavioral Health Care

ALBANY, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the Department of Health today announced that New York has been selected to participate in a two-year demonstration program to better integrate community-based physical and behavioral healthcare services and promote access to improved primary care, mental health, and substance-use disorder services.

New York is one of only eight states selected to participate in the demonstration phase of this federal initiative, awarded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). New York was originally one of twenty-four states selected to receive planning grants in the winter of 2015, to strengthen community-based mental health care and substance use disorder programs through the development of new Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) in pilot sites across the state.
“Integrating behavioral health services with primary health care gives all New Yorkers the chance to find holistic wellness right in their communities,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “The opportunity to develop these Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics across the state will enrich New York’s behavioral health system and advance the state’s vast Medicaid and healthcare reform plans initiated by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Being selected as a recipient for this federal program proves that New York State is viewed as a leader in providing accessible mental health care for anyone who needs it.”

“Expanding access to high quality community-based health and behavioral health services is critical for New York communities. As part of Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Initiative, New York State is changing healthcare delivery systems to offer results-driven, person-centered care, where and when people need it most. These clinics exemplify New York’s commitment to integrating primary care and mental health care within communities and the promise of better health outcomes for all.” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
“Substance use disorders need to be treated like any other chronic health condition, taking into account the overall whole health of a person,” said New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez. “This demonstration project will help us show that our clinics can provide primary care, mental health and substance use disorder services in an integrated clinic setting.”  
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Source: New York State Office of Mental Health

President Trump Takes Action to Expedite Priority Energy and Infrastructure Projects

WASHINGTON, DC – President Trump today signed a series of Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda in keeping with his promise to reduce the burden of regulations and expedite high priority energy and infrastructure projects that will create jobs and increase national security.

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline

With this Presidential Memorandum, President Trump will help fulfill the campaign promise of initiating the process for approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is an 1,100-mile crude oil pipeline to connect oil production in Alberta, Canada to refineries in the United States.

Construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as oil production and refining activities related to it, would create tens of thousands of jobs for American workers, enhance our nation’s energy security, support affordable and reliable energy for American families, and generate significant State and local tax revenues that can be invested in schools, hospitals, and infrastructure.

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

With this Presidential Memorandum, President Trump directed the relevant Federal agencies (including the Army Corps of Engineers) to expedite reviews and approvals for the remaining portions of the Dakota Access Pipeline., a $3.8 billion, 1,100-mile pipeline designed to carry around 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to oil markets in the U.S.  

At this time, DAPL is more than 90% complete across its entire route.  Only a limited stretch of the project is not yet constructed. Timely review and approval of energy pipelines is critical to a strong economy, energy independence, and national security.

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines

In keeping with his commitment to “Buy American, Hire American”, President Trump directed the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with all relevant executive departments and agencies, to develop a plan under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.  The Secretary shall submit the plan to the President within 180 days of the date of this memorandum.

Presidential Memorandum Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing

With this Presidential Memorandum, President Trump helps fulfill the campaign promise of boosting domestic manufacturing by determining a plan of action for expediting approvals for manufacturing and reducing regulatory burdens.

Under this Presidential Memorandum, the Secretary of Commerce will conduct outreach to stakeholders and solicit comments from the public concerning Federal actions to streamline permitting and reduce regulatory burdens affecting domestic manufacturers. 

The Commerce Secretary will submit a report to the President identifying recommendations to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens affecting domestic manufacturers. The report should identify priority actions as well as recommended deadlines for completing actions.  

Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects

With this Executive Order, President Trump will establish a framework for expediting environmental reviews for high priority infrastructure projects. 

Delays and other inefficiencies in the environmental review and permitting process are severely impeding critically important projects to rebuild and modernize our nation’s infrastructure, such as highways, bridges, tunnels, the electrical grid, ports, water systems, airports, railways and pipelines.

According to one study, our antiquated power rigs wastes the equivalent of 200 coal-fired power plants, water pipes leak trillions of gallons of water, and gridlock on roads and railroads wastes hundreds of billions annually.

Full text of these executive orders and memoranda will be published on the White House website http://www.whitehouse.gov.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Israel Okays 2,500 New West Bank Settlement Homes

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel on Tuesday unveiled plans for 2,500 housing units in the West Bank, the second announcement of new construction in the occupied territory since President Donald Trump took office.

The announcement of construction of the new units in "Judea and Samaria" — the Biblical names for areas the Israeli government considers Jewish by right — will likely be viewed by much of the international community as an obstacle to securing a permanent peace between Israelis and Palestinians. 

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Source: NBC News 

Trump Signs Orders Advancing Keystone, Dakota Access Pipelines

President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders Tuesday to advance the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.

Trump signed a total of five orders regarding environmental issues in the Oval Office, including a pair addressing the pipeline projects as well as actions to expedite environmental reviews for high priority projects. 

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China Delivers Strong Message to President Trump

Trump Administration Removes LGBTQ Content From Federal Websites

On January 9, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a formal apology for the U.S. Department of State's "Lavender Scare"—an internal witch hunt that cost at least 1,000 people their State Department jobs for alleged homosexuality during the 1950s and 1960s.

Just two weeks later, that apology—along with nearly every other mention of LGBTQ issues—has been removed from the Department of State website. 

NBC News emailed the State Department's press office to ask why LGBTQ content had been scrubbed from the website, and whether such a move is temporary or permanent. In response, a State Department spokesperson stated via email, "As per standard practice, the Secretary's remarks have been archived," and included a link to the archived remarks.

However, a search of the State Department's website reveals not much else has changed aside from the removal of LGBTQ content. 

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Some Experts Say Trump Team’s Falsehoods Are Classic ‘Gaslighting’

The new Trump administration stunned and outraged journalists, pundits and plenty of ordinary Americans this past weekend with false assertions about how many people showed up for Friday's inauguration.

The claims were easily disproved and news outlets have spent hours showing precisely how. 

And while Trump's controversial campaign comments have spawned a new genre of of fact-checking columns, many of his supporters predicted he'd become somehow more presidential, and less likely to be provocative, once he took office.

So why even do it?

The behavior has all the signs of "gaslighting", says clinical psychologist Bryant Welch, who wrote a 2008 book entitled "State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind".

Gaslighting refers to a 1944 film in which a murdering husband manipulates and confuses his wife by dimming the gas lights in their home and then denying it's happening.

"The very state of confusion they are creating is a political weapon in and of itself," Welch told NBC News.

"If you make people confused, they are vulnerable. By definition they don't know what to do," added Welch, who has not personally examined any of the Trump team. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

The Complete List of 2017 Oscar Nominees