Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Arizona

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It’s Lefty Christmas, y’all!

  • Personhood Amendment voted down by wide margin in Mississppi
  • Issue 2 voted down in Ohio by projected 2 to 1 margin
  • A majority of Democratic candidates elected to North Carolina’s largest school board
  • LaWana Mayfield defeats Republican opponent Ed Toney for city council seat in Charlotte, North Carolina. She’s the city’s first openly gay official.
  • Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, architect of SB 1070 and BFF of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is recalled
  • The man who saved Gabrielle Giffords’ life, Daniel Hernandez Jr., won his school board race in Arizona with 62% of the vote. Oh, and he’s gay.
  • Adam Ebbin of District 30 in Virginia was elected to the state Senate, making him the Commonwealth’s first openly gay senator.
  • Mike Laster is the first openly gay man elected to the Houston City Council.
  • Democrat Greg Stanton wins mayoral race in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Iowa maintains a pro-marriage equality majority in their state Senate.
  • Cincinnati elects first openly gay city council member

All The Heritage Foundation can tweet about now is Obama’s Christmas Tree tax…

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under lefty x-mas Ohio Cincinnati Arizona politics North Carolina Mississippi Personhood Issue 2 Russell Pearce SB 1070 Daniel Hernandez

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GOP Kingmaker Sheriff Tasks ‘Cold Case Posse’ With Investigating Obama’s Birth Certificate

Well, Sheriff Joe Arpaio went and did it. He’s using taxpayer’s dollars to investigate a settled question, and it’s difficult to argue racism is not playing a part. From ThinkProgress:

The lawman is… willing to use official resources to pursue the bogus conspiracy theory. As birther website WorldNetDaily gleefully reported:

Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told WND he has assigned a five-member “Cold Case Posse” to investigate the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

The decision, he says, is simply a matter of doing his duty.

Arpaio’s investigation comes in response to a complaint filed by the Surprise, Arizona Tea Party, which alleges that Obama may be using a forged birth certificate…

The Cold Case Posse is an officially-sponsored all-volunteer group of people with skills and backgrounds that make them qualified to investigate cases. The group has been inactive in recent months due to “budgetary limitations within the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office,” but apparently a wild goose chase looking into the veracity of the president’s birth certificate is an appropriate use of funds.

Arpaio is, of course, claiming that politics did not come into play regarding his decision. He’s just doing his duty. So why does he consider it his duty to cater to the Tea Party versus not misappropriating taxpayer dollars? Turns out there’s a lot Arpaio considers his duty that’s outside the bounds of common sense. Here’s a short list:

Filed under Joe Arpaio Sheriff Joe Arizona Politics Maricopa county racism President Obama Barack Obama Barack Obama is not from Kenya birther Surprise Tea Party Tea Party misspending tax dollars waste bigotry hatred

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Sheriff Joe Is Keeping the Birther Dream Alive

The Tea Party’s very own Sheriff Joe Arpaio — famous for his pink panty fetish and for leading a department full of human traffickers — on Wednesday night met with “more than 325 people” (!) who fear that Barack Obama will try to run on 2012 ballots in Arizona’s Maricopa County using a fake birth certificate. Oh yes.

The Surprise Tea Party Patriots™ handed Sheriff Joe a petition with 242 signatures. Joe said he’ll “probe” the issue (with tax payer’s money), and keep Maricopa County free of forged document-wielding illegal aliens.

Awesome! Sheriff Joe is proud of providing such a low standard of health care and sustenance to his inmates that he was ordered by the federal appellate court to improve conditions within the jail because of substantial 8th Amendment violations. One reason Arpaio cites for providing food like moldy bread is that it saves the taxpayers money. Truthfully, he’s cost Arizona taxpayers quite a bit in litigation costs and civil rights suits.

And now, with trying to ‘probe’ whether or not Barack Obama is going to run in Maricopa County (and, ostensibly, the rest of the country) with a false birth certificate, he’s prepared to further misuse taxpayer dollars. If you wrote this as a movie, no producer would touch it - it’s that ridiculous. However, welcome to the reality shared by much of the Tea Party and Sheriff Joe.

Filed under Arizona Joe Arpaio Sheriff Joe politics cruel and unusual punishment birthers Maricopa county civil rights Barack Obama President Obama Barack Obama is not from Kenya

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Rep. Giffords returns to the US House floor

Turn on C-Span right now. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the US House floor just moments ago. This was her first vote since being shot earlier this year.

It’s amazing to see her colleagues from both sides of the aisle embracing her after such bitter partisanship. 

Oh, and the US House just passed the debt ceiling bill, 269-161.

(Source: politico.com)

Filed under Arizona Gabrielle Giffords Rep. Gabrielle Giffords politics debt debt ceiling vote US House

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Breaking: Arizona Voters to SB 1070 Architect: Papers, Please | Senate President Pearce Has Been Recalled

Mark down July 8th as a day history was made in Arizona.

In a swift affirmation of Arizona’s fast growing and powerful new political movement, Secretary of State Ken Bennett notified Gov. Jan Brewer that the once seemingly invincible architect of the state’s controversial SB 1070 “papers please” immigration law has officially been recalled. Bennett confirmed that the recall petitions delivered by the Citizens for a Better Arizona “exceeds the minimum signatures required by the Arizona Constitution.”

"Let’s make no mistake about it," said Randy Parraz, co-founder of the Citizens for a Better Arizona. "Russell Pearce has been recalled." According to Bennett’s statement, Pearce has two options: Resign from office within five business days, or become a candidate in the recall election. Either way, Pearce becomes the first state senate president in recent memory to be recalled in the nation.

Parraz credited a “dramatic shift” over the past six months due to Pearce’s often extremist leadership in state senate. “We had people pouring into the office,” Parraz said, citing the role of Republicans, Democrats and Independents in the door-to-door canvassing initiative, “and they told us: Russell Pearce is too extreme for our district and state.”

Beyond his self-proclaimed key role in the state’s notorious SB 1070 law, Pearce oversaw a near circus-level of extremist and reckless legislation in the Arizona senate this past spring, including draconian cuts in education and health care. Mired in various scandals, Pearce infamously accused President Obama of “waging jihad” on America. And last month Fox News Phoenix explored his widely denounced connections to neo-Nazi hate groups. In a recent interview with FOX News, Pearce dismissed the recall effort as the work of “far left anarchists.” In truth, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed that an additional one third more than the necessary signatures had been properly collected and verified.

Fuck yes, Arizona. ¡Sí, Se Puede!

Filed under Arizona Republican Russell Pearce SB 1070 extremist recall republicans immigration Undocumented Workers

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McCain blames some Arizona wildfires on illegal immigrants

U.S. Sen. John McCain is blaming illegal immigrants for starting some of the wildfires that have scorched hundreds of thousands of acres in Arizona.

"There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain, R-Arizona, said Saturday at a press conference. "The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border." The Arizona senator, however, did not say what the evidence is, prompting a swift rebuke from Latino civil rights advocates.

"It’s easier to fan the flames of intolerance, especially in Arizona," said Randy Parraz, a civil rights advocate who ran unsuccessfully against McCain as a Democratic candidate in 2010. Parraz called McCain’s remarks "careless and reckless" but not entirely surprising given the political climate in Arizona. Parraz said McCain "should know better" than to make such an accusation without presenting any facts.

McCain said that illegal immigrants set such fires either to send signals, keep warm or distract law enforcement agents. But he did not specify which fires allegedly had been started by illegal immigrants, nor did he identify his sources or provide details of the “substantial” evidence he cited.

