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    Political Happy Hour: September 13, 2017

    Here’s your “au revoir!” mug of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House.

    HOME NEWS: LAST CALL FOR POLITICAL HAPPY HOUR! All good things must come to an end, including this newsletter. The final edition of PHH will wing into your inbox on Monday — and I promise it won’t come with a bar tab.

    What will the final drink vessel of politics be? A mug, a stein, a carafe? Send your nominations and your thoughts generally. My favorite part of writing this newsletter has been hearing from you, dear readers: and @jm_bos on Twitter.


    I’ll save further emotive exposition for Monday, but I’ve been honored by your readership in my three-plus years of Political Happy Hour-ing. It’s been a blast to write.

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    Now, the news.

    MASS. BUDGET TUMULT — THAT’S A LOTTA MONEY IN TIGHT BUDGET TIMES, via Matt Murphy of the State House News Service: “House leaders [are seeking] to restore $274.7 million in spending to the fiscal 2018 budget ... as they pursue a series of overrides of Gov. Charlie Baker’s budget vetoes amid uncertainty over whether tax projections will hold up or continue a two-year pattern of weak performance.

    House Speaker Robert DeLeo said that the overrides teed up for Wednesday could be just the first of several rounds depending on how tax revenue collections perform in September, which is the first big month of the fiscal year that budget managers are watching for a sign of revenue trends. ...” Behind paywall:

    ANOTHER FEW YEARS DEBATING HEALTH CARE AHEAD, via Robert Pear of the New York Times: “Liberals and conservatives in Congress on Wednesday set forth two radically different proposals for health care: a huge expansion of Medicare, which would open the program to all Americans, and a rollback of the Affordable Care Act, which would give each state a lump sum of federal money with sweeping new discretion over how to use it.


    The proposals signaled a resumption of the health care wars on Capitol Hill, as lawmakers tried — for opposite reasons — to move beyond President Barack Obama’s health care law, either building on it or tearing it down. The one thing both efforts had in common: Neither is likely to be enacted any time soon. ...

    [Senator Bernie] Sanders says his goal is to establish health care as a right. His bill could serve as a political manifesto and a possible campaign platform for progressive candidates. Among those who have endorsed it are Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, all Democrats. ...”

    DEM SUPPORT MASKS A SPLIT, via Astead W. Herndon on “A list of supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders’ new government-run health plan reads like a who’s who of the Democratic Party, including Senator Kamala Harris of California, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

    But while support for so-called single-payer insurance has grown significantly since Sanders made the issue a bedrock of his 2016 presidential campaign, the glitzy names of top-level supporters — many of whom are prospective Democratic candidates for president in 2020 — masks a real divide among rank-and-file Democrats nationwide. As the 2018 midterm elections loom, and Democrats aim to reestablish control of Congress by winning tough seats in conservative-leaning districts, many are questioning whether a gargantuan government takeover of the health care system, and the required higher taxes to pay for it, are the right policy for an already wounded Democratic party. ...”

    WHO AMONG US IN THE MASSACHUSETTS POLITICAL WORLD HASN’T REGISTERED WITH THE DEPT. OF JUSTICE AS RENDERING SERVICES FOR SAUDI ARABIA? via Jack Encarnacao on “A key strategist for state Rep. Geoffrey Diehl’s U.S. Senate campaign worked for Saudi Arabia in its lobbying effort to kill a law allowing the families of terrorism victims to sue foreign governments it held responsible for the attacks in American courts.


    Holly Robichaud — who is on leave as a freelance Boston Herald columnist while she works on Republican Diehl’s campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren — registered in October to lobby on behalf of the Kingdom against the bill, which passed both houses of Congress but was vetoed by President Obama. It was the lone veto of Obama’s presidency.

    The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act was pushed as a way to keep alive court actions being undertaken by 9/11 families seeking recompense for the 2001 terror attack. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were Saudi citizens. ...”

    Robichaud’s Department of Justice filing (PDF):

    BOSTON COULDA BEEN A CONTENDAH — LOS ANGELES FORMALLY NABS SUMMER OLYMPICS, via David Wharton of the LA Times: “Los Angeles’ rollercoaster campaign to host the Olympics — an effort marked by early defeat and last-second negotiations — reached its conclusion Wednesday when the city was formally awarded the 2028 Summer Games.

    International Olympic Committee members, by a unanimous show of hands, voted their approval at a session in Lima, Peru, ending an unusual bid competition that resulted in two winners as Paris was simultaneously given the 2024 Games. ...”

    DeNUCCI REMEMBERED, via Emily Sweeney on “State House dignitaries from past and present gathered Wednesday morning at a packed Our Lady Help of Christians church to pay their respects to A. Joseph DeNucci. The number of lives touched by the former boxer, state auditor and legislator over the course of his storied career on Beacon Hill was evident by the sheer number of people who filled the pews during the funeral liturgy. ...”


    -SENATOR L’ITALIEN, via the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan, still inimitable after all these years: “State senator Barbara L’Italien, an Andover Democrat, said Wednesday she was opening a congressional campaign exploratory committee, calling herself ‘off and running’ for the state’s Third District.

    The veteran lawmaker becomes the third potential candidate to announce such a committee, which permits fundraising for preliminary campaign activities. L’Italien carved out a focus on human services policy during her time in the Legislature, but said she thought the ‘sleeper’ component of her candidacy was her economic development work. ...”

    -2014 DEM LG NOMINEE STEVE KERRIGAN, via a Facebook post: “... Since Congresswoman Tsongas announced her decision not to run for reelection, I’ve been encouraged by many friends, colleagues, and supporters to consider carrying on her critical work by running to represent the Third District in Congress. ... Over the coming weeks, I will take the chance to explore this opportunity and speak with individuals and families throughout our district about their hopes and concerns, and about what they want from their next representative in Congress. ...”

    BAKER SCHOOL PLAN DRAWS CRITICISM, via Kathleen McKiernan of the Boston Herald: “The Baker administration is proposing a new model of charter-like public schools that could fire and hire teachers regardless of seniority, extend the school day and make other end-runs around union contracts in a bid the administration says is vital to rescue failing schools — but is raising the ire of critics. ...”

    THIS IS ONLY A VERY SHORT ITEM ON MASS. MUNICIPAL FINANCEZZZZZZ, via bond-rating agency S&P Global Ratings: “Massachusetts local government ratings remain stable due to generally improved budgetary reserves in 2015 and 2016, and an expanding economy ...”

    THIS NEWSLETTER’S STAR IS SETTING, BUT OTHERS REMAIN IN THE FIRMAMENT! You can sate your political newsletter appetites by signing up for other Boston Globe newsletters.

    Ground Game:

    This Week in Politics:

    This Week in Weed:

    DAILY DRONE, just because. Beautiful video of western Canada. Wow. Four minutes.

    PUBLIC MONIES ON A PUG, via the AP in Hot Springs, Ark. “A former administrative assistant to an Arkansas county official has pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of a credit card after prosecutors accused her of using public money to buy personal items, including a tuxedo for her pet pug. ...”

    Call it Yappy Hour.

    I’m here all week, folks. But these puns won’t last much longer!

    Back tomorrow.

    Joshua Miller can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos and subscribe to his weekday e-mail update on politics at