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Faux News Sued for Racial Harassment

Fox has been on the receiving (and losing) end of a number of lawsuits relative to sexual harassment. Hard to believe that that cesspool isn’t also a hotbed of racism.

As to “taking complaints seriously”…Go see the guy in HR, You will know his office by the confederate flag on the wall.

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Two black women hit Fox News with lawsuit claiming ‘top-down racial harassment’

Two black women filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Fox News for racial discrimination they experienced while working at the news network, the New York Times reports.

Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright, who managed and coordinated the payroll department, accused Fox’s former comptroller, Judith Slater, of “top-down racial harassment.” Brown and Wright allege in their case that Slater made comments calling black men “women beaters” and about black people wanting to cause physical harm to white people.

The women filed the suit in State Supreme Court in the Bronx. Their lawyers, Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, said, “We are confident that the good men and women of the Bronx will hold Fox accountable for what we believe to be its abhorrent racist conduct, reminiscent of the Jim Crow era.”

In a statement to Mediaite, Fox News said, “We take any complaint of this nature very seriously and took the appropriate action in investigating and firing Ms. Slater within two weeks of this being brought to our attention. There is no place for abhorrent behavior like this at Fox News.” Slater was fired on Feb. 28.

A Fox news spokesperson issued the following statement to Raw Story:

We take complaints of this nature very seriously and took prompt and effective remedial action before Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright sued in court and even before Ms. Wright complained through her lawyer. There is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News. We are disappointed that this needless litigation has been filed.

The lawsuit was filed the same day host Bill O’Reilly made a racist and sexist comment about California Rep. Maxine Waters’ hair, calling it her “James Brown wig.”

This not the first time Fox News has faced a discrimination lawsuit in the last year. The network’s former CEO Roger Ailes was ousted in July, 2016 over a sexual harassment lawsuit. O’Reilly was accused of similar harassment.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Across the Federal Government, An Uprising Against the Chumph

Across America, millions are marching against the Chumph and his white-wing Republican allies. Inside the machinery which operates the Government…There is an even more serious revolt rapidly growing, as the people who work for the Government prepare for what is basically a coup.

No, there aren’t going to be any guns or pitchforks in this revolution – just a bunch of people jamming the entire system up. Should the Chumph try mass firings then this will turn into outright revolt.

Yesterday 800 State Department employees signed a letter protesting the Chumph’s racist immigration ban.

If the Democrats don’t grow some cajones…This is going to the streets.

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Resistance from within: Federal workers push back against Trump

The signs of popular dissent from President Trump’s opening volley of actions have been plain to see on the nation’s streets, at airports in the aftermath of his refu­gee and visa ban, and in the blizzard of outrage on social media. But there’s another level of resistance to the new president that is less visible and potentially more troublesome to the administration: a growing wave of opposition from the federal workers charged with implementing any new president’s agenda.

Less than two weeks into Trump’s administration, federal workers are in regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees about what they can do to push back against the new president’s initiatives. Some federal employees have set up social media accounts to anonymously leak word of changes that Trump appointees are trying to make.

And a few government workers are pushing back more openly, incurring the wrath of a White House that, as press secretary Sean Spicer said this week about dissenters at the State Department, sends a clear message that they “should either get with the program, or they can go.”

At a church in Columbia Heights last weekend, dozens of federal workers attended a support group for civil servants seeking a forumto discuss their opposition to the Trump administration. And 180 federal employees have signed up for a workshop next weekend, where experts will offer advice on workers’ rights and how they can express civil disobedience.

At the Justice Department, an employee in the division that administers grants to nonprofits fighting domestic violence and researching sex crimes said the office has been planning to slow its work and to file complaints with the inspector general’s office if asked to shift grants away from their mission.

“You’re going to see the bureaucrats using time to their advantage,” said the employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Through leaks to news organizations and internal complaints, he said, “people here will resist and push back against orders they find unconscionable.”

The resistance is so early, so widespread and so deeply felt that it has officials worrying about paralysis and overt refusals by workers to do their jobs.

Asked whether federal workers are dissenting in ways that go beyond previous party changes in the White House, Tom Malinow­ski, who was President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, said, sarcastically: “Is it unusual? . . . There’s nothing unusual about the entire national security bureaucracy of the United States feeling like their commander in chief is a threat to U.S. national security. That happens all the time. It’s totally usual. Nothing to worry about.”

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The permanent bureaucracy, the backbone of the federal government and the bulwark against many presidents’ activist intentions, is designed to be at least a step removed from the crosswinds of partisan politics.

But for years, many conservatives have argued that the federal bureaucracy is stacked against them, making it harder for them to get things done even when they control the White House, Congress or both.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a Trump adviser and longtime critic of the bureaucracy, said the pushback against the new administration reveals how firmly entrenched liberals are and how threatened they feel by the new regime. He cited an analysis by the Hill newspaper that showed that 95 percent of campaign donations from employees at 14 federal agencies went to Hillary Clinton last fall.

“This is essentially the opposition in waiting,” Gingrich said. “He may have to clean out the Justice Department because there are so many left-wingers there. State is even worse.”

Gingrich said Trump might push for civil service revisions to make it easier to fire federal workers. He predicted that the public would back the president over federal employees.

The signs of resistance in federal offices range from low-level grumbling and angry opposition posted online to anonymous promises of outright insubordination as new policies develop.

The State Department has emerged as the nexus of opposition to Trump’s refugee policy, in part because it has an official dissent channel where Foreign Service employees can register opposition without fear of reprisals. The channel, formed in 1971, has been used to raise policy objections to the Vietnam War and other conflicts. Several hundred employees signed the dissent cable objecting to Trump’s refugee policy.

Secretaries of state have taken the dissent channel so seriously that they have altered policies in response to complaints. In 2002, then-Secretary Colin Powell presided over the awarding of a prize for “constructive dissent” to an employee who had pushed back against a deputy secretary.

But State Department employees are nervous enough now that the American Foreign Service Association on Tuesday sent out an advisory called “What You Need To Know When You Disagree With U.S. Policy.” The note spelled out employees’ legal protections but warned that “walking out in protest of a U.S. government policy, even just temporarily, would be considered a strike” and can result in being fired.

Other agencies that lack that kind of tradition are in more turmoil. When the White House last week ordered an end to all advertising and other outreach activities encouraging Americans to sign up for health plans through Affordable Care Act marketplaces, employees at the Health and Human Services Department protested, pointing out that the ban on ads and robo-calls would probably result in less coverage of the most desirable customers — young and healthy adults whose scant use of medical care can help lower prices for everyone else.

The internal protest, combined with an outcry on social media and from the insurance industry, prompted the Trump administration to revise its directive in less than 24 hours….

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2017 in Second American Revolution

 

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How Republicans Have Derailed the New South’s Emergence

North Carolina’s Research Triangle and the Charlotte/Cary area are hotspots for tech an other development. The US Government supplies over $1.5 billion a year in research grants to the state’s public universities, money that has helped drive the growth of the Universities in the state from decidedly mediocre to competitive powerhouses. This has spurred massive growth, as the combination of a realistic cost of living, easy access to recreational activities in the mountains and shore, as well a good school systems have individualized both corporations and employees to flock to the state.

Unfortunately, like Virginia, the back woods redneck religious bigots haven’t quite dissipated yet, and with the election of a Republican majority in the state house – pushing extremist social conservatism which is an anathema to the high-tech and banking industries.That growth roll may be in for a screeching halt.

You want to keep that growing Gov McCrory, you need to cut the “Culture War” bullshit fast.

The fact is, major corporations don’t give a shit about Republican tax breaks, they do about being able to attract the best and brightest as employees, and having a stable government  which isn’t going to do something stupid to hurt their business. They need good schools, which are producing students in the fields that relate to their businesses, who are willing to stay in-state after they graduate. (As an example, the collapse of what was once referred to as “Silicon Valley East” here in northern Virginia, was in good part due to the major University in the area being taken over by conservative donors. The school produces Economists and right wing Federalist Lawyers – but not STEM Graduates needed by the local industries to grow, or to establish the sort of incubators which create the next Google. Instead we have the Antonin Scalia Law School, which is fornicating useless, both as the symbol of higher education in the fields in demand, as well as in attracting students that want to be in a top program in the Sciences, Engineering, or technology.)

They want to be able to attract experienced workers and executives. To get those people, the potential employees need to feel comfortable moving their families into the State. The sort of “Culture Wars” and racism being promulgated by the right, destroys that.

This isn’t just an issue about Transgender people, it is an issue about the future viability of the State as a business center.

Back during the South Carolina confederate flag imbroglio, one of my clients was a foreign auto company looking to put a plant there. Took one of the Senior Staff folks down there behind the proverbial woodshed, and explained to him that foreign companies, unlike their US counterparts are not willing to go into an environment where discrimination and harassment lawsuits chew up 10-15% of their profits. And as such, were looking for a place which supported a harmonious workforce, over cheap rent. The differential between labor costs between Detroit and Charleston disappears really fast paying lawyers at $500/hr over racial bullshit. They got that message apparently from more than one prospective company. American companies have finally started to get a clue about this as well.

Too bad the white winger Tea Baggers haven’t.

This isn’t just an issue about Transgender people, it is an issue about the future viability of the State as a business center.

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS AND THE END OF THE NEW SOUTH

Monday, two North Carolinians squared off over the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom matching their “biological sex” in public schools and government buildings and invalidates local laws protecting transgender people from discrimination. Both Pat McCrory, the governor of North Carolina, and Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney General, grew up partly in Greensboro, a site of anti-segregation sit-ins in 1960, and Lynch recalled that history by comparing H.B. 2 to Jim Crow laws. “Let us reflect on the obvious but often neglected lesson that state-sanctioned discrimination never looks good in hindsight,” she said, as she announced that the Department of Justice is suing North Carolina, claiming that H.B. 2 violates federal laws forbidding sex discrimination.

Earlier that day, McCrory’s office had filed its own federal lawsuit, which attempted to protect the state from federal anti-discrimination action against H.B. 2. “North Carolina does not treat transgender employees differently,” according to the lawsuit. “All state employees are required to use the bathroom and changing facilities assigned to persons of their same biological sex, regardless of gender identity, or transgendered status.” Such bland assertions of neutrality have an infamous place in the law. Before the Supreme Court established a right to same-sex marriage, in 2015, North Carolina forbade gay and straight alike to wed members of the same sex. Before the Court invalidated laws against racial intermarriage, in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, the state forbade both black and white people to marry someone of the other race. All these laws were defended on the grounds that they treated everyone alike. So, for that matter, were the original Jim Crow segregation laws. In 1896, upholding separate-but-equal accommodations, the Supreme Court held that, if “the enforced separation of the races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority,” this was “solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction on it.”

McCrory’s suit looks more like political theatre than a serious attempt to preserve H.B. 2. On April 19th, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes North Carolina, adopted the Obama Administration’s interpretation of federal sex-discrimination law to invalidate a local school-board policy that assigned students to bathrooms by “biological genders.” The court accepted the federal government’s argument that the prohibition on sex discrimination in Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and that “biological” bathroom assignments are just this sort of discrimination. (The Fourth Circuit reported that, in public hearings on school-bathroom assignments, the plaintiff in the case, a transgender boy, had been called a “freak” and “compared to a person who thinks he is a ‘dog’ and wants to urinate on fire hydrants.”)

That McCrory would seek out this wrong-side-of-history position reveals a lot about the fractured and desperate state of the Republican Party. The governor took office in 2013 as the consummate country-club Republican. He had spent fourteen years as the mayor of Charlotte, a banking capital, where he presided over robust growth and—unusual in the South—the construction of a light-rail system. He was a candidate in the “New South” tradition, a political manner that is also a development strategy. In the sixties, as other parts of the white South dug in against desegregation, North Carolina’s politicians found a different formula: accept the national consensus on civil rights and attract employers with low wages, weak unions, and business-friendly laws. The state’s population more than doubled between 1960 and 2010, as a formerly rural, agricultural state developed national centers of technology and finance. The previous New South governors were Democrats, but many saw McCrory as their natural successor in a state that narrowly supported Barack Obama in 2008 but in 2010 handed control of the legislature to Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction.

Since taking office, McCrory has mostly been back on his heels as a Tea Party legislature, installed with decisive support from the activist donor Art Pope (whom Jane Mayer wrote about in 2011), has set the state’s agenda. McCrory has signed laws restricting abortion access, cutting back on early voting and requiring voter identification, slashing unemployment benefits, and repealing the state’s Racial Justice Act, which commuted the death penalty for people sentenced in racially inequitable jurisdictions. North Carolina is one of nineteen states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (and the fourth-largest, after Texas, Florida, and Georgia). The advocacy group Families USA estimates that 593,000 North Carolina residents lack health insurance because of the state’s refusal.

