September 2009
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Month September 2009

Join the New Leaders Council, Boston Chapter

The New Leaders Council is recruiting fellows for our Spring 2010 Class!  We’d like to invite Blue Mass Group readers who would consider applying to join us at Cheers Boston at 84 Beacon Street on Thursday, October 1st from 7 to 9 PM. (Business Casual) The NLC employs a rigorous application process in which we identify individuals who are leaders and who are most likely to make a long-term commitment to the progressive movement. We strive to be inclusive with our selection and we have made a special effort to recruit young leaders from outside the traditional power structures. Our fellows work in law, business, finance, non-profits, politics and advocacy. Make sure to check out these e-brochure PDF’s to learn why you might want to apply: Top Ten Reasons to Apply to NLC Boston’s Fellowship Program Frequently Asked Questions: NLC Bostonui=1 Also, we welcome you to follow us on Facebookand Twitter for updates on the application process!  See you on Thursday Night!  

“Don’t ask don’t tell” suffers a near-fatal blow. Can Senator Kirk help deliver the coup de grace?

Fascinating report in today’s Globe: An article in the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal calls in unambiguous terms for lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, arguing that the military is essentially forcing thousands of gay men and women to lead dishonest lives in an organization that emphasizes integrity as a fundamental tenet. The article in the upcoming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, which is published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was written by an Air Force colonel who studied the issue for months while a student at the National Defense University in Washington and who concludes that having openly gay troops in the ranks will not hurt combat readiness…. “After a careful examination, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly,” writes Colonel Om Prakash, who is now working in the office of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. “Based on this research, it is not time for the administration to reexamine the issue; rather it is time for the administration to examine how to implement the repeal of the ban.” Wow, strong words — and this is coming from inside […]

U.S. Senate candidates fundraising on ActBlue

Interesting to look at the fundraising results from ActBlue. Pagliuca’s average donation at $1,500?  Huh, wonder what that means?  Looks like he has the support of those who have disposable income in their accounts.  I also wonder, since he’s running on his “years of experience turning companies around“, exactly how he did turn those companies around.  I wonder if used the “Hyatt” strategy.  I would like to know which companies he “turned around” and exactly how he accomplished it.   Coakley and Capuano are close, Capuano has more donations,with fewer dollars, Coakley visa versa.  Khazei has a way to go to catch up.  Of course this doesn’t include donations received outside of ActBlue, which could change the whole picture.  Anyone know where to get that info? I’ve seen ads for Pagliuca and Capuano.  Would like to know if and when BMG is going to have interviews with the candidates?  The weeks are flying by; December 8th will be here before you know it.   Disclosure- I am supporting Mike Capuano for U.S. Senate.  I am not a volunteer for his campaign, but will probably knock on a few doors for him and raise awareness about his campaign.  Get out a […]

YEAAAAAAH SENATOR KERRY!

This is a leadoff home run for the Senate … for what will doubtless be a grueling, discouraging game on climate change.  The Senate bill, authored by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), has a mix of provisions targeted at both liberals and conservatives. It calls for cutting the nation's emissions 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 — deeper reductions than in the House bill. It is also deficit-neutral and would make carbon offsets more affordable. That's leadership, baby. Given how utterly dire the situation is right now … well, this is the least we'll need. As Bill says, we're going to need persistent grassroots intensity on this issue to avoid catastrophe. Luckily, some businesses may be on the same page. Could be some good momentum growing on this issue as well … 

BMG sits down with Martha Coakley and EMILY’s List’s Ellen Malcolm

Update: Here's video of the interview. I hope you can endure my rather badly-formulated questions.

Today I had a chance to talk to Ellen Malcolm and Martha Coakley. Malcolm's the founder of EMILY's List, which donates to progressive pro-choice, Democratic female candidates — and which is strongly backing Coakley's candidacy, even featuring her on the front page of their website. (Other actions on the site include telling Jon Kyl “There Is No Stork!” Just had to mention.) There may be video soon … in the meantime, here's the write-up.

