Happening Today

State jobs report

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is scheduled to release today the preliminary October and revised September state unemployment rates and other labor data.

Mayors on climate change

Mayors from Boston, Braintree, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Melrose, Medford, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop sign a local compact to combat climate change, UMass Club, 32nd floor, One Beacon Street, Boston, 9 a.m.

Baker at Massachusetts Leadership Forum

Gov. Charlie Baker Baker speaks at the Massachusetts Leadership Forum, hosted by the Governing Institute, Hilton Boston Back Bay, 40 Dalton St., 9 a.m.

Baker at inspectors’ general conference

Gov. Baker speaks at the Association of Inspectors General annual training conference, One Avenue de Lafayette, 3 p.m.

Rosenberg on the air

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is scheduled for a live interview on NECN’s “The Take,” NECN, 6 p.m.

BBJ Power 50

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Attorney General Maura Healey, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, former U.S. Sen. Mo Cowan, Boston economic development chief John Barros, Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, car magnate Ernie Boch Jr. and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt are among those who have been honored, Ritz-Carlton Boston Common, 10 Avery St., Boston, 6 p.m

Today’s Stories

Dr. Baker tries to calm fears over just about everything

Acting more like a psychiatrist than an elected politician, Gov. Charlie Baker spent much of yesterday trying to calm the fears of those suffering a near nervous breakdown over the prospects of a future Donald Trump presidency. Will immigrants, gays and other minorities be safe in Massachusetts after Trump becomes president? Yes, says Baker, asserting Massachusetts will remain a “welcoming state,” reports the Globe. Will cities that have declared themselves sanctuary enclaves lose federal funding under a Trump administration? Not if he can help it, Baker declared, reports SHNS at the Herald News. Will the state still have universal health care if Trump et gang gut ObamaCare? You betcha, for we still have RomneyCare, Baker reassured people, reports SHNS at the BBJ. Baker seemed to say and do everything short of prescribing collective valium and Zoloft to the political and policy-wonk establishment in Massachusetts. 

And, yes, Baker has his own psychological “balancing act” and conflict resolutions that need addressing soon, as a torn Republican who refused to endorse Trump and yet has to deal with a future Republican president and Congress.

Healey judges Baker’s ‘prejudging’ remarks unacceptable

Meanwhile, Dr. Baker is coming under fire for his “prejudging” warnings. Attorney General Maura Healey last night took umbrage to Baker’s reaction to President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon, a conservative firebrand, as a senior White House advisor, SHNS is reporting. Baker said, in reference to Bannon and other Trump appointments, that there’s “too much prejudging going on here.” Not for Healey. “It’s concerning for me to see the governor, who sat out this election, now take a wait-and-see approach on something like an appointment of Steve Bannon,” Healey said.

SHNS (pay wall)

Teachers union president urges anti-Trump action and ‘safe spaces’ at schools

More from the Fear Trump front: Calling these “dangerous and frightening” times following Donald Trump’s election as president, Barbara Madeloni, head of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, is urging teacher unions to “organize standouts across the state next Tuesday” to “let students and parents know that love trumps hate,” reports Phil Demers at MassLive. And where would these activities take place? The demonstration requested by Madeloni entails teachers welcoming “students to school with signs of love and support” and urging creation of “safe spaces” in school buildings. 


And Kraft makes three …

New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft paid a visit to President-elect Donald Trump’s Trump Tower yesterday in New York – and WCVB has the unedited, raw video footage to prove it! 

 Boston magazine’s Kyle Scott Clauss reports Kraft, wearing his signature blazer and Nike kicks (i.e. silly glorified sneakers worn by older men with sore feet while trying to look young, but we digress), did meet with Trump and was accompanied by Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin, who has been rumored to be a favorite for Treasury Secretary in the future Trump administration. So after Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s loving embrace of Trump during the election, this makes three New England Patriots tied to The Donald in one way or another. 

WCVB (video)

Did Baker vote for Chris Christie?

Gov. Baker made clear before the election that there was no way he was going to vote for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, the Libertarian ticket or Jill Stein for president, leaving the impression he was going to leave the presidential box blank on his ballot. But did he? From SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Salem News: “When a reporter pointed out that Baker had not disclosed who he voted for in the presidential primary, the governor invited the public to draw conclusions from his earlier (NJ Gov. Chris Christie) endorsement. ‘I told you I wasn’t planning to vote for President-elect Trump, and I told you I wasn’t planning to vote for Secretary Clinton and I think you can presume what I did based on who I endorsed for president in the first place,’ Baker said.”

