Lots of people talk about a Massachusetts Democratic establishment, despite a string of four Republican governors. How long has this establishment supposedly existed? Governors switched back and forth pretty equally for most of the 20th century. Sure, the legislature’s been pretty Democratic, but when does it (did it) become an “establishment”? Post WWII? With the Kennedy clan? Before that?
John Kerry has an Op-Ed “Two Deadlines And An Exit” In today’s NYT that deserves comment. Our Senator calls for the withdrawal of “our military” by 15 May unless the Iraqis form an “effective unity government.” Even with such an entity, our “combat” forces should be withdrawn by 31 December. A “Dayton Accords-like” summit should be convened. In the meantime, U.S. troops should be redeployed to “garrisoned status.”
Kerry should be applauded for his call for some withdrawal by 31 December. Contrast this with Bush’s plan to keep troops in Iraq until at least 2013 (Q: [W]ill there come a day when there will be no more American forces in Iraq? THE PRESIDENT: [T]hat will be decided by future Presidents …”) and McCain’s Johnson-esque, stay-the-course non-policy. Our Senator should be questioned, however, about the specifics of his proposal. The drive from Kuwait City took several weeks last time, as I recall, and 15 May is only five and one-half weeks away, so just how long do the Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds have to resolve their centuries-old animosities. (And, by the way, how many “combat forces” does he think are in Iraq right now). Where are these dates coming from? Why today for the Op-Ed, 15 May for a government, and 31 December for a complete withdrawal. Is the publication schedule of the NYT’s Op-Ed page setting our foreign policy?
Finally, and most critically, Kerry should address the two issues that, in MHO, are the most important elements to resolution of the Iraq war: ownership of the Iraqi oil industry, and the permanent military bases that are being built to control it. If the U.S. realy wants to leave, it should turn over the former to companies controlled by Iraqis, and the latter to the Iraqi Army. The Bush administration is unlikely to do that since, again in MHO, control of the oil was the main reason it fought this war in the first place. Would Kerry?
Dr. Sam Kelley will be on the Chet Curtis show tonight at 8 pm to discuss the passing of the new health care legislation. He is currently the Medical Director of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC). In the past he was an administrator for Tri-City Health Care where he contracted with nursing homes across the state, providing thousands of jobs for Massachusetts residents. Part of his job at MSPCC is to handle many of the health care issues on a daily basis. I could not think of a better expert on health care than Dr. Kelley to discuss the new legislation and how it will affect the average Massachusetts resident.
From Statehouse News (subscription only, no link available) Gov. Mitt Romney is likely to recommend changes to a per-employee fee for certain companies who do not offer health insurance to their employees, the governorâs spokesman said Wednesday. The $295 per-employee fee is included in final legislation that is on Romneyâs desk and is the result of a compromise reached by House and Senate leaders during the last five months. Romney aides say the revenue from the assessment is not a major revenue source in the larger plan and is not needed. Lawmakers predict the new fee will bring in roughly $48 million a year. Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the bill is âvirtually the same bill the governor filed a year ago, but there are some new features the Legislature has added and Governor Romney is going to look at those new features very carefully and in all likelihood make modifications and adjustments.â As for the assessment, Fehrnstrom added: âThis is not something the governor asked for and therefore in all likelihood he will make modifications and adjustments in that area.â Legislative leaders say itâs essential that businesses with more than 10 employees make contributions to help the state accomplish [...]
I first met Sam Yoon on a Wednesday night in January, 2005, almost a year before his election to the Boston City Council. He and another new candidate for City Council, John Connolly, addressed the monthly meeting of DFA Boston and took questions. I remember coming away from that discussion very impressed with Yoon: with his passion; his deep understanding of Boston development issues and the BRA; his ability to speak about religion in a way that inspires those who don’t share his, rather than turn them off. I had not yet decided to support him, and asked him some questions he didn’t know the answer to. I even had some doubt about whether, when he told me he’d try to learn more about the issues I asked him about and get tell me later what he decided, he really meant it.
Over the course of the year, Sam Yoon attended three more DFA Boston meetings, more than any other candidate. He answered all of my questions. He gained our trust, our support, and eventually, the endorsement of Democracy for America, our national parent organization.
A year later, on the first Wednesday of January, 2006, Sam Yoon came back to DFA Boston for the fifth time. He had just been inaugurated to the City Council, and we spent nearly an hour discussing Boston city issues with him. I took notes…
[ Come to the April DFA Boston meeting this evening, 7pm, at the USES Harriet Tubman House, 566 Columbus Ave @ Mass Ave, accessible by #1 bus, orange line (Mass Ave stop), and green line E (Symphony stop) ]
There’s an interesting discussion ongoing at Under the Golden Dome (be sure to read the comments too) regarding the announcement by Virginia Coppola, who as you may recall won a special election for the 1st Bristol House seat a little while back, saying that she’s not running for reelection in November. Claire Naughton, Coppola’s Democratic challenger, seems likely to run again, as will some other area Democrats. Coppola’s announcement again puts this seat in play for the Democrats. Anyone got more info? Cos?
blogging from jury duty today …
Please join in to advocate for sensible immigration reform!
A National Day Of Action
Say NO!! To Laws That Would Criminalize Immigrants And Those Who Aid Them.
Join us in Demanding Justice and Respect for all Immigrants!
Date: Â April 10, 2006 Â Â Time: Â 4:00 PM
Location: Â BOSTON COMMON (PARK STREET OFF The Green Line)
As everyone knows by now, Jarrett Barrios is “suspending” his campaign for Middlesex DA and will instead seek reelection to the state Senate. I don’t doubt that Barrios really wanted the DA job, and although his message to supporters trots out the old “more time with the family” line, one has to think there’s more to it than that (see, for example, this Herald story, and Eileen McNamara’s Globe column from a couple of weeks ago). Barrios is a talented and ambitious guy, and for him to have taken a cold, hard look at the race and conclude that he should withdraw can’t have been easy. But it was clearly the right thing to do. To elaborate a bit on Greg’s post, look at how many birds he kills with a single stone. First, central casting couldn’t have come up with a better candidate for Middlesex DA than Gerry Leone. The guy has been second-in-command at the county, state, and federal prosecutors’ offices, and (as I’ve written elsewhere in greater detail) has an impressive record of accomplishment both in straight-ahead prosecution and also in the development and implementation of programs and policies designed to prevent crime and to help government [...]
To my knowledge, Under the Golden Dome was the first to report it, but now the Boston Globe backs him up: Barrios is thinking of dropping out of the race for DA. My take is this is basically good news for progressives. Many of us seemed to want Barrios in a higher office, just maybe not this office, especially seeing as Leone appears to be a very highly qualified candidate. So we get the qualified DA, we keep our progressive State Senator . . . and Galluccio gets to exit the race and pretend it wasn’t about his alleged drunk driving. Everyone’s happy. Your thoughts?