The Tea Party has shared McCrory’s deregulatory, tax-cutting economic agenda, but it has led with culture-war issues. The year McCrory won the governorship, the legislature put forward a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which passed with sixty per cent of the vote. This blend of tactics defined most state-level Republican parties in the Obama years, when the Republicans took power in statehouses across the country, and McCrory seems to have made his peace with it. Polls showed him lagging in a tight reëlection race when he called North Carolina’s part-time legislature into emergency session in late March. Both houses passed H.B. 2 on March 23rd, and McCrory signed it that night. The only local anti-discrimination statute that it overrode was one passed a month before in Charlotte, where McCrory had served seven terms as mayor.

Now the New South elements of McCrory’s governing style are falling to pieces. H.B. 2 may have seemed an ordinary measure of culture-war politics when the governor signed it, but the consensus position on L.G.B.T.Q. rights has changed so fast that it may secure his place as the Orval Faubus of public bathrooms. McCrory’s Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general, who has announced that his office will not defend H.B. 2 against legal challenge, has led McCrory in every poll since the law was passed. Since H.B. 2 became law, PayPal and Deutsche Bank have scrapped expansion plans for North Carolina, the N.B.A. and N.C.A.A. have suggested that they may not hold future events in the state, and a caravan of entertainers have cancelled shows, including Bruce Springsteen and Cirque du Soleil. New South governors measure themselves by the investments they attract. When the cultural divisiveness of Tea Party politics drives out business and entertainment, it becomes New South kryptonite….More Here
 

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iPod…iPhone…iPad… iKill…

Sweatshop by Sol Robbins

10th Suicide Strikes Apple Plant

On the same day that Apple, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard promised to look into working conditions at China’s Foxconn plant, a 10th worker committed suicide, PC World reports. The death of the 19-year-old male worker also came just after the company’s billionaire founder took the media on a tour of the sprawling complex in response to accusations from labor groups that workers toiled in sweatshop-like conditions.

The company has brought psychiatrists and Buddhists monks to the factory complex to support workers, and now plays soothing music along production lines, adds theIndependent. It plans to install 10-foot-tall fences to stop workers jumping from buildings and may give workers a 20% pay rise, though a Foxconn rep maintains the increase would not be a response to the suicides, but is being considered because business has been good.

Yeah, 20% of nothing…

Is nothing.

Apple surpassed Microsoft in the past few months as the “world’s most valuable tech company”.

Robber Barrons…

Indeed.

 
 

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SEC Staffers Watched Porn As The Economy Tanked, and Wall Street Pirates Stole Billions

The newest attack on the SEC by Republicans is that SEC Officials are too busy watching Porn to be entrusted with watching Wall Street. According to Republican Rep. Darrell Issa –

“This stunning report should make everyone question the wisdom of moving forward with plans to give regulators like the SEC even more widespread authority,” he said. “Inexplicably, rather than exercise its existing regulatory enforcement authority, SEC officials were preoccupied with other distractions.”

Of course this ignores the fact that what the SEC Staffers who were guilty of this were doing is against Federal Regulations (and caught by Government filters and reported to the Inspector General), and normally such behavior as misuse of a Government Computer is grounds for administrative punishment or termination. Which leaves us to the point of – who was in charge, and what did they do about it?

Some SEC Employees Watching The Wrong Things

And the second question being – since Congress and their staff is exempt from this regulation…

What would a survey of Congress’ computers turn up?

SEC staffers watched porn as economy crashed

As the country was sinking into its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years, Security and Exchange Commission employees and contractors cruised porn sites and viewed sexually explicit pictures using government computers, according to an agency report obtained by CNN.

“During the past five years, the SEC OIG (Office of Inspector General) substantiated that 33 SEC employees and or contractors violated Commission rules and policies, as well as the government-wide Standards of Ethical Conduct, by viewing pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive images using government computer resources and official time,” said a summary of the investigation by the inspector general’s office.

More than half of the workers made between $99,000 and $223,000. All the cases took place over the past five years.

This also begs an interesting question. Since many of the people making that level of salary would be Presidential Appointees – that means that most of the people at that level would have been Republican appointees. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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