Manic Monday Markup 7/21/14…
…And the World:
We begin today in the Ukraine, where Dutch investigators have arrived to take over the investigation of the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, shot down last week, likely by pro-Russian rebels. A train with the remains of the victims has apparently left a rebel-controlled town and Malaysia says the rebels have agreed to hand over the black boxes from the plane.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be urging both sides to let investigators do their work, after a series of tense conversations with the British & Australian Prime Ministers, both nations that lost citizens. Obama has urged Putin to keep his word. It occurs as European leaders feel more open to the harder line of the US. The BBC reports that the Ukrainian Government based in Kiev has ordered its forces to keep clear of the crash site. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, which is the home country of the overwhelming majority of the 298 dead, has been hit hard and one town in particular.
Russia is said to support Australia’s resolution about the downed airliner at the UN, if Russia is not blamed, however.
In Gaza, the Israeli offensive to root out Hamas militants that are firing rockets into Israel continues. However, the death toll is rising considerably among Palestinians and maneuvers over the weekend and today have been particularly deadly for both sides. Haaretz writes that it is clear that Benjamin Netayahu knew of the risks in launching a ground offensive (25 soldiers dead), and would probably like nothing more than an exit strategy. Despite calls from some members of the Israeli cabinet, there is no policy to reoccupy Gaza. Efforts continue for a cease-fire and President Obama has ordered Secretary of State John Kerry to find one quickly. And an Israeli voice against the move into Gaza.
And in “Not helping,” we have this little gem from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman.
Honduran bus operators and American Border guards are finding less children are trying to make their way north to the United States.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT employees who work for companies with federal contracts. Local connection to the event under “City Slickers.” The order did not carry any significant religious exemption following fears that courts could use the Hobby Lobby decision to discriminate against LGBT employees.
Don’t miss our briefing from the Motor City on the Warren-Clinton divide.
The Providence Mayoral contest remains as scrambled as ever according to Rhode Island Public Radio.
Chris Christie to resign in January in order to concentrate on presidential run? Don’t hold your breath.
In Georgia, Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue are making their final pitches to voters ahead of this week’s runoff. The winner will face off against Democrat Michelle Nunn.
The City of Detroit is suspending its shutoff of water to residents with unpaid bills for 15 days.
Montana is widely seen as a race that Democrats will lose come November, but a new poll finds the race tightening.
The State of Things:
It just is not a day in Holyoke without somebody trying to beat the crap out Mayor Alex Morse (figuratively, mind you). On the one hand, some cannot agree economic development projects are happening in the city. On the other, Morse continues to face what will likely be an adverse ruling about suppressing the terms of former City Solicitor Heather Egan’s exit. However, the Masslive article here seems more about advertising their appeal to the Supervisor of Records than providing any new information. The Supervisor does not, as a rule, lay out a timetable for review. Of course, such an article would not be complete without blind speculation by Morse’s opponents. Bottom line, Morse appears in the wrong on non-disclosure, but turning it into a sideshow as his opponents have is irresponsible.
Maura Healey has enchanted The Boston Globe’s Adrian Walker. A great summary of the race no matter where you stand.
Commonwealth Magazine offers some buzzkill to Martha Coakley’s aura of gubernatorial inevitability. Meanwhile, Democrats held a weekend of action to prep for the impending general that will follow September’s primary. Steve Grossman goes on the air.
Fiscally, Longmeadow is cool with Casino repeal or not.
Detective Michael Carney of the Springfield Police Department was on hand for President Obama’s signing of the anti-discrimination executive order for federal contractors. Carney, who is openly gay and active in organizations that promote LGBT equality within law enforcement appears in shots of the president.
Springfield will sell some property to MGM ahead of the November referendum on casinos.
Ward 8 Councilor Orlando Ramos has an ordinance before the Council tonight that is designed to register the city’s apartment stock and thus regulate housing better against blight and unsafe conditions. It is based upon Boston’s ordinance.
Few mediums like Twitter have been able to capture both the scale of the tragedy in the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, but also the reverberation of outrage, disgust and struggle over getting answers. Appropriately, then the medium also conveys well progress, if one can call it that, on that front as well. Today we award the tweet prize to Maxim Erastavi, a reporter in Ukraine and Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak. Erastavi’s tweet noting the deal Razak hammered out with rebel leadership concisely describes the situation, but really, what forces Razak to share this week’s honors is Erastavi’s simple “Ok, wow,” which really underscores the surprise that something could cut through the posturing and tragedy and get something done.
— maksym.eristavi 🏳️🌈 (@MaximEristavi) July 21, 2014
However, the Prime Minister himself deserves plaudits, too. While we certainly agree the rebels did it and Russia is complicit if not directly responsible, one cannot fault Razak, only a few months after the other Malaysian Airliner disappeared, for taking a different path. His country withheld blame and now, it appears that at a minimum the dead will get the dignity they deserve. Honestly acknowledging the urge to react more stridently, for now it seems Razak has found a better outcome for now.
At times I wanted to give greater voice to the anger & grief tt we feel. But sometimes, we must work quietly in service of a better outcome.
— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) July 21, 2014