Finally, we've decided that syndicated columnist Ann Coulter has worn out her welcome. Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives.I'll resist saying anything about Ann Coulter, because I end up getting into a violent mood and then I make the same sort of worthless ad hominem attacks that she does. That makes me no better than her. Plus, ad hominem attacks on her whiny anorexic ass are too easy. See, there I go. The editor, David Stoeffler, reveals a lot in the above statement. Maybe, at long last, the conversation in this country has become too much of a food fight and people are saying "enough!" The cancellation of Crossfire and the near hostile response from conservative pundits to Edward Klein's book, The Truth About Hillary, make me wonder if we have actually turned the corner on this one. Maybe the people in the media are finally getting tired of the nearly-rote attacks substituting for political debate we have had in this country for the past few years. I'm not one of these people that think that before the invention of television, every political debate in this country has been high minded. A quick perusal through the transcripts of the Lincoln-Douglas debates will disabuse anyone of that notion. I know that we have always had slimy partisanship in our history. Sen. John C. Frémont was accused of cannibalism when he ran for president, and believe it or not, Thomas Jefferson was accused of a daliance with a slave, even having a child with her. Uh, what? I hope that this an indication that the media are finally starting to look at themselves and figure out if what they are doing is really contributing to the betterment of this country. I'm not the only one taking some hope for bigger things from this; this is getting some national play, with Media Matters for America featuring it on their website. I grew up as a political news junkie. My aunt tells me that my first words were from the news. She says that when Richard Nixon appeared on TV I would say "impeach." It's sad that I have ditched watching regular newscasts and have taken to watching Jon Stewart (a comedian) and Keith Olberman (a sportscaster) for my nightly news. I don't know what the heck they are teaching in journalism school these days, but something has to change. N.B.- I couldn't figure out why the Star ran her column at all, given that one of the first ones they published not only made a series of false allegations against the Pima County Attorney's office (there are plenty of true things to write about, believe me!), but trashed the Star itself and even called one of their reporters a moron. The Star even ran a small response to the column. This all stemmed from the pie-attacks at the University of Arizona, and Coulter's refusal to help the prosecution. Update: Both Salon and Editor and Publisher have run items on the Star dropping Coulter's column. Maybe we've got ourselves a movement.|W|P|112536573795399092|W|P|But We Just Realized Exactly How Much We Disliked Her|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
Another great story undone by overly thorough reportingI'll let that stand on it's own.|W|P|112525027687468670|W|P|Oh Robbie, King of all Irony|W|Pemail@example.com
"In an outrageous abuse of power, our governor has chosen to ignore the will of the people by refusing to enact all provisions of the new law," Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, said in his prepared speech.It was this that led Simcox, as well as many others on the far right, to be excited by the otherwise colorless Goldwater. (Something I always find interesting: The supporters of Proposition 200 would say that it only applied to welfare benefits and not other state services. Many Arizonans want such benefits to only go to people here legally, so they bought the argument and it passed. Then, the Governor and Attorney General say, "It only applies to welfare benefits" and the supporters scream: "No! It's supposed to apply to other state services!") As we all recall, the entire Republican establishment came out against Proposition 200 last year. Even Sen. Jon Kyl, who couldn't find a way to condemn lynching decades after the fact, was against it. They found it racist and divisive back then. Now, their leading candidate for governor is mad because the Governor won't enforce it the way he wants. If it was racist and divisive last year, what makes this year so different? Simcox says that his endorsement is as a single private citizen, and does not represent the endorsement of the Arizona Minutemen. I'm sure that Goldwater wants to keep up this pretention, since he probably isn't the least bit interested in being affiliated with some of the racists and head cases in the organization. However, it is difficult to imagine that Simcox did this without the at least the implied assent of the members of the group. Sometime next week, expect someone like Steve Gallardo or Raúl Grijalva to call for Goldwater to disavow the endorsement. Expect Goldwater to give no response whatsoever. This what Republicans feel like they have to do all too often. I will make no guess as to how much of the Republican base is mouth breathing racist neanderthals. I doubt