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Manic Monday Markup 4/22/13…

Boston Beat:

We begin today in Boston, where word has come out that the surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is responding to questions in writing.  He sustained a throat injury at some point between the crime spree Thursday night into Friday morning and the confrontation between he and his brother Tamerlan and police in Watertown.  New reports indicate that Tamerlan died of the injuries he sustained when his brother drove over him while trying to escape police.  The latest reason as to what may have led the FBI to miss Tamerlan’s radicalization? A typo.  And could brain damage explain Tamerlan’s turn?  Also Today, the Obama Administration reiterated that Dzhokhar will not be tried in a military commission because of his US citizenship.

Today in his hospital room, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also made his first appearance before a federal magistrate judge.  He is charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction that resulted in death and damage to property.  The death penalty remains a possibility because the case is being tried under federal law.  Stat charges could still come later either for murder and attempted murder in Suffolk or Middlesex Counties.

An important nod to civil liberties considerations.  Massachusetts US Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced Friday after Dzhokhar’s apprehension that he would not be immediately read his Miranda rights under a public safety exception.  This has raised the alarm among civil libertarians, but defended by others.  Some key perspectives.  The Guardian‘s Civil liberties commentator Glenn Greenwald looks at the issue as does Slate’s Emily Bazelon.  For an alternative perspective, Media Nation’s Dan Kennedy.  A broader zoom out on the rights vs. security tradeoff is here.  Greenwald, in another post, asks the very real question of whether it is any more right to call the Boston bombings, and not shootings in Tuscon or Sandy Hook, “terror” given how loosely we use the term before we know all the facts.

And a world of recognition for excellent reporting by local media outlets in Boston, particularly the Globe, WBUR and WGBH.  Special recognition to The New York Times of non-Boston New England outlets that poured considerable resources into the story.

…And the World:

Trouble rising in Burma as ethnic clashes were allowed to happen as police looked on.  Ethnic tensions remain one of the biggest problems as Burma seemingly turns away from its authoritarian past.  The clashes also call into question British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s defense of the European Union’s decision today to permanently end sanction against the southeast Asian nation.

A bizarre situation in South Africa where the country’s Communications Minister Dina Pule is claiming that the nation’s largest Sunday paper, The Sunday Times, has launched a smear campaign against her.  For its part, the paper is not backing down.  The dispute stems from The Times’ article over the weekend about how Pule’s significant others and their friends have gotten jobs.  Pule claims the story is simply the latest in a string of stories against her from The Times.

In Canada, the Liberal Party has elected Justin Trudeau, the son of the former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau to lead the party out of the wilderness and back to power.  Should Liberals gain control of Parliament in 2015, the next scheduled election, Trudeau would become PM.

The Feds:

As the dust settles on the Boston Marathon Bombing, it touches on other matters like immigration and gun control.  The police in Cambrdige, where the Tsarnaev brothers lived, have said that the brothers had no permits for firearms.  That only leaves one question.  How did they get the guns and could that have implications on gun control?

Maine’s fractured political landscape gave birth to Paul LePage’s governorship and now it is wreaking havoc on civil servants that handle unemployment claims.  A piece in the Maine Sunday Telegram details how, possibly in violation of federal law, LePage and his Labor Secretary mandated unemployment hearing officers attend dinner with the guv.  The topic at the dinner table? Your rulings are too pro-employee.

Some campaign notes:  Vote Vets has a tough ad hitting former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for abandoning the state for his Argentine rendezvous.  He is facing Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch.  A new poll puts Colbert-Busch ahead by 9 points.  In Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti has opened a 10 point lead over his rival Wendy Gruel in that city’s contest for mayor.  In New Haven, State Senator Toni Harp, and co-chair of Connecticut General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, has done a 180 and will now run for mayor.  The incumbent John DiStefano has opted to not seek another term this year.

The State of Things:

The Massachusetts House of Representatives will resume its debate of the budget today.  While the proposed budget level funds local aid and increases education funding, it is still well below what Governor Deval Patrick sought in his budget submitted earlier in the year.

The special Massachusetts Senate race has all, but resumed fully.  Democrats Stephen Lynch and Ed Markey will debate tonight in Boston and tomorrow in Springfield.  Markey and Dan Winslow got The Globe’s endorsement over the weekend in the Democratic and Republican primaries respectively.  Lynch also announced more Western Mass backing from West Springfield officials, including Rep. Mike Finn.  Bill Weld endorsed Gabriel Gomez, who inexplicably leads in the latest poll of the Republican primary.

Masslive has the latest on what may be a competitive election season in Chicopee.  Several Council seats could be contested on top of other races in the city.

City Slickers:

The Reminder has a must-read interview with Gambling Commission Chairman Steven Crosby.  In it, Crosby warns communities not to go too fast during the casino process.  Springfield’s process has been criticized for such speed.  One particular risk would be if Springfield approved only one casino only to have that developer kicked out of the process by the Commission during its investigation process.

We touched on it briefly, but last week the Springfield License Commission wisely rejected Sarno’s 1 a.m. closing time for city bars.  Masslive has more details.

Twitter Chatter:

Twitter had both a great and an awful week last week after the marathon bombing.  Its broadcast today of remembrances of the victims and the moment of silence were another high point.  Representative Brian Ashe tweeted one of countless others of the moment of silence today.


However, there was one other tweet in the world, non-bombing related that merits attention.  Sequestration has become a new attack (again) for Republican, which they still say is a victory.  Now the GOP is attacking airport delays, a long-expected side affect.  Today we award the tweet prize to Jeff Hauser, who works for the AFL-CIO.  On his handle today, he pointed out inequality in American is exemplified even in the attention to the sequester.  When business travelers are inconvenienced, it is suddenly an issue.  Nevermind the children kicked out of head start or education programs cut.