Martha McSally. Is it worth Trump fundraising?

In case you missed it all members of the U.S. Senate swore an oath this morning regarding how they will behave during the Impeachment Trial, including Arizona’s Martha McSally. Here’s the oath:

“I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, So help me God.”

Arizona Senator Martha McSally signs the official book acknowledging she took the Impeachment oath.

So here’s the question: Will Senator McSally honor the oath she swore to?
Or will she do what  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump have told her to do?

Another way of looking at this is whether Ms. McSally has the courage to stand up to President Trump and Senator McConnell, open her eyes, and find her “impartial justice.”

But wait! There’s more… Here’s what happened when McSally left the Senate Floor moments after taking the oath…

Hmmm. I’m always reminded at times like this that McSally is now occupying the Senate seat that belonged to the late U.S. Senator John McCain. Every day she dishes up a new reason why she isn’t worthy.

 

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New Polling Report: Biden still in lead; Bloomberg starts in 5th Place

 The Horse Race

Nothing much new in the big Democratic presidential horse race this week. It’s starting to read like a law firm: Biden Sanders & Warren with one important change; Michael Bloomberg.

The state-level polling has two groupings: the Early States and the Super Tuesday States. The same ‘law firm’ leads in both. Early States (IA, NH, SC, NV)  Biden 29%, Sanders 19%, Warren 13%,Buttigleg 11%, Steyer 10%, Yang 5%, Bloomberg 3%, Klobuchar 3%, Gabbard 3%

Super Tuesday (AL, AR, CA, CO, ME, MA, MN, NC, OK, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA).  Biden 29%, Sanders 25%, Warren 14%, Buttigleg 7%, Bloomberg 6%, Yang 4%, Steyer 4%, Klobuchar 3%.

Arizona’s Democratic Presidential Primary is March 17th. The Republicans have decided not to have one.

Bloomberg’s ROI: 5th Place

Michael Bloomberg at Hq. Opening in Charlotte

The notable exception to “the law firm” is that Michael Bloomberg has been spending his way from zero to about 7% nationally and 6% for Super Tuesday. He’s not doing nearly as well in the Early States (3%)  having decided to put most of his energy and that financial reach into the Super Tuesday states.

In recent weeks he’s been blanketing the airwaves, introducing himself to voters in essentially every TV market in the country.
“We’re going to places where Democrats for the most part are not going right now, where we have to win in order to win the White House in 2020,” says Michael Nutter, a former Philadelphia mayor who’s now Bloomberg’s national political chair Nutter points to his home state.
“Pennsylvania doesn’t vote until April,” he says. “But there’s an office now open in Philadelphia and there will be others in Pennsylvania way before [the primary].” (Source; NPR 12/27/19)

Bloomberg has already spent over $100 million on TV ads in 24 states and 100 news markets. And he’s just starting. While you’re waiting for the Super Bowl half-time show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, keep your eyes open for a  ridiculously expensive 60-second Bloomberg spot. How expensive? Try $10-million according to Variety.

But wait! There’s more. Apparently, once the Trump campaign caught wind of what Bloomberg was up to they bought air time too.

Bloomberg’s ads are mostly “combo spots ” starting out with his substantial biography introducing him to voters.  The second half of the combo is devoted to exposing the record of Donald Trump in a demonstration of how effective Bloomberg could be in the general election.

Polling results from Morning Consult

But as good as it is for Bloomberg to have climbed so quickly, 5th place is still a long drop from Joe Biden who continues to lead the field at 31%; comfortably ahead of both Sanders and Warren with Buttigieg who has been campaigning for quite a while still stuck in single digits even after spending several million of his own.

The Ground Game

March 3rd  Super Tuesday states

Before you start thinking Bloomberg’s strategy is entirely television-based, what really has political pros sitting up and taking notice is that the campaign has already placed over 200 seasoned staffers in the Super Tuesday states. Insiders say they’re also primed to pick up additional staffers and campaign firms once the field starts to narrow after the Early Primaries.

 

So, Bob, Does Bloomberg have a chance?

I think he does, perhaps even a good one. The odds are against any of the Democrats who can’t seem to get any traction despite all their campaigning, some for a year or more.

