Happening Today

Spicer at UMass, Holiday tree lighting and more

— Boston City Council Government Operations Committee holds a hearing on a Councilor Michelle Wu ordinance proposal governing fair work week employment standards for city contractors, City Council Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall, 10 a.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins representatives from UMass Lowell, the U.S. Navy and Hanscom Air Force Base for the opening of the new UMass Lowell Research Institute, 55 Old Bedford Rd., Lincoln, 10 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins, Suffolk County District Attorney-elect Rachael Rollins, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey and others attend a press conference about the sheriff department’s new unit for emerging adults, 20 Bradston Street, Boston, 1:30 p.m.

— The Arc Tank 2.0 competition will feature seven teams vying for grants of up to $200,000 to help them develop programs and products to improve the delivery of services to people with intellectual disabilities and autism, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Columbia Point, Boston, 2 p.m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— CommonWealth magazine editor Bruce Mohl talks with Joseph Aiello, chairman of MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, about the board’s five-year term, the commuter rail and whether the T needs more revenue, WeWork, One Beacon St., Boston, 6 p.m.

— Mayor Martin Walsh and the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement hosts the annual ‘We Are Boston’ Gala, Boston Park Plaza 50 Park Plaza, Boston, 6 p.m.

— The Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics hosts a conversation with former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry, 79 JFK St., Cambridge, 6 p.m.

— Former White House press secretary and communications director Sean Spicer speaks at a UMass-Amherst event coordinated by the UMass College Republicans, Fine Arts Center, 151 Presidents Dr., UMass Amherst, Amherst, 7 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin Walsh will be among those attending Faneuil Hall Marketplace’s holiday tree lighting ceremony, which will be broadcast on WBZ-TV/CBS, 4 South Market Street, Boston, 7:30 p.m.

For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

As Moulton puts out peace feelers, Pressley announces she’s backing Pelosi

U.S. Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley hopped off the political fence yesterday, officially announcing she’s backing Nancy Pelosi for House speaker, reports the Globe’s Travis Andersen. And what timing. The New York Times and the Washington Post report that U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, the ringleader of opposition to Pelosi, is effectively sending out peace feelers to Pelosi, now that it appears his coup attempt isn’t going to succeed. He’s not quite surrendering. More like exploring terms for a truce.

Interestingly, Pelosi, besides deciding whether Moulton should kneel next time she sees him, has a few more centrist-Dem fires to put out, as the Post reports. And Moulton has some progressive-Dem fires to put out in his home district, the Salem News reports.

Clark faces big leadership vote tomorrow

As the weakened U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton seeks peace talks with Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Rep. Karherine Clark could be elected vice chairperson of the Democratic Congressional caucus tomorrow, making her the fifth-highest ranking member of the party in Congress and an important part of the expected Pelosi leadership team when the new session begins in January, Nik DeCosta-Klipa reports at Boston.com. But first Clark must defeat California Rep. Pete Aguilar in a caucus vote.

Hodgson to home protesters: Go ahead, make my day

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson is almost hoping those lefty punks at FANG Collaborative show up at his house again to protest – because if they cross any legal line at all, he and his boys are ready to pounce. “We’re going to lock you up,” Hodgson tells the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter.

Boston Herald

Amid ridership and fare revenue declines, the T’s pension costs rise to ‘unsustainable’ levels

CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl pulls double duty this morning, reporting on the T’s continuing ridership and fare-revenue declines in one story and the T’s “unsustainable” and “spiraling out of control” pension costs in another story. Unless we’re mistaken, something isn’t adding up at the T.

‘Paper Warriors,’ Part II: Newspaper battle lines form over Gross’s criticism of ACLU

Here’s an item that can go into your ‘Thank goodness we live in a two paper town’ folder. The Globe’s Maria Cramer, in a front page story, reports that Mayor Marty Walsh and police officers are defending Police Commissioner William Gross over his “paper warriors” criticism of the ACLU.

But the Herald knows a true Herald story when it sees one – and it’s going after the mayor with hammer and tongs over his “weak defense” of Gross, police and all that’s good in America, etc. Herald columnists Joe Battenfeld and Michael Graham have been called up as reinforcements. And the Herald’s Joe Dwinell has yanked former Police Commissioner Ed Davis into the paper-warriors fray. 

What? The public and Hollywood aren’t standing by the media?

Speaking of the media, it’s not doing so well in polls and Hollywood these days. First, via SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “A majority of Massachusetts voters think President Donald Trump’s rhetoric played a role in recent incidents of violence, including the attempted mail bombings of prominent Democrats and the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, but 49 percent think the media bears responsibility as well.”

