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Baja Arizona Kos

Politics outside the Great Baked Satan of Maricopa County Focus on the Border region but all of Arizona or anyone interested in our weird and wild desert Politics is welcome! Facebook Twitter Youtube

Published: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:06:10 +0000

Last Build Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:06:10 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want

AZ-Sen: PCCC Helps Spread Viral Video Of Jeff Flake (R) Lying To Dying Man About GOP Tax Scam

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:28:59 +0000

Received this e-mail today from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee: x YouTube Video My name is Ady Barkan. I'm 33 years old, I have an 18 month old son, and until last year I was healthy. Then I was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. I will likely need to be on a ventilator in order to live. I confronted Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on a plane recently with the fact that the Republican tax bill could kill me and leave my baby fatherless. Click here to see the video millions have seen on MSNBC and CNN of what he said -- and help fight back against this Republican tax disaster. Then, sign the petition demanding Not One Penny in tax giveaways to big corporations. It is being delivered at events across the country. The American people are waking up to the life-and-death impacts of the Republican tax bill. It pays for huge giveaways to big corporations by taking healthcare away from millions of families like mine and slashing Medicare. xPart 1 of the #flakesonaplane saga @AdyBarkan tells his story to @JeffFlake, the swing vote on the #GOPTaxScam.— Liz - We're doing it (@lizjaff) December 8, 2017   Congress will vote on a final bill within the next 2 weeks. We can still defeat the Republican tax scam, but we're running out of time. We need everyone in this fight. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. Donate $3 toward the organizing the PCCC and the Center for Popular Democracy are doing to fight this Republican tax disaster, including pouring thousands of calls into congressional offices, building crowds at rallies across the nation and, now, pressing to get Doug Jones (newly elected Democratic Senator from Alabama) seated BEFORE the next tax vote. Then, sign the petition demanding Not One Penny in tax giveaways to big corporations. For me and tens of millions of others, this tax fight isn't about politics -- it's a matter of life and death.Make sure Republicans in Congress know that Americans won't stand by while they sacrifice our health and our lives to pay for giveaways to billionaires and big corporations. Thanks for fighting back. -- Ady Barkan Click here to add your name. [...]

AZ & NV-Sen: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D. OR) Helps These Two Women Take Back The U.S. Senate

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:28:57 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D. OR) in support of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D. AZ) & Rep. Jacky Rosen’s (D. NV) U.S. Senate campaigns:


HUGE news this morning.

Thanks to the the people of Alabama, with a big assist from grassroots activists like you, Doug Jones is coming to the Senate.

And that means control of the Senate is very much in play for 2018.

We need to flip two more seats to take the Senate. And we have two strong candidates, in Arizona and Nevada, to do it.


Please chip in today to help Kyrsten Sinema win in Arizona and Jacky Rosen win in Nevada and help take back the Senate!

We've been reminded lately how important it is to have strong women in the Senate. We started the comeback in Alabama last night. Let's finish it next November in the Southwest.

Please chip in today: let's send Kyrsten Sinema and Jacky Rosen to the Senate.

It's on!


Click here to donate to Sinema and Rosen’s campaigns.

AZ-Sen: Kyrsten Sinema (D) Keeps Up The Momentum To Kill Trump & GOP's Tax Scam

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:55:28 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D. AZ) U.S. Senate campaign:

In the middle of the night, the Senate rushed through a 479-page tax bill that increases our national deficit, gives tax breaks to the ultra wealthy, and increases taxes for middle-class families.

This is not a fair deal for hardworking Americans. We need tax reform that actually helps the middle class and small businesses thrive.

Click here to add your name right now to stand with Kyrsten against this harmful bill.

It is cruel to our teachers, students, and veterans. If the GOP gets its way, millions of American families will be left paying more in taxes, while those making millions will reap the rewards.

We can find the commonsense tax reform our communities need — but only if we work together. This bill is not the answer. It’s bad for middle-class families and it’s bad for our country.

Sign your name right away to stand with Kyrsten and middle-class families.

Thanks for taking action,

Click here to add your name.

AZ-Sen: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D. VT) Helps Kyrsten Sinema (D) Punish The GOP For Their Tax Scam Bill

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:06:10 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D. VT) in support of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D. AZ) U.S. Senate campaign:

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D. AZ)

Last Frid‌ay, while most of the country slept, Republicans rammed through their tax scam to raise taxes and gut health care coverage for our nation's middle class.

It was a shameful act of cowardice and greed, and we need to continue doing all we can to fight this deeply harmful legislation. Without a check from the American people, Republicans have proven -- yet again -- that they will continue to sell out hard-working families to cut a check to their billionaire donors.

As part of our resistance, it's crucial we continue to lay the groundwork to take back the Senate next fall.

With Senator Jeff Flake not running for re-election, Kyrsten Sinema's campaign in Arizona is one of our best opportunities to turn a Republican Senate seat blue in 2018.

Will you join me in supporting Kyrsten's campaign for Senate by making a contribution of $10 or more today?

I know that Kyrsten is a fighter -- she's been proving it her whole life. For almost three years while she was growing up, she lived in an abandoned gas station without running water or electricity. But she never let being homeless stop her from being who she wanted to be. Thanks to hard work and support from family, church, and the government, she made it to college and got her shot at the American dream.

She's running for Senate to make sure every American gets that same shot, and I want her fighting alongside me on the issues that matter, including tax reform.

Partisan extremists with big money -- the same ones who will benefit massively from the GOP tax scam -- are already lining up to defeat and silence her, so it's up to us to do everything we can to make sure she has the resources to fight back and win.

Will you make a contribution of $10 or more to help elect Kyrsten Sinema to the U.S. Senate?

Thanks for standing with Kyrsten and me to‌day.


Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator

Click here to donate to Sinema’s campaign.

AZ-Gov: David Garcia (D) Leads The Fight To Stop Trump From Building His Stupid Border Wall

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 05:21:30 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Arizona State University professor, David Garcia’s (D. AZ) gubernatorial campaign:

Right now, the Trump Administration is accepting applications for Border Wall prototypes.
Let’s not beat around the bush here: this proposed wall is fueled by right-wing racism.

This wall will cost taxpayers BILLIONS, and will require the government to SEIZE thousands of miles of land in order to build it!

My campaign is taking action -- but I need 1O,OOO people standing with me. Will you sign this petition to STOP any construction of a Border Wall?

We can’t allow this Border Wall to move any further.

  • Spending BILLIONS on the wall is irresponsible and wasteful.
  • And SEIZING thousands of people’s private-property is an ABUSIVE overreach by Trump’s administration.

We need to be creating an inclusive country and welcoming immigrants who want to join our culture and communities -- NOT shutting them out!

I’m running for Governor to make sure that racist policies and projects like the Border Wall get nowhere near Arizona.

So please, take a second to sign your name to STOP construction of the Border Wall:

Thanks for taking action with us.

- David

Click here to add your name.

AZ-Sen: GOP Poll Gives Kyrsten Sinema (D) A Slight Lead Over Both Ward (R) & McSally (R)

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 22:23:37 +0000

GOP pollster, OH Predictive Insights, released their poll on the upcoming U.S. Senate race in Arizona. First, the GOP primary:

Moving on, before we get into the head-to-head matchups for the Arizona U.S. Senate Primary and General election, let’s see where the main contenders sit regarding name ID and favorability.

The key findings were among the two Republican challengers regarding party affiliation and geographic location.

·       Kelli Ward has 85% name ID among Republicans; with 59% favorable and 26% unfavorable.

·       Martha McSally has 60% name ID among Republicans; with 48% favorable and 13% unfavorable.

·       Among Independents Kelli Ward has 80% name ID; with 36% favorable and 44% unfavorable.

·       Martha McSally has 56% name ID among Independents with 29% favorable and 27% unfavorable.

Based on geographic location Martha McSally has 97% name ID in Pima county where much of her current congressional district covers although she is far less known in Maricopa county (57%) and rural Arizona (44%).

Arizona’s Maricopa county has almost 2/3rd’s of the 2018 General Election vote but that is also where Kelli Ward is underwater with a 34% favorable / 47% unfavorable rating. Although she performs much stronger in rural Arizona with 45% favorable / 31% unfavorable.

Continuing with the subject of Kelli Ward and Martha McSally, if the election were held today, who would likely Republican primary voters vote for? Don’t worry, we have the answer.

Currently, Ward has an advantage of +7-points over McSally where Ward’s most notable strength derives from males, high school or less education level, rural Arizona, and self-identified “very conservative” voters – basically, Trump’s base.  McSally’s strength lies in self-identified “somewhat conservative” and “moderate” voters and a +30-point advantage in Pima County.

Now the general election:

Republicans hold a +12 Republican likely voter advantage in the 2018 General Election, and that’s how we conducted this poll, with a +12 Republican advantage.  But in both matchups the Democrat is winning by a very slim margin. McSally has the best chance being 1-point behind Sinema with Ward close by trailing by 3-points, but they’re both in the margin of error.

So, why is a Democrat leading when Republicans hold a +12 point advantage? The answer is slopes.


Whether it was Ward or McSally against Sinema, support based on political ideology was almost identical for either potential GOP nominee. This chart probably looks familiar because it basically mirrors Trump’s numbers in this lens.

This is going to be one tough race but it’s one seat we can flip blue. Click here to donate and get involved with Sinema’s campaign.

AZ-Sen: Kyrsten Sinema (D) Goes After Trump & GOP's Constant Assault On Medicare

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:53:26 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D. AZ) U.S. Senate campaign:

This year, we have seen attempt after attempt by extremists to take away healthcare from those who need it most.

Everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care. That’s why we must stand together to protect Medicare and the services countless Americans rely on.

Add your name right away to stand with us in defense of Medicare and affordable healthcare >»

We are working towards a better future for all, and that means standing up to those who would pull the rug out from under millions of Americans.

Join us in the fight for Medicare, and stand up for quality, affordable health care >>>

Thanks for taking action,


Click here to add your name.

AZ-Sen: HighGround Public Affairs Poll Gives Kyrsten Sinema (D) A 7 Point Lead Over Kelli Ward (R)

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 21:31:31 +0000

Latest news today out of Arizona: A statewide Arizona survey of 500 likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters shows that just under a year out from Election Day, Democrat Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-9) has extended her lead over GOP candidate Dr. Kelli Ward to a 7-point margin, 34-27. The survey, which was conducted immediately after U.S. Senator Jeff Flake announced he would not seek re-election, indicates both candidates have lots of work to do in both defining themselves and their opponent over the coming months.  Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Kelli Ward or Kyrsten Sinema?  34.4%  Kyrsten Sinema 26.8%  Kelli Ward 38.8%  Don't know, Refused In an August poll of 400 likely voters, HighGround tested a hypothetical match-up between the same two candidates with a much closer margin of 30.5% for Ward vs. 31.8% for Sinema. Despite Ward receiving an endorsement from former White House advisor Steve Bannon in the time since the August poll was conducted and Senator Flake withdrawing, Ward has not seen a bump and in fact, has lost ground.  In both surveys, the plurality of voters had not made their mind up in favor of either candidate. “Even with Senator Flake announcing his retirement and the whirlwind of media attention around Steve Bannon’s endorsement and visit, Kelli Ward has not seen any improvement in her support,” said Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the poll. “The numbers continue to show that Ward is a flawed General Election candidate, and her nomination would likely result in a loss of the seat for Republicans.  With the apparent ceiling of support for Ward, there is clearly room for a different Republican candidate to emerge as a credible challenger with a path to victory, such as Congresswoman Martha McSally or Great Hearts founder Jay Heiler.” The latest survey data also showed that Congresswoman Sinema is still not known by 37% of the electorate in Arizona, whereas Ward is not known by more than 40% of the electorate despite challenging Senator John McCain in 2016. Coughlin continued, “While many have proclaimed Congresswoman Sinema to be a strong candidate, Arizonans are still unsure of her after a haphazard announcement of her Senate candidacy, with no subsequent statewide tour or messaging to support her campaign. We have yet to see the popularity she enjoys within the left leaning Congressional District 9 translate to rural areas such as Yuma and Yavapai counties – home to some of the larger cities outside Maricopa County, where she needs to be competitive.” General Election turnout in off-Presidential Cycle races in Arizona shows that Republicans historically have a twelve-point turnout advantage, which steepens the climb for any Democratic contender. Today, not a single Democrat holds statewide office in Arizona. “Quite frankly, Senator Flake stepping out completely opens up the race for a primary challenger to Ward and a more credible Republican to face off against Sinema in November.  Ward no longer has a candidate to beat up on, and Sinema can no longer count on a facing a damaged and resource-depleted Republican in November. There is a great deal of uncertainty in the electorate and I think this data shows that we are in for a wild ride,” concluded Coughlin. The audience tested in the statewide live caller survey was set to reflect the 2018 General Election in Arizona.  The General Election sample of 500 high efficacy general election voters has a margin of error of ±4.36%. Now this is very encouraging however, Ward won’t have the GOP primary to herself: Congresswoman Martha McSally is planning to enter Arizona's 2018 Senate race, giving Republican Kelli Ward new competition in the GOP primary. The lawmaker has told her Republic[...]

