Manic Monday Markup 9/23/13…
…And the World:
We begin today in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has won an historic third term capturing nearly a majority of the seats in the Bundestag, a rarity in German politics. Merkel could overtake Margaret Thatcher as Europe’s longest serving leader. But without a majority, Merkel must form a new coalition. The Guardian considers the results in context of the other parties.
The crisis brought on by the terrorist attack launched by the Islamist group al-Shabab in Nairobi continues. Government forces are preparing to move in on the mall that the group attacked and seized, which resulted in the death of dozens. Some suspects have been arrested according to South Africa’s Times newspaper. Some outlets report the situation under control.
Also on the African continent, the opposition Democratic Alliance of South Africa is distancing itself from the remarks made by the wayward former youth leader of the African National Congress. Julius Malema, who has since left the ANC has gotten the party’s dander up recently said that rule under his ex-party is worse than apartheid.
Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani, after an exclusive interview with NBC is coming to the United Nations leaving many waiting to see what he may say to the General Assembly. Meanwhile, Haaretz’s Barak Ravid reports that John Kerry may meet with his Iranian counterpart at the UN as the nation seeks audiences on the sidelines with members of the Security Council. Not surprisingly, Bibi is skeptical.
The New York Times ponders whether Pope Francis’ remarkable comments in an interview with a Jesuit journalist could usher in some major changes in the Vatican.
Another appropriations bill another standoff. This time, at the center of the battle is Ted Cruz, whom Greg Sargeant reports, has no way to stop Senate Democrats from stripping out provisions of the House-passed bill that defunds President Obama’s healthcare law. Steve Benen at the Maddowblog notes that Democrats could even go on offense and undo some of the catastrophic effects of the Sequester. Republicans after all, are playing with fire as a shutdown is grossly unpopular.
Down in Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley is term limited and the campaign to replace him is underway. Lt. Governor Anthony Brown has picked up support from the state’s fiery senior senator Barbara Mikulski and Baltimore area congressman John Sarbanes. Attorney General Doug Gansler is launching his campaign tomorrow.
Bill de Blasio, the Democratic nominee for mayor in New York gets Obama’s endorsement.
The Hartford Courant has an update on the efforts of the Newtown Action Alliance, formed in the wake of last December’s slaughter of 20 children and 6 teachers at Sandy Hook School. The story comes in the context of the Navy Yard shooting, a memorial for which was held today.
Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott McKay looks at the role the economy and promises to boost it could play in the upcoming gubernatorial race there. Incumbent Lincoln Chaffee is not running for reelection.
The State of Things:
As Boston prepares to vote, the city’s Police Commissioner Ed Davis has announced he is leaving. David Bernstein has some details on his mixed record, along with an article due in to be in the October print edition. On that election, some additional last looks at the preliminary for mayor in Beantown. The Globe finally got around to writing on the Council races, too.
The Boston Herald reports that Congressman Mike Capuano could announce a run for governor this week. He has allegedly hired staff for the run and has some seed money left over in his state account from his mayoralty of Somerville.
The commonwealth has culled some of the herd of applicants seeking a medical marijuana dispensary license.
Worcester Magazine writes about the limited success of minorities’ efforts to join Worcester’s elected bodies. A stat that might blow you away? The last time an African-American held a seat on the Council was 1936.
The City Council will again consider a raise for the mayor, but there is a host of complications that could make it a legal and political minefield. Also due to be considered are more efforts to change to the residency ordinance.
Last week’s turnout numbers in Springfield were pretty bad, even if they exceeded our expectations.
A new park opens in Springfield. Really, we’re only linking to this story so we have an excuse to reach into the archives for a piece of the puzzle that made Plastics Park, nay Richard Neal park possible. Happy, uncontroversial headlines aside, the background of this process is really fascinating.
Senator Ted Cruz’s crusade against Obamacare that boxed in House Republicans (and earned their ire) is mostly about money, that is raising it for himself. However, one may forget that he is actually the Vice-Chair of the National Republican Senate Campaign, which seeks to elect Republicans and by convention supports incumbents over primary challengers. Yet, Cruz is raising money for organizations that are going after sitting Republican senators. That’s what made the statement (and the story from whence it came) tweeted by the spokesman for the Democrat’s Senate efforts all the more stunning. Today we award the tweet prize to Justin Barasky of the DSCC for noting this startling admission that insurrections from within the NRSC is “pretty standard.” With friends like these…
NRSC Spox: It’s “pretty standard” that one of our vice chairs is actively working against us. wow. http://t.co/nRRuPM6Saz
— Justin Barasky (@JustinBarasky) September 23, 2013