Person #2547: 79 Posts

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  1. Apropos polling numbers for the Olympics: (0 Replies)

    There is this analysis from the MassINC Polling Group:

    And if we are to rely on current support levels from any poll on this issue, public or private, we are around half who are in favor of the proposal. It may be slightly less, may be slightly more. But support is not strong, a strong majority, or rapidly growing, and the majority of Bostonians are not excited by the idea as of now.

  2. I agree to a point (0 Replies)

    However that makes them look bad in the eyes of the American public, so I think they’d be loath to do so

    Based upon what I’m seeing on the ground, and given the fact that we’re in a municipal election cycle, that won’t necessarily be the case.

  3. Don't worry (0 Replies)

    stuff happens.

    Even then, I should have put the percentage at 41.99.

  4. Typo alert (0 Replies)

    2014 Boston turnout was 41.9%

    My bad.

  5. Michelle Wu pushes back, sorta (0 Replies)

    From the Dorchester Reporter:

    Boston City Councillor Michelle Wu is demanding more accountability from Boston 2024, the private group behind Boston’s bid to host the 2024 summer Olympic games.

    A City Council commission focused on the Olympics was approved at last week’s meeting. A rules committee meeting on the commission will take place on Jan. 29, meaning the soonest the group can begin its work is Feb. 4. A series of public meetings separate from those planned by the mayor’s office and Boston 2024 will start soon after that, Wu said.

    “I do think it’s definitely not a done deal and the folks from 2024 have said the same to me,” the at-large councillor told the Reporter on Monday, adding that it is important for people on both sides of the issue to remain vocal. “The big question is whether the city expends any funds and resources,” she said. “If any funding passes through the city, even as a grant, the council votes on it. There are big questions as to who will be the government entity to sign Olympics contracts; whether it’s the city or the state.”

    In an op-ed published by WGBH, Wu outlined suggested actions to further open up the bid process: the posting of all relevant documents online for the press and public; the creation of an expert commission to review the bid; and the holding of Boston 2024 to public disclosure standards. Wu also called on local elected bodies to vote on the idea in every city and town in which a sited facility would be located. She stopped short of calling for a wider ballot referendum on the issue.

    My read of current Council dynamics is that all this is conditional upon what happens on the ground…

  6. This is like asking if there is a grain of sand on a beach (0 Replies)

    From this thread #1:

    If I didn’t respect you, I’d either win the debate quickly and have done or ignore you altogether. But because I respect you I won’t let you get away with bogus arguments and lazy thinking. That’s what respect means.

    I have no doubt that JConway has sleepless nights worrying about maintaining your respect.

    From this thread #2

    … if the bid is secret, why the opposition? If you don’t know what is in it, how can it be opposed? How can it be supported?

    Has it not occurred to you that the mere fact that a bid involving the expenditure of billions of dollars (public and private) might in and of itself be a cause for concern? The facts not in evidence were the content and wording of the bid.

  7. Here's the definition of the term: (1 Reply)

    An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, means responding to arguments by attacking a person’s character, rather than to the content of their arguments. When used inappropriately, it is a fallacy in which a claim or argument is dismissed on the basis of some irrelevant fact or supposition about the author or the person being criticized.Ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, for example, when it relates to the credibility of statements of fact or when used in certain kinds of moral and practical reasoning.

    Fallacious ad hominem reasoning is normally categorized as an informal fallacy,more precisely as a genetic fallacy, a subcategory of fallacies of irrelevance.

    Ad hominem arguments are the converse of appeals to authority, and may be used in response to such appeals, for example, by pointing to the feet of clay of the authority being pointed to.

    I did not accuse you of being knowingly untruthful; I accuse you of attacking your opponents personally on the basis of facts not in evidence within your argument and (hopefully unknowingly) ignoring data to the contrary.

    In the case of the term “ad hominem” the ignored data would include the term’s full meaning. Which brings us back to straw man arguments…

  8. There were a few differences (2 Replies)

    It should be remembered that the 2013 Mayoral race was a base election with extremely low turnout (38.17% Citywide).

    The constituency dynamics were different from those in NYC. Simply put, the least incompetent campaign won.

    In the 2014 State Election, Walsh’s organization was conspicuous in its inability to do effective GOTV. Citywide turnout was 49.99%. In fairness, this inability was systemic within State Democratic politics and wasn’t Walsh’s fault in isolation. It should be noted that the City’s turnout was considerably higher than the Statewide rate of 36.4%. However, the absence of a proactive grassroots political culture has consequences.

    Given the political vacuum on the ground, the default position of City government seems not unlike an episode of The Simpsons.

  9. That too (1 Reply)

    The broad argument is sophistic, the tactics are ad hominem, with straw man premises.

  10. Ten thousand men of Harvard want vic'try today... (0 Replies)

    …but with a minimum of style.

    Harvard don’t do screeds. It’s uncool.

  11. One more thing (0 Replies)

    There is the quid pro quo to Mitt Romney, since the operating premise is that the Republicans in Congress will bail out the Commonwealth.

    Which said Republicans would be stupid to do…

    However at least Romney is conspicuous in his fiscal honesty here:

    … if funding falls short, city and state taxpayers could be on the hook to make up the difference. “Someone has got to be able to write the check,” Romney said. “So it represents a degree of commitment.”

  12. The Mayor released a statement about a referendum last night. (1 Reply)

    Here it is in its entirety:

    Mayor Walsh is not in support of a referendum on the Olympics. He looks forward to engaging in a robust community process and having a two-way conversation with all neighborhoods as we move forward. Should the public decide to collect signatures for a referendum, that is a right of the people that the Mayor fully supports.

