Trump jumps the shark

Has Donald Trump finally gone too far? In calling for a complete ban on all Muslims entering the United States, the bombastic businessman appears to have jumped the shark. Most, but not all, of his Republican presidential rivals condemned him and major media outlets portrayed Trump’s proposal as unworkable, unconstitutional, and another bid to boost sagging poll numbers.

Trump released a statement on Monday calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States until elected officials can figure out what’s going on in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings. He later read the statement aloud, reiterating several times that “we have no choice.” He added: “We can be politically correct and we can be stupid, but it’s going to get worse.”

Most Republican candidates for president sensed blood in the water. Jeb Bush described Trump as “unhinged” in a tweet. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said “this is the kind of thing that people say when they don’t have any experience and don’t know what they are talking about.” Marco Rubio called the ban “offensive and outlandish.” But other candidates were more muted in their comments. Ted Cruz, for example, who is surging in Iowa polls, said “that is not my policy.”

Gov. Charlie Baker, who has tried to stay out of presidential politics, called Trump’s comments “ridiculous” and said he would never support a policy like that. “First of all, it’s unrealistic. Secondly, it’s inappropriate. And third, it doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

The Globe’s news story described the proposed ban as “a dramatic escalation of the Republican front-runner’s harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric.” The New York Times news story called it “an extraordinary escalation of rhetoric aimed at voters’ fears about members of the Islamic faith.” The Washington Post said Trump’s comments mark “the latest escalation of the virulent anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric that has fueled his unlikely candidacy.”

The Boston Herald’s Peter Gelzinis said Trump’s campaign theme ought to be “Make America Hate Again,” but his colleague Adriana Cohen said Trump didn’t go quite far enough. The National Review said that, despite Trump’s crude manner, it’s a conversation that needs to be had. Fox News, meanwhile, grilled Trump on the particulars of his policy stance, discovering that it wouldn’t apply to Muslims serving abroad in the US military or to Muslims already here in the United States.

Perhaps the most interesting media reaction came from Arianna Huffington, whose news outlet the Huffington Post had relegated coverage of Trump to the entertainment pages in July. Huffington said Trump, in the wake of his latest comments, would be returning to the news pages. “Now that Trump, aided by the media, has doubled down on the cruelty and know-nothingness that defined his campaign’s early days, the ‘can you believe he said that?’ novelty has curdled and congealed into something repellent and threatening — laying bare a disturbing aspect of American politics,” Huffington wrote.




State officials will mount an investigation into how 18-year-old Alexander Mills, with a lengthy criminal record, walked out of a “staff secure” group home in Fall River under the supervision of the Department of Youth Services only to be arrested just over two weeks later for the murder of a New Bedford taxi driver. (Boston Globe)

The Baker administration unveiled a bill that would streamline many areas of municipal government, including giving cities and towns more power to issue liquor licenses and allowing them to bypass requirements to print certain legal notices in area newspapers. (State House News)

A specific type of affordable housing is at risk, warns Roger Herzog and Bill Brauner of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corp. (CommonWealth)

ICYMI: The Patriot Ledger has drawn battle lines with Secretary of State William Galvin, calling for voters to oust him in the 2016 elections for his “obstructionist” approach to public records law and his failure to follow through on his promise to file a referendum to reform the statute.


Chelmsford’s Board of Health votes to limit how long homeless families can stay in the town’s hotels. (The Sun)

Mayor Marty Walsh plans to up the amount that developers of high-end housing must pay into a fund to underwrite affordable housing in Boston. (Boston Globe)

Some Boston city councilors are pushing a “BYOB” ordinance that would allow patrons to bring their own beer or wine to smaller eateries outside the downtown area. (Boston Globe)

The average tax bill for Quincy homeowners will go up by about $300, an increase of 6 percent over the current fiscal year. (Patriot Ledger)

In Brockton, the City Council Finance Committee approved dropping the residential tax rate by 4.3 percent while property assessments spiked, resulting in an average $255 increase. (The Enterprise)


A Boston Herald editorial urges Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to drop his lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission aimed at blocking a Wynn Resorts casino in Everett, arguing the mayor has squandered more than $1 million already on a frivolous case.


Joan Vennochi says President Obama’s Oval Office speech on Sunday night seemed tired and uninspired. (Boston Globe)

A Globe editorial calls on Congress to lift restrictions it has imposed on funding research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yesterday’s Download highlighted the federal research ban.

The Supreme Court this morning will hear arguments in a Texas redistricting case to settle a question they have never definitively answered: does “one person, one vote” apply to all residents or just those eligible to vote? (New York Times)


Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has taken his first lead in the polls in Iowa, topping a voter survey by Monmouth University, with Trump dropping to second and Ben Carson falling to fourth. (U.S. News & World Report) Meanwhile, Republican Party chairs are finally speaking up against Trump. (CNN)

In news Charlie Baker is likely to wish would go away fast, a former advisor on his 2014 gubernatorial campaign has signed on as Donald Trump’s state director in Massachusetts. (

Bernie Sanders announces a sweeping climate change agenda. (Time)

Jennifer Migliore, an aide to US Rep. Seth Moulton, says she intends to run against Republican Rep. Donald Wong of Saugus next year. (The Item)


Springfield gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson is a billion dollar company in 2015. (Boston Business Journal).

The Federal Trade Commission issued a ruling to block the proposed merger of office supply giants Staples and Office Depot, arguing it would harm competition and lead to higher prices. (Boston Globe)

LeBron James signs a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike. (Time)

Nearly half of nonprofit leaders surveyed said donor demands for results hinders their ability to raise funds. (Chronicle of Philanthropy)


A report from Chris Gabrieli’s nonprofit, Transforming Education, says so-called soft skills are just as important to a student’s ultimate success as doing well on tests. (WBUR) The same message was delivered by Robert Putnam in his book, Our Kids, the American Dream in Crisis. (CommonWealth) A rich-poor divide in school sports threatens one way children can acquire soft skills. (CommonWealth)

The Braintree School Committee approved a motion to allow police and canines to search the high school for drugs in an effort to tackle the opioid abuse problem. (Patriot Ledger)


Saying “there’s a lot of power in sports,” Attorney General Maura Healey selects 98 schools to participate in a sports-based domestic- and sexual-violence program. (The Sun)

As many as 30 Boston College students were hit with an intestinal bug apparently picked up at nearby Chipotle outlet. (Boston Herald)

A Lowell Sun editorial applauds market-based efforts to bring down the cost of drugs, but suggests it may be time to impose regulatory solutions.

The Worcester Board of Health approves a clean needle-exchange program. (Telegram & Gazette)

A Mass. General pediatrician (yes) and a smoke shop owner (no) debate whether the age for buying tobacco should be raised to 21 statewide. (Greater Boston)


James Aloisi tells a tale of two transit systems if the MBTA raises prices and implements means-tested fares. (CommonWealth)

The MBTA is not meeting its contracted agreement on the number commuter rail seats it is to make available, causing lots of riders to have to stand for hour-long rides into Boston, the Herald reports.


As negotiators in Paris hammer out an agreement on a new climate treaty, one area of dispute is carbon emissions from cargo ships, a hidden industry polluter. (New York Times)


The number of people seeking gun permits and IDs is declining in Massachusetts. (MassLive)

A psychiatrist, insisting that Philip Chism suffers from psychosis, testified that the defendant in the murder of school teacher Colleen Ritzer expressed remorse for the “difficulties” he has caused. (Eagle-Tribune) The Chism defense also calls witnesses who say there was a history of mental illness in Chism’s family and psychotic episodes can be triggered without warning. (Eagle-Tribune)

A federal appeals court in Boston orders a new trial for a man convicted of murder in Puerto Rico because pretrial publicity tainted the jury pool. The ruling could prove helpful in the appeal of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who asserts the same argument. (Boston Globe)

Sen. Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, pushes legislation that would require most state prison inmates to pay $2 a day to cover the cost of their incarceration. (Gloucester Times)

The numbers of people seeking gun permits and IDs is declining in Massachusetts. (MassLive)


The New York Times is transforming its Modern Love column into a podcast with the help of WBUR. (Hollywood Reporter)

Bloomingdale’s fails Advertising 101 with a “creepy” ad about promoting date rape. (Washington Post)