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Gender: Male
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
Number of posts: 27,627

Journal Archives

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.


ESPN ranks Colin Kaepernick among best college quarterbacks this century

College football writer Bill Connelly took on the task of ranking the 60-best college quarterbacks of the 2000s, and Kaepernick made the cut. While that seems like an obvious call, some great gun-slingers didn't make the list, including Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Dak Prescott, among others (neither did Nevada assistant coach Timmy Chang, who had a record-breaking career at Hawaii).

Kaepernick was ranked ahead of future NFL stars like Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Eli Manning and Josh Allen as well as top draft picks like David Carr, Joey Harrington, Alex Smith and Byron Leftwich and Heisman Trophy winners Jason White, Eric Crouch and Troy Smith. So where did he land? 29th.

Connelly writes of Kaepernick, who played for Nevada from 2007-10: "It takes the perfect quarterback to fully understand the potential of a given offensive system, and Kaepernick was the perfect muse for Chris Ault's revolutionary Pistol. As a senior, he threw for 3,022 yards, rushed for 1,206 and led the Pack to 13 wins and No. 11 in the AP poll."

Kaepernick is a tricky player to rank in this setting. Statistically, he's unprecedented. Literally. No quarterback other than Kaepernick has thrown for 10,000 yards and rushed for 4,000 at the FBS level. The closest to do that was his successor Cody Fajardo, who fell 341 passing yards and 518 rushing yards shy of those two marks). Kaepernick also is the only player in FBS history with three seasons of at least 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards. He's the only college player to account for 350 points with his arm and legs. His name is in the NCAA record book 17 times.


Roughly 40% of the USA's coronavirus deaths could have been prevented, new study says

About 40% of the nation’s coronavirus deaths could have been prevented if the United States’ average death rate matched other industrialized nations, a new Lancet Commission report has found.

While the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era faulted former President Donald Trump’s “inept and insufficient” response to COVID-19, its report said roots of the nation’s poor health outcomes are much deeper.

Commission co-chairs Dr. Steffie Woolhandler and Dr. David Himmelstein, professors at the City University of New York's Hunter College and longtime advocates for a single-payer health system such as "Medicare for All," said the report, published Thursday, underscores decades of health, economic and social policies that have accelerated the nation’s disparities.

The report found U.S. life expectancy began trailing other industrialized nations four decades ago. In 2018, two years before the pandemic, the report said 461,000 fewer Americans would have died if U.S. mortality rates matched other Group of Seven nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

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