September 2007
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Month September 2007

Clinton Running Late, Couldn’t Fill Auditorium

Bill Clinton true to form ran at least 2 hours late to the Niki Tsongas Rally.  I stood outside the rally to try and get pictures for the blog but decided to come home after he hadn’t shown up yet at 845 pm, close to two hours after the scheduled start of the event.  Apparently he missed his flight and was being driven up from Chappaqua.  The Ogonowski Campaign has seized on Clinton’s lateness and offered ten places  he could have been, instead of the Niki Tsongas event: The Top Ten Places Bill Clinton Could Be While Niki Tsongas Waits for Him to Arrive 1.  Thought fundraiser would be where Niki Tsongas actually lives, so he went to her Charlestown Town House 2.  Wanted a tan, went to Niki Tsongas’s Chatham Mansion 3.  Campaigning for Hillary against Barack Obama in New Hampshire seemed more pressing 4.  Went wrong way, thought he was going to Nancy Pelosi fundraiser in San Francisco 5.  Eating at the 99 Restaurant down the street from Ogonowski Headquarters 6.  Attending a Richard Hsu fundraiser 7.  When told of “sinking ship” assumed fundraiser was in Boston Harbor 8.  Lowell, Indiana 9.  Still in New York City. “I […]

Forum on Bush’s expansion of presidential powers – Thursday

There will be a  forum titled “EXPANSION OF PRESIDENTIAL POWERS” with Charlie Savage, a Boston Globe reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner for national reporting.

He will discuss the topic of his prize-winning reporting – the Bush administration’s expansion of its executive powers – during a Ford Hall Forum on Thursday.

TIME AND PLACE:  (Thursday, 6:30 pm, Old South Meeting House, Boston)

General David Petraeus: Sycophant Savior

Which radical liberal organization is the latest to impugn David Petraeus’s integrity calling him a “Sycophant Savior”? The American Conservative magazine.

The magazine’s cover story is written by retired Army Colonel (and Limbaugh-defined phony soldier) Andrew Bacevich, Sr.  You remember Bacevich as the BU professor who wrote the stinging May Washington Post OpEd piece, I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty. 

Bacevich does not use the term “Sycophant Savior” in the article’s text, but his position is clear.  He says that Patraeus is a “political general of the worst kind” who “has broken faith with the soldiers” and “failed his country”. This article cuts deeper than “betray us?” with a question mark.

Bacevich begins:

[In] presenting his recent assessment of the Iraq War and in describing the “way forward,” Petraeus demonstrated that he is a political general of the worst kind-one who indulges in the politics of accommodation that is Washington’s bread and butter but has thereby deferred a far more urgent political imperative, namely, bringing our military policies into harmony with our political purposes.

A political general in the mold of Washington or Grant would have taken a different course, using his moment in the spotlight not to minimize consternation but to stir it up to the maximum extent. He would have capitalized on his status as man of the hour to oblige civilian leaders, both in Congress and in the executive branch, to do what they have not done since the Iraq War began-namely, their jobs. He would have insisted upon the president and the Congress making decisions that wartime summons them-and not military commanders-to make. Instead, Petraeus issued everyone a pass.

Bacevich goes on to conclude:

This defines Petraeus’s failure. Instead of obliging the president and the Congress to confront this fundamental contradiction-are we or are we not at war?-he chose instead to let them off the hook.

Once we recognize the global war on terror for the fraudulent enterprise that it has become, then we can get serious about designing a strategy to address the threat that we actually face, which is not terrorism but violent Islamic radicalism. The antidote to Islamic radicalism, if there is one, won’t involve invading and occupying places like Iraq.

Tuesday could be the day for those 2371 unpaid court-appointed attorneys!

Well, folks, the NEXT formal session is Tuesday, October 2, 2007.

The line item that is bogged down in the stalled Supplemental Budget filed by Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray that is critical is 0321-1510.

Some legislators know about it – some do not.

The Speaker’s office set up a voice mail line JUST for this issue [does that mean no one is listening?]

Anyway, if you haven’t called your own representative on this, and are willing, remember:

1.  The line item to pay these court appointed attorneys for timely billed, already rendered services is 0321-1510 within the CPCS section of the Supplemental Budget.  Remind them this is NOT legal services and this is NOT court funding.

2.  If you do not know your representatives #, go to www.mass.gov and then the Great and General Court -  there is a list of every representative and the towns they serve.

