The actual, de facto values and priorities of the institutional Roman Catholic Church are on full display this week. We learned in a piece in this morning’s Globe that the Roman Catholic Church acted decisively and quickly to fully cooperate with secular authorities in investigating and prosecuting a criminal act by a high-ranking official (emphasis mine): The former top financial officer of St. John’s Preparatory High School was charged yesterday with stealing more than $80,000 from the Catholic school, including about $45,000 to pay for two automobiles. (snipped) Dalphonse worked as the school’s chief financial officer for 19 years before resigning in October. After Dalphonse’s departure, the school conducted an audit and contacted the Essex district attorney, St. John’s Headmaster Albert J. Shannon said in a statement. (snipped) “St. John’s Prep has cooperated fully with the DA’s office and will continue to do so as we remain focused on our educational mission and the daily life of the school,” Shannon said in the statement. This perfectly appropriate handling of a venal crime stands in stark contrast to the treatment of priests who abuse children, highlighted by reports such as this published in yesterday’s New York Times (emphasis mine): The German [...]
Harmony Wu is seriously considering a run to represent the 9th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives. Like many of us, she has become frustrated with Congressman Steve Lynch’s lack of commitment to progressive issues, especially health care reform. Please help progressive democrats collect signatures for Harmony Wu’s nomination papers this weekend! http://tinyurl.com/DraftWu For those of you who don’t know her, Harmony is a Needham mother of two who took it upon herself to coordinate Needham for the Obama campaign, and shocked everyone in the state with what she was able to deliver. Since then, she has been an inspired and passionate volunteer political organizer. She has led the charge for health care organizing in Lynch’s district, mobilizing hundreds of people to call and visit Lynch’s office in support of reform. Out of frustration, she has decided to consider a run against him both to show that there is passionate support for health care reform, and to hopefully remove him from office if he votes No. So, what can we do? 1) A “Draft Harmony Wu for the 9th Congressional District” Facebook page has been set up: http://tinyurl.com/DraftWu. Join the group and spread the word. 2) Tomorrow at [...]
Predictably, Charlie Baker jumped all over the news of a revenue shortfall that apparently could be as high as $295 million or as low as $195 million. Clearly, says Baker, the shortfall proves the “fundamental incompetence” of both Tim Cahill and Deval Patrick, as both were caught “off guard” by the news. What’s funny is that revenue shortfalls have been happening for years. Let’s see if I can remember … [cue harp music as the screen goes all wavy ...] Mar 31, 1995 … Weld’s top budget aide, Charles Baker Jr., and the top Democratic budget writers in the Legislature agreed yesterday that the state will collect $112 million less in tax revenue during the 12 months beginning July 1 than Weld projected when he submitted the budget in January. So in the first three months of 1995, things changed to the point that a proposed budget supposedly in balance in January was $112 million out of balance by March. Even though there were no obvious financial calamities in that time (the Dow closed at 3,834 at the end of December, 1994, and at 4,158 at the end of March, 1995, a respectable increase of about 8.5%). Yet, somehow, the [...]
Today’s Globe has some good news and some bad news on the local economy. The good news is that in February, for the first time in nearly two years, the MA economy added jobs, and the unemployment rate didn’t rise. The state’s labor market showed signs of stabilizing last month as Massachusetts employers added jobs for the first time in nearly two years and the state unemployment rate held steady, breaking a 22-month streak of increases. Led by gains in education and health services, Massachusetts firms increased payrolls by 1,500 jobs in February, after revised data showed that overall employment remained flat in January, the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported yesterday. It was the first monthly gain since July 2008. The state unemployment rate, meanwhile, was unchanged from January, holding at the nearly 34-year high of 9.5 percent. It’s the first time since March 2008 that the rate hasn’t increased. Here, for the visually inclined, is a helpful graph, also from the Globe. Obviously, last month’s very modest job growth doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods. But, better to be heading in that direction than in the other one. The bad news, of course, [...]
On March 9th, Representative Alan Grayson of Florida introduced the Public Option Act: To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for an option for any citizen or permanent resident of the United States to buy into Medicare. … This Act may be cited as the `Public Option Act’ or the `Medicare You Can Buy Into Act’. It’s extremely simple: It just adds a short section to the law governing Medicare, that says that anyone who is a US resident and either a citizen or legal permanent resident, may enroll for Medicare, and pay a premium as determined by actuaries based on their age group (divided into 10-year cohorts). As of today, the bill has 80 co-sponsors, including half of the Massachusetts delegation: MA-1: John Olver MA-3: Jim McGovern MA-4: Barney Frank (one of the original cosponsors) MA-8: Mike Capuano MA-10: Bill Delahunt What about the other half? Neal, Markey, Tierney, Tsongas, Lynch … do you live in one of their districts? Call, ask them if they’ll sign on as co-sponsors, and comment here to tell us what they said.
