From the desk of Kweisi Mfume

Tuesday, August 09, 2016


Top Story

50 GOP officials: Trump would be ‘most reckless President in American history’
By Eliza Collins, USA Today
Dozens of Republican security officials signed a letter on Monday calling a potential Donald Trump presidency dangerous and saying he would be “the most reckless President in American history.” Trump dismissed the letter as the “politically-motivated” work of the architects of many “disastrous” foreign policy decisions. The list of 50 former national security officials who served in Republican administrations “from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush” announced that they would not vote for the Republican nominee in a letter first reported by The New York Times. USA Today
Gallup: More than 33 million American adults currently use marijuana
By Christopher Ingraham
A new Gallup poll out today finds that percent of American adults who say they currently smoke marijuana has nearly doubled over the past three years. In 2013, only 7 percent of adults said they were marijuana smokers. When Gallup asked again in July of this year, 13 percent admitted to current marijuana use. That works out to more than 33 million adult marijuana users in the U.S. If America’s marijuana users resided in one state, it would be bigger than Texas and second only to California in population. There are currently about 40 million cigarette smokers in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Washington Post


As the nation’s capital booms, poor tenants face eviction over as little as $25
By Terrence McCoy
Her mother told her to always maintain poise, no matter the indignity, so she awoke early to prepare for a day she thought would be full of it. She put on a purple blouse — her favorite color — dabbed her face with makeup, then sprayed herself with a $10 perfume called Winter Candy Apple. She stepped across an apartment bereft of furniture, unsure if it would be her last morning there. Any day now, the U.S. Marshals Service could arrive at her apartment, deposit her few possessions on the street and leave her homeless.   Washington PostChipotle ordered to pay up after firing pregnant employee
By Denver Business Journal , KUSA
A former employee of a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. restaurant in Washington, D.C., who claimed she was fired because she became pregnant has won her discrimination case against the Denver-based Mexican restaurant chain. The jury in the case, which filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2014, awarded Doris Garcia Hernandez $550,000 in compensatory and punitive damages after determining that her former manager did indeed terminate her due to her pregnancy. The case goes back to 2011, when Garcia became pregnant while working at a Chipotle location.   NBC News

Politics and Government

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she can’t support Trump
By Eliza Collins, USA Today
Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced on Monday that she could not support Donald Trump for president, joining a chorus of Republicans who declined to support the GOP nominee over the last couple of weeks. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, the Maine Republican said that Trump “does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country.” Collins, who never officially endorsed Trump and has been critical of him, cited Trump’s attacks on others throughout the course of the campaign as the reason she could not support him.  USA TodayPsychiatric organization warns members: don’t analyze Trump
By Jessie Hellmann
Don’t call presidential candidates mentally ill, the American Psychiatric Association told its members this week. Following a bad week for Donald Trump, in which he insulted a Gold Star family and declined to endorse Speaker Paul Ryan before doing it anyway on Friday, many have started to question whether Trump has a personality disorder. “We’re asking ourselves — I didn’t say this, but this is what everybody is saying: Is Donald Trump a sociopath?” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough asked earlier this week.   The Hill


George Zimmerman Punched In The Face After Bragging About Killing Trayvon Martin
By Nigel Roberts
George Zimmerman made an urgent 911 callon Sunday after he was punched in the face for bragging that he shot Trayvon Martin, witnesses told police, according to The Orlando Sentinel. The Seminole County Sherriff’s Office told The Sentinel that the incident happened at a Sanford, Florida, restaurant. Zimmerman walked to a table to compliment a man on his Confederate flag tattoos. The tattooed man, Joseph Whitmer, thanked him. He recognized Zimmerman, who pulled out his ID to prove his identity. That’s when another man who overheard the conversation approached Zimmerman and asked, “You’re bragging about that?”  NEWSONE

World News

He’s the son of Osama bin Laden’s bombmaker. Then ISIS wanted him as one of its own.
By Souad Mekhennet and Greg Miller
He was still a teenager when he wandered into one of the buildings at the dusty hilltop complex, looking for the cages where rabbits were kept. Inside, he found a crudely equipped laboratory, with test tubes, protective masks and rows of black jars. As Mohammed al-Masri surveyed the cluttered room, his father stepped in behind him. “I asked my father, ‘What are you doing here?’ ” Masri said, recalling an exchange that took place more than 20 years ago in eastern Afghanistan. His father’s response was cryptic: “When you grow up, God willing, you will learn for yourself.”  Washington Post

A Closer Look

We’re trashing the oceans — and they’re returning the favor by making us sick
By Chris Mooney
Six years ago, in a bracing 18-minute TED talk, coral reef scientist Jeremy Jackson laid out “how we wrecked the ocean.” In the talk, he detailed not only how overfishing, global warming, and various forms of pollution are damaging ocean ecosystems — but also, strikingly, how these human-driven injuries can be harmful to those who live on land. Toxic algal blooms, for instance, can actually damage air quality near the coast. “The coast, instead of being paradise, is harmful to your health,” he said.  Washington Post


