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Manic Monday Markup 9/17/12…

…And the World:

Unrest in the Islamic world continues over a trailer for an anti-Islamic movie.  The New York Times reports how the Arab street sees the issue as a matter of respect, while simultaneously failing to understand how broad American free speech is.  The violence and size of protests have varied from country to country, but the leader of Hezbollah, in a rare public appearance, praised the protests and warned of greater repercussions.  As a side note, the Times also had a piece on the slain ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to American airwaves to press President Barack Obama to draw “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear program.  However, to some in Israel, it was seen as damage control.  Netanyahu is said to favor a Mitt Romney presidency, but his rather blunt demands of Obama last week led to criticism at home, including accusations that he was meddling with an American election.  The press and the country’s own Intelligence Minister has rejected Netanyahu’s various claims and demands.

The Feds:

It is a mistake and false to say that this election is a runaway from President Obama.  However, it does not take a genius to think that Romney is not gaining ground.  That is a problem if you are also behind.  The result?  Finger pointing and jumping ship.  Politico has a lengthy piece about Romney’s chief strategist, Stuart Stevens, which lays a great deal of blame at his feet…and Romney’s.  It discusses among, other things, Romney’s speech and the inclusion of Clint Eastwood in the convention.  Meanwhile, Mitt Romney’s campaign plans to push the reset button (again) on the campaign and offer new ideas for voters to consider…psych!

Oh and Mitt Romney apparently thinks all of the people that are sure to vote for his opponent see themselves as “victims.”  Oh, but it gets better.  Romney essentially admits to writing off that nearly half of the country.  Mother Jones, who obtained the tapes from a Romney fundraiser, has not disclosed its source.

While the Connecticut US Senate Race and the 5th Congressional race are grabbing the most headlines, the Hartford Courant’s Politics blog takes a look at a particular State Senate race.  Edith Prague, a retiring State Senator, had a lengthy career and a reputation as a liberal icon in Hartford.  Norwich State Representative Christopher Coutu, the Republican seeking the seat could not be like her any less.  As just one example, he calls global climate change, “pseudo-science.”  This rather in-depth piece for a down-ballot race discusses, Prague, her legacy, Coutu and his Democratic opponent, Catherine Osten, a Sprague First Selectman.

Finally, you may remember that we mentioned Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland during the Democrats convention.  He is considered a top contender for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president.  Well guess where he went recently?  Iowa, home of the eponymous Presidential Caucuses.

The State of Things:

After getting buffeted by complaints about how her campaign has been run, Democratic Nominee for the United States Senate Elizabeth Warren got some good news.  Reversing a string of polls where she trailed incumbent, Republican Scott Brown, Warren was found to be ahead in two polls.  One, by the Western New England University and the Springfield Republican showed her ahead six points and Public Policy Polling found her ahead by two.  Both suggested that her improvement was due to solidifying Democratic support following the Democratic convention and a desire by a majority of voters in both polls to see a Democratic senate in January.  It is hard to know if there was an impact due to Warren’s latest ad, which has been praised, since it came out in the middle of both polls sampling window.

Pittsfield has established a charter review commission to look at the 80 year-old charter of Berkshire County’s largest city.  City officials hope the Review Commission will have its recommendations for the city by next fall.

And today is the one year anniversary of the Occupy movement.  While it began with such promise a year ago (initially and unwillingly eluding attention for days), today there is no where near the energy, in Boston as least.  The Globe has a story on the continuing commitment of a much small group of members while the Phoenix catches up with some Occupiers a year later.

City Slickers:

The Republican reports on the state’s closing of a purchase of several miles of track from CSX.  The deal included the state’s investment in raising bridges (like on Roosevelt Avenue) along the route to allow more double-stack trains.  The article implies that state ownership could lead to better rail service between Springfield and Boston. The sale’s primary goal is improved commuter service between Worcester and Boston.

Paul Tuthill reports on the formation of an anti-casino campaign committee in Springfield.  The report notes that the committee has formally filed with the State Office of Campaign and Political Finance, which will allow it raise money and then spend money when the referendum on allowing a casino in Springfield reaches voters.

Twitter Chatter:

Republicans were, at one time, known for their organization.  People fell into line and masterful displays of showmanship and campaigning won them elections.  Mitt Romney, despite being an on-paper perfect heir to that legacy is destroying what is left of that.  Realistically, the convention was the last chance that Team Romney had to reset the campaign.  They did not, and while it was too late anyway, they again promised a change and delivered none.  We award today’s tweet prize to Ben Labolt, National Press Secretary for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.  Drawing in the latest farce from Romney’s campaign about a change in the campaign, from vapid meaningless talking points to more repetition of the said vapidity, LaBolt nails this latest nonsense from the campaign.  And to boot, he includes a key rejoinder for his boss’s side, that Romney’s 5 point plan is disastrous for ordinary people.

LaBolt also gets recognition for a tweet on the release of Romney’s comments “denigrating” nearly half of Americans.  He notes that it is interesting that Romney’s campaign and not the candidate himself is responding.  Interesting, indeed. Is it because Romney’s found a position he truly believes in?