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Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Friday, May 26, 2017

More Proof Republicans Are Just Lying About Trumpcare | The Nation


"How bad is the Republican rewrite of Obamacare? So bad, apparently, that the GOP candidate for Montana’s lone congressional seat allegedly assaulted a reporter rather than answer a question about it...

... With the CBO score out now, it’s harder for Republicans to evade questions about the impact of their plan. (Though body slamming a reporter is an… interesting way to try.) The picture painted by the new analysis is ugly: Much like the original version of the AHCA, which was pulled in March after it failed to get enough support, the bill penalizes elderly, poor, and sick Americans in exchange for lower premiums for the young and healthy, and a large tax cut for the wealthy. Some 23 million fewer people would be insured over the next decade, more than half of those because of an $800 billion gouge to Medicaid. Some low-income elderly people could see their premiums go up by 800 percent. Treatment for substance abuse and maternity care could cost thousands of dollars more in out-of-pocket costs. An estimated one-sixth of the population would face increasingly unstable insurance markets.The most significant impact of Trumpcare 2.0, when compared to the original version, is that it makes insurance markets even less predictable. The amended version of the AHCA allows states to do away with some of the consumer protections established by Obamacare—including the rule preventing insurers from charging more to people with preexisting conditions, and standards for “Essential Health Benefits” that all insurance plans must cover. As a result of these changes, the CBO predicts, “Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums, despite the additional funding that would be available…to help reduce premiums.” Millions of people would be priced out of the insurance market, while “a few million” more might end up with policies so skimpy that they “would not provide enough financial protection in the event of a serious and costly illness to be considered insurance.”  

Via.) More Proof Republicans Are Just Lying About Trumpcare | The Nation:

Matthews: Trump Team thwarting the effort to the find the truth | MSNBC

Matthews: Trump Team thwarting the effort to the find the truth | MSNBC: ""

Barack Obama on food and climate change: ‘We can still act and it won’t be too late’ | Global development | The Guardian


“During the course of my presidency, I made climate change a top priority, because I believe that, for all the challenges that we face, this is the one that will define the contours of this century more dramatically perhaps than the others. No nation, whether it’s large or small, rich or poor, will be immune from the impacts of climate change. We are already experiencing it in America, where some cities are seeing floods on sunny days, where wildfire seasons are longer and more dangerous, where in our arctic state, Alaska, we’re seeing rapidly eroding shorelines, and glaciers receding at a pace unseen in modern times.

Over my eight years in office, we dramatically increased our generation of clean energy, we acted to curtail our use of dirty energy, and we invested in energy efficiency across the board. At the 2015 climate change summit in Paris, we helped lead the world to the first significant global agreement for a low-carbon future.

But here’s the thing: even if every country somehow puts the brakes on emissions, climate change would still have an impact on our world for years to come. Our changing climate is already making it more difficult to produce food, and we’ve already seen shrinking yields and spiking food prices that, in some cases, are leading to political instability. And when most of the world’s poor work in agriculture, the stark imbalances that we’ve worked so hard to close between developed and developing countries will be even tougher to close. The cost will be borne by people in poor nations that are least equipped to handle it. In fact, some of the refugee flows into Europe originate not only from conflict, but also from places where there are food shortages, which will get far worse as climate change continues. So if we don’t take the action necessary to slow and ultimately stop these trends, the migration that has put such a burden on Europe already will just continue to get worse.

Now, the good news is that there are steps we can take that will make a difference: in the United States, we have been able to bring our emissions down even as we grow our economy. The same is true in many parts of Europe. Take food production, for instance. It’s the second leading driver of greenhouse gas emissions, second only to energy production. But we have already identified ways in which we can address this challenge. The path to a sustainable food future will require unleashing the creative power of our best scientists, and engineers and entrepreneurs, backed by public and private investment, to deploy new innovations in climate-smart agriculture. Better seeds, better storage, crops that grow with less water, crops that grow in harsher climates, mobile technologies that put more agricultural data – including satellite imagery and weather forecasting and market prices – into the hands of farmers, so that they know when to plant and where to plant, what to plant and how it will sell.

All these things can help to make sure that food security exists in poor countries, but it can also help us ensure that, in producing the food that we need to feed the billions of people on this planet, we’re not destroying the planet in the process.

