Manic Monday Markup 1/11/16…
…And the World:
We begin today in Israel which hurdles toward passage of an NGO (non-governmental organization) bill that would require organizations that receive more than half of their funding oversees to be subject to more rigorous registration requirements. It is written in such a way that right-wing groups that receive money from overseas would not be covered. The Washington Post has called it a danger to Israel’s democracy and the US’s ambassador Daniel Shapiro has expressed grave concerns with the bill. The Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, the prime sponsor, told the US to butt out and claims that the bill will increase transparency. That dubious claim has left many in Israel and throughout the world concerned about the impact it will have on left-leaning groups in the Middle Eastern democracy.
Elsewhere in the Promised Land, growing concerns among Israeli security officials about young Jewish extremists from settlements, especially those resorting to terror.
Tunisia’s political world was turned upside down once more as the governing secular parties lost their majority to Enhada, the moderate Islamist political faction, after secular politicians defected.
Vladimir Putin unplugged. The Russian President sits for an interview with German paper Bild.
The prime suspect in the November attacks in Paris that killed 130 had visited Britain.
More on Poland’s shift to the right under the nationalist Law & Justice party and its enigmatic head, Jarosław Kaczyński, who holds no office in the government..
Politico has a photo essay about Michelle Obama’s past State of the Union guests.
A study in contrasts. Louisiana’s new governor, John Bel Edwards, a Democrat announced he will formally accept federal funds for expanding Medicaid to the Pelican State. Meanwhile, Matthew Bevin, a Republican, has served the US Department of Health & Services with notice that he intends to dismantle the award-winning, functional health insurance exchange his Democratic predecessor set up.
The Supreme Court seems poised to strike down laws that require unionized state employees to pay those bargaining on their behalf.
Marco Rubio’s sunny tone fades to black.
Hillary Clinton proposed a surtax on the uber-wealthy, as she and Bernie Sanders head into the final stretch of the Iowa campaign. Polls show a tightening and Sanders leading GOP candidates, although a critical reading of polls is essential, whether Clinton or Sanders are leading.
Generally speaking, gen elex polls this far out are useless. If they were all that predictive, Hillary & Bernie would be competing 2/x
— Matt Szafranski (@MSzafranski413) January 10, 2016
Democrats hope to retain the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, the first time the party has held the office since it became elected, despite scandals surrounding the current occupant. Joshua Shapiro, a county commissioners in suburban Philadelphia, joins the ranks of Dems riding to their party’s rescue.
The State of Things:
Massachusetts Senators are getting high! A mile high, to be more exact. A delegation of state senators are in Colorado to investigate the legalization of marijuana there.
“Mahty” wants more sunshine in Beantown. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has said his administration is developing regulations for lobbyists looking to influence city agencies and government. The proposal follows a harsh story in The Globe on some power players influence in City Hall.
Holyoke City Council President Kevin Jourdain announces Committee Assignments for 2016 with a few changes disappointing some councilors.
Public meetings for the MBTA will include discussions on commuter rail schedules and late-night service.
The Fourth Estatements:
NBC has announced its intention to disaffiliate itself from WHDH in Boston.
Of all the things that would travel the world along with the news of singer David Bowie’s death due to cancer, it was a GIF, seen below.
The artist, who drew a picture of Bowie around the time of his birthday every year, also joined the mourning. David Bowie was 69.
A former Springfield Police Officer has been indicted by Attorney General Maura Healey for allegedly pocketing nearly $400,000 from the police department’s evidence room. The retired officer, Kevin Burnham professed his innocence. City officials including Police Commissioner John Barbieri expressed shock and disappointment at the news.
The City Council formally elected former assistant city solicitor Anthony Wilson as the new City Clerk effective January 29.
ICYMI: Our editorial on the closing of Macy’s at the Eastfield Mall and why the city needs to act to save the city’s most significant remaining retail corridor.
Demolition of the old Zanetti School, which sits in the middle of MGM’s footprint, has begun. The school was heavily damaged by the 2011 tornado.
The adoption of the Medicaid expansion in Louisiana is an important moment in the history of public health and the Affordable Care Act. Republicans in the Louisiana legislature had wanted to do this for some time, but Governor Edwards’s Republican predecessor opposed it. The expansion will mark the acceptance of this provision in one of the most blood-red Republican parts of the country. Despite the Republican-controlled US Congress’s attempts to kill the law, it seems likely that parts of this law will endure regardless of what happens in the presidential contest. Today we award the tweet prize to the Louisiana Governor which quotes his inauguration speech reiterating this important step. It will grant hundreds of thousands of Louisianans healthcare. Compared to the events in Kentucky, today is a stark reminder that elections have consequences.
"Tomorrow I am going to accept the federal funding to expand Medicaid so working families in LA can access healthcare." -Gov. Edwards #lagov
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) January 11, 2016