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Pat’s Commentary

Friday, June 1

“Justice Denied”

How ironic that all those bug eradication companies have a chemical or substance of some kind that will get rid of even the most loathsome of creatures, but the federal court can’t take John Edwards out of our lives.

Yesterday, as I’m sure you’ve heard, his campaign finance fraud case ended in mistrial as the jurors acquitted him on one charge and were unable to come to a decision on the other five. The jury was hung and so was the expression of disappointment on my face when I heard the news.

Do I think it was a miscarriage of justice? Absolutely not. I wasn’t in the courtroom, but I will allow myself the belief that the prosecution didn’t successfully prove that this former this former senator, this former presidential candidate, spent huge sums of campaign money to hide a sordid affair with whom he later had a child.

No, for me, it’s the moral nausea I feel when I recall his terminally ill wife, the lies, his children, the voters who believed in him.

Please, just hand me the Raid.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, May 31

“Dressing Down”

It seems for as long as I can remember, Phoenix, in particular, has taken it on the chin when it comes to virtually any survey ranking of the U.S. in any category.

We have been called one of the unfriendliest cities in America — a bad place to do business.

I totally disagree with all of that, but now comes one of the sappiest of all — Travel + Leisure magazine’s website ranks us as one of the worst-dressed cities in America. They use the bolo tie as an example.

In London, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, a suit is a must for virtually every businessman. Fine. That’s their uniform and everybody here has the choice to wear one or not.

The casual look of Phoenix fashion for men and women has to do with freedom and common sense. We dress for the climate and comfort. That’s what they do in Hawaii, Miami and Phoenix.

Or would Travel + Leisure perhaps prefer the Cleveland look?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, May 30


This morning, I saw a number of people outside my office building committing suicide.

Some of them were my friends. Don’t ask me why I didn’t stop them. In the past, I’ve tried — with occasional success — but most of the time they didn’t listen.

They were smokers. And every time I see someone taking a smoke break or holding a cigarette outside a car window, I remember how difficult it was for me to quit after years of a pack a day.

Oh, we knew it wasn’t good for us — we just had no idea how bad it was for us. And yet it’s still being used, it’s still being sold because it’s still legal.

Medical science seems to be convinced that a little alcohol, especially red wine, may have some health benefits. Medical marijuana is available in a number of states. But nowhere does anyone promote the benefits of tobacco.

That’s because of the nearly half-million deaths from its use this year alone. It kills thousands of infants born from smoking mothers.

If you’re hooked but you’re still listening, at least now you know why they call those smokers on TV “Mad Men.”

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, May 29


So did you have a happy Memorial Day?

That’s always sounded peculiar to me. By the very nature
of what the Memorial Day holiday is supposed to signify,
happiness isn’t part of the equation.

Now, this is in no way intended to lay a guilt trip at the
doorway of those who had a pool party or took in a ball
game. I enjoyed the long weekend, too.

But it was also an easy time for me to remember those in
my family who served our country — some who didn’t

My father-in-law, Marine Sgt. Bernard Boyer, was in World
War II and Korea and he did come back. I’m glad for him
and I’m glad because he returned to have a daughter and I
married her. Bernie and his bride were together at the
National Cemetery of Arizona and they were honored Monday
in ceremonies they shared with 65,000 other residents

If you couldn’t make it yesterday, visit some other time.
You’ll always be welcome, you know, just look for the

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, May 25

“Mac Attack”

Were you surprised when the news came out that the least-
popular United States senator is our own John McCain?

Hey, wait a minute, isn’t he the guy that was popular
enough to run for president — twice? According to a
public policy polling organization, only 36 percent of
Arizona voters approve of the job he’s doing, the worst
numbers the organization found in researching all 50

How did he go from Naval hero and POW to presidential
candidate to bum in such a short period of time? Is he
just not Republican enough? Has he blown off too many
birthers? Are some of the militantly anti-Obama people
still holding a grudge from the last campaign when he told
that woman in the audience that no, she was wrong about
his opponent being a Muslim?

Is Cindy too beautiful? Is Meghan too mouthy? Are they
both too pro gay issues?

With numbers like his, he’d better hope Kim Kardashian
doesn’t move to Arizona and run for Senate.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, May 24

“Island Fever”

Hey, Joe — or, more courteously, Sheriff Arpaio — Hey,
this is Pat and I know you’ll get this message because of
all those people in your office who record the times your
name is mentioned on radio and television shows.

So look, I just heard about the travel opportunities that
have become available to people who help the Maricopa
County Sheriff’s Office in its pursuit of justice.

I mean, I know you just sent a couple of your people to
Hawaii to get to the bottom of this President Obama birth
certificate thing. Well, you’ve said you wouldn’t rest
until it was solved to your satisfaction — which
apparently doesn’t include the Secretary of State putting
it aside — along with the U.S. Supreme Court, the
Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of

It’s just that if you’re still searching for evidence, I
heard somewhere that his family may have been Aborigines
and, since I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, I’d be
happy to check it out. And, if that’s not possible,
Florida is nice.

How about getting the inside scoop about NASA and those
phony moon landings they tried to get past us?

My bag is packed, Joe, anytime you need my help.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, May 23

“Blast Off”

Capitalism really got off the ground yesterday — the
Space X Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Tuesday morning.

As the first privately-financed commercial space vehicle
intended to rendezvous with the International Space
Station on Friday, this is free enterprise in space.

This rocket, carrying a 1,404-pound cargo of food and
other necessities for the six astronauts on board the
space station, has the capability of beginning a whole new
chapter in exploration.

Why is this so different? The government’s not involved.
It’s people whose motivation is to make a profit by making
things better than you can when you’ve been saddled by

NASA will be offering it’s experience for the maneuvering,
but the equipment, the engineering, the science is all as
a result of business people getting together in this
country and deciding not to lose this space race to Russia
and it’s Soyuz program.

By the way, there is one addition to the cargo that will
remain in space: the ashes of “Star Trek” actor James
Dookan. Yes, Scotty finally got beamed up.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, May 22

“Ebony Denied”

Has anyone ever seen a minstrel show?

I didn’t think so.

Back in the 1800s, riverboats and vaudeville shows would
often offer black entertainment performed by white
performers in black face make-up. Later, that was a
trademark of the famous theatrical performer Al Jolson.
Many of the sketches and much of the comedy was based n
the racial stereotypes of the day.

That’s why it’s not done now. It would be tasteless. But
now comes a story from Colorado Springs, Colorado that
represents what happens when racial sensitivity reaches a
level of insulting stupidity.

A second grader was pulled out of class last week because
he wanted to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wax Museum
Day. His parents brought him to school in a black suit,
white shirt and black tie with a moustache because that’s
what M.L.K. looked like in the child’s picture.

but the student doing the tribute was white, so he wore
black make-up. The school labeled his choice as offensive.

All the 7-year-old white child wanted to do is show his
respect for Martin Luther King, Jr, who, I have no doubt,
spent last Wednesday shaking his head in wonder.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, May 21

“Stretch Marks”

It just never goes away, does it?

Just when Arizona was losing its place as the birther
center of the world, competing only with the Octomom’s
delivery room, a public official does it again. Secretary
of State Ken Bennett has been sending inquiries to
Hawaiian officials requesting more proof of president
Barack Obama’s birth there.

Tea Party people — Joe Arpaio — now Arizona’s Secretary
of State, next in succession for the governorship. You
can’t make this stuff up.

If some birth conspiracy story was on the front page of a
supermarket tabloid, it would be laughable and then
dismissed by all but a few lonely souls.

But no! Some of these people are elected leaders. Ken
Bennett minimizes his role in this absurd, clown college
fiasco by saying, while he believes that the president is
not foreign-born, he has an obligation to respond to the
request of a constituent.

OK, Mr. Secretary. I’m a constituent. Answer this. When
you were on your LDS mission in southern Japan, were you
or were you not captured by a band of Shinto priests
cryogenically frozen and replaced by a highly-
sophisticated Ken Bennett robot that could be our next
governor or would that be redundant?

Just asking.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, May 17

“Combat Equality”

I think one of the worst things about being the President
of the United States or a high-ranking military leader
would be having to send young men into combat and
potentially life-threatening situation.

It must be hell knowing that you can predict, with
accuracy, a specific body count. As long as there’s been
war, reality states a certain number of young men would
not return.

And now that will be true of young women.

Female soldiers are this week being moved, for the first
time, into once all-male Army units. Thousands of jobs
will now be available to females who had to deal with
gender restrictions that had been in place since the
military began.

There is also serious consideration being given to
accepting women into the elite U.S. Army Rangers. And why
not? Female soldiers have struggled for promotion because
the criteria has been different.

The right to fight and even die for your country shouldn’t
be a hormonal thing. We’ll all be better served by having
our country protected by a band of brother and sisters.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, May 16

“Fire Crackers”

Have you noticed how different the sky looks these days?

The filter you’re seeing is smoke converging on the Valley
from the Gladiator and Sunflower fires still burning to
the north and east of us here in metro Phoenix.

It’s only the middle of May and with just a few 100-degree
days, we already are suffering wildfires. All the alerts
are already going out about campfire safety, the careless
discarding of cigarettes and flammables — all the things
we’re reminded about every year.

A few days ago, I even heard a cautionary announcement
warning us about vehicles ragging chains in the highway
possibly creating a spark. Yes, just one spark can be

So, state legislators, now that your grueling session is
over and you have the time to watch things like this on
television, perhaps you can at last answer the question
I’ve been asking repetitively:

Since Arizona is a dangerously dry state, when you
legalized fireworks last year, what the hell were you

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, May 15

“Monterrey Massacre”

Let’s not waste time, OK?

Everybody who writes in defense of Mexico — visiting
there, safety, belief that the violence is limited and a
media exaggeration — you might as well leave now. I
continue to hear you minimize the treachery and horror
that the Mexican people are experiencing — the population
of Mexico and not just the people who are in the drug

Yes, there are safe, peaceful areas of Afghanistan and
Somalia but you know what? Neither of those two areas had
49 headless, footless, handless bodies dumped on one of
their highways. That’s what happened just last week in
Monterrey, one of Mexico’s most affluent cities.

There were more of the same kinds of atrocities at the
same time in other states — mostly in the north — that
were just south of us.

Are you truly convinced that, because you haven’t had
troubles when you visited Rocky Point, that neutralizes
the 50,000 Mexican murders since 2006?

Mexico votes for new leadership July 1. I hope Washington
notices that there is another election taking place before

It may be a matter of life and death.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, May 11


This is not the Bad News Bears we’re talking about.

I wish it was something out of a fun movie with a happy
ending but no. Real Life — May 2012: A Phoenix school
scheduled to play in a state baseball championship is
forfeiting that game because their opponent has a second
baseman who is — hold — hold — who is a girl.

Mesa Prep earned the right to play for the Arizona Charter
Athletic Association title against Our Lady of Sorrows
Catholic School, but when the administration of the
parochial school heard 15-year-old Paige Sutzbach was
going to be one of their infielders, they pulled out of
the competition.

Now for those of you who have had a Catholic education, as
I did, may find this decision unlike the church you may be
familiar with. Well, Our Lady of Sorrows is run by the
ultraconservative society of Saint Pius X, but what
possible excuse could they have for not playing baseball
against a girl?

The society has been accused of antisemitism in the past.
Her name is Sutzbach. Who knows?

But at least I can understand, heading into Mother’s Day,
why she’s called Our Lady of Sorrows.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, May 10


I have no doubt that President Barack Obama is not a
Muslim who was born in Kenya and is secretly an avowed
Marxist who, as a real life Manchurian Candidate, is
committed to the overthrow of the United States of

There! Now that I’ve deleted this morning’s emails I can
tell you something I do believe about the president:
evidently, he has never met a gay person in his life.

I have come to that conclusion after going back over his
past comments concerning his position on gay marriage. I
mean, that’s really not something that most people are
ambivalent about. But in the last 3.5 years, he has been
unalterably opposed to gay marriage, but supportive of
what he called “a strong civil union.”

I think that’s marriage light, a virgin Mai Tai, a plain
cheese pizza.

He has been at the forefront of what’s called the Domestic
Partners and Obligations Act — everything but the “M”
word. Until yesterday when he became the first U.S.
president to support same-sex marriage.

Finally, he can get great seats for “La Cage Aux Folles.”

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, May 9

“That’s The Spirit”

Hey Spirit Airlines! Would you just give me an outside
chance to like you?

I mean, when you got here just last December, a number of
us greeted you warmly and expressed delight that Mesa
Gateway Airport had added your service and destinations to
the established Allegiant Airlines. I’m crazy about Mesa
Gateway as an alternative to the massive Sky Harbor and
we’ve flown Allegiant comfortably and punctually a number
of times.

My wife and I have often talked about flying Spirit to
several locations, but supporting you as a new Valley
business is getting more difficult with each news story we
hear. Your announcement about charging $100 per carry on
bag, under any circumstances, gave me whiplash.

It reminds me of Bill Bidwill bringing the Cardinals here
from St. Louis and greeting football fans in the Valley to
an instant increase ticket prices. Mr. Bidwill has
changed. Considering the fact that you have also had bad
press from the way you handled a refund to a dying
veteran, maybe you should consider making some changes

Like in your public relations department.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, May 8


Dear God:

This is Pat and I’m sure you know I’ve never said a prayer
to you about a sports team. I mean, the other side would
be praying for their team and you would be under a great
deal of stress.

No, this is about the Phoenix Coyotes, but I’m certainly
not asking for you to help them win the Stanley Cup —
unless, of course, you’d really like to.

