Person #2547: 86 Posts

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  1. Maybe because that's not how it happenned (2 Replies)

    Christopher, Juneteenth, post-Charleston, is not the best time for any sanctimonious nonsense from you, particularly when it’s not supported by the facts.

    When I was growing up, and to some extent I still see this as a substitute teacher, there would be lessons on the Civil Rights Movement in January to coincide with MLK Day. With details appropriate for grade level we were taught that this man rose to leadership with the bus boycott triggered by Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat. From there he led marches, gave speeches (I Have a Dream in particular) and lobbied leaders. Ultimately, he was assassinated by someone who intensely disagreed with him.

    First point Rosa Parks did not spontaneously decide to give up her seat; she was recruited for the task by the Montgomery Women’s Political Council. Parks was an even greater hero than per conventional wisdom, because she knew the risks and acted anyway.

    Second point: Martin Luther King was not the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott; E’.D. Nixon, the head of the local NAACP chapter organized and led the action in collaboration with the W.P.C. King originally tried to avoid association with the boycott, but was pressured into the role of spokesman.

    The March on Washington was in fact a sophisticated protest against the racism of the Kennedy Administration, and resulted from a 1962 meeting between Robert Kennedy and various black leaders at James Baldwin’s apartment; the consensus of which was that the President and Attorney General were irredeemable racists. The operating premises of the March were twofold: that Kennedy’s election in 1960 was due to last-minute switches among black voters, and that an alliance existed between the civil rights movement and the liberal wing of the labor movement, in particular, the United Auto Workers.

    In order to be politically effective, the pressure had to be both tangible and subtle; hence the aspirational rhetoric on the Mall, backed up by 300,000 marchers.

    In fairness, King grew into the role of leadership, and Robert Kennedy evolved to anti-racism, but the sentimental bullshit you were taught cannot be furtherest from the historical facts.

  2. Not quite (0 Replies)

    I go to Burlington pretty often, and all my hippie friends have guns.

    Some of them carry.

  3. One of the reasons that I cited Sen.Hedlund (0 Replies)

    …is that I remember 1990, when Bill Weld and Joe Malone were elected, along with sufficient Republicans in both Houses (including Bob Hedlund) to sustain a veto. Unfortunately for the Republican Party, they immediately threw away their political infrastructure.

    However much I may differ with Sen. Hedlund on policy, I respect him both as a person and as a politician. Apropos the latter, I cite the fact that, after his defeat in 1992, he came back in 94 (beating a Delahunt in Norfolk County). You simply don’t have that many folk on your side of the aisle with those kind of political skills.

    Re: your second sentence. An override would fail, and, analyzed District by District, there are no electoral downsides for any Democratic vote, pro or con.

  4. Cue: The political choreography (1 Reply)

    Porc, you’re arguing in advance of the political facts. The money bill fight – including the litigation thereof – is purely an intra-Legislative pissing contest between the leadership of the two Houses, with (I believe) little real effect on tax policy for FY ’16, for the following reasons:

    First, it’s unlikely that any tax increase will get past conference.

    Second, even if a mandated income tax reduction is deferred (which will trigger a veto), an override won’t get 2/3 of the House voting to sustain. The override won’t be “messy” because most rank and file Democratic House members are in accord with the Speaker on the matter of taxes (as are – privately – many Democratic Senators).

    Third, given either of the above, there won’t be any major increase in the Legislative GOP caucus, because (exclusive of a few people like Bob Hedlund) the Massachusetts Republican Party couldn’t organize a bottle party in a brewery.

  5. Consider the structural disconnect (0 Replies)

    …between campaigns and the electorate.

    In the absence of tangible – and embedded-on-the-ground and ongoing contact between voters and political operations (I include those operating on behalf of candidates), a small percentage of “never heard ofs” is a statistical certainty.

    More often than not, a majority of these respondents are honestly unaware of the given person’s existence.

  6. Well, an investigation is in effect (0 Replies)

    …without the quotation marks.

    The House Post Audit and Oversight Committee is already gathering information:

    Close aides to former Gov. Deval Patrick could be forced to testify in a growing legislative investigation into Herald disclosures that his administration stockpiled millions of dollars in secret funds to pay for his trade missions, tourism grants and other spending.

