December 2014
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Month December 2014

My 1,000th Post. I Win The Bet and Don’t Need This Anymore. Must See Goodbye Video

yes it’s true. This whole EB3 thing was based on a bet with a guy I know from Worcester. His challenge to me one night over Cuddy Sarks and beers at The Wonder Bar on Shrewsbury Street was 1. join a blog  and make everyone hate me . (“I can do that”, I said)  2. Post 1,000 entries before January 1, 2015. (What? That’s work and how do I keep from getting banned before I reach a thousand?) 3. Use bad grammer and spelling and don’t be afraid to mix up homonyms. (Now you’re talking.) So I won. And now I have three free pairs of pants every year for life at Maurice the Pants Man in Kelly Square. Who’s the fool now? Huh? Yeah, that’s right. Not me. So folks I leave you with a must see video. A gift of love from me to you. (thanks to Dave Portnoy) and don’t forget to follow me on twitter.  

Comment of the day: there’s more to the ATM/casino issue than meets the eye

First of all, congratulations to the good people at Stop Predatory Gambling, who have successfully raised such a ruckus regarding the ATMs in casinos issue that people are actually paying attention, even though it’s holiday time and the legislature is only holding informal sessions. Secondly, here is a terrific comment from mimolette which succinctly explains why there is more to the ATM issue than simply leveling the playing field between state- and federally-chartered banks (as those pushing the amendment would have it). That [that this is a "dumb" fight] was my rep’s thinking when we started looking at this. But that was before I’d taken a look at that GCA [Global Cash Access, a non-bank company specializing in ATMs sited in casinos] website, and realized just how predatory their services are. I may be wrong about the mechanics of how ATMs are sited work, but I’m assuming that whoever controls the premises gets to determine whose ATMs can be placed there. I’m further assuming, based on the marketing, that it costs something to bring in the GCA terminals, so that an ordinary restaurant or drugstore isn’t likely to have them. Which in turn would mean that if you have to […]

Boston Cops Ain’t So Bad – Time To End The Phony Accent Epidemic

Boston cops are far from the worst. For the most part they’re actually pretty cool. Remember Occupy Boston? When every other police force in the country was pepper spraying and provoking protesters into arrest our guys were thanking them for the overtime they were getting. They even had a working relationship with the anarchists. Think about that. Most older Boston cops have similar backgrounds. They were working for a friend under the table in some business and took the police and fire exams plus they had an in at the Gas Company who was pushing the application they submitted. The police called first. What we don’t want are cops who grew up wanting to be cops (except if father a cop) and couldn’t wait til strut their stuff. — I blame Jorge Quiroga. Oh sure it was cute, and proper I suppose. He rolled the tongue at “roga” every time. Good for him. But then the Italians and fake hipsters took it and went wild. Listen, when Vinnie says, “Hey, you know what’s good? My Nana’s (insert random Italian dish here with over the top bad Italian accent) God I hate that. I think we all should be allowed to […]

Marty Walsh: “I have no real understanding of what we should do or can’t do”

An excellent piece by Todd Wallack in the Globe today details efforts by the Boston Police to hide the names of drunk driving officers. What is most interesting is that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, likely with an eye to his southern neighbor Bill de Blasio’s current problems with some members of his police department, appears to have sided with the BPD’s evidently improper effort to avoid its obligations under public records laws on a matter of public safety: Two specialists in the state’s public records law say that the Boston Police Department is violating the statute by refusing to release the names of five officers who were caught driving drunk. But Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he has no plans to order police to release the information. Department officials declined to release the names in response to requests from the Globe as part of a review of off-duty drunken driving involving law enforcement officers. Using public records and interviews, the Globe counted at least 30 officers in Massachusetts since 2012 who have been caught driving drunk, including five from Boston. In several cases, police departments attempted to withhold records even when the officers had been in serious crashes. The Globe […]

Quality of Elected Offcials Getting Worse and Worse. Why Would Anyone Want The Job?

