January 2015
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Month January 2015

There is no better lie than the half truth.

Half Truth “a statement that conveys only part of the truth, especially one used deliberately in order to deceive someone.” There are quite a few half truths out there that anger me.  Here’s one that’s in the news lately.  We hear that wages are low and the wealth gap is widening because we’ve lost the manufacturing jobs that once supported the middle class.  That’s half true.  While we lost a lot of manufacturing jobs, what we really lost were jobs that were protected by labor unions. We lost union jobs.  When was the last time you heard anyone in the news or anyone running for office say out loud that we need to bring back labor unions to help support America’s working families?  I can’t recall hearing it at all with one exception.  Don Berwick mentioned bringing back union jobs in his convention speech.  That was it. We hear that we need to increase the skill level of America’s workers and that will be the panacea for all that ails our work force.  Nonsense.  Skilled workers can be exploited just as easily as unskilled workers if they can’t bargain collectively .  All one needs to do is visit China where […]

Romney and the White Horse Prophesy

So Romney has quit the race.  He has seemingly given up one of the highest aspirations of Mormonism.  It has not been central doctrine, but it gets a wink of the eye endorsement to those anointed as their premier politicians. Romney’s first political meeting when he entered the race the first time was with Church Elders. However his third trip was waylaid by Gov Jeb Bush’s entry into the circle. They met in Utah in the last week.  What was discussed?  I’m sure the major topics were not the weather or football. My guess?  They were playing the game of who had the most cash from donors to run a primary campaign.  Romney lost. Last night Jeb Bush met with Gov Chris Christie, and I’m sure again they were not throwing bean bags.  If the Florida Gov  again showed a strong financial hand, then this theory would mean Christie drops out in the Spring, the start of real campaigning. We’re dealing with big egos here so there has to be some kind of compensation for these two Republican heavyweights to forego Presidential ambitions.  This would most likely come in the form of a cabinet post.  Take your pick:  VP, AG, […]

Gov. Baker refuses request for LG Murray’s phone records.

I’ve always thought this was much ado about not very much, but the Herald was denied access to the records surrounding Murray’s car accident. The article wasn’t clear, but was Murray using a phone owned and provided by the state? Otherwise, I assume there would be no question that the records are not public.

That was quick!

As expected, the etch-a-sketch has folded. Not unexpected, but still mourn the possibilities. When was the last time there was no Bay State hat in this ring? Glad the Hon. Eds. deployed the blimp one last time while they still could.

Couldn’t resist

Popular support for a Boston Olympics is already dead // Crackdown on city workers’ free speech is not boilerplate

It was pretty easy to guess that the meager support a Boston Olympics was receiving in early polls would quickly dissipate as the details spilled out. But who would have guessed it would happen this fast? The latest, a statewide poll released Wednesday by the Emerson College Polling Society,asked the question, “Do you want Boston to be the host city for the 2024 Summer Olympics?” Respondents said “no” by a 48-42 margin. The closer to Boston, the lower the support: in Suffolk County, where Boston is the county seat, the poll showed 59 percent opposed and just 36 percent for. Given the lack of people paying attention, support will continue to crumble as more people find out just what is at stake here. — One other note from the article: No one in Boston or Colorado Springs either a) vetted the language or b) realized the impact of language in the “joinder” agreement between the city and USOC that not only prevented city employees from criticizing the bid but also asked they promote it.  That effectively denied free speech to a group that would include police, fire, teachers, sanitation and more…. Walsh had called the offending clause, “boilerplate,” but there is no […]