I just want to call your attention to what they’ve been
through the last few years. They might prefer a plague of
locusts compared with not knowing where you’ll be playing
from one season to the next. They haven’t even known what
country. Yet, look what they’ve done. That’s the kind of
character you admire isn’t, God?

I hope that’s what you’re sending us in the possible new
owner, this Greg Jamison who used to be with the San Jose
Sharks. If all goes well, we can get the team back from
the NHL and plan for the future.

Oh, if I may, one more thing, God. If the Goldwater
Institute gets involved, would you ask Barry Goldwater
what he would do?

It may have something to do with lightning.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, May 7


Did you see the story about the fearsome long-range
intercontinental ballistic missiles featured in a
spectacular North Korean military parade recently?

They got the attention of much of the world because of
their embarrassing rocket failure and their nuclear
technology. That’s why these missiles got so much
photographic and video scrutiny from experts in the field.

And after much analysis, the weapons experts around the
world collectively came to this conclusion: the missiles
that the North Korean government and the military were
broadly showing off are fakes!

They’re a mish-mosh of components culled together from
incompatible weapons systems that could never be used
together. One would suspect that the Korean words
stenciled on them would probably be translated to

If you think no country would ever try such fakery, a long
time ago I wrangled a trip into East Berlin. The main
boulevard that would be shown to visitors was lined with
tall, prosperous-looking buildings. When we drove behind
them, the stunning reality was they were hollow shells —
sides and a front — all for show.

See? All the phonies aren’t in Washington after all.

Friday, May 4


What did J.T. Ready have in common with Adolf Hitler? They
both committed suicide.

No matter what Ready thought, that’s about it.

The consummate symbol of evil, Hitler conquered much of
central Europe and through his merciless power and absence
of conscience, he was personally responsible for millions
of deaths in the camps and on the battlefields. He was
history’s most famous sociopath.

Ready apparently, sadly was responsible in Gilbert,
Arizona for dour deaths, including an infant, before
taking his own life. And those killings will be all that
he’ll be remembered for.

He attempted to run for public office several times in
laughably shabby campaigns. He was a loser as a Marine and
even less impressive as a civilian. He was asked to leave
the Republican Party, so he sought power by donning the
uniform of a wannabe patriot.

A self-proclaimed protector of all of us from all of them
— the invaders — the Mexicans and the Jews and all the
rest of the people who terrified him and all the rest of
the grown-up little boys pathetically playing soldier.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, May 3

“Labor pains”

I don’t understand cruelty. Are the domestic abusers that
are so prevalent to be clinically labeled as sadists? What
could possibly provoke a human being of any age to
physically harm an animal?

As I admitted, I don’t understand cruelty. Perhaps I hope
I never do.

But that which is hardest for me to conceive is the
ultimate cruelty – the kind that happens after conceiving
– the kind that has tripled in the last decade – expectant
mothers turning their unborns into addicts.

The domestic increase in the incidence of U.S. babies
being born junkies is as a result of what is to me
unthinkable – pregnant women continuing to use vicodin,
oxycontin, and heroin. Ever see a meth baby? Don’t look.

We all have been raised with the belief that there is a
natural nurturing protective trigger that allows expectant
mothers to stop destructive behavior. Tell that to a
pediatrician giving an anti-withdrawal medication to an
infant two days old. It’s simply inconceivable.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, May 2


As you no doubt know by now, President Obama spoke
yesterday to U.S. Troops in Afghanistan after making a
secret overnight flight there to sign an agreement with
Afghan President Karzai.

He told them that our combat role there is winding down. I
really hope so for the families of the 109,000 personnel
stationed there. And my heart aches for the families of
those who will never come home.

The President’s words did make me wonder though what
really would happen to America and the rest of the world
if they all came home – not just from an active combat
zone like Afghanistan but from everywhere we have a
military presence.

After all we have 205,000 deployed in more than 150
countries. I said 150 countries currently have American
soldiers there. That includes 10,000 in Kuwait and 2,000
in Bahrain. Do we really still need 40,000 Americans
stationed in Japan? Didn’t they surrender? Would South
Korea be less safe without our 28,000 men and women in

Mussolini died in the 40’s but we still have nearly 11,000
troops in Italy and there are 56,000 in Germany and we
like them now.

What if they all came home? But I guess that’s just
foolish thinking, isn’t it?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, April 30


Yesterday morning on my radio program “The God Show,” my
guest was community leader and pastor Dr. Warren Stewart
who had spent the week in Washington involved in the
Supreme Court analysis of Arizona’s immigration law, SB

When I asked him about a black man taking such an active
role in what has been primarily a Latino issue, he offered
a very interesting perspective.

He said that, to him, African-Americans were what he
called “involuntary immigrants.” Thought provoking, huh?

Illegal immigrants are the ones who came with no papers.
Involuntary immigrants are the ones who came with no
choice. Would it now then also be reasonable to apply that
involuntary status to the young children of those that
entered this country illegally?

No, there were no shackles and they were not imprisoned in
the hull of a ship. But most endured hardships and will
again if they are deported.

There are many variations of the DREAM Act that could
easily be enacted to avoid punishing those who are guilty
of nothing more than being obedient children and
involuntary immigrants.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, April 27


While most of American is trying to second guess their
team’s NFL draft picks this weekend, a few political works
are beginning to look at the vice presidential field for a
Romney running mate.

Yes, we can say Mitt Romney will be the Republican
candidate since Newt has finally decided to fold it up —
as did Rick Santorum — and Ron Paul is no doubt back in
the rest home.

So who is the best teammate for Mitt? Some keep bringing
up Gov. Mitch Daniels and I don’t know why. Isn’t Indiana
just Utah with a racetrack? Mark Rubio, meanwhile, offers
Florida and Cuba, which might attract some of the Hispanic

But Rubio has already said no to the idea. So has New
Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, but I think he could be
persuaded if for no other reason than to get out of New
Jersey. And if you’re looking for an unpredictable,
bombastic personality to counter Mitt Romney’s ragtime
bland, Christie’s your man.

Then, Biden and Hillary switch jobs: Obama-Clinton versus

Hey! Things might get exciting.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, April 26


I’m sure if you’ve had any contact with the Muppets in
your life, you’ve heard Kermit singing “It ain’t easy
being green”.

It’s really a great song about about any color or any
difference for that matter. It could easily have been
titled, “It ain’t easy being a teen”.

Do people still remind their high school age kids that
they are currently living the best years they’ll ever

How depressing that must be for every kid who wonders “If
these are the best years of my life – the future is really
going to suck.”

Pressure to get better grades, pressure to get better
looking, and pressure to get better friends. No developing
tests to identify and diagnose early onset major
depression. That’s a clinical condition that can make all
the rest of adolescent life even darker.

So mom and dad – maybe you might ease up a bit on your

It ain’t like every day is the prop or the big game. It
just ain’t easy.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, April 25


No matter how cold their house is, the Phoenix Coyotes are
the hottest sports ticket in town — and they should be.

They didn’t play that well Monday night in Chicago, but
they won their first playoff series ever. Oh, Mike Smith,
the goalie, was insane, stopping everything heading his
way, including 39 shots on goal and a runaway Zamboni.

And you know who just woke up? The city of Phoenix.

The Suns have struggled all year in their labor-dispute-
abbreviated season. Diamondbacks fans are just figuring
out some of the names on the field and Cardinals talk is
all about tomorrow’s draft.

No — this is Coyote time!

The new fans are beginning to discover where Glendale is.
The forever fans have always been there through cheers and
tears. And one gets the feeling that with what’s been
going on the last few days, those rumored new owners may
be closer to closing a deal.

Next, the Nashville Predators, with a regular season
record versus the Coyotes: two games apiece. Does it get
any better than that?

How about we send the Nashville guys back to Music City,
singing the blues? OK?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, April 24

“1070 Or Punt”

Cesar Chavez isn’t just a Valley high school.

That piece of information is directed at those of you with
a very short memory or who love fresh vegetables and fruit
and never gave a thought as to where they come from.

He was a Mexican-American who, through the United Farm
Workers Union, devoted his life to non-violently improving
conditions for the migrants working in the fields. Did you
notice? I said he was a Mexican-American born in Yuma,
Arizona — and he was passionately opposed to illegal

It certainly was not in his best interest to have hordes
of border-crossers taking the jobs of the union workers he
represented. But it was the humanity that was at the top
of his priority list.

As the United States Supreme Court this week begins to
debate the merits of Arizona’s SB1070 law, how splendid it
would be if the result eventually meant that America —
that shining beacon on the hill — would create a
meaningful and lasting immigration policy that would
contain equal measures of humanity and justice.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, April 23

“Ready Aim”

I spent an hour once in a radio studio talking with Ted
Nugent, and I came out of the experience with a couple of

I remember being convinced that my opinion of him as a
very good head-banging rock guitarist was accurate — far
from being Eric Clapton or Jimmy Hendrix, but very good.
And that was was an even better business man whose primary
specialty was self-promotion.

Without the NRA badges and his self-described home armory
of diverse weapons that he must keep at the ready lest
they invade his security — without the very salable
image, Mr. Nugent might have been only an opening act on
one of those tired oldies-but-goodies tours featuring
artists whose careers have not expanded as much as their

As a matter of fact, he was scheduled to appear at a
concert featuring Styx and REO Speedwagon at Fort Knox,
but was booted after he made a stupid anti-Obama remark.

Come on, Washington. Let the guy play. You’re making Ted
Nugent appear to be as important as Joe the Plumber.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, April 19

“The Beat”

Even now, years after the last “American Bandstand”
broadcast, I have such vivid memories of that show.

It was really the first time that pop music and rock n’
roll were taken seriously by a television network as a
major revenue producer. Yes, we all remember “Bandstand”
as the show that had all the stars and the new artists
too, performing for a crowd of just teenagers — teenagers
of every color, dressed neatly and showing everybody in
America how to do the Stroll, the Hully Gully, the Watsui
and the Twist.

But “American Bandstand” didn’t begin for everybody in
America and it didn’t begin with Dick Clark.

It was just a local, inexpensive daily show on WFIL in
Philadelphia that started way back in 1952 with a host
named Bob Horn. The story goes that Mr. Horn developed an
inappropriate interest in one of the high school girls
and, after hosting for four years, was fired. Someone at
the station had heard a smooth DJ in Syracuse named Dick
Clark and the rest is music history.

Funny, but ever since yesterday, I keep imagining I hear
harp music, only with a little better beat.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, April 17


Know what today is, besides Tuesday, April 17?

It may the first day of 2012 that some communicatively-
limited dipstick says to you, “Hot enough for you?” In a
perfect world, everyone who has ever said that to me would
have to pay me a fine.

So let’s get this straight and current, OK? The forecast
high today is supposed to be in the low 90s, tomorrow
around the mid-90s and, next month, something close to the
surface of the sun.

All right! It’s going to be hot. You know why? Because
it’s summertime and this is Phoenix. What can you do about

Here’s an idea. Shut up or more to Anchorage. People in
the Middle West are trying to find out where a tornado
dumped the town gas station so they can fill up their care
and get the Hell out of there — many no doubt headed to

Our lives aren’t that difficult here, people. We leave our
air-conditioned homes in an air-conditioned car and go to
an air-conditioned office. Pay no attention to the TV
weather personalities predicting Armageddon every August.

Except for Caribe Devine. I believe everything she tells

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, April 16

“Naked Truth”

Penis. Vagina. Breasts.

Got your attention, didn’t I? And you know why? Because
those are the parts we don’t talk about.

Why? We all have them in varying combinations and sizes.
But in America, we are what I call nude-a-phobic. We’re
afraid of anything that’s naked because it must be evil
and pervertedly sexual.

That’s why Tempe contractor Bill Tonneson is under fire
for displaying a sculpture he created at one of his job
sites at Rural and Broadway. That’s Rural and Broadway, if
you’re taking notes.

It’s an immense sumo-like figures that is clearly a Jenny
Craig failure. It’s art that i don’t find attractive, but
I don’t consider some of the very large women depicted in
some Dutch and Italian masterpieces my type. When I take
my clothes off, I’m not my type.

But no matter. Art is in the eye of the beholder. And some
of the beholders in Tempe are up in arms because the
sculpture is across from a church and a school. A member
of the church — the artist’s wife — made him cover it
with a blanket.

What’s wrong with us? Perhaps if we covered it from head
to toe in a black garment, the artist could call it a
tribute to the Taliban.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, April 13

“Cyber Lies”

My wife writes a blog called Duffy On Your Mind and
I’m glad, because that’s how I found out I had been lied
to and possibly you too.

I had recently seen an Internet entry that showed crosses
that had been place on a Santa Barbara beach to honor
those who will not return from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Veterans place them there.

But the story was all about the ACLU filing a lawsuit to
have them removed. It went on to say that the ACLU is
attempting to end prayer in the military altogether,
including a ban on Navy chaplains even using the name of

All of this outrage was attributed to the ACLU and the
Obama administration and the most outrageous thing of all:
it’s all a lie.

Proving conclusively that any person lacking character can
say anything on the Internet and it’s our responsibility
to find out if it’s true before we share. You can find out
yourself from Snopes, Fact Check or Politifact.

Unless, of course, that would make you feel as if you were
on the side of the ACLU.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, April 12

“Bail Out”

We’ve all heard from our families and our coaches things
like “winners never quit,” “when the going gets tough, the
tough get going,” and all the rest of those rarely-
inspirational cliches.

There’s value in the continuing pursuit of victory, unless
you’re running for President of the United States. You’re
so far behind you’ll never catch up and you’re out of

What keeps these guys from graciously bowing out? Can it
be ego that keeps them on this incredibly grueling
campaign schedule?

