Monthly Archives: March 2018

The red-state teacher rebellions are spreading

I posted about the Oklahoma teacher walkout scheduled for Monday. Oklahoma teachers to strike on Monday; Arizona teachers are considering a strike.

The red-state teacher rebellions are spreading. (h/t Axios.com for the caption). Kentucky teachers skip work after lawmakers pass pension reform attached to sewage bill:

The proposed changes to pension reform had been a part of Senate Bill 1. But in a surprise move, elements of Senate Bill 1 were tucked into another bill, Senate Bill 151, which had been about sewage services. The new, nearly 300-page Senate Bill 151 then passed both the state House and Senate.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin supports the bill and tweeted Thursday night that public workers owe “a deep debt of gratitude” to the lawmakers who voted in favor.

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Kentucky’s Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat tweeted: “This is government at its worst.” This morning, he announced he would “will file suit to stop SB 151.”

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In Kentucky, teachers have not fought for a pay raise but loudly called on the Legislature not to touch their retirement benefits. The response to passage of the pension bill was swift.

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Martha McSally dodges the question

Last week I did a post on Martha McSally: The Bolton PAC, Mercer family, and Cambridge Analytica connection:

Question for Martha McSally: Did the Bolton PAC and/or Cambridge Analytica provide you with their psy-ops micro-targeting messaging data? Did either produce social media, direct mail, or television advertising content for your campaigns using their psy-ops micro-targeting messaging data?

If so, you were in receipt of stolen property, i.e., the intellectual property of Facebook (user profiles). This is a violation of the privacy rights of Facebook users.

Time to come clean, Martha. The Brits may already have your Cambridge Analytica client file in their possession. You probably want to get out in front of Scotland Yard’s investigation and come clean.

Martha did not respond to Blog for Arizona, she never does. But she did provide a dodgy response to Tim Steller at the Arizona Daily Star:

MCSALLY SAYS NO BIG-DATA LINK

Martha McSally’s campaign for U.S. Senate is denying one of its consultants — Axiom Strategies founder Jeff Roe — has ever used Cambridge Analytica data for its campaign.

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign — where Roe served as campaign manager — paid an estimated $5.8 million to the company in order to access the data.

Roe touted the campaign’s heavy reliance on data and analysis to reach voters in 2015 interview with the Washington Post.

However, a spokesperson for the McSally campaign ruled out any possibility that McSally has ever used the data to reach voters in either Congressional District 2 or in her current race to replace Sen. Jeff Flake.

Notice that Martha McSally does not answer the question asked about her big campaign contributor John Bolton PAC and its use of data from Cambridge Analytica.

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April 2018 Bike Fest Tucson

“What is Bike Fest?

Tucson is known for being a bicyclists paradise. The Old Pueblo has a bustling bicycle community, numerous mixed-use trails, and plenty of on-street facilities for people on bikes of all ages.

So, why not celebrate?!

Every year, Bike Fest brings out the best of bicycling by rounding up a whole slew of events to celebrate “life on two wheels”.

In 2017, we loved seeing our community create and share their favorite bike events, including rides to ice cream shops, breweries, and farmers markets, a BMX show, bike maintenance classes, karaoke rides, a scavenger hunt, a bike-in movie, campouts, a ride to work with the Mayor, and of course – Cyclovia!

In 2017, YOU helped organize 74 Bike Fest events attended by 37,350 participants!”

https://www.bikefesttucson.com/

Check out the Calendar of Events, including Spring Cyclovia on April 8,  Tour de Cookie on April 14, and Bike In Breakfast ride with Mayor Jonathan Rothschild on April 19. Get on your bikes and ride all the month of April (and beyond).

Did Trump’s lawyer John Dowd raise the prospect of a pardon to witnesses?

The New York Times, and others, reported this week that President Trump’s lawyer John Dowd – who has resigned – broached the idea of President Trump’s pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions. Trump’s Lawyer Raised Prospect of Pardons for Flynn and Manafort:

The discussions came as the special counsel was building cases against both men, and they raise questions about whether the lawyer, John Dowd, who resigned last week, was offering pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation.

The talks suggest that Mr. Trump’s lawyers were concerned about what Mr. Flynn and Mr. Manafort might reveal were they to cut a deal with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in exchange for leniency. Mr. Mueller’s team could investigate the prospect that Mr. Dowd made pardon offers to thwart the inquiry, although legal experts are divided about whether such offers might constitute obstruction of justice.

Mr. Dowd’s conversation with Mr. Flynn’s lawyer, Robert K. Kelner, occurred sometime after Mr. Dowd took over last summer as the president’s personal lawyer, at a time when a grand jury was hearing evidence against Mr. Flynn on a range of potential crimes. Mr. Flynn, who served as Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, agreed in late November to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation. He pleaded guilty in December to lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with the Russian ambassador and received favorable sentencing terms.

Mr. Dowd has said privately that he did not know why Mr. Flynn had accepted a plea, according to one of the people. He said he had told Mr. Kelner that the president had long believed that the case against Mr. Flynn was flimsy and was prepared to pardon him, the person said.

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AG Jeff Sessions’ repeated violations of his recusal from DOJ probes

Confederate Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III said during his confirmation hearing in January 2017 that he would recuse himself from any potential investigations of former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton if he were confirmed as attorney general. Jeff Sessions Says He Would Recuse Himself from Any Investigations into Hillary Clinton.

On March 2, 2017, Sessions announced that he would also recuse himself from any investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign, which would include any Russian interference in the electoral process. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will recuse himself from any probe related to 2016 presidential campaign. (This is what almost got him fired by President Trump).

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is supposed to be in charge of these probes. Period.

But Jeff Sessions has repeatedly violated his recusal, which is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys, and may also constitute his aiding and abetting a conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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Neighbors Protest Installation of TEP’s Polluting Generators

Protesting TEP’s petition to install gas-fired engines

50 people from the neighborhood showed up to protest the gas-fired engines being installed at Tucson’s Sundt Generating Station.  The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s (PDEQ) held a public hearing on TEP’s plan to replace two 1950s era steam units with ten natural gas-fired combustion engines. Several members of our community spoke about how carbon dioxide from the engines would speed up climate change and how that would devastate our city.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, TEP’s proposed engines are fossil-fuel based generating units that would create significant greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Pima Department of Environmental Quality, the project expects to cause an increase in emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.

But those comments could have no impact. We were limited to commenting on how TEP’s permit meets the criteria for issuance prescribed in the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section § 49-481 of the Pima County Code.  All those important comments about climate change were disregarded because CO2 isn’t included in Pima’s code. (I know! I couldn’t believe it either!) EPA administer Scott Pruitt is working on repealing the Clean Power Plan.  (Sign a letter opposing it here.)

A few of us from Sustainable Tucson’s Environmental advocacy group and the Sierra Club spent hours combing through Pima’s code — trying to find some inconsistencies or anything we can use stop the PDEQ from issuing a permit for the RICE engines.
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