Don't be a tool of Wall Street

A good argument. However, I suspect there is about zero chance that Warren will be Clinton's VP. - promoted by Bob_Neer

The premise that Hillary Clinton should pick Elizabeth Warren as her Vice President strikes me as too convenient for Wall Street to be accepted at face value, especially by Bernie Sanders supporters. It’s currently fashionable among some Bernie Sanders supporters, and among LOTS of media outlets, to propose that Ms. Clinton draft Elizabeth Warren as the Democratic nominee for Vice President.

In my view, the much-reviled Wall Street power players are the primary beneficiaries of this terrible idea. Wall Street knows that Ms. Clinton is likely to be elected (even if the media breathlessly suggest something different). As Vice President, Elizabeth Warren will have virtually NO role in taking apart the too-big-to-fail banks, shadow-banks, and similar institutions. As Vice President, Elizabeth Warren will be similarly impotent in and irrelevant to federal regulation, investigation, and prosecution of these players.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is a powerhouse who is increasingly reviled and feared by Wall Street and their puppets in government. I think progressives who are committed to the progressive agenda articulated by Ms. Warren and by Bernie Sanders (not to mention Ms. Warren herself) ought to be horrified at the suggestion of cutting her legs out from under her. Those who argue (incorrectly) that Ms. Clinton is already too influenced by Wall Street are foolish to allow themselves to be seduced by this terrible idea.

We progressives should NOT allow ourselves to be made a tool of Wall Street. Senator Elizabeth Warren should stay right where she is, so that she can continue doing just what she has been doing since taking office.

Very Personal Thanks to Lawrence O'Donnell

O'Donnell is excellent. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Tonight on the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, the last few minutes of the show were given over to a very touching remembrance of Robert Kennedy’s short victory speech after winning the California Primary in June of 1968, his assassination, the news reports of his death, and then of a short clip of Ted Kennedy giving his brother’s eulogy.

I was just 8 years at the time and it this is one of my earliest memories of the news. Although I have seen these events in other platforms before, the presentation on Lawrence’s show tonight, while brief, was probably among the most heartfelt presentations I have ever seen on the final day of RFK’s life. Again, Thank You!

Parades for Democracy!

I love parades. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Everyone loves a parade! We’re quickly heading into parade season with Boston Pride, Bunker Hill Day, Independence Day and more coming at us in rapid succession.

Stonewall Dems Co-chair Claire Naughton was chosen as the Grand Marshall for the Boston Pride Parade for 2016. Also marching in Pride are AG Maura Healey and Congressman Joe Kennedy and I’m sure many others. Bunker Hill Day parade attracts politicians from across the city.

Parades are a great way to show support for your candidate or elected official and to get to know other volunteers and supporters. Think about Independence Day now. Plan your other celebrations around the parade schedule in your area. You can burn some calories and enjoy your Fourth of July celebration guilt free!

Campaigns can add contact information and details in the comments. I’ll post a few notes from what I have received via e-mail.

Boston Pride June 11:
Treasurer Deb Goldberg: On Saturday we will be marching in the Boston Pride Parade. This is an incredibly fun event and we had a great team last year. The Parade Committee just forwarded us our staging location and time. Our team will be meeting at 11 AM in front of Old South Church (645 Boylston).

Attorney General Maura Healey: Meet us at 11:00am at 645 Boylston Street (in front of the Old South Church).

Councillor Tito Jackson: I’m proud to stand in solidarity with Boston Pride 2016 and host a pre-pride brunch reception at the CharlesMark Hotel. Please join me for a pre-pride brunch at 10:00am, June 11th at the Charlesmark Hotel, 655 Boylston Street, Boston. Marchers will receive a free Vote Tito Special Edition Pride 2016 T-Shirt.

Congressman: Team Kennedy Pre-Parade Party/Free Breakfast!9:30am-11:00am, Lir Pub and Restaurant, 903 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02115
March in Pride Parade CHECK-IN: 9:30AM-11:30AM @ LIR, 903 Boylston Street, Boston, You MUST be check-in no later than 11:30AM at LIR to join the Congressman Kennedy and the parade team. Parade Time: 12:00pm-2:00pmParade begins in Copley Square and ends in Government Center. Contact us at volunteer@joekennedyforcongress.com for more information.

