Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio Invites Puente to His Office; Puente Flips Him Off

I'll give Sheriff Joe Arpaio one thing, the guy is a class-A schmoozer. The almost-octogenarian knows how to butter up his adversaries for public consumption, all while he's plotting to have them arrested, investigated, tailed, or worse. 

Though Arpaio is nominally in law enforcement, this is a classic la cosa nostra move. Smile in your enemy's face, moments before you slit his throat. Like when Joe Pesci's character in Goodfellas goes to attend what he thinks will be his induction ceremony into the mob, only to be executed instead.

The difference is, Arpaio's shuck and jive only fools the gullible. Anyone with a lick of sense knows it's bull. Still, he persists in it, like an ancient, third-rate comedian telling a once-funny joke for the umpteenth time.

Which explains why Sheriff Joe's inviting "the leaders of Puente" to his office for a confab. Guess he's read that the human rights group has planned a demonstration for June 23 at his notorious Tent City, an open-air gulag run by dangerous, racist gangs that Arpaio pretends to be in charge of.

And of course, Arpaio had to Tweet and Facebook about the upcoming demo, though he's got a whole team of PR flunkies to do the actual typing for him.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons