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Political Happy Hour with Joshua Miller

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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Here’s your Lao-Lao earthenware jar of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House.

BAKER NOT DIVING IN FOR WELD! Here’s the story via the Boston Herald’s Matt Stout about the Gov’s appearance on Herald Radio: “Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he isn’t voting for his former boss Bill Weld’s newly formed Libertarian ticket — or any presidential ticket, for that matter. ... ‘I plan to vote on election day,’ Baker said. ‘I just don’t plan to vote for president.’ ...”

PAGING PhRMA, also via Governor Baker on Herald Radio: “I have all kinds of qualms with a lot of the Libertarian Party’s positions, generally. They support, among other things, the full legalization of all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. And I think we’ve — we’ve seen the consequences of fully legalized heroin: It’s called opioid pain medication. And the consequences of that have been mortifying and devastating.” Sound:

NOTABLE PRESS RELEASE TODAY: “United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, along with Representatives Michael Capuano and Katherine Clark, have sent a letter urging Harvard University President Drew Faust to recognize collective bargaining units of graduate student research and teaching assistants if they wish to organize. ...” The letter (PDF):

WARREN TO N.H., via John DiStaso on WMUR: “Progressive champion Sen. Elizabeth Warren will return to New Hampshire in June to keynote the state Democratic Party’s 2016 convention, WMUR has learned. The Massachusetts senator is expected to rally support for Gov. Maggie Hassan’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate at the June 18 event, which is expected to draw hundreds of party delegates and activists to Bedford High School. Hassan is challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte in one of the tightest, most expensive and closely-watched Senate races in the country. ...”

THE $EN$E OF THE $ENATE, via Michael P. Norton and Andy Metzger of the State House News Service, monitoring the Mass. Senate’s budget debate: “Saying the economic recovery has ‘already happened,’ Sen. Dan Wolf joined many of his Senate colleagues on Tuesday in lamenting the lack of appetite for new revenues from the House and Gov. Charlie Baker. Wolf called the Senate’s nearly $40 billion fiscal 2017 spending plan an ‘austerity budget’ and said such budgets have become the ‘new normal’ on Beacon Hill. ‘I do believe we have a revenue problem,’ Wolf said, urging his colleagues to highlight unmet demands on public services and programs. ...” Behind paywall:

SWAN DYNASTY? via Stephanie Barry on “Benjamin Swan Sr., who has served as state representative for the 11th Hampden District for over two decades, will not seek a 12th term in office, he announced Tuesday. ‘While I’m no longer a candidate myself, I will be supporting another young man — my son,’ Swan said, referring to his son, Benjamin Swan Jr. ...”

TOUGH LUCK, MARTY McFLY, via Nicole Dungca on “Leave your hoverboards at home, MBTA riders. Effective immediately, the contraptions will not be allowed on MBTA property. ‘There are no exceptions,’ the T said in a press release sent Tuesday afternoon. ...”

PROUD I WENT TO BOWDOIN DEPARTMENT, via Amy Calder of the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, Maine: “At least two Colby College students will be charged with arson in connection with an on-campus dumpster fire Sunday morning that occurred a few hours after a bonfire at which a large crowd of students threw items at police and firefighters who arrived to put it out. ...”

Background: Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Colby College in Waterville, and Bates College in Lewiston are small liberal arts colleges in Maine. Students consider undergrads at the other colleges rivals.

THE DESTINATION OF THIS TRAIN IS...YOUR HEADPHONES, via Dugan Arnett on “Unpredictable as a New England winter, screechier than an episode of ‘Saved by the Bell,’ Boston’s creaky subway system might prove little more than a daily frustration to many residents. But for Tyler Gutherman and Wake Anderson, part of the Boston start-up Lumit Audio, it served recently as artistic muse. This week, the two released a melodic mashup of the MBTA’s various sounds that might very well change the way you view, or at least hear, your daily commute. ...”

One of the things I love about my job is I can spend an hour reading through newspapers in the morning and I’m doing my work. Two stories of note in today’s papers:

POWERFUL READ ON A PERILOUS JOURNEY FROM CUBA TO FLORIDA, via Lizette Alvarez on the front page of the New York Times: “The sign from God and the Virgin Mary came near the end of their perilous, sun-scorched journey from Cuba to Florida: A dozen or so dolphins swam up to their home-built, overloaded sailboat, dipping in and out of the water, guiding them, they felt, toward a reimagined future. ‘It’s true we are blessed,’ Rolando Quintero Ferrer, 27, one of the 12 passengers on the boat, said on his video recording of the voyage. ‘What a beautiful thing. Nobody will get close to us now.’

The omen proved true. After five days of being stuffed in the boat like cigarettes in a hard pack, including 24 hours on an uninhabited islet, the men sailed right up to a dock in Tavernier in the Florida Keys. It was 4:20 a.m. They scrambled out, pointed to the parking signs in English, hollered and wept. They then took out a cellphone and, knowing they would be welcomed, dialed 911, a trick gleaned from American television.

‘Look at this great water,’ Yosvanys Chinea, a 42-year-old carpenter, joked as he held up a bottle the police had handed him when they arrived. ‘It’s already curing my parasites, something that, for me, hadn’t happened in 42 years.’ ...”

WHAT A FANTASTIC LEDE AND A COMPLETELY FASCINATING STORY, via Zeke Turner on the bottom of page D1 of the Wall Street Journal, reporting from Berlin: “An epidemic of burnout is taking a toll on a wide swath of employees in Germany, despite the fact workers here labor fewer hours a year than people in any other developed country. ... Many believe overwork isn’t the main reason behind the affliction, which Germans routinely refer to as das Burnout. Instead, a stress study by Techniker Krankenkasse and interviews with a number of workers suggest burnout stems from crushing hierarchies and unrealistic expectations in the workplace, and scant praise or recognition from bosses. ...”

Avoid das Burnout! Jog along the Esplanade. Cook dinner with family. Watch a good TV show (The People v. O.J. Simpson was awesome).

Or, in a dim facsimile of fun, you can sign up for a booze-themed newsletter about Massachusetts and New England politics.

What is it they say in Germany? Prost!

Back tomorrow. In the interim: and @jm_bos on Twitter.