Steve Inskeep's interview with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gen. Shinseki would indicate … maybe not. A few key points: — Steve noted that “it may be startling to some people to realize that the backlog … pending cases, pending disability clams at the V.A. has soared in this year and is now above 700,000.” Shinseki said that “last year when we talked … (it was) probably 4 to 500,000.” What happened? The V.A. closed about 900,000 cases last year, Shinseki said, “and then we got 1 million cases back in. These are new cases, for the most part.” — Has the weak economy meant that many veterans who used to have employer-provided health care are now turning to the V.A. for help? “That's a good point,” Shinseki said. “Over the past, probably 18 months, the economic downturn has had that impact on families.” — Homelessness among veterans has also contributed to the increase in the backlog of cases, Shinseki said. While the department has “committed to ending homelessness” among veterans within five years, the effort is “just not going fast enough.” The idea that we're not providing adequate support for people who have given their souls, bodies, and minds for [...]
File this under “Wow, you mean there are two sides to a story when public sector workers are involved!?” TV 7′s Victoria Block filed this story on Thursday night with new video of the confrontation between a female MBTA worker and a male passenger: http://www1.whdh.com/news/arti… Just a day after 7NEWS showed a videotaped fight between an MBTA customer service agent and a passenger, the agent’s union representative showed 7NEWS a different version of the surveillance footage. “You can see his phone is out and he’s going right at her,” said Lawrence Kelly of Boston Carmen’s Union. The representative said it showed the customer going after the T employee aggressively. He added that it was her third encounter with him that day. “He was uttering vulgarities and screaming at her about her getting him lost and she had nothing else to do but fear for herself and get some distance,” said Kelly. Wait, you mean just showing the video of a confrontation instead of the full video doesn’t tell the whole story? Who knew? From the Boston Carmen’s union statement: Video released by the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589 shows a disgruntled commuter rail passenger targeting a MBTA worker prior to [...]
Well it’s another in a long line of Veterans day’s. A time to look back in 20/20 hindsight, and think of those people who didn’t make it. This one’s a lot different than the others because those guy’s are lucky they didn’t get to see the present state of the country they died for. The political atmosphere of the country has deadened my sense of loss, I always feel on this day. Instead of scolding them guy’s for getting killed, I find myself saying they’re probably lucky they haven’t seen the cost of the bush years. They’d be shocked to know that we just had a former president all but confessing to “War Crimes”, which by my estimate has cost between 500 to 1000 American deaths in Afghanistan. Their actions was the best recruiting tool the Taliban had. We won’t even get into the cost both now and fifty years from now, if we survive that long as a nation. I’d love to hear what they have say to about these Chicken hawks who ducked out of service in our war, but had no problem sending troops off to these two unnecessary wars and than prolonging it [...]
IOKIYAR, for those who haven’t run across this peculiar acronym, stands for “It’s OK If You’re a Republican” – the double standard that seems to have taken root across much of the political landscape these days. Things that are considered mortal political sins when committed by a Democrat, well, IOKIYAR. IOKIYAR arose recently in Massachusetts in the campaign of Jeff Perry. If a Democrat had been running for Congress with Perry’s appalling record surrounding his subordinate’s illegal strip searches of two girls and his subsequent false statements on that subject (along with the fake degree from the diploma mill, the red-light allegations, and all the rest of it), can you imagine what the hue and cry would have been from our friends across the aisle? But they were mostly untroubled by it, instead vigorously defending him from “negative campaigning.” Even Michael Graham, who publicly professed discomfort with Perry’s behavior, including his “statements that were clearly not true,” explained that of course he’d vote for the guy anyway, even though voters never should have voted for Democrats with far less troubling pasts. Because IOKIYAR. Which brings us to Howie Carr. Who is, by the way, not just a conservative columnist. He [...]
Seems like a fairly innocuous statement by Secretary of Education paul Reville, in yesterday’s Globe about how MA is lagging in math and science (STEM) performance compared to other nations: “The hope is to get students to think like scientists and not just memorize facts.” But as Pioneer’s Jim Stergios points out, the quote encapsulates this administration’s misguided approach to curriculum standards and instruction– http://www.pioneerinstitute.or… Experts agree (including Galileo!) that mathematics is the foundation for science, and as the prestigious National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP) points out, math necessarily involves some rote memorization. Stergios points out that MA had the most rigorous math standards in the country, and instead of building on them by implementing further recommendations by the person who original authored them (Dr. Sandra Stotsky), this administration decided to remove her from the Board of Ed. Open Question: Why are the Secretary and the folks who control our education agenda so opposed to the timeless methods by which we’ve taught mathematics and science?
During the gubernatorial campaign, I wrote that Deval and Charlie are fundamentally alike; I said that Deval devotees are being blinded by partisan politics and their reluctance to admit they were fooled. I urged liberals to break out of the “lesser of two evils” trap and vote for Jill Stein, a real liberal (oops, I think we’re now hiding behind the “progressive” label, having allowed neo-cons to besmirch the concept of liberalism). I pointed out that Deval named as his political idol Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican who is privatizing the public schools and who had New York’s term limit law revoked so he could run a third time. I cited Deval’s post-election (in 2006) Globe statement saying that the most common misconception about him was that he’s a liberal. This e-heresy made not a dent in the Democratic bogey-man fear-mongering. Would it have helped if I had posted this article, reporting that both of these guys had entertained a combined candidacy, as definitive evidence of the Patrick-Baker identity? No, I didn’t think so. Well, you’ve had your great victory, and Deval Patrick knows he can do whatever he wants without being called to account. More subsidized layoffs, anyone? [...]
With all the hullaballoo going on nowadays about what “opinion journalists” (whatever that means) should or should not do, it’s well to reflect on the behavior of some of our local opinionistas. Dan Kennedy has done yeoman’s work keeping up with Howie Carr’s activities. Howie, of course, writes a regular column for the Herald, and also hosts a talk show on WRKO. He is also a regular at Republican fundraising events, as one can readily observe by heading over to, say, the Cape Cod Republican Club’s Facebook page. Anyway, some, including Dan, see donating to political candidates as the clearest of lines that should not be crossed: There are certain ethical rules that journalists – even rabidly opinionated columnists – try to follow. You don’t donate money to candidates. You don’t put signs on your lawn. You don’t put bumper stickers on your car. This is obviously a hot topic in light of Olbermann-gate. So, as Adam Gaffin at UHub has already noticed, Howie Carr has crossed that line too. Not often, apparently, and not for a lot of money. But a line is a line. (Click for larger, non-squished image.) Who? Yeah, Royall Switzler ran a quixotic and [...]