An embarrassment of riches

Today is Saturday. That’s good.

Spencer Buell has had it with QR codes. They came. They went. And then, dammit, they came back again.

Massachusetts keeps beating revenue projections. New tax revenue is over $2 billion dollars higher than last year, well above budget projections. And that’s before taking in all those billions in federal relief money. As Bruce Mohl reports, the folks in the State House are having difficulty figuring out how to spend all this money. We should end up with the best roads and bridges on the planet. Or even better, the best state and local IT infrastructure.

Charlie Baker is still the governor for another year. But that didn’t stop Lizzy Guyton from writing a nice obit.

Ashley Wong investigates the great cream cheese drought affecting New York bagel shops. Turns out that the problem is not the supply chain or a shortage of cream cheese. It’s that suppliers can’t keep up with demand, which is up more than 35%. I blame Biden.

And it’s snowing in Hawaii. Blizzard conditions. Apparently somebody didn’t hit the button.

Almost, possibly, maybe

Friday. Today’s word is galvanize.

There are dark clouds ahead for Democrats according to a new study. Hopefully strategists are taking note. Also, Steve Bullock thinks the party would be better served if they would just get out of the city more.

The Massachusetts federal relief spending plan is (finally) heading to the governor’s desk. The Globe tries to explain how the money will be allocated. I still have questions.

Lawmakers in Washington have averted another government shutdown. An extremely small and temporary victory.

Rachael Rollins‘ confirmation is out of committee. Her prospects look better now but it still may end up in a tie vote in the Senate, which would have to be broken by the vice president.

And Elon Musk believes he’s living in a computer game simulation. It has something to do with Pong. Sometimes you’re the paddle. Sometimes you’re the ball.

State of play

Thursday. Four days down, one to go.

A Banksy exhibition is coming to Boston. Where and when? Nobody knows.

Charlie Baker is not running for reelection. I guess he thought: enough was enough. Baker has been a steady hand on the tiller. Financially, the state is in pretty good shape. On the minus side, the MBTA didn’t improve much. So who will the next governor be? Sonia Chang-Diaz, Ben Downing, and Danielle Allen have already expressed an interest in running. Maura Healey is also a likely candidate. And Politico is reporting that Marty Walsh is very seriously considering leaving his post in the Biden administration to run for governor. Now that’s interesting.

Elizabeth Howcroft talked to developers about the Facebook Metaverse. They’re not enthusiastic. Another Facebook plan to change the world doesn’t seem to be panning out either. The guy in charge of project Libra, the big cryptocurrency initiative, is leaving the company.

Ed Flynn is interested in the City Council President role. The council has a crop of new members and Flynn has been around for a while so it makes sense for him to be in that position. That, and the fact that he’s a genuinely committed public servant.

And New Zealand has an opinion about killer robots. Big thumbs down.

Long and winding road

Happy Wednesday. And happy December 1st.

There’s no longer a Starbucks in Harvard Square. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good cup of coffee in the neighborhood. And speaking of coffee, the Times looks at how that cup gets you going in the morning. TMI.

The plan to spend Massachusetts’ federal relief money is finally out of committee and is headed for an informal session of the legislature. Let’s see if they can get this done.

Dr. Oz is running for office. This is the best take I’ve seen on it – and that’s just the headline.

James Joyce’s Ulysses, published in 1922, is coming up on a hundred years. Ed Forry talked to Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhall who will be publishing a readers guide to the novel in January. It sounds like it will be something like Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare, providing cultural and historical context to the text. Here’s the preorder.

And Hersey’s milk chocolate is now just chocolate candy. Life’s little disappointments.

Running on empty

Today is Tuesday. Give it up for Tuesday.

Founder Jack Dorsey has quit Twitter. But he’s still running Square and Tidal. And maybe for mayor of New York.

Bruce Mohl looks deeper into the curious case of the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund. It’s either well-funded or needs money, nobody seems to know. The group running it doesn’t even know how much money it has. But we do know that they own hundreds of millions to businesses because of overcharges. The governor is prepared to float bonds to keep the fund solvent, if necessary, but that could complicate governance of the fund. As Jeff Garlin would say, it’s a big bowl of dysfunction.

Who needs satellites for GPS? All the Navy needs is muons.

The city’s eviction moratorium did not stand up to a court challenge. It was originally implemented by Kim Janey but now Michelle Wu will have to deal with the fallout from housing advocates who want to see the city do more. Wu hasn’t indicated what she’ll do, other than “looking at all of our options.”

And the Swedish Prime Minister is channelling Birgitte Nyborg after all. That was a quick comeback.