W. goes after you-know-who

It felt like a scene out of a Harry Potter novel on Monday in South Carolina. Former president George W. Bush tried to give a boost to his little brother’s flagging presidential campaign, delivering a homespun speech to a crowd of more than 1,300 without ever mentioning Jeb!’s nemesis by name.

“Americans are angry and frustrated, but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our frustration,” Bush said, an obvious reference to he-who-must-not-be-named — Donald Trump, the dark lord of Republican presidential politics. “Strength is not empty rhetoric. It is not bluster. It is not theatrics. Real strength, strength of purpose, comes from integrity and character.”

By most accounts, it was a funny, feel-good speech in a state that has been good to W. and his father in the past. But the speech was also high risk. It revived talk of a Bush presidential dynasty and showcased for all to see how Jeb! is not as comfortable on the stump as his big brother.

By not mentioning Trump by name, W. also underscored how the Bushes are practicing politics in a very different way from you-know-who. The Bushes attack, but they do so with a sense of decorum. They are still playing by the old rules, hoping that voters will vote with their heads in Saturday’s South Carolina primary and not with their hearts.

Trump, by contrast, is breaking all the rules and so far being rewarded for it. At Saturday night’s debate, he accused W. of lying to the country to start a war in Iraq and of failing to prevent the September 11 attacks. While decrying Planned Parenthood’s role in performing abortions, he said the group provides important health services to women, which is heresy in the Republican Party.

On Monday, Trump continued his attacks on the Bushes, sending out a tweet saying Jeb! needed his “mommy and now brother” to save his campaign. He also warned W. on Twitter that he may face more attacks if he remains involved in the race.

–BRUCE MOHL

 

BEACON HILL

Campaign checks get fatter under a new law doubling the size of the maximum campaign check from $500 to $1,000. (Salem News)

Mom — Rep. Rady Mom, that is — settles in at the State House as the new rep from Lowell. (The Sun)

Current and former members of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination debated the need for more funding for the heavily overloaded agency. (State House News)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

More than 100 Boston municipal employees take city-owned cars home with them each night, with taxpayers picking up the tab for the vehicles, gas, and maintenance for commutes as far as Cape Cod. (Boston Globe)

Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund withdrew a controversial proposal by his predecessor to install security cameras in public housing after questions were raised over the project’s cost and lack of bidding. (Patriot Ledger)

CASINOS

Mayor Joe Curtatone of Somerville is appealing an environmental permit for Steve Wynn’s Everett casino, a move that could tie up the project for months. (Boston Herald)

Existing casinos in Maine are fighting the prospect of a new one. (Boston Globe)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

To help catch up those who spent the weekend on Mars, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died — and all hell has broken loose over the issue of naming and confirming a replacement. A Globe editorial cleverly wonders what Scalia would say about the standoff, and concludes that the leading exponent of Constitutional originalism would insists that the Constitution says the president nominates candidates for vacancies. Period. Not “that he will do so only in odd-numbered years, or only at the beginning of his term, or only when Ted Cruz thinks he should.” A Herald editorial takes much the same tack, saying there is no justification for waiting until after the election to fill the post — other than rank partisanship or, in Scalia’s own words, “interpretive jiggery-pokery.” The Herald news pages consider the idea of a Deval Patrick nomination.

A Kentucky state representative, irate over a new law requiring women to undergo a medical consultation 24 hours before an abortion, has filed a bill that would require men who want erectile dysfunction prescriptions to have two physician visits and a permission note from their spouse. (New York Times)

ELECTIONS

John Henry, the billionaire owner of the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Globe, urges fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg to run for president. (Boston Magazine)

Oops. The opening shot of Marco Rubio’s new ad campaign, “Morning Again in America,” is shot in Vancouver, Canada. (Vancouver Sun)

Politico’s Lauren Dezenski looks at the intraparty battle Gov. Charlie Baker has joined in pushing for more moderate candidates in upcoming balloting for the Republican State Committee. Some right-leaning Repubs aren’t happy.

Sheila Lyons, a Barnstable County Democrat commissioner running to replace retiring state Sen. Dan Wolf, has come under fire locally and nationally after writing a post on social media about being “happy” that Justice Antonin Scalia had died. (Cape Cod Times)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The price of gas in Massachusetts is nearing a seven-year low that, while hammering oil companies, has been a boon to consumer spending, freeing up an average of $660 annually per household that has contributed to record sales of new cars and pushed up receipts at bars and restaurants. (MetroWest Daily News) A third of oil companies could go bankrupt this year because of plunging oil prices. (Time)

EDUCATION

Kevin Peterson says the race controversy at Boston Latin School demands broader reforms. (CommonWealth) The Globe profiles Kylie Webster-Cazeau and Meggie Noel, the two Latin students who pushed the issue to the fore.

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Sen. Elizabeth Warren thinks medical marijuana could be a substitute for opioid painkillers that kill thousands of people a year. (Washington Post) Patriot Care opens the state’s fifth medical marijuana dispensary in Lowell. (The Sun) Medical marijuana outlets say they’re not worried about full legalization putting them out of business. (Boston Herald)

Telemedicine is advancing faster than states can keep up. (Governing)

Two more former patients of Roger Hardy are accusing the one-time Massachusetts fertility doctor of sexual assault during procedures. (Boston Globe)

Thousands of homes in Greater Boston have water delivered by lead service lines, an issue getting new attention in the wake of the crisis in Flint, Michigan. (Boston Globe)

TRANSPORTATION

Former transportation secretary James Aloisi says the wars at the T have to stop — it’s time to put riders first with reform and revenue. (CommonWealth) Salem News columnist Brian Watson says it’s fine to focus on improving all of the MBTA’s various parts, but an overall vision for the transit agency is also necessary.

A new app, Arro, allows passengers in Boston to tap a smartphone to call a taxi, one of several Uber-like apps hitting the market. (Boston Herald)

ENVIRONMENT/ENERGY

The latest inspection at Pilgrim nuclear power plant has found four more violations that resulted in safety risks and the Plymouth plant had to cut back to half power following a condenser leak. (Cape Cod Times)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

At MCI-Norfolk, inmates and victims talk about redemption. (WBUR)

PASSINGS

Mourners are at a loss for words following the death of Caitlin Clavette, the Milton elementary school art teacher killed in a freakish accident on I-93 on Friday when a manhole cover was dislodged and flew through her windshield. (Boston Herald)