Sunday, December 27, 2015

Donald Trump's Historical Cuomo Dynaty-NY Democratic Party Connection Revisited--Part 2

The son of 20th-century millionaire real estate dealmaker Fred Trump [II]--celebrity real estate dealmaker and billionaire Donald Trump--wants to be nominated by the Republican Party National Convention to be the Republican Party candidate for U.S. president in the November 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Yet, ironically, members of the Trump family were apparently business associates, campaign contributors/fund-raisers, or political allies of current Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo's father, former Democratic New York Governor Mario Cuomo, historically. And the Trump family's private real estate dealmaking firm apparently profited, historically from Fred Trump [II] and Donald Trump's 20th-century connection to the Cuomo Dynasty and New York State's Democratic Party. As the 1992 book by former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, Trump: The Deals and The Downfall revealed:

"The retention of the Falcone [law] firm was hardly Trump's only Cuomo move. In November 1985, Donald [Trump] hired Albany Lobbyist and former [NY State] transportation commissioner Bill Hennessy, who'd just resigned as chairman of the [New York] state Democratic Party...When Cuomo's [NY State] Thruway Authority chairman resigned in 1987, the governor appointed Hennessy immediately and permitted him to remain a 90 percent partner in his lobbying firm, which continued to lobby state agencies...On a $2,000-a-month retainer, plus a $500 per diem rate, the Hennessy firm's main job for Trump was to lobby some of the very transportation officials he [Hennessy] had appointed...

"As potent as the Falcone and Hennessy combination was, Donald [Trump] did not stop there. In the spring of 1986, Trump hired UDC [Urban Development Corporation]'s in-house counsel, Susan Heilbron...The two first discussed the job while they sat together in December 1985 during...talks. Well known at the top levels of the Cuomo administration, Heilbron helped engineer the selection of her best friend as [UDC Director] Tese's new counsel, Joanne Gentile...

"Trump also tried, over a period of 6 months in 1986 and 1987, to lure Sandy Frucher into his lair. Frucher, one of the governor's half-dozen top advisers, eventually declined, after countless courting sessions.

"On Falcone's recommendation, Sive Paget & Riesel, the...environmental law firm Trump retained..., hired Richard Gordon, the executive director of the Friends of Mario Cuomo. Gordon, who had worked with the Cuomos since the 1982 campaign, remained director of the campaign committee, even though his law firm had a multiplicity of matters before state agencies.

"Trump's most unusual reach, however, was for a very special driver and bodyguard, Joe Anastasi...Anastasi had been Mario Cuomo's personal bodyguard for years, starting when [Mario] Cuomo was lieutenant governor, and had accompanied him throughout the 1982 [NY] gubernatorial campaign, starting most mornings in [Mario] Cuomo's kitchen in Queens...After [Mario] Cuomo became governor, Anastasi was on his security detail in New York City...

"In 1986, Anastasi began accompanying Trump on various trips around the country...Lucille Falcone hosted the annual Cuomo fund-raiser at the Sheraton. Trump bought the most expensive ringside table...Trump was Cuomo's biggest 1989 corporate giver, donating $25,000.

"A few nights after the fund-raiser, Donald [Trump] went to a second, private Cuomo affair--Andrew Cuomo's birthday party at a midtown pub. The party was cohosted by one of Andrew [Cuomo]'s closest friends, Dan Klores, the...aid to public relations czar Howard Rubenstein, who had handled the Trump account for years...Donald [Trump]...spoke to...Andrew [Cuomo] for a half hour. Andrew [Cuomo] would later claim that it was the first time he'd ever met Trump...It was just one more rhetorical Cuomo ploy--hiding a compromising business arrangement behind the supposed detachment of personal distance...

"Over the years, Donald [Trump] had devised a strategy for every significant public official in his path: the seduction of the elusive [Mario] Cuomo had simply been the most manipulative and extended..."

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Donald Trump's Historical Cuomo Dynasty-NY Democratic Party Connection Revisited--Part 1

The son of 20th-century millionaire real estate dealmaker Fred Trump [II]--celebrity real estate dealmaker and billionaire Donald Trump--wants to be nominated by the Republican Party National Convention to be the Republican Party candidate for U.S. president in the November 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Yet, ironically, members of the Trump family were apparently business associates, campaign contributors/fund-raisers, or political allies of current Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo's father, former Democratic New York Governor Mario Cuomo, historically. And the Trump family's private real estate dealmaking firm apparently profited, historically from Fred Trump [II] and Donald Trump's 20th-century connection to the Cuomo Dynasty and New York State's Democratic Party. As the 1992 book by former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, Trump: The Deals and The Downfall revealed:

"...Donald [Trump]'s penetration of the Cuomo inner circle was a textbook case in seduction, and his compromising relationship with the administration would last...Trump knew he had a bit of history going for him. In 1958, Mario Cuomo had joined his first law firm--Brooklyn's Corner, Weisbrod, Froeb and Charles. Senior partner Richard Charles, who became [Mario] Cuomo's mentor at the small firm, had already been representing Fred Trump [II] for decades, and [Mario] Cuomo was assigned as a young associate...[Mario] Cuomo['s]...counsel as governor...remembers their travels out to Fred Trump's headquarters on Avenue Z for business lunches at which [Fred] Trump dished out the cheese sandwiches himself...

