Opera singer, blogger, lawyer. You can reach me by email at david [at] bluemassgroup [dot] com.

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  1. An excellent example (1 Reply)

    of how tinkering around the edges can make a tangible difference in the lives of people who could use some help.

  2. "he has also been called an able Legislator by the likes of John McCain and Richard Burr" (1 Reply)

    I’d like to know what his actual record of accomplishment is in the Senate. I don’t have a clear idea of that. Anyone?

  3. Yes, but not in private. (2 Replies)

    I actually agree that old-fashioned execution methods such as the firing squad and the guillotine are preferable to the gruesome nightmare that lethal injection has become. But I think it should be public. If we’re going to do it, we should require that society see it.

  4. I don't like the death penalty, (3 Replies)

    and I’d like to see it abolished nationwide. But I don’t see this issue as disqualifying. (1) The federal death penalty, which is where the president would have actual authority, is imposed very rarely. The real action is in the states, and I can’t see a President Clinton’s position (or President Sanders, for that matter) having much impact on whether Greg Abbott in Texas wants to execute someone. (2) The notion, floated above, of the federal government withholding federal crime-related funding from states who impose the death penalty strikes me as far-fetched and counterproductive. (3) On the other hand, I do like the idea of the FDA becoming more involved in regulating drugs used for executions. Nothing Clinton has said is inconsistent with that – indeed, taking a “hard look” at the death penalty would surely include just that, given the attention the issue has received recently. (4) I am not aware of any evidence that “the country is turning against the death penalty fast.” The polling seems to indicate the contrary. While support has indeed declined somewhat over the years, it still polls well over 50% for at least some crimes, AFAIK. If I’m wrong about that, I’d be pleased to be corrected.

  5. I only half agree with this. (1 Reply)

    Certainly, Deval was a stronger candidate in 2010 than Martha Coakley was in 2014. But (a) Baker ran a far, far better campaign in 2014 than he did in 2010, and (b) there is no doubt in my mind that Bob’s thesis regarding the legislature is correct and helped Baker quite a bit.

  6. It's an unfortunate trend (0 Replies)

    that institutions often hire lawyers to conduct investigations, even if lawyers have little business investigating the subject at hand, because then the results are (in theory at least) protected by attorney-client privilege and are virtually untouchable unless the institution chooses to release them.

  7. Yeah, (0 Replies)

    I think CMD is right. If the GOP had been resolutely anti-casino, it wouldn’t have made any difference. Once DiMasi was gone, there was nobody with any power in the state who didn’t want casinos, and it became inevitable. And that’s really too bad.

  8. Also, (1 Reply)

    of course I’m being cynical. If there’s any body that, as a group, merits a healthy dose of cynicism, it’s the House Republicans.

  9. OK. (1 Reply)

    Just remember that part of being a successful politician is being a pretty good actor.

  10. Plainville and its racetrack are in Brown's old district, (0 Replies)

    and Gary Piontkowski was a Brown buddy. Brown lobbied for a racino at the Plainville track for years. But Piontkowski finally got dinged by the Commission after his past dealings became too much even for them.

  11. "Relents"? "Dragged"? LOL (1 Reply)

    Don’t believe Ryan’s ridiculous charade. Of course he wants to be Speaker. He wanted to be VP, remember? He is just playing hard to get so that he can force the hard liners to disarm. So far it’s unclear if it’ll work.

  12. This is likely (0 Replies)

    a symptom of the utter dysfunction on the GOP side. Probably wouldn’t have happened if a strong Speaker were in place.

  13. No apology coming from me. (2 Replies)

    It was perfectly obvious to me that jconway had no intention of saying that every American is a Catholic of some variety (cafeteria or otherwise) – any such statement would be patently ridiculous on its face. It’s a simple misstatement, which he promptly acknowledged. Case closed, AFAIC.

  14. Here's a good test of that. (3 Replies)

    Hillary Clinton’s record on gun issues, while not perfect, is far, far better than that of Bernie Sanders, whose record is weak even for a mainstream Democrat, to say nothing of a supposed standard-bearer for the left. So, are any Bernie enthusiasts out there thinking about switching because of this issue?

  15. "who’s going to remember Kim Davis or her visit with the Pope a year from now?" (3 Replies)

    A lot of people, unfortunately. That one 15-minute visit harmed his standing dramatically with a lot of people who, while not normally big fans of Popes, had just starting coming around to liking the guy.

    He may well have been set up. But the fact is, if you want to play in the big leagues, you have to be able to hit a big league fastball. He whiffed on that one big time, and it cost him.

  16. Yeah, I saw Martin's response. (2 Replies)

    It’s too easy, and it doesn’t work. Mark Wahlberg is famous for a lot of things. Kim Davis is famous for exactly one thing, and so, to quote the Globe’s John Allen, “there’s no way to view the encounter other than as a broad gesture of support by the pope for conscientious objection from gay marriage laws.”

  17. It's unfortunate (2 Replies)

    that he apparently met with Kim Davis while he was in the US. That was a mistake.

  18. Krugman, a couple of weeks earlier, (1 Reply)

    was proclaiming that “Trump happens to be right” on economic issues. I imagine he’s as disappointed in Trump’s tax plan as I am.

  19. I hate bumping Hamilton. (1 Reply)

    Apparently it has to do with which denomination is due for an anti-counterfeiting makeover – the $20 has already had it, I guess. Still, it sucks.

  20. And the funny thing is (1 Reply)

    that I actually do find the notion of a candidate for president suggesting a non-American on our currency to be a bit offensive. Certainly moreso than the manufactured garbage that cable news likes to peddle.