Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Kyrsten Sinema is taking lots of money from big pharma


Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Are There Moles Within The Democratic Party?

By William Jones

A Minority of Two

Senator Kyrsten Sinema has emerged as one of the two biggest roadblocks to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.  She left D. C.  recently for a fundraising trip to Europe. Sinema’s trip came amid ongoing negotiations over the bill and was a slap in the face to Democrats. Senators Sinema and Joe Manchin, are the lone Democratic senate holdouts blocking the President’s proposal. These two holding out against the majority of their party, is a big deal.

Just Tell Us What You Want

Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, recently criticized Sinema. Sanders just wants to know what she would support. Other senators have similarly accused Sinema of stonewalling her own party, refusing to define a position. President Biden is said to be “exasperated” after hours of talks with her. He and others have complained that Sinema doesn’t “move” from her position in negotiations and show so little respect, she often fails to  “return calls from the White House.”

Looking Across The Pond

Lawmakers are barred from raising money from foreign sources. However,  members of Congress occasionally travel overseas to solicit donations from Americans living abroad. Those overseas donors tend to be affluent and well-connected. Ms. Sinema’s office declined to tell reporters how long she would be abroad. They also declined to disclose what countries she was visiting, or how the trip was being paid for. No further information was provided regarding additional fund-raising for her campaign.

Big Pharma

Aside from looking for off shore money the Arizona senator has been soaking up donations from the pharmaceutical industry and other corporate groups who want to kill key parts of the bill. I am here to report she has continued to make time to meet with those donors.

$5,800 Per Seat

Last month, Sinema held a fundraiser with five business groups that oppose President Biden’s bill, charging attendees up to $5,800 to attend a 45-minute event. Earlier this month, Sinema left Washington to go to Arizona, where she attended a ritzy donor “retreat” at a high-end resort and spa, with no small donors in sight.

Refuses to Meet Constituents

Sinema’s refusal to engage elected members of her own party has extended to her constituents. Numerous constituents have complained that Sinema will not meet with them, either in her office or at a town hall. She has steadfastly refused to hold a single town hall since her election. Multiple groups within the sate of Arizona have already launched efforts to raise money in support of a Democratic primary challenger in 2024.

Hecklers Chase Sinema

Tensions have continued to rise between Sinema and her own constituents.  Arizona protesters repeatedly confronted the senator at several locations this month. Some even heckled her during a class presentation at Arizona State University and  then followed  her into a campus restroom. The Intercept reported that Sinema teaches an ASU class on fundraising, including topics like “how to cultivate large individual donors,” “opportunistic fundraising” and “corporate giving.” The topics alone leave little doubt as to her priorities.

Mounting Pressure Campaign

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the ‘moderate’ Arizona Democrat who has objected to the size and scope of President Biden’s sweeping legislative agenda, has been trailed all over the country by progressive activists in an effort to intensify public pressure on her.  Besides the bathroom incident, activists have followed her onto an airplane and even to the Boston Marathon.

Deeply Disappointing

The United States Senate is split 50 Democratic senators and 50 Republican senators. V.P. Harris is then available to provide the tie breaking vote. Democrats need every Democrat to stand united to pass any bill. These facts have greatly empowered both Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema as the party’s vocal holdouts. Ms. Sinema has pushed for the House to adopt a separate, bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill while the larger budget package is being negotiated. She called the delay in voting on the infrastructure package “inexcusable” and “deeply disappointing” in early October.


Kyrsten Sinema is on rocky ground with her electorate. Angry constituents are confronting her, she is pissing off the crowd in the White House, and she has angered nearly all of her fellow senate Democrats. Sometimes there isn’t enough money to save your reputation.  Sinema was sent to the Senate to work for her constituents not the drug companies. Wake up Senator Sinema. The country is begging for what is in this bill, do your part to make it happen.


Times Change

Times Change

D. S. Mitchell

I stumbled across some statistics from 1900. Mind you, just over a 100 years ago things were very different from today. I thought the information was both amusing, and eye-opening. Check it out.

