'TELL IT LIKE IT IS' Talk Show Video

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces the Focus on Florida’s Future Budget Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2024-2025

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his Focus on Florida’s Future budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024–2025. The Focus on Florida’s Future Budget totals $114.4 billion, more than $4.6 billion less than the current year budget, with $16.3 billion in reserves, leaving ample resources for any unforeseen economic issues. Florida has experienced record success over the last five years, ranking #1 in education, net in-migration, entrepreneurship, and new business formations, with 2.7 million new businesses formed since 2019. The Governor’s Budget also continues Florida’s record as the nation-leading example of success through fiscal conservatism by paying down an additional $455 million in debt and providing $1.1 billion in tax relief.

“Success is not something that is handed to a state as large as Florida, it requires a steadfast commitment to supporting families at every step,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “By expanding workforce education for high-demand jobs, providing family-first tax relief, ensuring that Florida’s students can access a quality education that fits their needs, investing in resilient infrastructure and putting conservative principles at the forefront of every decision, we have delivered time and again for our residents. Florida’s success is proof positive that when you establish a foundation of governing on conservative principles and protect the freedom of your residents, success will follow. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish over the next year.”

To read the budget highlights, click HERE.

To read the transmittal letter, click HERE.

To read the budget FAQs, click HERE.

Governor Ivey Reports Rebate Checks on the Way to 1.9 Million Alabama Tax Filers

Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced that one-time tax rebates authorized in her 2023 budget are now on their way to 1.9 million Alabama tax filers. Since December 1, which was the start date authorized by law, officials have worked around-the-clock to process the one-time tax rebates. Governor Ivey tasked Revenue with returning this money to Alabamians as expeditiously as possible, and she is pleased to report that already, more than 500,000 rebate checks and over 850,000 direct deposits have been processed, many of which have been delivered.

“As the country continues to face tough times, Alabama taxpayers are working harder to stretch their paychecks to cover expenses, and for some, this little bit goes a long way,” said Governor Ivey. “Most of the rebate funds should arrive by mid-December. In fact, I am already hearing from many who have received their rebates.”

To qualify for the rebates, taxpayers must have filed a 2021 Individual Income Tax return which the Alabama Department of Revenue received on or before October 17, 2022. Non-residents, estates or trusts or anyone who was claimed as a dependent during the 2021 tax year do not qualify.

The amount of each rebate is based on the qualified taxpayer’s filing status:

  • $150 for single, head of family, and married filing separate
  • $300 for married filing jointly

If you are eligible for a rebate and have not received it by December 15, please call the Alabama Department of Revenue at 334-242-1170, and select option 1.


-- By James W. Thomas

© Copyright 2023 JWT Communications. All rights reserved. This article may not be republished, rebroadcast, rewritten, or otherwise distributed without written permission. 


Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Alabama to Play Michigan in College Football Playoff Semifinal

The Crimson Tide and Wolverines will meet for the sixth time in the series history when they meet on New Year’s Day

The No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide will square off with the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines in the College Football Playoff Semifinal on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The contest is slated to kick off at 4 p.m. CT (5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT) and will be televised on ESPN.

The Crimson Tide and Wolverines will meet for the sixth time in the history of the series that dates back to 1988. It will mark the second-straight time the two storied programs will meet in the postseason as Alabama defeated Michigan, 35-16, in the 2019 Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. With that win, the Tide now leads the all-time series, 3-2.

Auburn To Play Maryland in TransPerfect Music City Bowl

AUBURN, Ala. |
Auburn will play the Maryland Terrapins of the Big Ten Conference in the 26th edition of the TransPerfect Music City Bowl this December 30 at 1 p.m. CST, bowl officials announced.

The highly anticipated matchup will take place inside Nissan Stadium in downtown Nashville and will be televised nationally on ABC and simulcast on ESPN+.

"On behalf of President Dr. Chris Roberts and the Auburn Family, we'd like to thank President and CEO Scott Ramsey and the TransPerfect Music Bowl for an incredible opportunity in Nashville, Tennessee on December 30," Auburn Athletics Director John Cohen said. "We look forward to being in Nashville and can't wait to compete against a quality Big Ten opponent." 


