D - 45 and counting*
"Some people give me the creeps." --Exene Cervenka
Occupy. Policing: "One of the most notable things, to me, about the police, is that as they have become more and more 'militarized' they have become more and more ineffective. It now takes 10 car loads to quell disturbances that 30 years ago a single car could have handled. I was recently treated to the spectacle of less than 50 Occupy Toronto protestors marching, surrounded on all three sides by police, a squad of horse-cops following and a bunch of paddy wagons in addition. Dealing with any sort of real crowds always involves bussing in cops from hundreds of miles around, and their reactions in crisis are slow, confused and yes, brutal." ... Occupy Homes: "On May 30, a group of Occupy Homes activists barricaded themselves around the home of David and Alejandra Cruz — a brother and sister whose family was evicted after their home was foreclosed on by PNC Bank. Fourteen protesters were charged with trespassing. But after refusing a plea deal offered by the City Attorney’s office, these same individuals now face third-degree rioting — a gross misdemeanor, along with four other misdemeanors — which carry a total sentence of up to two years in prison and a $7,000 fine."
AR. Money: "From what a good source of mine has said, it seems as if North Little Rock’s city government may soon join Fayetteville and Eureka Springs in passing an anti-Citizens United resolution as part of the Move to Amend effort."
CA. Thuggery: "The immediate catalyst for the [Anaheim] protests was the death of 25-year-old Manuel Diaz on Saturday afternoon. According to media reports, he was shot twice by police in a residential neighborhood – the first time in the leg and then, once he was on the ground, in the head. He was apparently unarmed. The Anaheim police had already been the target of weekly protests by bereaved relatives of earlier shootings victims, who have accused them in court filings of operating "like a death squad." Sunday, police lost control of a dog which ran towards mourners and protesters at the scene of Diaz's death and began biting people at random." ... Thuggery: "But a video report showed the police firing projectiles at people who were not traveling in large crowds. The freelance journalist Tim Pool, who was live-streaming the [Anaheim] protests on Ustream Tuesday night, showed on video how the police fired projectiles at him after he waved a press card and identified himself as a member of the news media."
FL. Privatization: "Signaling a major difference in philosophy from his predecessor, Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid now blames a rush to privatize government services for last year’s purchasing scandal. [Reid] said that as the recession hit, the county laid off staffers with experience managing contracts. At the same time, the county started using more contracts." ... Voting: "Rumors swirled late Wednesday that two women were being questioned by police after being caught with a bundle of absentee ballots in Hialeah, a political hotbed where many elderly residents prefer to vote by mail. But few details were available from police and prosecutors. Absentee-ballot brokers are nothing new in Miami-Dade’s rough-and-tumble political scene." ... Voting: "[O]ut of the 107 supposed 'non-citizens' out of 2,625 'potential non-citizens' identified to county officials, [90%] remain unverified as 'non-citizens,' by the admission of the woman responsible for removing the majority of them from FL's rolls. Nonetheless, the bulk of the corporate media has continued to uncritically report Scott and Detzner's unverified claim that 107 registered "non-citizen" voters were, in fact, discovered as a result of their ill-fated purge. They weren't."
MI. Referendum: "If the high court says the referendum [currently under challenge in a 'font size' suit] can go forward, the emergency manager law would be frozen. That could call into question Muskegon Heights school district converting to a charter system, and Allen Park being under review for a state takeover, and the Benton Harbor manager selling off park land that's supposed to be set aside."
NY. Tinpot tyrants watch: "JPMorgan Chase officials denied that they shut down access to the [Chase Manhattan Plaza] open space in response to Occupy Wall Street, despite the fact that it happened a day before OWS protesters arrived in an attempt to move into the plaza last September. Several CB1 members questioned the bank's statement since security guards at the plaza had told them the fences went up because of the protesters, not because of a waterproofing project."
OH. Water: "[Kasich's] order signed Wednesday instructs state agencies to help farmers seeking federal assistance on loans. That includes emergency low-interest loans for crop losses, relief payments for non-insurable losses and temporary deferral payments on federal loans."
PA. Corruption: "[Dorothy June Hairston Brown], 75, and four executives from her charter schools, were charged with defrauding three charter schools of more than $6.5 million in taxpayer funds." ... Fracking: "The [EPA] concluded that, overall, the [Dimock] results do not suggest health risks from the water supply that has been at the center of controversy over the safety of shale gas development. That's partly because some homes, located amid Marcellus Shale drilling operations, showed no signs of contamination, and partly because filters are addressing problems in homes where high levels arsenic, barium, and manganese might otherwise create risks." ... Voting: "In Philadelphia, an enormous 437,237 people, or 43 percent of city voters, may not possess the valid PennDOT ID necessary to vote under the state's controversial new law."
TX. Voting: TX officials argue citizens can get free IDs at state DPS drivers license offices, except they're closing the offices (with map).
VA. Creative [cough] class: 11 of top 20 creative class counties in Beltway.
WI. Money: "But [election reformer Mike] McCabe notes that in the 2009-10 session, when Ds controlled both houses, bills to regulate issue ads and require shareholder approval for corporate campaign spending passed the Senate but died in the Assembly." So the Ds should stop whining about how Walker won with out-of-state money. ... Fracking: "The number of WI frac sand mining operations has more than doubled in the past year, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism found, and the state leads the nation in production. Frac sand production has increased seven-fold in the past decade, according to the United States Geological Survey. Thomas Dolley, a mineral commodity specialist at the USGS, says he can't give state-specific numbers to protect individual companies' proprietary information." Huh?! (includes excellent map) ... Voting: "What is still lacking from [the League of Woman Voters] report [on the WI recall] is an observation of the chain of custody for the votes (by that I mean who handled the ballots and how, where they were stored, and what condition they were in when they emerged). Also no mention is made of the integrity or lack thereof of the voting machines used on June 5th in Wisconsin." ... Identity theft: "The state Department of Revenue acknowledged Tuesday posting online by mistake the tax numbers of tens of thousands of businesses and consumers - at least the fourth time in six years the state has released confidential information and raised the fear of identity fraud. As a safeguard the state will offer free credit monitoring to consumers affected by the mistaken release."
