A peculiarly American fascism

What is it, exactly, that Donald Trump is selling?  In substantial part, it’s himself – as my co-editor Bob puts it, Trump is trying to “feed his bloated idiot-sized ego.”  Trump loves to talk about how rich he is, how much he personally “cherishes women” and other groups, about how successful he’s been in business, etc.  There’s no doubt that he’s peddling, in part, a cult of personality.

But there is more to it than that.  The trademarked slogan of his campaign is “Make America Great Again.”  He is, of course, the GOP’s biggest purveyor of nativist, anti-immigrant rhetoric.  He rails against leaders who have supposedly turned America into a “loser” (“we don’t have victories anymore,” he said recently).  Also – and this is important – some of his economic proposals are intensely nationalistic and hated by big business.  The NY Times reports that some conservatives are concerned about Trump’s proposals to raise taxes “on corporations that he believes do not act in the best interests of the United States” – for instance, “Mr. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on American companies that put their factories in other countries … [a]nd he has vowed to change laws that allow American companies to benefit from cheaper tax rates by using mergers to base their operations outside the United States.”

That is a marked difference from Republican orthodoxy, which generally puts the interests of big business first and foremost.  The GOP is, essentially, pro-corporation, but Trump is nationalist first, corporate second.

Trump has also adopted a surprisingly populist position on taxes.  He wants to close the infamous “carried interest” loophole that lets hedge fund managers pay very low taxes.  And on a flat tax:

“The one problem I have with the flat tax is that rich people are paying the same as people that are making very little money,” Mr. Trump said. “And I think there should be a graduation of some kind.”

Another part of Trump’s platform (if you can call it that), as I’ve said before, is his apparent belief that the “welfare state” is not always a bad thing.  He supports Social Security and criticizes his opponents for wanting to dismantle it.  He has said he opposes cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  He has said that “we have to take care of the people that can’t take care of themselves,” which sounds a lot like some form of government-run health care.

Yet another departure from GOP orthodoxy is Trump’s stance on the current state of our political system.  He has said repeatedly that the system is broken, and he uses his personal wealth to demonstrate that he is independent of it.  This criticism applies to his own party as well as to the Democrats – he recently blasted both sides, saying “[a]ll of the money that’s going to Hillary, and Jeb, and Scott and Marco? They’re totally controlled. Totally.”  Trump is saying, in effect, that the entire two-party system as we know it is corrupt, and it’s time for something else.

So.  Let’s talk now about fascism – not in the pejorative sense, but in terms of what the fascist ideology actually is.  There is some disagreement as to how “fascism” should be defined – the word, after all, comes from the Italian word for a bundle (fascio), which in the late 19th century came to refer to a wide variety of Italian political groups or “leagues” known as fasci.  Only later, when Benito Mussolini consolidated some of these movements into the Partito Nazionale Fascista and took power in the 1920s, did fascism come to be synonymous with Mussolini’s particular ideology, and there have been other fascist movements that don’t line up exactly with Mussolini’s.  But, to the extent that the Wikipedia article on fascism can be seen as authoritative, let’s see how it stacks up with Trumpism.

Which Reporters Fell For the Latest Fracking Front Group?

How could anyone *not* see through this? Like lawn signs, stock photo models don't vote. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

The American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance have launched the “New England Coalition for Affordable Energy,” the second oil & gas industry front group to hit Massachusetts in less than a year. Shocker: It’s put out a report calling for new & expanded fracked gas pipelines. Which Massachusetts reporters saw through this fossil fuel front group, and who got burned?

The group’s website is covered with obvious stock photos of phony “supporters.” Down at the bottom, it contains the curiously up-front admission that the project is sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance. Considering so many oil & gas fronts like Kinder Morgan’s “Coalition to Lower Energy Costs,” assiduously hide their real identities, it’s bizarre this one put it right on the website.

That key fact presented right on the website presents a ready-made litmus test for local reporters: Who did research, and who just rewrote the news release (which didn’t mention API or the Gas Alliance)?

