Category Archives: Uncategorized

Governor Ducey Re-Election in Deep Trouble

By Michael Bryan

New statewide polling from Lake Research Partners indicates possible trouble for Doug Ducey’s bid for re-election. I don’t have access to the raw polling data (though I would love to look…), so I can’t speak too much about the poll’s methodology, but some of the results have frankly surprised me. I do know that it seems to be appropriately weighted, included cell phones, and has a sample size of 600 respondents. Not bad.

Bottom line: Ducey is topping out a 40% against a generic Democratic opponent with a whopping 28% undecided, i.e. persuadable. 53% rate Ducey’s performance as merely fair or poor: and he only scores 49% good or excellent among GOP voters! His job performance in almost every other subject is also underwater, even traditional GOP strong subjects such as “keeping spending down” (I guess that is no longer a GOP value, actually, given national trends…):

Ducey will definitely face a real fight this season. That is likely the reason the Republican Governor’s Association is spending early and exclusively in Arizona (subscription link) to shore up a weakened Ducey.

So, bottom line: start investing in your favored Democratic candidate for Governor because the race is on, and Ducey is still crushing it comparatively in fund-raising. Check out our Democratic candidates Steve Farley, Kelly Fryer, and David Garcia.

You can read the full report here: PublicMemo.DuceyAccountability.firev1.0208181

Cartoon of The Week

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Guest Essay: Conspiracy Theories and the Common Good

By Monica Bauer, Ph.D.

When the world spins too fast, there is a coping mechanism that will ease the blow; conspiracy theories. A conspiracy theory provides great comfort to those in the middle of rapid change who feel powerless to affect the course of their own lives. A conspiracy theory gives a gold-plated excuse for everything that has happened that is out of control. It gives those bewildered by change the option of laying blame on something that could, in theory, be fixed. That the familiar, the status quo, could be snatched back from the past and installed, once again, in the present. All that needs to be done is to root out the conspiracy, and defeat it.

I learned this lesson years ago, not out of books, but out of personal experience. As I try to make sense of the True Trumpist phenomenon, those lessons have been more helpful to me than anything I learned in graduate school.

In 1993, I went to Egypt, and taught for a year in the Political Science Department at the American University in Cairo. I was not a specialist in the Middle East, far from it; I was a Nebraska girl with a specialty in American political parties and elections, and political theory. I had not spent five minutes trying to understand the history of the Middle East, or the role the religion of Islam played in it. I went to Cairo to be a college professor in my chosen field, to teach at the Harvard of the Middle East. But I became, out of necessity, a student, to try and make sense of the surroundings in which my students had grown and developed opinions and attitudes about political life.

The most puzzling thing I found, in the streets and shops of Cairo, among those who learned enough English to cater to the Westerners who lived in the suburb of Ma’adi, was this: Egypt was marinated in conspiracy theories. Everything that happened could be explained, one way or another, by some complex plot. Some of these theories started out on solid ground; yes, it was quite likely that the dictator Hosni Mubarak was actually trying to hand power over to his idiot oldest son. But then these theories would take a turn.

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Labyrinth New Year’s Eve Party at the Loft Theater

Sing and Quote-A-Long Edition

The Labyrinth New Year’s Eve Party and Masquerade Ball!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31 AT 11:00PM | GENERAL ADMISSION: $15 • LOFT MEMBERS: $12

PLEASE NOTE: WE CANNOT ACCEPT PASSES OR GROUPONS FOR THIS SCREENING

Costume Contest at approx. 11:15pm; Film begins promptly at 11:45pm.

“Prepare to dance magic dance as we ring in the New Year and celebrate the great David Bowie with a late-night screening of the ‘80s classic, Labyrinth, in a brand-new interactive SING AND QUOTE-A-LONG edition, featuring custom onscreen subtitles that will help you live the fantasy with Jareth, Sarah, Hoggle and friends!

Through dangers untold and hardships un-numbered, we know you’ve been patiently waiting to party with Jareth and all his Goblin pals on The Loft Cinema’s big screen.   Well, the 13th hour will strike enough! Featuring a Labyrinth Costume Contest before the movie (time to break out those capes and cod pieces!), pre-show Bowie music videos, fun props to use during the movie and a free champagne toast at midnight! And don’t forget to wear a “Masquerade Ball” mask less you miss out on all the magic! But fear not: we’ll also have a “make your own mask” table where you can craft your own mask on the spot, while supplies last!

