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January 18, 2016


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Thanks for taking the dog by the nape and rubbing its nose in its own steaming pile. And you are quite correct with this:

We live in a post-fact, post-rational era, so nothing I have written will dent Ducey's message.

Exactly. Kevin Drum wrote something similar a while back after the last Republican debate:

"It's a depressing thing when you have to evaluate candidates' wins and losses by weighing the relative effectiveness of their lies....And the moderators, naturally, did no fact-checking of any kind. The result was a debate that probably left viewers less informed than they were coming in."

That's Dylan Matthews commenting on last night's debate. As for me, all I can do is shrug these days. I expect exaggerations and spin from politicians as a matter of course, but this year is different: Republicans seem to have finally woken up to the fact that they can say literally anything they want and pay no price for it. Their audience wants to be lied to, and being needled the next day by fact checkers does them no harm.

Talton, Drum, and the internal Matthews's quote serve formal notice on what Mr. Soleri has long called "Dogpatch Republicanism". It's all of the same piece....

Coincidentally, all of the above also explains why Republicans loathe Science. After all Science is a shared reality built on shared facts. Closed minds can't possibly do Science as you have to admit data from other labs and other people. Even those with different colored skins and different religions and different politics. And you have to use the shared data and facts in your theories. If you get caught making stuff up you get heavily punished. Censored. Ruined...

All this also explains why I will greatly celebrate Mrs. Clinton's victory over whichever pile of dog dirt the Republicans run in November. Nothing is more important than kicking these blowhards to the back of the bus for another 4 year pout.

Mr. Obama's campaign was the best cash investment I ever made in my lifetime. I plan on similarly investing in Mrs. Clinton's campaign so I can continue to boast and gloat and lord it over these despicable lying assholes and their equally despicable retrogressive politics.

I encourage you to join me....

Thanks again for telling the truth Rogue. Corporate media won't.

Facts be damned, Republicans will continue with their misguided policies in the face of all facts to the contrary. With a Republican president after the 2008 collapse we would have had austerity and a worldwide depression.

Do Republicans simply want tax cuts at any cost to society or are Republicans intentionally trying to run the US into the ground?

Six years plus into an economic recovery with relentless Republican obstruction of sensible growth policies at every level of government. All expansions end and when the next recession arrives, low wage, intellectually devoid Arizona will have hell to pay. In fact, it is a hellhole now unless you are a happy retiree who thinks avoiding winter weather Trumps all other aspects of life. And the Arizona summers really, really suck.

Slowly or quickly it will be only one way for sunny Arizona; Down, Down, Down.

Why do Republicans hate America's most creative precincts? "New York values" is code for Jews, blacks, gays, and money. Now, normally money is next to Aryan Jesus in the pantheon of right-wing values, just inches from an alabaster cast of Ronald Reagan in an erotic embrace with Mammon. Still, we're all going to be rich! is less a battle cry than a sobering reminder of the GOP base, gnashing its collective dentures over yet another failed Powerball drawing.

California is where wealth is manifested, devised, engineered, and spent. Arizona is where wealth is worshiped and disappeared in failed real-estate ventures. Arizona is fated to always be one tax cut away from the promised land. Where have you gone, Arthur Laffer and Grover Norquist? A lonely state turns its eyes to you.

California was Exhibit A in the right's demonology of liberal fecklessness - fruits, flakes, and nuts living in flagrant sin against all Biblical law. Yet, California somehow unleashes industry and wealth unlike low-wage, low-tax Arizona. What gives? Shouldn't Arizona's Rugged Individualists be asking their spiritual advisers at the RNC for an explanation?

Really, it's no mystery. Donald Trump himself analyzed it for his adoring throngs of birdbrain fans. You're all losers! Even with their granola bowl of ethnicities, races, and languages, New York and California are winner states. Creative people thrive there because the competition brings out everyone's best game. In Arizona, people are content to hate Mexicans and somehow think they're "producers" because of it. Taker states like Arizona are supported by liberal states like California. Does it ever cause a light to go on in those torture dungeons that is the right-wing mind?

Perish that thought. You don't second-guess your own grift.

