Reminder: the IOC is filled with awful people

Just a little reminder of the people with whom Boston will be getting into bed for the next ten freaking years if we host the 2024 Olympics.

Russian Tennis Federation head Shamil Tarpischev called the Williams sisters the “Williams brothers” and added “it’s scary when you really look at them” …

The WTA [Women's Tennis Association] suspended Shamil Tarpischev for a year and fined him $25,000….

Tarpischev, who is a member of the International Olympic Committee, said the comments were a “joke” in a statement.

“I didn’t want to offend any athlete with my words,” he said. “I regret that this joke has garnered so much attention. I don’t think this incident deserves so much fuss.”

So, yeah.  You can read about a bunch of the other reprobates on the IOC at this link.

Joke Revue: Some Fear Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science


Some Fear Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science.

In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.

“It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”

Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”

At the end of the day, though, Dorrinson hopes that such a doomsday scenario will not come to pass. “Time and time again through history, Americans have been exposed to science and refused to accept it,” he said. “I pray that this time will be no different.”

CNN Defends New Slogan

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—The president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, attempted on Wednesday to defuse the brewing controversy over his decision to change the network’s official slogan from “The Most Trusted Name in News” to “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die.”

“This exciting new slogan is just one piece of our over-all rebranding strategy,” Zucker said. “Going forward, we want CNN to be synonymous with the threat of imminent death.”

North Korean Government Reassures Citizens It Has Deep Bench of Brutal Madmen

PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report) — As the mystery surrounding the absence of dictator Kim Jong-un deepens, the North Korean government on Wednesday issued an official statement reassuring its citizens that it had “a deep bench of brutal madmen.”

While it offered no comment about the status of Kim, the statement from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) emphasized that “making North Korea an authoritarian horror-drome is not the achievement of one man; it has been and will always be a team effort.”


Hazmat Worker Sees No Reason To Throw Away All This Perfectly Good Food

DALLAS—Claiming he would hate to see a carton of unspoiled milk and an entire loaf of bread go to waste, hazardous materials removal worker Jonathan Parker reportedly saw no reason Friday to throw away perfectly good food while disinfecting the apartment of an Ebola-stricken patient. “This pork roast can’t be more than a couple days old,” said Parker, lamenting the idea that a large hunk of parmesan cheese, fine-looking grapes, and a full head of cauliflower would be destroyed and deposited in a remote biohazard disposal site. “These eggs definitely look like they’re still pretty fresh. And that container of yogurt doesn’t expire for three more weeks—and it’s blueberry, too.” At press time, Parker was reportedly spotted carefully placing several grocery bags full of snacks and fresh produce in the trunk of his car.

Daniel Kurtzman:

“Colorado police are worried that children on Halloween might mistakenly eat edible marijuana. Marijuana is legal there and includes candies and baked goods. You can tell if your kid is high if he won’t stop asking ‘Why?’ when you answer his questions, or if he believes he has an imaginary friend.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance yesterday in over 40 days. But since he saw his shadow, that now means 60 more years of nuclear winter.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Because of health scares, they will be taking your temperature at airport security. Well, that should speed up lines.” –David Letterman

“In North Korea, dictator Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in over a month. He’s put on weight and he’s carrying a cane. Kim Jong Un is a top hat and a monocle away from being a Batman villain at this point.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“President Obama was in California over the weekend to attend a fundraiser hosted by the creator of ‘Farmville.’ Obama and the creator of ‘Farmville’ have a lot in common. They both really wish it was still 2009.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Last week was the big fundraiser for President Obama hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow. It was hosted at her house. And people say Obama never reaches out to the inner city.” –Craig Ferguson

“A lot of people have a three-day weekend because of Columbus Day. In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue and 522 years later a lot of people still get Monday off to celebrate. No one’s received more credit for getting lost than Christopher Columbus in the history of mankind.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“This week a spokesman for Harry Reid said that even though Joe Biden makes a lot of mistakes, he is still able to connect and tell us what’s on his mind. That sounds less like a vice president and more like a chimpanzee that knows sign language.” –Jimmy Fallon

Reality-based Yes on 2 Comment of the Day

From johntmay on this thread:

One ride was all it took

My wife was opposed to the bottle bill until I took her for a short ride on our tandem bike through a section of the Charles River Basin in the Franklin/Norfolk area. In the space of five miles, she counted over 50 discarded water/juice bottles and maybe five beer cans/bottles.

