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new Quinnipiac poll on security vs privacy
Graphic from, poll from Quinnipiac
Five years after a prostitution scandal forced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer from office, many Democrats appear willing to give him a shot at political redemption, according to a new poll that shows him with a strong lead in the city comptroller race.

Spitzer only announced his candidacy Sunday, and it isn't yet clear whether he will gather enough signatures by a Thursday deadline to make the Sept. 10 Democratic primary ballot. But 42 percent of registered Democrats already say they support Spitzer, compared to 33 percent for his potential rival, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll shows.

He could win (if he qualifies), but the embarrassed establishment is gunning for him. OTOH, here's a group of happy fans:
Conan O’Brien coined a campaign slogan, David Letterman began a new political segment and Jay Leno may have outdone the tabloid headline writers.

Eliot Spitzer is back, and for late-night comedy writers, he might as well be manna from heaven.

On Monday evening, Mr. Letterman kicked things off by introducing a new segment on the “Late Show,” “Get to Know New York Politicians.”

The script, in totality:

“Comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer is the guy with the prostitutes. Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is the guy who texted photos of his deal.

“This has been ‘Get to Know New York Politicians.'”

But, remember, if they win, the press gets all serious and shuts up about them. See David Vitter, see Mark Sanford. See, winning is redemption. Or something.
What's on your menu? New York politics with Antony Weiner and Elliott Spitzer.. Well, you can't make fun of Louisiana any more.
Part of this trend is simply the wholesale transfer of once-obscured data to the Internet. Government reviews of aviation are no different in this regard than, say, restaurant inspections. One can, for example, use Web tools to track the speed, location, direction, altitude, and rate of climb and descent for nearly every U.S. airplane flight now—almost in real time. In the Asiana crash, armchair aviators can review the radar data showing how pilots maneuvered the Boeing 777 on its approach into San Francisco and listen to the crew’s communications with air traffic controllers.

It’s this new era that is making the NTSB respond with more information—faster—argues Micheline Maynard, a former transportation reporter for the New York Times, in a column this week. And observers who aren’t in the pilots unions seem to like the NTSB’s open approach: “Who’s with me in starting a fan club for the NTSB’s Chair, Deborah Hersman?” tweeted Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with Hudson Crossing.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Gail Collins:

Positive aspects of New York City’s Weiner-Spitzer summer: 1) Opportunities for invigorating dinner conversations over who would be worse to have as a major city official. Personally, I think Eliot Spitzer is behaving as if he’s much crazier. But it’s true that you can never look at Anthony Weiner without imagining his underwear.

2) Opportunities to discuss what would happen if we got both. It could be pretty exciting. The entire city would come to a halt as the two staffs fired rocket launchers at each other. The movie version would be in 3-D and star Channing Tatum as Eliot Spitzer.

Sad news:  Toshi Seeger, wife of Pete Seeger and a force in her own right, has died at 91.  Married 70 yrs.
Jordan Fabian:
In order for immigration reform to become law, House Republican leaders are going to need to step up to the plate.

Republican lawmakers on Wednesday met for over two hours behind closed doors to discuss the path forward on immigration reform. Leaders, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), urged the House to act for the good of the party. But GOP congressman came out of the meeting with no clear plan on how to move forward.

Huffington Post (my bold):
Much of the opposition that tea party members voiced in Wednesday's [House immigration] meeting goes deeper than a policy difference about a pathway to citizenship, and comes down to an issue of trust. Many Republicans continue to reject the basic legitimacy of the Obama presidency, and they don't trust the president to faithfully carry out laws designed to secure the border, with some pointing to the president's decision to delay implementation of an element of Obamacare until 2015.
Let me repeat that: Many Republicans continue to reject the basic legitimacy of the Obama presidency. Let that sink in.


Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane will not defend the state in a federal lawsuit filed this week challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage,  lawyers involved in the case said.
WaPo editorial board:
As we now know from the reporting of The Post’s Rosalind S. Helderman, Mr. McDonnell and his family accepted upward of $200,000 in cash handouts, extravagant gifts and so-called loans — on generous terms unavailable to other mortals — from a Virginia businessman who sought the governor’s imprimatur and favorable treatment from the state for his company.

Much of it went unreported on the disclosure forms that Mr. McDonnell filed annually with the state, thanks to lawyerly maneuvering, definitional hair-splitting and slippery accounting.

We in Connecticut know how this ends. See federal inmate 15623-014 (aka John Rowland, ex-Governor, 1% wannabe).
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