Friday, February 25, 2011

The Next Target: Obama

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 1:39 PM

TPM reports the latest from Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia, who apparently couldn't find it in him to condemn the idea of gunning down the president of the United States when a constituent asked him "Who's going to shot Obama?" at a town hall this week:

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) said in a statement Friday that he was "stunned" when an elderly man asked what he called the "abhorrent question 'Who's going to shoot Obama?'"

"I deeply regret that this incident happened at all," Broun said in a statement. "Furthermore, I condemn all statements — made in sincerity or jest — that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the President of the United States or any other public official. Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated."

Broun also said his office "took action with the appropriate authorities."

Broun said that he "was stunned by the question and chose not to dignify it with a response; therefore, at that moment I moved on to the next person with a question."

But two witnesses told TPM that Broun chuckled along with the crowd when the elderly man asked the question. And a report said that Broun didn't immediately move on but rather responded to the question by stating that "there's a lot of frustration with this president."

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Killing Clean Elections: "No Taxpayer Subsidies for Political Campaigns Act" Advances

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 1:26 PM

The "No Taxpayer Subsidies for Political Campaigns Act,” which would ask voters to ban the spending of public money on political campaigns, is close to clearing the Senate floor. It's a back-door way of killing Clean Elections by blocking the distribution of dollars to candidates and sweeping the funds back into the general fund.

Lauren Gambino with Cronkite News Service has more details at the East Valley Trib, including this argument from Clean Election's Todd Lang:

Lang argued against the bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointing out that seven of the eight committee members had used Clean Elections money to fund their campaigns at some point during their careers.

“The door was opened for you through Clean Elections. Don’t close the door for others,” Lang said in his testimony. “Allow other folks to run, allow other folks to get their ideas out there into the marketplace of ideas and allow other folks to join the Legislature.”

Todd, you probably shouldn't take credit for creating the current crop of clowns masquerading as lawmakers. It's Exhibit A of why we think Clean Elections has been an utter disaster for the state.

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Mystifying Quote of the Day

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Senator Russell Pearce in the Arizona Republic on the Supreme Court's 1982 decision Plyler vs. Doe, which addressed a Texas statute that prohibited public education funding for illegal aliens:

"It's not the law of the land when a Supreme Court issues a bad decision," Pearce said. "It's to be challenged and overturned."

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When Russell Pearce Doesn't Like the Rules, He Changes the Rules

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 11:30 AM

From Random Musings, just add this to a list of strange things that have happened in what will likely be seen as a historic and bizarre week in the Arizona Legislature. In the Senate Judiciary Committee, immigration bills proposed by Russell Pearce were having trouble getting out of committee because Sens. Adam Driggs and John McComish were siding with Democrats. So...

Given that the committee had eight members, that meant the best possible outcome for the measures was failure on a 4 - 4 tie vote. A measure needs five out of eight members to support it in order for it to go forward.

Note the use of the past tense "had" in the last sentence.

Pearce could have simply removed Driggs or McComish, or both, from the committee. That's his privilege as Senate President.

However, internal politics make such a peremptory move problematical - McComish and Driggs are both incredibly conservative and cannot be attacked as "RINOs". In addition, McComish was Pearce's chief rival for the Senate presidency, and arbitrarily removing him from a committee could smack of unwarranted retribution. Pearce's position atop the Senate pecking order, while not exactly "tenuous," is based in no small part on a promise to complete the budget before pushing through his pet anti-immigrant bills.

A promise that he has thoroughly broken.

So he has now done the next best thing - he has simply added another, more pliable, member to the committee, bringing its membership count to nine.

Wednesday, he added Sen. Scott Bundgaard to the committee without removing anyone else.

By handling things in this manner, Pearce kept the number of votes necessary to pass a bill at "five" but also was able to add a fifth reliable vote to the committee. He also was able to bring the committee back under control without appearing to be vindictive (he may, in fact, *be* vindictive, but this doesn't make him *look* that way).

So, maybe this is a little too optimistic, but at some point will the sane Republicans get sick of these tricks? What about the House? You'd think the Republican senators would be a little irritated that Pearce lied to get the President gig, but who knows?

[Random Musings/Blog for Arizona]

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Sierra Club: "No Good News" at Arizona Legislature

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club delivers her weekly bulletin recapping the week at the Legislature from the environmental perspective:

Hello all! There was no good news at 1700 West Washington this week — on anything. In the environmental realm, they continued the march backward to the 19th Century by advancing bills to ignore federal laws (keep the cash coming, but hold the clean air and clean water requirements), oppose endangered species protections, and to condemn federal public lands. Senator Jackson added an amendment to the bill that said this condemnation authority does not apply to Native American lands. Interpreted broadly, I do think that would mean the bill would not apply to any lands in Arizona.

Also advancing in the Senate was the “Big Bad Wolf” measure, the “We don’t need no stinking Clean Water” bill, and yes, the “License to Pollute.” You will be pleased to know that Senator Smith — not really a “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” type — added an amendment on SB1393 to try and limit regulation of particulate emissions. Apparently he thinks we have too much clean air.

Please plan to come for Environmental Day at the Capitol. Meet legislators and advocates and hear more about what is happening at the legislature and beyond. We are focusing on Protecting Arizona’s Environment — the next 100 years, as a lead up to Arizona’s centennial next year. We will be gathering on the Senate lawn at the State Capitol on Tuesday, March 8th from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Let us know if you are coming and plan to meet with your legislators that day. We will have a brief program, displays, and cookies and lemonade.

Please take this opportunity to contact your senators one more time on the following bills. After this week, they will likely be over in the House. Also, contact House members on the anti-wolf message. It is always helpful to call, when you can, to establish a relationship with your legislators, but feel free to use the easy email links too.

Help Protect Wolves and Other Endangered Species! Ask your senator to vote no on SB1392 and SB1395. Click on Protect Wolves and other Endangered Species to s

Continue reading »

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Finally, Cartoon Eroticism Comes to the Wii

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 10:50 AM

It appears that We Dare, the video game for soft swingers, is going to only be offered in Europe for now, which is a shame, since the people in the ad seem to be having such an authentically entertaining time. I guess Americans are stuck with strip Mario Kart for now. Bummer.

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GQ Provides an Oral History of the Tucson Shootings

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM

While I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to voluntarily read or hear anything else connected to the events of January 8th at this point, this month's GQ has an interesting oral history of that happened, as told by some of the heroes of that morning: Daniel Hernandez, Patricia Maisch, and Bill Badger.

Hernandez: Originally we were going to be airlifted to University Medical Center. However, I saw that there was an ambulance there. I said, "What's the ETA on the air evac?" They didn't respond, probably because they didn't know. I took that as too long. I said, "She's number one priority. We need to get her out of here—now." They put her on a board. They told me, "We don't want you to go in the ambulance. There's no room." I said, "You'd better make room." On the way, I continued to talk to her. I told her, "I'm on the phone right now trying to get ahold of Mark"—her husband—"and your mom and dad here in Tucson. Do you understand that?" Especially when I mentioned her parents and Mark, she squeezed extra tight.

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A Japanese Cat in a Difficult Box

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Oh, Maru. That box is just too much for you.

[Daily What]

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