    “As is my practice in all investigations, we will always go where the evidence takes us,” Rep. David Linsky, chairman of the House Post Audit Committee, told the Herald in an interview.

    Linsky confirmed for the first time his panel is already gathering documents and preparing to interview former state officials in the wake of a Herald investigation revealing off-the-books trusts funded by $37 million in contributions from quasi-public agencies, including Massport, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.

    Blaming the messenger, however satisfying, won’t cut it; the Herald did a good job of shoe-leather journalism here.

  7. Ask and you shall receive. (0 Replies)

    Here you go:

    There may be various levels of lockdown. For example, in the case of buildings, a partial lockdown means that the doors leading outside of the building are locked and people may not exit or enter the building. A full lockdown means that people must stay where they are and may not exit or enter a classroom, apartment unit, store unit, an office space, condo unit or the building. If people are in a hallway they must go into the nearest classroom, apartment unit, condo unit, office space or store unit.

  8. Secret treaties are an integral and legal part of American diplomacy. (1 Reply)

    The article quoted below refers to negotiations with Iran, but it’s applicable to the constitutionality and legal status of secret treaties in general:

    A more important question may be, given the reality of some significant Congressional hostility to the deal, whether keeping its text secret will prove problematic under U.S. law or the domestic law of any of the other State participants? I can’t speak to the domestic law of other States, but on the U.S. front, I have my doubts. There are obvious questions as to what legal authority the United States has to conclude this implementation agreement (i.e. is it a sole executive agreement, or does the Obama Administration view some existing legislative authority as sufficient to treat it as a congressional-executive agreement?). Assuming legal authority to conclude an implementation agreement, however, there is statutory authority for it to be done in secret provided the Executive Branch follows the appropriate procedures under the 1972 Case-Zablocki Act:

    The Secretary of State shall transmit to the Congress the text of any international agreement (including the text of any oral international agreement, which agreement shall be reduced to writing), other than a treaty, to which the United States is a party as soon as practicable after such agreement has entered into force with respect to the United States but in no event later than sixty days thereafter. However, any such agreement the immediate public disclosure of which would, in the opinion of the President, be prejudicial to the national security of the United States shall not be so transmitted to the Congress but shall be transmitted to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives under an appropriate injunction of secrecy to be removed only upon due notice from the President. Any department or agency of the United States Government which enters into any international agreement on behalf of the United States shall transmit to the Department of State the text of such agreement not later than twenty days after such agreement has been signed. (emphasis added)

    Simply put, U.S. law accepts and regulates secret treaties and other international agreements. Thus, I don’t think the fact of its secrecy will sway proponents (or opponents) of this deal one way or another.

  9. If you want science, here's science: (2 Replies)

    Not to put too fine a point on it, global warming is real, and according to a recently released study, any research to the contrary is riddled with errors (at best).

    To establish context, the abstract is quoted in full below:

    Monckton of Brenchley et al. (Sci Bull 60:122–135, 2015) (hereafter called M15) use a simple energy balance model to estimate climate response. They select parameters for this model based on semantic arguments, leading to different results from those obtained in physics-based studies. M15 did not validate their model against observations, but instead created synthetic test data based on subjective assumptions. We show that M15 systematically underestimate warming: since 1990, most years were warmer than their modelled upper limit. During 2000–2010, RMS error and bias are approximately 150 % and 350 % larger than for the CMIP5 median, using either the Berkeley Earth or Cowtan and Way surface temperature data. We show that this poor performance can be explained by a logical flaw in the parameter selection and that selected parameters contradict observational estimates. M15 also conclude that climate has a near-instantaneous response to forcing, implying no net energy imbalance for the Earth. This contributes to their low estimates of future warming and is falsified by Argo float measurements that show continued ocean heating and therefore a sustained energy imbalance. M15’s estimates of climate response and future global warming are not consistent with measurements and so cannot be considered credible.

    On the broader issue of the Catholic Church and science, in this case evolution:

    Catholics have nothing to fear from science’s honest inquiries, honestly explained. On the contrary, every new discovery is a source of wonder and a reason for giving praise to God. Of the Creator, we can say with St. Paul, ” … from the foundations of the world, men have caught sight of His invisible nature, His eternal power and His divinity, as they are known through His creatures” (Rom 1,20).

