Ice Cube may have info on a foreign government trying to buy US influence.
Ice Cube may have info on a foreign government trying to buy US influence.
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May 16, 2018
Cory Booker Presses Facebook, Kamala Harris Teams with Pramila Jayapal, and Native American Wins in Idaho Primary
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KNUCK IF YOU BUCK. North Korea canceled high-level talks with South Korea on Wednesday and has now threatened to walk away from the historic summit with Donald Trump to protest ongoing military exercises involving the U.S. “We do not hide our feelings of repugnance towards him,” the North Korean statement read, referring to National Security Advisor John Bolton. TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPYThe Senate Intelligence Committee will vote behind closed doors today to advance Gina Haspel's nomination as Trump's CIA Director pick. She is all but confirmed. NO FCC-ING WAYThe Senate will vote today to repeal changes to net neutrality rules that were recently adopted by the Republican-controlled FCC. Backed by all 49 Dems and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the measure is set to pass the Senate but will likely fall in the Republican-controlled House, and POTUS45 is unlikely to back it. I SECOND THAT MOTIONSmokey Robinson testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in support of the Music Modernization Act, a bill that would change music licensing rules to fit with the digital era. “I know a lot of musicians and producers and writers who are, who have fallen on hard times, and who could really use that money," Robinson told the Committee. Legendary artists Dionne Warwick, Mary Wilson, and Darlene Love were also in the audience for the hearing. STRAIGHT OUTTA QATARHip-hop mogul Ice Cube may have key info relating to the Qatari government’s attempts to buy political support from people who once served at the highest levels of the Trump administration. True story. If you’re Jackin for Beats, we got you covered. We’re kicking off Wednesday with this...
  • Congressman Al Green (D-TX) is not happy about Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) downplaying his impeachment efforts.
  • A Native American woman just won her Gubernatorial primary.
  • Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) presses Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló on school closures.
  • DCCC releases its diversity numbers.
  • Julián Castro will decide on 2020 at the end of 2018.
  • Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) wants to enter the Palestinian region of the Gaza strip.
  • Meet the only woman of color on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange.
  • Let’s add #DoingCommunityServiceWhileBlack to the list of reasons to be questioned by police. A member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority testifies.
Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) on-set before Sunday’s episode of KasieDC.
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) reading reports from the U.S. Geological Survey about Hawaii’s recent volcanic activity.
Kamala Harris and Pramila Jayapal Propose a Moratorium on New Immigration Prisons
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced legislation that would increase oversight of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, and halt funds for construction or expansion of new facilities. Over the last two decades, the federal immigration system has undergone a dramatic expansion that has led to a 400% increase in detained non-citizens with an increasing number being children, women and pregnant women. These detainees are often mistreated by ICE agents and forced to reside in deplorable conditions with their rights being habitually and systemically violated. Among other things, the Detention Oversight Not Expansion (DONE) Act would require the Homeland Security Secretary Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties conduct investigations, and submit a report of its findings to Congress and it calls for the DHS Office of Inspector General to conduct unannounced inspections of all immigration detention facilities. The bill would dedicate $45 million to improve federal oversight of the prisons, which have been accused of fostering dangerous conditions leading to the death of more than 170 inmates over the past 15 years. Harris and Jayapal would also require DHS to cut its daily inmate population by 50% by using more supervised release and ankle monitors. “It is unconscionable to subject detainees to inhumane conditions that include cases of unchecked sexual abuse, outright medical negligence, lack of access to counsel, and in some cases, even death. It’s time to end the expansion of these facilities that divert these resources to address true public safety threats,” said Harris. Jayapal continued saying, “The countless number of horrific assaults, senseless abuses and needless deaths of immigrants in detention prove that ICE isn’t able to police itself. Our bill demands a higher accountability of ICE and a stop to detention expansion because our nation doesn’t need more violence and further militarization – what we need is comprehensive and humane reform and real accountability.” More here.

