File Under : No Sh-t... is that lower than the Kardashians? Visions of protesters upstaging the convention, cops and guardsmen clubbing and kettling joined-together occupiers mobbing the streets of Charlotte - all fail to materialize. DNC and RNC stage nearly identical spectacles : entirely locked-down affairs, leaving citizens intent on forcing their issues left on the surrounding sidewalks, in the rain. Or hemmed in to now ubiquitous protester pens.
The prospect of facing, much less challenging, the military-police show of force, is daunting to all but the most hardy activists, such as Code Pink's Medea Benjamin, present in Charlotte as in Tampa. Huffpost
I love you women! I hear your voices! Ann Romney RNC 2012
Isaac rolls through Louisiana, do the levees hold? Partial flooding through-out New Orleans. Concerns abound as the region – and nation - waits for the storm to pass – and assess the damage. Washington Post
Ordinarily this space leaves politics to the pundits, pooh-bahs, and politicos paid to slog through the stuff . But RNC has too many good story-lines for us to ignore. One of the most carefully calibrated events in human history has seemingly left nothing to chance – except the uncontrollable weather. History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man. (video, above)
Media specialists and learned commentators will burn midnight oil, weighing if Citizen Romney can act like a normal kind of guy. It falls to his loyal wife, perpetually perky Ann Romney, to paint a different picture of her stand-offish, snobbish hubby. Good luck Ann. Even if you hit the ball out of the park – and we won't be surprised when you do – your work will end up being undone by the candidate's anti-climactic appearance at the political snooze-fest. politico
Tampa and the nation brace for the laissez-faire lovefest that will be the RNC : 3 days of mind-numbingly simplistic rhetoric and catch-phrases sure to grate on the most dispassionate observers. Citizen Romney/ Veep Pick and financial backers will congregate fortress-style, walled off from their fellow citizens by the most elaborate security apparatus in human history. Writer David Corn says the only suspense lies in seeing “how low they'll go” motherjones .
Fully capable, armed predator drones are said to patrol the skies over Tampa, while a phalanx of armed forces – barely resembling “the police” as most know them – will secure the perimeter, a virtual blocks long “no-mans land,” surrounding Tropicana Dome on all sides. (Shortly after the story on the drones is released, FAA conflicts the report according to dissenter.firedoglake.com)
The city’s police department receives $50 million from Congress ahead of the convention, purchasing armored vehicles and high-tech surveillance cameras equipped with “behavioral recognition software” democracynow.org
Spooksters Anonymous are purported to release an 8 minute long video, urging RNC protesters to try to overwhelm the massive security force, though as noted, nearly anyone may mask themselves as “anonymous” Tbo.com
For companies that manufacture the unmanned drones, the possibilities are endless. Tbo.com
RNC has armored vehicles and drones on their side. Community activists, students, and grannies have their own terrifying, awe-inspiring arsenal, including dyed hair, fanny packs, and motorized wheelchairs. huffpost
RNC and its security force boast a well-deserved rep for roughing up protesters.In 2008, Reporter Amy Goodman leaves the convention floor to intervene in the arrest of her staff. She asks to speak to a commanding officer and is immediately kettled and tossed in the paddy wagon. The resulting legal suit filed results in a $100,000 settlement and a promise of police “media sensitivity training.” Will there be a repeat performance? (Video, above)
Massive security is a non-partisan affair.The Democratic shindig in Charlotte promises to be every bit of the same, sequestered gathering. . Charlotteobserver.com
Tropical Storm Isaac packs a punch as it heads North, grazing the Keys and veering past Tampa. Delegates and other attendees breathe audible sighs of relief as the storm dampen protests, literally. New Orleans residents stare down the storm now, the memory of Katrina's vast destruction still vivid. reuters
It's a vision of two Americas; the self-congratulatory one percent celebrating inside a climate controlled (publicly-funded) dome while the citizenry gather outside, barely exercising free speech and assembly rights - from within their off-site "protester pens." Hard to tell if it's 1972 or 2012. The dichotomy underscores the isolation and detachment of RNC, who, if they wished to display an ounce of PR sense, or genuine concern, would simply walk outside and engage the protesters. Not gonna happen.
RNC will echo, incessantly, the notion that “you too can be a millionaire... some day” - and ask Americans to ante up another round of tax benefits for the super-wealthy, whose $225/hr accountants employ a vast array of tactics and tricks to shift wealth to the same spot they sent middle class jobs : offshore. The grand difference being the funds return to the account holder, in spades.
Having traversed over 4 decades since the US political leadership declared a “War on Poverty,” America thus comes full circle. It's a story largely untold. Except for long-time media mensches like Bill Moyers and Michael Winship who, the week of Citizen Romney's coronation in Tampa, chastise both parties for pushing the plight of the poor off the agenda. truthout
Former NY Times reporter Chris Hedges and writing partner Joe Sacco do their part as well, conducting an “American journey across expendable communities and people,” for their latest work Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. truthout
The topic covered in scorching detail here, by Robert Borsage in huffpost
Occupy frequently takes it on the chin in the establishment media. Coverage focuses on cop dust-ups, dwindling encampments, arrests, and the like. Huffpost
The real action happens in the various “working groups,” where citizens focus on projects and people. Fred Allen's sentiment that “Everywhere Outside of New York City, is Bridgeport (CT)” contains a hidden truth : the solutions lie in America's urban areas.