And it’s not just the current candidates. For as long as I
can remember, somebody stays too long at the dance and
everybody in the band is praying they’ll go home.

Rick Santorum officially bowed out and you know what’s
coming next, don’t you? Santorum will stop calling a scum-
sucking pig and throw all his support his way.

Meanwhile, will somebody tell Newt to turn off the lights
when he leaves?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, April 10

“Anger Management”

You probably know by now that Arizona State Rep. Daniel
Patterson is facing expulsion from the legislature due to
alleged threats toward fellow lawmakers, an uncontrollable
temper and reports of domestic abuse involving his

Yesterday, Patterson was quoted as saying the accusations
are unsubstantiated and that he has the right to face his
accusers. After hearing some of the stories about his
behavior, I have no doubt his accusers would prefer facing
Hannibal Lecter while holding a plate full of Fava beans
and a little Chianti.

Man, if the stories from the state capitol are true, this
guy is scary. And the stories are mostly from fellow
Democrats. Perhaps that’s why he recently switched his
political allegiance to independent.

The House ethics committee reports that he has been
excessively rude, disrespectful, unprofessional and, at
times, physically confrontational toward folks at the
capitol, some of whom began to carry a weapon.

Come on, Daniel. Forget this political stuff. The mixed
martial arts people would love to have you.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, April 9

“Good Sports”

Considering the fact that TV drama series and big-name
feature movies are focusing on rewrites of famous fairy
tales, allow me to devote this space to a Cinderella

This time however, instead of magic slippers, my
Cinderella is wearing skates — ice skates. And not the
kind you use for those fancy figures either.

No, my story features a bunch of guys in hockey skates and
Coyote uniforms. My guys just clinched the NHL Pacific
Division title for the first time ever.

But this isn’t even a sports story. This is a story you
tell your kids when you want to use an example of how real
winners never quit. These Cinderella Coyotes have had to
deal with the evil stepmother of horrible business
decisions, scandal, inept leadership and homelessness.
Some of those problems were resolved with a new front
office and the hiring of coach Dave Tippett.

Even though they have no idea where they’ll be playing
next season, they do know they open the playoffs against
the Chicago Blackhawks here at home and, maybe now that
they’re invited to the ball, there’s a handsome prince
that will save them.

I’M Pat McMahon.

Friday, April 6

“In The Beginning”

How appropriate that the Diamondbacks start their regular
season today — the beginning of a holiday weekend that is
all about new beginnings, starting fresh.

Baseball fans know that when the team started the season a
year ago there was little hope, but the D-Backs were the
surprise of baseball and manager Kirk Gibson was given a
lot of the credit. Nobody expected either.

But that’s why baseball is so different. They play 162
games and, by the time October comes around, there will
only be a few who will know they’re going to play more.

Baseball is criticized for being too slow. Yes, the pace
is far more like golf than football and the one-on-one
strategy can be chess-like. Unlike basketball and hockey,
you can take your eyes off the action. You can feel free
to get up and get a cold one, then to back to your seat to
enjoy it. There’s no halftime rush. Baseball is the only
major sport I can think of that is made for conversation.

If you’re lucky, every so often that will be with one of
your kids. Maybe today, when baseball begins in Arizona.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, April 5

“King or Queen”

Have you ever noticed that, since Donald Trump took
ownership of the Miss Universe beauty pageant, there’s
been more pre-pageant publicity and promotion than ever

Usually it’s been some October surprise in whatever month
the event is held. More often than not, it has had
something to do with revealing photos or video of one of
the contestants discovered shortly before or just after
the pageant.

But this time, it’s a matter of whether Jenna Talackova of
Vancouver can represent Canada in the Miss Universe

See, they don’t know, if she wins, whether she should wear
a tiara or a fedora since Ms. Talackova was born a man.

She says she has known since the age of four that she is a
woman in spite of her genitalia. She had the surgery a few
years ago and her passport, birth certificate and driver’s
license state that she is a woman.

Naturally, since there is enormous press coverage
involved, her attorney had to be Gloria Allred.

But her official designation as a woman, a man or an
apprentice will be determined by the only person who can
make those kind of life-altering decisions: Donald Trump.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, April 4

“Blues Grass”

I’ve always associated the state of Kentucky with some of
the most regal animals in the world — the magnificent
horses of thoroughbred racing, but it was only part of a
horse I saw Monday night, or, far more accurately, the
vermin rioting in the streets of Lexington after the
University of Kentucky won the NCAA college basketball

Will someone please explain to me what a glorious
basketball victory by an outstanding group of athletes has
to do with setting cars and mattresses and buildings on

Even in a crowd of 15,000 celebrating fans, why should
someone be shot? Someone was.

And this was the second riot and the lesser of the two. In
the semifinals, Kentucky beat crosstown rival Louisville
and there was even more mayhem and chaos.

Yes, it’s happened in other cities — including Tucson —
but that doesn’t mean we should expect or tolerate it.
Real basketball fans may notice an elderly man weeping in
the shadows of the University of Kentucky arena.

No doubt that’s Adolph Rupp.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, April 3


Sunday there were still people actually disappointed that
they didn’t win the $640-million lottery.

To be disappointed, you had to feel you had a reasonable
chance of holding the correct numbers. The odds, as
calculated, were 176 million to one. With odds like that,
isn’t it reasonable for most of us to do as I did — look
at all my losing numbers and then get a second cup of

The people who felt optimistic about beating those odds —
176 million to one — are probably also feeling that they
can challenge the strong probability that they will have
an illness or have a procedure that they cannot pay for.

Perhaps, if they carry some form of medical insurance that
will take care of most of it. Or they can declare
bankruptcy. Or they can die.

With the new universal health plan, ObamaCare, what will
be different? Beats the Hell out of me. See, it was never
explained very well to me.

So right now, I don’t know what my odds are.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, March 30

“Trayvon & Truth”

Ok, here’s what I know about the Trayvon shooting. Not a
damn thing. And neither do you.

We all have feelings – unfounded conclusions based on
emotion instead of evidence. Like the kind of stuff I’m
reading daily on the internet. Things like “Good
riddance,” or “Just another punk in a hoodie that we don’t
have to be worried about anymore.”

Obviously, these civil rights scholars are writing on the
computer while they’re waiting for their sheets to come
back from the cleaners. On the other side are the other
people who are literally clueless, led by the pathetic
vaudeville team of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Do they ever show up when a Swiss kid gets beat up in the
‘hood’? All I know – that they know – is an armed adult
shot and killed an unarmed teenager. That’s wrong.

If the kid was attacking with his fists and has time to
draw a weapon there are a number of choices. The worst
choice is a fatal shot. That’s all I know.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, March 29

“Love Lost”

In popular music, when love flies out the window there are
usually tears from somebody. With the departure of ASU
Athletic Director Lisa Love, it seems most sports fans are

In her seven year tenure, successes have been few and far
between. Yes, some of the secondary sports have had some
excellent performances. Even something as popular as
softball could be held up as a major winner. But water
polo and balance beam don’t pay the rent.

The huge money a major university sports program needs
comes primarily from football and secondarily from a
combination of basketball and boosters. The first two need
to be successful by winning and the third from

It’s been too long since any of those things have been
done consistently in Sun Devil territory. Winning in any
program is often directly related to the budget of the
athletic department. That can grow proportionately with a
close relationship between the athletic director, the
coaches and the community.

Sadly, for years that’s been almost non-existent. So
there’s been no love from the fans. Now there’s no love in

Maybe this is the beginning of a new ASU.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, March 28

“A Fatality”

There was a death yesterday at the Arizona state capitol
and not one gunshot was heard. And, while there is some
mourning in the state Senate chambers, I personally am

The bill allowing firearms on university and college
campuses is dead. The obituary was acknowledged by the
bill’s creator, Republican Sen. Ron Gould from Lake Havasu
City who, through his grief, said that there was not
enough legislative support at this time, which he
attributed to his fellow lawmakers no wanting to vote on
the measure in an election year, especially amid mounting
opposition from the universities themselves.

Gould fails to recognize that the most vocal opposition to
having guns on campus was from the institutions’ police,
security detail and the school presidents.

But don’t think it’s over. Gould and the Arizona Packers
will be back to protect our students, perhaps this time to
allow flamethrowers, mortars and grenades.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, March 27

“Ticker Talk”

Here’s what you’re not going to hear me say this morning.

You’re not going to hear me play doctor, even on the
radio, and make pronouncements about Dick Cheney’s
physical condition before or after last Saturday’s heart
transplant. The man has had a history of heart attacks and
fortunately for him, he survived.

Don’t wait for “heartless” Cheney jokes either. They’re

But the question that continues to occur to me is, should
there be some recipient age preference when it comes to
this kind of organ surgery?

Understand, I don’t regret the gentleman a new heart. I’m
simply expressing curiosity as to who else needed one as
much as this 71-year-old cardiac risk? There’s the long
anti-rejection therapy that’s a part of the procedure —
and the healing of a major invasive operation.

I’m glad that Dick Cheney has a new heart. I would not be
happy if it might have gone to someone with a longer life

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, March 26

“Lunch Dates”

In just a few hours, I’m going to have lunch with 48
extraordinary women. And my wife not only said it was OK,
she’ll be there, too.

It’s an event at the Phoenician honoring Arizona’s 48
most-intriguing women. Why 48? Because this is a
centennial celebration and Arizona was the 48th state to
become a part of the union.

And what an incredible lineup it is. Lonnie Ali, far more
than Mohammad’s wife, she is the his voice, the keeper of
his flame and an advocate for Parkinson’s Disease. Barbara
Barrett, former ambassador to Finland, President of
Thunderbird School and a student at the Russian center for
cosmonaut training.

Want more? How about Governors Mofford, Hull and
Napolitano? Among the 48 will be Sandra Day O’Connor,
Cindy McCain and Diana Taurasi. Oh yes! Gabby Giffords
will be honored too.

As the master of ceremonies for the vent, I get to
introduce each one of these remarkable people and so many
more and the only reason I’m telling you is so that you
too can celebrate being an Arizonan.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, March 23


Stand by for excitement. Mark your calendars. The NCAA
Division One Championship basketball game will be played
Monday, April 2nd. The Major League Baseball season opens
two days later on April 4th. The NFL starts its’ regular
season this year on Wednesday September 5th and for those
of you still sitting on the edge of your seats, as of
today, there will still be 157 days till the beginning of
the Republican Convention.

It doesn’t really matter when the Democratic Convention
begins because there certainly aren’t any surprises
expected – unless, of course, Joe Biden speaks.

At this moment here’s the delegate score:

Mitt Romney: 562

Rick Santorum: 349

Newt Gingrich: 137

Ron Paul: 71

The total needed to win the nomination: 1,144

Romney still has a long way to go till he gets to that
number but logic suggests a virtual impossibility for
anyone to catch him. So why are the other guys still
hanging around sniping? Doesn’t that just help Obama?
Tomorrow 46 delegates will be someone’s in the Louisiana
primary. But since it is in Louisiana, the NFL
Commissioner may suspend all of them.

I’m Pat McMahon

Thursday, March 22

“Bounty Hunter”

Boy! NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell must have gotten a bad
bowl of gumbo in the French Quarter because he is not
happy with New Orleans. Not all of the residents of the
Crescent City, you understand, just the ones employed by
the Saints.

Man, have you heard about the penalties being handed down
for those involved with a team policy of paying a bounty
to Saints players who targeted and hurt opponents? The
team was fined half a million dollars and two second round
draft picks.

Most fans might have expected that. But wait! There’s
more! Saintly head coach Sean Payton was suspended for a
year without pay and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams
was suspended indefinitely. The front office even
suspended the team’s General Manager for half the season.

I say great! And if it had been the Cards I would still
have approved, because of the integrity of the game. You
can be frighteningly aggressive within the rules but you
can’t turn even a violent sport like professional football
into rage in the cage.

So now who’s going to coach New Orleans — Aaron Neville.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, March 21

Right now, today, autism research is going on all over the

Tomorrow, KTAR will be helping fund the research here in
Phoenix. But do we have any kind of realistic answer to
the question that a dramatically growing number of parents
are asking — “Why does my child seem to be broken?”

Imagine being a parent asking a medical specialist how to
identify the symptoms associated with autism. The answers
could range from absence of speech to limited speech to
neither of those; possible withdrawal from all human
contact or not; extreme sensitivity to sensory
stimulation, sound, light, touch — but not always.

I can’t begin to understand what the frustration must be
like, especially when it’s so difficult to generalize how
your child will be affected or why. Is it genetic,
environmental or something else?

Amazing progress has been made solving so many medical
mysteries. I hope tomorrow it will be autism’s turn.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, March 20


In the 60s, there was an irrational segment of American
citizens who were opposed to the candidacy of Jack Kennedy
because they passionately believed that he would be
controlled in his presidency direct from the Vatican —
that the Pope would be his secret adviser, no doubt
covertly sending cryptic orders in Latin.

If you doubt me, look around.

Much of the same kind of nonsense is being said about Mitt
Romney and a suspected Salt Lake City conspiracy. It’s not
going to happen.

But some religion’s fervor in this campaign is getting a
little too close for my comfort. In some circles, the
ballot box and the collection box appear all too similar.
For example, why do we keep talking about the Evangelicals
as if it was a group like the Borg in Star Trek that
operated with one collective mind?

Most do want to know what Jesus would do. I think Jesus
would say, “Pay no attention to candidates who use me to
get elected.'”

I think it’s comfortable to have a person of faith and
morals and integrity in the White House, but do you know
what you call a person who uses his religion to run a
country? Apartheid!

