Friday, January 17, 2020

As Approval Ratings Plunge, McSally Snaps at CNN Reporter

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 12:46 PM

Sen. Martha McSally went viral yesterday when she responded to a reasonable question from CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju about whether she was willing to consider new evidence in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. Instead, she said: "I’m not talking to you, You’re a liberal hack.”

McSally was clearly proud of the moment, tweeting out footage of her brushback and later going on Fox News Blonde Laura Ingraham’s show to dismiss the mainstream media altogether. “As you know, these CNN reporters , many of them around the Capitol, they are so biased. They are so in cahoots with the Democrats. They are so against the president. They run around trying to chase Republicans and asking trapping questions. I’m a fighter pilot. I call it like it is.”

Amusingly, the fighter pilot who calls it like it is then sidestepped the same question from Ingraham. ""I'm not going to tell everyone what my votes are going to be," she said in her usual evasive manner. (Remember this moment the next time one of McSally's allies says that her Democratic challenger, Mark Kelly, dodges tough questions.

McSally has sidestepped any and all questions about whether President Donald Trump’s shakedown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was appropriate. Instead, whenever she is asked about the trial, she flips the question and says Democrats are to blame for investigating the matter. And while she has given lip service to the notion that she’s going to be a fair juror who listens to all the evidence in the impeachment trial, there is zero chance that she would actually turn on Trump as that would be political suicide—and if there’s one thing McSally cares deeply about, it’s Martha McSally’s political ambitions.

It’s a standard feature of the 2018 Martha McSally model, which now comes loaded with extra Trumpiness. Unlike the earlier versions, which were critical of Trump and aimed to present the image of a reasonable moderate as she navigated the political currents of a competitive Southern Arizona congressional district, the 2018 McSally model has fully embraced Trump and his brash and insulting style. It likely cost her the 2018 election against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, but she’s bought her ticket and she’s gonna ride.

It also helped McSally distract from more bad news. As The Skinny reported this week, multiple polls have shown McSally with lousy approval ratings. And yesterday, ahead of her attention-grabbing dismissal of CNN’s liberal hack, more bad news emerged: Her approval ratings continue to dive, according to Morning Consult’s quarterly tracking poll.

The Skinny mentioned this week that McSally has a “meh” rating in the ratings released in October, with 39 percent of surveyed voters approving of the job she’s doing and 37 percent disapproving, giving her a net plus-2-percent positive score . The latest numbers show that she has dropped 5 percentage points, to a negative-3-percent score. According to the survey, 37 percent of voters approved of the job she’s doing, while 40 percent disapproved. The survey showed that she suffered a huge 9-percentage-point drop among Republican voters as she dropped from 49 percent approval to 41 percent approval.

So McSally’s exchange with Raju served two purposes: It distracted from the news of her tumbling approval and it helped her with the GOP base that appears to be souring on her. We’ll find out in November whether it helps her with the independent and female voters who supported Sinema over her in 2018.

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Claytoon of the Day: Stalking Yovanovitch

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 9:27 AM

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Where to Rock, This Weekend, Jan. 17-19

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 1:00 AM

Friday, Jan. 17

Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars: Friday, Jan. 17 @ Rialto Theatre - LUIZ C. RIBEIRO PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Luiz C. Ribeiro Photography
  • Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars: Friday, Jan. 17 @ Rialto Theatre
A central figure in Cuban music, bandleader Juan de Marcos González—whose oeuvre includes  the Buena Vista Social Club, Rubén González, Ibrahim Ferrer, Sierra Maestra and others—has been on a mission to demonstrate to the world the wealth, diversity and vitality of Cuban music for the past three decades. The Afro-Cuban All Stars play the Rialto Theatre...

The Secret Jazz Series Night Two: Crooner Night sees Howe Gelb backed by local luminaries. At El Crisol...

Club Z sees local tech house bad bois Low Audi0 and ZAW dropping that heat. At Zen Rock...

