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Election Countdown 2012: The UN Puts Canada on the Human Rights Watch List, and More

The UN puts Canada on the human rights watch list; Ohio wants to open up the state’s forests and parks to fracking; Philadelphia’s Green Party takes a firm stand against the privatization of Philadelphia Gas Works, the largest municipally owned gas utility in the US; and more. D – 82 and counting* The sun on … Continued

The UN puts Canada on the human rights watch list; Ohio wants to open up the state’s forests and parks to fracking; Philadelphia’s Green Party takes a firm stand against the privatization of Philadelphia Gas Works, the largest municipally owned gas utility in the US; and more.

D – 82 and counting*

The sun on the meadow is summery warm, The stag in the forest runs free… –Fred Ebb

Occupy. “‘I was trained to speak in, like, five paragraphs at a time, with really clearly delineated, bulletproof arguments. And that kind of communication doesn’t leave a lot of space. That’s the point. It’s impenetrable. And that’s not how we talk in OWS,’ he said.” Moi?! Frazier Report on OPD: “[T]he department’s Tango Team officers, who are equipped with the less-than-lethal munitions, did not fill out records that night showing that they were issued the munitions or that they used them.” Can’t manage what you don’t measure. OccupyOakland: “Parents who disagree with the Oakland Unified School District board’s decision to close five elementary schools… are protesting by building an encampment on the Lakeview campus, just off Grand Avenue. … Parents have been getting help and advice from Occupy Oakland protesters.”

Montreal. U.N. puts Canada on human rights watchlist over Bill 78. Summer schedule: “The next large Quebec protest has been called for June 22…. Casseroles Night in Canada will [also] take place on Friday, June 22.” “The pillow fight ended with the smashing of a pinata of Quebec Premier Jean Charest. Inside were brown envelopes containing chocolate prizes, along with sheets of paper describing corruption allegations against the Charest government.” Red square: “[T]he phrase is Carrément dans le rouge, meaning ‘squarely in debt.’ That’s why hundreds of thousands… have taken to pinning little red squares of cloth to their clothes. But the red square has a history. It started in the Quebecois workers’ movement over a decade ago and was taken up by the militant wing of the student power movement.” Corruption: “I never cared about roadwork until I moved to Montreal; now every pylon screams ‘mafia’. Sickening – and in full view. Charest and Tremblay don’t realize/care just how much it damages the body politic when ‘ordinary people’ are nailed for the tiniest infraction yet other people can do exactly what they want, often with public money. It’s taken centuries to develop the concept of a ‘neutral state’ that allows some countries to have a public life where people willingly share their resources instead of hoarding them for family protection/bribes. Just incredible.” Silent majority: “Because our premier is in the middle of a fear campaign. He’s cultivating it. He couldn’t be cultivating it more. In his view, and this is what’s interesting, everything appears radical. He’s like an extreme-centre politician, an old man who thinks the music is always too loud. Everything is radical. The PQ are extremists, the CAQ is a waiting room for sovereignty, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is a 130-pound Taliban, the casseroles are a threat to the government, the red square is a diabolical symbol of intimidation and violence.” Polling: “For the political pollster, Jean-Marc Léger, this left-right split was revealed in the federal election of May 2011. At that moment, ‘the left-right split took the upper hand.’ He noted that at that moment, 43% of Quebeckers had voted NDP. ‘That’s a higher percentage than René Lévesque got in1976!’ The separatist-federalist debate hasn’t totally disappeared, but ‘the left-right split got added and is more and more dominant,’ he notes.” Polling: “Averaging out the take from pollsters, politics blog ThreeHundredEight put Charest’s Liberals at 32.5 per cent support, a slim 0.4 per cent over the opposition Parti Quebecois. While the lead is razor thin, far too narrow an advantage on which to gamble a call for election, it shatters the narrative of the suffering Liberals.” Montreal landlord forbids his tenants from banging pots from their balconies.” (Un propriétaire montréalais interdit depuis deux semaines à ses locataires de jouer de la casserole sur leur balcon.) “As we cleared out, the crowd chanted, ‘On reste calme! On reste calme!’ (‘We’re staying calm. We’re staying calm.’ In Quebecois French, public language often takes the indicative rather than the imperative mood. So rather than ‘Don’t litter!’ signs will frequently say, ‘I put my garbage in the trash can.’ This tendency sometimes transfers to our marching chants.)”

FL. You’re gonna have to learn your clichés. Tampa police spokeswoman: “Anarchy is a tactic, versus a group. It is used by different groups.” No no, it’s black bloc that’s a tactic, not a group! [snort, and meta-snort] Corruption: “[Connected Nation] won the contract to map the gaps in broadband Internet use in FL [and] got state lawmakers to remove the agency in charge [Department of Management Services] and to expand its own role.”

LA. Times-Picayune: “‘Joe,’ I said, as I climbed in and started trying to pat the creases out of my white linen suit, ‘some of my lunch companions tell me Beast Butler is back. Have you seen him around?'”

MA. “All in all, we are seeing how they make the sausage. For the mouth breathers that want to shrink government, so they can drown it in a bathtub, details are unrewarding. For those of us that feel government is our imperfect approach to propelling all of us forward, together; seeing the beautiful imperfections is compelling.”

ME. “Late last month, a train carrying 104 tank cars filled with crude traveled 2,435 miles from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota across ME to the Irving Oil refinery in St. John, New Brunswick.”

MI. “Vagina Monologues to be performed on Capitol steps tomorrow.”l

MT. Stay classy: “Montana GOP convention features bullet-riddled ‘Obama outhouse’.”

NC. Bipartisan vote keeps NC state liquor stores open Sundays and holidays for D convention. Bar owner: “It’s always a good thing when you can have access to liquor.” True!

OH. Fracking: “State officials have spent the past three months combing through property records across eastern OH in an effort to open up OH”s forests and parks to shale drilling.”

PA. Privatization: “The Green Party of Philadelphia has taken a firm stand against privatizing of Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). … PGW is the largest municipally-owned gas utility in the U.S.”

TX. “Today at [Paul Kubosh]’s offices on Lubbock, the issue regarded feeding the homeless, and whether or not it’s our God-given right as citizens of these United States to give a homeless person some ‘bread and a packet of bologna.’ In April, [Houston] outlawed bequeathing a meal upon a homeless person without permission of the property owner.”

VA. “Continuity of Government” at UVA: [Home builder Helen] Dragas, [venture capitalist Mark] Kington and Hunter Craig, a Charlottesville industrialist, who formed a quorum of the UVA board’s executive committee, were the only ones on the 16-member board to actually vote on [President Teresa Sullivan]’s forced resignation.” (Earlier WaPo story) “Even though UVA has indicated that President Sullivan would remain in office until August 15, a transition memo that Wood shared indicates that Wood herself no longer reports to the president– but instead to the Rector and Vice-Rector, Helen Dragas and Mark Kington.” “Tonight, the Faculty Senate met and approved the no-confidence vote already passed by its executive council—stating support for Sullivan.” Provost John Simon: “The Board actions over the next few days will inform me as to whether UVA remains the type of institution I am willing to dedicate my efforts to help lead.” “The school’s Honor Committee, which took a step unprecedented its 170-year history, calling the board’s failure to explain its actions ‘inconsistent with the value of trust that runs through the very fabric of our university.'” “Unless they’ve broken the law or the rules, [Gov] McDonnell’s appointees to the board — many are big-dollar donors and 1 percent-ers or better; most are influential in business or politics — cannot be removed in midterm just because he may want to remove them.” “It’s the kind of mistake that could be a case study taught by business schools as a classic tale of how secrecy backfires in a forced resignation offered without scandal and with only the barest sketch of vague philosophical differences.” “UVA donors threaten to withhold funds over ouster of president.” Bowdlerizing science: “The General Assembly approved a study on the effects of sea-level rise only after references to ‘sea level rise’ were removed.” Now: “recurrent flooding.” R state convention: “‘We are all friends here,’ he said, straining to be understood over the din.” Alrighty then.

