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D – 18 and counting*

War is fought by human beings. --Carl von Clausewitz

RNC. Deniers in the hands of an angry goddess: 2012, Isaac. 2008, Gustav. ... Back door men: "For those delegates who might not want to be seen in line for the, uh, new osso buco on the menu, several [strip clubs] have added discreet new back doors." ... Wide stance: "A gay-owned hotel/spa/bathhouse in Tampa is flinging its doors wide for closeted conventioneers, offering free admission to all Republican National Convention delegates through August 31." ... Isaac: "'Plan A is to protest," said Medea Benjamin, 59. 'Plan B is to protest soaking wet.'" ... Ron Paul: "The RNC's Rules Committee voted to require written certification that a presidential candidate has a plurality of delegates from five states in order to get a space on the convention ballot — a move intended to provide a warning in the event of floor movement toward an insurgent candidate." .... Ron Paul: "Team Paul today announced details of a 'We Are The Future Rally' [at USF's Sun Dome] scheduled for high noon on Sunday — the day before the Republican National Convention kicks off a few miles away." .... Occupy Tampa: "According to [Kelly Benjamin, who works for Florida's Consumer Action Network], over a thousand people will come together in protest." The reporter can't interview an Occupy spokesperson?

DNC. Masked balls: "[GUY FAWKES MASK GUY, in vid:] 'We hope to see a large amount of freedom fighters, Occupy protesters, militias and other groups that are against the tyrannical rule of our current so-called government,' the voice says." I'd bet my bottom dollar, if any, this is a fake (yesterday's RNCon version). The language is all wrong. "So-called"? "Large amount"? I've never read any Occupy manifesto that reads like that. Further -- readers, correct me -- the only sources connecting the militias/wingnuts/right with Occupy/anarchists/left have been police sources. Smarter agent provocateurs, please. Also, a classic illustration of the folly of wearing masks; at night all rats are grey. ... Money: "D Party officials say they will not release the names of donors to next month's political convention before the event, despite an earlier pledge that they would regularly disclose the contributors." ... Women: "Next month, five years after her mother's death, Cecile Richards will be joined at the convention podium by a record number of women speakers. Other speakers announced today included Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; Georgetown student Sandra Fluke; Caroline Kennedy; Lilly Ledbetter; actress Eva Longoria, a co-chair of the Obama campaign; former Assistant Veterans Affairs Secretary (and current Illinois congressional candidate) Tammy Duckworth; and Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, the longest-serving woman in the history of the U.S. Senate."

AZ. Doubling down: "Former R presidential candidate Herman Cain and two wealthy contributors to conservative causes are funding an independent expenditure campaign aimed at replacing [House Speaker Andy Tobin] with a first-term R lawmaker who made waves in 2011 for pointing a loaded gun at a reporter during an interview. "

CO. Fracking: "The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission declared Monday that the Sandstone soccer fields and Union's recreation area will be off-limits to drilling" (MR). ... More guns, please: "University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano notified the Boulder campus faculty Tuesday afternoon that professors 'do not have the right to shut down a class or refuse to teach' should they learn that one of their students is lawfully carrying a gun under a concealed-carry permit.

FL. Corruption: "Interviews with campaign sources, invoices, campaign records and other documents show that [R] Rivera personally and frequently called Rapid Mail about [his D straw's] Sternad's mailers. During one call, Rivera directed an employee to walk outside, check the office mailbox for an envelope containing payment for one mailer, the sources said. The envelope was stuffed with cash — $7,800." ... Corruption: "State Attorney Robert 'Skip' Jarvis of Live Oak has reached an agreement that will allow him to avoid prosecution for using law enforcement data bases to research his political opponents and others." Others?

IN. Water: "[Marijuana's] distinct green color makes it 'stick out like a sore thumb' in the otherwise drought-stricken landscape when authorities search for clusters of the plant from the air. [Drought] has also forced growers to tend their illegal crops more often, which law enforcement says leads to more citizen tips."

LA. Corruption: "Sources close to St. Pierre and the Nagin probe tell us the former technology firm owner hopes to get his sentence reduced in exchange for testimony against the ex-mayor." ... Projection: "The Rev. Grant Storms, the former 'Christian patriot' pastor whose marches against homosexuality at New Orleans' Southern Decadence festival briefly put him in the national spotlight, was convicted of obscenity Wednesday, for exposing himself while masturbating at Lafreniere Park last year. In his confession, he described public masturbation as 'a thrill,' but authorities debunked suspicions that he was a pedophile."

MA. Elizabeth Warren, Charles Pierce: "The major problem all along has been that Senator McDreamy [Scott Warren] really is a nice guy. He doesn't just come across as one. He is."

ME. East-west corridor: "The [Penobscot's] lawsuit claims the 1980 law passed by Congress 'expressly confirmed that the Penobscot Nation and its members retain a sovereign right to take fish from the Penobscot River.'" The E-W highway requires a bridge over the Penobscot. Hmm. ... Ron Paul: "The committee suggested that 10 pro-Paul supporters and 10 supporters of Romney represent ME at the convention, according to Webster." Sounds like the D RBC in 2008.

MI. Water: "The Mississippi River has been reopened to limited vessel traffic after crews freed a barge that went aground in low waters caused by an extensive drought." ... Invasive species: "Feral swine became an illegal invasive species in MI under an order from the state Department of Natural Resources."

NV. Voting: "U.S. District Judge Robert Jones said the state's decades-old ballot alternative of 'none of the above' was unconstitutional because votes for 'none' don't count in the final tallies that determine winners."

NY. Corruption: "Former state Sen. Nicholas Spano is in federal prison for cheating the government out of $53,000 in taxes. But his legal costs for the case now top more than $135,000. His campaign committee, Friends of Nick Spano, has paid all of it." ... Public goods: ""Long before we see massive reductions in police and fire personnel we see the loss of things that make city and urban living attractive," [Mayor] Richards said as he presented Rochester's 2012-13 budget in May. "Recreation centers, libraries, festivals and events, neighborhood revitalization efforts — all fall victim."

OH. Hmm: "[University of Cincinnati president] Greg Williams surprised the Board of Trustees about 11 a.m. Tuesday by resigning immediately, citing personal reasons."

OK. Tinpot tyrants: "Kaitlin Nootbaar, the OK high school valedictorian who was denied her diploma after she used the word 'hell' in her graduation speech, said on Wednesday she has no plans to apologize. 'We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said, 'Your diploma is right here but you ain't [sic] getting it. Close the door, we have a problem,'' David Nootbaar said." What you mean, "we"? Local reaction.

PA. Wind: "Dave Rosenberg [of] wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa, says they're laying off 165 people this month at their plants in PA, because there's no decision on the [Production Tax Credit for wind and other renewable resources]." "All of the above" my sweet Aunt Fanny.

TX. Sovereignty: "A Lubbock County judge is making headlines after suggesting that Obama might hand over sovereignty of the US to the UN, possibly igniting in a civil war." Not the UN. The TPP. ... MOOCs: "UT is in negotiations with Coursera [UVa] and edX, two of the most prominent companies engaged in the mass distribution of course content from elite universities for free online."

VA. Nukes: "The North Anna [power plant] Aug. 23 incident [in 2011] showed some potential shortfalls. During the [5.8 magnitude seismic event with an epicenter a few miles away], not only did the plant shut down but area electricity was knocked out. The power plant needs electricity to keep critical controls and machinery running to prevent a nuclear accident. It has four large diesel generators plus a backup to ensure this. But just after the reactor shutdown, a coolant leak knocked one of the diesels out of service."

WA. Coal: "Last Tuesday, FL-based company RailAmerica announced that it was no longer pursuing a coal export terminal in Grays Harbor. One down, five to go. Five coal terminals is still a lot to worry about."

The trail. Medicare, Trudy Lieberman: "Most of these cuts centered on reduced reimbursements to providers—mostly to hospitals, which agreed to smaller payments over 10 years in return for more patients with insurance, which the ACA promised to deliver. In other words, they didn't squawk about it." Excellent point. ... Metrics: "A map created by Amazon tracking the bestselling political books in the US state by state [here] shows that conservative titles are outselling liberal books virtually everywhere." ... Teebee: "But in order to 'work' -- that is, to make a decisive difference in the outcome -- advertisements need to persuade only a tiny minority. '[Advertising] does have an impact, even if it's a marginal one," says Joe Heim, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. "And that marginal impact is worth it.' Whether or not an ad influences TV viewers directly, it has the potential to shape the narrative of the campaign [via the media]."

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Extremes meet: "'I resent the fact that they're spending and spending and spending,' [conservative] Bramlett said. 'They're still spending money we don't have. It's not just the Ds, it's the Rs, too.'" (How does government "have" money?) .... Why, the ingratitude: "Neither the Obama campaign nor the Romney campaign says their candidate had committed to appearing at the forum at Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., near Los Angeles. The forum had been planned for this week." And after Warren gave Obama's inaugural address!

Romney. Fighting words: "[ROMNEY: ] President Obama, bless his heart, has tried to substitute government for free people and it has not worked and it'll never work." ... Ryan: "In the first week of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate, Mitt Romney's positive coverage has increased drastically. Over 15% of the positive statements toward Mitt Romney during the week of August 11-17 came from Paul Ryan."

Obama. Swing states: "President Obama will campaign in three key battleground states [CO, IA, VA] during the week of the Republican National Convention." Biden to FL, Michelle to Letterman. ... Tribalism: "The crowd had drowned out the heckler with chants of 'Four more years!'" A chant that originated with Nixon. ... His Airness: "[OBAMA: ] I'd say there's about seven minutes to go in the game. And Michael's competitiveness is legendary and nobody knows better than Michael that if you've got a little bit of a lead and there's about seven minutes ago, that's when you put them away." ... Hagiography: "Obama had one reason to ultimately quit smoking: his daughters." Oh, puh-leeze. It's an election year!

Akin flap. Tribalism: "DCCC wants it both ways-- to demonize anti-choice Rs while supporting anti-choice Blue Dogs." .... Prefenestration: "In an email to members of the state committee on Tuesday night party Chairman David Cole reiterated that Akin still could leave the race by obtaining a court order." ... Money: "Both Right to Life and Texas Ds are using the comment this week by MO U.S. Rep. Todd Akin to rally their troops." ... Money: "'I was so appalled, so angry — I can't tell you,' said [Jillian Manus Salzman], who has co-hosted major Romney fundraisers. 'His opinion is not just hurtful to others. It's dangerous.'" ... Polls: "The Pew Research Center, which has studied the political gender gap for years, found in April that 86 percent of voters said the economy was the issue most important to their votes, followed by jobs at 84 percent. Abortion ranked 16th, at 39 percent, followed by birth control, 34 percent." ... Kicking the far right: "[T]he pro-life movement has a very adult moment in front of them." It's really funny to see the Rs use the same arguments against the pro-life right that the Ds use against the left. Right down to "ZOMG! The Supreme Court!"

* 18 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with cake for everyone on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. In the United States, 18 is the age of sexual consent.

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