Tedski over at Rum, Romanism and Rebellion reported earlier this week that Congressman Raul Grijalva's appearance on The Colbert Report is scheduled to air Thursday, May 24. Hey, that's tomorrow! We'd tell you what time, but the midtown bureau's satellite dish gives us an East Coast feed of Comedy Central, so we don't know when it airs for all you normals out there.
Just like last week, the Arizona House of Representatives voted on a budget on Tuesday afternoon, past The Skinny's deadline. When the column appears online later today through the magic of technology, you'll be directed here for an update on the vote.
What does that mean? It's kinda like when Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow on Groundhog Dog: We've got six more weeks, more or less, of lawmaking ahead of us.
Basically, the return of the House budget puts the House and Senate into a staring match. As we've mentioned before, the Senate budget is heavier on the social spending and lighter on the tax cuts than the House budget. The Senate budget has something else going for it: Gov. Janet Napolitano has said she'd sign it. We doubt that holds true for the House budget.
We feel kinda sorry for the members of the Senate and the Democrats in the House. But we've got little sympathy for the 31 Republicans who voted for the House budget out of misplaced loyalty to the speaker. They've only got themselves to blame as the session drags on and on and on ...
Rasmussen Reports has some interesting survey numbers regarding illegal immigration. The polling firm notes that 56 percent of adults surveyed support an enforcement-only approach to securing the border. More than six out of 10 people would support hiring 6,000 more Border Patrol agents, while 43 percent say they'd support hiring 100,000 more BP agents.
Support was significantly lower when people were asked whether they supported a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally combined with more border security. Just 42 percent said yes, while 44 percent were opposed.
The polling firm also noted that President George W. Bush was sinking to his lowest ratings ever. As the report notes:
Each time immigration reform dominates the news. President Bush’s Job Approval ratings tumble to new lows. Last week, a much-heralded agreement on “comprehensive” immigration reform was announced. By Saturday, the President’s Job Approval had fallen to 34. Just as important, the number who Strongly Approve of the President’s performance dipped to 13%. Both figures are the lowest ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports.
Overall, it is the War in Iraq that has hurt the President the most. However, immigration adds to the downward pressure on his numbers in a unique way—immigration costs the President support among his base. Today, as the immigration debate formally begins in Congress, just 68% of Republicans give the President their Approval.
Fresh from his blow-out with Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. John McCain went all Looney Tunes on Mitt Romney over the former Massachusetts governor's criticism of the Senate's immigration-reform package.
From the AP report:
Republican John McCain accused presidential rival Mitt Romney of flip-flopping on immigration Monday and said with sarcasm: "Maybe his solution will be to get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn."
It's a pretty funny line for those who have followed Mitt's campaign. As AP reporter Liz Sidoti explains later in the piece:
Romney has faced criticism for calling himself a lifelong hunter even though he joined the National Rifle Association in August and officials in four states where he has lived said he never took out a hunting license. Defending himself, he said in April, "I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter, small varmints, if you will."
Also, The Boston Globe reported late last year that several illegal immigrants, including at least one from Guatemala, worked at the lawn care company that worked on Romney's two-and-a-half acre property in a Boston suburb for a decade. His aides have said that Romney was not aware of the workers' status, and that the owner was in the country legally.
A rodent and rabbit hunter? OK, Elmer Fudd: Best of luck getting that scwewy wabbit this season!
Arizona GOP Chairman Randy Pullen says the party base is incensed over a U.S. Senate compromise bill, drafted in part by Sen. Jon Kyl, according to the Arizona Daily Star:
"We have people coming in every day, tearing up their registration cards and throwing them on the floor, or coming in and changing their registration from Republican to independent," said party Chairman Randy Pullen during a press conference at the state headquarters in Phoenix.
Pullen held up what he called a "graphic" representation of how Republicans feel. It was a drawing of a hand with the middle finger pointing up and highlighted.
"This is basically the outlook that many of our party faithful are feeling right now about the Republican Party," he said.
First, if that's Pullen's idea of a "graphic" representation, then maybe he shouldn't leave home after dark anymore. Graphic to me is more akin to a lifelike illustration of someone spewing forth chunky vomit. (Wouldn't that have made a more memorable representation of how Republicans feel? They're "sick to their stomachs" over this immigration bill, Pullen could have said. Ha ha.) A drawing of a hand flipping the bird? Please, girl--I see that kind of stuff bandied about on the drive to work.
Second, reporter Daniel Scarpinato's tasteful choice of language reminded me of an article in The New York Times on Rosie O'Donnell's departure from The View, in which Donald Trump described how Rosie finally sent him over the edge:
He contended that “the straw that broke the camel’s back” was Ms. O’Donnell’s performance at the Waldorf-Astoria luncheon on Monday, where she was said to have grabbed her crotch when uttering Mr. Trump’s name and to have invited him to perform a sex act on her; also attending were Ms. Walters, Meredith Vieira, Cindy Adams and Rupert Murdoch.
My roommate and I had a brief discussion about how funny it would have been if Rosie had actually grabbed her crotch and said, "Donald, I invite you to perform a sex act on me." Thank God for alt-weeklies. It's nice being able to read the unsanitized versions of what people actually said.
The Washington Post reports that Arizona Sen. John McCain got pretty hot during a debate with Texas Sen. John Cornyn on the immigration reform package:
Things got really heated when Cornyn accused McCain of being too busy campaigning for president to take part in the negotiations, which have gone on for months behind closed doors. "Wait a second here," Cornyn said to McCain. "I've been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You're out of line."
McCain, a former Navy pilot, then used language more accustomed to sailors (not to mention the current vice president, who made news a few years back after a verbal encounter with Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont).
"[Expletive] you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room," shouted McCain at Cornyn. McCain helped craft a bill in 2006 that passed the Senate but couldn't be compromised with a House bill that was much tougher on illegal immigrants.
In what is an unprecedented moment in history, former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter is lashing out, saying the Bush administration is the worst in history.
(It's about time!)
Tucson Weekly editorial designer Arek Sarkissian II has left the building. Arek is off to the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg to sharpen his journalism skills so he can follow his bliss and get back to being a reporter.
Arek and I spent his last night in town wolfing down heavy-duty burgers at Kingfisher before heading over to the Loft Cinema for the late-night showing of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, one of his favorite flicks. The movie is a lot like Arek--a non-stop barrage of comedy. It's often low-brow and idiotic, but it comes at you so fast that you can't help but laugh, at least most of the time. I'm going to miss his outrageous jokes, his impersonations, his odd little songs and his general mistrust of authority. Best of luck, you little lunatic!
P.S. Naked Gun is showing again tonight at 10. Go see it!