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Political Happy Hour with Joshua Miller

Friday, June 24, 2016
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Here’s your massive 51-ounce margarita glass of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House. But if you’re heavily invested in the stock market, and are focused on the short-term, there’s probably not a big enough margarita glass in all of the world today.

BREXIT TANKS MARKETS, via Bloomberg: “The aftershocks from Britain’s political earthquake buffeted markets and policy makers, creating political upheaval in London, dismay in European capitals and panic on trading floors around the world. ...”

BREXIT ROILS POLITICS EVERYWHERE, via Jim Yardley of the New York Times in London: “From Brussels to Berlin to Washington, leaders of the Western democratic world awoke Friday morning to a blunt, once-unthinkable rebuke delivered by the flinty citizens of a small island nation in the North Atlantic. Populist anger against the established political order had finally boiled over.

The British had rebelled.

Their stunning vote to leave the European Union presents a political, economic and existential crisis for a bloc already reeling from entrenched problems. But the thumb-in-your-eye message is hardly limited to Britain. The same yawning gap between the elite and mass opinion is fueling a populist backlash in Austria, France, Germany and elsewhere on the Continent — as well as in the United States. ... ‘Basically, they took back their country,’ [Donald J.] Trump said Friday morning from Scotland, where he was promoting his golf courses. ‘That’s a good thing.’ ...”

NOTABLE STATEMENT FROM TRUMP EARLY THIS A.M.: “... Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people. I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again.” Full statement:

REASON TO PANIC, via CNBC: “Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan [said] Friday the U.K. vote to leave the European Union ushers in a period that’s even worse than the darkest days of October 1987. ... ‘This is the worst period, I recall since I’ve been in public service,’ [the 90-year-old!!!] Greenspan said on [CNBC].

‘There’s nothing like it, including the crisis — remember October 19th, 1987, when the Dow went down by a record amount 23 percent? That I thought was the bottom of all potential problems. This has a corrosive effect that will not go away.’ The former Fed chairman said that the root of the ‘British problem is far more widespread.’ ...”

WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR MASSACHUSETTS? via Jon Chesto on “The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will have ripple effects throughout the Massachusetts economy, touching everyone from big manufacturers to financial giants with major British outposts to everyday investors watching their 401(k) plans. The UK is an important market for Massachusetts exports, but it’s by no means the biggest, ranking seventh last year, with local exports to the country valued at $1.2 billion. The local software, medical device, and electronics companies that sell their products to Great Britain will most likely see their prices go up, making it harder to remain competitive. The UK’s purchasing power will also likely decrease if its economy shrinks as expected as a result of the Brexit vote. The bigger long-term fear: the Brexit vote could set a precedent that causes many to wonder if the EU will fracture, casting a long cloud of uncertainty that could drag down the US economy ...”


• “The UK’s withdrawal from the EU may send shockwaves through the Massachusetts economy in numerous ways that we can’t fully anticipate, with potentially profound effects on the Massachusetts budget, a scenario for which we are ill-prepared,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation . “The havoc it will wreak on global financial markets in the short-term will impact the state’s capital gains tax revenue and potentially the amount of corporate taxes it collects as businesses come to grips with this new economic order.”

• “The Brexit clearly adds another element of uncertainty to our economic future,” said Noah Berger, president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “It’s an important reason to be cautious, but the reality is: We don’t know yet know what the longterm effects on the national or world economy are going to be.”

•“During my tenure as chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, it has been my experience that national and international events can have dramatic impacts on our state’s fiscal condition,” said Representative Brian S. Dempsey . “If nothing else, recent news out of Europe and elsewhere introduces a degree of uncertainty, which the markets do not like, but it is probably too soon to speculate on any specific impacts here in the Commonwealth.”

• “While the Brexit result may find us facing an unprecedented global financial reality, with as-yet unknown ramifications for Massachusetts,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, “I have every confidence that my colleagues and I will work swiftly and decisively to steward our financial resources through difficult times and protect the best interests of the people of the Commonwealth.”

MAINE — GOV LEPAGE’S WIFE TAKES UP WAITRESSING JOB, via the AP in Boothbay Harbor: “The wife of Maine Gov. Paul LePage has taken on a summer waitressing job near their Boothbay home. And she’s saving up for a Toyota RAV4. Ann LePage had kept quiet about the gig, but her husband told a crowd at a recent town hall that his wife took a job to ‘supplement’ his lowest-in-the-nation $70,000 salary. ... LePage worked her first double shift on Thursday at McSeagull’s, a bustling restaurant touting double-wrapped bacon scallops and harbor views. She says being a waitress is ‘something I’ve always, always wanted to do.’ ...”

YOUR MBTA-DELAY LONG READ, which I found really engrossing, via reporter Shane Bauer in Mother Jones: “... I started applying for jobs in private prisons because I wanted to see the inner workings of an industry that holds 131,000 of the nation’s 1.6 million prisoners. As a journalist, it’s nearly impossible to get an unconstrained look inside our penal system. When prisons do let reporters in, it’s usually for carefully managed tours and monitored interviews with inmates. Private prisons are especially secretive. ... Winn Correctional Center lies in the middle of the Kisatchie National Forest, 600,000 acres of Southern yellow pines crosshatched with dirt roads. As I drive through the thick forest, the prison emerges from the fog. ...

Two weeks after I start training, Chase Cortez (his real name) decides he has had enough of Winn. It’s been nearly three years since he was locked up for theft, and he has only three months to go. But in the middle of a cool, sunny December day, he climbs onto the roof of Birch unit. He lies down and waits for the patrol vehicle to pass along the perimeter. He is in view of the guard towers, but they’ve been unmanned since at least 2010. Now, a single CO watches the video feeds from at least 30 cameras.

Cortez sees the patrol van pass, jumps down from the back side of the building, climbs the razor-wire perimeter fence, and then makes a run for the forest. He fumbles through the dense foliage until he spots a white pickup truck left by a hunter. Lucky for him, it is unlocked, with the key in the ignition. In the control room, an alarm sounds, indicating that someone has touched the outer fence, a possible sign of a perimeter breach. The officer reaches over, switches the alarm off, and goes back to whatever she was doing. ...”

WHO WANTS TO BE ... THE LUCKY PERSON WITH 7J41Z ON THE BACK OF THEIR CAR? via press release: “Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney announced today that applications for the 2016 Low Number Plate Lottery are now being accepted online or by U.S. mail. ... This year, there are 183 plates that are part of the low plate lottery, surpassing the large pool of plates offered in 2015. ... [T]here is no fee to apply, however, should the applicant be selected as a winner, there is a fee to receive the license plate and there is a standard registration fee. Available low plate numbers for this year’s lottery include 1H, 7J41Z, Q49, X77, 1972, and 2007. ...” Link:

Does SELLSELLSELL count as a low-number plate? Asking for a friend.

Surely the economic outlook will be better on Monday, when I return. and @jm_bos are ways to get in touch with me. When you’re trapped in traffic on I-93 South this evening, you can take solace in the fact that, um, it’s the weekend!