Sunday, October 02, 2022

Guessing that Mark Brnovich is doing a happy dance right about now

Pointed at this by Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.

From KOLD (Tucson), written by Bud Foster -

Teen girl denied medication refill under AZ’s new abortion law

A 14-year-old Tucson girl was denied a refill of a life-saving prescription drug she had been taking for years just two days after Arizona’s new abortion law had taken effect.

14 year old Emma Thompson has debilitating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis which has kept her in and out of the hospital for most of her life. She relies on methotrexate to help tame the effects of the disease.

Walgreens, where the med was denied, responded with a rather weaselly statement.  From the same KOLD article -

Walgreens, where the prescription was denied sent us this statement:

Bud, our focus is meeting the needs of our patients and making sure they have access to the medications they need, in compliance with applicable pharmacy laws and regulations. Trigger laws in various states require additional steps for dispensing certain prescriptions and apply to all pharmacies, including Walgreens. In these states, our pharmacists work closely with prescribers as needed, to fill lawful, clinically appropriate prescriptions. We provide ongoing training and information to help our pharmacists understand the latest requirements in their area, and with these supports, the expectation is they are empowered to fill lawful, clinically appropriate prescriptions.

Brnovich likes to tout things when he's involved in having someone killed, but he hasn't put out a press release on this one.

With Louie Gohmert (R-TX) out of Congress next term, AZ will have the dubious distinction of having the craziest member of Congress

* - assuming Paul Gosar (R-AZ9) wins reelection, and since he's facing only write-in competitors in the general election, I don't believe that would be an undue assumption.

From Mediaite -

GOP Rep. Gosar Promotes Far-Right Nick Fuentes Documentary, Claims It’s Proof of ‘Persecution Against Christians’

GOP Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) shared the trailer for a film by far-right documentarian Paul Escandon featuring white nationalist Nick Fuentes on Friday and declared the film proof of “persecution against Christians and Conservatives by the Biden Regime.”

Fuentes stars in the film alongside avowed white supremacist Vincent James, who has recently called for “kidnapping the children away from gay people.”


“If Americans do not have the freedom to dissent, then they have no freedom at all,” the Arizona Republican argued.

Dissent is OK with him...unless he disagrees with it.  He thinks then that the dissenter should be killed.

From NPR, dated 11/21/2021 -

Rep. Paul Gosar is censured over an anime video depicting him of killing AOC

Lawmakers in the House censured GOP Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona over an anime video that showed a character killing another character meant to be Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.


The House of Representatives has censured Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar. He tweeted an anime-style video that showed a character that looks like him killing another character meant to be New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Here's NPR's Barbara Sprunt.

Of course, if he has a problem with being referred to as the "craziest" member of Congress, I could always refer to him as the most "craven" member of Congress.

Fairness, Bias, and Prejudice: The Dosadi Experiment and the US Supreme Court

In 1977, author Frank Herbert of "Dune" published a book called "The Dosadi Experiment."

The book told the story of a hybrid alien/human people.

Many readers consider it to be his best non-Dune book. Not having read the sequels to Dune, or anything else by him, I can't comment on that, but it *was* good.

While I generally don't read for quotes, just for entertainment and/or information, one part has stuck with me,

From Google Books, emphasis added by me -

Chief Justice John Roberts, while not the worst chief justice ever (Roger Taney of Dred Scott decision infamy, forever holds that title) definitely qualifies as "biased" under Herbert's definition.

Of course, the other members of his conservative majority qualify as "prejudiced".

Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett are nothing more than partisan hacks wearing black robes.

They don't care about society, right or wrong, or precedent, only how they've decided to rule.

This court, *any* court, needs to be seen as impartial to be seen as legitimate.

Certain people have noticed this court's lack of legitimacy.

From AP, dated 9/12/2022 -

Justice Kagan cautions Supreme Court can forfeit legitimacy

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on Monday cautioned that courts look political 

and forfeit legitimacy when they needlessly overturn precedent and decide more 

than they have to.

Speaking less than three months after a five-justice conservative majority 

overturned Roe v. Wade’s constitutional guarantee of abortion access, Kagan 

said the public’s view of the court can be damaged especially when changes 

in its membership lead to big changes in the law.

She stressed that she was not talking about any particular decision or even 

a string of rulings with which she disagreed.

