Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Future of Immigration Reform

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 9:01 PM

The Daily Beast forecasts immigration politics in the GOP-controlled Congress:

If the GOP votes as expected this month, Steve King will be in charge of immigration legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. For proof that a meteor hit D.C. on November 2, listen to the ideas running through the head of the likely next chair of the immigration subcommittee. King has called for an electrified fence along the border. He wants to interpret the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to deny birthright citizenship for immigrants who have children here. He has dubbed illegal immigration not just a “slow-motion terrorist attack” but a “slow-motion holocaust.” “The line of scrimmage has moved closer to our goal line,” King tells me, “and you’ve got a different team calling the plays.” What gives liberals tremors is not just that Barack Obama’s immigration agenda is dead. It’s that King’s swaggering personality will dominate the debate for years.

From the "Absurdly Talented" Files: Synchronized Swimmers

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 7:34 PM

It turns out that Cirque du Soleil's water-based shows in Las Vegas have upped the ante for the rest of the synchronized swimming world.

Many credit the Las Vegas shows for influencing the new direction of the sport to include more daring acrobatic moves. Using jumps, double back flips and handstands, choreographers are spicing up their swimmers’ routines with moves that have more than one coach worrying about injuries.

“Everyone wants to increase the difficulty of their routine and the ‘wow’ factor,” Mahoney said. “The more acrobatics you do, the more difficulty points you get. Now it’s not a question of how risky is the move, but how many people can you lift, or does it spin up or down?”

[...]

When Tammy McGregor coached the 2008 Olympic synchronized swimming team, she took her athletes to the Circus Center San Francisco to learn to integrate more acrobatics into their routines.

Young girls, she said, “like the risk factor and basically want to do tricks in the water.” Unlike Mahoney, she said she thought these changes were less about the newer Vegas shows and more about an evolution of the sport.

“It’s been coming since before the shows,” McGregor said. “The Russians have been really advancing the role of acrobatics in synchro. They have a swimmer who can jump 15 feet in the air.”

“It’s a contact sport now,” she added. “So they can’t ridicule us anymore.”

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Tucson's Everyday People: Downhill Skateboarding

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Produced by Joey Silvestri

Tommy Noble and Ian Fitzpatrick discuss downhill skateboarding in the Tucson area, touching upon the precautions taken by skaters and the way they view their role in the community.

Joey Silvestri is a professional downhill skateboarder who races internationally.

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Picture This: TED Talk 'Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work'

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 4:46 PM


Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work wor

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Apparently, Ruth McClung Decided to Finally Concede

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 2:23 PM

The political tradition of conceding is a little strange to me, especially considering there's no particular consequence to conceding or not conceding. The vote-counting goes on regardless, so the standard "I called my opponent ..." bit ends up being the equivalent of the "good game" handshake at the end of a Little League game. We know who won and lost, but it just makes everyone feel better when there's the appearance of sportsmanship.

That all makes sense within the context of election night or even the next day ... but nearly a month later, why bother conceding if you haven't already? What difference does it make?

It apparently makes a difference to Ruth McClung, who sent out a press release today:

Congressional District 7 was a long shot, but with the help of my supporters, we were able to take a gerrymandered district, which had a 2 to 1 ratio (Democrat to Republican) in voter registration against me, and turn it into a competitive race. We did not win this particular election, but the battle was not lost! Victory was obtained in this campaign by showing the power of grass roots. When Americans come together, unified in a common goal, we become one of the most powerful forces on earth - E pluribus unum or out of many, one."

Despite the outcome of this race, I feel blessed that I have had the pleasure of working with all of you. We have built a strong unity and determination in this district that won't go away, one that will keep working to make America and Arizona prosperous and great! I am proud and humbled to have stood with you at a time when we are fighting for the future of our country. America is worth fighting for and I am not giving up!

Thank you so much for all that you have done to support me and my campaign- your prayers, money and time! Viva the People!

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Arizona Democrats Call on Brewer to Restore Transplant Funding

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Arizona legislative Democrats are keeping up the pressure on transplant funding after a man denied a bone-marrow transplant died this week. The press release:

Mark Price, the first AHCCCS patient to come forward after he was denied a bone marrow transplant due to Republican budget cuts has died.

“We are heartbroken at the loss of Mark Price and offer our prayers and condolences to his family,” said incoming Senator Minority Leader David Schapira. “Unfortunately the clock has run out for Mr. Price, but the clock is still ticking for others in Arizona who are counting on the Governor to take action by restoring life-saving transplant funding.”

Yesterday, Governor Brewer called the AHCCCS program a “Cadillac Plan” and claimed federal stimulus dollars are already accounted for in designated places, but refuses to state where she spent the money.

“Gov. Brewer continues to make excuses for cutting a program that denies life-saving transplants, but has not offered any solutions to people who are seriously ill and in need of those transplants,” said incoming Senator Minority Leader David Schapira.

Senate Democrats call on Gov. Brewer to immediately act to deal

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You Might Want to Check Your Friends' Credit Reports

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Let's say something terrible happens, and one of your close friends passes away. According to some experts on the debt-collection industry referenced in The Washington Post, you might be getting a few unpleasant phone calls:

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking to revise the protocol surrounding two of life's touchiest subjects: debt and death.

The rise in debt collection has spawned a niche market devoted to recouping money from those who die with unpaid bills. The FTC began investigating the practice several months ago and found confusion among collectors over whom they were allowed to contact and what they could say, said Joel Winston, the agency's associate director of financial practices.

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act limits the people that collectors can contact to those with authority to pay the debt - typically a spouse or family member, and possibly a third-party executor of an estate. But in a proposed policy statement, the FTC said changes to court procedures have widened the pool of those who may be able to pay to include a host of other legal representatives.

Locating those who can pay the debt creates another challenge. Often, collectors may contact several friends or relatives in their attempt to find the right person. Current law allows collectors to only ask for "location information" without revealing that a debt is owed. The FTC is considering relaxing that rule for those who are deceased.

The FTC proposal states that collectors appealing to consumers' "moral obligation" to close the debt could violate federal law. In addition, it emphasized that collectors cannot imply that those with authority to pay the debt must do so out of their own pockets. All debts should be paid out of the deceased's estate.

To be clear, someone might call you to track down your dead friend's money, and they might imply you should help cover some of those debts, but you're not actually legally responsible to do so.

Still, you never can be too sure. I think I might running credit checks on people I meet from now on.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Very Bieber Christmas

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 5:48 PM

A gift idea for all of the Justin Bieber fans out there:

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (in 3-D) will open as a sneak preview at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. Tickets to see the film and receive a gift pack are on sale now.

Each gift pack includes a ticket to the movie sneak preview; a pair of limited edition purple “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” RealD® 3D glasses; a souvenir VIP event lanyard; and an official “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” branded glow stick and bracelet.

Click here for tickets and info. Limit is six tickets per credit card transaction. Supplies are limited.

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Staff Pick

[sic]

In adjacent apartments that resemble broom closets with windows, three young, ambitious neighbors come together to discuss,… More

@ Live Theatre Workshop Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sundays, 3-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 25 5317 E. Speedway Blvd.

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