D - 2 and counting*
"Would you like to stay and have a drink? We've got Kool-Aid." "I'd love to," Y.T. says, "but my diabetes is acting up real bad." -- Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
DNCon. The feel, from the normally astute Charles Pierce: "This convention, for the moment anyway, doesn't march so much as it flows." Yes, I can think of a lot of substances that flow. ... The hall: "One cannot easily walk out of the Arena and back to other convention facilities. Forty-five minutes later, I was still walking, trying to get outside the security perimeter in some hope of a cab." Feature? ... Platform: "The distance between the 2008 and 2012 platform shows just how hard it has been, and starkly illustrates the extent to which the Democratic Party has given up on its 2008 promises to roll back the national security state that emerged and expanded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks." Yeah, but a bait and switch isn't strictly lying. Let's be fair. ... Banning: "For the second day in a row a handful of moms bearing flyers and large yellow pencils made out of pool noodles were denied admission to an event sponsored and/or featuring the corporate-focused education 'reform' groups Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) and Students First, headed by Michelle Rhee." ... Roach motel: "Scores of DNCC delegates, media folk, and supporters gathered in the Charlotte Convention Center to discuss the formation of a formal, recognized DNC Progressive Caucus and to brainstorm ways to strengthen the ["]progressive["] movement at the state and local level." ... Charlie Christie: "Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel[:] 'There's a lot more he has to do to convince people… Being a D is more than just switching uniforms.'".... Castro: "Castro is a rare D unfazed by R intimidation*, refusing to beat around the bush about his views. On abortion, Castro told the New York Times that 'The pope and I disagree on this one.'" Great. Run him then. [* Do not accept narratives of Democratic weakness! Aristotle said: "We are what we repeatedly do."] ... Castro speech: "Ours is a nation like no other -- a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation ... no matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward." Let's play "Spot the forward!" ... Michelle Obama speech: "Stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward, my husband, our president, Barack Obama." Let's play "Spot the forward!" (full text) ... Michelle Obama: "He believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care." Which would be why He signed the Hyde Amendment into ObamaCare via Executive Order 13535. ... Michelle: "'You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still 'mom-in-chief,'' Michelle Obama said, as her eyes teared up." A new sheen of consummate professionalism. ... Michelle: "I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, 'You won't believe what these folks are going through, Michelle…. It's not right.'?" I can just hear him saying that! ... Michelle: "Being president doesn't change who you are -- it reveals who you are." Indeed. ... Great teasers of our time, Charlotte Observer: "Speakers take turns insulting Republicans and Romney; first lady shares Obama's soft side."
Conventions. "Conventional wisdom": Thumbsucker.
CA. Food pantries: "As federal, state and local safety-net programs are slashed, the Food Bank is losing funding and commodities while more people need our help."
FL. Foreclosure: "Palm Beach County ranks second among large metro regions for its percent of vacant homes. [W]ith 6.7 percent of all housing units vacant as July, only Detroit is ahead with a 12.1% vacancy rate." ... Swing state: "To carry Florida, with its R north and southwest and its D southeast, candidates must win the swing area in the middle of the state -- the famed Interstate 4 corridor, including the state's biggest media market, the Tampa area." ... Disemployment: "Earlier this year, the Office of Economic and Demographic Research said that 69% of the drop in the unemployment rate was due to people dropping out of the labor force. The state lost 715,200 jobs during the recession, and has only recovered 96,600 or 13.5%." Mission accomplished. .... Food pantries: "A year ago, the food bank at Religious Community Services got 2.3 million pounds of government food for needy people in the area stretching from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. The allotment has plummeted this year. 'We rejoice when there's peanut butter.'"
IA. Stimulus: "The real failure of the stimulus was that it should have been larger and more targeted toward spending with the biggest 'bang for the buck' in a weak economy." Strong but Kool Aid-free D.
IN. Austerity: "The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, one of only 17 full-time orchestras in the nation, is proposing shifting to part-time status as part of a plan to address longstanding financial problems. As of Tuesday afternoon, the ISO wanted to cut musicians' annual pay by almost half as part of a plan that would reduce the orchestra's schedule from 52 to 36 weeks a year." ... Food pantries: "Delaware County's pantries aren't getting enough food into the hands of the area's hungry [due to] lack of volunteers, a 300-percent increase in demand for some pantries, a drop in the amount of food donated and federal requirements."
MI. Convention: "In addition to me being a delegate, Anne and I have DNC media credentials and have also gotten credentials to The PPL, a netroots-focused space." Credentialism?
MN. Police state: "The parents of a St. Paul man said they were outraged that officers gunned down their unarmed son early Friday as he fled a hotel room where a gunman was holding seven people hostage. 'They shot my son down like a dog," said Tawana Henderson, the mother of 19-year-old Mark Eric Henderson. '... If I never saw another police officer again, I would be happy.'" ... Convention: "One of the many things I've really enjoyed here in Charlotte is the food - to give you an idea of what's here, here's a quick YouTube - let's look!"
NC. Convention: "The journalists and others being held back started pressing to be allowed to resume their traffic flow, but that earpiece in my ear was telling me to hold my position. So I did." Very interesting picture of the convention floor.
NJ. Food pantries: "[F]ood supplies are down now while the demand is increasing. 'It's not letting up,' [Kathleen] DiChiara said. 'If there's a recovery the people that we're seeing are not experiencing it.'"
NY. Fracking: "If this is what a best practice management failure looks like, I wonder what a complete disaster would be. But maybe we can use our imaginations here without much of a stretch. Add some dead belly-up brown spotted and feminized male fish, or some greasy-looking dead flora, or some methane bubbles, or somebody's kid swimming a mile away getting really sick."
PA. Wretched excess: "The Kimmel Center reopened its Dorrance Hamilton Rooftop Garden today, after more than $6 million in renovations. [T]the room seats about 200 people and will be used for weddings and other private functions" (where the money came from). ...Extractive economy: "[I]f Royal Dutch Shell builds a petrochemical plant along the Ohio River [it] means jobs. This cracking plant, fed by the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom, would take the place of a zinc smelting plant moving operations to a new smelter in NC. The school district would lose $275,000 in property taxes if the plant site becomes a Keystone Opportunity Zone. If the plant does what it's supposed to do, many of the children of this plant's workers will be landing in a district that already has its middle and primary schools at capacity. Of course, managing an enrolment boomlet beats watching an exodus. The cracker plant would be exempt from state taxes, too, a break that would last 15 years. There's another 25-year tax break on the ethane purchased for the facility, too." At the state level, taxes do fund spending.
TX. Voting: "So as you know, [TX] had its rear end handed to it in both the redistricting and voter ID preclearance lawsuits. Both of these rulings will be appealed to the Supreme Court, with the ultimate goal being a constitutional challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which is the provision that requires Texas and some other former Confederate states to undergo preclearance. The argument that Texas and these other states are making is that it just isn't fair that they have to go through these extra steps and get subjected to this extra scrutiny that other states do not. The irony, of course, is that these two ruling should make it abundantly clear why Section 5 is still needed." OK. ... Climate: "West Nile virus illnesses in TX continue to rise dramatically, state health officials said Tuesday, with the number of cases this summer rising to 1,013 -- with 40 deaths -- as an Austin man became the second in Travis County to die from the mosquito-borne disease. That is a 58 percent increase in cases and 74 percent increase in deaths."
VA. Resource extraction: "But when I asked Bill Chadd, who mined uranium for twelve years, lived in Uravan for ten, and suffers from lung disease, if he thought that a proposed new uranium mill would be good for the area, he said, 'You bet. It would open up about 300 jobs.'" .... Constitution Party: "VA election officials placed a former Republican congressman [Virgil Goode] on the November ballot as a minor-party candidate for president, in a potentially worrisome development for Mitt Romney."
WI. Walkeristan: "[C]ounty employees recently received checks of as much as $8,000 in back pay, plus interest, for lost wages as a result of mandatory unpaid furloughs. Not bad pay for time the staffers didn't actually work. The furlough days were imposed in 2010 as an emergency measure by Gov. Scott Walker, then the county executive, and the County Board. Courts have since ruled that the furloughs violated the terms of county contracts. Total doled out this month by county taxpayers as a result: $4.5 million." See, there's your problem. Contracts.
Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood watch. That was fast: "Durbin just told Andrea Mitchell he *knows* that the president will use Simpson Bowles as a template in 2nd term." So much for Biden's "flat guarantee" [NC 08-16].
Outside baseball. Affirmative action: "Empirical evidence that we and others have carefully laid out shows [t]hat many universities are using racial preferences that are larger and more mechanical than those used before Grutter, and that -- whether schools call their admissions "holistic" or not -- race is being applied in a uniform way to all persons who can plausibly (and sometimes implausibly) be counted towards racial balancing objectives." Sounds like NCLB. ... Under the Surface: "Running from southern WV through PH Ohio, across central and northeast PA, and into NY through the Southern Tier and the Catskills, the Marcellus Shale formation underlies a sparsely populated region that features striking landscapes, critical watersheds and a struggling economic base. It also contains one of the world's largest supplies of natural gas, a resource that has been dismissed as inaccessible--until recently." ... Adequate emotion: "Yuck!"
The trail. Democrats: "The real target, the non-base 'undecideds,' are not quite getting it, the real nature of the choice. Most of them are bumbling along, uneasy about the economy [Shocking!], thinking (even if they voted for Obama in '08) 'where's the change?' [good grief!] and 'Obama's had his chance, maybe it's time to let the other guys have a turn.'" I don't know why Ds consistently insult voters whose support they seek. But they do it over and over again. "Bumbling"!?!?
Green Party. Censorship: "Google TV ads changed its mind and agreed to submit a Jill Stein TV ad [here] to various media outlets. Google TV had originally rejected the proposed ad because it had a slight bit of implied obscenity" ;([bleep] on the audio; "bull$%t" on the CC). Smart PR, tweaking Google and then winning.... Censorship: Green Party argues, "[W]hat Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office." Once again, code is law, or tries to be.
The Romney. Management fee waiver: "Mitt Romney appears to have dodged a bullet after his lawyer said last week that the GOP candidate never engaged in a tax practice that's now being investigated by New York's attorney general." Poor Eric. Another damp squib.
The Obama. Golf, Ryan Lizza: "Obama phoned Clinton and invited him out for a round. Several Clinton associates say that this was the moment they realized that Obama truly wanted to win in 2012. Why else would he spend hours on a golf course being lectured by Clinton?" Well, how about money, win or lose? (Stoller)