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Political Happy Hour with Joshua Miller

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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Here’s your Tubi 60 highball glass of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House, aiming for a nice and short newsletter today.

THE POWER OF REMEMBERING, via Emily Sweeney, John R. Ellement and Mark Arsenault of the Globe: “The tattoo the Nazis branded him with at Auschwitz is still legible on his forearm: A-18651.

Israel Arbeiter, 92, who survived more than five years in concentration camps, never had it removed.

‘Why should I?’ he said Wednesday. ‘I keep it to show what I went through.’

Arbeiter was among the organizers who built the New England Holocaust Memorial in the 1990s, and he was among those in the Jewish community shocked and deeply hurt when the downtown Boston memorial was damaged early Wednesday morning, allegedly by a 21-year-old from Roxbury with a history of mental illness. ...”

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF, GASP, BIPARTISANSHIP? via Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times: “With his bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act in deep trouble, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, raised an alternate possibility on Tuesday evening: Either Republicans come together in the days ahead, or he may have to work with Democrats to shore up the deteriorating health law. That raised a tantalizing prospect: bipartisanship. ...”

MOULTON V. PELOSI, via the Globe’s Annie Linskey in Salem: “Over last Labor Day weekend, when Democrats were under the mistaken belief they would win the White House and Senate, Representative Seth Moulton sat down to pen a note that departed from his renegade brand.

Three pages of gushing words to Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, thanking her.

For everything.

For the plum House Armed Services Committee assignment she’d given him (‘people at home are thrilled,’ he enthused). For the chance to sell the Iran nuclear deal on TV (‘the opportunity you gave me to exercise that on a national stage did not go unnoticed,’ he wrote.) Even for the intern she’d helped secure. (‘I don’t know where we’d be without Dennis — he’s extraordinary!’ Moulton exclaimed.) ...

Shortly after sending the note the political landscape shifted, and so did Moulton’s tone. After a devastating November election for Democrats left Republicans in control of all branches of government, Moulton became a loud voice opposing Pelosi’s leadership, joining 62 other House insurgents who voted to replace her in November. ...

Loyalties in Washington are fluid, but even by the Capitol’s standards, Moulton’s change in posture is striking. The September note included no hint of the simmering dissatisfaction he said he was feeling at the time. ...”

MAZEN SAID TO BE PLANNING BID TO UNSEAT MIKE CAPUANO, from me in tomorrow’s Boston Globe: “Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem A. Mazen, the state’s highest-profile Muslim elected official, is planning a run against US Representative Michael E. Capuano in next year’s primary, according to several people familiar with his thinking.

The councilor is plotting a bid to unseat the 10-term Democrat in a congressional district that includes Somerville, Chelsea, Everett, Randolph, half of Cambridge, one-third of Milton, and the majority of Boston.

If Mazen pulls the trigger, it would pit a 33-year-old MIT graduate, entrepreneur, and two-term city councilor against a 65-year-old former Somerville mayor and alderman — two progressives in one of the most Democratic districts in the country.

Capuano has not faced a serious electoral challenge since voters sent him to Washington in 1998. ...”

ABOUT LAST NIGHT — GREAT MASS. POLITICS PHOTO, via the Arlington Advocate: “The moment [Cindy Friedman] supporters realized their candidate had likely won the 4th Middlesex primary” for state Senate, and is almost certain to be the senator representing Arlington, Burlington, Billerica, Woburn, and part of Lexington.

THAT WAS EASY? Via the Wall Street Journal: “Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners is nearing a deal to buy the office-supply retailer Staples Inc. for more than $6.5 billion, a bold bet on a company whose sales have been shrinking in recent years. ...”

LEDE OF THE WEEK, via Dugan Arnett of the Boston Globe: “Lately, it seems, the city of Boston has been overrun by a collection of entitled youngsters, occupying the trendiest neighborhoods, adhering to strict vegetarian diets, and fornicating at a rate that would make Hugh Hefner blush.

Yes, exactly: rabbits. ...”

LEDE OF THE WEAK, via the Boston Globe’s Steve Annear on Monday: “Officials from the Transportation Security Administration said there’s no ‘claws’ for alarm after a roughly 20-pound live lobster was spotted in a person’s checked luggage at Logan International Airport over the weekend. ...”

CRIKEY! via AFP: “A kangaroo dressed in leopard-print has been found shot dead on an Australian roadside tied to a chair and holding a bottle of booze, sparking outrage over the killing Wednesday.

The animal, wearing a patterned shawl and propped up with the ouzo drink in its lifeless arms, was discovered in Melbourne’s northeast by a passer-by. ...” Be warned, with photo on

May a dead kangaroo propped up on the roadside holding a liquor bottle NOT be a metaphor for your day.

I’ll be hopping, hopping back here to this newsletter tomorrow.

It could be a late night if Mass. lawmakers release their pot law rewrite compromise, as expected, tomorrow evening.

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