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February 22, 2016


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Rogue, thank you for your efforts and insight. Rogue Columnist provides needed light while corporate media cheerleads the darkness of the ruling elite.

I returned to Arizona a few weeks ago to survey the progress, such as it is. There were some good signs on Roosevelt Row and around it. The DeSoto Market is impressive. There are some new restaurants and bars that look intriguing. And on a First Fridays' evening, the amount of foot traffic downtown was heartening. The new law school building is imposing and a definite cut above the usual value-engineered crap downtown. Arizona Center looks really bad, however. Maybe some of the new suburban-style apartment complexes will house enough people to make downtown click but I'll wait to see if that miracle happens.

All that said, I was glad to leave. It was already hot even though it was February. Central Avenue still looks largely woebegone. Of course, you have to drive to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time and the vast stretches of roadway with neither activity nor even buildings is still shocking to see.

Things looked better in Scottsdale and Tempe The new State Farm complex on Town Lake may be the best corporate architecture in the state. That new Optima apartment project in Scottsdale is gorgeous, and the Waterfront project really works despite its reactionary architecture. But the sense I get from all of this is just how segregated the state is in a socio-economic way. There were plenty of Latinos in downtown Phoenix but I saw far fewer elsewhere. It's a tale of two states, as it were, and there's a kind of feeling that something is missing, maybe a cultural dynamism that better cities have.

Politically, Arizona is like Kansas in that the worse things get, the better Republicans do. Taxes can only be cut because that's what passes for "policy" in a state with neither moral impulse nor empirical standards. The cheap labor that keeps the housing market going is condemned for its brown skin and Spanish, but I doubt Republican Jesus would compel a teaching about treating one's lessers with decency.

I understand why people love Arizona. It is sunny and open, fairly cheap, and an easy place to drive in outside of rush hour. Still, it has settled for backwater status. I started thinking that Arizona is actually a far-flung suburb of California, its Outer Empire, which helps it siphon off some of that state's wealth and population. Oregon is in an orbit around California, too, although it's much closer in its political and economic values.

Maybe at some future date when I'm decrepit and wasted with old age I'll return. There could be worse fates that padding about in flip flops and Bermuda shorts. The heat probably becomes a blessing at some point. I imagine I could love Arizona, too, despite my restless mind's addiction to memory and comparison. We lost the battle for Arizona decades ago. The white flag we wave is stained with our tears.


Sheer exhaustion plays a role. Working to keep myself intact having bailed early from the disaster that is state government takes a toll, plus the real life sandwich generation stuff sapps time and energy.

I value your venue, even as the trolls relentlessly attack even reasonable points of view. This kind of venom occurs in real life as well, as it has made me turn against wasting time trying to teach pigs to sing. I have too much that I can really get done in my remaining time to spend time talking with total idiots. Wasted two hours of my life getting utter bushwa on the record concerning something that I am one of the few experts on in Arizona- and a Gov Office apparatchik just called me a bitter former bureaucrat. Not so laughingly used the So Long and Thanks for all the Fish Line, and the audience laughed appreciatively, then came up and complained to me about his role in the administration. Told them, talk to him, I am done.

Moving on.

In less than 5 years time my progeny will graduate from what is left of the public education system, and I will then liquidate all the assets of the family out of this state, and into a more long term stable place- by then demographically speaking I will be out of the sandwich, and then free.

Further comments- all Arizona school bonds should be sold now- they have high intrinsic value due to low rates, and they will all be subject to downgrades as the number of charter schools reduces the annual payments from the state supporting those infrastructure and spending bonds.

This crisis in education is amazingly unreported, but to a person who went through the entire 2007-09 as a regulatory economist, easily predictable.

Payments automatically follow enrollment, and as students are cut off the top (See the bills to punish underperforming schools by cutting financial support!?!?), and left with all the special needs kids, the public schools in the better suburbs are going to start underperforming first.

Ironically, the quality of a school district is directly tied to the value of housing in that district- and so another pillar of real estate will be demolished. Because, in the mind of the public, all those kids attending Basis are not in the school district, the local schools will suffer by comparison.

