Welcome to the ICNY Update

Working together to resist the Trump agenda and fight for democratic ideals.

Dear William Barr:

Amid the hubbub of the impeachment hearings, your November 15th remarks to the Federalist Society have not received the attention they warrant. In what Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) called “one of the most vicious partisan screeds ever uttered by a U.S. cabinet officer,” you said the following:

"One of the ironies of today is that those who oppose this president constantly accuse this administration of shredding constitutional norms and waging a war on the rule of law. Of course, there is no substance to these claims.  In waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that has engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law. "

You seem to forget, Mr. Barr, that you are the nation’s lawyer, not the president’s (a position occupied by the one and only Rudy Giuliani). This week, however, the inconvenient truth kept coming out. Fiona Hill nailed it. The DOJ Inspector General’s forthcoming report is reputed to absolve the FBI of bias. And a treasure trove of emails shows that the Ukraine cover-up was fully orchestrated before the whistleblower’s call came to the attention of the public.

More truths are bound to emerge in the weeks ahead, and history is unlikely to judge you well.

                            Your Friends in “The Resistance”


Does Anyone Honestly
Need More Stuff?

Why not forego this holiday’s overindulgence in gimmicky electronics, extraneous kitchen paraphernalia, and, of course, the dreaded fruitcake and make at least one of your gifts be a donation to Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight? Designed to promote fair elections locally, regionally, and nationally, Fair Fight will play a crucial role in determining how 2020 turns out. You can donate here.

Assemblymember Barrett: Restoration of Honor Act and other key veterans bills signed into law 

Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Dutchess/Columbia) announced that the Restoration of Honor Act, which she authored, was signed into law (Ch. 490 of 2019) by Governor Cuomo on Veterans Day. The measure extends the eligibility for state benefits to veterans who have received a “less than honorable discharge” because of unfair or discriminatory discharge policies, which include less than honorable discharges for traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military sexual trauma (MST), as well as veterans who received a discharge for their sexual orientation or gender identity under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
            “The men and women who have stepped up and risked their lives to protect and serve our country embody what it means to be a hero. Yet, for far too long, many of our veterans in the LGBTQ community, those who experienced military sexual trauma and vets struggling with mental and behavioral health disorders have been denied the support and resources they’ve earned when they separate from service,” Assemblymember Barrett said. “With this new law we are righting a terrible wrong and showing this group of veterans how grateful we are for their service and that we’re here for them now that they are home.”
            In order to receive state benefits, many programs require that a service member have an honorable discharge to participate. However, many veterans have received “less than honorable” discharges as a result of TBI, PTSD or MST, or due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. These discharges, which are also known as “bad papers,” cannot be revised by the state and prevent many veterans from receiving their hard-earned benefits.
            To fix this injustice and ensure all of our brave veterans receive the respect and support they’re owed, Barrett introduced and helped pass this new law extending eligibility to certain veterans who have been given “less than honorable discharges.” 
            In addition to the Restoration of Honor Act, three other important pieces of veterans legislation sponsored by Assemblymember Barrett were signed on Veterans Day. The bills signed were Chapter 481 of 2019, codifying the Division of Veterans’ Services Discharge Upgrade Advisory Board, a program that helps veterans upgrade discharges given as a result of unfair or discriminatory practices; Chapter 486 of 2019, which requires clear labeling of NYS jobs made available under the 55-c program, a program that helps disabled veterans find employment with New York State; and Chapter 479 of 2019, allowing municipalities to extend the current disabled veterans property tax exemption to disabled active duty military members.


Happy Thanksgiving to all Resisters.  We give thanks for your help, your support, and your continuing Resistance.


Postcards to Voters
The ICNY Postcard to Voters team will take this week off, but will meet again on the regular schedule, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 3 & 4th from 2:00 - 4:00 at the CCDC HQ, 3 Railroad Avenue, Chatham.


Contact us at IndivisibleColumbiaNY@gmail if you have an event you think the community should be aware of.

Information about community events is provided as a service to our readers. This should not be construed as endorsement of any event, organization, or political candidate and was not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Mike Luckovich, The Week

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