Today in the Election Countdown: One month before election day, Elizabeth Warren is leading against Scott Brown in Massachusetts, 50 to 45 among likely voters, according to a poll released Sunday by the Western New England University Polling Institute; votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show; for the first time in generations, California’s community colleges and state universities are turning away qualified new students and shrinking their enrollments as state funding decreases; and more.
Mission elapsed time: T + 30 and counting*
“I’d like to see you move up to the goat class, where I think you belong.” ― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
This Week with George Stephanopolous as told to The BobbleSpeak Translations: “NOONAN: Barack is man of mystery KRUGMAN: this is classic Obama – he barely went after McCain in 2008 CARVILLE: he really didn’t want to be there – he wanted to spend the evening giving an order to kill a terrorist and making love to his wife”
AL. Police state: ” A police officer at the University of South Alabama has fatally shot a naked student whom authorities said repeatedly charged the officer.”
CA. Education: “For the first time in generations, CA’s community colleges and state universities are turning away qualified new students and shrinking their enrollments as state funding continues its long, slow decline.”
CO. Fracking: “‘It’s going to take a number of years to understand what’s occurring at the well sites,” [Kent Kuster, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's oil and gas liaison] said. There is no data that exists on local, state or federal level to draw any definitive conclusions about public-health impacts from oil and gas development.’” So, at best a medical experiment without informed consent. At worst, there is data. … The economy: “62% of [CO] Rs say their personal economic situation has gotten worse over the past year, while only 7% say it’s improved. 40% of Ds say their personal economic situation has improved and 12% say it’s gotten worse.” … Unions: ” CenturyLink and [The Communications Workers of America] representing 13,000 workers in 13 states in the West and Midwest have failed to reach a contract agreement, but have signed onto a day-to-day extension of the expired pact. The union opposes a proposed increase in health care premiums and wants to bring more jobs back to the U.S. The union had authorized a strike in the event that a new deal couldn’t be reached with the Monroe, La.-based telecommunications company.”
CT. Legalization: “CT’s law allows properly registered patients ‘to lawfully possess up to one month’s supply of marijuana,’ [the state's Michael] Lawlor said. ‘For the time being, one month’s supply is 2.5 ounces.’”
FL. Voting: “We still have not secured the process to ensure that that machine has read that ballot correctly and it is 100 percent accurate. Because it is wrong to assume that the machines are always right. They’re not, “[Ion Sancho one of the most veteran election supervisors in the state of FL] tells CBS4 Chief Investigator Michele Gillen” (BradBlog has more.) … Voting: ” [V]otes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show. Election officials reject almost 2 percent of ballots cast by mail, double the rate for in-person voting. ‘The more people you force to vote by mail,’ Mr. Sancho said, ‘the more invalid ballots you will generate.’” … Mass incarceration: “[T]he brutish goals of Jim Crow America never died, but simply reshaped themselves to the sensibilities of the 21st century, learned to hide themselves in the bloodless and opaque language of officially race-neutral policy. Garbage is garbage, no matter how pristine the can” (Leonard Pitts).
KS. Strikes: “Union members voted Saturday 79 percent in favor of rejecting [Bombardier's] proposal of a five-year contract, which offered significant increases in health care costs and low general wage increases, and 79 percent in favor of a strike.”
LA. Privatization: ” I just hope all these medical ‘private partnerships’ involve health providers who believe evolution is real.” Haw.
MA. Warren/Brown: “[M]embers of the International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local #6, headquartered in Dorchester, will protest outside Scott Brown’s South Boston campaign off ice this morning to ask him ‘to take down a campaign ad that lies about Elizabeth Warren’s work in a case involving victims of asbestos poisoning.’” … Warren/Brown: “One month before election day, [Warren] is leading the [Brown] 50 to 45 among likely voters, according to a poll released Sunday by the Western New England University Polling Institute.”
ME. Angus King: “Americans Elect aired the first of two television ads Friday promoting King as a solution to the gridlock in Congress. Bloomberg contributed $500,000, Americans Elect’s founder Peter Ackerman put in $500,000 and Passport Capital’s founder John Burbank contributed $750,000.” … Corruption: “Wells Fargo has built up a significant lobbying presence in state capitals to manage the torrent of mortgage-related bills flooding legislatures. After becoming a national bank, Wells Fargo now has lobbyists bending state legislators’ ears everywhere from Denver to Baton Rouge, LA. In ME, state records show Wells lobbied on three bills, including one that would require banks to provide original documents while foreclosing. It was vetoed by the governor. Wells had no lobbyists in Maine five years ago.”
OK. The tribes: “With their 60,000 gaming devices, Oklahoma’s Indian tribes generate an estimated $3.5bn per year, second in the country for total Indian gaming revenues after California.”
