In today's Election Countdown 2012 news: The Secret Service is going to great lengths to protect the Democratic National Convention this year, police in California respond to a sidewalk chalk demonstration with riot gear and rubber bullets, County Clerks in Wisconsin are sending back election materials to be "burned", and more.
D ‚Äď 56 and counting*
The want or imperfection of the moral sense in some men, like the want or imperfection of the senses of sight and hearing in others, is no proof that it is a general characteristic of the species. ‚ÄĒ Thomas Jefferson
Occupy. Tinpot tyrants: ‚ÄúJust after dawn on July 10, Seattle police officers raided a Central District apartment looking for goggles, bandannas, and other evidence of politically motivated vandalism from this year‚Äôs May Day protests.‚ÄĚ Protest paraphernalia, eh? What isn‚Äôt? Or perhaps that‚Äôs the point.
CA. Tinpot tyrants, ArtWalk fiasco: ‚ÄúAsk yourself if riot gear and rubber bullets were the proper response to a sidewalk chalk demonstration during art walk.‚ÄĚ
CO. Fracking: ‚Äú[O]nce a gas and oil company gets into your valley, they own you. They own the hospital. They own the commissioners. They own your mountains, and they will do what they want‚ÄĚ (MR) Business Week. ‚Ä¶ County commissioner: ‚ÄúProtecting our water quality is a local concern. The (Oil and Gas Commission) has not helped us protect the water (wells) of Milner, which is why we are having to do it‚ÄĚ by defying the Commission and imposing water quality monitoring on an oil well permit (MR).
FL. Water: ‚ÄúThe South Florida Water Management District governing board ‚Ä¶ approved another step allowing Florida Power and Light to advance its new nuclear power in the lowest lying land in South Florida despite voluminous data that FPL existing cooling canals are doing great damage to the aquifer underlying Homestead.‚ÄĚ
IA. Legitimacy crisis: ‚ÄúIA Rs plan to choose another candidate to run in Senate District 34 against D Liz Mathis, after Randi Shannon bailed on the race to pursue leadership in an alternate form of government.‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ Water: ‚ÄúThe EPA informed the IA Department of Natural Resources yesterday that a preliminary report finds the state of IA does not adequately enforce the Clean Water Act with respect to confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ Voting: D Sen. Harkin on Branstad‚Äôs felon voting rights restoration policy (including a credit check (!!)) is ‚ÄĒ shocker ‚ÄĒ so prolix, flaccid, and wussy I‚Äôm not even going to bother to quote it.
IL. Jesse Jackson, Jr. imbroglio: ‚Äú‚ÄėLet it go!‚Äô [Former Sen. Roland Burris] yelled. ‚ÄėI‚Äôve got enough seniority around here to tell you media people to cool it [Huh?]. You did it to me. Now you‚Äôre going to try to do it to Jesse Jr. You‚Äôre just hounding people. Go on and get a life.‚Äô‚ÄĚ If Jackson is suffering from clinical depression, that‚Äôs a terrible, sorrowful thing. The wonder is there aren‚Äôt more cases in DC. Diagnosed cases.
NC. DNCon: ‚ÄúTwo miles of concrete barriers. More than five miles of 9-foot ‚Äėanti-scale‚Äô steel fence. ‚Ä¶ These are some of items the Secret Service is seeking to protect the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.‚ÄĚ So, how many mercs?
PA. Ruling class: ‚ÄúConversations with sources, along with documents obtained by City Paper, portray an expanding network of pro-charter-school organizations close to, and in many cases funded by, [the William Penn Foundation], coordinating with the state-controlled School District to map out the future of Philly public education. Says one observer of city schools: ‚ÄėIt is that‚Äôs being bankrolled by people who don‚Äôt even live in the city.‚Äô‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ Ruling class: ‚ÄúNo one disputes that the Philadelphis schools have been horribly, horribly mismanaged. But the solution we‚Äôve hit on is to hand control to the meritocracy ‚ÄĒ a small cadre of unelected and unaccountable elites (so often intersecting with hedge-fund Captains of the Universe, who have the money to fund these ventures) who worship the power of the free-market ‚ÄĒ as well as their own intellect. Isn‚Äôt that the kind of thinking that crashed Wall Street?‚ÄĚ Will Bunch, one of the great Philly bloggers. ‚Ä¶. Ruling class: ‚Äú[Penn State] intends to remodel the football team shower and locker room area as a direct result of Sandusky‚Äôs crimes.‚ÄĚ Alrighty then. ‚Ä¶. Open records: ‚ÄúThere is nothing that is public from Penn State,‚Äô [Sara Ganim, who broke Sandusky story, said]. ‚ÄėEverything is what you get from people, and there is such a degree of loyalty that prosecutors have even been thrown off by it.‚Äô Some reporters, she said, call Penn State ‚Äėthe Kremlin.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
TN. Guns: ‚ÄúR leaders in Nashville infuriated the NRA this year by refusing to go along with a bill to prevent businesses from banning guns on their property, and now the group is using its deep pockets to try to unseat one of them.‚ÄĚ
TX. ObamaCare: ‚ÄúThey can whine all they want about ‚Äėgetting it crammed down their throats‚Äô, but this is a good deal for the state and a better one for Texans, and even this worthless batch of Republicans isn‚Äôt stupid enough to turn [$100.1 billion over 10 years] down.‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ Extractive economy: Slideshow of Midland. ‚Ä¶ Famine in Egypt: ‚ÄúA scourge of grasshoppers is chomping through gardens, orchards, pastures and urban landscapes across a wide swath of Texas this summer.‚ÄĚ
WI. Voting: ‚ÄúCommand Central is a private corporation with offices in a strip mall near St. Cloud, MN who are the vendors of election machines and all of the programing and tabulation that goes with them. The digital totals held on memory cards and used to determine the outcome of the June 5 recall election will be ‚Äėburned‚Äô this weekend even though they are the subject of several FOIA requests. Why are clerks sending your vote totals to be burned? Because if they do not comply with Command Central‚Äôs July 16 deadline, the counties will be charged sums approaching $10,000.‚ÄĚ Privatized voting. What could go wrong? ‚Ä¶ Fracking: ‚ÄúAmish teach humility and avoid actions that draw attention to themselves‚Ä¶ That‚Äôs why it‚Äôs a big deal that members of the St. Charles Amish community are voicing concerns publicly about the proposed [fracking sand] rail facility.‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ Recall: ‚Äú[FEINGOLD:] I wouldn‚Äôt have won either. That election, unfortunately, was about one thing. It wasn‚Äôt even about money. [Voters] didn‚Äôt think a recall was appropriate. [People] weren‚Äôt against collective bargaining, it‚Äôs just the recall mechanism was the problem.‚ÄĚ
The trail. Remarkable factoid: ‚ÄúJoe Biden once ran under the wheels of a moving dump truck on a dare.‚ÄĚ
Policy. Fracking: ‚Äú[NATIONWIDE:] From an underwriting standpoint, we do not have a comfort level with the unique risks associated with the fracking process to provide coverage at a reasonable price.‚ÄĚ Fracking often occurs in residential areas.
Robama vs. Obomney. Christopher Caldwell, of all people: ‚ÄúBut Mr Romney is not the candidate of the rich. He is a candidate of the rich. So are most candidates in American politics, very much including Mr Obama.‚ÄĚ D‚Äôoh!
Greens. Time: ‚ÄúStein and Honkala are trying to occupy a space left by voters, particularly left-leaners, who are fed up with Obama and uninterested in Romney. They expect to be an alternative option on the ballot in 40 states. And they said they bring a different kind of politics to the table, though it doesn‚Äôt appear to be a less divisive brand.‚ÄĚ Yeah, Americans Elect tried that. Petraeus, government of national unity? ‚Ä¶ Green National Convention opens in Baltimore, MD: Schedule.
Libertarian Party. Media critique: ‚ÄúGary Johnson supporters in the Atlanta, GA area will hold a demonstration outside CNN ‚Ä¶ The demonstration is to draw public awareness that all the public opinion polls that CNN sponsors or co-sponsors invariably include only President Obama and Mitt Romney.‚ÄĚ
Bain flap. Obama goes all in: ‚Äú[OBAMA:] Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested [legalese!] to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ DeLong amplifies, without, oddly, or not, analytical value add. ‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ[ROMNEY:] I had no role whatsoever in managing Bain Capital after February of 1999. This is all an effort on the part of the president‚Äôs campaign to divert attention from the fact that the president has been a failure when it comes to reigniting America‚Äôs economy.‚ÄĚ True, and it‚Äôs working! ‚Ä¶ ‚Äú[ROMNEY:] Is that what‚Äôs really expected from the campaign of the sitting president of the United States?‚ÄĚ Yes, and your point? ‚Ä¶ Romney TV blitz: ABC transcript; CBS transcript; Romney sounds a little upset. ‚Ä¶ Stay tuned: ‚ÄúObama campaign lawyer Bob Bauer‚Äôs response to whether there was proof that Romney still actively participated in Bain dealings post-1999[:] ‚ÄėI would stay very much tuned on that.‚Äô‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ It‚Äôs a beautiful, Rovian, strength-into-weakness ploy. But best left to a surrogate? ‚Ä¶ Ed Rendell: ‚ÄúAll these attacks may be hurting the president‚Äôs brand a little bit. I think our supporters may have went too far with the felony business.‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ Jonathan Bernstein: ‚ÄúHow vetted is Mitt Romney? ‚Ä¶ [W}e usually have a process that can reassure his party that whatever‚Äôs out there has probably been uncovered, and I‚Äôm not sure that‚Äôs the case this time.‚ÄĚ Just‚Ä¶ Ouch. Meaning, Romney‚Äôs primary opponents weren‚Äôt strong enough to do serious oppo. Unlike Obama. Time for a Checkers speech from Mitt! Or, as MoDo would no doubt say, a Seamus speech.
From the Barcalounger: Still with the semantics: ‚Äúleft‚ÄĚ Bain, and ‚Äúactively participated‚ÄĚ vs. ‚Äúno role whatsoever in managing.‚ÄĚ What the Obama campaign is frothing and stamping about is the intricate network of influence that surrounds any person of Romney‚Äôs wealth and profession; board seats, titles, meetings, paperwork, fiduciary responsibilities, ‚Äúentities,‚ÄĚ etc. I don‚Äôt mind the Axelrovians hanging that kleptocratic network round Romney‚Äôs neck like the stinking albatross that it is ‚ÄĒ especially since Romney takes his privileges for granted and gets huffy ‚ÄĒ if only Obama wasn‚Äôt milking the exact same kind of network, albeit with different kleptocrats, to fund his own campaign. The plague on both their houses can‚Äôt come soon enough for me. I mean, what‚Äôs Obama‚Äôs problem, here? That Romney wasn‚Äôt a ‚Äúsavvy‚ÄĚ enough businessman? Such a shame he can‚Äôt run on his record!
* 56 days ‚Äôtil the Democratic National Convention ends with locally sourced rubber chicken on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. The Declaration of Independence had 56 signers.