@body:I love it that the Arizona Republic has once again jumped on the Phoenix Cardinals' bandwagon. Joe Bugel, the lame-duck head coach, says he has been given an ultimatum by owner Bill Bidwill: Win or be gone. Bugel should have been gone two years ago. All of this is ridiculous. Once again, Bugel won't and can't possibly win, but Bidwill will keep him around until his contract runs out.

Bidwill is a man who is very close with a buck. But he has no pride. He would rather see his team continue to be embarrassed on the field than to dump Bugel while the coach still has time on his contract.

The key to this year's Cardinals roster is not who they brought in, but who they let get away. The loss of Tim McDonald, one of the best defensive backs in football, was devastating. I'm sure McDonald now figures that he escaped from the National Football League's zoo.

@body:What has happened to Jerry Colangelo's search for an impact player to bolster the Phoenix Suns? Unless Colangelo makes the trade for Dennis Rodman or comes up with the dough for A.C. Green, the Suns will come up short again next season.

Or has Colangelo decided to stand pat and build up the profit margin while everyone remains in a state of euphoria over last season?

@body:I heard County Attorney Richard Romley on the Pat McMahon radio show the other day. Romley continues to be the most despicable public servant in memory.

Before the show was over, Romley admitted he plans to become Arizona's governor before his career ends. That's not all. While being interviewed recently by Laura Greenberg for a quietly devastating profile for Phoenix magazine, Romley let it be known that his friends keep urging him to run for attorney general.

Romley's "friends" are no doubt the same lawyers Grant Woods tossed over the side when Woods assumed command of the AG's Office. Is one of them named Barnett Lottstein?

On another note, was Lottstein named Romley's special assistant only to remove Lottstein from a very embarrassing situation?

@body:Dennis DeConcini, like Richard Nixon, insists he is not a crook. Our problem is that we just don't understand Dennis or how deep his desire is to do good and honest work for us.

His wife understands him. She left him. Dennis kept insisting he never knew that his two top aides, Earl Katz and Ron Ober, were as thick as thieves with Charles Keating. John Dougherty's blockbuster article, "DeConcini & Keating," in the July 14 New Times blasted that alibi away for good.

But what about Superior Court Judge Paul Katz? That's Earl Katz's son. Wasn't Paul involved in all those Keating deals, too? How did he end up?

DeConcini's clout got him appointed to the bench by Rose Mofford as one of her final acts as governor. Lovely. Time marches on.

@body:Speaking of judges, let's turn our attention for the moment to Jim Skelly. The rollicking former member of the state House of Representatives was on a talk show the other day. Skelly was asked how he thought J. Fife Symington was doing as governor.

Skelly said he thought Symington was doing an excellent job as governor, and that sooner or later, the voters would realize what a great job Symington had done for the state.

What Skelly forgot to mention was the fact that Symington recently appointed Skelly's son, Chris Skelly, a young man with limited credentials as a lawyer, to the Superior Court bench.

@body:Clint Eastwood is better in In the Line of Fire than he has ever been before. John Malkovich's performance as the assassin is of Academy Award quality. And yet, after seeing this film, I took Of Mice and Men out of the video store and discovered Malkovich in another giant performance as Lenny in the John Steinbeck epic.

Some movies never find their proper niche. Two very good ones that were overlooked in the theatres are now out on videocassette: Used People, with Shirley MacLaine, and The Waterdance.

@body:State Treasurer Tony West raised his porcine head from the muck again last week. By the time the story about the effort by West and his pals to gain control of the $10.5 billion in the state retirement fund surfaced, the oleaginous former legislator was running for cover again.

@body:It is now acknowledged that Richard Romley and his cronies not only botched the AzScam case, but that they have now succeeded in botching the temple murders case, as well. How do you grant immunity to the main man in the killing, one who went on to commit a subsequent murder with another accomplice two months later?

As for the AzScam case, former state senator Carolyn Walker is on her way back out of prison. A juror in the Walker case called Romley on the telephone the other day. The juror had a question that Romley could not answer.

"How come I sat on the jury longer than Carolyn Walker served in jail?

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