Hitting Trump where it hurts
President Trump’s opponents haven’t had much luck in Washington blocking his cabinet appointments, but they seem to be having some success in convincing people to stop purchasing products associated with the commander in chief or his family members.
The grassroots movement Grab Your Wallet calls on consumers to boycott stores and companies that sell or have ties to Trump and his family. Two of the companies on the group’s top-10 list have already taken action. The Nordstrom department store chain stopped selling Ivanka Trump products and T.J. Maxx downplayed the visibility of her products in its stores. Both chains said their actions were a response to declining sales of the Ivanka Trump products, not to Grab Your Wallet’s boycott campaign.
Grab Your Wallet, which launched after the infamous 2005 video of Trump talking lewdly about women surfaced during the presidential campaign, is an interesting example of grassroots political activism. The message seems to be: hit the president where it hurts — in his pocketbook.
Trump himself lashed out at Nordstrom in a tweet on Wednesday. “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom,” he wrote. “She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
Others in Grab Your Wallet’s’ top-10 list include Macy’s, LL Bean, Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Zappos, Amazon, and Lord & Taylor. Next on the list are Trump’s hotels, his winery, and golf courses. Most of the companies on the list are retailers that carry Trump or Trump family products, but some firms are on there because they’ve supported Trump politically, raised funds for his campaign, or even advertised on television shows in which he holds a financial interest. The Los Angeles Clippers, for example, show up on the list for advertising on Celebrity Apprentice.
Surprisingly, the New England Patriots haven’t made the list, even though Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady are big backers and friends of the president. Expect more controversy about the Patriots and Trump soon. The winners of the Super Bowl traditionally trek to Washington for a White House salute, but already three players– Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, and Dont’a Hightower — have said they won’t be going.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo calls for more spending on early childhood education. (Boston Globe)
Pay hike palooza! On the heels of what some were calling the Beacon Hill pay raise heist, a Boston panel may recommend raises for various city department heads. It’s headed, as it happens, by former city councilor John Tobin, who is now vice president for community affairs at Northeastern University — where he schmoozes city officials to smooth over town-gown issues. (Boston Herald)
A Barnstable County commissioner with a history of conflicts has posted negative online reviews of two restaurants owned by another county official and his family in what the restaurant owners say was an inappropriate act of political retaliation. (Cape Cod Times)
Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale says 25 new businesses have moved in and the city is on the rise. (Telegram & Gazette)
The Quincy Planning Board has given the final approval (despite fierce neighborhood opposition) for a controversial 60-unit housing project near the historic Adams mansion. (Patriot Ledger)
Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, who challenging Mayor Marty Walsh, proposes a city-sponsored defense fund for immigrants facing legal cases. (Boston Globe) A Herald editorial calls it a “not-so-cheap publicity stunt.”
Truro officials, with the backing of the Cape Cod National Seashore, will ask voters to approve zoning changes putting limits on house sizes to prevent huge homes from being built in the Seashore District. (Cape Cod Times)
Senators confirmed their colleague Jeff Sessions as attorney general along strict party lines in what may be repeatedly the case with cabinet nomination votes. (U.S. News & World Report) But the bitter battle removed any veneer of collegiality from the once-august body. (New York Times)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has seen her profile soar as a rock star of the opposition to Trump after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to silence her from reading on the Senate floor a letter from Coretta Scott King that was already in the Senate record from 1986 when it was sent in opposition to the nomination of Sessions for a federal judgeship. (Boston Globe) What a boneheaded move by McConnell, says a Herald editorial, which points out, “Warren was begging for an overreaction from Republicans, who took the bait she has been laying for months.” A Lowell Sun editorial blasts Democrats for allowing the lefty senator to become their leader, warning the party will be out of touch with mainstream America as long as that’s the case. A Berkshire Eagle editorial, however, hails Warren and says there will be no silencing her.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is wasting no opportunity to burnish his anti-Trump bona fides, backing Warren in her showdown with McConnell and voicing support for the decision of three Patriots players to skip the upcoming team visit to the White House. (Boston Herald)
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch said President Trump’s attack tweets about a “so-called judge” who issued a restraining order on his immigration ban were “demoralizing” and “disheartening.” (New York Times) Salem News columnist Taylor Armerding says Trump’s immigration order was haphazardly put together and enforced, but it’s not that much different from what President Obama did in 2011 with refugees from Iraq.
Lawrence and Chelsea sue to block Trump’s executive order cutting off federal funds to municipalities that fail to cooperate with the federal government on identifying and holding illegal immigrants. (Eagle-Tribune)
The math on Trump’s plans for massive infrastructure and defense spending coupled with big tax cuts doesn’t add up, and that puts him on a collision course with fiscal hawks in his own party. (Boston Globe)
MassINC Polling Group president Steve Koczela says we need polling now more than ever. (CommonWealth)
Surveys show about half of young adults get rent assistance from mom and dad. (New York Times)
With Oregon leading the way, several states are preparing to roll out retirement plans for private sector workers. (Governing)
Praise for mega-donors to charity (think Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael Bloomberg) is increasingly being mixed with more scrutiny, cynicism, and questions over whether their gifts are really good for society. (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
Will the state embrace new legislation to allow for autonomously run “innovation zones” in low-performing school districts? (CommonWealth)
A Boston drain company and its owner are indicted on manslaughter charges in connection the with the death last October of two workers who were trapped when a trench collapsed on them as they were working on a job in the South End. (Boston Globe)
Anthony Martinello, who owns a gun dealership in Sutton, is giving up his license to sell firearms after Attorney General Maura Healey accused him of selling illegal guns out of his home. (MassLive)
The Supreme Judicial Court will hear a case that could have major implications for the degree to which state officials cooperate with federal immigration authorities. (Boston Herald)
Vandals desecrated four religious statues outside a Catholic church in Brockton, the second such incident at the church in the last year. (The Enterprise)
Former Boston TV meteorologist Mish Michaels lost her new job as a science reporter at WGBH-TV because she seems skeptical of, well, science, questioning established findings on the safety of vaccines and the reality of climate change. (Boston Globe)The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold says reporters covering President Trump have to become subject-matter experts. He also offers advice on how to cover the president’s tweets. (Shorenstein Center at Harvard Kennedy School)
Wall Street Journal editor Gerry Baker plans to meet with his staff to discuss his perceived reluctance to come down hard on Trump. (Politico)