October 2014
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Month October 2014

Fathers and fishes and flattery….

Ninety percent of all the sons in all the world who ever survived childhood followed (if they knew them) into their fathers profession. This has been true for farmers, soldiers, grocers, truckers, engineers and baseball players. And this is true for fisherman and for politicians. We are truly blessed, in America, to be able — with a straight face — to call a father ‘selfish’ who may or may not have ‘forced’ his two sons into fishing. That’s a recent development in the history of mankind. One hundred years ago it wouldn’t be more than an assumption that, of course, the sons would do what the father did. Charlie Baker, also, is following in his fathers footsteps as administrator and politician. Personally, if the choice was between an honest profession like fisherman and a profession of cruelty like football player, I’d chain my children to six foot plank, give them lines and a hook and set them adrift. In a heartbeat. And I think a football scholarship just uses education as bait: college sports are a business every bit as cruel as the game and a sports scholarship can actively impede an education. You can’t get a degree in CTE. […]

By the way, Ed Markey still wants your money

It’s been a while since I’ve complained about Ed Markey’s absurdly aggressive, scare-mongering fundraising emails.  So, here’s the latest installment, from my inbox this morning. From: Ed Markey <info@edmarkey.com> Subject: I need your help ASAP No, no you really don’t. Date: October 31, 2014 9:04:48 AM EDT To: David Dear Friend, If the pollsters and the pundits are to be believed, we need to win just about every close race on Tuesday. That’s true.  But yours isn’t one of them. Right now, Democrats are running short — on time and room for error. And if we come up short on our $16O,OOO goal for October, we could be in trouble. No, you couldn’t.  As of October 15, you had well over $2 million in the bank, while your opponent barely cleared $20,000.  And stop using “O” instead of “0.” If we miss our fundraising goals, we can’t run the kind of GOTV operations that will lead us to victory.  Yes, yes you can.  As noted above, you’re sitting on $2 million that you are barely going to need to tap into. Help us keep our organizers in the field and getting out the vote — chip in $5 before midnight. […]

Does it matter if Baker’s fish story is fake?

As reporter after reporter fails to turn up anything to substantiate Charlie Baker’s now-famous (even made MSNBC) story about the huge New Bedford fisherman who dissolved in tears upon relating the story of his sons and their foregone football scholarships, the question must be asked: let’s say the story is fake.  Does it matter? Watch the video of Baker telling his story again.  He’s awfully convincing in every detail.  How the guy looked.  Where he was from.  Which high school the guy’s kids went to, and what sport they played.  He betrays no doubt whatsoever that these are real people, and that he story he’s telling really happened. But now, under the pressure of reporters not being able to verify what he said, Baker is admitting that he “may have gotten some of the details wrong.”  I’m sorry, but what??  Which of those details, so convincingly delivered, were made up?  Baker has pretty much clammed up on the matter, refusing to answer reporters’ detailed inquiries.  In response, the New Bedford Standard-Times, which endorsed Baker, now sounds like they are regretting it and really want answers.  In an editorial published today, they say this of Baker: His slow response to our […]

Joke Revue: Supreme Court Backs Koch Plan to Fire Cash from Cannon at Voters

Borowitz: Kochs Approve Plan to Fire Cash from Cannon at Voters NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—The billionaire Koch brothers have approved a controversial plan to shoot cash from cannons directly at voters heading into polling places on Election Day. The plan, which Koch insiders have privately referred to as Operation Money Shot, would distribute as much as seventy million dollars in small bills in the hopes of seizing Republican control of the United States Senate next Tuesday. While most state laws prohibit electioneering within a hundred feet of polling places, the Koch plan craftily skirts that restriction by using high-powered cash cannons, similar to the T-shirt cannons used in sports arenas, which have a range of up to a hundred and fifty feet. … [T]he Supreme Court upheld the Koch brothers’ plan by a five-to-four vote on Thursday, arguing that spending money on elections was protected by the First Amendment, and that using a cannon was protected by the Second. Midterms Prediction: Billionaires to Retain Control of Government WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—With just one week to go until the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that billionaires are likely to retain control of the United States government. The poll, conducted […]

Getting Out the Vote – It’s now or never

I was going going door to door earlier this week and met a voter who was definitely planning on voting for the Democratic ticket. I reminded him that election day was coming up on Tuesday and gave him the opening and closing times. He realized that he will be out of town during voting hours. I explained that he could vote absentee at City Hall. He promised me he would vote absentee and thanked me for making sure he had the opportunity to vote. We will win this election with our ground game. The polls show that voters are all over and the situation is very fluid. We can make a difference with our GOTV efforts. We will win this election, one voter at a time. I spoke on Thursday at a rally with Governor Patrick I was channeling my inner Maura Healey and urged everyone to keep on going until the final buzzer. In Maura’s own words: I believe you keep fighting every second till you hear the buzzer. And as strong as you are as an individual player, your team makes you a lot stronger. That’s how you win. We need you as part of the team. I’m […]