Play VideoPlay Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 1:58 Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% FullscreenMute Facebook Twitter Pinterest Barack Obama: ‘I made climate change a top priority’ A part of this is also going to be wasting less food. We have to create a food culture that encourages a demand for healthier, more sustainable food. In fact, making sure people have healthy food to eat alleviates a lot of the medical cost that we’re seeing increasing in the advanced world, and if we’re able to reduce our healthcare costs, that in turn will allow us to divert those resources into further relieving poverty in many parts of the world. When families get the nourishment they need, we see education outcomes rise, we see healthcare costs fall, and we see economic activity improve; and when, in the United States, the number one disqualifier for military service is obesity, we might even be able to strengthen our security as well.

So the good news is that we’re starting to see a better way to feed a growing planet, combat hunger and malnutrition, put healthy food on the table and save our environment. And none of this is impossible. We can look at the successes we’ve already made: in just the past decade, the number of undernourished people in the world is down by more than 160 million.

I do not believe that any part of the world has to be condemned to perpetual poverty and hunger. And I do not believe that this planet is condemned to ever-rising temperatures. I believe these are problems that were caused by man, and they can be solved by man.

I’m fond of quoting the words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, who believed that there is such a thing as being too late. When it comes to climate change, the hour is almost upon us. If we act boldly and swiftly, if we set aside our political interests in favour of the air that our young people will breathe, and the food they will eat, and the water they will drink; if we think about them and their hopes and dreams, then we will act, and it won’t be too late. And we can leave behind a world that is worthy of our children, where there’s reduced conflict and greater cooperation – a world marked not by human suffering, but by human progress.

Food has not been the focus of climate change discussions as much as it should have been. Part of the problem is that we haven’t publicised the impact of food production on greenhouse gas emissions. People naturally understand that big smokestacks have pollution in them – they understand air pollution, so they can easily make the connection between energy production and greenhouse gases. Most people aren’t as familiar with the impact of cows and methane. So part of the problem that we need to address is just lack of knowledge in the general public. Keep in mind how long it took to educate people around climate change, and we still have a lot of work to do.

Part of it is that food is a very emotional issue. Because food is so close to us, and it’s part of our families, and it’s part of what we do every single day, people are more resistant to the idea of government or bureaucrats telling us how to eat, what to eat, how to grow it. The truth is that agriculture communities in every country are very strong, politically. Historically, in the United States, the one area where Democrats and Republicans agree is on the agriculture committee, because they usually come from agricultural states, and they are very good at joining across party lines to protect the interest of food producers.

If you combine all those things with the fact that the system is so uneven – there are countries that just need more food, and there are countries where there is a glut of food – it makes for a difficult political dynamic in which to shape rational policy. Now, having said that, this is an area where we are starting to see some progress. In the United States, one of the things that we tried to do is to work with farmers to think about how they could produce the same amounts of food more efficiently, with fewer greenhouse gas emissions. And what I’ve always said is that if you want to make progress in this area, you have to take into account the interests of the producers themselves. Farmers work hard, and especially with small farms, or family farms, they feel that they are always just a step away from losing everything.

Obviously, a large portion of agriculture is dominated by agribusiness, but to the extent that you can show small- and medium-sized farmers ways to do things better that will save them money – or at least doesn’t cost them money – they’re happy to adopt some of these new processes. But if what they see is that you are putting the environmental issues as a priority over their economic interest, then they’ll resist.

Michelle Obama and White House chef Sam Kass (in green) digging for sweet potatoes in the White House kitchen garden in 2010. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty That’s true in advanced countries, and it’s also true in poor countries. My father is from Kenya. The first time I visited, I was speaking to some conservationists who were very upset because some of the game parks were being encroached upon by farmers – either the Maasai with their cattle, or subsistence farmers who were slashing and cutting down the ecosystem. And my sister – who’s from Kenya and has a less romantic view about animals and game parks – said: ‘Well, if all the money from the game parks is going to the tour agencies in Nairobi and not going to the farmers next door, then of course they are not going to care. But if they see some economic interest in helping to conserve this land, they’ll participate.’ And that, in fact, has been the case. Where you’ve seen success in conservation, it’s because you’ve brought in the local farmers and you’ve taught them how this is better for them. So that has to be a top priority. If we’re going to be successful, we have to engage producers.

We also have to engage consumers. My good friend Sam Kass cooked for us at the White House, and helped to shape America’s nutrition policy. He worked with my wife to promote healthy eating, and most of the impact he had was not legislation, it was raising awareness with parents about what unhealthy eating was doing to their children, and showing how millions of young children could eat healthier meals. The key is giving people good information. We can make progress in educating the advanced world about the need to reduce, just for dietary reasons, the amount of meat that people consume at any given meal, particularly if it’s wasted. When you have fresh food, you are less likely to waste it, because it doesn’t last as long – you buy it on the day that you are going to eat it and you use it. We’re seeing businesses in the United States trying to come up with efficient, smart ways in which people can have the convenience of fast food, but with the food being healthier, and as a consequence, less is wasted.

If people feel as if they don’t have control over their lives, or that their children don’t have a good future, then they will resist efforts to deal with climate change because right now they’re concerned about feeding their child. It’s a luxury to worry about climate change; you have to have enough to eat before you start worrying about what’s going to happen to the planet 30 years from now. If we do not pay attention to increasing inequality – and the fact that technology and globalisation are accelerating – there will be a backlash.

Technology is making many sectors of the economy far more capital-intensive and far less labour-intensive. We saw it in manufacturing, but it is now moving through large portions of the service and managerial sectors as well. This is going to be a major problem in the advanced world, and over the long term, in the developing world as well. It’s one of the things I worry about most, because work does not just provide income – it also provides people with a sense of dignity and status in their society. I am certain that in many countries in the Middle East, for example, or in south Asia, part of the problem that leads to radicalisation and conflict is having large numbers of unemployed young men who don’t have anything to do – that lack of meaning and purpose will channel itself in unhealthy ways.

The road ahead: self-driving cars on the brink of a revolution in California Read more The best example of the kinds of issues that we’re going to face comes from driverless cars. Driverless cars are coming. The technologies are here and eventually the regulatory barriers are going to break down. The truth is that we can create a system of driverless cars that are safer, more fuel-efficient, and more convenient. But in the United States alone, there are 3 or 4 million people who make good livings just driving. And where are they going to work, if suddenly trucking and buses no longer need drivers? We have to anticipate those things now.

My guess is that, ultimately, what is going to happen is that everybody is going to have to work a little bit less, and we’re going to have to spread work around more. But that’s going to require a reorganisation of the social compact. That requires that we change our mindset about the link between work, income and the value of people in the teaching profession, or healthcare, or certain things that cannot be done by AI or a robot. And one of my goals as president – one of the goals of every leader of every country right now – was thinking about that time 20 years from now, or 30 years from now, when technology will have eliminated entire sectors of the economy.

How do we prepare for that? How do we start creating, or at least having a conversation in our society about making sure that work and opportunities are spread, and that everybody has the chance to live a good and fulfilling life, rather than having a few people who are working 80 or 90 hours a week, and making enormous incomes, and then a large portion of redundant workers that increasingly have a difficult time supporting families. That’s not a sustainable mechanism for democracy and a healthy society.

The people who know me best would say I have not changed much since I became president. And I’m happy about that. One of the dangers of being in the public eye, being in the spotlight, being in positions of power, is how it will change your soul. There is an expression: you start ‘believing your own hype’ – you start believing that you deserve all the attention. I actually found that I became more humble the longer I was in office. But I also think that I became less fearful. When you are young, you feel like you have something to prove, and sometimes you worry about making mistakes. Once you’ve been president of the United States, then a) you’ve made a mistake every day; b) everybody has seen you fail, and large portions of the country think you’re an idiot – but it’s a liberating feeling when you realise, ‘OK, I’m still here, I still wake up every day, and I still have the opportunity to do some good’, so that as time went on, I got rid of some of the anxieties that come with youth.

When I was president, wherever I’d go, I would always meet with young people. And it would always give me energy and inspiration to see how much talent and sophistication and optimism and idealism existed among young people in the United States, all across Europe, all across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The problem is that so often, young people’s voices aren’t heard, and when they want to get involved in issues, they don’t know how, and they don’t have the tools.