Cory Booker Calls on FB to Enact Broader Reforms
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
on Monday called on Facebook to enact a number of additional reforms on the heels of its recent announcement that it would undergo a civil rights audit and political bias review. Specifically, Booker pushed Facebook to use its data as a source for good by creating a public data trust and establishing industry-wide ethical frameworks. “I also strongly suggest that Facebook work with organizers, activists, technologists and data ethicists to establish industry-wide ethical frameworks and implement a Data Code of Ethics,” Booker wrote in a letter sent this week to Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Booker also called on the tech giant to improve diversity within its ranks, citing unacceptable statistics such as the fact that only 1% of the firm’s U.S. technical employees identify as Black. “If Facebook is truly committed to eliminating harassment and discrimination on its platform and understanding how social media and big data affects underserved communities, then recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse researchers and data scientists must be an imperative,” Booker wrote. Read the full letter here.
Luján Still Has Questions for Scott Pruitt
Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
still has questions for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt about his travel practices. Luján sent a letter to Pruitt after the Congressman questioned the Administrator during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about his travel, his failure to visit low-income communities and communities of color, and whether he would take responsibility for the many scandals at the EPA. Since his testimony, there have been new revelations related to Pruitt’s travel, and Luján has further questions about the EPA’s practices under Pruitt’s leadership. “In several instances, your official foreign travel was allegedly planned and executed with significant assistance from current and former lobbyists, conservative activists and Republican campaign donors. Additionally, it was recently reported that your public schedule omits key information regarding meetings held while traveling,” the Congressman wrote. The letter comes as Pruitt heads to the Hill today for a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, expected to face more questions about the allegations of ethical abuses and excessive spending. See the full letter here.

Fox NewsHarris Faulkner on Monday reporting from Jerusalem, Israel.
RNC Director for Asian Pacific American Engagement Adi Sathi last week before a wedding.
Al Green Responds to Pelosi’s Call to Fall Back on Calls for Impeachment
Congressman Al Green (D-TX)
is not happy about Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) downplaying his impeachment efforts. Green and quite a few colleagues have lead an effort to impeach the President over policies “based on his bigotry,” such as a ban on entry to the U.S. for citizens of majority-Muslim countries and the rollback of DACA. In Dallas on Friday, Pelosi applauded Green's efforts but said the focus should be elsewhere. “We have elections," Pelosi said. "Go vote if it's a policy thing and a behavior thing. I don't know if you can get impeached for being a jerk, but if we did, this guy would be long gone. But that's not unifying." Green felt those remarks were trivializing Trump's behavior. "It is regrettable that Leader Pelosi would trivialize President Trump’s hateful discrimination against Jews, Latinos, Blacks, Women, and the LGBTQ community by reducing the President’s harmful bigotry to his ‘being a jerk,'" Green said in a statement Monday. "He is the most powerful person on Earth. His hateful, harmful tweets can, and have become policy. His words can move markets. He's not just some 'jerk,' he's the President of the United States with a bigoted policy agenda.” More here.
Hank Johnson Asks Israeli Government to Enter the Gaza Strip
Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA)
wants to go to the Gaza Strip and he, along with Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Dan Kildee (D-MI), called on the Israeli government to permit them to enter the Palestinian region. The three Congressmen, all of whom visited Israel in 2016 but were denied the opportunity to cross into the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Administration, expressed shock and dismay at “the lethal force used by Israeli troops against mostly unarmed protesters demonstrating at Gaza’s border” during Monday’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. They called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to “show utmost restraint, allow for unfettered medical attention for those who have been wounded, and ease the 12-year blockade on Gaza, which has contributed to grave food insecurity, unemployment and a humanitarian crisis for Gaza’s two million inhabitants.” In a letter to Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, the lawmakers noted that the past denial of entry had “obstructed” them in their “obligation to exercise oversight over US tax dollars.” They concluded the letter with a clear ask. “Given the current situation in Gaza, our attention is required now more than ever,” they wrote. “We can think of no reason to deny us access to Gaza again, short of making sure that outside officials not see the worsening conditions. With that, we respectfully request that the Israeli government expedite and approve our request to enter the Gaza Strip for the purpose of observing and evaluating the U.S.-financed humanitarian work.” More here.

