Category Archives: Arizona Congressional Delegation

Rep. Martha McSally emerges from her chicken bunker, constituents let her have it

Now you can understand why Rep. Martha McSally schedules  private “town halls” before friendly constituencies (like her former employer Raytheon) and tele-town halls rather than public town halls where she gas to face constituents who show up and ask her “impertinent” questions that she does not want to answer.

Let’s take a look at how McSally’s town hall in the usually friendly confines of Sahuarita and moderated by editor Dan Shearer from the Green Valley News went yesterday.

The Arizona Republic reports, At tense town hall, Rep. Martha McSally faces calls of ‘Do your job!’:

In a sometimes-raucous replay of town halls across the country, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally faced shouts, pleas and cat calls from a noisy share of her constituents Thursday.

Many among the 250 people inside the afternoon event at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ vented their simmering anger at President Donald Trump and called for her to rein in his agenda on issues such as health care, gun rights and immigration reform.

Dozens or more people chanted “Do your job!” and pressed signs hostile to the administration against the doors outside the church.

For about 90 occasionally tense minutes, there was little sign of the close partisan division within McSally’s district. Instead, it was dominated by Democrats and liberals who called on her to serve as a check on the president.

I’m sorry, but how can this reporter know the voter registration of those in attendance? This is an editorial assumption by a reporter without supporting facts. There were just as likely unhappy Republicans in attendance as well.

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Latest on Trump-Putin campaign investigations

The always insecure egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief Donald J. Trump publicly insists that he has no ties to Russia (while refusing to release his tax records and business records for public scrutiny which likely demonstrate otherwise).

You’re always  asking me about the Russians. I don’t know nothin’ about no Russians!

We know this is bullshit, as David Leonhardt reminds us at the New York Times. Trump’s Russia Motives:

The mystery at the core of the Trump-Russia story is motive.

President Trump certainly seems to have a strange case of Russophilia. He has surrounded himself with aides who have Russian ties. Those aides were talking to Russian agents during the campaign, and some are now pushing a dubious peace deal in Ukraine. Trump recently went so far as to equate the United States and Vladimir Putin’s murderous regime.

But why?

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This is what has Rep. Martha McSally hiding in the chicken bunker

This is what has Rep. Martha McSally hiding in the chicken bunker:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) represents one of the reddest districts of a deep-red state. As chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he promised to continue his years-long witch hunt of Hillary Clinton if she was elected president, but now says he will not investigate President Trump‘s multiple conflicts of interests or tax returns (for possible violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution). Chaffetz Won’t Investigate Trump Because He Only Cares About Investigating Democrats.

Chaffetz got a frosty reception in his home state on Feb. 9, at a town hall (video).

Angry constituents packed a high school auditorium, grilled the congressman with questions and peppered him with boos and chants while protesters amassed outside. “Do Your Job!” Hundreds of People Shout Down Jason Chaffetz Over Lack of Trump Probe:

At a town hall meeting on Thursday night held by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, the mood got rough, when hundreds of people demanded answers from Chaffetz regarding a host of controversies: his unwillingness to investigate President Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest, his support for Obamacare repeal, a proposal to sell off public lands, and more.

“You’re really not going to like this part,” Chaffetz said at one point. “The president under the law is exempt from the conflict of interests laws.”

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A Warning to Martha McSally

By Michael Bryan

Martha McSally ought to be looking to reign-in Mr. Trump’s worst impulses, and demand her caucus provide the strict oversight of the Executive that the Constitution requires. Instead, she merely seems determined to remain vague and indeterminate regarding her support for Trump. She must not forget that her electoral fate lies in the hands of voters who voted for Secretary Clinton by almost a 5% margin; we voters certainly will not forget.

As you can see in the chart below, 23 Republican members sit in districts that voted for Clinton, and McSally is one.

These Representatives will be among the most vulnerable incumbents in 2018, and would all do well to take seriously the institutional role of Congress to check and balance the Presidency.

McSally must stop cowering in her bunker and listen carefully to the concerns of her constituency regarding ethical and constitutional over-reach by this President. If McSally will not serve as an ally in ensuring that this unqualified, bullying, reckless President is constrained and checked by close Congressional oversight and a vigorous assertion of Congressional constitutional prerogatives, voters of her district will certainly find someone who will.

Mr. Trump, just a few weeks into his term, is increasingly unpopular. Smart money is on Congressional incumbents who stand up to his reckless and unpopular agenda. Mr. Trump promised his voters a populist economic agenda that would “drain the swamp” and “make American great again,” but has delivered a cabinet of billionaires and unqualified ideologues, and a dangerously incestuous and radical inner-circle, headed by avowed white nationalist Bannon, who are pushing an extremist right-wing agenda through executive orders. His popularity, even among his supporters, is falling off because his own voters recognize they have been delivered a classic bait and switch.

McSally had best get off the Trump train before it derails, and make it clear to voters of CD02 that she has disembarked.

White House goes to war with John McCain over ‘failed’ Yemen raid

It appears the Trump White House is afraid that its botched handling of the Yemen raid could become the next Benghazi! meme — Al Bayda! — although this Tea-Publican Congress shows little interest in investigating anything that the Trump administration does.

Margaret Hartman reports, U.S. Military Sources Claim Trump Approved Yemen Strike Without Enough Preparation:

New questions have emerged about what went wrong in the U.S. military raid against Al Qaeda in Yemen last weekend. Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, a Navy SEAL, was killed in the operation and three other U.S. service members were injured. Nawar Al-Awlaki, the 8-year-old daughter of American Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki, was also killed, and local reports say as many as 30 people died. The raid was the first operation approved by President Trump.

Earlier this week, a senior military official told NBC News that “almost everything went wrong” during the mission. The aim was to detain Yemeni tribal leaders working with Al Qaeda and gather phones and computers that could yield intelligence. But Navy SEALS found themselves in an intense 50-minute firefight, with Al Qaeda fighters using women and children as cover, and some of the women firing at the commandos.

Airstrikes were called in to take out the Al Qaeda fighters, and then two MV-22 Ospreys were sent in to extract the SEALs. One experienced a “hard landing,” injuring crew members, and the $75 million aircraft had to be destroyed by a precision-guided bomb to keep it from falling into enemy hands.

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Money changes everything: GOP Senate approves unqualified Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary

For the first time in American history, a vice president had to vote in the Senate to break a tie on a Cabinet nominee, and Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Donald Trump’s education secretary. With historic tiebreaker from Pence, DeVos confirmed as education secretary:

The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary Tuesday by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Pence casting a historic tiebreaking vote after senators deadlocked over her fitness for the job.

The entire Democratic caucus of 48 senators voted against DeVos, as did two Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, who said they did not think that DeVos was qualified for the job. The remaining 50 Republicans voted for her, setting up a 50-50 tie that could be broken only with Pence’s vote.

It marked the first time that a vice president’s tiebreaker was needed to confirm a Cabinet secretary, according to Daniel Holt, an assistant historian in the Senate Historical Office. And it was the first time a vice president cast any tiebreaker in the Senate since Richard B. Cheney did so nine years ago.

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