Mission elapsed time: T + 26 and counting*
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." --Eric Schmidt
CA. Water: "[Under Measure F,] biologists envisage a 100-150 year timeline before Hetch Hetchy would resemble the Yosemite Valley most of us know, and this is just one of the points being picked up by opponents of the measure. Why, they are asking, should we undertake a project which no one who is living will see through to its conclusion?" … Food: "As talks continue at city hall about amending Sacramento's mobile food ordinances, the idea of food truck 'pods' is being explored as a possibility. These would be locations on private property where multiple mobile food vendors could operate simultaneously." Been seeing a wavelet of food truck stories lately.
FL. Voting: "'It was someone in a hurry to make a buck," said Ann Bodenstein, Santa Rosa's supervisor of elections [of now-fired R voter registration firm Strategic Allied Consulting]. She said the forms in her county appear to have been filled out by different people. Many were blatantly incorrect, including one that was signed recently for a 19-year-old who died six months ago." Maybe the Rs will challenge the election results because their own firm corrupted the rolls? Whoa, how very meta! … Anti-Sex League: "The kind of sex I just described? You have to experience it to understand it, to understand the power and joy, the word-escaping orgasmic ecstasy of it all." Merciful heavens, we can't have that! … Privatization: "'I can get through to Comcast quicker than I can get through to you,' said commissioner Burt Aaronson, referring to the time customers were spending on hold, waiting to ask where their rides were.' 'It's obvious to me and others that the new providers will save money by making [Palm Tran Connection] so undesirable that we will simply stay home,' said Allen Preston, a long-time Palm Tran critic." (See NC 2012-07-09 for an identical story, in WI.)
IA. Polls: "Whereas a real poll is designed to collect data from respondents and measure opinions, a push-poll is all about spreading negative information about a political opponent to as many people as possible, under the deceptive guise of conducting a survey. [And] The survey also didn't mention Hagenow's repeated votes for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Whoever paid for the calls doesn't believe that issue is going to swing voters. "
IL. Unions: "Police dressed in riot gear arrested 17 peaceful protesters Monday as they sat in the middle of Centerpoint Drive blocking the Walmart warehouse entrance [in support of striking WalMart workers organized by Warehouse Workers for Justice. The police team, which one onlooker said resembled a paramilitary group, used a bullhorn to ask the group to disperse or risk arrest and 'chemical or less lethal munitions [LRAD] being deployed.'" Say, where's "Michelle" on this? Or, for that matter, "Barack"?
KS. Plant closings: "Hallmark Cards Inc. will close its Topeka manufacturing plant and shed* about 300 jobs as it consolidates its Kansas operations at its remaining facilities in Lawrence and Leavenworth, the company announced Tuesday" [* I hate the "shed" trope].
MA. Warren-Brown debate: "The debate tonight. Massive crowd. UMass Lowell looked fabulous. Five years of Chancellor Meehan came together in a national event. It was major league. Bigger than Division 1 hockey, as much as I like hockey." … Warren-Brown debate: "It was nasty and brutish and when the smoke cleared there was one clear loser in last night's US Senate debate: moderator David Gregory." …. Warren-Brown debate: Video. … Warren-Brown debate: "I was surprised Warren didn't do more to tie Brown to Washington Rs. Fortunately for her, Brown did his own damage by naming Antonin Scalia as his idea of a model Supreme Court justice (after a lengthy pause that made him look like he was trying to remember the name of a justice -- as one wag said to me, I think we can all agree that 'Scott Brown' and 'lightning round' don't go well together)."
ME. Polls: "Angus King [I]'s popularity with voters has taken a clear hit, but the independent former governor still holds a commanding lead [was 33%, now 22%] in the race to become ME's next U.S. senator, according to a statewide poll conducted earlier this month for MaineToday Media" (the R poll).
MI. Jimmy Hoffa: "No human remains were found in a soil sample taken from underneath a Roseville shed on Friday, bringing no new clues to the 37-year search for the body of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa."
