Tag Archive for Arizona

Phoenix March For Science

The March for Science happened on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2017 in cities across the globe. Tens of thousands of people showed up to give support to science, which is under attack in this country by the Trump administration and right wing zealots in the Republican party. Vital government programs face devastating budget cuts because the facts that scientists discover don’t match the narrow ideology of the people who control the Republicans; the oil, gas, coal, defense, finance and banking industries and the evangelical christians.

We here at the Bucket attended the satellite march in downtown Phoenix. According to the facebook page, about 3.3k people attended. Many scientists and science enthusiasts showed up to support logic, reason and the scientific method. Although it was billed as a not partisan event, almost all of the people there were ROYALLY PISSED at the Trump administration and the Republicans in general. There were many greats signs at the rally, too. Our favorite was one carried by a local lady, which featured a picture of Donald Trump next to the words – Does this ass make my country look small? Classic!

But despite the frustration and anger of the participants, it was a peaceful rally. It gave us some hope that maybe, just maybe something will be done about these charlatans, con artists and corporate lackeys who are running the government now. Like another sign said – So bad, introverts are here…yes, even the smart, intelligent, geeky, introverted scientists and engineers, the very foundation of this country, are willing to venture outside their comfort zones and socialize to try and put an end to this mess.

A small section of the marchers in the Phoenix March for Science on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. BilgeBucket Gazette staff member, Chester Einstein, is the one in the hat carrying a sign.

A small section of the marchers in the Phoenix March for Science on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. BilgeBucket Gazette staff member, Chester Einstein, is the one in the hat carrying a sign.

Arizona’s Gestapo Tactics

An alarming bill was approved late last week by the Arizona Senate that shows that the fascist tendencies of today’s Republican party run from the national level all the way down to the local levels of governments. SB1142 is a bill that would almost make it a crime to protest. It states that if any damage happened during the protest, all the protesters would be held accountable and their assets seized. The wording even goes as far as saying that the organizers of the protest, even if they physically weren’t present could be arrested, charged for racketeering and their assets taken. The Young Turks had a nice analysis about it. Needless to say, this ruined our weekend.

Fortunately, there was enough of a national outcry that the Arizona Speaker of the House, J.D. Mesnard killed the bill…for now. We’ve lived here long enough that we have no doubt that the fascist Republicans in this state will try to resurrect this bill in the future when it’s politically convenient.

But there have been a flourishing of anti-protests bills by Republicans in 18 states. This gets us thinking. The Republicans have a Nazi advising Trump and Steve Bannon has made it no secret that he wants to dismantle the government. Since his blueprint for ‘success’ seems to involve Nazi Germany as a model, could a Reichstag fire type event come in the near future?

What’s scary for us here in Arizona are the words of John Kavanagh. He’s the state senator from Fountain Hills, which for you non-Arizonans, is an exclusive, hoidy-toidy community where the well-to-do congratulate each other on how great they are and look down their noses on people who don’t live there. Donald Trump gave a stump speech there. Kavanagh, a former police officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has said controversial things before. But about SB1142 he said “You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder. A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists, but this stuff is all planned. Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts? Do you really want to wait until people are injuring each other, throwing Molotov cocktails, picking up barricades and smashing them through businesses in downtown Phoenix?’’ So basically if you even think of doing any kind of a protest, the police could say that you’re an ideologue or provocateur and can just assume that the protest could become violent and bam!…you’re going to jail. Wow! Thoughtcrime!  Heinrich Himmler of the Gestapo would be proud.

Arizona state senator, John Kavanagh, does his best Gestapo officer impersonation as a peaceful protester has the audacity to practice her right to lawful assembly as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Arizona state senator, John Kavanagh, does his best Gestapo officer impersonation as a peaceful protester has the audacity to practice her right to lawful assembly as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Arpaio To Model Pink Underwear

While John McCain may be staying in Arizona politics for a while longer, another bastion of Arizona conservatism may be riding off into the sunset very soon; Sheriff Joe ‘Just Call Me God’ Arpaio. We’ve commented before about authoritarian, demagogue Sheriff Joe and his crazy support of fellow birther Donald Trump. Now it finally appears that he’s getting his comeuppance for his racial profiling laws. Arpaio has officially been charged with criminal contempt of court and could be spending six months in prison. And of course, all of Sheriff Joe’s shenanigans have cost Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars. On top of this, his Democrat opponent in the Maricopa County sheriff election, Paul Penzone, has a lead on him in the latest polls. What poetic justice: not only will Arpaio finally be retiring from public office, he very well could become a resident of his own infamous creation, Tent City. We hope he enjoys the 100+ degree heat, his pink underwear and green bologna… oh and the undying love and admiration of his fellow inmates.

