A few questions about people in the news:
• IS it possible that John Huppenthal isn't just some insomniac racist blowhard, but is actually smart enough to have anonymously posted all that drivel we've been reading over the past couple weeks to distract us from the real reason he should not be re-elected in the Fall? So what if he hates poor people? Lots of rich white men hate poor people; for some, it's part of the job description. And he refers to himself in third person? That's the first lesson taught in Douchebaggery 101.
The reason that Huppenthal should be bounced from the payroll is that while his title is Superintendent of Public Education, he spends an awful lot of time pimping for private schools. That's like the Attorney General crusading for, if not criminals, then at least for their over-priced defense attorneys. On a Phoenix radio station, Huppenthal tried to explain that being Superintendent of Public Education doesn't actually mean that he's the Superintendent of ... you know, Public Education.
Good explanation, Bitch.
• WHY is Ally Miller so God-awful at being a member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors?
Like all guys who grew up during the Motown era, I tried singing—first like Smokey Robinson and then, after puberty set in, like Marvin Gaye. At my best, it sounded like the death cry of a wombat that was being forced into a giant paper shredder. I quickly learned to refrain (no pun intended) from singing in the best interest of all involved. To this day, if I mention a song and someone asks, "How does it go?," I'll simply recite the lyrics and hope for the best. (That almost never works.) Even acceding to a request to hum a few bars has been known to cause widespread nausea and disorientation for anyone within earshot.
I shared that painful anecdote in the hopes that Ms. Miller might realize that we all stink at something and once we identify that flaw, we should avoid it. By now, Ally Miller has got to know that she really, really, REALLY stinks at being a County Supervisor. First of all, she can't even get along with Ray Carroll, the only other Republican on the Board. Ray Carroll is the asymptotic inverse of Will Rogers—he never met a person who didn't like him. If you can't get along with Ray Carroll on some level, you're flunking Humanity.
It's not that she won't defer to Carroll or that she files lawsuits and tries to sic the state Attorney General on her colleagues. It is simply that her crackpot, paranoia-fueled, hey-look-at-me! antics are keeping her from performing the only duty she has—representing her constituents.
If she's still in that office in 2016, she'd better not think about running for re-election. All someone would need to beat her in a primary or general election would be $12 worth of signs that read "I'm Not Ally Miller."
• WHERE was the NRA's Wayne LaPierre with his favorite saying about the way to stop bad guys with guns is with good guys with guns after the citizen in Las Vegas and the priest in Phoenix were both killed while trying to use a gun to stop a crime?
• WHEN a Screw-Up screws up, why is it always somebody else's fault?
I was reading about Lorraine Morales, the new President of Pima College's Community Campus. She dropped out of high school, claiming that her family didn't value education. She then went on to also blame her teachers for basically not begging her to stay. When a student leaves a school, his/her teachers have to sign off on a form, one that includes a space for the student's grade in the class to that point and another for Student's Reason For Leaving (i.e. transferring to another school, family moving out of state). I'm betting Morales didn't write "Dropping out because mom expects me to get married someday."
Anyway, she's quoted as saying, "Probably one of the most disappointing things for me, in retrospect, was...not one of my teachers asked me why I was dropping out."
Where to begin with what's wrong with that? First off, dropouts generally just drop out; they don't get signed out. I've got a friend who has been teaching for 25 years and he says he has never signed a form for someone who admitted to be dropping out. Why would a dropout need her grades? Then, the odds that six or seven teachers would sign the form without even one asking why are astronomical. Leaving aside the indisputable fact that they care, teachers are naturally inquisitive. At least one would have asked just to pass the time while filling out the form.
Good for Morales for coming back to education and working her way up to a Ph.D. Nevertheless, her story smacks of self-aggrandizement at the expense of teachers. Teachers work in crappy conditions for crappy pay, but they will teach their asses off for the kids who care enough to show up. You have to want an education before you can get an education.
Q. How does someone who is as dumb as a petrified turd get on a House Committee on Science, Space and Technology?
A. Be a Republican (preferably male, preferably from the South).
More on this later. It's scary crazy.