One wonders how long a powerful school like Chaparral will maintain their dominance with the elites, after so many high end kids depart for specialized high performance charter schools.

I already detect the beginning of the end of Central Phoenix's successful Madison Traditional through the landing of a new Basis- but I do note that Basis Maryvale has not yet even been announced...

But whatever, by stripping even more above average kids out of the system, the charter school system will finish off existing public school finance system in Arizona- and Clint Bolick will make sure the AzSupremes never try to institute anything like it again.

So, while you may call me a quitter, I feel my life would be wasted if I kept tilting at windmills to change a system that is destined to fail soon anyway.

Bring it on, the destruction is necessary to achieve some better goals over the long run.

I know you through your writing and an appearance on YouTube as a thourally respectable and delightful human being. Take heart. Jesus said, "All that is hidden will be revealed". You are part of that process.

I won't resist the temptation now to soil this poetic little message with an angry question not for you, but for the people who put up buildings in Phoenix -- that question being, "Why did you have to make it so ugly?".

Take heart, Mr. Talton. It is science that will give Arizonia the consequences for its actions. And Wisconsin and all the other crackpot states as well. (What a quaint concept, consequences for actions...even Buddhists don't believe in this any more...check out Myanmar.) Adults fight the good fight because it is the right and human thing to do. No rewards. And it is good to emulate Edward Abbey who fought those good fights and then said you just go out and forget everything and take an enjoyable walk in the desert.

Jon, U remember where you and I started and ever since I have come to more and more admire your grit and determination.
Keep Scribbling.

Mary, for you.
"Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top."
Edward Abbey

For Soleri:
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."
Edward Abbey

and for my dear departed friend Chuck:
"Humans build their societies around consumption of fossil water long buried in the earth, and these societies, being based on temporary resources, face the problem of being temporary themselves."
Charles Bowden

Kansas, Arizona and Wisconsin, all models of governance by right wing ideology. Smash public institutions, divert public funds to crony entities, and viciously suppress any opposition contrary to the Right way. Once down the rabbit hole, none will return to political equilibrium, only a broken house beyond repair.

Phoenix was doomed by its own topography. The west coast cities are harder to build cookie-cutter subdivisions, because they aren't flat, and they're prone to mudslides, erosion, and other bedevilments. L.A. would be smaller than Phoenix if its weather wasn't so damn nice, and Seattle would be a megalopolis if building were as easy as it is in Phoenix. There's a million other elements involved in what happened after WWII-to America, not just Phoenix-but to boil it down to its root, Phoenix needed to be a little bumpier to protect it from rampant capitalism. Actually, a lot bumpier. Maybe live volcano bumpy. But, you've been giving historical context along with political and socioeconomic commentary all along, and that's critical. Sooner than we think, barring President Trump somehow ending the human experiment, we'll have to depart from the old models of growth and prosperity; then Phoenix could be a very exciting place to be-for our grandchildren-as it "burns" and is reborn from its own ashes. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm!

In my opinion there is no " Good News" regarding Phoenix and Tempe. (Oh that's the name of Cactus Ed's book where Phoenix returns to ashes).
Even though I'm living somewhere in the Great Sonoran desert away from "Downtown", I still go there to visit. The continuing construction in Downtowns Tempe and Phoenix
just gets uglier and uglier.
The build up next to the Old Tempe bridge is spectacularly abrasive and overwhelmingly bizarre. It's like one huge metallic space ship landed. Howard Roark has arrived.
Thank you Ayn $.

Cal, I get that cities are not your thing, and I certainly share your disappointment with Phoenix and Tempe. But there are something like seven million Zonies now, and if they have to live somewhere, it would still be better that they reduce their footprint to compact cities than continue to sprawl (see: "Phoenis is the blob that is eating Arizona", Ed Abbey's indictment of Phoenix).

Would it be better if Arizona were still largely a wilderness or habitat for aborigines? Maybe, but the same thing could be said of any other city. What is real matters more, however, than what is ideal (this is the frustrating conversation I have with Bernie Bots, who stamp their feet and demand Perfection Now!)

If we demand that reality be something other than what it is, we'll be continually disappointed. We only have this world to live in. We can do our best to make it better or we can live in fantasy.

