Manic Monday Markup 3/10/14…
…And the World:
We begin today in Russia, which is trading diplomatic entreaties with the United States. Secretary of State John Kerry may, or may not, be on his way to Moscow, but that seems up the air. The Kremlin rejected one US proposal and says it is preparing its reply offer. Britain is work on its own sanctions against Russia for its actions in Crimea. Crimea will vote on Sunday to leave Ukraine, which both Kiev and the West say is not legitimate. Despite widely expected to pass, Crimean authorities have instituted a blackout of information that does not tow the party line that Kiev is a nightmarish battlefield, prompting some to risk their lives to bring in the truth. But What of business? The markets in Russia may not have the stomach for Vladimir Putin’s games.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fresh charges of hypocrisy against the world in terms of its dealings with Iran. In Bibi’s backyard, the Knesset is close to approving a new bill that raises the threshold a party needs to receive in order to enter the Israeli parliament, which could have unintended consequences for the nation’s Arab parties, including one that considers itself Arab-Jewish.
Elections in the Americas. El Salvador’s presidential election remains close. Meanwhile, a snap election has been called in Quebec, ending the provincial assembly’s term early and setting new elections for April 7 after only 18 months in office. Early polls says Parti Quebecois and the Liberal Party are tied.
Little progress in the search for the Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared near Vietnam, as a slick previously thought to be a sign of the aircraft turns out to be a false lead. Authorities are also trying to determine the significance of two stolen passports being used to board the plane.
If it’s Tuesday, it must be election day somewhere? Tomorrow it is the Tampa-St. Pete area congressional seat (FL-13) left open by the death of Congressman Bill Young.
Today in polls, a narrow plurality approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the Ukraine crisis. Polls show a narrow edge for Democrat Alex Sink in the above referenced race. Another polls shows two of the more extreme conservatives (meet one of them) running to fill the open US Senate seat in Georgia are in the lead for the Republican primary, which could be good for Democrat Michelle Nunn. Finally Gallup says the rate of uninsured in the US is shrinking albeit slowly and the possible culprit? Obamacare! [Faints]
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has been valiantly doing something no one in the media like to do: talk climate change. And he has done it on the Senate floor. Now he will lead 28 of his colleagues in what amounts to a senatorial demonstration against the criminal indifference climate change is shown.
Washington, D.C.’s mayor Vincent Gray, facing a stiff challenge in the Democratic primary (which is effectively the general election in DC) is now denying prosecutors’ allegations he was involved in a businessman’s shadow campaign to funnel millions toward Gray’s 2010 election effort.
In Connecticut, Senator Don Williams, whom you met during our coverage of President Obama’s visit to New Britain, says he opposes a bill that came out of the Sandy Hook shooting, which would limit the state’s strong freedom of information laws. Before becoming a lawyer, Williams was a radio reporter. In a related vein, Peter Lanza speaks.
The State of Things:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency officials detailed this year’s security precautions for the Boston Marathon in light of last year’s bombing. A key takeaway: no backpacks, please.
US Rep. Stephen Lynch is joining a chorus of officials who will likely skip the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade unless an LGBT veterans group is allowed to march. The Boston Globe is trying to divine what they can learn about “Mahty” by analyzing Mayor Marty Walsh’s efforts to allow gays and lesbians into the parade. Meanwhile, LGBT groups will be marching in Holyoke’s annual St. Patty’s Day event.
Senator Ed Markey was in Holyoke last week to discuss the threat of the nation’s growing heroin crisis, particularly in regions like Western Massachusetts.
Suffolk County’s Registrar of Probate Patricia Campatelli was already under scrutiny for her behavior in that elected countywide position that covers Boston and three of its neighbors. Now The Boston Globe has gotten a hold of a report that sheds more light, like on how she earned $122K a year working as little as 15 hours a week, and offer was smoking or surfing the web on the job.
The Bay State in the Lone Star State. Elizabeth Warren campaign alums have a mini reunion at the SXSW interactive conference in Austin to discuss how they got Warren to the Senate. Among those present were Warren’s Campaign Manager (and now chief of staff) Mindy Myers, Digital Director Lauren Miller, GOTV director Amanda Coulombe and Field Director Mike Firestone.
The Senate Judiciary Committee recommends Hampden D.A. Mark Mastroianni’s US District court nomination to full Senate.
Wherein we tell Mayor Sarno to hit the brakes on the Police Commissioner selection. Also did you see our report on the lack of consensus among New England cities about police management? Maureen Turner has a few more important stories from last week over at the Advocate‘s site.
A three year fundraising campaign to repair the Campanile that anchors the Springfield Municipal group kicked off last week. The Republican’s Editor Wayne Phaneuf wins this week’s history prize for detailing the failed bombing against the clocktower while under construction.
Ukraine and Climate change. Sound like completely different subjects right? WRONG! Today on WBUR’s On Point radio program, one of the guests noted that former Soviet Republics are often incredibly inefficient in their fuel usage and introducing renewables and efficiency could help nations like Ukraine stand up to Russia. However, continued political and special interest forces complicate those battles. The Ukraine example is ours, meant to illustrate the myriad benefits of battling climate change. But addressing this most crucial issue, perhaps the most critical as a species and a civilization cannot be undersold. Today we award the tweet prize to Senator Whitehouse for his efforts in this area. He and 28 senators are speaking throughout the night, let’s see if anybody (we’re talking to YOU mainstream media) listens.
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) March 10, 2014