The movie starts promptly at 11:45pm, so that Sarah’s introduction to the Labyrinth and the Goblin King’s 13 Hour Clock will happen right at the stroke of midnight!

Sulky fifteen-year-old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is so resentful of her baby brother Toby that she hopes he will just disappear. Her dream becomes reality when goblins kidnap the boy–but Sarah unexpectedly finds herself horrified by the loss. So she sets forth to retrieve him, and finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. To accomplish her goal, she will somehow have to reach the center of the fantastical Labyrinth where the wicked, baby-stealing Goblin King, Jareth (David Bowie, who performs two killer songs and wears one of the greatest leather jumpsuit/cape/cod piece combos of all-time) has imprisoned the lad. But the task is easier said than done, for the maze is filled with strange creatures, mind-bending puzzles and dangerous obstacles (like the Bog of Eternal Stench!) that threaten to keep Sarah apart from her brother forever! Directed by Muppet-master Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas and penned by Monty Python’s Terry Jones, Labyrinth is a distinctive, beautifully designed (love that MC Escher-inspired staircase!), and often freaky dark fantasy for all ages. (Dir. by Jim Henson, 1986, USA, 101 mins., Rated PG)”

https://loftcinema.org/film/the-labyrinth-new-years-eve-party/

 

McSally’s Holding Pattern

By Michael Bryan

Arizona has become one of the few states that are key to control of the U.S. Senate in 2018. With Flake declining to run for re-election and McCain facing the end of his life, both of Arizona’s Senate seats are in flux at a time when electoral tides are strongly disadvantaging Republicans. When McCain inevitably lays down his duties and resigns, one would expect there will be a wide field of both Democratic and Republican candidates vying for Arizona’s two open Senate seats.

One of the most salient players in this drama has remained purposefully and stubbornly obscure as to her next moves, however: Representative Martha McSally. While it is widely known that her ambition, and her current intention, is to move up to the Senate, she has remained stubbornly non-committal regarding launching a campaign for Flake’s seat in 2018.

She is certain to run for Senate; she has already recruited (and McSally’s political shop is running the nascent campaign of) Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO/President Lea Márquez-Peterson to try to succeed her. Since it seems certain that she plans on departing her current office for the Senate, but is passing up weeks of fund-raising and earned media in a primary against her main rival for the nomination for Flake’s seat, Kelli Ward, what could explain her current passivity?

McSally simply doesn’t plan to enter the primary for Flake’s seat. She expects to take over McCain’s seat, likely well before the primary election next year — probably before the end of this year.

Appointment to replace McCain provides several advantages to McSally. She would likely quash any primary challenge merely by occupying the seat, especially if she is perceived as McCain’s own choice to replace him. Even if she does not quash all opposition, incumbency conveys powerful advantages against both primary and general election challengers. Appointment to McCain’s seat also avoids an unpleasant primary contest with Ward, which would serve to further irritate the far-right Trumpian faction of Arizona’s Republicans, whom McSally has already irritated more than once.

Governor Ducey, likely with the knowledge and blessing of McCain, must be planning to appoint McSally to fill McCain’s seat when he resigns due to his failing health. It is unlikely that McSally would sit on the sidelines like this if she did not have assurances that the appointment to McCain’s seat was hers.

So, I make a few predictions:

  1. McCain will announce his immediate resignation from the Senate before or at the end of this session of the Senate on December 29, 2017.
  2. McCain will make it known that McSally has his support to be appointed to his seat.
  3. Ducey will appoint McSally to McCain’s seat.
  4. McSally will run for the remainder of McCain’s term in the 2018 election substantially or completely unopposed in the Republican primary.

2017 El Tour de Tucson unofficial results

From Perimeter Bicycling website for 106, 76, 54, 37 and 28 mile rides :

http://www.perimeterbicycling.com/el-tour-de-tucson/results/

I apologize for the late posting but I have a good excuse. Been sick with bronchitis this week, so Even Bloggers Get the Blues.  I also missed the Tugo Bike Share launch yesterday at Catalina Park.

Congrats to all riders.