Manic Monday Markup 11/17/14…
…And the World:
We begin today in Israel, where between the rioting in Jerusalem and political maneuverings in the government, events appear to be hurtling the tiny nation to new elections. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition appears close to toppling. Netanyahu, the leader of Likud approached the religious parties, currently in the Opposition, about swapping out Yesh Atid led by Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Hatnuah, led by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Meanwhile, business leaders and allies of Yesh Atid asked the same leaders if they would join a coalition with Labor and Yesh Atid in charge and give Likud and Netanyahu the boot. Neither appear to be happening so elections appear nigh, despite the rhetoric. Eyes are also on Naftali Bennett, the head of Jewish Home, who could ultimately make or break Netanyahu’s coalition and usher in new elections early next year.
Meanwhile, Livni has engaged her own war with Netanyahu over legislation that would define Israel as a Jewish state, linking it with its democratic status, which many see as an election season ploy by Netanyahu. Livni says the law would be duplicative (the nation’s identity is enshrined in its declaration of independence) and would harm Israel’s minorities. She has her own bill, which, ostensibly, the Knesset will consider. Haaretz condemned the Netanyahu’s bill in an editorial, calling it “democracy for Jews only.” Meanwhile, Israel’s economy is contracting.
In international leadership potpourri: Burkina Fasco names a new interim leader. Okinawa voters elect a governor opposed the US base there. Romania’s Prime Minister concedes the runoff election for the country’s presidency.
With the uproar about Ed Miliband’s leadership seemingly calmed after an effective speech he gave, Labour now turns to keeping it that way by reminding its members that if they split, they will lose. Labour has gone on the attack against the UK Independence Party, a nationalist political movement that generally poses more of a threat to the Conservatives rather than Labour, but generally has been sapping votes from traditional Westminster Parties. Miliband also went on offense urging Green party voters to go with Labour instead since they share much in common…including distance from Tony Blair. Lurking the background. The Scottish National Party may hold the balance of power after next year’s election.
A schism in South African labor could imperil the African National Congress in next round of municipal elections.
The Psychology of Vladimir Putin’s international actions, which make sense to Russians. Putin bailed on the G20 conference in Brisbane, Australia early. In better news, President Obama got climate change into the G20 statement despite host Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s opposition to action on greenhouse gas emissions.
Pope Francis to visit the US next Fall.
Senate Democrats back President Barack Obama’s plan for executive action on Immigration, something that is with plenty of precedent. But there may be dissent from the caucus.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says that progress is being made (re)training Iraq forces to take on ISIS.
Incoming leader of the Wyoming Senate, Republican Phil Nicholas, says the state’s reliance on mineral production means the state needs to confront what impact it is having on climate change…wait what!?
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy doubts the public has much appetite to expand gambling, but will let the legislature take the lead on whether it will consider a new gaming outlet to staunch any losses from new Massachusetts casinos.
Maine Democrats consider their losses.
CNN considers whether the GOP ran afoul of coordination laws using Twitter.
The State of Things:
In transition watch: Baker picks his chief of staff and his Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary. The EEA Secretary, Mathew Beaton, is a Shrewsbury State Rep, whose resignation will prompt [sigh] another election. Local Super-Democrat Jason Palitsch seems primed to run in the special, however. Republican Hannah Kane is in the race already. In a related item, a Baker transition member resigned last week.
Where all the Teddy staffers have gone as reported by The Boston Globe.
Also in The Globe, after essentially five years of elections, the Bay State appears to be settling down and refocusing on Beacon Hill. That does not mean Democrats are not already eyeing 2018. Masslive also has a list of Dems to watch.
A Holyoke Police officer was canned for pointing his weapon at a fellow officer. The police union is none too happy about the termination.
Our post on Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee Chair Candy Glazer and her committee’s impact on giving Longmeadow its blue tint.
ICYMI: Michael Fenton to stay on as Council President in 2015.
Mayor Domenic Sarno requesting $5 million in blight and roadwork funds.
For all of the fun about Massachusetts politics finally settling down, the fact is we may yet see a spat of local elections between now and the next likely contest (2018). These elections are important and should not be underplayed. Today we award the Tweet Prize to Lance Harris, a Central Mass blogger about politics, who put together the field for Matt Beaton’s seat almost as soon as the first entrants declared from the competing tweets of David Bernstein and Palitsch himself. Certainly more may do so. Will Palitsch have a primary opponent? Is Kane who Baker’s people want? (she was one part of one those women love Chas groups). For that quickness amid the light-speed blasts of Massachusetts politics news, Harris scores the win.
Likely Dem foe is @JasonPalitsch https://t.co/9rCl1aqYbW MT @dbernstein GOP Hannah Kane of Shrewsbury is running for Beaton's st rep seat
— Lance Harris (@CMassPolitics) November 17, 2014