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Re: “Koch Bros. and ALEC Shout From the Rooftops: "Stop Rooftop Solar!"

Good job, David. You ferreted out one example of collusion to rig the system in the Trump administration. It's not too hard to do. But the fallacy behind your approach to blogging is that your coverage is always lopsided: you're always trying to give the impression that it's only the Republicans who can be found playing this game. That is not the case, as Naomi Wolf points out in this excellent summary of what's actually going on in this country these days:

"...issues are trotted out in election years to ramp up the appearance of differences between the parties. In reality, both are largely beholden, albeit in different proportions, to the Big Six, the major special interests: what I call War Inc. (and its emerging major subsidiary, Fear Inc., or the global surveillance and security industry), Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Oil, Big Agriculture, and Wall Street. We can probably add Big Incarceration to that list now. Smart voters realize that whatever their political beliefs, it is those who don't hold power in these major industries -- that is, all the rest of us: teachers and nurses, cops and factory workers, new immigrants and small business owners, the unemployed, the retired, veterans, and the plain old middle and working class -- who [...] are getting screwed."

The difference seems to be that Republicans justify policies that screw the average citizen in propaganda emphasizing that "Benefiting industry benefits citizens!", while Democrats justify policies that screw the average citizen in propaganda emphasizing that "Benefiting immigrants or minorities or the poor benefits citizens!" To what extent is either ever true? Hard to say, because the media almost never gives us rigorous policy analysis that reliably identifies WHO ACTUALLY BENEFITS from policies championed by the left and the right, they just shovel out more of the same exhausted and misleading tropes of R-flavor and D-flavor propaganda.

Larry Lessig got it right, here and elsewhere:

But the "Democratic" Party changed the debate qualifying rules and shut down his referendum candidacy, just as they shut down Bernie Sanders' grassroots funded campaign with their Superdelegates and primaries in which Independents could not vote.

Face it, David: the Democrats have long since given up whatever right they may have previously enjoyed to be considered the party of clean hands that successfully defends the interest of the working classes. By all means, keep pointing out how dirty the Republicans are. I just hope your Koolaid-drinking readership recognizes that unfortunately, stories about dirty Republicans don't make the Democrats any cleaner than they are, either locally or nationally.

24 likes, 29 dislikes
Posted by It is well past time for a viable, grassroots-funded 3rd party. on 07/11/2017 at 11:38 AM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

Skinnyman, 5.3% of the U.S.'s illegal alien population come from Canada and Europe. That's not a "big portion". By contrast 74% of our illegal aliens come from Mexico, Central America or South America. See….

American immigration laws (and their enforcement) do not become "racist" simply because most of the people choosing to break them have dark skin.

4 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 07/11/2017 at 10:48 AM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

We're not just enforcing immigration laws, bslap. If that were all that was happening, maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal.

What we are in fact doing is terrorizing entire demographics of people based on their skin color, heritage, style of dress, etc. No one is banning or harassing or racially profiling Canadians, even though real live terrorists actually did enter the U.S. from their country and even though Canadians make up a big portion of the people who are in the U.S. without proper documentation.

Our immigration policies and enforcement are racist, plain and simple--which is not only morally indefensible, it's unconstitutional, as Tchump is discovering, much to the dismay of his tiny racist heart.

20 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by skinnyman on 07/11/2017 at 9:21 AM

Re: “Danehy

Not amused. Not concerned. U of A

2 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 07/11/2017 at 8:43 AM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

"Meanwhile, undocumented immigrants in this country are feeling an escalation of the pressure being put on them and their families"

-- Oh my gosh we are enforcing our immigration laws, call the police!

6 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 07/11/2017 at 8:33 AM

Re: “DeVos Delays Loan Relief For Students Ripped Off By For-Profit Colleges

As noted above, the problem was not just with the banks seeking profit, but with the government's deregulation that allowed for-profit companies to engage in shoddy practices. Do you see something wrong with this scenario: as elected representatives of taxpayers, destroy consumer protection regulation because doing so endears you to your campaign funders, and then when consumers get damaged because of the absence of regulatory oversight, reach into taxpayers' pockets to pay for the damage. Repeat ad infinitum. Keep allowing abuses, keep solving the problems you create by getting taxpayers to pay for it. It happened in 2008, and it was proposed again in this scenario. At least in this scenario the debtors are getting relief as well, not just the banks, but it sounds like in the programs described in this blog, the banks will benefit when taxpayers pay the debt that the banks loaned inadvisably, often knowing the borrowers were bad loan risks:

"New details unsealed last month in the state lawsuits against Navient shed light on how Sallie Mae used private subprime loans some of which it expected to default at rates as high as 92 percent as a tool to build its business relationships with colleges and universities across the country. From the outset, the lender knew that many borrowers would be unable to repay, government lawyers say, but it still made the loans, ensnaring students in debt traps that have dogged them for more than a decade."

