Tag: arizona

The Grocery Robots Are Coming!

 

It’s not that I’m lazy; I’ve merely chosen the contemplative life. One of the annoyances I most dread is peeling my fat derriere off the couch to buy a few more palettes of Funyuns and Coke Zero. Thankfully, Silicon Valley is working on a solution.

Kroger has joined the robotics company Nuro to launch a self-driving grocery delivery pilot program in Scottsdale, AZ. The service debuts today, serving the zip code around one Kroger store (known in Arizona as Fry’s Food Stores). A customer simply orders their groceries online via the Fry’s website or smartphone app and a Nuro robot drops off the food at their home. The delivery charge is $5.95.

The Phoenix area has been a hub for driverless cars, with Uber, Apple, and Google’s Waymo using the area for testing. In my hometown of Mesa, AZ, I see the cars on nearly every drive I take. The only annoyance is getting stuck behind one because they tend to be overly cautious. (I’m an impatient jerk and their sensors don’t recognize middle fingers.)

Make Arizona Great Again! Senate Primary: Three Candidates Enter, One Leaves!

 

Arizona has a critical Senate primary this month. Democrats are working to Cali-fornicate the state. Republicans are internally divided, between a majority who voted for President Trump, and a majority who keep electing senators like Jeff Flake and John McCain. This year, those two preferences are in sharp conflict. How can MAGA voters discern who will most likely fully keep campaign promises and work with, rather than actively or passive-aggressively subverting the 2016 GOP party platform? The answers matter for both Arizonans and for voters across the country who must choose senators, representatives, and state officers. How does the campaign situation in Arizona compare to your state?

Arizona Republican and Independent voters will choose the Republican candidate for US Senate in a primary on August 28. The seat is open because one of the candidates scared Jeff Flake out of the race this time last year. That is, the first-term Senator polled so poorly, that he declined to run to avoid damaging his brand even worse with a primary defeat. While he continued, for a while, to vote in a way that would support his claim of being a true conservative, his behavior this August is a thumb in the eye to the voters who dared defy him, the Senate party that failed to fully join his open contempt for the President of their party, and a President who is actually fulfilling conservative promises. The race has unfolded in this context.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are thrilled to hear House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi state she will run for Speaker of the House if Democrats win back the majority. It’s hard to imagine a better talking point for GOP candidates. They also cringe as Vice President Mike Pence gives a shout out to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a visit to Arizona, noting Arpaio’s controversial record and how he would be a sure-fire loser if nominated for the U.S. Senate. And they’re not exactly shocked to learn that Donald Trump dictated the glowing, over-the-top letter released by his doctor in the 2016 campaign that vowed he would be the healthiest person ever to be president of the United States.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome a Republican win in an Arizona congressional race, although the margin should have been a lot wider. They also groan as many conservatives suddenly adore Kanye West because of a few tweets that poke the left as being the thought police. And they discuss the furor over Budget Director Mick Mulvaney admitting he only met with lobbyists who donated to his campaigns while serving in Congress. While they can see why this seems distasteful, Jim and Greg wonder how people thought politics worked in the real world and they don’t believe the liberal shock and horror for a second.

The Teachers Are Revolting

 

Last week, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin gave each Oklahoma public school teacher a massive 15 to 18 percent pay raise funded by the largest tax increase in state history. To show their appreciation, teachers went on strike demanding even more money. Today, 200 Oklahoma school districts are shut down, with students going uneducated and parents scrambling for daycare.

Similar protests have been taking place in Kentucky, Arizona, and West Virginia. What do all these states have in common? Republicans hold the governorship and both legislative chambers. But it’s totally non-partisan and for the children … or something.

West Virginia teachers kicked off the protests with a two-week strike last month. The state government gave them a 5 percent raise to get them back to work.

This AEI Events Podcast brings you a dynamic and thought-provoking keynote conversation on American education and workforce development featuring Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) and Arizona State University President Michael Crow. This keynote was part of an event hosted at Arizona State convening some of the nation’s foremost education and labor experts.

