By Charles Davis
Japanese government to consider nuclear-free option Asahi Shimbun
It’s nice to think that only evil men are rapists Independent. What if the super-secret covert CIA operation against Julian Assange was really just an effort to turn anti-imperialists into rape apologists?
Revolt of the Rich American Conservative (furzy mouse).
Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen.
Obama, Romney and the Low-Wage Future of America Nieman Reports. What Dan Froomkin and friends also ought to consider: the wealthy also depend on a strong state to transfer wealth from the lower and middle classes to their off-shore bank accounts.
“[B]y the mid-2020s, even with the most optimistic assumptions about economic growth, current trends indicate that the average American’s wages will drop about 20 percent.”
Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists Guardian (furzy mouse). Honestly, choosing to be a vegetarian has proven to be a great decision for me: I feel better and I don’t have to worry about killing poor defenseless animals kept in horrid conditions. Perhaps you should choose vegetarianism while it’s still a choice.
Where the Mob Keeps Its Money New York Times
Today’s mafias are global organizations. They operate everywhere, speak multiple languages, form overseas alliances and joint ventures, and make investments just like any other multinational company.
Columbia leader discloses talks with FARC rebels Los Angeles Times
Deposit flight from Spanish banks smashes record in July Telegraph
Archbishop Tutu refuses platform with Blair Al Jazeera
Poor in India Starve as Politicians Steal $14.5 Billion of Food Bloomberg. This sounds vaguely familiar:
A state police force beholden to corrupt lawmakers, an underfunded federal anti-graft agency and a sluggish court system have resulted in five overlapping investigations over seven years — and zero convictions.
Socialists Ride Wave of Anti-EU Sentiment Der Spiegel (furzy mouse)
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D – 12 and counting*
“Love is a great force in private life; it is indeed the greatest of all things; but love in public affairs does not work.” –E.M. Forster
RNCon. Rules amendments: “Delegates to the GOP convention in Tampa spent a few minutes in loud discord after the convention adopted two reports that seemed to split the gathering nearly evenly.” … Rules amendments: “This was all part of an effort to prevent someone like Paul, who doesn’t win the popular vote at a caucus or primary, from winning control of a delegation through superior organization at the convention.” … Rules amendments: “Most of ME’s delegates walked out of the RNCon on Tuesday afternoon and said they will boycott the rest of the event after failing to overturn a ruling that removed half the state”s delegates pledged to support Ron Paul.” … Rules amendments, Charles Pierce: “[T]he people supporting [Paul] got pretty well screwed this time around. They got screwed at the local level and at the state level and, on Tuesday, they got rogered good and proper by their national party.” Sounds like Denver. … Management problem: “The volunteers are part of the problem. They outnumber the Times Forum event staff by about 5:1, flanking every delegate entrance, network entrance, prayer center, corridor, escalator and elevator, and they do not know where anything goes, in an arena where they do not work.” … Banner drop: “His group dropped a banner that read: ‘Walker Hates Working Families.’ ‘The cops grabbed it and pulled it up, and zip-tied our wrists,’ [Tyler] Mitchell said. ‘That’s when the team across from us dropped the other banner.’ That one read: ‘Walker has a Koch problem.’ ‘When we told [the cops] what the banner said, one of them laughed,’ Mitchell said. ‘One of them quoted Robin Williams — the politicians should have to wear the uniforms of their corporate sponsors.'” … Ron Paul: “Chants of “President Paul!” and “Let him speak!” greeted the presidential hopeful. And Paul carried several state delegations in this afternoon”s roll call, including MN and IA. He even won 20 delegate votes in TX, where his former presidential rival, Gov. Rick Perry, received zero.” … Category mistake: “Cara Jennings, a former Lake Worth city commissioner and self-described anarchist, was escorted out [of Marco Rubio’s breakfast speech] shouting, ‘The Republican agenda doesn”t work for America.'” An anarchist that supports a political party? Do tell. … The suspense ends: “Romney won’t formally be the nominee until he accepts the call in a prime-time speech on Thursday, but the state-by-state roll call vote gave him 2,061 delegates.” … Zinger, Chris Christie: “The president is nothing more than a Chicago ward politician” (Ryan Lizza: “This would be a great speech for a town hall in Bergen.”) … Zinger, Artur Davis: “Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with plywood Greek columns and artificial smoke typically don’t end well.” … Zinger, Ann Romney: “It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right.” (“They work every day.”)
