D – 70 and counting*
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.--James Madison, Federalist #51,
This Week with George Stephanopoulos, as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: "STEPHANOPOULOS: thanks for coming Paul Ryan: enjoy your last July Fourth outside of barbed wire losers"
Occupy. Occupy Philly activist on #NatGat: "I think this could be a turning point for the movement. Refocusing the movement, prioritizing things. [It won't be about] a list of demands, but starting to work together on a national scale." "Occupy Our Food Supply is bringing together the Occupy, sustainable farming, food justice, buy local, slow food, and environmental movements for a global day of action on February 27, 2012."
AL. Weather: "We were down most of Saturday because of a power outage at the Amazon Cloud data center where Left in Alabama is actually hosted. This e-storm, which also took down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram and others, in addition to the entire Soapblox network, was caused by an honest to gosh hurricane-like storm in VA."
CO. Fracking: "The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) plan to allow drilling on the Roan Plateau in Colorado .... has been stopped by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger for failing to adequately address environmental impacts." Extractive economy: "The water sale [to Anadarko Petroleum Corp] comes just a few months after Aurora agreed to sell potable water to Niagara Bottling Co., and amidst growing concerns among residents about the potential environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing."
DC. Weather: "Racing along at speeds over 60 mph, the bowing line of thunderstorms formed west of Chicago around 11 a.m. and by midnight approached the Atlantic ocean. It left a massive trail of destruction... This kind of fast-moving, long-lived, large, and violent thunderstorm complex is known as a derecho."
FL. Voter purge: "98.4% of the 2,625 people identified by the FL SOS as "potential noncitizens" remain on the rolls because the Supervisors of Elections found insufficient evidence that they were ineligible to be registered voters." Privatization: "[T]he initial set of maps showed the [St. Johns water] district-owned flood plains around Lake Apopka as having relatively little conservation value, an astonishing conclusion given their importance in bringing the polluted lake back to life. ... [This] is an agency whose staff has been under intense pressure to make nice with developers." Corruption: "A spreadsheet the state released by mistake reveals FL has pledged nearly $155 million in tax breaks and other incentives since January 2011 in return for promises to create up to 32,570 jobs."
IA. Starting today, Iowa has a new Public Information Board that is supposed to help enforce open records law. [The law] would keep draft or speculative documents confidential until they are brought before a governmental board for consideration and action. I anticipate many more government documents will be labeled "DRAFT" in the future"
LA. Laissez les bons temps rouler: "Profits reign so supreme now that if we have to choose between earning 50 cents and educating a student, or making 51 cents and telling the kid to go to hell, we'll gladly give the kid directions." Privatization, corruption: "At another private school, the Upperroom Bible Church Academy, just 24 percent of voucher students hit grade level this year. The school is housed in a windowless building on Lake Forest Boulevard in eastern New Orleans. Administrators did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment. It has 167 seats open for the fall, which, at the existing tuition rate, would bring the school close to $1 million in public money."
MA. ACA rebate check under the Medical Loss Ratio rule (with picture of check) Election year! Campaign hagiography from The Glob: "Scott Brown is at the stove, preparing bacon and cheese omelets, tossing eggshells into the sink with scarcely a glance, each one a perfect shot." That's actually the first sentence in the lead.
NC. Fracking: "[Gov Perdue vetoed the fracking bill because she] was not satisfied that drinking water, landowners, municipal and county governments and health and safety were protected in the bill. And she demanded that the General Assembly put such protections in the bill for her to sign it. So, unfortunately, Governor Perdue doesn't totally oppose fracking."
NJ. Decaying infrastructure. "New Jersey American Water, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management has lifted the precautionary boil water advisory for 18 of the 22 municipalities in Monmouth County which had been under the advisory since a bridge holding three large water mains collapsed at the company's Swimming River Water Treatment Plant last Friday.
MN. Snark watch: "SPEAKER JOHN BUGGER: Members of the House Flies of Representatives, we now enter debate on HF-456zzzzzzz, the Americans for Responsible Repeal of Bugocare Act. Majority Leader Skeeter, you have the floor. SKEETER: Mr. Speaker, there is but one reason we must abolish Bugocare and it has to do with fiscal responsibility and freedom. If all bugs have access to Bugocare those who most deserve the abandoned lollipop lying in the street will have to jostle with the simpletons whose mother didn't have the good sense to lay the eggs near the lollipop to begin with. I yield the balance of my time and my position of Majority Leader to my son Skeeter Jr. as my life cycle is complete. (Skeeter dies; younger mosquito pries microphone from his still-twitching sixth leg.)" Teh awesome.
OH. Fracking: "Loved ones aren't the only thing buried in the 122-year-old Lowellville Cemetery in eastern OH. Deep underground, locked in ancient shale formations, are lucrative quantities of natural gas. Whether to drill for that gas is causing soul-searching as cemeteries - including veterans' final resting places in Colorado and Mississippi - join parks, playgrounds, churches and residential backyards among the ranks of places targeted in the nation's shale drilling boom." Chain gangs? "The state of Ohio will use prison inmates to pick up highway trash and save some of the $4 million spent each year on roadside cleanups." Redistricting: "The initiative [for a proposed state constitutional amendment], proposed by Voters First Ohio, a coalition led by the League of Women Voters of Ohio, would create a nonpartisan Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission to draw General Assembly and congressional districts." Both parties hate this idea.
