Franklin Park Zoo hires a PR firm to issue a press release claiming (falsely, it turns out) that state budget cuts will force the zoo to euthanize some animals, and the immediate reaction is a clamor for an override of the veto cutting the zoo budget from $6.5 m to $2.5 m. Makes sense, right? Maybe not. The national economic crisis has hit all states hard – Massachusetts is not immune. State revenue is down considerably, and many worthwhile programs are being cut or asked to provide the same services with fewer resources. Governor Patrick has worked hard to manage throught this crisis with a focus on shared responsibility, reforms, and a request for agencies and programs to figure out ways to persevere with less. Like families all across Massachusetts, the Governor has been forced to make tough choices in order to live within our means. Just read through some of the posts on BMG – very important issues like those championed by Amber Paw and others are either being level funded, cut, or eliminated all together in order to close an over $5 billion budget gap. Why should the zoo be treated any differently? Yes, it is an important [...]
Call it the monster that ate its creator. The G.O.P.’s southern strategy (Wikipedia: “[A] Republican method of winning Southern states in the latter decades of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st century by exploiting racism among white voters.”) is eating the party alive before our eyes. The relentless focus on Sotomayor’s arguably racist 2001 “wise Latina” comment — to the exclusion of issues, policy, even reason — is the latest case in point. NYT: “Four of the panel’s seven Republicans invoked the ‘wise Latina’ reference to criticize her.” “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” is what she said in 2001. Important social institutions should reflect the diversity of the country because judgment is shaped in part by experience is probably what she meant, as reflected by an impressive body of work over decades. The broader political point, however, is that by hammering so hard on Sotomayor’s ethnicity and gender the G.O.P. may play to its base, but its hard to comprehend how this can be a basis for any return to [...]
… Working on the issues the American people care about the most: Brownback, Landrieu introduce Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009. “This legislation works to ensure that our society recognizes the dignity and sacredness of human life,” said Brownback. Creating human-animal hybrids, which permanently alter the genetic makeup of an organism, will challenge the very definition of what it means to be human and is a violation of human dignity and a grave injustice.” The Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act would ban the creation of human-animal hybrids. Human-animal hybrids are defined as those part-human, part-animal creatures, which are created in laboratories, and blur the line between species. … As you were. Know that the republic is safe.
Physicians for Human Rights, the Cambridge, MA-based group whose seven years of investigation and advocacy has taken a horrific crime committed in the midst of war in 2001, to the quiet consideration of a president in 2009 — a man who knows that war is no excuse for the commission of war crimes, and is unafraid to say so on international television.
“Physicians for Human Rights praises President Obama for ordering his national security team to collect all the facts in the Dasht-e-Leili massacre and apparent US cover-up,” said Physicians for Human Rights Deputy Director Susannah Sirkin in a press release.
Sirkin is responding here to some very big news.
Anderson Cooper’s taped interview with President Obama on Sunday was so hot they couldn’t hold onto it before before it could be broadcast on CNN tonight. The story is currently burning up the wires domestically and internationally
Administration officials had initially told the Associated Press that there was no legal basis for pursuing an investigation of Afghan militia responsible for the horrendous deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Taliban, as reported by The New York Times who had surrendered to U.S. allied forces, (and has been promised to be treated humanely) and were then buried in a mass grave. Everything changed when CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked the president about it directly. Obama said that we need to find out whether actions by the U.S. contributed to possible war crimes, and he said he has ordered his national security team to look into it to present him with the facts.
I am all a-twitter (not Twitter) about this executive press release today regarding the New England Governors’ joint vision for plastering New England with new and better rail service. When I say plastering, I mean slathered on thick! BOSTON – Monday, July 13, 2009 – The New England Governors today announced they are working together on a coordinated regional vision for high speed rail that will connect major cities and airports, and support economic growth throughout the region. The Vision for the New England High Speed and Intercity Rail Network lays out key projects to strengthen passenger and freight rail service along new and existing rail corridors. The goal is to double passenger rail ridership in the Northeast by 2030. You know how I loves me better public transportation.
