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Posts tagged ‘Arizona Republic’

McCain: Jimmy Carter’s Failure ‘Pales in Comparison’ to Obama’s.


The Obama administration’s dearth of leadership has surpassed the failure of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and is helping al-Qaida gain footholds around the globe, laying the foundation for extremist Muslim terror groups to take up residence on U.S. soil, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Tuesday on a Phoenix radio show.

“If you don’t care about Syria, my dear listeners, if you don’t care about Syria, it’s becoming a regional conflict,” he said while a guest on The Mike Broomhead Show.

“It’s spread to Lebanon. It’s spread to Turkey. It’s spread to Jordan. It is spreading throughout the region, and sooner or later it will affect the United States of America if you allow a place to become a base for al-Qaida.”

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McCain fielded listeners’ questions and offered his take on everything from the Super Bowl to Syria. He slammed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for failing to take responsibility for the deaths of a United States ambassador and three others in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people.

McCain railed against Obama, Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry, who he criticized for negotiating with Russia while that nation supports Syria with arms during the civil war there.

“Eleven thousand people have been tortured to death and killed and beaten and murdered in the custody of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” McCain said, referring to Assad as “a monster” who instructs his soldiers to “rape, torture and murder.”

McCain directed most of his ire at Obama and Clinton. McCain vowed to launch a thorough investigation of the Benghazi incident if the GOP wins control of the Senate in the midterm elections this fall.

“I will be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and we will not quit until we get the testimony of those survivors, those brave Americans that fought,” he promised.

The senator lauded New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for swiftly acting on the bridge-closing scandal and immediately firing top level aides involved. Hillary Clinton, McCain chided, should learn something from Christie’s accountability.

“What the hell is going on when our secretary of state is not held responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, nor has anyone ever been held responsible for the deaths of four Americans?” he railed. “There’s a real double standard. Chris Christie held people responsible for what was obviously an abuse of power. Hillary Clinton has never taken responsibility even though the intelligence committee, Republican Party report, mentioned her specifically.”

Obama’s leadership is so deficient that Jimmy Carter’s epic failure as president “pales in comparison,” McCain says.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” he said. “I thought Jimmy Carter was bad.”

McCain said it’s unfathomable that Obama complains about not being able to accomplish anything because of the gridlock in Washington.

“He’s the president and he’s talking like he’s a bystander, an observer.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Immigration Reform Faces Uphill Battle After Shutdown.


Image: Immigration Reform Faces Uphill Battle After Shutdown

Immigration reform supporters rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 8.

By Audrey Hudson

Immigration activists are revving up their fight to pass reform legislation before Thanksgiving, fearing that politicians will back down from the battle if it rolls into the 2014 campaign season for midterm elections.

However, the Arizona Republic reported Sunday that the government shutdown damaged the reform efforts and “the profound lack of trust between House Republicans and the White House all but ensures the issue won’t proceed this year.”

“House Republicans will not do this if they see it as ‘the president just beat us and now he’s going to shove this down our throats,'” said Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a pro-immigration reform group.

“That is just not a way to get it done. What could potentially make it doable is if people see it as good for the country, good for the party and something that is basically framed as a conservative reform, which is the opposite of doing something because President Obama is muscling them,” Jacoby said.

Immigration reform advocates marched on Washington during the government shutdown and hundreds were arrested for illegally blocking the street, while supporters in the business community are planning a “National Immigration Fly-In” to Washington on Oct. 28 to lobby lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.

President Barack Obama pledged last week  to renew his efforts to get a Senate bill through the Republican-controlled House that would grant amnesty for 11 million illegal immigrants.

House Republican leaders say they will consider individual bills to shore up border protections, but legislation allowing amnesty has not yet been introduced.

Related stories: 

House Democrats Take Aim at Immigration Reform As Shutdown Battle Rages

Obama Blames Boehner for Stalled Progress on Immigration Reform

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

McCain: People Should be Fired Over $600K Border Houses.


Arizona‘s congressional delegation is demanding answers about why Customs and Border Protection spent millions of dollars for expensive new homes for border control agents in a former mining town rather than refurbish homes that were already there.

“It’s disgraceful,” said Republican Sen. John McCain during a town hall meeting in Tuscon, The Arizona Republic reports. McCain said the $15 million that was spent can’t be justified. “People should be fired.”

Customs and Border Patrol paid more than $600,000 each to build 21 homes for border agents in Ajo in southern Arizona, where similar sized homes usually cost less than $100,000 each. In addition, the CBP paid more than $2 million to buy 20 trailer homes and lease land for them.

The agency, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, has not said how many of the homes or trailers are actually occupied or how much the border agents pay to rent them, except to say they pay “market rates.”

The trailers themselves each cost about $82,000, the paper reported earlier this week, after the cost of installing appliances, ceiling fans and other items, said local real-estate agent Linda Sharp, who obtained the information under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Sharp, who herself rents to several CBP employees, said the properties may not be rented to border control agents’ families after all. Many agents, she said, lease cheaper properties near the border and live with the families elsewhere full-time so that their spouses and children have better job and educational opportunities.

“Most of them are young,” Sharp said. “They want a nightlife, and there’s no life in Ajo.”
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said he also plans to pursue answers, as did Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat whose district includes the town.

“I’d like to know some more details, but, boy, on its face, it looks like a lot of wasted money,” Flake said. “How you can justify spending that much money on new housing is beyond me.”

Homeland Security has faced a great deal of criticism already over cost oversight, after spending more than $107 billion to secure the border during the last seven years.
But CBP said it chose to build, rather than renovate existing homes, because “quality, affordable housing was not available in the area,” a claim that local real-estate agents dispute.

Ajo, located just over 100 miles from Tucson and Yuma, is a region plagued with drug smuggling and illegal border crossings.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

McCain: I’ll Keep Saying ‘Illegal Immigrants’.


Despite criticism of the term, veteran Sen. John McCain is adamant that he won’t stop using the words “illegal immigrant.”

At a meeting in Phoenix, McCain was asked by a 25-year-old immigrant to “please drop the i-word” in favor of the word “undocumented,” The Arizona Republic reports.

The senator declined, pointing out, “Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally.”

He added, “You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal. I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented. I’ll continue to call it illegal.”

The Arizona senator is a member of the Gang of Eight senators who are negotiating an immigration reform plan. “I don’t know if we can achieve agreement or not,” he said at the town hall meeting.

“We’ve been working literally night and day. And we may not succeed. But the other members of this negotiating team, I believe, are negotiating in good faith. We’ve made progress in a number of areas that I am encouraged by, but there are still areas that we are not in agreement.”

He warned one immigrant-rights worker at the meeting, who said she wanted to thank him for his work, “You’re not going to be completely happy with the legislation.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Dan Weil

FBI: Strong signs border death was friendly fire.


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PHOENIX (AP) — Friendly fire likely was to blame in a shooting near the Arizona-Mexico line that killed one federal agent and wounded another, the FBI said, noting the investigation was still ongoing in the case that reignited the political debate over border security.

“There are strong preliminary indications that the death of United States Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie and the injury to a second agent was the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents,” FBI Special Agent in Charge James L. Turgal Jr. said in a statement Friday.

Turgal didn’t elaborate on its conclusions but said the FBI is using “all necessary investigative, forensic and analytical resources as it investigates the Tuesday shooting about five miles north of the border near Bisbee.

Ivie was killed after he and two other agents responded to an alarm triggered by a sensor aimed at detecting smugglers and others entering the U.S. illegally. Another agent was wounded but was released from the hospital after surgery. The third agent was uninjured.

Federal investigators used ballistic testing to determine the shootings likely resulted from friendly fire, according to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, which is assisting the FBI in the probe.

Jeffrey D. Self, commander of Customs and Border Protection’s Joint Field Command-Arizona, said that despite the initial findings that the shootings appeared accidental, Ivie still “gave the ultimate sacrifice and died serving his country.”

“The fact is the work of the Border Patrol is dangerous,” Self said Friday at a news conference in Tucson.

While federal authorities declined to offer details of the shooting, George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said all three agents fired their weapons.

