Manic Monday Markup 8/11/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in Iraq, where political factions have settled on a new Prime Minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki. Maliki’s sectarian governance has been partly blamed for the rise of the Sunni insurgency that has swarmed across Northern Iraq. However, The New York Times says the premier may not be going quietly. Fouad Moussam, the country’s Kurdish president, has appointed Haider al-Abadi, a member of Maliki’s own Shia party, to become Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the Kurds retake two towns from ISIS.

These events follow President Barack Obama’s decision to order aid drops and airstrikes on ISIS to prevent the fundamentalist group’s advance on Kurdish territory in Iraq, and, more broadly, to stop a genocide. Relatedly, British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing calls to join the military air operations in Iraq and not just drop humanitarian assistance.

Not far away in Israel and Gaza, a new 72 hour truce appears to be holding. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accused of leaving ministers in the dark on truces, while other argue Israel’s actions have forced it into doing something it opposes: negotiating with Hamas.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will apparently become his country’s first elected President, which has historically been a symbolic role. Erdogan won with a little over 50% of the vote narrowly avoiding a runoff. Under his party’s rules, he could not remain leader and thus prime minister for another term, but Erdogan’s election was seen as an attempt to stay in the spotlight and possibly change the position (altering Turkey’s government structure) into one of greater influence and power even as critics pan his heavy-handed style and bullying of the opposition and independent media.

As the tide turns against them, pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine called for a cease-fire. However, a planned “humanitarian” convoy from Russia has drawn a strong rebuke from the government in Kiev and the US and Britain.

Uganda LGBT activists staged a parade after a court invalidated a law that harshly criminalized homosexuality.

The Feds:

The FBI is investigating the shooting death of a black teen in a St. Louis suburb that has touched a nerve in the region. A police officer in Ferguson, Mo. fatally shot Michael Brown in what police originally described as a struggle for the officer’s gun. That explanation was met with derision and anger, but degenerated into looting. The incident has bled into the debate over whether or not the St. Louis county and city, which are entirely different entities, should reunite. The FBI probe will be concurrent with the local police investigation.

While Hillary Clinton is getting press for criticizing President’s Obama’s foreign policy, on Iraq at least, Democrats back him including leading progressives Elizabeth Warren and Keith Ellison…for now.

Connecticut votes in its primary tomorrow. Dan Malloy is the only Democrat on the ballot, but State Senator John McKinney and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley are battling to the last vote. Meanwhile a spat erupted between New Haven US Rep Rosa DeLauro and Jonathan Pelto, an independent in the governor’s race running to Malloy’s left.

Despite some bad press in July, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo still looks primed to win reelection on a walk.

Detroit asks a federal judge to end federal oversight of the once-troubled Police Department.

The State of Things:

Steve Wynn, the casino mogul angling for one of the Boston area’s casino licenses is under the microscope for playing a role in the effort to elect Charlie Baker governor.

Following its own tornado, Revere will receive federal loans to deal with the aftermath.

Holyoke Ward 2 Councilor Anthony Soto wants the Hampden County District Attorney’s office to investigate the exit agreement between the city and former City Solicitor Heather Egan. The Council referred the request to committee, but even if passed, the DA is highly unlikely to do anything until the Supervisor of Records responds to media outlets’ public records appeal. Soto is said to be planning a challenge to Mayor Alex Morse.

The Fourth Estatements:

The Guardian is under fire for carrying an ad from Nobel Laureate Ellie Weisel, which criticized Hamas and urged the British and their political leaders to stand with Israel. Similar ads appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. However, the Journal‘s sister paper in Britain, The Times, both owned by Rupert Murdoch, declined to print the ad.

City Slickers:

A new group home in the city has prompted opposition from neighbors.

Springfield City Council Finance Committee Chair Timothy Rooke is asking for more information about the raises Mayor Domenic Sarno gave to non-union employees.

Springfield held its Jazz and Roots festival over the weekend amid Enshrinement Weekend at the Hall of Fame.

Twitter Chatter:

This week’s winner might have been disposed of with the related article in under one of the above headings. However, the effort itself runs more deeply than just the story. The Springfield City Library will be holding a campaign meet and greet at the Central Branch on State Street from 5:30 to 7:30PM or a little more than an hour after posting time. With so many elections on tap this cycle, particularly locally, typical candidate stumps can get a little unwieldy. The Library took a different path with a meet and greet. Today we award the Tweet Prize to the Springfield Library for its civic engagement, particularly via social media like Twitter. By their own count, 39 campaigns for state and local office are expected to attend. That’s quite a bit. They even have their own hashtag for the event: #opebookmapoli.


Manic Monday Markup 8/4/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in Germany, whose president marked the centennial of the Great War, today known as World War I, by denouncing his country’s invasion of Belgium, which precipitated what would become, for twenty years anyway, humanity’s deadliest war. Other European leaders have begun marking the War to End All Wars.

