Wow. No shortage of depressing, infuriating, and otherwise unhappy news stories in today’s papers. Let’s get to ‘em.
- Charley has already noted the bombshell of the day: Transportation Secretary Jim Aloisi’s sister’s $60,000 no-work State House job. I’ll join in Charley’s physical reaction to this kind of thing, and refer you to his post for the details.
- The furor over the Gov’s decision to name Senator Marian Walsh to a high-priced — and long-vacant — deputy directorship at the Mass. Health and Education Facilities Authority (HEFA) continues to mount. This one is more symbolic than real, since the job itself is not state-funded. Nonetheless, the symbolism is terrible, and especially in times like these, symbolism matters. I did love this line from Adrian Walker’s column:
It is no secret that Walsh has been trying to bail out of the Senate ever since her bid to become its president was rebuffed. Somehow, actually leaving government doesn’t seem to have ever occurred to her.
Seems exactly right. It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.
- Over at the Turnpike Authority, somehow they can’t manage to lay off a single toll-taker, while at the same time they apparently (HT Old Scratch) desperately needed two new high-priced staffers. Words fail me.
- None of this will be dealt with today, since it’s Evacuation Day, one of MA’s treasured hack holidays on which everyone in Massachusetts goes to work — except folks in the State House.
- Meanwhile, on the national scene, AIG’s bonuses continue to enrage anyone with a shred of sense in their heads. Today’s Globe editorial echoes my call over the weekend to cancel the bonuses and let the recipients sue for them. It’s also starting to look like some sort of managed bankruptcy might be the best solution for AIG, which increasingly seems like a bottomless pit of woe and misery that can be fixed only by starting over. (That might also permit recovery of the bonuses via a preference action or other special bankruptcy technique.)
And to Larry Summers, who appears to remain a tad clueless about the whole thing:
“We are a country of law. There are contracts. The government cannot just abrogate contracts.”
Repeat after me, Larry: Yes We Can.