You got to love Doug Douche, or whatever his name is. He's forgotten that, if businesses want to bail on California, Texas, with its mix of a highly-educated workforce and (sigh) cheap labor and low taxation, is waiting. Nobody would ever waste their time on this sandbox run by an ice cream vendor. It's all such a shame. This state is so beautiful, and I've met lots of good folks here in Arizona. :(

Mr. Roscoe doesn't feel the need to learn about water issues or anything else that might be essential for Western U.S. governance, because he's a Midwesterner governing a Midwestern state peopled by Midwesterners who were told-prior to the election-that Mr. Roscoe's real name was Scott(Scotti), and that instead of having "good Midwestern values," he was the scion of a notorious Toledo crime family, yet they still happily voted for him. He doesn't even have to pretend he's running a scam on Arizona when the electorate is complicit.

...Or not running a scam, that is.

I think of the biggest litmus tests for the Ducey administration will be how the CPS/DCS situation works out, at least in my mind. I consider this a "no fail" situation, period.

So far, not so great. To me, he has failed as a governor if he fails to resolve this critical issue. The fact that the backlog of cases has grown, not shrunk, and opacity has increased, not lessened, is a critical indictment and must be remedied for his administration to have the opportunity to be judged positively.

Economically speaking, I don't know if money is the issue. If we gave the statehouse 100 million or 1 billion more in taxes...how much would go to education and child safety? How much would go toward things like a "border strike force"? (What terrible, fascist language, by the way!)

I just don't know that if you gave this or any recent Arizona legislature and statehouse a larger budget, that they would return to the people commensurate improvements in quality of life. Yes, more money would help in theory...but in practice? I am pretty much committed to endorsing education spending regardless, even though so many studies show that spending doesn't equal improvement, because I feel like it can't hurt ... but it also goes to show you that throwing more money into a bad structure or environment, doesn't necessarily accomplish even a fraction of what it should. E.g. Mark Zuckerburg and the Newark public schools -- the wrong custodians can quickly turn the trust and funds of the people into, well, not much of anything benefitting the people. This is also, perhaps ironically, why I endorse local education spending rather than state-level. It seems like at the local level via overrides and PTOs and so forth, your money can make more of a tangible difference than at the more macro level where sometimes it seems to just get lost and disappear.

Mark public schools are on the way out thanks to people like arizona pols and the new rich kids ,know it alls, in Silicon Valley. (However the Silicon Valley schools have a rising student suicide problem.) And a number of billionaires are pushing to do away with public schools and teachers unions. It's the class wars. A return to Baron run nation states.
And the "civil war " by whites never ended. It just keeps raging on.

what guv ducey is crowing about is arizona'a relegation to a banana republic--oligarchs running it, cheap desperate labor, and uneducated populace to perpetuate this.

meanwhile plinking bottles w the ak47 from the couch on the porch of the single wide trailer is how far our mutual aspirations can take us.....w this crowd.

LoL, the Gov is waking up slowly to the fact of the wreckage he leads.

State Gov is a "turnaround", sucking wind because of all the giveaways from 1990 until now.

One can also note the School System is also in the same state through the exact same problem.

State control in Arizona has meant a governing disaster, along with meager changes.

In short, smart folks should be selling all their local school bonds, because charter schools are going to drive them into bankruptcy through a newer version of white flight to charter schools- check out the number of true minority (non asian or indian) children enrolled at any Basis or Great Hearts school.

Meanwhile, this Gov has found Tony B was a corrupt sucker running the lottery, and that there is nothing beyond a crappy prison left to privatize. In short, while he can rearrange the deck chairs, and tweet wonderful things from his young dedicated staff of star struck kiddies, the reality is big pointy square brick.

Nobody talks about how really broke government is, and how it really is not taking in enough revenue to meet nearly all of the deferred needs, let alone tackle anything new.

I just wonder how long it will take to kill the Commerce Authority and use those pennies more effectively to shore up the worker bees at the state from another increase in the cost of their healthcare with no general raises.

But wait- the executives have all been well rewarded- they should be making improvements in leaps and bounds from the last corporate administration- which was also a republican administration...and what about all of his rhetoric against lobbyists, when guess who boasts they pull his strings- his favored lobbyists at Axuhwhatever.


A truly target rich environment for the tame press that kisses gov's rear quarters- The dead Republic and AzCap times.

In short, decline is here, with a pretty face to tweet all about how one shiny part looks sooooo good.

I forgot to mention how the guy can't even be honest in a throwaway line. He says the taps are still flowing at Four Peaks -- not mentioning that this local success story has been absorbed by a huge corporation based elsewhere. Ducey's AZ is not attracting headquarters. It can't even save the beer.

Portraying California as a failed state is pro forma Republican dog-whistle politics, much like "food stamp president" and anything you can associate with the names Reid and Pelosi. It is beyond the ability of many Arizona pols to have a cogent discussion of the issues. And, no, both sides do not do this.

