Here’s your afternoon absinthe spoon of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe.
Absinthe spoon. Heh.
HOLY COW, THAT’S A BIG DONATION — THE NEWS FROM CAMBRIDGE, via the Harvard Gazette: “Harvard announced today that alumnus John A. Paulson, M.B.A. ’80, founder and president of Paulson & Co., has made the largest gift in the University’s history, a $400 million endowment to support the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). To honor his generosity, the School will be renamed the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. ...” http://bit.ly/1EWeIc8
CLINTON NEWS, via WashingtonPost.com: “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to call for an early voting period of at least 20 days in every state. ...” http://wapo.st/1Jra1gw
THIS IS FUN — THE TOM BRADY PANDER, via James Pindell on BostonGlobe.com: “It’s a presidential tradition as old as the campaign itself: When candidates visit the early primary states, they’re expected to pander to the local voters on the state’s pet issue. In Iowa, candidates are asked to back ethanol. In South Carolina, they want candidates to support dredging Charleston Harbor. ... The pander-du-jour in New Hampshire? Tom Brady’s innocence ...” http://bit.ly/1df00H7
LOMBARDI TROPHY GRACES MASS. STATE HOUSE, via Gintautas Dumcius of the State House News Service: “House lawmakers got their chance on Wednesday to pose with the Super Bowl trophy ... Speaker DeLeo had the trophy brought up to the rostrum after representatives posed for their 2015 official class picture. ... The trophy was then brought into the House Members’ Lounge to allow lawmakers and other House employees to pose with the trophy. ...” Behind paywall: http://bit.ly/1HL2qFu
GREAT JOURNALISM STORY, “How a curmudgeonly old reporter exposed the FIFA scandal that toppled Sepp Blatter,” via Michael E. Miller of the Washington Post: “The biggest news story of the year was breaking, but the journalist responsible was fast asleep. It was just after dawn on May 27 when Andrew Jennings’s phone began ringing. ... For the past 15 years, Jennings has focused on the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), international soccer’s governing body. As other journalists were ball watching — reporting scorelines ... — Jennings was digging into the dirty deals underpinning the world’s most popular game. ...” http://wapo.st/1BKvL0I
CONGRESSMAN MICHAEL E. CAPUANO, DEMOCRAT OF SOMERVILLE, BEING, WELL, MIKE CAPUANO, in an appearance on “Boston Public Radio” on WGBH-FM today. A highlight from his conversation with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan after talking about recently passed legislation scaling back government surveillance powers:
BRAUDE: “So, does the American public owe a debt of gratitude to [Edward Snowden,] who some are calling treasonous?”
CAPUANO: “I think, again, it’s a difficult question to have. I mean, he clearly broke the law, we all understand that. But many — Martin Luther King broke the law. I mean, we all get that. There are some laws that need to be broken on occasion. And I think in this case, based on what I know, again — now I don’t know if he took specific data and handed it to our enemies, that’s obviously a different type of activity. But if all he did is what I know about, which is the general release of these general programs, I think that that’s worthy of support and admiration. ...”
Full 24-minute appearance on topics ranging from privacy to fridges that spy on you to marijuana legalization worth your listen: http://bit.ly/1H0Q1Bm
HUGE ISSUE FOR MANY ACTIVISTS, PARTICULARLY IN WESTERN MASS. — GAS PIPELINE PROPOSAL SCALED BACK, via Jay Fitzgerald on BostonGlobe.com: “Stymied by a lack of new natural-gas customers, Kinder Morgan Inc. is scaling back the scope of its controversial proposal to build a network of new gas lines stretching from western Massachusetts and through southern New Hampshire. In a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Houston company said it’s dropping plans for a nearly 15-mile-long spur or lateral pipeline through 156 properties in seven Massachusetts towns ... The cutbacks don’t impact Kinder Morgan’s larger proposal to build a new 64-mile main gas line through 30 other towns in Massachusetts ...” http://bit.ly/1SWxpab
NEW ENGLAND POT WATCH, via the Associated Press in Augusta, Maine: “Maine officials say a pro-marijuana group can begin collecting signatures in support of a statewide referendum supporting legalization. ...” http://bit.ly/1EX46JR
YOUR MBTA-DELAY LONG READ, “Uber’s French Resistance,” via Liz Alderman in the forthcoming New York Times Magazine: “...In Uber’s eyes, it is merely a marketplace for labor, linking people who want to earn money with people willing to pay for a ride. But France, home of the 35-hour workweek and one of the most protective regulatory regimes in Europe, sees it differently. UberPOP [comparable to UberX], with its nonchalance about regulation and its gig-economy boosterism, is radically un-French. Late last year, Parliament passed a law essentially making the service illegal. Now Uber is contesting the constitutionality of certain aspects of the law ...” http://nyti.ms/1JqWE04
THIS STINKS! — NEW OCCASIONAL FEATURE OF DELIGHTFULLY WRITTEN NEGATIVE REVIEWS of movies, plays, restaurants, whatever. This gem via A. O. Scott reviewing “Entourage” the movie in today’s New York Times: “... Watching the movie is like finding an ancient issue of a second-tier lad mag — not even Maxim, but Loaded or Nuts — in a friend’s guest bathroom. You wonder how it got there. You wonder how you got there. In my case, it was the same way the people on screen got there: because someone paid me. Why anyone would run the transaction in reverse is puzzling enough to be worth pondering, and also too depressing to contemplate. It’s rare to see a movie of any kind pander to its imagined audience with such unabashed cynicism. ...” http://nyti.ms/1IamrIe
It’s not quite Pete Wells on Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar or Roger Ebert on “North,” but still pretty good. Send your favorite, well-written negative reviews to me: @jm_bos and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do sign up for Political Happy Hour, which will return tomorrow, if the cops don’t stop my UberX to the State House.