D – 54 and counting*
"A new sheen of consummate professionalism." -- Patrick Bateman, American Psycho
Meet the Press as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: "GILLESPIE: Romney left to save the Olympics and America! GREGORY: so was he responsible for decisions made after 1999 or not? GILLESPIE: he retired retroactively! GREGORY: that’s hilarious GILLESPIE: that’s the best we’ve got" Adding, oh, man, I thought "retired retroactively" was bobblespeak, but ">Gillespie actually said it. No! You dinnit!
FL. TB outbreak: "Although state health officials maintain the outbreak is now mostly contained within the Jacksonville homeless, a state database obtained by The Palm Beach Post on Friday showed sick people with [TB strain] FL 046 have also popped up in 17 other Florida counties. About 23 percent of all FL 046 cases have occurred outside Duval County, analysis suggests, and most of those have been identified in the past two years." ... Voting: "In a victory for Republicans, the federal government has agreed to let FL use a law enforcement database to challenge people's right to vote if they are suspected of not being U.S. citizens. FL has agreed that it can challenge voters only if the state provides a "unique identifier," such as an "alien number," for each person in question. Alien numbers generally are assigned to foreigners living in the country legally, often with visas or other permits such as green cards. The DHS decision may affect places beyond FL, because CO and other states have asked for similar access to the federal database." So FL doesn't have the primary keys, but it's going to try a match anyhow. Good luck with that. ... Hmm: "At their annual Jefferson Jackson dinner, Ds seemed more fired up about beating Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 than in defeating Republican Mitt Romney in November." … Corporate subsidies: "For people involved in the performing arts in Miami -- as opposed to socialites and politicians who count names on bricks -- it was clear Miami could not support a gargantuan edifice while performing arts organizations struggled to find their footing at the same time. It was a foregone conclusion that the Performing Arsht Center would depend on billionaires and/or road shows of Cats!, the musical."
GA. Mass incarceration: "'One of every six inmates in state prisons is mentally ill, and the man who locks them up says that's too many. I think it's about time to decriminalize mental illness," said Georgia Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens." Blacks still at the back of the bus, then.
IA. Legitimacy crisis: "[RANDI SHANNON, former R candidate: 'With the abandonment of The Republic, and especially following 1871, the abuses of the UNITED STATES CORPORATION heaped upon the American People and the Peoples of the International Community have been inestimable and unconscionable.'" So, internal secession. Remarkable, but less remarkable than LIBOR, MERS, HAMP, TARP? Hard to say. ... Solid waste: "With no public debate, the Marion City Council in May hired Cedar Rapids consulting firm Latham & Associates to conduct a feasibility study into creating a municipal [trash-to-energy] utility." … Solid waste: "By those figures, a Marion [trash-to-energy] plant would either be much more efficient than any currently planned, if it is to provide all the city’s power. Or it would require more trash than the 300 tons a day now planned." Lots more trucks on the streets from out of town.
IL. Lynn Sweet on Jesse Jackson, Jr.: "It's very premature to write off the political career of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.)--at an undisclosed location getting treated for a serious "mood disorder." He has $246,625 in his political warchest as of June 30--a virtually unknown GOP opponent running in a heavily D district with no political cash and a savvy top political strategist--his wife."
NY. Tinpot tyrants: "'We've got the camera out, and that's when they called for backup. That's when eight police ninjas came out of nowhere.' Hess allegedly was beaten down to the surface of the platform, and the cuffs were then slapped on both." All for dancing on a subway platform! ... Out of rehab: "[D]isgraced former congressman [Anthony Weiner] — who’s sitting on a $4.5 million campaign war chest — is mulling a bid for citywide office next year and "seriously considering" a mayoral run, multiple sources told The Post.
OH. Privatization: "The Ohio Virtual Academy is making lots of money. And why not? It has a teacher student ratio of 51:1 even though the state pays it for a ratio of 15:1. Only 10% of its state funding went to teachers, and they cleared a profit of 31.5%. What a cool business!" … Voting: "The Ohio secretary of state has trimmed early in-person voting in the state's biggest county."
PA. Privatization: "Federal agents executed a series of search warrants today at PA [charter] Cyber School offices in Beaver County and several other locations in PA and OH." … Sandusky: "[I]n light of the shameful conduct of Penn State’s leadership, revealed Thursday in the Freeh report, the NCAA must use its authority to do what’s needed now: Shut down the Nittany Lions football program." Just the one? … Then again: "Football is all they have. Without it, State College is just plain fricking boring and they’ll be left to competitive cow tipping."
TN. Austerity: "Taft [Youth Center] also was selected to close because plans were already in the works to expand a nearby adult prison in Bledsoe County."
TX. Public goods: "[T]he southern TX city decided to turn the [abandoned Wal-Mart] into its new public library. And not just any public library neither: Upon its completion, the McAllen Public Library became the largest single-story library in the United States. … Registration by first-time patrons went up by 23% in the first library's first month of operation." …. Corruption: "Twelve male drill instructors have come under scrutiny for sexual misconduct with female Air Force members during training at Lackland in San Antonio, TX, where all incoming airmen and airwomen attend boot camp." ... Water: "But the expansions come at a time when TX is facing critical questions about the availability of water and power. The crippling drought, which has abated but not ended, forced a Formosa Plastics facility along the coast in Point Comfort to temporarily adjust to receiving as much as 20 percent less water from a nearby lake as its level receded. Chemical plants need vast amounts of water for cooling and cleaning."
