Tardy Tuesday Takedown 10/14/14…
…And the World:
We begin today in West Africa, where the infection rate of Ebola could hit 10,000 cases weekly before efforts to contain the disease may take root. The cases, world health officials estimate, will occur overwhelmingly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The infection in Spain exposes the Achilles heal in Europe’s efforts: budget cuts. Meanwhile the Texas nurse who received a secondary infection from the man who died from the disease is said to be doing well.
As Kurdish forces in Kobani continue to get pounded by Islamic State forces, Russia and the US have agreed to work together to snuff out the radical organization. The US says its IS strategy is on track despite IS’s advance.
New British election forecasts suggest the Ukip or UK Indpendence Party could score as many as 30 seats in next year’s election, mostly at the Conservative Party’s expense. But Labour is taking it seriously, too. That’s not all, new rows are opening up about how to address the consequences of the Scottish Independence vote. Although unsuccessful, it is prompting fresh discord among the main parties in the UK.
The third place finisher in last week’s Brazilian election endorses the runner up opposing incumbent Dilma Rousseff.
France takes comfort in its citizens winning Nobel prizes this year.
The US Supreme Court tonight put a hold on new abortion restrictions passed in Texas.
From the serious to the cynical, our old friend Scott Brown is scaremongering about Ebola and the southern border. The “porous” border, Brown argues, will allow the disease to come in from Mexico. Nevermind that the real threat are transmissions via air travelers who, remarkably, can enter the country from West Africa without traipsing across the boundary between the US and Mexico.
Mitch McConnell and Alison Grimes faced off in their only debate last night. By all accounts both held their own pretty well. Local media focused on issues (see next link for more local links). National media won’t shut up about Grimes’s admittedly cheesy non-answer about whether she voted for Obama or not. What is more troubling is that that the media is noting her response, but how little weight by comparison they are giving to McConnell’s out and out lie and issembling on Kynect, Kentucky’s insurance exchange. Ironically, it fell to a conservative writer to note McConnell’s incoherence and dishonesty, actually even leadership-obsessed Ron Fournier called cow excrement on it.
Little Rhody potpourri: Former federal prosecutors trash Buddy Cianci as efforts mount to keep the one-time
swindler mayor from making a comeback to office for a third time. Polls show Democrats trouncing the GOP in the state’s down ballot races. The gubernatorial numbers will be out tomorrow.
The leading contender to challenge Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, teachers union president Karen Lewis, has a brain tumor and will not run.
A bit about the Connecticut Attorney General’s race.
Former Virginia Republican Senator John Warner stars in an ad for his successor Democratic Senator Mark Warner.
Democrats up investment in Georgia, claiming they have a path to victory for Michelle Nunn’s bid for US Senate.
The State of Things:
Last Ebola news. David Bernstein considers the commonwealth’s preparedness for the West African disease both medically and politically. Most importantly, there is NO cause for alarm. No really!
Welfare reform is back in the gubernatorial campaign. Except, as Adrian Walker observes, the reforms Charlie Baker wants were largely already passed by the legislature.
Democratic candidate for State Senate Patrick Leahy says he supports repeal of the casino law. Fellow Holyoker Mayor Alex Morse will appear with casino repeal proponents at a public presentation.
A flurry of debates in the other Senate race have aired. Today Democrat Eric Lesser released his plan to address housing the homeless in hotels.
The Reminder reports that Jon Lumbra, who had planned to take a post in Lowell and shortly resign as Holyoke Treasurer, has changed his mind. The Reminder’s Mike Dobbs writes that Jon Lumbra will remain Treasurer for now, but he may not serve out the full term and does not intend to seek a third term. Lumbra calls for change in the Holyoke charter to bring municipal government into the modern era.
The homicide at a Springfield housing complex that took the life of a Hampden 19 year-old has again prompted politicians to prescribe action on how to deal with the problem. Cameras were among the ideas advanced by at-large Councilor Tim Rooke. However, WSHM reporter Michelle Kingston tweets that Springfield Housing Authority Executive Director Abraham Abrashkin says all of the complex’s cameras were working.
Mayor Domenic Sarno is among the mayors denouncing casino opponents’ study that says casinos will harm revenue derived from the lottery.
The stark contrast between local and national media reaction to the Grimes/McConnell debate is truly astounding and, unfortunately, only serves to feed the breakdown and and waning efficacy of our national political media. We need to have more sober and less process-tickled coverage of the politics that decide where our country is going. To that end, this week’s tweet prize winner is a part of the national media, but saw the forest for the trees. Today we award the tweet prize to John Harwood, a political reporter for CNBC and The New York Times, who praised the performance of both contenders for US Senate from Kentucky rather than just focusing in on something minor and stupid (or at least doing so at the expense of the other candidates equally stupid, but not so minor flub). Notably, he also dismissed the significance of Grimes’s voting answer and even allowed that it may not be as bad as national media says
Am surprised how polished/poised/solid Grimes is. And this is best McConnell I’ve seen. This is major-league ball. #kysen
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 14, 2014