I asked Malcolm why Coakley's candidacy was important for her priorities: “Having the first woman Senator from Massachusetts is an important piece of history and it will make our country work better. But the other piece, I think, is having somebody who's effective and smart and gets what's going on in the state and down in DC and trying to make a difference … The more important piece, long-term, is sending somebody down to the Senate, like Ted Kennedy, who knows how to get things done, and I think Martha's that candidate.”

I asked them both, Can you express substantive differences between [Coakley] and Mike Capuano (or Pagliuca)?

Andy Williams: Too Many Days[Daze] Of Wine[Whine] And Roses [4 Roses]?

Huffington Post is reporting that 81 year old faded singer Andy Williams is calling President Obama a Marxist as well as his administration. Maybe, Andy Williams has had  too many ‘days of   wine and roses’ or is drowning in Moon River. Don’t think Andy Williams knows the difference between Karl Marx and Groucho Marx. Used to have a nice voice but at 81 is it not only his voice that is cracked. Where is Claudine Loget when you really need her….

Taxes fall in MA: we’re now 38th/50, down from 35th (plus 5th richest)

Mass Budget and Policy Center Reports: Today the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual update of State and Local Government Finances, providing national data for Fiscal Year 2007. The amount of state and local taxes paid in Massachusetts as a share of total personal income fell from 10.6 percent in 2006 to 10.5 percent in 2007. Massachusetts dropped in rank from 35th among all states in 2006 to 38th in 2007 (including the District of Columbia). The Center adds: “Measuring taxes as a share of total personal income allows for a meaningful comparison among states.” Separately, here is a list of the richest states from CNN. Good news for Governor Patrick, among others. In fact, nice work all around, Massachusetts: just a few more new businesses and a bit of outperforming from current employers and we can knock off Hawaii at #4.

Wilderness Walmart Fight Rages On

Here’s an idea: Let’s build a shopping mall on the National Mal in Washington, or even better, how about a McDonalds on Half Dome in Yosemite Park? Don’t these sound like good ideas? Well if you’re saying NO, then you probably agree that they make about as much sense as the proposal to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the grounds of the Wilderness Civil War Battlefield.  Robert Duvall agrees also and spoke out earlier this year:

Just last week, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, and six nearby residents filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Orange County. The suit challenges the August 2009 approval of Walmart’s proposal to plant a massive super center unacceptably close to the historic battlefield.

Video is via the Civil War Preservation Trust, and there is more after the fold:  

Howie Carr Sponsors’ E-Mail Addresses. Let’s Go Peeeple – WITH POLL

There use to be a television ad for some chick shampoo in which the actress said “If I tell two people and they tell two people and they tell two people and so on and so on and so on.” As she said this the screen would split and multiply showing her face in many screens on the picture.

Point being, the good people at Helene Curtis are freakin smart, And….

we can do the same to let Howie Carr advertisers know how many people out there believe Howie has made a career of crossing the decency line and it should be noted.

An e-mail assault is the way to go. Below are e-mails for the advertisers I listed yesterday plus two others not mentioned yesterday. A few I couldn’t get (the bigger they are the harder)

Public International Law: Sometimes Ridiculous

The EU has just released a report concluding that Georgia was unjustified in international law in starting the short 2008 war with Russia over South Ossetia. Here’s what baffles me. The EU recognizes South Ossetia as part of Georgia. And the EU report is quoted as saying that Russia was engaged in a “surreptitious military build-up” in South Ossetia in the build-up to the war. If we are talking about jus ad bellum and not jus in bello–when it’s permissible to go to war, not what it’s permissible to do in war–then I just don’t see how it can be correct from the legal, moral, or political perspective to hold Georgia at fault if South Ossetia is indeed part of Georgia. On the other hand, the case for insisting on South Ossetia remaining part of Georgia, apparently against the wishes of its people, is murky. From the perspective of a state’s internal law, it’s easy to see that secession can be illegal. Look at our own Civil War. But by what right does the international community deprive the South Ossetians of “the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them”? I think […]