The Codcast: For 2018, it’s a wrap

Republican Jenn Nassour and Democrat Jesse Mermell tee up a year-end conversation for the final 2018 installment of “Disagreeing Agreeably” on the Codcast. To help them, they brought in guests who lean left, political consultant Wilnelia Rivera, and right, Paul Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

Asked for a one-word description of politics for the year that was, their guests had starkly contrasting takes. For Craney, it was “boring,” as he pointed to the big statewide races that held little suspense. Rivera, who was a strategist on the campaign that delivered the year’s biggest upset, Ayanna Pressley’s Democratic primary victory over 20-year incumbent congressman Mike Capuano, stuck with the rule by declaring as her word “#disruptthenarrative.”

Among the other topics covered: What it meant to have 2018 declared the “Year of the Woman” when we’ve heard that line before, whether there will be any disrupting of the go-along narrative that has characterized the Massachusetts House (everyone, it seems, is talking about former Sierra Club lobbyist Phil Sego’s effort to pull back the curtains on how things really operate on Beacon Hill), and what it says to have so many big issues end up going to the ballot rather than getting settled by the Legislature.

Give a listen, and come back to reel in a full boatload of Codcasts in 2019.




Lawmakers reached an agreement on a bill regulating short-term rentals and sent it to Gov. Charlie Baker, who was urged by Airbnb to veto the legislation. (State House News)

The Senate approved legislation extending unemployment benefits for locked-out workers, a move designed to help the 1,250 steelworkers locked out by National Grid. The House previously approved its own bill with a different approach, but didn’t take any steps on Thursday to resolve the differences with the Senate. (CommonWealth) A Globe editorial criticizes the legislative moves, saying they do nothing to end the lockout and end up putting “innocent third parties” on the hook for its costs.

Rep. Shawn Dooley, a Republican from Norfolk, sees the MBTA’s new Red and Orange line cars as a Trojan horse the Chinese manufacturer will use to sabotage US infrastructure. He says he intends to file legislation to block future contracts; the T says it has safeguards in place to prevent the trains from being used in cyberattacks. (CommonWealth)


South Boston residents are speaking out against a huge condo project proposed on the site of a former Boston Edison plant. (Boston Herald)


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly announced his resignation in reaction to President Trump’s announced withdrawal of US forces from Syria, putting US foreign policy on uncertain ground. (New York Times)

The US had 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, of which 23,854 were suicides. It was the highest level in 40 years. (CNN)

David Bernstein says support for a Green New Deal is gaining momentum in Congress, but that’s maybe because it’s so difficult to define what it is. (WGBH)

Local advocates are decrying a Trump administration move to tighten work requirements for food stamp recipients. (Boston Herald)


Rachael Rollins, the newly elected Suffolk County district attorney, brings a mandate for change, an interesting background, and a blunt style to office. (CommonWealth)


Now it’s official: The widely expected move of Baker administration economic development and housing chief Jay Ash to become CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership was officially announced by the business group. (Boston Globe)


Brockton officials say they are moving closer to filing a lawsuit over inadequate state funding of public schools. (The Enterprise)

Everett’s longtime school superintent, who was put on leave earlier this week in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, announced that he is retiring. (Boston Globe)

Sal Lupoli’s family foundation donates $500,000 toward a new hospitality and culinary school at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill. (Eagle-Tribune)


Jon Kingsdale says last week’s federal court ruling on the Affordable Care Act provides a big opportunity for Democrats. (Boston Globe)


Plans are being made to install bike lanes on the roadway near the Museum of Science where a cyclist was killed earlier this year. (Boston Globe)

A Lenox intersection that has been the site of numerous fatal accidents is getting a makeover from the Department of Transportation. (Berkshire Eagle)


The Massachusetts clean energy sector continues to add jobs at a rapid clip, according to a new study. (MassLive)


More delays in the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s review of Steve Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct. A judge in Las Vegas put off until January 4 any decision on a side dispute that has stalled the release of a report by Gaming Commission investigators. (NBC10)


The Dracut physician facing manslaughter charges in connection with his prescribing of opioids pleads not guilty. (Boston Globe)

A Quincy state trooper was arraigned on assault charges in connection with an attack outside a Dorchester restaurant that left a woman with a broken bone in her leg. (Patriot Ledger)


The Globe names incoming congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Red Sox manager Alex Cora its “Bostonians of the Year.”

A third of Americans surveyed in a recent poll couldn’t name who their state’s governor is. (Johns Hopkins University) Is it the media’s fault? (Governing)