…And the World
Mitt Romney was in Israel this weekend following an embarrassing and insulting visit to Great Britain, he turned his great personal skills to work in the Holy Land. Even as he said things Jewish audiences wanted to about Jerusalem (something many a presidential candidate have done), he offended Palestinians by saying their culture is to blame for their poverty relative to Israelis (which Mitt didn’t get right either). Certainly, the uneasy draw they have with the Middle East’s foremost military power has nothing to do with it. Of course, true to Romney form he may have just as easily offended Jews, too. Meanwhile, Peter Beinart, who edits the Daily’s Beast’s Open Zion blog argues that Romney’s patronizing of Jews on Israel actually harms Judaism. To pile on, Israel’s own defense minister, Ehud Barak, says Obama has been support for Israel’s security has been unparalleled. The two countries do not always agree, but Barak said that this was not a bad thing. Romney moves to Poland next where he hopes to rekindle that old Cold War spirit from which many Poles seem to have moved on.
Romania’s president won a vote to avoid impeachment due to low voter turnout (which turns out to be a technicality). However, the vote does nothing to add stability to the Eastern European country.
Meanwhile in South America, countries look to way to stop the impact the War on Drugs is having. The answer for some may be relaxing the rules, rather than strengthening them (which is the gut reaction in the US). It could even lead to legalization.
In a story by a friend of WMassP&I, New York Times reporter (and former Boston bureau chief), Abby Goodnough, we see that one of the law’s critical components, rebates, may be among the keys to reselling the law to the public. The rebates may not go to everyone and could go to company’s that pay for insurance for their workers in order to defray future costs. Additionally, in some states, insurers have already met the rule that 80% of the premiums insurers receive go to health care.
The Washington Blade, a newspaper dedicated to LGBT issues in the nation’s capital says that marriage equality could be added to the Party’s platform at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. There is of course an inescapable irony that this will happen in a state that just voted to enshrine that discrimination in their constitution. Still, North Carolina’s vote could be among the last of its kind if marriage equality activist are successful in four states this year.
Congressman Richard Neal has introduced a bill that would make permanent the Build America Bonds, which were part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The State of Things:
Governor Deval Patrick sent the Legislature back a bill that would implement a 3 strikes policy for the repeat offenders in the Bay State. The bill would deny parole to certain repeat offenders. However, Patrick, in consultation with Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, said he could not sign the bill without a safety valve for judges to use in extreme circumstances. In other words, judges could sidestep the law, in a limited number of cases. Legislators appear rejected Patrick’s suggestions setting the stage for a possible veto and override vote.
Senator Scott Brown keeping the election classy and focused on the substance of the issues.
Elsewhere on Beacon Hill, legislator appear to have reached a deal on a bill to help contain health care costs. The long-awaited Part II of the state’s historic 2006 health care law, the bill is intended to control the rapid inflation in medicine and make care more affordable. Details have just been made public.
On a 7-4 vote, the Springfield City Council agreed to raise the trash fee $15 (to its original rate). In doing the city could shuffle unds to reopen of 3 closed Springfield branch libraries. Our report later this week.
We have gotten word that the banks involved in the suit against Springfield’s Foreclosure Ordinances will appeal Judge Michael Ponsor’s ruling to the First Circuit based in Boston.
I’m honored to speak at the Democratic Convention – to stand with
@barackobama & talk about our shared vision to move the country forward.
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) July 30, 2012
Last year in a Youtube video that was not released by her campaign, Elizabeth Warren articulated a message that electrified Democrats and progressives. It was a simple, but forceful defense of the social contract in our society that has taken a beating under conservative ideologues. Today we award Elizabeth Warren our tweet prize as she announced the news that she would give a Prime Time Speech at the Democratic National Convention. Democrats, including the President, have taken up Warren’s message and to positive effect. Warren’s tweet also speaks to the increasingly important relationship between the President and Warren, who has as much interest in Obama’s success as the other way around. Another Obama term would cement the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into law, but a strong showing of Obama voters in Massachusetts can only benefit Warren. For the great news and the underlying realities packed into that tweet, we award (for the first time we think) our tweet prize to Democratic Senate nominee from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren.