Manic Monday Markup 3/23/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Singapore, where the death of the nation’s first premier has prompted remembrances and assessments. In some quarters, his rule has been praised for fostering the tiny city-state into an economic powerhouse and some Singaporeans wonder wants next. Some, like China, point to the authoritarian reign of Lee Kyuan Yew, but tributes are global. Though a fair point, such complaints are probably more about deflecting China’s own rep.
A poll says the UK’s Labour party faces a wipeout in one of its traditional bastions: Scotland.
Richard III is reburied.
Having won last week’s elections indisputably, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now in the process of cobbling together his coalition for his fourth term in office. In the latest updates, President Reuven Rivlin had wanted Yesh Atid, a centrist party that sat in government last term, to join the coalition. But as of today, Yesh Atid says it plans to sit in the opposition. Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu has recommended Netanyahu putting him over the top to form the next government.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama, in an interview with the Huffington Post expressed his
disgust concern with the arguably racist rhetoric Netanyahu employed in the closing hours of the Israeli election. He also said he does not think Netanyahu’s walkback of his opposition to a two-state solution is sincere.
NPR interviews Afghan Presisdent Ashraf Ghani, who is on a trip to Washington this week.
Syriza, the new governing party in Greece headed by Alexis Tsipras is finding governing a lot harder than campaigning. Meanwhile, Tsipras will be meeting with the world’s most powerful women, Angela Merkel, as his country’s funds dwindle yet again.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz becomes the first major candidate in the 2016 race for president. So far, he’s getting plenty of media attention from flip-flops to how unlikely it is he can actually capture the nomination. Many believe Cruz announced early in part to head off momentum of Scott Walker and the establishment’s growth around Jeb Bush. Even his choice of Virginia rather than his home state speaks to this. Greg Sargent notes that Cruz’s positions are not much different from that of GOP leadership, however. It begins.
A less than flattering account of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s life is due out soon.
In Connecticut potpourri: As the budget sinks into the red again, taxes are being considered anew. A joint legislative panel approves the state’s expanded gaming bill, although other committees are expected to weigh in before either the House or Senate vote on the proposal.
Democratic Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy, who represents the northern edges of the South Florida Metro area, announces for US Senate, apparently prepared to take on Marco Rubio too, in the unlikely event he declines a bid for president.
The Times reports on a batch of emails from Hillary Clinton circa the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Nothing incriminating. No surprise.
The State of Things:
Is Massachusetts ready to pass the bowl? Legislators are looking at preempting a likely ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. While some earnestly support the measure, part of the reason is to keep a steady hand on the legislative process and also let the public weigh in.
The Globe also looks at how every member of the six-person GOP Senate caucus on Beacon Hill has a leadership position…and a $15,000 stipend to match.
Boston’s Olympics says it will only proceed with public’s backing.
Historic, but empty, former Worcester courthouse finally sold about six years after it was vacated by the state. Worcester Magazine says it will become apartments.
Amtrak’s rerouting of the Vermonter through Northampton and Greenfield is widely popular, but its impact on business remains uncertain NEPR’s Henry Epp says.
Obligatory note on Holyoke St. Patrick’s parade.
Longmeadow’s Rebecca Townsend launches bid for Town Moderator.
Wilbraham snatches East Longmeadow’s Town Administrator Nick Breault.
Sal Circosta formally confirms his mayoral bid launch this Thursday.
Meanwhile city leaders, police brass, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni and community groups will be on hand for the city’s expansion of its C3 initiative.
Masslive reports that $21,000 could not be recovered from the Springfield Police Department evidence room.
The City Council will consider several items tonight including a new police overisight ordinance sponsored by Councilor Tim Allen.
MGM’s groundbreaking is tomorrow, but the City Council is holding off on a vote on changing the casino overlay district until a final plan is submitted to the body.
And thus the 2016 presidential contest can be said to truly begin. Of course what electoral contest would be complete without trolling, particularly of the digital variety. There are so many tweets to choose form on this front. Today we award the tweet prize to the website Mashable who cleverly combined the fact that tedcruz.com is not owned by the Texan, but rather by Obama supporters. The site redirects to a site that urges support for the president and immigration reform. But what wins Mashable the day is the reference to the common Internet error message HTTP 404. Not technically accurate because it pops up when no site is found, but perhaps Cruz’s disciples wish no website rather than the trolling by the tedcruz.com’s owner, was the result.
— Mashable (@mashable) March 23, 2015