Yes, the debtors need to be relieved of their debt. Is there a way to do that by taking the money out of the pockets of the banks and the for profit colleges, not out of the pockets of taxpayers who had no part in creating these problems? Many of the taxpayers whose taxes fund the government's "relief" programs are carrying their own debt burdens to educate their own children in American "public" universities, the costs of which have risen to between $25K per year (in-state) to more than $60K per year (out-of-state).

American students are increasingly going to college in Canada to avoid the exploitive racket higher education has become in this country:
That would be one form of just reward to the U.S. for the way it is treating the next generation: students electing to get their educations in other countries and, in all probability, become citizens and taxpayers in those countries, stepping out of the vicious cycle of exploitation that loads them up with loan debt to pay for inflated tuition rates as students and then milks them as taxpayers to pay for the problems their elected "representatives" have created in collusion with their campaign funders in the financial industry.

8 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by When did we stop asking the banks to competently assess risk? on 07/11/2017 at 8:17 AM

Re: “DeVos Delays Loan Relief For Students Ripped Off By For-Profit Colleges

I can understand free market forces. They work when the people in charge are moral and lawful and do not use government (or the absence of government) as a blunt instrument to gouge gullible, well meaning students, often leaving them in deep, deep debt with no recourse. And once again, I read comments by a former "public" school superintendent complaining about providing decent opportunities in the public sector. Disgrace ran him out of office and disgrace lingers. It is easy to believe the Huppenthal still thinks any/all critics are "evil scum," and people who receive any public assistance are "lazy pigs," and let pure profit flow to large corporations and executives.

16 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Constant Voter on 07/11/2017 at 6:55 AM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

Nathan K.: There is No Perfect System...and the Press has, as you have aptly pointed out, made mistakes. But...when these errors are discovered, they are quickly corrected!!!

There is, of course a diversity of opinion and a tendentiousness in the Press. It is for the Citizen to review, Critically, what has been said and make an informed decision!

"The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure." --Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491

22 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 07/11/2017 at 5:19 AM

Re: “In the Flesh: Tiny Town Times Debut Issue Release Show at Saint Charles Tavern! With The Rifle, Good Times Great Oldies, Treasure Mammal and Host Frank Powers (99.1 FM)

Check out the livestream video to find out a little bit about Tiny Town Times

Let's see if this works below... I'm a newspaper man. I don't know what this gibberish is. Great Caesars Ghost!

Posted by Frank! on 07/11/2017 at 1:25 AM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

The Press has exercised their freedom. And with it they have chosen to lie.

9 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by The Lying Press on 07/10/2017 at 9:58 PM

Re: “Seth MacFarlane and His Peculiar Distaste For Tucson

Having lived in your insufferable town for seven years, I completely understand why Seth McFarlane has a hate boner for your town full of crazy. I am so glad I was finally able to escape that place. As I learned to say when I lived there, if I owned a place in hell and a place in Tucson, I'd live in the place in hell and rent out the place in Tucson to a sucker, because compared to Tucson, hell is not only cooler, it's overall a more pleasant place with a better class of people.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Keith Burwood McFarland on 07/10/2017 at 9:24 PM

Re: “Tucson Restaurateurs Victimized in Home Burglary

I haven't lived in Tucson for many years, but this was always my favorite Indian restaurant! So sorry to hear about the burglary - I remember the owners fondly.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jen on 07/10/2017 at 7:07 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

Francis, with respect, come on! The president criticizing the press does not threaten the free press. No one is being stopped from printing anything.

The press deserves to be taken down a peg or two. Let's stop pretending that journalists are saintly warrior-monks fighting selflessly for the Truth. In fact, these people are 110 IQ liberal arts majors who couldn't pass calculus in college, scored too low on the LSAT to get into a good law school, and got stuffed into lockers by all the kids going to business school when they were in high school. They are just a pack of half-bright political activists, no different than a party or a PAC.

The press represent a particular, narrow range of opinions held by the coastal elites. Something like 90 percent of them vote Democrat. They have an axe to grind, and they are happy to lie to advance that agenda. For example:

In just the last six months, the Washington Post was forced to retract two Russian hacking stories (one about the "penetration of the utility grid" that didn't happen, and one about the "secret back channel connection between a Trump Tower server and a Russian bank");

The New York Times was forced to retract their claim about "17 U.S. intelligence agencies" concurring in an assessment regarding Russian hacking, they printed a libelous editorial blaming Sarah Palin for the Gabby Giffords shooting (for which they will be paying out healthy settlement), and in sworn testimony, Comey said that a Times story claiming frequent contacts between Trump campaign officials and representatives of the Russian government was "almost entirely wrong."