  10. Actually that hasn't been true for years (0 Replies)

    Old-school South Boston (post-gentrification) consists of maybe 15% of residents and 30% of voters within the neighborhood.

    Consider the general election turnouts in the 2013 and 2014 cycles for the two South Boston wards.

    2013 Boston Total Percentage: 38.17%
    Ward 6: 41.55%
    Ward 7: 40.93%

    2014 Boston Total Percentage: 41.99%
    Ward 6: 43.46%
    Ward 7: 40.60%

    Decent, relative to the City, but nothing to crow about. Southie simply isn’t decisive anymore in Boston elections, except at the margins.

  11. The Boston Business Journal has a good explainer on tax increment finance bonds (0 Replies)


    Money quote:

    Boston 2024 officials have maintained that only private funds will be used to build Olympics venues, a stance the group reiterated in a statement on Thursday after the Business Journal published excerpts of the bid document obtained through a freedom of information request. Nonetheless, TIF bonds are a form of public financing, issued through either a municipality like Boston or the state agency MassDevelopment, that carry risk like any other public bond, experts told the Business Journal Thursday.

    There are several ways to issue a TIF bond in Massachusetts, and Boston 2024 did not specify in the bid document which method would be used. One possibility would be to issue the bond in connection with the state’s District Improvement Financing program, which allows cities to fund public infrastructure by allocating future, incremental tax revenues from a particular area of the city.

    However, if a city like Boston issues such bonds through the DIF program, it may have to stipulate that it will pay back the securities with other public funds should the forecasted tax revenue from that designated area of the city fail to materialize.

    “In some cases, depending on the certainty or uncertainty around the new development occurring and the new tax growth happening, a city may have to backstop [the bond] with its own general obligation guarantee,” said Laura Canter, an executive vice president at MassDevelopment.

  12. Elizabeth Warren: Boston 2024 did not disclose need for public cash (0 Replies)

    Just in, from the Herald:

    U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Boston 2024 officials never revealed to her that its bid to the U.S. Olympic Committee relied, in part, on public money going toward infrastructure, a revelation disclosed in newly released bid documents.

    Details from the group’s so-called December bid book — outlined in published reports yesterday and confirmed by Boston 2024 — indicate that plans called for the city of Boston to fund “land acquisition and infrastructure costs” at Widett Circle, where a temporary Olympic stadium is being proposed.

    Warren, who was in Somerville today touring a tech incubator, said the bid committee never said anything about the public cash during briefings of members of the state’s Congressional delegation.

    “They did not disclose that,” said Warren, who didn’t directly address a question of whether she felt the public was being misled. “I’ve said all along, I want to know where the money’s coming from and where the money’s going to be spent.”

  13. You might want to read the bid document (0 Replies)

    Available here.

    There are things that you emphatically have not seen. For example:

    Though the bid claims the PDF files available for download on its website are “a copy of the Boston 2024 documents presented to the USOC,” conspicuously missing are numerous cost estimates, as well as an entire section outlining the bid’s weaknesses. The version presented to the USOC, for example, includes a cost estimate for 60,000-seat “Midtown” stadium proposed for Widett Circle, omitted from the public version:

    …and the IOC and Boston2024 have, shall we say, a limited concern for infrastructure improvements

    Other things the bid was relying on, at least as of five months ago? An expanded Boston Exhibition Center (womp), a willing partner in that Widett Circle food market (womp womp), and since they didn’t even mention the MBTA, a fully functioning transit system (wompity womp.)

    This is little more than vanity politics run amok.

  14. The President can classify pretty much anything he wants to (2 Replies)

    …absent legislation by Congress, or a federal court decision (if necessary sustained by SCOUTUS) to the contrary.

    Here is a link that might be useful.

    The Charles I reference is amusing but irrelevant, the President’s power to classify (with the aforementioned limits) has been around since 1940.

    And as an aside to ST, Obama isn’t a “moderate”, he’s a Taft conservative, which in fairness, he’s never hidden at any time in his political career.