Still, her remarks were similar to points made in dissenting opinions she wrote 

or contributed to in recent months, including in the abortion case.

“Judges create legitimacy problems for themselves ... when they instead stray 

into places where it looks like they’re an extension of the political process or 

when they’re imposing their own personal preferences,” Kagan said at 

Temple Emanu-El in New York. The event was livestreamed.

As expected, one of the hacks took issue.

From The Hill, dated 9/29/2022 -

Alito: Questioning Supreme Court legitimacy ‘crosses an important line’

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the decision earlier this year overturning Roe v. Wade, told The Wall Street Journal that implying the court is illegitimate “crosses an important line.”

Alito offered the remark in response to an inquiry from the Journal about whether the court’s justices were concerned the public was losing faith in the Supreme Court after a series of controversial decisions that have roiled public debate.

Dear Justice Alito:

Maybe the USSC will merit the public's faith when it actually earns some of that faith.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

The GQP has plenty of invertebrates in their ranks

Could have used "shameless hypocrites" in the title, but since "GQP" is already there, I thought doing so would be kind of redundant. :)

First up: The epitome of spinelessness and one of Cheeto's chief lickspittles, Ted Cruz.

From Reform Austin -

Ted Cruz Wants Credit For Bill He Voted Against

Senator Ted Cruz has recently been taking credit for a popular Texas highway project that he voted against.

“We did the hard work to bring together Democrats and Republicans, and we now have designated I-27, the Ports-to-Plains [highway], to run from Laredo, all the way north through Lubbock, all the way up to Canada,” said Cruz in a recent interview with KAMC-TV in Lubbock. “That is going to bring jobs, $55 billion project, you’re talking hundreds of thousands of jobs. You’re talking tens of billions of dollars of additional GDP to the state of Texas. And it’s a great bipartisan victory for the state of Texas.”

That hard work did not include voting for the omnibus spending bill this year that will actually get the highway built. Instead, Cruz is hinging his integrity on the fact that he authored an amendment that designated the Ports-to-Plains project as a part of the national highway system. That amendment did have bipartisan support.

When it came time to cast a vote, Cruz and every other Texas Republican voted no in an act of universal opposition to the Biden Administration, even as the final bill contained necessary and popular projects that Republican lawmakers want and need for their constituents. This allows them the dual benefit of telling their far-right bases that they “stood up” to big government while also spending federal money on things that only big government can get done.

It's not just Cruz.

From Politico -

House passes government funding, averting shutdown threat


The top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Kay Granger, who helped negotiate the bill, joined the swath of GOP members who opposed it. Asked if she could explain why she voted against it, the Texas lawmaker replied Friday: “No, I can’t.”

Like Cruz, Granger is from Texas.

It isn't just federal-level GQP electeds who are a little "flexible" in the spinal area.

From MassLive -

Florida Gov. DeSantis asks for federal aid with Hurricane Ian years after criticizing aid for Hurricane Sandy

When Ron DeSantis assumed office as a newly elected Florida congressman in 2013 he criticized the Obama administration for sending federal bailout money to assist New York and other mid-Atlantic states affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 — which killed 125 people in the United States and caused $62 billion in infrastructure and building damage.

Now positioned as governor of Florida, DeSantis is asking the federal government for help as Hurricane Ian wreaks devastation on the Sunshine State causing “substantial loss of life.”

Is anyone really surprised that Cheeto's followers have added "petty" to their list of characteristics?

Pointed at this by Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.

From Politico -

Transition from hell

While DONALD TRUMP was attempting to prevent then President-elect JOE BIDEN from ascending to office in the months after the election, his staff was determined to create headaches small and large for their eventual replacements.

The current occupant of the White House does not figure heavily in MAGGIE HABERMAN’s highly-anticipated book, “Confidence Man,” which chronicles Trump’s rise from outer borough rich kid to New York real estate mogul to president.

But excerpts of the new book shared with West Wing Playbook show how in the final days of his presidency, Trump’s team took steps to sabotage their successors.

Haberman reported that an employee of JOHN MCENTEE, who served as Trump’s director of the Presidential Personnel Office, stuffed copies of photos of HUNTER BIDEN into an air conditioning unit at the White House, breaking it.

