Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What a university education costs

Here is a report from Business Insider on 15 countries. The good news: USA costs are not the highest (Japan and Mexico cost more). The bad news: we are beat by 12 other countries (such as Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark).

Graphic h/t US Uncut.


UPDATE: Pending bills in AZLEG (aka Little Shop of Horrors)

These are not the only horrors - just those I've elected to watch. I'll update dispositions of these bills as I discover them.

1318 - abortion bill - SIGNED by DUCE - applauded by Herrod. The bill number was not in the Star's report this morning; I had to go to the CAP site to verify.

All the others look like they await action after crossover.

Senate bills now in House

1273 - REAL ID - (aka AZ do-not-fly list if not passed)

1339/1340 - voter suppression - resurrection of HB2305 which voters turned down last year

House bills now in Senate

2180 - assessment menu

2190 - anti-common-core measure - KILLED IN SENATE

2246 - Ackerley's leave-assessment-decisions-to-parents bill

2055/2058/2368/2643 - gaggle of sovereignty bills - entrails to feed the moon howlers

2069 - dimwitted idea to reduce income tax proportional to increased sales tax collection (aka "Why we don't have the money to fund education")

2320 - guns everywhere - KILLED IN SENATE

2431 - AZ's treaty with other like-minded countries (oops, states)

Apologies if I've missed any that might be on the most egregious list. You can check out all these, and more, at azleg.gov.

Fitz: The Stone Cold Heart of Ice Cream Man

Fitz finds "Dark Throat" in the Arroyo Cafe. DT reveals the truths of Il Duce's policies and politics.

(Fitz's column ran in the print edition of the Daily Star but was not linked until last night. Here is the link to the Star. Alternatively, you could read the transcript in the AZBlueMeanie post at B4AZ.)

If you read nothing else today, read this one. And cry. Because truth is stranger than fiction.

War on Warren: Big banks collude to withhold donations from Democrats

It has come to this: I am no longer surprised about the craven actions on Wall Street. Here is the story from Reuters.

(Reuters) - Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren's call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said.

Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party's tone toward Wall Street, sources familiar with the discussions said this week.

Bank officials said the idea of withholding donations was not discussed at a meeting of the four banks in Washington but it has been raised in one-on-one conversations between representatives of some of them. However, there was no agreement on coordinating any action, and each bank is making its own decision, they said.

Charles Pierce, writing in Esquire magazine, lambasts those banks, their executives, and any Democrats not on board with Warren. Here is a sample.

My god, what a prodigious bluff. Also, my god, what towering arrogance? These guys own half the world and have enough money to buy the other half, and they're threatening the party still most likely to control the White House because they don't like the Senator Professor's tone? Her tone? Sherrod Brown's tone? These are guys who should be worried about the tone of the guard who's calling them down to breakfast at Danbury and they're concerned about the tenderness of their Savile Row'd fee-fees? Honkies, please.

Call this. Do it now. Tell them their money is no good here any more. Give these brigands the 86 the way any respectable saloonkeeper gives the heave to a chronic deadbeat who's run up an unpayable tab. Show the country in simple (and not necessarily civil) words what these people really are. Demonstrate, speech by speech, that they have no loyalty to the political entity that is the United States of America, that they are stateless gombeen bastards who would sell this country's democracy off like a subprime mortgage to put another ten bucks into their pockets. They are threatening the people whom they still should be thanking for saving them from themselves. And Senator Professor Warren is only their most conspicuous target. Don't kid yourselves, this is a message they're sending to every politician, up and down the line, national and local. Don't cross us. We own you. There is only one response for a democratic people to make to this ongoing gross obscenity.

This is a fight the Democratic party must have, if it's going to be worth a damn as a political entity. If some Democratic politicians line up on the wrong side, and they go down, so be it. The rest of the country has sacrificed enough for the plague-ridden benefits of its investor class.

(h/t Sherry Moreau)

Monday, March 30, 2015

New Daily Show correspondent gives test to Jon Stewart

This one compares photos in Africa vs. photos in USA. It could have compared USA against South American countries. Before you embrace a Candidian (not CanAdian) view of our environment, check out this article and the video at upworthy.com.

