Blog for Arizona Feed

  • Foreign governments, prison contractors, US lawmakers spend big bucks with Trump to curry favor
    “One year of Trump. One year of unprecedented conflicts of interest.” In 2017, at least 4 foreign governments, 16 special interest groups and 35 Republican congressional campaign committees all spent money at Trump properties, data compiled by government watchdog group Public Citizen reveals. (more…)
  • Lawsuit filed by 21 state attorneys general says FCC's repeal of #NetNeutrality broke U.S. law
    A legal battle against the recent repeal of Net Neutrality regulations by Trump's Federal Communications Commission has begun. (more…)
  • TUSD board to talk reintroduction of Mexican-American Studies at meeting
    TUCSON, AZ - The Tucson Unified School District governing board is taking one more step towards reinstating a once-illegal program. The first sigh of relief came from board member Kristel Ann Foster on August 22, 2017.
  • Buckmaster Show 1/16/2018: Is bottled water a safer alternative?
    Today on Buckmaster – A legislative update from State Senator Andrea Dalessandro (D-District 2). Then Certified Financial Planner Shelly Fishman with the Tuesday Money Maker Report. Also, is bottled water safer than tap water? Arizona State University Professor Elizabeth Graffy will answer that question. Plus, Gubernatorial Hopeful Kelly Fryer talks about why she has entered the three-way Democratic Primary. Today on Buckmaster - A legislative update from State Senator Andrea Dalessandro (D-District 2). Then Certified Financial Planner Shelly Fishman with the Tuesday Money Maker Report. Also, is bottled water safer than tap water? Arizona State University Professor Elizabeth Graffy will answer that question. Plus, Gubernatorial Hopeful Kelly Fryer talks about why she has entered the three-way Democratic Primary.
  • Feds say Arizona can move forward on work requirement for Medicaid
    Federal officials issued guidelines last week that will let Arizona and nine other states move ahead on proposals to require that able-bodied Medicaid recipients are either working or involved in “community engagement activities” to be eligible for coverage.
  • How Arizona handles emergency alerts
    Many might be wondering who is responsible for issuing an emergency alert; like the one sent out over the weekend in Hawaii.
  • 5 ways Gov. Doug Ducey's budget could affect your child's school
    Gov. Doug Ducey's budget includes $400 million in "new investments" for Arizona public schools, including teacher raises.
  • Roberts: What is Rep. Bob Thorpe trying to hide?
    Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe wants to be able to conduct state business on his personal cell phone and bar you from finding out about it.
  • Legislator Jay Lawrence: 'I am Not a Racist' ... Some Countries Are 'Shitholes'
    "They bathe and get their water and defecate in the same places ... I have no problem with referring to those kinds of places as hellholes," Lawrence said.
  • Montini: Trump's porn star affair gets silenced, and we're OK with that?
    If this were any other president, an affair with Stormy Daniels would be a YUUUGE scandal. But not Donald Trump.
  • Montini: Save a life in Arizona and … go to jail?
    Good Samaritan laws work in the majority of other states. They would work in Arizona.
  • Hear more from 6 Tempe City Council candidates at forum on Monday
    Mark your calendars: The Arizona Republic and Tempe Chamber of Commerce will host a Tempe City Council candidates forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 22.
  • Roberts: McSally leads in Arizona Senate race but can she land Trump?
    Donald Trump could determine who will be the Republican nominee in Arizona's Senate race.
  • We don’t need mass incarceration to keep people safe. This chart proves it.
    This is the chart that supporters of mass incarceration don’t want you to see. If mass incarceration were an effective way to fight crime, then one would expect to see a strong correlation between higher rates of incarceration and reduced crime. States have been running a live experiment of sorts on this over the past several years, reforming their criminal justice systems to, in short, punish people less punitively and incarcerate them for shorter periods of time for low-level offenses. Supporters of mass incarceration, such as the Trump administration and particularly Attorney General Jeff Sessions , have warned that these changes would lead to more crime. But over the past few years, we’ve actually seen the opposite. Take this chart from Adam Gelb at Pew Charitable Trusts , which advocates for criminal justice reform, that shows crime has continued to fall even as states have reduced their prison populations: Adam Gelb/Pew Charitable Trusts Gelb pointed to one particularly telling statistic: “The average crime decline across the 10 states with the greatest declines in imprisonment was 19 percent, and across the 10 states with the largest imprisonment growth it was 11 percent.” In other words, the 10 states with the largest declines in imprisonment actually saw bigger drops in crime than the 10 states with the largest increases in imprisonment. One caveat: There was an uptick in murder and violent crime rates in 2015 and 2016, based on some federal data . That led Sessions and other mass incarceration supporters to argue that criminal justice reforms had led to more crime. The good news, however, is that the data for 2017 so far indicates that violent crime and murder rates are once again on the decline , despite continuing reform efforts across the country. The chart and these figures don’t by themselves prove that incarceration does nothing to combat crime. Studies, after all, find some connection. For example, a 2015 review of the research by the Brennan Center for Justice estimated that more incarceration — and its abilities to incapacitate or deter criminals — explained about 0 to 7 percent of the crime drop since the 1990s. Other researchers estimate it drove 10 to 25 percent of the crime drop since the ’90s. But Pew’s chart and statistics are certainly not what advocates of mass incarceration would expect to see. These facts indicate that the link between more incarceration and reduced crime is weak at best. That’s particularly troubling because we know that incarceration has a lot of costs — not just in financial terms, but in its displacement of individuals and their communities too. For example, a 2015 New York Times analysis found that for every 100 black women out of prison, there are just 83 black men — what authors Justin Wolfers, David Leonhardt, and Kevin Quealy described as “1.5 million missing black men,” who could be fathers or workers in their communities but instead are behind bars. Pew’s chart suggests that those costs are part of an ineffective scheme, and that it’s possible to undo incarceration without jeopardizing public safety. For more on mass incarceration and its causes, read Vox’s explainer .