Globalization, automation, and other emerging technologies are poised to reshape the workplace, the workforce, and work itself. The skills needed today and in the future are dramatically different from those demanded in the past. These changes merit a broader and more responsive education system with stronger alignment to employer needs and more flexibility for individuals seeking new skills as they move from one job to another.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome a new Axios/Survey Monkey poll showing five incumbent Senate Democrats losing to specific or unnamed Republicans right now and a few others barely ahead. They also rip California for brazenly impeding efforts of federal immigration officials and wonder where all the liberal love for states’ rights was when Arizona wanted to enforce federal laws when the federal government refused to do it. And they swat down a Washington Post columnist for suggesting the U.S. pursue a socialist system and dig deeper into why so many people are not satisfied with the way things are going right now.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss new polling showing public perception dropping for businesses that are publicly breaking ties with the NRA, due entirely to a massive plunge in favorability among Republicans. They also breathe a sigh of relief as Republicans in Arizona’s eighth congressional district reject the frontrunner in the primary after the married minister was caught exchanging inappropriate texts with a female staffer. And they wish the best of luck to 20 state attorneys general who argue that all of Obamacare should be declared unconstitutional now that the tax provision that saved it at the Supreme Court in 2012 has been scrapped in the new tax law.

Winning the War on Guns

 

Gun owners are winning the war on guns. There is no Federal Assault Weapons Ban in place anymore and there is no reasonable chance one will return anytime soon. Concealed carry (in some form or another) is, in theory, the law of the land in all 50 states. Things are calming down on the legislative front and some of my friends in the gun industry talk about how they look forward to the market getting back to “normal” after the panic-buying of guns and ammo during the Obama administration.

But what is normal? “Normal” certainly wasn’t the time before the Assault Weapons Ban, when “Gun Culture 2.0” was just an idea and “shall issue” concealed carry was the exception, not the rule. For over 20 years, the gun owners of America have either been dealing with the effects of an Assault Weapons Ban, feeling an urgent need to buy guns in fear of another ban being enacted in the near future, and their ability to carry a gun for self-defense was outright banned in a large number of states. Today’s environment for gun owners isn’t “normal,” it’s unlike anything we’ve seen since the Sullivan Act was first passed.

On a national scale, over the last few years, the NRA and other organizations have done an admirable job of defending our natural right to defend ourselves. In the wake of the horror at Sandy Hook, the forces of gun control made a full-court press to re-enact an “assault weapons ban” on a national level, and it failed spectacularly. A bill to validate a concealed carry licenses across state lines has passed in the House, and while its future in the Senate is a little iffy, we’ve started the process of having concealed carry licenses act just like marriage licenses and driver’s licenses do.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that North Korea and South Korea are talking and that North Korea will participate in the Winter Olympics next month in South Korea, making it far less likely Kim Jong-Un will look to cause mischief during the games. They also shake their heads as former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio launches a bid for U.S. Senate in Arizona, since Arpaio is now 85 years old and lost badly in his most recent campaign. And they roll their eyes as liberals cannot stop drooling over the (unlikely) prospect of an Oprah Winfrey presidential bid, with Van Jones even calling her the most beloved carbon-based life form on earth.

Flake Goes, But Not Quietly

 

Yesterday, Jeff Flake announced on the floor of the US Senate that he would not be seeking reelection next year. Taking a lot of heat for his opposition to the President, Flake was staring down the barrel of a primary challenge and was far behind in the polls.

That’s not all Flake said during his speech, however. Saying that it was “a matter of duty and conscience,” he criticized both the President and the the wider tone of politics in the country.

“We must stop pretending that the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal,” Flake said. “They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as telling it like it is when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified. And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else. It is dangerous to a democracy.” There was more, a lot more, like that. You can see his whole speech here.

Announcing My Candidacy to Be US Senator from Arizona

 

Thank you. Thank you and thank you, please be seated. Thank you. [Points at random person in crowd, feigning recognition] Yes, thank you. Please. You can sit down. [Fake laugh.] Seriously. Come on. Thank you. OK … enough. Sit down!

