Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sweet irony that someone with four or six bankruptcies under his belt is lecturing the Puerto Rican government on prioritizing relief funding.

It is a sweet irony that a person who has, depending on how you analyze it, four to six bankruptcies under his belt has the gall to say that the people of Puerto Rico are expecting everyone to help them without having to do anything themselves. It is especially galling that the President comments that Puerto Rico's debt has to be a factor when considering the rebuilding of the island.  How ironic. How despicable. How unpresidential. As the mayor of San Juan has indicated:  People are dying. Who cares about the bottom line? I guess Donald Trump does when it is not one of his enterprises.

Turnabout is fair play. Apparently Canada wants The United States to raise wages.

One of the reasons the President wanted to reopen negotiations on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement was that most Americans are worried about losing jobs to the southern side of the border because of the lower wages the Mexicans make. It turns out the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the same issue with the nation immediately south of his border, namely the United States for the geographically illiterate. Prime Minister Trudeau would like the United States government to get rid of the right to work laws in some states which hurt unions and as a result high wages and labor standards. With the shoe on the other foot, let's see how the Trump Administration negotiates its way out of this. It is time for the art of the deal.

New Rules from Bill Maher's 9/29 Real Time

Shields (Klein) and Brooks from the 9/29 edition of News Hour

Editorial Poster courtesy of Lancelart

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Ann Telnaes

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jack Ohman

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Dave Granlund

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jim Morin

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of RJ Matson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of RJ Matson

Friday, September 29, 2017

Idea of the Week: Call Congress to PASS C.H.I.P. and increase advertising and the enrollment period in the Health Care Markets.

It is the zenith of incompetence and immorality that Congress adjourned without passing an extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program. This program helps nine million children. What is Congress thinking leaving town without taking care of some of our most vulnerable? Call your Senator and Representative and tell them to get with the program.

It is also the height of meanness to make it harder to enroll in the Health Care Markets by measures like having the system down for maintenance, reducing the advertising budget,  and shortening the enrollment period. Now that Mr. Million Dollars in charter flights is no longer the Secretary of Health and Human Services, maybe some humans will prevail upon the department to change its ways. Call your Senator and Representative to get these stringent measures loosened.

Movie/Documentary Series of the Week

Like PBS and occasionally the History and Discovery Channels, CNN produces well-researched documentaries. Among them are the Sixties, The Seventies, The Eighties, The Nineties, and The History of Comedy. Now not all of them are out yet but people interested in history and public policy should be on the lookout for them and add them to their multimedia library.

Book of the Week

This weeks Book of the Week is from the writers who brought you works like Why the Right Went Wrong, Our Divided Political Heart, It's Even Worse than it Looks and It's Even Worse than it Was

Theis weeks recommendation is
One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported

by E.J. Dionne Jr. (Author), Norman J. Ornstein (Author), Thomas E. Mann  (Author)

Great Message from the Air Force Academy Superintendent: MUST WATCH. PASS ON TO THE PRESIDENT.

Editorial Poster courtesy of No Labels

Editorial Poster courtesy of No Labels

Editorial Poster courtesy of Living Blue in a Red State

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Lisa Benson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Adam Zyglis

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Gary Varvel

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jimmy Marguiles

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of David Horsey

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Phil Hands

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Tom Toles

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What is happening in the Senate Justice Committee and what have Mrs. and Mr. Kushner not been telling the Senate Intelligence Committee?

Apparently, when Jared Kushner went before the Senate Intelligence Committee a couple of months ago, he forgot to mention that his wife and himself used a private email account to conduct government business. Let us see if the New York F.B.I. office and the Republican Congress makes a stink about this.

Meanwhile, the Senate Justice Committee, on a party-line vote, has cleared the President's nominee to head the Justice Department's Crime Division despite two black marks against him. This nominee, Brian Benczkowski, does not have any experience as a prosecutor. That is the first black mark against him. The other black mark and more important is that this nominee started to represent the Russia bank Alfa, a financial institution that may have had ties to the Trump family and possibly Trump Campaign. What are the Republicans on the committee thinking? This person should not be confirmed. Hopefully, there are three Republican Senators that feel the same way.

What is the President taking and what the Senate did for health care when no one was looking.

The latest Trump sidestep from reality is his contention that the Senate had the votes for health care but one Republican Senator was in the hospital. The problem with this scenario is it is not true. The question is how long will his devoted supporters continue to believe these "inaccurate" statements is the real thing to watch out for. Another thing to watch out for is what the Senate does on health care now that the fever of repeal and replace seems to have broken. They quietly passed a measure that would expand Obamacare medicare protections. Can bipartisan Obamacare market stabilization legislation be that far behind? Let us hope so.

Let's go Democrats: Support Doug Jones in Alabama, Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona and continue to surprise at the state and local level.

Democrats need to invest in Doug Jones, a credible candidate that has an outside chance of beating extreme right candidate Roy Moore in Alabama. The key will be to drive up the vote in Birmingham. The Democrats should not waste this opportunity.

The Democrats should also not waste the chance to defeat Jeff Flake as Kyrsten Sinema has announced that she is running for that Senate Seat.

As Democrats are making gains in local state seats, the momentum seems to be going with them. Let us keep it up for the next three and a half years and then some.

Don't fall for Trickle Down Again. It really is Voodoo Zombie Economics.

Trickle Down Economics does not work. It did not work in the 1980's under President Reagan, It only seemed to because at the same time the tax cuts became law, gas prices dropped and there was a proliferation of credit card offerings. That was the real stimulus to the economy then. It did not work in the 2000's when President Bush II signed two tax cut measures. Within five years of the second one, we were in the Great Recession. The best economic and jobs performance in this country occurred after tax increases at the tail end of the Bush I Administration and the Clinton one in the 1990's and the Obama Administration after 2013. Call your Congressperson and urge them not to fall for this false promise of gold at the end of this rainbow. It is not there.

Editorial Poster courtesy of American Reformers

Editorial Poster of The Other 98 %

Editorial Poster of Occupy Democrats

Editorial Poster courtesy of Cafe

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Adam Zyglis

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Kevin Kallugher

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Matt Wuerker

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of RJ Matson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Dan Wasserman

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jack Ohman

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Tom Toles

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Matt Wuerker

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Forget Deficit Busting Tax Cuts for the Rich. Forget Health Care Measures that screw the American People. Forget the Shipping Industry that wants to enforce the Jones Act. It is time to focus on rebuilding areas devastated by hurricanes and our nations infrastructure.

The Pat Bagley Editorial Cartoon shown in today's issue may be illustrative of President Trump's attitude towards the people of Puerto Rico. He waived the Jones Act for Texas and Florida but not for Puerto Rico. Maybe the states had the Presidents back because they had more electoral votes and white people. Our leaders, as previous posts have maintained, need to stop focusing on tax cuts and health care that hurts most of the people and we need to rebuild our nation and become the city on the hill and beacon for all.

Meanwhile in Iraq, Spain, and Scotland

Everyone should pay attention to developments among the Kurds in Iraq, the Catalans in Spain, and the Scots in Britain. The Kurds overwhelmingly passed an independence referendum today much to the consternation of the Iraqi Government. The Catalans are poised to do the same thing this Sunday in Spain. The Scots support for independence has increased with the coming of Brexit. We need to be aware of these events because these could escalate into troubling situations for N.A.T.O. and the increasing instability of the Middle East.

Editorial Poster courtesy of Red State Democrats

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Pat Bagley

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Dave Granlund

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Dana Summers

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Stephen Benson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Mike Luckovich

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jack Ohman

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This week in Technology courtesy of Futurism Magazine.

This can be a great day for the Democrats if they know how to handle it.

Remember the name, Doug Jones. This is not the former Major League Pitcher. This is the former United States Attorney whose chances for winning the Alabama Senate Seat once held by Jeff Sessions skyrocketed with disgraced former State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore winning the Republican Primary tonight. The election for the seat will be held in December. Moore is a candidate who is to the right of the alt-right. Even though this is Alabama, the Democrats, through Jones, may have a real chance (although it is still slim) to pull this out and set the Democrats on course for major inroads in local, state, and federal elections in 2018. In another bit of news, Democrats, at the state level took another Republican-held seat in Florida. Let's see what happens in New Jersey and Virginia in November. It can be telling if Democrats do not blow it.

Congratulations to Target for pledging to raise its minimum wage to $15.00 by 2020. Let us see Walmart match that.

Must read from Jared Bernstein on the hypocrisy of Republicans towards deficits when taxes are concerned.

This is B.S. if this is real.

My mother is a legal immigrant. She is no threat to national security and there is no reason on this Earth for our government to collect any social media information on people like her and if I was a betting person, the social media data on 99 percent of the legal and illegal immigrants. This country needs to focus on protecting us from real threats like real terrorists (of whatever ethnic persuasion), not legal immigrants, not the great majority of illegal immigrants, and not overpaid athletes who refuse to stand for the pledge as is their right to protest questionable treatment by a minority of trigger-happy law enforcement officials. The President, a minority victor in last years elections,  needs to spend less time dividing us to appease his uneducated and bigoted base and pulling us together when we need it.

