Birthday cake

Requiem for Dissent: McGovern-ing in the era of Trump

“We ought to look at this moment as a privilege to be on the playing field and to engage in these battles. … Ten years from now people are going to ask what you did at this time. I think it’s important for people to stand up and to resist when it’s appropriate.”

If the 2nd Congressional District were carved into Worcester County only, U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, might have a problem. Many of those towns voted for Donald Trump in the presidential election.

But the 2nd has roots in Franklin and Hampshire counties as well, with liberal enclaves like Northampton and Amherst that combined with Worcester should keep McGovern safe as long as he wants to hold office.

The 2nd voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent. So that would indicate that the district is safe for McGovern for at least the time being.

To that end, it’s not your imagination: McGovern, one of the most unabashed liberals in Congress, has been ubiquitous in active resistance in the weeks since Donald Trump was elected president — calling for, among other things, an independent investigation into Russian influence in the election.

“If you don’t have an independent investigation,” he said, “people aren’t going to believe the results.”

His higher-than-normal profile has been a conscious course of action.

“There’s so much happening that I think it requires more responses and more action, more resistance,” he said in a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Worcester Sun. “I want to protect the values I think are important to the country.”

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 141]: A little direction for Charlie Baker

Everyone knows being a Republican in Massachusetts is a lonely assignment.

Heck, unless you’re running against Martha Coakley or live on the North Shore it’s near impossible to even get elected, but hizzoner, the guv’nah — with his steady hand and bipartisan approach — appears well-positioned for an extended run.

Where he stands on key issues, though, often confounds his party mates. Hitch, for one, knows a shortcut to the real truth.

Editorial: The president vs. the press

It could be that he’ll never be able to abide criticism, or that he doesn’t understand the American political system. Or both. It could be, too, that he has something to hide. He seems to have a personality that exudes dominance and demands acquiescence from others. On all of this, the press is an invaluable check.

President Trump is uncomfortable with open discussion of his administration.

This is a serious problem. Not just for the media, but for America.

Though the president has picked fights with numerous groups and causes in his five weeks in office — Muslims, Mexico, federal judges, the FBI, undocumented immigrants, transgender people, trade partners, the environment, election integrity, Australia — the nation’s free press seems to occupy a special place on his list.

“Enemy of the American people,” alarmingly, is how he views some members of the mainstream press.

What these “enemies” have in common is that they have criticized the Trump administration or election campaign, or probed into sensitive topics.

Worcester Weekly: Restaurant Week, Assumption hoops + more, as February turns to March

Sunday, Feb. 26 — Assumption women’s basketball vs. Le Moyne, NE-10 Conference quarterfinal, 3 p.m., Laska Gymnasium, Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St.  Basketball is kind of a big deal at Assumption, and recently it’s been the ladies taking the lead. Back in the conference tournament with a 19-7 record, the Greyhounds are poised to make a run behind a strong senior triumvirate — forward Jo Impellizeri and guards Allison Stoddard and Kelly Carey — and one of the stingiest defenses in all the land. Except, the last time these two teams met, the Dolphins came away with an ugly 48-42 victory.

Then again, this isn’t the first rodeo for coach Kerry Phayre, who’s wrapping up her 10th straight winning campaign and would no doubt like to stretch her 21st season at the Greyhound helm a few more games.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 137]: Elizabeth Warren’s Songs in the Key of Strife

The senator from Massachusetts certainly has had no trouble getting airplay.

Her ubiquitous Trump serenades (or retorts and attacks — whatever) date back to early in the presidential campaign and have become rallying cries for many on the left. Award-worthy even.

Of course, Warren’s approach doesn’t quite strike the same chord with conservatives scurrying to manage the daily Donald fallout. Hitch presses play and gets lost in the chorus.

Worcester Weekly: City Council, Assumption basketball + more, Feb. 5-11

Sunday, Feb. 5 — Disney Family Favorites Film Series, featuring “Alice in Wonderland,” noon and 2 p.m., Blackstone Valley 14, 70 Worcester-Providence Turnpike, Millbury  OK, so today is, indeed, a very important date. And maybe there’s something else going on that has  most New Englanders’ rapt attention, but why not earn a few brownie points with the better half by squeezing in a little quality family time before big-game time? Plus, the tickets are only $6. Just, don’t be late.

This is the first of four weekends the theater will show a Disney classic Fridays-Sundays. Several other area Showcase and Cinema De Lux theaters are doing likewise (though showtimes may vary). “Aladdin” is up next, Feb. 10-12; followed by “Frozen,” Feb. 17-19; and, another one for the parents, “Dumbo,” Feb. 24-26.

Also “Fifty Shades Darker” will be in theaters next weekend, so go ahead and get your movie fix before all the creeps show up!

For more information

Tuesday, Feb. 7 — City Council meeting, 7 p.m., Esther Howland chamber, City Hall, 455 Main St.  Hey, these council get-togethers have sort of become appointment viewing, haven’t they? And we’ve learned you don’t want to rely on the video to get a straight answer around here! So, y’know, go for the sideshow, stay for the government … or something.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 132]: For women, walking the walk into history

OK, so it was a march. A lot of marches. And millions of women. But who’s counting big crowds these days?!

Regardless of how many women and supporters showed up for the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and worldwide from Boston to Bogota, Nairobi to Norfolk, this was an historic moment and movement, one with potentially very bigly implications.

Hitch brings it all home for Worcester.

Inbox [Jan. 15]: Women’s Initiative announces new leaders, Girl Scouts seek area chefs for event, LGBT youth support group starts, Community Harvest program set for February vacation

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

United Way Women’s Initiative announces new leaders

The Women’s Initiative of the United Way of Central Massachusetts has announced two appointments to its Leadership Council beginning July 1.

Leah Lamson will become chairperson and Kerri  Aleksiewicz Melley will become vice chairperson. Both terms are for two years.

Lamson, a media professional, is managing director of the New England High School Journalism Collaborative and a former editor of Worcester Telegram & Gazette. She spent 36 years at the T&G, starting as a reporter and working her way up to being named the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief at the newspaper.

Editorial: Past, present and future, hard work is Worcester’s heartbeat

A work ethic, a good heart and a promising future — that’s our city.

As the world tacks the 2017 calendar to the wall, there’s no question that Worcester has positioned itself well. Rarely flamboyant or one to shout out its praises, the city sticks to an old-fashioned formula of trying to do things right with what it’s got.

And, what it’s got is a lot.

In the current climate of political upheaval and uncertainty, we’re thinking especially of the city’s assets that have long held true but don’t necessarily meet the eye.

A key one is diversity. Here in Worcester, we have ethnic diversity, income diversity, lifestyle diversity and all ages well represented, from people with deep family roots to a large and always changing college student population. Residents represent a huge range of ambitions, talents, career paths and ideas.