CNN was forced to institute new editorial approval procedures and fired three reporters after printing a completely fake story about Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian hedge fund manager.

And I could go on. These people deserve to be criticized.

8 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 07/10/2017 at 7:02 PM

Re: “Tucson Restaurateurs Victimized in Home Burglary

I have eaten there many times and have always enjoyed it. Excellent food, friendly people. So sorry they have been victimized.

However, if people wish to patronize the restaurant in order to support the owners, please get the location correct. It is nowhere near Broadway. BTW, it's also Bhattis plural, not Bhatti's, possessive. Bad journalism altogether. (Says someone whose degree is in journalism.) Meanwhile, SUPPORT THE RESTAURANT. Excellent food.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jennifer Roberson on 07/10/2017 at 5:40 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

Yes, David. Keep the focus on Trump. That way you don't have to deal with the issues that matter to most of the electorate or with what's happened to the Democratic Party, which Ralph Nader outlines very well in the quote below, emphasis mine:

"The Democrats began the process of message preceding policy. [...] That means they kept saying how bad the Republicans are. They campaigned not by saying, look how good we are, were going to bring you full Medicare [for all], were going to crack down on corporate crime against workers and consumers and the environment, stealing, lying, cheating you. Were going to get you a living wage. Were going to get a lean defense, a better defense, and get some of this money and start rebuilding your schools and bridges and water and sewage systems and libraries and clinics. Instead of saying that, they campaign by saying 'Can you believe how bad the Republicans are?' [...] they say to their progressive wing, 'Youve got nowhere to go, get off our back.' And this went right into the scapegoating of the last twenty years. 'Oh, its Nader, oh, its the Koch Brothers, oh, its the electoral college, oh, its misogyny, oh, its redneck deplorables.' THEY NEVER LOOK AT THEMSELVES IN THE MIRROR."

When it comes to why we are where we are, with Trump in the White House, it is indeed the mirror that the Democrats need to consult. They have lost credibility with the working class and with much of the professionally educated middle class. They can't and / or won't stand up to corporate America and its lobbyists and they continue to pretend that all that matters is identity politics. They will lose again if they cannot recognize that it's the ECONOMIC REALITIES people who work for a living face that can unite and mobilize the base that used to trust the Democratic Party, but no longer does. You know: all those people who voted for Obama and then Trump. We would not be where we are now if those ECONOMICALLY motivated voters had been given a candidate with a Sanders-style, not a Clinton-style message.

18 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Keep distracting the electorate, David. on 07/10/2017 at 5:12 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

Nathan K: In response: Mr. Safier is on the Mark!!!!.

"The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship (Donald Trump) to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you (Donald Trump), the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history (Donald Trump).

On the receiving end you get not only one lie..a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please. "...(the Plan of Donald Trump)

John Adams Letter to Thomas Jefferson (15 July 1817)

"Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." --Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786.

29 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 07/10/2017 at 4:27 PM

Re: “Danehy

"Did your mother have any kids that lived?"

Clever. Harvard or Princeton?

20 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Not Amused on 07/10/2017 at 4:15 PM

Re: “Police Dispatch

Why the he'll would you consent to the OVPD jackboot Nazis? Dumb, dumb,dumb. These Hitler youth rejects are the worst scumbag pigs in AZ

Posted by Jon connor on 07/10/2017 at 4:08 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

First, the President is right to point out that the media have abandoned even the pretense of objectivity, and are now acting essentially as an opposition political party. Safier has it backwards when he says the media speak truth to power. It's the opposite. The media are the powerful in this country. They define the culture. They mediate which opinions are acceptable, and punish those that are forbidden. They are the mouthpieces of the coastal cultural elite and the enforcers of their public morality. Trump, by contrast, represents a sort of dissident, populist counterculture. When Trump resists the media, he is speaking truth to their power.

Second, let's remember that Trump's travel ban has widespread popular support, garnering 60% in a recent poll. The people of our country have the right to determine who we invite to join our national community. Prospective immigrants (and unelected judges) don't get to make that decision - we do. If national sovereignty means anything, it means that.

Third, lawbreakers, like illegal immigrants, should feel pressure and anxiety. That's right and proper. If illegals are anxious about being deported, maybe they should go home.

8 likes, 32 dislikes
Posted by Nathan K on 07/10/2017 at 4:01 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: The Frog Pot Heats Up

The Viability of our Political System is being tested like it has never been tested before. Congress must put Country before Party and Remove this Inveterate Liar and Crook, Donald Trump, from Office.

29 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Francis Saitta on 07/10/2017 at 3:32 PM

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