Why is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema voting to repeal the estate tax?

I warned you earlier in the week about the GOP’s Gimmicks-R-Us Shoppe during tax week.

Steve Benen reports, GOP passes massive tax break for millionaires, billionaires:

In recent months, high-profile Republicans, sounding quite a bit like class warriors, have complained bitterly about the wealthy benefiting most from the recent economic recovery. Even House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), without a hint of irony, complained that recent trends point to “exacerbated inequality.” The far-right congressman added that only “the wealthy are doing really well.”

It’s genuinely impossible to reconcile Republican rhetoric and Republican priorities in light of votes like these.

The House voted Thursday to repeal the estate tax, a longtime priority of Republicans that also spurred Democratic charges that the GOP is in the pockets of the rich. [...]

The White House has threatened to veto the measure, and the bill does not appear to have the 60 votes necessary to break a Democratic filibuster and get through the Senate.

The final tally was 240 to 179, with nearly every GOP lawmaker voting for it and nearly every Democrat voting against it.

Yeah, about this “almost every Democrat” . . . our own Kyrsten Sinema, once again, voted with the Greedy Oligarchs and Plutocrats (GOP). This has become a routine habit of Rep. Sinema.

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Hillary Clinton supports the Move to Amend movement

Earlier this week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at the first official event of her presidential campaign, spelled out the ideas that she said will be at the heart of her campaign. In Iowa, Hillary Clinton lays out big vision for her campaign:

“I want to be the champion who goes to bat for Americans in four big areas,” she told four students and two educators at a roundtable staged in an automotive technology classroom at a branch campus of Kirkwood Community College.

It was the first time Clinton had laid out specific campaign themes since she announced on Sunday in a short video that she’s in the 2016 race for the Oval Office.

“ We need to build the economy of tomorrow, not yesterday,” she said, as a handpicked audience of about 20 and about 60 reporters seated nearby behind a yellow ropeline looked on.

“We need to strengthen families and communities because that’s where it all starts.

And we need to fix the dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment.

And we need to protect our country from threats that we see and the ones that are on the horizon. So I’m here in Iowa to begin a conversation about how we do that.”

TheGraduateWait, what now?

A major theme of the Hillary Clinton campaign is the Move to Amend movement for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC and its progeny?  “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?”

Apparently so. Hillary Clinton says she would support a constitutional amendment on campaign finance reform:

Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling for changes to the nation’s campaign finance system, saying here Tuesday that she would support a constitutional amendment if that’s what it takes to fix what she called a “dysfunctional” system.

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It’s game on! Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio contempt of court hearing next week

Babeu-ArpaioIt’s game on! Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio is having a bad week, and its going to get worse next week he goes on trial for contempt of court. We may finally be seeing the beginning of the end of the “most corrupt sheriff in America.”

This week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow’s 2013 ruling against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for illegal racial-profiling. Racial-profiling ruling vs. Arpaio largely upheld:

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals largely upheld a federal judge’s ruling against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in a racial-profiling case, according to a statement filed Wednesday.

In 2013, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow found Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies had disproportionately targeted Latinos during their traffic operations. The ruling extended to both regular and “saturation” patrols, where deputies would flood predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods.

Arpaio’s subsequent appeal did not contest the saturation patrol finding, only the portion dealing with regular patrols.

The appeals court upheld the federal judge’s inclusion of non-saturation patrols in his finding of racial profiling, and additionally maintained his rulings of corrective actions that included training and video-recording of traffic stops.

“I think it marks a significant victory,” said Cecillia Wang, a plaintiffs’ attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Once again the sheriff’s efforts to continue his policy on immigration enforcement have been rebuffed by a federal court.”

The panel did agree with the appeal in one respect, and ruled that the court-appointed monitor’s oversight of internal investigations must only be related to the constitutional violations.

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Spring Cyclovia on April 19

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It’s that time again to head downtown for Cyclovia’s downtown route to South Tucson. See latest  map above. So leave that car or truck behind, and get on your bike, trike, scooter, skates, skateboard, unicycle or just walk/hike/push or pull your wheeled wagon or stroller through the Cyclovia route.

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Il Duce roadtrip down the highway to hell

Screenshot-17Our governor, Il Duce, is taking a road trip around Arizona in his “Opportunity Express” RV to tout his first 100 days in office.

Seriously? An RV?

Call your buddy John McCain. I’m sure his “straight talk express” bus is available for the right price. Or call your buddy Willard “Mittens” Romney. Maybe he will let you borrow his “etch-a-sketch express” bus for the week.

This “express” bus thing is something that presidential candidates do, not some tinhorn governor dictator. Il Duce’s first 100 days in office have been nothing to celebrate. He is not comparable to the First 100 days of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Ducey calls budget, education, business highlights of first 100 days:

Before boarding his “Opportunity Express” RV on Wednesday to celebrate his first 100 days in office, Gov. Doug Ducey said he has provided “100 productive days of promises kept.”

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The high cost of low wages: subsidizing corporate welfare

BernieSanders-400x400Workers in retail, fast food and other industries protested across the nation on Wednesday, calling for the minimum wage to be raised to $15, Workers #Fightfor15 in nationwide protests (video), including in Phoenix, Valley protesters push for raise in minimum wage, and in Tucson. Tucson joins ‘Fight for $15′ protests as more workers join movement.

The Economic Policy Institute recently reported How to Raise Wages: Policies That Work and Policies That Don’t:

As EPI has documented for nearly three decades, wages for the vast majority of American workers have stagnated or declined since 1979 (Bivens et al. 2014). This is despite real GDP growth of 149 percent and net productivity growth of 64 percent over this period. In short, the potential has existed for adequate, widespread wage growth over the last three-and-a-half decades, but these economic gains have not trickled down to the vast majority.

As EPI has demonstrated throughout its Raising America’s Pay project, wage stagnation is not inevitable. It is the direct result of public policy choices on behalf of those with the most power and wealth that have suppressed wage growth. Because wage stagnation was caused by policy, it can be alleviated by policy.

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