D – 84 and counting*
"If we're going to be cynics, we'd like to do it spontaneously and without malice aforethought." -- Paul-Emile Borduas
Montreal. Huge: "A discussion over the future course of the social struggle in Quebec took place at a session of a day-long political conference hosted by the Quebec media ngo Alternatives on June 9. It was attended by several hundred activists. There, co-leader of CLASSE, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, made a forceful argument in favor of the group's proposal for a "social strike" against the government by the entire working class movement, including its trade union component. "A common front should not be centered on the issues in the student strike alone. It should be focused on a broad range of social issues-education, health care, privatization of government enterprises. This would appeal to the majority of the population and it would also counter the false impression that the student and the trade union organizations are only interested in their narrow, respective interests." Summer planning: "FECQ will hold rallies across Quebec in smaller centers leading up to June 22 and will host a rally in Quebec City on the same day. This decision continues the solid unity that student associations have been able to maintain." Apps: "[Veniard] decided to create an app that allows users to anonymously upload the location of certain casseroles marches. The idea is, if at 8 p.m., you find yourself outside with a pot and a wooden spoon and are looking for an appropriate place to bang them together, you simply bring the app up on your phone and go to the nearest demonstration to you." Red square: "Getting a tattoo with other people is a real rush. Usually, most people don't want others to have tattoos similar to theirs. But in a group effort for a project or issue like this, there's some sort of very tribal feeling of solidarity. I've never done it before but for a cause this good, I'd do it again in a heartbeat." Legacy parties: "The PQ is broadly supported by leadership circles in the trade union movement. During the 18 years of the last 35 that it governed the province, it applied variants of the same pro-capitalist policies as the Liberals. In the current struggle, it has refused to commit to a freeze in post-secondary tuition fees, the issue that lies at the origin of the conflict between the student movement and the government."
CA. "[O]fficials estimated that repairing the the lawn and irrigation system [after OccupyLA] could cost up to $400,000. They have since revised that estimate: $76,000."
CO. Fracking: "Anti-fracking group Erie Rising announced Thursday that it is teaming up with nonprofit group Global Community Monitor to provide residents in town with their own air monitoring equipment, in a program known as the Bucket Brigades." Alert reader MR comments: "This is great because now they'll be able to prove the presence of off gassing from the condensate tanks and the wells." "[HICKENLOOPER:] You can eat this--the CEO of Halliburton took a big swig of [fracking fluids]. And not to be outdone, I took a swig of it myself." Alrighty then.
FL. Corruption: "The frustrated [Ethics] panel, which penalizes public officials who break ethics laws, is unable to collect about $100,000 in unpaid fines due to a law that prevents it from enforcing fines after four years."
ME. King to funders, paraphrased by D: "If you're a solid partisan and you need to know what caucus I'm going to be with, don't give to me now because I may not be with you.
NC . Fracking: "The North Carolina House has approved a form of natural-gas well completion [!! i.e., fracking, and see here] that critics say could contaminate groundwater. One of the amendments dealt with the concept of forced pooling, which would mandate that a dissenting landowner resisting oil and gas drilling join with surrounding landowners in allowing the drilling." Wow.
NY. Unions: "New York City-based teachers of English as a second language at the Washington Post Co.'s [NYSE: WPO] educational subsidiary, Kaplan Inc., voted today for workplace representation by the Newspaper Guild of NY, becoming the company's first employees to unionize." Fracking, Cuomo: "[I]f this proposal goes forward under regulations that look much like the previous round, then talk of "sacrifice zones" based on, as Sandra Steingraber put it, "partitioning our state into frack and no-frack zones based on economic desperation", is painfully appropriate." Permitting: "The state and developers are asking the court to dismiss a suit against them regarding the Adirondack Club and Resort proposed for the Big Tupper Ski Area." Free press: "Warren Buffett's Buffalo News to erect paywall." A one-day subscription to the online paper will cost $.99 [a la Press+]. I don't see how local news gets nationally aggregated under this model. Feature not bug?
OR. "The future of jobs in Portland, OR." Keen pie chart.
PA. Sandusky trial: "As the testimony has made clear, lots of people in positions of authority knew or clearly were in a position to know, including the coach's wife and colleagues, along with prosecutors and police. But nothing happened to Sandusky until a 52-count indictment came down in November. 'There's a simple answer: He was a winning coach.'" Corruption: "Only weeks after the indictment of State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin on campaign-finance law violations, a legislative bid to end the partisan election of appellate judges has come to an abrupt halt because of opposition by trial lawyers, anti-abortion activists, and others." Fracking: "[A]bout two hours into the raid ... another of the heroes of this story, Deb Eck, Riverdale resident and balls-of-steel leader came out to plead with the activists to stand down, in other words, to end our resistance to the police efforts to evacuate us from the premises."
TX. Corruption: "While Energy Future Holdings, formerly TXU, of Dallas continues its downward spiral toward bankruptcy, it's handing out millions in bonuses to its executives." Shocker!
WI. Capitol Occupation: "Joe Heim, a UW-La Crosse political science professor agrees there was a political disconnect between people who lived in Madison, who saw the protests first-hand, and residents in the rest of the state, who merely heard stories and anecdotes. He says people in La Crosse heard talk of unruly mobs and thugs."
Inside Baseball. Data, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball (!) Prospectus: "There aren't any good databases. You would need like the last 50, 100 Senate campaigns. ... You would need the full books. Like this was the money. This is what they spent it on. You have to create categories: mail, personal appearances, television ads. And then you need to break up the television ads: positive ads, negative ads. How valuable was it? How valuable is going to the local diner? How valuable is the ad that says my opponent is a nimrod? ... I don't know anyone who is doing that." Obama campaign claims to be. Can they be? "[I]t's worth keeping in mind, as we look slack-jawed at the sums being tossed around, just how inefficient the ad onslaught typically is." " ... a chance for the Kochs to show off their increasingly robust political machine, including a growing voter database project called Themis that played a major role in conservatives' recent efforts in WI and in which POLITICO has learned Koch operatives have discussed investing $20 million..." But if they think it's the software, they should think again. It's the data. Media: "The conservative evangelical 'party' that Fischer and Bachmann belong to is not a transient phenomenon. The 'parallel media universe' that party has created is not a transient phenomenon. [They are] institutional. They will withstand the ebb and flow of particular elections and administrations in the same way that the D and R parties do."
Policy. Immigration/deportation: "Obama makes election-year change in deportation policy." Changing the subject. "[I]llegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the US before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed." Discretion: "[NAPOLITANO] It is not immunity, it is not amnesty. It is an exercise of discretion." "[SCALIA:] "To ameliorate a harsh and unjust outcome, the INS may decline to institute proceedings, terminate proceedings or decline to execute a final order of deportation." Pierce: "The president is simply acting as the head of the Executive Branch — the same principle under which John Yoo once assured us would allow C-Plus Augustus to crush a child's testicles if he saw the need to do so." So, Bush was right about Yoo, then? Dayen: "The fact that President Obama will speak before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials next week surely played a role." Greenwald: "[D]emands, pressure, criticism, threats to withhold support, and confrontational tactics breed a healthy respect and even self-interested fear among political leaders, along with responsiveness." "He's essentially implemented the much-debated DREAM Act, only without the hassle of all that voting in Congress. He should have done this with health care!" Jonathon Bernstein: "I've been dead wrong about the public option: I thought Ds, particularly those in contested primaries, would universally support it in this election cycle." That's because you're an insider mistaking a bait and switch operation that career "progressives" ran to kill off single payer and support Obama for something with real popular support, like Medicare for All. Spitzer: "[There] should be the modern-day WPA: We will give you a job—it can be enlisting in the military if you choose. But we will pay you, give you skills, keep you off the streets and, by the way, cover your student debts for the time you are in the program."
The economy. Romney vs. Obama economy speeches: "What the coverage here generally didn't note as clearly as it could is that neither man can implement that vision himself. " Yglesias: "The very depth of the divide between the parties that Obama highlighted at one point in the speech makes it extremely unlikely that the other stuff he was talking about will happen." First Read: "...selective amnesia. Romney's remarks never acknowledged the Bush years... Obama pretty much skipped over the relatively slow growth and the political stalemate that occurred over the past three years." Unemployment: "College students who graduated during the early 1980s economic downturn suffered wage losses of more than $100,000 during the next 15 years compared to those who came into the job market later in the decade." They should have chosen to get born at different time! Polling: "[I]f the election does turn out to be a referendum on which president's policies put the country in our current economic straits, these poll numbers may mean that the Obama campaign's message — that the economy is on the right track and President Obama just needs more time to turn things around — could 'fall on receptive ears, particularly those of independents'." "Forty-nine percent rate economic conditions in their local area as excellent or good, but that drops to 25% when rating the U.S. economy, and to 13% when assessing the world as a whole."
Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood watch. AARP throws membership under the bus. It ain't broke. Don't fix it. Fix broken stuff. Milbank, Romney vs. Obama economy speeches: "[Obama's] right about the stalemate. But he's absolutely wrong that November offers an opportunity to break it. No scenario shows either party with a chance of amassing a solid governing majority of the sort Obama had when he took office. The way to break the stalemate is through compromise, not conquest. [wait for it] Undoubtedly, Obama would take heat from his base if he put forth a serious plan along the lines of Bowles-Simpson... But taking a stand on concrete fixes for the nation's fiscal problems would get Obama credit for strong leadership." All roads lead to Cat Food!
Green Party. TX. Kat Smith: "People who I know who are progressive Democrats have been trying for 30 years to reform the party and they have failed time and time again. If you look at who they elect in their primaries, they're not the progressives, they're the other ones."
Robama vs. Obomey watch. Wacky campaign hijinks: "[T]he aircraft trailed a banner behind it, [reading] "Romney's 'Every Millionaire Counts' Bus Tour". [Also, a truck] with a dog strapped to its roof." "[PAWLENTY:] "Barack Obama's campaign slogan is, 'It could be worse.' Mitt Romney's slogan is, 'It will be better.'" Both could be wrong! Bobo: "Is Obama oblivious to this historical moment or are Republicans overly radical, risky and impractical?" Both could be wrong!
Romney. Adelman: "Senator and Romney presidential campaign surrogate John McCain (R-AZ) said Thursday that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is indirectly injecting millions of dollar in Chinese 'foreign money' into Mitt Romney's presidential election effort." Bus tour: "Romney kicks off a six-state bus tour today. The tour begins in NH and will hit the battlegrounds states of PA, OH, WI, IA and MI. ... They were all won by Obama in 2008." " ... Romney's new bus, which earlier today [before Obama's deportation announcement] was going to make political news. ..." Ouch!
Obama. Obama to interrupter, on deportation: "'I didn't ask for an argument' — " No, and when have you ever? (Snicker) Obama economy speech: "[S]hould be enough to silence antsy supporters and donors, as well as the Chattering Class. Its effectiveness should be measured on whether it brings an end to what's been a rough couple of weeks." Obama at Sarah Jessica Parker fund-raiser: "[OBAMA] Ultimately you guys and the American people, you're the tie-breaker." We don't need a tie-breaker. We need a game-changer. And exactly what distinction is Obama drawing when he says "you guys" and "the American people"?
* 84 days 'til the Democratic National Convention feasts on New York System hot dogs on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 84 is the international direct dial code for Vietnam.