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Election Countdown 2012: New York Residents Block Construction on Proposed Pipeline, and More

Today in the Election Countdown: For five consecutive days, Minisink residents in New York have managed to seriously delay construction on a pipeline by physically blocking the entrance to the site of its proposed compressor station; a lawsuit in Arkansas contends that fracking waste spreads as much as several miles in an underground ‘reservoir’ that … Continued

Today in the Election Countdown: For five consecutive days, Minisink residents in New York have managed to seriously delay construction on a pipeline by physically blocking the entrance to the site of its proposed compressor station; a lawsuit in Arkansas contends that fracking waste spreads as much as several miles in an underground ‘reservoir’ that lies under land of people who have not been paid any consideration for waste that has migrated under their property; Occupy Atlanta helps a retired detective avoid losing her home; and more.

Mission elapsed time: T + 31 and counting*

If someday it may happen that a victim must be found
I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list
Of society’s offenders who may well be underground
And who never would be missed, they never would be missed. –Gilbert & Sullivan, The Mikado

Occupy. Occupy Atlanta: “Less than a year after Occupy Atlanta members clashed with police in riot gear in a downtown park, they’re now protesting alongside officers to help a retired detective avoid losing her home to foreclosure” (HBIV) … Archives: ACT-UP and Occupy (video; LA).

AR. Green Party: “Voters in the 12th District should pick [Paula Bradshaw] ‘because the Ds are busily destroying the environment just like the Rs,’ Bradshaw said. “It really doesn’t matter which one is in power” (another Green ER nurse). … Fracking: “The lawsuit [against Southwestern Energy, XTO and Chesapeake Energy injection wells] contends the waste spreads — as much as several miles — in an underground ‘reservoir’ that lies under land of people who have not been paid any consideration for waste that has migrated under their property. Since it can never be removed, the lawsuit calls this a ‘permanent trespass.’”

CA. Proposition 32: “Although advertisements for it tout that it is an even-handed way of decreasing the corrosive effects of money in politics, in reality Prop. 32 will have one and only one effect: to decrease political activities of labor unions. It is an unfair and likely unconstitutional restriction on the political speech of unions and their members and leaves businesses free to pour money into politics” (and so, naturally, a progressive D is shilling for it).

FL. Swing state: “Obama won Miami-Dade by more than 139,000 votes ­– nearly 60 percent of his statewide victory margin and the biggest margin of any FL county. Compare that with John Kerry in 2004, who won here by nearly 49,000 votes, and Al Gore ­– damaged by the Clinton-Gore administration’s decision to return Elian to Cuba ­– who in 2000 won it by about 39,000. The bad news for the president? If he fails to match it this November, FL’s 29 electoral votes ­may flip to Romney.” … Voting: “But it’s not blatant fraud that has elections experts worried about possible voting mayhem [in FL] come November. Rather, it’s the re-registration of voters, where personal information such as someone’s party affiliation, signature or address could have been changed without the person’s knowledge.”

IA. Christianism: “On October 7, some pastors marked so-called ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ with sermons urging congregants to vote against Obama or for Romney. It bothers me that the IRS doesn’t enforce the law against tax-exempt organizations whose leaders engage in explicit electioneering. Your right to free speech does not equal a right to non-profit status for tax purposes.

NY. Pipelines: “For five consecutive days, Minisink residents have managed to seriously delay construction activities by physically blocking the entrance to the site of [Millennium Pipeline’s] proposed compressor station. Two residents were arrested for disorderly conduct–a father of two young children on Monday and a local farmer.” … Unions: “Staffers at the New York Times briefly walked out Monday afternoon in protest of the management’s position on contract negotiations.” … Pipelines: “[NY] has finally given the go-ahead on a PA-NY natural gas pipeline interconnect called Bluestone. This pipeline job is now a $280 million construction project. But our media reps don’t seem to be able to see any worthwhile angles.” Readers? … Police state: “[NYPD’s Intelllience department] has initiated investigations and taken sole credit for arrests involving three separate potential attacks. A common thread in all three cases has been the mental instability and subnormal intellectual capacities of the alleged terrorists. Each involved a sting operation and relied almost entirely on the testimony of a paid undercover informant. Mentally unstable people may be capable of great harm and paid informants may help detect serious crimes. But the facts in these cases warrant critical attention.” …

OH. Privatization: “Corrections Corporation of America [operator of the nation’s first privately-owned state prison] has been firmly rebuked by OH officials for conditions at Lake Erie Correctional Facility in Conneau. Cells were dirty, inmates lacked clean laundry and blankets, pots and pans weren’t clean, doors were standing open, and keys were missing.” … Voting: “According to newly-issued Directive 2012-48, Boards of Election wishing to notify a voter of mistakes on his/her absentee ballot can only do so ‘in writing by first class mail.’ The very first question on an absentee ballot request form is for Phone Number, which the form says is “Recommended”. And the online request form asks for both phone number and email address. If they aren’t allowed to use the information to help speed up the process and help quickly notify voters of mistakes on their ballots, then why bother asking for it?”

