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I just saw the play “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” I thought it was really funny because all the actors were super old, but they had to act like first-graders.
Bob Newhart was nearly 30, still living with his parents in Chicago and working as an accountant, when he struck comic gold in 1960 with his first comedy album, “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart.”
Their plans to fix Arizona's economy may be hard to decipher, and neither Democrat Fred DuVal nor Republican Doug Ducey is precise on exactly how they think the state will permanently come up with more money for schools.
PHOENIX -- Their plans to fix Arizona's economy may be hard to decipher.
And neither Democrat Fred DuVal nor Republican Doug Ducey is precise on exactly how they think the state will permanently come up with more money for schools.
But anyone seeking clear distinctions between the major candidates for governor need look only at their positions on what might be called "morality'' issues to find some stark contrasts.
And given how often these issues translate into legislation, what the next governor believes could be the difference between when some measures become law and others are vetoed.
Consider of gay rights.
DuVal has come out forthright in favor of the ability of gays to wed.
Ducey, by contrast, wants to limit marriage to one man and one woman, as approved by voters in 2008, though he did say after Tuesday's ruling by the 9th Circuit overturning laws in Nevada and Idaho he will "follow the law.''
But he also opposes granting health insurance and other benefits to the domestic partners of gay state and university employees. And that's an issue where the views of the governor matter.
Jan Brewer is currently in federal court fighting a bid to permanently void a provision in a 2009 law which she signed that limits benefits solely to those who are married. That action overturned a rule adopted just a year earlier to the contrary.
Brewer has said this was a question not of bias but of saving state finances. But a federal judge already has issued a preliminary injunction, saying it appears to be a clear case of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Whoever is the next governor could decide to keep the issue alive or simply drop the defense.
There are other issues of gay rights that divide the pair.
For example, existing Arizona law makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, religion or national origin. Ducey said he opposes expanding that list to include sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
"I'm for equal protection under the law for everyone,'' he said. "But I don't want to continue to divide people up through these protected classes.''
Ducey said, though, he would not turn back the clock and try remove things like race or religion from that special "protected class'' status that gives victims of discrimination the right to sue.
DuVal conceded that new rights for gays may result in new litigation.
"But we need to constantly expand rights and opportunities in ways that broaden success and participation,'' he said. DuVal said the country, having provided legal protections to other groups, now needs to extend that to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals.
Along the same lines, the pair parts ways about whether Arizona should protect businesses and individuals from being required to provide services in a way that runs counter to their own moral or religious beliefs.
This became an issue following the decision earlier this year by Gov. Jan Brewer to veto SB 1062. It would have expanded existing laws on religious freedom to provide an absolute right of businesses to cite their "sincerely held religious beliefs'' as a reason to refuse service to someone.
Brewer said it was a solution in search of a problem. And both Ducey and DuVal have said they back her veto.
But Ducey said he does support providing some protections for religious beliefs from government intrusion, citing the case of Hobby Lobby which fought for and got the right to refuse to include contraceptive coverage for their workers.
"Private employers should be able to make a decision on which benefits are provided to employees,'' he said.
DuVal, however, said he sees the issue from a different perspective.
"You should not be allowed to discriminate,'' he said.
"I recognize that runs into conflict with folks' private businesses,'' he continued. But DuVal said those same arguments were made over passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which forbade businesses from discriminating against African Americans.
"We've been through these issues before,'' DuVal said. "And we now must face them on gays and lesbians.''
The other perennial hot-button issue at the Legislature has been abortion.
Arizona lawmakers have in the last six years imposed impose new limits on what the U.S. Supreme Court has said is the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy. That includes waiting periods, clinic inspection rules and restrictions on the use of RU-486 for medication abortions.
Ducey has made no secret he supports additional restrictions. In fact, he said that he is in favor of prohibiting all abortions except in certain narrow circumstances like preventing the death of the mother or in cases of rape and incest.
DuVal said the right to abortion is "established federal law'' and should remain. He also is opposed to new limits.
In other issues which have moral or ethical considerations, Ducey said he is opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational use. DuVal said he thinks Arizona should take a wait-and-see attitude, watching how such laws are playing out in Colorado and Washington.
Ducey also said he opposes legalizing physician-assisted suicide. Oregon has such a law which permits a doctor to help someone who has a terminal illness.
DuVal said he has not really thought about the matter.
