Posts Tagged ‘Jan Brewer’

The Too-Slow Death of 1062

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

By Jeffrey Page

It took long enough, but Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, after several days of contemplation, finally found the need to veto a piece of legislation that would have set civil rights statutes in the morning trash.

As you probably know, State Senate Bill 1062 would have restored some of the odious Jim Crow laws of decades ago – not that its sponsors would agree. Briefly, SB-1062 would give shopkeepers and business people the right to refuse to serve gay men and lesbians. Arizona knew just how to talk up SB-1062. It wasn’t anti-gay, Arizona said, it was pro-religious freedom.

Arizona has good practice in describing certain travesties. It’s Arizona, after all, where police officers are required to check the immigration status of anyone who looks like he might be in the U.S. illegally. Can you take a guess who the state has in mind? Clue: It’s not Poles, Lithuanians or Canadians.

SB-1062 might have reminded you of the south before the Sixties, but its supporters say it was really a matter of ensuring religious freedom. Take a grocery store owner, for example. If he can show that selling a can of tomato soup or a pack of English muffins to a gay couple would violate his “strongly held religious beliefs,” he could point to the door and tell the two not to come back.

Question: Where in the Bible does it note that God would be greatly offended if he ran a luncheonette in Phoenix and two lesbians walked in to order tuna sandwiches on rye and coffee?

Question: Where in the Constitution of the United States did the framers define marriage?

And if SB-1062 – approved by the Arizona State Senate by an anemic vote of 17 to 13 and by a less than overwhelming Assembly vote of 33 to 27 – had become law, how easy or difficult would it be to allow shopkeepers with “strongly held religious beliefs” to refuse service to certain other people who don’t hold those same beliefs.

In considering undoing what the State Senate did on Feb. 19, Governor Brewer consulted with politicians and business people who feared that SB-1062 would harm the Arizona economy. She most likely was pushed along the road to veto by the National Football League’s starting talks on yanking next season’s Super Bowl game out of Phoenix if SB-1062 was enacted. It could be said that in Arizona, the economy trumps “strongly held religious beliefs.”

The NFL, several corporations, politicians from around the country, and Arizona’s two U.S. Senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, all appealed to brewer to make SB-1062 disappear.

They were joined by three of the state senators who voted in favor of SB-1062 and who were now looking for a way to kill it. Their reasoning for introducing the bill was misunderstood, they said.

In their letter to the governor, the three state senators said: “We must send a clear message that Arizona is a state that values religious tolerance and protects and values each individual’s ability to follow the dictates of their [sic] own conscience.”

That’s about as close as they ever got to the word “gay.”

Next, the measure went to Brewer for approval or veto. It took her seven days to kill SB-1062. It should have taken seven seconds.

Mitt’s ‘Circus’ Sends in the Clowns

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

By Emily Theroux

Come one, come all to the three-ring circus of Willard “Mitt” Romney’s “This Week in Immigration” road show! Step right up and have the time of your life!

That cornball “Greatest Show on Earth” hype was what came to mind while I listened to the Mittster’s “traveling press secretary,” Rick Gorka, an apparently sentient young man behaving eerily like a trained parrot before an assembled media gaggle. Undaunted by the attempts of reporters to elicit a different response to their repeated questions about Mitt’s immigration agenda, Gorka managed to say absolutely nothing substantive for a full seven minutes. When asked about Mitt’s considered opinion of the recent Supreme Court ruling that rendered Arizona’s notorious “Papers, Please” Act legally impotent, his laconic, gum-chewing flack echoed the Boss Man’s desultory “states’ rights” bibble-babble, as he noted, “over and over and over again.”

Willard “Lizard Boy” Romney has apparently designated the robotic Gorka as his substitute ringmaster. This inspired hire has provided the candidate with a nifty dodge from the media circus converging on “The Magical ‘Mitt-stery’ Tour” of daring escapes from accountability, mind-boggling platitudes, and broken-record ballyhoo that the campaign has devolved into. Why the calliopes and clown brigade every time the campaign stops at a new venue? Because the GOP candidate mulishly refuses to answer a potentially lethal question: What is his policy on immigration reform?

“The governor supports the right of states,” Gorka mechanically replied. “That’s all we’re going to say on this issue.”

