Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

January 17, 2017  

In just three days, some major changes will be made. President Barack Obama will return to civilian life after an eight-year term; President-elect Donald Trump formally will take his turn at the helm; and the nation will develop a keen interest in political wind patterns.

What was mere conjecture just a few months ago—Trump becoming president and causing a tidal wave of victories across the nation for Republicans—as of Jan. 20 becomes inescapably real, though it will be one of the most contentious transfers of power in U.S. history.

Leid Stories has been discussing the need to arrive at a point of “reckoning” about the political system and “clarity” about our collective interests and how we secure and safeguard them. On the cusp of The New Order, with its promised “changes,” the question is: Are we signing on off or on? Neutrality is not an option.

January 16, 2017  

We commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (he would have been 88 years old on his actual birthday, Jan. 15, 1929) with his own words.

Addressing the 11th annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga. (Aug. 16, 1967), Dr. King laid out the strategies the civil-rights organization had been using to beat back social, political and economic oppression of African Americans in the South. Similar self-initiated grassroots action across America would produce more benefits and less misery, he said.

Dr. King warned of the power of the state to impede justice and progress, and maintain inequality and oppression. This is the “natural” order in our capitalist society, he said, and therefore “change” must be systemic, not isolated

January 12, 2017  

Rep. Cedrick Richmond likened being on the last panel of witnesses to testify at the confirmation hearings for Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general, to being made to “sit at the back of the bus.” The Louisiana congressman, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, noted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s slight against him, civil-rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, and Cory Booker, the junior senator from New Jersey.

All three legislators were scheduled to testify in earlier legislator panels, and it was not secret that they were against Sessions’ confirmation. But did they make themselves clear?

January 11, 2017  

From his home city of Chicago, and 10 days before he officially leaves office, President Barack Obama last night delivered his farewell speech to the nation as its 44th president. Astutely avoiding the stunning losses the Democratic Party and his administration sustained in the 2016 elections, Obama instead focused on the many accomplishments of his two terms in office—made possible in large measure, he said, by popular support. He warned that such support will be needed again to put the brakes on some of the Trump administration’s policies.

Leid Stories discusses Obama’s farewell address, paying close attention to his penchant for rewriting history.

While Obama was preparing for his monumental moment, Hillary Clinton was having one of her own in Washington, D.C. 

January 10, 2017  

Confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for Cabinet-level posts begin today. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) faces off with the Senate Judiciary Committee at 9 a.m., and the Senate Homeland Security Committee questions retired Marine general John Kelly at 3 p.m.

The hearings will be closely watched—for the nominees’ views of their prospective roles in the Trump administration and for clues to Democrats about the fight they’ll have on their hands once Trump officially takes office.

Sessions’ multiple embroilments in race issues in the past should sink his confirmation as U.S. attorney general, civil rights leaders say, and many await Kelly’s responses to fears he’ll dramatically expand the power and authority of the police while targeting certain groups for “security” reasons.

Leid Stories looks at how the Trump Cabinet is shaping up with the vetting of his first two nominees, and what we should be preparing for. 

January 9, 2017  

James R. Clapper, director of the Office of National Intelligence, CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey last Thursday jointly delivered to President Barack Obama a report he requested about Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. (President-elect Donald Trump and his advisers, and senior-level congressional leaders, were briefed on the reportFriday, when a declassified summary was released.)

“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the declassified report said in part of its key findings. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

The report and its findings already have sparked brisk discussion and debate—about whether the report is a pretext for U.S. aggression against Russia, whether Trump’s presidency should be challenged, and even whether the report’s claims are true.

But the report and its findings notwithstanding, here’s a golden opportunity, says Leid Stories, to engage in a long-overdue debate: A national discussion on the U.S.’s long and despicable history of interfering in elections in countries all over the world.

January 6, 2017  

This edition of “Free Your Mind Friday,” the first for the new year, is a twofer.

As usual, listeners can talk about whatever they wish. Or, they may pick up from where we left off on yesterday’s discussion, “The New Order and the Politics of Vengeance.”

Call 888-874-4888 and help put us all on the right track.

January 5, 2017  

President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill yesterday, a man on a partisan mission. At a Democrats-only, two-hour, closed-door meeting, he urged the party faithful to protect Obamacare, the health-care-coverage program he launched in 2010.

Also on Capitol Hill yesterday, Vice President-elect Mike Pence assured Republicans that dismantling Obamacare is a top priority for the incoming Trump administration, and they must support that effort.

In Obama’s waning days in office, hot-button issues like Obamacare are again reviving hard-edged political and ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats. Trump used these differences, including the problem-plagued Obamacare, to sink Hillary Clinton, and he will continue to mine them to support his presidential agenda and keep the faith with his political base. The Democrats, having suffered stunning losses in the 2016 presidential election, are determined to regain ground by just about any means necessary. It’s already a brutal fight, and it will get worse.

The New Order has reverted to its old ways, practicing the politics of vengeance—not only against each other, but inevitably against the people as well. What’s our plan?

January 4, 2017  

Fake news--the gluten-free, lower-calorie term for what used to be called “disinformation,” “lies” and “propaganda”—played a significant role in shaping the attitudes and choices of millions of voters in the 2016 presidential election. Although fake news for a long time has been an integral component of the “information” disseminated by mass-media outlets, only recently was the widespread practice exposed as a national menace and a threat to the long-held principle of freedom of information.

Fake news has been feeding an insidious sibling: fake politics.

Leid Stories discusses the clear connection between fake news and the derailing of mass struggle in the United States.

January 3, 2017  

The new year has begun the way 2016 ended—fraught with unsettling challenges. Typical year-to-year political carryover is scary enough. But 2017 is no typical year; it marks the beginning of a new era in U.S. politics, a seismic shift not only in the meaning of politics and how it gets done, but also in how we deal with it.

On Jan. 10, when President Barack Obama gives his farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago, he’ll recite for the record a litany of breakthroughs, progress and accomplishments the nation experienced under his two terms in office. On Jan. 20, when President Donald J. Trump takes the helm, he’ll give a snapshot, in his inaugural address, of the sweeping changes his fear-inducing administration will make.

The changes they have made or will make notwithstanding, the question, says Leid Stories, is: What changes have we made? 

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