Thanks for the Validation, Mr. Piketty

The Thuckmeister’s been a bit quiet these days. He’s taking it in the teeth on at least two fronts.

First, the Common Core standards pushed by John Huppenthal, whom Thucky worships and adores, are not holding up to public scrutiny. This is not my area, I’ll readily admit, but check out this post at Salon: Common Core propaganda fails: Well-financed education “reformers” fight common sense.

Second, his other heroes, Richard Rogerson and Edward Prescott, remain in near total obscurity, while Thomas Piketty, whom ole Thuckenheimer labeled a fraud, is becoming a household name. Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is at the top of the best seller lists. It’s out of stock at Amazon.

And it’s awesome. I’m about halfway through. Piketty is only in his early 40′s, yet he’s amassed an unimaginable knowledge base. It’s not only the data he’s compiled, which even those on the right acknowledge is unprecedented. Piketty supplements and supports that data with information about life in 18th and 19th century France and Britain drawn from a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of literature. He then applies impeccable analysis and logical thinking to that information base, to give a crystal clear view of where we are and where we may be headed.

And, yes, it validates pretty much everything I’ve been saying on these pages.  Continue reading

Al Melvin and the Twitter version of verbal diarrhea

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

Somebody in the Melvin campaign should change his Twitter password.  Really.

After his infamous flameout in a CNN interview supporting SB1062, the bigotry legalization act, many people thought his IQ may be on the room temperature side of average (average IQ = 100; average room temperature = less than 100, significantly <).

A string of his tweets from yesterday and today -

No word on if he will be wearing a Kevlar campaign t-shirt at the gun show, or if show attendees will understand that “could I have your sig?” is not a request for them to disarm.

Talking Baseball: Wrigley Field 100th anniversary

Those lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs, are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the friendly confines of Wrigley Field today. Wrigley Field is one of only two “cathedrals of baseball” still remaining, the other being Fenway Park in Boston.

The Chicago White Stockings officially became the Chicago Cubs in 1907. They played in three consecutive World Series, losing to their South-side rivals the Chicago White Sox in 1906, but winning two consecutive titles as the Cubs by beating the Detroit Tigers in 1907 and 1908.

The Cubs have not won a World Series title since — and never at their Wrigley Field home — the longest drought of any major North American professional sports team. The Cubs played in but lost seven World Series between their title in 1908 and their last World Series appearance in 1945.


The Chicago Tribune, once an owner of the Cubs, reports today, Bears and Cubs alike celebrate Wrigley’s 100th birthday:

Cubs and Bears legends were greeted like royalty Wednesday as the Cubs celebrated the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field.

Perhaps the loudest cheers were reserved for former Bears linebacker Dick Butkus and running back Gale Sayers, the first athletes to be introduced during pre-game ceremonies.

Former Cubs players on hand included former Cubs Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Glen Beckert,  Gary “Sarge” Matthews, Milt Pappas, Andre Dawson, Lee Smith and Ryan Dempster. Two of Ron Santo’s grandchildren represented the Santo family.

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Japanese Speech Contest in 12th year


Mark your calendars for the upcoming 12th Annual Japanese Language Speech Contest on 4/26/14, from noon-5:00 p.m. at Pima Community College NW Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Rd. , Building G. Students studying the Japanese language in middle, high and college level compete for prizes.

The afternoon features: speech contest, cosplay contest (first ever), exhibitions and performances. You don’t want to miss it. Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers and Suzuyuki Kai traditional Japanese dance group will be performing.

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Gov. Brewer wields her veto pen to slay the Tea-Publican radicals

You know that we live in dangerous times when our radical Tea-Publican legislature can make über-conservative Gov. Jan Brewer look moderate and sane.

After losing in the Court of Appeals to these Tea-Publican radicals earlier on Tuesday, Court rules lawmakers can challenge Medicaid expansion, Gov. Brewer exacted her revenge late in the day by wielding her veto pen to slay these Tea-Publican radicals.

VetoBrewer vetoed House Speaker Andy Tobin’s bill, HB 2367 (.pdf), which would have required state officials to seek federal approval to impose a five-year limit on an individual’s right to receive coverage from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, and permission to impose a work requirement.

Brewer said a five-year lifetime enrollment cap could mean kicking more than 212,000 people out of the program, and another 253,000 children would lose coverage when they turn 18 “as the bill makes no exception for enrollment during childhood when determining the five-year limit.”

The bill passed the Senate on a party-line 17-12 vote, and  a party-line 35-22 vote in the House, including the “mythical moderate Republican” Ethan Orr (R-Tucson).

