July 2009
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Month July 2009

We Interrupt Your Politics For A Poll On A Rumor

can it be true?! Consider this an open thread on the matter. Multi-vote poll it.

New Progressive Talk Radio Voice, Samantha Clemens, Saturday Mornings WWZN 1510AM

There’s a new local Progressive Talk Radio Show in Boston on Revolution Boston WWZN 1510AM, every Saturday Morning from 10-11am.

The Steroids Era and Wal-Mart

When we look back on The Steroids Era in baseball, we’re going to see a bunch of players who broke the rules and grew to an unnatural behemoth size, and how the people who were supposed to provide oversight either turned a blind eye or even encouraged it. Well, if you think about it, wasn’t our economy in sort of a similar Steroids Era?  Real estate prices were pushed to unsustainable levels, Wall Street raked in unhealthy and astronomical profits, and our SUV’s looked like they had a case of elephantitis.   The poster child for the Excess Economy was Wal-Mart, the king of suburbia that built Big Box Supercenters anywhere it could find cheap land, introduced oversize shopping carts for its Canyero-driving customers, bought cheap goods in bulk from China, and was the darling of Wall Street. Like in MLB, the oversight into Wal-Mart’s unprecedented behavior didn’t exist.  Bush was Bud Selig.  So while Wal-Mart may have broken records, it left an ugly legacy on the American economy by destroying small towns, short-changing workers, and selling out American vendors in favor of China. I’ve had enough with The Steroids Era, and so that’s why I’m doing some work with […]

Bad to worse in Honduras

Police shot a pro-democracy demonstrator in the head yesterday. The U.S. has defined the military-backed seizure of power last month as an illegal action and violation of democratic principles, suspended military and development aid, (more details here on U.S. military aid to Honduras) and revoked the U.S. visas of four top coup officials. Wikiepdia has a useful run-down on the crisis here. Honduran immigrants in Massachusetts have protested the coup. The NYT reports: Several people were wounded and more than 100 were arrested Thursday during clashes between the police and supporters of the ousted president, Manuel Zelaya, in at least four locations. The most intense violence occurred on the northern edge of Tegucigalpa, the capital, where one person was shot in the head. Leaders of the demonstrations accused the police of firing tear gas and live ammunition on peaceful protesters. Television footage showed some protesters armed with long sticks and pickaxes. Meanwhile, former top Clinton aide Lanny Davis is lobbying for coup government, some Senate Republicans have demanded an explanation of U.S. policy toward the coup, whatever that means, and Canada continues to provide military assistance. The coup appears to have been sparked by President Zelaya’s decision to increase the […]

Your primer to the 16 different kinds of MA public schools

Okay.  My goal here is that my esteemed educator colleagues and charter school sparring partners, Sabutai and Pablo, agree 100% with my characterization, so you, the BMG reader, at least have a sense of what’s out there.  

I’m omitting all arguments in favor or against these school types.

This is just a public service to try to explain in neutral language what is up for debate.  

More below the thingie.  

David Bernstein at His Best

David bernstein does a great job on his blog today giving a cliff notes version of the police culture and testilying. A lot of this stems from the very difficulty of the job. Many falsehoods begin as retroactive attempts to make an arrest, or other action, conform to proper procedure so that evidence won’t be thrown out on procedural grounds. Often in the stress or perceived danger of an investigation or an encounter with a suspect, an officer breaks the ground rules. So, they write their report, or provide testimony, in a way that paints an untruthful picture of the officer conforming to the rules. (A little of this may have happened in the Crowley-Gates affair, BTW.)

Coming Soon – Tom Menino in ” Four Year Joke”

I expect Mayor Menno’s fifth term to be a bust. He is what he is and the next four years will go on without vision, leadership, and concrete projects and policies. Tom is good at shaking hands, being all over the goddamn place, holding grudges, and ruling city hall with fear rather then that of the leader of a very capable and talented team that he relies upon. Instead Old Man Menino runs the city like some hard working Italian or Greek or whatever immigrants of the old days ran their small business. Open it up in the morning and close at night, be there always, know everything, and I mean everything, going on. Never change a thing. The system works, why change a thing? Don’t change with the times. Don’t listen to your kids. Of course we know the old timer deserves more respect and worked harder then anyone. But we also know, that if it wasn’y for the educated, modern, children those businesses would not have lasted past 1975, if lucky. They died because they were out of touch with the consumers and they could never get up to speed to compete with the new modern competition. Which […]

What’s This Got to Do with Ohio?

Cross-posted at Blue News Tribune, where it is diary number 500. I try to avoid writing media diaries, preferring the occasional open thread comment. I just think it’s a blog cliche to trash the press. But dang, they do suck sometimes. A few questions: 1. Name a Democrat who could say this and not have the press freak out: “It’s the southerners,” he said. “They get on TV and go ‘errrr, errrrr.’ People hear them and say, ‘These people, they’re southerners. The party’s being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?’” (You think you’re not kicking the GOP dog when it’s down, but really you’re condescending to them by ignoring this.) 2. The “beer summit” was lose-lose for you, and we all knew it. You couldn’t ignore it. However, you didn’t have to give it the cutesy name, and you certainly didn’t laugh to cover it live. That’s snatching a few wisdom teeth from the jaws of defeat. 3. Your healthcare coverage is terrible. Everyone in public life will share some blame if it fails, but you could be a lot more helpful. Media Matters has a lot more on this. 4. No stupidity […]

Senate President

There’s something about Therese Murray that just ain’t right.  Her dedication to casinos is extraordinary and apparently lacking in any discernment…a necessary characteristic for leadership.

The Herald reports this brainstorm by herself.

“We want to have a regulatory structure in place before a bill comes out,” she said. “I’m told that gambling brings certain types of crime, such as money laundering and gang activity. We want to make sure that we have the regulatory authority to oversee whatever comes out of the Legislature.”

Pool Report from the Beer Summit

I thought this might interest some of the devoted BMG commentariat. Call it news in the raw.

Pool report

Beers in the Rose Garden

It was, alas, only a photo op. The pool had no opportunity to ask questions as we were roped off about 50 feet from the group.

The big surprise: Vice President Joe Biden was at the table with the men. POTUS invited him to join the group this afternoon.

Clockwise, they sat around the round, white table in this order: Obama, Crowley, Gates, Biden.

The men were drinking beer from clear glass mugs and munching on peanuts and pretzels served in small silver bowls.

The beers:

POTUS: Bud Light

VPOTUS: Bucklers

Gates: Sam Adams Light

Crowley: Blue Moon

In the 30 seconds your pool was out there, Sgt. Crowley was doing most of the talking. Gates appeared to be leaning in, listening intently. At one point, POTUS laughed heartily.

Gates and Crowley wore dark suits. POTUS and VPOTUS were in white shirts, jackets off. POTUS had his sleeves rolled up.

Ah, journalism. The glamour profession. The thrilling conclusion after the flip.