July 2007
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Month July 2007

NY Times on Gonzales: either appoint a special prosecutor, or impeach him

I can’t believe I missed this editorial from Sunday’s NY Times.  It does a good job of listing the occasions on which Alberto Gonzales has, at best, misled the Congress. And then, the money quote. Democratic lawmakers are asking for a special prosecutor to look into Mr. Gonzales’s words and deeds. Solicitor General Paul Clement has a last chance to show that the Justice Department is still minimally functional by fulfilling that request. If that does not happen, Congress should impeach Mr. Gonzales. Finally.  Finally!  Of course, Clement is not going to appoint a special prosecutor — if he did, he’d be disowned.  So here’s hoping that, when it becomes clear that no prosecutor is forthcoming, the Times and other voices louder than mine keep banging the “Impeach Gonzales” drum hard. Relatedly, three cheers for Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) for sponsoring a resolution (pdf) instructing the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Gonzales should be impeached. RESOLUTION Directing the Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary shall investigate fully whether sufficient grounds exist for the House […]

Immigrant impact on the US housing market

One of the many things missing from the right’s discussion of immigration is the tremendous, quiet presence of immigrants (legal and not) in the American economy.  Particularly in the current housing downturn, it’s telling to see the impact that foreign-born Americans are having on the housing market: With rising purchasing power, the nation’s growing number of foreign-born residents are keeping the bottom from falling out. And amid slow demand from an aging and slow-growing native population, immigrants are fueling predictions of a rebound. Assuming Congress doesn’t impose further restrictions, immigrants — both legal and illegal — and their native-born children are forecast to provide the bulk of coming years’ growth in homebuying demand, nudging the market back up and aiding the broader economy. U.S. household growth from 2005 through 2015 is projected to reach about 14.6 million — about 2 million greater than in 1995-2005 — primarily because of greater numbers of immigrants, according to a recent analysis by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Most native-born children of immigrants are classified as minorities, and minorities’ share of new U.S. households — a key driver of housing demand — is expected to rise from a little more than two-thirds […]

Legislature goes out on recess – leaves court -appointed attorneys unpaid for work already done!

It is not that I approve of Governor Patrick spending 28% of his vetos on the Judicial Branch – which accounts for 2% of the budget.  I don’t.

But at least Gov. Patrick filed a supplemental budget to pay court appointed attorneys for the work they had ALREADY done.  Making folk wait until September to get paid for work done in April, May and June is unfair.  Would you like to wait that long to get paid for work you already did?

MACAA’s press release really says it all:

“Our members provided high quality, effective legal representation to children, indigent parents, the mentally ill, and other persons who have a legal right to counsel. They have done so in good faith at the behest of the Commonwealth,” said Springfield attorney Mark L. Hare, president of the Massachusetts Association of Court Appointed Attorneys. “The Commonwealth, in turn, has an obligation to pay them in a timely fashion. As solo practitioners and small firm lawyers, we cannot afford to wait months to be paid. To do so puts at risk the entire private counsel system that has served the Commonwealth so well for more than thirty years,” said Hare.”

  To read the rest of that Press Release, or Mark Hare’s letters to legislative leadership, go to:

http://www.macaa.inf… and click on “What’s New”

Barry Finegold on Alternative Energy Innovation

Barry Finegold does not favor now, nor has he ever favored, ethanol from corn or clean coal.  In his stump speech, Barry acknowledges that in Iowa the most relevant front of environmental innovation is ethanol from corn and in North Dakota it’s clean coal. That only highlights the exciting reality that right here in the 5th District we have to focus on the hydrogen fuel cell industry.  We have all the resources we need to make the Merrimack Valley the global leader in hydrogen fuel cells, from the educational resources to the great companies already leading the charge on fuel cell innovation.  Barry has a strong record of leadership on alternative energy on Beacon Hill and bold ideas for the future of renewable energy in this country and in the world. Nairi Tashjian Communications Director Finegold for Congress

Those golden days of last Thursday


Cross-posted from Media Nation.

Today’s Globe editorial on Middleborough keeps the string alive — there’s no mention of the second vote, to reject the casino itself. But if you look back to those golden days of, oh, last Thursday, you’ll see that at least one Globe reporter thought the second vote was very important indeed.