1) Average life expectancy in USA was 46 years. 2) Fourteen per cent of American homes had a bathtub.  Eight per cent had a telephone. 3)Mississippi, Iowa, Tennessee and Alabama all had larger populations than California. 4) There were 8,000 cars and 144 miles of paved roads.5) The average hourly wage in USA was 22 cents and the average worker made between $200-$400 a year. 6)  Population of Las Vegas was 30. 7) Ninety per cent of doctors in the USA never attended college.8) The Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world   9) Sugar cost 4 cents a pound, coffee was 15 cents a pound, and eggs were 14 cents a dozen. 10) There was 230 reported murders in the USA. 11) Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii, and Alaska were not yet states.  12) Only six percent of American adults were high school graduates. Ten percent of adults were illiterate. 13) Most women washed their hair once a month and used egg yolks or borax for shampoo. 14) Ninety five percent of all births took place at home.  15) Leading causes of death in the USA were pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, heart disease, diarrhea, and stroke. 16) Eighteen percent of American homes had a full-time servant. 17) Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.

Hope you got a laugh or two. Calamity Politics is a progressive on-line news magazine. Join the Resistance. *This list of what was going on in 1900 came from “Uncle John’s Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting Bathroom Reader by the Bathroom Reader’s Institute, 18th Edition.”


Fossil Fuel Cronies Relentless War On The Environment

Fossil Fuel Cronies Relentless War On The Environment

D. S. Mitchell

I belong to the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental organization founded in 1892 in San Francisco, California by Scottish-American preservationist John Muir.  Mr. Muir became the organization’s first president.  Today, I am one of 2.4 million members.  The Sierra Club motto is: “Explore, enjoy and protect our planet.”

That motto is quickly morphing into, “Protect our planet from Trump.” In a recent mailing the club sent out a dire warning of the intent and activities of the Trump Administration, Ryan Zinke and Scott Pruitt as they effect the environment. This will be a rather lengthy undertaking but I believe the information is important and should be shared. I, like many others, are deeply concerned.

It seems that the daily barrage of Washington scandal and outrage are on steroids since Trump’s inauguration.  One bullshit scandal, after bullshit scandal oozes out of the Trump White House. It seems that every hour we have our heads snapped back by a fresh Tweet from The Donald; or some new Russian revelation.

This information overload is distracting the public from all the damage being done behind the scenes by people like Zinke and Pruitt. Guys who lobbied or sued the very agencies that they now head.  They are now perfectly positioned to dismantle those agencies from within. An unimaginable opportunity for the extraction industries. Dis-mantling and neutering all government agencies is a priority of the Trump & Co. agenda. They call it “dis-mantling the administrative state.”

Make no mistake about it, the Trump Administration is working every minute of every day, to turn our water, air, and public lands over to their supporters in gas, oil, coal and other extraction industries. They have made no secret of their intent, but damn it is hard to watch every action taken in some obscure office, especially with all the noise out front from the president. In fact, that could be the intention. Get us all watching the three-ring circus in Congress and the White House while their gang of thieves rob the nation of its wilderness heritage.

“The Trump Anti-Environment Action Plan:

