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Political Happy Hour with Joshua Miller

Saturday, February 28, 2015
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Here’s your afternoon glass of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe.

A BLESSING AND A CURSE? — DEPAOLA INTERIM T CHIEF, via John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane on “Frank DePaola, the state highway administrator, has been named the interim general manager of the MBTA. ... Beverly Scott, the current MBTA general manger, abruptly announced on Feb. 11 that she would resign. She said this week that she was resigning for personal reasons. Scott said she would work until April 11 to aid in a smooth transition.”

KEEP CONTROL OF THAT SNOW RAGE, via Steve Annear on “Somebody has been plastering posters on utility poles in Somerville this week, reminding residents to think twice before slashing someone’s tires or smashing car windshields over a parking dispute. ... ‘How should we be behaving? Like rational, level-headed adults,’ the signs say ...”

MASS. SPEAKER SAYS DORCHESTER REP IS ‘RISING STAR,’ via Andy Metzger of the State House News Service: “Speaker Robert DeLeo on Wednesday heaped praise on Rep. Evandro Carvalho, who is starting his first full two-year term, calling the Dorchester Democrat a ‘rising star.’ ‘He’s going to be a rising star in this building,’ DeLeo told college students gathered for a financial aid event. DeLeo said Carvalho is ‘very bright’ and has ‘a great story to tell.’ ... ” Behind paywall:

DRIVING THE NIGHT IN D.C. — POT, via Mike DeBonis and Aaron C. Davis on “Flanked by members of the D.C. Council and the city’s top lawyer, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser announced on live television Wednesday afternoon that marijuana possession will become legal in the District at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. ...”

DRIVING THE DAY IN D.C. — GOP GRAPPLES WITH INTERNAL RIFT ON HOMELAND SECURITY IMPASSE, via Ashley Parker and Emmarie Huetteman of the New York Times: “Republicans on Wednesday publicly struggled to resolve tensions within their party as House and Senate leaders searched for a way to avert a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security, which is set to run out of money on Friday. Senate Democrats added to the pressure on House Republicans on Wednesday by saying that they would support a proposal by Senator Mitch McConnell ... to consider a bill that deals only with funding the department, and a vote could take place as early as Thursday. ...”

FUNDRAISING SOLICITATION EMAIL I GRUDGINGLY OPENED BECAUSE IT’S MY JOB, from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Dems to the US House, with the subject line “MSNBC just reported:” and the subject: “... MSNBC is reporting that Mitch McConnell is backing down from another politically-motivated shutdown. Why? He’s scared — of you. Your grassroots pressure has spooked McConnell into dropping his Tea Party-inspired threat to shut down Homeland Security, then blame Obama. ... Can you chip in $5 or more right now ...”

YOUR MBTA-DELAY LONG READ, a wonderful serialized short story by Simon Rich via the New Yorker in 2013 about Herschel, a tough-as-nails immigrant who falls in brine at the pickle factory where he works, only to wake up a hundred years later when Brooklyn has, uh, changed. He connects with a great-great-grandson.

“ ... By coincidence, he is twenty-seven years, just like me. ... I am so excited I can barely breathe. Maybe he is doctor, or even rabbi? I cannot wait to meet this man — to learn the ending of my family’s story. ‘How about Thai fusion?’ Simon asks me, as we walk along the street where I once lived. ‘This place has these amazing gluten-free ginger thingies.’ He gestures at crowded restaurant. It used to be metal factory. ...

‘Please,’ I say. ‘I must know. What path have you chosen for your life?’ Simon smiles proudly at me. ‘I’m a script doctor,’ he says. I shake my head with astonishment. ‘That is so wonderful,’ I say, my eyes filling up with tears. ‘I am so proud. I cannot believe my descendant is medical doctor.’ Simon averts his eyes. ‘It’s actually just a screenwriting term,’ he says. ...”

Don’t avert your eyes. Help me doctor my newsletter script. Send word. Reach out. Check in. Make contact. Touch base. Say ‘hey.’ Gimme a shout. @jm_bos on Twitter or

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