Manic Monday Markup 9/14/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Australia, where a dramatic turn of events has ousted Liberal Coalition Prime Minister Tony Abbott, replaced by the more moderate Malcolm Turnbull. Mirroring the constant leadership battles the rival Labor party suffered during its six year reign, Turnbull insisted Labor would win the next election, due in 2016, if the Coalition kept Abbott as its head. Gaffes, a flagging economy and U-Turns on policy helped seal Abbott’s fate, who capitalized on Labor’s discord, but also attracted stinging rebukes from then-premier Julia Gillard. Still, divisions in the Coalition could bedevil the party in power.
In Britain, the Labour party leadership there has sent a shockwave through the political system. Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, though long-expected to win, stomped his three opponents with 59% of the vote on the first ballot. The question of forming a shadow cabinet has now fallen to Corbyn. While many more centrist and center-left Labourites have announced they will not join it, others have said urged the opposite and/or signed on.
However, The Guardian notes the election of Tom Watson as deputy leader provides something of a backstop to any leftward drift as well.
Despite its big-hearted promises, Germany has begun imposing strict border controls to stem the tide of migrants and refugees flowing into the country. Other countries have followed suit. The country has not walked back its commitment to war refugees, mainly from Syrian, but it is not taking in economic migrants from southeastern Europe.
A new deal to remove heavy weapons from Eastern Ukraine could be at hand.
Though state pollsters disagree, a Russian opposition party claims victory in a regional election.
The latest national polling suggests trouble for Hillary Clinton and good new for Donald Trump, but as is usual in these circumstances, all is relative.
Scott Walker, whose standing has collapsed over the past summer, appears to be realigning his hopes on outlawing—not just gutting—unions for federal employees and abolishing the federal agency that adjudicates private sector labor disputes.
A poll shows voters are not keen on shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood, something many GOP insurgents in Congress are more than willing to do.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, federal transit officials and Amtrak appear to bury the hatchet over cost overruns on the New Haven to Springfield commuter rail lines. The parties pledged to keep talking.
Elsewhere in Connecticut, the CT Mirror profiles Fairfield County Rep Jim Himes, who has taken on a moderate label in a partisan Congress. Meanwhile, incumbent Pedro Segarra and Luke Bronin campaign down to the wire in Hartford’s mayoral contest. The Democratic primary is Wednesday.
New York City gets its first new subway station in 25 years.
New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman makes an intriguing appointment in his office.
Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis returns to work, but says she won’t interfere with same-sex unions. Ever stubborn, she doubts they are legal without her blessing.
The State of Things:
In Boston, two sides of a suddenly hot District 4 City Council race. From The Herald, accusations from incumbent Charles Yancey. From The Globe’s Adrian Walker, how the death of challenger Andrea Campbell’s brother echoes on the trail.
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is facing massive backlogs and as, the axiom goes, justice delayed is justice denied. (disclosure: your editor-in-chief interned for MCAD’s Springfield office where commission chair Jamie Williamson is the resident commissioner).
Speaking of WMassP&I’s editor-in-chief, Matt Szafranski joined Afro-American Point of View publisher Rick Hurst last week during NEPR’s The Short List news roundup. Hosted by Susan Kaplan, Springfield’s low election turnout, West Springfield’s shocking preliminary, local gas taxes and media consolidation were discussed.
Two-time State rep candidate Samuel DiSanti is running for Agawam Town Council.
The Fourth Estatements:
Reminder Editor Mike Dobbs shares his thoughts about the merger of the parent companies of WWLP and Western Mass News (WGGB & CBS 3). Particularly he zeroes on the problem of corporate ownership of local stations.
Today in really meta: Huffington Post describes how Politico got around the embargo on the transcript of Vice-President Joe Biden’s emotional appearance on The Late Show.
Following a court ruling that disappointed opponents of the proposed biomass plant on Page Boulevard, at-large candidate laid blame on the Council’s past failure to scrutinize the project. He singled out incumbent Bud Williams who was Council president when the project was first voted on in 2008 and who has received a princely sum of campaign contributions from the family behind the power plant. Williams did not respond well.
Mayor Domenic Sarno tells Northeaster Public Radio’s Paul Tuthill competition from Connecticut casino expansion does not trouble him.
Better late than never: our report on last Springfield’s preliminary and the long odds second-place winner Sal Circosta faces. Read The Reminder‘s take on the preliminary, too. Also our editorial on the city’s pathetic turnout and why we need, why we must do better.
The City Council will consider tax incremental financing for ChangChung’s railcar facility on Page Boulevard.
The shakeup in Australian politics is particularly noteworthy because of the role climate change has played in the country’s politics. But this also remarkably follows the script Australian Labor endured switching from one leader to another and back over the course of only a few years. While elections in the Land Down Under are due in roughly a year’s time, there is governing to be done. Words of support are streaming in, including from those who know where Turnbull has been. Today, in the spirit of working for the greater good, we award the tweet prize to former premier Julia Gillard. It was her own palace coup that brought her to power and then later swept it from her, and thus she knows exactly where Turnbull has been, in addition to the burden of governing a country like Australia.
Congratulations to Malcolm Turnbull on becoming Prime Minister – a great honour and responsibility. JG
— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) September 14, 2015