Friday, July 31, 2015

Daily Trumpeter: Trump wants to deport 11,000,000 but has no idea how to do it

But then that is the mark of Trump's anemic policy portfolio - lots of brag and BS and no real solutions. He does throw a bone to the Hispanic community: He'll let the "good ones" back in.

During an interview Wednesday on CNN, Trump said the "good ones" could return via an "expedited" process and then remain in the country legally.

But, quoting from Mad Max: "Plan? There ain't no plan."

But Trump dodged questioned in the interview about how he would locate those he wants to deport. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks declined to answer questions Thursday about that process or how much it might cost.

Oops. I spoke too soon. There is a plan after all.

"Politicians aren't going to find them because they have no clue. We will find them, we will get them out," Trump said. "It's feasible if you know how to manage. Politicians don't know how to manage."

Above snippets from the report in this morning's Daily Star (at tucson.com).

You might argue that Trump's lack of any meaningful solution to immigration is an accurate reflection of why the GOP has not been able to come up with any serious proprosal for immigration reform. In that spirit, "The Donald" is the GOP.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Just when you thought things could not be worse: Al Melvin is running for Arizona Corruption Commission

Capitol Times reports.

Look on the bright side. Arizona Public Service won't have to pay him off. APS will get a talking head for free. There is plenty of room in Al's head for the APS homunculus.

Sorry - I wrote that before I checked on Al's record. Here is a comment on a Tucson Weekly article on Al's disastrous interview with Anderson Cooper on Al's "yes" vote on SB1062.

Are people here really just discovering what an idiot Al Melvin is and the brand of crap he spews? He has been elected/re-elected three times, apparently the people in his district (11) support his views. Anyone who has a problem with this clown should familiarize themselves with the AZ legislative map and not spend a dime at any business in his district. Kind of ironic that the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association contributed to Melvin's campaign in 2012 when tourism is the business that gets hurt most by nonsense like SB-1062.

Melvin's top contributors from 2012:

Pinnacle West $1,736

Arizona Association of Realtors $1,300

Salt River Valley Water Users Association $1,000

Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association $700

Pinnacle West is the corporate owner of APS. "Pinnacle West derives essentially all of our revenues and earnings from our wholly-owned subsidiary, Arizona Public Service ("APS")."

So APS already owns Melvin.

Let's rename the Arizona Corporation Commission the Arizona Corruption Commission.

Reactions to my post from yesterday ("Why I am not a trophy hunter")

One subscriber wrote "Too much dentist/lion coverage and not enough African human tragedy coverage in my humble opinion." Point taken, but with news cycles what they are ...

Another forwarded a link to an article contrasting coverage the deaths of Cecil (a lion at the hands of a poaching hunter) and Sandra Bland (a black woman imprisoned for the slimmest of reasons). The article also mentions the shooting of a Sam Dubose, an unarmed black man, by a 25-year old white police officer.

In a Wednesday Twitter post, feminist and author Roxane Gay suggested a novel approach for how to draw attention to police violence in America — violence that has overwhelmingly impacted black men, women and children.

I'm personally going to start wearing a lion costume when I leave my house so if I get shot, people will care.

Well, people do care. There are just not enough hours in the day for everyone to translate each of their cares into action.

I suspect the motives for killing relatively rare animals to claim their heads as trophies are, in a sense, primordial. Such trophies probably served a social purpose some thousands of years ago when the weapons used were primitive spears and bows and arrows. Now the animals are rare and weapons far more sophisticated. Add to that the practice of baiting, illegal baiting in the case of luring Cecil from the protection of the Hwange park. On top of it all, the American dentist already had one lion in his collection of rare animals he killed. Why did he need one more?

So, yes, without apology, I joined with other bloggers and Facebook denizens in protest of the circumstances of Cecil's death. Trophy hunting is barbaric. As a species we need to get beyond this practice from our far distant past. Until we do so, we need to call out those serial killers of rare animals at every opportunity. (See the accompanying post today with comments by Congressman Raul Grijalva.)

But does this detract from the revulsion that motivates the protests of the human deaths? It does not and should not. Start with a soup of (sometimes implicit) racial bias and add to it police cultures and armaments; the result is predictable. So, yes, that needs to change. No more deaths of black people for trivial or fabricated offenses. We need to call out those persons responsible and get beyond this practice from our not so distant past.

Protesting and publicizing bad behaviors with horrible outcomes is a zero-sum game at the individual level. There are so many tragedies in the world that one person (or one blogger) cannot keep up with them all. Like others, I have to pick and choose my topics. But as a society, our reactions to those tragedies need not be played as zero-sum. We can correct those bad behaviors leading to wrongful deaths at the hands of those charged with law enforcement. And we can curb trophy hunting of rare species. So let's get on with it. No more Sandras. No more Sams. And no more Cecils.

Congressman Raul Grijalva on trophy hunting

Here is the statement via email from the Congressman.

As headlines from here to Zimbabwe decry the senseless, ruthless and illegal slaughter of a protected and beloved lion named Cecil, it’s time to recognize the harm that political animosity towards conservation laws and animal protections is causing.

With the Congressional majority preoccupied with eroding the Endangered Species Act and making it harder to protect threatened species, those who destroy nature’s most majestic creatures and call it "sport" are emboldened and unapologetic. In fact, Cecil’s killer hired some slimy crisis management firm to put out a statement saying he "had no idea that the lion [he] took was a known, local favorite." Never mind that he hired trackers to intentionally lure Cecil off a protected reservation before killing him. Never mind that he has a track record of illegally killing large animals for the fun of taking their lives. Never mind that lions are well-known to be threatened.

The spin doctors putting words in the killer’s mouth missed the point behind all the public outrage though: If the lion was nameless, this killing would be no less reprehensible.

As Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, my fellow committee Democrats and I represent the last line of defense against Republican efforts to gut animal protections and further fuel the extinction of species that are just barely hanging on. I wasted no time demanding answers from the Fish and Wildlife Service in a hearing about whether this hunter had any part of the poached lion imported back to the U.S., whether we have restrictions on such importations for people with poaching convictions - as this man has - and what updates FWS could provide about protecting lions under the Endangered Species Act.

I’m proud to have introduced the Rare Cats and Canids Act to provide every resource possible to protect these magnificent creatures. I fought back as the GOP tried to use a drought bill as an excuse to weaken protections for endangered fish species. And I oppose their attempts - time and again - to make it harder to list animals on the endangered species list.

Species conservation should not be a partisan issue. It should just be common sense. The Republicans whose silence is deafening over the death of Cecil are ignoring the cries of outrage coming from their very own constituents. The American people passionately support the conservation of endangered species, and they deserve a Congress that does too.

