Monday, November 29, 2010

In Phoenix, Outrage Surrounds the Mosque That Isn’t

As KPHO reports, some of our more sophisticated citizenry is up in arms about a new church being built off the I-10. Apparently, the church looks a little too mosque-like for our famously tolerate Arizona neighbors. While trying to diminish the growing controversy, the church took the extraordinary step of putting up a giant banner letting everyone know it was indeed “La Luz Del Mundo” Christian church, not a mosque. Sadly, the people the banner is targeting are those most likely to be unwilling or unable to read it.

Being that the church’s backers are Hispanic and not Muslim, I suspect it won’t be long before local “patriots” begin protesting the “narco-terrorist recruiting center” being built in “OUR city”.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What Tea Party? AZ Republicans Seek to Raise Your Taxes While Cutting Their Own

Well that didn’t take long. Only weeks after claiming a “less taxes, less spending” mandate the Republican establishment has already shunned their Tea Party pawns and are pushing a plan to increase property taxes on Arizona’s homeowners. (A majority of which are already underwater)

Why would they do this, in this economic climate no less? Remember, if we are to believe Republican talking points, we can’t let tax cuts expire for millionaires and billionaires because “raising anyone’s taxes in a recession is a bad idea”. Now the truth has come out, and I’m sure no Arizona Democrat is surprised that despite all their rhetoric, business as usual has returned to the Republican Party.

So why do we need to raise taxes anyway? Well that’s because despite our state’s projected multi-billion dollar deficit, our Republican super majority’s first priority is to cut taxes for corporations, and well, they need to make up the money somewhere. Who better to pay for corporate taxes breaks than you and I? To post-election Republicans, more profits for their corporate overlords takes precedent over the well being of Arizona families. The Republican Puppet Masters’ vacation homes, jets, and yachts aren’t going to pay for themselves, you are.

Does the Arizona Tea Party, now marginalized, have the courage of its convictions? Are they mobilizing to fight the regressive tax they will pay the brunt of? Nope, there are crickets to be heard in the conservative Arizona blogosphere. Just like during the Bush administration, their outrage only extends to those with a D after their name. They could never criticize their own party, even as it becomes clear their saviors thoroughly played them for the fools they are.

Say it with me now, if they weren’t hypocrites, they wouldn’t be Republicans.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Republicans are the Party of National Security No More; Dicks

The partisanship-above-all-else that is the Republican Tea Party’s preferred model of governance has reached a new and astounding low. President Obama, like President Reagan, made securing and dismantling the stockpiles of nuclear weapons one of his signature issues. The original START treaty negotiated by Reagan launched our very successful “trust but verify” policy of mutual nuclear disarmament; it or variations have been in place ever since.

When START expired, President Obama successfully negotiated an even more comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, as part of the “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations. As you know the Republican’s official position on everything the President wants is “no”, and since this new treaty would amount to a victory for Obama, “Arizona’s other Senator” has decided to hold up ratification.

Jon Kyl (R-AZ) says he can’t allow an up or down vote because the government hasn’t spent enough on its nuclear arsenal. I’m not sure what that has to do with nuclear disarmament, but apparently post-midterm Republicans have already forgotten their campaign rhetoric. Now while still in November, their positions have shifted again. To the GOP, pork now takes precedence over safeguarding American lives.

Is anyone surprised that as soon as the Republicans win an election they want to ramp up spending on their war machines? Is anyone surprised the Tea Partiers are as silent as they were during Bush’s double-the-debt-in-eight-years spending binge? It looks like "obstruction until we get ours” is going to be the Republican’s official way to get around their self-imposed earmark ban. Remember, if they weren’t hypocrites, they wouldn’t be Republicans.

