Person #6714: 16 Posts

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  1. Thrilled to see Massie back (0 Replies)

    When Bob addressed the Convention during his Senate run, I was in the front row prepared to take a few pics. I knew him as an immensely thoughful, low-key conversationalist. I was not prepared for the roof-raising speech he delivered. Most inspiring thing I heard all day.

    As has been noted: a terrific life-story, impeccable progressive credentials, genuine business smarts, and an ability to both bring a crowd to its feet and, on the retail level, to make you feel like the most important person around one-on-one. Don’t underestimate him–he’s the complete package, and in an era in which “authenticity” is is key, he shines.

    I was sad to see him drop out when Warren jumped in, though it was obviously the right move. I would have loved to have seen the two of them debate, not to see any fireworks, but to see two really smart people discuss the issues.

  2. Anyone know what happened to the "gas pipeline tax?" amendment (1 Reply)

    Also good to see that the legislature over-rode Baker’s in re cuts to DEP, restoring, if I’m correct, $1.5 mill to that beleaguered department, really hard hit by staff cuts.

    I’m curious as to what happened to the “gas pipeline tax amendment,” which I believe passed unanimously in the Senate but didn’t make its way into the final bill. I’m interested if anyone has any clarification.

  3. Meanwhile, Senate Dems looking at Espionage Act (0 Replies)

    Among others:

    “We ask that you conduct an oversight hearing to determine whether existing federal criminal statutes and federal court jurisdiction sufficiently address conduct related to foreign entities that could undermine our elections,” [Coons and Whitehouse] wrote.

    The beauty of it is that their complaint is addressed to … Ted Cruz. I doubt it will get very far, but there must be some slight temptation on the part of Cruz, still sitting at home sharpening his knives and contemplating the fact that some ninety days remain in which Trump can completely implode and a True Conservative(tm) can assume the position for which fate has prepared him.

  4. Chomsky, Alinsky, & The Misfortunes of Others (0 Replies)

    In re Chomsky’s line, “The suffering which these and other similarly extremist policies and attitudes will impose on marginalized and already oppressed populations has a high probability of being significantly greater than that which will result from a Clinton presidency.”

    La plus ca change: Saul Alinsky was all over this idea in 1971. In Rules for Radicals, he cites La Rouchefoucauld: “We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.” And continues: “Accompanying this rule is a parallel one– that one’s concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one’s distance from the scene of conflict.”

    Alinsky was talking about the equivalent of latter-day Greens and other vote-your-conscience, the lesser-of-two-evils-is-still-evil types, in arguing that those too pure to play within the system generally have less at stake (my own formulation: don’t build your damn revolution on the backs of those least able to shoulder the burden). The opening chapters of Rules are fascinating—Alinsky, that old radical bete-noir of the establishment, actually counsel those who were gassed in Chicago ’68, who has worked for McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy, and who were heartbroken and disgusted to “go home, organize, build power and at the next convention you be the delegates.”

    (This seeming willingness to engage full-bore in “establishment” politics is doubly interesting in light of a NYT summary of Secretary Clinton’s thesis on Alinsky: “But the student leader split with Mr. Alinsky over a central point. He vowed to `rub raw the sores of discontent’ and compel action through agitation. This, she believed, ran counter to the notion of change within the system”).

    A lot of this resonates today. E.g., I worked for and donated and behalf of Bernie. He give me a yearlong lift unlike any politician I can recall (never mind that his candidacy, never mind this entire yearlong political theatre of the absurd, was the worst thing could have happened to a third-year law student). It hurt to see it end, even if I knew very well all along how it would end. But I pivoted on a dime, and frankly, I’ve been embarrassed by a lot of the rhetoric that continues to emanate from the Bernie-or-bust camp. We lost, we lost by nearly 4 million votes, and we lost in no small part not because of DNC shenanigans but because the black vote killed us on Super Tuesday. THAT should have given us all pause—as in, ya know, maybe those already-oppressed-populations know something we don’t? Or have more skin in the game? Nah, better to play the dark conspiracy card.

