On this week's Political Roundtable, Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries and Pima County Democratic Party chairman Jeff Rogers discuss the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on health care and SB 1070, unpack the Fast and Furious scandal that has led to contempt of Congress charges for U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, Secretary of State Ken Bennett's decision to reject petitions for an initiative to extend the state's one-cent sales tax, the Rosemont Mine's future and more!
Special bonus content: Rogers mentioned a Fortune story about Fast and Furious that provided background about how the entire mess got started. You can find it here. An excerpt:
Quite simply, there's a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.
Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies. Fortune reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven law-enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case. Several, including Voth, are speaking out for the first time.
How Fast and Furious reached the headlines is a strange and unsettling saga, one that reveals a lot about politics and media today. It's a story that starts with a grudge, specifically Dodson's anger at Voth. After the terrible murder of agent Terry, Dodson made complaints that were then amplified, first by right-wing bloggers, then by CBS. Rep. Issa and other politicians then seized those elements to score points against the Obama administration, which, for its part, has capitulated in an apparent effort to avoid a rhetorical battle over gun control in the run-up to the presidential election. (A Justice Department spokesperson denies this and asserts that the department is not drawing conclusions until the inspector general's report is submitted.)
The actual Seal will likely give a far more professional performance of his hit "Kiss From a Rose" than the cast of Community did this season, so that's something to look forward to when the singer comes to AVA on August 3rd.
On a somewhat different note, Joe Cocker and Huey Lewis and the News will perform as part of a somewhat unexpected pairing on July 15th, also at AVA.
You can win a pair of general admission tickets to either show at our contest page (feel free to enter both drawings, but we're not going to let the same person win twice, for what we hope are obvious reasons) right now. The drawing for the Cocker/Lewis tickets will be held on July 11th, Seal on July 27th and winners will be notified via email.
Somehow, Kitty Katt McKinley has managed to make the backroom of Auld Dubliner in Main Gate Square seem like the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks but with shuffleboard. I don't understand it, but I suspect anyone who goes might be changed forever. Consider yourself warned.
[Yes, I'm aware we've posted a lot of Kitty Katt-related stuff lately. The guy's on a roll. What are we supposed to do?]
You can't really judge an album by the first single - well, maybe a little bit - but theoretically, a record label throws a band's most commercial song out there ahead of the album, hoping to make an impression on whatever audience is out there still actually buying things.
So, I'm trying not to panic about "Live and Die," from the new Avett Brothers album, The Carpenter, coming out on September 11th. It's a nice enough song, I guess, more along the lines of their last album than the more bluegrass-influenced stuff that made me like the band in the first place. First, they skip over Tucson on their last tour - to play MESA - and now they just sound more and more like Mumford and Sons and that's making me sad.
A conversation with the voices involved in modern streetcar construction, including representatives from the city and local merchants.
Ryan Clark's most recent victory at the Iron Chef Tucson Culinary Weekend must make him one of the most decorated, competition-wise, chefs in town. I've lost track of how many competitions he's won at this point, but they are many. He beat Allen Yap of OM Modern Asian Kitchen at this competition.
The secret ingredient this year was Chilean sea bass. The chefs cooked like hell to try to walk away with the honors. I find it difficult to summon excitement over this style of cooking competition any longer - it really feels like watching reruns at this point - but, hey, whatever floats your boat.
While I don't ever actually go, unless my son is going to a birthday party or fundraiser, I still consider myself a fan of Skate County. I spent a ridiculous amount of time there in the mid-80's, I've gone to the effort of getting prices to rent the place out for a surreal adult birthday party, and I occasionally dream of a second chance at roller rink DJing.
Anyhow, when I saw the above Facebook update, I had to wonder if I was missing out on something by having absolutely no idea who Ryan Butler is or what Vanilla Skate Company happens to be. A quick trip to YouTube to investigate TOTALLY BLEW MY MIND. Warning: if you click play on the video below, you will get sucked into a seemingly inescapable world of freestyle skate dancing, which is apparently a thing people do:
Aside of weirdness: I did a Google search to see if I was the first person to dub Ryan Butler "the Justin Bieber of competitive rollerskating" only to find that the Bieb's best friend is a different guy named Ryan Butler. I'll be hiding under my desk if you need me, because clearly the world is collapsing upon itself.
It's one thing to get something for free because of what you're wearing — I still fondly recall the time that my I Love Hot Moms shirt got me free double meat in my Subway cold cut combo footlong because the sandwich artist told me that 'us moms appreciate that' — but I think I might draw the line at dressing up a certain way solely to get grub at no charge.
For those who disagree, I give you Carl's Jr.
The fast food franchise is giving away a free Amazing Grilled Cheese Burger on July 4 to anyone who is willing to dress up as Spider-Man.
They've even gone so far as to employ Spider-Man creator (and compulsive super hero movie cameo appearance maker) Stan Lee to provide some dos and don'ts regarding one's attire. For instance: no masks, unless you're also planning to rob the place after you get your free burger, and expect to pay if you come as anyone other than Spidey. I wonder if that applies to Venom.