The underlying concern for Democrats remains who can beat Trump? And that’s where weaknesses are starting to show with the top-tier candidates. Not huge disqualifying weakness, but some of their positions are not testing as well with general election voters as they are Democrats. “Medicare for All” while popular in various forms among Democrats, non-Democrats are voicing concerns that hearken back to questions about the Affordable Care Act. a.k.a.  Obamacare.

Questions about how this health care system would function such as whether citizens would be required to sign up despite liking their current health insurance aren’t easily answered. And the financial side of the various proposals seems to be just plain confusing.

So despite all the polling that shows virtually any Democrat with a pulse is able to beat Trump, someone like Bloomberg might very well be who the Party eventually turns to.

Welcome to 2020.

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Yes – Trump & Friends could reactivate The Draft

There’s some sudden interest in “the Draft.” And there should be. The Trump Administration is filled with “hawks” who seem to think that attacking other countries is the only way to run the United States.

And that makes many of us worried that they’ll reactivate the military Draft. Yes, “reactivate.”

Surprise! The Draft was never disbanded, they just stopped grabbing 18-year-olds, sticking them in uniforms and send them off to kill or be killed.

The “Draft” was never abolished. They just put it in neutral in case they wanted to turn it on again.

 
Here’s how Google explains it all:
“The draft came to an end when the United States Armed Forces moved to an all-volunteer military force. However, the Selective Service System remains in place as a contingency plan.”
Virtually all male U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and male immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, residing in the United States, who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.
The law says men must register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday.”

A lottery was set-up to make the Draft “fairer.”

If the Draft was turned back on the best guess is they’d use the “lottery” system to pick who gets a free trip to Basic Training.

You know the Arizona Lottery’s numbered balls? They used a similar, hand-operated, ping-pong ball mixing contraption. They had 365 balls numbered to correspond to birthdates. If your number came up early in the process, “Happy Birthday” and welcome to the United States military. 

That was 1969 during the Vietnam War days. It came about because of serious problems:

  1. The military was having a huge problem getting enough guys (yes, just men at the time) to voluntarily hand themselves over to the armed forces for a free trip to exotic Southeast Asia.
  2. The system of “deferments” from being drafted had worked well for white guys going to college, but that

    Donald Trump registered for the draft like all young men. He got multiple “medical” deferments for his infamous “bone spurs.”

    just meant more non-college men were taking their place. Student deferments were the most widespread, but guys with medical problems also got a pass. What kind of medical problems? It could have been almost anything. The military’s standards for what medical problems would disqualify a man for service tightened up so that only serious disfiguring conditions as, oh, just a random example, “bone spurs,” would be deferred

    Now, as unpopular as the Draft was not everyone thought effectively ending it and relying on an all-volunteer military was a good idea. The concern voiced mostly by a small group of progressive anti-war activists went this way: The government will be less likely to wander off into a war (like with Iran) if the sons of the wealthy, privileged and especially elected officials, were in line for service along with everyone else.

U.S. Army paratroopers of an immediate reaction force

A final thought: The Trump Administration is speeding to a disastrous conflict in the Middle East and sending thousands of our volunteer military with no discernible strategy.

Not one of them was drafted. Pray for them.

 

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Accountability 2020: Make ’em do something

Image result for arizona house of representatives

The Arizona Legislature begins Part 2 of its 54th Session Monday, January 13th.

Like a gathering storm, the 90 members of the Arizona legislature are getting ready to invade the State Capitol again. So I want to get caught up on where we left off when they adjourned a few months ago

Basically, I believe that we need to evaluate the success or failure of the legislature by a different set of standards. I call this the “WTF Did They Accomplish?” standard.

Here’s a recap from the 2019 session:

Not one thing that will effectively help us mitigate the effects of climate change, let alone acknowledge it is and has been happening.

Not one thing that will seriously move Arizona education to even the national average either measured as educational outcomes or teacher pay.

Not one thing that will unabashedly promote and protect Arizona’s cultural environment without the undue influence of political or social pressure groups.

Not one thing that anyone actually involved with facing the health care crisis considers even barely sufficient.

 But they did manage to vote themselves a pay increase. That one, however, was even too much for Gov. Ducey to swallow so he put the kibosh on the attempt and was probably removed from many holiday card lists.