    Which is precisely what the pied pipers offering “alternatives” are doing. But I’m damned if I know to talk how to talk to them; I’ve largely given up.

    Alinsky’s particularly harsh on those who overvalue their own chastity, for whom an utterly clean conscience is de rigeur: “To say that corrupt means corrupt the end is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles. The real arena is corrupt and bloody. Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when he to go bed; []he who fears corruption fears life…. In action, one does not always the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind. The choice must always be for the latter [as trickle-up says above: “what needs to be challenged is the assumption that voting should be seen a form of individual self-expression rather than as an act to be judged on its likely consequences”] . Action is for mass salvation and not for re individuals’ salvation. [S]he who sacrifices the mass good for her personal conscience has a peculiar conception of `personal salvation’; [s]he doesn’t care enough for the people to be `corrupted’ for them.”

  5. Thrilled to death by Bernie (0 Replies)

    By Sander’s announcement. Actually, I’m really relieved he’s running as a Democrat. That says a LOT about the guy–he’s not running an egomaniacal Nader-Stein guerilla operation, and isn’t going sacrifice the greater good for the pleasure, such as it is, of being a candidate in the General. It also spares me from a year’s worth of endless and painfully tedious conversations about the importance of voting for a Democrat come a year from November.

    I’m not so sure that an old white guy from Vermont makes such a terrible face for the medium-to-hard left. I take the point–that’s always been the Greens problem, in running old, white millionaires from the suburbs posing as proles–but I want to see how he approaches communities of color before rushing to judgment. The Clinton brand still seems to resonate there. Open question.

    What his candidacy will likely do is what front-runners likely dread–putting HCR is a spot similar to mainstream GOP candidates. She IS going to have to make some concessions to the progressive base in the primaries–I don’t think she can afford to utterly shrug off what Bernie–damn, I almost used his unfortunate initials–throws at her–but the comment above that suggests by comparison, He’s going to make appear more “reasonable” in the General is, unfortunately, probably correct. That’s Jeb’s ultimate stength as well.

    Speaking of which: my FB feed has been absolutely lit up with nothing with Bernies for the past 48 hours. I’ve counseled folks against irrational exuberance–the (hard left) cocoon in which I exist tends to get confused sometimes about how representative of the mainstream we are. That said, seeing some real excitement has been genuinely refreshing. From a purely emotional standpoint, I can think of very few match-ups more dispiriting that Clinton-Bush. As in none. (Disclaimer: I come from the anybody-but-HCR camp. Admission: I don’t see anybody else, either).

    Meaning that this may be good for the Party. Treat Bernie with respect (I was pleased to see the dream candidate salute his announcement), take his ideas seriously–he’s NOT Dennis the K, for goddsake–and you may win some very passionate, highly-active folks back into the fold. There will definitely be an uptick in Dem registration in closed-primary states. Maybe there’ll be some staying power.

    I sure hope he’s on the NH ballot, because a hell of a lot of people I know are already planning on heading up there next winter…

  6. Love-Hate Relationship with Hubway (1 Reply)

    I have a love-hate relationship with Hubway, which I’ve been using for two years now. I have very short jaunts–Back Bay or South Station to New England Law, across the street from the Transit Bldg–but due my schedule, both day and night, and my train schedule–which only got back to “normal” the first week in APRIL–the few minutes it shaves off my race to either station can mean the difference between getting home two hours later. Additionally, I love the feeling of flying through the streets in the morning–a nice way to wake back up once I hit the city. When I have a few extra mnutes, I’ll do a detour through the Public Garden or something.

