Archive for August, 2009

Selective Listening

August 31, 2009

I saw this great video from Congressional Candidate Bradley Beauchamp.  I challenge you to watch it and not get a little fired up. 

He’s right.  Elected officials work for us.  Not the other way around.  They are elected to represent the people and they should listen to everyone, not just the people they agree with.

The irony is, that people (including those cheering in the video) only really want their elected officials to listen to more people when its their voice that is not being heard.  When they agree with the official’s opinion, you hear a lot more about doing what is “right” and not being swayed by “tactics” from others. 

Have you ever noticed that the rabid anti-tax people are furious that their voice isn’t being heard over healthcare, but they think that Gould, Gorman, and the rest of the anti-tax seperatists shouldn’t listen to anyone or change their mind at all of supporting any tax.  Then, the Democrats accuse the conservatives of creating “false outrage” over the healthcare discussion, yet claim “woe is me” status on the budget?

It’s only when they are on the outside looking in that there is a listening problem.

Bipartisan talks are starting again today, and everyone involved would be wise to listen to what other people are saying.

It’s a frickin’ sign!

August 28, 2009

There seems to be a bunch of hullabaloo about the sign-stealing caseand the fact that the Senator was found not guilty.  I mean, to the point that there has been a veritable blogapalooza about it this morning:

Espresso Pundit
Random Musings
AZNetRoots
Sonoran Alliance
Seeing Red AZ

You’d think he beat a murder rap.  My particular favorite is the picture posted on Sonoran Alliance rocking glamor shot lens:

Barbara Walters would be proud!

Barbara Walters would be proud!

What a waste of taxpayer dollars.  It’s a frickin’ sign for crying out loud.  I think the judge got it right and the real shame here is that it took legal actions and taxpayer money to figure this all out.

You know what’s worse?  YET AGAIN, the focus is taken off the real problems that our state faces.  People get more passionate about a sign then they do about actually figuring out a solution to the state’s problems. 

What makes it even more hilarious to me is that all the Republicans are claiming triumph over some evil, while the Democrats are claiming that it is all a conspiracy against them.

Isn’t this such a little microcosm of Arizona politics?

Not our precious Ronald Reagan!!!

August 28, 2009

Via American Conservative Republican, via Eye on the 9th Floor.

Conservatives forget that before Ronald Reagan was elected as President of the United States in 1980, he was governor of California from 1967-75.

Reagan’s election as governor in 1966 was his first public office. During the 1964 presidential campaign he served as cochairman of California Republicans for Goldwater.

After defeating incumbent Democrat Governor Pat Brown with 58 percent of the vote, Governor Reagan went on to establish a conservative record in restricting the size and cost of state government.

Just as Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer inherited a huge budget deficit from Democrat Governor Janet Napolitano, Republican California Governor Ronald Reagan inherited a huge budget deficit from Democrat California Governor Pat Brown.

What did Reagan do, how did he handle the budget disaster he inherited from his Democrat predecessor. Reagan immediately ordered a hiring freeze of new state employees and then cut the state budget across the board by 10 percent.

The father of Reaganomics did something else that may come as a shock to the blind followers of Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform. Working with a cooperative state legislature, Reagan was able to obtain an increase of the state income tax together with welfare reform legislation that striped the less needy from the rolls and increased benefits for those that met higher eligibility requirements. By cutting expenses and increasing revenue, Reagan was able to close the budget deficit he inherited from his Democrat predecessor.

Fast forward 40 years and doesn’t that sound familiar? Isn’t that the same as what Conservative Republican Governor Jan Brewer is trying to do to solve Arizona’s budget problem, cut expenses and increase revenue? It seems that the only difference between what Reagan did and what Brewer is advocating is instead of raising the income tax, Arizona will cut the income tax to stimulate spending and temporarily increase the sales tax by one penny to increase revenue to help close the gap.

There is one important difference between Reagan and Brewer however, Reagan didn’t have uncooperative state senators like Pamela Gorman and Ron Gould obstructing solving his budget crisis, Brewer and Arizona does.

Bob Haran,
American Conservative Republican

———————————————————————————–

Wow, when faced with a crappy cirumstance, even Ronald Reagan had to turn to raising revenue to solve his budget hole.  Seriously, I get why people are anti-tax, but when will they see the writing on the wall?

Send the Healthcare Bus Packing

August 27, 2009

Hey, guess what?  The economy is still crappy and Arizona doesn’t have a budget fix.  Just thought everyone might need a reminder, now that the Democrat Healthcare Bus is in town.  Don’t know who is paying for the bus, but I hear its fueled by the tears of those condemned by the “Death Panels.”

Seriously, can we focus?  Hello?  We should be having townhalls on our own budget situation instead of these charades about Healthcare.  And if I see another tweet from Rep Sinema pimping the death of Kennedy to promote the healthcare bill, I am going to puke.

And by the way, seriously, a bus?  You think that all the concerns and the outrage are going to be fixed by a bus?  Is it a magical bus?  Does it transform into Optimus Prime to attack the protestors or something?

