Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

December 29, 2017  

Leid Stories listeners close out the year with wide-ranging discussions on the issues and events they believe were most significant or had the greatest impact this year.

It’s our last “Free Your Mind Friday” for 2017. Call 888-874-4888 and help us adjust our rear-view mirrors.

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December 28, 2017  

When Leid Stories reported earlier this month on a trove of thousands of files the FBI released from its electronic vault on its ongoing probe of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (The Clinton Foundation), we predicted there should be much more coming, based on the labyrinthine nature of the foundation and its operations.

Charles Ortel, a retired Wall Street banker turned financial investigator, has been probing the innards of the foundation for two years as an expert in charity fraud. He declared early on that the evidence he uncovered suggested the foundation was “the largest unprosecuted fraud in U.S. history.”

Ortel finishes off the year with new information he has uncovered that adds even more fuel to the prosecutorial fire engulfing the Clintons, their foundation and a coterie of key players in their scheme.

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December 27, 2017  

As a tumultuous 2017 nears its end and a new year soon begins, Leid Stories encourages all to undertake a recap—not the standard chronological review of the “big stories” of the year, but a sober reckoning of how, individually and collectively, we have been changed by them. 

 
 
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December 26, 2017  

It’s the first day of Kwanzaa, a weeklong period (Dec. 26-Jan.1) of education, reflection and celebration of African-derived core principles the pan-African world is encouraged to observe in the spirit of collective struggle and progress.

Forged in the crucible of mass social, political, economic, and even moral oppression in the United States in the 1960s, Kwanzaa was designed as a comprehensive system of correctives. But many Americans do not know what the Kwanzaa is all about.

Dr. Maulana Karenga, a major figure in the U.S. black-nationalist movement in the ’60s and ’70s and now author, scholar and chair of the Africana Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach, created Kwanzaa. In this panoramic address (2008) to the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations Karenga explains the meaning, purpose, principles and practices of the now-global celebration of Kwanzaa.

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December 21, 2017  

Knowing the president’s penchant for lying and gratuitous overstatements about his business acumen and success (which is also lying), we should be very skeptical about his “Christmas gift” of a $1.5-trillion budget that will cause a rising tide of prosperity that will lift all boats. The rosy picture he paints doesn’t square with reality. Rather, it’s another of his tall tales, told to distract and buy time before the economic tsunami hits, says Leid Stories.

 

In a related commentary, Leid Stories repeats its warning that we all should mind our own business, preparing ourselves for the economic calamities that are much closer than we think.

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December 20, 2017  

In her first act as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley in January warned member-states of the international body that the Trump administration will be “taking names” of all countries ever daring to vote against it. The former governor of South Carolina this week repeated the threat in a letter to representatives of several member-states, ahead of a controversial vote tomorrow on the U.S.’s unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the U.S. embassy there. Leid Stories notes that Haley and Trump both seem to believe that thuggery is diplomacy.

 

When the House votes again today on new changes to the massive tax-overhaul plan, President Donald Trump and the Republican leadership will claim a stunning victory. The tax overhaul, the centerpiece of the Republicans’ $1.5-trillion budget, was long overdue, they say, and will greatly energize the economy, bringing across-the-board benefits. But Trump’s triumph is not sitting well with a wide swath of experts. Josh Bivens, director of research at the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute, is one of them. The tax-overhaul and budget bill, he says, are “nothing short of wholesale looting.”

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December 19, 2017  

Turns out that Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a Trump critic who had vowed to vote against the Republicans’ spending bill because its estimated cost of $1.5 trillion is unconscionable, likes it now. Fellow Republicans discovered that a tax-deduction measure that could benefit Corker—and Trump—personally as real estate moguls found its way into the budget package sent to the House for a final vote yesterday.  Corker says he doesn’t know how the provision got included in the Senate bill.

Leid Stories amplifies yesterday’s commentary (about the opaque, undemocratic and corrupt nature of the budget process), contending that it also points up the limitations of the two-party system.

 

In light of current political realities, says Leid Stories, it is time to [re-]organize. 

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December 19, 2017  

On Friday evening, a delirious President Donald Trump and a coterie of Republican leaders delivered tidings of great joy (Trump announced it was a “Christmas gift” to the nation): There is, at last, a budget, and all that’s needed now is a final vote in both houses of Congress to put the new budget into effect. That process begins today, and with Republicans controlling all branches of government, it is unlikely that the Democrats will succeed in making significant changes to the $1.5-trillion budget.

Leid Stories says that the budget process, being exceedingly undemocratic, opaque and corrupt, must be scrapped.

 

Gov. Ricardo Rosseló of Puerto Rico, conceding that “official” counts of deaths due to Hurricane Maria are extremely inaccurate, today ordered a review of every death attributed to the Category 4 storm that devastated the island three months ago. Independent media analyses found that more than 1,000 people died in addition to the 64 officially listed.

Meanwhile, Refugees International, which recently toured the U.S. territory, has issued a report decrying the woeful conditions under which Puerto Ricans are living.

The Trump administration seems not to care that Puerto Ricans—fellow Americans—are refugees in their own country.

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December 15, 2017  

The FBI yesterday released from its electronic “vault” a trove of files related to Bill and Hillary Clinton and others who played key roles in the Clintons’ political and business endeavors.

Charles Ortel, a retired Wall Street banker turned financial investigator who has been probing the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation for two years, reveals damaging information the latest FBI files contain.

 

A county coroner in Kentucky yesterday ruled that State Rep. Dan Johnson, found Wednesday night on the side of a road with a gunshot wound to the head, died by “probable suicide.” Johnson, also a pastor of a local church, died two days after the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published a story alleging that he sexually abused a 17-year-old friend of his daughter after a New Year’s party in 2012. The young woman reported the alleged incident to the police. It was investigated, but was closed with no charges filed against Johnson.

Leid Stories asks: Was Dan Johnson a victim of #MeToo fervor?

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December 14, 2017  

Roy Moore, who lost the U.S. Senate race in Alabama to Democrat Doug Jones in a special election Tuesday, says he’s not conceding until the vote is fully tallied to include military and write-in ballots. With 99 percent of the votes counted, those votes (an estimated 20,000) won’t be enough to put Moore over the top, even if they all went to him, officials said. Besides, under Alabama law, the difference between the final votes in an election must be smaller than 0.5 percent to trigger an automatic recount.

African Americans delivered victory for Jones. But as Leid Stories asked yesterday: Of what benefit will that be to them?

The late Kwame Turé, presciently addressing University of Chicago students in 1989, stresses that strategy and purpose should inform political action. If not, we will only be enabling our own oppression.

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