Manic Monday Markup 7/22/13…
…And the World:
We begin today in Israel, where resumption of peace talks is planned, if precariously. The deal to resume talks was struck after much shuttling between both sides for US Secretary of State John Kerry, according to Haaretz. Part of Europe’s angling to get the parties back to the table was blacklisting the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, Hezbollah. Palestinian officials promise to hold a referendum on any peace deal, something Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long promised for Israeli approval. In fact, that promise is already making waves in Netanyahu’s government as one of his coalition partners demands referendum legislation or he may act to topple the government.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democrats secured a majority in the Upper House Parliament giving his party a majority full control of the government. Abe has an opportunity, the New York Times reports to be the country’s most transformative leader in years. He has sought economic, military and Constitutional changes. Abe became Prime Minister several months ago when his party won control of the Lower House of Parliament.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will face a Parliamentary panel regarding a corruption scandal.
Last week the City of Detroit, via its emergency manager, filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. The move was greeted with both resign and hints of optimism. But no sooner had the filing been made than a State Judge ruled that the Manager, Kevyn Orr and Governor Rick Snyder broke state law by making the filing at all. Under the State Constitution, any action that could harm those pensions is illegal. Snyder and Orr have already appealed.
A federal judge will also consider the pensioners’ fate, which could preempt any state action. Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press is also reporting that plans for filing Chapter 9 bankruptcy (the part of the US bankruptcy code that affects municipalities), began before Orr was even hired. Meanwhile, the political jockeying continues in the city’s mayoral race. For excellent Detroit coverage, please visit freep.com & detroitnews.com, the home of the city’s leading papers.
The top Republican in the US Senate will not only be facing a challenge from Democrat Alison Grimes. A tea party businessmen Matt Bevin will challenge the five-term incumbent in the Republican primary.
The Washington Post has an excellent piece about the American Medical Association may be overestimating the time it takes for procedures. The bottom line? It could be inflating medical costs dramatically.
The State of Things:
Legislators rejected Governor Deval Patrick’s proposed changes to the Transportation bill that would close gaps in the financing the bill provides. Patrick vetoed the measure and legislators seem poised to override the veto and thereby kicking the can down to road on closing the deficits inherent in the bill, which pales in comparison to the commonwealth’s infrastructure needs.
Shira Shoenberg at The Republican has a much-needed update on a story that has fallen by the wayside. The legislature long ago de-funded its portion of the Quinn Bill, an education incentive program for police officers. A bill has been offered to relieve municipalities of their responsibilities, but police union officials say this is unnecessary.
Gintautus Dumcius has a roundup of all thing Boston Mayor election at The Dorchester Reporter’s website.
Mayor Domenic Sarno has vetoed the Springfield City Council’s changes to the residency ordinance that would have abolished waivers for department head and required residents be given additional opportunity to fill all other jobs. WMassP&I is following this story for additional developments, but it is worth noting that Sarno vetoed the measure that would cut back the use of waivers four years after voting against the establishment of the waiver process when he was a member of the Control Board.
The Republican also has some additional campaign news. Calvin McFadden, pastor of St. John’s Congregational Church has announced for at-large School Committee. Today, WMassP&I confirmed all incumbent elected officials have been certified for the ballot.
Twitter is burning right now with news that the Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William gave birth to a baby boy. Well, while in the most abstract senses we could shoehorn that into our markup, we declined. Luckily, we were not alone. Today we award the tweet prize to somebody willing to buck the Twitter trend and talk about something else. Meghna Chakrabarti, a host of Radio Boston tweets us an alternative subject, perhaps too much of a snooze for those concerned about succession in a figurehead royalty. But in fact, the fate of electric vehicles may have a greater impact on human, or at the very least Massachusetts history.
— Meghna Chakrabarti (@MeghnaWBUR) July 22, 2013