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, March 19

“Rick Ruckus”

Oh, how I long for those grand old moderate political days
when Pat Robertson was running for President of the United

At least, according to Pat, he was getting his
instructions direct from God. I don’t know who Rick
Santorum is listening to.

I mean, with Robertson, you knew who was watching his 700
Club TV program. But when are these people keeping
Santorum in the race?

He has, throughout most of his campaign, shown about the
same understanding and sensitivity to women as the rest of
the Roman Catholic Church. The lastest protective cloak he
says he will wrap us with — if elected — will be to ban
what he calls the “pandemic of pornography.”

Yeah, that’s what we really need in this country: another
prohibition. I believe the final word on this subject is
with consenting adults — graphic sex is still a form of
free speech. If Santorum objects to sex movies shown in
hotel rooms, how about simulated sucks in critically-
praised theatrical films, or nudes in art galleries?

To me, the whole thing should be a movie — “Rick Does
America” — all dialogue to be in English only.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, March 16


A little while ago we took you on a mini-tour of Ireland
and when you saw those scenes didn’t you honestly think it
was one of the most beautiful places on Earth? And as
lovely as those pictures were, they paled in comparison to
the experience of being there and seeing a green
countryside like nothing outside of the Land of Oz.

Should you think that my romantic reflections are based on
the heritage of the McMahon family of CO. Clare, or that
my bias may have something to do with St. Patrick’s Day
tomorrow, there may be something to that.

But as a very proud Irishman, I still can’t concentrate on
the serenity of the meadows.

For 800 years the whispers were followed by screams of
pain and anger. The troubles between the North and the
South – between Protestant and Catholic – between Britain
and the Republic were as violent as any civil war.

Finally that seems to be nearing an end. But the cries of
abused children can still be heard. The Archbishop of
Dublin may at last be taking control there.

Perhaps soon, thru the tears, we will be able to say Erin
go Bragh – Ireland forever.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, March 15


Everybody knows that when those servicing a branch of the
military are called into active duty in a war zone like
Iraq or Afghanistan there is always the possibility of
death. It’s just one of the realities of war.

But now comes the hard part. It was recently determined
that the finger on the trigger of a gun that kills an
American soldier may not belong to the enemy, but to the
American soldier. Stunningly, the number of suicides in
the U.S. Army has risen by 80 percent since the war in
Iraq. 80 percent. Prior to that time suicides in the
military were actually less than the civilian number.

But then came Iraq in tandem with Afghanistan and the
numbers of suicides sky-rocketed. Why? These were not
draftees taken from their homes by the law of

These casualties were volunteers – professional warriors,
yet their fatal wounds were self-inflicted. Is it because
of the as yet unanswered question so many have? What the
hell is it all for?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, March 14

“Dixie Drivel”

I can’t stand generalities. Oh! I think I just made one.

No, it really bothers me when I hear that all congressmen
are crooks or all Jews blindly support Israel or that all
all French people are arrogant. I just think it’s stupid
to think that all of anybody behaves in some prescribed

It’s especially bothersome when the generality that’s
being made is about the intellect of a given group. The
residents of American’s Deep South have, for as long as
anyone can remember, been stuck with a stereotype that is
harmful and hurtful — the ignorant, backwoods hick.

Today, as the political world focuses on states like
Alabama and Mississippi, what are they doing to dispel
that hillbilly image? Half of them are continuing to
insist that President Barack Obama is a Muslim. A survey
by a respected public polling organization found that in
those states and South Carolina even a number of Democrats
hold to that belief.

After all this time, how can this story continue? Is it
his exotic name? His father’s heritage? Or was
“Deliverance” actually a documentary?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, March 13

“So go Joe”

I just flew back from Los Angeles and no my arms aren’t

I went over on a whirlwind weekend trip for one of the
best reasons a father could have.

My daughter’s opening night on stage at the Kirk Douglas

She’s in a play called “American Night” about a young
Latino man frantically cramming to take his final U.S.
citizenship test the next day.

He falls asleep and in his dreams there are appearances by
a number of historical characters all with opinions about
this country and it’s policies and immigration.

Among them are Teddy Roosevelt, Lewis & Clark, Jackie
Robinson and even Bob Dylan.

There’s music and dancing and laughs from beginning to the
end, but the biggest laugh from the sold-out audience came
with the entrance of one more comic character — our very
own sheriff Joe Arpaio.

He’s played as an overweight buffoon arresting everyone on
sight concentrating primarily on the minorities.

It was broadly, satirically funny and the Los Angeles
theater goers ate it up.

When I stopped laughing, it occurred to me it was also
kind of sad.

Joe, you’re in your 80s, why not retire now — not because
of a play but because it seems more and more people are
seeing you less in the uniform of a law enforcement
officer and more in the costume of a clown.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, March 9


I love mysteries.

I like mystery fiction.

I love real life mysteries—the unexplained around us.

I’m curious about the latest video of a particular
illuminated boomerang object in the sky, and there are
things about the Phoenix Lights that remain intriguing,
and if we truly discover that all of those phenomena can
be rationally explained — fine!

Ah, but when we go in the other direction.

When we look down—way down—then, you’ve really got my

Titanic director James “King of the World” Cameron is
about to dive to the deepest place on Earth, and I’m as
excited as a child about to go on a space mission.

Do you realize we actually know more about outer space
than our inner oceans?

Cameron plans to dive nearly seven miles into the Mariana
Trench on the Pacific, and no one has any idea what’s down

One of my favorite broadcast guests was Robert Ballard,
who found the Titanic and later the WWII Bismark and even
JFK’s P.T. 109. But we knew they existed somewhere and
someone had to look for them. Cameron is about to go where
no one knows what exists.

I only wish I could go with him.

James, take pictures.

I’m Pat McMahon

Tuesday, March 6

“Sell Phones”

I’m the kind of guy who likes commercials.

I don’t mean just during the Super Bowl either. That’s
when the entire nation embraces and judges the world on
advertising. That’s my world.

My entire on-air career is dependent on the success
advertisers have with my broadcast organizations. All the
entertainment and information comes to you free, as long
as those clusters of messages are there.

And I always have the freedom, as a listener or viewer, to
go somewhere else if I don’t want to hear or see a sales
pitch. I don’t have to even notice print or outdoor

It doesn’t sneak up on me. I know advertising will be part
of media. But the other day I noticed I had a couple of
missed calls and I didn’t recognize them. When I called
them, I was surprised to find out they were commercials I
hadn’t given anyone permission to call my cell phone to
sell me something and I immediately took advantage of the
“Don’t Call” option.

And I always will on my “private” mobile telephone.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, March 5

“Posse Plots”

Breaking news: Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s now nearly-famous
volunteer investigation arm — “The Cold Case Barney Fife
and Drum Tea Part Posse” — is now going beyond their
world-net daily blockbuster story exposing what they say
is a fraudulent Barack Obama birth certificate — a

The six-month investigation was apparently instigated by a
number of residents of the community of Surprise, which
their findings must have been to the U.S. Supreme Court,
Congress and constitutional lawyers across America.

But they have further discovered that the man currently
occupying the White House isn’t Barack Obama at all, but
actually actor Tyler Perry, best known as the motion
picture character Medea.

It’s suspected he took on the identity of Obama to further
control his movie empire.

Over the weekend, this courageous law enforcement lite
organization also attempted to put the Rush Limbaugh
controversy into perspective. They admitted Limbaugh did
call Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a
prostitute for using contraceptives but they reminded us
he did show restraint.

He could have called her a liberal.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, March 2


At this time please allow me to recreate a small part of
yesterday, Thursday, in my life.

$65 dollars & 73 cents!

Not just $65 but $65.73.

Will somebody check this pump please?

This has to be a huge mistake!

That was me filling my gas tank yesterday morning. And if
you’re saying I should quit whining because your SUV or
your pick-up truck cost a lot more to fill up – listen.

My car is a slightly expanded skateboard. It’s a small
two seater that might fit into your storage area. When my
little car with it’s equally little gas tank can cost
$65.73 something is dramatically wrong.

I can understand the need for some off-shore drilling. I
just don’t want to pay for the whole damn drill.

And aren’t prices on everything supposed to be somewhat
related to demand? Has there been some sudden rush for
petroleum that increased the price in some places nearly
50 cents a gallon in two weeks?

OK Mr. Stanley. I’m sold. Where can I find one of your

I’m Pat McMahon

Thursday, March 1


He was a jockey. Then he was the Artful Dodger in
Oliver on Broadway. Then he became a pop-star on
“The Monkees” television show. Then he toured the world –
played and sang for millions.

Then … he was dead.

Davy Jones died yesterday of a massive heart attack at his
home in Indiantown, Florida. He was 66.

66? Not Davy Jones! He was the cute Monkee. Even guys
thought he was cool. And nobody cared whether it was a
group manufactured for television or whether they played
their instruments or not on all their hits. It was fun
music. It was harmless comedy and Davy Jones was the

I met him the first time when they came to town for a

A few months later, one of his biggest fans here was
walking along the roadside on her way to a party. She was
bringing her Monkees records. She was struck by a car and
was brain injured. Davy heard about it and flew to her
bedside from Hollywood with an arm load of gifts. From
then on he kept track of her progress.

That’s just one of the reasons when I think of Davy Jones,
I’m A Believer.

I’m Pat McMahon

February 29, 2012

“Leap of Faith”

On this rare Leap Day, February 29th, that’s just when I’m
going to do.

I’m going to leap into the world of competitive politics
without reflecting for even a moment on yesterday’s
primaries. As far as I’m concerned, they all lost.

The minute they decided to go after the highest office in
the land, they lost their privacy, their dignity and in
some cases they lost their reputations. All because each
of them decided they would sacrifice virtually everything
in order to lead the country and take on the world’s most
stressful problems all for $400,000 a year, not to exceed
eight years.

So, if we are to believe what we are told, we must choose
among a fanatical Catholic who is opposed to the rights of
gays and women, a robotic cult-member, an opportunistic
cheat and an out-of-touch ditzy senior — one of whom will
be running against a Socialist president. There are
conservative Super Pac commercials striking out at Dole
and McCain.

See why it’s getting so hard to make this “Leap of Faith”

I’m Pat McMahon.

February 28, 2012

“No Thanks”

Governor Brewer,

I know when you return from your duties in Washington —
that is, the duties you consider important enough to
warrant your participation — would you accept an
invitation to come to our house for dinner?

It will be primarily social and since I’ve know you and
your family for well over 20 years, I think we can make
you comfortable. Our house is not white and you’ll need no
security clearance to get in.

In fact, I can promise you that I will only be asking one
political question: Governor, what in the Hell was so
important Sunday night that you turned down the president
of the United States and the First Lady when the requested
your company at the National Governors Association dinner
at the White House?

Were the Oscars that important? Did you think that with
that symbolic hand gesture you’d sell more books? Did you
decide to join Nikki Haley as the only two governors not
to attend because you so admire the glorious history of
her state, South Carolina?

Regardless, my invitation stands. By the way, we’re having

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, February 27

“Goodbye Georgie”

The feature report in yesterday’s Arizona Republic was all
about the terrible conditions some of Arizona’s children
live with: unemployed parents, one or both parents behind
bars, the total absence of medical care.

It seems as if it can’t get much worse than that. But for
2-year-old George Rogel, for a period of time it was much
worse because, you see, little Georgie will never be

Friday night, his mother called police to report Georgie
wasn’t breathing. He never did again. He was pronounced
dead at the scene. The cause: massive trauma to his head
and body.

That’s a medical term that nicely covers what his 18-year-
old mother told police. She said that her boyfriend, Juan
Garcia (also 18), became enraged when the little boy
wouldn’t finish his dinner and repeatedly smashed
Georgie’s head against the wall, while his mother watched.

She’s in jail. He’s on the run. I still don’t believe in
capital punishment, but when he’s caught I find nothing
wrong with occasionally leave his cell door unlocked so
that the other prisoners can persuade him to finish his

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, February 24

No matter what’s going on with the economy – no matter how
dreary the housing market is – the conventions just keep

Have you noticed how seldom you hear about large national
groups gathering in Fargo, North Dakota or Bemidji,

No, our city, our state and our climate attract them all.
For example, right now thru Sunday people have come from
all over to the Fort McDowell Resort and Casino for the
2012 international UFO congress.

There will be speakers, films and stories of abductions.

I’m told that in past years, attendees who claimed to be
aliens would participate but so far none have registered
here because it’s universally known that Sheriff Joe
Arpaio doesn’t want to see aliens of any kind in his

I was somewhat surprised to hear that one of the folks at
the convention identified himself as a Reagan conservative
but he later said he was misquoted and that he said he was
conservative in the use of his ray gun!

The only attraction that everyone at this UFO congress
wants to visit is the states only center for space being –
the Arizona state capitol. May they live long and prosper.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, February 23

“Toxic Cookies”

As of this moment, today, I am forever grateful for the
existence of the state of the Indiana.

I’m only interested in the Colts if we get Peyton Manning.

The Indianapolis 500 is exciting for about an hour and I
don’t miss Bobby Knight.

One Indiana State Legislator has, this week, given me new
appreciation and pride in Arizona’s grand elected bodies
laboring at the state capitol.

State Rep. Bob Morris is currently circulating a letter
containing a dire warning alerting Hoosiers and all
America about the evil & insidious organization called –
The Girl Scouts!

He contends that these green-clad girl power fans promote
homosexuality and are a tactical arm of planned parenthood
whose liberal progressive politics will destroy
traditional family values.

Morris went on to refer to the Girl Scouts as a
radicalized organization.

Anybody think that maybe little Bobby Morris got a bad
Samoas one day. Did the other boys make fun of his

Bob — please state in Ft. Wayne.

