Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New TV Ad Asks McCain To Stop Latest GOP Healthcare Disaster

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Sen. John McCain provided the critical vote to block the so-called "skinny repeal" legislation that ended the summer chapter of Obamacare repeal, so supporters of the Affordable Care Act hope that he'll do the same with the Graham-Cassidy legislation that senators hope to pass by Sept. 30, when the reconciliation clock runs out for the fiscal year, along with the power to pass the healthcare legislation with just 51 votes.

McCain hasn't yet said that he'll support the legislation, but opponents of it worry that his close friendship with Graham may sway his vote in favor of the bill, which would essentially take the money that the federal government now spend on Obamacare and send it all to the states, allowing the 50 state legislatures to figure out how to best spend it. It would also allows waivers of essential health benefits, protections for people with pre-existing conditions and other federal regulations designed to protect ordinary Americans with help problems.

Meanwhile, Save Our Care is highlighting a new study that shows the proposed legislation would cost Arizona a staggering $133 billion by 2036:

A new study from Avalere Health released today estimates that the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal bill will lead to a reduction in federal funding to states of more than $4 trillion nationwide by 2036.

Arizona alone would lose $133 billion. This is the latest analysis to confirm that the Graham-Cassidy plan is the worst repeal bill yet, stripping health coverage from 32 million Americans and raising premiums by 20 percent next year. According to another study, by the Center for American progress, 511,000 Arizonans would lose health coverage.

The bill would be devastating for Arizonans. According to Avalere Health, Arizona would lose $19 billion over the next decade, and then would continue to lose even more federal funding over the following two decades. By 2036, the repeal bill would cost Arizona $133 billion in federal funding that is needed to support those on Medicaid and to provide tax credits to help Arizonans pay for their health care.

Despite these alarming estimations and overwhelming calls for bipartisan solutions, Senate Republicans are still pushing forward this disastrous health care repeal bill and are expected to vote as soon as next week.

A Little Late To the 'Patriotically Correct' Party

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 2:00 PM

  • Courtesy of Bigstock
For some reason, I woke up this morning thinking about the conservative crusade against the  Political Correctness. Then I thought about how conservatives go nuts over ideas and actions they don't think are "American" and jingoistic enough. Same idea, different targets. So I asked myself, "What can I call the conservative version of political correctness? Can I come up with a two word phrase with the initials 'P.C.'? . . . I got it! Patriotic Correctness."

If a football player takes a knee during the National Anthem, conservatives go crazy, because he's not showing the proper respect for the country. "How unpatriotic!" Could it be he thinks it's patriotic to point out problems which should be fixed to make this a better country by making a quiet, peaceful statement? "No way! You show patriotism by standing and waiting for the National Anthem to be over so the damn game can start already." People protesting the Iraq War were labeled traitors. "Why do you hate America?" conservatives screamed. And when the Dixie Chicks made a disparaging comment about President George Bush during a concert in London, their records were burned, their music was banished from country music station playlists and they got death threats. All in the name of Patriotic Correctness.

Before I congratulated myself for my creative genius, I decided to google "patriotic correctness." I found a column in the Washington Post dated Dec. 7, 2016. The writer stole my idea nine months before I thought of it.
But conservatives have their own, nationalist version of PC, their own set of rules regulating speech, behavior and acceptable opinions. I call it “patriotic correctness.” It’s a full-throated, un-nuanced, uncompromising defense of American nationalism, history and cherry-picked ideals. Central to its thesis is the belief that nothing in America can’t be fixed by more patriotism enforced by public shaming, boycotts and policies to cut out foreign and non-American influences.

Conservatives use “patriotic correctness” to regulate speech, behavior and acceptable opinions. Insufficient displays of patriotism among the patriotically correct can result in exclusion from public life and ruined careers. It also restricts honest criticism of failed public policies, diverting blame for things like the war in Iraq to those Americans who didn’t support the war effort enough.

Along with criticism of the Iraq War ( and remember the Vietnam War-era chants of "Go back where you came from!" and "Love it or leave it!" shouted at protesters?), the author mentions Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, conservatives saying "Black Lives Matter" is racist, then answering with "Blue Lives Matter," which they think is chest-thumpingly patriotic. And if you don't use the words "radical Islam," you're soft on terrorism.

Fun Fact: The writer of the WaPo column isn't some outraged pinko college prof. It's Alex Nowrasteh from the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, not exactly a bastion of left wing political correctness.

