D – 76 and counting*
"It is more honorable to repair a wrong than to persist in it." --Thomas Jefferson
Meet the Press, as told to The Bobblespeak Translations:. "GREGORY: you never even introduced a bill in Congress RUBIO: that was my tactic to expose the hypocrisy of Democrats
Montreal. "#Manifencours will be taken care of by local police stations this evening. Therefore, we will not follow the demonstration on Twitter. #GGI" Quebec City: "A day of protests yesterday in Montreal and Quebec. The two rallies in continuance with March 22nd brought together 15,000 and 10,000 people respectively, showing that the contestation can still be heard at the beginning of school holidays." Quebec City: "In the crowd, Quebec flags were side by side with red squares and signs against shale gas, but the most common targets remained Jean Charest and the mayor of Quebec, Régis Labeaume. The rule that the latter brought to a vote this week to restrict protests did not go unnoticed." Fête nationale in Quebec City: "[P]eople came out in less impressive numbers than in the past. The [organizers] also asked for a private security agency to confiscate all casseroles at the entrance of the site of the concert." "[Student] groups are planning to launch a series of meetings around Quebec in mid-July to increase outreach and engagement with student associations in other provinces." "Large gatherings are also expected for 22 July and 22 August." "It seems likely things will be quiet until the theoretical August resumption of the winter term envisioned in Bill 78. Then, election or not, things may get interesting." "The future of the protests is said to depend on whether an election is called for this autumn, as students are determined to focus on unseating the Charest government." Uh oh. However, I find that dubious. Perhaps a faction. Corruption: "Michèle Ouimet also spoke to Duchesneau about his precarious situation at the end of the week. He says he's hiring private security because he's sitting on information that could shake Quebec's establishment to its foundations, information touching billion-dollar construction deals, corrupt contractors and major political parties (the PQ as well is touched by the claims about party funding)."
Occupy. "The U.S. media has been writing an obituary for Occupy, but in fact Occupy is active all over the country and is just being ignored by the corporate media." "Occupy has organized some significant actions, including the May Day protests, the NATO protest in Chicago, an Occupy G8 summit and G-8 protests in Thurmont and Frederick, Md. There are a number of ongoing actions—Occupy Our Homes, Occupy Faith, Occupy the Criminal Justice System, Occupy University, the Occupy Caravan—that protect the embers of revolt. Last week when Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, testified before a U.S. Senate committee, he was confronted by Occupy protesters, including Deborah Harris, who lost her home in a JPMorgan foreclosure. But you will hear little if anything about these actions on cable television or in The Washington Post."
AZ. "At the June 12, 2012 [Tucson] City Council meeting, they voted 7-0 in favor of abolishing corporate personhood and supporting a Constitutional amendment."
FL. Florida real estate: "Under current projections, the Atlantic Ocean would swallow much of the Florida Keys in 100 years. Miami-Dade, in turn, would eventually replace them as a chain of islands on the highest parts of the coastal limestone ridge, bordered by the ocean on one side and an Everglades turned into a salt water bay on the other."
IL. "For the past four years, [University of Chicago] professors or administrators have dismissed questions about whether the campus should be home to Obama's library with a wave of the hand and an admonition not to ask again until after the November election. ... All discussion is going on under the table." The University of Chicago Way!
MI. "The state is putting up an 8-foot-tall, chain-link fence to block a homeless encampment from returning to a nearly 9-acre site on a state highway median west of Ann Arbor."
MT. "[At the Montana R Convention, Rs finally removed the platform plank endorsing the criminalization of 'homosexual acts."
PA. Fracking: "Three northeastern PA families have reached a $1.6 million settlement with [Chesapeake] over contaminated water wells. ... Last year the PA DEP fined Chesapeake just over $1 million for contaminating the water supplies of 16 families in the area ... [E]xperts from DEP agreed that faulty cement casings on the wells allowed gas and other substances to migrate from deep underground and pollute the water wells." Blowout preventers, anyone? Tinpot tyrant watch: “'Let me explain something to you,' said Jim Weslager, Vice President of PNC Bank Corporate Security to the Cruz family and several of their supporters outside of PNC's corporate headquarters. 'You're all put on notice. You're not to enter any of these PNC properties. If you enter a PNC property, we're going to ask the police to arrest you for criminal trespass.'" The Cruz's had gone to PNC to renegotiate their mortgage.
TN. Corruption: "Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett's wife wrote six checks to herself totaling $15,053.56 from his mayoral election fund that were not included on the campaign finance disclosure statements as required by law."
VA. WSJ editorial page nationalizes the story. The first outright lie is in paragraph two: "UVA's trustees [sic] dared to fire a president who was working against the priorities that it is ostensibly their job to set." Statement from President and former President of Thomas Jefferson Society of Alumni: "We call upon the Board of Visitors to reinstate Ms. Sullivan as President to complete her current term of office without prejudice. We call upon Rector Helen Dragas to resign as Rector and Board member. In the event she does not resign, we will ask Governor Robert McDonnell not to reappoint her when her current term expires June 30, 2012. Finally, we support the faculty's request for one voting member on the Board to give the Board the opportunity to have faculty input and participation in its future deliberations and votes." Fairfax State rep: "We need independent Boards for our state institutions. There has to be some institutional control. But we can't keep appointing people just because they laid down a five-figure check at a cocktail party for Governor X." Student Council waffles: "Council members stated they 'look forward to the Board having a resolution.'" Commenter: "Umm, shouldn't headline read: 'Student leaders fail to back Sullivan'?" Rally for Honor Sunday afternoon on the lawn (pictures) High noon on Tuesday, BoV meeting. The catch 22: "The Board of Visitors, apparently confident of a majority favoring Sullivan's reinstatement, has called a meeting for Tuesday. The governor, in a three-page memo to all board members, has instructed them to bring “final action” at that meeting or he will ask for the resignation of every one of them. Alas, there is no way for them to do that without action by him. Should the board vote to reinstate Sullivan, she will not agree. She has made it clear that she would gladly return to the presidency, but only if Rector Dragas were no longer on the board. Dragas has made it clear she has no intention of resigning. She will chair Tuesday's meeting." "Dragas has virtually no support for the decision on U.Va.'s Grounds. But she does have a key supporter in Paul Tudor Jones, a Connecticut billionaire and U.Va. alumnus and donor. Support also came from another Connecticut billionaire, Peter Kiernan, a former Goldman Sachs partner who was chairman of the Darden School Foundation board of trustees until his email about 'the project' to replace Sullivan was leaked."
Given that the country is ruled (as opposed to governed) by oligarchs, it seems reasonable that billionaires Jones and Kiernan are the principals, and Dragas and other UVA functionaries are the agents. But despite prolix emissions of B-school jargon ("strategic dynamism"), no clear reason for Sullivan's firing has ever been given. What do the putschers want done that Sullivan is not doing? There has to be a reason, and presumably it's money. But nobody who's tried to follow the money has succeeded; the GS angle (here also) came to nothing. So I wonder if this tweet from the Cavalier's FOIAed email trove is a place to begin. Kington to Dragas: “Bob Bruner is at the top of his game – we are so fortunate to have him. As you said today Darden is a near and visible template for much of what we seek" (never explained!)
Here's a breathless post from Darden's Dean, Bob Bruner on the future of the university. It's a business model for a MOOC: "Imagine “pay per view” for lectures, textbook chapters, tutorials, etc. The Khan Academy is already doing it for primary and secondary school students. iTunes did it for music. Netflix and Hulu did it for home entertainment. ... It used to be that a degree program was the unit of consumption: you could only take courses if you signed up for a degree program. Now, we are seeing the delivery of courses on demand—but why stop there? One could opt for individual classes or tutorials on specific topics."
So, let me put on my tinfoil hat and try to think like the finance person I'm not. Clearly, all these "units of consumption" represent a future revenue stream. But UVA would have to make a significant upfront investment in facilities, technology, planning, administration, and staffing -- even if they use ill-paid adjuncts -- to realize that revenue. So, exactly as the Jippy Mo's William Daley sold future revenue streams from parking meters to a private company in exchange for a lump sum payment up front, why shouldn't somebody, a billionaire, say, purchase the future revenues from "pay per view" education for a lump sum to UVA? UVA invests the money in the facilities, puts the rest into the endowment, gives the billionaires naming rights to this or that, and the billionaires, and their heirs, settle back to collect a stream of rents in perpetuity. Would something like be sufficiently motivating for Paul Tudor Jones to order the institutional hit on Sullivan?
VT. "Despite overwhelming public turnout against having nuclear-capable F-35 stealth fighters based at Burlington Airport, city councils in the nearby cities of Burlington and Winooski failed to decide for or against the escalation and voted instead to seek more information. While anti-F-35 community organizing has the biggest presence, there are also pro-jet groups. But the cities choose to ignore both."