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Legislative lineup card: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

Note: During the writing of this post, the “Farley Report” , a weekly rundown of goings-on at the Capitol from State Sen. Steve Farley hit my email inbox; per his report, Wednesday may be the last day of the session.

Because things are so fluid at the Capital this week, expected to be the final week of the session, I’ll post on a daily basis regarding the legislative calendars posted for the following day.

Be aware, however, that things may move very quickly at the lege and all calendars are subject to change without notice.

Some of the more colorful measures up for consideration on Wednesday:

On the Senate Third Read calendar -

HB2663, a back-door way of enacting permanent restrictions on the state’s budget by requiring that budget proposals use revenue forecasts designed to low-ball revenue estimates.


On the House COW calendar -

SB1237 (yet again; it keeps being “retained” on the COW calendar, which is lege-speak for they aren’t bringing to a vote until they are sure they have the votes to pass it), expanding school vouchers “empowerment scholarship accounts”.


On the House Third Read calendar (here, here, and here) – Amazingly, looks quiet so far.  Emphasis on “so far”.


Three Senate committees are meeting to consider a slew of executive nominations:

Education, SHR1, 9:45 a.m.

Government and Environment, SHR3, 10 a.m.

Judiciary, SHR1, 10 a.m.

Theocracy is a sweet deal in Arizona

Crossposted at


Center for Arizona Policy is hosting its annual shindig, featuring renowned Fox News gasbag Charles Krauthammer as keynote speaker, at the Sheraton in downtown Phoenix on May 3rd. I thought about buying a ticket and trying to get in to it but, at $300 a pop, that’s way more than I’m willing to give to Cathi Herrod for any reason. Here are the ticket prices. Continue reading

AZ Court of Appeals revives GOP legislators’ challenge to Gov. Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion

Cartoon_08The real “Obamacare death panel” — 36 Arizona Tea-Publican legislators and their lawyers at the “Kochtopus” Death Star, The Goldwater Institute — in their quest to overturn Governor Jan Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion plan to deny health care to tens of thousands of Arizonans who now have access to health care, were thrown a lifeline today by a panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports Dealing blow to Brewer, appeals court says Medicaid expansion lawsuit can move forward:

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled today that a group of Republican lawmakers has standing to challenge the hospital assessment that funds Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion program.

The decision gives opponents the opportunity to argue that the law was unconstitutional because it didn’t garner a two-thirds vote in the Legislature.

The case now threatens what is arguably Brewer’s greatest achievement as governor. The assessment on hospitals, which pays for the state’s share of Medicaid expansion, is the lynchpin of the Brewer’s plan.

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‘Ancestral rights’? Welfare cowboy Cliven Bundy is a fraud

The conservative media entertainment complex-invented wingnut hero of the moment is welfare cowboy Cliven Bundy of Nevada, who does not recognize the U.S. government because he claims “ancestral rights” to the federal land on which this freeloader grazes his cattle without paying any grazing fees. Former Montana Governor and rancher Brian Schweitzer: Cliven Bundy is ‘a grifter’.

nevada“Ancestral rights”? Seriously, Dude? If you want to talk about “ancestral rights,” then let’s bring in the Native American tribes who actually have a claim of ancestral rights to the land. Hello!

Finally, some real reporting from KLAS in Las Vegas that exposes Cliven Bundy for the fraud that he is. I-Team: Bundy’s ‘ancestral rights’ come under scrutiny:

The I-Team dug into century-old records to examine Bundy’s claims.

* * *

His cattle, until recently, roamed freely on land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. Before the roundup that sparked protests, confrontations and [militia] gunmen taking a bridge, Bundy explained his “ancestral rights” to the I-Team.

“I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements,” Bundy said.

Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy’s parents moved from Bundyville, Arizona and bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt.

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The myth of the ‘swing voter’ – it’s base voter turnout, stupid!

Pay attention media villagers! Your “swing voter” conventional wisdom (CW) reporting is total B.S., as I have pointed out several times here over the years, and political scientist Lynn Vavreck reaffirms today in the New York TimesThe Myth of Swing Voters in Midterm Elections:

Screenshot from 2014-04-22 12:46:58If you want to understand the 2014 midterm elections, remember this simple fact about American politics: There just aren’t that many swing voters.

Many people change their minds over the course of a campaign about whether to vote and even which candidate they’re leaning toward. Ultimately, though, voters tend to come home to their favored party. There are relatively few voters who cross back and forth between the parties during a campaign or even between elections.

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