This week in the AZ Idioture

This may be the time to REALLY watch them. The session is coming to a close and crAZy things happen at the last moment in the dark of night behind closed doors in back alleys. Here is Craig McDermott's look at the week ahead.

Pending bills in AZLEG (aka Little Shop of Horrors)

Here is what Scriber is watching.

1318 - abortion bill - on Gov's desk. Still time to contact Duce and ask for a veto.

All the others look like they await action after crossover.

Senate bills now in House

1273 - REAL ID - (aka AZ do-not-fly list if not passed)

1339/1340 - voter suppression - resurrection of HB2305 which voters turned down last year

House bills now in Senate

2180/2190 - anti-common-core measures

2246 - Ackerley's leave-assessment-decisions-to-parents bill

2055/2058/2368/2643 - gaggle of sovereignty bills - entrails to feed the moon howlers

2069 - dimwitted idea to reduce income tax proportional to increased sales tax collection (aka "Why we don't have the money to fund education")

2320/2431 - guns everywhere and AZ's treaty with other like-minded countries (oops, states)

Apologies if I've missed any that should be on the most egregious list. You can check out all these, and more, at azleg.gov.

Cartoons to help you survive the week ahead

From AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ.

GOP Congresswoman solicits Obamacare horror stories, got success stories instead

Here is a good read from Daily Kos with verbatim copies of the kinds of things that got posted on the Congresswoman's Facebook page. (h/t Ruth Maki)

Below are just a few instances.

Hello Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers! I work as the facilitator of a task force that is overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington State. I have learned that the ACA is helping people who did not previously have health insurance get it. It is helping bring down medical costs. It is improving the quality of care. It is improving experiences of both patients and their families. I work with doctors, nurses, hospital and clinic managers, non-profit service providers, citizens-at-large. Each of them can site an improvement they would like to make to the Act. But whether they are Republican or Democrat, from urban or rural areas, powerful or not, they all say the ACA is working. Can't you and your Republican colleagues stop trying to repeal this Act and work to make it even more effective? Please?

Instead of trying to repeal it why don't you improve it? Our local rural clinics are packed daily with people who have needed healthcare for years!! it is a godsend. It is pitiful this nation does not have healthcare for all and that doesn't mean the EMERGENCY room!!

I think we should repeal Obamacare, and replace it … with universal socialized medicine - like the rest of the industrialized nations of the world.

And here is the concluding comment.

Those are just a small sample of the hundreds or even thousands of comments left on her Facebook page. It is damn clear that her constituents are loving the Affordable Care Act. Will she take their comments to heart and abandon attempts to take insurance coverage away from her constituents?

This is religion with the GOP. It is an article of faith that Obama is bad, therefore Obamacare is bad, therefore repeal the law. Never mind the embarrassing facts. So I am sorry to have to opine in response to the above question, "No!"

Sunday, March 29, 2015

US House votes against people's budget, John Nichols reacts

Here is John Nichols' take in The Nation on the recent vote by the US House of Representatives with snippets organized as answers to two questions.

Q1: What does the budget do?

Congressman Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat who serves on the House Budget Committee and as vice chair of the CPC noted, it sought to address the fundamental issue of our time—inequality—with a focus on "leveling the economic playing field by increasing wages for middle- and low-income workers."

The People's Budget proposed the only approach that can work: Start by first asking the wealthy to pay their fair share and making smart cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget, and then use the money to invest in repairing infrastructure repair and expansion, in upgrading energy systems to address climate and providing for debt-free college, workforce training and small businesses expansion. This is a job-creation, investment and growth agenda, as opposed to the austerity and stagnation budgets of Paul Ryan, the former House Budget Committee chairman who now chairs the House Ways and Means Committee.

Q2: And who voted how?

Only ninety-six House Democrats voted Wednesday for the People's Budget, as it was proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The budget was opposed by 330 House members, including eighty-six shame-on-them Democrats and 244 Republicans.