RNCon protests. Crowds: From the photos, small, but very diverse. … Indicator: “The police chief cancel[s] an afternoon news conference about protesters because there’s nothing to report.” … Ron Paul: “We”re back with the @OccupyEye. As I suspected, a camp full of occupiers can only go so long without wanting to march or act. A group is protesting with “Mr 1%” signs at the site of the Republican National Convention. This has led to lively debates with the Ron Paul supporters and Rs who are present.” … Interview: “‘I am pessimistic,’ [Jimmy, who had stayed behind to clean up, ] said. ‘I don’t think we are going to be able to affect much change. But I do feel like we — people like me — are being affected and that we will be changed ourselves.’ Read the whole thing. There’s almost a genre where the writer devotes the top of the story to snark, and then remembers they’re a reporter, interviews somebody, and things get human and useful.
Conventions. Political science: “In general, political scientists find that the biggest effect of major campaign events is to activate partisan predispositions.” Sun slated to appear in East? … Journalism: “The conventions allow the parties and the candidate to speak to voters unfiltered in prime time. That may be threatening to the professional status of journalists, but it”s good for America.”
AK. Voting: “In AK, when a security seal is discovered broken on their tabulation computers — if they are discovered broken — poll workers are instructed to simply replace it with another one and start the voting.”
AL. Jeebus: “An attorney for the Huntsville City Schools had this to say about a bullying incident at Grissom [public] High School earlier this year: ‘While you and I may agree that preaching at school that homosexuality is sinful and against the Bible, is not appropriate, this is not bullying.'” Preaching at school?
AR. Fracking: “According to the suit, the fluid has a tendency to migrate up to 2 miles from the well sites, and the underground reservoirs overlap with personal property not belonging to the gas companies. Specifically, about 14 million gallons of fracking fluid was allegedly injected into a well near the plaintiffs’ property between 2009 and 2010. ‘The issue with toxicity is no one’s really sure what [the fluid] is going to do later on as far as migrating,’ said Timothy Holton, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs.” Important.
FL. Corruption: “On Monday, the SEC sent a Wells Notice to Ivan Harris of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, who represents the city of Miami. The letter confirmed that the SEC staff intends to recommend civil charges of securities fraud and other disclosure violations against the city [for muni bond practices].” … Voting, Bob Graham: “[In the 2011 law,] the 67 county supervisors of elections were given the discretion to set the total number of early voting hours at between 48 and 96. This means FL is likely to have numerous forms of early voting and almost as many potential outcomes. A central issue in Bush vs. Gore, which declared George W. Bush president of the United States, was whether the equal protection of the laws was violated by the variation among FL counties’ election and recount procedures. If this year’s election in FL is as close as it appears it will be, unfold your favorite lounge chair. It’s going to be a long time before this one is settled.” … Labor: “The search continues for the body of a 58-year-old worker who fell into a cement silo eleven days ago when the roof he was standing on collapsed.” Just another dead worker.
LA. Isaac: Weather Underground tracking map. … Isaac: “Isaac made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane about 7:45 pm EDT and about 10 miles west of the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River and 90 miles southeast of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish, La., packing winds in excess of 80 mph.”
MD. Emerging parties: “On Monday, the State Board of Elections told leaders of the Green Party and the Libertarian Party that they had collected enough valid petition signatures to be put back on the November ballot.”
MI. Voting: “On Tuesday, August 28th, a Ingham County grand jury was allocated to launch a criminal investigation of evidence in MI Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) and State Representative Roy Schmidt ‘perpetrated election fraud scandal” (JW).
MN. Voting: “Peggy Flanagan, White Earth Nation tribal member and former Minneapolis School Board member declared that [her tribal] ID might not be considered sufficient if the MN voter restriction constitutional amendment passes this November.”
ND. Extractive economy: “Current confidential well list.”
NV. Voting: “The NV Secretary of State has asked the Ninth Circuit to restore ‘None of these candidates’ to the ballot.”
NY. Fracking: “[I]f Cuomo is serious about keeping the option open for a presidential bid, he will not, in the current national political climate at least, want to be labeled by opponents as the guy who closed the door on domestic energy production.” (See Stoller on why the political class hedges its bets.) … Fracking: “[Returning from the Capitol protest [NC 08-27]] we stopped at a diner, and sat in a booth next to two people talking about today. They recognized us from the march and asked where we were from. They were delighted to hear Dryden, and said Dryden was really leading the way – that Dryden was willing to take a stand with a ban and stick with it.”
OH. Fracking: “Increased awareness that the use of fracking technology is destructive to public health, the environment and economic stability has also led to the realization that this industry is destructive to representative government.” Interesting list of organizations seeking the return of home rule.
