Monday, September 26, 2011

Manic Monday Markup 9/26/11...

...And the World:

The United Kingdom sits in an odd position in the world.  Like the United States and the rest of the West,  Great Britain's economy has been languishing and the risk of the sovereign debt crisis are acute given London's place in the financial world.  However, Britain could use its currency to its advantage, but Conservative Premier David Cameron is uninterested in taking that path.  Consequently, the burden of proposing, if not passing, measures that could lift Britons out of their economic malaise has fallen to Edward Miliband the leader of the Labour party and of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.  Miliband who scored the top post in a party election coup that bypassed his brother David, has laid out proposals that will appeal to the "law-abiding silent majority" as the Guardian put it.  Essentially, Miliband seeks to appeal to those hard-working Britons who do the right thing by pointing out that badly behaving newspapers, banks or, yes rioters, will be give no quarter in a Miliband government.

Vladimir Putin will run for president of Russia again extinguishing the hopes of Russia's liberals that a freer society may develop.  Although handpicked by Putin, Russia's current president Dmitri Medvedev was seen as a possible stepping stone to a more democratic state.

The Feds:

Despite an agreement to fund the government at certain levels through the end of 2012, shutdown politics have resurfaced in Washington.  Republicans want to cut a program that encourages the production of electric cars to fund disaster relief, but the Democrats, pointing out the traditionally accepted "emergency" nature of disaster relief want a clean extension.  Democrats have a bill pending before the Senate that funds the disaster relief without requisite cuts and funds the overall government through mid-November.  However it is unlikely to overcome a Republican filibuster even though 10 Republicans supports $7 billion of disaster spending without any offsets only last week.  Okay, never mind.  Deal reached that included NO offsets for disaster.  It passed 79-12.  Latest brinksmanship? Advantage, Dems.

While the GOP debates continues to be a slug fest between our own Mitt Romney and Texas' imploding savior Rick Perry, the behavior of the audience at the debates has been getting news, too.  President Barack Obama pointed this out himself at a fundraiser on the West Coast.  For the record, that makes it 3 inappropriate outbursts from audiences: cheering 235 people executed on Rick Perry's watch; cheering letting an uninsured individual die; and booing a soldier (who happened to be gay).  It's four if you count SNL's car crash that burst into flames.

Speaking of gay soldiers, DADT is history.

The State of Things:

Elizabeth Warren got a boost from a video posted by an attendee of one of her house parties wherein she laid out in simple, yet unequivocal terms why we all, including the rich, contribute for the benefit of society.  While wildly praised by the left and desperately denigrated by the right, a writer on offered a "conservative" yet supportive assessment of her premise.  The video came on the heels of a recently release poll that showed Warren actually ahead of Scott Brown and miles ahead of other Democratic challengers for the nomination.

Meanwhile, the right, in particular, have been hyperventilating of late in light of Warren's quite successful campaign splashdown.  Politico, which is owned by, at best, right-leaning interests, has published stories sourced, in part by Cong. Patrick McHenry, remembered for calling Warren a liar in a committee meeting.  Radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh have called her a "parasite" while anti-Warren trolls have attempted to plaster her Facebook wall with similar claims and the righty standard "moonbat."  However all of this belies what must be a real terror the right seems to feel regarding Warren.  The Harvard elitism charging is not sticking so far and kvetching about Socialism just does not bring in the crowds in Massachusetts the way it does elsewhere.  The above mentioned video is a real problem for Republicans because it has the potential to spread, it is easy to understand and above all, in Massachusetts, torpedoes the claims of Warren's can't relate to the rank and file.

City Slickers:

Hot off the wire.  The former Westinghouse plant on Page Boulevard near I-291 is being eyed by gaming interests from Pennsylvania as the site of the casino promised for Western Mass.  As the likelihood of expanded gaming in Massachusetts only trend stoward certainty, apparently Penn National is considering the East Springfield site.  This blog has never supported the expansion of gambling, if for no other reason that it will be bring much of the problems of gambling, particularly the drain on those least able to afford it, without the attendant benefits.  We have written before about how the move to replicating the success of gambling in Massachusetts is virtually unlikely and will only siphon money off other recreational enterprises in the commonwealth.  There are any number of problems with a development of this kind at that location from infrastructure to the impact on the poor.  Sadly, as has been common throughout this casino debate, everybody from Deval Patrick on down, has been quick, too quick, in fact to see Casinos as an ATM machine.  The facts just don't bear that out.

Twitter Chatter:

Hat tip to David Dayen at Fire Dog Lake for tweeting about the FEMA/Gov't shutdown compromise.  We nearly published the above strike-out text.

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