December 2006
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Month December 2006

A trend line I can live with

On this last day of 2006, here’s a look at what we’ve experienced at BMG since we hit the internets in late 2004: In a couple of weeks, if current trends continue, our one millionth unique visitor will drop by.  That’s so far beyond where I dared to imagine this site could go that it’s a bit hard for me even to believe it, but statcounter doesn’t lie (at least, we’re told it doesn’t). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: thank you.  You, the readers, the posters, the commenters, the lurkers, are why this site has had whatever success it’s had.  You, the netroots, have arrived in Massachusetts, and you’re here to stay.  Don’t let ‘em forget it. Happy New Year to all!

DNA Expert Goes On The Air

DNA expert Dr. Theodore Kessis of Applied DNA Resources in Columbus, Ohio talked about the Ben LaGuer case on Boston radio this morning. He was a guest on the program hosted by Minister Don Muhammad, who also happens to have been on the Patrick/Murray transition working group for Public Safety and Security. Kessis previously stated in a letter to Rep. Ellen Story regarding the LaGuer case: “many instances of DNA testing errors have led to the false conviction of innocent individuals. It is my opinion that we have encountered such a case here.” He was very eloquent on the radio this morning in explaining procedural and scientific errors that led to the misleading 2002 DNA result. (NOTE TO MSM: Dr. Kessis is available for more interviews.) Don Mohammad also made a plea for anyone who can possibly attend LaGuer’s SJC hearing on Thursday morning a 9 to do so. Here is a map to help you find it. If you happen to be going to the inauguration at the State House at noon, it will just be a matter of coming to town a couple of hours earlier. The court is only a block away. It is time prosecutor Sandra […]

Test Driving John Edwards website

UPDATED: Um, since we all agree that none of the main Dem candidates is likely to endorse gay marriage, anyone care to comment on, you know, anything else?  A few thoughts: 1. When I Googled “John Edwards 2008,” it came up after “JohnnyEdwards2008″ – which isn’t his.  I assume that’s short term, that the new website hasn’t been live long enough to shoot up to the top slot.  2. Anyway, the real website is kind of busy and video heavy.  Interesting choice.  The poor folks he wants to rally tend to have dial up modems.  3. John Edwards “appearance” on Daily Kos is highlighted on the home page.  Interesting that he went to Kos of his announcement.  What would Emily Rooney say?  Will Hillary and Barack do that?  4. If the website and Kos thread are any indication of what’s to come, seems the campaign folks believe wife Elizabeth is a major strategic asset – she made tons of Kos comments – and will deploy her big time.  Jujitsu possibilities – she uses “everywoman” persona (particularly on diet/weight) combined with cancer survivor to both reduce Bill Clinton effect AND amp up Hillary’s negatives with Dem voters like my mom who […]

Globe op-ed recycles civic engagement working group’s recommendations

OK, I admit it: this annoyed me.  Yesterday’s Globe featured an op-ed by David Tebaldi, the head of the Mass. Foundation for the Humanities, who I’m sure is a very nice man but who perhaps needs to get out more.  Or maybe it’s the Globe op-ed editors who need to get out more. The op-ed starts by praising Deval Patrick for “making civic engagement a centerpiece of his candidacy.”  It then praises the transition’s working group process (especially the public meetings) as a “bold gesture and a constructive exercise toward true participatory democracy.” All well and good.  But then, the op-ed announces that: the challenge now is to identify concrete ways to keep the public involved. Oooh, yeah, that’s right.  Gosh, if only someone had been working on that during the transition! I mean, did Mr. Tebaldi miss the fact that among the 15 working groups was one devoted specifically to “civic engagement”?  Did he notice that the civic engagement working group (of which I was the co-chair) delivered a 29-page report full of suggestions of “concrete ways” to advance the cause of civic engagement?  Or that the report was published to the world last Tuesday?  To read Mr. Tebaldi’s […]

Herald Writes About Effort to Save Boston Progressive Radio

There’s an article in the Herald on the growing fledgling efforts to reverse the loss of Air America and Jones Radio Networks in the Boston area, radio shows that Boston’s airwaves are missing now thanks to a recent format change of AM 1200/1430 to Spanish music. I’m on the email list and these guys are serious about this – they’ve already almost ready to launch a website and had a meeting of 20+ people in the first week of their existance. Clear Channel, of course, tried to switch format without fanfare to avoid exactly this sort of grassroots organizing – which caused them to reverse their decision in Madison, WI. Not to belittle other progressive radio stations or shows in the area (hell, I host one!) but it was the dumbest decision in the world to pull Boston Progressive Talk. Despite the terrible signal, the lack of interest in selling ads, among other stupid business decisions by Clear Channel, BPT had lots of loyal fans and the audience would have only grown larger with time, a better signal, and more advertising. It’s time to fight back from lackluster deliberately-weak business decisions from companies like Clear Channel and show that the […]