We really don’t need you in Arizona.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, February 22

“Gay Apparel”

Hey, this is George Washington’s birthday. Now, I know
he’s one of everybody’s favorite presidents and he has to
be given credit for taking the job at first, although it
must have been easier back then without 24-hour news and

But has anybody noticed how gay he looked?

I mean, the clothes are right out of Elton John’s closet
and the hair — come on, was it always white or is it a
tint? He looks more like Barbara Bush than the father of
our country.

Sure, he was a military hero but “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
hadn’t been thought of. The marriage to Martha — keeping
it all 1776 straight.

Now, doesn’t that all sound absurd? But gays in public
positions of trust are very much in the news and I’m
asking should their sexual orientation be an issue?

As little as four percent of our population or as much as
ten percent are gay, according to researchers. That means
we may have had at least one gay president. James Buchanan
was never married. Suspicious?

So can one gay sheriff still run for Congress? He’s come
out. He’s admitted the pictures were stupid. No charges
have been proven. Could there be something else you don’t

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, February 21


All day yesterday, we were inundated with biographical
information about the presidents of the United States.

When I was growing up, every kid who worked hard and was
respectful to his family was told that if he developed
those qualities, he could grow up to be the President of
the United States.

Please notice I said “he” could become president. The
concept of a woman even running for that office hadn’t
occurred to anyone. No! Presidents were white, Protestant
men who were touched by the hand of God and given special
qualities of leadership, morality and integrity.

Like George Washington — but he owned slaves. Oh, and so
did Thomas Jefferson — who wasn’t the father of our
country but he was apparently a father of slave babies.

We are all familiar all familiar with Grant’s tomb where
he was buried instead of being cremated because he drank
so much they wouldn’t have been able to put out the fire.

Teddy Roosevelt has been called a racist and Warren
Harding was corrupt. Besides Watergate, Nixon was an anti-
Semitic potty mouth. Reagan had Iran-Contra and JFK and
Clinton had everybody.

You know, maybe our current crop of presidential
candidates may not be so bad after all.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, February 20

“Monday Melodies”

Let’s see, today “M” stands for Monday and just for a
change let’s not focus on murder or Mayhem. Let’s put
aside a Sheriff’s Mexican boyfriend and make it a big
capital “M” for music.

Friday evening, we went to a special event at the musical
instruments museum here in the valley. I’m embarrassed to
admit that it was our first visit, not ecause of a lack of
interest, rather a lack of time. And even though we were
overdue, it was belatedly awesome. There’s nothing like it
anywhere in the world and we have it – it’s another
positive for Arizona and it’s as close as Tatum and Moyo

I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears. If all the wind
instruments were blown at once Dorothy would wind up back
in Oz. The quantaum physics people who think the universe
is based on the string theory would be overjoyed at all
that can be plucked, caressed, and bowed at M.I.M. beat
box, the beat goes on, beat it – all precussively
represented here.

The special new exhibit is all about the music of Arizona
in honor of our centennial and features among many others
Alice Cooper, the Gin Blossoms, Jordan Sparks, and yes,
Hub Kapp and the Wheels. Alice was there Friday and told
me Tony Bennett says M.I.M. is the greatest museum in the
world. And who am I to argue with Mr. Bennett.

I’m Pat McMahon

Friday, February 17

“Del Sur”

Muchas Gracia – You probably know that means “thank you
very much” in Spanish.

A nice thing to know.

Another very important phrase to remember is “donde esta
el sal de bano” — where is the bathroom.

Now, please commit the following to memory. Better yet,
write it down for your next visit to Mexico “por favor no
me mates!”

Please don’t kill me!

You may not have to use it often but it certainly could
come in handy.

Now, please spare me all the colorful travel stories about
your delightful and idyllically safe experiences south of
the border. I regularly hear from American property
owners, mostly in Rocky Point accusing me and virtually
all American media of exaggerating the violence.

Well, there’s a pretty good reason why the U.S. State
Dept. has issued yet another travel warning for Mexico,
including Rocky Point and Acapulco. Here;s the reason
47,500 people have been killed in Mexico in the last six

By way of comparison, we’ve lost slightly more than 4,000
Americans in Iraq. I hate the Mexico it has become most of
all because of what the violence, crime and government
corruption have done to the Mexican people.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, February 16

My God, the state legislature has done it again.

After choosing to ignore the pleas of all Arizona
university law enforcers and the presidents of the schools
to refrain from lifting the ban on firearms on campuses,
now they want to control, by law, speech in the classroom.

Have your heard?

Arizona State Sen. Lori Klein of Anthem has introduced a
bill that would punish public school teachers if they use
words in the classroom that the FCC wouldn’t allow on
broadcast radio or television. Apparently cable speech is
out of the question.

Sen. Klein is a Republican. The legislature is
overwhelmingly Republican. Aren’t they the ones who want
less government interference in our lives?

I don’t think that vulgarity should be the foundation of
any teachers vocabulary, but each district has clean
guidelines already.

Why do we need potty-mouth legislation?

Klein recommends the teacher be suspended for one incident
and fire after two.

Of course, if these lawmakers get everything they want,
offended students could simply shoot the teacher.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, February 14


It’s a rare thing when looking for subject material for
these commentaries that a topic can only be written about
once in a lifetime.

Most event will occur, in some form, with some frequency.
But not this one because it’s about today — Arizona’s
100th birthday. And since no one can be absolutely certain
of almost anything anymore, I thought I would take this
moment now to recognize the occasion instead of waiting
until Feb. 14, 2112.

100 years ago today President Taft sent word to Governor
Hunt that this territory had become a state. And it was no
shoo-in by any means.

The sophisticated population centers of the East and
Midwest that had years of history behind them looked on us
as crude, unrefined creatures of an unlivable desert land,
devoid of water, cultures or laws.

With some of them, that attitude still exists, but it
doesn’t stop the world from moving here in numbers never
seen anywhere else and, after a while, you’ll hear most of
them quoting Rex Allen and his song, “I Love You,

Happy birthday, young lady.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, February 13


Well, last night, the people at the Grammys tried, just
like they tried with Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse.

And with recording artists, there is always a legacy with
which they’re remembered — the records themselves or the
songs that can always be performed by other singers in
tribute. But with Whitney Houston, we will all be left
with unanswerable question — why?

No matter what the toxicology reports or the autopsy
concludes, “why” will always be there.

Why does a now forever 48-year-old artist with such
infinitely stunning gifts consciously go on such a self-
destructive journey? Why does someone who grows up in a
music performance family with all those gospel roots take
a journey of self indulgence? Why this kind of high-risk
life with her film Sparkle about to be released?

And the the biggest “why” of all: Why did she do all those
negative things to herself and not realized that she was
also doing them to her little girl, Bobbi Kristen Brown?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, February 10

“Suns Set”

I’ve been a Phoenix Suns fan since the first official NBA
game they played against the Seattle Supersonics in 1968.
And now, in this artificially conceived test-tube season
that will be remembered by sports fans far more as a
product of a labor management dispute than basketball
excellence, how what do I have to say about my beloved

I can hardly way for baseball season. For me, it’s never
been about millionaires trying to pry more money from
billionaires. I say get whatever they’ll pay you, whether
it’s Steve Nash, Julia Roberts or Justin Bieber.

But don’t screw around with the game. In condensing the
entire regular season into 66 games, fans not only get
three-quarters of what they’ve been promised year after
year, but a dwarfed preseason didn’t allow anyone to get
into playing shape and the players will be negatively
affected by so many back-to-back games.

The Suns are looking much better and even if they make the
playoffs and win the NBA Championship it will still be

Bring on the Diamondbacks.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, February 8


I was driving back to work from the Glenna and Lawrence
Shapiro memorial service at the Orpheum when I heard the
news on the radio — Paradise Valley police confirming
that three women and two men were arrested for their
murder, robbery arson and a number of other charges
related to the crime.

Only minutes before, I had been in a large theater packed
with friends and family of these two outstanding citizens
while they were being remembered by children, family
members, the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Opera, all
of whom were recipients of the Shapiro’s love and

Now, meet the people who are suspects in their murders and
related crimes: Michael Crane, Shawn Nicloy, Kelly
Steward, Danielle Rossman, Brittany Beinhauer.

Please remember the names. It may be the only time you are
introduced to creatures who felt that, in order to rob an
80-year-old couple, they must be shot and burned.

My sincere wish to the five of them: may you all die
before a trial and then burn in Hell.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, February 7


Could we all agree that the semi-familiar British Rapper
M.I.A. was stupid for flipping the bird at a halftime
camera during Madonna’s Super Bowl performance?

But hold it! Before you join the Parent’s Television
Council in the sacrosanct seizures over this version of
digital entertainment, will you first consider that she is
nothing more than a British rapper?

She is not in Parliament nor a member of the Royal Family,
although I think there are times the Queen should have
saluted Rupert Murdoch in that way.

M.I.A. isn’t even pointing a finger at the President of
the United States. Only governors do that. She only did
what Johnny Cash, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and half of
the people on American Idol who aren’t going to
Hollywood have done.

And who cares? Are our children tarnished? Did you and
your children even see it? If you did, were you so shocked
that you refused to watch the second half? You could have
told the children that the lady broke a nail or that she
was reminding everyone to get a colon exam.

Personally, I think everyone making a big deal of it has
an I.Q. symbolized by M.I.A.’s middle finger.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, February 6


All right, it’s over. The big game is over.

I’m required to call it the “big game” because the people
who own the name Super Bowl get upset when I say Super
Bowl without sending them a check to Super Bowl. Greed.

But it is over and the players can rest their weary bones.
Madonna can go back to the home for previously sexy rock
stars and take a long soak in a tub of Metamucil. I’m only
interested in what’s next.

Valentine’s Day? Yeah, but mist guys won’t remember until
late afternoon of the 14th. Besides, this year in Arizona,
Valentine’s Day has some real competition.

Every year it’s Statehood Day, when we officially changed
from territory to the 48th state. But a week from tomorrow
is February 14, 2012 — our Centennial State Day! And from
that day to the end of the year there will be celebrations
and special events all across the state.

The centennial committees have done a remarkable job
considering their combined budgets of approximately $159.
But there’s something for everyone. So this year,
celebrate by really becoming an Arizonan.

After all, the next centennials for Alaska and Hawaii are
in 2059 and by that time I may have lost interest.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, February 3


The other day Mitt Romney said he wasn’t for poor people.
Of course, if one paid close attention to the entire
statement he was attempting to explain that his focus
would be on middle class Americans because the very poor
and the very rich had other resources available to them.

That’s what he meant but he said it very badly.

After all, this is someone who is asking for the votes of
Americans who are still going through the pain of a
recession. He has to appeal to a whole lot of folks who
can’t related to a guy who’s worth around $250M. So, as
Mitt is trying to convince the common man that he’s one of
us and understands our needs — he and his wife show up
for an audience with Pope Donald to receive a blessing and
an endorsement.

Apparently, the Vatican was booked so the event took
place, where else, but the Trump International Hotel in
Las Vegas.

A billionaire endorsing a multi-millionaire to benefit us.

Apparently there were strings attached. Romney had to
drive Trump to the airport.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, February 2

“A for Automatic”

Stand by for my standard gun disclaimer. The following is
not to be interpreted as a representing any desire on my
part of confiscate the weapon you right rightfully and
legally own.


Everybody all right with that?


Now, my opinion on Lake Havasu’s Senator Ron
Gould’s proposed legislation to allow concealed weapons on
college campuses.

It seems as if this has come up in some form, every
legislative session since the invention of gun powder and
I simply ask — why?

And I’m in pretty good company. Law enforcement
overwhelmingly is opposed and that includes campus police,
otherwise known as “targets”. President Michael Crow of
Arizona State and the other university administrators have
consistently spoken out against it. But, after all what
you do they know?

Faculty and student organizations have said “No!” but the
Arizona State Legislature and perhaps, this time, Gov.
Brewer — they say “Yes.”

Perhaps, Sen. Gould instead could find a way to lower
tuition. But if guns are allowed on campus — I may skip
the ASU-UA game.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, February 1

“Farewell Again”

It seems almost impossible that we must say goodbye so
soon to another respected couple who meant so much to our

Only weeks after trying to rationally deal with the loss
of Bill and Susan Heywood, I’m faced with the reality that
the Shapiros are now no longer a part of our lives.

And if you didn’t know them, you should have. If you did,
it’s very likely you either worked with Glenna in some
capacity with the Arizona Kidney Foundation or if you are
a kidney disease patient, then her tireless efforts over
the years may have extended or saved your life.

Their children have acknowledged the loss in a mysterious
fire in their Paradise Valley home Monday.

For years, I was honored and privileged to be the master
of ceremonies at the Kidney Foundation luncheon, first for
Erma Bombeck then later for Glenna.

Grief is difficult enough to deal with but especially when
it comes in twos.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, January 31


If you’re Newt Gingrich and you’re running for President
of the United States and the polls are about to open in a
vitally important state like Florida, what could possibly
be worse than having an ex-wife publicly say that you
asked for an open marriage so you could continue your
relationship with another woman?

I’ll tell you the only thing more damaging is what
happened yesterday: Gingrich received the endorsement of
Herman Cain.

If you have the reputation of being a horn-dog, that’s
like getting your kennel key from Michael Vick.

Herman Cain dropped out of his own campaign because of
accusations that he had a fragile zipper. Is his support
going to be of major value to someone like Newt who
already has more baggage than a Samsonite catalog?

I’m surprised that Gingrich didn’t beg for a Cain mutiny,
throwing his endorsement to anyone but Newt. Republicans
could win in 2012 — if Herman Cain decides to campaign
for Obama.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, January 30

“Ugg Bug”

At last! Someone is standing up for discipline in schools.

