It turns out that Sen. John McCain was never a maverick. Sheriff Joe Arpaio hasn't read the book that he wrote. And Gov. Jan Brewer has did what was right for Arizona.
Ah, 2010—another big lunge toward the Apocalypse, lubricated by the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Considering all that we've read over the last year—from the headlines in the morning daily to the far reaches of the World Wide Web—how can we not gush?
At a July debate in Green Valley, Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly suggested dropping “the mother of all bombs—the largest non-nuclear device” on BP’s leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Twitter User Posts as Shark Eats Tourists”
The Associated Press reported that UA researcher Terrence Monks received a $1.7 million grant to study the long-term effects of the party-drug ecstasy, also known as the “hug drug.”
“Calif. Marriage Trial Draws Friends With Briefs”
—The Associated Press
During her successful gubernatorial campaign, Jan Brewer told Fox News that there had been beheadings in Arizona’s borderlands, and then repeated the claim to a Phoenix TV station, saying, “Oh, our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there, that have been beheaded.”
But neither Brewer nor anyone else could produce proof of the claim.
Gov. Jan Brewer lost her train of thought during her opening statement in the one and only gubernatorial debate with Democrat Terry Goddard, before closing with a confused: “We have did what is right for Arizona.”
Department of Public Safety officers responding to a 1988 car crash involving then-state Sen. Jan Brewer believed the future Arizona governor was drunk, The Arizona Republic reported.
After rear-ending a van, officers found Brewer—who has long advocated tougher penalties for driving drunk—unsteady on her feet and smelling of alcohol. She also failed a field-sobriety test, but was never charged with DUI.
In a series of incriminating e-mails, convicted hit-man Ronald Young complained to Pamela Phillips, his alleged conspirator, that she wasn’t sending him enough money for his role in the 1996 bomb killing of Gary Triano. In one reported e-mail, Young told Phillips he knew she was still a suspect in the case because it was reported in the Tucson Weekly.
State Sen. Al Melvin ordered an Oro Valley diner owner to stop allowing customers to pick up copies of the Tucson Weekly there, because he felt the paper was too liberal. When she refused, the Republican lawmaker stormed out of the restaurant and said he’d never be back.
“Obama Twitter Account ‘Hacked by Frenchman’”
In a deposition, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio admitted he hadn’t read sections of Joe’s Law: America’s Toughest Sheriff Takes on Illegal Immigration, Drugs and Everything Else That Threatens America, a book he allegedly co-authored.
“TUSD Is Investigating How Student Fell Out of Moving School Bus”
—Arizona Daily Star
“Bat Fellatio Causes a Scandal in Academia”
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu talked about illegal immigration and drug-smuggling on a Tennessee-based radio program, The Political Cesspool, which veers in its far-right ideology toward white power. Babeu later said he regretted doing the interview and had no idea about the show’s leanings.
In his book The Politician, Andrew Young, a former aide to presidential candidate John Edwards, recounted a conversation with the late Ted Kennedy, in which the Massachusetts senator waxed sentimental about Washington in the early 1960s: “It used to be civilized. The media was on our side. We got our work done by one o’clock, and by two, we were at the White House chasing women. We got the job done, and the reporters focused on the issues. ... It was civilized.”
Failed U.S. Senate candidate Rodney Glassman’s 2005 UA doctoral dissertation contained passages copied verbatim from previously published works. Glassman said the unattributed passages didn’t constitute plagiarism because of the way they were used, and his work was approved by a committee of tenured researchers.
Rodney Glassman produced a four-minute music video for his U.S. Senate campaign attacking John McCain while singing a paraphrased version of “Sweet Home Alabama.” Sang Glassman: “Sweet Home Arizona / Where the skies are so blue / Sweet Home Arizona / John, it’s time to retire you.”
Speaking about full-body security scans at airports, Democratic strategist James Carville said, “Let me buy a (security) pass ... so that they can scan me and search me and measure my penis, then let me get on the plane.”
“Boner From ‘Growing Pains’ Still Missing in Vancouver”
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl blasted the Republican National Committee after it was revealed that young staffers spent nearly $2,000 for a night at a sex-themed Hollywood nightclub. “This kind of thing has got to stop, or they won’t get any contributions,” said Kyl.