An August 2014 NYT article " Where we came from, Where we went, State by State" describes Arizona's situation:

Arizona is always in the news for how it deals with immigration from Mexico and Central America, but there has also been a change in domestic migration patterns. Long a destination for retirees from the Midwest, the state has experienced even more growth in recent years with transplants from California and other Western states.

The article also states that 38% of Arizona's population was born in Arizona.


You sound a lot like my parents' friends who lived in the urban Midwest. Whereas you repeatedly identify people of Midwest origin as the root of the problem in Arizona, my parents' friends repeatedly blame the participants of the Great Migration from the American South as the bane of all problems in their world.

Is your form of bigotry more righteous than theirs?

I'm going to out myself. I got here from Iowa in 1950. Please forgive me.
Desert Rat Cal.

This was an interesting article for me to read since I work out of LA but live in Phoenix.

First off, it sounds like Doucey was making simplistic and subjective statements to highlight his good deeds. What politician doesn't do that?

Secondly, with a population 7 times the size of Arizona and stronger transportation connections to Pacific Ring (air and water) California had a much stronger natural advantage.

Thirdly, the age distributions between the two states show Arizona having less people of working age. This shouldn't be shocking but it shows in part why Arizona is a "net-taker" state. There are multiple reasons a state could be a "net-taker": military, native reservations, retirees, higher proportion of young children, etc...

Finally, I am in an interesting position since I'm able to live where ever I want as an airline pilot. I'd estimate 55-60% of the pilots at my current base live in Arizona and commute to work. Many of those who live in California have strong ties (family) but wouldn't recommend moving there for a variety of reasons.

California is undoubtedly a dynamic, exciting and productive state. That doesn't diminish the potential that Arizona has, regardless of what silly politicians say.

Thanks for the blog!

Interesting article... thank you, from a native Californian who now lives in Arizona. I would like to see more 'per capita' numbers rather than straight numbers though. California is a powerhouse, for sure. One thing not mentioned here though is that California is building a high speed rail system which is amazing, at $68B, and it's actually under construction, even with heavy opposition from the LA Times.... by comparison, California has around 42MM residents today and Phoenix only has 1.3M residents... yet Phoenix voters *did* pass a $34B tax for new mass transit... it's crazy that 1M people passed $34B while 42MM people are having a tough time digesting a $68B high speed rail system that's crucial to the state's future. I love California *and* Arizona... and I look forward to the day when we have high speed rail going to LA and beyond...

The secret to being a good leader is knowing that there is a lot that you don't know.Why cons are afraid to admit this is most strange to me.They never let facts get in their way and continue their relentless march,like lemmings,to destruction.Unfortunately,they will probably take many of us with them.

Arizonaborn, when I refer to Midwestern in reference to Arizona, it isn't to disparage midwesterners as a people (my mother was one) or the Midwest as a geographical location (it's all green and stuff), it's as a convenient and fairly accurate descriptor of what happens when too many people move to a place and don't bother to acquaint themselves with its history and current politics beyond voting Republican and chasing out the undocumented. It's why Arizona keeps electing crackpots like Fyfe Symington and Sylvia All...oh, hell the list goes on forever. If Mr. Roscoe was on the up and up about his wholesome midwestern upbringing, he might've mentioned in passing, somewhere, that his folks palled around with the Licavoli family. Not to be completely hypocritical, though, I acknowledge that Joe Kennedy was a mobster who bought an ambassadorship and went "legit," but at least his children didn't change their names over it.


Let's make sure we're comparing apples-to-apples on the rail situation.

Phoenix voters indeed passed Prop. 104. It is a sale-tax increase that is expected to be the foundation for $31.5 billion to be spent on various transportation projects over the next 35 years. The total amount is a bit misleading because reaching it depends on getting federal grants and other funding.

It would add to light rail and improve bus service. But a huge part of the package goes to roads and sidewalks, basic infrastructure that has been falling behind as the city sprawled out. The details are in this link:


California's $68.4 billion would fund the first phase of what would be America's first genuine high-speed rail.

Otherwise, Southern California and the Bay Area leave Phoenix far behind in rail of all kinds: subways, light-rail, commuter rail and intercity rail. Sacramento and the Central Valley also have a state-funded Amtrak corridor (and Sacramento also has light rail). Phoenix is the largest city in America with no Amtrak service at all.