"When [Mario] Cuomo became [former Democratic New York Governor Hugh] Carey's running mate in 1978 and was elected lieutenant governor [of New York], [Donald] Trump contributed $4,000 to his...campaign committee...In the 1982 race [for New York governor[...he'd called [Mario] Cuomo's old friend and finance chairman, Bill Stern, on October 11, 1982, and made a $3,500 donation for the general election.

"...Several Trump business entities combined [on November 13, 1984]...to give the Friends of Mario Cuomo $15,000--making Trump one of the top donors at [Mario] Cuomo's annual fund-raiser. [Mario] Cuomo had personally approved Trump's invitation that August [in 1984] to serve on the campaign committee's board of advisers. The board was formed as `a permanent finance committee' of 30 to 50...individuals from every major region and industry in the state to raise a minimum of $30,000 each...Trump's role on the advisory board meant he was charged with raising at least as much as he directly donated...

"...In 1983...Lucille Falcone, a [then-] 33-year-old lawyer...was seen as merely an appendage of the governor's office...In 1983 ...news stories described her as the girlfriend of [Mario] Cuomo's 25-year-old son, [now current Democratic New York Governor] Andrew. She then scurried back to her law firm and took over the Friends committee. It was Falcone who recommended that Trump be named to the board of advisers in a letter to [Mario] Cuomo.

"Falcone was the only person to have worked at both of Mario Cuomo's law firms. She was a young associate at the Charles firm in Brooklyn, recruited from law school in 1976 by [Mario] Cuomo's close friend, Pete Dwyer, the treasurer of his [losing] 1977 mayoral campaign [for NYC mayor]. In early 1981, she was asked to join a new firm that had just been formed at [Mario] Cuomo's request by Jerry Weiss, who had been [Mario] Cuomo's special counsel as lieutenant governor...

"The small firm that the [then-] 38-year-old Weiss assembled was intimately connected with [Mario] Cuomo from the beginning--[then-] law student Andrew [Cuomo] worked summers there, the campaign finance committee met there, and the firm's biggest client became the campaign's most generous donor.


"Shortly after [Mario] Cuomo won his astonishing victory [in the 1982 gubernatorial election], the firm was recast with two new partners as Weiss, Blutrich, Falcone & Miller and began to prosper, quietly, though everyone of its partners was [then] only `30 something.' Andrew [Cuomo] joined the [Mario] Cuomo administration as...special assistant and soon became the second most powerful state official...He'd begun dating Falcone in 1982 and worked closely with her on the annual dinner dances in 1983 and 1984...Andrew [Cuomo] joined the {Weiss, Blutrich, Falcone & Miller law] firm in May of 1985...

"Shortly before [then-] 25-year-old Andrew [Cuomo] became the firm's youngest partner, [Donald] Trump quietly retained it...His relationship with the firm would last for almost 2 years, though it did not surface publicly until August of 1986. The legal work it did for [Donald] Trump remains unclear, apart from Andrew [Cuomo]'s concession that it represented [Donald] Trump in lease negotiations...When Trump's retention of the firm did hit the newspaper in 1986, Trump's response was: `They are now representing us in a very significant transaction.'

"Though Andrew [Cuomo] insisted in later interviews that the firm did not interact with [New York State] officials on behalf of clients, Falcone did just that for Trump. She arranged and attended a July 21, 1985 lunch at the World Trade Center with Trump and Sandy Frucher, the president of the state's Battery Park City Authority. During the lunch, Trump expressed an interest in being designated for a choice hotel site on the Battery Park site, just off Wall Street..."

(end of part 1)


Friday, December 18, 2015

MBTA Chief Administrator Shortsleeve's Historical Bain and Company-Uber Business Connection?


MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve has recently been proposing to apparently produce more passengers for the privately-owned, for-profit Uber cab/car corporation by: 1. eliminating late night T service for student passengers; 2. cutting The Ride para transit services for young and elderly people with disabilities; and 3. apparently providing MBTA-subsidized taxi cab payment vouchers to utilize on Uber cab/cars (driven by non-unionized drivers) for use by people with disabilities living in "premium" areas whose access to The Ride vans will be eliminated.

One reason Chief Administrator Shortsleeve of the "non-profit" MBTA might be proposing these T service cuts and changes in MBTA para transit policies is because of his historic business association, as a management consultant, with the same "for-profit" Bain and Company firm that Uber's East Coast manager Meghan Joyce apparently worked for historically. As the PE Hub Network website noted in  a September 16, 2008 article::

"Brian Shortsleeve has left H.I.G. Capital to become a principal with General Catalyst Partners...In an email to friends and colleagues, Shortsleeve wrote that he will concentrate on `leading recapitalizations, buyouts and growth equity investments in lower middle-market growth companies.'...Shortsleeve spent the past four years as a principal with H.I.G. Capital, before which he spent three years as a management consultant with Bain & Company."

And as the Boston Globe observed in its September 14, 2015 issue:

"...Since becoming one of the company's two East Coast general managers in May, she oversees Uber in the Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Nashville and Atlanta markets.

"Over the last couple of years, as ride-hailing services like Uber...have faced regulatory scrutiny in the Boston area, [Meghan] Joyce has become a familiar face to those who follow the issue. She's spoken on behalf of the company in front of the Boston City Council, Cambridge's licensing commission, and others...

