Happening Today

MLK Jr. Day

— Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national and state holiday, with government offices, courts and schools closed; U.S. stock markets and banks are also closed; most retail and grocery stores are open.

Here are some of the holiday-related events today:

— A MLK breakfast early this morning in Boston was expected to attract a who’s-who of political leaders, including Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Ed Markey, according to organizers.

— Greater Framingham Community Church hosts its 33rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast, with Senate President Karen Spilka expected to speak, The Verve Hotel, 1360 Worcester St., Natick, 9 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Springfield’s 8th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration, MassMutual Center, 1277 Main Street, Springfield, 11:30 A.M.

— U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui offer remarks at a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 838 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 11 a.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

NYT endorses two Dems for President?

The New York Times’s editorial board this morning issued its Democratic endorsement for president and has selected … two Democrats? Yep, both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, the former for her more “radical” views and the latter for her “realist” views.

There are so many ways to view this “significant break with convention,” as the Times notes in its own news coverage of its own endorsement: A.) It genuinely believes what it says about the need for balanced views in the party. B.) It also wants to promote female candidates – and possibly an all-female ticket as well. C.) It doesn’t want to alienate its progressive readers too much. D.) It doesn’t want to alienate its moderate-liberal readers too much. E.) All of the above.

We’re going with “E,” all of the above, a true cross between thoughtfulness and milquetoast mush, sort of the way Time magazine now handles it annual Person of the Year awards so as not to offend.


Forget about Warren’s electability. What about Bernie’s electability?

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders spent much of the weekend trying to tamp down their recent feud over “electability,” as the NYT reports, and it looks like they wanted to do so partly so they could feud with other Democrats, as the Washington Post reports.

But back to the electability issue: The Globe’s Liz Goodwin and Jazmine Ulloa review Bernie’s own electability problems, as long as he (allegedly) and others question Warren’s electability prospects. There are questions about Bernie’s age, health, far-left views, etc. etc., as Goodwin and Ulloa note. And then there’s the old “soviet sympathizer” thing (Herald). The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld, meanwhile, is still hammering away at Warren’s attacks on Sanders. And T.A. Frank at Vanity Fair looks at how those attacks could backfire on Warren in the long run.

Just the ticket: Vice President and Treasury Secretary Elizabth Warren

We pretty sure this inquiry, assuming it really happened: A.) pre-dates the recent Warren-Sanders feud and B.) its findings will never happen. Still, it’s interesting reading, via the Intercept: “The Sanders campaign researched whether Warren could be both vice president and treasury secretary at once.” Here’s more on the Intercept via Wikipedia, in case you’re wondering.

The Intercept

Dershowitz’s legacy

Say what you will about Alan Dershowitz’s inclusion on President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial team, as announced late last week and reported by the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie and John Ellement. But one thing is becoming clearer: The Harvard Law emeritus professor’s legacy will forever be associated with his outspoken defense of Trump, even if he tries to quickly distance himself from Trump’s defense, as the Washington Post reports.

Caught in the act: Photo shows ex-city official taking $5K bribe

Just a little pre-sentencing PR nudge from the U.S. Attorney’s office. From the Globe’s Milton Valencea: “A photograph filed in federal court late Friday shows former City Hall employee John M. Lynch ‘grabbing thousands of dollars in cash as part of a corrupt bribe,’ according to court records that called for Lynch to be sentenced to at least four years in prison.”

And just in case the photo-that-speaks-a-thousand-words isn’t enough, a federal prosecutor adds (WCVB): “Figuratively speaking, the defendant got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.”

Boston Globe

Bay State sets aside big bucks to boost census count

Money in, numbers out. Massachusetts has set aside some $6.25 million to help ensure as many Bay State residents as possible are counted in the 2020 census, Christian Wade reports at the Salem News. The spending is part of $316 million dedicated nationally to the effort and is the seventh highest allocation nationally. 

Salem News

TCI opponents mobilize

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) and MassLive’s Steph Solis report on last Friday’s summit of mostly conservative opponents, including the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, to the proposed Transportation and Climate Initiative tax/fee/whatever on gasoline as part of an effort to reduce carbon pollution.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who has ruled out new sales and income tax revenues to pay for transportation improvements, has told WCVB that an old-fashioned gas-tax hike is still on the negotiating table. No big surprise. But it’s worth noting.

So what would you do with a vintage Green Line trolley car?

As the MBTA rolls out its new Green Line subway cars, the transit agency is auctioning off seven of its older (and non-operable) trolley cars, the AP at WBUR reports. And Spencer Buell and Alyssa Vaughn at Boston Magazine have 14 ideas on how they’d use the vintage cars, if only someone was kind enough to buy them one.

They’d make a terrific non-mobile taco stand somewhere. And they’re going for only $500.


Contradiction alert: Calling for 16-year-olds to vote while saying they’re not old enough to be held criminally accountable

The AP at WCVB reports that a legislative committee this week will take up legislation that would “give cities and towns greater leeway in allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections.”

Might the issue have something distant (or not so distant) to do with this? From Laura Krantz at the Globe: “High school Democratic clubs multiply as young people worry about their future.”

