May 2007
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Day May 12, 2007

MassEquality’s nifty map

More fabulous Flash, this time from MassEquality: Find out if your Rep or Senator supports marriage equality or not, by going here and clicking on the appropriate map. Sadly, my rep, Paul Donato, voted “yes” to advance the amendment. That’s just wrong, and Mr. Donato should also know that it’s out of step with Medford, his utterly unscientific “surveys” notwithstanding. Medford’s changing, Mr. Donato. Don’t be left behind like the clock in Medford Square: (Taken at 9:48.)

The end of the “guerilla marketing” story – not with a bang but with a whimper

All charges have been dropped against Peter Berdovsky, and Sean Stevens.  They have completed their public service, but are still volunteering. See:

At Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where the two men have volunteered since early April to perform their community service, the administrator who supervised their visits said they were respectful, motivated, and creative. In addition to their work designing a mural, Berdovsky and Stevens edited a promotional video for the hospital’s development department, designed an invitation for an open house, and spent a day scrubbing a dock used for Spaulding’s boating program.

“They benefitted, and we did, as well,” said Oswald Mondejar, vice president of human resources at the hospital. “They’re really good guys, and they have learned their lesson. I think they were shaken by the experience.”

She said the two men plan to continue their volunteer work and intend to finish the waiting area mural, which shows children using wheelchairs in a bright garden setting.

Even the City of Boston sounds philosophical now:

A Boston police spokeswoman stressed the lessons learned from the incident, which provided “a real life test of our emergency preparedness system, which responded appropriately and with great proficiency,” Elaine Driscoll said.

Boston City Council President Maureen E. Feeney said in a statement that the council will work to develop new communication guidelines for advertising firms to help avoid such surprises.

And maybe, too Boston did not look so bad in the kinder light of hindsight:

A critic for the Orlando Sentinel wrote this about the film: “To think we laughed at Boston. Then. They knew a bomb when they saw one.”

Hearing on “Municipalities” and a whole lot more – MONDAY!

The “hearing activity” is hot and heavy in the State House on Monday.  I can’t go.  I have to work.  But to see what is on for review, go to: http://www.mass.gov/… Heads of agencies will be testifying.  Information that can be heard no where else will be public for a day.  There will be no television coverage – and I do not know if there will be a digital recording made – and if there is, where it can be viewed.  If you know, do kindly post.  Thanks!

My Take on the Massachusetts Fifth

Crossposted yesterday at The Eisenthal Report.

On Tuesday, Scot Lehigh of The Boston Globe anointed two frontrunners for the Democratic nomination in the race to succeed former Congressman Marty Meehan, who has resigned from Congress in order to become the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

The two frontrunners are Niki Tsongas, Dean of External Affairs at Middlesex Community College and the widow of former Senator Paul Tsongas, and Eileen Donoghue, who is a City Councillor and sometime Mayor of Lowell.

While I believe that Scot Lehigh is often a sharp-eyed observer of the Massachusetts political scene, I think he has overreached in this case.

BMG traffic update

Since our traffic reports are now publicly available at any time (the link is in the “About” box), I haven’t been routinely posting on traffic-related matters.  But on the occasion of our 3,000th registered visitor signing up (welcome, Janet K!), I thought a brief update was in order. From Dec. 1, 2004 (when our statcounter code went live) through today: over 3.5 million page loads.  Over 1.3 million unique visitors.  Over 7,000 posts.  Nearly 70,000 comments. Our two biggest days remain primary day and election day, 2006 — we had nearly 10,000 unique visitors on each of those days, and something like 30,000 page loads.  Not surprisingly, traffic has dipped a bit since the excitement of the 2006 elections.  Since the beginning of this year we have averaged something like 3,000 unique visitors a day, and about 7,000 page loads. Thanks, once again, to everyone who reads, posts, lurks, or otherwise makes use of BMG!