    This year I haven’t had any problem, though I was annoyed that right after they went back online in Boston some of the racks I use were missing due the Marathon, which reminded me all over again why I don’t want the Olympics in town. Last Spring, though, I was ready not to renew. Lots of mornings there were no bikes available when I got in at either Back Bay (pitifully small rack for a ststaio that sees such traffic) or a block away at the BPL. FaR worse was getting to South Station and finsing that massive rack completely full (meaning a race over to Chinatown and the small rack there then a sprint to the station). That started becoming commonplace–as was the presence of faaar too many open slots that were not working for whatever reason.

    The concept is terrific, and the bikes feel good–solid and well-maintained. I find the annual cost reasonable in terms of the tiem it saves me. But adding more bikes–and having more slots than bikes–is going to aboslutely necessary to mainatin loyalty and/or expand.

  7. Sure, that's a legitimate inquiry (1 Reply)

    And to be honest, I find the “fun facts” to be a little offputting–a charmed life, to be sure, but I’m just as impressed by a candidate who says “I’ve spent the past twenty years working the assembly line.” Make that more impressed. Classic overachievment isn’t a turn-on for every voter, and these days, the Scott Brown rags-to-riches story tends, I think, to be more compelling. And that the only nice thing I’m ever going to ever say about Mr Whatever.

    But if you’re going do a convention-eve hatchet job, you ought to do a workmanlike job. Ending with

    Back in Fun Facts, he says he’s the only person ever in Massachusetts history to graduate with five majors. Maybe it’s true, maybe not. But does he have any evidence of that, or does he just go around saying it because he’s the only person he knows who did it?

    is not an example of due diligence–it’s innuendo of the lowest kind. Those records ARE susceptibe to fact checking, and it’s up to the hatchet-man to check them before just flinging stuff like that around.

  8. Maura Healey CLAIMS to have been a starting point guard.. (1 Reply)

    Maura Healey CLAIMS she was a starting point guard, but I haven’t seen anything myself to substantiate that. Yeah, I saw the “photo”–frankly, it doesn’t look ANYTHING like her. Hmmm. Credibility gap there, doncha think? Senator Markey CLAIMS he sold ice cream as a kid, but I don’t recall seeing him doing that–so what else might he fibbing about?

    This terrific stuff, Seamus, and I genuinely appreciate you taking a day off from work to compile this dossier. I had planned to vote for Mike, but the mindblowing scandalous revelation in re TED v Tedx is more than I can swallow. Seamus, help me out here: assuming you’ve devoted equal time to the other candidates–you have, right?–which one passed your smell test? And when will you be posting your equally incisive analyses of all the other candidates’ statements? I’ll be frantically checking BMG right up to the moment I cast my vote.

  9. I've also never failed to pick a Big East team to win the Tournament (0 Replies)

    Governor (first ballot)
    Avellone 3%
    Berwick 22%
    Coakley 29 %
    Grossman 39%
    Kayyem 7%

    Lieutenant Governor–going out on a limb here (first ballot)
    Arena-DeRosa 13%
    Cheung 12%
    Kerrigan 25%
    Lake 52 %

    Attorney General (first ballot)–I’m gutless on this one
    Healey 49%
    Tolman 51%

    Treasurer (first ballot)
    Conroy 45 %
    Finegold 30 %
    Goldberg 25 %

    Second ballot – top two finishers from first ballot (unless a candidate gets 50% on the first round

    Governor (second ballot)
    no second ballot per agreement, as Berwick cuts deeply into Grossman numbers on first ballot.

    Lieutenant Governor (second ballot)
    none, as Lake takes 50%+

    Treasurer (second ballot)
    Candidate 1 Conroy 65 %
    Candidate 2 Finegold 35%

  10. If you can't see Cranston, read Caro (3 Replies)

    Wish I could afford the trip and ticket–heard nothing but good things about it. But for those who can’t, I highly recommend Robert Caro’s 4 (going on 5) volume biography of LBJ. Astounding. One of the better histories of twentieth-century America itself–and of a stupendously flawed, downright WEIRD–and yet brilliant, passionate, and often noble–character.
    P.S. Just started MacCullough’s bio of Truman, which looks to be almost as good, though, at a mere thousand or pages, hardly compares in heft.

