40 Burst results for "Oklahoma"
Fresh update on "oklahoma" discussed on Lee Mathews
"Scam warning from the FBI. I'm Beth Myers in the news Radio. 1000 Katie. Okay. New center. The FBI is warning about an increase in online shopping scams. It says Victim's report not receiving items they purchased from websites offering low prices on things like gym equipment, small appliances, tools and furniture. In many cases, victims receive facemask from China, regardless of what they ordered. The FBI says, Do your homework and make sure the site is legitimate and check other websites for reviews and complaints. It's now up to President Trump to provide any Corona virus relieve his advisers are recommending that he bypassed Congress and if she was own executive orders Both sides tried again today to reach a deal on a stimulus bill. But they say they remain deeply divided. State representative Jason Low of Oklahoma City held a news conference today to announce a coalition of community groups that he says will be providing support toe Oklahomans facing eviction Now that the federal eviction.
Drug Companies Face Lawsuits From Opioid Crisis As They Respond To The Pandemic
"This week, Johnson and Johnson announced a $1 billion deal with the federal government to develop a new Corona virus vaccine. It's one of many drug companies on the front lines of the covert 19 response, but many of these same firms are facing an avalanche of lawsuits for their role in the opioid epidemic. NPR addiction correspondent Brian Man has been following this and joins us now. Hi bran. Hi, Stacy. Somewhere in this seems like kind of a complicated moment for the drug industry in two very different stories playing out, But first tell us where things stand with the opioid lawsuits. Yeah, eso covered 19 basically shut down the court system nationally for months, but now that log jam is breaking loose and thousands of these civil and criminal cases they're grinding forward again. Big federal trial against pharmacy chains involved in the opiate epidemic just got the green light in Ohio. And next month, a lawsuit against two drugmakers Endo and Mallinckrodt goes to a jury trial in Tennessee. I spoke with Gerard Stranz, one of the lead attorneys representing local governments. In that case, they're demanding billions of dollars in compensation from these companies. Justice delayed is justice denied, and they know that when they sit in front of a jury of the community members would have to explain their conduct. There is no explanation and they're going to have to answer for what they've done. Remember, the federal government says 1/4 1,000,000 Americans have died after taking these opioid medications, and the drug industry is still scrambling to cope with the legal and financial fallout from that. Is there a risk that that opioid look, lawsuits could destabilize or maybe even bankrupt drug companies? I mean this at a time when they are really needed to respond to the pandemic. You know, people are talking a lot about this. Some drug companies have already filed for bankruptcy because of opioids and other firm Mallinckrodt said this week they may file for Chapter 11. So there is concern that holding these companies accountable for the addiction epidemic could disrupt their ability to make these important medical products. Rebecca half a G studies opioid litigation for the Rand Corporation and the University of Michigan. All of these companies have other products as well as opioids that are used for medically necessary purposes. So the goal is not necessarily to put these pharmacies thes manufacturers these distributors out of business altogether, and that would actually be bad for public health and or the health care industry. So one thing I'm hearing Stacy's. As these court cases all move forward. There's new pressure to reach some kind of national opioids settlement that would end all this uncertainty for the drug industry. I mean, obviously, the opioid lawsuits have been a huge black eye for the drug industry. Do you think the pandemic will give them a chance to repair some of the damage to their reputations? I think that is part of the story. Right now. Johnson and Johnson is a good example. Last year Oklahoma one A half $1,000,000,000 decision against the company of the state's attorney general described Johnson and Johnson as a drug kingpin organization for its role making and selling opioids. It's terrible PR. Now the company's casting itself really differently is a public health champion. Of course, a lot of state and local governments say not so fast. They want billions of dollars from these companies before they put the opioid crisis
Fresh "Oklahoma" from Lee Mathews
"Sing at $41.22 a barrel. Larry Kowski Bloomberg Radio Radio 1080. Okay Am K x x Y. FM, 96.18 to Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City police looking for Ah, Homicide suspect I'm Beth Myers in the news Radio 1000 Katie. Okay. New center. There was a fatal shooting overnight in southwest Oklahoma City. The shooter was a pedestrian. Here's Margot Murano police. A 19 year old Abraham Rodriguez and a friend were driving in the area of Southwest 2030 Miller when they exchanged words with a pedestrian A pedestrian opened fire on their vehicle and Rodriguez was hit. Rodriguez and his friend managed to drive to a relative's house nearby for help. Rodriguez died at the scene, and a man was shot and wounded last night outside a campus corner bar in Norman Norman Mailer Bria Clark tweeted today that she witnessed the shooting and she waited for police to arrive. Four suspects fled the scene. Police stopped their vehicle. A few minutes later. They were taken into custody. Three have now been released, and one has been arrested. The US added 1.8 million jobs last month, according to figures today from the US Labor Department. Here's Michael Kastner. The unemployment rate for July fell nearly one full point to 10.2% Jobs total is a little higher than analysts had forecast. But it's well below The 4.8 million the economy added in June, Even with three straight months, a seven figure job creation the nation has 12.9 million fewer jobs and before the Corona virus pandemic hit. It's now up to President Trump to provide any corona virus relief. His advisers are recommending that he bypassed Congress and issue his own executive orders. Both sides tried again today to reach a deal on a stimulus bill, but they remain deeply divided. The US Postal Service is reporting a massive financial downturn in the last few months. It lost over $2 billion from April to June. As Corona virus concerns worsened. Postmaster General Lewis to Joy pointed to declines and mail volume A broken business model. And he says an inadequate management strategy before the pandemic. The Postal Service lost over four billion for the quarter ending in March. State representative Jason Low of Oklahoma City today announced a coalition of community groups that will be providing support toe Oklahomans facing eviction. Now that the federal eviction moratorium has expired. The goal is to educate the community that yes, they have options there, not in this fight alone. There's people out there that are supporting them..
beirut explosion latest news
"Some exercises in perspective the IRA bomb which severely damaged Canary Wharf in London in Nineteen ninety-six was estimated at just over one ton of ammonium nitrate Timothy McVeigh's bomb which demolished a federal government building in Oklahoma City in nineteen ninety-five was just over two tons of the same material. The boss which erupted in Beirut's port on Tuesday was estimated at two. Thousand seven hundred and fifty tons of ammonium nitrate. One of the biggest peacetime non nuclear explosions in history as Bhai. Route begins the barely imaginable task of cleaning up and is understandably enough growing tear gas was fired yesterday at protesters near the parliament building I'm joined. Now by Lila Milana, Allen France twenty four's correspondent in Beirut Leyla. First of all, you have been visiting the port which was the epicenter of the explosion. I can't begin to imagine where you would even describe such scene but I'm going to ask you to have a crack at doing that the scene is as you say, almost indescribable does smoke still rising from the charred MBA's off. Destroyed packing crates destroyed shelving and it says every kind of. Utility things you'd expect to see in shops. Twisted. Washing machines on the floor items from pharmacies because this of course port, this is the one thirty functional in Lebanon imposed everything and everything was stored than in the center. You have the remains of these enormous grain silos that carried the grain for the majority of the country completely destroyed and parts of them. Still collapsing there you have a aid workers desperately trying to dig people of rubble that's thirty meters deep, and the conditions are horrific temperatures of thirty degrees baking hot sun. The air is thick and brown the smell acrid burning metal and plastic. It really is post-apocalyptic and this goes on for over a mile. Entire poor is just smoking twisted metal and daybreak. Nash. have. You got a clear sense of how widespread the damage across Beirutis. How far can you go from the blast without seeing broken windows? So it. was about nine kilometers where we're still doing things like breaking windows the impact of it and having people. That's it really has spread incredibly far, and it's an uneven spread as well because. What's happened is that the grain ciders positioned in a certain way which meant that it protected half of the city of West Beirut, which historically has in many disasters. Conflicts actually born the brunt of of problems in Beirut and actually deflected the majority of the blast towards the East and the south, which is why a famous areas like Gymnasium Ohio Asha fear completely The buildings there obliterated and one of the concerns now is a lot of. Buildings the older buildings in Beirut the few buildings left in the east of in pre-civil war, which were much loved already, quite delicate on the point of collapse yesterday as people were trying to clear the streets constantly civil defense volunteers trying to pull people back away from these buildings with balconies hanging down stone starting to crumble because of course, that's a huge dangerous. People are still sifting through rubble trying to find loved ones that buildings could. New Buildings that had not yet collapsed could collapse on top of the other issue is that the new builds a lot of them are concrete and speaking to an engineer what can happen with concrete is that with a shockwave blast like this concrete cracks easily under pressure and so that can be in tunnel cracks there that you don't know about in can't be seen from the outside, but the make the building unstable and because there's really been. Very, little help from the government with people trying to go back into their homes, clear up and see what they can retrieve and whether their homes are still livable. Many people going back into very unstable buildings and some living there because they have no other former shelter. So a real risk of further injury as buildings might potentially collapse over the next few days very similar to the aftermath of an earthquake, which is what this is compared to. A among the people who was serving the damage in Beirut yesterday was of course, President Emmanuel Macron of France undertaking a extraordinary spontaneous visit. How is that being received? I mean, it's it's understandable enough that Lebanese politicians don't want to interact at a personal level with the public at the not only for their own safety but is it being regarded as strange that the first high profile politician to to take a walkabout should be the president of an entirely different country? Well, it is strange, but it's not being regarded as strange. I was down on the street yesterday when McCone was was walking through glad-handing the crowd I mean, he really was you know playing up to it and was supposed to be going to Baabda Palace, the Presidential Palace to meet with politicians and delayed that for an extra hour on the schedule to stay with Lebanese people in the streets of course, playing up very much. The fact that he was there to see them he'd said before the visit my main priorities to go and be with the people of Lebanon. And extend, solidarity's to them, and then after that I will be dealing with the political varieties speaking to them. So in the streets, he was absolutely mobbed by people he's hugging people shaking hands with them people coming up tim saying, please don't give those politicians any money that corrupt criminals we don't trust them and he responded to one woman I know you don't trust them graffiti everywhere saying don't give one. Euro. To those Michael help us. So he really did make himself as I say a man of the people yesterday I spoke to a couple of young women afterwards. WHO said to me? That man was more of a leader to us in fifteen minutes than any of our politicians have been where all day no one has come to see us where are they wears the help and later in the day after a lot of commentary that. The. Obviously. Lebanese politicians feeding quite shamefaced one. The justice minister did come down to the streets to try and speak to people clearing up and she had water thrown in her face and chanting protest. Immediately, they're not welcome and that people absolutely fading that the government has no interest in safety in their health in their wellbeing and their ability to rebuild hiding away from them as everybody marshals together to try and get things. Back to nothing like normal but something livable at least just to follow that up finally, regular listeners may recall that you and I were speaking on Monday talking about the resignation of Lebanon's foreign minister and that seemed like a pretty big story at the time He's probably ruin his timing at this point but have you seen or heard anything in terms of actual messaging attempts to help or anything from the alleged government of Lebanon or d you kind of assume that they've all got to the point where they just realized the games up nobody really wants to hear from them anymore. It's quite extraordinary. There is honesty nothing happening in terms of that what the government is doing a lot of finger pointing at each other and previous administrations about who's to blame for this they've put everybody associated with the report under house arrest and saying that they're going to find the perpetrators. But of course, everybody's saying somebody else's the perpetrator on what we know so far it seems that for six years has been ongoing negligence at the highest. Level where a several reports were were built up by the head of the port and have customs sent to the government center the Prime Minister's Office the judiciary about the fact that this was a ticking time bomb and something has to be done completely ignored. So the government is going on about this investigation saying they'll find responsible meanwhile three hundred, thousand people in Beirut homeless, five, thousand injured hundreds still missing, and honestly all you can see on the streets is volunteers. The. Lebanese. breath volunteers, obviously with their ambulances civil defence wanting tears, young people armed with spades and rooms marching down the street just going into people's homes into buildings and sweeping up what they can and moving onto the next one cleaning up themselves. They all said to me of course not here we wouldn't expect anything else from them with the only people who can help ourselves and today international aid. Groups coming in different countries, sending their own firefighters medical support in, and still a complete absence of the Lebanese government anywhere except the poor area learn Milana Allen in Beirut thank you very much for joining us.
Fresh update on "oklahoma" discussed on Lee Mathews
"When it comes to Corona virus, officials say there are nine fewer counties. In the moderate risk category for the spread of Corona virus compared to last week. The Oklahoma Corona virus alert system has designed a system by which community members and local officials will have a method to recognize and communicate Corona virus risk levels in each county and the guide health And guide health behaviors of those people in the county, and they're doing it with a color system. It's a simple color system, starting with green and working its way to read Right now. Most of the state is in yellow, which is in the middle. It goes from there to orange. And the worst is red. The best is green, and it looks like only Beaver County a screen course that's because nobody lives there. The system is a four tiered risk management tool, so it's corresponds to the coloring categories that identify the current level. By county. It's an alert system that Mary's Osd H. Oklahoma State Department of Health's robust data about that, along with additional public health steps that should be considered county by county. To confront elevated risks of community spread. It's about time somebody woke up and realized this damn it. I'm tired of this one size fits all. Program of solutions to this thing. What's working in Oklahoma City is not gonna work in Shawnee or or Woodward. The color coded system is an easy way for business owners, local leaders and the public to know at a glance when extra precautions should be taken. Cover categories. Air based on daily new cases per 1000 population. OK, that's fair. If you ask me for 100 for 100,000 not 101,000 Department of Health will update the color coded county map every Friday as part of its 11 a.m. situation. Media advisory UPDATES will be based on a seven day rolling average. Okay, good. So you're not going to go back to march and keep counting march and you're not going to keep counting dead people and you're not gonna keep counting those who've recovered. It's about time they were. Are they listening to this program? This is the second time this week I've seen something like this happen. First it was Oklahoma State Department of Health. Well, yeah, we're going to start keeping track of active cases instead of total cases. All right, Good morning. How's the coffee smell? It's about time you wake up. And now this from The Kobe 19 alert system so good Are they listening to this program? Are they listening to you? When you call and gripe, Adam? Maybe both. Hopefully, they're listening to you call this programme and gripe about it as well as called them and gripe about it. And I'm not talking Oklahoma City County Health Department talking the State Health Department, which is also right here in Oklahoma City. Ah, let's see here, Janet writes Lee. Did you see this attempt to shut down the end are? Yes, I did. This's the New York Attorney General Leticia James wants to dissolve the National Rifle Association. She alleges fraud and financial abuse following an 18 month investigation. She's accused the NRA executives, including Vice President Wayne LaPierre. LaPierre, Um, general Counsel John Fraser, former chief financial officer, Woody Phillips and former chief of staff Joshua Powell of funneling millions of dollars into their own pockets. She says the influence of the NRA has been so powerful. The organization went unchecked for decades, while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets. The NRA was fraught with fraud and abuse, she says, which is why today they seek to dissolve the NRA because no organization is above the law. Well, then you need to bring charges against them. Not a lawsuit to dissolve it. You are the district attorney. The lawsuit provides dozens of examples of alleged financial wrongdoing. Executives were accused of using the funds to cover the cost of personal vacations, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in private jet lights. Lawsuit claims LaPierre received more than 1.2 million and expense reimbursements, which include memberships at golf clubs and gifts for personal friends. I have no idea no doubt that he did, but that doesn't mean it is malfeasance. It doesn't mean it's illegal. They do a lot of livin La Vida Loca, the NRA. I know that But that doesn't mean they don't have a voice. That doesn't mean they don't have freedom of speech. And that doesn't mean they have to be dissolved. If you think something illegal has been done, Miss James Then you need to bring charges. But nothing here is illegal, Which is why she's only bringing a lawsuit because she knows that will drag out in the courts for long, a long period of time, and she's probably hoping to make the look bad in the election year. I don't think she has any intention of succeeding because I don't think she can. That's not the goal here. She says She's also accusing the sari of awarding contracts to financial gain to close associates of family appearing to Dole out lucrative no show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty. I've read that, too. But that doesn't mean it's illegal. None of the men have been charged with a crime. The IRA says it's counter suing the New York attorney general's office, and I'm sure they.
