Belatedly, Happy Columbus Day.
...And the World:
Elections in Poland over the weekend made history as the governing Civic Platform won a second term, the first political party in Poland to do so since the fall of Communism. Prime Minister Donald Tusk led the government to victory after ably steering his country away from the same economic collapse that had bedeviled much of Europe. Meanwhile, a new party in Poland also gained traction. The Palikot Movement, named for its provocative leader Janusz Palikot, earned enough votes to gain seats in Parliament under Poland's complicated seat allocation structure. The movement is on record as supporting abortion and gay rights and the legalization of marijuana. Their surprise showing has led many to believe that the traditionally Catholic, conservative nation may be drifting away from the church's influence.
Republicans will kill the jobs bill, for now, in the Senate today. Even though it would reduce short-term unemployment, provide some minor long-term deficit reduction. Although at least part of the political problem is Dems fearful of doing anything with Obama even though doing nothing for jobs is probably far more politically perilous.
Tweets report Chris Christie will endorse Mitt Romney. But which Mitt Romney is he endorsing?
The State of Things:
The Boston Police took a second encampment of Occupy Boston. Mayor Tom Menino said "Civil Disobedience Doesn't Work" conveniently forgetting all the times it has starting with the Boston [Gulp] Tea Party. Protesters were warned not to expand their camp for fear of harming flower beds or something. Police harmed the flowers themselves when they arrested about 100 protesters. Protesters things were then unceremoniously chucked into garbage trucks. Whether protesters were trespassing or not, as we stated this morning, the city should have negotiated with the protesters. Not doing so coupled with Menino's disdain for this nation's history of civil disobedience, smacks of mere assertion of power over protesters who posed no real threat to the police or law & order. This is only further supported by the fact that the city cannot even keep its story straight on why they moved. Photos!
Because State Resources were used, including State and Transit Police, WMassP&I has solicited comment from Gov. Deval Patrick. We are awaiting a response.
On the lighter side of things, the front runner for the Democratic nomination for US Senate and her would-opponent Scott Brown reported fund raising numbers yesterday. For most of last week the focus has been on Scott Brown's "Thank God" remark, which has been covered ad nauseum (guilty!), but also an attempt by some to spin Warren's own "I kept my clothes on remark" as something sinister. Anyway, Warren trounced Brown in terms of fund raising hauling in double what he took in. Warren raised $3.15 million, Brown netted $1.55 million. Brown, who never spent much of his original money from the 2010 race, still has $10.5 million on hand. Warren's cash on hand is unknown. However, Brown's haul is a drop from his last quarter by more than half and he appears to have spent $600,000 from July to September.
Controversy is erupting over Biomass once again. Several councilors protested plans that the city may issue the developers a permit anyway. An email received by WMassP&I from City Solicitor Ed Pikula included a legal opinion that stated a permit would not be necessary for the biomass plant because it was no longer a recycling center. However, as many at the hearing noted, the city does offer an incinerator permit, which ostensibly, the biomass plant would be. The final decision to render a permit lies with the Building Commissioner, however. Watch this story as it develops.
Occupy Northampton and Amherst have already happened and Occupy Springfield is likely to materialize soon. A jobs protest outside the old Springfield Federal Building has already been connected to the movement. The protests, which include the one busted by the cops in Boston this morning, have sprung up nationwide mirroring the Occupy Wall Street movement
Like protesters attack in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the occupation of the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston was live tweeted. People both inside the affected area and surrounding it shot out updates on the #occupyboston hashtag and the news, obviously went around the world. Additionally, the traditional media, although present, were slow to respond. It was the voices on the street, who also tweeted links to live cameras from office buildings and streaming smartphones on the ground that got this story out. Still as per usual, we have a tweet prize to award. Several in fact.
The first goes to Garrett Quinn, the Boston Globe's Libertarian blogger who wrote his own, somewhat critical posting on the Police Action. This tweet is just one of many that from Quinn and others that helped form a sense of what was going down for those that were not there.
Next we have @xxDianeMariexx. Technically this is a retweet of @KayleighCarter2, but the point is nevertheless significant. The events in Boston raised the number of people tweeting about an occupy event in the US to new levels. Of course a previous event could have just as easily made Twitter Headlines, but probably the swiftness of the police action, in comparison to even those in New York grabbed attention nationwide such that thousands, if not more were tweeting about it.
And finally, we have @UnaSpenser, whose dramatic, but not necessarily wrong assessment of Tom Menino's decision to take the Greenway paints the mayor in an entirely negative light. Menino has for years been painted as an autocrat. This morning did not help. Read Una Spenser's DailyKos diary for a fuller account from her perspective on the ground.