Category Archives: Transportation

Demagogue Trump goes completely bonkers over his Muslim ‘travel ban’

Donald Trump is completely bonkers, but then you already knew that. What is happening with his Muslim “travel ban” over the weekend only confirms this.

First some background on the status of the Muslim “travel ban.” Trump’s original executive order in January was blocked by the federal district court for the state of Washington as unconstitutional religious discrimination, and that court order was affirmed by a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This elicited this response from Trump:

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That didn’t happen. Instead, the Trump Justice Department dismissed the appeal and reissued a “revised travel ban” in March. The original executive order and lawsuit no longer exist for any purposes (something Trump does not seem to comprehend, as I will explain below).

The “revised travel ban” was also challenged in court, where it has advanced to two courts of appeal. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal district court for Maryland in an en banc decision blocking the “revised travel ban” as unconstitutional religious discrimination. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on May 15 in an appeal from the federal district court for Hawaii, and appparenty took additional arguments last week. 9th Circuit hears travel ban appeal, again. That decision is pending.

The Trump Justice Department filed for review before the U.S. Supreme Court late Thursday. Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog explains the posture of this case before the Supreme Court. Trump administration asks justices to weigh in on travel ban:

[T]he federal government asked the Supreme Court to step into the legal dispute over the constitutionality of the executive order [the “revised travel ban”] that the president signed on March 6. The government also asked the court to put on hold two lower-court rulings blocking the implementation of the executive order, telling the justices that those rulings undermine “the President’s constitutional and statutory power to protect” the United States.

Last night’s filings came in two separate challenges to the March 6 order, popularly known as the “travel ban.” One challenge originated in Maryland, where a federal district judge blocked the implementation of the order on March 16; last week the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit largely upheld the Maryland judge’s order. Another challenge came from Hawaii: A district judge there also ruled for the challengers, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard oral argument in the government’s appeal on May 15, but the appeals court has not yet issued its decision. Yesterday the government urged the Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit’s ruling on the merits and to freeze the district court’s order barring the implementation of the travel ban. The government also asked the justices to freeze the Hawaii court’s ruling blocking the travel ban until the 9th Circuit appeal is resolved – and, if necessary, while the government seeks review of that decision in the Supreme Court.

Amy Howe notes that “The justices have asked the challengers to file responses to the petition for review and the requests for stays of the lower courts’ rulings. Those responses are due on or before 3 p.m. on Monday, June 12.

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While you were sleeping, AZ legislature passes Ducey’s immoral budget

After a marathon session of back room deals and arm twisting among Tea-Publican legislators — to the exclusion of the Democratic minority who represent over 40% of Arizonans — Arizona’s Tea-Publican controlled legislature approved a budget in the wee hours of Friday morning when only a handful of reporters were left watching their dirty deed. This is how one-party autocracy works in Arizona.

“A budget is a moral document.” Ducey’s budget is immoral.

The Arizona Republic reports, Arizona lawmakers pass $9.8 billion budget:

Arizona lawmakers passed a $9.8 billion budget early Friday that provides 2 percent pay hikes for public-school teachers, a modest income-tax cut for residents and $1 billion in extra bonding authority for the state’s public universities.

The final spending plan for fiscal 2018 featured key elements Republican Gov. Doug Ducey outlined in January, as lawmakers began their work. But it also underwent significant changes at the hands of Republicans in the House and Senate. No Democrats voted for the budget.

“Arizona has passed a budget that prioritizes education, boosts teacher pay, and invests in our universities — all without raising taxes on hardworking Arizonans,” Ducey said in a statement minutes after the budget won final approval at 3:55 a.m. “For the first time in a decade, we are making significant and lasting investments to grow our state.”

Ducey won’t receive the budget bills until Monday, when the Senate is scheduled to send the final documents to his office. He is expected to sign them.

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What Wall Street Costs America: Say ‘No’ to Wall Street Fees with Public Banking

Arizona’s total debt service rose 94% between 2007-2014. Why is the state paying $312 million per year in interest on Wall Street debt when we could self-fund projects with public banking?

Arizona’s total debt service rose 94% between 2007-2014. Why is the state paying $312 million per year in interest on Wall Street debt when we could self-fund projects with public banking?

The cornerstone of my economic reform ideas is establishment of public banking at the state, county, and/or municipal levels.