And Ducey said he wants Arizona to scrap its 40-year-old system of merit selection of judges for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and trial courts in Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties. That system requires the governor to make selections from a list of recommendations by a special screening committee.
Ducey said he favors allowing the governor to pick whoever he or she wants, subject only to Senate confirmation similar to the federal system. DuVal said the current system works to take much of the politics out of the process.
Follow Howard Fischer on Twitter at @azcapmedia.
I grew up during the era of the video game. I had the good fortune to be a kid at the time Nintendo hit the market. This was long before the Xbox and PlayStation. This was when controllers were rectangles and buttons were few. My experience was unique to what my parents had growing up. Most games were shockingly simple, especially by today’s standards. But one game in particular stands out to me all these years later.
An authentic leather jacket: $30. A Tommy Bahama button-up: $10. Finding the best deal on high-end, low cost clothing in town: Priceless.
When it’s time to start stocking the school backpack, it’s easy to just grab a stack of plain, boring notebooks.
WASHINGTON — Home-schooling mom Jenni White gave some of the loudest cheers when Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation to repeal the Common Core education standards.
MADISON, Wis. - Nestled on an isthmus that's home to both buttoned-up politicians in the state Capitol and more liberal-leaning college students just a short walk away, Madison lives up to its endearing unofficial motto as "77 square miles surrounded by reality."
NEW YORK — Getting people onboard a cruise ship can be tough. They fear bland buffets, debilitating stomach bugs and a crowd whose idea of excitement is playing canasta.
CHICAGO — Expect bold colors, metallic materials and sporty styles on beaches this summer in, surprisingly, more one-piece silhouettes. A quick guide to this season's swim looks:
Every year in the spring, Tempe arts school New School for the Arts & Academics (NSAA) throws a big event to raise money for the school. The students showcase their talents through various types of performances such as dance, drama, and music and their visual art skills by selling various items they’ve made such as pottery, buttons, bobble-heads, etc. In addition to this marvelous display of talents, the students and faculty run activities like this year’s dunk tank, carnival games, and a rather impressive raffle. These kids have some serious talent!
NEW YORK — Jamie Foxx, who stars in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," knows something about the double-life of a superhero.
The definition of family is a hot-button topic these days. Google the word, and you’ll get more thoughts on the subject than ants at a picnic, with people debating what family is, whether it still matters, and whether anyone really cares.
Spring has sprung in Arizona, the weather is beautiful and the desert is a fun place to play. But when you spend your free time in the Valley of the Sun, you should know what sorts of animals to look out for and how to behave around them.
It seems so obvious now, but 25 years ago there was a lot of uncertainty about an idea of mine to create a catalog that would introduce millions of airline passengers with loads of downtime to quirky, unique products they didn’t know they needed (or, in some cases, didn’t know existed).
Learning didn’t always come easy for 23-year-old Scottsdale native Daniel Mazzon, as teachers said his ability to listen and comprehend the material was below average. But instead of going through the motions, Mazzon opted to venture on his own and apply the skills he had to a different project.
LOS ANGELES — The pre-pre-season opening kickoff of the 2014 National Football League schedule is returned for a score in "Draft Day," an entirely conventional serio-comic sports world melodrama that pushes its buttons with undeniable professional finesse. In his most effective full star turn in perhaps a decade, Kevin Costner dominates as the greenhorn general manager of the beleaguered Cleveland Browns who could emerge from the heavy shadow of his late revered father with the successful handling of the annual draft of college players.
AP- Todd McCarthy
“The sky is falling! The sky is falling and we must tell the king,” proclaimed Chicken Little to Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosely Loosey, Turkey Lurkey and Foxy Loxy in “The Story of Chicken Little.” I feel like they could have named the protagonist Mikey Microsoft and it would be the same story. Companies love to throw a scare into people using older versions of their products to induce them into purchasing the latest and greatest version so they go around like a town crier telling anyone who will listen, they no longer will support Windows XP after April 8. What shall we do? What shall we do?
The fate of a $9.2 billion state budget could depend on lawmakers crafting a commitment for future child-welfare funding that does not actually commit them to doing anything.
Q: I’ve grown to hate (Windows 8) and would like to install Windows 7. What steps should I take? — Jim
NEW YORK — Every so often a revolution transforms something truly basic, rendering the status quo somewhat, well, primitive.