McCain is pandering to the old, white, racist demographic here. If he’s going to claim immigrants started fires, I’d really like to see some evidence. Actually, I’m going to claim it was John and Cindy McCain, camping (in a luxury RV, natch) and Cindy decided to make things all romantic and lit some vanilla candles. In the throes of passion, John McCain knocked a candle out the window. I have as much evidence of my scenario as he does of his. 

Filed under racism John McCain politics arizona fire wildfires

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Arizona Law With an Alabama Twist: Immigration Law Targets Kids

Sam Brooke of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project talked to Justin Elliott about why the Alabama law, which takes effect in September, is the worst state measure to date:

"The twist is a provision in the Alabama law that requires schools to determine and verify immigration status of any student who is enrolling and any parent of students who are enrolling. The bill’s backers are saying that this is constitutional because they are not turning people away from schools. The schools are not supposed to turn people away, but they are required to collect this data and to report it to the Legislature. This is clearly in violation of existing Supreme Court precedent, because it will in fact have a chilling effect on immigrant children enrolling in school.

And that’s not all…

"There’s also a prohibition on renting in the law. It is a crime for a landlord to rent an apartment if they knew or should have known that the tenant is undocumented. Also under the law, if a person enters into a contract with someone who they know to be an undocumented immigrant, that contract is unenforceable in the state courts.”

This is depraved. Given Alabama’s stellar history on civil rights, I see this going very, very wrong in a hurry.

Filed under immigration racism Alabama politics Arizona children Undocumented Workers Injustice

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Is Russell Pearce’s concerned substitute teacher a complete hoax?

This is so overdone it’s got to be false. I know this is long, but this is incredible. My comments in bold:

Below is the letter that Sen. [Russell] Pearce allegedly received from a substitute teacher working in different Arizona school districts. This presumed substitute teacher has not come forward, and it has been reported that no one by the name of Tony or Anthony Hill are registered as a substitute teacher in any of the districts mentioned. Could this be a completely fictional letter drafted by Pearce himself…Does this ‘Tony Hill’ really exist or is he a complete hoax made up by Pearce?

-Ofelia Yanez – Co-creator/Cuéntame

Dear Senator Russell Pearce,

I am compelled to write to you about a recent event that occurred to me [That occurred to you, or happened to you? The meaning is very different.]. I currently work as a substitute teacher in the west valley areas of Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria. I was called upon to teach history and language arts for 8th grade at a Glendale public school…The day started out as usual…saying the Pledge of Allegiance. During the Pledge of Allegiance I notice the vast majority of students refusing to stand and say the pledge. [First red flag] I asked the students why they refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and they responded by saying, ‘we are Mexicans and Americans stole our land’. [Second red flag - I doubt they’d be so upfront to a substitute, and whenever I’ve heard something remotely similar, it’s usually “white settlers” or “Europeans,” not Americans.]

The teacher’s instructions were for the students to read a few pages and answer the questions regarding Mark Twain in their history textbook [In their history book?] and to finish their final drafts to Senator Steve Gallardo thanking him for his position on Illegal Immigration rights. [Gallardo is a Democrat with Mexican-American heritage, furthering the whole “those people are ungrateful” and “liberal Dems are soft on border security” narrative. Finally, no teacher would assign students to write letters with a specific position pre-assigned to a senator for fear of parent reaction.]  Their teacher apparently had showed them a video with Senator Steve Gallardo and Lou Dobbs [Could it be this one, also featuring Russell Pearce “owning” Gallardo?]. Most of the students came unprepared for class not possessing paper and pencil. I provided the students with paper and pencils only to have them wade-up [sic] the paper and throw it at each other along with their pencils. [Again, painting them as less than human. Plus, how did you know you were going to need paper and pencils for all your students?]

The students’ final drafts that I read were basically the same. Most of them stated they were in the country illegally, White Americans are racist, and that they came here for a better life. I asked the class if America adopted Mexico immigration laws would Americans still be consider racist? [No student here illegally would dream of writing that for fear of getting themselves and any family here in trouble.] 

