October 2012
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Month October 2012

Happy Halloween from the North Adams Dems!

NECC’s deal under Romney to monitor itself, and political donations

Salon article outlines compounding pharmacy NECC’s deal with the Romney administration to monitor itself in the wake of enforcement actions brought in 2004:   “In October 2004, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy, a state regulatory agency reporting to Gov. Romney, offered to let NECC enter into a consent agreement that would have acknowledged professional misconduct by NECC warranting disciplinary action, a public reprimand and three years probation. But in a letter dated Nov. 11, 2004, Paul Cirel, an attorney for NECC, argued that such disciplinary action would be “potentially fatal” to NECC’s business. In a footnote, he asserted, “Once disclosed, the reprimand will surely result in investigations/inquiries/investigations in those other jurisdictions. Regardless of the derivative actions taken, the attendant legal and administrative costs will be devastating.” The letter added that instead of having the state monitor the company, NECC would be willing to “bear the burden of cost and monitoring and reporting compliance” in exchange for a non-disciplinary resolution. The Board of Registration subsequently dropped the reprimand. Meanwhile, in 2005, NECC was the subject of another complaint. Nevertheless, the Board of Registration went forward with a Consent Agreement that was, according to Oliver, “even more advantageous to the […]

Catholic Democrats Asks MA Pastors to Keep Their Parishes Safe From Partisan Politicking on Final Sunday of Campaign

The following press release was sent out by Catholic Democrats earlier today Catholic Democrats has sent a letter to each of the Catholic pastors and parish administrators across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts asking them to keep their parishes safe from partisan politicking. The letter, which was faxed to parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston and the Dioceses of Fall River, Springfield, and Worcester, also suggests resources from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that pastors and parish staff can access to keep their parishes free from divisive partisan activities on the final Sunday of the 2012 election season. The letter asks pastors to empower parish employees and volunteers to instruct any outside organization to cease placing political leaflets within the church or on cars parked on church property. The USCCB does not authorize the distribution of partisan political materials on parish property. “We are hearing from Catholics around the country and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that they feel unwelcome in their own parishes because of partisan political activities and messages, like leafleting, that are going on at Mass during this campaign season,” said Steve Krueger, president of Catholic Democrats. “Parishes are our spiritual homes – faith communities intended […]

The Incredible Whiteness of Brown (and the GOP)

 ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money!” –Rick Santorum Privilege has been called an invisible knapsack, a bundle of advantages enjoyed by beneficiaries who rarely recognize it as such. White folks, rich folks, men, we all carry around some sort invisible knapsack. And not only do we enjoy the advantages it confers, we generally take them for granted. We usually think of ourselves as unadvantaged–neither advantaged or disadvantaged–but advantage is a two-sided coin: there is no advantage without a corresponding disadvantage. Accumulate enough advantages, and you have privilege. And like many white people, and a lot of Republicans, Scott Brown has never acknowledged his own privilege. As the handsome son of a white, middle-class, albeit dysfunctional, family, Brown had loads of advantages: he went to good public schools; his father was a long-time city councilor in Newburyport; he had extended family to care for him; after he was arrested for shoplifting, a sympathetic judge taught him a lesson rather than  making him part of the system; he went to college and law school; his sister’s job at Cosmopolitan opened up a successful modeling career for him; he served in the National Guard for […]

Charlie Pierce endorses Warren, Obama

Charlie Pierce’s latest Esquire piece is entitled “Why I Am Voting to Re-Elect President Obama.”  But Charlie says in the article that his heart really belongs to Elizabeth Warren (emphasis added): There is only one vote that I am casting with any measurable amount of enthusiasm. That is the vote I am casting for Elizabeth Warren to be my next United States senator. This enthusiasm is based not solely in my personal affection for her, nor solely in my admiration for the things she’s already accomplished, nor solely as a reaction against the unnecessarily crude and boorish campaign waged against her by incumbent Senator Scott Brown, nor solely even in the fact that I think this race is still agonizingly close and that I think Warren has it in her to be a great United States senator on behalf of many of the issues that I think are important to the country. The enthusiasm derives from the fact that, when she was asked in a debate what her policy would be toward our groaning (and increasingly futile) military adventure in Afghanistan, she answered quickly and simply. Out. Now. On Obama, Charlie says he has known Jill Stein a long time, he admires […]

Smear machine: Make. Up. Your. Minds.