Say what you will, the deposits work. At the very least, those who do litter will now pay an automatic five cent tax.

I'm voting NO on Question 2 - expanded bottle bill

A thoughtful contrarian post. - promoted by david

I have been watching my Twitter feed, and found out some folks are promoting #NYYY as the progressive vote this November. Of course, my reaction was one of swift outrage!

#NYYY? What is progressive about the New York Yankees?

Then I looked at the thing a little more carefully, and figured out that some Twitter tweeters were selling NO on 1, and YES for 2, 3, and 4 as the progressive positions on the Massachusetts ballot questions.

Except that I am a progressive Boston Red Sox fan, and while I have problems supporting anything that starts with the letters NYY, I also have problems voting for Question 2.

I am also an urban dwelling progressive, with an 895 square foot condo in a building with several single source recycling bins next to the dumpsters in the parking lot. We make good use of the recycling barrels, and we end up throwing out more recycling than trash in the dumpster.

The deposit bottles? Either they end up in the recycling barrel, or they sit around our little kitchen until the next trip to the store. Which store? It depends on the bottle. Beer bottles to the package store. Whole Foods gets the Whole Foods brands, and never the Diet Coke. Can’t take Diet Coke to Trader Joe’s, either. So, we need to sort bottles and cans around multiple recycle bags cluttering the area to the right of the cat food bowl, or we need to toss nickels into the recycling bin.

Senator Warren: The Game Is Rigged

Great stuff. And she's not running for President, for God's sake. One does wish the media would get over that particular obsession. - promoted by david

This quote is all over the Internet today:

“The game is rigged, and the Republicans rigged it,” Warren declared to a room of 400 boisterous supporters in Minnesota on Saturday while campaigning with Senator Al Franken.

I wanted a bit more context for it, so I looked here among other places.

“Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers,” Warren put it in Colorado the day before, her arm around embattled incumbent Senator Mark Udall.

In both cases, Warren followed the rebukes with some variation of the same rile-up-the-troops pep talk. “We can whine, we can whimper or we can fight back,” Warren challenged her audiences.

Warren took that same message to Iowa on Sunday, making two stops for Senate candidate Bruce Braley, who needs her help mobilizing the Democratic Party base in a midterm race that couldn’t be closer.

Most of the rest of the article is “Will she or won’t she?” speculation. A poll out today shows her with 10% support, whereas Joe Biden has 13% and Hillary Clinton has an incredible 65%.

I don’t think she’s running, but frankly I’d rather she didn’t. I’ve been a Warren skeptic since the beginning, not because of any flaw of hers, but because I just hate to see us anoint candidates. It almost always leads to trouble.

But she’s sharpened her message, and clearly gotten more comfortable with the political arena. I hope that continues, and she can become a real force in the Senate.

Seth Moulton: All Patriot, No Act

I would love to know how many serious candidates for Congress have a record of military commendations like Moulton's and have not made it part of their campaign. The number must be vanishingly small. - promoted by david

When a news story about a politician’s military service appears two weeks before an election, it’s usually not good news for the campaign. Particularly when the byline reads Walter V. Robinson, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter for the Boston Globe. Robinson has taken down many false pretenders. I can only imagine the stomach-knot felt by Moulton’s advisors when they were told, “Walter Robinson called and he has questions about Seth’s military record”.

But this story has a different ending, as Robinson writes:

The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received.

And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.

Turns out Moulton received the Bronze Star and a Navy and Marine Corp Commendation for Valor…and he told no one, not even his parents.

As Moulton points out, it is not uncommon for combat veterans to keep their experiences to themselves:

In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor. “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories,’’ he said. What’s more, Moulton said he is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect to “many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’’

The passing of a spiritual giant

RIP. - promoted by david

The world, and Boston, has lost a spiritual giant. Thomas Shaw, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts for 20 years until his retirement earlier this year, died of brain cancer yesterday.