This Chicago duo's sound has been described as "sultry vocals and dreamy yet alt-rock-driven guitar soundscapes floating over a rhythmic whiplash of drumming." Bernie & The Wolf bring the Haughty Banter Tour to Sky Bar. Bolstered by the "Hello Kitty-colored fuzzy post-grunge garage" of Feverfew and the thinking man's prog rock of Still Life Telescope...

The Dive Bar and Kitchen is ground zero for a death metal hardcore extravaganza. Featuring Creeping Death, Sanguisugabogg, Languish, Bloodlust and Skin Ticket...

Vermont's own traditional roots power trio, Pete's Posse are at Monterey Court. With Matt Rolland & Freddy Parish...

Saturday, Jan. 18

La Cerca: Saturday, Jan. 18 @ Crave Coffee Bar
  • La Cerca: Saturday, Jan. 18 @ Crave Coffee Bar
On Aug. 28, 1963 at the March on Washington, Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of Gospel, prompted Martin Luther King Jr. to go off-script, shouting out, "Tell 'em about the dream, Martin." King began to improvise the speech's most iconic passage. "I'm really interested in these pivotal details that kind of shape things," says violinist David Harrington. UA Presents Kronos Quartet performing a mixed repertoire including Peace Be Till, a new composition based on that historic moment in Washington, D.C. At Crowder Hall...

Transforming passion into infectious joy, this renowned bassist effortlessly has crossed genres lending his virtuosity to projects with jazz and pop legends and classical masters alike. People Music (Mack Avenue Records), the title to his 2013 release, is his personal mantra. "Sometimes jazz musicians get too caught up in their own heads. I figure the best way to communicate is to let the people navigate where you should go." Christian McBride leads his hard-swinging acoustic quintet Inside Straight at the Fox Theatre...

Inspired by the cult films cherished by these L.A. indie rockers, Heaven Surrounds You (Danger Collective Records, 2019) acts as a Map to the Stars, if you will, for disaffected youth. And, their live show is said to be akin to a coming-of-age ritual. Surf Curse at Club Congress. Laika and Stripes provide wicked backing...

Eschewing the lion's mane wig, the dragon suit, the vintage Ludwig Vistalite drum kit, they chose a different path than other tribute acts: To stand on the music alone. Zeppelin USA gives an all-American salute to the music of the very British Led Zeppelin. At The Rialto Theater...

Spinning your favorite jams from the '80s, '90s and early 2000s, Rewind: The Ultimate R&B, Reggae and Hip-Hop Throwback Party takes shape at 191 Toole...

After 11 years, Club Sanctuary is calling it quits. DJs Plastic Disease and Black Flagg promise to drop some sinister industrial, electro and goth tracks for the Grand Finale. At the Surly Wench Pub...

The Secret Jazz Series Night Three: Electro Night features The Jazz Pyramid Scheme. At El Cirsol.

Need a reason to head east? Silver Cloud Express and La Cerca are playing at Crave Coffee Bar...

Ultra '80s Dance Party: DJs Sunanda and Elektra Tek spin your pop favorites. At Passé...

"A Momentary Relapse." After a hiatus groove death metallists By the Gods reincarnate. With Elyzian, Within A Dream, Decrown The Heir and Guardians. At The Rock...

Revel Wine Bar turns 3. Illuminaughty supplies the jams. Cheers...

Sunday, Jan. 19

Mavis Staples
  • Mavis Staples
Among her numerous distinctions, she is both a Blues and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and a civil rights icon. "One of America's defining voices of freedom and peace," she marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy's inauguration and sang in Barack Obama's White House. "I'm the messenger. That's my job. And I can't just give up while the struggle is still alive. We've got more work to do." The mighty Mavis Staples performs at the Fox Theater. Vocalist Suzanne Santos opens...

Paying one's dues. Five years of constant touring with Albert Collins, followed by another decade on the road with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, turned this Stratocaster-wielding guitarist into a fire-breathing monster. Eight solo albums later—and a significant portion of his life living out of a suitcase—Coco Montoya delivers the blues' hardest truths. At 191 Toole...