Arkansas State-Northern Illinois Meet in 10th Annual Camellia Bowl

The matchup is set for the 10th annual Camellia Bowl. The Arkansas State Red Wolves and Northern Illinois Huskies will meet on Saturday, Dec. 23 at 11 a.m. CT (Noon ET) at the historic Cramton Bowl in downtown Montgomery. The game will be televised on ESPN, and simulcast on ESPN+.

Arkansas State (6-6, 4-4 Sun Belt) scored a Sun Belt Conference record 77 points in a win over Texas State on Nov. 18. The Red Wolves scored seven rushing touchdowns, three defensive touchdowns and added one kickoff return for the touchdown in the win. The 77 points were the third-most points scored by an FBS team in 2023. Overall, ASU topped the 30-point mark five times this season.

Head coach Butch Jones is in his third season with the Red Wolves. He has compiled a 92-70 record in 12 seasons at Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Tennessee and Arkansas State. Prior to taking the job at ASU, Jones spent three seasons on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as an Offensive Analyst (2018-19) and Special Assistant to the Head Coach (2020).

Northern Illinois (6-6, 5-3 Mid-American Conference) brings the FBS’ sixth-ranked passing defense (163.9 pass yards per game) to Montgomery and the 11th best in pass efficiency defense (114.4). NIU opened the season with a 27-24 overtime win at Boston College. It was their second straight year with a win over an ACC team. NIU opened the 2022 season with a 22-21 win at Georgia Tech.

Monday, December 4, 2023

The Qatargate Files: Hundreds of Leaked Documents Reveal Scale of EU Corruption Scandal

Evidence from the European Parliament's graft investigation provides a record of more than 300 alleged attempts to manipulate EU democracy.

Call them the Qatargate annual reports.

A vast cache of leaked documents from the police investigation into the biggest corruption case to hit the EU in decades — seen by 'TELL IT LIKE IT IS' World News — uncovers the full extent of the European Parliament’s money-for-influence scandal.

Over four years the files suggest that key suspects, including former Member of the European Parliament Pier Antonio Panzeri and his aide Francesco Giorgi, meticulously recorded alleged attempts to manipulate the Parliament, the EU’s foremost democratic body, and wider policy debates.

US Intelligence Community Was Not Aware of Hamas' Plan To Attack Israel, Kirby Confirms

His comments come after the New York Times reported that Israeli officials obtained the plans more than a year before the Oct. 7 attack occurred.

The U.S. intelligence community was not aware of Hamas’ plan to attack Israel, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Sunday, after the New York Times reported last week that Israeli officials obtained the plans more than a year before the Oct. 7 attack occurred.

“The intelligence community has indicated that they did not have access to this document,” Kirby told NBC’s Kristen Welker on “Meet the Press.” 'TELL IT LIKE IT IS' World News reported Friday that there was no indication Israel had shared the blueprint for the attack with the United States.

Officials told the Times that if the Israeli military had taken the roughly 40-page document more seriously, they could have prevented the attacks, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis and led Israel to launch a devastating invasion of Gaza that has reportedly killed more than 15,000. But according to the report, Israel’s leadership disregarded the warning signs, viewing the attack as something beyond Hamas’ capabilities.

Former Marine Pleads Guilty to Firebombing Planned Parenthood While on Active Duty

A former Marine has pleaded guilty to firebombing a Planned Parenthood in California while he was on active duty and stationed at Camp Pendleton as part of a case authorities labeled "domestic extremism," according to the Justice Department.

Chance Brannon, 24, an ex-corporal, pleaded guilty Thursday to four total counts, according to the Department of Justice: conspiracy, malicious destruction of property by fire and explosives, possession of an unregistered destructive device, and intentional damage to a reproductive health services facility.

Have Military Spouses Removed Barriers That Prevented Them from Working Overseas?

Jennifer Barnhill is a columnist for Military.com writing about military families.

"I was personally victimized by the SOFA," Beth Conlin said as she shared her experiences with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the deals between governments that dictate how service members and their families are treated while posted overseas, with a group of fellow military spouses.

Roughly 10 years ago, Conlin, like many military spouse professionals, found herself unexpectedly unemployed and living in a foreign country, far from family and friends. But Conlin's frustration with the SOFA was not just that these international agreements limited her ability to transfer her dream job to Germany, but that no one she spoke to with the Department of Defense seemed to know how to help her.

Army Warns Recruiting Efforts Could Take a Hit if Congress Doesn't Pass Ukraine and Israel Funding

If Congress does not approve extra funding to cover the bulked-up U.S. troop presence in Europe and the Middle East, the Army could have to dip into funding meant for recruitment to cover costs of the deployments, a top service official warned this weekend.

Speaking at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday, Army Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo said efforts to solve the military recruiting crisis are "absolutely ... hamstrung" by funding fights in Congress.

"Right now, without the supplemental for Ukraine and for support to Israel, we in the Army in our base budget, we are funding the operations costs to deploy our soldiers to provide that deterrence and reassurance mission in NATO and in CENTCOM," Camarillo said, referring to U.S. Central Command.

"That is the same budget account that I need to use in order to place media buys months in advance for marketing and advertising, to surge events for recruiters in other parts of the country," continued Camarillo, who was speaking during a panel focused on the military's recent recruiting struggles.

The accounts also are used to pay for recruiting incentives, such as bonuses for targeted skill sets in certain military occupational specialties, he said.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Key Congress Staffers In AI Debate Are Funded By Tech Giants Like Google and Microsoft

Big tech companies are funneling money through a science nonprofit to help pay the salaries of AI staffers in Congress — and it’s just one example of the increasing influence outside-funded fellows are exerting on tech policy in Washington.

Top tech companies with major stakes in artificial intelligence are channeling money through a venerable science nonprofit to help fund fellows working on AI policy in key Senate offices, adding to the roster of government staffers across Washington whose salaries are being paid by tech billionaires and others with direct interests in AI regulation.

The new “rapid response cohort” of congressional AI fellows is run by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Washington-based nonprofit, with substantial support from Microsoft, OpenAI, Google, IBM and Nvidia, according to the AAAS. It comes on top of the network of AI fellows funded by Open Philanthropy, a group financed by billionaire Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.

The six rapid response fellows, including five with PhDs and two who held prior positions at big tech firms, operate from the offices of two of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s top three lieutenants on AI legislation — Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) — as well as the Senate Banking Committee and the offices of Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).

Alongside the Open Philanthropy fellows — and hundreds of outside-funded fellows throughout the government, including many with links to the tech industry — the six AI staffers in the industry-funded rapid response cohort are helping shape how key players in Congress approach the debate over when and how to regulate AI, at a time when many Americans are deeply skeptical of the industry.


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James Thomas, Owner JWT Communications

James Thomas, Owner JWT Communications
James Thomas is a radio talk show host and civil rights activist. He can be heard every Monday morning on 94.7 FM | 106.9 FM & 1300 AM WTLS Radio (News-Sports-Talk). RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, ACTIVIST, AUTHOR James is a civil rights activist, and groundbreaking radio personality. He has built a legacy of using his voice to help oppressed people and those who are powerless against the injustices affecting them in their everyday lives. His radio program, “’TELL IT LIKE IT IS’ Talk Show”, airs every Monday morning. During his program, Mr. Thomas, also known as “JT”, talks about political and social issues, brings attention to social injustices around the world, and challenges himself and his listeners daily to “do something about it.” Because he is always taking action to help rectify the issues discussed on his show, TALKERS magazine ranked Mr. Thomas’s show in the top 50 of their 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America over one dozen times. He has interviewed President Barack Obama, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Senator Chuck Schumer, Spike Lee, and hundreds of people around the world.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Founded in 1962, The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. For 54 years, we’ve been providing access to affordable education for the children of Marine and Navy Corpsman attending post-high school, under-graduate and career technical education programs. In that time, we have provided more than 37,000 scholarships worth nearly $110 million.