Category Archives: Media

AZ GOP response to #RedForEd ranges from ‘class warfare,’ to suing teachers, to McCarthyism

Yesterday I noted that Rep. Noel Campbell (R-Prescott), is the only Republican to propose a tax increase to support public education. Shocking! Arizona Republican proposes a tax increase to support public education.

Unfortunately for Rep. Campbell, he falls back on the most regressive tax – the sales tax – which is most susceptible to fluctuations in the economic cycle. It is not a reliable and sustainable revenue source.

The regressive sales tax is favored by Arizona’s corporate CEOs who want to raise $2 million for education with a 1.5-cent citizen’s initiative on the ballot in 2020 – “don’t you dare rescind our corporate welfare tax cuts, or impose new income or property taxes on our corporations.”

Howard Fischer reports that the sales tax proposal is D.O.A. No teacher-pay deal reached ahead of Arizona strike; sales-tax increase floated:

State Rep. Noel Campbell says a three-year, one-cent sales tax, on top of the existing 0.6 of a cent levy dedicated to education, would provide about $1 billion a year, more than enough money not only for pay raises for teachers and support staffs but also to help restore some of the funding that’s been cut over the years in state aid to education. It also would give schools enough to provide full-day kindergarten if they wish; that program’s funding was cut during the Great Recession.

If nothing else, it also would provide some breathing room while education advocates come up with a more permanent solution that could go to voters on the 2020 ballot, Campbell said.

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AZ teachers know their math and economics, AZ legislators not so much

As state policy makers weigh their options in response to the “Red for Ed” movement that is organizing the teacher protests, some conservatives and their allies are once again, like a broken record, blaming administration costs as a reason teachers in Arizona have among the worst pay in the nation. It’s just right-wing propaganda. Analysis shows no link between school district administration costs, teacher pay:

A “messaging guide” by the State Policy Network, a network of conservative think tanks, that aims to discredit the nationwide movement to increase teacher pay urges conservatives and anti-union activists to turn the conversation to how “red tape and bureaucracy” and “administrative bloat” suppresses teacher pay.

* * *

But an Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of school district spending data compiled by the Arizona Auditor General’s Office shows no correlation between how much a school district spends on administration and how it pays its teachers.

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The incestual relationships of the FAUX News presidency

FAUX News aka Trump TV was engulfed by sexual harassment scandals over the past couple of years. The pervasiveness of the complaints targeted not only the network’s powerful founder, Roger Ailes, but also primetime host Bill O’Reilly and former Fox News Latino executive Francisco Cortes. Fox News still hounded by sexual harassment allegations:

[It] suggests a culture of misogyny and sexual objectification that extended beyond Ailes’ office.

Current and former employees have described the Fox News environment as archaic, stuck in a 1950s view of male-female relations.

An internal investigation last year led the company to pledge zero-tolerance for “behavior that disrespects women.”

Michael Cohen is Donald Trump’s “fixer” to clean up his sexcapades with nondisclosure agreements (NDAs). Cohen did the same for Elliot Brady, the former RNC deputy finance chair. Cohen’s only other client, revealed in court on Monday, is Donald Trump’s Minister of Propaganda at FAUX News aka Trump TV,  Sean Hannity.

Given Cohen’s legal practice of NDAs to clean up sexual indiscretions, shall we say, it begs the obvious question whether he was hired to do the same for Sean Hannity.

It turns out that Michael Cohen is not the only lawyer that Donald Trump shares with Sean Hannity.

Sean Hannity also employed Jay Sekulow, currently Trump’s personal attorney on the Russia investigation, and Victoria Toensing, a frequent guest on Hannity’s program. She and her husband Joseph E. diGenova, the members of diGenova and Toensing LLP, were recently hired by Donald Trump in the Russia investigation, until they suddenly were not (asserting a unidentifed conflict of interest).

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Authoritarian Tea-Publicans call for the prosecution of the political enemies of ‘Dear Leader’ Donald Trump (Updated)

Like the fog in the famous, ultra-short poem by the U.S. person Carl Sandburg, fascism may well come in “on little cat feet.”

The crypto-fascist Tea-Publican members of the GOP House Freedom Caucus are calling for the criminal prosecution of the political enemies of their “Dear Leader,” Donald Trump. This is what occurs in tin-pot dictatorships and  authoritarian banana republics.

Matthew Yglesias reports, 11 House Republicans call for prosecutions of Clinton, Comey, Lynch, and others The authoritarianism is coming from inside the House:

Eleven House Republicans — Ron DeSantis, Andy Biggs, Dave Brat, Jeff Duncan, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Andy Harris, Jody Hice, Todd Rokita, Claudia Tenney, and Ted Yoho — have signed a joint letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for the criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton and a variety of other Obama administration appointees, career FBI officials, and even Trump appointee Dana Boente, who is currently the FBI’s general counsel.

Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs have always been unfit to serve in any political office, and Arizona voters have both a moral and patriotic duty to remove these fringe radical extremists from office. These sorry excuses for a human being are a disgrace and an embarrassment to this state. As The Arizona Republic editorialized earlier this year, Our View: Rep. Paul Gosar is a disgrace to Arizona. Somebody please unseat him. The same goes for Andy Biggs.

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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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