August 2007
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Month August 2007

Update on the Ohio Public Defender – remember him? He refused to go to trial unprepared.

Remember Brian Jones, the public defender who refused to go to trial the same day he was appointed?  There was a three and one half hour hearing, and he was fined, and the same judge, Judge Plough, sentenced Brian to three days in jail.

What bullets do.

Have you seen this ad? John Rosenthal, eat your heart out: HT John Birge, via Alex Ross.

Undoing Romney’s pocket veto, Patrick signs bill outlawing adoption-for-dollars

Just in from the Adoption Professionals of Massachusetts: Late last year, the legal definition of “placement agencies” was amended in Massachusetts to allow one well respected Massachusetts “for-profit” foster care agency to provide foster care placement services without the need to partner with a “non-profit” placement agency.  However, that change also unintentionally allowed “for-profit” adoption placements in Massachusetts.  “This new legislation closes that loophole. Massachusetts will now remain a state that puts the welfare of children and families above the profit making motives of others,” said Amy Cohen, President of the Adoption Professionals Association of Massachusetts. Ironically, a similar bi-partisan bill was sent to Governor Mitt Romney on his last day in office but he chose to pocket veto the bill- thereby allowing the potential abuse of birthmothers and families to remain open until the actions of Governor Patrick today. “The notion that babies are not financial commodities that can or should be bought and sold may have been lost on a Governor who prided himself on his business background” added Cohen…. In states that allow for-profit adoption agencies, it is not uncommon for “for-profit” adoption agencies to “assist” birth parents by providing them with large sums of money, cars […]

Pre-Labor Day weekend quick hits

It’s looking more and more likely that Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) will resign in light of his guilty plea to disorderly conduct charges stemming from the now-famous “incident” in the airport men’s room.  [UPDATE: And it's now pretty much official: Craig will resign effective Sept. 30.  Announcement tomorrow.]  Craig’s support within the GOP appears to have completely evaporated — minority leader (I still love saying that) Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “called Craig’s conduct ‘unforgivable’ and acknowledged that many in his caucus believe Craig should resign. ‘We have acted promptly to begin the process of dealing with this conduct,’ McConnell said. ‘We will see what happens in the coming days.’”  It appears that Craig’s successor, if he does quit, will be Idaho’s (Republican) Lieutenant Governor.  So no net change, but a weaker Senator who has a very short time to establish himself before the seat comes up next November. In much more exciting news for the Dems, long-time Senate Republican John Warner (R-Va.) has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2008.  That seat is definitely a pickup opportunity for Democrats, who have had decent success in Virginia lately. Tony Snow-job is out.  Big deal. Locally, Margot Botsford was confirmed by […]

Make Your Own Mitt Romney Ad

Mitt Romney’s campaign gave us a gift for the holiday weekend.  Make your own Mitt campaign ad.  He gives us the tools to create an ad, images, video and music.  The Globe has the article.  The winning ad will be played on TV.  Get started here. There are a lot of talented people on BMG, so have at it, maybe you can be a winner!  Here’s my entry.  Don’t know how long it will be there, I hear there is some history of deleting by the campaign.

MA 5th District Positions on Hurricane Katrina & Gulf Coast Recovery

State Rep. Jamie Eldridge and Niki Tsongas responded to a questionnaire on issues related to Gulf Coast recovery prepared by a group of 5th District residents who have volunteered in New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast. The group has been seeking ways to continue to assist the people who lost so much in Hurricane Katrina and to make elected officials aware that the Gulf Coast matters to many of us who do not live there

Signers of the letter live in Acton, Concord, and Maynard and included committed supporters of both Eldridge and Tsongas as well as those who have not yet taken a position. On behalf of the signers, I sent letters to all of the Democratic candidates for the Massachusetts 5th Congressional District seat as well as to Republican and Independent candidates.

To date, only Tsongas and Eldridge have responded and here are their responses.  Both responded in detail. Please share this with your friends in the 5th Congressional District, especially those already concernd about Gulf Coast recovery issues. The primary election is on Tuesday September 4th.

Sad and Angry Morning

I had seen the story before but for some reason this morning, viewing the CNN clip again, it hit me very hard. The burial of the second of three brother who are serving in Iraq. Jared and Nathan Hubbard both in their early 20s and both killed. A third bother Jason, serving in Iraq, has just been sent home. I watched the clips of the Hubbard family talking about doing their duty, about honor and about loving their country. I watched a father cry as he spoke of his second son above his casket. I saw Americans who believe in patriotism, not as a slogan but as a way of life. Then I get to watch George Bush and Mitt Romney tell me the troop surge is working. Bush and Romney talking about fighting terrorism and sacrifice. All I saw were two Bush daughters and five Romney sons (all of age for active duty), the children of fathers who talk tough about war and express sadness when U.S. Troops die but whose children are safe and far from the fight. I am old enough to vividly remember Vietnam. My Brother served in combat there and came home. I remember a […]

The Bluest Pundit: chapter 2

All Bluest Pundit posts

Chapter 2 of Jon Keller’s “The Bluest State” focuses almost entirely on the trials and tribulations of a typical middle-class couple, the husband of which happens to be the Mayor of Melrose, Rob Dolan.  I don’t know much about Mayor Dolan, other than that the state party yanked his delegate seat from the 2006 convention because he had publicly backed incumbent Republican Senator Richard Tisei over his Democratic challenger in the last election.  Dolan was angry:

“I’m going to support the person who best represents my community,” Dolan said. “Sometimes that isn’t a Democrat. That doesn’t make me disloyal or a traitor…. The fierce, angry partisanship that this action represents is what is destroying the country in terms of policy and it’s one of the reasons that people my age, in their 20s and 30s, aren’t getting involved in politics,” said Dolan, 34.

Whether or not the state party rule — which says that you can’t be a delegate if you publicly back a Republican — is a good thing is an interesting question, and when the Dolan thing happened we had a good debate on it here.  Advocates on both sides of this interesting question stated their opinions in a thoughtful way, and engaged the views of those on the other side of the issue, rather than just assuming that their side was obviously correct and anyone who thought otherwise was an idiot.  But I digress.

More on the flip.

MA-05: a Donoghue surge?

The polling is in.  Niki Tsongas still holds a fairly commanding, though basically unchanged, portion of the electorate: she’s got 40%, up from 38% two weeks ago.  The big news, though, is Eileen Donoghue, who has jumped from a middling 16% two weeks ago (indistinguishable from Eldridge and Finegold) to 29% now, in sole possession of second place.  Eldridge is basically unchanged (from 13% to 15%), and Finegold has slipped a bit (from 14% to 9%).  Miceli’s got nothin’ (3%).  The poll shows that “liberals” have gotten much more enthusiastic about Donoghue in the last couple of weeks, though the sample size there is small enough to be only moderately useful. Keep your eye on this one — with Donoghue having the means to self-fund some last-minute advertising if she wants to, this could get exciting.

The casino just got deader

Cross-posted from Media Nation.

Since I already believed the Middleborough casino was dead, I suppose it would be silly of me to argue that it somehow got deader today. But it did.

The Enterprise of Brockton and The Standard-Times of New Bedford report that the Pokanoket Wampanoag tribe, based in Rhode Island, has sent letters of protest to Gov. Deval Patrick and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs contending that the proposed Middleborough pleasure palace — which would be operated by the Mashpee Wampanoags — encroaches on their own tribal lands.

The Pokanoket are seeking federal status as a tribe, which the Mashpee won earlier this year. If the Pokanoket succeed, I think we can assume that the lawsuits will start flying.