PA. Libertarian Party: “PA petition process showed that the statewide Libertarian petition has enough valid signatures, even should the State Supreme Court reverse the favorable ruling of the Commonwealth Court of several weeks ago, concerning voters who moved, signed, and had never updated their registration records.” … Fracking: “[SB 367] makes PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) campuses available [for] any form of extraction–including fracking. Its sponsor, Donald C. White (R) received $94,150 from the industry” (Gov. Corbett has said he will sign the bill; explainer).
TX. Water: “Some 66 percent of the state remains in drought, a major improvement from a week ago. Nonetheless, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality still says 23 communities, many of them in West Texas, could be within 180 days of running out of water.” … Crime: “[I]tt often galls me to see so much attention paid to petty criminals like Class C shoplifters, who are more pathetic than dangerous, while corporate criminals – whether on Wall Street or at DFW-area home health agencies – are robbing the public blind, in this case allegedly stealing more than three-thousand times the amount annually attributable to Class C shoplifters in Dallas. These are vast numbers: 800 area businesses collectively defrauding Medicare of nearly half a billion dollars! Extraordinary! And the issue is not isolated in Big D.”
WA. Water: “The dry fall weather is delaying the cranberry harvest on the Long Beach Peninsula, and growers are nervously monitoring their bogs to ensure they have enough water. Industry experts say the drought will push the harvest out into November, drive up labor costs and put the crop at risk of frost damage.”
Fracking. Supply chain: “[J]ust one drill job uses 20,000 pounds of [guar gum] beans. [T]here has been so much demand for guar gum that a shortage is expected in the second half of the year, driving up prices for oil and gas companies who need to buy the gel for use in fracking operations.” … Public relations: “‘Promised Land’ stars Matt Damon as a gas-company salesman trying to lease natural-gas drilling rights in rural PA. [T]he industry is working up responses [including] bombarding film reviewers with scientific studies, distributing leaflets to moviegoers and mounting a ‘truth-squad’ effort on Twitter and Facebook.”
Outside baseball. Charters: “Standardized tests are a good way to measure what percent of your students live in poverty and what percent are affluent. The former school will be labeled ‘failing,’ and the latter will be a success.” … Voting: “[I]f your vote is your voice, you should vote what your real voice is, no matter what the outcome is” (Bruce Dixon). … Class warfare: “The median estimated wealth of members of the current Congress rose 5 percent [while] the average American saw median household net worth drop 39 percent from 2007 to 2010.”
The trail. Polls: “The forecast gives [Romney] roughly a 20% chance of winning the Electoral College, up from about 15% before the debate” (Nate Silver). Voting: “”Every voter restriction that has been challenged this year has been either enjoined, blocked or weakened,” said Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice.” … The debate: “Does Obama’s poor performance last week indicate a subconscious desire to quit the White House and withdraw to Harvard or Chicago to write books?” No. It reflects a subconscious desire to go on TV and make a boatload of money. …. The debate: “The question [National Journal's Jim Tankersley] urged moderator Jim Lehrer to ask Romney and Obama reflects the frustration and urgency journalists should be bringing to this issue–not just ‘What’s your jobs plan?’ but ‘Why aren’t you seriously trying to solve the jobs crisis?’” Good question. Maybe some reporter should ask it. … The debate: “OBAMA The girls are fine, that wasn’t the problem. In the debate prep we — BARTLET Whoa … there was prep?” (MoDo). … The debate: “Viewers of the first presidential debate had plenty of souped-up second screen options to track simultaneous conversation and provide expanded coverage and polling. I sampled several of them during the debate — from apps to live blogs –but the real winners were Twitter and real-time fact checkers.” True!
Libertarian Party. Legalization: “After Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, kids didn’t start drinking in record numbers. Society didn’t collapse. Today, bathtub gin dealers don’t run amok on playgrounds; microbreweries don’t protect their turf with automatic weapons. Instead, a safe environment to drink was created when the government began regulating and taxing alcohol” (Gary Johnson).
The Romney. Crowds: “Romney was greeted by one of his largest crowds to date, as the groups of supporters coming to see him speak having grown daily since the debate, [drawing an] estimated crowd of 5,600 on Friday in St. Petersburg, another 6,300 in Apopka on Saturday night, and here today just outside Palm Beach, it was estimated that more than 9,000 came to Romney’s event. Obama drew an estimated 30,000 people last week in WI.” … Have a beer with: “Romney spoke of an old friend who ended up a quadriplegic after an accident and came to see Romney recently, the day before he died. A crowd of more than 5,500 stood rapt listening to him speak, many with tears welling in their eyes. ‘Ohhhhh,’ they gasped.”
The Obama. Jon Lovitz & Dana Carvey: ‘Why Don’t Any Comedians Target Obama? Daily Bail. Not my favorite comedians, but an interesting question. See Stoller. … Veal pen: “What was true in 2008 is still true today:* electing Obama is a necessary first step, but the more complex challenges commence after election day” (The Nation). [* And 2016… And 2020 … And forever and ever. Amen.]