June 2007
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Month June 2007

Dear Jon

I know it’s a slow news weekend with people paying more attention to the grill and fireworks, but what gives?  Your blog entitled “Your Taxes at Work” [http://wbztv.com/kel...] is really short on substance and does not provide a balanced picture of how a 4.2% spending increase does not in fact provide the level of services that citizens of the Commonwealth want.  We want to stop the erosion of public education and our infrastructure that is in decay.  We want to see improved economic opportunity which is the basis of Senate President Murray’s – Baystate Competiveness Fund, which you freely dissed as her “pet project”. Good for her!  Build the economy Terry, I’m with you.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of working residents in the Commonwealth have good affordable insurance for the first time through the Connector.  If we wanted the abyss (“Whoops, sorry taxpayers, no tax cuts for you!”) that comes with tax cuts we would have voted for Healey. Comparing the Bush surge with the Commonwealth’s budget?  Yikes.

Crimes against chastity, morality, decency and good order.

<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Politics/story?id=3329017&page=1 "Credit:ABC News The martyrdom of Seamus the Irish Setter, strapped to the roof of the family car in his dog box by Mitt Romney and driven for hours on the highway until he lost control of his bowels, is now well and truly running in the media/Internet spin cycle. The Globe, which broke the story, offered a comprehensive review today (including some of David’s incisive commentary), along with intriguing references to a video of a singing dog atop a station wagon and T-shirts that say “I do not support the Romney Fresh Air Tour of Canada.” Sadly, I could not find these. Please add links in the comments if you know where they are. ABC News has the story here. Discussion on blogs from PETA to FreeRepublic has been lively. The headline: Romney tortured his best friend, in front of his children, to resolve a problem. There are still a few unresolved issues here. I think we owe it to poor Seamus to follow up on them. Crimes against chastity, morality, decency and good order. There was a lot of discussion yesterday about whether Romney can be prosecuted in Massachusetts. Here is the current law (hat tip Ana […]

My hero: Mari Oye of Wellesley

Who? In the Georgetown University dormitory the night before the big moment, the newly minted Wellesley High graduate persuaded 49 of her 140 fellow scholars to sign a letter she and a dozen others had drafted and she had just written longhand on notebook paper, calling on President Bush to reject torture and treat terrorism suspects humanely. Before the scholars posed for a photo with Bush on Monday, she handed him the letter. He put it in his pocket and took it out after the photo shoot. Reading silently to himself, the president looked up quizzically at Oye and said, according to her, “We agree. America doesn’t torture people.” Thank you, Mari — and thanks to your 48 co-signers for standing up for human dignity. (Massachusetts represent!) And as I’m sure you know, the President lied to your face. But what can you do? Only what you did. Shame on him, and shame on anyone who accepts, rationalizes or ignores our administration’s disgraceful behavior. You used your opportunity to speak truth to power well. Again, my deepest gratitude.

How the video case came about

I became an activist when a Catholic Priest was reassigned to my son’s school and issues of sexual abuse arose. For trying to have the Priest exposed I was reported to DSS by the President of the St. Leo School board, Dr John McLaughlin.  Dr McLaughlin called me first and told me to stop or he knew how to handle trouble makers like me.  He filed 51A child abuse report to DSS which contained false statements. After a year of terrifying abuse to my children and I, including an attempt to have my parental rights terminated by DSS, all charges were suddenly reversed within twenty-four hours of issuing a subpoena to Worcester Bishop Daniel Reilly. I began the Worcestervoice.com web site in 2002 so the truth could be exposed, and so those who were subjected to clergy abuse within the Worcester Diocese would have a safe haven to seek resources.  Presently the Worcester Voice has provided resources for 153 individuals who allege clergy sexual abuse.  Currently the Voice is supporting ten male individuals who allege abuse by Rev John J. Szantyr. His criminal case involving four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen has now been […]

Hillman tapped

The Globe [http://www.boston.co...] reported yesterday that former Lt. Governor candidate Reed Hillman-R was tapped by President Bush for the position of US Marshal for the Commonwealth of MA.  The rumors (circa 2004-05) of Hillman’s candidacy for US Marshal preceeded his dismal campaign with Kerry Healey for the  executive offices on Beacon Hill.

Senators Kennedy and Kerry have stated that they will oppose Hillman’s nomination.

Senator John Kerry, like Kennedy a Democrat, said in a statement, “I will gladly join Senator Kennedy in opposing this terrible nomination.”

“SiCKO” and MA-05

After seeing Michael Moore’s “SiCKO” earlier this evening, my mind immediately went to the special election for our 5th Congressional District. I’m left with many questions that I will try to answer but also want the collective mind (you will be assimilated) of BMG to take a stab at.

Questions first, answers below the fold.

1. What impact, if any, will the film have on the national healthcare discussion?

2. Will the film prompt a public opinion sea-change, along the lines of what followed “An Inconvenient Truth”? (And no, I don’t think that the movie alone is what has changed the climate change discussion, but I believe it played a significant role.)