"After college, Joyce...worked as a business consultant for Bain & Company...Later, she moved into private equity, joining Bain Capital..."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

MBTA's $100,000-Plus Managers Propose T Fare Hike and T Service Cuts In 2016


In recent weeks, administrators of Greater Boston's historically mismanaged, debt-ridden "non-profit" Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority [MBTA]'s transit system have proposed: 1. yet another fare hike for T riders in July 2016; 2. elimination of late night T service (apparently to encourage more late night student T riders to utilize the for-profit, Uber private company's non-unionized car drivers); and 3. cuts in The Ride para transit services for both young and elderly people with disabilities--in order to "reduce the annual operating costs" of running the MBTA's mass transit system.

But one reason the MBTA management's "annual operating costs" have increased in recent years (besides having a policy of apparently not demanding that a moratorium on MBTA debt service and interest payments to Wall Street big bank creditors, etc. be negotiated by the Governor of Massachusetts) is that many MBTA administrators, managers and police officers are still apparently being paid annual salaries that exceed $100,000 per year.

For example, according to public records, the projected 2015 annual salaries for the following former or current MBTA administrators, managers and police officers were as follows:

General Manager Beverly Scott $220,000;

Deputy General Manager Sean McCarthy $195,000

Deputy General Manager and Adm. Exec. CFO Jonathan Davis $195,000

Chief Technology Officer Gary Foster $158,000

Chief of Police Kenneth Green $152,000

General Counsel MBTA/DOT Paige Scott-Reed $150,000

AGM Design & Construction Edmond Hunter $145,000

Chief Strategic Business Initiative Theodore Backa $140,000

Chief Safety Office Ronald Nickle $133,000

Chief Mechanical Officer Jeffrey Gonneville $132,000

Chief Engineering and Construction Erik Stoothoff $131,000

Deputy Chief of Police James Witzgall $132,000

AGM Operations Strategy & Signals Charles Planck $131,000

Chief Transportation Officer Todd Johnson $127,000

Chief Administration Officer Tina Beasley $127,000

Director Budget Mary Runkel $126,000

AGM Customer Service and Billing Roseanne Yates $126,000

AGM Systemwide Accountability Laura Brelsford $125,000

Deputy General Counsel Lurleen Gannon $125,000

Chief Railroad Officer Bradley Kesler $125,000

Deputy Chief of Police Kenneth Sprague $124,000

Deputy General Counsel Robert Ferguson $125,000

AGM Surface Operations Service Planning David Carney $123,000

Director Service Vehicle Maintenance Joseph Keefe $122,000

Director Technology Infrastructure Operations John Groff $122,000

Director Special Security/Emergency Management Randy Clarke $122,000

Director Sr. Design & Construction Greenline Mary Ainsley $120,000

Director Sr. Design & Construction James Jackson $120,000

Director Sr. Contract Administration Margaret HInkle $120,000

Director Applications Development Kanagalingan Goursalen $118,000

Director Occupational Health Services Kathy Legon $118,000

Director Signals & Communications Joseph McNall $117,000

AGM Real Estate and Asset Services Mark Boyle $116,000

Specialist OCC Software Frank Feltes $116,000

Deputy Administration Transit Michael Lambert $115,000

Chief of Staff of General Manager Tamara Powell $115,000
Deputy Administration Commuter Rail Catherine Lynds $115,000

Director Maintenance Railroad Operations Steven Adkieas $114,000

Deputy Administrator Rail John Ray $114,000

Director Administration Florence Hall $114,000

Director Compliance and Reporting Laura Guadagno $114,000

Director finance and Administrative Operations Thomas Johnson $113,000

Lt. Police William Fleming $113,000

Lt. Police Robert Lenehan $113,000

Deputy, Chief Information Security Officer Martin Pina $113,000

Chief of Staff Operations Walter Reed $111,000

Director Capital Accounting Edward Murray $110,000

Director finance Policy and analyses Janice Ramsey $110,000

Director Labor Relations Kimberly Poirier $110,000

Director Research and Analysis Laurel Paget-Seekias $110,000

Director Accounting Joseph Connolly $110,000

Director Bus Maintenance Troy Ellerbee $110,000

Director Administration and Finance John Thornton $110,000

Lt. Police Steven Douglas $107,000

Deputy Dir. Signal & Communications Brian Caniff $108,000

Lt. Police Christopher Maynard $109,000

Director Asset Management Safyea Patel $107,000

Lt. Police Donald O'Connor $107,000

Deputy Chief Police Gloria Andrews-Ward $107,000

Lt. Police Kenneth Berg $107,000

Director Right-of-Way Maintenance William Lally $110,000

Director Design Margaret Lackner $103,000

Director Transportation and Customer Service R.R. Stephen Jones $108,000

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Donald Trump's Historical Exploitation of Polish Immigrant Workers Revisited

In recent months, billionaire television celebrity and real estate dealmaker, plutocrat and 2016 Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump has been scapegoating immigrants and claiming that immigrants are somehow responsible for the loss of union wage jobs for U.S.-born citizen workers during the last 40 years.

