My blog, www.amomentwith.typepad.com , turned seven a couple of weeks ago. That’s seven, as in years. I’m surprised at how fast it went….and I’m more surprised at how many doors have opened for me since I started writing here. I’ve met a lot of good people through this blog, and the poker that resulted from it. Thanks for the last seven…let’s do seven more!
I’m just going to come out and say it. Harry Reid’s poker bill is has two chances at all getting passed this year: slim and none. It reeks to high heaven of insider politics, everyone knows it has Harrah’s written all over it, and attaching it to the tax bill this session is going to be a no-go. Why? Republicans are already lining up against it.
Over at Politico, here’s what Republicans are saying:
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, a leading opponent of online gambling, told POLITICO he intends to block Reid’s proposal and vowed there is "zero chance — no chance whatsoever that would be part of the tax deal. I don’t think it would be the right thing to do.”
“The House Republicans will go crazy if this is in the bill,” said one senior congressional aide, declaring it “a total, 100 percent payback” for the support Reid received from gambling interests. The aide asserted that lobbyists for the Las Vegas-based casino operator Harrah's, now known as Caesars Entertainment Corp., even helped write the legislation.
“You could call him ‘Harrah Reid’ at this point,” the aide quipped.
Of course, Republicans would block this poker bill during this lame duck session regardless if it’s good or not, just to score political points. It wouldn’t matter if it was a stand alone bill or attached to critical spending.
Last week, three House Republicans who will become committee chairmen with jurisdiction over online gambling legislation in the next Congress — Reps. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, Dave Camp of Michigan and Lamar Smith of Texas — penned a letter to Reid and McConnell “oppos[ing] any attempt to legalize Internet gambling during the lame-duck session.” They blasted as “secretive” and “undemocratic” any effort to attach such legislation to another bill.
After Frist’s midnight hour attaching of the UIGEA to the Safe Port Act a few years ago, isn’t that rich?
Hopefully, somehow the poker bill will get through Congress; I just don’t see it happening for a while. With all of the political posturing that needs to be worked out, it could still take years.
I am not a writer. In fact, I have never claimed to be a professional writer. Despite that fact, I am a blogger; and on December 23rd, I will have been blogging for seven years. Granted, I am not very prolific; and certainly, not very interesting. I usually write about poker, politics, or just post a funny picture. It’s been fun doing all of that.
This blog may change. I feel like I want to write more. I think I want to write more about myself. This apartment is getting smaller, and with all of the time I spend in it, I am getting bigger. So I think I’m trying to say that I’m going to post more.
But you know what; I hate blog posts that basically say “I’m going to post more. Promise.” Those types of posts are self-indulgent and stupid. So I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that I might write more on here, whether I’m actually a writer or not.
I’ve been informed by Dr. Pauly that I’ve won his annual WSOP Fantasy Poker Pool. First prize is a signed copy of his book, Lost Vegas. I am grateful to Pauly for running contests like this and extremely excited to be getting his book. If you don’t already know it, he owns & writes the best poker blog the interwebs have to offer: Tao of Poker.
PokerStars today announced that it would cease providing real-money poker to residents of Washington State. To date, PokerStars has operated in Washington on the basis of legal opinions where the central advice was that the state could not constitutionally regulate Internet poker, or at least could not discriminate in favor of local cardrooms and against online sites. Last week, however, the Washington Supreme Court for the first time rejected that position and upheld the state’s Internet gaming prohibition.