After all too many years of the inmates running our
institutions of learning, two historic moves have recently
been made.

Arizona lawmakers are refining a bill allowing everyone on
campuses to be armed. I believe nursery schools are

And now the courageous faculty of Pottstown, Penn., Middle
School have issued an iron-clad ban on Uggs! You know,
Uggs — the fuzzy boots from Australia.

And for those of you, this moment, quizzically asking, “so
what’s wrong with Uggs?” Clearly, in your naive world, you
don’t see the danger — cell phones hidden in open-top

Pottstown Middle School has a strict cell phone policy. No
hidden phones and now no Uggs. I swear to the shoe god
Zappos, the principal announced it last week. Nothing was
mentioned about banning pockets or hoodie sweatshirts or
underwear where this techno-contraband could also be
hidden and concealed weapons don’t seem to be a concern.

Next, the TSA at middle school.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, January 26

“The Lost Clinton?”

I’m not often surprised by politicians. Almost all their
moves are predictable. But yesterday when Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton announced she was stepping down
after 20 years of being on the “highwire of American
politics” for me it came unexpectedly.

In fact, I wouldn’t been in the least bit surprised, if
Joe Biden announced that because of pressing family
matters, he would not be the President’s running mate this
election and the overwhelmingly popular choice to fill
that post would absolutely be Clinton.

She has received very high marks here and in foreign
capitals for her work in the state department.

But now she says she’s getting off the Washington high
wire and having been a First Lady during President Bill’s
tenure, I can clearly understand her wallenda metaphor.

She says she’ll stay on until the President nominates
someone. I’m not ready for another surprise so I’m saying
that will be the much traveled Bill Richardson of New

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, January 25


Did anyone hear a swell of voices around the country
during Tuesday’s State of the Union speech crying out,
“where is Doug Lamborn?”

Me neither.

You may be saying right now, “who is Doug Lamborn” and the
answer is he’s one of the U.S. congressman who refused to
show up for the address because he disagrees with the
president’s policies.

Everybody else was in attendance. The Republican
leadership was there, the Supreme Court and the Joint
Chiefs. But there was no sign of Rep. Lamborn of Colorado.

Now, he made it clear that this is nothing personal and
that he respects the president. However, last August, he
did refer to Obama as a “tar baby.”

So that I can establish my criticism of the decision as
non-partisan, I also didn’t agree with the congressional
black caucus when they boycotted the State of the Union
speech of President Nixon or Bruins goalie Tim Thomas as a
recent no-show in the White House.

Aretha said it best — “Just a little respect!”

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, January 24


Wow! The applause, the cheering, the drama.

The State of the Union? No! We already knew that plot
line. I’m talking about what the world was anticipating —
the Academy Awards nominations.

And you know what? This may be one of the best movie years
in a long time. Dramas and comedies. Veterans and new
faces. Funny dogs and courageous horses. Margaret
Thatcher’s London and Woody Allen’s Paris. These are the
Oscar contending films of 2011.

One of the most discussed moves has been The
, a virtually silent film tribute to silent
films, but don’t let that keep you away. The magic is
after about :30; you don’t even notice the absence of
spoken dialogue. In fact, it’s kind of refreshing.

It was nice to see a Phoenix acting veteran, Nick Nolte,
making a comeback and even nicer to see that the brilliant
comedy timing of Bridesmaids‘ Melissa McCarthy is
being recognized.

I may be going out on a limb with a prediction this early
but here it is: the acceptance speeches will be too long.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, January 23

“Political Pipeline”

Unlike all the people who want Barack Obama’s job, I don’t
blame him for everything that doesn’t go as I wish.

He’s probably the best basketball player we’ve ever had in
the White House but I don’t blame him when the Suns look
lousy. I know he loves his Portuguese Water Dog so he
couldn’t possibly be responsible for my Golden Doodle
tearing my favorite pillow to pieces.

It’s clear the Republicans do include these as just a few
of this administration’s failings.

But here’s what I’d like to see as a major change in the
White House: will somebody please talk to us?

I’m in the information business and I still don’t have any
idea what this president’s health care legislation covers.

And the trans-Canada oil pipeline — he simply says “not
now” to a $13 billion project that would carry petroleum
1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada to Texas and create
thousands of jobs and bring us oil that we wouldn’t have
to get from the Middle East. The president and some
environmental groups content there’s insufficient time to
evaluate the impact. Hey, I know. How about checking the
impact of the 1.9 million miles of pipeline already
crisscrossing the United States?

So the Prime Minister of Canada says, “OK, we’ll sell our
oil to China.”

I’m confused.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, January 20

“The Champ”

The first time I ever met Muhammad Ali he wasn’t Muhammad
Ali. He was Olympic gold medalist Cassius Clay and he and
his famed trainer Angelo Dundee, were scheduled to be on
the Wallace & Ladmo kids show on Channel 5.

But they were delayed and they wound up knocking on the
front door of the TV station around 9 p.m.

I was waiting, along with a few staff people, so that we
could tape the interview for the next days show.

The only thing that Ali had not been told was that I was
going to be in drag — as Aunt Maud the ditsy little old
lady character I did on the show.

When I sat down next to him in the studio in my ankle
length granny dress, my apron and my grey wig in a bun, he
never batted an eye.

It was as if he was discussing the science of prize
fighting with Diane Sawyer. He did close the segment by
saying, ‘you know, you a funny old lady.’

He visited the show often as Muhammad Ali because he had
fun with us. He’s 70 this week and when I’ve seen him, I
look for a glimmer of recognition.

There is none. But I know him. He’s ‘The Champ.’

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, January 19


So it’s that legendary television time again. No, not the
Super Bowl. That’s a couple of weeks away yet.

And not anything that includes the name Kardashian.

Nope — last night the 10th season of “American Idol”
began, and for me, I admit it’s one of my guilty

I’ve watched it from the beginning and, yes, there have
been some so-so years with winners that you knew would
soon become difficult answers in Trivial Pursuit.

And the desperate or angry no-talents make me
uncomfortable but there seems to be less emphasis on them
these days.

As long as there have been aspiring performers there have
been talent shows.

On radio Major Bowes and Ted Mack. On TV Arthur Godfrey
hosted one — but now it’s a talent tidal wave with The
Voice, The X-Factor and America’s Got Talent, among the

To me the difference is in part the idol judges — Steven
Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and maybe, above all
— the massively understated Ryan Seacrest.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, January 18


Come on, admit it. Whether you’ve ever been on a cruise or
not, when you saw the Costa Concordia capsized off the
coast of Italy, you got a little shaky, didn’t you?

I mean, a huge ship, carrying 4,000 passengers — a
floating town — sails too close to an island, strikes
some rocks and suddenly everybody is halfway to the
Poseidon Adventure.

We’ve heard the captain, Francesco Schettino, sailed too
close to an island for a number of reasons and we’ve heard
that he was among the first to leave the ship. We know
from a number of survivors that the crew was not well
trained in emergency procedures and the passengers had not
been instructed sufficiently.

We also know a number of them are dead.

Does this tragic incident cause you to change your mind
about that romantic voyage you’ve been saving for? What
about the contagions that have spread so rapidly on some
cruisers or the missing passengers?

Listen, I’ve been on these ships — some of them Italian –
– and there are 26 new ones about to sail. But next time,
I might research the safety record of the line that says
it’s going to take me to paradise.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, January 17


This week, the United States Supreme Court was overwhelmed
with F-words. This week, the heard oral arguments in an
important First Amendment case — the FCC vs. Fox.

In brief, the broadcast rules covering indecency are so
confusing that I may be fined for saying oral arguments.

Some years ago, George Carlin immortalized the brilliantly
funny routine about the seven words you can’t say on
television. But that was before cable and satellite
brought us all those words along with some never heard
outside of Marine Corps basic training.

The words, the uncensored anatomy, the Kama Sutra sex
manual are all available all the time with very little
effort — except during hours when children might be
exposed to graphic content on over-the-air stations.

And yet, that offers another technology puzzle for the
Supreme Court to solve. All those over-the-air channels
are also carried on cable and satellite services.

Whatever the court decides, it will be up to us to police
family viewing, because, after all, smut happens.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, January 16

“Then and Now”

When I was a little boy, my parents and I lived in New
Orleans, Louisiana. It’s always been one of the world’s
greatest cities.

I recall getting an early education in fabulous food,
great music and the unique beauty of the Crescent City.

But I have another memory of a day when I noticed,
apparently for the first time, a sign on a store’s water
fountain that read “For Colored Only.” I remember thinking
how peculiar that seemed, how curious.

At our home, we didn’t divide food or beverages or
anything by race and how confusing it would have been with
the multi-ethnic, multi-religious make up of our friends.

When I asked my mom what the sign meant, I remember she
told me that is was written and displayed by uneducated
people. I said, “You mean people who didn’t go to school.”
My mother smiled and said that some of them had gone to
some very good schools but that they were still uneducated
about people, but that would change someday.

And it did. Not completely. Not perfectly. But it’s still

Thank you Rev. King for sharing your water fountain with

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, January 11


Ladies and gentlemen: the BCS National Championship
football game is being seen around the world on ESPN and
is being brought to you by Ambien.

When you wake up, you may want the same deep sleep you’ve
experienced during this game. Try Ambien.

Did anyone watching the Barbiturate Bowl find even one
moment of true suspense or excitement after the opening
kickoff? After 92 yards of total offense and four quarters
of futility, we can all agree why LSU should be considered
number two.

We didn’t even have the pleasure of watching two sports
powers who hadn’t met. This was a rerun and I didn’t like
the last one either — the Festival of Field Goals that
wound up 9-6.

After all the shootouts leading up to Monday night with
combined scoring in the hundreds, this may be a long
overdue nail in the BCS coffin.

Don’t worry about the bowl executives. They’ll find a way
to make a playoff pay off, but the fans will get the real

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, January 10

“Name Game”

“Shirley Shirley Bo Burley – Banana Fana Fo Furley – Fe Fi
Fo Furley – Shirley.”

That’s how Shirley Ellis opened her hit song “The Name
Game” some years ago. And it was a cute tongue-twister to
sing, but no one expected any parent to name a child
Banana Fana Fo Firley. It was still about a girl named
Shirley and it’s not a game.

Saturday night, Beyonce and Jay-Z welcomed the brand new
baby girl into the world by deciding that, since they had
achieved extraordinary success with their unusual names,
to give their child the same advantage in life.

They named her Blue Ivy, which I would expect to see at
the Desert Botanical Garden.

Blue Ivy, however, is a combination of two pretty words.
What the hell was Penn Gillette thinking when he picked
Moxie Crimefighter for his daughter’s name? Yeah, Moxie
will have to become a fighter all right because of the
crime her parents committed.

Believe it or not, the following names are on the birth
certificates of some unfortunate celebrity kids: Bogart
the Peyote, Banjo and Bronx Mowgli.

At least the Jackson family allowed Prince Michael II the
become Blanket. How thoughtful.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, January 9


We went to a wedding yesterday. The couple was a little
different than the one on most cakes.

These were friends of ours that had already experienced a
lot in life. They had grown children and they we’re
getting married — and I’m glad.

These days, it’s really not supposed to make any
difference whether people are married or not. They say,
“After all, it’s just a piece of paper, isn’t it?”

Statistically, about half of the people living in a
serious relationship are living together unmarried and, if
that’s what they want, that’s the important thing.

And it’s not that “living in sin” stuff. I know some
married couples that are living in sin because of the way
they treat each other.

Am I really old fashioned because I get a little twinge
every time I read about a celebrity pair planning a
wedding after having three children? Doesn’t “this is my
girlfriend” sound a little more adolescent than “this is
my wife?”

Maybe it’s just me, but “for richer, for poorer, ’til
death do us part” sounds a little more grown up than
“let’s go steady.”

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, January 6


I find nothing romantic about suicide. It’s a popular part
of every author’s back pack of plot twists.

In literature it can be an easy out — a way to wrap up a
complex conflict neatly — after which the reader can
close the book and go on to other things.

My problem is that in real life I can’t close the book. In
real life, two of my friends are dead in a double suicide.

I’m sure you must know by now that legendary Phoenix radio
personality Bill Heywood and his wife Susan took their own
lives Wednesday.

Was it financial difficulties that caused it? Failing

Does it really matter?

They’re both gone — and their children are orphans. Much
of the joy of radio that was, is gone with them.

The star crossed lovers Romeo & Juliet were teens when
they died.

Bill & Susan were in their 70s. Yet, Shakespeare could
have easily been writing about about Bill’s remarkable
career with the quote — “and when he shall die they will
cut him up in little stars and he will make the face of
heaven so fine that all the world will be in live with
night and pay no heed to the garish sun.”

Bill & Susan — be at peace.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, January 5

“The Candidates”

As the 2012 presidential campaign progresses, a strange
thought occurred to me while looking at all the Republican
candidates: what a cast they would make for a TV sitcom.

You know — one of those shows that seems to never run out
of characters dropping by for a visit. Mitt Romney could
be the dad. He’s always seen in perfectly pressed slacks,
a button-down shirt and a cardigan sweater — never
anything else because he doesn’t seem to have a job. The
family always comes to him solve their problems and he
tells them exactly what they want to hear.

Mom is Michelle Bachmann — like Gracie Allen but less

Rick Perry is a next door neighbor who regularly comes by
just to find out is anybody wants to go out and shoot

In this show, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum would be
going door-to-door with religious pamphlets and purity

Ron Paul would play the weird uncle that we never see —
we just hear him in his room, giggling upstairs.