AZisCray skrev:

"This state is so beautiful"

When I was a sprout, my parents subscribed to the old large-format Arizona Highways monthly. Beautiful photographs of natural beauty from cover to cover.

I wonder where those photographs are now (who owns the rights, and about preservation)?

I wonder what those places look like now.

Arizona Highways magazine us still going and they have a nice gift shop next to DPS headquarters. I always buy a Sajuaro Christmas card there to send to Jon each year.

Note old arizona highways magazines can be purchased at the gift shop as well as at half price books and Mikes, Book Gallery and other local shops as well as on line.

I have lived in Arizona since the '60's, and Arizona has always suffered from an inferiority complex when it comes to California. Arizona politicians and boosters are eaten alive with jealousy because California has a number of natural advantages when it comes to economic success. To compensate, they tend to gloat unbecomingly over any bad thing befalling California, and to outright lie, as in Ducey's schoolboy taunts.

Arizona is California's Outer Empire. It serves a purpose in siphoning off its white retirees, tax refugees, and back-office operations. Ducey himself is proud of this although it's a bit of bravado on his part. If California were utterly dysfunctional and dystopian, Arizona would be in much worse shape than it is.

Still, the two states' symbiotic relationship ought to remind us why the whole post-war paradigm has been such a disaster. Arizona didn't invent a drive-everywhere urban form, freeways, or the single-family housing model. It didn't invent malls, power centers, or the street crud that makes our cities look like trash heaps. California led the way, and now that this model has exhausted itself, it is imagining cities behaving like cities instead of suburbs. As Bob Dole might say, where's the outrage? Americans For Prosperity wants answers!

California is lucky in its geography but it's just as lucky in its politics. Imagine what the state would be like if it was hamstrung by ideology and racialized paranoia. That's why Arizona is the cautionary reminder about what happens when you let nostalgia and wishful thinking substitute for hard choices in a globalized environment. Arizona is hardly Mayberry, needless to say. Thanks to its reactionary politics, it is looking more like the prequel to a Mad Max movie. Phoenix's faint hopes for relevance and sustainability rest on a small cadre of committed urbanists (say, Ben Bethel), who can imagine something other than ruined landscapes filled with cars, stuccoed housing pods, and check-cashing stores. If you vote for more crud, more reactionary politics, and fewer taxes, you're the problem California is addressing. As Jerry Brown once put it, you can help California by moving to Arizona.

I agree with everything you wrote, Soleri, except "siphoning off (California's) white retirees." If that were the case, Arizona would have turned purple or blue. The Seattle and Portland areas attract plenty of white California retirees.

The tragic reality of the Big Sort is that Arizona draws a certain kind of retirees. Either they are seeking their right-wing co-religionists or they "gave back home" and want to be left alone in the sun. Both cases are poisonous for Arizona.

One finds the occasional outlier, even a wealthy one such as Don Budinger. But they are fairly quickly beaten down and far outnumbered.

What's " poisonous" to Arizona is 6.8 million people.

Rogue, I certainly agree with you about the Big Sort. So, when it comes to Californians who move to the Northwest, like attracts like. Same with Arizona, which might as well be called the Outer Empire. Arizona has many wonderful qualities, but I suspect it's the relatively cheap real estate and drive-everywhere form that attracts a certain kind of Californian.

Oregon shows that a state can become more progressive by simply having an attractive city like Portland. Phoenix can't fulfill that task in Arizona because it's urban form is designed more for cars than human beings. Imagine if Phoenix had Val Trans, a real downtown, and a great university in the center city. Arizona would not only be purple, it would be, like Colorado, on the edge of blue.

Republicans do well here because Arizona's best qualities have been paved over and sold off to sprawl interests. You want to help Arizona? Destroy them anyway you can. That's not only primary, it's the only thing that rescue Arizona from its fate as an increasingly irrational and low quality state. The future scares most Arizonans, as it does all Republicans. That's why their media focus on fear and hate to keep them voting GOP. Until the Resistance come to grips with their state's economic nature, they'll never be able to wrest it away from right-wing nihilists.

Soleri writes:

California is lucky in its geography but it's just as lucky in its politics.

Clearly yes on the first part- the geography and the climate. And that's where most everything flows from.

The second part is a little more hit and miss. Clearly the Prop 13 cap on property taxes was genius and should be adopted by every state in the union-it forces lots of tax and spending initiatives to the ballots, where they belong. Not so great was the 1% on incomes over $1.0M California mental health tax, a straight line with I don't know how many punch lines.

