February 2011
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Month February 2011

President Obama endorses US Senator Scott Brown’s healthcare proposal.

Story WASHINGTON – President Obama said Monday he now supports a plan by Republican Senator Scott Brown that allows states to opt out of the health care overhaul’s key requirements early, a concession that positions the president as willing to compromise on his signature accomplishment. Obama’s shift was announced in an address to the nation’s governors, many of whom have sued the White House to prevent implementation of the health care law. While boosting the prospects of the Massachusetts senator’s bipartisan bill in the Senate, the new position is unlikely to placate the health care law’s detractors or gain approval in the GOP-controlled House. And such an endorsement will not win back support for Brown from Tea Party conservatives, who ferociously denounce the law as an overreach of federal power. Is this significant? What happens to states which opt-out? How long can they opt out for?

Deval: Setti Warren and Alan Khazei “in for sure” for MA-Sen in 2012 [updated 2x]

A fascinating nugget in the National Journal (HT Bernstein – emphasis mine): Though Patrick said he had not been actively recruiting challengers for Brown, he told [National Journal] he has spoken with four potential candidates – City Year founder Alan Khazei, Democratic activist Robert Massie, Newton Mayor Setti Warren, and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Kim is not in; she has not made up her mind, but I know she’s thinking about it seriously. But Alan and Bob and Setti are in, for sure,” Patrick said. He added that former finance executive and Romney aide Robert Pozen, who has said he will run for Senate as a Democrat if the party asks him, had been trying to get in touch. Interesting, in that only Massie has actually declared.  I wonder whether Deval was speaking out of turn.  I’ll see what I can scare up from the other potential candidates. UPDATE: Here’s a statement (email, no link) from Setti Warren: Statement from Mayor Setti D. Warren in Response to Governor Patrick’s Comments About US Senate Race “I’m honored that my friend Governor Patrick has mentioned me as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate. I am considering a run against Senator Brown.  I […]

Red Mass Group calls out Scott Brown as a right-wing extremist

Headlined with only a wee bit of hyperbole. Here is Paul R. Ferro’s magnificent post “Yes, There is a Difference” at the worthy Red Mass Group, in which he cites the National Journal’s 2010 vote rankings and concludes: National Journal also did an interesting comparison of which senate delegation had the largest gap between it’s two members.  Coming in at third biggest, with a 39-point difference?   Massachusetts, with Scott Brown (64.8) and John Kerry (25.8). Yes, Scott can be frustrating at times.  He’s also to the right of  every Senate Democrat and 5 Senate Republicans. One might have continued, “and with most of Massachusetts voters, in particular independents.” From the elephant’s mouth. Scott Brown is a brilliant politician, in the worst sense of the word. For his own political survival (“National Journal: 11 Vulnerable Senators: Scott Brown”), he positions himself as a moderate when he plays with the local media. Don’t be deceived about the 35th most conservative member of the U.S. Senate: the National Journal isn’t.

BMG 3.0 is coming! Help us make it work.

In the beginning, there was Typepad.  Then, in late 2005, there was Soapblox.

And soon, there will be WordPress, one of the most widely-used blogging platforms around and one that hosts many high-traffic sites including parts of the CNN, BBC, Time, and NBC Sports websites.

But there’s more – a lot more.  The Ministry of Technological Improvement at BMG Media Empire has made a substantial investment in customizing the WordPress platform to create a unique, state of the art, and, we think, best-in-the-business software platform for political blogging.   The good people of Ponticlaro have done excellent work developing our new platform.  We asked several beta testers to kick the tires of the new site and identify problems during a round of “closed beta” testing.  They did, and we’re very grateful for their help.

Now, it’s your turn.  We are hereby launching an “open beta” test of the new BMG.  That means that the new site is now open to everyone, and we very much hope that you will visit, poke around, try stuff out, and tell us what you think.

We are not sure exactly how long this “open beta” period will last, but we hope not too long.  Within a couple of weeks, we are hoping to have identified and addressed the remaining issues with the new site, whereupon we will permanently transfer BMG to our new WordPress platform.

There are some important pieces of information that you need to know about this open beta testing period.

First – and this is really important – content added to the beta site during the open beta testing period WILL NOT be preserved when we formally launch the new site.  We encourage you to write posts and comments on the beta site, just as you would here, since that’s the only way to see whether things are working the way they should.  But be aware that when we launch, we will be transferring the content of this site, not of the beta site, so anything added to the beta site will be wiped out.  So if you post anything to the beta site that you want to keep, post it here as well, or keep a copy somewhere else.

Second, the beta site already has some BMG content on it, but only up through about 2006.  Don’t worry about that – we only did a partial database dump to set up the beta site.  When we launch, we will do an up-to-the-minute database dump to ensure that all content posted here will appear on the new site.

Third, user accounts have not been preserved on the beta site, so you will need to create a new account to log on.  Don’t worry – when we launch, existing user names will carry over to the new site.