GOPlin watch: The party of the people plans to push 17,000,000 off their health care plans

Here's the story from bloomberg.com on Republican maneuvering in the Senate aimed at repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Oops. Did I say "party of the people"? I wonder how many of those 17 million people who stand to lose their health insurance will vote Republican in 2016?

Why I am not a trophy hunter (and no one else should be)

There is precisely no justification for hunting a species destined for extinction. None. Period.

Remember the photo of the woman who shot a giraffe? Now we have a Minneapolis dentist participating in a hunt in which a lion was lured (by bait) off Zimbabwe's Hwange park grounds so said dentist could shoot it with a bow and arrow. And then he screwed up the shot so they tracked the lion for 40 hours and killed it and then tried to hide the GPS collar.

The guys the dentist hired are now criminals under Zimbabwe law. The dentist should be treated as a criminal as well.

It's all over social media, but here is the story from The Guardian with video clips of Cecil, the lion.

Arizona legislature wants 350,000 Arizonans to lose health care

Of course they do. The GOPlins are in a snit about ex-Gov Brewer's medicaid expansion. So they enlisted the Goldwater Institute to fight the legal battle.

Goes to show you. There is no afterlife. If there were, Barry Goldwater (among others) would be raining lightning and pestilence on the capitol grounds.

Read the story in the Daily Star today.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Scariest clip on the internet: The mad (not a) scientists

Check this one at Facebook (TheBriefing2016), laugh a lot, and then be very worried about the possibilities.

How not to be presidential 101

The GOP has fielded an amazing array of presidential candidates who are intellectually and rhetorically unprepared for the office. Here are two examples.

Scott Walker's promise of 50 EPAs, one for each state, would be "inefficient" and "ineffective"

I guess he thinks that would be efficient. Here are snippets from an AP report quoted by Steve Benen at MSNBC/Rachel Maddow.

The EPA currently has the primary responsibility for enforcing many of the nation’s federal environmental laws and regulations, such as the Clean Water Act, and sometimes issues policy or guidance to encourage states to comply with those laws. […].

Lisa Heinzerling, a law professor at Georgetown University and former EPA associate administrator, said Walker’s approach would instead result in 50 different air quality standards and 50 different states conducting basic scientific research to support environmental protection. "If Gov. Walker really does desire meaningful environmental protection in this country, taking power from EPA and giving it to all 50 states is a very silly way to achieve it," she said. "His idea is a really inefficient, and almost certainly ineffective, way of protecting the environment."

Mike Huckabee commits major diplomatic blunder and draws fire from Israel

Here's another one from Benen on Huckabee's insult to Israel that even got Israeli opponents of the Iran nuclear deal upset.

Remember, the GOP candidate said President Obama, by working with our allies and partners on an agreement to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, would "take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven."

I really have to hand it to the GOP – only Republicans could argue that President Obama is both Hitler and Chamberlain at the same time.

For example, quoting from USA Today:

The Israeli ambassador to the U.S., now lobbying intensively against the Iran nuclear accord, on Monday rejected as inappropriate the harsh language that Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee used likening it to the Holocaust.

"Look, we have a very serious disagreement with the administration on a very serious issue," Ambassador Ron Dermer told Capital Download. "But what I don’t doubt is the sincerity of the president or his team when they say they believe this deal not only makes America safe but makes Israel safe. Where we disagree is the judgment of actually what this deal is going to do."

On Huckabee’s comments, he said: "These are not words that I would use or that I think are appropriate."

And here is another example:

Israel Katz, a member of parliament from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, added, "Nobody marches the Jews to ovens anymore," he said. "To this end we established the state of Israel and (the Israeli military). If need be, we know how to defend ourselves."

Maybe the response "from Jewish people" hasn’t been quite so positive after all.

But, contrary to evidence, Huckabee believes Israel is on his side and refuses to apologize. You think "W" was clumsy? Put this guy into office and watch the diplomatic fur fly.

Bobghazi Stumpgate Update: Are Deflategate and Tom Brady and NFL a model for Arizona? (Hint: Nope!)

But they should be, according to Laurie Roberts at azcentral.com. The NFL took action. The Arizona Corporation Commission opts for inaction. Which of these two entities are more likely to tolerate corruption? Bribery? Stonewalling? Coverups?

Sadly, there is just one newspaper, The Republic, going after ACC for the now obvious and egregious coziness between ACC members and ACC candidates, between ACC members and dark money operatives, between ACC members and the utility being regulated (oops I mean the utility now regulating the regulators).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Arizona AG supports invasion of privacy by telemarketers' robocalls

Not exactly, but damn close. 45 other state AG's wrote a letter to the top communications carriers asking them to offer blocking services to their customers. Our boy, Mark Brnovich, declined to join in. The Daily Star reports.

... Brnovich does not believe it is the role of an attorney general to tell phone companies what services they should offer — even if 45 of his colleagues do not view the issue that way.

The letter to the five companies said the attorneys general are "on the front lines of consumer protection for millions of Americans harassed by unwanted and unwelcome robocalls."

"Though our offices work diligently to prosecute those who violate state and federal laws intended to prevent such calls, our enforcement efforts alone cannot stop the problem," states the letter to the executives of AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and CenturyLink. "The better solution is to stop intrusive calls before they ever reach the consumer."

Telephone companies had balked at even offering the service, testifying in 2013 to a congressional committee that they believed it would be illegal.

Last month, however, the Federal Communications Commission clarified its rules, clearly stating that phone companies can offer services to block unwanted calls. That resulted in the letter from the AGs this week urging the five major companies to act.

"Your organizations are now poised to offer your customers the help they need," the letter states. "We urge you to act without delay."

[AZ AG aide Ryan] Anderson, however, said it would be inappropriate for his boss to weigh in. In fact, he suggested that it was the other 45 who are in the wrong.

Once again crAZy leads by example. I would jump on blocking technology in an instant to stop those deceptive robocalls - the ones that now say "directory assistance" on my caller ID. But our AG thinks it would be bad for bidness, I guess.

Thanks, AG Brnovich, for supporting the rights of telemarketers to invade my privacy.

Daily Trumpeter: Get used to it - Trump is not going away any time soon

So concludes Steve Benen (MSNBC/Rachel Maddow) and AZBlueMeanie (Blog for Arizona).

Benen: "Thanks to persistent support from the Republicans’ far-right base, Trump is still flying high."

Meanie: "Remember, "The Donald" is a self-funded billionaire — just ask him, he’ll be happy to tell you what he is worth. He can hang around as long as he has significant support — right now he is the frontrunner — and he is willing to spend his money. "The Donald" is not going to go away any time soon."

Different analytical paths, but same conclusion. Trump is the GOP, at least the far-right activist branch.

What is the source of "What is an American?"

There is an email version of "What is an American?" being circulated (again, as it turns out). It's a good read, motivated by the 9/11 trade center attack. But the cited source is incorrect.

Here is the fact check from snopes.com:

The "What is an American?" article ... was written neither by an Australian nor by a dentist; rather, it is the work of Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law in Northern Virginia. Mr. Ferrara's commentary was originally published in the National Review on 25 September 2001, two weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

But I agree with Morris Pillars (h/t) - it is a good read nonetheless. Here it is in entirety, after the break.

Heads up! You may disagree with some of these points, but think about them in the spirit of forging a more perfect union.

One more thing. Here is one of the claims in the target article.

Americans welcome people from all lands, all cultures, all religions, because they are not afraid. They are not afraid that their history, their religion, their beliefs, will be overrun, or forgotten.

It's getting kind of hard to defend that in light of the polling that suggests Americans really like deportation as a solution for undocumented immigrants. See the post by AZBlueMeanie on Trump's appeal to the conservative masses.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Daily Trumpeter: Update on "It Can't Happen Here"

Following snippets are rom an op-ed in Newsweek.com.

I've picked up on a disturbing theme from authors of opinion pieces about the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump: "It can't happen here." For example:

My own prediction is that the political exotica he represents will not last. It’s a moment in time. The thousands who attend his rallies and scream their heads off will head home and return to enjoying movies, smartphones and mobile apps from all over the world, partaking in the highest standard of living experienced in the whole of human history, granted courtesy of the global market economy in which no one rules. We will not go back.

But that conclusion, it seems to me, does not follow from the observations about Trump's appeal to the masses who long for "the leader." Consider just some of what went before the above quoted conclusion.

I just heard Trump speak live. The speech lasted an hour, and my jaw was on the floor most of the time. I’ve never before witnessed such a brazen display of nativistic jingoism, along with a complete disregard for economic reality. It was an awesome experience, a perfect repudiation of all good sense and intellectual sobriety.

Yes, he is against the establishment, against existing conventions. It also serves as an important reminder: As bad as the status quo is, things could be worse. Trump is dedicated to taking us there.

His speech was like an interwar séance of once-powerful dictators who inspired multitudes, drove countries into the ground and died grim deaths. I kept thinking of books like John T. Flynn’s As We Go Marching, especially Chapter Ten that so brilliantly chronicles a form of statism that swept Europe in the 1930s. It grew up in the firmament of failed economies, cultural upheaval and social instability, and it lives by stoking the fires of bourgeois resentment.

Since World War II, the ideology he represents has usually lived in dark corners, and we don’t even have a name for it anymore. The right name, the correct name, the historically accurate name, is fascism. I don’t use that word as an insult only. It is accurate.

Though hardly anyone talks about it today, we really should. It is still real. It exists. It is distinct. It is not going away. Trump has tapped into it, absorbing unto his own political ambitions every conceivable resentment (race, class, sex, religion, economic) and promising a new order of things under his mighty hand.

Do read the Newsweek piece for the connection between Trump's authoritarianism, its relation to Nazism of the 30's, and its appeal to the U. S. electorate.

In further defense of my concern about dismissing Trump as a viable GOP, or 3rd party, candidate, here are two snippets from the John Dean article that was featured in my blog from couple of days ago.

Dean makes the case for Trump as the authoritarian leader.

As I have watched Trump proceed in 2016, I keep recalling Bob Altemeyer’s troubling observation in The Authoritarian Specter: "If you think [Americans] could never elect an Adolf Hitler to power, note that David Duke would have become governor of Louisiana if it had just been up to the white voters in that state." While Trump is no Hitler, we have never had as serious and off-the-charts authoritarian leader vying for our highest office.

But then Dean concludes that we have nothing to fear.

Of only one thing am I absolutely certain: Donald Trump will never be President of the United States, so rest easy. Authoritarians remain a minority in America, thankfully.

Nothing to fear but Trump and those who agree with his fascism. It can happen here.

h/t Dylan Smith via Facebook for the Newsweek article.

Nominations sought for President of United States of Hipocracy: Jeb Bush is running

I'll be the first one in on this with Jeb Bush as my nominee. Daily Kos lays out the reasons.

Here is the letter he wrote to the swiftboaters.

Dear Colonel Day,

Thank you for your personal support of my brother in his re-election. I look forward to joining him in Washington, D.C. for his inauguration. I am so proud of the President and his re-election campaign. He offered a clear vision for the future of our country.

Colonel Day, I know you'll be joining other Swifties—POWs in Orlando soon. Please let them know that I am personally appreciative of their service to our nation. As someone who truly understand the risk of standing up for something, I simply cannot express in words how much I value their willingness to stand up against John Kerry. Their efforts, like their service to our country, speak volumes about what matters most.

Thank you again for your unwavering support.

Sincerely,
Jeb Bush

Letter reported here.

And here is Bush's tweet about the Trumpster's maligning John McCain.

Enough with the slanderous attacks. @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans - particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration.

Original tweet is here.

CNN reports on this piece hypocrisy as well, and includes the response from Bush's campaign about a double standard.

When his campaign was asked if Jeb Bush saw a double standard, a spokesman rejected the premise.

"A thank you letter to Col. Bud Day, Medal of Honor recipient and Air Force Cross recipient, twice captured as a POW, is not in any way analogous to condemning Donald Trump's slanderous attack on John McCain," said Bush campaign spokesman Tim Miller.

And for the swiftboating charges against Kerry?

All of the charges were contradicted by official military records and almost all of the men who served with Kerry came out in defense of their former crewmate, praising his courage. Only one of the swift boat critics served with Kerry.

Kerry received several medals for his service in Vietnam, including several Purple Heart medals for injuries he sustained in combat.

The Swift Boat attacks have since been widely discredited and the term swiftboating is now synonymous with lobbing unfair political attacks.

These "unfair political attacks" are just the beginning. It's election season and there are lots of GOPlins cackling and slobbering over the opportunities to malign their opponents (and each other). Principle is not their driving force.

Daily Trumpeter: Cartoons for the week

From AZBlueMeanie, as usual, but with harrumphs for the Trump.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

GOP's doublespeak response to Trump: When hypocrisy is principle

Leonard Pitts has a perfect take-down for the GOP's responses to Trump's comments about military service. The point is that those who now condemn Trump's attack on John McCain are those who stood by while, or even supported, attacks like those on John Kerry and Max Cleland - all true heroes.

Pitts concludes this way:

This much is surely right: It is a sin to mock the honorable service of those who have gone into harm’s way on their country’s behalf, particularly if, like Trump, you’ve never served a day in your life. We’ve seen a lot of this in recent years: It happened to former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, who left three limbs in Vietnam, happened to the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha, who spent 37 years in the Marines, happened to Kerry and has happened more than once to McCain.

Principle — a decent respect for the sacrifices of military men and women for this country — demands that patriotic Americans condemn this, no matter who it happens to. But if, somehow, your condemnation depends on whether the insulted person is of your political party, please understand that there is a word for what motivates you, and "principle" is not it.

"Hypocrisy" is.

Pitts' op-ed is in this morning's Daily Star and on-line here.

Rosemont mine is a bad deal for Green Valley

Dr. Tom Purdon has an excellent op-ed in this morning's GV News laying out the case against the proposed mine.

Why won't Hillary support reinstating the Glass-Steagall act?

Robert Reich asks in response to one of her economic advisors.

Hillary Clinton won’t propose reinstating a bank break-up law known as the Glass-Steagall Act – at least according to Alan Blinder, an economist who has been advising Clinton’s campaign. "You’re not going to see Glass-Steagall," Blinder said after her economic speech Monday in which she failed to mention it. Blinder said he had spoken to Clinton directly about Glass-Steagall.

That act from the 30s put a firewall between bank depositors and risky trading. Those living through the Great Depression understood what had to be done to prevent another 1929-style crash.

After the entire stock market crashed in 1929, ushering in the Great Depression, Washington needed to restore the public’s faith in the banking system. One step was for Congress to enact legislation insuring commercial deposits against bank losses.

Another was to prevent the kinds of conflicts of interest that resulted in such losses, and which had fueled the boom and subsequent bust. Under the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, banks couldn’t both gamble in the market and also take in deposits and make loans. They’d have to choose between the two.

So why won't Hillary get on board with a renewal of Glass-Steagall? She can't think that Elizabeth Warren is any longer any kind of contender for the Dem nomination.

"The idea is pretty simple behind this one," Senator Elizabeth Warren said a few days ago, explaining her bill to resurrect Glass-Steagall. "If banks want to engage in high-risk trading — they can go for it, but they can’t get access to ensured deposits and put the taxpayers on the hook for that reason."

So the question remains. And raises another: what's down-side risk to Hillary's candidacy for supporting Warren's bill? Is she worried about pissing off Wall Street? She ought to be worried about pissing off people who lost during the second great calamity that followed the dumping of Glass-Steagall.

[Hillary's position is] a mistake politically because people who believe Hillary Clinton is still too close to Wall Street will not be reassured by her position on Glass-Steagall. Many will recall that her husband led the way to repealing Glass Steagall in 1999 at the request of the big Wall Street banks.

It’s a big mistake economically because the repeal of Glass-Steagall led directly to the 2008 Wall Street crash, and without it we’re in danger of another one.

As George Santayana famously quipped, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the roaring 2000’s, just as in the Roaring Twenties, America’s big banks used insured deposits to underwrite their gambling in private securities, and then dump the securities on their customers.

It ended badly.

This is precisely what the Glass-Steagall Act was designed to prevent – and did prevent for more than six decades.

Hillary Clinton, of all people, should remember.

And there might be the reason. Could it be because Bill Clinton signed off on its repeal?

A personal note: Byron Dorgan, then Senator from my home state of North Dakota, voted against the Bill Clinton/Phil Gramm repeal. Dorgan was right. The Clintons were/are wrong.

Daily Trumpeter: Response to "It Can Happen Here"

Yesterday's theme was "Trump's candidacy is more than entertainment - it can happen here!" That struck a chord with one subscriber who responded with these comments.

Trump has been dealt a perfect five card hand; fear, anger, prejudice, ignorance and apathy. A significant percent of the Republican base and a small percent of "Conservative Democrats" fit these cards.

Like post WW1 Germany, Spain and Italy the door is open for bombastic rants from the extreme right wing of the Republican party. We all know what happened in Europe in the1930's and the consequences of totalitarian dictatorship.

Let us not forget the offspring of those cards being played in America post WWII. McCarthyism, the John Birch Society and other White Supremacist groups AKA the KKK, Skinheads and other more clandestine organizations. Just a note of interest...the father of the Koch brothers, Fred, was a founding member of the John Birch Society.

So...there is some evidence that Mr. Trump has a pat hand and will be all in. It will take guts and money to call him---from both sides of the aisle. New Hampshire and South Carolina should be interesting.

Get your check books out and VOTE!!

And check out this piece in the Plum Line at Washington Post on the upcoming GOP "debate" (aka Trump Showcase). The title says it all: "As Donald Trump prepares to hijack GOP debate, Republicans are already cringing."

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Daily Trumpeter: Trump's candidacy is more than entertainment - it can happen here!

Sinclair Lewis satirically asserted "It Can't Happen Here" in the 1935 book with that title.

... the novel describes the rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a populist United States Senator who is elected to the presidency after promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and traditional values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes a plutocratic/totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force ...

Here is why I think it could happen here. Trump is running as an outsider, preying on the anti-gummint feelings among Tea Potty conservatives. He is polling well (19% or so) in spite of his racist comments and insults to other GOPlins (like John McCain and Lindsey Graham). Other polls suggest as many as 70% of Republicans agree with Trump's remarks.

For more on my reasoning read the article on the authoritarian appeal to conservatives by John Dean. (Yes, that John Dean.) h/t Pat Heman

Following are some snippets to motivate your reading.

Political pundits everywhere are scratching their heads asking what is going on with Trump. How can a clown like Trump be in front of the "serious" GOP candidates? Most blame the news media for giving Trump’s antics too much attention. But much more than media attention is at work in explaining Trump’s success. In fact, Donald Trump has emerged as America’s leading authoritarian political figure, representative of a type of leadership for which many Americans yearn.

... Trump is far more aggressive in his authoritarianism than his predecessors. To understand the Trump phenomenon, it is essential to appreciate political authoritarianism, as well as its limits and boundaries.

The only restraint on Donald Trump will be voters, but Republican voters love authoritarian leaders. Republicans have spent the last seven year portraying President Obama as wishy-washy and spineless, with Trump, of course, claiming he is not even an American nor as smart as he pretends to be. (Otherwise he would produce the transcript of his college grades, as demanded by Trump!) It is difficult to determine exactly how many Republicans are authoritarian followers—thus naturals for the Trump bandwagon—but in discussions with social scientists I have come to believe that somewhere between a quarter and half of registered Republicans are authoritarians, not to mention they are the activist base of the party. While the entire field of GOP presidential candidates evidence varying degrees of authoritarianism, none can top Trump.