Lawmakers Press Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló on School Closures
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
led a letter signed by 31 other Members of Congress last week to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló expressing their opposition to current plans to close 280 public schools across the island. This comes less than one year after the closure of 167 schools, bringing the total number of schools to nearly 450. The island's schools had been struggling long before the hurricane hit. This latest wave of school closures will affect over 66,000 students. “Puerto Rico’s public schools have been the institutions that offer children stability in the aftermath of a disaster and continue to function as centers of community,” the lawmakers wrote. “We call on your Administration to institute a moratorium on all school closing until a full, fair, and transparent needs assessment is conducted and determines how to best provide Puerto Rico’s students with an equal opportunity to education. The long term health and recovery of Puerto Rico depends on it.” The island's government wants to consolidate schools, some because of declining enrollment and some due to lower test scores or buildings in bad shape. Teachers' unions are also fighting both the closures and a plan from the Governor that would allow charter school and private school voucher programs starting in 2019. See Grijalva’s full letter here.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Monday meeting with Recovery Point West Virginia to learn about their treatment services for individuals suffering from substance abuse.
Texas Democratic Congressmen Joaquín Castro and Lloyd Doggett in San AntonioTuesday advocating the importance of the SNAP program.
Historic Native American Candidate Wins Gubernatorial Primary 
Paulette Jordan
could become the first Native American Governor in U.S. history after winning Idaho’s Democratic nomination in the Governor’s race claiming 60% of the vote. The 38-year-old member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe is pushing a progressive agenda in a blood-red state. She’s championing raising the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, expanding health care, and fighting climate change. When the 2003 University of Washington graduate announced Kristin Collum as her running mate, she made history by creating the state’s first all-female ticket. Jordan is also a Senior Executive Board representative, Finance Chair, and Energy Initiative Chair for the National Indian Gaming Association and has served in the state legislature since 2014. The GOP dominates in Idaho, holding every statewide and federal elected seat, as well as a majority of the legislature. Idaho voters haven't swung for a Democratic governor since 1990. But it’s the age of political upsets. She will face Republican Lt. Governor Brad Little in November. More here.

DCCC Announces Diversity Numbers
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) on Tuesday released its staff diversity numbers for the 2018 cycle thus far versus previous cycles. The percentage of “Racially Diverse” staff was 38% overall, an increase of 13% since the 2014 election cycle and 5% since 2016. The percentage of “Diverse Senior Staff” also grew to 52%, an increase of 17% since 2016. The number of women at the DCCC, overall, has remained steady at 50% over the last two cycles. “The DCCC’s greatest asset in electing Democratic candidates is the diversity and passion of the people we work with every day,” said DCCC Chairman Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM). “It’s critical that the DCCC reflect America’s diversity, and while the work is never done, I am proud of the significant total staff diversity at our committee – including amongst senior staff who are decision-makers and spenders. Moving forward, the Democratic Party must continue to invest in policies to recruit, retain, and develop the best and brightest from all segments of our population.” The DCCC recently came under fire for their lack of support for Black candidates. Since then, they have added African Americans running for office to their Red to Blue program. More here.
Julián Castro to Decide on Presidential Run After Midterms
Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro told C-SPAN’s Washington Journal yesterday morning that he would make and announce his decision on a 2020 presidential run by the end of the year. “After November and before the end of the year I will make a decision about my own future,” Castro said. “I’m going to think about it.” The former San Antonio Mayor has openly said that he is interested in a 2020 run and earlier this year announced the creation of his Opportunity First PAC, which help the Democratic Party groom younger candidates. More here.
Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) speaking with Univisión about the importance of passing legislation in Congress to prevent the deportation of military veterans.
The View’s Sunny Hostin feeding her hens in last weekend.
Fox News Settles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
Fox News’ parent company has reached a roughly $10 million settlement to resolve a group of racial and gender discrimination lawsuits involving 18 current and former employees. The settlements reached by 21st Century Fox include the class action racial discrimination lawsuit filed last year by the anchor Kelly Wright and several employees in the Fox News accounting department. The lawsuit said that they had repeatedly complained about “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination” to network executives but that no action was taken and that the inappropriate behavior continued. According to the document viewed by the NYT, terms of the deal included that the employees would agree to drop their claims, leave the network and not seek future employment at Fox News or other 21st Century Fox companies. The settlement specifically included a buyout of. Wright’s contract with Fox News, where he was the only Black male anchor. More here.

