Tardy Tuesday Takedown 5/26/15…

…And the World:

We begin today in Ireland, which in a dramatic result, voted overwhelmingly to allow same-sex marriage in the famously uber-Catholic country. The vote is the first national referendum to allow such nuptials (although US States like Maine have held them), but it does not immediately permit weddings. The Irish parliament will need to pass laws to hash out the details, though hopes are legislation will pass this summer.

Elsewhere in marriage equality, Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten will introduce a bill in Parliament to recognize same-sex unions and Germany may not be far behind.

In Poland, President Bronislaw Komorowski lost reelection to Law & Justice Party candidate Andrzej Duda. Although nominally an independent, Komorowski was historically of the same party as Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, who holds the real power in Eastern European Country. Law & Justice is a super-nationalist, socially conservative, Euroskeptic party, but one Op-Ed writing in The Guardian notes, it could be a thorn in British Prime Minister David Cameron’s side during efforts to reform the European Union.

Elsewhere in European potpourri: French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have signed off on their own changes to the EU, complicated Cameron’s efforts. Meanwhile, Hollande, whose poll numbers have been in the bidet for some time, has been bolstering his professional relationship with his former partner, Ségolène Royal, France’s Environment minister ahead of the Big Paris Climate Conference and even the 2017 presidential election.

Staying on the climate conference for a moment, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pens an Op-Ed on the subject.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appoints longtime confident, Connecticut-born Dore Gold, to run the Foreign Ministry, for which Bibi technically remains the minister. Elsewhere in Netanyahu’s funhouse, the new cabinet seems to grow my farcical by the minute, the Times of Israel concludes.

India’s Narendra Modi recalibrates expectations in major speech.

The Times considers the shocking victory of the left-wing New Democrats in Canada’s Texas, Alberta.

The Feds:

Bernie Sanders formally kicks off his presidential run. Greg Sargent considers what Sanders’s impact on the race i.e. Hillary will be. Politico considers whether the media will give Sanders a “fair shake,” but his announcement today did get a lot of press. Oh and Mother Jones does Bernie, the early years.

The Patriot Act is set to expire soon and last minute efforts to renew either in full or scaled back are failing.

Democratic Arizona Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick will challenge Republican John McCain, meanwhile Dina Titus is staying out of the open Senate race in Nevada leaving former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto as the only Dem in that race.

Former New York Congressman John Murphy who was caught up in Abscam sting dies.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments about what one person, one vote means.

The State of Things:

Massachusetts gimp public records law was blasted by open government advocates during a State House hearing today.

The Boston Globe writes about how Marty Walsh’s effort for a master plan echoes one Tom Menino attempted that died a few years after its commencement. Also in “Mahty” news, The Globe Editorial Board opines that efforts to replace the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Chief planner is yet another sign Beantown is now Marty’s town.

Read our report on Jose Tosado’s return to elected office via the state House of Representatives.

Maura Healey’s office declined a Holyoke City Council request to investigate Mayor Alex Morse’s severance agreement with former City Solicitor Heather Egan.

Oh and one of the sponsors of that request, Ward 2 Councilor Anthony Soto announced for mayor last week.

GASP! East Longmeadow Town Meeting voted to impose the meals tax in town.

The Fourth Estatements:

The trial begins for The Washington Post reporter accused of espionage in Iran, but not in public.

Charter seeks to buy Time Warner cable after Justice Department regulators effectively nixed Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner.

Western Mass News reporter Brian Schnee announces his departure for a gig in southern Oregon.

City Slickers:

The Springfield City Council sets budget hearings to review Domenic Sarno’s budget.

ICYMI: US Rep Richard Neal endorsed Sarno for reelection.

The former Liberty Branch library is rededicated as a senior center in Hungry Hill.

Twitter Chatter:

In a time of such troubles in the world, it can be hard to see, as Martin Luther King observed, the arc of history bending toward justice. But when it does, it is gratifying to see it reported with such depth and attention. Today we award the tweet prize to New York Times columnist Nick Kristof for noting the good that the media had a chance to cover in Ireland’s referendum permitting marriage equality. As much has been made about Ireland’s turning away from his Catholic roots in this vote, it might be just as much argued that it was embracing the best of its Catholicism too by choosing human dignity and respect for all over ossified dogma. In any event, as Kristof noted, the world’s journalists had a chance to report on humanity at its most just and they did.


