Manic Monday Markup 3/28/16…
…And the World:
We begin today in Pakistan, which is mourning following an Easter bombing that targeted Christians in Lahore and killed over 70. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has arrived in the city in a show of solidarity, but some Christians question whether the government can protect religious minorities like them. Sharif has promised stepped up security efforts. Military spokespeople have claimed stepped up raids to find suspects and deter further attacks like Sunday’s, which has been blamed on a branch of the Pakistani Taliban.
The attacks come amid pressure from hardline Islamists to maintain the country’s strict anti-blasphemy laws and fears among Sharif’s camp that stepped up military operations would underscore the weakness civilian governments—like Sharif’s.
Belgian authorities mistakenly arrested (and released) the wrong man following last week’s bombings. They have renewed the hunt for another terrorist whom law enforcement believes survived the attacks at Brussels’ airport and on its subway. Meanwhile, the propagandists are still trying to influence Belgian Muslims even via mass text.
The Israeli political world is in convulsions amid the fallout from video of an soldier shooting a Palestinian suspect who had already been subdued. The IDF, or Israeli Defense Forces, have opened a murder investigation. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, both Likudniks, condemned the attack, some among the country’s far-right deemed the soldier a hero. Education Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennet savaged those coming down against the soldier, that is coming out against a war crime.
A shooter at the US Capitol complex locked down both The Hill and the White House. The suspect is in custody.
The FBI claims to have cracked the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooters.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders owned the Western caucuses held this Saturday, but barely chipped away at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s big lead over him in the delegate count. Even Sanders’s campaign can’t seem to explain what his path to the nomination is. The primaries go on ice until April 5 when Wisconsin votes followed by New York two weeks later. On the Republican side, Wisconsin is the latest last best hope to real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump’s seeming runway march to the nomination. Texas Senator Ted Cruz wants to go mano y mano with Trump.
Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, has called in a favor from President Barack Obama. POTUS formally endorsed her in her primary fight against Tim Canova, a law professor. But was this CYA or a sign of actual fear on Wasserman Schultz’s part?
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s icy relationship with governor Andrew Cuomo is the stuff of legends. But Hizzoner has at least one ally in Albany: the new Speaker of the Assembly.
The State of Things:
The Charter School battle will be among the hot contests on the ballot this year and The Boston Globe takes a close look at the divides in the debate. Not surprising for a state with its own dark history of racial strife in public education, race is a big factor.
Massachusetts’s Democrats spokesperson Pat Beaudry, a Holyoke native, is coming back to the 413 to work for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
Millennials A-Massing: Dylan Fernandes, aide to Attorney General Maura Healey, is running for the open State Rep seat that covers Falmouth, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket.
The Fourth Estatements:
The Reminder will consolidate all of its regional editions into one starting this Friday. It will also begin printing in a tabloid format instead of the Berliner it has used in recent year. Executive Editor G. Michael Dobbs announced the changes in his weekly column last week.
Neighbors to MGM Springfield’s construction site are seeking funds to mitigate the impact upon their properties.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled against the city after upholding an arbitrator’s ruling that the city overstepped its bounds when it fired an employee following a sexual harassment complaint. While the arbitrator found that the harassment happened, the incident was not of a severity to warrant termination.
ICYMI: Our assessment of the latest round in the residency wars.
The battle to confirm federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland may not have gotten much attention in this week’s markup, but it remains a major part of the US political scene. While Garland’s nomination may not excite the Democratic base, it does represent a chance for Barack Obama to leave a lasting legacy on the Court. Moreover, it has spilled over into the elections, perhaps not imperiling Republicans yet—but it might. Today we award the tweet prize to the Iowa Startling Line blog, which captured Iowans censuring their Senior Senator, Charles Grassley, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, for not holding a hearing on Garland. It may not be enough to move the famously obstinate Grassley, but it shows that the battle has started to hit home, even in the Hawkeye State.
Another woman tells Grassley it makes us look bad to not hold nomination hearing, says Prez was elected & has right pic.twitter.com/CmUebvAJiz
— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) March 28, 2016