Washington Post Names Creative Director for Video
The Washington Post has named Osman Malik Creative Director for Video. Malik started at the Post in 2013 as a Graphics Editor. For the past two years, he has served as Deputy Creative Director. In his new position, he will be responsible for developing and guiding the overall look, feel, and voice of video content and managing a team of motion graphic artists to support growing video operation. The 2004 graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia began his career as a Graphic Artist at the AARP before freelancing at ABC News. He assumes his new position immediately. More about him here.

MSNBC commentator and The Boston Herald's Kimberly Atkins celebrating Mother’s Day with her mom in Las Vegas.
 SBA's Ashley Bell with EVP for the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, John F. Davis, after signing a strategic partnership last week.
Elaine Chao Announces Cities Selected for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced last week that the DOT has selected ten state, local, and tribal governments as participants in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program. This White House initiative partners the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with local, state and tribal governments, which then partner with private sector participants to safely explore the further integration of drone operations. “Data gathered from these pilot projects will form the basis of a new regulatory framework to safely integrate drones into our national airspace,” said Chao. Over the next two and a half years, the selected sites will collect drone data involving night operations, flights over people and beyond the pilot’s line of sight, package delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies and the reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft. Some of the cities include Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, OK; San Diego, CA; Memphis, TN; Reno, NV; and others. To see all the cities, click here.

State of NY Joins Lawsuit Against Ben Carson’s HUD
New York has become the first state to join the national lawsuit filed by a group of fair housing advocates against the federal government for its failure to enforce the Fair Housing Act. The suit is in response to HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s announcement that it would delay an Obama-era anti-segregation measure known as the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which was enacted in 2015 to combat discrimination in housing policy. In a 2015 op-ed, Carson wrote, “These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse.” NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) stated, “As a former HUD Secretary, it is unconscionable to me that the agency entrusted to protect against housing discrimination is abdicating its responsibility, and New York will not stand by and allow the federal government to undo decades of progress in housing rights. The right to rent or buy housing free from discrimination is fundamental under the law, and we must do everything in our power to protect those rights and fight segregation in our communities.” More here.
Administration Considers Housing Migrant Children on Military Bases 
The Trump administration is considering sheltering migrant children on military bases in Texas and Arkansas. According to WaPo, Pentagon staffers received an email saying that the Department of Health and Human Services will visit four military installations over the next two weeks to evaluate their suitability for child shelters. The bases would be used to hold minors who arrive at the U.S. border without an adult or after the government has separated the minors from their families. “No decisions have been made at this time,” the email said, but its current facilities are at 91% capacity. The Trump administration’s plans could push thousands more children into government care. We’ll keep you posted. More here.

OWN’s Deon T. Jones, Google's Suezette Robotham, and National Black Justice Coalition's David Johns in Harlem on Sunday for brunch.
Mark Trahant on Monday after wrapping the first episodes of Wassaja, a news magazine show from the perspective of indigenous people.
She’s the Only Woman Working as a Stockbroker on the Floor of the New York Exchange
Lauren Simmons
is the only full-time female employee currently working as a stockbroker on the floor of the New York Exchange. The 23-year-old Kennesaw State University grad is also one of a few women in history to occupy a trading role. She joined Rosenblatt Securities last year.“I fell in love with the numbers and the fast movement, and the men in the trading jackets and everything was moving so fast and I’m loving it,” she said. Richard Rosenblatt, Founder and CEO of the boutique securities firm who hired Simmons said he’s confident “she won’t be the last.” Although artificial intelligence is fast replacing humans on how stock portfolios are managed nowadays, the floors of the New York Exchange is still overwhelmingly dominated by men. “We just hired a new person not too long ago and in the interview process, there weren’t that many female applicants, because they weren’t applying,” Simmons said. More here.
BLAH BLAH BLOGS
FOMO
Today, 12P: The 2018 CAPAC congressional ceremony for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Kennedy Caucus Room, 325 Russell Senate Office Building. Click here to RSVP.
