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Manic Monday Markup 3/16/15…

…And the World:

We begin today in Israel, where voters will go to the polls tomorrow and decide both the country’s fate and that of its second-longest serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli election law prohibits polls from being published less than five days before the polls open, and last minute shifts are not uncommon. However, the polls in on Friday showed Bibi’s Likud’ about four seats behind the Zionist Union headed by opposition leader Isaac Herzog and former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Haaretz’s Anshel Pfeffer has a rundown of possible scenarios after the polls close tomorrow at 10pm (4pm Eastern) and an Israeli Knesset-watcher games out his final predictions for Tuesday.

As Pfeffer observed, anecdotally, Bibi could be shifting the tides in his favor by cannibalizing votes from the Jewish Home party, which largely represents the settler movement (Jews living in West Bank settlements). After reports surfaced last week on Netanyah’s concessions on the West Bank, he now says there will be no Palestinian State on his watch. Others suggest that the rally Netanyahu attended over the weekend was a farce, perhaps helping Moshe Kahlon more, who has steadfastly refused Netanyahu’s overtures. The New York Times profiles the leader of the potentially influential Arab Joint List and NPR interviews Ari Shavit, who profiled Herzog last week and explains how Bibi’s political career may have stumbled into its current existential crisis. Meanwhile, Livni says she will no longer hold Herzog to their deal about rotating the premiership if it proves problematic in forming a government.

After a 10 day absence, Russian President Vladimir Putin resurfaces.

Amid new unrest and a corruption scandal at the state oil company, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is facing perhaps her biggest test as leader of South America’s largest country. Many protesters are calling for her ouster.

In Britain, Labour shuts the door on a coalition government with the Scottish National Party amid efforts by the Tories to imply such bargaining between the two leftist parties.

The UN has reopened the investigation into the crash that killed former Secretary-General Dag Hammerskjold.

The Feds:

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the vote to confirm Loretta Lynch is on hold until the Senate acts on a human trafficking bill.

The New York Times profiles Robby Mook, the campaign manager-in-waiting for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid.

Polls show Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel still in the lead against Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, whose sunny disposition is not hiding his vague platform. Their first one-on-one debate is tonight.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is shaking up his campaign after what he apparently described as a less than perfect rollout.

New Hampshire could feature a titanic US Senate battle if Gov. Maggie Hassan takes on Senator Kelly Ayotte.

The State of Things:

Obligatory link to stories on the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. WGBH’s Scrum has a recap.

A district Worcester city councilor wants to go citywide.

Efforts to update Massachusetts Public Record laws are underway and now even Secretary of State Bill Galvin is getting into the act, promising to propose a ballot initiative in 2016 if the legislature does not act—which he expects it won’t.

Legislators looking at bill that would allow marijuana to be sold and taxed in the commonwealth.

City Slickers:

Still no answers on the sudden revelation last week on Police Commissioner John Barbieri’s call for help from outside government on missing money from the department’s evidence room.

City officials want state legislation that would require the PVTA to clear out snow from bus shelter.

Twitter Chatter:

With tomorrow’s news bound to be dominated by the Israeli election, it seems only fitting that we turn to a veteran winner of the tweet prize this week. In our estimate, some Israeli commentators have rightly considered the country’s democracy itself at stake in tomorrow’s elections. With those free and fair elections come the right to opine and analyze them. Today we award the tweet prize to Chemi Shalev, Haaretz’s New York correspondent, who in a pair of tweets mocked Netanyahu’s flip-floppery and, perhaps one of the most classic byproducts of democracy: punditry! Netanyahu’s opposition to a Palestinian state flies headlong into his comments to the contrary in 2009, unless he meant some other second state as part of the two-state solution.

His second tweet, analyzing the meaning of Tzipi Livni’s backing down on the rotation of the premiership by noting that “nothing” is a possible outcome, dings the whole commentary-industrial complex which is as alive in Israel’s democracy as it is in the US’s.