 But that was in 2019. This is 2020 (which the PR folks at ABC Network News have been waiting for.)

With the new session starting on January 13 I took a look at a random listing of some of the State Representative’s bills that are already getting spiffed up for consideration by our duly elected officials. As of now, all that’s listed are the bill numbers and short titles. But you’ll get the idea. You’ll find a complete list from the House of Representatives

Try to remember that each of the 90 members of the legislature is empowered by we the voters to make laws of significance;  Reflecting real efforts to resolve problems that affect all of us and make the most of statewide opportunities. You be the judge…

There’s HCR2006 Assyrian Genocide; remembrance day and HR2001 supporting Israel; recognizing Jerusalem. I oppose genocide and support Israel. But I fail to find what they have to do with improving life for Arizonans.

There’s a bunch of education-related bills you might find of interest. HB2016 teacher immunity; student discipline hasn’t been fully posted yet but it kind of looks like somebody wants to give teachers a blank check for beating up on a kid. But I could be wrong.

Speaking of education here are a few of their other ideas:

Think they’ve gone away? Think again.

HB2005 let’s prohibit schools from providing kids “dating instruction.”

But while the young folks wouldn’t get any help trying to figure out dating, another piece of legislation is clearly designed to give them time to think it over, HB2017 is called schools; pledge; quiet reflection.

I suspect this one may be an effort at remediation for members who don’t have a clue about how to handle tax money. HB2010 is for a personal finance course; requirement; appropriation.

If you’re concerned about Climate Change HB 2022  calls for schools; environmental education instruction. It will do nothing to actually protect our environment, but the kids will be better prepared as their climate continues to deteriorate.

Image result for social responsibility immunizations

In 2019 most cases of the ongoing Measles outbreak in the State of Washington have involved children between 1 and 10 years old who had not been vaccinated.

I love this one. HB 2050 schools; immunizations; parental control. Take a guess. Go ahead. I’ll wait…Yup, it seems to be another effort to bring back Measles, Mumps and all those other childhood communicable diseases we wiped out years ago thanks to universal immunizations. Apparently someone doesn’t understand social resp0nsibility.

HB2027  is a quirky little bill that simply says homeowners’ associations; evaporative coolers. I can’t decipher whether the intent is to make sure there are more evaporative coolers or fewer. I’m keeping my eye on this one.

Finally, there’s HB 2049 medical conditions; medical marijuana. That one seems pretty obvious. But, hey, how about just getting on with things by legalizing cannabis so the government stops deciding what disease or affliction qualifies. Haven’t we grown up at least that much?

There’s more to come. We haven’t even looked at the State Senate yet. And its anybody’s guess as to what Governor Ducey has up his sleeve. Many assume he’s betting Trump will have another term and ‘ole Doug will get some gig out of it.

All in all,  this is not a good start to living up to the  “WTF Did They Accomplish?” standard.

 

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Democrats: “Trump” is not a winning issue in 2020. What he has done or failed to do are the issues.

New York Times columnist David Leonhardt put his finger on it.

It’s entirely too easy to get ourselves all wound up about how Trump is just an awful human being and we can’t tolerate him in office.

Donald J. Trump, the third president in American history to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives

Let’s just deal with it this way. Of course, he is.

But try telling a Trump voter about that. Or even a “leans” Trump voter. The fact is that they cannot hear that. I mean, they really don’t hear it. Their minds have been rewired, a chip inserted into those red hats he’s selling might have done the trick.

They simply are not..make that never going to toss Trump overboard flailing around moaning about how they’ve been tricked, sucker-punched, and even lied to.

And set your hopes aside if you think they’ll be brushing their teeth and, WOW! it strikes like a thunderbolt: As it turns out WE are paying for the bloody wall, not Mexico.

So let’s all get this out of our systems; Trump is as bad as we all know he is. He’s done more damage to the United States than any of us could have imagined.

Now what?

Image result for walter isaacson"

Walter Isaacson is the former Managing Editor of Time Magazine and a noted historian.

Leonhardt echoes something famed historian and author Walter Isaacson described as his vision of the 2020 campaign; Three words. “Corruption. Cruelty. and Character.”

