Families lose Kid’s Care but Find Other Options

Here in Arizona, the state subsidized “Kids Care for Parents” health coverage program is ending this week.  Hundreds of Arizonans will lose their state subsidized health coverage. The “Kids Care for Parents” program is being cut from the state budget and lawmakers hope to save about $7 million a year.  Sounds just like every other health-care horror story, doesn’t it?

But people DO have other options when they lose their health coverage.  KGUN News in Tucson reports on just such an option.  The Pima County Access Program (not to be confused with Arizona’s Medicaid System, AHCCCS) provides an interesting alternative.

What is the Pima County Access Program (PCAP)? Program Director Michal Goforth describes the program this way;

“If you could think about a medical discount program for the uninsured, it’s like Costco. You buy a membership and you receive highly discounted prices”.  And what you get for a 40 dollar annual membership may surprise you. This non-profit team of about 10 employees who negotiates with local hospitals and doctors to lower prices on procedures and set caps on medical expenses.  “I’m telling you that this is a very creative program in our community,”Goforth said.

PCAP utilizes the services of local medical centers like El Rio and Marana Health Services.  PCAP has contracts with the county and local hospitals to perform health screenings. They are also a traditional non-profit organization, so they also receive donations.  They are also expected to receive some federal funding in the near future.

So despite what the agenda driven politicians tell you, there are other options out there.  You might have to do a bit of work to find them.  Is this the final answer to the challenges that we all face when it comes to affordable health coverage?  The issue is too complex to find a one-size-fits-all solution.  But this is a good place to start.

Kudos to KGUN news for doing their due diligence on this story and finding some real world solutions, sans the political machine.

Please check out PCAP at www.pcap.cc or call them at (520) 694-0418.

Expanding health insurance won’t lower health care costs

By Byron Schlomach 
Goldwater Institute
 
President Obama and Senator Max Baucus are proposing a radical expansion of health insurance, but selling it as health care reform. Unfortunately, expanded insurance coverage is likely to worsen the real problem in health care: the high and rising prices of care.

Since World War II, Americans have become increasingly dependent on others to pay their medical bills. These third-party payers include Medicaid and Medicare, and employer-provided pre-paid health plans (what we call insurance). In 1954 federal tax law codified standard practice at the time and exempted benefits from taxation. This allows employers to avoid payroll taxes while employees avoid income taxes.

The last 50 years have shown us that neither patients nor providers are particularly frugal when others are paying the bill. In 1960 patients directly paid half the total health bill and medical prices were relatively the same as in 1935. By 2006 patients paid an eighth of the health care bill and medical prices had more than doubled in relative terms.

In this country, where health providers price as if cost is no object (and for patients with insurance, it mostly isn’t), a heart bypass might cost $140,000. Travel overseas and you can get the same procedure for $24,000. It makes a difference when providers compete on the basis of price.

The goal in health care reform should be to find the least painful way to transition back to having patients be responsible for their own health care bills. Good policy would: 1) Put all health expenditures on an equal income tax footing, 2) Encourage people to save for health eventualities through expanded health savings accounts that allow for truly catastrophic health insurance policies, 3) Allow a nationwide insurance market without mandated coverage, and 4) Require posting of medical service prices so consumers can know the price of the services and procedures they want to buy before making the purchase.

To truly address this nation’s health care cost crisis, we have to get at the root of the problem. These policy changes would help bring costs down by reversing the price is no object mentality and encouraging providers to compete for business.
 
Byron Schlomach, Ph.D, is director of economic policy at the Goldwater Institute.

Guns, Bars & A Blast from the Past

Mark DesimoneRemember this Democrat? This is Mark DeSimone, former Democratic state legislator from legislative district 11 who resigned after being busted for a domestic violence dispute with his wife. Well he’s back in the news again. This time as an example of what’s supposedly wrong with Arizona’s latest law upholding the 2nd Amendment.

Apparently, DeSimone doesn’t like the new law which allows law-abiding citizens to wear their firearm into a bar. DeSimone owns the Hidden House Cocktail Lounge in Phoenix and has posted signs that will NOT allow patrons to carry their firearms into his lounge.

According to the story posted by the Associated Press,

“I hate to have to put them up,” Mark DeSimone, owner of the Hidden House Cocktail Lounge in central Phoenix, said of the signs. “It looks scary. It looks to somebody like, should I go in this place because they obviously have a problem with people bringing weapons in.”

