Manic Monday Markup 10/20/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in Turkey, where the government has decided to allow Kurdish fighters within the country’s borders to aide Syrian city of Kobani. Turkish forces will facilitate Kurdish forces movement into Syria to resist the Islamic State’s attack on the city. Kobani has not been fully overtaken by IS and some have been attributed this to US airstrikes.

Former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam died, prompting remembrances in the land down under. Although only PM for three years, Whitlam is being recalled as a figure who inspired a generation, and made sweeping changes to the country.

A plead for bribery in Brazil could rile the presidential election there.

NPR looks at the continuing difficulties young people are having find work in NPR, even in Tech which hold a lot of promise.

Israel potpourri: A conversion reform bill dies to placate religious conservatives, but not really. A Haaretz columnist says hyperventilating about Europeans action on Palestinians and the West Bank is not the country’s interest. An ex-Likud minister to form his own party.

Nigeria is free of Ebola.

The Feds:

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari needed to infuse his campaign with another $1 million dollars of his own money.

A look at the reelection campaign of Eric Scneiderman, the New York Attorney General.

Despite the pullout of the DSCC from the ad market, Alison Grimes and Mitch McConnell are deadlocked.

Connecticut job numbers buoy incumbent Democratic governor Dan Malloy.

The State of Things:

Democrat Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker are campaigning down to the wire. In Framingham, though, Coakley took her message to the streets, door knocking and canvassing voters herself.

The Boston Globe looks at Ed Markey transition from senior House member to very junior senator.

Some takeaways from Masslive on the Easthampton debate between Don Humason and Patrick Leahy running for 2nd Hampden & Hampshire seat. The Reminder looks at another debate between the two, this one in Agawam.

City Slickers:

The Springfield City Council adopted a climate action plan resolution, which calls for the appointment of a city official to concentrate on applying and managing grants aimed at reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

Mayor Domenic Sarno’s call for legislation regarding offenders out on bail is getting press.

In major non-casino related economic development news, Springfield appears poised to play host to a new facility that will manufacture rail cars for the MBTA in Boston.

Twitter Chatter:

Good news for incumbents running for reelection is often just that. However, sometimes when the news is REALLY good, people cannot help, but be skeptical. That does not mean that for those that the news is beneficial there is no opportunity for a victory lap. Today we award the tweet prize to Mark Pazniokas, reporter for the CT Mirror a state political blog in the Nutmeg State. Pazniokas’ tweets not only sums up the news, but include that bit of snark we love.

-align: justify;”>The first was the correct assumption that the governor was taking questions in light of a positive jobs the report. The second, again correct, foretold the high speed spinning that would follow the jobs report’s release. And really, check out this tweet with a picture of the governor. There is just something artsy about it that almost made it win on its own.



Tardy Tuesday Takedown 10/14/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in West Africa, where the infection rate of Ebola could hit 10,000 cases weekly before efforts to contain the disease may take root. The cases, world health officials estimate, will occur overwhelmingly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The infection in Spain exposes the Achilles heal in Europe’s efforts: budget cuts. Meanwhile the Texas nurse who received a secondary infection from the man who died from the disease is said to be doing well.

As Kurdish forces in Kobani continue to get pounded by Islamic State forces, Russia and the US have agreed to work together to snuff out the radical organization. The US says its IS strategy is on track despite IS’s advance.

New British election forecasts suggest the Ukip or UK Indpendence Party could score as many as 30 seats in next year’s election, mostly at the Conservative Party’s expense. But Labour is taking it seriously, too. That’s not all, new rows are opening up about how to address the consequences of the Scottish Independence vote. Although unsuccessful, it is prompting fresh discord among the main parties in the UK.

The third place finisher in last week’s Brazilian election endorses the runner up opposing incumbent Dilma Rousseff.

France takes comfort in its citizens winning Nobel prizes this year.

The Feds:

The US Supreme Court tonight put a hold on new abortion restrictions passed in Texas.