So I and others have been talking about how we can create an effective network of global activists – some of whom are in politics, some of whom are in business, some of whom are in journalism or working for NGOs – and provide them with the tools, the training, the networks, the relationships, the funding, so that they can be even more effective. That’s probably what I’m going to be spending most of the next 10 years on. I have a lot of grey hair now. People always ask me, ‘Oh, Mr President, you know, we need you, we want you to get involved’, and I’m happy to get involved, but the greatest thing I think I can give is to make sure that somebody who is 20 years old, or 21, or 25 – who is ready to make their mark on the world – I can help them, so that they can take it to the next level.

From methane emissions to deforestation, many of the impacts of food production are still not widely enough understood. Photograph: Alamy When I was young, I gave my mother a lot of headaches. I wasn’t always the best student, and I wasn’t always the most responsible young person. It wasn’t until I got to college that I began to think about many of the broader issues that the world was facing, but the moment for me in which I started to understand leadership was when I moved to Chicago. I had been inspired by the civil rights movement, and I wanted to be involved in some way in bringing about change. I got a job working with low-income communities, and what I learned was that the mark of a good leader is somebody who is able to empower other people. So often we think of leadership as somebody at the top who is ordering other people around. But it turns out that – for me, at least – what made me understand leadership was when I could see somebody who thought they didn’t have a voice, or that they didn’t have influence or power, and teach them how they could speak up about the things that were affecting their lives.

When we think about issues like food security or climate change, ultimately politicians can help guide policy. But the energy to bring about change is going to come from what people do every day. It’s going to come from parents who are concerned about the kind of impact climate change may have on their children, or from enlightened business people who say: ‘How can we use less energy in producing the products that we are making?’ It’s millions of decisions that are being made individually that end up having as much impact as anything, and that’s certainly true in our democracies.

People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work. But, as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve. And if you don’t vote and you don’t participate and you don’t pay attention, then you’ll get policies that don’t reflect your interests.

We have an expression in the United States: ‘The squeaky wheel gets the oil.’ It’s certainly true that politicians and governments respond to people making noise and making demands, and sometimes, if certain groups have not been heard before, they have to get the attention of those in power.

But the biggest mistake sometimes made by activists – when I was an activist, sometimes I made this mistake – is forgetting that once you’ve got the attention of the people in power, then you have to engage them. So you have to do your homework and you have to have facts, and you have to be willing to compromise and not expect that you’re going to get 100% of what you want, because – at least if you’re in a democracy – your demands may clash with the demands of someone else. It’s very important to be willing to put pressure on government but it’s also important to propose concrete solutions, to take what you can get and then try to make more progress after that.

The second thing that is increasingly important is how to shape public opinion. It is very important for people who are interested in issues like climate change or inequality, or whatever it is that you care about, to find effective ways to speak to the public and to change public opinion. Abraham Lincoln used to say: ‘With public opinion there’s nothing I cannot do, and without public opinion there’s nothing I can get done.’ And I’ve learned that first-hand myself.

Play VideoPlay Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 1:44 Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% FullscreenMute Facebook Twitter Pinterest Michelle Obama attacks Donald Trump for gutting her legacy We need to find ways to speak to young people who are getting all their information off a phone, and will not sit down and read a 50-page report. You may have two minutes to get your message across, or five minutes, and they may be more interested in a video than they are in reading a text. You’ll need to create a strong, truthful, powerful message that leads them to action – that’s something I’m going to be spending a lot of time thinking about.

Young people are more conscious today, they are more innovative, they are more entrepreneurial. Because they are more sceptical of government and politics, it seems as if a lot of people think: ‘That’s a dirty business, I don’t want to go into it, who wants to be criticised and attacked all the time?’ So you’re seeing a lot of people who want to change the world thinking that maybe the best way to do it is by going into business or non-profit organizations.

If I were an entrepreneur today, trying to make money and sell my products or services, I would want to understand this youth market. They want to do the right thing, too. If they find out that what you’re selling isn’t good for the environment, or what you’re selling is not good for people, or if they hear that you do not treat your workers well, and do not pay them a decent wage, and don’t provide decent benefits, that can affect your brand. And so part of what has changed is the nature of the entrepreneurs themselves, who may be more socially conscious, coming into their business. Even if you don’t care about these issues, your customers care. And you’ve got to be paying attention to that.

