April 2008
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Day April 29, 2008

Stepping up the pace, Gov. Patrick nominates three to judgeships

Here is the link to the press release: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=go… For more information: Contact: Kyle Sullivan   Cyndi Roy   Becky Deusser   (617) 725-4025   The fact that Governor Patrick recognized the need to appoint a Probate and Family Court judge as quickly as possible in Middlesex County is much appreciated.  That Probate and Family Court is the highest volume in the state – down by eight family service officers [also called probation officers] who mediate and assist pro se litigants [those without attorneys].   In today’s tough economic times, 80% of those appearing in Middlesex Probate and Family Court seeking divorces, or custody are pro se, according to the Honorable Peter DiGangi, the presiding judge of that court. GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES NOMINATION OF THREE TOP ATTORNEYS TO KEY JUDICIAL POSITIONS BOSTON – Thursday, April 29, 2008 – Governor Patrick announced today the nominations of a highly respected federal prosecutor to the Superior Court, a specialist in domestic relations to the Middlesex County Division of the Probate and Family Court, and a seasoned juvenile court practitioner to the Bristol County Division of the Juvenile Court.   Timothy Q. Feeley, 58, a Marblehead resident and graduate of the University of Notre […]

Op Ed by Elizabeth Edwards calling for real coverage by the MSM in the NYT #6 on the hits parade

I heard Elizabeth Edwards speak about this topic earlier this month in Cambridge at the Kennedy School of Government.  The New York Times has now published her Op Ed on the topic of the failure of the main stream media to cover the issues, and the dumbing down of journalism so as to treat the presidential primary race like a soap opera.  

News is different from other programming on television or other content in print. It is essential to an informed electorate. And an informed electorate is essential to freedom itself. But as long as corporations to which news gathering is not the primary source of income or expertise get to decide what information about the candidates “sells,” we are not functioning as well as we could if we had the engaged, skeptical press we deserve.

And the future of news is not bright. Indeed, we’ve heard that CBS may cut its news division, and media consolidation is leading to one-size-fits-all journalism. The state of political campaigning is no better: without a press to push them, candidates whose proposals are not workable avoid the tough questions. All of this leaves voters uncertain about what approach makes the most sense for them. Worse still, it gives us permission to ignore issues and concentrate on things that don’t matter. (Look, the press doesn’t even think there is a difference!)

What “sells” is a narrative composed of soap opera like trivia.  The title of Elizabeth’s Op Ed is “Bowling 1, Health Care 0″.  To read the entire Op Ed, go to:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04…

This issue really matters.  Without an informed electorate, that votes, democracy itself is at risk.

 

Is My Doctor Going to Fire Me?

I fear that my primary physician is trying to push me and many of his patients out of his practice.  Of course, given the state of our health care system, who can blame him and his partners at the practice?  

Primary care doctors are at the bottom of the insurance/Medicare food chain, receiving the lowest reimbursement rates compared to their “specialist” colleagues.  So they have to focus their professional energy into creating a patient-mill, seeing patients at a rate of one very ten minutes so that they can meet the expenses of their practice AND obtain a similar income level of their “specialist” colleagues.  No doubt this takes a real physical and mental toll that leads to professional burnout.

This is but one problem in the ever-complex health care dilemma our society wrestles with.  Without reforms and solutions, the “market” is attempting address this problem for some primary care physicians and the results will have horrendous implications for society as a whole.  Creating a system of primary care “have” patients and primary care “have nots”.

Finally Obama is “Outraged”…gee, whiz…epiphany!

Obama says he is “outraged” by “appalling” comments made by Rev. Wright.    For more information…http://www.politico.com File under: late epiphany

Vote for my friend Diane’s Obama ad :-)

From the Shameless Promotion Department. My friend Diane’s ad has been selected as one of the 15 finalists for the Moveon.org national Obama ad campaign competition: over 1,000 ads submitted and over 4.5 million votes cast so far. Click on the ad to go to the voting page where you can rate it and the other finalists.  

Vetted Schmetted!

This is a but a small preview of the field day the GOP will have with the Clintons in the general, if Hillary can take the nomination.   Stuff from this period has never really been fully vetted because, in the wake of the ugly spectacle of Bill’s narrowly avoiding impeachment, most people just didn’t want to hear or think about any more Clinton scandals.  And, needless to say, terrorism is a much more sensative issue now then 1999. It’s bizarro world to think Clinton actually less vulnerable to GOP attacks in the fall.

