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Manic Monday Markup 11/18/13…

…And the World:

We begin today in Poland where at a climate conference in Warsaw, frustrations are bubbling over among poorer nations that are suffering from the catastrophic effects of climate change, The New York Times reports.  Also in The Times, more details from the impact and science of Typhoon Haiyan.  Medical services are improving, but upwards of four million need to be housed.

Toronto’s hometown paper The Star is reporting that the City Council is debating measures to sharply curtail the powers and budget of embattled Toronto Mayor Robert Ford.  Earlier this month Ford admitted to smoking crack which led a fusillade of less than flattering stories and public condemnation.

Michele Bachelet, Chile’s one-time history-making president appears to be cruising to another term after an obligatory hiatus from office in a runoff for the country’s presidency.

Is French President Francois Hollande Bibi’s new BFFL?  Hollande has been ingratiating himself to Israelis and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the former’s stance in nuclear negotiations with Iran.  In Ramallah, Hollande also pushed for Palestinians to be flexible on the Right of Return, but also admonished Israelis before the Knesset to stop building settlements in the West Bank.  At the same time, Haaretz reports Netayahu invitied Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to address the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

The Feds:

Are Dems doomed even in light of President Obama‘s insurance cancellation fix?  No of course not.  They are not, as Jonathon Bernstein at the Plum Line notes, abandoning the law in droves.  Moreover, as Politico notes, the GOP STILL has no agenda, no platform and no ideas to offer voters.  Ezra Klein has had it about the harping that’s disastrous rollout is Obama’s Katrina.  Short version, a faulty website did not leave 1800 dead.  Also in his Wonk Blog morning post, Klein notes the disaster that was our pre-Obamacare health care system.

Meanwhile, something almost nobody mention is that the expansion of Medicaid in the Affordable Care Act is working as designed.  Indeed, a Republican, Vance McAllister ran in support of the provision in Louisiana, yes Louisiana, and won a runoff against a tea party Republican, Neil Riser.  Riser excoriated McAllister for his support for the expanded program…and lost.  Meanwhile, another Republican, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is facing his own dilemma about accepting money to heal the poor.

War in the Cheney family!  The New York Times has a juicy piece on the spat between the Sisters Cheney.  Liz Cheney, who is challenging Republican Mike Enzi for the party’s nomination for Wyoming’s US Senate election next year made some comments that drew a rebuke from her sister Mary and her wife Heather Poe.  The split dates back to the summer when Liz Cheney announced her candidacy (and moved to Wyoming from Virginia), but the spat has boiled over into public and into Wyoming political circles.  The public position Liz has taken seems, to Mary Cheney and Poe, conflicts with Liz’s support in private.  The sister’s father, former Vice-President Dick Cheney endorsed marriage equality years ago.

Kennedy remembrances are in full supply as we approach Friday’s 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.  USA Today has a smattering of commemorations planned.  Rhode Island Public Radio reflects on JFK’s relationship with the Ocean State.  Dearborn, Mich., the home of the car in which Kennedy was shot (and later used for more than a decade more), contemplates the history of the infamous vehicle.  The Dallas Morning News has a whole section set up to consider the half century since the assassination.  Here is a clip of JFK’s speech on the steps of Springfield City Hall the day before his election (transcript and advance text too).

Of course worth a visit is the JFK Library in Boston.  Its website has a page dedicated to the murder.

The State of Things:

Could totally go under the Feds, but she’s our Senator, so…No, she’s not running for president, but Elizabeth Warren endorses an expansion of, rather than cuts to, Social Security!  But no, she is not running for President.

The Massachusetts Senate will debate an increase in the minimum wage this week.  Remember, tipped employees have received NO increase in their minimum wage in over a decade.  They must be included in any wage increase!

After a series of losses for casinos, residents in Milford go to the polls tomorrow to decide whether or not to accept a facility there.

Back to work, the Holyoke City Council has lots to consider at its meeting tomorrow.  Meanwhile, member Brenna McGee, now the city’s Clerk-elect, is soliciting public comment to improve her soon-to-be-new office.

Governor Deval Patrick will meet with supporters and the public at Palazzo’s Café in downtown Springfield next to City Hall tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.

City Slickers:

Springfield marked the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address yesterday led by Rep. Richard Neal.

It’s that time of year again!  Tax rate setting hearings have been scheduled across the city.

Rumor had been circulating for some time, but the city’s Director of Capital Asset Construction, Rita Coppola-Wallace has left the position.  The city is seeking a replacement.

Twitter Chatter:

As mentioned above, the Massachusetts Senate is going to consider an increase in the minimum wage and supporters hope to include tipped employees for the first time in more than ten years.  The wage has risen, obviously, since the last time the tipped wage went up, but each and every time tipped workers got screwed.  This time, they may have backup. Taunton Senator Marc Pacheco has backed an increase for tipped employees, but part of the fight is also broadcasting the need.  Today we award the tweet price to both Acton State Senator Jamie Eldridge and Pacheco.  In their winning tweets from Friday and Saturday, they lend their voice (or Twitter handles) to this cause, long neglected by politicians both in Boston and Washington.  If successful, it could go a long way to help restaurant workers out of poverty and/or stabilize their income which is now effectively driven only by tips.