Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tardy Tuesday Takedown 9/6/11...

Yes, we were open yesterday to post, but since nobody else was he held off on the weekly review/look ahead until today.

...And the World:

Capping a summer of protests, activists, organizers and economically dissatisfied of Israeli society turned out for the largest protests ever in the sixty-three year old country's history.  Estimates for the nationwide protests exceeded 450,000.  The State of Israel has a population of approximately 7.7 million.  The protests began as tent cities along Rothschild Boulevard, one of Tel Aviv's ritziest districts in opposition to low paying jobs, high cost of living and a lack of affordable housing.  Although Israel's economy is booming relative to the United States and Europe, income disparities are incredibly high.  The protests hit a lull after a skirmish along the Egyptian border left several Egyptian soldiers dead and nearly spawned a diplomatic crisis.  Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in keeping with the leftist social policies upon which Israel was founded, called for reforms, but activists remain skeptical of any effort done by the premier.  Meanwhile, publicity from the protests has lost its media buzz as the Netanyahu government has overseen deterioration of Israel's historically good relationship with Turkey over a raid conducted last year.

The Feds:

President Barack Obama, sounding a defiant tone yesterday, faces a huge challenge in Thursday's prime time address before Congress on jobs.  Last month's unemployment figures, which still count the 45,000 Verizon's employees now back on the jobs as losses, showed a net gain of zero jobs in the country.  This pattern is consistent with the weak, and at times terrible jobs reports of this summer.  There appears to be no  consensus on whether the President will be bold or not and call for a fresh round of investment in the economy, preferably in excess of what the last stimulus financed, a majority of which was tax cuts and not infrastructure improvements.

Meanwhile, Fox News edited the remarks of Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa, Jr, who said to union members:
Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much!
The bold portion was frequently omitted in Fox news stories and the cascade of conservative blog posts that described Hoffa's remarks.  The same bloggers, including Right Wing provocateur Andrew Breitbart, called on President Obama to denounce the remarks.  However the president has not given any attention to the issue, rightly.  What would he do?  Denounce Hoffa for uttering something that could be manipulated by an irresponsible news outlet?  Maybe Hoffa should apologize for insulting the male puppies of female dogs.  For what its worth, the reporter who started this, inadvertently it seems, Fox's Ed Henry did report on the whole quote.  His news organization promptly followed up by repeating the misleadingly edited footage more and more.

The Washington Post analyzes whether Rick Perry is a better primary candidate than a general election candidate.  So far it seems hard to figure out how he could actually appeal to the broad swath of voters that show up in November...outside of Texas anyway.

In Wisconsin today, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay individual elected to Congress without the benefit of incumbency, announced her intention to run for the United States Senate.  If elected Baldwin would be the first openly gay Senator.  In a interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Baldwin laid out her beliefs and priorities, somewhat successfully, in a way that would project her liberal values to a wider audience.

The State of Things:

Elizabeth Warren was the keynote speaker at yesterday's Greater Boston Labor Council breakfast.  While Warren did not make news at the event, other than by her presence, her speech was received with standing ovations.  In a poll released early this morning, Warren placed the strongest spot in a hypothetical match-up against Scott Brown.  Although still losing 44-35, to the incumbent, 44% of those surveyed in the WBUR survey said they did not know who she is.  Given her pro-middle class rhetoric and the record to back it up, that unknown batch could bode very well for Warren.  Brown, while still widely "popular" has sunk below 50% in hypothetical match-ups against all of the Democratic candidates.  The GOP tried to spin the poll as saying Brown is stronger today than he is 2010.  However, the polls since last November (when Dems held onto everything in Massachusetts) shows a distinct slide.

New efforts for legalized gambling in Massachusetts appear to be gaining steam.  The bill is on the verge of a House vote very soon.  With its fundamental provisions already approved of by Sen. President Therese Murray, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Gov. Deval Patrick, its passage all, but seems assured.  The economic dreams it promises are far, far less so.

City Slickers:

In a long article in this week's Valley Advocate, Maureen Turner profiles Mayoral Candidate Jose Tosado.  The article paints a fairly balanced portrait of the City Council President, offering Tosado his due, while not letting him off the hook for his connections to the city's less honorable recent past.  The article is definitely worth a look, but don't expect it to sen you running into the voting booth demanding Tosado become mayor or finding your nearest street corner to inveigh against his candidacy.

Meanwhile, incumbent Mayor Domenic Sarno officially kicks off his reelection campaign.  Primary day is only two weeks away.  Three candidates for mayor (School Committeewoman Antonette Pepe is the third) and thirteen for the City Council's at-large seats will compete for two mayoral slots and ten council slots in November's general.

Twitter Chatter:

New York Times reporter Steven Greenhosue, who covers the Labor beat for the paper writes insightful tweets and links to many fascinating articles (you should follow him).  His articles are also quite good.  Today his tweets win on two fronts (we just caught the second one).  Earlier today he tweeted about the Hoffa-Fox nonsense mentioned above.  Here's what he tweeted yesterday.

However, today he tweeted virtually the same thing, sans the "Some Say."
Tip of the hat, Mr. Greenhouse.  There is little doubt about the difference between what Hoffa said and what Fox and others reported.  What Fox did does not meet any journalistic ethics standard.  Greenhouse's about face, after looking at the facts called it like it was.  Huzzah!  If you are unfamiliar with Greenhouse's work, it is well-written and impartial, but not balanced with flat-earth society arguments.  That is what journalism should be.  Then this made us smile.  Link to the article therein here.
Finally, one more New York Times employee recognized tweet.  Jill Abramson officially became Executive Editor at the Times.  She is the first woman to hold the position.

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