Manic Monday Markup 6/10/13…
…And the World:
We begin today in South Africa, where yet another hospitalization of former President Nelson Mandela has captured media attention again. The 95 year-old Nobel laureate has suffered from poor health and multiple hospitalizations for the past year. According to The Mail and Guardian, it has led to accusations that some government officials are being denied access to the ailing former leader. With public disapproval and stories of corruption on the rise, the governing African National Congress may find its own fortunes tied to Mandela’s life and by extension the moral authority he provides.
Global news on the National Security Agency leaks. The New York Times says British officials are assuring the public there that they are following British law in this area. Meanwhile, NPR says that if the United States asks Hong Kong to extradite NSA leaker Edward Snowden, they probably will. But, Iceland is always an option.
In Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agrees to meet with protesters in Instabul’s Taksim Square.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, believed to be heading into an electoral bloodbath later this year is not backing down from a renewed efforts by her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, to reclaim leadership of the governing Labor Party.
Stateside with the NSA leaks, yesterday Edward Snowden revealed his identity to The Guardian newspaper at his request. NPR has some follow-up information on Snowden’s past and rise to a well-paying job without any post-high school education. An investigation has begun and Republicans are already calling for Snowden’s head, while Americans seem unmoved, The Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, this story shines a light on the rise of contractors in intelligence, including, from The Times, the company Snowden worked for. This is also a coup for activist Glenn Greenwald (see how he did), who deserves credit for the story and with whom we normally agree. But statements like these hinder his cause, not help it. Whatever Snowden’s fate, his actions may yield the review of the Patriot Act we badly need.
Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings called on House Government Reform and Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa to release the full transcript of interviewed IRS employees. Why? Because those transcripts appear to exonerate the Obama administration. Cummings says he will release the full transcripts if Issa does not.
Some interesting thoughts from the Maddow Blog’s Steve Benen about the long-game on climate President Obama may be playing in light of the recent Sino-American summit in California.
Finally, the field is set for the special election to replace New Jersey’s US Senator Frank Lautenberg. Newark mayor Cory Booker announced Saturday and leads in early polling, although anything could change advises Jamelle Bouie. NBC New York says New Jersey Democrats are suing Gov. Christie over his decision to have the election in October in lieu of New Jersey’s general election in November.
The State of Things:
Former Massachusetts governor Paul Cellucci died over the weekend from complications due to Lou Gehrig’s disease.
New polling from Suffolk University, in the Massachusetts Senate race shows Cong. Ed Markey up 48-41 over Republican Gabriel Gomez. Media is reporting it as a tightening. It is, but only in comparison to one poll, Suffolk’s. Other polls have been in this range for some time. David Bernstein filters out the noise and gets it right on what Gomez needs at this point. And Springfield’s Mayor Domenic Sarno endorses Markey.
Longmeadow voters go to the polls tomorrow. The most notable race is for Select Board. The School Committee seats are uncontested. As election mania continues to sweep the Commonwealth this year, the vacated seat of former Worcester Rep John Fresolo is drawing candidates both Democrat and Republican reports Worcester Magazine.
Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette orders an investigation into the police department.
You know it must be election season when at-large Councilors Jimmy Ferrera and Bud Williams are injecting themselves into something over which the City Council has no power to limit. Pete Goonan reports a Family Dollar has been proposed on Allen Street near the Island Pond Road commercial area, but Ferrera and Williams stand opposed, likely in an effort to appeal to voters in vote-rich Ward 7, which abuts the development. Ferrera and Williams, incidentally, came in fourth and fifth in the 2011 election and could the likeliest to be offed by a challenger. Ward 7’s councilor, Tim Allen, said he was waiting for a traffic study before making an opinion.
Timothy “T.J.” Plante, the city’s acting Chief Financial and Administrative Office, received the job permanently last week after former CAFO Lee Erdman departed late last year. Plante was the Finance Director for the city before he became acting CAFO.
The Boston Mayor’s race has been focused of late upon the signature certification process, however, as that process begins to wind down, attention will turn to the campaign itself. That race, beyond the obvious need that our readers know all things political, may not necessary seem all that relevant to Springfield and its neighbors. That is until today when Boston at-large Councilor and mayor prospect John Connolly announced he had gotten a mayoral endorsement. No, not from Tom Menino, but from Robert Markel, a former Springfield mayor and now a resident of Boston’s Charlestown, neighborhood. We award Connolly this week’s tweet prize for stitching east and west together in the Boston’s mayoral race, if in a minor way.
Mayor endorses! Fmr Springfield Mayor Bob Markel that is, now resides CTown Navy Yard. Thx 4 hosting, Mayor Markel. twitter.com/JohnRConnolly/…
— John Connolly (@JohnRConnolly) June 10, 2013