It’s Getting Hot in Here…
Whew! It is going to be a scorcher all over the US of A today. So try to drink extra liquids, take an extra cool shower, and don’t work too hard outside in the heat if you can help it. There are warnings and heat advisories in effect for most of the continental United States today, so please be careful and don’t overdo it.
And, if you get the chance, check in on elderly or disabled neighbors, or folks who don’t have air conditioning. This sort of heat is killer — and I mean that literally — and that few moments that you take to check on a neighbor or relative can make all the difference and keep them alive. Volunteer to take them to the mall for a little while in the afternoon, when the heat is highest, to get them into some cooler air — or to a local bookstore or Dairy Queen for an ice cream. Anything. Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while, and your hand could save someone’s life.
— It’s going to be a scorcher in Connecticut as well. Big day for the Lamont campaign today. You can find Ned’s campaign schedule here, and note that both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will be campaigning with him at various points today. (Along with some other surprises — so stay tuned, and we’ll announce them as we can let the cats out of the various bags.)
— Jane and Matt Stoller are going to be on Colin McEnroe’s show this afternoon — Jane will have details on that for everyone later, but I wanted to giver everyone a heads up this morning. And Al Sharpton will be on Hardball on MSNBC this evening, talking about why he is supporting Ned Lamont.
— In other news, Counterterrorism Blog reports that there will be several hearings this week in various Congressional committees regarding the Hamdan decision and its impact on the Bush Administration’s policies regarding detainees in Gitmo and elsewhere. The Administration is pushing Congress to ratify its current treatment of detainees, but they are getting some serious pushback from former military JAG officers and intelligence officers and others, saying that the techniques that the Administration is pushing are counterproductive and dangerous over the long term to American interests. Definitely an issue that is heating up. (NPR had a quick report on this today, but I’m unable to find a link to it. Will update if I find it.)
— In Kansas, it’s a return to moderation and respect for science, and a rebuke to the fundamentalist conservatives who had hijacked the state school board and were trying to force everyone to believe in their radical evangelical agenda (and I say this with the love of Christ in my heart — you people are way, way over the edge and down into the valley of the shadow of loony). Is this a shift that will trend nationally — or does it just reflect a shift in perspectives in Kansas that show that the conservatives overplayed their hand and disgusted the primary voters? Time will tell…it’s an evolving situation, that’s for sure. (Ooooh, I feel so punaise.) (The WaPo and the LATimes have the story.)
— Jim VandeHei says the Democrats in Congress have no GOTV ground game. Which means that all of Howard Dean’s 50 State Strategy infrastructure building is going to come in awfully handy about October…if there’s been a lot of infrastructure building…you know, that would be helpful and all.
The Senate and House campaign committees are creating their own get-out-the-vote operations instead, using money that otherwise would fund television advertising and other election-year efforts. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) — who no longer speaks to Dean because of their strategic differences — is planning to ask lawmakers and donors to help fund a new turnout program run by House Democrats. He recruited Michael Whouley, a specialist in Democratic turnout, to help oversee it.
"I am not waiting for anyone anymore who said they were going to" build a turnout operation, Emanuel said. "It has got to be done."
Does anyone else suddenly feel like the Democratic party is being run by a bunch of 7th graders? Or is this just how VandeHei wants us to think of them? (Chicken? Egg? Chicken? Egg?)
Hang onto your hats, boys and girls — Pool Boy is either spinning for Rove, being spun by Democratic operatives who are trying to downplay expectations so they can surprise the GOP in the Fall (hey, look — stra-gety!), or the last, best hope for a Dem win is…us. (Suddenly, I’m feeling the urge to make some phone calls. And make another pot of coffee.)
— Speaking of phone calls, please, please, PLEASE hit the phones this morning on behalf of net neutrality. You can get all the info you need on this — and more — at MyDD. It’s crunch time, and your phone call could make all the difference.
— Israel is expanding its offensive in Lebanon (and the GuardianUK has a useful timeline of events on this, fyi). Violence is on the increase in Iraq, and merchants are increasingly shutting up shop. Fighting with the Taliban is still ongoing in a number of provinces in Afghanistan, and the Taliban is ramping up the propaganda war as well. (Guess the Karen Hughes big foot your way into making friends with the locals campaign isn’t making nice nice, eh?) Is the honeymoon over for Bush and Blair? I’m not asking for my shower gift back just yet…but the entire Middle East is a mess, and we aren’t even able to be remotely constructive or useful because we have lost any and all honest broker status that we may have had under the congenitally feckless and duplicitous Bush Administration. Oh, and because everyone hates us at the moment, we’re creating more terrorists which makes us — and all of our allies — even less safe. Heckuva job, Bushie.
— Harold Meyerson has taken the gloves off on the minimum wage bill. And he’s got a great last line: "In Washington, meanwhile, Republicans are desperate to hold power. Not to govern, mind you, just hold power." Ahhh, truth.
Please, stay as cool as you can today. And we’ll update on how things are heating up as the day goes on…hang on tight, it’s gonna be a wild ride today!
UPDATE: Oops, meant to include a link to yesterday’s Froomkin, wherein we learn that the President likes to talk about sports and movies, and will be vacationing through most of August at his ranch, but will be back at the WH for the Katrina Anniversary so he can…you know…at least give off the impression that he works once in a while (since last year’s five-week-long vacation, including strumming a guitar while people were drowning in NOLA and dealing with the devastation all across the Gulf Coast wasn’t exactly a highlight of his Presidency.) What’s that word I’m thinking of…oh yeah, FAILURE.