Revenue and Fairness Matter: The Case for the Progressive Income Tax

Good stuff - and timely, given the likely presence of a grad tax ballot question soon. - promoted by david

Cross posted from Progressive Mass, big shout out to Harmony Wu and Ben Wright for their tremendous editing, formatting, and imaging assistance

Here’s a sneak peak at a blog post I’ve had the privilege of writing for Progressive Massachusetts making the case for the Progressive Income Tax:

It’s Always Been a Revenue-and a Fairness-Problem

The biggest story in Massachusetts politics this summer, and perhaps, this year, is USOC’s rejection of the Boston 2024 Olympic bid. In the aftermath, pundits are wringing hands, various politicians are trying to take credit or deflect blame, and competing narratives are emerging about “what it means” about Massachusetts (are we a parochial also-ran, incapable of big ideas, not ready for the global stage? are we on the cutting edge of rejecting an Olympics project too tainted by corruption and laden with outsized costs?).

So, while the rejected bid will fade into memory, the Olympics discussion offers some takeaways of note for the Massachusetts progressive.

The pundits and politicians finally agree: Our infrastructure is in dire need of repair and expansion (progressives have been talking about it for a while).
Bold ideas require bold investments, but we shouldn’t presume it need be molded to private interests like the IOC and Boston 2024.

Our political class is risk averse, and needed pressure from the outside to have the conversation about investment. While there was a robust debate about whether or not the Olympic Bid would help or hurt massive public investment, that question has now been settled. The question now is, ‘what’s next?’

The answer is a multi pronged argument in favor of the progressive income tax. I make the case that we have desperate infrastructure and early education investment needs that will consistently be unmet by the austerity budgets produced year after year on Beacon Hill, that our tax code favors the wealthy while burdening working families, that a grassroots campaign to pass a constitutional amendment is the best way to achieve a progressive income tax, and that we want to begin emulating states like California and New York making smart investments in their peoples future and their state’s economy rather than staying sidelined with a tax code closer to Alabama’s. Feel free to take a look!

Trump Notes, from Ernie Boch's Trumpalooza

Summer lovin'. Trump is just trying to promote his apartments and feed his bloated idiot-sized ego. Just wait until the GOP starts unloading on him in the autumn. He'll be gone by next summer unless, please God, he runs as an Independent. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Shared with permission, originally posted on dKos and the Trump Notes FB page

Cliff Notes from Donald Trump’s Campaign Speech In Norwood, Mass

Sorry for the delay on this one crazy day for me….if you’re on Facebook feel free to like Trump Notes. to stay connected! Without further delay, enjoy with caution! 1. I’m going to take care of the vets.
2. I’m going to build up the military bigger than anyone, like ever.
3. Our enemies are fucking with us more because they don’t respect our leaders.
4. Nobody loves hispanics like I do. They buy my apartments, I love them.
5. Saudi Arabia is so full of money they fucking rule so hard.
6. I ordered 4000 TV’s from South Korea.
7. We’re protecting too many countries, it’s bullshit.
8. The Ukraine is great.
9. Who has a Mercedes Benz? They’re great.
10. Iran is going to self inspect.
11. John Kerry is a bicyclist.
12. The Iranians can’t believe John Kerry broke his leg.

13. Ted Cruz is my homeboy.
14. Iran is going to take all the money we give them to be terrorists.
15. Russia is selling Iran missiles.
16. Kerry and Obama were too wimpy to get our hostages.
17. The Iranians and the Persians are great negotiators and we’re total wimps.
18. There’s nothing complicated about these negotiations.
19. We gave Iran a nuclear physicist and we didn’t get shit.
20. “Bing, bing, bing”
21. I have Jewish friends who supported Obama and now they’re pissed.
22. Our country is in big trouble, things are really sucking here.
23. Our infrastructure really sucks too.
24. Dubai has the best airports, I love their airports.
25. I hate Laguardia airport.
26. Tells an audience member that he’s smart but that his brother sucks at golf.
27. Do you want Trump or Jeb?
28. Do you want Trump or Hillary?
29. General Petrarus’s life was destroyed for only 2% of what Hillary has done.
30. Hillary’s assistant is married to one of the greatest sleaze bags of our time.
31. You know, Anthony Weiner, you know him bing, bing, bing.
32. Anthony Weiner is a big fucking perv.
33. Huma married a bad guy.
34. I knew Anthony Weiner before his bing, bing, bing.
35. Lindsay Graham & Perry can’t fuck with me.
36. Perry tried to looks smart but he’s a dummy.
37. I’m a great golfer, I killed Rand Paul at golf.
38. I gave Rand 20K, he’s a nasty guy.
39. When I’m President we’re always going to have victories.
40. I am going to be the greatest jobs President that God ever created.
41. Look at Ernie. Hey Ernie marry your girlfriend, seriously just marry her. You better marry her. I like you Ernie.
42. You may get tired of winning with me in charge.
43. Make America Great Again.
44. We are gonna be so proud and so great, I mean really, really, really great.
45. Iowa is so great, New Hampshire is so great. All these states i’m winning in are great.
46. Maybe my opponents will just give up.
47. Make America Great Again.
48. Make America Great Again.
49. Thank you everybody.

