January 2010
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Dec   Feb »

Month January 2010

Let us talk about Jobs(Congresswoman Tsongas and Senator Kerry)

Merrimack Valley Jobs and Economy Forum


  Mayor Milinazzo, State Senator Panagiotakos, Congresswoman Tsongas, Senator Kerry as well as civic, business and labor leaders held a discussion on jobs and the economy in the Merrimack Valley.    
  On the flip do not forget to check out the nuts at the end  

Jan 31, 2007: Never Forget

Today was the 3rd Anniversary of the largest terrorist attack in recent Boston history. Okay, the terrorists were cartoon characters, and the attack was a fantastical illusion in the minds of authority, but it shut down buildings and highways, struck fear in possibly millions of people and hysteria in the media for a while, and Boston hasn’t seen a real terrorist attack to top it yet.  At the time, I responded to Boston’s hysteria with this post: What does random panic protect us from? Several commenters expressed the hope that it would make it to Governor Patrick’s desk.  I don’t know if it has, but I hope that you’ll (re)read it now, and pass it on.

Anti-Bullying Case in One Paragraph

A single paragraph in Kevin Cullen’s Globe column today effectively summarizes the case for passing the proposed anti-bullying legislation: “What the community, and even more so the students, needs is a strong antibullying policy that explicitly explains what it is. And it has to include cyberbullying and all forms of hazing,” Coloroso said. “Secondly, there’s got to be a procedure in place to determine how they handle the bully, how they protect the target, and what they are going to do with any bystander who may have contributed to this mess and protect them if they are a witness. They don’t have that yet.” Schools need an explicit anti-bullying policy. They need a required procedure on what to do. “They don’t have that yet.”

The Frankfurt School

Here’s an interesting show about The Frankfurt School, a group of leftists who switched their critique from Marxist economics to culture: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hi… This group of influential left-wing German thinkers set out, in the wake of Germany’s defeat in the First World War, to investigate why their country had not had a Revolution – despite the apparently revolutionary conditions that spread through Germany in the wake of the 1918 Armistice. To find out why the German workers had not flocked to the Red Flag, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin and others came together around an Institute set up at Frankfurt University, and began to focus their critical attention not on the economy, but on culture, asking how it affected people’s political outlook and activities…. They connected the economic left with ideas about art, especially the avant-garde variety. If art made you feel good, then it was reaching some kind of pleasure principle, and evoked a feeling of relaxation and a connection to a “false consciousness”. A painting or movie that made a worker happy therefore was obtuse and untrue, most clearly because any society known was exploiting the workers. Art was used by “the culture industry” to keep workers complacent […]

Last Night at The Clover Club, Deval, The Globe, and Why Scott Brown Won

Last Night a bunch guys got together at the Park Plaza for dinner, drinks, light entertainment (very light) and a few short speeches peppered with stories and humor with an occasional dose of reflection, appreciation, and concern for others. They do these three times a year. The group is made up of those on the mailing list (the club members) and their guests. One rule. No wives or girlfriends or nieces. In other words no gurls allowed. There are no dues, no election of officers, no charter, no clubhouse, and no other activities of any kind other than the three dinners. Every year at one of the dinners they name a new president. He is sworn in and told to mind his own business and do what he is told. Whic means ‘nothing’. Everyone laughs. Club members are given medallions which many proudly wear at the black tie dinners. New members are invited via a tap on the shoulder. There is no application. In truth the dinners are run by a small group of people. The treasurer is the poor bastard that has to book the room and collect all the dough. Each member pays for himself and his guest […]

Failure to Launch

Yesterday, for the fourth time, we (I guess) welcome Republican Charlie Baker to the race for Governor this fall.  FOURTH time – no kidding – you can find the details after the flip.

Sadly, also for the fourth time, Charlie refused to answer any questions about his Big Dig financing plan.