Inside is not the Dark Side!!!

Dear Hecate,

You really have to get rid of your attitude about public officials!! There are many of us working as policy analysts or managers of public programs in state and local government who used to be outside advocates representing various special interest groups. And, frankly we honestly feel we have more power to make change than we ever did when we were outside! And we don’t have to put up with self rightous purists in our former organizations who are unwilling to say thank you to a public official for an important incremental policy change because they find it “unacceptable” to say thank you for less than the perfect solution. They are their own worst enemy as far as I’m concerned.

Frustrated on Ashburton St.

Cross posted at Hecate

Romney and Iran: do as I say, not as I do

This video is really something.  Here’s the text version: it goes through several of Romney’s statements urging tougher sanctions on Iran, and focuses particularly on a speech in which he called on New York’s comptroller to disinvest from Iran. Then it goes through all of the money — and it’s quite a lot — that the Romneys have invested in companies doing big business in Iran.  Like Gazprom, Lukoil, Cnooc, and Sinopec, which have deals in Iran worth, respectively, $7.5 billion, $1 billion, $16 billion, and — yes — $100 billion.  Those are all with a “b,” by the way.  It’s not a typo. The conclusion: the Romneys’ investments in Iran are worth about $1.5 million, and they generated about $215,000 of income in 2006. And the hypocrisy just never stops. HT: Cliff Schecter.

California electoral vote ballot initiative is near collapse

Some good news from the left coast: California’s proposed ballot initiative, which would have changed the way CA allocates its presidential electoral votes from winner-take-all to a formula relating to congressional districts, appears to be near death. The initiative would have changed CA law so that electoral votes would have been awarded according to the winner in each of CA’s 53 congressional districts, with the last two votes going to the overall popular vote winner.  The result would likely have been handing about 20 electoral votes — equivalent to the state of Ohio — to the Republicans. However, the effort to place the measure on the ballot has collapsed amid a frenzy of shady dealings and finger-pointing. Unable to raise sufficient money and angered over a lack of disclosure by its one large donor, veteran political law attorney Thomas Hiltachk, who drafted the measure, said he was resigning from the committee. Hiltachk’s departure is a major blow to the operation because he organized other consultants who had set about trying to raise money and gather signatures for the initiative. Campaign spokesman Kevin Eckery said he was ending his role as well…. [B]ackers said Thursday that they believed the measure was […]

“Yes” to gambling; “no” to casinos

Cross-posted from Media Nation.

If nothing else, today’s Boston Globe poll on casino gambling shows that though there may be support for the idea of casino gambling, it’s going to be rough sledding for any particular casino proposal.

Overall, 53 percent of those surveyed say they favor Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to build three casinos in Massachusetts. Dig deeper, though, and you can see that they really don’t.

The story, by Andrea Estes, gets at this dynamic here:

The poll raises the prospect of a “not in my backyard” backlash, one in which residents favor casinos but fear the traffic and crime problems associated with large-scale resort-casino developments. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed who live in metropolitan Boston said they think casinos should be located in rural areas, while 36 percent of those living in Western Massachusetts said they believe casinos should be in cities.

“I think if it’s in your backyard, you’re not going to want it,” said Ron Hull of East Boston, a teacher. “I’ve read that crime does go up in areas with casinos, and there is the traffic I’m worried about, too.”

Misleading Boston Globe Headline on Casinos?

Crossposted at The Eisenthal Report.

The front page headline in today’s Boston Globe was “53% in poll back Patrick casinos plan.”

The implication of this headline is that the Governor has a solid majority behind his plan to license three “destination resort casinos.” A closer examination of the poll results and methodology calls this into question. The poll in question was conducted by the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Patrick’s Casino Plan Has Majority Support

The Boston Globe is reporting this morning that 53% of Massachusetts residents support Governor Deval Patrick’s casino proposal. The support cuts across all demographic groups. From the Globe – – “In a survey of 500 adults conducted last week, 53 percent favored Patrick’s proposal, 34 percent opposed it, and 12 percent were neutral. Support cut across all ages, races, and geographic areas. Even churchgoers who said they worship weekly favor casinos. “The support is very broad and cuts across almost all demographic groups – race, income levels, education levels,” said Andrew E. Smith, director of The Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire, which conducted the poll. “There is no strong opposition to the plan.”