Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Daily Show Skewers McCain's "Internet Freedom Act"

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 10:49 PM

Jon Stewart goes after Sen. John McCain's legislation to allow Internet providers to block whatever they want—and KOLD's Mindy Blake makes her Daily Show debut!

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Update: Latest Early Ballot Numbers

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Early voting in the city election continues to climb.

Here's the latest, with numbers as of today:

A total of 68,201 ballots had been mailed to city voters. Of those, 28,921 ballots had been returned, which comes out to roughly 42 percent.

Party breakdown:

• 32,365 of those ballots went to Democrats; 14,115 of those ballots had been cast, for a return rate of roughly 44 percent.

• 21,718 of those ballots went to Republicans; 9,789 of those ballots had been cast, for a return rate of roughly 45 percent.

• 371 of those ballots went to Libertarians; 133 of those ballots had been cast, for a return rate of roughly 36 percent.

• 164 of those ballots went to Greens; 72 of those ballots had been cast, for a return rate of roughly 44 percent.

• 13,583 ballots had been sent to people who aren't registered with any of the above parties; 4,812 had been cast, for a return rate of roughly 35 percent.

More thoughts on early voting here.

Trouble For the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 7:37 AM

  • NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Otto Ross at the morning daily reports that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has the UA's HiRISE camera aboard, is having some computer problems:

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter carrying UA's HiRISE camera is entering its ninth week in a precautionary safe-mode, facing its greatest challenge since it launched in 2005.

Engineers are busily working to safeguard the orbiter against an unlikely but potentially fatal scenario that was discovered when the orbiter unexpectedly put itself into safe-mode for the fourth time this year.

"It's very unlikely but (the MRO) is a precious asset for the American people and we take it very seriously to make sure we protect it," said MRO Project Manager Jim Erickson.

Let's hope it's nothing serious. The HiRISE team is one of Tucson's finest assets. Check out some of the new photos from Mars here.

A Green Perspective: Candidate Mary DeCamp's Platform

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 7:34 AM

Green Party candidate Mary DeCamp, who is seeking a City Council seat in Ward 3, has sent us her campaign platform. Check it out:

Global situation: Peak oil & Global warming. Petroleum reserves are shrinking & are harder to access while the planet is heating up and climate patterns are changing.

Local response: Retrofit Tucson's aging housing inventory. Install energy-efficient windows & doors, weather-strip, paint roofs white, & blow insulation into attics.

How? Hire mentors to work with neighborhood volunteers interested in upgrading their properties. Form work teams & visit each member's home on a rotating basis to perform upgrades.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yet Another Stupid Argument in Favor of Prop 200

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 8:51 PM

Generally, I avoid the comments on StarNet stories because most of them are made by morons who have no idea what they're talking about.

Here's an example: I was looking at some of the recent stories about Prop 200 and came across this gem by "James O. (oienjmo)," who suggested a long list of cuts that could be made to fund police and fire. Never mind that the grand total of everything that he lists comes out to—well, I'm not going to do the exact math because it would be a waste of time. But near as I can tell, it's less than $10 million a year, which isn't much when you consider that Prop 200 would cost an estimated $63 million a year.

Anyways, that's not my point. The thing I found amusing is that James O. included in his list a $14,922 contribution to 88-Crime. Yes, that's right: He wants to fund cops by cutting a program that helps people report on criminals. Genius!

The rest of James O.'s list, after the jump:

Continue reading »

Cronkite-8 Poll: Public Split on Brewer/Public Option

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 7:00 PM

A new Cronkite/Eight Poll shows that the electorate is split on Gov. Jan Brewer, with 39 percent approving of her performance and 39 percent disapproving of her performance. Even more splitting: 40 percent of Republicans disapprove of the job she's done, while 40 percent of Democrats approve of the job she's done.

Brewer still trails Attorney General Terry Goddard, the likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate next year, in the approval ratings. The survey showed that 55 percent of voters approve of the job that Goddard has done, while 17 percent disapprove and 28 percent said they didn't know enough about him to make a call either way.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of voters want some kind of health-care reform out of Washington this year. They were mostly split on the idea of a public option, with nearly half—49 percent—saying they didn't want a public option, 44 percent said they did want a public option and 7 percent saying they had no opinion.

If you care about such things, there are also numbers for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Continue reading »

A Closer Race Than Conventional Wisdom Would Have Us Think?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 12:28 PM

We've noted that early ballots are going the Democrats' direction in this year's city election.

But that doesn't mean the incumbents—Nina Trasoff and Karin Uhlich—are safe. We've heard some rumblings that the races are tightening up in the final week of the campaign.

One problem for Trasoff and Uhlich: A general anti-incumbent wave sweeping the country. Politico reports:

While political observers are focused on the outcome of the Nov. 3 gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey for early insights into the 2010 midterms, it's in City Hall where the most ominous trend is emerging.

Some incumbent mayors have already lost their races. Others have held on to win—or are likely to win next week—with greatly diminished margins from their previous re-election bids. Either way, local incumbents are bleeding badly after being buffeted by the pressures of high unemployment, low tax revenues and a volatile, impatient electorate.

On the other hand:

Some veterans of mayoral politics caution against reading too much into the outcomes of local races. Instead of reflecting national trends, they argue, mayoral elections often have more to do with the mechanics of local government and the delivery of city services.

"There's a little bit of variety in these local races that makes generalization a bit problematic," said former Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith.

Still, there's considerable disgust among voters toward the City Council, especially regarding Rio Nuevo. And while there is some good news coming out of downtown—such as the announcement yesterday that Kwang C. An wants to open a restaurant on Congress Street—it's overshadowed by hard-hitting pieces like Rob O'Dell's recent piece on the failure to follow through on a Rio Nuevo audit, which makes Trasoff and Uhlich look like dolts.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Green Perspective: Candidate Mary DeCamp's Reform Plan

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 10:51 PM

Another proposal from Green Party candidate Mary DeCamp, who is running in Ward 3 City Council race:

Sticking with my proclivity to offer pro-active and constructive input instead of negative reaction, I would propose we move to proportional representation and instant runoff voting in our elections.

Right now people stick with the two major parties (Republocrats and/or Demicans - both serve the big business & government interests instead of the people's) because that is where the power is. If you ask most folks, they resoundingly endorse the Green Party's 10 key values (grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, non-violence, decentralization, gender equity, community-based economics, respect for diversity, personal & global responsibility, and future focus/sustainability). But they don't want to register Green because they think the party doesn't have enough political muscle.

If everyone who endorsed Green Party values would switch their voter registration on the same day, you would see

Continue reading »

Staff Pick

We Were Dead the Whole Time - Free Comedy Show

Picture, if you will: three comedians. Performing an everyday improv set. But, they are about to find… More

@ Tucson Improv Movement Fridays, 10:30-11 p.m. Continues through Oct. 28 329 E. 7th St

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