April 2007
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Month April 2007

VoteOnMarriage LIES in their FALSE Advertisement

VoteOnMarriage.org, the people behind the anti-equality constitutional amendment, has a new radio ad airing.  It claims

“The People of MA have spoken, with 170,000 signatures seeking a vote on marriage”…

These people who besmirch the name “Christian” cannot stop lying blatant lies.  The Secretary of State certified 123,356 signatures.  VOM even admitted this in their 12/20/05 press release.

Math moment: The difference between 170,000 signatures collected and/or faked and 123,356 certified = *DELIBERATE, DOCUMENTED* FRAUD*.  The fraud was so appalling that there is a call to revamp the initiative process.  I personally witnessed fraudulent signature gathering at the Everett Target.  Update: I concede that some of these signatures were surely rejected due to error, petition sabotage and/or tomfoolery. 

By saying 170,000 represents “the People of MA hav[ing] spoken”, VOM:

1.  Erroneously implies that the signers represent ALL the people of MA

2.  Makes the legit signers complicit in the fraud and fakery.  If I had signed that petition deliberately, I’d be hoppin mad at that slander.  Don’t guilt me by association!

LISTEN! for the ad, and let us know where you hear it and who else was advertising that hour!

“That’s a huge deal”

“… Presumably an impeachable offense, immoral as hell … so who did it?” So says Tucker Carlson of the allegations of Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst. Remember the phony “Italian intelligence memo” that alleged an attempt by Iraq to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger? McGovern is claiming that it was, in fact, a creation of our own Vice President. (Transcript here.) Well, needless to say, we’re all eagerly waiting for McGovern’s evidence.

Neocons Applaud Vietraq Surge

Since today seems to be Gawk at the Journalistically Incontinent here at BMG, I thought it might be helpful to share the current excited NeoCon assessment about how splendidly the Vietraq “surge” is going: “Friends, Enemies and Spoilers: Two months in, the consequences of the surge,” by Frederick W. Kagan in The Weekly Standard. It’s actually interesting reading because, in its use of jargon and fancy-sounding military terms, it sounds just like the complicated “Why we are winning in Vietnam” briefings that were offered thick and fast by Democratic political leaders during the Johnson administration. Those turned out to be incredible. Most sensible observers recognize that neocons like Mr. Kagan and  publications like TWS have as much credibility as Donald Rumsfeld on Iraqi WMD in 2003, or Robert Macnamara on Vietnam in 1965. The political result of the lies told in the 1960s, and our subsequent defeat in Vietnam, was that Democrats were deemed weak and incompetent on defense matters by the public for a generation. The same result is likely to be the fate of the Republicans when this fiasco finally ends and the last Blackwater mercenary is airlifted by a Marine helicopter from an oil derrick somewhere. The […]

PROGRAM ALERT – “The Mormons” on PBS Monday 9:00 PM

The first two hours of the American Experience/Frontline series called The Mormons airs tonight.  I mention this becasue this was a hot topic of discussion here a few months ago.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of America’s fastest growing religions, and its influence circles the globe. The church has 12 million members today and over half of them live outside the U.S. Yet the birth of Mormonism and its history is one of America’s great neglected narratives. This four-hour documentary brings together FRONTLINE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE in their first co-production to provide a searching portrait of this fascinating but often misunderstood religion. Produced by award-winning filmmaker Helen Whitney (“Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero,” “John Paul II: The Millennial Pope”), the film will explore the richness, the complexities, and the controversies of the Mormons’ story as told through interviews with leaders and members of the church, with leading writers and historians, and with supporters and critics of the Mormon faith.

Sorry for the late notice.  Preview below the flip.

UMass divests from Sudan

In a move that should be an example to all other public (and private) institutions in the country, UMass has announced that it will divest from Sudan due to the genocide in Darfur. The Globe has it here. BOSTON –The University of Massachusetts is to withdraw more than $530,000 of its funds invested in Sudan, to pressure the government of Africa’s largest country to end the war in its western region of Darfur.

