Rank #1: Making Sense of Boston's Predictable, Surprising 2017 Elections
We know Boston Mayor Marty Walsh
was just re-elected by a big margin. Look closer at the results of Boston's
municipal election, though, and some provocative themes and questions start to
emerge. The Scrum dove into the results at the Banshee Pub in Dorchester with a
panel of media experts **— **Meghan Irons of the Boston Globe, Yawu Miller
of the Bay State Banner, and Jennifer Smith of the Dorchester Reporter **— **and
then took some sharp questions from the audience.
Nov 20 2017
Rank #2: Dan Kennedy on the Future of Newspapers
Dan Kennedy’s new book, “The Return of the Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry Are Remaking Newspapers for the Twenty-First Century,” is more than just a look at how two highly regarded newspapers are adapting to the way we live now. It’s also a clear-eyed, often bracing inquiry into whether modern business realities and habits of mind can coexist with the high-quality journalism that’s driven American civic life for decades. Kennedy, who’s a WGBH News contributor, discusses his conclusions with WGBH News reporter Adam Reilly and senior editor Peter Kadzis, both of whom he previously worked with at the late, lamented Boston Phoenix.
Mar 28 2018
Rank #3: Marty Walsh And The Boston Calling Extortion Trial
Two members of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration are currently on trial in federal court, accused of illegally forcing the Boston Calling music festival to use union labor back in 2014.
Isaiah Thompson, who’s covering their trial for WGBH News, breaks down the case against Kenneth Brissette, Boston’s head of tourism and entertainment, and Timothy Sullivan, the city’s intergovernmental affairs chief, which he calls rife with ambiguity. Then Thompson, Peter Kadzis, and Adam Reilly size up the political implications of the proceedings.
First, though, Peter offers his take on what Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony tells about culture and politics in the 21st century. Spoiler alert: it’s not uplifting.
Jul 25 2019
Rank #4: Is The Mass. GOP Charlie Baker's Party — Or Donald Trump's?
Governor Charlie Baker, the state’s most powerful Republican, has offered Massachusetts as a model for the way politics *should* be, saying our civility and pragmatism set us apart. But under new chair Jim Lyons, the Massachusetts GOP has moved in a very un-Baker-like direction, accusing Democrats of hating America and seeking to perpetrate infanticide. So what’s driving the party’s shift? And is it a smart way to grow Republicans’ paltry presence (Baker notwithstanding) in Massachusetts politics? Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis talk it through with Stephanie Murray of Politico, WGBH News’s own Mike Deehan, and Boston Broadside editor Lonnie Brennan, who’s bullish on Lyons’ approach.
May 16 2019
Rank #5: How Setti Warren Would Run Massachusetts
The Scrum rounds out its conversations with the Democratic candidates for governor with Setti Warren, the former mayor of Newton. Yawu Miller, senior editor at the Bay State Banner, joins WGBH News’s Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly for the conversation.
Feb 28 2018
Rank #6: Baker: No To A T Ride, Yes To Nantucket. Plus, Walsh's Woes
For a traditionally slow time of year, it’s been a remarkably busy stretch in local politics. Marty Walsh is experiencing one of the roughest stretches in his mayoralty; Elizabeth Warren’s presidential stock is at an all-time high; and Charlie Baker is (once again) touting improvements to the MBTA but refusing to actually ride it. Reilly and Kadzis size it all up, starting with the recent crackdown by Boston police on denizens of what’s known, for better or worse, as Methadone Mile.
Aug 15 2019
Rank #7: DA Rachael Rollins Versus Governor Charlie Baker: Why It Matters
Race, gender, class, crime: a host of hot-button issues are at play in the simmering dispute between Rachael Rollins, the new, reform-minded Suffolk County District Attorney, and Republican Governor Charlie Baker. Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis unpack the subtexts with Yawu Miller, senior editor of the Bay State Banner, and some extra help from activist Monica Cannon-Grant.
Apr 09 2019
Rank #8: Linda Dorcena Forry Talks TPS and Trump
Right before Thanksgiving, the Trump Administration said it would end Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for about 60,000 Haitians who’ve lived and worked legally in the US since Haiti was hit by a devastating 2010 earthquake. The expectation now is that they’ll return to Haiti by July 2019 — and face deportation if they don’t. The Scrum sat down with State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, who’s a Haitian American and that community’s local standard-bearer, to discuss how she learned about the Trump Administration’s decision; what she hopes will happen next; and whether she thinks Boston Mayor Marty Walsh might have to make good on his dramatic vow to shelter possible deportees inside Boston City Hall.
Nov 30 2017
Rank #9: Two From Kadzis: Baker And Walsh's T Tiff / Warren Gets The Kiddie Table
We’re doing something different in this episode. Instead of bringing his wisdom incrementally, over the course of a Q and A with a guest or two, Peter Kadzis steps into the spotlight — weighing in on the politics of MBTA dysfunction and CNN’s decision to stick Elizabeth Warren in the JV Democratic debate, even though her campaign seems to be surging.
Jun 20 2019
Rank #10: The Politics Of Mayor Pete's Sexuality
If Pete Buttigieg wins the Democratic presidential nomination, he’ll make history as the first openly gay nominee from either party. Politically speaking, Buttigieg’s orientation offers some advantages: it sets him apart from the other white men in the race; gives him access to a national donor base; and could attract voters eager to participate in a “first,” a la Barack Obama’s election in 2008.