DeSimone has signs banning guns next to his liquor license and outside the bar.

He said every bar owner should be concerned about the possible consequences of allowing anyone into a bar with a gun.

“You don’t want people to even have a stick,” he said. “When I take steak knives out (for customers), I look for the ones that don’t have pointy ends.”

We simply find it deliciously ironic to see someone like DeSimone worry about someone else drinking too much and acting crazy.

Munger Nears Gubernatorial Announcement

Southern Arizona businessman, attorney and founder of Imagine Arizona, John Munger, made his last appearance on KUAT-6  Arizona Illustrated’s “Political Faceoff” last night.

Could he be ready to make his announcement for Governor? Having been on tour around Arizona for months, Munger is on the cusp of entering the race.

Here’s the video of his last appearance:

I have to admit, Munger knows his stuff and he certainly sounds like he’s ready to control the debate. That will most definitely propel him into the 1st tier of candidates.

PR: Franks Clarifies “Enemy of Humanity” Comment

Congressman Trent Franks Clarifies “Enemy of Humanity” Comment 

September 29, 2009 – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) issues the following statement today regarding controversy over his remarks made at the “Take Back America” Conference this last weekend in St. Louis, MO: 

“My recent comment regarding President Obama was specifically related to the President’s policies on abortion. For that reason I should certainly have said ‘UNBORN humanity.’ 

“To be clear, my impression of President Obama is that of a man with genuine noble impulses. When I first met him in the White House, he was very warm and civil to me and I certainly tried to genuinely return that civility. I handed him an “Open Letter” at the time, published in Human Events on the day of his inauguration, pleading with him as he was sworn in on the Lincoln Bible to consider the plight of the unborn and to realize, as Lincoln did with slavery, the plight of a forgotten portion of our society even if the Supreme Court has labeled them as less than human, as they did with slaves in the Dred Scott decision. 

“But the fact remains yet today that President Obama has quickly established himself and his Presidency as the most radically pro-abortion Administration in American history.” Franks stated. 

“Since his days in the Illinois State legislature, President Obama has established himself who not only passively, but actively, passionately opposed to protecting the innocent unborn. He even took to the floor of the State Senate to speak against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act — the only Senator to do so — which would have protected living, breathing, crying babies who were born alive as the result of a botched abortion. President Obama fought against a bill that would have given those children medical care instead of leaving them to die in soiled utility rooms. 

“Since then, the now-President Obama has maintained his radical pro-abortion stance. Only three days after taking office, he overturned the Mexico City policy in order to allow taxpayer dollars go to fund overseas abortions. He has subsequently continued to surround himself with the staunchly, overtly pro-choice political appointees, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who had deep ties to the infamous late term abortionist George Tiller, and Science Advisor John Holdren, who has written favorably about forced abortions. The President has also increased funding for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that supports the Chinese ‘one-child policy’ including forced abortions and forced sterilizations, and the Obama Administration has promoted an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nations meeting. 

“These are just a few of the items in President Obama’s expanding pro-abortion resume despite his claim that the issue of when life begins is “above his pay grade.” Similarly, the President’s health care plan, as it stands, will also include hidden taxpayer subsidies of abortion, the largest federal expansion of abortion-on-demand in America since Roe vs. Wade. 

“While I absolutely should have made the meaning of my statement more clear, the facts remain that these radical pro-abortion policies do not have place in a government founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,” and chief among those rights is the right to life. Without that right, no others matter.” 

Note: Congressman Franks’ “open letter” to President Obama was published in Human Events on January 20, 2009, on the day of the President’s inauguration. The article can be accessed here: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=30329

Is Representative Tom Boone being investigated by the AG’s Office?

A state lawmaker, who also serves as a governing board president and as a self-appointed executive for a related government entity that acts on behalf of up to 21 school districts, is again being accused of conflict of interest violations. These allegations now include violations of open meetings laws, financial accounting irregularities and violations under the state procurement code.  The Attorney General’s Office has issued a written request to Deer Valley and Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG) to produce documents by October 13th related to the expanded allegations.  Also included in the letter is a request by the AG for more information about Solar Schools Arizona, LLC., a private entity believed to have a business interest affiliated with VSMG regarding the installation of solar panels on top of schools in Deer Valley and Scottsdale.

