That is all the information I have for now. When I get a link to the agenda, I will post it unless either “the mouse in the House” does, or another poster at this site.
[cross-posted at Daily Kos]
This week, Air America “pre-founders” Sheldon and Anita Drobny came to Boston to meet with Save Boston’s Progressive Talk Radio, which is working to put progressive talk back on the airwaves. The Drobnys spent most of that time meeting with politicians and potential investors, but also spent an evening with the group at progressive comedian Jimmy Tingle’s theater in Somerville. Many people from our group who couldn’t attend have been begging for a description of the event, and I thought I’d post it here for the enjoyment and edification of Bostonians and non-Bostonians alike.
The collapse of the nuclear-power industry began 30 years ago today when authorities arrested 1414 members of the Clamshell Alliance at a nuclear construction site in Seabrook, New Hampshire.
The industry sank under hundreds of billions of dollars of nuclear cost overruns nationwide. But it was not faceless economic forces that felled nuclear power.
“We were all very surprised to find that despite a U.S. prohibition on purchase of weapons by the mentally ill that dates back to the 1960s,” Kaine said, “the majority of states report no data on mental health adjudications in the national database.” Even in states with these stricter mental health restrictions, gun buyers can sidestep background checks by obtaining firearms from a private seller or at a gun show from a “private” individual or “collector.” Those purchases account for about half of the guns sold in the United States each year. Efforts by Virginia lawmakers to close this gun-show loophole have been repeatedly blocked by gun-rights advocates.” IHT
I’m in a college class on new media and I am doing a project regarding participatory culture and online campaigns. I was wondering if you might take the time to comment on this post and address some of the following questions: 1) How often do you use MyIssue.DevalPatrick.com or Policy.DevalPatrick.com? 2) What is your use? Have you started issues and become a coordinator or simply voted/supported issues and left comments? 3) Do you find this to be a valuable networking tool out of which real action can grow or has grown? Would this activism otherwise be harder to organize? Or does it just seem to be a way for the governor to guage public opinion? 4) Who else do you think participates in the tool? Is Deval reaching new audiences with this, or is it just a new way to engage the same old active organizing crowd? How might this tool be marketed or changed to reach new audiences, and would this be valuable? 5) What do you think of the heavy support for conservative issues such as VoteOnMarriage and abolishing gun control? Is this representative of the citizens of the state or just those affluent enough to be online [...]
Sunday’s edition of the Boston Globe Magazine had a great cover story about Massachusetts’ first-in-the-nation Extended Learning Time (ELT) program, which is designed to allow public schools that opt in to receive state funds for the development and implementation of plans to lengthen their school days. The article details the promise and problems associated with such a radical innovation in the education reform movement and interviews administrators, teachers, and students for their perspectives on ELT. Following up on the article, Chris Gabrieli participated in a chat on Boston.com to further discuss the issues surrounding the ELT initiative in Massachusetts, which enjoys the strong support of one-time primary rival Governor Deval Patrick and Senator Ted Kennedy, who is chairman of the Senate’s education committee. It was Gabrieli’s Massachusetts 2020 that spearheaded the legislation to create the ELT pilot program, which is now expanding to include even more schools, thanks to increased funding. It’s inspiring, as a life-long resident of Massachusetts, to have our commonwealth take the lead on yet another major issue and to serve again as a potential model for the nation. I encourage you all to read the article and the transcript.
Boston Carmen’s Union Local #589 President Stephan MacDougall testified at the April 30th Transportation Finance Commission Hearing at Transportation Building disputing the Commission’s attacks on T workers.
MacDougall made an interesting point about how now that the MBTA workforce has achieved a high level of diversity, workers wages and benefits are being targeted for cutbacks. The following is the tex of his reparks:
Good afternoon. My name is Stephan MacDougall, I represent the Boston Carmen’s Union and retired workers of the MBTA, in all I represent over 11,000 active and retired employees.
Before I offer my comments on the findings of the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission, I would like to thank the Commission members for volunteering their time and service to the people of Massachusetts.
I agree with most of the findings of the report as they relate to the funding and financial structure of transportation systems in the Commonwealth, however, I disagree with some of the Commission’s statements and comments as they relate to the underlying problems.
Another day, another old, under the public radar piece of information showing that Bush & Co. were planning the Iraq invasion since 9/11, regardless of legitimacy. This disturbing open letter from neo-con think tank The Project for the New American Century is dated nine days after 9/11 and compliments mounds of evidence suggesting the Administration used only facts (and supposed “facts”, e.g. aluminum tubes) that supported their pre-determined* agenda to topple Iraq. We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein “is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth?.” It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The undersigned? Richard Perle, William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, (that latter being two of the most hawkish and visible media pundits still banging the war drum) and many other [...]
from the ActBlue Blog Fundraising pages are the most important component of ActBlue: the vast majority of visitors to the site arrive directly on a fundraising page because a friend, an organization, or a campaign has channeled them there. We pride ourselves on these pages’ simplicity: donors can show up, immediately understand what’s going on, and contribute with no distracting bells and whistles. But we harbor a dirty secret (or, not-so-secret if you’ve been with us a while). Over the past three years, $22 million raised, and 200,000+ donors, these pages haven’t actually changed all that much. For a bit of nostalgia, check out the DailyKos dozen page as it looked back at the end of 2004 (compare to the same page with today’s look). Yeah, the site framework has changed a little, but the makeup of the fundraising pages is remarkably similar. Next week, all that is about to change. Motivated by a strong sense that we could do better (and by a desire to burn down HTML code approaching its second anniversary), a few weeks ago we got to work putting together a new design with the help of the excellent Steve Ofner of Liberal Art. The result [...]
The marketing-related implementation problems with the Massachusetts “universal access” health insurance laws are beginning to come apparent just as the new Commonwealth Choice health insurance market proposals are becoming available today.
One substantial problem the Massachusetts Health Connector Board has encountered is that all of the private health insurance compaines, offering the subsidized, “affordable” “Commonwealth Choice” health insurance products continue to balk at fulfilling the mandatory state data demographic reporting requirements contained in the law, according to Paul Wingle, who spoke at the MassINC. health care reform Real Talk forum last Thursday in Boston. According to Mr. Wingle, the insurance companies offering these “Commonwealth Care” health insurance products claim that such information contains “proprietary competitive market” data that would leave them at a competitive disadvantage with other insurance companies that might use this information to about the income-level of Commonwealth Choice subscribers, the frequency, scope, and total utilization costs of health care services ascribed to Commonwealth Choice customers, and other demographic data the law mandates these companies turn over to the state.
One suspects that, at least, some of the health insurance companies are refusing to turn over this critical demongraphic data to the state Commonwealth Connector Board for a more nefarious reason. Specifically, the health insurance companies have a powerful economic incentive to concentrate their marketing and sign-up efforts on the healthiest, youngest, and most financially stable of their potential uninsured customers and leave the sickest, oldest, and most financially precarious MA residents for the MassHealth program to pick-up. This practice is known in health insurance circles as “creaming” (marketing and signing up the insurance subscribers least likely to utilize the health insurance services provided and making it more difficult for riskier potential health insurance subscribers to purchase your product), and it is particularly prevalent, when in this case, the insurance companies are forecasting earning a modest profit of between 2-5% on their respective Commonwealth Choice plans.