Peter G. Peterson?

If you watch Morning Joe, you’ve no doubt seen advertisements from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation asking you to ask your representatives in government what they plan to do about the nation’s debt; a debt that will hurt us all, put us out of work, and turn our infrastructure into ruin.  You can read more about it here.

After spending a few hours reading about it, I get the sense that according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the only way out of this debt is to limit government spending and borrowing.  I see no mention of raising taxes on the wealthy, or corporations (which are, for the most part, owned by the wealthy).  It’s all about cutting Social Security and Medicare and so on.  

 

And there’s this:

Partnerships, grants, and sponsorships include:

The Heritage Foundation

Clinton Foundation – Clinton Global Initiative

 

The Advisory Board is  mix of people like Mario Cuomo, Robert Rubin, George Schultz….

 

Puzzling and troubling……

GUESS WHAT - investigative delegation sent by the UN reviews the US as to gender bias - and we FLUNK.

You don’t have to take my word for it – and it sure fits with the “you don’t want to ruin a cute, promising white guy’s life” rape culture cases, in my opinion.

 

The link to coverage of the UN Delegation is here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/foreign-women-assess-us-gender-equality_us_566ef77de4b0e292150e92f0

 

One of my favorite quotes from many in the coverage of the delegation’s review states:

The delegates were appalled by the lack of gender equality in America. They found the U.S. to be lagging far behind international human rights standards in a number of areas, including its 23 percent gender pay gap, maternity leave, affordable child care and the treatment of female migrants in detention centers.

The most telling moment of the trip, the women told reporters on Friday, was when they visited an abortion clinic in Alabama and experienced the hostile political climate around women’s reproductive rights.

“We were harassed. There were two vigilante men waiting to insult us,” said Frances Raday, the delegate from the U.K. The men repeatedly shouted, “You’re murdering children!” at them as soon as they neared the clinic, even though Raday said they are clearly past childbearing age.

“It’s a kind of terrorism,” added Eleonora Zielinska, the delegate from Poland. “To us, it was shocking.”

In most European countries, she explained, abortions are performed at general doctors’ offices and hospitals that offer all kinds of other health services, so there aren’t protesters waiting to heckle the women who enter.

The women discovered during their visit that women in the United States have “missing rights” compared to the rest of the world. For instance, the U.S. is one of three countries in the world that does not guarantee women paid maternity leave, according to the U.N. International Labour Organization. The U.N. suggests that countries guarantee at least 14 weeks of paid parental leave. Some countries go further — Iceland requires five months paid leave for each parent, and an additional two months to be shared between them.

“The lack of accommodation in the workplace to women’s pregnancy, birth and post-natal needs is shocking,” Raday said. “Unthinkable in any society, and certainly one of the richest societies in the world.”

Dig in on Legislative Primaries - Elect Progressives September 8th

Voting day for state primaries is just around the corner!  Progressive Massachusetts has endorsed in five races in the upcoming state primaries on Thursday, September 8. and our endorsed candidates need your help!

When Progressive Massachusetts supports progressive candidates in primaries, we are doing two important things for the long-term movement –

  • Making the legislature more progressive, so we can get more legislation passed
  • Building the bench of progressive leaders who someday can run for even higher office

Do your part this weekend.

Information is below on how to help our five progressive endorsees:
Monica Cannon (events in Roxbury)
Mike Connolly (events in Cambridge)
Pat Jehlen (events in Somerville, Cambridge, Medford)
Jack Lewis (events in Framingham, Ashland)
Moses Dixon (events in Worcester)

And don’t forget to donate to our candidates if you haven’t already!

Remember, your time and dollars go much further in state legislative races — and you’re investing in the movement long-term.

 

Proposed changes to DDS behavioral and restraints regs would subtract protections, add vagueness

(Cross-posted from The COFAR Blog)

The Baker administration is proposing major changes to regulations governing behavior modification techniques and restraints that are used on persons with developmental disabilities.