Singer Julio Iglesias told an audience in Uruguay that when he last performed there, at age 24, he was like a rabbit sexually, saying he “couldn’t go on stage to sing if I didn’t make love first.” But the singer, now 67, added, “I gave that up completely 15 years ago.”
Rielle Hunter, mistress of former presidential candidate John Edwards, told GQ magazine that on their first night together, Edwards told her, “Falling in love with you could really (expletive) up my plans for becoming president.”
The voters of Congressional District 7 narrowly re-elected Raul Grijalva after the congressman, upset over passage of SB 1070, called for a business boycott of Arizona.
After pleading guilty to drunk driving, former city manager Mike Hein issued a statement through his lawyer, saying it’s never OK to get behind the wheel after drinking. Hein also “hopes that some good may come from this by people realizing that it can happen to anyone.”
Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly declared his support for a flat tax of 10 percent on income for every American.
“If 10 percent is good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for the federal government,” Kelly said.
“Woman Pleads to Rat in Meal”
—Beloit (Wis.) Daily News
Sen. John McCain told a Newsweek reporter: “I never considered myself a maverick.”
Arizona spent $1.25 million in federal money to build 41 rope bridges to allow endangered red squirrels on Mount Graham to get around their habitat without being menaced by passing cars, and to study their health. Cars kill about five squirrels a year. With only 250 squirrels in existence, the price tag comes out to $5,000 per animal.
During a meeting on downtown redevelopment, Mayor Bob Walkup suggested the corner of Congress Street and Toole Avenue was “the hottest entertainment spot in the country.”
Researchers at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff discovered they can stop bark beetles from chewing through millions of acres of Western pine forests by exposing them to digitally altered recordings of their own calls. Scientists say acoustic sounds make the critters uncomfortable and give them a desire to flee the area. Forest entomologist Richard Hofstetter nicknamed his experiment “beetle mania.”
“Neo-Nazi Couple Find Out They’re Jewish”
A 25-year-old Florida man claimed that the cocaine allegedly hidden between his butt cheeks was not his. After stopping Raymond Stanley Roberts for speeding and smelling of marijuana, sheriff’s deputies found a bag of weed stuck in Roberts’ bum. Officers then discovered another bag containing cocaine in the very same orifice.
After hearing from angry citizens at a public meeting, the Tucson City Council voted to kill a much-debated and much-delayed plan to build a $190 million downtown convention center hotel, a centerpiece of the painfully mismanaged Rio Nuevo project.
Andy Goss, a failed Republican candidate for Southern Arizona’s Congressional District 8, proposed cutting legislators’ salaries 40 percent and using the savings to build barracks on Capitol Hill. All senators and representatives would be required to live in this fraternity-style housing.
State Sen. Frank Antenori told an Arizona Capitol Times reporter that as a Special Forces veteran, he opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“I can’t even tell you how many times I was spooning with some other guy on the side of a mountain under a poncho in fricking Pakistan in the middle of fricking winter freezing my ass off,” Antenori said. “I would not want to say, ‘Is that your pistol that’s sticking me in my back?’”
“Dead Body Found in Cemetery”
—News-Courier (Athens, Ala.)
As Gabrielle Giffords proposed naming a post office after former Congressman Jim Kolbe to her colleagues in Congress, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, thinking Kolbe had died, rose to issue a tribute to his old colleague. Learning Kolbe was still alive, Hoyer said, “Oh. You’re naming a post office? I withdraw my remarks.”
A drug-smuggler wearing a wetsuit, scuba tank and mask tried to smuggle marijuana into the United States from Mexico through waist-high sewer water in Douglas. When the smuggler spotted Border Patrol approaching, he abandoned the bundles and waded through the poo water back to Mexico.
Former UA football star Chuck Cecil, now defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, received a $40,000 fine from the NFL for giving officials the finger during a game against the Denver Broncos.
The UA graduated only 65 percent of its student-athletes, the lowest percentage among six major athletic conferences. The national graduation rate is 79 percent.