Next, I came across a perfectly sincere-looking Facebook page named "Patriotically Correct" filled with praise of Trump and including a picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache (but if you dare say Trump is a white supremacist on your own time, ESPN should fire you, goddam it. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said so). The creator of the page is someone named Dale W Green, whose personal page is headed by a bald eagle, Trump glaring menacingly from behind his oval office desk and the phrase, "Trump is my president." In the "About" section, Green says he "Studied Testicular Fortitude at School of Hard Knocks, The University of Life, Class of 2020." Gotta give the guy credit for his sense of humor.

So, while I can't claim credit for "Patriotically Correct, I still think it's worth having the phrase out there as a response to the right wing outrage over people who they call Politically Correct. Now, all that's left is to come up with a symbol for Patriotic Correctness, like the snowflake conservatives use to describe the delicate lefties who melt at the slightest hint of criticism. Conservatives don't melt, they explode with petulant rage. How about a toy cap gun? "Bang, your'e dead, now you gotta fall down!" It's not great, but it's the best I could come up with. Who do you think I am, David Fitzsimmons?

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Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 1:00 PM

There's always plenty of events going on around town if you're looking to go out. With fall just around the corner, a night in with a movie just might be more appealing. It's just the right time of year where all the films of the summer are now available to watch from the comfort of your home.

So after a long day, or even when you come home from the Santa Cruz County Fair or Greek Fest this weekend, catch up with one of summer's films people have been talking about.

This is your Weekly Casa Video Top 10:

1. The Mummy

2. Rough Night

3. It Comes at Night

4. Beatriz at Dinner

5. It

6. Snatched

7. Baywatch

8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

9. All Eyez on Me

10. Alien Covenant

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Grijalva Arrested Protesting Trump's Immigration Policies

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 11:49 AM

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva being arrested in front of Trump Tower for civil disobedience. - RAÚL GRIJALVA/FACEBOOK
  • Raúl Grijalva/Facebook
  • U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva being arrested in front of Trump Tower for civil disobedience.

  • Raúl Grijalva/Facebook
Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva was arrested during an immigrants' rights protest in front of Trump Tower Tuesday morning, along with U.S. Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

"I stood in front of Trump Tower today with a whole lot of DREAMers, immigrants and Americans to say enough to Trump and his criminalization of our immigrant communities," he posted on Facebook shortly before being arrested.

Grijalva was sitting in the street below Trump Tower with other demonstrators, holding a banner advocating for DACA recipients when he was taking into custody by the New York Police Department with his hands zip tied behind his back.

A representative from Grijalva's office said the congressman was released several hours after the arrest and now faces charges of disorderly conduct with other charges pending, according to Tucson News Now. They also reported the lawmakers had intended to get arrested at the protest.

  • Raúl Grijalva/Facebook

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Looking at Tucson Unified's AzMERIT Scores: Another Approach

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 10:19 AM

  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin
Last week, I took the Star to task for its article about Pima County districts' AzMERIT scores in the post, To Understand Pima County Test Scores, Follow the [Parents'] Money. (The post had more likes, shares and comments than most of my recent pieces, and a number of letters in the Star voiced similar criticisms, meaning the Star article bothered a lot of people.) Comparing Tucson Unified's test scores with districts whose students come from more affluent homes where parents have more formal education makes little sense, I wrote. In Arizona, around the country and around the world, children from higher income families score higher on standardized tests than children from lower income families regardless of the quality of schools they attend.

I've written often that if you want to create a reasonable analysis of Tucson Unified's AzMERIT scores, you have to compare them to scores in districts with similar demographics. Well, I've decided to put my keyboard where my mouth is. I'm beginning a rough study to see how test scores in Tucson Unified schools compare with scores of similar schools in similar districts. Why am I telling you what I'm planning to do even though I've only just finished the thinking process and haven't begun the research? To keep myself honest, for one. If I put my approach in writing, I'll be forced to stick to it and report the results as honestly as possible (which I'd try to do anyway, but it's always tempting to fudge a bit). And to let readers know what my approach is before I write about my findings so you're less likely to think I began with my conclusions and worked back to the data that "proved" what I already decided.

On my computer, I have two databases from the AZ Department of Education. One lists the total number of students in every district school in the state along with the percentage of students on free or reduced lunch. The other breaks down the 2017 AzMERIT scores of every school in detail, by gender, ethnicity, English Language proficiency and grade level. Looking at the two data sets, I can compare how schools with similar student bodies scored on the state tests, and I can compare the scores of subgroups in the schools.

