Manic Monday Markup 3/30/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Switzerland, where the final round of talks before a deadline tomorrow between Iran and the P5+1 countries is set to begin. Talks appeared to have a setback when Iran backtracked from an openness to ship nuclear material out of the country, a key sticking point. However, the US insists that is still on the table. Israel continues to vehemently oppose the deal, although its influence does not appear to be very potent in these talks.
The latest from the Germanwings crash indicates that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot suspected of intentionally crashing the plane and taking 149 people with him, was treated for suicidal behavior. This comes on the heels of other reports that he had issues with depression and perhaps career-ending eye problems. Recovery of victims remains continues and The Times looks at the impact on an orderly society like Germany’s.
Great Britain’s elections have kicked off as Queen Elizabeth II formally dissolves Parliament.
French President Francois Hollande has his ass handed to him as former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP and far-right Marine Le Penn’s National Front gain in local elections.
The Guardian says a month after Boris Nemtsov’s killing, political intrigue between Vladimir Putin and his strongman in Chechnya could complicate the Russian president’s moves going forward. Meanwhile, Nemtsov allies try to investigate the murder on their own.
Last week Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada announced he would not seek reelection. The announcement came as something of a surprise, but it touches off a new big election in the battle for the US Senate next year. Reid has already endorsed the former Attorney General Katherine Cortez Masto, but Republicans are hoping that popular governor Brian Sandoval jumps in. Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston writes about Reid’s impact in Nevada and nationally.
As for Senate Democrats’ leader, it seems New York Senator Charles Schumer will get that post as his only real potential opponent, Richard Durbin has stepped back, perhaps looking to his own retirement in 2020. Progressives want Elizabeth Warren, but a more likely anti-Schumer would probably be Washington Senator Patty Murray, but in any event Schumer has Reid’s blessing.
US Representative Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran who lost part of both of her legs, has announced she will run for Senate and challenge incumbent Republican Mark Kirk.
The Los Angeles Times considers the impact of San Francisco mayor Ed Lee, who has presided over incredible economic growth, but also widening inequality in the City by the Bay.
Washington, DC has its first elected Attorney General and he says he needs more resources.
Connecticut inaugurates its new CT Fast Track bus rapid transit service between Hartford and New Britain.
The State of Things:
Just to be clear, Massachusetts Senior Senator is not interested in being Senate Democrats’ leader or running for president.
The Edward Kennedy Institute for the US Senate opens with politicians galore on hand in a new building next to the JFK presidential library.
Evan Horowitz muses on what Massachusetts politics would look like if Springfield were the state capital, although it really could apply to any city that wasn’t Boston. Charles Bullfinch is said to have designed the state capitol with the understanding that it might actually get built elsewhere in the state.
The contested 11th Worcester State Rep race comes to a close tomorrow.
The Fourth Estatements:
Comedy Central announces that South African comedian Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Read reaction from South African media here and here. The Mail & Guardian also compiled some Twitter reaction.
Our review of media coverage of MGM Springfield’s groundbreaking.
New England Public Radio to open a Pittsfield news bureau.
Following a recent spat of fatal violence in Springfield, Mayor Domenic Sarno defaulted to his somewhat characteristically, ahem, narrow view of bloodshed in the city. But that prompted reaction from his rivals Sal Circosta and Johnnie Ray McKnight. Sarno has not backed down from his statements. The Republican’s Ron Chimelis tries to referee.
In Development news, as we first tweeted, the former JC Penney at the Eastfield Mall is set to be demolished pending a permit from the City Council. Mall officials say it is part of a larger redevelopment of the 45+ year-old complex.
The retirement of Jon Stewart from The Daily Show began a momentous shift in comedy, late-night television and politics itself. There is no denying that Stewart had a broad impact on political discourse in America. However, the time for transition is at hand. It seems only fitting then that the tweet prize goes to the future. Today we award the tweet prize to incoming Daily Show anchor/host/head funny man to Trevor Noah. Both his nod to Stewart and his look to the future make this an easy choice this week.
No-one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 30, 2015