that it is as big as the fantasies of some of the people on my side of the aisle. It is big enough, or at least the Republicans perceive it as big enough, that they are afraid of alienating them. Goldwater doesn't agree with the racist members of the Minutemen, but he needs to give them a wink and a nod, and for now they are happy with this. We all have a couple of caricatures of a racist: the knuckle dragging, tabacky spitting moron or maybe the meth addicted skinhead. These types are such imbeciles its hard to think that they even could know better. Then you get so-called "leaders" who are so afraid of angering these folks that despite the fact that they know better, they pander to the worst in our society so that they can move other parts of their agenda. When you are educated, know better and still accomodate these attitudes, it's worse than being a racist. This is the sort of game that Don Goldwater (whose family had to put up with the genteel anti-semitism prevalent in Phoenix a few decades ago) is playing. Its the sort of game that Jon Kyl played when he didn't want to go on record with an apology for lynching. Something that they might want to remember: even George Wallace got to a point when he couldn't sleep at night. NB - A bit of related good news over the last few weeks: The Southern Poverty Law Center helped two Salvadoran immigrants sue Casey Nethercott for some abuse that they suffered. The two immigrants, Fatima Leiva and Edwin Mancia, were successful and now own Nethercott's ranch, Camp Thunderbird.|W|P|112523786358650333|W|P|As Expected|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.orgAsked for details later, he said provisions to require identification to cast a ballot have yet to be implemented. [Gov. Janet] Napolitano has said that's because she's following the advice of Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard.Goldwater noted the other half of Proposition 200 denies state and local benefits to people living here illegally. "My first full week in office," he said, "I will transmit policy directives to all state agencies for the training of state personnel on how to fully implement Proposition 200."
The Citizens Clean Elections Commission has accepted the decision of Administrative Law Judge Daniel G. Martin in the matter of David Burnell Smith. Earlier this week, Martin upheld the Commission's original March 25th order that Smith 1) forfeit his office as State Representative for District 7; 2) repay his Clean Elections grants totaling $34,625.09; and 3) pay a fine of $10,000. Smith now has 14 days to ask the Commission for a rehearing. The Commission could meet the next day after the request is filed (giving 24 hours notice) and decide if a rehearing is warranted. Once the rehearing matter is satisfied, case law appears to say that Smith's office then becomes legally vacant. At that point, our attorneys believe the Attorney General's office could petition the Arizona Supreme Court to order Smith out of office. That would be the most expeditious scenario. Smith can also appeal to the Superior Court and has 35 days to do so from the effective date of today's Commission order. The Superior Court's decision can be appealed to the Court of Appeals or directly to the Supreme Court. This is all new legal territory so there are no previous cases to determine the exact legal course. However, the case is proceeding and we feel confident that the Clean Elections law will be upheld. This is critical to ensuring the integrity of the law. We will keep you posted.It sounds as though will go on for at least another month. Smith ought to realize that the writing is on the wall here, and the best thing to do will be to resign.|W|P|112501565564490867|W|P|Smith Update|W|Pemail@example.com
The available data do not suggest she is unelectable—they suggest just the opposite. A Gallup poll done a week before Memorial Day showed Sen. Clinton with a favorable rate of 55 percent. True, her unfavorable number is 39 percent, which is high enough for concern—but one that is nearly identical to Bush's on the eve of his reelection. And the unfavorable rating registered by Republican contender Bill Frist was nearly as high as his favorable numbers, with 32 percent saying they'd never heard of him.He points out also that the argument that "Yeah, this is before the right wingers attack her," is rather moot, since few can imagine that the right can come up with more to throw at her. I haven't finished the Sullivan article yet, but I was one of those "insiders" (sort of) who always thought that Hillary Clinton would be taken apart by a Republican nominee. I've always disparaged the defeatist attidude that many insiders have about our candidates, as if the whole country outside of the east coast are a bunch of slack jawed klansmen that can't possibly vote for one of our people, so lets nominate someone boring and moderate and hope that no one notices that he or she is a Democrat. As I read the article, I realized that I was repeating their arguments when it came to Clinton. One thing I found funny about the article that should make any right winger cringe is his comparison of Clinton's candidacy to that of