Manic Monday Markup 7/15/13…
In the Game:
We begin today…in Springfield! Four Points of View on tomorrow’s casino ballot. The Republican is for it (this time with a less patronizing editorial) while Casino Whispers is against. Our verdict is here. For a free-market argument against the casino that would make Hayek and von Mises tickle themselves, Tommy Devine’s opinion is here.
And New England Public Radio has an interview with Gaming Commission Chair Steve Crosby.
…And the World:
Inn South Africa, where the “king” of the clan to which Nelson Mandela belongs has apparently left the ruling African National Congress to join the opposition (and largely white) Democratic Alliance. This comes as the Deputy President warns that the party needs to become more responsive to problems or it will fall. Of course all of this is happening against the backdrop of anti-Apartheid activist Nelson Mandela’s declining health.
In addition to inhumane safety conditions, The New York Times reports on the deteriorating ecological conditions of the country as more and more business has moved in.
Rahul Ghandi, the son and grandson of slain former Indian Prime Ministers Rajiv and Idira Ghandi, is not being ruled out as a Prime Minister candidate in India’s next elections, the Times of India reports. Rahul’s mother, Sonia is the leader of the party controlling India’s government although she declined to become Prime Minister when the party took over in 2004.
The not guilty Zimmerman verdict for the killing of Trayvon Martin has sent ripples across the political world. The Justice Department has reopened its investigation, while Attorney General Eric Holder, himself black, says this is an opportunity to analyze the difficult issues the case has raised. Largely peaceful demonstrations against the verdict have occurred in several major cities. One is planned in Springfield tonight.
Filibuster reform is heading for showdown. An all-Senate caucus in the old Senate Chamber is scheduled for tonight and aides have been whipping back and for the between the caucus leaders and the White House, but no deal has been announced. In a related item, Dems are without a standard bearer in Montana’s open Senate seat after the state’s popular former governor took a pass at a run. What the race looks like now via The Washington Post.
Virginia’s embattled governor Bob McDonnell seems to be teetering on the edge of resignation, according to Politico, as a corruption scandal has blossomed in the Old Dominion.
Meanwhile, new polling in New York City suggest that ex-Congressman Anthony Wiener has pulled ahead of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Meanwhile, resurrection-in-progress Eliot Spitzer has rocketed ahead in the City Comptroller Democratic primary having easily passed in enough signatures to get on the ballot.
The State of Things:
On Saturday, Steve Grossman, the Commonwealth’s Treasurer, announced his bid to become the next Governor in a speech that also served to introduced Ed Markey before the state Democratic convention in Lowell. David Bernstein suspects the bevy of Martha Coakley sign holders in Lowell means she’s in, although she made no announcement in her speech. But the stage is set for a clash if she’s in. Dan Wolf, a State Senator from the Cape & Islands, also a gubernatorial candidate gave a warmly received speech as did former Obama Medicare/Medicaid head Don Berwick.
The date for the special election to fill Ed Markey’s Seat has been set. October 15 will be the date of the primary and December 10 is the general election date. Given the districts heavy Democratic tilt, the primary is likely to be where most of the action will be.
The Boston Mayoral race continues with its large slate of candidates. Last week, the order of candidates’ appearance on the ballot was chosen by a lottery. This process applied to City Council candidates, too. Mayor candidate Councilor Rob Consalvo is trying to introduce the “People’s Pledge” to that race while Rep. Marty Walsh and Councilor Felix Arroyo have the backing of the city’s critical labor unions. Councilor John Connolly, however, is getting support from a group of Democrats for education reform.
West Springfield’s Town Council is poised to receieve its casino host agreement after Mayor Gregory Neffinger signed it last week.. New England Public radio reports on the differences between Hard Rock’s deal with Westside differs from MGM’s deal with Springfield.
Springfield City Council President asked MGM to reopen its agreement with the city for clarifications, which Ferrera voted for. MGM’s response? LOL!
Springfield launched a $32 million dollar renovation of Central High School’s science labs, an item that had been held up earlier this year. Much of the construction will be paid for by the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
Senators are emerging from their all-Senate caucus with no solution in sight. But what is at stake could not be more important including the operation of integral government agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board (which does not just protect unionized workers). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seems poised to hit the nuke button, but he has the facts to back up his action. We award this week’s tweet prize to Senator Harry Reid for one of many fact-based tweets that explain Republicans’ unreasonably and unprecedented effort limit Obama‘s ability to have his own nominees get a vote. No president in history, indeed, all presidents have had to meet this challenge and Reid appears poised to end this exception Republicans have erected for Obama.
Key fact about GOP obstruction: Pres. Obama has had 16 filibusters of his nominees, compared to 20 by all previous presidents. #EndGridlock
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) July 14, 2013