Today, 5P: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights hosts the 42nd annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner. This year’s honorees include Tarana Burke, Founder of the #MeToo movement; “Dreamers,” the brave immigrant youth who are inspiring a country; and Cecile Richards, outgoing President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Click here to learn more and buy tickets
Today, 5:30P: 2018 Mission Forward Spring Reception: “Building Equity and Breaking Bias,” a powerful conversation on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Speakers include Ed Yong, science writer for The Atlantic, and Liz Neeley, Executive Director of The Story Collider. Mission Partners, 7201 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 780, Bethesda, MD. RSVP here
Today: Hadassah hosts the National Women's Health Empowerment Summit. Congressman Raúl Ruíz (D-CA) and Fatima Goss Graves, CEO and President of the National Women's Law Center, serve as keynote speakers. Click here for more info
Today - Thursday, May 17th: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute hosts their 2018 Capitol Hill Policy Briefing Series. Topics include “Preventing Gun Violence Through Community Investment, The Necessity for Bail Reform, Environmental Justice for Whom?, and Substance Use Disorders in Underserved Communities.” Capitol Hill. Click here for more information and to RSVP.
Today - Thursday, May 17th: Federal Asian Pacific America Council's 33rd National Leadership Training Program. Keynote address by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Sheraton Pentagon City, 900 South Orme Street, Arlington, VA. Click here for more information.
Today - Saturday, May 19th: The National Black Child Development Institute hosts National Black Child Development Week: The Movement Continues. Click here for more information.
Thursday, May 17th, 9A: In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosts a Community Leaders Forum, an opportunity to engage with senior level federal officials to discuss issues impacting the AAPI community. U.S. Department of Education, Barnard Auditorium. 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.Click here to learn more and RSVP
Thursday, May 17th, 2P: Democratic members of Congress hold a forum to examine current enforcement of the Civil Rights Act in U.S. schools and to announce a new resolution to affirm support for disparate impact analysis as an enforcement tool of Title VI under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 2247 Rayburn House Office Building. 
Thursday, May 17th, 6:30P: The Faith and Politics Institute hosts a documentary screening and panel discussion of the forthcoming PBS documentary, Exploring Exclusions: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882Joie Chen, Director of Medill Washington, will guide Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) and the film’s directors, Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu, in a discussion. Landmark E Street Cinema. 555 11th St N.W. Click here to RSVP.
Monday, May 21st - Tuesday, May 22nd: Common Cause Pennsylvania will host their Democracy Works Summit. The Beat DC's Tiffany D. Cross will be a panelist. Sheraton Downtown Hotel on 201 N. 17th Street in Philadelphia, PA. Click here for more information
Thursday, May 24th 6P: Third Annual Multicultural Media Correspondents’ Dinner. The National Press Club. 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. Invite only. 
Wednesday, June 6th - Saturday, June 9th: The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit. Charlotte, NC. More than 1,000 CEOs, investors, and business experts are expected to attend. Click here for more information and to register.
Sunday, June 10th - Tuesday, June 12th: The ACLU Membership Conference. Speakers include Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse CullorsCongressman John Lewis (D-GA), and founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL Bryan Stevenson. Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW) and Marriott Marquis Washington D.C. (901 Massachusetts Avenue NW). Click here for more information
Thursday, June 21st - Sunday, June 24th: The Black Millennial Political Convention, which aims to increase engagement of Black millennials in the political sphere and shed a light on policy issues impacting black communities. This year’s theme is The Advocacy of Policy, Pipeline and Power for the People. Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, VA. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Saturday, July 7th - Tuesday, July 10th: The 2018 UnidosUS annual conference, Marriott Marquis Hotel, DC. Click here for more information and to register.
Thursday, July 12th - Friday, July 20th: March On Washington Film Festival. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, July 17th - Wednesday, July 18th: The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 2018 National Women’s Conference. Phoenix. Click here for more information and to register.
Friday, July 20 - Sunday, July 22nd: The 2nd Annual Black Campaign School, hosted by The Collective. Atlanta, GA. Click here for information
Wednesday, August 1st - Saturday, August 4th: The National Urban League 2018 Annual Conference “Save Our Cities: Powering the Digital Revolution.” Columbus, OH. Click here for more information and to register.
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