Arizona’s twin embarrassments risk federal stimulus funding

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Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Cliptwee

Arizona's senators rank among the worst in the nation. They should be grateful to the citizens of Oklahoma and Alabama who keep them from being ranked dead last.

Jon Kyl and John McCain have truly outdone themselves in outrageous comments made on political talk shows and in their press releases over the past several weeks. There have been so many that I can't possibly keep track of them all. And in Jon Kyl's case, he made a complete ass of himself during the Judge Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing with his seven minute lecture demonstrating his lack of legal acumen despite being a lawyer. Kyl and McCain are a painful embarrassment to this state.

I have been meaning to get to the "stimulus flap" that flared up this week, but Jed Lewison at Daily Kos has posted a good summary, to which I will add.

On Sunday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) called on the Obama Administration to cancel the rest of the stimulus plan, saying it was a complete failure.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) blew Kyl's arguments out of the water, reminding Kyl that only $56 billion of the $787 billion had yet been spent and that under Kyl's plan, tax cuts for middle-class Americans would be rescinded and jobs from much-needed infrastructure improvements would be lost.

Durbin's response was good, but what happened next was a thing of beauty.

WASHINGTON – Top Obama administration officials asked Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday whether the state wants to forfeit ongoing federal economic stimulus money after Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., suggested that the program should be nixed.

Agency heads ranging from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to housing Secretary Shaun Donovan sent letters to Brewer, pressing her to declare whether she supports the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or sides with Kyl and is willing to give up some of the money.

Brewer, a Republican, made it clear she wanted the stimulus funds — but seemed to confuse whose idea it was to cancel the program:

"The governor is hopeful that these federal Cabinet officials are not threatening to deny Arizona citizens the portion of federal stimulus funds to which they are entitled," Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said. "She believes that would be a tremendous mistake by the administration."

Earth to Governor Brewer: the Obama Administration supports the stimulus. They don't want to cut off funds. It's your Republican U.S. Senator Jon Kyl who proposed cutting off your funds.

Although Brewer was confused, at least she made it clear she supported the stimulus.

John McCain, however, launched into a full-fledged freakout, offering a load of pure, unadulterated hypocrisy:

"I strongly support the comments of Senator Kyl and call on the administration to retract its threat against the citizens of Arizona."

So…John McCain supports Senator Kyl's demand that the Obama administration cancel the stimulus…but when the Obama administration asks state officials whether or not they agree with Senator Kyl's demand, McCain calls it a "threat against the citizens of Arizona."

Put another way, John McCain's message is this: "Don't do what I say I want you to do, because if you do what I say I want you to do, then you're doing nothing but threatening me. AND GET OFF MY LAWN! DAMMIT!"

And they wonder why we think they are a bunch of lunatics.

Speaking of lunatics, this is where the editors of the Arizona Republic come in. The editorial page of this newspaper is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. During the 2008 election, the editors of the newspaper took press releases issued by the McCain for President campaign and simply added a few rhetorical flourishes to recycle them as their own opinion. The Arizona Republic is firmly in the pocket of Kyl and McCain.

Crying-baby

So it should come as no surprise that the editors wrote a whiny cry-baby editorial on Wednesday telling the Obama administration to stop pointing out that Arizona's senators are a total embarrassment to their state. Kyl and Brewer should reject D.C. power play:

If the administration wishes to send Kyl a message, we suspect it knows his phone number. It does not need to "send a message" to Kyl via Arizona's governor, 3,000 miles away.

This is the rawest of power politics. And Arizona's senior senator, John McCain, rejects it. "I strongly support the comments of Senator Kyl and call on the administration to retract its threat against the citizens of Arizona," he said.

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We heartily encourage Gov. Brewer to respond posthaste to the secretaries and let them know what they can do with their queries about our tax dollars, which they are so kindly "making available" to our state.

First of all, Arizona receives more federal tax dollars in return from the federal government than it pays out in taxes to the federal government, so it is not our tax dollars that we are talking about but the taxes paid by blue states from which this red state gratuitously benefits. Secondly, defending Arizona's twin embarrasments and our grossly incompetent Accidental Governor demonstrates just how little credibility this yellow rag has.

This stimulus kerfuffle has been picked up nationally by the Washington Post White House turns up heat on Arizona senator, and was the lead-in story on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night (video below the fold). Kudos to David Shuster for reminding viewers that Republican governors like our own grossly incompetent Accidental Governor spoke out against the federal stimulus bill before she showed up with her hat in hand to beg for federal stimulus dollars to balance the state budget – which Arizona has yet to produce. Grand hypocrisy from Arizona's Republican leaders.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Now I know how people feel when they totally lose touch with reality. Will someone please remind me what logic I employed in deciding to move from the relatively sane D.C. suburb in Maryland to the entirely insane state of Arizona??? Let’s see: a university medical school would mean good health care; a University would provide culture – and it does! but why, oh! why didn’t I take a closer look at the political climate? Now, I have to go buy a gun and wear it when I go to a bar – but, I’ve never owned a gun, haven’t a clue how to carry it into the Bar and I don’t go to bars – except to the Shanty to Drinking Liberally on Thursday evenings where I drink Pelegrino water!!! I had no idea I was so out of step with the Arizona reality!!!!

    Sheesh!!!!!!!!

  2. Kyl and McCain are making me look with reverence to when I lived in Wyoming and had Enzi and Thomas.
    Sure Enzi dodged the draft in Vietnam then said that the poor fool who went in his place didn’t fight long enough or hard enough, but at least he didn’t lie to the Supreme Court or introduce me to Joe the Plumber.