May 2007
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Month May 2007

From Niki – Congress Should Act on Stem Cell Research

Today I called for swift action on the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007.  Versions of this bill have passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but a compromise bill has yet to be sent to the President.  I congratulate the Democratic Congress for making this one of their first priorities in the 110th Congress.  The same legislation was vetoed by President Bush in July 2006 – prior to the November elections and additional gains by Democrats in the House and Senate.  The President has threatened to veto the bill for a second time.

Gov Lynch Signs NH Civil Unions Bill

“It’s never too soon to act to prevent discrimination.” -Governor John Lynch, NH

Gov. Lynch signed Civil Unions into NH law today.  Mirroring Civil Unions in VT, CT & NJ and Domestic Partnerships in CA, New Hampshire Civil Unions will bestow all the rights, responsibilities and privileges of marriage at the state level.  Bill text here

CUs & DPs are generally recognized as discriminatory, designed by people with “there goes the neighborhood” fears of sharing “their” civil institution of marriage with queers.  Nevertheless, CUs & DPs are a valuable stop-gap measure.  They provide needed protections for families while we continue to push for genuine marriage equality.  Governor Lynch should be commended for recognizing that this piece of legislation is a step towards nondiscrimination.

Same-sex couples in NH may enter into Civil Unions starting January 1, 2008.  Sorry LGBT allies, but this is a homo-only drinking fountain.  You may not get a civil union. :-(   Statements by notables after the flip.

UPDATE from NH Freedom to Marry:

  • The Senate Judiciary cmte just voted 3 to 2 to kill HB51.  HB51 would allow two unmarried adults to adopt a child.  This bill impacts heterosexuals as well as gays. Contact your Senator and tell them to pass this bill! 

  • Today the NH Senate refused to allow the NH House to create a study committee to look at taking the next steps to marriage equality. The vote was 24 to 0.
  • Governor Patrick’s life sciences initiative is working

    Good news: Governor Deval Patrick announced today, with the support of Senate President Therese Murray and alongside House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, Organogenesis’ CEO Geoff MacKay and dozens of Organogenesis employees that the Massachusetts-based company, which was once planning to expand its operations outside of the state, has decided instead to stay and grow in Massachusetts. Organogenesis, the world’s first profitable regenerative medicine company, made the commitment to stay in the Commonwealth as a result of Governor Patrick’s $1 billion life science initiative, which was announced at this year’s international BIO 2007 convention in Boston. … Organogenesis had been planning to expand its operations outside of Massachusetts, seeking a business climate that would be more favorable toward regenerative medicine. As a direct result of Governor Patrick’s Life Sciences Initiative, however, Organogenesis has decided to maintain its headquarters in Massachusetts. The company also will initiate an aggressive expansion of its global head office, research, development and manufacturing facilities within the state. Organogenesis will add 300 new highly skilled jobs, thereby doubling its existing employee base and expanding its facilities to 250,000 square feet. … “The reality is that the regenerative medicine field is highly competitive.  Without government ensuring a positive business […]

    Bubble bubble toil and trouble — is it a good thing?

    Full disclosure: I rent. On purpose. For now. Who are you gonna believe in this housing market? These guys, who say we’re looking at a late-’80s style crash — which might actually be good for the local economy, drawing people back to the state? The Massachusetts housing market will remain in a slump, and by the time it hits bottom about a year from now, prices will have dropped 14 percent from the peak in 2005, according to an economic forecast released yesterday. Such a decline would mean the current downturn would match the real estate collapse of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the median single-family home price also fell about 14 percent. Or these guys? “This is the low point, and if they miss it, they may not have another opportunity like this for years to come,” Greater Boston Real Estate Board CEO Gregory Vasil said. How does the real estate guy know this is the bottom, hm? For realtors, it’s always you gotta buy now!!! The market goes  up, you gotta ride it up! Market goes down, you may not have another opportunity at these prices!!! It’s like some beautiful Zen state … The Eternal Now. […]

    10 flavors of toast

    Ana Marie Cox (ex- of Wonkette, now has a real job with Time) documents ten gaffes by Our Ex-Guv. They go from merely pandering (Mitt’s laughable assertion that he’s “been a hunter pretty much my whole life”) to the barbaric (“Double Gitmo”). But what mostly sticks with you is the flat-out weirdness of some of them: Claiming French marriages are up in seven years? (Is that a 7/23 marriage, like a mortgage — faithful for seven years, “adjustable” after?) And while we’re not on the subject, how about the non-sequitur of “First, not France” as a slogan; I have little doubt that the GOP diehards don’t like France, but is it really at the top of their minds? And then the crushingly misinformed mouthing of a Castro slogan before a Cuban expat audience? It’s just so … odd. Romney sounds like an alien from outer space trying his best to pass as a Presidential contender … He just doesn’t quite get it. Battlefield Earth, indeed.