Taraji P. Henson rules this ‘Empire’
By Robert Bianco, USA Today
Cookie’s moving on. Well, maybe. Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, Empire executive producer Ilene Chaiken said the theme of the show’s third season will be Cookie’s attempt to move on from her ex-husband Lucious. But don’t expect her to go far, at least not as long as there are children shared between them, says star Taraji P. Henson. Because to her mind, Cookie is all about her kids. “At the core of her very being is her family, her boys. Anything she does is for the good of her family, and I don’t know what parent doesn’t understand ‘anything for her children’….I just don’t understand who wouldn’t understand that or identify with it.”  USA Today

Culture and Society

Feminist Sarah Jessica Parker Doesn’t Quite Understand Feminism
By Kimberley A. Johnson
Sarah Jessica Parker is on the cover the September issue of Marie Claire magazine and, when asked about feminism, the Sex and the City star gave a contradictory answer saying, “I am not a feminist. I don’t think I qualify. I believe in women and I believe in equality, but I think there is so much that needs to be done that I don’t even want to separate it anymore. I’m so tired of separation. I just want people to be treated equally.” According to Gloria Steinem, a prominent leader in the feminist movement, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”  The Huffington Post


Sorry, Ms. Jackson: You’re Underrated. ‘Control’ at 30
By Wesley Morris
The standard for planet-stopping artistic statements in pop music is now so high that you need a pilot’s license to compete with the Beyoncés, Kanyes and Kendricks of the world. But when Janet Jackson craved ascent, she didn’t go to flight school. She went to Flyte Tyme. That was the Minneapolis production company Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis operated and where the three came up with “Control,” Ms. Jackson’s third record and the first of their subtly strange, sonically complex thematic carnivals. The album turned 30 in February, peaked in popularity right about this time that year (hitting No. 1 in July) and still sounds today as much like 1986 as it does 2056. Some producers make hooks. These three made wedgies.  New York Times


Hormone therapy for prostate cancer may pose a risk for black men
By Lateshia Beachum
Black men treated with hormone therapy for prostate cancer may have a higher risk of death than white men undergoing the same therapy, according to a new study. But the deaths aren’t actually caused by prostate cancer. Androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, is a hormone treatment that shrinks prostate tumors. Researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that black men undergoing the therapy had a 77 percent higher risk of death than non-black men. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital looked through medical records of about 1,500 men from the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer who were treated with ADT. About 7 percent were black.  Washington Post

MLB Sports

Alex Rodriguez to retire, play final major league game on Friday
By Mark Townsend, Big League Stew
The end is near for Alex Rodriguez, even if he’s not ready to completely walk away from baseball. In aSunday morning press conference at Yankee Stadium, A-Rod and the Yankees jointly announced he will play one final game for New York on Friday, at home, against the Tampa Bay Rays. Following the game, Rodriguez will officially be released and will then immediately transition into a new role with the team as a special instructor and advisor. The news comes just days after Rodriguez stated that he’d be “at peace” if the Yankees decided to release him during the season.  Yahoo! News


Michael Jordan gives $5 million to African American museum
By Peggy McGlone
Basketball icon Michael Jordan has donated $5 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, museum officials announcedMonday. The gift, the largest from a sports figure to the 19th Smithsonian museum, pushes private donations to the museum to $278 million. Including federal aid, the museum, which President Obama will open Sept. 24, has raised more than $548 million. The Chicago Bulls star also gave a jersey that he wore during the 1996 NBA Finals to the museum’s permanent collection.  Washington Post

Summer Olympics

Michael Phelps Powers U.S. to Victory in 4×100 Relay, Winning a 19th Gold
By Victor Mather, Karen Crouse and Doug Mills
Michael Phelps won his 19th Olympic gold medal as the United States won the 4×100 relay at the Olympics on Sunday. The Americans’ traditional rival in the event, France, was second, and Australia third. The gold was Phelps’s 23rd medal: 19 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes. The final time was 3:09.92. Phelps, who wasn’t added to the relay team until race day, swam the second leg for the Americans, taking over from Caeleb Dressel in second place behind France and swimming into the lead.   New York Times

Television Movies

Fox’s ‘Pitch’ breaks glass ceiling with first female MLB player
By Bill Keveney, USA Today
Kylie Bunbury plays Ginny Baker, the first woman to play Major League Baseball, in Fox’s ‘Pitch.’ (Photo: Warwick Saint, Fox) Kylie Bunbury, known to TV fans from ABC Family’s Twisted, had to call on more than acting skills to take on the role of Pitch’s Ginny Baker, the first female Major League Baseball player. She had to work on her throwing mechanics to play the fictional San Diego Padres pitcher in the Fox fall drama. Bunbury, whose father and brother both have pro soccer experience, has played basketball and soccer and run track, but baseball was new to her.   USA Today


Viola Davis Shares Story Of Her Birth On A Former Slave Plantation
By Zeba Blay
Viola Davis is considered by many to be one of the best actresses of her generation. With her onscreen roles in “Doubt” and “The Help” plus her hit TV show “How to Get Away With Murder,” she’s also one of the most successful. But Davis comes from humble beginnings, as she recently recalled in an interview with People magazine. According the actress, she spent part of her childhood living on her grandmother’s farm, a former plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina ― totally unaware of its dark past.   The Huffington Post


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