Category Archives: AZBlueMeanie

The GOP’s ‘ICE, ICE Baby’ campaign strategy

Arizona Republican candidates for office at every level of office are — once again, as they have in every election cycle since 2004 — running on anti-immigrant hysteria ala Russell Pearce and Jan Brewer and Donald Trump.

Scaring old white people who vote Republican with scapegoating “brown people” and fear-mongering over the Mexico border is all they have.

Sadly, this has too often succeeded in Arizona. There are a lot of scared old white people who vote Republican in this state.

Governor Doug Ducey kicked off his reelection campaign by using your taxpayer dollars to film a campaign ad to praise his leadership on border security. Ducey uses taxpayer-funded event on border security to shoot campaign video.

Reps. Martha McSally and David Schweikert are getting a boost from One Nation, a Virginia-based non-profit “social welfare” organization with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove, which is running campaign ads across the state. The ads, which reportedly cost $500,000, praise both McSally and Schweikert for their work on border security. McSally, Schweikert get support from group with ties to McConnell, Rove.

Recently, the Republican Governor’s Association has begun running fear-mongering ads against Democratic candidates for governor David Garcia and Kelly Fryer because of their calls to reform ICE. Let’s just call it their “Ice, Ice Baby” campaign strategy (with apologies to Vanilla Ice).

Jeff Singer at Daily Kos writes, GOP ads are already attacking Democrats for wanting to abolish ICE. Here’s how they should respond.

Even though the Democrats won’t choose their nominee to take on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey until Aug. 28, Politico reports that the Republican Governors Association (RGA) is launching a $1 million ad campaign targeting two hopefuls, Arizona State University professor David Garcia and activist Kelly Fryer. So far at least, the RGA appears to be ignoring state Sen. Steve Farley, the third candidate in the contest.

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Let the games begin! APS tries to keep the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative off the ballot

Here is a factoid to make the butt pucker of anyone who believes in democracy:

The state’s largest electric utility – APS – already has set aside close to $11 million to make elections this year come out the way it wants.

Is this what your monthly utility bill really goes to — subverting your constitutional right to a citizens initiative — and using your money to do it? Is this what the Founding Fathers really intended?

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Utility’s parent company spends millions to sway elections:

New campaign finance reports show Pinnacle West Capital Corp., the parent company of Arizona Public Service, has put $7.53 million in its bid to keep voters from approving [the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative] which would require half of all power generated in the state come from renewable sources by 2030.

Matt Benson, spokesman for Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, the campaign committee set up by Pinnacle West, said it makes sense for the company, whose income is generated by ratepayers, to spend that kind of money.

But much of what Pinnacle West has spent so far has nothing to do with voter education but to keep the issue off the ballot entirely. It has paid $5.9 million to Arizona Petition Partners, part of what Benson said is an effort to go through the signatures submitted by Steyer’s group and see how many can be disqualified.

On this front, APS-backed group sues over clean energy ballot measure, claims 300K invalid signatures:

A group funded by the state’s largest utility is suing to keep a clean energy initiative off the ballot.

Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, a political action committee whose funding comes from Arizona Public Service Co. parent company Pinnacle West Capital Corp., claim proponents of the clean energy plan did not gather enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona, backed by San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, turned in more than 480,000 signatures in early July, more than double the required 225,963 signatures needed to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

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Guess who’s coming to dinner

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling (ret.), the former commanding general of the U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, along with Molly K. McKew, who advises governments and political parties on foreign policy and strategic communications, have co-authored an important piece at POLITICO that you really should read to understand the nature of the war that we are in with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

That’s right, “Make no mistake: Hacking the 2016 election was an act of war. It’s time we responded accordingly.” Putin’s Attack on the U.S. Is Our Pearl Harbor (snippet):

Russia’s cyber warfare capabilities are just one element of an arsenal of hybrid, asymmetric means the Kremlin has focused on expanding since its cyberattacks against Estonia in 2007 and its invasion of Georgia in 2008. In 2013, the Russian chief of the general staff General Valery Gerasimov outlined this concept of warfare, emphasizing that “the role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness.” Putin polished what they had learned in earlier operations and put these on full display a year later, as Russia seized and then annexed Crimea, and then launched an invasion of eastern Ukraine fronted by local proxies backed by the Russian military.

While it has become quite popular to debate whether or not what is referred to as “the Gerasimov Doctrine” was intended to be military or security doctrine or not, the way of war Gerasimov discussed is, in fact, how the Russians now fight. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee in March 2018, General Mike Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, was asked about Gerasimov, and he responded succinctly and with candor: “Russia has a doctrine that … sees these activities below the level of conflict as part of the full spectrum, with the intent that if they can undermine a target country using these means … never having to use military force, that’s their objective.”