This former mechanical engineering student, found a connection between sound, design and fabrication amid the din and dust of a University of California machine shop. Harnessing the power of noise, doom and metal in unparalleled ways, Tristan Shone aka Author & Punisher takes Club Congress by siege. Up first, experimental/electronic/IDM artist Vytear hits the ground running...

Groove to Motown classics like "Respect," "A Natural Woman," "Chain of Fools" and more. Featuring vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Ryan Shaw, The Tucson Symphony Orchestra perform a musical tribute to the Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin and the Soul of America. At Tucson Music Hall. Lucas Waldin is at the podium...

"Don't Let The Bass Get Ya." This installment of Resonance Monthly sees DJ/producer Cazztek, who "Came To Get Funky," drop bass and tech house. At Gentle Ben's. Enri, Kevek, Low Audio and Mikkey lend support...

From San Diego, post-hardcore/rockers Secrets bring The City Sleeps In Flame: 15th Anniversary Tour to The Rock. Backed by In Lessons, Echoes and The Abstract...

This week's Sunday Patio Sessions features singer-songwriter Joe Peña, guitarist Joe Novelli and drummer Rick Bailey playing an early set. At Che's Lounge...

The Gabrielle Pietrangelo Trio, playing timeless romantic love songs from the 1930s and '40s, brings Dillinger Days to misty-eyed close. On the plaza at Hotel Congress...

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Things to do, This Weekend, Jan. 17-19

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 1:00 AM

Pucks for Paws. Are you ever watching a live hockey game and thinking, "This is fun, but I just really wish my dog could be here, because that would make it so much better"? Of course you are! So thank goodness the Humane Society is hosting this opportunity to bring your favorite canine to the Tucson Convention Center to help you cheer on the University of Arizona Wildcats. This dream-come-true event for anyone who's equal parts Wayne Gretzy & Siberian husky fan is also for a good cause, with all doggie ticket sales benefiting the Humane Society. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $5 doggie tickets are sold at the door, with human tickets sold separately.

Abstract Conversations: Color Line and Gesture. Another month means another exhibit at the Wilde Meyer Gallery. This time, Debora Stewart and Ka Fisher are the exhibiting artists and, at this opening reception, they'll be presenting and discussing their work. Stewart uses the color in her work to express moments in time, such as walking through nature. And Ka Fischer likes to use painting to reinterpret ideas about figurative and abstract elements and how they can coexist. Come on down to see the way they put moments on canvases. 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive. Free.

Wings Over Willcox. Can you believe this Southern Arizona birding and nature festival is celebrating its 27th year? This year's event is full of tours of varying lengths and free seminars on everything from turtles to jaguars to eBird. Keynote speaker and featured guide Rick Taylor has led tours in places including Arizona, Alaska, Africa and Asia, and has authored several location checklists. His most recent project is a statewide photo field guide for Arizona, and his presentation on Saturday evening is called "Six Seasons: A Birding Year in the Land of the Apache." Times and prices of tours vary, but all tours, seminars and events except for the Saturday night banquet are held at the Willcox Community Center, 312 W. Stewart St. A free nature expo is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, Jan. 20.

Roadkill Zip-Tie Drags. If you've heard of the internet show Roadkill, you probably know hosts David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan, and would agree with one assessment of the show as "guys behaving badly with cars." This weekend, they're hosting this live event in Tucson that includes a chance for drag racers to test their skills for the opportunity to race against the hosts. The weekend also includes a car show, swap meet and an awards show. There's also a Hooptie Challenge, in which Roadkill stars will judge race cars built and purchased for under $3,000. If you're more of a spectator, enjoy the food trucks, bonfires and s'mores. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, and 7 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18. Tucson Dragway, 12000 S. Houghton Road. Prices range from $10 for a single-day spectator ticket to $70 for a two-day participant ticket.