One of the most stunning things I can remember was California Proposition 8 wherein the voters of California basically voted against gay marriage (who would have predicted that??). The good news is that the courts got it right and overruled the voters' decision.

In terms of Ducey, clearly California is not a state on the decline-but there are risks (water and the impact on agriculture). Illinois is in much worse shape and there are probably some others.

But I think he has a point. Is Hollywood going to relocate to Yuma? Probably not. Are big Silicon Valley firms contemplating a move to Pinetop? Probably not. But for less glamorous industries, a lot of the lower cost states offer an option.

Here's something interesting that might influence the relative state unemployment numbers. Can't afford the rent in the sunshine state? Move somewhere where you can afford the rent.


Admittedly, those dislocated workers are at the lower end of the spectrum.

Perhaps the Tesla battery case provides a good example; corporate is in Palo Alto (as I recall)- (BTW, it's almost heaven on earth if you've never been there). But the finalists for the plant were all low cost Western states. Who can afford to build a plant like that in Palo Alto?

You know, I think you guys have convinced me. I' m going to sell my house here and duplicate it in LaJolla. Or maybe one of those row houses you see in San Francisco. Carmel? Malibu?

Just gotta win that freakin' lottery....


If everything flows from California's climate and geography, why did it need massive BuRec water projects and the Army Corps of Engineers to build and maintain levees?


My point was that all (most?) of the appeal of living in California is it's climate and geography; wasn't talking about a literal flow of water.

INPHX, the world of pricey real estate is something you should honor since this is nothing more than the free market working its magic among grasping human beings. The California coast is expensive for a reason. If you live in a place like La Jolla, you understand why. It's very nice! El Cajon? Not so much. El Centro? Hardly at all. Now, something that normally eludes our attention is how those lucky duckies in La Jolla do what they can to limit more housing in their seaside paradise. It's not alone. Mission Hills, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Santa Barbara, Pacific Heights, Nob Hill all use zoning to limit an influx of the great unwashed. And, so, we note the problem of too much demand in a world of too-little supply.

All the great places are, for the most part, expensive. I sometimes wonder if Chicago is truly great for that reason - as world cities go, it's amazing affordable. Otherwise, I think this pricing cue is called a badge of success. I'll note this really didn't become evident until around 40 years ago. Of course, we have about 100,000,000 more people now, too. So, not only are we getting more crowded, housing costs are much higher in the places where a lot of people want to be.

Affordable housing is a nice thing about Phoenix. It give the city a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting low-wage employers like call centers. As time goes on, you notice almost every city living up (or down) to its inherent value. One thing I frequently mention about Phoenix is how unloved it looks. It's partly about a less-than dynamic economy, but there's something else: in its built environment, it often looks second-rate and unexciting. That said, this is nothing to be proud of. Yes, it's nice to pay less! No, it doesn't make up for the fact the city is correctly valued.

INPHX, Los Angeles was originally a dismal little backwater pueblo that could barely support its few hundred inhabitants, surrounded by one of the harshest, most unforgiving climates in the world (yes, California). The inhabited parts of the state are geoengineered to make them habitable. Personally, I'd rather it had stayed that way, I like the idea of the Los Angeles River once having had steelhead and salmon runs. But if there were ever going to be more than a million or so people in the whole state, only government could have ever made that possible. Private irrigation companies were known more for collecting money and disappearing in the middle of the night than for providing irrigation. California exists as it does now, for better or worse, only because of the federal government. When you get to California, you can pretty much give up the argument for letting the private sector get the big stuff done. Oh, wait, you live in Phoenix, and that's even more of an artificial environment created by government "overreach." Never mind.

I think Soleri's contention that a great city is or must be unaffordable is an interesting one. I guess if you ask a New Yorker, they would agree with you. But what about someone who loves living in Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, etc?

I love living in this metro area and its affordability and quality of life are part of that. I enjoy spending less of my money on housing and getting more for it. This enables me to save more, have more, do more for my family and for the community.

I worked in California for the better part of a decade and I enjoyed many things about it, definitively. But I don't know that I could ever see myself moving back. The cost of living there is both high and somewhere between tiring and exhausting. Not just in terms of housing costs, taxes, and so forth, but other effects of its desirability like commute times, pollution and so forth. So for me many of the best times I had in California WERE out in the boonies, so to speak, those areas that are still rural or semi-rural. California was an incredible natural place and in the untouched/preserved places, still is.

Welcome to Arizona's future: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/magazine/the-kansas-experiment.html?_r=0

Kansas is doing great and is open for business!

