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Manic Monday Markup 9/12/16…

…And the World:

We begin today in Syria, where the latest cease-fire between the government of an emboldened Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups has come into effect. The pact is one of many negotiated between the United States and Russia and many fear will be one of many to disintegrate. This one, however, leaves room open for the US and Russia to engage in joint-missions to target terrorists rather than, as the US has alleged, Russia and Syria’s bombing of civilians. However, the agreement may already be falling apart.

Days after a nuclear test that was widely condemned around the world, South Korea warns its belligerent neighbor may be on the cusp of initiating another. Calls for additional sanctions have gone out, but may be fruitless without greater commitment from China.

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned as premier followed the UK vote to leave the European Union, has now relinquished his seat in the House of Commons so as not to be a distraction to current PM Theresa May. A by-election will be schedule to fill the seat.

The New York Times writes about the growing political problems for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Is Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Leiberman letting up on the hardliner rhetorical gas? Leiberman, the leader of the right-wing nationalist party, Yisraeli Beiteinu, says the dismantling of Amona, an Israeli settlement cannot be stopped. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled the settlement was illegaly built on Palestinian land. Leiberman also shifted his tune, if not his position on Elor Azaria, a solider caught on video shooting and killing a detained Palestinian terrorist. Rather than lambasting the prosecution itself, he has called on the public to deem Azaria innocent until proven guilty.

In European election potpourri: A conservative party in Croation wins elections, but does not secure a majority. Austria’s repeat presidential election is likely to be delayed due to faulty  ballot envelopes.

The Feds:

As the United States marked 15 years since the attacks on September 11, 2001, a political maelstrom broke out around Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. After feeling overheated and woozy at the commemoration ceremony, Clinton departed and regrouped at her daughter’s apartment a few miles north near the Flatiron Building. An onlooker, however, captured video of Clinton seemingly needed help getting into a Secret Service van.

Hours later, Clinton was seen ambulatory and well. Her campaign later said she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday (People Magazine says some respiratory bug has been going around the campaign office). Nonetheless, the episode turned into a media circus, principally around the lack of transparency in releasing details on what happened. Clinton’s campaign has issued mea culpas on how it was handled.

It has also apparently led to plans for both candidates to release more health information, although Clinton has thus far disclosed more than real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump, the Republican nominee. Though somewhat muted, charges of sexism leaked into the debacle including from overseas.

Earlier in the weekend, the media had been focused on Clinton’s description of half of his supporters as “deplorables” i.e. racists, misogynists and other bigots. Clinton later retracted the “half” but held fast to Trump’s rather naked appeals to white nationalists and their rhetoric. Trump and Co. leapt on the remarks, even inserting them in an ad and compared them—incorrectly—to Mitt Romney’s 47% remark and accused Clinton of writing off “half” of the country. However, Trump may be walking into a trap as conservative Commentary magazine argues. Not to mention, as Mother Jones dug up, Trump has written off half of the  American population.

If any of this sounds familiar to you it’s because it happened on West Wing. It didn’t end well for President Barlett’s opponent either.

While Trump can read off of a teleprompter, he still brings the unhinged and crazy to TV interviews and apparently we don’t wince anymore.

A rocking SS Hillary notwithstanding, national Democrats are jumping into Missouri and North Carolina to invest in potentially competitive senate races there.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris leads in a new poll of that state’s Senate race. Harris faces fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez in November due to the state’s nonpartisan top two primary system.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio facing pressure to be more transparent.

The State of Things:

Massachusetts Democrats will be looking for a new chairman following news that Lynn Senator Thomas McGee will not seek another term leading the state party. According to The Boston Globe, the race could/will incldue Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins 2014 lietenant governor candidate Steve Kerrigan and former Fitchburg Mayor (and current Holyoke resident) Lisa Wong.

Check out our roundup of last week’s primary. Nick Cocchi wins Hampden Sheriff; Mary Hurley wins Governor’s Council and Bud Williams wins the Springfield-based 11th Hampden seat. Up in Hampshire County Patrick Cahillane won the sheriff’s primary while Solomon Goldstein-Rose won the 3rd Hampshire primary.

Also listen to WMassP&I Editor-in-Chief Matt Szafranski and Reminder Managing Editor Mike Dobbs talk to NEPR’s Susan Kaplan about last Thursday.

Meanwhile Democrat Denise Andrews pulled out of the general election for the 2nd Franklin District. Susannah Whipps Lee, who beat Andrews in 2014, could face reelection unopposed unless state Democrats select a replacement.

Boston City Council President Michelle Wu has waded into the charter school debate and announced her opposition to the Question 2, which would raise the charter school cap.

The Fourth Estatements:

James Bickford, better known as Pronoblem Baalberith, guerilla journalist, publisher of the semi-satirical blog HUSH and hard-left political activist, died in a motorcycle crash according to police in Stafford, Connecticut. Tribute to Bickford streamed in from across social media, many of which also recognized his contribution to the arts. A GoFundMe page has been set up to support his family.

The New York Times’s new public editor Liz Spayd is facing criticism over her piece excusing what some see as false equivalence the paper has employed while covering the presidential race. Critiques varied in their lambasting of Spayd.

After Matt Lauer’s disastrous presidential forum last week, the stakes have risen for moderators of the presidential debates.

It’s Working:

Boston firefighter and the now-former president of the Massachusetts firefighter umbrella union, Ed Kelly, has been elected to the number two slot of the International Association of Firefighters.

City Slickers:

The ballot question on charter schools appears primed to cleave Springfield’s political landscape.

A forum on Springfield approving the Community Preservation Act has been scheduled. Northeastern Public Radio’s Paul Tuthill has the details.

The City Council will consider a payout for wrongful termination at tonight’s meeting.

Twitter Chatter:

For all the fulminating about Hillary Clinton’s deplorables remark, nobody seemed to give it much thought until Clinton added the term “half”—since retracted—to her repertoire. She had uttered many times before. But the underlying concern about the nature of the people to whom Trump is directly appealing is real. Earlier this year, a Jewish journalist who profiled Melania Trump was barraged with anti-semetism. It seems she was not alone. Today we award the tweet prize to Cleveland Daily Plain Dealer political reporter Henry Gomez for tweeting about the fusillades aimed at his direction. Gomez, was born in Youngstown, Ohio and is of Mexican extraction on his father’s side. While Gomez’s tweet—and the piece he wrote detailing the difficulty of writing fairly under such conditions—tries to be even-handed, it is also very brave. He is confirming what Clinton described—if not the exact amounts—is real. More journalists need to step up like this so America can see who Trump and his minions really are.