The record of Wednesday's roll call is worth reviewing, especially because it identifies the Democrats who got this most important vote wrong.

Here is the link to the roll call. You can check it out to see which of our AZ representatives voted for/against it.

Well, what do you expect from the Deltas who populate the DC version of Animal House. It is disheartening to see some of our Democratic Representatives joining that frat house. See next post for explanation.

Animal House is to Congress as Senator Blutarski is to ...

The analogy is perfect. Read this editorial in GV News to see who gets to play John Belushi's part.

Climate scientist to speak in GV

Local activist group ChangeisHappening! is hosting a presentation with Jonathan Overpeck, director of the University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment, to talk about climate change and its local effects at 1:30 p.m. April 6 at the Desert Hills Social Center. The presentation is free and open to the public.

For background see the GV News article.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Action Alert: Why does the state of AZ care if municipalities enact restrictions on plastic bags?

Why, indeed. If the Fed had a law against states restricting plastic bags, the (Tea) Baggers would be howling at the moon. But, those same Baggers, are OK with the state doing the same thing to its municipalities. Kind of hypocritical, yes?

The bill is SB1241. Please use this link from the Sierra Club to contact your legislators and urge defeat of this bill.

Australian comedian tries to make sense of gun laws

This is a terrific, funny, terrifying video about the insanity of our gun laws and the social forces behind them - as viewed by an Australian comedian. (h/t Sherry Moreau)

However, (bad language alert) you need to get by the numerous F words. Suck it up and focus on the expose' of our nutty laws and the nutcases responsible for them. You will have some great talking points when your neighbors start braying about "protection". For example, the little skit about how long it takes to open a safe in an emergency is hillarious!

Forget not: What Ronald Reagan really did

Here is a reminder from Jerry Stoops (h/t). The Reagan years were not the good old days. Check the last one - going easy on apartheid. Did he not know that there were drive-by shootings at Mandela's house? The bullet holes are still there.

Action alert: Lobby your AZ House members against SB1339

This is a piece of the HB2305 voting suppression bill that was voted down in a referendum by AZ citizens. Part of it is back in the form of SB1339, namely making voting activists felons. If you, as a PC or just a helpful citizen, carry a ballot for your neighbor, you are a felon. I assume Rosanna Gabaldon will vote NO (but call her office anyway). I'm not so sure about Chris Ackerley. He needs to hear from you.

SB1339 is on the House calendar for this Monday so, readers, have at it. And while you are at it, protest the similar bill, SB1340. Tell our legislators that the people already spoke on these matters and they ought to leave it at that.

Here's an action alert from AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ (h/t).

Action alert: Ask Ducey to veto SB1318

Repeat from yesterday - need to call if you have not already done so.

This bill contains an objectionable and possibly dangerous provision which requires physicians to inform their patients that an unproven protocol of injected progesterone could halt their medication abortion.

When you call Governor Ducey's office, contact info below, please tell staff this provision:

Is not FDA approved and has no evidence to support it

There is no credible science backing this practice

This bill amounts to state sanctioned and facilitated experimentation on vulnerable women

Thank you for taking action to keep government out of our exam rooms and protect the physician-patient relationship!

As always, create your own version of these talking points.

Please call:

Kirk Adams, Chief of Staff, 602-542-1444

Christina Corieri, Health and Human Services Policy Advisor, 602-542-3394

Here, at Huff Post, is more background on the junk science driving this bill. The "research" comes from one anti-abortion doc.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Action alert: Ask Ducey to veto SB1318 - NOW!

This bill contains an objectionable and possibly dangerous provision which requires physicians to inform their patients that an unproven protocol of injected progesterone could halt their medication abortion.

When you call Governor Ducey's office, contact info below, please tell staff this provision:

Is not FDA approved and has no evidence to support it

There is no credible science backing this practice

This bill amounts to state sanctioned and facilitated experimentation on vulnerable women

Thank you for taking action to keep government out of our exam rooms and protect the physician-patient relationship!

As always, use these talking points to create your own script.