I agree with both of these fellows. Keep all that pent-up anger and hostility on ice until after he’s out of office. In the meantime, our Democratic candidates are going to be best served by focusing on Issacson’s 3 words.

The Trump administration has taken corruption to new levels. The formula can be simple: “Trump promised that he’d _______________. But he’s failed to do that and things are even worse now.”

For example, “Trump promised a new health care system that would give us better health care at dramatically lower costs. But he hasn’t made good on that promise and even the cost of medicine continues to burden millions of Americans.”

“Trump said a new relationship with Russia would be a good thing. But all that’s happened is they launched cyber-attacks on our elections to help elect him president.”

 

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Election 2020: Buckle Up. It’s going to get rough.

By Bob Grossfeld

Martha McSally’s conciliation prize for losing her U.S. Senate race in 2018 was..a U.S. Senate seat courtesy of Gov. Doug Ducey.

Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), the state’s unelected U.S. Senator, has a big problem: Voter’s common sense

It’s about the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump. You know, a trial. With a judge dressed in black, prosecutor, defense attorney, jury and exhibits like documents, videotape, etc

Oh yeah, and witnesses who swear to tell the truth. 

Everything they’ve seen on TV for decades and expect to see when Trump is on trial.

Progressives are set to win big in 2020 and POLITICARE is helping to make that happen.

So her nightmare is the pressure point: “If Donald Trump didn’t do anything wrong, why not have his staff say so as witnesses?

Even Trump’s supporters have joined in with the 75% of Americans who want to hear witnesses. They’re thinking guys like John Bolton and other big-shots would exonerate him? 

But it’s getting pretty clear that McSally’s mentor Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doesn’t think so and he’s been vocal about that. But not allowing testimony isn’t sitting well with Trump who thinks the Senate’s GOP majority works for him and ought to clear him of wrongdoing. Period.

But most voters don’t agree with McConnell…or McSally.

That spells trouble for McSally who’d prefer to  campaign mimicking Trump lashing out to the delight of “the base.” But just how does she pull that one off: Something like “What the Democrats have done to the President is indecent and unfair; he didn’t even have a chance to defend himself.”

Reporter: “So Senator why don’t you support bringing witnesses in like the President’s top staff and advisors to testify? Might they not help clear the President of any wrongdoing? Or are you worried they’d just dig the hole deeper?”

So look for McSally’s team to be polling like mad on the issue to see if there’s a way out. In the meantime, the Democrat’s candidate Mark Kelly (D-Space) is leading McSally by 3-points 47-44 statewide and is out-pacing her on fundraising too. 

But the story will ultimately come out of Maricopa County where his lead grows to 10-points. That’s the other McSally headache. It has become nearly impossible to win a statewide race in Arizona if you lose the state’s largest county. 

But wait! There’s more. Something the national media doesn’t yet understand is how quickly the state has been turning “blue,’ functionally by-passing “purple.”

The supposed “solidly red” state has 9 House seats and Democrats hold the majority 5-4. And a U.S. Senator who’s been actually elected. Democrats are heading up the state’s two largest vote centers: Phoenix in Maricopa County and Tucson in Pima County.

Dems got their mojo back in the State Legislature, too. Coming close to a majority in 2018 and continuing on a roll with unheard-of grassroots activity. Add to that a better than even chance Dems can add another congressional seat in November. The GOP weakling is 6th district Rep. David Schweikert. The congressman faces serious ethical issues that are still under investigation. He also has a voting record that is easy pickings for a carefully orchestrated Democratic campaign (i.e. NEVER TALK ABOUT IMPEACHMENT) especially his positions on Health Care and votes to strip away protections for those with preexisting conditions.

Take him out and it’s 6-3 for Democrats. 

(In a just world Gosar, Biggs and the “smart one” Lesko, would be bounced too.)

Finally, even before he became only the 3rd president in history to be formally impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, Donald Trump’s Arizona support has dropped 24% since taking office. His approval ratings still have him underwater. As they might say on “Law and Order”, he is awaiting trial.

———-

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We Got A Unicorn – Now Don’t Screw It Up

No. This has absolutely nothing to do with sports, just a game.