"Las Hermanas" release at Borderlands Brewing. This release party celebrates a cross-border collaboration of female brewers. How awesome is that? The "Las Hermanas" hazy IPA was brewed throughout December by the women of Borderlands Brewing Company and Cerveza Rrey in Monterrey, Mexico. The new brew will be sold throughout Mexico and Arizona, and is expected to be the first of many "transnational collaborations amongst the beer sisterhood," Las Hermanas. To celebrate the occasion, Borderlands Brewing is hosting a beer release party at the same time as Cerveza Rrey in Monterrey. According to Borderlands, this hazy IPA was crafted with a WLP067 Coastal Haze Yeast Blend, donated by White Labs Yeast. The international brew features tropical, fruity flavors, including mango and pineapple notes. 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17. 119 E. Toole Ave.

Artisan Popcorn Flights at Dillinger Brewing. We all know popcorn is a classic bar snack, but is it a classic brewery snack? Dillinger Brewing Company is getting craft popcorn to go along with four of their craft beers, courtesy of POPPED Artisan Popcorn. These "Artisan Popcorn Flights" are each paired with a special brew: the Serrano Seduction American wheat is paired with Green Chile Popcorn, the English Stout is paired with churro-flavored popcorn, and there are multiple other combinations to try out. 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17. 3895 N. Oracle Road.

Free Mead Tasting at 1912 Brewing. Try out one of the oldest forms of alcohol when 1912 Brewing Co. invites Superstition Meadery to share their wares. Mead (occasionally known as honey wine, although there are some differences) is created by fermenting honey with specialty fruits, spices and grains. Superstition uses Arizona honey for their craft mead, which can range from dry to sweet. Representatives will be on site to talk shop. Enjoy the free tasting from Superstition, and then get 10 percent off a flight, or a glass. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17. 2045 N. Forbes Blvd.

Vivian's Music, 1969. On a summer day in 1969, a white police officer shot and killed a 14-year-old black girl named Vivian Strong in Omaha, Nebraska. It sparked three days of race riots over a girl no one knew anything about: just her name, age and how she died. This play put on by Invisible Theatre Company brings Vivan to life as a young girl with a family and a love of music who is searching for her real father. It's a powerful story brought to life masterfully for this weekend only. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. $45 GA.

La Encantada Fine Art Festival. Whether you're a lover of fine art, entertaining out-of-town guests or just looking to spend a little bit more time outside in this lovely January weather, you'll want to pay a visit up to La Encantada this weekend, where you can buy handcrafted work from both local and national artists and enjoy live performances along the scenic pathways of the shopping center. From jewelry, woodworking and ceramics to paintings, textiles and photography, this festival has something everyone will find beautiful. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. La Encantada Shopping Center, 2905 E. Skyline Drive. Free.

"Master Harold"... And the Boys. The year is 1950, and the setting is a small tea shop in apartheid-era South Africa. Harold is the 17-year-old white son of the tea shop owners, and Sam and Willie are black servants who have worked in his parents' household and taken care of "Hally" since he was a baby. This semiautobiographical play by Athol Fugard examines how institutionalized racism and hatred can affect even the closest, most familial relationships by following the trio through a rainy afternoon at home. It's a powerful depiction of how issues of family, race and power aren't easy to ignore, and, of course, the Arizona Theatre Company never seems to put on a bad show. Including preview shows, show runs from Saturday, Jan. 18 to Saturday, Feb. 8 with shows at various times. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $40 to $70 regular, or $25 to $55 for preview shows.

Butterflies & Their Plants. If you don't want to do anything exorbitant this weekend, let this be the Saturday or event that you check out the weekly tour at Tohono Chul. Whether you're a butterfly enthusiast, a photographer or just someone who loves being in nature, this tour, focused on some of nature's most delightfully flamboyant insects, is an all-around pleasant way to spend a morning. Grab the kids, grab your parents, heck, grab that new coworker that you've been wanting to get to know, even if you're not sure what their interests are. Because who doesn't love a good butterfly photo op? 11 a.m. to noon. Saturday Jan. 18, and Sunday, Jan. 19. Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. Entry is $15 adults, $13 military/student/senior, $6 kids 5 to 12, free for members and kids under 5.

