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Fast Forward: Congress faces constituent wrath, remembering Erma Bombeck

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Erma Bombeck

University of Dayton

Erma Bombeck

Here’s a rundown of what’s coming up today.

What’s it like outside? Chilly early, but it will get into the low 40s. Even warmer the rest of the week, so museums and movies don’t have to be your only options with the kids this school vacation week.


Commuter alert: The Hingham commuter ferry is kaput this week for emergency dock repairs. You can take the Greenbush commuter rail from West Hingham, the Red Line, or the Hull ferry. Here’s more information.

While you were sleeping: Four Americans were killed when a small plane crashed into the roof of a shopping mall in Melbourne, Australia.

Hey, sport: Nobody’s playing anybody today! The Celtics are off until Friday thanks to the All-Star break … The Bruins play tomorrow night … The Sox start their spring training game schedule later this week … If you need a sports fix, NESN is replaying “David Ortiz: The Journey” at 8 p.m. and “The David Ortiz Era” at 9 p.m. Or watch “The Replacements” on CMT at 8 p.m.

It should be a quiet week in Washington with Congress out of town. President Trump visits the Museum of African American History and Culture, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka; HUD Secretary nominee Ben Carson and his wife Candy; GOP Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina; former US Representative Alveda Celeste King, a Fox News contributor; Lonnie Bunch, a founding director of the museum; and David Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian.

But it may not be so quiet at home for many senators and reps who are holding town hall-style meetings in their districts. Several Republicans, such as Senator Jason Chaffetz of Utah, have already faced the wrath of constituents upset that as chairman of the Oversight Committee, he refuses to investigate anything associated with the Trump administration. But most anger is focused on Republican plans to repeal Obamacare.


Sean “Spicy” Spicer holds a press briefing at 1:30 p.m. and reporters no doubt will be looking to see if he’s wearing any of Ivanka’s designs.

Provocateur and ultra conservative Milo Yiannopoulos had a bad weekend: A conservative group disinvited him to address their conference and Simon & Schuster canceled his book deal after he discussed the merits of relationships between men and boys. Now speculation is that the alt-right website Breitbart will drop him as an editor as well. He’ll have a press conference at 3 p.m. ET today to talk about everything.

Owen Labrie, the New Hampshire prep school guy convicted of using a computer to lure an underage girl to have sex, will be in court today asking for a new trial. He also was found guilty of statutory rape and endangering the welfare of a child, but both of those are misdemeanors; the computer charge is a felony. Labrie has new lawyers who are arguing that his former attorneys didn’t contest the computer charge early enough in the trial. The hearing is expected to last four days.

Peabody police are still looking for a second suspect in that double homicide on Farm Avenue Saturday. The one guy they did arrest, Michael Hebb, 45, of Peabody, will be arraigned today in Peabody District Court on two counts of first degree murder.

We’ll find out this morning how the Justice Center of the Council of State Governments proposes to improve the state’s criminal justice system. Political leaders had asked the center to come up with some policy suggestions with two goals: Reduce state spending on prisons and cut recidivism; center officials will release their review at 8:30 a.m. at the State House. But some state senators didn’t wait for the report: They’ve already proposed eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, changing the bail system so it’s not only poor people who are locked up, and raising the age for juvenile court from 18 to 21.

It’s a little hard to discern exactly what a Markey-Kennedy rally at 2 p.m. today hopes to accomplish: US Senator Edward Markey and Congressman Joe Kennedy III are joining with workers and advocates at the Irish Famine Memorial at Washington and School streets to, as State House News Service reports, “send a clear message to Washington” that Massachusetts will work to advance issues important to its residents, including “quality jobs, continued affordable healthcare coverage, immigrant rights and a voice in important decisions that affect the state.” Did anyone really doubt that? C’mon, it’s Massachusetts!

If you want to check out a possible Democratic challenger to Governor Charlie Baker next year, you can attend Newton Mayor Setti Warren’s State of the City address at 7:45 p.m. in Newton City Hall.

Finally, Erma Bombeck, who died in 1996, would have been 90 today, and it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes of the famed humorist and newspaper columnist: “There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo.”

Bombeck parlayed her dry wit, writing skill, and experience as a housewife and mother into an extraordinary career. Here are more of her one-liners that are on my favorites list:

I’ve exercised with women so thin that buzzards followed them to their cars.

Someone once threw me a small, brown, hairy kiwi fruit, and I threw a wastebasket over it until it was dead.

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.

One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child’s name and how old he or she is.

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.

Never accept a drink from a urologist.

Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.

The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

If you’re not familiar with Bombeck’s work, a couple of her books are worth a read: “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank” and “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?”

Thanks for reading. If you want to play hooky Tuesday, call me. Send questions, comments, or news tips to , or follow me on Twitter @BostonTeresa.

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