  • It's the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech
    At a time when anyone can broadcast live or post their thoughts to a social network, we should be living in a utopia of public discourse. We're not.
  • The Trump presidency: On track to becoming the most corrupt in U.S. history?
    Is Donald Trump the most corrupt president in American history? We may not be able to give him that title quite yet — after all, he’s only been president for a year. But he sure is working hard at it. In the endless outpouring of craziness emerging from this administration, where allegations that the president […] Related: Raging, isolated Trump retreats deeper into his bubble Open Thread Are Republicans complicit when it comes to Trump? Here’s how to tell.
  • Not Fighting Climate Change cost $1.5 Trillion Last Year & it is only the Beginning
    By Mark Trahant | ( ) | – – The Trump administration, and its allies in Congress, are fighting a losing war. They continue to press forward for the development of oil, gas, coal, when the rest of the world understands the implication of that folly. Global warming is the most pressing issue for our time. Period. The thing is governments really have two choices when it comes to managing the impact on its peoples from global warming: Spend money on trying to reduce the problem; or spend money on cleaning up the catastrophes. The Trump administration is on the hook for the catastrophe. A report released Monday by The National Centers for Environmental Information pegged the total cost this year at $1.5 trillion, including estimates for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. (And that doesn’t even begin to count the human toll, lost lives, lost jobs, lost opportunity.) I witnessed first hand the impact of Hurricane Maria on the island of Dominica last month. We keep hearing stories about the power grid being down (similar to Puerto Rico) and you think, why? It’s been months. Why aren’t the lights on? Then you see nearly every electrical pole on the island sideways. The entire grid needs to be rebuilt (or better, rethought) and that’s decades of infrastructure. So the figure of $1.5 trillion is far short of what will be needed. Nearly every electrical line, every other house, the damage was so widespread it’s impossible to overstate. And that’s just one island. Multiple the effect across the region. The planet. Even the United States. The Centers for Environmental Information says there were sixteen weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the country last year. These events included one drought, two flooding events, one severe freeze, eight severe storms, three cyclones, and one extraordinary wildfire. These “events” as the center defines them resulted in 362 deaths. Turns out 2017 was a record-breaking year. “In total, the U.S. was impacted by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events tying 2011 for the record number of billion-dollar disasters for an entire calendar year,” the report said. “In fact, 2017 arguably has more events than 2011 given that our analysis traditionally counts all U.S. billion-dollar wildfires, as regional-scale, seasonal events, not as multiple isolated events.More notable than the high frequency of these events is the cumulative cost, which exceeds $300 billion in 2017 — a new U.S. annual record.” A similar report was published by the Government Accountability Office including a recommendation that Executive Office of the President “identify significant climate risks and craft appropriate federal responses.” But instead of trying to reduce the impact — and the costs of weather-related catastrophe — the Trump administration continues on course for new development of oil and gas. The Interior Department announced new rules that, if enacted, will open up nearly all of the United States coastal waters to more oil and gas development beginning next year. “By proposing to open up nearly the entire OCS for potential oil and gas exploration, the United States can advance the goal of moving from aspiring for energy independence to attaining energy dominance,” said Vincent DeVito, Counselor for Energy Policy at Interior in the news release. “This decision could bring unprecedented access to America’s extensive offshore oil and gas resources and allows us to better compete with other oil-rich nations.” Or as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke put it: “ The important thing is we strike the right balance to protect our coasts and people while still powering America and achieving American Energy Dominance.” Dominance is such a funny word. How can any nation be dominant in the face of hurricanes that are ever more powerful and destructive? How does energy dominance work when tens of thousands of Americans will have to move because their homes are no longer there because of fire or storms? What happens if that number grows into the hundreds of thousands? Millions? How can we afford to spend trillions of dollars rebuilding what we have now? A group of elders on the Bering Sea immediately condemned the Interior Department’s offshore drilling plan. “We told them that in person last October and again in writing, that there were 76 tribes in these regions opposed to this,” said the statement from the elders. “The draft plan implies that Bering Sea communities were ‘generally supportive of some’ oil and gas activity. This is not accurate and there is no evidence of this from Bering Sea communities. For decades, our people have opposed oil and gas activity and we continue to oppose it today. The northern Bering Sea is a very