In a preview of the Middleborough town meeting for Globe South, Christine Wallgren wrote:

The first of the two ballot items authorizes selectmen to enter into an already-negotiated agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag and their backers to build a casino complex.

The second item — placed on the warrant by the casino opposition — asks voters whether they want a casino built in town at all. While it is nonbinding, casino opponents hope a negative vote will show state and federal authorities that a casino is not welcome under any terms.

Things Are Looking Up In Iraq

The Bush Administration has been saying all along that we won’t leave Iraq until the job is done, whatever that means.  Being a rational person, I would assume that this means there needs to be a relative amount of peace, stable government, effective police and military and some semblance of an economy. 

For those of you who haven’t been paying a lot of attention (especially where I live, every thing’s about the Casino), the situation is looking to be on the up and up.  Will It continue?  God, I hope so.  Link and details after the fold.

Bill Walsh’s Other Legacy

San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh, hoisted on the shoulders of his team after beating the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX in 1985.

Bill Walsh’s legacy, as documented in the sports news outlets yesterday and today in the aftermath of his death from leukemia at age 75, includes the tremendous influence of his innovative style on the way the game is played today, and the incredible “coaching tree” of coaches who worked for Walsh and went on to influence other coaches.

But there’s another important part of his legacy.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, named for the first black coach in NFL history, is dedicated to the advancement of minority hiring in the NFL.  Only one white man has received its most prestigious award: Bill Walsh.  (Contra Costa Times)

Middleborough Primer

Since some comments have noted that BMG’ers could not tell a Middleborough from their elbow without a roadmap, I thought I would open a post to talk about our quaint little town.

1. Location

Middleborough is 35 miles to the South Southeast of Boston. It lies east of Taunton, West of Plymouth, south of Brockton, north of Fall River and New Bedford. (more on this in the media section). Middleborough contains exits 6,5,4,3 and 2 off of I-495. Route 44 runs through the town and connects to both Route 24 and Route 3 (as well as 495). Middleborough is in Plymouth County.

More below the fold

MA-05 Candidates spar on energy: Eldridge takes offensive

Well, it’s a good strategy if you don’t think you’re getting the attention you want: Pick a fight. Dick Howe tells us that Jamie Eldridge directly challenged Barry Finegold’s supposed former support of ethanol and coal-to-liquid. (I’d love to get some documentation of that, if it’s true.) “Barry, I’m surprised to hear you say you oppose liquefied coal and ethanol because up until tonight you’ve always said you’re in favor of them.” Finegold didn’t respond in the course of the debate. Anyway, as I’ve said, coal-to-liquid is just about one of the worst ideas ever. If Finegold has ditched his support for it, good for him; in any event, a clarification of his history on this issue would be most useful. Anyway, I’m just going to point to Dick’s site, where he’s got YouTubes of the candidates’ closing statements. Go look.

MA-05 Democrats to Debate Progressive Issues TONIGHT

This Wednesday, Mass Alliance (http://www.massallia…) is holding a debate for Democratic candidates in the 5th Congressional District on issues important to progressive voters, including civil rights, workers? right, environmental protection, education, healthcare, economic justice and reproductive freedom. Please join us! Wednesday, August 1st, 7 pm Wetherbee Middle School, 75 Newton Street, Lawrence, MA The debate will be moderated by Emily Rooney of WGBH?s Greater Boston. Candidates Eileen Donoghue, Jamie Eldridge, Barry Finegold, and Niki Tsongas have confirmed their attendance. For more information, email contact@massalliance.org or call 617-722-4320. Mass Alliance is a powerful, united voice for the broad progressive movement in Massachusetts politics. We are a coalition of twenty-two progressive organizations and unions committed to collaboration, education, advocacy, and electoral work to advance the progressive agenda. Mass Alliance member organizations include 1199 SEIU, AFSCME Council 93, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, Boston Teachers Union, Clean Water Action, Democratic Socialist of America, Mass Democratic Future, MassEquality, Mass Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Mass Peace Action, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, National Association of Social Workers, National Organization for Women, Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, SEIU Local 509, and UAW Region 9A.