Author Archives: AZ BlueMeanie

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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(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

The Political Calendar is posted on Sundays. Please send us notice of your political events prior to the Sunday before your event (7 days would be most helpful). See the calendar icon in the right-hand column of the blog page for easy access to the calendar.

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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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Cartoon of The Week

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Russia’s cyber war on America

I posted about this topic earlier this year. McClatchy News: Russia uses ‘bots’ and trolls for information war against U.S..

Now Time magazine’s cover story this week takes a deep-dive look Inside Russia’s Social Media War on America:

On March 2, a disturbing report hit the desks of U.S. counterintelligence officials in Washington. For months, American spy hunters had scrambled to uncover details of Russia’s influence operation against the 2016 presidential election. In offices in both D.C. and suburban Virginia, they had created massive wall charts to track the different players in Russia’s multipronged scheme. But the report in early March was something new.

It described how Russia had already moved on from the rudimentary email hacks against politicians it had used in 2016. Now the Russians were running a more sophisticated hack on Twitter. The report said the Russians had sent expertly tailored messages carrying malware to more than 10,000 Twitter users in the Defense Department. Depending on the interests of the targets, the messages offered links to stories on recent sporting events or the Oscars, which had taken place the previous weekend. When clicked, the links took users to a Russian-controlled server that downloaded a program allowing Moscow’s hackers to take control of the victim’s phone or computer–and Twitter account.

As they scrambled to contain the damage from the hack and regain control of any compromised devices, the spy hunters realized they faced a new kind of threat. In 2016, Russia had used thousands of covert human agents and robot computer programs to spread disinformation referencing the stolen campaign emails of Hillary Clinton, amplifying their effect. Now counterintelligence officials wondered: What chaos could Moscow unleash with thousands of Twitter handles that spoke in real time with the authority of the armed forces of the United States? At any given moment, perhaps during a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, Pentagon Twitter accounts might send out false information. As each tweet corroborated another, and covert Russian agents amplified the messages even further afield, the result could be panic and confusion.

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DNC announces grassroots ‘Resistance Summer’

The Democratic National Committee announced this week its grassroots 50 state party building  “Resistance Summer” program. Press release:

DNC Announces Major Nationwide Resistance Summer Program to Bolster State Parties

DNC and State Democratic Parties Will Collaborate on Local Organizing Efforts Designed to Bolster State Parties, Win Elections Up-And-Down the Ticket

WASHINGTON – Today, the Democratic National Committee announced a major nationwide Resistance Summer program designed to bolster state parties in order to win down-ballot races. The DNC will partner with state parties and external allies to invest in local organizing projects over the summer, which will increase the party’s capacity to elect Democrats up-and-down the ballot in 2017, 2018, and beyond.

The mission of Resistance Summer is to educate, organize, and mobilize grassroots energy from Democrats in all 57 states, territories, and Democrats Abroad to help build our party’s base of political power and resist Trump’s attacks on hardworking families.

The program is a competitive matching grant program, where the DNC will approve and fund programs that will be executed by state parties. Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective, each grant proposal will be unique to the state’s strategic priorities and organizational capacity. Part of these plans must incorporate, where legally possible, partners and allies.

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