Gerasimov has since updated his thinking on the uses of hybrid warfare to erode the will of the enemy, saying that “spiritual resources—the nation’s cohesion and desire to confront the aggressor at all cost,” were one of the most important determiners of victory or defeat in these new shadow wars. Confusing the enemy has always been a doctrinal tenet of Russian war-fighting, so this new approach just replaces the old “Maskirovka” (deception) as a primary objective. The more you read about how Russia has tested and adapted these tactics in its near-abroad, the harder it is to deny that the Kremlin’s attack on America is no outlier but rather one more entry in an ongoing, evolving playbook that is yielding more success than anyone wants to admit.

So where are the air-raid sirens and the calls to arms from those who vow to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic?

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Trumpkins in Congress fall in line to protect their ‘Dear Leader’

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Midnight Run Nunes (R-CA) who has actively conspired with the Trump White House to obstruct justice  — the House Intelligence Committee released its final Russia report, disputing the intelligence community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election with the aim of aiding Trump — on Thursday rejected a motion to subpoena the interpreter present at President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent private meeting. GOP votes down Dem motion to subpoena interpreter from Trump, Putin meeting:

The motion was offered by Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee.

“It is our motion that the interpreter be subpoenaed to come and testify in closed session before our committee,” Schiff said during a public hearing on China’s threats to American government.

Schiff argued that the interpreter could have witnessed a key exchange which would shed light on national security matters.

“I regret that we have to request this in today’s meeting. We requested a business meeting next week, but that request has been declined. This may be our last opportunity before we go into an extended recess to vote to subpoena the interpreter and find out if there are any other national security problems that arose from this meeting,” Schiff continued.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agrees the White House needs to explain what, if any deal, was agreed to privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Finland. Flake supports Dem demand for notes from Trump-Putin meeting.

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Putin’s fifth column of fellow travelers in the personality cult of Donald Trump

I have castigated the craven cowards in the Congress who will not defend America against Russian asset Donald Trump’s traitorous act of betrayal of the United States at the Surrender Summit.

These craven cowards are more afraid of upsetting the sycophant supporters in the personality cult of Donald Trump than in performing their constitutional and patriotic duty to defend the national security of the United States.

Max Boot makes a critical observation at the Washington Post. The stench from Trump’s execrable performance grows ever more putrid:

Even Russian state television admits that Trump “really smells like an agent of the Kremlin.” The only question is whether he is a witting or unwitting agent. But if Trump is, at best, a “useful idiot” for the Kremlin, what does that make Trump’s useful idiots? All of the “conservatives” (I use the word loosely) who serve as the president’s enablers should understand the price of their partisanship: They are weakening U.S. security and facilitating foreign aggression.

The most useful and idiotic enablers are at Fox “News” Channel [aka Trump TV]. The propagandists (a category that excludes genuine journalists such as Chris Wallace) were in fine fettle after Helsinki. Tucker Carlson, seemingly intent on making America a safe space for xenophobes, claimed that Mexico is guilty of far worse election meddling than Russia “by packing our electorate.” Sean Hannity praised his idol for being “very strong,” thereby raising the epistemological question of whether strength in supinity is possible. Jeanine Pirro rebutted Trump’s critics by demanding: “What was he supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?” (Was that the only alternative?) And Lou Dobbs, with elementary-school eloquence, dismissed all naysaying as “stupid stuff.”

This brainwashing is as effective as it is preposterous. In a recent Economist/YouGov survey, only 40 percent of Republicans said the United States should stay in NATO and 56 percent said that Trump’s (borderline treasonous) relationship with Putin is a good thing. In the course of my lifetime, Republicans have gone from denouncing useful idiots to becoming useful idiots.

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Russian asset Trump continues his subservience to Putin

After his disastrous press conference at the Surrender Summit, Russian asset Donald Trump was forced to “clarify” his remarks yesterday in a hostage video (press conference) reading from notes prepared by his captors, Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump’s body language and demeanor clearly indicated that he did not support his captor’s “clarification.”

“I’ll begin by stating that I have full faith and support for America’s great intelligence agencies. Always have … let me be totally clear in saying, and I’ve said this many times, I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.”

But then the hostage ad-libbed a qualification from the prepared remarks: “Could be other people also. There are a lot of people out there.” This totally negated what he just said.

I realize that there is a need for some clarification. It should’ve been obvious, I thought it was obvious, but I’d like to clarify just in case it wasn’t. In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’ The sentence should’ve been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ So just to repeat it, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’ and the sentence should’ve been, and I thought it would be maybe a little unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video. The sentence should’ve been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative. So you can put that in and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.

So out of all the crazy shit that Trump said at his disastrous press conference at the Surrender Summit, he would only change one word taken out of context of everything else he said? That’s not a clarification.

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