Sanders Reclaims Family Values for the Left

People opposed to marriage equality, for example, are anti-family. - promoted by Bob_Neer

I have long favored a political project to re-frame family values around issues of bread and butter progressive economics, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has done just that.

As Salon points out, he does so in a very direct way that calls bullshit on the anti-gay, anti-woman policies so often masquerading under that label.

“Last place is no place for America. It is time to join the rest of the industrialized world by showing the people of this country that we are not just a nation that talks about family values but that we are a nation that is prepared to live up to these ideals,” Sanders said in a statement.

Accordingly, the democratic socialist introduced the Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act, legislation that would ensure 10 days of paid vacation annually for employees who have been with the same employer for at least a year. Other elements of Sanders’ “family values agenda” include 12 weeks of paid parental leave and at least seven paid sick days a year.

It is time to embrace this platform fully, and reclaim the mantle of family values from the party that has done so little to advance the economic prospects of the American family in all it’s forms. I am also looking forward to the author of this book outlining a similar theme on Roosevelt Island this weekend. Every Democrat should be running on these family values.

The Massachusetts Democratic Party's Political Malpractice

- promoted by Bob_Neer

According to a new poll from WBUR out yesterday, Charlie Baker has sky-high approval ratings: 69% view him favorably, and only 10% view him unfavorably. His popularity is high even among Democrats, 63% of whom view him favorably (in contrast to only 14% who view him unfavorably). His popularity among Democrats is on par with that of Elizabeth Warren.

This is a sign of complete political malpractice on the part of the state Democratic Party. When most Democrats in the state legislature happily go along with whatever Baker proposes—or barely raise a peep if they disagree—the general public (which, of course, includes plenty of Democrats) will assume he’s doing a good job and that there is no reason to complain.

When I think of Baker’s term so far, one thing that stands out most in its destructive potential is Charlie Baker’s assault on regulations. On March 31, Baker issued a sweeping executive order (No. 562) designed to roll back any state regulations that are in advance of federal regulations. Massachusetts has been a leader in environmental protection, public health, consumer safety and protection, etc. But to Baker’s business buddies, these regulations are impediments toward the achievement of greater profits with which to line their own pockets.

His executive order calls for applying cost-benefit analysis to regulations, which the conservative movement (backed by Big Business) has been pushing for decades. As the Center for Progressive Reform explains,

Big industries and conservative think tanks spent years pushing CBA. It never made sense for the public. Cost-benefit says, for example, that a polluter can’t foul a waterway and kill a couple people along the way, unless it makes a whole lot of money doing it. It pretended that the costs and benefits are being put on the same one actor (society). In reality, one party (the polluter) had already put costs on the other (the public). Regulations seek to address that, but CBA starts with the premise that the polluters have the right to inflict the costs – a convenient starting point for a bargain.

In truth, CBA is used selectively as a tool to block regulations that raise costs for industries, in a process that is the opposite of transparency. It is almost never used to strengthen public protections. On the occasions that it finds out what’s going on, the public is generally unimpressed; even the Bush Administration backed down when its agencies were found valuing the lives of seniors less than the lives of younger people. That practice has fallen out of favor because the public rejected it – against the recommendations of the CBA true-believers. Cost-benefit is not a science if you can just pull back on some part of the dirty math that the public finds out about, and continue with using numbers you previously said didn’t make sense.

To digress only slightly, the appalling nature of CBA for regulations becomes clear when you realize that the DOJ actually conducted a CBA of measures designed to reduce prison rape.

Back in April, a coalition of 25 environmental organizations, land use and health care advocates, consumer interest groups, and some business organization wrote to Maura Healey expressing their concerns about this assault on regulations:

The Commonwealth has benefited greatly by determining its own standards that meet our needs in healthcare, biotech, energy efficiency, environmental protection, consumer protection, among others…It would be a grave mistake to rely upon “default” federal standards that are often intended as a minimum floor, not a ceiling.

Have MA Dems been making hell over this? Of course not. If you go through the press releases on the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s website, you will find nothing. There may have once been a press release with the rather understated title “Gov. Baker exposed for misleading voters on regulatory climate,” but the link fails, and the release itself does not appear in the archive. A Google search does not yield the original (if it ever existed) either.

