Archive for the ‘AZ Quickies’ Category

From the land of the truly nuts:

  • As I said in a post the other day national focus has turned to AZ again primarily due to Senator McCan’t and his Border charades.  The Senator’s antics were no doubt timed to coincide not only with the state GOP’s vote of no confidence, but also to the appointment of the newest Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, who has only been in office since Dec. 23, 2013.  Sec. Johnson is getting familiarized with the gargantuan task of running such a massive department, so it must be the perfect time for Sen. McCain to start hammering said department on the efficiency and effectiveness of their border security program.  Sec. Johnson will be visiting the Tucson sector of the Arizona border with Mexico this week.  Let’s hope the press leaves him alone so he can get to work sooner rather than later…although if Sen. McCain has his way, Johnson will be hounded every step of the way, I’m sure.
  • Since it is MLK Day, there will be lots of stories about his legacy such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is fitting.  It should also be a day to remember that the fight for those Rights did not end in 1965 and recently has heated up.  Just this past year, a US Supreme Court case gutted the law, so states like Arizona went right back to their old shenanigans.  Since then States controlled by Republican governors and/or legislatures been involved in attempts to limit access to polling stations, remove methods of voting, and limit who can vote (mainly using new Voter ID laws or outright removing people from the state’s registration lists).  Of  course, these all target traditionally Democratic voters like African Americans, Native Americans, the urban poor, women and the young.  Today, of all days, we must remember that we’re still in the ring and the other side is throwing a lot of unanswered punches.
  • Another inmate has died in a Maricopa County jail under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reign.   Even though the MCSO is being monitored by the U.S. District Court (because of the pattern of abuses and unethical behavior spotlighted in the Melendres v. Arpaio Civil Rights case), I doubt anything will come from this latest death investigation. After all, who cares about another dead inmate—except their family of course.  They’ll get paid off like they always do and Maricopa County residents will forget and re-elect Arpaio yet again .
  • The incredibly stupid bill to allow people to carry weapons on school campuses is being proposed in the AZ State Legislature again.  It failed to even reach committee last year so let’s hope it suffers a similar fate this time as well.
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1. I think I discovered another Darwin Award Nominee, guy trying to pull a Bigfoot hoax gets killed in mid-prank….from Here

2. At the home of the teenage shooting suspect in Maryland, “A sign at the house said, “We don’t call 911″ and had a carved relief of a gun.” Hmmmm, I wonder where the boy got the idea into his head to use a gun to strike out at people who made him mad….hmmmmmmmmm…..from Here

3. Did you notice in the New York City shooting the other day that all 9 civilians who were wounded were actually shot by the officers responding to the scene. Completely undercuts the arguments of numbnuts who think they’re Dirty Harry who can respond to a shooting incident in a crowd and ONLY hit the bad guy….from Here

4. Sheriff “I let people die in my jails” Arpaio was set to speak (along with Donald Trump) at the GOP convention but only to the Western delegates at an “invitation-only” reception. For a minute there, I thought they were going to let the idiot speak on the national stage. Phew! As if AZ needed more embarrassment than usual…..from Here

5. Someone put up a modified Hope poster on Facebook yesterday that showed the President being lynched. Thankfully it was only up for a few hours before outraged citizens forced Facebook to take it down. It literally made me nauseous….from Here

6. Speaking of bigotry, did you catch Mitt “I have big Man-Love for Paul Ryan” Romney saying no one ever asked for his birth certificate, ha ha. Interestingly enough, I didn’t laugh at his supposed joke. He may have said it in Ann Arbor, Michigan but they heard that dog whistle all the way down in the Louisiana bayou. What an asshole….from Here

7. It has actually been raining in AZ, so now it’s over a 100 degrees, humid AND we’re still in a massive drought. Wheeeeeeeee!

8. Remember the conservative poutrage over the Dept of Homeland Security Report that said domestic terrorists, in particular right-wing groups, pose the greatest threat to our safety? Well, recent events are bearing that out (i.e., a plot in Alaska to kill a Federal Judge, in Georgia the murder of an innocent couple and a plot to kill the President, and the mass murder at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin). Now watch how conservatives try to distance themselves from these extremists while issuing dog whistles from the other side of their mouth. They honestly think if the American people just stare into Paul Ryan’s dreamy blue eyes, they won’t notice that bigots and extremists have taken over the Republican party. Let’s hope they’re wrong.