WI. WI DNR page still lists mine that was voted down in March (after which the company bailed). Or does the DNR know something the rest of us don't?
Outside Baseball. Maureen Tkacik: "Friendster engendered all the trust and sense of community the Internet today seems poised to destroy: one, its software would furnish, on command, an intricate diagram of the degrees of separation between you and any given user; and two, the “wall” was designated for more formal “testimonials” to the user's friendship abilities, which generally read something like uncensored wedding toasts. For each friend you had access to hundreds of friends-of-friends' testimonials, and when a stranger tried to friend you there was a complex web of accountability to help you assess the degree to which you could trust him." Unlike FaceBorg. Black Box Voting Gets DMCA Threat from Accenture. 1% lawyer: "High-net-worth individuals are making decisions that having a US passport just isn't worth the cost anymore." Let them go ruin some other country, then. Partisanship: "Under America's separation of powers, parliamentary-style discipline will bring the system to a halt." Everything but the sausage: "Scout allows anyone to subscribe to customized email or text alerts on what Congress is doing around an issue or a specific bill, as well as bills in the state legislature and federal regulations."
Policy. I've got mine, Jack: "22% of children in the U.S. are living in poverty."
HCR:. Court watching: "It is a good bet that the health care decision will come on the last day [of the session], which may be Wednesday or Thursday." The mandate: "To defend the health-care mandate, for instance, the government could have cited past measures such as a 1792 law signed by President George Washington requiring able-bodied men 18 or older to purchase a musket and ammunition." Today, drones! Life's little ironies, Kennedy advisor John McDonough: "[Romney] thought [RomneyCare] would be a ticket to ride to national fame and glory. He took a position on the mandate that was Republican orthodoxy in the 80s, [which was] the policy position that was held by the elite in the Republican party which had not ever been tested with the base. Finally it was tested with the base, and [by that time] it was identified with the Democrats and Obama so it was a very bad time."
The trail. Money: "If they meet their target of $400m for this year's presidential election cycle, the Kochs will have surpassed the $370m that John McCain had at his disposal as his entire campaign funding in 2008." Teebee: "Last week, the Richmond-Petersburg [VA] area was the top media market in the nation for advertising in the presidential election by the Obama and Romney campaigns and outside groups." Royal progress: "Durham [NH] Town Administrator Todd Selig says the Obama campaign should pay the $20,000 to $30,000 in police overtime costs it will take to provide adequate protection for the president's visit to Oyster River High School on Monday afternoon" (CB). That's the half of one plate at a high-roller's fundraiser.
Green Party. "While it's still entirely possible that the Greens will win their battle for matching funds at the last minute, it will require a significant quickening of the pace in the remaining states."
Independent Party. "On June 23, the Independent Party, which is a ballot-qualified party in New Mexico, held a state convention and nominated Rocky Anderson for President."
Libertarian Party. Ballot access: "On June 20, the New Hampshire Secretary of State, Bill Gardner, said that the only parties that will have their own party column on the November ballot this year are the Republican and Democratic Parties. He said all other candidates will be in the 'Other' column." Novel argument, platform: "Legalizing marijuana will reduce border violence and illegal immigration significantly, decreasing the U.S.-Mexican drug trade by 70 percent. Without a monopoly on the marijuana trade, Mexican drug cartels will have vastly diminished incentives to violate U.S. law and risk capture."
Ron Paul. "[PAUL:] We should not be disruptive, but we should also not be pushed around" at the Republican national convention in Tampa.
Romney. Snark watch: "Before [Obama] was president he never managed anything bigger than his own narrative." True (though government is no more like a business than it is like a household.) Sociopaths at play: "[At Romney's fundraising retreet,] Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz told reporters both Rove and GOP strategist Mary Matalin were making the crowd howl, telling them about when Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a friend with bird-shot pellets on a hunting trip." Two words: Predator drones. Donors: "While the guest list of high-profile Republicans is known, the arguably more important list of donors is not." "'They're our major investors,' a senior Romney advisor said, declining to speak openly because of the campaign's desire for secrecy." Indeed!
Obama. "Republicans of 'good will' who want to work with President Obama will be 'liberated' by his reelection in November, says Obama chief political strategist David Axelrod." Oh, puh-leeze.
* 76 days 'til the Democratic National Convention with toast and jelly on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.