Meanwhile, the push to lower the voting age comes as many also push for extension of the jurisdiction of the juvenile courts in Massachusetts to include 18 to 20-year-olds, citing the fact their “brains are still developing,” as Gail Garinger, a former juvenile court judge, argues at CommonWealth. In case you didn’t notice, there’s a glaring contradiction here.


Beverly’s epic neighbor-vs-neighbor construction feud: Is it over?

From the Globe’s Neil Swidey: “In the long awaited decision in what is believed to be the state’s longest running neighbor-vs.-neighbor court battle, a Massachusetts Land Court judge has ruled that the owner of an empty oceanfront lot in Beverly should be able to build on it, despite the repeated protests of the owner of the 24,000-square-foot mansion next door.” But is it finally over after 17 lawsuits and 27 years of litigation? Of course not. An appeal is being readied as we write.

Boston Globe

Dueling endorsements

For those who care, there seems to be a lot of post Shannon Liss-Riordan jockeying for endorsements in the U.S. Senate, especially in Springfield. From MassLive: “Springfield city councilors, state representatives endorse Sen. Ed Markey. Also from MassLive: “Rep. Joe Kennedy holds STCC Town Hall, receives 6 Springfield city councilor endorsements.”

MIT divided: Rafael Reif’s campus supporters and detractors

Max Larkin at WBUR reports that MIT President Rafael Reif’s has his share of both critics and defenders among faculty members in the wake of the recent outside report on how the school handled/groveled for donations from convicted sex-fiend Jeffrey Epstein.

In other alleged sex-fiend-related matters, from the AP at the Globe: “2 retired priests in Mass. suspended amid decades-old abuse complaints.” Ah, those pesky parallels again.


Shaky insurgency: Weld misses out on more primary ballots

Back to presidential-race matters: It’s still three weeks until voters cast primary ballots in New Hampshire, but Alex Isenstadt at Politico is all but writing off the insurgent GOP candidacies of former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld and former Rep. Joe Walsh. Both missed last week’s deadline to qualify for the Virginia ballot and have apparently chosen not to pony up as little as $1,000 to get their names onto the ballots in some of the most delegate-rich states. 


You can go home again: Patrick revisits his Chicago roots

One more presidential item: Larry Parnass at the Berkshire Eagle tagged along as former Gov. and presidential hopeful Deval Patrick traveled back to Chicago’s South Side last week and heard Patrick tout his leadership of the Bay State.

Meanwhile, Patrick’s wife Diane hit the campaign trail in the Granite State, leading a delegation of Bay State supporters that included former Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, Jeremy Fox reports at the Globe. 

Berkshire Eagle

Judge orders Facebook to turn over data to Healey’s office

From the AP at WBUR: “Facebook must turn over information to the Massachusetts attorney general’s office regarding thousands of apps that the social media company suspects of misusing users’ data, a judge decided.” The case involves the now blast-from-the-past Cambridge Analytica.  

Counclor pushes for new minority contractor goals

Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell is the latest to call for action in the wake of a WGBH investigation that found the value of city and state contracts awarded to minority-owned firms has plunged dramatically in recent decades. Paul Singer at WGBH has more.


It’s working: Fundraising surges as Hampshire College returns from brink

The moral here may be that having famous and wealthy alumni helps. With a major boost from filmmaker Ken Burns, Hampshire College has raised nearly $13 million toward its $60 million capital fundraising goal, capping the calendar year with a $2 million haul in December — triple what it usually raises. Ron Chimelis of MassLive has more.


Condition of Education in the Commonwealth

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy is hosting a discussion on the status of education in Massachusetts. The event will explore the latest data on educational progress in the Commonwealth and look at innovative approaches to measuring student success. Education Secretary James Peyser and Commissioner of Early Education and Care Samantha Aigner-Treworgy will be among the speakers.

Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy

Boston Speaker Series: Douglas Brinkley

An award-winning historian, Brinkley has written on a wide range of topics, including D-Day, Hurricane Katrina, President Kennedy, and the Great Space Race and the lives of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dylan and Walter Cronkite. Brinkley serves as a CNN Presidential Historian, and as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Lesley University

Boston Speaker Series: Douglas Brinkley

An award-winning historian, Brinkley has written on a wide range of topics, including D-Day, Hurricane Katrina, President Kennedy, and the Great Space Race and the lives of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dylan and Walter Cronkite. Brinkley serves as a CNN Presidential Historian, and as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Lesley University

The Impact of Latinos in Massachusetts

The Impact of Latinos in Massachusetts incorporates a dialogue with executive leaders around the buying power and impact of Latinos in community and business.

El Mundo Boston

Today’s Headlines


Southie project pits union against union – Boston Herald

DuBois becomes first Brockton legislator to support rent control – Brockton Enterprise


Against uncertain backdrop, Pittsfield council OKs new recycling pact – Berkshire Eagle

Provincetown considers climate change committee – Cape Cod Times

Worcester school enrollment sees biggest decline in 12 years – Telegram & Gazette


President Trump made 16,241 false or misleading claims in his first three years – Washington Post

To win black support, Bloomberg acknowledges white privilege – Politico

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