The MA Democratic Party criticized Charlie Baker’s budget, but the budget the MA House passed “reflected the governor’s plan pretty closely” and actually totaled to $10 million less.

Even the Democratic Party’s “Promises Watch” is a horrible frame. It implies that the promises he made were good in the first place.

The state Democratic Party’s platform is actually very progressive. And, as I noted, they have the majorities to pass things if they wanted to. They could at least use the platform to shift the terms of debate and on a few issues (I’m thinking of the push for repealing mandatory minimum sentencing) they are. But the Democrats in the legislature’s lack of interest in pursuing more revenue constrains anything they could propose if they wanted to.

Both for the party’s sake and the sake of the people of the Commonwealth, they need to start stepping up their game.

Where did Boston 2024 go wrong?

WBUR reports news today that should surprise no one: support for Boston 2024 continues to decline while, perhaps even more significantly, opposition rises:

A new WBUR poll shows meager support across Massachusetts for the idea of hosting the 2024 Summer Olympic Games within the Boston region.

This is the first statewide Olympics survey conducted by WBUR, and it shows the lowest support level of any statewide poll published thus far. …

In the poll, 49 percent of those surveyed oppose the notion of hosting the Olympics in the Boston region, with 39 percent in favor.

The radio station gamely attempted to find a bright spot — “However, support in the WBUR survey rises substantially under the scenario of Olympic venues spread across Massachusetts, rather than clustered around Boston … Opposition to hosting the Olympics falls to 37 percent if venues were spread across the state, with 51 percent in support of hosting the games” — but that seems thin gruel since a central element of the initial proposal that distinguished it from rival US bids was that these would be the “walking Games” clustered in Boston.

What went wrong? In principle, the Games could be great for Boston: infrastructure improvements, advantageous global publicity, and a celebration of youthful athletic excellence, among other benefits. In practice, a combination of arrogance and incompetence by Boston 2024 and, more generally, income inequality and all that goes with it produced these pathetic poll results. As just two examples: it was arrogant to plan Olympic events on private land without the consent of landowners, and it was incompetent to plan for public financing in secret bit documents while claiming in public that the Games would be privately funded.

Income inequality is a key element of this political debacle. As wealth is increasingly unequally distributed, and it becomes evident that the economic and political systems are rigged in important ways — the implementation of the 2008 Wall Street bailout, and Elizabeth Warren’s eloquent explanations are cases in point — voter distrust of proposals by the rich has increased. John Fish and Steve Pagliuca, wealthy but politically unknown businessmen — Pagliuca’s 2009 Senate campaign notwithstanding “Sixty-six percent of respondents have never heard of him,” according to WBUR — are exactly the wrong public faces for the Games, by this argument (the International Olympic Committee’s FIFA-like history of corruption hasn’t helped).

A pity, given Boston’s position as the Hub of the Universe and all the Games could do for us.

Planners propose more planners

Planners propose more planners as the best response to the Olympics. Globe:

State lawmakers should establish and fund a new public commission with the power to impose binding conditions on Boston’s Olympic bid, and the responsibility of overseeing a vast planning effort to guide the long-term legacy of the Games, according to a new report by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and two other planning organizations.

Isn’t that what we have governments with elected representatives to do?

And the winner of the Unofficial BMG June Presidential Straw Poll is.... Bernie Sanders!

From the BMG News Desk ... - promoted by Bob_Neer

Hey everyone, here’s the results from the Unofficial BMG June Presidential Primary Straw Poll.

With 61% of the BMG vote, participants came out strongly for Bernie Sanders. It appears as if he’s quickly built some grassroots and netroots momentum on this site in a few short weeks.

Hillary Clinton came in second with 22% of the BMG vote, showing she still has a strong contingent of support, but perhaps its either weakening or that not enough Hillary supporters on BMG were motivated enough to vote.

Martin O’Malley had 7% of the vote, while Elizabeth Warren and Jim Webb had 1 vote each. I think we can safely say that BMG has moved past the efforts to draft Elizabeth Warren into the democratic presidential primary.

Of course, all of this is very early and everything should be taken with a grain of salt, but I think these numbers may surprise a few.

Thanks to those who participated.

