The Download: Howie Inc.

Howie Carr, the one-man media empire, knows how to promote himself.

His latest book, Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano: Whitey Bulger’s Enforcer and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld, is a look inside the Boston underworld through the eyes of a contract killer. It’s No. 17 on the New York Times best-seller list and rising. Niesen data indicates 8,000 copies of the hardcover book had been sold as of last week.

Carr is flogging the book on his WRKO radio show and in his Boston Herald column. WRKO’s website lists all the stops on Carr’s book tour (Olsen Cadillac in Woburn tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free magnets and T-shirts while they last), plus pictures and videos.

The Herald ran excerpts of the book in a four-part series that ended on April 28. Carr followed up with a number of columns in which he goes out of his way to plug the book. My favorite is the one on May 4, in which Carr says the Pakistani ambassador to the United States had a point when he likened Osama bin Laden’s ability to live undetected by Pakistani authorities to Whitey Bulger’s success in evading American law enforcement.

“Look, I didn’t force the Pakistani ambassador to set me up to write this column,” Carr writes. “But yes, I do have a new book out in which Whitey figures prominently, and if you’d like to get a personally autographed copy of Hitman I’ll be signing them tonight at the Paper Store in West Roxbury at 7:30.”

                                                                                                                                                                    –BRUCE MOHL

BEACON HILL

The Senate passes legislation that would keep probation within the judicial branch of government and revamp the way recommendations are handled for state jobs, the Globe reports. The House earlier passed a similar measure.

Gov. Deval Patrick tells Salem State University grads to “pass it on,” the Eagle-Tribune reports.

Radio Boston hosts a discussion on Beacon Hill’s shift toward abandoning lifetime alimony.

The MetroWest Daily News likes the Fair Districts Mass effort to provide workable ideas for redrawing legislative districts and hopes to see more people doing the same before the Legislature votes on new boundaries.

Defense attorneys in the Sal DiMasi corruption trial shred star government witness Joseph Lally. However, Peter Gelzinis notes they never actually challenged the veracity of what Lally said Wednesday – statements the Globe had labeled “the most damaging testimony to date.”

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

In an editorial, the Eagle-Tribune criticizes Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua for hunkering down in his bunker and not explaining what the strategy is for having a school superintendent in place by July 1.

A Springfield housing project restoration earns recognition from HUD as one of 14 ”outstanding housing developments in the nation.”

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

A bipartisan Senate bill would make it tougher to borrow against 401(k) accounts while making it easier to repay the loans taken from the retirement accounts.

Senate Republicans block a judicial nominee who had opposed the nomination of Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito. He’s the first nominee to be filibustered since 2005, when members of the Senate pledged to filibuster only in “extraordinary circumstances.”

BlueMassGroup and RedMassGroup have different takes on Obama’s nominee for the ninth circuit court of appeals.

ELECTION 2012

The Herald’s Wayne Woodlief says Bay State congressmen aren’t lining up to take on Sen. Scott Brown because they’d rather have a free shot at the Senate, without risking their House seats, in the event that Sen. John Kerry gets promoted to the State Department.

Jon Huntsman swings into New Hampshire and, at some point, manages to wade through the mob of reporters trailing him to meet an actual voter or two.

The problem with the Republican presidential field? They don’t shut up long enough to actually do anything. Or so says this one Wall Street Journal columnist.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The state’s unemployment rate dips below 8 percent, but it’s expected to stay there for at least a year, as residents who had given up looking for employment reenter the job market. Teens are having a hard time finding work, the Item reports, and a Northeastern study says teen employment has fallen from 46 percent to under 27 percent over the last 10 years. Vets, too, are having a hard time finding work. WBUR reports that many employers don’t see skills learned in the military as marketable. Here’s the Globe’s take.

Taunton health officials have temporarily closed the Pleasure in Pain tattoo parlor while they investigate claims that someone is performing illegal medical procedures at the shop by making an incision and placing a magnet under clients’ skin.

Treasurer Steve Grossman comes to Pittsfield offering up to $300 million for banks who provide small business loans.

EMC Corp. is suing a Texas company to get them to change their name from RSA Corp. because the company they paid $2 billion for in 2006 is named RSA Security and they don’t think there’s room enough for two RSAs.

Paul McMorrow, in the Globe, decries a bill making its way through the House that would create set of companies “uncomfortably similar” to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

EDUCATION

Paul Levy touts the entry of for-profit groups efficiently running new business schools and says the streamlined models could be templates for future medical schools.

The Hamilton-Wenham School Committee goes into a closed-door meeting with the school superintendent and two hours later announces the superintendent is out of his job. No explanations are offered, the Salem News reports.

At a roundtable discussion on innovation in New Bedford, Irwin Jacobs, founder of the mobile technology company Qualcomm, warned that budget cuts to education are “suicidal.”

HEALTH CARE

The Obama administration will ask health insurers to justify double-digit rate increases. The plan appears to be modeled after one instituted last year by Obama’s friend, Gov. Deval Patrick.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie cuts Medicaid eligibility as severely as Washington regulations will let him.

TRANSPORTATION

An employee at Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., the Beverly company contracted to print the T’s monthly subway, commuter, and bus passes, is arrested and charged with selling 20,000 of them on the Internet and pocketing the money himself, the Salem News reports. “They were like the best counterfeit money you could have,” Attorney General Martha Coakley tells the Globe. A second person has been arrested.

Having little faith that the MBTA could run commuter rail any better than the MBCR, The Berkshire Eagle calls for a top-to-bottom review of the agency.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Cape Cod Seashore officials continue to work on how to deal with predators preying on piping plovers.

Greenfield nears the end of a state-sponsored thermal imaging study designed to help people make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The attorney representing a Texas mother who allegedly killed her 6-year-old son in Maine says she told him that she wanted to “go to heaven to be with my son,” the Lowell Sun reports. Meanwhile, WBUR reports, via AP, that the mother called her son’s school every day back in Texas to say he was ill.

HarborOne Credit Union is warning some of its customers to watch their accounts for wrongful activity after a courier leaving the Randolph branch was attacked and robbed of some documents and records that contained sensitive account information.

On “Greater Boston,” a member of a Catholic church watchdog group and a Boston College theologian discuss the church’s report that lays the blame for the clergy sex abuse scandal on the changing social mores of the 60s and 70s. The Lynn Item finds local Catholics and a priest are not happy with the church’s new study.

THE RAPTURE

The Globe cites “the universal human desire to be a part of epochal times” as an explanation for those believing doomsday is upon us tomorrow.

CHILEAN MINERS

Two of the Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped underground dazzle guests at an ESL gala fundraiser in Framingham.