D - 14 and counting*
"Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real Liberty." --Roberts Rules of Order
This Week with George Stephanopoulos as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: "STEPHANOPOULOS: you want to amend the U.S. Constitution to protect zygotes MCDONNELL: you can't pay attention to the Party platform - those are just our fundamental beliefs that we don't care about"
RNC. Hurricane Watch: "[T]he oddly inscrutable storm was headed farther west than first predicted, suggesting the thousands of politicos and protesters gathered here could be spared a lasting bout of severe weather." ... Ron Paul: "I don't fully endorse [Romney] for president." So, no speech. ... Ron Paul: "ME's delegation on Monday will appeal a decision by the RNC to limit the number of Ron Paul supporters allowed in." ... Ron Paul Conference: "Vendors included the Libertarian Party (which is co-sponsoring the festival), the John Birch Society, marketeers of precious metal currency, liberty-minded political candidates running on R and third-party tickets, and the ideologically apathetic out to capitalize on the Paul franchise." ... Ron Paul Conference: Cheered, Austrian School Economics, legal hemp. Booed: Obama, the Iraq War. And much else. ... Nosebleed seats: "The Republican National Convention seating chart shows the delegations from NV, LA, ME, ME and OK all located on the outer fringe of the convention floor. Each are states with significant Paul followings." ... The narrative: "1 Can Mitt check all the boxes? 2 Can they take down Obama without seeming mean? 3 Can Tampa make Romney likable? 4 Who shines more: Christie or Rubio? 5 Can the GOP answer the "war on women" charge? 6 Does Paul Ryan have a veep's right hook?" ... Charts: Infographic: Inside the Republican convention. ... Kickoff party, St Pete's: "GOP faithful [at the convention host party] dined on paella, chicken and mango salad, whole roast pig [road kill?] with a variety of barbecue sauces and Cuban sandwiches." ... Kickoff party: "One industrious lady [has a CraigsList ad] for 'RNC closet dwellers. This ad is for gay men only that for whatever reason need to appear hetero. I'll be your BEARD.'"
RNC protest. Kickoff party march: "Hundreds of protesters called for higher minimum wage and an end to corporate tax breaks during the '99% march' to Tropicana Field." ... Kickoff party march: "But this was no Chicago in 1968 scene. The older women carried umbrellas and fanny packs. Older men carefully wrapped their posters in plastic to protect them from the rain. At one point, a young man wearing a bandana across his face began chanting 'Fuck the police' at a row of officers standing behind a fence at Tropicana Field. A group of older women shouted the man down. This wasn't that kind of protest, they said. The man quickly shut up." ... Crowds: "Protesters are being kept blocks away and, so far, they've gathered in groups several dozen to a few hundred [at several locations; handy map of cameras]. But the worries of massive protests that might bring violence and a cacophony of chanting [quell horreur!] have been elusive." ... Irony: "Giant blocks of ice spelling out the words 'middle class' are melting on a warm, sticky day. Occupy protesters say it represents the melting away of the middle class in America." ... Resolve: "[Hurricane Isacc] might affect the R's plans but not ours,' said [Occupier] Pineiro. 'We're a little more dedicated than them, to tell you the truth.'" ... Romneyville: "This is a militarized event. [The police are] acting like they're in Baghdad or Islamabad. Why do they need tanks? Why do they need helicopters?" [organizer Bruce Wright of the Poor People's Human Rights Campaign] asked. He said officials should be more concerned about right-wing extremists than his band of protesters, some of whom toted small children and traveled from TX to join the event." ... Police state: See video (nathan). ... Videography: "[Flux Rostrum of Mobile Broadcast News] said that he was running a 24-hour livestream from the bus showing "Romneyville." Before arriving in FL he had been in WV with his bus documenting conflicts between police officers, miners and people protesting strip mining." ... Feeds: Occupy Tampa; RomneyVille; OccupyEye; Tim Pool.
DNC. Charlie Crist: "The former R and former [FL] governor waited until the Sunday before the Tampa convention to pen an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times that officially cast his lot with Obama."
Conventions. Viewership: "In 2008, 38.9 million viewers watched John McCain's acceptance speech, 38.4 million watched Barack Obama, and 37.2 million saw Sarah Palin explain that the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick. That's more than watched the season finale of American Idol that year and just shy of the ratings for the record-setting opening ceremonies of the London Olympics this year. Yes, conventions are scripted, choreographed and mostly predictable, but they do matter."
FL. Corruption: "A former part-time deputy in the Cowlitz County Coroner's office is accused of using a dead man's debit card to steal nearly $12,000 from his estate. Police said [he] admitted taking Williams' card and using it, saying he was tempted due to "severe financial problems." ... Democrats: "In the last five presidential elections, Ds have made it a battle in FL by bringing in their national political organization to mobilize their voters. In doing so, [they] have made obvious what others have thought for some time -- that the state party's political infrastructure is too weak to mobilize supporters to meet their needs."
LA. Hurricane: "Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency for the state of LA through Sept. 26 for the potential effects of Isaac. He also recommended voluntary evacuations for residents living outside hurricane levees in 15 parishes" (storm track).
ME. Money: "A television ad urging support for D Senate candidate Cynthia Dill has taken to the airwaves today--and it's paid for by a Political Action Committee based in Washington D.C. that's described as having R ties." This keeps happening: Akins, Rivera.
NY. Shooting: "The laid-off designer who executed a former co-worker outside the Empire State Building finally snapped when he learned he was being evicted from his Upper East Side apartment." ... Fracking: "Why did Bloomberg suddenly change his position on fracking?" (AH)
MO. Akin: "I don't really think that Akin supporters are a long-term problem. We had an accommodation with them: It's the billionaires who are the problem."
OH. Trials: "Sixteen members of a breakaway Amish group accused of hair-cutting attacks against members of their own faith in OH are set to go on trial this week in Cleveland."
PA. Fracking: "Stephen Cleghorn, a farmer, scattered the ashes of his wife, Lucinda on their farm in Reynoldsville, PA. Cleghorn announced that, with this deposition of ash, he was hereby consecrating his land and declaring it off-limits to fracking in perpetuity." Second time for this tactic.
VA. Homeless: "[VA] counted 8,742 homeless students last school year, an increase of more than 3,700 in just five years. The numbers could be deceptively low."
WI. Charters: "Enrollment in WI's online schools has doubled in the last five years, but students often struggle to complete their degrees and repeat grades four times as often as their brick-and-mortar counterparts."
Outside baseball. Poverty: "Oddly, though, for all his rhetorical skills, Obama hasn't made a single speech devoted to poverty since he moved into the White House." Oddly? ... Foreclosure: "As part of a little-known effort, congressional staffers across the country have been calling banks relentlessly to bargain for help for homeowners. In response, some of the country's biggest financial entities, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have even set up special lines to field the congressional staffer members' calls." ... Disemployment: "Among those workers who lost a good job because of the struggling economy over the past three years, roughly one in four found a job that pays as well." That's not a bug. It's a feature. ... Atheism: "[T]he past seven years have seen a fivefold increase in people who call themselves atheists, to 5% of the population. [T]he proportion of Americans who say they are religious has fallen from 73% in 2005 to 60% in 2011." ... What It Takes: "[W]e see a person struggle to control his public image, fail, and then wallow in the popular perception before he washes out. Some go out with a bang (Hart, Biden). Others, a whimper." We'll be waiting...
The trail. MI: "[A] small plane hired by MoveOn.org circled overhead, trailing a misspelled protest banner: 'America is better then [sic] birtherism.'"
Libertarians. Jim Clymer, Constitution Party: "When Obama's doing it, it's terrible; but when Bush does it, they're muted."
Robama vs. Obomney watch. Matthew Dowd: "[T]here are major conflicting dynamics at work for each campaign indicating that these candidates, if they weren't running against each other, would be unelectable. On the D side, there's the perception by a vast majority of voters that the country is on the wrong track and the incredible dissatisfaction with Obama's handling of the economy. For the Rs, there's Romney's personal likeability being so low." ... The narrative: "Both [campaigns] agree on a handful of make-or-break points: the conventions and the three presidential debates, particularly the first one -- and both believe Romney, more likely than not, will meet the media's expectations for his performance." Where's Uncle Karl with the dead girl or live boy? ... Privatization: "[JEB BUSH: ] I thought it was funny to watch [D] Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson having a heart attack while I was introducing [Obama] and he was applauding elements of our education reforms, embracing them and not in a superficial way." 2020? ... Party animals: "Steve Lucas, a delegate from Orinda, [CA] stood in right field wearing an 'Obama sucks' button. He said he is a supporter of the city's mayor, Steve Glazer, who happens to be D Gov. Jerry Brown's top political adviser."
Romney. Pearl clutching: "[ROMNEY: The president's campaign of personal vilification and demonization probably draws some people away from me." Man up, Mitt. Have you no surrogates? ... Mr. Warmth: "One R who spends a lot of time with Romney said: 'People don't know Romney. He may be unknowable.'" Ouch! ... Putative issues: Good wrap-up by McClatchy.
Obama. Money: "Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from these outside groups." .... Teleprompter: "This image was not meant as any kind of an editorial statement."
* 14 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with paella, chicken and mango salad, and whole roast pig with a variety of barbecue sauces and Cuban sandwiches for everyone on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. NJ has 14 electoral votes.