Andy Ostroy makes an excellent point about the GOP’s hypocrisy:
Imagine if it were Democrats blocking this bill. Imagine the incendiary rhetoric and fear mongering that would follow. Imagine the chorus of, "Democrats cow-tow to Russia and allow them to out-Nuke us!" We'd hear how the "Socialist Obama regime empowers its communist ally!" The Republican spin machine would be operating in overdrive spitting out the message and talking points about how "Americans are threatened by Obama's inability to protect the U.S. from Nuclear attack!"
To add his insult to our injury, Kyl opposes extending unemployment benefits at a cost $15 billion borrowed dollars, but won’t ratify START until the President Obama gives him more than $84 billion borrowed dollars for Kyl’s “nuclear weapon update” pet project. Meanwhile Arizona has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Thanks Jon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maddow Skewers McCain As Only She Can

Throughout this election cycle Rachel Maddow consistently and thoroughly exposed John McCain as the consummate politician he is; willing to change his position on any issue at a moment’s notice if he thought it would benefit him. In case you missed it, last night she was in top form doing what she does best, pointing out the hypocrisy of our very own Senator McCain.

Senator John McCain’s stances on legislation and important policy issues and principles are so fundamentally inconsistent as to render the phrase flip-flop meaningless - Rachel Maddow

Friday, November 12, 2010

Prop. 203 Takes Substantial Lead Very Late in the Count

I admit that I thought it was over only a few days ago. Even last night with Prop. 203 down 3,000 votes, the midterms left me feeling very cynical about its chances. Then this morning came the news that it had made up 1500 votes with 59,000 early and provisional ballots left to count. Tonight, with 10,000 votes to count Prop. 203 is in good shape. It has taken a commanding lead of 4421 votes at the last possible second. Unless the remaining “stoner-forgot-to-mail-in-their-ballots-on-time” votes break heavily against their established trend, Prop. 203 has passed.

Sheriff Joe Accused of Breaking the Law and Covering it Up

Would you believe that Sheriff Joe thinks he is above the law? I sure would and do as such delusions are common with self-righteous Napoleonic types. It seems that when Arizona’s own Little Emperor isn’t out stroking his ego by injecting himself into national politics, he is misappropriating up to $80 million or our tax dollars away from their voter mandated purpose. I wonder if any of that went to funding the quasi-tank Joe thinks he needs, or the national campaign stops he is making.

Not only did Joe feel like he could ignore the will of the people (and law), he took extraordinary steps to cover up his actions. This is of course a dead giveaway that Joe knew what he was doing was wrong and did it anyway.

Culpability, culpability, culpability.

Via Talking Point Memo:
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio kept a hidden database that shows that he used money designated for funding jails for other purposes, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors alleges.

In September, the Maricopa County Office of Management and Budget reported to the the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that Apraio's office may have misspent up to $80 million based on the limited records they had received. This follow up report says that MCSO work papers "have identified at least $34 million in misspending" but that does not "address some of the more complicated staffing issues" such as overtime and benefit costs.

"It appears that MCSO violated the intent and explicit language of the voter approved jail tax when they used that money to fund activities not related to jail operations," a press release said. "Maricopa County will have to pay back the restricted funds to the detention fund. This is a misuse of public funds."

"Whether it is $34 million, plus overtime costs, or up to $80 million, it is a problem that grows more expensive every day," the press release said.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day

We don't have to support the wars to support our troops. Thanks to all those who served past and present.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Be Part of the Solution: Vote Again 2010

History is, and always has been on our side. The entire course of civilization has been one long march forward. Be part of the solution, Vote Again 2010.

My Favorite Ben Quayle Parodies

The Hulburd v. Quayle (AZ03) race is one that I wish I would have covered more this cycle. I just got so caught up in AZ05, I didn’t have time to take advantage of the fodder machine that is the Ben Quayle’s Junior’s candidacy. Sure, Foreclosure Dave Schweikert may be a sleaze ball, but Quayle is a bumbling, inept and even comical figure. I feel like I could have had a lot of fun with Ben, but luckily there were plenty of others who shared my sentiment.

Ben Quayle brought national attention on himself after promising to knock the hell of our Washington, and as a result there has been no shortage of Quayle parodies and attack ads. After the break, I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorites, enjoy!

(Oh, and someone should tell Carpetbaggin’ Ben that Tempe isn’t in his congressional district. Vast swaths of the Amazon and rivers of ink have been wasted as Quayle ramped up efforts to secure my vote.)