VA & AZ-Gov: David Garcia (D) Gives Fellow Veteran & Doctor Ralph Northam (D) A Boost

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 23:24:48 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Arizona State University professor, David Garcia (D. AZ), in support of Lt. Governor Ralph Northam’s (D. VA) gubernatorial campaign: Ralph Northam (D. VA) There is MUST-WIN governor’s race for Democrats in Virginia in just 5 days!   And if Democrat Ralph Northam WINS, it could spark a progressive wave everywhere! Winning this critical swing state wouldn’t just confirm Americans are rejecting Trump’s agenda -- it would prove Democrats like David Garcia can win in swing states like Arizona! Will you help us support Ralph Northam’s Democratic campaign for Governor of Virginia by donating $5 or $1O? » Governors are leading the fight to stop Trump’s agenda from sweeping into every state. Ralph Northam is a fellow Army veteran and a doctor. He’s a good Democrat who wants to make his state work for ALL its residents.   But Republicans are spending MASSIVE loads of cash and running racist fear-mongering ads to defeat this strong Democrat. This race will be as close as they come, so they need our support.   Can we count on you to help Democrats WIN in Virginia by chipping in a small amount to Ralph Northam’s campaign? We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines for this one.   -Garcia For Arizona Click here to donate to Northam’s campaign. [...]

TN & AZ-Sen: CREDO Action Mounts Pressure On These GOPers To Protect Mueller's Investigation

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 16:01:11 +0000

Received this e-mail today from CREDO Action: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Donald Trump’s Russia ties has yielded its first indictments – which may put the investigation under threat. News recently broke that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, another former Trump staffer are under indictment. On top of the indictments, Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his communication with Russians.1 The threat to Mueller’s independence – and a constitutional crisis – is now very real. Trump has openly mused about firing Mueller in public interviews. His team has been digging up dirt on the special prosecutor. In the days before the indictments became public, Trump allies tried to deflect blame, pushed for phony investigations of Sec. Clinton to distract Americans, and advocated to strip Mueller of his powers. 2,3 What happens next is a huge test for the so-called moderate Republicans of conscience who have recently spoken out against Trump’s reckless abuse of power – they must now put words into action to protect the integrity of existing investigations into all of Trump and his associates’ illegal ties to Russia. Sens. John McCain, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake have made headlines and earned plaudits from the elite political and media establishment for saying that Trump is a threat to our democracy, but they have done precious little to back those words up with action. Tell Sens. Corker, Flake and McCain: The investigation into Trump’s Russia ties must be truly independent. Protect special counsel Mueller from Trump’s abuse of power. Click here to sign the petition. These Republicans must immediately use all their institutional and public leverage to ensure all current investigations concerning Trump’s Russia ties continue without interference from the Trump regime and its allies in Congress. They must help pass legislation to protect an independent counsel and prevent Donald Trump from triggering a constitutional crisis. Mueller’s methodical investigation is critical and it is still in its beginning stages. We still do not know if more indictments are to come or what Papadopoulos, Manafort, or Gates will share about other Trump associates in order to spare themselves time behind bars. Not long ago, a post-Watergate law was in place that protected investigations like Mueller’s from presidential overreach. The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 set up a system to ensure that special prosecutors would be totally independent officials that a group of judges could appoint and no president can fire. But in the 1990s, Republicans and Democrats teamed up to let the independent counsel statute expire.4 Mueller, instead, is a special prosecutor serving at the whim of Trump’s own Department of Justice.5 That means that Trump could order Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller, sparking a constitutional firestorm with the executive branch seeking to crush the rule of law to protect its grip on power. Congress can prevent this nightmare scenario. If Sens. Corker, Flake and McCain want to back up their strong talk with real action, they need to show that they are willing to force the White House to obey the law by protecting Mueller’s investigation and keeping it independent of Trump overreach. Tell Sens. Corker, Flake and McCain: The investigation into Trump’s Russia ties must be truly independent. Protect special counsel Mueller from Trump’s abuse of power. Click here to sign the petition. Mueller’s thorough investigation into Trump’s Russia ties has already uncovered far more than Trump would like, and as the White House has already been doing everything it can to discredit Mueller, it seems like it is only a matter of time befor[...]

AZ-Sen: Kirsten Gillibrand (D. NY) Wastes No Time Helping Kyrsten Sinema (D) Flip This Seat Blue

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 22:45:25 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D. NY) in support of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D. AZ) U.S. Senate campaign: x YouTube Video Arizona’s Senate race is our absolute best chance to turn a red seat blue and take back the Senate in 2018, and my friend Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is exactly the woman for the job. The latest Cook Political Report is calling this race a “tossup” – and with Sen. Jeff Flake retiring, we have a real chance to pick up this seat. But some are desperate to keep Arizona red, and Kyrsten is counting on our help to make sure she has what it takes to win. Her first big end-of-month deadline is coming up fast, and she needs to raise $25,000 before midnight Tuesday to help her start her campaign strong. That’s why I’m asking personally: Will you give $5 now to help give Kyrsten the boost she needs to win? Click here to give $5 or more to help Kyrsten win in Arizona! Kyrsten’s a fighter for struggling families because she’s been there herself. Growing up, her family lived in an abandoned gas station without running water or electricity for nearly three years. Thanks to hard work and help from family, church and government, she made it to college, and then to Congress. Now, she’s running for Senate to make sure other kids have the same shot at the American dream. We need Kyrsten’s experience and perspective in the Senate. She has the grit and dedication to win this race, but she’s counting on us to stand with her. That’s why I’m asking for your help: Will you give $5 or more now, before midnight Tuesday, to help Kyrsten hit her $25,000 end-of-month goal and win in Arizona? Give $5 or more now to help Kyrsten win in Arizona and flip this red seat blue. Thanks, Kirsten Click here to donate to Sinema’s campaign. [...]

AZ-Sen: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D. IL) Wastes No Time Helping Kyrsten Sinema (D) Flip This Seat Blue

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 20:31:33 +0000

Received this e-mail today from u.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D. IL) in support of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D. AZ) U.S. Senate campaign:

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D. AZ)

Some big news came out of Arizona: Senator Jeff Flake will not seek reelection.

This news makes the race wide open -- and luckily, we have a strong, dedicated candidate ready to march into the gap. My friend Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is running for this seat, and we should help her take advantage of this opportunity.

Can you give $5 or more to boost her campaign?

It's no mystery why Flake decided to leave this race. He got tired and frustrated of the very same thing that tires and frustrates all of us: The Republican Party under President Trump has lost its moral compass.

President Trump speaks and acts recklessly -- and poses a real threat to our country. Anyone willing to run on a Republican ticket and pledge their loyalty to President Trump is not the kind of leader we need in Washington. Even Senator Flake knows that.

Kyrsten is a fighter who spent three years of her childhood in an abandoned gas station without running water or electricity. She knows how important the American Dream is and is committed to making sure everyone has the opportunity to achieve it.

We need Kyrsten in the Senate. Winning in Arizona would be a key pick-up for Democrats. It could even help us secure a majority.

Help Kyrsten’s campaign gain momentum and fight back against special interests. Chip in $5 or $10.

Thank you,


Click here to donate to Sinema’s campaign.

With Jeff Flake out in Arizona, we're about to see one ugly senate race

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 15:38:06 +0000

In 2016, when batshit crazy former Arizona legislator Kelli Ward took on John McCain in the Republican senate primary, the media called it one of the ugliest races in the country. Ward was a horrible legislator and an equally horrible senate primary challenger, as I wrote the other day. During the contest with McCain she and her frothing supporters regularly called the former POW a “traitor,” even going so far as to say he should be “hung by the neck until dead.” During an interview on InfoWars, she suggested to Sandy Hook denying host Alex Jones that McCain’s team may plant a bomb in her car.   Ward and McCain are of the same party, of course, but still the 2016 primary was nastier than many GOP-Dem contests. McCain jabbed Kelli Ward for her conspiracy mongering and screwball statements, which any opponent would do—she’s looney Judge Roy Moore on steroids. But it was the dishonest ways Ward twisted McCain’s record to suggest he supports selling baby parts from Planned Parenthood clinics, that he’d grant amnesty to Mexicans, or that he helped to pass Obamacare, among other charges, that lent the race its ugly tone. And Donald Trump loves the ugly, which is one reason he, Steve Bannon and other white supremacist goobers are supporting Kelli Ward in this year’s primary. Another reason is that incumbent Republican Senator Jeff Flake, like Bob Corker and John McCain, challenged the big orange stain. No doubt with Breitbart Nation and the White House backing Ward, she would have leveled another round of ugly, untrue accusations against Sen. Flake, especially the amnesty charge. That’s moot now, with Flake dropping out—unwilling to get down in the sewer with nativists. He also knew he couldn’t win the primary without changing his Trump tune—something Flake wasn’t willing to do. Now consider: That’s how Kelli Ward and other antiestablishment shitbrains treated John McCain and Jeff Flake, members of their own party. Ward did lead Jeff Flake in the primary polls by a lot, and she seemed assured of the GOP nomination. That’s not so certain now, as other Trumpers, including several congressmen as scary as Ward (Gosar, Schweikert, or even Arpaio) may now decide to jump in the race. Needless to say, that primary will be one disgusting race to the bottom. And then there’s the 2018 election itself, where one of these knuckle-dragging, mean-spirited, Trump-loving Republicans, probably the worst of the lot, will face either a Muslim or an agnostic bisexual—both women. We can hardly wait.    On the one hand, if Muslim Phoenix attorney Deedra Abboud could somehow win the Democratic nomination, Kelli Ward’s team would shift into full scary terrorist mode. Expect to see ads full of smoking Twin Towers, orange-suited American prisoners with a sword at their neck, and Abboud in her hijab with “Sharia Law” captions. Just this week the Council for American-Islamic Relations in Arizona announced that popular but controversial Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour will keynote their annual event, and the haters’ heads exploded. Imagine a Muslim senate candidate! More likely, however, since she announced last month, US Rep. Kyrsten Sinema will be the Democratic nominee—one of the bluest Blue Dogs in Congress. She’s not Muslim but then she’s nothing; that is, Sinema is the only member of congress who’s ever checked “none” for religious affiliation. When Sinema was in the Arizona legislature, she described herself as an unbeliever. The tasteless ads write themselves: Kelli Ward or whoever will be the god-fearing Christian candidate of family values battling the forces of Satan. Bet on it. And then there’s Sinema’s [...]

AZ-Sen: Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) Makes The Case For Ann Kirkpatrick (D)

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 16:07:18 +0000

I’ve been out of town so I’m playing catch up with a few diaries. I received this e-mail from progressive Rep. Raul Grijalva (D. AZ) in support of Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s (D. AZ) U.S. Senate campaign:

Ann Kirkpatrick (D. AZ)

This is who I am -- I’m an Arizonan, I’m a Latino, and I’m a proud Ann Kirkpatrick voter.

Arizona families don’t need more of the same leadership. We don’t need more years of John McCain, fighting for special interests instead of our needs. Thirty-three years is long enough.

We need a new, principled leader in the Senate. I’ve served with Ann in the House for years, and I can tell you for certain -- Ann is exactly what we need. And we only have 22 days to come together and make that happen.

I’m emailing you today to ask personally -- can you rush in a contribution to help her campaign in the final days of this race?

Let’s examine the choice that Arizonans face this year.

Ann is a proven ally for the middle class, fighting to create good-paying jobs in every corner of our state and supporting raising the minimum wage. McCain has voted against raising the minimum wage over 20 times, turning his back on thousands of Arizonans who only want a pathway to the middle class.

Ann called for Joe Arpaio to resign immediately after a criminal investigation into his practices was recommended. John McCain said nothing.