Here's my methodology. Scratch that. "Methodology" is to high fallutin' a term for my crude analysis—I won't be using any sophisticated statistical tools—of a blunt instrument—a high stakes test whose validity as a measure of student achievement is questionable. So, here's what I'm gonna do.

Continue reading »

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Know Your Product: Frank Turner's Current Obsessions Range From Hardcore to Folk

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 11:00 AM


A British folk-punk singer in the tradition of Billy Bragg and Joe Strummer, Frank Turner sings “rock ‘n’ roll will save us all” with enough conviction to make it happen.

His rousing tunes are filled with defiant punk poetry and across six albums, the 35-year-old troubadour has developed a formula that appeals across a wide spectrum. Tucson still needs a proper headlining show from Turner, but the touring partners that have brought him to town are Social Distortion and Jason Isbell. And Turner’s music bridges that span between anthematic punk and heartfelt Americana.

Turner’s 2015 Positive Songs for Negative People swings from quiet solo acoustic songs to electrified punk, with big sing-along choruses like “Get Better” and a somber closing elegy to a departed friend.

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls appear on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the Rialto Theatre, with Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit.

Turner shared his current musical obsessions with the Tucson Weekly:

AJJ - The Bible 2
AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) have been friends and touring partners of mine for years. This, their latest album, is a brilliant concentration of everything that makes them amazing as a band; great songwriting, incredible lyrics.

Continue reading »

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It's 'Tucson Unified' Now

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 9:18 AM

As I was leaving the studio of the Bill Buckmaster Show Thursday, Bill told me that TUSD's new superintendent, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, was on the show last week, and Trujillo mentioned that the district is rebranding itself as Tucson Unified in place of the longstanding tradition of referring to it as TUSD. It's not a huge deal, obviously. It doesn't change the way the district operates or educates its students. But I like it. Words matter, and the feeling the public has about the district matters.

The words "Tucson Unified" have a nice, positive ring to them. They link our city name with a sense of togetherness, indicating that Tucson is unified in our pursuit of education for our children.

The rebranding process has been going on for awhile. It began before Trujillo was chosen as interim superintendent, then superintendent, but I hadn't noticed it until Bill pointed it out to me. From this point forward, I'll use "Tucson Unified" instead of TUSD in my posts.

If you haven't had a chance to hear Dr. Trujillo, the interview on the Buckmaster Show is a good place to start. You can listen to it on the show's website. He comes across as smart, positive and personable. Early indications are, the board made a good pick.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Cinema Clips: Columbus

Posted By on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 12:00 PM

When his father falls into a coma, Jin (John Cho) goes to Columbus, Indiana to sit by his bedside, which drudges up a lot of issues. He meets Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a recent college grad who is stuck in limbo due to anxiety about her mother (Michelle Forbes). The two share some cigarettes, then start taking in the city’s architecture, while gradually getting to know each other a bit more.

Sound boring? Well, it isn’t, thanks primarily to the work of Richardson (The Edge of Seventeen, Split), an actress quickly becoming one of the best of her generation. She creates a fascinating character in Casey; very intelligent, perhaps a bit aloof and sensitive about her family and others. Her struggles aren’t portrayed in a melodramatic way, and her relationship with Jin is handled with class.

Casey seems like a real person, to the point where her scenes almost feel like a documentary. Cho is very good as a guy who really can’t figure out where he stands on his father, while Parker Posey the Indie Queen shows up as a former crush and friend. By the time the film ends, you will miss the characters. This is a great ensemble cast, and a sweet film.

Staff Pick

James G. Davis (1931-2016): Down at the Tower Bar, A Retrospective

Celebrating the career of Tucson artist James G. Davis with a selection of paintings and prints made… More

@ Etherton Gallery Sat., Sept. 9, 7-10 p.m. and Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Nov. 11 135 S. Sixth Ave.

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Popular Content

  1. New TV Ad Asks McCain To Stop Latest GOP Healthcare Disaster (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. A Little Late To the 'Patriotically Correct' Party (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Grijalva Arrested Protesting Trump's Immigration Policies (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. HOCO Fest Countdown—The, Um, Effervescent Lana Del Rabies Picks the Five Albums That Changed Her Life! (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Looking at Tucson Unified's AzMERIT Scores: Another Approach (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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