Second, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi notes that the media doesn’t exactly come across as the heroes in the new Hollywood flick “The Front Runner,” which she says “shines an unflattering spotlight” on the press and provides ammo for President Trump’s media bashing. 

Lawmakers to Columbia and NiSource executives: Just go

Let’s just cut to the heart of what yesterday’s U.S. Senate hearing was ultimately all about. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan at CommonWealth magazine: “Federal lawmakers who gathered in Lawrence Monday called for top executives at Columbia Gas and its parent company to leave their jobs in the wake of the Sept. 13 gas fires and explosions in the Merrimack Valley, and Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera went a step further, asking that the utility be disbanded.”

They’re not leaving – at least not yet. In other hearing news, Kiera Blessing at the Eagle-Tribune reports on the aggressive questioning of company executives by U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, who chaired the meeting, and Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Seth Moulton. Shannon Young at MassLive reports that Markey is vowing to push for changes to federal gas pipeline safety regulations in the wake of the September explosions and fires. Young also reports that company officials expect everyone to have restored natural-gas service by Christmas.


Dershowitz predicts Mueller’s report will be politically ‘devastating’ for president

He’s in the position to know, so this could be significant. ABC News reports that Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, a frequent defender of President Donald Trump, said that he expects special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report to be politically “devastating” for Trump and “I know that the president’s team is already working on a response to the report.”

ABC News

As it awaits state verdict on casino license, Encore Boston unveils $10M charitable fund

It’s just a coincidence, folks, just a coincidence. The Globe’s Danny McDonald reports that Encore Boston, the under-construction Everett casino owned by embattled Wynn Resorts, is pledging $10 million to civic and social programs over the next four years. The vow comes as the legal fate of Wynn Resorts’ casino license is still up in the air.

Boston Globe

Meanwhile, MGM isn’t in a very charitable mood toward union organizers

In other casino news, the president of MGM Springfield is urging security guards at the downtown casino to reject a proposal to unionize that will be the subject of a vote today, Dan Glaun reports at MassLive. The casino’s 200-or-so security workers began exploring the move after a pay raise they say they were promised after 90 days on the job failed to materialize. 


Brave New World alert: State biotech leaders alarmed over report of the first gene-edited babies

From Allison DeAngelis at the BBJ: “Massachusetts biotech executives and scientists expressed concern Monday following reports that a Chinese scientist has used gene-editing technology to alter the DNA of human embryos, leading to the birth of twin girls — a practice that is banned in the United States.”

The Boston Globe and the Washington Post have more on the uproar. Here’s the crux of the ethical concerns, via the Post: “By editing the DNA of human embryos, scientists change not just the genes in a single person, but all their potential offspring — in effect, altering the human species.”

BBJ (pay wall)

Comey on Whitaker: ‘He may not be the sharpest knife in our drawer’

Former FBI director James Comey blew into town yesterday and, in an interview instant, the Globe’s Danny McDonald had his godsend quote and lead for his story, i.e. something to do with Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and knives in the drawer. WGBH has more on Comey’s exclusive interview with the station’s Jared Bowen.

Boston Globe

Traffic ‘hell’ in Leicester

Leicester residents who live near one of the two recreational pot shops now open for business say the surge of customers waiting in long lines outside Cultivate Holdings has left them feeling trapped in their homes. Susan Gonsalves reports at the Telegram that about 75 residents turned out for a meeting Monday night and all but a handful had harsh feedback for both the town and the shop’s owners. 

The Globe’s Dan Adams notes the easiest fix for the problems could be getting more pot shops open in more locations across the state.

The Telegram

On the Cape, stoners may have a hard time finding pot shops

Speaking of pot shops (or lack thereof), WGBH’s Sarah Tan reports that many Cape communities are just saying no to retail pot shops, frustrating would-be pot entrepreneurs who think residents are only hurting the Cape economy in the long run. 


Kennedy calls for Dems to embrace ‘moral capitalism’

From SHNS’s Colin Young at the Salem News: “As Democrats prepare to retake the majority in the House, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III on Monday called for the left to devise a new economic agenda that could reconnect the Democratic Party with working class voters who helped elect President Donald Trump. … Kennedy called for ‘moral capitalism,’ in which success is measured not just by profit but by equality.” Fyi: He made the remarks during an appearance before the business-backed New England Council.

Salem News

Civic lessons: Can they stay non-partisan?

Eli Sherman at the Enterprise explores the touchy topic about whether schools across the state, now that they’re expected to teach civic lessons under a recently passed state law, can “check politics at the door” when it comes to encouraging students to participate in democracy. School administrators are adamant teachers and others can be non-partisan. But we got to say that last week’s student walkout in Boston, organized by the activist group Violence in Boston Inc., and prior student walkouts backed by union members aren’t exactly harbingers of non-partisanship to come.