Thank you Susan Collins, John McCain, and Rand Paul. Now maybe we can go back to bipartisanism

Now that the latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare has failed, it is time for Republican leadership to face reality and embrace the idea of bipartisanship to solve the issues challenging our nation. These include stabilizing health care, tax reform that helps grow the economy, raise income, and create jobs, and an infrastructure program that upgrades our countries airline, shipping, roads, electrical grid, and communication systems as well as rebuilding those areas devastated by hurricanes over the last month.

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of RJ Matson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Patrick Chappatte

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jimmy Marguiles

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Stephen Benson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Pat Bagley

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Clay Bennett

Monday, September 25, 2017

Call to Action courtesy of Desert Progressives

Support a Dreamer! 
October 5 is the deadline to renew their temporary status
You can be a hero to a young person facing deportation. Since the president rescinded the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, up to 6,000 young people in Arizona must renew their temporary immigration status by October 5, or risk deportation from the only home most of these talented youth have ever known.

The good news is that with the help of attorneys and others who are donating their services, organizations like Promise Arizona are helping Dreamers file the required documents at no charge.

However, many of these young people don't have the resources to pay the $495 federal application fee to renew their DACA status on such short notice.

All gifts to Promise Arizona go toward paying these application fees. Please join us in donating what you can today..

Turn Arizona BLUE in 2018
It's easy to sometimes feel discouraged about living in a red state, but the great news is that we're actually within reach of electing progressives to the Arizona legislature who will represent our values!. And by turning Arizona blue, we can impact the direction of our country, too!

But we need to start NOW  -- and it will take all of us working together to make it happen!  So, Desert Progressives is partnering with an inspiring group of young people from C.A.S.E. (Central Arizonan's for a Sustainable Economy) to help register new voters and get new, diverse voters who share our values to the polls, too. (They have a plan - and already registered 40,000 new voters before Nov 2016, which was instrumental in unseating Sheriff Joe!)

We've already started - and here's our Success Report! Saturday, September 24, we
knocked on 187 doors
talked to 55 voters
registered 2 new voters AND
collected 27 Commitment Cards, in which people pledged to vote on immigration, education and health care issues in 2018!
We can contact even more voters with your help! Meet us (almost) every Saturday from 10 am - 2 pm through November 11.

Our NEXT canvassing date is Saturday, October 7, at 11240 N. 19th Ave (on the southwest corner of 19th Ave & Cholla..look for the building with the red tile roof). After a brief training, we'll go out to survey and register infrequent voters. The more folks we have, the more effective we will be. Bring your walking shoes, water and a fully charged cell phone! Contact Judy or Mickey to RSVP or find out more!

Trump's Terrible Foreign Policy
Stand Indivisible!
This week, Trump spoke in front of the United Nations General Assembly. If you didn't see it (spoiler alert!), it was a national embarrassment. Trump doubled down on his "America First" nationalism and bigotry. Visit the Indivisiblog to read more about Trump's disastrous foreign policy speech from Indivisible's new Foreign Policy Manager, Elizabeth Beavers.

Arizona Action
We the People Summit
Register Now!
Don't miss this powerful event on Saturday, November 4 from 8:30 am - 6 pm! Building on the momentum of January's Women's March, the first summit this past summer helped progressive groups from throughout Arizona to collaborate.  Join us in November when we have the chance to connect and build on what we've already started together! We need you there!

We the People are individuals, grassroots organizations, and established nonprofits who seek to empower, educate, and connect the citizens of Arizona. The We the People Summit will give you the tools and techniques to empower you to make a difference in your community and make sure your voice is heard in local and state government. Early bird tickets are available now! $35 general, $20 students. Find out more and register here today!.
Yes for
Paradise Valley Students

We strongly urge everyone who's eligible to vote YES for the  Paradise Valley School District's Override Election,  this November 2017!

AND we urge you to volunteer and support the campaign. Join Yes for PV Students campaign's Kick-off event on Tuesday, Sept 26 from 4-7 pm when you can get yard signs, car magnets and learn about other ways you can support the campaign. Or if you can't make it (since you'll be coming to the Desert Progressives Indivisible Meeting that night!), you can get more information about the override here. And learn more about how you can support the PV Override at the next DPI meeting!
Legislative Activism Training 101 & 102 with Dianne Post

Those of you who were at our July Desert Progressives Indivisible meeting will remember the amazing Dianne Post who led us through a process of not only selecting a goal, but also gathering actions and resources to make it happen

Join her and others on Tuesday, October 3 from 6-9 pm for this Legislative 101 training AND do a Legislative 202 training in preparation for the upcoming 2018 AZ legislative session!