PA. Police blotter: “In the video, Schultz can be heard asking, ‘Did they just deck the bride?’ and then stating: ‘They just decked the bride.’” The city that loves you back! … Charters: “Gov. Tom Corbett’s education chief changed the [Pennsylvania System of School Assessment] testing rules in a way that makes it easier for charter schools to meet federal benchmarks than traditional public schools.” One hand washes the other. … Debt: “A hearing before the state Senate committee on local government might be the closest the people of Harrisburg ever come to justice for the botched incinerator retrofit that has left the capital city saddled with more than $340 million in debt. Depending on whom you believe, the retrofit of the city’s incinerator was done with the best of intentions and the blame belongs to now-bankrupt Barlow Construction, the firm hired to conduct the retrofit. Or it is a tangled web of financial interests, parties hellbent on getting the project done, whatever the cost. A conspiracy of consultants and politicians benefiting from the public’s largess” (PT). Hmm… I’m thinking it over

TN. Pensions: “Fully funded, TVA’s retirement plan should total $11.5 billion. Instead, it now stands at $7 billion.”

TX. Police state: “Madelene Garra was among those praising the [new program of RFID-enabled school badges]. “It gives the kids a little bit more responsibility, knowing that we as a faculty are keeping up with them,” she said. “Once they get out there in the real world, they’re going to have to be on the job on time, and they’re going to have to be accountable.” … Oil: “The Port of Corpus Christi is experiencing a significant jump in crude oil exports as the port continues to develop into a collection point for outbound Eagle Ford Shale crude shipments.” … Christianism: “Alliance Defending Freedom, the group organizing the event, said nationwide about 1,000 pastors from almost 30 denominations signed up to preach about politics, including about 65 in the Houston area. The list of local participants was dominated by evangelicals. Participants mail the IRS video or printed copies of their sermons in which they endorse candidates or parties in defiance of federal law prohibiting tax-exempt nonprofits from making political endorsements for candidates.” … More guns, please: “However, one group of Austin libertarians has drawn the attention of federal law enforcement by taking 3-D printing to its next (quintessentially Texan) level: printing guns.”

VA. Police state: “A VA man spent four hours in jail after purchasing a Chevrolet Traverse from Priority Chevrolet in Chesapeake, VA. The dealer’s sales staff accidentally sold the SUV to Danny Sawyer for $5,600 less than they should have, and when Sawyer refused to sign a new, more expensive contract for the correct amount, the dealership called the local police alleging the buyer had stolen the vehicle.”

WI. Walker: “Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel has issued a summons for Governor Scott Walker to appear in Milwaukee County court at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 16 in the trial of his former deputy chief of staff, Kelly Rindfleisch.”

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. The Obama: “Why I expect Obama to try to cut Social Security. Short answer: Because he’s telling us he wants to.” Check the links. Susie, too. … Bipartisan: “It’s important to remember, when you hear commentators and journalists beg for a world-saving compromise, that in the modern era almost anything that is broadly bipartisan is a bad idea. The Invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act and the 1996 Telecommunications Act were all authorized by Congress with impressively bipartisan votes.”

The trail. Polls: “Pew, which in mid-September showed Romney trailing Obama by eight points, now [has] Romney at 49% and Obama at 45%.” … Polls: Andrew Sullivan clutches his pearls and heads for the fainting couch. … Polls: “[W]e’d truly have a much better conversation about this election if people would stop fixating on every single poll.” … Polls: “Romney and Obama are virtually tied among likely voters, a new Gallup daily tracking poll will show, according to USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page.” But only swing counties in swing states matter. … Math: “On top of reliable Democratic states, if Obama takes OH, NH, IA and either WI or NV, he wins the White House. So far he remains well-placed in all of those states. He can lose VA and the big prize of FL and still get across the line. Romney literally cannot put a foot wrong from now until November 6.” That is the “paths to victory” trope.

Outside Baseball. Charters: “The School to Prison Pipeline is a nationwide system of local, state and federal education and public safety policies that pushes students out of school and into the criminal justice system. This system disproportionately targets youth of color and youth with disabilities. Inequities in areas such as school discipline, policing practices, high-stakes testing and the prison industry contribute to the pipeline.” Charters, corruption, mass incarceration; nice company for Bill and Melinda! … Demand: “While all the talk is about pipelines, oil trains are quietly chugging into more and more stretches of the country. Wherever there’s a refinery and a nearby set of tracks, you can be sure that oil and gas companies are working to link them to the booming shale wells. [A]bove all else, demand is what drives the oil boom.” … Competition: “In that great come-and-get-it-day, all schools will be excellent when they compete. That’s why all those programs on all those channels on your TV dial are excellent, and why every product in the marketplace is excellent. Ah, the glories of deregulation!” … ObamaCare: “Analysts say many other companies, including the White Castle hamburger chain, are considering employing fewer full-timers because of key features of the Affordable Care Act scheduled to go into effect in 2014. Under that law, large companies must provide affordable health insurance to employees working an average of at least 30 hours per week. Darden said its goal at the test restaurants is to keep employees at 28 hours a week.” But that’s OK! They can buy junk insurance on the exchanges with the rest of the proles!

The Romney. Crowds: “‘People wonder why it is I’m so confident we’re going to win,’ said Romney, the heavy rain soaking him just moments after he took the stage.’I’m confident because I see you here on a day like this. This is unbelievable! Thank you so much!’” Suddenly, Romney starts getting favorable press. It’s a horse race!

The Obama. The Obamikado: “I’ve Got a Little List” (video; AH). Awesome.

* Workers in The Swing States Will Always be Faithful to The Obama!

NOTE Hat tip for the epigraph to AH in honor of “Kill List Tuesday.” But maybe Obama bumped it back a day because Monday was a holiday?

* Slogan of the day: Forward to Shared Sacrifice With The Obama!

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