Browse By

Manic Monday Markup 2/10/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in Switzerland, where a new law passed restricting European immigration through the famously neutral country. The result will likely complicate the country’s relationship with the EU, The Guardian says. It has the rest of the continent buzzing, but it may reflect a growing attitude in the Old World.

Meanwhile, the UK Independent Party, a famously right-wing political group, has found its standing rise in fresh polling.  It spells bad news for the senior party in the coalition government, the Conservatives, but even worse news for the Liberal Democrats.  Labour?  All this only benefits them, if it keeps up through European elections this year and the general election for Parliament next year.

Yair Lapid, the head of Israeli political party Yesh Atid and the nation’s economy minister, says a bill to require conscription for all is coming very soon.  Certain Yeshiva students are exempted from Israel’s well-known draft law, which has driven questions of fairness in Israeli society.  The Supreme Court ruled several months ago that the status quo is no good.

The Washington Post asks if Iran, poised for reform, can actually change itself.  NPR looks at the 1979 revolution at its 35th anniversary.

The third place winner in the 2012 Egyptian presidential election will take on General al-Sisi in this year’s election.

In Japanese politics, The Washington Post profiles the island nation’s comeback kid Shinzo Abe, while The New York Times details how a former Health Minister prevailed in Tokyo’s governor’s race.  Notably, the guy who lost focused on the halting of nuclear power nearly three years after Fukushima.

The Feds:

Attorney General Eric Holder, who leads President Obama’s Justice Department, will step down this year.

The New York Times writes about how industry funds a lot of the data that they say backs up their fears about minimum wage increases.  Do you hear that Speaker Robert DeLeo?

Last week, a new poll showed Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes ahead of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who is up for reelection this year.  Today, McConnell’s Republican opponent Matt Bevin, who has trailed the senator in polling, says McConnell can’t winThe Courier-Journal contemplates how Grimes is doing it.

Elsewhere in the Senate, Montana Democrat Max Baucus was unanimously confirmed as Ambassador to China, leaving his seat to be filled by Governor Steve Bullock, also a Democrat.  Bullock appointed Lt. Gov. John Walsh, and the leading Democratic nominee for the regularly scheduled election to fill Baucus’ seat.  Baucus had already announced he would not run for reelection.  Bullock appointed Angela McLean, Chair the state’s Board of Regents and a teacher, to replace Walsh as his Lt.

As more subpoenas seem likely in the George Washington Bridge scandal, The New York Times sits down with former State Senator Barbara Buono who lost to Christie in November.  Buono notes how a lot of Dems did not help her out in her campaign, but now are jumping on Christie. Meanwhile, The Star-Ledger’s editorial page editor rues his paper’s endorsement of Christie.  Although their interesting profile of Christie’s spokesman Michael Drewniak is worth reading just for the correction at the end.

The Washington Post profile Thomas Wells, a DC Councilor, who is one of four councilors running for mayor, but the only one who is not midterm, meaning he is sacrificing his seat to make the bid for the District’s top job.

The battle to fill California Representative Henry Waxman’s seat is getting intense, particularly between front runners State Senator Ted Lieu and former L.A. City Controller Wendy Gruel who also ran for mayor last year.

The State of Things:

The Big Massachusetts politics news was Senate President Therese Murray’s announcement that she would not run for reelection.  While expected, Murray finally made it official, but has no plans for post-political life yet.  A Republican rep from the area has already announced, and a former state rep from Falmouth could get in too, but even Murray acknowledges it will be tough for her party to keep the seat blue.

An even-handed report form WFCR’s Henry Epp on tipped employee wage, but many tipped employees are not as lucky as the ones Epp interviewed.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh picks his one-time rival turned top supporter John Barros to be his Economic Development Director.

After a long running dispute, Nurses at Bay State Health’s Greenfield campus and the region’s largest health care system sign a tentative labor pact.

Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow for his confirmation hearing.

City Slickers:

In its annual Outlook, The Republican trumpets city officials’ claims that 2014 will be a year of construction.  Indeed, it appears that Union Station may actually have visible progress this year after decades of pie-in-the-sky promises and delays.

After completing some reorganization, the Springfield Parking Authority is looking for a new Executive Director.

Twitter Chatter:

We opted to not include a “Fourth Estatements” heading this week in part because of packed international and national news this week, but there is a media story that is worth recognizing.  This week in his column on the media, The Times’ David Carr highlights the importance of smaller outlets, namely local papers.  This weekend, The Dorchester Reporter, whose base may be the Dot in Boston, but whose reach makes its worthy reading across the state, won two awards this weekend from the New England Newspaper & Press Association in the weekly category.  Now, today’s tweet prize does not go to the paper or one of its staff directly, but certainly, the tweet’s sentiment means that they should share in its glory.  The tweet prize goes to Joshua Gee, a political communications professional who has worked with the press on the campaigns of L.A.’s Mayor Eric Garcetti, Mike Ross’s, a former Boston mayoral aspirant and currently Lt. Governor hopeful Leland Cheung.  A prodigious tweeter, his words of praise for The Reporter are a dead-on assessment of this scrappy periodical.