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Manic Monday Markup 2/3/14…

…And the World:

We begin today, in Thailand, where elections went ahead as scheduled although without violence as feared.  However, results are not complete and more voting appears necessary as many polling stations were blocked by protesters.

Israel and Turkey seem close to mending ties after breakding down over the flotilla imbroglio a few years ago that killed 9 Turkish citizens, but it appears that the ball is in Turkey’s court now.  Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister says his country might recognize Israel if a peace deal goes through.

Is Sochi ready for the Games?  Maybe not and NPR asks whether Olympic Games are worth the investment to host communities.

Is China getting real about its own pollution problems?

The Feds:

Greg Sargent at The Washington Post reports that Nancy Pelosi says most Dems will oppose giving Obama the authority to fast track a Pacific trade deal, echoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s opposition.

After getting booed at a Superbowel event in Times Square, New Jersey Governor Chris Chistie is likely bracing for what is in the flood of documents a legislative committee, US Attorney, and other inquiries have subpoenaed.  Some of those subpoenaed have requested and received extensions.  To rub salt in the wound, in contrast to national Republicans, not everyone in the Garden State GOP is defending Christie.

Last week veteran California Democrat Henry Waxman announced he was retiring.  This week, we see the race to succeed him could include half of Los Angeles.  Already in for sure is defeated Mayor prospect Wendy Gruel who lost to Mayor Eric Garcetti.  The LA Times has a guide to SoCal retirements and potential successors including in Waxman’s district.

In Maine, Incumbent Republican Susan Collins was outraised last quarter by her Democratic opponent, but is still way ahead in cash on hand.

Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans Mayor (and Brother to Senator Mary Landrieu) easily won reelection to lead his city for another four years.

The State of Things:

Today’s bombshell announcement by Rep. Angelo Puppolo that he will stay put has upended conventional thinking about the race to succeed Senator Gale Candaras.  Maureen Turner (also noting also Jose Tosado’s planned run for Sean Curran’s House seat) speculates that given Puppolo’s massive warchest, he must be thinking of a promotion at some point.

The US Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against surviving Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Who’ll be the next “Mahty?”  The Dorchester Reporter runs down the candidates who have filed for the 13th Suffolk seat vacated by Mayor Marty Walsh.  No Republicans filed and the seat is overwhelmingly Democrats meaning the March 4th Primary will be the real election to watch.  Also check out this site handicapping the aspirants in the race.  Hizzoner is staying out of the race, but the rest of the Walsh family is very much not.

David Bernstein dismisses a conspiracy theory involving Gubernatorial hopeful Martha Coakley and Lt. Governor candidate Steve Kerrigan.

The Fourth Estatements:

Anna Marie Cox, a mainstay of MSNBC and a columnist for the Guardian, asks why the media is not covering the West Virginia chemical spill more closely.

City Slickers:

The City Council inches closer to some hotly contested issues tonight.  On tap is the likely final steps to revise the city’s regulations for pawn shops.  The Council will also consider re-instituting the Police Commission over the fervent opposition of Mayor Domenic Sarno. For a refresher on that fight, our piece earlier in January.

The anatomy of a license denial (and appeal?).  The Reminder on now-stalled plans to reopen Skyplex.

Twitter Chatter:

In a day with a sudden flutter of political news locally, it is easy forget some of the statewide rumblings going on as well.  Democratic gubernatorial frontrunners Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman both scored some key endorsements, but sometimes the subtler undercurrents are important too.  Maureen Turner’s note about Puppolo’s campaign account and Sheriff Ashe’s retirement announcement a week or so back underscore the lack of municipal step-ups for statewide office.  Today we award the tweet prize to David Bernstein for noting the absence of mayors running for statewide office this cycle.  Certainly some like Boston just elected new mayors so they’re out, but it is worth noting that Tim Murray was Worcester’s mayor before running for Lt. Governor and there had been buzz about Lisa Wong and Kim Driscoll.  And yet, it seems the challengers for statewide office are either coming from within the executive or legislative branches or outside of government entirely.