Political Calendar: Week of March 1, 2015

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Political Calendar for the Week of March 1, 2015:

Advocating for Democracy: Talking Clear and Strong — Framing Our Arguments Based on Core American Principles

Sunday, March 1, 1:30 p.m.-5;00 p.m: Workshop: “Advocating for Democracy: Framing Our Arguments Based on Core American Principles,” at the Pima County Democratic Party HQ, 4639 E 1st Street, Tucson. Framing of the Issues, with Michael Dues. Core principles for Pima County Democrats, with Michael Dues. Capturing Control of the Frame, with Michael Dues. Reframing Practice Session, wrap up with PCDP Chair Cheryl Cage.

Monday, March 2, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria). New price: buffet lunch is $10.00 cash, $12 credit; just a drink is $3.50. Featured speaker is TBA re: update on PACC (Pima Animal Control) bond election.  Next Week: Russell Lowes, Chair of the Energy Subcommittee for the Sierra Club (Rincon Group) on “Solar & Energy Energy Efficiency Policies.”

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Cartoon of The Week

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Citizens For a Better Arizona Leaves Us a Better Arizona

Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that led the historic effort to recall racist Russell Pearce in 2011, has announced that it’s closing its doors. CBA’s exit  is unusual. Typically, an organization’s death is marked by desperate attempts to sustain itself until it ultimately runs out of money, loses its staff, and disappears. Not so with CBA. Instead, CBA has committed $100,000 to start a fund called the “Arizona Blue Campaign,” the state goal of which is to raise $5 Million, the amount it believes is needed to register 200,000 Democrats by October 1, 2016, and turn Arizona Blue.

I have huge respect and admiration for Randy Parraz, the founder and leader of CBA, which may color my view of the organization. But it seems that Parraz and CBA really did make Arizona better over the short period of its existence. I no longer believe the electoral process is an answer to our challenges. I hold out far more hope for movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter. But I’ll readily concede that when a true cancer is removed from a position of real power through the ballot box, as was the case with the CBA led recall of Pearce, our society has benefitted.

And that $100,000 CBA is using to establish a fund to turn Arizona Blue? My gut tells me CBA is right about the amount it will take to make that happen. So, CBA, an organization dedicated to change through the electoral process, chose not to consume its remaining funds on operating costs. Instead, it used those funds to jump-start the fundraising for its ultimate goal and in doing so challenged Democrats across the state to join in. That’s a classy exit, in my book.

Here’s CBA’s statement regarding Arizona Blue: Continue reading

Epic Boehner Fail: House vote fails to fund DHS, shutdown looms

How many times do I have to tell you that the TanMan, Weeper of the House John Boehner, is the “Worst. Speaker. Ever.” Americans should be able to remove this incompetent fool from his position.

The Hill reports on the TanMan’s latest epic failure. Chaos in House as lawmakers reject DHS bill; shutdown nears:

Screenshot-6A short-term funding measure to keep the Department of Homeland Security open (DHS) was defeated on Friday in a stunning vote that could result in a partial government shutdown at midnight.

The bill failed 203-224, with 51 Republicans voting against legislation that was set to fund the DHS and its associated agencies through March 19. Twelve Democrats voted for it.

The vote is a shocking defeat for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team, who had scrambled to bring the three-week funding bill to the floor ahead of the looming deadline.

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Mr. Spock voyages to the final frontier

“I have been, and always shall be, your friend.” — Spock, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

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Spock: Do not grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many, outweigh…

Kirk: The needs of the few.

Spock: Or the one.

A sad day for Trekkers. Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83:

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

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National Adjunct Walkout Day: UA Adjuncts Represent

University of ArizonaFebruary 25 was National Adjunct Walkout Day across the country and right here in Tucson, Arizona on the University of Arizona campus.

What is an adjunct, and why should I care?

If you’re a college student or if you’re paying for your children’s college education, you should care.

Adjunct faculty are non-voting, non-tenure-track instructors, lecturers, and other lower-level teaching staff. As state legislatures have cut higher education budgets nationwide, universities and community colleges have shifted to employing more adjunct faculty to teach because they’re cheap contract labor it’s more cost effective. To put it simply: As budgets have been slashed and as tuition has gone up, universities and community colleges have replaced full-time tenure-track professors with part-time piece-workers adjunct or contingent non-tenure-track faculty.

Over the past 30 years, there has been a dramatic shift from 75% of teaching faculty being tenure-track professors to 75% being non-tenure-track. A full professor can make between $72,000 – $160,000 per year (more on the medical campus), while adjuncts make $22,000 – $27,000 per year, according to NPR. Part-time adjuncts make far less than that because they often teach only one or two classes for as little as $2000-3000/class… and live on the edge of poverty.

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