Monday, July 31, 2017

Good luck to John Kelly

Sherman Adams, H.R. Halderman, Alexander Haig, Dick Cheney, James Baker, Howard Baker, Leon Panetta, Erskine Bowles, John Podesta, Andrew Card, Rahm Emanuel, and Denis McDonough; what do these people have in common? They had reputations as strong, competent Chiefs of Staffs who could effectively run White House Operations. For our countries sake, let us hope General John Kelly, formerly our Homeland Security Secretary, can approach the reputation of his predecessors listed above and hope to steer the country forward.

Call to Action courtesy of Desert Progressives


We are AT the deadline! Turn your Save Our Schools petitions in NOW if you still have them.   You can turn them in

  • Monday, July 31, 5-7 pm at Sandbar Mexican Grill at Desert Ridge, 21001 N. Tatum Boulevard. OR

  • Tuesday, August 17-8 pm at Coffee Plantation, 7336 E. Shea Boulevard, Scottsdlae.

Can you help us validate signatures this week? It's an easy - inside job! Sign up here for the North Scottsdale location


Get ready for some deep advocacy on behalf of under-served people in our country: people who can't afford the time it takes to get required ID to vote, detained immigrants, financially-strapped students, at-risk teens, and endangered species at the border wall site. Activism calls us to speak out against injustice that doesn't affect us directly and use the power of our collective voices to do good. 
Click here to use Jen Hofmann's Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience
This week's biggest good news, is of course, the Senate's vote NOT to repeal the Affordable Care Act! Thank you Senators Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski for doing the lion's share of the work to stand against this latest terrible bill, and our own Senator John McCain for deciding to do the right thing, too. A special thanks to Senate Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who despite facing treatment for Stage 4 cancer, got herself on a plane to vote NO on the repeal. Another unsung hero!

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Tom Stiglich

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Chip Bok

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Marian Kamensky

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Kevin Kaullagher

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Marshall Ramsey

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Rob Rogers

Sunday, July 30, 2017

This Week In Incompetence Review

What a week of government incompetence.

First, the President continued his ill-advised attacks on twitter against Republican Senators who were against Trumpcare, his own attorney general, and acting F.B.I. director for being weak, not stopping the Russian investigation, and not investigating Hillary Clinton, and the President of China for not being strong on North Korea.

Second, the President using twitter again to ban transgenders from the military and lying about saying he had consulted with the military causing the Joint Chiefs leaders to reply and say that they needed guidance from the Oval Office before implementing this ban.

Third, The Presidents new communication director (not on the payroll yet) gave fairly bombastic interviews which resulted in the ouster (undignified) of the Chief of Staff, Rance Priebus. In a sane world, Priebus (don't feel sorry for him) would still be there and the new communication director would be gone. Not in this reality.

Fourth, Science deniers, fossil fuel lobbyists, and ultra conservatives are filling the science literate positions at EPA, the interior, and the State Department. A bad risk for our country that these positions are being filled by individuals whose heads are in the sand with regards to scientific reality.

Fifth, The President delivering self-serving, ideological (bordering on fascist), and frankly small minded speeches to both the Boy Scouts and law enforcement officials which were disavowed by leaders of those organizations.

Finally, the Republican fanatical zeal to pass any version of repealing and replacing Obamacare no matter how many people were hurt is an insult to the purpose of public service, specifically to serve and help people and move the country forward.

This was one bad week for competence. Let us hope people finally start to wake up from this delusion of how to run things and alter course.

Excerpt from Designing Women 20 years ago

This is an excerpt from an episode of the television show "Designing Women", where one of the main characters portrayed by Dixie Carter is running for local office. This is very telling about how little things have really changed on the ultra conservative mindset. Enjoy!

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Phil Hands

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Ken Catalino

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Marian Kamensky

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Gary Huck

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Scott Stantis

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Two Progressive Ideas of the Week

There are two ideas for this week and they may seem a little repetitive because they have been mentioned before but these, like other ideas, are very essential to moving country forward.

The first one, courtesy of the Center for American Progress, proposes a bipartisan solution to stabilizing the Obamacare insurance markets. The good thing about this legislation is it has already been written as parts of one of the Republican Health Care Bills. If Democrats compromised on maybe the medical device tax which most do not like anyway, maybe a deal could be struck.

The second idea is redesigning the process of how congressional districts will be drawn to avoid gerrymandering. The Supreme Court has already made this partially possible in earlier rulings this year. It will hear two more cases next year. Two good solutions put forth is to either have independent commissions design the congressional districts (something California and Arizona does) or take the human element out and have a computer program do it. These would be the best ways to get bias out of the district drawing process.

Book of the Week

This weeks book of the week is an historical account of what bipartisan cooperation should look like. It is  Harry and Arthur: Truman, Vandenberg, and the Partnership That Created the Free World by Lawrence J. Haas

It is a book that tells of the beginning of the Cold War and the political alliance forged by Democratic President Harry Truman and Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg in helping create the policies that would contain Soviet ambitions in Europe.

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Gary Varvel

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Joe Heller

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Steve Sack

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Adam Zyglis

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Stephen Benson

Friday, July 28, 2017

What the Democrats need to do now?

Now that the Republican plans for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) appear to have been put down, now is the time for the Democrats to step up and present their ideas for fixing that law and invite Republicans to join them with their ideas and present a bipartisan proposal that will stabilize the situation. Senate Minority Leader Schumer gave a very eloquent speech last night following the defeat of the "skinny" amendment (in sharp contrast to the petty one delivered by Majority Leader McConnell). The Democrats need to take this opportunity to show they are the party of progressive ideas and their remedies are best to move the country forward.

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Nate Beeler

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Lisa Benson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Stephen Benson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jimmy Marguiles

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Gary Varvel

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Bob Gorrell

Thursday, July 27, 2017

They were wrong then: They are wrong now on Transgenders in the Military

Years ago, there were "experts" that said integrating the armed services would be bad for combat readiness and morale. That was wrong then.

They then said the same about women serving in combat. They were wrong then too.

Later, they said openly gay servicepersons would be a hindrance to morale. Guess what: wrong again.

Now the President offers this tweet to ban transgenders, based in part on the reactionary zeal of the ultra conservative and alt right factions of the President's followers who feel Putin is a good Christian because he is anti gay. This is wrong now and the military should be applauded for resisting this. Let's hope public pressure gets the President to reverse his position.

News on Moving forward with Clean Energy

Tesla is launching a project to supply Hawaii with thousands of solar panels so the reserve energy can power one of the islands at night.

Like France, Britain is committing to halt the production of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040.

The Centrist-Left Leaning think tank The Third Way has an interesting presentation on how to combat climate change with an all hands on deck approach with different clean energy options. This was the strategy of the Obama Administration and should be the strategy of this one.

Single Payer on the rise among United States Mayors

While the United States Senate considers various levels of repealing (and replacing in some cases) The Affordable Care Act, the countries mayors are increasingly warming to a version of a single payer health care system. As stated in previous posts, one idea that should be considered is for people and small business employers to pay for individual or employee pool health insurance through if cities offer the option to people and businesses housed in their boundaries. They could be charged as a line item on their utility bill. It is a good idea that should be considered.

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Adam Zyglis

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Andy Marlette

Editorial Cartoons courtesy of Mike Luckovich

Editorial Cartoons courtesy of Gary Huck

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Anne Telnaes

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Haze

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why won't the Democrats and Media acknowledge President Trump is a minority President?

Progressives and Democrats are showing weakness and a certain level of stupidity by not going on every show or event and starting their presentations, saying the people liked Hillary Clinton's ideas more than Donald Trumps by close to 3,000,000 votes. In this debate over health care, they should be starting every speech by saying in the last election, the majority of the people did not want Trumpcare.

Hillary Clinton is the most successful presidential candidate to not get the Presidency. If it was not for the electoral college, she would be the President. It is shameful that Democrats and Progressives continue to slam her. Did her campaign make mistakes? Of course but no one, including the Trump people, thought he was going to win. Only in retrospect, did people realize that more attention should have been paid to the Rust Belt. Also, let's face it. James Comey's letter ten days before the election (which yielded nothing) swayed people in these areas as well as Florida and North Carolina.

The media as well bears responsibility for letting Trump continually boast about his "great victory" and not continually correct him or his surrogates for misstating the facts. On only one occasion when Peter Alexander corrected him at a press conference, was the President forced to acknowledge his victory was not all that great.