Jon, you do realize that, despite titling this post "Unchangeable You", you proceed to list many of the ways in which Phoenix has changed.

That said, there is such a thing as "tough love' and any vibrant metropolis needs detractors as well as "boosters" to improve and thrive.

You and I don't often agree--except on passenger rail and infrastructure, but--for all that your "relentless negativism" [my phrase] often annoys me--Phoenix is a better place because of your criticism than it would be without it.

Note that--from Credit Mobilier to the present--the rail and light rail projects you and I champion have usually been the symptom (and sometimes the cause) of sprawl, "Manifest Destiny", or some real estate scheme. (Even Roosevelt Row and the Urban Infill that we desire are, to some extent, real estate schemes in all but name)

Moreover, delve into the dark shadows of any urban area to the extent that you have with Phoenix and I submit you will find ideological (and/or ethnic or criminal or whatever) influences analogous to those here.

Keep up the good work!

Soleri, I'll keeping living my fantasy but my reality is "DOWNTOWN" is ugly.
Your pal heatstroke cal

We Phoenicians must keep up the good fight to keep some light burning in the darkness. Downtown Phoenix is making slow, but steady progress now into becoming a living downtown. The growth of the downtown ASU campus is beginning to be felt. And there is a new director at the Phoenix Art Museum up the street. We have often thought how nice it would be to be living in a more urban and sophisticated city, but then I think about the chance to make a difference in this large, but still immature metropolis of 4.5 million people, and love the challenge.

I'm currently debating returning to Tempe to go to graduate school. I have some offers in Portland, Maine, and other more attractive cities. As an Arizona native, I feel some filial piety to return and reform. At the same time, you don't marry someone to change them. The only reason I would come back to Arizona is if I could actually make a difference. Otherwise, Portland or bust!

I would suggest Zurich.

As this is the only Phoenix-themed blog that I follow, maybe I'm missing something....but if someone wants to get the real-life lowdown on what Phoenix is about, this is one of the indispensible sources. I've looked back on some of the earlier threads and saw a comment from someone in Chandler who remarked that there was an empty lot near his home that would make for a good corner grocery, wondering why it didn't become one.
The last time I was in Phx I drove around Story and Roosevelt, and wondered whether a pod of small businesses in their midst might really do well. Maybe three- a coffee shop, restaurant, decent mini mart? It's all zoned residential, so there's that. But could there be something that was a quarter to half a mile from most of the homes that might do well?
As it's configured, is walkability a dead concept in Phx?
I share many folks' feelings about the Phx of my youth. And as Soleri pointed out millions of people still live there. Are there or could there be a few walkable, somewhat self contained neighborhoods where folks could go get coffee, a bite to eat on foot or bike without contending with those wide, noisy, dangerous streets?
Perhaps the template for civic improvement in the vast City needs to be writ small.

Although the privatizing of education in AZ started at least 20 years ago with the legislation creating charter schools, its ultimate result (which you describe) is not recognized by most of the citizenry. When the "crony-ization" of schooling, formerly known as public education, is complete in this state, the public will be stunned but unlikely to assume any responsibility--especially their past voting habits--for the destruction.

Is the "Bernie Bot" thing really necessary,soleri? Would you want to hear derogatory terms for Clinton supporters all the time? Why not save your ammo for the candidates themselves, rather than demeaning people who Clinton will need to beat Trump. She's the weakest possible candidate you could find in this election cycle. Pitchfork Populism is driving the narrative now, and Wall Street isn't too popular with any demographic you care to name. I suppose Chuck Schumer might be a weaker candidate to run against Trump, but Clinton has a lot of baggage, and she's supremely arrogant; it's gonna be hard enough to hold my nose long enough to vote for her, please, please don't make it any harder. I'll feel almost treasonous to my nation and my personal principles as it is (but there's Trump)
and after she and Bill squeak out a "win," I'm done with the National Democrat Party (I'll only vote for democrats at the state and local level) after over forty years, and I bet I won't be all by myself.