That and Mitt’s tedious contention that President Obama has broken his campaign promise to “address” the immigration system within the first year of his presidency and, “therefore,” hasn’t made any attempt to reform it since then. Mitt jumped to the conclusion that the states have some nebulous “Tenth Amendment right” to “craft their own immigration law” when the executive branch “fails” to act. (This view also enabled dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia to “strike down the results of the Civil War,” in the words of a clever headline writer for Alternet.)

We’ve almost arrived at the main attraction: Mitt’s audacious high-wire act in the center ring. But first, send in the clowns! I think I spy Rush “Bubbles” Limbaugh, fortunately still looming in the wings – but I have no doubt he’ll swing by soon, his imposing bulk dangling from the high bar of a very slender trapeze. And mira, amigos – here comes Jan “Rosie Sunshine” Brewer! She’s got her platinum wig all in a wad because she thinks the Supremes don’t like her finger-wagging routine any more. She’s so goofy, she still thinks her side “won” when the ruling came down!

Look over there – is that Michael “Emmett Kelly” Steele, returning for Act II of his hilarious GOP stand-up routine? I barely recognized him without the villainous moustache. What’s that he’s saying – Mitt’s going to lie low for the rest of the summer, then give us some general-election “straight talk” after Labor Day to let us know, finally, what he’s decided to say he thinks about Amercia’s “illegals” quandary? What’s that about David Koch and the Super PAC puppeteers? Very funny, Pennywise!

And there’s Hizzoner, Nino “Bozo” Scalia, riding bareback on Ann Romney’s prized dressage horse. That’s some clown get-up he’s got on there – a judge’s robe! Bozo probably should have been wearing boxing gloves, because he had a big spat with the majority, who didn’t think much of his highly politicized dissenting opinion – or his brainstorm about calling down the Insane Clown Posse on all 12 million of those “alien” interlopers, chasing them back across the border, and then letting Mexico deal with them, even though they didn’t all come from Mexico. (And you’d never know that Nino himself was the son of an immigrant, would you?) Take a bow, Nino/Bozo – or get that fancy horse to do some of those little fluttery ballet steps for you! (That equine must have been pricey. Good thing Mitt could write it off as a “business expense.”)

I realize Mitt’s really teetering up there; at least he’s risk-averse enough to always use a net. (Obama’s the real daredevil, though; no net, no sissy tights, just a big stick to help him keep his balance.) What’s really scary is what Mitt’s up against, straddling “the danged fence” the way he does. If he leans too far to the right, he’s in danger of losing even more of that baffling demographic, Latino voters (which he can’t fathom until he figures out how to tell the “legal” immigrants from the “illegal” ones). And if he swings too far to the left, he’s going to fall off the back of the “Restore Our Future” campaign bus! (Odd concept, by the way – how can you “restore” something that hasn’t happened yet? Sounds like a socialist takeover, if you ask me.)

When the Romney traveling circus comes to town, prepare yourself for the awful truth: This circus is no genuine fun at all, with the exception of a little schadenfreude. (We’re laughing at you, Mitt, not with you.) This Big Top spectacle offers its share of elephants, aerialists, and clowns, and it even has its own traveling pitchman. But it’s so repetitive that it’s guaranteed to “cure insomnia,” as Martin Bashir quipped on his MSNBC show – and it’s no place to go searching for honest solutions to the serious economic dilemma this country has been tricked into by GOP hucksters. The same scam artists who flim-flammed Americans into buying what Dubya’s Great Neocon Illusionist Exposition was selling 12 years ago hope to fool the gullible into believing that Brother Mitt’s Traveling Salvation Show offers a shiny new approach to the one that drove the wagons into the ditch in the first place.

As P.T. Barnum is falsely credited with saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” If Mitt manages to pull a fast one on the American people and sell them his own bill of goods by talking in circles for the next four months, we’ll only have the folks who aren’t paying attention to blame (like all of those registered Democrats who stayed home in droves during the primary election for a candidate to run against Tea Party freshman Nan Hayward; if you’re reading this, which would surprise me, you know who you are).

I wonder what pearls of wisdom Mitt Romney will have to offer about Scalia’s “miscarriage” of judicial propriety, by the way?

Very likely, nothing new. Move along, folks. The show is over. Nothing to see here.

In circus lingo, a “fireball outfit” is a traveling circus that earns a reputation for swindling patrons. If that’s indeed what’s been going on during this comedy of errors, the voters should demand their money back and ride the bums out of town on a rail when they show up at the next whistle stop with their hands out.