Monday, November 29, 2010

New START: Tea Party Targets Lugar? And Could GOP Be "Beyond Redemption"?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 3:12 PM

The New York Times profiles Sen. Dick Lugar, whose support for the New START treaty with Russia has him in the sights of the Tea Party:


... the New Start treaty, under which the United States and Russia would pare their nuclear arsenals and resume lapsed mutual inspections, [is] a signature foreign policy goal of the Obama administration. Republican colleagues have opposed the treaty and would prefer to push the matter into the 112th Congress, which begins in January, potentially dooming it.

This has upset Mr. Lugar, who called on his colleagues to “do your duty” before they broke for Thanksgiving. Nuclear disarmament is an issue Mr. Lugar has pursued most of his career; in the 1990s he teamed with Sam Nunn, then a Democratic senator from Georgia, on their own program to secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Obama became involved in the Nunn-Lugar efforts as a senator and traveled with Mr. Lugar to Russia in 2005.

Mr. Lugar’s recent breaks with his party have stirred the attention of Indiana Tea Party groups, who have him in their sights. “Senator Lugar has been an upstanding citizen representing us in D. C.,” said Diane Hubbard, a spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Tea Party. “But over the years, he has become more moderate in his voting.”

Former Sen. John C. Danforth's reaction wonders if the GOP is "beyond redemption":

Continue reading »

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New Microroastery and Café Opens in South Tucson

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 2:45 PM

A new coffee roaster and café named Café Aqui has opened at 1317 S. Sixth Ave.

The café is owned and operated by Oliver Ray, who played guitar for Patti Smith’s band for a decade and currently plays with local band Greyhound Soul. He discovered a passion for coffee while living in Guatemala, where he currently owns a small coffee farm of his own.

Café Aqui sells bulk coffee from around the world and coffee by the cup. Ray just got the doors open and hasn’t even hired anyone yet, but says the java is most certainly flowing.

“The espresso is unique. It’s a blend I learned while working with a roaster in Vermont. It’s a citrusy, bright shot of espresso,” said Ray, adding that it might be a bit lighter than what many espresso drinkers are accustomed to.

Ray said he roasts certain coffees lighter to bring out the "natural flavors and nuances." He's holding a coffee-tasting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 16, that will highlight the differences between dark and light roasts.

The café currently opens at 7 a.m., daily, and stays open into the afternoon. But those hours could change, so it’s probably best to call 623-3767 first.

What's Sen. Jon Kyl's Future?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Roll Call looks at whether Sen. Jon Kyl is running for reelection in 2012:

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl has repeatedly demurred when pushed to reveal whether he will run for re-election in 2012. The Arizona Republican appears amused by rumors that he is considering retirement and perplexed at being questioned about his political plans so soon after this year’s midterms.

Kyl, during a brief interview before Thanksgiving, joked that any announcement about running for a fourth term would be handled to maximize favorable publicity, but then he expressed exasperation with the media’s focus on an election that is two years away.

“When I make my announcement, I want to get some press on it. If I make it now, then I don’t get any press,” Kyl quipped. But then his remarks became serious.

“One of the lectures I give is, what’s wrong with the political system today,” he said. “It’s that every election starts the day after the last one. That is what’s screwing up our system, because there’s no time out to do legislation in a bipartisan way or without the press of elections. And, so I said, I’m not going to be a part of that game. I’m not going to start that right now. I say the same thing when people talk to me about presidential candidates: ‘I’m not going to go there.’”

Might he be harboring other ambitions?

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'The Simpsons' Bite Harder on the Hand That Feeds Them

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Last week, the Internet was abuzz over a brief visual joke on "The Simpsons" poking fun at another division of their corporate parent, Fox:

simpsonsvsfox1.png

This week, they went back to the same well for another joke, albeit this time in a slightly less-inflammatory manner:

simpsonsvsfox2.jpg

While I was a somewhat obsessive Simpsons fan for a stretch, the emergence of these screencaps are probably the most I've thought about the show since their feature film was released—so maybe the publicity is worth any Murdochian blowback that comes from it.