I’ve been at this a long time. I have seen candidates who are not too bright win campaigns while those few brilliant candidates are sent back home without even a “parting gift.”

Then, I’ve been told, there are magic moments when it may seem like some powerful force has stepped in to save the campaign. It’s something like a Political Unicorn; You can’t make it appear, but when it does you have to be smart enough not to screw it up.

Dear Friends, I believe that is the current status of Arizona’s campaign for an open United States Senate seat.

Mark Kelly for US SenateWith that, I’d like to introduce the 2020 Unicorn.

We were sent a genuine hero.

Seems fitting, doesn’t it? The Democratic candidate for the United States Senate seat previously held by the late Senator John McCain is himself a hero.

Now, all we need to do is not screw it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Former Gov. Brewer tries to put lipstick on Trump “asylum” policies.

This is a link to an opinion column attributed to former governor Jan Brewer published in the Arizona Capitol Times.

The core of the column is an attempt to put lipstick on the disastrous Trump administration border policies that have created the very real humanitarian crisis. Those are the same policies that have resulted in children being taken away from their parents and unbelievably “lost” somewhere in the Trump bureaucracy where expertise and experience don’t seem to be valued.

Mrs. Brewer’s column wrongly states that there has been a 1,700% increase in those seeking asylum in the United States with 80% trying to pull a fast one in order to sneak into the country with false claims. This is the response I sent to the newspaper:

It’s a funny thing about source citations; when you actually follow the citation links you may find that the meaning of that original source has been twisted to satisfy an agenda. In this case, the former governor tries to support another one of Donald Trump’s immigration “alternative fact” claims with a citation from a June 2018 “PolitiFact” article.
But the article doesn’t support the sinister implication suggested by Mrs. Brewer. To coin a phrase, here’s the “rest of the story” from the same article:


“There was a 1,675 percent increase in asylum claims reviewed by the Homeland Security Department from 2008 to 2017. But that does not evidence fraud, as Trump suggested. Record levels of violence and persecution abroad largely explain the rise in asylum claims, experts told us.”


In all fairness, I don’t intend to suggest that Mrs. Brewer has tried to deliberately mislead.
Actually, I doubt very much whether she read the original source citations in her column. It reads like something written by a so-called conservative “think tank,’ and then shopped around to Trump sympathizers who, in turn, use their assumed credibility to get the article published.

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Special Message to the Arizona Legislature

Dear Members of the Arizona Legislature,

We’ve been noticing that you don’t seem to remember the Oath you swore to when we elected you.

You know the one:

 

You may have forgotten that one very important portion of the Arizona Constitution you swore to defend is Article 2 Section 5. Here’s what it says:

Section 5. The right of petition, and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good, shall never be abridged.”

From everything we can see, you folks are “abridging” like mad!

Cut it out.

Your job is not to make voting or petitioning more difficult but to facilitate every CITIZEN’s participation in democracy.

Even if you think they’ll vote against you or circulate a petition proposing a new law or constitutional amendment you don’t like.

You have a problem with certain CITIZENS? Tough.

Start adhering to your oath, get out or be voted out.

Your choice.

(Originally published to Facebook – @BobGrossfeld)

 

 

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Look for Trump to Play “Let’s make a deal.”

I wrote this at the start of the new year after having thought about it for months. It just seemed like it was time for the second act…especially since I have a one-dollar bet going with a good friend on how this turns out. I think my scenario is most likely. His view is that nothing will happen and 2020 will be a replay of Trump’s 2016 circus.

I’m right.

I’m encountering more conversations all of which focus on how and when Mr. Trump will be booted out of the White House. Much of this may just be wishful thinking but at this stage of the game thinking not necessarily tethered to some set of twisted  “facts” is welcome.

Donald Trump will resign the presidency before the end of 2019 or sooner.

Why? Because he’s going to be made an offer he can’t refuse. 

The deal will go down as the gathering storm surrounding Mr. Trump takes shape.

The multiple investigations are all pointing in one direction. Mr. Trump, his business interests and his children will all be on the table. The various authorities, both state and federal, will eventually come together to carve out a simple “plea bargain.” Criminal charges pending against Mr. Trump and his children will go away and, in exchange, he will resign the presidency.

Watch for it.

 

 

 

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