Donkey Feed for August 5, 2018


By Michael Bryan

The Donkey Feed is here again, the skies are clear and blue again, happy days are here again! Seriously, though, this is the Donkey Feed: time to put on your specs, shift the browser to reader mode, and get down to the most relevant news stories, opinion, and long-form journalism I could find over the past 5 days. Please note our new, and much cuter, logo! Look at that! Awwwwwww…

I found some cool stuff online for you to get you started: a great visual breakdown of Arizona’s income inequality, a visual comparison of how the states raise their revenue (note how heavily Arizona relies on sales taxes), and a visual breakdown of America’s land use by area.

For best video of the week, I present U.S. Senator Chris Coons schooling the President on the criminality of collusion with Russia by simply reading the U.S. Code (BTW, here’s what real national security lawyers think about collusion, and seven theories of the case Mueller might consider).

As per reader requests, I have limited myself somewhat in the number of stories I present to you. This week, 10 stories for Arizona, 10 for national news, and 5 international stories, plus 3 books I’m reading this week. Hope that makes things a bit less overwhelming.

We are still fundraising here at BlogForArizona, so if you like all the weekly features and our regular blogging, please consider a small donation; you can start with buying us a Starbucks Venti Latte for just $5.

On with the main meal, then! Click on the ‘Continue Reading’ for the Feed.



  • Michigan may be the next state to get an Arizona-style redistricting commission; it will be on the ballot this midterm election even though Republicans fought hard to keep it off the ballot (Detroit News): Crooks & Liars.
  • Direct political protest is having a new golden age; people are marching and holding vigils and striking for peace, labor conditions, gun safety, and everything else you can imagine: WaPo.
  • This graph says it all about what Trumpers will accept: TPM.
  • Trump tweets to AG Jeff Sessions an order to shut down the Russia probe, despite all the progress the investigation has made; will he fire Jeff if he ignores the order?: Roll Call.
  • Trump unveils his monumentally stupid plan to roll back auto efficiency standards and the states sue him for it (Truthdig): NY Times.
  • Terrible conditions and abuse continue to be alleged against Trump’s “Guantanamo for Asylum Seekers” system of gulags, and 500 fathers in detention go on a hunger strike (Vox) to be reunited with their families: The Intercept.
  • Based on actual economic performance, Democratic administrations are just better for the economy, but we don’t say so nearly often enough; why?: Daily Beast.
  • Trump’s attempt to shut down the DACA program gets stymied by the courts once again. WaPo.
  • Trump’s own voter fraud commission found no evidence of widespread voter fraud before it was suddenly disbanded in January of this year; I wonder why it got the ax? Now thousands of documents (ProPublica) from the commission have been released: WaPo.
  • Bernie Sanders thanks the Koch brothers (YouTube) for unwittingly making the case for Single Payer Healthcare; these three charts also make the case powerfully for a national system via a RAND analysis of New York state’s proposed system (less overall cost, less out of pocket expenses, and a vastly more progressive tax structure replaces premiums): Vox.


  • Stock buybacks (which used to be considered illegal stock manipulation [Forbes]) are where the GOP’s corporate tax cut largess is largely going, not to wages or investment; they are eating our economic growth and propping up the stock market instead: The Atlantic.
  • ICE is partnering with Nicaragua’s murderous regime to hasten deportations of their nationals seeking asylum in this country. The Guardian.
  • America’s mid-term elections are still under sustained attack by Russia, and Trump does nothing to stop it; however, a bipartisan group of Senators has introduced a new sanctions bill (Think Progress) to turn up the heat on Putin: The Guardian.
  • Now Trump is threatening to leave the World Trade Organization, alarming many in Congress, whose approval would be needed: Roll Call.

What Mike’s Reading:

  • Andrew Yang, tech entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America, will be running for President in 2020. While he has no chance of winning (barring a Russian disinformation campaign), he does bring an interesting and humane agenda to the table, including Universal Basic Income.
  • David Reich is a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a leading pioneer in the use of ancient DNA for paleontology. His book is a look into the deep past of the human species using cutting-edge techniques to extract DNA from ancient bones. What he has found has changed our view of our species’ history.
  • Stephen Asma is a Professor of History at Columbia who believes that religion is able to touch and heal emotional parts of our psyche that science and technology have not yet been able to touch. It is a useful exercise to occasionally read a book that you are pretty sure you are going to disagree with, and to keep an open mind.


  1. Good stuff Mike. I’m going to have to look at what you’ve gathered so I can figure out what I can steal — I mean, use. But that’s the point, right?

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