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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

News Roundup, 4/16/08: The Pope and Gordon Brown

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI landed in Maryland. This is a big deal for everyone — although it might turn out to be an inconvenience for Gordon Brown.

I was convinced that the big story about the papal visitation would either be the pomp and circumstance of Benedict's trip to the White House, or maybe some goofy gaffe by the president.

This morning, however, I heard that UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is also in the US. He's here to talk to Wall Street about being more forthcoming about losses, the idea being that the more transparent bankers and companies are about their shortfalls and disappointments, the more readily those problems can be dealt with. Brown is under pressure at home to fix the global credit crisis, and his visit to the US will focus on cooking up some cooperation.

Some folks at home are grumbling that his visit will be overshadowed by the Pope, but maybe this kind of work can benefit from a touch of papal smokescreen. Either way, rest assured that some elected executive, at least, is paying attention to the financial problems facing the US and the world, even if he isn't ours.

Financial issues are among those that Democrats are currently winning on and are looking forward to winning on in November. We pointed you to an article by occasional guest writer and BOR superstar Phillip Martin yesterday, and he discusses the environment, health care, higher education, public education, and utility rates as issues that will be relevant in races for the Texas State House. If you expand that to the national scale, Democrats win on the war, the economy, and foreign policy, too.

And "the economy" isn't some esoteric unexplainable that doesn't really affect the likes of you and me — as we are learning every day, everything affects the economy and the economy affects everything, right down to the bread you buy and how much you pay for it.

Political news rounded out yesterday with a report that registration among young voters is way up in North Carolina. This is encouraging and a continuation of a trend that's been on all year.

And lastly, the Conservative Party of Canada's Ottawa headquarters was raided by Mounties. It is apparently tied to campaign finance struggles with our northern neighbor's version of the FCC, Elections Canada. If you read a bit more detail on what happened, you'll see that there are some campaign finance similarities to some conservative shenanigans here in the states.

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