D – 31 and counting*
“You can’t be a successful Dictator and design women’s underclothing.” — P. G. Wodehouse
Montreal. Carré rouge: “Even though the election campaign has stirred the news pot here, we’re in for a lot more noise once the putative return to class (to resume the winter term, in theory) in the course of next week is rejected by students and that rejection is supported by professors who have vowed to respect the student strike.” … Elections: “[Camille Robert, CLASSE:] We’re talking about access to higher education, management of natural resources, and the crisis of democracy. [E]lections alone cannot resolve this conflict, regardless of which party comes to power.”
AL. Municipal bankruptcy: “A Jefferson County Commission committee voted this morning 3-2 to close inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital in 30 days. The closing will be placed on the Commission’s agenda for a regular vote next Tuesday.”
CA. Municipal bankruptcy: “After the [San Bernardino] council declared a fiscal emergency on July 18, vendors began trying to seize material and equipment from city facilities, before the bankruptcy filing froze city assets. A copier was seized from the Fire Department office. The department filed a police report. About a week later, the copier was returned.” … Extractive economy: “More than 560 people were treated or admitted at Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center and Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo on Monday and Tuesday for respiratory problems, eye, nose and throat irritation and other health problems linked to the [Chevron refinery] fire that sent thick black smoke all over the Bay Area, hospitals officials said.”
CO. Fracking: “The ink was barely dry on Longmont’s new oil and gas regulations when the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission directed its attorney to sue the city. ‘Members of the COGCC have called me and told me this isn’t about Longmont,’ [Councilman Brian Bagley] said. ‘They’ve told me this is about keeping the cities in line.’” (mr)
FL. Obama’s mortgage settlement: “[BONDI: ] ‘This isn’t a tax appropriation, this is a settlement agreement.‘” Meaning her AG’s office should distribute FL’s $300 million share, and not the legislature.
ME. Transparency: “[Peter] Vigue’s 230-mile [private] East-West Highway would follow the Stud Mill Road haulroad from Calais to Costigan where it would cross the Penobscot River. From there it would strike out northwest cross-country, running south of Dover-Foxcroft and Guilford and crossing the Appalachian Trail somewhere in the vicinity of Blanchard. Though he has a huge, detailed map rolled up in his Pittsfield office, Vigue is reluctant to be too specific about some sections of the route for fear that opponents will try to persuade property owners not to sell.” “Highway” is a misnomer; it’s a private right-of-way. Anything could go down it, including pipelines and power lines.
NY. Fracking: “For those desperately hoping against hope that high volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing for natural gas will be blocked from coming into New York state, sorry. For you, the end of the world arrives before Labor Day.” Another view. … Corruption: “The man in charge of keeping the books for the Troy Housing Authority has been double-dipping for the past five years”
OH. Fracking: “Stow Council decides against leasing mineral rights needed for gas well. Environmental concerns and the proximity of the drilled natural gas well next to the Church of New Hope on Darrow Road were among the reasons Council members gave to support their decision.” (danps) … Term limits: “By squeezing the experience a legislator has in OH’s House or Senate, term limits make lobbyists (and legislative employees, however outstanding most are) the ‘deciders’ in Columbus. They, not rookie legislators, know where the bodies are buried. They know Ohio’s budget has nooks and crannies like Thomas’ English muffins.”
OK. Ballot access: “Americans Elect activists in OK organize the party in their state, elect officers, and nominate Gary Johnson for President.”
PA. Regulatory capture: “‘All the times the companies apply for these permits [for ethane cracker plants] they know exactly what they have to do and what those requirements are, we certainly don’t have to educate them,’ [says PA's Secretary of Environmental Protection Michael Krancer].” … Fracking: “The Marcellus Shale is about to become the most productive natural gas field in the United States, according to new data from energy industry analysts and the federal government.” … Fracking: “If only 10 percent of the Marcellus Shale region was developed, that could equate to 40,000 wells. Under the best-case median risk calculation that Rozell and Reaven developed, the volume of contaminated wastewater ‘would equate to several hours flow of the Hudson River or a few thousand Olympic-sized swimming pools.’ That represents a ‘potential substantial risk.’” … Unions: “Union leaders from Philadelphia gathered this morning to preview their ‘Workers Stand for America’ rally, expected to pack 30,000 organized labor members on the Ben Franklin Parkway Saturday. John Dougherty, leader of Local 98 of the IBEW, made clear that labor is feeling taken for granted by traditional D political allies but denied that the rally is a ‘shadow convention.’”
TN. Money: “In a Metro school board election cycle that saw unprecedented amounts of dollars flow to candidates — more than $400,000 overall — [Amy] Frogge knocked off the one with the most: Margaret Dolan, an Ingram Industries executive who used her network of heavyweight support to build a campaign war chest of $113,000, the highest figure ever collected for a Metro school board race. Outspent 5-to-1, Frogge beat Dolan in school board District 9 by a 2-to-1 ratio — 3,524 votes to 1,725.”
TX. Police blotter: “She grabbed a pink, steel stripper pole and tried to hit him in the head, the affidavit states.” … Fracking: “The EPA said methane—what natural gas is made of—is a highly potent greenhouse gas. The agency blames oil and gas production and processing for ‘nearly 40% of all U.S. methane emissions.’ [O]f particular concern is ‘flowback’, one stage of drilling a well when a mix of natural gas and [Volatile Organic Compounds] comes to the surface ‘at high velocity and volume’ for three to 10 days.” … Fracking: “If you live in the Barnett Shale around Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, you may have noticed the ground has become a bit shakier in the last few years. And a new study by a Univeristy of Texas seismologist says that the wells used to dispose of fracking waste water are responsible. What’s more, there have been more than eight times as many earthquakes in the area than previously thought.” … Social media: “Cruz had twice as many Facebook fans as Dewhurst, 86,507 to 43,355. And he tweeted to his Twitter followers 5,117 times through runoff day, versus 597 for Dewhurst.”
VA. Kumbaya: “[Ousted then restored President Kathleen] Sullivan wrote in a statement on Tuesday that [COO Michael] Strine ‘recently determined that it would be in the best interest of the university that he step down and allow me to do some necessary internal restructuring.’” Ouch! We still have no idea what the real story at UVA was, do we? … MOOCs: “While prestigious institutions like the University of Virginia engage in controversy and soul-searching over how to integrate online education, upstart institutions like [Falwell's] Liberty are racking up market share.” … Privatization: “Eleven organizations sent a letter to VA’s governor Monday opposing offers by two companies to operate a state facility that detains violent sex offenders for treatment after their sentences are completed.” What could go wrong?
VT. Wind: “Six protesters against Green Mountain Power wind project arrested on Lowell mountain.” Ages: 50, 56, 63, 64, 66, 71. … Pipelines: “Activists who say they were repeatedly shot with rubber pellets during a [tar sands pipeline] confrontation with police last Sunday at the [Burlington] Hilton Hotel have filed a public records request with the Burlington Police Department.”
Outside baseball. Market state: “We now have our smallest government in 45 years.” Only Nixon can go to China. Only Obama can drown government in a bathtub. … Market state: “School reform has generated a marketplace, and a profitable one at that. Michelle Rhee’s standard fee is $50,000 an appearance, plus expenses. In Michigan, Clark Durrant is paid over half a million dollars a year to run five charter schools. Eva Moskowitz, Geoffrey Canada and Deborah Kenney all make between four and five hundred thousand a year running their New York City charter school organizations. And these are the minor players. The real money is corporate.” … Extractive economy: “A natural gas liquids boom stemming from development of US shale plays will spur investments in export-related petrochemical plans targeting Latin American market, Energy Security Analysis Inc. (ESAI) said in a recent report. With US demand for ethylene derivatives growing modestly, expanding petrochemical capacity will be export-oriented.” Because no aggregate demand here? … Extractive economy: “The coalition of 10 Ds and 34 Rs from AR, LA, OK and TX said the expansion of domestic shale gas production in other parts of the country has given the United States a need to find markets outside its own borders.” … Violence: “For the past 15 years, [UConn's Peter Turchin] has been taking the mathematical techniques that once allowed him to track predator–prey cycles in forest ecosystems, and applying them to human history. He has analysed historical records on economic activity, demographic trends and outbursts of violence in the United States, and has come to the conclusion that a new wave of internal strife is already on its way1. The peak should occur in about 2020, Cliodynamics is viewed with deep scepticism by most academic historians,”
Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood watch. Bipartisanship: “President Obama on Tuesday signed a law requiring the White House budget office to reveal exactly how automatic budget cuts looming in January 2013 will be carried out. The administration must issue its report to Congress in 30 days.” (Signaled by Politico in unsourced squib July 25.) Only Nixon can go to China. Only Obama can gut Social Security and Medicare.
The trail. What It Takes: “The Gephardts were also overwhelmed. ‘It was like camping without the woods. Without the privacy. And with lots more stuff.’ That’s how Iowa was for Jane Gephardt.” … Especially about the future: “the FiveThirtyEight model — where Obama’s probability of winning the Electoral College recently ticked above 70 percent.” … Teebee: “If television ad spending is any guide, the White House race will come down to nine states that have absorbed an eye-popping $350 million in commercials so far. CO, IA, NV, NH, NC, OH, PA, VA and FL are where the ad dollars have been concentrated. Obama carried all nine states in 2008, but polling and the ad crush indicate all are highly competitive this time. [T]he rest of the country is virtually ad-free.” So if you’re in one of the “lower 41? states, and not seeing any ads, feel free to vote for an emergent party like the Greens. Your vote has already been “thrown away.” …. Linky goodness: Links for following the election.
Robama vs. Obomney. The real voters: “Each candidate devoted a majority of his July events to collecting money, placing each in contact with smaller, elite groups of donors more often than larger public gatherings of voters.” … Kabuki: “Romney has opened up a new front in his battle for the US presidency, accusing Barack Obama of planning to ‘gut welfare reform’ by watering down requirements for beneficiaries to work or do training in return for their cheques. Obama’s re-election team responded by saying that Mr Romney asked for even greater flexibility to waive the central part of the law while he was governor of MA.” Same as ObamaCare/RomneyCare!
Green Party. Ballot access: “On August 6, the WA SoS said the Green Party [Presidental ballot] petition is valid.”
Romney. Too much information: “You know how boys liked to go through their dad’s top drawer, just sort of to see what he has in there, maybe find an old coin he might not miss?” … Losing the political class: “By early 2011, it was apparent that many reporters viewed Romney as inauthentic and were selecting anecdotes to report that were consistent with this narrative. the best comparison for the Romney/media dynamic is the way the press covered Al Gore in the 1999-2000 period.” … Losing the political class: “Good morning and welcome to our Tuesday politics live blog coverage, in which Mitt Romney brings a dancing pony to a horse race.” Sure, the Brits. But still. … Negative campaigning works: “[O]n dimensions related to wealth and empathy, Romney is perceived less favorably than Obama. Other public polls, such as those of the Washington Post and Gallup, confirm this.” … Veepstakes: “Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page was updated at least 68 times the day before John McCain announced her selection, with another 54 changes made in the five previous days previous. By contrast, the other likely picks — Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchison — saw far fewer changes. [I]f Wikipedia changes offer any hint of what’s coming, then today might be a good day to bet on Ryan. ”
Obama. Tax returns: “[Reid] made a flat statement of fact. He said he has an “extremely credible source,” which in this context means someone with direct knowledge of Romney’s taxes who decided to pick up the phone and dish about it to Harry Reid. Does anyone really believe this? Really?” It’s the “He said, she said.” Then again, Mormon infighting? A “double-bubble” operation? [Caution: foil ahead]. … War on women: “Obama will draw fresh attention to his administration’s decision to require most employers to offer free contraceptive coverage, when he’s introduced in Denver Wednesday by Sandra Fluke, the young woman who came to prominence for supporting that policy.” … Teebee: “This week, the Obama camp has five campaigns on the [WSJ Presidential Ads Chart], while Romney has two, conservative groups also have two, while a liberal group has one.” … The Big Dog: “Clinton is being given an exceptional piece of prime time to speak, the night before Obama makes his acceptance speech, a slot usually reserved for the running mate.” I thought both Clintons were racists. Did I not get the memo?
* 31 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with tubs of Boston Baked Beans for everybody on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. All the rest have 31.