Salem News

Barry-Smith narrowly confirmed as judge

Overcoming the objections of gun-rights advocates and concerns about his qualifications in general, Christopher Barry-Smith, the first assistant attorney general, won approval yesterday to become a Superior Court judge by a 5-3 vote on the Governor’s Council, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. Councilor Robert Jubinville said members may come to “regret” their vote due to what Jubinville said was Barry-Smith’s lack of experience. But Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who presided over the meeting, said Barry-Smith is indeed qualified and she defended his role in Attorney General Maura Healey’s recent crackdown on ‘copycat’ assault weapons, saying he was just doing his job for his boss.  


Officials eyeing Seaport drydock as helipad site

From the Herald’s Dan Atkinson: “The area near a drydock in the Seaport District is being eyed as a location for a trial helipad — which could become a full-blown heliport equipped for multiple helicopters, city and state officials told neighborhood residents last night.” But there’s big caveat: “Officials said they would not commit to definitely constructing a helipad if residents pushed back.” No residential push-back? In Boston?

Boston Herald

Massachusetts leads in pay-to-play beer crackdown

Federal regulators say they will launch a nationwide crackdown targeting so-called pay-to-play among beer distributors after a Massachusetts company agreed to pay $750,000 to settle claims that it plied bar owners with cash to get them to stock preferred beer brands, reports Dan Adams at the Globe.

Boston Globe

Brockton once again delays action on Trust Act

Members of the Brockton City Council again delayed a vote on a proposed Trust Act meant to strengthen ties between police and undocumented immigrants, with the recent election of Donald Trump hanging over matters, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. Several critics said the city simply cannot afford to risk losing federal funding if Trumps cracks down on communities seen as protecting illegal immigrants.


Can UMass incubate its way to become ‘Cambridge West’?

The newly opened Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst is a big $150 million (and counting) bet that the state can create a biotech hub from scratch, something other regions of the country have tried with little success, Robert Weisman of the Globe reports. The university is hoping a tight focus on areas such as drug delivery and personalized health can quickly lead to commercialized success. 

Boston Globe

More on Moulton’s mini-revolt against Pelosi and the seniority system

The Herald’s Jack Encarnacao has more details on U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s mini-revolt against House Dem leader Nancy Pelosi, while the Globe says in an editorial that Democratic leaders need to listen more to young upstarts like Moulton and loosen the House’s seniority system for assigning committee chairmanships.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

The Christmas tree annually gifted to the city of Boston from Nova Scotia cost taxpayers in the Canadian province $242,000 (CDN) last year, including $75,000 paid to WCVB to broadcast the lighting ceremony, Jack Julian of the Canadian Broadcast Corp reports. Julian received a breakdown of the tree costs from the province—which considers the annual bequeath a tourism-promotion endeavor—and found that $41,000 went directly to the city of Boston, $6,000 was set aside for cutting and shipping the tree, and some $15,000 was spent on Nova Scotia-branded “tuques, flags and lanyards.” 

And, yes, we know some of you still associate O Christmas Tree with the old Charlie Brown X-Mas specials, so here’s the Charlie Brown version of O Christmas Tree, minus the lyrics. It’s pretty cool.  


An Airbnb for college kids’ cars?

Somehow we think insurance companies and the parents of college kids will have a major say in all this. From BostInno’s Olivia Vanni: “A startup coming out of Babson called Lulu, which means ‘convenience’ in Zulu, is developing an app that enables peer-to-peer car-sharing among college students. The best way to explain it – and commence the self-loathing for saying this – is it’s like Airbnb for college kids’ cars.”

One of the student co-founders says it will be a great way for kids to make money while other students get to take cars off-campus. Ah, yes, off-campus road trips. We remember them well. So do most insurance agents and parents.


Today’s Headlines


Walsh blasts Trump’s ‘absurd’ attack on Roe v Wade – Boston Magazine

South Boston industrial park eyed as spot for helipad – Boston Globe


The Quabbin Reservoir just hit below normal capacity for the first time in 15 years – MassLive

State’s high court won’t tip hand in Dookhan case – Boston Herald

Methadone clinic fears not realized in Milford, Southbridge – Telegram & Gazette

Norwell selectmen consider moratorium on pot shops – Patriot Ledger

Guyer out as Pittsfield DPW – Berkshire Eagle

Craig’s Doors in Amherst may be forced to close early after governor freezes funding – Hampshire Gazette

4 years ago Saugus went for Obama, this year Trump – WBUR

A six-point plan for resolving the 24,000 tainted ‘Dookhan’ drug cases – WGBH

Brockton council delays yet again on Trust Act vote – Brockton Enterprise

Report: Homeless intervention program saved state $22M – Lowell Sun


Trump digs in at his tower, grinding Fifth Avenue to a halt – New York Times

GE’s Immelt sees potential gains from Trump’s public works push – Boston Globe

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders added to U.S. Senate Democratic leadership – MassLive

Seth Moulton attempting to start a Dem revolt against Nancy Pelosi – Boston Herald

Factions vie for power in Trump’s inner circle – Washington Post

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