Ronald Reagan's in 1980. I'm still not sure if I support her for the nomination. I worked for Gen. Wesley Clark in the last primaries, and I already have been giving out Clark 08 buttons. The candidacy of Gov. Bill Richardson intrigues me as well, so who knows. Speaking of General Clark, he had a commentary calling for intervention in Darfur (audio here) last week on NPR. Clark was so disgusted by the massacre in Rwanda ten years ago, that he pressured Pres. Clinton to get involved in Kosovo. Now he is arguing for the U.S. to use its power to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Too bad that it seems the entire military is somewhere else. On the subject of Kosovo, Billmon has an interesting post on his blog. One thing that has been sticking in my craw is how the right keeps arguing about "supporting our president when we have troops in combat," but when we were in Kosovo, they tried to have the president impeached. All part of the new "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy of the conservatives.|W|P|112497758902351113|W|P|Reconsidering Hillary|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Members, Thank you again for voting for the Stop the Free Trade Area of the America (FTAA) Resolution. Relating to the Jefferson quote below we need to rescind the 17th Amendment. Be thinking about it as a resolution to Congress. "[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore...never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market." --Thomas Jefferson Barbara BlewsterI have a little trouble drawing a logical line from the Jefferson quote to bringing back appointed senators. Those who remember her single term in the legislature will not be suprised that her thinking rarely involves reason or logic. The only reason that this is worth bringing up though is that this is not the first time I have heard the far right suggest such a thing. It seems to come up on op-ed pages and letters to the editor every couple of years. The argument goes that somehow elected senators are naturally inclined to be spendthrifts who put all sorts of burdens on state governments, and the only way to cure this is to go with what the founders wanted: an unelected, elite senate (George F. Will's argument for term-limits is similar.) Blewster and others like her love to invoke American history and the founders, but seem to be rather challenged when it comes to the history of our own state and the movements that created it. The progressive and populist movements had deep roots here in Arizona at the time the state constitution was written. The two movements were very different, but they agreed on one basic thing: the solution to the problems with our democracy can be cured by more democracy. The progressives were the ones who managed to push for the 17th ammendment that provided for direct election of senators. Interestingly, Arizona had direct election of Senators from the moment of statehood. (Technically, before statehood, since the election was held early so the senators could be sworn in when President Taft signed the statehood bill.) Aside from that, I have to ask, what Senator over the past 30 years would Blewster and those who agree with her would have wanted to ditch? Well, I figured that Dennis DeConcini would have been gone. Who else? Arizona has elected mostly conservatives. I mean, not just conservatives, but conservative icons: Goldwater, Fannin, Kyl, McCain. Who among these are not the proper kind of conservatives? Would Mrs. Blewster, or the others that have talked about this, please tell me? By the way, Blewster is not just a voice in the wilderness. She's the president of our state's Republican Assembly, the ones who love "RINO Hunts". They are having a convention in Scottsdale in a few weeks. Plenty of material for smart-asses like me.|W|P|112476891848523442|W|P|Too Much Democracy|W|Pemail@example.com
"Steve's a good progressive, but he can't win outside the ward," says Trasoff, who boasts that she won all six Tucson wards in her unsuccessful Corporation Commission race last year.Both candidates are strong progressives. The argument between them this whole campaign has been: who is better able to bring the fight to Ronstadt after the primary? Just because Farley's camp may happen to disagree that Trasoff would be better able to win doesn't make her saying that negative. Interestingly, Farley also makes the electability argument. He says that he already beat Ronstadt in 2001, since Farley opposed the failed transportation referendum that Ronstadt pushed that year. As much as I admire Farley as an activist and organizer, it is this sort of tortured logic that makes me distrust his instincts. If Farley's supporters are concerned about the tone of the article, they'd be better off looking at Jim Nintzel's writing rather than Trasoff's quotes. For example, in one paragraph, Nintzel refers to Farley "hatching another of his farfetched ideas." Nintzel also pokes at both candidates for not coming up with an alternative for the garbage fee, which is a gripe he has with all of the Democrats. Trasoff has been able to attract support from across the Democratic party. Even Steve Emerine, who it seemed was only registered as a Democrat so that he could be put on the letterhead of "Democrats for Whatever Republican is Running", has signed on. She has gotten support from Congressman Raúl Grijalva, local progressive activists and organizations as well. Some of these folks are people who in any other year would crawl naked across broken glass for Farley, but they really want to be rid of Fred Ronstadt. It seems that Trasoff isn't the only one who thinks she is the better general election candidate. NB: That issue of the Weekly also included individual profiles of Farley and Trasoff. The main article quoted me as a Trasoff supporter as well.|W|P|112422241052420954|W|P|If This Be Mudslinging|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