3. How, if at all, will this play into the MA-05 race?

FYI :The” Democratic Daily” is a kerry website!!

  For new comers that are trying to figure this BLUEMASSGROUP ( similar to me at one point),,I just want them to be aware of things! I am a volunteer for the Ed O’Reilly campaign to un -seat john kerry. Ed is A progressive Democrat!,,his website is: www.edoreilly.com ,if you like  his views ( on his site,,updated computers have him the main photo,, otherwise scroll down a little til you see Ed standing and in a suit then click on that photo),,That is during his Declaration on Candidacy, at Amherst at the Democratic Convention last month,you will see and hear what he has to say. I am asking that if you like what you see and hear, please donate $20 ( more if you want) You can do it right on his site!!. And if you like what you see,,,please forward it to everyone you know, and have them do the same. Thank You for taking the time to read this. Paco

Meet The Next Senator From Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex

Hi, my name is Nathan and I want to introduce you to the next state senator from the Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex district, Jeff Ross.  I support Jeff Ross to replace Jarrett Barrios in the state senate special Democratic Primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 11.  I ask for your support.  Please join me at the polls on Sept. 11 and vote for Jeff Ross, the progressive Democrat. As a member of the Board of Advisors for the Boston Young Professionals Association and Director of Publicity & Promotions for the organization, I have focused on the grass roots issues. I am Chair of the Boston Nightlife Coalition and a former council member on the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Young Bostonians where I also served as Chair of the Housing Sub-Committee. I am a member of NARAL Pro-Choice of MA and a student at the University of Massachusetts Boston. I tell you all this so that you see that I believe Jeff Ross supports the issues that I work hard to protect and I have closest to my heart. Jeff Ross is the progressive candidate in this race and I am working hard to make sure he replaces the retiring senator who […]

It’s Not the Dog

I’m surprised that this community seems to spend some time on Romney’s dog. Out of all the things that were exposed in that in depth series of articles on Romney, the dog is the least of it. A look at part three of the series should show you why.

In Part 3, we learned that Romney’s success is business took a lot of sweat, and that he and his friends look like robots with money sticking out of them.

But Romney’s cowardice with regard to his reputation is much more interesting.

When Bain was looking to create Bain Capital, the organization took a big risk on its strategies to retool other companies with their model. Bain picked Romney to lead in this project.

After all, Bain & Company was taking a big risk. If Bain Capital-run companies failed, using the “Bain way,” clients might well reconsider paying big fees for Bain & Company’s consulting services.

In early spring of 1983, with the sun pouring into his office in the Faneuil Hall marketplace, Bain offered Romney the job that would make his career. Romney balked, catching Bain off guard.

Why did Romney “balk?” Well, it’s a big risk. I can certainly understand that it would be a major shift in his career and it would make or break his reputation. This sounds about right:

Romney explained that he didn’t want to risk his position, earnings, and reputation on an experiment in investing. The offer was appealing, Romney recalled in a recent interview, but he wasn’t going to make such a decision in a “light or flippant manner.”

So Bain sweetened the offer. He guaranteed that if the experiment failed, Romney would get his old job and salary back, plus any raises handed out during his absence.

Romney had one more concern: the impact on his reputation should he prove unable to do the job. In the end, Bain agreed to craft a cover story if necessary, promising to bring Romney back to the consulting firm and explain Romney’s return as a matter of his being more valuable to Bain as a consultant.

“So,” Bain says, “there was no professional or financial risk.”

Let me get this straight – Romney was asked to lead an experimental business team which could potentially make the company and Romney millions of dollars if he’s successful. If he’s not successful, not only will his financial situation not change from where he started, he’d actually be making the raises he would have gotten otherwise. And if it’s not successful, Bain would lie about why Romney was leaving the team.

Let me repeat that: if Romney failed, they’d lie about Romney’s shortcomings.

What?

I’ll admit, I don’t know much about venture capitalism, and I certainly don’t know much about business practices in the 1980s. But this strikes me as absolutely insane and sleazy.

Please, somebody correct me, but I thought that venture capitalism was all about using the large amount of capital at the company’s disposal to take risks that businesses could not otherwise take. And what people respect venture capitalists for is their ability to take a financial risk on a client. What risk did Romney personally take? It wasn’t financial – it was the company’s money. It wasn’t his reputation – they’d lie about why he failed, if he failed.

How is this not a story? Or am I getting worked up over nothing?

McCabe challenge update: I’m maxed out!

With hearty thanks to all who participated in my fundraising challenge for Patrick McCabe‘s state rep campaign, I am delighted to report that I am now maxed out for 2007!  I will happily send my $500 to the campaign today. Don’t forget that an anonymous donor has pledged to match an additional $250 in donations, so there’s still time to double the impact of your contribution. This strikes me as an excellent start to the McCabe campaign, and an excellent demonstration of netroots-y commitment to changing the MA legislature.  Again, thanks to all who participated, and also to everyone who is supporting the McCabe campaign in other ways.  There’s a lot to do, so keep it up.