That question they could not answer and called me a racist for asking it. I mentioned that my wife and children are Hispanic so how could I be racist? [Just like the black friend every racist seems to have…] I asked the students to stop speaking Spanish in class because it was impolite to speak a language in front of people who may not speak that language [Well, it’s impolite to ask people to stop using their own language if they don’t know any other]. Their response was that Americans better learn Spanish and their customs because they are taking their land back from us. [Biggest red flag right here. This truly rings false.]

When it came to completing the Mark Twain assignment only ten students completed it out of all my classes. Most of the students refused to open the book, tore the pages out of the book, or threw the textbooks at each other. [If this were happening, why wouldn’t you call the principal or the cops? This is the whole subhuman smear again.]… I have found that substitute teaching in these areas most of the Hispanic students do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters. [Um, no. Just stop right here. “Most” students? Even if this were true, what would lead them to think it’s their only option in life?] They hate America and are determined to reclaim this area for Mexico [Really? Seriously? Citation needed.]. If we are able to remove the illegals out of our schools…the students who wanted to learn would have a better chance to do so and become productive citizens [Why not examine the social conditions leading to students not wanting to learn, regardless of immigration status? You can’t possibly tell me that all white students are thrilled to learn.].

I applaud and support your efforts to stop this invasion into our state and country. When the citizens of a country are forced to speak the invaders [sic] language, adopt their customs, and forced to support them, are we not a conquer [sic] nation? I do not want to see our state and nation turned into a third world country. Thank you for standing up to this invasion. You may contact me by phone, e-mail, or mail. Thank you, again. [Produce this substitute teacher. Doubt if you can. I’m reading a letter, that on its face value, is written by a fairly racist substitute teacher with mediocre grammar. This sub evidently cannot control a classroom and apparently doesn’t know what to do when the classroom is out of control. That is, if this person exists and wrote this letter.]

Sincerely,

Tony Hill [Russell Pearce]

Filed under Arizona racism politics

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Students in Tuscon chain themselves to chairs to prevent a school board meeting. They are rallying for reinstatement of Ethnic Studies in Arizona public schools. 

Just when I think my faith in America is destroyed… I see this.
¡Si Se Puede!

Students in Tuscon chain themselves to chairs to prevent a school board meeting. They are rallying for reinstatement of Ethnic Studies in Arizona public schools. 

Just when I think my faith in America is destroyed… I see this.

¡Si Se Puede!

Filed under Arizona politics

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Anti-Immigrant Arizona Legislator Invokes Special Rights

This weekend, Arizona State Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard (R) reportedly dodged arrest in what he said was a Dancing with the Stars induced physical altercation with his girlfriend. Although his girlfriend was arrested and charged, authorities say Bundgaard told officers he was exempt from arrest, invoking an immunity provision for state legislators.

Police said the 43-year-old Bundgaard and his 34-year-old girlfriend, Aubry Ballard, both had marks on their body from a physical confrontation, which constituted an act of domestic violence.

Bundgaard told police that he’s immune from arrest because under Arizona law, he’s a state senator, and the Legislature is in session.

Mr. Bungaard informed the officers that he was a state senator and immune based upon Article 4 Part 2 Section 6 of the Arizona State Constitution. He was correct,” said Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson.

The law says politicians can’t be arrested 15 days prior to and during session.

The biggest story is not that he has those rights, but that they can be invoked for something like this, and at ALL. I’ve heard of laws saying they can’t get a ticket or detained via traffic stop if they’re on their way to vote, but this is ridiculous. He challenged the police to arrest him. So do it. 

Filed under Scott Bundgaard Asshattery fuckery GOP anti-immigration Arizona seriously? domestic violence violence Dancing with the Stars

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as you read about the trial of Brisenia Flores’s murderers…

radicallyhottoff:

Please note how rarely MSM is calling her murderers white supremacists and how rarely the organization they are a part of is called a hate group. Notice how key phrases like “hotly contested issue” keep coming up as code words for “white supremacist violence.” Notice how the Minutemen are never called a terrorist organization.