Please call:

Kirk Adams, Chief of Staff, 602-542-1444

Christina Corieri, Health and Human Services Policy Advisor, 602-542-3394

Here, at Huffington Post, is more background on the junk science driving this bill. The "research" comes from one anti-abortion doc.

Please take your guns to church, son, take your guns to church

Here is a story from Steve Farley's Friends O'Farley report about the crAZy itdioture, and, in particular, (my nomination for flake of the week) Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake). I include links to the video record (h/t Steve Farley).

The most surprising moment of the hearing came with the explanation of vote from Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake) when she said, verbatim, "We should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend the church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth. But since that would never be allowed and we would not even be debating that, I am going to vote yes that people who are responsible and have a CCW permit don't have to worry about their gun as they're out and about doing their business in whatever building they're in." She seems to have skipped over the First Amendment on her way to the sacred Second.

Here is a short version and here is a longer version (but with reduced audio).

Craig McDermott at B4AZ is awarding Allen "Hypocrite of the Month". Read his post to learn why.

Note [from McDermott]: the full meeting video is available on the lege’s website here. Look for the video of Senate Appropriation, dated 3/24/2015. Her spouting off starts at approximately at the 1:26:18 mark.

Note from Scriber: here is an alternative link that goes directly to the full video of the Appropriations Committee. This is the best version for audio (at least it is on my iPad).

For you Johnny Cash lovers, here is his hit single with the refrain "Don't take your guns to town" which inspired the title of this post. Apparently the crAZy idiotors don't like Johnny Cash.

The cluelessness of the next generation of American citizens

If you have any doubts about where this country is headed, put them aside. The correct answer is "to hell in a handbasket".

Here is a stunning, shocking video showing how little Texas Tech students know about American history and politics.

But before you attribute this level of ignorance to Texas Tech or just Texas, reflect on the legislation coming out of the AZ state idioture.

h/t Jim Woodbrey

AZ really is a high tax state ... for the poor!

David Safier at Tucson Weekly/The Range has a post with data on the rate-wise tax burden sorted by percentile of income. I've posted on this before but it bears repeating.

... the top 1 percent pays 4.6 percent of its income on state and local taxes. The bottom 20 percent pays 12.5 percent.

So, what the GOPlin idiotors say about taxation is true. AZ is a high tax state. For the poor.

Or, less kindly, as Safier puts it:

Arizona is a tax haven for the rich and a tax hell for the poor. That means every Republican legislator who complains about high Arizona taxes—in other words, every Republican legislator (If any of you is an exception, please let me know and I'll apologize publicly)—is a liar. They don't give a damn about high taxes on the poor, because, if you're too poor to contribute to campaigns, who the hell cares what happens to you? They just want lower taxes for people who can afford to pay the piper.

h/t Jerry Stoops

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Action alert: Two AZ bills make voting activists felons

SB1339 and SB1340 both carry strike-everything amendments that make it a felony to carry ballots for other people. AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ describes the tortured logic of the GOPlin iodiotors who sponsor these things. Write/call your legislator to urge NO votes.

More on Arizona's own do-not-fly list

Scriber is a fan of AZ State Sen. Steve Farley. His Friends O'Farley email newsletters reveal much about how AZ Republicans (aka GOPlin idiotors) run the idioture (into the ditch). From his email yesterday, we learn some details about the bill mandating a more secure drivers license - and why it is stalled. (You might recall a previous post about this one. If we in AZ do not come up with better drivers licenses, we will not be allowed aboard airplanes unless we carry passports.)

Speaking of Speaker Gowan, the House he controls has not been assigning bills from people he doesn't like (from both parties) to committees until after committee hearing deadlines, thus assuring their death by nonassignment. His public information officer stated publicly that the Speaker would only advance bills "that advance the Republican agenda."

Another bill that was unassigned until March 16 and thus unheard was [Republican] Sen. Bob Worsley's SB1273 which would solve a huge problem that will strike us all next January. The federal government in 2005 enacted the Real ID act that mandates a more secure form of driver's license be implemented by states in order to be used as ID for federal purposes in response to the 9/11 attacks. The deadline for completion has been adjusted numerous times since then, but the final deadline is now January 1, 2016.

This is important -- so please share with your friends to make them aware. Arizona licenses are not currently compliant, even the new ones. If you try to use them as ID to board a plane after January 1, 2016, you will not be admitted. You will only be able to board with a passport or passport card. Worsley's bill would repeal a ban on these complaint IDs enacted by the Legislature in 2008 and allow Arizonans to get a compliant driver's license for $15 so we are ready.

The bill is being added as an amendment to SB1274 in House Approps tonight, and I sure hope it gets through, although Speaker Gowan is being coy about its chances in his public statements. It's not a bill he "loves".

So there you have it. One of our chief Idiotors is making us all more safe by creating AZ's own do-not-fly list. The thing of it is: we all are on that do-not-fly list.

Gil Shapiro explains why Ted Crooze should stop with the religious packaging of his message

Here is the link to his op-ed in the AZ Daily Star.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Climate Scientist speaks in Green Valley, Apr. 6

What: Dr. Jonathan Overpeck of UofA presents "Climate Science: Global to Southern Arizona Perspectives."

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn the facts from an eminent climate scientist. Join in this timely conversation. Jonathan Overpeck Ph.D. is a founding co-director of the Institute of the Environment, as well as a Professor of Geosciences and a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the U. of A. He is a principal investigator for the Climate Assessment for the Southwest Project, as well as of the Southwest Climate Science Center.

Open to all. Bring a friend. Free, no reservations needed.

When: April 6, 2015, 1:30-3:00

Where: Desert Hills Social Center, 2980 S. Camino del Sol, Green Valley

Why you should go: see my post on the environmental news here.

Hosted by changeishappening! (h/t Diane Meyer)

Delicious Irony for the Day: Ted Crooze needs insurance ... guess where he will get it

The Washington Post has the story.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), perhaps America's foremost critic of Obamacare, might be signing up for Obamacare.

A day after announcing his presidential run, Cruz (R-Texas) told the Des Moines Register during an Iowa campaign stop that he expected to sign up for health insurance through a federally mandated exchange because the coverage he had been on -- a plan offered through wife Heidi's employer, Goldman Sachs -- will end because she is taking unpaid leave in order to help his campaign.

"We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we're in the process of transitioning over to do that," he told the paper Tuesday.

That from the guy who has vowed to kill the Affordable Care Act (and its exchanges):

If there's one issue that Cruz has ridden to political stardom, it's President Obama's signature health reform law. Cruz spent 21 hours on the Senate floor decrying the measure, then led Republicans into a two-week government shutdown over it. And the law figured into his campaign kickoff Monday: "Imagine in 2017 a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare," he said to applause.

Andy Borowitz: Obama resolves irony, makes Crooze ineligible for Obamacare via executive order

Here are snippets from the Borowitz Report in The New Yorker.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — Just hours after Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CNN that he had no choice but to sign up for Obamacare, President Barack Obama signed an executive order making Cruz ineligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

"Clearly, the hardship of receiving Obamacare was causing Ted a great deal of pain," the President said. "This should take care of that."


In an official statement released later in the day, Cruz blasted the executive order and accused Obama of distorting his position on Obamacare: "I never said I didn’t want to have it. I said I didn’t want everyone else in the country to have it."

Commentary: AZ House approves anti-abortion bill SB1318

Donna Gratehouse posted the story at B4AZ. GOPlins continue their war on women (and just about everybody else). Of note, the vote was almost party-line, but our freshman Rep in LD2 from Sahuarita, Chris Ackerley voted no. See my comment on the B4AZ post.

Boston Globe: Elizabeth Warren should run for President

The editorial makes a compelling case for Warren to challenge the presumed front-runner, Hillary Clinton. Scriber agrees. Here is part of the Globe's case.

DEMOCRATS WOULD be making a big mistake if they let Hillary Clinton coast to the presidential nomination without real opposition, and, as a national leader, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren can make sure that doesn’t happen. While Warren has repeatedly vowed that she won’t run for president herself, she ought to reconsider. And if Warren sticks to her refusal, she should make it her responsibility to help recruit candidates to provide voters with a vigorous debate on her signature cause, reducing income inequality, over the next year.

