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Manic Monday Markup 12/14/15…

UPDATE 7:07PM: To include more details on the special senate election described under The State of Things.

…And the World:

We begin today in France, where some brighter news emerged over the weekend as climate negotiators inked a pact to start an earnest march toward controling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the principal cause behind global climate change. It very nearly did not happen. The deal announced includes a number of voluntary elements, which prompted criticism from around the world, but it did represent a first step toward. Supporters of the deal noted that mechanisms put in place by this agreement can push for further restrictions that would restrain the rise in global temperatures below the two degrees included in this pact.

The Paris talks avoided the acrimonious breakdown of their 2009 predecessor in Copenhagen.

Remaining in France, the far-right National Front led by Marine Le Pen failed to capture any French regions after the Socialist Party withdrew from all races where it came in third in last week’s elections. The center-right party led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy won seven of 12 contested races, but the Socialists, the party of President Francois Hollande, kept the other five. Nationalists won Corsica’s election.

Meanwhile prognosticators debate what impact these elections will have on Hollande’s reelection prospects. Though he does have the climate pact under his belt now.

Saudi Arabia held elections over the weekend, among the countries first and women were able to participate. Although the offices contests, essentially neighborhood advisor councils, have little power, the election itself and that women could vote in a country where they cannot drive, made for spirited races. Female candidates, unable to meet male voters or otherwise show their faces on social media, resorted to clever and unique campaign tactics to reach voters.

South African president Jacob Zuma appoints his third finance minister in a week’s time and a social media campaign calls for Zuma to resign.

Senegal’s tolerant, spiritual strain of Islam has kept radical, violence extremism out. But for how long?

Poland’s lurch to the right has boiled over into a full-blown constitutional crisis prompted by the actions of the recently elected Law & Justice party.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally welcomed refugees in Toronto. The New York Times Magazine has a profile of the leader of our neighbor to the north.

The Feds:

Today is the third anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Following the climate breakthrough in Paris, President Barack Obama took the opportunity to fete the deal as a step forward, if only a first one, toward arresting the catastrophic effects of climate change.

Among leading Democratic presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton praised the deal while Bernie Sanders scoffed at it as inadequate.

One post-deal hot take from The New York Times described Obama as a leader in the talks (he personally visited Paris two weeks ago) as opposed to a guest during the failed convocation in Copenhagen. The Guardian described how negotiators crafted the deal so that Republicans, who remain unwilling (or unable) to accept the science let alone a policy prescription, could not scuttle the deal.

Elsewhere in the Presidential race, a leading Iowa pollster shows a clear surge to first for Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Hawkeye State. However, after his ban-Muslims entry to the US plan, Donald Trump remains supreme nationally among Republicans. Even behind Cruz, Trump is in a good place in Iowa, too.

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton is gingerly trying to set up alliances with state Democratic parties. The careful approach is a must to avoid any aura of inevitably which ironically contributed to her loss to Barack Obama in 2008.

Are Democrats and Republicans ready for some cheer and good will toward men (and women) on the federal government’s budget?

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter goes to the Middle East as the Obama administration reassesses its strategy against Daesh, also known as ISIS/ISIL.

Focus of the San Bernardino shootings has shifted to Syed Farook friend Enrique Marquez.

Democrats hold Houston’s mayoralty.

A jury found the former Republican leader of the New York Senate, Dean Skelos, guilty of corruption last week. Alongside the conviction of former Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the convictions bolster the stand against Albany corruption and a victory for US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara.

Connecticut approves news funds for Springfield-Hartford-New Haven commuter rail, but the date for inauguration of the service has been pushed back to early 2018.

The State of Things:

The fallout of the allegations of abuse at Holyoke’s Peck School may follow former Superintendent Sergio Paez all the way to Minnespolis. Paez was named superintendent of schools for Minnesota’s largest city, but that is now under review. Meanwhile, Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni has said his office is opening an investigation. Holyoke schools receiver Stephen Zrike has said that changes have been made at the school under his watch.

Is Charlie Baker boring? Yes. But that seems to be good politics.

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg’s fiancee, Bryon Hefner, is considering a bid for state senate, namely the special election expected for the seat Anthony Petrucelli is vacating for a job in the private sector. State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz has taken himself out of contention, but several other potential candidates remain. State Rep Jay Livingstone has announced he is in and eyeing the race is Rep Adrian Madaro who won his current seat in a special election this year.

A Cambridge city councilor, who is also a Muslim, reacts to mention of his name in a conservative site’s post on Islam.

The Fourth Esatements:

The Boston Globe is moving off of Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester and to new digs on State Street in The Hub’s downtown.

Haaretz, essential reading from and on Israel held a conference in New York attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, numerous other Israeli pols, American officials and more. But the event was not without its controversies according to competitor, the Times of Israel.

Confusion reigns over The Las Vegas Review-Journal as to who owns Nevada’s biggest newspaper.

It’s Working:

A labor dispute sidelines New Hampshire television station WMUR from the upcoming Democratic presidential debate.

City Slickers:

ICYMI: Our remembrance of former School Committee member Antonette Pepe.

In a statement late last week, Council President Michael Fenton said Pepe encouraged him early on in his career on the Council.

My first year on the council we were in tough budget discussions.  I proposed cuts to the budget and a furlough.  I got one of my first calls from Antonette on my cell phone.  “Mike, Antonette Pepe.  I read the paper.  Don’t back down. Keep telling the truth. Bye.”  Click.  That was it.  It was a nice boost from a well-known pol at a time when my conviction was being tested…

INBOX: The new public safety center on East Street in the East Springfield neighborhood will be named for former Police Chief Paul Fenton.

The Water & Sewer Commission selects Joshua Schimmel, a 22-year veteran of the commission, to be the agency’s executive director.

Twitter Chatter:

The deal hammered out in Paris is not perfect. As this world is governed by imperfect beings, that should have been expected. Perhaps, though it can be a moment when humanity looks beyond the short-term, if in its self-interest, to change the current course. It could yet be a “revolution.” Today we award the tweet prize to President Francois Hollande. In his tweet, which implicitly stands as a boost in morale to his country’s wounded capital, the president observes that this one—which in a previous tweet he said could change the world—possess a beauty unlike any other the City of Light has seen. It is lovely coda to a conference that hopefully will be only a preamble to this quest to save the planet.

Below is a Google translation of Hollande’s tweet.

“In Paris, there have been many revolutions. Today is the most beautiful, most peaceful revolutions that has been performed.”

For a more domestic take, State Department staffer Joshua Lipsky offers a simple note that, given all the darkness in the world, emphasizes the importance of marking this moment of light.