Progressives and Democrats would do better not to disown the candidate that did get the most votes and whose ideas, if anyone bothered to pay attention, were the ones the people wanted. This is a better introductory strategy than what they are pursuing as they launch their campaign to win voters back.

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Tom Toles

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Kevin Siers

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Steve Benson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jimmy Marguiles

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Pat Bagley

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Mike Lester

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Better Deal compared to the Next Deal and the People's Platform

The Democrats unveiled a series of new policies committed to creating ten million new jobs through infrastructure projects, increasing the minimum wage, reducing prescription drug prices, and going after business monopolies. They have called this "A Better Deal" for the American People.

While these are worthwhile goals to advocate for and should be supported, this first series of proposals is very timid. Please read the more ambitious goals from two progressive organizations below. Their programs speak more to the concerns of the people than the Democratic proposal. While there is no doubt that the Democrats will unveil more ideas, they should probably have been more ambitious yesterday and embraced the ideas of some of the organizations below and blended them with Sanders and Clinton ideas and push a more progressive dynamic version of "A Better Deal" forward.

"It's a Mad House": Political Decency, Thought, and Etiquette is dying and President Trump is becoming the George Steinbrenner (1970's and 80's) version of politics.

To quote Charlton Heston from the sci fi 1968 classic "Planet of the Apes," "It's a Mad House, a Mad House."

Now, this did not begin with Donald Trump and his campaign of big lies (think Mexico will pay for it and your health care will be better and cheaper) and tweets which increasingly reflect an unhinged mind as he calls his attorney general weak and beleaguered for not investigating a political opponent and his whining about the lack of loyalty to a group of boy scouts.

You can say this began with the total Republican obstructionist campaigns in both the Clinton and Obama administrations personified in part by Newt Gingrich and Mitch McConnell who adopted strategies from suggesting conspiracies when government officials committed suicide (Vince Foster), shutting down the government, causing our nation's credit rating to drop, stealing a Supreme Court seat, to downright unhinged opposition to the point where their uninformed followers, as reflected in the political cartoon from Clay Jones below, love the Affordable Care Act but hate Obamacare (They're the same thing in case people had a doubt). This behavior preys on people's fears of the other as evidenced by wanting a wall on the southern, but not northern border. I guess the white people from Canada are not as threatening as the brown people from Mexico. This behavior even extends to the more virulent radical forms of conservatism (if you can imagine that) where a failed Senate candidate earned rightful condemnation, calling for John McCain to retire in the hopes that the Arizona Governor would appoint her to his seat. The sad part is this individual will not lose her small base of support.

This sort of opposition may bring short term power gains and even result in policies that temporarily do not move the country forward. But the American people do eventually catch on and put these people in their proper places.

To illustrate, the President has become the George Steinbrenner (the 1970's and 80"s version) of politics. Now both men were friends when the Yankees Owner was alive and they did share friends, notably the former Joe McCarthy legal counsel Roy Cohn who advised both of them. Now Trump acts like Steinbrenner from the period when he first owned the Yankees. After a period of success rebuilding the team and bringing it World Championships in the late 70's, Steinbrenners abrasive behaviors became more bombastic when the team did not repeat throughout the 1980's. He fired managers and general managers on whims, sometimes only after the season was two weeks old. He fought his players and managers in the media, making comments both on and off the record. Does this sound familiar. Now Steinbrenner did mellow after getting suspended for paying someone to get incriminating information on Dave Winfield, and his team is now a perennial contender year in and year out. Maybe the President will mellow and change. It is a dream we should all have because the country needs a leader who is stable and respected.

Right now political decency, thought and etiquette are on the decline among our public servants. This is not acceptable and we need to hold our leaders to higher accounts and to lead by examples and high standards, not behaving like bullies and an uncontrolled mob.

Recommended Videos on The President and Health Care from the Other 98 % and Robert Reich: MUST WATCH

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Adam Zyglis

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Darrin Bell

Monday, July 24, 2017

Call to Action courtesy of Desert Progressives


It appears there will be a vote to proceed to debate on Tuesday, however, it is still unknown whether the vote will be on the House bill, the first version of the Senate bill, or the second version of the Senate bill. Republicans have been unable to reach a consensus after estimates showed as many as 22 million fewer Americans would be insured by 2026 (15 million by next year) if the proposals became law.  A plan to repeal the ACA appears to have run aground.  McConell is not giving up though.