In a nutshell, public banking advocates believe that austerity is a lie and that budget-cutting and layoffs by governments is unnecessary and harmful to citizens. There is plenty of money. The problem is that our taxpayer funds are held in too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street and invested for the benefit of the banks’ shareholders– instead of being held here in Arizona and invested for the benefit of the citizens of Arizona. Public banks invest on Main Street for the public good — rather than allowing OUR MONEY to be gambled (and potentially lost… again) on Wall Street.

There are many ways a public bank could be constituted. For example, in my speech to the LD9 precinct committee members, I suggested taking 10% of the state’s surplus rainy day funds and using that to establish an infrastructure bank. This state bank could self-fund much needed improvements and new roads to make the state more competitive and easier to traverse. It also could lend money to counties and cities to build their projects. In turn, the state would make a modest interest rate on the loans.

Creation of a state public infrastructure bank would address several economic problems in one fell swoop:

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The real trick to making America great again

Cross posted from RestoreReason.com.  There is a path to getting America back on track, but it has nothing to do with whom we elect to be our next president. The singular most significant action each of us can take this year is to demand the members of Congress put the good of the country ahead of partisan gamesmanship and special interests. And, if they don’t, vote them out of office!

Here’s the deal. Experts agree the best way to get out economy moving again is for the Federal government to invest big in repairing the country’s infrastructure. It is up to the government to do it because of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calls “a deficiency of aggregate demand, brought on by a combination of growing inequality and a mindless wave of fiscal austerity.” Basically, no matter how much they spend, the wealthy just can’t spend enough to adequately stimulate the economy. At the same time, as of the second quarter of 2015, corporate America had more cash on-hand that the economies of Belgium and Sweden combined ($1.43 trillion for S&P companies excluding those in the financial sector.) Tech companies are especially cash rich with Microsoft having $96 billion in cash, Google $70 billion and Cisco $60 billion. Although this hoarding means companies are positioned to weather tough economic times, it hurts the economy (especially since most of this money is held in off-shore accounts to reduce tax liability.)

We are all aware that our country’s infrastructure is in bad shape. Are roads are pothole laden and our bridges are structurally unsound.   The most recent Infrastructure Report Card from the Americans Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives our Nation’s infrastructure a D+, and states that we need to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 just to get it up to standard. The number one solution toward beginning to raise the grade according to ASCE is to “increase leadership in infrastructure renewal” and the organization maintains, “America’s infrastructure needs bold leadership and a compelling vision at the national level. Continue reading

ALEC 2015 States and Nation Policy Summit in Scottsdale today

Cartoon_07Governor Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, will be welcoming the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to the hub of the “Kochtopus” evil empire in Scottsdale, Arizona today for the 2015 States and Nation Policy Summit.

The Agenda has Governor Ducey speaking at the luncheon today at Noon.

The Breakfast meeting for Thursday features former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. The Thursday luncheon speakers include about to be impeached Maine Governor Paul LePage, and president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks.

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Powers for the People: Pamela Powers Hannley Seeks LD9 House Seat

Pamela Powers Hannley

Pamela Powers Hannley, MPH

Yes, indeed, as has been hinted on this blog, I am running for the Arizona House to serve Legislative District 9.

No, I don’t need a psychiatric evaluation.

I’m running because I’m tired of government against the people. I am running for the Arizona Legislature because I want to bring back government of the people, by the people and for the people. Republican Party policies have starved the Arizona economy and thrown many citizens into financial ruin.

GOP leaders bow to dark money donors and ignore the needs of Arizona workers. They have repeatedly cut taxes for the 1% and for corporations, while allowing the people of Arizona to toil away for chronically low wages, that are well below national standards. Their policies have hindered Arizona’s competitiveness by allowing our roads and bridges to crumble and by whittling away k-12 education, vocational education, community colleges, and universities.

Arizona has been stuck in a ditch since the Tea Party took over in 2010. It’s time to take back our government, end austerity policies that are hurting Arizona families, and get back on the road to prosperity.

My slogan is “Powers for the People” because I will work for you… real people… not for corporate people. I am proud to run as a Clean Elections candidate because I believe voters– not money– should decide who runs our country.

I am running on a platform that focuses on ending wasteful spending, raising revenue, and saving money to fund jobs, infrastructure, and education. Learn more after the jump.

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