May 2014
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Month May 2014

AUSA Fred Wyshak Lies to Jury Then Calls It “Literary License”. AUSA Jon Lovitz is More Like It

It’s the little stuff that make the difference when inflaming juries and public opinion. So rather than the much younger girlfriend of former Senate Ways and Means Chair Montigney being 21 when hired she was actually 24, about the same age as hundreds of probation hires were when they first hopped on board. You know what I mean, young college grads. Commonwealth Magazine bagged the Fred Dog on this and put it to him. His response is scary stuff from any prosecutor but coming from the crazed crusader paints another coat of black on the Moakley Building. Last week, when questions were first being raised on Beacon Hill about Manchester’s age, CommonWealth asked Wyshak during a break in the trial about a possible discrepancy. He said he was exercising “literary license” in his opening statement to the jury.

What’s the story?

Did you see the column in the Globe where Scot Lehigh called me “loyal” and “devoted?” That was very nice of him. What? That wasn’t the point, you say? I guess it’s all about your perspective. Scot writes from the perspective of someone with long experience about the way things work on Beacon Hill and it seems he’s been talking with others under the golden dome, some named and some not, who support his theory that Governor Patrick doesn’t do things the way they “should” be done. He does things differently from other politicians in the past. Fair point, I guess – and certainly a legitimate perspective. In the piece, Scot details an effort we at the Deval Patrick Committee/TogetherPAC are putting forward to engage supporters in telling THEIR stories about the difference Governor Patrick’s leadership has made for them, their communities and our commonwealth since he started running almost ten years ago. He was kind enough to point out that if folks needed some assistance with research or other areas, we would be happy to help. Maybe some would consider writing a letter to the editor or an OpEd in the local paper or blog? For others, maybe they’d […]

Governor Patrick and Scott Pelley provide a defense for Matanov

Matanov had a legitimate reason to fear for his safety when the FBI or State Police came around. Here’s Governor Patrick on March 24, 2014 “. . . one State Trooper who works with me said, ‘Any one of them would have gladly put a bullet in the suspect, And here’s FBI agent Rick DesLauriers being interviewed by Scott Pelley Sixty Minutes Rick DesLauriers:”[Tsarnaev] had a smug grin on his face much of the time in the courtroom. He would glance over his right shoulder back to his relatives, and smile, and smirk at them. And I found that absolutely galling. And I found it reprehensible.” DesLauriers goes on to say that he approves of the death penalty for Tsarnaev. The FBI and the State troopers executed a witness about a month later. If I were Matanov’s lawyer, I would want to know if Aaron Macfarlane was working on the Marathon Bombing, and I would like to see what was on the hard drive of his computer, as well as the hard drives on the computers of the other investigators in this case. I’m not a lawyer, so there’s one thing I don’t understand. What is the difference between what […]

Duck Come to Roost for GOP

Gotta love the GOP’s continuing campaign to appeal to its shrinking base while turning off the majority of the voters nationally. The anti-gay, anti-marriage equality star of Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, was the invited speaker at the Republican Leadership Conference. His advice to the GOP: “You want to turn the Republican party around, get godly,” Robertson told the Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday, according to coverage from The Times-Picayune On the state of the nation, Robertson called the White House “evil and wicked” and “downright embarrassing.” As for the next round of political leaders, Robertson offered his biggest qualification to turn the nation onto the right track. “You can’t be right for America if you’re wrong with God,” he said Hey Charlie Baker how does Phil play in Swampscott (never mind the rest of the state)?

Your Lt. Gov. candidates weigh in on the casino questions

As promised, here’s where the Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor come down on the two questions I asked them: (1) should the “repeal the casino deal” question be on the ballot this fall, and (2) if it is, how will you vote?  (Reminder: a “yes” vote is to undo the casino law; a “no” vote is a vote to keep things where they are now.) Unlike the candidates for Treasurer, this one’s a split decision (as it was with the candidates for Governor and Attorney General).  Here are the results: Candidate Question should be on the ballot? How would you vote? James Arena-DeRosa Yes Yes Leland Cheung Yes Yes Steve Kerrigan No No Mike Lake Yes Yes The candidates offered some additional comments, which are on the flip.