Episode 13 Becca Wicks The Heathen King - burst 1
"A little bit about who you are Awesome. Okay. Well, believe it or not besides writing. I work fulltime I'm a truck driver. So I mean not anything crazy. I don't drive like this big rig or anything, but I actually drive Kinda like A. Enlarged version of tow truck. So just transport vehicles all over the state of Oklahoma.
Fresh "Oklahoma" from Lee Mathews
"And I'm going by what I'm seeing him and from her work, so I know there are those of you who will disagree and probably bombard me with complaints about how Draft up. That whole department is and how you've been eating noodles because you haven't been getting your unemployment insurance, but it seems to me it's starting to move. It's that the bowels are starting to move in the gigantic large intestine. That has been the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, especially since the Since the pandemic has kicked into full gear, but she's been very forthcoming. Always explaining, Okay, We had a backlog where to get some more people in here to get that back. Long taken care of. We're working on it. And little by little. It seems to be working, or at least moving forward. So ah, fewer counties in Oklahoma are spreading Corona virus. We'll get into that. A little later on was a deal reached today. And will trump signed an executive order because the house has been ka ka ing around. You know what I mean by that? The president's threatening to do it will. He will be joined by Michael Bauer to talk about that coming up on the radio 1000 Katie Okay on the drive. This report is sponsored by slim chickens. Like a newer accidents. Bryant and Ares That's actually adventuring also won 22nd West Penn 27th and Santa phase was 34th. 10 also reported traffic still very, very heavy. 2 35 44 area rug came total traffic Slim chickens is known for the 100% all natural buffalo wings fried to perfection now available in two new dry rub flavors..
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive ahead of Trump visit
"Ohio's governor has tested positive for the corona virus just before a planned meeting with president trump the news came as the president left the White House we're going to Ohio where he was to visit in Cleveland with governor Mike DeWine who was tested for the virus as standard protocol before being with the president his office is to wind tested positive band is heading home to quarantine he's the second governor to test positive after Oklahoma's Kevin Stitt last month Sager mag ani Washington
Fresh update on "oklahoma" discussed on Lee Mathews
"Oh, you chief covert office there. Dr Dale brats. Ular says mask mandates across the state appeared to be working. He says. It's no time for people to become complacent about wearing masks. We're headed the right direction now, so we need people to wear mask any time you're in a public setting. Any time you're even outdoors If there are other people around, and you cannot physically distance from those individuals says with no vaccine masks or the best intervention we have. He said today that the seven day rolling average of Corona virus cases in Oklahoma appears to be trending downward. State representative Jason Lo says Now that the federal eviction moratorium has expired, Oklahomans need to know their rights as tenants and also know that community resource is air available to help them. If you do receive an eviction notice one thing that you should not do. Is ignored. We have the resource is we have the help out there, and I.
Lebanese officials blame explosion in Beirut on ammonium nitrate. Can something similar happen in US?
"In in Beirut Beirut yesterday yesterday after after a a massive massive explosion explosion rocked rocked Lebanon's Lebanon's capital, capital, killing killing more more than than 100 100 injuring injuring thousands thousands leveling leveling an an entire entire neighborhood. Lebanese officials blamed the blast on more than 2700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate stored without safety measures. The same chemical fertilizer has been responsible for huge explosions here in the United States as well. And used as a bomb making components in international and domestic terrorism. So what kind of safety regulations exist in the U. S to keep something like this from happening here? Going to put that question to Joe words. He covers the environment for the center for public integrity, and he's written about this. Welcome to press play. They start having So what we saw in Lebanon has happened here in the U. S, right? I mean, maybe not on the scale of yesterday's explosion, but ammonium nitrate was linked to an explosion seven years ago in the town of West Texas, right. That's right in West Texas, 2013 you know there was a big accident there afire and triggered an explosion of 60 tons of ammonium nitrate. 15 people died. 260 people were injured, and this really just rocked the town. It destroyed Windows leveled apartments. It just looked like a tornado had ripped through the town. Before that, In 1947 There is what is considered to be the worst industrial accident in the US 581 people died. This was near Galveston, Texas. Andi was a similar situation. It was ammonium nitrate stored unsafely there that was involved in a big explosion. So this is You know, a common element of some of the worst disasters. How do you compare the one that happened yesterday? I mean, was it a similar level of of ammunition there? Well, you know, with one in West Texas, 1 2013 was an estimated 60 tons. It's early with the investigation in Beirut, but, you know, early estimates put the amount of ammonium nitrate stored there at around 3000 tons. So we're talking about a considerably more ammonium nitrate. And when we heard that first clip when you played it, I mean, you could hear that deep, concussive blast. It comes from, but it's it's It's like a detonation, and that's a real signature of these thieves. Types of explosions. It makes them wonder. I mean, what kind of federal rules exist to prevent these kinds of tragedies? You know, that's a good question. It's a patchwork of federal and state rules, including some that have been weakened in recent years. First, it's important to note that there's not a great You know, public estimate of how many of these facilities are around. The U. S Last survey done by the federal government is several years old, and it's estimated that there's 1300 of these facilities in 47 states. There's a couple layers of federal protection one through the AI. They require facilities that store this stuff to tell the government that they're storing it. Tell him how much is being stored and how it's being stored. That's supposed to be information that's available to first responders and firefighters in the area. But after the West Texas accident, Obama sent out this executive order and he really pushed his administration in the agencies to do more Teo to safeguard against these types of accidents. When President Trump's administration took over, they set about dismantling large parts of that rule. They took out some of the big elements, explaining that it was a burden to industry and the agricultural business industry pushed hard. Lobbied very hard to get those elements out of the rule. Well, it's interesting, just kind of the secretive nature of this. I mean, Ah, I also have a sense that you're kind of well acquainted with this. You're from Oklahoma. You lived in Oklahoma City for a long time. This same fertilizer was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, right? Yeah, That's right. It was used used in Timothy McVeigh's bomb. You know, 168 people died. I'm from Oklahoma City. It wasn't living in that city at the time, but you know, 90 miles away. I remember that day. Remember being pulled out of class during that day? Because you know we knew people that were, you know in the explosion. So since Del Carmen City bombing states have gotten really concerned about terrorism about domestic terrorism or criminals, getting their hands on On ammonium nitrate and so the public right to know laws or up against thes e safety concerns. What you get is really inconsistent quilt of regulations where, say in Texas this information is highly secretive state goes to right major lengths to prevent people from knowing it. If you can get that information online in other states like Nebraska and Iowa, even states like Oklahoma makes that information available. If you ask other states make it really hard or make the public go through these weird steps to get the information. What about here in California? I mean, this is a major agricultural hub. Were you able to learn anything about this issue in our state? Yeah, I requested info from California and we got a very confusing response. It wasn't clear They passed me off to other people. The information on paper is available to residents in California's They request it. It's not available in a handy Online way that many other states have it up. But I'm told the information is available if you requested it gets tricky, though, because you have to know the name and the address of the facility usually And then you have to find out where that information is stored. In most cases, that's a local fire department but usually have to call local fire departments say. Hey, I'm curious about you know this facility on The street. Can you tell me if there's anything dangerous being stored there, and in many cases, you may not know that stuff's being stored there. It's easier to think of like a like an oil refinery right or some big complex that Obviously looks like you know, it would be a problem is there was a disaster there, but the West, you know, Texas accident. This just happened in a random looking shed in the middle of a field. You would have no indication driving by this thing that it was storing. No. 60 tons of highly explosive chemical. We'll. Finally How does all this uneven regulation and lack of transparency put people at risk? You know, first responders and firefighters in West Texas and safety advocates have really you know, raised alarms about this after West Texas and then as some of the slightly tougher rules got weakened. In subsequent administrations, they say, you know, it's it's not clear that more could be done, Teo prevent these types of accidents and increase oversight and safety, You know, both from Public knowing what kind of risks air there from first responders and firefighters. That was something that came out the West Texas accident was firefighters that responded didn't really know the full extent of what was being stored there. So people are concerned about this and continue to raise red flags. Joe
'No Words': After Enormous Explosion Rips Beirut, A Search For Answers
"Details on the investigation into yesterday's deadly explosion in Beirut that left 100 people dead, 4000 people injured and another 300,000 homeless. Lebanese officials have now put a number of higher ups at the port in Beirut under house arrest. New York Post says the 2700 tons of fertilizer believed to have caused the explosion had been confiscated from a Russian businessman seven years ago who had abandoned his cargo ship after making an unscheduled stop. It was all being stored in a warehouse where Reuters says there were repeated warnings to local officials since 2013. It was a disaster in the making. Correspondent Ian Panel tells us the smoke continues to rise in Beirut based artist Michela Boots, saying the entire event was surreal before we could even think of what to do next. Everything exploded. And when I mean everything I mean everything as degree was following. I just hid under card people. They were like literally standing behind, actually didn't get so lucky to have a lot of them got hit on the head. Some of them die. Officials in the disaster stricken city now searching for answers about what caused the enormous explosion and, above all, who was responsible. Well, despite the evidence that this was an industrial accident, President Trump has decided otherwise. Here's correspondent Aaron Carter Ski president Trump called the explosion in Beirut and attack. This was not A some kind of a manufacturing. Explosion type of event, A U. S official told ABC News. There are no indications the Beirut explosion came from a bomb or attack, the president of Lebanon said the blast was caused by nearly 3000 tons of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse. That's 1000 times more ammonium nitrate than was used in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal building. French President Emmanuel Macron is in Lebanon today meeting with leaders there to discuss how France might offer assistance,
Neil Young Sues Donald Trump Campaign Over Use of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’
"President Trump's reelection campaign for using his music without permission. Young's lawsuit says the campaign is used rocket in the Free World and Devils sidewalk several times and rallies and political events, including June 20th Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Young says when he complained about the campaign using rocking in the free world in 2015 when Trump announce his run for the presidency, the campaign had said it had permission. Young says that the proof that the campaign knew it needed permission to use his music. He's Looking for up to $150,000 statutory damages for each infringement. We're going to
Beirut explosion: At least 100 dead and 4,000 injured after 'ammonium nitrate blast'
"Now we're 4000 people are injured. Many are missing 100 death in yesterday's massive blast in Beirut, the search for possible survivors this morning. Desperately goes on the cause is under investigation, but it appears at this point to have been an industrial accident. President Trump disagrees. President Trump called the explosion in Beirut and attack this was not A some kind of a manufacturing. Explosion type of event, A U. S official told ABC News. There are no indications the Beirut explosion came from a bomb or attack, the president of Lebanon said the blast was caused by nearly 3000 tons of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse. That's 1000 times more ammonium nitrate that was used in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal building. Aaron
How Do Tanuki Work?
"In June of twenty, two, thousand, nineteen, a couple in a small village in Nottinghamshire Great. Britain woke at four am to an eerie sound they ventured out and discovered an animal that never seen before his thing and attacking a goat on their farm. After rescuing the goat they took a photo of the beast and promptly posted it online. The animal was four-legged and fluffy. It moved like a dog but had a face and markings like a raccoon. It turns out there unwanted visitor was a canoe Katie sometimes called a raccoon dog. To learn more about these unusual critters we talked by email to Jennifer Andrew, a member of the carnivore team at Zuid Lanta she helps take care of zoo, Atlanta's to to NUKII or and Loki. Zoo, Atlanta is just one of two zoos in the United States that houses to not the other is the Oklahoma City Zoo. Indra explained to new key our dogs genetically and morphological logically speaking they get the nickname raccoon dog primarily because of their similar coloring and coat patterns. The only other true similarity raccoons is that they occupy the same niche as raccoons do in nature even though they live on different partners. To NUKII range in size from about one point, five to two feet long that's about point four, five, two point, nine meters with a tail adding another six inches or one point, five meters they weigh anywhere from eight to twenty, two pounds around three and a half to ten kilos therefore can be golden great or reddish brown but their shoulders, legs, and the tips of their tails are blocked and their facial markings are similar to a raccoons including the black mask around the eyes. They're originally from eastern Asia including Japan, which is where the word to new key comes from, and where the animal is a cultural icon images of have appeared in everything from folklore and literature to anime and advertising the mythological versions sometimes called Buckeye Nukii, our spirit creatures, tricksters, and shape shifter's that love gold and are often depicted with a big belly and a particularly large scrotum. Many modern Japanese businesses, displays statues of to represent prosperity and good luck. To not the animals, not the spirits where brought the northern and Eastern Europe due to fur-farming back in the nineteen twenties it's believed some new key managed to escape and began to live and breathe in that region. The HABITAT, they're most comfortable living in would typically be described as forested everything from deciduous trees to evergreens, but they can live in urban and coastal areas they like living near water. When they're in the wild Turkey to picky about meals as forager's they'll eat anything from frogs, birds, and rats to berries and carrion that is vet animals to not have been known to forage in garbage cans or pick over roadkill areas inhabited by humans. But do life is a little different, not only art Niki given different food to eat including kibble hard boiled eggs, veggies and fish. But because they're naturally forager's and a non foraging, setting their caregivers look for ways to make feeding time a little more challenging. Andrew said, we like to scatter their diet throughout their habitats to encourage natural foraging behaviors. They also enjoy interacting with problem-solving enrichment devices that encourage behaviors such as biting, chewing, ripping shredding, smelling digging, and dragging.
Neil Young Sues Trump Campaign for Playing Songs at Rallies
"The Trump campaign may not be able to rock in the free World much longer deal. Young filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York today against the campaign for playing his songs at campaign rallies. The lawsuit says Young cannot allow his music to be used as a theme song for a divisive on American campaign of ignorance and hate. It says the campaign has been playing rocking in the Free World and Devils sidewalk for years, most recently at the June 20th rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
15 more COVID-19 Deaths In oklahoma
"Center, The State Health Department today is reporting another 15 covert 19 deaths in Oklahoma. It makes 566 total deaths in the state. A number of positive cases increased by 861. Since yesterday there have been 39,463 positive cases
When Covid Subsided, Israel Reopened Its Schools. It Didn’t Go Well.
