D - 6 and counting*
"Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today." --Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
Readers, I'm taking a break from the horse race today, partly because I did some work on the house and I'm tired, but more because... Well, the national election campaign so far reminds me of nothing so much as a sports bar: There, up on the teebee screen, are the players on the field. Some wear jerseys labeled R; some wear jerseys labeled D. Announcers hold forth in a rapid stream of technical and statistical information, and proffer color commentary. The managers and the owners are unseen. And down in the bar, we, the "voters," cheer, or groan, or chant, or sit in white-knuckled silence, or shout advice. But are we, down at the bar, crazy enough to think that our chants and shouted advice actually affect what happens up on the screen? Of course not. How different from an election campaign!
So tonight, I'm just going to do items at the state level, the minor leagues, the Bull Durhams of this world, where people are actually from somewhere, where the corruption is on a human scale, and sometimes good can be seen to be done. I'll return to regular coverage, in Charlotte at the DNCon, on Sunday evening. --lambert
AR. Money: "Hey, if the Kochs want to throw this much money away on inefficient targeting in AK house and senate races they can be my guest."
AZ. Hmm: "The federal government has closed a criminal probe of alleged financial misconduct by Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, self-described as 'America's toughest sheriff.'"
CA. Police state: "Los Angeles police are embroiled in another excessive force investigation after a mother of two died during a chaotic July arrest in which an officer kicked the woman in the groin while she was handcuffed, officials said."
FL. Epidemic: "After six weeks of searching for homeless people possibly exposed to Jacksonville's TB outbreak, the state has identified 311 people who test positive for latent TB exposure, and just one with an active case of tuberculosis, State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong said Friday."
KY. Handmaid's Tale: "After [16-year-old Savannah] Dietrich initially complained about the plea deal the two teens received [for sexually assaulting her], Paul Richwalsky, chief prosecutor in the juvenile court division of the county attorney's office, told her 'get over it and see a therapist. … The jail was for 'real' rapists, murderers and robbers.'"
LA. Isaac: "The mere sighting of a bucket-topped truck seemed lucky to the 71 percent of residents in the city who remained without power Friday because of toppled power lines and exploded transformers."
ME. Ron Paul: "A choice by disaffected Ron Paul supporters to sit out this year's election in ME could have national implications, [USM's Ronald] Schmidt said. Because Question 1, a referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage, will likely motivate voters who support Ds to the polls, Schmidt said the impact of Paul voters opting out on Election Day would be magnified."
MI. Corruption: "Kwame Kilplatrick's former fraternity brother also has federal regulators on his back -- for the same reasons as the ex-mayor: failing to respond to a lawsuit alleging he accepted lavish gifts in a pension scandal, according to new court records."
MN. Fracking: "At earlier public meetings with few in the audience, things moved quickly as issues were discussed and relevant speakers invited to share information. Committee members had discussed a possibility of ending the one-year [fracking sand] moratorium early. However, it now seems for every step forward, the committee takes two steps back. County residents who've recently become involved - many from the Lanesboro area - have come to the meetings with more questions and concerns on issues they'd like to see addressed during the moratorium's study time."
NY. Fracking: "[B]aseline data [for streams is collected] as part of the Sierra Club's Water Sentinels program. Without measurements before drilling starts, it will be difficult to connect pollution to a new well. The goal of the monitors is to collect a year's worth of readings before any wells are drilled nearby."
OH. Voting: "US District court rules that because the state lets military voters vote early on the weekend (depending on the discretion of the County Board of Elections), therefore equal protection requires that all voters also be allowed to vote on that weekend. The decision cites Bush v Gore."
OR. Health insurance: "So last night my wife and I looked over how the Evolve Core plan we're being forced to shift to is different from the Evolve Plus plan we have now. It didn't take long to figure out that even though our monthly premium for two people in their mid-60s actually will be about $50 less a month (5% decrease), Regence is dropping a lot of benefits." Gaming the system which ACA will, like, totally stop.
PA. Labor: "The United Steelworkers have decided not to go on strike now over stalled negotiations with steelmaker ArcelorMittal. The contract, which expires Sept.1, covers 14,000 employees in eight states -- PA, WV, OH, IL, IN, MN, LA and SC." October surprise? "I'll walk on that picket line with you."
TN. Charters: "Sen. Andy Berke is calling on lawmakers to conduct a 'thorough review' of [K12 Inc.'s] for-profit virtual school operating in a Northeast Tennessee school district, citing state student testing results he charges show 'dismal' results."
TX. Corruption: "Recently filed federal court documents allege former El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos was bribed with envelopes of cash for his support of a county contract that was supposed to help mentally ill children."
VA. Extractive economy: "An unkept promise to a dying sister, stock manipulations and self-dealing have started [Kyanite Mining Corp,] a $200 million family mining and landholding business on the road to possible dissolution."
WA. Corruption: "The Seattle Port Commission will meet Sept. 11 to discuss, in open session, the Port CEO's lucrative new position on the board of Expeditors International."
WI. Cheesheads: "In the back of his walk-in cooler, Zahn, 73, found several wooden boxes of cheddar cheese from the now-closed County Line Cheese in Oconto that over the years had repeatedly been buried by incoming cheese products. The result is 40-year-old cheddar that makes up part of what is likely the oldest collection of cheese ever assembled and sold to the public, according to experts.
WY. Ecology: "The federal government will end its protections for wolves in WY, where the species was introduced two decades ago to revive it from near extinction in the United States."