Manic Monday Markup 8/29/16…
…And the World:
We begin today in Brazil where impeached President Dilma Rousseff is battling to save her political career. The lower house of the Brazilian legislature voted earlier this year to impeach Rousseff for fudging budget numbers—the nation faces a fiscal nightmare brought on, in part, by an economy on the skids—temporarily removing her from office. She now faces trial in the Senate, where she has vigorous defended herself.
Parts of Italy are still reeling following last week’s devastating earthquake. The death toll is currently measured at 290 authorities are investigating if negligent adherence to building codes contributed to the number of deaths.
Britain’s former prime minister Gordon Brown has proposed replacing the House of Lords with an elected Senate as a means to head off renewed calls for Scottish independence following June’s Brexit vote. The one-time Labour leader hails from Scotland.
A former Israeli Defense Minister whose bid to become his country’s president was derailed by allegations of corruption has died. Benjamin Ben-Eliezer was 80.
A lead opponent of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been jailed ahead of rallies intended to pressure the government to allow a recall vote of the president.
The Republican nominee for president, real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump, remained a pretzel on immigration that has flummoxed even his closest aides. While he called for deporting criminal illegal immigrants in Iowa, running mate Mike Pence demurred on a solid answer on Trump’s immigrations stance. His campaign manager likewise could not untangle her boss’s mixed messaging.
Priebus to @chucktodd on Trump immigration shifts: "as you get closer to the WH, a degree of humanity and decency is part of every decision"
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 28, 2016
.@stuartpstevens It's almost as if women in the Trump campaign are used only as public faces, not actually running campaign.
— David S. Bernstein (@dbernstein) August 26, 2016
Meanwhile, Trump’s new advertisement backed by $10 million buy describes a tax plan he does not support according to NBC News.
Renewed tension between Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband ex-congressman Anthony Weiner—they are separating amid new revelations about his, ahem, cell phone use—has become (classless) fodder for Trump.
Democrats are increasingly hopeful about cutting more deeply into the GOP’s House majority. While a Democratic majority seems improbable, even Republicans are not ruling it out entirely.
Amtrak announces a new high-speed rail trainset to replace Acela, which was introduced in 2001. The railroad had considered rehabbing the current trainsets, but said taking them out of service would be costly and disruptive.
— Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) August 26, 2016
California has passed new legislation to extend the state’s efforts to battle climate change.
Elsewhere in Sacaramento, a San Francisco State Senator, Mark Leno, prepares to leave it as he scrapes up against term limits.
In Connecticut potpourri: Some municipalities are working to band together and regionalize services. Meanwhile a hearing on the proposed inland relocation Amtrak’s line near New London is likely to draw opponents from Old Lyme and elsewhere.
The State of Things:
The Boston Globe’s Josh Miller has an in-depth look at the state’s perennial budget problems ahead of expected cuts Gov. Charlie Baker will make later in the fiscal year.
The Pioneer Valley is set to launch a bike share program in the near future.
A look back the legislature’s last session—from the point of view of one Berkshire representative.
Palmer also looking at adopting the Community Preservation Act. The town council has a hearing on the issue planned.
Boston’s patrolmen’s union is going to court to block an initiative to equip city cops with cameras.
The Fourth Estatements:
Turkey’s crackdown on the media, which had been going on for time under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has only gotten worse since the failed coup happened earlier this year.
Charles Osgood is stepping down from CBS’s Sunday Morning show after 22 years.
The Associated Press remains under scrutiny after their tweet on Clinton’s meetings as Secretary of State.
"We're a lot better at breaking stories & covering news & gathering video & taking photos than we are on tweets" https://t.co/CUt7jZokFd
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) August 28, 2016
Last week the National Labor Relations Board ruled graduate assistants do qualify as employees under federal law and thus can collective bargain with their employers, i.e. the universities for which they work. The ruling overturns a previous one that said GA’s were ineligible.
— NLRB (@NLRB) August 23, 2016
Springfield has released its full list of early voting locations for the general election. Advocates were thrilled with the schedule, which exceeds the statutory requirements for municipalities.
CRRC, the Chinese companies slated to build railcars for Boston’s subway system, held its topping off ceremony at its Page Boulevard property, formerly the grounds of the Westinghouse plant.
This blog reluctantly indulged the latest Weiner sojourn, but unsurprisingly Trump is reveling in it. This unfortunate private episode made public would be bad enough if it were not being made into nonsense for the presidential campaign. Odder still is how it has quickly become the latest “case” against Clinton. Today we award the tweet prize to NBC News report Benjy Sarlin. In listing the list of bizarre and unsubstantiated attacks against Clinton—at least crooked is coherent, if also wrong—Sarlin points out how truly weird, undisciplined and incoherent the Trump campaign is. In other words, it’s just another day ending in “Y” on the presidential campaign trial.