Yet, when Donald Trump built his Trump Tower in Manhattan in the late 20th-century, much of the construction and demolition-related work was apparently done by exploited, undocumented, low-wage immigrant workers from Poland. As the 1992 book by former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, Trump: The Deals and The Downfall, recalled:

"...Though Trump Tower was to be Donald [Trump]'s most lavish project, he decided at the very outset to try to cut costs in clearing the site, selecting a demolition contractor with no heavy demolition experience simply because it had agreed to do the job at Trump's suggested $775,000 price.

"The contractor, William Kaszycki, was able to submit so low a bid because most of his workers were illegal Polish aliens working at rates one-half to one-third those of union scale. Kaszycki's wife recruited the workers in Poland...On Trump's job 200 of them worked 12 to 18-hour shifts with no days off or overtime and slept in groups of eight in a slum apartment or motel room...

"...Kaszycki and Trump were jointly sued...by labor lawyers seeking the welfare fund payments for the Polish workers that were never paid...U.S. District Court Judge Charles Stewart finally found that the Trump Organization and the president of the union...had `a tacit agreement to employ the Polish workers and deprive them' of union benefits, concluding that `the Trump defendants knowingly participated in the fiduciary breach.' Stewart determined that $325,000 in welfare payments had been improperly withheld--and fined the Trump Tower corporate entity over a million dollars...'

Friday, December 11, 2015

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's November 28, 2015 Letter

(The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge—who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group’s newsletter)

“November 28, 2015

“Dear Comrades,

“Hello everyone. Christmas is coming at us from all directions, with the commercials ramping up their hard sell campaign earlier than usual persuading mug shoppers to spend more than they can afford for ‘things’ they don’t need, who are then faced with a credit card debt long after their christmas trees have been dumped in the rubbish bin. Normal for this time of the year, except these aren’t normal times.

“Peace on earth and goodwill to all men has always sounded sexist and phoney, but today the slogan has never felt more inappropriate. I’m thinking of the desperate people trying to survive in Beirut, Baghdad, Palestine, Damascus and all the other places caught up in terror. And the cold-blooded butchery in Paris that shocked, horrified and outraged us at the waste of young lives. ISIS, ISIL, Daesh - whatever their name - have no heart or head, just tentacles that act in fury and barbarity. A time of killing in hotels, cafes, concert halls, on aeroplanes, anywhere and everywhere.

“Terrorism terrifies and people are terrified, knowing that more violence is on the way. But this current form of terrorism didn’t come out of the blue. It’s roots go back a long way, centuries ago, to waves of western imperialism. It’s called Blowback.

“Where did these ISIS attackers come from? There’s a temptation to blame religion or race to avoid more solid areas of investigation.

“ In the 1960s and 70s we had the US/Saudi backed World Muslim League whose job was to wipe out secular nationalism and communism in the Arab world in order to protect corrupt Gulf Arab emirates and the Saudi kingdom and the west’s interests in oil and power. The League’s assault on Afghanistan destroyed its communist republic long before Soviet intervention, and paved the way for the creation of the ‘mujahideen’ whose core contained a violent element that became al-Qaeda.

“ Crucially, the US-run wars in Iraq and Libya and Syria turned them into playgrounds for the ‘jihardis’, a scheme spelled out in a 1997 document called the Project for the New American Century, dreamed up by the repugnant team of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle to establish a US empire to rule the world. September 11, 2001 gave them the green light.

“ Iraq was their jumping-off point to destroy the Middle East. All of it bankrolled by the World Trade Organisation and the IMF.

“So it’s hard to feel Christmassy when I think of my friends in Iraq and Libya, both of which I visited in happier times. It makes my blood boil when I hear Libya described as a Gaddafi-run military dictatorship when it used to be one of the world’s most democratic states.

“Four years have gone by since Gaddafi was butchered, heralding the beginning of Libya’s decline into chaos.

“ In 1967, Gaddafi took over one of the poorest nations in Africa but by the time he was killed he had transformed Libya into Africa’s richest with the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality rate and the highest life expectancy. Under Gaddafi, Islamic terrorism was non-existent.

“ In 2009, the US State Department called Libya ‘an important ally in the war on terrorism’. Bloody hypocrites.

“Today Libya is a failed state, with the South a haven for ISIS and the North for migrant trafficking, all of it happening amidst a backdrop of widespread rape, assassinations and torture.

“ Iraq’s collapse began in 1990-91 with Gulf War 1 and has continued unabated, with 4 million Iraqis displaced and half-a-million registered as refugees.

“ Syria’s crisis is also gargantuan with half the population displaced and refugees numbering at least five million, Its finances in tatters.

“Rich powers turn up with smug faces and pledge a lot of money to UN agencies but when it comes to fulfilling these pledges their ink runs dry. But not when it comes to arms sales. Despite the complex array of conflicts in the region, Obama has agreed to an unprecedented splurge in US armaments, with Saudi Arabia getting the lion’s share of $49 billion and $800 million ‘aid’ fort ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria and Kiev, while millions of children go hungry.

“ ‘We live in pitiless times’, said Vijay Prashad, who suggests we should read Leila Sebbar’s La Seine Etait Rouge, a searing novel about the French government’s murder of hundreds of pro-Algerian protesters in Paris in October 1961. One more history buried under a mountain of cliches and lies, and forgotten.