Adapted from a talk given by Barack Obama at the Seeds & Chips Global Food Innovation Summit. Seeds & Chips is one of the world’s foremost food innovation events, a showcase for cutting-edge solutions and outstanding talent. Details:"

(Via.).  Barack Obama on food and climate change: ‘We can still act and it won’t be too late’ | Global development | The Guardian:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Greg Gianforte, Trump and the First Amendment: A Closer Look

UPDATE 2-House panel chairman says FBI declines for now to meet request for Comey-linked documents

FILE PHOTO: FBI Director Comey arrives to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has declined for now to give the House Oversight Committee documents it had requested regarding communications between former FBI chief James Comey and President Donald Trump, the head of the panel said on Thursday.

The FBI said it was still evaluating the request, which had a committee-set deadline of Wednesday, in light of the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into the possibility of collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian officials seeking to influence the 2016 election, according to a letter released by committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz."

UPDATE 2-House panel chairman says FBI declines for now to meet request for Comey-linked documents

U.S. appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump's travel ban

"(Reuters) - The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia on Thursday refused to reinstate President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban for six Muslim-majority nations, in another legal blow to the White House.

A majority of judges on the appeals court, in a 10-3 decision, said they were "unconvinced" the travel order had more to do with national security concerns than a "Muslim ban."

The court also found the challengers were likely to suffer "irreparable harm" if the ban were implemented and that it might violate the U.S. Constitution.

The appeals court maintained the injunction against the travel ban in full. The appeals court was reviewing a March ruling by a Maryland-based federal judge that blocked part of Trump's March 6 executive order barring travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days while the government put in place stricter visa screening.

A similar ruling against Trump's policy from a Hawaii-based federal judge is still in place and the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals court is reviewing that decision."

U.S. appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump's travel ban

Senate learns consequences of passing House health bill | MSNBC

Senate learns consequences of passing House health bill | MSNBC

The Flynn Affair - The New York Times

"One of the greatest political mysteries of our time is why President Trump has clung — and continues to cling — so steadfastly to the perfidious Michael Flynn.

Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, is at the nexus of Trump’s problems. There was Flynn’s lobbying on behalf of Turkey and his contacts with Russia. There was Trump’s dismissal of all warnings to steer clear of Flynn; his refusal to fire Flynn as soon as he was alerted to the fact that Flynn posed a security risk; his efforts to impede or even terminate the investigations of Flynn.

Not only has Trump staunchly defended Flynn — even after firing him — he is apparently still in contact with him, sending him encouraging messages. As Michael Isikoff reported last week for Yahoo News about a dinner Flynn convened with ‘a small group of loyalists’:

Not only did he remain loyal to President Trump; he indicated that he and the president were still in communication. ‘I just got a message from the president to stay strong,’ Flynn said after the meal was over, according to two sources who are close to Flynn and are familiar with the conversation, which took place on April 25.

This level of extreme fealty is puzzling. It extends beyond basic loyalty to an early supporter. It seems to me that there is something else at play here, something as yet unknown. Trump’s attachment to Flynn strikes me less as an act of fidelity and more as an exercise in fear. What does Flynn know that Trump doesn’t want the world to know?

What are the dirty details of what could only be called The Flynn Affair?

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who served as head of the Trump transition team before being brushed aside for Vice President Mike Pence, said he warned Trump about Flynn. As Christie said earlier this week: ‘I didn’t think that he was someone who would bring benefit to the president or to the administration, and I made that very clear to candidate Trump, and I made it very clear to President-elect Trump.’

Charles M. Blow Politics, public opinion and social justice. Blood in the Water MAY 22 Trump’s Madness Invites Mutiny MAY 15 Trump Is Insulting Our Intelligence MAY 10 Republican Death Wish MAY 8 Senators Save the Empire MAY 4 See More »

Christie continued: ‘If I were president-elect of the United States, I wouldn’t let General Flynn into the White House, let alone give him a job.’

Trump apparently ignored the warning.

Barack Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn. As The New York Times reported earlier this month:

Mr. Obama, who had fired Mr. Flynn as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Mr. Trump that he would have profound concerns about Mr. Flynn becoming a top national security aide, said the administration officials, who were briefed on the Oval Office conversation. Mr. Trump later ignored the advice, naming Mr. Flynn to be his national security adviser.

Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general, warned Trump about Flynn. As The Times reported earlier this month, when she delivered mesmerizing testimony before a Senate subcommittee, Yates informed the White House, less than a week into the Trump administration, that Flynn had lied to Pence about his Russian contacts and was vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

As Yates put it, ‘To state the obvious: You don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.’

Trump again ignored the warning.

Eighteen days passed. Then, on Monday, Feb. 13, The Washington Post reported that Yates had warned Trump about Flynn, a warning the White House had kept secret.

That night, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Trump requested Flynn’s resignation, with Spicer saying the following day:

‘The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation in a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for General Flynn’s resignation.’

Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main story Sign Up for the Opinion Today Newsletter Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, the Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

As White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said on television that Tuesday morning, ‘It was misleading the vice president that made the situation unsustainable.’

In fact, it appeared that it was Trump being embarrassed by press reports that he had been warned of Flynn’s treachery and had done nothing with the information that led to Flynn’s ultimate resignation.

In Trump’s mind, this was all the fault of the press, not Flynn’s double-dealing or the president’s own faulty vetting and subsequent inaction. In a news conference the day after Spicer described Flynn’s departure, Trump said of Flynn, ‘I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media — as I call it, the fake media, in many cases.’ Trump continued, ‘I think it’s really a sad thing he was treated so badly.’

The day after Flynn was forced out his job, Trump told the former F.B.I. director, James Comey, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,’ according to contemporaneous notes written by Comey, referring to a meeting in which Trump asked Comey to lay off the federal investigation of Flynn.

Comey wouldn’t let it go, and Trump would later fire him and reportedly brag about it to Russians in the Oval Office a day later: ‘I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job.’ Trump continued, ‘I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.’

Now, all the hoops Trump has jumped through to hire, keep and protect Flynn may lead to Trump’s undoing. The question of whether Trump’s actions amount to obstruction of justice is very real. The White House Counsel’s Office is researching impeachment. This week Trump retained Marc Kasowitz as outside counsel for his impending legal problems. This is going to get ugly.

So the question not only remains, but is amplified in this light: What about Flynn is worth all this? Why continue to stick by someone who seems to have so clearly been in the wrong and is causing you such woes?

1 COMMENT Does Flynn have knowledge of something so damaging that it keeps Trump crouched in his defense? This is the question that ongoing investigations must answer, particularly the investigation now led by the Justice Department’s newly appointed special counsel, Robert Mueller.

It’s time to lay bare this fishy bromance and come to know the full breadth of Flynn’s furtive activities and whether Trump was aware or complicit, before, during or after. Kick back America; it’s Mueller time."

(Via.).  The Flynn Affair - The New York Times:

Fox News crew ‘watched in disbelief’ as Montana’s Greg Gianforte ‘slammed’ and ‘began punching’ reporter - The Washington Post

"A Fox News reporter provided a vivid eyewitness account late Wednesday of an attack on a reporter by Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte that led to him being cited for assault by the county sheriff and to lose his endorsements from two Montana newspapers ahead of the special election set for Thursday.

Both papers, the Missoulian and the Billings Gazette, issued scathing denunciations of Gianforte."

(Via.).  Fox News crew ‘watched in disbelief’ as Montana’s Greg Gianforte ‘slammed’ and ‘began punching’ reporter - The Washington Post: "

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Republican candidate 'body-slams' Guardian reporter in Montana Audio obtained of Greg Gianforte attacking a reporter on the eve of a special election to fill a congressional seat vacated by a member of the Trump administration. Greg Gianforte Assaults Reporter- video

53 billion in tax cuts while cutting meals on wheels, medicare SNAP, CHIP, Pell grants and other programs. #ResistanceIsNotFutile

Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer - The New York Times

"WASHINGTON — American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence.

The conversations focused on Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman at the time, and Michael T. Flynn, a retired general who was advising Mr. Trump, the officials said. Both men had indirect ties to Russian officials, who appeared confident that each could be used to help shape Mr. Trump’s opinions on Russia.

Some Russians boasted about how well they knew Mr. Flynn. Others discussed leveraging their ties to Viktor F. Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine living in exile in Russia, who at one time had worked closely with Mr. Manafort.

