Monday, August 15, 2011

Manic Monday Markup 8/15/11...

...And the World

The rebels in Libya, who are technically the government of that country in the eyes of the State Department, have suffered through several demoralizing losses and are plagued by discord and infighting.  Still, developments continue to swing in their favor.  Another defection seems likely as the Interior Minister arrives in Egypt.  Meanwhile, rebels fighting in the west of the country (the provisional capital is in the eastern city of Benghazi) are nearing a major supply point that could choke off the actual official capital, Tripoli.

The Feds:

In the GOP field Texas Governor Rick Perry is in, Minnesota former governor Tim Pawlenty is out.  With fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann in the race, Pawlenty could not stir up the midwest lovin'.  Were this a normal political environment, his now-disavowed moderate record could pose a serious threat to Barack Obama, but with the possible exception of the Mormon Twins, Mittens and Huntsman, moderate is almost as disgusting to GOP primary voters as compromise.

As for Rick Perry (and we will be following this closely), his Texas miracle has been questioned and that skepticism may bear some fruit, especially if he becomes the nominee.  While Texas has weathered the recession better than most states, its unemployment rate is not impressive, many jobs are really low paying, other jobs are public sector, now facing layoffs and much of the economic growth can be attributed to oil prices and military spending.  Put another way, Texas' economic miracle, if you can call it that, is made on the backs of our gas price misery.  Also, Texas did not fall as low during the recession because of, you guessed it, regulation in the housing finance market.  Finally, Texas had a nearly $27 billion deficit for its two-year budget.  Sorry, but you can't blame public sector unions for that one, they lack collective bargaining rights.

Meanwhile a shout-out to Democratic Cong. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois for introducing the first coherent jobs bill of this Congress.  The GOP has 0.  They have a nice 10 page report though with full-page clip-art, though.

The State of Things:

Still a regional issue, but the CWA and IBEW remain on strike.  Show your solidarity with working folks today.  Join a picket line at a Verizon Wireless Store or on State Street in Springfield.  Defer a new cell phone purchase or refuse to renew your wireless contract until a new contract is agreed to.

Elizabeth Warren made her clearest signal yet last week when she posted to the blog Blue Mass Group and it was revealed she is working with top Democratic strategists in the Bay State, both former Deval Patrick staffers.  The folksy posting was an invitation to Bay Staters to talk about the issues that matter to them.  The far right hit her position as a Harvard Professor (she's wicked Smaht, so what?) and the lobbying activities of the Patrick staffers (Find me a politician who isn't talking gambling in Mass these days).  Because many of the organics we have discussed in the past are suspicious of a candidate being forced on them, talking to the progressive grassroots on their turf is especially canny and could benefit her candidacy.  In a related note, the Boston Globe, unlike virtually every other media outlet, did not refer to Blue Mass Group by name until it wrote an editorial asking Warren to be less coy about her intentions.

In a related item, the Progressive Campaign Change Committee, who fought for Warren's nomination to lead the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, claims to have raised $100,000 for a Warren Senate run.  They began the effort mid July after Richard Cordray was nominated by the president to lead the CFPB.

City Slickers:

Alan Ingram, the superintendent of schools for Springfield has announced he will resign at the end of next school year.  It seems odd to call it a resignation since his contract expires then anyway.  Ingram has come under fire for accepting a $30,000 side contract for relocating to Springfield.  However, it appears that instead Ingram continued to rent and refinanced his Oklahoma home.  Maybe Springfield should look local next go around instead of national headhunting.

The Springfield City Council does not appear to have any regular meetings scheduled until September 12th.

Twitter Chatter:

Without a doubt, Rick Perry is dominating our feed, now.  However, we recommend @texastribune and @wayneslater for news about the man who followed Bush as governor of Texas.  The Texas Tribune is a non-partisan non-profit news organization in Texas.  Many of its work also appears on the New York Times website.  Wayne Slater is a political reporter for the Dallas Morning News and has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show.  He has followed Perry's career quite carefully.

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