Deval Patrick was another Democrat who won big in the midterms

Antonio Caban at WGBH reports that former Gov. Deval Patrick, who’s eyeing a possible run for president in 2020, racked up some political IOUs after a number of candidates he endorsed won their races in the November elections – and a PAC with close ties to Patrick did pretty well too on November 6. Caban has the details.


Baker administration to launch hate-crime tracking website for police

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Massachusetts state government plans to set up a new website to help law enforcement track hate crimes across jurisdictions, according to a letter Gov. Charlie Baker sent last week to state police chiefs and commissioners. ‘We all agree that hate crimes have no place in our Commonwealth and that we must do all we can to combat them,’ Baker wrote.”


Former Mount Ida students file class-action lawsuit over controversial school closing

From SHNS’s Michael Norton at WBUR: “Before its sudden April 6 announcement that it would be sold to UMass Amherst, Mount Ida College illegally provided sensitive student information to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, according to a new federal lawsuit against the closed institution and its former overseers. Higher education philanthropist Bob Hildreth is funding the lawsuit, which alleges fraud, negligent representation and violations of the Massachusetts Right of Privacy Act and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”


Brockton Mayor heads to Cape Verde again, on his own dime

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter is taking his fourth trip to Cape Verde since taking office in 2014 but he says, unlike some past sojourns, taxpayers won’t be footing the bill. Marc Larocque at the Enterprise reports Carpenter will use both campaign and personal funds on this visit.


Pride of the fleet: USS Hudner to be commissioned this week in Boston

A new U.S. Navy destroyer — which will be named after the late Thomas Hudner, a longtime Concord resident who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his Navy-pilot heroics during the Korean War — cruised into Boston Harbor yesterday ahead of its planned commissioning on Saturday, reports the Associated Press at the Lowell Sun. An Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the future USS Thomas Hudner will be open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and again from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lowell Sun

NAIOP – SIOR Annual Market Forecast

Join NAIOP and SIOR for the Annual Market Forecast, one of the industry’s leading market updates.

NAIOP Massachusetts & SIOR New England

The Rise of Populism in the US and Europe

Panelists including Salena Zito and Brad Todd, authors of The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Shaping Contemporary Domestic Politics, and John Judis, author of The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, examine the rise of populism in the US and Europe with Heather Cox Richardson, Boston College professor of history.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Religion and Politics in America

E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist, political commentator, and visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, examines the role of religion in American politics with Margery Eagan, co-host of WGBH’s Boston Public Radio.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Dreidels with Deb Goldberg

Make any donation to the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action and receive a special invitation to our Chanukah party: Dreidels with Deb Goldberg on Monday, December 3, 2018!

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

From Boston to Yorktown: Tales of the National Trails

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act of 1968, Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown, and other panelists explore key events at historic sites featured in National Historic Trails and National Recreation Trails.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

NAIOP Annual Holiday Party

Join NAIOP for an evening filled with holiday cheer, entertainment and networking at the NAIOP Annual Holiday Party, presented by the NAIOP Developing Leaders and open to all ages.

NAIOP Massachusetts

#RunforIt: Practical Tips for Political Beginners

So you’re thinking about running for office, but where do you start? Hear from door-knocking and handshaking experts on how to be successful.

Net Impact Boston

Getting to the Point with John Kerry

68th U.S. Secretary of State, United States Senator and author John Kerry will participate in a wide-ranging moderated conversation at the Institute. Secretary Kerry will discuss his recent memoir, Every Day is Extra, reflect on the current challenges facing our nation, and offer insights on the major milestones from his 50 years in public service and what lessons they offer today.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Questioning U.S.-Saudi Alliance: Yemen and the Politics of Famine

In this panel discussion, we will be joined by experts on U.S.-Saudi relations, our questionable alliance, the terrible consequences the war has had on civilians in Yemen, our own impact by creating weapons and selling them to Saudi Arabia, and how we should stop this and other disastrous human rights abuses in the future.

Massachusetts Peace Action: Next Gen

Today’s Headlines


Dorchester Historical Society apologizes for inadvertent message on holiday-event postcards – Universal Hub

Pushed out of Roxbury – CommonWealth Magazine


Springfield city council delays vote on new tax rate after raising concerns about increased bills – MassLive

Petition urges ferry line to rethink Woods Hole terminal plan – Cape Cod Times

Report: Stricter penalties, free drop-off part of solving Worcester’s trash problem – Worcester Magazine


Republican who lost in Maine’s 2d District in ranked balloting seeks recount – NPR

Beto O’Rourke changes his mind: He’s not ruling out 2020 run anymore – Politico

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