To cut to the bottom line: I can envision a number of scenarios where Trump could capture the GOP nomination, and they all start with him making respectable showings in New Hampshire and South Carolina. If Trump is going to decide to go home and stop playing the game due to it being a waste of money, it will be after South Carolina. If he is in play at that time, he could win the nomination.

John W. Dean, a Justia columnist, is a former counsel to the president.

TED talk of the day: Why are humans the dominant species?

Here is a link to a TED talk from a historian who has a compelling story about why we humans came to dominate the planet. I'll give away the punch line. The answer is in our cooperation among many members of the species, flexibly and over long distances.

No other species does this. Cooperative behaviors of ants in their colonies are hard-wired (thus not flexible). Cooperation among chimpanzees depends on interpersonal relationships (thus limiting the number of chimpanzees who participate in the cooperation).

It's a great talk. Spend a few minutes on it.

Bobghazi and Stumpgate update: Who is funding the ad attacking Dan Barr?

The AZ GOPlins are running an ad designed to take the heat off of the AZ Corporation Commission and now the AZ AG's office in the matter of Stump's deleted text messages and ditched phone. (Remember that the AG's office marched in and snagged Stump's new phone which may contain copies of those messages.) Why are the GOPlins doing this? Duh. The members of the Commission are all GOPlins as is the AZ AG.

The [Arizona Republican] party has released one of those ominous-sounding, personally stigmatizing hit-piece videos attacking Barr as a front man for a Washington-based clean-energy group called the Checks and Balances Project.

Checks and Balances is the group seeking to uncover text messages sent and received by Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump — texts that may or may not show that Stump passed messages between an independent campaign committee and two successful GOP Corporation Commission candidates.

The editorial board of The Republic asks: "Who is paying for the ad?"

Political parties have scarce resources these days. The big money in campaigns runs through independent, often anonymous, campaign groups — like the ones Arizona Public Service is believed to have funded to support Tom Forese and Doug Little.

So who funded the Arizona GOP’s hit-piece video of Barr? Same bunch? Is the Barr video just another arrow in the APS quiver in its battle against solar energy?

For the life of us, we cannot fathom what the people behind the Barr video hoped to accomplish. They’re spending money to make a lawyer look bad?

But they certainly have raised interest in the Arizona Republican Party’s next financial-disclosure filing. Suddenly, we can’t wait.

Neither can we. Stay on it, Republic!

The battle over dark money in crAZy

Here is a longish post from AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona. Even Meanie's often harsh critic "Steve" lauds Meanie for an excellent account of the fight between the Clean Elections Commission and the Secretary of State's office. So if you want to get up to speed on what that fight is all about, Meanie's post is a very good place to start.

Let me take a crack at boiling it down. Michele Reagan ran for SoS on a platform of dark money reform. Meanie warned us at the time that she was lying. Turns out to be exactly that way. She says her office cannot do anything about dark money (even though she claims it is the only agency authorized to deal with dark money regulation). Enter the Clean Elections Commission.

In Arizona we have the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, enacted by a citizens initiative, something we know that Republican office holders hate after having tried to kill the Citizens Clean Elections Commission for years.

The Commission says it has the authority to regulate "dark money" disclosures and is proposing a rule to do something about it.

So the SoS office, claiming dark money turf, has entered into a cold war with the Commission that is now heating up.

Secretary of State Michele Reagan, who refuses to do anything about "dark money" campaign disclosures says "Uh-uh, no way! I am the Queen of elections in Arizona! I am the law!" So it looks as if we are headed for a battle royale over "dark money" campaign disclosures in Arizona.

Among the other players is ex-AG Terry Goddard. He was the honest candidate for SoS last year and is now on a crusade to do something about dark money disclosure.

Still lurking out there is Terry Goddard’s "dark money" campaign disclosure initiative by VPA Arizona yet to be filed.

There's much more to this "cold war" and the contestants in it. For example, the logic of the SoS office justifying their not doing anything about dark money but arguing that the Commission should not do anything either is a fun read. Do check out Meanie's post.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Still the party of "no"

I've become increasingly convinced that a simple way (perhaps overly so) of defining the difference between Republicans and Democrats is their attitude toward freedom of choice.

Democrats are willing, and feel obligated, to provide citizens with information that enables them to make informed choices. Democrats are willing to permit and encourage such freedom of choice.

Republicans, on the other hand, provide citizens with misinformation, or disinformation, to prevent the exercise of such choice.

Democrats pass legislation to enable and support free choice. Republicans vote their opposition to such legislation, hence the label the party of "no."

This distinction plays out perfectly in the latest anti-abortion smears and reactions to them (see following post in this blog for more on that).

Here is a comment from a reader of Donna Gratehouse's cross-post to Blog for Arizona.

Arizona women deserve to have Cathi Herrod’s big stinkin’ nose out of our business. Don’t want an abortion? Don’t have one.

The Republican version is: "Want an abortion? Can't have one."

In my thinking, the difference maps onto democracy vs. dictatorship. Hence the name "Democrats" applied to the political party that really stands for freedom and dignity.

Scampaign run against against Planned Parenthood attracts Herrod and Ducey like flies to you know what

Here are two good posts from Donna Gratehouse at democraticdiva.com concerning the smears targeting Planned Parenthood and its AZ CEO. One takes on Cathi Herrod's statement and the other takes on Il Duce's authoritarian orders.

The background on the events that has GOPlins up in arms (and Dems outraged) is here at thinkprogress.org. It boils down to a sting operation, followed up by heavily edited and misleading video, against Planned Parenthood by an anti-abortion outfit known for doing similar things in the past.

Daily Trumpeter: Trump threatens independent run if GOP is "unfair" to him

AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ reports.

Scriber's two reactions:

  • Go for it, Donald. Perot got close to 19% in 1992 (a good year for Dems) and Trump has already beat that in the polls. That is probably a harder number than you might think. Other polls show Republicans lining up behind Trump's racist rants. If he pulls those votes away ...
  • GOP UNfair? When has the GOP ever been fair to anyone other than the wealthy class - as exemplified by ... you got it ... Donald Trump.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bobghazi and Stumpgate update

Caustic comments from Laurie Roberts at azcentral.com on the ongoing saga of Bob Stump's iPhone and his practice of routinely deleting public records. (OK - I don't really know if his emails contained public records, but then that makes me as much an expert on all this as the ACC attorney.)

... the commission's attorney David Cantelme has said that Stump regularly deleted his texts, sent during last year's campaign season. Then, he threw his commission-supplied phone away because it was outdated.

And even if the text messages existed, they likely wouldn't be public record, Cantelme contends, which is something of a feat given that he's never actually seen them.

