April 2008
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Day April 15, 2008

Ode to the Descendants of the Tribe of Dan

{See JUD 1:16-20} What sly enemy Whispered  to you this choice      which you have chosen? Where did you find that idol   To polish, and place upon the pedestal of your heart? Your treasure lies unprotected    Scattered       Across the countryside. The gold of your children’s inheritance lies among growing weeds. Did no friend warn you? Revised 4/2008 Deborah Sirotkin Butler

My Work Here Is Done

Charley, No problem man. Thanks. Sincerely. Are you familair with expression ‘when donkeys fly’? It means don’t complain if the donkey doesn’t fly as long as you would like. Also Charley, I checked. The boys said it’s OK for you to start your car now. You took it all back. The hit is off. But I won’t forget. You were there for me man. You promoted and recommend my Petro post when no one else would touch it. I love you man. You’re a solid. As for the rest you bahstahds. If you care, Please go back and read my most recent greaseball posts in context with my recent posts on Deval, casino gambling,  Sal, and others. I knocked david bernstein on dan kennedy’s blog for some crap in the recent Phoenix article concerning sal I have used this minor ethnic stereo type to illustrate the highly disgusting implications deval and others let float out there concerning Sal and his reasons for being against gambling. The “greaseball” thing was Ernie saying that Deval and others are instilling fear in Mass voters similiar to tactics used in the south to raise fears among whites of blacks. After blacks work there ass […]

Spring time in New England

Cross-posted at Chris from Andover

If you live in a town in New England, there is a pretty decent chance that sometime in the next few weeks or so your town is going to have its annual Town Meeting, a unique New England system of government where all legislative decisions are made by the registered voters in that particular town. It is democracy in its most basic form, where each individual citizen has a say in the budget of their government, the level of taxation, the priorities that the town should take, you (the citizen) are responsible for all the major legislative decisions in town, not some politician who can be the whipping boy (or girl) for everyone’s gripes, nope it’s all on you.

letter to my superdelegates

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY SUPERDELEGATES On this sunny morning just before spring on Cape Cod I am writing to you to ask you to consider my thoughts when you decide who to support in August in Denver. It has been nearly my entire life, since the middle of the Second World War, that my country has struggled with its posture in the world.  As long as I can remember there has been a constant tug between self-aggrandizement on one side and trying to help the wider world on the other.  Our history since 1945 reveals an endless struggle between sympathy and greed, fear and trust, defensiveness and self-confidence.   In the ’40s and ’50s, while we were rebuilding western Europe we were also persecuting those in our own land who thought and spoke openmindedly of different social arrangements there.   We just barely elected an inspiring and possibly well-intentioned young man as I entered college in 1960, only to resist his attempts to equalize opportunity for the poorest among us and to support his attempts to invade and dominate a tiny, tribal, impoverished land on the other side of the Pacific ocean.   Next, we elected, in reaction to […]

A clarification, and apology

Yesterday I promoted a post by our resident crank “Ernie Boch III”, ostensibly dealing with campaign contributions to Speaker Pro Tem Petrolati. I thought the story which was its subject was intriguing; and thought it merited further questioning. Regular readers may know that campaign finance is one of my hobby-horses; I feel that elected officials should be aware that the source of their campaign money does indeed affect how their actions are interpreted in the public. And I also like getting our regular posters onto the front page — for the community-building aspect, and partly because frankly, it saves me work. However, the post riffed on some pretty grievous ethnic stereotyping, and trafficked in some highly questionable claims and connections. As such, it violated our Rules of the Road. In my eagerness to highlight the issues that interested me, I clearly got sloppy, and glossed over the gratuitously hurtful parts of the post. In case there's been any doubt, I reject those stereotypes utterly, just as I would reject racial, gender- or sexuality-based stereotypes. In addition, the question asked in the title (“Is Sal Corrupt?”) is overreaching by quite a bit — probably on purpose. There is no evidence that […]

Aren’t we all elitists?

I have to admit when I thought about what to title this post it brought about a brief channeling of Carrie Bradshaw where in the circumstances of the last few days bring forth existential questioning about ones own relevance. The Current debate on this subject has the potential to morph into what might give good fodder to a new take on Jeff Foxworthy’s  comedy shtick regarding what it takes to be a Red Neck

But the national debate as well as what has traveled thought the Fabric of BMG threads are the who, what and why of being an elitist. Hmmmmmmm, this sounds like a job for Google.  It brought forth 342,000 entries and I assure you I did not look at all of them

This is a bit of what I came up with.

The Bitter Truth: PA Race Unchanged …

A poll released today by Quinnipiac University to celebrate tax day (just kidding) finds Pennsylvania — 4/9 through 4/13 Clinton 50%, Obama 44% — unchanged from 4/3-4/6. “There was no noticeable difference in the matchup in polling April 12 – 13, following widespread media reports on Sen. Obama’s ‘bitter’ comments.” Still, the debate was good for selling newspapers and generating discussion on the blogs. Now back to our regularly scheduled program: old versus new.

Memo to Doug Rubin II: Great work on economy so far, but don’t sleep on the local finance crisis

Thanks for maintaining the dialogue despite the constant pressures you face in running the Governor’s office.  I like how the Governor has responded to the economic challenge in recent days since the casino setback (which could very well prove a long-term gift as it takes the poison out of the Beacon Hill water a bit and media attention thankfully moves elsewhere).  

The stimulus package is well thought out – borrow more at better rates now when times are tough, invest in vital and overdue infrastructure improvements (creating jobs here and now in the process) and pay back the debt when the economy (and revenues hopefully) has picked up in later years.  Not much more the State can do in the short-term to respond to a national downturn.  I also like the Growth Districts concept – it takes the Governor to those areas of the state too long neglected.  And the corporate tax reforms are major victories.  Combined reporting is a real triumph that had been on the table before (and the legislature in 2002 was scared to take it up partially because they didn’t want to prompt a Romney veto) but would have gone nowhere without the Governor’s backing.  Most people will have no clue what that is all about (beyond the accountants for major corporations) – but it’s a real progressive victory. Congratulations!

And as the economy is likely to dictate people’s attention for a while it’s good that the Governor has gotten out front on it in a positive way.  If this focus can be maintained and any trivial sidesteps avoided, his numbers will start to rebound.  MORE ON IDEAS/RISKS AFTER THE FOLD