Saturday, July 23, 2016

WNBA Rescinds Fines Issued Over 'Black Lives Matter' Protest

The Women's National Basketball Association said it is rescinding fines imposed on players who violated league uniform rules in expressing support for the "black lives matter" movement.

WNBA President Lisa Borders made the announcement Saturday, following fines imposed on teams and players and criticism from some players. 

The Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury were fined $5,000 each, and each player was fined $500 for wearing black T-shirts during pre-game warm-ups in the wake of recent shootings by and against police officers.  

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Weekly Address: Protecting the Progress We’ve Made with Wall Street Reform

In this week's address, Senator Elizabeth Warren joined President Obama to discuss how far we've come since the financial crisis, when the recklessness of Wall Street caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and savings.

West Wing Week: 7/22/16

Chief FOIA Officers Council Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the newly established Chief FOIA Officers Council. The Council will develop recommendations for increasing compliance and efficiency in responding to FOIA requests; disseminate information about agency experiences; identify, develop, and coordinate initiatives to increase transparency and compliance; and promote performance measures to ensure agency compliance with FOIA requirements.

Advancing 21st Century Policing Briefing

This is the fourth in a series of convenings of law enforcement officers from around the country aimed at facilitating the implementation of the Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

President Obama and President Peña Nieto Hold a Joint Press Conference

Hillary Clinton's Vice Presidential Announcement


Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton formally announced Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate at a rally in Miami. She talked about her party’s vision of building ridges and embracing diversity and said Tim Kaine lives and shares those values. The Virginia senator talked about his background including his life in public service and criticized the foreign policy positions of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The rally was held at Florida International University Arena.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

The Life and Career of Senator Tim Kaine


Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) was profiled as part of C-SPAN’s American Profile series. He talked about growing up in Kansas City, the time he spent in Honduras, his experiences in local and state government, his move to Richmond, and the possibility of a vice presidential with 2016 presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The interview was conducted on June 7, 2016.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Poll Numbers Ahead of the Democratic Convention and Campaign 2016

Democratic pollster Peter Hart discusses recent national polls as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton selects her running mate and prepares for her nominating convention in Philadelphia. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Statement from the Press Secretary on the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2016

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest

The following statement was issued on July 22, 2016. 

President Obama shares the goal of streamlining pensions given to former Presidents as a means to reduce costs to taxpayers. He stands ready to work with Congress on legislation to get that done.

Unfortunately, this bill as written would immediately terminate salaries and all benefits to staffers carrying out the official duties of former Presidents – leaving no time or mechanism for them to transition to another payroll. As written, this bill would also impair Secret Service’s ability to protect former Presidents by ending GSA’s role in managing operations, equipment and office space. Under this bill, GSA must immediately terminate leases, and remove furniture from offices of former Presidents working to fulfilling their continued public service responsibilities.

The President’s decision to veto this bill was made after consultations with the offices of each of the former Presidents, and is responsive to concerns they raised to us. We are working with Congress on the technical fixes to resolve these issues. If Congress provides these technical fixes, the President would sign the bill. 
Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016

The following statement was issued on July 22, 2016. 

Today, I signed S.524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 into law.  This legislation includes some modest steps to address the opioid epidemic.   Given the scope of this crisis, some action is better than none. 

However, I am deeply disappointed that Republicans failed to provide any real resources for those seeking addiction treatment to get the care that they need.  In fact, they blocked efforts by Democrats to include $920 million in treatment funding.

Every day, 78 Americans die from opioid overdoses.  I have heard from too many families across the country whose lives have been shattered by this epidemic, including a mom from Ohio who recently wrote: “There are not near enough facilities in this area to handle the amount of care that is needed… We need help.”

My Administration has been doing everything we can to increase access to treatment, and I’m going to continue fighting to secure the funding families desperately need.  In recent days, the law enforcement community, advocates, physicians, and elected officials from both sides of the aisle have also joined in this call.  Now, it’s up to Republicans to finish the job and provide adequate funding to deal with this public health crisis.  That’s what the American people deserve. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

The Power of the Pen: New Bills Signed into Law

On Friday, July 22, 2016, the President signed into law:

H.R. 4875, the “United States Semiquincentennial Commission Act of 2016,” which establishes the United States Semiquincentennial Commission to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration of the history of the United States leading up to its 250th anniversary;

H.R. 5588, the “Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016,” which provides for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the beneficiaries of veterans' disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation equal to the Social Security COLA;

S. 524, the “Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016,” which addresses prescription opioid abuse and addiction by, among other provisions:  (1) authorizing grant programs for abuse prevention and education, including prescription monitoring; (2) expanding access to treatment and recovery options, including medication-assisted treatment and overdose reversal drugs; (3) expanding law enforcement grants and prescription drug take-back programs; and (4) providing specific opioid abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery resources to veterans, women, and children; and

S. 2840, the “Protecting Our Lives by Initiating COPS Expansion (POLICE) Act of 2016,” which expands the allowable use of grant funds awarded through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services under the Department of Justice to include participation in active shooter training programs. 
Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

NAN and the Mother of Eric Garner Will Pay Fines for NY Liberty Players

At the National Action Network Saturday rally, Rev. Al Sharpton, with Gwen Carr at his side, made the following statement regarding the fines of New York Liberty players for supporting the victims of police brutality:

“These young ladies took it upon themselves to send a very simple message standing up against police brutality and racial bias. They just wore black shirts and for that they were each fined $500. LeBron James came to New York and wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt. Athletes joined with us and wore hoodies when we were fighting for justice for Trayvon Martin down in Florida. But for some reason they’re setting a different precedent for these women, these WNBA players, and they’re doing it on the same weekend we were remembering two years since the death of Eric Garner. National Action Network is announcing this morning that we will pay their fines, and if they take it out of their salaries we will reimburse these WNBA players. They have the right in the city where a man was choked to death, they have the right to dress in a t-shirt and they have the right to be concerned for the fans who come to see us them play. They didn’t offend anybody, they just wore something, and said, ‘I am concerned about my fans.’ Last month, the whole sports world supported Muhammad Ali for standing up to war, and a month later you fine young ladies for wearing t-shirts? Unacceptable. I may also decide to do a little marching and picketing as well.” 

Source: Mercury

Friday, July 22, 2016

President Obama Responds to the Shooting in Munich, Germany

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Munich Shooting: Police Say Six Dead as Manhunt Continues

German police are engaged in a huge anti-terror manhunt in the city of Munich after six people died in a shopping mall shooting.

Police confirmed six deaths at the Olympia mall and several wounded.

The attackers are still on the run. Witnesses said they had seen three with guns. Police urged people to avoid public places.

Shop workers are still in the mall, in the north-western Moosach district. Public transport has been suspended.

Police are now describing it as "an acute terror situation". They say the first reports of a shooting in Hanauer Street came in just before 18:00 (16:00 GMT).

The Bavarian capital's central railway station has been evacuated.

People stranded by the emergency and unable to get home are being offered shelter by locals. The initiative was launched with the Twitter hashtag #Offenetür (open door). 

Click here for the full article.

Source: BBC News

David Duke, Former KKK Leader, Announces Senate Run

It's official: David Duke is running for Congress.

The former Ku Klux Klan leader and one-term Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives said in a video announcing his candidacy Friday that he believes in "equal rights for all, and respect for all Americans."

"However," he added, "what makes me different is I also demand respect for the rights and the heritage of European Americans."

Duke will seek an open seat vacated by Republican Sen. David Vitter, who announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election. More than a dozen other candidates have also signed up to replace the retiring senator. 

Click here for the full article.