Votes for Kari Lake, Mark Finchem, and the other Cheeto-endorsed candidates are votes for professional pettiness.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Most GQPer governors are busing migrants now, so some Texans have resorted to other means

I could have titled this post as "Texans doing what Texans do," but there are Texans who are decent human beings.

These just aren't among them. (Note: all those accused of crimes are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty)

From The Daily Beast -

Texas Jail Warden and Twin Brother Accused of Shooting 2 Migrants, Killing 1

The warden of a federal jail for detained immigrants in West Texas and his twin brother were arrested after allegedly shooting at a group of undocumented migrants walking along a remote roadway on Tuesday, killing one, according to authorities.

Shortly after he was arrested on a manslaughter charge, Michael Sheppard was fired from his position at Sierra Blanca’s privately run West Texas Detention Center, the San Antonio Express-News reported Thursday. A spokesperson told the newspaper that Sheppard had been “terminated due to an off-duty incident unrelated to his employment.”

The affidavit of probable cause is here, courtesy El Paso Matters.

From the affidavit (emphasis added by me) -

This doesn't appear to be an isolated incident.

From Texas Public Radio -


On Wednesday morning, there was another shooting in Hudspeth County that appeared to also target migrants.

26-year-old Erick Garibaldi of Fort Hancock was accused of shooting a man in the face. The victim taken to Del Sol Medical Center.

It was not clear if the two shootings were connected.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

We should be worried, very worried in fact

Pointed at this by Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.

When talking about a poll, Goddard (and other MSM types) like to say that "Most Republicans Reject ‘MAGA’ Label", yet what should worry the majority of Americans is the finding that over 40% of Rs embrace it and the treason that goes with it.

From Goddard -

A new Grinnell College/Selzer & Co. national poll finds 42% of Republicans in the U.S. identify as “MAGA” Republicans, while 58% disavow the term.

Of those who embrace the label, they are disproportionately male (59%), 55 and older (55%), white (77%), lacking a college degree (76%), and make more than $50,000 a year (60%).


From the poll itself -

Health of American Democracy, Economy, Abortion Leading Factors Heading into 2022 Election

A new Grinnell College National Poll shows that four in five likely voters in the 2022 general election believe the overall health of American democracy is a major factor in determining how they will vote in the upcoming election. The findings of the poll, conducted Sept. 20-25, 2022, by Selzer & Company, were released Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022.


Confidence in Voting Process on the Rise

Sixty-four percent of Americans have confidence that votes in the upcoming election will be counted as intended – a number that has risen over the past 18 months (53% in the March 2021 Grinnell College National Poll).

The press release doesn't contain the "MAGA" data, but it's still illuminating.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Paxton, the AG in Texas, flees from a subpoena

Pretty sure that's not setting a good example for AGs...well...*anywhere*

From The Texas Tribune -

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fled his home to avoid being served with subpoena, court record says

He's got lots of issues.

Also from The Texas Tribune, dated 9/15/2022 -

Texas AG Ken Paxton could be deposed about securities fraud accusations after election

Of course, at least he hasn't fled to Cancun, like another Texas Republican.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Is a compliment character assassination? It is, if a lousy human being issues the compliment

Pointed at this by Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.

From Business Insider -

Mitch McConnell calls Kyrsten Sinema the 'most effective first-term senator' he's seen and praises her defense of the filibuster

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday heaped praise on Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, saying she's the "most effective first-term senator" he's seen during his 37 years in the upper chamber.

Sinema delivered a speech on "The Future of Political Discourse and the Importance of Bipartisanship" at the University of Louisville's McConnell Center, named after the senior Kentucky senator, who introduced Sinema at the event.

"I've only known Kyrsten for four years, but she is, in my view — and I've told her this — the most effective first-term senator I've seen in my time in the Senate," the Republican leader said. "She is, today, what we have too few of in the Democratic Party: a genuine moderate, and a dealmaker."

One might think Sinema rebuffed the compliment.

In such a case, one might think wrong.

From The Count, via Yahoo! -

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ): "But despite our apparent differences, Senator McConnell and I have forged a friendship."

While speaking at an event held by the McConnell Center, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, spoke about her unlikely friendship with Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky. Although Senator Cinema is a registered Democrat, she is one of the few Democrats who is not always aligned with the Democratic party.

