This week in the election countdown: a new campaign initiative targets underwate homeowners; while Florida brags of a decrease in their unemployment, 250,000 people have been kicked off the roster for "exhausting" their benefits; in New York gas shale operations now hinge on the whether hazardous materials going in the ground remain hazardous on their way out; and more.
D – 17 and counting*
"It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property. It is both immoral and unfair." –Oscar Wilde
Montreal. Manifestation, August 22: "Most journalists on twitter were conservatively estimating around 25,000, with gusts up to 50,000, while CUTV estimated 80,000 and CLASSE's official estimate was 100,000. In my opinion, the crowd was over 100,000. A tightly packed crowd which takes between forty-five minutes and an hour to pass a given point, and stretches like a giant snake around most of downtown, is to me clearly in excess of 100,000. [I]t was an overwhelmingly large crowd which occupied much of the downtown core for several hours and sent a crystal clear message to politicians and voters alike. The movement is very much alive" (photo, though not of crowd).
RNCon. Hurricane watch: "12:15pm UPDATE: Scott has indicated that, at this point, he doesn't anticipate that the convention will be canceled. Local, state, federal and RNC officials are meeting regularly to decide what to do." Hurricane watch, Weather Underground: "I put the odds of an evacuation occurring during the convention in the current situation at 3%." ... Teebee: "ABC, CBS and NBC are planning to air only one hour of coverage from Tampa during each of the final three nights of the R convention. Problem is: The GOP convention runs four nights, beginning Monday and featuring Ann Romney's speech." ... Teebee: "[Political coverage this year] can drive viewers away, as ABC learned when it looked at the minute-by-minute ratings of "Good Morning America" and saw that people sometimes tuned out when political news was shown." .... Police state: "About 60 agencies will convene at this secret [sekrit] location during the RNCon Convention, working side-by-side to improve communication. Each agency, including the FBI, will have a separate command center for its decision-making. So far, the FBI has not gathered information of planned terrorist attacks during the convention, [FBI's Steven Ibison] said. 'At this point, it's just the [which? Sovereign citizens? Putzes] anarchists' criminal activity.'" All this for something the networks won't give more than an hour to. ... Police state: ""FBI and (Homeland Security) assess with high confidence anarchist extremists will target similar infrastructure in Tampa and Charlotte, with potentially significant impacts on public safety and transportation," according to the law enforcement alert." As opposed to non-anarchist extremists, I suppose.
AK. Fracking: "[Great Bear's President Ed Duncan told a committee of the Alaska State Senate] that the key to continued production in a fracturing operation is a labor intensive continuation of drilling new wells to replace rapidly declining previous wells." ... Extractive economy: "Measure 2 on the August 28th primary ballot would reestablish the Alaska Coastal Management Program. The federal Coastal Zone Management Act allows states that adopt an approved coastal management program to have greater input into development decisions along their coastlines."
AZ. Water: "Gilbert has put two top administrators on leave and launched an internal investigation after officials discovered fluoride has been withheld from part of the town's water supply for at least 13 months. Gilbert voters approved fluoridation 12 years ago after a heated debate on the controversial issue, and the task of adding the cavity-fighting chemical fell to Public Works Director Lonnie Frost [now on leave], whose wife Shelley had led the opposition against fluoride. Fluoride apparently had been withheld from the North Water plant beginning around the same time three new Town Council members were elected and sworn in; at least two have direct ties to the conservative 'tea party' movement." Make up your own jokes!
CA. Rentcropping: "A campaign that calls itself "Home Is Where the Vote Is" [here; here] will launch an eight-state crusade to mobilize the folks who are underwater on their mortgage – they owe more than their home is worth."
FL. Discouraged workers: "In a speech last month, [Scott] bragged, 'The number of people on unemployment has gone from 568,000 to 320,000 people.' Of course, 250,000 of those people had been tossed off the rolls because they had exhausted their benefits. " ... Police state: Palm Beach buys a 9-ton armored personnel carrier, calls it a rescue/emergency/communications vehicle.
