Category Archives: Uncategorized

Confront Corruption Vigil Tonight in Tucson

By Michael Bryan

Inexplicably, no one had organized a Confront Corruption / Demand Democracy candlelight vigil for the Tucson area tonight, so I took it upon myself to remedy the problem. You can use this quick link to RSVP, if you like.

A candlelight vigil will take place on the front lawn of 4400 East Broadway Boulevard, starting at sundown (7:30pm), where Rep. Martha McSally has her district office. The location is clearly visible to passing traffic on Broadway. Bring signs and candles and/or chemical glow sticks to peacefully stand up for our democracy against the assaults by President Trump and his Republican-led Congress of inaction and unaccountability.

 

Anita Malik hopes to defeat embattled Representative David Schweikert for the Congressional Seat in District Six this November.

Congressional District Six Democratic Candidate Anita Malik

In November, voters in Arizona and across the nation will go to the polls to elect new members to the House of Representatives and a third of the United States Senate. In this first election after the contest that thrust popular vote loser Donald Trump into the White House, Democrats will seek to build on the Congressional gains they achieved in 2016 and reach out to a surging group of enthusiastic voters who want a new direction for the country.

Needing 25 Representative seats, Democrats see this election as a major opportunity, with clear majorities rejecting the Republican program and Trump in particular, to gain control of the House for the first time since 2010. One of the seats Democrats hope to “flip” is the one occupied by Arizona Congressional Six Incumbent David Schweikert. Congressional District Six in Arizona includes all or parts of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Glendale, and Phoenix. Currently embattled in a political scandal that has seen the departure of his chief of staff, three Democrats are vying this year to be the candidate to defeat him this November. They are Anita Malik, Heather Ross, and Garrick McFadden.

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A Letter to the GOP: Trump Doesn’t Know What U.S. Interests Are

By Michael Bryan

Charles De Gaulle famously said, “Nations have no friends, only interests.” Trump should listen, as he seems to have no idea that the United States has permanent interests beyond his whims. That is to say, Trump seems to believe that the interests of the United States consist only in him making “friends” with our foes, and declaring our traditional allies over historical time-scales to be ‘foes’.

Just because Trump likes Vladi Putin and Kimmy Jong Un does not change the fact that the interest of the United States consists in marginalizing and degrading the power of these dictatorial regimes, not celebrating them nor aligning with them. Our interests cannot be aligned with theirs. They are our foes for good reasons, not because past Presidents were insufficiently nice to them.

Why is it in our interest to resist the policy goals of nations like Russia and North Korea, you might ask? To begin with, they are international pariahs who murder people to maintain their power. If that weren’t enough, their national aspirations directly conflict with long-term American allies whose interests ARE aligned with our own, such as the NATO member states, the wider EU, and South Korea. If that STILL were not enough, they are economically insignificant as potential economic partners to the United States. North Korea has the GDP of a mid-sized American city, at best. Russia is a petro-state with an economy the size of Italy, but which lacks the dynamism of an Italy due to endemic corruption: Russia is basically a nuclear-armed organized crime syndicate in control of a mid-tier economy of mostly impoverished people. All that Russia has to offer is carbon energy at a time when carbon energy is in decline and the United States is largely self-sufficient in carbon energy. Plus, they attacked us and influenced our elections; they are no ‘friends’ of ours.

I am not some genius who solely can see this. Many, many Americans can and do recognize that the President is acting foolishly and embarrassing our nation before the entire world. Though many members of Congress understand this, only Democrats will act openly to oppose Trump’s follies. The Constitution makes the President the conductor of American foreign policy with the power to negotiate treaties and appoint ambassadors, but only with the concurrence of the Senate. Just as any symphony conductor would be turfed off the stage if he began to deviate too far from the sheet music, a President needs to be checked strongly if he begins to conduct foreign policy based on his own friendships and interests, and not those of the nation he serves.

President Trump has proven again and again that he is unable to recognize and operationalize the interests of the nation he serves. Congress is the only organization that can check and correct him. If they won’t do that job, then they must be replaced with a Congress that will exercise that oversight.