The Department of Developmental Services claims these changes will enable disabled individuals “to grow and reach their maximum potential,” and will limit or eliminate the use of certain types of controversial restraints, which are used during behavioral emergencies.  We read the proposed changes differently, however.

In our view, the proposed changes would eliminate a large number of specific requirements and restrictions on behavioral techniques and restraints, and replace them in most cases with more vaguely worded provisions that will provide less protection against potential abuse.

For instance, DDS is proposing to scrap the current regulatory definitions of chemical, mechanical, and physical restraints as well as many of the procedures specified in the current regulations regarding those restraints. These procedures would be replaced by a process called the “Crisis Prevention, Response and Restraint curriculum” (CPRR).

It’s not clear in the proposed regulations what the CPRR curriculum is. The proposed language states that the CPRR curriculum uses “Positive Behavior Supports as the framework,” but, as I discuss below, the proposed regulations are equally vague about what the Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) involve.

According to the proposed regulations, the CPRR curriculum will or already does contain a list of “acceptable restraint techniques.”  But the proposed regulations don’t appear to specify what those acceptable techniques are. Nevertheless, the proposed regulations state that there is a list of DDS-qualified CPRR Curriculum providers who will apparently instruct DDS residential and day program providers in CPRR procedures.

As noted, a lot of specific requirements in the current regulations would be deleted in the proposed regulations.  For instance, requirements would be deleted that mechanical and physical restraints be authorized by either the provider agency head, an authorized physician, or a designated staff member who has had training in the safe use of those procedures.

Also deleted is language stating that any mechanical device used as a restraint must must allow for “the physical and emotional comfort of the individual in restraint.”  In addition, the current regulations state that locked mechanical restraint devices requiring the use of a key for their release are prohibited. This statement is deleted as well in the proposed regulations.

It’s possible that all of these requirements are contained in the CPRR curriculum; but we think these requirements should still be spelled out in regulations, which carry the force of law.

The CPRR curriculum, whatever it is, could be changed at any time and would seem to leave it up to the discretion of DDS and the unspecified curriculum providers as to what types of restraints are acceptable and how they should be used. That could make it difficult for families or guardians to challenge the use of restraints on their loved ones if they believe those restraints are being used excessively or abusively.

This does not appear to us to be a good direction for DDS to take given the fact that the use of restraints has become increasingly controversial in recent years.

Regarding the allowable duration of restraints, the proposed regulations would appear at first glance to be an improvement over the current regulations; but even here, the proposed language appears more ambiguous than the current language.

The proposed language states that no individual can be restrained for more than 60 minutes. The current regulations allow for continuous restraints lasting up to 6 hours, and state that non-continuous restraints cannot last more than eight hours in a 24-hour period.  But while the proposed language would appear to be an improvement in that regard, the language does not specify whether the 60-minute time limit applies to use of non-continuous restraints. In other words, the proposed language does not appear to prohibit multiple uses of restraints on an individual in one 24-hour period, with each use lasting 60 minutes.

Also, the proposed regulations would prohibit “chemical restraints,” which involve the use of anti-psychotic medications during behavioral emergencies. But anti-psychotic medications would still be permitted as part of an individual’s behavioral treatment.

NOTE: We do support a proposed change in the regulations that appears to introduce a specific prohibition against physical restraints that causes pressure on the lungs. Specifically prohibited under this section would be restraint in a prone position in which the individual is lying on their stomach.

Proposed changes in behavioral modification regulations

In the same set of regulations, DDS is proposing to scrap the term “behavior modification” and replace it with “positive behavior supports” (PBS). As noted above, these proposed changes raise similar concerns for us in that there seems to be less specificity in the proposed PBS system than in the current requirements, many of which would similarly be deleted.

The proposed regulations don’t even appear to clearly define PBS as much as make vague statements about the proposed system.  The proposed language states, for instance, that:

PBS emphasizes the use of positive behavior approaches and recognizes that behavior is often an individual’s response or reaction to the environment and the need to communicate his or her preferences and wants to others, and, therefore, PBS focuses on environmental modifications and antecedents.