PHEW! Not much I care to add right now, enjoy The Donald!

He says he ate Ernie’s caviar. For $100 bucks I hope he pocketed some shrimp for later, too.

GOP 2016: Trump-Carson. You heard it here first.

I’m calling it right now.  The 2016 Republican nominee for president will be Donald Trump.  And Ben Carson will be Trump’s running mate.

You don’t think it’s going to be Trump?  Who else is it going to be?  Jeb Bush, the supposed choice of the establishment, who has turned out to be an absolutely terrible candidate for president, who foolishly lets himself get baited by Trump, and who sinks a little further with each new poll?  Scott Walker, who looked like a real contender until he started, you know, saying things in public, and until people started looking at his actual record in Wisconsin?  Marco Rubio, whose positions on some issues (e.g., abortion) are so extreme as to be nearly disqualifying, who also has failed to meet expectations, and who is consistently polling worse than fellow Floridian Jeb Bush – to say nothing of his epic fail when delivering the GOP response to the 2013 State of the Union address?  Carly Fiorina, who is running on her business record which mostly consists of nearly managing to single-handedly destroy one of the most storied technology companies in America?  Ted Cruz, the only person the GOP establishment hates more than Donald Trump?  John Kasich, who will sink like a stone (all the way down from 4%) once GOP primary voters realize that he kinda likes Obamacare?  Christie?  Jindal?  Perry?  Huckabee?  Rand?  Come on.

Fact is, none of the other GOP candidates can figure out how to deal with Trump.  He baits them, and they keep falling for it.  He insults them, and they splutter and look awkward and sad about it.  It’s fair for GOP voters to ask if the other candidates can’t handle Donald Trump, HOW ARE THEY GOING TO HANDLE ISIS?  Or Hillary Clinton, for that matter?

Furthermore, Trump has figured out a couple of things that the other Republican candidates haven’t.  First, most Americans – and this includes most Republicans – basically like Social Security.  Trump does too, and to my knowledge he’s the only GOP candidate to say so.  Second, most Americans basically hate the fact that wealthy donors wield so much influence in politics.  Trump doesn’t need donors – he’s practically dead last in terms of fundraising – and he has been railing very effectively on this topic, declaring the campaign finance system “broken” and himself independent of it.  It’s something Trump says that even lefties sorta like.  Third, Trump – like most Americansthinks that really rich people (including himself) should be willing to pay more taxes, and he’s expressed interest in eliminating the infamous “carried interest” loophole that helps the hedge fund guys pay next to nothing.

And another thing: the old adage that people aren’t paying attention yet doesn’t really hold in this case.  Did you know, for example, that the GOP debate that aired in early August drew an estimated 24 million viewers, making it “the highest-rated primary debate in television history as well as the highest-rated non-sports cable telecast of all time in total viewers”?  Those are extraordinary statistics.  Sounds to me like people are paying attention.

I didn’t think this way a month ago, but the last month has been extraordinary (the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza described the Trump phenomenon as “the most amazing thing I have seen in all of my time covering politics”).  I don’t see Trump going anywhere any time soon.  He’s got all the money he needs.  He’s way up in the polls, and there’s no reason to think he’s not going to stay there for a while – his numbers have stayed high and even gone higher despite statements and actions that would have destroyed any other candidacy.  And, unfortunately, he’s got a message that is resonating.  Note, in this connection, that the combination of virulent nativist, anti-immigrant rhetoric with populist/left positions on some economic issues is not an entirely new idea, and has enjoyed some success elsewhere.