The intelligence was among the clues — which also included information about direct communications between Mr. Trump’s advisers and Russian officials — that American officials received last year as they began investigating Russian attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates were assisting Moscow in the effort. Details of the conversations, some of which have not been previously reported, add to an increasing understanding of the alarm inside the American government last year about the Russian disruption campaign.

The information collected last summer was considered credible enough for intelligence agencies to pass to the F.B.I., which during that period opened a counterintelligence investigation that is continuing. It is unclear, however, whether Russian officials actually tried to directly influence Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn. Both have denied any collusion with the Russian government on the campaign to disrupt the election.

John O. Brennan, the former director of the C.I.A., testified Tuesday about a tense period last year when he came to believe that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was trying to steer the outcome of the election. He said he saw intelligence suggesting that Russia wanted to use Trump campaign officials, wittingly or not, to help in that effort. He spoke vaguely about contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials, without giving names, saying they “raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”

Whether the Russians worked directly with any Trump advisers is one of the central questions that federal investigators, now led by Robert S. Mueller III, the newly appointed special counsel, are seeking to answer. President Trump, for his part, has dismissed talk of Russian interference in the election as “fake news,” insisting there was no contact between his campaign and Russian officials.

The White House, F.B.I. and C.I.A. declined to comment, as did spokesmen for Mr. Manafort. Mr. Flynn’s lawyer did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The current and former officials agreed to discuss the intelligence only on the condition of anonymity because much of it remains highly classified, and they could be prosecuted for disclosing it."

Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer - The New York Times

Fifth Amendment Makes it Hard to Build a Case Against Flynn - The New York Times

Here is the legal analysis. Congress and the independent prosecutor need to work together.

"...Mr. Flynn’s lawyer earlier sought a grant of immunity in exchange for his client’s testimony, but that request has been refused so far. Congress learned a hard lesson when Oliver North received immunity to testify at the Iran-contra hearings, which eventually led to the dismissal of his convictions because the immunized testimony poisoned the government’s case against him.

Unlike his declining to testify, Mr. Flynn’s refusal to provide the documents involves a more obscure protection afforded to individuals by the Fifth Amendment subpoenaed for personal records.

The privilege against self-incrimination does not independently protect the content of documents, so one cannot refuse to turn them over just because they might be incriminating. The Supreme Court’s decision in 1976 in Fisher v. United States explained that it was “clear that the Fifth Amendment does not independently proscribe the compelled production of every sort of incriminating evidence, but applies only when the accused is compelled to make a testimonial communication that is incriminating.”

But that does not mean records must always be provided in response to a subpoena. The court went on to explain that while the records themselves do not come within the protection of the Fifth Amendment, the act of turning them over may communicate information about their existence, possession and the authenticity of the documents. Known as the “act of production,” the Fisher case permits a defendant to refuse to turn over records if doing so would communicate information to the government that it did not already have.

In Mr. Flynn’s case, acknowledging that he has records related to contacts with the Russian government may be incriminating because his response to the subpoena could be used to establish his knowledge of their contents and prevent him from denying his connection to the transactions described in them. Thus, his act of producing documents could incriminate him, so he can refuse to turn them over to the Intelligence Committee.

That is not the end of the analysis, however, because there are three ways in which the government could still obtain the records — but none are particularly appealing.

First, the Fisher decision contains an important caveat to the availability of the Fifth Amendment to avoid producing documents. If the government can show their existence, possession and authenticity is a “foregone conclusion” so that investigators will not learn anything valuable from the act of production, then the privilege against self-incrimination dissipates and the records must be produced.

This is often a difficult standard to meet and the burden would be on the government to show it knew what records Mr. Flynn had in his possession and that they were authentic. Absent that proof when the subpoena was issued, he can then assert the Fifth Amendment to refuse to turn them over.

A second means to obtain records would be for Congress to ask the Justice Department to authorize immunity for the act of production, which would overcome the privilege against self-incrimination and require Mr. Flynn to turn the records over.

But that is perilous, as the prosecution of Webb Hubbell, the former associate attorney general, showed. Immunity covers not just actual use of the records produced pursuant to a subpoena, but also any “derivative” information gained from them.