NV. Enthusiasm: "On University Nevada-Reno, not only is the Romney campaign a visible presence trying to register and woo young voters, so is the Koch-brothers backed Americans for Prosperity. I sat in on a meeting of Students for Obama and they were concerned about being out-hustled on campus. Older students, unaffiliated with either party, told me there was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm compared to four years ago -- when Obama spoke on the campus quad."
NY. Greens: "Ursula Rozum teamed up with fellow Green Party member, Greenwich Mayor David Doonan to push another major campaign initiative. Rozum called on her opponents to join her in supporting electoral reforms for a more unregimented voting system, one that allows representation for all parties."
OH. Fracking: "On Oct. 1, the Yellow Springs Village Council voted 3-2 to adopt a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning corporations from conducting shale gas drilling and related activities in the village. The ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)." … Fracking: "A free class is being offered tonight to teach people how to research their own mineral rights. Concerned Citizens Ohio/Shalersville is conducting the class to teach people how to use their computers to access mineral rights leases that are part of the public record." If there's a MERS of fracking, civilization on the North American continent is doomed.
NY. Fracking: "Elected Officials to Protect New York -- representing more than 440 local elected officials from 52 counties across NY -- released a letter spearheaded by Southern Tier elected officials detailing concerns they have about fracking. They noted the review of fracking is still missing not only a comprehensive health impact assessment but also thorough socioeconomic impact and cumulative environmental impact assessments. Leases are long-term and multigenerational. A house built in 1940 might be on land that was signed over to an unknown leaseholder years ago, and the current homeowner may not realize that the mineral rights were never his."
PA. Voting: "A judge ruled Tuesday that a PA law requiring voters to produce photo identification at the polls cannot take effect for the November election." … Best headline EVAH: "Cop Who Sucker-Punched Woman Teaches 'Violence Prevention' To Teens." … Public schools: "[T]he survey estimates the second year of tight funding resulted in nearly 4,200 positions eliminated or left vacant in 2012-13, following the loss of 14,590 positions in 2011-12, for a total of 18,790." Bailouts are for banks, not schools! ... Legalization: "Tuesday's act of civil disobedience [at 4:20] was held on the 75th anniversary of the arrest of Samuel Caldwell and Moses Baca, who were busted on Oct. 2, 1937, shortly after the passage of the federal Marijuana Tax Act. 'The only difference between Bush, Clinton and Obama and the young black men who get caught with this amount of pot is that they were caught'" (PT). There's a lot of that going around.
TX. Giants in those days: "[BOB BULLOCK to lobbyists: ] The state of TX has gone as far as it can go without additional revenue, and I am going to take a little chunk out of each of your asses and put a tax bill together. If you whine, I'm going to take a big chunk out of your asses. So you just decide what you want." … Fracking: "Researchers have established a link between the uptick in earthquakes in TX and the use of disposal wells to store fluid from hydraulic fracturing. The link is well-illustrated in the Dallas area records, which show only one quake before 2008 when oil and gas fracking began increasing, and 49 since then." … Privatization: "Liberty County's entire local economy is centered on incarceration, but the jail, which was full last year, has now lost most of its contract inmates in the wake of scandals and as of September 1st was just 39% occupied. But the empty jail hasn't just cost them contract income, they actually must pay the private prison contractor a 15% premium because the jail population fell below 150 inmates." Couldn't happen to a nicer mercenary police state.
VA. Coal: "The report also repeats past complaints that [Alpha Natural Resources] twisted around routing of the Virginia share of the 116-mile Coalfield Expressway in WV and southwest VA. [Normally,] roads follow valleys because it is easier and cheaper to build this way. But Alpha kicked in with a 'coal synergy' idea in the usual 'Public Private Partnership' mode that Richmond's politicians love so well. The expressway now will go over tops of mountains to better access coal seams. [Alpha] will be able to get to coal on land condemned by the state for the road." … Uranium: "'In general the conventional uranium mining and milling industry has been an extremely unstable and disruptive industry that has left behind significant environmental damage,' [Thomas Michael Power, a University of Montana economist] said" in response to an industry-funded study from George Mason.