On September 8th, at a Deer Valley Unified School District Governing Board meeting, State Representative Tom Boone (R-Glendale), who also serves as Governing Board President, was asked by a parent to explain his association with VSMG, where Boone serves as Chairman and CEO.  Boone also appointed himself to serve on the VSMG Board of Management that oversees VSMG.  As a governing board member, Boone oversees the district’s contract with VSMG and was accused of using his role as a state legislator and governing board member to pass legislation that would benefit himself, his family and his business associates.

Boone’s role is attracting attention again because, as the former House Majority Leader and House Appropriations Chairman, Boone was accused in 2006 of other conflicts of interest in a related claim.  But in 2009, these claims have been expanded as more information about his business arrangements has surfaced.

Critics fear that Boone’s roles as a state legislator, governing board president, and board member that oversees his role as an executive for VSMG – a government entity, lack the appropriate oversight as prescribed in state law for a public entity that is funded using taxpayer funds and funds from district employees.

School business officials, teachers’ unions and parents have raised questions about the close relationship between Boone and other former district officials, such as fellow governing board member, Bill Maas, who was a former finance executive at Peoria Unified, and former governing board member and former state legislator, Ted Carpenter.  Allegations were levied against Boone and Carpenter in 2006 for sponsoring legislation that may have been a conflict of interest.

In an article from the Arizona Republic on March 01, 2006, Chuck Essigs, director of the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, said the relationship between Boone and the schools hurts public trust.  ”The public wants decisions to be made solely on the basis of what is best for the citizen,” Essigs said. “Once the public feels that decisions are not based solely on that basis, then public trust in government is put at risk.”

When Boone was asked by a parent at the Deer Valley meeting in September about his alleged conflicts, Boone agreed that the appearance of his level of business activity didn’t look appropriate.  ”I know it’s a fine line,” Boone said. “Am I concerned about the perception? Absolutely.”

Boone has not filed any conflict of interest statements at the Arizona Legislature since he began serving there in 2002.  He was appointed to the Deer Valley school board in 2007 to replace Ted Carpenter.  Boone had not filed any conflict of interest statements until August 12, 2009, where Boone wrote that “I have or may have a substantial interest in” contracts between VSMG and the school district.  He stated publicly at the September board meeting that the filing of these documents was intended to be ‘retroactive’ to 2007.

Boone has recruited former colleagues from the Arizona State Legislature to work at VSMG, including Michael Bradley, a former House policy advisor and longtime friend of Boone’s who doubles as his campaign consultant.  Boone has also hired Carpenter, Maas and former Paradise Valley Schools administrator Jim DiCello as members of the VSMG Board. Boone, Carpenter, DiCello and Maas are the only four members of the VSMG Board who oversee the business activity of VSMG.  To be eligible to serve on the VSMG board, a prospective member must have worked at one of the other entities that VSMG oversees.

VSMG oversees four other entities that provide financial services for district employees which include insurance, workers compensation, employee benefits and school construction services.  IGAs for these entities were discovered on the website for the Maricopa County Recorder under “Valley Schools,” but no IGA was located for the newer school construction services entity, which plans to install solar panels on school district buildings.

The Republic article also stated, “DiCello said the members of VSMG, particularly Boone, were acutely aware that allegations of impropriety could arise from their arrangement.”

“There are some things about this that don’t pass the smell test,” said John Wright, president of the Arizona Education Association.

Among the issues raised about Boone have been:

* Bradley, a lobbyist hired by VSMG to push legislation on behalf of VSMG, has also run Boone’s campaigns throughout his political career. Boone facilitated the hiring of Bradley in 2005 and handled payments to the lobbyist through the VSMG procurement arm. Boone said VSMG is only a middleman handling the procurement for the schools that wanted to work together on common goals at the legislature. Boone said he played no role in choosing Bradley, who was allegedly the only lobbyist who returned a bid, and said he gives him no direction.  Boone and Bradley are located in the same office, where Bradley now oversees the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust entity.

* Documents available at the Maricopa County Recorder’s website include the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) from 2005 that details the procurement guidelines under which VSMG operates.  VSMG states that they are exempt from state procurement statutes and have given VSMG the ability to ‘sole source’ goods and services at the discretion of VSMG board members.  As a government entity, VSMG is prevented from exempting itself from the state procurement code.

