Following the money

A sunny Friday. Today’s word is poignant.

A Google-developed AI is building its own, better, AI. And so it begins.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey is the top fundraiser in the race for the permanent position. Assibi George is next in line. I typed each into the OPCF site and added “police” to the employer field for some interesting results, especially as relates to who was not chosen as police commissioner last week.

Was half of the pandemic relief money really stolen, as Axios reports? Al Tompkins found some skeptics.

The Times tells us that bitcoin can be traced. Of course it can. The whole idea behind bitcoin is the public ledger. It’s a record of transactions for all to see. Without the public ledger the currency would have no value. And since it’s all public, the movement of money can be tracked. Who owns the bitcoin is ‘technically’ unknown, but there are plenty of tricks available to figure that out too.

And a UFO-ologist warns us not to be fooled by the upcoming Pentagon report. OK.

The levers of power

Thursday. Its a birthday for Saul Bellow, Howlin’ Wolf and Bill Burr.

Neither Ralph Mellish, nor any other person in the US this year, has been killed by a lightning strike. It’s like a no-hitter. (Oops.)

In the past, the Boston City Council was ornery and blustery, but mostly all talk. This group is, well… different. Kim Janey and next elected mayor will have their hands full. And on the search for a new police commissioner, Bill Forry has some thoughts on Councilwoman, and mayoral candidate, Wu’s obstructionism.

We have a new ocean. Pretty cool.

Who’s driving the train? The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board has been dissolved and the Governor and legislature have dueling proposals for a new oversight board.

And there’s a bear afoot on the South Shore. Last sighting was on the eastern side of Wompatuck. Better hide those pic-a-nic baskets.

The power of a million new ideas

Welcome to Wednesday.

Tom McGrath believes that the future of Boston politics lies with the youth, who are troubled by the shapes of things to come. Good luck to them. I hope they do better than we did.

In a piece in Commonwealth Magazine, David G. Tuerck and Laurie Belsito argue against the millionaire’s tax. So does Jeff Jacoby, in the Globe. Meanwhile, Pro Publica reviewed IRS records and found that Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and other well known billionaires paid little or no federal income tax. The report “demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most.” What to believe? Jeremy Arnold has some thoughts.

Bill Bratton weighs in on the state of policing today.

Adam Gaffin reports that in an effort to move things along, the wrongful termination lawsuit brought by Dennis White against the city may move to federal court at the city’s request. The formidable Kay Hodge is representing the city on this one.

And Michael Zhang takes us behind the scenes for the story of how this amazing short video, that mocks the second law of thermodynamics, was shot. No sense crying over spilt milk.

A flattened curve

Happy Tuesday. It’s Name Your Poison Day.

So now we know who reached in and took back all that bitcoin from the hackers that shut down Colonial Pipeline. It was us.

These are very good numbers: Almost twenty thousand new vaccinations and only 89 new confirmed cases. I think we should have a good summer.

Clarence Williams III has died. He played Linc on the Mod Squad in the 1960s. He was also a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne.

Kim Janey has fired Dennis White. Joan Vennochi suspects a connection between Dennis White and Kevin White – in that they both relied on George Regan to mount a scorched-earth media strategy.

And The Big Texan Steak Ranch says that if you can eat one of their enormous 72 ounce steaks in an hour, you get to eat for free. A 120 pound woman ate three of them in 20 minutes. Also sides. Burp.

Card carrying

Today is Monday. It can’t be helped.

Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Except, apparently, light. Now I’m really confused.

I’ve always admired the ACLU, even when I disagreed with what it defended. Now, according to some prominent members, the ACLU has broken with its mission. (And they rebut). I can’t say I disagree with those that say the group has gone astray, at least locally. I remember a Boston ACLU that would offer advice and guidance for certain law enforcement initiatives and when the advice was taken, provide qualified support. In other words, a group that would put the work in to make things better. Today I see a group that draws a line in the sand. But then again, groups that work out compromises aren’t as successful at fundraising as groups that take sides on the issues of the day.

HBO offers some great shows but its web interface is horrible. On top of that they’ve now broken the Apple TV app. They really need to hire some competent coders.

Today begins Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The company has had a rough ride recently in its relationship with developers. So it will be interesting to see how they handle things.

And El Salvador is considering adopting bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar, which is the official currency. Interesting. Let’s see how this turns out.