Phony Attack on Climate Action: The US Chamber Doesn’t Care About Jobs

The US Chamber of Commerce is putting the full force of its polluter-funded war chest behind fighting limits on industrial carbon pollution set to be announced by the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday. Paul Krugman dives into their numbers and finds even by the Chamber’s biased analysis, the cost of climate action would be just 0.2% of economic growth: You might ask why the Chamber of Commerce is so fiercely opposed to action against global warming, if the cost of action is so small. The answer, of course, is that the chamber is serving special interests, notably the coal industry — what’s good for America isn’t good for the Koch brothers, and vice versa — and also catering to the ever more powerful anti-science sentiments of the Republican Party. Finally, let me take on the anti-environmentalists’ last line of defense — the claim that whatever we do won’t matter, because other countries, China in particular, will just keep on burning ever more coal. This gets things exactly wrong. Yes, we need an international agreement to reduce emissions, including sanctions on countries that don’t sign on. But U.S. unwillingness to act has been the biggest obstacle to such an agreement. If […]

Snowden/Greenwald/NSA Open Thread

You know you want to … or don’t, and will ignore this. This is Michael Kinsley’s notorious review, which is as bad as advertised. However, this part is funny: Greenwald’s determination to misinterpret the evidence can be comic. He writes about attending a bat mitzvah ceremony where the rabbi told the young woman that “you are never alone” because God is always watching over you. “The rabbi’s point was clear,” Greenwald amplifies. “If you can never evade the watchful eyes of a supreme authority, there is no choice but to follow the dictates that authority imposes.” I don’t think that was the rabbi’s point. But as far as that whole dustup goes, I am on Team Public Editor. Kinsley let his disdain for Greenwald get the better of him. Kurt Eichenwald has a more nuanced take. Overall I would have to say Snowden damaged his cause this week, but he remains essentially correct (and virtually undenied) about the most important stuff he revealed. It’s a brave new world.

NOM fined $50,000

NOM (an anti-gay hate group) has been ordered to pay a fine of $50,000 after being found guilty of breaking campaign finance laws in Maine in 2009. The Huffington Post is reporting that by not disclosing the names of donors to their efforts to prevent Marriage Equality in Maine, they further violated the law. Personal Note: I hope this signals the end of this pathetic hate group once and for all.

When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, Hurrah! Hurrah!

John Connolly was indicted and tried for a number of murders, conspiracy to commit murders, tipping off Whitey, taking money from Whitey, and all sorts of RICO shit. He was found NOT GUILTY on all of those counts by the federal jury in Boston. He was found guilty of giving his crooked FBI supervisor a case of wine from Whitey  that also contained five thousand buckaroos. That’s right. Not guilties for setting up Roger Wheeler and John Callahan. Not guilties of setting up Brian Halloran and his muscle man/driver Michael Donoghue aka “the innocent bystander”. The judge gave him ten years and day. (The extra day significantly changed Connolly’s prison status for the worse) Fred Wyshak didn’t think ten years was enough. That would mean Johnny would come marching home to Boston and talk and talk and talk and talk.  So Fred went down to Miami and convinced the state attorney to have his posse sworn in as special state prosecutors and indict Connolly for the Callahan murder he was previously found not guilty of in Boston. Forget about double jeopardy, the supremacy clause, and precedent. Connolly served his ten years and a day for the feds then went down to Florida […]

If there’s any race that should have a People’s Pledge in place, it’s the race for Attorney General

The Attorney General’s office, perhaps more than any other in state government (save the judiciary, which doesn’t have to worry about winning elections), needs to be free of influence from moneyed special interests, to the extent possible.  So it would be terrific if the Democratic AG candidates could agree to a People’s Pledge that will effectively ban third-party spending on that race.  (As far as I know, nobody sees the Republican candidate, whoever he is, as a serious threat at this point.) Apparently, both Warren Tolman and Maura Healey have previously indicated their desire to keep third parties out of the race.  Today, Maura Healey made a formal proposal via letter: May 29, 2014 Dear Warren, In response to an inquiry from Matt Stout of The Boston Herald regarding the formation of a new Massachusetts Super PAC supporting LGBT candidates, our campaign released the following statement: “As someone who has seen the corrosive effects of heavy outside and unregulated spending in campaigns, particularly since the Citizens United ruling, I will ask my fellow candidate, Warren Tolman, to join me in agreeing to ban all independent expenditures by PACs or other outside groups. While organizations dedicated to advancing LGBT equality and other […]