Mission elapsed time: T + 25 and counting*
"I'll tell you what happened: I just ran out of bullshit. Am I still on the air? I really don't know any other way to say it other than I just ran out of bullshit." --Howard Beale, Network
Montreal. Corruption: "Lino Zambito is continuing his testimony at the Charbonneau Commission on Monday, leading with the outright allegation that after 2005, 3% of every contract was given directly to Union Montreal" (the Mayor's party).
FL. Corruption: "'I specifically saw a golf cart with young ladies drive by [at a FL R fundraiser], the extent of why they were there I did not specifically know,"' Johnson said. 'But I could presume they were prostitutes.'" See, there's your problem: Golf carts. … Swing state Keynsianism: "About one-fourth of the nation's new jobs last month were created in FL, a hopeful sign that the stricken state will slowly resume its customary role as an engine for economic growth over the next four years." … Amendment 5: "Amendment 5 would change the Constitution to say that the Senate has to confirm state Supreme Court nominees. If passed, it would also allow the Legislature to repeal any court decision with only a majority. Right now, the legislature needs a supermajority."
LA. Bribery: "Flood control work generates a ton of local income. It creates jobs. Channeling a larger share of the federal share of drilling income into the local area, you give residents a reason not to oppose continued drilling."
KS. Mass incarceration: ""Don't Drop the Soap," a new, adult-themed board game based on life in prison, is being sold out of the KS governor's mansion."
MA. Elizabeth Warren: "Wagging his finger at Warren [Brown] said, 'Professor Warren claimed that she was a Native American, a person of color, and as you can see, she's not.' Clearly, Brown has not met many Cherokee or he never would have made that statement. Among the many Cherokee I know personally there is great diversity in the way they look, from very dark to very fair skin, black to blond and even red hair -- even blue eyes." … Elizabeth Warren: "Only 29% of likely voters in our poll say they would prefer to see Rs in control [of the Senate]; 58% say they would prefer to see Ds continue to run the Senate." … Debate: "But both may have bungled the last question question of the night. They were asked whether Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine should keep his job after the team suffered one of its worst seasons in history. Warren's response? Give the guy another year. Brown declined to take a position."
MI. Unions: "Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers risked jail time and the loss of their job Monday evening as they ignored a federal court order to return to work and continued a strike outside the wastewater treatment plant in southwest Detroit. Members of AFSCME Local 207, who began the strike Sunday, even defied Al Garrett, president of the umbrella AFSCME Council 25, who asked them to return to work." … Money: "But [Deborah Carley and William Rollstin] are likely to get some name recognition [in the election for Oakland County circuit judge] on the strength of a $1-million-plus TV ad buy placed by a couple of opaque, VA-based outfits called Americans for Job Security and the Judicial Crisis Network."
NY. Fracking: "[O]n Friday, state environmental officials said they would restart the regulatory rule-making process, requiring them to repeat a number of formal steps, including holding a public hearing, and almost certainly pushing a decision into next year." (Times (!), though in N.Y./Region). Bloomberg version. … Fracking: "[B]rokers say many [Catskills] listings are languishing. The prospect that New York State will open the region to fracking has spooked potential buyers." …. Fracking: "[T]he policy decisions and industry reaction must be considered in the context of a glut in the natural gas market that has reduced prices, lowered the amounts of lease payments and royalties to landowners, and eased political pressure to move quickly in New York. Natural gas prices move in cycles with demand, so that could change."
OH. Voting: "However, OH's county Job and Family Services offices -- where low-income Ohioans go for benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, or welfare -- have quietly registered more than 500,000 Ohio voters since 2010."
PA. Legalization: "'We've come to a point where you can grow your own medicine," [Julie Holland' said'" (at Penn's Psychedemia conference in Philly). … Police state: "Shocking video of Philadelphia cop punching woman in the face during Puerto Rican Day parade." What's shocking about it? It's Philly!
TX. Pipelines: "These kids are protesting not for my property, not for anybody, any property owner. They're protesting to strictly save the earth. I mean, this pipeline is going to be pushing some very toxic products through," Cordova said. "I appreciate these kids for what they're trying to do, but I also - now that I'm here and this pipeline is right here, my house is probably 100 yards that way, it's kind of frightening."
VA. Uranium: "Leaders of the VA county that is home to one of the world's largest uranium deposits are set to debate the state's 30-year ban on the mining of the radioactive ore."
WA. Meat: "A family member later found Garner's dentures and pieces of his body in the hog enclosure, but most of his remains had been consumed."
WI. Police state: "Holding up my press credentials while standing in front of the cops who had denied me access to the press conference (affinis).
Fracking. Polls: "56% of Americans said there needs to be more regulation of the technique, also called fracking, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 21-24, down from 65% in March." … Class: "There is more to opposition of the gas industry in Northeastern PA than a minority of professional environmentalists or witless yahoos. There are business professionals, homeowners, parents, doctors, teachers and government leaders with deep-seated concerns for their health and quality of life." Not paging Lenin; but perhaps Madison.
Grand Bargain™ Catfood Watch. Krugman: "First, despite years of dire warnings from people like, well, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, we are not facing any kind of fiscal crisis." Which, like, totally explains why Obama set up the Erskine Bowles Commission after the Senate refused to.
Outside baseball. Cultural markers: "What Your Beer Says About Your Politics." Remember PBR? Good times. …. Redistribution: "Yet since Obama took office in January 2009, wealthy Americans have continued to pull away from the rest of society. In the aftermath of the recession, income inequality in the U.S. reached a new high in 2011, Census Bureau data show." ... Redistribution: ""It was shocking how tight he was going to be in retirement," [biillionaire Leon] Cooperman said. "He needed [oh?] four hundred thousand dollars a year to live on. He had a home in Florida, a home in New Jersey. He had certain habits [oh?] he wanted to continue to pursue. …. Privatization: "[B]y diverting large existing flows of money from the public to the private sector [education privatization] would create new profit-making ventures that could be capitalized and transformed into stocks, derivatives and leveraged securities. The pot has been sweetened by a 39 percent federal tax credit for financing charter school construction that can double an investor's return in seven years. The prospect of new speculative opportunities could well recharge the animal spirits upon which Wall Street depends."
... Health care: "'Make no doubt,' [MIT's Jonathan] Gruber says. 'Romneycare was the model for Obamacare.'"
Robama vs. Obomney watch. Hippie punching: "[T]he Che pedicure is not actually one of the available options, though surely in heaven we will all have our toenails painted camo green by El Jefe" (Rebecca Solnit). …. Manicheanism: "Tbogg might say that he hates conservatives more than anyone. But he sure hates Yves Smith more. That's what his behavior tells you. That's what his rhetoric tells you. People who say they hate conservatives start to sound like them at the merest hint of criticism." … Lesser evilism: "ALICE WALKER, 2012: "One thing I can assure you of is this: I will never betray such pure hearts by voting for evil even if it were microscopic" (video; transcript).