9. Speaking of his dreamy blue eyes, Paul “I’m Ayn Rand in a suit” Ryan was raked over the coals by Maureen O’Dowd.  O’Dowd’s article was summarized in hysterical fashion by Sarah, Proud and Tall.  Sarah’s biting and bawdy humor isn’t for the faint of heart. And I mean that part about biting literally.  Even without her dentures in Sarah is a downright dangerous.  Check it out over at Balloon Juice and make sure you do not have liquids in your mouth while reading it:  That’s Why her hair is so big. It’s full of secrets.

My life is crazy busy….after the garage sale on Sunday, I had the pleasure of dealing with a flood in the master bath and bedroom.  But I wanted to at least do a run down of the crazy stuff going on in Arizona.  So enjoy!

  • A legislative committee passed an amendment that says taxpayers will repay former Senator Russell Pearce for the money he spent on the recall election, which he lost.  This will cost us $261,000 and it will all be profit for Pearce because the money he spent wasn’t his to begin with.  Every cent of it was donated by supporters (in and out of state GOP interests).  I am at a loss as to why we need to pay him back.  Too bad the Dems have so little power.  Otherwise I would recommend that they propose a bill that would force Pearce to repay the state for every miserable day he wasted our time while he was it the Senate AND reimburse the state the millions we are shelling out to defend SB1070, which he helped to write, in Federal Court AND give money to help all the businesses who lost business due to SB1070.  I’m betting that Pearce has done more damage to the state’s economy and its citizens than the residents of Mesa did to him (or at least his benefactors) in the entirely justified recall.
  • The murder-suicide of J.T. Ready made national news last week.  Well there were a few 911 calls and authorities have released a couple of them.  They are, quite frankly, harrowing.  So all the people who were so eager to absolve Ready and blame Mexican drug cartels without any evidence whatsoever can now officially STFU.  Ready was an angry, mean thug.
  • There has been some progress in the lawsuits over Prop. 203, Medical Marijuana.  A citizen sued accusing the Governor of failing to fully implement the law and the Court agreed.  The citizen also wanted a ruling on the State’s requirement of dispensaries to have a Medical Director oversee them.  On the one hand, this requirement would raise the cost of running a dispensary. On the other hand, it would help insure that abuse is less likely to occur.  In any case thy are starting to FINALLY implement the darn law and the State is considering expanding the conditions that could qualify for medical marijuana to include PTSD, depression, migraines, and anxiety.
  • Dale Hausner, a serial shooter convicted of murder and sentenced to death 6 times, is in the process of appealing.  This is one guy who I wouldn’t shed a tear for when they execute him.  I know it is pretty “unliberal” of me to say so, but some people IMHO deserve it.
  • When I originally wrote about how the crazy grows so well in Arizona soil, I spoke of corruption (and the seeming rash of crazy that has been sweeping over state legislators all over the country.  Michelle, a fellow blogger and commenter, mentioned ALEC, which is something I forgot to mention.  Here’s a link if you’re interested and I am writing something more detailed about it for this blog.  More to come on ALEC.
  • Remember the Ethnic Studies ban that was forced on the Tucson School District?  I heard on the radio something the other day about a new potential law suit by supporters of the Ethnic Studies program. It sounded promising.
  • Planned Parenthood (PP) was recently defunded here in AZ but the non-profit has brought a promising First Amendment lawsuit against the state of Texas that could also apply to their defunding here.  Basically, PP is saying that the state absolutely has the right to tell organizations that run government funded programs in particular locations how that money can be used (i.e., not for abortions), but they cannot tell the larger organization that they cannot take a stand o the issue of abortion nor who PP can associate with (such as doctors, clinics, etc, who do support abortion). The judge in the Texas case believes it will be a successful argument (so do I) and has issued an injunction against PP’s defunding.  A small victory with a lot of promise for other states.
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s response to call for his resignation was exactly as I predicted…to paraphrase, “Eff you, No!”…he says Latino people are calling for his resignation…Uh, it’s not just Hispanic voters and Congressmen, it’s white people like myself too.  If you can stand to watch this bloviating ass speak, here’s his official response.
  • Counsel submitted closing arguments in writing to opposing counsel in the Ethics Hearing against former County Attorney Andrew Thomas
  • Our pro sports teams still suck…Cardinals are 7-7 and they may still make the playoffs but no one in their right mind thinks they’ll actually do anything with the opportunity (BTW I’d love to be wrong about this) and the Suns lost by 25 pts in the pre-season game against Denver.
  • a Federal court agreed to expedite a hearing on HB2281, the AZ statute that bans ethnic studies, the District of Tucson stands to lose millions of state funding if they don’t win the case (meaning they get to keep teaching ethnic studies) and the state wants to make an example out of Tucson (meaning they can force them to quit teaching it or punish them if they don’t–note that Tuscon is mostly populated by Democratic voters–big surprise that the state GOP has targeted them
  • an ASU student was found after being stranded in her car in the middle of nowhere for 10 days–glad she is alive but I have to ask, who goes on a scenic drive in the middle of AZ winter wilderness without water, extra gas, extra clothes, food, etc?  Someone who has notappreciation for how fast nature can and will kill you—she is a very lucky young woman
  • Polygamist practitioners of Colorado City, AZ are in trouble, but NOT for their bizarre marriage practices….they are being threatened with eviction for not paying their taxes.  I guess we’re resorting to getting them any way we can, a la Capone.
  • Another quake from down Mexico way…it seems that the faults down there have been extra active lately
  • a blogger, Chez Pazienza,  that I enjoy reading on a daily basis may actually be driving through the state today on a sojourn across the U.S.  Do me a solid and send out positive wishes to help him power through the snow that has him bogged down in New Mexico
  • And last but not least, my Christmas mojo is extremely weak this year….no outside lights, a fiber optic tree sans decorations as of yet and presents unwrapped and/or unassembled…kids will be opening their’s tomorrow night so I will be a busy little elf this afternoon

