January 2013
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Month January 2013

Why can’t more CURRENT Congressmen call for campaign finance reform?

It has recently become common place for Congressmen upon retiring to denounce the culture of their work place that depends so heavily on dialing for dollars. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after all encourages freshman Democrats to spend at least four hours a day on the phone fundraising. So it came as no surprise yesterday, that Senator John Kerry addressed this issue in his farewell address to the U.S. Senate, the representative body where he has served the state of Massachusetts for the last 28 years. In his remarks, he joined a growing number of now former Congressmen and Senators who have highlighted “the unending chase for money [that] threatens to steal our democracy itself.” For three minutes, he emphatically addressed the “justifiable anger of the American people,” which recognizes “the insidious intention of money to set the agenda, change the agenda, block the agenda, define the agenda of Washington.” Powerful and blunt. And yet when you look back at the record of Senator Kerry you wonder why he was not leading the fight against the corrupting influence of money in our elections and policymaking? Indeed, this is the man that has on occasion signaled the need for a constitutional amendment to address Citizens United. […]

Cod Fishermen Are Even More Screwed Than You Thought

After months of contentious debate, New Bedford Standard Times reporter Steve Urbon says the New England Fishery Management Council finalized deep cuts to cod fishing quotas yesterday: The final vote cut the available catch of Gulf of Maine cod by 77 percent to 1,506 metric tons in fishing year 2013. This will have the effect of reducing some fishing boats to one day at sea, or even one hour. Georges Bank cod was cut by 61 percent, to 2,506 metric tons. Many fishermen this year are not catching their quota but these cuts are deeper than any shortfall they are experiencing. Some members, including John Quinn, of Dartmouth, implored NOAA scientists to get serious about coming up with ways of measuring the effects of freshwater influxes into the ocean, ocean warming and the rise of predators such as seals and dogfish. Even more alarming for fishermen and their families: The reduced quota is just acknowledging that the fisheries have completely collapsed. As NOAA Fisheries Northeast director John K. Bullard said a week ago, “There are no fish”:

A Year at Mission Hill School

Filmmakers Tom and Amy Valens have produced a documentary chronicling a “Year at Mission Hill” school in Boston and the challenges facing teachers and administrators in an urban environment. Here is the first of a 10-part video series about a remarkable public school in Boston, and a collective effort to seed a sustained conversation about what great teaching and learning really looks like — and requires. Angela @ btu

Lynch Rides Markey’s, Circa 1976, Coattails?

This diary originally started as a comment over on danfromwaltham‘s diary: Stephen Lynch will go to Washington to stand up, not fit in I thought better of it, and came to the conclusion to write such a comment would be taking a giant squat on Dan’s effort to promote Lynch. Thus, tantamount to ‘hijacking.’ As we endeavor to play nice, this Primary season, I chose to take my observation and remarks away from Dan’s work, placing it here, to stand on it’s own. Please note the closing frame of the recently debuted Lynch ad, as seen on Youtube: Just yesterday, I provided a link to a Markey tale, from 1976. I’ll repost it, so that we can all be on the same page. … Ed Markey: The milkman’s son who broke the rules By David B. Hilder, November 22, 1976 … While in his second term in the State House, Markey pushed for passage of a bill to eliminate part-time district court judgeships in Massachusetts. Part-time judgeships were lucrative for judges, who were allowed to maintain private law practices, and for politicians, for whom they were patronage gold mines. It was no surprise, then, when the House leadership, under Speaker […]

Where Can I Get the Stuff Scot Lehigh Smokes? He Wanted Marty Meehan for the Senate Appointment.

Here it is. The Globe has jumped the shark. WTF Scott? Marty “everybody look at me” Meehan. Hey Scott, Deval isn’t Jay Kaufman, or Margaret Marshall, or Carmen Ortiz or the other elitist/frauds whose lives revolve around getting good press from the Globe. And suggesting Marty Meehan is like offering up Gino Cappaletti as the next Patriots head coach. And Gino’s liked by people. Marty fuckin’ Meehan? Marty McFly would be better. But then again Lehigh’s column today is really a showcase of the behind-the-scenes-quid-pro-quo that is the routine of the sanctimonious press. This column is probably the result of Marty crying like the immature snake int he grass he is because Ed Markey and Steve Lynch are getting all the press. Really, do you think Marty and Scot could have made it anymore obvious. Scot Lehigh is the Globe’s Joe Fitzgerald. Only Fitzgerald is sincere.