  11. (0 Replies)


  12. "I am Ed Markey" (0 Replies)

    Great post, Craig. Contra Lynch’s ad, “I am Ed Markey.” It’s a sign ‘o the times–and a positive one, for a change–when being a climate hawk isn’t a political liability, and you can actually go on the offensive on issues like Keystone.
    I’d point that organizations like Craig’s Better Future Project have played no small part in this development, especially here in MA. I’ve been really impressed with the work he and his team have done over the years.

  13. This is your big chance, BMG (2 Replies)

    Add an Arts & Culture section, start running movie reviews, and underwrite the restaurant reviews I’d be happy to provide….

    I haven’t lived here long enough to have seen The Phoenix in its much-vaunted glory days (I was weaned on the Village Voice), and I know some detractors have claimed it’s been all downhill for decades. I can tell you that it was a godsend for a newcomer to town 13 years ago. I definitely didn’t like the new format, and the merger with the horrorshow that was “Stuff@Night” didn’t bode well. On the other hand, I agree about Bernstein, and am glad, at least, that I’ll remain witness to his daily FB salvoes. I’d add to the list Chris Faraone; I thought at first he was working too hard at being the poor man’s HST, but he’s the real deal (see his lengthy expose on James O’Keefe and this terrific, and funny, article on “The Westborough Eight“); and climate-guy Wen Stephenson as well (check out Wen’s piece on The Globe andthe environment).

    Meaning no disrepect to either of them (I appreciate the coverage The Dig has provided some small events I’ve been part of), but “The city of Boston boasts a world-class daily in The Herald and a nationally recognized alternative paper, The Weekly Dig” doesn’t really do it for me.

  14. It's welcome relief (0 Replies)

    The “tool” headline was over the top. That said, I’ve seen other candidates addressed herein with more venom that EB3 has shown Markey to date.

    You have a gift here. How many other post-ers would generate this kind of heat? This is not your average troll. There’s flashes of real wit and more than a little artistry, especially in those lengthy multi-topic posts. I don’t care who he is–authenticity’s over-rated; or whether everything he spouts is factual; or even that the voice is become a bit of a shtick. I DO know that three of him would be overkill, but when he’s on, I’ll admit that I find his stuff entertaining as hell. Yeah, my tastes are running a little lowbrow these days. But I need a break from my own bleak earnestness.

  15. I'm not sweating this (0 Replies)

    There’s a logic to the Scott/CU comparison. But from a rhetorical standpoint, it’s simply never a good idea to compare anything to slavery, Nazis, or the Holocaust. There’s an element of obscenity, of sheer horror to those things that simply put them in another class entirely in most people’s eyes. Their reaction to slavery is visceral, to CU, more or less intellectual. Tarantino does slavery; Moyers, CU. CU is controversial–many folks applaud it, whereas no one that I can recall defends DS.

    That should be the real distinction from any candidate’s perspective. They’re third rails, and not without reason.

    As for knocking on doors and making the comparison–it’s pretty doubtful I’ll knock on any doors and mention Citizens United. I’m pretty certain it’s not a leading issue here in my town. Though I’ve tried to make it one. I’m glad the Congressman is talking it up on the stump–it’s a great excite-the-base issue–but I’m not even sure what percentage of the population has any idea what Dred Scott was all about, much less CU.

    This will blow over. If anything, the statement placed CU on a level it may not merit (sheer unmitigated cap-E Evil), rather than in any wise trivializing DS. A candidate who lets fly with an unfortunate analogy but who has a strong record on civil rights is in better standing than one who decries the analogy but lacks the record. As the Globe reported on 2/21, “None of the pastors interviewed thought the comments would damage Markey significantly in the black community, however. They said black clergy are looking for candidates who can show a long-term commitment on significant issues, includ­ing incarceration rates for people of color, urban violence, and education.” THAT’s the candidate’s response if this comes up in interviews or debates–rather than explaining away the analogy, use it to your own advantage, as an entree to cataloging all that he has done on behalf of communities of color. Make the opponent sorry he asked.