Very Disappointing Globe Article

Just when I thought the Boston Globe was going to let its excellent criminal justice reporter take a hard look at the LaGuer case, it turns out that they are more interested in perpetuating the political circus Kerry Healey set in motion during the campaign. Reading this morning’s article “Convict Will Appeal on Patrick’s Day” you would be hard pressed to tell whether the criminal justice reporter even read the briefs before the Supreme Judicial Court. Instead, the Globe tries to make cute of the coincidence that the justices scheduled LaGuer’s hearing for the same day as Patrick’s swearing in. By pressuring Cyndi Roy into commenting on a confluence of events that she wasn’t even aware of, and which, if justice is the goal, don’t have much to do with each other, the Globe casts LaGuer as the skunk at the garden party, raining on Patrick’s parade. The bigger point is that Healey, for political reasons, turned a case that was currently before the SJC into a political football. That angle was never reported. And those machinations weren’t LaGuer’s doing as wasn’t the timing of this week’s hearing. Unfortunately the Globe squandered valuable space reporting happenstance, and having their criminal […]

Here’s Your Sign

BOHICA!  You have the right to crappy auto insurance! Mitt, try as he might wanted to “reform”.  Remember the astroturf “movement”? http://www.fairnessf… The real reason auto insurance companies DON’T flock to Massachusetts is because the industry IS regulated.  The removal of the regulations will result in substandard insurance that we as drivers will pay for. In addition to this is the insurance company’s RIGHT to deny coverage based on the ever increasing data mining done on your personal lifestyle. So yes, I have no desire to buy insurance from a lizard.  And here all along I thought the redstaters were retards. Enjoy the insurance funded ball, Deval!

How to find at least $75,000 that could be spent on desperately-needed services

Veto this bill. The Globe describes the duties of the Boston Licensing Board as follows: The licensing board handles permits for liquor stores, dormitories, lodging houses, hotels, and establishments that serve food. Each week the board presides over three public hearings, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings…. As chairman, [former state rep and court clerk Daniel] Pokaski oversees the board and its staff, but the only mandatory duty for board members [former Boston corporation counsel Joseph] Mulligan and [former Secretary of State Michael] Connolly are to appear at hearings and vote on matters before the board. For these backbreaking responsibilities, the board members are paid $60,000 a year.  Apparently, that’s not enough — the legislature just passed a bill that would bump their salaries up to $85,000, and would apparently allow the Mayor of Boston to hike them even further, up to $110,000 in his “discretion.” Who are these guys, by the way? Appointments typically have gone to career politicians. Really?  Gosh, I never would have guessed. Anyway, Chairman Pokaski explained that the pay raises are warranted because, well, other hacks get paid more. “The City Council 12 years ago was making $45,000 and we were making $50,000; now the […]

John Edwards Meets the Press

I’ve posted three videos from the New Hampshire event, plus a report on the Bloggers Meeting. Video: Behind the Scenes: John Edwards, YouTube and the Campaign Website Chuck Olsen talks about the behind the scenes work of uploading John Edwards announcement video from New Orleans onto YouTube, and gives us some details on flipping the switch on the campaign website early. Robert Scoble talks about the power of capturing fleeting moments with the candidate and sharing them online. VIDEO: Press Row at John Edwards New Hampshire Event Here’s a look at press row while everything was being set up. VIDEO: John Edwards Meets the Press in New Hampshire John Edwards met the press and answered a question about the possibility of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry entering the presidential race. BLOG POST: John Edwards Meets the Bloggers. Going into this meet the bloggers event I was wondering how I’d get a chance to talk to John Edwards about video blogging when he was only scheduled for 15 minutes with us and there were 20 bloggers in the curtained off area. This post also includes 5 Reasons Why the John Edwards Blogger Meeting Was a Disappointment and How It Can be […]

Will Deval Raise Taxes?

This was in the Globe this morning: Aides to Governor-elect Deval Patrick said yesterday that the state is facing a deficit that could reach $1 billion next year, a looming budget gap that observers say could force Patrick to scale back his ambitious agenda, slash spending, or raise taxes “Discuss amongst yourselves”