* VSMG may not have abided by the Open Meeting Law and may have restricted the release of financial information only to the VSMG Board, the Superintendent and the Arizona Department of Insurance.  Requests by members of the public to view public documents related to VSMG were met with a letter by an attorney for VSMG stating that documents will be available on or before October 20, 2009, one week after the deadline set by the Attorney General’s Office.  The letter also states that no further contact should be made to VSMG, but that all requests should be conducted through the VSMG attorney.

* Boone’s wife has been employed by Deer Valley Unified School District for a number of years, which is an alleged violation of state law.  School district policy also says that spouses of employees may not serve on the governing board.  Boone recently co-sponsored legislation in an attempt to amend state statute to reverse this policy.  Boone also has a son who works for the district and a son who works for VSMG.  Maas has a son who works for the Peoria Unified School District in financial services, where Maas also acts as a ‘consultant’ for that department and receives an income.

On Tuesday evening, September 29, the Deer Valley school board will enter into Executive Session to discuss these allegations and to hear from attorneys representing Boone and VSMG.

Tucson City Budget Planning Meeting

I went to the first ever Tucson “Community Key Services Dialogue” meeting tonight.  (subtitled-Working Together to Set City Budget Priorities).  There are some ideas here that have merit and some that well, don’t.  It is important that people do get involved in their community and I am proud of all of the folks that took an evening out of their busy lives and attended this meeting.

It was a evening of lively round table discussion panels, budget pie charts on PowerPoint presentations, city council types and almost as many reporters as “regular folk”.

The evening started with each of 7 tables listing what they liked most about Tucson.  Some of the usual favorites were “our weather”, “our mountains”, “our diversity” and “our small town feel”.  Then each table listed some of the improvements they would like to see. These included improved streets, higher wages, affordable housing, limiting the amount of taxes levied and making our city government more accountable.

Then people got down to work.  Each table was asked to sit down and discuss what services they used now and why; which services we would suggest being kept and how could we pay for those services, and how to pay for programs and services that would insure the growth of Tucson for years to come.

Each round table had their spokesperson come up and share what ideas they had developed while the breathless media rolled tape.  Some of these ideas included:

Investing in Energy Technology, A light rail system, more hi-tech jobs.

Improving the city’s website. Make Tucson wireless.

A 1% pay-cut per every $10k  of income for all city employees.

Hiring a community organizer (at $35K) to rally neighborhoods.

Have government handle the city’s infrastructure and have residents handle social issues.

Promoting volunteerism by utilizing the unemployed.

A city tax on gasoline.

A luxury tax.

A tax on fast food.

This was the first of several “town -hall” meetings that are scheduled.  Seven more meeting are scheduled for the month of October.  Details are found here.  I have to give the city officials credit for reaching out and looking for input from our community.  Like them or not, the ideas that have been presented to city officials are what they will use to move Tucson forward.  City manager Mike Letcher and friends are listening.  Better make sure that your voice is being heard by them and we hold them accountable.

From a mutual friend who attended the meeting, she posted on FB:

Each table had a facilitator and several council members and the manager were all there. They wanted to stop construction or at least up the impact fees on all those rich ba……ds who buy new houses. someone said we needed more multimillionaires so I said we could advertise for some on Craig’s List. They want free concerts, free wifi, and more investment in neighborhoods because that is the backbone of society. One guy wants to annex the foothills and everyone though that was a terrific idea until I explained that then we would have to provide services so we’d probably end up negative cash flow. Then someone said to raise the sales tax AND the property taxes. Another said to raise the fees on water and utilities so I told her they had already done that in July.

Again, make sure that YOU get to a meeting.

Is your privacy worth $100?

By Nick Dranias
Goldwater Institute
 
Confidentiality appears to be guaranteed by the Census Bureau when you fill out one of their mandatory surveys. But when it comes to sharing your private information with the federal government, the only real guarantee is that there isn’t one. 

The Patriot Act provides the legal authority for Homeland Security to gain access to confidential Census Bureau data through The National Center for Education Statistics. But that authority isn’t restricted to crafting education policy.