The CBO score is the same for the new bill.  If they try to do a full ACA repeal it would mean 32 million people lose coverage.
Read the full CBO results here.
For a simple explanation of the bill, you can also go to our DESERT PROGRESSIVES WEBSITE/LETTER LIBRARY. Just download the letter: CBO JUDGEMENT ON SENATE HEALTHCARE BILL for information. 
Please continue to call Senators McCain (202) 224-2235 and Flake (202) 224-4521 to urge them to say NO to the latest bill and/or repeal of the ACA.  The latest bill still imposes fundamental sweeping changes in the Medicaid program including deep cuts that would affect some of the most vulnerable in our society (including disabled children & poor seniors). It would affect our rural hospitals and nursing homes, which would have a difficult time staying in existence. VOTE No to protect Arizona's citizens and economy.
Keeping the pressure on them is our best response.


You can still MAKE A DIFFERENCE for PUBLIC EDUCATION in Arizona.  We have just 8 days left to collect the 75,000 signatures needed to force a referendum on the de-funding of Arizona public schools. If you already have petitions, the Save Our Schools website and Facebook page have lots of places you can go to collect signatures, including your local DMV office.  For a full list of BACK TO SCHOOL and other event sign ups click Here 
If you need help with "How to engage" people for signatures, watch this quick video.

If you need a notary, click here.  And remember, WE ARE ONLY ON TRACK IF YOU BRING THEM BACK!

On Monday, (7-24-17) Mickey will be at  Mesquite Library (PV Mall) 5:00 - 6:00 PM
On Friday (7-28-17) afternoon Judy will be available.  Just call her:  602-769-5149 or Email:  Or better yet, meet her at the Phone Bank Fridaymorning!
We will also be at the Desert Progressives Happy/Social Hour Tuesday 5:30-7:30 PM
Other Drop Sites available here

A special note regarding John McCain:
No matter what our feelings are about how Sen McCain votes, he is, first of all, a father, a husband...a human being. With this in mind, we hope you will offer he and his family good wishes for his recovery.


 TUESDAY, JULY 25, 2017  7:30  - 9:30 AM at Senator Flake's Office, 2200 E Camelback Road Bring signs, water and wear a hat to join Indivisible Phoenix at their weekly protest.  

Open to the public:   Hosted by Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce
WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2017    5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Ahwatukee Events Center (Mt Park Community Church)
2408 E Pecos Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85048

Registration and networking will begin at 5:30 PM with the Candidate Forum from 6 – 7 PM. The forum will feature Councilman Candidates, Kevin Patterson and Sal DiCiccio.  Candidates will answer questions from Moderator, Harvey Gibson.  Please submit your questions for consideration to
Refreshments provided.

THURSDAY, JULY 27, 2017    6:00 pm – 8:00 PM
Center for Neighborhood Leadership
816 N 1st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003

The Community Advisory Board will be holding and co-hosting a series of accountability sessions to ask Sheriff Penzone important questions.
For more information go here

Summer Training Series: Campaign Training-Field Work

Thursday, July 275:30-7:30

Are you interested in running for office or working on a campaign and not sure where to begin? Join us for our second installment of a three-part series to train potential candidates and campaign staff. Learn how to develop a campaign plan, essential roles on your campaign, and getting started. This is a FREE training, but space is limited. Please RSVP to Once you have RSVP'd you will receive location details. For more info, go here. 
RSVP to receive location details.


Yes, there's so much bad news, so it's really important to take care of ourselves and take the time to focus on all the great news, too!  
  • A heads up as to what bills might be introduced in the 2018 legislative session.  ALEC is at it again...  A Must Read  
  • Senate parliamentarian rules that major parts of healthcare bill require 60 votes.

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Lisa Benson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Ed Hall

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of David Horsey

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Steve Sack

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Mike Luckovich

The Lincoln Project Points out Trump's many flaws in "Regret"

After taking a few days off, the Lincoln Project has released another effective ad called "Regret" With a comic in the background ...