One GOP mailing received this week: “Elizabeth Warren says she’ll fight Wall Street banks. So why does she support the Wall Street bailout?” Another anti Elizabeth Warren mailing received this week: “No other candidate in 2012 represents a greater threat to free enterprise than Professor Warren.” Seriously Republican smear machine, you have to pick only one of these lies and distortions. You cannot claim at the same time that she’s for Wall Street and she’s a threat to free enterprise. Can someone in the mainstream press be kind enough to point out the obvious problem here in attacking Warren for being both pro Wall Street and anti free enterprise? It’s sort of like the hard right trying to attack Obama because he’s too close to Trinity United Church of Christ Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and then conducting the whisper campaign that he’s a secret Muslim. You can only use one of these smears. Of course, both claims against Elizabeth Warren are a lie. Scott Brown isn’t the number-one recipient of financial firm donations because Elizabeth Warren is for Wall Street. And to say she’s a threat to free enterprise is ludicrous, unless you believe “free enterprise” is a synonym for “total deregulation that […]

C’mon Mitt, Privatizing Disaster Relief Would be a Disaster

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with the upcoming election a factor, one thing is apparent and that is that Mitt Romney is no better off at figuring out disaster relief than he was at figuring out who constitutes our geopolitical enemies. You see Romney is busy backpedaling on his earlier comments about shutting down FEMA. Let’s look at those prior statements that are now causing Romney such headaches: “During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA’s cash crunch, whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually take over responsibility for disaster response.”Absolutely,” he said. “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?” Now let’s contrast Romney’s statements, made during the primaries when he was pandering to the far right of the Republican Party with the […]

Brown 2012 = Coakley 2010?

It’s remarkable, really.  A little less than three years ago, Scott Brown managed to win an election he was supposed to lose.  He did it by running a savvy, positive, upbeat, energetic campaign, and by taking advantage of the sloth and the panicky mistakes of his opponent. And now, we’re watching with amazement as Brown runs the movie in reverse.  He was OK back when he was ahead in the polls, and not so bad even when it was getting close.  But once the polling starting shifting Warren’s way in earnest, he freaked.  He threw over his “Mr. Likable” image, and instead started running grainy, dishonest attack ads – just like Coakley did.  It didn’t work for her.  And he let his anxiety about losing goad him into saying stupid things late in the game – just like Coakley did.  That didn’t help either. Even more startling was the news that Brown has bailed out of the final debate because … well, because he felt like it, as there is no good reason why the candidates couldn’t debate tomorrow evening.  Coakley never did anything quite like that – but she was loudly, and accurately, accused of not working hard enough […]

Warren calls for final debate with Brown

Warren still wants debate Warren agreed that the debate should not be held last night, but offered to reschedule for tomorrow night. A Brown spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment, and debate organizers said they were still waiting to hear from Brown’s campaign. “There’s only a few days left and we have a very, very busy schedule,” Brown said. Brown tomorrow plans to kick off a bus tour with Congressional candidate Richard Tisei and Rep. Don Wong, R-Saugus, in Wakefield. On Sunday, he plans meet-and-greet events in Weymouth, Waltham and Needham. Warren yesterday had two public events, visiting flooded areas of Westport near Horseneck Beach and in Scituate. Brown, meanwhile, had a packed “Storm Relief Schedule” with seven events starting in the morning in Rehoboth with stops planned in Westport, South Dartmouth, Quincy, Newbury and Gloucester. There’s little chance Brownie will agree to another ass-kicking,

Talking Politics adds a name to the 2014 list for Governor: Dan Wolf

David Bernstein’s Talking Politics blog at the Boston Phoenix just posted that Dan Wolf may run for Governor in 2014. Remember Dan Wolf? He’s the state senator from the Cape & Islands, and founder and CEO of Cape Air*, who went to Washington this summer to give Congress this testimony about how health care reform in Massachusetts – and hence Obamacare – is good for business. Worth watching again! * Disclosure: At my day job at ITA Software (now part of Google), I work on a new airline reservation system that launched this past February with Cape Air as our first customer.