fragile ecosystem. The marine mammals that we rely on use it as their highway and they follow specific migration routes. That is how we know when and where to find them. The noise and vibration associated with drilling will interfere with their sonar and disrupt their migrations. Then we the coastal people will lose our primary food source.” There is a connection between developing oil and gas and paying the high costs to clean up after a storm. One side of the ledger goes to a few; the oil and gas “industry.” The folks who bought and paid for this administration. The other side of the ledger is the rest of us. The taxpayers who will foot the bill for this continued folly. And on the Bering Sea? The folks who live there are one storm away from a tragedy. As the elders put it: “Our people and our way of life are being exposed to danger and we do not understand why.” Mark Trahant is the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. He is an independent journalist and a member of The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. On Twitter @TrahantReports Reprinted with permission from Mark Trahant / #IndigenousNewsWire #NativeVote18 Trahant Reports is on iTunes or Soundcloud. Download here. WION: “Gravitas: The cost of climate change”
  • Ali Velshi Gives Trump A Lesson In What 'Chain Migration' Means
    Ali Velshi's explainers are the best, bar none. Monday's little lesson about so-called 'chain migration' and Donald Trump's family tree is destined to be a classic. "While the president is calling to end this program, he himself is the result of family migration," said Velshi. Back in 1885, Donald Trump's grandfather, Friedrich trump, immigrated from Germany as a 16-year-old who spoke little English. According to a biography, he came to NewYork City to join his elder sister, who had immigrated a year early." "Friedrich worked as a barber and became a U.S. Citizen in 1892," he continued. "Now, a decade later, he married a woman from Germany named Elizabeth and brought her to the United States to live with him." So naturalized citizen Friederich reaches back to Germany for his wife, and then brings her here, because what spouse wants to live across the Atlantic Ocean anyway? She later gave birth to Fred Trump, who is Donald Trump's father. Fred grew up in Queens, and according to New York Times , he started his own construction company before the age of 21." "That business took off, and a New York paper later referred to him as the Henry Ford of the home building industry." Racism and Fred Trump were a parallel to Henry Ford, too! read more
  • Sen. Jeff Flake is going to compare Trump to Stalin, but will vote with him
    Jeff Flake (Credit: Getty/Drew Angerer) In his latest expression of flamboyant political theater, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is expected to compare President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and open contempt for the media to the likes of Soviet Union dictator Josef Stalin in a speech on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday. Presumably, at least some of Flake’s fellow party members will even be chastised in the process, but Flake’s track record proves that his words often hold little water. Flake will bash Trump’s, “unrelenting daily assault on the constitutionally-protected free press” that he is expected to say has been “as unprecedented as it is unwarranted,” according to excerpts obtained by the Washington Post. “It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies,” Flake will say. “It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader.” EXCERPTS from a speech @JeffFlake plans to deliver on Wednesday, comparing Trump’s comments on the media to Stalin: — Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) January 15, 2018 “I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit and silent,” Flake said at the time . “When the next generation asks us, why didn’t you do something, why didn’t you speak up, what are we going to say?” A brief glance at Flake’s voting record shows that, besides the volatility, he’s not all that different from Trump. While the Arizona senator’s condemnations are certainly not without merit, he’s not exactly the best messiah. Flake “votes in line with Trump’s position” 90 percent of the time,  according  to a FiveThirtyEight tracker. He sided with Trump’s tax plan in December, and every single nomination the president has put forth, except one from which he abstained. In his speech on Wednesday, Flake will say 2017 was “a year which saw the truth — objective, empirical, evidence-based truth —more battered and abused than any other in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government.” Trump’s crusade against the media is a serious danger to the free press, and Flake is correct for bringing attention to it. But on Tuesday morning, Trump spent his “executive time” attacking the media , and Flake has not done anything to censure the president — which he could very easily do. “90% of Trump 2017 news coverage was negative” -and much of it contrived!@foxandfriends — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2018 In the meantime, Flake will participate in the charade of Washington politics rather than opposing both an administration and an agenda that has already been harmful , or is projected to harm , many Americans.
  • Democrats Add Momentum to G.O.P. Push to Loosen Banking Rules
    The Senate is poised to approve significant changes to the post-crisis financial law. Some moderate Democrats are supporting the effort, even as their progressive colleagues warn that it’s too risky.