…And the World:
We begin today in Canada, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who leads the Conservative party, formally ordered the dissolution of parliament, which the country’s governor-general (the Queen’s formal representative) did, touching off what might be one of the nastiest and longest election campaigns ever for our neighbor to the North. Adding another touch of intrigue this is the first campaign for the leaders of the New Democratic and Liberal parties, respectively Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau (son of the former premier). Neither led their respective parties during the 2011 election.
Israel continues to reel following the arson in a Palestinian village in the West Bank that killed an infant and seriously wounded his brother and parents, which officials have deemed terrorism. Following a wave of international and domestic condemnation, including from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, more poignantly President Reuven Rivlin, the Israeli cabinet voted to use administrative detention against Jewish terrorists, who are believed responsible for the firebombing, in the same manner as Israel often does with Palestinian terrorists. For too long, many argue, a different standard and/or uneven justice has been applied to Jewish settlers who employ violence against Arabs.
Meanwhile, even former Israeli defense brass are calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to drop what looks increasingly like an unsuccessful bid to block the Iran deal. Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry appears to have won over some Arab Gulf states worried about the deal.
In the United Kingdom, many in the Labour Party appear determined to arrest the rise of leftist Jeremy Corbyn. Fears are high among many in the party that Corbyn’s views are out of touch and could doom the party to a permanent minority.
President Barack Obama announces his climate initiative today, calling for stricter standards that previously anticipated. The plan has been called the strongest ever, particularly where power plants are concerned. Although ambitious, includes reliability failsafes to ensure access to electricity is not affected and to clear legal hurdles.
Over the weekend, the Democratic primary for president received a jolt when The New York Times reported Vice-President Joe Biden is feeling out a presidential run. The Hillary Clinton campaign itself has been weighing the impact even as Clinton launches her first ad in the contest.
Nonsense on the Republican side from who will compete in the debate to the Koch Brothers’ new whitewashing effort to dress themselves up as champions of the poor and even the next Martin Luther Kings. Republican presidential candidates laid themselves out for the Koch’s donor network, giving the nation’s top bureaucrats a chance to kick the candidates’ tires and see who is available to buy and would serve their narrow interests best.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was indicted last week for state securities violations that occurred before he took office this year. The Dallas Morning News says his silence indicates he will engage an all-out battle for his political career.
Planned Parenthood, under new threat after a right-wing activist group began posting videos it surreptitiously recorded and often misleadingly edited, is pushing back. The sale of fetal tissue, at the center of the tapes–inconveniently for Planned Parenthood’s opponents–has had the support of Republicans in the past who are now leading the charge against the organization.
The State of Things:
Our report last week, on top of competitive mayoral and School Committee races, Holyoke’s City Council election includes 30 candidates among the 15 positions on the body.
State Senator Karen Spilka is pushing for more women to be appointed to the boards of directors of corporations.
More of a Connecticut story where the track work actually is, but major construction has begun on the Springfield-New Haven commuter rail line.
Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin has filed a ballot question to update the Public Records Act on the chance that the legislature does not act before the 2016 election. This follows Gov. Charlie Baker’s executive order, which only affects the agencies under his purview.
So far the Massachusetts delegation is lining up behind President Obama on the Iran deal.
The Fourth Estatements:
A writer for The Guardian considers its coverage of the Labour party leadership race, specifically that of Jeremy Corbyn.
The New York Times’s public editor devotes her bi-weekly printed column to the Hillary Clinton email inquiry story. Responding to readers upset about The Times’s false reporting, she said she received a commitment from Executive Editor Dean Baquet to do better on its coverage of Clinton. Not a free ride, but a fair shake.
Rolling Stone appoints a new managing editor in the wake of the UVA story imbroglio.
Politico makes its next move into Massachusetts.
Verizon landline employees, including about 5000 in Massachusetts opted against going on strike when their pact with the telecom giant expired Sunday morning.
Included without comment: Mayoral candidate Michael Jones’s interview with The Republican.
Ward 3 City Council Melvin Edwards alleges in court documents that the Dunbar Community center, the site of an accident where he Edwards sustained a fall and blew out both of his knees, was negligent in allowing water to accumulate. Edwards says he fell after slipping on the floor during a charity basketball game there. Edwards’s suit seeks for damages principally for medical expenses and little else.
Grab a hold of your innards because the only thing that may soften the blow is that the tweet prize is shared this week. Ready? Donald Trump wins the tweet prize this week. Yes! Why? Because even though the shameless, racist, absurd campaign of a man destined only to be the showman-in-chief has a point. Republican ultra-funders like the Koch Bros. are trying to stop Trump and thus he was not invited to the beauty contest they held for other Republican candidates. Trump called this out for what it is:, begging for money form the nation’s rich and powerful. Whether staged or not, the Donald has a point.
I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers. Puppets?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2015
But to restore your faith in humanity, Trump is, ironically, sharing the tweet prize with President Barack Obama in the guise of his official POTUS account. Today’s new climate announcement could be infinitely important in the battle to keep our home, Earth, habitable and vibrant for future generations. The President, invoking children both alive and yet to be born in a tweet taken from his speech today, says the nation and the planet can meet this challenge and the capacity exists today to do it. For this we award Obama the tweet prize as well.
I refuse to condemn our kids to a planet that's beyond fixing. Let's meet this challenge and #ActOnClimate together.
— President Obama (@POTUS) August 3, 2015