Get to Know your Olympic Corporate Overlords: A Quiz

Answers in the comments. No peeking! - promoted by david

The folks at Boston 2024 have released the names of their donors for the first quarter of the year. Many of these donors are very wealthy corporations that sometimes make the news. See how many Olympic corporate overlords you can match to the news they’ve made.

A. This corporate overlord is currently undergoing a “reinvention plan” that will close 225 of its stores and eliminate the jobs of the employees working in them. The compensation of the CEO whose idea this is has nearly doubled in the past three years and now stands at $12.4 million.

B. This corporate overlord benefitted from a state guarantee of bonds for costs associated with the construction of its new Boston headquarters. Its CEO, who is himself a co-chair of the Boston 2024 Innovation and Technology committee, made $36.6 million in 2014, tops in the state. The company’s shareholders voted against that high salary, but their vote is nonbinding and it is expected that the overlord will simply ignore it.

C. The stock price of this corporate overlord fell one percent to $4.57 in 2014, in part because it agreed to pay $60 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit that it had artificially inflated its revenue by overcharging clients. Its CEO made only $13.5 million in 2014, down from $15.5 million the previous year.

D. This corporate overlord was recently fined by federal regulators for unfairly charging customers for an “identity protection” service of questionable value that they may not have even received. It has discontinued the service and has spent $37.6 million refunding customers who paid for it.

E. This corporate overlord received a $22.5 million tax break from the state to maintain its headquarters in Boston. The CEO suite in its new home, which includes woven silk wallcoverings from the Netherlands and a personal exercise room (price tag $4.5 million), was the work of Suffolk Construction, whose CEO, John Fish, is Boston 2024′s top donor so far this year with a gift of somewhere between $1 million and $2.5 million.

1. Santander Bank

2. Vertex Pharmaceuticals

3. Liberty Mutual

4. Staples

5. State Street Corporation

(Cross-posted here.)

Marty Walsh's Bad Habits

Sigh. - promoted by david

If you haven’t already read David Bernstein’s new article on Marty Walsh and the Grand Prix in Boston Magazine (“Is the Grand Prix Taking Boston for a Ride?“), I highly recommend that you do.

If you’ve been following the drama around Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, many things in this article will sound familiar.

A complete disregard for public consent and engagement:

In mid-May, without public hearings, Walsh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Grand Prix of Boston, clearing the way for the city to host five annual IndyCar road races on the South Boston waterfront, each Labor Day weekend from 2016 to 2020…..

Grand Prix representatives held an informational meeting with South Boston elected officials on May 14, I have learned—a day after Walsh signed the contract. A meeting with Fort Point neighborhood residents wasn’t held until nearly a week later: May 19, the night before the news went public.

(emphasis added)

A disregard for the risk of spiraling costs and inconveniences:

Surprisingly, Walsh’s memo with the Grand Prix provides no payments, subsidies, or other “linkage” in exchange for the use of Boston’s streets—while leaving City Hall on the hook for a fair amount of ancillary costs and inconveniences, which have the potential to balloon as the Waterfront finally blossoms and fills in with people and businesses.

Cronyism:

Before Norton was spokesperson for the Grand Prix, of course, she was Walsh’s press secretary. And the connections between Walsh and the Grand Prix don’t end there. Consulting work for Grand Prix Boston is being done by CK Strategies, which is also consulting for Boston 2024; Chris Keohan of CK Strategies was Walsh’s 2013 campaign strategist. Also consulting for the Grand Prix are Dino Difonzio, Dan Passacantilli, and Kenny Ryan – all with close connections to Walsh, mostly through his 2013 campaign.

Unrealistic economic promises that completely belie available data:

In its community outreach, the Grand Prix has suggested that the event can be expected to draw at least 250,000 total spectators over the course of three days….That talking-points memo, which I’ve obtained, claims that “similar urban events in the IndyCar Series traditionally produce… 250,000+ spectators over three days.”…From what I can tell, that statement appears to be an unadulterated lie: The only IndyCar event that purports to draw 250,000-plus spectators is the iconic Indianapolis 500, which is not at all similar to anything like the event being planned in Boston…Conveniently, the national IndyCar Series sanctioning corporation, Indy Racing League, does not allow  attendance figures to be released—how’s that for a transparency issue?—but I have been shown marketing materials, intended for sponsors, that indicate the average attendance has been under 100,000 in recent years….If the Grand Prix’s claim of 250,000 total spectators doesn’t hold water, then it’s unlikely the economic benefit claims will, either…