* Required

Elizabeth Warren catches up to BMG & MA: Endorses Hillary Clinton

Months after Massachusetts voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary and, perhaps more important, three BMG editors and many, many BMG commenters endorsed the most qualified candidate for President, progressive champion Elizabeth Warren has confirmed the judgment of her state.

Even lawyers can sometimes find the strength to take a position. Well played, Senator Warren. This way, whatever your actual preferences during the campaign, you retain credibility with supporters of Senator Sanders and can more easily unite the party. A splendid bit of politics. Go Senator Warren! Go Secretary Clinton!

Hillary and Donald Trump Are The Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe of Their Parties

IMHO, the numbers of voters that Ketcham describes is very small and unlikely to affect much in November. That said, there remains a faint possibility that the GOP will indeed refuse to nominate Trump, most likely by rejiggering the rules to unbind delegates on the first ballot. Which would throw everything into chaos, per the video at the end of this post (which you should watch as a trip down memory lane). - promoted by david

Every sports fan understands the concept of “blowing it up”. That’s when your team sucks and there is no future in sight. Time to blow it up. Trade veterans. Dump big contracts. Fill up on draft picks and prospects. One step backwards for two forward. In a few years make the play-offs and improve from there.

Well that seems to be what many Republicans like Lindsey Graham and maybe Paul Ryan are thinking about the Republican Party and The Donald.

But it is also what many true Dems and progressives are thinking about Hillary.

Check out Christopher Ketcham in the Daily Beast on this silent but deadly block of voters out there.

I’m not alone here. Travelling across the country, I keep meeting people who voted for Sanders in the primaries but mutter under cover of night and a few drinks that they’ll vote for Trump in November. Friends out in the wildlands of the intermountain West, hard gun-toting anarchist redneck Amy Goodman progressives, say so. Big-city journalists, too. I suspect that the left-contrarian, anti-Hillary, pro-Trump arsonist crowd is larger and wider-spread than the cubicled creatures in the Clinton campaign have accounted for.

The Democrats have a problem and their game plan is to ignore the negatives but attack anyone who brings them up as a misogynist who ignores the fact she’s most qualified person ever to run fro the presidency. Her platform is that and whichever way the wind is blowing.

Obama and Warren endorse Hillary Clinton for president

Bumped, for glory. - promoted by david

It’s official: President Obama today endorsed Hillary Clinton.  Here’s the video:

Also, as mike_cote has already noted, Elizabeth Warren is expected to endorse Clinton tonight on Rachel Maddow (9 pm, MSNBC).  If you’d like a taste of the worst of the internet, check out her Facebook page, which is now overrun with people who are, shall we say, not pleased with her for doing so.

Charter Schools Are Progressive

A pro-charter Democrat speaks up. Discuss (respectfully, of course). - promoted by david

Disclosure: The author is the Massachusetts State Director of Families for Excellent Schools, a pro-charter organization. -ed.

“Charter schools? Democrats don’t support those.”

It was a small group of anti-charter organizers who were saying it — and in truth, that was one of the more polite ways it was expressed. But that’s the kind of comment I heard at the recent Democratic State Convention. And to me, it was surprising.  After all, as a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, I have always supported public schools and the belief that every child deserves a shot at a quality public education. And as a proud Democrat, I believe we have an obligation to lift the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts.

Here’s why:

I’m a single mother to three wonderful little boys. My oldest son Matthew is an amazing kid who happens to have special needs. My career began in journalism and I then worked with 1199SEIU for several years. I was the chair of the Somerville Democratic City Committee and served as a city commissioner. I had devoted my entire career to fighting for justice for other people’s families.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to find justice for my own child at school. During Matthew’s first two years in a traditional public school — for pre-k and kindergarten — he was suspended dozens of times. Even after working with an entire team of experts and being given every assurance that his needs would be met through an IEP, they continued to send him home from school several times a week and eventually resorted to locking him in the “redirect room” for up to 6 hours a day. The punishment was solitary confinement for my five year old. The crime? Not being able to sit down at rug time because of his ADHD diagnosis.

In our case, I was forced to move out of district — uprooting my entire life — to get my child into a public school that met his needs. That school was a charter school. You see, I knew the system. I knew there was another way to get my son into a better school. I’m willing and able to fight, and if I don’t know or understand the process, I have no problem demanding that someone help me figure it out. I had the resources to pack up my entire life and move to another district to access the school I knew was right for my child.