Don’t kid yourself. Even if you are a Republican, you must recognize that the Republican party is now acting merely as the party of Trump. A Republican-led Congress will not contain this President. The only way to contain this reckless and vain President is a vigorous oppositional Congress. Vote Democratic this year in all your Congressional races or our nation’s interests will suffer. I hope that enough of you are patriots able to recognize what has to be done.

21 Year Retired Air Force Veteran Master Sergeant and Civic Activist Michelle Harris seeks to turn the LD 13 Senate Seat Blue in November

Democratic LD 13 Senate Candidate Michelle Harris

With her husband as a campaign manager and 30 volunteers at her disposal, retired 21 Year Air Force Veteran Master Sergeant and local Civic Activist Michelle Harris is seeking the LD 13 Senate Seat this November in order to make it Blue. Her potential opponent, to be determined after the August 28 Primary, may be disgraced expelled State House Member Don Shooter. This well qualified and experienced Clean Elections candidate, with a compelling message and agenda, is one of many Democrats that will help shift the balance of power from Republicans in the November Elections.

Over water, coffee, croissants, and a very huge Blueberry Muffin at Mimi’s Café at Dysart and the I-10, Master Sergeant Harris enthusiastically relayed why she is the best candidate for the State Senate in LD 13 and the its residents whose territory stretches from Yuma in the South to Wickenburg in the North with parts or all of Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Buckeye, and Avondale in between. Motivated to run because local state leaders from the district or the Corporation Commission did not take the time to address concerns in a either a timely (sewage rate increase) or any (school voucher expansion) manner, Harris wants to use the training and experience gained from her service in the Air Force to engage with all stakeholders on the needs of the district and solve problems in a consensus fashion. If she prevails this November, she will be the first Democrat in recent memory to win a legislative seat in this district.

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Helping Children is the First Priority for State Senate Candidate and 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh.

LD 28 Democratic State Senate Candidate and 2016 Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh

While petting a year old German Shepard Mix named Zuzu at the Democratic Party LD 28 office on Shea and 32nd Street, State Senate Christine Marsh relayed her reasons for wanting to replace incumbent Kate Brophy McGee in the Arizona Senate and the legislative goals she would like to pursue after taking office in January 2019.

Partially inspired by a conversation with a student, in her English class at Chaparral High School, on whether children in Arizona were worth as much as children in other states, Ms. Marsh, a 2016 State Teacher of the Year, is running largely on a pro-public education platform in the Purple Arizona District 28 on a ticket with State House Incumbent Kelli Butler and House Challenger Aaron Lieberman. A very attainable Marsh win in LD 28 would help Democrats achieve their realistic goal of gaining control of the State Senate in November’s elections.

Arizona Legislative District 28 is similar in some ways to Arizona Legislative District 18. It is a district that is becoming increasingly blue as evidenced by Kelli Butler’s State House win in 2016 and Kate Brophy McGee’s two-point squeaker over Democrat opponent Eric Meyer in the same election. A district that includes parts of Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Glendale, Democrats have a well-organized and energized team led by Field Director Chris Fleischman (the dog parent of Zuzu) and able volunteers like Tyler Kowch, an Arizona resident who found education in Canada a cheaper option.

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Putting America Last: The Historic Failure of Walls

Historically, walls separating nations do not work as well as intended over the long term. Photo of Gaza/Israel boundary courtesy of the New York Times.

Walls delineating boundaries between nations or barriers for defense have stood since the dawn of human history. Wall Street in Manhattan, for example, received its name because Dutch settlers erected a walled defense against the Native American tribes they had wronged with unprovoked genocidal type raids.

If one wants to visit Christopher Columbus’s house in Genoa Italy, not far from it is the old city walls of Genoa, which is now surrounded by modern buildings. Everyone has heard of the Great Wall of China, the walls of Jericho and Troy, and the Berlin Wall. All of these barriers were created for either defense, to keep people out, or to keep people in. What does history tell us about these walls?

It tells us that while walls may be necessary to preserve boundaries and prevent invasion, they are not foolproof and eventually doomed, thanks to human ingenuity, to failure.

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