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Gender: Male
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
Number of posts: 27,770

Journal Archives

Oregon GOP Lawmaker Faces Criminal Charges for Letting Rioters Into State Capitol

A Republican lawmaker in the Oregon House of Representatives is facing two criminal charges for letting rioters into the state Capitol in December. State Rep. Mike Nearman was charged Friday with official misconduct in the first degree, which is a class A misdemeanor, and criminal trespass in the second degree, which is a class C misdemeanor. The charges came after months of investigation into what happened on Dec. 21, when rioters got into the Capitol at a time when it was closed to the public and lawmakers held an emergency session on COVID-19 relief. Surveillance footage showed Nearman leaving the Capitol into a group of protesters trying to get inside. The move appeared designed to allow the demonstrators, who were demanding an end to virus-related restrictions, into the building.

Shortly after they were able to go inside the demonstrators attacked law enforcement officers, with one even spraying bear mace. That allowed the rioters to push their way further inside the Capitol until they were finally pushed out. After he appeared to leave the path open to protesters, Nearman walked around the building and entered again on the other side.

Nearman had already been under fire from his colleagues after the surveillance video made clear he played a key role in allowing the demonstrators inside. House Speaker Tina Kotek called for his resignation saying that he “put every person in the Capitol in serious danger” and stripped him of his committee assignments. After the charges, Oregon House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner also called for Nearman’s resignation. “Nearman should have resigned in January, the moment that security footage confirmed his involvement and assistance in the attack,” Smith Warner said in a statement. “Given today’s charges, it’s clear that he’s got to go. I urge every one of my colleagues, in every caucus, to call this out for what it is and join me in demanding that Nearman resign immediately.”

Nearman now has to appear in court on May 11 or face arrest.

Posted by AZProgressive | Sat May 1, 2021, 08:20 PM (1 replies)

Vanessa Guillen's sisters say Fort Hood memorial gate is a 'step in the right direction'

A gate at Fort Hood, Texas, leading to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment area where Spc. Vanessa Guillén was killed by a fellow soldier last spring, now bears her name and picture.

Guillén’s two sisters, who spoke after the dedication ceremony Monday, called the gate a reminder of the progress made so far. But the sisters added that more needs to be done to change how the Army prevents sexual harassment in the ranks.

Before she was killed, Guillén told her family she was a victim of sexual harassment but had not reported it to her chain of command for fear of repercussions.

“This is an honor for Vanessa … this is a step in the right direction,” said Mayra Guillen, the older sister. “For me, I try to see things in a positive way. This gate will [remind] all those soldiers who go in day and night that what happened shouldn’t happen ever again.”

Posted by AZProgressive | Wed Apr 21, 2021, 12:53 AM (0 replies)

CDC Director Declares Racism A 'Serious Public Health Threat'

Racism is a scourge in American society. It's also a serious public health threat, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement released Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky pointed to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, as seen in case numbers, deaths and social consequence.

"Yet, the disparities seen over the past year were not a result of COVID-19," Walensky said. "Instead, the pandemic illuminated inequities that have existed for generations and revealed for all of America a known, but often unaddressed, epidemic impacting public health: racism."

"What we know is this: racism is a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans," she added. "As a result, it affects the health of our entire nation. Racism is not just the discrimination against one group based on the color of their skin or their race or ethnicity, but the structural barriers that impact racial and ethnic groups differently to influence where a person lives, where they work, where their children play, and where they worship and gather in community. These social determinants of health have life-long negative effects on the mental and physical health of individuals in communities of color."

Posted by AZProgressive | Thu Apr 8, 2021, 10:23 PM (5 replies)

Metro Phoenix's Asian American community marches in Mesa to protest anti-Asian attacks

Hundreds of people holding signs, toting coolers of snacks and wearing masks marched in Mesa on Saturday to support Asian American communities victimized by harassment and hate.

Some signs had statements like, "Love us like you love our food," "Not your model minority, not your fetish, not another hate crime." Others wore shirts that said, "Stop Asian hate." Children were among the crowd.

Nora Kish, who is half Korean, says the support of people who came here paints a more accurate version of the solidarity of the Asian community. Kish's mother, who immigrated in the 1980s, has been afraid since she was confronted by a group of men a few weeks ago.

“Really, it’s white supremacy that is at the root of it all," she said. "Just like a Black Matter Lives activist said, they will keep pitching us against each other until we get on the same page and unite against hate.”

Posted by AZProgressive | Sun Mar 28, 2021, 03:52 PM (1 replies)

New bill on Puerto Rico status introduced by Reps. AOC, Velzquez, Sen. Menendez

Democrats in Congress introduced legislation Thursday to get the ball rolling on determining Puerto Rico's future status, including possible statehood, and its relationship with the mainland.

The measure, the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021, calls for creating a "status convention" made up of delegates elected by Puerto Rican voters. The delegates would be responsible for coming up with long-term solutions for the island's territorial status — statehood, independence, a free association or other options beyond its current territorial arrangement.

Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who introduced the measure in the Senate, said the delegates would hold formal talks "with a bilateral negotiating commission" of several members of Congress and other federal officials. Options would be "put before the people of Puerto Rico to vote in a federally recognized referendum for the first time," Menendez said during a news conference.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who introduced the House version of the bill along with Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., said the measure is as much about allowing Puerto Ricans to assert their political identity as it is "about the identity of the United States."

