Manic Monday Markup 3/3/14…
…And the World:
We begin today in the Ukraine, where Russian-backed forces are issuing ultimatums to Kiev-controlled forces in Crimea. Among them is that Ukrainian forces swear allegiance to the separatist Crimean government. The head of the Ukrainian navy has defected, but subordinate officers have ignored his plea to join him. This comes as Russia forces tighten their grip in the peninsula.
On the diplomatic front, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says his nation is protecting ethnic minorities from ultranationalists, but as The New York Times reports, the troops in Crimea appear to be defending those people from an enemy that only exists in the imagination of Russian media. US Secretary of State John Kerry is slated to visit Kiev to bolster the new government there, while European Union officials look to find financial and economic response to Russia’s action. The Washington Post says sanctions are likely. The Times also looks at Putin’s latest move and the pressure on President Barack Obama to do something about it. NPR compares the West’s situation to the Russian intervention in Georgia in 2008 and the lack of options. Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Putin has lost both touch with reality and the battle for the narrative, but Germany’s position underscores the difficulty of concerted action by the West.
Anti-government protests continue in Venezuela.
In Nigeria, blasts over the weekend have killed dozens, including many children as the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram continues its attacks on targets in the oil-rich African nation.
A profile of the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, who faces host of challenges beyond hosting the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington this week. Obama pressed the PM for a peace deal with Palestinians. But Bibi says it is on the Palestinians.
Of course Ukraine is another opportunity to lash Obama politically and Senator John McCain is not missing his chance. Although, NPR says the politics are not necessarily falling along party lines.
Democrats land a top tier candidate in…Mississippi? Well the Magnolia State’s US Senate seat may not exactly be in play, but Travis Childers, a former Democratic rep who held a blood red Congressional district for a term and a half may be as close as it comes. Incumbent Republican Senator Thad Cochran is facing a tea party challenge from State Senator Chris McDaniel and if the good senator loses the intraparty challenge, Childers may have a shot, still a long one though, at an upset against a tea-flavored Republican nominee.
Republicans got a top-tier challenger for Colorado US Senator Mark Udall…or is that just hype?
John Boehner asks for help to get resolve immigration problems internal to party. Greg Sargent calls BS.
The State of Things:
The general election may be April 1st, but March 4 is really where it counts to be the next “Mahty,” who resigned his seat to become Mayor in January. The Globe has a good rundown, although at the 11th hour. Bostinno has some details, too. The city’s paper of record has endorsed 2011 Council candidate John O’Toole. The Dorechester Reporter endorsed Dan Hunt, largely viewed as the establishment choice. Here is their story ahead of tomorrow. Mrs. Walsh, that is Mayor Marty Walsh’s mother, endorsed City Hall Attorney Liam Curran per the Herald. Marty is staying out of the fray.
But it’s not just the “Mahty” seat. US Rep. Katherine Clark’s former senate seat has a primary tomorrow as do two other Suffolk County based House seats. The 4th Hampden House seat has a primary too, but the candidates are uncontested.
Warren Tolman, a former State Senator seeking the AG’s office, scored a quadruple endorsement this morning announcing the support of the state’s four AG’s before Martha Coakley who is of course running for governor this year.
Per Worcester Magazine, John Fresolo, who resigned the 16th Worcester House district under an ethical cloud last year has turned in nomination papers to challenge Rep. Dan Donahue, a former aide to Worcester Mayor Joe Petty, in the Democratic primary. Donahue won the seat in a special election last summer.
Officials say the Willimansett Bridge linking Holyoke and Chicopee and closed for some time, could see work restarted soon and completed by year’s end. Repair work on the bridge was halted after a contractor filed for bankruptcy.
Twin threats before the City Council tonight. Both an arbitration award between the city and the Patrolmen’s Union. The mayor is obligated to support it, but our sources say he may be urging a no vote over the lack of cruiser cameras and body mics. A legit point or a ploy to foil the Police Commission push? That is also before the Council tonight. Our say of the arbiter’s award.
In a related vein, the debate about police leadership.
Congressman Richard Neal, FEMA, Springfield officials and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield announce Cathedral High School will be rebuilt at Surrey Road.
The Reminder interviews Jose Tosado who is running for Sean Curran’s 9th Hampden Seat. School Committee member Peter Murphy and IBEW International Rep Ed Collins are also in the Democratic primary.
No long ago, Twitter welcomed back a familiar voice and Massachusetts resident, Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry’s experience with Twitter has not always been perfect, but since his return he has clearly gotten the hang of it even, offering a bit of humor on the day Netanyahu arrived in snow-covered Washington. Now, with Russia upending Ukraine, it has become a useful venue for the former Bay State Senator to broadcast his views independent in his own voice (if handled by a staffer) than the State Departments. Kerry appeared on the Sunday shows this weekend to discuss the deteriorating situation in Eastern Europe and used his handle to relate some of the things he said on TV including Face the Nation. Today we award the tweet prize to the Secretary for one of his many tweets on Ukraine, but the winner is one that succinctly puts Vladimir Putin in his place and, complicating factors aside, sums up the Russian President’s position well.
Invasion is not the act of someone who is strong. It is the act of someone who is weak. @FaceTheNation
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) March 2, 2014