Free MLK Day showing of “I Am Not Your Negro” at Loft Cinema

Free Admission

I Am Not Your Negro

MONDAY, JANUARY 21 AT 5:00PM | FREE ADMISSION at Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson

“Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a free screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, based on the work of James Baldwin, author of If Beale Street Could Talk

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for. (Dir. by Raoul Peck, 2016, USA, 95 mins., Rated PG-13) 

Thanks to our community partner, Tucson Black Film Club!

This free screening courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.”

A Better Future for Phoenix Drives Daniel Valenzuela in Run for Mayor

Phoenix Councilmember and Mayoral Candidate Daniel Valenzuela

In the runoff race to become the next Mayor of Phoenix, former Councilman Daniel Valenzuela has brought on former McCain campaign advisors in an attempt to draw Republican support to make up the 19 point deficit in his second-place finish to former Councilwoman Kate Gallego last November.

Goals and vision for Phoenix

As a council member and potential mayor, Valenzuela sees Phoenix as a great city that he wants to help make greater and more safe, inclusive, and prosperous for the children and next generations to follow. His immediate goals if elected mayor would be expanding educational opportunities, promoting equality and economic progress, and ensuring safe communities and neighborhoods. To accomplish these goals, Councilman Valenzuela would address the public policy arenas described later in the piece.

With popular Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigning his office and now serving Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District, a special non-partisan election was held in November to elect his successor. In a four-way race, Gallego received 45 percent of the vote and had a 19-point lead over her closest contender, Councilman Daniel Valenzuela.

The Blog For Arizona profiled both candidates in June and interviewed both on their positions on the issues and their vision for moving Phoenix forward. This piece describes Councilmember Valenzuela’s goals and vision for the fifth largest city in the country.

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NEW: Arizona Gets Federal Go-Ahead To Impose Work (etc.) Requirements To Receive AHCCCS Benefits, Starting In 2020

AHCCCS (aka Arizona’s Medicaid program) today received approval from the federal government to begin adding work requirements in 2020 to able-bodied individuals who receive the health insurance benefits. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). In 2016, under the previous Administration, CMS had rejected a similar Arizona request. “However, given the potential benefits of work and other forms of community engagement, we now believe that state Medicaid programs should be able to design and test incentives for beneficiary compliance with community engagement requirements.”

Governor Doug Ducey celebrated the approval: “This approval from CMS will allow Arizona to implement a community engagement requirement for able-bodied adults on AHCCCS, much like the work requirements that already exist in other state benefit programs. Employment and community engagement are proven to have a positive effect on overall health and well-being. By aligning educational and employment incentives, and providing robust job search support services and educational opportunities, Arizona can create pathways toward better health outcomes and employment opportunities for our citizens.”

Arizona Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-CD1) was quick to blast the approval, stating: “This decision by CMS will leave thousands of Arizonans facing unnecessary red tape to access affordable health care they are entitled to by law. It will cost Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars to implement, and will result in more uncompensated care in our hospitals. As we are seeing in Arkansas, which implemented similar requirements, hardworking families including veterans will lose their benefits and costs will skyrocket. This is a devastating decision for rural communities, and as a Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I will fight it.”

CMS did reject Arizona’s proposal that able-bodied individuals between the ages Continue reading

Obstruction of justice in plain sight: unindicted co-conspirator ‘Individual 1’ instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress (updated)

Donald Trump’s longtime attorney and personal “fixer” is going to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7, 2019. A source close to Cohen told the Wall Street Journal that in his testimony:

“He’s going to tell the story of what it’s like to work for a madman, and why he did it for so long,” said the person close to Mr. Cohen. “He’s going to say things that will give you chills.”

In a preview of coming attractions, Michael Cohen Acknowledges Payments for Poll Rigging:

Michael D. Cohen, the former personal lawyer and fixer for President Trump, acknowledged on Thursday that he had paid the owner of a technology services company to help doctor results of an online poll to help Mr. Trump as he considered a run for president.

In a post on Twitter about his actions, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Cohen said that he had done so at the direction of Mr. Trump, and regretted it.

The Journal reported that in early 2015, before Mr. Trump declared himself a candidate for president, Mr. Cohen gave $12,000 to $13,000 in cash stuffed in a Walmart bag to John Gauger, the owner of RedFinch Solutions, who also works for Liberty University [run by Jerry Falwell, Jr.]. The money was in exchange for help boosting Mr. Trump’s name in two online polls.

Mr. Cohen was supposed to pay Mr. Gauger $50,000 for the work, the man told The Journal, but the full amount was never paid out. However, Mr. Cohen billed the Trump Organization $50,000 for technology services, according to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who referenced the amount in a charging document.

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Reliving Terror of Gifford’s Shooting, Mom’s Group Calls for Background Checks

Pat Miesch, a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, recounts the 2011 Gabby Giffords shooting.

Pat Maisch, a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, recounts the 2011 Gabby Giffords shooting.

When the first shot went off, Pat Maisch of Tucson knew it was a gun. Standing at the end of a line to see Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, she hit the ground. The murderer had just shot Mary Reed who was shielding her children, when he ran out of bullets.

The shooter had fired 33 rounds in 20 seconds on January 8, 2011, at a “Congress on Your Corner” event, killing six people and injuring 13. Suddenly two men tackled the crazy shooter and landed on Maisch.

“In our case, we had two good guys without guns,” she said. The killer was taking another magazine out of his pocket, “and I was able to take that away from him.” She immobilized the shooter by pinning her knees on each of his ankles.

Speaking at a meeting of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, she said she was not physically injured, but is scarred by the gun violence. “People said to me, ‘that happened for a reason.’ That really pissed me off because there’s no reason that God needed Christina-Taylor Green [age 9] in heaven, or Dorwan Stoddard, or Phyllis Schneck, or Judge John Roll or Gabe Zimmerman, or Dorothy Morris.”

“This happened because people who are a danger to themselves and others shouldn’t have guns, but have easy access to them,” Maisch said.

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