Fourth of July break, Boston Pops rehearsal concert
Lawmakers will take today and tomorrow off for Fourth festivities. ... Gov. Baker has no scheduled events. ... A group of people will take turns reading parts of Frederick Douglass' address, ‘What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?’ in a public reading coordinated by Mass Humanities, Boston Common, 12 p.m. ... The Boston Pops has a rehearsal Fourth of July concert tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s grand concert and fireworks extravaganza along the Charles, Esplanade Hatch Shell, 8 p.m.
Lawmakers late last week adjourned for the long holiday weekend without reaching deals on a new state budget and a marijuana regulation bill, but they’re tentatively set to return to Beacon Hill this week following tomorrow’s Fourth of July celebrations, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton at WGBH.
Eleven states, including Massachusetts, failed to pass budgets on Friday
Fyi: Eleven states across the country, including Massachusetts, couldn’t reach budget agreements heading into the new fiscal year on July 1, reports the Associated Press’s Jeffrey Collins at WBUR. To the Bay State’s credit, lawmakers passed a temporary budget, knowing a permanent budget deal wasn’t likely late last week. That wasn’t the case in other states, such as Maine and New Jersey, where they’ve experienced partial government shutdowns.
No Gidget spotted: Chris Christie caught lounging on state beach he closed over budget spat
It doesn’t quite rise to Booze Cruise levels of infamy, but N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, locked in a budget battle with lawmakers in the Garden State, was caught via aerial photos lounging on a deserted state beach -- near his taxpayer-provided summer beach house -- that was closed to the public due to a partial government shutdown, as reported at NJ.com. The NY Post is loving it. No Gidget-like incident involved, so he should survive the affair.
Btw: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren’s harsh criticism of Beacon Hill lawmakers (read: fellow Democrats) for putting together a “secretly crafted budget” full of “tricks, gimmicks and fiscal sleights of hand” may play well on the campaign trail. But it could end up hurting him if he’s ever elected and has to deal with those lawmakers, writes the Herald’s Hillary Chabot. That’s a huge “if” in our book.
McGovern’s push to remove Trump under 25th Amendment: Doomed or well timed?
We thought invoking the 25th Amendment removal clause only happens in episodes of the TV series ‘24.’ But some Dems, including U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern of Worcester, are indeed pushing for a creation of an oversight commission tasked with determining President Trump’s fitness to serve in office, as outlined in the 25th Amendment. The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins thinks the move is misguided, though the subject of the 25th Amendment did cross our minds after the president’s release of his CCN WrestleMania video over the weekend, as the NYT reports (with video).
Baker on Trump’s ‘Morning Joe’ tweets: ‘Inexcusable, inappropriate, appalling’
Before Donald Trump’s off-the-charts CNN WrestleMania tweet over the weekend, you may recall he was obsessed with all things ‘Morning Joe,’ tweeting up a storm and drawing widespread criticism. Gov. Baker’s reaction to the ‘Morning Joe’ tweets: “Inexcusable, inappropriate, appalling.” SHNS’s Matt Murphy has the details at the Milford Daily News. Separately: Some Republicans running for office in Massachusetts don’t think Trump’s antics will hurt their campaigns, the Herald reports. We’ll see how many of them openly embrace Trump next year. We suspect there won’t be many.
Seven more years of Curt Schilling speculation? We’re not sure we can take it. Anyway, Esquire’s Timothy Bella takes a deep dive into the still-murky political ambitions of the former Red Sox pitcher and current Bretibart talker and learns he owns a goat named Palin, has diagnosed himself with a mild form of autism and has fantasized about being his party’s next standard bearer after Donald Trump. But it sounds to us as if Schilling has decided he’s not running against U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018.
Just when it looked like the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe was down to its last few chips in its bid to win the right to open a casino in Taunton, a letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior has brought renewed hope for a jackpot. Charles Winokoor of the Taunton Gazette reports the feds still want a chance to review the tribe’s request to use an alternative avenue to have land in Taunton and Mashpee placed into reservation.
Lawmakers target ‘patent trolls’ harassing state companies
A trio of bills before the Legislature are taking aim at so-called ‘patent trolls’ who are basically running shakedown schemes by claiming companies have violated intellectual property laws, reports Andy Rosen at the Globe. State Sen. Eric P. Lesser, an East Longmeadow Democrat who is sponsoring one of the balls, called the activities of patent trolls “a silent tax” on innovation.
Tufts Medical CEO calls union threat ‘appalling,’ blasts payment disparities
Nurses at Tufts Medical Center have set July 12 as a strike target date if a new contract isn’t signed – and Michael Wagner, CEO of Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children, says a union threat to inflict maximum “economic harm” on Tufts is “appalling.” He says the center simply can’t afford union demands for pay parity with other teaching hospitals, noting that insurers only reimburse Tufts 72 cents for every dollar they pay Brigham & Women’s and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Meanwhile, does a Tufts-nurses showdown put Dems in a political pickle?
From Jordan Graham and Brian Dowling at the Herald: “Bay State Democrats will be faced with a political conundrum when they weigh in on an impending nurses strike at Tufts Medical Center that is bringing together two issues close to their hearts: supporting working families impacted by soaring health care costs and fighting for union labor, analysts say.”
Amid growing local opposition and confusion over who’s doing what on the fiber-optic front at the T, the MBTA has decided to put its $140 million commuter rail WiFi project on hold for 30 days while it sorts things out and tries to get feedback from interested parties, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth.
Ashkenazy adds South Station to its growing portfolio
New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which already owns the ground lease for Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace and operates Union Station in Washington, D.C., has purchased the long-term lease for another iconic Boston property: South Station, writes the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock.
AG’s office thrown on defensive over Sonja Farak scandal
Dismiss this all you want because it involves Howie Carr, but Howie wrote an extra-long piece over the weekend on Superior Court Judge Richard J. Carey’s blistering criticism of the attorney general’s office, under both Martha Coakley and Maura Healey, and its past handling of cases involving Sonja Farak, the former state chemist who has pleaded guilty to stealing drugs and tampering with evidence at state labs. It’s not just Judge Carey (MassLive) and Howie complaining. Lawyers for defendants have previously said the state’s withholding of information on Farak amounted to prosecutorial misconduct (MassLive).
Danny Ainge’s son cites potential millionaire’s tax in urging Hayward not to sign with Celts
Even though he grew up as a Celts fan, Tanner Ainge, the son of Celts GM Danny Ainge, is a candidate for Congress in Utah – and we all know what some candidates will say and do to get elected. So Tanner is urging Utah Jazz star Gordon Hayward not to sign with the Celts, citing, among other things, the Bay State’s possible millionaire’s tax down the road, reports Nik DeCosta-Klipa at Boston.com. Meanwhile, the Celts pulled out all the stops for Hayward during his visit to Boston on Sunday, WCVB reports.
Patriots’ Day? Check. New England Patriots? Check. Patriotism? Not so much. WalletHub has ranked Massachusetts 48th among the U.S. states in patriotism, using a range of metrics from voting frequency and service in the armed forces to how many times we search Google for pictures of the American flag, Cyrus Moulton of the Telegram reports. The Bay State ranks ahead of only New Jersey and Virginia.
What to do on the Fourth – from the Berkshires to Boston
WBUR's Ed Siegel has a good round-up of Fourth events across the state, while his WBUR colleague, Lisa Creamer, has details of tonight’s free rehearsal concert by the Boston Pops and, of course, tomorrow’s big concert and fireworks display on the Esplanade.