Manic Monday Markup 5/18/15…

…And the World:

We begin today in Iraq, where a strategic city has fallen to ISIS. Despite gains against the radical extremist group, the city of Ramadi is now under their control. The move represents a grave setback for the countries new prime minister Haider al-Abadi. Those fleeing Ramadi are finding Baghdad to be problematic place as well.

An Egyptian court has sentenced Mohammed Morsi, the former president, to death.

Could a divide be opening up within the heart of the Opposition in the Knesset? Zionist Union/Labor head Isaac Herzog’s supporters are criticizing signals sent out by former Labor leader Shelley Yachimovich that she’ll support legislation from Netanyahu’s government with which she agrees.

From a Prime Minister reared in Canada’s oilfields, Stephen Harper commits to reign in his country’s emissions. However, the goals he outlined are behind even what the US’s commitment and have drawn jeers from environmentalists.

Still reeling from the disastrous result in this month’s UK elections, Labour party members are concerned the field to replace Ed Miliband is too small and thus debate is being stifled. So far frontbenchers Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham are in the race, although another Labour MP seems primed to enter, too.

Anti-government Protesters in Macedonia took the streets over a wiretapping scandal.

The US looks to inject itself into negotiations with Russia over the fate of Ukraine.

The Feds:

Amtrak service between Philadelphia and New York is restored as the investigation continues. For a really in-depth look at last week’s deadly crash, read The Philadelphia Inquirer’s reconstruction of it.

Now entering the presidential fray: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham announces run and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal opens exploratory committee. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, not yet a candidate, slams President Obama’s foreign policy, calls for a far more aggressive international posture and basically tells Edward Snowden to go to Hell.

In New Hampshire US Rep Frank Guinta faces an FEC violation for using his parents’ money (or his money that was in his parents’ account) for his 2010 race. The Union-Leader, Guinta’s hometown paper, and GOP Senator Kelley Ayotte—who may face a tough reelection next year—have called for his resignation. The FEC move is notable given how much campaign finance law has metastasized since Citizens United.

Elizabeth Warren is winning at the White House’s expense, but is doing so without become a liberal version of Ted Cruz.

US Rep Loretta Sanchez has entered the race for California’s open US Senate seat, becoming the second major Democrat in the race after California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Relatedly, Warren was the keynote at the state Democratic convention. She has endorsed Harris.

Elsewhere in the Golden State, The New York Times writes about how that state’s drought is a legacy of the current governor’s father, Pat Brown.

Connecticut House GOP leader Themis Klarides is hit with charges of hypocrisy.

The State of Things:

On Friday, a federal jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death. The Times reports on Boston being uneasy with this result and The Globe talks to conflicted religious leaders. Our editorial against this verdict is here.

Massachusetts Democrats gather to discuss how to counter Gov. Charlie Baker and Republican efforts to challenge Dems even in cities. At the same time, “Mahty” is emerging as a statewide political figure. But Charlie is still spinning his wheels to a certain extent, lobbying for MBTA changes the senate has rejected.

Reminder Editor Mike Dobbs, evoking both Chicopee and Springfield but speaking generally of all towns, writes that elected leaders need to take residents’ side over businesses’ more often.

At sixes and sevens. Holyoke Ward 6 Councilor Todd McGee is running for the open Ward 7 seat.

Our review of Longmeadow’s redistricting vote last Monday.

The Fourth Estatements:

How do you preserve a dead newspaper, like, say The Boston Phoenix.

City Slickers:

As body and cruiser cameras enter the city’s election ether, the reality is that such overdue reforms will only be hashed out through the collective bargaining process (and funding).

The Reminder explores what an upcoming board vote within MGM’s parent company could mean for the casino project in downtown Springfield.

Mayor Domenic Sarno announces his reelection today at the Elks on Tiffany Street.

Liz Roman at The Republican writes about the Ward 6 Councilor campaign of Kim Rivera, mother to former councilor Amaad Rivera.

Twitter Chatter:

It was never meant to last long and yet it has endured more than 40 years. It has been called a sinkhole of money, but its existence and continuing investment in it ensure the Northeast exists as we know it. Last week’s crash that killed eight people in Philadelphia is a deep scar for Amtrak. While some have taken the opportunity to fetishize impractical privatization solutions, others have rallied to its defense. Despite the tragedy, the passenger railroad has persevered and is among the few that has embraced—if too slowly—technology that could prevent future such disasters. Today the Northeast Corridor, severed last week by the wreck, reopens. This blog supports Amtrak and thus today we award it the tweet prize.