IA. Fundraising appeals: "You want loyal Rs to 'defend liberty' by supporting the IA GOP's efforts to get [ME]'s Ron Paul delegates into Tampa? I can't imagine the IA Ds asking me for money to make sure delegates elected halfway across the country were able to wave the flag at the 2008 DNCon." There's your problem...
MI. ObamaCare: Gov. Snyder is abandoning setting up a state-run health insurance exchange system after repeatedly failing to convince fellow Rs to authorize [it]. Instead, the governor will pursue a joint partnership with the federal government to create an online portal for customers to shop for health insurance."
MO. Akin: "To withdraw at the later date, Akin would need to obtain a court order. He also would be required to pay 'any printing or reprinting costs' of ballots." ... Akin: "[H]igh-profile R leaders conveyed that Akin was an unacceptable choice. It seems unlikely that many of [Rs] will vote for Ms. McCaskill. But if 20 percent of Rs vote Libertarian instead, or just skip the race, she'll be a heavy favorite." .... Akin: "[Akin] flew to Tampa to meet with members of the Council for National Policy, a secretive coalition of powerful conservative and evangelical leaders, activists, and donors."
NY. Fracking: "The viability of shale gas production in New York may hinge on a critical policy question: Will chemicals regulated as hazardous material when shipped to well sites and injected into the ground be regulated as hazardous waste when they flow back out?" ... Fracking: "The biggest mystery surrounding the opening day of the New York State Fair [was] where the formal opening ceremony would take place. The presence of large numbers of anti-fracking protesters saw the Governor bypassing the normal gathering near the front gate and the speeches. Instead, a brief ribbon cutting followed by a quick fairgrounds tour, with protesters in tow." ....Public records: "Franklin County legislators approved a plan that will give south-end county residents easier access to records from the clerk's office, for a fee. She proposed in the letter that customers [citizens] pay $300 quarterly for the service." A subscription service for public records?! ... Austerity: "Schenectady could become the next hot spot in the municipal finance crisis sweeping across upstate New York."
OH. Voting: "Issue 2 would establish a 12-member commission to draw the state's legislative and congressional districts, a process now controlled by elected officials. Voters First [filed suit, claiming] the approved [Issue 2] ballot language is incomplete. The wording, for example, omits any references to requirements that the commission draw fair districts that reflect the political preferences of Ohio voters." ... Fracking: "Niles joined Weathersfield Township trustees on Wednesday, passing a resolution to ban all injection wells in the city and township. That includes the proposed site off state Route 169 next to Niles Commerce Park. [I]ltimately it's up to ODNR to approve or reject the permits. [Resident: ] 'ODNR has never denied a permit in their history. If they deny this permit, it'll be the first.'"
OR. C'est normal: "[Kevin Cameron,] the OR House R leader who abruptly stepped down last month says he did so in part because of concerns that the public would find out that he and a handful of other R lawmakers had visited a topless bar." Suggesting where some Tampa streamers should set up shop...
TN. Gaffe: "[The email:] 'I don't give a rat's ass what the black caucus thinks. [State Sen] Jim Summerville.' In the subject line: 'Please share this response with your colleagues.'" And they did, they did! ... Coal: "The TVA is liable for damages caused when one of its containment dikes failed, dumping 1 billion gallons of coal ash sludge onto the community of Watts Bar Lake, TN, a federal judge ruled." The dike's "slimes layer" failed, a great metaphor.
TX. Handmaid's Tale: "A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that TX did not act unconstitutionally when it moved to expel Planned Parenthood from a health and contraceptive care program for low-income women." ... Pipelines: "Lamar County Court-at-Law Judge Bill Harris ruled TransCanada could be considered a 'common carrier' and use eminent domain to condemn a section of [Julia Trigg Crawford's] land for the Keystone XL pipeline." ... Legacy parties: "Chuck McDonald, whose public relations firm has R mega-donor Harold Simmons and his low-level nuclear waste dump as one of its biggest clients, is spinning off time and effort for D U.S. Senate nominee Paul Sadler [against Ted Cruz]." Nice to see McDonald "has some place to go."
