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D - 51 and counting*

Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations... In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others. -- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

AZ. Laboratories of democracy: "'I'm furious at you right now,' [Sen. Rich] Crandall said in [phone] message for Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson. 'You better not try to run any education legislation next year.'"

CA. Foreclosure: "The LA city attorney's office has filed a lawsuit that accuses U.S. Bancorp of becoming 'one of the largest slumlords in the city'" (MillySwedge). Why not just give the houses to the homeless? We couldn't get worse off. ... Top two: "In all 81 instances, the minor [emergent] party candidate did not place first or second in the primary and therefore was blocked from the general election campaign." That's not a bug. It's a feature.

CO. Water: "The Bastrop area continues to recover from last year’s disastrous wildfires, but not everyone who fled the area will return. That presents a problem for utilities like Aqua Water Supply Corporation, which is trying to restore water service to as many homes as possible."

GA. Mass incarceration: "GA prison officials, who denied the existence of a hunger strike its first four weeks, finally acknowledged that some prisoners are on their 36th day without food." ... Mass incarceration: "'Adequate medical care, 30-day review [of their imprisonment in the Special Management Unit], access to the commissary and personal hygiene items, restored visitation, being able to call home more than once a month, exercise once per day,' [prisoners wife Delma] Jackson said, listing the demands." AJC coverage a story in itself.

IA. Water: "Politically, it's easier to fight for disaster assistance in the event of drought or flood than for policies that might reduce the risk of extreme weather in the future."

IN. Foreclosure: "The city dinged me for tall weeds at my bank's house" (JustMe). Read the whole thing. From Muncie, America's Middletown.

LA. Genius for association: "According to Elizabeth Zibilich, an original member of the group and its 'minister of disinformation,' the Noisician Coalition is composed of people from all walks of life who come together with the shared goal of making music and having a great time."

MN. Corruption, voting: "Based on the findings released by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Common Cause believes that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges against Tony Sutton, the Minnesota Republican Party and the shell corporation that was created – Count Them All Properly, Inc."

NY. Corruption: "[Leonard Litwin,] billionaire New York City condo developer doled out at least $907,080 to state and local officials over the last six months. Any individual, including Litwin, is capped at $150,000. But each LLC is treated as its own individual." ... Water, food: "'We specialize in collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens. These would normally be twice the size and twice as green. So they're starting to take discoloration and they're smaller.'" ... Senate Ds fracking forum (video).

OH. Legitimacy: "City council could face political repercussions for wanting to put only four of 17 charter amendments proposed by a citizens committee on the Nov. 6 ballot." (That's Marcy Kaptur's district, and a ground zero for foreclosure resistance.) ... Voting: "SoS Jon Husted on Wednesday said the Voters First coalition was more than 130,000 signatures shy of the roughly 385,000 valid signatures needed to get the proposed constitutional amendment [for a citizen's redistricting commission] before voters."

OR. Foreclosure: "'A beneficiary that uses MERS to avoid publicly recording assignments of a trust deed cannot avail itself of a nonjudicial foreclosure process that requires that very thing--publicly recorded assignments,' the court ruled." MERS will appeal.

PA. Fracking: "Westmoreland County, where Romney visited a company invested in natural gas drilling, was once a solidly D region that has swung increasingly R in recent years." No place to go.

VA. Jury nullification: "A jury of six women and one man found an Albemarle County man not guilty of marijuana possession Wednesday night after deliberating just over two hours. Philip Cobbs told jurors that he 'had no idea' two waist-high marijuana plants were growing on his 37-acre farm [it is a weed]. ... It took nearly two hours to seat a jury. Six potential jurors were stricken for cause. 'Possession? So what?' joked one [seated (!!)] female juror." If either legacy party really cared about small business in the swing state of VA, they'd legalize marijuana immediately.

VT. Energy: "Corporate energy giant TransCanada is appealing the property value assessment of their Bellows Falls hydroelectric dam, seeking to reduce the property’s value by $22 million. [This] would result in a total tax revenue loss of $640,000."

WA. Voting: "[Y]ou can register to vote using the state's newest online registration system — one that allows you to do so via Facebook."

WI. Voting: "Circuit Judge David Flanagan ruled that Wisconsin Act 23, the voter ID law, 'tells more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters who do not now have an acceptable form of photo identification that they cannot vote unless they first obtain a photo ID card.' That creates a 'substantial impairment' to the right to vote guaranteed by the Wisconsin Constitution." The State may appeal. ... Water: "After declaring a drought emergency for more than half of Wisconsin's counties last week, Gov. Scott Walker expanded the declaration statewide on Wednesday. [The order] also waives fees and expedites the permitting process to allow farmers to divert water from certain streams and lakes." Government handout! ... Tinpot tyrants: "The complaint by the EEOC against Missoula Mac said since at least 2006, several male employees at the Reedsburg [MacDonalds] subjected female co-workers to sexual harassment, including 'sexual comments, kissing, touching of their private areas and forcing their hands onto the men's private parts.'" Settled for $1 million.

Outside baseball. The filbuster, important: "[McConnell] questioned Reid about plans to change the rules to eliminate filibusters of motions to proceed, which must be adopted for the Senate to take up bills. Reid said in a recent radio interview that he would push the rules change if he remains Majority Leader in January. Currently, motions to proceed can be filibustered and 60 votes are needed to overcome that blockade." Reid and the Ds could have done this in 2009, when they had the House, the Senate, the Presidency, and a mandate for change. They did not. Therefore, passing strong legislation (stimulus package, health care, financial reform) was not their top spriority. ... Voting: "The Department of Homeland Security is opening up its immigration database to several battleground states that want to identify and kick off non-citizens from their voter registration rolls." The data is useless to the states for any legitimate purpose unless they can match the primary keys of their data to the DHS data, which they can't. But Obama never passes up a chance to reinforce an R talking point, does he? ... No true Scotsman: "[JON HUNTSMAN:] True conservatives despise crony capitalism." ... Second world: "57 percent of adults think college is a good investment, down from 81 percent just four years ago." They're right. Sadly, it's a debt scam.

The economy. Bipartisanshi*: "While [64%] say Obama has at least some ownership of the recession, [81%] blame his predecessor, Bush. 46% of registered voters - including more than half of independents - say Obama's economic policies will never improve the economy. More voters believe the president's policies will make their economic situation worse (39 percent) than improve it (26 percent). Presumptive R presidential nominee Mitt Romney fares better."

The trail. TPM: "You’ll note that Obama’s net favorability has only gone into net negative territory for one brief period during his presidency — during the height of the debt ceiling crisis." And now.

Romney. #FAIL: "This week, the Romney team is going to throw more of a spotlight on Solyndra, charging Chicago-style cronyism led the Obama administration to give loans to the failed solar power company financed in part by Obama donors." Works only for knuckle-dragging solar h8ters. What Romney can't say is that Obama's owned by the banksters. Because he is, and they all are. So, trivia. ... Tax returns: "The two D leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives are among hundreds of senators and representatives from both parties who refused to release their tax records." ... Tax returns: "And here’s Mitt on FOX News Monday saying that he’ll release two years and saying if it’s good enough for the wife of John Kerry, it’s good enough for me." Rich people fighting! How adorable! .... No more Mr. Nice Bot: "'[T]his is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate,' the adviser said." Why don't they look into caucus fraud in TX 2008? Can't anyone here play this game?

Obama. Obama to jobless: Drop dead. White House spokeshole Carney: "Obama has not met for six months with the CEOs and others on his Jobs Council in part because he’s simply been too busy." Alrighty then. ... Control freaks: "[Funders,] according to two people present, had their cell phones and any recording devices taken away so the president could speak openly without worrying about it being repeated, tweeted or posted." Hmm. "Openly..." Control freaks: "The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative ... [T]he press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name." "Stenographers" -- the snark comes true! ... Praise from Sir Hubert: "Pause for two beats and pay Prizzi’s Honor-style homage to the ruthless killing machine that is the combined White House-Chicago operation." Winning the political class! ... Hagiography: "[W]hat Obama has built in Chicago: A unique, in-house analytical empire that has developed an unrivaled capacity to churn through voter data and translate insights into tactics." Winning the political class! (In 2008, Clinton's campaign ran, not on the web, but on throwaway cell phones because that's where her margin was: Working people who weren't surfing. If she'd been granted the delegate count, that would look like GENIUS, not Luddism.) ... But just because you've got a database doesn't mean you've got good data (CB).

* 51 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with lots and lots of bottled water on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. There are absolutely no extraterrestrials housed in Area 51.

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