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Manic Monday Markup 8/15/16…

…And the World:

We begin today in Ukraine, where secret ledgers maintained by the country’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, have been uncovered. They show huge cash payments that were meant for Paul Manafort according to The New York Times. Manafort is real estate tycoon, provocateur and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. Yanukovych and his Party of Regions ruled the country before an uprising in 2014 and both employed Manafort as a consultant. Trump’s impresario denies ever receiving the payments—indeed there is thus far no evidence he did. More may be to come.

The instability and incompetence of the government of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has led to malaria returning to the country’s cities. Previously, the disease was confined to the forests. Food and medicine, too, have become scarce, leading Venezuelans to seek it in neighboring Colombia.

The drama in the UK Labour party continues with cameos from Leon Trotsky. While the courts have ruled the party’s executive committee can limit leadership election voting to those who joined before January 12 (and opponents will not appeal), Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who faces a challenge from Owen Smith, has gained a grasp on that committee effective next month. Cobyn and Smith tangled in another debate—or hustings in British parlance—that focused more on style and electability than issues. Guardian columnist Owen Jones warned the party risked becoming a freak show.

NPR profiles British Prime Minister Theresa May, a Tory, and her challenges ahead following the Brexit vote and sudden ascendancy to the top of government.

The President of Zambia wins reelection by a narrow margin. Calls for a recount have begun.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protestors sentenced to community service.

Iraqi Kurds join the march toward Mosul, the de facto capital of Daesh, also known as ISIS/ISIL, in Iraq.

The Feds:

New York Police are investigating the murder of an Imam in Queens that many believe (or fear) may be a hate crime directed at Muslims. A suspect is being questioned.

The attention Manafort is receiving threatens to overshadow Trump’s foreign policy speech. Last week’s reset failed, leaving the Trump campaign in continued—if denied—crisis. Trump’s numbers continue to plummet, most recently among Millennials.

Both Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Virginia US Senator Tim Kaine, have released copies of their tax returns. Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, has promised to do so, but Trump is still avoiding it.

However, liberals fret that Clinton’s appeal to Republican voters may undermine her mandate for progressive change should she win in an anti-Trump landslide. Meanwhile, Trump’s claims about a rigged election (echoing things Manafort said in Ukraine ten years ago) leads some to fear his supporters may try to intimidate minority voters. On the subject of his supporters, they appear to not be those most hurt by globalization, but tuned to the resentment politics the GOP had been dog whistling for years. Trump just dispensed with the subtlety.

Former New York Times top editor Jill Abramson advises voters to shake off the allure of third-party candidates, recalling Ralph Nader in 2000.

The Boston Globe writes about former Bernie Sanders staffers and supporters dealing with the end of his campaign.

Connecticut Republicans think popular discontent toward state Democrats can override Trump’s likely loss in the presidential race there to win them a majority on the state Senate.

The State of Things:

Last week featured a feisty debate between Mary Hurley and Jeff Morneau. Both are competing for the Democratic nomination for the 8th Governor’s Council district.

Our report on Hampden County’s terrible turnout figures and efforts to turn that around in Springfield and countywide.

Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ashe has applied to be Cambridge’s City Manager. Ash had been city manager of Chelsea before joining Gov. Charlie Baker’s cabinet.

Boston University reaches a deal to sell the building that hosts the famed Citgo Sign. The sign has received temporary historic protection, but the new owner, Related Beal, has a good reputation among historic preservationists leaving some hope that side of the square will not be demolished wholesale.

The Fourth Estatements:

Fox News continues to reel after the Roger Ailes left the network amid accusations of sexual harassment. CNN’s Brian Stelter says some have compared Ailes’s departure to the death of a Middle Eastern strongman. The New York Times’s media columnist Jim Rutenberg says the reckoning at Fox News evokes another one across the ocean at one of Rupert Murdoch’s other media properties.

The death of a former Providence Journal reporter Bill Malinowski reverberates in Little Rhody. An investigative reporter with the Ocean State’s largest paper, he died after a battle with ALS. Bill Malinowski was 57.

Comedy Central cancels Larry Wilmore’s show, which normally airs at 11:30PM Monday through Friday.

City Slickers:

City Councilors face a decision today on the permit for the medical marijuana dispensary proposed for Cottage Street in East Springfield. However, it could return to committee for further deliberations.

Bay State Health is slated to slash 300 positions. Low reimbursements are said to be a major reason.

NEPR reports that while Springfield Finest may be among the most diverse departments in the region, it still lags behind matching the diversity of the city police officers patrol and protect.

Twitter Chatter:

With fresh news about Donald Trump’s campaign manager stepping on his latest attempt to reset his campaign and Republicans continues to bail on the nominee, the RNC ponders its next move. While it considers pulling the plug on Trump’s campaign and redirecting the cash toward down ballot races, it may be too late to save many Republican officeholders. Today we award the tweet prize to Josh Marshall, the editor and founder of Talking Points Memo, a liberal-leaning publication. In observing that Republicans built the catastrophe it faces, he rightly notes that the GOP’s years of ginning of racial resentment and hysteria among large segments of its base, it birthed Trump’s nomination. It was inevitable long before Trump glided down his gilded escalator. Perhaps, at least, Americans can be thankful it manifested in a buffoon like the Donald rather than a smoother purveyor of fascism.