In my view, he epitomized the sometimes conflicting roles of spiritual leader, institutional authority, and gentle friend. He was a courageous and relentless fighter and advocator for those at the fringes of society — the very poor, the oppressed, the sick, and the outcast. From the Globe’s obituary:

For Bishop Shaw, once called upon to be a leader, fulfilling the will of God meant becoming a citizen of the world far beyond the doors of the serene monastery on Memorial Drive in Cambridge that was his home for nearly four decades. Though he preferred the life of a monk, he appeared in national TV interviews, lobbied State House officials, worked as an unpaid congressional intern, traveled to distant dangerous lands, and created programs to address urban violence, particularly among the young.

Among Boston’s most powerful clergy, Bishop Shaw was an early, key advocate for gay rights and for the ordination of women, gays, and lesbians as priests in his denomination, and in a 2012 interview for a documentary, he let it be known that he was gay and celibate. Long before making his sexuality public, he guided his diocese through a stormy decade while a conflicted Episcopal Church decided whether it would consecrate a gay bishop and allow clergy to bless same-gender unions.

He was a leading supporter of elevating an openly gay priest, V. Gene Robinson, to become bishop of New Hampshire. Nonetheless, to better grasp the deeply held opposition some cultures have to homosexuality, Bishop Shaw went to Africa in the late 1990s and immersed himself in the Episcopal Church’s health and education projects in Uganda and Tanzania.

A decade later, he traveled to Zimbabwe on a secret mission to express support for Anglican worshippers who were subjected to human rights abuses and to bear witness to their suffering through letters to US officials back home. “I don’t think I’ve ever been any place where the oppression has been that overt,” Bishop Shaw told the Globe upon his return.

To see close up how public policy is forged, he moved to Washington, D.C., in early 2000 and spent a month as a congressional intern working for Amory Houghton Jr., an Episcopalian and a Republican who was then a US representative from New York and now lives in Cohasset.

The following year, Bishop Shaw incurred the ire of Jewish leaders when he joined others outside the Israeli consulate in Boston to protest that country’s treatment of Palestinians. Uncharacteristically, he traded his monk’s garb for a purple cassock that announced the gravitas of a bishop. His participation surprised many Jews, and he subsequently spent years mending the rift through discussions with leaders in the Jewish community.

I will miss Tom Shaw.

Don't miss the Globe's feature on Kate Donaghue!

In case you missed it, today’s Globe has a big story (page B1) on Democratic volunteer extraordinaire, and long, long-time BMGer (her “person number” is 134, making her one of our longest-term still-active users, and taking her way back into our Typepad days), Kate Donaghue.

Dozens of friends are expected to canvass in her honor Sunday for her 60th birthday, with Governor Deval Patrick slated to appear.

“She’s a force of nature,” said John E. Walsh, the former state party chairman, who now runs Patrick’s political action committee. “Nobody really does it quite as well, as hard, or as effectively as she does.”

Elections don’t win themselves.  People like Kate win them.  Congratulations, Kate, and happy birthday!

It's Time To Stop Press's Free Pass for Tisei

- promoted by Bob_Neer

The recent endorsement by Bay Windows of Richard Tisei is disappointing, but it actually highlights how the broader press coddles Tisei as a novelty because of his status as a gay Republican.  Let’s challenge the press on this.

What is the press not doing?: balancing its coverage of Richard Tisei by pushing him to defend his positions on Republican 1% tax policy or destructive policies on health care, or labor issues, or the minimum wage, or oil company profiteering, or Citizens United, or dismantling social security, or any other bread and butter issues that affect the unconnected, the poor, and the vulnerable – not to mention undermining the last two years of Obama’s presidency with his inevitable vote for Speaker Boehner.

It’s well past the time when any one potentially vulnerable community can afford to endorse a candidate based upon a narrow community interest, without thinking about how that candidate’s policies will affect our fellow human beings and the greater nation.

The House’s prime function is taxing and spending policy.  I respect Bay Windows’ right to make the endorsement, but it is disappointing in its narrowness and should serve as a call to us to challenge the press to challenge Tisei and stop the free ride.

Terry McGinty
Fred Rich LaRiccia

Politics Is a Team Sport, But DeFranco Endorses Tisei

Number of votes likely changed by this occurrence? - promoted by david

“We are both small business owners, we both have histories of advocating for those without a voice, and we both fight our party when we know they are wrong and we are right.”