WI. You’re gonna have to learn your clichés: “[WALKER]: We need to confront the powerful special interests in Washington and put the hard working taxpayers back in charge of our government. … We need that kind of bold leadership again today to get our fiscal house on track [block that metaphor!] and to get our economy back in order. But more big government is not the answer as the president contends.” (Note to self: Nooners? Long shot: Favreau?) Iron mine: “Tim Sullivan, chairman of the WI Mining Association, said Walker charged him with spearheading an effort to examine WI’s mining laws and learn about mine permitting in other states. That, he said, likely will lead to the formation of a panel to draw up a new proposal to streamline WI’s permitting process for iron mines.” Hoo boy. Corruption: “The Waukesha Water Utility Commission also recently approved a package of bonuses and perks for Daniel Duchniak, its General Manager and key diversion planner and advocate — including the use of a vehicle similar to the Ford Edge pictured below — an immediate bonus of $15,000, and up to $50,000 in additional “longevity” bonuses in two stages….” Corruption: “Among the findings of the [Legislative Audit Bureau]’s 174-page report is that no results were ‘tracked or reported’ for 22 state economic development programs, including four loan or grant programs that doled out $3.9 million.” Recall: “If $80 million was spent, that’s more than $20 per vote.” Recall: “In the 2010 governor’s race, Walker won rural voters by 20 points. On June 5, he won them by almost 30 points (64% to 36% in the exit polls), the biggest margin in any race for governor or president in WI since the 1990s.” Long haul bromide: “Big fish can still be fried.”

Inside Baseball. “A half-dozen competitive Senate races this cycle feature a Republican businessman running solely on his or her record of creating jobs and generating revenue.” “Government should be run like a business” ranks about as high as “government is like a household” in the pernicious meme sweepstakes. “The challenges facing the polling industry demand transparency about methodology—to say nothing of data that is publicly available in a timely fashion—and many pollsters simply will not provide either.” Linking to: “The real story here is less about Gallup than about the new reality of public opinion polling. Sophisticated random samples, live interviews and rigorous calling procedures alone can no longer guarantee accurate results. Today’s rapidly declining response rates require more weighting than ever before to correct demographic skews, a phenomenon that places growing stress on previously reliable weighting procedures.”

Policy. Obama Doctrine: “Mr Obama’s national security doctrine is based on moving to a smarter age in which the US substitutes drones, better diplomacy and covert actions for large-scale military operations. Craftiness and discretion are paramount. … Plausible deniability is integral to the success of the Obama doctrine. Yet Mr Obama is apparently willing to auction it off for votes.” Yes, and? Obama Doctrine, Jesse Ventura (!): “He’s leaving private contractors over there, a lot of them. He hasn’t closed Gitmo yet. He didn’t prosecute anyone for torture. We’re now a country known throughout the world, we torture people, and I’m ashamed of that.” Immigration: “[PLOUFFE:] This is not a political move.” [snort] Heartland reaction: “Obama’s action looks like a blatant election-year attempt to appeal to the large and growing constituency of Latino voters. He could have enacted this policy years ago, or at least after the U.S. Senate killed the DREAM Act. But I’m glad the president did the right thing today, even if for the wrong reasons.” R reaction: “FL’s Marco Rubio, the only Hispanic Republican in the U.S. Senate and a vice-presidential shortlister for Romney: “Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem.”

Ron Paul. R IA state convention: “At least 21 of the 28 delegates backed Paul, who came in third in the IA caucuses.”

Libertarian Party. “The below press release from the Reeves faction of the Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO) was issued in the aftermath of their June 14 victory in court against the Wagner faction. Both view themselves as the legitimate leadership of the LPO.” Alrighty then. Gary Johnson: “America is better and brighter than this. Be libertarian with me this one time, and I’ll prove it to you.” Not bad messaging.

Romney. Magical mysteries: “More than anything, Romney seemed blown away by the Wawa [PA convenience chain] computers, which he raved about. ‘You press a little touchtone key pad… You touch this, touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier, and there’s your sandwich,’ Romney said. ‘It’s amazing!'” Touchtone key pad? Isn’t that a little 80s? Map of Romney’s bus tour made by ABC’s Falcone. Not smart: “Mitt Romney rescheduled an event at a Pennsylvania WaWa Saturday after Obama supporters rallied at the bus tour stop. Instead of confronting the protesters, Romney stopped at a WaWa several towns over, but it cost him local headlines.” Man Of The People Watch: “The Romneys declared a loss of $77,000 on their 2010 tax returns for the share in the care and feeding of Rafalca, which Mrs. Romney owns with Mr. Ebeling’s wife, Amy, and a family friend, Beth Meyers.” So, did they strap Rafalca to the top of the horse van?

Obama. “Obama’s ability to speak frankly about the European crisis is complicated by his dual roles of chief executive and candidate.” What ability? Roberto Unger, Obama’s prof at law school: “President Obama must be defeated in the coming election. He has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States.” Nary a word on this from the “progressive” sites, oddly. Or not. Ian Welsh was right about this.

* 82 days ’til the Democratic National Convention feasts on stone crabs on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 82 is the number Kurt Vonnegut wants carved on his tombstone.

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