D - 61 and counting*
We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.-- Lord Palmerston
Meet the Press as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: "GREGORY: where are the jobs? PELOSI: they went away under George W. Bush GREGORY: when are they coming back? PELOSI: ask all the job creators with their big tax cuts."
Occupy. Egypt: "Egypt's Revolutionary Youth Coalition, which drew thousands to Cairo's Tahrir Square last year until former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, officially announced its dissolution Saturday." #NATGAT: Transcript of Chris Hedges speech (KL).
Montreal. Summer schedule: "As activists in Ontario prepare to bring Quebec's struggle to their campuses this fall, they'll get a chance to meet some of the architects [CLASSE] of the student strike, and build solidarity between movements in Ontario and Quebec, thanks to the Quebec-Ontario Student Solidarity Tour." ... Silent majority: "Bill 78 being still in effect, and forbidding all protests or picket lines preventing the return for the catch up session from going smoothly, the Quebec government can only hope that the student movement sets up impenetrable pickets in front of the college entrances, which will revive the climate of confrontation and disorder. In such a situation, with elections starting mid-August or maybe even sooner, Jean Charest's liberals can hope to win a fourth mandate on the theme of law and order." ... Zeitgest: "UQAM is holding the first-ever International Symposium on Zombies." ... Water, St Lawrence Seaway monitor: "Levels are critically low."
FL. Demographics: "Century Village — the largest condo development in Broward County — is now 60 percent Democratic, down from 77 percent in 2002."... Economy: "Floridians are earning less and taking more low-wage jobs than they were a year ago… FL trails only MN, NV and CT in wage decline." ... Die off: Tuberculosis uncontained in FL; 13 dead, 99 ill, as worst TB outbreak in 20 years kept secret. State rushes closure of its only TB hospital in Lantana."
IA. "[BRANSTAD:] Hard working IA taxpayers are accustomed to paying a significant amount for their health costs whether they're working for a private sector business or a non-profit or, of course, if they're self-employed they're paying 100 percent. And for far too long the tax dollars of these hard working Iowans have gone to pay the entire cost for most of our state employees' health care." All must suffer!
KY. Water: "The water coming off the mine site is a dark, rusty orange color. It looks a little better at the drainage end, but the pond leaks, and it sometimes overflows. When it does, Raccoon Creek runs orange, sometimes for days." ... Water: "As a result of continuing high temperatures and limited rainfall, the Energy and Environment Cabinet Friday announced a water shortage watch for 27 counties in KY. A watch means the extreme weather has the 'potential to threaten the normal availability of drinking water supply sources.'"
LA. Katrina aftermath: "Cathryn asked for a couple of recipes that she had before she lost all hers to flooding in 2005. I think I found both of them."
OH. Corruption: "The chairman of the Franklin County D Party has resigned amid investigations by county officials and the OH secretary of state's office into payments made to a campaign fundraiser."
NY. Fracking: "Rs, who have been largely supportive of hydrofracking, argue that [fracking] will bring jobs. However, the counter-argument to that is that any jobs created would be temporary. The companies would come in, drill, extract their natural gas, than move on. The towns that are in favor of this though, said any economic impact, even a minimal one, would be welcome." So, desperate localities are a win-win! Explains why no multitrillion bailouts for them, I guess…. Corruption: "Jordan-Elbridge School District's tab for trying to remove two administrators hits $1.19 million, will grow" (Bob). Administrators, it seems, have functional tenure. ... Debt: "[The city of Niagara Falls has] a new plan to draw college graduates by paying their student loans."
PA. Fracking: "Credit people such as Vera Scroggins, an amateur videographer who lugs equipment over hill and dale, into town and country, recording municipal meetings, interviews with residents, and fracking spills that were beyond the wherewithal of the sparse professional reporting staff in rural northern PA, where the fledgling shale gas industry took root in 2009." There are many Veras…. Fracking: "Activists from Marcellus Earth First! have erected a slash pile blockade and two tree sits blocking an access road to an EQT hydro-fracking site in Moshannon State Forest in Clearfield Co., Pa., halting drilling operations set to begin this week." ... Downward spiral: "In defiance of an injunction issued in Lackawanna County Court, hundreds of city employees will open their checks today to find they were paid only minimum wage for their work."
TN. Excellent backgrounder on Highlander Folk School in Grundy County and the Civil Rights movement.
TX. Legalization: "Texas Ds have joined … an ever-growing list of state political parties — who endorse decriminalization of pot."
VA. Corruption: "But the perks that come with membership on the prestigious [UVA Board of Visitors] panel can make it seem more like a corporate board than volunteer duty." ... Corruption: "The current members of the board have given many millions of dollars to the university, and board members are in a unique position to align their gifts with the university's needs." Vice versa, surely?
WI. Privatization: "I Feel Like They're Trying to Kill Me!" Citizen reaction to non-emergency medical care provider Logisticare. Much link goodness. Check out the "call script" -- this is "the market state" in action. ... Privatization: "State agencies spent $363.8 million on private contractors — an increase of 26 percent compared to the previous fiscal year." ... Legacy parties: "I have heard too many leaders naysay contributions that are not directly related to elections. But we should embrace those who contribute to the push for progressive policies in other ways as partners and allies."
HCR. Tax: "No amount of prodding, it seems, will get the White House to concede that the individual mandate tied to the health-care overhaul is, at bottom, a tax." It's only Constitutional under Congress's taxing power. Alrighty then. …. "[DICK DURBIN:] Let's get down to the bottom line here: Mitt Romney is the ObamaCare daddy." Translation: Vote for Obama! He made Mitt Romney's failed state plan a Federal law!
Jobs. In touch, like, totally: "Obama barely mentioned the latest jobs report in his first appearance after it was released. 'It' s still tough out there,' he said." "Out there." Snark watch: "If there is anything we can be sure will remain weaker than the US labour market between now and November it is Mr Romney's electoral skills." ... Righteous rant watch, Pierce: "The economy added 80,000 new jobs last month. That's roughly 32,000 fewer people than will see Tennessee play Troy in Knoxville on the Saturday before election day this autumn. That is not a recovery. That is not even the hint of a gleam of a promise of a wish for a recovery. That is not even standing in one place. That is a constant, barely perceptible, but grinding backsliding of expectations and hopes and dreams and wishes that grow fainter by the day. The country is standing still, up to its knees is mud, and everything is receding. We are the United States of Tantalus, and the joke is not funny anymore." So why vote for the comedians telling it? ... Matthew Dowd: "I am beginning to get the feeling that voters are shrugging their shoulders about politicians, no longer believing that they can fix the economic problems." Nice work, Grover.
Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. Righteous rant watch, Riverdaughter: "WE have to take a haircut. That is what the so-called Grand Bargain is all about, ladies and gentlemen."
Outside Baseball. Word origins: "I believe the first use of 'the bubble' takes place on page 172 [of What It Takes], in reference to [Gary] Hart." ... Media critique: "The [ObamaCare] opinion will not appear on the website for a half-hour. So everyone in the country not personally at 1 First St., NE in Washington, DC is completely dependent on the press to get the decision right." And see at "arbitrage"…. Disenfranchisement, AP study: "The numbers suggest that the legitimate votes rejected by the laws are far more numerous than are the cases of fraud that advocates of the rules say [claim] they are trying to prevent. Thousands more votes could be in jeopardy for this November, when more states with larger populations are looking to have similar rules in place." Classic ratchet effect: Rs restrict the franchise, D's do nothing to prevent, proceed make gestures of amelioration (and use the "issue" as a fundraising hook)…. Academic integrity: Fracking studies roundup. … Continuity of government: "And yet [succession] is something we take for granted today. Elections are fought fiercely, but they end. The results are rarely disputed, and basically never with violence. " Hmm. If you have to mention it...
The trail. Obama protection detail in pictures… Swing states: "In a swing state, you're part of the presidential campaign," says political scientist Darrell West, author of Air Wars. "Everywhere else, you're outside." …. Swing counties: "When President Barack Obama won CO four years ago, 30 percent of all votes cast in the state came from Arapahoe, Jefferson and Larimer counties (Obama won all three). And those counties boast one-third — 213,610 people — of all registered unaffiliated voters in Colorado."
Socialist Workers Party. "[T]he Socialist Workers Party regained qualified party status in FL. …. The ticket expects to appear on the ballot in CO, FL, IA, LA, MN, NJ, and WA. That would be the fewest number of states that the Socialist Workers Party has been on the ballot for President since 1956."
Robama vs. Obomney watch. 1%-ers behaving badly: "A New York City [Romney donor] a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. "I don't think the common person is getting it," she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. "Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them. But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies -- everybody who's got the right to vote [for now] -- they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income -- one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact. We've got the message." First, how did Romney's advance team let a reporter get near a funder? Second, and of course, Obama is hurting them -- wounding them, some mortally; see Pierce above. Which doesn't imply that Romney will help.
Romney. Veepstakes: "T-Paw could help with the 'Mitt is not a robot' campaign since, by winger standards, he's seems to be a fairly nice guy." … Boehner: "This election is going to be a referendum on the president's failed economic policies." Or not...
Obama. Swing counties: "'It is much more detailed and systematic than last time, and each turf is much smaller,' says Jill Wildenberg, a veteran volunteer from 2008 who has returned for the 2012 election." Visionary minimalism: Win on a few swing counties in a few swing states. …. Populism bad: "Mr. Obama and his allies are testing the proposition that they can avoid tripping over the line into a full-tilt [purely rhetorical] attack on the wealthy and still make an aggressive case that Mr. Romney's success came at the expense of American workers and that the Republican Party is doing the bidding of its wealthy benefactors." ... Tickets required: "[A]t the four events in OH, the crowds were small, enthusiastic and loyal, with a ticket required for entrance." ... Advance team #FAIL: "The man who introduced Barack Obama in Poland [OH] on Friday was found by a judge to have violated "trade secrets" from a previous employer and owes $515,218 to that company." ... Advance team win: "[Romney supporter Richard Brysac of Parma [(77) attempted to hush] protester Al Neal of Canton, who attended with a handful of members of a group called Fight for Fair Economy Ohio, by emptying a bottle of water into the 25-year-old union worker's mouth." FWIW, Neal's group is an SIEU-funded D front co-opting Occupy 99% trade dress.
* 61 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with assorted regional specialties on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Yankees great Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961.