Here are two recommended links: http://mizerochildren.org/ http://www.samputu.com/ It is said of the 4,000,000 children in Rwanda, over 600,000 are orphans. Maybe due to necessity, the Rwandans have chosen a philosophy based on their word “Mizero”, which like Ubuntu is the choice of forgiveness, reconciliation, and humanity over hate and vengeance. The results of vengeance and generational hate are presently on display in Gaza. What the Mizero children brought to the State House, to the United Nations – and to Arlington tonight is a healing form of energy and a request for help healing. Given the musicians on this site, I am sharing some wonderful music. Given the politicians on this site, I am suggesting that first those of you involved in governance care for our legal orphans, and those who cannot care for themselves. I remember reading about the horrific fight FDR had over a prgressive taxation system – maybe now is the time to look at our whole revenue raising structure not from the perspective of those who have more keeping as much as possible, but from the perspective of what it means to be human and to take care of one another. As for me, though, what [...]
Jeez, I heard the other Politicker sites were struggling, but down goes our own PolitickerMA. David and I met their reporter Jeremy Jacobs a couple of times, including at the convention; he was a solid fellow that was covering all manner of things ignored by the big papers — state rep/state Senate races, the MA Republican leadership follies, all that. These things will go back to obscurity, when the public really needed the kind of treatment offered them by Politicker. (All right, maybe not the GOP follies.) Hell. I really wish this online journalism business model actually worked. At least Jeremy found a great gig in DC; but there are plenty of other very good young Politicker journos who are being let go in a very chilly climate for their craft. Good luck everyone — and hang in there.
The comedy really never stops with this. Today, the Illinois Supreme Court held that Jesse White, the Illinois Secretary of State, could not be forced to countersign Governor Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to the US Senate. But it also held that no such signature was necessary for the appointment to be valid, and that the Senate’s refusal to seat Burris for that reason alone appears to have been in violation of both its own rules and of the US Constitution. Amazing. Here are relevant excerpts from the opinion (PDF). The form used by the Governor was apparently based on ”recommended forms” contained in Rule II of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate. As their name indicates, these forms are merely recommended. State officials are not required to adopt them, but “they may use [them] if they see fit.” Standing Rule II, United States Senate, Committee on Rule & Administration…. Because gubernatorial appointments only require issuance of an actual commission [which would have to be countersigned by the Secretary of State] when the governing law so provides and because no provision of law makes issuance of a commission necessary for the validity of a gubernatorial appointee to a [...]
As you all know, Soapblox was seriously hacked a couple of days ago. Much of the Soapblox network (including BMG) was off-line for several hours, and for a while there it looked as though it — and we — might never come back. Fortunately, the immediate crisis has been averted. But the episode revealed major vulnerabilities in Soapblox, and made obvious what probably should have been obvious before: one guy managing Soapblox in his spare time was a disaster waiting to happen. Paul Preston, who developed and runs Soapblox, has done extraordinary things with it — it’s a powerful and inexpensive platform that now runs dozens of blogs, including most state-level community blogs as well as national operations like Open Left and Pam’s House Blend. But in a sense, Paul is a victim of his own success. The Soapblox project is now simply too big, and too important, to be managed in the haphazard fashion that has prevailed until now. Inevitable conclusion: we need to raise money, both to handle the short-term fixes that the hack showed to be necessary, and to set a longer-term foundation for a stable and secure blogging infrastructure. And so we are asking all [...]
Sarah thinks she was exploited by Katie Couric and Tina Fey? Uh, wasn’t John McCain the exploiter-in-chief?
From Daniel Kurtzman: “On Inauguration Day, Barack Obama is going to be riding in a brand new presidential limousine made by General Motors. Because, folks, nothing says ‘hope for the future’ like General Motors. … The good news is that at least they sold one car, apparently.” –Conan O’Brien “By the way, First Lady Laura Bush, Laura Bush is writing a memoir. The name of the memoir, I believe, is ‘I’m with Stupid.’” –David Letterman “Hey, did you see this in the paper? In an interview with the Washington Times, Vice President Dick Cheney said he is not a big fan of rap music. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was stunned by that. Actually, I’m surprised. I mean, look at the guy. He gets driven around in a limo, surrounded by bodyguards, shot a guy in the face — he is a rap star.” –Jay Leno “(Burris) was turned away because they said he didn’t meet the high standards of the Senate. Gee. I wonder which senator turned him down. Do you think it was the one who embezzled the money? Maybe it was the one that got caught with the hooker? I know, I’ll [...]
The chances of President Bush granting Tom Finneran a pardon strike me as so remote that it’s hardly worth getting into why it’s a bad idea (among other things, it would require Bush to waive the usual rule that five years must have elapsed since the conviction). The only thing worthy of comment is this: what on earth was Mike Dukakis thinking when he signed the letter urging the pardon? Honestly, this kind of nonsense (excerpted from the letter signed by Dukakis, along with former Govs Weld, Cellucci, and Swift), is beyond belief: “And he has suffered daily taunts and ridicule of those who believe that every elected official is the equivalent of a common thief,” the governors told the president in their letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe. Memo to Finneran, the honorable ex-Governors, and anyone else who worries about the fact that some people “believe that every elected official is the equivalent of a common thief”: the elected officials who commit crimes, like Tom Finneran, play a big role in causing that problem. So the fact that Finneran’s conviction has led to public ridicule is not remotely an argument in favor of a pardon. [...]
It made some headlines earlier this week when NASA administrator Michael Griffin tendered his resignation, effective January 20. It’s not terribly surprising, since a lot of people in Washington are expecting sweeping changes, and there are a lot of resignations going around. But the writing’s been on the wall on this one since early December.
That was when, at a book promotion event at the NASA library, Griffin had a fairly public confrontation with Lori Garver, the leader of the Obama transition space policy team. Griffin was overheard stating that Garver was not qualified to lead this team. Garver is a former NASA associate administrator. At the same event Griffin and Garver had a confrontation in which Garver asked what his problem was. “We are just trying to look under the hood.”
“If you are looking under the hood, then you are calling me a liar. Because it means you don’t trust what I say is under the hood,” was Griffin’s response.
Dear Friends, As many of you know, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Biden have launched a national day of service to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.and to encourage Americans to make an ongoing commitment to service on the eve of this historic Inauguration. I am writing to ask you to participate in this effort. The National Day of Service is a national organizing effort that will engage volunteers across the country as they help organizations in their communities and recruit others to do the same. Here in Massachusetts, we hope to have hundreds of service projects over the course of three days, January 17-20. Many local groups have created events to assist and support organizations in their communities, and numerous organizations have requested help with specific projects. The Presidential Inaugural Committee has launched a website where all of these events can be posted and volunteers can sign up to help: http://www.USAservi ce.org. For non-profits with projects for volunteers: If you are connected with a non-profit organization and have a specific volunteer need, please post your event at www.USAservice.org. Volunteers can sign up online, and hundreds of volunteers will be recruited through phone banks next week. [...]