Lynch hits the ground running

Rep. Stephen Lynch is set to announce his candidacy for Senate this afternoon at the Iron Workers’ Hall in South Boston.  Before that even happens, Lynch has a website up (no content yet, but at least it has a message from Lynch and a way to express interest in volunteering), and is campaigning hard outside his district. US Representative Stephen F. Lynch launched his campaign for US Senate by working the crowd this morning at a Springfield restaurant…. “It will be an uphill fight for me, but the fight is worth fighting. Shame on us to allow someone to clear the field, box out all the other candidates, and buy the election,” said Lynch, in an apparent reference to Markey, who has already received a number of endorsements in the race to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the departure of John F. Kerry. “There’s a disconnect in the United States Senate. It’s a private club. I could close the gap between what’s happening on Main Street in Springfield and what’s happening in Washington,” he said at O’Brien’s Corner, an eatery that owner Brian O’Brien described as “the Irish capital of Western Massachusetts.” He has also released a slick […]

Stephen Lynch will go to Washington to stand up, not fit in

Nice YouTube clip from the Stephen Lynch campaign.  David, would you kindly promote this video like Bob did with the flash mob clip?  No need to include my post or comments, just the video, I and others would appreciate it.  Thank you so much. Lynch grew up in public housing, Iron worker for 18 years.  Most important, IMO, is that Lynch stood up to every unfair trade deals while in Washington, unlike Markey who supported NAFTA and GATT.  Someone said this vote was 20 years ago but please don’t pass these two horrific votes as if they were a one time spending bill.  We are feeling the impact of NAFTA and GATT today, and likely forever. High paying jobs with benefits lost to NAFTA and GATT (thank you Ed Markey) in exchange for low paying service sector jobs with zilch bennies.  No wonder why even running trillion dollar annual deficits for four years, the economy contracted last quarter.   But it doesn’t have to be this way.  Let’s support a real man of the people, get some senators who put American workers first and not sell them out to foreign countries. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv5IqKnO39g    

New article: From Capuano’s 7th to Tierney’s 6th, a partisan ranking of MA Congressional districts

I have just posted a new article with a quantitative ranking and analysis of the nine Massachusetts Congressional districts: http://massnumbers.blogspot.com/2013/01/from-capuanos-7th-to-tierneys-6th.html While all nine Massachusetts Congressional districts were won by Democrats in November, the districts are by no means equally liberal. I will break down and quantify the Democratic-lean of the districts from Mike Capuano’s incredibly blue Boston-based 7th District, to John Tierney’s barely Democratic North Shore-based 6th District, and the finer gradations of districts in between. The districts held by Ed Markey and Steve Lynch are within the liberal end of the Democratic-leaning bunch, and are fairly safe bets to stay in the Democratic column if one of them is elected as the new U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. Read more…

Juvenile Delinquency: If We Fail Our Children, We Fail Our Future

I am very please the Gov Patrick has decided to push Massachusetts towards age appropriate juvenile justice reform. I am especially pleased because there is a trend in America that is leading us to be more punitive in how we address juvenile delinquency and offending. It might be warranted. Anyone who thinks that our youth who has committed a heinous crime should be released back into society because they are a minor doesn’t realize how much damage they can do. For example, a child with a weapon has very little appreciation for the long-term consequences of what that weapon can do or the real-world implications. I can’t even imagine the horror that a parent must feel when a child is lost at the hands of another. However, Abraham Lincoln said that the severest justice isn’t always the best policy. I agree. Do we want to prevent crime or respond to crime? If we want to respond to crime, we will have to do so after someone has been victimized. If we want to prevent crime, we must look at what causes it. Factors in Early Life While youth can do serious damage to others, it is easier to build a child than repair an adult, […]

Boston Flashmob Targets Bank of America, Fix the Debt With “Gold Diggers” Remix

You may have seen their ads on TV or been accosted by a Fix the Debt canvasser on the street – they claim to be a grassroots effort promoting steps to reduce the national debt. But the truth is, Fix the Debt is just another corporate-financed DC lobbying group looking for taxpayer handouts. That revelation prompted a flashmob-style demonstration today outside the New England headquarters of a major Fix the Debt funder and beneficiary, Bank of America. More than 75 workers and retirees, police in tow, descended on the financial giant’s Federal Street building to call Fix the Debt corporations out for what they really are: gold diggers. The action comes on the heels of a report from the non-partisan Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), which reveals that Fix the Debt’s legislative agenda has little to do with the national debt at all. In fact, the bulk of the group’s lobbying activities have focused on securing billions in new corporate tax breaks at the expense of American workers and seniors. Make no mistake, Fix the Debt does support cuts to Social Security and other vital programs – as well as raising the retirement age – as a way to reduce […]