"Since its debut and twenty seventeen, the Chinese APP tick tock has become one of the fastest growing social media tools with more than eight hundred, million active users. The APP lets users make short videos that are often shared across the Internet, but Tiktok isn't all fun games for months. Now, a lot of the attention about the APP has been focused on the national security concerns and the collection of user data, and as a result, the platform has been banned in India, by multiple branches of the US military and by Wells Fargo employees most recently however, president trump took aim at tiktok himself by threatening to ban the APP. We're looking at Tiktok we may be banning TIKTOK. We may be doing some other things, a couple of options, but a lot of things are happening. So we'll see what happens but we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respected dictum. Those remarks were before reports surfaced that Microsoft was pursuing a deal to buy TIKTOK in a press conference at the White House yesterday president trump claimed Microsoft or any other company would have to wait until September fifteen to acquire the APP and would be expected to give a percentage of the profit from the sale to the US Treasury. Joining me now is Graham Webster editor of digit China Project at Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center and a fellow at New America Graham thanks for being with us. Thanks for having me. And Cowan Rosenblatt is a youth and Internet cultural reporter for NBC, News. Dot Com callen thanks for being with us as well. Glad to, be here. Cowen who is the average tiktok user? The average tick tock user really is is a dynamic question because there is a huge range of different people who are using the APP but I'd say the most common person you're gonNA find is someone who is either at the tail end of high school or College who is definitely a solidly in generation the Gen Z. and he was using me APP mostly for fun to do dance challenges trends an engaged with communities that serve to their world. Graham. All of that sounds pretty basic I mean it doesn't sound like there's anything to be concerned about so far what type of data does tiktok collect from its users Graham? We'll TIKTOK is like a lot of social media companies these days It's using an AI driven or machine learning driven algorithm to figure out which content to to individual users. So to get this accomplished, they pay attention to obviously whatever you post that also you know what posts on your feed you look at how long you look at them where your device location is They also tried to track individual users like many apps do by looking at things like screen size and operating system and of course, they have a fair amount of information about your social graph, your your connections to friends and other people that you follow. And so what were some of the concerns around the data collection that way Graham given that it feels like there's a lot of, as you mentioned, other social media platforms and advertisers and the like that are tracking everything that we do already. Why? Why is Tiktok being highlighted here and banned in some of the institutions that we mentioned at the top Well, the basic reason is that tick tock is owned by a Chinese company named Bite Dance and they're a fairly new social media company. They had a breakout a few years ago in China with an APP called junior Tokyo that that is a you know an algorithm, IQ news feed and this is China's first big breakout internationally in terms of social media APPS and really getting take-up in in many different countries around the world not just the United States. So there's A concern that data collected by Tick Tock could end up in the hands of the Chinese company or the Chinese government and wild tick. Tock says that it stores all US user data in the US or in Singapore we don't really have a good way as a society right now to check that type of thing and to make sure that companies commit you when they commit to you know storing data and the Safeway making sure that they're actually doing that. Doesn't sound like we have a lot of that in the United States either though Graham. I mean, we have constant security breaches left and right Right. Well, the United States doesn't have a central data governance or data security or privacy Regulatory System the most prominent example of one globally as Europe, which has the general data protection regulation called the GDP are, and that governs things like when an apper services going to collect your personal information they have to gain certain types of consent and follow certain types of rules and there's also kind of limits the. Idea that if you collect data for a certain reason that you got consent for you shouldn't be able to use it for other reasons and that type of governance is just not that prominent in the US partially because the big US social media companies are not especially keen to have their practices heavily regulated they. They find GDP are in Europe to be burdensome and You know get in the way of making money. Kalland back in June president trump organized a rally in Tulsa Oklahoma and rumor has it that tiktok users promoted buying tickets for the event and didn't show up so that the event would be empty. What do we know about how that rubbed of the administration? So, what we know is it seemed to sort of frustrate the administration. Now, there's no evidence that the Tiktok users and K pop stands who are fans of Korean pop music that they had any impact on turnout. We are going through a global pandemic. There are a lot of factors going on right now. So it is really hard to know sort of what that impact was. But what we do know is it likely inflated expectations for turnout. The administration was planning to have a second rally after the main rally in Tulsa. which they then had to cancel, and so we think that it really messed with them. It was a it was a real genuine troll on the part of these tic TAC users against the president, and it really seemed to rub him the wrong way and there are lots of Tiktok users young first time voters who are telling me that when trump said, he wanted to ban this APP that was a retaliation for what they did the stunt they pulled the prank they pulled in Tulsa most what they think is happening. That's what they think is happening why there is no evidence that that's the president's line of thinking but that's what these eighteen to twenty two year olds are telling me that that's their beliefs. Cowan, we talked about The you know whether or not talk users actually had any effect on the trump rally in Tulsa back in June but more more directly here wondering if you're seeing any more political movement on the APP, whether it's a pro trump or pro biden or anti-trump anti, Biden has it started to move away from dance and song and move towards more political leaning so far. It can do both things at once actually. So there are still the dance trends. There are massive accounts that are just enjoying music on the APP but we see a lot of politics on Tiktok now maybe more than ever some young people are telling me they feel that because their home in quarantine and because politics ramping up nationally as we get closer to this election that they're seeing more and more politics in their feet, and what we're seeing is a not so much pro by content, but a lot of anti-trump content and I WANNA be clear. There is Republican Todd Democrat tiktok liberal Tick Tock conservative Tiktok. But what it appears to be is a lot of generation. Z.. Has a anti-trump sentiment and that does not mean they heavy pro biden sentiment. But things that we see our young people say, Hey, on this day, everyone go to president, trump's campaign store and put these products in your cart. But don't check out because allegedly that messes with their inventory or everyone on this day go to president trump's twitter account and report account, and let's see we can get a taken down. So we're still seeing these sort of organized movements sort of Troll, the president and a lot of discussion of politics but whether or not that is in in favor of vice, President Biden or in favor of president trump is sort of yet to be seen. Graham LE. Let's talk a little bit. But I mean, it sounds like tiktok users are for the most part having fun on the site sort of trying to do the things that Collina's talking about here but. On a more serious note, the trump administration has been trying to ban the APP. They're citing national security concerns, concerns over censorship by the Chinese government. Valid are any of those concerns really given what you know about China US politics Well I think it's you have to separate them out So the the concern about censorship I think is legitimate there was there was an example a little while ago where it looked like some of the censorship that they would do in China restricting conversations about things the Communist Party doesn't like discussed had bled over into the international product Now, Tiktok said that they were addressing that wasn't intended again, we don't really. Have a good way in the United States to check up on that and to kind of make sure that speech isn't being censored one way or the other the national security issue I think requires a lot more imagination Now, you know as was mentioned, the the military has has told service members to not use the APP and I think that makes a good amount a sense you know if if you're concerned about an APP Having links to a potential adversary There's all sorts of possibilities of ways that it could be exploited even just using location data of of service members or people who work in sensitive facilities. But if you don't work in sensitive facilities, if you're just sort of going around and and and doing the fun things and engaging in some of the political discourse that Cowan was mentioning you know there's not. A real big national security issue there a I will say that some people think that collecting the full aggregate totality of US Tiktok users could be used later in a analysis to try to do something, but it's really imaginative at this point whereas I think the censorship concerns a real and could be checked on and data privacy concerns are real but should be able to be checked on as well. What about the fact that we we just heard from Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group in the previous segment talking about how the United States is viewed internationally in terms of our response to the corona virus. But I did ask in also about his thoughts on what this Tiktok dust up between president trump and China what seemed to Be Rooted in and he said, you know this is also part of trump's sort of relationship with how he views China and Chinese technology he's gone after while way he's gone you know talked a lot about five G. technologies. So do you see that I mean? Do you see that as a pattern in how the president views technologies specifically that's coming out of China. Yeah I think the you know the trump administration's been. Pursuing a campaign of you know escalating what could be a new type of Cold War approach to China and a lot of it is wrapped up in technology and and I think the focus on Tiktok really makes the most sense. If you consider it a distraction from two things I is a distraction from actual problems with China you know the the trump administration got this phase one trade deal which didn't really get to the deep issues of subsidy and market access and intellectual property protection. And, on the other hand, it's distracting from the fact that a lot of these security concerns should apply across many apps. Why just tick Tock you know you're talking about including American made apps like facebook and twitter. Yeah I mean the concerns are different when the parent company is in China but there are really unaccountable data collection methods going on across ad networks and data brokers are building profiles of Americans and people in other countries that can be purchased just with money and you know it's not only add companies that by this data governments can get it to. Callan, as we sort of touched on this earlier. But of course, we I, say this all the time we're heading into one of the most consequential presedential elections in my lifetime at least social media is constantly changing is tiktok going to be a thing and twenty twenty and November, or is it going to be eclipse with something else or it'll change the? Will it change the election? Calvin what are your thoughts on that? I don't see Tiktok going away anytime soon, as long as the president allows it to operate in the United States I think we're gonNA see more is eight organizing on the APP among young people and I think we're GONNA see. TIKTOK. As long as Microsoft buys it or another company comes in to allow it to operate in the US I think it's going to stick around for a long time. I mean the president did Callan has also asked that Microsoft give money to the Treasury. If it makes this sale, we is anybody else interested in buying tiktok or is it just Microsoft right now? I don't think anyone else has come out as far as I'm aware and said that they are interested in purchasing Tik. Tok I think Microsoft even just recently confirmed that they were interested in this conversation, but it appears a deal needs to be made by September fifteenth. So if someone's going to buy it, it has to happen soon. Well you heard it here I guess I callan Rosenblatt is a youth internet culture reporter for NBC News Dot Com and Graham Webster is the editor of the digit China Project at the Stanford? University Cyber Policy Center and he's also a fellow
Kanye West submits petitions to appear on Arkansas ballot
"Voters can cast their ballots for Kanye West. Today. Representatives for the rapper submitted over 1700 signatures so he can appear on the ballot as an independent presidential candidates. Secretary of State's office in Arkansas has 10 days to verify that West submitted, Lee submitted at least 1000 signatures from registered voters. West has been a vocal trump supporter but has since decided to run against him. Wrapper is also submitted paperwork to appear on the balance in neighboring Oklahoma. Coming up after
US entering 'different' phase of coronavirus outbreak
"Surpassed Britain as the country with the third highest Corona virus death toll on Friday. What happened across the United States we bring in Santonio, first news national correspondent Michael Bauer. So what did happen in the United States? We know that Dr Deborah Berke, the position overseeing the White House coronavirus response says. We entered a new phase here in this country, meaning that what we're looking at as Faras the pandemic goes is much different now than it was in March in April. That she says, is extraordinarily widespread that there because it was his belief that rural urban areas maybe someplace states and cities. Work socially distant enough from the rest of the country. This remote distance is going to keep us safe, not going to be an issue, she says. That's not happening anymore. We're in a place now where there is no corner of the country. That's safe enough from everything. So while we've been looking at Texas and Florida in Arizona and California for some time now, the Sunbelt states you're looking at over the past week period of time, the largest surge of infections happening in Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma. So sort of all over the place. Some of those places way more distant from the rest of the country than others. And this is a clear indication that we're in a different level in a different phase right now, what's happening in this country. Now with that? Experts are also saying, Let's not forget we're about to possibly go back to school. We know that some colleges are going to be returning, and there's a concern that we major outbreaks in college towns, but also above and beyond that policy lab is this one group of Children's Hospital in Philadelphia that have been kind of showing models and pulling together models. They're looking at one right now that says As far as a likely spread over the next four weeks. Like who could be the next Texas who could be the next Florida? They're checking out some ominous trends that includes some really, really big cities like Baltimore in Chicago in Detroit, Philadelphia, ST Louis and Washington, Boston and New York. They're saying that they're keeping a close eye on those cities over the next four weeks because it looks like Some of these cases, air headed back those directions. Michael, are we getting a clear picture of exactly how many kids have tested positive for covert 19? It's what we're getting is because a lot of schools still haven't officially returned right. But we do know that some schools have gone back into session. And we know that at least in places like Indiana at one school district, where two kids tested positive and a teacher tested positive as well. They immediately day one shut down those squids at school district and went back to the At home learning process and doing things from a remote basis, and you're seeing those exact came some kind of situations all across the country. You're seeing them in Kentucky, you're seeing them and Utah. You're seeing them. Ah, hole across the country where kids are kind of starting to come back and then boom. There's this sort of exposure to on element of covert 19 in the classroom. My brother Isa teacher in Northern California he teaches high school students, and they just had two of their senior students test positive for covert 19 1 senior at another school in their district. And the school just for decided to shut things down until October. So my brother will be teaching from his classroom, But just on the computer to people who will be learning at home. So are we working on the honor system here? Our parents required by law to report if their child test positive. Uh, that's a great question. I don't know that they're required. I also don't know who's hiding that right now. I'm thinking that that's a good idea. I think you know the reality of the situation is school districts are asking and trying to figure out what it is that parents want to do and what the schools want to do from that point on there making decisions based upon that, But the minute you start talking about bringing a kid in who might be infected. And even though the symptoms aren't nearly as strong and kids or at least that's what the reports have been throughout what you've seen for adults and older people, they can still spread it, so they're still going to school. They can still pick it up and bring it home. And then they can spread it that way. So if you were looking to stop the spread period, it would seem likely the things they do. There is not put kids into a situation where it was worse back in March, but worse than where was back in March and trying to put them in and think that this is going to stop the spread. Meanwhile,
Trump Wants to Ban TikTok, NASA-SpaceX Mission Success, & Unemployment Benefits Expire - Monday, August 3rd
"It's Monday August third president trump wants to ban TIKTOK. Info on the NASA spacex mission success plus unemployment benefits have expired why trump's team is interested in Biden's VP pick and more. Welcome to Rob Song, podcast where I bring you the latest Progressive News and politics and ten minutes or less I'm Robert Cunningham thank you for tuning in. Let's get informed. So president trump announced on Friday night that he wants to ban Tiktok Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that trump would be making an announcement on these matters in the coming days he said this on Fox News Sunday morning futures where he also said that Tiktok, the Chinese owned short form video APP needs to be taken down via executive action in addition to Tiktok. Mike. POMPEO. Pointed to we chat, which is a Chinese messaging APP saying that both of these are feeding data directly to the. Chinese Communist Party quote for a long time a long time. The United States just said well goodness if we're having fun with it or if a company can make money off of it, we're going to permit that to happen president trump said enough going on the secretary of state added and we are going to fix it and so he will take action in the coming days with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software that connected to the Chinese Communist Party. Microsoft has emerged as wanting to potentially by all US operations of tiktok accents reports that trump does have a deal on his desk where Microsoft would lead acquisition of the US operations of six talk and Microsoft seems to believe that it's possible that a total separation can happen from tiktok parent company by Dance. It's important for you to understand that presidents normally can't just order a ban on individual companies like this but the fact that Tiktok has a foreign owner allows the Treasury Department to have broad. Authority over it. Now, at this point, it's unclear whether trump is going to allow Microsoft to buy it or if trump is just going to push for an all out ban, we don't know. But what we do know is that this is super weird coming just months before an election six does have one hundred, million US users, and so it is rather strange move it could alienate some I mean granted I don't know if it would make much of a difference, but it just seemed strange. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Bankin are safely on earth after a historic flight to and from the International Space Station provided by SPACEX Axios says on Saturday afternoon both astronaut splashdown into the Gulf of Mexico after about two forty, eight PM eastern time a space x vessel was able to recover both astronauts from their crew, dragon? Capsule. Hurley in bank in two month mission was the first time that people have been launched into orbit from the United States. The end of the space shuttle. Program in twenty eleven. This new move of partnering for Space Exploration, with private companies can allow NASA to act more of like a buyer instead of a provider of these services now and will free up NASA's budget to focus on things like getting people to the moon and eventually other planets in the future. In fact, NASA and SPACEX already have another trip planned this time for six months with multiple. NASA. Going up to the International Space Station, this will take place around late. September. So be on the lookout. Additional unemployment benefits of six hundred dollars per week expired on Friday July thirty first and reportedly the White House Senate. Republicans and Democrats are all know we're closer to a deal? Apparently, all sides are on board though for another twelve, hundred dollar check like was done with the cares act earlier this year the main point of disagreement is the additional unemployment benefits six hundred dollars extra. A month is what people have been receiving since the cares act was passed Democrats want to continue at that rate while Republicans want to. Bring that down to two hundred additional dollars per week while eventually moving holy to seventy percent of lost wages Republicans additionally wanted to get a one week extension on the six hundred dollars per week of additional benefits passed quickly. But the Democrats are refusing because they think that the Republicans are just GonNa. Use It as just a quick win and move on. But the Democrats are saying that they want a full robust bill. Now, the Democrats have proposed a three trillion dollar deal while the Republicans are looking to pass. A one trillion dollar deal, and as of yesterday junk Schumer the Senate Minority leader said that there were significant divisions remaining but good progress is being made quote. We made good progress. There are lots of things we are still divided on and we're not close to an agreement yet, but we are making good progress and I'm hopeful that we can get to an agreement. Now they're going to resume talks today. Okay. But do not be fooled. The Republicans are trying to place the onus here on Democrats but Democrats came. Up with a bill back in May the bill back in May like I said had a three trillion dollar price tag. It was approved by the House but then has not been voted on in the Senate and Senate Republicans want to have a one trillion dollar bill that does not do nearly enough in my opinion. So but as of right now you know who's GonNa Suffer America, the American people that are unemployed we just had on Thursday. One of the worse GDP records for quarter ever if not the worst. The percentage of GDP lost was close to thirty three percent. I hope we get a deal soon things are super hard to pass in Washington obviously, and I'm glad that the Democrats are sticking their feet in and trying to get this thing passed the Democrats are not perfect and I fear that they're going to cave too much here. But we've got to get something done because there is an eviction crisis looming we need to renew the moratorium on fictions. Now CNBC just posted a study recently that twenty two to fifty nine percent depending on the state that you live in of renters may be facing eviction as a result of the corona virus economic circumstances these numbers are horrifying and I'm sure this isn't the last time you'll be hearing about it. Trump's campaign paused ads over the weekend, which is really weird because they wanted to rebrand their messaging and new ads launching today are going to be depicting Joe Biden as a puppet of the radical left. This comes from two senior campaign officials but the most recent internal polls show that the puppet of the left's attack on Biden is going to resonate with voters and speaking personally in someone who lives in a very heavy trump territory. The this is the talking point that I've heard Oh Biden's not the problem it's. Going to be the VP you have to look out for as if Kamla Harrison. Some sort of crazy radical assuming he chooses someone like her speaking of the VP spot trump's campaign is very interested in that because the quote unquote radical left thing that they're going to be using their ads is a placeholder for whoever Joe Biden ends up picking. By the way, we will learn who Joe Biden is going to pick around on tenth multiple sources have suggested he said now he pushed back his self imposed deadline from. The first week of August to the second week and one source has said that it's going to be August tenth now. So be on the lookout here. No matter who Joe Biden picks. I think that Joe Biden is well-positioned. Of course, we all have to go out and vote that. This is not a matter of that we have to vote even if we live in California or Massachusetts or Oklahoma Even for God's sake, we have to vote for Joe Biden, but it doesn't really matter as much who he picks. Think this go around because trump's campaign is reportedly very upset that Biden doesn't have the unfavorability rating that Hillary Clinton did in two, thousand, sixteen, all of this trump at drama gotta be Biden's campaign to respond Andrew Bates. Director of rapid response said quote the American people know Joe Biden and after seven consecutive months of failed leadership during the worst possible health crisis in generations they know that our nation's capacity to join the rest of the world beating back cove nineteen has been crippled by one overriding burden donald trump. Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina said on Sunday that he believes trump is trying to put a cloud over the election and that he does not plan to leave office. If he loses Clyburn told CNN that the American people had better wake up to trump and he compared trump to Mussalini and said Russian President Vladimir Putin is akin to Hitler further representative Clyburn said quote I don't think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn't plan to have fair unfettered elections I believe that he plans to install. Himself in some kind of emergency way to continue to hold office. Now, all of this is to say everything that Clyburn is saying here means that we have to so overwhelmed the vote that trump cannot cheat. We have to force him out of office because on January twentieth at noon no matter how hard trump tries he will not be the president if we overwhelmed the vote and like Joe. Biden. So that's what we have to do. If you need help getting registered in your state, go to vote Dot
Obituary: Herman Cain
"Herman Cain helped define the American black conservative movement. He also set the stage for trump by Philip Elliott. Herman. CAIN remembered the nineteen ninety-six moment that changed his political trajectory as clearly as any in his life. The businessman was advising Jack Kemp's vice presidential campaign and accompanied the boss to the iconic Sylvia's soul food restaurant in Harlem for an event a man in the crowd shouted out to Kane and colleagues Black Republicans, there's no such thing. The. Same Man in canes telling called them Uncle Toms. The episode. So angered Kane that when he got home from that campaign swing, he switched from a registered independent to a card carrying member of the Republican. Party and over the next quarter century, the child of the segregated south became one of the best known black Republicans in the country briefly rising to be his party's presidential front runner for the two thousand twelve nomination and remaining one of the most quotable stars in conservative media. So committed to his party's stick it in the I e host was Cain that he flew to Tulsa. Oklahoma for President Donald, trump's first return to the campaign trail after one hundred thousand US corona virus deaths despite dire warnings from public health experts at that endure rally on June twentieth the stage four colon cancer survivor posed for pictures without wearing a mask and sat in the packed stands with fellow fans of the president on June twenty-ninth Cain tested positive for the corona virus. On July second, his aides announced he had been hospitalized while fighting the disease his twitter account continued to criticize mask wearing and to promote unproven endorsements of hydroxy. On. July. Thirtieth CAIN aides announced he had died from the White House trump attributed the death to the thing called the virus cain among the most prominent Americans to die during this pandemic who was seventy four In many ways, Kane and trump were cut from the same cloth neither had been elected to any political post before running for the White House, both delighted in needling the Republican Party's establishment and the mainstream press they shot from the hip campaigned in slogans and didn't much care to learn the details. Both men were dogged by allegations of sexual affairs and inappropriate behavior, and both denied the allegations they proved disqualifying for Kane who ended his bid in December twenty eleven under intense scrutiny. But they did not derail trump just one election cycle. Later, they were also both savvy exploiters of the media. In saying things they knew would provoke outrage and thus amplify the celebrity at the core of their bids indifference toward if not hostility against what had come before was a cornerstone of their strategy, not a flaw. CAIN was born in Memphis in nineteen forty-five to a domestic worker mother and a janitor father when his dad was hired to be the chauffeur for the head of coca-cola, the family moved to Atlanta where cain would graduate from Morehouse College. He then completed his graduate studies at Purdue University after civilian service in the navy from there Kane moved from engineer to executive with Pillsbury and its subsidiaries of Burger King and Godfather's pizza where he would be its CEO. In nineteen, Eighty Eight, he oversaw Godfather's. From, Pillsbury throughout the same time yelled positions with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. That part of his resume lead trump to consider cane for a position in his administration a move that drew dissent from fellow Republicans who were not eager to revisit the allegations against Kane for three years. Kane led the national. Restaurant Association a lobbying arm for the industry that paid settlements to at least two women who detailed canes unwanted advances. His was not a typical career in his post. CEO Years Cain became a sought after motivational speaker and unsuccessful presidential candidate in two thousand and a Senate one in two thousand four. As, the tea party movement started to organize after Barack Obama's election to the White House. Kane emerged as one of its strongest spokespeople when the twenty twelve election cycle began kane decided to run the scrappy est of campaigns focused on untrue additional travel schedule that often seemed more like a book tour than an organizing effort. His novel nine, nine nine tax plan proposing a nine percent corporate business flat tax, a nine percent personal income flat tax and a nine percent national sales tax drew I rolls from economists but curiosity from voters. Antipathy toward front runner Mitt Romney proved sufficient to give cain a chance to rise in the late summer and fall of twenty eleven until his personal life just proved too much. But he didn't shrink from podcast life. Instead he became a ubiquitous voice and reliable critic of Democrats
Oklahoma inmate captured after daring escape from jail's 12th floor
"A murder suspect was one of two county jail inmates who has recaptured Friday after a daring escape. The pair of the Oklahoma County jail in Oklahoma City Friday used a tired but risky cliche. They tied a lot of bedsheets together, busted a window and roll them down 12 floors to the ground. The prison says. One escapee broke a leg by letting go four floors from the ground. The other went to a neighborhood where he had
Marilyn Nelson Communal Pondering in a Noisy World
"Maryland Nelson is a storytelling poet. She gives winsome voice forgotten people from history and from her own family. She shines a light on the complicated ancestry. We have in common and can help us in the work we have to together. Now she's written for both adults and children. She's taught poetry and contemporary practice to West, point cadets, and alongside the gentle, but mighty steam. Maryland Nelson Commands in the communion of modern poets. She's a voice for all of us in the work in the privilege of what she calls communal pondering to sit with her is to gain a newly spacious perspective on what that might mean and on why people young and old are turning to poetry with urgency. Poetry consists of. Words and phrases and sentences that emerge like something coming out of water. They emerge before us and they call up something in us, but then they turn. US back into our own silence, and that's why reading poetry reading it. Alone silently. Takes us some place where we can't get ordinarily poetry. Opens us to this otherness that exists within us. Don't. You think we read a poem and you say. And you listen to what it brings out inside of you, and what it is, is not words, it's silence. I'm Krista Tippett, and this is on being. Maryland Nelson is professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut and a former Chancellor of the Academy of American poets. I interviewed her at the University of North Carolina Asheville in two, thousand sixteen. So, here we are and I'm just delighted to be here with Marilyn. Nelson. It's been such a treat to be reading your poetry these last few days. missed. You were born in Cleveland of a teacher mother. And a father who was a member of the last graduating class of the tyskie airman. I wonder any, we're moving around a lot a lot. Yeah. You and your sisters always imagined that when you left each place. Disappeared cease to exist. And you did. This book how I discovered poetry. It's a memoir in poems a and I just wondered. So I WANNA say I said to Maryland I have a few books here and I have some. We'll read some poetry throughout I'm going to ask her to read some things. We'll read some at the end, but I also said to her that if she just feels called to grab one of these books and read she can. But I wondered if you would just read the last poem in this in this collection how I discovered poetry. Yes. Okay. This one is called thirteen year old American Negro girl. On each of these poems has a little byline of choir. We were at the time. This we were on an air force base in Oklahoma in nineteen, fifty, nine, thirteen year, old American Negro girl. My face as foreign to me as a mask allows people to believe they know me. Thirteen year old American. Negro girl headlines would read if I was newsworthy. But that's just the top of the iceberg me. I could spend hours searching the mirror for clues to my truer identity. If someone didn't pound the bathroom door. You can't see what the mirror doesn't show. For instance, that after I closed my book and turn off my lamp, I, say to the dark, give me a message. I can give the world. Afraid. There's a poet behind my face. I beg until I've cried myself to sleep. Thank you. That's my sister banging on the bathroom. And I don't know what me to talk about it. I for me. The. The. Crux of this poem is the fact that I really did pray. Give me a message that I can give the world. If you give me a message that I can give the world I promise, I'll be true to it. I'll be honest to it. That was. That was my thirteen year old. Prayer. Let me be a poet. Give me something to share. So.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Guy that's there now. Wow okay. Activate Yes. Yeah. It's actually three directors before Mark Tiger although he was on my staff when I started, it was early nineties. Okay. GOTCHA! So. So, what? What exactly is Oklahoma Policy Institutes? Medicaid expansion has been. Something that since I first okay policy? We moved back to the state in two thousand thirteen. You know. David Blatt was very much a vocal advocate You know why why is that? Why does Oklahoma Policy Institute advocate on behalf of expansion? Will, Maryanne we are. A Non Nonpartisan nonprofit think tank dedicated to a fairer and more prosperous Oklahoma and one of the things that have since the day that David dreamed up the idea of okay policy, one of the walls that stood between us and prosperity and fairness is. The lack of access for too many of say one out of five to healthcare and so. We were pushing for greater access to healthcare before the affordable care, act and Medicaid expansion became an opposite. This is just a continuation of that word for us. Ok. Connects.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Has it slowed other efforts to To make progress on getting of the previous state questions implemented yes so the reality is the state of Oklahoma is making progress in twenty sixteen. The voters of our state overwhelmingly supported a some reforms. That would reclassify simple possession in low level property crimes from felony convictions. Two misdemeanors and then the other part of that was to reinvest the savings from reducing our prison populations for those offenses into greater access to Mental Health. Care to start with abuse treatment to education to employment on and so forth and the reality is. We've seen our crime rates steadily decrease Since that moment in time And there was at the beginning of this legislative session a pretty serious discussion about beginning the process of reinvesting those those resources into greater access to mental health and Substance Abuse Care however whack that the legislature has been unable to meet. I think as has deterred many of those conversations the fact that budgets are much tighter than than they were originally projected to be now has also added elements of Difficulty to the conversation as well and so I think in in in many regards the pandemic has has stifled some progress. That was being made. There was also a pretty pretty wonderful discussion in policy Of proposals that that would have enhanced a reentry services to individuals who may be returning home. It would have made it easier to obtain a valid driver's license for a returning adults of to guaranteed a state. Id of before transitioning out of out of prison to make sure that a person has a resume in some job leads in in the basic things that would be necessary to to begin the rebuilding process. So that a person could move forward in a productive way. There's still a lot of meaningful efforts that are taking place Typically within the nonprofit community within the faith community but there is There's a lot of room for the state of Oklahoma to to continue to grow in order to set a person up to be successful once they had paid their debt in serve their time. Yup I think that too. I think you've you've you've pretty much covered again. I think you have this. Damn Chris want you've done this a few times? I just appreciate so much. The fact that that you're you're drawn attention to this the reality is in. I'm GonNa tell you that We at the teen the direct service provider of non profit that I get to work with. We have remained open to provide essential basic Direct services for the men and women we serve and It's hard and I want to be very clear about this The situation that we're currently in right now is is difficult for all Oklahomans in I think about it. I pray about it every day and it's scary in in in terrible for anyone who loses a job. There's no doubt about that That that being said it. It's much more difficult for a person. With a troubled past. To Obtain Employment a felony conviction access the scarlet letter. And it's hard for a person with a record to secure employment in in a normal situation let alone when when jobs are limited and so I just want to to kind of lift up the fact that of when we consider what may be a better approach to funding or criminal justice system. We need to make sure that that we're doing that. In a way that that ultimately is fair to everyone involved in in and we have focused the majority of our efforts on on individuals who have committed nonviolent offenses in in the vast majority of cases the antisocial behavior stems from untreated addiction or untreated mental illness or unresolved trauma. And so I just WanNa make a plea that as we continue the discussion and we continued to consider how we can improve our criminal justice system how we can enhance the quality of life for all. Oklahomans that we not lose sight of the importance of addressing those core issues. It's it's imperative that we deal with the the trauma the mental State of affairs of an individual and certainly issues of addiction when we can adequately and holy begin to address those issues. There's no question that we will see. Fewer fewer problems within society. I have felt for about a month. Now that we have an incredible opportunity Even in the midst of the chaos of the pandemic into see uncertainty. We have an incredible opportunity to do better right. I mean it's almost like the slate has somewhat been wiped clean. Like things are things are kind of out the window. Normal is out the window and It would just. I will be interested to see what the state chooses. The do in the coming weeks as they write the budget for the next year Because there are so many ways that we can really lift up people in Oklahoma. That needed the most. You know. Not Income Tax cuts for the highest highest brackets I mean I really some very specific things that we can do to enrich the lives of people of Oklahoma so that they can be successful In just talking to you just gives me hope that that's possible will use. This would comment very quickly. That that is so well said The one thing that I am certain of is that when push comes to shove Oklahomans or pretty great at at helping one another. I mean we tend to shine. I mean it's it's been referred to time and again as the Oklahoma Standard in and we tend to really shine in times of crisis or in times of challenge. And I do agree with you. That is as concerning and as as difficult as the current situation appears it does present an opportunity and I am also optimistic about how Oklahoma will respond in this given a moment. Time how we will reconsider in. It gives us an opportunity as you said to. Too many ways. Start with a fresh slate in in There's no better time to re imagine What how we could or should be doing things then right now.