Tardy Tuesday Takedown 7/17/12…
…And the World:
We begin today in Israel where the always uncomfortable alliance Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cobbled together with one-time opposition Kadima is on the verge of collapse. Haaretz has sources saying that party could bolt the coalition as soon as today. Turns out that that is exactly what has happened, as expected. That in turn could tear Kadima apart and leave its leader Shaul Mofaz as the head of its centrist wing, which views him as illegitimate. Since former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni quit the Knesset, however, those centrists may left in the metaphorical dessert. The breakup is due to vehement disagreements among the governing parties over how to change the nation’s draft. Far-right religious students were exempt until the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that exemption invalid. Mofaz has called the latest proposals inequitable. The failure by the governing coalition, which Kadima joined in part to find a solution to this problem, has led to bitter disagreements in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. Mofaz’s move to join the coalition was nevertheless seen as an act of betrayal and the destruction of Kadima could have the effect of resetting Israeli politics somewhat. Kadima, while a “centrist” party, has drawn votes from the Israeli left because it is supports a two-state solution. If Kadima or its centrist successor’s influence diminishes, more votes could go to the Labour party and its allies paving a path for a Labour party led government in the next election. Given secular Jews support for left-leaning parties, the failure by Netanyahu to find a fair solution to the draft law could weigh heavily on him in the next election, too.
As in Israel, Great Britain is having marital troubles in its coalition government. In a recent joint statement, Prime Minister David Cameron, the leader of the Conservatives and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats’ leader, said they intended to serve the full five year term in Parliament. The announcement also came as they promised new infrastructure investment to bolster Britain’s flagging economy. Commentators say the coalition can only dream to make it to 2015 (when new elections are scheduled) while others say Cameron should just cut his losses and take the Conservatives on their own in a Minority government. However, should the government lose a vote of no confidence or fail to secure a majority for a money bill under those conditions, the government falls and new elections will be called early.
The Bain of Mitt’s Existence. Mitt Romney has been pummeled by President Barack Obama and his campaign over the former’s time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded. Last week it was revealed that Mitt Romney maintained several titles at Bain while he was running the Olympics in Salt Lake City. More to the point, this era was also when Bain became a pioneer in outsourcing. It has not helped that Romney and his surrogates have argued, blissfully unaware of the irony, that it is wrong to call out Mitt Romney’s record in the private sector, even as that record is Romney’s chief argument for being president. Romney has been hit in the polls, even as the candidate and his campaign tried to fight back. However, the President’s campaign seems to have gained control of the story and ads like this show why.
Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned following shall we say, a Twitter scandal, may be looking for a political resurrection. Certainly political careers have survived worse, but much of his political apparatus has gone on to other New York politicians like City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is widely thought to be planning a run for mayor next year. Still Weiner has more than $4 million in his campaign account left over after his resignation and could run for any number of citywide offices opening up next year. Mayor might be a crowded field, but others like Public Advocate might fit the fiery ex-Congressman.
The State of Things:
Joseph Kennedy III, the grandson of Robert Kennedy, was in Springfield for a fundraiser held by associates of a longtime Western Mass confidant of the late Senator Edward Kennedy. Donald Dowd of West Springfield had long worked with the Kennedys before dying shortly after the senator. Friends of his organized the fundraiser for the younger Kennedy who is running for Barney Frank’s old seat which, while reconfigured, runs south from Brookline to the Southeast Coast of the State.
Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown have the same anniversary.
Meanwhile, Scott Brown voted against the DISCLOSE Act once again this time calling it a cynical ploy. For definition of “cynical ploy,” see “2012 Senate Campaign of Scott Brown.”
Andrea Nuciforo and Bill Shein the two Democrats from Berkshire County challenging Richard Neal for the 1st Congressional Democratic nomination have been making their way through the Springfield area and its media in an attempt to pick up every vote they can. The reconfigured district includes all, but a speck of Hampden County, all of Berkshire County and the western edges of Hampshire and Franklin Counties. However, the districts base of population gives the advantage to Neal, which Nuciforo and Shein hope to blunt with media appearances like these.
The Hearing Officer at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has denied an appeal by residents and environmental groups opposed to Palmer Renewable Energy’s biomass plant. Earlier this month, the Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals sustained the Springfield City Council’s appeal to revoke PRE’s building permit.
The Springfield City Council took second step to raise the trash fee, which was part of a broader bid to keep libraries in the city open. We’ll have our report on that meeting soon. Also approved was a resolution opposing the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
— Ryan J. Davis (@RyanNewYork) July 17, 2012
Mitt Romney is suffering at the hands of an age-old political attack, define your opponent first. The Obama campaign is starting early with efforts to define Mitt Romney as a heartless, out of touch, job-destroyer. Certainly, we believe this is true, many other Americans seem to be moving in that direction too. This is why those outsourcing stories resonate. Now Romney may have been a pioneer or a follower in the outsourcing fad, but either way it becomes impossible for him to argue his “success” in business is relevant when his job creation record is more of a boon in Beijing than Washington. We award this week’s tweet prize to Ryan Davis, who works for a Democratic-aligned digital media firm. Packing in all of the details of this wide-ranging story, his tweet today succinctly sums up the argument against and the risk of a Mitt Romney presidency. Albeit sourced from the Obama campaign, the tweet state both the story and Mitt’s biggest problem…his own “qualification” for office.