Newt Gingrich is the angry neighbor telling everyone to
get off his lawn and Herman Cain is the pool guy checking
out everybody’s wife.

Now that’s a show!

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, January 4


Did you really wake up this morning with the first thought
on your mind being “quick, turn on the news to see who
they decided would be the president of Iowa?”

I think that’s what all the Caucusing was about last

I went to school in Iowa and I don’t have a clue who they
came up with a system that makes the X-Factor voting seem

Apparently, last night there were some meetings across the
state where speeches were made by supporters after which
straw ballots were taken.

Then, as I understand it, the top six candidates must
compete in a three-legged race after which the finalists
must devour a mason jar of night crawlers.

Listen — how can you improve on a political process that
four years ago gave us Mike Huckabee as the winner?

Look — you know and I know that all the attention Iowa is
getting is because it’s the first state that kicks off the
2012 election year.

The only thing most of us will remember is Joe Arpaio
telling Iowa voters he was happy to be in the Buckeye

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, January 3

“A New Year”

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. If there are changing I
need to make a better, healthier life — I probably need
to work on them all year long.

But, if I may be so bold, here are a few things I’d like
to see everyone consider.

I can them “brain brakes.”

It’s simply a matter of putting the brakes on your brain
before you completely lose control.

For example, if your brain is about to think that most
Mexicans simply want to live off the government and don’t
want to speak English and can’t be trusted — put the
brakes on your brain — and consider all the Latino
business people, community leaders and neighbors in your

Your generality begins to sound foolish, doesn’t it?

Here’s another one.

“All politicians are crooked and stupid.”

Now, wait a minute!

While we regularly disagree with a lot that happens in
Washington — logic demands that most got there by being
honest and smart.

Most Catholic priests sacrifice their lives for the needy.
In 2012 let’s try to make sure our “brain brakes” are

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, December 21

“Dashing Dreams”

You know what?

I’m tired of role models turning out to be stale rolls and
model T’s.

Just once I’d like to see a much admired public figure be
worthy of the admiration.

As long as I can remember, I held Joe Paterno up on a very
special coaching pedestal — a man of unquestioned
principal. He certainly deserves to be in the College
Football Hall of Fame but tragically, but from now on his
name will bring to mind a shower scene he should have
reported instead of games he won.

Also, from the world of college football and my beloved
University of Notre Dame, now comes another

Rudy Ruettiger, yes that Rudy from the movie, just settled
a lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission for
nearly $383 thousand dollars.

He was accused of alleged misconduct involving investors
in a stock fraud scheme. Forget Herman and Newt. Arnold
was the Governor of California, husband of Maria Shriver
and father of — oh, well you get my point…

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, December 20

“Your Mo Joe”

Wherever Joe Arpaio is there will be an extreme diversity
of opinions and about him personally and the job he’s

I’ve often said publicly that while I can disagree with
many of his methods and priorities, I have often found him
to be totally charming and thoughtful.

As long as there is a Joe Arpaio headline, there will be
strong debate.

What has always concerned me is the kind of irrational
responses Joe gets from some of his supporters. It’s good
for any public official to have fans but we must keep in
mind that the origin of that word is — fanatic.

An example is a recent comment following an email news
story about Joe. It read “I don’t care what he does or how
he does it as long as it gets rid of that scum.”

Is the scum referred to all people of Latino origins or
just the ones who came here illegally.? And if they came
because they knew they could have a better life in America
— does that make them scum?

Joe, be careful of people who don’t care how you do your

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, December 19

“Baghdad Farewell”

I’ll be home for Christmas.

Nice song. One of my favorites for the holidays and this
year it’s a particularly meaningful phrase for the
thousands of American troops leaving Iraq forever.

Many will be home for the holidays.

4,500 will not. That’s 4,500 American casualties. More
than 100,000 Iraqis have been killed since that night of
“shock & awe”.

That, of course is only part of the book keeping that must
be done before we can close up shop.

The wounded, physically and mentally will continue to be
countered for the rest of our lives. Monetarily, as best
as we can determine, the Iraq war cost at least $1
trillion dollars.

Number of weapons of mass destruction discovered — zero.

Number of murderous dictators toppled — one.

Boy, when you start looking at those numbers it sure
doesn’t look like a very good business deal does it?

And if we really went into this conflict for the oil, that
doesn’t seem to be working out too well either.

Conservative and Liberals, can we agree on one thing?

The Iraq war was a very bad idea.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, December 16

“Funeral Marching”

My older son was part of a very special organization in
college. He played alto sax in the Notre Dame Fighting
Irish marching band and the family is very proud.

They treated the band members with respect on that campus
— not that of that “band geek” stuff. Of course, even at
Notre Dame the band doesn’t have the “super star” image of
the 400 strong “Marching 100” at Florida A&M in

They are the Cirque Du Soleil of marching bands. You’ve
seen them at special events. They play, they dance, they
strut — they also assault one another and have been known
to possibly kill, all a result of the insanity called

Even though it’s prohibited, fraternities do it, exclusive
college clubs do it, some military units do it but a
college marching band?

And while the definition of hazing is an initiation often
includes some forms of harassment, humiliation and abuse,
at Florida A&M this year a drum majors death is suspected
to be the result of hazing.

One students paddling caused kidney failure and girls’
legs were broken.

Florida A&M — home of music and mayhem.

I’m Pat McMahon

Thursday, December 15

“Baby Devil”

Todd Graham. Does that sound like a name that should be up
there with Dan Devine, Frank Kush, Daryl Rogers and John
Cooper? Whatever your answer is, the reality is that soon
Todd Graham will be on that list as a head coach at
Arizona State University.

He’s been successful at Tulsa, Rice and for only one
season at Pitt but he does have a reputation as a drifter
— like four schools in six years!

Who cares?

Now, he’s going to be in the Pac-12 and, if he brings
winning seasons back to the Sun Devils, they will say
Mount Graham is named after him. If he is as average as
some of his recent predecessors, he can always coach in
Georgia and be an official Graham cracker.

Now, coach Graham, if you really want to make believers of
us, how about seasons like 11-0, 11-1, 10-2, 11-1 and 12-
0? That was life in the ’70s under Frank Kush. Sun Devil
Stadium was sold out for every game.

So, Todd, bring your high-powered offense and tough
defense to Tempe, Arizona and let’s see what you’ve got in
the big time.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, December 14

“A Tiny Present”

A whole bunch of people had a Dickens of a good time last
night at the Orpheum Theater. Some were in the sold-out
audience and some on stage — all sharing Charles Dickens’
“A Christmas Carol,” performed as a radio play by KTAR for
the 26th consecutive year.

The players ranger from many of us at the radio station
and local television personalities to sports and political
figures. Many of them have returned to the production year
after year, as have many who attended the show as an
annual family tradition or share the broadcast.

But why this loyalty to a story written in England in
1843? In all that time, it has never been out of print.
Dozens of film, television and radio versions have been
done and virtually everyone in the English-speaking world
knows the story.

Perhaps it lasts because it magically convinces us that
transformation is possible for everyone.

See if you agree at 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve and 3:00 p.m.
and 8:00 p.m. on Christmas Day on KTAR and on AZTV this
Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and Christmas Eve at 10:00 p.m.
You’ll be blessed — everyone!

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, December 13


As Andy Rooney might have said “You ever notice the
weather makes people goofy?”

Andy lived in New York. Can you imagine what his reaction
would be if he saw how goofy we get about the weather year
round in Arizona?

I mean this week in the valley, our tv meteorologist
virtually took over local newscasts with the stern warning
that we would all be facing a climateological phenomenon
called rain showers – some of them heavy rain showers and
temperatures that could reach – freezing!

Of course, that would only be applicable to “the colder
parts of the valley” which usually means an open field
outside of Tonopah.

With a high, forecast to go no warmer than the upper 50’s,
some citizens prepared to use their Christmas trees for
firewood as a life saving measure.

In the north, Flagstaff is preparing for as much as 14
inches of snow – which in Fargo is called August.

My only severe weather protection this week is to cover
our brass monkey with a blanket.

I’m Pat McMahon

Wednesday, December 7


Have you heard? The United States Postal Service is
cutting back its services so we’re going to have to wait
for our mail.

I think that must have already happened.

You and I both know that mail delivery in the United
States brings new meaning to the phrase “dead letter

I like my postman. I like the people I know that are
postal workers.

I can’t stand the organization they work for.

Even though the U.S. Postal Service is not actually a
government agency, in the last four years it has been
subsidized to the tune of 25 billion dollars.

Much of the red ink that the Post Office of America have
been bleeding is directly attributable to pensions and
medical costs. They have added up to a crushing total.

So now, along with the closing of hundreds of offices
across the country, we are told that overnight delivery is
going away.

Now if you use email, that’s instant. And for packages UPS
and Fed Ex are very healthy.

And the future of snail mail — it’s enough to make me go

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, December 6

“Dead Horse Theory”

The Dakota Indians tell us “When you discover that you are
riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”

Another writer reminds me in government more advanced
strategies are often employed such as:

1) Buying a stronger whip.

2) Changing riders.

3) Appointing a committee to study the horse.

4) Arranging to visit other countries to see how other
cultures ride dead horses.

5) Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be

6) Re-classifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7) Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8) Harnessing several dead horses together to increase

9) Providing additional funding and/or training to
increase the dead horse’s performance.

10) Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders
would improve the dead horse’s performance.

11) Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be
fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and
therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom
line of the economy than do some other horses.

12) Re-writing the expected performance requirements for
all horses. And of course…

13) Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

My thanks to Dennis Miller.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, December 5

“Budget Ball”

So ASU is looking for a football coach again. This time of
year, it’s a little like finding a prom date.

“Sorry, someone has already asked me.”

“No, thank you. I’m going steady.”

“Are you kidding? You’re too short!”

You may exchange short for poor or ugly in that metaphor,
but ASU isn’t short. It’s big with one of the largest
student bodies in America. It certainly isn’t ugly — it’s
right in the middle of a beautiful metropolitan community
with a fabulous climate.

However, this is a poor kid trying to date up — way up. I
know the salaries being tossed around are star-quality
attractive but, beyond that, a super coach needs a super

Arizona State is that nice house that’s still on the other
side of the tracks. Here’s what they’re competing with:
the athletic budget for 2012 at Ohio State is $126
million, at Texas it’s $153 million, at Michigan it’s $109
million. LSU, the top team in the nation, is getting by
with $90.2 million. How much does ASU have to field all
its teams? A little over $48 million.

In big time sports, that’s when you go to the food bank.
The solution: Sun Devil boosters get off their maroon
butts and make some gold.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, December 2

“Dumm Duds”

Anybody remember when it was common to dress up to take a
flight somewhere? I don’t mean those really old days when
everybody flying looked like either the cast of “Mad Men”
or “Pan Am”.

No — but it wasn’t that long ago when you just never saw
shorts and flip flops on a plane. Now that is considered
formal wear.

There have been so many complaints about low slung pants
and low cut tops that some airlines have been asked to
actually create and display a dress code.

Passengers would be expected “not to dress in a manner
that would cause discomfort or offense to other

What actually does that cover — or un-cover?

These days we shouldn’t be surprised to see a pilot in a
thong. But I’ve got a better idea than a dress code. That
sounds too much like Catholic school.

Here’s something that would really appeal to the airlines.
Everybody has to wear a suit unless you pay a fee.

$350 for a Hawaiian shirt – $100 for shorts and sandals
and for $1000 you get to be naked – except of course on
Virgin America.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, December 1

“Just Is”

Several years ago, a number of theaters produced a cryptic
play called “Waiting for Godot.”

As of yesterday afternoon, Arizona starts waiting for Mark
Goudeau to die. A jury sentenced the “Baseline Killer” to
death, preempting his original sentence of 438 years in
prison. He was found guilty of nine murders and 58 other
charges, including the stark terror and savagery his
victims experienced.

So after the sadistic torture he put them through before
he killed them, the state of Arizona has decided he should
be put to sleep painlessly, with a lethal, humane
injection of carefully researched chemicals — in, say, 14
years or so.

That’s the average waiting time before an execution is
carried out. The longest wait is 35 years. One death row
prisoner died of natural causes — at 94. Is it any wonder
that capital punishment costs millions more than life
without parole?

We all want to strike back at these vile perpetrators of
violence, but in 14 years, will you even remember Mark
Goudeau’s name?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, November 30


I picked up my newspaper this morning off the front step
and I honestly had the feeling that I was holding what
will will soon be an artifact to be featured in some
museum exhibit titled “The Way Information Was Shared In
Another Time.”

I know the demise of the daily newspaper has been
discussed for some time but most of that passive debate
took place before the tsunami of digital everything.

Just a few of the metropolitan dailies that have closed
their doors are The Rocky Mountain News, The Oakland
Tribune, The Baltimore Examiner and The Cincinnati Post.

The Valley no longer has the Phoenix Gazette and The
Tribune. Seattle and Detroit dailies have gone digital
along with The Christian Science Monitor.

How long can print journalism last when the morning after
the ASU-UofA football game, the state’s biggest rivalry,
played here in Tempe, the results were not in The Arizona
Republic because the paper said the game ended too late to
be included.

Meanwhile, the night before everyone instantly had the
score and the story — on their phones.

Maybe you think it’s because I watched Gutenberg take the
morning edition off the first printing press but I’ll miss
the ink on my fingers.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, November 29


My mom always told me “We are judged by the company we
keep.” I have no doubt that your mom told you something
similar. And it’s true.

While we shouldn’t let others determine who our friends
should be, some care should taken when considering the
reputations of those we’re associating with.

That’s just common sense.

