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Full transcript of Democrat Joseph P. Kennedy III’s response to Trump’s SOTU

Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 @ 11:40 PM

U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) speaks during a press conference condemning the new ban on transgendered servicemembers on July 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. He delivered the Democrat’s response to the State of the Union address on Jan. 30, 2018.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) speaks during a press conference condemning the new ban on transgendered servicemembers on July 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. He delivered the Democrat’s response to the State of the Union address on Jan. 30, 2018.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

   

 

 Congressman Joe Kennedy’s Democratic Response to President Trump’s State of the Union

 Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts today delivered the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union. Below is a full transcript of his remarks:
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is a privilege to join you tonight.

 

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We are here in Fall River, Massachusetts – a proud American city, built by immigrants. 

 

From textiles to robots, this is a place that knows how to make great things.

 

The students with us this evening in the autoshop at Diman Regional Technical School carry on that rich legacy. 

 

Like many American hometowns, Fall River has faced its share of storms. But people here are tough. They fight for each other. They pull for their city. 

 

It is a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects on the state of our union.

 

This is a difficult task. Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid. We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken.

We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge and corporate profits climb but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward. 

 

A government that struggles to keep itself open. 

 

Russia knee-deep in our democracy. 

 

An all-out war on environmental protection.

A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day.

 

Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets. 

Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts, and congregations. Targeting our safest, sacred places. 

And that nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs: this is not right. This is not who we are. 

It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics. 

 

But it’s far bigger than that. This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us – they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.

 

For them, dignity isn’t something you’re born with but something you measure. 

 

By your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size. 

 

Not to mention, the gender of your spouse. The country of your birth. The color of your skin. The God of your prayers.

Their record is a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count. In the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government.

That is the American promise. 

 

But today that promise is being broken. By an Administration that callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away. 

They are turning American life into a zero-sum game. 

 

Where, in order for one to win, another must lose. 

 

Where we can guarantee America’s safety if we slash our safety net.

 

We can extend healthcare to Mississippi if we gut it in Massachusetts. 

 

We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them for families tomorrow.

 

We can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers. 

 

We are bombarded with one false choice after another: 

 

Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland.

 

As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh and the teacher in Tulsa and the daycare worker in Birmingham are somehow bitter rivals, rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged for those at the top.

 

As if the parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son will be beaten and bullied at school is any more or less legitimate than the parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of opioid addiction.

 

So here is the answer Democrats offer tonight: we choose both. We fight for both. Because the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world shouldn’t leave any one behind. 

 

We choose a better deal for all who call this country home. 

 

We choose the living wage, paid leave and affordable child care your family needs to survive. 

  

We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford.

 

We choose a health care system that offers mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction.

 

We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices AND brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right. 


We choose Fall River. 

 

We choose the thousands of American communities whose roads aren’t paved with power or privilege, but with honest effort, good faith, and the resolve to build something better for their kids. 

That is our story. It began the day our Founding Fathers and Mothers set sail for a New World, fleeing oppression and intolerance. 

 

It continued with every word of our Independence – the audacity to declare that all men are created equal. An imperfect promise for a nation struggling to become a more perfect union.

 

It grew with every suffragette’s step, every Freedom Riders voice, every weary soul we welcomed to our shores.

 

And to all the Dreamers watching tonight, let me be clear: Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar.

 

You are a part of our story. We will fight for you. We will not walk away. 

 

America, we carry that story on our shoulders.

 

You swarmed Washington last year to ensure no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child’s life. 

 

You proudly marched together last weekend – thousands deep -- in the streets of Las Vegas and Philadelphia and Nashville.

 

You sat high atop your mom’s shoulders and held a sign that read: “Build a wall and my generation will tear it down.” 

 

You bravely say, me too. You steadfastly say, black lives matter.

 

You wade through flood waters, battle hurricanes, and brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger.

 

You fight your own, quiet battles every single day. 

 

You drag your weary bodies to that extra shift so your families won’t feel the sting of scarcity. 

 

You leave loved ones at home to defend our country overseas, or patrol our neighborhoods overnight. 

 

You serve. You rescue. You help. You heal. 

That – more than any law or leader, any debate or disagreement – that is what drives us toward progress. 

 

Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.

 

Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep.

THAT is the measure of our character. That’s who we are. 

 

Out of many. One. 

  

Ladies and gentlemen, have faith: The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, enduring. 

Thank you, God Bless you and your families, and God Bless the United States of America. 

