Montini: Gold Star father Khizr Khan still trying to educate Donald Trump

U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim American, was killed in Iraq in 2004 while trying to protect his troops from a suicide bomber. He received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery among thousands of others who gave their lives for their country.You may not remember him, but you know Capt. Khan’s father, Khizr Khan.One day last August he stood at a podium at the Democratic National Convention and attempted to educate the Republican presidential candidate (who proposed banning Muslims from our country) on the importance of unity, diversity and American values.Khan said in part, “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution?”He then reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his own well-worn copy. MORE: The Trump-Khan feud: How we got here “I will gladly lend you my copy,” Khan said. “In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’ Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America – you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities …”The words went unheeded.At least by Trump.Just last week the president retweeted three dubious anti-Muslim videos posted by a right-wing fascist in Great Britain.“Like everyone else I was saddened by this,” Khan told me from Kansas City, the latest stop on a book tour promoting his memoir, An American Family.“The office that is the highest in our nation has enormous dignity and respect in my heart and my mind, so when he (Trump) displays that type of disrespect and indignity from that office is it shocking and disappointing.”Khan has been traveling since October. He will be in Phoenix on Dec. 10, appearing at the Central High School auditorium. The event is sponsored by Changing Hands Bookstore, information Continue Reading

Donald Trump to Phoenix: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take our country back’

Donald Trump, the billionaire Republican presidential candidate, on Saturday took his anti-illegal-immigration message to Phoenix, delivering a 70-minute speech to a packed downtown ballroom that at times seemed more about needling his White House rivals and settling scores with his critics than public policy.Trump's at times undisciplined afternoon remarks at the Phoenix Convention Center veered into international trade, national security and foreign policy but always returned to the topic that has his candidacy climbing the polls: immigrants who commit violent crimes while in the United States without authorization. REACTION: Trump wins hearts of some in GOP, scorn from critics during Phoenix visit"I respect Mexico greatly as a country, but the problem we have is that their leaders are much smarter, sharper and more cunning than our leaders," Trump said. "And they're killing us at the border."Trump, one of 14 declared GOP presidential hopefuls, has claimed repeatedly that the Mexican government is deliberately sending criminals to the United States, and has vowed to build a border fence and force Mexico to pay for the construction.On Saturday, Trump said that as president he would charge Mexico $100,000 for every undocumented immigrant who crossed the border. And after the speech, he told reporters, without elaborating, that he believes "without question" that Mexican officials are complicit in sending undesirable immigrants to this country.About 20 minutes into Trump's speech, a group of protesters disrupted the speech, and the ballroom immediately erupted. Trump supporters shouted "U-S-A! U-S-A!" as the demonstrators were led out. MORE: Donald Trump visits Phoenix, talks immigration"I wonder if the Mexican government sent them over here. I think so," Trump said to applause. "Because I'm telling you. I tell about the bad deals that this country is making. Mexico — I respect the country — they're taking our jobs, they're taking our manufacturing, Continue Reading

Arizona university professors: Donald Trump’s immigration executive order is un-American

More than 75 professors from Arizona's three state universities have signed a national petition denouncing President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration as discriminatory and detrimental to the country.Officials at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona are advising international students and scholars to postpone any international travel for the time being.The petition, Academics Against Executive Immigration Order, said the president's actions unfairly target a large group of immigrants and non-immigrants based on their countries of origin, where the majority populations are Muslim. The professors write that "the ethnic and religious profiling" are in stark contrast to the country's values and principles.They are concerned the order will tear apart families by restricting entry for family members who live outside the United States and limiting travel for those who live and work in the United States."This measure is fatally disruptive to the lives of these immigrants, their families, and the communities of which they form an integral part. It is inhumane, ineffective, and un-American, " the petition states. MORE: AZ react to Trump's immigration ban | Colleges brace to shield students from immigration raids | Families, students, scientists: 5 people affected by the banProfessors at the UA, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University and dozens of other universities are concerned the executive order will damage U.S. leadership in higher education and research. The petition, which has signatories from the nation's most prestigious universities, including Princeton, Harvard, Columbia and University of Chicago, notes that more than 3,000 students from Iran have received Ph.D.s from American universities in the past three years. The petition carried the names of more than 8,800 faculty members as of Monday afternoon.The executive order also could Continue Reading