In short, Trump seems to me as likely as anyone (and more likely than most) to be the Republican nominee.  So, who would he pick to run with him?  Ben Carson strikes me as the most obvious choice.  Carson is (a) African-American, which would help Trump rebut the racism charge; (b) not a politician, which is consistent with Trump’s apparent belief that most (if not all) elected officials are nitwits; (c) actually pretty popular with Republican voters, at least right now; and (d) open to the possibility.  Furthermore, he’s one of the few other GOP contenders whom Trump hasn’t yet insulted.

So.  Trump-Carson 2016.  You heard it here first.

NRA Claims more victims

The campaign against gun safety waged by gun manufacturers and their lobbying arm the NRA has claimed more victims: this time professionals shot on live TV. Father of murdered 24-year old reporter Alison Parker put his finger on the problem. NYT:

“I’m going to do something, whatever it takes, to get gun legislation, to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something about closing loopholes and background checks,” Mr. Parker said Wednesday night on Fox News. “This is not the last you’ve heard of me. This is something that is Alison’s legacy that I want to make happen.”

Thursday morning, on CNN, he said, “I’m for the Second Amendment, but there has to be a way to force politicians who are cowards in the pockets of the N.R.A. to make sensible laws to make sure crazy people can’t get guns.”

The National Rifle Association did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

The NRA and its members bear direct responsibility for this tragedy, and every other killing of innocents by lunatics with guns in this country, such as for example the Sandy Hook, CT massacre, because they oppose gun safety legislation.

Why on earth would Elizabeth Warren want to be Joe Biden's VP?

There’s been a great deal of breathless speculation following the meeting between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, much of it centered on the (entirely hypothetical so far) possibility of Biden’s jumping into the race for president and announcing that Warren would be his running mate.  It would make a huge amount of sense from Biden’s perspective: announcing a ticket from the get-go is a bold, attention-getting move that would not only propel Biden into a tight race for the Democratic nomination, but would also create a powerful, double-barreled campaign machine with Biden and Warren able to make twice as many campaign appearances as any other candidate.  And Warren’s presence on the ticket would of course neutralize a good deal of Bernie Sanders’ appeal, and would shore up Biden’s appeal to the left.

What I don’t see – at all, really – is why Warren would do it.

Let’s start with the obvious: Warren could have run for president this year.  A lot of people wanted her to.  And she had a good chance of winning.  Yet she absolutely, vigorously, and repeatedly declined, until finally the press believed her and stopped bugging her about it.  So … if she actually did want to be president, wouldn’t she have, you know, run for president?

Second, let’s assume that she actually does want to be president, but didn’t want to take on Hillary Clinton, or didn’t think she had enough foreign policy gravitas yet, or whatever.  Becoming Biden’s VP could resolve those problems, but only if (a) Biden wins the nomination; (b) Biden wins the presidency; (c) a President Biden serves only one term (if he were to serve two, Warren would be 74 when she finally got her chance); and (d) Biden’s presidency is reasonably successful.  None of those is even close to a sure thing (let us all bear in mind Biden’s uncanny ability to say incredibly stupid things at the worst possible time).  The only saving grace for Warren is that she doesn’t have to give up her Senate seat to run with Biden this year.  But assuming that Biden loses, I really question whether Warren, whose national profile is enormously high already and is still on the upswing, would gain much profile from a national campaign as second banana (I think, in fact, that she might return to the Senate weaker than she is now); and if he wins, she’s consigned to at least four years of basically not being able to influence policy as much as she can now.

Third, she’s in a great spot right now.  She’s probably the most popular Senator in the country, and she’s got the job for as long as she wants it.  She is shaping the national debate.  She will be less effective in doing that as a candidate for, or as the actual, VP.

Fourth, as today’s Globe points out, Joe Biden’s record as an advocate for the people to whom Elizabeth Warren has devoted her career is not actually all that awesome.  The bankruptcy bill is the best, most public example of Warren and Biden vigorously disagreeing, with Warren calling out Biden by name as a problem in the New York Times.  Biden’s crime bill, too, had some pretty disastrous effects.  As a Senator, Biden’s record was really only OK, and we should all try to keep that in mind as speculation of his jumping into the race continues to swirl.

Fifth, the VP candidate traditionally plays the role of attack dog.  Perhaps Warren would decline that role.  But to the extent that she couldn’t, does she really want to be in the position of going after the first serious female candidate for president, and the sitting Senator whose economic views are probably closest to her own?

