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FLASHES

Earth to Joe
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has gained international fame for his harsh treatment of criminals. Just ask him.

Last week that fame earned Arpaio ten minutes of face-to-face with Tom Snyder, the guffawing host of CBS's Late, Late Show.

Arpaio assured Snyder he was a straight-shootin', coffee-, cigarette-, girlie-mag-denyin', gang-chainin', tent-incarceratin' Crime Avenger.

He's also pretty loose with his facts. Arpaio told Snyder that he uses the Tent City jail "as a deterrent to crime," that "I've had no lawsuits" and that "I've saved $100 million."

The Flash rang up the sheriff a few days later, seeking documentation. Asked for proof that Tent City serves as a crime deterrent, the Crime Avenger said inmates have told him they hated Tent City. That's it.

"Have the get-tough measures deterred crime? That's a good question," the Crime Avenger said. "I'd like to know the answer. I don't know if it's a deterrent." He added that once he recoups all the deppities he lost to county budget cuts, he just might do an analysis to see if recidivism has declined. In the meantime, he'll go right on declaring to the nation that he is deterring crime.

The Crime Avenger also revised his broadcast claim about lawsuits, saying that he should have told America he'd had no "class-action lawsuits," as opposed to the kind filed by aggrieved individuals, which he has had.

As for the $100 million savings, the Crime Avenger says that's how much it would cost to build a new jail. Of course, county voters must approve bonds before such a jail could be built. But if they ever did, by gum, the Crime Avenger would turn right around and save it. Wait. If you scrunch your eyes up, you can imagine it's already saved!

As it turned out, Snyder also misspoke. By way of explaining the Crime Avenger's long law enforcement career, Snyder assured his viewers that Arpaio "hadn't just landed from Mars."

Shadegg's Mud on the Net
A member of the Internet's Political Woman Hotline has established "The Clueless Politico Award." The first recipient: Freshman Representative John Shadegg, R-Arizona.

According to the bulletin on the net: "Shadegg was among House committee members who heard shocking testimony from Kiri Jewell, age 14. Jewell told the committee she was „about 7' when Branch Davidian leader David Koresh first notified her that she would become one of his wives; at age 10, she was forced to have sex with him in a hotel room; she was later taught how to place a gun inside her mouth to commit suicide. Frustrated that Jewell took attention from his despised BATF, Shadegg called her testimony „a major distraction.'" The hot line was organizing a phone, fax and e-mail campaign, hoping to heap condemnation on Shadegg.


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