Merry Christmas to my Christian friends, Happy Chanukah to all my Jewish friends, Yuletide Greetings to all my pagan friends, and for the rest of us, there is Festivus!

Very busy today.  Here’s some bits of news from around the state that I thought were interesting:

  • State Senator Lori Klein (R) is being accused of pointing a laser sited gun at a local reporter as part of a demonstration.  Democratic Senators are calling for an ethics investigation.  The interesting part to me is that the gun has NO SAFETY and she regularly carries it to the Legislature loaded.  Yeeeehaw!!!!  Don’t it make ye proud to be an Arizonan?
  • The Mayor of Mesa was part of a larger group of mayors from around the U.S. who called Pres. Obama to impart how important they thought resolving the debt ceiling crisis was to investment stability.  No duh!  The President couldn’t possibly have appreciated the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling before that phone call.  No sir, no way…..oh wait, there ARE a ton of articles and press conferences showing the President saying how critical it is and how he is willing to compromise, etc, etc.  Seems to me that these Mayors should be calling national GOP leadership and not Pres. Obama.
  • The Wallow fire in eastern Arizona burned a ton of acreage and threatened not only people, livestock and forests but also several endangered species.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife folks were able to rescue some of the endangered fish before burnt matter was flushed into their watery habitats.  They also were able to retrieve some extremely rare snails (Springsnails, I believe but am not sure) that live ONLY in Arizona in that particular area.  The fish and snails will be released back into the wild in a few years once the land has sufficiently recovered.  I think its interesting that a snail exists only in that one spot on the entire planet and I’m grateful that someone cared enough to save it for later re-population.
  • According to The Phoenix New Times Maricopa County Elections have finished counting the petition signatures in the Russell Pearce recall attempt and found that:  “10,365 valid sigs from qualified electors residing in Pearce’s Legislative District 18. That’s 2,609 more than the 7,756 needed to force a recall”*  This news item alone requires a Ren & Stimpy Happy Happy Joy Joy Song, don’t you think?
  • Sheriff Joe had planned, inexplicably, to parade jail inmates before the start of the MLB All Star Game today.  Of course, there was a huge outcry because there was no real reason for it except to draw national attention to the Sheriff , who’s ego is already too large to fit within the state borders.  He finally backed down and decided that it probably wasn’t such a good idea.
  • And speaking of Sheriff Joe (he pulls so many shenanigans, you’d need an entire blog devoted just to him to report it all)…you know about the pink underwear that he makes jail residents wear, right?  Well those typically have the statement “Go Joe” on them.  He has recently changed it to “Vamos Jose”.  He says it is in an effort to show that he is not racist.  Somehow I don’t think that it produces the effect for which he was looking.
  • Last but not least, the MLB All Star game will be taking place in Phoenix at Chase Field downtown today.   At least 15 players will not be participating including 3 Yankee team members.  It is unclear how many of them are actually staying away as a means of protesting the SB1070 law.  Most of them have claimed injury as the reason, although some of them, like Jeter played only last week.

