It’s pretty rare that I agree with the WSJ’s editorial page, but they take apart the Bush administration’s piecemeal and haphazard response to the economic crisis with reasonable cogency today. Another Sunday night, another ad hoc bank rescue rooted in no discernible principle. U.S. taxpayers, who invested $25 billion in Citigroup last month, will now pour in another $20 billion in exchange for preferred shares paying an 8% dividend. … More than a year into the financial crisis and decades into the perception that Citi is too big to fail, we once again have three tired guys making it up as they go. We wish Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke cared as much about their obligations to U.S. taxpayers as they do about the expectations of Asian investors. Few would argue that a bank with Citi’s size and scope wasn’t too big to fail, but is it too much to ask Washington to develop a policy that isn’t crafted in a scramble of private phone calls? What is needed here is a systemic approach to a global problem. Britain and Germany were on the right track when they proposed [...]
David's in an exotic place where elitists take vacations. My computer's power supply died. ("Of course — It's a DELL!") Personally, I am shallow and attention-deficitted. The GOP will have to find good reasons for people to support them. Then they can start working on an infrastructure to gin up support for those reasons. Right now the GOP is focused on technical change, not fundamentally reassessing its crappy ideas. The techie stuff is actually the easy part. For now, they gotta ask the actor's question: "What's my motivation?" For more denial fun, see the adorable Karl Rove in Newsweek: Yes, yes, GOP ideas on health care are really awesome! If only someone noticed! Recently David found himself agreeing with the Mittster … Now I'm agreeing with Romney's former Loathesome Spokesman? First, the many no-shows and half-shows who pad the Pike payroll have to be eliminated. Pike CEO Alan LeBovidge has made a good start, but stables this Aegean are going to require a Herculean cleaning. Patrick can set the right tone by declaring an immediate end to the hiring of friends and relatives of legislators. The Pike will never be effectively folded into the rest of the transportation bureaucracy as long [...]
Well, maybe that's a little strong. Still, Massachusetts donated the most money per capita to Obama's campaign … which included, of course, our own modest efforts. When fund-raiser Alan Solomont gathered Barack Obama's New England finance steering committee in Boston last week for a postelection celebration, he shared statistics with the group that he said testified to its success. … But one statistic made Solomont prouder than any other: the $21.4 million that Obama raised in Massachusetts made it his most lucrative state on a per-person basis. Obama raised $3.31 per Massachusetts resident and $2.91 per Vermonter – more than he took in from New York ($2.62) and California ($2.29), traditionally among the richest pastures for Democrats. By Solomont's measure, Massachusetts even outperformed Obama's home state, Illinois, which contributed $2.42 per capita to his campaign. The fact that Obama was able to outspend McCain certainly had a lot to do with his victory — and the fact that it was seemingly well-spent. Anyway, thanks again to everyone who gave of the fruits of their labors to make the victory possible. One more reason to be proud of the Commonwealth.
The protest at Cambridge City Hall on Sunday was a testament to the city’s strong commitment to social justice and to the queer community. It was literally freezing out, yet dozens of people showed up to hear the mayor, city counselor, and four state representatives speak. After the speaking program at city hall, we marched to Harvard Square, chanting the entire way. Here are a couple of good news articles about the protest: The Harvard Crimson The Cambridge Chronicle
Pam Wilmot of Common Cause just sent out the following: Politicians in Massachusetts are being indicted at an alarming rate. This sad state of affairs comes with one silver lining: an opportunity to change politics as usual. To that end, Governor Deval Patrick recently appointed me to his task force on government integrity. Other committee members include former Common Cause President Scott Harshbarger, former State Ethics Commission Executive Director Peter Sturges, former Anti-Defamation League New England Regional Director Andrew Tarsy, and more. Citizens can submit testimony in person to the Task Force at a public hearing Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 3pm in Room A-2 at the State House. Or you can send in your ideas by email to email@example.com. the task force and the ethical issues surrounding its creation give Common Cause a unique opportunity to push for real reform. When it comes to the appearance of corruption, we suffer an embarrassment of riches. Since Bill Belichick had Spy-gate, things have gotten out of control. Senator Wilkerson and Councilor Turner face Liquor-gate. DiMasi has Compu-gate, and Majority Leader John Rogers has VacationHouse-gate.
Maybe we need a big-time state ethics commission. I remain among the skeptics. But we damn well need a commission at the highest level and with a strong budget and with subpoena powers, to take a comprehensive look at the Big Dig. Today’s Boston Globe story about a looming half-billion dollar obligation highlights once again that we have had only glimpses of the Big Dig’s big problems. Investigations have thus far been sporadic, reactive and incremental. Tom Reilly became AG in 1999 and waited until 2004 to get serious about Big Dig cost overruns. The commission chaired by retired judge Edward Ginsberg was a study in ineptitude, spending over $7 million to recover about $4 million. The frantic probes following the July, 2006 ceiling collapse focused on only parts of the construction problems. This should be an issue that progressives and conservatives can get together on. The crazy-quilt financing of this project (with credit default swaps, no less) will shadow the state’s fiscal situation for another generation. Its continuing maintenance expenses are a series of financial time-bombs. We are at least owed a credible explanation of how this happened.
The Improv Asylum in Boston’s North End is once again raising money for Globe Santa. Each year the inmates do a 24 hour improvathon. There is an ongoing auction it’s a great time and highly recommended. This year our goal is $7,500.00. Help us reach it! Once again, Improv Asylum is teaming up with Globe Santa to bring smiles to children’s faces. Starting at 7pm on Friday, December 5th Improv Asylum will be hosting No Rest for the Wicked Funny a 24-hour charity event. The performance will include eight actors who will perform for a full twenty-four hours as well as local celebrities and bands. The event runs from 7 pm – 7 pm from December 5th – 6th. December 5th – 6th 7 pm – 7 pm Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover Street, Boston Tickets: $10**
Chuck Turner was scheduled to tell us his side of the story in yesterday’s press conference, but it was not meant to be. After consulting with his legal team, he instead opted for the standard route of staying publicly silent on the details of the case. It’s probably good legal advice, but it leaves the rest of us speculating.
Interested in what Chuck Turner’s defense may be, I read the affidavit provided by the ____. I wasn’t particularly interested in what legal defense Turner might muster, e.g. entrapment, but more so in what moral defense he might make that he hadn’t really done anything wrong. Based on my layman’s reading of the affidavit, I explore a somewhat plausible defense of this actions below.