Pat, because I read Internet comments, I do indeed read derogatory comments about Clinton and her supporters "all the time". Such as "she's the weakest possible candidate you could find in this election cycle".

Since you admit you're going to be "done with the National Democrat Party", why should I care? If you're not loyal to the one national institution that the left has, that has midwifed virtually every humane piece of social legislation since the Great Depression, that has opposed the nearly naked aggression against minorities, the environment, women, and science, feeling the Bern seems like a rather weak substitute.

Hillary is a national candidate. She's raised $24 million for the Democratic Party, which means it could actually field candidates in down-ballot races. Bernie has raised nothing. He's not loyal to the party and as you show, neither are most of his supporters. He talks about a pie-in-the-sky revolution but he won't support the one institution that has kept the left alive and Congress filled with liberals.

I've already seen this movie. In 2000 Ralph Nader called Al Gore a corporate tool and said there wasn't any difference between the two major parties. Enough left-wing purists heeded his siren song of nihilism and we got the presidency of George W Bush. Think Citizens United, the Iraq fiasco, and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Now, the purists are back and they haven't learned a thing except believing the right's demonization of the Clintons. I could weep.

Bernie is really a closet Republican and part of a conspiracy to thwart Hillary.
But Trump and Bill made a deal to thwart the Republicans chances to ocupy the White House

Come on, man, Sanders is running as a Democrat, not as an independent. He's not going to split the vote: the overly enthused, politically naive young people you equate with the entire resistance to a Clinton candidacy weren't going to vote for anyone else anyway, so it isn't like he's peeling support away from Clinton. I do engage in hyperbole, unlike you, but I'll most likely vote for the Democrat nationally just to see the official results for my district shift the demographics left one at a time. Where I live, that's all I get out of it; looking at the post-election results and finding out if we gained or lost three or four democrats or greens. You don't have that problem in Portland. But you should at least recognize Clinton is in trouble again, and she'll still be in trouble after Sanders endorses her. In fact, the Clintons have always been in trouble. They always ran with a fast crowd. Nobody in my circle of acquaintances has ever bought a bank just so they could loot it. I've known a few people who robbed banks (yeah, they got caught) but nothing as sophisticated as the McDougalls. Those kind of people never even let my kind of people ride along in the car. Well, Bill would let some of the young women tag along, I guess.

I, too, am concerned about the charter school racket. I am a product of public schools and am sending my kids there as well but if I do see quality issues, I will be forced to go the private route like Americans in many poor/decimated states. I personally think charters take the "easy" students and leave the "hard" ones for the real schools to deal with, and that is why I have significant concerns charter school industry, or at least at present reimbursement levels. That said, many of the charter schools seem to be pretty decent in terms of performance, so it hasn't been a complete disaster in that regard as nationwide charter schools have a hit-and-miss record in terms of performance.

We recently had an all-time case of NIMBYism regarding a BASIS expansion on the vacant lot abutting Shea Blvd in far east Scottsdale. So I must not be the only one with concerns since the SUSD and local residents largely opposed the expansion.

I think we are mis-governed to an extent, and I applaud Jon for his work in covering the issues. I often disagree with his opinions but quite rarely with his reporting or knowledge, which is hard to come by in this veritable media desert, in which information is so sparse outside of official disseminations and reprinted press releases disguised as news reporting.

Pat, FWIW, I simply tune out the Clinton demonology. 25 years of breathless innuendo, ratfucking, wholesale confabulation, and prurient speculation have had their impact, of course. Both Clintons have been damaged although I can no longer rouse much concern about the veracity of the claims. What matters to me is that the Clintons are real Democrats who help the party, network, fund-raise, and know political reality inside out. This is what very smart lawyers do who know the system. I also know Americans are hungry for pure souls who never lie (which is the biggest lie of all) and overpromise.

Can Bernie Sanders win? Hell no. We don't elect far-left candidates in this country despite the 25 to 30% of the electorate who would still vote for a socialist after the GOP started running nonstop ads showing a hammer and sickle tattooed on his forehead. But what's even more important is that Bernie shouldn't win because he's not a real national candidate. He's a gadfly from the fringe. Now, people like this are still valuable because they can move the Overton Window in one direction or another. Also, there isn't anything Bernie says that I disagree with. But you're also voting for Commander-in-Chief, not just some human hybrid of outrage and messianic fervor. The real reason Bernie shouldn't win may have less to do with socialism and more to do with a personality that exacerbates passion to a toxic degree. The president necessarily embodies the country in his or her person. Bernie, on the other hand, is a divider, not a uniter.