I don’t know of anyone who uses more down to Earth common
sense than Italian mothers. So, Joe Arpaio, when your mom
was handing out that advise, what were you doing?

As sheriff of Maricopa County you certainly understand the
law and that no one can tell you who to keep company with.
But your track record lately has been more fragile than
the future of the Kardashian marriage counselor.

In the past year, you have been prominent in hundreds of
photos with deposed County Attorney Andrew Thomas and
recalled senate president Russell Pearce.

When Hollywood shares your spotlight, it’s the cheesiest
actor of the century, Stephen Seagal and now your
presidential political endorsement turns out to be Rick

Joe, are you on Lindsay Lohan’s Facebook?

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, November 28

“Cult Status”

Are you aware that a candidate for the presidency of the
United States is a member of a religious organization that
can only be described as a cult? Are you willing to
voluntarily vote for a leader who professes belief and
loyalty to a world wide cult?

That political figure, of course is — Newt Gingrich.

I’m sure you know that he is a convert to the cult known
as Catholicism. Now, if this comes as a surprise to you —
let me give you Webster’s definition of what constitutes a

“A system of religious beliefs and rituals. A religion
regarded as unorthodox. A system for the cure of disease
based on dogma. A great devotion to a person, idea, object
or work such as a book.”

Does that not describe many elements of the Catholic
Church — and probably the majority of Christianity —
including Mormonism?

Considering this, isn’t it time to put aside the religious
criticism of all the candidates — including whether the
President included God in his Thanksgiving message?

Next we’ll hear we have no Jewish candidate because of the
fear that policies will be made by spinning a top —
decisions by dreidel.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, November 23


Kids these days. That’s always been the traditional
opening line for stand-up comics switching routines to
family material. But, have you noticed how little there is
to laugh at these days when it comes to kids in Arizona?

News stories the last 24 hours have included a 2-year-old
toddler found hours after wandering away from her north
Phoenix home and the elderly couple responsible for her.
Then there’s the Glendale woman who left her 2 and 3-year-
olds alone in a Scottsdale motel where she admitted
shooting heroine.

And all of this brings us to the horror story of the month
— the disappearance and suspected murder of 5-year-old
Jhessye Shockley. Her mother is in jail on felony child
abuse charges and is a suspect in the homicide

Now, all of us in this business are always reminded not to
jump to conclusions and to only examine the facts. The
facts are the woman has a history of this kind of criminal
behavior and witnesses to this crime.

Which allows me to ask, “Why should spaying and neutering
be limited to just animals?”

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, November 22


It may be a little early, but let’s take a look at a
couple of candidates who would like to be electing in

Perhaps you’ve hear that in the Cleveland, Ohio
congressional race, running against incumbent Dennis
Kucinich will be Samuel Wurzelbacher. Now, don’t you tell
me you’ve never heard of him? His nickname is Joe – Joe
the Plumber!

I know that because I was just asked to contribute to
Joe’s campaign, all the way out here in Arizona. I was
talk that Joe is the perfect candidate for that working
class district. Why? Because he has his own wrench.
Because he was in the Air Force. Because a news camera
recorded him disagreeing with Obama.

This brings up my other candidate for 2012 – Obama, the
President of the United States. Sunday evening, it was
“Hardball” host Chris Matthews disagreeing with the
president and his lack of leadership. Matthews, who has
generally been supportive of Obama, asked, “Is this as
good as it gets? Just tell us.” Matthews then compared the
people around the president to little kids with propeller

Joe the Plumber. Obama the President. You know what,
folks? We may be in trouble.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, November 21


First, let’s get the facts out of the way.

I didn’t go to either Arizona State or Arizona. I have
close friends form both schools — friends who have kids
at both schools. I want both of them to win when they are
playing somebody else and, when they play each other, I
must support ASU because I live here.

Saturday night should not even have been a contest. The
Sun Devils were an 11-point favorite and the fact that is
was, to me, a mark of compassion. The Wildcats couldn’t
“Bear Down” if they wanted to with a coach from the temp
department and key players just in from the emergency

It was a home game for ASU who had every motivation to
win, but they didn’t. The Devils got kicked right in the
Territorial Cup.

One Arizona touchdown came on a pass from a backup
quarterback and another on a run through most of the Devil
defense. Why did it happen?

I think ASU was outcoached by substitute Tim Kish, whose
name on his office door in Tucson is probably on Velcro.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, November 18

“The Biz”

Yesterday, I had lunch with ABC Newswoman Christiana

The fact that I shared the experience with 1,100 or so
other people made it no less intimate for me. She was made
the 28th recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for
excellence in journalism given each year by the Walter
Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

During her introduction, I was instantly reminded how
different her job is from mine. They showed a career
highlight video of her 27 years with CNN and the last 18
months at ABC.

There was Christiana Amanpour interviewing national and
world leaders — I’ve done that.

There were conversations she’s had with celebrated figures
in literature and the arts. I do that often.

Then we saw Christiana Amanpour, in the midst of rioting
mobs around the the world, under sniper fire in some far
off hell hole and doing a live report during a bombing in
a war zone.

I’ve never been asked to do that. To report the truth
often takes courage. To do it in those arenas must make
Walter very proud.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, November 17

“Kirk Kudos”

With so many topics as possibilities I rarely spend this
time on the same subject two days in a row.

But after I focused yesterday on the history of futility
among virtually all the Valley’s sports teams, today I
must recognize a glowing exception to the infernal
impotency that has gotten into our jocks over the years.

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has been named the 2011
National League Manager of the Year. The news was
announced yesterday by the Baseball Writers Association of
America and while they were some deserving candidates, it
wasn’t even close. It was a runaway with Gibson leading
his closest challenger, the Brewers’ Ron Roenicki, by 60

World Series champ, now retired manager Tony LaRussa, came
in a distant third. To say this honor is richly deserved
is to minimize his personal impact on the club. In 2010
the D-backs lost 97 games. The next season, last year,
under Gibson they won 94 games. He brought a sense nof old
school baseball to a bunch of young guys. Yes, commander
Kirk, you have taken us where few have gone before. Next
season, perhaps the final frontier.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Wednesday, November 16

I love this town and this state.

I’ve always understood why so many people visit here from
the Midwest and the East Coast and immediately decide they
want to move here and make it their home. It’s beautiful,
relaxing and comfortable.

So why, with all these people and 65,000 students at ASU
and every major pro sport, why do our teams — more often
than not — suck?

Every 10 years or so, somebody has a winning season. Then
no championship followed by years of choice: either
mediocrity or futility.

ASU lost to an overwhelming underdog for two consecutive
Saturdays and this weekend, the odds makers can only feel
that when they play a hapless Arizona, the loser will be

One shining moment was just that — one! The Cardinals won
a game on the road against the wingless Eagles.

The Suns have no season at all and the Coyotes may not
have a home.

We were rightfully proud of the surprising Diamondbacks
going to the playoffs, but that didn’t last.

What’s going here? Coach Kush — Frank — do you know the

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, November 14

I walked into Joe Paterno’s office and introduced myself
as the guy he would be working with on a series of
instructional videos for high school football coaches.

I tried to hide my awe, but for crying out loud, this was
Rockne, this Bear Bryant, this was a coach who, for
decades, ran a college football program based on
excellence on the field and in the classroom. A program
whose foundation was integrity.

This was a man who, at that first meeting, politely asked
me to remove my hat so that, if one of his players walked
in, he wouldn’t think there was a double standard for
manners. That’s how concerned he was about the smallest

So how could Joe Paterno have compromised his sense of
ethic on a subject as monstrous as the actions of his
former coach – Sandusky.

Say it ain’t so, Joe Pa!

I’ve waited until after Saturday’s game with Nebraska
because I didn’t want this to be about sports. They lost.
Who cares? Penn State will be the object of derision,
investigations and jokes for years. Sports
called it the worst scandal in college
sports history.

There are only tears in what was once a Happy Valley.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, November 10

One of the problems with anyone staying alive is having to
say goodbye to so many who didn’t.

You and I have to say goodbye now to a truly lovely
person. Tuesday, Bil Kean died at his Paradise Valley home
and the tent that housed his Family Circus has been folded
up and put away.

Bil told me that, over the years, he was accused of
creating sappy cartoon strips — story lines that didn’t
keep up with the realities of present day life. Bil’s
response was “Good! That’s exactly what I had in mind.”

All he ever wanted to do is to know that his family on the
comic page touched a familiar note with your family at

One of his family, his son Glen, continues the family
tradition by creating Ariel, the Little Mermaid and both
the Beauty and the Beast.

Bil’s edgy humor was always there when he opened each
personal appearance with the same line: “Some consider
this an honor. For me its a damned inconvenience.”

Bil Keane is survived by Billy, Jeffy, Dolly & PJ.

I’m Pat McMahon

Wednesday, November 2

As the American Dental Association denies the existence of
a political TV spot supporting Herman Cain showing a man
in a white lab coat touting the qualifications of Cain
while inhaling nitrous oxide – it calls to mind the
innocent question of political observers – who the hell is
advising some of these people?

Their campaigns are supposed to be run by media savvy
professionals who are paid, often very well, to present
their client’s best qualities and highest level of

And yet we have the now infamous smoking man ad that will
be satirized so much and so often voters won’t remember
why they liked the candidate to begin with.

Now, all anyone is talking about is the accusations of
sexual misconduct on the part of Cain.

Why didn’t his staff decide on one defense and let him
present that to media?

Instead what may be a mole hill is becoming a badly
handled mountain.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Tuesday, November 1

As I was reading about the loss of yet another officer in
the line of duty, I was also faced with the unfortunate
reality that there are some people whose world is so small
that they can only reason on the level of protozoa – a
single cell organism.

One of the responses to the story about the fatal shooting
of Glendale Police Officer Brad Jones Saturday night must
be immediately enshrined in the stupidity Hall of Fame.

The statement was regretfully that “Officers kill people
more frequently than people kill officers.”

Yes! Thank God. And that’s because in most cases the
people that the officers are shooting at are the bad guys!
They’re the ones who are using their guns to take our
stuff or our lives.

The police use their weapons to protect us. Is this too
complex a formula to follow?

The writer went on to say that when a cop kills someone,
that person has a family too.

Yes, and we should mourn for all the victims of violence –
however, today, my time is spent on Officer Brad Jones of

I’m Pat McMahon.

Monday, October 31

On this Halloween morning, let me ask you to do children
everywhere a favor. If anyone comes to your door trick or
treating tonight dressed in a Boy Scout uniform ask them
if they’ve recently been sexually molested.

The chances are probably not, unless they were a part of
scouting in Orange County or in Canada.

Have you heard about the scouting sacrileges that took
place in both these areas a few years ago?

The Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada should both
receive a merit badge for sexually terrorizing their young
members and another for repeatedly covering it up.

The L.A. Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
released their investigation findings over the weekend,
that one scout leader molested 15 children in the two
countries and then, to compound the monstrousness,
scouting officials refused to report it saying, “You do
not want to broadcast to the entire population that these
things happen. You take care of it quietly and make sure
it never happens again.”

But it did happen again and again and again.

And now with the release of this information parents are
torn as to whether their kids should get involved with
scouting or become Catholic alter boys.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Friday, October 28

Well it happened again. It seems every Halloween weekend I
have the same recurring dream with a different cast of

My doorbell rings and all these familiar people are lined
up trick or treating.

For example, there was Joe Arpaio with two costumes. Half
was a scary tough guy and the other half was an amnesiac
who couldn’t remember anything in a courtroom.

Right behind him were two little boys. Wes Gullett was
crying because he had a tattoo on his forehead and the
other one was Greg Stanton who was trying to hide the ink.

Kirk Gibson had a great wizard costume on complete with a
magic wand that he proudly demonstrated could turn toads
into pretty fierce snakes.

Apparently, these trick-or-treaters were all from the
sports world because the NBA was represented by very tall
homeless men and the Cardinals were dressed as former
football players.

Andrew Thomas was standing in the middle of the yard
threatening everyone with fake guns.

And that’s when I woke up.

I’m Pat McMahon.

Thursday, October 27

The words were heated and personal. The entire country was
watching as the two went head to head.

Obama vs. Boehner.

Two NFL coaches.

No this was Max vs. Len on Dancing with the Stars
and for a moment it looked like the aging British judge &
the virile Ukrainian dancer might duke it out. That was
one incident that began Monday night on the popular dance

I like the show & it has seemed that the two male judges
Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli have been particularly
insensitive in their critiques of both Hope Solo, the U.S.
soccer star, and Chaz Bono, the shows first transgender

He has said that being compared to a penguin, a dancing
basketball is disrespectful and I agree. He’s probably the
most disproportionately heavy contestant they’ve ever had
but it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the judges to remember
he is an invited guest as is Hope, who has been
consistently graded low for her lack of femininity.

With manners like that all three judges could run for

Wednesday, October 26

Freedom in San Francisco has, over the years, been
liberally applied to many facets of life. There, freedom
of speech knows virtually no limitations. At one time free
love was an accepted part of the “flower” generation as
was the opportunity to free ones mind through
hallucinogenic drugs.

A little known freedom, the right to be nude in public in
the Bay Area, has just had limits placed on the practice
by a city supervisor ironically named Scott Weiner. No —
I couldn’t make that up.

If the proposed ruling passes — nude dining in San
Francisco will no longer be allowed. Listen, I don’t event
want belly dancers to entertain near my entree much less
nudists to be at the next table. And if they are, please
let there be enough placemats. I don’t usually care where
people want to be naked so long as it’s not at a
restaurant. I mean buns should only be in my bread basket.

If public nudity is ever allowed in Phoenix imagine how
that will affect the Pointe resorts.

I’m Pat McMahon.