At the same time, the proposed regulations delete all references to “Level I and Level II behavioral interventions,” which are described in detail in the current regulations.  These Level I and II categories appear to be replaced by “Universal and Targeted Supports,” which seem to have much more vague definitions.

The current regulations specify that Level I interventions include such things as positive reinforcement, corrective feedback, and “contingent exercise,” and “time outs” of 15 minutes or less with staff present in the room. The current regulations also state that Level II interventions include procedures that require some “physical enforcement,” and time outs of 15 minutes or less with staff present just outside the room.

In contrast, no actual examples are provided in the proposed regulations of Universal or Targeted supports.  Targeted supports are defined as “practices that are implemented fairly rapidly on an ‘as needed’ basis for an individual or group of individuals at risk for developing problem behavior…”   There is no indication what those practices might be.

The proposed regulations do appear to leave in place current language regarding Level III interventions, which is the most intensive level of behavior modification techniques under the current regulations.  The current regulations state that Level III interventions include such things as contingent skin shock and time outs lasting more than 15 minutes. It is not clear, though, whether there is a relationship in the proposed regulations between Level III interventions and a new category called ”Intensive Supports” in the proposed regulations.

In fact, there appears to be no definition or examples of Intensive Supports in the proposed regulations.  The proposed regulations state that Intensive Supports should be used  ”when there are concerns that the health, safety, or emotional well-being of the individual, or others, is at risk, or the individual’s quality of life is seriously impeded due to challenging behavior.”

There also appears to be some confusion in the proposed regulations over the permissibility of skin shock and some other Level III interventions.  In one section, the proposed language states that contingent skin shock and seclusion are prohibited practices that “are not be permitted under any circumstances.”

Yet, contingent skin shock is still listed under Level III interventions in the proposed regulations as being acceptable if it is determined that the risks as weighed against the benefits of the procedure would not pose an “unreasonable degree of physical or psychological harm.”

Also, while seclusion would be prohibited under the proposed regulations, the regulations would, as noted above, still permit time outs, which are defined as the placement of an individual alone in a room. Under the Level III intervention requirements, time outs of longer than 15 minutes are permitted if they don’t pose an unreasonable degree of physical or psychological harm.

Other deletions in the proposed changes to the behavioral modification regulations

Also included in the deleted language in this section is a requirement that behavior modification treatment plans are subject to Individual Support Plan (ISP) requirements. ISPs are written plans of supports and services for individuals that are subject to separate regulatory requirements.

The proposed behavioral modification regulations state that a “PBS Plan” would be needed for Targeted and Intensive Supports, but the proposed language does not indicate how such a plan would relate to an individual’s ISP.

Other proposed changes in the this section of the regulations include the apparent replacement of an Advisory Panel for behavior modification interventions with a “Leadership Team” for PBS interventions. At least some of the current requirements regarding qualifications of clinicians on the Advisory Panels appear to be lessened in the proposed language regarding the PBS Leadership Teams.

For instance, membership of the proposed Leadership Teams must include one senior level “qualified clinician.”  A qualified clinician is defined in the proposed regulations as holding a master’s degree in psychology or another “relevant discipline” and having at least 5 years of clinical background in developmental disabilities.

Under the current regulations, the behavioral modification Advisory Panels must have at least five members, “a majority of whom shall possess doctoral level degrees in psychology, with significant training and experience in applied behavior analysis and behavioral treatment” (my emphasis).

Proposed change to privacy rights of persons with developmental disabilities 

Finally, we strongly oppose a proposed change a separate section of the regulations regarding the privacy rights of persons with developmental disabilities.

Current language in this section requires that “assistance (be provided) by same gender staff for hygiene and medication administration when the partial or complete disrobing of the individual is required.”  DDS is proposing to add the phrase “to the extent possible” to this language. We believe this change would have a potentially negative impact on the privacy and dignity of persons in the DDS system, and would increase the potential for abuse of those persons.

In our view, the proposed language would give providers virtually complete discretion to determine whether same-gender privacy protections were possible to provide; and we believe providers would base their decisions regarding the use of same-gender staff on their staffing needs rather than on the privacy and dignity of persons in their care.

We recognize that there may be appropriate and warranted preferences by individuals or their families or guardians for care by staff of a different gender, and we would welcome new language in the existing section of the regulation that would reflect those preferences.

In sum, we think DDS needs to go back to the drawing board with respect to this entire set of regulatory changes. At the very least, the Department should re-insert the specific protections it has deleted regarding restraints and behavioral supports.

Elizabeth Warren "open to" voting yes on Question 4, marijuana legalization

Asked her thoughts on Question 4, which would legalize and regulate marijuana in Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren did not quite say she’s voting yes — but she did make some very supportive statements and say she is “open to” voting in favor of the measure:

Marijuana is “widely available” in Massachusetts due to decriminalization but there’s little regulation of the drug, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Thursday, explaining why she is open to supporting legalization.

“Massachusetts is in a very difficult position, because we have decriminalized marijuana, but that means it’s fairly widely available,” Warren said, referring to the 2008 ballot initiative that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in Massachusetts. “But there’s no real regulation of it.”

Warren, D-Cambridge, added: “And I think what we really need is to have some regulation of it, and that means I would be open to the possibility of legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts.”

Pressed on whether she would vote “yes” on the ballot question, Warren said, “What I just said is that I would be open to it because I think that the problem we’ve got right now in Massachusetts is that we’ve decriminalized it which makes marijuana available but there’s no regulation over it for safety.”

It’s great to see Warren, a champion of consumer protection, expressing the need for regulating this widely available drug (though it was widely available far before decriminalization). She understands that anyone who wants to use it already is, and that the government can help protect those people by ensuring products are tested for contaminants and potency, and taxing sales in order to steer funding towards mitigating any negative impacts.

I hope to see Senator Warren make some more certain statements in the coming months, and would love to have her support for Question 4. For Congress’ leading consumer advocate, it’s the only sensible position.

I think this is a problem. Remember the slap on the wrist of that "Brock" guy so as not to ruin a white guy's life? Well, check out this Springfield case - the same attitude seems alive and well, here

Here is a quote from the case: “In the Becker case, the 18-year-old former East Longmeadow High School student was originally charged with two counts of rape, which could have netted him 20 years in prison. He would later submit to facts sufficient for a guilty finding on two lesser charges of indecent assault on a person age 14 or older.

Prosecutors wanted him to serve two years in jail on the lesser indecent assault charges, but Estes ordered the case continued without a finding. If Becker stays out of trouble with the law, stays away from drugs and alcohol and stays away from the victims, the case will not go on his record as a conviction, and he will not have to register as a sex offender.”

 

The rest of the article:  http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/who_is_thomas_estes_judge_in_d.html

 

  Title of article: “Who is Thomas Estes? Judge in David Becker sexual assault case under glare of spotlight following ruling”×:

“Putting this kid in jail for two years would have destroyed this kid’s life.”  Said the defense lawyer.

What about the victiims?

Jamie Eldridge Goes There

Where a lot of BMG’ers have been on the subject of the state’s Democratic Party for some time. His comments as reported in the Globe:

“There are plenty of conservative Democrats who have been elected, unchallenged, for years if not decades, including at the local and legislative level….I personally think the time is ripe … for Sanders supporters/ progressives to ‘take over’ the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and have a serious influence on its platform, candidates, and policies.”

Clinton Foundation: Just Close It Down

 
It’s been announced that Chelsea Clinton will stay on the board of the Clinton Foundation if her mother is elected President.
 
How is this going to work? People are going to continue to ask questions about the Foundation, and legitimately so. It seems Hillary Clinton is happy to hand to Republicans in Congress her first-term kryptonite.
 