The law was amended in 2002 to authorize access by other federal agencies to NCES data for “investigation and prosecution of terrorism,” which is broadly defined. 

The only thing keeping Homeland Security away from your confidential Census Bureau data in the NCES’ possession is the requirement that the Attorney General apply for a court order before it can access it. But the court’s only function is to confirm the application shows “the information sought” is “relevant” to “investigating or prosecuting” a laundry list of federal offenses. This is a far lower standard than the test of probable cause required for criminal search warrants. Unless someone botches the application, the court’s only real power is to verify it was signed.

The bottom line is that not much stands between Janet Napolitano and your confidential census data. Fortunately, you risk no more than a $100 fine for each question you do not answer; and it is unlikely you will be fined more than once. So the question to ask yourself is whether your privacy is worth $100–or whether the Census should be reformed to ask the only question the U.S. Constitution actually authorizes: “How many people reside in your household?”
 
Nick Dranias holds the Goldwater Institute Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan chair for constitutional government and is the director of the Institute’s Dorothy D. and Joseph A. Moller Center for Constitutional Government.

“Sloppy Joe” List Really Isn’t That Messy for the GOP

Last Thursday, Espresso Pundit’s Greg Patterson broke a story about the release of a list of “Joe’s” who have patronized a valley VIP prostitute ring known as the Desert Divas. The story on this actually went public when the Phoenix New Times wrote an article back on February 12th that seemed to go nowhere.  Thursday that list of “Joe’s went public. Patterson explains that hew was able to walk into the Phoenix Police Department’s office of public records and obtain the list in a CSV file and it’s now online for the whole world to see.

Once Patterson posted the list at Espresso Pundit, he left it at that. (He even turned comments “off.”)  The Phoenix New Times was quick to jump on his story and also posted a link to the list and spun the story as a heads up to valley wives who may want to see if their hubbies were on the list.

Until now, no names have been mentioned in writing. Saturday, I received several phone calls informing me that two well-know political operatives show up on the list. I verified this myself.

Since Saturday, I’ve sat on the story after hearing that Dennis Welch of The Arizona Guardian was not going to publish. Well, Welch went public on Sunday. Sean Noble also picked up on it today and even reprinted Welch’s article on his blog, Noble Thinking. And one of our own, “GOP Cannon” posted his/her take on it earlier today. So now I’m going to chime in on the story and what I know.

The first name which may come as a surprise is that of Charles Jensen, the founder and President of Politics on the Rocks. I spoke with Charles on the phone and he catagorically denied any involvement or association with Desert Divas or any prostitute or prostitution ring. According to Jensen, he rented one of his properties to someone he won’t identify earlier (in 2007) who probably was a client of the Desert Divas. That means that the list was actually based on addresses given to law enforcement by the Divas. That address was tied back to the owner, Charles Jensen, who did not reside there. When I spoke with Charles on Saturday, he said that he was obtaining legal counsel in order to chase down the actual evidence provided by the Diva to Phoenix PD (probably a police report or transcrpt). That attorney will also likely go after anyone who attempts to libel Jensen. So the key to the Jensen’s innocence hinges on whatever evidence the Phoenix PD used to create their list of “Joe’s.” I happen to believe Jensen and think that one of his renters was the “Joe.”

The other name that shows up on the list is lobbyist, G. Michael Williams of Williams & Associates. I spoke with Williams Saturday night and he knew nothing of the list and catagorically denied it. It even appears that Williams and Associates  may not have even been at the address shown on the Diva List at the time that the alleged incident took place.

Having spoken to both gentleman, it appears that this is all a matter of mistaken identities tied to the addresses where the supposed acts took place. I’m going to take both men at their word especially since they appear to have alibis and attorneys.

Will this taint the GOP brand here in Arizona? I tend to doubt it. I also agree with the earlier post by GOP Canon. There are probably individuals in the GOP who will take advantage of this perception of a scandal and use it as leverage to advance their position of power in the party. That’s sophomoric, unethical and disgusting and it needs to stop.

Munger & Imagine Arizona on KUAT Tonight

ImagineArizona
Please tune in to KUAT – Channel 6 tonight at 6:30 PM as John Munger of Imagine Arizona will square off on Arizona Illustrated’s “Political Faceoff.”

Can you spare some change for a civics survey in Sweden?

