Donkey Feed, August 1, 2018


By Michael Bryan

Here is this week’s first installment of the Donkey Feed. You can see we have an amusing new logo. This week I also added a selection of three books I’m currently reading and would recommend to anyone interested in the sort of stuff I am.

I still don’t have a good qualitative read on how this feature is landing with readers. I can see that people are reading it, but I still have very thin information on how you are using it, if it’s helpful to you, if you have ideas about it that I should hear. So please, leave me a comment if you read this and let me know about your experience and suggestions so that I can make it useful as possible.

We are still in fundraising mode, so if you haven’t yet, and you like this feature, please consider a small (or large) donation.

So put your browser in reading mode, grab a cold drink, put on your specs, ’cause this is the Donkey feed…


  • Martha McSally reserves $1.65 million in airtime for the general election – guess she’s feeling pretty sure she can beat Ward and Arpaio in the primary as they split the base vote; “real” conservatives say they are leery of her (IC Arizona) as being too liberal and inconstant on border matters: AZCentral.
  • David Garcia is doing his best to remain focused on his agenda for Arizona and not bash the Republicans in his bid for the Democratic nomination to take on Gov. Ducey – He doesn’t want to beat up on those who might vote for him (The Intercept): BoingBoing.
  • Questions about the appearance of pay-to-play campaign donations to LD24 Democratic candidate John Glenn arise from his position on the Phoenix planning board: Phoenix New Times.
  • A nice brief rundown on the candidates seeking Kyrsten Synema’s open House seat in CD9: AZCentral.
  • Averages can be misleading; they certainly are when it comes to Ducey’s promised 10% average pay rise for Arizona teachers: AZCentral.
  • In the realm of not-surprising-at-all news, Arizona ranks near the bottom among state school systems: Phoenix Biz Journal.
  • Martha McSally and Kelli Ward dust it up in a non-public debate before (just) the Arizona Republic editorial board; lucky them: AZCentral.
  • Someone with knowledge of debate questions formulated by the executive committee of LD3 gave advance notice of the questions only to Andres Cano among the five candidates for the House nomination; cheaters never prosper, Andres: AZ Daily Independent.
  • Yahya Yuksel’s campaign finance reports are a mess; apparently his campaign is no better at financial compliance then they are at crisis management: Tucson Sentinel.
  • The murderer of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been extradited to stand trial for first-degree murder: AZCentral.
  • Democratic candidates for Governor, Steve Farley, David Garcia, and Kelly Fryer debate: AZCentral.


  • Donald Trump repeats his threat to shut down the government if his border wall isn’t funded; I can just imagine that went over really well with Congressional GOPers facing reelection in November: USA Today.
  • Trump’s baby concentration camps are playgrounds for child predators (AZCentral), and a threat to everyone’s civil liberties (Salon), caused by a government woefully ill-prepared (WaPo) to carry out Trump’s draconian new zero-tolerance policies: ProPublica.
  • Amy Siskind chronicles the abuses, changes for the worse, and damage done by President Trump in the 89th week of his Presidency; the list runs to 171 items: Medium.
  • Birthright citizenship (a centuries-old legal tradition in this nation [YouTube]) is under attack by the right in pursuit of keeping the brown people out: This is nothing new for Trump ( and the Know-Nothings in the GOP (BlogForArizona), who have been attacking the right all along: Salon.
  • The evidence is clear, Trump is the most incompetent President we’ve ever had; I can’t decide if he would be more dangerous if less incompetent, or if his incompetence is so deep it is itself a grave danger to the republic: Salon.
  • Liberals sigh with relief as 85-year-old Justice Notorious RBG says she has a least 5 more years on the Court in her: CNN.
  • Former tech mogul and Democratic Senator Mark Warner proposes legislation to counter foreign influence on our elections through social media: WaPo.
  • Medicare for all is scored and the bill comes in at $32 trillion over ten years; actually a bargain, really, when you think about it: Vox.
  • You are likely to be surprised that TSA Federal Air Marshalls may have you under domestic surveillance for some very flimsy reasons in a program called “Quiet Skies”: Boston Globe.
  • Yeah, you aren’t crazy, Trumpism really is fascism in a unique American guise: BoingBoing.
  • President Trump, now that there is some proof he colluded with Russia, claims collusion is not a crime, yet insists he didn’t collude; collusion is just shorthand for a conspiracy to defraud the United States, so it really is a crime (Vox), dotard: USA Today.
  • Trump disses the Koch brothers;, which likely won’t end well for him – they are REAL billionaires, after all: USA Today.
  • Pushing back on Trump’s immigration policies, the House Appropriations Committee passed a bi-partisan package of immigration reforms including alternatives to detention for immigrant families, making credible fear of threats of gangs and domestic violence grounds for asylum, and protecting some “dreamers” from deportation. AZCentral.
  • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is exploring a new rule (without Congressional approval) that would allow factoring in inflation when calculating capital gains – costing the treasury over $10 billion a year (WaPo) and creating a windfall for the wealthy: NY Times.


  • No one thought it would happen, but what of Britain leaves the EU without a trade agreement in place?: Bloomberg.
  • The GOP wants you to think the Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election; don’t believe it. Intel Community insiders consider the evidence to be overwhelming that the massive Russian effort did indeed swing a close election: Bloomberg.
  • What does it mean that Russia dumped 85% of its U.S. Treasuries just before the Helsinki summit; does Putin know something we don’t?: CNN Money.
  • U.S. Intelligence says North Korea is still building new missiles and producing fissile material; how’d that “saving the world from North Korea” summit work out, dotard?: Vox.

Books Mike’s Reading:

  • Michael Hayden is the former director of the NSA and CIA. He has produced a tick-tock account of how the Trump Administration went to war against its own intelligence agencies. What comes across most strongly is just how ignorant and desperate Trump is.
  • Ronan Farrow has produced an account of the hollowing out of the State Department and the general decline in public diplomacy that has culminated – but did not begin – under Trump.
  • Yascha Mounk documents the rise of illiberal democracy – populist democracy willing to abrogate civil liberties – around the world and explores what that might portend for America, and what we can do about it.


  1. Wonderful Donkey Feed! I’ll add more food for thought…I enjoyed reading this and looked through all of these reading suggestions ( though a lot I had read about already). The point being is that THIS time, I actually looked at Donkey Feed, at all. Normally, I would pass over to get to the “good stuff”…who knew this is where the “other good stuff” was hiding all along:) Keep up the good work.

  2. Good feedback again, Mitch. I’ll definitely consider stopping the metastatic level of growth. Perhaps 10 bullet points per topic? I tend to hit the big headlines and then some of the less conspicuous stories to be something of a one-stop shop for recent news. Perhaps I should stick to the more non-obvious stories that people might have missed but that are important? I’m glad you like the book recommendations!

  3. Thank you for the Donkey Feed – some articles that I haven’t seen. And you have asked for feedback again – so here is some from one person’s point of view. I love the idea – but too many articles – I would rather see something like a max of 10 – that is – something manageable. So then which ten is an interesting question. I am guessing most of your readers are fairly well informed – so some articles are not going to be new to them or me. But there are a lot of others that I , and I assume others, would not have seen. So a question becomes – what do your readers read? (I read the NY Times, and get Wash Post alerts etc – and sometimes stumble thru the Az Daily Star) I doubt that many of us read the same things – so an interesting challenge. The reason I suggest narrowing the list is because I am guessing that some may consider a long list intimidating and thus will not read any of the articles. And this is just one person’s opinion. Thanks for doing this! and I do like the book reviews too! Hopefully others will add their opinion too

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