My Crazy Theory on Jonathan Pollard’s Parole

Okay, this one is admittedly out there, and likely wrong. Still, it’s fun to speculate about these things.

Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying on the U.S. for Israel 30 years ago, was granted parole yesterday.

Rachel Maddow reported on this yesterday and was perplexed by this. She gave the following background:

1. Pollard had sold huge volumes of state secrets.

2. He’d sought asylum unsuccessfully from the Israeli embassy.

3. On several occasions, during peace negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel had demanded Pollard’s release as a condition to its agreement to settlement terms, and the U.S. had refused, presumably derailing the settlement negotiations.

4. The Obama Justice Department did not even enter an appearance to oppose Pollard’s parole.

The New York Post reported that some Obama administration officials hope Pollard’s release will calm Israel’s anger over the Iran deal. Then the Post commented on how deluded they were for so hoping.

But maybe it’s the Post Editorial board that suffers from delusion. It is, after all, a Murdoch-owned paper. Consider the following: Continue reading

Lots of laughter at weekly Unscrewed Theater shows

UTAugust

Here’s a cool activity to enjoy, every weekend. I’ve been to their improv shows a number of times. These folks are hilarious & creative, and the shows are family-friendly and enjoyable (for only $5):

We make Tucson laugh through improv! Performed in the style of the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway”, we are an inexpensive, hilarious entertainment for the WHOLE family.

We perform every Friday and Saturday night! We offer family-friendly improv at 7:30pm both nights!

We also offer Uncensored shows twice a month on Saturdays at 9:30pm. (2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month).

All tickets are only $5 and can be pre-purchased via our website:http://www.unscrewedtheater.org/

Unscrewed Theater is located at 3244 E. Speedway Blvd, right across from The Loft! Parking is around the back (enter at Walgreen’s, 3200 E. Speedway).

‘Kochtopus’ Coachella 2015 this weekend for billionaires looking to buy a GOP candidate

There are many reasons to despise POLITICO Tiger Beat on the Potomac, and this is yet another one. Politico’s Mike Allen To Emcee Koch Bros. Q&A With 2016 GOPers:

Politico’s chief White House correspondent Mike Allen has been booked to emcee part of an event set up by a group funded by the Koch brothers designed to connect Republican presidential candidates with wealthy donors, according to Politico.

* * *

At the annual Freedom Partners conference, the candidates will appear in individual Q&A sessions, which will be moderated by Allen and streamed online to media outlets, according to Politico.

So what does Tiger Beat on the Potomac have to say about its exclusive gig, “Coachella 2015″ for “Kochtopus” candidates, GOP Presidential Hopefuls Coming to Private Coachella Valley Event, themed “Unleashing A Free Society: Expanding Opportunity for All Americans,” moderated by Politico’s chief White House correspondent, Mike Allen? Koch brothers summon Bush, Cruz, Walker, Rubio to SoCal confab:

KochClownsFour leading GOP presidential candidates – Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker – are traveling to a Southern California luxury hotel in coming days to make their cases directly to the Koch brothers and hundreds of other wealthy conservatives planning to spend close to $1 billion in the run-up to the 2016 election.

The gathering – which also will include former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, but notably not Sen. Rand Paul — is hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the umbrella group in the Kochs’ increasingly influential network of political and public policy outfits. It represents a major opportunity for the candidates at a pivotal moment in the presidential primary.

Continue reading

Consientious energy companies find that they can comply with EPA regulations

carbon-emissionsThe Arizona Republican has published a series of editorial opinions this year attacking EPA regulations and the effects on Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP). See, for example Editorial EPA wants us to change? Show us the bill first; We have the right to know cost of new EPA rules; Editorial Sinema, Kirkpatrick make a wise carbon vote; and New EPA clean-air rules threaten rural power co-ops.

The “editorial board” largely reflects the views of the Rush Limbaugh of The Republic, Doug MacEachern, See for example, EPA regulations good for economy? Bah!, and EPA emissions regulations coming down to cost. Got to keep your major advertisers happy and promote those Republican talking points.

Funny thing about those EPA regulations: those states that have sought to comply with the regulations have found that they can comply with the regulations. The Washington Post reported last week that Outrage over EPA emissions regulations fades as states find fixes:

Even after years of talk about a “war on coal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell startled some of his constituents in March when he urged open rebellion against a White House proposal for cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan is “extremely burdensome and costly,” the Kentucky Republican said in letters advising all 50 states to boycott the rule when it goes into effect this summer.

The call for direct defiance was unusual even for McConnell, who has made a career of battling federal restrictions on coal. Yet more striking is what has happened since: Kentucky’s government and electric utilities have quietly positioned themselves to comply with the rule — something state officials expect to do with relatively little effort.

Continue reading

Matt Heinz to run for Congress in CD 2 (Updated)

Tucson doctor and former state representative Matt Heinz has filed to run for Congress in CD 2, joining state representative Victoria Steele as the only declared Democratic candidates in this race. The Tucson Sentinel reports, Heinz making bid to unseat McSally:

MattHeinzAnd then there were two: Matt Heinz, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nod in 2012, has joined legislator Victoria Steele in seeking to run against freshman Republican Martha McSally.

Heinz filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, but has yet to make a formal campaign announcement. Neither has he launched his campaign website, which read “This site is under development” Wednesday morning.

Heinz, a doctor at Tucson Medical Center, worked with the Obama administration promoting the rollout of the Affordable Care Act before returning to Tucson this year.

He sought the Democratic nod to run in the 2012 special election to fill the seat left vacant when former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resigned, but was swamped by Ron Barber’s campaign — as he was again in the August primary that year.

Heinz served in the state House from 2009-2013 before working for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

I checked Matt Heinz’s Facebook and Twitter pages this morning, and I do not find any campaign kickoff event or announcement posted. If you learn of one, post it in the comments.

Continue reading

50th Anniversary of Medicare/Medicaid, Republicans are still trying to kill it

There is something surreal about Biggs, et al v. Brewer, et al. (CV2013-011699 Maricopa County Superior Court), the Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion case brought by almost every Tea-Publican legislator in the Arizona legislature, being heard today in court on the 50th Anniversary of the The Social Security Amendments of 1965 creating the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion case set for hearing on July 30, 2015.

These Tea-Publican legislators are seeking to take away Medicaid (AHCCCS) health insurance coverage for an estimated 300,000 recipients (est. 463,000 Arizonans are eligible). Arizona Medicaid: eligibility, enrollment and benefits. I hope that one of the attorneys will point out the significance of today’s date to the Court.

On July 30, 1965, President Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments which established Medicare and Medicaid, promising that they would “improve a wide range of health and medical services for Americans of all ages.”

Former President Harry S. Truman was at his side in Independence, Missouri. Johnson credited Truman with “planting the seeds of compassion and duty which have today flowered into care for the sick and serenity for the fearful.”

LBJ_Medicare_Bill_Signing34896web
Medicare bill signing,Date: 7/30/65, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri.

Continue reading