“CNN’s Larry King Says He’s Ending Show”
—The Associated Press
Tucson’s La Fiesta de los Vaqueros parade can no longer call itself the world’s largest non-mechanized parade. Our 85-year-old procession lost the prized designation to a summer festival in Sri Lanka called Esala Perahera. Local wag James “Big Jim” Griffith remarked that we’re still “the longest non-mechanized parade without elephants.”
Defeated City Councilwoman Nina Trasoff signed on to host a radio program for Pima Community College, touting the school’s opportunities. At a time of tight education budgets, Trasoff was allowed to bill the school for her work at $100 an hour.
“Man Bites Off Cop’s Nipple”
“Arizona Restaurant Serving Lion Burgers”
A 20-year-old Willcox man was arrested by customs officials in Douglas when they noticed a suspicious bulge under his clothes. A search revealed that Trinidad Vega Jr. had an AK-47 strapped to his body. Vega had bought the weapon in Tombstone and was smuggling it into Mexico for sale.
Golfer Mark Calcavecchia said that following Tiger Woods’ sex scandal involving multiple women, he couldn’t trade text messages with Tiger, because the embattled golfer changed his cell number five times in a year. “The last time he did, I said, ‘Man, you change phone numbers more than I change underwear,’” said Calcavecchia.
New Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and three other justices voted to delay the execution of Arizona inmate Jeffrey Landrigan, saying the lethal-injection potion to be used wasn’t safe. Landrigan was executed in October.
After Arizona prison officials provided California with a drug needed to execute a man, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Undersecretary Scott Kernan e-mailed a thank-you note that read: “You guys in AZ are life savers.”
A Tucson man filed a lawsuit against University Medical Center, claiming a surgeon performed the unauthorized removal of one of his testicles in May 2007. Kenneth Irby alleges the surgeon was supposed to do a biopsy on the testicle, and only remove it if cancerous.
Believing literature can improve civic life, Shannon Cain said she would use the comment period during Tucson City Council meetings to read from her novel, an unpublished, 100,000-word tome. Cain said she would use her time each week to describe life in Tucson.
Target, a heroic dog that alerted U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan to a suicide-bomber threat, was accidentally put to sleep at a Pinal County animal shelter after she escaped from the yard of a war vet who had adopted her and brought her back to the states.
Dave Locke spent a night sleeping on the sidewalk outside of a 99¢ Only Store on Oracle Road, hoping to buy a high-def TV for 99 cents. But Locke was disqualified from the promotion when he blabbed to a store manager that he’d won a TV at a previous store opening in 2004. Locke got store coupons instead.
“Drunk Pregnant Woman Arrested After Trying to Rob a Taco Johns With a Hammer”
—WEAU-TV (Eau Claire, Wis.)
A book on Oprah Winfrey revealed that while working in local news in Nashville, Tenn., in the 1970s, she dated new-age musician and former Entertainment Tonight anchor John Tesh. But Tesh abruptly ended the relationship one night when he noticed their contrasting skin colors and couldn’t handle being in an interracial relationship.
“Flushing: A Look Back”
—Flint (Mich.) Journal
A 43-inch-tall Great Dane from Tucson named Giant George appeared on the Oprah Show after capturing Guinness World Records titles for the Tallest Dog and the Tallest Dog Ever. Dave Nasser, the dog’s master, told the Arizona Daily Star that Oprah’s people said that George was a bigger star “than if Brad Pitt were to come in the house.”
“Will Robinson Sex Scandal Break Northern Ireland Peace?”
While calling for a boycott of Arizona over SB 1070, Milwaukee County supervisor Peggy West said such a law might be needed in Texas, which is “directly on the border with Mexico.” But she said it’s unnecessary in Arizona, which is “a ways removed from the border” and doesn’t have “a major issue with undocumented people flooding their border.”
“Mouse Sleeps With Scientist, Scientist Thrilled”
Fearing a safety issue could develop should cramped passengers need to evacuate, Southwest Airlines booted actor/director Kevin Smith off a flight for being too fat to fit comfortably in one seat. Claiming he was profiled, Smith said he saw another passenger even chunkier than him on the same flight, “but I wasn’t about to throw a fellow fatty under the plane.”
Smith tweeted that the airline “fucked with the wrong sedentary processed-foods eater!”