Tardy Tuesday Takedown 5/26/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Ireland, which in a dramatic result, voted overwhelmingly to allow same-sex marriage in the famously uber-Catholic country. The vote is the first national referendum to allow such nuptials (although US States like Maine have held them), but it does not immediately permit weddings. The Irish parliament will need to pass laws to hash out the details, though hopes are legislation will pass this summer.
In Poland, President Bronislaw Komorowski lost reelection to Law & Justice Party candidate Andrzej Duda. Although nominally an independent, Komorowski was historically of the same party as Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, who holds the real power in Eastern European Country. Law & Justice is a super-nationalist, socially conservative, Euroskeptic party, but one Op-Ed writing in The Guardian notes, it could be a thorn in British Prime Minister David Cameron’s side during efforts to reform the European Union.
Elsewhere in European potpourri: French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have signed off on their own changes to the EU, complicated Cameron’s efforts. Meanwhile, Hollande, whose poll numbers have been in the bidet for some time, has been bolstering his professional relationship with his former partner, Ségolène Royal, France’s Environment minister ahead of the Big Paris Climate Conference and even the 2017 presidential election.
Staying on the climate conference for a moment, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pens an Op-Ed on the subject.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appoints longtime confident, Connecticut-born Dore Gold, to run the Foreign Ministry, for which Bibi technically remains the minister. Elsewhere in Netanyahu’s funhouse, the new cabinet seems to grow my farcical by the minute, the Times of Israel concludes.
India’s Narendra Modi recalibrates expectations in major speech.
The Times considers the shocking victory of the left-wing New Democrats in Canada’s Texas, Alberta.
Bernie Sanders formally kicks off his presidential run. Greg Sargent considers what Sanders’s impact on the race i.e. Hillary will be. Politico considers whether the media will give Sanders a “fair shake,” but his announcement today did get a lot of press. Oh and Mother Jones does Bernie, the early years.
The Patriot Act is set to expire soon and last minute efforts to renew either in full or scaled back are failing.
Democratic Arizona Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick will challenge Republican John McCain, meanwhile Dina Titus is staying out of the open Senate race in Nevada leaving former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto as the only Dem in that race.
Former New York Congressman John Murphy who was caught up in Abscam sting dies.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments about what one person, one vote means.
The State of Things:
Massachusetts gimp public records law was blasted by open government advocates during a State House hearing today.
The Boston Globe writes about how Marty Walsh’s effort for a master plan echoes one Tom Menino attempted that died a few years after its commencement. Also in “Mahty” news, The Globe Editorial Board opines that efforts to replace the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Chief planner is yet another sign Beantown is now Marty’s town.
Read our report on Jose Tosado’s return to elected office via the state House of Representatives.
Maura Healey’s office declined a Holyoke City Council request to investigate Mayor Alex Morse’s severance agreement with former City Solicitor Heather Egan.
Oh and one of the sponsors of that request, Ward 2 Councilor Anthony Soto announced for mayor last week.
GASP! East Longmeadow Town Meeting voted to impose the meals tax in town.
The Fourth Estatements:
Western Mass News reporter Brian Schnee announces his departure for a gig in southern Oregon.
The Springfield City Council sets budget hearings to review Domenic Sarno’s budget.
ICYMI: US Rep Richard Neal endorsed Sarno for reelection.
The former Liberty Branch library is rededicated as a senior center in Hungry Hill.
In a time of such troubles in the world, it can be hard to see, as Martin Luther King observed, the arc of history bending toward justice. But when it does, it is gratifying to see it reported with such depth and attention. Today we award the tweet prize to New York Times columnist Nick Kristof for noting the good that the media had a chance to cover in Ireland’s referendum permitting marriage equality. As much has been made about Ireland’s turning away from his Catholic roots in this vote, it might be just as much argued that it was embracing the best of its Catholicism too by choosing human dignity and respect for all over ossified dogma. In any event, as Kristof noted, the world’s journalists had a chance to report on humanity at its most just and they did.
We journalists mostly cover bad news. But Ireland's vote is a reminder that there's also a current of moral progress–too slow, but real.
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) May 23, 2015