Hurray for Boston start-up GlobalPost, an online global news venture started by NECN veteran Phil Balboni, and former Globe reporter Charles Sennott. Sennott’s blog is here. The business was profiled today in the NYT, which is where I read about it. The site hopes to make money through ads and a $199 per year membership system that allows one to access special reports and suggest story ideas. Current coverage includes Irish potatoes, an interview with former Taliban members, and the launch of the $2000 Tata Nano car in India, among many others. On the plus side, the site appears to be an elegant online version of a newspaper/TV station. They report the news, you consume it, more or less. On the negative side, the site appears to be an elegant online version of a newspaper/TV station. It doesn’t capitalize as much as it might on the social side of the web, which is visible in the success of Facebook and many blogs, and there is a lot of tough competition in this space. Perhaps if every correspondent were required to post short daily pieces of a paragraph or two, and respond throughout the day to comments, a community of a [...]
New York’s senior Senator has joined Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold … and is that it in the Senate? … in supporting full marriage equality for gay people. Go Chuck! Senator Kerry has taken a bold stand on an immigration issue affecting a Massachusetts married same-sex couple. Can his announcement that marriage really is for everyone be far behind?
“I believe candidates with strong, sound stances deserve our support, and this is a race where your dollars can make the difference. Please make a contribution to this critical cause.”
Sound familiar? If you have any experience with our fundraising pages you will have seen this (and perhaps fallen asleep to it) a few too many times. It is the default text for ActBlue’s fundraising pages. ActBlue’s customizable fundraising pages allow progressive activists to raise money for the best Democratic candidates out there easily and effectively, and the fifty state blog network has taken advantage of this feature to support state and national candidates with customized, targeted pages. But while the original blurb did help Democrats use our pages, we’re in year 5 of ActBlue, and this is definitely year 3-4 material. We’ll be working with thousands of new fundraisers this cycle, and we want to make sure they have the best language. And, well, this isn’t it.
So, we need ideas.
From the Learn Something New Every Day Department (hat tip, FrankSkeffington) comes the discovery that state pensions in Massachusetts are not taxed. According to the MA DOR: Income received from a contributory annuity, pension, endowment or retirement fund of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its political subdivisions or the U.S. government is exempt from taxation in Massachusetts. The Department helpfully adds: “Please note that private pensions are generally taxable following federal guidelines.” Does everyone know this, except me? Why shouldn’t pensions for state employees be taxed just like everyone else’s pensions are taxed? Maybe we could start with pensions that benefit from one or more of the provisions scheduled for abolition under the Governor’s pension reform plan? Or, alternately, since times are tough, especially for retirees, perhaps we should make all private pensions tax free too. The point is that all citizens of the Commonwealth should be treated equally to the degree practicable, it seems to me.
Wonder if Jay Severin is resting at McLean Hospital after coming off a blistering attack on him on-air by Don Imus. When Imus was in Boston last Tuesday for his “Kiss Me I’m Imus” routine appearance Imus threw Jay Severin off the broadcast stage at the Wilbur Theatre and called Severin a liar and a fake. Guess Imus is making the obvious his own conclusion ;-). Since then Jay Severin has not been on WTKK. He has been replaced by Michael Graham “Crackers”. Guess Severin can dish it out but can not take it in return and is now under medication ?
This is the last post in our series of 10 “online forums” on BlueMassGroup, to give people an opportunity to discuss the 2009 Democratic Platform and make your voice heard. The topic of the day is “What Did We Miss?” Thus far, we’ve covered Health Care, Elections & Ethics Reform, Education, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Economic Growth, Economic Justice & Poverty, Housing, the Environment, and Public Safety/Criminal Justice. What are we leaving out? What core values, and what policies, do you think should be included in our 2009 Democratic Platform that we haven’t already covered? I want to thank everyone who has participated in this process over the past seven weeks. It’s been great to see the diverse range of opinions and thoughtful dialogue BMGers have brought to the discussion. All of your comments will be included in the testimony reviewed by the Platform Committee as we work to put together the final 2009 document.
A appropriately snarky and cynical editorial from the North Adams Transcript. Click on the link and read just how ticked off we are in in Northern Berkshire County: Thanks so much, Gov. Patrick, for the 30 bucks for Adams-Cheshire. And the 7 grand for Savoy. And — hold on to your hats — a whopping $142,956 for Clarksburg. It gladdens the heart how much you and your chief education officials are thinking about North Berkshire, where every community, even the school-parsimonious Mother Town of Adams, has met or surpassed their minimum required commitment to education funding since the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993. So why should we be upset if far wealthier towns that haven’t bothered to meet their obligation to education get a big fat chunk of cash from your idea of how to parcel out $168 million in federal stimulus money? You know, towns like Mansfield ($2.1 million), Shrewsbury ($1.2 million) and Westford ($1.6 million)? ….. Edited per Lynne’s not so subtle knee jerk in comments.
The only institution that really counts is trust, if you like. And something’s got to allow that to build. Property rights are just another expression of trust, aren’t they? I trust you to deliver this property to me. I trust somebody else to allow me to keep this property if I acquire it from you. But human beings are spectacularly good at destroying trust-generating institutions. They do this through three creatures: chiefs, thieves, and priests. Interview with Science writer Matt Ridley on causes of poverty and prosperity: http://www.reason.com/news/sho…
Update of: Welcome to the New Gilded age – and the Big Lie (+) by: AmberPaw Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 17:05:59 PM EDT [Edited on March 23, 2009 based on the 2008 post] (The expansion that wasn’t … in MA or anywhere else. (PS — I cannot endorse AmberPaw’s breach of Godwin’s Law.) – promoted by Charley on the MTA) Remember the so-called “Gilded-Age” when the100 room+ cottages were built in Newport? According to John Kerry, at a speech given in Hudson at the Middlesex-Worcester Dem Alliance Brunch: In 1980, the top 1% in income took home 8% of the total income in the US. In 2005-2006 the top 1% took home 23% of the total income in the US! This goes along with the Globe article, which states that income in Belmont increased 43.3 % between 2001and 2006 – but income in Lawrence declined. The average income in Harvard increased 31.3% to $169, 370.00, the average income in Lexington also saw a double-digit increase to $157,388 – while Burlington, Billerica barely increased their average of $57-67,000.00 – and the average income of about $20,000.00 in Lawrence declined. For the graphs and full story, go to: http://www.boston.com/news/loc… Tax cut [...]
A few great quotations from HETG in today’s Globe: “It’s plain to us and plain, I think, to everybody, that the abuses and loopholes in the system are discrediting the system and distracting from the good work of state government and, frankly, just making everybody mad,” Patrick said in an afternoon press briefing at his State House office. “That has to end, and it has to end now.” and “The public, I think fairly, wants [us] to assure [them] we are doing everything we can to get all of the nonsense out of state government,” Patrick said. And a striking comment from the legislative leadership: House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray said in statements over the weekend that they were prepared to work with Patrick on pension reform, but yesterday they declined to respond to his specific proposals. Now, if Speaker DeLeo and President Murray want to strengthen some of the proposed reform provisions, or add additional limitations on Beacon Hill featherbedding, terrific. But if they plan to water down the planned reforms, or worse still preserve the existing taxpayer-funded Wall Street bonus scheme state pension program — well, that dog don’t hunt. A bright-line vote on [...]