The group was unclear about the reason why Latinos recieved less in aid, although in the NPR interview, it was pointed out that many first generation students go to community and state colleges, where financial aid grants are less since tuition and costs are assumed to be less. In addition to this, with the emphasis on historically black colleges over the past decades, there is a bit more of an emphasis to giving African American students help to get into these institutions, this may account for the discrepency between Latino and African American students. I also have to wonder whether the bureaucracy involved in getting financial aid may be a big part of the problem too. I won't go into the ugly details of my experiences with the financial aid department at Pima Community College, suffice it to say, I am older than most students, a reasonably smart guy, a second generation college student who's mother worked in the U of A bureaucracy for years, and I had trouble with the aid paperwork and dealing with unhelpful aid office staff. The reasons why the staff seems so unhelpful and even hostile to students escapes me, since the college can only benefit from students being more financially secure. I can only imagine what an 18 year old whose family has never set foot on a campus must have to go through.|W|P|112378970127741665|W|P|Latino Students and Financial Aid|W|Pemail@example.com
Latino students rely heavily on federal aid and on grants in particular, according to the report, given that they are more likely to be first-generation college students (49 percent) and to have relatively low family incomes. Nearly 80 percent of Latino undergraduates applied for aid and 63 percent of those received some form of aid in 2003-04. And while Latinos were more likely to receive federal aid (50 percent) than all groups except African American students (62 percent), Latinos received the lowest average federal awards. However, only 16 percent of Latinos received state aid, and 17 percent received aid from postsecondary institutions.
...while all of these factors contributed greatly to the surprisingly close outcome, it is clear that there is deeper significance to this race than some Republicans admit. There are those close to the White House who remain dismissive of the election's overall significance, but to ignore the warning signals this race has given off is to tempt the gods. Just as odd-year gubernatorial races often (though not always) foreshadow subsequent national results, special elections can be a harbinger for what the upcoming national election will hold. Republicans nationwide might take note that a message of "don't send someone to Congress who will be a rubber stamp for President Bush" resonated surprisingly well in a very GOP district.He also warns Democrats not to read too much into the results though. But, there is a significant point here. Hackett was a far better nominee than we usually recruit in a district such as that one. What this means though, is that we should be working to find strong challengers so that when there is an opening we can exploit it. I'll cite two examples from here in Arizona. In 2000, House Speaker Jeff Groscost was looking to move up to the State Senate. It should have been an easy run, since the Mesa district he was running in was the most Republican in the state. A Democrat, Jay Blanchard, who was a former Marine and a college professor, filed to run against him. No one would have even given this guy a second look until the alt-fuel scandal hit. For those who don't remember, Groscost pushed through a bill that purportedly gave the purchasers of alternative fuel vehicles a tax break. Turned out that the break was poorly structured, and could have cost the state, by one estimate, half a billion dollars. The law was recinded, but not before it was found out that Groscost helped many of his associates profit from the law. All of this broke shortly before the election, and Blanchard was elected in what is considered to be the biggest upset in Arizona since Barry Goldwater beat US Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland. Although it is easy to say that Groscost was nearly unelectable in that year, it is helpful to remember that it was still a close race. The quality of the Democratic nominee made it possible to win. The contrapositive to that would be Jim Kolbe's 1996 race. In that year, you may remember, Kolbe was outed by The Advocate