From Niki – Join me for the Tsongas 24 Hour Express this Tuesday, May 15

I wanted to take some time to update you on all of the positive things happening on the campaign trail.  We’ve been working very hard and I’ve been meeting people at small house parties, coffees and events all over the district.  Within the past week, I took tours of new bio and tech endeavors at Devens, as well as Ballard, a Lowell based company advancing fuel cell technology.  I also met with innovative Fifth District companies at the BIO 2007 conference in Boston, and participated in a roundtable discussion with the Smaller Business Association of New England (see www.NikiTsongas.com for more information about these visits).  I’ve seen firsthand how partnerships between the federal government, businesses and our colleges and universities, such as UMass Lowell, are the key to new job creation and economic vitality in the 5th Congressional District.

Campaign Kick Off

This Tuesday, May 15, I’m excited to be kicking off a 24 hour tour of the District to officially announce my candidacy for U.S. Congress.  Joined by supporters and friends from the grassroots for this high energy tour, we will be making stops throughout the District to hear from people about the concerns and priorities they deal with 24 hours a day. 

Schedule for the release of the 2007 budget by the MA State Senate

The Massachusetts State Senate is schedule to release its budget on Wednesday, May 16th.  Their goal is to have the budget released at the State House that afternoon – and online that afternoon as well.  There will then be 48 hours for Senators to submit Amendments.  The final budget is scheduled to be voted on by the State Senate on Wednesday, May 23rd. Here is the budget link for the State Senate budget site: http://www.mass.gov/…

A verrrry skeptical view of the netroots

This one’s definitely for Bob, who’s the most blog-skeptical of us three: At TPMCafe, Max Sawicky tells the netroots what we are, and what we’re not. clipped from www.tpmcafe.com 4.  People power rests in the ability to mobilize people and resources around some common, substantive agenda by turning them out for meetings and demonstrations (local and national), boycotting, petitioning elected officials, shutting down workplaces, and mounting campaigns to contest the seats of incumbents.  It’s more than surfing the web, donating money and voting.  It happens that the latter activities serve the needs of website commerce, and the prior ones do not.  Everybody has to make a living, but it is not necessary to base a universal political philosophy on how you make a living.    Read the whole thing. I’m not sure what he’s saying about “website commerce” — to the best of my knowledge, Markos and the MyDD guys are not getting rich off this blogging racket. (For the record, I’ve never made a penny from it.) That being said, I think he’s right about the necessity of going beyond being online to effect genuine political change. Blogs evolved as a way for progressives to create their own intellectual/ideological […]

Coises, Foiled Again!

I note with pleasure that the D.C. Circuit has refused to hear the city’s appeal on the Parker decision, as an enbanc court. Now, the good mayor and his city attorney have ninety (sorry about the previous error; I originally said fifteen) days to appeal to the Supreme Court, as they said they would. Frankly, I think the Brady Bunch would rather they didn’t – a ruling against the city would almost certainly destroy their smug feeling of having secured the high moral ground in the argument.

For the Brady Bunch, along with Soros, Bloomberg and Moore, this is an emotionally charged issue, and one in which they are heavily invested. It is also an issue in which the pro-gun crowd has reacted with its own charged emotions.  So let’s look at a few facts, and see if there is a way to examine the issue of disarming America with more light than heat, for a change.

HAVE THE PEOPLE VOTE

Now first off let me say I personally would vote no to amend the constitution; but what I don’t understand is why many do not want the people to vote.  As we all know the government should do as the people wish. That’s how the original framers wanted it.  The constitution, in this regard, is set up to protect the minority by only needing 50 or so votes to send the initiative to the ballot.  What frightens the pro-gay marriage folks?  Do they think the ballot question will pass?  I feel that the people will vote no to amending the constitution and that will put an end to the marriage debate.  The legislature blocking a vote to allow it on the ballot is very scary!  That’s not what the writers of the constitution intended as evidenced by the provision of only needing 50 or so votes to send the initiative to the ballot.  What else is the government not going to give us choice about?