News Columnist for The Arizona Republic. E-mail me at

Execution not botched? Yeah, well, the 'review' was. — Is it any surprise that an independent review that isn't independent decides that a botched execution was not botched? When the murderer Joseph Wood was executed in July he gasped and snored for two hours while his executioner injected him with 15 lethal doses. Not botched?

Blame cop murders on Obama or de Blasio .. or killer? — When Eric Garner died after a confrontation with police in Staten Island, N.Y., and when Michael Brown was killed by an officer in Ferguson, Mo., conservative politicians and talking heads said again and again that the blame belonged with the dead men. That if only they had complied with officers they would not be dead.

All you want for Christmas is ... an AR-15? — Every year one of the cable networks will broadcast, again and again, the 1983 film A Christmas Story, a campy, charming, comedy centered on nine-year-old Ralphie Parker's burning desire to receive for Christmas a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.

Okay now to NOT be a Cards fan? No. Just the opposite — "Montini," the caller on my voicemail began (shortly after 10 p.m Sunday) "I just turned on the TV news and the first thing they talked about was the Arizona Cardinals game. And this was after they lost by, like, a million. (Actually, the score was 35-6 in favor of the Seattle Seahawks.)

Actually, there is room at the inn .. real sanctuary — As most of us know, accommodations were difficult to come by for weary out-of-town travelers 2,000 years ago. Even a husband and wife traveling with an infant had a difficult time finding a place to stay. It's different now. There days there actually is room at the inn.

Sorry, Sony, but killing a head of state is not funny — We're all outraged at the hacking of Sony Pictures; and we'll all concerned with the national security implications; and we're all expecting the government to launch some form of cyber retaliation or to increase sanctions on North Korea, which they say is behind the hacking, but ... ...

Next Phoenix police chief should be homegrown — Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher already is talking about how the search for a replacement for fired Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia will be nationwide. "I would expect to follow that pattern," he said after Garcia was let go. Word of advice: NO. The next chief should be home grown.

Will Ducey drive with dreamers or off Brewer's cliff? — It looks like the fight to keep dreamers from getting (or keeping) driver's licenses will wind up on soon-to-be Gov. Doug Ducey's desk. The courts have now said that dreamers - the young immigrants to came to the U.S. as children and have been raised and educated here - will be able to apply for driver's licenses beginning Monday.

The long, long wait for a list of sinful priests — There's a very good pope in the Vatican these days and that has helped us to forget about the very bad priests that have operated in some Roman Catholic churches. Including here. This week the Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., released what it called an updated list of priests who it claims were "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors.

A very un-Arias Christmas! — What may be the best news of the month was transmitted via Twitter on Thursday by public information officers at Maricopa County Superior Court. It reads simply: "Today is the last day of trial in State v. #JodiArias until 1/5/2015." Thank you. Two weeks without Arias. A Christmas miracle.
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Dec 19, 2014

RT @GretchenYuma: "@azcentral: Columnist @ejmontini: Next #Phoenix COP should be". Ivote Commander Chris Crockett, retired.

Dec 19, 2014

RT @azcentral: Columnist @ejmontini: Next #Phoenix police chief should be homegrown, in touch with local politics, community.

Dec 19, 2014

RT @senyorreporter: Yes it's constitutional, @ejmontini says, but is it a good idea to make a movie about killing a nation's leader?…

Dec 19, 2014

RT @amybwang: .@ejmontini makes the argument for why Phoenix's next police chief should be homegrown:

Dec 19, 2014

Sorry, Sony, but killing a head of state is not funny via @azcentral

Dec 18, 2014

Will Ducey drive with dreamers or off Brewer's cliff? via @azcentral

Dec 18, 2014

RT @amybwang: From @ejmontini: The long, long wait for a list of sinful priests.

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