Personally, I think Warren would be much better off staying right where she is.  I see little upside for her to sign on with Biden, and a lot of downside.  She’s in a fantastic position right now.  I hope she stays there.

Wonk Post: Democratic Candidate Net Favorables Among Latinos

It's ... inevitable! -Bob - promoted by david

From Gallup:

On the Democratic side, only Hillary Clinton is a familiar figure to a substantial segment of U.S. Hispanics. As a result, she is the only one with a sizable net favorable score. Three-quarters of Hispanics have an opinion of Clinton. With 58% viewing her favorably and 18% unfavorably, she has a net +40 favorable score. This is remarkably similar to Clinton’s image among Hispanics in advance of the 2008 presidential primaries, in June 2007, when 63% viewed her favorably and 20% unfavorably.

Bernie Sanders is the next-most-recognized Democrat, known to 25% of Hispanics. Nearly as many view Sanders unfavorably as favorably, giving him a +5 net favorable score. The other Democrats — Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee — are each known to only 14% of Hispanics and, as a result, have even lower net favorable scores, ranging from +2 to -2.

Green Line Extension in Jeopardy Due to Cost Overruns

Rut roh... - promoted by david

Per Commonwealth Magazine:

Recently estimated at about $2 billion – which doesn’t include the cost of financing – the full cost of adding seven new trolley stations in East Cambridge, Somerville and Medford could wind up as much as $1 billion over budget, MBTA Interim General Manager Frank DePaola told reporters on Monday. Officials who briefed the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday afternoon are now looking to renegotiate with the contractor and alter the plans.

White Skanska Kiewit (WSK), the company awarded construction of the project under a unique procurement process, now estimates construction of those first three stations to cost $898 million, throwing into question the affordability of the plan to build a total of seven stations ending near Tufts University.

“Everything’s on the table, and everything includes canceling the project, but that’s not where we want to go, but we need a project we can afford to build,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack told reporters Monday.

*bolding my addition

My takeaways:

There are five things I would ask folks to consider before opposing this project.

1) It’s a federally required project

The Big Dig settlement REQUIRED a mass transit expansion for Somerville to offset the pollution from big dig construction and new highways

2) It’s an investment in the future

The MBTA is a mess, cutting back on expansion limits the constituency to the inner city-we need suburban expansion to expand the political constituency and ridership for mass transit. Its a win win-more voters will vote for it, more local officials will want it, and when ridership expands the financial sustainability increases. Not to mention getting cars off the road.

3) It’s a revenue problem not a spending problem

The MBTA was artificially saddled with pension debt, in a similar way to the postal service, and used as an ATM by politicians to pay for other programs. It’s part of a starve the beast ideology, cut services so they suck, cut taxes, and then tell folks the services suck since government is still too big-cut and repeat many more times over.

4) Proof that privatization increases costs and PACHECO Law still needed

Folks want to eliminate the Pacheco law which forces private contractors to prove their services will be more cost effective than a public and/or union backed project. This shows why private bidders frequently underestimate costs to be competitive and then lock you into jacked up rates. Same thing happened on the commuter rail.

5) Definitely Audit the shit out of this group

I am not saying fiscal responsibility goes out the window, I am saying this project is too important to let this setback kill it. But definitely audit WSK and perhaps find a way to reopen the bidding if it shows deliberate overcharging. Bechtel definitely got away with deliberately overcharging for the Big Dig-a fiasco that happened under Charlie Baker’s watch I might add when he was Weld’s budget manager.

Just because it’s getting expensive and complicated, doesn’t mean it can’t be managed right or costs can’t be brought under control. It’s a project that is essential to the health of the region and it’s future.

POLITICO debuts "Massachusetts Playbook"

Great idea for Politico to go local, and also to hire Lauren Dezenski who is a terrific reporter. - promoted by david

POLITICO began distributing an email today called the Massachusetts Playbook, along with similar for at least a few other states, highlighting state political stories with a bit of other stuff thrown in.  Those who wish to subscribe may do so here.  Today’s edition is viewable here.  This can be an open thread on topics discussed in today’s edition.