What Matters, According to Dukakis

Via Jon Keller, the New York Observer gets Dukakis to talk and he’s got serious criticism for Obama.  Serious as a heart attack. Sen. Obama needs to improve his organization too, Mr. Dukakis said. “Obama hasn’t done anywhere near as good a job at the precinct level in the primary states as I would have expected,” he said. “There was no precinct-based organization in Massachusetts. None.” “Kitty Dukakis has been contributing to Obama since last spring,” he said, referring to his wife, “an Obama fanatic.” “She’s never received an e-mail saying, ‘Will you be a precinct captain?’ And the guy’s got, what, 1,200,000 contributors-every one of whom, in my judgment, by this time should have been enlisted at putting together a 200,000-precinct, 50-state operation. I don’t know why that hasn’t happened.” “I think we’ve got to be laying the groundwork for this 50-state campaign,” he said. “I don’t mean call 25 of your friends. That is not a precinct-based grassroots organization. Precinct-based is a precinct captain and six block captains for every precinct, accountable and reporting in every Sunday night-how many 1′s, how many 2′s, how many 3′s, how many 4′s. And thanks to [the Internet] you can do this […]

John Kerry receives Human Rights Campaign Endorsement

I came across this announcement today at John Kerry's website.  Seems like a pretty big deal to me.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced it is endorsing John Kerry for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

(Press Release Text) BOSTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced it is endorsing John Kerry for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, one of the savviest, most respected and most influential political, civil rights and human rights organizations in our country,” said Kerry. “When you’re in a fight to change our country, you can always count on HRC to be there with you in the trenches, and there’s no better ally in the fight to advance the cause of freedom and equality for all Americans.  I have been proud to work with the Human Rights Campaign for close to 25 years now in the U.S. Senate.  We’ve fought together to combat AIDS, including our fight this year in the Foreign Relations Committee to lift the HIV Travel Ban, to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to end discrimination in the workplace through ENDA, and to work toward the day when same-sex couples are granted the same rights other Americans take for granted.  We’ve spent a lot of our energy these last years stopping bad things from happening with a Republican in the White House.  We’ve been proud to fight those fights, but I can’t begin to tell you how much I look forward to serving in a bigger, stronger Democratic majority in Congress under a Democratic president so we can wage and win the progress we’ve been waiting for and which the community deserves.”

Popping Obama’s Balloon

I wish I could draw, because the image I have in my head right now is of my candidate, Senator Obama, sailing through the clouds in a hope- filled balloon and his former pastor, the ever humble Reverend Wright, all smiles and bile, taking out a bazooka and popping a big hole in my man’s balloon. Obama has gamely and I think honorably tried to walk the tightrope that lay between denouncing the Reverend’s most incendiary comments and fully disowning a man who has been an important person in his spiritual life. The Reverend however seems to have the scissors out and wants to force his spiritual mentee to take sides, between his own political future, which very much hangs in the balance, and his relationship with the Reverend in particular and his black church in general – in a sense between the Reverend’s view of America the flawed and Obama’s view of America the hopeful.   It is an interesting place for a man of mixed parentage to be in, for a man who long sought a community to be a part of, but who also deeply cares that people from long-estranged communities come together – to be forced […]

A new metric: Earmarks

Clinton winning by a landslide; $2.3B to $0.0. Clinton: $2.3B in earmarks By Manu Raju and Kevin Bogardus   Posted: 04/28/08 08:08 PM [ET]   Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has requested nearly $2.3 billion in federal earmarks for 2009, almost three times the largest amount received by a single senator this year. The Democratic presidential candidate’s staggering request comes at a time when Congress remains engaged in a heated debate over spending federal dollars on parochial projects. It also has gained traction on the campaign trail. Presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), a longtime foe of earmarks, has called for eliminating what he dubs “wasteful Washington spending.” Democratic front-runner Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has spurned earmarks, seeking no funds for pet projects in the upcoming fiscal year. Yet Clinton is continuing to request billions for earmarks, most of which will go to her home state. The money is needed for homeland security, emergency response and health projects throughout New York, according to documents provided by her office. The total amount Clinton requested greatly surpasses the $837 million secured last year by Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee who took home the largest […]