NEW ENGLAND GOVERNORS PURSUING JOINT REGIONAL VISION FOR HIGH SPEED RAIL
States Will Use Stimulus Funds to Strengthen Existing Rail Network, Connect Cities, and Spark Economic Growth
I am all a-twitter (not Twitter) about this executive press release today regarding the New England Governors’ joint vision for plastering New England with new and better rail service. When I say plastering, I mean slathered on thick!
BOSTON – Monday, July 13, 2009 – The New England Governors today announced they are working together on a coordinated regional vision for high speed rail that will connect major cities and airports, and support economic growth throughout the region. The Vision for the New England High Speed and Intercity Rail Network lays out key projects to strengthen passenger and freight rail service along new and existing rail corridors. The goal is to double passenger rail ridership in the Northeast by 2030.
You know how I loves me better public transportation.
Today Sam Yoon has followed my lead in calling for term limits for the Mayor of Boston. He has promised to serve only two terms, just as Mayor Menino once promised to serve only two terms.
What do you think? Is the power of the Mayor so great that we need term limits to keep Boston politics from getting stale, or is the problem we just haven’t had compelling enough opponents (humbly, myself included)
Since the BRA came into power in the 1950′s no Mayor has lost an election, and Mayor Curley in 1949 was the last sitting Mayor to lose although he had a lot of legal baggage at the time.
My Press Release and Poll below the fold
From this thread, re climate catastrophe. Thanks MCRD for this, to which I have nothing to add: Planet earth is going to be hit by a large asteroid in ten years wiping out all life on earth. (3.50 / 2) So why the big sweat? Why are you getting your panties all knotted up? The earth has had several mass extinctions, several famines, plagues, and apolyptic climate swings and the poles have swapped polarity at least once and—-wonder of wonders–here we are. What the hell is your problem? by: MCRD @ Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 11:57:49 AM EDT
Sure, let's do it again. There is a cure for the T's money problems. It is a huge and painful cure, but it's been plain to all for many years.
I've called for it repeatedly. Yet, General Manager Dan Grabauskas doesn't have the smarts or courage or both to demand it. The legislature pretends to know nothing about it and who knows why our Gov. Deval Patrick won't be straight about it.
For those on Beacon Hill who see the obvious, it appears they live in a fantasy. They want the problem to fix itself. The only way that can happen would be a sudden and thorough reversal of our economic woes of the past decade. If our economy were to blossom to its best self and remain growing, only then would the sales tax revenue fulfill its part of the bargain the legislature struck.
Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, the lawmakers made what is absolutely one of the worst decisions ever. As complicated and distasteful as it would be to deal it, the General Court must.
The idea of public transit that pays its own way was at the heart of the original legislation. When the sort-sighted legislature set up the deal dependent on sale-tax revenue, it may have had the best of intentions. Yet, like so much in the past decade, the realities have changed and the rules must change to reflect that.
Krugman today — hair on fire, like any sane person's ought to be. Tired boiled frog metaphor, which if anything undersells where we are right now: Put it this way: if the consensus of the economic experts is grim, the consensus of the climate experts is utterly terrifying. At this point, the central forecast of leading climate models — not the worst-case scenario but the most likely outcome — is utter catastrophe, a rise in temperatures that will totally disrupt life as we know it, if we continue along our present path. How to head off that catastrophe should be the dominant policy issue of our time. But it isn’t, because climate change is a creeping threat rather than an attention-grabbing crisis. The full dimensions of the catastrophe won’t be apparent for decades, perhaps generations. In fact, it will probably be many years before the upward trend in temperatures is so obvious to casual observers that it silences the skeptics. Unfortunately, if we wait to act until the climate crisis is that obvious, catastrophe will already have become inevitable. … and the big national progressive blogs — Talking Points Memo, DailyKos — are paying way, way more attention to Sarah [...]
BMG recently got a how-do-you-do from a candidate for Sheriff in Essex County. A devil of a candidate named Damien is taking on the incumbent. One comment writer (me) asked the candidate to explain why the office of Sheriff is still needed. Its mission is to detain the accused who cannot make bail (for the right price freedom is yours my friend) and house those convicted of misdemeanors. The Mass County Sheriff goes back to colonial times. They are not needed today. Why can’t these patronage heavy offices be eliminated and brought in under the Department of Correction?