Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Harrisburg to be born?
A twisted, disfigured privatization bill is limping toward the finish line in the Senate as I write this, at 1:30 AM on Saturday morning. I'm listening to the Democrats' last-ditch efforts as amendments are offered. Senator Teplitz is admitting that the PLCB is corrupt and stupid, but thinks it should be retained. I believe he undercuts his argument...but it's futile. He's speaking in favor of "The Ferlo Amendment." That's the Democrats' "modernization" scheme, which really stands for more of the same...only now open on Sundays (although Ferlo's amendment DID have better "package reform;" the Republicans have ludicrously made The Case Law even MORE complicated).
This bill is ridiculous in its pointless compromise. If it passes, we will still be a laughingstock among civilized states. Unnecessarily arbitrary compromises stud it like chunks of coal in a pudding. This has become a coddling of Big Beer, and a crusade against Corbett. It will be decided on party lines, for reasons having very little to do with the merits of the bill.
And you know what? I'll take this Second Coming of private alcohol sales in the Commonwealth. Because once the wall is broken, it cannot be repaired. It can only be further torn down as people realize how stupid it was to begin with. The predictions of disaster will come to naught.
Ferlo's amendment was defeated, narrowly, with one Republican -- Greenleaf, of Montgomery County -- voting for it. The bill has been amended, with a vote of 27 Republicans in favor of the Pileggi amendment, an augury of success in the Appropriations Committee, after which it will return to the Senate for final passage and reconciliation with the House...which could be tricky. But another step goes forward; the slouching continues. The senators are calling it a night, and so am I.