Category Archives: Ethics

Trump TV and the spawn of Satan devise an October Surprise: double-down on racism and anti-immigrant hysteria.

Trump’s party of white identity and white grievances has decided to go to the well one more time with a naked appeal to o Fox News aka Trump TV wanted to exploit a caravan of migrants as a midterm election issue, so that’s what Trump is doing:

President Donald Trump responded on Thursday morning to reports of a caravan of migrants moving through Central America toward the U.S. border by blaming Democrats for their purported “assault on our country.” The president was mimicking the commentators he was likely watching on Fox News, who urged Republicans to weaponize the caravan as an election issue ahead of next month’s midterms.

A caravan of as many as 4,000 Honduran migrants has entered Guatemala, leading Fox hosts to spend much of the week trying to stoke fears that the migrants are “heading this way” with plans “to storm our border.” None of this makes much sense — the caravan would still need to make it through all of Guatemala and Mexico, and the Mexican government is currently deploying its own resources to stop the migrants. But because Trump’s worldview is shaped by the hours of Fox he consumes each day, that coverage is having an impact on U.S. policy — and now, the topics of discussion in the midterm elections.

Trump entered the fray on Tuesday morning, warning that the U.S. would cut off aid to Honduras if the caravan isn’t turned back:

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 1.55.31 PM

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Trump Takes Martha McSally, Doug Ducey and other Republican Candidates through the Alt-Right Looking Glass at a rally in Mesa.

President Trump speaking at a rally at Mesa Gateway Airport on October 19, 2018

Once upon a time, mainstream politicians would stay far away from politicians that have been endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan or those who have taken pictures with white supremacists. That was the era before Donald Trump.

Now, as most Republican candidates (including Martha McSally and Doug Ducey) in Arizona fall over themselves to meet him at a rally in Mesa, it does not appear to matter that he was. Even in Arizona, this behavior appears to have no consequences as Doug Ducey took a picture with known white supremacists earlier this year. In another time (over two years ago), that might have dealt a deathblow to his reelection campaign. Not today and it is a shame because it teaches our children some wrong lessons about the value of a person’s character in our public servants.

Trump, The KKK-endorsed candidate and popular vote loser, spent October 19, 2018, in Arizona on a campaign swing to help Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally after her abysmal debate performance on October 15. True to form, he spent his time at a rally in Mesa wowing the crowd that traveled hours to see him, McSally, and the other state Republican candidates with outlandish remarks complementing Republicans for policies that they were not responsible for and accusing Democrats of acts either untrue or ones that Republicans or their supporters are guilty of. It is almost as if they were looking through the Alt-Right Looking Glass and mistaking the Democrats for themselves.
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The Arizona Republic endorses Governor Doug Ducey (but of course they do)

To the best of my recollection, The Arizona Republic fka The Arizona Republican has endorsed a Democrat for governor only once – in my lifetime at least – Governor Janet Napolitano for reelection in 2006. And that was only because Republicans nominated Len Munsil from the Center for Arizona Policy for governor that year. A Dominionist who would impose a theocracy in Arizona was a bridge too far even for them.

So it comes as no surprise that The Republic endorses Governor Doug Ducey for reelection. But of course they do.

What I find curious is that there is no discussion of whether Ducey intends to complete another term as governor. There is speculation that he may run for Senator McCain’s senate seat in 2020, or take a position in the Trump administration, or if President Trump does not run for reelection in 2020, to become the next son of Arizona to be a failed candidate for president. “Arizona may be the only state in America where mothers don’t tell their children that someday they can grow up and be president.” – John McCain.

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The Arizona Republic inexplicably endorses Mark Brnovich for Attorney General

Some of the nastiest campaign ads running on television have been those airing against Democratic candidate January Contreras for Attorney General. Arizona’s attorney general race has drawn national attention. Here’s why:

January Contreras

Spending on attorney-general races nationally could top $100 million this year, according to the Washington Post, with the Republican Attorney General Association investing heavily in defending its incumbents.

“The Democratic Attorney General Association is involved, too, but DAGA just does not have as much money,” said Bernie Nash, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General practice.

