Election Day presents a mixed bag

November 4, 2009

The elections yesterday provided a big ol’ mixed bag of results which is going to send everyone back to their respective corners trying to prove how these elections fell somehow in their favor.

Republicans had two big wins last night in hotly contested races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey.  However, Republican infighting allowed a Democrat to win the hotly contested New York Congressional seat that conservatives were hoping to capture.

It was perfectly set up to be a big time referendum on Obama,  which is still the big conservative spin today, but there seems to be more to it.  Exurban League has a noble thought, apparently, competency matters.

When it comes down to it, things remain broken, and the voters are continuing to punish those who refuse to fix it.  People were mad at Republicans for not getting the job done in 2006 and 2008 – now, it 2009 and perhaps 2010, it’s the Democrats’ turn to take the heat.

This is more about competence than rhetoric.  Will Arizona be more like Virginia and New Jersey or will it end up more like New York?  Could Arizona end up ushering Democrats in, while the rest of the country throws them out?

Another “Fix it” list

October 30, 2009

It’s been awhile since I have put together a list of things that need to be fixed.  Since the budget is going to continue to crawl along, I thought I would point out a few more things that need fixing:

AzCentral
I understand that the newspaper industry is huring, but netflix pop-unders and defaulting the Republic tab to a subscription page for the paper is lame.  They are very inconvenient and neither make me want to spend more money.  Seriously, guys, pop-unders?  What is this, 1994?

Sweat Lodge Guy
Now the sweat lodge guru is saying that he is going to cancel the rest of his upcoming seminars.  He says it is so he can focus on the deaths.  How much do you want to be that it has more to do with people asking for their money back from the guru who kills people.  Just a thought.  If we’re going to charge this guy, let’s get it done.

Name Calling
From “teabagger” to RINO, namecalling doesn’t have a real place in political discourse.  In this ultra-partisan world we live in, it’s so much easier to categorize a person you disagree with and ignore them instead of taking the time to listen to what they have to say.  This is especially true in the Republican on Republican attacks where two people can agree on 95% of issues, but go for the jugular over a single disagreement.

The Phoenix Coyotes (STILL)
Now the team is off to a great start and they finally have a coach who seems to care, but the question remains:  are they staying or going?  Will the judge approve the NHL purchase of the team, and is there a buyer out there willing to keep them in Phoenix?  Winning is a good way to bring back fans, but everyone will remail leery if the ownership issue isn’t resolved.

Fore – Obama’s apparent love of ASU and golf

October 26, 2009

So did anyone catch the ASU game over the weekend?  The game wasn’t all that great, especially since Stanford smacked down the Devils, but I do have to say that there was one thing that caught my eye. 

Have you seen the ASU commercial with Obama’s commencement speech in it?  It contains a bunch of images of ASU and the great things they are doing interspersed with clips from Obama’s commencement speech. 

It is downright ridiculous.  First, it makes it sound like ASU is Obama’s school of choice, which is ironic since they refused to give him an honorary degree.  Second, it might as well have been a campaign commercial with the sappy music and the emotional undertones.  Finally, now we know that Obama only keeps coming out to Arizona, because he likes to golf… a lot.

It looks like ASU has fallen into the same trap as many others have – slap the President’s face on your product, and hope it sells.  Newsweek and the other news magazines seem to be following that mantra, along with the talk shows and gossip mags.  Heck, even the commermorative plates at Walgreens have gotten in on the act.  ASU’s has been the boldest so far, turning a usually benign obligatory college commercial that comes as part of the deal in a football broadcast and turning it into a pseudo-campaign commercial.

The blame game continues

October 26, 2009

Last week, Espresso Pundit wrote a very interesting piece on the budget and how the Democrats are now warming to some sort of tax on the ballot.  Where were they months ago?  The comments that ensued reminded me of the Democrat call for “bipartisanship” which was accompanied by 16 releases critical of the Governor and 7 releases critical of the GOP.

Republicans, Democrats, everyone is to blame for this mess, but it appears that the Democratic interests are trying harder than ever to win the blame game.  The Arizona Republic has taken to teeing off on the legislature the past couple of days, taking shots at the defunding of the SCF, and now taking aim at the legislature trying to place the university tuition hikes at their feet.

In both cases, the Republic is arguing that the legislature is not acting in the best long term interests of the state.  The budget mess still reigns supreme and as long as it does, it is going to be easier and easier for people to place the blame at the feet of the legislature.  And in case you live under a rock, the Republicans are in control of both the House and Senate. 

So, basically, as long as nothing gets fixed, the Democrats will continue to hold up their hands and say “we tried” and the Republicans will continue to take the heat.  Any chance to say otherwise will be met with the continued denial by Democrats that they had anything to do with causing the problem or standing on the sidelines refusing to fix it.

Danger, Arizona, Danger

October 23, 2009

The budget hole has deepened again.  This time it’s down another $500 million, so we are now faced with a $2 billion shortfall.

Danger, Arizona, Danger!

Danger, Arizona, Danger!

So what do we do?  From the sounds of it, all of the same old plans are going to be dragged out and placed on the table yet again.  What has changed?  If there hasn’t been the will to do them before now, how’s this budget hole any different than the last one?  Is it that they are finally out of gimmicks?  Is the credit card finally maxed and equity exhausted?

