Manic Monday Markup 7/13/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Brussels, where a deal to keep Greece in the Eurozone has been struck, although both Europe and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seem worse for the wear in the process. After promising to strike a better deal for Greece in its snap elections, Tsipras essentially took on a worse deal than he had urged Greeks to reject last week. Meanwhile, given the divide between the Eurozone’s biggest members, France & Germany, many are wondering about the unity undergirding the European project overall. Among the big points of the deal, which is really only a frame work to begin a deal, are pension, tax and judicial reforms and the new fund to sell off Greek state assets.
If there are any winners here, it may be French President Francois Hollande, who fully committed to keeping Greece in the Euro and European Council President Donald Tusk who basically stood in the way of Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stomping away from the negotiating table.
Meanwhile, Tsipras is back in Athens now to sell this deal to parliament. His own Syriza party may be in danger of fracturing and Tsipras may need for form a national unity government to get all of the changes passed. Passage of these measures must be achieved by midweek for the bailout process to proceed. Greeks themselves have met the deal with a mix of frustration, reservations and relief.
After another round of attacks from Boko Haram, Nigeria’s president installs new military chiefs.
On his tour of South America, Pope Francis excoriates unrestrained capitalism for its impact on the poor and the planet.
Interim Labour Leader Harriett Harman is under fire for backing some welfare reforms and calling for abstentions on others that are being put forward by the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne. Harman has sought to soften the row by reminder Labourites that a final decision on many of these issues will be made by the new Labour leader elected in September.
With the high aspirations of his run for president battered by the national limelight and rebellions among Republicans back home, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will kick off his run for president tonight. Still, Walker’s former rivals tell Politico not to underestimate him.
Hillary Clinton laid out her economic agenda in a speech delivered in New York City, with promises to raise wages and to appointregulators who will protect taxpayers from bank bailouts. But some deemed it more politics than policy. Elsewhere in Clinton-land, new faces have arisen to lend Hillary a hand with fundraising.
Following the scandal that devoured former Representative Aaron Schock, Congress weighs new reforms on monitoring gifts and spending by members.
Donald Trump sounds almost liberal at times during his “expletive-laden” interview with The Washington Post.
Speeds have been reduced, but on-time performance is up as Metro-North tries to repair its tracks and improve safety first, according to The Hartford Courant. In a related vein, the CT Mirror looks at Conn DOT’s successes (or not) on several projects.
The Confederate Flag no longer flies on the statehouse grounds in Columbia, S.C.
The State of Things:
Last week the state budget finally passed. We offer an analysis of what Gov. Charlie Baker won (or not). At The Republican, Shira Schoenberg compiles the loss of staff to retirements among various departments. In addition to being less than Baker anticipated, several critical agencies were hit hard by the reductions in employees. And Josh Miller at The Globe says environmental groups are calling for more staffing at agencies.
Former Chicopee Mayor Mike Bissonnette is contemplating a comeback after being defeated by once and again mayor Richard Kos.
As questions linger about the sale of land as part of Wynn’s proposed casino in Everett, Attorney General Maura Healey calls for a delay before the Gaming Commission issues the company’s permit.
A special election to fill the late Thomas Kennedy’s senate seat has been scheduled.
The West Springfield mayoral race expands yet again as former Mayor Gregory Neffinger, who was turfed from office in 2013, enters the fray.
The Reminder reports on one of Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse’s neighborhood tour meetings.
The Fourth Estatements:
The standoff between The New York Times and Senator Ted Cruz continues as the paper sticks by its assessment that his book sales were bolstered by bulk orders. But now Amazon.com joins Cruz’s publisher in saying they have identified no sales patterns that would confirm the Times’s view.
Read our profile on Rep. Carlos Gonzalez’s transition back into professional politics representing the 10th Hampden, which is entirely within Springfield’s borders.
Time is running out to join the races for mayor and city council in Springfield.
It’s finally happening: No, nothing fund or exciting, just the massive reconstruction of I-91 through Springfield.
Shifting away from Greece for the tweet prize this week, the presidential election is starting the capture the stage once again. With Gov. Walker’s entry into the race, it would seems that only a few of the not-running, but running Republicans will be left. As is typical on announcement day or announcement eve, the Walker camp blasted out an email, which dwelled at considerable length about God’s plan for Walker. Faith is a beautiful thing, but anybody should be wary about those who traipse toward speaking for the Almighty. Thankfully Twitter has us covered here. Today we award the tweet prize to The Tweet of God. The account, whose origins are not apparent based on its profile, posted a picture of Walker’s email juxtaposed above text concurring a presidential run is part of God’s plan…as is Walker’s failure. Of course this account is (probably) not God, but the response to Walker’s presumptuousness fits, especially in a Republican primary that will include a lot of mind-melding with the Creator.
Yes, Scott. Running for president is the first part of "My plan for you". The second part: your humiliating defeat. pic.twitter.com/zN2obSpJsb
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) July 13, 2015