Posts Tagged ‘arizona’

Warped Priorities

The headline and precis on the e-mail I received just now punches me in the face:

FY09 STATE BUDGET CUTS FORCE ASU TO CAP ENROLLMENT,
FRESHMAN APPLICATIONS CLOSE MARCH 1, FIVE MONTHS EARLY

Budget cuts scale Poly and West campuses down to one college each;
Four dozen academic programs to be closed

Additional state budget cuts in FY10 could result in closing two entire campuses

I’m in Arizona for a few weeks, teaching a short course in “Women, Power, and Politics” at Arizona State University. Though this is not a regular gig for me and I have joked that I’m earning almost enough after taxes to pay for our car rental while we are here, I feel intimately involved–actually sick at my stomach–over the short-sighted budget priorities of the right-wing dominated state legislature and the new Republican Governor Jan Brewer, who took over after the state’s popular Democratic Governor and chief resister of such retrograde policies, Janet Napolitano, flew the coop to Washington to become Secretary of Homeland Security.

These cuts come on top of the university announcing last week that they would furlough all staff, top to bottom, for two weeks. I have to show I’m working nine fewer hours than my original commitment, and my princessly salary will be cut accordingly. This is not going to change my lifestyle much. But I think of what it means to people dependent on the university for their fulltime compensation–those who still have jobs that is. More than 550 positions, including 200 faculty, have been eliminated. Further, the state’s whacking back of educational funding extends to K-12 public schools also–and Arizona was already near the bottom of the 50-state heap in education funding.

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WHO IS JOHN McCAIN? Hint: Not a Moderate, in Case You Were Wondering

Jake Tapper, ABC News Senior National Correspondent, in his blog “Political Punch” June 27 post “McCain Gambles with Awkward Joke” started a bit of a blog-o-flap among some feminists who though the senator’s remark about wife beating grossly inappropriate and perhaps insensitive to domestic abuse. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

In an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was asked by columnist Jon Ralston why he didn’t choose Gov. Jim Gibbons to chair his Nevada campaign…
Maybe it’s the governor’s approval rating and you are running from him like you are from the president? Asked Ralston in a question McCain clearly found loaded.
Said McCain, chuckling, “And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago.”
Some have found the subject of McCain’s joke — wife-beating — inappropriate.
To be clear, McCain was alluding to the fictitious leading question “When did you stop beating your wife, senator?” It’s a bit of distasteful DC yuckery so commonly quoted it’s hackneyed.
But considering the subject McCain was discussing at the time, to allude to that joke was, well, …..awkward!
Gov. Gibbons last month filed for divorce from his wife Dawn citing incompatiblity…

There are several issues here and I’ll take a moment to sort them out:

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