How the anti-government GOP got it wrong, and TARP turned a $15.35 billion profit for the American taxpayer

The modern-day Republican Party is an anti-government insurgency, one best captured by P.J. O’ Rourke: “Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.”

It has become religious dogma within the GOP that government never works, it is an evil to be destroyed. It is a belief in the Laissez-faire doctrine of the Gilded Age that government should do nothing to interfere with transactions between private parties and let the “invisible hand” of the free marketplace run its course.

American_union_bankIt is what led to the Great Depression in 1929. Andrew Mellon, the Treasury secretary to Herbert Hoover, embraced America’s history of cyclical depressions: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate,” Hoover recorded was the advice he received from Mellon.

It is a rejection of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and aggressive government intervention in the economy to right the wrongs of a capitalist system run amok, best described by FDR in his Address Announcing the Second New Deal:

For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.

For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

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Your opportunity to protest Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio’s frivolous lawsuit

I do not often agree with Robert Robb of The Arizona Republic, but back in July he had a thought provoking commentary with which I agree questioning the utility of Arizona electing so many offices that are appointed offices in other states. Appointed officials would have some advantages.

I mean really, do we need to elect county assessor, recorder, treasurer, county attorney and county superintendent of public instruction? This is simply an attempt to replicate state elected offices, several of which would be better served as appointed positions, e.g., state mine inspector, corporation commission, and superintendent of public instruction.

The one office I have always believed should not be an elected office is county sheriff. Why is this a political office? Wouldn’t we be better served if the sheriff was a professional law enforcement officer appointed by the County Board of Supervisors after a rigorous candidate search and public commentary period?

Babeu-ArpaioThe fact that we elect sheriffs is how we get clowns like Paul Babeu aka Studboi1, and Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio. They demean the office of sheriff and destroy the credibility of professional law enforcement officers with whom they serve with their political antics.

How many millions of dollars has Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio already cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County with his unprofessional and unethical misconduct?

For example, Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio and his unholy alliance with right-wing conspiracy organizations like World Net Daily (Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate),  and Larry Klayman, a disreputable attorney and founder of Freedom Watch Inc., the former Chairman of Judicial Watch, who filed a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s recent executive orders on immigration deferrals of prosecution.

An appointed sheriff would never be able to get away with this kind of partisan political activity and whoring for publicity. They would be fired in a heartbeat for unprofessional and unethical misconduct. Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio would have been history long ago if county sheriff was an appointed office. Food for thought . . . and a ballot measure in 2016.

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SCOTUS allows same-sex marriages to proceed in Florida

Over the dissents of two Justices, the Supreme Court late Friday afternoon refused to delay — beyond January 5 — a federal judge’s order that would permit same-sex couples in Florida to marry after that day. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog reports, Court won’t add to delay of Florida same-sex marriages:

EqualNeither the apparent majority of seven nor the two dissenters gave any explanation.  Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas simply noted that they would have granted the plea by state officials to extend the postponement beyond the early January date.

In refusing the request by Florida officials, the Court followed the pattern that it had maintained for the past two-and-a-half months of routinely turning aside requests to put on hold lower court rulings that had struck down state bans on same-sex marriage.

This one appeared to be different from the others in two respects.  First, there was no need for an immediate postponement because the trial judge who nullified the Florida ban had put his decision on hold until January 5.  Second, the federal appeals court that presides in the geographic region that includes Florida — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit — has yet to rule on the validity of that state’s ban.

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Political Calendar: Week of December 21, 2014

The Political Calendar is posted on Sundays. Please send us notice of your political events prior to the Sunday before your event (7 days would be most helpful). See the calendar icon in the right-hand column of the blog page for easy access to the calendar.

Send us your information/fliers for holiday parties if you want it posted on the calendar.

Note: For Event Notices and Fliers, click on the “Calendar” button in the menu options above.

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Political Calendar for the Week of December 21, 2014:

Monday, December 22, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria), buffet lunch costs $8.50. DGT will be on holiday break December 22 and 29. See you next year!

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Cartoon of The Week

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AZ Lege 2015: Participation 101 – Part 2, Section 1

By Craig McDermott

As the opening of 2015 session of the Arizona legislature approaches, it is time for a quick tutorial on using the legislature’s website.

Users can access an incredible amount of information on or through the website, but it can be a little confusing for people who are unfamiliar with it.

Hence, the quick guide to using it. :)

Notes:

The following is accurate as of the date of writing.  While I do not expect that there will be any significant changes in the functionality of the website for this session of the lege, I cannot rule out the possibility that there will be changes – that’s completely out of my control.

It was created while using Mozilla Firefox as the browser.  Other browsers may display differently.

No matter how well this is written, it will not and should not be expected to replace experience with using the website.  I hope this helps people get started, but users should take the time to familiarize themselves with the website and its nuances *before* they need to use it efficiently.

Lastly, this is not a comprehensive guide to using the website.  I’m covering the basics in a way that I hope serves to help people who are just getting started.

On to the substance of this tutorial…

First step: Point your browser at http://www.azleg.gov/.

Main 1

Because I am writing this before the start of the new legislative session, the main page of the lege’s website still shows it as the 2014 session.  That will need to be changed (unless you want to research something in the 2014 session).

At the top of page, there is a “change session” link.  Click it. Continue reading