Outside baseball. The telescreen: "I cannot make my doctor's office stop showing The Today Show no matter how much I beg. The nurses like it, she says to me. The morning after the Aurora shootings, before anybody even knew what this was, we were having a panel debate on whether you should 'be worried about taking your kids to [The Dark Knight Rises].'" TV should be abolished from all public spaces, especially airports and waiting rooms. Try watching it after you've gotten clean. It's horrific. ... Government: "I had a total “Aha!” moment, where I understood how forest monitoring actually works. [E]very national forest puts out a quarterly Schedule of Proposed Actions (SOPA). The SOPA lists every action being taken in that particular forest, from replacing the bathrooms in a campground, or trail bridges that are falling apart, to prescribed fires, grazing or tree thinning. For every action on the schedule, the forest service must give adequate notice, and wait to receive public comments. There are typically at least two rounds of scoping and comments."
Media critique. Teams: "Freeh delivered the crux of his findings via a press conference, one covered live by virtually every media organization with an interest in sports or news. With one glaring exception: the Big Ten Network, the outlet tasked with exhaustively covering Penn State’s athletic conference. As one of its signature athletic programs crumbled, BTN was airing its standard summer fare—swim meets, football games from previous seasons, and documentaries on other, lesser pigskin icons. Network executives hid behind the lame explanation that BTN was “not a news organization.'" In other words, they behaved just like the mainstream press with the banksters. Just a different "team-owned broadcast operation."
Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood watch: "The Senate Wednesday evening approved a bill giving the Obama administration 30 days to describe its plans for implementing the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect beginning in January." ... "Senior Democrats are pushing GOP leaders to replace the looming sequester cuts with a bipartisan bargain on deficit reduction. [In a letter to House Rs,] the lawmakers urged the Rs to start 'immediate [i.e. not lame duck] negotiations' on 'a balanced deficit reduction plan' that would prevent automatic sequester cuts from taking effect next year." In the run-up, nice to see Obama pounding Romney daily on how he wants to cut Medicare and slash Social Security. Oh, wait, that's not happening. That seems odd.
Robama vs. Obomney watch. Lesser evil: "Fracking is reckless, irresponsible and downright evil. But the unwillingness of environmentalists to oppose energy policies from the Obama White House that they would never have tolerated from Republicans makes Barack Obama 'the more effective' not the 'lesser' evil. Of course Mitt Romney is evil as well, and one of them will be president until the end of 2016. [H]ow is this politics of choosing evil working out for us?"
The trail. Enthusiasm: "Democrats are significantly less likely now (39%) than to say they are 'more enthusiastic about voting than usual' in the coming presidential election. Republicans are more enthusiastic now than in 2008, and the same as in 2004." ... Personality: "Romney’s overall favorable/unfavorable score remains a net negative – a trait no other modern presumptive GOP presidential nominee (whether Bob Dole, George W. Bush or John McCain) has shared."
Elizabeth Warren. Teebee ad: "We need a cop on the beat to make sure no one steals your purse on Main Street and no one steals your pension on Wall Street." No, we need a cop on the beat who will arrest banksters for crimes already committed, about which Warren is conspicuously silent.
Green Party. Jill Stein on Anaheim: "Shooting of unarmed people is intolerable, and cannot be allowed to become a routine feature of urban policing. And police brutality towards innocent bystanders in a protest cannot be accepted." ... Cheri Honkala: "When police appear to be killing people who are simply scared or committing minor offenses, the community has a responsibility to show up and demand answers. They shouldn’t be met with pepper spray, rubber bullets, and police dogs. We have to recognize the legitimacy of the concerns that are driving protests and give people a fair hearing."
Romney. White man's burden: "Mitt Romney's campaign forcefully repudiated a quotation, ascribed to one of his foreign policy advisers [ROMNEY: "You have a lot of people who offer advice"] and published by a leading British newspaper, suggesting that President Barack Obama does not understand America's 'Anglo-Saxon heritage.'" ... White man's burden: "'It's not true. If anyone said that, they weren't reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign,' [a Romney spokeshole] told CBSNews.com in an email. Saul did not comment on what specifically was not true." Except it's the right-wing Telegraph, which stands by the story. Commentary points out how the Telegraph's loose guidelines for anonymous quotes have worked against Ds in the past. But now they work against Romney, so he's losing the political class. ... "You didn’t build that" flap: "[The Romney] campaign spotlighted Rebecca Smith, owner of the construction company A.D. Morgan Corp. The A.D. Morgan Corporation employs 50 people and has annual revenues of about $80 million, according to its website. The company lists more than 130 projects and developments. [T]he list is nearly all government projects."
Obama. "You didn’t build that" flap: "'Those ads taking my words about small business out of context — they’re flat-out wrong,' Obama says in the commercial. 'Of course Americans build their own businesses. Every day, hardworking people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs and make our economy run. And what I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has.'" Terrible ad. Romney's not the only candidate who sounds like a robot. Also, "out of context" is whining. And I guess ordinary working people don't "make our economy run"? ... "War on women" flap: "'I’ve got two daughters,' [Obama] told 950 donors yesterday as he talked about Planned Parenthood. 'I want them to control their own health care choices.'" Two words: Stupak amendment.
* 45 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with a swell feed of food-like products on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 45. And not 78.