By Matthew Ladner. Ph.D.
Goldwater Institute 
 
When the Goldwater Institute gave a version of the United States Citizenship Test to Arizona public high school students, only 3.5 percent of Arizona public school students got six or more questions correct, the passing score for immigrants. After seeing the results, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs wanted to know how Oklahoma high school students would fare on the exam, so we gave them precisely the same set of questions.

Perhaps I was too hard on Arizona students. They passed at a rate that was 25 percent higher than their peers in Oklahoma. That’s right: The passing rate for Oklahoma high school students was 2.8 percent. They underperformed Arizona’s abysmal performance.

Just for the record, Oklahoma’s state standards for civics read:

Oklahoma schools teach social studies in Kindergarten through Grade 12…A social studies education encourages and enables each student to acquire a core of basic knowledge, an arsenal of useful skills, and a way of thinking drawn from many academic disciplines. Thus equipped, students are prepared to become informed, contributing, and participating citizens in this democratic republic, the United States of America.

That all sounds great, except Oklahoma high school students know about as much about American history and government as they know about quantum physics or ancient Sanskrit.

I have an empty metal coffee can in my office marked “Sweden Civics Survey Fund.” Please drop by with anything you can afford to give. Once I get a couple thousand bucks, I’ll retain the pollster to give this exact same survey on American civics to high school students in Sweden. They couldn’t do much worse than kids in Arizona and Oklahoma. Sadly, I suspect they might do much better.

Dr. Matthew Ladner is vice president for research at the Goldwater Institute.

U.N. Stand and The Obi-wan Alliance

by Gayle Plato
According to the U.N. agreed ‘watchdog’ of nuclear proliferation and concern, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran just tipped its hand and told on itself.  There is a second uranium enrichment facility.  
 
“Iran knew exactly what it was doing in sending this letter to the IAEA ahead of the P-5+1 talks on Oct. 1. In revealing the extent of its nuclear denial and deception campaign, Iran is only adding to the uncertainty surrounding Western and Israeli intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program. The more wrong Iran can make the intelligence of its adversaries appear, the more it hopes to be able to deter an attack.”
 
Many blog/news sites are speculating that the United States knew all along, the French, and England all in a united effort,  came out to announce the strong stance, and warn Iran.  Well I have a theory.  I DO NOT believe the U.S. was originally involved in this decision;  I think the UK and France, Israeli awareness and pressure coming on strong, was a concerted effort to force Obama’s team to step up. 
 
POTUS’ team has been openly kow-towing to Russia, snuggling with Venezuela, and reducing support of Europe  (aka the shields coming down in Poland).  I submit that the Mossad  ALWAYS has the best intelligence, and went DIRECTLY to key European allies, but more importantly coordinated with the member NOT at the table right now–Germany.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has long suspected Obama’s team not a real friend.  She all but announced that the USA better cough up her gold or else she’s going to get chilly real fast.  Europeans are very skeptical of Obama’s loyalty. Huge amounts of money are moving around Italy and Switzerland with NO true investigation; the Secret Service has let go potential counterfeiters time and again.  WHY?
 
Obama’s foreign policy seems clear- revamp how we play ball and drop European alliances for a New Leftist World Order.
 
I submit that the USA was NOT in this last play: Obama was TOLD by our allies, with Obi-wan mind control style, ” You will stand tall with us and rebuke Iran; you will stand up to Russia and all of Asia to stop nuclear movement.” The Obi-wan Alliance may have just saved the day.
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, speaks during the United Nations General Assembly September 23,

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 23

  

Ahmadinejad is not the threat; the Iranian religious zealots who pull his puppet strings are the Evil with the switches on the nuclear time bomb. Everyone knows that Ahmadinejad is a tool. But Iranian power is coordinating with North Korea, Venezuela, and Russia.  But then, so it seems are we in the new POTUS brain trust.
 
We know that relations are frigid with China, and now Japan’s new leaders won their election due in part to promising to NOT BUY anymore American dollars. The world economy is on the verge of implosion; the vast amounts of dollars being printed and pumped into the world economy is like a dirty bomb going off.  All of Europe is being poisoned with the amateur, inept fiscal plans of a few geeks and crazy lefty idiots in D.C. Our allies have had it and this is going to be the line in the sand.  It’s as if the Europeans collectively said- “Hey USA, step up, grow up, and be a part of the solution or soon become part of the problem. We do not trust this POTUS team.”
 
