Political Happy Hour: June 16, 2015

By Globe Staff 

Here’s your sake masu of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe. Cheers!

THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY, via Matt Stout of the Boston Herald: “The state’s Medicaid program squandered more than $500 million over a five-year span, according to state Auditor Suzanne Bump, who called the sum the largest amount her office has uncovered in nearly three decades. ... MassHealth disputed some of the findings ...”


WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT PLEAS FOR PATIENCE, via Mark Arsenault on “The head of Boston 2024 today asked for patience and a ‘robust public debate’ on the Olympic bid committee’s new budget and venue plan, due out at the end of the month. ‘I hope the opposition will wait for the plan,’ bid chairman Steve Pagliuca said in his first significant public remarks since becoming head of Boston 2024 in May. ... Pagliuca said the new Olympic budget will project a surplus. ...”

LONG TREK TO 2024, via Katharine Q. Seelye of the New York Times in Boston: “When Boston 2024, the private group organizing the city’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, unveiled its plans in January, it boasted that it would put on ‘the most walkable Games in modern times.’ Well, spectators may find themselves on some awfully long walks. In a striking about-face, the bid organizers are detouring from their promise of a compact Games and offering instead a plan that spreads the events across Massachusetts. ...”

THAT REMINDS ME OF MY FAVORITE HAIKU, via the widely-used English translation of Kobayashi Issa’s original Japanese:

“O snail

Climb Mount Fuji


But slowly, slowly!”

CHARLIE BAKER SUPPORTS NO ONE, EVERYONE FOR PRESIDENT, via Gintautas Dumcius of the State House News Service: “... Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is keeping his distance from presidential politics. ... Asked by a reporter if he supports [Jeb] Bush, Baker said, ‘I’m not supporting anybody.’

‘At the same time, I’m supporting everybody,’ Baker added while at an event in Boston’s Financial District. ... Referencing his unsuccessful run for governor in 2010 and the more favorable reception in last year’s campaign, Baker said, ‘I certainly consider my two statewide races to be among the most educational, informative and important learning experiences of my life, and I hope they turn out to be that way for them. But the voters of Massachusetts did not vote for me to kibitz in presidential politics.’ ” Link via the Berkshire Eagle:

2016 — JEB! via Tim Alberta of National Journal in Derry, N.H.: “Jeb Bush began his first town hall meeting as a presidential candidate by professing his ‘love’ for New Hampshire because its voters care about fiscal responsibility—then proceeded to spend an hour whispering sweet nothings about job growth, entitlement cuts, and regulatory reform. ...”

2016 — BERNIE! via Nick Gass of Politico: “Bernie Sanders is picking up steam in New Hampshire, according to recent polls. The independent Vermont senator running for the Democratic nomination picked up 31 percent of the vote among likely Granite State Democratic primary voters, compared with 41 percent for Clinton, in a Suffolk University poll released Tuesday. ...”

TALKER in today’s Globe, via Dan Shaughnessy: “Fenway Park was the place to be Monday afternoon. The moribund Red Sox held yet another team meeting (what’s next? exorcism? human sacrifice?), Dustin Pedroia came out with tiny elbows flying, and manager John Farrell faced a firing squad that was downright Pitinoesque. After staggering through one of the worst weekends in the long history of the franchise — getting swept by the Blue Jays in spectacular fashion and stretching their losing streak to six games — the last-place Sox arrived at the ballpark in mid-afternoon and immediately held the latest in a string of team meetings. These guys have more meetings than the UN Security Council. ...”


YOUR MBTA-DELAY LONG READ, which is quite the wild political story, via Connie Bruck in the New Yorker: “The Inside War | To expose torture, Dianne Feinstein fought the C.I.A.—and the White House.”

DESSERT — DONALD TRUMP IS SERIOUSLY RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. Seriously. Seriously. Via a story with a well-crafted lede by Alexander Burns of the New York Times: “Donald J. Trump, the garrulous real estate developer whose name has adorned apartment buildings, hotels, Trump-brand neckties and Trump-brand steaks, announced on Tuesday his entry into the 2016 presidential race, brandishing his wealth and fame as chief qualifications in an improbable quest for the Republican nomination. Mr. Trump ... [proclaimed] that only someone ‘really rich’ – like himself – could restore American economic primacy. ...”


Where does the Donald end up? Does the snail ever get to the top of the mountain? Or it the journey that counts for both? I’m certain one will be more entertaining.

Send me your answers and questions, philosophizing encouraged: and @jm_bos.

And here’s another haiku, one I just wrote this afternoon:

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Joshua Miller can be reached at
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