In that same one-page fact sheet I obtained, Grand Prix organizers claim that similar IndyCar events produce upwards of $40 million in direct spending, and $75-$80 million total, including indirect impact….One of the very few independent, post-Grand Prix economic impact studies available—in 2012, for Baltimore, the race Grand Prix of Boston is ostensibly replacing—found a direct impact of $24 million in 2012, with a total impact of $42 million…..That’s barely half of what the Grand Prix of Boston info sheet claims is typical…

Joke Revue: Republican Presidential Candidate Profiles

 

Onion Candidate Profiles:

Rick Perry:

Former Texas governor Rick Perry announced Thursday his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election, hoping to fare better than he did in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in 2012. Here’s what you need to know about Perry:

Campaign Slogan: “I Studied This Time”
Experience: Effectively and efficiently led bungling of 2012 presidential campaign
Policies: Tough on crime, specifically homosexuality
Death Penalty Record: Undefeated, 234-0
Political Base: Unsettling white guys in wraparound Oakleys
Biggest Political Asset: Looks pretty presidential on muted TV at airport
Biggest Liability: Public forums
Greatest Political Accomplishment: Provided underserved minorities and mentally retarded individuals with access to quality executions
Oh, And: Was recently issued felony indictment for abuse of power as Texas governor

Lindsey Graham:

South Carolina senator and retired Air Force colonel Lindsey Graham officially announced Monday that he will run in the 2016 presidential race, adding his name to the increasingly crowded Republican field. Here are some key facts to know about Graham:

Marital Status: Single, but on the prowl
Distinction Among Other GOP Candidates: Most recent
Voter Appeal: Popular with voters who believe America not currently in enough wars
Appearance: Excited boy getting his first tricycle
Family: Has relatable 50-year-old sister just like you and me
Name Recognition Among Sen. John McCain: 100 percent
Percent Of Body Mass That Is Sweet Tea: 17
What He’s Wearing Under That Little Three-Button Navy Blue Number: Absolutely nothing
Biggest Obstacle To Winning Presidency: (Tie) Personality, voting record, stances on various issues, physical appearance, funding

Rick Santorum:

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on Wednesday, bringing the runner-up from the 2012 Republican primaries officially into the race. Here’s what you need to know about Santorum:

Age: 23 years younger than average supporter
Birthplace: America he barely recognizes anymore
Campaign Goals: Keep the rampant liberalism in the Republican party in check
Economic Platform: More of a social issues guy
Trademark Look: Suit, tie
Debate Strategy: Hoping to be permitted to watch from green room
Hobbies: Searching for intelligently designed life on other planets
Views On Hardcore Pornography: Included in presidential platform
Motivation For Running: Kill some time before going to Heaven
Biggest Controversy: Is presidential candidate

One step forward, big step back; Warren and Markey vote for surveillance

Listen in ... - promoted by Bob_Neer

Congress helped privacy activists to a great achievement last week by doing nothing. The brief sunset of the USA PATRIOT ACT on June 1 was the first step in the right direction on government surveillance since before 9/11.

Of course, the ending provisions were quickly reenacted in the fake-reform USA FREEDOM Act passed the next day.

There may be some confusion because many organizations supported an early version of this bill that had real reforms, but changed position on it weeks or months ago after it was watered down. Even if previously one was to celebrate the mild and misguided reforms in the USA FREEDOM Act, consider that after the sunset of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT ACT, this is in fact a huge expansion of the legal allowance for surveillance.

I was dismayed to find that Senators Warren and Markey voted for the bill, and surprised, given their positive track record on the issue. I don’t quite believe Markey and Reich and other Democratic favorites are fooled, though perhaps jaded; I find their statements disingenuous. Note the lack of even a throwaway “there is more to be done.”

For what it’s worth, Sanders gets it right every time.

Still, even with the small net gain, it is heartening to see Congress take any step to roll back surveillance. We can make progress.

