The President And The Governor

When I read the political news, I often feel like I’m in high school again.  That was my reaction when I read the story this week about an apparently testy exchange between President Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on an airport tarmac.

President Obama, fresh from his State of the Union speech, flew to Arizona to talk about his policy proposals.  Brewer met him at the airport tarmac, and the two had a terse discussion.  The President’s press secretary says the President told Brewer her version of a 2010 Oval Office meeting they had, described in a book Brewer recently wrote, was inaccurate.  Brewer says she went to meet the President to talk about “Arizona’s comeback” and instead he focused on the book and seemed “thin-skinned” and “a little tense.”  The President says the little snit was “no big deal.”  No kidding!

I find this kind of story embarrassing, because it exposes the unflattering qualities of our political leaders.  With all of the problems besetting America and Arizona, why would the President need to bring up the characterization of a meeting that happened two years ago in a book that almost no one has even heard of, much less read?  Isn’t he big enough to shrug off such things?  If not, how much time is he spending fretting about other minor stuff?  As for Governor Brewer, can’t she give the President a break and simply report that they had an animated discussion without calling him “thin-skinned”?  Couldn’t she be a big enough person to resist the temptation to score cheap political points from this silly, meaningless incident?

Next thing you know, we’ll learn that the President and the Governor were passing notes in study hall.

How do we Know the Squirrels will Cross the Bridge ?

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We keep hearing about the number of state governments that are going to have to make some serious decisions in the coming year about what programs they can and can’t fund. Here’s an article with the corresponding video that addresses what’s going on in Arizona, a state that is facing a $1.5 billion dollar deficit. The governor decided to cut funding for low income people who need transplants.

Enter Steven Daglas an Illinois party committeeman who took countless hours to review the Arizona state budget along with state auditor documents in an effort to try to find funds to cover transplants for those who aren’t lucky enough to have medical insurance.

So your are probably wondering what does this have to do with squirrels crossing the bridge – Daglas set up the following website showing twenty six options that the Arizona governor has that will not take money away from others.

One option is to use funds previously set aside for a project where Arizona was going to spend $1.25 million to build rope bridges over the road for the thought to be extinct red squirrels to cross. By doing this project it was estimated that it would save five squirrels a year. Are you kidding me ?

When asked about whether the squirrel bridge was a good use of goverrment funds John McCain said “How do we know the squirrels will cross the bridge ?” Fortunately more level heads prevailed and the project has been cancelled.