This week in the Election Countdown, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has been accused of violating its rental policy by allowing Mitt Romney to hold a campaign rally on the museum's grounds, Citizens United has struck a deal with a dozen television stations to run its hour-long film, The Hope and the Change, featuring voters disaffected with President Barack Obama; Voters in key swing states that could decide the 2012 presidential election are now significantly more enthusiastic about voting this fall; and More.
Mission elapsed time: T + 14 and counting*
"The bigger the lie, the more they believe." –The Wire, "More with Less"
Occupy. Police state: "Davis police officers who doused students and alumni with pepper spray during a campus protest last November won't face criminal charges, prosecutors said Wednesday. [O]fficers perceived they were dealing with a hostile mob and needed to spray the protesters to clear a path to safety." Anybody who's watched the tape knows "clear a path to safety" pins the bogumeter. ... Americans for Prosperity: "For an anti-Occupy Wall Street rally, the rhetoric was short on criticisms of the movement, save for AFP member Irene VanHattem. 'They're stupid, so stupid. They don't understand that the power isn't on Wall Street but in D.C.'" ... Boring banks: "The Occupy Bank Working Group still hopes to create an alternative provider of financial services for people disaffected with, or neglected by, the existing banking system."
Chicago teacher's strike. The day after: "We see public schools across our city drained of resources, set up to fail and eventually closed, with all of the teachers — good and bad — laid off. Some of the closed schools become charter schools: private schools financed with public money, churning out private profit. Others become "turn-around" schools, reorganized around the latest educational fad."
AK. Transparency: "[NOAA's] proposed [fisheries] rule would improperly restrict public access to many types of fishery data central to the public's ability to understand the management and performance of fisheries, including information generated from tax payer-funded science. "
CA. Poverty: "Fresno, Modesto and Bakersfield-Delano areas are among the top five U.S. regions with the highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line."
FL. Charters: "'We should have had way more time to look for other schools for our kids,' said Nicole Williams, whose son [attended] Eagle Charter Academy in Lauderdale Lakes, one of the three schools now closed. Also closing this week were the nearby SMART Charter School (run by the same company as Eagle Charter), and Touchdowns4life Charter School in Tamarac, which was founded by former Miami Dolphins running back Terry Kirby." ... Corruption: "The Broward County Commission, with only a single dissenting vote, decided last week to channel some $600,000 in unspent office funds into their own sweet individual discretionary funds to spread around their districts. That won't quite amount to unfettered buckets of slush but it's a start."
IL. Jesse Jackson, Jr.: "Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) confirmed through a spokesman on Wednesday that he is selling his home here–the reason– to help pay for his health care. The home, a row house in the DuPont Circle neighborhood, is listed for $2.5 million." If we had single payer–
MO. Dought: "[B]ig problems [for houses can be] caused by the drought: damage to foundations, basements and walls. "Basically what happens is the ground shrinks under the foundation," [foreman Vern] Ganzer says. Settlement of foundations is normal over time, but the drought has turned soil into powdery crumbles." .... Akin: "'God has spoken: Todd is running,' said one MO R strategist, granted anonymity to speak candidly. 'Our loins are girded.'"
NC. Fracking: "'More than half of Chatham County residents rely on private wells for their drinking water,' said Sally Kost, Chatham County Commissioner. 'As a county commissioner, I am concerned that as the drillers take their profits and leave NC, the cost of the cleanup will be passed on to the Chatham County taxpayer.'"
NH. Ballot access: "On September 20, the NH Ballot Law Commission put Virgil Goode on the ballot."
NY. NYPL: "Last year fans of the New York Public Library's main branch by Bryant Park (the Schwarzman Building, if you must) had a collective freakout when it was announced that NYPL president Anthony Marx wanted to move the stacks out of the glorious temple to books and ship them to New Jersey. Deep breath everybody, that isn't going to happen anymore!" ... Fracking: "DEC Commissioner Joe Martens has rejected the call by many environmentalists to hand off the review of the possible health impacts of hydrofracking to an outside group. Instead, DEC's health impact analysis will be reviewed in-house, by the state Department of Health."
OH. Unheard message: "The 52-foot statue of Christ returned to its familiar place overlooking Interstate 75 at Solid Rock Church with a different look. This one is a full-figure of Jesus with arms outstretched in front, unlike the former icon that burned to the ground after being struck by lightning in June 2010."
OR. Coal: "In the Greater Portland area at least, the trains will run almost exclusively through low-income communities of color in North and Northeast Portland."
PA. Mass incarceration: "At one point, protesters interrupted the program for seven minutes. Several groups unfurled banners and chanted against expanding the state prison system: 'Fund education, not incarceration."
TN. Undeserving poor: "Recipients of EBT cards in Chattanooga and Knoxville used their benefits at a strip club, a bar, a tobacco shop, malls, high-end clothing stores, hotels and other places where non-essential items are sold." Right, because strip joints are only for convention delegates.
WA. Disemployment: "Washington state unexpectedly lost jobs last month for the first time this year, but economists disagreed over whether the slump represents a temporary blip or a stall in the recovery that could last until at least Election Day." State figures are more volatile. But still.