Widmer on the “importance” of the tax panel

Speaker DiMasi’s star appointee to the corporate tax panel doesn’t think too highly of his assigned task. The June 15 deadline is too soon, according to one member of panel, Michael Widmer, head of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, which opposes Patrick’s loophole plan. Widmer was appointed by DiMasi. “You can’t have a legitimate examination of corporate tax code in a month or two,” Widmer said. Widmer also questioned the value of the commission. “Of all the priorities that the state faces, I would not put this near the top,” he said. “The impetus for the commission really is a response to the governor’s proposal rather than a crying need in itself.” Why am I not surprised? Update, by Charley: Here are the other folks whose time Widmer will be wasting. Pity them: Commission members include: ·  Leslie Kirwan, Secretary of Administration and Finance, Chair* ·  Representative John Binienda, House Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue* ·  Senator Cynthia Creem, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue* ·  Representative Bradley Jones, House Minority Leader* ·  Senator Richard Tisei, Senate Minority Leader* ·  Alan LeBovidge, Commissioner of Revenue* ·  Professor Alan Clayton-Matthews, UMass Boston ·  Joseph Donovan, tax lawyer, Sullivan and Worcester ·  […]

Kerry Approval Jumps Back Up in Massachusetts

[First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.] Back when it was unclear whether or not John Kerry would enter the 2008 Presidential race, his approval languished. Survey USA: 11/22/06: 48-50 (-2 net approval) 12/20/06: 43-53 (-10 net approval) 1/24/07: 40-53 (-13 net approval) Late January: Kerry bows out of 2008 Presidential scrum Early February: Kerry launches “Set a Deadline” 2/22/07: 47-47 (0 net approval) 3/20/07: 47-48 (-1 net approval) 4/25/07: 54-41 (13 net approval) So, in December & January, it seems that voters were turned off by Kerry’s continued flirtation with another Presidential race, giving him double-digit net negatives.  He then took himself out of the Prez scrum and brought his numbers to about even in February and March.  Now that he’s fully committed to serving the Bay State in the Senate and running for re-election, his numbers are back up to a healthy double-digit positive.  Next month can solidify Kerry’s approval or raise more questions if it dips considerably; but, for now, this must be welcome news to Kerry, who may only face token opposition.

Patrick takes action on foreclosures

This just in: In an ongoing response to the state’s foreclosure crisis, Governor Deval Patrick today directed Commissioner of Banks Steven L. Antonakes to seek delays from mortgage lenders, on a case-by-case basis, for any Massachusetts homeowner who has filed a complaint with the Division of Banks as part of their consumer assistance outreach efforts. “This action will provide relief to the people who need it the most – the individuals and families who find themselves in the late stages of a personal financial crisis,” said Governor Patrick.  “All we seek is for individuals and families to have a little time to work with lenders and non-profits toward a solution that might just save their homes.” … As part of its continuing and multi-faceted response, the Patrick Administration has identified and contacted housing agencies from across the state to assist distressed homeowners.  The list of agencies is available at http://www.mass.gov/…. … Additionally, the Division of Banks has extended the hours of its mortgage hotline from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Homeowners are urged to call the Division at 1-800-495-BANK (2265) and can file a consumer complaint form available at http://www.mass.gov/…. Good stuff.  The executive branch can do a lot without […]

“There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican party will survive this dilemma.”

The above is the conclusion to a piece by a well-known political commentator.  The “dilemma” described by the author is the fact that, on the one hand, the country has turned decisively against the war in Iraq and by significant majorities wants the troops to come home, and on the other, President Bush remains committed to sticking to a course that isn’t working and that almost no one thinks will work, while even the respected General Petraeus offers little in the way of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The author?  William F. Buckley, Jr., the godfather of modern conservatism. Ouch. It’s an interesting piece.  A couple of choice quotes: The political problem of the Bush administration is grave, possibly beyond the point of rescue. The opinion polls are savagely decisive on the Iraq question. About 60 percent of Americans wish the war ended – wish at least a timetable for orderly withdrawal…. Meanwhile, George Tenet, former head of the CIA, has just published a book which seems to demonstrate that there was one part ignorance, one part bullheadedness, in the high-level discussions before war became policy. Mr. Tenet at least appears to demonstrate that there was […]

Lowell Sun covers MA-05 health care brawl (very well!)

Dick Howe points us to this Lowell Sun article on the recent discussion of health care in the MA-05 race. It’s a very well-researched article: Chockful of relevant and telling quotes from the various candidates; some brief but useful background on the issue; and background on the various proposals in the public sphere at large. A job well done by reporter Matt Murphy — I’m looking forward to reading more from him. Jamie Eldridge is shown to have the most ambitious proposal for health care: Single-payer. The government becomes the insurer of everyone. No more health insurers skimming off the top. (This works very nicely in a number of countries.) Eldridge makes a moral and economic case for single-payer: “The market works great when you’re selling TVs,” he added. “But the reason the market is such a poor design is because HMOs look at a family, where maybe the mother has cancer, and uses that as a reason to deny coverage because they won’t make money off that family. I compare health care to public education.” Niki Tsongas has “softened her position considerably”, says the Sun. In her own words: “I think, fundamentally, we need universal health care in this […]