The Department of Homeland Security is moving closer to a shutdown, meaning Southern Arizona Border Patrol agents and other DHS employees will be expected to work for vouchers or be furloughed. Talking Points Memo reports:
House Republican leaders are refusing to support legislation that funds the Department of Homeland Security without imposing immigration policy restrictions, a sign that the department is headed for a partial shutdown Friday night.
The legislation is all but guaranteed to pass the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have championed it in an agreement to bring up immigration bills separately. Even conservative firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has signaled he won't hold up the "clean" DHS bill ahead of the Friday midnight deadline to avert a shutdown.
But in the House, it's a very different story. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), facing a rebellion from his members, isn't ready to swallow the standalone DHS bill just yet, and is exploring options to continue fighting President Barack Obama's initiatives on immigration.
"We want to stop the president's immigration actions with regard to immigration," Boehner told reporters Thursday. "It's outrageous that Senate Democrats are using Homeland Security funding for blackmail to protect the actions of the president. ... We're waiting to see what the Senate can or can't do, and then we're going to make decisions about how to proceed."
Among members of Arizona's Southern Arizona congressional delegation, Democrats Raul Grijalva and Ann Kirkpatrick support a clean funding bill without amendments targeting the Obama administration's recent executive actions on immigration, while Republican Martha McSally has declined to say whether she supports a clean funding bill. McSally voted to attach the amendments to the bill, but wrote in the USA Today yesterday that the Homeland Security funding shouldn't be attached to the fight against the expanded program to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. But she also declined to tell the Weekly if she would support a clean funding bill.
I walked into Goodness Juice Bar near the UA campus with some preconceived notions. "Surely," I thought in a flurry of booze hauteur, "a juice bar can't possibly be making good cocktails." After all, half of their drinks are made with flavored vodkas. For someone who doesn't judge a dive bar by its slummy digs, I quickly began to eat (er, sip) my words at this juice bar.
Moving past the loud house/trance music pumping through the speakers, the bar itself was curiously well-stocked with en vogue liquors like Buffalo Trace as well as local spirits like Arizona Distilling Co.'s Copper City bourbon. Clean, bright and shiny, the bar is visually appealing. The bartender on duty was personable and accommodating. I felt bad for being judgmental almost immediately.
The Watership Down ($7) looked like the most health nutty of the just under ten drink menu, so that of course was the one to get with its beet juice, lemon juice, basil and pickled carrot garnish. It uses Pimm's, and like most of the drinks, Demerera simple as the cocktail base. The drink was tart and lightly sweet with a nice earthy quality from the beet juice. The best part is the carrot, which adds the perfect, albeit, spicy kick at the end of the drink.
While Goodness gets props for serving a tasty drink, I was curious to see if the drink itself was really that healthy since it is being served at a juice bar. Breaking down the drink's recipe, my nearest estimate puts the drink right around 130 calories, which, for the amount of flavor you get from the Watership Down is pretty impressive. (A normal margarita is over 150 calories.) Plus the health benefits of beet juice (potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber, vitamins A, B, and C, etc.) pretty much speak for themselves.
Overall, the drinks, which run at about $7 or $8 per, are reasonably priced and from what I tasted are actually worth the stop. Plus maybe you can trick yourself into thinking it was actually somewhat healthy. The bar, located at 1011 N. Tyndall Ave., is open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. until close and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until close.
John and Diane Foley—the parents of James Foley, an inspiring freelance journalist who was murdered by members of ISIS in Syria on Aug. 19, 2014—will participate this evening in a discussion at the University of Arizona about what it is like for journalists to face a world that seems to be getting more and more dangerous.
I spoke with Diane a few days ago, and she said being a part of these talks are important to them because it is a way to keep their son's inspirations alive. Until his last breath, James was an advocate for his fellow journalists' freedom of speech, and a loud voice shedding light on people's suffering, hoping that through his work he'd be able to change things.
"We feel Jim's spirit with us, and it helps me continue," she said. "Whether it was a child in the inner city of Phoenix or a child suffering in the middle of war, advocating for freelancers and their needs. He was always one to try to help the underdog."
Foley is among 61 correspondents and other reporters who were killed last year, and more than 1,100 journalists and other media workers from Latin America to the Middle East have been killed since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The groups says that figure does not include the many others who have been kidnapped, imprisoned, threatened or forced to flee.
Through the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, the Foleys hope to help protect journalists reporting from war zones, health and social aids working in dangerous regions and also inspire others to be more involved in the issue. It something that concerns all of us.
In recent days, Diane has been in touch with the family of Kayla Mueller, a Prescott native humanitarian aid worker and activist who was killed on Feb. 6 while held hostage by ISIS. She had been worried about Kayla's situation for over a year, since she was taken captive in Aug. 2013.
"She was a wonderful young girl, huge heart," she said. "She is one of our heroes."
Diane reached out to her family and hopes to be in touch with them more often, although she wishes they could have met under other circumstances.
"We are going through this horrible situation together," she said.
The forum today is sponsored by the Center for Border & Global Journalism.
Journalist Terry Anderson, a former Associated Press correspondent who was held hostage in Beirut, Lebanon for almost seven years, will participate, as will David McCraw, a First Amendment lawyer from The New York Times. The discussion will be moderated by UA journalism professor and co-director of the Center for Border & Global Journalism, Mort Rosenblum.
The talk is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the UA's Integrated Learning Center Auditorium 120, located near the Main Library.
Things seem to be going well between Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, especially now that legislation clarifying who can fire people in the state's Board of Education is underway.
State Sen. Kelli Ward of Lake Havasu City collaborated with Ducey and Douglas on the language, which would be added as an amendment to HB 2184.
The amendment says the board is responsible for its executives, but Douglas would be the one who implements board policies.
About two weeks ago, the pair got into it after Douglas fired the board's Executive Director Christine Thompson and Assistant Director Sabrina Vazquez. Gov. Doug Ducey then said Douglas had no legal right to do this, and overturned the layoffs, and they went back to work shortly after (awkward).
Douglas then release a statement that said Ducey apparently viewed himself as both the governor and the superintendent of schools.
We can all put that behind us now.
The Arizona Department of Education issues this:
This decades-old series features readings by well-known Tucson writers and an open mic for poets, performance artists… More