  13. I doubt if the agreement would be enforceable against the Council (1 Reply)

    …as elected officials in a separate Branch of City Government that is not (to the best of my knowledge) a party to the agreement.

    It is however doubtful to me that unionized City employees would be exempt. The Supreme Court ruled in Garcetti et al. v. Ceballos that:

    When public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, they are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline.

    I’ll defer to the Constitutional scholars out there about how absolute this free speech limitation is, but the gag clause in the joinder agreement seems problematic, at least to me.

    Equally problematic are those clauses in the agreement which essentially binds the City to a role as cash cow to the Olympics (see Section 2.02)…

    As an aside to the attorneys out there, nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong on this.

  14. King was hated in Chicago (0 Replies)

    …and he was politically isolated.

    This excerpt from Channel 5 in Chicago gives an overview of the municipal politics:

    King never made much progress in Chicago. Mayor Richard J. Daley, father of Richard M. Daley, wanted to keep the city segregated, because it guaranteed that middle-class whites didn’t flee to the suburbs. Rep. William Dawson, the black overlord of the South Side, also wanted to keep the city segregated, because the ghetto guaranteed him a captive political base. The Daley-controlled black aldermen known as the “Silent Six” regularly voted against open housing ordinances. As Bill and Lori Granger put it in Lords of the Last Machine, “Why let the chickens out of the coop?”

    Still, King led marches through the all-white neighborhoods of Gage Park and Marquette Park, where he was greeted by Confederate-flag waving whites chanting, “Two, four, six, eight, we don’t want to integrate!” He was hit on the head by a rock, causing him to fall to the ground.

    “I think the people from Mississippi ought to come to Chicago to learn how to hate,” King said afterward.

    In addition King was sabotaged by the Left in Chicago. In his attempts to fight racism in housing his biggest enemy was Saul Alinsky. The final insult was the 1967 New Politics Convention, where King was heckled by the delegates.

  15. Let me qualify that. (0 Replies)

    “Modern day progressives”.

    There is a tendency to conflate “progressive” with “populist”. The two traditions are actually opposed, but when they get working syntheses they win elections.

  16. Unlikely (2 Replies)

    …unless there is some serious on-the ground organizing work, and (to put it bluntly) in a serious contested race, with real stakes and real structural opposition, progressives can’t organize a bottle party in a brewery.

  17. To answer your questions in order: (1 Reply)

    1) There will be another cause for symbolic and ineffectual grandstanding. (The cause will be legitimate, but the response will be narcissistic.)

    2) Yes.

    3) Bill Bratton will – indeed already has – put approaches in place, and will have the advantage of greater credibility with community folk and police rank-and-file alike.

  18. That was part of it, but DeBlasio's political infantilism was a major contributing factor (1 Reply)

    And the sources of NYPD hostility to the Mayor have little to do with police policy.

    The feud is personal.

    From the New York Times:

    Not long after Mayor Bill de Blasio sat beside the Rev. Al Sharpton at a July summit meeting on police reform, a political adviser gave the mayor a blunt assessment: You have a problem with the cops.

    Rank-and-file officers felt disrespected by the mayor, the adviser explained, and were dismayed to see Mr. Sharpton, a longtime critic of the New York Police Department, embraced at City Hall.

    But Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, rejected the notion that officers disliked him. His message, the adviser later recalled, was clear: Everything was under control…

    …Inside City Hall, the mayor had not anticipated how police officers might react when he hired Mr. Sharpton’s former spokeswoman, Rachel Noerdlinger, as a top aide, despite his team’s knowing her live-in boyfriend was a convicted killer…

    …Some bristled when Ms. Noerdlinger, the former Sharpton aide, was named chief of staff to the mayor’s wife, Chirlane McCray. And when a television reporter caught the mayor’s city-issued S.U.V. speeding, other officers noticed, Mr. de Blasio failed to take responsibility, implicitly faulting his police detail.

    And in November, when Mr. de Blasio arrived late to a memorial ceremony in the Rockaways, in Queens, his aides said his police boat had been delayed by fog. The mayor later conceded he had overslept. The incidents left an impression that Mr. de Blasio could undermine the police…

    …When it emerged in September that Ms. Noerdlinger’s son and boyfriend had written virulently anti-police messages on social media, and that her boyfriend had nearly run over a New Jersey state trooper while driving her car, Mr. de Blasio spent weeks defending her, even after investigators found that she had failed to mention her boyfriend on a city background questionnaire.

    And so on.

    Insofar as NYPD demographics are concerned:

    demographic shifts that de Blasio and his aides were hanging their hopes on are real. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the percentage of sworn officers in the NYPD who were members of a racial minority jumped from 25.5 percent in 1990 to 34.7 percent in 2000. The trend continued in subsequent years: A study by Salomon Alcocer Guajardo, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, reported that the percentage of NYPD officers who were either black, Latino, Asian, or Native American had climbed to 47.9 percent by 2012. According to the NYPD’s own statistics, there have been more minorities than whites among patrolling officers since at least 2010.


    As part of the acculturation process—and the toll of regularly witnessing the results of people committing crimes—these officers came to feel suspicion toward the general public, and to see themselves and their fellow officers as being separate from the rest of society.

    The power of the cultural allegiance that emerges from such feelings is significant,

    Assuring accountability by the NYPD will now have to be a ground-up process. DeBlasio had his chance and he blew it. His hubris started a totally unnecessary turf war, resulting in his abject surrender.

    I don’t know what’s worse: the hubris or the moral cowardice.