Will the first Democratic debate be boring? No.

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

Tonight’s Democratic debate, held at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, has been pronounced in advance to be a snoozefest, as it will likely be heavy on policy and light (to nonexistent) on the exciting personal attacks and stupefyingly dumb and/or dishonest statements we’ve grown to expect from the GOP debates. And though Hillary Clinton is said to be going in with “high expectations” (heard that phrase a lot from the cable pundits this morning), they have already declared her the loser. She will perhaps commit a terrible, campaign-derailing gaffe or she will be flawless but boring by talking about policy too much. Or she’ll try to connect with the audience emotionally and that will be characterized as insincere. Or whatever. It’s been decided amongst the pundit class that Hillary Clinton cannot win.

It’s often jarring how policy-averse some of the most prominent people covering Presidential campaigns can be. I first really noticed it in 2000, when the MSM had grand, giggly lark focusing on Al Gore’s “stiffness” and supposed exaggerations, while contrasting that with George W. Bush’s alleged affability and ease around people (especially reporters). Policy discussions were treated as an annoying obstacle to the theater and costume criticism, as we can see in Evgenia Peretz’s 2007 Vanity Fair recollection of how Al and Tipper Gore were savaged by the media in the 2000 campaign.

Perhaps reporting in this vein was just too gratifying to the press for it to stop. As Time magazine’s Margaret Carlson admitted to Don Imus at the time, “You can actually disprove some of what Bush is saying if you really get into the weeds and get out your calculator, or look at his record in Texas. But it’s really easy, and it’s fun to disprove Al Gore. As sport, and as our enterprise, Gore coming up with another whopper is greatly entertaining to us.” Continue reading

Driving While Musing

By Ed Farmilant

[Cross-Posted, with permission from the writer, an Arizonan, from Daily Kos]

[Note to readers: If you run for office, and you're lucky, you'll meet an Ed Farmilant or two along the way. I met Ed in 2008 and we've stayed friendly since. He has a wonderful perspective, which this guest post gives me the opportunity to share. Hope you enjoy it!]


The bumper sticker on the car slightly ahead and to the right of me said something like “The Constitution: vexing liberals since 1789”.   My first thought was doesn’t the driver know about the ACLU?

But, then I realized that even if he did, (and how could he not?) it wouldn’t matter; this level of what is called cognitive dissonance has to be high for him to think that message made sense.

Although I try not to profile, as I pulled even with him, I saw that he was a gray haired white man, with a determined look and absolutely no joy in his face.  So I knew all about him. Continue reading

5th Annual Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival


From their FB page:
At this family-friendly event, meet community organizations and companies that are creating a sustainable future for our city and region. Enjoy exhibits that highlight their work and get involved through hands-on activities and learning experiences. Explore key sustainability issues, covering everything from solar for the home to growing food and native plants, from preparing for heat emergencies to environmental concerns, and much more.

Festival Highlights:
* the starting point for PAG Solar Partnership’s Solar Tour — pick up your tour map at the Solar Partnership table and visit a great selection of solar-powered homes.
* an expanded display of electric vehicles, presented by Tucson Electric Vehicle Association, with owners and other TEVA members available to answer your questions.
* Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce presenting its Climate Leadership Challenge awards
* the “Co-op Cluster,” featuring local co-ops, including the Food Conspiracy Co-op and Vantage West Credit Union
* the kick-off event for 10West, a weeklong celebration of local innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship
* the annual Green School Recognition, which goes this year to Davis Bilingual Magnet School, with a multi-faceted program that integrates school gardening, aquaponics (in the school library), and ecology education with classroom learning.
* the next generation of sustainability leaders, represented by students from Drachman Montessori Magnet, last year’s Green School Recognition recipient, and teens from Changemaker Academy, sharing their work for environmental justice

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(Update) Ethics complaint filed against Rep. Martha McSally

Back in September, the Tucson Weekly reported Dems Attack McSally for NRCC Agreement but Congresswoman Says She Hasn’t Signed Contract:

McSallyEarlier this month, Washington Post political reporters James Hohmann and Elise Viebeck revealed that the paper had gotten ahold of a leaked contract that Republican congressional candidates are expected to sign if they want to participate in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Patriot Program, which is designed to help candidates in competitive districts.

The contract raised eyebrows because it included a requirement that members of Congress and their chiefs of staff provide “detailed, written legislative strategy that provides short-, intermediate- and long-term legislative goals, including political justification for those goals.”

As it turns out, Southern Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally is among the Republicans who are participating in the Patriot Program and Democrats are focusing on the NRCC document as evidence that McSally is not as independent as she made herself out to be during her successful campaign to unseat Democrat Ron Barber last year.

* * *

Dems say the Patriot Program is crossing the line by asking members of Congress and their staffers to sign agreements regarding legislative work—and the Post’s revelation about the contract has made headlines around the country.

Continue reading