In a world of radical impermanence, one might be grateful for things that don't change. Or maybe not.
The WV legislature is having an interim session this week. I went yesterday to check some things out and ran into a good friend and sometime Goat Rope reader. For two years, he and I were part of a group that fought hard to get the legislature to pass a law that would let WV draw down $22 million in stimulus funds to expand unemployment benefits to people who need them but can't get them under current rules.
The window to do this closes in the first half of next month. During the last regular session, we gained a few yards but lost for no good reason other than the ideological opposition of business groups and the politicians who do their bidding.
He was there to try for one "Hail, Mary" pass that would be only slightly less miraculous than the bodily Assumption of the Virgin into Paradise, i.e. persuade a legislative leader to put in on the agenda for a just in time special session.
Ever the optimist, he pointed to several things that had changed since this winter. First, the state's unemployment insurance fund was solvent; second, the state has a major budget surplus; third, WV's unemployment rate has stabilized.
"Yes," I said, "but there's one thing that hasn't changed: nobody gives a ****."
HITTING THE CEILING. Here's economist Jamie Galbraith's take on the debt ceiling mess.
MARCELLUS. About 100 people attended a protest yesterday at the state capitol calling for regulation of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.
YOU KNOW THAT LIST OF TOOL USING ANIMALS? We need to add blackspot tuskfish to the list.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED