President Donald Trump has decided to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance for access to classified information, he said in a statement read by press secretary Sarah Sanders Wednesday.
The courtesy of allowing a former administration official to retain security clearance has been “outweighed by the risk posed by his erratic conduct and behavior,” Trump said in the statement. “Mr. Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.”
He added that Brennan “has recently leveraged his status … to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and on television, about this administration.”
Today at 10:00 a.m., students across Arizona will walkout of their classrooms for a 17 minute vigil in remembrance of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
If you believe young people shouldn’t be walking out of their classrooms on Wednesday to protest gun violence in America, if you believe this is a waste of precious classroom time and only encourages chaos and defiance …
… you are wrong.
The kids are right.
These young people are citizens of this country, and every citizen has the right to commit acts of civil disobedience in the face of great wrongs.
Today, Sen. Flake’s seatmate, Senator John McCain, joins him in defending the free press against Donald Trump’s attacks on the free press in an op-ed in the Washington Post. Mr. President, stop attacking the press:
After leaving office, President Ronald Reagan created the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award to recognize individuals who have fought to spread liberty worldwide. Nancy Reagan continued the tradition after her husband’s death, and in 2008 she bestowed the honor on human rights icon Natan Sharansky, who credited Reagan’s strong defense of freedom for his own survival in Soviet gulags. Reagan recognized that as leader of the free world, his words carried enormous weight, and he used them to inspire the unprecedented spread of democracy around the world.
President Trump does not seem to understand that his rhetoric and actions reverberate in the same way. He has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing “fake news awards” upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he disagrees with. Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy.
According to theCommittee to Protect Journalists, 2017 wasone of the most dangerousyears to be a journalist. Last year, the organization documented 262 cases of journalists being imprisoned for their work. Reporters around the world face intimidation, threats of violence, harassment, persecution and sometimes even death as governments resort to brutal censorship to silence the truth.
For years, the Republican campaign style has been increasingly restrictive.
George W. Bush started it all. McCain, Palin, and others who followed fine-tuned the information control tactics– requiring pre-registration and tickets for political events, banning political signs, and requiring pre-approved questions.
During the 2010 elections, this trend evolved into paid admission for political events (not just fundraising events), few if any audience questions, and elimination of photography and videotaping. Teapublicans in 2010 became so hostile to the press– or anyone who challenged their ideas– that physical dust-ups occurred. (Does anyone remember Joe Miller?)
Fast forward to the 2012 elections and we see a disturbing trend: Democrats adopting Republican information control techniques. The most recent incident was May 26 at a Cochise County Democratic Party Candidates Forum. US Senate candidates Dr. David Ruben and Dr. Richard Carmona were scheduled to speak, along with Jeremy Lasher, Southern Arizona Field Organizer for the Ron Barber campaign.
A beautiful day in Sierra Vista, local Democrats gathered in the shade for a picnic and political speeches. Everything was sunny until video blogger and Cochise County Democratic Party Precinct Committee (PC) Person Alison McLeod started videotaping the speeches. The first hint of a problem came when Lasher covered his face with a clipboard and muttered something about Facebook, as he entered the backyard of a private home where the candidates’ forum was being held. (You can see him and his clipboard in the video below.)
McLeod successfully filmed Ruben's speech and mingling local Democrats, but when Carmona started his standard stump speech, campaign operative and Communications Director Andy Barr insisted that she stop filming. The situation degenerated to the point where a Cochise County Democrat covered the lens of McLeod's camera and asked her to leave.
In an era where many citizens carry the Internet and a video camera in their pockets, this attempt to control distribution of messages is naive at best and heavy-handed at worst. For a candidate who touts transparency, it is ill-advised for Carmona to allow his staff to deny press coverage of speeches and activities.
Yes, this event was held in the backyard of a private home, but it was a Democratic Party event (not a private party), candidates delivered campaign speeches, and it was freely publicized on the Internet. From the Cochise County Democratic Party website…
Upcoming Activities and Events
Monday, April 30, 2012, Cochise County Democratic Committee meeting Democratic Office, 1010 E. Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista – 6:00 PM.
Saturday, May 5, 2012, West End Fair – Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista, 11:00AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday, May 26, 2012, May Fundraiser Picnic and Candidates Forum – more details to follow
In my opinion, this candidates’ forum was a public event, and McLeod had every right as a citizen journalist– not to mention a Democratic Party PC and a Carmona supporter– to film the speeches and publish them.
McLeod and I have videotaped and published stories about candidate speeches at multiple Democratic Party events with no restrictions… until Barr joined the Carmona campaign and instituted new press rules. Barr informed each of us (on separate occasions) that the press is not allowed to attend and cover certain campaign events.
Although McLeod's run-in with Barr occurred at a Democratic Party event in the backyard of a private home, mine occurred after a Democratic Party event at Hotel Congress several weeks ago. The day after I filmed the 30-minute speech (excerpted here and published here), I got a call from Barr. Having worked in public relations for many years, I assumed he was being a conscientious media relations person and following up to see if I needed more information before publishing my story. (At the event, I had introduced myself as a blogger for the Tucson Citizen and the Huffington Post to Carmona, who seemed totally cool about everything, and chatted with me for a few minutes as a dozen other people snapped pictures—and probably shot cell phone video.)
