Flynn to take the Fifth, decline Senate subpoena

The mob takes the Fifth Amendment. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” — Donald J. Trump, at a campaign rally in Iowa in 2016.

For the record, during his divorce proceedings from Marla Maples, which included five depositions, Trump pleaded the Fifth 97 times on approximately 100 questions related to marriage infidelity.

Trump’s missive takes on new relevance today as The Hill reports that Flynn to decline Senate subpoena, invoke Fifth Amendment: report:

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and not comply with a Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Flynn was subpoenaed in the committee’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

Flynn previously offered to testify before the Senate and House Intelligence committees in exchange for immunity, but neither committee accepted the offer.

In September of 2016, Flynn said on Meet The Press that “When you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime.”

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Trump’s budget due on Tuesday: a war on the poor to pay for tax cuts for Plutocrats

Back in March the Washington Post ran this story: If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you:

If you’re a poor person in America, President Trump’s budget proposal is not for you.

Trump has unveiled a budget that would slash or abolish programs that have provided low-income Americans with help on virtually all fronts, including affordable housing, banking, weatherizing homes, job training, paying home heating oil bills, and obtaining legal counsel in civil matters.

During the presidential campaign last year, Trump vowed that the solution to poverty was giving poor people incentives to work. But most of the proposed cuts in his budget target programs designed to help the working poor, as well as those who are jobless, cope.

This is a budget that pulled the rug out from working families and hurts the very people who President Trump promised to stand up for in rural America and in small towns,” said Melissa Boteach, vice president of the poverty to prosperity program at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington.

The White House budget cuts will fall hardest on the rural and small town communities that Trump won, where 1 in 3 people are living paycheck to paycheck — a rate that is 24 percent higher than in urban counties, according to a new analysis by the center.

President Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2018 will be released on Tuesday, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget announced last week.

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Rev. William Barber Is reviving Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Poor People’s Campaign’

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays movement that opposed North Carolina’s “most restrictive voting law in the nation,” recently scored a major victory against this TeaPublican tyranny. Strict North Carolina Voter ID Law Thwarted After Supreme Court Rejects Case:

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to revive a restrictive North Carolina voting law that a federal appeals court had struck down as an unconstitutional effort to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”

The court’s decision not to hear an appeal in the case effectively overturned one of the most far-reaching attempts by Republicans to counter what they contended, without evidence, was widespread voter fraud in North Carolina. The law rejected the forms of identification used disproportionately by blacks, including IDs issued to government employees, students and people receiving public assistance.

Fresh off this victory, Rev. Barber announced last week that he will step down as president of the North Carolina NAACP and lead a new national initiative that aims to end poverty and begin what Rev. Barber calls “a national moral revival.” The Nation reports, The Rev. William Barber Is Bringing MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign Back to Life:

This new Poor People’s Campaign will pick up where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. left off 50 years ago when he turned his focus to uniting poor people across lines of race and geography and pushing their priorities onto the federal agenda.

The campaign, which launches in partnership the Kairos Center at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, will bring together organizations with a longstanding commitment to confronting poverty and inequality—local and national groups such as Picture the Homeless in New York and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. Barber said a task force made up of poor people and economists, theologians, and other experts will in September release a report called “The Souls of Poor Folks” that will lay out the campaign’s agenda.

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Syria’s devastated hospitals

In the ongoing conflict that began in March 2011, Syrian healthcare facilities are significant military targets. There have been 454 air attacks on hospitals, 91 percent of the raids were carried out by aircraft under the control of the Assad government and Russia. The rate of attacks on hospital facilities is said to be increasing. In April 2017, there were 25 attacks on health installations. Between March 2011 and February 2017, over 800 healthcare workers and hundreds patients have been killed as a result of air strikes. Although the UN Security Council has condemned attacks on medical facilities, the repulsive goal of the Assad government (and its supporting Russian air power) is to stop the delivery of medical services to the inhabitants of areas controlled by the opposition.

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(Update) The conservative media entertainment complex is an ancillary to Russian ‘active measures’ propaganda

Richard Nixon’s media henchman, Roger Ailes, the founder of the FOX News Channel, died this week. May the abomination he created, “FAUX News,” be buried along with him. Dante had to create a new ring of the Inferno on the arrival of Ailes in Hell to sit at the right hand of Satan, who now has a new PR man.

We’ve discussed this phenomenon before. The conservative media entertainment complex is an ancillary to Russian ‘active measures’ propaganda.

The latest example is the right-wing noise machine’s ginning up a “fake news” conspiracy theory about the suicide of Seth Rich last year. This is something the right-wing noise machine has done before with the Vince Foster conspiracy theory, long before the Russian’s current dezinformatsiya “fake news” cyber war against the U.S. In rumors around a DNC staffer’s death, a whiff of a Clinton-era conspiracy theory:

[A]fter multiple inquiries by police, FBI agents, Republicans, Democrats and two special prosecutors had all debunked the still-persistent falsehood that the Clintons had Vince Foster killed to protect themselves from what he knew.

The latest vessel for Vince Foster paranoia is the story of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer who was found shot to death last year, while Hillary Clinton was campaigning for president.

As with Foster, local authorities have tried to dispel rumors that politics played a role in Rich’s death. In this case, D.C. police believe he died in a random robbery attempt.

Relatives have also begged rumormongers to lay off. On Tuesday, a family spokesman decried a Fox News report suggesting Rich was involved in leaking Democratic Party documents before his death.

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Political Calendar: Week of May 21, 2017

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Political Calendar for the Week of May 21, 2017:

Mohave County Democratic Party’s Annual Picnic

Sunday, May 21, Noon: Mohave County Democratic Party’s Annual Picnic, at Metcalf Park in Kingman. The event will include delicious BBQ and a silent auction. Children under 12 are free. For more information call (928) 752-0006 or (928) 753-2162.

Sunday, May 21, 1:00 p.m.: Pima County Democratic Party PC101 workshop, at Pima County Democratic Party HQ, 4639 E. 1st Street, Tucson. If you plan to attend, please add your name here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JGD182xielsZNlj8FaBE9uxjjNfRrpONt7R0mYdS6z4/edit?usp=sharing.

Monday, May 22, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria). New price: buffet lunch is $10.00 cash, $12 credit; just a drink is $3.50. (New) Featured speaker is Dr. Matt Heinz on the AHCA and healthcare concerns in Arizona. Next Week:  No DGT in observance of Memorial Day. Following Week: Louise Misztal from the Sky Island Alliance.

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