Mrs. Clinton may end up accomplishing little as President if everybody continues to be preoccupied with who’s the latest donor to the Clinton Foundation, and how much phone or face time they got with the President or her staff before or after making their donation. The Associated Press has already found that, of 154 people with private interests who met or phoned Clinton as Secretary of State, more than half donated to Clinton charities. These were people whose meetings with Clinton were marked on the State Dept calendar obtained by the AP.
 
Mrs. Clinton, just close these foundations, charities, initiatives down. Enough is enough. Once your term as President expires, you should be able to create new charities, and to build a Presidential Library with money raised through speeches given to corporations, wealthy individuals, and foreign governments – the same thing ex-Presidents have done in the past.
 

Clinton's Not-Yet-Scheduled Press Conference

Charlie Pierce has an amusing take on this, which might even be the campaign’s preferred topic this (preferred over the Foundation anyway).

“Because fck you, that’s why.”

I don’t agree entirely, but at least Charlie is funny about it.

No, kids, she doesn’t have to hold a press conference. In fact, as regards some sort of duty to democracy, she has less obligations to answer your questions than she has to answer the questions of a terrified Iowa farmer or the mother of an opiate addict in New Hampshire. As a member of the craft, I think it would be best for all concerned if she did but, at this point, the whining is setting off the alarms at NORAD and any press conference she held would result in a general square-dance of self-congratulation in every Green Room inside and outside the Beltway.

To the point:

There always will be “more questions.” There will always be another document, another source, another e-mail. The smoking gun always will be tantalizingly jusssssst a bit out of reach. That’s the way The Clinton Rules work. It seems like now the demands for her to hold a press conference have become the worst kind of political correctness—PC on the PC’s, you can call it.

I think she should do one. I am not so full of myself as to think she owes me one.

I’m going to take that small agreement and run.

And her dad's a Democrat

Heather Bresch, chief executive officer of Mylan NV, has increased the price of its EpiPen from about $57 a shot when it took over sales of the product in 2007 to more than $600 for two auto-injectors.

The pharmaceutical CEO whose company raised the price of EpiPens by more than 400% was rewarded with a 671% raise.

Bresch went from making $2,453,456 nine years ago to $18,931,068 last year, according to filings from the company.

And her dad is United States Senator (D-WV) Joseph “Joe” Manchin III.

Now maybe she’s the black sheep of the family and is a Republican, I don’t know.  This stuff sickens me.

 

A Few Things About Scott Brown being Named in Fox News Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Scott Brown was named in a lawsuit by former Fox News employee Andrea Tantaros along with Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes. Even though we already know Bill O’Reilly’s background and Ailes was forced to leave Fox News when the sexual harassment lawsuit from Gretchen Carlson, I believe everyone should have their day in court.

I did not want to post about the allegations but rather the response from our esteemed former Senator. First, Scott Brown’s advice to women who are being sexually harassed, suck it up (emphasis mine):

Brown was quick to point out that if there was even a whiff of wrongdoing on his part while at the Fox News studios, “They would tell me,” he said, adding, “No one has said anything. “I have no beef with anybody at Fox,” Brown stressed, “but I’m a public figure. I understand it. When they comment on my looks, I don’t get freaked out, I just move on. I’m not going to file a sexual harassment lawsuit, that’s for sure.

Thanks Scott. Great advice, so when your boss David Copafeel gets all handsy just move on.

Second, Brown had a spirited defense on Twitter and Howie Carr yesterday talking about abuse in his background.

I read that and I do have empathy for what he had gone through in his life. But I also recall the “Thank God” line he used against Elizabeth Warren and this when Herald reporter Hillary Chabot went along on a few campaign stops with Brown:

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown drinks beer, drives his truck, and loses his keys in a Boston Herald article from today. A reporter followed him to a brewery in Canton, MA:

“You can pound those pretty good,” Brown said as he tasted one of the lighter brews. His favorite was a hoppy beer called Red I.P.A.

“Sit down. Try this one. I’ve seen you in the bars before, don’t act like you’ve never been to a bar,” he said, sliding over a stool. “We’re gonna have her dancing in the back of the truck.”.