Fall River Herald News Lets Polluter Front Group Deny Climate Science

Last week the Fall River Herald News and sister paper the Taunton Gazette published an op-ed column denying manmade carbon pollution causes global warming. I submitted the following letter to the editor in response: Tom Harris and Bob Carter may claim to speak for Canada and Australia (“Kerry and Patrick off base connecting climate and energy,” Oct. 21), but they’re really speaking for two climate science denier front groups funded by big polluters. In fact, both groups have even taken money from the Heartland Institute, the dirtiest of them all. Heartland lost most of its allies two years ago after putting up a truly disgraceful billboard comparing climate scientists to the Unabomber. NASA data shows the last six months have been Earth’s hottest ever recorded. Massachusetts, led by Deval Patrick, John Kerry, Ed Markey, and other courageous elected officials, has shown the way in shuttering dirty coal-fired power plants, investing in clean energy, and saving money by making our homes and businesses more efficient. We need to do much more to cut industrial carbon pollution, like building Cape Wind and other offshore wind farms. But we won’t get there by letting polluters deliberately cloud the debate. The New Bedford Standard-Times […]

Don’t like the way things are going? Vote United Independent

My name is Angus Jennings, I’m a professional planner with a specialty in housing & economic development.  I’ve worked about half my career in Massachusetts town halls, and half my career as a consultant running my own small business.  As a consultant, I have worked on projects in nearly 40 cities and towns across the Commonwealth, many working for the community itself.  I was born in Springfield, grew up in Wilbraham, have lived in Quincy and Marshfield, and now my wife, young daughter and I call Concord home. Until this year, I had been a registered Democrat all my voting life, and was even on the Board of Directors of the Young Dems of Massachusetts (Mass Democratic Future) back in the early 2000’s.  On Nov. 4, I’ll be on the ballot as the United Independent Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor- my running mate is Evan Falchuk.  I’m here to humbly ask for your vote.

Thomas Menino, 1942-2014.

Sad news over the WCVB twitter feed, Boston has lost one of her finest sons and benefactors. Mayor Tom Menino was one of the happiest politicians I ever met, and someone who clearly felt blessed to have the job he did and treasured every minute of it. There are a lot of facts behind a complicated public figure. Three stand out to me. The first is personal, I met the man at the L Street bathouse during the 2004 Democratic Convention where I volunteered to help set up the NY Delegation Party. He came personally, with just one black town car and two plains clothes cops to shake all our hands, chat with us a bit, and chat with all the kitchen staff and janitorial staff setting up the event. He showed up before the delegates to make sure he had that face time with us and let us know we were important ambassadors for the city. The second, is that he is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, major political figure in our state or the country to endorse gay marriage. Marc Solomon, chair of Freedom to Marry, has said on record that there would be no […]

Next Week, Everyone Will Have Seen It Coming

Next Wednesday, the world view of every single political commentator will have been proven right about the 2014 elections. Here’s a timely reminder from Bill James (via Joe Posnanski) that it’s all BS: [BS] has tremendous advantages over knowledge. [BS] can be created as needed, on demand, without limit. Anything that happens, you can make up an explanation for why it happened. “There was a Kansas football game a year ago; some Texas-based football team, much better than Kansas, came to Lawrence and struggled through the first quarter — KU with, like, a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The rest of the game, KU lost, like, 37-0, or something. The announcer had an immediate explanation for it: The Texas team flew in the day before, they spent the night sleeping in a strange hotel; it takes them a while to get their feet on the ground. “It’s pure [BS], of course, but he was paid to say that … if it had happened the other way, and KU had lost the first quarter, 24-0, and then ‘won’ the rest of the game 17-14 (thus losing 38-17) … if that had happened, we both know that the announcer would have had an […]

Go fish! Baker baits the media

Charlie Baker’s tears have launched a fishing expedition for the old man and the sea: the subject of his moving story. So far, nothing, which doesn’t help the Republican (the story is “real to me,” he says, a somewhat egotistical standard). Jonathan Carvalho investigated for New Bedford’s Standard Times (hat tip to Commonwealth Magazine’s excellent The Download free email service): Questions surface about Charlie Baker’s story about a New Bedford fisherman The day after Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker emotionally recounted the story of a New Bedford fisherman in a televised debate, people intimately involved with the city’s fishing industry and high school athletics say they don’t know of a family that fits Baker’s description. … “No one comes to mind that I can think of,” said Jim Kendall, president of New Bedford Seafood Consulting. “I’ve gotten several calls on this, texts and emails, too. … I’ve checked around, and no one seems to be able to put a finger on who it would be.” Kendall said he believes he would have pinned it down because he’s been working in the fishing industry for 51 years. “I’ve been running several fishery groups in the city, that’s all I do,” he […]