Indeed, the big-picture debate on financial regulation and income inequality is what’s most at peril if the Democratic primaries come and go without top-notch opponents for Clinton. While she has a great many strengths, Clinton seems far more likely to hew to a cautious approach on economics. Her financial backing from Wall Street, her vote in the Senate to reduce bankruptcy protections, and her past reluctance to raise capital-gains taxes are no secret. Nothing about her record suggests much gumption for financial reform or tackling the deeply entrenched economic problems that increasingly threaten the American dream.

Some of Warren’s admirers feel she’d be better off fighting for those causes in the Senate — but her opportunities to enact reforms there are shrinking, which should make a presidential run more attractive. As a member of the minority party in the Senate, her effectiveness is now much more limited than when she first won election, since Republicans control the legislative agenda. Democrats face an uphill challenge to reclaim the Senate in 2016 and face even slimmer prospects in the House. For the foreseeable future, the best pathway Warren and other Democrats have for implementing their agenda runs through the White House.

Warren’s dedication is obvious to anyone who watched her raise funds by rallying thousands of grass-roots supporters in her 2012 Senate campaign. She should not shrink from the chance to set the course for the Democratic Party or cede that task to Hillary Clinton without a fight. The gap between the Facebooks and Googles of America and the rest of the economy has grown too large, and it deserves the kind of public debate and scrutiny that a national political campaign can spark. If she puts her causes and goals front and center, as Democrats gather their forces for the crucial 2016 campaign, Warren could enrich the political process for years to come.

It should be no surprise to you that Scriber agrees.

h/t Jean Vickers

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AZ House passes anti-abortion bill

The State House passed this outrageous anti-abortion bill (SB1318). It relies on junk science - you know - the reversibility of chemical abortions.

Here is what the bill says, in summary from azleg.gov:

SB 1318 prohibits any health care plan offered through any health care exchange operating in this state from providing coverage for abortions with limited exception, requires documentation from abortion clinics regarding admitting privileges be submitted to the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), and requires physicians to inform patients they may reverse the effects of a medical abortion.

For more about the bill, see this post from AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ. BlueMeanie quotes from testimony on the bill about the junk science from the "pro-life" (so-called) doctors.

Allan Sawyer, former president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said he had previously reversed a medication abortion for a woman by providing her with progesterone.

When questioned, Sawyer acknowledged that FDA had not approved using progesterone for such a purpose.

In addition, Sawyer said there were no studies indicating whether administering progesterone for such a purpose could result in birth defects if a woman carries the pregnancy to term.

Separately, Ilana Addis, chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Arizona section, said physicians have an obligation to "practice medicine that is evidence-based" and that "the protocol that has been suggested for reversing a medication abortion has no evidence to support it."

BTW: our LD2 Republican Rep Chris Ackerley voted against this bill. He does deserve thanks for this one.

One more reason why crAZy makes the news: Arizonans may not be able to board airplanes after January 2016

The simple reason is that our Legislators (oops, I mean Idiotors) are paranoid - and I do mean that in the psychopathological sense. Here is the story from the AZ Daily Star, with commentary from Donna Gratehouse at B4AZ. Here are snippets from the Star.

Gov. Doug Ducey wants state lawmakers to let Arizonans get a special type of secure driver’s license so they can get on a commercial aircraft next year without having a passport.

The governor said Monday he is concerned a Senate-approved bill [SB1273] to make such a license optional has stalled in the House.

House Speaker David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, did not even assign the measure to a committee when it arrived at his desk from the Senate.

Gowan said Monday he is now looking at the issue. But he refused to promise that this specific proposal would reach the House floor.

That would have real implications come Jan. 19, possibly leaving Arizonans at the airport as their flights leave due to the Real ID Act. That 2005 federal law was adopted several years after radicals managed to board and hijack aircraft which they flew into both towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Why is this an issue now? Well, the Idioture, fueled by a dose of paranoia, decided to overrule the fed and even vote against homeland security.