“ Out of the blue, a blast from the past. A recent news item appeared in a weekday edition of The Australian about the reappearance of Michael Hand in the US State of Idaho. Hand had been a partner with Frank Nugan in the notorious Sydney-based Nugan Hand Bank, an ‘unbank’ that never did any banking nor hired any bankers. In 1980, a rifle blast blew off the head of what was purported to be that of Frank Nugan - although the NSW Attorney-General’s Department believed it was the body of a missing Italian drug dealer - and exposed the massive fraud at the heart of his empire. At the same time, Michael Hand took off like a rocket from his Sydney hideout, leaving behind his clothes, passport, wallet and credit cards and vanished into thin air - until now.

“Getting out before details emerged that Nugan Hand was a CIA centre for a huge clandestine network involving US Generals, admirals, and CIA men, including former CIA chief William Colby, who were involved in drug-running, tax evasion, money-laundering, gun-running and secret arms deals. It had the explicit and implied authority at the highest levels and in intelligence jargon was a ‘conduit’ to buy off Australian politicians, trade union officials and journalists, some of whom were probably unaware of the source of favours and disinformation.

“At the time I was puzzled that the CIA with its vast resources used the same handful of people over and over again. The answer was detailed in a civil court action in Florida by two American journalists injured in a bombing in Nicaragua. The 300-page indictment showed that Nugan Hand’s crimes were only a small part of a long trail of international racketeering, assassinations, torture and even wars carried out by a team that was formally assembled by Vice-President Richard Nixon in 1959 after the fall of Cuban dictator Batista.

“The anti-Castro terrorist group was supplemented by an assassination unit as part of a broader scheme to bump off foreign leaders, the same team being controlled by Theodore Shackley. In 1972, Shackley became the CIA’s head of Western Hemisphere Activities and was part of the criminal conspiracy that orchestrated the violent coup against Allende in Chile and installation of General Pinochet (Australian ASIS personnel took part) and two years later was up to his neck in the demise of the Whitlam Government.“And so the tangled web goes on and on.

“This is just a taste of their crimes. But Cuba survived.

 Viva!
“Joan Coxsedge, “

Thursday, December 10, 2015

`Ballad To Claudia Jones'--(lyrics by Label Nibur)




Label Nibur lyrics:

There's a woman who walks this mighty land
With aa queenly grace goes she
In her struggles she never stands alone
For look at her company.

Harriet Tubman is at her side
"Good cheer, Claudia," cries she
"The slavers also wanted my head
But our brave people still fought free."

John Brown is with her wherever she goes
And his voice rings clear as a bell
"I died to uphold the spirit of equality
Defend it till the freezing of Hell."

And the martyred Nat Turner is here with her too
Staunch Nat with never a doubt
"I staggered the slavers of my day, Daughter,
Defeat yours and knock them out."

And giant and tall against the wall,
Denmark Vessey speaks out his mind
"I defeated the cruel masters of my day, Daughter,
Finish off their modern kind."

Fred Douglass and Garrison are here with her too,
And the people of every land
Stand shoulder to shoulder with Claudia Jones
She speaks...and they understand.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Black Male Worker `Seasonally Adjusted' Unemployment Rate Increases To 9.9 Percent In November 2015

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Black male workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 9.2 to 9.9 percent between October and November 2015; while the number of unemployed Black male workers over 20-years-of-age increased by 59,000 (from 806,000 to 865,000) during the same period, according to the “seasonally adjusted” Bureau of Labor Statistics data. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” number of Black male workers over 20 years-of-age who still had jobs decreased by 84,000 (from 7,965,000 to 7,881,000) between October and November 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” number of Black male workers over 20 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 26,000 (from 8,772,000 to 8,746,000) during the same period.

Between October and November 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all Black workers in the United States (youth, male and female) increased from 9.2 to 9.4 percent; while the total “seasonally adjusted” number of all jobless Black workers increased by 39,000 (from 1,787,000 to 1,826,000) during the same period. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Black youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age was still 23.7 percent in November 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Black female workers over 20 years-of-age was still 8 percent during that same month.

Between October and November 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 6.4 to 6.7 percent; while the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all Latino workers (youth, male and female) in the United States increased from 6.3 to 6.4 percent during the same period. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age increased by 44,000 (from 682,000 to 726,000) between October and November 2015; while the total number of all unemployed Latino workers in the United States increased by 20,000 (from 1,660,000 to 1,680,000) during the same period..

The “seasonally adjusted” number of Latino male workers over 20 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 89,000 (from 14,460,000 to 14,371,000) between October and November 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latino male workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 5.1 to 5.4 percent during the same period. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Latino male workers over 20 years-of-age increased  by 38,000 (from 733,000 to 771,000) between October and November 2015; while the number of Latino male workers over 20 years-of-age who still had jobs decreased by 128,000 (from 13,727,000 to 13,599,000) during the same period. And the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latino youth between 16 and 19 years-of-age was still 16.7 percent in November 2015.

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age was still 13.5 percent in November 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all youths (Black, Latino, white and Asian-American) between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States was still 15.7 percent during that same month. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” number of youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 15,000 (from 5,587,000 to 5,572,000) between October and November 2015.

The “seasonally adjusted” number of  unemployed Asian-American workers in the United States increased by 37,000 (from 316,000 to 335,000) between October and November 2015; while the unemployment rate for Asian-American workers increased from 3.5 to 3.9 percent during the same period, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data.