Over 200 labor and community supporters turned out for a rally in at the Shaw’s Supermarket in Dorchester to support striking warehouse workers at the company’s Methuen Distribution Center.
Picture from the rally can be viewed on the Picasa photo sharing site at:
Over 300 members of UFCW Local 791 voted overwhelmingly to reject the company’s final contract offer and have now been on strike since March 7th.
The company’s substandard wage proposals combined with its demand for increased employee health care contributions would result in a net loss of income for workers during the term of the proposed contract.
I come to praise the man. Seriously. Really. No irony. Not leading up to a gag. Just credit where credit is due. Not taking anything away from Tommy O’Neill. Let’s review the facts. Including the part about the dead body and the mysterious circumstances surrounding its cause. Did You Say Dead Body? Yes. Here on the Orient Heights Express there is always a dead body. Sit down Mr. Chan. You too Dr. Holmes. Mark, please wheel Chief Ironside closer so he can hear us. Fish, what the hell are you doing here? Oh, you and Bernice going to the track. Cool. How did all those foster kids of yours’ turn out? Okay, I won’t. Okay, here’s what we know. One of Regan’s biggest clients is the Boston Herald. Boston Herald was sued this week for stuff the Inside Track ggals wrote awhile back. (Thanks to Dan Kennedy for link to the complaint) Basically they said that the main main guy from the band Boston, Tom Scholz, was such a dick that he did everything he could to make another guy from Boston kill himself. Or something like that. Their source was the widow. Or so they said. (Note:they didn’t say [...]
[Crossposted from ONE Massachusetts] The things that make Massachusetts a great place to live – good schools, clean water, safe streets – are only possible due to our shared, ongoing support. Unfortunately, a decade of tax cuts and subsequent years of declining revenue have left Massachusetts with a multi-billion dollar structural deficit – forcing our elected officials to make difficult decisions in order to balance our budget. The wellbeing of our communities depends on us. It is time to decide whether we want more cuts or more revenue! On Yawu’s blog “Bad Breaks” NoPolitician rightfully said: I think we owe it to the governor to, when people complain about cuts or taxes, to make them tell us what they would do instead. For example, if you don't like the candy/soda tax, then tell us what you would get rid of to save the $61.6 million that will be lost by eliminating it. Based on NoPolitician comment I would like to share some talking points that the team at ONE Massachusetts put together that can be used when calling or meeting your state representative or state senator. These talking points are prospective revenue proposals that would promote a more adequate tax [...]
Heading home to Boston this morning but wanted to circle back about a huge step forward for Massachusetts in the new health care bill – with a “just the facts” outline here – and if I sound like I’m down in the weeds, that’s because, well, I’m down in the weeds – this has been a process I’ve been working on for a long time now, both on the Finance Committee and on the phone with the White House and our folks in Massachusetts -
So, forget the rhetoric, and enough with the misdirection and talking points we’re inundated with on a daily basis — the reality is really very simple:
This bill makes the Massachusetts health care system much, much stronger.
It strengthens Massachusetts’ health insurance reforms, brings new federal subsidies into the state, and gives huge benefits to the people and businesses of Massachusetts.
So now we have two prominent Massachusetts politicians who have made strident criticisms of health reform at the most critical moment. One, Tim Cahill, has left the Democrats, the other, Steve Lynch, thinks the party and the country is pretty much the same as when Paul Dever was Governor in 1949. This will take a lot of sorting out, but one common element joining these two pols is the Dunning-Kruger effect. Summarized by its authors, the effect occurs when “people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the …ability to realize it” People in the Dunning-Kruger world are certain that they are smarter than those around them; incompetents are the ones most convinced of their competence. Forty private minutes with the President is not going to convince Rep. Lynch to change his position on the HCR bill. State Treasurer Cahill feels perfectly justified in proclaiming from the rooftops that health reform will bankrupt Massachusetts. Who should know better? In our search for dark motives and complex tactics, let’s use Occam’s razor and select the simplest explanation. These are two sad cases of delusions of competence. And the only cure for these two is for [...]