    Kennedy’s Immigration Bill A Lose-Lose for American Workers AND Immigrants

    Sen. Kennedy has done some great things in his career, but this Senate Immigration package is a cut and paste that is now so flawed that there is something in it for just about anyone to hate. American workers?especially American construction workers?deserve better than what is being proposed under the comprehensive immigration reform package currently being rammed through the US Senate. In a rush to get something, anything, passed to say they did, our US Senator Kennedy has been a disappointment because he has cut deals first with Sen. McCain and (now that McCain has backed away from him) with Sen. Kyl that ultimately do not help or protect either American workers or the immigrants that will continue to be exploited as cheap labor. Reading through the bill, it is clear that especially in the section that offers up the Guest Worker program, this package paves the road to disaster and does not help either American workers or immigrant workers: * The temporary guest worker provision, as contained in the bill, does not offer sufficient wage floor protections?opening the door even wider for exploitation of undocumented workers in the American construction industry ? which leads to an accelerated erosion of […]

    Richardson talks to DFA about energy

    DFA has invited all the Democratic presidential candidates to speak directly to their members about specific issues.  Here is Bill Richardson’s response on energy: His energy plan is posted here.  It’s quite aggressive — and why shouldn’t it be?

    HillaryCare rehabilitated

    Jonathan Cohn has a nice rehabilitation of the 1993 Clinton health care plan, noting that we’re still dealing with the same old problems 12 years on, only worse: Costs, the uninsured, total lack of transparency, yadda yadda yadda. Look, I think it’s silly and a red herring to think that the Clinton health care plan died because of its inherent flaws, its length, Hillary’s alleged abrasiveness and self-righteousness, whatever. No, it died because the special interests — the insurers — lined up against it, spent a lot of money fighting it, ran ads all over the country, faked up some “protests”, and most importantly, persuaded the Republicans that their own electoral interests would be shattered for decades to come if they didn’t kill it. In other words, they feared that people would come to like universal health care so much, that they would vote for the party that gave it to them — much like Social Security and Medicare have created generations of Democrats. It was a special-interest,  big-money coup. Nothing more, nothing less. And when the next (Democratic) President’s universal health care plan comes out, the usual suspects will do the usual things. Count on it.

    Bill O’Reilly shows his true colors

    This is really unbelievable.  In the course of interviewing John McCain about the pending immigration bill, O’Reilly uncorked this beauty: Do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far left want?  They want to break down the white Christian male power structure of which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.  In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right.  So I say that you’ve gotta cap it with a number. As a factual matter, of course, if he’s talking about immigrants from Mexico, most of them are Christian, and plenty of them are male.  It’s the white thing that O’Reilly is really worried about. Give O’Reilly credit for this: at least he’s not hiding it any more.  No more blather about national security, or taking jobs from “real” Americans, or any other excuse.  He’s worried about white people losing their control over the power structure in this country.  And so, he says, the white people who at present control the legislature need to do whatever it takes to be sure that control doesn’t leave white hands. If that’s not […]

    WSJ Reports John Henry Having Problems

    The Wall Street Journal reports today in its Heard on the Street column that Red Sox owner John Henry’s funds are down about 80% in total assets, from $2.5 billion about a year ago to around $500 million today. Potentially bad news for our most important institution. John Henry’s Boston Red Sox are in first place in baseball’s American League East. But his investment firm is on a losing streak that has investors rushing for the exits. Amid dreadful performance for more than a year, Merrill Lynch & Co. is pulling about $600 million of investment funds from Mr. Henry’s firm at the end of this month. The move by Merrill, which has had an 11-year relationship with the firm, leaves John W. Henry & Co. with just about $500 million. About a year ago, Mr. Henry’s firm, a managed-futures adviser — a hedge-fund-like operation that bets on commodities, currencies, bonds and stocks, in Boca Raton, Fla. — managed more than $2.5 billion. Here’s hoping the fortunes of Henry’s investment firm improve. Those pitchers don’t come cheap and even though the Sox have a separate ownership structure it’s always good to have deep pockets nearby.