My boys are some of the fortunate ones. And I know it.  But thousands of children with mothers and fathers who are struggling aren’t so lucky. Their families are struggling to break the cycle of poverty but are forced to send their children to failing schools. Families whose children won’t be lucky enough to have their pulled in a lottery, who lack the means to uproot their life and move to another city with better schools.

How, as Democrats, have we let it get to this point?

Warren VP drumbeat grows louder ...

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW …

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) believes Elizabeth Warren should be the running mate of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to four Senate sources familiar with Reid’s thinking.

Reid had initially been skeptical of the chatter around Warren, publicly warning that Democrats couldn’t afford to lose the seat the Massachusetts senator currently occupies. But The Boston Globe reported last week that he tasked attorney Marc Elias with studying how manageable the loss would be. Elias is, not coincidentally, the general counsel for Clinton’s campaign.

As Reid has examined the issue in recent weeks, he has grown confident the Democrats could hold onto Warren’s Senate seat and retake the upper chamber, according to sources. He also believes they could even put the House in play for Democrats, the sources said.

via Harry Reid Wants Elizabeth Warren To Be Vice President.

This is not really news at this point, but I feel like we’re still a little bit in denial about this possibility. We might well wish that she’d stay in the Senate. She might prefer that too. Would she have an actual portfolio as VP? How would that work? Would she have actual power? A million questions.

But I have to say … for the Hillary ticket, it would be political dynamite. She’s anti-establishment in all the right ways, signalling and consolidating Hillary’s pivot away from corporate coziness; can probably bring back more than a few Bernie voters into the fold; populist and liberal-as-hell in a way that appeals across class and culture; fiery, fits the attack-dog role of VP; Massachusetts and Oklahoma; two tough women vs. Trump …

… on and on. It just seems so right — politically.

But Warren doesn’t need the gig. So what price would she extract from Hillary? Delightful to ponder. I like where this is going.

Your opportunity to put your two cents on Democratic platform

Have your say. - promoted by david

Unfortunately, the closest regional hearing for us is today and tomorrow in DC, but there are ways to provide online testimony if you wish.

Second Middlesex Senate Race Candidate Forum

Bumped - this is tonight! - promoted by david

There is a primary race in the Second Middlesex Senate District, which includes parts of Cambridge, Somerville, Medford & Winchester.

The candidates for the Democratic nomination are the incumbent, Sen. Patricia Jehlen, and challenger, Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung.

The state primary is September 8 (a Thursday!?)

I fear that there will be little time to organize any event in late August/early September, so the Democratic Party City Committees of Cambridge and Somerville, along with the Porter Square Neighborhood Association, are hosting a candidate forum this coming week, Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

All are invited.

Cambridge Civic Journal’s Robert Winters will moderate the forum.

When: June 8, 2016, 7 pm – 9 pm

Where: Amphitheater at University Hall, Lesley University; 1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (2nd Floor)

If you have specific questions or topics that you would like to hear the candidates discuss please email me privately at dpparadis@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you there! Please pass this information along to all who may be interested.

Thank you,

Dan Paradis

dpparadis@gmail.com

617.470.5049

Ach, Twitter. Also: It's working.

Oh Lordy. Another social media exchange gone ugly this afternoon. You all are my witnesses — I am committing to the following rules/observations/notes to myself:

  1. You can’t convince anybody. Not on FB, nor Twitter, nor the Thanksgiving table. People can only convince themselves.
  2. Enough. New rule: Two tweets maximum to people I don’t know personally — like, in meatspace . That may even be too many. The potential for misunderstanding is just too high. Shut up already.
  3. It’s too soon. Many, if not most lefties who passionately supported Bernie do not want to hear your establishment bull#%^* rationalizations for Hillary or the Dems. Not. Having. It. Check back … well, I don’t know when.
  4. You’re the official douchebag – axiomatically. Here at BMG, after 11+ years, we’re used to the idea that people can disagree genially. That’s how we tried to set it up. It usually works here … Usually. This is just not how most of the world works, and I forget that. To most people, most of the time, disagreement is hostile. You’re an a-hole and the enemy, by definition.

Someday I will learn. I trust you will all keep me to these guidelines.