McCubbin told The Arizona Republic that the agents had split up as they investigated the sensor alarm.

“Coming in from different angles, that is more than likely how it ended up happening,” he said.

A Mexican law enforcement official said Thursday that federal police had arrested two men who may have been connected to the shootings. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said it was unclear if there was strong evidence linking the men to the case.

Mexican authorities didn’t respond to telephone messages Friday.

Ivie’s funeral is set for Monday in Sierra Vista.

The Border Patrol couldn’t immediately comment on the frequency of friendly fire shootings involving its agents. However, such incidents appeared to be extremely rare, if they’ve ever occurred at all.

“I know of absolutely none in the past, and my past goes back to 1968,” Kent Lundgren, chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers said, citing the year he joined the agency. “I’m not saying it never happened. I’m just saying I’ve never heard of it.”

Also Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled to Arizona to express her condolences to Ivie’s family and meet with authorities.

Ivie’s death marked the first fatal shooting of an agent since a 2010 firefight with Mexican bandits that killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and spawned congressional probes of a botched government gun-smuggling investigation.

The “Fast and Furious” operation allowed people suspected of illegally buying guns for others to walk away from gun shops with weapons, rather than be arrested. Authorities intended to track the guns into Mexico.

Two rifles found at the scene of Terry’s shooting were bought by a member of the gun-smuggling ring being investigated. Critics of the operation say any shooting along the border now will raise the specter that those illegal weapons are still being used.

Twenty-six Border Patrol agents have died in the line of duty since 2002.

___

Associated Press writers Pete Yost in Washington, Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, N.M., and Olga R. Rodriguez in Mexico City contributed to this report.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By BRIAN SKOLOFF and JACQUES BILLEAUD | Associated Press

Crews try to stop AZ blaze from crossing fire line.


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  • An air tanker drops retardent on a fire Monday, May 14, 2012, near Crown King, Ariz. Fire crews spent the weekend fighting several wildfires including the four and a half square mile blaze near Crown King. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    An air tanker drops retardent on …

  • This May 14, 2012 image provided by Marc Allan shows smoke from the Sunflower Fire, near Payson, Ariz. This fire south of Payson was 5 percent contained by Tuesday May 15, 2012 after charring nearly 7 square miles in the Tonto National Forest. Smoke from that fire drifted into Phoenix over the weekend. Authorities have yet to determine a cause. (AP Photo/Marc Allan)This May 14, 2012 image provided …

CROWN KING, Ariz. (AP)Firefighters were working to prevent a wildfire near the historic mining town of Crown King from spreading to an area where it could quickly grow.

Authorities are worried that flames from the Gladiator Fire will get past a fire line that’s about a mile west of the mountain town, fire incident spokeswoman Loretta Benavidez said Tuesday night.

If that happens, a bowl in the terrain could help the blaze move south, a development that would threaten homes and businesses in the town, Benavidez told the Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/KlEe03).

“There could be a potential for fire behavior that would not allow (firefighters) to go in safely,” she said. “With the potential for wind in the coming days, that’s always a possibility.”

Wednesday and Thursday will be the “tell-tale days,” she said.

The fire has consumed more than 2,000 acres, destroyed two homes and a trailer and prompted an evacuation order on Sunday.

Winds estimated at 35 mph on Tuesday helped the fire grow, fire officials said. The Crown King area remained under an evacuation order Tuesday, though authorities said most of the town’s 350 residents had chosen to stay.

Crown King is a community of mostly summer homes about 85 miles north of Phoenix. It’s a popular destination for all-terrain vehicles because of its numerous hills and gorges.

Smoke from a larger fire that began Saturday south of Payson fire drifted into Phoenix over the weekend.  Forest officials said that the blaze grew from 8,500 acres to 12,000 acres by Tuesday evening, KNXV-TV reported (http://bit.ly/KlFNuF).

The Sunflower Fire was burning in the high wilderness area of the Tonto National Forest and was 7 percent contained. No structures were threatened.

The fires follow a warning from Arizona land managers that hot temperatures and dry vegetation have created a very high fire risk in some parts of the state.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Associated PressAssociated Press 

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