TN. Voting: “In Shelby and now Davidson County, there have been reports of voters getting the wrong primary ballot and voting in the wrong district. State election officials have admitted that poll worker training was inadequate. Davidson County officials were advised against using electronic poll books, but used them anyway. ”
TX. Charters: “TX does include evolution in its science curriculum. But apparently Ms. Gonzalez-Reynolds thought it was inappropriate to call attention to that fact. And now she is the second-in-command at the TEA, serving a man known for his advocacy of vouchers and charters.” …. Pipelines: “This morning four landowner advocates and climate justice organizers locked themselves to the underside of a massive truck carrying 36″ pipe intended for Keystone XL construction. Seven blockaders were onsite risking arrest. State troopers arrived on the scene and [they] were arrested.” … Voting: “TX lawmakers didn”t comply with the Voting Rights Act when they drew new maps for congressional, state Senate and state House districts, a federal court in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday.”
VA. Police state: “[Brandon Raub] described how he talked with FBI agents at his door last week and then was tackled to the ground, handcuffed and taken to jail. He was released Friday after Hopewell Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett ruled that the order involuntarily committing Raub was ‘so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.'”
WA. Legalization: “The study shows that each of WA’s 39 counties spent at least $100,000 on marijuana enforcement from 2000 to 2010. King County spent the most _ nearly $35 million.” State total: $211 million.
WI. Police state: “A few dozen activists chalked the sidewalks outside the WI State Capitol Sunday afternoon after Steve Books, a Madison veteran and peace activist was arrested, handcuffed, cited and released Saturday for writing ‘This is Far from over’ in chalk on the public sidewalk.” Chalk’s a problem? How about cake frosting? That washes off in the rain, too. … Fracking: “Wisconsin’s chaotically fast-growing [fracking] sand mining industry took a step toward stricter self-regulation [!!] Tuesday with the public rollout of [the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association] by a handful of the industry’s top players.”
Outside baseball. Foreclosure: Nathan’s puppets! … Semantics: “GOP pollster Frank Luntz this morning — in a lecture on messaging — urged GA delegates to the RNCon to avoid the word ‘capitalism’ in their arguments.” … Semantics: “One sinister aspect of all this is the way that ‘optics’ helps lend the problem of appearances a sort of stand-alone reality, shorn of all context” (Romenesko). … Media critique: “Male journalists have been the primary “storytellers” of this year”s election news since January” (chart).
The trail. Medicare: “Have the Republicans fought to a draw on Medicare? Republicans say yes. Steven Benen agrees. I think that conclusion is premature.” Good, linky post. … Last hurrah: Translating Ron Brownstein [NC 08-27] on the R winning formula: “This is their last, best chance to win an election in the party’s current demographic and ideological form. Future generations of GOP politicians will have to appeal to nonwhite voters who hold far more liberal views about the role of government than does the party’s current base.”
Robama vs. Obomney watch. Hagiogaphy: “[Muralist] Jason Mecier spent about 100 hours constructing the political portraits, dubbed ‘Barack Obameat’ and ‘Meat Romney’ and used 50 bags of jerky to create each meat mosaic.”
Green Party. Legalization: “[JILL STEIN: ] We need to legalize cannabis, get the users out of jail, and start to treat substance abuse and addiction as a public health problem, not as a criminal act.”
Libertarian Party. Roger Stone: “Ron Paul, the guy who talks constantly for principle, demonstrates he has none. If he did, he’d be for Gary Johnson” (he’s “undecided”).
Romney. The worker’s friend: “When R presidential candidate Romney visited an OH coal mine this month, workers who appeared with him at the rally lost pay because their mine was shut down.” … Race card: “But [National Journal editor Ron] Fournier did not just tell [Romey advisor Ron] Kaufman [welfare] the ad was wrong, he also accused the Romney campaign of ‘playing the race card.’ Fournier, who is from Detroit, MI., said that welfare is a hot button issue in his hometown, and that this ad was ‘pushing that button … playing to that racial prejudice. And I’m wondering: are you guys doing that on purpose?'” … Ezra Klein: “Romney isn”t always the best speaker. He can be wooden on the stump and gaffe-prone off of it. But his very public weaknesses can obscure the fact that he”s a very, very good politician. He”s an incredible fundraiser. He”s a strong debater. He”s disciplined in his message. He”s strategic. He”s good at picking campaign staff. And the results show: He”s now the Republican nominee for president.”
* 12 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with an airdrop of bottled water and C-rations for everyone on the floor of the
Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. WA has 12 electoral votes.
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