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for white female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States increased from 3.9 to 4 percent between October and November 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4 percent in November 2015. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all white workers (youth, male and female) was still 4.3 percent in November 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed white female workers over 20 years-of-age increased by 30,000 (from 2,143,000 to 2,173,000) between October and November 2015. And the number of white male workers over 20 years-of-age in the U.S labor force decreased by 112,000 (from 64,579,000 to 64,457,000) during the same period, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data.

In November 2015, the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all female workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States was still 4.9 percent;; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all female workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 4.5 to 4.6 percent between October and November 2015. In addition, the total number of unemployed female workers over 20 years-of-age increased by 49,000 (from 3,211,000 to 3,260,000) during the same period, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data.

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all male workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States increased from 5.1 to 5.2 percent between October and November 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4.7 percent in November 2015. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” number of all unemployed male workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States increased by 41,000 (from 4,282,000 to 4,323,000) between October and November 2015; while the number of male workers over 20 years-of-age who still had jobs decreased by 89,000 (from 76,852,000 to 76,763,000) during the same period.

Between October and November 2015, the total number of officially unemployed workers in the United States increased by 29,00 (from 7,908,000 to 7,937,000), according to the “seasonally adjusted” data; and the “seasonally adjusted”” unemployment rate for all U.S. workers (male, female and youth) was still 5 percent in November 2015.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December 4, 2015 press release:

“….The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent was unchanged at 5.0 percent…Mining and information lost jobs…The number of unemployed persons at 7.9 million, was essentially unchanged…

“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.1 million in November and has shown little movement since June. In November, these individuals accounted for 25.7 percent of the unemployed...

"The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 319,000 to 6.1 million in November...These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job...

“In November, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force…These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey...


“Among the marginally attached, there were 594,000 discouraged workers in November, little changed from a year earlier….Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them….

“Employment in mining continued to decline in November (-11,000), with losses concentrated in support activities for mining (-7,000). Since a recent peak in December 2014, employment in mining has declined by 123,000.

“Information lost 12,000 jobs over the month. Within the industry, employment in motion pictures and sound recording decreased by 13,000 in November...

"Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government changed little over the month...

"In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, at $21.19, changed little..."

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Donald Trump's Late 1970's Hotel Commodore Tax Break and Democratic Party Connections Revisited


2016 Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump, ironically, was apparently aligned politically with Brooklyn's Democratic Party machine organization during the same period when he was given a big tax break for his Hotel Commodore real estate project by New York City's local government; which was then managed by local Democratic Party politicians on behalf of special real estate interests (like the Trump family firm) and special corporate and Wall Street interests. As the 1992 book by former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, Trump: The Deals and The Downfall, observed:

"With Stanley Steingut as [NY State] assembly speaker and [Abraham] Beame as [NYC] mayor, the ancient and insular wing of the Brooklyn [Democratic] party long identified with the Trump family was now the most powerful Democratic faction in state and city politics...

"On May 20, 1976, the [New York City] board [of estimate], which met in the upper floor of {new York's] City Hall, unanimously passed the [Hotel] Commodore deal...The private parties hadn't put a dime on the table, while the public sector had delivered a gigantic and exclusive tax break...Trump had been handpicked by bureaucrats and politicians to become the solitary recipient of an unprecedented give away, stretched so far into the future that it was statistically likely to outlive even its [then-] 30-year-old beneficiary...No other Manhattan hotel would ever receive so selective and grand a subsidy...

"...Without the guarantee Fred [Trump II] wound up giving his son, Donald [Trump] would have had no Commodore mortgage...Fred [Trump II] was his silent partner in the Commodore project...

"Donald [Trump]...went from paying $42,386 in taxes in 1977 to paying none in 1978 and 1979. He escaped tax liability in 1979 on at least $3.4 million in earnings with a carefully structured package of real estate losses and interest payments..." 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's November 3, 2015 Letter


(The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge—who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group’s newsletter)


“November 3, 2015

“Dear Comrades,

“I hope your horse came home. One two-legged creature I hope doesn't is Abbott, yapping away on the other side of the world while his mortal enemy Malcolm smooches voters with populist policies. But both hate unions and support `free trade' and share a love affair with nuclear, including storing nuclear waste, when no country anywhere has been able to safely and permanently dispose of such nuclear excreta. It's an industry that's rotten to the core and threatens our health and our very survival.

“Nuclear is not the answer to climate change. Why choose a dirty, corrupt, unsustainable non-solution when we have sunshine and wind in abundance that should be developed and harnessed to provide our energy needs?

“It also shows the moral bankruptcy of our ‘leaders’ that having turned Australia into a quarry, they now tell us our future lies in filling up the holes with other people's lethal rubbish for later generations to manage.

“Fukushima. It’s against international law to dump radioactivity into the sea, but Fukushima's highly radioactive water has been flowing out of the complex into the Pacific Ocean for four years straight and no one knows how to stop it.

“Homo sapiens is out of control, shrinking the space for every other form of life. Constant growth means more people buying more things that can only be achieved through the increased exploitation of the planet's natural resources, a system that is destroying Mother Earth and all the things we love: the mountains, the trees, the animals, the flowers and the diversity of people. Between 30 and 50 percent of all known species are expected to be extinct by 2050 if current trends continue. People power needed, not apathy, which we have in abundance, like rampant corruption.