Ann will stand up to Donald Trump who she has called racist, sexist and unqualified to be president. John McCain endorsed Donald Trump more than 60 times.

Ann has been a steady voice in supporting the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. McCain ran on “complete the danged fence” in 2010 to appease tea-party extremists and voted against the DREAM Act.

Ann Kirkpatrick is focused on Arizona. John McCain has changed after 33 years in Washington and now puts his political career before doing what’s best for our state. If he wasn’t willing to stand up to Donald Trump for himself, how can we expect him to stand up to Washington insiders for Arizona?

We need Ann Kirkpatrick in the Senate. And in these last 22 days, we all need to pitch in if she’s going to win. So please, if you can, make a contribution. Even if it’s just $5 or $10.

Thank you. Rep. Raul Grijalva

Click here to donate to Kirkpatrick’s campaign.

AZ-Sen: LGBTQ Victory Fund Wastes No Time Helping Kyrsten Sinema (D) Defeat Chemtrail Kelli Ward (R)

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 01:40:33 +0000

Received this e-mail today from the LGBTQ PAC, Victory Fund, in support of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D. AZ) U.S. Senate campaign: Big news. Unpopular Arizona U.S. Senator Jeff Flake just announced he will not seek reelection, upending the race where openly LGBTQ Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is running. Anti-LGBTQ Trump strategist Steve Bannon and right-wing hate-monger Laura Ingraham are already lined up behind extremist candidate Kelli Ward – and Flake retiring makes it much more likely they will pour millions of dollars in hate-filled ads to defeat Kyrsten. While in the Arizona state Senate, Ward championed a bill allowing businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ people, and its defeat was “one of the biggest disappointments” of her career. It’s one in a long-line of attacks she has launched on our community. The people who hate us, love Kelli Ward. And they will stop at nothing to defeat an LGBTQ person in one of the most competitive U.S. Senate races of 2018. We must start now, friends. Contribute $100, $50 or $25 to our fund to elect Kyrsten Sinema and other LGBTQ Congressional candidates. This race will get ugly, and it is not going to be easy. So let’s show Kyrsten we have her back before the anti-LGBTQ personal attacks on her get rolling. Show Kyrsten her community is fighting for her by contributing to our efforts to elect LGBTQ Congressional candidates in 2018. It’s urgent. - Victory Fund Team Click here to donate to Sinema’s campaign. [...]

AZ-Sen: BREAKING! Jeff Flake (R) Will Not Seek Re-Election, Let's Flip This Seat Blue!

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 19:09:18 +0000

BREAKING!!! Condemning the nastiness of Republican politics in the era of President Donald Trump, Sen. Jeff Flake on Tuesday announced he will serve out the remainder of his term but will not seek re-election in 2018. The bombshell, which Flake, R-Ariz., intended to detail Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor, will further roil Republican hopes of keeping the party's 52-seat Senate majority in the midterm elections of Trump's first term, when the president's party historically loses seats in Congress. It also likely will upend the race for Flake's seat. Flake, one of the Senate's more prominent critics of President Donald Trump, has been struggling in the polls. He told The Arizona Republic ahead of his announcement that he has become convinced "there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party." That opens the door for this fringe lunatic to hand us this seat: With incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake struggling in the polls, Republican challenger Kelli Ward has emerged as a real contender for Arizona's 2018 GOP Senate nomination. Ward's standing with the right has been bolstered by Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's former political strategist who helped energize her supporters Tuesday at a fundraiser and rally at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas. Ward, a former state senator from Lake Havasu City, lost her 2016 primary bid against incumbent U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and many Republicans still consider her a weak candidate. If she manages to knock off Flake, who has been feuding with Trump, some political observers say she could help deliver the Senate seat to the Democrats in the general election. Because of that possible scenario, Ward is drawing comparisons to past conservative "tea party" challengers such as Sharron Angle of Nevada, Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana, who won Senate primaries but lost seats that more moderate Republicans might have been able to win. And to help Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D. AZ) win this race: Trump's former White House strategist Steve Bannon endorsed Ward at an Arizona campaign event on Tuesday. Ward has campaigned as a strong Trump supporter, attacking Flake's stances on president’s immigration policies. Both Sinema and Flake have supported the DREAM Act, following President Trump's decision to give Congress six months to find a legislative alternative to DACA. Sinema has marketed herself as a fiscally conservative Democrat and is currently a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a congressional coalition of conservative Democrats. “As someone who has a voting record of voting both Republican and Democrat and as the (chief deputy) Democratic whip, she can definitely appeal to Independents and moderate Republicans,” Huff said. Sinema’s moderate stance on key issues and her fiscally conservative voting record makes her an attractive candidate to challenge the Republicans in 2018. Sinema cosponsored the AUDIT Act, which would compel federal agencies to defend their spending in hearings before Congress. She also cosponsored the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would would block congressional salaries if a budget isn't passed for fiscal year 2018. She sponsored the Regulator Improvement Act as well, which would repeal federal regulations for small businesses. But Sinema fought for students struggling with student loans, cosponsoring legislation that allowed students to use federal Pell Grants during summer school and permitted the use of college savings accounts to make necessary school purchases like computers. [...]

AZ-Sen: Kyrsten Sinema (D) Mounts Pressure On Congress To Fix Trump's Sabotage To The ACA

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 22:52:53 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Rep. Krysten Sinema’s (D.AZ) U.S. Senate campaign:

Your response to our mid-month fundraising push last week was amazing. I knew we could count on you to step up in this critical time.

Now we need you to step up again. The current administration’s decision to stop funding cost-sharing reduction payments under the Affordable Care Act is reckless. It will only hurt Arizonans, especially those who are already struggling with rising health care costs.

Arizona deserves better. It’s time for Congress to work together to find a solution that helps hardworking families across the country—sign on to join the fight for quality, affordable health care.

This careless action puts Arizonans’ access to health care at risk, and it could cause premiums to increase by up to 20 percent.

Partisan fights over health care have put the health and lives of Americans at risk. We must stand up to this.

We need a real fix for health care that allows all Arizona families to have access to affordable health care. Add your name to demand Congress and the administration work together for a solution >>>



Click here to add your name.

'She's Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle and Todd Akin all wrapped into one'

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 05:00:15 +0000

Popular vote loser Donald Trump has his mini-fingers all over Arizona’s 2018 Senate race, mostly because Republican incumbent Jeff Flake has not sufficiently genuflected before His Orangeness, even daring to write nasty things about Trumpism in his recent book. Even though Flake votes with Trump almost 100 percent of the time, after Donnie Tic Tac’s rally before a not “packed house” in Phoenix this August, he tweeted: xPhoenix crowd last night was amazing - a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2017 The house was so packed Trump fired the organizer. Bannon, Hannity and other GOP bomb tossers are backing former Arizona legislator Kelli Ward in the Republican senate primary, a move that’s likely to create a shitstorm in the party and, if Ward is the GOP candidate, hand the seat to her Democratic opponent. In 2016, Ward opposed Sen. McCain in the GOP primary, collecting endorsements from crazies like the Oath Keepers, whose founder said McCain should be “hung by the neck until dead.” Ward and goober nation were never reluctant to throw around the word “traitor” to describe McCain, a train wreck of a politician but a legitimate military hero, regardless of 5-Deferment Cheeto’s definition of hero.  There’s the modern Republican party for ya, Kelli Ward’s party—attacking former POWs and Gold Star families. Ward lost her primary against McCain by more than 15 points, then immediately said she’d take on Arizona’s unpopular junior senator in 2018, one of two senate races in 2018 (Nevada’s Dean Heller the other). Jeff Flake is no John McCain, but he hails from a well-known Mormon family that’s been active in Arizona politics for decades, and few of the LDS persuasion will be swayed by Ward's ugly, racist, mean-spirited conspiratorial BS. That being said, polls show Kelli Ward leading McConnell’s pick Jeff Flake by a lot, but with Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema entering the race, the seat is now considered a tossup if Ward is the GOP candidate. Kelli Ward is a despicable propellerhead—no doubt one reason Trump wants her in the US Senate. Exploiting a dying man’s illness, she recently said Sen. McCain should resign because he has brain cancer, and then Gov. Ducey should appoint her to the open seat—something McCain, who detests Ward, would never agree to. Even supporters thought Ward’s vile proposal smelled, but it’s of a piece.  As a state senator Ward opposed Gov. Brewer’s expansion of Medicaid coverage, eventually sponsoring a measure that would limit healthcare for hundreds of thousands of poor families—the most restrictive program in the nation. During Cliven Bundy’s standoff with federal agents, she visited the criminal’s compound to cheer on his grandstanding. She’s sought support from White Nationalists and anti-Semites, and she earned her “Chemtrail Kelli” reputation after using taxpayer money to hold a public meeting so pinhead conspiracy nuts could rant. Speaking of conspiracies, Ward’s been a favorite guest down in Alex Jones’ radio sewer. A loud supporter of Trump’s hateful agenda, she of course wants to “pull Obamacare out by the roots” and build a border wall. She’s friggin’ nuts. All of the hate, bigotry, conspiracy mongering and screwball ideas add up to what political observer Larry Sabato calls a “nightmare candidate” for the GOP. “She’s Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle and Todd Akin all wrapped i[...]

AZ-Gov: David Garcia (D) Slams Doug Ducey (R) For Slashing Teachers' Pay To Reward His Cronies

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 22:39:34 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Arizona State University professor, David Garcia’s (D. AZ) gubernatorial campaign: David Garcia (D. AZ)   Arizona’s Republican Governor limited our teacher’s annual pay raises to LESS than 1%.   But he simultaneously doled out a 20% pay raise to his own staff!!   This cycle of corrupt behavior and attacks on working families is far too common under this Republican administration.   So we need 1O,OOO Democrats to CONDEMN Governor Ducey’s corrupt actions » Under Governor Ducey’s failing leadership, Arizona has consistently ranked one of the MOST corrupt state governments.   Democrat David Garcia is running to defeat him because he knows that Arizonans -- and its teachers -- deserve much better.   This petition is important. It will show Governor Ducey that our grassroots supporters will NOT tolerate a corrupt government.   So please, sign on TODAY and condemn his actions immediately:   We can only beat corruption if we stand united together, Samuel.   -Garcia For Arizona Click here to add your name. [...]

Trump pardoned Sheriff Arpaio, but the court just refused to erase his crimes from the record

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 03:10:57 +0000

Only days after Gold Star family attacker Donald Trump pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on August 25, the sheriff’s attorneys filed a motion to erase Arpaio’s criminal conviction from the history books: "The President’s pardon moots the case, and it warrants an automatic vacatur of all opinions, judgments, and verdicts related to the criminal charge," Arpaio's attorneys said in their Aug. 28 motion. This past July Sheriff Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to end his racist policies after being directed to do so by the court. For nearly a quarter century the bigoted blowhard and his deputies detained and arrested innocent people, indicted judges and lawmakers, harassed journalists, tortured and killed inmates, ran an illegal slush fund, ignored child sex crimes, misspent millions on tanks and shit, spied on enemies, cost taxpayers more than $140 million in settlements for his illegal actions and in general acted like a dictatorial shitheel.  Still, it was a relatively common Arpaio practice—unlawfully stopping brown drivers—that led to his downfall. The 2007 traffic stop of Manuel de Jesús Ortega Melendres, who was in the country legally, ended in a 2013 conviction of Arpaio for racial profiling Hispanics. The court then ordered him to end his bigoted practices—specifically his raids of minority neighborhoods and businesses. He didn’t, he even flaunted his independence and continued his racist BS. Bad idea, which led to this summer’s criminal conviction for ignoring the court, a verdict that could have led to jail time. Enter Trump, the sheriff's birther brother, with his ludicrous pardon, which, by accepting, Arpaio admitted guilt. But while Arpaio's attorneys and Trump’s DOJ argued that the presidential pardon cancels the sheriff’s criminal conviction, US District Judge Susan Bolton ruled today that the only thing the pardon vacates is the penalty. The record stands: In her ruling, Bolton said while Trump's pardon "undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed. It did not, however, 'revise the historical facts' of this case." Judge Bolton’s ruling means more than maintaining the historical record; it means more than always appending “convicted criminal” to every Arpaio story. Even Arpaio’s attorney recognizes that the conviction “could hypothetically be used against him in future legal proceedings.”   One can hope. [...]