Aretha Franklin and the Soul of America. Before you get your hopes up that the world's best scientists have spent the last two years creating resurrection technology so that we can have the Queen of Soul back, understand that this is a tribute to Aretha Franklin, not a miraculous Aretha Franklin concert. But (and yeah, we realize this is a bold statement) vocalist Capathia Jenkins is so talented that it might as well be. Soul musician Ryan Shaw is also bringing killer vocals, while Lucas Waldin conducts the Tucson Symphony Orchestra as accompaniment. We're talkin' "RESPECT," "Natural Woman" and "Chain of Fools" here, so get your butt over to this concert. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $31 to $79.

The History of Tucson's Chinese Community: A Salon and Saloon Lecture.
The Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation takes seriously its mission to educate the public about the history of the Presidio and of Tucson. At this lecture, take a deep dive into the history of Tucson's Chinese population, from 1875 to the present. Speaker Sandy Chan will discuss their successes and challenges, important Chinese Tucsonans and the community's role in an international and local context. Note that this lecture is across the street at the Dusty Monk, where food and drink are available for sale. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Dusty Monk Pub, 201 N. Court Ave. $5.

Dillinger Days. Oh yeah, it's that time of year again! A time when history buffs, pop culture fans and Hotel Congress devotees come together downtown to celebrate the downfall of one the most notorious gangsters of the 1930s. Dillinger and his gang, "The Terror Gang" were accused of robbing 24 banks and four police stations, and eluded the FBI for years before being captured in Tucson in 1934. (He escaped from prison after that, but that's another story.) The speakeasy portion of the event, with whiskey tastings, appetizers and premium cigars, is at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. The family-friendly portion, full of reenactments, historic lectures and a vintage car show, are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Speakeasy event is $45 and the Sunday festivities are free.

Vegan Brews and BBQ at Crooked Tooth. Southern Fried Vegan food company is coming to Crooked Tooth Brewing, showcasing their special brand of vegan soul food. Their menu includes organic as well as gluten free options, all vegan of course. Menu highlights include fried "chickun," mac and cheese, jambalaya, Cajun corn, beer-cheese battered Beyond Burgers and more. Mix this vegan soul food with one of Crooked Tooth's specialty beers for a fully craft meal. 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. 228 E. Sixth Street.

Dillinger Days Speakeasy and Food Truck Roundup. It's back! Hotel Congress is traveling to the 1930s for this annual celebration of the capture of "public enemy" John Dillinger right here in Tucson. But this event is more than historical reenactment, it's a resurrection of all things fun about the '30s. The "Dillinger Speakeasy" at Hotel Congress on Saturday is an exclusive party featuring whiskey tastings, appetizers, cigars, live music and reenactments. Proceeds go to the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation to assist with unmet needs in the fire service community. The Dillinger Food Truck roundup on Sunday is a big tasty bonus to the Dillinger festivities, featuring Black Market BBQ, Don Pedro's Peruvian Bistro, Sonoran Snoballs, You Sly Dog, Haus of Brats and more food trucks. The Dillinger Speakeasy takes place on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $45. The Dillinger Food Truck roundup takes place Sunday, Jan. 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. just across the street at Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave.

Animated Arizona Film Festival. The Screening Room is home to the fourth annual Animated Arizona Film Festival, the first short film festival in the state dedicated to the art of animation. Animated films date back all the way to the late 1800s, meaning animation is almost as old as movies themselves. While the technology has developed greatly, the creativity and passion are as just as strong as ever. The festival hosts independent films that are either animated, or semi-animated. The films are often shorter than 15 minutes, and feature a wide variety of animation styles. 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. 127 E. Congress St. $6.

