…And the World:
We begin today in the Ukraine, where protesters have returned to demonstrate against the government’s rejection of a pact with the European Union. The protests began last week after the pact was rejected, but reached a new peak over the weekend, with demonstrators taking control of a landmark square in Kiev, block government buildings and declare a general strike. Some protesters are now calling for pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovich to resign as well.
The situation is little better in Thailand, where the government is starting get physical with demonstration. However, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dropped hints she may be open to dissolving Parliament and calling elections.
New reports in South Africa’s Times details more corruption in the cabinet of President Jacob Zuma. The report is hardly welcome news after years of scandal plaguing the governing African National Congress, once led by ailing Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela.
The Los Angeles Times reports on the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Francis. A Haaretz opinion piece looks at why Israel needs the Pope. Meanwhile The New York Times looks at the return of Israeli’s combative, (but now kinder gentler?) foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.
While not whipping out a “Mission Accomplished” banner, the White House said it reached its goal of fixing healthcare.gov’s worst problems. Still problems remain as Pro Publica’s Charles Ornstein and The Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff has found. However, Greg Sargent gets it right: like it or not health reform lumbers forward and interest remains high. In the states, we have good and bad. New York is posting some of the best enrollment numbers after California and Washington. Kentucky is going gangbusters. Meanwhile, Maryland is still bad and Oregon is making the Federal site look great by comparison.
Meanwhile, the Maddow Blog’s Steve Benen says it appears the Republican policy prescription of repealing the Affordable Care Act is dead. Although countless tiny court challenges, remain the last frontal attack to the law in the courts fell today when the US Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge from Liberty University.
In North Carolina, the state NAACP, has launched an information awareness campaign outside the many retail holdings of Art Pope, a conservative political contributor and now the state’s budget director. Indeed at one point, the head of the state NAACP, Rev. William Barber faced off with Pope himself outside the state budget office.
In American Gubernatoria, Ohio’s only black US Representative, Democrat Marcia Fudge, has endorsed Cuyahoga County Executive’s bid to be the Buckeye State’s next governor. The Plain Dealer of Cleveland had said that in the past several black pols had demurred on the endorse, because allegedly, Fitzgerald was not glad-handing enough. With Angel Tavares seeking Rhode Island’s top job, the office of Mayor of Providence will be vacant and Rhode Island Public Radio says the race could be a free for all.
Newtown, Conn. Police and prosecutors drop their effort to block the release the audio of the 911 call from Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The State of Things:
At the top of the ticket for the Bay State’s gubernatorial race, Charlie Baker, the only Republican in the race may see a race on his hands for the number two spot. The Boston Globe reports that former Shrewsbury Rep and 2010 Treasurer candidate Karyn Polito is jumping into the Lt. Governor’s race. David Bernstein games out how this could be bad, maybe very bad for Baker, especially with tiny electorate that makes up Republican primaries, made tinier by independents having little reason to grab a Republican primary ballot next year.
As with all commentary from The Boston Herald, take with a grain of salt Joe Battenfield’s claim that Juliette Kayyem may be Democratic frontrunners’ biggest worry in their quest for the nomination and possible a problem for the GOP, too. Still, as Boston Magazine notes, Kayyem is raking it in the campaign cash from one of Dems’ top political ATM’s: Hollywood.
Designated Interim Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus has picked up support from across the city, but now The Worcester Telegram & Gazette says the man he would replace, Michael O’Brien backs him to hold the job until a permanent replacement is found..
With only 13 votes separating her from another term, Cambridge City Councilor Minka vanBeuzekom, asked for a recount, but of course it is not that simple. Cambridges complex voting system means the recount could take upwards of a week.
The City Council referred to committee a proposal to resurrect Citizen Commissions for the Fire and Police Commissioners. We’ll be out with a full report soon.
The Republican says that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will issue the results of its background investigation of MGM Springfield’s proposal.
Too many stories about the suffering of everyday Americans and legislative efforts to make it worse are not making their way into the media. What has made it into the public conversation, however, is the change in attitude Pope Francis is seemingly bringing to the church. His critique of unbridled capitalism made headlines. Today we award this week’s tweet prize the North Carolina NAACP for their tweet comparing Pope Francis to their state’s own Art Pope. Using a meme originally from Vermont’s Bernie Sanders that features former Argentine Cardinal’s words, the NAACP shows this dichotomy between the misery one Pope has pursued in the political arena and the concern for the masses from another Pope.
A tale of 2 Popes: 1 for economic equality & uplifting the poor. Another for policies that continue cycle of poverty pic.twitter.com/1uCyC3s6zf"
— NC NAACP (@ncnaacp) December 2, 2013