This cannot be the kind of headline that the Belmont campaign team hoped for on Day One.
Hey, what’s up with Rod Fraser, the Boston fire commish? It’s high time the Globies did a progress report on his first year. Compared with the police commish, he seems pretty low-key. What was his mandate? What’s on his agenda? What moves has he made to improve the BFD?
There’s a new song out that was written by Billy Joel and sung by a young Long Islander named Cass Dillon. As Joel did with The Downeaster Alexa and Goodnight Saigon, he puts himself in the role of someone else.
If you’re interested in war, soldiers or Billy Joel, you might enjoy it. I think it’s a pretty powerful song. I’ve saved you the scrolling and put the lyrics after the jump.
It’s available on iTunes and, best of all, proceeds will benefit Homes for our Troops. HFOT is a group that is tackling the task of building adapted homes for injured soldiers. You know, filling in the gaps left by the federal government. If you don’t buy the song, you can contribute directly to them on their website .
The Boston City Council just voted (unanimously, save for Councilor McDermott’s absence) to change the effective date of the approximately $1500 “residential exemption” (a reduction in property taxes for owner-occupied dwellings) from January 1 to July 1st, which should make life a little easier for taxpayers (especially new homeowners). Councilor Michael Ross was the chief supporter of the measure.
A very amusing article today on the NYT’s sports page, which in general has tragically few entertaining articles, about whining by the defeated Baltimore Ravens: Ravens Coach Brian Billick said the timeout was called because his staff did not think the defense was in the right configuration to stop a sneak. Several Ravens said no whistle was blown. “I didn’t hear a timeout,” Bart Scott said. “That was very convenient.” When your team screws up, and even your coach admits it, but you still claim that the call was unfair — that’s whining. Please go sit down Baltimore. There’s always next year.
Brian Beutler is liveblogging the markup session for the big-time Lieberman-Warner climate change bill. Remarkably, Bernie Sanders now may be on board, since there's now language that the $300 billion in pollution-permit auction proceeds is dedicated to "sustainable energy". Now, the GOP Senators are bravely, valiantly trying to kill this thing with amendments — so far they're failing. And if it comes to the floor, it may well be held up by filibuster threat; and if it passes, Bush will veto. So what's the point? Well, one would hope this is a signal to the other participants at the Bali Climate talks (happening this week and next) that the US is serious about climate change. If other countries understand that the US is poised to get in the game when we have a non-troglodyte President and Congress, that puts a heavy hand on the playing table. So that's good. And in fact, if may be doubly necessary because of the administration's own skullduggery: US Seeks Alliance with China and India to Block Climate Protection By Gregor Peter Schmitz in Washington, D.C. Officially, the US government says it wants to push in Bali for a climate protection "road map." But SPIEGEL [...]
I know some of you out there are involved in politics at the local level. I would like to know what any of you think about this story. The newly elected Board of Selectmen in Saugus recently voted to no longer have a public comment period during their meetings. If a town citizen wants to speak to the BOS, he or she must send a request in writing to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting. Until this change, every BOS meeting had a public forum segment during which anyone could stand up and speak to the selectmen about any issue. It made citizen participation in town government very easy. Does anyone have any thoughts? What does your town governing body do? (BTW, the Massachusetts Open Meeting law does not require that a governing body provide citizens with the opportunity to speak to it during a meeting, but maybe it should.)
If Romney were to actually act on his so-called core believes related to illegal immigration here is what he should have done the FIRST time this happened at his house. 1. Given he authorized the State Police to take action on illegal immigration he should have called the State Police to arrest those illegal immigrants and or reported them to ICE. 2. He should have reported this company to ICE to be fully investigated and perhaps raided. 3. (This is an assumption). He should have told that company to not hire anymore illegal immigrants rather than just not send them to his house. BTW – I’m not advocating the above course of action Now to the other edge of the sword… I have been surprised with how many times the words “Illegal Immigrant” has been bandied around this and other blogs in relation to this Romney issue. Most left leaning blogs use the term “undocumented workers” but seem to have embraced (perhaps temporarily?) the term “Illegal Immigrants” seemly because it puts Romney in perhaps worse light. It seems there is a little hypocrisy being served on both sides of this story..
I truly admire and respect Bobby Muller from Veterans For America, he has overcome so much and keeps fighting and fighting for our vets and current servicemembers. Twenty two years ago, the original “Viet Vet Survival Guide” was published the old-fashioned way, by Ballantine Press. Veterans For America has just published a brand new guide, called “The American Veterans And Servicemembers Survival Guide” but this one is free to all and available to be downloaded. It's a great guide and because VFA is publishing online, it's one that will be of tremendous assistance to veterans, servicemembers and their families living here in Massachusetts. To learn more just visit the VFA website, Veterans For America — they do a great daily news analysis and they also sponsor the OurTroops NewsLadder which is a great news aggregator of all articles, news, blog posts etc that relate to our troops.
The idea that the Bush administration just did a combined 180-degree turn/belly flop on Iran makes no sense. It is completely out of keeping with the, “never admit a mistake,” and, “when in doubt, look for a war,” strategy of the administration. I’m surprised Cheney’s pacemaker hasn’t blown right out of his chest with the rage he must feel right now, as neo-con dreams for a wider Middle East war twist in the wind. My completely uninformed speculation — which we, of course, delight in here at BMG — is that this is payback for the neocons from the CIA/intelligence community. They don’t want another Iraq. The best speculation I have found in the MSM so far is from former CIA officer Robert Baer in Time. This is evidently equally uninformed, since it is written by a novelist-columnist-journalist (one trembles to add, “blogger”), and offers nary a source. But it is fun to read. The real story behind this NIE is that the Bush Administration has finally concluded Iran is a bridge too far. With Iranian-backed Shi’a groups behaving themselves, things are looking up in Iraq. In Lebanon, the anti-Syrian coalition and pro-Syrian coalition, which includes Iran’s surrogate Hizballah, reportedly [...]