Organizations cover what happened, whether it’s a good thing, and what’s next:

CREDO

“The civil liberties community was split on this bill. Some civil liberties groups, most of them based in Washington, D.C., along with tech industry groups and pundits in the mainstream media were quick to call the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act a major victory. CREDO supported the 2013 USA FREEDOM Act. But after its first introduction it was watered down and contorted beyond recognition. We not only pulled our support from subsequent versions of the bill, but fought vigorously to stop it from passing. …”

“But sadly, most Democrats in both the House and Senate failed to show the same commitment to our civil liberties as Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul, and Reps. Massie, Amash and Poe and Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan and Barbara Lee. The overwhelming majority of Democrats ultimately voted in favor of more mass surveillance. Even more disappointing, President Obama is competing with George W. Bush in using fear mongering to champion making PATRIOT Act powers permanent.”

EFF

“[W]e withdrew our support from the bill in an effort to spur Congress to strengthen some of its privacy protections and out of concern about language added to the bill at the behest of the intelligence community.

Even so, we’re celebrating. We’re celebrating because, however small, this bill marks a day that some said could never happen—a day when the NSA saw its surveillance power reduced by Congress.”

Free Press

Restore the Fourth

Fight for the Future

“Each member of the Senate who voted for the USA Freedom Act will now be on record for re-instating—with full knowledge of its illegal usage—a piece of the largest scale violation of the US Constitution in America’s history. They will carry that failure into the next elections, and through the rest of their political careers.”

Experts Need Not Apply: Economists Excluded From Olympic Study Committee

Unbelievable. Actually at this point, all too believable. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

Perhaps you can’t fool all the people all the time, but many politicians certainly seemed to be trying.

–Andrew Zimbalist

As chair of our school building committee, I’m in the midst of developing school building project. It’s a long, sometimes tedious, sometimes grueling, chore. It’s my town’s version of a mega-project, and certainly the largest project I’ll ever be involved in. Fortunately, we are guided through the process by a project manager and an architectural firm. These folks are our representatives in our dealings with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), which will fund about 60% of our project. It would be nice if we could eschew some of the bureaucracy and the experts, but quite frankly, a lot of money would wasted without them. The MSBA and our hired experts make sure our decisions are fiscally sound and educationally feasible, and because schools are their business, they know what they’re doing.

What’s good for building schools, however, evidently isn’t good for the Olympics. The Special Commission Relative to the Feasibility of Hosting the Summer Olympics in the Commonwealth passed over three different economists in favor of politicians and business people. This was the committee appointed to examine the feasibility of Boston hosting the Olympics.

The Commission was guided by “two core principles to be used in determining feasibility”:

(1) any potential investment in an effort to host the Olympic Games could only occur if it was aligned with the long-term economic development and infrastructure needs of the Commonwealth

(2) any potential investment would offer clear, long-lasting, and significant legacy benefits to the Commonwealth after the Games had come and gone.

One might think an economist or two specializing in sports and building stadiums might be helpful in determining the effects of the Olympics on long-term economic development, but the powers that be decided that the commission should be filled with event boosters.

Andrew Zimabalist should know. Stan Rosenberg solicited his resume for the Commission. Yet Zimbalist was not appointed. He tells the following story in Circus Maximus, his book about the economics of the Olympics:

Mitt Romney suggested to Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick that Boston bid to be the host city. Patrick took the matter to the state legislature which in turn appropriated funds for a study to be performed by a ten-member commission to be appointed by the governor.

After passing the appropriation, Massachusetts state senator and majority leader Stan Rosenberg e-mailed me to ask if I would be interested in serving on the commission. I responded affirmatively, depending on the timing and volume of the work involved. Senator Rosenberg [who represents Northampton where Zimbalist, an occasional guest on public radio, teaches at Smith College] thanked me and asked me to send him a résumé. He then sent my résumé with a cover letter to Deval Patrick, urging my appointment to the commission. Apparently, a similar interaction occurred between Victor Matheson, an economist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an expert on mega-event economics, and another state legislator. I also pointed out to Senator Rosenberg that Judith Grant Long, a well-respected expert on the effect of the Olympics and other sports mega-events on urban economies, taught at Harvard University.