PA. Water: "Unfortunately, [unlike the Susquehanna] there is no river basin commission in the Ohio River basin, which includes the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers and their tributaries, keeping tabs on water levels in those streams. ... Without a robust monitoring system, DEP has scant, if any, capacity to determine if drillers are complying with their water use restrictions. To date, DEP has never ordered gas drillers operating in western Pennsylvania to suspend their water withdrawals." Corruption: "Newly uncovered emails in the Jerry Sandusky case show that Penn State officials were on the verge of blowing the whistle on him -- but changed their minds after talking to coach Joe Paterno." It's like a Mafia State, and not because of Paterno's name. "Forget the monstrousness of that on its face, the very ordinary 'bad headlines are on par with being raped as a teenager by your fucking coach' and just think about us. That's where this went wrong. That's how it all went off the rails. " Stuart Rothenberg: "[I]t looks as if Keystone Democrats have decided this isn't the year to run against incumbent Republicans in PA.
SC. Corruption: "SC Gov. Haley tells ethics panel she never used office for personal gain." Perhaps not, but never the sort of headline one likes to see.
TN. Tinpot tyrants: "The welfare legislation -- which passed the Senate 24-9 and 73-17 in the House -- requires new welfare applicants to undergo a special screening process. If suspicion is raised after the screening, then the applicant will be drug tested."
TX. ObamaCare: "TX could save itself a pile of money by enrolling prison inmates on Medicaid [under ObamaCare].
VA. Hoo d'etat: "As the crowd roars its approval, Sullivan and her supporters celebrate. Dragas stands a few feet behind the president, her lips frozen in a tight smile. After a few moments, the rector turns and vanishes back into the Rotunda." A five page blow-by-blow that doesn't reveal who backed Dragas. [sings kumbaya] "How the board conducts its business and the way its leaders were nearly able to topple a university president without a full vote are among the issues that continue to puzzle the U.Va. community." [sings kumbaya]
WI. Voter fraud: "The Government Accountability Board is investigating recall petition signature fraud involving last year's recall Senator Dave Hansen committee."We founded a second [group to recall David Hansen (D)] because David VanderLeest was hording all the signatures, wouldn't let anyone look at them or to verify them if they were real or not or keep count of what we had and it got really strange, so we broke off," [Chad Fradette R] said in a phone conversation." So, the voter fraud frothing and stamping was all R projection? Say it's not so!
Media critique.Izvestia and the Shadid matter: "The night before Anthony left for the area, he spoke to Times editors over the phone in a conversation that included 'screaming and slamming down the phone,' his cousin related." )Izvestia acted in a "totally rights-respecting manner," of course (and see here).) "I feel like companies like Journatic are providing the public ‘pink slime' journalism." (The SELECT ALIAS button reminds me of robosigning.)
HCR. Chicago's Lynn Sweet: "Obama's new chore: Yes, the penalty for not buying health insurance starting in 2014 is a tax. Yes, the Obama team has explaining to do about how Obama, who taught constitutional law, could have been so certain in stating the penalty was not a tax -- only to have his law saved because his government lawyer sold the tax defense to Roberts." Reconcialiation: "If Republicans take the majority in the Senate in the 2012 elections, McConnell said, he would use budget reconciliation to overturn the law -- a move that would not be subject to the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster. 'Reconciliation is available because the Supreme Court has now declared it a tax, McConnell said." So, Robert gave McConnel a gift, didn't he? Market state: "The case raised entirely new issues of power. Never before had Congress tried to force Americans to buy a private product; as a result, never before had the Court ruled Congress lacked that power. It was completely uncharted waters." That's the story: The market state. Not that Roberts flipped. Though it looks like he did: "After all, it was R leaders -- strateg[er]ists -- who were warning their colleagues this week not to gloat once the ruling was announced."
Grand Bargain™-brand catfood watch. "Members of Congress from both parties are increasingly mulling the unthinkable: going home in December without acting to avoid the $4 trillion in tax hikes and deep spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff."
Outside baseball. Former head of IRS Exempt Organizations division: "ALEC has deliberately and repeatedly failed to comply with some of the most fundamental federal tax requirements applicable to public charities." Sociopathic rulers: "Folks in Washington tell me there is a general sense of 'foreclosure fatigue' in our [sic] nation’s capital."
Policy. Extractive economy: "Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the new program opens up the vast majority of known offshore oil and gas resources for development. But he acknowledged that many resource-rich areas overlap with environmentally fragile ecosystems. 'We are going to go ahead and proceed,' Salazar said, noting that he was confident that companies will implement rigorous safety standards.
Horse race. Battleground states: "President Obama has been pulling ahead. The gaps aren't huge, but taken together, the numbers strongly suggest that Democrats' relentless attacks on Mitt Romney's business record at Bain Capital have been taking a toll." Youth vote: "[T]he president may face a particular challenge among voters ages 18 to 24. In that group, his lead over Mitt Romney -- 12 points -- is about half of what it is among 25- to 29-year-olds." Stuart Rothenberg: "A dispassionate assessment of individual districts in all 50 states suggests Rs remain solid favorites to retain control of the House in November's elections."
Greens. "Jill Stein is the first ever Green Party presidential candidate, and as of July 1st, the only 2012 progressive presidential candidate, to secure the necessary public support to qualify for federal matching funds." (aquifer)
Ron Paul. On June 11, a lawsuit was filed by 119 Republican delegates to the Republican National Convention, alleging that all delegates should be allowed to vote for whomever they wish at the upcoming convention, and also complaining about various instances when the Republican National Committee showed bias in favor of Mitt Romney and against other candidates for the nomination.
Romney. Adelson: Sheldon Adelson denies greenlighting a 'prostitution strategy' at his Macau casinos." Not the sort of headline one wishes to see. "Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate has so far given more than $30m to Republican candidates and says he is willing to spend up to $100m to get rid of Mr Obama." Murdoch tweets: "Met Romney last week. Tough O Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful."
* 70 days 'til the Democratic National Convention ends with White Castle sliders on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. In 70 years, copyrighted material enters the public domain.