Mar 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 25 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Last week, things reached a fever pitch in Arizona as legislators tried to clarify existing religious liberty protections in state law in light of incidents, in which Christian business owners have been sanctioned for refusing to participate in gay weddings. The bill in question was immediately assailed as “antigay” by journalists we can confidently say cared nothing about how religious freedom laws work. A respected group of scholars—including gay marriage supporters—sent a letter to Arizona governor Jan Brewer explaining that the law was not antigay and urging her to sign the bill. But faced with a threat from the NFL to relocate the Super Bowl and pressure from national Republicans, Brewer vetoed the legislation. The Scrapbook is old enough to remember way back in the ’90s when archconservatives like Chuck Schumer were widely praised for authoring sweeping federal religious liberty legislation along identical lines.
Interestingly, at the same time there was a handy lesson in what it takes for the powers that be to show some deference to religious conviction. On February 20, bubble gum pop star Katy Perry uploaded the video for her latest single, “Dark Horse,” to YouTube. The video is rife with ancient Egyptian costumes and imagery, and about a minute into the song a CGI lightning bolt comes out of the sky and turns an elaborately costumed man into dust.
You could blink and miss the entire shot, and you have to employ Zapruderesque levels of scrutiny to notice the pendants of the necklaces the man is wearing. But someone did just that and noticed that one of the pendants formed the word “Allah.” Before long there was an online petition with 50,000 signatures denouncing this “portrayal of blasphemy. . . . Katy Perry engulfs the believer and the word God in flames.” And just like that, the tiny pendant was digitally edited out of the video.
Of course, if the desecration of Christian symbols were ever cause for concern, we’d have to rip about four decades’ worth of heavy metal off of YouTube. However, this will never happen because, despite what you may have heard from the media in the past week, Christians are actually extremely tolerant.
And so we are once again left to ponder the hypocritical, if not culturally suicidal, paradox of America’s elites. Christians who practice tolerance—and have the nerve to ask to be tolerated in return—are bullied and held in contempt. But since Muslims might pose a violent threat, the dominant cultural and political forces cower and hasten to remedy even inconsequential slights.
There’s no word yet on what tragedy in the Mideast the Obama administration will attribute to the Katy Perry video, but we’ll probably find out soon enough.
Feb 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 21 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook has devoted plenty of column inches over the years to detailing the incestuous relationship between public employers and public employee unions. Every election cycle, union dues—paid with taxpayer dollars—go to Democratic politicians, who, when in office, thank their donors with immutable contracts containing generous wages and benefits. It’s truly a vicious circle. But even we were surprised when we found out just how directly money was being funneled from public coffers to private pockets through union contracts.
5:04 PM, Jun 18, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
At least for now (although a statewide referendum may be pending), Arizona governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, has succeeded in her efforts to implement a key part of Obamacare in her state.
4:52 PM, Dec 19, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Jon Kyl, the Republican senator from Arizona, delivered his farewell address to the Senate Wednesday afternoon. Kyl is retiring at the end of this term after 18 years in the Senate and 8 years in the House of Representatives. Read his speech below:
5:15 PM, Oct 29, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new ad for Republican Senate candidate Jeff Flake of Arizona, which features Republican senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, prompted a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to call the spot a "hostage video."
Matt Canter, the communications director for the DSCC, wrote the following on Twitter:
“[H]e specifically asked about a house and a car,” Kyl explains.1:20 AM, Oct 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with THE WEEKLY STANDARD, retiring Republican senator Jon Kyl raised some possible reasons why Democrat Richard Carmona, one of candidates vying to win the Arizona Senate seat Kyl is vacating, might be seeking public office. If a past interaction Kyl had with Carmona reveals a motive for the present, it is that the Democrat is seeking the Senate seat for the "perks of the office."
"Richard Carmona should never, ever be in the U.S. Senate."11:07 AM, Oct 11, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The U.S. Senate race in Arizona to replace retiring Republican Jon Kyl was supposed to be an easy hold for the GOP. But the last several polls have shown the race is tightening between the Republican candidate, Congressman Jeff Flake, and his Democratic opponent, Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general under George W. Bush. One poll from last week even showed Carmona two points ahead of Flake, which was surprising since Flake led Carmona by double digits as recently as June.
8:23 AM, Aug 18, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
U.S. Senator John McCain has endorsed Ben Quayle over David Schweikert in the Republican primary for Arizona's Sixth Congressional District. McCain endorsed Quayle, a House freshman and the son of former vice president Dan Quayle, in a press conference Wednesday in Phoenix. Dan Nowicki of the Arizona Republic reports:
Two Republican congressmen fight it out near Phoenix. Aug 20, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 45 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In separate interviews, Arizona congressmen David Schweikert and Ben Quayle shake their heads and shrug their shoulders at their political predicament. The freshmen members are running against each other in a Republican primary for the House in what local and national observers alike have labeled one of the nastiest primaries of the cycle. How nasty? Most recently, Quayle has called on Schweikert to apologize for a campaign mailer that claimed Quayle “goes both ways” on the issues, saying the phrase is sexually charged.
Jared Lee Loughner escapes the death penalty.2:50 PM, Aug 9, 2012 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Jared Lee Loughner, who killed six people and injured thirteen others (including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) last year near Tucson, cut a deal yesterday: By agreeing to plead guilty to perpetrating the massacre, federal prosecutors in return spared the 23-year-old from the death penalty.
7:04 AM, Jun 26, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Fred Barnes, with Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
3:13 PM, Jun 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano celebrated the Supreme Court's Arizona decision in a statement. But Napolitano expressed concern in a statement that a key component of the law, which allows law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of folks who are stopped, saying that it "will make DHS' work more challenging."
1:37 PM, Jun 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama praised the Supreme Court decision that struck down part of the Arizona illegal-immigration law, but expressed "concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally."
11:25 AM, Jun 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Arizona senators Jon Kyl and John McCain released the following statement on the Supreme Court's ruling today on tht state's immigration law: