ShowBiz Minute: Dean, Young, Brown

A CGI James Dean is cast in new film, sparking an outcry; Neil Young: Obama and Trump “both losers” in battling climate change; Chris Brown holds high-end yard sale at his Los Angeles home. (Nov. 7)

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Neil Young: Obama and Trump ‘both losers’ in battling climate change

Neil Young says he thinks recent American presidents haven’t done enough to tackle climate change, adding “we are smart enough to screw everything up and we’re smart enough to fix everything.” (Nov. 7)

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Puerto Rico’s Governor Finally Listened to the Island and Resigned

The protest movement in Puerto Rico scored its first victory when Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigned Wednesday night. But that’s not demonstrators’ only demand: They want “la junta” gone too.

Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in the streets of San Juan this week to chants of “Ricky renuncia y llévate a la junta”: Ricky, resign and take the “junta” with you. Referred to colloquially as “la junta,” the eight-member Fiscal Oversight Management Board was appointed by President Obama in 2016 to restructure Puerto Rico’s more than $70 billion in debt and lift the island out of bankruptcy.

With the help of high-paid consultants, the board has cut costs on the island — but largely through budgets cuts. That’s led to rampant public school closures and a broken healthcare system, which will run out of money five months before the end of its fiscal year in 2020.

Now, protesters want the board’s members to resign, although none of them seem to want to do that. “We will steadfastly continue our efforts to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt and to ensure fiscal balance,” its members said in a statement.

Even if they did resign, President Donald Trump would pick their replacements. That’s likely exactly what will happen in September, when the board’s current term ends. Only Congress could dissolve the body before then.

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AP Top Stories July 10 A

Here’s the latest for Wednesday July 10: Calls for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to resign; Obama health care law challenged in federal court; Floods in Nebraska; Heatwave in Alaska.

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Why 2020 Democrats Can’t Take the LGBTQ+ Vote for Granted

Beto ran a 5K for the cause, Joe Biden took a turn behind the bar at the Stonewall Inn, Mayor Pete and Elizabeth Warren are selling Pride-themed items in their merch stores. It’s Pride Month, and the 2020 Democratic contenders have been courting LGBTQ voters in a big way. But although most LGBT voters identified as Democrats in 2018, being trans, gay or pansexual does not a Democrat make.

VICE News put together a panel made up of 12 members of the LGBTQ+ community and asked them about their politics — which were extremely diverse — and who they like for 2020.

“I think Donald Trump is really changing the Republican Party by working with the gay and lesbian community,” said Paul Ramirez, a Republican gay man and the vp of advertising at The Wisdom Companies. “If there was a homophobic drop of blood in him, we would have heard that 20 years ago.”

Others decidedly disagreed about Trump’s record on LBGTQ issues, and its effect on the community.

“When the Trump administration, or perhaps just Trump via Twitter, puts out a statement saying that ‘no more trans people are allowed in the military, that’s it we’re cutting you off and anybody in has got to leave.’ That affects the lives of transgender citizens of this country,” said actor Donnie Cianciotto, who identifies as a pansexual transgender man and a Democrat. “It makes us appear ‘less than’ to other people, who now can justify their bigotry and their transphobia, because look at what the government does.”

As for Mayor Pete, the openly gay candidate running for President, his out and proud status wasn’t enough for panelists, on either end of the political spectrum.

“There’s nothing fresh. He’s an Obama sequel,” said Brandon Straka, a Republican gay man and founder of the # WalkAway Campaign, which aims to get left-leaning voters to turn away from the Democratic Party. “The fact that he’s gay — that doesn’t mean he has my back as a trans person,” said LGBTQIA+ educator and activist Jamey Jesperson, who identifies as a progressive queer non-binary asexual transfemme. “It means nothing to me that he is a gay person, because he’s also cis, and he’s also white.”

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EPA replaces Obama rule on coal-fired power plants

The Trump administration on Wednesday completed one of its biggest rollbacks of environmental rules, replacing a landmark Obama-era effort that sought to wean the nation’s electrical grid off coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution. (June 19)

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Obama family lands at Avignon airport for holiday | AFP

The family plane of former US President Barack Obama lands on the tarmac of Avignon airport, as he and his family arrive in France for a holiday in Provence. IMAGES

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Anthony Scaramucci’s Return To Credibility (HBO)

This week, the Sin City calendar included the 10th Annual Skybridge Alternatives Conference, known as SALT.