... in 2008, the Arizona Legislature voted to prohibit the state from creating a Real ID-compliant license. Foes said they feared the license would effectively create a national database.

The federal law, however, remains. And the Department of Homeland Security says come Jan. 19 it will no longer recognize licenses that are not compliant to board an aircraft.

That means that anyone without a passport will not fly. Period.

Convey your thanks to David Gowan.

Here's Donna's comment:

... this morning I learned, via 12 News anchor Brahm Resnik, that despite all the coverage it has gotten, Governor Ducey was not aware of this drivers license issue until this past Sunday. Ducey promised at a press conference that he would fix the problem. How he does this without the Legislature is beyond me but the Governor has already demonstrated how he takes a very expansive view of his executive authority so maybe he thinks he can just set up his own drivers license agency to circumvent state law and issue federally compliant licenses. Who knows, but what is obvious is how little he cares about the day-to-day concerns of Arizona residents who are not big donors to him. In other words, practically all of us. This is what happens when you elect a rich guy who basically thinks of this state as his vacation home to be Governor.

Evangelical right-winger Ted Cruz declares presidential candidacy

Tweet 1: Ted Cruz oozes optimism, earning new handle @TedCrooze.

Tweet 2: @TedCrooze aims to remove health coverage from millions of American citizens.

Tweet 3: @TedCrooze wants to scrap IRS. Crooze is OK with huge increase in deficit.

Tweet 4: @TedCrooze will secure our border ... but does not know how.

Tweet 5: @TedCrooze will ban same-sex marriage, says my religion is better than yours.

Tweet 6: @TedCrooze courts Tea Potty, does not give a s#&t about the rest of GOP.

Stay tuned for these tweets and more.

News story about Crooze's promises is at the NY Times here.

Religious right writes new script for Jesus

Check out this Republican Jesus. h/t Jerry Stoops

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ted Cruz declares candidacy for US President. Promises to be an imaginary President.

From the NY Times. Ted Crooze is the first looney GOPlin to declare.

Drawing on a stump speech he has developed in recent months, Mr. Cruz struck a tone of defiance and appealed to conservatives to "imagine a president" who would repeal the Affordable Care Act, abolish the Internal Revenue Service, secure the border and forbid same-sex marriage.

This imaginary president would: take away health care from millions, create a huge increase in the deficit, bring home our troops and station them in Nogales, and put AV recording devices in every bedroom. Imagine that.

Actually, Crooze has a very good chance to capture a share of the GOPlin electorate. I invite you to use your imagination and send in some ways in which other GOPlin candidates might present as even more extremely right-wing.

Image h/t 2016 DNC factivists


Environmental news summary (with a message from one polar bear)

Here is a very good post from AZBlueMeanie summarizing environmental news - including depressing responses from the anti-science crowd. But this one photo really stands out (to me, at least) - a lone polar bear clinging to the remnant of an ice flow. So depressing.



Another magical number: 7 (+ or - 2) reasons why America is stuck in endless war

An ex-Air Force officer (at motherjones.com) exposes 7 reasons why war has become the norm for America. Scriber reminds you that Rachel Maddow covers the same ground in her book "Drift".

From Scriber: the move to a volunteer military was a disaster. It left 99% of the American people with no skin in the game. To survive as a responsible and responsive democracy we need a requirement for national service, military or otherwise.

BTW: lest you think I am blowing liberal smoke, I have a DD214 from the Vietnam Era to show you.

Guns with histories: NRA heads are exploding

Here is a powerful video posted by Pamela Powers Hannley at B4AZ. It was featured by Rachel Maddow - here is the link to Rachel's show.

Cartoons of the week feature Tom CottonHead and other intellectually deficient members of our species

From AZBlueMeanie at B4AZ.

Back Ally Watch: Oro Valley Idiotor forms Allyance ...

... with Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller. From Road Runner at AZ Daily Star (tucson.com).

An Arizona lawmaker wants to make county governments atone for the sinfully bad roads by making them pay, almost without question, any claim received from motorists who say pavement conditions caused damage to their cars.