Now, with that prelude … I hope Bernie supporters (of which I nearly was one) will look at the positive ways they’ve influenced this race. Just a few examples:

  • Hillary endorses a $15 minimum wage (mostly).
  • Hillary now opposes TPP – which really is looking like a bad deal for climate, among other things.
  • Hillary takes up the flag of Black Lives Matter — a position that entails some honest political risk. (Not sure this can be chalked up to Bernie’s influence, but certainly he was part of the conversation and flanked her on the left.)
  • Hillary moved left on fracking. Not quite ruling it out, but closer.

Now, the typical response to these, er, evolutions, is “See? You just can’t trust her!” Which is partly fair. But politically not astute, I’d argue.

I’m not into heroes. We’re not gazing into someone’s soul. We’re trying to wield power to get stuff done so that we can all lead better lives.  Either that stuff gets done, or it doesn’t.
And when a politician yields to your power, you have won a victory. Nice! Take a bow!

If you haven’t read it, do read Dan Savage on “taking motherf$@&ing yes for a motherf$&@ing answer” from Hillary on gay marriage:

Hillary Clinton’s support for marriage equality may be a political calculation. And you know what? We worked hard to change the math so that those political calculations would start adding up in our favor. So sincere change of heart or political calculation—either way—I will take it.

It goes on — as always, a good, bracing, NSFW read.

There are politicians who are implacably opposed to what you want. You can’t vote for them. There are politicians who are indeed out front on things you like. You work for them.  And then there are politicians you can do business with, when you have built the movement and Zeirgeist and inevitability, and have proved there’s a political market. Hillary’s the latter, and she’s probably going to be the next President.

She could use a good Congress.

Jay Fitzgerald absolves Baker and DeLeo

Jay Fitzgerald of the excellent MASSterList (“an ensemble of news and commentary about the Legislature, Politics, Media, and Judiciary of Massachusetts from major news organizations as well as specialized publications”) rejects Charley’s withering criticism yesterday of the do-nothing position of the powers that be Baker and DeLeo on the Commonwealth’s deteriorating infrastructure. Charley’s conclusion: “[Y]our commute is going to suck, forever.”

The leaders are just representing the people, Fitzgerald says:

Plenty of blame to go around for the state’s infrastructure woes

Blue Mass Group isn’t happy about the new A Better City report, which warns how Greater Boston’s rickety infrastructure can’t handle the region’s expected population growth and needs in coming years, and tears into Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo for not doing enough to prepare the state for the future. “To be blunt: There is absolutely no ambition, no intention, no vision, no proposal, no agenda, from either our Governor or Speaker, for providing the necessities of our region going forward. None. They’re just not going to do it.”

But to be equally blunt: Most lawmakers on Beacon Hill, overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, don’t want to give the MBTA a dime more until its dysfunctional management and operational practices are overhauled (see items below, btw). Meanwhile, former Gov. Deval Patrick not so long ago proposed a large gasoline tax increase to pay for infrastructure improvements. Guess what? The Democratic-controlled legislature balked and passed a more modest plan. Then voters, in a statewide referendum, rejected tying future gas-tax increases to the inflation rate. Blame Baker and DeLeo? Please.

Both are right, but Charley’s criticism is more constructive. Without infrastructure improvements, the Commonwealth, and especially the greater Boston area, will strangle. Imagine Boston without the T, or with just one harbor tunnel: far less prosperous; far less liveable. “Route 128″ means “Massachusetts high technology industry” in common parlance. If our subway was as good as Hong Kong’s you’d be home in half the time. If our rail system was as good as China’s, it would take just over an hour to get to New York by train. If our Internet was as fast as Korea’s, people in Western Massachusetts would read this article twice as quickly for a fraction of the price. One reason there are fewer good jobs in America than there were is because much of the world has caught up to our infrastructure, and many countries have passed us. Result: jobs go there.

On the other hand, pouring good money after bad is just a waste. It’s obvious the T needs structural reform — quasi-public listed corporation or some other similarly fundamental reorganization — if it is to reverse its current decline and once again become the world-class system it was a century ago. Voters did indeed reject an increased gasoline tax: there are alternatives.

If we stay still, however, we lose because we are part of a dynamic, constantly changing national and world economy, many parts of which are surging past us. Walls won’t save us. Also, nature degrades all existing systems: we have to keep investing just to stay in place. The job of leaders is, in part, to educate people about these hard realities. To the degree they don’t, we’ll all fail — our commutes will, indeed, suck forever — and Baker and DeLeo will go down in history as the ones who watched.