Israel had declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza for seven hours that, for its duration, slowed violence. Meanwhile the US and Qatar are reviving longer lasting ceasefire initiatives, but is it at the expense of Egypt’s efforts? Twin terror attack, one with a backhoe of all things hit Jerusalem, while Britain reexamines its arms deals to Israel. A slow Israeli withdrawal from Gaza has begun, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the operation will continue until quiet is restored. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggests Hamas be toppled and the UN take over administration of Gaza. NPR asks where the empathy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is.

Some wonder if Egypt will consider armed intervention in Libya as that country’s conditions continue to deteriorate.

As the US considers refugee status for Honduran families and children appearing at its border, the situation in their own country is not improving.

The US has a new ambassador to Russia.

The Feds:         

Often the best Monday are led off by Greg Sargent, who opens his Plum Line this week by documenting the full tilt xenophobia of the GOP House majority. Read both his markup and a separate post on Republicans’ demagoguery. Cong. Joe Kennedy, III is not a fan of the GOP’s bill.

Tom Foley a once and again Republican candidate for governor in Connecticut is using an ad from 2010. Elsewhere in Connecticut, the Hartford Courant endorses John McKinney, Foley’s primary opponent for the GOP nomination. Former Senator Chris Dodd recalls the sausage-making of the Affordable Care Act.

Michigan’s primary tomorrow will likely choose who will ultimately win the seat, but this year it is a particularly large scramble with several open US House seats and many state legislators termed out.

A dispatch from a Maine mill town that does no longer has a paper mill.

The State of Things:

WBUR looks at the passionate divide between supporters of Maura Healey and Warren Tolman, both running for Attorney General.

The media appears ready to declare Don Berwick dead in the water. Both NEPR and The Boston Globe suggest as much. In truth, we still don’t know.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, not surprisingly, vehemently opposes the new buffer zone law, legislators passed and Gov. Deval Patrick signed last month.

Shira Schoenberg considers the political impact of the probation trial from the gubernatorial race on down. The GOP has not fielded enough candidates to seriously shrink Democrats’ legislative advantage, but one Republican rep candidate, Nathan Bech, is trying to lay the blame at the feet of his opponent. Unfortunately, Bech is off base on this one. Democrat Mike Finn was not even elected yet when the probation scandal broke. There are, however, questions about DeLeo’s staying power. Can he stick around? Time will tell.

Both US Senators were in town last Friday to participate in former Hampden County DA and current Springfield-based US District Judge Mark Markstroianni.

The Fourth Estatements:

The Times of Israel, an online periodical often cited by this blog, briefly posted a piece that was seen to justify genocide before quickly pulling it down.

The Boston Globe is eyeing buyouts to reposition itself as it changes its businesses.

City Slickers:

While the city website has yet to be updated, WMassP&I has learned mayoral aide Jose Delgado has left the Domenic Sarno’s office for a job with the new UMass Center in Springfield.

Potpourri economic development efforts. The city is trying to sell a tax-foreclosed restaurant space on Bridge Street. Meanwhile, a developer has purchased Morgan Square apartments with the hope of developing “luxury” style apartments. We’ve been here before, but let’s wait & see.

Twitter Chatter:

Among the impacts from this Supreme Court term was what became of the administrative decisions made via recess appointment, particularly within the National Labor Relations Board. There were decisions in cases, hearings and other matters that effectively disappeared when the Court voided President Obama’s appointments. Today, however, we learn that while the recess appointment may be under threat, the impact on the agency itself may be very little. Today we award the tweet prize to Josh Eidelson, a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek, whose succinct tweet conveyed upholding of all those previous actions by the current board. Unanimously (the board has 2 Republicans) no less!


No Monday Markup Today 7/28/14…

We’re taking this Monday off. However, let us provide you with a few important links:

…And the World:

The situation in Gaza remains fraught as ever. According to Israeli media is the US’s fault (or John Kerry’s). According to US media Israeli officials are misrepresenting Kerry’s work. Even as it drags Israel through the mud, Hamas seems to be fighting for its survival.

Fighting draws investigators back from MH17 crash site and British PM David Cameron suggests more Russian-directed sanctions.

The Feds:

Sure the House and the Senate look depressing for Democrats, but governor’s mansions? It’s practically coming up roses.

Greg Sargent, as usual, gets your Monday started right.

The State of Things:

Read our profile of Brett Vottero, candidate for District Attorney. We are slowly working through the races. Expect more soon!

Wilbraham Selectman Robert Russell, running against Angelo Puppolo for State Rep wiped out $500K of debt in bankruptcy.

Warren Tolman changing his story on smart guns? Honestly we don’t know but the Lowell Sun seems to think so.

More State headlines from our friends at Massterlist.

City Slickers:

When the pols on the chessboard/ Get up and tell you what to think/ And you’ve just seen dumb campaign ads/ But you know it’s time to vote/ Go Ask Gladys/ I think she’ll know!

Twitter Chatter:

Not this week. We’ll be back next week!