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"So my name is Chris Steele and I serve as executive director for teen the Education and Employment Ministry which is a direct service provider for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system in also work with the serve as executive director for Oklahoma for criminal Justice Reform. Which is an advocacy organization that that promotes policy changes within the criminal justice system? Well and in that room. Could we take just a second here at the start of this for you to bring us up to speed on St Question Eight? Oh five yes sir. So Oklahoma's for criminal. Justice reform is a partner organization in The ballot initiative of pertaining to state. Question eight Oh. Five which seeks to limit the use of sentence enhancements for nonviolent offenses in the state of Oklahoma an essence. What we're attempting to do is is bring our sentencing guidelines for nonviolent of situations in line more in line with national averages we started the a initiative petition in mid November. We're giving a date to begin collecting signatures on December. The Twenty six twenty nineteen and have been diligently collecting signatures right up until about May the I'm sorry marched the night in we stopped because of the pandemic. We stopped out of an abundance of caution. In relation to the Public Health Fellow Oklahomans Day later the governor actually announced that he was suspending all ballot initiative processes for the time being. And so that sort of were at right. Now we're in a holding pattern waiting to hear back from the governor and the Secretary of State's office on when we may be able to turn in the signatures that we have collected so far in order to qualify to be on the ballot in November. So do you feel like you mean? Were you pretty much. You're pretty much wrapped up. You were close to the end of the ninety days anyway right. Yes Sir yes sir are we. Were within nine days of the ninety days so we had been collecting signatures for eighty one days and the response was just incredible and we are very thankful and excited about the response of Oklahoma's voters who truly understand the the need to stay reduce our prison population. Strengthen families make better use of our states resources and ultimately invest in alternatives to incarceration so a couple weeks ago although everyday feels like a month right now so we actually was when agencies and Had to go kind of restate their case for adjusting their Budget REQUESTS FOR STATE FISCAL YEAR. On twenty twenty one Something that stood out to Arnold and I was when Jerry Askins was speaking to the hearing and mentioned that you know. The downtick in court fees Was Really GonNa make it hard for them to make payroll and I just feel like that brought a lot of conversations that we've already had with you Basically we're seeing all the way into intersect So and it just reminded us of our conversation with you When you mentioned the DA's council a couple of weeks ago and just funding that through fines and fees It just brings to a point of kind of the the inequity of state finance In the criminal justice system Could you talk more about that for us? Sure certainly in you. You've hit the nail on the head. The reality is the sad reality is that Oklahoma is funding our justice system on the backs of men and women who can least afford to pay for it and so ultimately there is a a perverse incentive for The collection of these fees. When literally your your payroll is dependent upon that source of revenue. A much more equitable system would be to fund. Our our judicial system through general appropriated dollars. So that there's not a need to charge in a way that that it most financially advantageous not only that we don't want to get in a situation where we are unduly punishing person because they are poor and unable to keep up with their financial burdens within the criminal justice system. So we see this time and again when a person in Oklahoma stumbles they. They may have made a mistake They get charged and ultimately Synced with a crime and the financial burden associated or connected with that charge is so great and so severe That the person struggles to be able to meet those obligations and when that happens it. It plays all kinds of stress on the family unit in in in the person's often faced with having to pay their legal fees and fines or meeting the needs of their family and win a choices are presented in a person. Feels like they they. They don't have a lot of options. That in and of itself can be motivation for a person to continue down a path of of unhealthy decision. Making we're not making excuses for behavior but the reality is there should not be a a situation. Where are are you just do? Digital system is dependent upon the financial obligations of a person who who may be charged with a crime. I mean in essence. We are funding government on people's weaknesses rather than collectively the state's strengths also creates basically creates another Who Route I guess. For lack of a better term it also creates and expose the unequal The inequality of our criminal justice system role to though right because at the end of the day there are certain people who may have made the mistake but can afford to bail themselves out or whatever the case might be and continue working while others end up in. What is the equivalent of debtors prison? There's a fairness issue here. Isn't there one hundred percent so I mean it's it starts at the very beginning so when a person is arrested and taken to jail if they cannot afford to make bond Oftentimes they will remain in jail until their court date. That can be you know. Sixty ninety days in in many cases That adds all kinds of instability to a person's life. But then be on that beyond that. You're being detained simply because you may not have the financial means to pay for your once your your on supervision once. You're you're trying to to reestablish yourself a new forward in a positive productive way. The reality is that the financial burdens connected within the judicial system for for a person who's caught up in the system is often so great that it it is impossible of for a person who may be living paycheck to paycheck to meet those financial obligations and the result. Is that it it. It often causes More trouble it causes more A problems for that individual and their family and that this should not be the case that in Oklahoma person would be incentivized to to to go deeper into the criminal justice system simply because they cannot afford meet their financial obligations. So where's the state at right? Now in terms of you know what what could happen Given the current budget situation In our criminal justice system. It's a it's A. It's a great question in the reality is that I think the place that we ought to start is is not a penalising individuals who were caught up in the system who cannot afford to pay their fees and fines at this moment in time it it. It is counterintuitive to continue to punish those individuals or or revoke the status of their supervision in the community. The the reality is that if a person has a felony conviction it is extremely difficult to secure gainful employment and and you know they're likely of having a difficult time financially as it is in to punish them on top of that is simply counterproductive in so. I think that the the solution starts with the recognition that we do not need to enforce penalties. Were people who legitimately cannot afford to pay. Because they've lost their job because their their their employment status is unstable. Or what have you beyond that? I think that we need to continue. The discussion of what may be a more equitable a better approach to funding our criminal justice system. That's going to be difficult in in light of our current budget forecast in in budget situation but it also perhaps provides an opportunity for us to reconsider from a fundamental standpoint from a foundational standpoint. How we are funding. Our criminal justice system in in what may be a better approach so that when we do come out of this we have a structure in place that that actually works for the for the good of a society has the pandemic and the fact that we're in a mode of virtual legislating of these days.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Growth in population as we can now see clearly. The two questions did not have the hope for impact primarily because the voter approved changes were statutory in not constitutional giving a legislature that was elected on tap on crime platforms the leeway to mostly ignore the will of the voters. It is true. The second year Governor Kevin stood has commuted. The nonviolent sentences of hundreds of Oklahoma inmates flattening the growth in prison population but the legislature hasn't redirected the savings as intended into programs aimed turning nonviolent lawbreakers into productive tax paying citizens as we've discussed in recent observer casts. The state budget is more than a simple dollars and sense leger. It's a moral document that speaks to our priorities. Oklahoma's State House leadership's failure to meaningfully. Embrace the voter approved changes. Means tax. Dollars are being spent primarily to underwrite the prison industrial complex. Not on improving the lives of Oklahomans in our communities former House Speaker Kris Steele and his Rupe Oklahoma for criminal justice reform or the driving force behind the successful state question. Seven eighty seven eighty eighty-one campaigns now four legislative sessions and four state budgets. Later they are back with a proposed constitutional amendment state question eight. Oh five that if approved by the voters would leave lawmakers no choice but to end the use of sentence enhancements which pile additional time onto prison sentences if individuals previously served time for non violent offenses. The yes on eight. Five campaign began collecting insurance December. Twenty sixth and it was only ten days from the end of the Ninety Day collection period when the Covid nineteen pandemic shutdown initiative process. Now that governor has been listening his safer at home orders speaker steel in the Yes on five campaign Asa Oklahoma Supreme Court to require the Secretary of State's office to accept the signatures. They have already collected. They are rightfully concerned that Statehouse House leadership post a question. Eight five could use the pandemic to run out the clock and make it impossible time wise for the initiative to appear on the November general election ballot as part of our observer cast budget series on the State's criminal justice system and the court. That concludes with this episode. We invited speaker steal back to give us an update on efforts to make Oklahoma smart on crime..
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Were starved for more than a decade by a Republican controlled State House that pursued anti-tax Guru grover norquist bill a shrinking government. To the point. You can drown the rest in the bathtub. Oklahomans are now dealing with a painful reality. You get what you pay for. And what Oklahoma is getting is the government equivalent of the gang. That couldn't shoot straight they. Chaos is especially painful for the state's newly unemployed as the nation's unemployment rate skyrocketed to fourteen point seven percent highest since the greatest depression Oklahoma experienced the nation's largest percent increase in claims. Four thousand. Three hundred twenty five percent compared with the previous period of any state according to the Economic Policy Institute nearly one in five Oklahomans has filed for unemployment. It is true that Oklahoma is not alone in its struggle to keep up with the avalanche of unemployment applications. Other states are swamped as well. But nearly two months into the nation's economic shutdown too many increasingly desperate out of work oklahomans remain unable to access a twentieth century system technologically during a twenty-first-century. Emergency in fact it never know. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Was Anything But a Well oiled machine if you listened only to the Administration Sunshine Rainbows Meredith Four Hundred. Thirty two thousand seventy six unemployment claims filed since March fifteenth. Only sixty. Three thousand five hundred eighty nine still pending four hundred. Thirty two million dollars in state and federal Out Out of Work Oklahoma's their PR spin also emphasizes a favourite Republican bogeyman. Where public assistance is involved? The potential for rampant fraud the governor his team report intercepting as many as seventy five thousand. Suspicious unemployment claims so far. That's hardly surprising. Scammers come out of the woodwork. Whenever there's an emergency but is it prudent to give priority to potential fraud. Assigning more than three hundred state workers to investigate. Potentially bogus claims when so many out of Work Oklahoma and still get the benefits. They're legitimately entitled to and sorely need. The administration strategy further came under fire when it was learned. His team discussed asking the federal government. Stop sending additional six hundred dollars per month. Emergency payments to Oklahoma's unemployed because the extra benefit might somehow serve as a disincentive to return to work as the economy reopens almost from the day. Pandemic related jobless claims skyrocketed state representative. Mickey Dahlan's has gotten an earful from constituents about the state's unemployment system. He's been in regular contact with the agency trying to determine what's working and what's not and how best to help his constituents navigate. What can be a confusing system. Recently representative Dahlan's became so frustrated with the agencies erratic responses that he took to social media to air his concerns the administration loudly claims the bring a business in Customer Service. Mindset to governing. It wasn't fact a central facet of his campaign. The Secretary of Digital Transformation David Ostra who also comes from the private sector did not employ best practices in crisis communications response to it is decidedly a customer service problem when responding to Representative Don Statement on Facebook. Decrying delays in payments. In fact Ostro put out a press release firing back at statement as partisan politics then oster said on. Kfc Channel Five that there have been quote absolutely no delays whatsoever unquote in the payment of unemployment insurance claims. We invited representative Dahlan's to talk with us in more detail about what his constituents are telling him and what he experienced when he their state representative tried to help them and we ask of the thousands of Oklahomans who are newly unemployed. Who are you going to believe you or you're lying My name is Mickey Dolphins and I'm a state representative in Oklahoma City a Dad. I've got two kids. I've got a daughter. Who's six months old and a son who's about to turn to on May seventh so this Thursday? We've got a big At Home Birthday Party planned my Dad. He bought him one of those little jeeps that she can sit and write in which is pretty cool because nowadays they make it to where not only kid. The kid driving. He's only going to be too so they have remote control now on them to lock preference. Yes definitely he starts you know. Run it into a tree or something I can divert it myself without a run over there like our parents did with said you know where there's like. The coach in the passenger seat like has the emergency brake. That's right so we're pretty excited about that. And on the outside of the legislature. I work for a nonprofit. I'm the executive director of the Energy Assists Foundation and Also do some work with some other nonprofits so I enjoy serving and I love our state. Tell us about your district in Oklahoma City. Yeah House district. Ninety three was a Republican district. I ran for office in two thousand sixteen after being furloughed as a teacher due to the education budget cuts and I started going door to door and listening to people and if they asked I share my story and ended up flipping the district from red to blue. And I've held the seat ever since two thousand sixteen were blue collar Community and we enjoy eating and family and we have really strong work at the end values. And it's just very community oriented oriented down here or were really close with all of our neighbors on the streets and not only and within our own block but throughout the entire district and even outside of it so we love South Oklahoma City and were so excited to raise her family here. Raise our kids here. And it's just been a great experience in honor of my life to represent them for the past forty years so we contacted you because. I think everyone knows that the decline in the economy or I duNno. I think declines actually pretty a pretty generous attorney with the plunge of the economy in the past six or seven weeks The rise in unemployment in this day the state's unemployment system has really struggled to keep up with demand Unemployment just last fall and tell you how Clinton was when employment unemployment rates were optimal in the state Thankfully I have not had to deal with it At the worst times. And so we noticed your We noticed your posts yesterday about the continuing challenges with unemployment system. So can you tell us what what what what kind of precipitated your posts yesterday? Yeah I'd like to rewind to about a month and a half ago when the pandemic really started to kick in and businesses started closing A lot of people with who are W. Two workers could file for traditional unemployment benefits or regular unemployment benefits without left a whole group of self employed workers who are left high and dry because their income dried up because they weren't able to work and so congress passed I believe on March thirtieth the cares act and apart provisions in that act would extend and strengthen unemployment benefits to individuals who are self employed and so the federal government sent additional funds to states To give them an additional six hundred dollars per week in addition to what these people would qualify for which is only forty percent of their total weekly wages and so the idea behind six hundred to add that to it as an incentive to stay home to help curb the spread in level it out. And so it's been a fiasco to say the least and it's important to acknowledge that other states have had severe issues but not quite to the severity that we have experienced in Oklahoma nothing to the severity of a workforce group having zoom meeting in discussing ways in which to withhold the six hundred dollars. I had just mentioned people because they feel that it is a disincentive for them to go back to work. That's when I really started to get upset and wanted to come out. is not someone for because prior to that for the previous month trying to basically help troubled. Evan from their questions Where people were coming on my page and I was basically serving as a conduit of information from the Oese To my constituents and other people across the state and that was going okay but over time they kept changing it up and it kept delaying and there were things that just weren't matching up from what leadership was saying and from what people are really experiencing and then when it came to the pandemic unemployment assistance that was the cares act. That would help. Extend unemployment to self-employed individuals whenever the application for that gut really ambiguous and the questions might as well been worded by iota. In how confusing I had to go off and do something about it and so I had obviously contacted the Director Robertson. Who is very new to the job? She has hired ten weeks ago From the private sector and she was unaware of many issues that were holding people's claims up for example. A self employed person was being required to list to sell to to list to work search requirements. Why would a self-employed person? Who's trying to get their business back up and going required to go out and search for work search requirements. She didn't know that was on there. That particular question was an on or it's not on the regular unemployment claims and to my knowledge it hasn't been fixed yet so throughout the month I was asking them in requesting and demanding that these issues be addressed and fixed and they just weren't and that led me to believe that one either this is intentionally designed to hold people up in their application process in receiving their benefits or two. It's incompetence and it could be the competence to mask the failure that they have They they have that has resulted in them. Not being able to get this such financially the these funds that are so important to people right now to get those two into the people into their hands of Oklahoma and It's just a complete and utter failure so I collected my thoughts and just wrote him out and consulted my wife inch and she said yeah it needs to be said so I put it out there and then Unfortunately instead of the OEM or the director I mean not particularly Robin but The secretary of digital transformation instead of just owing up to sending others has been a failure and we are working on it and we are so empathetic with the people who are suffering. We are trying to get this out the door and into the hands of Oklahomans. It's been the complete opposite. It's been misleading numbers. Showing hundred thirty. Six thousand claims have been paid out. It's like it. What the governor saying on a weekly basis in his press conferences so disconnected and untruthful from what is actually happening in the trenches and people's homes in our neighborhoods and so with all of that and accumulation. I said you know I'm not going to try to help. Oese anymore when they keep moving the goalposts. And so I decided to I actually felt an obligation to say something on behalf of not only my constituents but the thousands and thousands of Oklahoma's who've been messing in commenting on my post and emailing and just looking for some help so here we are today where now. Oh yes see is putting out press releases taking personal shots Heh My Post and I just find it absurd that you have a state agency. Criticizing me for fighting for Oklahoma's who've lost their jobs and keeping trying to keep an agency under accountability. They're coming at me as for being partisan would not one time. Did I mention anything about political party and never have I? I don't mind if you're a republican or Democrat independent Libertarian. I'm going to work for you and other Oklahoma and the same is hard as I can and so I felt it was a bit childish. You know unreasonable for them to do that. But I did. Respond and I'm more willing to get this done. I want more than anything to get these funds in the hands of Oklahomans. But I don't think that they should be painting the picture. They are not telling the truth on the reality of how things all right now. Now this can't be a unique to your district right and and your situation other other. Legislators must be hearing from constituents as well on these sorts of issues of certainly and people have told me that they have reached out to their representatives senators and some replies. Some help for the majority of the people who've told me anyway. They haven't received a response so that may be one reason. Why our messaging.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Worldwide. There are over three million confirmed cases of Kovic nineteen in the United States. We are hovering near one million cases. We have long ago. Surpassed numbers the worst hit countries in Europe including Italy in Spain. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health website dedicated Covet nineteen pandemic. There are three thousand two hundred eighty cases of the virus in Oklahoma up. Twenty seven or zero point eight percent over the past twenty four hours one hundred ninety seven. Oklahoma have died from the virus to in the past day. And according to the John Hopkins University covered nineteen tracker. The state of Oklahoma has a five point. Nine percent fatality rate governor Kevin instead of now staple twenty second that a phased in reopening the state would begin starting with restaurant dining rooms movie theaters. And gyms this announcement came in spite of the Oklahoma Hospital Association critique against allowing elective surgeries to begin again with Osha President. Patty Davis saying in a statement but hospitals did not have access to adequate personal protective equipment to resume elective surgeries Oklahoma State Medical Association President. Dr George Monks said reopening. The state was quote hasty at best this past weekend on Fox News when Chris Wallace asked the governor about Dr monks concern stood. Said he didn't even know who monks was Jane. Nelson of the Oklahoma Nurses Association also voiced concern in an Oklahoma. Watch story saying her organization has reports of nurses being asked to reuse. Pp and that no one really knows how transferable viruses mayors across the state have been forced to rethink their stay at home. Orders with Tulsa Oklahoma City deciding against extending due due to competing messages from surrounding suburbs. That would undermine the efficacy of orders in their city limits. Meanwhile are Oklahoma. The Homa city reports that eighty percent of the staff at a metro nursing home tested positive for the virus but returned to work anyways this while nursing home operator statewide report. An inability to access P P. E. TO PROTECT staff governors was famously slowed any restrictions in place here in our state even hedging his orders with phrases like safer at home and stripping any Modicum of collective awareness to flatten the Kerr with his insistence on Oklahoma and sense of personal responsibility notably missing from this in our state however is a voice from public health experts. Yes we have. Two of the governor's cabinet members next to him at every press conference but his secretary of Health and mental health comes from oil and energy and has zero background in either of these areas and his Secretary of Science and innovation leads always use medical school. She's well respected airfield but neither is biologists nor epidemiologist. Public Health is the field that specializes not only in tracking disease but also in communicating about in ways that change behaviors and perceptions given the governor's erratic messaging and inconsistent communication about the nature of Cub. In nineteen in its prevalence in our state we thought an actual public health expert might shine a light on key information that were missing right now. I found Dr Rainy Hue Bach. He works at Oklahoma State Department of Rural Health with a background in infectious diseases and behavioral science. He agreed to talk with us about the states. Response to the virus.