 

“Not only can Russia completely destroy the effectiveness of a U.S.-led sanctions regime, but it can provide Iran with critical weapons systems that could seriously complicate an attack against Iran down the road.”

(http://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical_diary/20090924_mutual_commitment_postpone_commitment_u_n)

Crime is Up, Time to Cut Agents

Today, the Obama administration threw the state of Arizona under the bus by cutting the number of Border Patrol agents that are stationed at the troubled US/Mexico border.

(CNSNews.com) – Even though the Border Patrol now reports that almost 1,300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is not under effective control, and the Department of Justice says that vast stretches of the border are “easily breached,” and the Government Accountability Office has revealed that three persons “linked to terrorism” and 530 aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints last year, the administration is nonetheless now planning to decrease the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border Patrol Director of Media Relations Lloyd Easterling confirmed this week that his agency is planning for a net decrease of 384 agents on the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal 2010, which begins on October 1.

A Department of Homeland Security annual performance review updated by the Obama administration on May 7 said the Border Patrol “plans to move several hundred Agents from the Southwest Border to the Northern Border to meet the FY 2010 staffing requirements, with only a small increase in new agents for the Southwest Border in the same year.”

So in a bold and daring move, we are going to move agents from the Southern border where crime run rampant, to the Canadian border.  (There must be a lot of bad guys smuggling in Canadian bacon, I’m not sure).  This contemptable move takes place in spite of reports that Phoenix Arizona has become the “Kidnapping Capital of the United States”.

In what officials caution is now a dangerous and even deadly crime wave, Phoenix Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America, with more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City and over 370 cases last year alone.

Some local authorities say Obama’s administration is too obsessed with al Qaeda terrorists to focus on these problems in the southwestern United States.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown warned that as the U.S. government focuses so intently on Islamic extremist groups, other types of terrorists – those involved with the same kidnappings, extortion and drug cartels that are sweeping Phoenix – are overlooked.

Janet Napolitano, who heads the Department of Homeland Security, is the former Governor of Arizona. One would think that she would have firsthand insight into the major problems we face here in Arizona. But she has swallowed the Kool-aid, and with the rest of the Obama administration, she blindly marches lockstep to the destruction of the United States.

Interviewed by Larry King earlier this year she said;

KING: A lot of Democrats in Congress want to you investigate [Joe Arpaio]. They think he is over the line. He says he is just enforcing the law and the problem is the federal government.

NAPOLITANO: Well, you know, Sheriff Joe, he is being very political in that statement, because he knows that there aren’t enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying.

What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.

And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.

And that is a very interesting point of view considering this,

ENTRY WITHOUT INSPECTION IS A CRIME: In fact, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1325, crossing the border illegally is a crime–a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for the second and subsequent offenses.

Now, let us assume for a minute that what California Attorney General Jerry Brown says is true.  Janet and friends are SO busy catching al Qaeda terrorists that they cannot focus on these pesky problems at the border.  So what is recently appointed Border Czar Alan Bersin doing about this rising problem?  In a recent interview Sultan Bersin said this:

“It’s better to think of the border as a thermostat for the larger, long-term issues that both our countries are dealing with”.

So there you have it.  Janet says the real problems are up on the Canadian Border and Alan dances around these problems with “Can’t we all just get along”?  At least Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Phoenix police chief Andy Anderson understand what the hell is going on here.

“We’re in the eye of the storm,” Phoenix Police Chief Andy Anderson told ABC News of the violent crimes and ruthless tactics spurred by Mexico’s drug cartels that have expanded business across the border. “If it doesn’t stop here, if we’re not able to fix it here and get it turned around, it will go across the nation,” he said.

At least Janet has her own self-serving priorities in place. This story never really made a big splash in the news,

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Washington notables broke ground on the future home of the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, symbolically starting construction on the biggest federal building project in the Washington area since the Pentagon 68 years ago.

The project will bring together more than 15,000 employees now scattered in 35 offices in the region, placing them on a 176-acre campus strewn with historic buildings in a long-neglected corner of Washington, five miles from the Capitol building.

Department leaders hope the $3.4 billion consolidation will help the department fulfill its core mission — protecting the homeland — in ways big and small.