  16. I'm not buying the romance, Dan (1 Reply)

    Here’s a photo of my great grampa, on the right. The text underneath notes that as of that date, he’d been working in the coal mines (in and around Carbondale, PA, outside Scranton) for sixty-five years

    The copy includes these gems:

    These records show that age does not mean idleness but some new form of activity, and many who have experience, but no longer exuberant vigor, find opportunity and even distinction in minor bossing jobs inside or outside the mines, for the industry has no dead-end jobs nor jobs that end with a sudden jolt from relative comfort to a penurious jobless old age…. The active life is rough, it is true, but moving air in the mines is conducive to good health and vigor; so men of years are not few. The companies take pride in finding places suited to their declining years…

    Only a writer sitting in a comfy downtown office could write propagandistic drivel like that.
    Only someone who hasn’t worked in the mines would play the noble, [much-put-upon-but-nonetheless-proud]-savage card. You remind me of all those damn car and beer commercials I have to sit through during football season, all of which equate Real American-ism with brawny white guys doing something or other, as often as not involving cattle, in their mud-spattered pick-ups, or else celebrating the end of an honest day’s work sucking down some godawful excuse for beer in a honkey-tonk tended by bevies of suspiciously lovely and friendly barmaids.
    I think maybe you watch too much TV.

    My great-grandfather–who raised my dad–was apparently a pretty impressive guy. When he was done with his shift, he’d walk home and tend to what apparently a very serious garden. My dad recalls walking the streets with him with a barrow loaded with produce. He’d go to certain houses to give it away. I’m pretty sure, Dan, you can guess why.

    As for that moving air, my grandmother wound up collecting black lung payments for many years.

    My dad took a long, hard look at his prospects and decided that freezing his butt off on the East German border was preferable. And afterwards settling in New Jersey. I don’t think he ever had any regrets. Even about Jersey.

    What bothers me most about this post of yours, Dan, is your reducing a huge swath of America to a stereotype, Not necessarily a negative one, but completely reductive nonetheless. It doesn’t pay to glamorize either people or jobs.

    And you are just as reductive when it comes to Markey supporters with your malarkey about “throwing workers to the wolves.” For goddsake, re-read that paragraph I quoted above–these guys were wholly at the mercy of wolves (and a press that seemed to exist to justify the status quo)! And so are your miners today. But you are wrong to perpetuate myths about those of us who take the science seriously. I’ve insisted, over and again, to my activist friends that for every “no,” we need a “yes,” and that they need a viable plan in place to ensure the viability of a great many communities that are dependent on mining.

    In the meantime, here’s a nice slideshow which provides some clues as to exactly what you’re supporting in your pimping coal. It ain’t the workers.

  17. We just had TWO campaigns in which it was ignored; glad Markey isn't (0 Replies)

    Presidential and ’12 Senate.

    Not this time. I was intrigued to read, on the recent PPP survey summary, that

    “Markey’s support from environmental groups is likely to be a major asset for him… 81% of voters say they are more likely to vote for candidate with environmental backing [47% "strongly"] …

    (see more on crosstab 5).

    Congressman Markey talked it up this morning in Brockton (photos here): “there are no emergency rooms for planets.” He stuck with the parochial green-jobs-for-the innovation-economy-in MA line (stop allowing Kentucky coal and Oklahoma oil to call the shots). Wish he’d mentioned Keystone; based on those numbers, recent reports suggesting that the pipeline isn’t exactly a source of thousands of long-term jobs, and his and Congressman Lynch’s very different positions on the same, I think it’s a winner in MA.