For 2018, the chapter's legislative activism will focus on the passage of the ERA, repeal of the tampon tax and the introduction of child marriage laws in AZ. Learn more about it here. This free training will take place at the AFL-CIO office at 3117 N. 16th Street. Register here.
National Action 
from Jen Hofmann
Submit Public Testimony for Monday's Graham-Cassidy Hearing
Email: by 1:00 pm EST Monday 9/25.

Subject line: Graham-Cassidy hearing, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

Script: I/my family rely/relies on quality, affordable healthcare. Because of this, I oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill. My story with [Medicaid, coverage caps, pre-existing conditions, disabilities, affordability, etc.] is… I would like to see a bipartisan Congressional effort to improve the ACA, not repeal it.
Sincerely, [name] [address]

Note: After September 30, 2017, the Senate will need 60 votes to repeal the ACA, not 51. Their urgency is real. Use your voice today.

Bonus: If you have blue senators, make two calls using Indivisible’s great strategy to run out the clock.

Advocate for Kids' Healthcare
Call: All 3 MoCs (lookup).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to ask [name] to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program before funding lapses on September 30th. Millions of children rely on this funding. This is not the time to be angling for partisan policy riders. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to insure a clean reauthorization of CHIP?
Advocate to Keep DACA Youth Here in the US, Their Home
Call: Your 3 MoCs (lookup). If you’ve already called.

Script: Hi. I am from [ZIP], calling to ask [name] to support a clean Dream Act that gives permanent legal status to DACA recipients without attaching funding for a border wall. Has [name] co-sponsored S. 1615 (Senate) / H.R. 3440 (House)? Thanks!
Oppose Industry's Practice of Influencing Environmental Policy
Call: Your 2 senators (lookup).

Script:  Hi I’m from [ZIP]. I was sorry to see the House pass a pro-lobbyist bill, the EPA Science Reform Act, which has now been sent to the Senate. The Union of Concerned Scientists opposes this bill. I know [name] doesn’t want to empower lobbyists and let big money shape environmental policy. Can you tell me whether [name] plans to vote against this bill? Thank you.

Acts of Gratitude 
We like these recommendations from our friend Jen Hofmann this week.

Thank Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) for working together to improve the ACA. Bipartisan collaboration is challenging in this contentious environment, so I appreciate your efforts to prioritize the American people over political differences. Name, state, party.

Address (SC): 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Address (BN): 716 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Thank Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for supporting an amendment to continue funding the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. I especially appreciate your bipartisan collaboration and advocacy for our planet and its people. Name, state, party.

Address (JM): 313 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Address (SC): 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Address (LA): 455 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Thank Jimmy Kimmel for using his position and influence to spotlight the healthcare crises so many Americans face and for challenging our elected officials to do better. Even though you didn’t have to, I’m glad you did. Thank you.

Address: 6834 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90028-6135

Good News!
Check out the love coming our way from the national Indivisible team for successfully lobbying McCain to vote NO on Graham-Cassidy.

Check out the always-inspiring good news this week from Peace is Loud. Here's a recap of some encouraging news:
The fight for immigrant rights continues: A federal judge ruled that Jeff Sessions can’t block sanctuary cities from receiving federal funding; California passed a “sanctuary state” bill which bans law enforcement from working with ICE in most cases; and the Teamsters Joint Council 16 has become a sanctuary union, citing the deportation of a member as a “wakeup call.”
Rhode Island will pay DACA renewal fees for every Dreamer in their state, and three members of Congress were arrested in Make the Road’s latest demonstration supporting a clean DREAM Act.
The military will allow transgender troops to re-enlist and continue receiving medical care. (This may change if Trump’s ban goes into effect, but this bipartisan bill, which would block the ban entirely, is gaining momentum.)

Should we lock him up: Jared Kushner pulled a Clinton and is using a private server.

Let us start a countdown and see what comes first, the second coming of Jesus or Congressional hearings on Jared Kushner for using a private server like Hillary Clinton. Maybe hell will freeze over first.

Call to Action: We need to be better and quicker at rebuilding areas devastated by environmental disasters.

This is the United States. This is the country that put people on the Moon. This is the country that is the world's number one superpower. Why is this country not launching a massive rebuilding effort for areas like Puerto Rico, Houston, the Virgin Islands, parts of Florida and the other parts of the United States and its territories devastated by three hurricanes over the last month? We used to be better than this but this is the third time in the last 12 years that this country, over three administrations, dropped the ball when an environmental disaster occurred. We dropped it on Katrina. We dropped it on the BP oil spill. We are dropping it now and we need to get it right so people do not needlessly suffer anymore.

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Kevin Siers

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of RJ Matson

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Adam Zyglis

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Mike Luckovich

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Mitt Priggee

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Matt Wuerker

Editorial Cartoons of the Week courtesy of AZ Blue Meanie at Blog for Arizona