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Manic Monday Markup 1/6/13…

…And the World:

We begin today in Bangladesh, where it seems poised for turmoil as the opposition party boycotted elections yesterday.  Consequently, turnout was low.  However, the ruling party may be open to fresh polls, if the opposition stops its often violent protests.

In Iraq after a bad couple of weeks, government forces say they are making advances on key cities that Al Qaida-affiliated cities had seized.  Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called on residents to expel the militants.

The peace process appears to be firing on all cylinders within the Israeli government at least, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is getting criticized from within and outside of his government.  Barak Ravid of Haaretz has some details of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to get both sides to an agreement, who remains optimistic.  Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, seemingly no longer the most extreme voice is government, says Kerry’s framework for peace is the best deal Israel will get, but the Palestinian Authority is not crazy about the Kerry plan either.

Ah, but we are not leaving the Land of Israel, yet! The government there is facing calls to allow African migrants to get refugee status, something the government has opposed.  It is also dividing Israelis themselves, namely restaurateurs, who employ many of the migrants.

European potpourri.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured her pelvis during a ski trip.  Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, the second party in Britain’s governing coalition, criticized the fresh round of welfare cuts Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne announced.  The Los Angeles Times looks at gay rights in Italy.

The Feds:

The United States Supreme Court has granted Utah’s request for a stay to prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying in the Beehive State.  The stay lasts until the 10th Circuit can rule on state’s appeal of a district court decision that invalidated Utah’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is suing the Obama Administration to remove his and all congressional staffers’ health care benefits.  Seriously. His Wisconsin colleague in the House, conservative, anti-Obamacare Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner panned the move as a “political stunt” that would only harm the GOP and its efforts to, ironically, repeal the health care law.

After a disastrous campaign thus far for US Senate in Wyoming, Liz Cheney, the daughter of Voldemorte He Who Must Not Be Named, bows out.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Pre-K funding plan was expected to go splat once it went up to Albany.  But Jeff Klein, the leader of a cabal of Dems that form a majority with Republcians in the State Senate, says he will push for the measure.

Some news from South of the Border, the Massachusetts border, that is.  Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy appoints the first women to lead the state’s public safety department and the CT Mirror writes about Freshman Senator Chris Murphy’s foray into the foreign policy arena.

Boeing employees in Washington approve a contract that sets back pensions after company threatened to move work out of state.

The State of Things:

Get ready for Marty-memtum!  Boston swore in former Rep. Martin J. Walsh as Mayor of Boston today to a huge crowd at the Conte Forum at Boston College, promising that “I will listen.  I will learn. I will lead.”  Read his full address.  The Dorchester Reporter has some bullet points about Beantown’s new “Hizzoner.”  It would not be a Boston roundup without David Bernstein.  The Globe’s Andrew Ryan, their City Hall reporter, wrote about Tom Menino’s exit and then there was an emotional ceremony at the office today.  Check out The Globe‘s special section on the end of the Menino era too.

More Boston Politics.  District 2 City Councilor Bill Linnehan nabbed the Council Presidency today beating out at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who made a late bid to lead the chamber.  The vote was 8-5, with newly elected at-large Councilor Michelle Wu voting, as expected for Linnehan along with District 3 Councilor Frank Baker, who was also a possible Pressley vote.

Up I-91 Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse took the oath of office for the second time along with a  new Council and School Committee.  Newly sworn Clerk Brenna Murphy McGee administered the oath to Morse.  The Republican‘s Mike Plaisance tweeted that Louise Bisson, whom McGee defeated in November’s contest, filed for retirement today.

Elsewhere both Chicopee and Westfield swore in its elected representatives today.  Agawam and West Springfield were also sworn.

The Fourth Estatements:

Is Obamacare a disaster?  That remains to be seen, but the press is not always doing its job as found with the Ft. Worth Star Telegram.

City Slickers:

Domenic Sarno was there, but there was no need to swear him in as the Springfield City Council took the oath of office this morning.  The Council also formally voted Ward 2 Councilor Mike Fenton to be the body’s president.  Fenton promised a busy year of legislating.  Our report soon.

Meanwhile, at-large School Committee Member Denise Hurst was voted Vice-Chair of that body, as expected.  The Mayor formally serves as chair.

It is not a beautiful day in the gayborhood this year.  Springfield fails to make The Advocate’s top cities list after inexplicably placing high the last couple of years.

Twitter Chatter:

Today we have two tweet prize winners from different ends of the state.  Today was a day of transitions from Boston to Springfield. In our Democracy these are critical to the acceptance of the results, but also that nobody lives forever in politics. In Springfield where “A twenty-seven year old Irish-Italian American” became Council president and in Boston where a 20 year-old run came to an end to be handed over to a rep from Savin Hill, these transitions are obvious.  More to the point, the implications carry far and wide.  Today we award the tweet prize to Steve Grossman, the Treasurer of the Commonwealth and Garrett Quinn, a Boston reporter for Masslive.  Grossman took time to acknowledge the presidency of his young supporter from Springfield, perhaps the only state official to do so.  Of course Fenton worked for Grossman and backs his gubernatorial run, but it is notable nevertheless.


Meanwhile, Quinn tweeted a photo taken by Globe photographer David Filipov of Menino staring out his office window at Faneuil Hall, one last time.  The photo says thousands of words, but these seven are among them: the Menino era is over in Boston.