To those of you who Feel the Bern, take a deep breath. We have one vehicle in this country for progressive change. Don't fuck with it. A guy who wasn't even a Democrat a few weeks ago and who has no loyalty to this party, would joyride this party into a ditch and then walk away with nothing but his self-righteousness intact, leaving leaving others to clean up his mess. We need to nurture this party because it's the only vehicle we collectively have on the left that still works. Once you devolve this party into factions of preening narcissists and ad hoc zealots, it's over. It would be like Occupy but without the saving grace of madcap adventure.

National political parties have always been coalitions. As we've seen over the past few years, Republicans are busy deconstructing theirs with purity tests and ideological insanity. Now, Democrats appear to be following suit. I'm a lifelong liberal Democrat who has been accused of being a DINO by kids who may not even be registered to vote. This does not end well. You don't get to 50+1 with exclusionary rhetoric and ideological purity. We need every Democratic voter we can find, not just the most fervent believers. Passion can be a great thing if it's checked by doubt and pragmatism but we won't win by staking out maximalist positions that no longer unite this broad coalition. Reality doesn't work this way and it never has.

"But somebody needs to call bullshit, and not only about the targets that lie safely inside the invisible fence."

Please keep up the good fight Mr. Talton.

It is possible that the comments have slowed down because some of us are intimidated by the intellectual caliber of the commenters, i.e. some commenters use to post things like needing to be vetted as a rogue commenter, or otherwise be ignored.

the rep from Gilbert "a recipient of the "Free Market Champion" award by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club" cites the need to"..incorporate more government oversight into the process"


It's "common" knowledge that come election day all of Bernie Adbuster kids will show up and vote for Bill and Hillary. I am not so sure. I have met 30 year olds that think Trump and Sanders are the "only" choices. But I don't know anyone over 40 that thinks Bernie can beat Hillary. Bernies run has taken a lot of $$$ away from the Democratic party apparatus that supports the Clintons, however gadfly Bernie has been good for America in juicing up the conversation. Hopefully he will use that base and adrenaline when it comes time to support Hillary. The Clinton baggage true or not is going to take its toll but to date it's feather weight compared to the insanity of GOP candidates. Hillary's election will have some minor changes for the good of some, such as civil rights AND supreme court appointments. Hopefully more environmental enforcement and the disbanding of DEA. BUT I fear that her loyalty to global greed merchants will not be for the common good. And her performance may seriously hurt the Democratic party in the long run and effect the chances of folks like Elizabeth Warren.

Gordon it's the brethren from Gilbert that would have Arizona look more like Gilbert (founded by a white Confederate ) than thier more liberal brothers in Mesa.
Yesterday in a Phoenix art store I observed a "Ayn Rand-Atlas Shrugged" designed purse. The designer is from Gilbert. It was so appealing I almost purchased it. But who could I give it to?

Gordon it's the brethren from Gilbert that would have Arizona look more like Gilbert (founded by a white Confederate ) than thier more liberal brothers in Mesa.
Yesterday in a Phoenix art store I observed a "Ayn Rand-Atlas Shrugged" designed purse. The designer is from Gilbert. It was so appealing I almost purchased it. But who could I give it to?

Cal, the PHX recycles program would love that purse

Cal, like lying, greed is something everyone does to one extent or another. I get that the Clintons and their foundation appear unseemly. That said, they use it for largely good purposes. They're power players but they both recognize you don't make change without money, that is, fungible power. This principle is fairly hardwired in modern democratic societies.

