December 2012
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Month December 2012

Eric Garcetti for Mayor of Los Angeles

To our Californian readers, and friends of progressive candidates everywhere: Eric Garcetti is the current frontrunner for Mayor of Los Angeles — by a whisker, and only according to some polls: this is a very close race — and is a true blue progressive. I have known him for almost 30 years and can testify that he is exactly the kind of reality-based politician BMGers want to run the second largest city in the land: President of the LA City Council from 2001-2012, dedicated to the causes we hold dear in both word and deed, a Rhodes Scholar, his qualifications are almost endless. Click here to donate before the critical 31 December fundraising cut-off (the vote is in March 2013). Click here for his record and agenda. Have a look for yourself in English: and in Spanish:

The NRA on Mental Illness: A Complete Lack of Understanding

On Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 the NBC program Meet the Press, NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre repeatedly called people afflicted or suffering from mental illness who may do harm “lunatics.” This view is so completely out of touch with what it means to be a person suffering from a mental illness that Mr. LaPierre has just made his point of view and that of the NRA irrelevant to any mental health advocacy and reform in America. A Complete Lack of Logic CEO LaPierre’s comments on mental illness are completely devoid of any logic. Repeatedly calling someone suffering from mental illness a lunatic and getting this person off the street just doesn’t make sense. It is the action that consequently defines the person as a so-called “lunatic” or criminal. And no one is a criminal until that person commits a crime. We all know someone who is or has suffered from mental illness or a neuro-developmental disability in one form or another. People afflicted from a mental illness are not considered a criminal until something awful happens. Otherwise, they are just a person afflicted with a mental illness. And stigmatizing someone afflicted from a mental health condition, criminal or not, as […]

Preventing Mass Shootings: How Partisans Get “What Works” Wrong

NRA CEO and Executive Vice Prisdent Wayne LaPierre said that the assault weapons ban didn’t work because the 4/20/1999 shooting at Columbine occurred. In the same interview he said that the only way to keep kids safe at school is to have trained armed guards protect the schools. John Lott has said that gun moratoriums don’t work because England saw crime increase. Both are partisan political statements not backed up with good research about ‘what works and what doesn’t.’ Things that have been proven to work don’t work all the time. A 100 percent success rate is not how something is defined as ‘what works‘.

Pundits, Get Real! Not all Gun Crimes (and Solutions) Are the Same

In the wake of the most recent school shooting, and in the wake of any mass shooting, pundits and politicians fill the airwaves and cable TV stations for the need for greater gun control and for the need for more guns. Both sides of the issue use statistics to make their point. And both sides of the issue abuse statistics to make their point. Meanwhile, the NRA likes to point out that without guns people won’t be able to defend themselves. This isn’t exactly accurate; the NRA should say that without guns people won’t be able to defend themselves with a gun, but there are still other means of self defense. Gun Statistics The NRA likes to point out that people use guns to defend themselves, and they do. In an article titled Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun, the author makes the point that people use guns to defend themselves far more than official statistics reveal. However, there were a number of issues with this research described in an article titledSurvey Research and Self-Defense Gun Use: An Explanation of Extreme Overestimates, which specifically noted: It is clear, however, that its conclusions cannot be […]

“Everyone endorses Ed Markey”

So tweeted the WaPo’s Rachel Weiner. With the fulsome endorsement-in-all-but-name by John Kerry; Another by Vicki Kennedy; and a strong statement of support from the DSCC, It looks like the establishment is trying to clear the field for Ed Markey: “While I began last week to formally step out of politics, and it’s very important that I respect the apolitical nature of the post I hope to soon occupy, as Massachusetts’ senior senator today and as a colleague of Ed Markey’s for 28 years, I’m excited to learn of and support his decision to run for the United States Senate,” Kerry said in a statement. ”Ed’s one of the most experienced and capable legislators in the entire Congress and it would be an almost unprecedented occasion for such an accomplished legislator to join the Senate able to hit the ground running on every issue of importance to Massachusetts.” Now, on one hand, I’m not sure how I feel about this. A rush to coalesce behind a single candidate creates heavy expectations for that person; whereas a primary battle can help them sharpen their message and endure the inevitable slings and arrows of a tough general campaign. I’m not sure a […]

Ed Markey Can Beat Vickie Kennedy in Dem Primary

That was the off-the-mark-point in my last post. According to my internal computers Vickie’s margin of loss would be greater than Teddy Jr.’s.. So I’m just saying to all the Vickie Kennedy surrogates out there you may not want what you wish for. The hundreds of phone calls from certain people to other certain people around the state and country won’t be done for her like the public perceives. A call from Ted Kennedy to the mayor of Fitchburg and another to a schmoe in Springfield who can bring out 300 votes is what gets Kennedys elected to the Senate. Not to mention the phone banks done by actual Kennedys. There are so many factors and that’s just one. But if Markey gets Vickie one-on-one my money’s on Eddie.

Meanwhile, back at the interim senator thing…

Some interesting names came forward in recent discussions here. Head and shoulders above all: Barney Frank. We know where he stands, he knows the ropes, he won’t run in the general. And he certainly won’t be the wallflower Paul Kirk was.

Democratic Dispatch December 28

Since the last issue of the Dispatch there have been some changes on the political landscape. Please join me in congratulating Senator Kerry on his nomination for Secretary of State. If confirmation goes as expected we’ll all be getting ready for a special election. We put a great team together for the fall and we’ll do it again, maybe in snowshoes or galoshes this time! I’m using my soapbox today to encourage readers to take a few minutes this weekend and visit a friend or a relative. If you know someone in a nursing home or someone who is ill, plan some time to visit or simply reach out to someone you might not otherwise see. A few people have asked about inaugural events, both here and in DC. The Framingham DTC is having a gala on January 12 that should be a fun opportunity to celebrate. Here in Massachusetts the Young Democrats are hosting an event for Democrats of all ages. For purchasing tickets to events in DC check out this link. Events coming up include Jamie Eldridge’s Town Hall meetings, Jimmy Tingle’s holiday events and Elizabeth Warren’s swearing-in ceremonies. Details on all these events are in Dongaghue’s Democratic […]

Right Wing Sports Talk Loses Ratings War

Ok in the scheme of all things political this is a minor story but one that brings me great satisfaction. I enjoy sports talk radio, I share Red Sox pseason tickets with a pair of friends but the morning drive time sports talk show hosted by Dennis and Callahan has been a source of great irritation for me. Wanting sports new and good back and forth on last nights game, what you usually get from these two is right wing politics with a couple of scores thrown in. Their smug references attacking any progressive elected offical and ridiculing any idea that didn’t generate from the Tea Party types seemed to play to a base audience and they had the ratings to sustain this nonsense. Until now: WEEI fell into a tie for seventh place with WBUR with a 4.9 share among the men 25-54 demographic. In morning drive (6 a.m.-10 a.m), The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” program was first with a 9.1. WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan was sixth with a 5.7. Hate sports radio is finally falling out of ratings favor – and long overdue. It’s a small thing but it made my day. Seeing these clowns canceled for […]

I Would Never Never Never Never…

never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never vote for Ed Markey, Except if ran against Vickie Kennedy! And there are many more like me out there. p.s. I like how Fast Eddie jumped in first. Other congressmen getting in the race dilutes it to Vikki’s benefit.