And so it begins….

November 24, 2008

Fear mongering at its best

The daily has been on a constant roll extolling the wonders of the likelihood of Gov. Napolitano’s appointment to the Obama Cabinet as Secretary of Homeland Security. Yet the underlying fear of what lies ahead with an accomplished Republican Governor Jan Brewer replacing Democrat Napolitano is palpable. Couple that prospect with the certainty of a Republican majority in both chambers of the state legislature, and you’ve got an acute case of Dem terror.

Today we are treated to a spate of dismay within the education community implying that a change in leadership will ensure illiteracy and lowered educational standards. After all, as the daily tells us Napolitano’s time in office enhanced her reputation as the “Education Governor.”

The newspaper does admit that despite her efforts….she will leave the state still nearly last in the country for K-12 funding, with a high-school graduation rate of 70 percent and state universities burdened with students unprepared for college work  

But, according to the opening line of the article, Napolitano did give about a million Arizona elementary school children a free storybook.

That they may never be able to read and comprehend it, is beside the point.

(This brief article from the Goldwater Institute is topical.)

List of new committees, chairs for upcoming legislative session

November 24, 2008

The complete list of Arizona House and Senate committee chairmanships is available. The Arizona Capitol Times has provided a fine service with their overview and introductory bios of the new leadership.

An examination of who will run committees shows a shift in priorities for both chambers and potential contrast in the governing style of Senate President-elect Bob Burns and House Speaker-elect Kirk Adams, according to the report.

For all of the hardcore politicos out there, we recommend acquainting yourself with this information.

Interesting take on the news

November 23, 2008

Border Patrol agents locate 2 tunnels under Nogales

From the Arizona Republic:  U.S. Border Patrol agents have discovered two tunnels in Nogales that may have been used for drug smuggling or illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona border.

May have?

The New York Times, hardly a bastion of conservatism, has reported on these discoveries in the past and actually stated the obvious — that the tunnels were intended to facilitate smuggling.

The daily’s article is available here.

Once again Arpaio is right: Law enforcement is vital to public welfare; must be funded

November 23, 2008

Construction of new court tower can wait

Another article in the daily on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The headline uses the word “balks” in describing the sheriff’s reaction to county budget cuts intended to reduce the MCSO budget from about $295 million to $288 million for this fiscal year, with forecasts of deeper cuts in the county budget, projected at a staggering 20 percent for next year.

“This is not an option for my office,” Arpaio wrote to county administrators, adding a request that law-enforcement agencies be exempt from the hiring freeze.

The drastic reductions will slash approximately 70 detention officer positions and an additional 20 deputy slots impacted due to the current hiring freeze.

To reduce the brunt of more drastic reductions on operations in the Sheriff’s Office, Arpaio identified $33 million his agency could tap in to with contingency and reserve funds, suggesting county officials look at the “rainy day” fund and consider a freeze on all county building projects.

Arpaio’s suggestion took on greater significance in view of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ plans, announced last week, to proceed with a $340 million court-tower project that would halt $86 million in other building and infrastructure projects for agencies throughout the county.

“My concern is with this organization — to have the resources to do our job, regardless of their programs.”

Once again Joe Arpaio is right.

The article can be read here.

AZ universities feel students’ pain as tuition spirals and money dries up

November 23, 2008

Michael Crow sends explanatory emails with video link to students

Tuition costs at Arizona’s three universities are rising at an alarming rate, requiring more students to take out loans to meet the increased cost of college.

Even those with federal grants, school scholarships and part-time jobs, often find the need for loans to cover the increasing costs.

Last school year, 53 percent of undergraduate students at Arizona’s three universities graduated with debt, up from 47 percent four years earlier. The average debt was around $17,500, according to a report in the daily.

On Friday, ASU President Michael Crow sent an e-mail with a video link to students and faculty, explaining the rationale behind ASU’s proposed tuition increases and inviting students who were experiencing financial challenges to contact the university’s financial-aid advisers.

What if the majority show up?

Seeing Red AZ has previously written about ASU President Crow and his excesses — both in salary and bonus packages and policies, which include scholarships to students in this country illegally — a topic on which the Arizona Republic gives him full cover. Crow’s wife, Sybil Francis, is also on the payroll with a six-figure income for her duties as a “senior advisor.”

Meanwhile, student fees and tuition rates continue to escalate, while Crow ensures that illegal alien students, whom he refers to as “special-class international students” are the recipients of financial largess from his caché of private benefactors, enabling them to obtain in-state tuition, adverse to the restrictions imposed by voter approved Proposition 300.

In June the Arizona Board of Regents unanimously voted to gift Crow a 25 percent raise in pay and benefits bringing him to a record $720,000 a year. That figure excludes the additional bonus of $150,000.