The trail. October surprise: "I do find it interesting that I don't see the normal fretting from online Dems about some sort of October surprise" (Eschaton). RNCon: "[T]his R convention suggested a party barricading itself against the world as well as the weather." … DNCon: "What the acceptance speech didn't do was answer the Ryan question: How would the next four years be different?" … The poor: "Since 2007, 10.4 million more Americans have seen their incomes fall below the federal poverty mark. Now over one in four Americans live either in poverty or near poverty, a number that has grown by 22.6% since 2007, far outpacing the growth even of the nation's Latino population (14.3%), a demographic shift with significant electoral implications." … Swing states: ".. the disparity between the state of the race nationally and in battleground states, where campaigning and advertising by the two candidates have been most intense and where the election will be decided. Nationally, the race is unmoved from early September, with 49% of likely voters saying they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and 47% saying they would vote for Romney. But 52% of likely voters across swing states side with Obama and 41% with Romney." … Swing states: "A National Journal analysis of recent polling results across 11 states considered battlegrounds shows that in most of them, Obama is running considerably better than he is nationally among white women without a college education. Obama's gains with these so-called 'waitress moms' are especially pronounced in heartland battlegrounds like IA, OH, and WI. The powerful new Obama ad that airs the audio of Romney's hidden-camera "47 percent" remarks, for instance, features three different images of working-class women, each of whom are shown without men present." … Voting: "[T]he RNC insist[ed] that state parties, such as FL's, hire [Strategic Allied Consulting, a] vendor that's now under investigation for voter-registration fraud by the FL Department of Law Enforcement in as many as 10 counties involving at least 220 suspect forms." ... Horse race: "Romney has about as much chance of winning as an N.F.L. team does when it trails by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter; [he] has only about a 15 percent chance of winning. By this point next week, two of Mr. Romney's best remaining opportunities to change the game [the first debate and the next jobs numbers] will have come and gone" (Nate Silver). … Horse race: "A strong majority of likely voters now expect President Obama to win a second term after an abrupt shift in perceptions about the state of the race, according to The Hill's latest election poll. 50% of voters say the president and the Ds have run a better campaign, while only 41% give the nod to Romney and Republicans." So meta!
The debates. Live coverage Wednesday: Democracy Now; Vast Left (twitter). … Boring: "Obama doesn't need dramatic moments in this debate. In fact, boring probably would suit him just fine, for boring would leave the race pretty much as it is, with him in the lead." … Contempt: "'[Obama] is not a guy who can hide his contempt, and the only thing that can really hurt is if he's smug and thinks he's got this in the bag," said a D close to the Obama campaign, echoing the sentiments of several other aides and advisers." But he does have it in the bag. ...Fake: "The 2012 Presidential (and Vice Presidential) Debates, a four-part miniseries…" (good explainer). … The challenger: "If Romney showed one thing in the primaries, it is that he can be ferocious when faced with the need to dispatch an opponent. Recall the pummeling Romney gave Newt Gingrich in a Jan. 26 debate before the Florida primary." And: "Every mention of the number 47 will be a victory for Obama." Haw. Especially since all numbers are equal to 47. … The challenger: "Romney is very strong as a debater but has also shown two repeated weaknesses: a thin command of policy details, and an awkwardness when taken by surprise" (James Fallows long-form) Huh?! If you don't command the detail and you can't improvise, you're a mediocre debater at best. … The incumbent: "[E]very incumbent resists the prep work and reacts badly to being challenged. 'Nobody on staff ever questions a president's motives and nobody around him ever challenges him,' [political scientist Samuel Popkin] said, contending there is very much an 'emperor-has-no-clothes' aspect for leaders who have spent four years sheltered in the protective presidential bubble and surrounded by sycophantic aides."
Green Party. Jill Stein: Interview (audio). Good stuff, but I'd sure like some of the human element. Where are the stories?
The Romney. Newest oppo: "A police log report, published in the Natick Sun newspaper in 1981 and obtained by Blue Mass Group, calls into question a portion of Mitt Romney's account of his arrest in 1981. When news of the arrest emerged during Romney's 1994 Senate race, Romney told the Boston Globe that he was released after his arrest without having to post bail, but the police log suggests that that may not be true. The police log also says that Romney was charged with operating an unregistered motorboat. Previously, the only offense Romney was known to have been charged with was disorderly conduct." Well, at least it wasn't a golf cart… Older oppo: "Mitt Romney's '47%' video has been viewed 2 million times more than his convention speech." … Media critique: "The press is doing to Romney the same thing it did to John Kerry, and to Al Gore before him: Covering him as a loser. A weird loser. The contempt and pity for him as a candidate is almost palpable."
The Obama. He's turning into a sort of Cheshire Cat, isn't he? Smile and all?
* Slogan of the day: Forging ahead courageously while following the great leader Romney!