    Albeit not nationally. The administration is going to catch holy hell no matter what its decision on Keystone.

    As for gas, I’m comfortable enough–for now–with “all of the above,” which Markey has been pitching. It’s only the fringe that doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of what somervilletom refers to as “transition source.”

    (As for pipes and martinis, I’m still mourning the loss of Mr PotatoHead’s pipe. I was almost suprised to see that the Stoughton Journal ran my photo of my snowman enjoying his corncob this week.)

    P.S.: Those of us who struggle with keyboards thank you for getting the Preview button working.

  18. They did succeed in getting noticed elsewhere (0 Replies)

    I do believe they got some good press. I was in Pittsburgh over the weekend and this morning the Tribune ran the story on page 2 (meanwhile, the Post-Gazette ran a story on Sunday about how the Marcellus shale was being underdeveloped–nat gas has become so cheap they lack the wherwithal to drill). Front page on LeMonde (ok, for what it”s worth) and maybe the WaPo as well? The NYT ran an editorial, and Obama’s FB page had a non-committal and somewhat oblique, albeit warm, response.

    Also of interest: in support of somervilletom’s point about storms turning into superstorms, USA Today actually talked some sense today about what “climate change” means–less snow, more blizzards.

    No idea why teh Globe is smitte dwith fracking, but as for cverage, not bad, all in all. I was jolted by how many folks showed up in Portland a few weeks ago=my clips here and here (@ 1:55) give you some idea–and this had 20x that. In fact, one activist frind of mine noted that she’d been to countless climate demos, and they were all less than 1/20 of this one. The key indicator isn’t necessarily size or press, but the explosive growth.

  19. She's winning me over, and quickly (2 Replies)

    I had my reservations about Senator Warren’s candidacy; felt she was too-much a one-issue candidate (… says the guy who’s smitten with Markey over climate alone…) and rather weak on the others.

    But she’s clearly willing to lead on this, and to witness her being this aggressive less than two months in is making those reservations disappear fast.

    From Huffpost:

    That set off angry responses to Politico’s Morning Money. “While Senator Warren had every right to ask pointed questions at today’s Senate Banking Committee hearing, her claim that ‘nobody believes’ that bank books are honest is just plain wrong,” emailed a “top executive” to the financial newsletter. ” Perhaps someone ought to remind the Senator that the campaign is over and she should act accordingly if she wants to be taken seriously.”

    Huh. Quite the opposite, sir–I just starting taking her a whole lot more seriously. And you can bet that a whole lotta people a whole lot more important than I am did too–and they’re a lot less happy about it than I am. I’m ready to say that we could have a hell of a team in place in the Senate pretty soon (meaning no disrespect to Sen Cowan).

  20. Seconding Tom on MA Episcopal Diocese (0 Replies)

    I won’t get into the details of this Irish-Catholic’s rather angsty divorce from the church to which his own family has supplied so many priests, nuns, and monsignors, except to say that I still find it odd that after many years in the wilderness, I’m now Senior Warden at my (Anglo-Catholic) Episcopal parish. That had everything to do with what I saw coming from the EC generally and, especially, from Tom Shaw and the leadership here in the Diocese of MA. I’m getting the best of both worlds–a liturgy that takes me right back to my youth, and at the same time a very American, very democratic, very 21st church (“all power to the vestries”).

    To my mind, the recent announcement of Bishop Shaw’s resignation is of far greater moment than that of Benedict. This clip I shot of Tom homilizing at a recent “Move Your Money Event” might help explain it:

    (Other parts of the events captured here; photostream here).

    Bishop Shaw also showed up at one of the most moving religious rites I attended–a service at Dewey Square October 2011.

    Oh, and here’s a shot of my suffragen Bishop, Gayle Harris, at a recent visit to my parish. Why the Catholic Church would deny a woman of this caliber this opportunity I do not understand.