Manic Monday Markup 5/4/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Israel, where the announcement that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would not join Prime Minister Benjanmin Netanyahu’s government has potentially epic consequences for the Middle Eastern democracy. Leiberman said the decision came amid the other deals Bibi has cut to form a coalition following the March 17 elections. Although Netanyahu is expected to (barely) have enough support to maintain a majority in the Knesset (61 seats), it would make governing all but impossible.
The sudden shift comes amid violent unrest in the country over discrimination against Ethiopian Jews, which both President Reuven Rivlin and the prime minister condemned in a speech to parliament. Netanyahu has until Wednesday to form his government or he loses his right to form one. The intrigue suggests Netanyahu may seek or be forced to seek a unity government with the center-left Zionist Union lest another election happen soon.
In a related item, The Times of Israel has a fascinating interview with Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List about civil and national rights in Israel.
Nepalese officials’ incompetence following last week’s earthquake is blamed for foreign aid piling up in warehouses.
The United Kingdom goes to the polls this week and the election is as tight as ever. Labour’s Ed Miliband has won the Russell Brand election, but it seems unlikely to carry him into a majority in the House of Commons. However, because anti-Tory parties will likely equal a majority, Miliband still has a chance to be PM. David Cameron, the incumbent premier and leader of the Conservative party, has to hope he cuts down on Labour’s lead in England in order to secure a second term. Still, it could lead to a very big constitutional mess.
Game changer in the British elections? Welcome Princess Charlotte!
The Republican Presidential race grew by 3 over the weekend with the launch of bids by neurosurgeon Ben Carson, formerly Hewlett-Packard head and known for demon sheep (really!) Carly Fiorina and ex-Fox News personality and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The Guardian reports on the number of malpractice suits against Carson, although these are not uncommon in Carson’s field. Greg Sargent notes the “diverse” field does not equal a diversity of opinions. The Guardian captures Scott Walker’s odd self-casting of himself as Princess Leia (well technically his wife cast him that way) on “May the Forth be with You” Day. Politico discusses the fringe’s entry into the Republican contest.
Last week’s indictments in the George Washington Bridge scandal—which The New York Times relates in detail—casts the freshest doubts on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s presidential hopes. His stature has fallen nationally and in his own state even as his aides insist he has a path. The indicted aides, Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, pleaded not guilty today.
Now it’s a party! The leader of the New York Senate, Republican Dean Skelos, was arrested alongside his son. Not too long the Democratic Speaker of the New York Assembly was charged, too.
The plainclothes NYPD officer shot in the head over the weekend, Brian Moore, has died. A suspect was already in custody.
While Connecticut legislators hunt for the votes to expand gaming to compete with MGM Springfield, tribal authorities are confident of the support they need outside the Capitol.
Philadelphia votes in its Democratic primary on May 19, which is tantamount to the election in this arch-Democratic city. PoliticsPA notes the reluctant endorsements for mayor from some of the city’s leading publications.
The State of Things:
Former Congressman Marty Meehan, the Chancellor of UMass-Lowell, has been named President of the University of Massachusetts system.
The Boston Globe flags the dealings of Democratic State Senator Brian Joyce.
David Bernstein in this month’s Boston magazine writes about the apparent decline of black political power in Boston.
Boston and Harvard Law School are near a deal to revamp the police complaint process.
The House and Senate compromise on an early retirement bill for state workers.
In Holyoke potpourri: The City Council (finally) files its rather anodyne request for the Massachusetts Attorney General review Mayor Alex Morse’s separation agreement with former City Solicitor Heather Egan. School Superintendent Sergio Paez will stay on for now working under Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester following the state takeover of city schools. And another challenger in Morse’s reelection race emerges.
The Fourth Estatements:
The Reminder’s Mike Dobbs comments on media consolidation in the Pioneer Valley in light of CBS3 Springfield (WSHM) and WGGB’s merger into Western Mass News.
ICYMI: Our analysis of Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri’s task to strengthen community-relations nearly a year after taking office, but especially in the context of Baltimore and the department’s own history.
Elsewhere in the Police Department, the patrolmen’s union reelected Joseph Gentile as its President.
Winter may be over, but the snow battle between the city and the PVTA is not. Talks are said to be progressing between the PVTA and the city’s Disability Commission.
With all the would-be president-ing going on, it is important to remember we are on the cusp of the darkest “dark money” election ever. With Congress unwilling to make changes to law, the only other hope would appear to be the Federal Election Commission, but the body’s Republican members have all but said “no,” too. Today we award the tweet prize to Greg Sargent of the Washington Post for conveying so well, the resign, many feel in the battle to control the outsize influence the rich have on our elections.
Oh well. Chair of Federal Election Commission basically surrenders on restraining undisclosed $$$: http://t.co/ib4ykVa1HL
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) May 4, 2015