...And the World:
Okay, so the international segment looks like it will be making frequent appearances. July has not been the best month for democracy in Israel. Although the Knesset defeated a proposal that would make Joe McCarthy smile, it did approve a measure that could severely curtail public freedoms in the Middle East's only liberal Democracy. The law would provide a mechanism for private action lawsuits against anybody who supports boycotts broadly. The Israeli right has defended the measure as being like American laws with similar intent, bu the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has a quick guide to how that comparison is wrong.
There are competing plans now to address the debt ceiling. The House and Speaker John Boehner still want and disastrous Balanced Budget Amendment in its version, all the while playing this fight out for as long as possible. The Senate Democrats and Majority Leader Harry Reid agrees to cut an amount equal to the ceiling increase, but does not touch taxes or entitlements. That increase would last through 2012. Time runs out between the way filibusters run out the clock and the House rules that require a bill to be online 72 hours before it can be voted on
In other news, President Barack Obama certified the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell this past Friday. In sixty days the armed forces will officially no longer require gay service members to hide their sexual orientation lest they face a dishonorable discharge.
The State of Things:
The legislature will consider another sales tax holiday set for this August. The state's sales tax would be waived for the 12th and 13th of August on any purchase up to $2500. Purchases like meals would not receive the weekend exemption.
Massachusetts may follow Connecticut and approve mandatory paid sick leave for workers in the commonwealth. At end of its legislative session the Connecticut General Assembly passed and Governor Malloy signed a paid sick leave bill. This has revived efforts for a similar law here. However, the bill in Massachusetts goes further than Connecticut's. Under the bill as written, workers would need to work less hours per sick leave hour worked than Connecticut, while being eligible for up to seven sick days to Connecticut's five.
If you want to run for City Council or Mayor this year, well, you can't! The last day to pick up papers was last week. Only a handful of names appears on the list that were not there when we last reported on the City Council races. Several have been certified, however. We will post those who have been, soon. Notably, Councilors Clodo Concepcion and Tim Allen of Wards 5 and 7 respectively will face no opposition. Mike Fenton of Ward 2 is very unlikely to face a challenge. Ward 6 Councilor Amaad Rivera will be running at-large. Lots of names from campaigns past reappearing.
In the aftermath of the June 1st tornado, anger is resurfacing about the the city's response to the disaster, particularly its treatment of property owners with regard to permit fees and demolitions/condemnations.