“I view this as sort of ‘carry on and work harder,’ ” Crow said as he thanked the board at the meeting at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

A recent Republic article detailed the compensation packages of the state’s three university presidents. Michael Crow is, of course, among the top earners of all public university presidents.

And he sends students an email video rationalizing their tuition hikes?

This man has an abundance of both money and raw nerve.

Looks like trouble brewing in the West Valley

November 23, 2008

These videos offer a brief glimpse into what took place at the November 17th District 4 organizational meeting. The meeting was prematurely adjourned before any business was conducted, effectively stripping 180 precinct committeemen of their ability to fulfill their responsibilities to vote.

Video Number One.

Video Number Two.

The videos are approximately 10 minutes in length.

Gray Lady takes a plunge

November 22, 2008

Another newspaper in bad shape

The venerable Gray Lady, the New York Times, stands by as its share price plunged to record lows, falling below $5 a share at one point in yesterday’s trading. The research firm Morningstar says the stock is worth barely half the price it’s currently bringing.

In a recent report, Morningstar analyst Tom Corbett slashed the estimated “fair value” of New York Times shares (NYSE: NYT) to $3 from $10. About an hour before the close of trading Friday, Times Co. stock was trading at $5.15, down 57 cents, or 9.97%, according to Editor & Publisher, the industry publication.

Reuters carries additional details.

Joe the Judas? Retribution for Bi-Partisanship

November 22, 2008

Despite Linda Valdez’s howling for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s head on a platter in penance for his aisle crossing, some of his own senate brethren were hard at work on his behalf.

Politico recently ran this piece on the efforts of high-ranking Democrat Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), to save his position as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

But, in the wake of the numerous pink-slipping and early leave-taking of staffers possessing at least a modicum of balanced reporting standards, Valdez now stands as the Arizona Republic’s leading mouthpiece of reliably leftist spew.

Today, in asking, “Does the quest for 60 votes justify inviting Judas for tea?” she hammers Lieberman for what she extols in Republicans: “Bi-Partisanship.”

Of course, bi-partisanship only exists in her skewed world view when it is Republicans genuflecting toward the left.

When John McCain or Jeff Flake desert their own party to form bonds with liberals, that is regarded as principled and statesmanlike. Such actions merit praise as extending a hand across the aisle and working toward a better tomorrow for all Americans. But let Joe Lieberman, double-crossed by his own Democrats, endorse his old buddy John McCain, and Valdez is so infuriated that readers can virtually smell the smoke emanating from her nearly exploding head.

Lieberman, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, has been steadfast in support of the Iraq war. That position was a factor in his backing of his friend John McCain’s presidential bid.

A lifelong Democrat who lost his state’s 2006 Democrat Primary to Ned Lamont, Lieberman ran for reelection as an Independent. Since winning, he has continued to caucus with the Democrats.

As the 42-13 secret vote in support of Lieberman was announced, Salazar stood beside Lieberman, with his arm around the Connecticut senator at one point, squeezing the back of his neck and speaking into his ear.

Valdez most likely would have yelled, “Joe the Judas!” and plunged the dagger!

Presidential eligibility: This issue is not going away

November 22, 2008

Justice Thomas distributes Obama case for conference

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has distributed Leo C. Donofrio’s renewed application for a stay of the election for conference on Dec. 5.

If four of the nine justices favor review, a hearing will be scheduled.

Donofrio’s first application was denied by Justice David Souter on Nov. 6. However, rules of the court allow for the renewed submission to a justice of choice.

Beginning in October, Donofrio made his way up through the ranks of the courts until his constitutional question as to the meaning of “natural born citizen” reached the Supreme Court.

Linda Bentley of The Sonoran News continues following this fascinating matter. Read her latest report here.

UPDATE: WorldNetDaily has more on this turn of events as the Supreme Court reviews citizenship arguments

Pima County Supervisor Ann Day needs a good, long rest

November 22, 2008

Crackpot comments don’t “look good for the state”

According to an article in the Arizona Daily Star, Pima County Supervisor Ann Day, a nominal Republican, suggested Gov. Janet Napolitano’s departure for the lofty environs of Washington , DC, would “leave the Republicans to swim in their own blood.”

Such gruesome visuals, you create, Ann.

“Things would unravel,” said Day, who served for 10 years in the state Senate with Secretary of State Jan Brewer.  Brewer would move up to the governor’s office if Napolitano is successfully vetted for the job of Secretary of Homeland Security.

“She’d undo every positive thing that’s been done – all-day kindergarten, university funding … state shared revenues.”  Furthermore, said Day, Brewer “won’t push the Legislature. She’ll go wherever it directs her. That combination – Brewer and the conservative leadership – would not look good for the state.”

We couldn’t make this stuff up. Read it here.