On the flip is a brief rundown of some of BMG 3.0′s features, along with our attempt to anticipate some of the questions and concerns you may have, and the information you’ll need to test out the new site.

Durkee Campaign Town Hall Social/Campaign Kickoff March 8th

The Durkee Campaign announces Town Hall Social Campaign Kickoff

Waltham,  MA,  February 28, 2011-  Following his weeks of door-knocking and meeting his constituents house by house – 10th Middlesex Rep. candidate Sean Durkee invites you to join him  at a Town Hall Social on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 6:30pm-7:30pm,  Lizzy’s Ice Cream, 367 Moody Street, Waltham.

You and your family are invited to stop by and bring your issues to Sean Durkee, Iraq War Vet, Bentley MBA, and your candidate for 10th Middlesex State Rep.  He wants to hear you, so come enjoy some Lizzys ice cream on “Fat Tuesday” and kick-off his non-traditional campaign in a new way!

For more information please contact the Durkee Committee at (781) 789-8018, email the campaign at seadur42@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook – Sean Durkee for 10th Middlesex.  

Boston, Racism, and Half-Man George Regan: OUCH!

My friends, this one hurts. Boston’s reputation as a racist city has just been solidified following a recent incident far worse, though not as dangerous, as the crazy Rake kid’s attack on the black guy with an American flag during the busing crisis. And that was bad. In case you missed it a chi chi club in the theater district named Cure Lounge booked a private event for a group of young black alumni from Harvard following the Harvard Yale football game. At or around 10:00 the club shut down and made everyone leave. The reason given was that the line of black people going into the lounge was attracting “gang bangers”. So all these young Ivy League professionals and graduate students from everywhere around the globe were told to leave this upscale Boston club because of the color of their skin. Jesus Chist!! Now I am usually the apologist for the offending party on this stuff. Remember Dee Brown getting hassled by the Wellesley P.D.? What gets edited out of every story is the fact that the police received a call from the bank across from where Dee was parked saying a man that looks like the guy that […]

Gov. Patrick should look at contractors’ salaries too

(Cross-posted from the COFAR blog)

The Boston Globe ran a front-page story yesterday announcing that Governor Patrick is reviewing the salaries of chief executives and lower-level workers at the state’s 42 independent agencies and will reduce those he believes are excessive.   Many of these executives earn more than twice Patrick's own salary of $140,000.

The governor is also seeking to combine agencies or eliminate jobs to further cut costs in the next year.  These independent or quasi-public agencies run the gamut from Massport, which runs Logan Airport, to the Massachusetts Technology Developmental Corporation, which provides venture capital funding to startup companies.

This is all well and good, but we would urge the governor to take a look as well at salaries in the state-funded human services vendor industry in Massachusetts.   

Campaign Manifesto #3: On The Road, Defending Social Security

So it’s Day 3 of my fake campaign for Congress, and we’ve run into our first obstacle

The Fake Campaign, as you may recall, is fake headed for Wisconsin, to show solidarity, and we’ve fake hitched a ride on a delivery truck headed for Rush Limbaugh’s Florida broadcasting studios-but we fake found ourselves caught up in the all-too-real Giant Grip Of Winter that has seized the Midwest over the past week.

We’re back on the road now, but we were stuck for darn near a half-day there at Wall…and if you know anything about South Dakota, you know there are really only two things to do in the City of Wall: you can shuffle back and forth between Gold Diggers and the Badlands Bar, partaking of numerous intoxicating liquors along the way…or you can head on into Wall Drug (the same one that’s on all those bumper stickers and signs) and partake of the finest display of Giant Jackalopia on the planet.

The Campaign, naturally, chose Jackalopia-and that’s why today’s Manifesto is all about the fake impromptu 5-cent-coffee-fueled Social Security Town Hall that we held in the Wall Drug Mall for several hours while we waited for I-90 to reopen.

U.S. wants more government spending on education, health care and Medicare

And now a reality-based break from the extremist right-wing narrative of the corporate media: according to a recent national survey by Pew: 62 percent of Americans think spending on education should be increased, 11 percent want to reduce it; 41 percent want to spend more on health care, 24 percent less; and 36 percent want more invested in scientific research, 23 percent less, among other findings (complete list on the flip).

But just 31 percent want to spend more on defense: 30 percent want to cut the defense budget.

As you were, in GOP corporate-world where the #1 issue in America  is public sector unions, the only way to an improved economy is to gut spending for education, health care, and public assistance, and reduced regulation means greater prosperity.

Contract on America – the sequel

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

Test balloons have been launched to measure response to a possible Gingrich GOP presidential run in 2012.  

The former Speaker of the House and co-author of the infamous “Contract (on) with America” is rumored to be exploring a run against President Obama.

American Solutions for Winning the Future, Gingrich’s fund raising front group has been hard at work.

You can call him newt but you can’t call him a shrinking violet….he wants that damn contract!