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Districts and teachers and the students they serve. It's a pleasure to have here today. I know there's a lot going on in the world so we're really grateful for your time this evening. Thank you glad to be here. So these are these are strange and unique times to say the least but what is really jumped out at you. A schools have closed across the state because the pandemic has given you a new appreciation her a better understanding maybe of some of the challenges across the state and maybe identify some holes that We need to be looking at long-term to get Oklahoma public education to the level that it needs to be. Yeah I think that's a really good point. And certainly what stands out is just the flexibility that we've witnessed of district leaders and then those school principals and teachers all working very quickly to put together a very different delivery alternative delivery method of with very little notice to reconnect and reengage with students. And and it's just been really incredible to see what I have noticed as well though is something that this is an opportunity to shine a brighter. Light on the inequity that exists within the state for a very long time. It has but we now have an opportunity to make that connectivity between teacher and school Sorry within the school and the household and families and students with regard to digital activity. Internet broadband devices That's a glaring hole and I believe we can use this time to actually invest strategically with some of the stimulus dollars.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Much more from humanity that gives me hope than I am. Seeing that causes me to spare and unfortunately the despair comes largely from the institutions that were supposed to rely on but I am seeing a lot of good in this world and I I think that that will only continue and I know that we'll be better better off when when we get to the other side of this nationwide. We are seeing short differences in the way red states and blue states handle the pandemic governor Andrew. Cuomo of New York has become something of a superstar through his dry matter of fact regular press conference updates as Cohen. Nineteen ravages. His State Michigan Governor Gretchen. Whitmer is the latest female politician to garner a derogatory nickname for the president due to her steadfast defense of the needs of her state and Governor Kevin Newson in California is developing a national consortium for the protective equipment and medical machinery needed to keep people alive because the national strategic stockpile has failed to deliver one story tells how when California received one hundred seventy ventilators from the national reserves. They were broken so newsom contacted a company in California who fix them and deployed them to hospitals around the state. Now the news reports that California's sending five hundred ventilators back to the national stockpile for use in New York a few other stories from around the US have stood out.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"In spite of the ineptitude of some of our institutions the success our success at beating this and surviving this lays largely with individuals. And what we'd use to do. Are we social distancing? Are We staying home? These things can get us over the Hump in spite of what's going on At the government level. But are they doing it and and you know in one way. I have total control over what I do but I have zero control over. What other and that's frustrating And a little bit scary because you see people on social media that are just ignoring this In pretending that it's not a big deal and part of that comes from False hope being sold by the president every time he steps up to the to the podium and so the these things worry me But but I will. I do want to say I. I am optimistic because of what because of how quickly I've seen Some agencies sort of change direction and you may be asking this question later but I am fascinated at how quickly we've become this a very progressive state government in in light of crisis Making sure that people can access unemployment benefits as quickly as possible In and sort of bolstering our safety net so that people can get the help they need. I mean we're doing a lot of stuff that for a long time. Conservative politics doesn't allow Because in the face of you know a crisis it's a no-brainer but we may have pivoted on policy. It seems to me for us but we do not have the infrastructure in place because people that we're hearing fraum indicate you know enormous challenges to try to access the unemployment system for example and snap benefits and different things like that. The system is overwhelmed at this. Tom Appears Yeah. Yeah I'm hopeful that we'll have Some resources from the federal government and I know that we will be getting an influx of over a billion dollar Yeah leave over. A million dollars to the state and a significant portion of that will be directed towards directly towards the healthcare system and municipalities. And things like that but the state will have the ability to to use some of those resources and I don't see a way that they they can use it for any other purpose than making sure that Oh yes see is is is solvent And that people are able to access the The benefits that they need that really is i. I mean I think it speaks to a larger issue. How how many of our Our people are just one paycheck away from from being in a really critical situation I mean how fragile is the success of this of this System that we have you know And that's obviously I mean. I think that after this is all over we really owe it to ourselves to sit down before we go back normal ask ourselves. What parts of normal do we want to go back to? And what parts of this new normal do we need to keep? What lessons did we learn? And what are we GONNA do now? In this moment to make sure that it doesn't happen again and a lot of that has to do with taking care of workers And you have all these workers that are keeping the country going that that for a long time have just been sort of a sort of sidelined by by White Collar America. The fast food fast food workers delivery drivers these people who are who are literally keeping US going So I'm I'm looking. I'm looking ahead to that in trying to make sure that I Catalog what lessons. We're learning now. I know so what? So what advice would what advice do you have for? People like Christina who we interviewed earlier of who are in that paycheck away from disaster and are having trouble getting the benefits that they've been approved for already of in the in the meantime the bills continue to come to and they're still needs to be milk in the refrigerator and and and in bread on the table. I think anybody who's lived paycheck to paycheck. Knows the the drill here? I've Until I mean I was? I was like driving post mates. The day I got elected to the legislature back in two thousand sixteen. That was that my main source of income at that time. Because I wasn't teaching anymore and I I you know there was. Nobody wanted to hire somebody. That may be leaving for four months. Outta the year if they got elected so I was living paycheck to paycheck. I remember walking into my apartment and my wife now can tell you when Sh- when we were dating one time very embarrassed Walked into my apartment. And my my my electricity been shut off because I had to pick and choose what bills I was able to pay in this. I mean this is just. I hate to give this advice but but people who've been in that position no you do. What is the top priority for you and your family And when when you really get down to it when you're facing that you know which which bills need to be paid in. What what what can wait and then you know just hoping for the charity of of of the people to whom you may be indebted and that's am I happen to be saying absolutely not But but We are in a unique situation where around the world. Everyone understands The situation And I wish that we had the kind of compassion that I'm seeing today all the time but but. I I I am hopeful. That sheer sheer compassion. We'll get some people through this. But but I I absolutely believe that that local state and the federal government have a an obligation to people Who will be economically Destroyed by this They should not be and we. We should be doing everything we can to ensure that they don't The federal government is taking strides in that in that direction. I believe that we still need to do more. I see that that Oklahoma City and Tulsa for example or providing small business loans and things like that And and some of these Some of the strings. Attached are like you've got to keep the people that you employ on your payroll and make sure that they're still getting paid and all those those requirements I think are really important But all of that's to say This this situation is moving very fast. And I'm seeing a lot of businesses and individuals. Sort of recalibrating how they operate in order to be as compassionate and helpful as possible and. I hope to see more and more people do that. Thank you representative Bennett for talking with us today. Well thanks for having me I. I wish that it was interfering object but I do I do. I'm not trying to to sort of spread false. Hope but I do. I believe that we will get through this and I do believe that That we will see some some large structural changes to the way we do things as a result of it and my computer just went dead some wondering if you guys great. That was a bad omen. Maybe I am. I will say that on on the on the whole I am seeing.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"So many people Pressured him to do so. I had heard that Early on he wasn't personally very worried about this but he felt political pressure to do something. And you know you hear those things and They they appear to be backed up by what's going on and and it really if I sit here and think about it long enough to get really really upset about it. But luckily that they are. I know there are a lot of sort of mid level managers across agencies that are involved in this. That are doing the best they can to make responses fast and get get resources to people and of course across the state and across the country around the world. You're seeing sort of people pick up the slack where government inaction could otherwise hurt and and try to help people out but I don't know it is the line from the governor's office that we should rely on. Everybody's personal responsibility is very frustrating. Because it seems to me that the vast majority of us are doing that. But you can. Count the governor's office among those who were not taking personal responsibility. And that's frustrating. Even the statewide measure is really only a half-measure Islam. Yeah and you know I I did. Applaud governor went when he did something. Because it was better than nothing but This piecemeal Sort of put a very reactive. You know And and we know this is a modern society. People people move between counties. People people move between communities And if in your county it's not being taken seriously you know. I've I'm sure you've seen the posts that I've seen from from sheriffs across the state you know in in rural areas specifically who say you know. I don't believe this current virus staff is is that serious and then you see others that you know get it and say please. Everyone stay home But but what would really aid those of us who understand why we need to take seriously would be a statewide blanket. Measure The idea that we could do this for only counties that are affected Totally totally misses the point of of prevention. And I would say you know due to the core leadership of the president and so many governors who were taking his Sort of taking cues from him. We are playing mitigation much more than prevention And we could have been. We could have been playing prevention game here. But but at this point really obviously were were mitigating and there are much more effective ways to mitigate than what the governor's doing well under the mix the metaphors here but it appears to me that the chickens are coming home to roost with this pandemic here in Oklahoma specifically that's where we are From the years of the Hallway model state government and state services the starvation diets. And that sort of thing. We don't really seem to be very well position to suddenly meet the demands of a pandemic like this. That was wholly predictable. It was not a question of if it was a question of win. Yes I there to to a interesting I don't know how to it's not funny because we're in it now but It's it's amusing to to a degree and it's frustrating to a large degree two things one specifically in rural Oklahoma the just the absolute decimation of healthcare access to quality affordable healthcare in rural communities has gone down we have literal shuttered hospitals and clinics out. There that could right now. Be Serving as the first line of defense against this virus for for people who otherwise wouldn't have access to help we have hospitals there That are that are shuttered. Because of because of our I mean as a direct result of our inaction over over the last decade and to To See so clearly I mean with the the representation of these large shattered buildings that we could have. We could have been in a better position. Had we just done the kind of investing that you see reasonable state governments across the country doing We could have been in a much better position. And then the other thing is This consolidation of power that the Republican legislature sort of just rolled over and let the governor do After he got elected Where he has where where you know everything passes through him and we have Wait we have very little transparent access to Executive branch agencies unless we get that access. Through the governor's office these things are are making it more difficult specifically because of who is in charge and I think two things we can learn immediately and one is that we should. We should take this as a lesson to not decimate core public Government services like health care And in we really need to think twice before putting somebody in a position when they have no experience in that so I I know that I've taken some. I've I've upset some people by pointing out that I think it's bad idea to have people heading agencies and heading the executive branch of government that do not have any government experience or relative experience in there in whatever agency they're heading the department is one example that And we find ourselves at the most critical moment and at the most critical moment we have people who are novices in in in these in these areas and it shows so I mean Arlen I were talking about this earlier like we have a secretary of Health in mental health with zero background in any of that we have a health. Commissioner you has not directly done anything in terms of public health before and then you know. Doctors Schramm is onstage Just like what? I'm just kind of at a loss for his unwillingness to bring forth expertise that we have in this state. Because I get the sense that people are really scared to speak out yes I am I wrong. No I think I mean based on Based on the conversations that I had with people prior to this Who who were experiencing the did sort of the change in culture after After the consolidation of power happened Just you know we're talking about the same people who are legislative liaisons before Or or blue who worked for agencies in you've had this experience Marianne Who who used to be able to speak freely. Who used to be. I mean? Imagine if we still had a world where you know Joe Alba was was in charge of corrections or Terry. White was in charge of probably mental health and Substance Abuse Services. These were these were people who were leading from from their positions. They were We had a discussion about mental health funding and Just sort of making our mental health infrastructure more robust we had those conversations far before it was nationally popular to do so because we had people in those positions who are willing to use their their platforms to do that now. Now we don't have that We don't have. And they were able to move the needle they were able to give coverage to Republicans who who wanted to to to make an effort in these ways. They they F- they normalized these conversations. We don't have that anymore because directly as a result of what we have allowed to have happened in the last couple of years and and it is showing Arnold to your point. I mean really. The chickens have come home to roost on on all of these areas. I mean so I feel like we could lay out all the ways that the disinvestment that the underfunding of state government is kind of culminating right now right so I I think I've Christina's families experienced trying to file for unemployment. Snap and Tanith so Right there the I mean I I cannot see how. Oese's system like does not absolutely crumble under the massive surge of people flying for filing for unemployment right. Now you have dhs workers who are responsible for Vetting these applications for snap and Tan F and Christina can't get you can't get a hold of a human because apparently her caseworker was on vacation for two weeks and I mean the fact that someone like didn't call staff back in is interesting to me right in so So this is happening and then you just think of the IT burdens on this date like this is really kind of in the top of mind for me just the fact that our entire school system in the state of Oklahoma is now having to go Distance Learning so called distance-learning in all the ways that individual districts in classrooms are having to differentiate because of the lack of a telecommunications network and like a a robust telecommunications network in the state of Oklahoma and we have no capability to remedy any of that right. Now like this I am I wrong in saying like these are just a few of the ways that it on. Top of as you pointed out are absolutely Inadequate healthcare system to respond to this. You know I mean just all of that together like we have such a weakened capability to respond in protect Oklahoma's Yup I mean it was an unforced error and it is. It reflects an ideology that that has that. I mean this is the bottom line while there's plenty of months but the but to your point we have for a decade and more Seeing the state government divest from core services And say somehow you know these people will be taken care of in some other way and you have seen the nonprofit community the faith community and the private sector come in to try to stand in the gap between what people need and what the state government is willing to provide But unfortunately we have done that so much. Under regular circumstances over the last decade and more that now that we are in a crisis in we need the best of all private sector faith nonprofit and government. We are already stretched so thin. I mean you talk a nonprofit organizations so thin so overburdened In and faith faith-based organizations private sector all these you know and we should never ever ever be put in a position where our ability to survive a pandemic rests in the charity of the private sector. Because you are at You are at the will of individuals who you know are are programmed to look rock to give up and and we can. We can celebrate the people that are deciding to do kind things all we want but we have to really step back and ask ourselves. Why are we in a position where we can breathe a sigh of relief because the owner of the Patriots took his plane over China? You know to get supplies for for Boston. That's mean. This is no way. This is no way to To try to manage a crisis and I mean from the top down we have seen. We can point to specific moments specific things that our president into that our government nerve didn't do or the previous leaders did to put us in this position. That's what's so unique about this. I think you know it shouldn't have blindsided us. But it did. But but it is so clear. In retrospect all the things that happened to put us in a position that we are in today where our ability to face this crisis is so diminished. So I'm going to guess that in your position you are hearing more frequently from constituents today than you might have a couple of months ago. Yes what who? What are you hearing most about in what troubles you most? I think it's the I think. It's the disconnect between what's being said at the top and what's actually happening on the ground for example you know the governor has really been seeing atone attune the last couple of days about really wanting to ramp up testing Because because his view is that we have the testing capacity. Now the truth is I've been told the hospital up. The street from my house has at most at anytime eighty tests and that they are still sending people home who who are exhibiting all the symptoms and just saying Hey We're not GONNA test you. You probably have it. Just go home and and be by yourself. Well I mean that flies in the face of what the what the governor is asking people to do however they also I I would assume are in that position and doing what they're doing because they're concerned that they won't have the resources that they need when they really need it And so everybody's kind of Measuring their their own capacity to test and to take care of people based on what they think is going to happen with with Not a lot of feedback from a people above the the sort of supply chain from them. that that is very frustrating to me and then you know outside of that Because really the most..
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Do have to say that You know just just like I'm sure nearly everybody is right now. We we all have stress. We all have anxiety Dan and I we have conversations daily and Kinda check in we kind of try to come up with ideas things we can do. Checklists okay you call this number and try this thing today. I'M GONNA follow up on this email. Or what have you and endorses high. And sometimes we find that you know. Were were snapping at each other or religious patient with each other And we try to realize that you know. Hey we're just we're just stress. Let's just take a minute I know that you know. I've been apparently incessantly biting the inside of my bottom lip to the point that I don't notice and I just starts hurting and I'm like. Oh my gosh like I totally like torn up my inner lip and not even thought about it consciously. It's just like the subconscious anxious you know action that I'm taking But at this point a not a not as bad because I feel like you know things are at least in motion. Wheels are in motion. There are a lot of resources out there. They may be temporary. They may be one time But we're trying to do what we can. Norman public schools offering the food for You know any children under eighteen. At first I didn't think that would apply for me because the girls are so young but we went. We said we had two kids and boom. We have five bags of groceries. That's enough for breakfast and lunch for both of them for five days so now I've kind of set up a schedule in my phone. Why No. Hey Monday's good. Norman public schools to get food for the girls We have wick so I know my wig starts April fourth so April fourth. I can go the store for for very specific things because for people that aren't aware wick is different than snap snap is money that can spend on groceries wick. It's very specific like you can get three gallons of nonfat milk. You can get two pounds of cheese and it has to be the brands that have the wick Symbol on them. So I know okay April fourth. I can get some food here I found out my school. Oh Triple C. Has a food bank that you can apply online and you fill out a form and you. Kind of requests things I haven't done this before today. I'm actually going to pick it up this afternoon. And they have a disclaimer on there. You know that What you ask for May not be in stock. So I don't know if I'm GonNa get all the things I asked for half or two items. I have no so at this point. You know. We're kind of playing this game of like you know what's available what can we do As long as there's food on the table bills right now are just on hold I've heard that we're not addicting people. I've heard we're not turning off You know electric and water. At this time I really hope there's not going to be late fees on top of everything because like I said in the beginning in the best of situation so much worse. Oh my exactly. In the best of situations things are tight. If we're going to start having late fees on top. I Dunno forever going to catch up so I have this kind of crazy schedule right now. Where it's like okay. You know. These are the places that I can pick up food for the kids. These places that might be able to pick up some food for US AT TRIPLE SEE I. I don't know if that's one time only once a semester once a month I'll have to figure that out today We see different places offering box lunches so when I'm done here. Dan's GONNA leave To go to a local business to that's handing out box lunches to hopefully grab some today and the other aspect of that is not only trying to make sure that we have food in that were taken care of but also every time we leave the house to do these things is potentially appointed sick. So it's it's you can't you can't win. It's there's always a negative aspect it's like. Yeah we have more food. We don't have to worry about that. Maybe we just got corona virus so you just have to be so so careful in so safe and as it is whenever I go out for groceries which at this point In the beginning was probably once a week. Now it's more like once every two weeks especially now that I'm waiting for money to come in to be able to do it I not only get food for my family. I get groceries for my grandma. I get groceries for my mom so I'm doing pharmacy and grocery runs for extended so at the end of the day. I'm one person doing the errands that are needed for about eight people so that I'm trying to at least lessen the impact of going out And since I feel like I'm the least at risk if I did get covert nineteen so on top of just the struggling in the finances and the food. Now there's this whole other layer of you know the actual virus itself and tried to make sure that we're not getting sick We're not passing it. On Arnold. I don't have anything else to you. Know I'm just. I'm just sitting here in stunts listening to this and thinking that You're in a sense of you. Know a poster family for all the folks out there who don't think that government provides useful services and and that sort of thing in have have worked to underfund Government services over the last several decades now sudden. The reality is coming home. I think for a lot of people in this state in in in country actually and and and you guys provide a vivid illustration of what it's like to be doing all the right things To keep moving forward and yet you keep running into brick walls. It's just a it's just I'd be paralyzed. I'm I'm doing more probably than biting my lip one already so I mean. It's already a stressful time. So to also constantly just get you know a brick wall annot a non answer a hang up. It's it's demoralizing on top a very stressful situation. So I'm sure there's just a lot of families that are in the same situation as us and a lot of families in worse situations like I said. We are lucky on my facebook. Post actually got something accomplished. What about for the people that don't have that? So it's it's very hard to try to navigate things right now Even if there are resources out there you might not know about them. Especially if if you don't have Internet access if you don't have facebook. I mean my grandma will. She doesn't have a facebook account. She doesn't have a smartphone if she was in this situation and she didn't have anybody. I don't know what she would do. Hunt Okay so speaking of Internet access. I think I think the Internet is precarious for everybody. Right now Christina. Thank you so much for your time. this'll come out on a Monday. I'll message you and let you know It's going on. We're GONNA talk to forest spin it later today. I it's it's just all it's all I know. I know a lot of state. Legislators are hearing from constituents like you saying this is a nightmare right now and so it's GonNa be interesting to see if and win the state Is able to get attacked together on all. This seems like a rainy day in a coma. Last time I checked my name's forced Bennett. I am a state representative a for House district. Ninety two which covers midtown downtown southside homesick. All right. Well thanks for being with us today. so we we all know what's going on with the corona virus and arnold deny. Well I'll just tell you so. Perhaps we share my frustration with the governor's response to the virus. But the other day someone. A friend on facebook interviewed her earlier. She has two small children in a partner who is out of work and they have just had the worst time filing for unemployment benefits snap and Tannen in so I just think. The entirety of the governor's response has been Troubling so.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"To people because without that. I really don't know what Oklahoma would do. It would feel like probably a black Friday where instead of fighting for TD. You're fighting for unemployment benefits so at least we have federal aid to help the state because Oklahoma has been struggling for so long. You don't have extra money. We don't have any to pay for things like this. There's no there's there has been no investment meaningful investment in infrastructure. Any sort of infrastructure. Now for you know decades probably so having been a state employee Just the disconnect between the needs the needs of the state in with they're actually willing to deliver is thumbing and there's plenty of it people. I know one that could definitely help out with some ideas or some planning and things. Because I've heard people say you know? Why is the system set up for me to call twenty times a day and then just hang up on me or say we're not accepting phone calls at this time that you have to keep calling until you can get into q? Why can't we have it set up? Where every calls at least accepted at told you are number one hundred and seventeenth in line and we will call you back. You know whenever it's your time you know there's other systems that are able to do that so I understand. It's it's really hard to just make a switch and infrastructure. You can't do that overnight. But we should at least be working towards that and it should definitely be the plan going forward that we should have a program implemented to at least accept every phone. Call and tell them you know. Hey it's it's Tuesday at one fifteen. At this point we estimate calling you back Thursday at three pm even though that seems like a ridiculous amount of time. I would much rather hear that. Then this this roulette game of just let's keep calling. Let's keep calling. We'll play will. I be hung up on. Will I wait for two hours and then be hung up on or will someone answer the phone? And that's a new you to like Dan I don't know how much experience or either of you have with filing unemployment but I'd say one out of every four weeks at least if not more I'd be Rocco along on the check in you know checking all the answers the answers. I get to the very end to submit in the next green. That would pop is like we are experiencing probably It's checked back in Wouldn't say if you're approved because sometimes it actually would have gone through and sometimes it did it in so you'd have to like you just have to wait to see if there was a deposit in your card Went through and so yeah I mean. The system is so weak. It's so weak in so it just I mean I don't I don't know how to fix it. I just know that it's really really. It's it's dated Hobo so yeah there's But when it directly impacts families like yours. You're trying to do the right thing. You're trying to take care of your family. When are we living all? Because the only time I've had direct experience with unemployment myself was in two thousand. Nine economy crashed at the time. I was doing Corporate events obviously nobody was paying tens of thousands of dollars for company picnics when the economy was crashing. So I was on unemployment at that time. So it's two thousand nine. That was that was more than ten years ago. The system has not changed since then. There has not been any updates to the website. There's been no updates to the system and back then you know I was single. It was just me so you know if if I had to worry about you know not being able to pay rent or something I could always you know. Go back to mom's house or something like that. You know if if I was just eating crappy diet so be it. I could get by on that. But now we're a family of four. I have a two and a half year old and a one year old. I can't just be like well. We don't have milk. Let's just give them soda. You know I can't. I can't switch those things out and it's not so easy if we ended up in a situation homeless to find a home for four people. So there's definitely a larger sense of dread and concern and anxiety that a lot of these things that I might have been able to whether better as a single individual adult ten years ago. I'm in a very different situation now. So I'm curious how you have cult with. What must be an incredible feeling of helplessness? I.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Walker I saw a lot of people that just weren't interested because they didn't feel like you know my mobility was was going to be a good fit for them. Which you you would think that that wouldn't be allowed but but sadly it is so I had already run into situations where I kept being stuck at home and not being able to work regularly so I started working more for myself being self employed doing things so that I could do at home on the computer. So that's what lead me to deciding to go back to school. 'cause I had already been in a place where I hadn't been able to work so I figured this time it'd be the perfect time to go back to school. So that's some background information about our family as well and kind of how we got to this point before code nineteen even happened so complicated. The bestest situations writing Now what has happened in the past couple weeks? The kind of Because you've had a number of things surrounding Cova correct. Yeah it's it's been very trying So first of all to be able to go back to school. I ended up putting both girls into early head start before that they had been with me. Twenty four seven Being stay at home mom while working for my computer at home so this semester was their first time going into early head start and that was the way that I was able to go back to school. And have that that breathing room to get more things done So obviously As with everybody else in the situation as Norman public schools closed early. Head start has closed as well. Sunai have girls home so of course that right there adds that stay at home. Mom Job on top of trying to do school and And some of the Self Employment Contracts that. I'm still doing so that was probably the first major aspect for Kobe. Nineteen was having the girls back home. And there's other aspects that you don't necessarily consider it I you think it's just the fact that their home but you also have to consider that when they're early head start there being said there they have diapers and wipes there so suddenly now. We have more expenses things that we didn't have to pay for before are now coming out of our pocket also right before Cova. Nineteen Really became an issue here in Oklahoma. Obviously it was still going on around the country but this was before we started seeing closings and an executive orders and things of that nature but right before that horrible timing a Dan my partner. He was downsized from his job. So we were already in a situation where he was applying for unemployment received a two week severance and was already looking and doing interviews so we were really hopeful that He works in it that he would be able to find something pretty quickly seem like there is a lot of interactions with interviews. So you're hoping that we wouldn't be in a bad situation for very long then. Of course Cova nineteen happens more locally places. Start shutting down. Everybody's now you know filing for unemployment. Dan had already received Verification that he he had been approved said we were good so he was already doing the weekly check ins with with saying how many places He'd applied for. What have you and we just never were saved our card in the mail. So we're approved for this money for unemployment benefits and we're just sitting and we're waiting and we're not seeing it. The severance money is now gone. Being only two weeks and bills are coming up. So what are you supposed to do and at this point in a dance called several times? Been on hold several hours. You can't reach anybody. There's just no way you try every name extension number you hit every button that transfers you to a different department to see if you can reach a live person to be get you to the right person and nothing and he can see when he looks online this this card somewhere. That is accruing week after week we see. We are receiving unemployment benefits on a card that we don't have so now we get to a point that we have four weeks of unemployment sitting on Some mystery card that somewhere. I'm assuming at this point it's been lost in the mail. Something has happened but we can't find someone to talk to. We have fallen through the cracks and there is not a button to push on an automated system. That says you know we have a receiver card or anything like Some people had offered you could sign up for direct deposit. See Go online. You try that option. Well you need your card number which obvious we don't have. The other option is to put in your social security number. Okay Great. He does that. They can't find him in the system. Okay cool so now. We fallen through two different cracks. That have now made it impossible to navigate the system. We've we've been approved. There is money out there. There is no way for us to receive that money. There is no way for us to access that money. So in the meantime I had also applied for benefits to see if we would qualify With thin with unemployment so I also now at this point when I applied for the snap this was after the fact of places closing down so it was not at the same time as the unemployment. It was probably a couple of weeks after that so we approved And for a family of four and with. Dan receiving unemployment. We were going to get high. Believe it was eighty three dollars a month. A snap benefits but you know every little bit helps so I had applied and when you do it it applied for snap antenna. 'cause I wasn't one hundred percent sure what that covered So we were denied for tariffs and we were approved for the snap benefits. So I'm waiting on that information in the mail I receive a card in the mail which honestly I thought was junk mail. I thought it was like a credit card offer or something like I have no idea what this is. It didn't come with any additional information. It wasn't until like looking at the car that it was like. Oh says Oklahoma on it. That doesn't look like normal credit card and I'm reading through all the fine printed says that this is the car state put money on so I thought. Oh I guess this is my snap card. I thought there'd be more information you know like what you can buy what you can't buy from the store. What have you so they have an APP? You can download that have a website now the phone number. I go on there and this card only shows Tan f zero dollars because I did not get approved for Tana's no snap benefits on there so I'm thinking I received ten of card but not a snap card maybe So I went to the website. I went to the APP. I called the phone numbers and I cannot get any help on that whatsoever even when I did get somebody who was on The third party contract for distributing the cards they said on their end. It just showed that I hadn't received the car yet that they couldn't issue a new car. They told me to wait. Because my my benefits we're GONNA start April first and it was still the end of March so they said just wait. You'll get something else in the mail which I did and I have received nothing additional in the mail so it's April third couple of days ago just out of frustration. You know knowing that we have been approved for snap benefits. We have been approved. An are accruing unemployment benefits. Neither of which we have any way of accessing. I wrote a post on facebook just with my frustration saying in l. went through the hoops. We did all the things in an apparently. We have fallen through these cracks. I guess we're just very unlucky. I I don't know how in the world this can happen on both dance and on my end and now it's the beginning of the month. We have bills to pay. You know were for running out of staple things where you're running out of milk running out of bread. You know what? What can we do so here? We had spent days and hours on hold. We've sent emails where we could. I know Dan never got a response. On the e mail he sent the email I sent was to the individual person that did my interview for snap benefits and apparently she's on vacation for two weeks so I got an automated You know I'll be out of town But you can contact my boss with her boss's name but no phone number or email for her boss so doesn't really leave me any option going further on that. So somehow I guess through luck on facebook and I know a lot of people in in some other. People tagged friends that they know that worked with Oklahoma Unemployment Miss Shannon. I mean had someone reach out to us and I was able to talk with them on Messenger on facebook and they said they looked it up. They found dance information and they said Yeah. We see Thurs money on the card. Apparently the card is sitting at our third party. You know they never mailed it so. It fell through the cracks. On the part of the Card Company that distributes those So it's like okay. Great can can they re send it? You know what what can we do to get this card and I was told that they could have the card expedited to us so that we could get it Hopefully within twenty four forty eight hours I said yes. Let's do that. Great it's going to be a fifteen dollar fee okay. I'm assuming they're just going to pull the dollars from the money on the card. I