The Codcast: What should Charlie do?

The press has been giving Gov. Charlie Baker a lot of advice on how he should deal with President Trump, so we thought we might as well get into the act.

This week’s Codcast features the CommonWealth staff kicking around what’s at stake for Baker as the nation’s preoccupation with Trump intensifies. Does Baker need to become more emotional and less of a technocrat? Can someone differ with Trump without going all-in with visceral statements of condemnation? And are Baker’s would-be Democratic rivals going to make him pay for failing to attend rallies and marches where Trump is pilloried.
The Globe’s fleet of columnists seems fairly evenly divided on the issue. Shirley Leung has written two columns in the space of a week urging Baker to follow his heart more and his head less. Renee Graham also weighed in, warning Baker that he will pay a political price for failing to speak out and stand up “to that tired old man in Washington who thinks he was elected king.”

Taking the opposite view were Scot Lehigh, who said slamming Baker for not attending protests was “ill-considered,” and Joan Vennochi, who said the governor should be judged on on results, not rallies.

We here at CommonWealth lean more toward the viewpoints of Lehigh and Vennochi, but there were disagreements, as there always are.



The Senate goes stipend crazy as the Legislature overrides Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of a large pay raise package for lawmakers, constitutional officers, and judges. (CommonWealth) Like Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey says she won’t accept her pay raise for the remainder of her term. (MassLive)

Scot Lehigh has a thing or two to say about the Great Pay Heist of 2017 your elected legislators just completed (for themselves) — focusing on the man who orchestrated the pillaging of the public treasury — Speaker Robert DeLeo, aka “King Robert the Conniver.” (Boston Globe)

Pot advocates fume over legislative proposals to alter the voter-passed law legalizing marijuana, including one from Sen. William Brownsberger of Belmont overturning the law itself. (Gloucester Times)

The Senate passes a nonbinding order against President Trump’s immigration ban. (State House News)


Totally weird: Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, who apologized for calling a group of protesters morons on Wednesday, said on Thursday that he never made the comment. And the man who said he did call the protesters morons stepped forward to take responsibility for the remark. (Telegram & Gazette)

The Lowell Heritage Partnership is trying to think of ways to light up Lowell’s canals and make them come alive. (Lowell Sun)

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute changes its last-mile strategy in western Massachusetts, requiring towns to handle construction themselves. (Berkshire Eagle)


The House rolls back an Obama-era gun regulation dealing with background checks for mental illness. (CNN)

The Globe profiles US Judge Nathaniel Gorton, who will hear the Boston challenge today to President Trump’s immigration executive order.

Rep. Katherine Clark gets some national play as a rising Democratic star in The New Republic.

US Rep. Seth Moulton calls out Trump in an op-ed, and says the president’s attacks on immigrants make sense as a way to give Americans a scapegoat. (Salem News).

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito came out in full opposition to President Trump’s immigration ban and gave her support to protesters of the executive order. (State House News Service)

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is leaving Trump’s business advisory council in the wake of his immigration ban. (Recode)

Homeland Security Secretary James Kelly said he hopes to have the Mexican border wall built within two years and the administration is working with Congress on funding for the estimated $15 billion project. (U.S. News & World Report)

Cardinal Sean O’Malley pens a Globe op-ed critical of Trump’s immigration executive order. O’Malley convened a gathering yesterday of top state officials, including Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to express support for the Muslim community and opposition to Trump’s order. (Boston Globe)

The divisive nature of the Trump reign is even raining on the run-up to Sunday’s Super Bowl, with some New Englanders finding it hard to muster the same gusto for the Patriots with the three most prominent members of Patriot Nation — quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and team owner Robert Kraft — all pals with the country’s new divider-in-chief. (Boston Globe)

Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy, normally a harsh Trump critic, supports the president’s effort to lift the ban on political speech by religious organizations. (Media Nation)

McDonald’s CEO gives a nod in a Boston speech to Trump’s controversial labor secretary nominee, fellow fast-food honcho Andrew Puzder.


Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell is being challenged for reelection by a former top aide who led casino negotiations but has become a chief critic of Cromwell’s leadership. (Cape Cod Times)


Shirley Leung outlines how indispensable immigrants are to the US economy. (Boston Globe)

Staples and Zipcar are both laying off employees. (Boston Globe)


Wheaton College in Norton has announced a first-in-the-nation full scholarship to a refugee who has been affected by President Trump’s immigration ban. (Washington Post)

Cost estimates suggest it would be more expensive to renovate and rebuild Lowell High School downtown than build a new one elsewhere. (Lowell Sun)

Teachers and some parents in Stoughton are upset at school administrators who suspended another teacher for rescinding a letter of recommendation to college for a student after he made a swastika on a high school wall. (The Enterprise)

Ninety percent of teachers and staff at Brighton and Excel high schools in Boston must reapply for positions as the district implements a state-mandated turnaround plan for the chronically underperforming schools. (Boston Herald)


That old advice to “go to sleep and forget about it” may have some truth to it. Two new studies say we sleep to erase memories of the day in order to create storage in neurons to accommodate new memories. (New York Times)


TransitMatters outlines its Faster Forward initiative for boosting the MBTA’s performance and ridership. (CommonWealth)

The state has awarded a grant to Quincy to create a permanent ferry service from the Squantum section of the city to downtown Boston. (Patriot Ledger)


Eversource is seeking higher fees on customers who install solar. (CommonWealth)

A push by Casella Waste Systems to expand its landfill in Southbridge stirs pushback from residents concerned about the safety of well water. (Telegram & Gazette)

The state’s two US senators have written a letter to federal regulators urging them to rescind the conditional approval of a pipeline that includes a controversial gas compressor project in North Weymouth. (Patriot Ledger)


Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni decides not to prosecute off-duty police officers accused of beating four men outside a Springfield bar. Gulluni said he lacked positive identification and probable cause. (MassLive)

Woes pile up in race flame-out: John Casey, the former head of the failed Grand Prix of Boston, was charged with assaulting a Boston Herald  photographer while leaving a court hearing yesterday. (Boston Herald)


The merger of Entercom and CBS Radio could mean radio hosts who regular trash each other will soon be working together under the same roof. (Boston Herald)

NBC Boston and WHDH both stumbled in the ratings in January. (Boston Globe)

Sources tell Page Six that Megyn Kelly will join Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show. (New York Post)