Winners, Losers, and Loozahs in Demolition of Speaker Term Limits

WINNERS: Bob DeLeo  (Duh) His staff (Duh again) Winthrop (OMG, how many times can I say “duh”? Duh.) Suffolk Downs  (At Least four times. Duh.) Future speakers (Five, five Duhs. Duh) The House as an Institution: By definition term limits causes turmoil inside the House and weakens it on the oustide. A lame duck speaker gives a governor and senate a huge advantage in getting things done as House members  obsess about his replacement and are they “in” with the right people. Totally sucks the air out of the place. LOSERS: Ron Mariano: The majority leader/kingmaker is not happy.  Jesus effin cripes. He’s spent the past six years making sure his hand chosen minion will be the next speaker, in this case Brian Dempsey. Do you know how many goddamn dinners he’s had to endure with schlomo reps from East Puttsville and other god forsaken places  in order to get the one and only thing they have that’s worth anything? Other than the name they spit out when called for their speaker vote they’re worthless. WORTHLESS I TELL YOU! So now he has to keep them all in line for much longer than anticipated. First off, them being made to […]

“Why can’t you be a f***ing gentleman?”: A bad day for the House

First, when you’ve got left (BMG), right (the Herald), and center (well, maybe center-left) (the Globe) agreeing on an issue, there’s probably a decent chance that they’ve got a point.  In fact, just about the only people in Massachusetts who seem to think that repealing term limits for the Speaker is a good idea are the Speaker himself and just over 100 other House members, who just rejected an amendment that would have put the term limit back into the House rules. [UPDATE: the entire rules package has just been adopted, and the Speaker's term limits are no more.] Early reports indicate that only 11 Democrats had the gumption to vote in favor of the amendment (Reps. Hecht, Ayers, Provost, Dwyer, Timilty, Rosa, Zlotnik, DiZoglio, Dinatale, Dykema, and John Rogers, per the Herald’s Matt Stout), and that of them, only Rep. Hecht spoke on the floor in favor of its adoption.  Kudos to those brave 11 souls (especially Jon Hecht), who no doubt will feel the wrath of DeLeo brought down upon them in the form of crappy offices and committee assignments. Second, to add insult to injury, a number of the House’s court officers and legislators apparently aren’t familiar enough […]

Properly Pricing Carbon

The Williamstown Democratic Town Committee has endorsed a bill (SD285) filed in the Massachusetts State Senate by Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) that would impose a revenue-neutral carbon fee that is reimbursed to households and businesses.  We did so because we agree that it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our state’s dependence on fossil fuels while spurring economic growth.  We like the feature of the bill that returns tax revenue to households and businesses in a way that protects low- and moderate-income households and business competitiveness. By coincidence, in its January 17th issue The Economist also came out in favor of carbon taxes, which the magazine’s editors called “a much better way to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases than subsidies for windmills and nuclear plants” (p. 9).  Their broader point was that governments should use the opportunity given us by lower energy prices to price carbon-based fuels at their real cost – that is, including their damage to the environment.  Their arguments are persuasive.  The time to act is now. We urge all Democrats in both Houses of the Massachusetts Legislature to support and cosponsor SD285, An Act Combating Climate Change. Jim Mahon Chair, Williamstown Democratic Town Committee

Hacks in a huddle

The Joke Revue came early this week, and in the Herald of all places: Matt Stout reports in “Critics press lawmakers to oppose Robert DeLeo:” DiMasi became the third speaker in a row to be convicted of a federal crime, and 
DeLeo, while never charged, was labeled by federal prosecutors last summer as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Probation Department corruption trial — a fact he admitted “taints” 
his legacy. … “This is not about Bob DeLeo. It’s about the House as an institution,” said state Rep. Garrett Bradley. Another member of DeLeo’s inner circle, state Rep. Paul Donato, said, “I don’t believe the speaker’s position is, ‘I want to be speaker and I don’t want to let go of it.’ ” And while DeLeo “changed his mind” on the term limits, Donato expects the majority of the House to support him. So hilarious. What this power grab by DeLeo and his coterie of cronies demonstrates is the incompatibility of one party rule and democracy: apparently, the US Attorney is the only one who can generate turnover in the Speakers Office. (As a side note, a shout out to yesterday’s Comment of the Day from TheBestDefense on HesterPrynne’s post: “Here is […]