Wednesday, June 6, 2012

News of the Day

1. A I'm sure you've noticed, Scott Walker won the recall election last night with 53% of the vote. Not surprising, this has a lot of different implications, depending on how you look at it. For those who favored Scott and look at the raw numbers, it was a victory for Democracy and a sign that the American People have "had it" in the words of John Boehner. If you were not happy with last night's result, you came away seeing that big money won the election, not Walker himself. He outspent his Democratic rival by nearly 8:1, much of that money coming from outside the state. If you didn't support Walker, this victory means little going in to the Presidential election in November. If you were a Walker supporter, it's a sure sign of the sentiment of the nation. What are people's thoughts?

2. The Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have helped women secure equal pay for equal work in relation to men. All Republicans, including several women, voted against the bill. While the measure technically "passed" by vote (52 for, 47 opposed), a Republican filibuster turned it into a dead bill anyway. The argument made by Republicans is that such a bill is a) bad for business, and b) a political stunt by the Democrats to try and garner support  and attack the GOP. You know what the GOP could have done to nullify that second accusation? Vote for the bill.

3. European nations, clamoring for aid from the German leadership, are being told that they must give up some of their sovereignty if they wish to continue receiving help. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for extending the powers of the European Commission as well as other centralizing entities, and wants to deny futher support to countries who refuse to give up sovereignty to a centralized system (that Germany will no doubt control). German officials have been criticizing nations for refusing to make deep enough austerity cuts to their budgets in order to offset the amount that they borrow from the central banks. They are further suggesting that borrowing and debt increases are a poor way to jump-start economic growth. Interestingly, those same austerity measures in other countries makes Germany a more powerful player in Europe that now controls most of the loans and debt of the rest of the eurozone.

4. Obama and his staff are saying, again, that they will not extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy beyond their end date of January 1st. The issue is becoming a major political debate topic in Washington, as Republicans try to use the extension as a bargaining chip for raising the debt ceiling. Incidentally, Boehner has already said he will not raise the debt ceiling unless he gets additional cuts to the federal budget. Oh, and for good measure, the GOP has backed out of the deal they made last year over the debt ceiling debate. Really, they just want everyone to agree with them or be quiet. The Obama administration is doing neither.

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