Happy Fourth...on the Fifth...
Pres. Barack Obama has called lawmakers from both parties to the White House for debt talks. The Treasury has set August 2 as the drop-dead date for the debt ceiling. Presently, the government is not borrowing in the way it used to, but moving money around in its bank accounts used for things like employee benefits.
In a sign, maybe, maybe, maybe, that Republicans are thawing their resistance to any revenue measure, one-time maverick Senator John McCain and Texas Senator John Cornyn have suggested it may not be all that unreasonable. John Boehnner, polling notwithstanding, thinks otherwise. Then again, Boehner is just trying to keep Eric Cantor from stabbing him in the back.
The State of Things:
Alan Khazei, the philanthropist and founder of City Year is claiming to report a little under $1 million in the second quarter for his campaign to be the Democratic nominee in 2012 and unseat Republican Scott Brown. Khazei's haul is, according to the Globe, above and beyond what other Democrats have raised. Newton Mayor Setti Warren comes closest at $123,000. Khazei's total, the article notes is not as big as his fund raising was in 2009, when he competed against Cong. Mike Capuano and AG Martha Coakley for the Democratic nod. While it remains unknown if Capuano will run (will probably wait until John Kerry becomes Secretary of State) or Elizabeth Warren will jump in (Obama remains under intense pressure to recess appoint her to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau), this pile of cash may put Khazei into a much more viable position.
The State House News Service has a great list (via Masslive) of the Christmas Tree Ornaments on this year's state budget. Good and bad. Bad: deferred pension spending. Good: Tax settlements go to rainy day fund, rather than general fund where it could be scarfed down.
Sen. Scott Brown was in Springfield on Friday. The visit was painfully uneventful. Brown did not appear to offer much besides his approval and appeared to take away little more than a few more glances of the devastation. The media did not have much to say about it. To them it may have been an excuse to write a tornado story.
Later that day, however, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno castigated the Springfield City Council for cutting the "other-than-personnel-services" budget by five percent. Some of the results like nixing street paving and bulk-waste pickup seemed odd. Maybe the city will not be able to do those things next year some time? Odder still is the fact that some police cadets will be laid off when the police personnel budget was not touched. It is worth noting that the Police Union was one of a few that refused to accept the city's furlough/wage freeze to avoid layoffs.
Today, we are going to hand it over to NBC News' Luke Russert. Pretty much sums up the day's news cycle.