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Manic Monday Markup 4/28/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in Israel, which has received a stern warning from US Secretary of State John Kerry that the country risks becoming an “apartheid state” if it does not find peace with the Palestinians (AIPAC objected). The comments came in a closed-door meeting.  The Times of Israel reports that Israeli officials are directing blame to US engagement negligence of Peace Talks. Talks were suspended after a unity agreement was reached between the Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas-led Gaza Strip. The New York Times reports that Israeli officials are claiming the US opposed any Palestinian unity deal at one point. Haaretz‘s Chemi Shalev reports the White House is arguing Palestinian unity is not necessary a bad thing and adds Kerry’s Apartheid label is here to stay.

The US slapped fresh sanctions on Russia for its failure to hold up its end of a deal reached in Geneva. Russia shrugs, as the US tries to balance EU skittishness with the need for action. In a broader point about how Republicans are demanding a more robust respond, The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes that the limited impact the US can have on Russia is a good thing: it means no threat of nuclear holocaust.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine potpourri, The New York Times reports on a Vladimir Putin rival’s visit to Eastern Ukraine and a mayor of a the country’s second largest city was shot in the back. Meanwhile, Ukraine separatists are showing off detained European observers.

The Washington Post notes the resignation of the South Korean Prime Minister and discusses the country’s progress in the wake of the ferry disaster.

The African National Congress, despite complaints, is likely to win the upcoming election, but has it fulfilled its promise after 20 years in power?

Pope Francis makes Popes John XXIII and John Paul II saints, a rare dual canonization straddling the churches conservative and liberal fault lines. Poles take pride in the new saint from their country.

London braces for a strike on the Tube.

The Feds:

One Congressman is leaving after kissing a married staffer and another has been indicted. Louisiana’s Vince McAllister will not seek reelection to the seat he won in a special election and New York’s Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent, was indicted on 20 counts centered on fraud. He is, reportedly, still seeking reelection, here’s what happens if he decides not to. Grimm said the charges are part of a government witch hunt. But if he defrauded a restaurant he owned, he does not have much pocket change. He has had to put up his house for bail. You may remember Grimm may threatening to throw a reporter off a balcony, incidentally for bringing up the very subject of the investigation of him. Karma’s a bitch.

Tiny congressional tenures!

The Chris Christie-led Republican Governor’s Association continues its assault on candidates who have represented criminal defendants. Chris Christie is a lawyer and should know better. For what it is worth, as supporters of marriage equality and opponents of DOMA & Prop 8, we feel it was just as wrong for pro-gay rights groups to go after Paul Clement for representing pro-DOMA and pro-Prop 8 clients.

Is the Republican repeal mantra dead? For one top Washignton State Republican, it appears so.

Around New England: Bad news for Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy. Disappointing tax revenues means no rebate for taxpayers as planned. How would you have spent your $55? Granite State Newbie Scott Brown and US Senate Jeanne Shaheen did not have much of a relationship when they were both in the Senate. The cross-sniping is hilarious, but Shaheen partisans stuck the knives in deeper describing “Brown as having ‘very, very shallow depth of understanding or analysis.'” If Little Rhody can do it…Democratic hopefuls for governor in the Ocean State sign on to a “People’s Pledge.”

The State of Things:

David Bernstein investigates the mysterious death of the Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial People’s Pledge. Speaking of pledge, our take on how the candidates’ pledge in the 1st Hampden & Hampshire Senate race is more about ginning up a case alienation of voter affection among other observations.

Westover job cuts loom amid a Pentagon reshuffling to deal with government spending cuts.

The head of the the State House and Senate call for the head of Olga Roche who runs the Department of Children and Families. Gubernatorial candidates concur. Meanwhile the House is working on its budget.

On the Massachusetts/Vermont border: heroin and guns.

West Springfield wins before an arbitration panel as to its claim of being a community affected by MGM Springfield.

City Slickers:

Permits hearing before the City Council in Springfield tonight.

Tommy Devine sums up WGGB’s series last week about the Michael Albano years. Albano had put up a post on Facebook defending his legacy and insisting he would take on WGGB like he took on countless others. Instead, as Devine notes, Albano merely took down his post after WGGB’s Dave Madsen refused Albano’s claim that he had never been contacted to respond to the stories.

Twitter Chatter:

The reporter whom Rep. Michael Grimm threatened, Michael Scotto, works for NY1 as a Capitol Hill Correspondent. He forgave Grimm’s, um, transgression? Yeah, that works. Reportedly, the two were to settled the matter over lunch. After redistricting, Grimm’s Staten Island-based district, which reaches into Brooklyn, was made a little safer for Republicans, but not unwinnable for Democrats. Grimm is the only GOP in New York City’s delegation. In light of the Grimm news, Today we award the tweet prize to Scotto. Whether intending to convey irony and/or poetic justice or not, he tweeted simply that one of the top political handicappers in the country have slid Grimm’s district over to Leans Democratic, from a prior designation more favorable to a Republican hold.