–Marisa DeFranco

It may not help him much with Democratic voters, but Richard Tisei, Republican candidate for Congress, received the endorsement of Marisa DeFranco today.

In the Democratic primary for 6th Congressional District, DeFranco came in a distant third (6%) to Seth Moulton who captured the nomination with a resounding 51% and incumbent John Tierney, who came in second with 41% of the vote. 

Canvass - Deval Patrick and Maura Healey on Sunday

promoted by charley-on-the-mta

There are 19 days left before Election Day and your help is needed now! Some of you have been out knocking on doors, talking to your friends, family and neighbors. A lot of work has been done, but there’s a lot more to do. If you have been waiting until it gets closer to the election, STOP WAITING. Your help is needed now! If you’ve been working on getting votes for months, your help is needed more than ever! Can you join us and talk to voters for Martha Coakley and Democrats up and down the ticket? We need to defeat Republican Charlie Baker and ensure that our values are represented in the statehouse.

On Sunday, October 19, I turn 60. Governor Deval Patrick, candidate for Attorney General Maura Healey, Rep. Dan Donahue and giant slayer Mike Firestone are all joining me for my birthday canvass. This year several events developed. I wanted to go back to Redbones where the Governor came in 2010. Maynard was the site of the first BMG canvass in 2007. I’ve been working out of the Worcester HQ. All three areas are stops for the day.

Here’s the schedule:
10:00 AM Donahue and Donaghue in Worcester: Rep. Dan Donahue will kick off this canvass. We’ll arrive at the Worcester Campaign HQ at 256 Park Avenue between 10:00 to 10:30. We’ll have some refreshments and hit the doors at 11 AM. Click to RSVP.
01:00 PM Maura Healey in Maynard/Acton: Candidate for Attorney General Maura Healey will kick off a canvass from the campaign HQ 74 Main Street, Maynard. RSVP here.
04:00 PM Governor Patrick and Maura Healey Somerville Canvass: Governor Deval Patrick and Maura Healey will kick-off the final canvass of my day. We’ll gather in front of Porter Square Books, 25 White St, Cambridge (Porter Square).  Click to RSVP
POST CANVASS Redbones: After canvassing, please join me at Redbones. I’ve ordered some food and we’ll be there for a while.

I turned 50 during the 2004 presidential election and decided to celebrate by asking friends to join me on a Birthday Canvass in New Hampshire. It’s become a tradition over the years. BMGers typically join me. I am especially inviting my BMG friends to talk to voters and socialize. It’s been a long time since we have had any gathering. When we do, we always have fun! Ask Lynne and Charlie if you don’t believe me! I am perfectly willing to shamelessly self promote to get people out working to get the Democratic ticket elected.

Please join us on October 19. Come to talk to voters, come to meet Governor Patrick and Maura Healey, come for birthday cake, but please come. RSVP to KateDonaghue AT aol DOT com.

Uber: Surge Pricing, and an F from the Better Business Bureau

Fascinating analysis from former UberX driver doubleman in the comments. ... - promoted by Bob_Neer

Huffington Post reports:

Of course, Uber is far from the first company to engage in surge-pricing. Airline companies and hotels are known for jacking up prices during holidays and other busy travel times. But Uber riders complain that they’re not adequately informed of how high their trip’s cost will be. In the early months of the company, customers were livid after being charged hundreds of dollars for rides on New Year’s Eve. In some cases, users claimed they weren’t notified about surge pricing until after the trip.

This was brought to my attention by writer Crystal King, via Twitter. She said:

Crystal King @crystallyn
I had a $170 bill during a NYC blizzard from surge pricing. Not cool.

Not cool indeed.

I think this puts me firmly on the anti-Uber side of the fence. I rode it once (on someone else’s cyberdime), and it was very pleasant, much better than a cab. But these guys are bad news. I think we need to view them more like we view Amazon — as a threat to local businesses. Sure, we dislike cabs and we love independent bookstores (most of them anyway), but the principle is the same. Yes they’re innovative (so is Amazon), but they use hardball tactics.

Is it possible that Uber’s getting a bad rap? Certainly. But at this point I consider them guilty until proven innocent. I won’t use it.