Election Countdown 2012: Drone Pilots May Practice by Tracking Civilian Cars, and More

In today’s Election Countdown 2012 news: Iowa’s governor announced he does not intend to go along with the planned Medicaid expansion under Obama’s health care bill, the Occupy National Gathering has come out with a vision statement and website, drone pilots may practice by tracking civilians care, and more.

D-63 and counting*

“Summer afternoon – Summer afternoon… the two most beautiful words in the English language.” –Henry James

Occupy. #NatGT: “The hundreds of thousands who participated in Occupy protests last fall did not trek to Philadelphia.” And? The value of a conference is in the deliverables: A vision statement, a web site, relationships formed, lessons learned. We shall see.

Montreal. Carré rouge: “Mathias Bressan was blocked by a bodyguard when he tried to offer a red square to Premier [Charest]. His colleague, Thomas Prédour, told the media yesterday that he then took back the red square and attempted to ‘discuss’ with the Premier. ‘He retorted that if I advanced, I would be handcuffed and escorted from the congress and that I would see what Quebec is all about.‘” Oh? … New media, study: “[With twitter, [i]t’s like people on the ground had CB radios and were able to communicate amongst themselves, previously an advantage for police, but it has become an advantage for protesters.” … Electoral politics: “The Quebec Liberal Party [is] opposed to the installation of voting booths in CEGEPs [defined] and universities.” One reason why.

IA. “Roughly 150,000 people, or about 5 percent of Iowa’s population, will not receive Medicaid coverage [under ObamaCare]. Governor Terry Branstad … does not intend to go along with Medicaid expansion.”

NJ. “Soon after, someone in [Gov Chris] Christie’s party put his arm around the 49-year-old and escorted him in the other direction.” No doubt (Susie Madrak).

NY. Fracking, academic integrity: Deans vs. Profs. Note that Big Oil is unlikely to have bought off the English Department. … Drones: “‘Wait, you guys practice tracking enemies by using civilian cars?’ a reporter asked. One Air Force officer responded that this was only a training mission, and then the group was quickly hustled out of the room.”

OH. Privatization: “[SB314’s] other 144 pages finalize the privatization of the state’s economic development activities, a controversial move that puts billions of taxpayer dollars into the hands of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats not subject to OH’s ethics, public records or public meetings laws.” What could go wrong? Note Ds cooperated with Rs to pass the bill. The blogger, partisan though not Kossackian, can’t understand this.

PA. Fracking: “It wasn’t a spill. It was ‘a release.'” … Voting: “More than 758,000 registered voters in PA do not have photo identification cards from the state Transportation Department, putting their voting rights at risk.” … Tinpot tyrants: “The state paid a Fayette County woman and her lawyer $85,000 to settle her claim that five state troopers from the barracks near Uniontown pepper-sprayed and urinated on her while she was shackled.” Only $85K?

TN. “The Memphis branch of Planned Parenthood received a federal grant that will [offset half] the loss of [$748,000 in] state funding last year.”

TX. Common humanity: “It made me sick to think this guy was executed based on this investigation.” (Cf. FL lifeguard: “[We] should have jurisdiction to help someone.”) … “In a nation that only ranks 37th in health care out of all the world’s nations, TX ranks 50th out of all the states. TX delivers the poorest health care in a nation with the poorest health care of any developed nation.” … Corruption: “Houston City Councilwoman Helena Brown subtracted hours from employees’ timecards in apparent violation of federal law, according to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle.”

VA. Corporatization: “I’m not kidding. Gov. McDonnell this afternoon announced the appointment of ‘Carly Fiorina of Lorton, Chairman of Carly Fiorina Enterprises and Former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard’ to the James Madison University Board of Visitors.”

Outside baseball. General Welfare: “[In Madison’s] draft of the VA Constitution, he included rights to free education and public land.” … Voting: Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, chair of FairVote was on Maddow Thursday evening, July 5, to talk about Proportional Representation. (Take that, Sid Vicious!) … Social tip: “[T]here’s an unexpected naïveté among the truly powerful; they assume that anyone who has arrived at their desk has survived the scrutiny of handlers.”

The economy. Nobody knows anything watch, Nate Silver: “We just do not have anywhere near enough to data to make confident claims about exactly which economic variables are important” to election polling.” … Bob Dole: “Things are going to get better. Be optimistic.” Off message!

Robama vs. Obomney watch. “[OBAMA:] When you hear all these folks saying, ‘Oh, no, no, this is a tax, this is a burden on middle-class families,’ let me tell you, we know because the guy I’m running against tried this in MA and it’s working just fine–even though now he denies it.” …. Romney: “Although his health-care mandate bears a striking resemblance to Obama’s, Romney has tried to convince voters throughout the campaign that they’re not at all the same.” So, we should vote for Obama because he passed Romney’s plan? Or we should vote for Romney because he didn’t? Or we should vote for neither, because Obama/RomneyCare is full of #FAIL and leaves billions on the table?

Libertarian Party. “[Gary] Johnson … and Buddy Roemer … have both qualified for additional federal matching funds for the primaries. In the July installment, Roemer gets $66,491 and Johnson gets $130,059.”

The trail. Those pesky independents! “Most voters have well-defined opinions about Obama. Romney is the variable here. And undecided voters have almost no opinion about him whatsoever.” If Romney doesn’t watch out, Obama’s going to strap him to the roof of his own car. … Alternatively: “[Most independent voters] can probably tell you that Mitt Romney’s economic plan is to repeal Obamacare and shrink the government. It may not make much sense, but it’s clear. Ask what Obama’s plan is, and they won’t be certain. They will know, however, that what he has done hasn’t worked. And by the fall, many independents will have made up their minds.”

Romney. “[ROMNEY:] There’s a lot of misery in America today. And this kick in the gut has got to end.” I know! Tax cuts! … Oppo? “To date, there has been no legitimate explanation for Mitt Romney having cast a vote in the January 2010 Special Election for the U.S. Senate between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley. At the time of his vote (which he has admitted doing) he owned no house in MA, and yet he was registered to vote from the address of his son’s unfinished basement in Belmont, MA.”

Obama. “[OBAMA:] So we’ve got to grow the economy even faster.” Even? … Advance work: “Dozens of supporters passed out from the extreme heat at an Obama campaign event in Pittsburgh on Friday. It didn’t appear that the president cut his stump speech, which went on for more than half an hour, short because of the heat.” Good thing nobody died. Why no water? … Advance work? “At one point, [Obama] consoled a crying woman, Stephanie Miller, who was telling him a story. Miller, reached by phone afterward, said her sister, Kelly Hines, died from colon cancer four years ago because she could not afford proper health insurance. She had no employer-provided coverage. ‘Even after she was diagnosed with cancer, she was told her income was too high for Medicaid,’ Ms. Miller said. ‘I thanked him for the getting the Affordable Health Act passed.” Tactically, I’d hate to think this incident was anything other than spontaneous. But see NC 2012-06-30 at “Lynn Sweet.” Morally, “We are all Kelly Hines,” and all should be covered, which ObamaCare does not do.

* 63 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with a banquet of giant bags of Krispy Kreme donuts on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. When I get older, losing my hair… And my ability to count…