So the “I would never perpetuate language or actions” of sexual harassment, we know that’s wrong.

Outsourcing Education: Charter School Chain Owned by Sketchy Turkish Imam

Why do we award tax dollars to schools owned by sketchy foreign entities with an anti-semitic past?

Turkish politics rarely makes a blip in the American media. Modern Turkey, which formed after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s, was secularized by Young Turks (Attaturk, not Ugyur, and friends). The Turks sided with the Allies during World War II, which led to their charter membership in the United Nations. Adjacent to the Middle East, the Asia part of Turkey has provided the United States with a militarily strategic location since then. However, aside from casual mentions relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is little media coverage in Turkey.

This news blackout, however, changed this summer when an attempted coup cropped up, only to be duly quashed by the Turkish government. The coup itself was a pretty much a joke. The plotters took over the national media, only to have President Erdogan use Face Time to call his supporters into the streets. Erdogan put the blame on Fetullah Gulen, an imam who claims to support a moderate form of Islamism and whose followers were believed to have infiltrated the government. Oddly enough, Gulen has been living in Saylorsburg, PA for the last 17 years, and has a network of 140 charter schools across 26 states.

Twenty Years of Welfare Reform

I haven’t fully absorbed this yet, but it clearly bears discussion.


20 Years Since Welfare’s Overhaul, Results Are Mixed

“Mixed” seems a bit too kind for what this piece describes.

She notes that before welfare reform, 68 percent of poor families received cash assistance. Today, that’s dropped to 23 percent.

The new program did work for millions of families, but not all. Many of the most disadvantaged people have been unable to get or keep jobs, and they’re worse off than they were before, in part because there’s now a five-year lifetime limit on welfare benefits — and in some states, it’s lower. Arizona this year cut the limit to one year. The idea was that people would be encouraged to find work if they knew their monthly checks would end, but instead, some have been left high and dry.

One year! I am a spoiled college-educated kid from Somerville, and I’ve had one period of unemployment that was longer than a year.

To me, welfare reform is Bill Clinton’s unforgivable sin (and by extension — you know who’s). It’s the root of all liberal distrust of the Clintons.

Sure, one can argue that the country demanded it, “welfare queens,” the shadow of Reagan, etc. But they also could have FOUGHT — they could have made the case FOR welfare as an anti-poverty tool and social safety net.

They made a different choice. If we give President Clinton the benefit of the doubt that he really believed it was politically necessary, then the best we can say is that he chose political necessity over people.

I guess we should just be glad we’re not one of the mixed results.

Shouldn't the SJC Just Vacate Every Case Annie Dookhan Touched?

Just asking. I am not a lawyer.

I suppose there are arguments against this — I don’t know, some drug kingpin walks? — but I don’t see how anyone really big is in jail just because of Dookhan.

Make no mistake, she ruined lives by fabricating evidence. This is just about the worst thing a justice system can do.

Let them all go, I say.

Equal Pay For Women

With great fanfare and excitement Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a pay equity act into law at the Massachusetts State House.  While there are many good things about this bill, including this: Employers in Massachusetts will be barred from forcing prospective employees to divulge how much they were making at their last job. , I have a question.

 

Does anyone think that this bill will raise the collective wages of laborers in the commonwealth?  If women are paid a low amount today and in two years time, they will receive a raise in wages, where does the funding for that higher wage come from?  Are employers going to recalculate the labor costs in their business model and increase that amount, making less profit?  Yeah, I don’t think so.

My hunch is that employers will simply, slowly, quietly, lower the wages of male employees in “innocent” ways in order to bring equilibrium to their payroll reports.  So yes, while Mom and Aunt Bess, and sister Sarah will be getting a slight raise, Dad, Uncle Louie and Ernie will have their raises put on hold for a while.  In short, the crumbs will be distributed more equally, but there will not be an increase in crumbs.