after years of denying that he was gay. People were a bit squeamish about his lying about his lifestyle for all of that time and he had never been particularly supportive of gay issues, so it may have been possible for a quality Democratic nominee to (while treading carefully) use this to his or her advantage. Instead, that year, we had a retiree named Mort Nelson (who has since passed away.) Nelson was a great guy and very knowledgeable about the issues, but was never regarded as a serious candidate. Kolbe won reelection, although former Tucson Mayor Tom Volgy gave him a serious run in 1998. One wonders what would have happened if Volgy (or someone of his caliber) were the candidate in 1996. In our eight congressional districts, there are probably openings. Rep. J. D. Hayworth has already had to squelch a rumor that he is retiring. Jim Kolbe looks like he is going to have a heck of a primary, if he surives it, or if State Rep. Randy Graf wins, a strong Democrat could win. We already have a great nominee against Rep. Rick Renzi in State Rep. Jack Jackson Jr. Could be not a great year, but a good one.|W|P|112368920149633024|W|P|What Does Paul Hackett Mean?|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
I have a button here, it says New Yorkers for Prezioso. I made it myself. I was the only one in the New York delegation to support Marie. I was a New Yorker for Prezioso, I am a New Yorker for Prezioso, and, Marie, I will always be a New Yorker for Prezioso.I can't remember the rest of it, but it was suitable cheesy. As he went on, a delegate from Texas who knew him for years was heckling him. He just drove right through it, the way a halftrack would shove aside a Yugo with no effect on its speed. At the time, I was embarassed for the guy, but I think there is something I can admire about it.|W|P|112359875068799249|W|P|Quote that I Forgot|W|Pemail@example.com
People are worried about the liberal influence at Harvard. George Bush is proof that you can go to Harvard and Yale and emerge totally unaffected.I got to drive him around at the convention in Tucson in 2001. The guy is a straight (pardon the word) shooter. He knows exactly what he believes. He's a bit more liberal than I am, but God bless him.|W|P|112328198795178971|W|P|I'm Frank|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
People ask me if I took steroids when I played baseball. I say no, because I didn't want to grow up to be governor of California.The person that got the most rousing response was Mayor Gavin Newsom. His speech was ballsy. He talked about how his attempt to allow gay marriage was his way of taking fights directly to the conservatives and he is tired of us running the 90 yard dash. I think everyone in that room walked out wanting the guy to run for...something. With his calls for a fearless liberalism, one wonders why he still maintains a membership in the DLC. See you soon!|W|P|112326513473063594|W|P|Speakers, and They Got Extra Quads|W|Pemail@example.com
For those of you keeping track, the Governor makes $95,000. Not exactly on the high-end, but decent money in a state where the median income is $47,219. She turned down a raise of $65,000 earlier this year. Think about that for a minute: $65,000. The raise itself would have been more than the average family makes. This comes at a time when the state budget is being trimmed, nay, chopped. Let me give you an example of what this means. I work in adult education. One of my bosses goes to a conference every year up in Flagstaff. Last year, there were people from about seventy programs there; this year there were a bit more than thirty. This is mostly due to state budget cuts. So, it was right that the governor not take a pay hike when we can't meet the needs of our poorest citizens. To some extent, I agree with arguments that a growing state like ours should have a better paid chief executive. But the argument that somehow qualified people aren't running because of the salary is ridiculous, and frankly insulting to the working people of this state. The stat that I quoted above is "median income." Not mean, but median. That means somewhere around half the people in the state are living on less than $47,219. But, we can't find a decent Republican who wants to make less than six figures? Heck, Matt Salmon was happy to run for Republican Party Chairman so he wouldn't have to run for Governor, and it doesn't pay a salary at all. Which brings us to the real reason: it has nothing to do with the salary, but the fact that polls show Napolitano to be a very strong candidate, and no one wants to be the one to lose to her. Say, you would think that if they are so concerned about the Governor's salary and being able to attract qualified people, they would finally do something about the low pay of thousands of our other state employees? Nah.|W|P|112300084718231167|W|P|Repubicans Whining Again (Yeah, Nothing New)|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
"I think it clearly has kept some Republicans from running," GOP strategist Nathan Sproul said. "No question about it. We exclude an entire population of people who would make excellent governors, simply because the salary is too low."