Greece and Italy have new Prime Ministers, but there may be little time for a honeymoon as markets coughed and hacked today, the first day after both new leaders were in place. Lucas Papademos and Mario Monti of Greece and Italy respectively took over their nations' governments as technocrats, that is policy oriented figures charged with making structural, if not political palatable changes to each country's budget and economies. Papademos' premiership began after the exiting Greek government took several days dithering over the new government's terms. Meanwhile in Italy, Monti was appointed rather quickly after a huge surge in rates for Italian bonds forced Italian political elites to shove former PM Silvio Berlussconi out the back door. Berlusconi's departure ends a turbulent two decade career made all the more complicated by Berlusconi's own near-monopoly of media in Italy.
The Supreme Court has accepted the government's appeal in what will be the final word on at least one major component of President Barack Obama's health reform passed last year. The Court also picked up some issues from other cases besides the government's appeal of a ruling from the eleventh circuit that struck down the individual mandate. Notably, the Court will consider an appeal from the same eleventh circuit ruling over whether the mandate can be struck down, but the rest of the law be allowed to stand (that seems almost certain, but you never know). Alternatively, the mandate and few other pieces could fall or the Court could do what the Fourth Circuit and the dissent in a DC circuit case (the majority upheld the law) did and say the issue is not ripe enough for judicial intervention. In other words, because the mandate (and its financial penalty) will not be applied until 2015, the court cannot rule to stop the law. This outcome is improbable as so few courts have accepted that reasoning and it could be problematic if Barack Obama does not win next year or if appeals spurred from new litigation in 2015 last beyond Obama's second term. However, while that option may be no less liked by opponents, it could diffuse what will be a messy post-ruling environment in the immediate aftermath with unknown impact on the presidential election.
Tonight ABC will premier Cong. Gabrielle Gifford's first interview since the January shooting that left six dead and the Congresswoman critically injured. The interview with the network's Dianne Sawyer airs tonight at 10:00 PM EST.
The State of Things:
The Globe's Noah Bierman tweets that a compromise casino bill is ready for voting. Bring on the special interests!
Elizabeth Warren news galore today. Yesterday in Boston, Warren spoke to her largest crowd of volunteers. By any estimate, at least a thousand people attended the event at the city's Reggie Lewis Center. Introductory remarks were made by Ayanna Pressley who topped last week's at-large City Council race last week in Beantown. Meanwhile today, Warren unveiled her first television spot to reach voters who may have not yet heard or her or more likely to inoculate them against Karl Rove's corporate funded falsehoods. It is expected to start airing tomorrow.
In a related matter, Brown announced he would support Richard Cordary's nomination to head the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau which Warren helped create. The title of this Huffington Post piece sums up the situation quite well, but one of our tweet winners speaks to the relative insignificance of Brown's announcement and indeed the glaring absence of leadership Brown could be providing if he really believed in Cordary.
We're going to cite our own tweet to sum up the situation with at-large Councilor Jimmy Ferrera's impending presidency of City Council. It includes a link to the mildly condescending Masslive article on the matter.
For a diversity of perspectives on the local election post-mortem here is Maureen Turner's take, Bill Dusty's write-up and well, we won't be so vain to link to ourselves again. Scroll down instead to yesterday's entry.
Two winners this week. First up h/t to Sal's Bakery in "X" business district of Springfield's Forest Park. The new bakery opened this week with an official grand opening scheduled for Saturday. Technically, the tweet belongs to WWLP, which announced the Bakery's soft open. Nevertheless, the bakery does have its own Twitter handle, @SalsBakery, but it has yet to tweet that they're open!
The other tweet is this from a Newton resident who essentially spelled out the reason why Brown's support for Cordary is inconsequential and speaks directly to what Bob Massie called Brown's status as the "caboose" of the Senate. If Brown was trying to do more than make a statement ("Hey Look at me, I'm moderate...hey you're not looking!"), he would lobby his Republican colleagues to let Cordary start work at the bureau. That is not going to happen. Additionally, it is worth noting that Brown was never among the 44 Republicans that promised to filibuster any nominee to head the agency. Of course that was at a time when he and his aides was probably hoping they could remove a major Senate race opponent by keeping her in Washington.