February 2015
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Month February 2015

Joke Revue: “Republicans Unlearning Facts Learned in Third Grade to Compete in Primary”

The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive (Continue over the fold for a Vine of Fox at its finest.) Borowitz: Republicans Unlearning Facts Learned in Third Grade to Compete in Primary WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In the hopes of appealing to Republican primary voters, candidates for the 2016 Presidential nomination are working around the clock to unlearn everything that they have learned since the third grade, aides to the candidates have confirmed. With the Iowa caucuses less than a year away, the hopefuls are busy scrubbing their brains of basic facts of math, science, and geography in an attempt to resemble the semi-sentient beings that Republican primary voters prize. An aide to Jeb Bush acknowledged that, for the former Florida governor, “The unlearning curve has been daunting.” “The biggest strike against Jeb is that he graduated from college Phi Beta Kappa,” the aide said. “It’s going to take a lot of work to get his brain back to its factory settings.” At the campaign of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the mood was considerably more upbeat, as aides indicated that Walker’s ironclad façade of ignorance is being polished to a high sheen. “The […]

An icon passes: Leonard Nimoy has died at 83

Spock — Leonard Nimoy — has died at 83. For much of my early life, “Spock” was an icon and a character to emulate. He was the first celebrity that let me feel as though nerdiness and geekiness was cool. I still tend to use “Fascinating” in day-to-day conversations. Thank you, Mr. Nimoy, for all you did for generations of us. You will be missed.

DeLeo strips Hecht of Vice Chairmanship

As clear evidence of the undue amount of power held by the speaker, Speaker DeLeo has removed Representative Jonathan Hecht for the Vice Chairmanship of the Committee on Elder Affairs. This was likely due to the fact that Hecht spoke out against removing the term limits for the Speakership. Representatives should be able to speak their minds without recourse. The speakers actions go against the very ideals of the democratic process, the ideals that every representative has an equal say. I hope the next speaker will be true to the the ideals of the democratic process. (I wish we could get Rep Hecht in there)

House Committee Assignments

Click this link for the Committee Assignments ratified by the Democratic Caucus in the House.  I hope you find this helpful!    

House reorganization?

My Twitter feed contained a reference to the new House leadership positions and committee assignments. This post is from a very learned and reliable politial wizard, but it isn’t floating around the Internets anywhere else (except maybe behind the State House News paywall). Anyone out there with details?

Turn your back

Rep. Jim McGovern is the most recent member of Congress and the first in the Massachusetts delegation to announce that he will not attend the circus that Speaker Boehner and Israeli PM Netnayahu have concocted to bring Netanyahu in front of the Congress to push his opposition to a treaty to keep Iran from joining the world nuclear armed powers. Boehner betrays the long standing recognition that the Executive branch implements our foreign policy within the legal framework established by Congress. He betrays the consensus that the US should not help one party party in elections in our allied nations. Netanyahu betrays democracy in his own nation by bringing his campaign to the US. He betrays the taxpayers of the US, without whose support life in Israel would be more difficult and dangerous. He betrays humanity by trying to torpedo the negotiations at keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran. He makes it clear that he is the the instigator of the bad blood between himself and Obama, failing to consult with the President of the US before appearing before the Congress. During Netanyahu’s speech in front of Congress before his last election, he received the usual polite standing ovations from […]

MassBudget Infographic: Expanding Opportunity & Child Poverty in MA

The number of children living in poverty in Massachusetts would be twice as high as it is if low income families did not receive help from effective anti-poverty programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called food stamps), WIC nutrition programs, and the Child Tax Credit. Together these programs help lift 1 in 7 children in Massachusetts out of poverty. Yet, another 1 in 7 children still live in poverty in Massachusetts. These findings are detailed in a study released today, Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States, by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s national KIDS COUNT project of which MassBudget and the KIDS COUNT Advisory Council is the state affiliate. To provide an overview of what’s working, what’s holding back progress, and how to fix what’s broken, MassBudget created the infographic below. For a more in-depth discussions of these issues, see our reports and resources on expanding economic opportunity, support for kids, jobs and the economy, education, and taxes.  

A warning about privatizing the T

Read this account of the privatization of London, and maybe let’s think again about privatizing the MBTA in Boston. First, as only a Brit could put it about the overall privatization of Britain since 1982: It was a free-market frenzy. Everything we owned was being flogged off by pinstriped bastards reeking of lunch. And this about London’s privatized skyline: The utter capitulation of London’s planning system in the face of serious money is detectable right there in that infantile, random collection of improbable sex toys poking gormlessly into the privatised air. Public access? Yeah, we’ll definitely put a public park at the top (by appointment only). In sum, one hundred years from now, historians: …will wonder why people tolerated this transfer of collective wealth from taxpayers to shareholders.    

Cities Scale: Boston Living with Water

Cities scale is where real climate change adaptation is taking place, now, whether or not we have national or international agreements on greenhouse gases. Cities and regions have to deal with weather emergencies and, it turns out, preparing for weather emergencies and other natural disasters is very much like adapting to climate change. The best of it can be climate mitigation, too. One way cities are climbing the learning curve is by holding design competitions. In Boston, the city, the Harbor Association, the Redevelopment Authority, and the Society of Architects are hosting Boston Living with Water, an international call for design solutions that create a “more resilient, more sustainable, and more beautiful Boston adapted for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.” They will be announcing the finalist on Thursday, February 26 but you can vote on which of the 49 different plans you like until 12 pm (EST) on Wednesday, February 25 at http://www.bostonlivingwithwater.org/submission-gallery The contest is based upon the recent reports by the Harbor Association on sea level rise and the Building Resilience in Boston study by the Green Ribbon Commission. Supporting documentation also includes “Designing with Water: Creative Solutions from Around the Globe” which presents twelve case […]

Roots Education Via John Connolly

Yes, yes, it is idealistic. Yet apparently parental engagement works in public education. There’s plenty of research to back that up (see the Flamboyen Foundation) and now a local is doing pilots here in the Bay State. Likely we all remember John Connolly as the nearly Boston Mayor in the last election. Yet, he did not fall into thinking about what almost was, nor did he retreat into lawyering or running for City Council or some other office. Instead, he connected with Chris Gabrieli for space to start his 1647 pilot program. He and I spoke for half an hour on what they are doing in Salem, how they intend to expand, what the obstacles have been, and what benefits the engagement process produces. For those who like cutting to the chase:   Parents, teachers and students are all wary of home visits but quickly get with the program. Teachers need bribes, a.k.a. incentives such as professional credits or small amounts of cash, to add this to their workloads. This works where the principal/headmaster doesn’t fight it. Trust is the whole game. When parents accept that teachers really want to know how their kids learn, they open up.   Listen in […]