SINEMA: “But despite our apparent differences, Senator McConnell and I have forged a friendship. One that is rooted in our commonalities, including are pragmatic approach to legislating, our respect for the Senate as an institution, our love for our home states, and a dogged determination on behalf of our constituents. You know, in today's partisan Washington, it might shock some that a Democratic senator would consider the Republican leader of the Senate, her friend, but back home in Arizona, we don't view life through a partisan lens. Arizonans understand that while we may not agree on every issue, we do share the same values.”

My guess is that she hopes the Senate remains at 50 Ds and 50Rs so she and Joe Manchin remain relevant.

If the Rs gain control, she'll switch sides, unless she would be the Rs 60th vote.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

I don't know if Kyrsten Sinema is running in 2024, but she's definitely hedging her bets.

Received this in the mail last week -

It's easy to tell that she's a lawyer by training - she throws around "weasel"* words like they're going out of style.

* = words with ambiguous or subjective meanings.

She "led" H.R. 3684 (Infrastructure bill),  What does that even mean?

She claims to have "Wrote and passed" S. 2938 (Bipartisan Safer Communities Act).  I don't know if she had a hand in writing the measure, but it was sponsored by Marco Rubio and cosponsored only by Rick Scott, both of whom are Rs from Florida.  Oh, and members of Congress don't "pass" anything. 

She also claims to have written and passed S. 2541, the Shadow Wolves Enforcement Act.  At least she sponsored this one.  Of course, it's actually called the Shadow Wolves "Enhancement" Act, and it seems to be reasonable to believe that the alleged writer of the measure know that.

She "led" efforts for H.R. 4346 (CHIPS Act, part of another bill).  Again, what does "led" even mean?

Also, she took credit for the passage of S. 3373 (the PACT Act).  "Ensured" seems to be her way of saying "Well, I didn't sponsor or cosponsor the bill, but I voted for it, so I'm going to take credit for it."

Lastly, she took credit for the drought funding and drug price negotiation by Medicare included in the f H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.  She voted for it.

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd blames Ukraine for Putin's/Russia's invasion of it

Yet another reason to never attend one of his concerts.

Waters is scheduled to appear in the Phoenix area on October 3rd; as of this writing, no changes have been made to that.

From ABCNews -

Pink Floyd founder cancels Poland concerts after war remarks

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has canceled concerts planned in Poland amid outrage over his stance on Russia's war against Ukraine, Polish media reported Saturday.

An official with the Tauron Arena in Krakow, where Waters was scheduled to perform two concerts in April, said they would no longer take place.


Waters wrote an open letter to Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska early this month in which he blamed “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine for having “set your country on the path to this disastrous war.” He also criticized the West for supplying Ukraine with weapons, blaming Washington in particular.

Caveat: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of the music of Pink Floyd.  This isn't the first time a classic rock artist, or an artist of any kind, has turned out to be a lousy human being in spite of producing some great work,

For example, while I'm a big fan of the music of Eric Clapton and Van Morrison, but their personal characters are (ahem) less than stellar.  And when they get together?  

Well, two wrongs don't make a right.

Alex Jones is a lot like another Jones

Except that he's ignoring the part about "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid".

In 1978, the members of the Jim Jones-led cult The People's Temple committed mass suicide/were mass murdered (there's some discussion about that) by drinking a cyanide-laced punch, hence lines about drinking the Kool-Aid.

Alex Jones seems angry that other people may not be drinking his preferred drink.

From The Daily Beast, via Yahoo! -

Alex Jones Halts Testimony to Cool Off After Disastrous Court Day

After a disastrous first day on the stand, Alex Jones skipped out on testifying Friday in his Connecticut defamation trial and headed back to Texas—but not before launching into a frenzied diatribe outside the courthouse about the “rigged” proceedings.

On Thursday, things derailed almost immediately after the right-wing conspiracy theorist began his testimony, with Jones’ antics at one point leading Judge Barbara Bellis to ask his lawyer if he needed to be physically restrained from speaking. During his testimony, Jones called the opposing lawyers “ambulance chasers,” and suggested one of them was part of a “mafia” family that controls Connecticut.


Outside, where Jones was—obviously—not under oath, he held a different type of court before a clutch of reporters.