But what we do know is to claim that the pattern of Stump's texting is coincidence and innocent is too big a lump of excrement to swallow.

Will Diane Douglas flunk the civics test?

That's the speculation of The Republic editorial board. To be fair, they cannot be blamed for Douglas; they did endorse Garcia. But we can lay the blame for this one on the voters who mindlessly check off anyone with an "R." Douglas lost her court battle but now refuses to abide by the court ruling.

Diane Douglas never ceases to amaze.

The state superintendent of public education took her feud with the governor-appointed state Board of Education to court, insisting that she and she alone had the authority to hire and fire the board’s staff.

The judge told her she was mistaken. The board has the power to select its staff, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Patricia Starr ruled.

That should have been the end of it. But Douglas, having already wasted tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money, decided to disregard the judge’s ruling. After a board staffer resigned, Douglas sent the board a letter insisting that only she has the power to hire the board’s employees.

You know that civics requirement the Legislature passed this year? Douglas may not be able to pass it.

It's called leading by example.

I think I'll go back to slogging through the bog.

Daily Trumpeter: Trump at 24% and rising, and here's why.

AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ nails it.

Trump claims the outsidership and thus plays to the ani-gummint rage in the Republican ranks. Quoting from Christofer Ingraham in the Washington Post:

... observers [are] scratching their heads and asking: what do people see in the guy?

A lot, as it turns out. On a recent trip to rural Upstate New York I was surprised by the intensity of support for Trump among friends and family members I talked to. In many cases, their support for Trump boiled down to a simple fact: they were angry.

BlueMeanie continues.

Wishing "The Donald" away will not make it happen. The conservative media entertainment complex which dishes out a daily dose of fear, anger and hatred for "the others" while simultaneously engendering a sense of victimization (and solidarity) among the haters for holding their views has created a natural constituency for a media-savvy demagogue like "The Donald."

Monday, July 20, 2015

Blogging from the Bog

We hired a wonderful, experienced (and progressive!) guide to haul us around the Western Highlands ("Westeros"). The second day was a coastal walk. Try a slog through a bog. Imagine a very uneven plateau of seaweed punctuated by pools of water with unknown depth. "Better you did na step there."

It did na matter whether the grade was up, down, or level. You still had to slog through the bog. The high point was a knoll from which we could see the Isles of Skye (Talisker distillery) and Lewis and Harris isles of the Hebrides (Gaelic spoken there) and Loch Ewe.

Then we went to Pool ewe, and river Ewe, and the estate of Inver Ewe. For another hike, thankfully in a pine forest.

And we visited a cool lighthouse with the grounds populated by Ewes.

Cartoons for the week

From AZBlueMeanie, natch.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

AZ Corporation Commissioners "wish" utilities would not get involved in elections

That's the gist of the editorial board of The Republic/azcentral.com. To their credit, the board tells the ACC that wishing that APS would not get involved in the '16 election the same way they got into the 14 election is not enough. The two commissioners so far unsullied, Bob Burns and Susan Bitter Smith, need to force APS disclosure of its campaign spending. That's the weapon that ACC can use to prevent such egregious corruption in the future. They just have to pull the trigger. If they do not, then they will be viewed as helping to cover up possible criminal activity by the entities the ACC is supposed to be regulating. And then the entire ACC becomes untrustworthy and its decisions all suspect. We deserve better. But then again, "we" should not complain. "We" voted for them.

The Scriber in Scotland

July 18, 09:20, UK time. Blogging on the train from Edinburgh to Inverness. On assignment to check out Loch Ness and Urquhardt castle.

Why we should appreciate what President Obama has accomplished

This is a very good piece authored by Dick Meyer at abc15.com.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - I’ve never written a column like this. Readers rarely believe it, but I am not on any political team. Generosity toward the high and mighty isn’t among my few virtues. But this needs to be said: Americans are lucky to have Barack Obama as president and we should wake up and appreciate it while we can.

President Obama will go down in history as an extraordinary president, probably a great one. He will have done this in era that doesn’t aggrandize leaders and presidents, but shrinks them. All presidents have had profound opposition, vicious enemies and colossal failures. A few were beloved and others deeply respected in their day, but none in the modern era and certainly not Obama.

Why? Marcus Aurelius said, "Man is puny in the face of destiny." If the stoic king were writing about modern, democratic sovereigns, he might say, "Kings are puny in a world blind to destiny, a world seen through the sacred screens of televisions and computers that can view only the puny."

Many presidents fared better in history than in office. But it would be a morale booster and a sign of civic maturity if more Americans appreciated what an exceptional president they have right now. It could be a long wait for the next one.

One can hate Democrats, disagree with Obama on big issues, dislike his style or be disappointed the excitement of his election didn’t last. But his accomplishments, ambitious goals, dignity and honesty under tough circumstances demand admiration and appreciation.

This is, of course, perverse liberal-media propaganda to conservative Obama-haters. It’s wobbly centrism to a left-flank frustrated Obama hasn’t done more for them. And it’s naïve hot air to Washington’s political clans that think Obama doesn’t play the game well.

Changing minds with a keypad is a fool’s errand; I’m surely a fool, but not on that count. I simply offer some points for the open-minded to ponder.

  1. The Iran deal: Time will reveal if the deal worked, not today’s talking/tweeting heads. What cannot be in dispute is this was a momentous initiative, a gutsy political risk, a diplomatic success and, potentially, a giant step in defusing a long-ticking time bomb.
  2. Obamacare: In the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression, Obama delivered one of the most important domestic programs since the New Deal. Only LBJ’s Great Society laws compare. Obamacare has survived two challenges in the Supreme Court and constant, kabuki-style congressional votes to repeal. It’s now off life support. Key goals are being met. It will evolve and improve. One day it will be taken for granted and people will say, "Keep the government out of my Obamacare.
  3. The financial meltdown: Obama inherited it, then managed the recovery to the degree possible in the global economy. The recovery has been steady, though slow. The worst-case predictions didn’t happen. He began to reverse the deregulation of the financial industry. He delivered a significant Asian trade deal. Yet few give Obama much credit.
  4. The First: Becoming the first black president is itself an epic triumph. Obama doesn’t get much good will for that any more. We properly canonize Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King. Of Obama, we ask, "What have you done for me lately?" That’s fair, he’s president. He doesn’t ask for credit for being the first black one. He and his family are at risk every day and we take their courage for granted.
  5. Dignity and honesty: Obama’s administration has been as free of corruption and, well, peccadillo as any in memory. It’s the first two-term presidency not to be derailed by scandal since Eisenhower. A few will stay in paranoid lather about Benghazi or Fast and Furious, but those pseudo-scandals don’t compare to Watergate, Iran-Contra, Bill Clinton’s carnal antics or the phony evidence used to justify attacking Iraq.

