Daily Archives: April 18, 2018

Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump’s equally corrupt partner in crime

The Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the man who broke America:

By rights, McConnell’s tombstone should say that he presided over the end of the Senate. And I’d add a second line: “He broke America.” No man has done more in recent years to undermine the functioning of U.S. government. His has been the epitome of unprincipled leadership, the triumph of tactics in service of short-term power.

After McConnell justified his filibuster-ending “nuclear option” by saying it would be beneficial for the Senate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said this: “Whoever says that is a stupid idiot.”

McConnell is no idiot. He is a clever man who does what works for him in the moment, consequences be damned.

The Turtle Man also blocked a more forceful response to Russian interference in the 2016 election by the Obama administration by threatening partisan politicization, U.S. national security be damned.

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Comedy for Charity presents Laugh Till it Hurts!

“Comedy for Charity is proud to presentLaugh ‘til It Hurts, a two hour event of nonstop entertainment featuring seven comedians, two dance troupes, and even a juggler. The event will be on Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at The Fox Theatre.

This special one night event will raise money for violence awareness and prevention.

“This show will be hilarious, and it’s all for a wonderful cause—to make our community a safer place. The mission is to raise a lot of money to help prevent violence and to spread awareness about the problem of violence. We want people to ‘give ‘til it hurts,” shared Suzie Sexton, executive director of Comedy for Charity.

We are also delighted that Mayor Johnathan Rothschild, Liane Hernandez and Alba Jamarillo are Honorary Chairs of the event.

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Not Fake News, Just Propaganda

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

Yesterday, a friend emailed me a copy of a Goldwater document that had been placed in all the “mail” boxes at his “Life Plan Community” (retirement/assisted living). The document was titled, “The Truth about Teacher Pay”, and dated April 12, 2018.

Even without the Goldwater logo at the top, I could have easily identified it as a right-wing propaganda piece. In it, the Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy, Matthew Simon, began by making the point that “though fingers are pointed at state legislatures with calls for higher teacher salaries, the reality is that in many cases, locally elected school district governing boards are responsible for the size of paychecks.” He went on to write that, “independently elected governing boards wield considerable power in their positions by creating policies, crafting school district budgets and setting teacher pay.”

Simon provides a couple of examples of the significant difference in pay between various school districts to make his point. He then writes that, “teachers in Arizona have launched their demands at legislators in a well-coordinated campaign.” Of course, this “well-coordinated campaign”, is just a dog-whistle to infer the big bad “union” is driving the train. Truth is, the #RedForEd effort comes from a grassroots movement. There is no statewide collective bargaining unit in Arizona, because our state is a “Right to Work” state. Which means, employees really have no rights at work. Continue reading

Democrats are back in the fight for the Arizona Eighth Congressional District: All Bets are Off.

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, Democratic Candidate for the Eighth Congressional District.

In the 2014 and 2016 Elections for Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District, Representative Trent Franks had no Democratic Opponent and easily cruised to victory in both elections. Now, thanks to Representative Frank’s resignation because of his unique interpretation of family values (asking two unwilling women on his staff to be surrogate mothers for his wife and even offering one money), the Eighth Congressional District is potentially up for grabs in a special election being held on Tuesday, April 24. The two candidates are Dr. Hiral Tipirneni for the Democrats and Debbie Lesko for the Republicans. As Democrats, with a strong viable candidate, mount a credible campaign, conservatives in Republican World are increasingly worried of another “Pennsylvania Congressional 18TH District” upset in an area that went for the President by just over 20 points, was a stronghold for the embattled former Sheriff of Maricopa County Joe Arpaio, and contains Sun City within its boundaries. According to Bill Roe, the First Vice Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, this April 24 election will all come down to turnout among Democrats, Independents favorable to Dr. Tipirneni, fatigued Republicans disenchanted with their party, and the newly arrived populace in the district that no one knows how they will decide.

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National School Walkout this Friday on Columbine anniversary

The third student-led protest over gun violence in our nation’s schools, the National School Walkout (link), is scheduled for this Friday. National School Walkout: Everything to know about the upcoming event to end gun violence:

Thousands of students across the country will come together again this week to rally against school gun violence — an event the teenage organizers hope will empower students to continue their momentum in a push for common-sense gun reform.

The event — called the National School Walkout — focuses on high schools and will take place on April 20, the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students opened fire in 1999, killing 12 of their fellow students and a teacher.

Who is participating?

The event was organized by 16-year-old Lane Murdock, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, along with three of her classmates.

More than 2,000 events are registered across the country, with at least one in every state and several globally, according to the organizers.

When will it start?

The walkout begins at 10 a.m. in each local time zone.

When students head outside, they will first take part in 13 seconds of silence to honor the 13 people killed at Columbine High School.

Then the format of the walkout is up to each school. Lane told ABC News she proposes that schools incorporate open mics, guest speakers and voter registration. She said some students plan to write letters to those in communities impacted by school shootings.

But this event differs in one major way from last month’s nationwide school walkout, which was held on March 14, one month after the shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 students and staff.

The March 14 walkout officially lasted for 17 minutes to mark the 17 lives lost. After the 17 minutes, many students returned to their classrooms.

The April 20 walkout, meanwhile, is set to last from 10 a.m. until the end of the school day.

“This is a problem that needs to be addressed longer than 17 minutes,” Lane explained.

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Michael Cohen’s deep ties to the Russian mafia

If you only get your news from network/cable television news, the media narrative in the Michael Cohen case is that the Special Counsel’s investigation came across some information in its Russia investigation about Cohen’s handling of nondisclosure agreements with Donald Trump’s sexcapades that Robert Mueller decided was outside the scope of his investigation, so it was referred to the U.S. Attorney office for the Southern District of New York.

But then there was this allegation about taxi medallions, and the television news media was all “what’s up with that?” Maybe they should, oh I don’t know, do some reporting and find out.

It turns out that the current media narrative is incorrect. Michael Cohen has deep ties to the Russian and Ukrainian mafia in New York, and the taxi medallions involve a lot of mob money which is part of Cohen’s personal fortune. The Cohen case is about Russian influence, not just Donald Trump’s sexcapades.

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has a hint of what the Cohen case is about. Good Grief. Cohen’s World Gets Mobbier The Closer I Look:

In today’s podcast, we look into the background of Michael Cohen. TPM first reported last year that Cohen was actually a childhood friend of Felix Sater, whose father was himself a reputed capo in the Mogilevich organized crime syndicate, said to be Russia’s largest and most dangerous. Filling out this picture of how Cohen fell into this milieu we’ve always been focused on the fact that Cohen’s uncle, Morton Levine, owned and ran a Brooklyn social club, El Caribe, which was a well-known meeting spot for members of Italian and Russian organized crime families in the 1970s and 1980s. (Levine, a medical doctor has never been charged with a crime.) But now it turns out there’s a bit more to this story.

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