Remarkably, this time I guess he refused to answer ANY questions at all, acording to the Boston Herald this morning

Following the appearance, the candidate headed out of the hall, walled off from the media by campaign aides. Campaign manager Lenny Alcivar said Baker would not take any questions.

You may recall that back in the summer when Charlie announced for Governor the FIRST time, news reports detailed his central role in decisions about financing the Big Dig and I asked the newly minted candidate five pretty straight forward questions on what certainly must be a touchy subject since six months later we still don’t have any answers.

At the time, the Massachusetts Democratic Party launched BigDigBaker.com to explore Republican Charlie Baker’s deep connection to the troubled Big Dig.  You can go there to see the news reports from the summer and the Five Questions. I’ve also listed the Five Questions below (just in case you run into Charlie and want to ask him).

I guess Charlie can ignore ME, but it’s hard to imagine that SOME reporter won’t get him to answer the Five Questions sooner or later – - and if not them, I really can’t imagine Christy Mihos letting it go.

Obama may want to be careful on this one.

US announces $6B arms sale to Taiwan In a move sure to aggravate China, the Obama administration on Friday announced plans for more than $6 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, the self-governing island the Chinese claim as their own. The sale would include Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot missiles, mine-hunting ships and information technology. Lawmakers have 30 days to comment before the plan proceeds; senior lawmakers have traditionally supported arms sales to Taiwan. And today from MSNBC Calling in U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman on Saturday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said the United States would be responsible for “serious repercussions” if it did not reverse the decision to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion worth of helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, minesweepers and communications gear. The reaction came even though China has known for months about the planned deal, U.S. officials said. How much of our debt do they own? How much do they buy? What would be the impact on our deficit if China decided to skip buying any debt from us this year? It wasn’t that long ago that he was over there being nice-nice, I’m a big supporter of Tiawan but I think Obama may regret this one.

The Patrick Budget: Frame Fail

I’ve commented here about how failure to competently frame critical issues haunts both the Obama and Patrick administrations. Framing focuses on key issues, reducing complexity while keeping credibility. Framing reaches out to the political base and gives ordinary people the ability to form their own arguments on policies that align with the political leaders they agree with. Framing in politics is a complex business and progressives seem not to be very good at it. It is not, as George Lakoff says, about “slogans, phrasing, and marketing.” Failure to frame properly allows political opponents to use their own substitute frames to critique, confuse, and limit the ability of their opponents to articulate their message. The all-too-often result: “Why am I in favor of health care reform? It’s all so complicated that I’m not sure how it really helps me.” Case in point, the Patrick Administration’s $28 billion budget, recently “unveiled.” (Why budgets are always “unveiled” is another issue in itself.) Patrick’s budget  “message” was 3,000 words long. It had no organizing sub-heads, just paragraph after paragraph of text. It began with 7 bullet points, some many sentences long.  It meandered and rambled. One immediate effect was that the media, trying to […]

Patrick campaign launches Facebook Group

Right here. What the difference is between a Facebook Group and a Facebook Fan page (over 11,000 fans for the Gov) escapes me.

Frank Rich tells Obama to lead

To paraphrase: I have a big enough majority, I can define what I want to enact, and gosh darn it people like me. NYT: Obama should turn up the heat on both the G.O.P’s record of fiscal recklessness and its mad-dog obstructionism. He should stop paying lip service to the fantasy that his Congressional opposition has serious ideas to contribute to the cleanup. Better still, he should publicize exactly what those “ideas” are. … he must be less foggy on the specifics of what [his] agenda is. Though on Wednesday night he asked Congress to “take another look” at the health care bill, even now it’s unclear what he believes that bill’s bedrock provisions should be. He also said he wouldn’t sign any financial regulatory bill that “does not meet the test of real reform,” yet tentatively praised a House bill compromised by a banking lobby that is in bed with Democrats and Republicans alike. The Senate, of course, has yet to produce any financial reform bill. Americans like Obama far more than they like any Congressional leader. They might even like more of his policies if he spelled them out. But none of that matters if no Democrat fears […]