Inequality for All. The Pima County Democratic Party is hosting a screening of this 2013 documentary that examines critical economic issues affecting the U.S., such as increasing the minimum wage and unemployment. The documentary follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he raises awareness about the country's widening economic gap. This film was directed by Jacob Kornbluth, who has had three films premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. 4639 E. First St. Suggested donation of $5.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Casa Video is screening Tarantino's latest film, fresh off winning three Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt), and Best Screenplay. The film is a surreal romp through 1969 Hollywood, examining the film industry, shifting societal norms, and the history of LA. Or, as Casa Video puts it, "It's a Tarantino movie. It's going to be good, it's going to be crude, and it's going to be a little violent." 9 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Free.

Zoom Zoom! No, it's not a Mazda commercial—it's a special event at the children's museum to help kids learn about different modes of transportation. They'll have police vehicles, city buses and garbage trucks all on hand for kids to climb aboard. They can also check out TEP's bucket trucks, see how Caterpillar digs in the ground and decorate a car with Tucson's Mobile Chalkboard. There's even smaller options like bicycles and go-karts. This is fun for anyone who loves to... go! And museum admission is free all day, so hop in whatever mode of transportation suits you and head on down. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Free.

Grassroots Studio Reception. Two art tours, Art Trails and Heart of Tucson Art, are happening in the coming months, giving visitors and potential art collectors a chance to see work by dozens of local artists. The Tucson JCC is holding a preview show for both tours until Jan. 30. At this reception with the artists, learn more about the two tours and all of the works in paints, pastels, mixed media, clay, glass, beads, metal, books and photography you can see. This is a great chance to plan your itinerary for the tour and meet with the artists in a more low-key setting. 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. Free.

Hacienda Del Sol Poetry Reading. Tucson is truly a city of artists, and low-key events like this one are a great way to take some of it in. Meg Files, Tom Speer and Jefferson Carter are Pima Community College professors who have each published several poetry collections. Blessed be poetry for how it allows us complicated, tangly humans to put voice to what's going on inside, and say so much with so little. Take this line from Carter's poem, Thunder. "Lightning, then, of course, thunder. / We can get used to anything. / The window, lit up, shakes / & we're comforted, pulling the blankets to our chins." 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. Hacienda Room at Hacienda Del Sol. 5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Road.

REVEL's Grand Tasting Sunday. REVEL wine bar is celebrating their third anniversary weekend by pouring "some of the most sought after and prestigious Champagnes" in their catalog. And even more exciting, the side-by-side tasting will be blind! Can you tell the difference between a Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2007 and a Petit-Bajan Ambrosie Grand Cru? How about a Krug Grand Cuvee from a Pierre Gimonnet & Fils "Special Club" 2012? If not, after this special REVEL event, you might be able to. 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. 416 E. Ninth St. $80. Reserve online.

Promise at Dawn. Multiple actors play French novelist Romain Gary in this biopic that follows the writer through childhood, adolescence, WWII and more. Gary is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt French literary prize twice, under two different names. Part tragedy, part romance, this film weighs identity through history, and writing's enduring presence. This screening is part of the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival. 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. 3800 E. River Road. $10.

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Claytoon of the Day: To Solemnly Lickspittle

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 2:58 PM

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Town of Florence Blindsided by Ducey's Decision to Close Prison

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 11:11 AM

  • Courtesy photo
The Town of Florence says they had no idea of Governor Doug Ducey's intentions to close the Florence state prison until he announced it publicly during his State of the State address on Monday, Jan. 13.

In a statement posted on the town's website, it says staff were "startled" by the sudden announcement but they are "committed to work closely with our colleagues at the State, in the State Legislature, at Pinal County, and with our partners at our local correctional facilities to  better understand the impacts of this decision and to strive to find a solution that is appropriate for our community, our residents, and the many employees that call Florence home for eight to twelve hours per day."

The Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence is Arizona's largest and oldest prison. It has existed for over 100 years and currently houses about 3,800 incarcerated men.

In his address, Ducey said all existing staff at the Florence prison will be relocated to Eyman prison, less than three miles away. The Governor’s Office says additional staff will allow the Eyman complex to be fully staffed, eliminating vacancies and “providing inmates with better access to programs and other services, such as enhanced second chance programs.”