Israeli Mossad Chief Throws Peace-Bomb Into Iran Debate

"Peace bomb", excellent. Pleased that both of our Senators have endorsed the deal. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

Yesterday on the PBS Newshour, there was a shocker when the former head of Israel’s intelligence and special operations agency, the Mossad, Efraim Halevy, endorsed the Iran Agreement  (http://video.pbs.org/video/2365550482/), saying:

“I believe that this agreement blocks the roads to Iranian nuclear capability for at least a decade.  And I believe that the arrangements that have been agreed between the parties as such give us a credible answer to the Iranian nuclear threat at least for a decade if not longer.”

Halevy said that there had been a historic shift in the Iranian position that it was their sovereign right to pursue the nuclear program, adding that the Iranians had “caved in”.

Most notably, Halevy discounted the furor over recent media accounts of the UN-International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) side deal that would permit the Iranians to use their own inspectors:

“The Director of this agency, Yukiya Amano, has impeccable credentials. Up until now Israel has respected Yukiya Ano – respected his judgments – and I think we should wait and see the ultimate process of the negotiations he is now conducting with the Iranians and how he will be satisfied at the end of this year with the arrangements that he is setting up to monitor these activities.”

Halevy said that he expected Iran to cheat but that this is the whole point of the monitoring provisions of the agreement, and that the motto here should be “Mistrust and Verify”, and that “there is going to be a verification system in place which is second none and has no precedent.”  The monitoring machinery that will be put in place by the United States “will not be in place if the agreement is scuttled by the U.S. Congress’” the Mossad chief added.

This is a peace-bomb from the ultimate Israeli security expert in support of the Obama Administration and its diplomatic and foreign policy competency, including Secretary of State John Kerry and his team, and should be trumpeted from the hillsides.  Right now.  Spread the word.


Our Massachusetts police state: So many police -- so little policing

Two appalling tales. - promoted by david

I am struck by two simultaneous episodes of terrible policing right here in Massachusetts this week.

The first is the Home invasion by a SWAT team attacking an innocent Hispanic couple in Worcester (emphasis mine):

A woman said police and a SWAT team mistakenly raided her Worcester apartment and that she was frisked by an officer before being allowed to put clothes on.

Marianne Diaz told the Telegram & Gazette she awoke to state police detectives and a SWAT team breaking down her door on Wednesday morning.

The 23-year-old Diaz said she knelt with her frightened daughters beside her as police officers with shields pointed guns in her direction.

“Stop (expletive) crying and take care of your (expletive) kids,” she claimed one officer told her.

She said a female officer later frisked her even though she was naked. Ten minutes passed before she was allowed to cover herself up, she added.

Diaz’s fiance, Bryant Alequin, said he suffered a minor back injury during the raid. Their roommate, Joshua Matos, said doctors told him his wrist — which had been recovering from a fracture — was refractured.

Once again an innocent Hispanic woman is abused, children are terrorized, and her Hispanic fiance was injured. Once again a District Attorney (Joseph Early) defends the actions of these uniformed thugs.

Meanwhile, a drunken white racist harrassed and assaulted minority (Black, Asian, and Indian) passengers on a Red Line train Friday night. Fortunately, the episode was videotaped by another passenger.

When the woman who videotaped the incident reported the assault to MBTA police — complete with this raw video — the MBTA police nevertheless allowed the white perpetrator to walk away. Once again, a white male perpetrator terrorizes and assaults minority passengers and is allowed to walk away unimpeded by uniformed and heavily-armed police. I’m reminded of the similarly lackadaisical response of MBTA police to the Red Line car operating at full speed with an open door. Why are there so many MBTA police, so heavily armed, when they have so little concern for actual emergencies?

I’m glad that at least MBTA Lt. Richard Sullivan agrees that “Conduct and behavior such as [this] will not be tolerated on the MBTA” — at least when on-camera and on the record for local journalists. I’m glad that Mr. Sullivan promises to “talk to all parties involve (sic), to include the police officers.” I can’t help but wonder what, if any, disciplinary proceedings “talk to” includes.

Some of us want to believe that we here in Massachusetts are immune from the transformation of America into a police state, where state-sponsored uniformed and heavily-armed thugs harass, abuse, and injure innocent victims with impunity while ignoring clear evidence of crimes committed by favored demographic groups.

We are NOT immune.

I voted for Maura Healey as Attorney General. I take her at her word regarding police abuses like this. I await with interest her response to these two examples of terrible police work by state agencies within her jurisdiction.