Live reports from Donald Trump rally in Mesa

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is holding a campaign rally Wednesday at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.We bring you live coverage of the events as they happen from our reporters and photographers on the ground. 1:50 p.m.Trump leaves the stage just as he arrived, to the strains of the Twisted Sister anthem "We're Not Going to Take It." His parting words to the crowd before stepping away from the microphone were to urge them to get out and vote. "We are going to make America great again, better than ever before. I love you. I love you. thank you.” 1:45 p.m.Trump pledged to abolish Common Core instruction, calling it a bureaucratic nightmare.“We’re bringing education back locally," he said. 1:44 p.m. Trump vowed to preserve the Second Amendment if elected president."We cannot let them take that way from us," he said. "And believe me, there is a movement to take it away."He said that now there is a movement to even take bullets away. "If I become president, believe me, nothing is going to be happening," he said. 1:30 p.m.Trump's vow to tackle the foreign trade deficit got a rousing applause. He vowed to "never eat Oreos again" after Nabisco announced plans to move a factory to Mexico. He criticized Ford for building a plant in Mexico while plants in Michigan were closed.“What are we doing?" he asked the crowd. "How does that benefit us?”He said he would back jobs to the United States if elected president.“We want jobs. We’re not going to be the people led by stupid people.” 1:21 p.m.Trump's comments on illegal immigration got a big applause from the crowd.One of the reasons his campaign has done so well in Arizona, he said, is because of his pledge to stop illegal immigration."We are going to stop illegal immigration," he told the crowd. "We have to. If we don’t stop it, we don’t have a country."He reiterated his pledge to build a wall between the Continue Reading

Where Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton – and third parties – stand on the issues

We get it: You're sick of presidential election coverage. It's all horse-race polling, name-calling and gaffes. No substance, all filler.Wouldn't it be nice to know where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — and their third-party opponents, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein — actually stand on important issues like the economy and immigration?Well, have no fear, gentle reader. We're tabulating it for you!Below are highlights from For the Record, USA TODAY's presidential election newsletter. Follow the links in the subheads below for more policy details.Why it matters: Scientists say rising global temperatures are producing more weather extremes: Bigger floods, drier droughts, hotter heat waves and rising sea levels, which over time can lead to water shortages, poor crop yields and costly storm damage.Where Trump stands: He doesn’t buy the science on climate change and has promised to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal, which aims to rein in greenhouse gases, and nix the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which does the same for carbon pollution at American power plants.Where Clinton stands: She's said that climate change is an “urgent threat” and has promised to reduce greenhouse emissions up to 30 percent by 2025. Clinton says she’ll do that, in part, by defending the Clean Power Plan and boosting efficiency standards for cars, trucks and appliances.Where third parties stand: Johnson mostly buys the idea of climate change, but don't expect him to make mandates for solar panels or more efficient cars. Stein, by contrast, has made climate change a centerpiece of her campaign. She wants the country to rely fully on renewable energy by 2030, among other ideas.Why it matters: The Social Security trust fund is set to run out of money in 2035; Medicare in 2028. Absent any reforms, the Continue Reading

Our View: Is Donald Trump man enough to save DACA?

The president faces a choice that will show America whether he is strong enough to chart his own course – or if he is easily swayed by prevailing political winds.Lives are at stake. The lives of young people who are called "dreamers" for good reason.They are currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, that Trump is being pushed to dismantle.Trump has choices. Huge ones.He can allow himself to be forced into action by a group of attorneys general with an agenda.He can go along with those who want to use the DACA kids as a bargaining chip to get funding for his border wall through Congress.Both choices represent capitulation rather than leadership.A third choice: Trump can be true to his February promise to “deal” with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “with heart.” EDITORIAL: Trump can take the target off dreamers' backs This is a decision of great magnitude. The lives and futures of many children and families are at stake.Such a decision should not be made in response to threats or political agendas.Trump faces a false deadline imposed by the attorneys general from Texas and nine other GOP-led states, who threaten to sue if he doesn’t end DACA by Sept. 5.The president should call their bluff. He’s been in court before.The other temptation is to use these kids as a bargaining chip in Congress to coerce Democratic votes on Trump priorities, such as funding the wall on the southern border.It lacks “heart” to use human beings that way.The solution does, however, lie with Congress. The president should use his outsized bully pulpit to make it happen.DACA was never meant to be permanent.The program was put in place in 2012 by President Obama as a temporary protection for young people who grew up in this country but lacked immigration documents solely due to the actions of their parents.Some were brought across the border illegally. Continue Reading

Trevor G. Browne HS students walk out to protest Donald Trump, Joe Arpaio

About 200 students walked out of Trevor G. Browne High School in the Maryvale neighborhood in Phoenix Friday afternoon to protest Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.More than a dozen Muslim students from North High School, about 20 minutes away, joined them, fasting for the day as a way to ask God to help their cause. Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski and Maria Elena Durazo, a labor-union leader from Los Angeles, also participated.The teens, many wearing shirts and carrying signs that said “Adios Arpaio” and “Defeat Trump," gathered at nearby El Oso Park to protest the oppression and offense they say they feel on the national, county and even school level.The vast majority of Trevor G. Browne students belong to minority groups, and the rally was a chance to speak out about political rhetoric against immigrants, Latinos, Mexicans, Muslims and LGBT people.North High junior Faisa Ahmed said she fasted for two days to show solidarity with Trevor G. Browne students and to show that "Latinos and Muslims can actually work together and that one day we will live in harmony."During a short rally in the park, she stood on a bench and spoke into a microphone to address the crowd of students."I’m sick and tired of people like Arpaio and Donald Trump discriminating (against) us. I’m tired of them saying that Muslims are terrorists and Mexicans are rapists because that’s not true. They don’t know us," she said to cheers."I want to show them that we’re also educated and that we’re better than what they say we are. Just because our parents don’t have papers does not mean we don’t belong here. We belong here," Ahmed yelled as people clapped and shouted.During the rally, many referenced and cheered in support of Brandon Hernandez-Rodriguez, a Continue Reading

