May 2009
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Month May 2009

MA Convention: Just say NO

If we vote down the bland-leading-the-bland, 100% content free, any version of Mitt Romney could run on it platform, what happens?  Does the old platform stay in place, or do we become a party without a platform? Pablo Delegate Fourth Middlesex District

Save the State’s DC Office from Personal Politics

Of course it has become personal under the Dome even when they say it hasn’t.  The legislature takes criticism, even if mild, like a smoker takes to nicorette.  It makes them irritable and often it clouds their judgment, even if they know its right – in fact, particularly when it hits close to the mark.

That is why they are responding to Governor Patrick’s challenge on reform like a schoolyard bully responds to a new principal – with back turned and pride at-stake.

Case in point is the self-defeating and short-sighted decision by the State Senate to zero out the budget for the State’s DC office, all $403,430 of it.  No doubt its a slap at the Governor, who increased the DC office staff budget to cover four staffers from one.  And I’m sure there are those who, when looking at the budget hole we face, think the DC office is a luxury we can no longer afford.  Certainly, the Senate President will use that to justify the decision.

Sal’s Vision Put Mass Ahead in Green Jobs Game

Legislative leaders haven’t been making a lot of friends on BMG of late. Admittedly, I’ve been part of the firing squad as well.  But often forgotten in handicapping the inter-branch warfare is how much, when moved, legislative leaders have contributed and can contribute to our State. Health care reform is one area of great credit to the legislature.  I’d cite Sal DiMasi’s emphasis on “green jobs” in the prior legislative session as another.   Our former speaker was ahead of the curve in pushing green jobs via his Green Jobs Act of 2008.  He found a friend in the Governor’s office (and got help from Secretary Bowles).  Now Massachusetts is is in a good position to capitalize on the green jobs agenda being pushed furiously by President Obama. Sal’s signature bill created the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.  The CEC is funding training programs to create a workforce geared to environmentally-friendly industries.  The CEC has also allowed Massachusetts to make strong bids for federal funds in energy conservation and new technologies.  It’s no wonder the State won $25m for a wind turbine testing facility on the Charlestown waterfront.   But this could all be just the beginning.  The seeds that Sal […]

Charlie Girard Fails Again

A couple of years ago, I told the story of Charlie Girard the Frenchman who boasted that he had the physical strength, the mental toughness, and the maritime technology to row 3,600 miles across the steely Atlantic, from Cape Cod to France, faster than any human in history but who had to be rescued by the Coast Guard fifty miles from shore. At the time, I thought M. Girard had learned a valuable lesson about himself. Here was his resolution after his rescue, according to the Globe: “The sea was very, very hard,” he said. “I was very tired, too.” He said he would never try to cross the Atlantic in that rowboat again.”I’m too scared to try another time,” he said. “It was very difficult at night. I think it will take many days to stop the nightmares.” But it seems that self-knowledge is fleeting. The Coast Guard had to rescue M. Girard again this morning. This time, he had made it 130 miles out to sea, though it took him ten days, and for part of the time he was rowing the wrong way. After calling it quits early this morning: He alerted Coast Guard officials in Boston […]

A Message to BMG from Chancellor Jean MacCormack

Jean MacCormack, Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth, wants to hear from you. She asked us to post this today. Thanks, Chancellor MacCormack! Dear Blue Mass Group: Yesterday, Governor Deval Patrick launched an online community forum, inviting citizens to continue the conversation started during the administration’s series of statewide community forums. I hope you will participate. Available at, the forum creates a unique opportunity for citizens to share their ideas about the state’s budget challenges as well as the transportation, pension and ethics reform proposals currently being debated on Beacon Hill.  Over the next two weeks, Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray and senior administration officials will be online at various times, reading suggestions, answering questions and contributing to the dialogue. The Governor has asked me, UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean MacCormack to serve as the forum’s “Citizen Moderator.” I am excited to work with the Governor’s Civic Engagement Office to help facilitate the online conversation and ensure all ideas are heard.  At the conclusion of the discussion I will select from forum participants to assemble a Citizen Task Force.  The Task Force will be responsible for compiling ideas, insights and recommendations shared throughout the forum and presenting a report to the Governor. […]

Weekly Joke Revue

Daniel Kurtzman:

“Judge Sotomayor said she seemed overwhelmed today, and she said it really won’t sink in until she hears Rush Limbaugh say he hopes she fails.” –Jay Leno

“Actually, the Republicans were a little disappointed. When they heard Obama said he might appoint a minority, they went, ‘Oh, great, a Republican!’” –Jay Leno

“There are some people who are saying that maybe Dick Cheney is setting himself up to actually run for president. You know, it makes sense. Republicans are looking for fresh blood, and Cheney just had some yesterday.” –Bill Maher

“The other day George Bush gave a speech at a graduating high school class. He told the kids it’s interesting the way life turns out, and now he finds himself walking the dog and picking up poop. Finally, something he can actually find. He couldn’t find Osama, he couldn’t find the weapons of mass destruction. If only we’d be attacked by dog s**t, we’d be OK. … Oh, poor George Bush, picking up after some unthinking creature’s mess. Well, now he knows how Obama feels.” –Bill Maher

Steven Colbert takes on the gathering storm:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition’s Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Keyboard Cat

Portia de Rossi’s PSA after the flip:

Bill Bulger, The Globe and Empathy

Alan Dershowitz challenge to debate Bill Bulger last week had me thinking. What did Bill Bulger do to cause him to get canned as President of U. Mass? Then I saw Yvonne Abraham’s homework she turned in to the Globe last Sunday. Good I thought, now I can be reminded of all the bad. Instead what I read made me more confused. As ever, the biggest self-styled victim is Billy Bulger. He doesn’t bring up the coverage of his brother, or his pension. Instead, what he can’t forgive is the Globe’s coverage of school desegregation in the 1970s that he says tarred his hometown of South Boston. And he says the Globe ruined his reputation. The Globe could not find a writer who was on Mars during busing. But they could find one who was on the other side o the world.  Go get him Yvonne. Empathy. That’s a big word lately. But empathy never mattered to the Globe and liberal elite while writing about white middle and lower class white/ethnic neighborhoods in Boston and the people who lived there. Yvonne obviously has no empathy for tens of thousands of families asked to give up established roots and connections and […]

Convention Rules and Process Information

Here on BMG we all have our roles.  One of my jobs is to provide information on obscure Party process.  Well, with the Convention coming up and people talking about it, it seemed time to do what people expect.  I didn’t set out to become a “rules geek” – it just kind of happened.

If you have questions on procedures please call Stacey Monahan at the State Party office at 617-776-2676. Please note that this is not a substitute for the complete rules and Charter. They are posted at

Details below the flip.


Listen to BMG’s interview with Michael Flaherty

David, Charley and I will chat just chatted with Boston City Councillor and candidate for Mayor Michael Flaherty for about half an hour , and then take questions from callers. The call-in number is (347) 539-5813. If you can’t make it, feel free to post your question here in the comments.

The Activist Judge Canard

Here’s a table:

Judge Percentage
Thomas 65.63%
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
O’Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %

This is taken from a study of how many times each Justice overturned an Act of Congress between 1994 and 2005.

Legislating from the bench is usually described as overriding the will of the people as expressed in the legislature.

From the this table it is clear, the more conservative a judge, the more activist.