Still, Buttigieg’s sexuality also carries some political risks — and the reaction *inside* the LGBTQ community might not be as uniformly positive as you’d think. Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis talk it through with Sue O’Connell, host of NECN’s The Take and co-publisher of Bay Windows, the LGBTQ Boston paper, and Susan Ryan-Vollmar, the former Bay Windows editor and Boston Phoenix news editor.
May 07 2019
Rank #11: Casino Kabuki; Rivera Versus Moulton
After Peter Kadzis sizes up the recent dalliance between Wynn Resorts and MGM over the controversial Everett casino, Adam Reilly talks with Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera — who recently raised eyebrows by rage-tweeting about the massive Democratic presidential field and calling Congressman Seth Moulton a non-essential candidates. Then, it’s back to Kadzis — who says Rivera’s concerns are legit.
May 23 2019
Rank #12: INSTASCRUM: Unpacking The Democratic Debates
They were messy, stressful, and boring, depending on the moment—and they’re going to have a major impact on the Democratic landscape as the party seeks its next nominee. Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly size up two nights of debates with Paul Singer, their WGBH News colleague and ex-USA Today politics editor. Don’t miss the debut of Kadzis and Singer’s 2020 Democratic Power Rankings (TM) at the very end.
Jun 28 2019
Rank #13: McGovern Responds To Muller: "We Have To Do What's Right"
Just a few hours after special counsel Robert Mueller broke his silence — pushing back at AG Bill Barr’s characterization of the Mueller Report, and pointedly reminding Congress that it does, in fact, have the authority to impeach President Trump — Congressman Jim McGovern joined Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly.
His takeaway on Mueller’s comments? It’s time to stop worrying about how impeachment might play at the polls, and for the House Judiciary Committee to open a formal inquiry into whether impeachment is warranted. Or, as McGovern put it: “We’re beyond talking about this in terms of political implications. We have to do what’s right.”
May 29 2019
Rank #14: The #Mapoli Push To Expand Abortion Rights
Now that Brett Kavanaugh is on the U.S. Supreme Court, filling a seat that could have been occupied by Merrick Garland, there’s a real chance that Roe v. Wade — the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion — will be overturned. As red states try to force the issue by passing a bevy of restrictive new laws, blue states are moving in the opposite direction, passing legislation aimed at consolidating and expanding abortion rights.
Case in point: Massachusetts, where a bill dubbed the ROE Act gets a State House hearing on Monday, June 17. Still, despite the Commonwealth’s progressive reputation, the bill’s passage hardly a sure thing. Among other things, it’s received a cool reception from Governor Charlie Baker, who says he doesn’t support late-term abortions (which would be easier to obtain if the ROE Act becomes law) and that Massachusetts women are already protected in the event of a Roe v. Wade reversal.
Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis dig into the ROE Act’s details — and its political prospects — with two key supporters: State Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler, who filed the bill, and Rebecca Hart Holder, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.
Jun 12 2019
Rank #15: Beyond 'Zombie Reaganism': Conservatives Seek Focus Amidst Trump's Chaos
Since Ronald Reagan's 1980 election, two general rules governed Washington: at home, markets know best; abroad, when in doubt, intervene.
Donald Trump's election scotched all that. Attempting to fashion an ideologically lucid agenda for the right, several hundred conservative intellectuals and activists gathered in Washington for a conference called "National Conservatism". Peter Kadzis was there, and spoke with (among others) writer and editor Daniel McCarthy, a mover and shaker in this ongoing project. After that convo, Adam Reilly gets Kadzis‘s take on what it all means.
Aug 26 2019
Rank #17: The Dems Take Detroit — But Were They Really In The Midwest?
The second round of Democratic debates has come and gone, but did the state of play actually change? Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly kick it around with their colleague Phillip Martin, WGBH News’s senior investigative reporter. Also discussed in this episode: Politico’s take on how African-American journalists feel about media coverage of the presidential race to date, and the very important question (for Phillip and Adam, at least) of who qualifies as “Midwestern.”
Aug 02 2019
Rank #18: Did Barack Obama's Earliest Policy Decisions Give Us Donald Trump?
The election of Donald Trump can seem overdetermined, to use academic parlance: from Russian skulduggery to Hillary Clinton ignoring Wisconsin to racism stoked by the election of first black president, a million different factors explain Trump’s win and Clinton’s loss.
But what if Obama himself deserves a significant measure of blame? That’s the provocative contention of Reed Hundt, a card-carrying member of the Democratic establishment who served on Obama’s transition team. Hundt was, and is, a huge fan of the 44th president — but in his book “A Crisis Wasted: Barack Obama’s Defining Decisions,” he argues that by not responding to the economic meltdown of 2008 with sufficient ambition and alacrity, Obama inadvertently gave us the political reality we’re living in today.
In this episode of “The Scrum,” Peter Kadzis speaks with Hundt about what he thinks Obama got wrong, and why — then sizes up Hundt's thesis with Adam Reilly.
Jun 05 2019
Rank #19: Is The Media Driving Donald Trump's Surge?
Adam and Peter are joined by Dan Kennedy to discuss his article, "Five Reasons Why The Media Is Piling On Clinton And Giving Trump A Pass," and if the media is to blame for Trump's meteoric rise.
Sep 17 2016
Rank #20: Occupy Mass Dems
Adam and Peter talk to Occupy Alums State Rep. elect for Sommerville and Cambridge Mike Connolly and Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem Mazen about the influence of Occupy's ideals on local politics.
Sep 22 2016