Chair of Arizona's Senate Education Committee co-founded a charter school that receives an F grade

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 00:03:41 +0000

You literally can’t make this shit up. It’s bad enough that the chair of Arizona’s Senate Education Committee, Sen. Sylvia Allen, is a far-right religious goober who has at best a high school degree and not a thimble full of common sense; who became virally famous when she said during a Senate hearing that the earth is 6,000 years old; and who suggested that church attendance should be mandatory.

Sen. Allen is also the co-founder of George Washington Academy, a charter school in her town of Snowflake. An avid supporter of charter schools, vouchers and other Koch education measures, she brought the school to town because she and some of her Mormon neighbors did not want to send their children to schools that taught the Common Core curriculum—you know, critical thinking, science, history and all.

This being Arizona, as chair of the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Allen can set state policy governing schools, at the same time she runs and works at a school. That’s right, this dim fanatic directs a character building program at George Washington Academy. Presumably, she teaches kids the wonders of a 6,000-year-old planet where Jesus rode dinosaurs and the Founders modeled their Constitution on the Bible.

With ownership like that, it’s no wonder Sen. Allen’s school just received the lowest grade a school can get in Arizona, an F:

Josselyn Berry, co-director at ProgressNow Arizona, said in a press release this week that Allen "for years preached the benefits of charter schools and vouchers for students and parents, but ironically the school she co-founded has gotten the lowest rating a school can get."

Sen. Allen of course blames the grading system, but that very system is one that she sponsored, which then passed both chambers unanimously. She and other GOP pinheads obviously agreed with the standards outlined in the new grading format, they created them for criminy sake—that is until her school ended up at the bottom. Now it’s “unfair.”

I occasionally tried the same thing in school when I didn’t follow directions and received a failing grade. It didn’t work then either. 

Tucson restaurant owners post Trumpian nonsense on Facebook, karma added to the menu. UPDATE: Closed

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 02:41:20 +0000

Well, that didn’t take long, but what did the owners of Cup It Up American Grill in Tucson expect when they posted a manifesto of Trumpian bullshit on their Facebook page? After all, this is Tucson, one of the more diverse and progressive college towns in the Southwest. You’re sure to alienate current and future patrons if you go writing right-wing nonsense like the Facebook post below (which has been removed): Got that? They “believe in” the Bill of Rights but not the right to protest, which is the very first right listed in the document they profess to honor. They somehow equate respect for Five-Deferment Trump with respect for the military and first responders. This veteran will remind these assholes that it’s perfectly sensible to loathe Trump and honor service members. They have nothing in common. They don’t like hate groups and hate crimes, yet they align themselves with a president who’s been a fellow traveler with hate mongers since the day he announced his candidacy (and well before). They also don’t support ANTIFA, which I guess means they do support FA (fascism). Nazis don’t make their list of bad things. The two owners don’t think late night TV hosts or celebrities should express their political views, but it’s okay for restaurateurs to do so. And their president is a TV something. Oh, they don’t “believe in” global warming. Seriously? Even the dimmest knuckle-draggers in Congress acknowledge that something is seriously out of whack.    You get the picture—typical Republican hypocrisy (but I repeat myself). Almost immediately one of the restaurant’s key partners exited the scene:  Julian Alarcon — Cup It Up’s operating partner and the “architect of the restaurant’s multilayered meals-in-a-cup menu” — said — “submitted his resignation to his partners on Saturday and was working with an attorney to legally untangle himself from the restaurant.” Not good, and in the mere three hours the post was active, the restaurant’s rating on Yelp nosedived from 4.9 to 2—marketing geniuses! Now the owners are considering closing down after the flood of negative comments and business firestorms, including other workers quitting. They say they were blindsided by “this type of animosity and hostility” that greeted their online declaration: “There was nothing that we put in the post that was absolutely wrong and terrible in that we supported our president and our troops.” Sure, wrap your hatred and bigotry in support for the troops. Bull! Most people in Tucson, which is approaching 50 percent Hispanic, know what “Legal immigration” means. A wall. Not a vote winner there.  I’ve already mentioned a few other things they did get “absolutely wrong.” The comment that they favor drug testing for welfare recipients (by “Less Government”) should be added to the list, since studies show the tests are costly, ineffective and unnecessary. Finally, the Cup It Up owners are just hunky dory with robbing tens of millions of people of healthcare and the “entitlements” they’ve paid for—not wise statements in a city where nearly 68 percent of voters are Democrats.  Would you like fries with your karma?  ******************** UPDATE: reported today that Cup It Up has closed. Cup It Up American Grill closed for good on Monday, three days after two of its owners posted a politically-charged statement on Facebook that prompted ang[...]

Phoenix man turns in weapons after Las Vegas, rewarded with threats to self and family

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 21:03:42 +0000

After the tragedy in Las Vegas, 36-year-old Jonathan Pring of Phoenix, a British native, decided he didn’t want to live with two guns in the house any longer—a Walther PK3870 handgun and a Ruger 10/22 rifle. Pring, who owns a local coffeeshop, said he enjoys shooting at the firing range, but after 58 people were murdered in Vegas he didn’t want weapons in the house anymore.

I haven’t touched a gun since Vietnam, so I say good on you Mr. Pring, but the mistake he made—perhaps thinking he might inspire others—was to post his decision on Facebook.

On Tuesday, he called the Phoenix Police Department and voluntarily handed over his guns, documenting the moment with a series of photos on Facebook and a heartfelt message…. "I hope my actions inspire others. If we can achieve a safer world for our children, we will have done a good thing," Pring wrote.

And how do you suppose that went? If you guessed that others praised his decision and decided to turn in their own weapons to “achieve a safer world,” you chose poorly. Instead, his Facebook post generated “a torrent of online abuse, threats, and harassment from gun owners and right-wing fanatics who populate the social network.”

Gun owners not only made fun of Pring’s decision, they openly called for his assassination:

"Someone needs to go shoot this idiot and make him wish he could have defended himself," Brandee L. Harris wrote, her profile photo set to a "Pray for Las Vegas" flag filter.

That sentiment echoes throughout the Facebook comments—that someone needs to show Pring how defenseless he is without his guns. Another concerned citizen found Pring’s home address and not only posted it online, but encouraged others (in ALL CAPS) to break into Pring’s home and threaten his family. Now he’ll regret being gun-less!

After thousands of abusive comments, Pring took down his original post, but it lives online on right-wing, gun-hugger websites. It’s gotten so bad that Pring and his family have temporarily left Phoenix. However, he does have one piece of advice for anyone who attempts to break into his home: He bought a Louisville Slugger.

'God is not necessarily an open borders guy' says pastor who must've forgot about anchor baby Jesus

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:12:06 +0000

Fox contributor Robert Jeffress, a megachurch pastor who has conversations with God that you and I are not privy to, told Fox & Friends today that the Big Guy upstairs supports Donald Trump’s repeal of DACA, as well as a wall along the US-Mexico border. The president’s “evangelical advisors,” some of them Hispanic clergy, encouraged Trump to protect nearly 800,000 Dreamers, but Jeffress told Fox viewers that his colleagues are simply confused about the whole “Christian compassion” thing:

“But while Christian compassion is one consideration, it’s not the only consideration in the immigration problem. I mean, the Bible also says that God is the one who established nations and its borders.”    

So, God works for the Border Patrol, not the churches that, in His name, set out water in the desert so immigrants won’t die. Jeffress went on to say his fellow hand-layers on Trump “are sincerely confused about the difference between the church and government” and “we need to keep those roles distinct”—says the religious nutball who advises a U.S. president. Duh!

Happily for Robert Jeffress, God believes the same things he does, especially about immigration: “God is not necessarily an open borders guy.” Yup, he said that. Forget about Moses leading people across borders in God’s name, forget about Joseph and Mary birthing an anchor baby in a strange land, forget about Jesus’s treks across many open borders, forget about countless biblical verses Jeffress conveniently ignores that command us to care for others, including immigrants.

None of that matters, Jeffress sez so. God also wants a 15 percent corporate tax rate. 

Sheriff Arpaio asks judge to vacate his conviction and other really ballsy sh*t

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 17:26:37 +0000

They might be old and hanging low, but that guy has some cojones. Get this: Within a few days of receiving a presidential pardon, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio cranked up his money-making machine and started to solicit donations online from gullible goobers nationwide, to help pay his legal bills after being convicted of contempt of court. Not only that, Arpaio thought out loud (never a good idea) about taking on Donald Trump’s least favorite Senator, Jeff Flake, in the 2018 primary. Wow, a week ago Joe Arpaio was an 85-year-old has-been, a convicted criminal who was finally defeated at the ballot box. Then a few days later he gets a pardon, arranges for suckers to pay his legal fees, has his mug splashed across TV screens 24/7, and considers running for the U.S. Senate. Some cojones.   As of today they’re even bigger, reports the Arizona Republic: Attorneys for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio asked a U.S. District Court judge on Monday to vacate Arpaio's criminal contempt-of-court conviction in light of his presidential pardon. Arpaio’s lawyers said they’ll appeal if the judge does not vacate the conviction because, according to their motion, “The president’s pardon moots the case, and it warrants an automatic vacatur of all opinions, judgments, and verdicts related to the criminal charge.” No, if the verdict is annulled the pardon is meaningless, like it never happened. A pardon implies an admission of guilt, which should never be forgotten, and there’s no fucking way Trump’s pardon, which was simply a nod to his supremacist base, will change our “opinions [and] judgments” of Joe Arpaio.  The sheriff’s lawyers also argue that he’s not a racist because he was not convicted of racial profiling, despite what many reporters write. True, the recent contempt of court conviction was not about race itself, but it came about because Arpaio ignored a judge’s order to quit being a racist dick. Further, that court order stemmed from the Melendrez civil lawsuit brought by the ACLU, which Arpaio lost and which was about racial profiling.  The phrase “racial profiling” may not appear in the recent guilty verdict that could land Arpaio’s butt in the clinker, but according to Rose Mary Wilcox, a Latina and former county commissioner who successfully sued Arpaio for his politically motivated attacks on her, "No matter how he tries to cover up the words, racial profiling was the underlying cause in both the civil and criminal charges.” Arpaio can claim he’s not a racist, although 24 years of racist policies, practices and lawsuits prove otherwise, and Trump will even back him up, because he knows a thing or two about racists. And there’s this: ’[H]e is loved in Arizona," Trump said. "I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly when they came down with their big decision to go get him, right before the election voting started." No, no he is not loved in Arizona. He is loved by a segment of white retired bigots from elsewhere, as well as our own homegrown rednecks. Arpaio is actually hated in the state’s largest cities—Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Tempe—where he could not get elected dog catcher, which is why his idea of running for U.S. Senate is bonkers: he’d never win a statewide race. Heck, even conservative voters in Maricopa County rejected his sorry ass last year, because he’s not a [...]

Former and pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio is already asking suckers for money

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 17:02:41 +0000

It’s only been a few days since Donald Trump used his presidential pardon authority in the way the founders surely intended: as a political wedge to free a convicted racist and send a message to white supremacists that you have their back. No doubt that’s what Madison and the guys had in mind. It’s not enough that former Sheriff Joe Arpaio won’t face the consequences of his 24-year reign of terror in Maricopa County: murders in his jails, torture, illegal arrests, judicial harassment, racial profiling, illegal campaign schemes, misuse of funds, intimidation. You name it, you can probably find a law that Arpaio broke or an immoral method he used in order to build his police state.  But that’s not enough. Now Arpaio has to rub the pardon in America’s face by asking for cash. He and his online money-making machine have always excelled at fleecing bigoted goobers nationwide, which usually resulted in a war chest ten times larger than his opponent’s. His email solicitations always portrayed him as the victim—of nasty Barack Obama, activist judges and the thugs at DOJ who are coming after Joe because, hey, he’s standing up for you, me and the Constitution! His emails characterize him as the savior of America, waging war against the liberal media, Nancy Pelosi’s goons and the open-border commies in D.C who are out to get him. Save democracy! Build the wall! Send Joe cash! The old grifter is back at it, begging gullible nitwits to pony up because, even though Arpaio is free from federal prosecution, he’s left with a mountain of legal bills and he no longer has a six-figure job after voters sent him packing in November. In past legal battles the sheriff could count on the county, his former employer, to defend him, which is why taxpayers have shelled out around $170 million to pay for the numerous lawsuits Arpaio lost. But this recent contempt of court case that resulted in a guilty verdict was on his dime; the county didn’t defend Arpaio and he’s stuck with the bill, so he’s already sending out email solicitations, writes Ed Montini in today’s Arizona Republic. “While I am humbled and incredibly grateful for this very good news [the pardon], I can't help but be concerned about a bit of bad news I received recently. I am still facing tens of thousands in legal bills from my fight to clear my name… Remember Friend, I am just a retired local law enforcement officer. The only reason you now [sic] my name is because the liberal media decided to launch a national campaign to paint me as a monster for my hard belief in upholding the Constitution and against illegal immigration . . . “ Sure, he’s only a “retired local law enforcement officer” who lives in a big-ass house in tony Fountain Hills, who made more than $100,000 per year as sheriff, who has at least a half million bucks in the bank, who owns a travel agency with his wife and who owns land in Scottsdale worth more than $2 million. Poor boy. It’s not his fault he broke the law, and the “only reason you now [sic] my name” isn’t because he’s such a media hound, with his books, TV shows, pink underwear and other ego-boosting PR bullshit; no, it’s the “liberal media.”   It appears birtherism, bigotry and big neckties are not the only things Joe Arpaio and Donald Trump have in common. Fuck-ups are never their [...]