  1. Abandon the Paris Climate Accord: In June Trump announced he was no longer bound by the Climate Agreement.  Sierra Club believes in the importance of the intent of the Paris Agreement and has vowed to aggressively work to make sure that Trump’s hand-picked fossil fuel, anti-environment henchmen will not be able to unravel the advances of the last 50 plus years.
  2. Emasculate Fuel Economy Standards: The Obama Administration raised the fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks or CAFE for short (Corporate Average Fuel Economy). These regulations are in the crosshairs, as I type.
  3. Kill The Environmental Protection Agency: The most hated government agency by far is the EPA.  Pro-industry, anti-environment extremists are on a mission to destroy the agency.  With a “compliant climate denier” as President Trump targeting the EPA, many of us doubt that the intent of the agency will survive.  The EPA will be starved by a “compliant” congress and it will slowly starve it of funding, leaving it “a hollow shell staffed by those who will pervert its mission.” The EPA is being decimated, one regulation at a time and there seems to be no one to stop it.
  4. Fill The Supreme Court With Anti-Environmentalists: Blame Mich McConnell for this one. McConnell’s actions are directly responsible for the first step in the plan to fill the Court. When Anthonin Scalia died suddenly, McConnell majority leader in the Senate denied President Obama the opportunity to fill that spot. Old Mitch and the boys will be celebrating that victory for probably 40 years. President Trump was able to confirm a “pro-industry, climate antagonist eager to overturn environmentally friendly cases and rule on the side of the fossil fuel and extraction industries.”
  5. Bring Back That Dirty Of Dirtiest Industries, King Coal: Trump told enthusiastic crowds during the rigged 2016 election that he could bring back the near dead coal industry.  He alone could do CPR and bring back that nearly dead monster back to life. Sadly, he may be able to reshape market forces that have caused coal to become a more expensive alternative to cleaner energy sources by ending the moratorium on new coal leases on public land. In essence a huge giveaway to this dirty industry.  Trump began to immediately  gut regulations that force coal companies to be responsible for the pollution they create.  He did this sleight of hand when he repealed the Stream Protection Bill as one of his first acts as president.
  6. Open Federal Lands To Fossil Fuel Exploration: The recently retired Representative Jason Chaffetz (R. UT) introduced H.R. 621 authorizing “the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain federal lands in 10 Western states, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. After it became public that Chaffetz was planning to transfer 3.3 million acres of public land to private interests, the public pressure forced him to withdraw the bill. But, there are many more men like Chaffetz paid by lobbyist to do the work of their donors, not the work of the public, and I am sure another Senator or Representative will re-package the legislation and re-introduce this government giveaway to fossil fuel their cronies.
  7. Dismantle The Clean Power Plan: The Republican end goal is to re-define greenhouse gases as not “dangerous to human health” putting them beyond the reach of the EPA’s jurisdiction, or deny EPA funding to the Act, dismantling the Clean Power Plan and its goal to curtail  carbon dioxide emissions from electricity plants. Such actions are “likely to accelerate climate disruption precipitously.”
  8. Stop The Growth Of A Green Economy: Trump campaigned on a promise to “zero out federal research and development” for green energy. The reason for this is that fossil fuel companies like the behemoth, Exxon Mobil have few means to monetize wind and solar energy. I and many others are hoping that private industry has seen that “a green economy is the best bet for the future–both for consumers who will benefit from lower energy prices, and for an economy that offers good paying jobs here in the United States.
  9. Fill Environmental Agencies With Anti-Environmentalists: As noted in my introduction, the new hiring model for federal agencies which are designed to protect the environment are being subverted by anti-environmentalist being appointed to positions within the agencies. The notorious anti-EPA critic, Scott Pruitt being appointed to head the EPA has spelled disaster for the department. The Republican Senate literally raced to beat the release of thousands of emails detailing his “cozy relationship with energy companies”.  Evidence shows that when Pruitt was Oklahoma Attorney General, had energy company staffers and lobbyists ghost write his correspondence to federal officials.

Trump Wants To Steal NW Energy Resources: As a resident of the Northwest United States I know that the Columbia River is our regions greatest natural resource and the river’s dams and their electrical power are its most valuable man-made resources. The Bonneville Power Administration is the authority that sets the operation of the dams and transmits the electricity. The BPA generates 4 Billion dollars in revenue annually through the sales of the system’s electricity. In 1980’s Reagan proposed selling the entire BPA system, which raised a hue and cry. Trump and his allies are a little smarter, they are proposing “to sell off the ‘transmission’ of power from the dams.  Such a proposal would dramatically affect how the river is managed. “BPA’s management of the dams recognizes that there is an inherent trade-off for how much water is saved for fish, how cold and how deep that water is.  Few people realize that the BPA runs the largest fish conservation program in the world.  In other words, when you sell the transmission side of the dams, more than power is at stake.” This is at its core, “an attempt to steal an asset whose value Northwest ratepayers have paid for, at market rates.” (Information on the BPA item was provided by office of Senator Ron Wyden (D. OR) and The Daily Astorian newspaper 8-11-2017).

Calamity Politics is a progressive political blog that attempts to write and publish opinions and comments based on real news and how those events will affect our lives.

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