May 2013
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Month May 2013

Whitey Bulger Trial Prep. and Kevin Cullen aka “The Malden Kid” on NPR Toady Boasting of Trying to Kill Whitey

It’s like this. Feds indict Whitey Bulger and Steve Flemmi for racketeering. Whitey flees and Flemmi gets arrested. Before his trial he claims that he and Whitey were informants for the FBI and his handler was John Connolly. Flemmi’s novel defense resulted in a hearing which exposed the F.B.I’s Top Echelon Informant Program. Assistant U.S. Attorney Fed Wyshak was sent in by self-described F.B.I fixer David Margolis to put a lid on this before the full extent of the T.E.O program was exposed. Wyshak cut deals with serial killers John Martarano, Steve Flemmi, and Kevin Weeks to implicate Whitey in as many homicides as possible.  Wyshark told F.B.I. agent John Connolly that he had to work with him to get Whitey or he will go down with him. This whole thing had to be a one-off. The program had to be protected. After years on the run Whitey for the first time was indicted for the murders. Connolly argued that under the terms of the F.B.I. Top Echelon Informant Program he is suppose to protect his informant for everything but murder and the murder cases being built against Whitey were based on totem pole hearsay from wise guys who were […]

The IRS Scandal and the False Hope of Tea Party Revival

Amid all of the sound and fury bubbling up from the IRS examination of the various conservative organizations there’s hope among the Tea Party faithful that this controversy will somehow breathe new life into their movement. But will it be enough to reinvigorate a movement considered to be in disarray, if not politically stalled? Yes the vast majority of Americans holds the IRS in low esteem and is troubled by the revelations that the agency has, if nothing else, tangled rightwing organizations in excessive red tape, even if it hasn’t moved to cripple them altogether. However, as Sam Tanenhaus of the New York Times pointed out, this isn’t the first time that an administration has used the IRS against the opposition, even though, to date, there’s no evidence that President Obama ordered any such action. While the wild eyed voices on Capitol Hill have been bellowing for the impeachment of the president, the more level headed among them, and among conservative political pundits, have counseled caution least the Tea Party claque in Congress overplay its hand with negative consequences for 2014. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in a meticulously detailed piece outlines the vast differences between Watergate and the current IRS […]

Clueless Ann Romney

I could only laugh when I heard the would be first lady publicly declare that there was a serious breach of trust between the White House and the American people. Did Ms. Romney ever stop to think about the fact there was never a bond of trust to begin with between those same Americans and her husband when he unsuccessfully ran for president? How could anyone who has just endured the wear and tear of a presidential contest make such a naive statement, unless of course she herself is just so out of touch with the American people she’s addressing as to not see the forest for the trees.  Steve Gulitti 5/31/13   Source: Ann Romney: Public feels ‘breach of trust’ amid White House controversies: http://thehill.com/video/in-the-news/302489-ann-romney-americans-feel-breach-of-trust-after-wh-scandals#ixzz2UtYPaj3L

Weekly Joke Revue: GOP calls itself a scandal, blames Obama

Onion: Our Thoughts Go Out To Oklahoma,’ Says Congressman Mentally Calculating When He Can Bring Up Benghazi Again VISTA, CA—Following the devastating tornado in Oklahoma this week that killed dozens of residents and displaced many more, U.S. congressman Darrell Issa, a representative from California who is currently counting down the seconds until he can bring up Benghazi again, told reporters his thoughts are with the people of Oklahoma. “My sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this horrible tragedy,” Issa said while trying to determine in his head, to the nearest millisecond, the next possible moment he can get away with once again raising questions about the Obama administration’s handling of the attack in Benghazi. “I am deeply saddened by this tragedy and commend the brave men and women of Oklahoma City for their heroic response to the disaster. The people of California have you in our hearts.” At press time, Issa was wondering if maybe now would be the right time. Daniel Kurtzman: “A lot of people are criticizing President Obama, including Michelle Obama. She recently said she could take a whole afternoon and talk about Barack’s failures. She was immediately hired by Fox News.” -Conan […]

Committed to 1,000,000+

Hi everyone, This past weekend, our field team reached a huge milestone. So I asked my field Director, Carl Nilsson, to write a bit about it.  Here’s what he had to say: We passed a milestone this past weekend, and it adds up to one million. That’s how many voters we’ve reached out to on this campaign so far with the help from grassroots organizers, volunteers and activists. Whether it’s been by placing a phone call or knocking on doors, our campaign has gotten the message out that this race is important, especially when it comes to ending gun violence, promoting tax fairness and protecting Social Security for seniors. From day one, Ed has prioritized building our campaign from the grassroots up. And we could not have hit this benchmark of a million voter contact attempts without our incredible volunteers. More than 10,775 people across the Commonwealth have taken time out of their busy schedules to support Ed by talking to their neighbors and fellow Bay Staters about what’s at stake in this race. To reach that million mark, our supporters have participated in 13,272 events. And with a month still to go, we’re committed to keeping up the pace […]

