April 2005
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Month April 2005

Quote of the day

I just love this.  From Jim Bouton (ex-Yankee pitcher and now author) on whether a gay baseball player would be accepted by his fans and teammates: I would say that the better a player you are, the more gay you would be allowed to be.

Follow-up on the coming GOP implosion

Several comments on my recent "GOP about to implode" post, both here and in my Kos diary, noted that internal GOP tensions are not enough for Republicans to lose elections – the Democrats need to come up with a coherent vision of what they want to do.

To those comments, I say this: ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.  By only talking about what I see as a serious problem inside the GOP, I certainly didn’t intend to absolve the Dems of the need to explain where they want this country to go (we’ve been pushing that idea on this blog for some time, as our readers know).  There’s just so much one can do in one post. 

Thanks to all for your thoughtful commentary.

But what a pretty view…

According to the American Lung Association’s new report, the Cape still has the worst ozone levels in the state. Maybe they could use some better traffic signals there, too. Or, instead of pumping out crud from the Mirant plant in Sandwich, make a bold move to wind power!

Patrick packs Rindge and Latin

As promised, here’s my run-down of Deval Patrick’s speech for the Cambridge Town Democratic Committee at the Rindge & Latin High School lunchroom last night. (Incidentally, at the same event, before Patrick spoke, State Sen. Jarrett Barrios announced his intention to run for Middlesex County DA, citing the desire to work on public safety issues at the ground level. As they say, "Developing"…)

I dunno – you tell me

I am not making this up.  We report, you decide.  (Click image to enlarge.)

GOP: The gathering storm

The NYT’s Paul Krugman recently wrote a column called "The Oblivious Right" in which he argues that Republicans have found themselves on the wrong side of public opinion on numerous issues lately – judges, Schiavo, social security, you name it – because they talk only to their base, namely, "corporate interests and the religious right."  And, according to those guys, everything’s fine.

It’s an insightful column, as Krugman’s usually are.  But I think there’s a bigger lesson to be learned here from the dual nature of the Republican base and the party’s recent miscalculations.  I think we are witnessing the beginning of a major implosion in the Republican party.  And here’s why.

Stay tuned…

I went to hear and meet Deval Patrick last night at Rindge Latin School in Cambridge. Pretty good stuff, and I’ll have a rundown this afternoon. He made his brief but quite effective stump speech, and took some tough questions about his work for Coke, and handled the Larouchies with grace and aplomb — more than I’m capable of, that’s for sure. More later.

DeLay, in a nutshell

The NY Times very helpfully printed out the House ethics rules today, along with more on DeLay’s latest Abramoff bombshells. (It’s a carpet-bombing, at this point.) Let’s just put two and two together, and agree that it makes four: The Washington Post reported on Sunday that it hadobtained travel receipts showing that [lobbyist Jack] Abramoff’s personal creditcard had been used to pay $6,938 for Mr. DeLay’s airfare to and fromBritain, suggesting a possible violation of House ethics rules, whichbar lobbyists from paying for a lawmaker’s travels. It had beenpreviously disclosed that Mr. Abramoff had paid part of Mr. DeLay’shotel bill. Mr. DeLay’s lawyer denied impropriety. And now for the rule: A member, officer or employee may accept necessary expenses from aprivate source for travel in connection with official duties -including, for example, to give a speech or engage in fact-finding -subject to the following restrictions. ¶The source of the travel expenses may not be either a registeredlobbyist or a registered foreign agent, and the source must have adirect and immediate relationship with the event or location beingvisited. The prosecution rests, Your Honor.  

Nucular, Because They Can.

Dear folks: After last night’s Nuclear Hootenanny, Senators really need to hear some phone calls on this issue, especially (but not only) if you live in NH, ME, and RI. And don’t get complacent: The Dems need to hear from you, too. In his conference call last week, Senator Kennedy said it really makes a difference: ?People (on the Judiciary Committee) are jittery. You?re making them jittery.? Well, abuse of power comes as no surprise. And since the Republicans have their majorities, however slim, perhaps it’s not surprising that they would imagine themselves to transcend all accountability. Actual governance seems to be farthest from the mind of the folks in power right now. As the expression goes: "Why does a dog lick its balls? Because it can." Last night was "Justice Sunday", Bill Frist’s and the Family Research Council’s simulcast attacking the independence of the judiciary, which the filibuster helps to protect. Although the Republican majorities are actually quite slim, the religious right has claimed their mandate within the party as the majority-makers. And Frist is egging them on. But as Ted Kennedy made clear in our conference call, people aren’t going to put up with a change to the […]

The crime lab really is underfunded!

A week or so ago I ranted about how outrageous it is that the State Police Crime Lab took many months to analyze the DNA sample provided by the guy who has now been arrested for the murder of Truro resident Christa Worthington.  I urged that this should be unacceptable, and rashly said that the only way to solve the problem was to spend more money on the crime lab (which routinely takes six to eight months to analyze samples).  Several comments took me to task for ignoring the role that good old fashioned incompetence seems to have played in the Worthington matter, and I agreed that I shouldn’t have jumped straight to spending more money without considering what we could do by way of eliminating stupidity. However, the AP is now reporting that the crime lab really is grossly underfunded.  According to the article, the lab can handle 300 samples per year – one sixth of the demand, hence the nine-month backlog (the national standard is 30 days).  Each of the state’s DAs can only submit four samples per month, and the head of the Mass. DAs association describes DAs as "ludicrously handicapped" in the number of samples they […]