I thank Kid Rock for that very generous introduction and for all the support that you and your stripper escorts have given me. You know that America is greatly indebted to Mr. Rock for his years of courageous and visionary … rap/rock/country stuff. You brew beer too, right? Cool.

Anyhoo, with Senator Flake’s announcement that he will not seek re-election as US Senator from the great state of Arizona, many, many people have recommended that I throw my hat in the ring. So many people.

Richard Epstein explores the history of the president’s pardon power and examines whether former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was a worthy recipient of executive mercy.

Conservatives Shouldn’t Look Up to Joe Arpaio

 

Joe Arpaio was my sheriff for 23 years. His predecessors were ineffective and mildly corrupt, so Maricopa County voters embraced the tough-talking, no-nonsense lawman. And he started out pretty well. Sure, there was the shticky pink underwear, tent city, and constant media stunts, but it finally seemed like a dedicated sheriff was at the helm.

But power tends to corrupt. Arpaio started focusing more on media appearances than law enforcement. Scandals started popping up. The headline-grabbing antics got more bizarre. And a man who seemed to many like a conservative stalwart devolved into anything but. I wrote about the ex-sheriff for Monday’s USA Today. Here’s a preview:

During one three-year period, his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office didn’t properly investigate more than 400 alleged sex crimes, many of them involving child molestation.

Member Post

 

This just in from the Associated Press: President Donald Trump spared his ally former Sheriff Joe Arpaio a possible jail sentence on Friday by pardoning his conviction, reversing what critics saw as a long-awaited comeuppance for a lawman who escaped accountability for headline-grabbing tactics during most of his 24 years as metropolitan Phoenix’s top law […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

The announcement of John McCain’s brain cancer has brought with it the mandatory statements of love and support across the political spectrum. On one level it can be seen as appropriate and necessary. On another, the hypocrisy level is astoundingly sickening. The world of politics and Senator McCain’s place in it is, as they say, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

The Cavalry Isn’t Coming from DC – States Need to Save Themselves

 

Obama brought us Obamacare, the Stimulus, and doubled the debt to $20 trillion. George W. Bush brought us the Wall Street bailout and interminable middle-eastern wars. Congress, alternately run by Democrats and Republicans over the past 16 years, approved all of these messes. And seeing how everyone in DC — politicians, press, lobbyists, and probably Uber drivers — have spent the past five months in an endless slap fight, we shouldn’t expect the Beltway to produce much of consequence for the foreseeable future.

How do we enact conservative change in this environment? The best option is to build a doorless wall around DC; Washingtonians of every stripe can give each other swirlies while the rest of America gets about fixing the nation. But since that effort might be frowned upon, let’s just ignore the lot of them the best we can and focus closer to home.

The United States wasn’t designed to be run by some far-off mandarins in an imperial capital. Most day-to-day responsibilities were handed to each state, and most state responsibilities were handed to counties, cities and towns.

Why Are Private Prisons “Immoral?”

 

The Phoenix suburb of Mesa is Arizona’s third largest city, the spring training home to the Chicago Cubs, and, most famously, home to yours truly. Unlike most cities, our leadership is always looking for costs to cut, rather than expensive new programs to create. But their latest budget-minded initiative is angering the local powers that be.

For decades, Mesa has sent its misdemeanor offenders to Maricopa County jails, but that comes with a steep price tag. Over the past 10 years, the county has increased its daily housing prices by nearly 40 percent and its booking cost by more than 60 percent. So now the city is negotiating a deal with private contractor CoreCivic to house the inmates in a neighboring county. The move could save up to $2 million a year. Sounds like a win/win to me, but the county sheriff is seeing red ink:

[Sheriff Paul] Penzone was quick to condemn Mesa’s move, claiming it could increase county expenses and have a negative impact on his organization. To persuade Mesa and other cities not to search for better options, he said he would try to reduce costs and increase efficiency. He claims to have closed Tent City for just this reason.

Member Post

 

From February 13th to the 18th, we were in the Phoenix area, for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar. During that week, most days we met with fellow Ricochet Members. For some reason, I was not a picture-taking fool this trip. I have no photos of any of our meetups except the last one, and […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.