“Everything I’m saying here, I’m barred from saying in there,” Jones ranted, calling the proceedings a “show trial” that wouldn’t be out of place in North Korea. (In reality, Bellis prohibited Jones from saying certain things about the financial state of his immensely popular Infowars webcast, since he refused to participate in the discovery process.)

“Basically it would be like a boxing match where one guy has his arms tied behind his back and a gag in his mouth,” Jones claimed, falsely. “So this is totally rigged. It’s an absolute, total fraud.”

Continuing his open-air harangue, Jones accused Chris Mattei, the lawyer representing the eight Sandy Hook families and retired FBI agent William Aldenberg, of having gotten “completely out of control [on Thursday], trying to piss me off, trying to get me out of control.” He claimed Mattei was hoping for a “big cry-fest going in there, because they want to suck money out of people.”

Jones, whose net worth is estimated at some $270 million, then cried poverty, insisting that the millions his company generates don’t trickle back down to him.

“The good news is, I don't have hardly any money, despite what they lie about the press, OK?” Jones rasped. “You know, we might have gross sales of $6 million a year. But then I have all this crew and all this advertising, all the legal fees, and I get paid a couple million dollars a year after I pay taxes. After I pay for everything else, I am almost completely out of money. So, it's a joke. I’m in bankruptcy.”

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Maybe the GQP can't multitask

It seems that they're not coordinated enough to both dance in joy over the anti-choice ruling to crow about it.

From AP via Yahoo! -

GOP quiet as Arizona Democrats condemn abortion ruling

Arizona Democrats vowed Saturday to fight for women's rights after a court reinstated a law first enacted during the Civil War that bans abortion in nearly all circumstances, looking to capitalize on an issue they hope will have a major impact on the midterm elections.

Republican candidates were silent a day after the ruling, which said the state can prosecute doctors and others who assist with an abortion unless it's necessary to save the mother's life. Kari Lake, the GOP candidate for governor, and Blake Masters, the Senate candidate, did not comment.

Don't worry - the GQP crowing will soon ensue.

David Gordon at Blog for Arizona has a summary of AZ Dem reaction to this abominable ruling by a Ducey-appointed judge here.

How long before Rudy G. leaves the U.S.?

Pointed at this by Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.

Normally, I am loathe to post anything from a Murdoch-owned source, but this is too juicy to pass up.

From the NY Post -

Pay up or get locked up: Judge presses Rudy Giuliani to pay $235K to ex

Rudy Giuliani blew off a Manhattan court hearing Friday where a judge said the former New York City mayor would be tossed behind bars if he doesn’t fork over $225,000 plus lawyer fees to his ex-wife by early next month.

The ultimatum came at a hearing in the divorce case between Giuliani, 78, and former wife Judith Giuliani — who claimed in a lawsuit he’s fallen behind on payments totaling $262,000 owed under terms of their 2019 divorce settlement.

This list from Town and Country Magazine is of countries with no extradition treaty with the U.S..

The Vatican is on that list, but given the reason behind the court's directive, and the Vatican's history of frowning on divorce, that one is probably not a destination he plans to go to.

Plus, it's not The Maldives.

Of course, The Maldives follow Sharia Law, but Rudy seems to have reached the "beggars can't be choosers" part of his Cheeto-enabling legal career.

Rest assured R voters, you may have rejected Mark Brnovich in your primary, but he's still one of you

He may have come in third in a primary battle, but he still isn't interested in being an honorable and decent public servant.

From the website of the Arizona Secretary of State -

Brnovich seems to have developed a pattern, a pattern of probation vs. prison for his office' cases.

[begin sarcasm]

I can't quite put my finger on it.

[/end sarcasm]

Maybe a reader can.

Most of the following information was gathered from the press releases from the website of the Arizona Attorney General. ("place" is the county of the case; "term" is in years)

While I think that the pattern holds true in other areas, I've stuck with the recently announced "political" cases, as this is a political blog...and he has issued more than 1210 press releases since he's been in office.

Crow got a deal.

McKee got a deal.

Conner got a deal.

All received probation, but no prison, as part of their deals.

Contrast this with the treatment by certain other defendants in "political" cases.

Garcia did not get a deal.

Aguirre got prison, too. (I'm having trouble finding a court record to take a snippy of, so I linked to Brnovich's press release)

The cases have one other thing in common - all were prosecuted by Todd Lawson from the AG's office.