Category Archives: Military

Listen to the Recording of the Secret Republican CD2 Candidates Forum

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

I have published the audio file from the Saturday, March 24 forum for GOP candidates running for Congress in Tucson’s CD2. Click here to listen to it.

The recording starts with a question about school gun violence, with candidate Lea Marquez Peterson finishing a sentence and some static. The next voice is Danny Morales (he has a high voice) saying he is a certified peace officer. Next is Brandon Martin (with the lower male voice) talking about the Constitution. The second female voice is Marilyn Wiles talking about better enforcement of gun laws.

To read the written report, click Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum.

The questions posed to each candidate were:

  • What is your position on “chain migration” and have you always felt this way?
  • How do you expect to represent Arizona without becoming a part of the establishment?
  • Since we live on the border describe your position on stopping illegal immigration and are you in favor of a border wall?
  • Given the recent successes Democratic candidates in special elections across the country, why do you think you can defeat the Democratic candidate in this race?
  • What form of government is the US? What is a republic?
  • What is your position on DACA and your solution for Dreamers?
  • How would you rejuvenate our economy here in Southern Arizona without increasing government jobs?
  • If negotiations fail, would you support a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and Iran?
  • The Air Force recently narrowed the list to four bases for the next F-35 Wing, with Davis Monthan being one of the four. Are you for F-35s at DM?
  • Would you join the House Freedom Caucus and who in the House would you enjoy working with?
  • Would you introduce a bill to change Congressional benefits and insurance and withhold payroll payments without a balanced budget?
  • Have you ever used illegal narcotics, marijuana or cocaine?
  • Are you taking out of state contributions and from who?
  • What changes would you suggest be made to the census? Should we declare if you are a citizen or not?
  • Given the current political uncertainty, please give a few examples of your topics and your approach to a divided executive versus legislative government, versus the current one-party majority that we have now that may exist after your swearing-in. (The question was thrown out as unintelligible.)
  • Do you support term limits?
  • If President Trump fires the special counsel, would you support him or do you view this as an impeachable offense?

Militarize the border? Has this fool ever heard of posse comitatus?

FOX & Friends and FOX prime time pundits (aka presidential advisers) have our nativist racist Twitter-troll-in-chief all worked up about a “caravan” of Central American refugees coming to America. Why Is Trump Still Obsessing About a Caravan of Migrants?

But the truth is that, according to the Washington Post, Trump’s ignorance about what is going on is even worse than we thought. Here are some things he doesn’t seem to know:

  • “The Mexican government on Monday evening moved to break up the caravan of migrants moving through southern Mexico”
  • This is an “annual caravan intended to raise awareness about the plight of people making the dangerous trek across Mexico toward the United States”
  • “Mexico deported 16,278 people during the first two months of 2018; 97 percent of them were Central Americans, according to the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group.”
  • “Mexico increased its immigration enforcement in 2014, when it enacted a “Southern Border Plan” in response to a flood of unaccompanied Central American children who were transiting the country and arriving in the United States.

While Trump is rage tweeting, this is happening:

On Monday, Mexico’s interior minister, Alfonso Navarrete, said he and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had spoken. “We agreed to analyze the best ways to attend to the flows of migrants in accordance with the laws of each country,” Navarrete tweeted.

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Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

You could smell the fear in the room at the Pima County GOP’s secret CD 2 Congressional Candidate  Forum at the gaudy Oyster Club in Tucson. The candidates were asked how they could win in light of recent democratic victories, and how they could govern without dominating all three branches of government.

Lea Marquez-Peterson repeatedly pleaded for donations, noting with alarm that “Nancy Pelosi has already been in Arizona and made a half-million-dollar ad buy!” and that front-runner Ann Kirkpatrick had raised more money than she did.

Only 40 people attended the event, which the Republicans tried desperately to keep secret. The GOP tried to ban reporters, to prohibit photos, and to require all cell phones to be turned off. The forum was so secret that candidate Casey Welch didn’t show up.

Only one serious candidate

Candidate Brandon Martin complained, “I hope we can speak in bigger venues.” (Last month, more than 400 people attended the Democrats’ Congressional candidate forum in Green Valley.)

Martin and candidate Danny Morales battled to take the more arch-conservative position. Candidate Marilyn Wiles didn’t really have many positions. Marquez-Peterson appeared to be the only serious candidate.

None of them proposed any idea to actually help people. They were all against things — like “chain migration,” not becoming “part of the establishment,” against the “Dreamers,” against raising taxes, and against the Mueller investigation.

Guns, Guns, Guns

Noting that hundreds of thousands of people were currently in the nationwide March For Our Lives against gun violence, the candidates had differing ideas for gun safety. Marquez-Peterson and Wiles called for better background checks. Morales called for arming teachers. Martin actually said, “We don’t have a gun problem. They don’t jump off shelves and shoot people.”

