Manic Monday Markup 4/18/16…
…And the World:
We begin today in Brazil where President Dilma Rousseff has been impeached by the lower house of the Brazilian parliament. The impeachment formally suspends her in favor of the vice-president while Rousseff pleads here case before the Senate. Speaking to reporters today, Rousseff promised to fight the charges and said she she had a clear conscience.
Rousseff has not been charged with any wrongdoing per se, but, amid a yawning corruption scandal and a plummeting economy, the legislature has moved against her citing budget manipulations she undertook ahead of the 2014 election. The political, rather than criminal nature of the charges have worried democracy supporters in Brazil, which only threw off military rule about thirty years ago.
The death toll in Ecuador now exceeds 400 following a massive quake in the small South American country.
BREAKING: Ecuador government says death toll from earthquake jumps to 413.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 18, 2016
A bus explosion, which some attribute to a bomb, has set Israelis on edge, who have feared the start of a third Intifada. Elsewhere in Israel, the soldier videotaped shooting a subdued Palestinian attacker has been charged with manslaughter in a military court.
Peace efforts in Yemen falter as Houthis refuse to participate.
Russia and Ukraine’s leaders talk, perhaps setting the stage for a prisoner swap after two Russians are sentenced to prison in Ukraine.
The Empire State’s Back:
Tomorrow New Yorkers vote in the presidential primary and the candidates are fighting for each one. Ahead in the polls, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sought to head off what, if any momentum Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has in the polls. Clinton has campaigned relentlessly in her adopted home state. Meanwhile Sanders took his campaign to the sidewalks of Manhattan. Also, Saturday Night Live reinterpreted last week’s Clinton-Sanders debate.
On the other side of the aisle, Republicans are looking in the unlikeliest of places to rack up the delegate count: arch-Democratic district. However, real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump still has the edge in the Empire State.
Elsewhere in the presidential race: a divide between young and old African-Americans about the 1994 Crime bill for which Sanders voted, Clinton supported and her husband signed.
Trump’s campaign gets a shakeup.
The US Supreme Court has tough questions for the Obama administration in defending its executive action to help law-abiding undocumented immigrants. The White House lost in the lower courts, thus victory for Obama cacn only come about with five votes. Otherwise, an evenly divided court would affirm the ruling below.
San Francisco’s waterfront properties and tourist attractions could be an earthquake away from destruction unless a century-plus seawall is fortified. However, the Ferry Building, which survived the famous 1906 quake, is fine for now.
Connecticut lawmakers and Gov. Dannel Malloy look no closer to a budget resolution after the governor said he would not negotiate a budget (the legislature’s) that had a deficit built into it. Lawmakers called Malloy’s new budget a “personal hit-list.”
Providence’s finances are also a mess.
Back in Connecticut, however, new mayor Luke Bronin has proposed a balanced budget with 40 layoffs and no new taxes. However, that budget assumes savings from union negotiations and help down the road from the Capitol and surrounding communities.
The State of Things:
Two Boston Marathon bombing survivors’ runs in the marathon today as noted by the BBC.
Westfield State Rep. John Velis also competed in today’s marathon.
The Globe pans LGBT activists’ booing of Gov. Charlie Baker last week, though the paper is not wild about the governor’s refusal to endorse the transgender accommodations bill.
The MBTA’s pension fund is still fighting the release of its records.
ICYMI: East Longmeadow voted last week to remake its government.
Our report from last week on Southampton Democrat J.D. Parker-O’Grady’s bid to unseat Republican State Senator Donald Humason.
A sea of red in New York City as 40,000 Verizon workers go on strikehttps://t.co/l9UWP20Gmw
— CNBC (@CNBC) April 18, 2016
In Chicago, teachers are still negotiating with the city, although there remains a possibility of another strike by educators.
The Fourth Estatements:
The Pulitzers were announced today. Among the highlights:
The Associated Press won the Public Service award for reporting on fishermen impressed into slavery. The Boston Globe won photography and commentary awards. The Los Angeles Times won the prize for breaking news reporting for their articles about the San Bernardino shootings. A new author, Viet Thahn Nguyen, won the Pulitzer prize for his spy story set at the close of the Vietnam War. Joby Warwick’s book on ISIS—which this blog calls Daesh—won the nonfiction prize and the play Hamilton won the drama award. See the full list.
Springfield City Councilors held Committee meeting to parse the nuance of the city’s effort to enforce the residency ordinance.
Residents and community members call attention to the poor environmental and health conditions in and around the Gerena School, which is just off I-91 in the North End.
The bust of the late Anthony Scibelli, who represented Springfield for decades in the State House of Representatives, has been stolen from the South End memorial to him on Main Street.
Jesse Lederman, a city activist who ran for city council last year, has been named to the Democratic State Committee.
The Verizon strike, while not wholly unheard of at the telecom giant, may set the tone for the new few years of the labor movement and employee rights in general. It is an important battle about fairness and dignity in the American workplace. Today we award the tweet prize to the organization Demos, for its tweet, which cited the Guardian opinion piece we linked above. It is significant both because of the fact that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam makes so much more than wireless workers, but because wireless workers are even in the mix. During the 2011 strike, no wireless retail workers were organized. Now they are and, like their landline brethren, are striking for a contract and better wages. The wage disparity between McAdam and wireless workers could draw attention to the gaps across the economy, but, in this case, it could also presage further unionization in Verizon’s wireless business. Being part of the new economy, organization of its workers on a large scale (only a few hundred are in a union now) could shake up far more beyond Verizon itself.