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Tardy Tuesday Takedown 2/17/15…

…And the Feds:

We begin today in Ukraine, where an uneasy ceasefire between pro-Russian rebels and the government in Kiev has begun. However, fighting continues in a small town that serves as a major rail junction, testing the truce in its very infancy.

Following shootings in Copenhagen that left three dead including the assailant, Denmark offers solidarity with its Jewish community. Meanwhile Danish Jews seemingly rebuff Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest appeals to European Jews to settle in Israel.

Greece and the European Union remain far apart on reaching a new deal that the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is demanding as he lessen austerity there. The hardline could imperil his country’s membership in the Eurozone, though Tsipras’s government is open to short-term concessions. While Tsipras has long been open to reforms and streaming bureaucracy, he has begun to roll back other bailout reforms. The New York Times notes that both austerity and the still-unreformed elements of Greek government are hampering the country’s growth.

A scathing new report has been released in Israel accusing the Prime Minister and his wife Sara of spending millions in shekels (hundreds of thousands of dollars) on cleaning, cosmetics and food at the Prime Minister’s official and private residences. Efforts to deflect the impact of the report appear to have backfired and some even accuse Bibi of scapegoating his wife in the issue. Oh and elections are just a month away. Some think it may be of little import in the election, although the hiring of a Likud electrician could be troublesome.

In non-Bibi news (sorta) former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, a youthful 91 years old, says he believes Israel shall find peace with its neighbors in his lifetime. Haaretz editorializes against excluding controversial Arab Knessett member Haneen Zoabi from Arab parties’ slate of candidates.

France to let shops open on Sunday. Yes, Blue Laws are not just for New England.

Scandals and falling energy prices may sink Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative party in this year’s elections.

Labor’s Annastacia Palaszczuk sworn in as premier of Queensland.

The Feds:

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily halted President Barack Obama’s deferred action plan for undocumented immigrants. The judge has a history of stepping out of the law and into opinion, prompting some to think the Fifth Circuit will reverse.

With the Department of Homeland Security funding still unresolved (Speaker John Boehner is cool with shutting it down if Obama does not cave and end his deferred action program), Democrats have not changed their position either. Following the Texas ruling, Democrats will not end their opposition to Republican efforts to stop Obama’s executive order via the appropriation process.

Jonathan Bernstein on the GOP’s addiction to shutdowns.

Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland seems to be inching toward a run for US Senate next year. The news comes after an earlier bit of news he was planning a run seemed to jump the gun.

Connecticut US Senator Chris Murhpy sponsors legislation to roll back the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is fundraising for governor’s race…in 2018.

The State of Things:

The MBTA may not be back up to snuff for a whole month (assuming no more mega-storms head Boston’s way). David Scharfenbarg writes about the Boston area transit system’s road to ruin in The Boston Globe.

The BBC picks up on Mayor “Mahty’s” admonition against jumping into snow piles from second story windows.

Partners Healthcare walks away from South Shore hospital acquisition.

Shrewsbury: Center of the GOP universe.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse will give the State of the City address at tonight’s City Council meeting. Somewhat new in proposed Holyoke government reforms, however, is lengthening the Council term to four years in addition to the mayors. But at-large Councilor Daniel Bresnahan, argues that could shut people out of the political process if there are no city elections at all for four years at a time.

A belated item: Dan Knapik did not get the job in Walpole, will remain mayor of Westfield until his term expires it seems.

The Fourth Estatements:

An all-star crowd of Timesmen (and women) crowded a Manhattan church to pay thei respects to Media reporter/columnist David Carr who died from lung cancer last week.

It’s Working:

A second labor group has been recognized by Volkswagen at its Tennessee plant giving the also recognized UAW some competition. The recognition is not formal union-recognition, but gives the groups a voice in how the plant is run. The two labor organizations disclaim competitions, but it seems inevitable on some level. Anti-union activity is said to have declined at the plant, however.

City Slickers:

The AP notes that casino revenue often fails to meet expectations and MGM reported a loss, but the company says its totes cool in Springfield.

City Council President Mike Fenton announced a neighborhood business subcommittee to be chaired by at-large Councilor Kateri Walsh.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren to hold an open house at her Western Mass office at 1550 Main Street this Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Doors open a half hour before.

Springfield Rep Jose Tosado files a bill to make public safety funding available for economic development projects. It is geared toward all Gateway Cities, but Springfield is clearly in mind with this legislation.

Movement on a new East Forest Park branch library?

Twitter Chatter:

Another week and lots of good candidates, but it seems only fitting that we pick a tweet celebrating the life of the late New York Times media columnist David Carr. The impact of his writing cannot be understated and we at WMassP&I were particularly saddened by his death. His voice and perspective as a steadfast defender of old media while avidly adopting the new synergized the very perspective we attempt to offer and promote on this lowly blog.

Clearly others thought the same. Today we award the tweet prize to Carr’s former colleague at The Times, Brian Stelter, who observed media moguls from other firms like Time Warner at Carr’s funeral. The impact he had on reporting on the very craft he practiced was clearly respected far and wide—as it should have been. It is reassuring to know that others felt this way and Stelter’s notation of this collective mourning, even from competitors.

But we would be remiss to not co-award the tweet prize to Carr himself. Among his last tweets, he praised his colleague Emily Steel’s story on NBC and Brian Williams’s problems by linking to a tweet from the Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan (fairly) lamenting buyouts at The Times’s media desk. The New York Times did just fine on that story despite its thin bench. Feisty to the end. RIP David Carr.