Ever since Trump announced his candidacy, up has been down, black has been white, wrong has been right. That trend continues as a man who is viewed by his supporters as a populist (seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people) obviously cares nothing about the 800,000 federal employees (about a quarter of all government employees) who are not being paid during this partial government shutdown.
This Trump Shutdown is now in its 16th day and some 420,000 government employees designated as “essential” (in some cases, the lowest paid) are being forced to work without pay. The New York Times writes,“This includes upward of 41,000 law enforcement officials [including FBI and DEA], 54,000 Border Patrol agents, and 53,000 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers”.
It can be no surprise that now some of those TSA employees have begun to call in sick in protest. According to CNN,“as many as 170 TSA employees called out [sick] each day this week” at New York’s JFK International Airport. At the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, “call outs have increased by 200%–300%.” And, union officials are predicting call-outs will increase when agents miss their first paycheck, forcing them to find other jobs to put food on the table, or pay their rent, or to stay home with their young children because they can no longer afford child care. What will happen is largely unknown though, since as TSA Administrator David Pekoske said, “We’ve never had a situation where officers did not get paid” since recent shutdowns have been of a duration that didn’t result in pay delay. Continue reading
President Trump’s capitulation to Turkish President Erdogan’s demand for U.S. troops to leave Syria takes me back to 1989 when I was assigned to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. It was during Operation DESERT STORM that I first learned about the Kurds and Turkey’s desire to destroy them. Even while we were busy securing a no flyzone to protect the Kurds, the Turks were using joint intelligence to go after them. I knew the Turks considered them terrorists, but hey…one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. My country had the latter opinion – back when we at least pretended to care about “little” things like human rights.
As a young Captain assigned to the 39th Combat Support Squadron at Incirlik AB, I was in charge of food service, lodging, furnishings management and the milk, laundry, and mortuary operations at the base. Initially a sleepy hollow, things heated up real quick when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
We received the execution order for Operation Desert Storm (to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait) on January 13, 1991, and the ensuing six weeks were the most satisfying of my entire 22-year career. My provisional squadron of 95 personnel and I were doing what we’d trained to do and everyone was committed to the mission at hand. At our level at least, there were no mixed messages. We were there to fly, fight, and win. It was hard work, but we believed in the mission and knew we had the full support of our commanders, to include our commander-in-chief. Continue reading
I have been a Republican my entire adult life, I was an active duty military officer and am a combat veteran and I, like many were fooled into believing that the GOP cared about veterans, fiscal stewardship of our military and, yes, I was even fooled into thinking they cared about women and minorities. Fox News and Right-Wing Talk Radio is quite the strong narcotic. But on the night Trump was nominated by the GOP, I had enough, I left the Republican Party the next day, and I never looked back, and I never will. I am a Democrat now, and while this political party is not perfect, it is not the toxic brew of hate bigotry and misogyny that the GOP has morphed into – with zero pushback from virtually all of its members.
When Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema announced she was going to run for Jeff Flake’s Senate seat, I was all in. I immediately volunteered in any way I could. I texted thousands of Arizonans, wrote articles, and helped tell her story to Arizona veterans. As a Tucson native, combat veteran and the spouse of an active duty military member – I wanted the voice of vets like me to be heard. I wanted to help Sinema win this seat and make sure that Martha McSally and her Trumpist rhetoric lost not only her Congressional seat in Tucson, but this coveted Arizona Senate seat as well. Continue reading
Posted in Arizona Congressional Delegation, Arizona Congressional Races, Campaigns, Congress, Debates, Elections, Martha McSally, Military, Shelly Goode
Tagged 1st, Arizona, Bi-sexual, democrat, Doug Ducey, first, Jeff Flake, John McCain, Kyrsten Sinema, Maricopa, Martha McSally, mcsally, Phoenix, Pima, purple, race, Recorder, Senate, trump, Tucson, vote count, win, woman, Women's Rights
Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
Recently, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “When the government gives you something, they take something away from someone else.” “Wow”, I thought. “What a cynical way to look at the common good.” Why not view it as “when the government gives you something, it is really your neighbor giving you a helping hand”? The government is after all, nothing more or less than all of us.
And yet, the GOP has managed to convince many Americans that as Ronald Reagan said, “government is not the solution of our problem; government is the problem” and Grover Nordquist said, he wanted to “shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”
There are however, a multitude of functions that can only be effectively and fairly provided by government. There are many examples of this such as national defense and public education, but basically, I think the primary role of government is to provide for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. William Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts, wrote that,
“Liberals often don’t see the problems, and conservatives don’t see the promise, of government.”
Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
Dear Senators Flake and McCain,
First of all, let me thank you for your service to our state and our country. I realize your job is not an easy one, but hope you understand this is also not an easy time to be an engaged patriot. Millions of us are incredibly anxious about the future of our country and our world. At this time, more than almost anytime in my adult life, we need real leadership.
As a school board member, I am really worried about President Trump’s and his SecED nominee’s intentions with K–12 education. He thinks our nation’s current education system is “flush with cash” and that our children are “deprived of all knowledge.” For Arizona at least, both of these statements are ridiculous. Our per pupil funding is 48th in the nation and our teachers the 47th lowest paid. Even so, our student’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores continue to rise and we led the nation in growth on the science test from 2009 to 2015. Continue reading
Posted in Education
Tagged accountability, betsy devos, charters, commercialization, district schools, Jeff Flake, John McCain, public schools, transparency, trump, vouchers