The “Streetlight Strategy”: Manipulating open government for private gain

I have, at various times, served in local (town) government. I’m guessing that most of my fellow BMG participants who have done or now do the same have encountered the venerable “Streetlight strategy”, used by self-serving public officials to manipulate open government to their own often venal benefit. Town meetings, whether open or representative, are generally scheduled to run a few successive nights. Most require a warrant to be published ahead of time, presenting every article to be acted on by town meeting. Those warrants often include items that would almost surely be rejected by informed town meeting members voting on the basis of a full presentation of the relevant facts and issues. The purpose of the “Streetlight strategy” is to assure the passage of those unpopular articles. Here is how it works. First, the offending article is buried as deeply as possible in innocuous surrounding language. As an example, consider a town that has decided on a “Town Manager” form of government. The compensation of such a position is frequently pegged to the size of the payroll managed by the individual. More town employees at higher wages generally translate to more compensation for the manager. Political influence also tends […]

Brookline Passes Landmark Resolution Against Tar Sands

The fight against tar sands isn’t just about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline out west – it’s also about the push for smaller tar sands pipeline projects across the country, including one Exxon Mobil & Enbridge are trying to sneak through right here in New England. Last night, the Brookline town meeting became the first in Massachusetts to stand up and say no, overwhelmingly approving a resolution opposing tar sands: Brookline has become the first town in Massachusetts to vote on a resolution to oppose a possible Northeastern Tar Sands pipeline, which runs from Montreal Canada to Portland Maine. The resolution says tar sands is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels that contribute to climate change, and states that Brookline opposes both the pipeline project and encourages the town, state, and region to move away from tar sands and other climate polluting fuels. The resolution expresses concern not only about the climate impacts from tar sands oil, but also spills along pipelines and destruction of the boreal forest, where the tar sands oil is extracted. Similar resolutions passed in 29 towns in Vermont this year on Town Meeting Day, and anti-tar sands resolutions or by-laws have been passed in 4 […]

26 Days to Go: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

A lot of the local press was poised on May 1 to portray this year’s special election as a replay of the 2010 special election. Ed Markey was cast as the second coming of Martha Coakley, the longtime Democratic officeholder with progressive positions but a less-than-scintillating public persona. Gabriel Gomez, of course, would be playing the Scott Brown role: the telegenic “moderate” and “bi-partisan” Republican, a “fresh face,” etc., etc. Gomez wants to follow the same path to victory Brown followed in 2010. He is going to get most of the 13%, the registered Republicans in Massachusetts. But they’re not enough. His only hope is in cleaning up among the unenrolled, who make up half the state’s voters, and peeling off some registered Democrats who aren’t necessarily liberal. Like Scott Brown in 2010, Gomez is an empty slate. Like Mitt Romney, he’s more slippery than an eel when it comes to his policy positions. His dubious easement deduction, calling Markey “pond scum,” out-of-step positions on assault weapons, and antagonistic relationship with the truth may have taken some of the luster away from Gomez, but there’s still a chance it might work. The early polls (with the exception of Suffolk’s, which […]

Conference Preview: Differences between the Senate and House Budgets for FY 2014

Now that the Massachusetts Senate has finalized its budget proposal for FY 2014, the next step is for the House and Senate to produce a single budget that reflects the priorities of the Legislature as a whole. To that end, a House-Senate Conference Committee will reconcile the differences between the House and Senate budgets and negotiate a budget that can pass both houses. Differences between the House and Senate budgets include: $75 million in additional House funding to help make higher education more affordable Senate initiatives that begin to address the large and growing wait list for children seeking early education & care. An $11 million gap between the Senate’s higher funding level for Youth Empowerment Programs and the House’s lower level These are just a few of the many differences—large and small—that the Conference Committee will have to address. Looked at more broadly, though, the House and Senate budgets are quite similar. They include comparable amounts of new revenue; they both direct the majority of this new revenue towards fixing and improving our transportation system; and both have only a modest amount of additional funding to invest in other areas, whether education, health care, or beyond. The Governor’s budget […]

Trying to kneecap health care

Republicans think they’re messing with Obama, and “Obamacare”. I think they’ll find that they’re messing with people’s health care. And that most people won’t take too kindly to that. Mike Capuano wrote recently in the Globe how the Republicans are so afraid that Obamacare The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act might work, that they’re dedicating themselves to making sure it doesn’t: Republicans have denied funding for essential preparations and made it plain they will resist confirmation of presidential nominees needed to administer it. Moreover, the Republican-led House has voted to defund the law and targeted specific aspects of it. They have voted to withhold salaries for employees who will set up health care exchanges, the marketplace where consumers will go to choose a plan. They have voted to repeal funding for school-based health care centers and voted numerous times to eliminate the Prevention Trust Fund. You don’t have to be a doctor to recognize that preventing illness is cheaper than treating it. Eliminating funding for programs like this will result in higher health care costs. And then you’ve got Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation trying to throw a monkey wrench into the works, with endless public FUD: While […]