WA. More guns, please: "More than a dozen bullets flew in Seattle's Central District Monday shortly before midnight, but there were so many bullet holes in the house already that cops are unsure which were made during that night's gunfight." ... Unions: "The day after a resounding rejection of Boeing's initial contract offer to its engineers and technical professionals, the company made three immediate concessions and signaled a softer approach to the union as talks resumed."
WI. Angels: "A survey released early this year showed that 15.9 percent of all angel investments nationally took place in the Upper Midwest, a share exceeded only by tech-rich California. Wisconsin itself is home to more than two-dozen angel networks, funds and other early stage groups, with total investments of more than $61 million in 2011, compared with less than $2 million in 2003." (See NC 2012-07-09 for an identical story in WI).
Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. Fiscal cliff watch: "But leadership is not endorsing any ideas being floated by members of the Senate's Gang of Eight, a group searching for the elusive grand deficit bargain. Lawmakers and aides say that real negotiations on how to deal with the fiscal cliff can't begin until after voters decide who will control the White House and Congress next year."
The trail. Voting: "Romney's campaign has sent letters to election officials in WI, MI and VT demanding that the deadline for receiving ballots from military and overseas voters be extended." … Polls: " Like I said, no reason to believe that private polls are better or worse on methodological grounds, but every reason to believe that private pollsters will pick and choose which polls they share with you." … The new normal: "The U.S. economy has been recovering, agonizingly slowly, for three years. Voters want desperately to see faster growth, but they're adjusting to the slow lane, and they increasingly believe that Washington can't help. This is the simple reality of life after the Great Recession. But Mitt Romney hasn't adapted to it, and that's why President Obama appears on track to become the first president in 70 years to win reelection with unemployment over 8 percent." Then again, decreasing life expectancy will increase the actuarial soundness of Social Security. Cloud, silver lining, etc.
The debates. Emergent parties: "We will air the debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party" (Aquifer). … Live coverage Wednesday: Democracy Now; Vast Left (twitter). …The challenger: "My expectation is that Romney will do reasonably well with independent voters and move some polling to his advantage at least initially. But after a few days, if he doesn't meet the bar of [the media, the press, and the various and many pundits], the multiplier effect of the media conversation will tamp down any movement" (Matthew Dowd). Exactly like Gore "sighing." Plus ça change plus c'est la même chose. … The incumbent: "'[Obama] almost needs to channel his inner Muhammad Ali by being the ultimate counterpuncher," [Chris Lehane] said. 'But I think you'll see him take a similar tone to the one he exhibited at the convention, a modulated aggressiveness.'"
The Romney. Romney crop art.
The Obama. Oppo: "But the real smoking gun is whether the Obama administration was warned in advance that al-Qaeda was planning an attack. A number of Israeli newspapers have suggested that Washington was warned as early as September 4." Smoking guns aren't "whether." That said, the Telegraph has been (oddly) favorable to Obama, so blog post is a shift. And stories often get planted in the British press in the hopes they migrate across the pond. And note the Israeli sourcing. All of which suggests that Romney's Libyan escapade might have been strategically sensible though tactically hamfisted. Wonder if this will come up in the debates? … Oppo: "[BOBBY RUSH: ] [Obama] and others knocked his predecessor Senator Alice Palmer off the ballot." The Rs are running with Alice Palmer in October?! Once again, a fundamental lack of seriousness. … Oppo: "'The only thing that comes out of [the Drudge video of Obama at Hampton University] is, I believe, what everyone knows is when the president gets off of script, gets off of his teleprompter, you see a different type of president," [Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)] said. 'We saw that just recently in Virginia when he got off script…and started talking about small business owners 'didn't build that' and he had to retract that and make better hay of it.'" When the only sane comment comes from Allen West, you know the country's in terrible trouble.
* Slogan of the day: From The Obama, to The Obama!