Good gravy … how's this for “optics”? The anti-Cape Wind group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, has tapped “coal industry insider” Glenn Wattley as its new head, according to the Cape Cod Times. Here's a PowerPoint (in pdf form) of Wattley's work; maybe someone who knows the industry can decode this thing. In any event, that's really what he's known for: The coal game, helping good folks find good opportunities in a really, really awful product. In case we forgot, coal is “the enemy of the human race”, as Grist's David Roberts puts it. You can dig it, you can scrub it, you can blow the tops off mountains, you can leave your miners underground, you can liquify it, or fold it into an omelette with porcini mushrooms for all I care … and the stuff is just still absolutely rotten for people, the earth, and the climate. In the end, I'm not sure this will make any difference at all … but good to see that the Alliance knows who they are. Coal vs. Wind, everyone. That's the battle — it always was, anyway. Update: Here's Wattley's full bio. Glenn G. Wattley Mr. Wattley is the managing director [...]
Hello BMG Community! As a Cambridge Democratic City Committee member I wanted to let you know about a public forum we’re hosting on Thursday, September 6 featuring the four Democratic candidates to replace Jarrett Barrios as state senator, and moderated by Scott Harshbarger, former Attorney General of Massachusetts and Democratic nominee for Governor in 1998.
With the primary only four days after, this will be the last opportunity for undecided voters—and there appear to be many—to see the candidates and ask them questions. We hope many of you will be there at 7 pm, at Lesley University, only a block from the Porter Square T (1815 Mass. Ave, 2nd Floor Amphitheater).
In organizing this forum, we were keenly aware that this seat has been held recently by high profilers: Tom Birmingham, who rose to the senate presidency and a gubernatorial run, and Jarrett Barrios, with charisma and energy to focus attention on key public issues. Is there a high impact player in this race– Tim Flaherty, Anthony Galluccio, Paul Nowicki, or Jeff Ross?
We have also been surprised by the number of active Cambridge Dems who admit to being undecided. Are they searching for issue differences between the candidates? Are they finding flaws in each? Or is this just a low-energy election, interest dampened by its poor timing? We’d like to hear what you think about these points—and about the questions you think should be asked at this Thursday’s debate.
More after the flip…
There, I said it. The Weekly Dig's Paul McMorrow double-dog dared me to. That's due to Straus's chuckleheaded compromise idea that the solution to money-dominated politics is … more money in politics. Straus is developing a proposal that would indeed call for more transparency for the funding of ballot initiatives, and more filing requirements for campaign committees, and zzZZZZZZzzzzz… and allow people to write campaign checks for $1,000, doubling the current $500 limit. Here's the thing: Transparency is already no disincentive for moneyed interests to buy off our political system. Sure, I'd like to ban lobbyist contributions, for instance, since they're almost certainly funneling that money on behalf of someone else, and I'd like to know who that is. But so much of the legalized bribery of our system is hidden in plain sight — it's just taken for granted by our press and pols that This Is The Way Things Are Done. As Hillary might say, dollars are people too. Transparency is nice, but it's a soft, gummy substitute for real campaign finance teeth — and that means going after the money itself. I'm perfectly happy to let inflation eat away at the real value of the $500 limit, [...]
At The Health Care Blog, Maggie Mahar points out a disturbing reason why drugs companies hit the airwaves — because docs aren't responding to the direct pressure. In other words drugmakers are going directly to the consumer at a time when their products are, indeed “at the margins of evidence-based medicine.” Experience with drugs like Vioxx has taught many doctors to take a wait-and-see attitude toward remedies that have not yet been widely used by the general population. Unless the “new, new thing” is likely to save lives, many prefer to wait until more evidence has come in about risks versus benefits before turning their patients into guinea pigs. Meanwhile, the NEJM reports, drugmakers have stepped up their campaign to market their wares to laymen. From 1996 to 2005 spending on DTC promotions has grown more than three-fold, spiraling from $985 million to $4.237 billion. And the crazy part is, of course, it works. (Much of the direct-to-doc sales pitch works, too — let there be no mistake.) Hrm … health care premiums just jumped by double digits in MA … again. Drug costs may or may not be the major drivers behind the increase, but surely, any [...]
Cross-posted from Media Nation.
Is the Boston Globe finally ready to engage on the matter of the proposed Middleborough casino? Sally Jacobs today weighs in with a 2,600-word overview that focuses on the dispute between disgraced former tribal chairman Glenn Marshall and a dissident group led by Amelia Bingham and her son, Steven Bingham.
Jacobs misses a few key points. Marshall's handpicked successor, Shawn Hendricks, appears nowhere in the story. And she reports Marshall's age as being 59. That's not a small error, since his true age, 57, was a key to reports by Cape Cod Today and the Cape Cod Times that Marshall was in high school in the spring of 1968, not fighting in Vietnam, as he had claimed.
But all is forgiven, because Jacobs reports one of the most startling developments to date — that when a Globe reporter (presumably Jacobs) pressed Marshall about his background recently, he responded that people could die if she continued her line of questioning.
Have at it!
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2369001.ece It's been fun, see ya'll on the other side!