Obama has weathered a recession, invisible racism, a reckless Republican Congress, a lily-livered Democratic Party, attacks from the richest pressure groups ever (Super PACs) and a 24/7, ADHD press corps under existential pressure to deliver page views and Nielsen ratings. He has done it with the "No Drama Obama" style that befits the office.

Obama isn’t a performer like Reagan or a preacher like Clinton. He’s head over heart, cool over warm. Yet he did his pastoral duties after Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon and Charleston. He wasn’t a catalyst for same-sex marriage, but nourished the culture that made it possible.

It is harder than ever to see the big canvas and thus find fresh perspectives. We view current events as puny rivers of Tweets, not grand chapters in the ultimate story -- history.

In that longer view, we should feel well served. So, Mr. President, on behalf of an ungrateful nation, thank you.

Bernie Sanders event in Green Valley (sign-up information)

Linda Laird is hosting a Green Valley Bernie event at her home on July 29, 6:30 PM. Sign up here to attend:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Daily Trumpeter: Why Trump polls so well among Republicans - rank-and-file GOPlins believe his racist nonsense

Trump leads the pack. Steve Benen at MSNBC/Rachel Maddow Show reviews the latest polls.

Trailing Trump’s 18% support is Scott Walker, who’s in second with 15%, and Jeb Bush with 14%. No other candidate reached double digits in the Fox poll.

And in this specific poll, that’s not all. Consider this question Fox asked respondents:

"Recently, presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He said Mexico is quote, ‘sending people that have lots of problems…. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.’ Setting aside how Trump worded his comments, do you think he’s basically right on this, or not?"

A total of 70% of Republican voters said they believe Trump’s racially charged rhetoric is correct. That’s not a typo – seven in 10.

There are some ugly attitudes that have pushed Trump to the top of the crowded GOP field, and Republican officials have to come to terms with that.

Why should they? The GOP propaganda machine has manufactured deceptions and lies for years and now "Republican officials" should fear the Nazification of their party? It's already happened and they are along for the ride.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Desperado: Diane Douglas' Desires Dissed

This one is choice. Douglas was elected Superintendent of Public Instruction and has since managed to irritate (anger) just about everyone in her quest for power over education policy and the Board of Education and its employees. In her latest move, she sued to get control of said employees but the judge said no way. Here is one of many stories, this one by EJ Montini at azcentral.com.

This elected office thing must be very ... confusing for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

She must be saying to herself, "I won the election, right? I must be the boss of somebody, right? Anybody?"

Maybe not.

Douglas wants to ditch the state' s Common Core. But it's the 11-member board (in which she has one vote) that makes policy. And the standards are going forward.

She made Republicans mad by bashing charter-schools. She's never been a friend of Democrats.

She's taken on the governor -- and lost.

She's gone to court -- and lost.

I've got a sense that Superintendent Douglas can say whatever she wants, wherever she wants, as loudly as she wants. It won't matter.

Near as I can tell, no one is listening.

And this is what the voters of crAZy wanted.

Sing along to the tune of the Eagles' Desperado.

Diane Douglas, why don't you come to your senses?

... Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can't get
...Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Your short-list for reading about the water crisis in the West

Here is a synopsis from The Daily Beast about two books that we all should be reading.

h/t Jana Eaton

On out-living your best friend

Fitz (AZ Daily Star editorial) has a heart-breaker today on the passing of his dog of 15 years. (Heed his advice: arm yourself with a truckload of tissues!)

Fitz's story resonates. Our dog Sparky is 16 (as best as we can tell). He was on the streets in Lubbock, Texas, and picked us up. (Sparky is smart - he recognized easy marks.) Sparky, aka Mr. Congeniality, has lived with us for 15 years. His age is showing. So what Fitz describes is partly here and more is coming our way.

Daily Trumpeter: Why Trump trumps other GOP candidates - Bush flunks Econ 101

You have to look no further than Jeb(!) Bush. AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ tears into Bush for his total lack of understanding of economics.

Bush suggested that the way to get to 4% growth is for America to work more hours. BlueMeanie responded. More hours at same salary? (Lower $$$ per hour.) More hours for part-time employees? (They're already stressed working multiple jobs.) Etc.

Quoting from Politico:

Bush said, "My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours."

Steve Benen at MSNBC/Rachel Maddow Show explains what's so totally wrong with that.

The problem with Bush’s rhetoric, however, is the real-world implications, and the degree to which he fails to understand the issue.

For example, the Republican candidate, who made $5.8 million in "consulting and speaking" income in 2013, makes it sound as if sluggish economic growth is your fault – you’re just not working enough hours. In reality, however, full-time employment is soaring when compared to part-time employment, and Americans are already working, on average, 47-hour weeks.

And second, Bush isn’t just struggling to understand the details, he’s also proposing no solutions. Aside from more tax breaks for the rich, the former governor, whose economic record isn’t nearly as good as he thinks it is, has no meaningful plan to address the problems he’s describing. Indeed, as far as Bush is concerned, the economy hasn’t even improved during the Obama era – an argument that’s obviously bonkers given the strides we’ve made since the economy collapsed under the last Bush presidency.

We can add to that the now well-known graph comparing soaring productivity gains to flat wages since the 1970s. Actually, you could use as a marker the date of the Powell memo. After that, productivity and wages were decoupled. That's the problem - not hours worked.

BlueMeanie concludes:

The disproved and discredited faith based supply-side "trickle down" GOP economics would only make our economy worse. Bush’s advisers are the same geniuses (sic) who advised "W" and gave us the Bush Great Recession, from which we are still digging out of that hole today. Learn from your mistakes people, don’t repeat them.

If you think any of the other occupants of the GOP clown car are better than Bush, please advise. That's at least part of the reason why Trump is polling so well.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Bobghazi: Latest in Stumpgate scandal - DPS declines inspection of Stump's phone

DPS refuses for mission-related reasons. AZ Corp Comm now asking Phoenix police expert to try to extract messages from Stump's phone - which is exactly what the Checks and Balances Project wanted in the first place. (Story from azcentral.com.)

Message to ACC: your future is to "twist slowly, twist slowly in the wind." Not just Stump, but all the Commission members and the staff and the reputation of this important regulatory body are doing that twist. Get out in front, open up the phone records, publish the financials, issue subpoenas, clear the air, and ditch Stump if need be. (At this point you don't need a big bus!) But get your credibility back.

Daily Trumpeteer: Stump, Trump, and a Dump

Subtitle: Stumped by Trump? Stump gets Trumped.