From the serious to the cynical, our old friend Scott Brown is scaremongering about Ebola and the southern border. The “porous” border, Brown argues, will allow the disease to come in from Mexico. Nevermind that the real threat are transmissions via air travelers who, remarkably, can enter the country from West Africa without traipsing across the boundary between the US and Mexico.

Mitch McConnell and Alison Grimes faced off in their only debate last night. By all accounts both held their own pretty well. Local media focused on issues (see next link for more local links). National media won’t shut up about Grimes’s admittedly cheesy non-answer about whether she voted for Obama or not. What is more troubling is that that the media is noting her response, but how little weight by comparison they are giving to McConnell’s out and out lie and issembling on Kynect, Kentucky’s insurance exchange. Ironically, it fell to a conservative writer to note McConnell’s incoherence and dishonesty, actually even leadership-obsessed Ron Fournier called cow excrement on it.

Little Rhody potpourri: Former federal prosecutors trash Buddy Cianci as efforts mount to keep the one-time swindler mayor from making a comeback to office for a third time. Polls show Democrats trouncing the GOP in the state’s down ballot races. The gubernatorial numbers will be out tomorrow.

The leading contender to challenge Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, teachers union president Karen Lewis, has a brain tumor and will not run.

A bit about the Connecticut Attorney General’s race.

Former Virginia Republican Senator John Warner stars in an ad for his successor Democratic Senator Mark Warner.

Democrats up investment in Georgia, claiming they have a path to victory for Michelle Nunn’s bid for US Senate.

The State of Things:

Last Ebola news. David Bernstein considers the commonwealth’s preparedness for the West African disease both medically and politically. Most importantly, there is NO cause for alarm. No really!

Welfare reform is back in the gubernatorial campaign. Except, as Adrian Walker observes, the reforms Charlie Baker wants were largely already passed by the legislature.

Democratic candidate for State Senate Patrick Leahy says he supports repeal of the casino law. Fellow Holyoker Mayor Alex Morse will appear with casino repeal proponents at a public presentation.

A flurry of debates in the other Senate race have aired. Today Democrat Eric Lesser released his plan to address housing the homeless in hotels.

The Reminder reports that Jon Lumbra, who had planned to take a post in Lowell and shortly resign as Holyoke Treasurer, has changed his mind. The Reminder’s Mike Dobbs writes that Jon Lumbra will remain Treasurer for now, but he may not serve out the full term and does not intend to seek a third term. Lumbra calls for change in the Holyoke charter to bring municipal government into the modern era.

City Slickers:

The homicide at a Springfield housing complex that took the life of a Hampden 19 year-old has again prompted politicians to prescribe action on how to deal with the problem. Cameras were among the ideas advanced by at-large Councilor Tim Rooke. However, WSHM reporter Michelle Kingston tweets that Springfield Housing Authority Executive Director Abraham Abrashkin says all of the complex’s cameras were working.

Mayor Domenic Sarno is among the mayors denouncing casino opponents’ study that says casinos will harm revenue derived from the lottery.

Twitter Chatter:

The stark contrast between local and national media reaction to the Grimes/McConnell debate is truly  astounding and, unfortunately, only serves to feed the breakdown and and waning efficacy of our national political media. We need to have more sober and less process-tickled coverage of the politics that decide where our country is going. To that end, this week’s tweet prize winner is a part of the national media, but saw the forest for the trees. Today we award the tweet prize to John Harwood, a political reporter for CNBC and The New York Times, who praised the performance of both contenders for US Senate from Kentucky rather than just focusing in on something minor and stupid (or at least doing so at the expense of the other candidates equally stupid, but not so minor flub). Notably, he also dismissed the significance of Grimes’s voting answer and even allowed that it may not be as bad as national media says


Manic Monday Markup 10/6/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in Brazil, where President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party secured first place in her country’s presidential election, but now faces a runoff with Aécio Neves, the center-right candidate in the race. Marina Silva of the Socialist party, came in third place after taking the place of Eduardo Campos at the top of the ticket. Campos died in an August plane crash roiling the election and upending its conventional wisdom. So far Rousseff, who emphasized income redistribution in her campaign, is the favorite to win the general, but momentum may be on Neves’ side, who was third at one point. Silva remains a wildcard too.

