Adam reports that the Globe, in its ongoing effort to stave off financial ruin, has assembled a “‘New Revenue Team’ whose job it is to develop revenue-generating ideas into marketable products and services that will have a significant return.” There is also a “commission” system of sorts: All employees are welcome to submit ideas for generating revenue, and the team has developed an incentive plan that pays out an increasing amount as an idea moves through the successive phases of development. Excellent idea, says I to myself. Maybe we should try something similar! As you may have noticed, there is not exactly a flood of ads gracing our site right now, which means that our march toward world domination effort to improve the BMG experience for our readers has inevitably slowed. So here’s the plan! We sell advertising through Blogads, as do many other blogs. The rates are pretty low: $150 a week for the “premium” spot in the upper right-hand corner of the screen; $75 a week for the regular spot a little ways down the right-hand sidebar. (That translates roughly to $4 CPM and $2 CPM, for the advertising geeks among you.) I think local businesses should be [...]
You know, when you’re married, it really sucks to STILL be considered “legal strangers” by the government. The latest example of why comes in the form of the Stimulus Bill. From Citizen Crain: [I]magine my elation when I heard President Obama describe the $2500 tax credit in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the purpose of helping families offset the cost of tuition for education. Then I started looking into this. I contacted my accountant, my Congressman and various gay organizations to see exactly how my family could participate in this provision of the stimulus bill. The answer is, we can’t. It appears that the definition of family in this bill is not defined broadly enough to include LGBT families. Without a broader definition of family, the tax credit would have to claimed via the normal mechanism of filing for it on the1040 federal income tax return form. But by law, our relationship is not recognized by the federal government, we cannot file jointly and I cannot claim him as a dependent, even though he really is. This #%@##! It isn’t as though it’s impossible to include gay families in legislation. After 9-11, the fund that was set up [...]
After a great deal of struggling with the dreaded Soapblox HTML parser, I think I have managed to import the reader for President Obama’s budget overview (it’s on the flip — if you prefer a good old-fashioned PDF, here you go). It’s an imposing document, but well worth taking some time to review — as the NY Times reports, “the $3.55 trillion spending plan Mr. Obama is undertaking signals a radical change of course.” Dig through it at your leisure, and let us know what you find.
Tomorrow at 8:30 am, the UMASS System Board of Trustees will be meeting at UMass Dartmouth to vote on increasing the fees by $1,500 per year, a 15% increase. This is a system-wide increase. I personally know people who will not be attending next year because their budget cannot come up with that much more money if this vote passes. The UMASS system hasn’t even been allocated its money from the fed yet, and they are increasing fees by a very significant margin. In times when 1 in 3 families are seeing job losses or pay cuts, the last place where fees should be going up like that is a public university — the only hope many of these students have at a better life. I called the Guv’s office to express my displeasure. The Rally against the fee increase is TOMORROW. The meeting is at 8:30 a.m. at the Woodland Commons, and students from all UMASS Schools will be meeting up as early as 7:15-7:30 at the Commons. If you don’t know the way around, students will be at lots 6 and 7 to help you find your way. I’ll be there with my coffee, and [...]
This post will serve as an online forum to discuss your thoughts and ideas on what the Democratic Party Platform should say about Civil Rights & Civil Liberties.
This is the next in our series of 10 “online forums” on BlueMassGroup over seven weeks, to give people an opportunity to discuss the 2009 Democratic Platform and make your voice heard.
The overarching question we’re looking to answer here is this:
As it pertains to Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, what are our core values as Democrats, and what policies do we think should be included in our 2009 Democratic Platform?
As the debate over the gas tax goes forward it's interesting to note that supporters, including the Governor and his Secretary of Transportation are asking us all to own up to a collective responsibility for our broken roads and bridges, our inadequate public transportation system, and our debt. (Note the use of the pronoun “our”)
Mayor Curtatone in the Somerville News says “anyone who has followed this issue seriously already knows that there's really no way around the need for new revenue. To get our troubled system back on track – a necessary step toward revitalizing our overall economy – it won't be enough just to cut or consolidate (although we have to do that, too). If we want roads, highways, transit, rail and bus services that can support a 21st Century economy, then we have to pay for them – and raising tolls and T fares is neither the smart way to do it nor an adequate way to meet the need.”
One of the Mayor's constituents pointed out in a private conversation: “Here in Somerville I pay income tax, real estate tax, gas tax, excise tax, sales tax and what do I get: free schools and libraries, police and fire protection, clean streets, emergency services, parks and open space, health care for my neighbors who don't have enough, the knowledge that the plumber or electrician or doctor I go see is licensed, plus other city and state services that I am perfectly happy to rely on to maintain the quality of life that we think is essential to live in civilization.”
Late last night Charley posted some questions which were more of a ponderings-of-every-man-thing as the process of the highly and controversial traansportation proposals play out to what will eventually becoming a law. As you can see from the link Doug Rubin responded sometime today. Hey Doug, shouldn’t you be working on the transportation bill and other important stuff instead of scratching Charley’s metaphorical itch. If it is worth responding to, which it isn’t (nothing on here is worth responding to from the Governor’s office IMHO) shouldn’t that be the job of the press/info professionals who work for you and the governor?
I commend to all of you, whether pro-life or pro-choice, Rick Santorum’s Article from the Philly Inquirer:
While I’m about as far from Catholicism as a Presbyterian can get, Pope Benedict XVI is one of my favorite people. If an ox needs goring, he doesn’t hesitate. And he really doesn’t give a rat’s ass whose big fat ox gets gored, he just gores the bloody ox.
Hey, the progressive blogosphere is famous! The NYT reports: A group of liberal bloggers said it is teaming up with organized labor and MoveOn to form a political action committee that will seek to push the Democratic Party farther to the left. Soliciting donations from their readers, the bloggers said they are planning to recruit liberal candidates for challenges against more centrist Democrats currently in Congress. The formation of the group marks another step in the evolution of the blogosphere, which has proven effective at motivating party activists to give money and time to political campaigns, especially in local races. How exciting. Of course, the $500,000 they raised in September, according to the article, won’t get one very far in today’s political world. And they might not raise that much again for a while. And then there is this: The new organization is in many ways the liberal equivalent of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that has financed primary challenges against Republicans it deems insufficiently dedicated to tax cuts and small government. Yikes. We don’t need another Club for Growth of any kind: that kind of fanatical approach divides the country, hates on its opponents, and puts ideology [...]
Question for Governor Patrick: How many cents would the gas tax have to increase to allow the elimination of all toll road in MA. We’re big kids. We can handle truth. ———————————————– Jim Aloisi has entered the real world. Starting at the Mass Turnpike and eventually transitioning to a white shoes law firm is evidence of a man who has spent his working life outside the real world. Jim coveted a high profile gig like this for a long time. I suspect when it is over he will be leaving with his tail between his legs. Let’s not forget the Napoleon angle here. Remember that I told you Aloisi is a Bulger protégé. Last Saturday Jim registered on BMG as “eguy” and responded to a few questions. Including mine. What’s with the “eguy” stuff Jim? why not use your real name when responding in your official capacity? That is what other officials do. Is it more of a propaganda type thing directed at the ultra liberal BMGers? “Hey, Aloisi is all about the environment. He’s one of us. He’s for good. We shouldn’t question anything he does.” His automobile V-chip answers raise more questions. Intentionally confusing I suggest. You could [...]