Window Into The State House

Just a precaution: National Guard troops bolster police as Biden inauguration nears   State officials stress there are no specific local threats of violence ahead of tomorrow’s presidential inauguration of Joe Biden – but, as a precaution, Mass. National Guard troops are now on standby to help the BPD and State Police if troubles arise in Boston, WCVB reports.     Biden’s choice to head SEC gets big thumbs up from Warren   Speaking of tomorrow’s presidential inauguration, the folks on Wall Street and the mutual-fund types in Boston may not be happy about this. But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is thrilled with President-elect Joe Biden’s pick of Gary Gensler to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, CNN reports. Meanwhile, private equity folks in Boston should be nervous as well. Warren has them in her regulatory sights too, Politico’s Zachary Warmbrodt reports.     Good riddance or thank you, President Trump?   We’re still a two newspaper town in Boston, as evidenced this morning by two prominent pundits’ polar-opposite takes on the end of the Trump presidency. The Herald’s Howie Carr has a wet-kiss “Thanks for everything, Mr. President” column while the Globe’s Joan Vennochi wonders whether Joe Biden can ever “contain the flames lit by Trump.”   Baker signs transportation bill after slamming the brakes on Uber fees and other items   Before getting into all things insurrection and pandemic, first some State House news, specifically Gov. Charlie Baker’s signing on Friday of the mammoth state transportation bonding bill – after he took a veto ax to provisions that called for higher fees on ride-hailing companies like Uber, means-tested fares on public transit and other items in the $16.5 billion package. SHNS’s Chris Liskinski, the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl have more on the governor’s transportation-bill vetoes that lawmakers can’t reverse due to the timing of the end of the last legislative session.  
  State House jitters: Police briefly fortify Beacon Hill after report of possible demonstration   It was a false alarm. But the false alarm did show that law enforcement officials are on high alert at the State House over reports of possible violent assaults by far-right-wing thugs against state capitols across the nation. A three-reporter team at the Globe and Erin Tiernan and Rick Sobey at the Herald report on the extraordinary steps taken by police yesterday – including temporarily cordoning off most of Beacon Hill – after they received a report of a possible demonstration outside the state capitol. AP News has the national scene covered: “State capitols boarded up, fenced up, patrolled by troops.”  
  Lynch and Trahan: Expel them all   They mean business. U.S. Reps. Stephen Lynch (GBH) and Lori Trahan (Wicked Local), both Democrats, say any Republican congressional member who is found to have helped the Capitol-building rioters should be expelled from Congress. In related post-riot news, from CBS Boston: “Trahan Says Some GOP Colleagues Have Acted ‘Irresponsibly And Dangerously.’” From the Globe: “McGovern worries Trump could pardon ‘domestic terrorists’ who stormed US Capitol.” And from GBH: “’Absolutely Terrifying’: Congressional Leaders Remember Jan. 6 Insurrection.”  
  Where oh where does the GOP go after Trump and the Capitol-riot debacle?   The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports Massachusetts Republicans are engaging in some collective “self-reflection” amid the political rubble left behind by the outgoing Trump administration. One high-ranking state GOP official says all should be fine once the orange man is gone. To which we’d point out this inconvenient truth, one of numerous truths, of what the party is facing both nationally and locally: “Some in the GOP parrot far-right talk of a coming civil war” (AP News). Like we said, it’s just one of numerous truths.  
  Will road-rage incident sink Rollins’ U.S. attorney chances?   The Globe’s Andrea Estes reports that Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins is on a short list of finalists to become the next U.S. attorney for Massachusetts. But the list was drawn up before reports of an alleged road-rage incident involving Rollins – and before an apparently tense confrontation between Rollins and a Boston 25 News team on Friday, as the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports. Boston 25 News has more on the alleged media-rage incident.  
  Biden picks Broad Institute’s Lander to head new science cabinet post   Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has been tapped by President-elect Joe Biden to serve as chief science adviser in a newly created Cabinet position, reports the BBJ’s Don Seiffert and the Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman and Jeremy Fox.