…And the World:
We begin today in Hong Kong, where pro-Democracy activists are resisting Beijing’s call to end the protests. Earlier the protesters were evoking the Ferguson, Mo. “hands up, don’t shoot” poses as police attempted to break up the demonstrations.
In Britain, the Conservative Party conference got off to a rough start as a top minister, Brooks Newmark, resigned in disgrace and another bailed to join Ukip, the United Kingdom Independence Party. Mark Reckless the Tory-turned Ukipper say British Prime Minister David Cameron broke too many election promises. George Osbourne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer tried to calm the masses with some new tax proposals, but the events rocked the Tories, who had hoped to capitalize on Labour’s lackluster conference the week before. Others say these events are a sign of the Conservative Party’s decline. For what it is worth, the publication that caught the Tory official in a scandal will get its actions reviewed by Britain’s press regulator.
Last week at the United Nations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the Israeli operation in Gaza a “genocide” among other exaggerated flourishes. Not to be outdone in the rhetoric department of his UN speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Hamas to ISIS and pushed back against Abbas and proposed deal with Iran over nuclear enrichment. But maybe there is hope for peace? Members of the Israeli press are not impressed, one calling the speech “Bib’s greatest hits.”
Indian political potpourri. The once ostracized Narendra Modi is due to be a guest of the President at a White House dinner tonight. Meanwhile, a conviction for corruption sends ripples through the political classes of India.
Democrats need to hang on to Iowa to hang on to the Senate and it has been getting away from them. However, Bruce Braley, the Democrat appeared to have a substantively strong night in Sunday’s debate whereas Joni Ernst, stuck to personality and vapidity. Those have served Ernst well and built up a strong lead in polling.
In Alaska, a judge rejected a Republican attempt to undo a fusion ticket a Democratic candidate and an Independent candidate formed for the gubernatorial race.
Political potpourri from south of the border: A Bridgeport state rep, who lost her re-nomination bid, was arrested for fraudulently voting. The Connecticut Education Association, a teachers union, endorsed Gov. Dan Malloy for reelection despite reservations they have had about his education policy. The CT Mirror begins an in-depth look at the Nutmeg State’s infrastructure repair deficit.
The State of Things:
Polls show a tossup in the race for governor in Massachusetts. Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Attorney General are statistically tied in several polls (except one that shows Coakley ahead). The two, along with the three third party candidates face off tonight in Springfield.
The Boston City Council is debating a pay raise for itself. However, they appear stumped by an ethics law that prohibits them from enriching themselves. Well, there is a very simple answer: have it take place after next year’s election. But apparently, that doesn’t work either for some strange reason.
Now the party’s nominee, Senator Elizabeth Warren rallied with Seth Moulton, who defeated Congressman John Tierney in the Democratic primary earlier this month. So far, Moulton is leading Republican nominee Richard Tisei.
And there is a US Senate race this year in Massachusetts. No, really!
A profile of Barbara Lee, who strives to get more women involved in politics i.e. get more women elected.
Today we premier our new subheading (maybe one day it will be a stand alone series), highlighting employment and labor issues nationally and locally.
Just a couple of quick hits today. CNN is appealing a decision from the National Labor Relations Board to rehire dismissed contract workers. Ambulance company AMR received a similar ruling after it dismissed a union steward, although there is no word yet on whether they will appeal.
At-large City Councilor Tim Rooke is seeking an expansion of the city’s Shot Spotter system, that narrows down where firearm discharges are believed to occur.
In Iowa as the contest between Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst marches toward conclusion in about five weeks, it has been frustrating to see personality take the place of policy, clearly boosting Ernst. There really is no way to define her platform as much more than platitudes and, where specific, cold and detached from the needs of real people. Today we award the tweet prize to Representative Bruce Braley, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Iowa. His tweet emphasizes not only the disconnect of his opponent, but also the stakes for ordinary people in Iowa and across the country.