It's 'ARE-PIE-OH' and he wants to know if the pardon is fake

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 22:53:05 +0000

So I’m watching MSNBC last night and Ari Melber is filling in for Rachel and the news just broke that Trump pardoned that motherfucker, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, when, happily, Ari has on Arizona Rep. Rueben Gallego, my congressman, a young Latino veteran who’s been in Joe Arpaio’s grill for years (one reason he entered politics to begin with), so of course Rep. Gallego knows all about that racist dickhead’s crimes, which is a long, long list, not just the recent contempt of court conviction, and he also knows how to say that motherfucker’s name, which is “ARE-PIE-OH” with the stress on the second syllable, but except for Rep. Gallego half the guests on Ari’s segment (and later into the night) say “ARE-PAY-OH” or they go back and forth between the two pronunciations or they put the accent on the wrong syllable, but if you’re going to denounce and shame that POS, and he deserves it huuugely, those of us in Arizona at least want to hear that guilty name said correctly because, hey, I’ve lived most of my long life in Phoenix and I’ve known that bigot with a badge since he started shitting up our town, from when he beat friend Tom Agnos for county sheriff in 1992 (running, get this, on a cost-saving platform because a lawsuit against Agnos cost the county $4 million—a figure Arpaio soon doubled in just one case when Scott Norberg was killed in his jail and the county had to cough up $8.25 million, and today the number is around $170 million), so you can trust me, I don’t care what it’s spelled like, it’s “ARE-PIE-OH,” a name we’ve heard for far too often in these parts, as he terrorized minorities with his goose-stepping immigration sweeps through businesses and communities, looking for “illegal” burger flippers and car washers for more than 20 years, tearing apart hard-working families while ignoring hundreds of child rape crimes as well as a judge’s order to stop being such a racist dick, ending with Arpaio finally being held to account when he, like Trump, thought he was above the law and could defy a friggin’ court order (or could even spy on the judge’s wife to get dirt), but this time Arpaio couldn’t wiggle out of the verdict by paying a fine, which has been the usual course of action here, with that bigoted bozo costing the people of Maricopa County millions in lost court cases (not counting tens of millions he misspent on tanks and other boy toys), like for killing veterans in his jail or rounding up journalists in the middle of the night because they wrote something nasty about the sheriff, then demanding the newspaper turn over the IP address of all online visitors to the paper’s website, and the First Amendment journalist guys telling Arpaio “Fuck You,” then winning a big lawsuit against him ($3.75 mill) for the illegal middle-of-the-morning rousting, just like all the other judges, elected officials, government workers and families of victims who successfully sued that mofo for illegal arrests, indictments, torture and just plain harassment, as Arpaio and his Sancho Panza sidekick, then County Attorney Andrew Thomas, along with Senate President Russell Pearce and bony-fingered Gov. Jan Brewer, went about building their police state during that 2010 Year of Hate, with racist tea party Obama[...]

Election 2018 - AZ Senate: An Interview With Deedra Abboud

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:22:38 +0000

Last month I interviewed Deedra Abboud, who is running as a Democrat against sitting Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. I have known Deedra for several years online, introduced by a Palestinian man I met at a Muslim/Jewish Peace Walk here in Tucson. I was surprised when she announced that she is running for the Senate, and finally met her in person earlier this summer at a meet and greet at a Tucson coffee shop. When I had the idea of interviewing her, she was very gracious. We arranged to talk by phone. Even with my acquaintance with her, I was impressed with her answers. So were the man who transcribed the recording for me and his girlfriend, who edits the Planned Parenthood blog I write for. 

Deedra is from Arkansas and speaks with a slight drawl. When she gives a speech, dressed in bright colors and a hijab, she often jokes that her listeners were probably expecting a different accent. She has pledged not to accept corporate contributions.

In the first part of the interview I asked about her background, especially the advocacy work she did for years before opening her law practice in 2012. Then I had made a list of unrelated subjects to ask her to comment on. She had not received the questions in advance, and her answers showed a familiarity with many issues and their significance.

I present the interview with a minimum of editing.

Arizona's ethnic studies ban declared unconstitutional

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 16:26:03 +0000

This story starts as far back as 2010, when Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne, got his knickers in a twist because Tucson Unified School District, which is about 60 percent Latino, was teaching courses that honored Mexican-American culture—history, literature, politics, art. It’s fair to say that it’s impossible to have a good grasp of Arizona history without knowing Latino history, since this place was Mexico until the mid-19th century.  Superintendent Horne originally claimed that the Tucson courses were teaching Hispanics to hate white people, so the Republican legislature, at his behest, passed a law that prohibited schools to offer classes that "promote the overthrow of the United States government; promote resentment toward a race or class of people; are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group; advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."  I always wondered how you could teach Native American history here without “promot[ing] resentment,” considering what Europeans did to the original inhabitants, but that’s another diary. When Horne was elected Attorney General in 2011, playing his “tough on immigrants” card, former legislator John Huppenthal became school superintendent, and continued to lash out against the popular program in Tucson. (Popular and successful: students who took the ethnic studies class performed better.) Civil rights organizations and teachers filed suit, claiming the new law was designed for racial reasons only, and over the next five years the case traveled back and forth between different courts, with parts of the law being sustained and parts stricken. After the last appeal, which challenged the law’s fundamental racial basis, it was sent back to Judge A. Wallace Tashima at the U.S. District Court for Arizona, who issued his ruling this morning: A U.S. District Court judge on Tuesday ruled that an Arizona law passed to stop Mexican-American studies classes in Tucson schools was enacted for racial and political reasons and is therefore unconstitutional.   Judge Tashima said part of the evidence for the racial motivation stems from Superintendent Huppenthal’s online sockpuppet blog posts, where he anonymously supported the ban and made dozens of outrageous statements, like comparing the Tucson teachers to Hitler. As we reported here at the time, when Blog for Arizona broke the story that it was Huppenthal behind the appallingly racist and historically inaccurate posts, he didn’t even win the GOP primary for his next election. Tom Horne also lost his primary in the AG race. Huppenthal lost, Horne lost, Arpaio lost and the ethnic studies program is alive. Sweet!     [...]

AZ-Gov: Steve Farley (D) Mounts Pressure On Trump Not To Pardon Joe Arpaio

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 23:57:14 +0000

Received this e-mail today from State Senator Steve Farley’s (D. AZ) gubernatorial campaign:

State Senator Steve Farley (D. AZ)


Trump is using his power to play politics with Arizona’s justice system.

Presidential pardons are to be reserved for special instances, not to stop racist criminals from serving time for their crimes.

But President Trump is “seriously considering” a Presidential pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of violating a court order as a sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona. He continued to use illegal racial profiling tactics to target immigrants around Arizona in defiance of a federal judge.

As a sheriff for 24 years, Arpaio continually chose his own right-wing, racist agenda over the law, bringing shame to our great state of Arizona.

This is outrageous. A pardon from Trump would be an official endorsement of blatant racism by the White House.

Add your name to the petition and join the fight against clear cut racism by our President.

President Trump cannot be allowed to interfere with the Arizona justice system. The American people deserve to know that those who blatantly disregard the law will be held accountable. Perhaps that is something President Trump should pause to consider.

Law enforcement agencies around our country rely on public trust to keep our streets safe. When our officials are found guilty of crimes that violate public trust, they must be held accountable.

I am running for governor of Arizona and am calling out Trump. I will not sit idly by and allow the President to pardon his racist friends and ignore our legal system. Will you join me?

Add your name and tell President Trump: NO PARDONS for racists.

Keep up the fight,


Steve Farley
Assistant Minority Leader- Arizona State Senate
Candidate for Governor

Click here to add your name.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey won't attend Trump's Phoenix rally on Tuesday

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 22:36:43 +0000

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona will not take the stage tomorrow when Trump speaks in Phoenix. Previously, when candidate Trump visited Arizona, the Koch Boys’ favorite elected official was usually on hand to welcome him, along with Sheriff Joe Arpaio. There was a time a presidential visit would also attract the state’s U.S. senators, especially if they’re of the same party. Nah, not this time. McCain isn’t hero enough and Flake’s got a book to sell. Plus, Trump will probably use the occasion to campaign for Flake’s far-right primary challenger, “Chemtrail Kelli” Ward, Alex Jones’s favorite politician. Criminal lawman Joe Arpaio will probably be there, hoping the orange shitstain will grant him a pardon from his contempt of court guilty verdict. If Trump does nullify the federal conviction, it’s possible state lawmakers will find or invent another infraction that the president cannot pardon. As Democrat Sen. Martin Quezada said about a possible Arpaio pardon, “We can’t stand by and let that happen!” So while Ducey’s been fellating Trump’s immigration and healthcare policies, in a state where Trumpcare would’ve kicked 700,000 to the curb, he’s decided to skip the unpopular president’s big circus. Still, he will greet Trump beforehand on the airport tarmac—a nod to the state’s far-right crazy base that still adores the Supremacist in Chief (and fondly remembers Jan Brewer’s presidential tarmac performance, right-wing sponge-worthy shit). Ducey wants to have it both ways: appear with Trump for an early photo-op when it’s so noisy no one can hear the president, but not appear with Trump when he slithers into his racist gutter, in a state that will soon be majority minority. Gov. Ducey’s spokesperson said the ice cream man has a good excuse: The Guv will be working with law enforcement Tuesday to make sure everything stays peaceful. "Gov. Ducey's focus has been working with law enforcement toward a safe event in downtown Phoenix for all those involved and in the area. That will continue to be his priority during the event and afterwards."   Got that? Gov. Ducey will be too busy spearheading the policing of downtown in order to appear onstage with the president. What a guy—looking out for us! I feel safer already. I guess next week we’ll see Gov. Ducey working as a crossing guard at the baseball game.  [...]

Arizona officials at city, state and federal levels protest Trump's planned Phoenix rally

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:23:44 +0000

I suppose Trump thinks because he won Arizona, and because his political godfather Joe Arpaio reigned over Maricopa County for more than two decades, that downtown Phoenix is the ideal place to hold a rally—in order to get his mojo back. He couldn’t be more wrong, and he’s been wrong a lot. Central Phoenix is Democratic, progressive, diverse and the opposite of everything Donald Trump represents. Our mayor is a Democrat as is most of the city council, half of them Hispanic; all of our state legislators are Democrats, mostly women; our congressional representative, Ruben Gallego, is a Latino veteran who is one of Trump’s harshest critics. Trump will be speaking near the Chinese Cultural Center and Cesar Chavez Plaza, and other nearby venues celebrate Black theater and Native American culture. Bottom line: We embrace our diversity, it’s our strength and the reason many of us live here. We don’t have a problem calling out Nazis. When Trump first said he’d hold a rally in Phoenix this Tuesday, an early voice of dissent was Mayor Greg Stanton, who urged the president to reconsider, since the tragedy in Charlottesville was only days old. Mayor Stanton was on Rachel Maddow last night, saying he fears more violence in a state where any yahoo can walk around with an AK-47 strapped to his side. He also said Trump’s people never responded to his request to cancel the event and it’s going ahead as planned. Joining Mayor Stanton, Arizona congressmen Ruben Gallego, Tom O’Halleran and Raul Grijalva also wrote Trump, asking him to stay away, and don’t even think about pardoning Sheriff Arpaio, who was recently convicted of criminal contempt of court for acting like Trump, i.e., thinking he’s above the law. Trump recently floated the idea of pardoning the criminal lawman because he’s a “great American patriot” who “doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.” I doubt if Trump ever asked the people Arpaio killed, tortured, blackmailed, spied on, arrested or detained illegally if they “deserved” their treatment. So this morning several state legislators and community leaders came together to urge Trump to reconsider his Phoenix trip.  "(Trump) should delay the visit here and respect the people who were affected in Charlottesville last week, especially the family that lost their daughter," said state Sen. Catherine Miranda, referring to 32-year-old Heather Heyer, killed Saturday after a car crashed into demonstrators protesting a white-supremacy rally in the Virginia city. "The message I’m getting is that he’s going to continue to condone racism and hatred by coming here and pardoning the most racist sheriff in the nation," the Phoenix Democrat said. Other elected officials, faith leaders and civil rights organizations are singing from the same playbook: Stay the heck home! We don’t want you! And if you’re coming here to toot an even louder dog whistle to your white supremacist base by pardoning the most notorious racist lawman in the nation, whose birtherism and felony conviction for racial profiling are embraced by the bigots, then all hell will break loose, says Sen. Martin Quezada: "To have (Arpaio) finally be held accountable for the h[...]