Quick, throw the Republicans under the bus!

Quick, throw the Republicans under the bus!

 The Dems shouldn’t be talking about healthcare when the budget is still on the table.  How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?!?

Countdown to September 5th

August 26, 2009

The legislature closed its special session yesterday, and now the Governor has 10 days to decide what she is going to do with the budget that has been placed before her.  That is 10 more days to “negotiate” which who knows what can really be done in that amount of time, considering that they have had since January and nothing has really changed. 

And despite claims that the Dems want bipartisanship, their demands for rainbows, unicorns, and the reinstatement of the property equalization tax seem unrealistic.

Meanwhile, Republicans aren’t getting along any better.  Gorman is front and center again, this time being criticized by the Chairman of the Party.  Now, the chairman is being attacked for saying anything.  See, again, people are only as good as their last statement.  In this case, the chairman, who was the former jewel of the conservatives, is now in the doghouse because he thinks a tax is necessary.  Heaven forbid he has an opinion!  And now, they are attacking him for making comments about the people who didn’t vote for the budget.

Let me get this straight, it’s okay for Republicans to attack eachother, call one another terrible names, and weaken the overall party, but it’s not okay for the chairman of that same party to share his opinion.  As they say, it’s his job to keep a Republican majority and work to keep Republicans in office.  In my mind, he is doing just that.

The old folks with kids who left school years ago could give two craps about education in this state, but there are a lot of people who do…. like, say, every Republican who has a kid in public school.  These are the people that are registering Independent everyday because they don’t feel like Republicans represent their needs.  In their mind, there are basic services that the Government provides – such as public safety and education.

When both take dramatic cuts, it’s hard for them not to want to fix the problem.  “Cut and cut some more” isn’t the solution they are looking for, and gee, perhaps they are willing to pay a little bit more in the short-term to help them in the long-term.  If that means a tax, well then, holy crap, maybe they should have a chance to vote on it.

When it comes down to it, the people criticizing Pullen, the people standing in the way of the tax and holding desperately to the “Republican Platform” are the people who know that if the tax goes to the voters, it’s going to pass. 

They can say all they want that it will go down in flames.  If that is the case, why not let it fail?  Then you can say, “I told you so” and you get to make all the cuts and no one can say boo because the “voters have spoken.”  What would be wrong with that?

So, put your money where your mouth is and figure out a budget deal before September 5th and while you are at it, let the voters have a voice in the process.  You have failed enough as it is and its time to allow us to take this into our own hands.

One more chance?

August 25, 2009

Come on team, let’s give it the ol’ college try one more time!  The Arizona Republic is encouraging the legislature to take one more shot at getting something on the ballot.  They’re talking about it, but hey, we know how that has gone in the past.

Meanwhile, SAT scores are slipping in Math and Writing.  Blame the teachers, the students, the administrators, illegals, whomever you want, but one thing is for certain, now is probably not the time for more massive cuts to schools.  Even if the Governor signs this budget, there is going to be a giant hole in it within a couple of months.  Then, it will be back to the drawing board to fill the gaps.

In case you haven’t noticed, things aren’t getting better around here.  In fact, I think Obama is hitting this healthcare thing with both barrels so people will stop talking about how crappy the economy is for a few minutes.  The government giving away billions to help people buy new cars is not going to bail out America.  In fact, how many dumbasses traded in their “clunkers” for new fancy cars whose car payment they can’t afford?  Can’t wait for the “Cash for Repos” government program that will be coming next.

Anyway, back to education.  Look, I am not an educator, nor do I claim to be one.  But, hey, America is already falling behind in the education of our students, and while the current system may not be ideal, it’s what we got.  So, instead of being self-righteous about how bad things are, we need to make sure we are doing whatever we can to make things better.  That being said, money for schools is a good thing.

Do I think that we should just pump money into schools with reckless abandon and hope for the best?  No.  I think that teachers and administrators can learn to do the best they can with what they got, within reason.  However, making dramatic cuts to education is not going to help this cause.

So yeah, maybe one more chance would be a good thing.  I just don’t know how anything has changed.

Same old song

August 24, 2009

We’ve heard this before.  The legislature is working hard to put a sales tax on the ballot.  And here’s another shocker, they are trying to get some Democratic support.  Why didn’t they think about this earlier?  What a strategy! 

Oh wait… that’s just what they have been trying to do all along.  And the Democrats don’t really care to help.  Plus, you really think that the Republicans are all that interested in referring a sales tax without all those cool breaks that they had slid in for businesses?

They still hope that they can get something done, but to borrow a line from Shawshank, “Hope is a dangerous thing.”

Gorman remains a big topic

August 24, 2009

Senator Pamela Gorman remained one of the big topics over the weekend, with another video launched aimed at changing her mind:

To which and the other recent attacks, Gorman has now responded.  The anti-sales tax crowd is in full force, cheering her on, because, really voters should only get a chance to decide on the stuff that they agree with.  Plus, they don’t trust the voters, because they may actually support the tax.  Go to hell, representative Democracy!   

