November 30, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

Returning well-rested from an extended holiday break, I thought I'd take a moment to catch up on the news of the past few days. Let’s begin.
  • The race for NY’s 25th House district is over, and Ann Marie Buerkle has defeated Dan Maffei. Buerkle had the support of Sarah margin of victory. Even she knows that it wasn’t so much that folks in the district were thrilled with her, but more that folks were disappointed with her predecessor. So, her plan?  Well, of course, she’s going to hold firm on her beliefs including de-funding or repealing health care reform, making the Bush tax cuts permanent, reducing regulation and taxes on business, doubting climate change, and getting rid of the Department of Education. I’ll have a few questions for Ann Marie later in the week.
  • The long-awaited Pentagon report on gays in the military has come out, pardon the pun, and I think as most folks realize, times have changed since Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was put into place back in the 1990’s. The report concludes that gays can serve openly without jeopardizing our safety, or the military as an institution. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others are in favor of a phased in approach after the law is repealed, vs. a court-ordered change which would likely be more immediate. We’ll see what the Senate does, once the anti-repeal holdouts (including John McCain) finish reading the study; the House has already approved repeal. The White House, in a weird round of political Twister, is both supporting repeal and fighting a court order to not enforce DADT. 
  • President Obama has proposed a wage freeze for civilian federal workers, but members of Congress and congressional workers would be excluded.  I know it seems like a token effort, and it will only save a few billion dollars over the next several years, but it’s something that many of us in the private sector have already been through and after all, these folks are paid with our tax dollars. The trick is, this can’t be the only effort the government undertakes, and it will be a test of our fortitude when we move from freezing wages to cutting services. Hold on to your hats, and be sure you have your scorecard handy to see which of your elected representatives are really serious about getting our financial house in order at any level of government.
  • Back here in NY, Governor Elect Andrew Cuomo’s video on the challenges we are facing together doesn’t seem to be getting a ton of attention. The video came out about a week after Cuomo slaughtered baseball-bat wielding Carl Paladino by something like a gazillion votes, but there hasn’t been much mention of it. I’ve signed on to get emails from Cuomo, but he’s been pretty quiet since the election. Hopefully things will start picking up as our Accidental Governor’s term winds down.
  • Oh, and that other thing, across the pond. Prince Wills gave Kate Middleton his mum’s engagement ring, the stunning sapphire and diamond number that Charles used to bribe Diana into producing an heir (and a spare). Seems like at least this time the Prince knows his future princess, and he can actually talk about being in love way less awkwardly than his father did. The nuptials are scheduled for April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey. Sadly, I have an appointment that day and will have to decline. Hopefully they won’t miss me too much.
What's been going on in your world?