The inmates of Tent City want a pink underwear fashion show from their new resident, soon to be former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The inmates of Tent City want a pink underwear fashion show from their new resident, soon to be former Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

Arizona’s Crusty Old Obstructionist

We’ve commented before about so called ‘maverick’ Arizona Senator John McCain’s about face on Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominations. Well, he recently confirmed what everyone knew; that the Republicans will continue their pattern of obstructionism if Hillary Clinton becomes President. To hell with his constitutional duty; the Republican Party comes first in America. This pretty much cements our opinion here at the Bucket that Senator McCain is well past his prime and needs to retire. Fortunately, his Democrat opponent, Ann Kirkpatrick, is hitting hard with her ads against McCain, commenting about his support of right wing wackos from Sarah Palin to Donald Trump. Will it be enough to defeat him? We’re not holding our breath. Unfortunately, most polls indicate McCain winning handily. So it appears we’ll have at least six more years of Republican partisanship with our crusty, old, obstructionist prospector senator, John McCain.

Crusty old coot John McCain promises to be agin' all of Hillary Clinton's Supreme Court Justice picks even if she picks him.

Many sane Arizonans are fed up with crusty old coot and Republican Senator John McCain’s obstructionist shenanigans and vigorously encourage his retirement from politics.

The Seven Wonders Of Cactus Corners, Arizona

And now for something completely different…

With all the depressing daily shootings that are going on, we thought we’d do something Pythonesquely different and devote some attention to summer travel and tourism. We haven’t done a BilgeBucket List for some time, so we decided to highlight our fair burg of Cactus Corners, Arizona, just in time for the sweltering 110+ degree heat. Everyone’s heard of the Seven Wonders of the World. Our little corner of the desert has some splendid attractions, well worth your tourist dollar. So, in an effort to educate the world on the awe-inspiring splendors that make Cactus Corners such a miserable hell hole, America’s trendiest suburb, here is a list of the Seven Wonders of Cactus Corners.

  • Delores Romanowski’s Five Story Compost Heap
  • The Hubcap Dinosaur Statue at Prospector Pete’s Gold Mine Ride & Fun-o-torium
  • Raul’s Sex Emporium’s Tower, which looks like a giant penis
  • The Mechanical Gila Monster on the ninth hole at J.J.’s Putt-o-rama
  • The flock of pink flamingo lawn ornaments at Cactus Trailer Park Supplies
  • The melted ice cream stain of Jesus in front of the Dairy Fairy on Prickly Pear & Ranch
  • The melted ice cream stain of Elvis next to the melted ice cream stain of Jesus in front of the Dairy Fairy on Prickly Pear & Ranch

The Sun Is Setting On John McCain

Arizona’s Senior Senator John McCain keeps losing more and more respect by the day. Recently, he made headlines by boldly claiming that President Obama was ‘directly responsible’ for the Orlando shootings. In trying to clarify his fallacious statement he completely forgot that it was George W. Bush who created the power vacuum in the Middle East by invading Iraq, which allowed not only Al-Qaeda to thrive but also allowed the ISIS movement to be born.

Then McCain turned the ‘crazy’ knob to eleven and endorsed Donald Trump. If you remember, last year Trump questioned McCain’s war hero credentials and criticized McCain for getting captured. Now, almost a year later, McCain is going to endorse the man who insulted him. This (and his stubborn refusal to vote on a new Supreme Court justice) is apparently why support for his Democratic opponent, Ann Kirkpatrick has surged in recent polls, and even has her ahead in one. Our advice to Senator McCain(like he’s asking us): you’ve had a good run, but it’s time to retire to one of your seven or eight or twenty houses you own and start shooing kids off your lawn and away from your precious gold. We have no doubt you’ll be great at it.

Senator and crusty old coot, John McCain, blames Obama for the Orlando shooting and promptly endorses Donald Trump for President.

Arizona’s Senior Senator and crusty old coot, John McCain, demonstrates why he should retire from politics and start a successful new career of keeping kids off his lawn and away from his gold.

 

Brewer Wants Women Back In Kitchen

We thought we were done with our review of lame AZ political figures and issues but former Governor Jan ‘Skeletor’ Brewer had to open her mouth and of course when that happens, something stupid usually comes out.

Brewer said in an interview that way too much emphasis has been placed on electing female candidates, stating that “this woman thing has gotten way out of control I believe.” That’s right women; get back in the kitchen and serve your man. No wonder Donald Trump and other conservative christian Republican men love her. Up Next: Jan Brewer says that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Former Arizona Governor Jan 'Skeletor' Brewer says a woman's place is in the home serving her man and Donald Trump wholeheartedly agrees.

Former Arizona Governor Jan ‘Skeletor’ Brewer announces her plans to set the women’s movement back one hundred years much to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s approval.

AZ’s Solar Obstructionists

We know the big news is that Trump has clinched the GOP nomination, but we’ve still got six more months of Con-a-thon 2016 to mock his crap. Nevertheless, this is our final post for now reviewing lame AZ public figures and issues…

When you think of Arizona, you usually think of one thing: sunshine…and lots of it. Arizona is sunny at least 85% of the time. You’d think with that much sunshine, Arizona would be the world leader in solar energy research. You’d think that when flying into Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport, you’d see in addition to all the backyard pools, you’d see solar panels on every roof. You’d think that Arizona’s electric utility companies would be making roof top solar energy affordable to everyone and solar energy companies would be making money hand over fist. Well, in this state, you’d be WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!

First of all the cost of rooftop solar is so high($11,000 to rent, 20-30k to buy) that most people just can’t afford it. This is even despite the fact that an overwhelming number of Arizonans are interested in solar(94% according to the above article). Being energy independent is right in line with Arizona’s independent spirit. So with the demand so high, why isn’t the solar industry exploding?

Enter the monopolistic Arizona electric utility companies. APS and SRP are the power utility companies which provide power to the Phoenix metropolitan area. They’ve spent millions on building solar arrays in the desert, like SRP’s huge array by Gila Bend, which is terrific for using clean energy. And both companies are always advertising to ‘Go Solar’. But it’s all very disingenuous. We’ve mentioned the high costs. But the rate plans, like SRPs, are something we’d expect from pirates. The whole idea is to be energy independent with rooftop solar; to get off the grid. But with the rate plans in place, you’d still have to pay a steep monthly fee, which kind of defeats the purpose of having solar panels. Like the article in the link says, SRP is saying, “You can use solar power… but only if you buy it from us, and don’t generate it yourself.” But we really shouldn’t be surprised by this, since this state is controlled by anti-environmental, conservative Republicans and they pull this kind of crap all the time in this state.

We think that SRP and APS employees should just don pirate uniforms and quit trying to con people into thinking they’re so pro-solar, when all their rate plans and prices make it impossible for normal everyday people to supply their own electricity and be energy independent. Simply put, here’s a slogan which sums up perfectly how we feel: Support Rooftop Solar – Power to the People!

An Arizona electric utility company official and pirate explains to a naive energy independent minded consumer how solar energy really works in the state of Arizona.

An Arizona electric utility company official explains to a naive, energy independent minded consumer how solar energy really works in the state of Arizona. Arrrrggghh!

AZ’s Junior Obstructionist

Continuing our review of lame AZ public figures and issues…

We’ve commented before about Arizona’s junior Senator Jeff Flake (here and here). He truly is a conundrum. On the surface, this congenial, young man with the ultra-brite smile seems like he grew up with Wally and the Beav. He even sells himself as Mr. Bipartisan. But like most con artists, it’s just for show. He’s more Eddie Haskell than Wally. Mr. Flake is joining his Republican zombie cohorts, led by Mitch ‘The Turtle’ McConnell, in obstructing President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. And why does Mr. Bipartisan say he’s doing this. A friend of the Bucket, who complained to the Senator about his obstructionism, shared with us this email response from Mr. Flake.

