Manic Monday Markup 2/22/16…
…And the World:
We begin today in Great Britain where Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement of a June referendum on whether the United Kingdom shall remain in the European Union has prompted a flurry of reaction. Markets have become bearish about the pound, fearing the impact of a so-called “Brexit.” Cameron has further troubles within his party as outgoing London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was once seen as a Cameron rival within the Conservative Party, has come out in favor of an “out” vote, that is to leave the EU. However, Johnson’s position, which includes the possibility of redo, faces harsh criticism.
The BBC reports that 10 million people in Delhi are without water at this moment.
While bombs have killed over 125 in Syria, perhaps the United States and Russia have inched toward a partial cease-fire in the Syrian Civil War, a necessary step to countering Daesh, also called ISIS/ISIL. The cease-fire could start Saturday.
In a related item, Canada’s effort to resettle 25,000 Syrians into the country is on track.
A referendum in Bolivia that would allow President Evo Morales to serve a fourth term appears unlikely to pass.
Pope Francis calls for an end to the death penalty.
Silver and Palmettos:
Democrats in Nevada and Republicans in South Carolina spoke over the weekend and the frontrunners on each side got a boost. Donald Trump romped in the Palmetto State, but lost his favorite punching bag: Jeb Bush. Post-mortems on the frontrunner campaign that wasn’t from Politico and The Washington Post. Marco Rubio narrowly edged Ted Cruz for second setting up a fight for the two of them to be the anti-Trump.
In Nevada, Hillary Clinton got the boost she needed by decisively if not overwhelmingly defeating Bernie Sanders. Though only winning by 5 points and change statewide, she dominated in Clark County, the home of Las Vegas and much of the state’s population. She won at-large caucus sites along the Strip set up for on-duty workers. Workers showed up despite their union, the Culinary Workers, being officially neutral, but Nevada Senator Harry Reid may have had a hand in this.
Big win for Clinton at Caesars Palace at-large caucus site.
Live coverage: https://t.co/qV28xLoBcc
— Capital Journal (@WSJPolitics) February 20, 2016
Last week The Times reported that Reid had put in a call with the union and urged them to get their members to vote, if not for anybody in particular. Nevada political reporting star Jon Ralston declared Reid the true winner of the caucus for perhaps saving Clinton’s campaign. But also of critical importance was her slow and steady push even amid Sanders’s surge.
But there was controversy over whether Sanders won the Latino vote. Exit polls, which were not designed to measure any particular group, said Sanders won it, but Clinton’s win particularly in Clark County would seem to undermine that. Moreover, Latino precincts went overwhelming for Clinton. The Clinton campaign is pushing its narrative, but Sanders is resisting and his supporters argue he won that bloc.
I don't typically like to swear on Twitter, but by all accounts so far this is complete and utter bullshit. pic.twitter.com/LDwMQUaF5o
— Nick Merrill (@NickMerrill) February 21, 2016
One area Sanders did poorly with indisputably was black voters and his trip to South Carolina the day after the caucuses did little to dispel that conventional wisdom. He needs to make inroads to have a hope of realistically advancing his candidacy beyond Super Tuesday, March 1. The state voting then heavily favor Clinton.
Republicans vote next in Nevada and Trump appears to be dominating, leaving that race, too, a battle for silver between Cruz and Rubio, behind whom the establishment appears to be putting its last best hopes on defeating Trump. Unfortunately, as brutal as the delegate math is for Sanders on the Dem side, its downright heinous for anybody not named Trump in the GOP contest.
Finally, our Editor-in-Chief Matt Szafranski and Shannon Young, politics reporter for the Republican join Joshua Clark and Joel McAuliffe for the inaugural episode of State of the Race on WSKB (start point 33:00).
In non-caucus news, the Nevada political world morns the passing of a State Senator who lost her battle with brain cancer.
So far Republicans are not budging in any significant way (although there is a spectrum of responses) over President Barack Obama’s impending nomination to the Supreme Court. Still, the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote is mounting.
Meanwhile, the New Yorker suggests that Scalia’s tenure will ultimately be remembered as one that looked backward.
Opponents of one Los Angeles City Councilor launch a recall effort.
Also in the Big Apple, police officers protest the conviction of former cop for a shooting death while on duty.
The mayor of Atlantic City is blasting the state takeover of his city calling it “fascist.”
The State of Things:
In Denver—whoa, dude, there’s a Denver, Massachusetts?—no, as in Colorado, The Globe looks at life with legal marijuana. The review comes as the Bay State appears poised to hurdle toward the, sigh, Mile High city and its state and its legalization of pot.
Governor Charlie Baker keeps his focus on opiates while in Washington for the National Governors Association’s meeting.
But criticism hangs over Baker’s return. He refuses to disclose the funding sources behind his push to oust conservative members of the State GOP.
Bernie Sanders comes to Amherst…again. Meanwhile, the view of the race from the Berkshires.
Our review of the policy that may come out of state Senate’s millennial outreach efforts led by Longmeadow Senator Eric Lesser.
The Fourth Estatements:
Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times’s ombudsperson, had already announced her plans to leave at the end of her term in August, but now The Washington Post has announced she will become a media columnist for the paper. Her hiring grows the size of the staff on the Post’s media beat.
Final approval of MGM’s site plan and changes to its host community agreement could take place tonight. Apparently Domenic Sarno’s appointments to the Historical Commission and License Commission are also on the agenda even though they appear on a “hearings” night, which typically only deals with land use issues.
Northeastern Public Radio’s Paul Tuthill revisits the failure of Sarno’s police complaint board to issue its annual report for the past two years.
Park officials are again proposing to move Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s Puritan statue to its original, but far less visible location in Stearns Square.
MassMutual announces layoffs in Springfield and over the border in Enfield.
If one theme has arisen in this presidential election it is the unpredictability, but also the delusions that cuts across all campaigns and both parties. Two tweets, one from former Mitt Romney top strategy Stuart Stevens, and Vox.com writer Matthew Yglesias seems to make this point well. Stevens, as part of a longer riff about Trump, questions the notion that what the establishment GOP needs to do is get Rubio and John Kasich onto one ticket now. Of course, as Stevens wryly observes, where is the wisdom of putting together a ticket consisting of two presidential candidates that have won no states so far.
How can someone who hasn't won a state offer VP to someone who hasn't won a state? https://t.co/Okzc9clW0P
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) February 22, 2016
Yglesias goes right the heart of the Latino vote dispute, succinctly questioning the rationale for believing the Nevada caucus polling. The numbers show Clinton only winning black voters, but such would necessarily run counter to the actual result. Black voters in Nevada are important, but winning them alone would not have been enough to overcome a Sanders win among whites and Latinos.