"If Pima County was spending more money on fixing potholes than on other things, they probably wouldn’t ever have seen legislation like this cross my desk," said Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley.

The bill, HB 2572, reads: "Any person whose vehicle is damaged from the county’s failure to maintain a roadway may apply to the county for reimbursement for the cost of the repair. The county shall reimburse the applicant within five days after receiving the application for reimbursement."

Why is he doing this? Here is Reason #1.

"When Pima County sweeps what HURF funds it has from (Supervisor) District 1 and slaps around a supervisor who is trying to do what her constituents want her to do, that’s reprehensible," Finchem said, referencing Supervisor Ally Miller.

Aha! Pinchem is in cahoots with the Tea Potty supervisor who has yet to figure out that waging war on her fellow supervisors is not a smart thing to do. Filtchem has joined her crusade; apparently he hasn't figured it out either.

And here is Reason #2.

Even if Finchem’s bill goes nowhere, which he said probably is the case at least for this legislative session, local governments already pay claims to motorists who can prove road conditions caused damage to their cars.

That is, this guy has too much free time, time spent on frivolous bills, time paid for by you and I.

Come on, Oro Valley. Is this guy the best you have to offer to your community, your county, your state, your children?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The coming week in the AZ State Idioture

From Craig McDermott at B4AZ.

McCain attacks fellow GOPlins for commitments to vote for Lynch confirmation

First off, h/t Jerry Stoops. (If you cannot swallow reading a post in breitbart.com, talk to Jerry. ;)

But it is a great read. The GOPlin votes needed to get confirmation are likely to shift with the winds anyway. The Grand Old Poobah of the GOPlin clan is on board with the idea of forcing approval of an abortion amendment in order to get a vote on AG-nominee Loretta Lynch. Before we start further bashing McCain, do take a look at the article and see how much worse might be GOPlin challengers for his Senate seat.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Paul Krugman on the fraudulent GOPlin budget

Here is the central message about the House and Senate budgets from Krugman's blog at NY Times.

... outrageous fiscal mendacity is neither historically normal nor bipartisan. It’s a modern Republican thing. And the question we should ask is why.

One answer you sometimes hear is that what Republicans really believe is that tax cuts for the rich would generate a huge boom and a surge in revenue, but they’re afraid that the public won’t find such claims credible. So magic asterisks are really stand-ins for their belief in the magic of supply-side economics, a belief that remains intact even though proponents in that doctrine have been wrong about everything for decades.

But I’m partial to a more cynical explanation. [Scriber: So am I.]Think about what these budgets would do if you ignore the mysterious trillions in unspecified spending cuts and revenue enhancements. What you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. And the simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer.

The core belief of the GOPlins is: that the rich are rich because they are deserving of the wealth; the poor (non-rich, really) are poor because they alone are responsible for their misfortune. Once you understand this core belief, all else follows.

John Nichols on why Americans don't vote

John Nichols, of The Nation, addressed this issue at the recent DCSRA fundraiser and dinner. Here is a video clip, courtesy of Pamela Powers Hannley at B4AZ, in case you missed it. Even if you attended the dinner, it is worth the time to [re]view this segment of Nichols' powerful message.

Yay for AZ: Number 1 in something ...

... well, maybe we should not brag about being numero uno in education cuts. Amazing op-ed from Phoenix newspaper.

h/t Jean Vickers

Il Duce appoints members of education board, hopes to enact standards unique to Arizona

Like 2+2 is not 4. We Arizo-no-nothings don't want our kids learnin' what other kids know. Don't tread on us. We'll defend our own standards with guns in every school. 2 bullets + 2 bullets = 4 dead kids. Now that's AZ math. Here's the story from the AZ Daily Star.

Speaking of education: Fitz's account of the Phoenix rally in support of Il Duce's education cuts

This is a must read. Here is David Fitzsimmon's Saturday column at the AZ Daily Star.

"Shame on you, John McCain"

Here is a searing rebuke to McCain for being one of the 47 traitors - featured in the West Valley News!!!

h/t Jerry Stoops