Sunday, January 23, 2011

Odds and ends...

..."Welcome to the worst state of the union" was the headline (but not the quote)

You are now reading the blog of an internationally-known "Democratic commentator."  Take a moment to appreciate your good fortune.  Ahhhhhhh....

Seriously, reporter Andrew Purcell, writing for the Sunday Herald (Scotland), contacted me earlier this week for a piece he was putting together on the fiscal crises facing the various states and the federal government here in the U.S.  One of the states featured in his article was Arizona, and he spoke to both Rep. John Kavanagh and me.  In the published piece, I was quoted as "Democratic commentator Craig McDermott."

It's a solid piece of journalism, and before any R readers jump to conclusions, it's fair and even-handed.  Arizona is only a small part of the piece.  The focus is mostly divided between the federal goverment, New Jersey, with mentions of some other states.  Arizona seems to have received the most attention of the "other states."

I recommend the piece (and not just because I'm quoted in it :) ).  Being so close to our own fiscal problems, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that Arizona isn't the only state in a deep fiscal crisis.

Purcell has posted the article as he wrote it and with a headline more of his choosing (the editors at the Herald chose one that is a little more eye-catching, as editors are wont to do :) ) on his own website, here.

I'm grateful to Purcell for two things.

1. Reaching out and interviewing folks here (yes, even for interviewing Kavanagh).

2. Not making me sound like the babbling idiot that I felt like during the interview. :)

...Apparently, Sen. Linda Gray believes that she and the other people who run the state do so with a divine mandate.

At the beginning of the Special Session Senate floor session on Wednesday, she gave the prayer.  Her prayer was a recitation of one listed in George Washington's Prayer Journal, one with the line (emphasis mine) "...bless O Lord, all the people of this land, from the highest to the lowest, particularly those whom thou has appointed to rule over us in church & state..."

The video archive of the session can be found on this page.  The line is uttered at approximately the 1:03 mark of the video for "01/19/2011 - Senate Floor - Special Session" (approximately halfway down the page right now).

...On the other hand, that may fit in with the Republican theme of the week - their biennial reorganization meeting was held in a mega-church in north Phoenix.

...This week marked the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's 1960 Inaugural address, the one with the immortal line "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Today, a President uttering such a line would be decried as a "raving socialist" or something else equally false or worse.  However, it's a line that anyone who truly considers him- or herself a patriot should take to heart.

...Of course, this week marked another anniversary, one that the screamers probably celebrated far more enthusiastically than they honored JFK's inauguration.

The decision in Citizens United vs. FEC was handed down one year ago, ushering in an age of corporate domination of American elections.


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