[photos from Dave Itzkoff's Twitter feed]

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Should the Government Provide Non-Emergency Health Care to Illegals?

Posted By on Sun, Nov 28, 2010 at 10:19 PM

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 7 a.m., the Arizona Inn will welcome Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. Carmona will host a debate on whether the government should proivde nonemergency health care to illegal immigrants who cannot afford it.

For: Kavita Patel, Director of Policy for the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Former Deputy Staff Director for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

vs.
Against: Dr. Richard Dale, President of the Arizona Medical Association, Chief of Staff at St. Joseph's Medical Center. Former President of Tucson Surgical Society.

The Arizona Inn is located at 2200 E. Elm St. Breakfast will be provided from 7 to 7:30 a.m. The debate runs from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

This debate is part of the Off the Record Debate series. The cost is $40 per debate and $110 for season tickets for the remainder of the season. For reservations, 626-8752 or e-mail David Foster at david@votesmart.org.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

HUB Restaurant and Creamery Coming to Downtown

Posted By on Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM

This place is opening at 266 E. Congress St. early next year. I just spoke with Kade Mislinski, who’s opening it with his girlfriend, Jenny Rice, and he didn’t need to go much further than mentioning the bourbon-cornflake ice cream to grab my attention.

Or perhaps you’re more of the strawberry-balsamic-vinegar ice cream type? He’ll have that, too, and like 50 other flavors. The organic milk will come from Straus Family Creamery, and new flavors will show up all the time, says Mislinski.

The meat: Slow-cooked pork tenderloin wrapped in pork belly, rotisserie chicken, pastrami brined in house ... the list goes on. You’ll be able to get it on a bun or as a meal with a side dish, like fingerling potatoes

The booze: Twenty-four beers on tap and dozens of wines by the glass. A happy hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily, will feature $5 glasses of wine.

Mislinski expects to open the restaurant—which he said will be family-friendly—around the end of January.

Check in at the restaurant’s Facebook page for more information.

Stop Being So Selfish, and Drink Some Wine Already

Posted By on Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 11:28 AM

You can refrain from drinking wine and help no one, or you can drink wine at dozens of local restaurants while helping the Tucson Community Food Bank feed the hungry. We think you know what to do.

More information here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Review: Cirque du Soleil's Alegria at the TCC Arena

Posted By on Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 8:50 AM

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If you read the press material or listen to the people in charge of "Alegria", which will be at the TCC Arena through Sunday the 28th, the show is about the conflict between generations or something like that. Why there has to be a plot at all is a little mystifying to me, since it was nearly impossible to follow a storyline running through the various vignettes, but Cirque du Soleil have a bunch of productions running around the world and the TCC was three-quarters full the night before Thanksgiving, so I guess they know better than I do.

While for my cynical, dark heart, the magic and whimsy of the Cirque du Soleil experience with clowns roaming the audience pre-show and a ringmaster of sorts wandering around yelling "Alegria!" are a little lost, if someone described the show as a collection of amazing acrobats and such from around the world, I'd probably be in.

When you get past the interstitial music (great if you wish Enya was a little edgier and French sometimes) and sort of humorous parts, the skill that goes into this show is impossible to not be impressed by. There's a guy from Hawaii who spins fire sticks around, gymnasts running on runways made of trampolines and flying all over the place, ridiculously flexible contortionists balancing in improbable ways, and an amazing high bar/trapeze finale. While there were moments that reminded me of the rhythmic gymnastics portions of the Olympics I rush to the remote to avoid, in person (and the way the arena is set up, it seems like all the seats offer a good view of the stage) the action is transfixing.

I don't know if I'm sold enough to pay over a hundred dollars to see a Cirque show in Vegas, but when the production is half the price, right down the street and featuring the same sort of absurdly talented cast, I'd consider putting up with the constructed childlike joy for the amazing acrobatic feats.

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Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples breathes extraordinary life into Harper’s compositions on the record, delivering roof-raising performances with both a… More

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