After Mr. Hubbell pleaded guilty in 1994 to mail fraud and tax charges for overbilling clients in his private practice, the independent counsel investigating President Clinton subpoenaed additional records from him to see if he was being paid to remain silent about possible misconduct in the Whitewater matter.

When he asserted the Fifth Amendment in response, the independent counsel granted him immunity from prosecution so that he would have to turn over about 13,000 pages of records. He was subsequently charged a second time with mail fraud and tax violations.

The Supreme Court determined in United States v. Hubbell that any evidence traceable to those documents violated the protections afforded by the grant of immunity, which puts a witness in the same position as if the person refused to provide any information. The court upheld the dismissal of tax and fraud charges against Mr. Hubbell, finding that “the documents did not magically appear in the prosecutor’s office like manna from heaven.”

Mr. Mueller is sure to oppose any request to grant immunity to Mr. Flynn to compel him to produce his records because it may effectively insulate him from any criminal charge, depriving his investigation of any leverage it might have to get him to cooperate.

A third way to get the records would be for the Justice Department to obtain a search warrant, because the Fifth Amendment does not apply when the government seizes records pursuant to a warrant. But that is not an easy avenue; prosecutors would have to show there is probable cause the evidence relates to a crime and they have a reasonable basis about where the records are kept.

Congress cannot obtain a search warrant, only the Justice Department can. Mr. Mueller’s investigation is just beginning, so seeking a search warrant for Mr. Flynn’s records is unlikely at this early stage.

Congress could threaten to seek a contempt order for Mr. Flynn for his failure to comply with the subpoena, but that is unlikely to result in the production of any records. Moreover, that threat may be hollow because it would require the Justice Department to take the case before a Federal District Court judge, something prosecutors have been reluctant to do when the refusal is based on the Fifth Amendment..."

Fifth Amendment Makes it Hard to Build a Case Against Flynn - The New York Times

Trump's budget cuts monies for Food Stamps and food for children while giving tax cuts to the top two percent. Stephen Has An Unpopular Opinion On Trump's Budget

Trump's budget cuts monies for Food Stamps and food for children while giving tax cuts to the top two percent. Stephen Has An Unpopular Opinion On Trump's Budget

CBO: GOP Health Care Plan Would Leave 23 Million Uninsured - NBC News


(Via.).  CBO: GOP Health Care Plan Would Leave 23 Million Uninsured - NBC News: "

Brookhaven Monument To Memorialize 'Comfort Women' - Brookhaven, GA Patch. Yes, my progressive city will memorialize these victims of sex slavery during WWII. The cowardice of City of Atlanta officials who backed down in face of opposition from the Japanese consulate is disgusting. I love living in Brookhaven.



"BROOKHAVEN, GA -- A monument that draws attention to one of the ugliest chapters of colonial rule in the Pacific is being erected in Brookhaven, the city announced Tuesday.

From 1910 to 1945, the systematic raping of South Korean women by Japanese soldiers in wartime brothels was commonplace, representing the longest and most painful saga of sex trafficking in modern times.

The plight of the former sex slaves, dubbed 'Comfort Women' by the soldiers back then, has been a point of contention between Japan and South Korea for decades as a a dwindling number of the women (a little more than three dozen are still alive) continue to agitate the Japanese government for appropriate recognition and reparations.

In a unanimous vote, the Brookhaven City Council approved plans to build a memorial for the 'Comfort Women' to raise awareness of the injustice and depravity of the global human sex trade. Brookhaven's statue, named Young Girl’s Statue for Peace, will show that the city, a quarter of whose residents are foreign-born, is in solidarity with the women and against sex trafficking across the world.

‘We are grateful for the courage, passion and commitment of the city officials of Brookhaven,’ Baik Kyu Kim, the Chair of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force, said in a news release. ‘It is our hope that this beautiful statue will bring much healing, peace and hope.’

Brookhaven is the first city in Georgia and the Deep South to publicly commemorate the cause of the comfort women."

(Via.).  Brookhaven Monument To Memorialize 'Comfort Women' - Brookhaven, GA Patch:

There are numerous credible reports that the WH reached out to the NSA & DNI heads to counter the FBI’s Russia investigation is only the latest reported attempt by the Trump WH to get outside help in battling the story.