McCaskill latest #DNC2012 dropout + Opening day venue moved to accommodate MSM

The list of dropouts keeps growing (hat tip):

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., one of this cycle’s most vulnerable incumbents, will not attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, an aide to the first-term senator confirms to Hotline On Call.


McCaskill is running in a state that President Obama is likely to lose. But she has not shied away from asking the president for support. So her decision to skip Charlotte is particularly notable.

McCaskill joins a growing list of Democrats who won’t be in Charlotte, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, and Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Mark Critz, D-Pa., Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., Bill Owens, D-N.Y., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah.

NRO’s Jim Geraghty quips:


In related news, the Charlotte Observer reports that the DNC has decided to change the venue for their opening event for the convention from the Speedway to uptown Charlotte, under the pretense of wanting to make it “more accessible to the people”:

In the second major change to the Democratic National Convention schedule, organizers announced Monday night they are moving the much-touted Labor Day festival from Charlotte Motor Speedway to uptown Charlotte.

In January, officials said they were shortening the convention to three days, and would forgo the traditional Monday opening for a festival at the Speedway to reach a wider audience.

At the time, the party chairwoman said the change was about “engaging Americans in a meaningful way.”

But Monday night, host committee officials said moving the Speedway event will provide attendees with a much stronger connection to the convention.

Hosting the CarolinaFest event along the Tryon Street corridor instead of 20 miles outside uptown makes for easier logistics, said host committee spokeswoman Suzi Emmerling.

Delegates and members of the public who want to attend caucus meetings happening uptown can do so without missing the festival, Emmerling said.

“Logistics”? Uh huh. I’m not buyin’ it, and neither is Doug Powers:

Logistics — as in “logically speaking, if we move it downtown we can pay for security with federal funds instead of campaign funds.” Democrats (and Republicans) receive a $50 million DHS grant for convention security, but the Dems probably couldn’t have used those funds for the speedway event. Apparently endless fundraisers (only four of them today?) along with the bridal, anniversary and birthday registry still aren’t bringing in money fast enough for the campaign to cover the cost themselves.

Another concern might have been one of optics. This isn’t 2008 anymore and Dems are treading lightly through what could be a disaster zone in early September. They don’t want to kick off the convention in a place where there’s a chance the venue will appear to be more sparsely populated than Harry Reid’s budget meetings.

Not only that, but – as the Observer points out – having the convention at the Speedway would have made life difficult for one of Obama’s key voting blocs: the MSM (bolded emphasis added by me):

The event was touted by organizers as being family-friendly and something that would engage “more Americans in the convention than ever before, and celebrate Labor Day, our democracy, the Carolinas, Virginia and the South.”

But the Speedway festival had attracted little interest among correspondents planning to cover the DNC. In a media gathering June 5, in which advance teams were bused out to Concord for a tour of the track and its media center, only representatives from local stations said they were planning to set up there, possibly as a site for anchoring their evening newscasts.

PBS, the first broadcast network to announce its coverage plans last week, said it planned to anchor its Labor Day broadcast on “PBS Newshour” with Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill from Time Warner Cable Arena, but might cover the festivities from Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of the day’s coverage, depending on whether it was newsworthy.

During the convention, PBS intends to devote prime time to the story, but on Labor Day, it plans to revert to normally scheduled programming that night.

Networks, including cable outlets that are expected to cover the convention far more extensively than their network counterparts, had already been struggling with the mechanics of moving up from Tampa’s Republican National convention the week before, then facing a setup in three venues in Charlotte: the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the arena, and finally Bank of America Stadium for what is expected to be Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night.

Sooo, they’d rather connect with their supporters in the mainstream media who will give them glowing press both state and nationwide rather than “the 99%” who live in the Concord area.  Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Move along here, nothing to see …

“Please God. Please make it stop.”

**Posted by Phineas

Last year it was CBS’ Lara Logan, who was sexually assaulted by a gang of hundreds of Egyptian men while covering the anti-Mubarak demonstrations in Tahrir Square. This year, it’s independent journalist Natasha Smith, attacked while she was walking with friends across a bridge during celebrations of the Muslim Brotherhood’s electoral victory:

But in a split second, everything changed. Men had been groping me for a while, but suddenly, something shifted. I found myself being dragged from my male friend, groped all over, with increasing force and aggression. I screamed. I could see what was happening and I saw that I was powerless to stop it. I couldn’t believe I had got into this situation.

My friend did everything he could to hold onto me. But hundreds of men were dragging me away, kicking and screaming. I was pushed onto a small platform as the crowd surged, where I was hunched over, determined to protect my camera. But it was no use. My camera was snatched from my grasp. My rucksack was torn from my back – it was so crowded that I didn’t even feel it. The mob stumbled off the platform – I twisted my ankle.

Men began to rip off my clothes. I was stripped naked. Their insatiable appetite to hurt me heightened. These men, hundreds of them, had turned from humans to animals.

No, animals act far better. This is a direct result of the less-than-human status women are accorded under Islam, particularly infidel women.

There are no words to describe the disgust I feel right now.

via Patrick Poole

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Forget ObamaCare. The first thing President Romney does is nuke the TSA

**Posted by Phineas

I’ve seen some pretty appalling stories of people who’ve been maltreated by the Transportation Security Administration, but this has got to be a topper:

Confrontation With TSA Agent Leaves Grandpa’s Ashes On Floor

John Gross, a resident of Indianapolis’ south side, was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather — Mario Mark Marcaletti, a Sicilian immigrant who worked for the Penn Central Railroad in central Indiana — in a tightly sealed jar marked “Human Remains.”

Gross said he didn’t think he’d have a problem, until he ran into a TSA agent at the Orlando airport.

“They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,'” Gross told RTV6’s Norman Cox. “She picked up the jar. She opened it up.

“I was told later on that she had no right to even open it, that they could have used other devices, like an X-ray machine. So she opened it up. She used her finger and was sifting through it. And then she accidentally spilled it.”

Gross says about a quarter to a third of the contents spilled on the floor, leaving him frantically trying to gather up as much as he could while anxious passengers waited behind him.

She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”

First let me say I’m impressed and amazed at this man’s restraint; had my loved one’s ashes been left for the vacuum cleaner, that laughing jackass would likely be picking her teeth out of the carpet.

The rest of the article, which includes a video report, mentions that TSA rules, contrary to what Mr. Gross was told, actually do require physical inspection of human remains, including ashes. Fine. Then arrange a process whereby they can be pre-cleared and treated with respect by agents who do not make Bevis and Butthead look like geniuses.

This is something I would expect from goons straight out of Central Casting, not agents of the United States charged with protecting us with terrorism.

And it’s also illustrative of the broader problem with TSA: they’re going about their mission in all the wrong way. They’re looking for devices and weapons, not for the type of person likely to be a terrorist. They’re looking for things, not patterns of behavior. They’re pawing through human remains when they should be profiling human beings.

Like El Al does. When’s the last time an Israeli plane was hijacked? 1968. And they profile.

Let’s be honest: TSA is a failure. It doesn’t protect us, but it does succeed in humiliating us on a regular basis. Time and again.

It’s time for it to go.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)