Hello everyone. Been a while, since I’ve been neck-deep in my program at Tufts. My energy class (more on that later) got an extension on a paper, and it’s a snow day, so I’ll duck in and highlight a few stories that shouldn’t be missed:
◊ RUMOR MILL: Is DeLeo stepping down? That wouldn’t have been surprising, since that’s been whispered for a while. He needs to be replaced with a progressive. All those progressives who have complained that their hands were tied … well, now (again) they’ve got a chance to stand together and demand someone better. Who’s your choice? I’m floating Nika Elugardo. Tell me why not, but it had better be good.
◊ Don’t miss the Globe’s Spotlight deep-dive history on the Weymouth compressor debacle — which is still ongoing, and will be seemingly forever. To bottom-line the whole thing: Charlie Baker always professed that the approval of this acute and chronic danger to public health was basically out of his hands; while at the same time he was greasing the skids for the project that was a part of his “combo platter” energy agenda — while acting in a personally arrogant, dismissive manner to his own constituents. So much more here from reporter Mike Stanton. Notably, the actual pumping of gas has been delayed — again — until at least January by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
◊ Anyone who wants to run against Baker will have his record of neglect as justification (see above). The only thing I know about Prof. Danielle Allen is this piece for the Washington Post from 2018, about restoring honor and integrity to public life. Sure, that’d be good, but I want to know about funding the MBTA; etc.
The intensity of our disagreements, and the temptation to short-term victory, should not lead any of us to adopt weapons that will do us all in — such as dishonesty and the evacuation of meaning from our language. What, then, will we have done to our inheritance? How will we preserve a legacy of democratic practice and faith to pass on to future generations?
How indeed? Easier to ask than to answer. I’ll be looking into her work.
But in my program, I’m reminded of something I’ve always felt: Never, ever be cynical about public service. There are plenty of people doing good, honest, difficult, public-minded work in the public sphere every day; and they’ll never get adequately appreciated. Look for the helpers.
◊ Kudos to AG Healey for this devastating report on Bristol Sheriff Hodgson and his indecent treatment of immigration detainees. He’s our own Joe Arpaio, right here in MA.