Manic Monday Markup 7/8/13…
…And the World:
We begin today in Egypt, where not even a week after generals ended President Mohamed Morsi’s rule, things are not going well. Blood has been spilt across the country as the Army tries to complete its takeover from the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, Al Nour, one of the radical Islamist parties that supported the takeover, has pulled out of negotiations for a new interim government. Without Islamists in negotiations it could fuel to the Brotherhood’s contention that opponents are aligning against religious parties entirely, something the US clearly feared when it urged Brotherhood members to accept Morsi’s fall, The New York Times reports.
In Great Britain, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband is calling for reform to his party’s operations to change Labour’s relationship with members and unions. Non-union Labour members would have a say in leadership elections while union employees contributions to the party would become voluntary. A Guardian columnist emphasizes Miliband’s point that these efforts are not to bash unions, but “revive politics” in Britain. Miliband’s plan would also instate US-style primaries for selecting parliamentary and mayoral candidates.
Meanwhile, in the Land Down Under, the leader of that country’s Labor Party, Kevin Rudd, who became Prime Minister after defeating Julia Gillard in a leadership vote, has his own reforms in mind. There too, Rudd would dramatically change the rules that allow leadership “spills” while bringing in more input from rank and file party members on who leadership should be. Rudd’s move also earned the accolades of columnists, even if he benefited from the old system.
In response to the dramatic loss of life in Bangladeshi clothing factories, some retailers and clothiers are taking action.
Some big news out of Texas. Governor Rick Perry WILL NOT seek reelection as that state’s governor. Perry is currently the nation’s longest serving governor having taken over for George W. Bush when he became president in 2001.
From one of the nation’s largest states to its largest city. In a scoop, The Times’ Michael Barbaro reports former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer will run for…New York City Comptroller? While the position is no where near as glamorous or powerful as mayor it controls a lot of money and that could give Spitzer leverage over countless city policies and beyond, if voters give him a chance. Meanwhile, the City’s political world reacts and the man who had planned on winning the Democratic nod for Comptroller, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, is left with his wheels spinning.
In the race to replace the late Senator Frank Lautenberg, the family of the senator is endorsing Frank Pallone, one of the two Congressman running. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the favorite to win the Democratic nomination, for his part is released a plan to eliminate child poverty The Record of Bergen County and The Philladelphia Inquirer report.
Investigators are focusing on the speed of Asiana Flight 214 when it hit a seawall at San Francisco International Airport Saturday. Two people died, although investigators are looking into whether one of the two dead, both female teenaged Chinese students, sustained her injuries from an emergency vehicle according to the San Francisco Chronicle and other media outlets.
The State of Things:
With Markey set to be sworn into the US Senate Wednesday, candidates for his Congressional seat are wasting no time. The Metrowest Daily News sketches out how geography may play a large role. Metrowest itself has a candidate in State Senator Karen Spilka, but that region within the district accounts for only a quarter of the population. Meanwhile, WBUR’s David Scharfenberg looks at Senator Will Brownsberger’s campaign, which has already rankled progressives.
Another big deal is the Boston elections. Columnists for both The Boston Globe and The Herald want voters to think about the non-politician candidates like Bill Walczak. Meanwhile if you thought we did the City Council well, check out David Bernstein’s ambitious project to “chat” with all of the folks running for Beantown‘s legislature, which has a bevy of vacancies as incumbents seek the mayor‘s slot.
As Democrats prepare for the state convention in Lowell, buzz is all around the Governor’s race, as The Republican’s Shira Shoenberg reports. Meanwhile, one of the (much) lesser known, but actually declared candidates Joe Avellone came to Springfield per Rob Rizzuto.
With voters in Springfield set to give their verdict on MGM’s plan for their proposed South End casino, opponents are giving their all with a pretty decent media blitz. Clergy voiced their opposition to gambling in the city and Citizens Against Casino Gambling called for the Gaming Commission to step in and stop the poll. But the Commission shot their request down.
Northeastern Public Radio’s Paul Tuthill reports on a plan to (finally) provide handicap access to the Riverfront Park trail’s downstream entrance near the old Hall of Fame.
Elsewhere Springfield is soliciting the public’s input on what to do with Community Block Development Grant money it is getting as a result of the tornado. A number of the proposed uses are familiar, but maybe the public will come up with some new ideas, too.
American politics has decayed considerably. Whatever you may think about Democrats, there is really little to debate that Republicans are not really producing any policy or any solutions that would employ, heal or otherwise improve Americans’ lives. Even so many critical, important issues are lost or get no attention. There was even a time when legislators were identified with specific issues. As more and more (tea party) senators and reps join Congress, those legislators with a cause, too thin out. Today we award this week’s tweet prize to Newark Mayor and US Senate candidate Cory Booker for tweeting about his child poverty plan. Child poverty is among the greatest scars on the America society, but almost nobody seems interested, let alone eager to confront it. Perhaps in putting this forward, Booker can upend the conventional thinking that pushes real human lives off the agenda. Maybe it could even employ, heal or improve lives.
37% of US children are poor at some point in childhood. Child poverty isn’t urban/rural issue: it’s an American issue http://t.co/fI4n0lcyTK
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 8, 2013