Update — 18-Dec-2011 How many more times? So now, after persuading the White House and the Democrats to accept a TERRIBLE 60-day extension (and getting themselves off the government shut-down hook), the GOP again reneges on their agreement. How many more times will our clueless and incompetent “leaders” be shamed this way? SUCK IT UP, DEMOCRATS, or go home. Original Post I am so tired of this. No tax on millionaire incomes. No veto of pipeline attachment. No habeas corpus. Nothing but retreat, cave, and retreat again. Barack Obama and the Democrats are weak and incompetent. They offer token resistance — stomping their feet like a toddler throwing a temper-tantrum — and then cave. I really don’t know what is to become of America and the world. I really don’t. What do I tell my disillusioned almost-18 year old son?
Mitt Romney embarrassed himself yet again regarding his record in Massachusetts in last night’s debate. Globe: Asked during the debate why only one fourth of the judges he appointed were Republican, Romney cast the council as an obstruction to conservative agenda. “They go before something known as the Governor’s Council,” Romney said. “It consists of, I believe, seven members [actually it's eight, plus the Lt. Gov. -ed.], all of whom are elected Democrats. And so to be able to get my appointments through, I had to have people of both parties. And the people I put forward, all were individuals who I vetted very carefully to make sure they would follow the rule of law.” … The body is often maligned and even mocked, more because of its members’ sometimes strange antics than any partisan agenda. The council is not known to vet judicial candidates based on party affiliation. At most, and especially more recently, members ask about political donations in hopes of preventing patronage. In addition, the council seldom rejected applicants during Romney’s tenure. Of course, Romney’s claim is nonsense. I’m no great fan of the Governor’s Council, but the Globe is quite right to note that one thing [...]
Mr. Mark Meckler, founder of Tea Party Patriots apparently has a different interpretation of the Second Amendment than the one understood by the New York Port Authority Police Department. Meckler was arrested yesterday for possessing an unlicensed firearm while attempting to board a flight at LaGuardia Airport. “The tea party leader has a permit to carry the weapon in California, but that state’s permit does not allow one to carry a firearm in New York”: “Mark Meckler, tea party leader, arrested with gun”: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70548.html#ixzz1giLtwY1X It seems that Meckler may have jumped the gun, no pun intended, in interpreting pending legislation regarding the ability to carry a weapon in one state due to being licensed to do so in another. It’s an argument that has been made based on the fact that a driver’s license in one state is accepted in all fifty states, generally, without question. The same argument has been made regarding weapons permits but the jury is still out on that. According to Queens D.A. Richard Brown, Meckler could be looking to up to fifteen years in prison. Oh and Meckler’s “celebrity” status as a Tea Party bigwig may not do much to help him. You see N.Y.C. [...]
One would think that former Iowa Congressman Fred Grandy (R-IA) would be a welcomed addition to Newt Gingrich’s field of supporters, however when you look deeper into the antics of Grandy you’d probably think otherwise: “Newt’s New Endorser: OWS is a Muslim Brotherhood Plot!”; http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/newt-new-endorser-ows-muslim-brotherhood-plot Grandy, never at a loss for the preposterous has now added to his growing list of absurd claims by stating that the Occupy Wall Street movement is being funded and guided by Muslim extremists: ” At a tea party event in Maryland in October, Grandy warned that Occupy Wall Street was being propped up by the Council American Islamic Relations—which, according to Grandy, is in turn a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. Is #OWS part of an Islamist plot to take over the United States? In the eyes of Gingrich’s newest endorser it is.” So does Grandy’s endorsement represent an outlier in the Gingrich campaign or is it a matter of birds of a feather flocking together. I think you can vote for the latter based on this: “in linking Occupy Wall Street to Islamists, Grandy is only marginally more out-there than the man he’s supporting for President. Gingrich, as we’ve reported previously, has gone from courting Muslim leaders in 2001 to filming documentaries about [...]
Why is it to Councilors’ advantage to make more readily available the full transcript of the last public meeting of Boston City Council stored in a computer file on the Diamante Stenograph machine in the Council Chamber?
Why is it to Councilors’ advantage to make more readily available the full transcript of the last public meeting of Boston City Council stored in a computer file on the Diamante Stenograph machine in the Council Chamber? A Councilor’s words in the public meeting made more well known to all a) communicate the work, the efforts, the arguments of the Councilor. Council communications b) give the people a better opportunity to read and submit feedback, comment, questions, suggestions, ideas. Knowing more about your favorite Councilor improves Council communications. The public meeting of Boston City Council would be c) more accessible to folks with hearing loss. d) A searchable full transcript, e) more complete than minutes, is f) easier to read through than watching video and g) already budgeted for with public funds.
Look to our Massachusetts Attorney General and our Secretary of the Commonwealth for guidance with respect to negotiating with our municipal governments. Consider making available to citizens information about negotiation on the Public Records Division web pages. When he was in office Attorney General Scott Harshbarger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Harshbarger began making available information about negotiating. He provided negotiation information for teens on his AG web pages. Negotiation resources could be listed, for example the Program on Negotiation at http://pon.harvard.edu or http://www.gerryspence.com/howtoargue.html How about our Public Records Division, the State Secretary, Division of Open Government, our State Attorney General sponsoring a high school essay and college essay contest?… as is done in Connecticut offering students opportunity to write about principles of open government FOI Freedom of Information public records, Sunshine open public meetings, negotiation http://www.state.ct.us/foi/ http://www.state.ct.us/foi/Students/Contest/CFOG%20Contests/2010CFOGEssay/CFOG_2010_Essay_Contest_Winners.htm These are the kinds of activities that government agencies can do to attract people better qualified and actually interested in improving our state and local governments.
How about the Bill Galvin move of making Thursday September 6th state primary day. The Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah falls on Tuesday Sept. 18 explained Galvin. As an “oh by the way” he also let us know that the new federal MOVE act requires absentee voters to have access to printed ballots at least 45 days before the election. Having it any later then Sept. 6th would not give them time to meet the deadline, especially if there are any recounts. Hey, now wait a cotton pickin’ minute here. Haven’t Jews been celebrating Rosh Hashanah every mid- September ? And double hey. Hasn’t every prior state primary (except one) been held on a Tuesday in mid-September? Hmmm. Is this a Haley’s Comet type thing. Or maybe it’s part of the Mayans 2012 apocalypse thing. Whatever it is is has to be an extremely rare occurrence on our cultural schedules. I mean Galvin just wouldn’t make this up. Not when it comes to one the holiest of days in the Jewish religion. The Day of Judgement. The Day of Remembrance. They day to think about what bad things you have done. (now that’s a cheap shot) So I know Galvin wouldn’t [...]
BOSTON, December 16, 2011— Statement by MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini on US Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren’s Release of Stance on LGBT Rights: “This week, Elizabeth Warren announced her support for marriage equality; repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which discriminates against married same-sex couples; passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act with full protections for transgender residents; safe schools for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth; and full support for LGBT families. These positions are consistent with the legacy of the US Senate seat for which she is running, as well as the values of Massachusetts voters. Her thoughtful and comprehensive positions raise the bar on support for LGBT equality for every candidate in the race. “MassEquality does not endorse in federal elections. But we are pleased to see Warren’s support for full equality, and we will be educating voters, particularly LGBT voters, on where all of the candidates stand on LGBT issues. We will also be releasing a comprehensive voters guide in advance of the elections.” ### MassEquality works to ensure that every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person in Massachusetts is protected from cradle to grave—with equal rights and opportunities in school, in marriage and [...]
An extremely hard position to square with Candidate Obama 2008, and an extraordinary step for a former professor of Constitutional Law. Guardian: Military given go-ahead to detain US terrorist suspects without trial: Civil rights groups dismayed as Barack Obama abandons commitment to veto new security law contained in defence bill Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of “a war that appears to have no end”. The law, contained in the defence authorisation bill that funds the US military, effectively extends the battlefield in the “war on terror” to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention. … “We’re talking about American citizens who can be taken from the United States and sent to a camp at [...]
It is hard to see how this will be good for property values in one of the most charming parts of the city. Globe: An independent scientific panel advising the federal government on Boston University’s controversial high-security research laboratory has concluded that the latest federal assessment of safety risks posed by the infectious-disease lab is significantly improved and nearly ready for public comment. In a report made public today, the scientists noted several areas of concern that still need addressing, but said the 1,700-page federal safety assessment was on solid ground and the independent panel’s oversight was no longer needed. The federal safety review was triggered by legal action to block the South End project, which was first proposed nearly nine years ago and which has sat finished but largely empty since 2008. My favorite part: Other issues raised by the report included recommendations that BU be required to conduct periodic retraining of staff, especially after any accident at the lab. … In other words, after this becomes a documentary clip from Concord Street, a period of retraining will set everything to rights. Laboratories specifically intended to specialize in analysis of some of the world’s most lethal killers should be [...]