We know that something needs to be done.  Are there enough people who agree on what should be done to actually make something happen?  Our hole continues to get deeper while we all stand around and wait.  Is it taxes?  Is it cuts?  Just tell us what you are going to do and how it is going to impact us so we can make our decisions on your job at the ballot box. 

Do your job and we’ll do the job performance review accordingly.

Let the Rumpus Begin!

October 23, 2009
Pretty much says it all

Pretty much says it all

Something to sweat about

October 22, 2009

Yet another account of this sweat lodge debacle has come to light, and from the looks of it, the guru is the person to blame.  Furthermore, he isn’t really cooperating.

Well, at $9,000 bucks a person, spiritual guru James Arthur Ray does have something to sweat about – leaving all that sweet moolah behind when he goes to jail.  Plus, if he does happen to go free, who in their right mind would ever go to this guy again?  How spiritual are you when you have no idea that people are dying and going into critical condition all around you?

This is yet another blow for tourism in Arizona.  Between guns in Phoenix causing travelguide panic and sweatlodge deaths in Sedona, we have been hit with a string of bad news that can only harm our already weakend tourism economy.  We depend on a lot of tourism dollars to keep our economy afloat, especially while home prices and construction are in the tank.

Arizona needs some focus on some good news, and also make sure that people know that these types of snakeoil salesman aren’t welcome to operate in Arizona.

How high?

October 20, 2009

Which is higher – the balloon from the balloon boy saga or the White House folks who came up with the latest regarding easing up on Medical marijuana?

Either way, once again, our national ADD has been triggered and now we can move on to focusing on something else besides any of the major issues of the day.  Plop us down in front of the boob tube and let us zone out!

Meanwhile, tech exports are down, meaning fewer jobs and probably making the recovery tougher.  Also, the state is pondering major cuts that would hurt more than 10,000 poor families and 1,600 domestic abuse victims.

But, see, it’s okay, because the cuts won’t be that bad because we can still try to borrow against the lottery or rolling over the problem yet again.  Yeah, see, when it comes down to it, people say they want cuts, but when the cuts are bad, they back off and say, “oh wait, we didn’t want THAT many cuts.”  Where is all the belt tightening now?

Oh, that’s right.  People can behave like this because no one is paying attention.  There is a fame hungry family on the loose and some old guy who wants to smoke pot to feel better.  They must be stopped…To the BATCAVE!

Quality jobs town hall

October 19, 2009

The Republic is hosting a town hall today at 11:30 to talk about Quality jobs.  Since its hosted by Robert Robb and someone from the Goldwater Institute, just a guess here, but it’s going to have a lot to do with reducing the size and reach of government.  They will probably talk a lot about taxes too… my bet is that the property tax rant will be a doozie.

What they will likely miss, however, is the fact that quality jobs and employers looking to relocate their companies probably take several other factors into account when deciding where to move.  There is this wacky concept called quality of life, people want to move to a place that has quality education, amenities, public safety, etc. 

I wonder how excited quality employers will be to locate in a community where 11,000 prisoners could be released early and 570 public safety officers could be laid off.

Outta tha way, numbskulls

October 15, 2009

Ever see an old Three Stooges episode where Larry, Curly, and Moe try to walk through the door at the same time?  They all get stuck, back up, fight a little, and then do the same thing again?  Eventually, they force their way through the door, and tumble to the ground.  Why do I bring this up, you ask.  Well, that is what I think about when I look around and see Republicans lining up to attack each other in the upcoming elections.

Now, I think that everyone should have the right to try for any office they choose.  It’s just so hard to think of the Republican party as inclusionary when so many people are just dying to beat each other up.

Look at the U.S. Senate race, people are practically begging J.D. Hayworth to jump into a Primary with John McCain.  Another “tough on immigration” candidate is also already in the race.  Pay no mind to the fact that McCain was on television and everywhere 24/7 for the past 12 months, a nice fight is just the thing to keep the senate race interesting.  Heaven forbid that Arizona is represented by someone who has some “moderate” ideas.

Look at the Governor’s race, the Republicans are trying their darndest to hand over the race to Terry Goddard, who looks like he might be uncontested.  Meanwhile, on the Republican side, there are already a handful of candidates in the race and a few more who are thinking about it.  The Battle Royale that will ensue is going to be nasty, not to mention the fact that everyone keeps invoking Goddard’s name, saying that they are the only one who can beat him.  Sounds like Goddard will be able to continue to do nothing and be popular and let the Republicans talk about how great and popular he is.

In the Congressional races, there are three Republicans battling it out in District 1, and I don’t know how many in District 5, but its already shaping up to be as bad as two years ago, and maybe even uglier, with nasty things like poking fun at weight issues.  I don’t know how the “nasty in-fighting” is going to translate into taking back either of those congressional seats. 

This isn’t even mentioning how many Republicans will take aim at each other in legislative primaries and other races.  I get that Arizona is a Republican leaning state, but it seems like some of this infighting is why their advantage isn’t as big as it used to be.

While the rest of the nation rebounds from the Obama effect, Arizona might buck the national trend, yet again.  This time ushering Democrats in, while the rest of the country throws them out.