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.

Taxachusetts, indeed

Saturday morning. Dee Dee Ramone, Ronald Reagan and Ray Bradbury all died on this day.

Eat here and get gas supercharged. Marc Hurwitz alerts us to an Elon Musk plan to open restaurants that could also serve as charging stations. It probably won’t be fast food.

How is Massachusetts doing financially? As far as revenue goes, pretty good. Colin Young writing in Commonwealth Magazine: “DOR announced Thursday that it collected $4.002 billion in taxes from people and businesses in May — $2.264 billion or 130.3 percent more than was collected in May 2020 and $2.109 billion or 111.4 percent more than the Baker administration had estimated it would collect for the month.”

Live Boston highlights some good police work downtown as the Captain chases down two suspects.

All those ransomware hacks that we’ve been reading about are just the ones we know about. For each one that gets announced there may be dozens that are handled privately. In other words, it’s worse than we think and we should have listened to Leon Panetta.

And how about cooking in a tuxedo? Courtney Lichterman writes about an ‘influencer’ from another era, the Galloping Gourmet.

Paying homage

Friday on my mind.

It was only right to over-tip when restaurants were hurting. But now, as things are getting back to normal, what should the new normal be for tipping? I’d say, if you can afford it, just keep on over-tipping.

Coleman Herman delves into some legislative budget language to find an old-fashioned snub war going on between lawmakers and UMass trustees. My bet is on the guys on Beacon Hill who control the money.

A government report on UFOs is expected sometime this month. Here’s a spoiler from the New York Times: We still don’t have a clue.

F. Lee Bailey has died. He used to be a neighbor. His was the only house on the street with a helicopter garage.

And remember that long Twin Peaks scene of a man sweeping the floor? Over two minutes long. Only David Lynch could get away with that (well, maybe Tarantino). Apparently Lynch does not suffer advice gladly, on how long a scene should be.

The interconnected world

Happy Thursday. It’s Repeat Day. Happy Thursday.

Speaking of repeating, Patrick Bryant has a radio show called Pat Nauseam. Username checks out.

The New York subway system was hacked. Also the Steamship Authority here in Massachusetts. Fujifilm’s network is down. A major meat producer was hit. Hospitals, oil pipelines, police networks. And we’re not completely innocent, either. It seems relentless and it looks like a slow-motion version of World War 3.

The show we love to hate, City on a Hill is coming back for another season. For joy.

Apple is easing employees back to the office in the fall. Other companies are moving faster and seeing pushback from workers that have grown used to working in pajama bottoms. Tech workers are feeling empowered and they want some changes. “More than half (57 per cent) of tech professionals want to be assessed on their skills, not their CVs or indeed their gender, ethnicity, education, sexuality, disability and socio-economic status.”

And it’s a tale of two blogs that no one actually reads. Whereas I keep posting day after day, Donald Trump just gave up.

Dust settling

Friday, May is winding down. RIP Harambe.

Amusement parks are opening tomorrow. Hold on to your hat.

Boris Johnson’s former top aide, Dominic Cummings, doesn’t paint a very complementary picture of his boss. He botched the initial response to Covid, among other things, said Cummings, who described Johnson’s governing style as a shopping cart “smashing from one side of the aisle to the other.” And Vanessa Barbara, who covers politics in Brazil, portrays that country’s response to the virus as “nefarious and absurd, deadly and appalling.” We also know what happened here in the US, with the bleach injections and all. Generally we get the leaders we deserve but nobody deserved all this.

The state budget has passed the Senate, 40-0. Now to the House.

If you happen to be in Atlanta, the High Museum is running an exhibition of women photographers titled Underexposed. Even if you’re not in Atlanta, you can see some of the images here.

And remember those pre-election economic stimulus tax deferments? It’s now time to pay up.