Clark’s lonely boycott
As Democrats try to figure out how to deal with President-elect Donald Trump, US Rep. Katherine Clark is taking a novel approach — she’s boycotting his inauguration.
Clark said her attendance at the Jan. 20 event would “normalize” someone who has promoted “bigoted, misogynist, anti-Semitic, and racist claims.” That seems to be a fairly myopic view; with or without Clark, Trump will be sworn in as president, which is about as normalizing as it gets in today’s society.
There is a strong tradition in the United States of politicians coming together for inaugurals. Attendance doesn’t mean support for the person being sworn in, but it does mean support for the country and its traditions.
The Boston Globe surveyed the rest of the Massachusetts congressional delegation and all who could be reached said they would attend the inaugural. Rep. Michael Capuano of Somerville said he has a scheduling conflict that may prevent him from attending, but stressed his absence should not be interpreted as a political statement.
“This is no time to quit,” Warren said in the email. “The people of Massachusetts didn’t send me to Washington to roll over and play dead while Donald Trump and his team of billionaires, bigots, and Wall Street bankers crush the working people of our Commonwealth and this country.”
Marijuana legalization advocates are speaking out against the possible appointment of legalization foe Sen. Jason Lewis as cochairman of a new legislative Committee on Marijuana that will draft regulations for the nascent industry. (Boston Globe)
Revisiting the state’s education aid formula to boost spending for schools is a top Senate priority for the coming session, say Senate President Stan Rosenberg and education committee chair Sonia Chang-Diaz. (Boston Herald)
The Brockton police department overtime budget is nearly depleted with six months still to go in the fiscal year and Mayor Bill Carpenter has demanded city councilors take immediate action to shift funds to the account. (The Enterprise)
The “Great Wall” along the southern border will be paid for by… taxpayers, President-elect Donald Trump admitted in a tweet, arguing Mexico will pay it back “later.” (New York Times)
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu promises passage of right-to-work legislation and vows to visit 100 companies in other states (he specifically mentioned Massachusetts) to entice them to relocate. (Eagle-Tribune)
Despite polls showing opposition by roughly two-thirds of the population, Norway is switching off its FM radio network and going with a digital system. (Reuters)
Lawrence DiCara and Patrick Reynolds decry the lower voter turnout among younger Americans and say we need to boost civics education in order to seed responsible citizenship in the country’s younger generation. (CommonWealth)
Jobless rates are dropping all over Massachusetts. Boston is at 2.4 percent, Worcester is at 2.8 percent, and Springfield’s unemployment rate is 3.1 percent. (CommonWealth)
The US Postal Service will no longer allow 500 Staples stores to serve as package mailing centers for the post office following strong protests from the postal workers’ union. (Boston Globe)
Boston-area rents fell slightly at the end of 2016, a sign, say observers, of the big boost in supply of higher-end apartments. (Boston Globe)
Toyota is the latest automaker with a bullseye on its cars and trucks from President-elect Donald Trump, who threatened the company on Twitter with a “big border tax” if it goes through with the plan to build a plant in Mexico. (U.S. News & World Report)
Given the billions of dollars generated by college sports, the debate grows over whether student-athletes should be paid, with Northeastern University Athletic Director Peter Roby and the Globe’s Shira Springer saying it’s not that simple. (Greater Boston)
Salem State President Patricia Meservey plans to retire at the end of the school year. (Salem News)
The Legislature has approved a bill to allow Quincy College to award four-year bachelor’s degrees. (Patriot Ledger)
The Standard-Times named George Heath, a visual arts teacher at Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School who was killed when he tried to stop a deranged man during a stabbing spree at a mall last June, as its 2016 Teacher of the Year.
Evan Horowitz says a federal repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have powerful ripple effects in Massachusetts, despite the state’s own 2006 law that served as a model for the federal statute. (Boston Globe) Harvard public health professor John McDonough, who had a hand in crafting both the Massachusetts and federal laws, says it’s time for advocates to step up the fight against repeal of the ACA. (CommonWealth) Several Republican governors favors the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, but Republicans in Congress seem intent on converting Medicaid to a block-grant program. (Modern Healthcare)
Massport is inching towards an agreement with transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft that will ease restrictions on the ride-hailing industry at Logan Airport and put one more nail in the coffin of the taxi industry. (CommonWealth)
Massachusetts begins doing background checks on Uber and Lyft drivers today. (WBUR)
The Baker administration plans to let the commuter rail contract with Keolis expire at the end of eight years. (State House News)
While Beacon Hill pols dither over what to do about the state’s growing trash problem, the town of Charlton and Casella Waste Systems battle over a landfill that has likely contaminated a number of wells. (Telegram & Gazette)
The Cape Cod National Seashore has let the permit for a longtime private campground in North Truro lapse after the owner violated town and seashore regulations by clear-cutting trees to put in a new sewer system for guests. (Cape Cod Times)
Federal law enforcement officials found $20 million in cash stuffed in mattress in a Westborough apartment as part of their ongoing investigation in the TelexFree fraud case. (Boston Globe)
US Senior Judge Mark Wolf, calling Richard McDonough a “serial liar” for misrepresented problems with alcohol in order to be eligible for earlier release from prison, said he plans to attach strict probation conditions on the former lobbyist who was convicted as part of the scheme that sent former House speaker Sal DiMasi to prison. (Boston Globe)
The head of a national sheriffs’ association voices support for Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson’s idea of having inmates in his custody sent to the Mexican border to help build Donald Trump’s border wall, but Hodgson’s idea is getting little backing from fellow Bay State sheriffs. (Boston Herald) A Herald editorial says, though the paper has occasionally backed Hodgson’s out-of-the-box ideas, this one “is just silly.” Globe columnist Adrian Walker says it’s more than that, calling the proposal “nauseating.”
Law enforcement officials scoop up James Morales in Somerville. Morales, accused of stealing weapons from an armory, escaped from a detention center five days ago. (Associated Press)
He’ll be late for the Mensa meeting: A Dartmouth man was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics after he was found with heroin suboxone on him — in New Bedford District Court. (Standard-Times)PASSINGS
Dorchester Reporter editor Bill Forry offers a tribute to Chris Harding, a well-known Dorchester-based community arts reporter who died just before Christmas.