After clashes at the end of last week, a stalemate may be settling in between the government of Hong Kong and pro-Democracy activists. Others see the protests dwindling.

Israeli is fuming over Sweden’s decision to begin recognition talks with the Palestinian Authority, outside the traditional conduit for peace talks. However, Sweden is anything, but clear about what its decision means in the short term, although Israel fears other European countries may follow.

Pope Francis calls synod, primarily it seems, to discuss allowing divorcees to receive communion.

Haiti’s brutal one-time leader dies.

Canada’s Parliament will vote this week on whether to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. A divide in the Liberal Party over the issue may have erupted on the issue, possibly coloring that party’s fortunes in next year’s elections, a conservative Canadian publication argues.

The Feds:

The US Supreme Court has rejected petitions from five states facing rulings against their bans on same-sex marriage, effectively bringing marriage equality to five more states: Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. However, rulings from the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuits upholding decisions that quashed the bans, in effect, ripples those rulings out to all of the states in those circuits or create legal chaos. The Guardian has a live blog of states’ reaction to the rejection of the petition for review.

Greater Washington potpourri. The Post looks at the race for a swingy Northern Virginia Congressional seat and President Obama endorses Muriel Bowser in the DC Mayoral race. A Maryland legislator proposes a way around (part of) Citizens United that does not offend the constitution.

Really Wisconsin is just a mess.

Isn’t that cute? Republicans have a candidate against Rosa DeLauro in Connecticut’s arch-Democratic New Haven-based Congressional seat. Elsewhere in the Nutmeg State, Obama will be fundraising in Greenwich, while the gubernatorial candidates talked taxes at a West Hartford synagogue. And a new poll shows Democratic Governor Dan Malloy up by…8!?!?

In Colorado, Senator Mark Udall and Rep. Cory Gardner spar in a debate. Gardner goes uber aggressive, but tears the truth asunder (yes we know this is a partisan link, but it is also true) on personhood and the government shutdown.

The State of Things:

Holyoke Treasurer Jon Lumbra announced he would be leaving that position soon to take a job at Treasurer-Collector in Lowell. Masslive reported that he intends to do both jobs during a transition period. The City Council will be able to fill the post, an elected position, after he formally resigns. Lumbra posted his decision to take the job to Facebook on Friday.

Our report on the First Lady’s visit to Boston to stump for Martha Coakley.

Suffolk Downs, which had hoped the casino gods would save it, shut down on Saturday.

Paul McMorrow considers whether Tom Menino’s mighty political machine was really almighty at all.

Republican Don Humason and Democrat Pat Leahy, competing for the 2nd Hampden & Hampshire Senate seat, trade barbs on marriage equality, minimum wage and literacy.

The Fourth Estatements:

Afghanistan’s new president is allowing a New York Times reporter the country expelled to return.

City Slickers:

Jim Kinney at Masslive says the new owners of Five Town Plaza have plans for renovations and new retailers, but so far are mum on what that will mean.

The Reminder writes about the restoration of tornado damaged housing the South End and Six Corners neighborhoods.

Twitter Chatter:

The Supreme Court’s decision not to review the circuit cases overturning bans on same sex marriage probably foretells the inevitable. Marriage equality will come to the United States soon. Either the circuit courts will continue on the path they have taken or a conflicting circuit will rule differently forcing the Court’s hand. Either way it seems unimaginable that the march can go any other way. Today we award the tweet prize to two individuals. The first is Marissa Lang, a reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune, who noted that today is the anniversary of the plaintiffs in the Utah case.

However, special mention today must also go to an opponent of same-sex marriage. Utah Governor Gary Herbert. While disappointed, his call to all Utahns to accept the decision and, more importantly, treat all citizens of respect is precisely the right attitude and entirely civil. It is in stark contrast to the hysterical reaction of Oklahoma’s governor, and worthy of recognition.