Category Archives: International

Governor Ducey’s ads scapegoating ‘brown people’ and fear-mongering over the Mexico border

Sunday was the first full weekend of the NFL season, something to which I look forward, with my Minnesota Vikings playing in the morning and their division rivals Greenbay Packers and Chicago Bears playing in the evening. Sweet!

But my football binging experience was ruined by Governor Doug Ducey’s hateful ads scapegoating “brown people” and fear-mongering over the Mexico border, and a smear campaign against his Latino Democratic opponent, David Garcia.

I warned you that this was the GOP strategy. The GOP’s ‘ICE, ICE Baby’ campaign strategy:

Arizona Republican candidates for office at every level of office are — once again, as they have in every election cycle since 2004 — running on anti-immigrant hysteria ala Russell Pearce and Jan Brewer and Donald Trump.

Scaring old white people who vote Republican with scapegoating “brown people” and fear-mongering over the Mexico border is all they have.

Sadly, this has too often succeeded in Arizona. There are a lot of scared old white people who vote Republican in this state.

Governor Doug Ducey kicked off his reelection campaign by using your taxpayer dollars to film a campaign ad to praise his leadership on border security. Ducey uses taxpayer-funded event on border security to shoot campaign video.

Arizona’s Governor does not want to talk about the teacher crisis in Arizona, Arizona teachers make 36 percent less than peers in other careers. Don’t forget that, or the GOP’s decade plus of underfunding public education in Arizona. Arizona’s Governor does not want to talk about how he supported the lawsuit by “Kochtopus” organizations – his benefactors who got him elected four years ago with a deluge of dark money – to knock the InvestInEd ballot measure off the ballot that hundreds of thousands of Arizonans supported. Arizona’s Governor does not want to talk about how his supposed 20 percent pay raise for all teachers does no such thing. 20 percent pay raise for Arizona teachers was 100 percent bull.

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Putin’s puppet protects the Russian mafia, and his connections to it

Russian asset – and unindicted co-conspirator – mafia “Don” Trump has systematically been hollowing out America’s federal law enforcement officials who investigate international organized crime since becoming president.

Already he has removed acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord, FBI Assistant Director Mike Kortan, FBI Chief of the Counterespionage Section Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page, a lawyer in the Justice Department’s organized-crime section whose cases centered on international organized crime and money laundering.

Putin’s Russian mafia has infiltrated the U.S. government and has its puppet on the inside of American law enforcement to do its bidding.

Trump’s latest target is Department of Justice attorney Bruce Ohr, an expert in Russia and Russian organized crime.

Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic reports, Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime:

Bruce Ohr. Lisa Page. Andrew Weissmann. Andrew McCabe. President Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked these FBI and Justice Department officials as dishonest “Democrats” engaged in a partisan “witch hunt” led by the special counsel determined to tie his campaign to Russia. But Trump’s attacks have also served to highlight another thread among these officials and others who have investigated his campaign: their extensive experience in probing money laundering and organized crime, particularly as they pertain to Russia.

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Connecting the dots of the Russia investigation

The problem average Americans have with the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation is understanding how the multifaceted bits of information publicly reported over the past two years all fit together like puzzle pieces that come together into a clear picture.

Two new efforts to connect the dots of the Russia investigation are now available.

Craig Unger, an investigative journalist and writer who was deputy editor of the New York Observer and was editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine and a contributor to Vanity Fair, and the author of previous books such as House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World’s Two Most Powerful Dynasties (2004) and The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future (2007), is out with a new book, House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia (2018).

The Washington Post book review by Shane Harris explains (excerpts):

Based on his own reporting and the investigative work of a former federal prosecutor, Unger posits that through Bayrock, Trump was “indirectly providing Putin with a regular flow of intelligence on what the oligarchs were doing with their money in the U.S.”

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Surprising ruling for DACA in Texas

When Republicans in red states wanted to reverse President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program so they could deport innocent children of undocumented immigrants, they let the state of Texas take the lead in a case of forum shopping for a conservative activist judge who lets his political views color his judicial decisions.  Texas had  judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court in Houston, the perfect fit.

This is the same Texas judge that Texas and other red states used in 2015 to block a similar executive order by President Obama that would have added protections for the undocumented parents of citizens and other lawful residents (DAPA).

So the State of Texas and eight other states filed a separate lawsuit seeking to declare the DACA program illegal and seeking an injunction to stop it. Judge Hanen gave the GOP plaintiffs what they asked for with the DAPA program, so surely he would give them what they wanted with the DACA program, right?

Well surprise, surprise, surprise. Judge Hanen, his judgment no doubt colored by the recent spectacle of the Trump administration’s family separation policy and images of innocent children being abused and caged like animals,  said no – as have all the other federal courts that have ruled on the DACA program. (Since there is now not a split among the circuits, as anticipated, this case is not ripe for review by the Supreme Court).

The New York Times reports, Federal Judge in Texas Delivers Unexpected Victory for DACA Program:

A federal judge in Texas declined on Friday to halt an Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, handing a temporary victory to activists who are waging a legal fight against the Trump administration to save it.

The judge, Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court in Houston, said the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, had been relied upon by hundreds of thousands of immigrants since it was established almost six years ago, and should not be abruptly ended.

The ruling means that young immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as small children can continue to apply for the program, which shields them from immediate deportation and provides a permit to work legally in the United States.

“It’s a huge sigh of relief,” said Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “This is a huge loss for Trump and the Department of Justice, who clearly want to end the program.”

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When is a trade deal not a deal? When Donald Trump is the negotiator

Donald Trump needed another distraction yesterday, so he announced that he had reached a trade deal with Mexico to replace NAFTA.

Yeah, not even close.

As Steve Benen notes, Trump doesn’t seem to realize his new trade deal isn’t a trade deal:

Let’s back up to provide some context. For about a year, the Trump administration has engaged Canadian and Mexican officials in renegotiating the terms of the existing NAFTA agreement, which the president claims to hate, despite never fully explaining why. The months-long process has been a struggle, and by all accounts, the countries are not yet close to a trilateral deal.

Recently, however, Trump’s team has been working directly with Mexico on a provision related to auto manufacturing, and yesterday, the White House announced that those talks resulted in an agreement. That’s not nothing, and it may move the administration closer to its goal.

But it’s only a step. The Atlantic’s David Frum joked yesterday, “Congratulations to the Trump administration on reaching a preliminary agreement in principle to begin negotiations with half of America’s NAFTA counterparties with a view to revising one section of the trade agreement!

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Jose Torres Emphasizes Education, Healthcare and Immigration in the CD5 Congressional Race

Congressional District Five Democratic House Candidate Jose Torres

This election year, two Democrats are vying for an opportunity to defeat incumbent Andy Biggs. One is Joan Greene and the other is the subject of this interview, Jose Torres.

Below are Torres’ responses to a series of questions regarding the issues facing the people in the district and how he would act as the district’s next Representative.

Arizona Congressional District Five contains all or parts of Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, and Chandler. The district has been solidly Republican since 2012. Incumbent Andy Biggs is a former State Senator and current Freedom Caucus Member. This “public servant” has distinguished himself by supporting and fighting for policies that do not benefit the public. On issues ranging from Children’s Health Care to a woman’s right to choose to Medicaid Expansion to tax cuts for the rich, Biggs has continually embraced the causes championed by Dark Money special interests and reactionary conservatives who want to destroy the government they were elected to serve in.

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