“Justice Scalia was untiring in his defense of the Constitution. His intellect, candor, and wit will be sorely missed. As we mourn the tragic loss of Justice Scalia and celebrate his life’s work, much is being said and written about whether the Supreme Court vacancy created by his death should be filled this year. One would have to go back more than a century to find a scenario where a president’s nominee for the Supreme Court was confirmed by the opposition party in the United States Senate when the vacancy occurred during an election year. I am not about to break new ground in the Senate, particularly when any nominee could so drastically shift the balance of the court.

There you have it folks. Mr. Bipartisan isn’t going to break new ground (or be a maverick!) because he’s going to dig in his heels like his fellow Republican crybabies and defy the Constitution. He’s clearly choosing partisan politics over doing what is best for the people and this country.

We used to be feel bad for Mr. Flake. Often times, he has seemed like he is trying to legitimately reach across the aisle. He supported the end of the ban on relations with Cuba. And to his credit, he has agreed to meet with Merrick Garland.  But again, it’s just for show.  He just created his reality show to sell the public that he was reasonable, maybe to boost his credentials for a possible future run at the Presidency. But make no mistake; he’s true to his religious, anti-science base as evidence by his criticizing federal spending on science. Just when you think he’s going to make a break from the zombies as with gun control legislation a few years ago, he turns and runs back toward the narrow minded zombie hordes. Life sitting on a fence is never easy. We’re hoping that with the rise of head zombie, Donald Trump, maybe Flake will finally embrace sanity and leave the Republican party. But then again…

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a.k.a. Mr. Bipartisan, proudly announces that he will join his Republican zombie cohorts, led by Mitch 'The Turtle' McConnell, to boldly obstruct President Obama's Supreme Court nomination for partisan reasons.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a.k.a. Mr. Bipartisan, proudly announces that he will join his Republican zombie cohorts, led by Mitch ‘The Turtle’ McConnell, to boldly obstruct President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination for partisan reasons.

AZ’s Senior Obstructionist

Continuing our review of lame AZ public figures and issues…

The Supreme Court obstructionism continues and both of Arizona’s Senators are joining their crybaby Republican colleagues in blatantly avoiding their constitutional duty. We’ve ribbed repeatedly Arizona’s Senior Obstructionist, John McCain(here, here and here for starters). Yes, our ‘maverick’ Senator, who famously reached across the aisle to champion Campaign Finance Reform, only to vote against an amendment which would overturn the Supreme Court’s atrocious Citizens United ruling, which gives the well funded corporate elites of this country carte blanche to control elections, recently was quoted as saying ““I believe that we should wait until after the next election and let the American people pick the next president, and we should consider who the next president of the United States nominates.” This contrasts greatly to the old John McCain, who used to solidly support the Senate voting on Supreme Court nominations. What’s more, in 1993 and 1994, McCain voted to approve President Clinton’s Supreme Court appointments of Breyer and Ginsberg by saying “under our Constitution, it is the president’s call to make.” In addition, McCain, like several other Republicans, wholeheartedly approved Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Washington D.C appeals court as chief judge in 1997.

So what’s up with Mr. Maverick? We here at the Bucket think that Senator McCain’s best days are clearly far, far behind him. He’s up for reelection this year(he’s facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick and fellow Republican Kelli Ward) and this issue may decide if he retains his position. He’s seems to be acting more like a crotchety, old curmudgeon than a distinguished senator.  His dislike of Obama has unhinged him so much that he won’t even perform his constitutional duty. We’ve commented before here that many Republicans have said that if the current President was Republican, they’d approve the nomination. It’s clearly the Republicans who are playing politics. Ol’ Man McCain needs to join Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Helen Purcell and ride off into the Arizona sunset.

Crusty, old codger and Senator, John McCain, demonstrates his 'maverick' style by explaining why he supports obstructionism over solid, bipartisan statesmanship much to the delight of his plutocratic overlord.

Crusty, old codger and Senator, John McCain, demonstrates his ‘maverick’ style by explaining why he supports obstructionism over solid, bipartisan statesmanship much to the delight of his plutocratic overlord.