Author Archives: Michael Bryan

Confront Corruption Vigil Tonight in Tucson

By Michael Bryan

Inexplicably, no one had organized a Confront Corruption / Demand Democracy candlelight vigil for the Tucson area tonight, so I took it upon myself to remedy the problem. You can use this quick link to RSVP, if you like.

A candlelight vigil will take place on the front lawn of 4400 East Broadway Boulevard, starting at sundown (7:30pm), where Rep. Martha McSally has her district office. The location is clearly visible to passing traffic on Broadway. Bring signs and candles and/or chemical glow sticks to peacefully stand up for our democracy against the assaults by President Trump and his Republican-led Congress of inaction and unaccountability.

 

A Letter to the GOP: Trump Doesn’t Know What U.S. Interests Are

By Michael Bryan

Charles De Gaulle famously said, “Nations have no friends, only interests.” Trump should listen, as he seems to have no idea that the United States has permanent interests beyond his whims. That is to say, Trump seems to believe that the interests of the United States consist only in him making “friends” with our foes, and declaring our traditional allies over historical time-scales to be ‘foes’.

Just because Trump likes Vladi Putin and Kimmy Jong Un does not change the fact that the interest of the United States consists in marginalizing and degrading the power of these dictatorial regimes, not celebrating them nor aligning with them. Our interests cannot be aligned with theirs. They are our foes for good reasons, not because past Presidents were insufficiently nice to them.

Why is it in our interest to resist the policy goals of nations like Russia and North Korea, you might ask? To begin with, they are international pariahs who murder people to maintain their power. If that weren’t enough, their national aspirations directly conflict with long-term American allies whose interests ARE aligned with our own, such as the NATO member states, the wider EU, and South Korea. If that STILL were not enough, they are economically insignificant as potential economic partners to the United States. North Korea has the GDP of a mid-sized American city, at best. Russia is a petro-state with an economy the size of Italy, but which lacks the dynamism of an Italy due to endemic corruption: Russia is basically a nuclear-armed organized crime syndicate in control of a mid-tier economy of mostly impoverished people. All that Russia has to offer is carbon energy at a time when carbon energy is in decline and the United States is largely self-sufficient in carbon energy. Plus, they attacked us and influenced our elections; they are no ‘friends’ of ours.

I am not some genius who solely can see this. Many, many Americans can and do recognize that the President is acting foolishly and embarrassing our nation before the entire world. Though many members of Congress understand this, only Democrats will act openly to oppose Trump’s follies. The Constitution makes the President the conductor of American foreign policy with the power to negotiate treaties and appoint ambassadors, but only with the concurrence of the Senate. Just as any symphony conductor would be turfed off the stage if he began to deviate too far from the sheet music, a President needs to be checked strongly if he begins to conduct foreign policy based on his own friendships and interests, and not those of the nation he serves.

President Trump has proven again and again that he is unable to recognize and operationalize the interests of the nation he serves. Congress is the only organization that can check and correct him. If they won’t do that job, then they must be replaced with a Congress that will exercise that oversight.

Don’t kid yourself. Even if you are a Republican, you must recognize that the Republican party is now acting merely as the party of Trump. A Republican-led Congress will not contain this President. The only way to contain this reckless and vain President is a vigorous oppositional Congress. Vote Democratic this year in all your Congressional races or our nation’s interests will suffer. I hope that enough of you are patriots able to recognize what has to be done.

Making Sense of “Family Separation” of Asylum Seekers

By Michael Bryan

As have millions of Americans, I have felt deeply and instinctually that the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, that has resulted in separating thousands of children of all ages from their parents, is immoral, inhumane, and probably a violation of the law.

In an attempt to clarify my own thoughts I have been doing a good deal of reading on the subject. I thought that many of you might be interested in following the same path as I, so I wrote less of a think piece and more a pathfinder on the subject. You might try reading the same material as I and see if you view things differently than I at the end.

Continue reading

BlogForArizona returns to health

By Michael Bryan

Some of you (specifically, those using WinTel computers) may have noticed that clicking on a link here at the blog took you to a highly suspicious dialogue box about having to address some bogus security concern. We got hacked and some black-hatted son-of-a-bitch inserted malware into our server.

I’m glad to report that we have resolved the problem and taken steps to make it a great deal harder to do so in the future. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused our readers and please be assured that visiting us is now safe. As far as we can tell the only way that your computer could be compromised is if you believed the rather amatuerish exhortation to visit another site, download software, or call a number for further instructions. Just a general note: don’t ever do such things 🙂

Thanks for patience and support. This incident cost us several hundred dollars and we will soon provide a donation button to help us defray those costs if you feel you would like to pitch in to help cover that expense.

Best Regards,

Michael Bryan and the BlogForArizona crew

Arizona Donkey Feed Service Interruption

By Michael Bryan

Just wanted to drop readers a quick note: AZDonkeyFeed will be on hiatus for an indefinite time. The Feed is the stream of links in the near right-hand column of the blog and the continuously updated website of links hosted by Digg that automatically post those links to this blog.

Digg Reader is shutting down tomorrow. Digg Reader is the service I have used to read and curate the hundreds of RSS feed I follow and read to compile the AZDonkeyFeed. Without it, my ability to easily flag items for inclusion in the feed is gone. I’m exploring alternate workflows to accomplish the same task, but have yet to find a workable substitute.

If you are a user of AZDonkeyFeed, please leave a comment so that I can gauge reader interest in continuing the service. I’ll try to bring it back as soon as I can find a workable substitute for Digg. Thanks for your interest and best regards to you all!

Governor Ducey Re-Election in Deep Trouble

By Michael Bryan

New statewide polling from Lake Research Partners indicates possible trouble for Doug Ducey’s bid for re-election. I don’t have access to the raw polling data (though I would love to look…), so I can’t speak too much about the poll’s methodology, but some of the results have frankly surprised me. I do know that it seems to be appropriately weighted, included cell phones, and has a sample size of 600 respondents. Not bad.

Bottom line: Ducey is topping out a 40% against a generic Democratic opponent with a whopping 28% undecided, i.e. persuadable. 53% rate Ducey’s performance as merely fair or poor: and he only scores 49% good or excellent among GOP voters! His job performance in almost every other subject is also underwater, even traditional GOP strong subjects such as “keeping spending down” (I guess that is no longer a GOP value, actually, given national trends…):

Ducey will definitely face a real fight this season. That is likely the reason the Republican Governor’s Association is spending early and exclusively in Arizona (subscription link) to shore up a weakened Ducey.

So, bottom line: start investing in your favored Democratic candidate for Governor because the race is on, and Ducey is still crushing it comparatively in fund-raising. Check out our Democratic candidates Steve Farley, Kelly Fryer, and David Garcia.

You can read the full report here: PublicMemo.DuceyAccountability.firev1.0208181