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Election Countdown 2012: Labor Launches a Campaign to Register 500,000 New Union Voters, and More

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 09:01 By Lambert Strether, Naked Capitalism | News Analysis
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Election-storyIn today's Election Countdown 2012 news: Labor has launched an "unprecedented" campaign to register 500,000 new union voters in key states; Florida's Attorney General wants to add more chemicals to the list of banned substances; hundreds of women protesters fill the Capitol building in Michigan for women's rights; Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will give a long-term $1.7 billion state tax break for a planned Marcellus Shale gas petrochemical refinery; and more.

D – 87 and counting*

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” –Satchell Paige

Montreal. “A vision of free, publicly accessible post secondary education has strong roots in Quebec where the concept of universal access to education is often seen as comparable to socialized health care. This common value is the result of the massive overhaul of post secondary education in the 1960′s when, after mass student protests, the government created nine new university campuses and a free college system that was intended to open up higher education to those not part of the political and economic elite or clergy who then dominated Quebec. While tuition was initially justified to help cover the costs of the expanding campuses, students believed it would be eventually phased out.” “4170 estimated number of arrests made in Quebec since February as a result of the protests.” “We can not punish or arrest people for offenses they have not yet committed or are about to commit. Democracy requires that we take risks and that the police power should be strictly controlled.” Pearl clutching: Eugène Delacroix parody poster sold by Quebec rock band found in arrested Québec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir’s home, shows Charest dead at feet of the Bananarchiste (Banane Rebelle guidant le peuple). Yves Bolduc, Quebec Health Minister: “There are always subliminal messages MR SUBLIMINAL Banane! Banane! put forward through paintings like this. For certain vulnerable people, this can be a danger.” Be sure not to keep any political cartoons in your house! Red Square: “The idea is to show up at Émilie Gamelin Park with $10 and receive a tattoo of the carré rouge on your chest. The event is called “Tatoo-O-thon de carrés rouges.” From the Facebook event: “They would like us to remove (our red squares). That is why we will put them on our chest in permanently. Imagine hundreds of people getting red squares tattooed on the chest at the same time, all in the same evening. A monumental ‘FUCK YOU’ to the authorities who would like to see (the squares) disappear.” Silent majority: “Will it be the PQ or the Liberals in the next elections? ‘It will either be the street and referendums or democracy and the economy,’ affirms Jean Charest. Under the pretext of this demagogic principle, the government is allowing a situation to fester to the point where it could deteriorate into a major social crisis. If serious events occur, the Premier will demonize civil disobedience, violence, chaos, vandals and all supporters of opposition movements.”

Minister of Culture, Communications, and the Status of Women, Mrs. Christine St-Pierre responds to Fred Pellerin, the red-square toting storyteller, who turned down the National Order of Québec. “St-Pierre’s public affirmation that there is a link between the red square and violence sends the loud and clear message that all those who have spoken out against the tuition hikes are potentially behind the universally condemned actions that have taken place at certain protests. The government is effectively saying that all those who wear the square could even be responsible. It charges anyone who wears the red square of guilt-by-association with the few that have committed some reprehensible acts. It also says that violent incidents are more than just the actions of a fraction of those present.”

CO. “According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, about one-third of Weld County is in a drought condition and the rest is considered to be abnormally dry. Overall, all of CO is at least ‘abnormally dry’ and three-quarters of the state has some level of drought. ”

FL. “FL Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has worked to outlaw manmade narcotic ‘bath salts’ since shortly after she took office, said she is ready to add more chemicals to the list of banned substances, including ‘Spice’ and other synthetic drugs sold at gas stations and specialty shops.” Sold at gas stations?

ME. Of Angus King, I: “If it’s a 50-49 Senate, he becomes a very powerful person,”

MI. “With hundreds of protesters filling the Capitol building and grounds, mostly women dressed in pink t-shirts sporting the phrase ‘Women are watching and we vote’,” Rs tabled a package of anti-woman, anti-choice bills.

MT. “A WV man who told authorities he was hitchhiking across the country and writing a memoir about kindness was injured in a seemingly random drive-by shooting near MT’s booming Bakken oil patch.”

NY. “‘There were a lot of not so pleasant things with getting the [wampum] belts from our people, so for them to come back now and have some of the county and the mayor being here kind of undoes some of the things that have been done in the past,’ said [Onondaga] Tadodaho Sid Hill.” Fracking: “A group of residents including women from the job-hungry Southern Tier as well as Central NY are speaking out in favor of natural gas development in their region. ‘The people in this group have really felt disenfranchised by the past four years,’ said Karen Moreau, of the state Petroleum Council. Members of the group donned sashes saying they will be ‘Silent No More.’”

PA. Fracking: “A new proposal by Gov. Tom Corbett to give a long-term $1.7 billion state tax break for a planned Marcellus Shale gas petrochemical refinery in southwestern PA is a late-emerging issue in the state budget debate.” “A powerful Republican state representative who is a strong supporter of Marcellus Shale gas development is threatening to punish SEPTA for buying buses that are fueled with diesel rather than natural gas.” (PT) “[Governor Corbett] opposes a minor fix to Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards act which would help the solar industry over a rough spot. He removed his name from a letter from the Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition supporting the extension of the production tax credit for wind power. The wind industry currently employs about 4,000 people in PA.” Sandusky case: “[D]ocuments filed by the Attorney General’s office late Monday indicate [former Penn State VP Gary] Schultz told so many lies in his Grand Jury testimony that it was impossible to respond to each and every one of them.”

TX. San Antonio: “But what electrified the solar industry was when CPS Energy, in July, abruptly increased its solicitation for a 50-megawatt solar plant to 400 megawatts, enough to power 80,000 homes. The response to the 50-megawatt proposal was so positive and the offers so low that CPS simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do something really big. ”

WI. “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has joined the board of directors of Smart Sand, a PA company that is building a large frac sand plant in Oakdale, WI.” Union worker: “The messages shouldn’t be ‘Look at what they’ve got that I don’t have.’ It should be, ‘This is what we all should have.’” Citizen Dave: “We live in a world of well-funded special interests and lots of people who are not liberals. The best we can hope for is to get to know and understand our rivals as human beings rather than as political caricatures.” The Ds should never have made it about Walker.

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood watch. Sen. Graham: GOP should break with Norquist tax pledge for grand bargain.

Inside Baseball. Brooks: “I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem.” Wowsers. Carville/Greenberg focus group report: “Many have found new ways to make extra money, engaging in a kind of creative economy of necessity. One non-college-educated woman in Columbus, Ohio noted, ‘I make and earn extra money, like yard sales.’ They talk about the ingenuity required to make or save money—like collecting bottles or scrapping unwanted metal.” “Creative” like System D, not creative like “We’ll all be knowledge workers!” and not creative like “creative class.” Trudy Lieberman interviews voter on voters: “They are very angry. They believe that if you throw out the people you are unhappy with, someone else will come in and change things. But it never happens. Their frustration becomes anger. They don’t vote as an active way of expressing their frustrations. If they do vote, it’s like they sold out.” Recovering R: “Ultimately, leaving the GOP was necessary in order to maintain my own integrity. Leaving is also a public act of personal protest. I am under no illusions about its broader significance- it will have no impact on the trajectory of the political narrative in this nation. But that does not make it futile. On the contrary, as the shadows lengthen, such minor individual acts of defiance and dissent are more critical now than ever before.” The racist narrative: “The state with the highest racially charged [Google] search rate in the country was WV. Other areas with high percentages included western PA, eastern OH, upstate NY and southern MI.” Beltway insider Karen Feld’s tan teacup poodle, Campari, has its own business card.

Policy. ObamaCare: “Every state is going to have a health exchange in 2014.” Back in the HCR debacle, ObamaCare proponents called for “health insurance exchanges.” I shortened that to “health exchange,” since that’s what they are. Somehow a single payer advocate’s polemic emerges as official jargon. “Romney said he wants to make the nation’s health-care system more like a consumer market, likening it to the tire, automobile and air-filter markets that he said keep costs down and quality up.” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.): “Clearly, the Supreme Court overturning Obamacare is the best thing for the country, but it’s an open question what’s better for November’s election.” Petrostate: “In 2011, the United States registered the largest increase in oil production of any country outside of OPEC.”

Jawbs. “To save money, families are increasingly choosing cremation over burial…. Others are forgoing memorial services for simple graveside ceremonies. Rather than flowers or donations to a charity, 15 to 20 families a year now ask that newspaper obituaries include a plea for contributions toward funeral expenses.” “Privately, senior Obama advisers say they are no longer expecting much economic improvement before the election.” Yglesias: “But liberal inattention to monetary policy is baffling. If liberals can’t get monetary policy right, they can’t fix the economy and if they can’t fix the economy, the rest of their agenda will go down with it.”

The trail. “The AFL-CIO has launched an ‘unprecedented’ campaign to register 500,000 new union voters in the key states of PA, FL, OH, MI, WI and NV [The goal] is to raise union member turnout from 70 percent to 75 percent in November.” Too late for the recall.

Greens. 17 day countdown to matching funds for Greens; handy map. Interview with Jill Stein; from May, but there are few enough. “TX Senate candidate David B. Collins ran on a two-part platform: ‘making our planet habitable for 7 billion humans,’ and ‘making our nation live up to the challenge of its founders, with liberty and justice for all not mere words mumbled by school children who know better.’” Compare messasging with libertarians below.

Libertarian Party. “TX Senate candidate John J. Myers, of Dallas, whose campaign motto is ‘end the wars, end corporate welfare, live as you see fit.’”

Romney. “Mr Romney’s staff turned up the rock music to deafening levels, as they always do, [to] preventing reporters overhearing or recording comments to supporters that could prove embarrassing.” Same reason Obama campaign confiscates cell phones at fundraisers.

Obama. “We signed two trillion dollars in spending cuts into law,” Obama said. “Spending under my administration has grown more slowly than under any president in 60 years.” Will Warren Mosler please pick up the white courtesy phone?

* 87 days ’til the Democratic National Convention feasts in a Petit Trianon-styled soup kitchen on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. In cricket, 87 is 13 runs short of a century, hence unlucky.

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