Monday, January 10, 2011

Background

Arizona, the state which makes Mississippi look like Norway.  An experiment in government by teabagger:
"The general unsightliness of the capitol makes it a fitting home for today’s Arizona legislature, which is composed almost entirely of dimwits, racists, and cranks. Collectively they have bankrupted the state through a combination of ideological fanaticism on the Republican right and acquiescence and timidity on the part of G.O.P. moderates and Democrats. Although dozens of states are facing budget crises, the situation in Arizona is arguably the nation’s worst, graver even than in California. A horrific budget deficit has been papered over with massive borrowing and accounting gimmickry, and the state may yet have to issue IOUs to employees and vendors. All-day kindergarten has been eliminated statewide, and some districts have adopted a four-day school week. Arizona’s state parks, despite bringing in 2 million visitors and $266 million annually, have lost 80 percent of their budget, with up to two thirds of the parks now in danger of closure. The legislature slashed the budget for the Department of Revenue, which required the agency to fire hundreds of state auditors and tax collectors; lawmakers boasted that these measures saved $25 million, but a top official in the department estimated that the state would miss out on $174 million in tax collections as a result.

Any way out of Arizona’s crisis will require raising taxes, a move that is tantamount to heresy for most lawmakers. For nearly a year, the legislature refused to approve the emergency sales-tax increase (of just one cent per dollar) proposed by Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican who had been elected as secretary of state but assumed the top job in 2009 when Janet Napolitano joined the Obama Administration. Eventually, lawmakers passed the buck to voters by authorizing a May 18 statewide ballot on the sales tax - which passed, after a $2.2 million marketing effort by education and business groups - but before doing so they enacted tax cuts that over four years will deprive the state of more money than the sales-tax increase is estimated to bring in. 

Instead, to raise cash, the legislature has pursued a series of wild sell-offs and budget cuts. It privatized the capitol building and leased it back from its new owner, an arrangement that brought in substantial revenue but over time will cost Arizona far more. The legislature has sold off numerous other state properties at bargain prices, and has put up future lottery revenues as collateral on a $450 million loan. Meanwhile, Arizona removed more than 300,000 adults from state health coverage and terminated one health-care program for 47,000 poor children. Funding was slashed at the agency that deals with reports of child abuse and neglect, and also at Children’s Rehabilitative Services, so that parents of children with cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, and a number of other conditions are now required to pay 100 percent of treatment costs. "
and:
"Arizona lawmakers have shown little enthusiasm for dealing seriously with the state's insolvency. They have instead preferred to focus on matters that have little to do with the crisis. Lawmakers have turned racial profiling into official policy, through a new law that requires police to stop suspected illegal immigrants and demand to see their papers; anyone not carrying acceptable proof of citizenship can be arrested for trespassing and thrown in jail for up to six months. But this is just one bill in what has been a season of provocative legislating. Another new law bans the funding of any ethnic-studies programs in the public schools, while a third prohibits 'intentionally or knowingly creating a human-animal hybrid.' Lawmakers declared February 8 the 'Boy Scout Holiday,' took time out to discount fishing-license fees for Eagle Scouts, and approved a constitutional right to hunt.

In January, Senator Jack Harper, an immaculately combed zealot who speaks in the patter of an infomercial voiceover, submitted a bill that would allow faculty members to carry guns on university campuses, saying it was 'one very small step in trying to eliminate gun-free zones, where there's absolutely no one who could defend themselves if a terrorist incident happened.' The house passed a measure that would force President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate to state officials if he runs for re-election, as well as a bill that bars Arizona from entering into any program to regulate greenhouse gases without approval from the legislature. 'There are only two ways to vote on this,' said Representative Ray Barnes of the latter initiative. 'Yes, or face the east in the morning and worship the EPA because they own you.' "
Palin censorship.

Too weird:  "Why Is Jared Loughner Obsessed With Grammar?"

The concentration camp guard can't help but add some Islamophobia to the analysis, but I wonder what he is up to downplaying the eliminationist aspects of the massacre.  Probably just protecting the American ultra/mainstream right, as people like Palin are 'good for the Jews'.
blog comments powered by Disqus