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Tardy Tuesday Takedown, 5/28/13…

…And the World:

We begin today in Syria, where both sides of the conflict appear to be getting reinforcements from abroad.  The European Union has decided to not renew the arms embargo on the country, ostensibly to provide more support to the opposition, a move Russia has criticized.  For its part, Russia is sending new missiles to the Assad regime.

Israel has introduced its long awaited conscription reforms which will change the nation’s ultra-Orthodox Jews long-time exception from the nation’s mandatory military service.

The Feds:

The New York Times looks at President Obama’s attempt to shift the nation’s counterterrorism and national security strategies.  This comes after the president’s big national security speech last week.  Elsewhere in national security issues, The Daily Beast has an exclusive on Attorney General Eric Holder’s apparent, albeit belated, remorse on what happened when the Department of Justice’s zeal to investigate leaks led to potential abuses of the Freedom of the Press.  Meanwhile, The Washington Post profiles the White House’s lawyer.  And maybe the Tea Party groups that cried foul over the IRS were actually guilty of doing exactly what should raise questions, even if the agency bungled the execution of its duties.

Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer is breaking out of the asylum once again by demanding her party approve an expansion of Medicaid as part of Obamacare.  She is refusing to sign any bill unless the legislature approves the expansion.  The same woman who stuck her finger in the president’s face and facilitated the war on immigrants has had flashes of sanity before, but this is probably the largest from a policy perspective.

The Los Angeles Times has a deep dive into what went wrong for L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel in her bid to become the city’s first female mayor.  Last week, Greuel was defeated by her one-time colleagues, Councilman Eric Garcetti.  Meanwhile, the alternative LA Weekly takes a look at the extravagant lifestyle and impending unemployment of Antonio Villaraigosa, the outgoing mayor.

In 2016 watch, The New York Times takes a look at an Ontario-New York dispute over a bridge that connects Canada and the US—and the province and state.

The State of Things:

Of course the biggest news last week was the resignation of Lt. Gov. Tim Murray who will go on to lead the Worcester Chamber of Commerce.   Paul Tuthill at Northeastern Public Radio reports.  There is no provision in the state constitution for his replacement.

The Boston Globe looks at how Elizabeth Warren is using her national liberal star power carefully.  She appears well aware of the fact that her low seniority has limits, but this in-depth look at her first five months on the job shows somebody who is engendering the respect of even her conservative colleagues even as she picks her battles.

More special elections!  Last week Worcester Rep John Fresolo resigned amidst an ethics investigation.  Worcester Magazine has some early details on who might run in the special election.  Another special election is wrapping up in Boston to replace Rep. Martah Walz who resigned earlier this year.  The Democratic primary today, which is likely to be the real election, pits Democratic hand ostensible moderate Joshua Dawson against Jay Livingtone, who has the support of the state’s progressive community.  Jay Livingstone was declared the winner this evening.

Closer to the Valley, Marie LaFlamme has declared for Chicopee Treasurer.  The long-time Treasurer, Ernest LaFlamme, her father, is retiring at the end of the year.

City Slickers:

New England Public Radio has a look at the emerging campaign for which both opponents and proponents of a casino are preparing.

In a rather bizarre piece of news, Pete Goonan at the Republican writes up the default approval of a permit for a billboard in downtown Springfield.  What makes it bizarre is, of course, the comments of Council President Jimmy Ferrera who impliedly suggested the Council broke the law by not voting on sooner on the permit.  Of course that simply is not true.  Maureen Turner has the skinny  on the stink that hung over this permit.

Finally, Ward 8 Councilor John Lysak got called out by OCPF for late fines.

Twitter Chatter:

When we originally wrote today’s Takedown, we did not have a winner in today’s special election in Boston.  But posting delays left us with a winner as we post now.  Today we award this week’s tweet to Jay Livingstone, the victor in Boston’s special election.  His gracious recognition of his opponent is a sign of the good sportsmanship that politicis is certainly capable.


We also award this week’s tweet prize to Joshua Dawson, whose equally gracious concession tweet is not merely a recognition of a hard fought race.  Rather, Dawson added that he looks forward to Livingstone representing him in Beacon Hill.  As a response tweet to the concession suggested, we may not have seen the last of Dawson either.  Congrats gentleman!