“ Just one country has a genuinely sustainable economy. Cuba. Cuba has met the basic needs--food, housing, health and education--for all its citizens in an ecologically sustainable manner and has revitalized community-based economic development through a combination of worker owned co-ops, small private enterprises and star-owned businesses.

“While most Cubans do not have the materialistic lifestyle of people in wealthy nations, they are also immune to the extreme poverty, misery and death that plague the capitalist model. And at the latest UN vote, only two supported the US blockade of Cuba, the US and Israel, with no fence-sitters. Trust the US of A to treat Cuba with respect? Not bloody likely.

“News flash in and flash out of our consciousness catering to our diminishing attention-span thanks to the proliferation of electronic devics frying our brains, especially young brains. Already fading from view, the merciless attack on the Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital at Kunduz in the early hours of October 3 by a US gunship armed to the teeth with the most up-to-date weaponry, killing more than 22 people--some burned to death in their beds while conscious--injuring dozens more and with an unknown number of patients and staff still missing.

“ US military authorities were given precise GPS coordinates only four days before the attack and as shells rained down MSF staff frantically called US officials in Kabul and Washington. `Collateral damage' and a`mistake' said the Pentagon blaming the Afghan government. A `bombing gone wrong' said America's corporate media, desperately trying to bury the issue.

“People on the ground knew better. That the US military has been targeting hospitals and ambulances
deliberately for decades and painting a red cross on the roof of a hospital is an invitation to be bombed. Hideous enough to attack a hospital but to attack it with weapons designed to slaughter as many people as possible is almost beyond comprehension.

“If a medical facility protected under international humanitarian law run by a charity that won the Nobel Peace prize can be destroyed, then no one is safe. Obama knows this is a war crime which might explain why he has refused MSF's demand for an independent investigation into the atrocity.

“Tony Blair is an unprincipled, lying yob and a leaked memo proves it. He gave George Bush an unqualified pledge to sign up to the Iraq War a year before the invasion when he was telling British voters `we're not proposing military action.' He also agreed to convince a skeptical public that Saddam had `Weapons of Mass Destruction.,' when there were none, acting as a frontman for Washington before any decision by the House of Commons or the British Cabinet.

“A war that has spread and spread and keeps spreading…all the way to Syria, but a conflict engineered far away directly aimed at Iran and beyond. Moscow knows that the collapse of Syria as a functioning nation-state will lead to a chain reaction that will affect countries along Russia's borders and then everything within them.

“ Now we hear that the US has sent a ‘small number’ of Special Operations Forces into Syria, a `shift' not a `change'. And an A321 Russian airliner has crashed 22 minutes after taking off from Sharm El Sheikh after splitting in two and killing all 224 on board. Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Many questions remain.

“Globalization of trade and central banking has propelled private corporations to positions of power and control never before seen in human history. The financial center of global capitalism is so highly concentrated that less than a few thousand people dominate and control $100 trillion of wealth, less than 0.0001 percent. They are the transnational capitalist class (TCC), the capitalist elite of the world who dominate nation-states through international `trade' agreements and transnational state organizations such as the World Bank, the IMF and the Bank for International Settlements. Hundreds of private military contractors now play a vital role in TCC security in the evolving 21st century's nightmarish world.

“ The 99 percent of us without wealth and private police forces face a looming threat of overt
repression and complete loss of human rights and legal protections. This is a fight for our survival. Unless we collectively challenge the Empire, we face a future evolving into a new dark age of neo-feudal totalitarianism unlike anything we have ever seen. So fight we must, joining millions of others around the world.


“Joan Coxsedge”

Monday, November 9, 2015

Donald Trump Company's Racially Discriminatory Rental Policy Revisited

During the 1970's a major racial discrimination suit was brought by the U.S. Justice Department against the family business, coincidentally, of 2016 Republican party presidential candidate Donald Trump and his father--because it apparently refused to rent apartments to African-American tenant applicants in some of the housing developments it owned and managed. As the 1992 book by former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, Trump: The Deals and The Downfall, noted:

"...The Justice Department...brought a major racial discrimination suit against the [Trump] company, contending that the Trumps had systematically refused to rent to Blacks. Four superintendents or rental agents working for [Donald and Fred] Trump confirmed to federal authorities that applications for apartments were coded by race. Doormen were told to discourage applications from Blacks by telling them that there were no vacancies or by jacking up the rent...One staffer said that his instructions came straight from Fred [Trump II] and the company went so far as to try to figure out how `to decrease the number of Black tenants' already in one development `by encouraging them to locate housing elsewhere.'

"The government was willing...to sign a consent decree with the Trumps, compelling them to take certain affirmative steps to integrate their estimated 14,000 unites in the New York area, but Donald [Trump] and [Roy] Cohn agreed that they'd much rather fight...

"The litigation dragged on for a year and a half...Finally, Donald [Trump] signed the consent decree. The government called the decree--which required advertisements in minority papers, minority employment promotions, and a preferential vacancy listing with the Urban League--`one of the most far reaching ever negotiated.'...

