Manic Monday Markup 6/1/15…
We begin today in Washington, where two events have rocked the political world in very different ways. On Saturday night, Joseph “Beau” Biden, III, son of the Vice-President, died at the age of 46, losing a battle with brain cancer that was largely out of public view. He had been expected to seek the governor’s office in his home state of Delaware. The Washington Post, in its obituary of younger Biden, noted that in context the Vice-President’s commencement speech at Yale this spring was particularly poignant as he likely knew his son was losing the battle with cancer.
Elsewhere in the nation’s capital, the Patriot Act expired at midnight today after days of wrangling between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a presidential candidate, and his state’s senior senator, the majority leader, Mitch McConnell. McConnell had hoped to force through a temporary extension of the existing law, while dozens of other senators wanted to approve the House-passed USA Freedom Act, which would curtail some, but not all of the Patriot Act’s excesses. But Paul demurred on that, rankling colleagues willing to compromise by passing the Freedom Act, too, although its passage seems likely, even inevitable by about Tuesday.
…And the World:
Fighting in Eastern Ukraine may be starting to heat up again, NPR reports.
Reuters reports that members of the UN Security Council (plus Germany) have reached an agreement on a snapback provision for sanctions against Iran agree to a deal on its nuclear program and later renege.
Despite the growing scandal within FIFA and recent arrests, its leader, Sepp Blatter was reelected this weekend.
Dozens in Bangladesh are charged with murder related to the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013.
Following the disappearance of one aircraft and the destruction of another, ostensibly by Ukraine separatists, Malaysia Airlines is considered “technically bankrupt.”
Interim UK Labour leader Harriett Harman rejects a suggestion by one leadership aspirant, Liz Kendall, to hold an election for leader in three years’ time after a sort of trial run with the new leader. Meanwhile, the leadership struggle itself appears centered around whether and how much the party will reject the ideas of its previous leader, Ed Miliband.
The Feds (cont’d):
Even with expiration of some of its provisions, there are ways around this for the NSA and there are fears the agency may undermine any reforms that receive approval.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham officially launches his presidential bid today.
Twin analyses by The Washington Post and The Guardian on civilians killed by police in the United States. The Post found that nearly 400 Americans have been killed by police officers in 2015, while The Guardian found black individuals killed by police are twice as likely to be unarmed as white people.
Connecticut legislators and Governor Dan Malloy reached a deal on taxes that will slightly increase the marginal income tax rate on the wealthy while avoiding any sales tax increase for now, although some of it will be earmarked for new uses like transportation and municipal property tax relief. Business representatives panned the agreement while conceding it was better than previous iterations.
Springfield peer city watch: Amid a spat of recent violence, the race for mayor of Hartford is reaching a full boil.
MORE CONNECTICUT! The legislature approved what now looks to be a multi-step multi-year process to expand casino gaming to compete with MGM Springfield.
Maine Governor Paul LePage’s effort to eliminate the income tax appears dead, although new restrictions on increasing it may still go before voters in 2016.
The State of Things:
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office held a hearing in Springfield on regulations necessary to implement the commonwealth’s new paid sick-leave law. The law goes into effect July 1.
With opposition to marijuana legalization prevalent among pols, but appetite to campaign not so much, “Mahty” will step up. Boston’s Marty Walsh, a recovering alcoholic himself and still personally active in the recovery community even as mayor, said he views cannabis as a gateway drug and would, if asked, lead the fight against an anticipated referendum next year to legalize the plant and its derivatives.
ICYMI: Elizabeth Warren was in Springfield last week to tour Suit Up Springfield. In other Warren news, The Globe reports her book released last year was a hit.
Ex-Hampden Register of Deeds Thomas Moriarty dies.
Check out last week’s “What’s Goin’ On?” on NEPR featuring Daily Hampshire Gazette managing editor Greg Saulmon and WMassP&I Editor-in-Chief Matt Szafranski.
Writers and some editors will be voting this Wednesday on whether to join the Writers Guild of America, East, in what is one of the most significant unionization votes of a digital media company.
Opponents appeal of the Land Court’s decision in favor of Palmer Renewable Energy is today.
On the four year anniversary of the tornado that ripped through Western Massachusetts and the South End, Maple Heights/Six Corners and East Forest Park neighborhoods of Springfield in particular, Mayor Domenic Sarno says city response could be national model.
Hungry Hill senior center in the former Liberty Branch library opens.
There is no shortage of tributes to Beau Biden since his death this weekend. To die so young, but also dying after barely surviving an accident that took his mother and sister just before his father join the Senate. Still there was an apparent selflessness to him that was also broadly celebrated. Today we award the tweet prize to Christine Pelosi, who tweeted a quote from Beau Biden that personified not only his relationship with this father, but toward others as well. RIP Beau.
"First him, then me" – #BeauBiden's ethic of service and sacrifice: http://t.co/zGHMrgDUu5 pic.twitter.com/LRNG0EaO2z
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) May 31, 2015