Manic Monday Markup 7/25/16…
…And the World:
We begin today in Russia, toward which investigators are increasingly pointing fingers for a hack and leak of Democratic National Committee emails. While the emails have led to tangible fallout in the Democratic Party’s central national organ (see The Feds), the notion that Russia meddling in a US election has raised fresh alarm in the fraught American presidential election. Though the Republican presidential nominee, real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump, denied connection to Russian influence, his financial and political connections—through his campaign chair Paul Manafort, an advisor to Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s Krelmin-based deposed president—are increasingly difficult to ignore. Russian interest in electing Trump is visible in the latter’s distaste for NATO. Trump’s campaign, while laissez-faire about much of the GOP platform successfully fought to keep anti-Russian language out.
Did Trump just say "our friends" hacked the DNC, anyone?
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 25, 2016
Members of the Labour party in the United Kingdom have sued to overturn the new restriction placed on the voting process for Owen Smith’s leadership challenge of incumbent leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The fate of the UK-Irish border and Ireland itself is a big question mark in Britain’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union. However, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to say border checks are not coming back.
While a shooting at a mall in Munich has been attributed to a teenage loner (who happened to be of Iranian parentage), a bomber in Ansberg had declaread support for Daesh, also known as the ISIS/ISIL.
Haaretz slams Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for, at the behest of his coalition partners, maneuvering to cancel a requirement that Haredi or ultra-Orthodox schools which received state funds also teach core subjects.
Trouble in Rio: Officials hosting the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro admit that much of the athlete housing is incomplete. After a damning report, the entire Russian Olympic team will not be completely banned, but athletes will need to appeal to their sport’s international organizations for clearance to compete.
In Philadelphia, the convention has gotten off to a rocky start as Florida US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (until Thursday), resigned after a dump of innocuous, but mean-spirited and inappropriate emails were released by Wikileaks. Interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile has issued a formal apology to the Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Wasserman Schultz even ceded the opening gavel to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
I’ve been reading through these DNC emails all day. I’ve seen no evidence that the primary elections were manipulated against Bernie. None.
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) July 25, 2016
Moreover, Sanders supporters won a study on dramatically reducing superdelegates’ influence in addition to their policy wins. But Sanders delegates are not having it. To his credit, however, Sanders and his campaign are pushing back hard and his and Clinton’s people will be whipping against heckling during the convention.
The Sanders and Clinton campaigns are merging their floor whip teams in order to prevent outbursts, per a party official #DemsInPhilly
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) July 25, 2016
Even the man himself, while addressing his supporters today in Philadelphia, could not quell boos when he invoked the need to elect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as President and Vice-President. Sanders speak to the convention tonight as does Senator Elizabeth Warren in what may be a last ditch effort to put out this fire, which, polling suggest is confined to Sanders’s delegates, not his voters.
"Brothers and sisters, this is the real world that we live in," Sanders says, after being booed for urging supporters to vote for Clinton.
— Chris “Subscribe to Law Dork!” Geidner (@chrisgeidner) July 25, 2016
Sanders did the right & responsible thing at #DemConvention today by reminding fans that a vote for Clinton is necessary to defeat Trump.
— Guy Ziv (@ZivGuy) July 25, 2016
Were Moscow seemingly trying to mess up Clinton’s moment in the city of Brotherly Love, it would appear to be working. But if true, there is darker evidence as well. One DNC staffer told Yahoo News that her personal email account was constantly attacked by foreign actors as she began developing opposition research on Manafort. Some on the left are calling the claims McCarthyism, however. In any event, the FBI is investigating and the early suspect is Mother Russia.
You almost have to give the Russians credit – they wanted to disrupt the DNC … and they have
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) July 25, 2016
Connecticut state agencies pause the layoffs, but a halt is too optimistic.
With Kaine Clinton’s Veep nominee, should the ticket win, it will fall to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to appoint a successor who will have to run in a special election in November and then again for a full term the following year.
The State of Things:
The legislature reversed about $100 million in cuts Gov. Charlie Baker made the state budget. Among those things saved were early voting funds
Baker had said he would support imposing the commonwealth’s hotel tax on AirBNB rentals as a matter of fairness, but demurred today saying the Senate’s language goes too far. Baker also retreated on a easement that may have undermined the State House grounds’ historic integrity.
Gun advocates freak out over Attorney General Maura Healey’s push to ban copycat guns that shirk the state’s assault weapons ban. Westfield Senator Don Humason files a bill to strip Healey’s office of its oversight on the matter. Even if the session didn’t end July 31, the bill’s passage would be bloody unlikely.
Pay equity makes it to the governor’s desk, but paid family leave may not.
Globe columnist Adrian Walker lauds the fact that Senator Warren is staying Massachusetts.
Worcester is poised to smoke up as many medical marijuana (dispensary licenses) that it can under state law.
Rail advocates are hopeful after the publication of a study on train service in the 413.
The Fourth Estatements:
The Fox News saga continues. The Times digs into how bad things were under Roger Ailes, who resigned last week. The executive Vice-President and his deputy are also leaving Fox. Now New York Magazine write Gabriel Sherman says over 25 women complained to 21st Century Fox’s investigators and now the network’s programming chief has retained counsel.
Terrifying: sources say that so far > 25 Fox News women have come forward to Paul, Weiss investigators to talk about being sexual harassed
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) July 24, 2016
What did he know and when did he know it: source says Fox programming chief Bill Shine has retained a lawyer
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) July 25, 2016
Verizon agrees to buy Yahoo for nearly $5 billion.
Turkey begins to crack down on journalists after beginning purges in the military, police and academia.
The Guardian’s parent compnay losses continue to mount.
Mayor Domenic Sarno and local leaders unveil Springfield’s new ABA basketball team
More demolitions of blighted homes in Springfield.
ICYMI: Our report from last week’s Council meeting including a resolution calling for the state to provide authorized funds for the Gerena School Tunnel under I-91.
With Democratic discord in Philadelphia and relative quiet in the streets—if terrifyingly looney and dangerous rhetoric from the stage—it can be easy to lose sight of any given moment in the political cycle. Of course despite Berniecrats opposing Bernie, there is not necessarily anything novel about the fringes disrupting conventions. Today we award the tweet prize to former Mitt Romney strategist and Trump critics Stuart Stevens for pointing this out. There were boos for Clinton from Jerry Brown supporters in 1992, for example. Of course, Stevens was quick to identify who the main disrupter from the fringes was last week in Cleveland, the man odiously crowned the GOP’s nominee for president.
They're always exuberant crazies at conventions who attack members of their own party. Just this year, one gave acceptance speech at RNC.
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) July 25, 2016