It’s your standard rich-meet-powerful confab, the kind of thing you’d find in Davos or Aspen. With one notable exception: this one is run by Anthony Scaramucci.

Skybridge is The Mooch’s investment company. At its height, say in 2017, SALT was pretty mega: former heads of state and a-list entertainers appeared on stage. But then Scaramucci’s fortunes changed in July 2017 when he took a job as President Trump’s White House Communications Director. That resulted in one of the all-time great Washington faceplants. Eleven days into the job, Scaramucci was fired, and his brand was beclowned.

The Mooch was alone. There was no SALT conference in 2018.

But a year is a long time, and the finance world has once again opened its arms to Scaramucci. SALT 2019 lacked some of the star power of previous years, but the Mooch did get some heavy-hitters: former White House chief of staff John Kelly was the keynote guest. Other panels included Chris Christie and Jeff Sessions.

Some Democrats showed up, too — former Obama advisers Valerie Jarrett and Susan Rice were here. Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard stopped by, too.

At the center of it all was a man who many people in politics left for dead. But at SALT at least, The Mooch is very much alive.

“My issues with the president are not what he’s doing. He’s got some very very good policies actually working for average people,” Scaramucci told VICE News. “My issue with the president is how he’s doing it. It’s not what he’s doing.”​​

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AP Top Stories April 25 P

Here’s the latest for Thursday, April 25th: Joe Biden says he asked Obama not to endorse him; Vladimir Putin meets with Kim Jong Un; French police look for cause of Notre Dame fire; “Avengers: Endgame” poised to make big box office money.

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Not a Russian agent? Assange charged with ‘Manning collusion’

After his dramatic arrest, WikiLeaks front man Julian Assange is facing a charge of conspiracy to hack a US government computer.

As remarkable as it may be, the US is now saying that exposing US human rights abuses, wanton murder – committed by the US military, is more serious, than the abuses and murder themselves.

Chelsea, formerly Bradley Manning, was freed by Obama. Judging by the toxicity – on TV, in Washington, Assange shouldn’t be too hopefully.

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What Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary Thinks About Trump’s Immigration Policy (HBO)

President Barack Obama’s former homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson would prefer not to be the frequent recipient of President Trump’s praise. But despite his party allegiance and previous employer, the president, his son, and the White House’s official Twitter feed have all recently praised Johnson for telling multiple interviewers that America’s southern border is “truly in a crisis.”
When VICE News’s Michael Moynihan sat down with Johnson to discuss Trump, the politics of immigration, and his tenure overseeing border enforcement, he was quick to point out that the president and his surrogates truncated his quote, leaving out his criticism of administration policies.
“I said that 4000 arrests on our southern border — one hundred thousand in a month — is truly a crisis,” Johnson told VICE News. “I then went on to, in the same interview, prescribe all the things I think should be done to deal with the crisis and what we seem to be doing wrong. The one sentence ‘it is truly a crisis’ went viral.”
Johnson, who began his career in politics interning for Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a centrist Democrat, acknowledges that his party is lurching to the left — and that the Obama administration’s aggressive immigration policies would get a tougher reception these days.

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What about George Washington? Moscow ‘meddled’ in Obama, Bush elections, Pompeo claims

The conclusion of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, that there was no conspiracy between Donald Trump & the Kremlin, was supposed to put the whole issue to bed. But while answering a question from US Democrats, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo surprisingly expanded his list of elections Russia ‘interfered’ in, all the way back to the George W. Bush era.

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GONZO: Street poets and beignets in Nola (E8)

GONZO heads into the home of fracking, Denton, Texas, to chat to Dr. Adam Briggle, author of ‘A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking’. The idea of field philosophy is to take ideas about ethics and justice and bring it to the real world. Fracking is a justice issue and both the politics and the economics of the alleged bonanza turned out to be a big dud and a land use planning nightmare. They talk about the philosophy of hubris and narcissism and find that fracking is about the lesson of Frankenstein – we create something without considering the wider ramifications and without plans to deal with the out of control nature of our inventions. Denton voted to ban fracking but the state government then intervened with legislation to prevent citizens from having the democratic right of local self-determination on such matters related to Big Oil. We are waiting for a tech fix but fracking was a tech fix to declining oil reserves. Max and Dr. Briggle ride their bike off into the distance with plans to go form the church of no fracking.