“It will help us hold meetings,” Secretary Janet Napolitano said. “It will help us build that culture of ‘One DHS.’”

We’re screwed.  Time to go buy more bullets…

Republic scandal with Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce forces resignation

Mike RyanAs reported on this blog earlier, Mike Ryan, a Vice President of theRepublic and General Manager of theScottsdale Republic (the Scottsdale community section of the Republic), had a clear conflict of interest by serving on the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce. It was hampering his judgment to report on issues involving the Chamber, such as the scandal last fall when County Supervisors’ attorney Tom Irvine advised the Chamber that it was perfectly acceptable to run a political campaign supporting candidates for Mayor and City Council without registering as a political committee (this isTom Irvine the kind of thing that got Irvine into trouble with the County Supervisors – telling them anything they want to hear). No wonder no one reads the newspapers anymore. Am just surprised this kind of stuff ever sees the light of day, the Republic has ignored it for the past year. Now, after publishing an article in the Republic defending his position to remain in both positions, Ryan has backed off and resigned from the Chamber. The Phoenix New Times has the full story here.

Reminder: Activist & Candidate training tomorrow

A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Thursday, September 24, 2009

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Candidate and Activist Training in Phoenix, AZ September 26

You are Invited to Learn how YOU Can Make a Difference in Your Community!

American Majority is pleased to announce its Candidate and Activist Training Program is coming to Phoenix, AZ on Saturday, September 26 from 8:45am to 5:15pm.

The event will feature general sessions as well as two different tracks for individuals interested in running for public office (Candidate Track) and those looking to become more effective activists (Activist Track).

The event will be located at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport located at 4300 E. Washington Street in Phoenix.  The general sessions and candidate track will be held in the Desert Room 123 and the activist track will be held in Desert Room 43.

Information and pricing for each track is as follows:

Candidate Track (Costs Include Lunch)

$50/per candidate or first attendee.

$20/per additional attendee (spouse, campaign staffer, volunteer, etc., attending with the candidate/first attendee).

Attendees of the Candidate Track will receive over four hours of specialized training (in addition to general sessions) on subjects including:

  • Communications
  • Campaign Planning and Strategy
  • Fundraising
  • Grassroots
  • Utilizing New and Traditional Media
  • Much More!

Activist Track (Costs Include Lunch)

$20/per attendee.

Attendees of the Activist Track will receive over four hours of specialized training (in addition to general sessions) on subjects including:

  • Building Coalitions and Organizing Meaningful Events
  • Holding Elected Officials Accountable
  • New Media Engagement: Blogs, Wikipedia Projects, Social Networking, and More
  • Effectively Communicating Your Views
  • Much More!

Included in the training materials will be samples and supplements to help you apply what you learn in the training to your organization, candidate, cause or community.

To register for the event, please click here to use our online reservation system.  If you have any questions, please contact American Majority at ok@americanmajority.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (405)-605-6338.

Slideshow from Politics on the Rocks event with gubernatorial candidate Vernon Parker

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GOP Gone Wild; Goddard’s Gallup Gains

by Gayle Plato
Lots of buzz hums above the  Arizona GOP party elites as every state republican with a pulse, a website paid up through November, 2010, and Blackberry that feeds their Facebook hits to a vibrating pocket, plans to dethrone the Queen, Governor Jan Brewer.  Even former governors are jumping on the bandwagon (enter Fife Symington) to run. It’s like the scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, “Bring Out Your Dead”, one almost hears Ms. Brewer yelp, “I’m not dead yet, I feel happy! (politically speaking of course).
Organizational grace and republican party savvy, grant us such a display of choice, we are at the Capitol buffet of leadership. This same astute talent management got us John McCain’s Presidential campaign, and the Arizona State Budget smooth talks.  I’m all a Twitter thinking of all of the fine guys  jello wrestling for the top spot.
Alas, we see the “Boy King”, riding in, with the clomping coconuts to boot, Terry Goddard has the clackity-clack down pat and might just Gallup, er a gallop on passed the GOP huge pack of elephants. Personally, I’m underwhelmed with the whole troupe and am holding out for a good knight, who, though triumphed and wounded by King Arthur, will only claim it a mere flesh wound.YouTube Preview Image