Trump, Sheriff Joe, and Racism

Joe Arpaio with Trump (2016)

By eProf2, a Trail Mix Contributor

Almost lost in the crisis of Trump’s moral leadership stemming from the Charlottesville confrontation this past weekend has been the speculation that the president would be pardoning his biggest supporter in Arizona, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. According to several press reports and the president himself retweeting a Fox news story, the idea of a pardon for the guilty Sheriff seems imminent .

Here in Arizona, the Sheriff said he would welcome the pardon. A pardon from what? The long-time Sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, was recently found guilty of criminal contempt for defying a state judge’s order to cease and desist from racial profiling over many years while the county’s leading enforcement officer. The Sheriff’s target: Hispanics and other minority groups.

The irony of the timing has not been lost on civil rights groups and activists. The president can only read words from a monitor condemning overt racists responsible for organizing the Charlottesville confrontation. Within hours of his insincere condemnations, the idea of pardoning a racist supporter was all too clear as to the president’s true feelings about racism and his own culpability in promoting racism and racist policies.

There are a litany of racist sentiments expressed by this president going back years. The litany of racism from the 45th president is long, and a historical fact.

Sheriff Joe’s history of racism is equally long and a historical fact. The Arizona Republic, the leading state and local newspaper, has been reporting on the racist activities of Sheriff Joe for years. It’s only been reported nationally since the president’s entry into national politics.

How did the vile racism of Sheriff Joe and other leading Arizona politicians come about? As I wrote in a previous post about Arizona politics, Arizona, and especially Phoenix, is a very white community from decades of massive migration into the Phoenix area from northern states and Southern California. Politicians would win, and still do win elections by promising to build a wall to stop “the rapists, the criminals, and eliminate the drug traffic” coming from south of the border. Huge numbers of voters, new to the state, believed the negative views of racists and would vote for the politicians who promised security from the hordes crossing the border.

Never mind, that the millions of Mexicans who came to the state, some legally and some illegally, would be the source of Arizona’s wealthy economy. Still, Mexicans became the object of fear for politicians to exploit. In the lead was Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Trump won Arizona by a huge margin using the same language of racism that won political office for Sheriff Joe. Trump so far is only talking a racist line but Sheriff Joe walked that racist line and today faces a long term prison sentence unless President Trump pardons him. One racist helping another! As Trump himself would say: “Sad!”

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Life Without A President is OK

Luckily, the authors of our Constitution didn’t mean the presidency to be the dominant branch of government. Some just wanted the title to be “Chief Magistrate” but abandoned that argument in tribute to George Washington, who actually rejected other calls for loftier titles than President.

Trump’s meltdown of a press conference today, the events of the past few days and indeed the entire opening months of his time in office has led to a moment where we can truly say that for all intents and purposes we don’t actually have a president.

Because the “Deep State” — as his alt-right pals call it — has him surrounded. And all he can do is blaspheme and bluster on his twitter account. Or stand in front of his Trump Tower elevators and brag about the Virginia winery he owns.

His military ignores his tweets on transgenders in service. His own party in Congress pays less and less attention to him. The intelligence community and many in the Justice Department despise him, and are obviously undermining his authority.

Unwittingly Trump has taken us back to what most of our founders intended, a Chief Magistrate subservient to Congress, which was created by Article ONE of the Constitution for a reason.

[Cross-posted via HuffPost]

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Little Kim Blinks? Or Winks?

Wall Street Journal: “North Korea pulled back its threat to attack a U.S. territory, after days of trading increasingly bellicose rhetoric with U.S. President Donald Trump, and hours after China took its toughest steps against Pyongyang to support U.N. sanctions.”

Here’s the thing: Trump et al will tout this as success. But this looks to me like it’s more about China playing Trump for the fool, buying time for North Korea to back down for a while until we’re not paying attention and then get back to business as usual becoming a nuclear state. Agreeing not to bomb Guam is a laughable concession, not something ever intended in the first place. So it’s back to status quo, advantage North Korea (and China). Trump couldn’t handle Atlantic City. Why should we expect him to navigate the Pacific?

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I’m not anecdotal. I’m universal!

By Jace, a Trail Mix Contributor

Here it is in a nut shell: I’ve been diagnosed with a serious health problem.

I won’t bore you with the details — in fact they are really not all that important. Many here on “the trail” have had major health concerns at one time or another in their lives, so I am in no way unique.

I have lived almost sixty three years without ever having set foot in a hospital for any type of treatment. Now I find myself being rushed headlong into the heart of the medical industrial complex with almost no reference point or experience upon which to put the journey into some sort of context.

In most respects I am fortunate when it comes to healthcare. I have reasonably good employer-provided health insurance, and we do have some resources over and above insurance that we can draw on if needed, and I reside in an area with many excellent medical facilities and personnel. I would add further that I reside in a state that takes seriously the health care of it’s citizenry. Make no mistake about it — it is better to get sick in some states than others. Both in terms of availability of services and outcomes.

It has become fashionable during the healthcare wars for both sides to rely on anecdotal evidence and cases to make their claims as to the benefits or drawbacks of Obamacare. Using individual cases and patients like cheap props in a sideshow to advance their particular point of view, or to offer a sop to a particular special interest. All the while ignoring the fact that all people will require healthcare during their lives. It is necessary, costly, time-consuming, and very likely frightening. It should not be the fodder for political grandstanding, posturing or photo opportunities

Even with Congress in recess, and the debacle that was repealing Obamacare in the rear view mirror, we still hear rumblings about the possibility of reviving the process yet again in another attempt to put access to quality affordable health care out of reach for millions.

It is past time to draw the health care line in the sand. Repeal Obamacare? Absolutly not. Fix Obamacare? Perhaps, but is it really worth the effort?

The only acceptable option is universal single payer health care.

For those politicians and special interests who wish to ignore that reality out of political expediency, greed or simply profound stupidity, it is time to show them the door. For those who are faint-hearted or wish to address the problem with half measures, we must ask — or more accurately demand — that they turn the task over to those who are willing to do the heavy lifting.

As the title of my post suggests I am not some case or number needing to be trotted out to prove a point. Neither are the folks who sit with me in the waiting rooms and infusion centers.

I (We) are not anecdotal, but rather UNIVERSA — our healthcare choices and options should be nothing LESS!

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