Sources:

*http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2011/07/russell_pearce_recall_headed_f.php

http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2011/07/12/20110712arizona-legislator-klein-gun-debate.html

http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/2011/07/12/20110712mesa-mayor-obama-budget.html

http://www.demarcatedlandscapes.com/2011_06_01_archive.html

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2011/arizona-springsnails-04-11-2011.html

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2011/07/joe_arpaio_cowers_to_common_se.php

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2011/07/joe_arpaio_thinks_vamos_jose_p.php

http://www.docsports.com/2011/mlb-all-star-game-odds-predictions-523.html

I must admit to feeling somewhat lazy so I’m going to brief (well as brief as I can be).

  • Photos of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford have come out from before her recent reconstruction surgery. She looks remarkably well in them and I marvel at her ability to not only survive but come back roaring from the abyss.  The surgery she had afterwards would have addressed that part of her skull on the left side that was indented.  I believe that in a few more months we will see a woman who looks for all intents and purposes to be recovered.  Unfortunately, sources are indicating that she is having trouble formulating and communicating complex ideas.  I sincerely hopes that she does not plateau at this point and continues the smooth trajectory upward toward a more complete cognitive recovery but not for the sake of her constituents but for her own sake.  She is in my thoughts quite a lot and is well loved here in AZ.  If positive vibes can actually heal anyone, then Rep. Giffords will be the picture of glowing health. Bless her and her family.
  • Gov. Brewer continues to attempt to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.  As part of her ongoing war against Big Government, she has been trying to deny Medicaire coverage for over 200,000 childless adults.  Unless a law suit or Federal intervention occurs enrollment in the program will be frozen as of July 1st.
  • The Wallow fire has been contained 6% and residents of the towns of Springerville and Eagar were allowed to return to their homes but at their own risk.  The fire continues to burn over 430,000 acres.
  • Sen. John McCain has indicated that he will not being giving an endorsement to anyone in the 2012 GOP Nomination process.  I think he is trying to make this statement before Palin declares that she will run.  That way he can avoid not endorsing her later.
  • One of the co-conspirators in the murder in 2009 of 28 year old Raul Junior Flores and his 9 year old daughter Brisenia continues.  Brisenia’s mother was shot twice and survived to testify against Albert Gaxiola.  I continue to hope that justice will be served in this sad and sick case.
That’s all I’ve got for now.

It’s Friday night and there’s not a damn thing on TV but that’s nothing new, eh?  I’ve settled on watching the next couple of Firefly series eps (have had them on DVD for a while now and never re-watched them).    My daughter said something that scared me so bad, I swear my heart almost stopped beating.  I was immediately thinking of all the horrible things that might have happened.  Being a parent can be terrifying because there are so many things you can’t control and so many influences that barrage kids these days.  I don’t think it was any easier for me as a kid, but then my childhood was unusual.

So with those dark reflections let’s see what AZ had in the news today:

  • It’s getting warm and the drowning rate is starting to rise as it does every sad year here in the Valley of the Sun.  A 1 year old boy was pulled from a pool in Avondale.  He is expected to survive but they don’t say in what condition.
  • The funeral of two Border Agents were held today.  They were killed when their SUV was hit by a train during a chase while on duty.
  • Arizona voters are starting to wake up.  A group of local activists and government officials have written an open letter to the Feds asking them to take  immediate action against Joe Arpaio for his misbehavior and malfeasance while in office.  This kind of thing would not have been possible a year or more ago.  But recent scandals and investigations that keep uncovering more and more dirt are finally hurting Joe’s popular support, emboldening his opponents.
  • Likewise, the voters have their eye on Russell Pearce, the State Senate President.  A lot of information about Pearce has been online and Fox10 News did an important story just last night.  A group called Americans for Better Government have filed a petition for recall of Pearce.
  • Another gunman is sought in Phoenix after a shooting in a bar.  And yes this is the same place where lawmakers have been fighting to make having guns in bars a MORE LIKELY occasion in the future.  That’s smart, reeeeeeealllllll smart!
 I wish you a Happy Rapture Day and if we do get “taken” in the next 24 hours, I’ll see y’all in heaven.  I gotta say though, if there’s only naked baby angels floating amongst the clouds while playing harps for all eternity, I’ll probably bail and see what’s shaken down below.  Laters…..