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Political Happy Hour with Joshua Miller

Saturday, December 10, 2016
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Here’s your marijuana-infused, lemonade-flavored JELL-O shot of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House.

FLASH FROM WASHINGTON POST: “Rudy Giuliani no longer a candidate for secretary of state”

POT TO BE LEGAL IN LESS THAN A WEEK, from me on “Tokers of the Commonwealth, rejoice.

Secretary of State William F. Galvin warned last week that the measure legalizing marijuana might have to be delayed but now says that won’t be necessary. Galvin’s office said Friday he will submit official results of the voter-passed legalization measure to the Governor’s Council Wednesday for certification. Barring any unforeseen snafu — or dramatic intervention by the Legislature to undo the will of the voters — possessing, using, and home-growing marijuana will be legal on Thursday.

Advocates, who were rankled by Galvin floating the possibility of a delay, exulted.

‘This closes the door on an era that was marked by hysteria, by injustices, and by ineffective public policy,’ said Jim Borghesani, who helped lead the legalization effort. ‘This opens up an era that may take a bit of getting used to, but as in many other social transformations, people will look back and say: What were we so worried about?’ ...” I’ve written hundreds of stories for the Globe. This is the first one in which I quoted a comment on my story in the story:

PARENT COMPANY OF TOP MASS. HOSPITALS BLEEDING MONEY, via Priyanka Dayal McCluskey on “Partners HealthCare posted the biggest annual operating loss in its 22-year history, largely because of red ink at its Neighborhood Health Plan insurance business.

The state’s largest health network said Friday that it lost $108 million on operations in the year ended Sept. 30, reversing a profit of $106 million a year earlier. Revenue at the parent company of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals rose 7 percent to $12.5 billion, but expenses grew at a faster clip.

Partners blamed most of the losses on the ongoing struggles at Neighborhood Health, the largest insurer for low-income families and individuals on the state’s Medicaid program, called MassHealth. It has been losing money on its Medicaid business for years, including $104 million this year. ...”

CLICKBAIT CONGRESSIONAL PRESS RELEASE FROM MASS. REP. JIM McGOVERN: “McGovern, House Democrats Call for White House to Strengthen Safeguards on ‘Killer Robots’ ”

IF YOU READ ONE THING TODAY, MAKE IT THIS ARTICLE, via Scott Clement and Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post: “One-third of Americans who have taken prescription opioids for at least two months say they became addicted to, or physically dependent on, the powerful painkillers, according to a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

Virtually all long-term users surveyed said that they were introduced to the drugs by a doctor’s prescription, not by friends or through illicit means. But more than 6 in 10 said doctors offered no advice on how or when to stop taking the drugs. And 1 in 5 said doctors provided insufficient information about the risk of side effects, including addiction.

The survey raises sharp questions about the responsibility of doctors for an epidemic of addiction and overdose that has claimed nearly 180,000 lives since 2000. Opioid deaths surged to more than 30,000 last year, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with deaths from heroin alone surpassing the toll from gun homicides. ...”

HEALEY HEADED TO TEXAS? via Herald reporter Matt Stout on Twitter: “NEW: Judge that ordered [Attorney General Maura Healey] to appear in TX on Tuesday again DENIED her request, this time to postpone deposition amid appeal ... [Healey] is still awaiting appellate court’s decision whether to intervene/stay hearing But denial by district judge is a legal blow”


DEPARTMENT OF NEWSPAPER STORIES THAT WILL SHOW UP IN THE 2018 CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR, via Cynthia McCormick of the Cape Cod Times: “Gov. Charlie Baker’s red pen slashed hundreds of thousands of dollars for opioid abuse prevention and treatment services on the Cape and Islands this week, including seven school-based anti-addiction programs. ...”

(Baker is up for re-election in 2018. He is expected to run for a second term.)

ABOUT THAT RUSSIAN HACKING..., via the David E. Sanger of the New York Times: “President Obama has ordered American intelligence agencies to produce a full report on Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, his homeland security adviser said on Friday. He also directed them to develop a list of “lessons learned” from the broad campaign the United States has accused Russia of carrying out to steal emails, publish their contents and probe the vote-counting system.

IT’S LATE. IT’S FRIDAY. HOW ABOUT A QUICK VIDEO OF A GREAT FOOTBALL MOVE? This is from last year, but still. Just saw it trending online. What a spin!

Back Monday.

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