VA. Corruption: "Since cost overruns with a jail expansion and new animal shelter came to light, many [Chesapeake] residents say they have lost trust in how elected officials are spending their tax dollars. City Council members, in turn, say they have lost trust in the city staff for not being upfront about the problems."
WI. Corruption: "Farley pretended to represent a Chicago firm seeking a long-stalled county financial contract and said the firm wanted to know, 'What can we do to put it on the agenda?'" ... Handmaid's Tale: "A lineup of prominent state and national pro-life speakers, including Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, had their 'Abortion is not health care' message shouted down in Madison Tuesday, with exchanges between opposing sides at one point nearly coming to blows." .... Shelters: "'If you have things spread all over the city, it's hard to get things done,' [Daniel Callahan] says. 'Especially when you've got backpacks and bags you're carrying around with you.'" Contrary to conventional wisdom, it's hard work to be poor.
Robama vs. Obomney watch. Legacy parties: "The FBI and Miami-Dade police have opened separate criminal investigations into the campaign of a D congressional candidate who, vendors say, was aided by GOP Rep. David Rivera." And D McCaskill gives $2 million to R Akin. Quite a year.
Outside baseball. What it Takes (99¢ Kindle): "Realized this week that "What It Takes" is the movie "SAW" for politics.... The process slaughters these guys." ... Civic engagement: "Your interests may be predator control or music in schools or traffic calming on your street. It doesn't matter. Just identify the biggest problem in your community — however you define that community — and start trying to fix it." ... Words matter: "Please get it straight: the concern is about 'polling place Photo ID restrictions' not 'Voter ID'." .... Charters, the awesome Diane Ravitch: "When vouchers are celebrated [e.g.], the subject of test scores is irrelevant. When public schools are condemned, the subject is always test scores. Wonder why." ... Versailles: "In the first year, Orenstein said, [the Disney] princesses brought in $300 million. A decade later, the princesses were a $4-billion-a-year industry, with more than 26,000 princess-related products on the market."
Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. Medicare: "10 percent said they would support major reductions in Medicare to reduce the deficit and nearly 50 percent would go along with minor reductions." Not one penny!
The trail. Carville: "Shorter 2010: Rs, energized by the Tea Party and stoked by fear, turned out their base. Ds, absurdly disappointed that simply electing Barack Obama didn't solve all our problems, stayed home in droves to 'send a message.'" No more absurd than insulting your base. ... Medicare, swing states, polls: "After more than a week of frenzied campaigning on the issue, Medicare ranks as the third-most crucial issue to likely voters in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin — behind the economy and health care, according to new Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polls of the three swing states."
Romney. Ryan: "It's a nation in debt, in doubt, and decline. We want to get back to the American idea that opportunity society with a safety net, a society of growth, of opportunity, of upper mobility." Nice declension, but it's upward mobility. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. .... Teebee: "A Romney campaign ad accusing Obama of underhanded tactics is the first to change undecided voters' views, a U.S. university study indicates."
Obama. Fault lines: "Here are six campaign fault lines: 1. The Insiders vs. The Outsiders; 2. Washington vs. Chicago;3. Obamaland vs. Joe's World; 4. Obama vs. other Democrats; 5. Obama '08 vs. Obama '12; 6. Family vs. Politics." Interesting tropes, at least. "Obama candidly told those gathered, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), to reorient their priorities — from them to him." Emphasis mine. ... Less cowbell, Charles Pierce: "[No] matter how correct the president is about the destructively goofy ideas coming from the other side, it doesn't hide the fact that, for too many people, many of [Obama's] policies seem to be happening somewhere else to somebody else. I'd like to hear him give one speech on the current economic crisis in which he doesn't mention The Deficit at all." ... Big Dog to hit the trail: "Obviously, President Clinton has extraordinary credibility on these issues of how you build a strong economy," the official said." I thought Clinton was a racist. Did I not get the memo?
* 17 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with Boston cream pie for everyone on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 1 2 3 4....