Max and Stacy leave Texas on the way to New Orleans while discussing the frackers versus ranchers battle brewing in Texas as each vie for limited water resources. In Nola, they discuss the aftermath of about Hurricane Katrina which Obama’s education secretary considered the best thing to ever happen to public education in America as it opened up an entire city to the charter school movement which, in turn, opened the city up to privatisation and gentrification. They also discuss the legacy of Huey Long and how we now dismantle public infrastructure rather than build it. Blumenthal mentions ‘Cancer Alley’ in one of the first town of freed persons where cancer rates now are so high due to industrial pollution. They also ask, “How did we end up with Trump?” And the role of John Hagee and the evangelical Christians in putting him in power in order to get them the Supreme Court, which they now effectively own. Finally, Stacy and the two Maxes eat beignets, talk about the swamp expanding, the legacy of Bourdain and then talk to some street poets who compose a poem for GONZO.

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17 years of Gitmo: Prison remains major breach of human rights, closure attempts still unsuccessful

The military prison at Guantanamo Bay remains a major breach of human rights for 17 years now. It currently holds 40 Muslim men, many of whom were tortured. After George Bush opened it, Obama repeatedly attempted to close the facility. But it’s still there.

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AP Top Stories January 12 P

(12 Jan 2019) Here are the top stories for Saturday, Jan. 12th: Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro joins 2020 campaign; Saudi woman arrives in Canada to seek asylum; Paris gas leak explosion kills three; Transport and vehicles big stars in Las Vegas CES.

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Julian Castro announces 2020 presidential bid

Former secretary of Housing under Obama, Julian Castro officially announces he is running for the 2020 presidential election. The grandson of a Mexican immigrant and former mayor of Texas city San Antonio places his bid to the White House, a race that promises to be close among the Democrats who want to take Donald Trump’s place. SOUNDBITE

Pompeo’s speech on US Mideast policy: Does it ring the bell?

The US Secretary of State has lashed out at the Obama administration’s Middle East policies, and has called for a new chapter in fighting extremists. Mike Pompeo also highlighted the main directions of current US policy in the Middle East.

But his speech in Cairo did sometimes echo one Barack Obama made there ten years ago.

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Michelle Obama visits Colorado children’s hospital

(14 Dec 2018) Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama visited Children’s Hospital Colorado in suburban Denver on Thursday. Mrs. Obama read “The Night Before Christmas,” answered questions from children and encouraged Santa Claus to get up and dance. (Dec. 14)

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Julian Castro 1st Dem. to throw hat in 2020 race

(12 Dec 2018) Former Obama cabinet member Julian Castro got a head start on his 2020 rivals Wednesday, becoming the first Democrat in a primary field with no clear front-runner to launch an exploratory committee ahead of a likely White House run. (Dec. 12)

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ShowBiz Minute: Ty Dolla $ign, Cosby, Obama

(12 Dec 2018) Rapper Ty Dolla $ign indicted on felony drug charges; Bill Cosby lawyers detail 11 alleged trial errors as they appeal; Michelle Obama surprises Detroit students at Motown Museum. (Dec. 12)

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Trump dismantles climate efforts as warnings grow

(29 Nov 2018) President Donald Trump continues to dismantle Obama administration efforts to combat coal, gas and oil emissions even as world leaders are set to gather in Poland to fine tune the 2015 landmark global climate deal reached in Paris. (Nov. 29)

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ShowBiz Minute: Avenatti, Obama, Holland

(22 Nov 2018) Los Angeles prosecutor declines felony case against Michael Avenatti; Michelle Obama’s book sells 1.4 million copies in a week; “Spider-Man” actor tries Thanksgiving pumpkin for first time. (Nov. 22)

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ShowBiz Minute: Lee, Obama, Crystal

(13 Nov 2018) Celebrities offer thanks, condolences in death of Stan Lee; Michelle Obama visits her former high school; Friars Club honor Billy Crystal. (Nov. 13)

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