In 1993, Bill Clinton raised taxes on the rich, which Republicans unanimously opposed. The resulting boom was unparalleled in post-war America. Did Republicans recant? Of course not. They simply doubled down on their Clinton Derangement Syndrome and anti-empirical belief system. Voodoo cannot fail, it can only be failed. This is something to keep in mind when lefties portray the Clintons as tools of the plutocracy. They actually did something tangibly good for America and it helped everyone. In 2000, when lefties helped elect George W Bush, he quickly went about dismantling that good, and lefties have now responded by accusing the Clintons of being tools again. Sigh....

There is one thing about the economy we have to keep in mind. We are no longer predominately a manufacturing economy. Trade agreements have hurt, but the logic of globalization was probably always going to prevail. We had it good in the post-war period precisely because we had so little competition. As time went on, that lessened, and ultimately, allowed developing nations to industrialize and compete internationally with lower-wage labor. There are a couple of takeaways here. One was that this nation needed to keep unions as strong as possible. If you're a Republican, of course, you regard unions as the enemy. This is why it's so dispiriting seeing the white working class decamping en masse to the Republicans. Instead of leveling with Joe Sixpack, they simply whispered "nigger" and "spic" in his ear. Simplest explanation wins! Now that Donald Trump is the probable GOP nominee, the same elites are gnashing their teeth. Their anti-labor party has been hijacked by a bigoted parvenu! Oh, the humanity.

What we need to do is recognize the changing economic terrain. This is not America circa 1950. The economy has radically changed, and the chief victims are low-skill workers. We need stronger labor law, more unions, and a much tighter safety net. We also need to understand the financial sector as a much larger part of this economy. We're not going to wish it away, however. Of course, it's too powerful, which is why it must be regulated. But it's absurd to call it "fraud" and somehow assume that broad=brush accusation can change it. This is not 1950 anymore. The world has changed dramatically.

Like bank robbers, candidates and parties go where the money is. Wall Street is flush with cash. Does that mean Hillary is a tool of corporatists, as our wide-eyed zealots assure us? No. It means you respect their power, listen, and then go back to the party power centers and adjust policies and messaging that reflect this reality. This is not popular because the Good vs Evil story is popular both on the right and left. Elizabeth Warren cannot change economic reality and neither will Bernie. But reasonable pols working together can sometimes get something done. Say, Dodd-Frank, which despite scorched-earth opposition from Republicans, somehow made it through Congress. Could it have been stronger? Yes, and if we had more liberals in Congress it would have been.

I know I'm taking too long making this point but I've got this off my chest. The presidency is only a piece of this puzzle. You really need state legislatures, governors, and Congress working for you. In other words, you need Democrats, not simply left-wing purists promising a revolution. There's no other way. Even after reading Thomas Piketty's Capital, I don't see any way forward that doesn't demand patience and compromise. We're not going to shoot our way out of this impasse, nor will we enlist flower power to levitate Wall Street. You need a broad-based political coalition with a liberal bent. You can get that with the Clintons. With Bernie, you get a lot of yelling and self-righteousness.

Great stuff, Soleri.

For sure Democrats have lost power at the local level. From the school board to the dog catcher.

Jon I think you should be credited with getting Soleri back on board. And Pat and I for getting him cranked up and running. Like cranking over an old John Deer tractor without breaking your arm.

Gordon U related to my old pal, Jeff?

Soleri, your analysis is spot on...for a year ago, but keep thinking like a twentieth century man and discard the rapidfire events since 9-11 that got us where we are right this minute, and you might be shocked on election day to find yourself with a carnival barker for President. I have plenty of issues with Sanders' candidacy as well, I think its futile to jack up wages without addressing the ensuing inflation when the slumlords rush to their calculators, and I think his statement about the Saudis leading the charge against ISIS was unbearably naive, for instance; but like it or not, reality demands attention, and we are where we are, not, to paraphrase the Great Rumsfeld, where it would be nice to be; the Clintons, the Bushes, John Kerry, they're all relics of the old political order, and they're being swept off the board. I don't have to like it, you don't have to like it, but there it is, here it comes, and we have to get through it with Clinton driving. I'd feel more confident with just about any possible candidate, but we'll find out who's sense of the public mood is better come November, won't we?

