Ducey-Douglas rift stoked by Lisa Graham Keegan

February 17, 2015

Arizonans need score card to keep track of AZ Republic’s schizophrenic coverage

Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts appears to applaud state Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, saying she “Scored Direct hit on Gov. Doug Ducey.’ The claque of Mary Jo Pitzl and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez go off in a pro-Lisa Graham Keegan direction.  E. J. Montini, the dutiful leftist follows the editorial board’s anti-Douglas instructions as he hopes to hang on just another few years until his social security kicks in and before the newspaper kicks off. Robert Robb, the more cerebral of the pack, gives points to Diane Douglas, saying Gov. Doug Ducey lacks the authority to reinstate the two state Board of Education staff members fired by Douglas. Columnist Doug MacEachern?  He weighs in using the take-no-prisoners prerogative, “maniacal” to describe Douglas. These are merely iceberg tips, but readers get the drift.

In nearly every report the name Lisa Graham Keegan appears. This past weekend, she was Brahm Resnik’s haughty guest on “Sunday Square Off.” (linked video follows ad.)

And who is the seemingly ubiquitous Lisa Graham Keegan, suddenly grabbing headlines?

Keegan, a RINO-turned-Independent who supported Douglas’ radical leftwing educrat opponent, oddly seems to be regarded by Ducey as the state school superintendent. And why not? Like Ducey, Keegan is a McCain ally. She served as McCain’s education advisor during his doomed presidential bid.  Keegan formerly held the top school position before ditching it back in 2001 with a year-and-a-half of her term remaining. The heady aura of Washington, D.C. was too compelling to keep her in Arizona to fulfill her commitment to the voters who put her in office. She also left rudderless the controversial Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test which she had championed as a high school graduation requirement. AIMS was a hotly debated precursor of Common Core.

When Keegan boogied in 2001, then-Gov. Jane Hull appointed lobbyist Jaime Molera to replace her. When the term expired, Molera ran for the position losing to conservative Tom Horne, who was then elected to two consecutive terms.

This past November, grassroots candidate Diane Douglas ran and was elected on an unambiguous anti-Common Core platform. Keegan not only supports the federal overreach into local education, but derides Douglas as “erratic,” even as she tap dances around the issue of fewer dollars for public schools while Ducey slices $13 million from the state education budget.

Conservatives who have ample reasons to distrust the GOP establishment are banking on Diane Douglas holding firm to her campaign pledges. As Robert Robb noted, “she is intensively disliked by all the right people.”


Weekend reading guaranteed to make you smarter

February 14, 2015

Powerline’s John Hinderaker has written a must-read column titled, “Obama’s Amnesty: It’s even worse than you thought.”  This fact-filled commentary is guaranteed to infuriate, which is all the more reason you should read it. Knowledge is power and you’ll get an impressive dose on Powerline.

Author John Hinderaker’s bio can be read here.


Kayla Mueller: Another perspective

February 12, 2015

When a young life ends, it is always a wrenching tragedy.  When the death occurs far from home, questions abound and grief-stricken family and friends try in vain to piece together the puzzle —-  finding it never quite fits. Not now. Not ever.

In the case of Prescott-born Kayla Mueller, a photogenic 26-year-old, the angst leaps out in daily news reports peppered with personal stories and smiling photographs of a young woman that tug at our hearts. We read editorials and articles that cite her “global journey” which was “steered by those most in need.”

Nothing quite explains the path that led her to be held as a hostage by terrorists a world away —- known by the acronym ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and eventually lose her life in their captivity.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has ordered flags statewide lowered to half-mast. She has been praised as a humanitarian by Arizona’s U.S. Senators and members of Congress, as well as national leaders of both political parties. Jeff Flake, speaking from the senate floor described the woman he never met as “sparkling.”

There is another facet of this picture that raises questions yet to be examined. Kayla Mueller’s own writings illuminate her support for, and aid to, Palestinian Arab terror groups, even acting as a human shield for them, along with her active participation in anti-Israel protests. This revealing Op-Ed from Wednesday’s edition of Israel National News is a must read for the rest of the story

Author Lee Kaplan’s bio can be read here.


Gallup CEO: 5.6% jobless rate “big lie” created by WH

February 6, 2015

Sobering truth: 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed

Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, minces no words in his assessment of the official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. Clifton calls it “extremely misleading.”

“Right now,” he writes, “we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part-time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part-time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.

Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.

I hear all the time that “unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.” When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full-time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.”


Matt Salmon’s backbone takes a hike

January 9, 2015

Spineless actions earn AZ U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon sarcastic “Profile in Courage” award as AZ GOP delegation — except for Paul Gosar — disappointments 

Conservative Review’s Steve Deace takes us back to Tuesday and the vote for Speaker of the House of Representatives. He appropriately titles his commentary on disappointment, “The Day the Music Died,” saying it was the worst column he’s ever had to write. Describing brand new Congressman Jody Hice (GA-CD 10), Deace minces no words:

A man I thought I knew. A man I had high hopes for. A man of God. An actual Southern Baptist pastor who graduated from the same seminary as my wife–Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia.

See, he’s only been a congressman for about 15 minutes, but it appears we’ve already lost him to the system. And on his first official vote, no less. That sure didn’t take long. Maybe that’s a record or something. Sadly, he’s going to share it with several others.

Hice was one of several freshmen Republicans who despite pledging not to do so, voted to re-elect John Boehner, perhaps the best Speaker of the House the Democrats have ever had. The same John Boehner who has gone out of his way to punish conservatives and push through the Obama agenda, even to the point of repeatedly passing legislation through his chamber a majority of the majority Republicans oppose. The same John Boehner a super majority of Republicans nationwide just said in a recent poll they opposed as Speaker.

In writing about betrayal and a “treachery that still stings,” Deace mentions numerous Republican members of congress who filled the bill with their votes for Boehner. Save for Paul Gosar, (CD-4) the entire Arizona GOP House delegation caved on this vote. But he specifically mentions Matt Salmon, with this barbed comment:

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t hand Matt Salmon a profile in courage award for waiting until the second time through the roll call to finally vote for Boehner as Speaker, once it was clear he had the votes. The people of Arizona haven’t seen such bravery since Pat Tillman.

Writing of his dashed hopes in Jody Hice, Deace offers, “If men of his caliber succumb to the corruption and cronyism within the beltway the first time they are tempted with it, then I truly don’t know where we go from here as a movement.”

Don’t be tempted to disregard this masterful piece as old news. It is as fresh as the new dawn and provides a bright line indicator of what we can expect from those go-along-to-get-along Republicans we have supported, worked for and voted for: Martha McSally (CD 2), Matt Salmon (CD 5), David Schweikert (CD 6), and Trent Franks, (CD 8).

With this crucial vote, only Paul Gosar (CD 4), put principles above political considerations. Remember that in 2016.

 


Montini spew: More bile from AZ Republic’s stable

January 2, 2015

Arizona Republic columnist EJ Montini is in full meltdown mode over the fact the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that three dozen Republican legislators have legal standing to challenge the hospital tax that is being used to fund the state’s controversial Medicaid Expansion program —- popularly known as OBrewerCare.

In 2013, Gov. Jan Brewer was aided in her efforts by six Senate RINOs who joined with a unified bloc of 13 Democrats in supporting the costly scheme. Throwing tantrums until she got her way, Brewer petulantly welded her veto pen as punishment. (Her May 23, 2013 letter to Senate President Andy Biggs justifying her reckless actions is in the preceding link.)

Montini, a far left ideologue, uses his column to goad incoming Republican governor Doug Ducey on the subject prior to his Jan. 5 inauguration. Hurling invectives and taunts is the marginal Montini’s stock in trade. He inquires if Ducey “will be benevolent or a blowhard,” and calls the Republican lawmakers who filed the lawsuit, “zealots” claiming they “have no philosophical opposition to human suffering.” The column questions whether Ducey will be “just anther border-security, immigration-fixated windbag.”

In the surreal terrain of Liberal land, being desirous of protecting the rights of citizens and securing our sovereign border from invasion qualifies as worthy of being nothing more than a loud and cranky eccentric.

When the issue is massive and unsustainable spending, the newspaper suddenly defends Brewer, the soon to be out-the-door governor, the newspaper has loved to hate. Throughout her 6-year tenure, in which she succeeded the leftist Janet Napolitano who took a midterm powder to join Obama’s cabinet, Brewer was the object of contemptuous ridicule. Barbs and hate-filled editorials and columns, along with unflattering photos and grotesque cartoons were her daily portion.  The newspaper gave her accolades when she vetoed SB1062, a religious liberty bill, falsely characterized as “anti-gay” and supported her 2010 imposition of a sales tax increase. 

For her part, the disappointingly Machiavellian Brewer not only endorsed all of the Medicaid expansion supporters, she loosened the purse strings of her Jan PAC*, spending nearly a half million dollars in support of accommodating candidates or supporting the opponents of those who defied her.

In the world according to Montini, Arizona is “spiteful and philosophically extreme.”  We’d have say,”back at ya, EJ.”

* H/T Center for Responsive Politics


Leftist Linda Valdez undone by intellectual armed with facts

December 28, 2014

Linda Valdez, the Arizona Republic’s one-dimensional leftist zealot and editorial writer, cranks out her fanatical spew in what the newspaper previously called a “Quick Hit, but now simply titles “Opinions.” These are encapsulated droppings intended to cement the wayward bent of the editorial board.

Here is her latest inanity, titled, “Good economic news will challenge Obama haters.”

The Blame Obama for Everything crowd will have to work to spin the latest economic news. Or maybe they can just admit things are going rather well under the president’s leadership. In the third quarter, the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace since 2003. Consumer and business spending were up. Job growth in November was at a two-year high. It’s been slow — what with the GOP government shutdown and all — but things are getting better. Admit it.

Stephen Moore, chief economist at the Heritage Foundation, provides the above-her-head answer in the Dec. 22 edition of the Weekly Standard magazine. His article,The Democrats Double Down, is brilliant in its analysis and definitely worth taking the time to read.

It’s been a tough year under Emperor Obama. Do yourself the favor. You deserve it.


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