In a “letter to the community,” today, Harvard President Drew Faust confirmed the university’s earlier estimate that its endowment will shrink 30%, “before subtracting the additional $1.4 billion that will go toward current operations.” Worse, she writes, “The current yearly endowment distribution — the dollars we take out of the endowment to support activities across the University — is approximately 50% higher than it was when the endowment was last at the value we expect as of next June 30.” The school will hold faculty and some staff salaries flat next year, institute voluntary retirement for about 1,600, and reconsider, “the pace and scale of our physical expansion in Allston,” among other steps. More here. I wonder if that will save $450 or so million [hat tip to Marcus for correcting the numbers] they need to cut to bring endowment spending back in line with earlier disbursement rates. Tough times. Amusingly, Faust wrote that, “It was striking to watch an inauguration in which three Harvard graduates — the President, the First Lady, and the Chief Justice of the United States — stood together to mark an historic transition in our nation’s leadership.” She neglected, somehow, to add that the outgoing [...]
In a recent CNN interview, Bristol Palin spoke out for the first time since giving birth, and admits that for young people, abstinence as a form of birth control “is not realistic at all.” Check out the interview below: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITI… Abstinence-only-until-marriage programming promotes abstinence from sexual activity without teaching young people basic facts about contraception and other measures that can help them to protect themselves against unintended pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS once they become sexually active. Comprehensive health education is essential in allowing students to protect themselves when making decisions they may already face: In a 2005 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 45% of high school students reported having had sexual intercourse. Young people today need age appropriate, medically accurate information that reflects the range of health issues they are faced with.
The Hill reports: Even though their party almost completely opposed the massive economic stimulus package, some Republicans are racing to embrace funding in the measure even as the national party sticks to their strategy of slamming Democrats who voted for the bill. Now that the massive $787 billion package has passed the House without a single Republican vote and cleared the Senate with just three centrist Republicans in favor, a number of GOP members of Congress have seemingly changed their tunes and are now touting money that will flow into their districts. This post replaces an earlier silly suggestion that Charlie Baker, should he decide to run, enter the race as a Democrat. Apologies.
Yeah, so, I realize this is totally random. I’m wired with volunteers in Boston, but my network dies right outside the city limits. Do you know of anyone who’d like a twice/week volunteer gig with an 18-year-old serving a 3-year piece at Concord MCI? Good kid, really bad choice. Wants to earn a G.E.D. If you’re interested, please email me Goldstein (Minus the “Gone Wild”) at AOL.com
Baker, the former A&F chief for Weld and Cellucci, now CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, seems to want to run against Gov. Patrick. Fasten your seatbelts: This is plainly the matchup that everyone's been spoiling for. Firstly, Baker is not a moron, which is the best you can possibly say for most people running for office under the GOP banner. Harvard Pilgrim has done very well under his watch, being named one of the best health insurers in the country. That may go well in some political circles; to me, it sounds like being named “the nicest of the damned.” But frankly, I've really found our state level politics to be quite bewildering lately. In light of what's happened just in the last three years, the ideological lines will not be clear this time. Mitt Romney and George Bush have burnt through whatever electoral potency “conservatism” had in the Commonwealth. Patrick won't be running against a Romney/Healey clone simply repeating the national party's talking points. (If Baker continues that pattern, he's toast right now; and I don't expect he will.) Furthermore, the fiscal crisis has pulled the rug out from under Gov. Patrick's vision for certain expanded programs: Where [...]
Today’s online poll at the Lowell Sun, to be published in tomorrow’s paper: If the election for governor were held today, who would you vote for? Total Votes = 437 Deval Patrick 53 Votes, or 12.12 % Kerry Healey 109 Votes, or 24.94 % Christy Mihos 74 Votes, or 16.93 % Somebody else 201 Votes, or 45.99 % You know what to do. Click here and do it.
Easy… just declare yourself an athiest. You see, Article 19 Section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution says: No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court. Of course this probably fails the religious test clause in the US Constitution. Turns out that Rep. Richard Carroll has submitted a bill to repeal the section. Ed Brayton wonders how this will go down: … But I’d be willing to wager that one of two things will happen: either the legislature will refuse to pass the bill and put it on the ballot, or it will go on the ballot and the voters of Arkansas will reject it. Why? Because I bet there are enough people in that state who still favor such an idiotic law and want it to exist even if it can’t be enforced. It’s a symbol of their belief in their own superiority to those evil Godless heathens. This will be interesting to watch. Anyone wanna take that bet? I’m probably not as pessimistic as he is about the probable outcome. Then again, I’ve been disappointed by [...]
Thanks to the Boston Globe, there is a link where you can view a slice of one and hear participants talk about it: http://www.boston.com/news/loc… Maybe one of the tech types could embed it for me? (Sure! -David) A bunch of would be adoptive parents and legal orphans are scheduled to all be in the same place with a bunch of free activities [like Deb the Bead lady and Pizza] and maybe the chemistry will lead to a would be parent adopting a legal orphan. Stressful? You bet. But they leave me decked in beads and looking like pirate kings and queens – on my dime – this is a volunteer gig and I donate all the beads too. I have been seeing the same kids for more than five years, sometimes, they look for me and it is like … an island in time.
I saw a news story last night on a Springfield station (sorry, I was at someone else’s house, so I don’t know which station) that cited new Patrick administration requirements for staying in homeless shelters that included working 30 hours a week. To me the requirements sounded overly stringent but it was not a very in-depth story, so I’m wondering if anyone knows more about this or can provide more context.
GLAAD’s Justin Cole has some good advice for how local politicians and organizations should interact with state blogs. I’m embedding Part 2, because it’s more relevant, but click the link to watch the whole thing. The gist of it? Don’t fear bloggers, call them up and invite them over for coffee. This is doubly true for local issue-based organizations. There are lots of agendas that we can work together on, being far more effective, but that only happens when organizations recognize that bloggers bring a lot to the table and can be a great asset, thus deciding to form that relationship. (Watching Part 1 of that interview has more on how blogs can impact stories.) So if anyone who represents interests from housing to glbt to education to health care – and you want the blogosphere’s involvement and energy – make a personal contact. Bloggers are much more likely to write about your issues if they know what your issues are, and they’re much more likely to open up your emails if they know who you are. The bulk of this also appears at RyansTake.net.