Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Trickle-down austerity
STATE OF THE STATE: The subject was Europe’s economic crisis and DC inertia in this Sunday NYT piece by David Leonhardt, but the central problem of getting by with less and a traditional aversion to tough choices certainly resonate here in Rhode Island . . . . A closed House Democratic caucus takes up the pension topic this afternoon at 4, with possible committee action anticipated as soon as later this week . . . . In his weekly essay, Scott points to a crying need for civility and mutual respect in getting the pension overhaul done . . . . Unions are set to rally Tuesday at the Statehouse (3:30-5:30) against aspects of the pension overhaul.
MUST-READ: Columbia professor Thomas Edsall on the politics of austerity. He raises the possibility of it becomes a Mobius strip of frustration: “In many respects, austerity feeds on itself. If the country needs to invest in education and rebuilding infrastructure to regain competitiveness, as many economists of varying ideological stripes argue, those initiatives are in large part precluded in a political environment that places top priority on deficit and debt reduction. Retrenchment, in effect, becomes a noose, choking off prospects for growth.”
FALLOUT 2012: Because of this economic miasma, the WaPo (not surprisingly) finds a mood of discontent among the electorate with less than a year until the next presidential election. That’s tough not only for President Obama, the paper says, but also Mitt Romney, who remains the Republican to beat while failing to generate much widespread enthusiasm.
THE ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE: Nate Silver has an interactive feature charting possible paths for the presidential hopefuls.
MEDIA: What happens a newspaper disappears from a community? Tom Fiedler writes about his findings.
DRUG WAR: John P. Walters, a former US drug czar, will take part in a Brown University discussion 4 pm Thursday on the question of “What if the US legalized all drugs.” Tip Sheet got an ironic chuckle out of this, because it was more than 20 years ago when he covered a Boston debate on the same question between Alan Dershowitz against then-US Attorney Frank McNamara.
CICILLINE: The freshman rep sat down for coffee near Wayland Square with one his potential Democratic primary rivals — on Halloween, no less, reports Ted Nesi . . . . David Scharfenberg reports on how beating Cicilline could be tougher than some suspect.
ON THE WATERFRONT: PBN reports on the scaling back of plans for Providence’s industrial waterfront.
ON THE TOWN: Providence City Counci Majority Leader Seth Yurdin is having a time Tuesday evening at Bacaro (5:30-7:30). Suggested donation: $60/$120.
BIRTHDAY: Erin Arcand; Lisa Carnevale; Reza Clifton; Richard McCaffrey; Trudy Coxe.
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