VA. Zeitgeist watch: "LIBOR is a very important stick of data. My second mortgage is pegged to it. Can anyone spell "F R E E M A R K E T?" A moderate, civic-minded blog with sponsors. Title of the post: "The desperate need for financial regulation." Not on the table.
WI. Extractive economy, Walker's iron mine: "Gogebic Taconite never performed experimental drilling necessary to determine how much waste rock will be left behind when iron ore is removed. It’s impossible without those tests to know exactly what is under the earth’s surface, Philip Fauble, mining coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said."
ObamaCare. The mandate: "Obama used the word 'tax' to describe the health care mandate under his reforms, a departure from his prior etymological stance that it is a penalty." Etymological. Bring your own parser!
Media critique. Ancient history: "There is something editors used to say to reporters new to a beat: 'If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.'"
Outside baseball. Zeitgeist watch: "[RICHARD POSNER:] I've become less conservative since the Rs started becoming goofy." Since 1964, then? ... Voting: "The stricter laws, like those that require photo identification, seem to decrease turnout by about 2 percent as a share of the registered voter population. … I estimate [PA's law] would reduce Obama’s margin against Romney by a net of 1.2 percentage points." ... Privatization: "'The longer the House delays reforming the Postal Service, the more likely it is that nothing happens,' said Art Sackler of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, a group that represents the private-sector mailing industry.'" Good.
The trail. Disaffected Ds: "Parry interviewed Sam Brown, a prominent progressive of that time who served as Eugene McCarthy's Youth Coordinator. … Today, Sam Brown 'is not proud' of the fact that in 1968 he 'cast his ballot for a minor third-party candidate as a throwaway vote.' He sees his action as a de facto assist to Nixon's campaign." Shorter: "You have no place to go." Shortest: TINA. In fact, the Ds should heed the lessons of inequity aversion. But they won't, as this post shows. ... Ancient history from What It Takes: "Just a bunch of guys, pushed along by another bunch of guys, who are busy inventing the science of modern campaign warfare." … Ancient history from The Selling of the President: "[Nixon] refused to look at himself, even on a newscast. He refused to use a teleprompter, no matter how long the speech. Television was just one more slick trick and he was a poor boy from the West." (The notion that a teleprompter equals unethical artifice would be lost on Obama and, to a slightly lesser extent, Romney)."
Green party. An actual report from the Green Party convention. … "'[JILL STEIN:] We are in it to win it, but we're also in it to build it, and those are both wins in my book,' Stein, 62, said in an interview before her acceptance speech at the convention." ... "[JILL STEIN:] I’m now practicing political medicine because politics is the mother of all illnesses." ... Slate: "But the best thing the Greens have going for them is that Nader seems to have moved on. … There's no other evidence that they're strong, at all." Ouch!
Robama vs. Obomney watch. … Obama goes PoMo: "That is his argument and you don't hear me complaining about him making that argument, because if I was in his shoes I’d be making the same argument." The meta! It b-u-r-n-n-n-s!!!
Romney. Terrible coverage: "The candidate appeared to be helping his son and some of his grandkids prepare for a bike ride." ... Press picks the loser: "Mitt Romney blasted off message in hot summer." So who says? The press. That's the story. … Candidate from Richistan: "And so now Romney's just utterly flummoxed by this insistence that he act like he's somehow not an insanely rich douchebag. It's the equal opposite to what happened to Kerry, with the added benefit that in this case it's true: Your strength is now your weakness. Kerry was a war hero; now we're going to take that away from him. Romney was wealthy and successful, and now that's his downfall." Axelrove! (Also hubris, hamartia, and nemesis) … Dynastic wealth: "[Romney] has made hundreds of millions of dollars in part because he has structured most of his income in ways that enable him to pay the least amount of taxes possible. These tools are, theoretically, available to anyone, but, in practice, are available only to those with tens of thousands of dollars to spend every year on tax-and-estate planning." ... Tax returns: Will, Dowd, Kristol throw Romney under the bus. … Nobody likes him: "A Washington Post/ABC News poll this past week found that just 38% of Romney supporters said their vote would primarily be for him, as opposed to 57% who said their support was actually a vote against Mr. Obama. That finding is in line with a number of other recent polls, including a June survey by the Pew Research Center. Since 1988, no other incumbent or challenger has had a similarly low portion of affirmative support heading into November." ... Snark watch, Matt Taibbi: "He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair." As opposed to a drone strike.
Obama. Obama to unemployed: Drop dead. "If you're willing to work hard, then you can find a job that supports a family. " Wowsers. I guess that 8% nominal disemployment, the loss of homes, the health effects and excess deaths, the suicides, that's all because the peasants are lazy. … Doubleplusgood doublethink: "[OBAMA:] I think most Americans figure if you're the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does." However, most Americans are not supposed to figure if you're the party leader, greatest orator of your time, and Preznit of the United States that you are responsible for 8% unemployment or a gargantuan orgy of looting by a criminal class of banksters or a coming double-dip depression because Bain.
Bain flap. Doubling down: "[OBAMA:] No, we won't be apologizing. Sometimes these games are played during political campaigns. Understand what the issues are here: Mr Romney claims he's Mr. Fix-it for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience." True! … However, as Stoller points out discussing 'they're your quotes, sir' and IMNSHO 100% correctly, framing the only national expression of the people's sovereignty as a game is "cynicism as art," the act of a "narcissistic sociopath." So those are your choices, legacy party fans: A bot from Richistan, or Patrick Bateman. Well done, all.
* 54 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with Philly cheese steaks and wooter ice on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. CA has 54 + 1 (55) electoral votes. I've been looking forward to an actual, useful political number, and unfortunately it happened on my day off!