Manic Monday Markup 8/22/16…
…And the World:
We begin today in France, where a former President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced he will again run for the presidency in next year’s election after failing to win reelection four years ago. François Hollande, who beat Sarkozy in the 2012 election, is polling in the low 20’s. At those numbers, Hollande is unlikely to survive the first round, though Sarkozy could. But Hollande’s problems are not just his predecessor, who is seeking the center-right The Republicans party’s nomination (formerly the Union for a Popular Movement). Hollande faces a primary challenge from Arnaud Montebourg, his former Economy Minister.
The Rio Olympics ended yesterday with a Super Abe Bros. handoff to Tokyo, which hosts the games in 2020 (and whose Olympic plans face their own raft of problems). The New York Times considers how Rio de Janeiro was altered, if not transformed, by hosting the games.
Sadiq speaks! London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a former Labour MP, backs Owen Smith, who is challenging UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a leadership contest. Corbyn’s crew dismisses Khan’s endorsement, which was followed by Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugales’s announcement that she, too, will vote for Smith. Ballots have been sent out for the contest. Results are expected on September 24.
The African National Congress which won a plurality, but did not secure a majority in municipal elections in Johannesburg, also failed to form a coalition in order to govern there. The Democratic Alliance will get the informal support of the Economic Freedom Fighters to govern instead.
In Israeli potpourri: Haaretz reports that Israel will resume settlement-building in Hebron in the West Bank after a decade’s pause. Nevertheless, a poll shows a narrow majority of Israelis still favor a Two State solution. In non-geopolitical news, the tiny Middle Eastern democracy says plans to open the high-speed rail line connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are on schedule. In 2018 the 75 minutes trip by bus or train will be cut to 28 minutes with an intermediate stop at Ben-Gurion airport.
Elsewhere in the transportation world, London expects a boost from the introduction of weekend nighttime service.
— Alamy Editorial (@Alamy_Editorial) August 20, 2016
The presidential fundraising reports for July were due in full over the weekend. The Washington Post pores over the details including how real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump, the GOP nominee, continued to pay his ex-campaign manager even after CNN hired Corey Lewandowski as a contributor. The candidate has also been relying on the national GOP to organize a ground game, into which his campaign, as of July 31, has still not invested. Trump’s campaign has already been in turmoil following campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s resignation amid greater scrutiny of his Ukraine ties.
With Trump plummeting, attention is turning increasingly toward how big of a sweep Clinton could—could—get. With that comes what will happen down ballot, even in places where such an impact was once unthinkable. Some incumbent Republicans like Ohio’s Rob Portman look strong, but races in Kentucky (Lexington Mayor Jim Gray vs. Sen. Rand Paul) and Georgia (investment banker Jim Barkdale vs. Sen. Johnny Isakson).
Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy who is competing for the Democratic Senate nomination against Alan Grayson, has laid down his arms ahead of the August 30 primary. Ostensibly he is confident enough of winning that he can squirrel away his funds for the battle royale against Marco Rubio.
Looks like Patrick Murphy is coasting through the end of the FL Democratic primary https://t.co/D7q8GHWOxs
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) August 19, 2016
New York looks to Toronto as the former considers a new kind of subway car.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy ends a standoff with public watchdog agencies over a funding cut the governor claimed was authorized (indirectly) by the legislature. The agencies said a 2004 law forbade the cuts, leaving that power lawmakers.
The State of Things:
Focus Springfield hosted a debate for the open Governor’s Council seat in Western Massachusetts featuring Democratic candidates Mary Hurley and Jeffrey Morneau.
The Boston Globe lends ink—or at least keystrokes to Michael Albano’s quest to become sheriff—and his political resurrection, though reporter Frank Phillips makes proper note of the scandals Albano left behind at Springfield City Hall.
Ex-Worcester State Rep John Fresolo has launched a longshot bid to win back his House seat now held by Democrat Dan Donahue. Prior efforts by Fresolo to recapture the southwestern Worcester seat, which he vacated amid scandal, never made it to Election Day.
Pittsfield Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier faces off against Michael Bloomberg—no, not the uber-rich one—ahead of the September 8 Democratic primary.
WMassP&I Editor-in-chief Matt Szafranski and Reminder Managing editor Mike Dobbs joined Susan Kaplan during last Friday’s edition of NEPR’s Short List.
The Reminder interviews the two men challenging US Rep. Richard Neal on the ballot in November.
The Fourth Estatements:
CNN’s hiring of ex-Trump maestro Corey Lewandowski comes under new scrutiny as the candidate continued to pay him after Lewandowski joined the network.
Think only question for CNN is: Did you know Lewandowski remained on Trump campaign payroll while providing commentary for CNN?
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) August 21, 2016
The New York Times considers what Breitbart News really is, given the starring role some of its luminaries now have in the Trump campaign.
Also in The Times, making the Redstone empire (CBS & Viacom) profit again after court battles and palace intrigue.
Roger Ailes biographer Gabriel Sherman tells The Guardian that Roger Ailes’s departure from Fox News could have a bigger impact than the British phone-hacking scandal that embroiled Rupert Murdoch’s properties across the pond.
Ward 8 Councilor Orlando Ramos says he has the votes to be Council President in 2017.
Opponents of biomass are weighing their options as Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris refused to hold a site-assignment hearing for the proposed Page Boulevard power plant.
Gawker in many ways personified many of press freedom and journalism’s vices. It was essentially a gossip site and reported on things that were not news and merely invasions of privacy. To be fair, some mainline publications have been done the same on occasion, but it was Gawker’s bread and butter. However, Peter Thiel’s decision to retaliate against Gawker’s luridness (it outed Thiel as gay) by funding a lawsuit that bankrupted them is a dangerous precedent. Any publication could be at risk, especially small, guerilla journalism outlets. Today we award the tweet prize to The New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd. Her simple observation and link to Gawker’s death is a simple remind about how tenuous things we take for granted like freedom of the press can be. Certainly the press’s behavior, whether invasion of privacy or defamation, should be scrutinized, or even punished. But gunning for an outlet as a vendetta is should send a chill. Especially since the same precedents can be applied to individuals’ right to free speech.