The firm analyzes attorney-general races and has rated Arizona’s contest as “Leans Republican.”

* * *

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has taken heat for involving Arizona in divisive national fights, such as the 20-state effort to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act. Here is the Complaint (.pdf). January Contreras argues that what Brnovich calls an issue of constitutionality is a dangerous move that would hurt vulnerable Arizonans with pre-existing health conditions.

Keep in mind that the Attorney General cannot join this lawsuit without the tacit approval of the Governor. So both Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich have signed off on the Texas lawsuit that seeks to hold the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, which would invalidate all of its patient  protections including those prohibiting discrimination against persons with preexisting conditions. Polling suggests that this is the top political issue for voters in this election. They are both on the wrong side of this issue.

January Contreras “said that ‘on Day One,’ she would remove Arizona from that lawsuit and join a concurrent one [by Democratic Attorneys General] that aims to keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions in place.”

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Unhinged Martha McSally doubles down on accusing Kyrsten Sinema of ‘treason’

It appears that Martha McSally is fully invested in her “closing argument” smear that her opponent Krysten Sinema is guilty of “treason.” Martha is completely unhinged.

The Arizona Republic reports:

Meeting for the first time since Monday’s fiery Senate debate, Republican Martha McSally doubled down on her assertion that her Democratic rival, Kyrsten Sinema, supported “treason” in a remark made 15 years ago.

McSally, a retired combat pilot, appeared on the verge of tears at one point – such an actress – as she noted that Sinema had remarked in 2003 that it was “fine” if the radio host asking a hypothetical question wanted to join the Taliban.

What Sinema Actually Said

As part of her effort to publicize a February 2003 antiwar protest in Patriots Square Park in Phoenix, Sinema appeared on the radio show of a local libertarian activist. The host, Ernest Hancock, laid out a rambling hypothetical situation — difficult to follow at times — and concluded by asking Sinema if she would be okay with him joining the Taliban.

“If I want to go fight in the Taliban army, I go over there and I’m fighting for the Taliban. I’m saying that’s a personal decision,” host Ernest Hancock said.

“Fine, I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead,” Sinema replied, before adding: “What we’re talking about here are two different things. When you say, ‘We owe something to the world,’ my definition of owing something to the world does not involve war and destruction.”

She then added that she wanted to get back to discussing her antiwar position.

If you listen to the audio of the interview, it is even less than you might imagine. This is Sinema effectively saying “Yeah, whatever Dude, do whatever you want. Can we get back to talking about what I want to talk about?” No reasonable person could take away that Sinema was advocating for the Taliban.

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Mitch McConnell: Republicans are coming for your healthcare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Believe them. (Updated)

Republicans were supposed to run on their tax cuts. Instead, they’re running away from them. Only the Chamber of Commerce (naturally) is running ads thanking Republicans like Martha McSally for making permanent the deficit busting corporate welfare tax cuts for wealthy plutocrats that did not benefit the average American taxpayer. Republicans stunned to learn voters understand exactly what their tax cut did:

The reality is not in dispute. Around two-thirds of the benefits of the tax cuts went to those in the top quintile of taxpayers, with about 20 percent of the benefits going to the richest 1 percent. By 2025, when the cuts are fully phased in, the top 1 percent will get 25 percent of the benefits. (See details here.) The centerpiece of the plan, furthermore, was a gigantic corporate [welfare] tax cut. Republicans promised that this cut would produce a wave of investment and wage increases for workers, but so far the only wave that has resulted is a tsunami of stock buybacks benefiting wealthy shareholders, which is exactly what liberals predicted.

Those facts are available to anyone who might seek them out, but most people aren’t going to. What people do notice, however, is that their paychecks didn’t look much bigger after the tax cut. Maybe they’re getting a few more dollars a week, but it certainly wasn’t life-transforming.

Tax cuts are actually tax expenditures that are paid for by borrowing money. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves, despite the GOP’s insane adherence to faith based supply-side “trickle down” economics. All it does is explode the federal deficit. Republicans like to claim they are “deficit hawks” when a Democrat is in the White House, but the truth is they are actually deficit peacocks who really don’t care about the federal deficit, especially when a Republican is in the White House.

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