Saturday, March 15, 2008

Horizon's Journalists' Roundtable - did Napolitano get caught in a big lie?


On Friday night's Journalists' Roundtable, it was pointed out that Governor Napolitano's claim that she liked microwaving marshmallow Easter "peeps" holding sticks in order to fight when she was a kid was probably a fib, since microwaves didn't even appear in the U.S. until the early 1970's, and didn't become common in most households until the late 1970's - my household didn't get one until the 1980's and we're middle class. Napolitano is 50 years old, born in 1957. In 1975, she would have been 18. Reminds me of one of the many lies Hillary Clinton has told, that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mt. Everest. Problem with that is Sir Edmund didn't climb Mt. Everest and become famous until 1953, more than five years after Hillary was born. Also reminds me of Hillary telling Jewish audiences that she has Jewish relatives, which isn't true either.

The regular pack of older liberal white guys (really gives meaning to the concept of government-controlled TV) began the show by discussing the state budget problems which are now up to a $1.4 billion deficit, noting that Napolitano just vetoed bills that would have put a hiring freeze on state government and frozen $600 million in government spending. Clearly Napolitano is no fiscal conservative. Napolitano's excuse was that she wants to see something "comprehensive." Sunnucks said that "comprehensive" is a line politicians use when they want to get out of something, such as when they say they can't vote for measures to combat illegal immigration because they prefer "comprehensive" immigration reform.

Fischer noted that the state is going to run out of money in late April or early May, and the liberal federal judge's opinion that just came down requiring $40 million to fund English as a Second Language education (for the children of illegal immigrants primarily) requires the state to come up with that amount by April 15. Sunnucks noted that the state's deficit has grown faster than even liberal California's deficit. Fischer added that the budget is even growing faster than Arizona's population or inflation, because of Napolitano's insistence on adding things like all-day kindergarten and more social programs (side note - how many of you went to full-day kindergarten as a kid and turned out ok? I did - read any study done by the Goldwater Institute and you'll see that it's a throwaway feel-good liberal thing). It's not surprising that Arizona's deficit problem is worse than even left coast California, considering liberal Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is at least a nominal Republican, whereas Napolitano is a bona fide tax-and-spend liberal.

Sunnucks challenged Fischer on whether the way out of this is to raise taxes. He noted that since Arizona now has some of the highest business taxes in the nation, we can't get solar companies to locate here and help us out with lower energy costs; they're going to New Mexico and other states instead. He said the Republicans need to point out the programs we throw money at that aren't working, like economic redevelopment programs.

Next the journalists discussed who McCain might pick as his VP. Sunnucks thinks it might be Condi Rice, since she'd be a good counter to Obama (I'm not a fan of botox, but Condi has some seriously scary forehead wrinkles - she really should do something about them). has a good list of possible VPs. Howie Fischer suggested McCain might pick John Kerry - frightening thought. McCain would lose even more Republicans if he did that, so Fischer must have thrown that out there to be funny.

Next the guys discussed the bill in the legislature that would penalize landlords for renting to illegal immigrants. Fischer said it would have landlords require one of 12 kinds of valid ID, and fines for violating the law could range up to $1,250. Sunnucks said low-end apartment complexes where illegal immigrants generally live are already emptying out. Sunnucks said that landlords aren't going to be too worried about this law, because the ones that tend to rent to illegals would do it under the table anyways.

Host Ted Simons said there have been 600+ arrests of illegal immigrants around the state just within the past week. Sunnucks explained that Arizonans are in the mood for cracking down on illegal immigration - they passed the employer sanctions law, then the Phoenix Police changed their sanctuary city policy, and now other agencies around the state are following suit. Many law enforcement agencies around the state are now signing agreements with ICE to permit local police to arrest illegal immigrants.

But the problem hasn't stopped yet. Fischer noted that illegal immigrants are still pouring over the border, since Arizona still has the easiest border to cross. He pooh-poohed Governor Napolitano's claim that she's going to keep 1,200 National Guard troops on the border. He said Chertoff has said that's not going to happen, and they'll be removed in mid-July. Probably just another throwaway line by Napolitano to sound tough on illegal immigration while not actually doing anything.

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