They say no correctional employees will lose their jobs as a result of the move, and taxpayers will save an estimated $247 million over three years.

While their jobs are still secured for now, the Town of Florence believes this new development will still have lasting effects on their community.

Their statement says:
"We are concerned for our residents, who for so many years have shouldered the burdens and stigmas associated with being called a 'prison town.' Without legislative action, resources currently used in the community could dry up and could radically change this historic community and the county seat of the state’s fastest growing county. Preliminary estimates on impact show that the Town could lose up to 3,600 prisoners and hundreds of permanent jobs upon the closure of the facility. The loss of these residents and their associated revenue could equate to a $1.3 million direct impact on Town services (or about 13% of its total state-shared revenue). To a rural community like ours, this is not inconsequential."

The Florence closure is part of Ducey's shift toward a more treatment-based approach to corrections. This decision was coupled with the announcement that the Arizona Department of Corrections will be rebranded into the "Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry."

While closing the state's largest prison is a statement within itself, the effects it will have on the incarcerated population are still unknown. Ducey's plan offers no details on whether inmates at Florence will be eligible for early releases, nor does it provide a path to reduce prison populations at all.

Florence still anticipates a need for carceral facilities, adding in their statement that "should new facilities be desired, Florence has available land that is zoned and planned for this type of use."

Their full statement can be viewed here.

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Results-Based Funding: A Tale Of Two Districts And a Charter Chain

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 10:56 AM


If Doug Ducey bragged about adding $70 per student to the K-12 education budget, the news would be received with yawns from the vaguely interested and howls of outrage from people who know Arizona needs to add a thousand dollars per student to reach Mississippi funding levels, two thousand to reach Arkansas and three thousand to reach Louisiana. In Arizona funding dollars, that translates to an added one billion, two billion and three billion dollars respectively.

So $70 per student, about $72 million total, doesn't even qualify as small potatoes compared to the funding Arizona needs to equal some of the poorest southern states, let alone the rest of the nation. It's chump change.

But Ducey is getting away with bragging about $72 million for schools by spending it, using words from his State of the State speech, "to reward and replicate success in our best public schools." Those "successful" schools will get either $225 or $400 per student from a program with the impressive-sounding name, results-based funding. True, only a quarter of the state's district and charter schools get any money, but it's supposed to be a reward for success, which sounds like a good thing.

Except that "success" is measured by the percentage of a school's students who pass the state's AZMerit exam, and as most everyone knows, students from higher income families tend to do a whole lot better on the tests than students from lower income families. So if it's all about passing rates, all the money would go to schools in high rent areas, and that would be too obviously, grossly unfair, even for Governor Ducey.

What to do?

Continue reading »

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Laughing Stock: The Sound of Music

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 9:14 AM

Neil Hamburger is a mess, a joke and a very smart guy. - SIMONE TURKINGTON
  • Simone Turkington
  • Neil Hamburger is a mess, a joke and a very smart guy.

Comedy so outsider it’s insider

Neil Hamburger is an awful comedian. His affect is palpably awkward. A Sartorial disaster, his clothes look like Goodwill rejects from the sixties. His hair needs a hot bath. His singing is like Leonard Cohen’s as it might sound in The Upside Down, which is to say it’s near perfect in spite of itself.

As colorful and character-drenched as his most obvious features are, they say little about the man. They provide cerebrally irreverent Gregg Turkington with cover for his subversive take on contemporary culture and values. If you don’t laugh at your life, you’re not listening. “Some might say this is a lowbrow show,” Turkington says. “but when I’m making doo doo jokes or jokes about Elton John, it's all in service of, you know, making larger points.”

He acknowledges that his Hamburger character requires a little more intellectual commitment than the average club comic. But his fans also expect more music. Turkington’s been recording for Drag City’s venerable indie record label for more than twenty years, from the moment he overthrew youthful punk immersion for fanzine-level commitment to deeply sincere emotional expression and top shelf musicianship.