Pat, I wouldn't be shocked by a Trump win since this election was never going to be easy for Democrats. The biggest question mark is the economy, which could easily slide into recession given the global markets. Moreover, the fatigue factor with parties increases the longer they hold the presidency. They get much harder to defend for a third term. I think even Sam Wang, a wizard in the prediction business, is only giving Democrats 270 electoral votes for 2016, the slimmest of margins.

All that said, Trump is a national embarrassment with sky-high unfavorables. Against Bernie Sanders, he would still win easily, however, since there's no indication that this nation has swung hard to the left, and there is no more radical candidate in modern American history than Bernie. Hillary brings baggage and fatigue but she is the most qualified candidate for the presidency by far. I understand many Americans are actually tired of politicians who know things, hence Der Donald's improbable ascent. Put them on a stage together, however, and I think he will really stand out as the buffoon he is.

I'll go with Hillary for all that and one more reason: Trump will mobilize Latinos to vote in a way no other candidate could possibly do. I think it's possible he could actually put Texas and Arizona in play for the Democrats. All Hillary really has to do here is keep the Obama coalition together. The Latino surge should be the icing on the cake.

Clinton should stay off the same stage as Trump. She does not do well on her feet, and wooden public speaking skills are not easily overcome. Trump will smash Clinton on stage as he has done to all comers so far. She will gain no sympathy or votes from the blood fight.

Texas and Arizona in play? Arizona is Trump, Trump is Arizona. The Texas Republican political machine may prefer Clinton over Trump so you bring up an interesting possibility.

Pat or Ramjet was the Polar Bar North or South on Central?

I don't know, Cal, I'm still a spring chicken compared to you, Ramjet, and Robert Buchannon.

Soleri, that's true about the effect downturns can have on an election, and that's one reason Clinton's clutching Obama's coattails is worrisome. He'll be getting the blame because China isn't using as much oil as they were. It's a risky strategy, and completely unnecessary at this stage of the campaign. She needs to focus on an explanation for helping ISIS gain a foothold in Africa, because Trump will hammer her on it just like he did with Jeb over the destabilization of the Levant. There is no good reason for us to have meddled in Libya-the time for that was right after Lockerbie, and before civil claims were settled-so Clinton better make up something before she meets Trump.

The Polar Bar was located just south of Thomas Road on Central. It was the "southern" turnaround on my appointed rounds.

RAMJET, thanks. That was my recall but a native was suggesting it was around Central and Lexington and I could not find the actual address on line.
My cruising in my 59 chev took me all the way from slope to slope. Or from Sunnyslope to South Mountain. At least past Riverside Ball Room and across the Salt. Usually though I would turn around by the time I got to Sarges Cowtown.
Here's to the days of the riots at Ciots. The place Jack Elam lost an eye. I sure miss the sounds my mufflers made from that big V8 as I backed off around Central and Thomas and cruised in to Bob' big boy. However the Polar Bar had the world's largest Sundaes.
But on the open road my Chevy wa no match for Gus Stallings 58 Gullwing. As he silently breezed by with a cap and gloves on at an easy 100 plus.

Bernie vs Hillary:

Graham County:

Having now been in Denver for almost three years, I've had time to reflect on my time and frustrations about Phoenix. Perhaps the most striking insight I've had is just how much being a tourist/resort area impacts everything in the city. With companies like Motorola long gone, opportunities to build a cultural infrastructure deeper than the thin veneer of restaurants, clubs, and resorts are few. It's really hard to create a "there" there. If that is what people desire in a place to live, so be it. It just wasn't appropriate for me.

Back to the original article. Aren't we now seeing the work of the Koch Bros in our state legislature? Ducey and the legislative players are happy to attend Koch Bro conferences where they are handed suggestions for legislation. The Kochs have realized that working on the state level is far more productive than the national level. Their handiwork has put the state on the express elevator. Our elected officials are only too happy to deliver the goods.

Wow! Interesting read- especially the comments. But reread your own second paragraph Jon. We have won some incredible ground and this city is still capable of doing great things for itself even though we handicapped ourselves at the state level. Don't lose heart now- not after all these years. Keep shining that light on the dark deeds of those who would use us up for a quick buck and most importantly keep telling it like it is. Hope you are staying well.

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