Posted by Michael Bryan
I thought I would get in the spirit of reflecting back on the past year by taking a look at my posts over the course of 2011 with an eye to picking out a few of the 'best'.
What I found is that I hadn't done all that much :) It may or may not be news to some readers that I was pretty distracted by health concerns this year. I basically didn't post between July and November. I had a quadruple cardiac bypass in early August and was pretty much disabled in the months prior and subsequent to that event.
So, in thinking about things I'm grateful for this year, top of the list is, of course, my continuing survival and returning health, and the support and love of my family that got me through the crisis.
Here in the blogosphere, my gratitude goes out to the wonderful bloggers who have joined me here at BlogForArizona who continue to make this a lively and informative forum for political junkies of Arizona to come and get their fixes.
A blog is like a broadcast. Dead air is the enemy. This blog would absolutely no longer exist if smart and public-spirited folks like David, Meanie, Craig, Karl, and all our occasional guest authors weren't here keeping BlogForArizona on the air. This year proved to me that BlogForArizona is truly become a community. I'm grateful beyond measure to be a part of that, and grateful to all of you who read and comment and contribute to keep that community alive.
Now, for my Top Ten:
The year started out on a tragic note with the January 8th shootings. Everyone on the blog chipped in to keep up with the terrible news (Gabby, Our Thoughts Are With You). In the days following I got pretty intemperate about what that tragedy revealed about the state of American politics (The Hypocrisy of the Right-Wing on the CD8 Shootings).
Much of politics in Arizona over the course of 2010 was driven by Senate President Pearce, unfortunately. I weighed in on his horrible lies about immigrants (The Big Lie at the Heart of the Birthright Citizenship Attacks on "Anchor Babies"), and even got a bit whimsical when I made a video about the issue (Arizona Senator Pearce throws Down with a Mexican Anchor Baby Mama). I also fisked his statement when the 9th Circuit enjoined enforcement of several provisions of SB1070 (Arizona Senator Pearce Attacks the 9th circuit Court of Appeals). Hopefully, Pearce won't be in a leadership position of Arizona's government ever again.
I was appalled by the AZ GOP's utter incompetence and immorality in dealing with this year's difficult budgetary deficit (An Immoral Budget), and their appalling lies about having 'balanced' the budget (AZ GOP's Big Budget Lie).
An entirely manufactured crisis was Jan Brewer's unconstitutional and nakedly political attack on the Independent Redistricting Commission (Janet Wants Her Veto Back) by summarily removing its Chairperson, which I predicted would fail (Arizona Courts Constitutional Crisis Over IRC). Thankfully, I was right for once, and sanity prevailed.
Another ego-driven perennial windbag in Arizona politics had the starch taken out of his pink underwear by the Department of Justice (Arpaio, MSCO and the DOJ Civil Rights Division Findings. What's it All Mean?), and immediately took the fight into the mud (And Arpaio's Supporters Go There Publicly).
Finally, a true piece of shit who besmirched the face of Arizona's politics looks to be about to get what he so richly deserves (Andy Thomas is in Big Trouble). But as the ethics panel's ruling won't actually come until late January, so perhaps this story is really the first Top Ten of 2012. And that, in the "baker's dozen" tradition of Top Tens, is actually 11 posts :)
BlogForArizona was founded in 2003 as the DeanForArizona blog during the 2004 Democratic Primary season. So, Happy New Year and welcome to BlogForArizona's 9th year in publication!