Wednesday, November 21, 2012

And these, Thy gifts

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends, 
For everything Thy goodness sends.

                                                                               -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Grinch who taxed Christmas... And gave us casinos...

... And another reason to shop early...

Mass. prods Amazon to collect sales taxes
Even if Amazon and the state do come to terms on tax collections, Patrick said, “I’m just not sure that we’re going to have an agreement in place in time for the holidays.”
Yeah, that'd be an epic tragedy.

Hey, I get that the state perpetually needs more money, but the Internet has been around for a couple decades, and the recession is limping into it's fifth year.

 So yeah, the timing could be better.
Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot...

But the Grinch,
Who lived just North of Who-ville,
Did NOT!

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
I'm going with Patrick's 'head wasn't screwed on quite right.'

But look, apparently Steve Grossman's head's not screwed on quite right, either.
“This is not simply a revenue issue . . . it is a matter of fairness and equity to Main Street businesses,” Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman wrote in a letter to US Senator Max Baucus, head of the Senate’s Finance Committee, pushing for online tax legislation.

“Local retailers and other merchants should not have to compete with online sales giants that do not have to collect state and local sales taxes,” he said. “It is simply contrary to sound public policy to penalize companies that actually invest in a brick-and-mortar presence in a community.”
According to Steve, it is a supreme injustice of the highest order that Massachusetts local businesses are required to compete with a massive national competitor that is inexplicably allowed to receive unfair economic advantages.

Unlike all-inclusive mega-casinos plunked down in the middle of small, often struggling New England towns, which can offer free drinks, unlimited comps and indoor smoking.

Or Tribal casinos which receive certain Federal tax breaks based on Sovereign status.

Steve's pretty OK with all that.
Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!

"I know just what to do!" The Grinch Laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat.
And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great Grinchy trick!
"With this coat and this hat, I'll look just like Saint Nick!"
Oh wait.  I forgot.  Casinos are good!  Slot parlors are good!  They're just presents under the Commonwealth's tree!

A winning scratch ticket snuggled in our Christmas stocking!  A golden wishbone hidden inside our holiday turkey!

But then, why doesn't it feel that way to the folks down in Whoville?

And why do casino interests have to outspend casino opponents 300 to 1, or wait for an economic downturn to turn up the pressure on legislators to create jobs, or spend millions on lobbyists to buy votes, or build shell offices in target towns and cities too look like they're inevitable, or use predatory devices and business practices for the bulk of their profits?

And why did Deval Patrick seemingly listen only to gambling interests?  Why did he make stuff up to win this fight - instead of looking at the facts, or listening to the experts, or relying on the advice of the same progressive supporters who worked to get into office in the first place?
Then the Grinch said, "Giddyap!"
And the sleigh started down
Toward the homes where the Whos
Lay a-snooze in their town.

All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams without care
When he came to the first house in the square.
"This is stop number one," The old Grinchy Claus hissed
And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.