President Donald Trump’s budget plan could force Arizona to make the choice: Hurt the poor or raise taxes

If President Donald Trump has his way, hundreds of thousands of Arizona’s poor would either lose access to food and health care or the state’s taxpayers would have to fork over a lot more in taxes.The proposed cutbacks to programs like food stamps, welfare and Medicaid in Trump's proposed federal budget could complicate the tax-cutting agenda of Gov. Doug Ducey, who would be pressed to find significantly more cash to preserve the safety net in Arizona or face the reaction to abandoning the state's high poverty population.The $4.1 trillion proposed White House budget includes plans to hand states more of the bill for social programs. If the states can’t or won’t pay for it, the programs would face massive cuts.Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesman for Ducey, said the governor's team was focused on pending health-care changes in Washington, not the budget proposal. Both items would seek more financial resources from states, but they are in flux, which Scarpinato said makes it difficult to gauge their impact in Arizona.“He does not want to pull the rug out from people,” Scarpinato said of the governor. Ducey wants any federal-program changes to come with significant transition periods to help states manage the shifts, Scarpinato said.Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard also said it’s premature to respond to Trump's budget. He said alarms are sounding “fast and furious” even as it’s unclear how the proposal would fare in Congress.If state lawmakers started worrying now about how, or if, they would fill gaps left by Trump’s budget, “we’ll just drive ourselves crazy,” Mesnard said. “We’ll adapt to their moves.”Republicans on Capitol Hill have pushed back against the proposals, and Washington has operated for years without conventional budgets shaped by the president.As the pending Republican health-care bill shows, there is interest in letting states fashion more Continue Reading

Full transcript of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential announcement

Billionaire mogul Donald Trump announced his 2016 presidential run Tuesday. Below is the text of his speech: Last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product - a sign of strength, right? But not for us. It was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero. Our labor participation rate was the worst since 1978. But think of it, GDP below zero, horrible labor participation rate, and our real unemployment is anywhere from 18-20%. Don’t believe the 5.6. Don’t believe it. That’s right - a lot of people up there can’t get jobs. They can’t get jobs because there are no jobs because China has our jobs and Mexico has our jobs. They all have our jobs. But the real number, the real number, is anywhere from 18-19 and maybe even 21% and nobody talks about it because it’s a statistic that’s full of nonsense. DONALD TRUMP IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the day and we as a country are getting weaker. Even our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work. It came out recently. They have equipment that’s 30 years old and they don’t even know if it works. And I thought it was horrible when it was broadcast on television because boy does that send signals to Putin and all of the other people that look at us and they say ‘OK, that is a group of people and that is a nation that truly has no clue. They don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know what they’re doing.’ We have a disaster called the big lie - Obamacare, Obamacare. Yesterday it came out that costs are going, for people, up 39, 39, 49 and even 55%. And deductibles are through the roof. You have to get hit by a tractor, literally a tractor, to use it because the deductibles are so high it’s virtually useless. It’s a disaster.N NEW YORKERS WITH MEXICO ROOTS SLAM DONALD TRUMP And remember the $5 billion website, 5 billion Continue Reading

Voicers sound off on American terror, New York thugs and Donald Trump

It's for us to kill the monster Astoria: The only thing to be thankful for regarding the Charleston shooting is that Dylann Storm Roof didn’t do what almost all similar monsters do and kill himself at the end of it. He will now face the full fury of the justice system and a death penalty trial. After he’s found guilty and eventually executed, he has hell to look forward to. Brad Morris Hate speech Briarwood: It is an absolute outrage what 21-year-old Dylan Roof did in Charleston. He reportedly told his black victims, “You’re taking over our country.” How far away is this from the rhetoric we’ve heard from some Republican politicians since President Obama was elected in 2008? Cliff Mitchell Killing hate Whitestone: The murder of nine innocent people attending church services is so horrendous that it’s almost difficult to believe. It appears so much hatred exists in people who cannot tolerate others who are somehow different. We must educate people to respect and care about those who both look, and have differing values, than themselves. It is bigotry that must be killed! Leonore Brooks Bad guys and good guesses Brooklyn: Over the past several weeks, the word “thug” has practically been abandoned by the Daily News. Instead, I see “creep” used all over the paper now. I am guessing that a directive from above, in an effort to be further politically correct and to promote a “kinder, gentler city,” has been issued to this effect. And my guess is that this directive is coming from none other than Mayor de Blasio’s office. I suppose that when the bleeding hearts start crying that “creep” is also too strong, thatthe good old-fashioned term “bad guy” will come next. Robert T. Mruczek Playing with numbers Whitestone: Harry Siegel says that at the height of stop, question and frisk, there were more than 1,500 stops a day (“Stop Continue Reading