…And the World:
We begin today in Greece where NPR reports on the rise of the Nazi-like Golden Dawn party, which has gained popular support and seats in Parliament as the nation’s economic troubles continue to spiral. Many in the nation have greeted the development with alarm.
The Australian Labor Party’s government has historically been unpopular, but that has changed in recent months. However, the growth in support appears to be mostly in the districts where it has a strong hold, not in the swing districts. The government’s improvement has been attributed to Gillard’s powerful speech about sexism which became an Internet sensation. Following a call to President Barack Obama after his reelection last week, Gillard said the president praised her for her barn burning address that targeted the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott. Abbott has been worried about his impact in the polls enough to trot out his wife to dispute claims of sexism against him.
Speculation remains strong in Israel over whether former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will launch a comeback with all of its attendant pros and cons.
Election Round-up Edition.
In California Governor Jerry Brown is suddenly unstoppable. His tax proposals were approved by voters despite some fears earlier in the fall. If they failed, his governorship was dead. Quite the opposite now. Additionally, Democrats took a supermajority in the Legislature, enabling them to supersede Republican obstructionism that has blocked tax and budgeting proposals. Finally, Democrats took some high-profile California Republican scalps, including the widow of Sonny Bono, Mary Bono Mack. The defeats across the board was a source of gloom for the Golden State GOP, questioning their viability for statewide office in the future.
The liberal blogosphere is waiting with bated breath for the outcome in Florida’s Eighteenth Congressional race. Tea Party diva Allen West appears to have lost reelection against newcomer Patrick Murphy, but despite a loss outside Florida’s automatic recount margin of error, he is not conceding.
Historic marriage equality votes in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state.
And the Seattle Times (among others) comes out for Elizabeth Warren to join the Senate Banking Committee.
The State of Things:
The calluses on Massachusetts Democratic activists’ door-knocking knuckles have not even healed yet when attention has suddenly turned to another statewide race next year. The Washington Post reported John Kerry may be up for Secretary of Defense (the White House wants UN Ambassador Susan Rice in State, it seems). While both Kerry and Rice face hurdles if appointed anywhere in the cabinet reports, the attention also turns to who could succeed Kerry. Although, as this Post story is clearly a trial balloon there is reason for skepticism.
Scott Brown seems like an obvious Republican nominee, but the Post also runs down some other potential like past senate aspirants Martha Coakley and Mike Capuano as well as eyebrow raising possibilities like Berkshire County’s own Senator Ben Downing. The Boston Globe’s Political Intelligence blog points out that the attention also goes to Governor Deval Patrick who would appoint an interim nominee before the special election (although Patrick would prefer to avoid the special election). Patrick refused to say today whether he would require an interim appointee not run in the special election as he did for interim senator Paul Kirk, calling such talk premature. Brown seems to agree.
East Longmeadow candidates for the town’s vacant Select Board seats look to bring some honor back to the body after the epic fall of Enrico “Jack” Villamaino. Meanwhile, the what remains of the Board looks to change policies, particularly in the area of whistle blowing, after the scandal. The Reminder has more on the race under its town news.
The Springfield City Council is preparing to consider a revision of the municipal residency ordinance. Having gone for years without enforcement, the Council is struggling to find a balance between encouraging city residency for city employees and reckoning with the realities of seventeen years of employees held to varying standards. However, community groups are not thrilled with the idea.
The Springfield Historical Commission is contemplating a demolition delay ordinance. The purpose of the law would be to discourage owners of damaged historical properties from demolishing structures without first seeking a buyer who would be willing to restore the building or buildings.
Folks we helped in #BreezyPoint cared more abt whether we had enough to eat than destruction around them. Gracious &hopeful in face of loss.
— Alex Goldstein (@alexjgoldstein) November 13, 2012
It is hard to believe, but it has been two weeks since Hurricane Sandy made landfall and wreaked havoc on the Tri-State area and killing over a hundred. Huge swaths of New Jersey and New York remain devastated. Still it has brought out the best in people, in many ways. While we always thought well of Occupy Wall Street generally, if not universally, the movement’s Occupy Sandy operation and other on-going humanitarian efforts are getting some much deserved attention from the New York Times. Alex Goldstein, Executive Director of Together PAC, apparently had his own journey to Queens’s devastated Breezy Point neighborhood. For capturing the grace and hope of the victims as well as the charity of others (like, ostensibly, himself), we award him this week’s tweet prize. Only with this attitude can rebuilding succeed.