Just don't look at the schools, or the infrastructure, just look at business!


So, now your former employer notices the bezzle and complains about DoubleD's all talk and no action budget.

They even have the termity to call out the STO scam and talk about maybe limiting it! LoL- Yarborough the corrupt will not let that happen, nosiree bob.

In short, welcome to the land of slowly ending expectations.

I would note the folks who are getting cut off of foodstamps got applications for federal disability in their letters...just shift the costs to the Feds- har.

Mississippi of the West- even the folks in Utah think we are behind the times in terms of social responsibility- but wait, at least the Presidency has a long term improvement plan.

I have already told my teenager to plan on leaving the state for better economic opportunities- this is turning into a poor retirement ghetto.

Mark, I understand exactly what you're saying about Phoenix and I don't disagree with any of it. Phoenix is a comfortable place to live, particularly if have a nice house in a good neighborhood with fairly close-by shopping. If Rogue and I are naysayers, it's party because our memories go back far enough to remember when the city had some soul and wonder about it. Things change and Phoenix, I think, has become less interesting, vital, and remarkable. This has also been true of most American cities, which happens when suburban values crowd out the old ones. The losses in Phoenix's cultural and architectural heritage have been damaged its civic pride. By the same token, the loss of a dynamic, galvanizing city bears negative consequences for its future prosperity.

Phoenix is still a nice place depending on where you live, but its parts don't create a larger whole. It's simply too large disconnected now. But your slice of heaven does not require a justification. It is what is is and that's great.


This link suggests suburbs may no longer be the places big employers want to be.

Prop 13 cap on property taxes was genius and should be adopted by every state in the union

Interesting. I have lived in California for over thirty years, and I think Prop 13 was one of the worst initiative laws ever passed, and marks the beginning of California's civic and social decline.

When people note the high housing prices in California, they should at least note the irony in California being a place that was literally created by the public, on the public dime, in which market forces is becoming the sole determinant for who gets to live there. Looks like maybe it was always just another socialism for the rich plan. California is the birthplace of modern American conservatism and the Southern strategy, where socialism for the wealthy has been firmly entrenched for over a hundred years, so I guess it couldn't have been otherwise.


Not in Steven Spielberg's back yard....

Price is determined by supply and demand. As Soleri mentioned above, think about the (lack of a )supply side.

That's the socialism for the rich.

One acre lot minimums in most places in Paradise Valley is another example.

BTW, no such thing as a "public dime". It all comes from folks and companies known as "taxpayers".

Does it get spread evenly? Clearly not.

I often find these conversations interesting because I enjoy the perspectives of generations that remember a more cohesive Phoenix. I do wonder though what makes Phoenix less interesting than Seattle, Portland or Denver. From my point of view being under the 34 yr age group, there really isn't anything that much more dynamic in terms of lifestyle. In fact the things that would attract my age group has an edge in Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale. Having great, old architecture makes the physical city attractive, but it literally gets old if things aren't constantly changing (which Phoenix is). The affordability allows us to enjoy the nightlife and the natural wonders of the state. The politics of Arizona is a deterrent, to be sure, but when you live in the city (or Tempe and even Chandler) you can sense and see that demographics are not on the side of Republicans. Watching them squirm as Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff, etc. pass evermore increasingly progressive reforms is a plus.

I would also add that we should keep our eyes on ASU as an increasingly respected university as noted by begin ranked the "most innovative" university in the nation. Taken into consideration were peer reviews in the methodology. ASU had quite the challenge of shaking its old reputation but has done so brilliantly. From the article linked in this piece regarding the decrease in research at the University of Arizona, is the admission by the AZ Daily Star that ASU likely will surpass UA's research expenditures in 5 years (if not sooner). This coincides with the fact that ASU has produced the 2nd most Fulbright Scholars among all universities west of the Mississippi (yes, that includes Standford) the most recent academic year. Only Berkeley has produced more. The prior academic year ASU was third nationally behind only Harvard and Michigan. This has been the trend for nearly a decade.

Phxsunfan, I was out for a walk tonite around 8st and Thomas. You can smell and taste the pollution. And as is pretty normal in that area was the police helicopter overhead and police cars and fire and ambulance sirens. Several nights a week I walk that area with my friend before I head back to my desert abode in Pinal County. It's always noisy and the air is generally unhealthy in central Phoenix. But I must say that throngs of humans and noise and pollution are why I avoid New York City, Seattle and other such environs. If I was forced to live in a huge downtown, I think I would choose San Francisco. But i don't know why.

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