"...Four years later, in the summer of 1978, the Justice Department found the Trumps in contempt of the decree and called them back into court...It all remained irrelevant to Donald [Trump]. The bottom line was that two government discrimination lawsuits had had no effect on the company's ability to make development deals, usually with the government's help..." 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Donald Trump's Roy Cohn-McCarthyism Historical Connection Revisited

During the 1970's, 2016 Republican party presidential candidate Donald Trump, coincidentally, apparently retained the former right-wing chief counsel to U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy and McCarthy's U.S. Senate investigative committee that violated the civil liberties of many U.S. citizens during the 1950's McCarthy Era, Roy Cohn, to be his lawyer. And, coincidentally, Donald Trump's lawyer during the 1970's, Roy Cohn, was also apparently an adviser, historically, to both former Democratic New York City Comptroller and former Democratic New York City Mayor Abe Beame and former Brooklyn Democratic Party Boss and machine-politician Meade Esposito. As the 1992 book by former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, Trump: The Deals and The Downfall, recalled:

"...In Manhattan, he [Donald Trump]...met the man who, after Fred [Trump II], would become the most important influence on his early career, Roy Cohn. Infamous for his 1950's role as chief counsel to Senator Joe McCarthy,...Cohn was by the early seventies a walking advertisement for every form of graft, the best-known fixer in New York...

"The son of a Bronx judge, Cohn was reared in the clubhouse culture of the city, attending dinner parties as a teenager with Carmine DeSapio, Ed Flynn, and the other Democratic bosses who ruled New York. He had also met Abe Beame in his father's house, and over the years became an adviser to both Beame and new Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Meade Esposito...

"In the spring of 1974, soon after [former Democratic NYC Mayor] Beame's inaugural, both Cohn and the Trumps had tables at the Brooklyn Democratic Party's annual dinner at the Waldorf--a ballroom filled with a dozen indicted, soon-to-be-indicted, or convicted public and party officials...

"It was only a few months after Beame won the mayoral runoff that Donald [Trump] first retained Cohn...

"...Roy Cohn...became Donald [Trump]'s mentor, his constant adviser on every significant aspect of his business and personal life...Many of those with public and private power who met young Donald [Trump]...were introduced to him by Cohn...Cohn...literally adopted Donald [Trump]. He began to see Trump as potentially his most successful protege' and instrument...Cohn would ultimately be disbarred for stealing from other clients..."

Friday, November 6, 2015

Black Worker `Seasonally Adjusted' Unemployment Rate Still 9.2 Percent In October 2015

In October 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all Black workers in the United States (youth, male and female) was still 9.2 percent; while the jobless rate for Black male workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 8.9 to 9.2 percent between September and October 2015, according to the “seasonally adjusted” Bureau of Labor Statistics data. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Black youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age was still 25.6 percent in October 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Black female workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 8 to 8.1 percent between September and October 2015.

The official “seasonally adjusted” number of Black youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 44,000 (from 715,000 to 671,000) between September and October 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Black female workers over 20 years-of-age increased by 21,000 (from 788,000 to 809,000) during the same period. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Black male workers over 20 years-of-age increased by 30,000 (from 776,000 to 806,000) between September and October 2015..

Between September and October 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 6.3 to 6.4 percent; while the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all Latino workers (youth, male and female) in the United States was still 6.3 percent in October 2015. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age increased by15,000 (from 667,000 to 682,000) between September and October 2015.

The “seasonally adjusted” number of Latino male workers over 20 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 15,000 (from 14,475,000 to 14,460,000) between September and October 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latino males over 20 years-of-age was still 5.1 percent in October 2015. In addition, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latino youth between 16 and 19 years-of-age increased from 18.6 to 22.4 percent between September and October 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Latino youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age increased by 41,000 (from 204,000 to 245,000) during the same period..

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age was still 13.8 percent in October 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all youths (Black, Latino, white and Asian-American) between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States was still 15.9 percent during that same month

The “seasonally adjusted” number of Asian-American workers  in the U.S. labor force decreased by 102,000 (from 9,040,000 to 8,942,000)) between September and October 2015; while the unemployment rate for Asian-American workers was still 3.5 percent in October 2015, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data.

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for white female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States was still 3.9 percent in October 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4.1 percent during that same month. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all white workers (youth, male and female) was still 4.4 percent in October 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed white workers increased by 23,000 (from 5,364,000 to 5,387,000) between September and October 2015..

In October 2015, the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all female workers over 16 years-of-age was still 4.9 percent;; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States was still 4.5 percent during that same month..

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all male workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States was still 5.1 percent in October 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4.7 percent during that same month.

In October 2015, a total of 7,908,000 workers in the United States were still officially unemployed, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data; and the “seasonally adjusted”” unemployment rate for all U.S. workers (male, female and youth) was still  5 percent during that same month.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ November 6, 2015 press release:

“…The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.0 percent…The number of unemployed persons (7.9 million)…essentially unchanged in October…The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.1 million in October and has shown little change since June. These individuals accounted for 26.8 percent of the unemployed in October……

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers)…5.8 million in October. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job…

“In October, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force…These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey…
“Among the marginally attached, there were 665,000 discouraged workers in October, little changed from a year earlier…Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them…


“Employment in mining continued to trend down in October (-5,000). Employment in…manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little or no change over the month…The change in total nonfarm payroll employment…for September was revised from  +142,000 to +137,000…”.