I heard something on the news tonight about there being a change from “tradition” in the handover of the statehouse tokens of power from one governor to the next and the inauguaration. I heard that Mitt Romney will give up the proverbial ghost on Jan 3 but that the inauguration of Deval Patrick will not be until Jan 4 on the steps of the Statehouse. I don’t get it. Can someone explain what is going on? Why break with tradition here? What is the message being sent. Who was it that wanted the change? Does anyone else feel uncomfortable with this? Are we going to see Mitt Romney shake hands with Deval Patrick and effect the peaceful handover of power or not? I think there should be a public handover of power with a handshake. What is going on?
Notwithstanding the BMG jihad on mainstream media*, Bob Oakes is a great interviewer…. You can read his interview of Trav here. Trav, well spoken in my opinion, views budget along the lines of: 1. Stem cell research, $10 million a year 2. Higher Ed, +$15 million a year 3. Matsusaka, +18 million a year (off budget) 4. Most programs at roughly same level, including local aid Oakes: Since my opening question we talked about Deval Patrick’s agenda. Let me ask you, and we’re talking about money, let me ask you one question about a topic he raised during the campaign, and that is trying to ease the property tax burden, the local property tax burden on the residents of Massachusetts cities and towns. Does the money exist in the coming year for the legislature to increase local aid in some way or find some other way to ease the property tax burden in local communities? Travaglini: It’s a little disappointing Robert that in this discussion the fact that we increased local aid significantly, to the tune of 15 to 17 percent last year and held harmless the municipalities during the entire fiscal crisis of three and four years ago. We [...]
Many people know that Hillary Clinton has done great work in the United States Senate. And I really believe she has done good work in the Senate. She should be commended for her service to New York State. But lets do some real examining. Does Hillary have it? Many people have been saying that Barack Obama, or even John Edwards could be the anti-Hillary. Also-should we have a “back to back” Presidential family in this country. My opinion is that we need a fresh face. Barack Obama or even John Edwards fills that void, that fresh perspective. I recently found a poll on a reputable website, that her favorables/unfavorables were “very close”, and I also found another one where 47% of people polled would not vote for her. Believe me, I would vote for Bill Clinton 10 times, he really fires up a crowd. But I don’t understand, why is she a frontrunner? Besides the name, I don’t see much, besides her Senate service. A wise man told me that this is the Democrats’ election to lose. Lets’ really examine this, before we make any selections-should the speculated candidates run. That’s what this blog is about. I commend the founders [...]
cross-posted from DailyKos. These regular Diaries by Dr SteveB on health reform are a great resource for all Six Myths As Barriers to Health Care Reform Single Payer Health Care part 3, by DrSteveB, Dec 07, 2006 This diary continues the series, detailing six myths that have been promulgated by self interested corporate stakeholders (notably Insurance, Pharma, Corporatized for-profit hospitals & HMOs, AMA) as deliberate barriers to health care reform… and we are going to do some myth busting (who you gonna call…)! * There’s more…plus 259 comments National resources on health sytem reform in addition to Dr SteveB’s weekly Daily Kos blog (I just found out it comes out on Thursdays, so I’ve some catching up to do with cross-postings) include Physicians for a National Health Program based in Chicago, and the grassroots organizing effort called HealthCare-Now.org that’s based in NYC. On the local MA scene resources for fundamental system reform include MassCare.org and the citizens Health Care Amendment Campaign.
The MBTA has a new website, which at first blush is definitely an improvement over the old one. It certainly makes it easier for me to criticize this T! Let’s face it: Buses suck, because buses are late. Why? Is it just unpredictable traffic? Well, maybe. But mostly it’s just that they’re unnecessarily slow. One improvement would be a simple matter: Take out some of the stops. Check out the #1 bus route, one of the more heavily-traveled routes, I’d have to imagine. Does it really need to stop at Mass Ave. and Bay St., and then again at Hancock St, hardly a block and a half away? Then it stops again at Sellers, and again at Pleasant. And again, and again. I suppose there might be a case where there’s a signficant population of physically challenged folks for whom walking a block and a half is a real hardship, i.e. near nursing homes (which there is one near Bay St. in Cambridge). But come on, at least let’s pick our spots. For 99% of everyone, walking that extra block won’t kill us.
The Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry are announcing a candelight vigil for peace and reconciliaton in response to the violence perpetrated by Larry Cirignano, Executive Director of Catholic Citizenship, at the “Rally for Democracy” at Worcester City Hall on 12/16/06. The plan is to gather at Copley Square in Boston in the early evening of Wednesday, January 10, and process to the offices of Catholic Citizenship on Tremont Street. There will be a call for dialogue between supporters and opponents of same sex marriage in an attempt to move beyond the overheated rhetoric which has characterized the debate, leading up to the violence in Worcester. The vigil seeks to affirm peace, tolerance, and mutual respect for all citizens of the Commonwealth, as we try to dispel the anger and hostility on display in Worcester.
This is long, long, overdue: (…) Michael W. Morrissey, the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy, is putting forth legislation to impose new regulations on cellular phone companies to make them more responsive to consumers. The bill, drafted by Morrissey, would force the companies to issue semiannual public reports detailing their signal strength, their dead zones, and gaps in coverage, along with the number of dropped calls. In addition, the legislation would allow customers with poor service to terminate their contract with their cellphone company without having to pay hefty penalties. Consumers would pay only a pro-rated share of the early termination fee, based on how long they have had their service; currently, customers who wish to get out of a service contract are usually required to pay the full termination fee. I’m less interested in the spotty service than the coercive long-term contracts. As Howard Dean said rather un-poetically, “We need to re-regulate” — but in this case, it’s re-regulation on behalf of actual unfettered market competition, not the rigged game that the telcos would have you play. Chipping away at the Corporate Nanny State would be a tremendous accomplishment for the legislature and [...]
Today’s newspaper says Deval is taking a week off and going to South Africa. I use to vacation there. In the ’70s. Sun City. It was cool then. Now everybody goes there. Lost its luster. But anyhoo… Where should Deval vaction?
On this day in 1833, according to the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, “religious and social reformer Abner Kneeland printed a letter deemed so blasphemous by a Massachusetts court that it landed the former clergyman in jail. Kneeland capped 30 years of increasingly liberal religious preaching by declaring, “Universalists believe in a god . . . that . . . is nothing more than a chimera of their own imagination.” He was tried, convicted of having libeled God, and sentenced to 60 days in jail. Freethinkers such as Emerson, Garrison, and Alcott rallied, unsuccessfully, to defend his freedom of speech. Massachusetts authorities were so embarrassed by the case that, even though the law against blasphemy remains on the books, no one in the state has ever again been convicted of that offense.”
Oral argument in Doyle v. Secretary of the Commonwealth, the case asking the SJC to bypass the legislature and advance the anti-marriage amendment to the ballot, begins in a couple of minutes. I’ll post impressions below the flip as we go.