 

 

 

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Mario Batali faces criminal investigation, NYPD officials say 

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 7:44 AM

What You Need To Know About Mario Batali

The New York Police Department is investigating celebrity chef Mario Batali, but police haven’t said exactly what they are investigating

CBS News reported on “60 Minutes” that multiple former female employees of  The Spotted Pig, a restaurant that caters to the rich and famous in New York, claim that Batali and the co-owner of the eatery, Ken Freidman, sexually harassed or assaulted them.

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Trish Nelson called Batali a monster, saying “Behind the scenes, he’s hurtful and he does not respect women.”

Nelson told Anderson Cooper for the “60 Minutes” interview that Batali was called “The Red Menace” and a warning would go out when he was expected to show up at the restaurant.

Other employees told “60 Minutes” of times they claim Batali would grab them and come on to female servers, making inappropriate comments.

A woman who did not want to be named said that Batali drugged her in 2005. She woke up by herself in a room on the third floor of The Spotted Pig. The woman was an employee at Babbo, one of Batali’s restaurants. He had invited her to The Spotted Pig for a party. They drank white wine together when she said she lost time.

“I remember a moment where I was on his lap, kissing him. Like he was kissing me. And then I remember throwing up -- in a toilet. And that is all,” the woman told 60 Minutes.

The woman said she woke up, alone, in an empty room. She said she saw empty bottles and had deep scratches on her leg. 

“The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been -- I’ve been assaulted.’” the woman told 60 Minutes.

The woman returned to work hours after waking up, when she said that Batali called into the restaurant. She claims he wouldn’t talk to her when she asked what happened the night before.

She spoke with a detective from the NYPD, but declined to file a report, 60 Minutes reported

Batali responded to the accusations, telling 60 Minutes via a statement, “I vehemently deny the allegation that I sexually assaulted this woman.”

B&B Hospitality Group, the restaurant group founded by Batali and Joe Bastianich, told Fox News that the company is breaking ties with Batali, saying, “The accounts tonight were chilling and deeply disturbing. This was the first we learned of them. Our partnership with Mr. Batali is ending.”

In December, Batali was fired from “The Chew” on ABC and has left day-to-day operations from his businesses, NBC News reported.

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Florida woman smiles in mugshot during DUI arrest after fatal crash

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 9:39 AM

Angenette Marie Welk. (Photo: Marion County Sheriff's Office)
Angenette Marie Welk. (Photo: Marion County Sheriff's Office)

A Marion County woman was all smiles in her mug shot when she was arrested on DUI charges after a crash that killed a 60-year-old woman last week, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

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Angenette Marie Welk, 44, was driving east in a 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche on US-27 just before noon last Thursday when she rear-ended a car stopped at the intersection with NW 60th Avenue, the crash report states. 

Troopers said Welk rear-ended a 2017 Hyundai Elantra, killing Sandra Clarkston of Sarasota. 

Welk was originally charged with DUI with serious bodily injury, but troopers upgraded her charges to include DUI manslaughter Saturday. 

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University survey asking if students want to know whether 'black people hate America' draws ire

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 8:56 AM

A student walks on the Southern Methodist University (SMU) campus January 23, 2007, in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Harkin/Getty Images)
Brian Harkin/Getty Images
A student walks on the Southern Methodist University (SMU) campus January 23, 2007, in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Harkin/Getty Images)(Brian Harkin/Getty Images)

A Texas university is experiencing backlash over a cultural survey asking students to rate their interest in learning answers to controversial questions like, "Do black people hate America?" 

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According to the Dallas Morning News, Southern Methodist University's Cultural Intelligence Initiative first posted the survey, titled "Ask Anything, Seriously," last fall. 

"Let's face it, we all have questions about the people we encounter in our day-to-day lives," reads an introduction to the survey. "We come from different races, cultures, countries, cities, religions and ideologies. We want to avoid mistakes or even worse, offending someone, but we really want to know."

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The introduction goes on to say the survey aims to reveal "important cultural information" and see which questions people of different races "have been dying to ask friends, colleagues and total strangers."

>> Read the full intro here

Those questions – which include "Why are black people so loud?," "Do black people hate America?" and "Why do black people always complain about segregation but always want their own TV stations?" – drew ire last week after a Twitter user shared screenshots of the survey.

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Florida couple takes Walmart scooter for joyride to dive bar, police say 

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 11:02 AM

What You Need to Know: Walmart

A Florida couple stole a motorized shopping cart from Walmart and took it on a joyride down the street to a nearby dive bar, police said. 

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Jeffrey Robert Sabiel and Santa Marie Walters took the scooter Thursday from a Largo Walmart and drove it about a mile east to Jimmy’s Sports Bar, where an officer found the cart parked out front, according to WFLA

The couple at first denied taking the cart, but soon admitted to it, investigators said. 

They were both arrested and charged with grand theft, according to jail records. They were released on $2,000 bond.

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