Manic Monday Markup 6/20/2016…
…And the World:
We begin today in Britain, which faces a vote over its future with the European Union this Thursday. Already fraught, the contest took on a decidedly tragic note following the murder of Jo Cox, a Member of Parliament from Yorkshire. The mother of young children and an ardent advocate for refugees, including those from Syrian, her death may have reset the campaign, which seemed to be sliding into the Leave’s favor. The United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, which would upset the common market formed by the bloc of European nations, could send ripples out across the global economy, knocking off balance an already precarious economy.
Jo Cox. A leading light who used her effervescent time on earth to fill it with joy and justice. She was a close friend to many of our team at @ONECampaign. We pray for her family and for the blessing she was to those who knew her and to the millions of people she never met, but to whom she devoted her life – Bono
The EU itself is warning the UK that “Brexit” will not be looked upon kindly, all but warning Britons that they will not get the favorable terms Leave proponents believe the country can negotiate from outside the EU in order to access its markets.
Cox was remembered as uniquely compassionate soul. She entered Parliament last year from a safe Labour seat, Batley & Spen and made the cause of those fleeing war and persecution her own. A former aid worker, many saw her as a rising star within Labour as well as able to get along with members from all parties. Her alleged killer, Tommy Mair, is said to have shouted “Britain First,” a reference to a far-right party—that disavowed the assault. Mair also reportedly has ties to neo-Nazi groups in the US. Aside from any mental infirmities, he appears to have been motivated to shoot and stab Cox to death because of her support for refugees and migrants—more of whom Cox said Britain should shelter. Parliament gathered today to pay tribute to Cox and perhaps engage in a kinder, gentler politics. Her widow, Brendan, has vowed to carry on her work.
On flight to NM, Pres Obama offered condolences in phone call with Brendan Cox, husband of British Parliament member Jo Cox slain yesterday.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 17, 2016
Helen Joanne “Jo” Cox was 41.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 18, 2016
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 16, 2016
Meanwhile the United Nations has said the number of refugees around the world has reached its highest level ever.
Anti-establishment candidates win the mayoralties of Rome and Turin.
There is limited, but rising hope for movement on gun control following last Sunday’s shooting rampage in an Orlando, Florida. Authorities are still investigating the life of Omar Mateen, the man believed to carry out the attak before dying in a shootout with police and have released partial transcripts of his conversation with authorities during the massacre. One thing seems clear. He had serious anger issues throughout his life.
The campaign manager of real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is out. The New York Times reported Corey Lewandowski was canned today. The Trump campaign called it a normal part of the Trump campaign’s pivot to the general election. However, Lewandowski was long seen an enabler of Trump’s worst political behavior and had been arrested—though the case was dropped—for assaulting a reporter.
Elsewhere, The Times notes that Roy Cohn, the infamous Joe McCarthy staffer, was a mentor of sorts to a younger Donald, perhaps imparting upon the upstart real estate developer a penchant for bluster and, well, lies.
Fears that Trump could cost Republicans Arizona and even Utah are percolating.
With the Democratic contest over, former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign are poring over potential vice-presidential nominees to see who clicks. While Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren remains on the list, there is rising concern within the left that being Veep may diminish Warren (this blog agrees). However, reports also say she is intrigued by the idea of being Clinton’s vice-president. Sigh.
Meanwhile, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders may endorse Clinton before the convention, but he and his campaign are still negotiating the terms of surrender with the Clinton camp.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, whose attendance record was abysmal and hates the Senate, seems likely to run for reelection after all. Though several of the current Republican contenders for his seat have said they would step aside or already have, Rubio is unlikely to have the primary to himself and could face a stiff general election.
In New York State political potpourri: Three NYPD commanders were arrested by federal officials as part of the widening probe into New York city mayor Bill De Blasio’s inner circle. The mayor himself is not said to be a focus of the investigation. Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo defends what some call an inauspicious legislative session in Albany.
His appeals exhausted, former Connecticut Governor John Rowland is set to return to prison.
The State of Things:
Now it’s Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo hitting the gas on transgender issues. DeLeo is calling upon the Senate to move on the former’s version of the bill outlawing discrimination in public accommodations for transgender individuals. Senate leaders have said they can live with the House version, which included language that directs the attorney general to develop rules that would outlaw the false assertion of gender identity in connection to a crime.
Deep dives today into the fate and impact of the North-South rail link, a proposed connection between North and South stations in Boston. Massachusetts’s officials’ scant efforts to initiate a study on the proposal have irked rail link backers. Meanwhile, cancellation of commuter trains due to staff shortages, some argue, bolsters Gov. Charlie Baker’s contention that reforms must come to the MBTA before more expansion projects.
Former Chicopee District Court judge Mary Hurley and Hampen County Bar Association President Jeffrey Morneau will debate in Wilbraham tonight.
Holyoke’s once-future Auditor, Harry Chadwick, backed out of the gig after the City Council cut his salary by $4,000. Normally the Council cannot cut individual salaries within the budget, only overall personnel budgets, but because the body appoints the City Auditor, the reduction is permitted under state law. Other cuts during the Council’s annual review process were also panned.
WMassP&I Editor-in-chief Matt Szafranski joined The Republican’s Ron Chimelis for another edition of NEPR’s The Short List with Susan Kaplan.
ICYMI: Our report on Springfield City Councilor Thomas Ashe’s consolidation of Springfield support in the Hampden Sheriff’s race.
The Fourth Estatements:
Mike Allen, Politico’s frenetic scribe who write the national Playbook, will hand over the reins over to a trio of young staffers at the publication known to sate the fix of political junkies in the Beltway and beyond.
The City Council will consider Mayor Domenic Sarno’s new pension trust fund appropriation tonight. Expect it to pass.
New Springfield Hockey team has a name: Thunderbirds.
On the list of under-maintained infrastructure: the Pynchon Park fountain.
There is no shortage of things to consider in the wake of Jo Cox’s death. It should be a wake-up call, not only in Britain but in the United States and around the world about the vileness of our politics. But it should also serve notice that the hysteria raised against those in need, namely refugees, is grossly misplaced. It is too soon to know if this senseless act of violence will change anything. Sadly, it may only make it worse given the pro-Brexit crowd claiming the Remain side is using Cox’s death to their advantage. In any case, we award the tweet prize jointly today to Prime Minsiter David Cameron, a Tory. Cameron, who has jousted fiercely with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted a picture of himself and Corbyn last week laying flowers after Cox’s death. However brief, perhaps such acts may inspire better behavior—not perfect, better—among pols around the globe.