Posted by AZProgressive | Thu Mar 18, 2021, 09:27 PM (1 replies)

Army reviewing investigation into Michael Flynn's dealings with Russia, foreign firm

The Defense Department’s internal watchdog has concluded a long-delayed investigation into Michael Flynn, defense officials said Friday, sending its findings to the Army in a case that could bring tens of thousands of dollars in financial penalties for former president Donald Trump’s first national security adviser.

The investigation focuses on Flynn’s acceptance of money from Russian and Turkish interests before joining the Trump administration, a potential violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. With few exceptions, U.S. officials, including retired service members like Flynn, are prohibited from accepting money or gifts from foreign governments. Flynn retired from the Army as a three-star general in 2014.

The inspector general’s investigation, opened in April 2017, was put on hold for more than three years amid a broader scandal that included a criminal investigation of Flynn by the Justice Department — part of what would become the investigation of Trump’s first presidential campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election led by former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III.


After Trump’s pardon, the Justice Department gave approval for the Defense Department inspector general’s office to resume its investigation, said Dwrena K. Allen, a spokeswoman for acting inspector general Sean O’Donnell. The watchdog’s office closed its investigation one week after the Biden administration took office and forwarded its findings to the Army.

Posted by AZProgressive | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 08:31 PM (20 replies)

Lead Maricopa County prosecutor on protest cases placed on administrative leave

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has placed the lead prosecutor for a collection of protest cases on administrative leave amid an outside investigation into how a group of demonstrators was charged as a criminal street gang.


The "Politically Charged" investigation exposed one case that was especially problematic: a group of protesters arrested on Oct.17 was charged as a criminal street gang based on exaggerations and lies.

ABC15 obtained records and police radio calls that show Sponsel was actively advising officers before the arrests were finalized. The audio further raised concerns about inappropriate coordination between Phoenix police and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel has distanced herself from the gang charges, claiming she was out of the loop due to a traumatic brain injury last year. However, the arrests and charges were finalized before Adel was hospitalized.

Posted by AZProgressive | Wed Mar 3, 2021, 09:01 PM (1 replies)

I'll answer

Biden Can Single-Handedly Run The Reconciliation Process: Parliamentarian Experts (VIDEO)

Two experts in the arcane rules of the Senate said on Monday that, as president of the Senate, Biden has the capacity not just to overrule any ruling that the parliamentarian may make but also to cut off efforts by Republicans to offer unlimited amendments.

“Ultimately it’s the Vice President of the United States [who has the power over the reconciliation process],” Robert Dove, who served as Senate parliamentarian on and off from 1981-2001, told MSNBC this morning. “It is the decision of the Vice President whether or not to play a role here... And I have seen Vice Presidents play that role in other very important situations... The parliamentarian can only advise. It is the vice president who rules.”


The title “Senate parliamentarian” is so distinguished that one might easily assume it dates back to the 18th century. In fact, the post was created in 1935 in revolt against John Nance Garner, the vice president who famously said his office wasn’t worth “a bucket of warm piss” and who apparently worked out his frustrations by rendering as president of the Senate questionable parliamentary rulings. Only three people held the post before Frumin and Dove’s 28-year do-si-do. According to Dove, Vice President Hubert Humphrey routinely ignored his parliamentarian’s advice. Might Vice President Joe Biden do the same with health care? Dove sees it as a “more plausible” prospect with Biden than it might be with other vice presidents because Biden (like Humphrey) is a former senator who can draw on personal familiarity with Senate procedure. He’s also (I would add) kind of a know-it-all, an annoying quality in many contexts but a potentially useful one here.


These articles are from when Biden was VP but the excerpts answers your question.
Posted by AZProgressive | Mon Mar 1, 2021, 05:12 AM (0 replies)

DNC releases video hitting Republicans on vote against coronavirus relief bill

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) War Room on Saturday released a new video hitting House Republicans for voting against a sweeping $1.9 trillion package that aims to provide financial relief for Americans amid the pandemic.

The video, which the DNC posted on Twitter Saturday afternoon, includes news coverage of House Democrats passing the stimulus package in a 219-212 vote early in the early morning.

Two Democrats - Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.) - joined all Republicans in voting against the bill.




Vice President Kamala Harris Calls NASA Astronaut Victor Glover

In celebration of Black History Month, NASA astronaut Victor Glover welcomed Vice President Kamala Harris to the International Space Station for a virtual chat.

In the video recorded Feb. 24 and shared Saturday, the conversation ranged from the legacy of human spaceflight to observing Earth from the vantage of the space station, Glover’s history-making stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, and preparing for missions from the Moon to Mars.

Victor Glover is a long-duration crew member on the International Space Station. He served as the Crew Dragon pilot and second-in-command for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission. Glover is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance.

Selected as an astronaut in 2013, the California native holds a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering from California Polytechnic State University, a Master of Science degree in flight test engineering and a master’s degree military operational art and science from Air University, and a Master of Science degree in systems engineering from Naval Postgraduate School. Glover is a naval aviator and was a test pilot in the F/A‐18 Hornet, Super Hornet, and EA‐18G Growler aircraft. Follow Glover on Twitter and Instagram.

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