Trump endorses 'Chemtrail Kelli' in Arizona Senate primary against 'WEAK' Jeff Flake

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:42:06 +0000

Draft-dodging pinhead Donald Trump just can’t quit Arizona politics. Earlier this week he floated the idea of pardoning Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently convicted of criminal contempt of court for acting like he’s above the law—taking a page from Trump’s playbook. Every time the urine-headed puffball spoke in central Arizona during the campaign, his political Godfather Joe Arpaio was right beside him, Birther Brothers in arms. Arpaio, says Trump, is a “great American patriot” who “doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.” Trump never asked inmates who died in Arpaio’s jails, or innocent people hauled off the streets, if they “deserve to be treated this way.” Even though Arizona Congressmen Raul Grijalva, Rueben Gallego and Tom O’Halleran have urged Trump not to pardon Sheriff Arpaio, I don’t doubt the popular-vote loser will set the old coot free, even though, in addition to the recent guilty verdict, Arpaio is also a convicted felon (racial profiling), a thug who falsely arrested journalists, a con-man who ran an illegal campaign scheme, and an expensive crappy lawman to boot.   So Trump is holding a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday at which we can expect to see Sheriff Arpaio in his usual capacity—introducing a fellow birther and bigot while the swastikas wave. Trump will rev up the crowd with stories about brown people jumping the border to rape your mother, steal your job and take advantage of free healthcare. Then they will vote (illegally, millions of them) for Democrats. Yesterday, Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva sent a YouTube message explaining why he’ll be in Phoenix on Tuesday to protest Trump’s appearance (the whole 6-minute YouTube talk is worth a listen). Rep. Grijalva asked Trump to stay away, as did Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. He won’t, of course, and he’ll pardon Arpaio, of course. If his performance at Trump Tower this week wasn’t a loud enough message to white supremacists, pardoning the nation’s No. 1 anti-immigrant elected racist should should be a pretty clear signal to even the dimmest hitlerite.  But wait, there’s more! No states Republican senators have given Trump more guff than Arizona’s John McCain and Jeff Flake. Neither endorsed Trump during the GOP primary and both have continued to speak critically of him. Not-hero John McCain famously tanked the Obamacare repeal and Flake’s been on the talk shows this week promoting his new book, which does not say nice things about President Trump. The far-right in Arizona has always had a problem with McCain, and every six years he’s primaried by a looney who gets that equally looney 30 percent of the GOP but little more. In 2016, former Arizona legislator Dr. Kelli Ward, a hard-right killer of all things good who feels right at home on Alex Jones’s radio sewer, opposed McCain in what the national press called one of the dirtiest races in the country. Ward adopted nearly every rightwing conspiracy theory, visited criminal rancher Cliven Bundy to help him face off against Big Government, and sidled up to nutballs like the Oathkeepers, whose founder said McCain should be “hung by the neck until dead[...]

Unpopular Musings on John McCain's true Legacy

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:32:58 +0000

Stop reading right here if you’re going to start crying about #toosoon or chide me for “being like” the GOP.  I do not believe in whitewashing the legacy of my Senator. I have seen numerous postings of McCain taking the microphone from a woman calling Obama an Arab Muslim as his “shining moment.” How sad! Given everything he did prior to and after that “shining moment” you should note that McCain voted in lockstep with the Tea Party, Birthers, and Racists but used nicer language. Let’s turn back the clock to 2008...John McCain had a problem on his hands. He voted against Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday National Holiday in 1983, 1987, 1989 and 1994 … x x YouTube Video Voted NO on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009) Voted NO on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package. (Feb 2009) Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996) Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996) Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995) Voted YES on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995) Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001) Require 90 day delay for compliance before ADA lawsuits. (May 2002) Limit interstate class-action lawsuits to federal courts . (May 2002) Rated 0% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002) Rated 33% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights. (Dec 2006) Rated 7% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006) Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002) Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001) Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000) More death penalty; stricter sentencing. (Jan 2000) More community policing; enough hate crime laws. (Jan 2000) Prosecute youths as adults, but separately; explore sources. (Jan 2000) Endorses teaching intelligent design in schools. (Oct 2007) Teaching creationism should be decided by school districts. (Jun 2007) Merit pay & competency testing for teachers. (Jun 1999) Allow appealing HMO decisions externally & in court. (Jul 1999) Voted YES on the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts. (May 2011) Voted YES on regulating tobacco as a drug. (Jun 2009) Voted NO on expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program. (Jan 2009) Voted NO on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D. (Feb 2006) Voted YES on rejecting racial statistics in death penalty appeals. Vote to express that the Omnibus Crime bill [H.R. 3355] should reject the Racial Justice Act provisions, which would enable prisoners appealing death penalty sentences to argue racial discrimination using sentencing statistics as part of their appeal. Reference: Bill S 1935 ; vote number 1994-106 on May 11, 1994 Supported CA Prop. 209, canceling affirmative action quotas On the campaign trail in 1999, when McCain was asked whether he supported California's controversial Proposition 209, a ballot initiative striking down affirmative action quotas, he said: "I support the conce[...]

Real Arizonans Aren't Racist

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 23:41:49 +0000

I was born in south Scottsdale, directly across the road from the Salt River Reservation. My best friends in elementary school included kids of Mexican and Native American descent. We were in Cub Scouts and team sports together. I played at their houses just as much as they played at mine. Not once did I ever stop and consider them any different, let alone less, than me. We grew up equals. My parents are republicans. Sometimes I suspect they still write-in Eisenhower for president. Dad would have spanked me back to the stone age if I ever treated anyone with disrespect based on the color of their skin. I was taught to celebrate our rich diversity in Arizona. Many’s the time I met new friends because my parent went to a BBQ or party on rez land. I quickly understood the importance of understanding children , my age, that didn’t live like I did. There was no better or worse. Hell, half the time I was envious because they had great tree forts, horses and river bottoms to play in and I was stuck in suburbia. But those experiences also led me to think that something was wrong. About once a month, it seems in my memory, my bedroom would fill up with blue and red lights at night that woke me up. I lost track of the times that someone would get hit on Pima Road trying to get back to the reservation. I asked my dad why there aren’t more cross walks or pedestrian bridges to keep people safe? I asked him why the roads weren’t better when we crossed into rez territory? The seeds of the realization of systematic oppression were planted. My Mexican American friends had it better off. They seemed to have more support from the system. Their mom’s and dads worked at the Motorola plant too. I never got the hint that Arizona did anything less than cherish it’s Hispanic background. And then thing started to change. By high school, to be born in Arizona was to be part of a minority. My new friends(new school) didn’t have the same cultural exposure that I had. I knew people that never met a native, let alone went hiking and fishing with them. By the time I was out of high school, I met my first racist. He was my boss. He was talking shit about a co-worker who wasn’t there to defend himself. I stood up for him and was fired. That co-worker was black. That’s when I knew I had to use my childhood as the moral basis for living in an adult world. I liked the feeling I had for standing up for someone who could not defend themselves, especially standing up against something as repugnant as racism. I know when we received our reputation for being racist. It was in the years that you started having to go visit or work in communities that didn’t exist when we were kids. Towns like Sun City West, Anthem and Oro Valley filled up with people that weren’t from Arizona. And things got ugly. Or maybe I grew up and paid more attention. I now have to defend Black Lives Matter to angry old white men who think outrage at killing unarmed American citizens is the same as saying that cops don’t matter.  I have to stand up against the idea that Mexicans( it’s not Mexicans or Mexican Americans, no matter how many generation[...]

Tales From The Woe'd

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 15:17:21 +0000

“Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person. My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”   Thomas Paine

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been verbally assaulted over my political views these days. Mostly, it’s easy to put up with, as they’ve graduated from the Limbaugh School of Debate and Reasoning. When they find out that I’m a lefty, out come the wicked barbs and out comes my logic.

The most intense time was when a guy threw and hit me with a pint of beer. Then he tried to kick me in the butt as I was walking away, slipped on the spilled beer and fell down. OK, that was funny. But the point is, it all started when I said I don’t believe half the b.s. about HRC. It seems that if you don’t listen to Coast to Coast, your not informed of the truth.

I think it’s that there’s nothing a ‘publican hates more than a politician who out performs a republican. Anyone remember Janet Napolitano? How large was our surplus?

When your surrounded, 30,000 to 1, it takes a liberal amount of patience to put up with them all. The irony is, Yavapai County is home to the bluest town in Az. The mayor told me once that there was one registered (R) in Jerome. It’s a nice bastion of rationality. But hanging out there makes me soft. I have to be ready at the drop of a hat (or beer bottle) to tell someone, “There’s nothing sadder than a poor republican”.

Arizona legislator: 'One thing I would like to repeal is the law on compulsory education'

Tue, 02 May 2017 04:17:19 +0000

Arizona Republicans appear to be locked in a contest to determine who can say the stupidest, cruelest thing about education. A few days ago I wrote about House Majority Leader John Allen, who actually said Arizona teachers work two jobs so they can “buy a boat”—not because the state has the lowest salaries in the nation, and teachers need the extra cash just to get by. Rather than address the pay problem, Rep. Allen and other GOP flunkies blame the victims. Well, today Rep. Allen has competition. Here’s a real quote, not taking anything “out of context,” from Republican Paul Mosley, a fundy nutball who represents deep red Lake Havasu City: “Education used to be a privilege,” he told Hank Stephenson of the Arizona Capitol Times. “People used to believe getting an education was something you had to be privileged to get, that you had to work hard to get. Now we basically force it down everybody’s throats.”  Damn, the nerve of government, “forcing” education on everyone, instead of just providing it to the privileged. Why can’t Arizona be more like Niger, where education is a privilege, where only a fraction of the population is literate. They’re not “forcing” kids into the classroom for 12 years! And look at how well an uneducated public has served their economy and quality of life. If Rep. Mosley were in charge of education policy, he wouldn’t force anything down anyone’s throat, except his belief that the 16th century was hunky dory: “The number one thing I would like to repeal is the law on compulsory education …,” he told Stephenson. “I believe education is still a privilege, and the kids who don’t want to be there are a larger distraction to the kids who do want to be there.” Mind you, repealing compulsory education is his “number one thing.” It’s not just a concept he’s thought about casually—it’s his main concern, the reason he’s in office. See, in Rep. Mosley’s warped fundamentalist universe, where 8th grade is sufficient and girls don't even need that, education is “still a privilege” to be entered into only by the right people. And these privileged types shouldn't have to put up with kids who’d rather be outside playing ball—who only create a “larger distraction” for the good people. Those of you who don’t want to be in school, which was about 95% of my friends in 3rd grade, shouldn’t be forced to be learnin’ stuff (and you should know this when you’re eight). Why do you need algebra, chemistry, history, literature or other useless information in order to be Walmart greeters, convenience store clerks, burger flippers or good fundy wives. Or Republican voters. Nor do you need pesky critical thinking classes that might tell you how much you’re getting screwed. Arizona Democrats regularly point out that the legislature and Gov. Ducey are trying to destroy public education. Rep. Mosley has a solution: Why bother? There aren't enough facepalms left. [...]