thought just do which can just to get the money here. We've got bills to pay and media can fight the fifteen dollar fee later. Because why am I? Paying fifteen dollars to expedite a card. That should have been here month ago. So at this point we still have not received. The card Dan Did receive a notification that it was mailed and received a notification that it would arrive from Ups delivering yet. So we're hopeful. We thought maybe it would be yesterday. Didn't happen yesterday. We're hopeful that maybe it will be today so at least the unemployment part seems to be moving and then on snap one of my friends on facebook. I didn't realize is now working with the Oklahoma. D H S Department Through a contract with Oh you and she was able to reach out to her boss with my case number To say can you look into this? Can you get back with her and I guess her Boston sent an email to someone who's assigned to my case now for all I know that might be the person they emailed initially. That's on vacation for two weeks. But I was told that if I didn't receive anything in the mail or receive a phone call by Monday To let my friend now and she would reach out to her boss again so at least I feel like there's some movement but remember. This is through a facebook post. This isn't through calling numbers or going online or doing the APPS or doing any of the things that were told to do to reach out for benefits. When it came to that it was it was a big wall. You know there is nowhere that we could go. There was no other number that we could call. It was a complete block out that. What are you GONNA do? Besides sit here and think you know. Hopefully someone responds to an email. At some point there was literally no option for us at that point. We had tried everything and still didn't have any information so a facebook post did more and less than an hour than days on websites and phone calls sitting for hours on hold. So that's kind of been our story so far in trying to receive the benefits that we'd already been approved for will in you have a sizable network too. And so you know I mean in. That was kind of the key to all of it was. You're able to get anything done because you were able to leverage your personal network exactly great and what do you do if you're somebody who who doesn't have a friends who have connections do or worse even Internet connection ability to You know you can't go to the library these days and get online to do well in in. You're applying for benefits outside of the coverted situation lately. Your everything you were trying to do started before any of this happened and then it just kind of coalesce You know aligns with this crisis So Jim I'll just tell you this morning. We were at my husband's like finding all of our tax documents and I was on unemployment in the fall and he was like I need you know I need to find. I need your ten ninety nine G or whatever for that in I was like I know I have it and I was like I hope. I don't have to ask for a copy because I know I'm not going to get through to anybody right now. So I mean it's who'll boy. Yeah it's It's kind of a mess. So what would you say are some key takeaways from this situation? Christina Lake. What what what do you think could be done better for this through this? I hope that our state has realized that we have an infrastructure problem that we are not in any way prepared for an event that they are receiving. Twenty thousand. Phone calls a day Obviously this is an unprecedented situation for Oklahoma and for the nation. But we see that we don't have a means of getting through to people. I don't know if they're short staffed. I don't know if they're limited in the amount of available phone lines or the availability of people to work at home I know everyone that I had spoken to on the snap side of things when I did my interview to be approved. She was working remotely at home. So I don't know if they just need to hire more people in this situation or if it's a technological infrastructure issue Thankfully on the financial aspect. You know we've seen the packages that are being approved on the federal level for money to come to the state to pay To be able give more benefits.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Services which began showing signs earlier. This year that it wouldn't be the challenge of pan-demic even before covered nineteen spurred an extraordinary sixty seven thousand unemployment claims in the last two weeks. The system was already scaling. The process claims relating to the loss of an estimated eleven thousand oilfield related jobs between January first and March. Not How could this be shouldn't an oil and gas dependence state like Oklahoma be especially well positioned to meet the challenges of routine periodic volatility and the carbon markets? This is not our first Rodeo. When it comes to oil prices plummeting seemingly overnight. The reality is state governments infrastructure. Vital services like an employment happened force for nearly a decade to make do starvation budgets enacted by the Republican dominated Legislature Weiner staffs juggling more cases often producing less satisfactory responses through no fault of their own unemployment systems meltdown. In the wake of the crow virus was all too predictable. Huber Conservative State House. Republicans have been devoted to Ronald Reagan's infamous line. The most dangerous nine words in English language are. I'm from the government and I'm here to help. They were ideologically wired to believe smaller. Leaner government would automatically magically yield the results. The fact is you get what you pay for it. In when state lawmakers starting in two thousand eleven really tightened the screws on state budgets. They hollowed out an infrastructure. To the point where state government was ill equipped to respond to a calamity. Let Kevin Nineteen. It.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"We want to take a moment and circle back on a few things in this episode. Because we like to encourage our listeners to reach out to their legislators if what they've heard bothers them this way you can do your own homework and come to your own conclusions. The specific bill number Senator Kurt and Senator Hicks and the health and Human Services Committee were referencing. Were Senate Bill Eighteen seventy authored? Originally by Senator Jason Smalley. Who stepped down this winter? So Senator Casey Murdoch is carrying the bill this bill roles back the qualifications for Oklahoma state. Commissioner of mental health is Substance Abuse Services which we call Diem. H Incident Bill. Eighteen sixty three does the same and is also carried by Senator Murdoch. Remember what senator. Kurt said that Murdoch just repeated under questioning that he trusted the governor who requested the bill. He trusted the governor. He trusted governor so. This is a governor's bill. It's something the governor wants to see happen. It will pass and he will sign it then. There are a whole host of bills that the House Rules Committee tried to pass on the consent agenda meaning rather than discussing and voting on twenty two individual bills. One vote covers it. And there's typically noticed Discussion on the consent consent agenda during the House Rules Committee meeting. This sharp is if a couple of house. Democrats representative Andy. Fugate and represented. Mount Meredith caught a few bills removed from not consent agenda. House bills forty sixty four forty sixty eight in forty seventy eight now. What do those bills do? Forty sixty four consolidates the Oklahoma Department of mental health or Substance Abuse Services again. Dm Age into the healthcare authority. It's a state agency consolidation bill by House Speaker. Charles McCall from Tokyo House Bill. Forty seventy eight changes the board composition for the Department of Mental Health. I believe it lowers their forum requirements and House Bill Forty Sixty eight lightens the Oklahoma Commissioner of health job qualifications consent agendas are used for housekeeping items not for Major Agency consolidation and repeal of this magnitude. What really seems to be eliminated as we look more closely as the governor and clearly his accomplices the majority in the State Legislature Push Governor. Stitz state agency consolidation. Agenda is. They don't seem to be willing to do it in the light of day. They don't seem to be able or willing to put all their cards on the table for the people of Oklahoma to see in order for the electric to understand their motivations and rationale for making massive changes to the government of the state of Oklahoma. That's the purpose of having this committee meetings as the purpose of having these on the record so even if you can't be there at some point you can go back and listen and find out what you needed to know. And that's what you re. Representatives and senators are supposed to be doing for you. What does this mean for these job? Qualification bills that ease up on the requirements elitist agency. Do they matter? And why well if you hire exactly who you want and can put your people in these positions instead of an inside hire someone with experience and public service or knows the agency or the job that they're being hired to do. These new hires come strictly from the private sector which does not have the same checks and balances and open records requirements of state government. That it's not too hard to begin to close the curtains on government transparency. I'm not assigning. Any sort of ill will or malice on behalf of these hires. Because he's candid is just don't know need different. And there's little to no institutional knowledge left behind to warn the private sector leaders otherwise all that's left our intrepid citizens and pushy inquisitive opposition legislators and frankly journalists to keep pushing back last summer when the Governor Rebuilt Oklahoma Checkbook his secretary of digital transformation. Dave Ostro said the new online state-financed checkbook quote shine a light on Tuesday agencies. Well I think the light needs to turn the other direction and Sean on the State Administration.
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Talk to pat and I was a little unclear when we're talking to him so I don't know maybe you can offer 'cause he was like well it would be like the military email indicated he would like for it to be like that that they could tweak it to be more like military justice where everybody from the actual commanders to the grunts all public. Yeah that's what. I wasn't clear so I was like what he's saying it'll be like or that's why he would prefer the system. We're going to take her with it. That's what I would like for it to be. That's that's way who took what he says. It's not even really part of the conversation right now. I mean the conversation right now. Is it about tinkering with it? It's about the laminating it all together. Now we're talking with Ryan Kiesel Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. Kiesel served three terms and the Oklahoma House of Representatives elected while he was still in law school representing seminal seminole county. Yes you heard that right. He represented a rural district in Oklahoma as a Democrat winning re election twice. And I think that even though we should always lessons from the federal government as to what the state of Oklahoma should be doing I think in this instance the trial the trial of president trump demonstrates what happens whenever you have political interference largely bureaucratic positions. You know people that are civil servants whether that's in the diplomatic core. Since two thousand sixteen saved our society our country from itself have been the civil servants that have stood in these state really special agencies in made sure that things kept working in pushback on administration had pushed back to success to administration officials. Who wanted to do something? That was just wildly out of line with mission of an organization or would have meant catastrophic failure of government services for thousands if not millions of people that same thing happens in Oklahoma all the time I mean I think that one of the one of the we hear a lot about the failure of state government Oklahoma. But it's kind of remarkable if you see the state employees right now that have gone many of them if not most of them a decade plus without any sort of a significant raise them whenever they do get a raise. It's it's poultry. They've really kept the state of Oklahoma running in a period of budget crisis. And we don't talk a lot about budget crisis even twenty twenty because we're seeing our kind of revenue neutral. I mean we'll see what happens with the revenue after we get new figures and with your price per barrel of oil hovering you know low fifty s but when you were covering from ten years of draconian cuts yeah. You're flat budget getting you anywhere. That's right flat but you're still down several of blood and so I do think that we have this situation where we take for granted the role that so the important role civil servants play in Oklahoma state employees play in the administration of government services in Oklahoma and using example and this is kind of like a top level example necessarily wouldn't wouldn't necessarily plan the Mirror Protection Commission but you'll recently. The governor of the state of the state says that the new director of the Department of Corrections has informed him that the billion dollar request that had come needed. There wasn't needed had come under. The last director was no longer needed and one might think will. Maybe that's a result of these important criminal. Justice reform happened. But that's not the case. Maybe one would think that it's because we've finally dip below twenty five thousand inmates for the first time in many many years Also not the case. The the billion dollar infrastructure needs within the department of corrections or things like locks in rulers. Yeah I mean. The dilapidated condition infrastructure within the Department of Corrections is embarrassing. And it's frightening and you when you have a director that saying we need dollars to fix this and that director is pushed out largely as a result of governor who's wanted to consolidate more power in the hands of a unitary executive. She's wild for the party. That is you know ostensibly. The Party of of small government is undergoing in Oklahoma in all places a massive consolidation of power into the hands of one person. Incredible and so. The only thing that has changed between the billion-dollar request and now the Department of corrections not having a billion dollar request is a political appointment and political interference. Now you could say well. That's the governor's prerogative to decide that he wants bad information right. Maybe that's it. Maybe the governor has to say that but think of that kind of political interference That happens in the actual delivery of services whether that's a corrections officer maybe a corrections officer who decides you know we're at sixty percent or less staffing. I've watched corrections officers die because they're driving to work after working doubles and they fall asleep when they're on their way home or on their way to work maybe the corrections officer gets fed up with that and decides to go to the capital and talk to their lawmaker and other lawmakers about the terrible state of being a correctional officer and state of Oklahoma. Well if we move away from a system where that person has that right to educate their lawmaker way. Educate us as a as the public because they're on the front lines but if there's no protection out there for them to be able to do that and not be retaliated against because what they're talking about is moving all the looks at willow positions anybody in. Oklahoma can tell you that it's been position and will is exactly what it means and will doesn't mean an explanation it means you're fired and oaken have an explanation. No a unless you have an email or a video recording of someone saying that particular termination or a negative action with regards to employment is directly related to or as the result of some illegal form of discrimination race religion national or something like that and it's constitutionally protected your Sol man. You are just out of luck and you're gone just robs all of us who minutes. It's kind of public service that we've all come to take for granted when it's gone when it's Gone. I promise you Oklahoma's realize they may not realize that the deterioration of services or the the lack of information about what's actually happening in our state agencies. They may not realize that. That's because of the elimination Americ- protection but it will have a huge impact on on that. So what would be the incentive for somebody to want to go to work for the state of Oklahoma and with relatively low pay little chance of getting any sort of increase in pay if it were not for the fact that there is merit protection in place and there are benefits in place? Yeah I'm taking beast kinds of position. They're more than eight hours. A day. John Ender thankless. I mean sometimes they're dangerous sometimes they're even if even if they don't evoke physical injure the the mental mental health effects. Especially if you weren't. Da Jefferson Trauma Child Welfare work. Yes this is correct young officers. This is food service in our prisons and I mean these are the lowest paid of the lowest paid on the state. The teachers are in a wealthy compared to take these employees already. I think that when when you ask what's the I mean I don't I really don't I mean there has to be some altruism there there has to be some sense of mission that you're to something benefits are huge right now. I mean that's that's one of an even that You begin to look at the way. The state treats retired workers. We have plenty of money to get folks at a cost of living increase. But it's Denver trait. Were chasing some arbitrary number that everybody says is meaningless. That those dollars mean real things in people's pocketbooks right now so even those benefits are under attack. You know the governor whether he meant to do it or not. He was telling his State of the state reset that he wanted to get the state employees. That position where they could transition into the private sector at some point almost like the public service was like a halfway house of employment rate that it was like something you graduate from. It's not. It's not a lifetime job anymore. No one should be a career person in the public sector but yeah it's stopping point. It's something you settle for an impression..
"oklahoma" Discussed on The Oklahoma Observercast
"Donald Hamilton editor of the Oklahoma Observer. And I'm Marianne Martin and this is observer cast your weekly deep dive into Oklahoma politics policy powered by the Oklahoma Observer. Democracy Foundation this week we consider the plight of Oklahoma's thirty three thousand or so state workers who are in the crosshairs of Governor Kevin Stitz plan to jettison the state merit protection system which regulates hiring and firing practices. The state's current civil service system took root in the late nineteen fifties a response to cronyism that produced excessive patronage and backroom political deal. Making the goal was to create a more qualified. More professional workforce to carry out legislatively enacted policies procedures and initiatives minus the political meddling. The new system established professional hiring and firing procedures that gave State Employees. The right to due process protections state employment was never about getting rich financially but with reasonably good benefits. Pensions State employment remains a viable path for those passionate about child welfare or mental health care for public education or myriad other for the public good services to invest their lives and helping create a better Oklahoma for all in the merit protection system established under then Governor. George Nine nineteen eighty-two provided job security ensuring trained professionals could not be replaced by senator so and so's nephew under threat that legislative funding could be cut after only one year on the job. Governor stood has concluded the State Civil Service System is broken but is it does. The system truly need to be modernized to meet the demands of twenty-first-century workers in state government or the issues more likely the result of draconian budget cuts and hiring freezes that cut the number of state workers nearly ten percent since two thousand nine at the same time. The state's population climbed from three point. Seven five million to four million or proposed changes contained in bills authored by Senate president pro. Tem Greg Tree and Edmund State Representative Mike Osborne really more about politics in the publicly stated antipathy of current state capital powers-that-be toward organized labor in this case State.