Subtitle: Trump Stumps in Phoenix.

Ought to be able to bump that up into a story about ... hmmm ... how about calling it The Three Stooges.

Here is a link to a great wrap on the week in a video report from Laurie Roberts and EJ Montini at azcentral.com. They feature our favorite characters: Bob "Texter" Stump and Donald "I love Latinos" Trump. You need to check out the short video to figure out the "Dump."

Biggs' Buggering Bug Bites Burghers ...

... to the tune of $1.5 million and change ... and counting.

Laurie Roberts and Mary Jo Pitzl at azcentral.com tag AZ Senate President Andy Biggs with the cost of the AZ Lege lawsuit against the Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee.

That's the amount that Arizona taxpayers are on the hook to pay, because Republican legislators decided to grab some power from the people they (supposedly) represesnt.

Arrogant much?

But don't fret. Senate president Andy Biggs -- the power behind that slap [or sting] you're feeling -- says it's so worth it because it settles the matter.

Actually, I thought the matter had been settled in 2000, when voters overwhelmingly decided to take the Sharpie out of the self-interested hands of legislators.

Here's what our leaders' arrogance cost you: $1,565,353.73.

Not sick yet? That number does not include the other shenanigans, like the suit pertaining to the map drawn by the AIRC. The total bill is likely to be at least double.

Still not feeling that bite? Check out Roberts' report for a listing of who all went to DC on your dime.

All for a losing battle to wrest power from the people.

But we can't possibly fully fund public education.

My title could be shortened a bit to three words. I leave that to you.

FYI:
burgh·er (bûr′gər) n.
1. A citizen of a town or borough.
2. A comfortable or complacent member of the middle class.
From thefreedictionary.com.

Daily Trumpeter: Are GOPlins being converted to Trumpkins?

Interesting poll results are explored by AZBlueMeanie over at Blog for Arizona. In the latest poll, Trump comes out ahead of the rest of the pack. (Average of polls has him number 2.) In response, one commenter thinks Trump will wear out his novelty among GOPlin voters and "fade away." I am not so sure. The GOP hierarchy do seem worried and I think with good reason. They have fed the Trump-style raw meat to their hordes for years and that finally may be paying dividends - just not the kind of payback the GOP wanted.

Scriber on vacation

The blog will resume during the last week of July.

Daily Trumpeter: Trump comes to Arizona, courts Sheriff Joe

Laurie Roberts from azcentral.com skewers them. Scriber thinks they are made for each other. BFF for sure.*

So Donald Trump is coming to Phoenix this weekend and appearing with a law enforcement official who ran a department that regularly arrested people based upon the way they look.

He'll be sharing a stage with a law enforcement official who has admitted that he's in contempt of court for ignoring a federal judge's order to stop racially profiling Latinos drivers.

With a law enforcement official who next month faces a civil trial for abuse of power, after the U.S. Department of Justice noticed a disturbing tendency to target journalists, judges and public officials with whom he had disagreements.

Donald Trump meet Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

But not to worry. Trump told NBC News that he has a "great relationship with the Mexican people." I can only imagine. (No really, I can only imagine.)

And what stage are these two buffoons sharing in Phoenix? It's the Maricopa County Republicans, of course. Roberts continues.

Well, and won't a joint appearance with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio help him win all those Latino votes?

They'll be sharing a stage at the Arizona Biltmore on Saturday along with Tyler Bowyer, chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, which is hosting the event.

The fact that a Republican candidate for president thinks this will help him in Arizona says a fair amount about the Republican Party in Arizona. The fact that the Republican Party would sponsor this event also speaks volumes.

You know, the party that decided to reach out to Latino voters after they broke nearly 3-1 for Barack Obama in 2014?

I'm guessing Project Latino Outreach is over.

Did it ever start?

  • Footnote: BFF means "best friends forever."

South Carolina will remove the Confederate flag from their capitol grounds

But the flag issue is still a problem for the US House.

NY Times reports on the SC action.

South Carolina, the first state to secede from the union, dispatched with a lasting symbol of the Civil War on Thursday as Gov. Nikki R. Haley signed a law removing the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the State House.

The flag, which flies in front of the graceful 19th-century capitol building here, is set to come down at 10 a.m. Friday.

Ms. Haley, a Republican, signed the bill in a capitol building where, the night before, members of the House of Representatives had engaged in a 13-hour legislative argument over the flag, which was introduced on capitol grounds by white lawmakers in the early 1960s at the height of anti-integration sentiment.

Representative Christopher A. Corley, Republican of Aiken County, called the debate over removing the flag "the most emotional issue our state will ever deal with."

But the issue is not dead in our nation's capitol. NY Times reports on the wrangling in the US House about the Confederate flag in our national cemeteries.

Republican leaders on Thursday abruptly yanked an environmental spending bill from the House floor before a final vote amid a storm of protest over an amendment that would have allowed Confederate flags at federal cemeteries.

"Don’t Republicans understand that the Confederate flag is an insult to 40 million African-Americans and many other fair-minded Americans?" [Representative G. K. Butterfield, Democrat of North Carolina, and the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus ] said, directing his remarks to Representative Ken Calvert, Republican of California, the sponsor of the amendment.

"That bill is going to sit in abeyance until we come to some resolution," said Speaker John A. Boehner, pledging to convene a bipartisan group to deal with confederate symbols.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bobghazi update: Arizona Corporation Commissioner Does Not Want to Force APS Disclosure

Subtitle: Commissioner seduced by dark side.

Brief report from AZ Capitol Times (Yellow Sheet Report, Subscription Required).

[AZ Corp. Commissioner Bob] Burns doesn’t sound keen on taking up the Republic’s suggestion that he compel APS to disclose whether it spent money on the Corp Comm race last year. But while Burns might not want to revisit last year’s campaigns, he told our reporter he is interested in what utilities do in next year’s Corp Comm races.

So The Republic's "follow the money" strategy appears DOA. I am not surprised. Commissioner Bob "Texter" Stump is being tried by a jury of his peers (four other Republican commissioners) and is being exonerated. New definition here: "Exonerated: n. Swept under a rug."

I guess the Commission is hoping that all this just goes away. And maybe that APS will see the error of its ways and not pump more dark money into the 2016 race. They prefer a truckload of bandaids over an obvious cure.

In the movie version of this, Darth Money has infected the Arizona Corporation Commission.

South Carolina House votes to remove Confederate flag

In case you missed it ...

The debate on the House floor was gut-wrenching. Check out the NY Times report that has a link to the video of SC Rep. Jenny Horne's emotional plea to rid the state of the stigma imposed by the flying of that flag.