This morning, the President of the United States of America was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Regardless of political affiliation or differences, this is an honor for which every American citizen should take pride.
But instead of taking a moment to share the pride and joy of being an American, instead of sharing in the dignity and honor of such an occasion, the Republican Party and its leaders took another great American moment and trashed it.
Why? Because the Republican Party has become the party of sore losers. It seems the mothers of the current crop of Grand Old Party leaders never taught them how to lose gracefully -- or if they did, they've forgotten the lesson.
I usually lurk and read (occasionally comment). But we are at a seminal moment in immigration reform, and I didn't see any diaries here about today's important development on 287g.
287g is the program that allows local law enforcement agencies to act as ICE agents -- investigating and detaining people suspected of living or working in the country without authorization. Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio is the "poster boy" for this program. He's the guy that you hear about who has "neighborhood sweeps" and has been accused of arresting people for cracked windshields and then hauled them in on immigration violations. More than 500 advocacy groups asked last month for the entire program to be terminated. Arpaio is always used as the example for why the program is no good.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced Monday evening that ICE stripped away his 287g authorization to investigate and detain people he suspects are living/working in the U.S. without authorization... But wait, there's more...
By now you may have heard that ASU is not planning to confer an honorary degree on President Obama when he gives the commencement speech there in June. A few local media outlets have written about it here in Arizona, and I have an article on the front page of HuffPo right now.
But the story doesn't end there -- or rather, it shouldn't end there.
The quote in the title, "Why are you cutting lives?" are the words of a disabled man who spoke last night at the budget hearing about proposed budget cuts that would affect him directly. The services he receives are a matter of life or death, and they are on the chopping block. The Arizona Republican Party leadership to rush through these cuts by the end of the day TODAY. This means we have to act TODAY. Please take a few minutes from your busy day to help those who cannot help themselves.
The proposed cuts to education have gotten a lot of media attention. AZ Republicans proposed a 35% cut from the operating budgets of the universities, a 10% across-the-board cut from the elementary/secondary school systems, and the elimination of all-day kindergarten.
The Arizona Republican leadership has also put crucial services for the disabled and also much-needed services for children under the care of Child Protective Services. Last night many people spoke about how they would be directly impacted by the cuts. There was not a dry eye by the end of the night.
While Americans are trampling each other in stores across the country thanks to the greed permeating our society, some noble college kids have forgone Thanksgiving with their families and forgone their holiday shopping to travel to Georgia to fight for one last Senate seat. After arriving, however, they have found that they are coming up short -- they need more help on the ground, and we can make that happen right now, right here, from where we sit, today.
Although John McCain was ahead in his home state by 14 points at the end of September, a spate of new polls reveals a substantial shift, putting Democratic nominee Barack Obama well within striking distance in McCain's home state of Arizona. Point spreads separating the candidates fall within the margin of error.
This means that not only is the presidential race in play in Arizona, but very important down ticket races (discussed below) are going to be determined, in part, by the coattails effect and even more by GOTV.
P.S. If you are in Arizona: The new polls (and the disarray of the AZ GOP) indicate that this race will be determined by turnout. That means we have to work even harder on GOTV!!!
At this point, most reasonable people understand that John McCain and Sarah Palin have engaged in rhetoric that has incited hate and fear. I do not have my PhD, but I am a research assistant in a experimental social psychology laboratory that studies social influence. So I know a little bit. There is quite a lot of research that I believe is directly related to the McCain-Palin rhetoric.
Indeed, their rhetoric is having similar effects to what has been seen in psychological experiments. In an article for my column on Huffington Post, I discuss some of this scientific research as it relates to the current tactics (and what I believe will be lasting effects) of John McCain and Sarah Palin. I am cross-posting the article here because I believe this is an important discussion for the American people.
On Thursday, the day after the final presidential debate, the national Republican National Committee (RNC) launched one of the most wide-reaching robocall campaigns in election history.
Voters from Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, West Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, Indiana, Delaware, Illinois, Georgia and even Canada have received pre-recorded, automated phone calls designed to frighten voters by tying Barack Obama to former member of the Weather Underground Bill Ayers. The robocall lasts about half a minute and includes the following statement:
Throughout the debate, two questions kept going through my mind:
(1) Why does McCain keep making that smug smiley face? You know the one. That superior, disdainful smirk that says I'm right and you're wrong and everyone is going to laugh at my joke.
(2) Who is making that peculiar wheezing-sigh-snort noise?
These are just my initial thoughts and reactions after the debate.
Although this may be one of the most emotional and hotly contested presidential elections in decades, the theft and vandalism of political signs are nothing new. Every election season, candidate signs disappear from intersections, streets, and yards across America. They usually vanish in the dead of night, as mischief makers abscond with them under cover of darkness. More brazen political opponents occasionally conduct their heists in broad daylight.
This election year, though, a new phenomenon is ensuing. Victims of political sign thefts are fighting back with high tech surveillance... Take the jump for some great videos!!! Be sure to watch the very last one -- HILARIOUS because despite being in a wheelchair, this guy really lets the sign thief have it!!! And he called the police, who charged her too! He is my new personal hero!
Prop 102, if passed, would define marriage as "between one man and one woman." I know vandalism is bad, but I really do like the extra description someone added to these signs:
The last time we had one of these in Arizona, we voted it down. Our state lawmakers were dissatisfied with that outcome, and they've put it back on the ballot without the normally required voter petitions (yes, that's legal in Arizona).
NOTE: If you are in Arizona, vote NO on 102!!!
Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) recently released a television advertisement in which he used a (possibly doctored) image of himself standing in front of a row of WWII veterans, with the caption, "has rare commitment to values" superimposed onto the photo, and the ad moves too fast to read the entire caption (which means very few people notice the caption is attributed to a newspaper!!)
Shadegg says this is the original image, that it has not been cropped or changed in any way. But it looks like a composite of multiple photos...
The event where the photo was taken had nothing to do with Shadegg (as Shadegg admits) -- the vets were there to ask Cheney questions about the war, questions that Cheney refused to answer. Shadegg, by his own admission, had nothing to do with the event -- he's just using the photo because that is the photo that he has available of himself and vets...
One of those vets has asked Shadegg to cease using his photo, and Rep. Shadegg (R) sent the vet an 'apology' letter that attacks the veteran for attending the event!