Take a look at the state legislature. I dare say that the over-all quality of those running for and getting elected to the house and senate has seriously diminished in the past 20 years. Actually 30 but since the internet took hold it’s gotten much worse. The gotch-ya atmosphere dominating the media since Watergate has morphed into most “journalists” trying to catch a politician literally and figuratively picking his nose in public. This of course is what gives media entrepreneurs like John Henry, Rupert Murdoch, Pat Purcell, and Dave Portnoy a return on their investments. So when state reps and state senators are hauled in front of federal grand juries for writing letters of recommendations for jobs and then named as unindicted co-conspirators for writing said letters while the Globe and local media pundits applaud and use it to feather their own caps is there any wonder why we are getting more and more losers, transplanted wealthy wasps who believe their shit don’t stink, youngsters fresh out of college, and more losers running for these jobs. Get all that? And of course the local media big shots strutting around this small pond like to tell us how corrupt we are. […]

Update on the “ATMs in Casinos” amendment from the State House

After being alerted by the Stop Predatory Gambling organization yesterday about an amendment added to H.4110, the Bank Modernization Act ( https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H4110 ) on December 24th, a few legislators including myself attended informal session, to get a clearer idea of what exactly was intended by the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees, regarding ATMs and casinos in Massachusetts. As of Monday night at 6 pm, both the House and Senate have recessed, with neither branch taking action on H.4110, as amended. The bill remains in the House, with the next informal session being on Wednesday. I want to thank Stop Predatory Gambling and its members for raising concerns about the substance and intent of this language, and contacting their legislators about it. Many legislators, and our staffs, at the State House today spent a considerable amount trying to better understand the language of the amendment, and whether it made sense to allow the bill in its present form (amended) to pass the House or Senate, or consider taking another action. Matt Murphy of the State House News Service (SHNS) has done an excellent job summarizing today’s deliberations, so please take a look at the SHNS story below that was […]

Baker tone-deafness on homelessness

Charlie Baker has once again demonstrated his lack of understanding of people who make less than $1 million a year. In an op-ed published on Masslive.com, Baker addresses homelessness. Although he correctly identifies the problem – we have too much of it – his very first response is both telling and ludicrous. Baker said: “We can use our resources more efficiently and effectively to provide support and intervention, increasing assistance to allow family members to take in their relatives until they can get back on their feet.“

MA Legislature attempts to secretly hand ATMs to casinos in end-of-year lobbying push

On Christmas Eve morning, when virtually no media, citizens or other state legislators were paying attention to legislative business, the Massachusetts Senate approved an amendment during informal session that would allow ATMs inside casinos. This stunning action occurred even though the intent of informal session is to move non-controversial legislation. Casino ATMs are one of the most predatory and financially damaging business practices used by casinos and they were expressly prohibited when the casino law was signed by Governor Deval Patrick. The ban on ATMs was a core part of the political narrative that Patrick and other casino sponsors sold the public: “We’re going to do casinos right, better than everyone else.” Why are casino ATMs an issue that you should care about and act on? A leading indicator of someone who is being harmed and financially damaged by casinos is if he or she chases their losses. ATMs are the primary vehicle used by casinos to lure citizens to chase. Their business model hinges on it. Over the last decade there are 11 different independent studies – studies not funded by gambling interests – that show 40%-60% of slot machine profits are taken from citizens who can’t stop chasing […]

Wonk Post: Early Polling for Democratic 2016 Presidential Candidates

  CNN released a poll today.  The headline refers to a Jeb Bush surge.  That said, I was more interested in the cross-tabs for Democratic candidates by race and gender. An asterix refers to “under one percent support”.   Total Men Women White Non-White Joe Biden 8% 11% 5% 6% 9% Hillary Clinton 66% 55% 75% 62% 71% Andrew Cuomo 1% 2% 1% 2% 1% Martin O’Malley 1% 1%  *  * 1% Deval Patrick  * * 1% * 1% Bernie Sanders 3% 5% 2% 5% 2% Elizabeth Warren 9% 9% 9% 11% 6% Jim Webb 1% 2% 1% 2% 1% Someone else 6% 7% 5% 8% 3% None/no one 2% 3% 1% 1% 3% No opinion 2% 4% 1% 2% 2% Sampling Error +/-4.5  +/-6.5 +/-6.0  +/-5.5  +/-8.0 Full cross-tabs are here.

Am I off the track?

I have read and reread the timeline of the murders of two police officers in Brooklyn by Mr. Brinsley. At 5:48am of the day of the murder the Baltimore police know about the shooting of his girlfriend, know he has her cell phone, and start pinging his movements.  From the pinging they track him as he gets on the bus to NYC at 6:35am, and still get a signal as the bus arrives in NYC over 4 hours later. The cell phone locates him on a subway to Brooklyn.  At noon he discards the phone some 6 hours from his original crime. In the meantime the Baltimore police call the NYC police some 7 hours later.  A description of the suspect arrives by fax at a Brooklyn precinct 3 minutes after the policemen are killed. They are informed too late of the dangerous profile of the killer. Many questions come to mind along with what are the real lessons to be learned.  Was this incident racist in any manner?  Do the police departments involved bear some responsibility?  Is turning your back while in uniform insubordination and cause for discipline?  Just what do these police officers perceive as “anti police”? Should […]