Some other folks have also come to her defense, calling her akin to Sarah Palin, which I don’t know if I think is such a good thing.  The problem with Palin is not her beliefs or her principles.  It’s the fact that she is so easily defined. 

Look, Palin burst onto the scene and everyone thought she was great… until about 3 minutes after the first Tina Fey impression.  Then, Republicans were like “holy crap, we’re screwed.”  I know a lot of people who can’t look at Palin without thinking about Tina Fey.  Some thing goes for Gould, Gorman and the rest of the crazy gang.  They are so steadfastly and stubbornly married to their ideologies that they cannot see the forrest for the trees.  Forget compromise, they could debate the color of the sky for weeks at a time.

That is why parodies like @NotRonGould and @NotPamGorman are so hilarious.  These people are so one dimensional that their parodies hit almost too close to home.

What now?

August 21, 2009

Seven weeks later, the legislature returns the exact same budget back to the Governor.  The question now is, what happens next?  Will she veto it again?  Will she sign it this time?  Is there a different way this could end?

In some ways, this feels like a complete replay of what has happened once already.  The most disappointing part of all of this, is that no one has really moved off their original position.  The Governor wants to raise revenue to avoid cuts and the legislature is unwilling/unable to act.

No matter what happens next, I’m not sure anyone can be declared a winner.

Nothing says “spirit of cooperation” like trombones

August 20, 2009

So yesterday, I pointed out how the Democrats are saying they want a “bipartisan” budget, but really, they want the absolute opposite.  Sixteen press releases crapping all over the Governor should make people think otherwise.  Then, someone sent me this gem this morning:

Come on guys,  couldn’t you get the rights to the Benny Hill music?  Maybe have some of the legislators running around in fast motion. 

It’s not like this is an old video, either.  It is less than two weeks old.  How can you be genuine about wanting to work together and still putting stuff like this out?  Did you wear “Jan Brewer Sucks” tee-shirts into the negotiations as well?

This goes for everyone, you can’t say one thing and then do another.  When I read crap like this, it just kills me when they only say one side of the story.  I am going to list their timeline of what they say, along with what they really did in between the lines (in Red):

January 10 – Democrats skewer Brewer appointment

January 21 – Brewer takes office

January 26 – House Democrats propose budget solution to 2009 shortfall, call for bipartisan talks

February 1 – Democrats Criticize GOP cuts

February 4 – Dems criticize Brewer for going to Super Bowl

February 12 – Criticism of House Republicans

February 13 – Criticism of Brewer’s handing of Econmic crisis

February 24 – Attack on house Republicans for school funding

March 5 – Dems attack Brewer for “lacks a real plan”

March 24 –  Dems attack Governor for fundraiser

March 30 – House Democrats propose budget solution to 2010 shortfall, call for bipartisan talks

April 2 – Dems Criticize sales tax plan

April 4 – Dems attack Brewer’s efforts to educate the public

April 10 –  Dems claim Governor “did nothing” to avoid teacher layoffs

April 11 – Less than 2 weeks after wanting bipartisan talks, Dems start referring to the governor as “No Plan Jan”

April 25 – Dems criticize again, claiming “No Plan Jan” lets others do the talking

May 1 – Five days later House Democrats send a letter to Brewer urging her to call all 4 leadership teams to her office for bipartisan talks

May 2 – A day later, Dems attack Brewer saying she has “no clear plan

May 8 – Six days after that, Dems criticize Governor and staff for lack of action

May 9 – A day later, a total of nine days after asking for peace, Dems go after Republican Legislators calling them dishonest

May 28 – House and Senate Democrats release joint proposed budget solution to 2010 shortfall, call for bipartisan talks

June 1- Brewer releases her budget proposal for 2010. Democrats meet with her to be briefed.

June 3 – House Democrats send a letter to Brewer responding to her budget proposal and again, call for bipartisan talks

June 9 –  Dems attack Governor for holding hearing on her budget

June 15 – So much for negotiations, Dems announce opposition to Gov’s budget

June 17 – Dems denounce Republicans’ “failed Leadership”

June 24 – What’s a week without pointing out Republican “failed leadership?”

June 28 – For good measure, Dems claim that Republicans are “poisoning the well”

June 30 8:30 pm – Brewer calls House and Senate Dem leadership teams to her office to talk about a compromise (3.5 hours before deadline!). Talks end when Democrats urge Governor to call Republican leadership to join the discussion and she doesn’t bring them to her office.

July 2 –  Two days later, Dems place the blame for budget mess solely at the feet of Brewer despite meeting with her

July 2 – Two press releases in one day criticizing Brewer shows that they really didn’t cause this problem

July 4 – In case you didn’t know, the Dems think the budget mess is Brewer’s fault

July 23 – Oh, and unenemployment is Brewer’s fault too

August 5 – Dems launch video decrying Brewer’s “failure to lead”

August 11 -Six days later, House Democrats send another letter to Brewer urging her to call 5-party bipartisan talks.

 Somtimes it helps to read between the lines.