Outside baseball. McKelvey's theorem: A lemma: "Voting alone does not give the people any power! Just by voting, you can't control anything. You also have to have a public discussion about political topics and this is what protest is about." ... Media critique: "[T]he right move here [on the 47% story] was to scrutinize Romney's rhetoric. The Denver Post earns a laurel for doing just that. It's a notable–and welcome–development to see a policy explainer dominate the front page of a metro newspaper." More than 140 characters! ... Parent triggers: "One of ALEC's model laws is a 'parent trigger' bill." ... Aristotle: "David Simon shows, from The Wire to Treme and even Homicide, have at their essential heart the realization that politics is simply humanity writ large and noisy, and that every interaction between members of the human herd is essentially a political one. And, not for nothing, but that notion has a certain intellectual provenance in that Aristotle thought of it first" (Charles Pierce). Why we wade through the garbage.
The trail. Lesser evil: "If Ted Bundy were the Demolican candidate, and John Wayne Gacy the Republicrat– Well, a Gacy administration would certainly be better for women." ... Control of the Senate: "The Ds' chances of controlling the Senate have increased to 79 percent in the forecast, up from 70 percent on Tuesday. The velocity of the change is unusual. But if the trend continues, the question may no longer be whether Rs can win the Senate — but how vulnerable they are to losing the House [(!!)]" (Nate Silver). ... Swing state Keynsianism: "Obama and his team have been pulling every lever of the federal government, announcing initiatives aimed at critical constituenciesd, dispatching cabinet secretaries to competitive areas [etc.]" Is that the "President of all the people" part? Or some other part? ... Swing state enthusiasm: "Voters in the 12 states USA Today and Gallup consider the key swing states that could decide the 2012 presidential election are now significantly more enthusiastic about voting this fall than they were in June. Six in 10 (59%) are either "extremely" or "very" enthusiastic, up from 46%. Voter enthusiasm in these states has grown among members of both political parties; however, Democrats' level has increased more." .... Youth: "Matt Ely, 25, who works two restaurant jobs as a server and a cook in Green Bay, WI., laments that even after a 53-hour workweek, he still lives 'paycheck to paycheck.' He is opposed to the R plan for tax cuts for upper income earners, but does not think D have good ideas, either. 'They're all a bunch of rich people that I really don't feel like care about me anyway.'" ... Polling: "Although there are exceptions on either side, like the Gallup national tracking poll, for the most part Obama seems to be getting stronger results in polls that use live interviewers and that include cellphones in their samples — enough to suggest that he has a clear advantage in the race."
Grand Bargain™-brand Cat Food watch. "Fiscal cliff": "The fiscal cliff is really the only legislative issue that's even registering a blip on the radar of the government and corporate Washington right now. [S]erious legislating has completely stopped. Nothing substantive will happen before the election." ... Social Security: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and 28 other members of the 53-member Senate Democratic caucus have signed a letter opposing any cuts to Social Security as part of a deficit reduction package." So lower the eligibility age, and not one penny of cuts to Medicare.
The Romney. Rats leaving ship: "Tim Pawlenty was named Thursday as president and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable [and] will step down as a national co-chairman of Romney's presidential campaign to assume the new role, which will formally begin November 1." ... Because it's a circus! "The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has been accused of violating its rental policy by allowing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to hold a campaign rally on the museum's grounds today." ... That secret video: "Off to the side, behind a serving table, was a video camera. The white-gloved waitstaff didn't know the camera was there – or didn't care – because waiters stopped in front of it to put down a decanter of red wine, or pick up what appeared to be champagne" (PT). ... Air war: "Citizens United has struck a deal with a dozen television stations to run its hour-long film [The Hope and the Change] featuring voters disaffected with President Barack Obama. The movie will run in its 60-minute entirety in an agreement with six cable networks, along with local stations in LA, CO, IN, and HI. It will reach 130 million homes, according to Citizens United, coupled with advertising dollars about the movie on cable networks." Also too royalties! ... Losing the political class: "[ROMNEY:] The president today threw in [#1] the white flag of surrender again, His slogan was [#2] 'Yes, we can.' His slogan now is 'No, I can't.'" Except for the WSJ, I'm seeing more quotes of the wooden and tone-deaf #1 than of the deft and snarky #2, which also has the merit of being in the same hemisphere as the truth. ... Percentages: "My campaign is about the 100 percent of America." Only 100%? Why not 110%?
The Obama. Hold his feet to the fire: "And even if Obama is reelected, more hard work begins after Inauguration Day — when we must push him to be tougher on the Rs than he was in his first term, and do what the nation needs" (Robert Reich). ... The new normal: "Ds in Washington and beyond said Obama was simply telling the truth [at last!]. Mr. Hope and Change hasn't changed Washington, they agreed, but explaining why not and urging Americans to work together to finally make change happen is a way to inspire voters to take ownership of this election. Stop pining for John F. Kennedy, for Nelson Mandela. Just grind out a win and get ready for four more years of the same." Hope and change was bait and switch, then? ... The Arab Spring: "[OBAMA: ] "We cannot replace the tyranny of a dictator with the tyranny of a mob." ... "I've learned": I love the way Obama keeps saying "I've learned" ("I've learned some lessons"; "one of the things I've learned as President"; "one of the things I've learned is you can't do that." So all the suffering has been our investment in Obama's on-the-job training. Good to know. Life has meaning at last! ... Authoritarian followership: Godwin's Law creepy (VastLeft).
* Slogan of the day: A plow makes the furrow but The Romney will defend it!