As it turned out, Governor Patrick did not appoint any of us to the commission. Instead, eleven executives were appointed, all from the tourism industry and construction, the industry that had the most to gain if Boston were to host the games. After several months the commission concluded that the matter warranted further study. As of mid-July 2014, no decision had been made, although the USOC had selected Boston as a finalist among possible U.S. host cities.

With Governor Patrick’s maneuver, my cynicism about our political process and what interests it serves reached an all-time high. Perhaps you can’t fool all the people all the time, but many politicians certainly seemed to be trying.

On the eventual makeup of the Commission, Zimbalist should be corrected. Six of the eleven commissioners represented state or city government. The remaining five–the private citizens–were all business people. Zimbalist blames Patrick, but the report of the commission clearly suggests that the senate and legislature’s leadership were equally responsible.

Here’s a list of the members:

The Governor named Mr. John F. Fish (Chair), Chairman and CEO, Suffolk Construction, Mr. Stephen Freyer, President, Freyer Management Associates, and Steven Tompkins, Sheriff, Suffolk County to serve on the committee.

Former Senate President Therese Murray appointed Eileen Donoghue, State Senator and Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business, Mr. Ralph Cox, Principal, Redgate Real Estate Advisors

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo appointed  Cory Atkins, State Representative and House Chair, Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development and Mr. Daniel O’Connell, President and CEO, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.

The Senate Minority Leader’s appointee was Mr. Jonah Beckley, General Counsel.

The House Minority Leader’s choice was Ms. Andrea Crupi, Legislative Aide.

The Mayor of the City of Boston appointed Ms. Cindy Brown, President & CEO, Boston Duck Tours and Frost Ice Bar, and Mr. Christopher Cook, Director of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events, Office of Mayor Martin J. Walsh

I don’t know any of these folks, but I’m sure none of them has written a book on the economics of the Olympics. And I’m willing to bet none of them has advised New York City on hosting the Olympics. And although one or two could have a degree in economics, I don’t think any of them is an economist or a tenured professor at a prestigious Massachusetts college or university. In fact, I don’t know of any reason why any of these people should have been excluded from the Commission. For all I know, their experience is and was valuable. But was there a skeptic among them? Was there someone with an extensive research background in the Olympics or similar mega-events? The answer seems to be no. Instead of an economist, an actual expert, the Special Commission Relative to the Feasibility of Hosting the Summer Olympics in the Commonwealth got the CEO of a duck boat tour company.

If my fellow citizens decide to build a new school, it is very unlikely that it will greatly exceed its budget. Large projects rarely come in under budget, but the MSBA, our project manager, and our architect, almost guarantee that we will be very close to our estimate. The reason for such precision is simple: building schools is their business. They’re experts. Our government’s decision to leave Olympic experts out of the feasibility process doesn’t bode well for the their cost containment.

Unofficial June BMG Democratic Presidential Primary Strawpoll Time!

promoted by charley-on-the-mta

Now that the Democratic Presidential Primary field is starting to really take shape, I figure it’s time to get a real sense of what BMGers think about the presidential primary at this early date.

So, let’s have a straw-poll!

The rules:

Pick one candidate who’s in the race or is considering entering the race, and reply with their names in a comment.

The candidates who are currently declared in the race, in alphabetical order, are Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders. Others who have been pretty open about considering the race would include Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Webb, and Joe Biden hasn’t definitively ruled out a campaign. I’m sure there are others I’m missing (my apologies!).

Feel free to provide a few sentences on why you’re supporting a particular candidate, but let’s leave any heated debates for other threads.

If people don’t feel comfortable openly declaring their choices at this point, but would still like to contribute anonymously, email me your selection at Ryepower12ATaolDOTcom, along with your BMG handle, and I’ll record them for the tally.

I won’t share which BMGers email me answers anonymously with anyone, but I want to make sure there’s a BMG handle tied to the vote so we can be sure that this is representative of the BMG community.

I also won’t count any votes from handles created after the submission of this post towards the official count, to avoid any shenanigans.

I’m going to set a deadline for this Friday, June 5th, at 11:59PM for votes. Any votes made after, whether by reply or email, won’t count toward the “official” count to this very unofficial straw poll.

I don't know how it can be, but I am liking her more and more.

The reality-based wing of the Democratic Party. - promoted by Bob_Neer

I admire her intellect and her wit, simple as that: