Russia, if you’re listening…
In the midst of a Democratic telethon suggesting Donald Trump is a man unfit to be president, Trump stepped forward and made the case himself. At a news conference in Florida on Wednesday, the Republican presidential nominee said he hoped Russian intelligence services had hacked Hillary Clinton’s server and encouraged them to publish her emails.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
The comment, which Trump later said was a bit of sarcasm, set off a firestorm. The New York Times reported that Trump was “essentially urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state.” A Boston Herald editorial called Trump’s comment “an astonishing break with sense.” Former CIA director Leon Panetta called the statement “inconceivable.” The Atlantic wondered whether the Republicans were becoming the party of Russia?
Given that Russia is already being fingered as the home of the hackers who stole emails from the Democratic National Committee, Trump’s comment spurred all sorts of wild speculation about a Trump-Vladimir Putin cabal (which had been talked about a fair amount already) and the possibility that Russia might actually tamper with the computers that manage the nation’s voting systems to help Trump get elected.
Whatever the motivation, Trump’s comment about Russia seemed to do him more harm than good. It fit with the themes emerging from the Democratic National Convention, that Trump the reality TV star isn’t ready for primetime. As his fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg told the convention, Trump is a “risky, radical, and reckless” choice for president. “Let’s elect a sane, competent person.”
Attorney General Maura Healey’s assault weapons directive is coming under fire on Beacon Hill, including from the House’s point person on public safety, Rep. Harold Naughton of Clinton. But Healey stands by her decision to crack down on so-called copycat assault weapons. (Boston Globe) She also has the support of a liberal senator, Ben Downing, from the western part of the state.
Gov. Charlie Baker has a tough choice on legislation requiring insurers to cover long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease. Does he go with accepted wisdom in the medical community (which says the treatment is ineffective and may be harmful) or side with patients demanding the coverage? (Boston Globe)
Globe columnist Dante Ramos sizes up the debate between Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Rep. Michael Moran over who should control liquor licenses, and he comes down on the side of Walsh. He calls Moran’s argument for state control “goofy on its face.”
The number of homeless families living in hotels has plummeted since early last year. (Masslive)
A MetroWest Daily News editorial wonders why lawmakers should take a five-month vacation at a time when so much important legislation is pending.
Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter says the police officer who drives him around is not paid overtime, but a city councilor produces a document suggesting the officer received more than $25,000 in overtime payments. (The Enterprise)
Lawrence officials shut down a second bodega for various food and safety violations as investigators try to determine whether a city inspector was selling phony certificates attesting to the fact that someone trained in food safety is on the premises. (Eagle-Tribune)
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone is not backing off the “Black Lives Matter” banner hanging from City Hall. (Boston Herald)
A Herald News editorial urges Fall River officials to sell the last of unused school buildings with few, if any, restrictions because the structures have become crumbling eyesores.
A judge rules John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981, can leave a Washington mental hospital and live in Virginia. (Associated Press)
Federal officials are shifting funds away from homelessness and mental health programs and toward housing first initiatives. (Boston Herald)
Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld calls Trump a “malignant narcissist.” (Boston Herald)
Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham has sharp words for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who has no qualms about taking votes from Clinton. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg addresses the DNC and explains why Trump is the wrong choice and why Independents have to mobilize behind Clinton.
Kevin Peterson and Darnell Williams say urban areas are likely to be the key battlegrounds in the election. (CommonWealth)
US regulators propose an overhaul of the country’s debt collection industry. (Time)
A group opposing a ballot question that would expand the number of charter schools in the state seizes on a hot button issue, the claim by many parents that charter schools routinely suspend students for minor infractions. (State House News)
North Carolina creates a statewide school district for troubled schools and plans to hire a charter school operator to run it. (News & Observer)
Researchers at UMass Medical Center in Worcester find a promising treatment for cancer by studying salmonella. (Telegram & Gazette) Other researchers at the school, using funds from the ice bucket challenges, may have discovered an ALS breakthrough. (Masslive)
Beth Israel Deaconess gets a green light for its affiliation with MetroWest Medical Center and New England Baptist Hospital. (Boston Globe)
Hingham teenagers try sweets laced with marijuana. South Shore police fear they will see more incidents like this one in the future. (Patriot Ledger)
Dr. James Gessner, the head of the Massachusetts Medical Society, says partial-fill prescriptions could be a solution to the over-prescribing of opioids. (CommonWealth)
Gov. Charlie Baker abandons his bid to give the MBTA the power to raise fares higher than 7 percent every two years, acquiescing to the Legislature’s push for a firm 7 percent cap. (Boston Globe)
Opposition builds to a proposal from Spectra Energy to locate football-field-size LNG storage facilities in Somerset. (South Coast Today)
Joel Wool of Clean Water Action adds his voice to those who opposes subsidies for natural gas pipelines. (CommonWealth)
MEDIAA Washington Post reporter is barred from an event held by Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence. (Washington Post)
Fox News is running high in the ratings, but employees are badly split after the departure of Roger Ailes. (New York Times)