Unfortunately, Barr was following up to tell me I should not have attended the event and should not have filmed it because the press was not allowed to attend. I was shocked, really, and told him that I was invited to the event and had RSVP’d; I assumed I was invited because I am a political blogger and videographer. In our multi-e-mail exchange, I warned Barr that in Southern Arizona, there’s a blogger with a video camera around every corner and that the campaign should just deal with it… instead of trying to fight it. How can the campaign invite the party faithful to hear Carmona’s message and weed out the bloggers and video enthusiasts? They can’t, and trying makes them look naïve.
In actuality, seven of Tucson’s most prolific political bloggers are (or have been) Democratic Party PCs—Three Sonorans, Poco Bravo, AZ Blue Meanie, Mike Bryan, Dave Safir, Tedski, and moi. Many of those guys are (or have been) on the Pima County Democratic Party Executive Committee and/or the Arizona Democratic Party Statewide Committee. Also, there are blogging PCs in Maricopa County and elsewhere in the state.
In an era where regular newspapers cover a fraction of the news they used to and television news shows have been reduced to book tour publicity venues and celebrity news, citizens need social media, blogs, and alternative news sources to be informed.
Dr. Carmona, in the spirit of President Thomas Jefferson, who wanted to mail newspapers to every American, let the press be free.
Pima County Democratic Party Chair Jo Holt will be speaking on “Electing Democrats and Looking forward to the General Election”. The Arizona primary is on August 28, 2018 so don’t forget to vote. “Jo was born in Houston, TX and … Continue reading →
Hosted by Presidio San Agustín del Tucson and La Cocina Restaurant & Cantina “Tucson’s official birthday party will take place in the Presidio District on Aug. 20, the City’s actual birthday, from 5-7:30 pm. Hosted by the Tucson/Pima County Historic … Continue reading →
City of Tucson’s Official 242nd Birthday FREE Monday, August 21st at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson 5:30 pm Gates open Music by Los Changuitos Feos 6:00 – 6:45 pm Flag and Cannon Firing Ceremony 6:45 pm Family-friendly food tasting celebrating the … Continue reading →
Hosted by AEA Latino Outreach and 3 others “It’s time for our candidates to let us know how they specifically plan to fix our broken public education system. Arizona Center for Empowerment is inviting candidates running for governor, the Arizona … Continue reading →
The RSVP Deadline is August 19th The Child Separation Fiasco: How did we get here? The policy of family separation evoked alarm and outrage from the general public this summer. But this practice is merely the latest in a decades-long … Continue reading →
“Brought to you by the Pima County Public Defenders Office and the Reentry Coalition of Pima County. Whether you have a family member who has recently been incarcerated, is serving a long sentence, preparing to release, or has recently released, … Continue reading →
“Join us on August 24 to learn about the current status of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the opportunities in revisiting the agreement, and the current status of negotiations between Canada, Mexico and the United States. Mr. Lopez will also discuss … Continue reading →
August 25, 2018 Special Day Full of Fun and Excitement in Greenlee County, AZ! Contact Greenlee County Democratic Party Chair, Susan Breen, for more information and to let her know you’ll be there. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 10:00 AM –Save Our Schools … Continue reading →
“This year for Women’s Equality Day (Aug 25), Tucson NOW and the other organizations involved in the Courageous Conversations event planning are having a fundraising event at Dusty Monk (see flyer above). A portion of the sales will go toward … Continue reading →
AZ Celebrates The 19th Amendment 2018 Sun, August 26, 2018, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM DESCRIPTION “This year’s program is all about the women. . . the ones who are courageously speaking out about their past abuse and harassment through … Continue reading →
LD 10 Rep. Kirsten Engel will be speaking about the Southwest Key Facility & Family Separation at Arizona’s Border. She was first elected in Nov. 2016 and is facing a 4 Dem primary on August 28, 2018. Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreEmailTumblrPrintPocketRedditLinkedInGooglePinterestLike this:Like Loading...
Hosted by Tucson Refugee and Iskashitaa Refugee Network “Learn the facts about refugee resettlement and gain knowledge on the struggles and successes of a new American: • Who is a Refugee, Asylee or an Immigrant? • Review of Global, National, … Continue reading →
Vote in the Democratic, Republican or Green primaries for several offices this August: all Arizona statewide offices (i.e. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, two on Corporation Commission, etc.); as well as one U.S. Senate … Continue reading →
“Join the Tucson David Garcia Team, we will be watching the returns come in, eating some delicious food, and celebrating all of our efforts in Tucson! This special night belongs to all of the volunteers and staff of the campaign! … Continue reading →
“You’re invited to our 2018 Primary Night Unity Party! Join us as we come together to celebrate the end of Primary season and the beginning of the 2018 General Election. Sit back, relax, and watch the Primary Election results roll … Continue reading →
“Come celebrate with Kelly Fryer and watch the Primary Election Night results! We are so grateful to all of our supporters who have powered this campaign so far, and hope you can join us on this special night as we … Continue reading →
“Over a year after Steve began his non-stop road trip across Arizona, we will have our victory party right back where we kicked off the campaign, The Arizona Inn! Doors open and 6:30. Come to join us and watch live … Continue reading →
Hosted by Maricopa County Democratic Party andArizona Democratic Party “Come watch Primary Election Results with the Arizona Democratic Party and MCDP! This event is free (contributions welcome). Join us as we learn which candidates will move on to November.” https://www.facebook.com/events/600018750399463/Share … Continue reading →
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29 AT 7:30PM | REGULAR ADMISSION PRICES Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago (held August 26–29) at this special screening of Haskell Wexler’s acclaimed 1969 political documentary/drama, Medium Cool, shot during … Continue reading →
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