“It’s got nothing to say,” says Turkington of current punk music. Perhaps it’s enough to say it’s just another genre, now. “I feel like punk became more regimented than just about any other style of music. Now, my favorite stuff to listen to is really well-produced pop records from the sixties. I just want something with some personality.”

Hamburger’s musical performance owes roughly 20% to Tiny Tim and another 20% to Steve Allen. The music, though, is splendid. Drag City, released his 12th record, Still Dwelling, a year ago in all formats. It inspired half a dozen visual artists around the world to create videos for it; four are now available online, including one animation and a puppet show.

“When Still Dwelling came out, people said the music is incredible because of the musicianship,” Turkington says, Songs include compositions by Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Mark Eitzel and Nancy Wilson. Instruments include a sitar, a saw and a clarinet. Jack Black contributes vocals.
“But I’ve got people saying, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know about the vocals.’ I’m thinking 95% of the songs on the charts are autotuned. That sounds like robotic voices.” No one would confuse Turkington or and Hamburger with robots, though. In fact, they are sui generis.

Turkington appears as Hamburger at 191 Toole on Friday, Jan. 17. Tickets are $20 and $25, including fees, at

Funnier than he looks

John Green was named “Best of the Fest” at the Burbank comedy festival, no mean feat in metropolitan area where you can’t swing a blunt without a half-dozen comics taking a hit.
Green was a long time coming back to his childhood dream of standup notoriety. He studied music through school, then trod the path to success as a Phoenix-area businessman. In his ‘30s, he fell in love with improv. First as a fan, then as a talented improviser, he honed the skills and, even more, the confidence to face an audience alone, even with what he calls his “resting murder face”.

Now Green’s set occasionally includes a song improvised at an audience member’s request to embarrass their friend or mate. Mainly, though, Green’s comedy backbone is good, clean fun. He says in his bio, “There seems to be a stigma about calling yourself a ‘clean’ comic, almost like you’re not a true artist. My only mission with comedy is to make people laugh and feel good about laughing.”

Green is featured at The O at 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18. Reservations are $7, $5 in advance via Eventbrite.

MLK Weekend reminder

John Roy’s Jesuit father and psychotherapist mom may have had higher aspirations for him than to be a standup comedian. Alas for them, he absorbed the influence of their diverse, artsy and gritty Rogers Park, Chicago, neighborhood. It gave him the breezy confidence and wide-ranging comic flair that made him champion of CBS’s 2003 Star Search and led to appearances on The Tonight Show, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing and Conan. He’s also performed regularly on cable network TV, independent comedy shows and satellite radio via his record, Dressed for Recess.”

Roy appears at Laffs Comedy Caffe on Friday at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Saturday at 7 and 9:30 p.m., And Sunday at 7 p.m. Reservations are $12.50 and $17.50 via

More Laughs!

Friday, Jan. 17, long-form improv with TIM Teachers Lounge and The Flower Boys at 7:30 p.m. ($5,) and The Soapbox featuring Bryan Sanders (flag shirt guy)($7) at 9 p.m., at Tucson Improv Movement (TIM) (both shows $10). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m., Unscrewed Theatre ($5 kids and $8 adults).

Saturday, Jan. 18, Improv with The Ugly Sweater Show and Harold Alpha at 7:30 p.m., and another Ugly Sweater Show with The Dating Scene at 9 p.m., TIM ($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m., and Unscrewed Double Feature at 9 p.m., Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8)

Monday, Jan. 20, standup showcase Brew Ha Ha features Leland Long, Jimmy Callaway, Monte Benjamin and Stephanie Lyonga at Borderlands Brewing at 8 p.m., $5.

Wednesday, Jan. 22, standup with Tom Briscoe at the Desert View Performing Arts Center at 7P30 p.m. ($22)

Thursday, Jan. 23, standup showcase Casa de Comedy is at Casa Marana at 8 p.m., free.

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m., The O, and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy at The Music Box Lounge.
Weds, Jan. 22, 7 p.m., The Screening Room
Thursday, Jan. 23, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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