An actual, real-life Arizona legislator said teachers work 2 jobs not to get by, but to buy a boat

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:08:57 +0000

Arizona’s education system has looked a lot like the for-profit nightmare Betsy DeVos has in mind for the rest of the nation long before Donald Trump heard of her. The state is charter school central, a less-than-successful experiment that goes back to the ‘90s. It’s produced some good charters and satisfied parents, but at the expense of a strong public system, which has been hammered. The chamber of commerce bungholes who promote school choice rank Arizona #1 in the USA—not because most important educational measurements are good, but because the political climate is so favorable to charters and religious schools. And profit. It’s getting crappier, despite what Gov. Ducey and the GOP choir at the legislature say. Over the past decade, no state has cut public education more than Arizona, to the point prison spending has surpassed the Ed budget. Teacher pay is the lowest in the nation, and the teacher-student ratio is among the country’s worse. Even Republican education head Diane Douglas wants more money. But this session, rather than give schools what they need, the legislature and governor passed an enhanced voucher program that will take money from struggling schools so parents in wealthier districts can send their children to out-of-district private institutions. Superintendents and education associations regularly point out that the state can’t keep good teachers because the pay is so shitty, with thousands of unfilled jobs this year. There’s lots of talk about new revenue streams for higher school budgets, like Prop 123, but the outcomes have been less than sponge worthy, and the state still finds itself near the barrel’s bottom.  Rather than increase the state appropriation to something just approaching national norms, so districts can address the teacher shortage by raising salaries, GOP lugs just pushed through a new law, without one D vote, that will significantly lower the standards for certification, allowing work experience to substitute for training. Hey, let’s make teacher certification as lax as our gun laws! What could go wrong? Democrat Sen. Steve Farley said the bill will lower teacher standards and dodge the underlying problems regarding the state's low funding of schools and low teacher wages that he and teachers say are driving them out of classrooms and causing the teacher shortage. So this week, during a hearing on education, the House Majority Leader, Republican John Allen, who online appears to be a real-life human being, said this when he was reminded that many teachers in Arizona work a second job just to get by: “They’re making it out that anyone who has a second job is struggling. That’s not why many people take a second job. They want to increase their lifestyles. They want to improve themselves. They want to buy a boat.” And here I thought my teacher friends were grading papers, working a second job or taking required graduate-school classes when they said they were busy, but all this time they were partying on their boat! They h[...]

Republicans REALLY don't like people exercising their right to protest in Arizona. Too bad.

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 22:03:25 +0000

Combine a historically unpopular urine-headed president with a governor and state legislature doing their best to dismantle public education, eliminate women’s clinics, destroy the environment and do away with affordable healthcare, and people are going to protest. Even small-town conservative newspapers in Arizona are giving their knuckle-dragging elected representatives an earful, and citizens statewide are showing up to protest the dangerous clown in DC, who makes Mel Brooks’ governor in Blazing Saddles look gifted. At marches, demonstrations and town halls more voters are holding office holders accountable for the Republicans’ lies and stupidity, like the border wall BS, which Arizona’s leadership has mostly embraced. In response to the grassroots pushback, the frightened pinheads at the legislature are creating new laws to restrict citizens’ rights to assemble and protest, and they monitor us when we do. Because terror or something says the border security sales literature. The GOP’s attempts to stifle dissent blew up on the front pages last summer when Donald Trump made a campaign stop in Fountain Hills, a tony suburb of gated communities about 30 miles northeast of Phoenix. TrumpLand. Protesters blocked the main highway to the rally, delaying it more than an hour. The state senator who represents the district, John Kavanagh, a former NY cop often in cahoots with chief shithead Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who also lives in Fountain Hills), got his knickers all knotted because his Big Trump Circus was interrupted by loud, mostly brown immigrant-rights protesters.  So what’s an intolerant peckerhead to do? Pass a law, natch. Not satisfied with the 30-day jail sentence already on the books for blocking traffic to political events, Kavanagh’s bill, which Gov. Ducey signed, increased the penalty to six months and a $2,500 fine. C’mon man! Even 30 days is ridiculous for blocking traffic. Oh, I forgot, the criminals are brown. Oh, I also forgot, you’re a toady for the private-prison industry. But, hey, people could still protest without getting arrested if they didn’t block traffic, so Mordor Nation had to invent new restrictions on speech, especially after more than 20,000 showed up for Phoenix’s Women’s March, as did about 15,000 in Tucson. So Kavanagh and a gaggle of other senate goobers crafted their next assault on the First Amendment, a bill that holds protest organizers, as well as anyone who shows up to demonstrate, responsible for the actions of everyone. If some knucklehead breaks a window, your property or other assets could be seized if you’re part of the same protest. So you might as well stay home. The Arizona Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that makes participating in or helping organize a protest that turns into a riot an offense that could lead to criminal racketeering charges, legislation Republican backers say is needed to crack down on violent protesters. First, there is next to no evidence of “violent protest[...]

Supreme Court Opinion on Prayer - Violated in Arizona House?

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:46:03 +0000

This week the first openly Atheist member in the Arizona House, Athena Salman, was rebuked for her prayer on grounds that it did not specifically reference a “higher power”.  This requirement is apparently a new rule, likely added in response to prayers given in the past.  This year is Representative Salman’s first term, but in previous years her predecessor, Rep Mendez (recently elected to the state Senate) has irritated his House colleagues with his non-standard prayers — notably quoting Carl Sagan in one.  In response to last year’s prayer, the Az House Majority Leader ordered that the prayer by Mendez be followed immediately by a “proper prayer” from a reverend.   The Az state House of Representatives opens each legislative session with a prayer/invocation.  The rules allow each lawmaker to participate, in rotating turns, or they may choose to skip their turn.  The prayer given by Representative Salman contained no slur or offensive poke in the eye for believers.  But they couldn’t let it go, because this was an opportunity for conservatives to make sure she knew they do not respect her beliefs enough to simply listen quietly when it is her turn. At first this didn’t strike me as a significant event.  But the more I read and think about it, the more I wonder if it might be worthy of a legal challenge.  When the Supreme Court ruled, in May 2014, to uphold prayer at government meetings, Justice Kennedy provided the following opinion: The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce non-believers In the Az House, the rotating turn allows each legislator the chance to offer their own inspirational message.  In such a system of rotating turns, any legislator should be allowed to do so; and their heartfelt prayer/invocation should be at least respected.  Creating rules that exclude prayer from non-believers, and rebuking rather than respecting them, seems to be in violation of what Justice Kennedy wrote. That technical point aside, the bigger issue is the disrespect this action showed for Representative Salman’s beliefs.  That’s a problem for our country and this state.  As she explained at a rally later this week: Opening prayers in the House should represent Arizonans of every faith's perspective.  This includes the hundreds of thousands of Arizonans who, like myself, do not believe in a supernatural god, but do believe in the power of humanity to do good in the world. Here is Representative Salman’s original prayer, as spoken on the floor of the Arizona state House: Take a moment to look around you at the people gathered here today. We come from a variety of backgrounds and interests, but the passion that ignites us; the fire that burns within us; is similar. We all seek to form "a more perfect union," creating change [...]

Conservative small-town Arizona paper calls 3 GOP legislators 'enemies of public education'

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:59:30 +0000

It’s heartening to see the turnout and protests at congressional town halls. The public and the press must also hold state and local officials responsible when they say and do stupid shit, which, in Arizona, is often.  Last week the local paper in Payson, population about 15,000, weighed in on an education measure that Gov. Ducey recently signed. This POS will raise the ceiling on the number of education vouchers the state can issue. There’s no new money for these “Empowerment Scholarship Accounts,” so the $4,500 per student comes out of the already paltry public school budget. The program was created for special needs students, then it expanded to serve the poor and now it’s open to everyone. You can guess who’s behind the expansion—the state’s powerful for-profit school juggernaut, which sees a lot more customers with nearly $5,000 in hand. The voucher pinheads say the system benefits the poor, allowing parents to remove children from struggling schools and send them to better districts. It’s not working out that way, not by a long shot. Most of the money is being used by families in affluent areas, where the schools are good, to send their kids out of district to pricey private schools. See a pattern? Nearly every major education package these bozos at the legislature pass benefits for-profit and religious schools, along with their dark money backers, who give liberally to the Republicans in charge of framing education policy: The top spender: the American Federation for Children, a dark-money group that is pushing to have ever larger amounts of public money diverted to pay for private school tuition or given to parents in the form of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, to use as they see fit to educate their children.  Last week, when Gov. Ducey signed the bill that raided the public school budget—again—in order to steer more money to vouchers, he said he “really sees value in expanding school choice,” although Arizona’s well-documented history shows that this “value” is mostly corporate, not public. The people who push school choice rank Arizona #1 in the nation because of the political support for charters, at the same time the state is near the bottom in nearly every educational measurement. So where is the “value” in expanding a failing system even more? [...]

Arizona legislature says member's prayer is a wee bit short of the God thing

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:31:12 +0000

I suppose the legislature in Arizona isn’t the only one in the nation that begins each session with a prayer—never mind that church and state thing. But when your elected officials are mostly white and mostly fundy Christian, with a big helping of the Mormon, you can darn well bet you’re going to start your day appealing to one of the Big Dudes. It doesn’t matter which Dude you invoke, apparently, but there has to be at least one, says House Majority Leader John Allen, a Republican from Scottsdale. He reminded members this week that he issued orders outlining what constitutes a real prayer. Specifically, it must “invoke a higher power.”  And if you don’t happen to have a higher power in your life, then your prayer should instruct other members to “focus on theirs.” Otherwise, just don’t sign up to give the morning prayer. Leave it to the pros. Rep. Allen and other godly officials got their Deuteronomy in a dingle this week when Rep. Athena Salman, a Democrat from Tempe, had the nerve to ignore The One and appeal to humanity in her morning prayer. Here’s just a taste of Salman’s sacrilegious invocation: In a nation often eager to be polarized in its views, allow us in this moment to recognize what we have in common: A deep-seated need to help create a more just and positive world. As we speak today, remember that commonality. Remember the humanity that resides within each and every person here, and each and every person in the city, and in all people in the nation and world as a whole. In the words of former President of Illinois Wesleyan University Minor Meyers, Jr., “Go forth and do well, but even more, go forth and do good.” Sheesh, she wants to “create a more just” world; she asks other members to remember that humanity “resides within each and every person”; she invokes the words of a university president—a school founded by Methodists—to encourage us to “go forth and do good.” Well, those words were too deficient of the God stuff for Rep. Mark Finchem, a Republican from tony Oro Valley. He was given permission by the House Speaker to attach an addendum to Rep. Salman’s statement, so he tacked on Jesus.  Whew, saved! Now, with God on their side, these bozos can get back to work eliminating healthcare for vulnerable families, destroying public schools in poorer districts, ripping immigrant families apart by deporting mothers and fathers, cutting school nutrition programs, ruining our fragile environment, and abolishing food stamps for low-income Arizonans. Thank you, Jesus!   [...]

Alex Jones resurrects debunked Joe Arpaio nutball theory to support Trump's wiretap claim

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 07:15:57 +0000

This epic boondoggle feels like a bad Victorian novel, with about nineteen hundred players, most of them ruthless bastards who lie and cheat their way to the top. In this case, the very top, as in The President of the United States. What links these devious pricks, from the current White House occupant to garden-variety criminals, is former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the racist policies he’s most identified with: immigrant bashing and birtherism.

That old turd’s stink just won’t go away, even after his bigly drubbing at the ballot box last year. This week Arpaio announced a new organization that’ll do something—“what” he isn’t sure—if nativists everywhere just send him money. Now another debunked Arpaio stunt, one that’s right up there with birtherism (he’s still a believer), has resurfaced on “InfoWars” to justify Trump’s claim that Obama spied on him. 

Last month, March 19 and 20, Alex Jones took time out from pissing on Sandy Hook victims to hawk another wacko theory—this one concocted by Sheriff Arpaio’s flunkies, probably to disguise their incompetent, obviously unethical and perhaps illegal “investigative” work. Although this nutter conspiracy was disproven by the press and disavowed by the people who once believed it, Jones now calls it proof that “they were spying on Trump.”