To some, like the single mom, this will be a big win.  However, to the mom who is dependent on child support payments from her ex-husband, his lower wage is going to translate to a smaller check for her.  In the end, as they say, there ain’t no free lunch and if anyone thinks that the .1% and the employers are going to fund this, well, you’re probably waiting for the Reagan trickle down as well.

Pilgrim Nuclear Struggling to Survive Warming World

Pilgrim Nuclear Station, Plymouth, MAOnce again, warm Cape Cod Bay waters have forced a slowdown at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth. In its 44-year history, the plant has now had three heat-related slowdowns – all in the last four years:

Mary Lampert, director of the citizens group Pilgrim Watch, sees irony in the effect climate change is having on nuclear reactors.

“The nuclear industry incorrectly claims that nuclear power is the answer to climate change, but climate change brings warmer sea water temperature and this means that the reactor must shut down when the bay heats up,” Lampert wrote in an email. “On the other hand, when water temperatures get hot, truly clean sources of electricity — wind, solar, hydro, tide — operate just fine.”

Nuclear advocates like to claim it’s a reliable energy source, but what good is it if Pilgrim can’t take the heat during peak summer demand?

I’m not against nuclear power on principle. But between its struggle to survive in a warming world and nuclear’s exorbitant cost, we should focus our investments in building solar and wind far, far further out than the relatively tiny amounts they currently provide before we give nuclear the billions in subsidies it demands.

Early Voting in Massachusetts?

Does anyone have information on early voting in Massachusetts. I’ve seen conflicting information. On one hand, there apparently was a law passed to allow for early voting, starting in 2016.
But my town’s (Randolph) website has nothing on it to indicate that voters are allowed to vote early. Only absentee voting is mentioned, which has conditions attached. The town website connects to the Secretary of State’s website, which also has no information.
Does early voting only apply to the November election? If the law was mandated to be implemented in 2016, shouldn’t it already be in place? After all, we have already had one election in 2016, and there is another next month.
I’m curious whether anyone has seen information in their town about this.

September BMG Stammtisch


The Saloon

Updated 21-Aug-2016, see below

Come celebrate state primary eve at the first back-to-school Stammtisch. Come, enjoy some libations, and talk politics. The state Democratic Party primary is the following day — Pat Jehlen has a primary competitor, Denise Provost a competitor in the general, and we will collectively wish them well.

Our now-regular monthly BMG Stammtisch will happen, as usual, the first Wednesday of the month — 7-September — at The Saloon in Davis Square at 7p.

Hope to see you there!

21-Aug-2016 Update:
Representative Denise Provost has said she’ll join us for brief time before leaving to help the Pat Jehlen campaign. Ms. Jehlen has been invited, and we hope she’ll be able to join us.

If you don't set a time, you are not being serious.

I had an good conversation with a new friend this past weekend.  We talked about things we’d like to do and things we’d like to see and he brought up an interesting point.  If you do not have a specific time, it’s just talk.  When a person says “We should get together”, ask them “When”?  If they can’t come up with a date or time period, they were not serious, they were just trying to be friendly, but not too friendly.

Or in the case of politics, if you do not set a time, you’re just delivering lip service to calm the opposition.  President Kennedy did not just say we would go to the moon, he said  ”We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

 

I started to think about Single Payer Health Care.   Tom from Somerville is telling me it will take decades (which I now know means thirty years), so Tom thinks that by 2046, we will have universal single payer.

 

Okay, so that’s my plan.  I need to know from (hopefully) President Clinton when we will have health care as a human right, with a version of universal single payer.

Federal Court Finds North Carolina Deliberately Discriminated in Its Voter ID Law

Washington Post:

The federal court in Richmond found that the primary purpose of North Carolina’s wasn’t to stop voter fraud, but rather to disenfranchise minority voters. The judges found that the provisions “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

And:

“Thus, in what comes as close to a smoking gun as we are likely to see in modern times, the State’s very justification for a challenged statute hinges explicitly on race — specifically its concern that African Americans, who had overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, had too much access to the franchise,” the judges write in their decision.