Firing Mueller

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Trump betrays his supporters with John Bolton pick, signaling more ‘stupid wars’

Remember back to those halcyon days of the Trump campaign when his “America First” slogan signaled a return to American isolationism and turning away from Neocon “stupid wars” of regime change?

Despite having actually supported the Iraq war, Trump was highly critical of George W. Bush and his Neocon war cabinet on the campaign trail. Trump on Iraq: How Could We Have Been So Stupid? “One Of The Worst Decisions In The History Of The Country”:

TRUMP: I’m finding out all I can do is tell the truth. I tell the truth about Iraq. I say the war was a disaster. We spent $2 trillion. Lost thousands of lives, thousands of lives. We have wounded warriors all over the place. These guys have more courage than all of us put together. I have to tell you. All of us. And you know, I said we should have never been there. And you know, if Bush is insulted, I don’t care if he’s insulted. It was a horrible mistake. We should have never been there. Somebody says, oh, that’s not good to criticize? I say criticize? It’s one of the worst decisions in the history of the country. We have totally destabilized the Middle East.

I predicted that was going to happen. Because when you knock down the one power, the other power just took it over. Now Iran is taking over Iraq. Just as sure as you’re sitting there. We don’t even have anything to do with Iraq anymore. We’re gone. But think of it. We spent $2 trillion. Could have rebuilt our country. We could have done so much with that money. And instead, we’re worse in the Middle East than we were 15 years ago. Right now, it’s a disaster.

Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, but you know what he was good at? Killing terrorists. He was killing terrorists. Now, Iraq is Harvard for terrorists. if you want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s Harvard. And what did we do? You know, we spent all this money, lost all these lives, have all these wounded warriors. What did we get? Iran is taking over. Not only did they get the $150 billion in the stupid deal we made, one of the dumbest deals ever, but now we’re taking over Iraq, they have been fighting for years to try to take each other.

Many of Trump’s MAGA supporters voted for him specifically because they believed (irrationally) that he would get America out of “stupid wars” and he would use the savings  to “make America great again.”

On Thursday, Trump betrayed those supporters when National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster resigned (riiight, he was forced out) and Trump replaced him with the godfather of stupid wars, John Bolton, a Neocon who was one of the directors of the Project for the New American Century that advocated for regime change in Iraq and misled the Bush administration with false intelligence into the Iraq war fiasco. John Bolton, Fresh From Fox News, Joins the Trump Cast.

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House approves massive spending bill, moves to Senate to avert a government shutdown (Updated)

The U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 256-167 (proceeding under the TARGET Act) has approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill to avert a government shutdown and to fund federal agencies through Sept. 30, sending the measure over to the Senate ahead of a midnight Friday deadline.

Arizona Delegation: YES McSally, O’Halleran, Sinema; NO Biggs, Gallego, Gosar, Grijalva, Schweikert.

The Senate is expected to vote late on Thursday or Friday, before current government funding expires at midnight on Friday. There could still be another brief Aqua Buddha shutdown from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) desperately seeking attention.

You can read the massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill to search for what is hidden in it.

Here are a few highlights of what is (and is not) in the spending bill compiled from several sources including the Washington Post, Politico, and Vox.com.

OVERALL SPENDING

Defense spending generally favored by Republicans is set to rise $80 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel and $144 billion for Pentagon hardware.

Domestic spending generally favored by Democrats is set to rise by $63 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including increases in funding for infrastructure, medical research, veterans programs and efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Civilian federal employees get a 1.9 percent pay raise.

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Russia attacks Britain, Putin’s puppet fires his Secretary of State (Updated)

Events over the past week portend a developing international crisis.

On Sunday, March 4, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, England. Was the Poisoning of a Former Russian Spy a Chemical Weapons Attack?

Skripal and his daughter Yulia are still in critical condition after they were found slumped on a park bench on March 4. The officer who found them is also still in the hospital but is communicative. At least 21 people received medical attention, and hundreds more who visited the restaurant where the nerve agent has been detected may have been exposed and have been urged to wash their clothes.

* * *

The Skripal poisoning wasn’t a battlefield attack, of course, but the Chemical Weapons Convention, of which both Russia and Britain are signatories, prohibits the use of toxic chemicals such as nerve agents except for a few, specifically described purposes; assassinating ex-spies on foreign soil is not one of them.

British Prime Minister Theresa May addressed Parliament on Monday regarding the chemical weapon attack in Salisbury, England last week. In her address, she squarely placed the blame for the chemical weapons attack on the Russian government:

Mr. Speaker, this morning I chaired a meeting of the National Security Council in which we considered the information so far available. As is normal, the Council was updated on the assessment and intelligence picture, as well as the state of the investigation.

It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.

This is part of a group of nerve agents known as ‘Novichok’.

Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down; our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so; Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations; the Government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

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