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Manic Monday Markup 5/2/16…

…And the World:

We begin in Syria, where efforts are underway to salvage a faltering truce among the various non-Daesh warring factions. US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the situation out of control as he and other world leaders scramble. Several options are currently under consideration.

It’s election week in the United Kingdom, with big races in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and London. Polling shows Labour, traditionally the dominant power in Scotland, losing all its constituency-based (district) seats in Holyrood, the seat of the Scottish parliament. However, the dominant Scottish National Party’s leader was forced to reassure in a debate this weekend that her party, which advocates indepedence, would keep her promise to respect the 2014 referendum that kept Scottland in the United Kingdom. In London, Labour MP Sadiq Khan appears to be headed to victory over Tory Zac Goldsmith, which would make Khan the first Muslim to lead a major British city. The Guardian also endorsed Khan.

In Israeli political potpourri: plans for the Zionist Union to join the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were given new life after Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog escaped criminal prosecution. Haaretz reports that sources in Likud, Netanyahu’s party, say Herzog would have become foreign minister and lead peace negotiations. However, Herzog’s faction co-chair, Tzipi Livni, and Shelly Yacimovich, a potential rival of Herzog in leadership elections for Labor, the dominant component of the Zionist Union, nixed it. Herzog’s office has since dismissed the idea of joining Netayahu’s government as “spin.”

Also in Israel, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has proposed rules to apply Israeli Law in the West Bank. Such moves are sometimes criticized as “creeping annexation,” which, despite the stasis in peace talks, remains a hot-button issue in Israel.

The New York Times looks at how Russian President Vladimir Putin, after taking credit for an economic boom, has been handling a declining economy.

Reformers make gains in Iranian elections, but do not secure a majority in Parliament.

The Feds:

Indiana may be Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s last stand and the situation does not look good. Polling shows him trailing real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump. Cruz’s selection of one-time rival and ex-CEO Carly Fiorina as his vice-presidential nominee did not give him any bounce. Were Trump to sweep all of Indiana’s delegates, his charge toward a majority of delegates needed to be the Republican nominee would be nearly unstoppable. But Cruz promises to soldier on despite the Hoosier State results. In better news for Cruz, former California governor Pete Wilson endorsed the Texan.

On the Democratic side, for the first time in month, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s fundraising has fallen behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s. She outraised him in April. The news comes after layoffs his campaign conducted following last week’s Acela Primary. Clinton has essentially pivoted to the general election, while Sanders has pinned hopes for renewed momentum on Indiana and Superdelegates from states he has won switching over to him. However, even if the latter happened, it wouldn’t win him the nod.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, A Democrat, has offered what would be his third budget in an effort to end the standoff between himself and the legislature—controlled by Democrats—over filling the billion dollar plus void in the state’s two-year spending plan.

A look at Albany lawmakers who are now behind bars.

Atlantic City avoids default, but Governor Chris Christie is unimpressed.

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, the Democratic nominee for Senate, received an enthusiastic endorsement from his primary rival, Cincinnati City Councilor P.G. Sittenfeld.

The State of Things:

Gov. Charlie Baker gets front-page treatment from The Globe over his and his supporters’ plans to use face time with the governor and state officials to raise money from PACs, i.e. business interests.

Trump is triumphant in the GOP caucus process in Massachusetts both statewide and locally.

The Globe considers Mahty’s career before being Boston’s mayor: union leader.

Hopes for the transgender public accommodations bill are high after the Joint Judiciary Committee released the bill.

The Mass GOP make an absurdly technical claim against Richard Theroux, an Agawam Democrat challenging Nick Boldyga for the 3rd Hampden House seat. Less absurd, but perhaps still petty, they accuse him of raising money as a public employee, which is prohibited in Massachusetts.

Agenda from another City: See what the Worcester City Council is up to next week from our friends at Worcester Magazine.

A study of East-West rail made it into the Massachusetts House’s budget last week. As it passed the Senate in that chamber’s budget last year (though did not make it to the governor’s desk), the measure, spearheaded by Longmeadow Senator Eric Lesser, has better chances this year.

ICYMI: Our report from last Monday on aspiring Holyoke councilors. The Council will pick a replacement for Jennifer Chateauneuf, who resigned last month, tomorrow.

It’s Working:

The Huffington Post updates us on the Verizon Strike, which will hit the three-week mark on Wednesday.

May Day in Los Angeles turned into an anti-Trump rally per The Los Angeles Times.

The Fourth Estatements:

C.J. Cregg returns to the briefing room. Just kidding. Actually Allison Janney came to the White House to discuss substance abuse, a subject in the show Mom, in which she stars.

Turkish journalists accuse the president, Recip Tayyip Erdogan of engaging in a witch hunt against the media.

Obligatory link to story on the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Boston Journalists were there.

City Slickers:

Mayor Domenic Sarno released his budget last week. The budget relies on some one-time revenues, but bolsters the size of the police department and ostensibly holds the line on attrition in the Fire Department, among other details. The City Council will begin its review of the budget next week.

Springfield Parking Authority Executive Director Mary McNally has resigned after only two years on the job. In her resignation letter, she cites a lack of support from Sarno and the authority’s board.

The Roman Catholic Diocese in Springfield backtracks on building new smaller church to replace St. Jude’s, which was demolished following damage from a 2011 microburst.

Rep. Ben Swan’s son has pulled papers for his father’s seat in the legislature. While nothing is certain yet and the young Swan, also named Ben, has not formed a campaign committee yet, it would seem to set the stage for the elder Swan’s exit.

Twitter Chatter:

It did not make the news above, in part because things may change quickly, but the Supreme Court declined to strike down a voter ID law last week. It may, but the Court is waiting for a lower court to act. Still, efforts to restrict access to the polls continue to move abreast. Whatever their impact, these laws fly in the face of a bedrock part of this country’s democracy. Today we award the tweet prize to Jason Kander, Missouri’s Secretary of State and Democratic Senate candidate, for his tweet decrying the Missouri Senate’s attempt to “ram” through one such law with only two weeks left to the session. As the state’s top election official, Kander also penned an op-ed, linked in his tweet. The number of potentially impacted individuals is staggering, too, for a state of barely 6 million. Kander’s emphasis on how hard Republican-led legislatures push these, especially last minute, underscore how odious such disenfranchisement efforts are.