Notice how Brisenia is always mentioned in context of the little white girl shot during the Giffords shooting—as if Brisenia only became important and a tragedy *after* a white girl was killed. As if the only thing that could help us to understand the tragedy of Brisenia is first understanding a tragedy through a lens of whiteness.

Remember that Brisenia was killed first. And that she was specifically murdered because of the color of her skin. What happened to Brisenia was an act of white supremacist violence.

White supremacy is gendered male—and sees brown children as “anchors” and brown girl children as the next generation of resource drainers. Race IS gender. Citizenship IS gender. Border crossing is a direct threat to white supremacy. This is the truth we miss unless we teach other how to find it. 

Class, race, gender. In violence like this, it’s all intertwined. Brisenia and her father deserve their own justice outside the context of another murder. They got it yesterday.

(via stfuconservatives)

Filed under Brisenia Flores Arizona Shooting murder justice race class gender Arizona Shawna Ford Minutemen

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Giffords’ GOP Challenger: So, Can I Run Again Already?

According to Arizona Capitol Reports (subscription-only newsletter), Jesse Kelly is so antsy to challenge her again, that he requested a legal inquiry as to whether he could run again if Giffords lost her seat:

Attorney Lee Miller, who serves as legal counsel for the Arizona Republican Party, told our reporter Kelly’s campaign contacted him earlier this week to find out how the seat would be filled if Giffords couldn’t serve.

This is the same guy that held the M-16 shoot/fundraiser “targeting” her seat “for victory.” Keep it fucking classy, Tea Party.

Filed under Jesse Kelly Keeping it classy tea party teabagger teabaggery Arizona Gabrielle Giffords

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There’s another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making  headlines this week in Tucson. This time, we wonder if the rest of the  media will bother to cover it.
The little girl’s name was Brisenia Flores. She lived near the border  with her parents and sister outside the town of Arivaca, Arizona. On May  30 of 2009, a woman named Shawna Forde, who led an offshoot unit of Minutemen who ran armed border patrols for patriotic “fun”. Forde’s gang had decided to go “operational,”  which meant they concocted a scheme to raid drug smugglers and take  their money and drugs and use it to finance a border race war and “start a revolution against the government”.  They targeted the Flores home, which had neither money nor drugs, based  on dubious information. They convinced Flores to let them in by  claiming to be law-enforcement officers seeking fugitives, then shot him  point-blank in the head when he questioned them and wounded his wife,  Gina Gonzalez. And then, while she pleaded for her life, they shot  Brisenia in cold blood in the head. (Her sister, fortunately, was  sleeping over at a friend’s.)
(via CrooksandLiars)

There’s another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making headlines this week in Tucson. This time, we wonder if the rest of the media will bother to cover it.

The little girl’s name was Brisenia Flores. She lived near the border with her parents and sister outside the town of Arivaca, Arizona. On May 30 of 2009, a woman named Shawna Forde, who led an offshoot unit of Minutemen who ran armed border patrols for patriotic “fun”. Forde’s gang had decided to go “operational,” which meant they concocted a scheme to raid drug smugglers and take their money and drugs and use it to finance a border race war and “start a revolution against the government”. They targeted the Flores home, which had neither money nor drugs, based on dubious information. They convinced Flores to let them in by claiming to be law-enforcement officers seeking fugitives, then shot him point-blank in the head when he questioned them and wounded his wife, Gina Gonzalez. And then, while she pleaded for her life, they shot Brisenia in cold blood in the head. (Her sister, fortunately, was sleeping over at a friend’s.)

(via CrooksandLiars)

(Source: onceuponanotsolongtimeago, via corruptpolitics-deactivated2011)

Filed under hate right-wing Arizona isolated incident? tucson shooting Brisenia Flores