Proposals for Trump's border wall are in, and some are doozies

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 19:17:59 +0000

I half considered replying to the Request for Proposals that Homeland Security circulated for companies to build Trump’s multi-billion-dollar border wall. Perhaps a wall made from ocotillo limbs, like the fences the Tohono O’odham erected, would not only suffice but be culturally appropriate, since their reservation spans the US and Mexico (they reject the wall through their Nation in no uncertain terms). Or we could pile all the shit Trump’s been spewing in his first months, and create a monster wall that could be seen from space. The deadline for responding to the RFP, though, was Tuesday, and I didn’t qualify because one stipulation says your company must have completed a similar security project worth at least $25 million. The most I’ve done is hang a smoke detector in our condo. On the other hand, there are hundreds of unprincipled and money-grubbing companies who did file an application, although at least one business applied under a different name because its employees thought the project so distasteful that there could be negative repercussions.   With as many as 400 companies expected to meet today’s deadline and turn in their proposals to build President Trump’s border wall, some of the ideas already floated are off the charts: Think “Solar Panel Wall” and “Monorail Wall” and “Nuclear Waste Wall.” By June 1, as many as ten proposals are expected to be approved for the next round, where each bidder will receive up to $500,000 to build a 30-foot prototype near San Diego.  One proposal would pay for the boondoggle by selling memorials that people can apply to the wall. It appears the idea is to sell wall plaques, the way some museums or libraries do, but all I could imagine was something like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, only with the names of people killed crossing the border. Other proposals run a walkway or even a monorail along the top of the wall, because we know how busy that Yuma-Nogales-El Paso corridor is! More than a few bidders propose using solar power panels—a twofer that creates a barrier while producing clean energy. At least one proposal combines a monorail and solar, powering the train with the energy produced (although Trump prefers a coal-powered train). Speaking of energy, a Pittsburgh company suggests burying toxic nuclear waste along the border as a deterrent. I imagine it would deter immigrants, but it would likely deter anyone from living there too. I’m attracted to the bid submitted by the Otra Nation, which suggests a hyper-loop train system, but no permanent wall, that would “Create a resilient response to the current issues surrounding the border between the United States of America and Mexico, through the creation of the world’s first Regenerative Open Co-nation.” Essentially, they’re establishing their own country along the border, focusing on health, the econ[...]

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio launches new organization as his lawyer quits his criminal trial

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 18:55:38 +0000

On Sunday I noticed that new Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone participated in Phoenix’s annual Pride Parade, not something former Sheriff Joe Arpaio ever did. Usually he’d show up at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade or Columbus Day Parade in a friggin’ tank or something. To show us how tough he is. I didn’t see Arpaio at the Pride Parade dressed in a rainbow outfit, but we could see him soon dressed in prisoner’s garb, if the 84-year-old coot is convicted in the criminal contempt trial that begins later this month. The likelihood of that just increased, as Arpaio’s attorney has stepped down. Just three weeks from former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's criminal contempt trial, lead defense attorney Mel McDonald has asked to withdraw from the case. The article doesn’t explain why McDonald withdrew, only that his decision is “mandatory” under an ethical rule. But this wouldn’t be the first time an attorney has quit defending this bigoted, immoral con-man. In 2015, as Arpaio’s civil contempt trial was starting, his attorney quit on the very first day, and the sheriff was eventually found guilty of disobeying court orders to stop racial profiling. The trial that begins in a few weeks is a continuation of the civil contempt verdict, and if the judge finds Arpaio guilty of willfully violating the court orders, rather than just being a jackass administrator, his butt could end up in the clinker for six months.  After 24 years in office, where he cost residents of Maricopa County a couple hundred million dollars in lawsuits and misspent funds, Joe Arpaio remains convinced that he is relevant. He believes the only reason he lost to Paul Penzone last November by double digits is because George Soros gave a ton of cash to his opponent—not because he was a convicted criminal with a 38 percent approval rating. It’s true that Soros spent $2 million on ads to take down the unethical and ineffective lawman, but Arpaio had a giant war chest full of donations from bigoted bozos nationwide, and he spent nearly $12 million on the campaign, only to lose 55-44. Still, Arpaio will keep playing the Soros card, just as he played the “illegal immigrant” and “birther” cards long after they were proven bogus.  Lacking an official, elected office from which he can continue to spew his racist venom, while making $100,000 a year, Arpaio has launched a new nonprofit organization, the “Sheriff Joe Arpaio Action Fund” to counter Soros’s money, he said in an email to supporters: “Obviously, I am not a billionaire who can write a personal check to buy elections across this country (like Soros!),” the email read. “But what I can do is reach out to loyal supporters like you and ask for your help. Together we can build an organization that promotes a conservative agenda, helps conservative ideas become la[...]

Hyprocisy much? Arizona legislature tightens rules for citizen initiatives ... but not their own

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 01:51:29 +0000

Arizona has historically celebrated its constitution’s progressive nature, including the citizen initiative. In fact, when the territory’s constitution was originally submitted to President Taft, he vetoed it because it provided for the citizen recall of judges. The offending language was removed, Taft signed the statehood proclamation in Feb. 1912, and almost immediately the new Arizona legislature reinserted the recall provision into the state constitution. Take that, feds! Nothing’s changed. Recently, however, the far-right, looney tune legislature has grown suspicious of citizen governance, particularly when people want to enact policies that actually help them as opposed to big business or the big god. Arizona’s GOP hasn’t exactly been shy about trying to silence the public, especially as that public becomes younger, more diverse and less Republican.  In 2008, roughly 291,000 Latinos voted in the state’s general election; this year, that number was approximately 550,000, an increase of 89 percent. When the good people of wonderful little Bisbee banned plastic bags from their stores, for instance, the business interests at the legislature, and in the executive office, marshaled forces, and officials quickly passed a law making it illegal for towns to be more environmentally concerned than the bozos at the legislature. Same with guns: When Tucson attempted to take more weapons off the street, the NRA wing of the Arizona legislature (well, more the center than a wing) passed another law nullifying Tucson’s efforts. Similarly, when Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in 2010, elected officials again believed they knew better than the public, and they attempted, unsuccessfully this time, to overturn the voter-approved initiative.  A pattern’s at work: Citizens come up with a good idea that helps, say, working families, schools or the environment; they gather enough signatures to put that idea on the ballot, usually because the legislature won’t vote on the measure itself; the good idea wins at the voting booth, and Arizona’s legislature immediately tries to overturn the people’s victory. The tipping point for the legislature came last year when grassroot groups were able to gather enough signatures to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot, something the Koch-sponsored, ALEC-driven legislature would never approve. Citizens gathered enough signatures to put the wage question on the ballot, and voters overwhelmingly approved the increase. The next month the Arizona Chamber of Commerce appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, asking it to overturn the voters’ voice. In no uncertain terms, the judges unanimously told the chamber to take a flying fug. Gosh, what’s a chamber of commerce or legislature full of business knob-suckers to do? Answer:[...]

Man breaks into Arizona mosque and rips up copies of Quran inside

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:01:45 +0000

An Arizona mosque in Tucson was vandalized earlier this week when a man, dressed in an University of Arizona T-shirt, broke in and ripped up and threw around copies of the Mosque’s Quran. 

The suspect entered the mosque on Monday around 3:30 a.m. and ripped copies of the Quran before throwing them on the floor,according to a post on the center's Facebook page.

"He ripped copies of the Qur'an and threw them around the prayer room before leaving the building," the center wrote. "Thankfully no one was hurt. The Tucson Police Department are looking for him."

The Islamic Center of Tucson posted this to their Facebook page.

This guy looks like a real patriot, beating up books while trying to keep his pants up. I wouldn’t be surprised if our unpopular President Trump tried to appoint him to Secretary of Literature and Religious Study.

Arizona's gun-happy legislature introduces two bills that make it less costly to shoot people

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 22:08:24 +0000

Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, saloons and other public meeting spots certainly aren’t clamoring to pass Arizona’s Senate Bill 1159, which would make it less costly for them if someone shoots up the place. In the past, the state’s eating and drinking establishments have rejected efforts to force guns into their businesses, but perhaps a little bribery might bring them around. 

Seriously, the crux of this bill, which is being pushed by the gun lobby and their political flunkies, not restaurants, would absolve business owners of responsibility if they do not restrict patrons with guns and something tragic happens. But if the establishment posts a sign saying “No Guns,” as many do, then they can be sued if a shooter injures or kills someone. Got that? The bill is a financial incentive for bars and restaurants not to restrict weaponized patrons.

Specifically, [SB1159] exempts businesses that allow guns from most civil lawsuits in instances where someone fires a gun in the business. 

So, if a bar allows guns and someone shoots another person, the business is not responsible, but if the establishment restricts guns and a shooting occurs, it’s the business owner’s fault. Alrighty then. SB1159 passed the Senate and a House vote remains. 

They’re not stopping there, sadly. Ed Montini reports today that another bill, HB2287, will dilute what’s known as “Shannon’s Law,” which passed in 2000 after 14-year-old Shannon Smith was killed in her own backyard, from a bullet that was fired into the air and fell onto her head. Shannon’s Law made it a felony to discharge weapons randomly into the air. Who, one wonders, really needs to repeal this law? Are gunners just aching to shoot indiscriminately into the sky?

The backers of HB 2287, which would make it easier for an accused person to weasel out of responsibility, have not been able to produce a single instance of a person being prosecuted under the law for what was an accidental discharge of a weapon.

Arizona’s gun lobby: making it safer and cheaper to shoot people. For the rest of us … not so much.

AZ Brewery brings out "Alternative Facts" tomorrow

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:39:13 +0000

h/t tofumagoo

who messaged me “I wish all DK beer lovers could be in Tucson tomorrow for this:”. Maybe some of you can.

A Flagstaff AZ brewer called Historic Brewing will be having a Tucson release party tomorrow 5-9pm for their new “Alternative Facts” Double IPA. The details are here. The description of the beer is notable.

This is a great beer. It's absolutely fantastic. We use all the best water and the best hops. It's true. Mosaic hops. You can smell them. You can taste them. You can grab them by the pedals. It's fantastic. All other beers fail. Total disaster. Budweiser? It's fake. It's a fake beer. This double IPA is gonna be the greatest beer we've ever brewed. Nobody brews a beer like we do. It's the biggest beer ever. Tremendous. It's gonna be huge. And YOU are going to pay for it.

If you get there tomorrow, I’ll have Friday Night Beer Blog going, come tell us about it.

Trump nominee for border czar is disgraced Arizona sheriff who is subject of new FBI probe

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 20:01:13 +0000

Wow, if I had a past like this guy’s, I’d stay the hell out of the public’s eye. A Joe Arpaio wannabe, Paul Babeu was elected sheriff of Arizona’s Pinal County in 2008, and immediately went on the immigrant war offensive—appearing often on Fox News to spread fear-mongering stories about all the nasty shit immigrants do. The national spotlight shone on him even brighter when Babeu appeared in Sen. John McCain’s 2010 “complete the danged fence” ad. Things were looking up! Soon after that, in 2012, he was named chair of Mitt Romney’s Arizona team, and he even decided to run for congress—an apparent shoe-in in his district. Then news broke that the anti-immigrant warrior had for years been in a relationship with an undocumented Mexican man, who told the press that Babeu threatened him with deportation if he exposed their relationship. Sure enough, after the story blew up in his uber-conservative district, Sheriff Babeu stepped down as Romney’s state chair and his congressional race folded. So in 2016 Babeu decided to run for congress again, but switching districts did not help him and he lost bigly. This election it wasn’t a story about a gay, undocumented Mexican lover that took him down—no, it was his history as head master at a private school in Massachusetts. Investigators there described the treatment of students with words like “torture.” After a video eventually surfaced of Babeu bragging about the school’s ruthless punishment policies, once again his candidacy took a nosedive. With a history like that, you’d think he’d learn to keep his head down. Apparently not, as Paul Babeu is one of Trump’s possible nominees to head the Customs and Border Protection agency. Right on time, then, as in his two recent congressional campaigns, a scandal emerges: Federal authorities have launched a probe of Pinal County's top two former law enforcement officials and whether they inappropriately used profits from seized property for personal and professional expenses. The essence of this story, which broke today in the Arizona Republic, is that Babeu and County Attorney Lando Voyles misused funds and property that were seized from suspects under the RICO statute. Babeu evidently used a nonprofit organization that he established to funnel RICO assets to his pet projects. The ACLU had in fact filed a lawsuit over the questionable practice in 2015: The lawsuit accused Babeu and Voyles of exploiting Arizona's forfeiture laws, which provide little to no oversight on spending, plaintiff's attorneys said. Forfeiture laws, in general, created a multimillion-dollar "slush fund available to (law enforcement) with little or no oversight," the lawsuit said.  So again [...]